In Today’s Newsletter:
Hot Deals from Italy
Casanova di Neri & Ciacci Piccolomini
New to the Vinopolis Champagne Sale!
Argiano’s Beautiful 2015 Brunello
La Grosse Pierre’s 2018 Beaujolais
Castello di Ama: Chianti First Growth
Hot Deals from Italy
Casanova di Neri & Ciacci Piccolomini
Casanova di Neri is one of Italy’s truly elite modern producers. Best known for their iconic Cerretalto bottling, Casanova di Neri also produces wines for more humble occasions. To that end, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their 2017 Rosso di Montalcino. Priced to share (responsibly) with your pod this winter, you won’t regret stocking up on this crowd-pleaser.
Pre-Arrival ETA December:
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 750 ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Tasting Note: A stunning Rosso di Montalcino from Casanova di Neri. The grapes are hand picked and matured for 15 months in French oak before release. Creating a wine that is ruby red in colour with garnet reflections. On the nose there are hints of maraschino cherry, violets and red fruits. The wine has great fineness in the mouth with young tannins. It is long lasting, elegant and persistent. A fantastic example of how good a rosso can be.
Also ETA December from Casanova di Neri:
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.”
Ciacci Piccolomini is one of Italy’s most celebrated producers. Much of their success can be directly attributed to their 35 hectares of holdings. Not only are they located in the heart of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, one of Tuscany’s most prized zones, but the estate is a member of ‘Lotta Integrata’, an EU based movement that promotes responsible viticulture. Combine some of Tuscany’s best fruit with world-class winemaking, and it’s no surprise that James Suckling awarded their 2015 Brunello di Montalcino a whopping 98 points.
Pre-Arrival ETA December:
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Extremely perfumed and decadent with dried flowers and spices and fresh mushrooms. Cherries,too. Full body. Solid core of fruit, yet ever so fine tannins. Goes on for minutes. Such beautifully crafted tannins. Drink after 2021.”
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Enticing aromas of ripe wild berry, iris, camphor and sunbaked soil take shape in the glass. Full in feel and enveloping, the smooth, delicious palate doles out juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry jam, licorice and tobacco while firm, velvety tannins provide support. It boasts concentration and structure but also balance, thanks to the fruit richness and freshness. Drink 2023–2030.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona estate enjoys a beautiful and huge expanse of vineyards at the back of the Castelnuovo dell’Abate village, where the downward slope of the hamlet meets the Orcia River, which delineates the appellation border. The estate’s 2015 Brunello di Montalcino offers lovely harmony and elegance. The wine’s taste profile follows the soft contours and beautiful horizons that characterize this beautiful part of Tuscany. The mouthfeel is medium-weight but carefully balanced with just enough acidity to add brightness. It shows just enough backbone to guarantee staying power and longevity. That said, the tannins are carefully integrated into the delicate fiber of the wine. This is no doubt one of the most graceful Brunellos to emerge from the 2015 vintage.”
Can’t wait? Shop our top picks of in-stock Casanova di Neri & Ciacci Piccolomini wines below:
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $66 special, 24 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 Tenuta Nuova 2013 750ML ($134.95) $99 special, 25 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.”
Casanova di Neri Cerretalto 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.”
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 17 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points “Lots of ripe and rich fruit with a decadent undertone of meat and spice that turns to pure fruit and licorice. Medium to full body, refined tannins and a fresh and bright finish. All about harmony. Better after 2021.”
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast “Cellar Selection 98 points. Intense aromas of berry, iris, underbrush, botanical herb and camphor shape the enticing nose. Firmly structured, the taut, full-bodied palate offers juicy black cherry, raspberry, licorice and tobacco set against tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2025–2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone or chalk. This adds a greater sense of focus and delineation that not only characterizes the bouquet but also applies to the way the wine hits the palate in a fuller and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello). Instead, this single-vineyard Brunello shows an upright and direct approach with soft salinity on the close followed by forest fruit, spice and medicinal herb. The mouthfeel makes a big impact thanks to its streamlined and polished texture. Some 37,000 bottles were released in January 2020.”
