In Today’s Newsletter:
Henri Boillot’s Anticipated 2018 White Burgundies
Casanova di Neri’s Flagship Rosso di Montalcino
Customer Favorites Re-Arriving Friday
La Bastienne, Talenti & More
Oregon’s Best Value?
Biggio Hamina’s Site-Expressive Pinot Noir
Raymond Usseglio’s Elite Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Staff Favorite Barbaresco
2016 Ca’ del Baio
Bevan Cellars’ Superb Napa Reds
Henri Boillot’s Anticipated 2018 White Burgundies
2018 already seems poised to be a legendary year in the Côte d’Or, inviting comparisons to 1947 (by Phillipe Pacalet, nonetheless!) and other vintages in the same suit (2005, etc). 2018 was a hot, relatively easy year and producers could pick without fear of rot or mildew—there was barely any use for the sorting tables. Boillot seems to excel in these warm vintages and his whites offer richness with minerality, with good density and the balance to age.
As you’d expect given Boillot’s stature, quantities are limited, but they will be wonderful for the lucky few that get their hands on these wines.
Arriving Friday, January 29th:
Domaine Henri Boillot Meursault, Côte de Beaune 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Domaine Henri Boillot Les Genevrières, Meursault Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Domaine Henri Boillot Les Perrières, Meursault Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Domaine Henri Boillot Les Poruzots, Meursault Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Domaine Henri Boillot Les Perrières, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Pre-Arrivals ETA March:
Domaine Henri Boillot Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Domaine Henri Boillot Clos de la Mouchere Monopole, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “Boillot’s emblematic 2018 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchère has turned out brilliantly, wafting from the glass with aromas of pear, hazelnut, dried white flowers, citrus oil, blanched almonds and smoke. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with terrific concentration, searing levels of extract and a long, mineral finish.”
Domaine Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune 2018 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “The most youthfully reserved wine in the cellar was the 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, a promising bottling that opens up to reveal scents of citrus zest, dried white flowers, green apple and pastry cream. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with racy acids and prodigious levels of searingly chalky dry extract that lend this wine incredible structure.”
Domaine Henri Boillot Les Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
In Stock Now:
Domaine Henri Boillot Les Lavières, Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Burghound 89 points “A pungently earthy nose of lightly spiced plum and various dark pinot fruit aromas leads to energetic and well-detailed flavors that exude a fine minerality on the delicious and solidly persistent finish. I like the mouth feel as it’s relatively fine and about the only nit is a bit of gas so I would suggest decanting this if you’re going to try a bottle young.”
Love White Burgundy? We have 37 white wines from Burgundy in stock now. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Dujac, Jadot, Leflaive and more, on our web store now.
Casanova di Neri’s Flagship Rosso di Montalcino
Arriving Friday, January 29th:
Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26.60 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
In Stock Now from Casanova di Neri:
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $66 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The Neri family has created a classic expression of Sangiovese from a classic vintage, while remaining faithful to the house style. In a nutshell, these wines always tend to offer dark plum, clove and fig confit over the tiny berry and blue flower aromas you get from the traditionalists. That said, this Brunello needs ample time to open, and I suggest you splash it into the decanter. The Casanova di Neri 2015 Brunello di Montalcino (this is the one with the white label) stays safely within your expectation of the vintage with its variety-driven aromas of wild berry, licorice, blue flower and balsam herb. This wine sees fruit sourced from a vineyard on the northeast side of Montalcino, with Galestro soils ranging from 330 to 480 meters above sea level. Some 95,376 bottles were made. It was bottled in June 2019, and it hit the market in January 2020. You might want more from the aromatics (while you wait for the bouquet to come around), but this wine goes gangbusters in terms of mid-palate and overall texture.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 94 points “Good deep red. Saline aromas and flavors of red cherry, blueberries, herbs, blood orange and sweet spices. Smooth and long on the bright, very sweet finish. Really quite good.”
Eric Guido – Vinous 93 points “The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino from Casanova di Neru is very pretty, showing bright cherry and strawberry tones, as red florals and dusty spices that rise up from the glass, with just a hint of forest floor. On the palate, silky textures give way to red berry fruits and sweet spices, given lift through vibrant acids, as saline-minerals and hints of fine tannin saturate the senses. It finishes long, juicy, and fresh, with savory spice and residual acids buzzing on the senses while dried red fruits and florals slowly fade. The 2015 Casanova di Neri doesn’t succeed through power; instead it’s a feminine beauty of a wine.”
