In This Newsletter:
Value of Vaudieu
Cut Price on Colla: New Sale Alert
The Kye’s have it: Vajra’s Freisa
Sansonnet: A Cellar Gem for a steal!
Rose From River and Sea
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Value of Vaudieu
Château de Vaudieu is one of Chateauneuf’s stars—one of the most exciting producers in the region who have a set of vineyards that are envy to the rest of the appellation. With bold fruit and rich, powerful textures, they’re not wines for the faint of heart, and they deliver outlandish quality for their price. The sapidity and character of the wines far exceed their price point especially when compared to their legendary neighbor, Chateau Rayas.
Château de Vaudieu is owned and helmed by the dynamic Brechet family—the same clan that run Domaine de Bosquets, one of our best-selling Gigondas. This is a family hell-bent on quality and the pursuit of perfection. The family purchased Vaudieu in the 1950’s in a state of disrepair and has driven the historic Château to the prominence it held in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The estate sits on a confluence of soils and the myriad of terroirs yield exemplary complexity in the wines, which are made by the all-star team of Laurent Brechet and Philippe Cambie. The wines show Cambie’s trademark style, with big, opulent fruit and power to spare. This is one of the truly elite producers in all of the Southern Rhone and it’s always a treat to sell you these wines.
Vaudieu Wines in stock now:
Famille Brechet Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Amiral G. is, as always, all Grenache brought up all in demi-muids. It’s unquestionably the most opulent, sexy, and expansive in the lineup, with overflowing notes of kirsch and blackberry fruits, incense, dried garrigue, and spice, full body, and no hard edges. Its incredible opulence and decadence are delivered with no sensation of weight or heaviness. This magical, thrilling beauty needs to be tasted to be believed. It’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15+ years or more.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Like the l’Avenue, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Amiral G is 100% Grenache aged in demi-muids. Unlike the l’Avenue, the Amiral G is more about opulence and power. It’s full-bodied, ripe and plush, with impressive layers of black cherries, stone fruit, licorice and chocolate spice cake. Concentrated and chewy on the finish, it has all the ingredients for greatness—and it should get there relatively quickly, then drink well for at least a decade.-JC”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95-96 points “Lurid ruby-red. Assertive red berry and cherry liqueur aromas are complemented by build
ing Asian spice, incense and vanilla accents. Concentrated and fleshy in the mouth, offering alluringly sweet raspberry, cherry pie, cinnamon and star anise flavors and hints of bitter chocolate and cola. Becomes more energetic with air and finishes with fabulous, floral-tinged persistence and velvety tannins that fold smoothly and quickly into the wine’s sweet, clinging fruit.”
Famille Brechet Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape L’Avenue Rhone 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape L’Avenue is all Grenache sourced from a single parcel near the estate and aged 18 months in demi-muids. This deeply colored beauty boasts a huge perfume of black raspberries, blackberries, dried flowers, bouquet garni, and sandy/loamy soil notes. With a powerful, concentrated, structured style, incredible purity of fruit, and tons of tannin on the finish, hide bottles for 3-5 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following decade or more.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape l’Avenue is entirely Grenache from the lieu-dit Vaudieu, aged in demi-muids. Loaded with black cherries, cedar and vanilla, it’s a full-bodied, plush sexpot of a wine. Velvety, intense, long and layered, this wine has it all. If only there were more than 350 cases of this elixir.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Intense, with a gorgeous core of crushed plum, boysenberry and blackberry pâte de fruit flavors, inlaid liberally with fruit cake, licorice snap and graphite notes. Fruit pumps through the finish while a graphite edge lends support and a black tea hint checks in. Best from 2020 through 2040. 75 cases imported.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Glistening ruby-red. Powerful red and blue fruit, floral pastille, exotic spice and incense aromas pick up a smoky mineral nuance as the wine stretches out. Fleshy and expansive in the mouth, offering spice- and smoke-inflected raspberry, boysenberry, lavender pastille and succulent herb flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Finishes seamless, sweet and impressively long, with an echo of juicy red fruit and delicate tannins that add discreet grip.”
