Weekend VinopolPick 10-23-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Wines from Arnot-Roberts

The Wine Advocate Loves Leonetti
New Reviews for the Washington Legend

Looking for Burlotto?
Don’t Miss Castello di Verduno’s Barolo
(and Stellar Barbera/Nebbiolo/Pelaverga)


Siro Pacenti
Profundity in Montalcino
(Plus a Slew of Other, 96+Point Brunellos)

Collector’s Corner
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti


New Wines from Arnot-Roberts

Arnot-Roberts has been one of the vanguard producers of the “New California” movement, making wines that deserve to be paid attention to as some of the best in the United States.  Started by childhood friends Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts in 2001, they’ve quickly established themselves as some of the best producers of restrained, elegant California wines.  In 2013 the San Francisco Chronicle named them “Winemakers of the Year” in recognition of the quality and consistency of the wines they’re producing.

If you’ve never had the wines before, don’t expect soft fruity wines.  Everything they touch has a backbone to it—a spine of acid and tannin that makes you think of the great wines of France far quicker than their California neighbors.  These are serious wines, built to age—which is how they’ve developed such a following. With a year or three in the cellar, these blossom into wines that rival the best in the world. We get painfully small allocations every year, so grab what you see, while you can.

Arriving ETA November:

Only twelve bottles available
Arnot-Roberts Montecillo Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“A captivating wine, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Montecillo Vineyard shows just how magical this Sonoma site is. A whole range of floral, savory and earthy notes gives the Montecillo that trademark aromatic profile that is such a signature. Big tannins add energy as well as shape to a classically built Cabernet that delivers the goods, and then some. What a wine!”

Only twelve bottles available
Arnot-Roberts Gamay Noir, El Dorado 2019 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special

No review for the current vintage. Review for the 2018 provided for reference.
Decanter 92 points “A blend of two high-elevation sites in the Sierra Foothills: Barsotti Vineyard (795m) and Witters Vineyard (1,005m). Wild, rustic nose of red plums, pepper and dried flowers then svelte palate that is broad and subtly tannic on the finish. These mountainous sites bring a sturdy, brambly quality to what is an often underrated variety. Singular and delicious.”

Only twelve bottles available
Arnot-Roberts Trousseau, Clear Lake 2019 750ML ($39.95) $36 pre-arrival special

No review for the current vintage. Review for the 2018 provided for reference.
Decanter 93 points “The Trousseau for this vintage mainly comes from the Clear Lake AVA, with smaller portions from Fort Ross-Seaview and Green Valley. It’s fermented whole cluster, basket-pressed and aged in neutral barriques for eight months. Aromas of dried fruit, brown sugar and rust lead to a fine-grained, weightless palate of golden raisins, white pepper and cranberry skins. A poised, rustic and beautiful example of a variety gaining ground in California, in large part due to Arnot-Roberts.”

Plus, a few stray Arnot-Roberts wines, in stock now:

Arnot-Roberts Fellom Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Fellom Ranch is sensual and nuanced, with tremendous textural finesse. Over the last few years, Duncan Arnot and Nathan Roberts seem to have given this wine an extra degree of elegance – especially in the tannins – that other vintages did not always show. Time in the glass brings out a range of floral, earthy, spiced and cedary notes that are typical of Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernets, along with layers of dimension that flesh out effortlessly.”

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

Arnot-Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
” The 2018 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is creamy, open-knit and expressive, and also the most approachable of the Chardonnays in the range. Orchard fruit, chamomile, almonds and dried flowers all meld together seamlessly. This is a very pretty Chardonnay from a cool site at the southern end of Napa Valley.”
Decanter 92 points “Sourced from the southernmost vineyard in Napa County, often tapped as a source for sparkling wines, Arnot-Roberts’ bottling of Watson Ranch Chardonnay was fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral French oak for 10 months. The nose is clean and focused, showing jasmine, lemon meringue and freshly baked pastries that lead to a taught, structured palate. Hold this wine for the next couple of years for a touch more richness to come to the fore.”
Winery note “Our Watson Ranch Chardonnay comes from a cold and windswept hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay in southern Napa, southeast of the Los Carneros District. The soils are composed of calcareous clay over limestone and the vineyard is meticulously tended by Salvador Ramos, who planted the vines 25 years ago. The 2018 fermented beautifully in our cellar and produced a wine with effusive aromatic lift, abundant fruit and transparent mineral structure.”


