VinopolPick Weekend 3-2-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

E Pira’s Barolos: In Stock and On Sale

New Arrivals Featuring:
Freemark Abbey, Lapierre, Vega Sicilia and More!

Appellations of the Northern Rhone: St. Joseph
In-A-Gaja-Da-Vida: Last Chance at Great Gaja Pricing
The Hottest Rioja of 2018: Muga’s Prado Enea
New Wine Advocate Reviews for Donnhoff
Grand Cru Priorat—Terroir al Limit


Just Arrived

Already In the March Clearance Sale

E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($21.95) $14 March Clearance Sale special, only 13 bottles available!
: Serious Dolcetto – 100% from Barolo Cru vineyards in Monforte d’Alba: Ravera (15 yr old vines), Le Coste (25 yr old vines), and Mosconi (50 yr old vines).

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $22
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Cannubi, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 March Clearance Sale special, only 2 bottles available!
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2011 Barolo Cannubi is striking. Rose petals, hard candy, and sweet spices all meld together in a silky, super-expressive Barolo endowed with superb depth and persistence. A dollop of sweetness from the new French oak is evident, but overall, the 2011 is a fairly classic-feeling Barolo. The seamless, pliant finish gives the 2011 tons of near-term appeal, but there is also more than enough depth to allow the 2011 to develop beautifully in bottle for years to come.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $109.97

E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Cannubi, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $75 March Clearance Sale special, only 12 bottles available!
James Suckling 97 points
“Pure roses on the nose. Hints of raspberries and lemon rind. So pure. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. Powerful yet so ethereal and soul-touching. A fabulously crafted Cannubi. Better in 2020.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2012 Barolo Cannubi is super-finessed, open-knit and gracious, with striking aromatic lift and plenty of precision. Bright red stone fruit, chalk and white pepper give the 2012 its distinctive aromatic signatures. Soft tannins and exceptional balance add to the wine’s considerable appeal. The 2012 is a bit more buttoned up than it was last year, but every bit as beautiful. This is a gorgeous Barolo from Chiara Boschis.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $94
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Mosconi, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) $69 March Clearance Sale special, only 15 bottles available!
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“A dark, brooding wine, the 2011 Barolo Mosconi captures the sense of this Monforte site in its intense flavors and broad, ample frame. Black cherries, savory herbs, mint, tobacco, smoke and incense all flesh out in the glass as this opulent, virile Barolo shows off its personality. While the Cannubi is purely silk and sensuality, the Mosconi is all muscle. It will therefore hold more appeal to readers who like massive, powerful Barolos.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.93
The average price is $94
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Via Nuova, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($99.95) $79 March Clearance Sale special, only 4 bottles available!
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2011 Barolo Via Nuova is once again fabulous. A wine that brings together the very best of the modern and traditional schools, the 2011 is all about balance. Hints of lavender, sage, violets, dark cherries, plums and new leather add nuance in a pure, crystalline Barolo endowed with tons of nuance allied to a vertical sense of structure. The sensual voluptuousness of the vintage softens some of the contours, which only adds to the wine’s considerable appeal. Although it is early, the Via Nuova is shaping up to be one of the wines of the year. It is every bit that compelling. The Via Nuova is a blend of six sites: Terlo and Liste (in Barolo), Mosconi, Ravera di Monforte (in Monforte) and Gabutti and Baudana (in Serralunga).”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89
The average price is $102
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Via Nuova, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 March Clearance Sale special, only 23 bottles available!
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“A gorgeous, totally striking wine, the 2012 Barolo Via Nuova opens with compelling, captivating aromatics. Deep, fleshy and powerful, the 2012 has blossomed beautifully over the last year, suggesting it still has room to improve. Tasted next to the Cannubi and Mosconi, the Via Nuova is a bit deeper than the former but more polished than the latter. Herb, smoke, licorice and menthol meld into the powerful, savory finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.94
The average price is $88
For more great wines on the March Clearance Sale, just click here to head to our website or keep reading for more highlights later in the newsletter!
New Arrivals

