Wednesday Night Newsletter 7-6-2022

In This Newsletter:

Domaine Rene Leclerc Arrivals

New Wine Advocate Review:


Familia Nin-Ortiz

Snowden Vineyards:
Napa Valley’s Best Kept Secret

Collector’s Corner:
Bibi Graetz’s 100-Point Testamatta

New Arrivals from

Domaine Rene Leclerc

Domaine Rene Leclerc was founded in 1962 and is owned and run by Rene and his son, Francois. Their passion is for wines of purity and balance in a hands-off style that allows the fruit to fully express the magnificent terroir of the region. The wines undergo cold soaks before a light and short pressing to extract only the best juice. What follows is a long, traditional fermentation in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts. 

The Domaine owns 9.5 hectares of vines and works the Griottes vineyard portion (the portion being owned by Domaine des Chezeaux) and leased to R. Leclerc long term or ‘en fermage’).The Griotte Chambertin, their only Grand Cru bottling, is aged in vat for six months and then for one year in 50% new French oak. It is an excellent candidate for long term cellaring, a serious wine that expresses notes of red and black berries, chocolate, game and spice as it opens in the glass.  

These are as classically Gevrey-Chambertin as they come—in fact, you’d do well to think of these as a poor(er)-man’s Rousseau.  Even their top-tier Griotte is under $300/bottle from a great vintage and their Combes aux Moines represents one of the best values in premier cru Burgundy from the Cote de Nuits.  A nice assortment just arrived—perfect for collectors looking to stock up.

New Arrivals from Rene Leclerc:

Domaine Rene Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 5 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Rene Leclerc Champeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 3 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Rene Leclerc Clos Prieur, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 4 bottles in stock now

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Domaine Rene Leclerc Combes aux Moines, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 2 bottles in stock now

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $218.33

Domaine Rene Leclerc Combes aux Moines, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 3 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Rene Leclerc Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 2 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Rene Leclerc Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $135 special, 5 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Rene Leclerc Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2010 750ML ($319.95) $299 special, 2 bottles in stock now
As well as making this wine under his own label, Leclerc bottles some to be sold under the label of the vineyard owner, Domain des Chezeaux. Here is a review of the Chezeaux bottling from BurgundyReport(dot)com: “Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a fine advertisement for ‘Griotte’ with a very pretty core of shiny red fruit – more cranberry/redcurrant than cherry – relatively simple in its youthfulness, but lovely. A hint of cushioning to the texture and an understated lick of tannin too. The acidity, like the tannin, seems rather understated but bubbles through as the mid-palate intensity grows, and becomes more mouth-watering. Subtly long. This is a very pretty wine that is also very ‘young Griotte’ in terms of its beauty yet lack of complexity – a perfectly balanced wine to wait for.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

New Wine Advocate Review:


Kruger Rumpf is a consistent favorite at Vinopolis, and justifiably so. Kruger-Rumpf sits closer to the Rhine, geographically, than some of the other big names in the area and their wines have more intrinsic power to them as a result.  These are some seriously good Rieslings, at prices considerably lower than what you’d pay from bigger name producers. 

The estate dates back to the 1700s, and grapes were sold to a regional cooperative until Stefan Rumpf began their estate program in 1984. Their estate holdings now encompass just under 124 acres in both the Nahe and Reinhessen, the majority planted to Riesling. This embrace of innovation has continued into the next generation, with Georg Rumpf transitioning the estate to organic farming practices. They are also members of the VDP, an invite-only consortium of German producers largely considered the best in the country (membership numbers less than 200 nationwide).

At Vinopolis we carry a dizzying array of their wines. The majority are Rieslings from their estate holdings. The top off-dry wine from the estate comes from the “Dautenpflänzer” from near the town of Munster. This is a prime Grand Cru site of the lower Nahe, a place that yields wines of power and resonance, and Kruger-Rumpf is the primary (and best) landholder. Their top dry wines come from the Abtei, Im Pitterberg, and Burgberg vineyards, which are more suited to the production of bright, dry bottlings than the Dautenpflänzer. Their “1937” is a single-block bottling of the Abtei vineyard’s oldest and steepest section. Despite the vine age and fantastic quality, it’s just half the price of similar unicorn wines (think Carl Loewen’s “1896”). The Burgberg is one of the top GG sites in the upper Nahe, tiny and impossibly steep, and the Kruger-Rumpf version shows off the classicism and elegance of the site.