The Wine Advocate Loves Leonetti

New Reviews for the Washington Legend

“Founded in 1978 by Gary Figgins, Leonetti Cellar remains a benchmark Washington winery.” –Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

In Stock Now:

Leonetti Cellar Merlot, Walla Walla Valley 2018 750ML (119.95) $99 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Anthony Mueller – Wine Advocate 92 points
“Beginning with a heady nose of spiced plum and Chambord notes, the 2018 Walla Walla Merlot pops out of the glass with dark cherry reduction and purple flowers. Full-bodied, the palate is generous with the red spice and potpourri elements. The wine’s robustness offers gobs of pleasure but is not as complex as the rest of the range. The Merlot ends with a long, lingering finish with spiced plum notes.”

Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Anthony Mueller – Wine Advocate 94 points
“Instantly impressive with a deep ruby color and soft purple highlights, the 2017 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon floods the nose with rich, ripe and robust fruit tones. Juicy aromas of cherry compote, stewed plum and blackberry essence waft out of the glass with cinnamon-spiced oak tones and resinous purple flowers, compounded by an elegant nuance of turned earth. Full-bodied, the wine exudes with a robust expression that fills all of the corners of the palate with pleasure, power and finesse. An instant blockbuster, the wine ends with a long, drawn-out finish, with the flavors continuing to evolve on the palate for more than a minute, showing remarkable precision with notions of bitter dark chocolate and black cherries covered in cinnamon. Try to give it a few more years before opening. I’m tempted to open it now because it’s so beautiful, but patience will be rewarded here. Stunning!

Leonetti Cellar Reserve, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Anthony Mueller – Wine Advocate 97+ points
“A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec, the 2017 Walla Walla Reserve flirts with perfection. The nose explodes with layers and complexity, offering a frame of elegant spices, picture-perfect ripe fruit essence, dark cherry, black raspberry, spiced plum and redcurrant before subtle hints of tar and purple flowers start to seduce the nose. Full-bodied, showing impeccable weight and balance on the palate, the generously structured wine offers a succulent fruit frame supported by lifting tannins and energetic acidity that continue to unpack across the mid-palate. Driving the finish are long, layered and complex expressions that offer nonstop pleasure, proverbially ending with a spectacular firework display of flavor. Boom!”

Leonetti Cellar Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($119.95) $95 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Anthony Mueller – Wine Advocate 91 points
“Dark ruby in color, the 2017 Walla Walla Sangiovese has high-toned red fruit aromas with lush cherry skin, red plum, cherry blossom and touches of black raspberry with soft oak spices that lift the nose. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is ripe with robust dark red fruits that coat the palate with a subtle spice that lingers through the mid-palate, showcasing a balanced structure. There is a slight lift of elevated alcohol along with mouthwatering, energetic acidity and a tannic edge on the long, lingering finish that makes this wine food-friendly. This isn’t your average Chianti Classico; instead, it’s Sangiovese turned up to 11!”


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Looking for Burlotto?

Don’t Miss Castello di Verduno’s Barolo

While Burlotto’s cru Barolos have skyrocketed in price and scarcity over the last two years, the other major producer in their village, the Castello di Verduno, remains a relative bargain. This is a classically styled producer making wonderful, traditional wines and for the immediate future they’re both available and exceptionally priced. To an Italian from Piemonte, the discrepancy in pricing between Burlotto and the Castello di Verduno would seem fantastical—cases are easily made for both producers as being the top dog in the town—which means that this is a prime buying opportunity for us.

