Classic Chablis + Classic Vintage
Superstar of Alsace – Agathe Bursin’s New Wines
Southern French Steals
Including Hewitt, Ygrec, Faiveley,
Calabretta, Penfolds and More!
Hot Holiday Case Specials
New Releases from Gulfi
Expression and Extraction in Harmony
“Since 1996, we have been making the wines we love at Gulfi. We never accepted irrigation, we always have considered the best practices of other organic and biodynamic environments. We went our own way like the best wine estates have done in differents parts of the world. Of course we are influenced by the most delicate burgundy wines as well as by the greatest Rhone Valley wines, particularly Chateauneuf du Pape, but our wines have first of all a taste of their true origins, of their deep Sicilian roots.” – Vito Catania, owner of Azienda Gulfi
Gulfi first came to prominence as a champion of Nero D’Avola—the rich dark grape that they proved could be a transparent expression of terroir. The single vineyards Nero’s that Gulfi made changed perceptions of the grape and has helped lead to the current renaissance of Siclian viticulture. These are wines that are intense, powerful, yet graceful.
Gulfi’s Nero d’Avola is typically extracted and rich, with subtle nuances reflecting the vineyard locations spread around the southeastern corner of the island. Variations in altitude and proximity to the sea influence the delicate aromatics, as ripeness is certainly not the issue. Salinity and sea breeze influences are present and add nuance to the ripe, roasty, smoky characteristics. Drink them if you like California Cabernet or Brunello or Syrah from the Northern Rhone or anywhere in between.
“So rich, yet so fresh”
Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
James Suckling 93 points “Love the depth to this wine. So rich, yet so fresh with pure fruit and spices. Full body and a fresh finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.”
Gulfi Neromaccarj Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 95 points “The complex, plum-cake and spice nose leads into a rich and sophisticated red, in which the tannins and fruit are already perfectly integrated. Long, complex, herbal and spicy finish. From organically grown grapes.”
Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 93 points “I love the intense herb-liqueur and balsamic-vinegar character on the nose, also because its married to delicious richness. Still very lively for a five-year-old red and the balance of ripeness and rather supple tannins is impressive. Long finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
The next best price is $51.99
Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Winery note “Grape varieties: Nero d’Avola 70%, Frappato di Vittoria 30%. Nero d’Avola is named after Avola, a small town near Pachino in the province of Siracusa where it was selected by local growers several hundred years ago. Frappato di Vittoria is an old indigenous wine grape variety from the southeast part of Sicily. It likely originates in the territory of Vittoria where it has been grown since the XVIIth century.”
Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 94 points “Fully saturated ruby-red. Super-ripe aromas of black cherry, raspberry jelly, incense and coriander are very typical of the Sanloré site. Then surprisingly light on its feet, offering vibrant flavors of red and black cherry, tar, licorice and pomegranate liqueur. The finish is bright and juicy and features a lingering saline nuance. Knockout Sanloré that manages to be at once powerful and graceful, the latter a quality not always evident in wines from this site, which are usually known for their richness and size.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “This dark and brooking wine comes from 40-year-old vines rooted in reddish-brown sand and clay soils; it grows half a mile from the sea and just 30 feet above sea level, where the temperature doesn’t change much between day and night. Savory notes of black olive and roasted mushroom saturate the wine’s dark plum flavors, intensified by a trail of salinity so intense it feels almost gritty, yet the wine is brightened by mouthwatering acidity. The contrast is extreme, and it works.”
Gulfi Neromaccarj Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2011 Neromàccarj is the wine that, in my opinion, best encompasses the overall winemaking philosophy at Gulfi. Like the other Nero d’Avola selections presented, this wine boasts a super enriched and concentrated style. On top of black fruit and cherry marmalade, the bouquet offers Teriyaki, barbecue smoke and asphalt-like aromas. Neromàccarj presents a more balanced and complete picture because its large bulk is spread evenly in proportioned elements. In other words, the opulence of the bouquet is perfectly matched to the large footprint left on the finish.”
The next best price is $45.90
James Suckling 93 points “The balance and juiciness to this wine is beautiful. Dried cherries and berries with hints of fresh herbs and flower petals follow through to a medium to full body, silky tannins and a delicious finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.”
Want to shop all 16 wines from Gulfi, both in stock and on the way, available to purchase right now? Just click here.
