Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $36 special!
James Suckling 93 points “A firm, silky red with blueberry, blackberry and mineral aromas. Hints of chocolate. Full body, pretty fruit and a long, flavorful finish. Very refined. A standard-bearer.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “Boasting an elaborate style, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is a plump, juicy and opulent red wine from southern Tuscany. The wine is packed tight with the sunshine and the brilliant luminosity of its birthplace. The quality of fruit is quite ripe and soft. The tannins are similarly textured. This is an immediate wine that can be consumed within the next few years. Or, if you have the patience to wait, it promises a steady medium-term evolution. The bouquet is redolent of red fruit, cherry cola and grilled herb.”
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is a very pretty wine. Succulent, open-knit and racy, the 2011 offers lovely purity of fruit in a racy, forward style that is best enjoyed sooner rather than later, while the flavors retain their brightness. Sweet red cherry, flowers and spices reappear on the finish, adding a closing burst of energy.”
The next best price is $44.23
The average price is $62
Wine Advocate 94 points “This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate’s annata Brunello. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante (with vines planted in 1997) shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry. The fruit is nicely balanced by those elegant, ethereal notes of blue flower, balsam herb, cola and crushed pine nut that are characteristic of aged Sangiovese.”
The average price is $84
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93+ points “Bright red-ruby. Nicely ripe aromas of raspberry, red cherry syrup, minerals and rose petal are concentrated but fresh. Then juicy, intense and sharply delineated, with lovely lift to the very pure flavors of redberries, minerals and licorice. Knockout, silky-sweet wine that is at once ripe and vibrant, finishing with lovely aromatic persistence and noteworthy minerality. One of the best young La Torre Brunellos I remember; already irresistible now, but will repay cellaring.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) note “fermented in stainless steel for three weeks. It is then racked into large barrels (“botte” made by Gargalotto and of Slavonian origin) and left to age in cask for forty-two months. A small part of the wine (approximately 17%) destined for Brunello status spends 12 months in small barrel. The wine for the Brunello is selected from the oldest vines and the most well-positioned vineyards.”
Now it’s even lower!
Caprili has become one of the most notable names when talking about Brunello producers whose star is on the rise. Founded relatively recently for a Tuscan estate, in 1965, the small family producer has continued to turn out some of the most exciting, traditionally styled wines from the Brunello appellation, though only recently has their name become a buzzword in industry circles.
Stylistically, these are powerful wines, with rich full textures and intense aromatics. Fermentations here are long and in stainless, with grapes spending 25+ days on the skins before going into large format, old Slavonian oak barrels for a full three years before botting. We have the best price in the country on the soon-to-be-classic 2012 Caprili Brunello, arriving in a couple of weeks, and wanted to give you the first shot at them before they hit the shelves.
Arriving ETA February 2nd:
Caprili Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($59.95) $33.50 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($319.95) $189 pre-arrival special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 94 points “Appealing aromas and flavors of cherry, almond, leather, iron and earth are the hallmarks of this muscular red. Remains fresh and persists on the aftertaste, with echoes of iron and tobacco. Best from 2021 through 2035. 3,500 cases made.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Bright deep red. Very perfumed, pure aromas of raspberry, red cherry, flint and violet. Juicy but dense, with vibrant acidity lifting the floral berry and cherry flavors on the long mineral finish, characterized by an especially silky mouthfeel. Knockout Brunello.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Truffle, leather, mature black-skinned fruit and carob aromas emerge from this powerful red. The full-bodied palate delivers succulent wild cherry, black raspberry, licorice, pipe tobacco and grilled herb flavors with big, chewy tannins. Drink 2019–2027.”
The average price is $46
Canalicchio Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($59.95) $32.50 pre-arrival special
Canalicchio Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 375ML ($29.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Canalicchio Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($319.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
International Wine Report 93 points “The 2012 Canalicchio is a beautifully crafted, refined Brunello which spent more than 24 months in medium-large Slavonia oak casks. It slowly opens with aromas of dried cherries ans plums woven together with walnuts, tobacco, leather, dried spices and hints of balsamic. Medium-bodied and firm, with a fine grained tannins and lovely balance leading to the ultra-long, chewy finish. Today this is still a bit austere and will require a few years of additional bottle age before it becomes fully accessible. (Best 2020-2029) – February, 2017 (JD).”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino shows excellent continuity with past vintages and underlines a house style that is specific to this estate. This is a nuanced and delicate expression of Sangiovese that delivers grace and power. It walks a fine line between these two opposites. The bouquet is redolent of wild berry, red currant, grilled herb, wild mushroom and underbrush. I gave the 2011 vintage the same score, although the differences between the two wines are pronounced. The 2011 vintage shows the warm climate with more directness, whereas this edition offers more subtle depth and finesse. Both wines are most appropriate for near or medium-term drinking.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points “Lively bright red. Primary aromas of raspberry, cherry cola and crushed rocks. At once sweet and austere, with juicy, very pure, red berry flavours, this is rather light in weight with a gentle texture in the typical Franco Pacenti style. Finishes minerally and long with vibrant violet nuances. This ought to blossom nicely given a few years in the cellar.”
