Wednesday Newsletter 6-17-2020

In Today’s Newsletter:

Scavino 2015
Subscriber-Only Special

Le Domaine d’Henri:
Back in Stock Special Announcement


New Nahe Notes on Diel
From David Schildknecht of Vinous Media

Castello di Ama

Fun Stuff Arriving This Week


Scavino 2015

Subscriber-Only Special

“Scavino is one of the great, established families in Piedmont…the Scavino Barolos are defined by their textural richness and opulence. When they are young, the wines are decidedly powerful and intense, but they have also proven to age exceptionally well.” –Antonio Galloni

Paolo Scavino is once again one of the top producers in Barolo. At one point, Scavino was considered one of the preeminent producers of modernist Barolo, favoring barriques, exceptionally short macerations and a style that emphasized winemaking over terroir.  These days, though, they’ve shed their overtly modernist ways, moving their style towards a more traditional approach.

While you aren’t going to confuse them with Mascarello or Burlotto, the current incarnation of Scavino seems to combine some of the best parts of modernism (i.e., approachable wines with rich fruit and sensual textures) with a more traditional sensibility in regards to terroir and oak flavors.  2015 was a very strong year in Barolo and Scavino made some of the best wines we’ve tasted from the house.  Now’s the time to stock up; we’re offering special subscriber-only discounts on the 2015 vintage Barolos in stock now and arriving next week.

Mix any 3-5 bottles of 2015 Scavino Barolos for 5% off
Mix any 6+ bottles of 2015 Scavino Barolos for 10% off
Offer valid on in-stock and pre-arrival wines!
Discount will not display online
We will adjust your order manually before finalizing
Sale Ends Friday, June 19th at 6 PM Pacific

In Stock Now from Paolo Scavino:

Only ten bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Bricco Ambrogio, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) Displayed price: $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off or $53.10 at 10% off!
Wine Spectator 94 points
“An elegant style, boasting strawberry, cherry, currant and spice flavors, supported by vibrant acidity and refined tannins. Turns chewy on the finish, where eucalyptus and tar notes chime in. Best from 2022 through 2042.—B.S.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Barolo Bricco Ambrogio is Scavino’s cru from this northeastern-most vineyard in the Barolo appellation, in the village of Roddi, and comprises seven hectares of mostly Nebbiolo but also some Dolcetto and Barbera. These vines with their southeastern exposure are not protected from the elements very well, allowing for more diurnal temperature shifts. Therefore, this site always produces much fresher fruit flavors. Indeed, you get noticeably crunchy, tonic fruit here along with a more detailed aromatic portrait. The wine is more precise compared to Monvigliero, for example, which offers more dense fruit, while Bricco Ambrogio is more delicate in the mouth. These soils are gray marlstone, with some yellow veins of clay in there and some sand, whereas Monvigliero soils are far whiter in nature. A fresh Barolo like this would pair well with any fatty sausage.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2015 Barolo Bricco Ambrogio is terrific. Bold, fruity and forward, the 2015 offers tons of immediacy, not to mention impeccable overall balance. Sweet red cherry, hard candy, spice, mint, licorice and tobacco infuse the 2015 with terrific nuance to match its radiant, supple personality. This inviting, silky Barolo has plenty to offer, including tons of immediacy.”

Only ten bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Monvigliero, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price: $69, that’s $65.55 at 5% off or $62.10 at 10% off!
Wine Spectator 94 points
“A supple, perfumed red, with a smoky Lapsang souchong tea note underly-ing the cherry and currant flavors. Delicate and firm, showing fine balance and a vibrant finish. This is all about elegance and finesse. Best from 2021 through 2042.—B.S”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points “The Scavino family has had access to fruit from the Monvigliero cru for almost 20 years. They have farmed a small parcel (under one hectare) since 2000, and the grapes were previously added to their “classico” Barolo blend. In 2006, Monvigliero became its own single-vineyard expression because Enrico Scavino always had a big passion for this site. The 2015 Barolo Monvigliero is a bright and beautiful wine with a strong floral signature of violets and roses that accompanies this wine from start to finish. The wine is very characteristic of Monvigliero in terms of the softness and silky nature of the tannins as well.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2015 Barolo Monvigliero is undoubtedly a pretty wine, even if it appears to be somewhat of a work in progress. Bright floral notes, spice and sweet red cherry/plum fruit give the Monvigliero considerable immediacy as well as appeal. Even so, my impression is that the best is yet to come for this bottling.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $72

