Weekend Newsletter 9-29-17

Featured New Arrivals: Montevertine; New Weekend – New Arrivals; Emerging Artists: Beaujolais Edition; Felsina’s Amazing 2013’s; Reynvaan Exclusive: New Releases; Just Between Ayoub & Me: Trending Winery Alert – New Releases; New Releases from Philippe Pacalet; Let the Merry-Making Begin! Pierre Peters Offer – THE Name in Grower Champagne


Featured New Arrival

Montevertine Rosso Di Toscana, Toscana IGT 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Importer notes: “the standard bearer of the estate, it is aged 24 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and is composed of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo (with perhaps a hint of Colorino). The fruit for this bottling comes primarily from a 2.5 hectare parcel of vines planted in 1982 on a south – southeast facing slope.”

Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “To be released in a few months’ time, I’m gearing up to buy the 2015 Pian del Ciampolo by the caseload. I recommend you do the same. Stock up for when you have family and friends hanging out in the kitchen for a convivial cook-off. The warm 2015 vintage was very kind to Montevertine thanks to its cooler vineyard sites in the high hills of Radda in Chianti. The entry-level Pian del Ciampolo represents a second selection of fruit with the best fruit dedicated to Le Pergole Torte. (Now there’s a wine I can’t wait to taste.) It is mostly Sangiovese with smaller parts Colorino and Canaiolo. It is fermented with ambient yeasts in cement vats, later to age in large oak cask for one year. The wine opens to a darkly saturated color and evident richness. Martino Manetti says his wines show a little more alcoholic power in this vintage compared to his neighbors. Ripe fruit flavors taper out on the finish to conclude with elegant tones of dusty mineral. This is a great deal from Tuscany.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Don’t miss the magnums arriving in October:
Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!


New Weekend – New Arrivals


Cameron Winery Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Staff note: Suggesting a long life ahead of it, the Reserve opens with aromas of baked cherries, spicy cinnamon and a streak of iron on the nose. The palate is zippy with spice and acidity. Pomegranate juice, red cherries, toast and cinnamon are tightly packed on the palate. A loamy note is layered beneath the red fruits and spice, like brewed black tea leaves. Just lovely.
Winery note: A blend of 5 barrels of Abbey Ridge Pommard clone, two barrels of Arley’s Leap (Abbey Ridge) and two barrels of Clos Electrique estate fruit.

Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “(aged entirely in six- and seven-year-old barrels) Green-hued gold. Fresh, mineral-accented aromas of pear nectar and Meyer lemon; hints of smoky lees, iodine and anise emerge with air. Sappy, concentrated and seamless in texture, offering palate-staining orchard and pit fruit and brioche flavors sharpened by an intense mineral nuance. Finishes sappy, minerally and impressively long, with echoes of citrus zest and dusty minerals adding bite and focus.”

Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($74.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2014 Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir has a beautiful bouquet with wonderful precision. The vine age does show through here (44-years-old now) with crisp detailed red berry fruit that just exudes Pinoté. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very well-judged acidity, touches of truffle and undergrowth tincturing the red berry fruit that fans out wonderfully towards the long and satisfying finish. This is a great Pinot Noir from an estate that seems to have thrived in 2014.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Dark red. Intensely perfumed, spice-accented strawberry, cherry liqueur and incense aromas show excellent clarity and a bright mineral overtone. Taut, nervy and focused in the mouth, offering alluringly sweet red fruit, blood orange and rose pastille flavors that deepen and spread out slowly with air. An impressively persistent finish is framed by subtle tannins and emphatically echoes the floral and mineral notes. This wine’s interplay of power and finesse is really impressive.”

Arterberry Maresh Weber Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2014 Pinot Noir Weber Vineyard comes from vines planted in 1983. It has a very refined bouquet with red cherry, wild strawberry, sous-bois and subtle floral notes – very complex and classy. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, nicely structured with a gentle grip. The fruit veers towards the darker side of the spectrum towards the finish, with blackberry and cranberry fruit, long and edgy. Classy, composed and cool, this is how to make world-class Pinot Noir.”


