Weekend Vinopolpick 02-22-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Only in Argentina: 94 Point Cabernet, Under $24

The Brave and Romantic Domaine Garon

Occhipinti’s Il Frappato is Back in Stock!

Bedrock’s New/Old California

Trending New Arrivals

Three Winter Provencal Rosé Specials

New Arrivals
Including Evening Land, Aubry, Lassaigne
Vilmart, Thivin, Valdespino and More!

The First Ever Rinaldi Cannubi Riserva

96 Points, Under $20 by the Six-Pack?

February Sale Recap


Just Arrived

94 Point Cabernet, Under $24?

Only in Argentina

Casarena makes wine from the Lujan de Cuyo section of Mendoza—a section relatively unexplored in the modern wine industry, but possessing a wealth of old vines and interesting vineyards.  The wine we’re highlighting today, from Owen’s Vineyard, is made from a block of 80+ year old, pergola trained Cabernet.  That vineyard, combined with rigorous sorting and extended maceration, creates a Cab of high quality and obscene value.  This is one to stock up on, and with the case special bringing it under $24 a bottle, you can afford to.

In Stock Now:

Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-12 Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo, 2015 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle—the lowest listed price in the country!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen’s Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced.”


The Brave and Romantic

Domaine Garon’s Epic Cote Rotie

Let’s begin with a short digression about Cornas. When I first read Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route, the section that stuck most with me was the heartbreaking story of the lost vines of Cornas. As winemakers increasingly elected to seek their fortunes elsewhere rather than work the rustic and difficult slope of Cornas or chose to farm on the easier valley floor, weeds, trees and eventually houses took over the terraced vineyards. Vineyards were abandoned as modernity took root, and something was lost.

What does this have to do with the neighboring appellation of Cote Rotie? Well, such a loss is not limited to Cornas alone. The abandonment of backbreaking work in difficult terrains happens elsewhere, too, including in Cote Rotie.

Yet, against all logic and practicality, it seems, some brave souls are not only continuing the work in their families’ vineyards, these hardy few are even seeking out abandoned vineyards to reclaim the former glory of these forgotten times. Crazy? Illogical? Romantic? Perhaps. But far be it from me to argue with the results.

If you’re unfamiliar with Domaine Garon, know that the family goes back hundreds of years in and around Ampuis. The domaine as we know it was started in the early 80’s, as they began to reclaim old, abandoned vineyards in Cote Rotie. The replanted vineyards were farmed carefully and sustainably, and for years the fruit was sold to negociants. Once the restored vineyards were old enough, the family started bottling the “Les Triotes.” Various higher-tier cuvees followed as the years progressed.