Only ten bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Prapo, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price: $69, that’s $65.55 at 5% off or $62.10 at 10% off!
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points
“This is also a new wine, coming from less than a hectare in the Prapò vineyards, from which only five producers draw their fruit. It’s a beautiful plot at about 1,000 feet in altitude and with a full southern exposure, producing some very meaty fruit with a high phenolic presence, as the color is darker and there is more perfume. The 2015 Barolo Prapò is a distinctive vintage of a wine that is one to watch, for sure. The vineyard makes the difference, with brown and orange sandy soils, along with marlstone and veins of soils more typical of the area. The Scavino family bought this plot in 2008 and let the land rest for two years before they replanted. The goal, they said, was to steer away from more productive clones in favor of those that wouldn’t take away too much from the quality. They took wood from the mothership vineyards in Bricco Ambrogio for this experiment, grafting them onto the rootstocks they carefully selected. The result is a soft and delicate Barolo with a lot of personality to go along with its firmness and power. This is an easy cru to recognize. Enrico Scavino said they could have waited longer for this experimental harvest, but they felt the time was right, explaining that “this work is all about feelings and instincts.””
Wine Spectator 93 points “A ripe, fleshy version, offering eucalyptus, mint, cherry and subtle clove flavors. Dense, ending with dusty tannins that offset the sweet, ripe fruit. Best from 2023 through 2043.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Arriving Friday, June 26th from Paolo Scavino:

Only twelve bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($49.95) Displayed price: $39, that’s $37.05 at 5% off or $35.10 at 10% off!
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93 points
“For a few years running now, this has been one of the Scavino family’s signature bottles. The goal here is to aim higher than your standard “base” or “classico” Barolo. The Paolo Scavino 2015 Barolo is made with a complicated blend of fruit from seven vineyard sites spread clear across the appellation from Castiglione Falletto, Barolo, Serralunga d’Alba and more townships. Each parcel is fermented separately, and some parcels are split into two or more individual fermentations. In order to maintain the highest quality standards, some 10% of the fruit is sold off as bulk, and once the overall selection is whittled down, the best fruit remains in-house. This is a compact and darkly saturated wine with bold blueberry and blackberry fruit. The wine shows a steady center of gravity in this warm, fruit-driven vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $44

Only twelve bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($99.95) Displayed price: $89, that’s $84.55 at 5% off or $80.10 at 10% off!
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95+ points
“From the Scavino family’s home-turf vineyard, the 2015 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc (with fruit from Castiglione Falletto) delivers structure, firmness and power. This is a classic interpretation of a historic cru, and the wine offers linear, crisp lines. Fruit from this site was fermented separately for the first time to make this wine in 1978. The family had long recognized the consistently superior quality of the fruit from this location, and they saw its special potential. Enrico Scavino told me about the rush of adrenaline and pride that washed over him when he first tasted this wine with his peers Gaja and Conterno during those Golden Years of the past and saw the enthusiasm their eyes. This is the go-to Barolo if you want to taste classic Scavino.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2015 Barolo Bric del Fiasc is dark and imposing on the palate, yet not quite as forbidding as it can be. A Barolo of size and heft, the 2015 has a lot to say, but it won’t be ready to drink anytime soon. Black cherry, smoke, leather, iron, licorice, menthol and graphite notes infuse the 2015 with layers of nuance to complement its brooding, sepia-toned personality nicely. The 2015 is a beguiling Barolo, but it needs cellaring.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “The sweetness from ripe plum and cherry fruit offsets the broad swath of tannins. Energetic and focused, with leather, soy, iron and tobacco accents supporting the fruit. Feels balanced, but needs time for all the elements to integrate. Better than previously reviewed. Best from 2023 through 2045. —B.S.”