New Arrivals: West Coast

Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley—blended of 78.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5.6% Malbec and 2.2% Cabernet Franc—has a compelling perfume of dried roses, fragrant herbs and dusty earth over a core of crushed plums and blackberries with a waft of tobacco. Medium-bodied, lively and expressive in the mouth, it has a pleasant pluminess accented by herb and earth notions, finishing long and chewy. 36,160 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Robert Parker 90 points “The 2015 Chardonnay is partially barrel-fermented and aged sur lie, but only about 15% new French oak is used. This wine is elegant, with good acidity and notes of baked apple pie intermixed with some white peach and pineapple in a crisp, medium to full-bodied style. Given its acid and concentration, this wine should age nicely for 7-8 years, possibly longer.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

New Arrivals: France

Domaine Lafage Novellum Chardonnay, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafage Novellum Chardonnay, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92 points “A sensational wine that will compete with wines five times the price, the 2016 Novellum Chardonnay is the real deal and actually reminded me of a Chardonnay from Mark Aubert in California’s Sonoma County. White peach, crushed rocks, spice and brioche notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that has depth, layered texture and length. Buy it.”

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon, Beaujolais 2016 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special
James Suckling 93-94 points “This barrel sample from one of the masters in Beaujolais shows such a balance and focus already. Juicy and fruity with lots of plummy fruit and spice character. Fine tannins and a crisp finish. Clear and ethereal.”

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
VinopolNote: Clepsydre is the French word for ‘water clock’ and denotes the most age-worthy of the wines that Dubois makes.  It still has her trademark elegance but with more richness and power than her other wines.  One to lay down or decant before opening, for sure.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
VinopolNote: This is Dubois flagship wine, from a southwest-facing section of Fleurie on mostly granite soils.  The wine is clearly a product of a Burgundy-style vinification (as opposed to carbonic maceration) but seems to channel the soul of Fleurie with dark and red fruits, foral notes and pretty spice flavors. Delicious.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
New Arrivals: Spain
Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero 1995 750ML ($599.95) $499 special
Wine Advocate 97 points “The 1995 Unico is a worthy successor to the profound 1994 (awarded a score of 98+ in Issue #159). Opaque purple in color, it has aromatic complexity which nearly defies words. There are notes of earth, licorice, hard wood charcoal, and black currants. Full-bodied, and powerful, the wine has beautiful balance with a multi-dimensional character and the structure to last for 25-40 years. The 1960 and the 1965, drunk within the last several months, appear to have many more years ahead.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Dark red. Intense, expressive aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cherry liqueur, sandalwood, cigar box, roasted coffee and exotic chocolate. Thick and sweet, with deep red and dark berry flavors complicated by an array of pungent spices, mocha, vanilla bean and cured tobacco. Deep, penetrating and very long on the finish, with wonderfully sweet cherry and blackcurrant flavors lingering. Built to age, but this is awfully delicious right now.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5, Ribera del Duero 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “Since the 2010 harvest, they ferment plot by plot, and it shows. This Valbuena has almost 100 components in it, smaller lots, all of them corresponding to a plot of vines. It has all the signs of being one of the best vintages ever for this second wine from Vega Sicilia, mostly Tempranillo but with 5% Merlot that matured five months in 20,000-liter oak vats, 18 months in new barriques (equal parts French and American oak), three months in used barrels and then five months in the vats again before being bottled in May 2013. 2010 seems to have the exuberance of the 2011 and the seriousness and elegance of 2009. It has the Burgundian philosophy of terroir, with all plots fermented and aged separately, giving each vineyard what it needs in terms of vinification and elevage resulting in something like 40 separate lots to blend. This wine has gained in precision and sharpness, and is very pure with delineated aromas and flavors. It is a world-class wine, possibly the best Valbuena ever. 180,000 bottles and some bigger-sized formats were filled. The wine will be released in 2015. Drink 2016-2025.”
James Suckling 96 points “The oak makes plenty of impact on the nose with some tarry notes across ripe-blue-plum, ccassis and chocolate aromas. Tannins are assertive. An essay in tannin structure and power, this has balance with impressive core strength. Flavors are in the purple-cherry, cassis and blackberry zone. Needs time. Great wine. Best from 2020.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Opaque ruby. Powerful, deeply pitched red and dark berry preserve, incense and floral pastille scents are enlivened by an intense mineral quality. Concentrated yet strikingly vibrant and focused on the palate, showing bitter cherry, black raspberry and vanilla flavors that spread out with air while maintaining urgency. An extremely long, sweet, penetrating finish features velvety, harmonious tannins that provide gentle grip to the wine’s sappy berry fruit and candied lavender qualities. This stunning wine was aged for 18 months in new oak, half of it American and half of it French. I can’t recall a better version of this bottling at this stage of its development and I hesitate to apply an arbitrary drinking window here as I’m sure that it will outlive me.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
New Arrivals: Italy
Le Vigne De Alice Spumante Brut Tajad NV 750ML ($21.95) $17 special
Importer note “Appellation: Vino Spumante (from vineyards in the Prosecco DOC). Type of soils: Of glacial moraine origin: chalky, rocky, lean, and rich in minerals. Varieties: 40% Boschera, 40% Verdiso, 20% Glera. Two women in the northern-most reaches of the Conegliano and Valdobiaddene hills with the Dolomites in their backyard are on a mission to make pure, elegant, natural, mineral Prosecco. Cinzia and Pier Francesca are full-on passion, working full-time in the vineyard and in the cantina (less romantic nowadays, but vital in sparkling wines). This is an affectionate glance back in time from our grower Prosecco producer in the foothills of the Dolomites. Back before Glera took over in the Prosecco zone, growers had a range of characterful, antique varieties in their vineyards. This wine is Cinzia’s homage to her grandfather, who made a similar blend of Verdiso, Boschera, and Glera, but as a still rather than a sparkling wine. Soils are of glacial moraine origin: chalky, rocky, lean, and full of minerals. Sustainable leaning to organic farming, with trees and other vegetation among the vineyard plots. No herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard, and all weeding is done by hand.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

