In This Newsletter:
Best Buy on Bouree: 3 day sale
Fuligni Flying in
Staff Picks: Top 10 of 2021:
Pommery: The “other” Madame
Rose: Spanish and French fizz
The Maven of Champagne
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Best Buy on Bouree: 3 day sale
Founded in 1864 the Domaine has always done mixed production between estate holdings and négociant purchasing from long-term contracts. Currently run by Brothers Bernard and Jean-Christophe Vallet, intervention in the vineyard is limited to pruning in the spring and organic compost for fertilizer. We’ve put our extensive selection on sale for a limited time to offer our readers the best opportunity to explore the producer.
Pierre Bouree in Stock and On Sale Now:
Pierre Bouree Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Cote de Nuits 1990 750ML Was $119, Now $99, 1 bottle in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de la Justice Monopole Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML Was $119, Now $99 2 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de la Justice Monopole Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML Was $119, Now $99 3 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de la Justice Monopole Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML Was $149, Now $135 3 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Cazatiers Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 1990 750ML Was $219, Now $199 1 bottle in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Cazatiers Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2009 750ML Was $149, Now $138 1 bottle in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Cazatiers Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2010 750ML Was $149, Now $138 2 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Cazatiers Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2012 750ML Was $119, Now $99 2 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Champeaux Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2013 750ML Was $119, Now $99 2 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Champeaux Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2014 750ML Was $119, Now $99 3 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Les Champeaux Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML Was $149, Now $128 2 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Epenots Pommard Premier Cru 2009 Was $119, Now $99 3 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Le Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2010 750ML Was $279, Now $249 2 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Le Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML Was $219, Now $199, 3 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2009 Was $289, Now $269 1 bottle in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2014 Was $289, Now $269 1 bottle in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2015 Was $289, Now $269 bottle in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2010 750ML Was $199, Now $ 189 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML Was $219, Now $199 3 bottles in stock now
Pierre Bouree Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML Was $219, Now $199 3 bottles in stock now
Fuligni Flying in
What’s that in the distance? A bird? A plane? It’s a Brunello!
One of the most collectible houses in Montalcino from the vintage of the century! This is a Brunello to collect and open for decades to come. Given the critical reception from the vintage, these can only get better with age.
Arriving ETA December 3rd, 2021:
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 15 bottles available
#13 Top 100 Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast
Decanter 99 points “The Fuligni family moved from Maremma to Montalcino early in the 20th century, establishing the estate in 1923. Maria Flora has been at the helm since 1971, with her nephew Roberto managing most of the operations today. This historic property has released one of the most exquisite wines of 2016. Revealing its complexities gradually, it unfolds with a smoky flintiness, balsamic nuances and Mediterranean herbs. Seemingly endless in layers and depth, there is generosity but it never weighs the palate down. Powerful, sophisticated tannins are finely powdered, and piercing acidity radiates throughout. Hints of liquorice, violet, blood orange and iron eventually emerge. Lengthy and effortlessly commanding. Drinking Window 2024 – 2042.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 99 points “Enticingly fragrant, this opens with heady aromas of rose, violet, new leather, truffle and a whiff of camphor. Vibrant and focused, the chiseled, elegant palate is all about finesse, delivering bright red cherry, orange zest, licorice and white pepper framed in taut, refined tannins. Bright acidity keeps it superbly balanced and fresh. It’s already drinking beautifully but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2024–2036.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 98 points “Dark, inward and intense, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a towering effort that will thrill collectors for many years to come. It arrives in waves, first black fruits evolving to red, then sage and earthy minerals, followed by brown spice and, finally, hints of tobacco. Youthfully dense, velvety and in no hurry to unfurl the complex web of fruit, minerals and tannins found within, this instead leaves you guessing at what’s to come. That said, there’s perfect symmetry here, along with the combination of structure and primary intensity to guarantee many years of positive maturation. Hints of licorice, currant and baker’s chocolate linger long. This is simply gorgeous.”
Staff Picks: Top 10 of 2021
The staff at Vinopolis is curating their top 10 lists of wine in 2021. We’re selecting our favorite wines of 2021, no ties to points, price or prestige, but rather wines we simply enjoyed the most this year.
“Bottled Springtime” made from some of the oldest planted Pinot Noir and Cabernet in the entire Mosel River Valley.