Newly Reviewed from Kruger-Rumpf:

Kruger-Rumpf Abtei 1937 (Reserv) Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2020 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“From vines planted in 1937 in a very steep vineyard on phyllite soils and vinified in two stück vats until July 2021, the 2020 Bingerbrücker Abtei Rupertsberg Riesling trocken Prestige (“Abtei 1937″) offers a clear, deep, intense and finely concentrated bouquet of ripe, elegant Riesling fruit with some spicy phenolic notes. The attack on the palate is fresh and piquant, the texture rich, intense and juicy and structured by firm but fine, mineral acidity that carries this full-bodied and tight Riesling to a long and complex finish. It’s a promising wine that needs to be aged for another couple of years to unfold its manifold talents. Even after three days in the open bottle, the wine gained in purity, finesse and tension. 12.5% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted from AP 44 21 in January 2022. There is also a regular Abtei trocken that I didn’t taste.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Also In Stock Now from Kruger-Rumpf:

Kruger-Rumpf Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2020 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Skurnik Imports note
“A cuvee of Kapellenberg and Dautenpflänzer selction of the younger vineyards 15-25 years. Soil Type: Quartz, loess, some red slate. Production: stainless steel, fermentation with natural yeasts. Münsterer Kapellenberg – quartz, with some red slate – several sections which are very steep, but similar to Rheinberg where the lower sections have richer soils. Münsterer Dautenpflänzer – loesss, subsoil is quartz – Daute means “shoot” and pflänzer means “plant”, an homage to the fact that this was once a nursery. South facing, the older section is steep, and the vineyard is an amphitheater shape.”

Kruger-Rumpf Abtei 1937 (Reserv) Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($41.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94-96 points
“The 2018 barrel sample of Kruger-Rumpf’s Abtei 1937 was stunningly gorgeous with brilliant details, ripe extract density, vivid mineral tones and vibrant acidity showing a purity and vitality of youth, but with the complexity and length of its old vine material. Georg Rumpf has crafted a Trocken beauty here with layers of delicacy and substance. This juice is on par with almost any GG, making it an incredible value already. Be sure to book your allocation of this ultra-limited bottling from Terry These and importer Skurnik Wines. You will not be disappointed, I know I will be hustling to get some myself. The regular Abtei offering is one of my new favorite Nahe Rieslings and while I love all the latest Kruger-Rumpf wines, especially from the Grosse Lage: Münsterer Dautenpflänzer, Münsterer im Pitterberg and Dorsheimer Burgberg, as well as exotic Rumpf’s Scheurebe plus their off dry Kabinett, Feinherb and wonderfully balanced Spatlese(s) I have become obsessed with the Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg vineyard and wines. This ’18 starts with subtle aromatic charm with orange blossom, rosewater, flinty stones, salt lick and quinces before thrilling the palate with energy and white peach, tangerine, lime intensity, verbena, mint tea and tart green apple. This light/medium dry Riesling is brisk and racy, at first but gains depth and builds with air in the glass adding some leesy texture, it is totally thrilling and will only get better with bottle age. Terry Theise adds that, Kuger-Rumpf’s vineyards are farmed sustainably; bees are kept nearby to facilitate pollination and aid in overall bio-diversity. Periodically sheep are allowed to roam the vines helping to control underbrush. All vineyards are hand harvested to ensure that only optimally ripe grapes are selected. Stefan believed that “you can’t improve wine in the cellar, only make it worse…” and Georg has continued his cellar work with this philosophy in mind, which to me shows in wines like this fantastic Abtei.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Kruger-Rumpf Burgberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94+ points
“Coming from a tiny incredibly steep Grand Cru site, the Burgberg Vineyard, that is set on volcanic and quartz soils near Munster in the village of Dorsheim. The Kruger Rumpf Burgberg GG is one of the most exciting wines of vintage at this small winery… It is fantastically mineral-driven dry Riesling. This latest set of wines, especially the Rieslings, from Georg Rumpf and his family are some of the best yet from this estate. The GG’s and the Premier Cru Trockens are gorgeous wines. No one is going to want to miss these 2018 Nahe offerings, especially the Pitterberg GG, the Abtei Erste Lage 1937 old vine, one of my secret favorites and this beautifully detailed Burgberg GG…”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “From low-yielding vines planted in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the 2018 Burgberg Riesling GG is absolutely great on the pure, clear and refreshing, super flinty and mineral nose. On the palate, this is an intense, highly complex and elegant dry Riesling with crystalline acidity and a long and refreshing, crystalline and salty finish. Bottled and tasted in July 2019.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “Scents and luscious palate presence of white peach, yellow plum and grapefruit are wreathed in iris. Gloss and textural plushness – there is an almost doughy midpalate impression – are allied to a striking finishing sense of buoyancy and clarity. The salinity tugs at the salivary glands and, along with the wine’s sense of animation, leaves the tongue quivering. I tend to believe that the conjunction of such pronounced salinity and the site’s high percentage of quartzite is more than mere coincidence, though it would be nice to learn of relevant scientific investigation.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Dautenpflanzer Riesling Grosses Gewächs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling 93 points
“Quite a powerful ripe wine, but with a serious acidity that you’ll either go for or you won’t. If the first impression doesn’t decide that, then the whiplash finish will either knock you into ecstasy or knock you out of the game! Drink now and for many years beyond.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “Suggestions of rutabaga mingle with thyme, oregano, and intimations of fresh lemon on the nose, then translate into a brightly juicy, intriguingly earthy impression on a palpably high-extract palate. This finishes with glowing piquancy, consummate refreshment and plenty of intrigue. It should prove fascinating to follow.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Pittersberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($51.95) Was $46, Now $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2018 Im Pitterberg Riesling GG is bright and floral on the fragrant and elegant, spicy-mineral nose. Full-bodied and intense on the palate, with rich and concentrated fruit that is balanced by a tight and mineral structure and lingering salinity, this is an elegant, very complex and sustainable dry Riesling with crunchy stone flavors and a gripping finish. This is a great Nahe wine from the 2018 vintage. Tasted in July 2019.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “Scents of white peach anticipate the cool juiciness as well as the peach fuzz invigoration and peach kernel piquancy that emerge on a firm palate. A bright influx of fresh lime lends animation and enhances refreshment on a finish that also features mouthwatering veal stock savor and vivid wet stone. (For background on the naming of this site and the origin of its fruit, consult my review of the corresponding 2015.)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $54.99

Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Rheinberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($21.95) Was $18, Now $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 89 points
“From a southeast-facing vineyard, picked at 83/84° Oechsle around the 20th of September and vinified in stainless steel and large oak in equal parts, the 2018 Münster Rheinberg Riesling Kabinett is beautifully clear, fresh and stony/piquant on the precise, stimulating, slightly nutty and coffee-bean nose. Round, lush and sweet on the first palate, this is a fresh, salty-piquant and elegant Kabinett with stimulating grip on the finish. This is a beautifully lean, light and digestible Kabinett in the good old style. Tasted in July 2019.”
Terry Theise note “Our basic and faithful friend, this perennial and tasty Kabinett from the steep quartzite vineyard, and this ’18 is sleek and rippling and snappy and racy.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $21.99

Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Dautenpflanzer Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 11 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points
“An effusively fruity nose anticipates the generously juicy peach and nectarine that feature on a glossy palate, with a hint of almond paste as well as pronounced sweetness tugging things in a confectionary direction. Happily, an influx of limey brightness and tangy fresh-fruitedness serve for welcome pushback as well as animation and refreshment on a long-lasting finish. As with others of the best Kruger-Rumpf 2018s, this manages to combine richness and high ripeness with brightness and transparency to stony inflections. That juxtaposition may have been underscored in the case of this Spätlese by its having been raised partly in cask and partly in tank.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Pittersberg Riesling Spatlese Gold Capsule, Nahe 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 32 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 95 points
“Picked at the end of October but with minimal botrytis, this certainly stands in magnificent contradiction to my vintage generalization that picking past the middle of that month was not advantageous. Unlike its counterpart form the Dautenpflänzer, this was raised in cask, and was allowed to ferment to a lower level of residual sugar. It comes off as a riper, richer sibling of the corresponding Im Pitterberg Riesling Kabinett, its gloss merging with creaminess, yet with fresh white peach and lime juiciness complementing ripe quince and serving for animation and refreshment. The finish is unexpectedly electrifying in its vibrancy and mouthwateringly saline, and gains stimulating counterpoint from peach kernel piquancy, peach fuzz prickle and a crystalline sense of stone-showering mineral impingement. (If there is a second, “regular” Im Pitterberg Spätlese from this vintage, I am not aware of it.)”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Kruger-Rumpf Scheurebe Spatlese, Nahe 2020 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Skurnik Imports note
“Completely from Dautenpflänzer old vineyrdas planted in the 50s. Soil Type Quarzite. Age of Vines (Average) 35 years. Yield 40hl/ha. Farming Technique Sustainable. Fermentation & Elevage Stainless steel, fermentation with natural yeasts. Total Acidity 8.5. Residual Sugar 73 g/L. 8.5% Alcohol.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


