Saturday, May 7th, 2016
Unique Argentinian Wines
One Week Sale!
Sale Ends Midnight Friday, May 13th
“Their passion and commitment, their spirituality and, for want of a better word, “purity” in terms of doing what they do for the love of it rather than financial reward, brought to mind the Lopez de Heredia sisters in Rioja. If you want cutting edge, meticulously crafted Argentinean wines hot footed from one of the most exciting sub-regions (Gualtallary), then look no further.” – Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate writing on the SuperUco winemakers
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2013 Calcáreo Coluvio de Altamira is closed and tight, feeling the most austere and chalk-driven of the three reds I tasted form the Calcáreo line. The grapes are selected from a small part of the vineyard where the calcium carbonate is seen in the surface. It’s a serious, balanced and terribly salty and mineral red with the violets of Malbec intermixed with crushed rocks and even a marine feeling to it. Complex, subtle, elegant… terrific! And very affordable too. 3,000 bottles produced, the content of the amphora.”
Michelini Bros SuperUco Calcáreo Río de los Chacayes Malbec, Uco Valley 2013 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $33 One Week Sale!
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Calcáreo Río de los Chacayes is sourced from the Chacayes zone of Tunuyán on top of Vista Flores towards the mountains. It has a riper, spicier, floral, and aromatic profile with notes of thyme and rosemary. It is the most extroverted of the three, and also feels quite polished. The palate, however, is more serious, with the austerity of the rocks, a very fine thread of subtle acidity and a long, long, long finish with sweeter tannins. Its a rolling stone covered in chalk and surrounded by thyme. Awesome! 3,000 bottles were produced.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Calcáreo Granito de Tupungato starts with lactic notes followed by ripe plum and ripe skin aromas from grapes grown at higher altitude, closer to the sun. It is a bit wild. The palate is tremendously mineral, with a chalky texture and incredible length. The tannins are ultra-fine and the wine is compact, very harmonious. This is the more austere and mineral of the three. Awesome value!”
Summer Shipping Saver
UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground
for shipments normally travelling 4 or more business days.Free service upgrade only applies on single orders shipped during the promotional period.
Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period
and shipped by Three Day Select.
Offer not valid on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period.
Don’t forget about our other current shipping promos:We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment
-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California for $25
These rates do not apply to orders held in storage here for any reason.
Multiple orders consolidated into one shipment
do not qualify for flat rate shipping.
New Arrivals Featurettes:
Ca del Baio, Pegau and Hacienda Monasterio
Ca’ del Baio
For four generations, the Grasso family has been producing tiny quantities of Barbersco from their two estate vineyards and the esteemed Asili vineyard (among other bottlings). Their mostly under the radar winery operates sustainably and relies on natural yeasts for fermentation. We’ve been lucky to offer their wines for a few years and are honored to again represent several of their single vineyards – all priced well below the competition!
Ca’ del Baio Asili, Barbaresco DOCG 2012 750ML ($39.95) $30.90 special
James Suckling 92 points “Aromas of cherry, dried apple and hints of cedar. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Hints of walnut skin and wet earth. Solid and attractive. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2012 Barbaresco Marcarini shows a much darker expression of Treiso, along with greater depth, ripeness and textural richness than the Vallegrande. Black cherry, plum, cloves, leather and smoke all open up in a Barbaresco endowed with considerable mid-palate sweetness and distinctly baritone-inflected nuances. Here the expression of Nebbiolo is broad and ample.”
The next best price is over ten dollars more at $38.99
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2012 Barbaresco Vallegrande is a forward, supple wine to drink now and over the next few years. Spice, sweet tobacco, black cherry, menthol, pine and a host of balsamic-inflected nuances give the fruit much of its aromatic lift, while firm tannins add energy and a sense of drive. The overall profile is very typical of Vallegrande and Treiso more broadly. I would prefer to drink the 2012 sooner rather than later, while the flavors retain their brightness. The 2012 finishes with a lovely sense of understated precision that adds nuance.”
