Vinopolpick Mid-Week 10-20-21

In This Newsletter:

New Wine Spectator Insider Reviews
For Saint Cosme

New Volnay in house: Glantenay and Pousse D’Or

 Saffredi Super Tuscan Sale: Case-6 Special Ends Friday 

Quantum of Bollinger: New Vintage of La Grande Annee 

2019 St. Damien Announcement   

Producer Spotlight: 

Rose Features

Staff Pick:
2017 Burklin Wolf

Producer Spotlight:
Marie Courtin

Collector’s Corner 
Get Schisty with Clos Erasmus


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New Wine Spectator Insider Reviews

For Saint Cosme

Arriving ETA November

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides Rhone 2019 750ML ($129.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“A brick house, this brims with cassis, blackberry reduction and fig preserve flavors supported by a strong spine of cast iron notes and laced throughout with bay, dried garrigue and racy chalky minerality. Muscular and rugged in temperament through the finish, but the well-defined pieces are in. Some patience is all that’s needed. Best from 2024 through 2040. —J.M.”

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Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux Rhone 2019 750ML ($129.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“This is packed together, with taut iron cables providing a platform for mouthwatering bitter plum, cassis and blackberry reduction flavors. Sage, bay tobacco and warm earth notes play equally important roles, adding superior range and depth. Everything pulls together through the finish, though the end point takes some time to reach. Best from 2025 through 2040. —J.M.”

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Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste Rhone 2019 750ML ($129.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 98 points
“A stunner from the start, with a piercingly pure and beautiful display of violet and cherry purée aromas and flavors taking center stage, supported by ultra-refined chalky minerality and fine beaded acidity. Lacy rooibos tea, garrigue and lavender accents drape the finish, adding a beguiling note at the very end. Beautiful wine. Best from 2025 through 2040. —J.M.”


New Volnay in house:

Glantenay and Pousse D’Or

“If the wines of Pommard sometimes seem like a truck-driver’s interpretation of Pinot, then those of Volnay are a ballerina’s” Remington Norman -The Great Domaines of Burgundy

Part of the magic of Burgundy is the cornucopia of small producers working their family’s estates just as their forefathers did. This intimate relationship with their vines and centuries of passed down tradition make the region what it is, and refines Pinot Noir to an unmatched expression. One such example of this is Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay, a father-son team based around the village of Volnay. 

Focusing on quality rather than quantity, they focus their production on single vineyard expressions with only a handful of village- level offerings. This is no easy task given that the Domaine has less than 20 acres to their name. With their holdings spread across Volnay and Pommard they are able to capture both the elegant and brawny sides of Pinot Noir, with Pommard promising tannic power opposite Volnay’s aromatics and texture. With an average vine age of 30 years and vineyards positioned on the mid-slope, these are some of the most focused examples of terroir you’ll ever see. With wines never seeing more than 30% new oak, minimalist extraction techniques and only racking once at bottling they’re the epitome of “Labors of love”

Also from Volnay is Pousse D’Or, a merchant producer in possession of 3 monopole vineyards in addition to their other holdings. This makes them the sole producers of wines from these vineyards, with the Clos Des 60 Ouvrees being the most exceptional. Formerly part of the original Domaine Romanée-Conti estate, it neighbors Meursault and has an average vine age of 56 years old. Farmed biodynamically for over a decade and blessed with almost pure limestone soil this is a bottling for only the most serious Burgundy collectors.    

Newly Arrived:

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or En Cailleret Clos des 60 Ouvrees Volnay Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points
“Bright ruby-red. Expressive, scented nose combines blackberry, spices, violet and lavender pastille. At once supple and vibrant on the palate, conveying serious density of texture and juicy flavors of black fruits and spices. This wine stands out for its intensity and inner-mouth perfume. Finishes ripe and chewy, with excellent length. A very strong performance for a cool spot in a warm year.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des 60 Ouvrées has an elegant bouquet with perfumed, violet-tinged black and red fruit, well defined with touches of brown spice and iris emerging with time. This shows a pleasing restraint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red and black fruit on the entry, well-judged acidity, then toughening up a little toward a structured and almost Pommard-like finish that suggests that it will need several years in bottle.” 