Casanova di Neri Cerretalto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($419.95) $379 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 98 points “Flavors of medicinal herbs, juniper, macerated cherry, plum, tobacco and spice are the hallmarks of this intense red, which is ripe and concentrated, yet sleek and focused. Spice notes chime in on the long, minerally and firmly tannic finish. Best from 2023 through 2040.”
Wine Advocate 98 points ” The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto offers a prolonged, flowing and carefully massaged drinking experience that drapes over the senses with some studied intensity and lots of intriguing complexity. This wine nails that perfect balance between power and elegance (that elusive exchange that so many winemakers hope to achieve) with effortless precision. Bold cherry fruit and spice are tightly woven together. In the mouth, the wine shows texture, depth and succulence. Generally speaking, this is not my favorite vintage in Montalcino, but this wine suddenly made me forget that thought.”
James Suckling 97 points “The density is so impressive in this great single-vineyard wine of Casanova. It’s full yet agile at the same time. Shows such integrated tannins and fresh acidity at the finish. Energized and focused. Tangy and citrusy. Mineral undertone. One of the great Brunellos of 2012. Better in 2022.”
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013 750ML ($134.95) $99 special, 8 bottles in stock now
#87 Wine of the Year – James Suckling Top 100 in 2018
James Suckling 98 points “A vivid and bright red with intense blueberries and raspberries. Floral undertones and tons of citrus, too! Full-bodied, dense and layered. Polished tannins and fantastic fruit. The muscularity of the structure is what gives this wine focus and intensity. So serious for the vintage. Give it time to show its greatness. Drink in 2022.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 95+ points “Bright deep red. The youthfully reticent nose hints at flinty red cherry, blueberry, graphite, cedar and pepper. Then flavors similar to the aromas, and a tight acid spine and serious but polished tannins nicely extending and framing the brooding fruit notes and peppery flintiness on the long, deep, complex finish. A truly outstanding Tenuta Nuova Brunello that seems less fruit-forward and more shut down than usual but holds exciting promise. Interestingly, some of this wine’s elements, such as its flinty nuances, reminded me of Casanova di Neri’s Cerretalto Brunello (made with grapes grown at the opposite end of the Montalcino territory). I guess my palate needs to take a vacation. This knockout wine will age splendidly and will likely merit an even higher score in eight to ten years’ time.”
Love Tuscany? We have over 150 Tuscan wines in stock now. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Castello Di Ama, Castell’in Villa, Montevertine and more, on our web store now.
La Bastienne, Talenti & More
Château La Bastienne, Montagne-Saint-Émilion 2016 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Château La Bastienne, Montagne-Saint-Émilion 2016 750ML ($199.95) $124 pre-arrival special (that’s only $20.67/bottle!)
Case-12 Château La Bastienne, Montagne-Saint-Émilion 2016 750ML ($399.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 93 points “Very rich blackberry and vibrant fruit aromas in the mulberry and dark-plum spectrum with a concentrated palate that offers a very fleshy and attractive set of supple fruit, framed in ripe, sturdy tannins. Try from 2022.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2016 La Bastienne is medium to deep garnet-purple colored and features fragrant roses, oolong tea and baking spices scents with touches of warm plums, black cherries and raspberry pie. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with expressive red berry and floral layers with a fine-grained frame and long, lively finish.
Talenti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Editor’s Choice. Rose petal, crushed mint, woodland berry and eucalyptus aromas slowly take shape on this delicious full bodied red. It’s linear and elegantly structured, featuring juicy Marasca cherry, cranberry, licorice and cocoa alongside firm velvety tannins. It closes on an orange-zest note. Drink 2023–2035.”