Famille Brechet Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G Rhone 1.5L 2016 ($299.95) $199 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G. is based all on Grenache and comes from a single plot of very old Grenache vines (all rolled stone soils) that was destemmed and brought up in demi-muids. Just screaming “Grenache!” at the top of its lungs with its sweet bouquet of black raspberries, candied violets, baking spices, and crushed rock-like minerality, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and density, a weightless texture, no hard edges, and awesome length. It’s a sensational, borderline perfect wine that has everything you want from a bottle of wine. Give it a year or three, and it’s going to cruise for 15+.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “This exemplary estate, owned by Laurent Brechet, has been on a roll. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Amiral G, 100% Grenache aged in demi-muids, is a full-bodied, lush wine jammed with complex notions of tree bark, cola, allspice, anise and plummy fruit. At 15.4% alcohol, there’s plenty of power, but the wine never seems warm or heavy, instead feeling rich and velvety on the palate and ending long and spicy. With just 5,000 bottles produced, it may be tough to find, but it will be worth the search.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 96 points “Lurid ruby. A highly complex bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, candied lavender, sandalwood and smoky minerals, with Asian spice and vanilla notes in the background. Sappy and alluringly sweet, displaying palate-staining raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors and slow-building florality. Shows impressive power on the sappy, penetrating finish, where the lavender and spice notes come back emphatically.”
Famille Brechet Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $44.50 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Moving to the 2017s and starting with the base Châteauneuf Du Pape, it’s a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was brought up mostly in demi-muids. Revealing a ruby/purple hue as well as notes of black raspberries, kirsch, garrigue, incense, and loamy soil and earth, this beauty hits the palate with beautiful depth of fruit, a layered, rounded, sexy texture, no hard edges, remarkable purity, and just tons of charm. Drink it any time over the coming decade or more.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91-92 points “Deep red. Highly perfumed red berry and floral aromas are complemented by suggestions of cracked pepper and smoky minerals. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering ripe raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. In a seamless, energetic style, displaying a smooth blend of richness and finesse and finishing gently sweet and impressively long, with even tannins and building spiciness.”
We have 200 different Rhone Reds available in store and online
Cut Price on Colla: New Sale Alert
There are only a handful of producers in the world that can take credit for bringing their region to the world stage. Beppe Colla, the founder of the eponymously named house Poderi Colla, is one such producer and was the first in Piedmont to debut a single vineyard Barolo in 1961. Instrumental in the original appellation mapping, cru determination and initial soil surveys, Beppe Colla’s contributions to Piedmont’s “Nebbiolo Revolution” cannot be overstated in terms of their impact.
Prior to founding the house in the 1990’s, Beppe was one of the top winemakers and vineyard managers in what we now call the Barolo DOCG. With family history in the areas winemaking going back 300 years, it’s no wonder Beppe developed a reputation for “Knowing every vine in every vineyard in Alba”. During his time as owner of Prunotto he was among the most lauded by critics for his work in both Barolo and Barbaresco. After Beppe passed away before harvest in 2019 his brother Tino assumed control after decades of tutelage under him. We have some of the last remaining vintages that Beppe personally oversaw, including his top tier offering; the Barolo Le Rose (Beppe’s favorite vineyard in Piedmont).
In stock and available now:
Poderi Colla Bricco del Drago Langhe Rosso Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) was $39, now $33 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Poderi Colla Tenuta Roncaglia ‘Roncaglie’ Barbaresco DOCG2016 750ML ($79.95) was $69, now $59 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points “A stellar wine, the 2016 Barbaresco Roncaglie is pretty, delicate and understated to the core. Rose petal, sweet spice, tobacco, mint, anise and sweet red cherry all grace this translucent, super-expressive Barbaresco from Poderi Colla. A Barbaresco of understatement and class, the 2016 is light on its feet, persistent and finely sculpted. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s inner sweetness and perfume, but the 2016 also needs time in bottle to be at its best. This is such a gorgeous wine.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Cellar Selection. Raspberry compote, truffle, camphor and leather aromas lead the nose along with a hint of hazelnut. The palate is focused and youthfully assertive, showing red cherry, rhubarb, game, clove and wild mint alongside tight, fine-grained tannins and firm acidity. Give it time to fully unwind and develop. Drink 2026–2036.”
Poderi Colla Dardi Le Rose Bussia Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) was $99, now $79 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Barolo Bussia Dardi Le Rose is just as gorgeous as it always has been. Dark and translucent, the 2016 possesses striking layers of complexity. Spice, menthol, leather, sage and tobacco lend compelling nuance throughout. Although the 2016 is fabulous, it has also started to close down in bottle to a greater degree than I original envisaged. I wouldn’t be in any rush to open it.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Classic Nebbiolo aromas of woodland berry, forest floor, new leather and a whiff of rose lift out of the glass along with a whiff of botanical herb. Delivering elegance and structure in equal measure, the linear palate features red cherry, strawberry compote, baking spice and licorice framed in firm, polished tannins. Bright acidity keeps it well balanced. Drink 2024–2036.”
