Vinopolpick Monday

March 24, 2014
Jump Start Sale
Coutier Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Ambonnay NV ($49.95) $29.50 special Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is a striking wine, and frankly one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Coutier. Pure Blanc de Blancs is unusual in Ambonnay, where Pinot plays the leading role. Coutier’s NV presents an intriguing combination of the richness that is typical of Ambonnay married to deep, expressive varietal Chardonnay fruit. Smoke, ash and crushed rocks are all layered into the energetic, vibrant finish. This is a flat-out delicious, utterly joyous Champagne from Coutier. Disgorged May 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today The next best listed price is 30% higher @ $37.49~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Week – New Arrivals
Ayres Pinot Blanc 2013 ($19.95) $16 specialBelle Pente Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 ($34.95) $29 Belle Pente Murto Vineyard 2011 ($34.95) $29 Chehalem Stoller Pinot Noir 2009 ($39.95) $29 special Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Deep, bright red.  Blackberry, cola, violet and mocha on the nose, with complicating notes of Asian spices and musky herbs.  Fleshy and penetrating on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors braced by gentle acidity.  The dark berry note recurs on the long, sappy finish, which features a sexy floral quality.  Delicious right now.” Maysara Cyrus Pinot Noir 2010 ($39.95) $29 special Wine Advocate 91 points “A cuvee favoring a balance between the lowest- and highest-elevation portions of Momtazi, the 2010 Pinot Noir Cyrus spent 18 months in 30% new barrels. Strongly reminiscent of forest floor and roasted meat pan juices, this also boasts forward, tart-edged red raspberry and red currant, along with a maritime salinity, alkalinity, and hint of kelp. It finishes with invigorating penetration and persistent complexity. There isn’t the refinement of tannin here that I experienced with the ostensibly lesser Jamsheed cuvee of 2009, but I am inclined to view the present wine as simply structurally well-undergirded, and it should be worth following for 6-8 years.”
Chateau Rollat Sophie Red Blend 2009 ($27.95) $21.90 special Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Good medium red.  Aromas of raspberry, woodsmoke, mocha and sassafras convey a slight liqueur-like aspect.  Smooth and fine-grained, with a light touch to the open-knit flavors of spicy sour cherry and raspberry.  Not fleshy or particularly complex but lively and easy to like.  Just a tad bitter in a positive way, relying more on its acids than its tannins for balance.  There’s no rush to drink this.”Sleight of Hand Archimage 2011 ($59.95) $49 special Wine Advocate 91-93 points “ Looking at Trey’s 2011s tasted out of barrel, the 2011 The Archimage checks in as a blend of 54% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon that’s aging in 34% new French oak. Scheduled to be bottled in September of this year, it is a rock solid 2011 that has classy spice, plum, underbrush, new saddle leather and violets that flow to a medium to full-bodied, balanced and rich palate. One of the more age-worthy 2011s, with sound underlying structure and tannin, it should flesh out nicely in bottle and have a 10-12 year drink window. Drink 2015-2023.” Sleight of Hand Illusionist 2011 ($59.95) $49 special Wine Advocate 91-93 points “The 2011 The Illusionist (96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot) comes from Phinny Hill, Red Mountain and Scooteney Flats Vineyards and sees 56% new French oak. Also with outstanding potential (and then some) and possessing a medium to full-bodied, elegant profile, it’s loaded with sweet kirsch, raspberry, underbrush, cedar, spice box and graphite aromas and flavors. With knockout purity, notable tannin and serious length, it will benefit from a handful of years in the cellar once released and shine for 10-12 years or more. Drink 2015-2020” Sleight of Hand Levitation 2011 ($49.95) $39 special Wine Advocate 90 points “The outstanding 2011 Syrah Levitation is a 100% Syrah that comes mostly from the Les Collines Vineyard, yet also has smaller portions from the End of the Road Ranch and Funk Vineyards as well. Fermented with 33% whole cluster and aged for 14 months in a scant 12% new French oak, it is a pretty, seamless and supple Syrah that has plenty of ripe black cherry, spring flowers, leather and creamy licorice as well as a medium-bodied, moderately concentrated, yet pure and seamless mouthfeel. Elegant and already delicious, it has enough depth and tannin to evolve for 7-8 years. Drink now-2019.” Zero One Wild Sky Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 ($29.95) $26 special Wine Specator 91 points “Focused, deftly balanced and expressive, this sneaks up on you with tarry, minerally cherry and spice flavors on a medium-weight frame, lingering nicely on the finish. Drink now through 2017. 954 cases made.” Efeste Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($59.95) $44 special Wine Advocate 94 points “At the top of heap, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Big Papa – Old Block is all Cabernet and spent 20 months in 80% new French oak. Incredibly rich, layered and pure, it boasts first-rate aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, toasted bread, coffee bean and mint as well as a full-bodied, elegant and thrillingly textured mouthfeel. The quality of tannin here is superb and while already approachable, this beauty will continue to shine for another 10-12 years. Drink now-2025. This estate produces a bevy of brilliant wines that have loads of richness and depth, while staying fun to drink.” Betz Clos de Betz 2011 ($69.95) $51.90 special Stephen Tanzer 93 points “(67% merlot, 28% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot; aged in 65% new oak):  Good bright, deep red.  Redcurrant, cocoa powder and musky tobacco on the nose.  Gentle and creamy in the mouth for 2011, with harmonious ripe acidity framing the sweet red berry, cherry and cocoa powder flavors.  This floral merlot-based wine is supported by firm acids and tannins but comes across as quite feminine in style.  Betz notes that 2011 was a very good year for merlot.” Betz Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2011 ($79.95) $66 special Stephen Tanzer 94 (+?) points “(blended with 9% petit verdot and 3% merlot):  Good bright red-ruby.  Musky red berries, licorice, thyme, rosemary and pepper on the scented nose.  Creamy-sweet, suave and deep but at the same time precise and youthful, offering lovely perfumed flavors of red berries, cocoa powder (from the Taransaud oak?) and anise.  Very intensely flavored cabernet with terrific lift and aromatic persistence and remarkably suave, dusty tannins.  Betz describes 2011 as a year with lower total polyphenols, higher acidity and lower pHs than 2010.”
