In Today’s Newsletter:
Jump Start Offers:
2017 Dominus & Beaux Freres
Gaja & Chateau Simone
G.D. Vajra Extravaganza!
New Review from Grapelive
Get the Inside Scoop
With New Wine Spectator Insider Review
Sicily’s Greatest Grape
Top Value Medoc
Chateau Larose Trintaudon
Doyard’s Singular Cotes de Blancs Vision
Jump Start Subscriber Offer #1:
2017 Dominus Estate
Arriving ETA Late June
“simply a breathtaking wine” –Antonio Galloni
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special, ETA Late June
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists.”
In Stock Now:
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($319.95) $289 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 100 points “A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. To be released in May 2019.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. It’s more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years.”
James Suckling 98 points “The opulence of fresh flowers and dark fruit is so impressive. There’s so much going on, from flowers to currants. The palate is full and powerful, but what impresses most are the ripe tannins and the amazing poise at the finish. Tightens down at the end. A blend of 84 per cent cabernet sauvignon, eight per cent petit verdot and eight per cent cabernet franc. Drink in 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Dominus is a dark, somber wine. I don’t quite see the explosive energy of the 2013 or 2010, not the seductiveness of the 2012, but the 2016 has a distinct charm that is all its own. Quite frankly, I can’t remember a young Dominus with this combination of fruit density, freshness and polished tannins. A huge center of fruit emerge with time in the glass in a big, large-scaled Dominus that should provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure once some of the baby fat wears off.”
Jump Start Subscriber Offer #2:
Back Vintages (Including a Wine Spectator Top 100 Release!)
From Beaux Freres
In Stock Now:
Beaux Freres ‘The Beaux Freres Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 2 bottles in stock now
#3 Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2016
Wine Spectator 95 points “Supple, expressive and multilayered, with plum, currant, pomegranate and violet flavors coming together harmoniously, persisting into a long and exceptionally well-balanced finish. Drink now through 2024.”HS
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Ruby-red. Heady, deep-pitched aromas of black raspberry, cherry cola and candied flowers, plus an Indian spice nuance and a hint of vanilla. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering cherry liqueur, dark berry and spicecake flavors complemented by suggestions of mocha and licorice. Manages to be rich as well as lively, with no rough edges that I can detect. Tightens up very slowly with air and finishes sweet and extremely long; smooth tannins add gentle grip to the sappy fruit.”
Beaux Freres ‘The Beaux Freres Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2013 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “With a delicate and open texture, this shows lanolin and rose petal undertones to the red berry flavors. Gains depth with each sip.—Non-blind Beaux Frères vertical (October 2015). Drink now through 2025.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Beaux Freres ‘The Beaux Freres Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Bright violet color. Explosive, seductively perfumed aromas of black raspberry, potpourri, smoky Indian spices and cola, with an intense mineral quality adding lift and focus. Sweet, penetrating and deeply concentrated, offering an array of red and dark berry flavors and suggestions of five-spice powder, mocha and candied flowers. Reaches every corner of the palate, showing a suave blend of richness and vivacity, with no rough edges. Finishes spicy, smoky and extremely long, leaving an alluring dark berry liqueur note behind.” ST
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $149
Beaux Freres Guadalupe Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Planted in 1989 this vineyard in the Dundee Hills has south east exposure at 300 feet elevation. The soils are Marine sedimentary and not the more typical Jory series associated with the Dundee hills. This side of the hill captures the warmth of the afternoon sun and is some of our earliest fruit picked. The clone is Wadenswil on 5C rootstock. This vineyard makes a wine marked by vivid fruit, raspberry and wild strawberry in nature with a unique layer of graphite and very bright acidity. The vineyard is leased by Ken Wright and farmed in collaboration with Joel and Joey Myers.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beaux Freres Les Cousins Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $37 special, 18 bottles in stock now
VinopolNote: A secret blend of barrels from one of the Willamette Valley’s Great Estates. This is a crazy bargain next to the single vineyard wines that run at roughly three times the price. A true insider value!
The Incomparable Gaja
Gaja is a name that requires no context in discussion—like Latour or DRC, it’s understood which estate is meant and that the wines are epic, change-your-dinner-plans events. Angelo Gaja is one of the primary reasons we care about Barbaresco today and the wines bearing his name remain the most treasured and collectible of the region.