The Castello di Verduno, as you might guess, is a historically important producer of Barolo, located in Verduno, but also owns a cellar and important vineyard property in Barbaresco. The estate is owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, who have made it a mission to create some of the finest wines in the region. Their holdings are heavily skewed towards great vineyards—Rabaja and Faset in Barbaresco and Monvigliaro in Barolo, meaning their entry level wines show incredible class and purity as well. Everything they do (including the rare Pelaverga) is very traditionally vinified, with aging in older barrels (or stainless) and no new or small-format oak.

These are wines to pay attention to, both for their absolute quality and for the value they represent in a world of increasingly expensive Barolo and Barbaresco.

In Stock Now:

Castello di Verduno Barolo, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2016 Barolo is a pretty and accessible mid-weight Barolo that will drink well with minimal cellaring. Sweet pipe tobacco, cedar, mint, dried flowers and crushed berries are all nicely laced together. Understated and gracious, the 2016 offers considerable appeal. Sweet floral and spice notes linger on the expansive, layered finish. This is very nicely done, especially within its peer group.”

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

Castello di Verduno Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($26.95) $19 special
Importer Note
“The Castello di Verduno, owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, is a beautiful old building at the top of the village of Verduno, on the edge of the Barolo zone. The Castello di Verduno wine label unites two cellars, one under the castle in the Barolo zone and the other near the famous ‘cru’ Rabajà, in the Barbaresco area. Wines are produced in Barbaresco and bottled and stored in Verduno. If you want a preview of Barbaresco without spending $70 or more, or if you just love good, red, lip-smacking wine, try this Nebbiolo. All of the grapes come from the Barbaresco vineyards Faset and Rabajà. The wine shows elegant notes of red fruits, sandalwood, and rose petal. Lamb chops? Roast chicken? I’m making myself hungry.”

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

Castello di Verduno Basadone Pelaverga, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer Note
“Pelaverga is indigenous to the village of Verduno, it produces red wines that are light in color but savory and distinctive on the palate. Reminds me a lot of Grignolino, another geeky Piedmontese variety. This one is aged in stainless steel before bottling without filtration. The winery’s website cannot be improved on for a description: ‘Soft, though bright ruby red. Intense fragrant nose, showing clear spicy overtones of black pepper and nutmeg, as well as fruity sensations reminiscent of cherries in spirit and strawberries. Nicely-balanced, lingering dry flavour.’ Great with salumi. I would drink this at cellar temperature.”

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

Castello di Verduno Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Winery Note
“A deep ruby red packed with purplish highlights opens onto a delicate nose of lovely vinous aromas and red fruits, plums and ripe blackberries with spicy hint of liquorice. It has a smooth palate, medium body with the typical refreshing acidity. This Barbera d’Alba is our version of young and fruit Barbera. The target it is get a fresh wine both scents that picky, also thanks to characteristic of acidity that characterizes this vineyard. The grapes for this wine are selected on some small vineyards located in the village of Neive. The grapes are picked by hand, sorting only the best bunches and placing them into a 20 kilos baskets. The maceration lasted for 10days in stainless steel tanks, with regular punching down of the cap. The wine matured for3 months in big Slovenian oak casks, 6months in steel tanks and 2months in the bottle before its release.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!




A staff favorite!
Le Domaine d’Henri 821 Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs de Chardonnay 2018 750ML ($35.95) $29.90 special
Importer note
“Produced from 35+ year old vines in the Chablis appellation using the Méthode Ancestrale meaning that the alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats and bottled before aging with the CO2 necessary for the long haul already in the bottle. Aged on its lees for 24 months, it is then disgorged with no added sugar. 821 refers to the minimum total number of days necessary to produce this wine from the beginning of the growing season to the moment the bottle leaves the cellar. Delightful toast and citrus notes with some exotic tinges lead into a serious wine with high mineral tension, full fruit in the middle and a very fine and persistent bead. This is an impressive wine that will surprise many.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A seamless Spanish stunner
Ferrer Bobet Vinyes Velles, Priorat DOCa 2015 750ML ($74.95) $36 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The old vine 2015 Vinyes Velles checks in as a Carignan-dominated blend from vines just outside the village of Porrera that includes one-third Grenache, all of which spent over a year in French oak. It’s a bigger, riper, sexier wine than the Ferrer Bobet cuvée and boasts a deep purple color as well as rocking notes of black plums, black licorice, ground pepper, violets, and new leather. Ripe and full-bodied, with moderate acidity and terrific balance, it’s a seamless Priorat to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or so.”
James Suckling 94 points “This really captures the freshness of the carignan grape with its bright cherry character. Medium-to full-bodied with spice from the grenache and excellent vitality on the long, crisp finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $45