These are wines that appeal to the head, the heart and some instinctive sense of nostalgia.  The quality of the fruit is evident from first sip—there’s a power and complexity to the wines that only comes from premier sites farmed by a master.  The wines are mostly destemmed, with some, but not too much new oak and as a result these can be delicious and polished when young.  With age, they turn into some of the greatest wines of Cote Rotie.  These beauties just arrived, straight from the importer, and belong in any collector’s cellar.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Garon Condrieu La Vieille Maison, Rhone 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Garon ‘Les Grandes Parcelles’ Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 88-90 points
“Lurid violet. Aromas of fresh, spice-accented black and blue fruits and licorice are given a spicy edge by a peppery flourish. Silky and appealingly sweet, offering juicy blueberry and cassis flavors that firm up steadily on the back half. Finishes on a subtly tannic note, featuring lingering blue fruit and pepper notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Garon Cotes du Rhone ‘La Part des Vivants’ 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Triotes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Triotes, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“(40% new oak) Opaque ruby. Smoky, mineral-accented cherry and blueberry scents are complicated by hints of vanilla, Indian spices and licorice. Supple and broad on the palate, offering pliant blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. A sexy floral pastille note emerges on the clinging finish, which shows excellent clarity and gentle, slow-building tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “From a mix of the La Triotes, Mollard, Combard, and Lancement lieux-dits, the 2016 Côte Rôtie Les Triotes is charming and elegant, with lots of black raspberries, vanilla oak, candied flowers and hints of meatiness. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and silky on the palate, it’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate, yet should evolve gracefully on its balance.”
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Cote Rotie Les Triotes is a blend of the domaine’s parcels in the Côte Blond that will spend 18 months in oak. It doesn’t have the excitement of the lieu-dit wines, but it’s solidly made, offering hints of cedar and vanilla over red berries. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a plush texture and a long, velvety finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast for the 750ml!
This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Lancement, Rhone 2016 750ML ($179.95) $138 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“(50% new oak and 50% whole clusters) Vivid purple. Candied cherry, blueberry, Moroccan spices and olive paste on the exotically perfumed nose. Silky, seamless and sweet on the palate, offering juicy, spice-laced black and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. A smoky mineral note comes up on the strikingly long finish, which is framed by smooth, well-integrated tannins.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The medium to full-bodied 2016 Cote Rotie Lancement is a stunning, seductive example of Cote Rotie, with fine herbal notes entwined around ripe blueberries and cracked spices. It’s creamy through the mid-palate and onto the plush finish, where it picks up hints of mocha and mint.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The most aromatic of the lineup is the 2016 Côte Rôtie Lancement, 100% Syrah that was 70% destemmed and will see 20 months in French oak. It’s loaded with notes of incense, dried violets, white pepper and assorted red and blue fruits. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and seamless on the palate, with building, fine tannin, it shines for its purity and length and is an impressive barrel sample.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Rochins, Rhone 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“(40% new oak) Bright violet. Smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of dark berries, cherry pie and vanilla, along with a hint of olive in the background. Supple, broad and sweet on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, spicecake and violet pastille flavors and a snap of smoky minerality on the back half. Shows impressive energy and detail and reveals no rough edges. Finishes velvety and quite long, displaying excellent focus, even tannins and lingering spiciness.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The 2016 Côte Rôtie Les Rochins from Garon is a more modern styled beauty that has plenty of toasty oak and vanilla, yet also has ample classic black raspberry, spice and floral nuances. It’s ripe, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced and polished, and is loaded with charm. This cuvée is 100% Syrah and includes 20% stems.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Garon Cote Rotie La Sybarine, Rhone 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90-93 points
“Brilliant purple. Ripe dark berries, olive and hints of camphor and cracked pepper on the fragrant nose. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering juicy black and blue fruit flavors that pick up succulent floral and spice notes as the wine opens up. In a lively, precise style, showing very good clarity and length on a gently tannic finish that leaves olive paste and cassis notes behind.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Previously Sold Out

Occhipinti’s Il Frappato is Back in Stock!

Arianna Occhipinti makes some of the most beloved wines in the world.  Bright, fresh and fragrant (in both colors), they don’t conform to stereotypes about what Sicilian wine is or should be.  Rather, they’re born from a cool spot on the island (Vittoria) where lighter grapes (Frappato) grow and where the breeze produces wines that have a verve and spark that’s unique.  Her wines speak very much of this place—elegant, perfumed and full of flavor and life.

We buy as much of these as we can, whether the blended, entry level SP68 line or the higher end, single varietal (or single vineyard wines).  All are delightful (and sell briskly enough that we’ve already devoted more time to them here than we probably should).  Her Il Frappato arrived last Friday and didn’t last 24 hours in the shop, so we’ve brought in a few more cases to try and satiate that intense demand.

In Stock Now:

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“The 2016 Il Frappato is another surprise hit from a vintage that was not easy generally speaking. This wine is chiseled and focused, showing a pretty mineral note that is carried forth from start to finish. The wine is delicate and finessed with small berry nuances, dried blackberry, cherry and pencil shaving. This is an elegant and graceful red wine from Sicily.”