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Bourgogne Rouge Burgundy 2018 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 24 bottles in stock now
“The 2018 Bourgogne Rouge offers up a pretty bouquet of sweet berry fruit, cassis and smoked meats, followed by a medium to full-bodied, charming and succulent palate, its ample core of fruit framed by melting tannins. The will drink well on release.” –William Kelley, Wine Advocate

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Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Pommard Les Riottes Cote de Beaune 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 89-91+ points
“Aromas of cherries, red plums, orange rind and spices introduce Glantenay’s 2018 Pommard Les Riottes, a medium to full-bodied, succulent and lively wine that’s nicely concentrated and built around sappy acids and powdery tannins. This is a touch more red fruited than its more-voluptuous Volnay sibling this year.”

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Volnay Cote de Beaune 2018 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 89-91 points
“As is invariably the case, the 2018 Volnay Village includes two small premier cru parcels in Les Lurets and En l’Ormeau that Glantenay doesn’t  vinify separately. Bursting from the glass with a generous bouquet of wild berries, cassis, peonies and sweet soil tones, it’s medium to full-bodied, lively and velvety, with a rich core of fruit, succulent acids and a long finish.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Les Brouillards Volnay Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($89.95) $75 special, 12 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90-92+ points
“The 2018 Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillards unfurls to reveal notes of raspberries, mulberries, dark chocolate and spices. Medium to full-bodied, textural and enveloping, its ample core of gourmand but succulent fruit is structured around ultra-fine tannins. This is very promising and will be hard to resist in its youth.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 89-91 points “The 2018 Volnay Les Brouillards 1er Cru, from more clayey soils compared to other Premier Crus and matured in 25% new oak, has a bright, airy bouquet of black currant, wild strawberry and crushed stone aromas, though I would like a little more persistence to develop. The well-balanced palate delivers firm, slightly coarse tannins. But it is delineated and focused, with lovely brine-tinged, crunchy black fruit toward the finish. It will require 3–5 years in bottle, but it should evolve into a fine Brouillards.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Clos des Chenes Volnay Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 93 points
“The 2018 Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er Cru has a very crisp and delineated bouquet with a mélange of red/blue fruit, chalk, flint and light hedgerow scents. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fleshy on the entry and then firming up towards the finish. Good grip here, backward of course, but with the substance to suggest it will give 15-20 years of drinking pleasure.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92-94+ points “The 2018 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes is a deep, powerful wine, opening in the glass with notes of cherries, wild berries, peonies and blood orange, with little hint of the tertiary complexity to come with bottle age. Medium to full-bodied, muscular and textural, this is a rich, velvety and beautifully integrated wine that concludes with a long and expansive finish.”

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Les Santenots Volnay Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 12 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“One of the more structured cuvées in the cellar is the 2018 Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots, a broad-shouldered wine that offers up aromas of ripe plums, raspberries, orange rind and warm spices. It has a medium to full-bodied and ripe but lively palate, its fleshy core of fruit framed by youthfully chewy tannins. This will require some patience, but it’s promising.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 91-93 points “The 2018 Volnay Les Santenots 1er Cru sees around 30% new oak. It has a generous bouquet, a mixture of black and red fruit laced with pressed iris flowers and violets, certainly more flattering than the Les Brouillards at this stage. The palate is underpinned by fine tannins and crisp acidity. Full of energy, with a finish so floral that it could only come from Volnay. This comes recommended.”

 This is the only listing in the USA today!


Saffredi Super Tuscan Sale:
Case-6 Special Ends Friday

Arriving ETA October 22nd 

In a wine landscape almost entirely dominated by Sangiovese, Fattoria le Pupille stands out for crowning a Bordeaux blend as their flagship wine. Sourced from a single vineyard on their estate, Cabernet Sauvignon comprises the majority of the blend with Merlot and Petit Verdot making up the difference. 

The combination of mineral rich soil, high elevation and generous Tuscan weather creates a level of ripeness that is almost Napa Valley-esque but with the quintessential Italian rusticity and character. Expect a plethora of ripe strawberry, Bing cherry, blackcurrant, licorice, Mexican vanilla and cigar box with a finish of terra cotta and earth. The high percentage of new oak makes this a gem for the cellar, with 2016 being one of the best vintages in recent memory (Especially for longer ripening varietals like Cabernet).  