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint Aubin Les Comes 1er Cru 2012 ($59.95) $49 special
Landron Louvetrie Muscadet Sevre et Maine Su Lie 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special Des Forges Savennieres Roche aux Moines 2011 ($24.95) $20.90 special
Chateau Beausejour Montagne St. Emilion “Pentimento” 2010 ($27.95) $24 special
Cantina Del Pino Langhe Nebbiolo 2012 ($24.95) $19 special Vinopolpick Delish. Put this one under ‘things to imbibe while waiting for 2012 Barbaresco’.Elio Altare Dolcetto d’Alba 2012 ($19.95) $16 special Antonio Galloni 89 points “The 2012 Dolcetto d’Alba is intense, layered and beautiful. Just bottled, the 2012 is going to need at least another month or two to fully blossom, but it boasts fabulous depth and tons of personality.” Elio Altare Barbera d’Alba 2012 ($24.95) $18 special Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Good bright red-ruby.  Blueberry and anise on the slightly medicinal nose, complicated by an exotic suggestion of white fruits.  Juicy and sharply delineated, showing similar cut to the dolcetto but greater density of material.  Should open nicely with a year or two of patience.” Antonio Galloni 90 points “Altare’s 2012 Barbera d’Alba is even better than the Dolcetto. A juicy, pliant wine, the 2012 fleshed out beautifully in the glass. Raspberry jam, cloves, flowers and mint linger on the layered, highly expressive finish.” Elio Altare Barolo 2009 ($69.95) $59 special Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2009 Barolo shows remarkable harmony and balance. Fruit is sourced from La Morra, Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba and this makes for a beautiful combination of power and elegance. Wild berry, black fruit, tar, garden herb and spice characterize the bouquet. In the mouth, the wine displays fine tannins and a perfectly polished feel. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.” Elio Altare Barolo Arborina 2009 ($99.95) $81.90 special Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Barolo Arborina demonstrates a pretty floral quality with pressed rose and spots of lavender oil. Expressive and beautifully intense, the wine is crafted to show the delicate and more feminine side to the Altare portfolio. Silky and fine, the mouthfeel is streamlined and crisp. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2032.” Elio Altare Barolo Cerretta 2007 ($149.95) $119 special Wine Advocate 95 points “With the 2007 Barolo Cerretta Altare demonstrates the elegance that can be coaxed from this site in Serralunga. The Cerretta is the only Barolo Altare makes from vineyards outside his hometown of La Morra, but the house style nevertheless comes through in spades. Dark fruit, tar, licorice, smoke and scorched earth are some of the nuances that flow from this muscular, virile Barolo.” Elio Altare Barolo Brunate 2009 ($149.95) $119 special Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2009 Barolo Brunate is a true standout. Readers who want to understand why Brunate is one of Barolo’s great vineyards need to taste the Arborina and Brunate side by side. Here, the wine’s layered, vivid personality stands in stark contrast to the other 2009s. Sweet balsamic notes develop in the glass, but today the 2009 is of course quite primary and in need of serious cellaring. The prominent 2009 tannins are there, but the fruit is so deep and rich as to nearly bury them.”
Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2012 ($17.95) $14 special Robert Parker 92 points “The terrific 2012 Tres Picos is one of the finest inexpensive, Grenache-based wines made in the world. This full-bodied beauty boasts a deep ruby color as well as loads of strawberry and black cherry fruit, hints of lavender and crushed rocks, sweet tannin, and a broad, savory mouthfeel. It, too, should be consumed over the next 3-4 years.” Stephen Tanzer 92 points “(half fermented in French oak and half in stainless steel):  Bright purple.  Heady aromas of blueberry, cherry compote, white pepper and woodsmoke, plus an exotic cinnamon note.  Fresh and seamless, offering vibrant blueberry and black raspberry flavors and suave floral notes.  The spicy quality lingers seductively on the tenacious finish.”Mas D’En Compte Black Slate ($24.95) $19 special Wine Advocate & Stephen Tanzer 91 points “In spite of the fact that the 2011 Black Slate is produced from 60% Grenache (60-year-old vines) and 40% Carignan (80-year-old vines) aged 12 months in tank, foudre and used barrels, it tastes like a sexy, open-knit, lush, silky Pomerol. Loads of black currant and black cherry fruit, licorice, spice box and Christmas fruitcake emerge from this beautifully rich wine. Medium to full-bodied, heady and succulent, it is best drunk over the next 5-6 years.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Flash Sales
Sanford Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills 2011 ($31.95) $14 flash sale special ARRIVES TOMORROW Winery Notes “Our 2011 “Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay is sourced exclusively from our two estate vineyards in the heart of this cool climate appellation. The 2011 vintage was marked by low yields due to spring frost. This resulted in intense flavors with bright acid. By gently whole cluster pressing and barrel fermentation in French oak, this Chardonnay has lovely texture to balance the vibrant palate. Our 2011 estate Chardonnay offers intriguing aromas of lemon peel, apricot and toasted hazelnut. In addition to the bright fruit, this wine has aromas of white flowers. On the palate the minerality and acidity give this wine great structure, which carries through its long finish. This full bodied wine has nice acidity to keep it in balance and makes a nice complement to most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes and excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chanterelles and morels).”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2007 ($149.95) $99 flash sale special Antonio Galloni 96 points “Mascarello’s 2007 Barolo flows from the glass with masses of round, enveloping fruit. This is an unusually soft, juicy Barolo from Mascarello that is remarkable for its textural richness and warm radiant fruit. The 2007 doesn’t have the aromatic complexity of the 2005 or 2006, but it makes up for that with its totally seductive personality. Crushed flowers, berries and sweet baking spices linger on a generous finish that evokes memories of the 1990.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
G. Mascarello Barolo Monprivato 2009 ($119.95) $89 flash sale special ARRIVES TOMORROW Antonio Galloni 93-95 points “The 2009 Barolo Monprivato impresses for its sheer balance. Nothing really stands out, instead it is the wine’s overall harmony that speaks most clearly. This is going to be a fascinating vintage of Monprivato to follow. What will emerge over time? Will it be the personality of the year, or the pedigree of these poor, white soils? Time will tell.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Did Somebody Say Monprivato?
