Weekend VinopolPick 1-18-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Arrivals from Clos du Caillou

Our Top Selling January Case Special – Restocked!

The Greatest Barolo No One’s Heard Of?

Can You Have Too Many Deals in the January Sale?

New Arrivals
Including Crowley, Scott Paul, Forge,
Janasse, Moredorée and More!

January Sale Roundup


“Squarely in My Top Tier of the Region’s Producers”

New Arrivals from Clos du Caillou

Featured New Arrival
“Under the helm of Bruno Gaspard (with help from Philippe Cambie), Domaine du Clos du Caillou continues to make some of the most profound, layered and sexy wines of this sun-drenched appellation.” – Jeb Dunnuck

“Longtime winemaker Bruno Gaspard hit a home run with his 2016s, which show more depth and flesh than the outstanding 2015s that were made here. The Clos du Caillou wines never lack for exuberance or rich fruit and while the ‘16s have that character, in spades, they are also nicely controlled by juicy acidity and discreet but present tannins. I suspect that readers who like drinking their Châteauneufs on the young side will be thrilled by this set of ‘16s, which were some of the most expressive wines that I tasted during my trip and back here in New York as well. This estate is squarely in my top tier of the region’s producers and, relatively speaking, pricing is extremely, even ridiculously fair” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

“The consistent high quality of this estate’s wines makes it a perennial favorite of mine. New developments here include the addition of purchased wine to the entry-level cuvées, without any loss of quality. Winemaker Bruno Gaspard admits 2016 is a good vintage, grinning when asked about it. “It’s not too solar, not heavy,” he said.… Although two potentially perfect red Châteauneuf-du-Papes lead the list, don’t overlook the various Côtes du Rhône bottlings, which often represent great value” – Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate

Just Arrived:

Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “Sourced from the lieu-dit of Les Bédines, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres is 95% Grenache, with the remainder being a mix of other permitted varieties. Like the other wines from Le Clos du Caillou, it shows great intensity and purity. Flowering garrigue accents black cherry fruit in this full-bodied, fresh, vibrant and intense wine, which ends with a burst of bright orange zest and waves of silky tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres comes from more sandstone soils and is mostly Grenache. Spice strawberries, kirsch, dried herbs, flowers, and ample sandy, stony notes all emerge from this fleshy, medium to full-bodied, structured wine that has the classic weightless texture of the estate. This beauty has an exotic edge as well as a distinct salinity and is the finest version of this cuvée to date.”
James Suckling 94 points “Immense, seamless depth. Alluring, fresh, dark-plum, spice and chocolate aromas and flavors. The tannins are immaculately plush, long and even. Superb. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Le Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Exceeding my prebottling expectations, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz is a terrific effort that puts many Châteauneufs to shame. Aromas of crushed stone and raspberries mark the nose of this 85-15 Grenache-Syrah blend. It’s full-bodied and rich, with hints of chocolaty ripeness balanced by citrus zest on the lengthy finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Spice, loamy soil, dried red fruits, and plenty of dried floral notes all emerge from the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Les Quartz, which shows more and more minerality with time in the glass. It’s elegant and seamless on the palate, with building tannin, and is a terrific introduction into the wines of this estate.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $37.99

Our Top Selling January Case Special

Freshly Restocked!

Saint Cosme’s Cote du Rhone is a perennial best seller here for good reason—it delivers nearly unmatched value at its very low price.  We sold through our first drop as quickly as expected, but more arrived today as we restock.  Like all wines from Saint Cosme, it boasts a powerful, rich style and loads of personality at an exceptional price—made better by the case.  As with most Saint Cosme wines, we’ve got one of the best prices in the country and enough stock that you’ll be able to pad your cellar for the year—though when this round runs out, it’s almost certainly gone until next year.

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)

James Suckling 91 points “Beautiful, garrigue herbs and flowers across fragrant, red berries. The palate has a very deep-set, plush and ripe core of dark-berry flavors, amid glossy, ripe tannins. Great value. Drink or hold.”

The average price nationally is $17
Also Just Arrived:

Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Blended, but still aging in barrel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape will likely be bottled in March 2019. Brandied cherries and dried spices mark the nose of this full-bodied, plush wine. It’s slightly warm, and certainly rich, but it remains fresh and long on the finish. It should be a beauty.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Love Saint Cosme? Check out these fantastic deals or click here for all their 17 of their wines for sale now in our web store.