The Kye’s have it: Vajra’s Freisa
Much like Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Freisa is often passed over in favor of its child grape: Nebbiolo. Once widely planted throughout Piedmonte, Freisa is now only found in in 1000 hectares across the region. With that relative scarcity in mind, GD Vajra’s “Kye” Freisa is a unique find. Sourced from a single vineyard in Barolo at 1100 feet above sea level, Kye delivers rustic aromas of turned loam, hyssop and seco tobacco leaf.
Flavor profile is similar to Nebbiolo but with more emphasis on botanical and spice elements. In addition to a lip smacking fruit component evocative of fresh cranberry and Bing cherries, there is an electrifying Szechuan pepper note that makes each taste mesmerizing. Acid and tannins are medium plus and perfectly harmonized after a handful of years in the bottle. There is plenty of room for Kye to continue evolving with more bottle aging, but provides immediate reward for the impatient. Given how this wine is sturdy without being overpowering, Kye is ready for a plethora of cuisine. Lebanese, Chinese or even pizza would be at home with this Northern Italian gem.
In stock and available now:
G.D. Vajra Freisa ‘Kye’ Langhe Rosso 2015 70ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92+ points “The 2015 Langhe Freisa Kyé is incredibly finessed. Once huge and bombastic, the Kyé has developed into a much more refined wine in recent vintages. The 2015 Kyé is dark and mysterious, not to mention quite closed in on itself. I won’t be surprised if there is more to this wine. Time will tell.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $45.99
Enjoy Piedmontese wine? We carry over 230 examples on our Web store and in store.
As the old saying goes, for every end there’s a new beginning. This year marks the end of the Roederer Brut Premier line, as the company is now emphasizing estate-based production after 40 years of producing the cuvee. While the Brut Premier was previously sourced from purchased and homegrown fruit, the Collection 242 will be entirely sourced from company plots. These company plots include younger parcels of Cristal, which otherwise are kept separate from other Roederer offerings. In addition to the more focused sourcing, the Collection 242 will also feature a greater assortment of base years, as chosen by the Chef de Cave.
Sourcing from organic, estate vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims and Vallée de la Marne; there’s nothing missing from this Champagne. The encapsulation of freshness, nuance, and breadth make this right at home in the Roederer house and a textbook example of a Grand Marque. We secured a limited allotment of these wines, so be sure to grab these while you can. Much like the Brut Premier these are Champagnes that can be enjoyed on release or cellared for a truly unique expression.
In stock and available now:
Louis Roederer Collection 242 Brut Champagne, France NV ($69.95) $55 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Louis Roederer Collection 242 Brut Champagne, France NV 750ML ($419.95) $313 special, (That’s only $52.16 per bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 92 Points “The NV Collection 242 is a new wine from Roederer that replaces the Brut Premier in the range. The Collection (which now will be numbered by harvest) is a blend of three components: a perpetual reserve done in the classic non-malo Roederer style, reserve wines in oak with a touch of malo, and a base vintage, in this case 2017. That blend results in a NV Champagne that offers lovely richness and resonance, with plenty of yellow orchard fruit and floral character. Whereas Brut Premier was typically a focused, nervy wine that, while consistently excellent, also was not always in line with the Roederer house style, the 242 tastes more like a Roederer Champagne in terms of its complexity. Incidentally, there is no Vintage, Cristal or Cristal Rosé in 2017, so all the best lots went into this bottling. Dosage is 8 grams per liter, so lower than the 9 or so that was typical for recent Brut Premier and much lower than the 12-13 that was once customary. The 242 was also bottled with a bit less sugar than the norm, which results in lower atmospheres of pressure in the bottle and silkier texture. ‘Brut Premier was created in the late 1970s and 1980s, when we struggled to ripen,’ Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon explained. ‘It was our way of compensating for lack of ripeness in the field and the variability of quality across vintages. Because of climate change, achieving ripeness is not an issue today. Instead, our challenge is maintaining freshness and precision. For that reason, we decided to re-think our NV and start from a place of positive rather than negative selection.'”
Decanter 92 points “Softly shimmering straw gold, green tints, with a delicate filigree dancing at will around the glass. The nose is gently authoritative; spring flowers garlanding stone fruit, a hint of hawthorn maybe, then lemongrass. The palate has encyclopaedic depth, the intricacies of the Perpetual Reserve weaving their early magic; almond, sloe, gingerbread and apples; the finish has a pleasing twist of bitterness, courtesy of the small percentage of oak-aged reserve wine. Maybe the dosage (8g/L) can come down even further, such is the engaging and subtle complexity harnessed elsewhere? Drinking Window 2021 – 2025.”