Domaine du Pegau
Father/daughter team Paul and Laurence Feraud founded the domaine in 1987 (the family was formerly bottling the wine under the name of Domaine Feraud since the 17th century). Their Cuvee Reservee is hand-picked blend of 80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4 % Mourvedre and 10% other permitted varieties (not destemmed). The grapes are grown in stony soils with a mix of clay, chalk and sand. The wine is fermented with the stems in cement vats with natural yeast before aging for two years in old oak barrels. Simply put, Pegau has been our go-to CDP for over ten years.
Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee 2013 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 special
Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee 2013 1.5L ($149.95) $128 special
Case-12 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee 2013 750ML ($719.95) $588 special (that’s only $49/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “Deep ruby. Potent aromas of ripe dark berries, licorice pastille, woodsmoke, game and garrigue, plus a peppery nuance that adds spiciness and lift. Round and fleshy on the palate, offering intense blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become livelier and sweeter with air. The very long, energetic, sharply focused finish features fine-grained tannins and subtle, lingering notes of dark berries and smoked meat.”
Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Laurence 2011 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “A solidly grippy, old-school version, with lots of brick dust, roasted chestnut and fresh tobacco leaf notes coating the core of steeped plum, raspberry and black cherry fruit. Offers a broad and woodsy feel through the finish, with singed cedar and juniper details pumping throughout, delivering ample flesh and fruit for balance. This has grip to burn and should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030.”
Domaine du Pegau Selection Laurence Feraud Cotes du Rhone 2013 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Importer’s note: “In addition to running the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Domaine du Pegau with her father Paul, Laurence Féraud manages a successful negociant wine business under the “Sélection Laurence Féraud” label.”
Chateau Pegau ‘Pink Pegau’ Rose, Vin de France 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Importer’s note: “A delicious new rosé from Laurence Féraud of Domaine du Pegau, Pink Pegau was crafted at Château Pegau, a recently purchased estate of more than 100 acres located less than 4 miles from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Tasting Notes: Pale pink/salmon in color, with peach, floral and red fruit aromas. Bone dry, with a crisp, mouth-watering acidity leading to a long, spicy, mineral finish.”
With Pingus owner/ winemaker Peter Sisseck consulting since 1990, Hacienda Monasterio is one of the most solid ventures within the appellation. Hacienda Monasterio is an estate wine project and one of the great names in Ribera del Duero. All grapes come from their own surrounding vineyards which currently total 95 hectares. It is located in Pesquera de Duero in the province of Valladolid, close to Valbuena’s monastery and also close to Vega Sicilia, of which it was part in the 19th century.
Bodegas Hacienda Monasterio, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($44.95) $36.60 special
Case-12 Bodegas Hacienda Monasterio, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($479.95) $399 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The current vintage for the crianza is 2012. The 2012 Crianza, from a dry vintage, resulted much fresher than expected, fresher than 2009 and 2011 in fact. The vines are dry-farmed and were planted some 22 years ago, and you might say they have matured by now. The approximate mixture of grapes in their vineyards is mostly Tempranillo with some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, and it’s more or less the blend in this wine. The Cabernet works well, providing finesse and some acidity to the Tempranillo….The wine matured in 20% new French oak barrels for some 20 months. There are no traces of the barriques and the nose took me to the Riberas of yesteryear, with some subtle rusticity; it’s ripe without excess and there’s good balance between fruit, spices and perhaps something earthy. The palate is extremely balanced, medium-bodied with very fine tannins, tasty, approachable and long. This could very well be the best crianza ever produced at Monasterio. This has to be one of the bargains of the vintage in Ribera, given the quality it delivers.”
Newly Arrived Champagnes:
Vouette et Sorbee, Billecart-Salmon, Philiponnat and Selosse
Our favorite super-deals and near impossible to find Champagnes have just arrived!
Vouette et Sorbee
“Champagne, to me, is too often a mere flash in the pan. The bottle empties, the coupes overflow; the glass clinks, the bubbles rush along the tongue; it’s all gone too fast! Vouette et Sorbee, thankfully, make Champagnes to savor and to contemplate.