Wein-Erbhof Stein Secco Sparkling Rose Mosel 2020 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Importer note “Steep slate soils. Second fermentation in tank. Pinot Noir with approximately 20% Cabernet and Merlot, élevage all stainless.”
The village of Ambonnay is famed for the rich and powerful Pinot Noir grown on her limestone hill, which Coutier delivers in spades with the addition of old vine chardonnay contributing elegance.
R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36.50 special 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($249.95) $208 special, (That’s only $34.66 per bottle!)
Case-12 R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($449.95) $399 special, (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The NV Brut Tradition Grand Cru is fabulous. Rich, ample and creamy in the glass, the Brut Tradition captures all of the natural intensity of Ambonnay in its expansive personality. Pinot Noir drives this blend in both its flavor profile and weight. Red cherry, plum, cinnamon, cedar and dried flowers are some of the many notes that build over time. This release is based on 2013, with 40% reserve wines.”
My favorite grower Champagne that’s less than $50 per bottle, and from a protégée of Anselme Selosse no less!
Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($51.95) $44 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 7 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 90+ points “The current release of Alexandre Chartogne’s Cuvée Ste. Anne non-vintage Brut is from the base year of 2017. The vins clairs were raised in a combination of both stainless steel and oak and the wine was not bottled up for secondary fermentation until July of 2018. The cépages is its customary blend of nearly equal parts of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier and the wine was disgorged in February of 2020, with a finishing dosage of just over five grams per liter. The wine offers up a vibrant bouquet of apple, white peach, a fine base of soil tones, brioche, gentle smokiness and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a good core, elegant bubbles, fine balance and grip and a long, zesty and quite classy finish. This seems a touch longer on the backend to me than the last couple of iterations of this bottling that I have tasted and is first class, non-vintage Brut. But, this is still a fairly young wine and I would be inclined to give it some bottle age to let it start to blossom properly. 2022-2040.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points “The latest release of Chartogne’s NV Brut Sainte Anne is based on the 2017 vintage, complemented by 40% reserve wines. Disgorged in September 2020 with five grams per liter dosage, it opens in the glass with aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, white flowers and fresh pastry. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it’s elegantly textural, bright and precise, with a seamless, harmonious profile.”
Importer note “60% 2017 base, 40% from 2016 & 2015.” Disgorgement date may vary from reviews.
A bottling that truly impressed me with its robust structure, pervasive aromatics and immutable mineral character. Easily the most full bodied Riesling I’ve ever tried, especially coming from the Mosel.
Heymann-Lowenstein ‘B’ Uhlen Blaufusser Lay Mosel 2016 750M ($69.95) $49 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2016 Riesling Uhlen B ‘VDP Grosse Lage’ is pure, fresh and rich at the same time, with flinty aromas on the nose. Full-bodied, precise and piquant on the palate, this is an elegant, fresh and salty Riesling with a lot of tension and length. Powerful. Long.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This offers a gorgeous nose of candied grapefruit zest, some star fruit, ripe pear and apple, all wrapped into the telltale classy touch of fine spices and herbs so typical of the Estate. The wine is medium-bodied on the palate and leaves a beautifully pure, spicy and mineral-loaded feel in the long and delicately powerful finish. This is a gorgeous wine in the making with a hint of power and nice saltiness in the after-taste.”
It’s rare to find a wine this multidimensional and storied for less than $100, let alone under $50. Featuring incredible depth at play with high tannins and acid that hollows the palate with a long finish of rosemary and Mexican chocolate.
Feudo Montoni ‘Vrucara’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT Sicily 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “Tasted from magnum, the 2015 Sicilia Nero d’Avola Vrucara is a dark and penetrating wine with a chiseled and pungent side that delivers dried cherry and blackberry preserves. There is a point of ripeness, maybe even jammy cherry with lots of inky dark fruit. I knocked off a point or two compared to the previous edition because I am less a fan of that ripeness. You get cherry liqueur or cherry syrup sweetness on the close. However, this remains one of the benchmark bottles for Sicily’s banner grape Nero d’Avola.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93+ points “Good full ruby-red. Aromas and flavors of red/dark berries, plum, smoke, coriander and herbs. Juicy, taut and precise, with musky notes that extend onto the long, very smooth back end.”
