Weekend VinopolPick 10-25-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Charles Heidsieck: Weekend Subscriber Special

Two Icons of Napa Cabernet:
Spottswoode and Dunn Howell Mountain

Trending Wines

Staff Pick: A Beautiful Austrian Field Blend

Savart Restocked

A New Vintage of Simone Rosé

Collector’s Corner

New Hermitage from Jaboulet


Charles Heidsieck:

Weekend Subscriber Special

We’ve got a price on Charles Heidsieck’s Brut Reserve that’s so good, we can’t list it online.  This is a fantastic, NV Champagne from a truly classic Grande Marque house that’s a great deal at our normal (quite good) price of $49—but for $10 less you’re going to want to stock up.  This $39 per bottle price is valid for you (email subscribers) only and won’t display in our webstore, but we’ll manually adjust pricing before we run your credit card.  You can also call or email to place an order—but these are first come, first served and stock is limited and this price is only valid until we open for business on Monday.

Charles Heidsieck is one of the great, historic houses of Champagne, but because of their small size they tend to be overlooked.  They make wines that are notable for their filigree and elegance, incorporating long aging on the lees and significant amounts (40+%) of older (reserve) wines in their NV blends.  Based on the quality in the bottle and the age required to get there, you’d expect these wines to be 25-40% more expensive than they are.

Subscriber Special Price Will Not Display Online
We Will Adjust Your Price Before Finalizing Your Order
Subscriber Special Price Valid Until 10AM Monday 10/28/19 , or Sold Out

Arriving ETA Mid-November:

Subscriber Special
Charles Heidsieck Brut, Champagne 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Subscriber Special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92+ points
“Based on the 2014 vintage, complemented by fully 40% old reserve wines, the new release of Charles Heidsieck’s NV Brut Réserve was disgorged earlier this year. It’s showing very well, opening up in the glass with notes of green apple, dried white flowers, pear, candied peel and walnuts. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a textural attack and a racier, tighter-knit core than either the 2012- or 2010-base renditions, displaying good concentration and underlying richness. This is a bottling that continues to punch above its weight and which both merits and rewards a few years in the cellar before opening.”

Subscriber Special Price Will Not Display Online
We Will Adjust Your Price Before Finalizing Your Order
Subscriber Special Price Valid Until 10AM Monday 10/28/19 , or Sold Out

Also Available from Charles Heidsieck, In Stock Now:

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires, Champagne 2004 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
Decanter 97 points
“It says much that Charles Heidsieck went for the 2004, not the richer 2002, as the long-awaited successor to the epic 1995 Millenaires – the ’04 has an admirable beauty and finesse in the classic mould that fits the style of this wine so well. It’s an intriguing blend of great Chardonnays from Oger, Mesnil, Avize and Cramant, but also from Vertus, a premier cru punching above its weight. Vanilla and butter flatter this wine famously, but there’s no oak. It has controlled richness, with precision and purity ruling over the green and tropical fruits. A magnificent champagne with impressively elegant acidity, a triumph now and for years to come. Disgorged in 2016. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A seamless Champagne, showing a texture of raw silk, this weaves vibrant acidity with an expressive range of glazed apple and poached white cherry fruit flavors, with pickled ginger and saffron spice details and rich notes of pastry cream, toast and coffee liqueur. More about finesse than power, this is long and creamy on the mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2028. [Reviewed Dec 2018]”

Arriving ETA January:

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($99.95) $75 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points
“Based on the 2012 vintage, the latest rendition of Heidsieck’s NV Blanc de Blancs incorporates some 20% reserve wines, derived from younger vintages to emphasize what Cyril Brun described as the “youthful” side of Chardonnay, in contrast to the mature expression of that cépage offered by the house’s Blanc de Millénaires. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of citrus oil, white flowers, green apple and walnut oil, complemented by some of the empyreumatic nuances so typical of the base vintage, it’s a medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and incisive wine that’s lively and inviting. It was disgorged last year with nine grams per liter dosage.”

Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose, Champagne 750ML ($89.95) $61.50 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points
“The new release of Heidsick’s NV Rosé Réserve is based on the 2012 vintage, with the usual 20% of reserve wines and some 6% still red wine from Les Riceys in the Aube. Already exhibiting considerable complexity, it wafts from the glass with scents of orange rind, red plums, gingerbread and red berries. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, satiny textured and fleshy, with lively acids and an attractively vinous profile. It was disgorged a few months ago with 11 grams per liter dosage”

Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose Vintage, Champagne 2005 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“A rich, toasty overtone brings you into the glass of this satiny rosé, offering flavors of baked white cherry and raspberry fruit, saffron, brioche and citrus peel, all deftly meshed with vibrant acidity. Elegant. Disgorged 2017. Drink now through 2029. 100 cases imported. — AN”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points “This bottle of the 2005 Brut Rosé was disgorged in 2017 with ten grams per liter dosage. It’s a lovely wine that offers up complex notes of red apple, mandarin, white cherries, brioche and nutmeg. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, pure and vibrant, with a fleshy core of fruit, brisk acids, a refined mousse and lovely chalky grip on the finish. This is a serious, vinous rosé that numbers among the challenging 2005 vintage’s successes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Two Icons of Napa Cabernet

Spottswoode and Dunn Howell Mountain

Spottswoode makes one of the most iconic wines in Napa from their beautiful estate vineyard. Their wines have been some of the most collectable, age-worthy wines in Napa since the 80’s and are sold almost exclusively to their mailing list. The wines easily compete with cult bottlings twice their price and are worth the trouble we have to go through to secure even these modest allocations—these are stunning bottles.  The new vintage, 2016, is a double-hundred pointer and one of the best wines of the vintage in Napa—at any price.  It’s hard to believe that Spottswoode is still sub-$250 when most of their competition has escalated to $400 and up.  We only get a few cases and they arrive in the middle of next month, so now’s your chance to grab this Napa gem.

Arriving ETA Mid-November

Spottswoode Family Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 100 points
“Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is still very tight and youthful, slowly unfurling to reveal a multifaceted wine with tons of black, blue and red fruit sparks—plums, cherries, black currants and red currants—with dark chocolate, cedar chest, black tea and red roses in the background plus wafts of pencil lead and prosciutto. Medium-bodied and firmly textured by superbly ripe, grainy tannins, it has a fantastic core of intense, complex layers, finishing on an edifying mineral note. Wow!”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “A perfect wine is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot, which is a classic blend from this incredible estate. Sporting a deep purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of ultra-pure creme de cassis, blueberries, camphor, scorched earth, and licorice, with subtle background oak, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, deep, powerful texture that carries sweet tannins and blockbuster length. With a stacked mid-palate, straight-up awesome purity of fruit, and a huge finish, it’s as classic and brilliant as it gets. Reminding me of the 2013 with its pure yet backward style, give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it will keep for 3-4 decades. Hats off to the team at Spottswoode for this legend in the making!”
Karen MacNeil-Decanter 97 points “Spottswoode, nudged about against Spring Mountain is situated on an ancient alluvial fan. The tiny vineyard has been owned and run by the Novak family since 1972. President Beth Novak and winemaker Aron Weinkauf are known for crafting Cabernets that paradoxically possess gentility and vivid concentration at the same time. The reverberating flavours always remind me of the sound of a church bell that someone has just struck hard. Wonderful exotic, spicy mulberry and cranberry notes. Fine tannin. Drinking Window 2019 – 2045.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant, plush and silky, like the 2012, but with a little more of everything. Dark cherry, plum, licorice, leather and espresso are all nicely lifted by the natural freshness of the year. At present, the 2016 is a bit shy, but it undoubtedly has a very bright future. Floral, perfumed notes add the closing shades of nuance. Spottswoode’s Cabernet is quite gracious in 2016, not to mention incredibly delicious.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Beautifully rendered, with a focused beam of gently mulled red and black currant fruit that glides through atop a subtle but persistent loamy structure. Light tea and alder notes fill in throughout, ending with a wave of fruit that is alluringly lined with latent mineral tension. Best from 2021 through 2040. 4,030 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Dunn Howell Mountain
Randy Dunn is a legend, even for Napa.  Big mustache, big personality, big wines.  Big scores too, though he’ll tell you that he doesn’t care about those.  The wines are everything you want in a Napa Valley mountain wine—big fruit, rich tannins, lower alcohol than a similar wine from the valley floor.  Most of all, the Dunn wines have a certain ineffable ‘Howell-ness’ that runs through their veins. The wines grab your attention and keep it in a way that only a handful of wines anywhere in the world can.