The average price is $39
Bedrock Wine Co. Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Red, Contra Costa County 2016 750ML ($41.95) $34.90 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points “Combines personality with polish, offering floral cherry and tomato leaf aromas and layered, plump cracked pepper, Asian spice and smoky plum flavors. Zinfandel, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2026”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Another standout, the 2016 Evangelho Heritage Wine is wonderfully fragrant and lifted. Medium in body, gracious and super-expressive, the Evangelho is pure class. All the elements simply come together in this super-expressive Zinfandel-based wine. The combination of sandy soils and unique field blend of approximately 60% Zinfandel, 35% Mataro and 5% mixed blacks results in a wine of compelling beauty and pedigree. Evangelho is now a true estate vineyard owned by Bedrock”
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special, 4 magnums in stock now
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 3.0L ($279.95) $249 special, 1 double magnum in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points “Complex and enticing aromas and flavors of macerated cherry, licorice, sandalwood, cigar box and tar are the hallmarks of this Barbaresco. Dense and firm for now, but this should develop nicely over the next decade. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
The next best price is $62.96
This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
This is the only listing for a double-magnum in the USA today!
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 5 magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “A lively version, displaying cherry, plum, licorice, spice and subtle tar flavors. Taut and balanced, exuding a mineral element on the long finish. Really elegant overall. Best from 2021 through 2035. ”
Bedrock Wine Co. ‘The Bedrock Heritage’, Sonoma Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “A knockout red, focused and well-built but loaded with personality. Expressive blackberry and dark Asian spice notes lead to intense yet refined smoky plum, orange zest and smoky cracked pepper flavors. Zinfandel, Carignane, Mataro, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2027.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Bedrock Heritage Wine is powerful, dense and explosive. Swaths of dark, deep fruit flesh out as this ample wine shows off its beguiling personality. Earthy and savory notes add aromatic nuance. As good as the 2016 is today – and it is terrific – it is also very backward and much less overt than other vintages have been. Readers will have to be patient. The Bedrock is a field blend of 27 different grapes based on 50% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane and 4% Mataro, plus dollops of everything else. This compelling Heritage Wine will find its greatest admirers among readers who enjoy old-school, structured wines.”
Case-12 Bow & Arrow Rhinestones Red, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($299.95) $239 pre-arrival special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Grapelive 95 points “The brilliant and edgy Rhinestones (a Loire Valley inspired Pinot Noir and Gamay blend from Bow & Arrow Wines) is one of the best Oregon wines that is under the radar. In fact it is one of the best new world wines for the money period! Scott Frank is killing it with his latest releases at Portland’s Bow & Arrow Wines, especially [with] this Touraine style Rhinestones cuvee that comes from the all-organic/biodynamic vines and the marine sedimentary soils at Johan Vineyards in the Van Duzer Corridor of the Willamette Valley. This wine has so much going on and [is] beautifully detailed. In Burgundy you have the earthy/feral Gamay and Pinot Noir blend, called Passetoutgrain, [that,] while interesting, it never seems to be taken too seriously. Here, though, Frank reaches for the Loire for inspiration and the natural winemaking hot-bed there to craft his Rhinestones, a wine that I’ve always loved. This 2016 looks to be the best yet. It’s outrageously seductive and pretty with a stemmy/racy vitality and gorgeous purity, heightened by an exotic perfume and extraordinary length. Whole cluster and native ferment, the Rhinestones is an intriguing play between ripe fruitiness and savvy savoriness with a tangy, but juicy/generous Gamay palate and graceful Pinot Noir structure. It is nicely brisk and great slightly chilled, [and] it fills out in the mouth with a medium body and a heavenly texture featuring black cherry, plum, mulberry and currant fruits along with sweet liquid roses, hints of lilac and walnut as well as dried basil, peppery spices, mineral, chalk, anise and cinnamon. The stems add grip and tension to this absolutely fantastic wine. Judged on its own merits this stuff rocks and is truly profound. Bow & Arrow’s Gamay stand alone is pretty damn good, but this wine is on another level, it made me say the F-word followed by YEAH! The 2016 Rhinestones is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay. It’s a runaway success of sensual sensations and vibrancy. Bow & Arrow has just blown away all the doors, removes all prejudice about blending Pinot Noir and shows Gamay to be a great partner of remarkable character. Do not miss this wine. This is one of America’s new wine geek(y) treasures, unique and with its own personality that will appeal in particular to those with a wilder mind. This latest Rhinestones is sensational.”