Only six bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Cannubi, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($119.95) Displayed price: $99, that’s $94.05 at 5% off or $89.10 at 10% off!
James Suckling 98 points
“It’s the fruit tea and hibiscus that really lifts this, not to mention the roasted herbs that lurk beneath the surface. But there’s no shortage of dried fruit either, whether it be dried cherries, dried plums or Christmas cake. It’s a real mouth-coater, showing sheer elegance in a bottle, encapsulated in the tannins that weave an ornate tapestry, hung between every corner of the palate. Full-bodied and very, very long. Best ever? Drink in 2025.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “This wine draws its fruit from a half hectare of vines that have often suffered in the hot years, and it will be discontinued as of the 2018 vintage. The Scavino family was not able to renew their lease here. There is a lovely elegance to this 2015 Barolo Cannubi, due largely to the high elevation of this parcel, where there is more dryness in the topsoil and more erosion, resulting in less plant vigor. It is made from smaller grape clusters. There is more concentration to this Barolo as well, and the tannins are never too powerful. But the low yields in the past and the general challenge to growing here make for more difficulty than it is worth, so I suppose this 2015 vintage could be considered something of a collector’s item as a result.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Barolo Cannubi is another heady, dense wine in this range. Here, too, there is a ton of potential, but at present the 2015 is fruity and primary. I would give it a good few years for some of the baby fat to melt away. Even with all of its textural richness, the 2015 has quite a bit of underlying detail and nuance that emerges with just a bit of aeration. There is plenty to look forward to, that much is clear.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A supple, ripe style, boasting rose, plum, cherry, licorice and tea flavors, with a hint of mint. The tannins are soft and wide. Lingering finish. Best from 2021 through 2038. 279 cases made.”

Only twelve bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Carobric, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price: $69, that’s $65.55 at 5% off or $62.10 at 10% off!
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Although often slow out of the gate, the 2015 Barolo Carobric is absolutely gorgeous and expressive today. Powerful and dense in its first impression, the 2015 also has a good bit of underlying structure that gives energy and real sense of proportion. I would prefer to give the 2015 a few years in bottle to shed some of its baby fat. There is clearly quite a bit of potential here. Dried flowers, mint, rose petal, spice and dark red/blackish fruit all open up with time in the glass. The 2015 has a bright future. I won’t be surprised if it turns out even better than this note suggests”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2018 vintage will be the last edition made of this wine. The Scavino family lost its lease in Cannubi, and the estate wine portfolio is being redrawn as a result. The 2015 Barolo Carobric remains a blend of fruit from Rocche di Castiglione (60%), Cannubi (20%) and Bric dël Fiasc (20%). That blend has been carefully contemplated, and the absence of the Cannubi changes the formula too drastically. Cannubi adds richness and flavor to the blend, while Rocche di Castiglione with its sandy soils adds delicate mineral and light fruit nuances. Bric dël Fiasc offers both power and elegance and is the proverbial glue that keeps harmony between the two sides. This wine was first produced in 1996, and the end of an important chapter in the Scavino family legacy is upon us.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Only twelve bottles available!
Paolo Scavino Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price: $69, that’s $65.55 at 5% off or $62.10 at 10% off!
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“Here is another rookie in the lineup for Paolo Scavino. The Ravera vineyard was purchased in 2015, at 2.7 hectares and about 360 meters in altitude. It is their highest vineyard and the last to be harvested every year. This east-facing parcel is never too hot, always showing cooler-climate conditions than the others, with fine tannins and a good dose of acidity. The 2015 Barolo Ravera is a very tight and and precise wine, with notes of exotic tea that follow blackberry, dried cherry and licorice. This is a great new addition to the Scavino portfolio at this time of important changes for the winery.”

Mix any 3-5 bottles of 2015 Scavino Barolos for 5% off
Mix any 6+ bottles of 2015 Scavino Barolos for 10% off
Offer valid on in-stock and pre-arrival wines!
Discount will not display online
We will adjust your order manually before finalizing
Sale Ends Friday, June 19th at 6 PM Pacific


Domaine d’Henri:

Most Requested Wine is Back, With More Great Options to Come!
Domaine d’Henri is a new producer with an old heritage.  Michel Laroche has ancestors who farmed grapes in Chablis going back to the 17th century but formed this star producer only after selling his interest in the Domaine Laroche in 2010.  Named after his father, Henri, Michel kept only the oldest, most treasured vines in Fourchaume and some village level vineyards, aiming to have a small, family business that focuses on farming and winemaking on an intimate scale. The wines he’s making are some of the most beautiful in Burgundy, with rippling minerality, electric tension and pretty fruit framing the palate.  They are classically Chablisienne in the best ways, practically the distilled essence of the region.  