G. Mascarello Barolo Monprivato 2008 ($149.95) $99 special Wine Spectator 95 points #6 on Top 10 2013 ” The Mascarello family has grown grapes in Barolo for generations, founding its winery in 1881. Winemaker Mauro Mascarello and son Giuseppe ferment their Nebbiolo in oak vats, leaving it on the skins for roughly three weeks and then aging it three years in large oak casks. Monprivato is a top site covering a south-facing slope just outside the town of Castiglione Falleto, featuring white and gray marl soils that create wines of great perfume and structure, but also elegance.  Detailed and fragrant, offering floral, strawberry, cherry, licorice and spice flavors, this is elegant and underlined by a strong mineral streak. Well-proportioned, picking up intensity and complexity on the long, savory finish. Extremely fresh and classy”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Time to say Goodbye Some of our many Spring Cleaning Specials FRANCE-CHAMPAGNE
Piollot Champagne Cuvee De Reserve Extra Brut NV ($39.95) $24 special “Light yellow in color and with a cordon of delicate bubbles, this Champagne delivers a nose of great maturity, with floral notes of hawthorn and fruit notes of cherry plums blending harmoniously on a base of pleasantly evolving aromas. In the mouth the attack is straightforward, followed by the full richness of Pinot Noir. Full and well balanced, this wine provides a good length. Thanks to its freshness, this is a cuvée noted for a fine aromatic expression and an elegant nature.”–Winemaker NoteAyala Champagne Brut Rose Majeur NV ($59.95) $33 special Stephen Tanzer 90 points “(made from 51% chardonnay, 39% pinot noir – about a quarter of which is still red wine – and 10% pinot meunier; disgorged September, 2011):  Pale orange.  Bright, mineral-accented aromas of orange peal, brioche and white flowers, with a spicy topnote.  Silky and open-knit, offering tangy citrus fruit and red berry flavors and a hint of toastiness.  Closes smooth, fruity and long, with good breadth and clarity.” De Sousa Champagne Brut Rose NV ($69.95) $39 special Josh Raynolds 91 points “Dark pink, with a hint of onion skin; the color of a red wine from Arbois, even darker than some. Deep and smoky on the nose, with a spicy, vinous raspberry and cherry tone verging on Burgundian in character. Quite spicy, the cherry and wild berry flavors tinged by notes of clove, mace, cracked pepper and cayenne. A singular wine that would go perfectly with pungent cheeses or cured meats.” Bollinger Champagne Brut Special Cuvee NV ($59.95) $41.90 special Wine Spectator 94 points “A rich, smoky Champagne, with hints of marzipan and fennel seed accenting honeyed malt, bread dough, baked apple and gingersnap flavors. It’s all focused by intense acidity, which meshes beautifully into the layers of flavor and refined texture, with a lingering finish. Drink now through 2021.”
Chevillon Nuits-St-George Roncieres 2008 ($89.95) $49 special, 24+ available Stephen Tanzer 89-92 points “Medium-deep red. Sexy aromas of raspberry, flinty minerality and smoked meat. Sweet, bright and showy, with lovely cut and definition to its dense berry flavors. Combines brisk acidity and an impression of thorough ripeness. Very pure on the aftertaste.”Chevillon Nuits-St-George Vaucrains 2008 ($119.95) $79 special, 24+ available Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points “Deep, bright ruby-red. Black raspberry and chocolate aromas are complemented by sweet oak. Less refined than the Saint-Georges or Cailles but solidly built and quite powerful, with a youthfully medicinal character to the blast of dark fruit flavors. Extremely primary and impressively long. This may need the most patience of this excellent set of 2008s” Pierre Damoy Chapelle-Chambertin 2008 ($199.95) $99 special, final 12 bottles Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2008 Chapelle-Chambertin is a huge wine endowed with striking purity in its rich, dark fruit. Despite its sheer richness, the Chapelle also shows great tension in structural elements. In short, it’s all there in this magnificent, compelling Burgundy. Today the oak is a bit dominant and the fruit needs to settle down, but this is shaping up to be a magnificent wine. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.” Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Cazetiers 2008 ($99.95) $79 special, final 27 bottles Burghound 93 points “A strikingly layered nose combines ample amounts of pungent Gevrey-style earth, spice, iron notes and ripe red and dark berry fruit that meld with very serious, even brooding big-bodied flavors that are built on a base of firm minerality and finish with excellent richness and depth. This is a classic Gevrey in both style and character with excellent power and really lovely balance. In a word, terrific.” Faiveley Nuits St Georges Les St Georges 2008 ($129.95) $89 special, 36+ available Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points & Burghound 91-93 points “Palish medium red. Medicinal red cherry, minerals, crushed stone, violet, rose petal and white pepper on the noble nose. Wonderfully silky and pure, with ineffable flavors of red fruits, spices, flowers and minerals. This is wonderfully delicate, and not a fleshy wine, yet saturates every square millimeter of the palate with flavor. The long, sweet, rising finish offers terrific cut and floral lift. Should make a worthy successor to the outstanding 2007, which also transcends its village. Hervet says that this will be bottled by hand, without filtration.” Louis Latour Corton Grancey 2008 ($119.95) $79 special, 12 bottles Burghound 89-92 points “Mild wood influence does not compromise the transparency of the fresh and earthy red pinot fruit nose that exhibits a slight sauvage character that can also be found on the energetic, detailed and tautly muscled middle weight flavors that possess good richness and more refinement than usual on the serious, long and linear finish where a touch of austerity can also be seen.” Jacques Prieur Chambertin 2008 ($399.95) $259 special, final 6 bottles Burghound 92-94 points “This cool and equally fresh and restrained nose offers notably denser and much more complex aromas of red and blue pinot fruit, violets, earth and pungent minerality that is very much in keeping with the backward and ultra primary flavors that are firm, intense and precise, all wrapped in an austere, driving and powerful finish. This has everything it needs to amply reward long-term cellaring and it will need it.” Follin-Arbelet Aloxe Corton Vercots 2009 ($89.95) $49 special, final 16 bottles Burghound 89-92 points “This displays aromas that are relatively high-toned with floral and ripe red currant aromas that introduce dense, serious and very firmly structured medium weight plus flavors that possess an abundance of buffering sap on the long finish. This is clearly built to age and will require at least a decade of cellar time.” Follin-Arbelet Aloxe Corton Clos Chapitre 2009 ($89.95) $66 special, final 7 bottles Burghound 89-91 points “”This is also relatively high-toned with an exuberant nose of dried rose petals, violets and red pinot fruit aromas that slide gracefully into the rich yet precise flavors that exude a fine minerality on the complex and solidly persistent finish. This isn’t as structured or complex as the Vercots though it’s finer.” Follin-Arbelet Corton Grand Cru 2009 ($129.95) $69 special, final 4 bottles Burghound 92 points “A somber and mildly rustic nose speaks of plum liqueur and violets that are in keeping with the rich, serious and velvety big-bodied flavors that also exude a fine minerality on the dense, firmly structured and palate staining finish. This won’t win any awards for refinement but it is a classic Corton of power and muscle.” Domaine De Montille Clos Vougeot 2011 ($199.95) $125 special, final 6 bottles Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “(vinified entirely with whole clusters; 40% new oak):  Good full red.  