Weekend VinopolPick 11-16-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year

Black Friday Starts Early

An Assortment of New Arrivals

The Powerful Beaujolais of Bouland – Restocked!

Our Top Thanksgiving Picks

Terre Nere: Sicily’s Answer to Burgundy

Giuseppe Rinaldi – Icon of Barolo
The Wine Spectator #1 Wine of the Year

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2015

The time of year is finally upon us when Wine Spectator bestows a wine with their Wine of the Year honor, ranking it at the top of their annual Top 100 Wines of the Year list.  We have a small allocation arriving November 20th, available for sale now.  Grab it while you can.

Arriving ETA November 20th:

#1 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 In 2018
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Love the aromas to this young red with blackcurrants, sage, cinnamon and five-spice character. Changes all the time. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with a ripe and rich tannin backbone that gives form and beauty to the ripe and beautiful fruit. Tight and very long. Approachable now but will reward more in five to six years. A classic Sassicaia.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Having followed this wine’s evolution in barrel for the past few years, it is an honor to evaluate the final product. This Sassicaia has blossomed since my previous encounters with it as a young, awkward adolescent. The long-awaited 2015 Bolgheri Sassicaia represents a tremendous effort that comes together with seamless precision and focus. This is a confident and proud red wine from Tuscany. Starting with the primary material at hand, you sense the quality of fruit thanks to the wine’s beautifully dark appearance and the rich texture it offers to the palate. The acidity is integrated, but more freshness still would have been welcomed in my view (and would also contribute to its longevity). The bouquet is amplified both in terms of volume and length. Its playlist includes dark berry fruit, spice, leather, licorice and roasted coffee bean. Yet, the mouthfeel is extremely graceful and silky. The wine’s undisputed pedigree is showcased on the palate. It should also be noted that this edition of Sassicaia feels more ready and open to me. It will age and evolve beautifully, but the 2015 Sassicaia can also be enjoyed in the medium-term. This wine is all about the here and now.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Rich and concentrated, this red features black currant, blackberry, violet, mineral and spice flavors. Dense yet lively, structured yet impeccably balanced, with vibrant acidity driving the long, fruit-filled aftertaste. The oak is beautifully integrated. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2042.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Cellar Selection. This iconic wine’s blackberry, cedar and vanilla aromas fill the glass. The elegant, structured palate delivers juicy black currant, black cherry, exotic spice, crushed herb and menthol flavors alongside taut, fine-grained tannins. It boasts a fantastic combination of delicious, ripe fruits, balanced by remarkable freshness and agility for the hot vintage. Drink 2022–2035.”
Looking for other top ten wines from the Wine Spectator Top 100?

Just Arrived:

#5 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 In 2018
Dom Perignon Brut Chef de Cave Legacy Edition, Champagne 2008 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.”
John Gilman 98 points “The 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon is an absolute classic in the making and this is destined to be one of the great recent years for this iconic cuvée. It is far more classically structured out of the blocks than the relatively generous 2009 version, offering up a deep, complex and very youthful bouquet of menthol, green apple, a touch of tangerine, a very complex base of minerality and notes of dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with precise mousse, brisk acids and stunning length and grip on the primary and laser-like finish. This will demand some cellaring to start to really stir and should prove to be an extremely long-lived vintage of DP. Stellar juice.”
James Suckling 98 points “The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers. Drink now or hold.”
Decanter 96 points “Departing chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990. The first half of the growing season was dull and sunless, but good weather returned in mid-September and led to one of the longest harvests, running into October. The summer provided ideal conditions for a classic, cool, maritime vintage of exceptional, subtle aromas with minerality and freshness. This has a vibrant but controlled acidity, and is above all a memorable symbiosis of mature fruit and salinity derived from top terroirs. The poised mouthfeel makes this a perfect gastronomic wine, strong enough for spicy Asian cuisine from the Pacific rim, but still compatible with classics such as roast turbot and lobster.””
Wine Spectator 96 points “There’s power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish. Drink now through 2033.”