James Suckling 96 points “There’s freshness galore here in the form of orange zest and citrus peel. But this Brunello isn’t short on power either; red licorice, cardamom and dried hibiscus pepper the nose. To support the ripe fruit are layers of sinewy tannins and gliding acidity, making for an altogether sophisticated and edgy impression. Refined and elegant on the long finish. Drink from 2023.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 95 points “Bright vibrant red-ruby. Inviting aromas of red plum, mocha, redcurrant jam, tobacco, and gently smoky herbs. Bright, silky and suave, with mellow flavors of redcurrant, red plum, tobacco and mocha. Multilayered and extremely stylish wine, finishing with polished tannins, outstanding balance and subtle persistence. So well-balanced in fact, this gorgeous Brunello is almost deceptively easy to drink and can practically be accessed even now. Very well done.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Well-delineated black cherry and black currant flavors are matched to graphite, earth and wild herb accents in this powerful red. Balanced in a broad-shouldered way, this leaves a vibrant impression on the lingering finish. Best from 2023 through 2042. 2,700 cases made, 380 cases imported.”
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98+ points “Giacomo Neri and his family have crafted a wine that impresses from the first sip forward (especially when the wine is given ample time to open). The Casanova di Neri 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova must be treated with patience, and that patience is returned with many great rewards. Blackberry, plum and summer cherry are slowly folded into lasting flavors of spice, leather and beautiful balsam or medical herb. These are always a distinctive signature of this estate. The aromas flow with seamless transitions, and that fluid and ever-changing nature of the bouquet is what helps to build intensity and staying power. Fruit is harvested from a south- and southeast-facing slope at 250 to 300 meters above sea level. The soils are mixed loosely with crushed rock, allowing access to air and moisture. Indeed, pretty mineral accents appear as the wine takes on more air in the glass. What stands out most in this Brunello is the quality of the bouquet that is rigid and firm, yet not excessively so. You feel the structural texture of the wine as it sits firmly over the palate, yet there is mobility and softness to its many moving parts. I tasted this wine at various intervals over a 24-hour period. Tenuta Nuova was bottled in June 2018, and some 70,032 bottles were released.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 96 points “Bright full red. Redcurrant, red cherry, violet, sweet spices, and orange zest on the scented nose. Not in the quite sweet and fleshy style this bottling is famous for, but suave and very well delineated, with the orange peel note providing inner-palate lift. Closes very clean with excellent length.”
Eric Guido – Vinous 96 points “The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova was quite restrained at first, requiring time in the glass to fully blossom, as subtle red berry fruits slowly gain volume and are then complemented by sweet red florals with hints of exotic spice, peppery herbs, and dusty minerals. On the palate, silky textures flood the senses with rich red berry fruits and sweet herbal tones, leaving hints of savory spice and minerals in their wake. The finish is long and unexpectedly fresh, showing the first hints of round tannins under a top note of sweet cherry, plum and a hint of black tea. There is so much going on here, yet it is all densely wrapped up in its youthful state.”
Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($279.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping.”
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “Just bottled, the 2016 Ornellaia is a dense, powerful wine. Naturally, the 2016 is just at the beginning of its life, but I am struck by how polished the tannins are for such a young wine. Ornellaia is at its best starting around age ten, but there is little doubt the 2016 is a hugely promising wine. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, new leather and a range of spice notes all build into a veritable crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Black currant, plum, cedar, lead pencil and toasty, spicy elements highlight this intense red. Muscular tannins line the extended finish, leaving a peppery impression. The parts are all there but need time to integrate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2043.”
Oregon’s Best Value?
Biggio Hamina’s Site-Expressive Pinot Noir
Todd Hamina is one of the most respected winemakers in the Willamette Valley—think of him as your favorite winemaker’s favorite winemaker. After a decade working for other people, including Beaux Freres, Archery Summit, and Maysara, he launched a label with his wife, Caroline Biggio—and has been making some of the most exciting Pinot Noir in the valley ever since.
His wines are perfumed, elegant and site-expressive: exactly what we look for in Willamette Valley Pinot. Stylistically, Todd loves to use whole clusters and extended macerations to provide savory undertones that balance out his rich fruit. Think of them as a less-delicate, more fruit forward version of the wines that Marcus Goodfellow makes and you’re in the right ballpark.
