In This Newsletter:
Dom Perignon’s 2008 Luminous
A Taste of Yamhill-Carlton District
The Forefront of Beaujolais
Domaine du Vissoux’s 2018 Crus
The Timeless Wines of Casa Castillo
Domaine Forey’s Exquisite 2017s
Dom Perignon’s 2008 Luminous
Dom Perignon Luminous Collection Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($279.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.”
John Gilman 98 points “The 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon is an absolute classic in the making and this is destined to be one of the great recent years for this iconic cuvée. It is far more classically structured out of the blocks than the relatively generous 2009 version, offering up a deep, complex and very youthful bouquet of menthol, green apple, a touch of tangerine, a very complex base of minerality and notes of dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with precise mousse, brisk acids and stunning length and grip on the primary and laser-like finish. This will demand some cellaring to start to really stir and should prove to be an extremely long-lived vintage of DP. Stellar juice.”
James Suckling 98 points “The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers. Drink now or hold.”
The average price nationally is $264
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A Taste of Yamhill-Carlton District
We’re thrilled to receive three of Gran Moraine’s flagship wines this week, and to offer them at the lowest prices in the country. All are excellent. The Brut Rosé could fool anyone into thinking that they’re drinking a $50+ bottle of Champagne. While the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both hail from 2017, arguably Oregon’s most exciting vintage since 2012. Both capture everything that we love about Yamhill–Carlton, fruit-forward wines that retain more than enough freshness to keep you coming back for more.
Arriving Friday, March 5th:
Gran Moraine Brut Rosé, Yamhill-Carlton District NV 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “That rare domestic rosé that captures the vibrant acidity of Champagne, offering delicate strawberry, raspberry flavors laced with steely minerality and sprinkle of graham cracker on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,000 cases made. — TF”
Gran Moraine Chardonnay, Yamhill-Carlton District 2017 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points “This has a very impressive feel with a fresh array of citrus and some gently spicy pastry aromas, too. The palate has a long, fresh and composed feel with such fine, fresh peaches and pears. Drink or hold.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Pale yellow. Fresh pear, melon and lemon curd aromas are complemented by hints of white flowers, vanilla and buttered toast. Fleshy and seamless in the mouth, offering juicy citrus and orchard fruit flavors that tighten up and pick up a minerally nuance with aeration. Finishes with firm grip, a repeating floral note and strong, spicy persistence.”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2017 Chardonnay Yamhill-Carlton has a wonderfully open, inviting nose of honey-drizzled hazelnuts, apple pie, clotted cream, baked peaches, allspice and crushed stone. The medium-bodied palate is creamy textured and savory in character with juicy acidity and a long, textured finish. This will benefit from one more year in bottle. 2,303 cases produced.”
Gran Moraine Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2017 750ML ($44.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Polished and elegantly complex, with expressive cherry and blueberry flavors, accented by crushed stone and black tea, building tension and lively acidity toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025. 4,300 cases made. — TF”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Limpid ruby-red. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying mineral-tinged scents of juicy red and dark berries, allspice and candied flowers. Gently sweet and seamless in texture, offering spice-laced raspberry, cherry and musky rhubarb flavors that deepen slowly with air. Shows fine definition and finishes spicy and long, with discreet tannins and lingering red fruit and floral nuances.”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 92 points “The medium ruby-purple colored 2017 Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton features scents of crushed blueberries, warm cranberries and blackberries with notions of nutmeg, cinnamon, bergamot, charcuterie and earth. The medium-bodied palate is silky with intense, spicy fruits, a grainy frame and good freshness, finishing long and spiced. This will benefit from another year in bottle. 4,315 cases produced.”
Love Yamhill-Carlton District? We offer some of the best, including picks from ultra-classic, ultra-delicious Belle Pente, and fruit-forward and fun Pinot Noir from Siduri. Shop the entire selection of Oregon Pinot Noir on our web store now.
