Weekend VinopolPick 10-20-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Top Riesling from a Top Vintage: Molitor 2016

New Antonio Galloni Piemonte Reviews

New Stock on Italian Classics
(Ornellaia, Aldo Conterno, Redigaffi and More!)

Neal Martin on Domaine Gouges

Huedelot-Noëllat’s Superb Vosne

Domaine Fourrier: Grand Cru and Beyond

A Top Value Tempranillo – Vintage Toro at Great Pricing


Pure Brilliance: Molitor’s 2016s

here may be no more ambitious winemaker in the world than Marcus Molitor.  His determination and drive to make the best possible wines has made him a towering figure in the Mosel, with an impressive, modern winery and holdings in almost every important vineyard in the region.  This drive also means there are a lot of different bottlings—Molitor believes that every single sub-parcel and selective pick should be vinified to its utmost potential.

This is the essence of the brilliance of Marcus Molitor.  Most winemakers would pick once or twice (or three times) in a vineyard and vinify many lots together—it’s easier and the wines are good.  Molitor, though, asks what each parcel and pick would be like on its own—treated as if it were a wine of distinction rather than a blending component.  This is a lot of extra work and requires time and space that most winemakers would rather not spend, but the result is a dizzying number of bottlings that all strive toward perfection.

The critical praise backs this up—Marcus Molitor’s wines are some of the most lauded in the world. Whether white capsule (dry), green capsule (off-dry), or gold capsule (fruity to nobly sweet), he manages to produce wines that captivate and astound.  2016 is among the best vintages he’s produced—possibly better across the board than the lauded ’15s.  We just received our first tranche of the wines (the rest arrive over the next few weeks) and are excited to share these magical bottles with you.

Just Arrived:

White Capsule (Dry) Wines:

Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Auslese*** White Capsule 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** (White Capsule) opens with very clear, super fine, precise and delicate yet deep, intense and concentrated fruit intertwined with just a hint of noble oak leaf notes. Full-bodied, fresh and very dense in its mineral structure, packed with mocha and nougat flavors, this is an elegant, highly vital and complex Himmelreich—by far the best dry Riesling I have ever tasted from this vineyard. Molitor’s parcel is the steep part behind the Josephshof where the vines were planted in 1990. The soil is pretty stony, but there is also fine earth. The 2016 was fermented in a 2,000-liter oak vat plus a 225-liter barrique. The wine reveals enormous finesse and salinity and is spectacular in its purity and refreshing tension. This is so saliva-inducing that I tried to spit it four times—and failed four times. I tasted the wine three times in 14 days from the same bottle in March 2018. The second and third encounter showed a much fruitier, more classic Himmelreich style. The wine is the perfect expression of ripeness, elegance, finesse and freshness. Its finish is much (!) longer, more tensioned, salty and vibrantly fresh than any other wine I have ever had from this steep grand cru between Wehlen and Graach. Molitor’s parcel is located pretty high (straight next to his Pinot Noir plot); the vines are “only” 26 years old, but the trunks are as big as if they were much older.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Markus Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “Here is a gorgeous example of delicacy allied to flavor intensity and luscious fruit allied to savory mineral notes. Scents of fresh strawberry and lime anticipate the brightly juicy impression on a polished, buoyant palate. Lily-of-the-valley and rowan waft throughout, casting a memorable floral spell. The sweet-saline savor of raw scallop tugs at the salivary glands on a superbly sustained finish. Bear in mind that we’re talking here about a dry Riesling (okay, perhaps legally halbtrocken – I neither checked nor cared) with only 10.5% alcohol!”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2016 Riesling Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett (White Capsule) is deep and concentrated on the complex, citric and slatey nose but still discreet in its fruit aromas. This is serious Riesling at 10.5% alcohol! Dry but round and intense, with a creamy texture, fine tannins and lush fruit, the Würzgarten has a remarkable mineral expression, but there is not much Mosel charm and primary fruit at this early moment. Early? Well, yes. It’s early March 2018, and the wine is only slowly starting to develop. The finish, however, is dense, lush, compact, very fine, well-structured and perfectly balanced.”

Markus Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2016 Riesling Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese (White Capsule) offers a deep and complex yet delicate and discreetly flinty nose with a very fine, fresh and bright citrus and stony aroma. Full-bodied, intense and lush on the palate, this is a silky textured, highly elegant and superbly balanced Würzgarten with an intense and powerful, very mineral and salty finish. The wine reveals great complexity along with serious grip and tensioned length but keeps its great finesse. Fermented and aged in large oak barrels until the bottling in September 2017. Tasted March 2018.”

Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese** (White Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2016 Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (White Capsule) has a clear and flinty-scented bouquet of great elegance. With ripe stone fruit aromas on the nose and a very delicate flinty character, this is a beautifully lush and elegant Auslese with enormous complexity, length and mineral tension. It’s crystalline and powerful yet always balanced, and the acidity is absolutely delicate and intertwines with finely grained tannins. The finish is dense and persistent. The wine was fermented and aged in a single 2,000-liter barrel. Bottled at the end of September 2017; tasted March 2018.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “Rowan, heliotrope and apple blossom introduce a performance of flattering creaminess and luscious appley fruitiness perfectly complemented by persistently wafting floral perfume and undertones of almond paste and vanilla. There is a strikingly custardy combination of creaminess and density midpalate. Yet, for all of its soothing richness, this beauty finishes with an unexpectedly and impressively decisive note of wet stone as well as infectious, refreshing primary juiciness.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*** Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (White Capsule) is a different style of Mosel Riesling compared to the other 2016 Auslesen. Fermented in different oak vats, from barrique size to 3,000-liter vats (including one big Stockinger vat that was new), this is clear, ripe and complex on the nose, with toasty as well as smoky-mineral notes framing the perfectly ripe and elegant stone fruit aromas. Full-bodied, round and complex, with gorgeous sweetness and mind-blowing silkiness and balance, this is a rich yet fine, elegant, highly complex and persistent Auslese from Markus’s most important single vineyard. The 2016 is concentrated yet very clear and elegant, revealing very fine tannins and a very long, complex finish. It already drinks with great wonder, and this wine will even gain more complexity though it’s already hard to resist.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett ‘Fuder 6’ (White Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Stuart Pigott-Jamessuckling.com 94 points “A stunning nectarine nose. Very elegant and delicate in spite of the touch of tannins that provides a firm base. A long, super clean and silky finish that pulls you back for more. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “Molitor’s 2016 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Kabinett “Fuder 6″ (White Capsule) offers a fascinatingly intense, ripe and concentrated Riesling bouquet intertwined with very fine slate and flinty aromas. This nose already indicates a great, terroir-driven Kabinett. Silky and highly finessed on the palate, this is a salty-crystalline, beautifully balanced and piquant Sonnenuhr with grip and structure. The finish is powerful, long and complex, showing great aging potential. The grapes are sourced from over 80-year-old vines in the Scheeren, the upper part of the Schiesswingert—between the sundial and the old castle—where the grapes don’t reach high must weights. The grapes were basket-pressed, and the clear must was fermented in oak. Bottled July 2017. Tasted March 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese Trocken (White Capsule) Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) opens with beautifully ripe and elegant fruit intertwined with reductive and flinty notes with crunchy slate aromas. Silky, lush and seamless on the palate, this is a highly finessed and elegant Spätlese with stimulating balance and super fine tannin structure. It is the most elegant, balanced and perhaps also the most classic Mosel Spätlese in the dry style. The finish is clear, fresh and very salty—a crystalline and persistent Sonnenuhr of great class.”

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Green Capsule (Feinherb) Wines:

Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese Feinherb (Green Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese (Green Capsule) is the negative selection of the three-starred Auslese and shows an intense raisin aroma of ripe and overripe fruits along with very elegant slate aromas of the Himmelreich. Full-bodied, complex and intense on the palate, this is a pretty spectacular and very persistent feniherb Spätlese with a long, intense and beautifully tensioned finish that displays honey and whole meal flavors as well as great mineral tension and complexity. This is for sure a downgraded Auslese that will be spectacular in a couple of years. Tasted March 2018.”

Markus Molitor Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett Feinherb (Green Capsule), Mosel 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “Orange and orange blossom, mint and elder flower waft fragrantly from the glass. This beauty comes to the palate with infectious juiciness of orange and lime, heady inner-mouth perfume, and a seductively silken feel. Undertones of raw almond and wet stone add further interest to an impeccably poised, consummately refreshing, exuberantly persistent finish. In its levity and animating energy, this precisely captures Kabinett virtues. Its mere hint of sweetness is ideally supportive and conducive to culinary versatility. Not a bit more residual sugar is needed. No wonder Molitor has been eager to make major inroads into the Bockstein. I’m beginning to better understand why this Saar site – or, at least, its best portions – were traditionally second in reputation only to the Scharzhofberg. (I returned to this wine repeatedly, thinking that I must have overrated it – but no.)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Gold Capsule (Sweeter to Nobly Sweet) Wines:

Markus Molitor Kinheimer Hubertuslay Riesling Auslese***, Mosel 2016 ($99.95) $89 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 98 points “Tasted again in May 2018 along with the corresponding Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** the 2016 Riesling Kinheimer Hubertuslay Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) opens with a very clear and floral flavored bouquet intertwined with finest flinty aromas and a generous ripeness but also precision. Fascinating! The palate is generously sweet but elegant, highly finessed and almost weightless in its perfect balance. This fruit is irresistible! Perfectly ripe and healthy raisins, finest Riesling berries from a fastidious selection process. The finish is so incredibly delicious that it is almost impossible to share a bottle: You will most probably have emptied the bottle on your own before you will have realised that your counterpart likes second glass as well. This is so filigreed and utterly balanced that it’s nothing but a gorgeous drinking experience. Ripe pears in the aftertaste.”
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Riesling Kinheimer Hubertuslay Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is deep, pure and flinty on the precise and refreshingly mineral nose and intertwined with some very delicate citrus notes. On the palate, this is a lush and juicy, beautifully piquant and creamy textured yet very fine Auslese with tropical fruit flavors and delicate acidity that balances the sensual sweetness very well. There is remarkable structure and grip in this wine that indicates great aging potential. I’d keep this wine for another 6 to 10 years so that the tension-giving grip has time enough to melt completely with the lush fruit. Bottled in December 2017; tasted March 2018.”

Markus Molitor Brauneberger Mandelgraben Riesling Eiswein, Mosel 2016 375ML ($79.95) $69 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Want to see all of the Molitor wines, both in stock and arriving soon?
Just click here to view a full list on our website!

New Piemonte Reviews

From Antonio Galloni

“I came away from my late summer tastings of Barbarescos deeply impressed. The region, which has so often appeared sleepy and backward, especially compared to Barolo, seems to be going through a brilliant phase. Reference-point estates are upping their game, while a number of ambitious, young winemakers are making significant improvements in quality.”Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Castello di Verduno Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($47.95) $38 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Castello di Verduno’s 2015 Barbaresco is a potent wine. A swath of tannins enshrouds this powerful, structured Barbaresco. Crushed flowers, sweet tobacco, rose petal, dried cherry and mint are all suggestive of a wine that is a touch forward, and yet there is so much fruit and tannin here to make me think the 2015 will drink well for a number of years. The 2015 is a super-classic, expressive Barbaresco endowed with real personality and class. It is also one of the very best wines I have tasted from the estate in some time.”

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Cantina del Pino Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2014 Barbaresco is a very pretty entry-level wine from Cantina del Pino. Medium in body and savory in style, the 2014 is an attractive wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. There is lovely depth to the red plum, sage, mint, leather and licorice flavors. Once again, Cantina del Pino’s straight Babaresco is a gorgeous wine in its peer group. Sadly, yields are down a punishing 50%.”

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New Stock on Italian Classics

Whether from Tuscany or the Piemonte, we’ve got some new bottles for you.  These three wines are all powerful, bold and critically beloved—perfect for a fall or winter evening.  The Aldo Conterno wines need no introduction and Luce has become a modern classic in Tuscany.  Plus, we recently received Isole e Olena’s entry level Chianti from 2015 (a fantastic value) and La Gerla’s 2013 Brunello—a great vintage from a great producer.

“Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
An excellent vintage for entry level wines
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Case-12 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($319.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
James Suckling 93 points
“Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and burnt orange follow through to a full body with round yet firm tannins. A lovely, pure finish. Shows focus and finesse. Drink now or hold.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Chianti Classico is a bright and convincing wine from Barberino Val d’Elsa, one of the main comuni in the greater Chianti Classico appellation. This is a smooth and silky Sangiovese that glides clean over the palate with strength and intensity. Bright cherry, blueberry and herbal accents with wild sage and rosemary characterize the finish. Like many other wines from the 2015 vintage, there is an evident touch of cherry sweetness on the close.”

“Very impressive….So crafted and fine”
Luce della Vite ‘Luce’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($119.95) $69 special
Case-6 Luce della Vite ‘Luce’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($599.95) $359 special (that’s only $59.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 97 points
“The beauty and polish to this are very impressive on the nose and the palate. Blackberry, blueberry and sandalwood character. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and an elegant finish. So crafted and fine.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Stands toe to toe with Masseto, Petrus and Le Pin at a price that makes it a bargain 
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2004 750ML ($249.95) $199 super special, 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Very complex yet subtle aromas of licorice, dark chocolate, violet and raspberry. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, long finish. Harmonious and wonderful. Reminds me of the great 1997; even better. Merlot.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $215
A highlight of the superb 2006 vintage!
Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2006 750ML ($249.95) $199 super special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2006 Ornellaia flows from the glass in a profound expression of ripe, dark fruit. With time in the glass layers of minerals, cassis, tar, sweet herbs and French oak emerge, adding further complexity. This harmonious Ornellaia combines the richness of the vintage with superb freshness and awesome balance. Today the wine’s sheer density almost manages to hide the tannins, but they are there, and the wine will ultimately benefit from a few years in the cellar. The 2006 Ornellaia is one of the highlights of this sensational Tuscan vintage.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Dark in color, showing loads of dark fruits on the nose, as well as licorice and berries and hints of mint and cedar. Full-bodied, with refined yet chewy tannins and a ripe berry, coffee and chocolate aftertaste. New wood barrels shine through. But it will all come together with bottle age. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best after 2012. 12,080 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $224

Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala, Barolo DOCG 2009 750ML ($179.95) $119 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Aromas of fresh cherry, raspberry, licorice and spice fill the glass as this red unfolds. Offers dense tannins and bright acidity, lending definition to the cherry, strawberry, tobacco and spice flavors that persist through the long finish. Best from 2017 through 2030. 300 cases imported.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “An aromatically beguiling wine, the 2009 Barolo Cicala is laced with dark plums, truffles, tar, incense and a host of other balsamic-infused aromas. Today, the fruit lies a bit in the background, while the wine’s aromatics and overall structure are much more in evidence. I imagine the 2009 will require at least a few more years in bottle to flesh out, but it is quite beautiful, even at this stage. There is a weightless tension in the 2009 that is remarkable.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Barolo Cicala reveals the particular dynamic of the vintage with firmly astringent tannins and power coupled with a leaner, more streamlined mouthfeel. You can also feel some of the heat of the 2009 summer with upfront aromas of prune and cassis followed by a visibly darker appearance and sweet spice on the bouquet. The wine has the inherent complexity, structure and acidity for long aging, but it offers less pulp to sink your teeth into. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”

Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello, Barolo DOCG 2009 750ML ($199.95) $125 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2009 Barolo Colonnello is destined to occupy a special place in my heart as it turned out to be the first sample in my opening blind flight as Italian reviewer with The Wine Advocate. Darkly concentrated and rich, it sets the stage beautifully for 2009 Barolo thanks to its enormous grace, power and elegance. Where it really wins praise, however, is in the mouth. It shows solid grip and firm tannic tenacity that is bold and muscular without going over the top. It moves steadily over the palate in an exceptional manner. The bouquet opens to wild cherry, black licorice and drying notes of crushed white pepper. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Alluring and complex aromas of cherry, licorice, sandalwood and leather segue into sweet berry, floral and spice flavors in this red, which is still a bit monolithic, but harmonious and youthful, with a long finish and a spicy aftertaste. Best from 2017 through 2032. 250 cases imported.”



Neal Martin on Gouges

The Historic Estate in Peak Form

Neal Martin recently published a long and extensive article on the Domaine Henri Gouges, in Nuits St.-George, in Vinous.  We’re big fans of the wines of the historic estate and would encourage anyone interested in the history of Burgundy to check it out in full on the Vinous site (anyone can read the article, you need to be a subscriber to see the tasting notes).  Here’s a little excerpt of what Neal wrote, along with some highlights of the wines in stock right now.

“The Gouges lineage within that ambit of Nuits Saint-Georges extends back to the 1600s….[In 1920] the namesake Domaine was established and Henri Gouges expanded the holdings in a period when land was virtually being given away. Parcels included Les Pruliers in 1920, Les Saint-Georges in 1921 and a monopole of Clos-des-Porrets in 1934.

“Henri Gouges was by all accounts a formidable man who bestrode the appellation, indeed, the region as a whole.… Incensed by the imbalance of power between négoçiants and growers, Gouges resolved to break the stranglehold that merchants had enjoyed since time immemorial. Together with the Leroy, Rousseau and d’Angerville families, he took the provocative step of bottling his own wine instead of contracting his fruit to merchants and letting them reap the profits. The first vintage bearing his own name was the 1924…. The likes of Gouges ultimately led to the formation of AOC rules in 1936. Although the pepping up of Burgundy did not necessarily cease, at least it was now illegal…

“Domaine Henri Gouges owns 14.50 hectares. The twelve hectares of Premier Cru have remained unchanged since the 1930s…. Chemicals have not been used in the vineyard since 2005. Three years later the entirety of the vineyards had been converted to organic viticulture, following the tenets of agronomic engineer, Jacques Moreau. The domaine emphasizes that the goal is not for certification but simply using viticultural techniques to respect the terroir and the wine….

“[T]he domaine has not stood still. A new, pump-free and gravity-fed cuverie was constructed in 2007 behind the maison. At picking, bunches are sorted on two tables de trie, one vibrates to get rid of insects and dirt, while the second is for manual sorting. The fruit is then completely de-stemmed with a recent investment in a Pellenc de-stemmer. Due to the style of Gouges’ wines, in my early days I incorrectly presumed that there was stem addition, but this is not the case….