Lovely high-pitched aromas of black cherry, blackberry, licorice and violet.  Deep, sappy and vinous, with an enticing savory/sweet quality to the intense flavors of wild dark berries, violet and graphite.  Finishes with firm-edged tannins, a very primary medicinal black cherry note, and lovely floral lift.  This will need at least four or five years of bottle aging.  Chef de cave Sieve noted that the domain owns parcels on either side of the tower in Clos Vougeot, with part of its vines located in a frost pocket that was hit hard in December of 2009.” Montille Puligny Montrachet Cailleret 2009 ($189.95) $119 special, final 2 bottles Burghound 93 points “Not surprisingly, this offers a big step up in aromatic elegance with its aromas of dried acacia blossom, citrus rind, spice and wet stone where the latter element also characterizes the supple, round and intense medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent complexity and genuinely striking length. This very classy effort should age well over the medium-term.” Domaine De Montille Volnay Taillepieds 2011 ($139.95) $89 special, final 5 bottles Burghound 91-94 points “There is enough reduction present to mask the nuances of the nose though the floral character does sneak past the funk. There is a wonderfully silky texture to the intense mineral and soil-inflected medium-bodied flavors that display really lovely delineation on the moderately austere and very firmly structured finish that delivers outstanding depth and length. This should improve for years to come and this is really most impressive.” De Courcel Pommard Grand Clos Des Epenots 2009 ($129.95) $88 special, final 18 bottles Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points, Burghound 92-94 points “Deep ruby-red. Black fruits, violet, licorice and minerals on the nose. Dense and ripe but sappy and not at all thick, with its impressive volume cut by violet and spice. This boasts an impressive combination of sweetness, vibrancy and powerful underlying structure. Finishes with saline and chocolate notes and excellent lift. Offers superb potential.”
Chateau De Bellevue Lussac St Emilion 1998 3L ($219.95) $149 special, final 2 bottles Chateau De Bellevue Lussac St Emilion 1999 3L ($219.95) $139 special, final 3 bottles Chateau De Bellevue Lussac St Emilion 1999 5L ($259.95) $199 special, final 2 bottles Chateau Figeac St. Emilion 2005 ($189.95) $139 special, final 13 bottles Wine Spectator 95 points “This is subtle and complex, showing blackberry, fresh tobacco and light vanilla, with a hint of Indian spices. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Refined and classy. The best modern wine from this producer. Best after 2015.” Chateau La Conseillante Pomerol 2005 ($499.95) $219 special, final 7 bottles Wine Spectator 97 points “This is decadent and wild on the nose, with fresh cèpe, raw steak and wild berry. Full-bodied, with loads of velvety tannins, yet refined and caressing in every way. A beautiful, balanced red. The best young wine ever from this producer. Best after 2017.” Chateau La Conseillante Pomerol 2006 ($179.95) $119 special, final 6 bottles Wine Spectator 94 points “Intense aromas of truffle and berries lead to a full body, with ultrarefined tannins and a very long finish. Balanced and wonderfully crafted. Gorgeous. Extremely well done. Best after 2014.” Cos D’estournel St-Estephe 2003 ($399.95) $199 special, final 3 bottles Robert Parker 98 points “The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d’Estournel is a candidate for ‘wine of the vintage.’ A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. “An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier.” Calon Segur Saint Estephe 2009 ($179.95) $99 special, final 3 bottles Wine Spectator 93-96 points, Robert Parker 94+ points “The 2009 has the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) ever included in a Calon-Segur (the rest is Merlot and Petit Verdot). Completely different from its St.-Estephe brethren, it is more backward and structured with a dense purple color, lots of black cherry, black currant, loamy earth, forest floor and spice notes, excruciatingly high levels of tannin, and a wonderful inner core of sweetness and concentration. It could behave like the 1982, which, at age 30, is just becoming mature. The 2009 is an uncompromising, masculine, massive style of wine that needs 15-20 years of cellaring even in this luscious, flashy, flamboyant vintage. It is super-tight and needs lots of coaxing and aeration. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050+.” Laforge St Emilion 2009 ($99.95) $59 special, final 26 bottles Robert Parker 96 points “From proprietor Jonathan Maltus, this blend of three terroirs, two on sand and one on gravel, is a blend of 92% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. About 2,000 cases are produced, and the prodigious 2009 is the finest vintage to date. Inky blue/purple, with notes of licorice, camphor, black truffle, blackberry and blueberry, this full-bodied wine has massive concentration yet at the same time displays elegance and harmony. The equilibrium and 60+-second length make for a huge, massive, but incredibly well-balanced wine, like a shadow of the proprietor himself. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.” Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild Pauillac 2009 ($269.95) $119 special, final 9 bottles Robert Parker 97 points “A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, it displays an inky/blue/purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, forest floor, licorice, lead pencil, cedar and subtle barrique smells. Viscous and full-bodied, it is the most concentrated and broadest example of this cuvee I have tasted in over three decades. It will be ready to drink in 5-7 years and should last for three decades or more. Consumers looking to maximize value should be checking out Duhart Milon, as this may be the single smartest purchase in this great and historic vintage!” Bellevue Mondotte St Emilion 2003 ($499.95) $239 special, final 16 bottles Robert Parker 98 points “An exquisite jewel in Chantal and Gerard Perse’s Right Bank empire, Bellevue-Mondotte is a tiny, 5-acre parcel of 45-year-old vines planted on the limestone plateau above Pavie-Decesse and Pavie-Macquin. It is composed of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. I tasted the 2003 on three separate occasions, one of which merited a three-digit rating. Sadly, there are only 4,000 bottles of this prodigious effort. Possessing relatively high alcohol (14.5%) for a Bordeaux, it is an amazing blend made from 15 hectoliters per hectare. A dense, viscous-looking purple color is accompanied by a sweet perfume of blackberries, espresso roast, fried lard, and pain grille. Full-bodied and massively rich with decent acidity and plenty of structure as well as tannin, this youthful 2003 should hit its stride in 3-5 years, and last for three decades. This may be what the great 1929s or 1947s tasted like at age three.” Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien 2009 ($499.95) $319 special, final 19 bottles Robert Parker 100 points “The 2009 Ducru Beaucaillou will eclipse the brilliant wines produced in 2005, 2003 and 2000. It will be interesting to see how the 2009 fares against the 2010 after twenty years of aging, but my money is on the 2009. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol, this inky purple, unctuous wine possesses classic aromas of graphite, creme de cassis, blueberries, violets, licorice and Christmas fruitcake. Full-bodied and intense with Ducru’s inimitable elegance and purity, it should firm up in the bottle after 7-10 years of cellaring and last for 40-50 years. Magnificent!” Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac 2003 ($219.95) $119 special, final 12 bottles Robert Parker 95 points “One cannot say enough about the labors of proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who has personally overseen the dramatic increase in quality of the wines at Pontet-Canet which started in a significant manner with 1994. This is a classic Pauillac-styled wine (meaning oodles of cassis flavors), as one might expect from a vineyard on the plateau of Pauillac, across the street from Mouton-Rothschild.” Haut Bages Liberal Pauillac 2006 6L ($599.95) $399 special, only 1 Wine Spectator 92 points “Dark ruby purple in color, with aromas of currant and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicious finish. Tight now, but pretty and balanced. Best after 2012.” Chateau Le Gay Pomerol 2009 ($199.95) $119 special, final 20 bottles Robert Parker 96+ points “Tiny yields of 25 hectoliters per hectare and a final blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc have produced an enormously concentrated, black/purple-colored wine exhibiting notes of roasted meats, smoked game, blackberries, coffee, incense and forest floor. This distinctive, large-scaled, viscous, thick Pomerol may be as concentrated as some of this estate’s all-time classics (1947 and 1950). I am puzzled by why I could not see this a few years ago. In any event, this is one of the most profound Le Gay’s ever produced. Forget it for at least a decade and drink it over the following half century.” Chateau Saint Pierre Saint Julien 2009 ($179.95) $119 special, 24+ bottles Robert Parker 98 points “The all-time greatest wine I have ever tasted from Saint-Pierre, this estate, the smallest of the grand cru classes of St.-Julien, has an opaque purple color and a spectacular nose of subtle charcoal, creme de cassis, blackberry, and incense. Full-bodied, with striking intensity and flamboyantly rich, exuberant flavors bursting with extract, the St. Pierre has no hard edges, but rather massive, incredibly well-endowed blockbuster style, which should prove to be monumental. Give it 6-8 years to take on more definition and calm down, but this is a 30- to 40-year wine. Bravo!”
Trimbach Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 ($29.95) $14 special
Huet Vouvray Petillant Sparkling 1998 ($44.95) $24 special
Willi Schaefer Estate Riesling 2008 ($21.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles available Wine Spectator 89 points “This is plump and juicy, yet also displays well-defined peach, apple and mineral flavors. Balanced with moderate length.”Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2011 ($24.95) $16 special, final 6 bottles  Selbach-Oster Zelting Sonnenuhr Spatlese 2011 ($34.95) $24 special, final 6 bottles Wine Advocate 90 points “The Selbach 2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese mingles caramel, honey, marzipan, quince preserves and vanilla cream with lightly-poached apple for an exceedingly ripe, nearly confectionary, and texturally soothing and buoyant performance. Its actual sense of sweetness, though, is quite modest. Incursions of lime and fresh apple lend welcome refreshment in the finish but are, for now at least, not entirely in harmony or synergistic counterpoint with the wine’s creamy, confitured, and near-confectionary aspects. It will be fascinating to see how this impressively persistent Spatlese evolves over the coming decade or two.” Leitz Rudesheimer Klosterlay Riesling Kab 2011 ($18.95) $14 special, final 24 bottles  Willi Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese 2011 ($39.95) $24 special, final 9 bottles Wine Advocate 89 points “Schaefer’s 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese displays juicy fresh apple, mirabelle and Persian melon allied to a subtly creamy texture, brown spices, apple skin and citrus zest serving for welcome invigoration in a sustained if relatively rounded-off finish. It ought to remain lovely for at least 12-15 years.” JJ Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese 2011 ($39.95) $26 special, final 9 bottles Wine Advocate 91 points “The Prum 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese is scented and flavored with spearmint- and crushed stone-infused; musk-, lily- and peony-wreathed apple, honeydew melon, and blueberry, with an invigoratingly tart chew of berry skin lending counterpoint to the wine’s luscious, silky texture and its consequently succulently soothing aspects, including a seductive sense of liquid floral perfume. While this hasn’t the transparency or interactivity that characterized the corresponding Kabinett, it largely makes up for this with its own distinct virtues. Look for three decades of delight.” JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese 2011 ($41.95) $29 special, final 7 bottles Wine Advocate 91 points  “Site-typical scents and bursting juiciness of mint-tinged grapefruit, pineapple, and apple inform the Prum 2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese A.P. #12, albeit with a bit of a yeasty, cheesy veil that needs to blow off. A delightful inner-mouth floral perfume–akin to honeysuckle–along with a slick of honey add decadent richness to the palate. Hints of apple pip piquancy and chew of tart apple skin along with crushed stone accents lend counterpoint to the succulently-sustained finish. It seems that for whatever reason–the Prums confess to having no clue–their Graachers are behind their other wines in evolution. Look for-the