VinopolPick Weekend Edition – Sat Dec 6th

Saturday, December 6th, 2014
A Wine of the Year – Rioja and Ribera – Non-Stop Deals

J Christopher – Wine of the Year

We were pleased to see that one of our long-time favorite Oregon producers was recognized by Matt Kramer, once upon a time wine writer for Portland’s Oregonian, and now of the Wine Spectator for producing one of Kramer’s Wines of the Year for 2014….

Jay Somers is the winemaker and co-founder of J Christopher Wines, at the outset a small winery on Chehalem Mountain.  After working with Cameron Winery for five years, he developed a passion for Oregon wines made in an Old World style – with lower yields, natural grape growing (low to no irrigation, limited chemical and mechanical use), balanced ripeness and hands-off winemaking.  After he struck out on his own to create the J Christopher label, he developed a strong business partnership with Mosel, Germany’s Ernst Loosen (Dr. Loosen’s winery).  After several years of working together informally, Jay and winemaker Ernst purchased a 40 acre property in Newberg, OR to create the J Christopher Winery in 2010.  Today, the winery sources from several vineyards in the Willamette, including their estate vineyard, Appassionata.

J. Christopher ‘Lumiere’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2012 ($41.95) $36 special, 24 bottles available
Matt Kramer “’My Wines of the Year’—‘Oregon Wine of the Year’–
Oregon Pinot Noir continues to surprise if only because, as a still youthful and hugely ambitious category, it continues to evolve. J. Christopher is a formerly tiny producer that has grown in size thanks to a partnership between founder and winemaker Jay Somers and his new, deep-pocketed partner, German winegrower Ernst Loosen. A new winery was built, and Somers, who is one of Oregon’s finest wine-makers, is now issuing multiple Pinot Noirs, all fashioned in his signature austere, detailed, low-oak style. The 2012 Pinot Noir called Lumiere leaped out when I tasted it for its rich fruit allied with an unusual degree of flavor delineation and easily discerned mineral notes. I was surprised by its exquisiteness in a vintage that trades more in dramatic fruitiness.”

Other J Christopher Wines Available Here Now

J. Christopher ‘Cuvee Lunatique’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2012 ($19.95) $16.60 special, 10 bottles available
J. Christopher Sauvignon Blanc, Willamette Valley 2013 ($19.95) $16.60 special, 2 bottles available
J. Christopher ‘Croft Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($24.95) $19 special, 3 bottles available

J. Christopher ‘Croft Vineyard – Uber Sauvignon’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($34.95) $28 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
“Uber Sauvignon is a single vineyard wine from the ‘Croft Vineyard’, aged in Acacia wood for 8 months. Mineral driven aromas with bracing acidity and refined texture, this is one of the most interesting wines Jay has ever made.” WA

J. Christopher Lia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2012 ($49.95) $41.90 special, 7 bottles available      
J. Christopher ‘Abbey Ridge’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2012 ($69.95) $59 special, 12 bottles available      

J. Christopher Lia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2011 ($49.95) $39 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points
“Lia’s Vineyard lies just up the hill from Olenik on Chehalem Mountain, but has a completely different style. It has a full, juicy mid-palate, but remains seductively elegant, with a complex interplay of fruit and minerality. The finish is long and tinged with spices. A gorgeous wine!”
J. Christopher Olenik Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2011 ($.95) $39 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Blackberry, cassis, cherry, high-toned citrus oils, and peat pungently scent the J. Christopher 2011 Pinot Noir Olenik Vineyard, which comes to the palate with sap and grip, its tannins more noticeable than in other wines of this collection but still fine-grained. There is a glowing intensity of cherry pit piquancy here that furthers an impressively penetrating, lusciously fruity and invigoratingly zesty, energetic finish. I can’t imagine this running out of juice or electricity before 2022.” WA

J. Christopher ‘Dundee Hills Cuvee’ Pinot Noir 2012 ($39.95) $33 special, 7 bottles available
Winery notes:
“This cuvée is a blend of selected barrels from several excellent vineyard sites in the red Jory clay of the Dundee Hills AVA. It shows the depth and power that are typical of this area, with classic savory and sanguine notes and a seamless acid sructure. The 2012 vintage includes barrels from Bella Vida, La Colina, Meyer, and Charlie’s vineyards.”