#9 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 In 2018
Bedrock Wine Co. ‘The Bedrock Heritage’, Sonoma Valley 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Bedrock Vineyard was planted 130 years ago by the father of publisher William Randolph Hearst. Winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson knows the vineyard by the inch, having identified and mapped all 16,279 vines. Twain-Peterson inherited his passion for historic vineyards from his dad, Zinfandel guru Joel Peterson. In 2004, Morgan and Joel bought the vineyard and renamed it Bedrock; the debut vintage was 2007. The 2016 includes all 27 varieties that are interplanted in what old-timers called field blends; about half of the brew is Zinfandel and the rest is an eccentric mix comprising Carignane, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet, among others. In the cellar, Twain-Peterson relies on native yeasts and whole-cluster fermentation.”
Arriving ETA March:

#2 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 In 2018
Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 96 points “Still youthfully tight and backward, with a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper holding sway for now, but the core of cassis, blackberry and plum fruit waits in reserve, showing prodigious depth. When the toast and fruit melds, the backdrop of tobacco, singed iron and chalky minerality will get a turn to show. There’s a lot here. Built for the cellar. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2025 through 2040. 6,250 cases made.”

Black Friday Starts Early

A Top Deal on Matello

Lovers of Willamette Pinot take note—the following is one of the best deals you’ll see on a bottle of wine from the valley.  Even with as popular as the Scott Paul La Paulee deal has been, we’re bracing for this to potentially be bigger.  We’re offering two delicious, serious wines at under $20 and all you have to put up with is a jester on the label.  We’re offering two back vintages of Marcus Goodfellow’s Matello Pinot Noir at significantly lower release prices—despite the fact that these wines are much better now than when they were first came out.

Marcus Goodfellow’s labels have been mainstays at the shop for some time now—wines that we carry regardless of vintage, scores or overall hype.  The wines are amongst the best in Oregon and consistently some of the most inspiring wines we taste.  While he exclusively makes wine under the Goodfellow Family Cellars now, his original packaging all bore the “Matello” name.  When you look at the Matello labels now, they seem a little campy in comparison and not a reflection of the Burgundy-influence winemaking and serious wines in the bottle. Perhaps that’s why he’s eager to move on and get rid of the last remaining stock of the Matello wines.  Even if it’s not, we’re excited to offer you these great deals while they last.

Both wines are decidedly Goodfellow in style: lots of whole cluster and bright, fresh acidity.  Of the two vintages, the 2013 is for those who like leaner, earthier and more delicate wines, while the 2014 has more power and richness.  Marcus’ wines always benefit from a few years of bottle age (the 2010 version of these is fantastic right now) and both of these are entering a long, delicious drinking window.  The wines arrive tomorrow and if you need any more inspiration, they’d be perfect for your Thanksgiving table.

Just Arrived:

Matello Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon 2013 750ML ($24.95) $16 Black Friday Special
VinopolNote: 40%+ whole cluster, bright and fresh.  This has Marcus Goodfellow’s signature touch from a cooler, more elegant vintage. If this said “Bourgogne” on the label it’d be twice as expensive.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $22

Matello Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon 2014 750ML ($24.95) $18 Black Friday Special
VinopolNote: Lots of whole cluster to balance out the warmth and richness of the year.  2014 power and fruit marries with spice and structure to produce a beautifully integrated bottle of Pinot Noir.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

New Arrivals


The Oregon sparkling producer to watch.  Great stuff, especially for the price.
Mellen Meyer Willamette Valley Brut NV 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
KWG8 – Tasting Pour “From a small Willamette Valley producer specializing only in sparkling wine try this traditional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend for a dry, crisp elegant sparkling at a good price.  Smells of green apples with a salty tart palate.”
Winery note “Grapes sourced from Johan VIneyard, Van Duzer Corridor and Dundee Hills. 35% Chardonnay, 65% Pinot Noir fermented in neutral French and Oregon oak. 25 months in tirage, 8 grams/ liter dosage. 350 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Analemma Atavus Vineyard Blanc de Noir, Columbia Gorge 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Winery Note ” Of citrine color and brilliant clarity to the eye, this vintage offers aromas of fresh pear, green apples and underripe strawberries. This wine is precise with vibrant acidity and hints of autolytic character, showing long aging potential. An expression of a single variety, single vineyard and single vintage, our Blanc honors the individuality of a historic site. This wine was gently whole cluster pressed and aged on its lees for six months before bottling. A true Methodé Champenoise, this Blanc de Noir is 100% Pinot Noir aged sur lie for 42 months”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Cameron Winery Dundee Hills Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($21.95) $19 special

