In This Newsletter:
New Wine Spectator Insider Review:
Hot Wine from Bucklin!
The Noble Grape that can be good everywhere
Zena Crown’s Conifer:
No Arborist Required
So good you’ll think it’s sanctified
Rieslings Worthy of a Kaiser
Quantum of Bollinger:
R.D Magnums coming soon
Bargain Gems from around the World
The Pfinest in the Pfalz
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Barolo
The 2016 is now #8 in WS top 100 but why pay $99+
Mad for Magnums
Rare: The Crown Jewel of Piper-Heidsieck
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New Wine Spectator Insider Review:
Hot Wine from Bucklin!
Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Ancient Field Blend Sonoma Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $37.70 special, 5 bottles in stock now, 12 more arriving Friday
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offers plenty of kick but remains focused and balanced, with gutsy smoked pepper, blackberry, bitter chocolate and green peppercorn accents that build structure toward broad-shouldered tannins. An old-school field blend. Zinfandel, Grenache, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre, Grand Noir, Syrah and Carignan. Best from 2023 through 2033. From California. —T.F.”
Also in stock now from Bucklin:
Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Otto’s Grenache Sonoma Valley 2019 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Otto’s Grenache was planted to honor our Step Father Otto Teller. Opinionated and cantankerous, Otto believed grapevines were too coddled and needed great stress to produce the best wines. This field blend was planted in 2010 on a modestly steep hillside that faces the hot setting sun. The soils are shallow, between two to three feet deep, and they are underlain with a thick impermeable volcanic tuff made from ejected rock and ash that is compacted and cemented into rock. If these growing conditions aren’t challenging enough, the vines are also dry farmed. Average yields are low primarily because the berries are so small and these grapes produce very intense and colorful wine.”
The Noble Grape that can be good everywhere
With established regions in every corner of the world, it could be said that the sun never sets on Chardonnay. As the empress of Chablis and Queen of Champagne and Burgundy, Chardonnay makes up the lion’s share of the most expensive white wines in the world. This is attributable to a number of factors including the transparency the varietal shows in the vineyard, malleability in the cellar and exceptional aging potential. We carry Chardonnay’s from all around the world including Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon and California.
Chardonnay Highlights in Stock Now:
The top offering from Goodfellow’s Chardonnay program, encompassing the best barrels of the vintage.
Goodfellow Family Cellars Richard’s Cuvee Chardonnay Oregon 2019 750ML ($69.95) $55 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Richard’s Cuvee Chardonnay Oregon 2019 750ML ($379.95) $309 special (That’s only $51.50 per bottle)
Winery note “Oh boy…first gravel and smoke, opening to fresh pear, hazelnuts, straw and raw grain, then lime and yuzu blossom. Old world notes of river stones, and seashells. Palate is immediately bright, stony, mineral, lime, clean, lucid, direct, and steely. Acidity runs through the wine from the front palate to the long, long, long finish. Like Corton from the mid-90s… 11.8% abv, finished under Diam 30. 155 cases.”
A perfect snapshot of Leflaive’s house style and holdings in Burgundy.
Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Burgundy 2019 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Allen Meadows, Burghound “Outstanding Top Value. Freshly sliced pear, apple and lemon-lime scents give way to solidly concentrated and vibrant medium weight flavors that also exude a refreshing salinity on the attractively complex and sneaky long finish. This isn’t refined but it offers excellent quality for a regional wine. Recommended.” –
The most powerful and rich of the Chablis Grand Cru’s, with an almost endless plethora of flavors.
Lucien Le Moine Preuses Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 6 bottles in stock now
No reviews for 2017, 2016 review for reference.
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 92-95 points “Musky scents of citrus fruits, gardenia, white rose, anise, smoke, fresh herbs and earth. Very dry, rich and thick, but with a remarkably sappy, penetrating quality to its citrus and floral flavors. The extremely slow-building, edge-free finish stains the palate with licorice and menthol. Utterly distinctive grand cru Chablis–but then this bottling has been consistently stunning since its inaugural 2012 vintage.”
The alluvial soils and intense of Aoteroa make for a beautifully dense, smokey and powerful Chardonnay that’s nearly impossible not to crack open and drink.
Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay Kumeu 2020 750ML ($49.95) $45 special, 17 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points “This is a wine of real purity and elegance with fresh sliced peaches and lemons, as well as some light pastry notes. The palate is fine, unwaveringly long and pure with enlivening acidity through the finish. Stunning. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
Rebecca Gibb MW-Vinous 93 points “Another typically weighty expression from Kumeu’s Coddington vineyard, the 2020 Chardonnay Coddington fills the midpalate with its density and breadth. It is a wine of clarity, the oak-derived smoky, nutty notes providing a savory layer over nectarine and lemon meringue. However, this is not a wine that needs multiple flavor descriptors; it’s a wine of texture. Expect the smooth, mellow mouthfeel to be followed up with lovely precision and sinew on the lengthy, smoky finish.”
Vineyard sources for the Sandhi lineup include the legendary cool climate Bien Nacido, best known by the single vineyard bottlings produced by the Bien Nacido estate, Au Bon Climat, and Qupe Winery.
Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($34.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($399.95) $249 special, (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Winery note “If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato. The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Zena Crown’s Conifer: No Arborist Required
Looking for an Oregon Pinot that doesn’t skimp on structure? Zena Crown vineyard produces some of the boldest Pinot Noir in the entire Willamette Valley, and has the top winemakers in the area vying for her tonnage as a result. Spanning over 100 acres of hillsides in the Eola-Amity Hills, the vineyard receives waves of ocean air through the Van Duzer corridor throughout the day. These winds lower disease pressure, encourage tannic development and cool the finicky Pinot Noir grapes. The result of these factors is an exceptionally tannic, structured and colored wine built for the long haul.
Arriving ETA Friday, November 19th
Zena Crown Vineyard Confier Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offering verve and persistence, this Pinot is taut at first but slowly blooms into dynamic blueberry and black cherry flavors that are accented by forest floor and spice tea. Best from 2023 through 2031. 334 cases made. — TF”
Zena Crown in stock now:
Zena Crown Vineyard Confier Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “Impressive for its detailed structure and rich polish, this shows expressive raspberry, black tea, sweet anise and forest floor accents that with finish with silky, medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2030. 535 cases made. –TF”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright ruby-red. Cherry, musky red berries, pungent flowers and a hint of vanilla on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering cherry cola, raspberry and mocha flavors and a subtle touch of savory herbs. Pliant tannins add subtle grip to a very long, penetrating finish that echoes the cherry and floral notes.”
So good you’ll think it’s sanctified
Saint Cosme is one of the rare producers that delivers consistent quality across their regional bottlings. Considering their range spans the entirety of the Rhône this is a downright herculean achievement. Whether you’re looking for fruit, minerality, high acid or low, Red or white wine; Saint Cosme has a wine for you. And these wines do appeal to just about anyone. Ask James Molesworth at Wine Spectator, Joe Czerwinski at the Wine Advocate, Josh Raynolds at Vinous Media, Matt Walls at Decanter Magazine, Anna Iijima of the Wine Enthusiast, Jeb Dunnuck, James Suckling, and Kerry Winslow of Grapelive – all of whom have declared the greatness of the wines in recent vintages.
Newly Arrived from Saint Cosme:
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Rhone 2019 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 32 bottles in stock now
Wine Specator 95 points “Dark and winey, this structured offering packs red and black currant paste flavors together with threads of charcoal, warm stone, bay leaf and savory, ending with a long tug of cast iron through the finish. A blue chip for cellaring. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Drink now through 2035.”.—J.M.
Matt Walls-Decanter 94 points “Great sense of concentration and vibrancy with acidity that is marked for the vintage and the oak well integrated. Extremely vibrant, dark fruited this year, damson, shot through with very fine tannins. All whole bunch fermented in concrete with natural yeasts, then aged in concrete, recently used barriques and some new ones (around 20%).”