Most importantly, his wines deliver outstanding value. Based on the quality of the wines, vineyard sources, and critical praise, these should easily be $60, and they’re often $50+, but our connections allow you to purchase his 94-point, 2016 Claygate Vineyard—from an outstanding vineyard in Ribbon Ridge—for just $28 per bottle and under $25 on cases. Similarly, his 94-point , 2017 Noel Vineyard bottling, from a Chehalem site with soils that echo the Dundee Hills, is just $33 and under $30 on six-packs.
These are wines that lovers of Oregon Pinot need to have in their cellars and on their tables. With enough fruit and richness to remind you that they’re from the new world, with a savory, elegant edge that echos Burgundy, they’re classically Willamette. For the prices we’ve got them at, they’re tough to beat—at least until they’re gone.
In Stock Now:
Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($199.95) $159 special (that’s only $26.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($399.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Bright red. An exotically perfumed bouquet displays intense red fruit, potpourri and incense qualities. Spice and savory herb nuances build as the wine opens up. Bright and energetic in the mouth, offering densely packed and appealingly sweet raspberry liqueur, cherry and spicecake flavors that pick up a smoky mineral note on the back half. Plays power off of finesse deftly and finishes extremely long and floral, with sneaky, fine-grained tannins and a touch of exotic spices.”
Biggio Hamina Noel Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina Noel Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Limpid ruby-red. An expansive, spice-accented bouquet evokes fresh red/blue fruits, vanilla and cola. A floral note builds as the wine stretches out. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, the Noel Vineyard shows very good depth and sharp delineation to its raspberry, boysenberry and cherry flavors. A hint of smokiness emerges on a very long, penetrating finish that’s framed by smooth, even tannins. Made with 50% whole clusters.”
Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Shimmering magenta. Displays perfumed red fruit preserve aromas, along with suggestions of licorice, cola, earth and candied flowers. Seamless and focused on the palate the Claygate Vineyard offers concentrated raspberry, boysenberry and cherry flavors that slowly unfurl and become spicier through the mid-palate. Round, even tannins build slowly on a very long, floral-tinged finish that leaves cherry and baking spice notes behind. All de-stemmed fruit.”
Love Oregon Pinot Noir? We have 125 Oregon Pinots in stock now. Shop the entire selection, including staff favorites like Cameron, Crowley, Goodfellow and more, on our web store now.
Our focus today is on Usseglio, now in its third generation as family winegrowers. Founded in 1948, the Usseglio family now farms its 60 acres biodynamically, which ensures a healthy crop of grapes and a close relationship between grower and vine. This devoted attention in the vineyard carries through to the winery—these are stunning bottles and among the best each year in the Southern Rhône.
Usseglio’s Cuvée Impériale represents the best of the domaine. Very old Grenache vines (planted in 1901-02) produce low yields of amazing natural concentration. The Impériale consists of 90% old-vine Grenache, with an assortment of indigenous Rhône varietals to round things out. The resulting wine is one of the great bottles of the region, on the same tier as Télégraphe or Beaucastel—just $15-$20 per bottle cheaper.
Meanwhile, the Cuvée Girard offers a more approachable wine in the short term. It too is made of 90% Grenache, with Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, and Counoise blended in. This, too, is one of the best deals in CdP: an under-$50 powerhouse that’s ready to go from the pull of the cork.
Stylistically, the 2017s remind us of 2009 or 2015, with warm, rich personalities and expressive textures. They’re wines that we can see aging for a decade, but they’re so irresistible and delicious today that we doubt many will make it that long.
In Stock Now:
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale, Rhône 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Impériale (from vines planted in 1902) is firm and structured to age magnificently. Roses, black tea and red raspberries all appear on the nose and palate, framed by fine-grained tannins. I suspect it will close down shortly, but there is terrific material here, and the wine will drink well for two decades.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Impériale kicks the intensity up a notch and offers rocking notes of black cherries, garrigue, ground pepper, and incense. More expansive, full-bodied, concentrated, and pure, it’s a brilliant, brilliant wine that stays tight and compact at the moment yet has beautiful concentration, present tannins, and a great finish. It has everything, but it needs 4-5 years or bottle age.”