In stock and on sale now. Supplies on all are severely limited. Buy now to ensure fulfillment!
Subscriber Sale Ends Thursday, May 7th at 6 PM Pacific
Gaja Alteni di Brassica Langhe, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($149.95) Was $99, Now $79, 22 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 91 points “The delightful 2015 Langhe Alteni di Brassica is a pure expression of Sauvignon Blanc. This is the only white wine in Angelo Gaja’s line that does not complete malolactic fermentation. The bouquet is exuberant and bright with green notes of salvia, wild oregano and white pepper. Those sharper tones are followed by bright layers of tropical fruit and zesty citrus. Drying mineral notes give sharp contours to the overall effect.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $132.68
Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Barbaresco, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($499.95) Was $349, Now $319, 13 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is the most virile and explosive of Gaja’s Barbarescos. Dark, brooding and powerful, with a huge spine of tannin, the San Lorenzo is utterly regal in the glass. Gravel, smoke, menthol, tar, licorice and a host of sepia-toned fruits build into a crescendo of aromas and flavors that is truly compelling. What a gorgeous wine this is.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Earthy notes lead off, followed by cherry, plum, graphite and tobacco flavors. Starts out broad and muscular, with a thick layer of tannins for support, yet gains elegance with aeration. A tad austere on the finish, but stays vibrant and long. Best from 2021 through 2036. 170 cases imported.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Gaja’s 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is clearly at the beginning of a long and promising aging trajectory. At its core, it shows a pinch of nervous energy and inner tightness that will surely unravel and soften as this beautiful wine continues along its magical journey in time. Angelo Gaja and his family present spectacular results in this controversial 2014 vintage. They have risen far above most of their peers and have shown a keen ability to understand their site and the versatility of their cherished Nebbiolo grape. The variety sings with a loud and exuberant voice, first offering plenty of primary fruit like blackberry and dried cherry. It then follows up with savory earth and spice. This is a bright and youthful wine that is set steady for a long aging future.-Monica Larner”
Gaja Sori Tildin Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($499.95) Was $349, Now $319, 1 bottle in stock now
James Suckling 96 points “The nose has it all here with fresh cranberry character, brambleberries and lavender intermingled with darker, more complex notes of cedar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Full body, so much vibrant acidity, tangy fruit, expansive yet tight tannins and a long, savory finish. Profound minerality. Delicious now but better in 2020.”
Gaja Sperss Langhe – Barolo, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($319.95) Was $219, Now $199, 16 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “More forward and in a more earthly realm than the dizzying heights of the Conteisa this vintage, but it’s so endearing and immediately delights. The aromas range from elderberries and black cherries to brambleberries and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and structured with powerful tannins that encase bright and forthright blue fruit, which is polished over by a sheen of glimmering acidity. Long finish. Delicious now, but better in 2022.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Underbrush, tobacco, toasted hazelnut, menthol and grilled herb aromas slowly take shape on this focused red. On the structured elegant palate, taut refined tannins and fresh acidity provide an ageworthy framework for raspberry compote, juicy Marasca cherry, orange zest, white pepper and star anise. It already has layers of depth and loads of finesse, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2030.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. But Serralunga d’Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular.”
Decanter 94 points “Sperss comes from two crus in Serralunga, and like Gaja’s Barbarescos it’s aged in a combination of barriques and large barrels. As so often is the case, it’s a wine that combines power and finesse. It has a subdued cherry nose with a touch of oak, leading to a palate which is rich, powerful and tannic, but not too assertive. It’s well balanced and fleshy, with lots of velvety texture and grain, and there’s still an underlying freshness and finesse. Very long finish.”
The average price is $291
Shop the sale on our web store!
Now Extended Through May!