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 points “Starting off the 2019 barrel samples, the 2019 Gigondas reveals a deeper ruby/plum color to go with a rich, powerful, medium to full-bodied and concentrated style that carries lots of classic dark fruits, ground pepper, and scorched earth-like aromas and flavors. This rich, dense 2019 will reward 3-5 years of bottle age and have two decades of prime drinking.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides Rhone 2019 750ML ($129.95) $119 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 points “Lastly, the 2019 Gigondas Hominis Fides is another wine that’s going to flirt with perfection. Deep purple/ruby hued, with a stunning bouquet of crème de cassis, kirsch liqueur, scorched earth, and loads of violet and floral nuances, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building tannins, no hard edges, and one hell of a great finish. There is certainly no shortage of tannins and this needs 4 to 5 years of bottle age, but it will be one of the longest-lived of wines in the vintage.”
Matt Walls-Decanter 97 points “A seriously upright and skybound style, so much energy and very long. It’s a seriously tannic wine this year, but elegant with it – and such freshness. Little spicy note in the background accentuates its natural freshness and pep. Grenache planted in 1902 on Miocene calcareous sand. Single vineyard. No destemming. 12 months maturation in French oak barriques: 30% new, 30% one-year-old, 30% two-year-old. Unfiltered.”
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.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux Rhone 2019 750ML ($129.95) $119 special, 15 bottles in stock now
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.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 points “Also all Grenache from a single vineyard just down from the estate, the 2019 Gigondas Le Claux offers more minerality as well as structure and is another 2019 that’s going to benefit from bottle age. A complex bouquet of redcurrants, loamy soil and dried garrigue, camphor, and licorice emerges from the glass, and this beauty has building tannins, flawless balance and a great, great finish.”
Decanter 96 points “Very dense, somewhat earthbound for now with an extremely dense tannic structure. Great energy and salinity, very vibrant with a lovely acid structure. Will take a long time to come round but will be good. Organically grown Grenache planted in 1870, planted on Miocene marls and yellow clay. Fermented in concrete, no destemming, indigenous yeasts, and matured 100% in barriques; 30% new, 30% second use, 30% third use.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste Rhone 2019 750ML ($179.95) $139 special, 2 bottles in stock now
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.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 Points “As always, the 2019 Gigondas Le Poste is a more elegant, ethereal, and Burgundian styled wine that has incredible purity in its aromas and flavors of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, crushed rock, and Provençal garrigue. This is never the biggest or richest wine in the lineup, yet it just might be the most complex, as well as nuanced, and this beauty builds with time in the glass, is full-bodied, has a stacked mid-palate, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s going to flirt with perfection on release and evolve for 20 to 25 years.”
Matt Walls-Decanter 97 points “Extraordinary tannic structure for a 100% Grenache, with intensity of fruit, salinity and great driving freshness throughout. Extraordinary depth and floral on the finish, violets. Grenache planted on limestone marl. Single vineyard. No destemming. 12 months maturation in French oak barriques: 20% new, 50% one-year-old, 30% two-year-old. Unfiltered.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cote Rotie Rhone 2019 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points ” A racy, high-pitched, mineral-driven style, with raspberry and damson plum coulis notes pierced with savory and sanguine accents. The long, tight-grained, iron-edged finish resonates. Best from 2022 through 2034.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage Rhone 2019 750ML ($34.95) $27 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 Points “Pure, classic Northern Rhône notes of spiced blackberry fruits, peppery herbs, bacon fat, and some gamey, bouquet garni-like nuances all emerge from the 2019 Crozes-Hermitage. and it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and unevolved. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following decade or more. It’s a smoking good Crozes-Hermitage.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Nicely rendered, with a mix of juicy red cherry and dark plum fruit flavors backed by black tea, warm stone and sanguine accents. Focused and pure, iron-edged finish leaves a mouthwatering feel, while the finish is unencumbered by any toast. Lovely. Drink now through 2028. 1,000 cases made, 267 cases imported. –JM”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph Rhone 2019 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points “Very stylish, with perfumed red and black cherry coulis notes infused with dried rose petal, sanguine, sandalwood and white pepper. Silky and fresh through the finish, with lingering minerality. A wine of nuance. Drink now through 2030. 250 cases imported”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “More granite-like aromas and flavors emerge from the 2019 Saint Joseph, which offers impressive depth of fruit, medium to full body, ripe tannins, and bright, focused acidity. With lots of smoked game, red and blue fruits, obvious minerality, and outstanding length, you could do much worse than having a case of this in the cellar.”