What is the most requested wine that we sold out of in 2019? If you haven’t tasted it, you might be surprised to learn that it’s a Champagne-style sparkling Chardonnay from our new favorite Chablis producer, d’Henri. If you have tasted it, please defer to Fight Club rules (we only have 54 bottles on hand, guys, shhhhh).

In Stock Now:

Domaine d’Henri 821 Chardonnay Brut Nature, Vin de France 2017 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
“Domaine d’Henri has emerged as one of our favorite Chablis producers, so when we heard they (now) made bubbles, we had to get some.  It lives up to expectations, too.  This is Blanc de Blancs done in a Brut Nature style, with great minerality and distinct Chablis chalk in its veins.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Arriving Friday from Domaine d’Henri:

Le Domaine d’Henri Fourchaume Heritage Premiere Trie, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Our Cuvée Héritage is dedicated to the memory of Henri. Hand harvested and hand selected, this is a “première trie”, or selection, of the finest grapes from our oldest parcel of vines, planted in 1937. Vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks (70%) and 228-litre oak barrels (30%), this is an elegant, precise yet racy wine, that expresses the tension and refreshing minerality associated with the great Chablis terroirs. For Henri, this was the purest expression of the Chardonnay grape. A grand vin that will start to reveal its full potential between five and twenty years. The Cuvée Héritage encapsulates our savoir-faire. By selecting only the very best grapes, the production is limited to only a few thousand bottles per year an the volume will vary each year, depending on the quality of the vintage. Serve between 14-15° and decant for 15 minutes before serving. This is a bottle for special occasions. Appreciate on its own with fellow wine lovers, or enjoy with fish, lobster, guinea fowl or even an aged Comté.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Le Domaine d’Henri L’Homme Mort Vieilles Vignes, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($59.95) $47.50 pre-arrival special
Le Domaine d’Henri L’Homme Mort Vieilles Vignes, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Planted in 1970, this parcel reflects the nobility of the Fourchaume appellation, with notes of forest floor and a racy, balanced palate, underlined by a good acidity. The Kimmeridgian escarpment of Fourchaume is reputed to produce some of the best Chablis wines and the South West exposure of the vines means that they bask in the warm afternoon sun. Vinified in stainless steel tanks (75%) to preserve the minerality and freshness, and in oak barrels (25%) of 228-litres so as to add more complex notes, this wine will continue to improve for the next 15 years or so. Serve at 14-15°C, this wine will benefit from being decanted 15 minutes before serving to allow the aromas to develop.  The perfect partner for turbot or a grilled côte de veau.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Shop all Domaine d’Henri selections in stock now or arriving Friday on our web store!



Bernard Levet has moved from an unsung hero of the Northern Rhone to a genuine star.
Vignobles Bernard Levet Cote Rotie Les Journaries, Rhone 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds 95 points
“Inky ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, licorice, exotic spices and potpourri and shows outstanding definition. Stains the palate with appealingly sweet black raspberry, blueberry and cherry preserve flavors that slowly tighten up on the back half. Shows superb energy and floral lift on an impressively long, focused finish shaped by steadily mounting tannins. This is quite a powerful wine (about 70% of the fruit comes from La Landonne, by the way) for one that checks in at only 13% alcohol. Made entirely with whole clusters.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.98
The average price is $83

“Gulfi has made some of its best wines ever these last two years, and especially so in 2016, which is admittedly a fantastic vintage in Sicily.” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous
Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
Case-6 Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($299.95) $237 special (that’s only $39.50/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 97 points
“Luminous red. Precise, brooding aromas of ripe red cherry, flint, orange rind, cinnamon, lavender and violet, complicated by iodine and earth. Silky and sappy with refined but very concentrated extract, this smothers the taste buds but stays vibrant and not at all heavy, offering lovely definition and lift to the red cherry, raspberry, floral and mineral flavors. Finishes extremely deep and long, with ultra-suave tannins, mesmerizing inner-mouth perfume and extreme refinement; very Barolo-like. A lovely multilayered wine showcasing the elegant side of Nero d’Avola that very few producers ever manage to showcase.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Ferrer Bobet Vinyes Velles, Priorat DOCa 2015 750ML ($74.95) $36 special
Case-12 Ferrer Bobet Vinyes Velles, Priorat DOCa 2015 750ML ($699.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The old vine 2015 Vinyes Velles checks in as a Carignan-dominated blend from vines just outside the village of Porrera that includes one-third Grenache, all of which spent over a year in French oak. It’s a bigger, riper, sexier wine than the Ferrer Bobet cuvée and boasts a deep purple color as well as rocking notes of black plums, black licorice, ground pepper, violets, and new leather. Ripe and full-bodied, with moderate acidity and terrific balance, it’s a seamless Priorat to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or so.”
James Suckling 94 points “This really captures the freshness of the carignan grape with its bright cherry character. Medium-to full-bodied with spice from the grenache and excellent vitality on the long, crisp finish. Drink or hold.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
The average listed price across all vintages is $59

Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car.