Looking for the primal delight of a super Tuscan, but at a Spanish price point? Then look no further beyond the Can Feixes 2008 Negre Traditional. Entirely estate grown, organically farmed and coming from the northern mountains of Catalonia, the negre is 45% Tempranillo, 26% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. For an area known more for cava and indigenous Spanish varietals, this is an outlier that demands the spotlight and a place at your table.
In stock and available now:
Can Feixes Huguet Negre Tradicion Penedes 2008 750ML ($29.95) $19 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Importer note “Certified organic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot, with 8% Petit Verdot, aged for one year in French oak and four years in bottle before release. A concentrated wine with soft, ripe tannins, the Petit Verdot noticeably enhancing complexity.”
“Winemaker Chris Peterson continues to fashion some of the most impressive wines in the State. These are always more classical in style and show plenty of acidity and structure in their youth, yet they blossom with just short term cellaring and are brilliant wines.” – Jeb Dunnuck
In stock and available now:
Avennia Arnaut Boushey Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The 2018 Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard is all varietal and was 85% destemmed and aged 16 months in 15% new French oak. Offering an Hermitage-like meatiness as well as lots of black and blue fruits, full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, and beautiful violet, floral, and gamey aromas and flavors, it’s brilliant, concentrated red delivering notable ripeness as well as a plenty of underlying structure and tannins. Again, a comparison to a top Hermitage comes closest in comparison. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 10-15 years.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. Coming from one of the state’s top Syrah vineyards, the aromas explode from the glass, with notes of iron, bacon, earth and whiffs of orange peel along with blue and black fruit. Dense, intense rich fruit and savory flavors follow, showing weight and volume. But it’s the exquisite balance that most impresses on this standout wine. Best after 2024. -Sean P. Sullivan”
Avennia Sestina Red, Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ points “A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Dionysus, and Bacchus vineyards and spent 20 months in 48% new French oak barrels. A beautiful, Saint-Julien-like bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, violets, tobacco, and cedar gives way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured wine that builds incrementally on the palate, with ripe, velvety tannins, a stunning mid-palate, and a blockbuster of a finish. It’s beautifully done, and while it drinks well today given its balance, purity, and texture, it’s going to develop additional complexity with 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity.”
The average price is $76
Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($44.95) $36.50 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Checking in as a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Gravura gives up a big, rich, Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated nose of darker currants, leafy herbs, graphite, and damp earth. It shows more floral and sappy herb notes with time in the glass and is wonderfully complex. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has sweet tannins, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a charming, undeniably delicious, and ready-to-go profile that should still keep for a decade.”
Sansonnet: A Cellar Gem for a steal!
Arriving ETA November:
Chateau Sansonnet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ points “This estate has been on fire of late and that doesn’t appear to have changed with the 2018 Château Sansonnet. Revealing a dense purple hue as well as a young, unevolved bouquet of pure crème de cassis, graphite, crushed violets, bouquet garni, chocolate, and distinct chalky minerality, it delivers remarkable purity, full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and flawless balance. A wine that builds slowly with time in the glass, offering a beautiful mix of richness, elegance, and length, it’s as good, if not even better than the 2016. Don’t miss it!”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2018 Sansonnet is super-impressive right out of the gate. In recent years, Sansonnet has been opulent. The 2018 captures all of that richness but also has an extra kick of vibrancy that works so well in balancing things out. The style is still concentrated, and there is plenty of new oak, but it all works so well together. Inky red fruit, chocolate, plum, rose petals and spice linger on the exotic finish. The 2018 is so expressive today. Moreover, it is flat-out delicious.”
James Suckling 96 Points “Blackberry, black truffle, red tile and walnut on the nose. Full-bodied with a very dense, polished palate of ripe, firm tannins and beautifully pure fruit. Transparent and gorgeous. This will age nicely. Try after 2024.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2018 Sansonnet is a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. With 15% alcohol and a deep garnet-purple color, it opens a little broody, offering glimpses at tar and damp earth notes before bursting forth with expressive plum preserves, blueberry pie and licorice scents, followed by hints of cedar chest and pencil lead. Full-bodied, rich and impactful in the mouth, the generous black fruits are nicely framed by firm, rounded tannins and loads of freshness, finishing long and earthy.”
Rose from River and Sea
One of the most beloved producers amongst the staff, Stein makes incredible wines from abandoned vineyards in the Mosel river valley. Among these sites, Dr. Stein discovered one of the oldest plantings of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire valley and currently uses them as the backbone for his Rose program.
These are fascinating examples of terroir featuring the ethereal body, slatey minerality and exceptionally long finish of a classic Mosel wine re-interpreted through red varietals. If that’s not enough it’s even sparkling! Fermented in tank so as not to alter the flavors with autolysis, it’s almost too drinkable with notes of cherry juice, fresh cranberries, nasturtium, and rose water with a mineral finish.