You would be hard pressed to find better representation from the Coast Range than Crowley Wines. Still a relatively undiscovered growing area in Oregon, the wines generally feature high toned acidity, vibrant fruit and a finish that meanders from alpine to oceanic. 

Crowley Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Lemon-lime aromatics burst from the glass, laced with a touch of floral wood. Quenching salinity on the palate stretches long, eventually giving way to chalk and balanced acidity. Vineyard info: Four Winds was planted in 1993 to Wente clone Chardonnay (1.5 acres) and Dijon clone Chardonnay (.75 acres), and beginning in 2017 (2.5 acres) of Draper clone. Elevation is 825 feet and south facing. Own rooted and dry farmed.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Todd Hamina wines are exactly what we look for in Willamette Valley Pinot. Stylistically, whole clusters and extended macerations provide savory undertones that balance out his rich fruit. Though Todd has closed the winery, you can still source the perfumed, elegant and site-expressive Pinots here.

Biggio Hamina Cellars Johnson Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($39.95) Was $26, Now $24, 24 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Vivid garnet. Highly perfumed red fruit, potpourri, incense and a hint of succulent herbs on the assertively perfumed nose, which is lifted by a vibrant mineral quality. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering alluringly sweet, spice-tinged cherry and raspberry liqueur and rose pastille flavors and a hint of five-spice powder. Becomes deeper with air, with no loss of urgency, and finishes with firm, spicy thrust, well-knit tannins and a floral pastille note that lingers with strong tenacity. 100% whole clusters.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Biggio Hamina Cellars Lia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($45.95) Was $27, Now $24, 17 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Limpid red. Highly expressive aromas of fresh red berries, Asian spices and smoky minerals, plus a sexy floral nuance that builds quickly with air. Sharply defined bitter cherry, raspberry, blood orange, spicecake and rose pastille flavors show excellent depth but no excess weight. Gentle, well-integrated tannins frame a strikingly long, spice- and floral-driven finish that conveys a suave blend of power and delicacy. 100% whole clusters.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

2008 truly is a dreamy vintage in Champagne
Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut Champagne 2008 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“Such a classic Blanc de Blancs champagne with the special elegance, brilliance and minerality of the 2008 vintage. Very well structured, but without the austere acidity structure that some 2008s have. Long and very clean finish that sends you back to the glass. 100% chardonnay. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Customers keep returning for this under the radar value red Bordeaux
Chateau de Chantegrive Henri Leveque Graves 2010 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Importer note:
“A stunning vintage / aged release.  This near perfect 50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend is the ‘flagship’ cuvee from their very best vineyard plots, paying homage to Henri Leveque, founder of Château de Chantegrive. Cold pre-fermentation followed by alcoholic fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Malo-lactic fermentation in 100% new oak then barrel aged at least 15+ months, and obviously aged in bottle for several additional years in accordance with their desire to offer an ‘aged release.’    As a result, immediately present is a beautiful intense ruby color with a touch of dark plum. On the nose, lots of fruits with hints of chocolate and a slight suggestion of vanilla. Full-bodied and polished on the palate, a rich, generous wine with refined silky tannins.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The Fossacolle 2016 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a charming level of intensity and purity. This wine really jumped out at me thanks to the chiseled and sharp quality of fruit and the lingering acidity and power one receives on the finish. It undergoes both its primary and secondary fermentation in cement and is racked into French and Slavonian oak (of various sizes) for two years. Everything just works here, and the wine delivers great harmony between its fruit, spice, acidity and structure. Production is 17,000 bottles.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Brunello has lifted aromas of pine, menthol, dried red plum, and cedar. The palate is pure and energetic with crisp red cherry, dried violets, amaro, and youthful, grippy tannins. I love its classic, angular, pure style. Fossacolle is located in Tavernelle where they farm their small, four-hectare estate. The 2016 was aged for two years in French and Slavonian oak. Drink 2022-2034.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Familia Nin-Ortiz