(If another adult is picking up for you,
please let us know their name when placing your order.)



New Nahe Notes

From David Schildknecht of Vinous Media

“There is a lot to like from 2018 in Germany: both multiple attractive features and a lot of wines to exemplify them. And then there are the exceptions, including the vintage’s genuinely exciting Rieslings, of which, yet again, many are found on the Nahe.” – David Schildknecht, Vinous 

Diel is one of those producers whose primacy in Germany doesn’t always connect with American drinkers, yet the wines deserve all the acclaim and glory they get in their native land.  Armin Diel is one of the pre-eminent wine writers in Germany and also one of the most acclaimed winemakers, and it’s hard to know which brings him more respect (imagine if Antonio Galloni also owned a winery like Schrader or Spottswoode).  As a result, the wines are snapped up inside Germany and very little makes it to our shores.  We would highly recommend that you grab these while you can.

Newly Reviewed & In Stock Now:

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermannchen Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 9 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points
“Ripe Persian melon and fig are garlanded in peony and carnation on an effusive nose. The silken, lusciously fruity midpalate introduces notes of sassafras and smoky black tea that go on to serve as counterpoint on a vibrant, ultra-refreshing, mouthwateringly salt-tinged and persistently wet-stone-lined finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Newly Reviewed & Arriving in June:

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Auslese, Nahe 2018 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 9 magnums available!
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points
“Quince preserves and overripe Persian melon inform an effusive nose and a richly fruited, creamy yet juicy and buoyant palate. Heady scents of lily translate into liquid perfume; candied ginger offers welcome counterpoint; and hints of crème caramel are, like the wine’s jellied fruit aspects, reinforced by prominent but in no way excessive sweetness. The lusciously lingering finish supplies a surprising amount of sheer juiciness to accompany its confitured and liquidly floral richness.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $125
Also In Stock Now from Schlossgut Diel:

Schlossgut Diel Eierfels Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 90-91 points
“The 2018 Riesling Eierfels is deep, intense and flinty on the ripe and lemon-scented nose. Intense and lush on the palate, this is a medium to full-bodied, well-structured and concentrated dry Riesling whose grapes are sourced in the Burgberg and Goldloch. Elegant and yeasty, this has a refined and elegant texture with lingering crystallinity, power and mineral tension. Tasted as a sample in July 2019.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92-93 points
“Provided with gooseberry and curated stone aromas at this stage, the 2018 Goldloch Riesling “GG” is clear and open on the nose. Rich and generous on the palate, this is a full-bodied, dense and powerful, firmly structured and crystalline dry Riesling with stable tannins and a still-somewhat austere character. Promising. Tasted as a sample in July 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermannchen Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2015 Pittermännchen Riesling Spätlese opens clear and slatey on the nose, with flinty, dusty flavors and lovely purity. On the palate, this is a very piquant and refined Riesling with lots of juice, finesse and elegance. It’s a light-hearted wine with white fruit flavors and good salinity. You can enjoy the 2015 for more than 20 years yet I’d keep it under cork for another 4-5 years.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2004 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Winery-cellared release!
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Resplendent aromas of papaya, pineapple and oyster shell. Dense but juicy, with a finely spiced acidity that seizes one’s palate. Finishes with impressive concentration and length. One of the finest spatleses of the vintage.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Auslese, Nahe 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“On the nose, the 2015 Goldloch Riesling Auslese is smoky, pure and deep in its fruity flavors. On the palate, it is a rich and intense Riesling with purity, piquant acidity and a lot of grip and tension. It has a persistent finish.”

You’d be hard pressed to find a larger selection of in-stock German Rieslings anyway else in the USA.

Shop all 329 in-stock German Rieslings on our web store!

Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama has emerged as one of the truly special estates of Chianti.  Open to new ideas, always with quality in mind, Castello di Ama makes rich, textural Chiantis that rival the region’s most sought-after wines.  Just arrived, their 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is no exception. Archetypal of modern Chianti, drinking beautiful even in its youth, and sub-$30 per bottle, it deserves a spot at your dinner table this weekend.

Gran Selezione is the new level above Riserva designating longer aging and designed to let producers highlight their tip-top wines from Sangiovese.  In championing the new designation, Castello di Ama has further telegraphed their commitment to quality.  Their 2014 is a stunning example of what’s possible with Sangiovese when no corners are cut and punches way above its weight.  Full-bodied, rich and surprisingly silky, this is really special stuff. The latest, recently-arrived release is a show stopper. It’s 2016, one of the finest vintages in the region, and has garnered rave reviews. On account of their insane value, and readiness for drinking, Castello di Ama wines are must buys for anyone who loves Tuscan reds.

In Stock Now from Castello di Ama:

Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 750ML ($399.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Rose, mature red berry and wild herb aromas mingle with a balsamic whiff of eucalyptus. The delicious, polished palate boasts a restrained elegance, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and white pepper alongside refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced and lends just enough tension. Drink through 2023.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is fabulous. Racy and voluptuous to the core the Ama captures all the richness of the vintage while retaining a great deal of aromatic freshness and energy. Succulent red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and sweet spice build in an open-knit, inviting Chianti Classico that hits all the right notes. This is a terrific showing from Ama’s young-vine Chianti Classico bottling.”
James Suckling 92 points “Lots of primary sour cherries, blueberries and spices here. Medium-bodied with cranberry flavors and intense acidity throughout. Little edgy on the finish, but the warmth and generosity to the juicy tannins hold this together. Drink now.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is a terrific wine that opens to a mid-weight feel but produces an enormously expressive bouquet. The hot vintage has shaped warm tones of tilled earth and dark fruit but it is all carefully weighed and in context. The wine is open, accessible and generous. You can’t go wrong with this entry-level offering from Castello di Ama, especially with a lentil or spelt soup.”

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2014 ($59.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo flaunts its importance. It boasts confidence and an outward-looking personality that comes as a refreshing surprise. Like all Gran Selezione wines, it is released 30 months after January 1st following the harvest. That means it still has a few more months to go before it hits the market. This expression of Sangiovese shows depth and power with ripe fruit tones of cherry and forest berry. Like many of the other high profile wines I preview-tasted from the difficult 2014 vintage, I am delighted and surprised by the elegant and soft nature of the mature tannins. The wine’s finish offers bright freshness with layers of dark fruit, wet earth and forest floor.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Aromas of exotic spice, pipe tobacco, woodland berry and a whiff of French oak take center stage on this fragrant, elegant red. The racy, ethereal palate delivers tart red cherry, tart pomegranate, cinnamon and vanilla framed in taut fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2019–2026.”
James Suckling 93 points “This is extremely tangy with plenty of chocolate and lemon character and hints of cedar, too. Medium body, bright acidity and chocolatey aftertaste. Very refined and well-crafted for a 2014. Drink now.”

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“CELLAR SELECTION. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot and 7% Malvasia Nera, this opens with aromas of black- and red-skinned berry, pipe tobacco, tilled earth and a whiff of new leather. Elegant and taut, the palate shows tension, verve and finesse, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and hints of French oak. It’s balanced, with polished, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2021–2036.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offers stunning aromas of black cherry, blackberry and violet, with ripe, sweet fruit on the palate, shaded by iron, earth and tobacco elements. Supple yet well-structured, this should come together soon. Shows terrific harmony and length. Best from 2022 through 2036. 6,500 cases made, 670 cases imported.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo is immediately more inky and balsamic in terms of aromas. As soon as you lift the wine to your nose, you get pretty tones of blackberry, cassis, rosemary essence, licorice and a touch of medicinal herb. I love when Sangiovese produces those elegant aromas, and for that reason, this wine stands tall among the three single-vineyard expressions from Marco Pallanti and Castello di Ama. It shows fiber, richness and lasting structure with a very well-managed quality of tannins.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Ama San Lorenzo is a blend taken from Ama’s four core estate vineyards. Black cherry, graphite, sage, mint, juniper berries and licorice give the San Lorenzo a distinctly dark, brooding profile to match its powerful feel. The big tannins need time to soften, but there is certainly plenty to look forward to. Stylistically, San Lorenzo is closest to Bellavista, with which it shares a decidedly somber feel. This is such a gorgeous wine.”