Nothing like $15 off the regular price to make a wine a good deal.
Ruby Pinot Noir Laurelwood Blend, Chehalem Mountains 2015 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “($36) The name references a type of soil. The flavors combine red berries and a whiff of mushroom, along with spice, orange peel and citrus. The wine seems to tighten up through the midpalate, which leaves the finish feeling a bit restrained. Try giving it a good long decanting, or cellar till 2020.”
VinopolNote: Disregard the Wine Enthusiast’s hesitation- this wine is open and ready to go! No further cellaring required. This wine exhibits a full range of Pinot Noir flavors in a well-balanced, medium-weigh body. Nothing seems tight or restrained. Eric Hamacher doesn’t make wines like that after all!
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $35.99

Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This vineyard has the lowest production and gets the most (75%) new French oak. Black fruits abound, with generous streaks of cola and mocha. The tannins are substantial, the mouthfeel a bit grainy, and there’s a pleasing, chewy toasty character to the finish.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Only three bottles available.
Hall Wines ‘Kathryn Hall’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ml ($219.95) $189 special
Robert Parker 96-100 points “As for the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall, this could be a wine flirting with perfection. It has unbelievable complexity already, with that wonderful sucrosity, blue and black fruits in abundance, an opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, but no heaviness or rusticity. This is a seamless, flawless, compelling Cabernet Sauvignon that should drink beautiful upon release and for another 25-30+ years. Subscribers who have followed recent years of The Wine Advocate know that this is one of the most exciting producers in Napa Valley, having burst on the scene a short time ago and offering a brilliant array of Cabernet Sauvignons. As a post-script to subscribers, it’s time to jump on the Hall bandwagon, as they are doing everything right, and their wines are among the most exciting being made in the world today. (RP)   (12/2016)”
Jeb Dunnuck 96-99 points “The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall is another huge wine that offers just about everything you could want from Napa Valley, including incredible opulence paired with sensational purity and elegance. Blackberries, black cherries, blueberries, violets, spring flowers and white chocolate notes all flow to a full-bodied, deep, multi-dimensional effort that has sweet, yet present, tannin and a big finish. It’s going to be up with the top handful of wines in the vintage. One of the eye-opening tastings while working on this report was the lineup from Kathryn Hall’s estate located in St. Helena. There’s a wealth of wines here, yet they all have deep, concentrated, pure profiles as well as singular characters. You could pretty much randomly select from this lineup and be guaranteed to have a brilliant wine. Hats off to winemaker Steve Leveque. All the 2016s, and the majority of the 2015s, were tasted as barrel samples.    (12/2017)”

“will be nearly impossible to resist upon release”
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
James Suckling 98 points “This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that’s highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Taittinger’s 2007 Comtes de Champagne will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Today, the 2007 comes across as a slightly more open version of the 2004, with freshness that makes that wine so appealing, and a touch of textural richness that recalls the 2002. Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Taittinger’s prestigious Comtes de Champagne is composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger (Côte des Blancs). The citrus-golden colored 2007 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the fourth in a row after the 2004 vintage (which will be followed by 2008 whereas there will be no Comtes from 2009, 2010 and 2011) and opens with a nobly intense yet nuanced bouquet of ripe fruits, chalk, iodine and a touch of brioche. The wine indicates a coolish and precise character on the clear, flinty nose that develops lemon, pastry and floral notes. On the palate, this is Taittinger at its best: clear, fresh, lush and elegant, offering both sensuality and noble elegance. The 2007 reveals great finesse and is a perfect expression of both the Taittinger style and the Côte de Blancs. The wine (of which 5% has spent four months in oak barrels to give roundness and a touch of toast) is tightly woven, well concentrated and even juicy yet always clear, fresh, pure, fine and elegant. The finish is intense, clean, vivacious and complex, with good grip and lingering salty minerals that indicate good aging potential. Disgorged in October 2017; tasted in May 2018.”