Love Brunello? We offer 46 Brunello wines in stock now, including picks from Il Poggione, La Fortuna, La Torre, and Stella di Campalto. Shop the entire selection on our web store.
New to the Vinopolis Champagne Sale!
Georges Laval Cumieres Les Hautes Chevres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2014 750ML ($299.95) Was $269, Now $249, 15 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2014 Brut Nature Les Hautes-Chèvres emerges from old-vine Meunier planted in 1930, 1947, 1965 and 1971, and the last vintage to include fruit from the 1930 vines. Big, rich and expansive in the glass, the Hautes-Chèvres is another wine of pure pedigree and class. The Hautes-Chèvres is a wine of texture and breadth above all else. Pear, white truffle and brioche add attractive layers of nuance. This is another fabulous Champagne from Vincent Laval that only suffers in that it is tasted next to a number of wines that are maybe just a touch more complete!”
Importer note “100% Pinot Noir. Premier Cru.”
[Disgorgement date may vary from review.]
Don’t miss these sparkling wine deals from top-selling Champagne producer, Andre Clouet, and top Champagne house Charles Heidsieck.
One of the rarest types of single vineyard Champagnes in existence
André Clouet ‘Le Clos’ Bouzy Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2007 1.5L ($319.95) Was $279, Now $249, 13 magnums in stock now
VinopolNote: A limited production bottling, all from one of the four walled Grand Cru vineyards in Champagne. 100% Pinot Noir.
Charles Heidsieck was one of the pioneers of the Blanc de Blancs style
Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($99.95) Was $75, Now $66
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points “Based on the 2012 vintage, the latest rendition of Heidsieck’s NV Blanc de Blancs incorporates some 20% reserve wines, derived from younger vintages to emphasize what Cyril Brun described as the “youthful” side of Chardonnay, in contrast to the mature expression of that cépage offered by the house’s Blanc de Millénaires. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of citrus oil, white flowers, green apple and walnut oil, complemented by some of the empyreumatic nuances so typical of the base vintage, it’s a medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and incisive wine that’s lively and inviting. It was disgorged last year with nine grams per liter dosage.”
Decanter 92 points “One of the pioneers of the blanc de blancs style, Charles Heidsieck only relaunched its 100% Chardonnay NV Champagne in 2018. Round but incisive and fresh, this has lovely balance between its creamy, woody mouthfeel and its fresh, saline acidity. A lovely food wine.”
We offer 133 Champagnes in stock now!
Shop the entire selection on our web store.
A Cava made for the dinner table
Alta Alella Bruel – Bruant Natural, Catalonia NV 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Light, bright yellow-gold. Displays pungent, mineral-accented aromas of dried pear, lemon pith, fennel and chamomile that show very good clarity and spicy lift. Weighty, focused and dry on the palate, which displays refreshingly bitter citrus pith, pear skin and quinine flavors and a hint of peachiness. Manages to come off hefty as well as graceful and finishes long and taut, with resonating stoniness and a touch of spicy ginger. (disgorged after 15 months on its lees).”
Oregon’s 2017 vintage is wildly food-friendly, bubbles included
Mellen Meyer Brut Nature Sparkling, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
VinopolNote: Based on the 2017 vintage, this is a leaner style of Champagne-method sparkling wine. Disgorged February 2020.
A staff favorite!
Le Domaine d’Henri 821 Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs de Chardonnay 2018 750ML ($35.95) $29.90 special
Importer note “Produced from 35+ year old vines in the Chablis appellation using the Méthode Ancestrale meaning that the alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats and bottled before aging with the CO2 necessary for the long haul already in the bottle. Aged on its lees for 24 months, it is then disgorged with no added sugar. 821 refers to the minimum total number of days necessary to produce this wine from the beginning of the growing season to the moment the bottle leaves the cellar. Delightful toast and citrus notes with some exotic tinges lead into a serious wine with high mineral tension, full fruit in the middle and a very fine and persistent bead. This is an impressive wine that will surprise many.”
Intense and complex
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
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.”
The perfect local wine for your Thanksgiving table
Brick House Vineyards Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2019 750ML ($31.95) $29 special
No reviews for the 2019 vintage available. 2018 vintage review provided for reference.
