VinopolPicks Top 10 Wines of December 2018 (and Top 4 Pre-Arrivals!)

In This Newsletter…

Top 10 Trending Wines in December
Top Four Wines on the Horizon
Trending Pre-Arrivals


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December 24th: 10AM-4PM
December 25th: Closed

We will be open normal hours (10AM-6PM) all other days this week.

Vinopolis Wine ShopPresentsTop 10 Trending Wines in December

With so many popular wines to choose from, between the incredible deals from Aldo Conterno, K Vintners and Chapoutier, the elegant Pinots from Kelley Fox, the jaw-dropping (and heavily awarded) 2017 Rieslings from Donnhoff, and the under-the-radar finds from Dehu, Nikolaihof, Montevertine, and Agathe Bursin that have exploded in popularity, it’s hard to narrow down a Top 10 list. Yet the winners are all well-deserving of their place.

Here are our Top 10 In-Stock Wines (and wineries) for December:


Delas Freres St Joseph Tournon

Reference point Rhone
Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($44.95)
$38 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($279.95)
$199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Inky and concentrated, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon is no easy-drinking Saint-Joseph. It’s smoky, herbal and ashy all at once, yet it’s buoyed by ample black cherry fruit and vibrant acidity. This medium to full-bodied Syrah has plenty of tannins, but they’re ultimately silky and most apparent on the long, licorice-tinged finish. This is approachable now but should be even better in 3 years and should drink well for at least another 10 after that.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Both Saint Joseph releases are brilliant in 2015. The 2015 Saint Joseph François De Tournon comes vines around Tournon, Mauves, Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, and Vion, and is always destemmed and aged in 30% new barrels. This full-bodied, rounded, sexy beauty shows the power and fruit of the vintage. With classic notes of black and blue fruits, violets, incense and pepper, drink this textured, expansive, terrific Saint Joseph over the coming 10-15 years.”
The average price is $58!


JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

The estate to know in the Mosel
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($39.95)
$31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($89.95)
$77 special, 11 magnums in stock now
Case-6 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($219.95)
$168 special (that’s only $28/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Stuart Pigott – 94 points
“Still a little funky from the wild ferment, but there are also beautiful notes of floras and ripe white peaches. Very elegant and polished with a super vibrant finish that makes you reach out for the glass again. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This delivers a beautiful nose of flowers, whipped cream, herbs, smoke, vineyard peach, and apricot blossom. The wine is delicate, light weighted and has good presence with ripe fruits including peach, pear and a touch of toffee on the palate. It develops quite some Spätlese presence and intensity in the hugely long finish.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $37


Huet Le Mont Demi-Sec

Glorious Chenin blanc
#6 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2017
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($59.95)
$49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($299.95)
$249 special (that’s only $41.50/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Spectator 95 points
“This tilts toward the flattering side of off-dry, showing a plump feel to the core of creamed pear, white peach and yellow apple fruit. Lovely verbena, honeysuckle and mineral accents keep this balanced and driven, with a long finish that lets the fruit echo. Drink now through 2032.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “Pebbly silex and green clay is probably the most exciting soil for the off-dry style of Huet’s Le Mont Chenin Blanc. The 2016 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is a very good example. It opens with a clear, precise and smoky nose of crushed stones whereas the tropical fruit aromas remain discreet in the background. On the palate, this is an enormously pure, salty-piquant and delicate Vouvray of remarkable class and finesse. The wine has intensity, tension, lingering mineral expression and a stimulatingly pure, finessed and salty finish. Great length. This is not a big wine but a gorgeous one with a long life ahead. Tasted February 2018.”


Tua Rita Redigaffi

The top wine from Tua Rita, Redigaffi, stands toe to toe with Masseto, Petrus and Le Pin at a price that makes it a bargain.  Redigaffi is one of the iconic wines of Italy, a truly breathtaking red and one that belongs in the cellar of any serious collector.

“Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($299.95) $228 special, 28 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points
“This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lush and polished, featuring a cashmere texture caressing vanilla, chocolate, black cherry and plum flavors. Well-balanced, with a persistent finish. The harmony hides a solid structure. Decant now. Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032.”


Saint Cosme Gigondas

Pedigreed wine from the benchmark producer in Gigondas
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95)
$39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Perfumy and stylish, with rooibos tea, blood orange and cherry aromas and flavors weaving through, infused with sandalwood, anise, bay leaf, sage and pepper notes along the way. A very fine and persistent chalky spine supports it all. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 93 points “Even better than I remember it from cask, the 2016 Gigondas features hints of mocha and ripe raspberries. Slightly bitter herbal notes balance the sweetness of the fruit and impart a savory edge to this full-bodied, creamy-textured wine. It finishes supple and long, loaded with character and richness.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-93 points “Vivid ruby. Highly perfumed aromas of candied red and blue fruits, incense and peppery spices pick up a hint of potpourri as the wine opens up. Appealingly sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy raspberry, boysenberry and lavender pastille flavors and a spicy jolt of white pepper. Shows excellent clarity and mineral lift on the long, smooth finish, which is framed by slow-building tannins.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $54


Andre Clouet Silver

“Andre Clouet Silver kills it for the price.” An in-store favorite!
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95)
$33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 1.5L ($99.95)
$89 special, 12 magnums in stock now
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95)
$359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Grapelive 93 points
“This is some sensationally great bubbly! Jean-François Clouet, who was born and raised in Bouzy, still lives in the 18th century village house built by his ancestors. He takes his lineage seriously and respects his family’s traditions and that of the region, [Bouzy, where he] is a renowned grower producer. Clouet makes a full range of intense and stylish Champagnes, all of which come [from] family plots mostly comprised of 100% Pinot Noir from Clouet’s lieux-dits in the Bouzy zone. The André Clouet “Silver” Grand Cru Brut Nature is a non-vintage, zero dosage Champagne of exceptional class and delicacy. It’s a severe and high-toned 100% Pinot bubbly from mid-slopes around the village of Bouzy set on the chalky limestone and clay. It went through full malo and was aged on its lees in neutral French oak barrel. [This adds] to the surprise of its crisp detail, considering its malo/wood winemaking fashion, though like a great Burgundy it changes and gains with time in the glass adding richness to the tight form it initially shows. If ever there was a Champagne that fits all my wants and desires, then this Clouet, fits the bill. I adore Extra Bruts and Non Dosage styles absolutely best of all and this Andre Clouet Silver kills it for the price! Lemony briskness leads the way with hints of hazelnut, brioche and wet river stones adding a touch of white cherry, unripe apple and cool green melon, all lifted by the pure tight beading of its electric mousse. The Pinot Noir gives a bite of extract which makes this a fantastic food Champagne. It is perfect for oysters, sushi and mussels in spicy broth. It’s not for everyone, but damn it’s good. It’s without question a thinker’s sparkler not a crowd pleaser, which just makes it that much more special.”
The average price is $45


Chablisienne Vaulorent

Wrap your palate in a blanket of minerality!
La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95)
$33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95)
$179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Decanter 95 points
“An exuberant, complex nose packed full of exotic fruits, asparagus and elderflower with well integrated oak. The palate has a very strong fruity expression with an oily depth and harmony and very impressive length. All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. As is usually the case this is more elegant, particularly on the floral and white orchard fruit suffused nose that is nuanced by plenty of classic Chablis elements and in particular mineral reduction. There is also a bit more volume to the caressing, intense and voluminous flavors that drip with minerality on the refined but powerful finale where a discreet touch of wood arises. This offers ample development potential and should be lovely with time. Drink: 2021+”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Krug 2004