Classic VintageLa Chablisienne Adds Up
La Chablisienne is the classic co-op in the heart of Chablis. Much like the Produttori del Barbaresco, they deliver classic renditions of their appellation in an affordable price point. They’re exactly what you look for in classic Chablis. Fermented in stainless and from a crisp, cool vintage (we can’t get enough 2014), these have all of the stony, green apple qualities we look for in wines from the AOC.—even better, the pricing is throwback. These are premier cru wines of high quality for the price of many decent growers regional bottlings. The combination is pretty spectacular and we’ve loaded up, with the Vaulorent just arrived and more on the way next month. You’d do well to load up, as well.
“All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here”-Decanter
La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Decanter 95 points “An exuberant, complex nose packed full of exotic fruits, asparagus and elderflower with well integrated oak. The palate has a very strong fruity expression with an oily depth and harmony and very impressive length. All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. As is usually the case this is more elegant, particularly on the floral and white orchard fruit suffused nose that is nuanced by plenty of classic Chablis elements and in particular mineral reduction. There is also a bit more volume to the caressing, intense and voluminous flavors that drip with minerality on the refined but powerful finale where a discreet touch of wood arises. This offers ample development potential and should be lovely with time. Drink: 2021+”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Sometimes blended with grapes from the Fourchaume Premier Cru, this Vaulorent bottled on its own is a bit crisp–bright with citrus and toasty from wood aging. It will develop slowly over several years, so drink from 2019.”
Arriving ETA January:
“comes from one of the coolest Premier Cru vineyards”-WE
La Chablisienne Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($189.95) $144 pre-arrival special (that’s only $24/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Decanter 95 points “Flowers with a bit of lemon curd on the nose, giving way to a lively palate with white flowers, herbs and a fine-grained mineral seam running through to the racy, spicy finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This wine comes from one of the coolest Premier Cru vineyards, giving it an initial austerity that then fills out as the wine breathes. It’s crisp and bright with white fruit and intense, lemony acidity. Age it for a few more months and drink from 2018.”
Burghound 91 points “Outstanding. A spicy and super-fresh array of citrus, pear and tidal pool serves as an elegant introduction to the impressively intense and precise middle weight flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the lingering and complex finale where a hint of austerity surfaces. Lovely.”
“a classic Les Lys of finesse”-BH
La Chablisienne Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding! A subtle touch of wood sets off airy and elegant aromas of cool wet stone, tidal pool, algae and green apple. There is an equally cool and restrained mouth feel to the delicate, intense and delineated middle weight flavors that deliver excellent length on the lacy and chiseled finale. This is a classic Les Lys of finesse.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Grapes from this lesser known Premier Cru are often blended with those from Vaillons, yet La Chablisienne has bottled it as a separate wine. The coolness of the site translates beautifully into a crisp fruit expression that’s tight with acidity and minerality, ready to age. Drink from 2019.”
New Arrivals from Alsace Superstar
Agathe Bursin is a wonderful producer of Alsatian wines, with a strong following in France, but somehow remains slightly unknown in the US. Her production sells out before it’s even bottled—mostly to private clients in Europe, but a little makes its way over to our shores. Yet when it gets here, sometimes it gets overlooked, because she makes wines that are useful at the table (and are priced as such) instead of being ‘trophy’ wines for collectors to fight over. She lacks a national importer, which is another reason they might be a bit under the radar, though her wines are brokered by Thomas Calder (who also sells Prevost/Bouchard/Pattes Loup/Boulay, etc) which speaks to the quality of the wines.
The Bursin family has been making wines in Alsace for several generations and Agathe has taken the family domaine to new levels. Educated in Burgundy, she worked in Chablis before returning home to the family winery and there is a marked Chablisienne influence on her wines in terms of their clarity of flavor and brightness. All the wines she makes are delicious, and she’s known in Alsace as something of a genius with the late harvest wines, but we’d urge you to check out the entire range!
We think the wines of Alsace are perfect for the fall—they have freshness and elegance that you’re looking for but more weight and gravitas than similar wines across the Voges. If you’re looking for white wines to go with lighter “red wine fare” like pork, chicken or braises, these make less filling, refreshing pairings (and they’re wonderful with salmon and crab, as well).
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Dirstelberg, Alsace 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
VinopolNote: The Disrstelberg vineyard is mostly composed of pink sandstone and is known as a high quality vineyard for a variety of grapes. The wines from the site tend to be linear and crisp, with good varietal character. Unlike many Alsatian producers, Bursin errs on the side of delicacy and raciness rather than pick too late and allow the wines to become rich and flabby for the sake of “power.”