James Suckling 91 points ” Impressive aromas of blueberries and raspberries with leafy violets and pepper. The palate has superb clarity of fresh, blackcurrant and strawberry flavors and a white pepper dusting the finish. Drink or hold.”
A Pinot for lovers of ‘Right Bank’ wine
Left Coast Cellars Right Bank Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Limpid ruby-red. Sexy, oak-tinged cherry and cassis aromas are complemented by building floral, spice and mineral nuances. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering concentrated dark berry and rose pastille flavors that deepen and turn sweeter with air. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to the finish, which hangs on with strong, floral-tinged persistence.”
“Gorgeous and explosive”
Chateau de Rouanne Vinsobres 2018 750ML ($34.95) $24 special
Grapelive 93 points “Wow, what a gorgeous and explosive new wine by Louis Barruol, owner of the famed Chateau de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. This Chateau de Rouanne Vinsobres is a meaty and deep purple/garnet Rhone red co-fermentation of Barruol’s old vine Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Louis Barruol has long used fruit from this remote area and has recently added this estate to his lineup as a separate label within the Saint Cosme family. [This] makes sense as Vinsobres has been recognized as its own appellation, an upgrade from a generic Cotes du Rhone, which I would argue was long overdue, since this cooler and high quality terroir is unique and deserves to be more widely known as this wine certainly proves. Louis Barruol has coveted this site for years. He notes that, like his famous Chateau de Saint Cosme, Chateau de Rouanne was first founded during Gallo-Roman times, probably dating back to the 1400s. Barruol adds that, most of Rouanne’s vineyards date from the 1960s and are massale selections (special old clones) that offer substantial genetic diversity and low yields that shows in the wine, giving it concentration and depth, while the elevation and soils allow for natural acidity and heightened aromatics. These qualities and characteristics shine in this 2018, like Saint Cosme’s Gigondas it is brilliantly dark and inviting with polished texture and a full body delivering black raspberry, damson plum, boysenberry compote, creme de cassis and cherry fruit along with whole bunches influences highlighted with peppercorns, violets, earthiness and herbs de provence. The Chateau de Rouanne Vinsobres Rouge was crafted in this vintage from 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre grown on sandy, iron rich soils set on a limestone marl base with some clay and was, as noted above, all co-fermented primarily with whole cluster and all indigenous yeasts in concrete tanks, where it was also aged. The wine rested in the cement vat for 18 months, which allows the wine to show absolute purity in its final form and gave it time to fill out before bottling. The vines in Louis Barruol’s Vinsobres are all organic and head trained with a very high percentage of Syrah interplanted here, much more than you’d find in other southern Rhone Crus, which adds to this wine’s distinct profile that seems more northern Rhone in first impression, though the lush Grenache takes the stage mid palate and creates a luxurious harmony here and there is a velvety almost chocolatey element with the touch of Mourvedre adding a contrasting gamey note. This 2018 GSM got way better as the bottle went down and fans of Saint Cosme with want to stock up on this one. It actually reminds me of Barruol’s Chateauneuf du Pape and is almost half the price! Barruol says Chauteau de Rouanne is an extraordinary (and historic) place in many respects, primarily for its terroir – very few locations in the southern Rhone can boast vineyard sites of this pedigree and that he very excited for the potential here, which he compares with Cotes de Nuits Burgundies…, believing that this site will only get better and better as he focuses more attention to it. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, but this stuff is delicious now!”
Power meets Vacqueyras rusticity
Domaine de l’Oiselet Vacqueyras, Rhone 2016 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “More structured than the 2015, this estate’s 2016 Vacqueyras is a full-bodied, richly textured and firm wine that should drink well over the next 5-8 years. Hints of rosemary and cola accent the mixed-berry fruit, finishing dry and savory.”
A sure-bet from a Vinopolis best seller
Chateau de Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, Rhone 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “A step up, the 2017 Saint Joseph offers another level of class and purity. Beautiful blackberry, black raspberries, cured meats, and pepper notes give way to a medium to full-bodied Saint Joseph that has subtle oak, a seamless texture, and fine tannins. It’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep magenta. Powerful, spice- and mineral-accented cherry and dark berry aromas show very good clarity and pick up smoky bacon and potpourri flourishes as the wine opens up. In a concentrated but lively style, offering appealingly sweet red and dark fruit and floral pastille flavors and a salty olive flourish. The floral and spice notes drive an impressively long finish that’s framed by fine-grained, harmonious tannins. From vines in Malleval.”