Chateau Simone Subscriber Special
In Stock & On Sale Now:
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2016 1.5L ($139.95) Was $119, Now $99, 4 magnums in stock now
“The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe.”–Importer Notes
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $160
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($59.95) Was $51.90, Now $45, 1 bottle in stock now
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2017 1.5L ($139.95) Was $119, Now $99, 6 magnums in stock now
Rosenthal Note “The Rougiers’ justly legendary rosé—composed of the same field blend as the rouge, and produced by blending direct-press and free-run juice in equal proportions—may as well be from another planet as the sea of technologically produced pink concoctions flooding the market. Even serious growers often make rosé as an afterthought, using quick and inexpensive methods and rushing it into bottle to sell it before the first glimmer of spring warmth. At Chateau Simone, however, the rosé ferments spontaneously, and spends a full year in large oak foudres developing remarkable depth. Like all great wines, the best rosés require time—note that Simone is releasing their 2017 when almost every other producer is issuing their 2018—and a bit of risk in the cellar. And, whereas rosés fall apart within a year or two of being bottled, Simone’s is notorious for improving for over a decade, developing the savory notes and umami complexity of an aged red wine over time. The 2017 growing season dished out challenge after challenge—hail, frost, hydric stress, even hungry birds and pigs—with a subsequent 30-40% reduction in yields from 2016 (which was itself 15% down from 2015). Given that the rosé comprises only ten percent of the estate’s production to begin with, there is painfully little 2017 to go around. Those lucky enough to snare some, however, will encounter a wine of terrific expression, as those grapes that survived the season’s myriad challenges ended up remarkably healthy and concentrated. Amply fruited but with a core of lean minerality, the 2017 Palette Rosé offers excellent tension, and its flavors of juicy red apples, Provencal herbs, and softly smoky earth are particularly well delineated.”
The next best price for the 750ml is $49.99
The next best price for the magnum is $139.99
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49, 2 bottles in stock now
Importer Note “The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe. We import, on average, 1500 bottles per annum for the US market.”
G.D. Vajra Extravaganza!
New Review from Grapelive
G.D. Vajra Coste & Fossati Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Grapelive 93 points “The dark and fruit filled 2017 G.D. Vajra Coste & Fossati Dolcetto is a delicious wine. We are far from the days when Dolcetto was consider a rough peasant wine, especially when planted in Cru sites and hand crafted by a hugely talented winemaker like Giuseppe Vajra. This vintage shows remarkably well in the glass with sharp fresh detail, depth of flavors and all without being a loud or flashy wine. There is a bright intensity and it goes fabulous with rustic and or simple country cuisine. It has plenty of fruit and vibrant acidity to form an exciting structure, and its deep purple/garnet color is very inviting and sets up the senses for the joy to come. The nose brings a bouquet of cut violets, wild herbs and crushed blackberries, which leads to a medium bodied palate that flows seamlessly with briar laced vine berry, plum, black currant and tangy cranberry with vivid accents of anise, mineral, spearmint, amaro/herbs and kirsch. The tannins are mild, letting the Vajra Coste & Fossati Dolcetto d’Alba be enjoyed anytime and anyplace. [The] faint earthy elements add a layer of soulful personality in this very fine and balanced Italian red. I love this version of Dolcetto, a varietal that I have a special soft spot for… Vajra’s Dolcetto d’Alba Coste&Fossati is a collection of antique Dolcetto clones that were collected and cultivated by Giuseppe’s father Aldo Vajra between 1979 and 1985 [and] the best cuttings were grafted in two of the estate’s great Barolo vineyards, Coste di Vergne and Fossati, where these vines thrived and produce an exceptional example of this classic Piedmont grape. Aldo was ahead of his time, he started farming holistically back in 1971 making his winery sustainably certified very early on and has be fully organic certified since 2019. The Crus where this wine is sourced are set on Barolo’s white Marl, limestone and clay soils with a smattering of sandy topsoil and interestingly, Vajra’s blocks are at high elevation and later pick dates are common adding to the development of flavors, while the cool nights keep loads of vital acidity. To show this wine in its purest form the fermentation and aging happens exclusively in stainless steel, with a vinification lasting 15-20 days in custom upright vats designed for Vajra, at free, but cool temperatures with gentle punch-downs and pump-overs to rinse the cap. Vajra then lets the Dolcetto go through spontaneous malolactic fermentation and the wine was allowed the wine rest for 7 or 8 months before bottling… Don’t miss the more value priced stuff with the Langhe Nebbiolo and this one being top tasty choices to stock up on!”
