Wednesday Newsletter 7-13-22

In This Newsletter:

Staff Pick: Aubry Champagne

California Treasure Trove

Elvio Cogno’s Iconic Barolo

Gaja, The One and Only

K Vintners

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Staff Pick: Aubry Champagne

Aubry Champagne is one of my absolute favorite champagnes. If you have had the chance to enjoy one of their Premier Cru Brut in the past, it might be time for you to get reacquainted. If not, it is a remarkable blend of predominantly Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blended with three rare indigenous white grapes of the Champagne region: Fromenteau, Petit Meslier and Arbanne.

Pierre and Philippe Aubry, descendants of a line of winegrowers since 1790, have engaged in a real work of memory by bringing back to life some of the old and lost grape varieties, formerly cultivated in Champagne. They replanted what had been considered the “lost grape varieties” of Champagne: Fromenteau, Petit Meslier and Arbanne in the 1990’s and started incorporating them in their Cuvées.

Approachable traditional round mouthfeel with bright minerality. White flowers, brioche and citrus fruit.
Aubry Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The NV Brut from Aubry is such a pretty wine. Medium in body and understated, the Brut captures all the sophistication that is typical of these Champagnes. Hints of orchard fruit, spice, chamomile, tangerine oil and almond develop over time, but it is the wine’s balance that comes through. The heavy presence of red grapes is felt in both the flavor profile and overall weight. Best of all, the Brut is a fabulous value.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “Firm and tightly-knit, with a fine, zesty mousse and a subtle vein of smoky minerality layered accompanied by flavors of Mandarin orange peel, steeped apricot, lemon thyme and salted almond. Disgorged February 2021. Drink now. — AN”
Disgorged March 2021

Shop our complete selection of Grower to Grand Marque Champagnes on our webstore now!

California Treasure Trove

We’re opening the vault of California gold!

Bond Estates Vecina, Napa Valley 2001 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker-Wine Advocate 96+ points
“The most backward, earthy, muscular/masculine wine of the group is the 2001 Vecina. Still quite tightly knit, with loads of rugged tannins as well as distinctive notes of graphite and earth reminiscent of a St.-Estephe such as Chateau Montrose, the wine displays sweet, earthy blueberry and blackberry fruit, but then the tannins kick in. This full-bodied, massive wine needs a good 5-7 years of cellaring at the minimum, and whether it ever approaches the seamless/flawless perfection of a St. Eden or Melbury remains to be seen.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $420

Bond Estates St. Eden, Napa Valley  2001 750ML ($699.95) $499 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker-Wine Advocate 100 points
“Utterly perfect, another wine that seems to have taken on a first-growth Pauillac-like character (think Mouton-Rothschild) is the 2001 St. Eden. With a remarkably perfumed nose of crushed rocks, subtle barbecue smoke, and again, cedar wood intermixed with creme de cassis and blackberry, this wine displays a phenomenally concentrated mouthfeel, full-bodied opulence, voluptuous texture, and of this trio, is certainly the closest to its apogee of full maturity. Nevertheless, it will still benefit from another 5-10 years of cellaring and keep for an additional 25-30.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $545

Bond Estates Melbury, Napa Valley 2001 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker-Wine Advocate 98+ points
“The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Melbury (a dead ringer for Pauillac) has an opaque blue/purple color and an extraordinarily sweet nose of charcoal, lead pencil shavings, cedar wood, black currants, licorice and spice box. Full-bodied, with great intensity, purity and texture, this is a wonderfully dense, full-throttle wine that is still an adolescent and likely to stay one for at least another 5-7 years. Look for it to age gracefully well past 20-30+ years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $415

Sine Qua Non Into The Dark Grenache, Sta Rita Hills 2004 750ML ($699.95) $599 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Sine Qua Non Into The Dark Grenache, Sta Rita Hills 2004 1.5L ($1,699.95) $1399 special, 1 magnum in stock now