“In my experience, the wines of Domaine Henri Gouges are not those that I would pour for a Burgundy novice. They are not fruit-forward, velvety smooth, sumptuous expressions of Pinot Noir predesigned for mass appeal. I guess you could say that they are an acquired taste, appealing more to drinkers with experienced palates. There is nothing wrong with that. The wines lean towards the “traditional” side of the Côte de Nuits.… I often think that Gouges has more in common with the structured wines from Morey-Saint-Denis. As I already mentioned, there is often a leafy, sous-bois leitmotif that dupes tasters into believing there is some stem addition when there is none….I recommend decanting them when young, or cellaring bottles for an appropriate length of time, for example, 8 to 10 years for the Premier Crus subject to growing season. Antoine Gouges expressed a desire to retain the idea of vins de garde and so whilst the domaine has decreased the amount of sulfur during vatting, they would never totally eliminate SO2 and therefore accept a level of “protective reduction” so that the wines can age…

“Perhaps the final word should belong to 104-year old Paulette Gouges. Of course, I had to ask what is the secret to a long life, as I am sure all Vinous readers would like to enjoy libation for as many years as possible. So apparently, you need to drink a glass of Gamay each day, though I can confirm that Paulette has traded up to Pinot Noir these days, preferably from a good cru. If that is true then I suspect most Vinous readers will live to a ripe old age. Santé.” – Neal Martin, Vinous

Featured Wines In Stock Now:

Domaine Henri Gouges Les Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($179.94) $149 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93+ points
“Medium red. Reticent but complex nose offers high-pitched scents of raspberry, licorice, bitter chocolate and minerals. At once dense and juicy, displaying a distinctly sappy character but also a refined texture to its intense raspberry, spice, mineral and soil flavors. This very classy wine mounts slowly on the suavely tannic, vibrant finish. Beautifully balanced already but there’s more to come with bottle age. From a crop level of just 26 hectoliters per hectare, according to Gregory Gouges, who noted that these 50-year-old vines always produce a light load of grapes. I’d love to taste this wine next to its 2015 sibling in about ten years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $161.95
The average price is $172
Domaine Henri Gouges Les Chenes Carteaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Burghound 89-92 points
“A discreet touch of wood surround the ripe and well-layered mix of red berry fruit scents that are liberally laced with earth and underbrush nuances. There is good ripeness to the suave, even seductive middle weight flavors that possess really lovely depth on the persistent, balanced and harmonious finish. This is really quite good and worth considering.” BH
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.99
Domaine Henri Gouges Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($149.95) $139 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91-94 points
“Dark red-ruby. Tight, medicinal aromas of black cherry, bitter chocolate and menthol. Very rich and deep, with captivating sweetness cut by medicinal menthol and minerals. Highly concentrated, dense and broad but uncompromisingly dry. Finishes very long and perfumed, with serious saline tension. This very impressive premier cru has a big tannic structure and may well close down after the bottling.”
Burghound 91-94 points “Here too there is a subtle application of wood setting off the intensely spicy and overtly sauvage aromas of mostly cassis and black raspberry aromas that are also liberally laced with warm earth nuances. The muscular big-bodied flavors possess real power and punch along with ample minerality before terminating in a hugely long, complex and well-balanced finale. As it always is this is distinctly old school in style and will definitely require extended cellaring.”

Domaine Henri Gouges Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $125 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Burghound 94 points
“An exuberantly spicy nose offers up notes of cassis, various black fruit nuances and plenty of earth and game scents. The dense, powerful and brooding big-bodied flavors possess outstanding volume and mid-palate concentration where the abundant dry extract serves to buffer the very firm and imposing tannic spine on the hugely long finish. This is certainly a big wine, in fact it’s borderline massive and not surprisingly it’s going to need a very long time to arrive at its full potential. Recommended.”
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “(aged in 25% new oak): Bright medium red. Subdued nose shows more red than black fruits, along with complicating notes of spices and red licorice. Wonderfully sweet, spicy and rich, with enough juiciness to give balance and early personality to the tactile, juicy flavors of raspberry, minerals and spices. Very sexy and suave on th e long if somewhat youthfully imploded finish. This complete premier cru should last for a long time in a cool cellar. Despite the fact that the Gouges family picked very early in 2015, Antoine Gouges describes the wines as “very ripe but not quite candied or overripe, with the structure for a long life in bottle.” He added that the estate’s ’15s were bottled with around 13% alcohol.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $139

Arriving in November:

Domaine Henri Gouges Les Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available!
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“The 2015 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges took three or four minutes to unfold…but what a bouquet! Copious black cherry, cranberry jus, pomegranate and bergamot scents all infused with stupendous mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, plenty of blood orange infusing the red and black fruit, a keen line of acidity and a gentle grip towards the finish. It constitutes one of the best vintages that I have tasted in recent years. It should be considered a “stunning victory” for the 2015 vintage, but without wishing to sound like a broken record, please cellar this for 5-7 years for it to attain its drinking plateau.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $232

Domaine Henri Gouges Clos des Porrets Monopole, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($119.95) $79 pre-arrival special 
Wine Spectator 95 points “This red combines flavors of cherry, currant, spice and mineral with a core of sweet fruit, a silky texture and firm, chalky tannins. Finishes on the chewy side, with mouthcoating but not astringent tannins. Best from 2023 through 2040. 400 cases imported.”