Fattoria Le Pupille ‘Saffredi’ Maremma Toscana Tuscany 2016 750ML ($119.95) $83.50 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Fattoria Le Pupille ‘Saffredi’ Maremma Toscana Tuscany 2016 750ML ($719.95) $469 pre-arrival special (That’s only $78.17 per bottle) *Offer valid until Friday October, 22nd 2021 at 6 PM, PST* 
James Suckling 99 points
“Incredible aromas of dark berries, lavender, rosemary, licorice and dried flowers. Spice. Full body and fantastic tannin texture with great length. Goes on for minutes. Muscular yet wonderfully formed and refined. A glorious Saffredi. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Saffredi brings full-throttled intensity in a very well-balanced wine. The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%) and Petit Verdot (10%) spends 18 months in mostly new oak. This vintage is compact, firm and precise, with lovely floral aromas on the bouquet in front of blackberry and plum. Long oak toasting gives the wine tasty notes of spice and cinnamon and rounds the bouquet off nicely. The mouthfeel is soft and velvety. This is a complex, integrated and absolutely beautiful wine.”

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Love Tuscan Wine ? We carry 224 different versions in-store and online


Quantum of Bollinger:

New Vintage of La Grande Annee 

Known as the “James Bond” of Têtes, The Bollinger Grande Anne represents the House’s best from that particular year. Arguably the most featured Champagne in the novel and movie series, it’s been referenced no less than fifteen different times since the debut vintage in 1956. 

Comprised almost entirely of Grand Cru grapes with the barest amount of dosage added, the idea is to have the Grande Anne be a “snapshot” of the year through the eyes of Bollinger. The entirely oak fermentation and aging under cork closure sets the stage for exceptional development in the bottle.  Expect a plethora of character from dried spices, to citrus peel, baked pommes and dried flowers. Even at its current young age, the luminosity of the vintage should shine through with a full spectrum of green and red apples, green pears, and persimmons. 2007 is largely viewed as the “Middle child” vintage between her sisters 2008 and 2006, with vintage conditions borrowing from the latter two in a way that still achieved harmony.   

Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut 2007 750ML ($179.95) $159 special, 36 bottles in stock now  
Wine & Spirits 95 points
“While this wine seemed fully mature when we tasted it last year, the latest bottle to come across our tasting table was full of life, feeling concentrated and radiating energy out of its core. There’s a compressed floral spice and a touch of sweetness to the fruit that accommodates the mineral abrasion, the elements completely integrated, the flavors lasting for minutes. The blend is 70 percent pinot noir, mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay, with chardonnay from Cramant and Oger; 91 percent grows at grand-cru sites; all of it ferments in oak barrels. The wood is still present in the wine, rounding it, contributing to its sophistication. An exceptional 2007.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “From a bottle disgorged in March 2017, Bollinger’s 2007 La Grande Année is showing brilliantly, offering up a superb bouquet of lemon oil, confit citrus, almond paste, iodine, walnut oil and freshly baked bread. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, broad-shouldered and powerful in this frequently rather slender vintage, with excellent concentration, a deep and tightly wound core and a precise, chalky finish.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A bright, lacy Champagne, offering a tapestry of finely woven flavors: graphite and ground spice, crushed blackberry and dried apricot, toast and honeycomb. Firm and focused, with a lasting, chalky finish. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases imported. — AN”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “I loved the 2007 La Grande Année, which is based on 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. Over 90% of this cuvée was sourced from Grand Cru sites, with the balance from Premier Cru villages. Vinified all in older barrels and aged 6 years in bottle on lees, it boasts a deep, rich, creamy style as well as full-bodied notes of ripe stone fruits, wood smoke, and spice. It has vibrant acidity, impressive length, and notable purity, all making for a classy, impressive Champagne that will keep for 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
We love Champagne at Vinopolis and have over 200 different ones in stock now.


2019 St. Damien Announcement
What they lack in centuries of history and breadth of portfolio is a head-turning, traditionally-styled wine experience in the three reds on offer (and a “magnificently mustachioed Joël Saurel at the helm,” to quote Joe Czerwinski of the Wine Advocate). This humble, family-owned domain is ready to rumble with old-vine Grenache-based blends that show deep, earthy flavors and superior style due to their intensely rigorous quality standards. We love their wines so much that we jumped at the first opportunity to acquire their next vintage!