“This bottle reads like capital-w Wine to be snooty about it. The bright-fruited nose conjures up thought of light reds from the Loire as the bubbles coat the palate and deliver this brilliant mix of acid-tinged cranberries, sun-soaked lemons, and an enduring finish. There’s something electric about it and a little daring – ‘Cuvee Fidele’ pushes gently at the boundaries of everything we’ve grown comfortable with in terms of bubbly. Gently, though – it’s a surprising, refreshing, well-integrated bottle of wine. One to swirl and savor.” -Tyler
Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Fidele Extra Brut NV 750ML ($79.95) $44.50 super-deal special
Winery note “[Translated] Our desire as a domaine is to remain discreet stylistically while genuinely showcasing the character of each vintage. Cuvee Fidele does so by definition. This wine shows all of the vinous flavors of Pinot Noir with expressions of limestone (a sign of the pure Kimmeridgian soil) and persistent aromas due to vinification completely in wood.”
The average price is $75
Vinopolnote: Antonio Galloni has dubbed the Blanc d’Argile “Chablis-like in its purity”, with “a focused expression of smoke, flint, minerals and citrus.” A long-time favorite and a fantastic Grower Champagne.
James Suckling 94 points “An subtle nose with plenty of fine autolysis aromas of fresh bread and sweetly fragrant yeasty notes, plus some gentle spice and chalky notes. The palate unleashes beautiful wild strawberry fruit flavors, super fresh, fleshy and pure. Great balance and depth. Drink now.” JS
Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut 1996 750ML ($399.95) $348 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points (December 2015); Antonio Galloni 96 points (March 2015) “One of the all time greats from Philipponnat, the 1996 Clos des Goisses captures the essence of a vintage in which both sugars and acidities were elevated. Tension, energy and salinity are the signatures. Readers who can wait on the 1996 will be rewarded with a stunning bottle of Champagne that will likely still be profound at age fifty.”
Jacques Selosse Initial Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV 750ML ($219.95) $199 special – only 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The NV Initial is especially open in this release, with notable texture, richness and resonance. Lemon peel, white flowers and almonds all open up in the glass, followed by honey and slight elements of Burgundian-like reduction. Initial is always Selosse’s most vibrant wine, as it is once again this year. The pure breadth and verticality of these Chardonnays from Avize, Cramant Oger is compelling. Readers who want to explore Anselme Selosse’s wines should start here…” AG
Jacques Selosse Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Version Originale NV 750ML ($279.95) $249 special – only 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Tasted after the Initial, the NV V.O. (Version Originale) presents slightly darker, more burnished tonalities of Chardonnay. Almond, marzipan, dried rose petals, spices and anise blossom in an ample, generous Champagne built on volume, but supported by insistent veins of minerality. Hints of trademark Selosse oxidation make the V.O. a bit more eccentric, especially for readers who might not be familiar with these Champagnes. V.O. emerges from parcels in Avize, Cramant and Oger, all Grand Cru villages. The vintages are 2006, 2005 and 2004. This bottle was disgorged on October 15, 2013 and bottled with no dosage.” AG
Benoit Dehu ‘La Rue des Noyer’ Brut NV (2012) 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points “Benoît Déhu’s NV Extra Brut La Rue des Noyers is a 100% Meunier from a biodynamically farmed 1.7 hectare plot in Fossoy with dark limestone soils. Fermented and aged for ten months in used 228 liter barrels but with “no malolactic, no racking, no filtering, no cold stabilization and no fining,” says Benoît Déhu, when he presented me his wine at the presentation of the Origines Champagne group in Château de Pierry earlier this year. “We produce our wines like our colleagues in Burgundy.” It had two different Cuvées of this wine. Their first was entirely based on the 2011 vintage and was disgorged in June 2014 with a minimal dosage of one gram per liter. It is an impressively deep, intense and full-bodied Champagne that displays ripe fruit and slightly smoky flavors on the nose; it is very pure, complex and well structured on the palate. This stunningly powerful and persistent Champagne is surely made for a long distance run. The second wine is the successor and based on vintage 2012, but disgorged with no dosage. This is a very delicate and elegant release with a superbly refined mousse. However, it is also straight, firm and perhaps even finer than the 2011.”
