Vinopolpick Thursday – Jan 8th

January 8, 2015

Arriving Tomorrow
Act Swiftly, this deal won’t last long!Orin Swift Mannequin White Blend 2012 ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2012 Proprietary White Mannequin is composed of 48% Chardonnay, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Grenache Blanc, 12% Viognier, 8% Marsanne, 4% Roussanne and 2% Muscat aged in 40% new French oak, 40% neutral oak and 20% stainless steel. No shy wine at 15.5% natural alcohol (but there is no heat to the wine), it offers a sensational level of honeyed mango, pineapple and other tropical fruits as well as a medium to full-bodied, luscious mouthfeel with surprisingly good acidity and freshness. The overall impression is one of honeyed pears, melons, pineapples and caramelized citrus. This killer wine should be enjoyed in its first 1-2 years of life.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average is over 20% higher at $31 / bottle


Ascendant Descendientes – Arriving Today

Louis Gutierrez writes in the Wine Advocate “Descendientes de J. Palacios keep going from strength to strength with a superb collection of 2012s, one of the best vintages in recent history in El Bierzo. Even though all their reds are Mencía-based, the old vineyards contain a mixture of grapes -even some whites- that are used in the wines, as they add complexity and freshness. For Ricardo Pérez Palacios, 2012 and 2001 are his best vintages here, and I think 2012 is probably the best. All the wines are exceptional, but if I had to choose two it would be Corullón and Las Lamas (and Pétalos, of course!), both in their finest vintages. There are no wines in Bierzo like this ones…

What I see here is really coherent, a life project with a clear philosophy, not just a collection of (great) wines; Ricardo lives in a biodynamical farm with the animals, they provide agriculture and biodynamic courses, make cheese (he hopes to get his own goats soon), bake bread, grow vegetables, they already produce and sell fruit juices… He’s trying to close the circle and use everything from the farm, with some more products slowly coming to the shelves, they are going to start producing ‘orujo’ (the local name for grappa)… single vineyard ‘orujo’ even ! Stay tuned!”

Descendientes de Jose Palacios Wines Arriving Today

Descendientes de Jose Palacios Pétalos del Bierzo 2012 ($21.95) $18 special (only 120 bottles available)
Wine Advocate 93 points “One of my sure values, I thought the 2011 Pétalos could not be surpassed so I opened a bottle next to the 2012 Pétalos del Bierzo, and I was wrong. The 2012 is extremely aromatic, with flowery aromas of violets, lilies and roses, really fresh, with notes of red fruit (acid strawberries), no traces of oak whatsoever, subtle, really Burgundian with hints of blood oranges, denoting freshness. The medium-bodied palate is extremely balanced, elegant, round, with volume and incredible freshness. For a young, entry-level wine there is incredible complexity, developing notes of fennel and aromatic herbs, all of it very harmonious and subtle. For Ricardo there is a change to a cycle of Atlantic vintages (2012, 2013 and 2014 so far), but 2012 was a special vintage, shorter and dried, but at the same time fresh.”

Descendientes de Jose Palacios Corullon 2012 ($49.95) $39 special (only 40 bottles available)
Wine Advocate 95 points “As they are growing in vineyards in Moncerbal, the Corullón bottling has more and more Moncerbal, with its base from San Martín, a little from Fontelas and El Ferro. The 2012 Corullón is very fresh and aromatic, with citric aromas, very subtle, like an amplified version of Pétalos, more fragrant and fresh than Moncerbal, really open and accessible, changing by the minute, with faint notes of underbrush and captivating hints of bitter almonds and fennel. The palate is medium-bodied, very accessible, silky, with velvety tannins and good acidity. This is approachable now, but with it’s balance, freshness and weight, it should age effortlessly and with class. I’m also tempted to say that this is the best Corullón to date”

Descendientes de Jose Palacios Las Lamas 2012 ($119.95) $99 special (only 3 bottles available)
Wine Advocate 97 points “Without a doubt the 2012 Las Lamas is the star of the vintage,and I’m talking not about the winery only, but about the whole of the Bierzo! If all the 2012 wines here are flowery and perfumed, Las Lamas has aromas of white flowers rather than violets, the citric notes are finer, like blood orange zest. Ricardo feels Las Lamas was picked in exactly the correct day, because Mencía is a very sensitive grape, and if you pick it one day too late or one day too early you get over ripeness or green, vegetal aromas. He talks about wild rose and quince, and I also get some soil, earthy, Gevrey-like. I think they really hit the bull’s eye in 2012. The palate shows prodigious balance and harmony, like a tightrope walker moving steadily across the line, it dances on your tongue with the lightness and elegance of a ballerina. Ethereal, without being light.”