J. Christopher Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($29.95) $26 special, 14 bottles available
Winery notes:
“The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is the flagship J. Christopher wine. The 2012 is blended from excellent vineyards in four of the Willamette Valley’s AVAs: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills. Made with native fermentations and up to 18 months of barrel time, this is classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Appellation: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton? and Eola Hills”

J. Christopher ‘Sandra Adele’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2011 ($49.95) $39 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“A lovely, sachet-like herbal and floral melange in the nose–with rose petal and lavender prominent–is complimented by fragrant and juicy evocations of cherry and red currant. Silken and caressing but at the same time bright and juicy, this acquires salted caramel, veal stock, and faintly sweaty carnal-mineral notes in a long finish that preserves all of the captivating floral, herbal, and berry allure promised on the nose. I would anticipate a fine show through at least 2022. 146 cases produced.” WA


Ribera del Duero and Rioja

Though considered by many to be a less recognized wine-making region, today Spain has more vineyard area (over four million acres) than any other country, and places third behind Italy and France in terms of volume of wine produced. Popularity of Spanish wines has exploded and they continue to gain greater share of acknowledgment for the delicious, top of the line wines produced throughout the country. Sixty-five DO (Denominación de Origen) regions across Spain offer an impressive array of wines, with Rioja and Ribera del Duero undeniably the most well known and loved of them all.

Rioja is Spain’s oldest established winemaking region. Rioja’s winemaking history stretches back to Roman times, continuing almost unbroken ever since as Rioja was the very first Spanish region awarded DO status in 1933, and in 1991 became the first to be upgraded to the top-level DOCa. Sandwiched between the Ebro River and the Cantabrian Mountains, Rioja experiences warmer, drier weather than other areas nearby and the best vineyards have a high concentration of limestone in the soil.

Rioja is known primarily for its reds although a small percentage of white wines are made. The most important varietal of the region is the king of native Spanish varieties, Tempranillo. Other than Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo (Carignan) are also used in red Rioja wines. Most bodegas have their own distinct red wine formula, and 100% Tempranillo wines have been increasingly more common, but most Riojas will be a combination of these four wines. In Rioja, oak aging is employed to generate increased complexity and harmony, American oak is the traditional choice of winemakers in Rioja, and Tempranillo integrates beautifully with the notes imparted by new oak barrels. From the best sites, these wines can be remarkably concentrated with great aging potential. All top-end traditional Rioja is matured in new oak barrels. The amount of time that a Rioja wine spends in barrel dictates whether it is categorized as Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva. Rioja Crianza wines are aged for one year in barrel, and one year in bottle. Rioja Reserva wines spend a minimum of one year in oak, and cannot be sent to market until a full three years after vintage. Rioja Gran Reserva wines are the region’s very finest wines: these undergo a total of five years’ aging, of which at least two years is spend in oak.

In the last 30 years Ribera del Duero has emerged from almost nowhere to challenge Rioja for the crown of Spain’s greatest wine region. Once known only as the home of Vega Sicilia, it now boasts numerous bodegas of outstanding quality with over 170 wineries and 18,000 ha of vines. Ribera del Duero sits on the elevated northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula at 2800ft above sea level. It is divided by the Duero River (as its name would suggest – Ribera del Duero means ‘bank of the Duero’), which provides the local vineyards with a much-needed water supply. The region’s inland location, coupled with the sheltering effects of the nearby mountain ranges, creates ideal diurnal variation, ensuring ripeness while preserving the vivacity of the fruit, aromatic flavors and refreshing acidity. Alternating layers of limestone, marl and chalk under silt and clay topsoil add complexity and character to Ribera del Duero wines.

In Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo is equally important as in Rioja, known in the area simply as Tinto Fino or Tinto del Pais. Despite a long history of winemaking, Ribera del Duero was not awarded DO status until 1982, thanks primarily to the success of its red Tempranillo-based wines, the best examples of which are renowned throughout the world. According to DO regulations, Tempranillo must make up a minimum of 75% of all vinos tintos (red wines). The balance is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec (varieties that were introduced by Vega Sicilia well over a century ago) or up to 5% of Albillo or Garnacha. Ribera del Duero wines are generally darker and more powerful than the most traditional Riojas. These wines also often see less new oak treatment, as winemakers prefer neutral barrels to allow Tempranillo’s fruit to shine, with a focus on more spiced flavors. The wines are deeply colored and rich, with strong tannic structure and are wines worth aging. Ribera del Duero follows the same guidelines as Rioja for their barrel aged wines. There are three quality levels that appear on the label; everyday drinking wines fall under the category of “Crianza”, “Reserva” denotes more complex and concentrated wines that see more barrel aging, and “Gran Reserva” refers to the most intense wines, with even more barrel age, made only in great vintages.

Ribera del Duero Wines Available Here Now

Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus, Ribera del Duero 2010 ($109.95) $69 special, 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
“Vivid purple. Ripe cherry, cassis, potpourri and cracked pepper on the intensely perfumed nose, with subtle licorice and woodsmoke qualities adding complexity. Deep, sweet and expansive, offering explosive dark berry compote, floral pastille and anise flavors. A spicy quality gains strength on the finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind. This bottling has been going from strength to strength in recent years and offers superb value relative to its ritzy Pingus sibling.”ST

Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus, Ribera del Duero 2011 ($99.95) $79 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“The 2011 Flor de Pingus demonstrates wonderful purity on the nose, perhaps more feminine and wily than the 2010 with luscious raspberry, blackberry and forest floor notes. The palate is full-bodied with filigree tannins and a little more volume than the 2010. It seems generous and very supple at this early juncture with a caressing, peppery finish that is extremely well focused. There 2011 has awesome potential and I cannot wait to taste this after two or three years in bottle.” WA

Bodegas Ismael Arroyo Val Sotillo Crianza, Ribera del Duero 2006 ($34.95) $18 special, 3+ cases available
CASE-12 Bodegas Ismael Arroyo Val Sotillo Crianza, Ribera del Duero 2006 ($249.95) $189 special, 1 case available (that’s only $15.75/btl!)
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
“Vibrant and honest, with expressive raspberry and cherry aromas and flavors accented by mint leaf, liqueur and cassis. Really hits the spot and then fades away in no hurry. A smoking-good crianza that hammers home the fact that Ismael Arroyo’s wines are still leaders in RDD. Drink now-2015” WE

Bodegas Emilio Moro Finca Resalso, Ribera del Duero 2012 ($21.95) $18 special, 3+ cases available
Case-12 Bodegas Emilio Moro Finca Resalso, Ribera del Duero 2012 ($249.95) $192 special, 3 cases available (that’s only $16/btl!)
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Vivid purple.  Ripe boysenberry and blueberry aromas and an undercurrent of mocha on the nose, with candied licorice and vanilla qualities coming up with air.  Lush, weighty and round, showing good thrust to its dark berry liqueur and cocoa flavors.  Finishes creamy, round and long, with soft tannins and building notes of plum and dark chocolate.”

Bodegas Emilio Moro Malleolus, Ribera del Duero 2009 ($49.95) $36 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Opaque purple. A heady, complex bouquet evokes blackberry and blackcurrant liqueur, with suave oak spice and potpourri elements. Sweet, broad and pliant, the intense dark fruit flavors showing great power, richness and depth. Very young but flat-out seductive, finishing on a sweet, sappy note of candied dark fruits, with lush, harmonious tannins.”ST

Bodegas Emilio Moro Malleolus de Sanchomartin, Ribera del Duero 2009 ($179.95) $149 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97-100 points
“The 2009 Malleolus de Sanchomartin was tasted from a barrel sample. Opaque purple in color with lovely floral aromas, Asian spices, and incense, on the palate it effortlessly combines power with elegance. It has superb grip, great volume, and plush, succulent fruit. It has the structure to evolve for 8-10 years and should drink well through 2040. ”