Domaine Henri Gouges Les Pruliers, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2015 Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers has a more feminine, more fruit-driven bouquet than the NSG Clos des Porrets, very pure crushed strawberry, red cherry and cranberry aromas that gain intensity all the time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with blood orange on the entry, plenty of lively red berry fruit with admirable mineralité and tension on the finish. This is a superb les Pruliers from Domaine Gouges and it should give a couple decades worth of drinking pleasure.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $107

Want to see all 15 Gouges wines available for purchase right now?
Just click here to view a full list on our website!



Huedelot-Noëllat’s Superb Vosne

At first glance, it may seem odd to call a wine priced in the many hundreds of dollars a value.  Yet, when we talk about the very top tier of Burgundy, this sort of conversation gets common.  The best wines are produced in incredibly miniscule quantities and so true Burgundy-heads are always looking for wines to scratch that top tier itch at slightly lower tariffs.

Enter the domaine of Hudelot-Noëllat.  Through the mid-aughts, they were a true insider’s secret—a venerable domaine with great holdings that had underperformed until recently.  The current winemaking team has pushed Hudelot-Noëllat to new heights and the wines are still values.  It’s hard to find Richebourg and Romanée St. Vivant at this quality level for this sort of pricing (compare to, say, Cathiard, to get a sense of the values they offer).  We just secured a lot of 28 wines, arriving at the end of the month and are showing you a few highlights here.  You can click here to view the entire set online and buy them now—like with most top Burgundies, quantities on each individual wine are extremely limited.

Arriving Friday, October 26th:

Alain Hudelot-Noellat Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2002 750ML ($1199.95) $999 pre-arrival special, 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Medium red. Sexy aromas of raspberry, lavender, cocoa powder, smoke and underbrush. Silky, suave and pure, with highly nuanced but understated flavors of cherry pit, flowers, menthol and underbrush. Offers terrific but very subtle mouth coverage and solid underlying structure. A tangy note of rose petal lifts the smooth finish.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A dazzlingly complex and fine nose that is absolutely regal in its elegance and incredible breadth of spice-box aromas are followed ripe, relatively accessible yet incredibly intense flavors that display marvelous depth and perfect balance. Sappy and sweet yet the powerfully long finish is beautifully detailed and focused. A wine that is at once highly expressive yet a model of grace and understatement. In short, this is wonderfully classy juice.”

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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2005 750ML ($899.95) $799 pre-arrival special
Burghound 95 points “A very densely fruited nose is composed mostly from the black side of the fruit spectrum along with notes of menthol, spice and Asian tea nuances. There is excellent concentration to the intense and attractively well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess a suave and highly seductive mouth feel before terminating in a mouth coating, complex and hugely long finish. This is an unusually powerful RSV that is less elegant than usual yet one that is still very much on the way up, indeed I would suggest allowing it at least another 5 to 7 years of celar time as it’s very much still a baby.”
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points “Good deep red. Knockout perfume of strawberry, violet and cocoa powder, complemented by sweet oak. Sappy, spicy and deep, with a compelling sweetness leavened by firm minerality. Wonderfully silky in texture and graceful. Highly complex flavors of raspberry, leather, smoke and mineral stain the back end with subtle perfume. This struck me as like a more pliant version of the Beaumonts but with the powerful mineral and tannic spine for a 20-year-evolution in bottle.”