Arriving Friday from G.D. Vajra
“For many growers, the 2016s are not just epic, they are career-defining wines” – Antonio Galloni
We’re excited to present one of the most anticipated offerings of the year—G.D. Vajra’s 2016 Barolos. We’ve been working to secure allocations and exceptional pricing on these legends in the making and you’ll be stunned at the value in these fantastic wines. That they’re under $80 a bottle seems inconceivable to us—especially compared to their peer group in the Piedmont (and Burgundy). Based on all available reviews, 2016 is on the short list for vintage of the century so far. We’ll have to see what final judgments look like, but it seems as though it will end up there with 2004/2006/2010 as one of the best collections of Barolo ever. Antonio Galloni said of the vintage:
“In so many ways, 2016 is all about being in the right place at the right time for Barolo. An ideal growing season with all the prerequisites for a great vintage comes at a time when so many winemakers are in their primes, past the stage of experimentation and settled into their own personal styles. The result is a vintage full of truly spectacular, breathtaking wines that captures all the pedigree that Nebbiolo and Barolo are capable of.”
Speaking of winemakers in their prime, Vajra remains one of our favorite producers in the Piedmont. From top to bottom, the wines are excellent and they’re a real reference point that others are judged against. The estate has always been good, but seems to have reached another level over the last decade. There’s a reason the cru bottlings all scored in the mid to high 90’s from Antonio Galloni–these are profound wines.
We’ve secured the largest allocation we could, but we don’t expect these to be wines that linger on our shelves (or in our computer system) very long. Anyone serious about their Piedmontese collection ought to be securing them now.
“The Vaira family has turned out a magnificent set of Barolos at both their own winery and at Baudana. Harvest wrapped up on October 22, very late by present day standards, and ideal for wines that emphasize purity of fruit. As always, the Barolos are all about finesse and nuance, very much like an artists’ pencil etchings, where all the lines are totally delineated. At Baudana, the wines are naturally more muscular, but that is Serralunga, after all. Most importantly, the Vairas have developed a personal style that melds classicisim with a level of approachability that makes these wines so alluring, even upon release.” –Antonio Galloni
Arriving Friday from G.D. Vajra:
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is going to need a few years to emerge, but it has all the qualities to develop into a truly special wine. Dark red/purplish fruit, hard candy, mint, lavender and sweet spice give the 2016 striking inner perfume. On the palate, the 2016 is a tightly wound, classically austere Barolo that will especially delight readers with traditionally leaning palates. In this late-ripening vintage, there is a great balance of structure, aromatics and mid-palate sweetness. I absolutely loved it.”
The average price is $93
G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($249.95) $189 pre-arrival special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Case-12 G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($479.95) $369 pre-arrival special (that’s only $30.75/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 91 points “Vajra’s Barolo Albe is bright, floral and wonderfully lifted in 2016. Sweet tobacco, cedar, blood orange, mint, licorice, dried red cherry and sage give the 2016 lovely savory brightness to match its mid-weight structure. Gracious and light on its feet, the Albe has so much to offer.”
The average price nationally is $36
G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2018 Langhe Nebbiolo emerges from a parcel in Sinio. Dark fruit, spice, earthy notes and a good bit of tannin give the Vajra’s Langhe Nebbiolo a decidedly brooding, powerful feel and quite a bit more seriousness than is typical at this level. Sweet red berry fruit, mint and spice add freshness alongside bright acidity as the 2018 opens up in the glass. This is such a pretty and expressive wine.”
With New Wine Spectator Insider Review
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, only 8 bottles available!
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 375ML ($44.95) $37 pre-arrival special, only 18 half-bottles available!
Wine Spectator 94 points “Refined and elegant, yet rich, displaying pure flavors of peach, apple and ripe pear. The electric structure provides balance, bolstering seductive spicy details of cardamom and coriander. Fresh, creamy notes emerge on the finish alongside accents of jellied citrus. Gorgeous, but needs a bit more time. Best from 2022 through 2040.”
The average price for the 750ml is $93
Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up
When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car.
(If another adult is picking up for you,
please let us know their name when placing your order.)
Stop by our shop 10 am – 6 pm daily
Feel free to call ahead before you arrive or for curbside service:
(You’ll help free up some space for your next order!)
Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $34.50 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Decanter 91 points “[Reviewed 10/2019] Described by Drappier as ‘almost a blanc de noirs’, this Pinot Noir-dominant wine sourced from the Côte des Bar is the house’s calling card. 5% of the cuvée is matured in barrels for a year for added complexity and texture, and it’s bottled unfiltered with a fairly low dosage of 7g/l. There are some melon and apple scents on the nose along with a splash of red fruits, while the palate is intense, with notes of apple, quince and grape wrapped in a red-fruit veil. It’s full-bodied and long, with a lovely texture from the red wine tannins and oak-matured portion.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points “[Reviewed 4/2019] The latest release of the NV Carte d’Or Brut was disgorged in November 2017, and it’s showing well today, wafting from the glass with notions of waxy lemon rind, hazelnuts, fresh peaches and lily pollen. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, pure and vibrant, with pinpoint bubbles, brisk acids and good length and definition on the chalky finish. Attractively balanced, it will gain depth with bottle age.”
[Disgorgement may vary from reviews]
Charles Heidsieck is one of the great, historic houses of Champagne, but because of their small size they tend to be overlooked. They make wines that are notable for their filigree and elegance, incorporating long aging on the lees and significant amounts (40+%) of older (reserve) wines in their NV blends. Based on the quality in the bottle and the age required to get there, you’d expect these wines to be 25-40% more expensive than they are.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, Champagne NV 750ML ($359.95) $269 special (that’s only $44.83/bottle!)
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92+ points “Based on the 2014 vintage, complemented by fully 40% old reserve wines, the new release of Charles Heidsieck’s NV Brut Réserve was disgorged earlier this year. It’s showing very well, opening up in the glass with notes of green apple, dried white flowers, pear, candied peel and walnuts. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a textural attack and a racier, tighter-knit core than either the 2012- or 2010-base renditions, displaying good concentration and underlying richness. This is a bottling that continues to punch above its weight and which both merits and rewards a few years in the cellar before opening.”
Sassicaia is the most famous wine from Tenuta San Guido, indeed one of the most famous wines in all of Italy. Though very few people know it, the estate also makes lower tier wines that can be quite excellent, especially for their prices. The wine we’re highlighting now is one such gem and is a blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese that shows San Guido’s practiced hand. This is one to stock up on!
Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($199.95) $125 special (that’s only $20.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 92-93 points “Very aromatic and bright with strawberry, cherry and currant character. Hints of oranges. Full-bodied, linear and tight, showing ultra-fine tannins. Potential here.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, the 2016 Le Difese shows a more evident touch of ripe fruit that you don’t perceive in the Guidalberto, which makes me think it comes from the Sangiovese component that is only used in this wine. The overall effect of that ripeness is that it downplays the wine’s inner complexity. But this entry-level red from Tenuta San Guido was never aiming for huge complexity to begin with. Dark cherry and cherry is followed by wild strawberry and tangy rose hip. This wine happily delivers on its promises of freshness and accessibility.”
This is an absolutely stellar wine for the price—a Super Tuscan benchmark under $25.
Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($39.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($249.95) $132 special (that’s only $22/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points “A balanced and fresh red for the hot 2017 vintage with medium body, fine tannins and plenty of currants, blackberries and blueberries on the finish. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “A beam of pure blackberry runs through this otherwise dense and focused red. Shows elegance, with balance and complexity, but needs time to integrate and reveal all its facets. Offers fine, minerally length. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2021 through 2032. 7,500 cases made, 4,000 cases imported.”
Sicily’s Greatest Grape
Perricone is the greatest grape in Sicily that no one’s ever heard of. Nearly extinct at the turn of the 20th century, it survived as a blending partner for Nero d’Avola. Only recently has it been vinified on its own and the results can be fantastic. Carusa e Minini make one of the best out there: pretty, fragrant and zesty. It arrives Friday and is one to stock up on.
Caruso E Minini Perricone Naturalmente Bio 2017 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Caruso E Minini Perricone Naturalmente Bio 2017 750ML ($299.95) $228 pre-arrival (that’s only $19/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points “Bright medium red. Pungently perfumed nose offers violet, lavender, Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, blood orange and small red berries. Then juicy and very fresh flavors similar to the aromas, plus a building licorice note, linger impressively on the medium-bodied mouthfeel. Closes with magical, persistent inner-mouth perfume and truly exceptional clarity and cut. This sees no oak whatsoever, and therefore the wine’s magical perfume is really allowed to shine through. A real knockout of a wine, and easily one of the two or three best Perricones I have ever tried.”