Always one of the best values in Barolo.
G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Case-12 G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($479.95) $369 special (that’s only $30.75/bottle!)
Case-6 G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Elegant and expressive, this red evokes cherry, raspberry and floral notes, aligned to a refined structure. This is balanced and leaves an aftertaste of fruit, tobacco and iron. Best from 2023 through 2043.”

Muga makes one of our favorite Rioja rosés—a crisp, pale, dry version that seems to capture the spiciness of Tempranillo with the brightness of the best rosés on the market.  
Bodegas Muga Rosado, Rioja DOCa 2019 750ML ($19.95) $14.50 special
James Suckling 90 points
“Pleasant watermelon, pink-guava and peach character with some citrus. It’s medium-bodied with good fruit and a fresh finish. Macabeo, grenache and tempranillo. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $16


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Siro Pacenti

Profundity in Montalcino

(Plus a Slew of Other, 96+Point Brunellos)

If you prefer your Tuscan reds to lean modern stylistically – think Altesino or Casanova di Neri, then we have a producer that deserves your attention. We recently received both Siro Pacenti’s 2015 Pelagrilli Brunello and 2018 Rosso di Montalcino, and they are both, in a word, beauties. These are wines that have power and richness, but a deft hand in the cellar keeps the elegance of the Sangiovese grape intact.

“Giancarlo Pacenti is by far the leading exponent of the modern school of Brunello di Montalcino. No other producer has succeeded in crafting wines of this much textural beauty and refinement. Over the years, Pacenti, along with the help of Bordeaux consultant Eric Boissenot has moved towards earlier blending of his wines with the goal of aging a complete blend rather than components. There is little question, the young wines here have never been better balanced and harmonious from the outset.” –Antonio Galloni, Vinous

In Stock Now:

Siro Pacenti Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points
“Pale red; this wine’s very pretty color strikes me as being one of the less dark Rossos made by Pacenti in years. Inviting floral notes (rose, violet) complement strawberry, red cherry and delicate flint and herb aromas. Then very fresh and juicy, with a steely quality to the red fruit and herb flavors that are really perked up by a strong peppery component on the long, lively youthfully chewy finish. Made from 15 years old Sangiovese vines, this is a really lovely fruit-forward and also surprisingly spicy Rosso di Montalcino. 25% new oak for 12 -3 months.”

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

Siro Pacenti Pelagrilli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
James Suckling 96 points
“Such lovely aromas of flowers and red fruit with some cedar and spice. Hot terra cotta. Full-bodied, very round and soft textured with beautiful fruit and balance. Fresh and vivid. Such balance and beauty. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The Siro Pacenti 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli is a rich and pleasing wine with very nice aromatics. Of these two new releases, the Pelagrilli is more characteristic of Tuscany and Sangiovese. The Vecchie Vigne expression tastes far more international or contemporary (read: it has more oak flavors) in comparison. I tend to prefer this wine especially in a vintage like 2015 that is so naturally expressive and powerful to begin with. The bouquet opens to dried cherry with dusty mineral notes and dried Mediterranean herb. On the the finish, you taste some of that sweetness that comes with aging in French barrique. Some 23,000 bottles were released in January 2020.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Effusive aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry, plum and spice mark this generous, polished red. Well-structured, picking up earth and iron accents for good measure. Shows terrific balance and a long finish. Best from 2022 through 2042. 1,900 cases made, 680 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Love Brunello? Check out the best that we currently have in stock (all scored 96+) featured below:

“Elegant and saturated with flavor”
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 98 points
“This delivers intense balsamic notes of juniper, wild rosemary and sage, along with rose, cherry and berry aromas and flavors. Elegant and saturated with flavor, supported by a vibrant structure. Ends with energy and refined tannins. Best from 2022 through 2040. 750 cases made.”