More March Clearance Sale Wines

New Additions:

Domaine Servin Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($79.95) Was $66, Now $59 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 94 points “(bottled in April): Bright, light yellow-green. Ineffable scents of lime, white peach, fresh apricot, white pepper and crushed stone. Surprisingly intense and sweet on the palate, with lovely supporting minerality and acidity to frame the seamless orchard fruit and spice flavors. Not an austere Clos–in fact almost friendly–but beautifully balanced. Its tight, very long finish suggests that it will evolve gracefully in bottle.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos has a very composed bouquet with white citrus fruit, orange blossom, limestone and a touch of flint. It is harmonious and detailed, shrugging off the warmth of the growing season. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. There is fine focus here, good body and depth with a hint of fresh fig interlacing the citrus fruit on the saline finish. This is a classy offering from Domaine Servin and winemaker Marc Cameron.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today
Now it’s even lower!

Domaine Faiveley Corton ‘Clos des Cortons’ Faiveley Monopole Grand Cru 2011 750ML ($179.95) Was $149, Now $119 special 
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Faiveley’s 2011 Corton Clos des Corton is a fitting conclusion to this great night of wine and food. Intensely saline and pointed, the 2011 impresses for its pure energy and tension. The flavors are vibrant and impeccably delineated in a Burgundy that is all about finesse. This is a great showing from the Clos des Corton.” AG
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Medium red.  Ineffable nose and palate offer red fruits, minerals, spices and flowers, complicated by game, earth and leather.  Sweet, concentrated and very intense, boasting outstanding density and a fine-grained texture, with salty minerality giving the wine a weightless impression that’s remarkable considering its density.  A strong tannic spine and brisk acidity energize and draw out the finish of this sharply delineated, pristine grand cru.” ST

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $179

Heymann-Loewenstein Winninger Uhlen ‘R’ Roth Lay Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2010 750ML ($199.95) Was $149, Now $119 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Lowenstein’s 2010 Winninger Uhlen Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule Roth Lay – destined for auction – displays an almost sweaty aromatic alliance of salinity and musky pungency, along with nose-prickling lemon rind such as one might expect from an Eiswein. Suggestions of marigold and narcissus add to the exotic, pungent muskiness on display here. Fig and peach preserves; pear drops; marzipan and salted caramel intensely mark the palate, while zesty, musky, and saline mineral impingement serve for strikingly persistent stimulation. Despite its lower (7.5%) alcohol, though, this comes off not only as more viscous but also less buoyant (let alone “uncannily” so) than its Rottgen counterpart. That wine is an example of botrytis performing its magic and leaving nary a fingerprint behind, whereas here, prints are quite evident, even if fascinatingly smudge-free. This compellingly complex concentrate will not be everybody’s cup of nobly rotten Riesling, but ought to merit at least the better part of two decades attention.”