usual- quarter-century or more of admirable service.” JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett 2011 ($29.95) $19 special, final 7 bottles Wine Advocate 90 points “The Prum 2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett leads with scents of mint-tinged cassis and Golden Delicious apple, but the softness that these intimate on the palate doesn’t really materialize thanks to tart apple skin and piquant apple pip and grapefruit rind impingements, all the way through a bitter-sweet interchange of flavors leading into a satisfyingly sustained albeit rounded-off, delicate and soothing finish. Greater complexity and a sense of transparency may well emerge with time – and one can count on two decades’ high performance.” JJ Prum  Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2011 ($34.95) $21.90 special, final 10 bottles Wine Advocate 93 points “Prum’s 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett is a tad higher in residual sugar and correspondingly lower in alcohol than its immediate stable mates, but as one would expect from this great site, if anything the taste impression is drier. A ravishing nose of heliotrope and honeysuckle, Normandy cider and wet stone establishes the common themes for a palate performance that unites delicacy, juiciness and creaminess to an uncanny degree that only a few of the best Mosel vineyards and their prime caretakers can capture. Mouthwateringly lingering and compelling of the next sip, this rarified illustration of Mosel Kabinett virtue will reward you over the next quarter century.” A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberg Kabinett 2011 ($27.95) $21.90 special, final 21 bottles Wine Advocate 92 points “Talcum and orange blossom fetchingly scent Adam’s 2011 Dhronhofberger Riesling Kabinett, then join white peach on a luscious, delicate, subtly creamy palate, with a sense of wafting inner-mouth perfume as well as nut cream and wet stone undertones lasting into a refreshing finish, where the effects of a small lot of wine with unusually high acidity are noticeable and engender a certain largely productive tension. As this opened to the air, a sense of interactive dynamic between its fruit and flowers on the one hand and emerging stony, alkaline, and saline notes on the other served to heighten an already high level of stimulation. This should be a delight to follow for the next 15 years or so and will probably gain in nuanced complexity.” Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Auslese 2011 ($399.95) $299 special Wine Advocate 96 points “Mullers 2011 Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese delivers a penetrating and multifarious nose of heliotrope, lily, candied lime rind, quince preserves, white peach preserves, distilled herbal essences, marzipan and brown spices. Almost weightlessly delicate yet simultaneously expansive and creamy, this both caresses and stimulates the palate with a kaleidoscopically interactive array of those diverse and exotic elements that on the nose signaled its ripeness and botrytis ennoblement. An almost syrupy sense of white peach along with hints of white raisin that emerge in that prodigious finish fails to tip the scales in too-confectionary a direction thanks to a vibratory sense of energy and refreshing rivulet of juicy fresh peach and lime that is threaded throughout.” Heymann-Loewenstein Uhlen Roth Lay BA 2009 375ML ($299.95) $149 special, only 1 left Wine Advocate 96 points, Stephen Tanzer 95 points “Quince and white peach preserves seem to be mingled with fresh peach, lime, and raspberry, while scents of lemon blossom, wintergreen, white truffle, and musk lend intrigue. On a palate every bit as creamy and almost as buoyant as that of the corresponding long gold capsule Auslesen, this introduces a note of caramel to its layered profusion of confitured and fresh fruits. In fact, its seemingly endless finish still refreshes, although this wine’s enhanced sense of caramelization and sheer sweetness – not to mention of must weight – are, I image, what argued for calling it -Beerenauslese.- It in fact boasts slightly more alcohol – at 7% — than the corresponding Laubach long gold capsule Auslese. I imagine this will remain vital for 35-40 years.” Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Auslese 2006 375ML ($119.95) $79 special, final 5 bottles Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2006 Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Auslese seems to be following a mission for this site to display in the most elegant, delicate, and seemingly effortless way the concentrated ripeness of the vintage, in the process proving Donnhoff’s hypothesis that – like the Hermannshohle – Dellchen “has talent at all levels of residual sugar.” This Auslese puts away the botrytis as the dry Spatlese dispatched its alcohol and the sweet Spatlese its residual sugar. A cherry-nectarine liqueur redolent of distilled essences and laced with lemon generates an inner-mouth explosion of floral perfume. Deep honey and chocolate richness well-up but do not pull this masterpiece down from its orbital state. I would not pull a cork for 15 years nor be in any hurry (were I a young man) to drink it up in less than 40 years.” Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Auslese Long Goldkapsel ’06 375M ($49.95) $29 special Wine Spectator & Stephen Tanzer 93 points “A rich white, but juicy, with good underlying acidity keeping it focused. The apple, pear and golden raisin notes are soft around the edges. Long finish though. Drink now through 2028.”WS “Golden yellow. Ripe peach, mango and acacia honey aromas waft over a bed of licorice. Creamy and glossy in texture, with tropical fruit flavors shaded by honeyed botrytis and a sweet herbal note. Remains pure, shapely and slatey through the impressivelyl long finish.” R. Weil Kiedricher Grafenberg Spatlese 2006 ($74.95) $33 special, final 4 bottles Wine Spectator & Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Delicate floral nose offers yellow plum, quince and a hint of vanilla. A honeyed richness develops on top of a nice mineral foundation to provide lift and complexity. A salt, crisp character keeps the palate fresh on the long, penetrating finish. Classic!”ST  “A juicy white, displaying peach and orange cream notes. It’s bright and remains lithe and well defined through the lingering finish. This will develop well in time. Drink now through 2022. 150 cases imported.” R. Weil Kiedricher Grafenberg Auslese 2006 ($159.95) $49 special Wine Spectator 92 points & Stephen Tanzer 90 points “A combination of purity and concentration. Apricot and orange peel flavors ride the silky texture and bright structure to a fresh, mouthwatering conclusion. Drink now through 2022. “WS “Pale golden yellow. Aromas of ripe peach, papaya and vanilla. Elegantly sweet and creamy on the palate, with tropical fruit flavors retaining a light touch. With its harmonious acidity and finishing spice, this avoids coming off as heavy. This possesses more depth but is not better than the two spatleses.”