Arriving ETA Mid-November:

Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2014 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 96+ points
“Dark ruby. Captivating violet lift to the aromas and flavors of cassis, kirsch, licorice and mocha. Plush and fine-grained; extremely deep in the middle palate but this extremely rich wine impresses as much for its finesse as for its sheer density and power. Finishes with wonderfully harmonious tannins and great slow-mounting length. Owing to its sheer density and baby fat, the wine is edge-free from the start, but it’s likely to evolve at a snail’s pace and last for decades.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain has an incredibly evocative nose of crème de cassis, plum preserves and fresh wild blueberries with touches of chocolate mints, tilled soil, yeast extract, chargrill and scorched earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with fresh, crunchy black fruit, framed by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with bags of energy.”



Trending Wines

Old vine Carignan is one of California’s hidden gems.
Les Lunes Carignane Arnold’s Block, Mendocino 2017 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Winery Note
“Hailing from the historic Arnold’s Block in Mendocino County, our Carignane was made to capture the delicate intricacies and complexity that only come from working with an old vine vineyard. Arnold’s Block is located just east of Ukiah, in the McDowell Valley, on predominantly Pinole gravelly loam soils. Containing a mixture of sandstone, shale and quartz, these deep, well drained soils were formed from alluvial flows, depositing fist-sized stones along the way. 100% whole clusters were lightly foot tread in the fermenter upon fruit arrival. No sulfur was added prior to the 100% indigenous fermentation. Once a day gentle punchdowns were performed throughout the moderately warm (22-25C) fermentation. One delestage was performed approximately two thirds of the way through fermentation to round out the mid-palate. The wine was pressed after 28 days of maceration. The wine was raised in neutral 60 gallon (225L) French oak barrels for 20 months. 20 ppm sulfur was added following the completion of a native malolactic fermentation, and no sulfur was added prior to bottling in May of 2019.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Delightful stuff that’s perfect with takeout Thai or the finest cheeses.
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #1, Mosel 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points
“The 2017er Kinheimer Rosenberg Spätlese AP 1 was harvested at 89° Oechsle. It offers a lovely and attractive bouquet made of ripe fruits including pear, peach, and a hint of pineapple, all wrapped into smoke and herbs. The wine is delightfully refined on the palate with juicy fruits but also nicely racy acidity. The finish is quite direct, comparatively light, and superbly fruity. While already showing well at this early stage, this fully fruity Spätlese will only really deliver in a couple of years. 2025-2037.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “A refined version, with a lean profile, but still very expressive, displaying notes of yellow apple and white raspberry, echoing hints of saffron. Spice details linger on the inviting finish. Drink now through 2030. 102 cases imported.”
Terry Theise note “Now this is a Merkelbach wine! Explosively fresh and spicy; here the botrytis is positive; the wine is energetic and flourishing, recalling the ‘15s. You can’t help but love it. It’s sweeter than they usually bottle but acidity carries it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
A wildly expressive wine from a top Etna producer.
Alta Mora ‘Guradiola’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 96 points
“The crystal-clear nose of jasmine, slate, quartz, wild strawberries, blueberries and tons of orange rind, not to mention chocolate shavings and walnuts, is stunning. The full-bodied palate is expansive and fruit-forward yet so minerally and uplifted by a fresh line of acidity that culminates in a long finish. Tight and refined in terms of tannin texture. So good now but better in 2019.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2014 Etna Rosso Guardiola is a wine of unique beauty and character. Having seen this stunning vineyard in person and climbed its steep ascent on the flank of the volcano, I am immediately reminded of the warm smells that come from these sun-scorched soils and the wild herbal notes that come off the scrub brush that grows in this harsh, otherworldly environment. This wine offers an immediate sense of place. The bouquet is elegant, almost ephemeral at first. It grows exponentially in intensity and complexity as the wine takes on more air in the glass. Give it the time it merits. Tangy acidity and sour cherry keep the palate very much alive. Congratulations to Cusumano of Alta Mora for this authentic taste of Etna inspiration. Only 5,310 bottles were made. Fruit comes from a three-hectare vineyard with 120-year-old vines.”-ML