Arriving ETA Late November 

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes Rhone 2019 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special 
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The 2019 Gigondas Classique Vieilles Vignes shows a touch of cedary oak on the nose—nothing obtrusive, but enough to notice alongside the black cherries and subtle garrigue notes. Full-bodied and generous, with a smooth, silky feel on the palate, it ends with a gentle wash of dusty tannins and an attractive hint of licorice.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “Moving to the three Gigondas I was able to taste, the 2019 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes comes from a mix of terroirs on the lower plain, around the estate, and is mostly Grenache brought up in larger, very old foudre and concrete tanks. Deep purple/ruby hued, with a beautiful perfume of black raspberries, candied flowers, and sweet garrigue, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a silky texture, great tannins, and plenty of length on the finish. This is a more finesse-driven, silky, elegant wine than past vintages and it’s going to drink nicely for over a decade.”

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane Vieilles Vignes Rhone 2019 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“The 2019 Gigondas La Louisiane hails from a south-facing slope of clay and sand and is a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah and Cinsault, all aged in foudre. Loaded with black cherries and mixed berries, it’s a big, full-bodied effort that drinks surprisingly well already yet has the concentration, length and structure that should enable it to age another 15 years or more.”

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Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’ Rhone 2019 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“Also showing considerable elegance, the 2019 Gigondas Les Souteyrades sports a ruby/purple hue to go with beautiful and exotic notes of black raspberries, kirsch, candied orange, violets, and peppery garrigue. Beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied, and downright silky on the palate, this heavenly Grenache should be snatched up by readers. It’s going to keep for 15 years.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 93-95 points “Not as effusive on the nose as the La Louisiane, the 2019 Gigondas les Souteyrades is drier, sterner stuff—not as immediately approachable, with more savory notes of black olives and earth. There are still notes of ripe plums and raspberries in this full-bodied effort but also a firm core of dusty tannins to ensure more than a decade of longevity. It’s a blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre from a clay-rich, north-facing slope.”


Producer Spotlight: Occhipinti

Our newest batch of offerings here at the shop is from a winemaker many would consider a prodigy given that her first vintage was at the age of 22! Arianna Occhipinti is the niece of the legendary winemaker Giusto Occhpinti of COS, where she received her first training as a teenager. Her vineyard’s proximity to the ocean and nearby Iblei mountains creates a massive diurnal temperature range, directly translating into higher acids and a fresher profile. The grapes for all her wines are grown without any chemical intervention on traditional Sicilian bushvines (Called Albarello in Sicilian) well off the beaten path from other more well-known production zones like Agrigento or Etna.    

In stock and available now: 

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Terre Siciliane IGT Sicily 2019 750ML ($49.95) $44 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 94 points
“A joyful and fragrant frappato that’s so sleek, fresh and mineral. With aeration, a whiff of smoke joins the bright red cherry, making the wine even more fascinating. Long, clean finish with lovely savory complexity. Drink or hold.”

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Siccagno’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT Sicily 2018 750ML ($49.90) $44 special, 24 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
“A fragrant and graceful nero d’avola with so much lively red-cherry and plum fruit, together with so many spicy nuances. The tannins are so beautifully integrated that the palate feels lacy and almost transparent. Only right at the finish does it turn pleasantly dry. Drink or hold.”

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Grotte Alte’ Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG2018 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 6 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Bianco Sicilia IGT Sicily 2020 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Sicilia Rosso IGT Sicily 2020 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 24 bottles in stock now

Check out our full selection of Sicilian wine on our web store

Rose Features  
Looking for a rose that combines a refreshing spectrum of fruit with mineral structure and a nuanced finish? Entirely sourced from estate grown Gamay Noir in the village of Saint-Vérand, the site is unique amongst others in the region for its decomposed granite soils, which sharply contrast with the clay limestone usually found.