Freisa is the parent grape of Nebbiolo and delivers a similar flavor profile but with more emphasis on botanical and spice elements.
G.D. Vajra Freisa ‘Kye’ Langhe Rosso Piedmont 2017 750ML ($44.95) $36 special, 35 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2017 Langhe Freisa Kyé is polished, understated and supremely beautiful. Over the last few years, the Vajras have tamed some of the rusticity of Freisa, but there is still plenty of varietal character here. All the elements are very well balanced. Wild cherry, plum, spice, licorice, tobacco, grilled herbs and coffee abound. I would give the 2017 a year or two in bottle, as there is still a bit of edginess to the tannin. Then again, that is Freisa, when it is made with this level of ambition.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “This wine has developed its own cult following over the years. Named after a local dialectal expression for “who is it,” the 2017 Langhe Freisa Kyè is super intense in this hot vintage. The wine draws upon those vintage conditions to present an extra dark appearance, with aromas of Morello cherry, dried blackberry and spice. I always get a subtle note of black pepper with the popular Freisa grape. The mouthfeel is rich, and you can really sink your teeth into this cheerful and unusual red from Piedmont. 6,000 bottles are hitting the market now.”
The “Cabernet of Campania” sourced from centenarian vines that are loaded with spice and smoke. Dried blueberry, fresh redcurrant, oregano oil and blackberry seed contribute to an impressively long flavor presentation and finish.
Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Vigne d’Alto Taurasi DOCG 2011 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94+ points “Deep ruby with a purple tinge. Reticent nose at first, only hinting at dark cherry, sassafras and sandalwood. Then very concentrated and dense, displaying almost opulent, sweet nuances of oaky torrefaction to the coffee, cocoa and dark cherry flavors. This outstanding Taurasi finishes extremely long, rich and seamless. It’s virtually impossible to pick between Lonardo’s two crus in 2011, and both will have many admirers.”
The combination of 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 Tuscan character.
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($479.95) $399 special, (That’s only $66.50 per bottle!)
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 97 points “It would be impossible to exaggerate the grandeur and majesty of the overachieving 2015 Arcanum. The blend is 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. This full-bodied wine is mostly defined by its texture that is exceedingly rich and smooth with significant infusions of blackberry, plum, spice, tobacco and cured leather. The wine achieves beautiful balance, yet it remains intense and powerful all the while.”
Old-vine, high elevation Barbera from a benchmark producer, making this one of the most authentic expressions of the varietal that you will find.
Poderi Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Barbera d’Alba Piedmont 2017 750ML ($37.95) $33 special, 36+bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2017 Barbera d’Alba Conca Tre Pile is piled high with dark fruit intensity, soft tannins and a pinch of fresh acidity that breaks apart the wine’s rich fruit flavors. The hot vintage has taken well to the Barbera grape, accentuating its volume, richness and generosity. The bouquet offers black fruit, dried plum, spice, truffle-infused earth and toasted hazelnut. Some 20,000 bottles were made.”
Completely ethereal on the palate after 27 years of bottle aging with plush red fruited character, an exceptionally long finish and velveteen texture on the palate.
Churchill’s Vintage Port Portugal 1994 1.5L ($199.95) $89 special, 25 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”
The average price nationally is $250 per magnum
Pommery: The “other” Madame
You’ve heard of the Champagne widow and pioneer Madame Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin (also known as Madame Clicquot), but have you heard of Madame Pommery? While you can be forgiven for not knowing her, Champagne as we know it would not exist without her contributions. In the 1870’s champagne was one of the sweetest wines of the world for a number of reasons. The first and foremost was to balance out the otherwise searing acid that was seen in Champagnes of the period. The second was to cater to commercial preferences of the era, particularly from the Russian royal family and their contemporaries who loved exceptionally sweet wines.
This all changed when Madame Louise Pommery commissioned her cellarmaster to make a champagne with as little added sugar as possible, creating the category we now know to be “Brut”. The debut vintage in 1874 was an overnight success in England, who had developed a preference for drier styles of wine. It was so popular in fact, that it set records in London for the highest ever paid for champagne at auction. The Brut style clearly outlived its sweeter contemporary, given the latter is rarely seen on the market anymore.