Argiano’s Beautiful 2015 Brunello
The estate’s 2015 Brunello di Montalcino provides further evidence of this trend. The product of an extraordinary vintage, the wine is full of character even in its infancy. With a dynamic nose that is distinctly Brunello, and a sturdy structure that suggests enormous aging potential, Brunello doesn’t get much better than this for under $55.
Pre-Arrival ETA December:
Argiano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($74.95) $54.50 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points “This is a terrific wine and one of the new releases from Montalcino that I happily include on a short list of top recommendations. The Argiano 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows a very lively bouquet that is already singing despite the young age of this new release. The wine opens to a dark ruby color with garnet highlights. The bouquet shows a large span of wild berry, earth, licorice spice and medicinal herb aromas. This vintage also reveals a pretty floral character with dried rose potpourri and lavender buds. After fermentation, the wine is aged slowly for 30 months in large oak botte (including 10-, 30- and 50-hectoliter capacity), thus restricting oxygen and gently slowing its evolution. However, the 2015 vintage is naturally expressive and exuberant, and that’s the main takeaway here.”
James Suckling 95 points “Very floral on the nose with plums, rose petals and freshly sliced porcini mushrooms. The palate is tight and compressed with beautiful ripe fruit, wet earth and cool, stone flavors. A structured and impressive wine. Drink after 2022.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 94 points “The nose is dark and rich, showing ripe black cherry and sweet herbs, with notes of tobacco, hints of mocha, and brown spice. On the palate, soft textures give way to sweet red fruits, showing wonderful purity and finesse, which was completely unexpected following the powerful bouquet that greeted me, as the 2015 Sesti becomes even more savory in the glass. The finish is long, energetic yet clean, with brisk acids making the mouth water, and remnants of red berry fruit and inner florals echoing throughout. The longer I spend with the glass, the more I like it.”
A unique blend perfect for the Champagne geek in your life
Champagne Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
Importer note “Cépages: 25% Chardonnay, 25% Arbanne, 25% Petit Meslier, 25% Pinot Blanc. Vineyard/Village: Jouy-lès-Reims 1er Cru. Malo: yes. Elevage: Stainless steel. En Tirage Aging: 48 months.”
[Disgorgement date may vary.]
Delicate, broad, balanced
Eric Rodez Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne (2014) 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “[Reviewed Apr 2019] Offering up aromas of smoky green orchard fruit, hazelnuts and waxy citrus that are delicately framed by their time in barrel, the latest rendition of Rodez’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is a medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy wine with a bright spine of acidity, a frothy mousse and a long, vinous and subtly oak-inflected finish. Unsurprisingly, its Ambonnay origins and Rodez’s style mark it just as much as its cépage.”
[Review is for prior disgorgement]
A wine to plan your Thanksgiving meal around
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) $61.50 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points “The new release of Heidsick’s NV Rosé Réserve is based on the 2012 vintage, with the usual 20% of reserve wines and some 6% still red wine from Les Riceys in the Aube. Already exhibiting considerable complexity, it wafts from the glass with scents of orange rind, red plums, gingerbread and red berries. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, satiny textured and fleshy, with lively acids and an attractively vinous profile. It was disgorged a few months ago with 11 grams per liter dosage”
A beauty at a new lower price
Schloss Gobelsburg Sekt Brut Réserve, Niederosterreich 2008 750ML ($119.95) Was $89, Now $69, 20 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Creamy, lemony chalkiness on the nose promises a serious wine, with some age. The slender palate comes in with tiny bubbles of creamy foam, dancing against a yeasty, chalky, stony backdrop. They release notions of lemon and honey, contradictory notions that create drama, richness and freshness. The finish is creamy, intense with chalkiness, long and dry.”