Also In Stock Now:

Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This delivers a textbook display of peach, apricot, star fruit and anise notes, but in a package that is livelier than other versions from Condrieu, as racy honeysuckle, quinine and verbena hints add layers of energy through the finish. Drink now through 2022.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Condrieu is straight-up brilliant stuff, the finest Condrieu I’ve tasted from Luis Barruol. Awesome notes of orange blossom, white flowers, citrus oil, and crushed rocks all flow to a deep, rich, textured effort that has fabulous purity and precision. It’s a great example of Viognier from these steep, granite soils and is well worth seeking out.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.95
The average price is $78 – yikes!
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion, Rhone 2016 750ML ($24.95)
$19 special
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($49.95) $39 special

Grapelive 93 points “Louis Barruol uniquely with the Chateau version of Cotes du Rhone, Les Deux Albions, uses multiple vineyard sites to gain complexity, but still co-ferments all the grapes (together) which includes mainly Syrah, but with a good dose of Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Clairette. This 2016 is gripping stuff, deep and earthy highlighting its 100% whole cluster fermentation and Syrah-based power, especially in such a vintage. This is very serious stuff. This is not your grandpa’s Cotes du Rhone. In fact it would be hard not to think of this as a full blown Chateauneuf or Crozes-Hermitage… It’s a full bodied red that just gets better and better with each and every sip.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “A solid, slightly gutsy version that sports dark cherry, plum and cassis flavors inlaid liberally with violet, pepper and bramble notes. Reveals a flash of licorice root on the finish. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Drink now through 2020. 4,000 cases made.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $22
Saint Cosme Cote Rotie, Rhone 2016 750ML ($64.95) $52.50 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Côte-Rôtie comes all from the Côte Brune side of the appellation, which is all schist soils. Fermented with no destemming and aged mostly in older barrels, it’s a rock star Côte-Rôtie and offers loads of blackberry fruits, spice, tapenade, cured meats, and pepper. With medium to full body, a deep, layered mid-palate, present tannins, and a huge finish, it needs short-term cellaring but is an undeniably gorgeous Syrah that will have two decades of longevity.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “Bright purple. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes candied dark berries, olive, smoked meat and incense, and floral and mineral notes build steadily. Sweet, focused and penetrating on the palate, offering sappy boysenberry, cherry and violet pastille flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Impressively blends concentration and energy and finishes with impressive, gently tannic persistence.”

Of course this is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $66.39
The average price is $76
The Greatest Barolo No One’s Heard Of?

“Cavallotto may very well be the greatest Barolo producer few people have ever heard of, something that continues to mystify me. Truth is, it isn’t just the Barolos here that are impressive, the entry-level wines are every bit as delicious and well-priced…Readers who appreciate a firm, classic style of Barolo will want to spend some time getting to know Cavallotto.” – Antonio Galloni

Cavallotto is a top tier, old school producer of Barolo.  They make wines that are impressively ageworthy and every bit as good as producers whose wines go for 50%-100% more per bottle than the top wines from Cavallotto, but somehow manage to stay at the edges of the mainstream Barolo drinker.  We notice that our customers who buy Cavallotto buy a lot of Piemontese wines—they’re very in the know drinkers.

Unfortunately (for everyone else) that enthusiasm hasn’t yet spread, which is something we’d like to change.  These are incredibly expressive wines and are very true to their vineyard terroirs. Antoni Galloni describes them as “made in a style that offers the fruit density of contemporary Barolos with the structural underpinnings that are found in more traditionally made wines.”  We agree—these are special wines and deserve a (major) place in your cellar.

Just Arrived:

Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “Here is another excellent rendition of the celebrated Bricco Boschis cru (one of the best performing vineyards in Castiglione Falletto) from the talented Cavallotto family. The 2012 Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe sees fruit picked only from the central part of the vineyard parcel. This area suffers less stress during the hottest months of summer because it is more protected and isolated. This wine is the proverbial overachiever among this estate’s new releases. The bouquet shows a highly refined and focused quality with extreme varietal precision. The 2012 vintage stands somewhere in between 2010 for its elegance and 2011 for its power. In fact, I tasted this wine next to the 2011 expression and found that the 2012 vintage plays its cards closer to its chest. It has a lot to give in the future as it continues down its evolutionary path. Patience is required. Savory spice and smoke make for an elegant twist on the finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Vignolo, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This wine will be released next September. The 2012 Barolo Riserva Vignolo shows a darkened and enriched side of the graceful Nebbiolo grape. This effort delivers a bit more weight and power with firm structure and balanced but also slightly dry tannins. The wine’s acidity plays an important role in giving this expression such a sharp and focused personality. This wine ages in large oak casks for five years, thus prompting deep complexity and aromatic layering. The Vignolo vines are a bit lower in altitude (from 250 to 310 meters above sea level) compared to San Giuseppe (at 310 to 340 meters above sea level). That lower positioning favors the immediate richness and succulence you taste here.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “I tasted the 2016 Langhe Nebbiolo from vat but am giving it a final score because the wine had been taken out of wood and was just about to go into the bottle when I visited the estate. This wine shows deep, lasting and increased aromatic intensity that really points to the quality levels achieved with Nebbiolo in 2016. Bottle production of this wine is greatly reduced because more fruit was moved up to the production of top-shelf Barolo instead. The wine is compact, firm and tight, but it also offers lots of inner energy and brightness. Fruit from the youngest vines ends up in the Langhe Nebbiolo. Cavallotto plans to make greater volumes of this wine in 2017.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Also In Stock Now:

Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG, 2013 750ML ($89.95) $66 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96+ points “Cavallotto is on a roll with some very impressive new releases. The 2013 Barolo Bricco Boschis is a tremendous effort that has an edge on the excellent 2010 vintage in my view. The wine shows a beautifully exuberant but elegant bouquet with the ethereal and undertone fruit and spice aromas you get with Nebbiolo. Although the wine is never overdone, it does show silky persistence and a long finish that comes from the noble nature of the tannins and the wine’s textural finesse. Yet, it is playfully deceiving in a way because behind that polished grace, it delivers impressive depth and power.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is packed with sweet cherry, currant, floral and spice flavors. The vivid acidity drives the intensity, while dense tannins lend support. This will take some time to harmonize, but should be well worth the wait. Best from 2022 through 2040.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2013 Barolo Bricco Boschis is terrific. Dense and powerful in the glass, the 2013 offers notable energy and muscle in its dark-toned Nebbiolo flavors. Smoke, graphite, rose petal, licorice and menthol develop in what is a decidedly brooding, inward Bricco Boschis. There is real staying power and persistence to the 2013. I wouldn’t plan on touching a bottle anytime soon.”

Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points “The Cavallotto 2011 Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe is an exceptional wine that really shows the best of Castiglione Falletto, home to some of Barolo’s most consistent and age-worthy wines. This bottle offers enormous complexity coupled by power and linear, classic lines. Maceration stopped at 20 days, otherwise the winemaking team feared the results would be overdone and too bold. The bouquet opens quickly to reveal dark fruit, spice, anise seed and licorice. The effect is ethereal and lasting. It would be hard to pin this wine down as being from the warm 2011 vintage in a blind tasting. The acidity is fresh and nicely folded into the background.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Balanced and expressive, this Barolo features maturing aromas and flavors of cherry, licorice, tobacco and mineral. Builds to a long, detailed aftertaste. Altogether savory and fresh. Best from 2020 through 2033.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Cavallotto’s 2011 Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe is powerful and dense. The more roasted, ripe side of the year is very much in evidence. There is no shortage of richness to the black cherry, smoke, tobacco, menthol and licorice flavors. At times, though, the 2011 comes across as a bit heavy. I would have liked to see a little more freshness, although, admittedly, that was hard to come by in 2011.”

Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Vignolo, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A dark, powerful wine, the 2011 Barolo Riserva Vignolo has nevertheless preserved good freshness for the year. The breadth and amplitude of the vintage comes through, and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced. Readers can look forward to another 20 years of fine drinking. This is very nicely done.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “There are plenty of bass notes in this ripe, broad red, from deep plum and black cherry flavors to licorice and tar notes. An undercurrent of freshness propels the underbrush elements on the finish. Complex and long. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93 points “2011 Barolo Riserva Vignolo is a dark and succulent expression that showcases the characteristics of the warm vintage. The bouquet puts forth a compelling set of dark fruit characteristics with Morello cherry, dried blackberry, mocha and delicate accents of sweet spice. The vineyard team was careful to keep the clusters under the shade of the canopy for as long as possible during the summer months to prevent the grapes from ripening too fast or bleaching their color pigments. The results are very nice indeed.”



Too Many Deals in the January Sale

We’re more than half way through January, and with it, our January Sale.  The original inspiration for this section was to come up with what the staff thought were our best 4-5 deals in the January Sale.  Needless to say, there was widespread dissent, so here’s a small assortment that represent some, but very clearly not all, of the best deals on our January Sale.  You can click here to view the entire list on our web store, or read to the bottom of the newsletter for all of the options in “print”.