Chateau Larose Trintaudon
Located (literally) across railroad tracks from Pauillac, this Haut-Médoc estate offers exceptional value. Known for richness and structure, these wines might not deliver the complexity of the region’s classed growths but, for less than $25 and $40 per bottle respectively, they deserve the attention of every fan of Bordeaux wine. The Chateau Larose Trintaudon is drinking beautifully now.
In Stock Now
Chateau Larose Trintaudon, Haut-Medoc 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Chateau Larose Trintaudon, Haut-Medoc 2016 1.5L ($59.95) $49 special, 12 magnums in stock now
James Suckling 92 points “A solid red with currant, chocolate and walnut character. Medium body, round yet firm tannins and a delicious finish. Typical Bordeaux from this excellent vintage. A blend of 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 40 per cent merlot. Needs two to three years to soften. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “At 380 acres, this is one of the largest Médoc estates just the wrong side of the tracks from Pauillac. This generously structured wine is full of juicy black-currant flavors that come from the 60% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. It is likely to develop relatively quickly and will certainly be ready from 2021.”
Doyard’s Singular Cotes de Blancs Vision
Doyard puts a bit of a twist on the stereotype, though, and uses a combination of extended lees aging plus barrels for fermentation to add richness and texture to their steely base material. The results are captivating and this collection is some of the most exciting in Champagne. Prices, for the moment, remain reasonable—the word isn’t yet out on these gems, it seems.
Arriving This Month:
Doyard Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special, only 17 bottles available!
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96 points “Disgorged in October 2018 with three grams per liter dosage, the 2008 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru goes from strength to strength, soaring from the glass with aromas of almond paste, buttered citrus, verbena, crisp white peach, gingerbread and a subtle hint of olorosso sherry. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a racy spine of acidity, superb tension at the core and a long, saline finish. This is produced from Doyard’s finest grand cru holdings, mainly in Avize, and derives from just the first and second press, not even all the cuvée.”
50+ y/o vines. 70% Avize Grand Cru, 10% Oger Grand Cru, 10% Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru, 10% Cramant Grand Cru
Doyard Clos de l’Abbaye Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 18 bottles available!
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96+ points “Disgorged in March 2019 with two grams per liter dosage, the 2013 Extra-Brut Premier Cru Clos de l’Abbaye is brilliant, mingling notes of citrus oil, peach and pear with hints of wheat toast and walnuts in an incipiently complex bouquet. Full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, the vintage’s racy acid spine is cloaked in a textural, enveloping core of fruit, concluding with a long and resonant finish. This derives from a walled 40-are plot of 60-year-old cordon-pruned vines just behind the winery in Vertus; only the first press juice is used. This is a strikingly good Champagne.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Doyard’s 2013 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Clos de l’Abbaye 1er Cru is a gorgeous, expressive Champagne that captures all the pedigree of this great vintage. Ample and creamy on the palate, with tremendous resonance, the 2013 has so much to offer. All the best qualities of Doyard house style come through loud and clear. The 2013 was vinified in neutral French oak barrels and spent 48 months on the lees.”
60+ year old vines. Clos de l’Abbaye is a true clos worked biodynamically in Vertus 1er Cru, just behind the Doyard estate.
Doyard ‘Revolution’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Non-Dose, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available!
Wine Advocate 94 points “The NV Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Non Dosé Révolution is the new name of the former Cuvée Vendémiaire Extra Brut, and it is sourced only in grand cru villages. This intensely yellow colored cuvée is based on 2011 (plus reserve wines from 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007). It offers a deep, ripe and intense but pure, fresh, very precise and expressive nose with ripe, concentrated citrus fruit aromas and some greenish chalky notes that demand further bottle aging. Full-bodied, round and creamy, with great elegance, finesse and complexity, this is another promising cuvée from Charles Doyard who sadly passed away in April 2017. It is nicely finessed but needs even more years to find its final character. Highly promising, though. Tasted April 2018.”
Love Champagnes as much as we do? Check out our complete listing of 142 Champagnes in stock or arriving soon on our web store!
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