Profound, Classical Brunello
Cadence’s Bordeaux-Influenced Washington Vision
Staff Pick: Classic St. Estephe
Featured New Arrival: Fenocchio’s Traditional Barolos
Top Italian Values
First Offer: New Wines from Montevertine
New Reviews for Az. Ag COS
Rose of the Day
A Top Winter Chateauneuf Pick
These are wines that define what “traditional” means within the context of Brunello—robust personalities with delicate aromatics, long aging in botti and the capacity to age for a long time in a cool cellar. The 2014 is the vintage to drink early—the year yielded wines that have a bit less power but an approachable personality. The 2015, on the other hand, is a wine that’s surprisingly soft for how much depth there is, but is really something to hang onto for a while. We’d stock up on both.
Arriving ETA March:
Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($549.95) $399 pre-arrival special (that’s only $66.50/bottle!)
Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 MAG 750ML ($189.95) $159 pre-arrival special
Case-3 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($599.95) $449 pre-arrival special (that’s only $149.67/magnum!)
James Suckling 98 points “There’s something ethereal in the nose with flowers, cherries, strawberries and shitake mushrooms. Full body. This grows on the palate with super tannin and fruit structure. So much berry flavor and round, caressing tannins that fill your mouth. Tight at the end. This needs four to five years to show its true greatness. Try after 2023.”
Case-6 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($419.95) $279 pre-arrival special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points “Some earthy and savory aromas dominate the dried red cherries initially, then dried wild herbs and quite intense notes of spicy dried red cherries emerge. The palate has a very taut, structured feel with handsomely proportioned tannins carrying gently leathery dried red cherries. Long finish. Drink or hold.”
The next best price is $56.82
The average price is $61
Cadence’s Bordeaux-Influenced Washington Vision
Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt launched their winery, Cadence in 1998 after purchasing 10 acres on the now highly regarded Red Mountain vineyards. In retrospect, being so new to agriculture and winemaking in general, Ben Smith says “that was the most fortuitous decision we made along the way.” Ideally located in the rain shadow of the Cascade range and consisting of sandy loam soils, the Red Mountain AVA has developed a reputation for producing some of Washington’s best fruit, providing grapes for many of the state’s most sought-after cult wines
Inspired by the Old World and an affinity for well-structured wines in general, the couple decided to focus their winemaking production to Bordeaux style blends. The Bel Canto is a blend of primarily Cabernet franc, with smaller percentages of Merlot and Petit Verdot grown on their Cara Mia vineyard that was established in 2004. The Tapteil Vineyard comes from the oldest vines that Cadence works with, expressing a more mineral driven approach and truly showing Red Mountain’s highly acclaimed character. The Tapteil blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (Ben Smith’s favorite variety).
Arriving ETA Early November:
Cadence Winery Camerata, Cara Mia Vineyard, Red Mountain 2016 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “This wine is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc. Distinctive aromas of black cherry, graphite, dark raspberry, fresh herb, flower and scorched earth lead to a fresh, flavorful palate packed with fine-grained structured tannins. An extended finish ups the interest. Give it at least 24 hours to decant if drinking in the near term. Best after 2025.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The reserve 2016 Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc) shows slightly more ruby on the edge (probably due to the longer 23-month élevage) and has a beautiful perfume of spiced red and black fruits, earth, cedar, and dried flowers. This medium to full-bodied beauty has a rounded, layered texture, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish. It’s a clear step up over the Bel Canto in this vintage. Give it a handful of years and drink over the coming 15 years.”
The next best price is $60
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Cellar Selection. Cabernet Franc (82%) makes up the lion’s share of this wine, with the rest Merlot (12%) and Petit Verdot. It’s tight as a drum out of the gate. Brooding aromas of black and red currant, scorched earth, flower and herb are followed by focused, fresh, lively fruit flavors supported by highly structured tannins. As is typically the case with this producer, it’s much more about the future than the present, with a lot of aging potential in front of it. Best after 2026 with a very long life beyond that.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91+ points “Another Cabernet Franc heavy wine, the 2016 Bel Canto Cara Mia Vineyard checks in as 82% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot. It offers more mulled cherry and blackberry fruits, plenty of leafy herbs, medium to full-bodied, and a juicy, elegant, spicy style. It doesn’t have the density or grandeur of the Cabernet Franc Old Vines, but it’s a juicy, elegant wine that has enough tannins to warrant 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for a decade.”