In stock and available now:
Wein-Erbhof Stein Secco Sparkling Rose Mosel 2020 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Importer note “Steep slate soils. Second fermentation in tank. Pinot Noir with approximately 20% Cabernet and Merlot, élevage all stainless.” Sparkling wine.
In stock and available now:
Chateau de Manissy Cuvee des Lys Tavel Rosé, Rhone 2019 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Brilliant orange color. Mineral-accented red berry and citrus fruit aromas are complemented by a sexy floral nuance. Concentrated and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy redcurrant, cherry and candied rose flavors that slowly turn sweeter on the mid-palate. The mineral and floral notes echo on a penetrating finish that hangs on with very good tenacity. Drink 2020 – 2023.”
Importer note “Grenache, Clairette & Syrah from clay, river rock and sandy soils. Biodynamic. Juicy raspberry, watermelon, crushed minerals and burnt sugar. Full body with a long finish… Entirely hand-harvested. Maceration of 12-24 hours to extract primary aromas. Fermentation with only indigenous yeasts at a very low temperatures over 2 days, then increased in temperature to 25°C for 7 days in order to increase the fruity taste. Aged in concrete tanks and stainless steel. Natural balanced acidity of about 3.6hg/L and PH of 3.5mg/L with less than 1gr/L residual sugar. This cuvée comes from a plot of 10 hectares that is enclosed by a forest.”
In stock and available now:
Chateau du Seuil Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose 2020 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Skurnik Wines note “The Château du Seuil sits on the Puyricard plateau at an altitude between 350 and 450 meters, the highest site in Aix-en-Provence. Its towers date to the 13th and 16th century and it is classified on the list of French historic monuments. While the estate’s grounds cover nearly 340 hectares, only 62 hectares are planted to vines while another portion is dedicated to olive oil production. Owners Agnès et Robert Daussu are completely renovating the old Château and updating the cellar, as well as converting to organic farming. Sitting on an ancient fault line, the terroir is incredibly complex: clay, chalk, and rocks, with layers of iron-laden calcaire, and big galet. The vineyards benefit from the dry hot climate which is moderated by the Mistral wind. Enologist Pierre Guerin, who works also at Chateau Peyrassol, vinifies and ages the wine in tank. 30% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Grenache, 15% Cinsault. From the highest vineyards in Aix-en-Provence. 35+ year old vines. 350-500m altitude. Clay-limestone soil. Direct press rosé. Fermented and aged in tank.”
Ultra-Rare Vertical Pack
& Winery-Cellared Release
Yes, Biondi Santi is the genesis of modern Brunello: the combination of bottling 100% Sangiovese wine from Montalcino, propagating the Sangiovese Grosso clone, and finally (in 1966) helping draft the regulations for the Brunello DOC. The foundational work did not stop there however, with Biondi Santi undergoing some of the first Massale or heritage selections on their estate to identify the best clones for winemaking. These results paid off in spades, with Biondi Santi’s genetic material being some of the most sought after clones of Sangiovese in the world.
Biondi-Santi makes Brunello that all other estates are judged against. Their estate, Il Greppo, occupies some of the most hallowed ground in the Brunello appellation, in the heart of Montalcino. Their standards are high (they rarely release riservas) and their style defines classic. The wines are powerful, but not overwrought, elegant but emphatic. With the oldest vines on their estate now approaching 90 years old, there’s a level of depth and power in Biondi Santi that’s unprecedented anywhere else in Montalcino. We’re excited to offer several exciting selections in stock now, including a new vertical pack of the riserva and an extremely rare winery cellared release.
In Stock Now from Biondi Santi:
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($199.95) $169 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Kerin O’keefe- Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022-2035.”
James Suckling 95 points “Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better in 2020.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($579.95) $419 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94+ points “Dark red. Musky nuances give way to brighter red fruit, licorice and herbal aromas. Rich and dense, with flavors of red cherry and minerals lifted by hints of orange peel and bergamot, not to mention noteworthy but harmonious acidity. Finishes long with youthfully chewy tannins and lingering hints of violet. This strikes me as a slightly readier to drink version of Brunello Riserva from Biondi-Santi, but as always, it improves greatly with aeration so decant at least six hours ahead for maximum enjoyment.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “A warm summer yielded this rich and opulent 2011 Riserva. Only fruit from the estate’s oldest vines (some up to 80 years of age) makes it into this bottling, and that old-vine concentration shows in the wine’s dense flavors: notes of black cherry and umeboshi plum layered with iodine, basil and smoke. The tightly packed flavors need time to unfold, so it’s best to decant this several hours before serving.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 1983 750ML ($1,499.95) $1,199 special, only 2 bottles available
***Winery Cellared Release***
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “[Reviewed July 2021] This precious bottle is part of Biondi-Santi’s late-release program for collectors (I tasted bottle number 10,723). The 1983 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is showing beautifully on its aging timeline, although this bottle is slightly more evolved since I last tasted this vintage in 2019 before the pandemic. With slow and measured determination, the bouquet embraces dried fig, cured bresaola, burnt caramel, wet campfire, dried oregano and a familiar aroma that reminds me of the Florence leather market. However, there is a lot of life and vertical lift in this Riserva, thanks in great part to the beautiful freshness that keeps the tannins alive and adds a pop of pretty acidity to the close. The wine shows its age with pride and grace, and the final results are quite spectacular. In fact, I’m opening the drinking window up by an additional five years thanks to the latitude and depth shown here.”