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


Bedrock’s New/Old California

You’d be forgiven for thinking Morgan Twain-Peterson was taking a free ride into the industry, his father Joel Peterson founded Ravenswood, but you’d soon learn that he is blazing his own, very opinionated and talented trail. Morgan’s passion is preservation of California’s heritage vineyards and the myriad of varietals not found anywhere else. Most notably, the focus of Bedrock is their ancient vines: gnarled old dinosaurs poking their heads up through cracked and ancient soil: varietals like Carignane, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Alicante Bouschet, Valdigué, Peloursin, and Petite Bouschet to name a few. These vines, in Twain-Peterson’s view, represent so much more than California’s history. They represent a wine that is uniquely Californian, a style not to be found or replicated anywhere else in the world. This is could well be California’s future. These wines aren’t shy, but the surprisingly lithe aromatics and spice notes are delicate and only get better with time. They’ve got the fruit and depth that you would expect from California, but they’re tight, structured and will reward patience.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

The most fragrant and elegant of Bedrock’s single vineyard wines.
Bedrock Wine Co. Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Red, Contra Costa County 2017 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Distinctive, showing briary complexity, with deep and expressive smoky anise, black cherry, black olive and green peppercorn flavors that build toward refined tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2026.”

Classic, rich California Zinfandel at an unbeatable price.
Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Old-school meets new in this Zinfandel, with just enough polish and plumpness to match the briary rusticity. Offers expressive black cherry, smoky anise and white pepper flavors. Drink now through 2024.”

Trending New Arrivals

A 94 Point Zin Blend Under $24 / bottle 

Most of the time, “value” wines from the golden state come in the form of mass produced, cynically made industrial wine from a giant winery.  In this case, though, we’re happy to present the current vintage of (small family winery) Bucklin’s Bambino—a mostly Zinfandel blend from young vines in the fabled Old Hill Ranch.  The new Wine Spectator Insider announced that this wine (which we’ve loved in the past) just got a 94 point score and as a result is certainly one of the best values, from a points perspective, in the shop.  It arrives tomorrow and, although we’re getting ten cases in, will disappear quickly.

Just Arrived, Selling Fast!

Bucklin Bambino Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 2015 750Ml ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“This distinctive and plump yet focused and refined version shows personality, with flavors of blackberry, fruitcake spices, black licorice and smoky pepper. Drink now through 2025.—T.F”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Nothing Second About These Second Wines

Many top wine estates have second labels—wines that offer a chance to taste the style and quality of a top estate for less scratch.  We’ve got two fine examples arriving at the end of this week and you’d be wise to pay attention to both.  Mt. Eden is a classic California producer and their “Domaine Eden” bottling offers a glimpse into the style and substance of the Santa Cruz Mountains producer at a fraction of the price of their top end bottling (especially at the price we’re offering it at).  Likewise, Pingus’ “Flor de Pingus” is a blockbuster, powerhouse of a wine that only lacks one thing: the triple digit price tag of its big brother.  Both arrive Friday at unusually reduced pricing—pricing we won’t be able to offer again when these sell out.

Just Arrived!

Mount Eden Vineyards ‘Domaine Eden’ Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2014 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“Showing a deep gold color, the 2014 Chardonnay (57% declassified Mount Eden Fruit, aged 10 months in 35% new barrels) offers lots of orchard fruits and buttered citrus, terrific minerality and reductive notes, medium-bodied richness and a silky texture. It has bright acidity, and while it doesn’t quite have the balance and finesse of the Mount Eden Chardonnay releases, it is a terrific Chardonnay.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $24.95
The average price is $30

Dominio de Pingus ‘Flor de Pingus’, Ribera del Duero 2015 750ML ($99.95) $66 special
James Suckling 95 points
“Almost black-purple color. Dense black fruits aromas, fine oak and elegant dry tannins that are beautifuly integrated in the rich body. The long finish is already graceful thanks to the spot-on balance. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.99
That’s a difference of over $13/btl!
The average price is $89

Three Winter Provencal Rosé Specials

We love drinking rosé in the winter and we love buying it even more this time of year.  Winter time means closeout sales from distributors which mean slashed prices for you.  Case in point? These three brilliant pink wines from Provence are all classics and also much less expensive than they were in the peak of summer.  Stock up for drinking now until the next round of pink wine arrives.