The next best price is $60
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “From one of the top sites on Red Mountain, the 2016 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard checks in as a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot, all aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. It’s another deep purple-colored effort and offers a concentrated, focused, firm style as well as loads of crème de cassis, graphite rocks, and graphite. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it’s one for the cellar and a good 3-5 years or bottle age will do it well.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Editors’ Choice. Winemaker Ben Smith has made a name for himself making sophisticated, structured, swoonworthy wines. This is another example. A blend of Cabernet Sauvingon (43%%), Cabernet Franc (35%), Merlot (14%) and Petit Verdot, the aromas draw you into the glass, with notes of scorched earth, flower, black currant, anise and herb. Exquisitely balanced, structured fruit flavors follow. It’s a knee buckler with undeniable appeal, drinking well now but beckoning for some time in the cellar.”
The next best price is $45
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Editors’ Choice. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot each make up roughly a third of this wine. The scorched earth, black-cherry, dark-raspberry, flower and dried herb aromas are reserved on first pour. The palate is packed tightly, with layered and exquisitely balanced dark-fruit flavors backed by a lot of structure. There a sense of tension and balance that is captivating. It will have a very long life ahead of it. Give it a 24-hour decant if drinking in the near term. Best after 2025.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The 2016 Tapteil Vineyard is based on 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, and 29% Merlot and spent 18 months in 40% new French oak. It reveals a deep purple, mostly opaque color as well as a terrific bouquet of blueberries, blackberries, ground herbs, and graphite. Medium to full-bodied, it’s another elegant, straight, structured wine from this estate that needs short term cellaring but will keep for 15-20 years.”
The next best price is $45
My fascination with Chateau Meyney goes back almost 2 decades, and many vintages. I have yet to find a better bellwether for a vintage on the left bank than Meyney, and while the last few vintages have seen some changes in the cellar, the wine is still remarkably true to what I have been tasting over the years. In a vintage with as much hype as 2016, getting to see a clear picture as to what one might expect of more expensive purchases is always welcome. Then again, in such a vintage, the wine of Meyney really has a chance to shine on its own.
At the moment the wine is a touch more rigid than in ‘15 or ‘14. The structure is clearly evident – similar to the 2010. Smoke, spice, and anise wrap around the cherry core. It is denser than almost any I have had and built for the long haul. If you’re drinking it now, open it early. I like to think of the 95/96 vintages. ‘96, similar to ’15 in its warmth and open aromas was an immediate drinker. ’95 & ‘16 seem to take three days to fully reveal the full scope of the wine, but it is worth the wait. For a $39 foray into “serious” Bordeaux, you can roll the dice on seeing just how long you can go with this bottle. Preferably, you’ll cellar it for the short term, but you won’t be disappointed with the results if you give it air.
In Stock Now:
Chateau Meyney, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 96 points “Wild nose. Impressive, deep hue and a wealth of fresh, violet-like aromas, as well as cassis, graphite and dark cherries. The palate has a very sleek, fine, powerful core of tannins that bring a lot of depth and deliver rich dark-fruit flavor. A classic Meyney. Best since 1961! Try from 2023.”
Decanter 94 points “Rich and full, this is very St-Estèphe: round through the mid-palate, with an amazingly tasty balance of richness and freshness leading to salinity and minerality on the finish. It will need another five to eight years before being ready to drink, but it has to be one of the value picks of the vintage.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Meyney is a bold, powerful wine. Tobacco, menthol, chocolate, spice and torrefaction notes all add shades of darkness. Meyney is potent and quite broad in feel, and yet everything is very nicely balanced. Although not especially subtle, Meyney delivers the goods, and then some.”
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Giacomo Fenocchio’s Traditional Barolos
Giacomo Fenocchio is a Barolo producer who manages to stay just below universal acclaim—the wines are traditionally made, powerful and excellent values, but the wines remain too overlooked, at least on the west coast. These are wines that have everything Piedmont collectors say they like in traditional Barolo—excellent vineyard sources, extended macerations, long aging in large casks and radiantly pure vineyard characteristics.