Arriving Friday from Saint Cosme:
Chateau de Saint Cosme Condrieu Rhone 2019 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is densely packed, with rich white apricot and nectarine flavors laced with additional mirabelle, verbena and quince accents. There’s enough underlying juicy energy for balance, with a long, lingering green plum accent adding nice lift. Drink now through 2025.”
Check out our entire stock from Saint Cosme currently in-house now
Rieslings Worthy of a Kaiser
ETA Late November 2021
The Rheingau was once the face of Germany’s wine production. The topographic isolation provided by confluence of the Taunus Mountains and Rhine River creates an oasis for growing Riesling. The region’s wines were once priced higher than Burgundy, with Queen Victoria sparking a proclivity for German Riesling across the British Empire after a visit to the Rheingau in 1850. In contrast to other growing regions that feature a high percentage of slate, the Rheingau is characterized by high proportions of sandstone and quartzite, lending a crystallized pineapple, quince and yellow daffodil character to the finished wines.
Prinz was originally started as a “Garagiste” or home winemaker operation in 1991 as a hobby for the founder Fred Prinz. The critics were immediately enamored and an invitation to join the legendary VDP consortium followed in 2005. Their estate vineyards are farmed organically, with a house style that aims for “minerality, elegance, finesse and ageing ability and they reflect their origins perfectly”. With holdings in the Rheingau that are relatively high elevation they’re able to produce a full range of Riesling’s including the rarest style of them all: Eiswein.
Eiswein is among the hardest wines to make on the entire planet, and is becoming rarer as climate change advances. This is on account of the time the Riesling grapes must spend on the vine as decreed by German law. During the extended hang time the grapes will freeze and thaw multiple times, further concentrating the sugars and acids. There’s an endless list of things that could go wrong for the selected clusters during this time. Between the risks of rotting, not freezing enough to be harvested as eiswein or simply eaten by passing birds and deer you can see why production quantities are minuscule to say the least.
Weingut Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Riesling Eiswein Rheingau 2016 375ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Weingut Prinz Riesling Trocken Rheingau 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points “Still a bit closed, but this has serious depth and quite some weight for 12.5% alcohol. Complex mint, tarragon and candied-lime aromas, married to fine tannins and crisp acidity. Intense, but quite austere finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Weingut Prinz Hendelberg Riesling Trocken Rheingau 2020 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points “Quite funky nose that needs some air to open up, then ripe-quince, apricot and lilac notes develop. Excellent structure behind the ripeness and creaminess, the herbal and mineral notes cascading over the palate at the firm, dry finish. From organically grown grapes.”
Weingut Prinz Jungfer Riesling Kabinett Rheingau 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points “A stunning Kabinett that’s brimming with red apple, white peach and pomegranate. Very tense interplay of fruit, racy acidity and mountain-stream freshness. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Weingut Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Riesling Spatlese Rheingau 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 97 points “Give yourself a holiday and forget all your cares! This super fine Spätlese has a stunning floral-honey, white-currant and dried-herb nose. Very succulent and concentrated with super bright acidity that interlocks beautifully. At the very mineral finish it’s almost dry. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Check out our 531 different German Rieslings available now
Quantum of Bollinger:
R.D Magnums coming soon
There are Tête de cuvée’s and then there’s the “James Bond” of Têtes: The Bollinger R.D. Arguably the most featured champagne house 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 R.D be an experience of extended autolysis through the interpretation of Bollinger. The entirely oak fermentation and aging under cork closure sets the stage for exceptional development in the bottle. This comes after almost a decade of rest on its lees, or yeasts which add further complexity and texture. Expect a plethora of character from dried spices, to citrus peel, baked pommes and dried flowers. Known for their longevity, our current batch of 2004 magnums is just beginning to leave their teenage years, with plenty of time to further evolve before their peak.