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Is there a more consistently great wine that’s priced this fairly?
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
James Suckling 97 points
“This is a driven and super tight Gran Reserva with dark berries and hints of spice and cedar. A spicy red-pepper undertone and some dried flowers. Full to medium body, integrated tannins and a superb finish. A great wine.. A wine for the cellar, but why wait?”
Tim Atkin, MW 96 points “(13.5%) Reflecting the excellence of the vintage, as well as its power, this is the latest in a superb run of 904 Gran Reservas. Combining Tempranillo with 10% Graciano for added backbone and grip, it’s a wine that is (as ever) supremely drinkable on release, but will reward further cellaring. Spicy, aromatic and enticing, with the vanilla sweetness of American oak, savoury tannins and a core of stylish, balsamic-edged fruit. Traditional Rioja with a modern accent. 2018-29.”
Peñín Guide To Spanish Wine 96 points “Podium Award Winner. Colour: pale ruby, brick rim edge. Nose: old leather, fruit liqueur notes, cigar, spicy. Palate: light-bodied, balanced, classic aged character, fine bitter notes, reductive nuances.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95+ points “This super classical cuvée showcases the wines from Haro, silky and elegant after long aging in oak and a good future in bottle. 2009 was a powerful vintage, ripe but with good balance. The blend is approximately 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, fermented in stainless steel with a 78-day natural malolactic. The aging was in four-year-old American oak barrels crafted by their own coopers; the wines aged from April 2010 until April 2014. During that time, the wine was racked every six months, to be finally bottled in November 2014. This is usually my favorite wine from the portfolio, where the balance between aging and youth reaches its highest point. It’s developed but it keeps some fruit character, plenty of spices and balsamic aromas. The palate is polished but has some clout, with clean, focused flavors and a long, spicy and tasty finish. This represents good value for the quality it delivers. Drink: 2018-2034.”
Wine & Spirits 95 points “A ‘Year’s Best Rioja Wine.’ …This is the most inviting kind of Rioja, melding its American oak scents and delicate maturity of fruit into elegance. It has the kind of robust delicacy that would match seafood paella.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Clos des Cortons, Faiveley’s flagship wine, is exceptional in ’16.
Domaine Faiveley Corton ‘Clos des Cortons’ (Monopole) Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Stephen Tanzer 95-98 points
“Bright ruby. Fruit-driven aromas of crushed black cherry and dark raspberry convey outstanding pungent lift. Incredibly concentrated, sappy and primary, conveying outstanding juicy purity and compelling thickness to its dark fruit and violet flavors. At once hugely powerful and utterly seamless, this wine finishes with great spicy length and lift. A real essence of Burgundy–and likely to evolve gracefully for 25 years or more.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Corton Grand Cru Clos des Cortons Faiveley is another cuvée that is showing superbly from bottle, revealing an attractive bouquet of ripe red berry fruit, orange rind, wood smoke, espresso roast and dark chocolate that’s framed by a deft touch of classy new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, satiny and lavish, with a deep and layered core, excellent concentration, vibrant acids and a long, beautifully defined finish. This is one of the finest rendition of the Clos des Cortons Faiveley produced under the new regime.”

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Staff Pick
A Beautiful Austrian Field Blend

Don’t worry too much about the pronunciation, instead focus on what’s in the bottle (though it’s German, so you can just sound it out—no hidden or silent vowels here). Ingrid Groiss makes beautiful, pure wines that are always just a delight to drink.  This is a field blend from a single vineyard planted by her grandmother.  The mix of seventeen different grapes comes together to form something that’s more than the sum of its parts.  When I drink it, I love how it always combines pretty orchardy fruit with a touch of cool herbalness and a citrus-oil freshness. That makes sense to me—all of the grapes ripen at different times and so when they’re all harvested together you get something that’s prismatic in its complexity.  It’s a wine that manages to pair with just about anything you’d want a white for and a pretty reasonable price, too.

In Stock Now:

Weingut Ingrid Groiss ‘Braitenpuechttorff’ Gemischter Satz, Niederosterreich, Austria 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
“This is redolent of freshly sliced green apple, featuring lemon oil, tarragon and dandelion hints. Savory midpalate, with a firm, minerally structure and vibrant acidity. The finish reveals accents of anise and spice. Drink now through 2023. 1,000 cases made, 192 cases imported.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “The hints of sun-dried hay, russet pear and bright lemon that mark the nose of this wine combine into zesty freshness on the palate. It’s ripe and concentrated, with a dry, lemony zing that lingers until the very last echo.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $26


Savart Restocked

Savart offers up some of the most impressive, compelling wines in Champagne every year.  There’s a house style to them (vinous, textural, mineral) that’s immediately recognizable as Savart wines, but the bottlings show vivid uniqueness that allows for easy differentiation.  We’re pleased to offer a broad selection of the Savart wines, from the (delicious) entry-level L’Overture to the profound single vineyard wines—and all at fantastic pricing.  These are some of the most stunning wines we offer every year and they always move quickly (especially the single-parcel offerings).