Just Arrived:

Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($31.95) $27.75 special
Case-12 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($349.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Light, bright orange. Intense, mineral-laced citrus fruit, redcurrant and peach aromas, along with a sexy floral overtone. Juicy and penetrating on the palate, offering subtly sweet red berry and pit fruit flavors that tighten up and become more nervy on the back half. Smoothly blends power and finesse and finishes with outstanding clarity and mineral- and floral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $35
Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Case-12 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($449.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Importer Note
“Cassis is not only an active port, but what Kermit calls “an earthly paradise.”  The vineyards of Clos Sainte Magdeleine are particularly stunning. They jut out on a private cape to meet majestic limestone cliffs, poised spectacularly above the sparkling, azure Mediterranean. With landscapes such as these, it is only fitting that writers and poets alike have found inspiration in Cassis. Only a handful of vignerons today are fortunate enough to produce A.O.C. Cassis, and the small quantities available are largely consumed locally with fresh fish—the best way to enjoy them.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $37
Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rose 2017 750ML ($24.95) $16 special
Case-12 Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rose 2017 750ML ($279.95) $169 special
Josh Raynolds 90 points
“Brilliant pink. Incisive and highly perfumed, displaying intense aromas of fresh red berries, tangerine and succulent flowers that show impressive delineation and mineral lift. Stains the palate with juicy raspberry, pink grapefruit and candied lavender flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Finishes long, minerally and smooth, with repeating citrus fruit and floral character and a touch of spicy white pepper. This wine delivers superb bang for the buck.”
New Arrivals

Previously sold out—now back in stock!
Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Graceful and elegantly complex, with alluring Meyer lemon and green apple flavors accented by wet stone and sweet anise notes on a lingering finish. Drink now through 2021.”

Previously sold out—now back in stock!
Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Subtly powerful and rich, with expressive black cherry and spicy cinnamon aromas and layered plum and licorice flavors that build toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2024. 3,372 cases made.”
Grapelive 93+ points “The wonderfully textured and elegant Seven Springs Pinot Noir by Evening Land stands out for its mouth feel and delicacy of flavors. It shows far more subtly than I would have expected. It’s a wine that grows on you over time. You pick up more and more with each sip and every minute. After about half an hour I seriously got a huge smile coming back to this 2015 Seven Springs. It truly elevated its presence in the glass to a level and character of a Premier Cru Gevrey-Chambertin, reminding me of Gerard Raphet quite a bit with its dark fruits, mineral notes and Burgundy-like silky sexiness. Evening Land under Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman has seen this winery smooth out its style, making less flashy wines and pushing for more graceful wines and focusing on terroir. They are joined by Ben DiCristina, who is doing the day to day winemaking, with himself coming from a background at Sine Qua Non, like Maggie Harrison of Oregon’s Antica Terra and Oregon’s J. K. Carriere, a little known label making great Willamette Pinots. The historic Seven Springs vineyard was planted by Oregon wine pioneer Al MacDonald back in 1984. It sits on an east-facing slope, protected from the heat in the Van Duzer gap, set on the distinct iron-rich and rocky, volcanic soils of the Eola-Amity Hills. It’s a Cru site that shows its pedigree in this Pinot perfectly. As the winery puts it, this wine is vineyard made. It’s built around a core of own-rooted, old vine Pommard and Wädenswil clones that give a classic Oregon profile here along with that nod to the Cote de Nuits with a background of earthy and savory elements. Beautiful and lengthy this 2015 enjoys a slow wakeup call unfolding in its own time to reveal layers of blackberry, plum and a solid core of black cherry along with an inner perfume, not overt, of rose petals as well as a mix of red spices, bitter herb, tea, wild mushrooms, anise and a touch of smoky oak, all delivered with a satiny seamless ease. This is a wine to take your time with, [to] be seduced over a long meal with friends. It’s got a lot of pleasure to offer, especially with cuisine, and it drinks with more maturity than I would have expected from its age, which is not unwelcome at all. It’s a bonus! I think there is more to come over the next 3 to 5 years, too. Best from 2020 to 2025.”