Arriving in February 2022:
Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut 2004 1.5L ($599.95) $519 pre-arrival special
Wine & Spirits 98 points “Time has graced this wine, proving the value of Bollinger’s policy of long aging on the lees followed by prompt release after disgorgement. This RD (Recently Disgorged) 2004 is a joyous wine, staunch, cold and powerful at first, transforming to fresh fruit shadowed by darker tones of barrel fermentation. As it opens in the glass, revealing racy energy, a range of floral pear and apple flavors emerge, resonant with a sense of limestone capturing the sun and reflecting it back in pale power. Enjoy this over the course of an evening as its presence shifts, providing varied perspectives on a great Champagne.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Top 100 Cellar Selection in 2019. The wine’s name stands for recently disgorged and this vintage Champagne was taken off its lees in 2018. That gave many years for it to develop its depth of flavor, richness and beautifully memorable toasty flavors. Drink through 2028. -Roger Voss”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “Bollinger’s 2004 R.D., tasted from magnum, is all class. Silky and understated, the R.D is super-expressive and inviting today. In 2004, the R.D. is decidedly light on its feet and more perfumed than tends to be the norm at Bollinger. Candied lemon peel, mint, apricot, pastry and yellow fruits are all laced together in a Champagne that delivers the goods. The 2004 is 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay picked between September 25 and October 8. Disgorged: November 21, 2017.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97 points “Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger’s 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing “recent disgorgement” (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle. Tasted June 2018.”
Decanter 97 points “This is Bollinger’s 2004 interpretation of their famous barrel-aged, recently-disgorged Champagne. This time around it’s a blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, having received a dosage of 3g/l before being cellared under cork, unlike the usual practice of using a crown cap for this phase. A bouquet of raisins and spice jumps out of the glass, propelled by a magnificent mint-toned freshness. Tight and crystalline on the palate, it’s dense and yet not all that vinous in mouthfeel. The finish is one of ethereal lightness and magnificent balance. Drink with well-aged cheese. Drinking Window 2018 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “The lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034. 301 cases imported. — AN”
[Disgorgement date may vary from reviews]
Need a Tête de cuvee now? We carry a whole assortment including Roederers Cristal, Cliquot’s La Grand Dame and Perrier Jouet’s Belle Epoque
Who doesn’t love a bargain? As much as we love to write about reserve offerings, Tête de cuvées, Grosses Gewächs and Grand Crus; we still love our bargain wines for all occasions. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites, making them perfect for snob and initiate alike.
Purple and Black fruited indigenous varietal from a non-irrigated, organic estate at 2,600 feet above sea level. Gamay noir-esque but with a lean on spice over juiciness.
Atance Bobal Valencia 2019 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer note “Organic viticulture and hand picked grapes from bush vines in Requena, specifically the Casa Segura estate vineyards with well drained, sandy soils.”
Biodynamic, dry cider from Vermont aged for a year prior to disgorgement. No dosage or additional sugar.
Eden Specialty Ciders Brut Nature Cider Vermont NV 375ML ($9.95) $6.50 special, 21 half-bottles in stock now
Eden Specialty Ciders Brut Nature Cider Vermont NV 750ML ($19.95) $12.50 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Cidery note “Profile: Bubbly, very dry, balanced flavors. Apple varieties: Kingston Black • Roxbury Russet • Esopus Spitzenburg • McIntosh • Dabinett • Yarlington Mill • Calville Blanc • Hudson’s Golden Gem • Orleans Reinette • Empire • Black Oxford • Blue Pearmain • Rhode Island Greening • Baldwin. Grown By: Scott Farm, Poverty Lane Orchards, Sunrise Orchards, Eden Orchards. Method: Champagne style – secondary fermentation, rested on lees at least 18 months, hand-disgorged, naturally sparkling and clean. Tasting Notes: dried apples, biscuit, citrus, green hay. Pairing Suggestions: Extremely versatile dinner cider, goes well with everything from oysters to steak-frites. Gluten free, vegan friendly.”
Eden Specialty Ciders Imperial 11 Rose Cider Vermont NV 750ML ($17.95) $9 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Cidery note “Profile: Superbly juicy without being sweet, just off-dry and gently fizzy, with bright acidity and chewy tannic structure. Apple Varieties: Esopus Spitzenberg, Calville Blanc, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Roxbury Russet, Blue Pearmain, Baldwin, Mcintosh, Empire, Ashmead’s Kernel, Black Oxford, Reine de Reinette, Orleans Reinette. Grown by: Scott Farms, Sunrise Orchards, Yates Family Orchard and Poverty Lane Orchard. Method: Naturally cold-concentrated before fermentation, infused with red currant and blended with a touch of ice cider. Filtered and carbonated. TASTING NOTES: Roses, strawberry, watermelon, citrus, slate. Gluten free, vegan friendly.”