The Powerful Beaujolais of Bouland

Freshly Restocked!

Daniel Bouland makes gutsy wines from old vines in the heart of Beaujolais premier appellations.  You often hear that they’re traditionally made and, although that’s true, it doesn’t begin to describe what makes the wines unique.  These are wines that recall what Beaujolais would have been like before industrial farming and certainly before industrial winemaking.  They’re special, powerful and age-worthy.

From a winemaking perspective, the closest comparison to what Daniel Bouland is doing is probably Domaine Dujac.  The cross-regional comparison probably violates some sort of law of wine-writing, but when you look at what Bouland does with his grapes, it makes sense.  There’s almost exclusively whole cluster fermentation at both houses and Bouland’s wine show as muscular and robust—capable of very long aging and transformation into profound wines.

The difference, of course, is that working with Gamay, Bouland’s wines are more immediately drinkable than anything from Dujac (Bouland also doesn’t use new oak on his wines).  And the prices are far below what top Burgundy can command. Young, the Bouland bottles show both intense fruit and structure—you wouldn’t necessarily think to drink Beaujolais with steak, but these are incredible pairings with even very hearty foods (especially since Gamay has a zesty freshness to it that keeps the meals light.

We sold through many of the recently arrived 2017’s but just received a new shipment, just in time for Thanksgiving.

In Stock Now:

Daniel Bouland Chiroubles ‘Chatenay’, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 92 points ” The 2017 Chiroubles offers up a pretty bouquet of raspberries, red cherries, plums and dark chocolate, lent lift by pretty floral top notes. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, ample and succulent, with a layered core of fruit, fine tannins and mouthwatering acids. It hails from a steep hillside site and is matured in stainless steel.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Melanie, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Lurid violet. A suave, mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh red/blue fruits and potpourri, and a spicy element adds urgency. Bright, focused and appealingly sweet, offering concentrated yet lithe raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen with aeration. Distinctly graceful in style, finishing gently tannic and impressively long and leaving a sexy lavender pastille note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Melanie, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “From a south-facing site near Château Thivin, the 2017 Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Melanie exhibits a deep bouquet of blackberry, wild berries, grilled meat, dark chocolate and licorice. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, rich and ample, with a juicy core of fruit, ripe but chewy structuring tannins in abundance and a gourmand, layered profile.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Morgon Bellevue ‘Schiste’, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Rich aromas of raspberries and cherries introduce the 2017 Morgon Bellevue, a full-bodied, velvety but reserved wine with a deep, layered mid-palate, superb concentration and juicy acids. After the expressive Chiroubles and Côte de Brouilly, the Bellevue is a little more closed after its recent bottling, but it will be superb in the fullness of time.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes Foudre 4, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes (4) is brilliant, unfurling in the glass with notes of wild plums, cherries and cassis, complemented by savory aromas of grilled meat and loamy soil. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, deep and layered, with a slightly tauter, more tensile profile than the Corcelette that matured in foudre #7, as well as marginally more concentration. While the differences between the two bottlings aren’t sufficient to merit a divergence of scores, #7 is the purist’s choice and seemingly the best-adapted to sustained bottle age: it was the bottling I purchased for my own cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes Foudre 7 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes (7) wafts from the glass with a creamy bouquet of cherries, cassis, dried flowers, dark chocolate, licorice and plums. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and velvety, with juicy acids and fine tannins that are entirely concealed by a deep, layered core of fruit. Concentrated but mouthwatering, it’s quintessential Corcelette. There are two separate bottlings this year, numbered respectively as (4) and (7) to designate two different foudres that Bouland opted to distinguish to his clientele for the first time: this note refers to foudre #7, which hails from Tonnellerie Rousseau and represents a more recent addition to the cellar than the older, larger foudre #4.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Morgon Delys, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “From vines planted in sandy soils in 1926, the 2017 Morgon Les Delys Vieilles Vignes is a stunning wine that ranks as one of the vintage’s qualitative peaks, wafting from the glass with a kaleidoscopic bouquet of cassis, plums, cured meats, dark chocolate, wood smoke and rich soil tones. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, multidimensional and immensely concentrated, with fine tannins, tangy acids and an incredibly long finish. The sheer density of old vine extract in this bottling is more reminiscent of a young Clape Cornas than it is of most contemporary Beaujolais, but the winemaking here is utterly classical and there’s nothing forced about it. The most reserved of Bouland’s wines, the 2017 Delys will require at least 2 or 3 years of bottle age and reward a full 10.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Top Thanksgiving Picks

