VinopolPick Thursday 3-8-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Arrivals: A Midweek Pick-Me-Up
Faiveley’s 2015’s: Stars of the Burgundy Vintage
March Clearance Sale: New Day, New Deals!
The Perfect Wine for Spring
Forge Cellars: Redefining Possibility in the Finger Lakes

The #5 Wine Spectator Wine of the Year
(St. Cosme Gigondas) Returns Soon!

This Just In!

Newly Arrived, Noteworthy Wines

Parusso Armando Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 97 points “This is one of the greatest wines I have ever had from here. So much ripe cherry, raspberry and floral character. Medium body, super-refined tannins and a long and flavorful finish. So much going on here. Better in 2021.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Barolo Bussia is my favorite wine among Marco Parusso’s new releases. This wine shows an extraordinary level of richness and softness that speaks to the unique winemaking style proposed by this innovative producer. The Bussia cru tends to produce softer and finer fruit characteristics. The bouquet delivers elegant notes of wild berry, forest floor and white truffle with mineral notes such as pencil shaving delicately tucked in at the back. The wine sees up to 60% stem inclusion and maceration times are long. This Barolo is articulate and profoundly expressive.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Trocken, Pfalz 2016 750ml ($39.95) $33 special
Terry Theise note “Zero botrytis, so Martin opted to make this dry masterpiece. It’s less wiggly than the Haardt but also deeper, more layered; a wine of great, deep humor, an exegesis of cassis, physio-sweet, with a hugely clinging salty finish. If dry Scheurebe can be grandiose, this one is.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($139.95) $119 special
#14 Wine Of The Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Wine Spectator 98 points “This has a drop-dead gorgeous core of cassis and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors that holds center stage but still allows notes of Lapsang souchong tea, anise, incense and shiso leaf to chime in. Very long, with a sublime feel through the mineral-tinged finish. So seductive already, but this will cruise in the cellar. Drink now through 2040.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Bottled in May, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a floral, elegant, unbelievably complex wine. Roses and violets, cherries and stone fruit, cinnamon and allspice and more are carried across the full-bodied yet almost weightless palate, finishing in a swirl of silky tannins and lingering spice. Drink it over the next two decades.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94-96 points “(raised in foudres) Deep ruby. Hugely aromatic red and dark berry, potpourri and floral scents are underscored by smoky minerality and an exotic suggestion of Asian spices. Sappy, focused and impressively deep yet lively, offering alluringly sweet raspberry, cherry compote and spicecake flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of blood orange. Puts on weight and spreads out steadily with air, acquiring a succulent herb note that carries through the strikingly long, mineral-laced, gently tannic finish. This beauty is shaping up to be among the standouts of this extremely successful vintage.”

Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 96 points “Beautiful clarity on the nose with lavender, raspberry and violet aromas. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, fresh and simply fantastic finish. Best ever. Better in 2021.”

Faiveley’s Astounding 2015’s

Are Stars of the Vintage

2015 Burgundy has officially become the new 2005.  Hype for the vintage has reached a (deserved) fever pitch, and although we’ve had a lot of the wines pass through our doors, very little remains in inventory.  The wines are rich and polished, explosively aromatic and destined to be long agers as well.  The wines come in and immediately go out—and deservedly so: this is an epic vintage.

The latest top estate to arrive in our shop has been Faiveley, a legendary name who’s been on a roll in the last half decade or so.  The 2015’s are undoubtedly the finest collection of wines that Faiveley has produced and some of the strongest wines of the vintage.

So take notice and act fast.

The modern incarnation of Faiveley began in 2007 when Francois Faiveley retired and his son Erwan took over the management of the Domaine.  Erwan has transformed the winemaking, holding onto the age-worthiness the domaine was known for, but also giving them significantly more youthful charm. (Under his father’s regime, one didn’t think about opening a Faiveley for the first 15-20 years, now they can be quite tasty young.)  The holdings have expanded (especially on the white side) and the overall quality levels are higher than they’ve ever been.