Champagne Aubry ‘Sable’ Premier Cru Rose Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($99.95) $75 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2013 Brut Nature Sablé Rosé Nicolas Francois Aubry is magnificent. The aromatics alone are compelling. Medium in body and gracious, yet also remarkable taut, the 2013 is another wine in this range with the pedigree and complexity to drink at the dinner table. Crushed autumn leaves, cranberry and smoke add character to an understated Rosé that is utterly beguiling. The Brut Nature style works beautifully here.” [Review is for Jan 2017 disgorgement]
Disgorged 8/2017

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Jacques Lassaigne Millesime Brut Nature, Champagne 2008 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Peter Leim note
“Montgueux is a relatively new terroir in Champagne, planted only since the 1960s. Jacques Lassaigne was one of the growers involved in the original plantings of Montgueux. In 1999 his son Emmanuel took over the property and sought to increase the amount of estate-bottled champagne, with the aim of expressing the distinctive character of Montgueux’s terroir… Lassaigne’s 3.5 hectares of vines are all on the eastern end of the imposing Montgueux slope, and are all between 25 and 45 years old. These parcels are unusually isolated due to their location, making it easier for him to work his vines without pollution from neighbors, and in fact, only one of his vineyards shares a border with others. While Lassaigne is one of the leading viticulturalists in Champagne, he rejects any certification or standardized systems, and a number of his techniques are atypical for the region. Since 2008 he has left a permanent cover of grass in his vineyards, creating heavy competition with the vines, and has added nothing to his soils—no fertilizers or composts, organic or otherwise. He notes that Montgueux is a warm terroir but windy as well, and he credits this as a factor in the absence of rot, oidium and other maladies in his vines.”

Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($179.95) $115 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“A racy, exuberant wine, the 2009 Coeur de Cuvée offers up a super-appealing mélange of apricot, butter, baked apple tart and vanillin. The combination of the ripe, warm vintage along with fermentation and aging in small French oak barrels yielded an especially opulent Coeur de Cuvée with plenty of exotic and tropical overtones. The 2009 will be ready to drink with minimal cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Zaccharie, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($54.95) $47 special
Winery note
“This cuvée comes from a blend of our oldest plantings; the plots at La Chapelle in the south and Godefroy in the east. Tasting note: Beautiful deep red colour, very ripe fruit flavour (blackcurrant, blackberry), mouth round and warm with lots of spice. This wine is currently a little young, though already very pleasant, and can be kept for up to ten years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Luigi Baudana ‘Dragon’ Langhe Bianco, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Wine Spectator 89 points
“Riesling-like, this white exhibits a mix of floral, apricot and apple flavors backed by bracing acidity. Vibrant and juicy, with fine length. Drink now through 2024. 1,600 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Spain and Portugal
Caves Sao Joao Espumante Rose Bruto, Bairrada 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Importer note
“Touriga Nacional gives intense rose petal aromas and Baga a bright red fruit character. Cabernet lends depth and herbal notes. Floral tones and red berry fruit lift the nose. On the palate, delicate and persistent bead makes for a silky, rich texture. Bright strawberry and red raspberry on the mid palate, complemented by mineral, white pepper and more floral tones. Racy acidity cuts a beam through the middle, making for a food-friendly sparkler. The singular terroir of Bairrada makes for world-class sparkling wine. The vineyards are planted 20km from the ocean, battered by the northern Atlantic winds for which the area is well known. Méthode traditionelle gives this wine a soft, silky texture, combined with the floral tones and bright fruit of its indigenous varietals.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Comando G Granito del Cadalso Garnacha Sierra de Gredos, Madrid 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Wine Advocate 90+ points
“I tasted an unbottled sample last time, so it was time to review the bottled 2016 Granitos de Cadalso, which showed superbly, with great freshness and floral aromas, with great finesse and detail. I also liked the palate very much, where the austere and strict tannins from the granite are very noticeable. This has a great combination of approachability and seriousness. This is a great value! 14,000 bottles were filled in June 2017.”