Just off dry and priced to drink by the gallon.
Monchhof Urzig Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2015 750ML ($29.95) $16 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2015 Ürzig Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett is very clear, spicy and slatey on the nose. Wonderfully delicate and lush on the palate, with clear and exotic fruit but also great finesse and elegance, this is a perfectly balanced and enormously stimulating Kabinett whose finish reveals an exciting salinity and lightness. Analytically sweet for European palates but rather medium-dry for Americans.”
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points “This offers a nice nose of minerals, cassis, white and yellow peach, pear and melon. The wine delivers a gorgeous feel of delicately exotic fruits on the palate and leaves a clean and elegant feel in the long and rather airy finish. This nicely racy expression of Riesling proves nicely enjoyable in a light-bodied style. 2025-2040.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Classic entry level Burgundy, perfect with turkey.
Domaine Collotte Marsannay Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Grapelive 91 points “Exploring value priced Burgundy usually ends in huge disappointment, but sometimes you find a jewel. The wines of Philippe Collotte are just that, especially his old vine Marsannay, where there are 5 parcels of 50+ year old vines that make up his excellent super-value Marsannay Cuvee Vieilles Vignes. It way over-delivers for the price… He bottles everything unfiltered per his importer’s request (Weygant Metzler). It makes for an expressive and mineral-driven Pinot Noir of wonderful delicacy, but with solid fruit intensity which forms its perception of depth flavors. While starting with classic Burgundy subtly and brightness, things gain a darker feel with air allowing layers of black cherry, strawberry and earthy vine-picked berries to come through on the medium bodied palate. The mouth-feel and length are quite impressive for a wine of this price. Rose petals, chalk dust and cedar notes along with a mixed spice note add to the whole here. There’s no question this will surprise a few people. The vintage with its concentrated ripe profile certainly helped and the old vines give a charm that with put a smile on many a face. It did mine! Drink this Marsannay over the next 3 to 5 years. It’s a no-guilt Burgundy to get by the case!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bright, crisp and fresh. Very Alpine and a perfect food companion.
Domaine Jean Masson & Fils Savoie Apremont ‘La Centenaire’ Vieilles Vignes 2016 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Winery note “[Translated] From a vineyard planted over a century ago, La Centenaire is a powerful wine. It shows with notes of ripe white fruits, fresh almonds and stone fruits. Its beautiful minerality makes it an exception wine for the cellar. The tiny yields produce great concentration, and allow the Jacquère grape to express so many forgotten things.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “A dependable producer of Tavel and Lirac (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), the Lafonds have turned out a spice-driven 2017 Tavel that’s bottled under screwcap. Hints of allspice and clove accent watermelon and red berry flavors, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and richly textured, leading into a long, silky finish. Bravo!”
Wine & Spirits 92 points “The Lafonds turned out a lush 2017 Tavel from their organically farmed vineyards, a wine that balances its sunny generosity with refreshing acidity. It has the girth for meaty dishes, with berry notes that bring red meat to mind, but the herbal and earthy flavors have enough restraint to work with fish, too.”

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

Classic Chardonnay that’s a crowd pleaser.  Not too ripe, not to light—just right.
Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2015 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2015 750ML ($299.95) $236 special (that’s only $19.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard from the Varner brothers is lovely, wafting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of honeycomb, ripe peaches and fresh apricot. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, pure and textural—displaying a touch more mid-palate ripeness than the 2014 rendition—and concludes with a long, saline finish. This is a characterful Chardonnay that represents terrific value.”