New Reviews for Von Winning
Since Von Winning Winery was founded in 1849, they have produced unique wines reflecting the best vineyards in Ruppertsberg, Deidesheim, and Forst. Leopold von Winning, son-in-law of Dr. Andreas Deinhard, dedicated his life to creating top quality wines with respect to the outstanding vineyards in the area. He meticulously raised the quality of the wines to a new level as a founding member of the VDP, an association of Germany’s premium wineries. His decision to work as close to nature as possible remains the ultimate goal of today’s young and ambitious team led by winemaker Stephan Attmann.
Attmann describes his winemaking as “not doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.” The estate’s premium wines are treated with a minimalist approach and with the highest respect in the cellar. Gentle clarification, a natural and spontaneous fermentation and the abandonment of fining agents create wines with a distinctive indigenous and very elegant style. Pumping the juice or wine is never necessary in the gravity flow winery, allowing for minimal, and gentle vinification.
David Schildknecht—Vinous 90 points “This basic generic bottling with a dozen grams of supportive residual sugar, incorporating some purchased fruit, displays the clarity and levity associated with vintage 2014 at its best. (That levity is naturally enhanced by not fermenting all the way down to legal Trockenheit; but in that respect, this basic Von Winning Gutsriesling is always an anomaly in their portfolio.) A meadow-like sense of grasses and flowers is joined in the nose by intimations of fresh apple, white peach, orange and grapefruit that then juicily and succulently inform a polished palate, leading to a mouthwateringly saline, invigoratingly sage-tinged (and dry-tasting) finish. The personality on display here reflects a significant input from Deidesheim vineyards.”
David Schildknecht—Vinous 93 points “Surprisingly floral for a Kalkofen Riesling, this leads with head-turning freesia and lavender perfume, behind which are intimations of white peach and passion fruit that then saturate a polished, almost plush palate. Sweet suggestions of almond paste enhance the mid-palate sense of richness, but brightly juicy white peach and grapefruit serve for consummate refreshment and floral-herbal impingements for invigoration in a seductively sustained finish. The chalk that is part of this site’s namesake may be implicated in its energetic finish, but there is no overt impression of chalkiness let alone austerity to be found here; on the contrary, this is the richest and most winsome of the youthful Von Winning single-vineyard 2014s.”
Von Winning Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 6 bottles available
David Schildknecht—Vinous 92 points “Pungent notes of sage and cassis leaf, orange zest and corn shoot penetrate the nostrils. The aforementioned elements bittersweetly inform a polished, subtly creamy palate on which saline and alkaline notes emerge to lend intrigue and saliva inducement to the long finish. There are slightly detached notes of lanolin and resin from barrel there, but fortunately these do not dry out the wine’s juiciness or disturb its sense of transparency to myriad mineral and herbal nuances. I would give this a bit of time before revisiting it.”
Von Winning Kirchenstuck Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2014 750ML ($149.95) $106 special, 17 bottles available
David Schildknecht—Vinous 93 points “There is all of the decadent, musky, exotic floral perfume here–not to mention almost overripe peachiness–one could conjure up under the rubric “typical Kirchenstück.” But the dense, polished, glycerol-rich palate is nevertheless positively buoyant, and it’s a joy to experience the decadent ripeness and exotic complexity of Riesling from this site without having to put up with alcoholic weight or to sacrifice focus of flavors and genuine refreshment. What’s more, there is an alluring sense of shimmering interchange between flowers, fruits and crystalline mineral impingements in the long, soothingly succulent yet persistently stimulating finish. This is irresistible already, but its complexity and seductive appeal should both be compounded by time in bottle.”