Three Nuits Gems From Faiveley’s 2015 Lineup
2015 as a vintage doesn’t need to be talked about any more at length—it will go down with 2009, 2005, etc. as one of the landmark vintages in modern Burgundy. Rich, powerful and structured, the wines are packed with surprisingly approachable fruit but enough structure to age for decades. Faiveley continues their recent hot streak with another series of successes in the vintage. Each year seems to bring more refinement and nuance to the wines, making them some of the best wines and best values in top-of-the-line Burgundy.
Faiveley in particular seems to do well in Nuits-St. George, a village that flies under the radar despite having the most premier cru vineyards in the Cote de Nuits (and also for having the northern part of the Cote d’Or named after it, as well). Nuits wines vary considerablyt in power and density and we’ve selected to offer three very different bottlings, all delicious. These are going to be wines to stock up on, but like most great Burgundy, quantities are the limiting factor.
Domaine Faiveley Aux Chaignots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91-93 points “(25% vendange entier; 40% new oak; from limestone-rich soil): Bright red with ruby tones. Sexy scents of raspberry, redcurrant, rose petal and exotic spices (Flous says the wine’s floral character is due to its whole-cluster component). Fresh and energetic, with suave, lightly saline red berry and spice flavors lifted by the wine’s floral element. This suave wine finishes with slowly building, toothdusting tannins and lovely grip.”
Burghound 91-93 points “A markedly floral nose offers up notes of herbal tea, earth, spice and both red and dark cherry nuances. There is both excellent volume and mid-palate concentration to the refined and lightly mineral-inflected flavors that possess focused power on the elegant and lingering finale. This is picture perfect Chaignots that should be approachable after only a few years of cellaring if that’s your preference.”
Burghound 91-93 points “This is completely different with its brooding and reserved nose of ripe extract of black cherry along with plenty of earth, floral and sauvage hints. The powerful and concentrated middle weight plus flavors possess a lush and velvety mouth feel while displaying ample muscle on the structured, serious and impressively persistent finale. Like the Clos de l’Ecu, this moderately rustic effort will need patience.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Dark tones of black currant, blackberry and violet mark this broad, muscular red, which is burly on the compact finish, with an earthy aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2037.”
Burghound 90-93 points “A pretty if restrained nose speaks of various wild red berries, earth and once again sauvage nuances. The supple yet concentrated medium weight flavors possess both fine volume and detail on the punchy and lightly mineral-inflected finale that is less rustic than usual. What is entirely typical though is the expected aging curve as this is almost certainly to be extremely long-lived.”
A Cristom Masterpiece
The 95 Point Estate Pinot Noir
Cristom Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($54.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Bright red. Suave, smoke-accented aromas of raspberry preserves, pungent flowers, incense and cola, along with a hint of allspice in the background. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering intense red berry, allspice and floral pastille flavors that are sharpened by a jolt of zesty acidity. Shows superb clarity and spicy bite on a long, penetrating finish shaped by silky, even tannins. The interplay of power and finesse here is really something.”
A Trio of Particularly Pointy Potables
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This fabulous blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot delivers loads of plush softness and succulent richness. Aromas of chocolate, ripe fruit and spice are distinct and clear, and the wine shows compelling complexity and intensity overall.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2008 Giusto di Notri is wonderfully alive in the glass. Dark red berries, flowers, spices, grilled herbs, licorice and leather are some of the notes that flesh out in this dazzling, vibrant Giusto di Notri. Polished tannins provide the backdrop for the silky, expressive finish. A final blast of red fruit adds freshness and brightness on the close. Giusto di Notri is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.”
James Suckling 100 points “A glorious and complex nose of tobacco, blackberries and hints of stones and flowers. Hints of bitter chocolate. Full-bodied, very tight and compacted. Linear backbone gives this form and tension. It has the same character on the palate as well as cayenne and other spice. Loved the 2014 but this shows more fine-grained tannins. So balanced and harmonious. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 5% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Needs four or five years in bottle but a joy to taste now.”
Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2015 750ML ($47.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2015 reds from the Northern Rhône are truly spectacular and this vintage rivals or surpasses the 2010s and 2009s. Brought up in a mix of tronconique tanks and Burgundy barrels (20% being new), the 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is a big, serious, full-bodied effort that’s reminiscent of a slightly softer version of the 2010. Scorched earth, black fruits, cassis, black olive and a hint of graphite all emerge from this sensational Crozes Hermitage. You’ll need to forget bottles for 4-5 years, but it will have over two decades of longevity.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92-94 points “(made from vines that range from 40 to 60 years old; raised for a year in oak barrels, 20 percent of them new) Youthful violet. Powerful mineral- and spice-accented blue fruit liqueur and violet aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice and white pepper. Concentrated and expansive on the palate, offering intense blueberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and an exotic Indian spice quality that builds on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and lift on the finish, which is framed by velvety, harmonious tannins that fold smoothly into the juicy dark fruit.”
Some of the Greatest Dry Riesling
At the Greatest Prices in the Country
The Pfalz is a unique region in Germany in that wineries there focused on powerful dry wines long before it was fashionable to do so in the rest of the country. Most of the wines we’re highlighting today are dry and are some of the best values in the world for breathtakingly mineral wines. Muller-Catoir owns some of the best vineyards in the region and has a special touch with them.
Muller-Catoir wines in stock now:
Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Im Breumel Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ half-bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Riesling Auslese Haardter Bürgergarten Im Breumel is very clear and concentrated on the nose, but also shows the brown seed aromas of ripe Riesling. Great class and precision here, with some minty flavors. The wine is very concentrated, lush and round on the palate; it reveals a super sweet raisin flavor, as well as great finesse and vitality. This is a gorgeous Auslese with salinity and grip.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2015 Riesling Trocken Haardter Bürgergarten Im Breumel VDP Grosse Lage offers a beautifully pure and stony bouquet of bright yellow fruits and lemon aromas, and comes along almost like a perfume. On the palate, this is a highly elegant and well-balanced Riesling cru with a compact and mineral structure, great finesse and a very persistent salinity in the finish. The wine reveals a well-dosed power and concentration, as well as a great elegance and harmony. It should be aged for at least five years.”
James Suckling 95 points “The diamond-bright nose of enormous freshness announces a seriously elegant wine of understated sophistication. The delicate citrus and herbal flavors will expand considerably with a year or two’s more ageing, but this already has a finesse that makes it stand out in the strong field of the 2015 riesling GGs from the Pfalz. The very long and subtle finish only confirms that.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Pfalz Riesling Trocken Haardter Bürgergarten VDP Erste Lage is pure, deep, rich, ripe and intense on the nose; it shows grapefruit and herbal flavors intertwined with excitingly flinty/stony or mineral aromas, due to the stony Buntsandstein subsoils, but also the organic farming. Highly elegant and very intense, this is a gorgeous Riesling with great intensity of both minerals and fruits. This is a super well-structured and transparent, dry Riesling of great elegance and expression. Its power comes only in the finish and is mixed with lots of stone salts. This is an extremely stimulating and great Riesling. Yield is 40 hectoliters per hectare.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Pfalz Riesling Trocken Haardt has a deep and intense Riesling flavors that reflects the deeper soils of the vineyards in the Haardt slopes. The nose is discreet in its white stone fruit aromas, but deep, intense, really clear and fresh. On the palate, this is a very straight, firm and pure Riesling with a lot of grip and tension. However, it needs more time to develop its charm. The mineral length and compact structure is already impressive though.”
Muller-Catoir Haardter Herrenletten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points ““The 2015 Riesling Trocken Haardter Herrenletten VDP Erste Lage has a lovely bouquet that reflects the small chalk stripe in the vineyard, which gives a wet and smoky stone fruit flavor, along with some lemon and herbal aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, almost mouth-fillingly fruity and reveals a seductive concentration and intensity; it also has a refined acidity structure on the palate. It is richer and more generous than the Bürgergarten, but with concentrated fruit. This is very long and intensely mineral Riesling. It is one of the best Herrenletten I have ever tasted at this domaine. Spectacular!””
Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375ML ($39.95) $33 special, 13 half-bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Riesling Auslese Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten is super pure and fine on the nobly concentrated, stony nose with its honey and bright fruit aromas. Rich, sweet, lush and piquant on the palate, this is an excellent Auslese with great finesse and a lingering piquancy. Despite its sweetness, this is a very stimulating and pure Auslese with great ageing potential.”
Thanks for reading!