“Old School Chablis” from one of the most lauded producers in the entire region, at a price point for everyone and sparkling to boot!
Domaine D’henri 821 Chardonnay Brut Nature 2018 750ML ($35.95) $29.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer note “Produced from 35+ year old vines in the Chablis appellation using the Méthode Ancestrale meaning that the alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats and bottled before aging with the CO2 necessary for the long haul already in the bottle. Aged on its lees for 24 months, it is then disgorged with no added sugar. 821 refers to the minimum total number of days necessary to produce this wine from the beginning of the growing season to the moment the bottle leaves the cellar. Delightful toast and citrus notes with some exotic tinges lead into a serious wine with high mineral tension, full fruit in the middle and a very fine and persistent bead. This is an impressive wine that will surprise many.”
Aglianico, also known as “The Nebbiolo of the south” has largely flown under the radar since its heyday in the Ancient Era. Sourced from delisted barrels of single vineyard and reserve bottlings.
Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Aglianico Rosso Irpinia Campania 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’agata-Vinous 92 points “Deep ruby. Lively aromas of red fruits, minerals and herbs. Juicy and fruity in the mouth, showing hazelnutty nuances to the red fruit flavors. Finishes with good acid-fruit balance and nice tannins. A lovely wine that will age well, but provides irresistible drinking right now.”
True to Roederer’s house style the Brut Excellence is mostly Chardonnay with enough Pinot Noir to contribute red fruited character. Scharffenberger’s Brut Excellence undergoes complete malolactic fermentation, contributing a fuller and creamier texture.
Scharffenberger Cellars Brut Mendocino County 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “A well-rounded, supple texture surrounds attractive toast and nut flavors in this suave and mouthfilling wine. Notes of biscuit, peach and toasted bread give it a nice sense of maturity and complexity. -Jim Gordon”
Wine & Spirits 91 points “[Reviewed 8/2021] This is clean and crisp with rich undertones of brioche and lemon custard. It offers a balance of the soft and the lively, a refreshing sparkling wine to kick off a dinner party. —J.G.”
Old vine, organic Xarel-Lo that’s zesty and fruit-driven with a long finish.
Under $20? Sure. Under $12? Sign me up.
El Cep ‘Ot’ Blanc de Terrier Penedes 2020 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points “Pale yellow. Fresh pear and honeydew melon on the fragrant nose, along with a subtle floral nuance. Silky and open-knit, showing good depth and a touch of waxiness to the ripe orchard and citrus fruit flavors. The melon note comes back on a smooth, persistent finish that features a refreshing bitter orange zest flourish.”
The Pfinest in the Pfalz
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 dry Riesling still being the crown jewel.
Dr. Burklin-Wolf is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in Germany, and is still going strong. Helmed since 1990 by Bettina Bürklin-von Guradze, she converted the estate to biodynamics and has only improved an already incredible winery.
In stock now:
Dr. Burklin-Wolf Estate Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 9 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.”
Dr. Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Altenburg P.C. Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2017 750ML ($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.)”
Dr. Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2017 750ML ($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.”
Love Riesling? We carry bottlings from both Germany and Austria
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Barolo
The 2016 is now #8 in WS top 100 but why pay $99+
ETA Friday, November 19th
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco Boschis is highly aromatic with anise, dried leather, and burnt orange. Ripe and structured, it offers ripe cherry, turned forest floor, and a long finish. The warmth of the vintage is felt while remaining fresh. Drink 2024-2042.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Aromas of rose, wild berries, leather and sunbaked underbrush come to the forefront. The wine was made with organically farmed grapes, and the palate shows an earthy elegance, featuring ripe cherry, blood orange, star anise and hints of truffle before closing on an iron note. Firm but refined tannins provide support. Drink 2027–2032. “
Decanter 94 points “In 2017, Cavallotto’s Bricco Boschis debuts a new label reporting the precise quantity of bottles produced. All but a monopole since 2014, today Alfio Cavallotto manages 15.4 of the Bricco’s 17 hectares. A fiercely traditional Barolo, it has a rather rustic, meaty profile, with dark fruits and earthy, tarry tones softened by rose. The assertive palate of firm, muscular and dusty tannins is well supported by great fruit concentration. A true Barolo, rather old fashioned yet with great potential for the long haul.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Available in numbered bottles, the organic Cavallotto 2017 Barolo Bricco Boschis is a generous and fleshed out expression that opens to immediate aromas of cherry, wild plum and cassis. There are floral notes as well, and some spice, licorice and grilled herb. Like many of the Barolos I tasted from this vintage, the bouquet is accessible and generous now, but the wine is tannic and more austere in terms of mouthfeel, requiring extra bottle age. The hope is that both the bouquet and the palate will evolve at the same pace. From 45-year-old vines, this was a release of exactly 19,410 bottles and 999 magnums.”