“2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002” –Antonio Galloni

“There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004… It has a luminous freshness and good density” -Decanter
“There is marvelous precision here on both the nose and palate, not to mention a sense of harmony and grace” –John Gilman, A View from the Cellar
“The poise is unquestionable” –James Suckling
Krug Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $248 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Krug Brut Gift Box Packaged, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95)
$259 special, 35 packages in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97+ points
“Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.”-SR
Decanter 97 points “This is the current and latest vintage release from Krug, and is a fitting successor to 2002, though it’s very different in style – unusually, the blend contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. Despite this, it is hallmark Krug with its oxidative profile. It has a luminous freshness and good density without heaviness. There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004, displaying candied fruits, minerals, gingerbread, white chocolate, caramel and marzipan. This has a long, dry autolytic finish, great balance and lovely bead. Disgorged just after the next, and very different, vintage we tasted, the Krug 2003. Drinking Window 2017-2037.”


Produttori’s Rabaja

“Two thousand thirteen …is shaping up to be an epic vintage of classic proportions and superb pedigree… No one knows every nook and cranny of Barbaresco better than Aldo Vacca, but Vacca has also proven to be incredibly wise in making choices that have positioned the Produttori for much continued success in the future.”–Antonio Galloni

The benchmark wine of Barbaresco from two top class vintages!
#13 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Produttori del Barbaresco Rabaja, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($99.95)
$89 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Produttori del Barbaresco Rabaja, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($199.95)
$179 special, 7 magnums in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 97 points– Cellar Selection
“A hallmark expression of Nebbiolo, Produttori del Barbaresco’s 2013 Rabajà Riserva offers aromas of wild red berry, menthol, Alpine herb, saddle leather and dark culinary spice. The concentrated palate boasts enviable finesse and is practically weightless in the mouth, showing crushed black cherry, juicy raspberry, orange zest, clove and licorice alongside firm, velvety tannins. Bright acidity provides impeccable balance. Drink 2021–2033.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is shockingly seamless in this tasting. Deep layers of fruit virtually bury the tannins, something that is so unusual for a young Rabajà. A host of dark blue-tone fruits, lavender, mint, violet and spice race across the palate in an utterly vivid, compelling Barbaresco of the highest level. Perhaps I caught the Rabajà on an unusually open day, but it is terrific and also quite refined for such a young wine.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is a gorgeous wine with a dark and penetrating quality of fruit that wraps sensuously over the palate. Our tasting order sees this wine as the sixth sample in a lineup of nine Riservas that were tasted in order of increasing structure and power. Well-exposed and sun-drenched fruit from the Rabajà cru offers dark color saturation and thickness. The high limestone content of the soils means this is a hotter growing site that performs best in cooler vintages like 2013. Those soil types help to concentrate the fruit, and you taste that here in terms of the wine’s broad concentration and vertical delivery of black fruit aromas. This is a complete and seamlessly integrated wine with drying mineral sensations on the powerful finish.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Fruity, featuring floral, cherry and plum flavors, along with savory leather, licorice and tobacco notes. A chewy texture and lively acidity keep this well-defined through the long finish. Complex and classy. Best from 2023 through 2038.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Produttori del Barbaresco Rabaja, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2008 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96+ points
“The 2008 Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja is utterly magnificent in this vintage. Usually a powerhouse, the 2008 is incredibly refined to the point it seems to literally hover on the palate. It is a wine of exquisite grace and beauty. All the elements are in place. I could describe the aromas and flavors, but that would be doing this majestic Barbaresco a huge disservice. Ultimately, the 2008 Rabaja, is all about textural finesse and pure elegance. This is another breathtaking wine from the Produttori. A king among kings. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2048”
This is the only listing in the USA today for the 750ml!
Scott Paul Wines