Wine Advocate 99 points “More up-front and open-knit, the 2004 Into the Dark (Grenache) checks in as a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier that comes mostly from Manfred’s 11 Confessions Vineyard, yet includes small portions from Alban (10%) and Alta Mesa (9%) Vineyard. Reminding me of Clos Saint-Jean’s Sanctus Sanctorum with its incredible bouquet of sweet kirsch, licorice, dried baking spices, graphite and ground pepper, this beauty flows onto the palate with impeccable purity, perfect integration of its fruit, tannin and acidity, and blockbuster length. As is common with this estate’s wine, it’s the purity paired with serious richness that sets it apart. While still youthful and benefiting from a healthy decadence, I think it’s drinking at point and would aim to drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. It will evolve gracefully for longer, but I see no reason to hold off.-JD”
Robert Parker 99 points “2004 Into the Dark: This absolutely magnificent wine is a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier, with most of it emerging from the estate’s 11 Confessions Vineyard. It still has a very opaque ruby/purple color, along with a sweet nose of graphite, wood smoke, spice box, white chocolate, kirsch and creme de cassis. Still quite infantile in terms of its development, the wine is full-bodied, with a 45- to 50-second finish. Another 2-3 years of cellaring will be beneficial, and it is certainly capable of lasting 10 or more years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Levy & McClellan Red (Cabernet Sauvignon), Napa Valley 2006 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 95 points
“The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon displays beautifully sweet blue and black fruits intermixed with espresso roast, smoked meats, chocolate, and scorched earth. Dense purple in color, deep, rich, broad, with plenty of tannin and concentration as well as noticeable oak, this wine is a massive Cabernet meant for long-term cellaring. I wouldn’t touch a bottle for 6 to 8 years, then watch it unfold over the following 25-30.”
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “(includes bits of cabernet franc and petit verdot) Deep red-ruby. Complex, inviting aromas of cassis, graphite, menthol and sexy new oak. Very ripe but bright and classic, with terrific lift to the cassis, mineral and dark chocolate flavors. This boasts remarkably deep fruit for seven-year-old vines and finishes with very sweet, suave tannins and superb length. Husband-and-wife team Bob Levy and Martha McClellan, who are also responsible for making Harlan, Bond, Blankiet and Sloan, consider their 2005 to be a bit more layered and complex, but this one is also a star of its vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $799 (ouch!)

Sine Qua Non ‘The Inaugural’ Syrah, Sta Rita Hills 2003 750ML ($2,799.95) $1,799 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 100 points
“The mind-boggling 2003 The Inaugural Syrah is an emotional experience to taste as well as drink. Aged 38 ½ months in French oak, it was fashioned entirely from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard, which is planted with Syrah clones #470, 174, and the Estrella River and Alban field selections. This stunning Syrah boasts a magnificent bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries, charcoal, licorice, and roasted meats. It hits the palate with remarkable intensity, purity, and full-bodied power, but it somehow manages to dance across the taste buds with the gracefulness of a ballerina. Awesomely long, I still tasted this wine 60 seconds after I had spit it out – no easy task, even for a professional. This majestic Syrah should be a modern day legacy for Sine Qua Non, ranking alongside the other stunning Syrahs they have produced, such as the two 2002 cuvees, Just For The Love Of It and Heart Chorea. This is a nuanced, complex wine, whereas the 2004 Poker Face is more exuberant and flamboyant. It should age beautifully for 10-15+ years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $1,920

Sine Qua Non ‘The Inaugural’ Eleven Confessions Vineyard Grenache, Sta Rita Hills 2003 750ML ($4,299.95) $3,499 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 100 points
“In addition to these new releases, I was also able to taste through a number of older vintages, including the 2001 Albino, 2006 Hoodoo Man, 2003 The Inaugural, 2004 Ode to E, 1998 E Raised, 2001 On Your Toes, 2005 Nail in My Cranium and 2007 Syrah Dangerous Birds. To say I came away impressed would be an understatement. Anyone who claims this big, rich style can-t age needs to taste these wines. I opted to just list my scores for the older releases as I find Bob-s initial write-ups spot on.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $5,999.99

Hundred Acre ‘Kayli Morgan Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($699.95) $549 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 98 points
“The wild man of Napa Valley, Jayson Woodbridge, has turned out one of the superstars of 2004, with the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan. His wines always tend to be gorgeous young, offering up an impression that they’re not going to last. But his first vintage, 2000, seems to get better and better, even though it was spectacular when released. The 2004, which was harvested in September, shows an almost Pomerol-like sweet mocha, kirsch, black currant and deeply fruited mouthfeel. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the clay soils of his vineyard seem to give a sweetness of tannin and a voluptuous character to the texture. This wine oozes rich, concentrated fruit, is light on its feet and has gorgeous purity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and a stunning finish. Silky black currant, kirsch, licorice, mocha and caramelized fruit make for a stunningly full-throttle, brilliant 2004 to enjoy over the next 15 or more years.” RP