Arriving Tuesday, January 13th
Donnhoff 2013 Riesling

Twenty hectares (about 50 acres) of pure gold. Well, mostly slate, weathered volcanic rock, porphyry, melaphyr, red sandstone and loess-clay, on some of the finest terraced slopes and ideal expositions in all of Germany, and certainly in the region of Nahe. Dönnhoff is truly one of the greatest representations of classic German Riesling. The Dönnhoff family first arrived in the Nahe region over 250 years ago, and Helmut Dönnhoff has been recognized as a world renowned living legend for German winemaking. Helmut is now slowly passing off most duties to his son Cornelius, who since 2007 has worked alongside in the winery and in their 25 hectares of Erste Lage, or grand cru vineyards.

The wines of the Nahe show minerality and elegance, rather than big fruit and opulence. Yes, there are beautiful fruit components in these wines as well, but these wines are deeply rooted (literally) and have continuously shown a sense of place. Dönnhoff does not water their vineyards, in order to encourage deeply rooted vines, leaving the roots with no choice but to dig deep for all the minerals and nutrients needed. All the vineyards are farmed sustainably and some organically, with soils being covered strictly with organic materials which both preserve water and avoid evaporation and erosion in heavy rains.

Helmut explains that the aging potential of his wines are phenomenal, especially for the wines with less alcohol content and more residual sugar. These particular wines have the capability of aging for 20+ years, depending on the vintage and the vineyard. With patience and time, they no longer come off as ‘sweet’, having developed secondary and/or tertiary notes with incredible textures, flavors and impressive acidity levels.

These wines are incredibly special, and if one was ever doubtful of German Riesling, these will forever change misconceptions. Vinopolis is fortunate enough to receive allocations from the 2013 vintage that has been described as one of the greatest in the Nahe. Mr. Terry Theise has a wonderful explanation about the winery, “There are places where the “top” grower might put on airs, but not the Nahe, and not the Dönnhoffs. It makes sense the folks are down to earth, because the wines themselves come down to EARTH.”

Donnhoff 2013 – Arriving Tuesday, January 13th

Dönnhoff Felsenberg Riesling GG “Felsenturmchen” 2013 ($69.95) $54.50 special
Terry Theise “Distracted while tasting, so my note is sketchy. The wine is markedly sleek and delineated, and “greener” (in terms of tea and herbs, not lack of ripeness) than ’12. “

Dönnhoff Dellchen Riesling GG 2013 ($69.95) $54.50 special
Terry Theise “Remarkably approachable young Dellchen! It’s not that the wine is usually forbidding; it’s just closed until about 3-4 years old. But this is as pixilated and herbal-stony as I’ve ever tasted, so full of grasses and herbs and rock-dust. Ethereal finish, exceedingly delicate.”

Dönnhoff Hermannshohle Riesling GG 2013 ($79.95) $59 special
Terry Theise “Surprisingly forceful and masculine, and showing a certain Calvinist rectitude, as if the Trimbachs had visited and vinified it. This view is likely distorted, as this among all the wines was the least forthcoming.”

Dönnhoff Oberhauser Leistenburg Riesling Kabinett 2013 ($31.95) $24 special
Terry Theise “A trebly wine in general meets a trebly vintage in particular, and the result is like a St. Elmo’s fire of flavor; high-toned lemony aromas, talc, spearmint, with a scythe-like cut and relief; almost shockingly taut in this very young stage”

Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese 2013 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Terry Theise “An aside—there’s no Felsenberg Spät in the small crop of 2013, as all of it went into the dry wine. Thus we head straight into Brücke, and into its quiet monastic stirring and yearning. That’s the essence of Brücke, this kind of ur-Riesling that seems to find our own primordial souls. In ’13 its acids feel more prominent, and it’s brooding just now, but serenely—Brücke can be obscure but is never austere. I opened the 2001 over the winter and it needs 4-5 more years, though you can drink Hermannshöhle now if you insist. “

Dönnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese 2013 ($64.95) $51.90 special
Terry Theise “After the Brücke this was vividly lively again. Qualities of sublimity and qualities of almost hyperactive acidity. A decades- keeper, or if you drink it young, then food please. You need to carpet over an end-palate snappiness. The trebly skeins-of-herbs-and-flowers style of ’13 is well expressed here! But again—take this all with some grains of salt. I was early to this particular party.”

Dönnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2013, 375ml ($49.95) $39 special
Terry Theise “Now we see the cherry and verbena elements of this greatest of all Riesling vineyards in the elevated form of a parfait. It’s sweet and overt yet also mysterious, as intense and as light as the best macaroons.”

Previous Vintages – Donnhoff Wines – Available Here Now

Donnhoff Dellchen Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($79.95) $49 special
Fine Wine Review 95 points: “The Dellchen GG is from a combination of slate and volcanic soils. The nose is a bit smoky and has dust elements. The mouth is austere and deep with clarity, excellent acidity, and great penetration. (Issue #142; 2014)”
94 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): “The 2012 Dellchen Grosses Gewächs is a superb wine in the making, jumping from the glass in a youthfully complex mélange of grapefruit, tart orange, wild yeasts, complex slate tones, citrus peel and smoke. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and has laser-like focus, with a rock solid core, ripe acids and a very, very long, primary finish. This superb Grosses Gewächs will need a good six or seven years’ worth of bottle age to really blossom and come into its own, and it should prove to very long-lived. 2020-2045+. (Mar/Apr 2013)”

Donnhoff Felsenberg Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($69.95) $49 special
Terry Theise: “A big, smoky and determinedly important wine; still very early days, but this made me think of a Grand Cru Alsace with the fat removed and the mineral intact. But this isn’t just mineral; it’s a swollen dialogue of stones and smoke and exotic flowers. By the way, taste this for an exegesis of porphyry flavor.”

Donnhoff Hermannshohle Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
John Gilman 97+ points “Not to be outdone by the Dellchen, the 2011 Hermannshöhle Grosses Gewächs is also profound! The deep and completely kaleidoscopic nose soars from the glass in a magical blend of white cherries, pink grapefruit, crystalline minerality, citrus peel, lemongrass and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and Porsche-like in the passing lane, with stunning mid-palate depth, ripe, racy acids, brilliant focus and grip and a very, very pure and very long and elegant finish. A seamless and utterly stunning young wine! 2020-2050.”

Donnhoff Hermannshohle Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($89.95) $69 special
John Gilman 95+ points “I mentioned how impressed I had been last year with the brilliance of the 2011 Hermannshöhle Grosses Gewächs to Herr Dönnhoff, and he suggested it would be fun to taste it again after sampling the 2012 version–which made for a very interesting comparison indeed. I gave a very, very slight nod to the more extroverted 2011, but the 2012 is very, very close in potential. The 2012 Hermannshöhle Grosses Gewächs offers up a young and stunning aromatic blend of tart apple, pink grapefruit, a touch of rosemary, petrol, slate, wild yeasts, smoky overtones and a topnote of orange zest. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very precise, with a rock solid core, crystalline minerality, brisk acids and stunning length and grip on the snappy finish. A great wine in the making! 2020-2045+.”91
Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Sumptuous aromas of dried apricot, blackberry and oyster shell, complicated by a smoky, herbal character. Dense passion fruit and finely polished minerality animate the palate. Rich, elegant and spicy on the persistent finish, this will certainly improve with bottle age.”

Donnhoff Grosses Gewachs 6-Pack 2012 ($499.95) $299 special
2 bottles each of the 3 Grosses Gewachs bottlings from 2012: Dellchen, Felsenberg, Hermannshohle

Donnhoff Kreuznach Krotenpfuhl Kabinett 2010 ($34.95) $29.50 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “Honeysuckle, green tea, and apple blossom in the nose of Donnhoff’s 2010 Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett set the tone for a buoyant, pure-fruited palate and a lip-smacking, dynamically interactive finish of flowers, herbs, apple, plus a saline, meat stock- and soy-like savor. Something about the gravel that here overlays volcanic stone seems to conduce (hypothesizes Donnhoff) to a floral, forwardly fruity, and buoyant personality. “And that would probably be rendered kaput if the wine were vinified trocken,” he adds. (Though flowers and levity, in fact, seem to be common themes in this year’s collection.) Expect this fine value to delight for 12-15 years.”

Donnhoff Schlossbklheimer Felsenberg Spatlese 2012 ($39.95) $29 special
Terry Theise: “It had only just finished fermenting [when tasted]. The balance is right, the terroir is lovely and expressive, the saltiness is pronounced and the ripeness is generous though not heavy. Enormous potential.”