Familia Nin-Ortiz is one of the leading lights of “New Priorat”. Both Ester Nin and Carles Ortiz are renowned viticulturists (Ester, notably, was the vineyard guru behind Clos Erasmus) and some of the earliest proponents of biodynamics in Priorat, but what they’re doing together on the winery side is stunning indeed. Their wines are some of the most compelling in Priorat, combining the power inherent in the terroir with a stunning sense of energy and vitality.

Nin-Ortiz is probably best known for their “Nit de Nin” single vineyard bottling, however their ‘Planetes’ releases are also excellent. Stylistically they are gentler and more elegant, perfect for drinking now. And unlike the estate’s top wines you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy some of the most exciting wines coming out of Spain today.

In Stock Now:

Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’ Garnatxes en Àmfora, Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points
“Produced with Garnacha grapes from their four hectares in Finca Planetes in Porrera, the 2018 Planetes de Nin Garnatxes en Amfora fermented with indigenous yeasts for four weeks and matured in 700- and 1,000-liter terracotta amphorae for seven months. The nose jumps out of the glass with very clean aromas that are expressive, floral and pure, with a profile of juicy fruit, like biting into a bunch of ripe Garnacha. Delicious! 6,200 bottles were filled in June 2019.”

Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’ Blanc, Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($99.95) Was $75, Now $69, 11 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Cariñena Blanca has finally been added to the registry of varieties in Spain, which means it should soon be allowed by the Priorat appellation, so they could start putting it on the labels of the 2018 Planetes de Nin Carinyena Blanca. This fermented and matured in used 300-liter oak barrels for seven months. It’s 13% alcohol and has a pH of 3.2 with 6.5 grams of acidity (tartaric); they struggled to get the minimum 13% alcohol required by the appellation, as the year was very cold and they lost a lot of grapes waiting for the alcohol level. It’s a year with lots of freshness, and the wine, which feels really young and undeveloped, needs some time in the glass to open up. This is an exceptional year that is going to develop slowly in bottle. The palate is vibrant, focused and dry, with citrus freshness and a mineral finish. 1,948 bottles were filled in April 2018.”

Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’, Priorat DOCa 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 subscriber special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’, Priorat DOCa 2017 750ML ($299.95) $279 subscriber special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’, Priorat DOCa 2017 750ML ($579.95) $539 subscriber special (that’s only $44.92/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Planetes de Nin comes from the four hectares of 20-year-old Garnacha and 11-year-old Cariñena in the Planetes vineyard in Porrera at 450 meters in altitude. It’s 60% Garnacha (some of it Peluda) and the rest Cariñena, harvested early. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in 3,200-liter oak vats and one 1,000-liter amphora for 17 months. It has depth and harmony, and the vines are getting older and seem to be better and better balanced. This is not that different from the 2016; it feels quite stable and has its style and character, especially since the 2015 vintage. 9,704 bottles were filled in April 2019.”

Love Spanish wine?

We have 26 whites and 109 reds from Spain in stock now. Shop the entire selection on our web store now, including famous names like Lopez de Heredia, Terroir al Límit and Vega Sicilia.

Snowden Vineyards:

Napa Valley’s Best Kept Secret

Offering one of Napa Valley’s best quality-to-price ratios, Snowden has earned the respect of both its peers and consumers alike. Located at the confluence of several of Napa Valley’s most acclaimed appellations, including Rutherford and St. Helena, Snowden is a Beverly Hills estate without the 90210 zip code. This location, on the gentle hillside of the Vaca Mountains, allows the estate’s third generation winemaker Diana Snowden Seysses to produce wines of power and nuance. Having trained in both Napa and Europe, her wines combine prototypical Napa muscle with freshness and intricate fruit. Napa Valley producers, especially those with comparable pedigrees that so convincingly achieve this balancing act, are notoriously expensive. Snowden is a rare Napa classic which remains relatively affordable.