His 2015’s just landed today and they’re brilliant wines. The only clue that they’re from a warm vintage is their tannin structures—firm but softer and silkier than usual. The 2015 normale is nearly a bistro wine, especially if you open it the morning you want to drink it. Nevertheless, the wines have a freshness and purity that sets them apart from previous warm years like ’09 and ’11.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo Villero, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Rose, woodland berry and balsamic aromas of eucalyptus and pine are front and center on this fragrant red. The full-bodied, compelling palate has structure and finesse, delivering red cherry, cranberry, licorice and orange zest set against a backbone of assertive but noble tannins. Drink 2025–2035.”
James Suckling 95 points “Aromas of flowers and cedar with plums and beeswax. Full-bodied, chewy and very structured. Very linear and tight. Needs three or four years to come together. Try in 2023.”
James Suckling 93 points “Dried roses and fragrant spices, anise and fennel seed in particular, leading to blood orange and pomegranate. The palate has a very sleek core of fine but ripe tannins that carry red-berry flavors in smooth repose. Drink or hold.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Cedar, rose, botanical herb and forest floor aromas swirl around the glass. It’s youthfully austere, offering pomegranate, sour cherry, orange zest and baking spice notes alongside tight, close-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Give it a few more years to unwind and fully develop. Drink 2023–2030.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Wild mint, woodland berry and underbrush aromas mingle with a floral note. The rounded, full-bodied palate offers Marasca cherry, botanical herbs, clove and tobacco alongside solid but polished tannins. Drink 2020–2027.”
Tiberio Delivers from Abruzzo
Abruzzo is an Italian wine region best known for two standout producers: Valentini and Emidio Pepe—but it’s probably time to add a third to the list: the wines of the Tiberio family. They’re not quite at the level of their two closest peers, but importantly their pricing is still in line with the value producers that dot the Abruzzese wine landscape. That delta between quality and price might make them the best value in Italy—these are some serious wines for the dollars asked.
In Italy, they’re best known for their single vineyard/old vine Trebbiano “Fonte Canale” (which we’re working on sourcing) but their range of ~$20 wines is why we’re enamored of them. From their surprisingly gutsy and complex Montepulciano to the not-quite rosé of the Cerasuolo, their wines from red grapes strike an impeccable balance between restraint and power, while their whites have minerality and intrigue to spare—a minor miracle for the prices. We’ve finally secured some of these wines and they’re at the best prices in the country—so there’s no excuse for not stocking up.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Tiberio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18.50 special
Case-12 Az. Ag. Tiberio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($269.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 92 points “Vibrant red. Captivating aromas of red currant, dark plum, blueberry, licorice and Oriental spices. Broad and ripe on entry, then luscious in the middle, finishing with a riper mouthfeel than is usual for this wine, but in keeping with the 2017 vintage (dry and hot). Finishes long, with serious, building tannins and noteworthy sweetness. This is a real miracle considering the vintage’s less-than-stellar growing season; timely rainfall at the end of September provided much-needed liquid refreshment for the Montepulciano, allowing the vines to recover from the summer drought and heat and benefit from longer hang times. On a side note, wine lovers have something else to look forward to, as the 2018 vats of Montepulciano I tried during my cellar visit were absolutely superb; they are undoubtedly the best entry-level Montepulciano wines Tiberio has ever made, so there’s something to really look forward to here.”
Case-12 Tiberio Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 92 points “Luminous pink-red. Bright aromas of red cherry, redcurrant, blood orange and botanical herbs. Then bright and juicy, with laser-like acidity lifting and extending the red fruit flavors on the juicy, long, floral and slightly saline finish. A very precise, seamless Cerasuolo with no hard edges and sneaky concentration.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 94 points “Vivid pale straw-yellow. Penetrating, multifaceted nose of white peach, nectarine, minerals, chamomile and jasmine. Conveys an almost saline sense of extract in the mouth, offering steely, harmonious and high-acid flavors of white peach, minerals and anise. Steely and mineral notes linger on the long floral-accented finish. Once again, the magic of the Fonte Canale 80-year-old vines shines through in a year that saw almost seven months without rain in the Casauria subzone (where the Tiberio estate is located); the roots of these old vines dig deep and are always close to the underlying water table. The 2017 Fonte Canale strikes me as more perfumed and more open-knit than usual on the nose (especially compared to the 2016), but more lemony on the palate.”