“This is another stellar set of wines from Fred Savart. There is not much else to say. Minimal handling allows for a very pure expression of the sites Savart works with. As always, these are rich, vinous Champagnes built on textured,multi-dimensional profiles.” – Antonio Galloni

“Fred Savart’s Champagnes from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown in the villages of Écueil and Villers-aux-Noeuds have rapidly become some of the most sought after—and, thanks to their production, hard to find—wines in the region…His vins clairs ferment in tanks, barrels and demi-muids, spending some ten months sur lies, with or without malolactic fermentation, before triage under natural cork with neither filtration, fining nor sulfites. Dosage is minimal. These are delicate, incisive and quietly intense: contemplative Champagnes that reward attention, though they’re dangerously drinkable, too. While it’s hardly necessary to fan the flames of already insatiable worldwide demand, all these releases come warmly recommended.” – William Kelley

More Stock Freshly Arrived, In Stock Now:

Savart L’Accomplie Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Case-6 Savart L’Accomplie Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($379.95) $309 special (that’s only $51.50/bottle—save over $20 per six pack!)
Savart L’Accomplie Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The NV L’Accomplie is a blend of equal parts 2016 of 2015 vintages. Dried apricot, pear, dried flowers and chamomile are some of the notes that grace this mid-weight, sublime, totally refined entry-level Champagne from Fred Savart. All the elements are impeccably balanced in this sublime, refined Champagne. L’Accomplie is 80% Pinot and 20% Chardonnay from Ecueil and Villers-aux-Noeuds. Dosage is 5 grams per liter.” [Review is for November 2017 disgorgement in 750ml]

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!

Savart “Les Noues” Ecueil Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($129.95) $99 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“Due to be disgorged four weeks after my visit was the 2015 Extra Brut Premier Cru Les Noues, a new bottling from a parcel of Pinot Noir vines that used to go into Savart’s l’Ouverture cuvée. Unwinding in the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles waxy citrus rind, red apples, berries and blanched almonds with hints of oyster shell and crushed chalk, it’s medium to full-bodied and ample but incisive, with excellent depth at the core, a lovely spice of acidity and a long, precise finish.”
Jamie Goode-Wine Anorak 95 points “The grapes for this wine used to go into Ouverture, but it’s now a new cuvée, just 1362 bottles made. 100% Pinot Noir. Fine cherries, herbs and nuts on the nose, with a palate that shows detailed, fine citrus, pear and apple fruit with some lovely red cherry notes. This has incredible precision and detail, with fine savoury nut, almond and liquorice notes. Really detailed and fine. Expressive.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Savart “Le Mont Benoit” Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($139.95) $115 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Premier Cru Le Mont Benoit was—like Savart’s Mont de Chrétiens—disgorged with only two grams per liter dosage in lieu of the normal three. It was showing especially well during my spring visit to the domaine, bursting with aromas of orange rind, crisp green apple, white flowers and almond paste, the prelude to a medium to full-bodied, layered and racy palate that’s long, penetrating and saline on the finish.”
Importer Note ” Le Mont Benoit (made a household name by Emmanuel Brochet) is a single parcel in Villers-aux-Noeuds. Fred’s plot is 95% Pinot Noir, and 5% Chardonnay. The dosage is 3g/L.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Savart “Le Mont des Chretiens” Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($139.95) $119 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Produced exclusively from Chardonnay in an Ecueil lieu-dit better-known for Pinot Noir is the 2015 Extra-Brut Premier Cru Le Mont des Chrétiens, a small cuvée that’s vinified in 500-liter barrels, without malolactic, and it was disgorged a few months ago with only two grams per liter dosage—one gram less than Savart’s usual three for this bottling. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of lemon curd, white flowers, fresh melon, pastry cream and mandarin, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and chalky, with a tensile profile despite the warm vintage, concluding with a mineral finish. Note that this bottling used to be named Dame de Coeur.”
Importer Note “Le Mont des Chrétiens is a lieu dit in the village Ecueil. The parcel is entirely of Chardonnay and Fred ferments and ages it in 500L barrels. The dosage is 3g/L. (Fred used to call this cuvée Dame de Coeur.)”