Mixed Case-3: Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Vertical MV 750ML ($2,299.95) $1,899 special, only 1 mixed case available!
Mixed case: 1x 2008, 1x 2012, 1x 2013. No substitutions.
Review for 2008 vintage: Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The delightful 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is expressive and feminine with crushed chamomile, forest fruit, bramble, tar and licorice. It renders a stirring, melodic performance that plays out slowly but with determination. Drink: 2017-2030.”
Review for 2012 vintage: Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97 points “You will notice the dedication printed below the label of the wine label. It reads: “Dedicato a Franco Biondi Santi.” Indeed, the Biondi-Santi 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is the last vintage made by the towering father figure of Brunello whom most everyone referred to as the “gentleman of Montalcino.” Il Dottore, as he was also respectfully addressed, died at age 91 in April 2013, and he was very active in the winery as this magnificent wine took shape. This Riserva is a true work of beauty. It is released one year later than usual. The wine reflects the natural heft and power of the 2012 vintage, and it also shows that distinctive open-knit and accessible personality that characterizes this warm and sunny growing season. Il Dottore’s magic touch is revealed in the level of fine detail and precision that transcends vintage, grape and territory. That extreme focus is an achievement of this estate alone located in the celebrated Il Greppo property. This Brunello pours from the bottle with a magnificent garnet color, and it evolves in the glass with dark fruit, candied orange peel, spice, licorice, anise seed, cola and balsam herb. The aromas are magical and ethereal, albeit slightly ripe and soft as expected of this vintage.”
Review for 2013 vintage: Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points “The Biondi-Santi 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a stunning wine from all points of view. Seamless integration and elegant complexity are what stand out, and it’s worth dedicating a few extra lines to the aromatic depth that is put so beautifully on display as the wine slowly unfolds. The bouquet starts off with wild cherry, earth, wet ash, crème de cassis and pruny chocolate. With extra time, there are hints of dried tobacco leaf, sandalwood and mossy forest floor. These lead to a fine tail of dried herb, bay leaf and a touch of rusty nail. The Riserva comes in numbered bottles, and I opened number 04277. To the palate, the wine is streamlined and silky with smooth tannins and a well-managed 13.5% alcohol content. The oak presence is reduced to a minimum, offering mild hints of spice and the delicate sandalwood or dried fig aroma I described above. Fresh acidity is the glue that gives the wine buoyancy and staying power. At this young stage, this 2013 vintage could be considered a bit shy or slow to start, but this will play out to great advantage in the long term as the wine continues its bottle evolution.”
Shop our illustrious collection of Brunellos, including superstars of the region such as Stella di Campalto, Il Poggione, & La Gerla, on our web store now!
Did you know Vermouth was originally invented to be a medicinal product? The product we associate with modern vermouth was first made in Italy around 1786 by Antonio Carpano. The original formulation was derived from infusing wormwood and white wine together, with later formulations being what we now know as Carpano Antica and marketed as a general curative. In the centuries since there are now vermouths made all over the world, including Italy, South Africa, and France! We carry a vast array of styles in house from rich and spicy, light and botanical, and from syrupy sweet to bone dry.
The legendary Carpano Antica is a mainstay in any professional’s bar cart for a variety of reasons beyond being the originator of the category. It is among the most versatile ingredients for cocktail mixing, and also possesses enough stuffing to be enjoyed on its own. Orange Marmalade, Allspice and dates flavors are cushioned by a medium body and long finish that’s both sweet and bitter in a way that’s synergistic.