Juan Manuel Burgos Fescenino Roble, Ribera del Duero 2008 ($14.95) $11.90 special, 1 bottle available

Juan Manuel Burgos Fescenino Roble, Ribera del Duero 2013 ($17.95) $14 special, 3 bottles available

Finca Villacreces Pruno, Ribera del Duero 2012 ($21.95) $18 special, 36 bottles available
Robert Parker 93 points
“This blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from a vineyard situated adjacent to one of the famous vineyards utilized to produce Spain’s greatest red wine, Vega Sicilia. Made from relatively old vines, the 2012 Pruno is a sexy, opulent, voluptuously textured effort that spent 12 months in two-year-old French oak barrels. Reminiscent of a baby Vega Sicilia, it possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as notes of high-class, unsmoked cigar tobacco, creme de cassis, licorice, graphite and spice box. Full-bodied, deep, velvety textured, lush and heady, at ($.95) $20 a bottle, it is another sensational bargain from Eric Solomon. Enjoy it over the next 5-6 years.” RP

Bodegas Hermanos Perez Pascuas Vina Pedrosa Crianza, Ribera del Duero 2008 ($29.95) $18 special, 26 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 90 points
“Bright ruby. Fresh red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by notes of vanilla and clove, with a subtle smoky quality gaining strength with air. Spicy and energetic on the palate, offering sappy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and deeper vanilla and cocoa nuances. The cherry note repeats on the smooth, tangy finish. This will be drinking very well in another couple years.”

Bodegas Hermanos Perez Pascuas Vina Pedrosa La Navilla, Ribera del Duero 2007 ($39.95) $21.90 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90(+?) points
“Vivid ruby.  Sexy aromas of redcurrant, raspberry and cherry-cola, with smoke and spice accents adding complexity.  Juicy, penetrating red fruit flavors gain weight and depth with air and take a turn to dark fruits on the back half.  Finishes with very good clarity and tangy cut.  Give this some air or hold it for at least a few more years.”

Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Tinto Pesquera Crianza, Ribera del Duero 2010 ($37.95) $29 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate & Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(100% tempranillo, raised for 18 months in small American oak): Vivid ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied red berries and cherry, with smoke, anise and cola accents. Sappy, penetrating bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors give way to darker cassis with air and pick up a peppery nuance. Smooth, sweet and energetic on the lingering finish.” ST

Dominio de Pingus PSI, Ribera del Duero 2011 ($41.95) $33 special, 30 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Glass- staining ruby. Dark berry, bitter chocolate and potpourri on the perfumed nose. Spicy, penetrating black and blue fruit flavors show impressive clarity and lift, with a zesty mineral nuance adding bite. Smooth and seamless on the subtly tannic finish, which leaves juicy blueberry and violet pastille notes behind.” ST

Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero 2004 ($399.95) $349 special, 4 bottles available
Robert Parker 97 points
“Pablo Alvarez described 2004 as a textbook vintage with perfect temperatures and rain just when it was needed. The 2004 has a haunting bouquet of dark brambly black fruit, cassis, honey, a tang of marmalade and bacon fat. It already boasts an intense, burly bouquet that will require years to soften. The palate is full-bodied with succulent, ripe, intense black cherries, white pepper, minerals and liquorice and it fans out beautifully towards the finish with tar-tinged black fruit interlaced with black pepper. This is a multi-dimensional Unico, more masculine and grander than the 2005, perhaps the sibling of the 1994?” NM

Rioja Wines – Available Here Now

Remelluri Blanco Granja Nuestra Senora de Remulleri, Rioja DOCa 2009 ($89.95) $59 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“(made from a blend of garnacha blanca, roussanne, marsanne, viognier, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, moscatel and petit courbut):  Bright yellow.  A heady, complex bouquet evokes candied citrus fruits, pear skin, honey, vanilla and ginger, with a spicy overtone.  Deeply pitched orange and poached pear flavors show very good breadth and are braced and lifted by tangy acidity.  Closes on a gently sweet note, with impressive power and lingering spiciness.  This wine is delicious now but it also has the concentration to reward mid-term cellaring.”ST