An extensive collection of winery-cellared library wines at incredible discounts!Our hottest offer of December are the Scott Paul wines – we’ve sold through around 1,000 bottles over the past few weeks but still have plenty of options in stock (for now!) Don’t wait too long, these are your last chance at many these bottlings!
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($39.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points
“Deep red. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying intense red berry and blood orange scents, along with candied rose and allspice highlights. Silky, sweet and incisive on the palate, offering juicy strawberry and floral pastille flavors and a spicy kick of white pepper. Closes very long and nervy; fine-grained tannins lend shape and closing grip.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Sophisticated and subtle, this lovely wine expresses varietal elegance, with a bouquet of roses and raspberries to begin. The jumble of pretty fruits is framed with citrus peel and a dusting of chocolate.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2013 Pinot Noir la Paulee comes from fruit sourced from Maresh and Nysa in the Dundee Hills, Azana in Chehalem and from the Ribbon Ridge, matured for ten months in neutral oak. It has a very natural, Côte de Beaune-like bouquet with ample brambly red fruit with hints of black tea developing with aeration. I appreciate the focus and definition here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, smooth in the mouth with just a faint honeyed note. Tart red cherries mingle with redcurrant and strawberry, segueing into a poised and fulsome finish. This should drink well over the next 7-10 years and represents great value.”Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Brilliant red in color. The spicy nose starts with being savory and leads into an array of fresh raspberry, brambleberry, and marionberry. Finely pronounced tannins combine with layers of fresh elderberry and a great balance of acid are folded into razor focused tannins which has the palate finishing with class. Our home in Carlton, Oregon (a 1915 brick creamery) is an ideal spot to revel in the virtues of Pinot Noir, as we pursue Pinot Perfection. Our sustainably farmed vineyards are among the Willamette Valley’s finest (and dare we say, most perfect). Our 2014 bottling is a selection of superior lots from our blocks of Maresh and Nysa Vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge and Azana Vineyards on the Chehalem Mountains. Bold, bright berry flavors unite with a bounty of rose, spice and cherry aromas. Pure Oregon Pinot Noir.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $29
Scott Paul Azana Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2013 750ML ($59.95) $24 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Brilliant red. Fresh red berries, cherry compote and a hint of blood orange on the highly perfumed nose and in the mouth. Juicy and lithe in character, with no rough edges; a suave floral pastille nuance emerges on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and spicy cut on the finish, which hangs on with strong, floral tenacity.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Scott Paul Les Gourmandises Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2010 750ML ($59.95) $39 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Vivid red. Sexy, intensely perfumed bouquet of red berries, incense and Asian spices, with a suave floral topnote. Offers deeply pitched raspberry and cherry flavors lifted by zesty acidity and a touch of blood orange. The spicy quality comes back on the finish, which shows impressive energy and closing thrust. This wine was sourced from an older block of the Nysa vineyard.”
David Schildknecht 92 points “Representing a four-barrel selection from relatively old vines in Nysa Vineyard (on the eastern edge of Domaine Drouhin), the Scott Paul 2010 Pinot Noir Les Gourmandises smells of smoky black tea, incense, gentian, cherry, purple plum, and red currant accompanied by spirit-like overtones, all of which mingle with multi-boned meat stock on a richly-textured yet uncannily buoyant and brightly fresh-fruited palate. There’s a stony or chalky undertone as well as invigorating impingement of fresh ginger to the long, savory, mouthwatering, downright refreshing finish. This beauty – which hasn’t yet been released – should prove delightfully versatile and well worth following for at least the better part of a decade.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Scott Paul The Long Run Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2011 750ML ($59.95) $33 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“(12.9% alcohol; 20% new oak): Light, bright red. Sexy, high-pitched red berry and floral scents, with notes of star anise, underbrush and sassafras adding complexity. Offers intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, along with notes of rhubarb, candied flowers and orange zest. This lithe, focused, pure pinot finishes linear and very long, with echoing floral and spice notes. Pinot purists should definitely check this one out.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Previously labeled as Les Gourmandises, this is now The Long Run in honor of Scott Wright’s completing his first full-length marathon in 2011. It’s all Nysa vineyard fruit, graceful and delicate, scented with rose water and satin smooth. Cranberry and wild strawberry fruit accents lead into a mouthful of cherry soda, delicate but lingering.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Scott Paul Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $99 special, 9 magnums in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Editor’s Choice. This cuvée, sourced from Maresh vineyard old vines, was formerly called Audrey. This vintage, the vineyard gets its due. The old vines contribute both texture and mouthfeel, elevating the overall experience. A lush mix of raspberry, cherry and blackberries flavors unfolds on the palate. Underbrush and mushroom scents and accents emerge as it winds gracefully into the finish.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($59.95) $24 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“The famous vineyard is showing well here. Winemaker Ian Burch has a fine ability to provide a distinct focus for each of the winery’s single vineyard selections. This bottling is refined, with an intriguing mix of flavors, from grapefruit and Bing cherry, to chicken broth and milk chocolate. As odd as it sounds, it all knits together quite well.”Scott Paul ‘Pre’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Brilliant ruby-red. Assertive red berry and incense aromas, along with suggestions of Asian spices, sassafras and minerals. Spicy, focused and racy on entry, then fleshier in the mid-palate, with vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors gaining sweetness with air. Distinctly lithe for the vintage, with a whiplash of juicy red fruit defining the lively, persistent finish. This fruit was grown in the Nysa vineyard.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. A beautifully layered and admirably pure nose is composed of plum, violets, spice and discreet sandalwood hints. There is more volume to the slightly bigger and richer medium-bodied flavors that also possess good verve on the dusty, compact and moderately firm finish. This is clearly built to age and it will need at least 4 to 5 years and reward 8 to 10. In a word, impressive.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Scott Paul Quatre Journaux Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2012 750ML ($79.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 93 points
“Vivid ruby-red. Drop-dead gorgeous, highly perfumed aromas of red berry preserves, Asian spices, sassafras and smoky minerals, with an intense floral nuance. Sweet, penetrating and pure, offering nervy red fruit and rose pastille flavors complemented by deeper notes of mocha and licorice. Shows outstanding balance and clarity, with smooth tannins building slowly through a long spice- and mineral-inflected finish.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!