Mad for Magnums
With the holidays fast approaching and gatherings becoming part of regular activity again, this might be a time to revisit the concept of a magnum. After all there’s nothing worse than pouring wine for guests and running out of the crowd favorite! Beyond the heighted liquid capacity there are a litany of benefits to having magnums, including holding the wine at serving temperature for longer and a much more graceful aging timeline. We’ve compiled a list of magnums and other large formats that would be perfect for any social occasion. If 8-10 glasses per bottle still isn’t enough, we carry a number of Jeroboams and a handful of Methuselahs for those wanting to bring the Bacchanalia.
Magnums in stock and available now:
Perfectly drinkable as most experts recommend drinking Vintage Ports 10-30 years after the vintage date.
Churchill’s Vintage Port Portugal 1994 1.5L ($199.95) $89 special, 24 magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points “A gorgeous, voluptuous young Port, best Churchill ever. Intense aromas of dark chocolate and grapes. Full-bodied, with powerful, chewy tannins, yet it’s sweet and fruity on the finish. Try after 2010. — JS”
Hand-picked Riesling from one of the most precipitous vineyards in the world and a perfect illustration of why the varietal is a “Universal Paring”
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Mosel ** GK 2017 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 3 magnums in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 98+ points “The 2017 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (Golden Capsule) displays a concentrated yet highly refined bouquet of orange, lemon and grapefruit aromas intermixed with delicate and refreshing slate notes. Lush, piquant and salty on the elegant, pure, even weightless palate, this is a crystalline Auslese with great finesse, grip, tension and highly stimulating salinity. This is a finessed, gorgeous beauty, and it almost makes me fear the other Auslesen listed here. 7.5% alcohol. Tasted at the domain two times in April 2019.”
Fresh.Fruity.Juicy and enough for everyone!
Castello di Ama ‘Purple Rose’ Toscana IGT Tuscany 2017 1.5L ($69.95) $39 special, 8 magnums in stock now
Ian D’agata-Vinous 90 points “Luminous red-pink. Fresh aromas of strawberry and flowers, then ripe and sweet with similar flavors to the aromas that show very good acid cut. This actually leaves a sweet impression on the long suave finish, but has so much acidity it seems less sweet than it is. Lovely. Winemaker Marco Pallanti has changed the winemaking so as to macerate the must on the skins for twelve hours and then ages the wine in used (one year) barriques to round it. A blend of mostly Sangiovese with a little Merlot.”
Region: Tuscany, Italy.
Light enough for a Pinot Noir lover but with enough structure to seduce fans of bolder wine.
Envinate ‘Benje’ Canary Islands 2019 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special, 2 magnums in stock now
John Gilman 92 points “The 2019 Benje Tinto from Envínate is composed from its customary blend of Listán Prieto and Tintilla, sourced from several parcels all growing at one thousand meters of elevation. Each parcel is picked and fermented separately, before blending for malo and aging in older Burgundy barrels. The wine offers up a superb aromatic constellation of bitter cherry, green peppercorns, a very complex base of volcanic minerality, chicory, a wisp of tree bark, a fine array of botanicals and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and tangy, with lovely intensity of flavor, fine soil signature and grip, modest tannins and a long, complex and promising finish. This is quite approachable today, but still fairly primary in personality and some bottle age will reveal more complexity. 2021-2050.”