Heymann-Loewenstein Winninger Uhlen ‘R’ Roth Lay Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2007 375ML ($99.95) Was $69, Now $59 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “Candied citrus, jujube, sweet spice and quince paste aromas and flavors mark this sweet, bracing Riesling, which is light on its feet and resonates on the finish with a mouthwatering feel and echoes of citrus. Best from 2012 through 2045.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Lowenstein’s 2007 Winninger Uhlen Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule Roth Lay (as in the corresponding dry wines, the letter “R” is prominent on the label of this A.P.#9) benefits from counterpoint and collaboration among bright citrus, rich pit fruit essences, and the honey of botrytis. For all of its enormous sheer ripeness and concentration, this retains a striking sense of delicacy. A snappy, spicy, pungent streak – taken together with vivid, diverse pit fruits and citrus – serves for exhilaration in a finish of memorable length and energy, with a vivid impression of crushed stone one hardly expects in a wine of such sweetness and prominent botrytization. There seems to be something of a personality role reversal at work this year, because the corresponding Rottgen Auslese is cool and refined whereas this Uhlen displays more of the piquancy and (as French growers might say) nervosite that I associate with Rottgen. But then, botrytis is always something of a wild card, so that a wine like this is profoundly and unpredictably influenced by the precise microclimatic conditions for and differences in the nature of that fungus. No doubt this too will be worth following for two or more decades.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Monteraponi Il Campitello Riserva, Chianti Classico DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $41.90, Now $33 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Campitello is a very pretty wine, especially for the vintage. Mid-weight and translucent in style, the 2012 captures the essence of Radda, with sweet, floral aromatics, chiseled fruit and lovely energy. Red berry, spice, tobacco, cedar and rose petal all open up in the glass. A hint of oak comes through on the finish, but otherwise this is a classic-feeling Riserva that will appeal to readers with more traditionally leaning palates. The Campitello emerges from the estate’s oldest vineyard.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
Click here to see the complete list of wines on our March Clearance Sale!


Appellations of the Northern Rhone

St. Joseph

Saint Joseph is the AOC in the Northern Rhone with the most variation in wines—in large part because of how long the appellation stretches from north to south.  The appellation starts just south of Chateau Grillet/Condrieu and winds its way down all the way below Crozes-Hermitage to Cornas, following the west bank of the Rhone.  The appellation produces both red and white wines, and both are excellent values.

The reds can have the floral and fruit qualities of Cote Rotie or the animal power of Cornas, depending on where in the AOC they’re sourced.   There’s more granite in the north and more of a clay/limestone in the south, but generally speaking, as long as the wine is made closer to the river than not, it’ll be excellent. The variation in style means that there’s a St. Joseph to suit every palate, and given the prices (the wines are among the best values in the Rhone) you can afford to taste your way through the AOC.

The whites, too, are excellent values, made from Marsanne and Roussane and varying in composition between the two. Less than 10% of the production of the AOC is white, but in the hands of a good producer they can be like smaller scaled white Hermitage, capable of aging just as long but on a more elegant platform.

In-Stock Selections From Saint Joseph:


Cave Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Lyseras Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($37.95) $28 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“The vineyards for this wine are situated in the village of Chavanay with an east-southeast exposure. The soil is a mix of sand and granite. Both Marsanne and Roussanne are in this blend. The wine is barrel-fermented and barrel-aged; the elevage is nine months.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cave Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Lieu-Dit Digue, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“Located in the commune of Saint-Pierre de Boeuf “Digue” is a highly granitic lieu-dit with due-south exposition from which Cuilleron produces this impressive pure-Roussanne Saint-Joseph. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentations occur in barrel with natural yeasts, and are aged for roughly nine months before bottling.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint Joseph Les Coteaux, Rhone 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“A hint of warm ganache melds quickly into the background, while fig, blackberry and black currant confiture notes emerge steadily, picking up smoldering tobacco, pastis and tar details through the finish. This is stacked. Best from 2020 through 2030. 1,000 cases made.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “The 2015 Saint Joseph Les Coteaux is another winner. Plums, blackcurrants, lots of pepper, and smoked meat notes all emerge from this classic, ripe, full-bodied 2015. Coming from the younger vines of the estate, drink this front end-loaded, hedonistic fruit bomb over the coming 7-8 years.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Paul Jaboulet Aine Saint Joseph Domaine de la Croix des Vignes, Rhone 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The only Saint Joseph produced, the 2012 St Joseph Domaine de la Croix des Vignes is another incredible effort from this team. Coming from steep, granite soils and a vineyard located just beside the famed Vignes de Hospice, this beauty knocks it out of the park with its massive minerality, currants, rare beef and tapenade-like aromas and flavors. Ripe, medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured and still lively and elegant, it too will knock your socks off over the coming 15-20 years.” WA

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cave Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Les Serines, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92-94 points
“(raised in new and used barriques for 18 months) Dark purple. Smoke- and pepper-accented black and blue fruit aromas pick up suggestions of candied licorice, violet and star anise with aeration. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense, mineral-laced cassis, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that smoothly combine richness and vivacity. Shows excellent clarity and floral lift on the finish, which features building tannins and an emphatic echo of smoky minerals and peppery spices.”

Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“A monster of a St Joseph, the 2015 Saint Joseph comes from the Dardouille lieu-dit (near Mauves) and was aged in demi-muids and second-fill barrels. It has a saturated purple/blue color as well as awesome notes of crème de cassis, freshly crushed rocks and cracked pepper. Rich, full-bodied, ultra-pure and with impeccably purity and balance, it’s another tour de force from this appellation.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “In addition to the impressive Crozes-Hermitage releases, Emmanuel releases a terrific Saint Joseph. His 2015 Saint Joseph La Dardouille offers a ripe, sexy, yet also fresh and focused style to go with notes of cassis, black raspberries, and spring flowers. Coming all from the granite soils of the La Dardouille lieu-dit, destemmed, and aged in equal parts demi-muids and barrels, it has terrific purity of fruit and can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Delas Freres Saint Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2013 750ML ($44.95) $28 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Similar to the Saint Epine release quality-wise, the 2013 St Joseph Cuvee Francois de Tournon offers more richness, breadth and layer compared to the tighter, more focused, granite-influenced Saint Epine. Plum, black raspberry, licorice, cracked pepper and graphite flows to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured 2013 that needs 3-4 years of cellaring; it will have two decades of longevity. Coming mostly from vineyards around Tournon and Mauves, it spent 12 months in 30% new French oak.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Vivid ruby. Highly perfumed, exotic scents of black raspberry and blueberry preserves, incense and smoky minerals carry a spicy topnote. At once ripe and lively on the palate, offering palate-staining red and dark berry and cherry cola flavors and subtle floral character. Finishes spicy and very long, displaying harmonious tannins and a lingering violet note.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Ripe and concentrated without sacrificing cut, this lets a pure beam of raspberry and blackberry coulis rush forth, backed by mouthwatering anise, black tea and iron notes. Latent grip allows the finish to linger. Best from 2016 through 2022.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Saint Joseph Les Cotes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $27 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Bottled in August 2017, the medium-bodied 2016 Saint Joseph Les Cotes is made for early drinking. There’s an elegant interplay of cherries, spring flowers and fresh herbs on the nose followed by supple notes of cherries, blueberries and raspberries and a long, silky finish. Drink this charming wine over the next several years.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
To see all the available wines from St. Joseph, just click here to head to our website!


In A Gaja Da Vida

Last Call!

Gaja’s Astounding Wines

At Awe Inspiring Pricing

Gaja is a name that requires no context in discussion—like Latour or DRC, it’s understood which estate is meant and that the wines are epic, change-your-dinner-plans events.  Angelo Gaja is one of the primary reasons we care about Barbaresco today and the wines bearing his name remain the most treasured and collectible of the region.  Furthermore, the top wines from his Brunello estate, Ca’ Marcanda, have quickly become among top two or three most sought after wines in Tuscany.