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Wine Enthusiast Top 100 in 2018
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Fragrant and refined, this radiant wine opens with scents of violet, red berry, baking spice and a whiff of plum. The chiseled palate delivers succulent wild cherry, white pepper, cinnamon and star anise alongside firm, refined tannins. It boasts a long licorice finish while bright acidity lends balance. It’s already delicious but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2020–2033.”
James Suckling 95 points “Tight and super silky with a gorgeous density and precision that gives great polish to the tannins. Makes them almost dusty. Lots of subtle dark berry, mineral and spice. Drink or hold.”

Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 1.5L ($69.95) $49 special, 36 magnums in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
“So much sweet tobacco and cherry character here with hints of smoked meat. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. Acid tension give this definition. Tangy. Drink now.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “The raspberry and cherry flavors are immediate in this elegant, balanced red, followed by accents of earth and spice. Not excessively long, but well-proportioned. Drink now through 2022. 900 cases imported.”

A seamlessly refreshing rosé wine for warm spring evenings
Castello di Ama ‘Purple’ Rosato Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 1.5L ($69.95) $49 special, 9 magnums in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points
“Luminous red-pink. Fresh aromas of strawberry and flowers, then ripe and sweet with similar flavors to the aromas that show very good acid cut. This actually leaves a sweet impression on the long suave finish, but has so much acidity it seems less sweet than it is. Lovely. Winemaker Marco Pallanti has changed the winemaking so as to macerate the must on the skins for twelve hours and then ages the wine in used (one year) barriques to round it. A blend of mostly Sangiovese with a little Merlot.”

Don’t miss all 33 Chiantis in stock now on our web store!


Friday Features

Fun Stuff Arriving This Week

COVID-related shut downs means we don’t get to see our favorite winemakers quite as frequently. We miss talking shop with Josh Bergstrom, whose palate and insight are always exceptional, just like his wines.
Bergstrom ‘Old Stones’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
No reviews yet for the 2018 vintage. 2017 vintage reviews provided for reference.
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“EDITOR’S CHOICE. This wine seems to always overdeliver. Here it opens with lovely aromas of white flower, bee pollen and lemon meringue. The plush fruit mingles Key lime and pineapple, showing brisk acidity compiled with refreshing minerality.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2017 Chardonnay Old Stones has fresh scents of Red Delicious apples, quince, crushed shell and stone with notes of dried chamomile, saline and a core of white peaches. It’s light to medium-bodied with a slightly rounded texture, mineral-driven fruit, bright acidity and a long, flavorful finish. A delicate style without sacrificing its fruit.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Chignard Julienas Beauvernay, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points
“A very fragrant and polished expression on the nose with a fresh, strawberry and boysenberry edge, as well as a floral layer that also sits fresh. The palate is long, dense and suavely structured. Impressive concentration here. Drink or hold.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep vivid magenta. Powerful, mineral-tinged black/blue fruit and floral pastille scents take on a spicy accent and a hint of musky earth with air. Gently sweet and broad on the palate, offering boysenberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and a touch of smokiness. Closes smooth, sappy and quite long, with repeating spiciness and harmonious tannins that add gentle grip.”

Bodegas Ordonez Nisia Verdejo Old Vines, Rueda 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 89 points
“Coming from 40- to 80-year-old ungrafted vines of Verdejo, the 2017 Nisia was barrel fermented and spent 7 months on lees before bottling. It has a richer bouquet of golden apple, pineapple, and Meyer lemons as well as a medium-bodied, nicely textured, mouthfilling style on the palate. It has good acidity, plenty of fruit, and a clean finish. It’s rock solid.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $15

Bodegas Ilurce Rio Madre Graciano, Rioja DOCa 2017 750ML ($17.95) $12.50 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 92 points
“The vanilla and walnut character is strong here with dark-berry and chocolate undertones. Medium to full body. Flavorful finish. A little tannic, but solid. Drink now.”


Vinopolis is an independent wine shop in Portland that opened in 2004. Our goal has always been to offer the finest, broadest, and largest selection of wines at the best prices to our customers in Portland, in Oregon, across the West Coast, and throughout the United States. Thank you for reading and for continuing to support our team.

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