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Girard, Rhône 2017 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “A special cuvée made for American importer Peter Weygandt, the 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Girard includes a bit more old-vine Grenache, and it shows in the wine’s increased elegance. It’s more floral than the regular bottling, with scents of tea and roses, but it’s also darker and richer, with black cherry fruit, a velvety mouthfeel and a long, layered finish.”
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Impériale, Rhône2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96-100 points “Violets, spring flowers, cassis, plums, and incense notes all define the stunningly good 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Impériale. Made from 100% Grenache from very old vines, it’s full-bodied and powerful, yet also graceful, balanced and pure, with terrific freshness and purity. My money is on this flirting with perfection once bottled.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 95 points “Almost entirely Grenache, from parcels planted in 1901 and 1902, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Impériale is a stunner. Scents of roses, black tea and raspberries set the scene, while the palate is full-bodied but silky and nearly weightless, delivering an intricate, detailed interplay of red fruit, dried spices and orange zest. Despite what must be 15% alcohol or more, it shows absolutely no sign of heat.”
Looking for more of Peter Weygandt’s fantastic selections of Châteauneuf? Here are a few more highlights, in stock now:
Chapelle Saint Theodoric
Theodoric is as close to Rayas as you can get, stylistically, without paying $400+. A personal project of Weygandt himself, these are beautiful, powerful, old-school wines.
Chapelle Saint Theodoric Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhône 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Joe Czerwinski – Wine Advocate 96 points “More powerful than its Le Grand Pin stablemate, the 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape La Guigasse is made the same minimalistic way—100% whole-cluster Grenache from a single site, in this case a sandy parcel in the lieu-dit La Guigasse. Raised in demi-muids forb two years or more, depending on the vintage, it has some meaty, charred notes that could be barrel-derived, but the overall oak impact is probably more textural than olfactory. Hints of rose petals, cherries and even orange zest join with darker toned notes of cola and dried spices in a whirl of complexity that’s complemented by the wine’s silky tannins. It’s full-bodied but feels lighter, filling the mouth with its flavors while leaving the palate refreshed on the long finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape La Guigasse comes from a single lieu-dit in the heart of the appellation and is 100% Grenache that was not destemmed and was brought up in old barrels. It’s as Provençal as they come, offering a killer perfume of spiced red and black fruits, white pepper, garrigue, and herbes de Provence to go with a medium to full-bodied, seamless style on the palate. It benefits from air, is perfectly balanced, and is a complex, layered, incredibly satisfying 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape that can be enjoyed today or cellared for 15 years or more.”
Chapelle Saint Theodoric Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhône 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-6 Chapelle Saint Theodoric Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhône 2016 750ML ($499.95) $389 special (that’s only $64.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “As I predicted last year, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape La Guigasse has smoothed out considerably and seemingly absorbed the stemmy elements I noted previously. Still not yet bottled, it now offers wonderful fruit purity and intensity. Raspberries and cherries are delivered on a full-bodied, rich and creamy palate that somehow avoids any sense of heaviness. It looks to be a stunning example of 70-year-old Grenache from the sandy lieu-dit of the same name.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Limpid magenta. Intense, mineral-tinged aromas of ripe red fruits, candied lavender, baking spices and incense show sharp delineation and energetic lift. Palate-staining red and blue fruit preserve flavors are complemented by floral pastille and spicecake qualities that firm up slowly on the back half. Distinctly rich but fresh and structured as well, showing superb finishing clarity, well-knit tannins and lingering floral and mineral notes.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “Made from 100% Grenache in the La Guigasse lieu-dit, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse boasts a deeper ruby/purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of kirsch and black raspberries, spring flowers, rose petals, and exotic spice. This beauty builds on the palate, with terrific concentration, yet it always holds onto the more ethereal, elegant, seamless style of this estate.”
Charvin is as old-school as it gets, with powerful wines that demand time and then reward your patience in spades.
Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2017 750ML ($74.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is an awesome wine from Laurent, and while it shows the sunny, ripe, sexy style of the vintage, it never loses the elegance and purity that’s the hallmark of Charvin. Lots of kirsch, graphite, dried flowers, garrigue, and ample minerality flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, incredibly well-balanced red that has a stacked mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it will cruise over the following two decades.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94-95 points “Brilliant magenta. An assertively perfumed bouquet of ripe red and blue fruits, Moroccan spices and incense carries a smoky overtone. Sweet, penetrating raspberry preserve, cherry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors show impressive depth as well as vivacity. Displays superb clarity and floral thrust on the finish, which features smoothly interwoven tannins and lingering spiciness. This wine shows just how much complexity can be achieved, even in a hot vintage, in the absence of any oak, old or new.”