“Great balance and finesse”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022-2035.”

“Ripe and concentrated, yet sleek and focused”
Casanova di Neri Cerretalto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($419.95) $379 special
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Flavors of medicinal herbs, juniper, macerated cherry, plum, tobacco and spice are the hallmarks of this intense red, which is ripe and concentrated, yet sleek and focused. Spice notes chime in on the long, minerally and firmly tannic finish. Best from 2023 through 2040.”
Wine Advocate 98 points ” The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto offers a prolonged, flowing and carefully massaged drinking experience that drapes over the senses with some studied intensity and lots of intriguing complexity. This wine nails that perfect balance between power and elegance (that elusive exchange that so many winemakers hope to achieve) with effortless precision. Bold cherry fruit and spice are tightly woven together. In the mouth, the wine shows texture, depth and succulence. Generally speaking, this is not my favorite vintage in Montalcino, but this wine suddenly made me forget that thought.”
James Suckling 97 points “The density is so impressive in this great single-vineyard wine of Casanova. It’s full yet agile at the same time. Shows such integrated tannins and fresh acidity at the finish. Energized and focused. Tangy and citrusy. Mineral undertone. One of the great Brunellos of 2012. Better in 2022.”

“Give it time to show its greatness”
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013 750ML ($134.95) $99 special
#87 Wine Of The Year – James Suckling Top 100 In 2018
James Suckling 98 points
“A vivid and bright red with intense blueberries and raspberries. Floral undertones and tons of citrus, too! Full-bodied, dense and layered. Polished tannins and fantastic fruit. The muscularity of the structure is what gives this wine focus and intensity. So serious for the vintage. Give it time to show its greatness. Drink in 2022.”

“Intense, yet ever so subtle”
Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Wonderful aromas of flowers, plums, terracotta and white pepper. Intense, yet ever so subtle. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins, and a long and intense finish. Shows excellent length. Drink after 2021.”

“All about harmony”
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 5 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points
“Lots of ripe and rich fruit with a decadent undertone of meat and spice that turns to pure fruit and licorice. Medium to full body, refined tannins and a fresh and bright finish. All about harmony. Better after 2021.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast “Cellar Selection 98 points. Intense aromas of berry, iris, underbrush, botanical herb and camphor shape the enticing nose. Firmly structured, the taut, full-bodied palate offers juicy black cherry, raspberry, licorice and tobacco set against tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2025–2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone or chalk. This adds a greater sense of focus and delineation that not only characterizes the bouquet but also applies to the way the wine hits the palate in a fuller and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello). Instead, this single-vineyard Brunello shows an upright and direct approach with soft salinity on the close followed by forest fruit, spice and medicinal herb. The mouthfeel makes a big impact thanks to its streamlined and polished texture. Some 37,000 bottles were released in January 2020.”

“Bright and juicy”
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Bright and juicy, this is packed with cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral aromas and flavors. Linear in shape and tightly wound, yet very pure, with a long, detailed aftertaste that pulls all the elements together. Best from 2021 through 2040. 350 cases imported.”

“Elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($519.95) $336 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino lives up to the impeccable reputation garnered by this estate over the years. This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint. This Brunello shows elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future ahead. Some 200,000 bottles were made, so it should be easy to locate this excellent wine.”

“Vibrant and dense, with fine acidity driving the long finish”
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Case-6 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($699.95) $564 special
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 1.5L ($259.95) $219 special, 4 magnums in stock now
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 3L ($499.95) $428 special, 3 double magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 97 points
“Perfumed, with wild herb aromas and a subtle mix of strawberry and cherry fruit. Vibrant and dense, with fine acidity driving the long finish. Though elegant, there is intensity and fine energy on the aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2028.”