The Tête de cuvee from Pommery is named after Madame Louise and in honor of her legacy has the barest amount of sugar added. Comprised of 3 Grand Cru vineyard sources Avize, Cramant and Aÿ and aged for 11 years on its lees before disgorgement. The blend itself is predominantly Chardonnay but has 40% Pinot Noir inclusion as well. The grand cru sources for the fruit are clearly evident in the concentrated flavors, strong mineral character and high acidity with notes of toasted brioche, blackcurrant preserves, hazelnut paste, pine nuts and lemon curd. With the “Current” release being the 2004, this is a Champagne built for the long haul to say the least. We also carry a number of magnums, back vintages and the elusive Rosé bottling!
In stock and available now:
Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Millesime 2004 750ML ($149.95) $125 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Millesime 2004 1.5L ($299.95) $279 special, 4 magnums in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “A very fine-textured Champagne with lovely density and finesse. The bubbles roll off the palate. Full body. Extremely creamy and flavorful. Shows wonderful finesse and a lovely, chalky, lemon-curd and brioche aftertaste. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Pommery’s prestige Champagne is named after one of the great Champagne widows of the 19th century who took over when her husband, Alexandre Pommery, died. It is a rich, mature wine, with toast and almond flavors as much as fruit. Full of mineral Chardonnay (60% of the blend), this ripe wine is very ready to drink.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Bright and minerally, featuring smoke and pastry dough notes layered with lemon curd and pureed black currant details, riding the lively bead. Offers a creamy finish, with a lightly floral overtone. Drink now through 2024. 16,666 cases made.”
Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Nature 2004 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 37 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points “A creamy and refined 2004 with a very reserved and tight palate of ultra fine tannins that lend the wine beautiful creaminess and finesse. Subtly floral, offering lightly cooked apples and lemons. Flavorful, yet always hiding behind the fine bubbles. Drink now.”
Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Rose Millesime 2004 750ML ($299.95) $219 special, 25 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “This is a new release and shows wonderful finesse and beauty. You know that the moment you see the pale-amber color. It’s medium bodied with freshness and energy and a long, vivid finish. A joy to taste. Drink now.”
Pommery Grand Cru Brut Millesime 2008 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note “It was a must for Pommery not to miss out on one of the greatest vintages of champagne. One single term to characterise 2008: unexpected! After a difficult summer, nature succeeded in aligning its stars and allowed us to have an exceptional harvest. 2008 has already conquered aficionados from all over the world, but it is a special vision of 2008 in the pure style of our Maison that we propose to you. Only originating from grands crus, with an exceptional ageing potential, slowly brought to maturity in the freshness of our 18 kilometres of galleries, it is necessary to wait to taste a Pommery vintage at its zenith: the precise moment when all the components are in harmony and when maturity, freshness and complexity come together. This moment has come for our 2008 vintage. The nose presents the patina of the Pommery vintages: elegance, minerality, freshness. First of all intense floral notes reach us: the peony floats around the hawthorn. Maturity is expressed by fruity notes of pear and fresh apricot. The great Pinot Noir present themselves with notes of crushed fresh strawberries. On the palate, the tasting is floating, with a great uprightness. A mineral structure fills the palate from the attack to the finish like a spine. Notes of acacia honey and Mirabelle underline the central element of the tasting. The finish is punctuated by a nice sweetness, marked by flavours of blood orange.”
Rose: Spanish and French fizz
Fermented in the traditional style of the Basque region which leaves it slightly sparkling and naturally low in sulfur! Fully dry and incredibly nuanced yet delicate with a whole spectrum of fruits ranging from strawberry to white peach and a plethora of white flowers like orange and lemon blossom.
In stock now:
Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2020 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2020 750ML ($319.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
Importer note “The pink sibling of Ameztoi’s flagship white, this vibrant rosé is made from a mix of red and white indigenous grapes and is bottled with a little residual carbonation to give it a light spritz.”
The village of Bouzy is famous for the exceptional power of their Pinot Noir, with almost every Grand Marque sourcing from the village. The Paillard family has been farming in the village since 1768 and sold fruit to the Grand Marques for 4 generations, before initiating their own production. Antoine and Quentin Paillard now lead the house as the 8th generation of vignerons and converted the estate to organic farming. The meticulous farming practices are evident in their rose especially, delivering chalky minerality against fresh strawberry, cinnamon dusted Fuji apple and redcurrant.