Bodegas Contador – Benjamin Romeo ‘La Cueva del Contador’, Rioja DOCa 2009 ($99.95) $79 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2009 La Cueva de Contador is sourced from declassified Contador fruit: pure Tempranillo cropped at 1.2kg per vine that is aged in new French oak for 18 months. Its name is derived from the ancient caves under San Vicente de la Sonsierra castle where the old cellar is located. It has a seductive bouquet with beautifully defined, precise, graphite-tinged black and blueberry fruit that unfolds with passing moments. The palate has immense purity and sense of symmetry and gently grips the mouth on the long, elegant finish. If you cannot afford Contador, well, this sure as hell comes close!” WA

Bodegas Abanico Hazana Tradicion, Rioja DOCa 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special, 28 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
“(85% tempranillo and 15% graciano; aged for a year in a combination of French and American oak): Bright violet color. Highly aromatic scents of black and blue fruits, Indian spices and fresh flowers are complemented by a deeper note of candied licorice. Juicy and broad on the palate, with intense dark berry and floral pastille flavors that become spicier with aeration. Dusty tannins give shape to the clinging finish.” ST

Bodegas Ilurce Rio Madre Graciano, Rioja DOCa 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“(100% graciano; aged in French oak for 11 months): Opaque ruby. Sexy, high-toned cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by notes of Indian spices and fresh rose. Smooth and seamless in texture, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that become spicier with air. The floral element repeats on the finish, which shows excellent clarity and persistence. This wine delivers uncanny value and has the structure to age.”

Bodegas de la Marquesa Valserrano Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2005 ($27.95) $17.70 special, 3+ cases available
Case-12 Bodegas de la Marquesa Valserrano Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2005 ($299.95) $189 special, 5 cases available (that’s only $15.75/btl!)
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“(90% tempranillo and 10% graciano): Deep ruby. Highly fragrant scents of redcurrant, cherry, dried rose and spicecake, with hints of smoke and pipe tobacco. Packs a punch, displaying very good vivacity to the cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors. Finishes sappy, focused and long, with silky tannins and lingering sweetness. This elegant wine is drinking well now but has the balance to age.” ST

Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2009 ($26.95) $21.90 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(70% tempranillo, 20% garnacha, 7% mazuelo and 3% graciano; aged for 24 months in French and American oak): Brilliant ruby. Black raspberry and smoky oak scents are lifted by enticing mineral and spicecake notes. Dense, supple and deep, with intense flavors of black raspberry, mocha and vanilla. Very full, velvety wine, finishing with smooth, ripe tannins and a vibrant red berry quality.” ST
Wine Advocate 91 points “So we moved on to the reds with the 2009 Reserva, a vintage where they harvested quite late and they compare to 2005, a powerful year. The blend is 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name here), 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from old terraced vineyards in the lowest part of the Oja valley where the river meets the Ebro. The grapes are fermented with their natural yeast in old oak wooden vats for 20 days with daily pumping-over and aged for two years in barrels, the first year in new ones, and the second year in used ones. The young nose is dominated by dark fruit aromas intermixed with notes of orange rind, licorice, Chinese ink and smoked peat. The palate shows some grainy tannins denoting a young but tender wine, with good intensity and acidity, ideal to have with food. ..Very Rioja. Drink 2014-2020.” WA

Bodegas Campillo Reserva Selecta, Rioja DOCa 2001 ($37.95) $29 special, 3+ cases available

Bodegas Faustino I Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2001 ($37.95) $33 special, 3+ cases available
Decanter Magazine 97 points
“Outstanding – Restrained, mineral style with elegant tannins. Youthful and fresh, feminine and complex. Deliciously decadent, with extraordinary vitality in the palate and a long unique, finish. A jewel at this price. Drink 2014–2030. Alcohol 13.5%.”