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Spatlese 2010 ($79.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “Pale golden yellow. Tantalizing aromas of papaya, cherry, sweet herbs and tobacco. Discreet but intense cherry fruit rises from the mid-palate, brightened by brilliant acidity. This lusciously spicy sp a tlese finishes deep and long. I may be underrating this.”

Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Spatlese 2012 ($37.95) $29 special
Stephen Tanzer 89 points “($39) A subtle honeysuckle aroma blends with hyacinth and lime on the nose. Polished peachy fruit and a refined minerality drift across the palate. Delicate and eminently drinkable.”

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Auslese GK 2010, 375ml ($59.95) $39 special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Rich golden yellow. Luscious aromas of candied pineapple, lemon oil and acacia honey on a bed of smoky botrytis. The succulent weight of papaya fruit is levitated by crisp minerality on the palate. A fine balance of creamy fruit and herbal spice on the seductive, very long finish.”

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Auslese GK 2010, 375ml ($59.95) $37 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “Picked-out, like its Hermannshohle counterpart, in the last, early-November days of harvest, Donnhoff’s 2010 Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese gold capsule was, he estimates, “perhaps 50% affected by botrytis, and dry botrytis, no mere rot.” Candied lime rind and marzipan; lily and honeysuckle; white peach and salted caramel inform this wine’s haunting nose and rich yet buoyant palate, with the mouthwatering savor that characterized the corresponding Spatlese undiminished. This needs some time in bottle to better focus, and it will be interesting to see whether it develops more sense of cut and brightness. But it’s already irresistible, and almost sure to prove worth following for a quarter century or more.”

Donnhoff Schlossbockelheim Felsenberg Beerenauslese 2007, 375ML ($199.95) $179 special
Wine Advocate 99 points “The over-ripe pear and quince featured in other nobly sweet wines of this collection are very much present in Donnhoff’s 2007 Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Beerenauslese, along with aromas of distilled gentian, gardenia, lemon oil, freshly baked bread, and white truffle. The intensity of inner-mouth perfume here – orchard fruit, floral, and herbal distillates – is nearly beyond belief. Pear nectar, quince preserves, apple jelly, liquid gardenia, brown spices, and a certain saline and smoky suggestions of things mineral inform a finish of trance-inducing duration. This amazing elixir – harvested largely in the Turmchen section of the site – should be worthy of 40 years cellaring. When Donnhoff laughingly referred to this as the year of Felsenberg, he was not in fact kidding, nor was he referring just to the sheer number of bottlings!”

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Beerenauslese 2011, 375ML ($199.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “Intriguingly musky and subtly fungal as well as piercing in its evocation of distilled pit fruits and botanicals, the nose of Donnhoff’s 2011 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Beerenauslese – which was picked alongside its Auslese counterpart – promises an intense palate experience that the wine very much delivers. Distilled extracts of wormwood, woodruff and anisette; maraschino and serviceberry seem to lace the amalgam of quince jelly with pear and white peach nectars in a lusciously multi-layered yet animated palate performance. A spicy and tropical suggestion of mango chutney compounds the vibrantly penetrating effect of pungent herbal and pit fruit essences in a tonsil-gripping, mouth-shaking finish.”

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Eiswein 2010, 375ML ($249.95) $199 special
Stephen Tanzer 97 points “Rich gold with green highlights. Crisp aromas of glazed pineapple, nut oils and frankincense. Rich, dense tropical fruit flavors show a honeyed texture but vibrant, uplifting acidity gives the middle palate a subtle complexity. The long finish combines juicy fruit and salty mineral layers. One of the great wines of the vintage.”

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Eiswein 2011, 375ML ($239.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Musk and leather; prickly radish and lemon rind; caramel apple and honey; passion fruit and mango inform an intense aromatic as well as ultra-concentrated palate performance. Unlike with so many other 2011s rendered from frozen grapes in early 2012, one can’t complain here about a lack of Eiswein-like acidity – but it takes-on a somewhat detached, slightly metallic and strident edge. Perhaps this extreme wine’s caramelized and animal aspects will reconcile themselves in time with its sharp citricity and radish-like sizzle, but the ways of Eiswein in the bottle are capricious.”

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Eiswein 2012, 375ML ($219.95) $179 special
Terry Theise: “Brücke is predestined for Eiswein, as its warm situation next to the Nahe gives ripe grapes and yet the way it sits in the valley takes the sun away early in the Fall, and what has been one of the warmer vineyards suddenly becomes one of the colder ones.This wine has a fragrance that makes you want to cry, and then dance. It’s pure Dönnhoff in its sanguine Buddhist peace. The prayer-flags whip in a stiff wind and the frost clings to each bit of shade, yet on the hillside the sun is shining, and getting closer. The later picking has more lavish fruit, mellower acids and more opulence. A cuvée of the two wines will be bottled.”