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Hundred Acre ‘Kayli Morgan Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007 750ML ($899.95) $699 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 100 points
“[Tasted Dec 2018] The deep garnet colored 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard features gorgeous crushed plums, spicy blackberries, crème de cassis and Chinese five spice with potpourri and nuances of dried herbs, lavender, black tea and loads of crushed rocks, tilled soil and underbrush accents. Full-bodied and absolutely laden with earth and spice accents, it has a firm and grainy texture with exhilarating yet seamless freshness, finishing very long.”

Elvio Cogno’s Iconic Barolo

Elvio Cogno was instrumental in putting the Ravera cru on the map. Born and raised in Novello, the village associated with the famous vineyard, he left his partnership with Marcarini in his sixties to start his namesake winery in 1990.  He purchased Cascina Nuova, an underperforming but historic estate, and started making classically-styled wines under his own name from the Ravera cru.

The resulting stupendous wines prompted a rush on land in Novello (and Ravera in particular), but no wineries have surpassed the original master and his son-in-law (winemaker since ’96 Valter Fissore—who is arguably even more talented than Elvio).  From their entry level “Cascina Nuova” Barolo up to his Riservas from the choicest parts of his holdings, these are wines that will appeal to every lover of Barolo.

Italian specialists Antonio Galloni of Vinous, Monica Larner of Wine Advocate, and Kerin O’Keefe of Wine Enthusiast all agree: this is a classical estate that over delivers. Year in, year out, these reviewers offer consistently high praise for the wines across multiple vintages and price levels.  

In Stock Now:

Elvio Cogno Bricco Pernice, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $99 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Elvio Cogno Bricco Pernice, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($719.95) $559 special (that’s only $93.17/bottle!)
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“Cellar Selection. Enticing scents of rose, iris, perfumed berry and an earthy whiff of truffle shape the fragrant nose on this dazzling wine. The delicious, full-bodied palate boasts structure and a weightless elegance, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, cherry compote, cinnamon and star anise. Taut polished tannins and fresh acidity provide balance and an elegant structure. It’s already irresistible but will also age well for years. Drink 2022–2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The Elvio Cogno 2015 Barolo Ravera Bricco Pernice delivers the depth, richness and concentration that are a hallmark of this pretty vintage. This wine is a pure expression of the productive Lampia clone of Nebbiolo. Generous layers of blackberry, wild cherry, rose hip, ferrous earth and campfire ash are neatly folded together to build the wine’s intensity. Like the other wines from this estate, the tannic management is spot-on. You are aware of the wine’s youthful structure, but it is delivered without hard edges or sharp points. A mere 4,000 bottles were produced.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2015 Barolo Bricco Pernice is an exotic, beguiling wine. Blood orange, mint, sweet red cherry, star anise and a range of spice notes give the Bricco Pernice striking aromatic and flavor complexity. Medium in body, refined and super-expressive, the 2015 has so much to offer. Best of all, it will drink well with just a few years in bottle. It is such an effortless, gracious wine. Very polished, nuanced and elegant, this silky Barolo has a ton of structure but is also impeccable in its balance.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Aromas of camphor and sweet pipe tobacco give way to cherry, tar and wild scrub flavors in this densely structured red, which is elegant and sinewy, with a lingering, chewy finish. Best from 2023 through 2045.”

Elvio Cogno Cascina Nuova, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Elvio Cogno Cascina Nuova, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($419.95) $299 special (that’s only $49.83/bottle!)
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Rose, woodland berry and baking spice shape the nose along with crushed mint notes on this fragrant red. The savory, polished palate boasts succulent raspberry, ripe strawberry and white pepper before taut tannins and bright acidity reveal a firm, elegant structure. Star anise lingers on the finish. Drink 2023–2036.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “Of the four Elvio Cogno Baroli out on the market now, this wine is the most immediate and accessible of the bunch. Production is an ample 20,000 bottles. The 2016 Barolo Cascina Nuova is a terrific wine with impeccable balance. The bouquet offers dark fruit aromas, licorice, smoke, tar and spice. These aromatic pieces slide together with precision to create an intriguing and multifaceted puzzle. It shows good fruit weight and concentration, reinforced by firm tannins, freshness and a silky mouthfeel. This is a terrific go-to Barolo from a classic vintage. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then ages for two years in botte grande made with Slavonian oak. “
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Cogno’s 2016 Barolo Cascina Nuova is absolutely gorgeous. Pliant and expressive on the palate, the 2016 has a touch more mid-palate sweetness and texture than in the past, when the wine has been more nervous in feel. Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, wild flowers, cedar, sweet tobacco and anise all open up effortlessly. Silky tannins add to its considerable immediacy and appeal. This is such a pretty wine in its peer group and also a terrific example of how attractive more modestly priced Barolos are in 2016.”