Savart “Le Mont des Chretiens” Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2014 1.5L ($299.95) $219 special
[Magnum disgorged October 2018]
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2014 Extra Brut Premier Cru Le Mont des Chrétiens is showing very well, wafting from the glass with scents of citrus oil, crisp green apples, fresh bread and crushed chalk. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, racy and incisive, with a tighter-knit and more precise profile than the very nicely balanced 2015 tasted alongside, concluding with a long, mineral finish. Note that this bottling used to be named Dame de Coeur.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Extra Brut Le Mont des Chrétiens, 100% Chardonnay from Eceuil, is a worthy follow up to the 2013. Bright, focused and sculpted, with tons of energy, the 2014 is another winner from Fred Savart. Grapefruit, white pepper, mint and crushed rocks all run through this crystalline, precise Blanc de Blancs, with an attractive layer of reduction that adds a razor’s edge of freshness. In the glass, the 2014 is bright and perhaps a bit severe, especially next to the 2013, but it is nevertheless striking. The 2014 was vinified in 500 and 600-liter barrels. Disgorged January 2018. Dosage is 3 grams per liter.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Savart Bulle de Rose Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 special
Importer Note
” Fred’s rosé is a rosé d’assemblage composed of 70% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay, and 8% still red wine. It comes entirely from the village of Ecueil. It is fermented mostly in stainless steel, with around 20% of the blend made in neutral barrels. The dosage is 6g/L.”



A New Vintage of Simone Rosé

Chateau Simone makes a truly iconic rosé.  Although they produce red and white, when someone says “Simone,” their rosé is the wine we think of—for good reason.  This is a brooding style of rosé, perfect for winter drinking and/or a few years of aging.  They go for decades, picking up savory nuance and silky textures along the way.  The 2018 is one of the most powerful versions the estate has made and is a perfect wine to go with all sorts of heartier foods—it’s surprising how versatile this wine is.

Arriving Friday, November 1st:

Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe. We import, on average, 1500 bottles per annum for the US market.”


Collector’s Corner

A gem of a wine, with extra power in this vintage but bright and ringing.
Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($799.95) $699 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“An appealing mix of lemon cake, peach, citronella, floral and stone flavors, this white is light-footed, yet intense and luminescent. Beautifully integrated acidity drives the long finish, where elements of mineral, citrus and spice linger. Best from 2020 to 2032.”
Burghound 93-95 points “Don’t Miss! A pungent and more expressive nose offers up a broad assortment of aromas that include notes of matchstick, white orchard fruit and in particular white peach, exotic tea and plenty of citrus nuances. The mouth feel of the big-bodied flavors is notably more refined than usual yet the underlying power of a fine Bâtard is certainly present and especially so on the hugely long, firm and built-to-age finish. In a word, impressive.”

“a wine of indisputable class” – Burghound
Sylvain Cathiard Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2009 750ML ($2,799.95) $2,499 special
Burghound 94-97 points
“A dazzlingly complex, perfumed and pure nose reveals a bit of wood influence yet remains strikingly elegant with its superb scope of spicy red berry fruit aromas that are followed by ripe, seductive and beautifully intense flavors that display marvelous depth and perfect balance on the sappy and naturally sweet finish of monumental length. This is a wine of indisputable class and a model of grace and understatement that should age effortlessly for 20 to 30 years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
There’s no one like Dugat-Py, especially in a warm year like 2009.
Domaine Dugat-Py Pommard La Levriere Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Beaune, 2009 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Burghound 89-92 points
“A very ripe nose features nose of plum, cassis and warm earth aromas that lead to rich, full-bodied and very serious big-bodied flavors that possess excellent mid-palate concentration and a sappy, long and mouth coating finish. This is an exceptionally good villages.”

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

Owned/run by Moueix (Dominus/Petrus), this new project is on the rise.
Ulysses Vineyard, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($189.95) $149 special
James Suckling 98 points
“Fabulous subtle aromas of black currants, violets and lilacs with a hot stone undertone. Full-bodied and dense, it shows such wonderful energy and synergy that delivers a firm yet gentle tannin backbone and complex mouthfeel that seduces you. Evolves wonderfully. Second wine from this new estate, which is owned by Christian Moueix of Dominus and Bordeaux.”
Robert Parker 96 points “The 2013 Ulysses is absolutely mind-boggling, as so many wines from this vintage are. Gorgeous blueberry and blackberry fruit, along with the telltale cassis and floral notes, jump from the glass. Again, this is Pauillac-like, with some cedar wood and subtle barrique smells. Again produced nearly all from Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, rich and long, with slightly sweeter tannins than the 2012. Production in 2013 was 960 cases, and Moueix told me that the entire growing season averaged about two and half weeks ahead of schedule from bloom break to harvest. This is a prodigious effort and will certainly stand as the great Ulysses of the first trio to be released. I suspect it will be drinkable in 3-4 years and keep for 30 or more, given the Moueix track record.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “Gravel, smoke, graphite, savory herbs, tobacco and iron are some of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. A typical wine from the eastern sector of Oakville on the border with Yountville, the 2013 is loaded with feral, savory notes, while the expression of blue/blackish fruit lies a bit more in the background. In 2013, the main signature is an expression of structure that is both vertical but also incredibly insistent through to the finish. In other words, this is a super-classic 2013 built for the cellar.”