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2003 ($37.95) $26 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(80% tempranillo, 15% garnacha, 3% graciano and 2% mazuelo): Medium red. Ripe red fruit, flowers and spices on the nose, with a smoky nuance emerging with aeration; very fresh for this notoriously hot vintage. Concentrated but not at all heavy, with intense red berry and floral pastille flavors and a deeper note of singed plum. The finish is bright and high-pitched, with lingering cherry and raspberry flavors and a hint of candied licorice.”ST

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2001 ($41.95) $33 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2001 Vina Tondonia Reserva is bridled with a lovely nose of decayed red fruit, fireside hearth, a touch of mulberry and small red cherry. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, crisp red fruits (wild strawberry and cranberry) with a sharp, vibrant, tense, tannic finish that has immense precision. There is a slight saline note lingering in the mouth after the wine has (regretfully) departed…” WA

Marques de Legarda Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2008 ($17.95) $11.90 special, 34 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points
“The 2008 Marques de Legarda Crianza has an attractive bouquet of brambly red berry fruits tinged with marmalade and Moroccan leather. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and is well-balanced. It builds gently to a lovely, dusky dark chocolate-coated finish that maintains freshness and tradition to the very finish. This is very commendable. Drink now-2015. “WA

Marques de Legarda Reserva de la Familia, Rioja DOCa 1995 ($99.95) $79 special, 15 bottles available      

Bodegas Pedro Martinez Alesanco Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2008 ($19.95) $16 special, 5 bottles available      

Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri Viñedos de Labastida, Rioja DOCa 2010 ($34.95) $29 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Saturated ruby. Blackcurrant, smoky minerals and potpourri on the highly perfumed nose. Silky and sweet on entry, then packed with juicy dark fruit complicated by floral pastilles and a hint of blood orange. Powerful but lithe, with seamless texture, fine-grained tannins and impressive energy on the finish.” ST

Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri, Rioja DOCa 2009 ($29.95) $24 special, 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Bright ruby-red. Sexy, floral-accented aromas of candied red fruits, cherry-cola and Asian spices, with slow-building tobacco and licorice nuances. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering sweet cherry and black raspberry flavors and a touch of cracked pepper. Finishes with very good energy and length, leaving floral and cola notes behind.”ST

Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de San Vicente, Rioja DOCa 2010 ($34.95) $29 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Glass-staining ruby. Heady aromas of boysenberry, cassis, fennel and pipe tobacco, with a sexy vanilla undertone. Lush, velvety and sweet in the mouth, with sexy flavors of black and blue fruit preserves, licorice and floral pastilles. A fleshy, powerful but shockingly energetic Rioja, with supple tannins framing a long, sweet finish.” ST

Remelluri, Rioja DOCa 2008 ($39.95) $33 special, 36 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(mostly tempranillo, with garnacha, graciano, viura and malvasia): Ruby-red. Redcurrant, cherry, rose pastille and spicecake on the highly perfumed nose and in the mouth. Silky, sweet and penetrating, with slow-building tannins and excellent finishing cut and length. A very successful wine for this difficult vintage, and it’s built to reward at least another ten years of aging.”ST

Remelluri Granja Nuestra Senora de Remulleri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2005 ($89.95) $79 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2005 Gran Reserva is the first since 1999 selected from the best casks, where it is aged for 25 months in used French and American oak. It has a wonderful, wild mint-scented bouquet with hints of licorice and white fennel. The palate is medium-bodied with bold tannins that bolster its vaulted structure. It has very good weight with grippy, dry, tertiary tannins towards the long finish. It will need several years in the cellar. Drink 2016-2025.” WA

Remelluri Granja Nuestra Senora de Remelluri Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2009 ($39.95) $31.90 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2009 Remelluri Reserva aims at showing the character of Remelluri, as this is the first modern vintage that does not have grapes purchased from external suppliers. These grapes are now in the Lindes range of wines, but in the past they were blended with the estate grapes. The cool Remelluri vineyards behave very well in warmer years. This 2009 is very clean with predominant aromas of earthy red fruit intermixed with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, a satin texture with round, fine-grained tannins and quite classical and very well-proportioned style. This is a great vintage for Remelluri Reserva.” WA