Von Winning Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2014 750ML ($119.95) $86 special, 9 bottles available
Schildknecht—Vinous 95 points “An even more riotous diversity of aromatics is on display here than in the corresponding Ungeheuer: pungent but cooling sage, wintergreen and peppermint; zesty orange, grapefruit and lime; resinous oak. Except that instead of turning into a riot, these all seem to collect themselves as they strikingly inflect luscious pear and white peach on a seamlessly polished, expansive, faintly buttery palate. Suggestions of nut oils enhance a sense of enveloping richness rare in youthful Pechstein Riesling, while chalky, stony undertones serve as sounding board and salinity for helpless salivation in a vibrant, sensationally sustained finish.”
David Schildknecht—Vinous 92 points “A pungent combination of sour mash, corn shoot, sage, thyme and sea breeze sets the scene for the subtly oily palate, where plummy fruit lends juiciness and raw sweet corn a psychological sensation of subtle sweetness. This impressively dense wine finishes with clarity, energy and penetration, lime peel accents enhancing invigoration and salinity stimulating salivation. The Von Winning team in 2009 singled out their core vineyard (the original Grain) in Grainhübel for subjecting to quasi-biodynamic viticulture, believing that its extremely high active-lime content even by Deidesheim standards made for a relatively austere Riesling especially in need of help to express its multidimensional potential. It certainly succeeded here!”
David Schildknecht—Vinous 90+ points “Tart crab apple and peach make for bright juiciness, tang and piquancy, traits reinforced by a twist of lemon rind. At the same time, there is an earthy and satisfying upwelling of winter squash and subtle root vegetable flavors, along with a village-typical suggestion of sweet corn and a stimulating but cooling note of oregano. This needed a good shaking to dissipate residual CO2 and wake up the flavors, which still need time to knit. Possesses admirable clarity, cut and sheer juicy persistence guaranteed to suit it well at table. Incidentally, slightly more of this was raised in barrel than in tank.”
Von Winning Deidesheimer Langenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht—Vinous 94 points “A striking nose displays honeysuckle perfume, pungent corn shoot and saline, alkaline suggestions of ocean spray. Tart-edged apple and white peach marked by pip and pit are married on a polished, buoyant palate to luscious sweet corn and papaya. Inner-mouth perfume turns in the superbly sustained finish to an invigoratingly bittersweet impression of sucking on honeysuckle stems, and that is accompanied by persistent white peach and sweet corn succulence, a mouthwatering influx of mineral salts, and intriguing hints of peat, stone and iodine. This beauty hails from a southwesterly extension of the Langenmorgen that could as easily be considered the best part of Paradiesgarten, and the family resemblance between the two Von Winning 2014s so designated is obvious.”
Von Winning Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht—Vinous 92 points “The nose here is treated to a gorgeous array of bittersweet floral perfumes prominently suggesting gentian and iris. Florality continues to waft across a silky palate otherwise marked by juicy grapefruit, apple and lime coolingly accented with thyme and chamomile. A suggestion of stone underlies and highlights the luscious fruit on display here in a buoyant, infectiously juicy and soothingly prolonged finish. Incidentally, this dreamy Riesling vision of paradise (the site, that is) weighs in at 11.9% alcohol and was raised half in tank and half in older barrels.”
Nebbiolo Seen Anew:
New from Ar.Pe.Pe.
You’d be at a loss to find a more picturesque wine locale than Valtellina. As the Alps dramatically ease their way from the north of Italy to Switzerland, the small region is nestled between snow-peaked mountains, rolling hills, and meandering rivers. With regard to northern Italian wine and Nebbiolo-at-large, Valtellina is one of those best-kept-secrets which has carefully revealed itself, glass by glass, one person at a time.
One of the region’s finest examples – and likely the best-known – comes from Ar.Pe.Pe. Established in 1984, Arturo Pelizzatti Perego (hence the name) set out to express the unique alpine terroir. In the ensuing thirty years, he has helped elevate the winery and region alike to global recognizance and appreciation. Not bad, considering that in the 90’s, most Valtellina was either consumed ‘on the spot’, so to speak, or otherwise in nearby Switzerland.