Classic Barbera seems to go with all sorts of food—this one included.
Castello di Verduno Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($27.95) $19 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Delicious grower bubbles at a price to pour by the case.
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Importer note “Initially showing a very fresh bouquet of high toned fruits with hints of hazelnuts and yeasty aromas, the Grande Réserve cuvée displays highly structured red fruit notes on the palate for which the area is so famous. Long lees aging, low dosage and Grand Cru Pinot Noir fruit combine for an opulent yet balanced Champagne.”

Terre Nere

Sicily’s Answer to Burgundy

Terre Nere’s wines “all possessed unbelievable freshness and complexity as well as huge perfumes that suggested Pinot Noir…These wines are astonishingly complex and ethereal efforts from the hillsides of Mt. Etna in Sicily.” -Robert Parker

The high altitude and dark volcanic soils help yield distinctive wines from the indigenous grape varieties grown organically.  Importer Marc de Grazia was the first to bottle single-parcel wines from the indigenous variety Nerello and brought international focus and admiration to this once-overlooked region. While de Grazia is best known for his role in the modernization of Barolo and his championing of the “Barolo Boys” his Terre Nere wines hew to a very traditional model.

He started the Terre Nere winery in 2002  from 30 hectares of vineyards divided in 10 parcels over four crus.  The vines are between 50 to 100 years old except for 6 hectares of recently planted vines and several self-rooted plots over 130 years old that are famous for surviving phylloxera.  The red wines are 100% Nerello Mascalese, a variety known for producing wines of great elegance.

The soil in the Calderara Sottana cru is covered in large black volcanic pumice and is the stoniest cru.  The wine offers floral, spice and leather aromas.  The two vineyards composing the Guardiola cru stand at the highest elevation on Mount Etna, and are quite possibly the highest in Europe.  It has poor soil composed of volcanic sand, basalt and ash.  The vineyard is steeply terraced, necessitating manual labor and harvest.  The wine is lean and elegant.  Santo Spirito is adjacent to Guardiola but with black volcanic ash soil.  The Etna Rosso Prephylloxera “La Vigna di Don Pepino” is named for the grape grower who worked the parcel for over 70 years.  Grazia believes the vineyard survived and thrived only through Don Pepino’s meticulous care.

Arriving November 23rd:

Tenuta delle Terre Nere ‘Feudo di Mezzo’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 91 points “Bright red. Ripe, sweetly spicy aromas and flavors of red cherry, medicinal herbs and minerals. Tougher than most vintages of this wine and slow to open, this is a more shut down version of Feudo di Mezzo than is typical for this Contrada. Opens slowly with aeration, finishing long and succulent on the classically dry finish.”

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Tenuta delle Terre Nere Guardiola Rosso Etna, Sicily 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 94 points “Deep luminous red. Intensely mineral on the nose, with bright aromas of blueberry, red cherry, and aromatic herbs, plus Oriental spices. Dense but juicy in the mouth with lively but harmonious acidity lifting and neatly extending the austere but profound flavors on the long back end. Very deep and memorable, forget about this in the cellar for five years and enjoy for a decade after that.”

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Tenuta delle Terre Nere Santo Spirito Rosso Etna, Sicily 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93 points “Bright red. Very perfumed nose of red cherry, raspberry jam, cinnamon, nutmeg and minerals complicated by tar and shoe polish. Clean, fresh and juicy, but with a sultry quality to the mineral but also ripe red berry and cherry flavors. Clean and fresh on the long, stoney finish. A knockout Santo Spirito that combines size and luscious sweetness like no other Etna Rosso from Terre Nere this year, but it doesn’t quite have the depth or complexity of the best wines from the estate this year.”

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Tenuta delle Terre Nere Prephylloxera La Vigna di Don Peppino Rosso Etna, Sicily 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 95 points “Vivid dark ruby-red. Aromas of red plum, red cherry syrup, mocha, flint and woodsmoke. Sweet, pliant and expressive, with outstanding sugar/acid balance to the rich, concentrated, fruit-driven flavors of raspberry and currant. Densely packed, sappy and light on its feet with firm but ripe tannins on the extremely long close. Much richer and denser than the Santo Spirito and Calderara Sottana in this vintage.”