In stock now:
Pierre Paillard ‘Les Terres Roses’ Bouzy Grand Cru Brut Rose XVII NV 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 10 bottles in stock now
2017-base. No reviews for the current disgorgment. Review for 2013-base provided for reference.
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “The NV Bouzy Grand Cru Rosé Les Terres Roses XIII is a blended rosé based on the 2013 vintage (70%), completed with 2012 and 2011 plus 4% of red wine. The wine has a super pale pink color, one of the brightest I have ever seen in Champagne. The bouquet is very clear, pure, fresh and highly delicate, even with citrus flavors. Light yet intense and persistent on the palate, this is a fascinating rosé that could be enjoyed as a lovely, delicate Extra-Brut with clear focus and straight character. This is an exciting Champagne of great elegance, finesse and expression. Disgorged in July 2017 with three grams of dosage. Tasted in April 2018.”
We carry 83 different Rose’s from around the world and Oregon.
Priorat remains one of the most sought after and highly lauded wine producing regions in all of Spain. The high concentration of old vines, cult level producers, high elevation and Mediterranean climate have made it a hotbed for Spain’s fine wine revolution. Priorat wines are largely based around Grenache and Carignan, grapes usually associated with being medium bodied and fruity. However they take on a whole new dimension on the terraced vineyards of martian-esque shale. Called llicorella by the locals it’s famous for the savory minerality that’s imparted to the grapes, in addition to ripening grapes faster by heat radiation.
Mas Martinet was founded in 1981 and was one of the first to produce Priorat wines at commercial volumes in the Modern Era. Working under the idea that a greater expression was possible, Mas Martinet planted French varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot alongside their old-vine Carignan and Grenache. Their efforts pay off brilliantly in the multidimensional character found in the finished wines, with co-fermentation being a house practice to ensure harmony. The reds are not the only jewels in their crown however, with their Ranci Dolce being homage to the sweet wines that were originally the calling card of Priorat. There is also an orange wine that is made from a field blend of white varietals and fermented in amphora with its skins, also done as an homage to the village wines of millennia past.
Arriving Friday, December 3rd:
Mas Martinet ‘Martinet Bru’ Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2018 Martinet Bru is a wine that was born in 1990 and is now their way into Priorat but more about the stone than the fruit, less ripe than in the beginning, with complexity rather than voluptuosity. It’s a blend of Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from three organically farmed vineyards between Falset and Torroja. The grapes are picked early but at different times, fermented with some full clusters, co-fermented when possible (Garnacha-Syrah-Merlot and Cariñena-Syrah-Cabernet) with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats. It matured in a combination of 4,500-liter oak vats, used 300-liter barrels, amphorae and glass demijohns. It’s elegant and fresh, nuanced and clean. It’s very harmonious and feels very balanced, with fresh flavors and very fine tannins. It’s one of the finest vintages for this bottling.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Deep violet. Assertive black and blue fruit, licorice and violet scents are complemented by suggestions of baking spices and smoky minerals. Pliant and concentrated on the palate, offering ripe cherry, cassis and floral pastille flavors and a hint of spicecake. Closes very long and smooth, with resonating florality and building tannins that add gentle grip.”
Mas Martinet ‘Clos Martinet’ Tinto Priorat DOCa 2017 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2017s feel relaxed, something unusual in Priorat. The 2017 Clos Martinet has seen a change, as they stopped using the sorting table and stopped using the pied de cuve, because the harvest was very easy. They harvested in August—the earliest ever until 2018—and they didn’t have time to do anything; so, they put the grapes in the vats and let them ferment, and that’s what they have been doing ever since. They feel that there is less manipulation of the grapes now, and that could have helped to make wines more relaxed. This is truly harmonious and expressive, elegant and powerful, not showing any heat—in fact, it’s showing very much freshness.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Deep, shimmering ruby. Expansive cherry and blue fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of smoky minerals, incense and candied lavender. Well concentrated and alluringly sweet, offering black raspberry, cherry cola and boysenberry flavors that are sharpened and supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes smoky, seamless and impressively long, with polished tannins adding shape and gentle grip.”