VinopolNote: The Zinnkoepflé vineyard has been recognized as a top site since the beginning of vine cultivation in Alsace. Known especially for Gewürztraminer and Riesling, the vineyard sits in a protected area that allows for exceptional sun exposure while limiting risk of botrytis and other problems. The shelly-limestone soils provide for great acidity, so wines from here are always both rich and racy—a rare and impressive combination.
Some Other In-Stock Highlights:
Ian D’agata – Vinous 92 points “Bright pale yellow with golden tinges. Perfumed orange peel, grapefruit and lemon curd on the nose are complicated by notes of smoke and vanilla. Dense, juicy, clean and fresh, with a youthfully chewy quality on the long finish. More refined and longer than the Dirstelberg, though those who like big Gewürzes might prefer those to this more graceful, delicate version.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 89 points “Good dark yellow. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, sweet spices and pear. Soft but lively and long on the rich, sweet finish. This is a blend of the various grapes that grow on the Bollenberg, and the 25% Gewürz and 15% Pinot Gris components explain the wine’s roundness and sweetness. The name of “As de B” stands for “Assemblage de Bollenberg”; this is essentially a high-quality Edelzwicker, but I fear this rather pretty wine is just too sweet for most people’s idea of a dry wine.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 90 points “Pale straw-green. Fresh aromas of apple and melon, complicated by hints of grapefruit and kiwi. Then very clean and well-balanced sweet and sour notes that bring grapefruit and vanilla to mind. Finishes bright and pure, if a little less aromatic than some other past Muscat wines from Bursin. An 80% Muscat Ottonel and 20% Muscat d’Alsace; the vines are roughly 70 years old.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 91 points “Pale straw-green. The nuanced nose combines ripe peach, yellow apple, white flowers and a hint of toffee. Then plenty of generous, pliant fruit nicely framed by harmonious acids and supported by a mineral backbone. Finishes long, rich and elegant and with a hint of residual sugar. This doesn’t qualify as a “classically dry” wine, but boasts such balance that it seems barely off-dry”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Bright straw. Fresh, deep aromas and flavors of apple, pear and delicate sweet spice are complemented by a stony undertone and a touch of youthful austerity. The apple and spice flavors linger nicely on the back. More refined and more precise than Bursin’s 2016 Pinot Gris Dirstelberg. Bursin owns two plots of Pinot Gris in this grand cru: one is high up on calcaire soil, while the other is farther down where the Zinnkoepflé’s famous pink sandstone starts. This wine always has more acidity than the Dirstelberg, and it gains in liveliness with aeration.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Bright straw-green. Expressive aromas of melon, kiwi, coconut and lemon verbena, plus a whisper of minerals. Fresh, juicy, multilayered and dense, in a pliant style supported by harmonious, lively acidity. Finishes with strong, persistent fruit and floral nuances. Very refined Riesling. Bursin’s plots in the grand cru are some of the highest, situated right beneath the woods at the top of the slope.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Straw-green. Herbs, quince, pear and green apple on the captivating nose. Very pure and clean in the mouth, and much deeper and more complex than the Lutzental; this is the first vintage in years in which I find a truly noteworthy difference in depth and charm between the Sylvaner Eminence and the Lutzental. Finishes long, mineral and very structured. In fact, this is one of the more tactile, structured Sylvaners from Bursin that I have memory of.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 95 points “Medium golden yellow. Very typical Gewürz nose of ripe tropical fruit, sweet spices, smoky bacon and orange oil. Then rich, dense and sweet, offering bitter orange marmalade and lemon peel flavors complicated by notes of cane sugar, guava and kumquat. Finishes suave and quite luscious, at once opulent and yet light on its feet. This has terrific sugar-acid balance (4.1 g/L total acidity and 92 g/L residual sugar).”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Luminous straw-yellow. Truly lovely floral lift complements grapefruit and kumquat notes on the perfumed nose. Boasts a strong mineral underpinning to its white stone and tropical fruit flavors, complicated by hints of sweet spices. Another very beautiful wine from Agathe Bursin in 2016. All the grapes at VT and SGN levels of sweetness were picked on November 9, 10, and 12. This boasts 4 g/L total acidity and 73 g/L, so though certainly a sweet wine, it is not a thick, super-sticky wine.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 96 points “Deep golden-tinged yellow. The perfumed nose combines ripe pear, lime blossom and powdered stone, plus hints of spicy botrytis. Sweet but taut, conveying a lovely light-on-its-feet quality and displaying noticeable tang to the citrus and floral flavors; the presence of noble rot adds personality. Closes minerally and very long. This very refined SGN offers noteworthy fragrance and vibrant acidity; in fact, it’s so stony that it’s almost Riesling-like. About 30% of the grapes were hit by noble rot, and this adds complexity to what is a memorable wine (check out these numbers: 5.7 g/L total acidity and 130 g/L total [sugar]).”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 94 points “Vivid golden-tinged dark yellow. Apple pie, caramel, truffle and passion fruit nectar on the nose and palate, complicated by a hint of lemony botrytis. Very pure, precise and rich, displaying delightful acid-fruit balance. Closes long and luscious but with lively acidity keeping this sneakily concentrated beauty light on its feet. Clocks in at 5.3 g/L total acidity and 101 g/L residual sugar. About 20% of the grapes were hit by noble rot, which helps add a measure of complexity to this really lovely late harvest wine.”