The quality of the estate’s fruit has been an open secret within the valley for decades, and many of Napa’s most respected names have purchased fruit over the years, including Silver Oak and Caymus. However, we’re here to publicly out Snowden for the greater good. These prices do not reflect the quality on offer, and the wines deserve a place on your dinner table.

In Stock Now:

Snowden Vineyards ‘Brothers Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93+ points
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is gorgeous. In this vintage, the Brothers has a bit more tannin and overall structure than normal, but in 2017 a power outage resulted in the wine staying in tank for an extra ten days. In the end, that looks to have been a help, as the 2017 offers a terrific combination of fruit density and structure, within the mid-weight style of the year at Snowden. This is a beguiling wine that may very well turn out to be a surprise in time. Super classic, old-school, medium-bodied wine with good depth and resonance alongside notes of black cherry, leather, tobacco, licorice and gravel.”
Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is an attractive, mid-weight wine that shows the more gracious, understated side of the year. Floral and spice notes give the 2017 lovely aromatics to play off a core of sweet red berry fruit. This is a very pretty wine.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Snowden Vineyards Lost Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
“The 2018 Merlot Lost Vineyard is deep, rich and flavorful, with super-expressive savory, earthy, cedary notes from the 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. The 2018 is wonderfully deep and resonant, yet very much in the Snowden style. This is a very nice wine.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $41

Love California Cabernet?

We have over 40 different options in stock. Shop the entire selection, including top names like Diamond Creek, Dominus, Bucklin and more, on our web store now.

Collector’s Corner:

Bibi Graetz’s 100-Point Testamatta

Testamatta, which means “crazy head” in Italian, is a nod to Bibi Graetz’s eccentricity. A creative and passionate man, Graetz crafts some of Italy’s most impressive wines at his self-described Casamatta (“crazy house”). But don’t be fooled by Graetz’s self-deprecating humility, one taste of his wines will shatter any illusions that these are humble plonk. The brilliance of the wine suggests a method to the madness. Decanter recently recognized Graetz’s unmistakable talent by awarding the 2018 Testamatta 100 points. We were fortunate to secure a modest allocation of this in-demand wine, in 750ml and magnum.

In Stock Now:

Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2018 2018 1.5L ($219.95) $199.99 special, 7 magnums in stock now
Jane Anson – Decanter 100 points
“Finely textured, with a nuanced perfume that fills the glass and takes you to the intense underbrush of Tuscany. Succulent and yet savoury, this has a lilting freshness that is overlaid with ripe berry fruits, sage and white pepper spice, and clear minerality in terms of its scraping texture that makes your mouth water on the finish. Feels light and sculpted and yet has an intensity that skewers you to the spot. This is a great wine, with scope and imagination that doesn’t want to let you go. Genuinely stands out among the wines of this tasting, and these are a fine array of wines. As with Colore, Bibi Graetz selects only old vines, the youngest 50 years old from five different vineyard sites across Tuscany, all farmed organically. Fermentations in open 225l barrels with natural yeasts and manual punch downs.”

Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2019 750ML ($119.95) $95 special, 11 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
“Very attractive combination of dried fruit and spices with black cherries and plums. Aromas of flowers and sandalwood, too. Full-bodied and very refined, yet intense, with plush, velvety tannins that are wonderfully integrated and intertwined with the fruit. Ripe center palate. Tight at the end, suggesting the need for some serious bottle age. Very structured. Try after 2025.”
Decanter 96 points “The 20th anniversary bottling of Testamatta made, from the 2019 vintage, in brand new winemaking facilities in Florence. This just shines from the moment it’s poured. Layered and complex this is a gem of a wine filled with cherry, raspberry, damson and caramel notes alongside a savoury edge that makes it so moreish. Tannins that support but don’t overwhelm give a nice overall weight to the palate while the flavous linger on the long finish. Made from old vines on stony soils on the Tuscan hilltops. Grapes are selected and sourced from the best five vineyards, which are divided into parcels and harvested up to eight times. Fermentation is in open-top barriques for the smaller parcels and in barrels or stainless steel for the larger ones without any temperature controls. Maceration for 7-10 days then moved into old barriques for 20 months. Drinking Window 2024 – 2045.”

We offer over 200 Tuscan wines in stock.

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