Top Four Wines on the Horizon

Trending Pre-Arrivals


2015 Ornellaia “A Dream Wine”Arriving in February
Ornellaia remains a reference point wine both in Italy and the world of fine wine writ large.  The 2015 is every bit the wine you’d expect given the strength of the vintage.  Antonio Galloni called it “a dream wine with magnificent balance” and said that “All the elements are in the right place.” It should rival Sassicaia (recently named as Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year) for wine of the vintage.Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($279.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“The 2015 Ornellaia is a dream wine with magnificent balance. All the elements are in the right place. In most vintages, Ornellaia needs time to fully come together, but the 2015 is just impeccable, even in the early going. The warm vintage notwithstanding, winemaker Axel Heinz crafted and Ornellaia is more about finesse and power. The potent, bruising tannins Ornellaia can show as a young wine are nowhere to be found. Bright raspberry jam, mint, white flowers and pomegranate are some of the many notes that punctuate the finish in a memorable Ornellaia that will go down among the great vintages produced at this reference-point estate.”
James Suckling 98 points “The blackberry and blueberry aromas with fresh sage and bay-leaf character are impressive. Stone, graphite and mineral undertones. Full-bodied and silky and refined tannins. Dusty. Elegance and polish. Shows greatness in strength and refinement. A dialed-in, dialed-back Ornellaia. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “A big, brooding red, packed with blackberry, plum and earth flavors, all wrapped in spicy oak. Monolithic now, finishing with saline mineral elements, a leafy tobacco edge and dense, mouthcoating tannins. Terrific potential. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2038.”