Elvio Cogno Montegrilli Langhe Rosso, Piedmont 2019 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Elvio Cogno Montegrilli Langhe Rosso, Piedmont 2019 750ML ($179.95) $149 special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“This is a terrific Piedmont red to pair with a classic quiche Lorraine. The Elvio Cogno 2019 Langhe Nebbiolo Montegrilli is a delicate and fragile expression with bright accents of chopped mint and medicinal herb that hover over a core of wild cherry and dried raspberry. The wine delivers soft and smooth aromas that define the character of this pretty wine. Dusty tannins and some lingering mineral notes frame a polished finish. A portion of the wine sees whole-cluster fermentation, and winemaking is straightforward in stainless steel. Some 10,000 bottles were released.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $39

Elvio Cogno Montegrilli Langhe Rosso, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo Montegrilli is a very pretty wine. The warm, dry vintage has give Cogno’s Nebbiolo an extra kick of richness, but without robbing the wine of its personality. Sweet dried cherry, mint, tobacco, crushed flowers and anise all flesh out in an expansive, inviting Nebbiolo that will drink nicely for at least a number of years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Gaja, The One and Only

Gaja is a name that requires no context—like Latour or DRC, it’s understood which estate is meant and it is one of the most respected names in the world of wine.  And Sori San Lorenzo is an icon in Barbaresco.

Arriving Friday from Gaja:

Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Barbaresco, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($679.95) $599 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 points
“This tightly wound red is dense with black cherry, black currant, plum, tar and iron flavors as well as tannins. Shows a lot of power and persistence, with all the components in the right proportion, ending with a long, resonant aftertaste. Needs time. Best from 2024 through 2048. 300 cases imported. — BS”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2017 growing season saw a couple of violent hail events in the Barbaresco appellation, and this celebrated vineyard suffered some damage during a storm that hit on July 19th. Yields were reduced, but the wine holds its own thanks to the careful fruit selection process put in place by the Gaja family. Their 2017 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is a shade richer in terms of flavor concentration, as is always the case with fruit from this slightly warmer growing site. However, like the other two single-vineyard Barbaresco expressions, this wine reveals a thin, sharp and nervous personality that is driven in large part by tannic firmness and acidity. Sorì San Lorenzo adds lots of dark mineral definition to cassis, wild cherry, rose and Provence herbs. Like the other wines, it needs extra cellar aging time.”
Decanter 95 points “This is generally the most austere of the three Gaja single-vineyard wines, and it has also been described as ‘wilder’. In this vintage the nose does seem to have more weight than Sori Tildin, with rich raspberry and cherry aromas. It’s sumptuous, full-bodied and concentrated, with considerable density and weight. Despite its youthful chewiness, it’s still polished and balanced, with a very long finish. Drinking Window 2021 – 2042.”