Carpano ‘Antica Formula 1786’ Vermouth Italy 1L ($49.95) $41.90 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Kara Newman Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Rich, fruity and enticing, this sweet vermouth is warmed with notes of fig and dried cherries, and just faint hints of spiced gingerbread and bitter orange peel. Drinkable solo as an apéritif, or use it as a cocktail-mixing favorite. “
Easily the most popular Vermouth amongst the staff, this iteration is made from a blend of coriander, rose petals, hibiscus, Nepalese peppercorn and gentian. Blended in Lake Garda, Italy by a sommelier and herbalist this is perfection right out of the bottle, but also right at home in blackthorns or mixed with seltzer water. Medium bodied, with a pop of red fruit and botanicals that are rounded out by a pleasant finish of spice and rooibos.
Liquore delle Sirene ‘Americano Rosso’ Aperitivo Italy NV 750ML ($39.95) $34.50 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Distributor note “Natural red aperitif made by somm Elisa Carta, inspired by the Venetian heritage. Handmade in small batches, blending wines from the Lake Garda area and single botanical macerations. The natural color is extracted from Hibiscus and Monarda flowers. Not artificial colors or flavorings.”
Credited with being the first white vermouth seen on the market, Comoz debuted in 1881 and was based in the alpine village of Chambéry, France. Comprised of wines and botanicals foraged on site the alpine character is evident in the cool finish and textured body. This was the original white vermouth used in the seminal 1915 cocktail bible, Manual del Cantinero and was used in drinks like the El Presidente. Blanc de Chambery is best mixed with clear spirits but also shines when married with Añejo tequila or Cachaça.
C. Comoz Vermouth Blanc de Chambery Savoie NV 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Importer note “Established in 1856, Comoz was the second-oldest of Chambéry vermouth producers after Dolin, and was the first to produce in a crystal-clear style. (Dolin preceded with a sweet pale, rather than crystal clear, blanc vermouth.) Introduced in 1881, Comoz Vermouth Blanc expressed Claudius Comoz’s selection of wines, plants and fruits, many of which come from the hills above Chambéry. Comoz came to fame as the essential vermouth in the El Presidente cocktail in Cuba. Comoz is less sweet than other vermouth blanc, with notes of stone fruits, alpine flowers and a deep, resonant undercurrent of wormwood. This deeper profile marries with whiskey better than any other pale vermouth.”
Entirely estate-sourced, the Caperitif has a base of old-vine Chenin Blanc and over 15 different botanicals indigenous to South Africa. Called Fynbos in Afrikaans, they’re often compared to the garrigue found in the Rhone with how they contribute floral and botanical flavors to the finished wines. Serve straight up, with citrus, or with soda water.
A.A. Badenhorst ‘Caperitif’ Swartland NV 750ML ($39.95) $29.90 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Winery Note: Caperitif is made from wine fortified by spirits, gently sweetened with the sugars of the grape, bittered by cinchona bark and flavoured with a selection of some 35 natural botanicals, including Fynbos, Kalmoes and Naartjie.
Hammer & Tongs Sac’Resine Vermouth Oregon 750ML NV ($39.95) $29 special, 6 bottles in stock now
From the Producer: “Sac’Resine is an original formula vermouth crafted with botanical resins of antiquity. These “Sacred Resins” were used as perfumes in rituals from birth to burial, prescribed medicinally both internally & externally, and were among the most valuable commodities dominating the ancient trade routes of South Asia and China. In my youth, my grandmother would bring us to the old mission where she used to attend mass and they would burn incense made from these resins. For more than a century, the monks and other devotees would ritually burn these very same resins as ceremonial incense, leaving the essence behind to permeate the stone walls and wood of the structure, as well as the memories of countless children accompanying their elders. A compound of these powerfully pungent saps with delicate herbs and flowers, is blended with a lightly fragrant wine and fortified with spirits to make a unique style of vermouth best categorized as something between a Bianco and a Rosso. Loosely inspired by the most ubiquitous vermouth in the world, this light, citrusy and distinctly aromatic draft is meticulously crafted using both traditional and innovative methods.”
The historical prevalence of viticulture extends into the Sierra de Gredos Mountains, where Daniel sources his best fruit. Planted amongst the granite boulders and scrub vegetation, vines are 50 years old at the youngest and farmed biodynamically. The mineral rich soil, high elevation and extensive root networks make irrigation unnecessary and for one of the most compelling iterations of Grenache you’ll ever find. With the exception of his entry level cuvee, every wine that Daniel Landi makes is a single-vineyard expression to highlight the nuance of each parcel.