Winery note “Benje Tinto is sourced from 1,000 meters elevation, old-vine, pie franco parcels of Listan Prieto (Mission) with a bit of Tintilla, named “Masca,” “La Zanja,” “Valle de Arriba,” and “Llano Redondo”, all of them located in Santiago del Teide. Each parcel is hand-harvested and vinified separately, some in concrete and some in small open tubs. Maceration is 10-30 days (depending on parcel) with daily punch-down; malolactic fermentation is in neutral French barriques, then raised 8 months in the same barrels without battonage or added SO2. Bottling is without fining or filtration. This is a pure and vertical expression of high elevation, volcanic Canary terrun~o with notes of red fruits, peppercorns, flowers, and volcanic soil – a beautiful wine to pair with grilled meats and mojo rojo.”
Gamay Noir is considered the apex of Thanksgiving reds, with Dubois making some of the most “glou-glou” or easy drinking in the whole region.
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Cocottes Beaujolais 2020 1.5L ($99.95) $69 special, 5 magnums in stock now
Importer note “Starting with the 2015 vintage, Anne-Sophie has decided to release a different side of her Fleurie. Up until then, all of her Fleuries were 100% destemmed and fermented in a Burgundian-style. In stark contrast to her usual style, she is making Les Cocottes with 100% whole cluster and using carbonic maceration. It is released the spring after the vintage and is intended to be fruit driven and drunk early & often. The label was drawn by Anne-Sophie herself. (She’s really into art.)”
This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Other Large formats in stock now:
One of the oldest wine houses in the United States and best examples of California Sparkling on the market.
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs North Coast 2016 9L ($999.95) $899 special, 1 Salmanazar bottle in stock now
*****IN-STORE PICK UP ONLY. SHIPPING NOT AVAILABLE*****
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Complexity and layering make this wine especially interesting as it goes from aromas of apple, butter and vanilla to deeper toast and baked apple on the palate. It’s medium in body, has tantalizing acidity and a lingering finish. Best through 2026. -Jim Gordon”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Sleek, with pinpoint focus, offering harmonious Meyer lemon, candied almond and fresh ginger flavors that fan out on the crisp finish. Drink now. 36,209 cases made. — TF”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 90 points “The nose of the 2016 Blanc de Blancs is bright and fresh, with scents of quince peel, red apples, floral perfume, brioche and a nutty undercurrent. The light-bodied palate is dry with energetic mousse and a nice balance of mineral and tirage character, finishing with fantastic freshness. 36,209 cases produced. The Blanc de Blancs was the first cuvée Schramsberg produced, in 1965.”
Mineral driven and refreshing and with enough in the bottle to last the entire Thanksgiving meal.
Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Chateau Peyrassol’ Rose France 6L ($399.95) $319 special, 2 Methuselah bottles in stock now
*****in-store pick up only. Shipping not available*****
Importer note “This is the elite cuvée of the estate relying as it does on grapes harvested from the oldest vines of the domaine (35 years and older). Principally composed of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, the “Chateau” bottling also sees the addition, from time-to-time of Tibouren, the ancient and regal Provencale grape. This Rosé is produced via the “direct press” method and has a long cuvaison designed to produce a wine of character and concentration. Vinified in stainless steel and bottled in late winter – early spring, production is quite limited.”
Rare: The Crown Jewel of Piper-Heidsieck
The wine is crafted by an exclusive Chef de Cave named Régis Camus who, until 2018, was in charge of all of Piper-Heidsieck’s production. Under the direction of Camus, 8 times honored as the ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’, there is nothing short of artistry at work here. Citing a commitment to “balancing fruit, minerality and freshness and to still be young in 20 years” Rare is aged a minimum of 10 years prior to release, with most see even longer bottle age (2008 was just announced after over 13 years). Every vintage is given a title by Camus, meant to offer a “photograph” of the vintage and resulting Champagne. For the 2006 (in stock now), the word is “Sunny”, offering the promise of richness and great phenolic development.
In Stock Now:
Piper-Heidsieck Rare Brut Millésime, Champagne 2006 750ML ($179.95) $169 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points “Aromas and flavors of toasted brioche and grilled nut enrich the yellow plum, nectarine and grated ginger notes of this rich and creamy Champagne. Finely woven and beautifully integrated, with a firm backbone of mouthwatering acidity providing precise balance for the lush range of flavor. Drink now through 2029. 14,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported.”
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