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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Beaux Monts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($399.95) $299 pre-arrival special, 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89-92 points
“(20% of the juice is from vines in their fourth leaf) Deep, bright red. Sappy, pure aromas of dark berries and minerals. Fat and sweet but less expressive and less perfumed than the ineffable Suchots. This boasts lovely sweet red berry flavors but seems a bit stunted today on the back end, with the chewy tannins standing out.”
Burghound 89-91 points “The slightly higher-toned nose is even fresher and brighter with a similar nose of spicy black fruit trimmed in obvious minerality that introduces complex, delicious and somewhat more forward middle weight flavors that possess good detail and the same firm mineral streak suggested by the nose. This is classy juice with excellent length and while I like the greater finesse here versus the Suchots, the latter wine has better mid-palate fat and concentration.”
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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special, 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points
“Deep red. Blueberry, blackberry, flowers, spices and minerals on the slightly exotic nose, lifted by spicy oak. Round, lush and rich, with the weight and palate presence of a grand cru. Offers an uncanny combination of breadth and inner-mouth perfume, with the sweet oak serving to frame the fruit. Today this is the fleshiest and oakiest of the three premier crus from Vosne-Romanee, but the finish is wonderfully tangy and sappy, not to mention extremely long. A great showing-and very much in the typical style of this domain’s best wines from past vintages.”
Burghound 91-93 points “In a somewhat curious departure from all of the prior wines, the wood is borderline dominant and fights with the otherwise spicy and notably ripe black fruit nose that merges into rich, delicious and powerful flavors that possess plenty of punch and muscle on the exceptionally long finish. I asked for a second sample and it was much more balanced and more in keeping with the Hudelot style. I suspect with the impressive amount of dry extract present that once the final blend is made the oak will be successfully integrated and as such, my score awards the benefit of the doubt.”

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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($219.95) $169 pre-arrival special, 6 bottles available
Burghound 91-93 points
“An expressive and exceptionally pretty nose speaks of wild red berry fruit liqueur aromas that marry into pure, detailed and quite delicate flavors that possess a lacy mouth feel, all wrapped in a dusty, focused, intense and impeccably well-balanced finish. Excellent quality here in a package that should age well over the next 6 to 8 years. Recommended.”

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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2006 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special, 1 bottle available
Burghound 94 points
“Initially this was somewhat like the 2006 RSV (see herein) as the nose was reduced though unlike the RSV the reduction rapidly blew off to reveal an intensely spicy and layered dark berry fruit nose that remains entirely primary and youthful. There is excellent intensity to the tautly muscular, cool and mineral-inflected big-boned flavors that are supported by a firm tannic spine on the powerfully long and driving finish. This highly promising effort is still very much on the way up and should age beautifully for years.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points “Deep red-ruby. Stubbornly closed nose hints at some high-toned dark berries and spices along with sweet oak. Fatter and riper than the RSV, showing more early power but less finesse. This is distinctly chewy and deep, with terrific density but less lift to its brooding flavors of black cherry, dark berries and minerals. As broad and powerful as this is, it comes across as less sweet today than the RSV.”
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Want to see all 28 bottlings from Hudelot-Noëllat arriving next week?
Just click here to view a full list on our website.
Domaine Fourrier: Grand Cru and Beyond

Domaine Fourrier makes some of the most captivating wines in Burgundy.  To Burgophiles, this isn’t much of a claim—the wines that Jean-Marie has produced since taking over from his father have become hot tickets in the Burgundy world.  If you aren’t familiar, though, these are wines to put on your radar. Fourrier’s style is heavily influenced by his time working under Henri Jayer and the wines show this.

When young they’re among the most impressive in Burgundy, combining succulent fruit with minerality and a complexity that’s nearly unmatched in newly released wines.  They improve with age, as well, though we’ve always had a hard time keeping our hands off of the lower-tier wines in the first five years after the vintage.  Fourrier works exclusively with old massale vineyards (anything from vines younger than 30 years is sold off) and that sort of soul really makes it into the bottle.

We’ve got some new wines from Fourrier arriving soon, including the nearly-impossible-to-find Griotte-Chambertin and (negociant) Clos de Beze (and more).  Here are some highlights, but you can click here to see all 21 bottlings available for purchase now!

Arriving October 30th:

Only one bottle available
Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne, Cote de Nuits 2003 750ML ($699.95) $499 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “Red-ruby. Deeply fruity aromas of blackberry, raspberry, violet and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully precise and penetrating, with uncanny definition and detail for a 2003. The black fruit and violet flavors are lifted by a minty, medicinal element on the back end. Impressively concentrated, vibrant wine, finishing with noble tannins and outstanding persistence.”
Burghound 92 points “This too trades on elegance and purity of expression with just a bit more of everything, particularly mid-palate density. Very fresh and bright red pinot fruit aromas combine with sweet, mineral-infused, crisp and beautifully delineated full-bodied flavors that culminate in a punchy finish that possesses real lift and verve. This has that “wow” factor and while it will be approachable young, this is built to age too.”