Within the cellar the winery carved out of a mountain in Grumello, the family follows the time-tested script of traditional winemaking, crafting incredibly expressive wines with poise, grace, and some serious age worthiness. The Rosso is 100% Nebbiolo, offering an easy-drinking ready-to-go style while the other wines cellar. The Grumello Rocca de Piro is sourced many from the area surrounding the Grumello de Piro castle, an elegant and rich wine with leather and tobacco notes, while the Sassella is from the zone of the same name with a brighter, fresher character. The Vigna Regina is their flagship wine, a single-vineyard bottling from within the Sassella zone. It is aged for three years in chestnut and oak barrels and at least one year in bottle before release. A magnificent offering of Nebbiolo to rival Piedmont’s finest.
Antonio Galloni 89 points “The 2013 Rosso di Valtellina is a delicious, entry level offering. Sweet dried cherries, mint, alpine herbs, flowers and cinnamon abound in a delicate, mid-weight wine that hits all the right notes. Drink this super-expressive Rosso over the next handful of years. The 2013 is 100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo), given a short maceration of 8 days and a year of aging in cement and cask. Readers who want to explore the wines of Valtellina without investing in some of the region’s top wines should start here. The 2013 Rosso is absolutely delicious. It’s as simple as that.”
91 points Antonio Galloni “The 2010 Valtellina Superiore Grumello Riserva Rocca del Piro is an excellent choice for drinking in the near and medium-term, as it has a little more mid-palate fleshiness than some of the other wines in the range. At the same time, the 2010 is also less aromatically expressive, while the acidity feels softer and more integrated with the fruit. Sweet red cherry, cherry pit, smoke, dried herbs, tobacco and anise are some of the many notes that meld into the pliant finish. Within the context of traditionally made Valtellina Nebbiolo, the 2010 Rocca del Piro is soft and open-knit in style, both of which add to its considerable appeal. The 2010 is 100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) that spent 8 days on the skins followed by two years in cask and cement.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Crushed rose petals, mint, sweet tobacco, game, red cherry and cranberry lift from the glass in the 2010 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva Stella Retica. Bright and salivating, with lively acidity laced throughout, the 2010 is an absolutely joyous wine to drink now and over the next decade. The 2010 is 100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) that was given a relatively short ten days of maceration in oak vats followed by two years in cask and cement. Translucent and deeply expressive, with a long, sinewy finish, the 2010 is striking from the very first taste.”
Ar.Pe.Pe. Vigna Regina Riserva, Valtellina Superiore Sassella DOCG 2005 750ML ($99.95) $81.90 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2005 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva Vigna Regina is a beautiful and delicate wine. This is a pure expression of the Nebbiolo grape that shows some of the sharper edges and the finer contours of the Alpine environment that characterizes its birthplace. Now, one decade after the harvest, the wine delivers enormous beauty and elegance with pure aromas of honey, dried cassis berry and light touches of licorice. Dusty mineral notes appear on the edges. The mouthfeel is super light weight and polished.”ML
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2005 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva Vigna Regina is a very pretty wine to drink today, as the tannins have softened and the flavors show a good deal of complexity. Tobacco, game, incense, iron and dark stone fruits form the backbone in an imposing, brooding Sassella. Mid-weight but slightly burly, the 2005 has enough structure and acidity to drink well for another decade plus. This is a classic Valtellina red built on an understated sense of power. Readers who enjoy firm, structured wines will find much to admire.”