The Forefront of Beaujolais
Domaine du Vissoux’s 2018 Crus
Gamay’s explosion in popularity over the past decade has resulted in an excess of fantastic options from Beaujolais and beyond. However there is probably no producer anywhere in the world, let alone Gamay’s spiritual home, offering better value than Domaine Vissoux. The estate has been one of the region’s visionary producers ever since Pierre Chermette took over for his parents in 1982. During his nearly four decades at the helm, Vissoux has remained at the forefront of Beaujolais’ quality movement.
Neither modern, nor traditional, Vissoux’s wines defy simple categorization. Like many of their neighbors, they focus on sustainable viticulture, but are less sanctimonious than some of their more famous peers. And perhaps because they don’t fit easily into a stylistic category, they continue to fly under the radar in a region where a compelling ethos often times trumps quality. So if it’s deliciousness you’re after, without the side of self-righteousness, these are the Beaujolais wines for you. See for yourself why Vissoux is our best-selling Beaujolais estate each year.
In Stock Now:
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points “Aromas of raspberries, plums and orange rind preface the 2018 Brouilly Pierreux, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy wine with a satiny attack that segues into a fine-boned, elegantly structured mid-palate, with lively acids and a fragrant, expansive finish. This cuvée, which sees six months’ élevage in old foudres, has turned out very well.”
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie les Garants, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “Chermette’s 2018 Fleurie Les Garants delivers a striking bouquet of raspberries, peonies, warm spices and candied peel, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny but incisive palate that remains lively and tensile, despite its abundant endowment of ripe, succulent fruit. Elegant and precise, this is one of the high points of the portfolio.”
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie Poncié, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 15 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “Unwinding in the glass with aromas of rose petals, sweet red cherries, dried flowers and ripe strawberries, the 2018 Fleurie Poncié is medium to full-bodied, lively and enveloping, with a charming, fruit-driven profile this year that tends to obscure its elegantly fine-boned tannic chassis. But don’t be fooled, this is reliably one of Chermette’s finest cuvées, and the 2018 rendition should evolve gracefully for 15 years or more.”
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 16 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2018 Moulin-à-Vent Les Trois Roches is also showing very well, exhibiting an inviting bouquet of black raspberries, spices, candied peel and peonies. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, satiny and enveloping, with a deep and concentrated core of fleshy fruit that largely conceals the wines tannins. This is another terrific effort from Chermette in this gourmand, attractively immediate vintage.”
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Saint Amour Les Champs-Grillés, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2018 Saint-Amour Les Champs-Grillés is a serious wine, “not just for Valentine’s Day,” as Jean-Étienne Chermette observes. Revealing attractive notes of raspberries, rose petals and cherries, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and spicy, with a muscular chassis of fine, powdery tannins. As usual, it’s a cuvée that stands to gain from a couple of years in the cellar.”
Also in Stock Now:
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie Poncié, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($31.95) $27 special, 3 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2017 Fleurie Poncié hails from a southeast-facing, higher-altitude site that’s typically quite cool, and that’s reflected in its bright, perfumed bouquet of raspberries, rose petals and Griotte cherries, with suggestions of darker fruits emerging with air. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, pure and nicely concentrated, with fine tannins, a bright line of acidity and good length on the finish.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Bright magenta. Highly perfumed aromas of ripe red/dark berries, lavender, candied licorice and smoky minerals. Sappy black raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors display a suave blend of concentration and energy and pick up a spicecake nuance with air. Finishes juicy, sweet and long, displaying lingering fruit and floral pastille qualities and discreet tannins.”
The Timeless Wines of Casa Castillo
Jumilla is lost in time, and we should all be grateful. Old-vine Monastrell in vineyards that look as though they’ve been neglected even before the French fled to Spanish hills during the Phylloxera outbreak in the 19th century. Vineyards with fewer shovels full of soil than it takes to bury a hamster. Bleak stones everywhere, which sounds charming when it is attached to Châteauneuf du Pape, but looks pretty rough when you’re twisting through these sparsely populated hills under the summer sun.