One of the most singular wines in all of Spain—a bottle of genius.
Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2014 Les Manyes was bottled a little earlier, in June 2016. In many wineries in Priorat, 2013 is clearly better than 2014, but it’s not that clear in the case here, and you have to take it wine by wine. In the case of this Les Manyes, I think 2014 was the big surprise, with a combination of depth, perfume, subtleness and power difficult to achieve. The clay and chalky soils provide for an extraordinary texture of tannins, a lot less coarse than those from slate soils. It distills all the Mediterranean herbs and flowers, the essence of ripe red cherries and wild strawberries with some chalky minerality in a nose and palate that is close to perfection. This is a tour de force Garnacha from… chalky soils in Priorat! There are 1,008 bottles produced.”
Wine & Spirits 97 points “Dominik Huber farms this wine in an unusual place by Priorat standards: It comes from a vineyard at 2,600 feet in altitude-one of the highest in the region-on red clay soil rather than the more celebrated slate. The result is a wine as taut as a high-tension cable, with an acidity so firm and strong that it seems to electrify the wine. Made entirely of garnacha, held in a single 1,200-liter barrel for two years before bottling, it’s rich in red fruit, spice and mineral notes, but above all it is rich in structure. A wine to drink in a decade.”

New Hermitage (and Nearby) from Jaboulet

The hill of Hermitage is both one of the most famous wine landmarks in the world and also so much more interesting than common lore purports it to be. The story goes that the hill of Hermitage was the home of a knight seeking solace from the horrors of the Crusades upon his return home. He planted the vineyards that would become Hermitage and then built a chapel to pray in and that building, the Chapel of Saint Christopher, is the defining marker of the hillside. The name, Hermitage, takes the name of the hermit’s refuge.

Jaboulet purchased the Chapel of Saint Christopher and the surrounding plot of land in 1919—possibly the choicest part of the whole appellation. This is the core of their blend for La Chapelle, which for many defines what Hermitage can be, though the entire line of wines Jaboulet makes from the AOC (and its neighbor) is exceptional.  These are big, dense wines, with loads of Hermitage character and those effortless Syrah flavors that just don’t quit on extremely long finishes.  Both 2016 and ’17 are extremely successful vintages, with ’16 having the edge in potential longevity and ’17 the early-drinking curb appeal.  We are excited to offer the 2017’s for the first time (they arrive in the spring) in addition to the 2016’s we have arriving later this fall.  Stock up on both and thank yourself over the next decade or three.

First Offer: 2017’s
Arriving ETA March:

Jaboulet Aine Domaine Mule Blanche Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Rhone 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“A barrel-fermented blend of 50% Marsanne and 50% Roussanne, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage Domaine Mule Blanche is a terrific example of what those varieties can do when they’re grown in the right location and vinified with care. Gentle toasted grain scents waft from the glass, along with notes of marshmallow and melon. It’s full-bodied and richly textured, with notes of pineapple, crème brûlée and citrus on the long finish.”

Jaboulet Aine Chevalier de Sterimberg Hermitage Blanc, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94-97 points
“Jaboulet’s 2017 Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg is approximately two-thirds Marsanne and one-third Roussanne. Subtle notes of crushed stone and pencil shavings frame honey, pineapple and baking spices, all wrapped around a tensile core of tangerine and lime. In a year when no La Chapelle Blanc is being made, this is the top white Hermitage from Jaboulet, and it’s a beauty, with a silky texture and a long, mouthwatering finish.”

Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2017 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97-99 points
“In need of serious air to open up, the 2017 Hermitage La Chapelle became more and more impressive the longer I kept it in the glass. At first it seemed a bit simple, if admirably plummy and rich, but by the time ten minutes had elapsed, it was showing off elegant notes of crushed stone, pencil shavings and cassis, while remaining full-bodied, rich and concentrated. It’s velvety and long on the finish, but something left me wanting a bit more. It’s surely a great La Chapelle, but will it reach that elusive triple-digit score?”
James Suckling 98 points “The icon is in dangerously seductive form. Such pristine dark cherries, blackberries and dark plums, dark chocolate, finely crushed spices and plenty of crushed dark stones on offer. The palate is very intense, very slick and fine tannins deliver an almost playfully soft impression. The oak is super integrated. Like La Maison Bleue, this approachability is an aberration, as it has immense power, concentration and length with such regal and alluring swagger at the finish. But there is so much more to come. Try from 2024, better after 2030.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-96 points “Brilliant magenta. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur, incense and potpourri, while olive and exotic spice nuances build in the glass. Displays intense, alluringly sweet black/blue fruit, spicecake and violet pastille flavors that show sharp delineation and are braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Closes extremely long and precise, displaying a smoky, intensifying mineral quality and youthfully gripping tannins that build steadily.”

Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59.50 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“Full-bodied, creamy and supple, the 2017 Hermitage La Maison Bleue looks to be a thrilling Hermitage to drink over the next 10-15 years. It’s loaded with mixed blueberries and raspberries, adds subtle notes of mocha and baking spices and picks up a savory hint of black olives on the long, silky finish. Don’t make the mistake of thinking only the La Chapelle is worth drinking, this should be a real beauty when it’s released next year.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is utterly delicious and has a very plush and sweetly fruited core of flavor with a sweepingly fleshy, rich and quite plush feel. The tannins are very fine here; sleek and assertive, they seem to suggest early drinking. It’s so balanced, too. However, this deserves to be reserved for later, as there’s a lot more to come. Try from 2024.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“From a scorcher of a vintage that had tiny yields, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert offers a deep purple color as well as a classic Thalabert bouquet of black fruits, black olive, iodine, and peppery herbs. It’s a rich, rounded, sumptuous beauty that has plenty of sweet fruit, moderate tannins, and a great finish. It’s not going to match the 2015, but it’s a rocking wine I’d be thrilled to drink.”

Arriving Sooner: 2016’s 
Arriving ETA Fall:

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2016 750ML ($269.95) $225 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“The 2016 Hermitage La Chapelle is slightly denser than the 2017 and is a bigger, richer, more structured wine than the La Maison Bleue. Crème de cassis, blackberries, crushed rocks, ozone, scorched earth, and violet notes all emerge from this beautifully classic, elegant, seamless wine that carries full-bodied richness, building tannins, and a big finish, all while staying in the classic, elegant, balanced style of the vintage. It has plenty of tannins and is a quintessential La Chapelle that will have three decades of longevity.”
James Suckling 97-98 points “Very spicy and peppery with blue-granite aromas plus hints of grilled and smoked meat. Cloves and nutmeg. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a super spicy finish that almost burns with so much character yet turns fine and focused at the end. A beauty.”
Josh Raynolds 96-98 points “(raised in 20% new oak) Dark purple. A highly expressive, mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh blackberry and blueberry, candied flowers, incense and exotic spices. Sweet, palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur and violet pastille flavors are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper and bitter chocolate; a spicecake nuance gains strength with aeration. Steadily building tannins add shape and grip to the extremely long, incisive finish, which emphatically repeats the floral and mineral notes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this wine turn out as well as the amazing 2015 version.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Sourced from the granitic western portion of the appellation, the 2016 Hermitage La Chapelle features mouthwatering aromas of black olives and charred beef. It’s full-bodied and creamy-velvety in texture, incredibly lush without being overtly fruity. In fact, it’s largely savory, with elegant shadings of leather and spice on the long, silky finish. Yet despite being delicious now, this still has the granite backbone to age through 2040.-JC”

Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($47.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($279.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert offers a rocking (and classic) bouquet of ripe black fruits intermixed with notions new saddle leather, pepper, garrigue, and hints of bacon fat. This ripe, medium to full-bodied, silky wine has remarkable purity, is already complex, and finishes with serious length. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The classically styled 2016 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert boasts savory scents of black olive and leather. Medium to full-bodied, it’s plummy and rich, creamy and ripe but savory and earthy, not jammy at all, with a lingering, velvety-textured finish. It drinks well now, but it should continue to evolve and drink well through 2035.-JC”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92-94 points “(20% new oak) Bright violet. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented dark berries, cherry liqueur and candied violet on the nose. At once rich and energetic, offering juicy, focused black raspberry and cherry cola flavors along with a hint of smokiness. Turns sweeter on the lively, penetrating finish, which features sneaky tannins and a strong echo of smoky minerality.”
James Suckling 92-93 points “This shows pretty dark fruit along with cloves, dark berries and hints of black pepper. Medium to full body and a juicy finish.”

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