The average price is $87
New Reviews from Grapelive
Grapelive 93+ points “It was a pleasure to meet Giavanni Neri and taste through the latest Casanova di Neri wines, Casanova di Neri is one of Italy’s great wineries and a blue chip standard Brunello year after year. The new set of Casanova di Neri is an amazing lineup from the humble Rosso di Neri to the mind-blowing perfection of the 2010 Cerretalto Brunello! Of course, I was most interested in the soon to be released 2011 Brunello offerings, and how they’d compare to the 2010’s, so I picked the classic White Label to focus on, though I did try the 2011 Tenuta Nuova with Giavanni as well and while not as firm or as focused as the 2010’s these 2011 wines are highly enjoyable and wonderfully expressive and impressive. Similar to 2011 Barolo, these wines gained from the warmer summer heat, these are more generous wines with sweeter tannins and will be easy to please in their youth, but Casanova di Neri really did a great job here, as these Sangiovese Grosso Brunello di Montalcino 2011’s both have balance, depth and vitality. The 2011 Casanova di Neri White Label, the Brunello Normale, is full of flavor, extract and energy with ripe fruit, structure to match and pleasing mouth feel. The 2010 Cerretalto Brunello by di Neri and the 2011 Tenuta Nuova are absolutely stunning wines, but both learn towards Bordeaux in style, and in price, especially the Cerretalto at $375/bt is in league with the great Paulliacs, with the Tenuta Nuova being more Right Bank in style, while the 2011 Casanova di Neri White Label shows more it’s Tuscan soul. The 2011 White Label Brunello di Montalcino starts with a touch of graphite/flint, red raspberry, sweet minty herbs, light floral tones and cigar wrapper leading to a full and round palate of blackberry, cherry, spiced plum and wild strawberry fruits along with cedar, black fig, anise and warm stones. The body is lavishly textured, but there is lift and vigor with just enough acidity and fine tannin to framed this spot on Brunello. This will be a sleeper, while most people will chase the top end wines and or keep tracking down 2010’s, this looks set to be a great wine that might get overlooked, that will be a mistake, this is one to have and drink over the next decade, it’s very nice stuff. The 2011’s should be widely available in March, be sure to keep an eye out for these Casanova di Neri’s, and if you like Tuscan reds, then you’ll love the stylish flare of di Neri!”
Grapelive 94 points “Fordori’s efforts take Teroldego to another level, especially this beautiful and all natural amphora raised Morei with its sublime balance, textural feel and delicate detailing. The 2013 vintage was cooler and a bit lighter/leaner in style than the warmer 2011 and 2012 bottlings, though I think that just makes it that much more elegant and even more compelling, it shows crisp acidity and mineral tones with verve, without weightiness, truly lovely and haunting. The 2013 Morei starts with fresh cherries, minty herbs, saline notes and wild flowers with hints of flint/shale as well as currant leading to a mid palate of dark fruit including plum, blueberry and black raspberry along with truffle, chalky stones, lavender oil and sweet tobacco. The body fills out with air making for some pleasing and stylish experiences in the glass, this is a dark and complex beauty that should develop into a very intriguing Teroldego over the next 3 to 7 years, very impressive again from Foradori, this is without question a must have for her fans!”
Grapelive 91 points “The Unculin from Jose Antonio Garcia is a lovely fresh style Mencia with delicate layers and juicy fruit flavors, unlike some deeper oak aged Bierzo, this wine feels lighter and more vibrant. The graceful Unculin Tinto Mencia de Valtuille Bierzo is fermented using native yeast and aged a short time in well used neutral cask to highlight terroir and purity of varietal and it works well here making for an energy filled expression of Mencia that delivers red berry fruit, mineral notes and spices. The nose is gifted with floral elements, mild saline and subtle earth notes along with fresh currants leading to a medium weighted palate of cherry, plum and cranberry fruits along with a wet rock core, sweet and tangy herbs. Hints of anise, olive and loam add complexity to this stylish Mencia that shows off this grape, be sure to keep an eye out for this alluring red from Spain’s very in fashion Galicia region, this cool climate area in northwestern Spain has in recent years become the go to region for elegant excellence that can in many cases rival Burgundy, both in white and red wine! The Jose Antonio Garcia wines are impressive, especially the latest Mencia Unculin which should drink nicely for 3 to 5 years easy.”