This results in fuller structure, expressive aromatics and roundness on the finish that makes it perfectly quaffable. Expect a full spectrum of summer strawberry, pawpaw, mangostein and fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice with a slightly acerbic finish redolent of anise flower and Benihomare tea.
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Les Griottes Rose Beaujolais 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Weygandt-Metzler Import note
“Gamay. Sustainable. Quartz & clay. Tasting note: Bright watermelon, strawberry and citrus rind with a touch of rosemary.” Region: Beaujolais, France.
Paolo De Marchi is the winemaker and owner of the legendary Isole e Olena in Tuscany, but he has also retained a small family estate in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Sourced from a combination of vineyards that begin at 1,000 feet above sea level, featuring vines between 30-90 years old, with the varietals being primarily Nebbiolo (Or Spanna as it’s called locally) with a splash of Vespolina. Loaded with a plethora of oranges ranging from Seville, Blood and Mandarin and accentuated by notes of crushed rose petal and white peach. There’s also a slight spice on the finish in addition to a refreshing muskmelon component. Absolutely delicious and incredibly versatile on the table, with this being especially good with fatty fish, fried chicken or South Asian curries.      
Proprieta Sperino ‘Rosa del Rosa’ Rosato Coste della Sesia Piedmont 2020 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Eric Guido Vinous 92 points
“The 2020 is an understated and delicate rendition of Rosa Del Rosa. Nuances of peach tea, chamomile, green apple and hints of ginger can all be found with coaxing. It’s silky and pliant in feel, the vibrant acids and mineral tones mixing to create a tug-of-war of sweet and salty tension, as notes of ripe melon give way to pretty inner florals. This tapers off persistent, lightly structured and buzzing with residual energy, completely refreshing the palate with a twang of sour citrus. The Rosa Del Rosa is a blend of Nebbiolo and Vespolina. It’s very enjoyable already, but it will likely blossom further with a bit more time in bottle. “
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Looking for a rose made next door to one of the most sought after cult wines of Italy? Torre Beati is an organic estate located in the foothills of Gran Sasso d’Italia, the highest of the Appenine Mountains. Originally planted in 1972 to the traditional abruzzese style of Pergola and always farmed organically, their only neighbors are the illustrious Valentini estate (whose bottles sell for hundreds a bottle on release). The estate eschews all chemical inputs, including fungicides in order to allow for the purest expression of Abruzzo possible. 

Made in the cerasuolo style of rose from Montepulciano D’Abruzzo grapes that’s traditional to the region; its name is derived from the Italian word for cherry and certainly lives up to that in both color and primary flavors. There’s an entire spectrum of red fruit to be perceived like pomegranate and cherry juice with botanicals like marjoram and basil at play. There’s a savory acid structure knitting everything together beautifully on the finish, making it sturdy enough to pair with anything spicy. Oaxacan mole, Moroccan tagine, or Szechuan chicken would make a symphony of flavor when paired with this wine.     
Torre dei Beati ‘Rosa-ae’ Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Italy 2019 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Region: Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy. 100% Montepulciano.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Staff Pick: 

2017 Burklin Wolf 

Does Germany have growing regions other than cool climate? The Pfalz and her 1800 hours of sunshine during the growing season would make a strong argument for just that. Closer to Strasbourg than Berlin; the Pfalz is nestled between the Haardt Mountains and the Rhine River in a veritable oasis of forests and hills. Archeological records show that the district was one of the first areas in the entire world to have widespread consumption and production of wine, dating back to 550 B.C.E. 

The beneficial growing conditions make for some of the most interesting and diverse expressions of German wine, with Riesling still being the crown jewel. The warmer average temperature creates Rieslings with less acidity and concentrated fruit flavors like apricot, mango and nectarine. Aromas usually feature a headier and effusive quality in comparison to other regions that brings to mind daffodils, yarrow and lilies. Burklin Wolf is no exception, with their family holdings dating back to 1597 and historically matching Burgundy in price. Much like the rest of the Pfalz their specialty has been in drier styles with the current generation of owners focusing exclusively on the category. Their vineyards could not be more suited for this production style, producing Rieslings with a structure you rarely see. 

The 2017 Wachenheimer Altenburg demonstrates a compelling richness that’s tempered by a botanical character speaking to its cooler growing conditions. With medium body and acid, the most standout feature is the exceptionally long finish evocative of yellow miso, honeycrisp apple skin and honeysuckle flower. Primary aromas are firmly fruit and floral based, giving a full bouquet ranging from marigolds, apple blossom and dandelion flower with an underscoring of flint. These characteristics are mirrored when tasting, with Cortland apple, Meyer lemon and lemongrass standing out amongst flinty minerality. The juxtaposition between fruit and botanical notes make this highly compatible with vegetable based cuisine like pesto, steamed greens, or bok choy. 