Bucklin Bambino Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 2012 750ML ($27.95) $19 special
Winery notes: “Established in 1852 near the town of Glen Ellen, Old Hill Ranch is one of California’s oldest vineyards. Our “Bambino” comes from a 10-acre block we planted on Old Hill in 1998. This young vine field-blend is patterned after the ancient vine field-blend for which Old Hill is known. The wine is a blend of several grape varieties – principally Zinfandel, but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache to name a few…Grapes were harvested on the early side resulting in lower alcohol and higher natural acidity. The fermentations were relatively cool and long, a result of the use of indigenous yeast without any nutrient or water additions. Pressing occurred after 15 days on the skins. The wine was bottled March 2014 after 20 months aging in neutral French oak barrels.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $22.99

France – Beaujolais

“Alain Coudert’s Clos de la Roilette is a longtime favorite Fleurie producer whose wines should not be overshadowed by newer, more faddish names.” -Eric Asimov, The New York Times

Coudert Pere ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Fleurie 2016 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special
VinopolNote: From 30-40 year old vines.
Importer note “The Clos de la Roilette, in the village of Fleurie, covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. The clos has an eastern exposure, borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and produces wines that are beautiful when young and have the capacity to age 5-10 years, depending on the vintage. By the mid-1960s, the owner’s heirs had lost interest in the clos and a large portion of the land had gone wild and untended. In 1967, Fernand Coudert bought this poorly maintained estate, and replanted the vineyards. His son Alain joined him in 1984, and has been the winemaker since.  The Couderts say their particular terroir (mainly clay and manganese), and the age of their vines (25 to 33 years-old) account for the richness of their wine. It has a deep blackcurrant color with a hint of purple, a restrained nose of crème de cassis, a rich, full mouth with aromas of cassis, black cherries, and a nutty character, and finishes with zesty acidity. This is a wine that ages gracefully and takes on the aromatic character of a Pinot Noir.”

Coudert Pere ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Fleurie Cuvee Tardive 2016 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
VinopolNote: From 80-90 year old vines.
Importer note “A few vintages ago, [the Coudert family] started a selection of old vines cuvée that is partially aged in older oak barrels. They call this Cuvée Tardive, meaning that it needs more aging time and has even greater longevity than the Clos cuvée.”

Coudert Pere ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Fleurie Griffe du Marquis 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer note “Griffe du Marquis comes from the same two parcels of eighty-plus-year-old vines that go into Roilette’s Tardive wines. It is aged in old Burgundy barrels and structured to develop with age. From Alain Coudert: ‘The name comes from my parents’ surname in the village, which was Marquis. It’s definitely not from past lineage, so don’t think we’re royalists! I think it started with a good family friend who used to come over to drink a glass with my dad every day. He’d see my mom on the balcony and salute her, then tell people he’d seen the Marquise when he’d get back to the village. It stuck!’”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
James Suckling 93-94 points “This barrel sample from one of the masters in Beaujolais shows such a balance and focus already. Juicy and fruity with lots of plummy fruit and spice character. Fine tannins and a crisp finish. Clear and ethereal.”

Domaine Marcel Lapierre ‘Cuvee Marcel Lapierre’ 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Deep ruby. An impressively complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, incense and smoky minerals, and subtle floral and earth flourishes gain strength as the wine opens up. Palate-staining black raspberry, cherry compote and blood orange flavors are accompanied by violet pastille and spicecake qualities. Concentrated yet lithe, displaying outstanding clarity and power on a very long, focused, gently tannic finish. The interplay of depth and vivacity here is superb.”

See our piece below on next generation Beaujolais producers!