Just Arrived
2012 Mongeard Mugneret 2012
In Stock and Available Here Now

“A vintage where the underlying terroir really shines… the wines have turned out to
be better than merely acceptable.”
-Vincent Mongeard on the 2012 vintage

For more than eight generations, the Mongeard family has been established in Vosne Romanee, right in the midst of the Cote de Nuits, producing wine with an utmost respect for tradition. The Mongeard family arrived in Vosne-Romanée in the eighteenth century, and records show a Mongeard working as vigneron for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 1786. The historic domaine of Mongeard-Mugneret (known as Mongeard until 1945), based in Vosne-Romanee, today encompasses 30 hectares spread over 33 different appellations of the Cote d’Or from Marsannay to Puligny-Montrachet. Jean Mongeard was a key figure within Burgundy, serving as the President of the Association des Viticulteurs de la Cote d`Or for many years and as one of the area’s most prominent growers. In 1985, Jean handed over responsibility for winemaking to his then 29-year-old son Vincent. With meticulous pruning, crop selection, and traditional winemaking style, owner-winemaker Vincent Mongeard passionately continues his family’s craft, including returning to a more traditional method of bottling, without filtration, filtering only with certain vintages. In the words of Robert Parker, “the style of winemaking seems to extract rich, supple, concentrated fruit from the grapes…The wines always seem to show well young, but age nicely for 10-15 years.”

2012 Mongeard-Mugneret – In Stock and Available Here Now

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru 2012 ($119.95) $99 special
John Gilman 94 points “It seems a bit disorientating to only have the single example of Echézeaux produced from the Mongeard family these days, as their Vieilles Vignes bottling was such a flagship of the estate. However, with that parcel now reverting back to a cousin, in 2012 there is just this single Echézeaux in the stable, but the wine has really turned out beautifully in this vintage. The wine wafts from the glass in a very classy blend of red plums, cherries, woodsmoke, a complex base of soil, fresh herbs, incipient notes of venison and bonfire and a fine framing of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very refined, with a rock solid core, lovely soil inflection, ripe tannins, tangy acids and a very long, classy and palate-staining finish. Lovely juice. 2025-2075.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $116 / bottle

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2012 ($179.95) $149 special
John Gilman 94+ points “Like the 2012 Echézeaux, the Clos Vougeot from Mongeard-Mugneret is supremely elegant out of the blocks this year. The superb bouquet is a mix of red plums, cocoa, cherries, gamebirds, a touch of nutskin, woodsmoke, a fine base of soil and spicy new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and complex with a sappy core of fruit, excellent focus and balance, velvety tannins and great style and grace on the long and youthfully complex finish. A great bottle of Clos Vougeot in the making. 2025-2075.”

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux La Grand Complication Cru 2012 ($199.95) $179 special
Burghound 92-94 points “A background application of wood frames the intensely floral aromas of ripe black cherry fruit and Asian spice nuances. The stems are evident on the big, dense and very serious flavors that brim with dry extract that helps to buffer the very firm tannic spine on the wonderfully complex and persistent finish. This is decidedly old school in style and I wouldn’t buy this beast without the express intention of cellaring it for the long-term.”

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Grands-Echezeaux 2012 ($219.95) $189 special
John Gilman 96+ points “The 2012 Grands Echézeaux from Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret is a great young wine and a very impressive example of just how special this vintage is in the Côte de Nuits. The exceptional and quite classic bouquet offers up scents of red and black plums, cocoa, duck, woodsmoke, a beautifully complex base of soil tones and a very suave base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and quite plush and refined on the attack, with a sappy core of fruit, great soil signature, fine-grained tannins and a very long, tangy and utterly seamless finish. A great wine. 2025-2075.”

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Richebourg 2012 ($599.95) $419 special
Burghound 93-95 points “Don’t miss! A distinctly toasty nose of subtle spice, earth and very cool yet ripe dark berry fruit aromas are trimmed in plenty of floral character. There is gorgeous intensity to the mineral-driven big-bodied flavors that possess outstanding delineation on the extract-rich mid-palate before terminating in a refined but overtly powerful and muscular finish that delivers strikingly good length. This too is decidedly built for longer-term cellaring.”