The recently arrived 2015’s are a testament to the current quality of the winery.  They represent everything we love about Burgundy and are priced exceptionally well for wines of their tier.  With big price hikes on the way across Burgundy for 2016 and 2017 (due to exceptionally low yields), 2015 represents an opportunity to stock up before a new pricing paradigm takes hold across the region.

Orders will be taken first come, first served and you can either reply to this email or click here to see the list of the featured wines on our website.  

Domaine Faiveley Les Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-95 points
“Bright red-ruby. Ripe, wonderfully complex scents of redcurrant, plum, dark cherry, animal fur, minerals and sexy oak, plus suggestions of darker berries. Round, silky and sweet, with its full ripeness leavened by saline, soil-driven minerality. A crunchy raspberry element is nicely shaped on the finish by suave tannins. The longest of these 2015s to this point in my tasting, this wine boasts grand cru volume. Its impression of rising length reminded me a bit of the superb Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées.”

Domaine Faiveley Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Burghound 92-94 points
” A distinctly earthy, cool and ripe nose flashes notes of red and black cherries nuanced by hints of smoke, the sauvage and crushed herb. Interestingly, the powerful and very serious middle weight flavors are relatively refined thanks to the dense but fine-grained tannins that shape the punchy, intense and stony finish that is presently youthfully austere. This is also built-to-age and is going to need it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Faiveley Aux Chaignots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 27 bottles in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Faiveley Les Damodes, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 36 bottles in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Faiveley Les Porets-Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 36 bottles in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!


March Clearance Sale

New Deals Every Day

March is the month for sales here at Vinopolis.  From Napa Cab to Barolo to White Burgundy, we’ve got exciting wines from all over the world at even deeper discounts than usual. We just added three new wines to the sale—a staff-favorite Cab from Napa that’s at an unreal price for the quality as well as two of Selbach-Oster’s finest Rieslings (which are already extreme values—Johannes doesn’t even bottle GGs because he wants folks to afford to drink his wines!).  You can view the entire March Clearance Sale list on our website, just by clicking here.

Band of Vintners ‘Consortium’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $28
VinopolNote: This is a delightful wine for anyone who likes Napa Cabernet, but with a relatively lighter touch (both in style and on the pocket book). The wine opens with a rich nose of plum and blackberry with hints of dried herbs in the background. On the palate are notes of graphite, red cherries and ripe plums that are held together with just enough tannin and acidity to keep everything in balance before the finish adds notes of spices and dried herbs. This is a wine that pairs nicely with good friends and good food.
Winery notes: “Band of Vintners is the outcome of seven wine industry friends who regularly get together to taste wine and talk shop. The collective “insider” knowledge of where the best fruit can be sourced, where the deals can be found, and where favors can be called in when needed, was contagious, and surprised even us. The outcome, is a wine we believe makes a strong case for one of the best QPRs in the Napa Valley, and something we’re proud to share with our friends, family, and neighbors.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Selbach-Oster ‘Schmitt’ Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) Was $44, Now $39
Grapelive 95+ points “The brilliant and exotic Schmitt comes from the steep slate hill above the church, set back from the Mosel. There is great southern exposure here and it less affected by noble rot, a big plus in 2014.  It allowed this rich and lush wine to remain crystalline and focused. This is one of the great wines of the vintage! Johannes Selbach’s top wines are not Trocken/Grosses Gewachs, but are single block wines from Cru sites. They are also heavy weighted, dense and medium sweet, but it is not about the sugar: it is all about the terroir and overall balance. These are wines of hedonism, power, textural pleasure and vitality, especially the Schmitt in 2014. It explores the boundaries of perfection in a fantastically difficult vintage. The was a savage thinning of the crop and a tiny window to get the grapes in to make this masterpiece from the old vines at Zeltinger Schlossberg. It is truly amazing with all the problems and heartbreak endured here that a wine of this quality and gorgeous detail managed to happen at all. Somehow this block come through and made one of the most glorious Riesling wines of the year. The 2014 Schmitt by Selbach-Oster starts with a sweet perfume. This wine shows white roses, dripping jasmine, hints of gardenia and tropical essences that lead to a full bodied, Auslese weight palate with apricot, green apple, lime and mango fruits leading the way along with a mix of spicy mineral and flinty stones, briny sea shore notes, soft honey decadence, creamy verbena and sweet peach flesh. The finish carries over the core of fruit and richness, but there is a burst of dynamic acidity and vibrancy. This is not a flabby wine and you are left with a dreamy/haunting impression with lingering tangerine sorbet, crushed stone and wet steeliness. This is fabulous Riesling and one you’ll want in the cellar. This has 100 Point potential and it will also drink well young. It already has poise and elegance, but should last two or three decades! Don’t be afraid of its sugar levels, it drinks like a lavish Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne and is a spectacular wine from Selbach-Oster!”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Picked with 105° Oechsle, the 2014 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese Schmitt displays a stunning freshness and purity on the slightly spicy-toned nose, where stony and flinty flavors–but less botrytis flavors–are indicated compared to the Rotlay. Piquant and salty on the palate, with a nice grip and more purity and freshness, this is the finest and most piquant of the single parcel crus; the finish is as long as it is stimulatingly salty and grippy. White peach and nectarine flavors in the long aftertaste. Great Riesling.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2015 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $19
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2015 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett is deep and smoky on the very clear, refreshing nose with its bright fruit aromas and smoky flavors of crushed stones. On the palate, this is a lush and mouth-filling Riesling with great purity, super grip and lingering salinity. The Schlossberg is surely more complex than the regular Kabinett, but I wouldn’t drink it before 2025. It has 9.5% alcohol and less than 50 grams of residual sugar.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This offers a nice nose of herbs, grapefruit and spices. The wine is gorgeously fruity and elegant on the palate, with some Spätlese presence but also true Kabinett character and lightness. The wine is gorgeously long and elegant. 2023-2040”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Want to see the rest of the wines in the March Clearance Sale? Just click here to head straight to our website.