Gaja Conteisa, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special, only 11 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 98 points
“From the La Morra side of the Cerequio MGA, the 2015 is deeply resonant, its dark fruit tones layered with notes of cedar, tobacco and porcini. The Gaja family has worked extensively on canopy management since the warm 1997 and 2003 vintages, and this shows in the pleasantly tart flavors of black cherry and strawberry they achieved in the warm, dry 2015 growing season. The flavors weave together in a suave, seamless texture, expanding with air while maintaining precision and freshness. —S.J.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 97 points “The 2015 Barolo Conteisa is a heady, exotic wine, and also one of the most complete, alluring Conteisas I have ever tasted. Conteisa is usually a wine of grace and understatement. The 2015, on the other hand, is a bold, sweeping Barolo that saturates the palate with stunning depth and volume. Even with all of its intensity, the 2015 remains vibrant. This is such a complete, harmonious wine.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “A big, beefy Barolo, the 2015 Barolo Conteisa comes from a site near La Morral and was first made in 1996. It takes plenty of air to come together but offers a complex bouquet of bright cherry and currant fruit interwoven with classic licorice, tar, sappy flowers, and even hints of iron. It shows a touch more minerality with time in the glass, but this is classic, full-bodied, powerful Nebbiolo with plenty of ripe tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a blockbuster finish. Give this structured, tight 2015 upwards of a decade of cellaring, and it’s going to keep for 30 years or more.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The large shoulders of this warm 2015 vintage contrast sharply with the delicate nuances of the 2016 Barbarescos also released now from Gaja. The 2015 Barolo Conteisa is intense, with a background chorus of plum, prune, herb, mint and wild cherry. It’s a very balanced Barolo. The Cerequio vineyard that provides this fruit often suffers from hail damage because the vineyard is located along the corridor of bad weather that comes over the hill from La Morra. There was some damage in mid-August, but fruit in the 2016 vintage suffered much more extensively in comparison. In fact, so little fruit was saved that Gaia Gaja is pretty sure this wine will not be produced next vintage. She tells me that they are now experimenting with anti-hail netting at this site—an eyesore they had long hoped to avoid.”

Gaja Darmagi Cabernet Sauvignon Langhe, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($299.95) $259 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Darmagi loves a warm vintage. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Darmagi embraces the summer warmth like a happy sponge. This wine is faithfully true to the variety, with intensely dark fruit followed by dried cassis, exotic spice and green laurel leaf. There is a point of succulent sweetness in the mouth that is uniquely specific to this hot vintage. The wine is seamless and smooth in texture with solid structure on the close. The vines suffered from stripe disease (GLSD). This reduced the capacity of the plant’s foliar system. Gaia Gaja tells me they were able to harvest from the healthy parts of the vines to make this beautiful wine.”

In Stock Now from Gaja:

Gaja Darmagi Cabernet Sauvignon Langhe, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 94+ points
“The 2017 Darmagi (Cabernet Sauvignon) is gorgeous. Ample, silky and voluptuous to its core, Darmagi offers tons of immediacy and sheer appeal. Today, the 2017 is all about fruit richness and texture. Readers who prefer to see a full range of Cabernet aromatics should plan on cellaring the 2017 for at least a few years. Hints of blackberry jam, mocha, licorice and spice linger, but more than anything else, the 2017 is all about flamboyance. This is an especially strong vintage.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “While a base Langhe release, the 2017 Darmagi is stunning stuff, offering a killer bouquet of ripe red and black fruits, hot asphalt, spring flowers, tobacco, and a touch of rocky, earhty minerality. With a rich, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, a more supple, upfront style, and sweet tannins, it already offers loads of pleasure, yet its solid spine of tannins and acidity make me believe it will still be drinking nicely in 15-20 years.”

Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($449.95) $399 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Falstaff Magazine 97 points
“[Translated] Deeply colored, sparkling ruby with a light garnet border. Precise and tight nose showing adundant ripe wild black raspberries, some plum, truffles and spice in the background. Earth and substantial tannin unfolds.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Gaja’s 2009 Sori San Lorenzo, on the other hand, is much more typical in its expression. Layers of juicy dark cherries, menthol, spices, tar, licorice and graphite flow across the palate as this powerful, masculine wine opens up in the glass. Balsamic infused aromas and flavors develop in the glass, adding considerable complexity and the signature of this great terroir, indisputably one of Piemonte’s very finest. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 95 points “Silky and gracious on the palate, the 2009 Sorì San Lorenzo looks to be a wine that will drink well with just a few years of cellaring. This is a decidedly floral, lifted yet radiant wine with terrific balance and plenty of the sexiness that defines the very best wines of the year.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 95 points “Good full red. Pungent aromas of maraschino cherry, minerals, smoke and camphor; the most Barolo-like of Gaja’s 2009s from the Barbaresco zone. The thickest and most concentrated too, sweet and mouthfilling but very backward. The combination of sheer stuffing and medicinal reserve along with fine-grained, dusty tannins and outstanding persistence suggests that this plump but youthful wine will age slowly and well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Gaja Sori Tildin Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2008 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 1 bottle in stock now 
Falstaff Magazine 97 points
“[Translated] Bright, intense ruby-garnet. A playful and multi-layered nose shows notes of ripe cherries, some orange peel, cardamom and fresh plums. Presents on the palate as a unified whole showing lots of tightly packed tannins and a rich depth. Builds in many layers. Has plenty of elegance and suppleness on the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn’t quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That’s not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It’s tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.”