Burklin Wolf wines in stock now: 

Dr. Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Altenburg P.C. Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2017 ($39.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points
“Piquant notes of apple and citrus pith mingle on the nose with crushed stone and struck flint, suggesting this interpretation of Altenburg will likely reflect the austerity and rigor of its gravelly soil and coolest of all Bürklin-Wolf microclimates. On top of that, I suspect this wine is suffering the most from its recent bottling of any Bürklin’s vintage 2017 P.C.’s. Even so, the site’s character is irrepressible. The firm palate musters more than enough primary juiciness to guarantee refreshment, and its piquant, pithy combination of hickory nut, lemon seed and stone carries into a mouthwateringly saline, formidably gripping, practically mouth-shaking finish. Give this time! (It already responds well to a good shaking.)”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Dr. Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2017 ($24.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
“Slightly funky (from wild ferment) but also great citrus, pear and peach aromas. Good concentration for a village wine with quite a linear profile. Very clean finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Dr. Burklin-Wolf Estate Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 13 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
“Very fine, peachy nose with hints of herbs and fresh almonds. Ripe yet racy with a long, clean, mineral finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink now.”  

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Love German Riesling? We have over 500 different examples in store and online

Producer Spotlight 

Marie Courtin

We can’t introduce these wines any better than Antonio Galloni of Wine Advocate: “This is a breathtaking set of wines from proprietor Dominique Moreau. I can’t say enough good things about these artisan Champagnes. If Moreau keeps making wines like these she will soon be one of the superstars of Champagne. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these fabulous wines.” 

Dominique opened the vineyard in 2005, naming the house after her grandmother, Marie Courtin, who she described as a “woman of the earth”. In her memory, Dominique has set out to produce single-vineyard, single varietal, single vintage Champagnes from biodynamically-grown grapes, using indigenous yeasts and no dosage. With none of the hard edges or sharpness that you sometimes find with non-dosage champagne, Courtin’s wines demonstrate a fruity plushness yet still remains mineral driven. Sourced from a “Massale” or heritage selection of vines, it’s one of the most compelling in her lineup and proves the Aube’s place in Champagne.  

Dominique also embraces a spiritual element in her production and pays devoted care to the evolution of the grape in the vineyard as well as in the wine. Each of the estate’s four cuvees are described as having their own personality and spiritual significance to Dominique. With these wines, Marie Courtin is quickly becoming a recognizable name in grower champagne along the lines of Selosse, Bereche and Laval. We’d recommend trying her wines now, before the price reflects her legendary efforts and they become even harder to acquire. 

In stock and available now: 

Marie Courtin Concordance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut 2015 750ML ($119.95) $75 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Concordance Sans Soufre (100% Pinot Noir) is bright, precise and absolutely gorgeous. Dominique Moreau seems to have really dialed in her approach over the last few years. I can’t remember tasting a Concordance with this much translucent energy. Pinot Noir in the Aube has rarely been this weightless and nuanced. The purity of the flavors is just striking. No dosage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Marie Courtin Efflorescence Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut 2014 750ML ($99.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
No reviews yet for the 2014 vintage – Reviews for 2013 vintage provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“A complete and wonderfully nuanced wine, the 2013 Extra Brut Efflorescence is fabulous. Bright and sculpted to the core, the 2013 exudes energy. Chalk, mint, jasmine and orchard fruit add complexity, but it is the wine’s overall balance that is most impressive. The Efflorescence offers striking translucence and energy from start to finish. The non-dosé style is especially successful here. Disgorged in April 2017 with no dosage.”
“Efflorescence is from an east-facing vineyard with 40-year-old vines (sélection massale) on Kimmeridgian soils. Fermented and aged for one year in pièces and 36 months on the second lees before the disgorgement…” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, writing on the 2013 vintage

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Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2015 750ML ($99.95) $75 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Eloquence (Chardonnay) is another superb wine in this range from Marie Courtin. Bright and focused, the 2015 is loaded with character. Citrus confit and floral notes take on striking richness as this resonant, expansive Champagne shows off its personality. The purity of the flavors is just striking. Disgorged: May, 2019.”
Importer note “Single parcel of Chardonnay located in the village of Polisot near the Pinot vineyard in the Cote des Bars. Massale selection, low-vigor rootstock, 15-20 yr old vines. Clay and Kimmerdigian Limestone bands similar to those found in Chablis. The Cotes des Bar is closer in proximity to Chablis than to Epernay. Aged in used barriques and bottled with no dosage. Remeniscent of Chablis with bubbles, this Blanc de Blanc is full, yet chiseled with intense mineral character.”