France – Rhone

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The top cuvée of the estate (which isn’t made in every vintage) is the 2015 Crozes Hermitage Au Fil Du Temps, which is 100% Syrah from the Les Saviaux lieu-dit (near the village of Glun), raised in once-used demi-muids. Like all the cuvées here, it sports an inky purple/opaque color and has a sensational bouquet of blueberry, strawberry, black cherry, graphite and smoked herbs. Full-bodied, rounded, seamless and impeccably balanced, it’s hands down one of the most impressive Crozes out there.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Mise en Bouche, Rhone 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “His entry-level effort is the wonderfully fruity, rounded and sexy 2015 Crozes Hermitage Mise En Bouche, which is already hard to resist. It offers tons of black and blue fruits, peppery herbs and hints of cured meats. I love its purity and it’s ideal for drinking over the coming 6-7 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $24

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Les Trois Chenes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “A much more serious effort than the Mise en Bouche, the 2015 Crozes Hermitage les Trois Chenes was raised in a mix oak tanks (tronconique), demi-muids and barrels (some new). Its inky purple/blue color is followed by terrific notes of blackberries, blueberries, damp earth and pepper. This full-bodied beauty is rounded and seamless on the palate, with top-notch purity, sweet tannin and no shortage of length. It’s going to be hard to resist on release, yet I suspect it will have 10-12 years of life.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “A monster of a St Joseph, the 2015 Saint Joseph comes from the Dardouille lieu-dit (near Mauves) and was aged in demi-muids and second-fill barrels. It has a saturated purple/blue color as well as awesome notes of crème de cassis, freshly crushed rocks and cracked pepper. Rich, full-bodied, ultra-pure and with impeccably purity and balance, it’s another tour de force from this appellation.”

France – Loire

Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grezeaux 2015 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Importer notes “Made from sixty-five-year-old vines, the cuvée Grézeaux is rustic yet sophisticated, brooding with sweet black fruit and an animal characteristic I can only describe as carnal.” ORGANIC

Spain – Ribeira Sacra

Adega Algueira Brandan Godello, Ribeira Sacra 2015 750ML ($19.95) $14 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “(all stainless steel) Pale onion skin. Vibrant citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of white flowers and dusty minerals. Juicy, incisive and energetic on the palate, offering bitter pear skin and Meyer lemon flavors and a hint of tarragon. Becomes deeper with air and finishes with very good clarity, power and a lingering floral note.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $16


Emerging Artists:

Under the Radar Winemakers in Beaujolais

The best time to buy a wine is before a winemaker becomes “known” and prices start to rise.  This opportunity can come about because it’s a new winery/generational change in an established region (see: Fourrier circa 2002) or because the region they’re operating in just doesn’t get enough respect (e.g. all of Muscadet).  Today we wanted to highlight four winemakers that fly under the radar and remain reasonable for the quality they provide.

Julie Balagny:

Julie Balagny is an up and comer in Fleurie who began in the caves of Yvon Metras and holds a deep appreciation for the local traditions and the rewards & challenges of natural wine making. The 2015 vintage in Beaujolais is already going down as a modern day classic, drawing comparison to other legendary years like 1945.  The growing season was long, warm and nearly perfect–growers could pick grapes whenever they’d like.  The moderate warmth of the year meant that for a big and powerful vintage, the wines stayed incredibly vibrant, so the wines have 2009-like power but with more freshness.

Julie Balagny Fleurie Sex-Appeal, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 20 bottles in stock now

Nicolas Chemarin:

Born into a family with holdings in Beaujolais-Villages, Regnie and Morgon, his father ran the winery (that was started by Nicolas’ grandfather) and made wine in a commercial style that wasn’t focused on extreme quality.  In the last few years since Nicolas took over, he’s started plowing to avoid herbicide usage and moved to natural yeast fermentation with minimal sulfur useage.

The Regnie is what we want to highlight today.  Made from 40+ year old vines in what has been called “The Prince of the Crus,” this is everything we love about Beaujolais in the 2014 vintage.  Snappy, bright and classical, it’s extremely aromatic and energetic—to drink some is to want to immediately drink more.  Best yet, unlike wines that we feel are comparable (eg Breton or his friend Coquelet), this Regnie is still under $20.  Back up the truck.