Mas Martinet ‘Els Escurcons’ Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Bright-rimmed ruby. Mineral-accented aromas of fresh red and blue fruits, along with suggestions of exotic spices, potpourri and licorice. Stains the palate with sappy, mineral-accented black raspberry, cherry and mulberry flavors, while smoky minerality adds energetic lift and spine. Polished tannins shape the finish, which clings with excellent tenacity and resonating mineral, spice and floral notes. All whole clusters.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2018 Els Escurçons comes from a 20-year-old vineyard, a massal selection of old Garnacha from Porrera on south- and southwest-facing terraces of ferruginous decomposed llicorella slate. In June 2015, 30 hectares of forest around the vineyard burned down, and 10% of the vines also died. The vineyard expression has been coming back since 2016, but they feel it has changed, as the vegetation around it has disappeared. The first two vintages after the fire showed anger and stress, and 2018 begins to be more open, more relaxed, a process that seems to culminate in 2020. The full clusters were crushed and put into 200-liter amphorae where they fermented with indigenous yeasts for three weeks. The wine matured in glass demijohns for 13 months. It has a strong note of iron intermixed with aromatic herbs and flowers and is fluid and gentle, with very fine tannins. The profile of all of these 2018s is elegant and fresh, quite different from the past. It has a very stony and somehow wild personality.”
Mas Martinet Pesseroles Brisat Blanc Priorat DOCa 2018 375ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Importer note “Pesseroles Brisat comes from the white wine state that we have at the road of Pesseroles. Planted in 2002, and with traditional varieties from Priorat, such as Picapoll blanc, Pedro Ximenez and Garnatxa blanca. The crumbled slate-containing land of the vineyards at the side of the road of Pesseroles features a subsoil with more presence of clay than in other estates, which makes it a wine with a great structure. Varietals: 43% Picapoll blanc, , 29% Pedro Ximenes and 28% Garnatxa blanca.”
Mas Martinet ‘Ranci Dolc’ Garnatxa Negra Priorat DOCa 2017 375ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “[Review for the 2020 release] The second bottling of the NV Ranci Dolç de Martinet very clearly shows the bottling information on its label (number 2 in 2020), as it’s taken from the solera they started using old lees from traditional rancios in the Priorat. It’s 16.5% alcohol and has 83 grams of sugar per liter. The Garnacha vineyard they use has been certified organic since 2006, but because this is a vintage blend of wines starting in 1995 and barrels from 1975, they cannot certify the wine. The grapes are left to dehydrate in the shadow for a number of days—which can be as short as seven days or as long as 14, sometimes even 21—and after that time the clusters are foot trodden and fermented in a barrel for one year. Two years after the harvest, that wine comes into the vintage blend of the solera. It seems to be taking the character of rancio more; the aromas are not sweet and instead are more about iodine and nuts, with a touch of carob beans. The palate also feels less sweet, and there is good balance and freshness, what you need in a sweet wine.”
Importer note “A very special wine, a tribute to history and the traditional way of producing rancio wine in Priorat. A 100% natural sweet Garnacha aged in very old barrels which are more than 100 years old, and with their centenary mothers. The first bottling of this wine was done after 20 years of ageing. A delicate and very appetising jewel, but also exceptionally fine and balanced. TYPE: Sweet oxidated. VINTAGE: 2107. VARIETY: 100% Grenache.”
The Maven of Champagne
Dominique opened the vineyard in 2005, naming the house after her grandmother, Marie Courtin, who she described as a “woman of the earth”. That same spirit in mind, Dominique has set out to produce single-vineyard, single varietal, single vintage Champagnes from biodynamically-grown grapes, using indigenous yeasts and no dosage. Dominique also embraces a spirituality 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 have their own personality and spiritual significance to Dominique. With these wines, Marie Courtin is quickly becoming a recognizable name in grower champagne. These are champagnes that require time both in the cellar and in the glass to fully unfurl.
In stock now:
Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2017) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 38 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.”
Marie Courtin Concordance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut 2015 750ML ($119.95) $75 special, 2 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.”
Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2015 750ML ($99.95) $75 special, 2 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.”
Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2018) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 6 bottles in stock now