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Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2017) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
No review for the 2017-base. 2016-base review provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2016 Extra Brut Resonance, 100% Pinot Noir from a tiny parcel of 40 year-old vines in Polisot, bristles with energy and tension. Orchard fruit, white flowers, sage, chalk and mint all race out of the glass. With a bit of air, the richer side of Pinot starts to emerge as the wine gains breadth and volume. Proprietor Dominique Moreau has captured energy as well as richness, while avoiding the stark austerity that once defined her Champagnes. Bright floral and savory overtones linger effortlessly. Disgorged: November, 2019.” 

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Arriving ETA November 

Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2018) 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special

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Collector’s Corner 

Get Schisty with Clos Erasmus

Priorat or Tarraconensis as it was once called has cultivated winegrapes since the Roman Empire first occupied the area, but it was Clos Erasmus and their colleagues who transformed Priorat from sleepy backwater to a global wine powerhouse in the 1980’s and 90’s. Farming biodynamically since their inception Clos Erasmus has maintained very low production throughout the stratospheric rise of the region, and rarely exceeds 140 cases per year from their 25 acres in production. Limited does not begin to describe the scarcity of these wines, with these bottles being the crown jewel of wine lists around the world. This is on account of the founder, Daphne Glorian being one of the first winemakers to bring Priorat to the global stage, not unlike the “Gang of Four” in Beaujolais. She was among the first winemakers to score multiple 100-point scores from critics in both 2004 and 2005, catapulting the region to the world stage.   

Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus Priorat DOCa 2018 1.5L ($699.95) $579 special, only 1 bottle in stock now
Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate Luis Gutierrez 99 points
“A blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah, 2018 Clos Erasmus comes from a year with good yields and enough rain for good ripeness of the grapes. The vines are now 36 years old on average, and the grapes fermented after a cold soak in 1,000-, 1,500- and 2,000-liter oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a five-week maceration. It matured in new and second use Burgundian 228-liter oak barrels, with around 40% new oak. This is a very elegant and perfumed vintage for Clos Erasmus, a wine that reveals a bright ruby color and a exotic nose that mixes flowers with tons of sweet spices. It is still very young and influenced by the élevage in oak, with something herbal and fresh, reminiscent of pine needles. The palate is textured and velvety, lace and dust, with fine-grained tannins that bring back the memories of the slate rocks; it is pure and detailed and has terrible balance, focus, inner strength, filigree and subdued minerality. I’d wait a little bit for the oak to get integrated before pulling the cork. It has the ingredients, stuffing and balance to develop nicely in bottle for a long time. 3,319 bottles and 100 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020.”

Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus ‘Laurel’ Priorat DOCa 2018 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, 4 magnums in stock now
Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus ‘Laurel’ Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The second wine here and one that is easier to drink, the 2018 Laurel was produced with fruit from the younger vines, a couple of barrels that are declassified from Clos Erasmus and the Cabernet Sauvignon, more or less 70% Garnacha and 15% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has good ripeness and still a pH of 3.3. It fermented mostly in oak vats and 2,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 18 months in 20,000-liter oak and concrete vats, second use barriques and some clay amphorae. It’s a bright translucent ruby color and has a perfumed and delicate nose with notes of orange peel and flowers; this is the most elegant and ethereal vintage of Laurel as far as I can remember, with red rather than black fruit and a kind of cranberry quality. The palate is medium-bodied, textured and fluid, with subtleness, balance and very fine tannins. The oak is perfectly integrated, and the wine is easy to drink, approachable and very pleasurable right now. It’s a fresh vintage with energy and finesse, quite different from previous vintages. I love it. 22,825 bottles and 515 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020.”

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