Domaine Ferrand is a classic Weygandt Southern Rhône producer—not a lot of makeup, but rich, full wines that reward drinking now with lots of fruit and velvety textures.
Domaine de Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2017 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape checks in as 90% Grenache and the rest 3% each of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Bourboulenc, with a splash of Cinsault, brought up all in tank. It has a deep, layered, powerful yet elegant style as well as notes of black raspberries, crushed violets, blueberries, ground pepper, and earth. With a rounded, sexy texture, no hard edges, fine tannins, and a beautiful finish, it’s a fabulous wine in the vintage.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94-95 points “Shimmering magenta. Mineral-accented black currant, cherry liqueur, potpourri and exotic spice qualities on the impressively fragrant nose. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering deeply concentrated but energetic red and blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille flavors and a refreshing jolt of bitter blood orange. Finishes with sharp focus, slow-building tannins and superb, floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Love Châteauneuf-du-Pape? We have 50 in stock now. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Henri Bonneau, Vaudieu, Vieux Télégraphe and more, on our web store now.
Staff Favorite Barbaresco
2016 Ca’ del Baio
Hitting the Wine Spectator’s 2019 Top 100 list was a big deal for this small Piedmont producer. They’ve always been a best value producer in our hearts, so it was lovely to see them get even more recognition. If you’re not familiar with Ca’ del Baio, know that they are a traditionally-styled Barbaresco producer. They employ a long and slow maceration before aging in neutral Slavonian oak boti, resulting in fresh and aromatic wines with a rich complexity and glorious tannic structure. The wines can be pretty wound up on release, so give them a healthy decant, or pop a day before service! At these prices, it’s not hard to get acquainted.
In Stock Now:
Ca’ del Baio ‘Asili’, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($54.95) $37.80 special, 22 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 94 points “Raspberry coulis, wild-strawberry compote and dried oranges. Medium to full body, a sturdy core of red fruit, driven acidity and a cutthroat finish. Drink from 2022.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Ca’ del Baio’s 2016 Barbaresco Asili is every bit as gorgeous from bottle as it was from barrel. Ample, creamy and inviting, the 2016 boasts superb richness and plenty of the suave radiance that makes the Barbarescos of Asili so distinctive. Dark cherry, plum, licorice, tobacco and spice all develop in the glass. Since I tasted it last year, the 2016 has acquired more body as well as darkness.”
Jancis Robinson 17.50/20 “Tasted blind. Lustrous mid ruby. Gorgeous nose of cherry and raspberry fruit shot through by spice. Elegant and at the same time concentrated and embryonic with mouth-filling, ripe tannins. Very long and impressive.”
Ca’ del Baio ‘Vallegrande’, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94 points “In recent years Ca’ del Baio has emerged as one of the top quality Barbaresco producers and their 2016 efforts are next level wines and best of all they are incredible values, especially the fabulously endowed 2016 Vallegrande Cru Barbaresco, which I just couldn’t resist trying. There has been a lot of buzz about the 2016 vintage in Barolo and Barbaresco, all which is being proved well deserved, in fact I think it will easily eclipse the much heralded 2010.…Starting with classic Barbaresco aromatic charm and a delicate earthy seduction with seeped rose petals, dried lilacs, brandied cherries, saddle leather and truffle the Vallegrande hits its stride on the palate with a full force of flavors including damson, plum, black cherry, forrest vine picked berries along with a background of complexities like anise, balsamic dipped strawberry, orange rind, cedar and mineral notes. The wine evolves and elevates in the glass, it gets better and better, resolving and finessing its tannins and gaining stellar length, all pointing to an amazing long life and potential here, I’m glad to have a stash of 2016s to hold! This garnet/brick hued Vallegrande 2016 has loads of character and is very inviting making it an easy buy at the price and it goes gloriously with rustic cuisine, it certainly impresses at this stage, Nebbiolo lovers should stock up on a few bottles to enjoy over the next 10 to 15 years…This Cru sits in Tresio and is the most near the winery, set on bluish clayey-limestone marl soils and with a set of vines that were planted back in 1967, its a place that perfectly suits the traditional style Ca’ del Baio uses on its all de-stemmed grapes with the mentioned native ferment with cool stainless steel, with almost two weeks of maceration before pressing and then aged a minimum of 24 months in large Slovenian oak casks. If you are looking for a wildly exciting and age worthy Barbaresco, one that you can almost guilt free open in its fleshy youth or hold, then Ca’ del bail should be on your radar!”