A Frenchman Goes To Chile and Makes

A Perfect Red to Welcome Spring

The Pais grape, which is a descendant of Mission, is widely planted in Chile, yet virtually unknown here. It’s the primary grape of Pipiño, the classic wine of Southern Chile, which is unfortunately almost entirely consumed domestically.  David Marcel, originally from France, fell in love with these wines while working in Chile and started making a version for his label, Maita.  The resulting wine, from 120 year old País vines with some Carignan blended in, is fermented in traditional concrete tanks with native yeasts and is bright and fresh.  Serve it with a little chill alongside everything from
fresh salads to grilled pork.

Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special (that’s only $10.66/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The super-tasty and gulpable 2016 Aupa Pipeño is a blend of País with some 30% Carignan (and whatever is found in the old vineyards) from a slightly cooler year. It keeps the style of previous vintages with the bright red fruit and the freshness of short macerations. In the dry-farming part of Maule they only saw 30 to 50 millimeters of rain when in the central valley they got 200! These grapes were harvested before the rain anyway, but the wine retains the freshness of a cooler year, fresher than 2015, more in line with the 2014 and 2013” –LG
Wine and Spirits 92 points “David Marcel, from France’s Basque country, was working in Maule as a bulk wine broker while building his own project, Maitía, back in 2012. That’s when he fell in love with the refreshing pipeños, the traditional wines of Chile’s south, usually made from país… The result is a lovely, refreshing and red-fruited pipeño, with vivid, shining acidity. It’s the kind of wine you won’t stop drinking.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Forge Cellars

New York’s Finest Wines?

When a winemaker like Louis Barruol (St. Cosme) decides that an up and coming wine region is the place to put down new roots, the international wine community keeps a close eye on how that project develops.  Well, with Forge Cellars, the project that Barruol has helmed in the Finger Lakes region of New York, the results have been conclusive: this is a winery to pay attention to and a region that deserves more acclaim.

It’s not as though the Finger Lakes are incredibly obscure—Hermann Weimer and Konstantin Frank have been producing excellent wines for quite some time, but it’s not a region in the forefront of attention in the wine industry.  We think that needs to change and that the Forge wines are going to be the catalyst.