So why are we grateful? This might be one of the best sources for unadulterated, wild flavor in any of the major wine producing countries in Europe. These head trained monsters offer up nothing but pure fruit that seems drawn from the core of the plateau and mountains that lift the vineyards above the baking heat of the interior. There is no shortage of wine from the area, and while there are both lowball and high-end representations from the DO, finding quality producers that are making affordable, yet well-crafted and delicious, bottles is difficult. This is where Casa Castillo is hitting the mark.
Originally purchased in 1941, the existing winery and cellar were not put into full use until the 1980s when the current owner José Maria Vicente and his father started to revitalize the property and some of the ancient vineyards. The first expansions to the property saw the family experiment with Cabernet Sauvignon (gone now, grafted over to Garnacha) and Syrah (with plant material obtained from JL Chave). But the most important decision was to obtain more high-quality Monastrell. This enabled Casa Castillo to fine tune their style with special blends based upon the different sites and the way the fruit reflected the terroir. These included vineyards with beautiful chalk soils, sites with lovely limestone, and some sites the entirety of which look like someone filled a ball crawl with sunbaked stones. The Vicente family focuses on fermentation and aging in concrete tanks, foudres and large 500L demi-muids, which minimizes the oak influence allowing the surprisingly bright fruit to shine through.
Of the three selections we have, two feature the old-vine Monastrell blended up to 25% Garnacha, and the other is a surprisingly fresh 100% Garnacha from one of the stoniest sites on the mountain overlooking the estate. All three have a brightness and lively feel that feels like a reprieve from some of the overripe examples of the same 2017 vintage. The Las Gravas, probably the most weighty of the three, still comes across as extremely floral and full of life. At $33/bottle or $369/case-12, this could be a fun cellar addition as the initial intensity will temper while the softness comes to the fore. The Vino de Finca could become a nice bottle to throw into the rotation, both to break up your routine and to wake up your palate. All three are available in good quantity now and will drink beautifully over the winter.
In Stock Now:
Casa Castillo Vino de Finca, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18.80 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Casa Castillo Vino de Finca, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($299.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle)
Luis Gutierrez 93+ points “There is a big jump in depth, complexity and nuance between the Monastrell and the 2017 Vino de Finca, which is a blend of Monastrell with almost 25% Garnacha. This comes from four plots that were selected from what was previously used for the entry-level Monastrell; they aim was to find a wine with more finesse and elegance but with the inherent power of the zone. This is only the third vintage for this cuvée, and it feels quite established and different from the rest of the range; it has less varietal character and is more about the place, getting closer to the single-vineyard bottlings where they do not search for fruit character. The idea here is to ferment at temperatures that are quite so low and to stabilize the wine in oak barrels for a long-ish time (12 months in 500-liter barrels and 5,000-liter oak foudres). They are wines of sun and limestone. This is a good reflection of it with a perfumed and floral note on the finish (elegance!) that is quite remarkable. 31,000 bottles produced in 2017. It was bottled in November 2018.”
Casa Castillo Las Gravas, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($37.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Casa Castillo Las Gravas, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($419.95) $369 special (that’s only $30.75/bottle)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2017 Las Gravas is surprisingly floral and ethereal, perfumed and elegant. Syrah has disappeared from the blend of this wine—it now has 20% Garnacha to complement the Monastrell—and they think this is going to be the blend that stays in this wine, which has seen more changes in its life than the rest of the portfolio. This is for sure the most elegant vintage for this bottling; the wine matured in 500-liter barrels and then spent four months in 5,000-liter vats after the blend was done. There are no aromas of oak whatsoever, and the wine is surprisingly fresh, as if the Garnacha helps to contain the power of Monastrell on the gravel soils, adding texture and perfume. This is beautiful. 26,500 bottles were filled in March 2019.”
Casa Castillo El Molar Tinto, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Casa Castillo El Molar Tinto, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “There is a high-pitched red fruit note on the nose of the 2017 El Molar, and it’s a wine with a lot of light, something that is quite remarkable for a warm and Mediterranean year like 2017. This is a Garnacha that feels like a wine from a cool year, with plenty bright red fruit. I tasted it two weeks after it was bottled, and it felt completely harmonious and relaxed. As with most of the 2017s, this seems like the finest vintage for this wine. It has a lighter color and a more fragrant nose, and it’s immediately identifiable within the Casa Castillo range. 28,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2019.”