Tiberio Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT, Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points “Abruzzo’s Tiberio winery has quickly risen to the top of the hierarchy not just in Abruzzo’s but in all of Italy. What the talented Cristiana Tiberio has achieved in the very hot 2017 vintage with Pecorino (a variety that does not like heat) is a testament to her talent. The 2017 Tiberio Pecorino is by no means the best Pecorino she has ever made (and frankly, it would have been very strange if it was otherwise, given the year’s weather), but it offers lovely balance with pure sage and kiwi notes that mingle with ripe orchard fruit nuances complicated by a saline edge. Both these wines made for a wonderful start to my meal, but they would have paired very well with all the other dishes I chose to eat this evening.”
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points “Bright straw-green. Reticent aromas and flavors of ripe peach, apple and pear, plus a hint of flinty silex. Rather round, fat and silky, this is quite full in the mouth for a Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and a Tiberio wine, but there was no getting away from the hot 2017 vintage in Abruzzo. A lovely wine with a delicately floral, long finish, but also a bigger wine than is usual from this estate. It will merit a higher score if it loses some of its baby fat in bottle while maintaining freshness.”
New Wines from Montevertine
Montevertine originally left the Chianti appellation because at the time white grapes were required to call a wine Chianti and Sergio Manetti, the owner, wanted to make a wine that was 100% Sangiovese, a scandalous thing for that era.
Time has gone by and rules have changed, but the wines of Montevertine are still not labeled Chianti out of pride and Manetti’s long memory. We’re excited to be able to offer the newest releases of the Pian del Ciampolo and the eponymous Rosso di Toscana, arriving this coming Friday!
Arriving Friday, October 25th:
Montevertine Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2016 Montevertine will thrill fans of the estate’s wines. Freshly cut flowers, dark cherry, plum, mint and spice are some of the many notes that are knit together in a Montevertine that dazzles with nuance and pedigree. The 2016 is not an obvious wine, but it has class and persistence to burn, with tannins that are incredibly finessed for a young wine. Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Montevertines in recent memory. The 2016 was memorable from cask last year. It is every bit as riveting today. The 2016 spent two years in casks ranging size from 5.5HL to 18HL, with both Slavonian and French oak. Don’t miss it.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “Now we’re talking! The 2016 Montevertine is a chiseled and sharp expression, with flinty notes of pencil lead and black stone. This is an absolutely divine Sangiovese that is bright and vertical. It is delicate in the mouth, something you’d want to pair with some mild, sautéed mushrooms if anything. It’s a beautiful wine with a long and extended aging future.”
Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($41.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2017 Pian del Ciampolo is rich, dense and almost shockingly concentrated. A rush of super-ripe red cherry Sangiovese fruit, cedar, tobacco, menthol, licorice and dried flowers builds in an unusually supple, racy Pian del Ciampolo that will drink beautifully right out of the gate. Stylistically, the 2017 reminds me of the 2015 in its generous, rich personality, but there is a good bit of freshness as well. More than anything, Pian del Ciampolo is a real overachiever in 2017.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 91 points “You feel some of the heat of the vintage in the 2017 Pian del Ciampolo, a year that is notoriously ripe across the board, but that sweet darkness plays a fairly pleasant role here. As a result, this wine shows less dimensional than its predecessors, but it is still a cheerful Sangiovese to match up with some pasta or a tripe dish.”
Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points “Love the aromas of plums, cherries and currants with hints of flowers and undertones of dried flowers. Full body, round and silky tannins and fresh and bright finish. A blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Needs two or three years to come together, but already beautiful. From biodynamically grown grapes and vegan.”’
Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
James Suckling 97 points “A very distinctive nose with a wild array of red berries and cherries and a thread of blue fruit, too. There’s a dried wild-rose perfume and a violet-like thread with subtle, herbal-based notes. It’s a moving target in the glass with incredible complexity. This has a gift of revelation. The palate has a very assertive edge with a powerful core of intense tannins that carry a spicy thread of rich dark cherries and dark plums in a defined, savory and athletic stance. A star of the vintage. Drink over the next decade or more.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Bright red. Intense black raspberry, cherry, exotic spice and floral pastille scents are given depth by building cola and licorice notes. Offers palate-staining red and dark berry flavors that show excellent clarity and energy thanks to a spine of smoky minerality. Expands steadily with air and picks up a smoky quality that carries through an impressively long, dark berry -driven finish.”