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Only one bottle available
Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne, Cote de Nuits 2009 750ML ($1399.95) $1199 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2009 Griotte-Chambertin is a relatively delicate, ethereal wine with expressive aromatics and understated fruit. Deceptively medium in body, the Griotte needs time to flesh out a bit, but it is a stunner. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.”
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points “Medium red. Slightly high-toned aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, violet and licorice. The high-toned quality carries through in the mouth, where the sappy-sweet black and blue fruit flavors are complicated by saline soil tones. Less creamy than some of Fourrier’s 2009 premier crus, this very firmly structured, long wine will demand patience. The lovely lift on the back end suggests that it has the energy for a long evolution. Fourrier now gets all his corks from a single supplier in Corsica, who simply steams them and does not use a peroxide solution.”
Burghound 94 points “This is also intensely floral as well as quite elegant with a highly attractive sense of freshness to the high-toned red berry and wet stone suffused aromas. The seductively textured, concentrated and mouth coating flavors possess a taut muscularity on the refined, intense and hugely long finish where a discreet touch of wood surfaces. This should make for a seriously fine example of the appellation in a decade or so yet thanks for the ample dry extract, it should be enjoyable young if desired.”
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Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne, Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML ($899.95) $799 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “The 2014 Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru has a very intense bouquet with maraschino, blueberry and violets blossoming in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe black fruit, blueberry and a hint of balsamic, leading to a quite a structured and dense finish that just needs a touch more finesse. I think that will develop with time. Superb.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 94+ points “Good medium red. Strawberry and rose petal on the nose. At once dense and brisk, displaying a penetrating quality to its seamless, fine-grained flavors of red fruits and orange zest. Wonderfully taut and energetic but also fine-grained and suave. Less saline today than the Clos Saint-Jacques but boasts terrific fruit and mineral extension on the long, savory finish.”

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Arriving October 26th:

“Don’t miss!”
Jean-Marie Fourrier Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne 2015 750ML ($779.95) $679 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“The 2015 Chambertin Grand Cru has a beautifully defined bouquet with black cherries, crushed strawberry, bergamot and rose petal scents, the mineralité surfacing with a few swirls of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, gentle grip, fine structure with impressive density on the finish. The elegance will come later, with bottle age.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 94-96 points “(made from even smaller berries than the Clos de Bèze, according to Fourrier; this fruit was picked on September 20; just one new barrel out of four): Deep red. Wild, soil-driven scents of raspberry, minerals, spices and game. Boasts outstanding richness and depth of texture without heaviness, although some unabsorbed CO2 is muting the wine’s fruit today. Most impressive today on the spicy, building finish, which features utterly noble tannins and pronounced terroir character. “The magic of 2015 was the way the vines were able to maintain their plateau of ripeness for two weeks,” noted Fourrier.”
Burghound 93-95 points “Don’t miss! A prominently less spicy but even more complex nose displays admirable purity on the cool, dense and restrained array of various black berry fruit, earth, forest floor and a hint of the sauvage. The more mineral-driven and overtly powerful big-bodied flavors possess even better energy if less refinement on the hugely long, serious and built-to-age finale. This will absolutely require at least a decade of bottle age and reward double that.”

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“Flat out terrific and highly recommended.”
Domaine Fourrier Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($799.95) $699 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 94+ points
“Good deep red. Knockout nose combines raspberry, mocha, roast coffee, game and minerals, accented by mint and oak spice. The palate offers a lush wall of thick fruit that saturates the entire palate without leaving any impression of weight. This densely packed beauty finishes extremely long and smooth, with utterly suave tannins and superb aromatic lift.”
Burghound 94 points “Outstanding. A positively gorgeous nose of cool red, blue and violet aromas nuanced with hints of anise, stone, mild earth and crushed herb notes that continue onto the classy, refined and very pure flavors that retain a terrific sense of focus and detail on the firmly tannic and almost Zen-like finish that is a study in harmony and grace. Flat out terrific and highly recommended. Stated differently, don’t miss it!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $801
Domaine Fourrier Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($599.95) $519 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 95 points
“Medium red. Perfumed aromas of raspberry, dried rose, smoke and pepper. Deep, dry and intense on the palate, with compelling inner-mouth perfume to the raspberry and orange zest flavors. The wine’s exhilarating sugar/acid balance and peppery lift give the very long, savory finish outstanding verve. Tannins are utterly suave.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $599
The average price is $697
Want to see all 21 different Fourrier bottlings available for purchase right now?
Just click here to view a complete list on our web store!

A Top Value Tempranillo

Vintage Toro at Great Pricing

Arriving Friday, October 26th

Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 2011 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 2011 750ML ($179.95) $141.90 pre-arrival special (that’s only $11.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2011 Monte Hiniesta comes from six parcels of 65-year-old vines that are cultivated bio-dynamically. The wine is raised in new and second year French barrels. It has a gorgeous, vivacious, ravishing bouquet of wild strawberry, maraschino cherry and dark plum that is beautifully delineated. The palate is succulent on the entry with plush tannins, crisp acidity and a compact, fruit-driven finish that deserves another two years to unfurl. The aftertaste is very long, with hints of spice and white pepper. This represents great value. Drink 2014-2020.”


Thanks for reading!