Winery note “The Vintage style at Schloss Gobelsburg is a homage to the art of craftsmanship in respect to the past centuries. A minimum of ten years of bottle storage is required to achieve finesse and elegance in a Vintage. Only special vintages are used for a Vintage (2001, 2004, 2008) Grapes are harvested at the optimal moment, transported in small boxes and are immediately pressed, whereby only the heart of the must is used. After 12 months of cask storage, it is bottled for the second fermentation. It matures for at least ten years on the lees, which allows it to develop a rich texture, until it is hand riddled and then disgorged.”
Upbeat and drinking beautifully today
Jean-Claude Boisset Pommard, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
James Suckling 94 points “A blend of two climats (Brescul and La Combotte). This draws on two very different parts of the appellation. A very upbeat style with ripe, red cherries and berries, as well as chocolate and light spices. The palate is very refined. Shows very long and detailed flavors of cherry compote. A long, succulent finish. Superb freshness and dense, fine tannins. Try from 2021”
“Gourmand but elegant”
Domaine Servin Blanchot, Chablis Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($74.95) $59 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Blanchots is also a success, offering up aromas of preserved peach, lemon confit and fresh citrus zest. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, textural and saline, with excellent purity and length. It’s a gourmand but elegant Blanchots that retains plenty of site personality.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 90-92 points “The 2016 Chablis Blanchots Grand Cru has a clean and precise, quite granitic bouquet, tightly wound but focused. The palate is well balanced with good depth, quite primal at the moment with a terse, saline finish. It just needs to loosen-up by the time of bottling.”
A baby Corton-Charlemagne
Domaine Rollin Pere et Fils Sous Fretille, Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Rosenthal Note “This vineyard is a relatively recent acquisition by the Rollin family (the 2000 vintage was the first to issue from the domaine) but it is a parcel of old vines in one of the elite lieu-dits of the village. The vineyard is situated on slopes overlooking the village and is just around the corner from Corton Charlemagne. A powerful wine that benefits from several years of bottle age … only 35 cases per annum are allocated to us for the USA.”
Historic yet still underrated
Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
“The 2017 Nuits-Saint-Georges Village displays a somewhat high-toned bouquet of cedary red and black fruits and dark chocolate, followed by a medium to full-bodied palate with velvety structuring tannins and a tangy core of fruit. It’s acid-driven and middle-weight in style and it will drink well comparatively young.” –William Kelley, Wine Advocate
In stock now:
Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Chiroubles Aux Craz, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “Offering up aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries as well as hints of rose petal and peony, the 2018 Chiroubles Aux Craz is medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping, its deep core of succulent fruit framed by satiny tannins. This bottling derives from 70-year-old vines in the domaine’s highest-altitude holdings in lieu-dit Grosse Pierre.”
Domaine de La Grosse Pierre Fleurie Bel Air, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points “Bursting from the glass with inviting aromas of cherries, berries and plums, the 2018 Fleurie Bel-Air is showing even better than when I reviewed it last year. Medium to full-bodied, supple and succulent, it’s elegantly fleshy, built around lively acids and melting tannins. Seamless and impeccably balanced, this is an immensely drinkable young Beaujolais.”
VinopolNote: From 50 year old vines.
Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Chiroubles Cuvee Claudius, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92+ points “Bursting with aromas of cherries, blackberries, licorice and violets, the 2018 Chiroubles Claudius is medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a muscular chassis of powdery tannin largely concealed by a rich core of fruit. This is a terrific Chiroubles with the stuffing (and a high-quality Trescases cork) to evolve with grace in the cellar.”
VinopolNote: From 90-100 year old vines.
Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Morgon Douby, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “Unfurling in the glass with aromas of blackberries, violets, licorice and cracked pepper, the 2018 Morgon Douby is medium to full-bodied, velvety and succulent, with a fleshy core of fruit underpinned by powdery tannins that mark this out as one of Passot’s more structured wines this year.”
VinopolNote: From 70 year old vines.
Domaine de la Grosse Pierre Chiroubles, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points “I underestimated the 2018 Chiroubles La Grosse Pierre when I tasted it not long after it had been bottled, and six months later, it’s performing very well. Mingling aromas of black cherries and blackberries with hints of cracked pepper and herbs, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and elegantly fleshy, with succulent acids, melting tannins and a seamless profile.”