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Domaine Forey’s Exquisite 2017s
Burgundy’s 2017 vintage is, of course, a great year and more importantly it’s a year that plays into the style of the house. Forey’s 2017s look to be monumental wines with more freshness and liveliness allied to house’s usual power. We still have a few bottles remaining of Forey’s Premier and Grand Cru bottlings from 2017, wines that are drinking surprisingly well young, but also have all the hallmarks of age-worthy Burgundy.
“The finished 2017s display a gorgeously silken, fresh character, with fine tannins, vibrant red fruit, and a sense of harmonious digestibility which belies their inherent complexity. Régis’s lighter touch suits the vintage particularly well, allowing its innate energy to emerge without obfuscation, and Forey fans both historic and recent will find much to celebrate in this inspired collection of 2017s.” –Neal Rosenthal
“Régis Forey describes the 2017 growing season as ‘easy sailing relative to 2016… Unlike several other recent vintages where it seemed as though the maturities arrived all of sudden, in 2017 they increased progressively so there was no rush to begin picking or to finish.… I used an even higher percentage of whole clusters than the 40% I used in 2016, which is to say between 50 and 70%. As to the style of the 2017s, they’re pretty, fresh and transparent and should drink well on the younger side but there is no reason that those who prefer the aromas and flavors of mature wines couldn’t age them over the medium-term.” –Burghound
In Stock Now:
Domaine Forey Père et Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Côte de Nuits 2017 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Burghound 92 points “An attractively fresh nose is comprised by notes of essence of various red berries, a plethora of splice elements and even a hint of the sauvage. There is fine intensity and a bit more volume if less minerality to the medium weight plus flavors that are more structured still on the serious, austere and even more backward finish. Patience definitely advised.”
Domaine Forey Père et Fils Echezeaux Grand Cru, Côte de Nuits 2017 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Burghound 93 points “An overtly spicy nose is comprised by notes of dark berries, cassis, plum and a whiff of violet. The suave and super-rich larger-scaled flavors retain a lovely sense of energy that can also be found on the sleek, focused and sneaky long finale that isn’t quite as structured as that of the Echézeaux but there is a bit more overall depth.”
Domaine Forey Père et Fils Les Perrières, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Burghound 89-92 points “Here too there is noticeable but not intrusive wood interwoven into the slightly earthier nose that displays both spice and floral elements on the fruit profile that derives more from the red side of the spectrum. There is excellent punch and delineation to the lightly mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that exhibit focused power on the lingering finish. This is an interesting wine in that the mid-palate is an exercise in finesse while the finish is muscular and almost robust.”
Neal Rosenthal “Regis works a 0.42-hectare parcel of 75-to-80-year-old vines in this vaunted cru, and this 2017—vinified with 30% whole clusters—is an immediate leap forward in complexity from the previous wines. All its elements present with greater force: juicier fruit, firmer yet more fully enrobed tannins, and a more intense earth-mineral interplay. 2017’s inherent silkiness emerges in the wine’s caressing and lengthy finish.”
Domaine Forey Père et Fils Forey Les Saint Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($149.95) $125 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Burghound 91 points – Outstanding “The wood influence is more subtle if not invisible as it easily allows the elegant and airy floral and spice-inflected red pinot, cherry and soft earth-suffused aromas to shine. There is once again good detail to the bigger, richer and more obviously muscular flavors that manage to remain refined on the youthfully austere, refreshing and lightly stony flavors. This is a bit less structured than it usually is though it should still reward extended keeping.”
Love the Côte de Nuits? We have over 250 different reds from the Côte de Nuits in stock. Shop the entire selection, including additional options from Forey, on our web store now.
Vinopolis is an independent wine shop in Portland that opened in 2004. Our goal has always been to offer the finest, broadest, and largest selection of wines at the best prices to our customers in Portland, in Oregon, across the West Coast, and throughout the United States.
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