Nicolas Chemarin Regnie Les Haute Ronze, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, mineral-laced aromas of ripe red and dark berries, violet and licorice. Sappy and penetrating, offering bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Concentrated yet lithe, delivering excellent finishing clarity and strong, mineral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Quentin Harel:

Another heir to a winery with humble holdings, Quentin Harel bought one hectare of Morgon in 2011 in the “Les Charmes” climat—the focus of his current domaine.  He’s known for his curiosity and inventiveness—a homebrewer who studied soil microbiology in Diois.  He chose to move and live outside Beaujolais because he wanted to broaden his horizons.  His first solo vintage was 2012 and he’s already attracted the attention of experts in the region (he’s now imported by Kermit Lynch).

Today he farms a little over 5 ha, all organically, and makes two wines, a Beaujolais AOC and the “Les Charmes”, which we’re highlighting today.  Les Charmes  is a higher altitude region of Morgon which produces wines that are a little closer to Fleurie in style—pretty, fresh and mineral driven.  Harel’s version is really excellent and supremely underpriced.

Quentin Harel Morgon “Les Charmes,” Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 18 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Vivid purple. High-pitched red and blue fruit, violet and peppery spice scents show very good clarity and pick up a minerally nuance with air. Juicy, focused and light on its feet, offering zesty raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Blends richness and vivacity with a deft hand and finishes very long and smooth, with subtle tannins framing lingering blue fruit and floral pastille notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Anne-Sophie Dubois:

So Anne-Sophie Dubois is, in some circles, already a name-brand, rockstar producer.  Generally speaking, though, she’s not well known enough.  With training in Volnay and the great Henri Jayer as her inspiration, Dubois makes wines with traditional Burgundian macerations—no carbonic here.  She also expertly farms several hectares of prime vineyards in Fleurie—all organically.

The wines she makes are clearly from Beaujolais, but seem to have the soul of Burgundy.  Her winemaking style is definitely influence by natural wine (there are no tricks in the cellar and no new oak) but she uses sulfur and the wines are clean and elegant.  There are two different cuvee’s in stock today, both of which deserve a lot of attention.  The Alchemiste is her flagship and very drinkable now, while the Clepsydre should be aged for a few years or decanted well before serving.

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais 1.5L 2015 ($69.95) $59 special, 3 magnums available
VinopolNote “This is Dubois flagship wine, from a southwest-facing section of Fleurie on mostly granite soils.  The wine is clearly a product of a Burgundy-style vinification (as opposed to carbonic maceration) but seems to channel the soul of Fleurie with dark and red fruits, foral notes and pretty spice flavors. Delcious.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 31 bottles available
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $66 special, 5 magnums available
VinopolNote: “Clepsydre is the French word for ‘water clock’ and denotes the most age-worthy of the wines that Dubois makes.  It still has her trademark elegance but with more richness and power than her other wines.  One to lay down or decant before opening, for sure.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!


Felsina’s Amazing 2013’s

 The Best Value in Tuscan Wine

“May I make a suggestion? Readers would do well to buy a case of [Felsina] Rancia upon release every year and put it away. Few wines deliver so much pleasure and pedigree at maturity for what remains a very fair price.” –Antonio Galloni

It’s not a secret – Felsina’s Chianti Classico Riserva is one of the most popular wines in our store. The 2011 vintage was our 2015 Wine of the Year and the 2012 vintage sold out twice as fast. We’re pleased to announce the highly anticipated arrival of the stellar 2013 is just around the corner: it’ll be landing here on Friday. Don’t miss your chance on this great wine!

Arriving Friday, October 6th:

Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($37.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “A deep, powerful wine, the 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva has quite a bit of depth for a cool, late-ripening vintage. Sage, tobacco, menthol, smoke and dark cherry hit the palate in a deep, beautifully layered Chianti Classico endowed with real personality and class. This is another terrific wine from Fèlsina. Hints of leather, smoke and licorice reappear on the deeply expressive, virile finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

2013 Felsina Wine In Stock Now:

Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($59.95) $44 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special, 12 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “Fèlsina’s 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia bristles with energy, with veins of underlying acidity that give the wine its focus and drive. Dark red cherry, plum, rose petal, herb and licorice are some of the signatures. Most of the Fèlsina Chianti Classicos are defined by their dark fruit and savory notes, but the Rancia is also wonderfully bright and lifted from start to finish while staying very much true to the house style. Today, the Rancia gives the impression it will unwind at a glacial pace. I imagine most bottles of the 2013 will be drunk before the wine truly enters its prime.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Here is another highlight of the vintage. The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is a dark, moody and sophisticated wine. It does not reveal itself immediately or in any obvious way. Instead, it doses out its intensity in careful measurements. The whole performance is seductive to say the least. That slow momentum leads to dark cherry with spice, grilled herb, wet earth and dried rose. Felsina’s Riserva Rancia is a very elegant wine, both on the nose and in the mouth.”

Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “Gorgeous and soft, the 2013 Fontalloro is another landmark wine from this classic vintage. There is enormous intensity here and the wine is only at the beginning of its long aging trajectory. I suggest you put off drinking it for five to ten more years. There is evident thickness and generosity here, especially in the way those bold fruit flavors are woven between dark spice and leather. There are sour accents on the close that remind you of the wine’s youth. The tannins are fine and well integrated.”
James Suckling 95 points “Aromas of plums, clay tiles and sage follow through to a full to medium body, silky tannins and a linear and racy finish. Love the underlying freshness and brightness to this. Excellent. A little tannic now, so better in 2018”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2013 Fontalloro shows the richer, creamier style of the vintage while maintaining plenty of Fèlsina character. Silky tannins wrap around a core of dark stone fruits as the 2013 shows off its personality. Fontalloro naturally doesn’t have the pure energy of Rancia, but it will drink well with just a few more years in bottle. Fontalloro is the most overt and ripe of the Fèlsina wines with the exception of the Colonia. A hint of French oak shapes the supple, inviting finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Felsina Berardenga Maestro Raro Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “A beautiful wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Maestro Raro showcases the best of Tuscany and the best of this grape. This Cabernet Sauvignon offers a determined load of black fruit followed by a long array of subtle detailing with spice, leather and bitter chocolate. You also get balsam herb, crushed mineral and a touch of green olive. The wine offers a stunning level of fullness and complexity with softly layered and fine tannins that caress the palate.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2013 Maestro Raro is another huge, powerful wine from Fèlsina. Huge tannins scream out of the glass in a deep, intense Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon full of personality. Grilled herbs, savory herbs, smoke, tobacco, leather, licorice and dark plum add an exclamation point on the striking finish. This is a vivid, stunningly beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon that speaks in a thick Tuscan accent. Today, the tannins are huge and imposing. Patience is a must.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!


Reynvaan Exclusive!

New Releases

Arriving Friday, October 6th

Way back in 2007, who would have thought a start-up could rocket into the first ranks of Walla Walla wine? Considering the quality geology, geography, and talent in the area, it hardly came as a surprise for Reynvaan. Family-owned and -run, this is a hands-on operation that dedicated itself from the start to producing the finest wines from some of the region’s best vineyard sites. Reynvaan owns two vineyards: In the Rocks recalls the Rhone valley with its rocky ancient riverbed soil, while the Foothills in the Sun vineyard enjoys South-Southwest exposure on one of Washington’s highest-elevation vineyards, at 1600 feet: good ripening in the day, with acidities preserved at night. Once in the winery, the pursuit of terroir and Washington style becomes Reynvaan’s modus operandi.

Are the wines good? Well, Reynvaan now has a waiting list, but we are a proud authorized and long-time dealer (since the ’08 vintage!) of these highly exclusive wines:

Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘The Contender’ Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Washington Wine Blog 94 points “Reynvaan’s ‘The Contender’ was initially a project blending in Marsanne. When Matt Reynvann was talking to Christophe Baron, they both decided that Marsanne would be a good approach to co-ferment with Syrah. These great minds have crafted another stunner. Standing at only 13.4% alcohol, this wine has 4% Marsanne blended in. This wine has lovely savory aromatics of bacon fat, cigar box, black olive tapenade and blood orange. There is a lovely salinity to this wine. Bacon fat, cigar box, smoked brisket, and blood orange flavors impress. This has fantastic weight and an oily texture, as this wine finishes very long. Drink 2017-2027”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘Foothills in the Sun’ Reserve Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Washington Wine Blog 95 points “This stunning wine weighs in at 14.2% alcohol and was aged in 30% French oak prior to bottling. The wine has a deep core, showing off bulls blood, Mandarin orange rind, Asian spices, black olive and black cherry preserves. The texture is absolutely stunning, as the wine glides along the mid-palate. Black tea, black blood orange, olive tapenade, cigar box, black cherry pie as well as wild blackberry pie flavors impress. This has marvelous range and is drinking beautifully at this juncture. This heady and intense Syrah that will pair marvelously with a juicy ribeye steak. Drink 2017-2027”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Reynvaan Family Vineyards In The Hills Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Washington Wine Blog 94 points “This gorgeous Syrah weighs in at 14.4% alcohol and has 5% Viognier cofermented in. This has a highly perfumed nose with red cherry, sagebrush, smoked pork shoulder and suggestions of bulls blood with orange rind. The aromatics are downright sexy. This has wonderful minerality considering the heat of the vintage. Umami, black cherry, smoked brisket and suggestions of spice box flavors impress. This has marvelous tension and texture. Drink 2017-2027”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Reynvaan Family Vineyards In The Rocks Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Washington Wine Blog 95 points “This compelling wine has 5% Viognier blended in. The wine is sourced from a 22.5 acre vineyard in the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. The Syrah was aged for 30% new French oak for 18 months prior to bottling. Smoked meats, bulls blood, Satsuma orange, Umami and Chinese black tea as well as black olive tapenade aromatics fill the glass. You have to admire the aromatic range at play. The wine has a wonderful elegance, showcasing Asian spices, black truffle, black tea, bacon fat, ash and blood orange elements. The range here is stunning and the mouthfeel is downright silky. Enjoy this delicious wine over the next decade. Drink 2017-2027”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Reynvaan Family Vineyards Stonessence Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Just Between Ayoub & Me

New Releases Arriving Friday, October 6th

Trending Winery Alert!

With the crazy-good scores just published by Wine Spectator, we sold out of several bottlings from Mo in the past 24 hours. Sadly, some of these are gone for good. If you liked the 2014 vintage, there is so much to love about the 2015. We expect these new releases will see similar high marks, but don’t wait for the Wine Spectator to catch up –these wines will be gone long before the reviews are published:

Arriving October 6th

New Review!
Ayoub Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Vibrant and refined, with floral tangerine and quince aromas and polished, elegantly layered pear and wet stone flavors that glide along the finish. Drink now through 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $48

Ayoub ??? Vineyards? Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2015 750ML ($69.95) $56 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: 2014 vintage scored 93 points from Wine Spectator
Winery notes: “Why ??? Vineyards?  Simple, I could not put the name of the vineyards on the label.  The 2015 ??? Pinot Noir is a blend of three great vineyards from Dundee hills.”

Ayoub Brittan Vineyard Pinot Noir, McMinnville 2015 750ML ($69.95) $56 pre-arrival special
Winery notes: “The constant signature minerality of the Brittan Vineyard is apparent in this wine. The nose is loaded with wet slate, black raspberry, and pipe tobacco.  The palate is lively with juicy acidity, compelling red and black fruit, savory notes and slate minerality, transparent expression of place.  The finish is expansive, layered and endless.  This is a powerful wine with an intense structure and needs time in the cellar; best from 2018 to 2030.”

Ayoub Vineyard Memoirs Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: 2014 vintage scored 94 points from Wine Spectator
Winery notes: “Memoirs is my fond personal tribute to my family.  This year’s label features a picture of myself when I was ~9 years old. The 2016 Memoirs is a blend of Pinot Noir crafted from six select vineyards in the Dundee Hills & McMinnville AVAs. The enticing nose is layered with raspberry, nutmeg, tobacco and graphite.  Dark red fruit on the palate leading into a profound mouth-feel that layer your tongue with fruit, lively acidity, cocoa powder and exotic spices.  The long and complex finish is highlighted by earthy minerality. Don’t let that cute picture of Mo fool you, this is a great wine that will cellar for many years!  Best from 2018 to 2030.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Arriving Late October