The one complaint we might have with Gaja, as with most wines that are full-on collectible, is the pricing.  We got lucky (or worked hard, your choice) and snagged a really amazing lineup of some of the top wines in the lineup for some really incredible prices, though (almost $100/bottle less expensive than the next offering on the single vineyard Langhe wines).  If you’re a collector (or if you’re looking to try some of these wines for the first time) you should really pay attention to this offer.  Also of note: these wines are directly from the winery, offered through a local distributor—not purchased from a private collection.  We were only able to get a limited amount at this sort of tariff (less than 30 bottles each of the 5 wines) so when they’re gone, they’re gone…

In Stock Now:

Piemonte Wines

Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($449.95) $249 special, only 3 bottles remaining in stock!
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Gaja’s 2009 Sori San Lorenzo, on the other hand, is much more typical in its expression. Layers of juicy dark cherries, menthol, spices, tar, licorice and graphite flow across the palate as this powerful, masculine wine opens up in the glass. Balsamic infused aromas and flavors develop in the glass, adding considerable complexity and the signature of this great terroir, indisputably one of Piemonte’s very finest. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 95 points “Silky and gracious on the palate, the 2009 Sorì San Lorenzo looks to be a wine that will drink well with just a few years of cellaring. This is a decidedly floral, lifted yet radiant wine with terrific balance and plenty of the sexiness that defines the very best wines of the year.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $325
The average price is $418
Gaja Sori Tildin Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2008 750ML ($499.95) $249 special, only 24 bottles remaining in stock!
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn’t quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That’s not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It’s tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.”
Falstaff Magazine 97 points “[Translated] Bright, intense ruby-garnet. A playful and multi-layered nose shows notes of ripe cherries, some orange peel, cardamom and fresh plums. Presents on the palate as a unified whole showing lots of tightly packed tannins and a rich depth. Builds in many layers. Has plenty of elegance and suppleness on the finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Tuscan Wines

Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 750ML ($179.95) $99 special, only 2 bottles remaining in stock!
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“In a vintage where so many wines already appear tired, Gaja’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina jumps from the glass with vibrant aromas and flavors. Violets, black cherries, tobacco, licorice and menthol all appear later, adding further shades of complexity. The tannins are firm yet beautifully integrated. Pieve Santa Restituta fans know than Rennina can be deceptively medium in body, yet it has a great track record for aging. Today, the wine is simply gorgeous. This is one of the few 2008s I would buy to cellar. There is little doubt the Rennina is one of the standouts in 2008.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $114.99
The average price is $150
Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $99 special, only 19 bottles remaining in stock!
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is made from a blend of fruit from three different vineyard parcels. The sites total 25 hectares, with 15 located next to the church, or the Pieve, after which this estate is named. The sites have southwest exposures and different soil types. That flexibility explains the smooth and seamless bouquet offered by this wine. Compared to the single vineyard Sugarille expression, Rennina is more open and immediate. The wine presents fleshy and beautifully plump aromas of red cherry, dried blackberry and exotic spice with tobacco and chocolate at the back.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 93 points “The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is strikingly beautiful. Rich, open-knit and alluring, the Rennina captures all the best qualities of the year. Sweet red cherry, plum, tobacco and spice notes are all supported by ripe, silky tannins that give the wine much of its sensual personality. The intensity of the year is very much in evidence, yet the Rennina also retains striking freshness. Historically, the Rennina has aged quite well, but it will be hard to resist, as it is already quite delicious.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $114.99
The average price is $149
Gaja Ca’Marcanda ‘Camarcanda’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($179.95) $79 special, only 31 bottles remaining in stock!
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2011 Bolgheri Camarcanda opens to plump berry notes with apparent ripeness in the form of sun-drenched blackberry and plum. The fruit element in this Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc blend is dark and compelling, and the mouthfeel follows suit with soft tannins and dark concentration. The 2011 vintage is also characterized by a more evident tannic bite that should soften with time.”
James Suckling 94 points “Very attractive raspberry, currant and chocolate character with hints of nuts. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. This needs time to soften. So gorgeous now, but better in 2016.”
Falstaff Magazine 95 points “Rich, deep dark ruby with a lot of purple. Exciting and dark nose with lots of ripe plums, cassis, blackberry leading into licorice and spice in the background. Wonderfully juicy fruit (blackberry and blackcurrant) on the compact palate that opens with a powerful, velvety core of tannins. Very long, reverberating finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $96.44
The average price is $146