Aldo Conterno Barolo 2005 ($89.95) $49 special, 24+ bottles Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2005 Barolo offers up gorgeous aromas that literally fill the room with intense perfume. This finessed, mid-weight wine reveals superb purity to its primary, fresh fruit in an ethereal style. Finessed tannins round out this complete Barolo. The wine clamped up quickly in the glass, but it should be beautiful in another year or so. Beginning with the 2004, Conterno’s Barolo contains 20% fruit from Barolo in addition to the Bussia fruit that made up the wine in previous vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.”Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia 2009 ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2009 Barolo Bussia is a magnificent wine that makes a bold opening statement thanks to the high caliber and intensity of its bouquet. Power and sheer determination set the wine on course smoothly over the palate and the quality of the tannin is firm and tense. The wine presents fruit characteristics of dried cherry and cassis that are not too obvious but are soon followed by delicate tobacco, Indian spice, cola, tar and licorice. It’s a picture-perfect young Barolo for 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.” Giacosa Barolo Falletto 2005 ($219.95) $189 special, 24+ bottles Wine Advocate & Stephen Tanzer 94 points “The 2005 Barolo Falletto offers up a gorgeous bouquet of red cherries, flowers, spices and menthol. This is a relatively delicate, elegant Barolo Falletto yet it offers gorgeous balance, tons of inner perfume and a long, refined finish. It is one of the overachievers in 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.” Voerzio Barolo Riserva Capalot Brunate 1999 1.5L ($599.95) $379 special, final 4 bottles Stephen Tanzer 95+ points – “Full, deep ruby-red. Restrained but highly complex nose melds strawberry, raspberry, currant, mocha and dried flowers; less exuberant today than the Samassa. But the sweetest and lushest in the mouth of these ’99s: hugely rich, creamy and seamless but with terrific supporting vinosity giving it a lightness of touch.”
Cerbaiona Brunello Di Montalcino 2008 ($199.95) $139 special, final 12 bottles Antonio Galloni 93+ points “Succulent red cherries, dried roses, violets, tar and spices are some of the many notes that are woven together in the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino. Intensely perfumed, the 2008 shows many of the classic Cerbaiona signatures, even if it is a touch less polished than some of the recent vintages. At the same time, the 2008 has come together nicely over the last few years, so it will be interesting to watch what happens with further time in bottle. Dried rose petals and spices add complexity to the subtle, layered flavors. This is one of the stronger wines of the year.”Altesino Brunello Montalcino Montosoli 2006 ($119.95) $66 special, 36+ bottles Wine Spectator 94 points “Pungent with balsamic and macchia underbrush aromas, this distinctive red also features cherry, leather and tobacco notes. The supple texture is offset by firm yet ripe and refined tannins. Excellent length.” Antinori Tignanello 2010 ($119.95) $77 special, 24+ bottles Antonio Galloni 96 points “Antinori’s 2010 Tignanello is stunning, as it has been since I started tasting the component wines in 2011. Firm yet sweet, silky tannins form the backbone for this gorgeous, vivid wine. Dark red cherries, plums, cloves, mint and sage inform a Tignanello that impresses for its delineation, nuance and power. Clean, saline notes support the mineral-drenched finish. The 2010 isn’t huge, but rather is a vertical wine endowed with tremendous energy and vibrancy. I can’t remember a Tignanello with this much crystalline tension and pure energy. Simply put, the 2010 Tignanello is a magnificent, towering wine from Antinori.” Casanova Di Neri Brunello Cerretalto 2006 ($249.95) $199 special, 24+ bottles James Suckling 99 points “Aromas of ripe strawberries, sandalwood, and flowers follow though to a full body, with soft tannins and a fruity finish. This is so long and gorgeous, with intense fruit and a defined and beautiful structure. Amazing fruit at the finish. Gorgeous now, but will age beautifully. The palate builds and show such depth. So wonderful now, but better in 2015.” Castellare I Sodi Di San Niccolo 2008 ($74.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2008 I Sodi di San Niccolo is especially dark, powerful and brooding in this vintage. Black fruit, smoke, tar and incense are some of the many notes that flow from a structured, tense frame. The 2008 will test the readers’ patience, but it has the stuffing and pedigree to develop into a splendid wine. This is a fabulous showing, especially within the context of the vintage. Today, the 2008 looks to be a great wine in the making. I Sodi di San Niccolo is 85% Sangioveto and 15% Malvasia Nera aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028” Felsina Vin Santo 2004 375ML ($49.95) $33 special, 24+ bottles Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2004 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is fabulous. A reference point wine for the region, the 2004 captures the heart and intellect with its superb balance and pure pedigree. The style is moderately sweet and oxidative, in the best of the Vin Santo tradition. Savory herbs, dried flowers, leather and lightly burned sugar add complexity on the finish. Vin Santo? Felsina remains one of the 2-3 reference points, it’s as simple as that. As for the 2004, well, it is utterly majestic.” Castello Di Bossi Corbaia 2008 ($59.95) $45 special, 36+ bottles Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2008 Corbaia is striking in this vintage. A delicate, graceful bouquet gives the impression of femininity, until layers of fruit hit the palate with relentless energy and focus. The 2008 impresses for its balance and overall sense of harmony. The tannins are still huge at this stage, but I sense that as they melt away the wine’s true pedigree will begin to emerge. This is a great, great showing from Castello di Bossi. Corbaia is 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in new French oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028.” Fontodi Flaccianello 2009 ($99.95) $79 special, 24+ bottles Wine Spectator 96 points “The first impression of this red is purity and finesse, as black currant, raspberry and violet aromas and flavors stay focused and persistent. An earthy leather element and mineral notes chime in on the finish, backed by a vibrant structure. Sangiovese. Best from 2015 through 2032.” Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello 2006 ($69.95) $39 special, 24+ bottles James Suckling 95 points “Frescobaldi’s Brunello always delivers great quality in just about any vintage. Gorgeous nose of ripe berries and slice plums with an almost peach undertone. Full bodied, with a solid core of gorgeously clean and clear dark fruits. Dense and integrated tannins on the finish. So long and fascinating. Best after 2013” La Poderina Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 ($74.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles James Suckling 95 points “Blueberries, flowers and raspberries. Love the nose, like so many others. Full body, with fine tannins and a silky textured finish. So much going on here. Class” Montepeloso A Quo 2011 ($24.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles Antonio Galloni 90 points “Once again, Montepeloso’s entry-level A Quo is fabulous. I expected to find a rich, powerful wine given the year, instead the 2011 A Quo is fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated. Hints of raspberry jam, rose petals and sweet spices literally jump from the glass. The 2011 is best enjoyed over the next few years, while the fruit remains vibrant. This is a terrific showing from proprietor Fabio Chiarellotto.” Rocca Di Frassinello Baffonero 2009 ($219.95) $149 special, final 17 bottles Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Baffonero is superb in this vintage. It bursts onto the palate with an exotic array of plums, blackberries, French oak, spices, violets and licorice, all of which wrap around the palate with notable intensity. Baffonero keeps getting better with each passing vintage, but in 2009 it appears everything has come together. Tar, smoke, violets and licorice wrap around the muscular, jammy finish. With a little more polish, Baffonero could very well be an exceptional wine. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024” San Felice Campogiovanni Brunello 2008 ($49.95) $36 special, 24+ bottles Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is strikingly beautiful in this vintage. Sweet floral notes meld into raspberries, flowers, mint and spices. A sexy, radiant wine, the 2008 impresses for its balance and overall sense of harmony. The long, polished finish is impeccable. All the elements are in the right place. I don’t expect the 2008 to be a long-term ager, but it is very appealing today.” Silvio Nardi Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 ($59.95) $39 special, 24+ bottles James Suckling 95 points “A very structured 2007 Brunello, with ripe and firm tannins and beautiful fresh fruit. Full body, chewy and intense, with a long finish. This is the best from here in years. Wonderful depth of fruit.”


Dal Forno Vigna Sere 2004 375ML ($189.95) $139 special, 12+ bottles Wine Advocate 98 + points “The 2004 Vigna Sere is the perfect conclusion to a vintage that will go down as one of Dal Forno’s most magical. Sweet, silky tannins support layers of super-refined, elegant fruit in this magical sweet red. Mocha, espresso, new leather, raspberry jam and spices emerge with time in the glass, but this is really a wine that shows off textural finesse more than anything else. I have tasted this wine many times since it was in barrel and later in bottle. It has never been anything less than spellbinding. It is one of the most magical sweet dessert wines I have ever tasted. At eight years of age the 2004 remains an infant. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2005 ($119.95) $79 special. 12+ bottles Wine Advocate 95 points “Dal Forno should really change the name of his 2005 Valpolicella Superiore. It is really an Amarone for all practical intents and purposes, as it is made entirely from fruit that has been dried, albeit for less time than that legally required for Amarone. Firm, sturdy tannins frame blackberries, blueberries, violets and new leather in the 2005 Valpolicella. This is an especially structured, shut-down wine, even within the context of Dal Forno. The wine’s gorgeous inner perfume and sheer depth suggest that all that is required is patience. With time in the glass the tannins soften just enough to get a glimpse of what is in store for those who can wait a few years. Bittersweet chocolate, graphite and tar are layered into the authoritative finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”
Descendientes J Palacios Bierzo Las Lamas 2011 ($119.95) $79 special, final 12 bottles Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Las Lamas is a true expression of both the vintage and the vineyard, which is usually the most powerful of all the wines produced by the winery. Perhaps 2011 imprinted more character in the wine than 2010 did. The nose is full of blueberries, peach and gunpowder, wet slate, peat and smoke notes. It’s a powerful wine, this is the only vineyard where they have some clay mixed with the slate. Some fine-grained tannins hint at the need of a couple of years in bottle.”Descendientes J Palacios Bierzo Corullon 2011 ($49.95) $33 special, final 14 bottles Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2011 Corullon nearly jumps from the glass in an explosion of violets, ripe peaches and acid strawberry, the fruit darker, a touch riper, with some organic notes of humus and peat, even mushroom. You can drink it now to enjoy the exuberant, exotic profile of the wine or let it rest for three years and enjoy later. It has superb precision and length. Corullon also benefits from blending different vineyards.” Artadi El Seque Alicante 2009 ($44.95) $29 special, 24+ bottles Stephen Tanzer 91 points “(90% monastrell and 10% syrah):  Opaque violet color.  Enticing aromas of cherry-cola, black raspberry, potpourri and Asian spices.  Very ripe but fresh and energetic, with excellent clarity to its sweet dark berry and spice flavors.  Juicy, penetrating and long on the finish, with the spice and floral notes echoing.” Bodegas Alion Ribera Del Duero 2008 ($89.95) $66 special, 24+ bottles Stephen Tanzer 92 points “Deep ruby.  Expressive aromas of candied cherry and cassis, with complicating notes of cola, anise and violet.  Plush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and slow-building oak spice and licorice nuances.  Closes on a smoky note, with spiciness and very good persistence.  Pretty impressive for the year.”