From Philippe Pacalet

Phillipe Pacalet, nephew of Marcel Lapierre, the legendary natural winemaker, represents the diversity of Burgundian wine. His organic vineyard sources lie from Chablis, through the Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune, and down to the Beaujolais and even Cornas. He makes the wines in Beaune, all in the same hands-off style, and in a way that most others do not follow: whole-cluster fermentations for the reds, while the whites are vinified in oak on the lees. No racking, filtering, or sulfuring of the wines takes place. The terroir is thus left to express itself without any make-up or contrivances. Pure, honest red and white Burgundy, from a man passionate about his region’s wine.

New Releases Arriving Late October:

Philippe Pacalet Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is sappy, evoking nut oil, white flowers, lemon oil, peach and sweet spices. Harmonious and long, with a terrific aftertaste of citrus oil, spice and mineral. Delivers amazing texture and length. Drink now through 2027.”
Vinopolnote: From the cool, clay-limestone climats of Les Noyers Brets, Les Petits Noizerots, and les Reuchaux. On the nose are white flowers and lime, while the palate is rich and mineral, with a savory finish.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $110

Philippe Pacalet Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Burghound 89-92 points “This is also exuberantly fresh with its assortment of red currant, plum, and violet aromas that are liberally interwoven with notes of forest floor and earth. While there is more volume and concentration to the medium-bodied flavors it remains wonderfully vibrant with ample minerality to the mouth coating, powerful and moderately firm finish. This is an excellent Gevrey villages and highly recommended.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.99

Philippe Pacalet Aux Argillas, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Burghound 92 points “A cool, pure and ripe nose offers up layered aromas of dark pinot fruit, red currant, earth and plenty of floral elements. The vibrant, detailed and mineral-inflected medium weight flavors possess a lovely mid-palate mouth feel that contrasts moderately with the mildly rustic finale that is both sneaky long and beautifully complex. This is a relatively refined Nuits 1er that is built-to-age yet not especially austere and thus should drink well after only 5 to 7 years of age.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Philippe Pacalet Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($419.95) $369 pre-arrival special
Burghound 92-95 points “A conspicuously spicy, floral and sauvage-inflected nose displays a notably ripe yet wonderfully fresh combination of red currant and dark raspberries. The rich, intense, sleekly muscular and overtly mineral-driven flavors culminate in a youthfully austere, backward and hugely long finish. This is very Gevrey in style and be aware that this will need extended cellaring as it’s definitely very firmly structured.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Let the Merry-Making  Begin!

Pierre Peters

THE Name in Grower Champagne

Champagnes Arrive October 16th

The Pierre Peters Champagne bottlings are regularly rated by critics as “outstanding” and are universally considered one of the top growers in Champagne. Founded in 1919 under the name Camille Peters, the Pierre Peters estate was one of the first growers in Champagne to start bottling and selling wine under their own label, and by 1929 became a full Récoltant-Manipulant (colloquially known as ‘Grower Champagne’), managing every step in their production from vineyard to bottle.  By 1944, Camille’s son Pierre had taken over and renamed the domaine, increasing production and vineyard holdings and focusing on foreign markets. Pierre’s son François began managing the estate in 1967, further expanding the domaine and increasing export sales in the US.

Rodolphe Peters, Francois’ son, took over the reins of this venerable estate in the southern Côte des Blancs in 2008, becoming the fourth generation to lead the estate. Today, the Pierre Peters estate consists of 18 hectares of vineyards, predominantly in the grand cru of Les Mesnil-sur-Oger along with smaller holdings in several other grand crus (Oger, Avize and Cramant). These great terroirs, all Grand Cru, all Chardonnay, are located a few miles south of Epernay and lay on a chalk outcrop, providing plenty of water to the vines. The hillside vineyards are oriented to the east, protecting them against the westerly winds. Peters viticulture is environmentally conscious without being dogmatic. Very sensitive to the quality of their vineyards, Rodolphe uses sustainable farming methods and aims to produce the best grapes naturally. The very simplistic wine-making and low dosage add a further dimension and complexity to the wine that make it a perfect drink for pretty much anytime of the year and day.