Bodegas Riojana Monte Real Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 1998 ($59.95) $39 special, 8 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Dark red with a pale rim. Pungent, spicy nose shows pure cherry, redcurrant and plum complemented by succulent herbs, vanillin oak spice and a hint of dried flowers. Supple, lush and deep, with sweet red fruit flavors framed by gentle, harmonious tannins. Fleshy and sweet on the back end, with impressive concentration and focus. This should age well.” ST

Bodegas Hermanos Pecina Senorio de P. Pecina Joven, Rioja DOCa 2011 ($17.95) $11.90 special, 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 88 points
“Brilliant ruby. Fresh red berries and cherry pit on the fruit-driven nose and palate. Juicy, focused and refreshingly tangy, showing good finishing cut and length. Drinkable now but this lively wine is balanced to reward at least a few more years of aging.” ST

Bodegas de la Marquesa Valserrano Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2007 ($19.95) $14.90 special, 2 bottles available      

Rioja Wine Arriving Here Soon ETA December 2014

Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 ($.95) $439 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.58/btl!)
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“(70% tempranillo, 20% garnacha, 7% mazuelo and 3% graciano; fermented in large oak vats and aged for 28 months in small French and American oak barrels of varying age):  Inky purple.  Flamboyant aromas of ripe berries, incense, potpourri, smoky oak and pungent minerals.  Lush, fleshy and alluringly sweet, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that coat the palate.  Smooth, seamless and impressively concentrated but also lively, with sneaky tannins giving shape to the long, spice-accented finish. ”

Some Among Many…

Mazzoni Vermentino Chardonnay Tuscany 2012 ($17.95) $8.50 special
Case-12 Mazzoni Vermentino Chardonnay Tuscany 2012 ($179.95) $89 special (that’s only $7.40 / btl!)
Two of the world’s greatest wine-making families are behind the wines from Mazzoni – wines that offer true Italian style for great value. Mazzoni represents a historic collaboration between the Franceschi family from Tuscany and Terlato family from Napa. Blending Italy’s old world hand-crafted approach with California’s innovative wine-making technology results in some truly elegant and still affordable wines. Mazzoni Vermentino-Chardonnay wine is blend of two white varieties: Vermentino (75%) a classic Tuscan variety, gives the wine a crisp, refreshing flavors, Chardonnay (25%) provides acidity a body, making this wine an ideal pairing with light fish and Mediterranean flavors.

The case price and the bottle prices are the lowest listed prices in the USA!
The average listed price is $16 / bottle

Terlato Family Pinot Grigio Russian River Valley 2011 ($21.95) $10.90 special
Case-12 Terlato Family Pinot Grigio Russian River Valley 2011 ($219.95) $99 special (that’s only $8.25 / btl!)
Wine Enthusiast 88 points
“Ripe and forward with Meyer lemon, lime, green apple and honeysuckle flavors. The finish is off dry and zesty in acidity. What an easy wine to drink with Asian, Ethiopian, Indian or Mexican fare, or by itself as a cocktail sipper.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is 74% higher than our bottle price at $19 / bottle

Sanford Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills 2011 ($31.95) $14 special
Winery Notes
“Our 2011 “Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay is sourced exclusively from our two estate vineyards in the heart of this cool climate appellation. The 2011 vintage was marked by low yields due to spring frost. This resulted in intense flavors with bright acid. By gently whole cluster pressing and barrel fermentation in French oak, this Chardonnay has lovely texture to balance the vibrant palate. Our 2011 estate Chardonnay offers intriguing aromas of lemon peel, apricot and toasted hazelnut. In addition to the bright fruit, this wine has aromas of white flowers. On the palate the minerality and acidity give this wine great structure, which carries through its long finish. This full bodied wine has nice acidity to keep it in balance and makes a nice complement to most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes and excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chanterelles and morels).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The next best price is 28% higher at $17.99 / bottle