Valdespino Don Gonzalo Oloroso Viejo VOS Sherry, Andalucia 375ML ($26.95) $19.90 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The NV Don Gonzalo Oloroso 20 Anos VOS, produced with Palomino grapes from the Carrascal vineyards, is fermented in stainless steel and aged for over 20 years in oak botas. It is a very serious Oloroso, even if it’s not totally dry. It offers bitter almonds, hazelnuts, incense, Cuban cigar ash, and dark chocolate as well as a complex, a very intense, round and ample palate. This wine really fills your mouth. Very intense and with great acidity, it represents very good value for the quality it delivers. A tamed beast. Drink 2013-2019.” WA

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


The First Ever Rinaldi Cannubi Riserva
The estate of Francesco Rinaldi crafts wines from the Piedmonte that are everything we love—traditionally made and affordable.  From white (to nearly rose) to red, all of the wines they produce have attractive balance, with good fruit and bright, fresh flavors.  They’re best known for their cru Barolos and within that, their very-occasionally released Riservas, including a 2013 Cannubi that lands this fall.

The last vintages on record for any sort of Riserva bottling (according to cellartracker) are 1990 and ’91—and the venerable estate has never produced a single vineyard Riserva before.  We’re pleased to announce that we just secured a twenty-four bottle allocation of the first ever Cannubi Riserva, which arrives in September.  This is a monumental wine from a great producer in a great vintage and will stand as a titan of a Barolo for decades to come.

Arriving ETA September:

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Cannubbi, Barolo Riserva 2013 750ML ($137.95) $119 pre-arrival special

Can’t wait? Check out these fantastic Rinaldi wines in stock now:

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2013 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level bottling. Sweet tobacco, blood orange, anise, dried flowers and cedar give the wine its aromatic depth and delineation. Bright and exquisitely layered in the glass, with lovely persistence, the 2013 drinks well now, but also has enough pedigree and complexity to hold for another decade-plus. This is a superb showing from Rinaldi.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 89 points
“I don’t think I have ever tasted a Barbaresco from Francesco Rinaldi & Figli previous to this wine (although it has been produced for a number of years). The 2013 Barbaresco makes a great first impression, thanks to the vibrant and clear nature of its aromas. The wine offers dark fruit and spice that find harmony and balance. Pressed blue violets and toasted anise seed appear on the fresh, tangy close.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
A bright, savory and energetic example of Nebbiolo meant for early consumption. Great value!

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!


96 Points – Under $20 by the Six-Pack?


Spain’s Ribera del Duero is the source of some of the best values in the wine world, but this offer is just ridiculous.  Valtostato’s “Legón Premium” recently received a 96 point rating from the British magazine Decanter and a gold medal at Decanter’s World Wine Awards.  That wouldn’t be noteworthy on its own—plenty of Spanish wines score well in competitions.  No, the real kicker is that the wine will retail on our shelf for under $22, and under $20/btl by the six pack.  Made in a modern, fruit driven style, this is rich, velvety and full of black fruit and bittersweet cocoa flavors.  It’s going to arrive at the beginning of the summer, but you’re going to want to buy it now, while supplies are out there, because this is going to disappear really fast.

Arriving ETA June:

Valtostao Legon Premium, Ribera del Duero 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Valtostao Legon Premium, Ribera del Duero 2015 750ML ($179.95) $119 pre-arrival special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Decanter 96 points
“Very good expression of Tempranillo from Ribera, the wine has pronounced intensity on the nose with red and black fruits, spices, oak and chocolate. The palate is full-bodied with a black cherry expression. It finishes impressively with just a touch of supportive liquorice. Bravo!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


February Sale Recap

We’ve slashed prices on Tuscan icons, Chateauneuf, great red Burgundy and classic Cote Rotie (and a whole lot more).  It’s an amazing way to shop for wine (provided you like excellent deals on outstanding wines) and we’re excited to bring you more in the days/weeks ahead. As with all of our Sale Wines—these prices are limited to stock on hand, so once we sell out, the sale pricing is gone forever.  View the complete list below, and shop our web store by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!