VinopolNote: From 45 year old vines.
Love Beaujolais? We offer 42 wines from Beaujolais in stock now, including favorites from Anne-Sophie Dubois, Chermette Vissoux, and Clos de la Roilette. Shop the entire selection on our web store.
Castello di Ama: Chianti First Growth
First, the 2016 La Casuccia is another stunner from Castello de Ama’s collection of Gran Selezione bottlings. Full-bodied, rich and surprisingly silky for this stage in its young life, this is really special stuff. If you haven’t yet been convinced of the merits of Chianti’s Gran Selezione designation, this bottle is sure to win you over.
As for the 2016 L’Apparita Merlot, it represents everything we love about modern Tuscan wine. Unapologetically international in style, it has critics raving. Antonio Galloni described it as “a breathtaking, riveting wine that captures all the potential of the vintage” and “wonderfully complete and magnificently beautiful” while rewarding it a perfect 100-point score. Both wines arrive this Friday, and are sure to generate significant interest.
Pre-Arrivals ETA November 20th:
Castello di Ama Vigneto La Casuccia,Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto La Casuccia is rich, sensual and inviting, as it so often is. The addition of Merlot to Sangiovese yields a Chianti Classico built on textural resonance, with silky tannins, soft curves and tons of sheer allure. The 2016 won’t be ready to drink anytime soon, but it is unquestionably a great wine in the making. Succulent dark cherry, red plum, menthol, licorice, cloves and new oak infuse the creamy, voluptuous finish.”
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Mature black-skinned berry, rose, tilled soil and a balsamic whiff of eucalyptus shape the nose. The bright, elegant palate has energy, tension and depth, delivering ripe wild cherry, red plum, licorice and crushed botanical herb. Taut, fine-grained tannins lend polished support while fresh acidity keeps it balanced. A gorgeous wine. Drink through 2031.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “From the small vineyard facing Castello di Ama from the north, the 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto la Casuccia shows a dark and hearty side with rich fruit that flows steadily from the bouquet. Like the other new releases from this iconic estate, this wine shows a pretty earthy note that is particularly well defined and fine-tuned in this vintage. The fruit is broad, thick and horizontal. This is a Sangiovese painted with broad brush strokes. It’ll stand another decade or two, or open it sooner with a pappardelle al cinghiale.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This aromatic Chianti Classico features violet, black cherry, leather, earth and spice flavors. A laser of bracing acidity and muscular tannins runs underneath. The balance tips toward the tannins today, but put this in your cellar for another few years. Sleek and very long. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2023 through 2042. 315 cases made, 40 cases imported.”
James Suckling 95 points “A dense and layered red with spice and berry character. Medium to full body. Blueberry, wet-earth and walnut undertones. Iodine. Shows structure and intensity. Drink in 2020 and onwards.”
Castello di Ama L’Apparita Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($289.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 100 points “The 2016 L’Apparita, 100% Merlot, is a breathtaking, riveting wine that captures all the potential of the vintage. In this vintage, L’Apparita is especially silky and refined. Layered, perfumed and wonderfully nuanced, L’Apparita is simply epic. Lavender, mint, sage, spice, new leather and cloves develop with time, but more than anything else, L’Apparita is wonderfully complete and magnificently beautiful.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 99 points “The 2016 L’Apparita is a standout wine. A true symbol of the vintage, the wine shows the classic lines and extreme precision we can expect from 2016, with the plump, ripe generosity of the Merlot grape (when farmed in the right hands of course). The wine is profound, rich and beautifully concentrated with power but no residual heaviness. I went back to this sample a few times in the 12 hours after I popped the cork, and the wine was more beautiful each time. It offers a profound sense of beauty, harmony and Merlot purity now, and it should evolve slowly and softly in the coming years.”
James Suckling 97 points “Extremely perfumed with violets and crushed raspberries, as well as wet earth and spice. Full body. Linear and chewy with racy tannins and fruit tension. Wild finish. Pure merlot. Needs time to open. Try after 2021.”
Love Tuscany? We offer over 150 Tuscan wines in stock now, including picks from Castell’in Villa, Fontodi, and Isole e Olena. Shop the entire selection on our web store.
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