K Vintners

Arriving Friday

Big on character and low in price, these are wines that perfectly encapsulate the spirit of the regions production. Much like Washington State wine in general, the portfolio is Syrah heavy with guest appearances by Grenache and Chardonnay. 

K Vintners The Boy Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $44.50 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points
“A lovely grenache with ripe strawberry, white pepper and hints of hazelnut on both the nose and palate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a spicy finish. 100% whole cluster. No new oak. So yummy. Drink now or hold.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Gorgeous framboise and ripe strawberry fruits as well as spice, herbes de Provence, and wildflower notes emerge from the 2018 Grenache The Boy Powerline Vineyard, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant texture and outstanding length. This is another thrilling Grenache from this team that does everything right. It’s hard to resist today yet should keep for 10-12 years in cold cellars.”

K Vintners ‘M.C.K. Motor City Kitty’ Syrah, Washington 2019 750ML ($44.95) $38 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“Layered aromas of plums, black cherries, leather, bark and iron. Full-bodied with a lot of nuance. Firm, gripping tannins. Dried roses and crushed blackberries mix with dark, mineral complexity, leaving a buzz on the palate. A clear note of cocoa powder comes through. Concentrated and dynamic. Superb. Best after 2024.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “I always seem to love this cuvée and the 2019 Syrah Motor City Kitty is no exception. Coming all from a single block in the Boushey Vineyard, it was not destemmed, spent a full 47 days on skins, and was raised 21 months in 25% new French oak. It has a great nose of darker, gamey black fruits as well as iron, ground pepper, black olives, and violets. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, this balanced, rich, gamey, Northern Rhône-like beauty is terrific today and will be terrific in 8-10 years as well.”

K Vintners The Deal Sundance Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $34.50 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“Currants, savory spices, dried flowers, charcoal, and loamy earth all emerge from the 2018 Syrah The Deal, which comes from the Sundance Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope. Showing plenty of more savory, earthy notes, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a rounded, expansive texture, and ripe, polished tannins. It shows the more elegant, streamlined style of the vintage, yet I love its balance. It’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 10-12.”

In Stock Now from Charles Smith:

Substance Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 2019 750ML ($17.95) $14.50 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 89 points
“Lots of pure honeycomb, white flowers, and honeyed citrus notes emerge from the 2019 Chardonnay Ch, a medium-bodied, supple, nicely textured, balanced Chardonnay. I wouldn’t push the aging curve too much, yet it’s going to benefit from 6-12 months of bottle age and have at least 2-3 years of prime drinking.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Charles Smith ‘Royal City’ Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points
“The flagship release, the 2016 Syrah Royal City is all from the Stoneridge Vineyard on the Royal Slope (not far from the Frenchman Hills). It was not destemmed and spent 27 months in 60% new French oak. Offering a sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, baking chocolate, beef blood, toasted spice, and loamy earth, it builds slowly, with full-bodied richness, silky tannins, beautiful power and elegance, and a great, great finish, it’s another magical wine from this team. 572 cases.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Substance ‘Cs’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2019 750ML ($19.95) $14.50 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“Juicy blue fruits, leafy tobacco, violets, and orange blossom notes all emerge from the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Cs and it’s medium to full-bodied, has a beautifully balanced, fruit-forward style, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s no simple fruit bomb and has notable structure, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It reminds me of a top Cru Bourgeois from Bordeaux and represents a stunning value. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”

Substance ‘Bx’ Klein Vineyard Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $59 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“Lastly, the 2016 Klein BX Vineyard Collection checks in as 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 28% Cabernet Franc, all of which was co-fermented and aged 27 months in French oak. Coming from a 3-acre parcel in the vineyard, it’s a monster of a wine loaded with notions of blackcurrants, cassis, chocolate, spice box, tobacco, and scorched earth. It’s not for the faint of heart and is full-bodied, super rich, concentrated, and structured, yet it stays balanced, has a seamless texture, and is remarkably elegant for a wine of this size. It’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 15-20 years in cold cellars.”

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