Eric Rodez Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne NV (2013) 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “[Reviewed Apr 2019] Offering up aromas of smoky green orchard fruit, hazelnuts and waxy citrus that are delicately framed by their time in barrel, the latest rendition of Rodez’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is a medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy wine with a bright spine of acidity, a frothy mousse and a long, vinous and subtly oak-inflected finish. Unsurprisingly, its Ambonnay origins and Rodez’s style mark it just as much as its cépage.”
Big, striking Chianti from a great producer.
Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino, Chianti Classico DOCG 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Chianti Classico Vigneto San Marcellino is dark, sumptuous and super-expressive. Like all of the wines here, the 2014 San Marcellino needs at least a few years in bottle to truly show everything it has, but there is more than enough here to provide for engaging drinking for many years to come. Time in the glass brings out gorgeous scents of black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice and smoke. The 2014 is a striking, complete wine.”
Sierra Salinas Casa Mira, Alicante 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Case-12 Sierra Salinas Casa Mira, Alicante 2016 750ML ($249.95) $175 special (that’s only $14.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Also 100% Monastrell but a selection of old, head-trained vines, the 2016 Mira Salinas was brought up in a mix of new, once-, and twice-used barrels. Its deep ruby/plum color is followed by a Bandol-like bouquet of smoked black fruits, earth, meat, and spice. It’s rich, medium to full-bodied, has beautiful fruit, good acidity, and plenty of tannins, and it’s a classic, balanced Monastrell that more than over-delivers at the price. These are custom cuvées for Jorge Ordonez that are only brought into the US.”
Le Domaine d’Henri Fourchaume, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Winery Note “In 2012, we started a massal selection from our oldest Fourchaume vines, planted in 1937, before the existence of clones. These vines provide us with a unique heritage that we absolutely want to preserve…In addition to the fundamental work on the vine canopy, we have joined forces with renowned soil specialist, Claude Bourguignon, and his son, Emmanuel, to gain a better understanding of our soils. The soil is a very complex, living environment that deserves to be better understood. It is, after all, the soil that will allow the vine to reach its full qualitative potential. It is important to understand the living organisms present in the soil: microbial, bacterial, vegetal and animal, such as worms that will help break up and aerate our soils.”
Large format Gigondas magic.
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($109.95) $89 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The most opulent and voluptuous of the 2015s, the 2015 Gigondas Les Souteyrades is heavenly juice that, again, drinks well past its humble price point. Just loaded with notions of strawberries, framboise, spring flowers, dried orange peels and spice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a thick, unctuous texture, sweet tannin and a great, great finish. This cuvee is the normal 80/20 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre, aged all in foudre, and there’s just 750 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Like the La Louisiane, the 2015 Gigondas les Souteyrades spent a year in foudres prior to bottling. It a similar blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, but grown on north-facing gray clays. There’s more pepper and herb here, still wonderfully ripe raspberries but less chocolate. Full-bodied, it’s still silky and refined, with tremendous length on the finish.”
They’ve been an inspiration and mentor to any number of producers that we now think of as important and vanguard (most notably Arianna Occhipinti, niece of the “O” in COS). In addition, they were pioneers in the use of amphora fermentation and aging in Italy and moved in a “natural” direction long before it was cool.
All of that is their wines are unique and yet classic—wines that are at once primally Sicilian and yet uniquely COS, with brilliant minerality and earthy aromas married to beautiful fruit. We’re bringing in a wide assortment at the beginning of next year, two of which are freshly reviewed, and you’d do well to reserve them now.
Arriving ETA January
Azienda Agricola COS ‘Nero di Lupo’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 91 points “Here’s a wine I haven’t tasted in a while. A pure expression of Nero d’Avola, aged simply in cement vats, the 2018 Nero di Lupo shows loads of varietal purity with summer dark cherry, tilled earth, fennel herb and that ever-present aroma that reminds me of Sicilian olive or caper. Like all the wines in the COS portfolio, this one shows extreme precision and fine focus. This vintage was not easy, with rain and cooler temperatures toward the end of the growing season, but this wolf still howls. Some 38,000 bottles were made.”