These are the lowest listed prices in the USA today!

“Beautifully fragrant, almost exotic in character”
Lisini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Decanter 96 points
“With vineyards between Sant’Angelo in Colle and Castelnuovo dell’Abate on the inner edge of the Sesta district, Lisini’s vineyards are cleansed by constant breezes from the Tuscan Coast. Stony soils with an important underpinning of limestone as well as elevations over 300 metres help preserve freshness in their wines. The 2015 is beautifully fragrant, almost exotic in character. Plump red fruit and sweet summer herbs fill the mouth but rather than being heavy, this is poised and transparent. Ample powdery tannins are fine and lead to a tangy marine finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

“Bright and elegant yet taut and structured”
Lisini Ugolaia, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“A bright and elegant yet taut and structured version, this red features buried cherry, plum, earth, iron and tobacco flavors. Dynamic despite the firm grip of tannins, this should come around in a few years. Licorice and ripe cherry notes mark the finish. Best from 2020 through 2038.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

“Captures the essence of the vintage”
Valdicava Madonna del Piano, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2007 750ML ($299.95) $219 special, 6 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“An impressively structured wine. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries with hints of violets. Full body with velvety, rich tannins. Very tannic and powerful, yet the tannins are polished and pretty. Layers of everything here. Give this another three to four years before opening.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano is another super- finessed wine. Subtle floral notes meld into expressive red berries in a sumptuous Brunello that captures the essence of the vintage. The style is rich and deeply textured, but the 2007, as outstanding as it is, needs at least a few more years in bottle. Once again, finesse rules the day.”

Love wines from Montalcino? We have over 50 wines from Montalcino currently available.
Shop our entire selection, including famous names like Casanova di Neri, Il Poggione, Lisini, and more on our web store!

Collector’s Corner

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

To say DRC is the finest example of Burgundy is an understatement. These are the finest wines produced in the world. Iconic and highly sought after, these are devoted followed and drunk in ecstasy. These arrive next month directly from the national importer, Wilson Daniels, through our local distributor. 

“The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2017s are showing brilliantly from bottle, and this tasting with Bertrand de Villaine was one of the absolute high points of my two months of visits along the Côte d’Or… spending an hour or two with full glasses of wines such as these is not merely of immense professional interest but, I admit, a source of great personal pleasure… it is clear that this is a vintage that will give immense pleasure to anyone able to secure a few bottles. Hauntingly aromatic, structurally supple and pungently intense, this vintage will drink well younger than both its 2016 and 2015 predecessors, but it is much closer in quality to those two vintages than I perceived 12 months ago. At the end of our tasting, the group spent some time discussing possible analogies, and the comparison I found the most compelling is with the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 1985 vintage. Indeed, I had drunk a superb 1985 Grands-Echézeaux from the domaine over dinner with a good friend a few days before my visit, and the similarities in overall balance between the two vintages were strikingly apparent as I tasted through the young 2017s. The domaine’s 2017 Montrachet also merits special comment, as it is a magical wine built for the ages.” William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Arriving ETA November:

Only three bottles available
Domaine de la Romanée -Conti Romanée -Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($2,999.95) $2,799 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“A total stunner, the 2017 Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru is the most expressive wine in the lineup today. Rich, creamy and so wonderfully textured, the RSV simply has it all. The tannins are present, but they are also matched by tremendous fruit density and pure power. Floral and savory overtones grace the lifted, saline finish. Leaving price aside, if I could only have one wine in this range, it would unquestionably be the RSV. The 2017 is a total knock-out. That’s all there is to it. This fruit was picked on September 10 and 11.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2017 Romanée-St-Vivant Grand Cru was also showing very well indeed, soaring from the glass with scents of cassis, violets, blood orange, cinnamon and espresso roast that are complemented by carnal nuances of smoked duck and musk. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, multidimensional and enveloping, with terrific concentration, rich and powdery structuring tannins and a long, saline finish. This is a dramatic, head-turning Romanée-St-Vivant in the making, and it is showing even better in bottle than it did from barrel.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2017 Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru was picked on September 10 and 11 at 36hl/ha and bottled between April 26 and May 21. It initially has a more reticent bouquet compared to the Richebourg and requests more time in the glass. Eventually it evolves wonderful, almost pixelated scents of red berry fruit, wild hedgerow and crushed stone. Although it is less intense than the previous two vintages, I discern a touch more precision and focus than in the Richebourg. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins. There is a little more body and depth than in the aforementioned Grand Cru; more energy, perhaps. A mixture of red and black fruit emerges toward the finish, the latter becoming more prominent with aeration. This is a delicious Romanée-Saint-Vivant. Beautiful. 1,693 cases produced…”