These are dynamic wines, both Riesling and Pinot Noir, which capture the cool-climate nature of the Finger Lakes, but with enough ripeness and fruit to give the wines real gravitas and power.  The Rieslings are dry, with more extract and power than you’d expect.  Compared to the other wines in the region they have weight that’s nearly unmatched.

These are wines you must try, at prices that are beyond reasonable for the quality of the bottles.  These are wines that have put a region on the international map, a really difficult feat, but one we’re happy to see.  If you’d like to order the wines, just click here to view them on our website (or call us at 503-223-6002 / reply to this email).

Forge Cellars ‘Les Allies’ Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 91 points
“Rich, with good intensity to the mix of apricot, nectarine and peach flavors, lined with bitter almond and ginger notes through the lengthy finish. Has weight and zip. Drink now through 2020. 262 cases made. “
Winery notes: “Every year Les Alliés evolves naturally by “uncovering” itself. Our indigenous yeast fermentations proceed very slowly. It’s not in spring, but in the summer after the vintage that we are finally able to move toward bottling the wines. Once fermentations are complete, our team begins diligently tasting through each of our 70 barrels and two tanks, giving each a detailed rating and review, and writing personal tasting notes.  When we talk about small batch and individualized fermentations, we really mean it — 70 separate, small French barriques from 10 individual vineyards, each with its own story and personality. Along the way, we decide that some very special barrels are stand-outs, and by consensus, the most exceptional of our Rieslings and Pinots.  This is the consensus that makes up Les Alliés — the allies, the partners, the united ones. We don’t “make” Les Alliés, we discover it together, and it’s an easy decision because it tells us what it wants to be.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Forge Cellars Leidenfrost Vineyard Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 37 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 91 points
“On the richer side, with a mix of nectarine, tangerine and peach flavors that are broad but still have ample cut thanks to quinine, orange zest and honeysuckle notes zipping through the finish. Distinctive. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Forge Cellars Classique Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 16 bottles in stock now
#31 Wine Of The Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Wine Spectator 92 points “Weighty for a Riesling, with a rounded feel and layers of creamed yellow apple, white peach and persimmon flavors. Delivers energy and cut throughout, with lemon pith, citrus oil and chamomile accents filling in. Shows length and range through the finish. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Forge Cellars ‘Les Allies’ Pinot Noir, Finger Lakes 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 92 points – Cellar Selection
“Patience will reward those who wait for this stunning wine to reveal itself. It’s initially smoky and closed, but time and aeration bring out penetrating black-cherry and berry flavors. It’s such a seductively perfumed wine with a lingering finish nuanced by spice and violet petals. High-toned acidity and fine upright tannins will keep this wine lively for many years to come.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Speaking of Saint Cosme:

2015 Gigondas Returns in April

(Unless it’s all sold out by then…)

“Without a doubt, the leading estate in Gigondas is Louis Barruol’s Chateau Saint-Cosme. Located just outside the village, he releases an assortment of world class Gigondas, as well as a number of value priced, negotiate-styled Cotes du Rhone efforts that always deliver high-quality” – Jeb Dunnuck in The Wine Advocate

2015 will be remembered as the year of glory in winemaking around the world. Burgundy was Great. Beaujolais was Great. The Mosel was Great. Champagne is looking promising. Even our local winemakers are embracing the vintage.

So it should not come as much of a surprise to those lucky lovers of the rich and expressive wines of the Southern Rhone: it too was a Great and Glorious vintage. Saint Cosme is one of our “core wineries” and a true reference point producer in the Southern and Northern Rhone. Louis Barroul is a talented winemaker and is the 14th generation of his family to make wines in the domaine that was founded in the 1500’s. The wines he makes are rich and powerful, with undeniable terroir signatures.

The much praised 2015 Saint Cosme Gigondas will be back in stock in a month. This was one of our best-selling wines of 2017, so don’t miss your last chance at it!

Wine Spectator’s #5 Wine of the Year in 2017!

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 re-arrival special, ETA April
Wine Spectator 95 points
“A textbook version of the brawny side of Gigondas, this offers a grippy alder bass line underneath layers of dark currant and fig fruit, while lots of tobacco, rosemary and bay fill in throughout. Muscular and energetic, this is built for the cellar. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Thanks for reading!