The Domaine has maintained, and perhaps even improved, quality throughout its generations, and the enthusiasm for their wines continues to grow.  The top wine of Pierre Peters is the “Les Chetillons” (or Cuvée Spéciale) considered to be one of the best single-vineyard champagnes of the Cote des Blancs. It comes from three small parcels in the vineyard of Les Chetillons that were acquired by the family in 1930. One of the most highly-regarded sites within Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, these vines in the oldest plot of 80 acres are 68 years old, with the rest of the vines averaging 50 years old. The Cuvée Spéciale has been pure Chétillons ever since it was created in 1971. At that time, it was sold as a Spécial Club wine till François Péters left the Club in 1981. 2000 was the first vintage of Cuvée Spéciale to state the name of the vineyard on the label, Les Chetillons. Each parcel is vinified separately and blended to produce a single vineyard vintage. Chétillons offers a chance to witness one of Champagne’s best growers working in one of the greatest sites for Chardonnay. The results are gorgeous, as noted wine writer Peter Liem states, “there’s no denying this wines’ quality.”

Pierre Peters Wines Arriving October 16th:

Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale ‘Les Chetillons’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2010 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale ‘Les Chetillons’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2010 1.5L ($299.95) $279 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Péters’ 2010 Brut Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons looks to be a relatively easygoing, approachable version of this reference-point Mesnil Champagne. There is good depth and purity to the flavors, but the 2010 is decidedly delicate and airy in the glass, with mid-weight structure and more openness than is typically the case. Scents of yellow orchard fruit, honey, chamomile and white flowers open up nicely. I don’t find the dimension or energy of the finest years. In exchange, though, the 2010 should drink well with minimal cellaring.”

Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut L’Esprit de 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2012 Brut L’Esprit captures the radiance of the vintage yet also retains striking precision. The 2012 is also remarkably open considering it was disgorged just a month ago. Lemon confit, acacia chamomile, apricot, sweet flowers, mint and sage are all pushed forward. At times, Rodolphe Péters’ wines can be hard to drink when young. That is not at all the case here. The 2012 is open-knit, radiant and absolutely delicious. Dosage is 4 grams per liter.”

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

Extremely Rare Alert! Our allocation is only two bottles and we consider ourselves lucky for it:
Pierre Peters L’Etonnant Monsieur Victor Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne (2010) NV 750ML ($319.95) $289 pre-arrival special, 2 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The NV (2010) L’Etonnant Monsieur Victor is terrific. Here the addition of reserve wines add mid-palate depth and pliancy that the Chétillons doesn’t have. Citrus, orchard fruit, almond, mint and white flowers are beautifully delineated. Focused and precise, yet with lovely mid-palate creaminess, the 2010 is a winner. The Etonnant Monsieur Victor is the best tank of Chétillons plus reserve wines from the Reserve Oubliée, aged on the cork.”
Terry Theise note “There is a droll and touching story about the label concepts, which entail a series of pastiches of various “famous” works of art in the style of Takashi Murakami. Think Manga graphics meet Pop-Art style; they’re funny and vivid. The wine is “based on a blend of our best Perpetual Reserve’s vat and our best Vin Clair’s vat, aged on a natural cork while on the lees, it matures for more than five years before disgorgement.” As you would expect, production is tiny. If there’s a case to be made for 2010, Péters is the man to make it, because this wine is wonderful. High-toned, “sweet” fruit, notes of vetiver, chalk and lemon-blossom in a texture both taut and like a tapioca pudding, yet there’s also a crunch like a meringue with flecks of meyer-lemon rind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $299.99

Pierre Peters ‘Reserve Oubliee’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne (2011) NV 750ML ($129.95) $115 pre-arrival special

Staff pick!
Pierre Peters Cuvee Rose for Albane Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Suzanne: My favorite rose Champagne year-in, year-out for its crystalline minerality, pop of fresh berries, and long cellar potential.


Thanks for reading!