Erath Estate Selection Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2012 ($37.95) $24 special
Case-12 Erath Estate Selection Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2012 ($419.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/btl!)
Stephen Tanzer 89 points
“Ruby-red.  Pungent aromas of dark berry, cola and vanilla show good depth, with allspice and fresh rose notes providing lift.  Supple and open-knit, offering sweet blackberry and cherry-cola flavors that spread out on the mid-palate.  Closes smooth and subtly spicy, with velvety tannins building slowly and framing the sweet dark fruit notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $31 / bottle

Dumazet Condrieu Cote Fournet 2010 ($69.95) $49 special
Robert Parker 95 points
“Two monumental Condrieus from Dumazet include the 2010 Condrieu Cote Fournet, which reveals an extravagant style, with lavish concentration as well as copious notes of spring flowers, peach and apricot marmalade, honeysuckle, and hints of pineapple and crushed rocks. How wonderful it is to see this somewhat forgotten appellation enjoy such a profound vintage as 2010!”

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The next best listed price is 32% higher at $65 / bottle

Jean Francois Ganevat Cotes du Jura Vin Jaune 2004 375ML ($89.95) $55 special
Jean-François Ganevat who works there has become in the last few years one of the most interesting winemakers of the Jura region. His high number of small-batch cuvées of any sort (we’ll review them through), each yielding beautiful, unique wines, help again put this little-known wine region on the map. This 100% Savignin aged wine is farmed from vines averaging 60 years old.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The next best price is $64.99/btl!

Frescobaldi Luce Della Vite Luce Toscana IGT 2011 ($99.95) $69 special
Wine Spectator 95 points –#47 TOP 100 2014–
“Highly recommended. Polished and complex, featuring ripe black cherry, plum, mint, vanilla, chocolate, leather and tobacco aromas and flavors. Dense and tannic, with concentrated sweet fruit for balance. Finishes long and harmonious. Merlot and Sangiovese. Best from 2017 through 2035.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is 36% higher at $94 / bottle

Domaine Christian Moreau Pere & Fils Clos des Hospices, Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos ($99.95) $75 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“Expressive yellow stone fruits, spices, graphite and subtle French oak flow from the 2011 Chablis Les Clos Clos des Hospices. Hints of slate, smoke and oyster shells come to life on the beautifully delineated finish. There is great energy in the glass, but this is an infant. Here, too, I have a slight preference for the 2011 over the 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2013+.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The next best price is $94.99.
The average price is $102. 

Bodegas Tradicion VORS 30 Years Old Palo Cortado Sherry ($109.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The NV Palo Cortado Tradición VORS, averages 32 years of age, which they consider the correct age for Palo Cortado, so it is not just an old Sherry. Light amber-colored, the nose has a sweet sensation, apricots, and almonds but then the mouth is very dry and saline, fine and light, with flavors of hazelnut, a little varnish, very elegant, intense, pungent, a little spirity. It has a delineated palate, superb intensity, and very long finish. Classical, elegant, clean, intense and delicate could be common descriptors for all their wines. A textbook Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2019.” WA

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The next best price is $94.74/btl!
The average price is $141/btl!

Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Reserve Napa Valley 2010 1.5 LITER ($399.95) $149 special
Jack Nicklaus Wines, a line of handcrafted, limited-production wines from California’s famed Napa Valley is a partnership between Terlato Wines and golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his family. The Golden Bear Reserve Commemorative Series was inspired by the 50th anniversary of Jack’s first major championship. Each year for the next 18 years, Nicklaus wines will release a single limited-edition 1.5-liter bottle Napa Valley red blend to celebrate each one of Nicklaus’ major championships. Produced by Terlato Wine Group, each release will be limited to 1,000 bottles and each bottle will be packaged in an individual wooden display box and accompanied by a letter from Jack that includes his reflections on that major victory.

This is the lowest listed price is the USA!
The next best listed price is $174.95 / magnum.