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Giuseppe Rinaldi

Icon of Barolo

The late Giuseppe (“Beppe”) Rinaldi was a true titan of traditional, old-school Barolo.  He was an icon—a man who made firm, ageworthy wines even when the market only wanted glossy modern styled Barolo.  The wines are landmark, collectible and scarce.  We’ve been working on sourcing a parcel for some time and finally have the opportunity to present these to you. Many bottlings sold out as pre-arrivals, but a few bottles remain. Once they’re gone we’re unlikely to see them again for some time.

In-Stock Now:

Only four bottles available
Giuseppe Rinaldi Cannubi San Lorenzo – Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2009 750ML ($329.95) $299 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2009 Barolo Cannubi San Lorenzo/Ravera emerges from the glass with sweet red berries, leather, licorice, menthol and sweet spices, all supported by fine, silky tannins. I very much like the sense of energy and vibrancy Rinaldi was able to achieve in 2009, no small feat. The Cannubi San Lorenzo/Ravera has excellent color, freshness, vibrancy, and above all else superb balance. It is easily one of the highlights of the year.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Cannubi S. Lorenzo – Ravera shows similar tones of dark tobacco leaf and herb. But this expression also delivers a dusty mineral note that beautifully frames and delineates the overall bouquet. The big surprise is due to the crisp freshness of this wine. Thanks to that acidity, you can count on the wine’s aging potential. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.”

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Only one bottle available
Giuseppe Rinaldi Cannubi San Lorenzo – Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2006 750ML ($349.95) $299 special
Wine Spectator 97 points “Very tight and shy on the nose, featuring sweet cherry, plum, licorice and salty mineral flavors. Delivers fine sweetness and intensity, with elegance and a sense of harmony and grace. This is almost approachable now, yet should develop beautifully. Best from 2013 through 2030. 500 cases made.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2006 Barolo Cannubi/S.Lorenzo-Ravera is surprisingly rich and opulent in this vintage. Sweet red cherries, menthol, spices and flowers emerge with gorgeous inner perfume and great body. This shows incredible power and richness through to the round enveloping finish, where sweet roses and cherries in liqueur linger for an eternity. Readers who are used to squeaky-clean wines might take issue with the volatile acidity here, but with time in the glass all of the elements come together beautifully, suggesting all the wine needs is time. This is one of the most impressive vintages of the Cannubi/San Lorenzo I can remember tasting. I could smell this all day. It is a knockout!”

Only two bottles available
Giuseppe Rinaldi Cannubi San Lorenzo – Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2004 750ML ($419.95) $379 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Giuseppe Rinaldi’s 2004 Barolo Cannubi (San Lorenzo)/Ravera is an unexpected treat on this otherwise dreary Manhattan winter day. Aromatically lifted, the 2004 remains quite fresh and brilliant in its flavors. The 2004 is a decidedly lithe, mid-weight Barolo from Rinaldi that will age on its vibrant acidity rather than structure. There is a lot to like in this delicate, feminine Barolo. The 2004 can be drink today or cellared for at least another 10-15 years.”

Giuseppe Rinaldi ‘Brunate-Le Coste’, Barolo DOCG 1998 750ML ($359.95) $319 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 1998 Barolo Brunate-Le Coste from Giuseppe Rinaldi, also from magnum, looks like a fake, as Rinaldi sold me a few magnums years ago, but insisted that I put on the labels myself, which I did, and with little skill. No matter, the wine is big, rich, intense and everything one could ask for.”

Only four bottles available
Giuseppe Rinaldi ‘Brunate-Le Coste’, Barolo DOCG 2009 750ML ($329.95) $299 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Dark cherries, plums, cloves, violets, incense, orange rind and tobacco meld together in the 2009 Barolo Brunate-Le Coste. A massive, powerful Barolo, the 2009 boasts stunning depth, power and richness, all in a relatively open style for this estate. I imagine the 2009 will drink well relatively early for top-flight Barolo, but it has fabulous class and intensity.”

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