Clos Saint-Jean’s 2016s

Arriving in February

“Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings.” –Josh Raynolds, Vinous MediaA perfect intro to Clos St. Jean’s style.
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95)
$39 pre-arrival special
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The lush, fruit-forward 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a good introduction to the domaine’s Grenache-dominated style, boasting copious amounts of cherry and apricot fruit. It’s full-bodied and velvety in texture, with attractive hints of licorice emerging on the long finish. With its slightly more prominent acidity, it should drink well for longer than the 2015 or 2017 versions.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $48
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $109 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 95 points
“From a single exposed hilltop parcel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% each Cinsault and Vaccarèse. As the Syrah was aged in wood, there’s a hint of campfire smoke here, plus layers of rich, voluptuous plummy fruit. Full-bodied and velvety in texture, this is more concentrated than even the Vieilles Vignes bottling, but it’s not that much better in terms of overall quality or longevity.”Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($999.95) $699 pre-arrival special, only 1 magnum available
Jeb Dunnuck 97-100 points
“Vincent told me that they harvested very late for the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum, yet there’s absolutely no sense of overripeness or heaviness, and this beauty has everything you could want. Offering a profound nose of blackberries, blueberries, graphite, lead pencil, scorched earth and even a hint of spring flowers, it hits the palate with incredible density and richness that carries an absurd amount of fruit, ripe tannin and a finish that won’t quit. Give this undeniable blockbuster 3-4 years and enjoy over the following 20.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points “(raised in a single, new demi-muid) Brilliant ruby-red. A hugely aromatic, expansive bouquet displays an array of red fruit, floral and exotic spice aromas, and subtle vanilla, garrigue and mineral notes build steadily as the wine stretches out. Utterly stains the palate with sweet, mineral-laced Chambord, lavender pastille, spicecake and mocha flavors that show unlikely vivacity. The combination of richness and finesse here is quite something. Finishes extremely long and sweet, with resonating florality and smooth tannins making a cameo appearance.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Port Royalty

Re-Arriving in March

“OMG” – James Suckling

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 100 points
“OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor’s I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years to show you everything it has to offer. Drink in 2025.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 97 points “In 2016 Taylor’s began picking in Vargellas on 17 September, followed by Pinhão Valley estate on 23 and 26 September. The 2016 Vintage Port has an aristocratic bouquet with tight wound aromas of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, black olive and a light, marine-tinged element, perhaps almost peat-like. The palate is just beautiful with fine, chiseled tannins and a perfect line of acidity. There is that almost “arching” structure one always seeks in a great Taylor’s with a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish. It is everything you really want from a Vintage Port. Production is 6,200 cases.”
Lopez de HerediaThe Amazing 2006 TondoniaArriving in February

One of the world’s elite wine estates, this is an historical estate that is held in the highest esteem among insiders. The most shocking secret about the winery? For all the extraordinary grace, complexity and age-worthiness of the wines these are simply the best value in wine money can buy.Let’s do the math:Top vineyard? Tondonia, check

Superior vintage? 2006, check

Praise? Numerous & glowing, check

Let’s check out pricing on wines of comparable age & respect:

2006 Leoville Las-Cases St Julien (96WA/95WS): Average list price $232

2006 Dom Perignon (96WA/96AG): Average list price $186

2006 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche (95WA): Average list price $460

Lopez de Heredia’s Tondonia? Our price $39/bottle & $199/six-pack

It all adds up.

Obscenely under-priced 
Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($41.95)
$39 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($249.95)
$199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The red flagship 2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva was inspired by the vineyards of the Médoc but produced with local grapes, 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, which achieved 13% alcohol in 2006. It always matures in used American oak barriques for some six years. The oldest of all the reds I tasted, it was also the one with more freshness, which speaks to the quality of the vineyard. This takes the lion’s share of the 400,000 bottles the winery produces, with some 220,000 bottles filled over a period of 12 consecutive days in May 2014.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is a remarkably lively wine for a 12-year-old Rioja with notes of licorice and dried cherries and a very elegant tannin structure that runs through the medium to full body of this red like a silk thread. The dry finish is long and polished. Drink or hold.”

The average price nationally is $43

Thanks for reading!