Only one bottle available
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($2,499.95) $1,999 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2017 Grands-Echézeaux Grand Cru is a pretty big step up in this range, both in terms of depth, power and energy. Here the flavors are dark, while there is quite a bit of tannin lurking beneath. Black cherry, graphite, leather, smoke, spice and menthol infuse the 2017 with tons of virile, somber character. Readers will have to be very patient. A whole range of sepia-toned aromas and flavors shrouded in tannin add depth to an imposing Grands-Echézeaux built for cellaring. Harvest was on September 12.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “More brooding and reserved than the Échézeaux that preceded it in the tasting, the 2017 Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru unwinds in the glass with an enticing bouquet of cassis, blackberries, blood orange, exotic spices and musk. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a more introverted, structured profile than the Échézeaux, its considerable reserves of concentrated fruit framed by an abundance of powdery tannin and succulent acids. Long and penetrating, this will reward sustained bottle age. The Grands Échézeaux was picked on September 12.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 94 points “The 2017 Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru was picked at 41hl/ha on September 12 and bottled on May 21 and 23, 2019. Given 10–15 minutes to open, it is clearly richer on the nose compared to its petit frère, revealing hints of kirsch, red currant and orange pith and subtle loamy aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, with suppler tannins than the Echézeaux and hints of wild mint, freshly rolled tobacco and a touch of spice toward the harmonious finish, which fans out effortlessly; it is perhaps less grippy than the 2015. This is an open “G.E.” since it can often be difficult to read just after bottling. It will give enormous pleasure over the next two decades. 1,290 cases produced.”

Only one bottle available
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($3,199.95) $2,699 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Richebourg Grand Cru offers up generous aromas of ripe strawberries, raspberries, cinnamon and coniferous forest floor, framed by a lavish application of creamy new oak that’s less immediately integrated than in the Domaine’s other wines at this early stage. On the palate, the Richebourg is full-bodied, rich and multidimensional, with a lavishly enveloping attack and supple structuring tannins that are almost entirely concealed by its deep core of fruit. Long and sapid, this is a spectacular wine in the making.”
Allen Meadows-Burghound 95 points “A discreet application of wood frames the even more complex and spicier nose of relatively high-toned, cool and airy aromas of red berries, violet, rose petal, orange pekoe tea and a hint of leather. The sleek, intense and sophisticated middle weight plus flavors brim with both minerality and dry extract that buffers the slightly firmer tannic spine shaping the hugely long, powerful and beautifully harmonious finale. It would be fair to observe that this isn’t the most concentrated Richebourg the Domaine has ever produced but it is one that should age effortlessly on its balance. In sum, this is a highly refined and elegant Riche with a positively gorgeous mouthfeel.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Richebourg Grand Cru is a Burgundy of Cistercian austerity. Searing tannins give the Richebourg its trademark sense of energy and vibrancy. White pepper, mint, dried flowers and bright red berry fruit are all beautifully delineated, with underlying beams of minerality and salinity that lend dimension. Richebourg is very rarely finessed, but is more typically a wine of brawn and pure power, as it is here. A range of bright, floral/savory accents suggest a bit more elegance may lie ahead. We will see. My colleagues appreciate the Richebourg more than I do. Harvest began the afternoon of September 8, after Romanée-Conti. Rain on the 9th caused a break in picking for the day. The last of the Richebourg came in on the 10th.”

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