Averaen Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir, McMinnville 2016 750ML ($49.95) Was $36, Now $33 January Sale Special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(20% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Lurid red. Blackberry and boysenberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola and candied violet, and a smoky mineral note lends nervy lift. Incisive dark berry and bitter cherry flavors slowly gain flesh and become sweeter in the midpalate. Impressively precise and energetic, delivering strong finishing thrust and dusty, building tannins that make a late appearance.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $46.99
Frederic Magnien Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML ($319.95) Was $279, Now $228 January Sale Special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Medium red. Alluring perfume of raspberry, rose petal and high-toned cardamom spice. Broad, rich, dense and fine-grained yet somehow weightless, displaying powerful mineral support to its red berry and exotic spice flavors. The bracing, resounding finish features pronounced soil-driven salinity and a hint of youthful bitterness. Magnien predicts that this will be the last of his 2012 négociant wines to reach full maturity. Superb Burgundy.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Jos. Christoffel Jr. Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese Feinherb, Mosel 2015 750ML ($34.95) Was $28, Now $21.90 January Sale Special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This off-dry Riesling was fermented to “only” 8.5% of alcohol and exhibits 29 g/l of residual sugar. The first nose is quite captivating as it offers fresh and zesty flavors of citrus, white peach, flowers, mint and herbs all wrapped up in some spicy fermentation notes and reduction. The wine is light as fresh water and dances on the palate. The whole structure is light and airy. At the moment, the finish is rather smooth and delicate but will gain in precision and depth in a few years’ time. 2020-2035”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $44 January Sale Special
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 375ML ($37.95) Was $29, Now $26 January Sale Special

Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese (AP 09 17) shows very fine botrytis and orange tea character on the delicate and nicely concentrated nose. Very elegant, piquant and lush on the palate, with mineral expression, refreshment and persistent structure, this is a serious and complex Auslese of great class. Highly recommended.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Well-crafted, showing a bright and suave character, displaying ripe peach, mango and mineral nuances, this auslese sings harmoniously on the palate. Silky and full of energy, with a lingering aftertaste of lime and honey. Very delicious now, but will also age for years. Drink now through 2034.”

These are the lowest listed prices in the USA today!
The average price is $51
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Xavier’, Rhone 2010 750ML ($47.95) Was $38, Now $33 January Sale Special
Wine Advocate 91+ points “Richer, fuller and denser is the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape, which is composed of 65% Grenache and the rest equal parts Mourvedre and Syrah. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by abundant notes of black fruits, licorice, lavender, Provencal herbs as well as a meaty richness.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
New Arrivals

Crowley Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
VinopolNote: Always a beautiful wine in its youth, this is actually all Four Winds fruit of barrels declassified from the single vineyard. This year the blend is four barrels of Dijon clone and 9 of Wente with a mix of new, one year old and much older oak. Bottled in December, this is showing very well at the moment with air. The signature note of dried ginger and spice shows beneath a restrained note of citrus and orchard fruit and a creamy texture. Balanced, elegant, and a bargain.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Crowley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
VinopolNote: This wine is always one of the better deals in Willamette Valley, made of declassified fruit from the single-vineyard lots that Tyson works with.  The 2017 is one of the best yet–the vintage brings a lightness and delicacy that makes this an absolute joy to drink young.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($39.95) $18 special
This is the only listing in the USA today!

New York

Forge Cellars Classique Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special

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

Domaine Philippe Tessier Phil’en Bulle, Loire NV 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Importer note “Philipe’s fizzy ‘pet-nat’ is the least serious but perhaps the most fun wine in the Tessier lineup. To be enjoyed fresh and frothy. 90% Romorantin and 10% Orbois.”

Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The new entry-level release from this estate is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, a more Grenache-dominated blend of 90% Grenache, 4% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah, and the balance Counoise and Vaccarèse. Aged mostly in tank, with 15% in old barrels, it boasts a deep violet/purple color as well as a full-bodied, voluptuous style in its blueberry and cherry fruits, violets, damp earth, and spice-laced aromas and flavors. This cuvée is always more upfront and sexier compared to the more structured La Reine des Bois cuvée, and it’s already drinking brilliantly today. Nevertheless, it will keep for a good 10-15 years if you’re so inclined.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


January Sale Roundup

We’ve got 130+ wines in our January Sale!  You can click here to see all of these (extra) great deals or keep reading for all the wines, sorted by category.

Thanks for reading!