Brick House, Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26.60 special, 6 bottles available
Grapelive 92+ points “Doug Tunnel’s latest Brick House wines, even from 2011 and 2013 vintages, both tough years for Oregon, have turned out amazing and are wonderful wines with the 2011 Evelyn’s Pinot and the exotic and perfumed Les Dijonnais Pinot being stand outs, impressive stuff from Tunnel, a pioneer in Willamette biodynamics and Burgundy fiend. It was great to taste through the lineup and revisit his 2012 Chardonnay, which is drinking fabulously and very Puligny like, but I think my favorite Brick House was the new 2014 Gamay Noir, it really stood out and reminds me of 2009 Cru Beaujolais, it has a Cote de Brouilly feel and wonderful structure to go with expressive and ripe dark fruits. This vintage of Brick House Gamay is only the second to get above 14%, and honestly it isn’t fruity or thin, it drinks with Pinot Noir class and detail, medium in weight and with some tannin. The pure Gamay Noir character shines through on the nose and palate with blackberry, a mix of floral and spice, cherry, strawberry and succulent currant as well as a hint of flinty stones, minty herb, walnut oil and plum/peach flesh. This savvy Gamay picks up some earth and dried cranberry with air adding some savory/bitter element to fold in nicely with the lush fruits making for a very complete experience, Brick House is a leader in quality Gamay, but this varietal is doing great in Oregon with many fine efforts available, I especially recommend searching out Salem Wine Co. by Sashi Moorman and Raj Parr, Bow & Arrow and Division Wine Company versions, these are all very cool wines, and while the Brick House will be the toughest to get, you should search it out, it is lovely juice, drink from 2016 to 2021.”
Grapelive 93 points “Bottled in wide heavy glass the new 2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin Le Banc is a curvy sexy white Burgundy with everything you’ve come to expect from this talented winemaker that seems to have completely mastered the art of crafting great Chardonnay! While his top Premier Cru and Grand Cru stuff are legendary, I love his entry level and village wines for the ability to impress at a reasonable price, and in particular this Le Banc Saint-Aubin from PYCM really over delivers with pure and vibrant flavors and layers of texture. The 2014’s look to surpass the 2012 and 2013 in sheer pleasure terms, but there are no duds in the last 10 years from Colin-Morey, though 2014 is a bit more flamboyant and plush at this stage, and easy to love right now even. The 2014 Le Banc starts with matchstick, lemon notes and a bit of smoke before hints of white flowers, clove spice and wet stones come through as it warms in the glass. The palate is lively, fresh and like golden velvet with an underlying brisk flow of acidity and mineral/steely intensity with peach, lime and apple along with hazelnut, dried honey, salty chalk and soft wood notes. For value and quality it is hard to beat Saint-Aubin for white Burgundy these days and the Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey just give that bit of extra that make them so appealing, these are gorgeous Chards that live up to the hype, don’t miss them they are too rewarding to pass up and worth the effort to find them. Drink the 2014’s anytime and anywhere, best from 2018 to 2024.”
Home, Sweet Snohomish
Quilceda Creek Newly Arrived
Robert Parker 100 points “A monumental wine in the making, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those wines that presents such an over the top array of aromas and flavors that it’s hard to figure out what you think about it with just a quick glance. It’s only with the second or third sip that you really start to see how special this effort truly is. Offering up perfumed, intense aromas of plum, violets, ink, licorice and black currants, it flows onto the palate with a massive, incredibly full-bodied texture that builds through the mid-palate and carries layers of polished tannins, awesome purity of fruit and blockbuster length. Most likely not for everyone given the sheer size, it is an incredible wine in my opinion. Still tasting like a barrel sample, it will have 30+ total years of longevity. Drink 2017-2037.” RP
Comin’ Upon Cayuse
Widowmaker 2011 Newly Arrived
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Cellar Selection. This glorious, evocative wine calls up a rich and sensuous catalog of scents and flavors. Black truffle, sea salt, clean earth, fungus, strawberry, liquid rocks, umami, tar…? The words pour out with each sniff and swallow. It’s detailed, substantial and refined, gathering itself for a long, generous, captivating finish. Drink now through 2030.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2011 The Widowmaker is a beauty. One of the top Cabernet Sauvignons in the vintage, it offers up classic red and black currant fruit, earth, smoked meats and spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless texture on the palate that carries masses of beautifully polished tannin. Aged 18 months in 50-60% new French oak, it’s a relatively forward vintage for this cuvee (which is the norm for the vintage) that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 15 years or more. “
Have a wonderful weekend!