James Suckling 94 points “Lots of dried strawberries with watermelon and hints of cherries on the nose and palate. Medium to full body. Firm and silky tannins. Flavorful finish. Drink after 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Vallegrande is bright and fragrant, with tremendous energy driving the red/purplish berry fruit, spice and floral flavors. Medium in body and finely cut, the 2016 is a model of elegance and finesse. It is easily one of the most polished Barbarescos I have tasted from Ca’ del Baio, and, frankly, what Barbaresco is all about.”
Love Barbaresco? We have over 50 in stock now. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Cascina delle Rose, La Spinetta, Produttori and more, on our web store now.
Bevan Cellars’ Superb Napa Reds
Bevan Cellars has quickly emerged as one of the top handful of Napa Cabernet producers in a crowded marketplace. Since their founding in 2005 as the personal project of star winemaker Russell Bevan, they’ve earned multiple 100-point scores for their bold, silky style.
These are intense expressions of Cabernet (and a few impressive Cabernet-based blends) that manage to be delicious and texturally impressive now. It’s exceptionally rare to find wines of this quality which are easy to drink right away, which is part of the reason Bevan Cellars has a long waiting list to buy their wines direct.
As a result, it’s rare to see these wines in the retail world but we’ve got our hands on some, available in limited quantities. If you’re looking for a set of top-rated Napa Cabernet to drink tomorrow or age for a decade, it’s hard to do better than Bevan’s wines. These highly-rated masterpieces won’t be here for long, so stock up while you can.
In Stock Now:
Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97+ points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color with an earthy, meaty, broody nose with notes of mocha over baked plums and crème de cassis plus wafts of spice box and mincemeat. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated, rich and earthy with great vibrancy on the finish. 839 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “From a steep hillside in Oakville, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard offers a more savory, masculine, layered style as well as a huge nose of red and black fruits, dried herbs, chocolate, and earth. It hits the palate with a full-bodied, mouthfilling style that carries plenty of tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. I like it today, yet it’s going to continue drinking brilliantly for two decades.”
Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard ‘EE – Double E’ Red, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.9) $189 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points “A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard is scented of pure plums and ripe blueberries with redcurrants and touches of lavender, roses, bay leaves and dusty earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm, fine-grained, vibrant and refreshing, finishing long and perfumed. 1,403 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2016 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot, which is the smallest amount of Cabernet Franc to date. Brought up in new barrels, it has gorgeous blue fruits, violets, spring flowers, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and just about as seamless and silky as it gets, this is a magical wine to drink over the coming 15 years or more.”
Bevan Cellars Wildfoote Vineyard Vixen Block Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District 2015 750ML ($279.95) $199 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points “Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Vixen Block Wildfoote Vineyard offers up a very serious nose of cassis, blackberry pie and blueberry compote with hints of dried lavender, underbrush, Chinese five spice and cigar box, plus a waft of dark chocolate. Full-bodied and densely packed with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, it has a firm frame of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epically long exotic spice nuances. Only 125 cases were produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Wildfoote Vineyard Vixen Block is one of the more refined, elegant wines in the lineup and reveals a perfumed bouquet of white flowers, blue fruits, violets, and spice. It’s seamless and silky on the palate, yet has building underlying tannin and is beautifully balanced. It’s one of those wines that carry loads of intensity and texture yet just glides over the palate. Drink it anytime over the coming two decades.”
Love California Cabernet? We have 38 in stock now. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Colgin, Diamond Creek, Opus One and more, on our web store now.
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