Azienda Agricola COS Pithos Rosso di Vittoria, Sicily 2017 1.5L ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points “Immediately open and generous from the start, the 2017 Vittoria Pithos Rosso (60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato) does not need much coaxing before it releases its pretty aromas of wild berry, rose hip, pressed violet and moist earth. This vintage is contained, considering the heat and dryness of the growing season with a lovely sense of elegance and deep inner poise. That pretty floral signature is especially defining in this vintage. It’s almost as if the warm year has produced even greater elegance and finer lines. It’s counterintuitive for sure, but the results are there. This is a real treat. Serve it alongside some chopped fried eggplant, salt and rosemary. About 12,000 bottles were made.”
Also Arriving ETA January:
Azienda Agricola COS Rami Bianco Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Azienda Agricola COS Rami Bianco Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2018 1.5L ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Grecanico 50% & Insolia 50%
Azienda Agricola COS Pithos Terre Siciliane Bianco IGT, Sicily 2018 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
100% Grecanico aged in terracotta amphorae on the skins with indigenous yeasts
Azienda Agricola COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico ‘delle Fontane’ DOCG 2014 1.5L ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
60% Nero d’Avola & 40% Frappato di Vittoria
Importer note “The delle Fontane bottling of Cerasuolo comes from COS’ best estate parcels in the Fontane area of Vittoria.”
In Stock Now:
Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14.40 special
Case-12 Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
VinopolNote “While Chinon is best known for its lovely, savory bistro reds, a few producers make dynamite rosé from the AOC as well. Plouzeau is one of those that makes excellent rosé, and the 2018 version is tops. As a red, some don’t love Chinon because of its herbal, savory streak, but that’s tempered in rosé form, turning into a lovely background note of thyme or rosemary to complement the bright juicy fruit. This is dry and crisp—and more importantly budget friendly. It’s one of the best values in the rosé world, especially if you buy it by the case!”
These are big, rich wines with incredible textures and explosive personalities. We’ve secured significant allocations of their three major Chateauneuf du Papes, the VV, Les Origines, and Miocene, all arriving this winter. The VV is one of the best wines made in the region every year, while the Les Origines and Miocene both deliver excellent value for their prices. We’re able to offer these at excellent pricing, despite the insane demand for the 2017 vintage—so lovers of the Rhone, take note. These always sell fast and we expect this set will continue that trend.
Arriving ETA December:
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($719.95) $479 pre-arrival special (that’s only $79.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a bigger, richer, more opulent wine. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed violets, all flow to a full-bodied, Châteauneuf Du Pape that has a voluptuous, sexy texture, brilliant depth of fruit, fine tannins, and a purity of fruit that’s hard to find in this vintage. It’s a thrill a minute, and while it’s approachable today, it will keep for 15-20 years. 416 cases.”
Decanter 96 points “Grown on galets, the fruit for this wine is all destemmed and fermented in stainless steel before being aged for 16 months, half in concrete and half in new barriques. The strong Mourvèdre component comes through as deep, ripe dark fruits and violets. It’s full-bodied and dense with soft, lush tannins, and is held together by a beam of strong acidity, finishing long. A lithe, muscular, impressive wine that will last the course. Just 5,000 bottles made.”
Case-6 Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, Rhone 2017 750ML ($419.95) $289 pre-arrival special (that’s only $48.17/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Origines takes things up a notch on the serious scale and has a much more concentrated, focused, structured style. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah that saw 50% new barrels, it offers a rich, concentrated, focused texture, notes of black raspberries, roasted garrigue, pepper, and tons of minerality, building tannins, and outstanding length. The new oak is beautifully integrated, it’s perfectly balanced, and it’s one of those wines that has a kiss of modern character yet stays firmly planted in the Southern Rhône.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocene Rouge, Rhone 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “The traditional cuvée at this great estate is the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Le Miocene, and in 2017 it’s a classic blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, brought up mostly in concrete (there’s a small amount in older barrels). It has a wonderful fresh, forward, delicious style as well as notes of black raspberries, garrigue, pepper, and hints of flowers. Pure, medium to full-bodied, upfront and ready to go, it’s a beauty geared for drinking over the coming 8-10 years.”
The next best price is $45