A Perfect Gift: Long Shadows Box Set; Hip, Hip Clouet! Champagnes For the Holidays; The Just-Arrived 95 Point La Jota Howell Mountain; Coutier’s Ambonnay Gems; Cheval Blanc Goes South For the Winter
Vinopolis Holiday Hours
We will close at 4 PM on Sunday, December 24th
We will be closed on Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1st
We wish you a happy holiday season!
If you’re unfamiliar with the project, Long Shadows was created to highlight the best that Columbia Valley wines could be. Allen Shoup, the founder of Chateau St Michelle, wanted to create a winery solely for the purpose of showing off the best qualities of Washington wine. Rather than create one winery, though, he created a set of them—with the best winemakers in the world each having an equity stake in a brand that was tailored to their vision and what they did best. The collection of talent and vineyard material were both impeccable and the results are obvious—these are spectacular efforts.
Case-6 Long Shadows Vintners Collection 2014/2015 ($419.95) $319 special
Contains one 750ML bottle each of Long Shadows’ six acclaimed red wines, packaged together in a beautifully etched wood box.
2014 Pirouette, 2014 Feather, 2014 Pedestal, 2014 Chester-Kidder, 2015 Sequel, 2015 Saggi
Pedestal: Michel Rolland selects the Merlot from the Conner Lee, Dionysus and Benches Vineyards to produce an unusually complex Merlot. Tapteil Vineyards Cabernet gives it its strength and extra richness. The wine shows intense, fruit-forward notes, bursting with fresh blueberries, ripe plum, cedar and spice. Good concentration in the wine adds to its pleasing mouth feel; balanced acidity enhances its appeal. Supple tannins are well-integrated on the entry, across the mid-palate and throughout a long, layered finish.
Sequel: John Duval, formerly of the iconic Penfolds Grange, uses grapes from the Benches Vineyard for its dark flavored fruit, the Red Mountain Vineyard adds structure, and Boushey Vineyards add elegance. A generous and concentrated wine of great character. Almond, dark chocolate and cherry notes fill the glass, complemented by hints of black licorice, blackberry, cocoa powder and a touch of smoke.
Saggi: Saggi is a blend from father and son team Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese (from a 1993 planting) and Syrah. Dark cherry aromas and raspberry flavors combine with a hint of nutmeg and smoky earthiness. An elegant entry in the front of the mouth reveals refined tannins with focused concentration, enhanced by the wine’s rich and supple mouth feel.
Chester-Kidder: The back bone of this wine is Cabernet from Walla Walla and nearby Candy Mountain. Its deepness and darkness is Syrah from the estate’s Benches Vineyards with a touch of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Aromas of dried figs and cocoa powder, along with hints of tamarind and toasty oak are followed by intense violent and blueberry jam flavors beautifully integrated around a spicy core.
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Clouet’s 2008 Brut Millesime shows quite a bit more tension and focus than the 2007, hardly a surprise given then personality of the vintage. Bright, saline notes frame expressive red fruits, flowers and sweet spices. The 2008 Brut is a gorgeous wine with plenty of appeal today, but it will also develop beautifully in bottle. Stylistically it is less overt than the 2007 but places more emphasis on length. Brut Millesime is mostly Pinot, with 30-40% Chardonnay.” AG
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 3L ($319.95) $269 special, 7 double magnums in stock now
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($519.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The NV Brut Grande Reserve emerges from the glass with layers of hazelnut, pear, spice and dried flower aromas. This rich, creamy wine impresses for its balance and sheer richness. I loved it.” AG
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($519.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
100% Grand Cru, 100% Pinot Noir, no dosage
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Nature Silver is naturally a very focused, driven wine given the no-dosage style. This shows wonderful nuance and depth all the way through to the long finish, with bright aromas and flavors but less of the toastiness than some of the house’s other wines. The mousse and finish are both utterly impeccable in their elegance.” AGAndre Clouet Dream Vintage Brut, Champagne 2002 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
100% Chardonnay, bottled one year after harvest. Disgorged on order.
95 Robert Parker Points, Perfectly Priced
The winery makes its wines from estate fruit spread over 28 acres of prime volcanic Howell Mountain real estate, and the Cabernet is what they’re known for. We’ve been lucky enough to score a great deal on the lauded 2014 version, which has dense, rich dark flavors that the mountain fruit provides. This is one of those wines that could only be made in one place: Howell Mountain. This wine would be fantastic at full freight, but at the best price in the country, it’s a no-brainer.
La Jota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain 2014 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Robert Parker 95 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 75.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, aged in 89% new French oak. The wine displays the great fruit that is possible from these two sites owned by the Jacksons. It has an opaque purple color, a big, sweet kiss of crème de cassis and blackberry with a touch of lead pencil shavings, vanilla and incense. It is full-bodied and dense, with moderately high tannins but beautiful sweetness and fruit. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.”
The next best price is $89.97
The average price is $96
Ambonnay For Days
The Remarkable Grower Wines of RH Coutier
In the world of Champagne, the wines from R.H. Coutier offer a remarkable combination of affordability and seriousness, as well as some of the coolest looking labels in the region (which, of course, we don’t care about, because we drink what’s inside the bottle…but still).
Coutier makes wines solely from estate holdings in the village of Ambonnay. Rated Grand Cru, Ambonnay is located in the Grande Montagne de Reims and is regarded as one of the best places to grow Pinot Noir in Champagne. As a result, wines from the village, including those of Coutier, tend to have a lot of power and richness. Where Coutier is special, though, is in their holdings of Chardonnay (also from Ambonnay) which provides a delicacy that sometimes is lacking in wines from the commune. The house style and vinification techniques also seek to provide as much elegance as possible to marry with the fruit of the terroir. All of their wines represent excellent value and have great verve and personality.
R.H. Coutier Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Case-12 R.H. Coutier Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $379 special (that’s only $31.58/bottle!)
Importer note “Produced entirely from Grand Cru grapes from the village of Ambonnay, this stunning Brut Tradition shows rich, leesy fruit obtained through extended bottle aging prior to disgorging. Quite vinous in texture, it is full and long with crisp apple fruit notes on the finish and showing some toasty notes in the nose. Very low dosage levels allow the great Ambonnay fruit to shine.”
The average price is $42
Case-12 R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $399 special (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Importer note “This fine Champagne produced from 100% Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay is definitely a rarity as this village is known almost exclusively for its Pinot Noir based wines. The golden color with feint hints of green belie the high-toned nature of this fine wine. The nose shows classic apples and white stone fruit blossoms tinged with citrus. A creamy texture with fresh mineral tones and floral notes round out the racy acidity that follow. Very classy stuff…”
The average price is $42
Case-12 R.H. Coutier Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($719.95) $519 special (that’s only $43.25/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Coutier’s 2008 Brut Grand Cru is interesting to taste next to the Grands Vintages. Here the brightness, focus and tension of the 2008 vintage are front and center. Lemon peel, white, flowers, mint and chalky notes infuse this bright, finely sculpted Champagne. The interplay of Ambonnay Pinot with Chardonnay, along with the chiseled style of the year adds up a compelling and absolutely delicious bottle of Champagne. I very much like the sense of energy here.”
The average price is $60
The next best price is $69.97
The average price is $80
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