Gaja Ca’Marcanda Magari Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, only 4 bottles remaining in stock!
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Upped to a Bolgheri status (previously this wine was identified as a Toscana IGT), the 2012 Bolgheri Magari is simply delightful. This vintage shows extra heft and dimension that allows the wine to spread smoothly over the palate. Merlot is blended with Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon, and the taste profile in the 2012 vintage definitely favors the Merlot component. Soft cherry and dark berry segue to spice and moist tobacco. The structure of the two Cabernet varieties shows in the mouth where the wine is elegant and tight. It needs more time for bottle evolution. Angelo Gaja’s Ca’Marcanda estate has hit its stride with this latest set of wines. His management of the 2011 heat is impressive, resulting in wines with power and finesse. Ca’Marcanda never seems to get the attention it deserves, and the wines are indeed pricy. Nonetheless, they are among the finest expressions on the Tuscan coast.” ML

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.99

Hottest Rioja Offer of 2018??

Arrives in May

Newly Reviewed by Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate

Bodegas Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 97 points “I was really looking forward to the 2010 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, as I’ve seen a very good improvement in this cuvée in the last few vintages, and 2010 is one of the more-balanced vintages of recent times. This is the most classical among the wines in the portfolio, the one with the longer élevage, a little bit like the wines from yesteryear but with today’s knowledge about vineyards and vinification/élevage. This has settled to a blend of approximately 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano, from the cooler, higher-altitude vineyards, which means they only bottle it every two or three years. In recent years, 2007 and 2008 were not bottled. It ferments in small oak vats built by their own tonneliers, and they like to delay malolactic until the spring by opening the windows so the cold from outside comes into the winery. For the aging, each variety goes into separate barrels racked from newer to older barrels to complete some 36 months or three years. It has very healthy and balanced parameters, and that’s what the wine feels like. It’s still young. It’s never a dark wine, more of a ruby or bright color, and it has a nose of youth, subtle and elegant. But the quality shows in the unbelievable elegance and harmony on the palate, where the tannins are very fine, the flavors are subtle but deep and the length is just phenomenal. This is only medium-bodied, with perfect ripeness and integrated acidity. This should have a very long life in bottle, especially as I had the chance to check the evolution of the 2004 next to this. 90,000 bottles were produced from 2010. The following vintages will be 2011, 2014 (a small bottling) and 2015.”
James Suckling 99 points “The wonderfully silky texture with an added juiciness is what makes this wine so very special. The flawless and seamless nature to the wine is so impressive that it takes your breath away. Plenty of beautiful fruit but what mouthfeel. Drink now and forever.”
Decanter 96 points “Only made in the best vintages, and they don’t get any better than 2010, this is a brooding, ageworthy blend of mostly Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo.  It’s rich, dark and complex with stylish tannins and scented oak.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“This is an excellent 2013 with such purity and finesse. Cherry, stone and light cedar aromas follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Hints of cedar. It shows a focused energy. Drink now.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $27/bottle!


New Wine Advocate Reviews

For In-Stock 2016 Donnhoff

Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “From weathered gray carbon slate, the 2016 Nahe Riesling Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle “GG” is excitingly pure, coolish, fresh and crystalline on the nose, where flinty scents are displayed and intermix with ripe, precise and subtle fruit aromas. This is an aristocrat! Full-bodied, intense and lush on the palate, this is a highly elegant Riesling with very fine crystalline acidity and lingering piquancy. Dense and aromatic on the aftertaste but far too young to be enjoyed today, keep it at least for another 5 years.”

Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($74.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “From slate and porphyry soils, the 2016 Nahe Riesling Norheimer Dellchen “GG” is very pure, precise and mineral on the elegant, subtle nose, where ripe seed fruit aromas are displayed. Very sensual! Full-bodied, rich and round, this is a highly elegant, intense and dense Riesling with a persistent finish. Very aromatic and sensual, but it needs some time to gain even more finesse.”

Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Nahe Riesling Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese is bright, fresh and coolish-piquant on the nose, with flinty and slightly reductive aromas. Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a generous, mouth-filling Spätlese with a long, piquant and spicy-mineral finish. The Hermannshöhle is more dense and rich on the palate, the Brücke more light, delicate and finessed.”

Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “From clay-slate soils and with minty and spicy flavors, the 2016 Nahe Riesling Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese is very pure on the stony and coolish nose. On the palate, this is generous, lush and sensual but highly elegant and fine, provided with a long, piquant and really complex finish. A gorgeous Spätlese!”

Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2016 Nahe Riesling Norheimer Kirschheck Spätlese comes from clay-slate soils and offers a very clear and aromatic yet coolish and clayey bouquet of ripe Riesling. Round and elegant on the palate, this is a delicate, balanced and very subtle Spätlese with remarkable finesse and lightness.”

Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “From slate soils, the 2016 Nahe Riesling Oberhäuser Leistenberg Kabinett offers a coolish, flinty and very precise bouquet with yellow paprika and crushed stone aromas. On the palate, this is a gorgeously lush, round and elegant Riesling with generous fruit and aromatic intensity. 9% alcohol.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Donnhoff Kreuznacher Kahlenberg Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2016 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special
Wine Advocate 90+ points “From Bad Kreuznach, the 2016 Nahe Riesling Kahlenberg Trocken has a coolish and smoky quartzite bouquet with ripe and fresh white fruit aromas. Round and elegant on the palate, the Kahlenberg has lush, elegant fruit balanced by frisky, buoyant and pretty charming acidity. It is a delicious Riesling that needs a year or two to develop all its charm.”

Weingut Donnhoff Estate Riesling, Nahe 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “Dönnhoff’s flinty 2016 Nahe Riesling (Estate) is perfectly round, piquant and fruity, a light Riesling from volcanic soils in the Oberhausen’s southeast-facing vineyards Kieselberg and Felsenberg. Elegantly piquant and salty. A gorgeous wine for a sensational price. Too good to be true.”

Grand Cru Priorat!

Arriving ETA September:

“The goal at Terroir al Limit is the fostering of wines of infusion rather than extraction, and elegance rather than the typical heaviness of the Priorat. Currently the wines are primarily aged in foudres– Stockinger upright barrels from Austria to be exact– between 1,200 and 3,500 liters in size or in small concrete tanks. Each successive vintage is testament to their original vision for Terroir al Limit as well as winemaker Dominik Huber’s continued quest to make the most elegant and expressive wines in the Priorat.” –Importer note

Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Manyes, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available!
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2014 Les Manyes was bottled a little earlier, in June 2016. In many wineries in Priorat, 2013 is clearly better than 2014, but it’s not that clear in the case here, and you have to take it wine by wine. In the case of this Les Manyes, I think 2014 was the big surprise, with a combination of depth, perfume, subtleness and power difficult to achieve. The clay and chalky soils provide for an extraordinary texture of tannins, a lot less coarse than those from slate soils. It distills all the Mediterranean herbs and flowers, the essence of ripe red cherries and wild strawberries with some chalky minerality in a nose and palate that is close to perfection. This is a tour de force Garnacha from… chalky soils in Priorat! There are 1,008 bottles produced.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $229
Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Tosses, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available!
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Already bottled in June 2016, slightly earlier as it usually spends two years in foudre to avoid excessive fatigue because of too much oxygen in the wine, the 2014 Les Tosses is pure Cariñena from an old vineyard on slate soils at some 650 meters altitude. There is none of the rusticity I often link to the grape, this is extremely floral and perfumed, with plenty of violets, a little earthy too. The palate is extremely balanced, and I don’t remember tannins as elegant as these in a Cariñena before. There is length, freshness and a very, very long finish. This might very well be the best vintage of Les Tosses so far. This wine feels very young and it’s a bit shy, but giving it time it is just amazing. It should be much better with a little more time in bottle. If you decide to pull the cork soon, make sure you give it some time to breathe. There are 1,946 bottles produced. The vineyard is almost two hectares, and Dominik Huber only used part of it for this bottling, and the rest goes to Torroja. But, his idea is to increase the volume so he’ll take longer to sell this vintage so he can keep the wine for one year longer in bottle before selling it. Smart thinking…”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $245


Thanks for reading!