In stock and available now:
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Las Uvas de la Ira’ Garnacha Mentrida 2018 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The red 2018 Las Uvas de la Ira has been produced with Garnacha from the same five vineyards since the initial vintage (2012) in the village of El Real de San Vicente, which is one of the villages from Méntrida (Toledo) that are part of the Gredos Mountains. The vines range between 40 and 65 years of age, and they are located at around 750 meters in altitude on sandy granite soils with lots of silt. The different vineyards are fermented separately in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a very gentle vinification, one-third with very long macerations to provide structure and depth, one-third with a very short maceration to provide fragrance, and the remaining third finished the fermentation without skins (like a white) to add juiciness. The élevage is in oak foudres of different sizes, from 1,500 to 4,000 liters. This is a little less aromatic and more austere but very focused and bright, from a village where the wines are serious and have a chalky texture, less floral but more citrus, a bit more backward. It has a compact palate, with very fine tannins and a more chalky finish. It’s interesting to taste it next to wines from other villages, as you clearly see the difference. 18,700 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2019.”
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Cantos del Diablo’ Mentrida 2016 750ML ($119.95) $95 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2016 Cantos del Diablo, single vineyard from the village of Real de San Vicente, the one plot that is bottled separately from within the Méntrida zone of Gredos, had notes of pomegranate, blood orange and wild cherries, showing elements of ripeness and restraint. It’s much more mineral, with a chalky sensation on the nose and palate. In fact, it started with a reductive personality, so decanting in advance might not be a bad idea. This cool year is quite pale and sharp, at times closer to a white than a red that is wild in nature and has a sharp palate. This is going to be phenomenal in four or five years. 1,737 bottles and 50 magnums were filled in March 2018.”
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Cantos del Diablo’ Mentrida 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The single-vineyard 2017 Cantos del Diablo was produced with the grapes from 0.35 hectares in the village of El Real de San Vicente (Toledo), the highest vineyard in the Méntrida appellation. It’s a north-facing plot at 900 meters in altitude that was planted some 70 years ago on sandy granite soils rich in silt and is worked biodynamically. The grapes, with all the stems, fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats, and the wine matured in a 1,200-liter oak foudre for 12 months. This was one of the few villages from Gredos that escaped the hail and frost, and it was a dry year, so harvesting was early (10 to 15 days earlier compared with a “normal” vintage!). It’s aromatic and floral but has the austerity of the wines from El Real de San Vicente as well as a texture like liquid chalk and very fine, powdery tannins. It’s clean and ripe without excess, with a nice combination of fruit and minerality, really balanced, with intensity and finesse. Excellent 2017! 1,362 bottles were filled in March 2019.”
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Cantos del Diablo’ Mentrida 2018 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “The single-vineyard 2018 Cantos del Diablo was produced with the grapes from 0.35 hectares of 70-year-old Garnacha in the village of El Real de San Vicente (Toledo) at 900 meters in altitude, the highest vineyard in the Méntrida appellation. It’s a north-facing plot on sandy granite soils with lots of silt that deliver chalky tannins and a citrus freshness in the wine. The whole clusters fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats with a long maceration followed by an élevage in a 1,400-liter oak foudre for 12 months. This was extremely closed, even after a long time in the glass. It’s a vineyard that delivers more reductive wines (matchstick) with a strict palate and a strong mineral sensation. 1,620 bottles were filled in March 2020.”
Daniel Gomez Jimenez Landi ‘Las Iruelas’ El Tiemblo Castilla y Leon 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97 points “As a result of a soil study, the 2016 Las Iruelas comes only from the higher altitude part of the vineyard, a stonier and convex part that deliver more subtle wines with positive intensity, subtleness and detail. It felt a little shy and reticent, with finesse, tons of white pepper, wildflowers, herbs and berries with a depth and clout, which I had not seen in previous years. This can feel a little tight, even reductive at first and decanting it in advance can be a good idea. This character tells me that this wine might behave brilliantly in the bottle and have a long and positive evolution. 2,821 bottles and 50 magnums were filled in February 2018.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “El Reventón in the village of Cebreros (Ávila) is really two plots just a few meters apart, but with different exposition, altitude and soils that make up one hectare of vines. Given the differences and the fact that part of the vineyard has basically no soil and the mother rock on the surface, they have been studying these soils and making further selections to decide which plants go into the wine. In 2016, they experimented with two different bottlings. But the 2017 El Reventón is a single cuvée of the grapes from both plots, as they had hail and used all the grapes that could be saved. The vinification follows the same modus operandi as with the rest of the wines—manual selection of every bunch, discarding all the single grapes that are not perfect, then fermentation with the stems and a long maceration in oak vats, of course with indigenous yeasts. The élevage was in used oak barrels and lasted for a year. The wine has good ripeness, more power than wines like Las Iruelas and more fruit and a rounder palate, but it’s a more delicate vintage than other years, more fragile because of hail. It developed a high-pitched note of curry with time in the glass, a recurring note in this wine. Only 775 bottles were filled in March 2019.”
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