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The Rhone and Languedoc are sources for some of the best values in France. This set of wines, just arrived, are even better deals than usual—we’ve got some incredible prices for you. They range from pale rosé (still delicious, even in the winter) to the full bodied and powerful wines of Pesquie and Peuch Haut.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Light, delicate rosé–in magnum!
Domaine Lafage Cotes du Roussillon Miraflors Rose 2017 1.5L ($31.95) $21.90 special
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2017 Miraflors Rosé is another beauty that’s loaded with fresh, crisp, vibrant strawberry and raspberry fruit. Clean, pure, textured and elegant on the palate, with gorgeous purity, it’s a rocking rosé that does everything right. The blend is 70% Mourvèdre and 30% Grenache Gris brought up all in tank. Hats off to vigneron Jean-Marc Lafage for another smoking good rosé!”
Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhone 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “A seriously good 2014 that’s always a mix of equal parts Grenache and Syrah, the 2014 Cotes du Ventoux Cuvee Artemia was showing beautifully on this occasion, even though it had just been bottled a few weeks ago. Possessing a finesse-driven, elegant, moderately concentrated, yet sexy style, with tons of black raspberry, violets and spice, it’s ideal for drinking in its youth while you wait on the more structured, concentrated vintages to get some bottle age.”
Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhone 2009 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 96 points “[Reviewed Oct 2016] Shockingly good, the 2009 Cotes du Ventoux Cuvee Artemia is in the top handful of wines I’ve tasted from this appellation. Just insanely perfumed, with tons of incense, Provencal herbs, garrigue, smoked meats and violets, this full-bodied beauty has a stacked mid-palate, building, sweet tannin and a killer finish. Hello beautiful, why didn’t I buy more of you”
Chateau Puech-Haut Pic Saint-Loup La Closerie du Pic, Languedoc-Roussillon 2014 750ML ($31.95) $21.90 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Still not yet bottled (I tasted it from barrel last year as well), the 2014 Languedoc Pic Saint Loup Closerie du Pic is a blend of mostly Syrah and Mourvèdre, with a splash of Grenache. It got a big “wow” in my notes and has fabulous, fresh, lively notes of dark fruits, crushed rocks and spring flowers. There’s notable oak on the nose, but it’s beautifully integrated and lends a polish and richness to its texture. Full-bodied, with ripe tannin and a great finish, this is a sensational Pic Saint Loup that will drink well right out of the gate, yet evolve for 7-8 years or more.”
Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 98 points “The purity of this wine is crazy. Blue fruits with aromas of oyster shell and Indian ink. Full-bodied yet tight and reserved. A fabulous finish of ultra-fine tannins and focused fruit. This is a superb young Napa cab. Give it three to four years of bottle age. New Napa cult?”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Hewitt’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is loaded with plum, blackberry, red cherry jam, grilled herbs, lavender bittersweet chocolate, licorice and spice. Plush, deep and super-concentrated, the 2014 hits the palate with tons of depth and intensity. The firm tannins convey plenty of the famed Rutherford dust character. This massive, full-bodied Cabernet is going to require at least a few years to come into its own.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color and fragrant nose of cedar, violets, potpourri and crushed blueberries over a core of black currants and plums, plus a hint of dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals impressive energy, with tons of perfumed black fruit and earthy layers supported by firm, grainy tannins, finishing long and lively. 2,300 cases were made.”One of the best values in big Sonoma reds.
Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage, Alexander Valley 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine & Spirits 92 points “Rodney Strong’s investments in hillside vineyards have been paying off in wines like this 2014, a blend based on cabernet from the Brothers vineyard in the hills above Geyserville. It includes small lots of merlot and petit verdot from estate properties in Alexander Valley, along with Malbec and cabernet from Knights Valley. It’s the clarity of the flavor that’s most impressive-woodland cherry notes that capture the cool elevations of the fruit and a dark, foresty mushroom savor that amplifies the tannins. Silky and plump, with lasting intensity, this is a mouthwatering cabernet for roast lamb.”
Chateau d’Yquem ‘Y’ Ygrec, Bordeaux 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “Rather rich, with coconut, green fig, creamed pear, yellow apple and jasmine notes all melded together, picking up light acacia and elderflower accents on the finish. Very, very showy, with the underlying cut to pull it off. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Best from 2019 through 2026. 833 cases made.”Faiveley’s white game has improved a ton in the last few years.
Domaine Faiveley Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 92-93 points “Has quite a rich, candied-citrus character, but what makes this really exciting is the long elegant and salty mineral finish. Drink from release.”
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points “(malo finished): Pale yellow. Sexy hints of peach and mango on the nose. Creamy in the middle and surprisingly easy and open-knit today. (The yield here was normal, as with the Blagny.) An attractive midweight wine with moderate intensity, this premier cru finishes with a dusty note of lime peel, a touch of salinity and a slightly phenolic character. Faiveley noted that this wine is less concentrated than the 2015 and similar in balance to the 2009.”
The next best price is $139.99
Domaine Faiveley Les Amoureuses, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($379.95) $319 special
Burghound 92-95 points “A wonderfully spicy nose combines notes of red and dark cherry with those of violet, lavender and Asian-style tea. The vibrant and beautifully detailed middle weight flavors possess a polished mouthfeel thanks to the refined tannins that shape the lacy yet entirely seriously finish. This is class in a glass. (92-95)/2028+.”
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “(one new barrel made, but there was not a lot of frost here): Bright ruby-red. Initially quite reduced, the nose cleared somewhat with air to reveal dark scents of black raspberry, cherry and mocha. Then wonderfully supple and sweet on the palate if a bit dominated by smoky oak today; perhaps a bit thicker and riper than Faiveley’s other Chambolle-Musigny premier crus but less expressive today. Finishes with distinctly dark, even purple, fruit flavors and good savory minerality. This needs a racking.”
Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($449.95) $379 special
Stephen Tanzer 94-97 points “Bright, dark red-ruby. Knockout sappy nose combines black raspberry, crushed rock and white pepper. Boasts remarkable intensity and clarity–not to mention class–to its flavors of raspberry, spices and pungent minerals. Wonderfully sappy and dense but almost magically light on its feet. This sharply delineated wine finishes with ineffable rising perfume and outstanding length. This wine manages to combine the best traits of Faiveley’s other Gevrey grand crus–not to mention the finest qualities of the 2016 vintage–in an utterly weightless package.”
Burghound 93-96 points “(from a 1.29 ha parcel). This is softly oaky with a wonderfully spicy array of black cherry, pungent earth and evident sauvage nuances that can be found on the impressively rich and seductively textured broad-shouldered and concentrated flavors that coat the palate with extract, all wrapped in a balanced, long and deep finish. I very much like the way this fans out on the strikingly persistent finish. Note that plenty of patience is a requisite here and it would be largely pointless to open a bottle before its 10th anniversary. (93-96)/2036+.”
Domaine Faiveley Corton ‘Clos des Cortons’ Faiveley 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.”
Burghound 92-95 points “Touches of wood and menthol can be found on the brooding and inexpressive nose of plum, dark cherry liqueur, freshly turned earth and a gamy note. There is an appealing sense of underlying tension to the concentrated big-bodied flavors that also coat the palate with dry extract while exhibiting excellent length on the balanced and very firmly structured finale. Patience strongly advised. (92-95)/2036+”Sub $100? It’s hard to believe.
Domaine Faiveley La Combe aux Moines, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Burghound 91-94 points “(from a large 1.2 ha parcel). Discreet wood easily allows the overtly sauvage and earth-infused aromas of dark berries and humus to shine. The intense, muscular and powerful big-bodied flavors possess good minerality that really comes up on the austere and sneaky long finale. Textbook CAM. (91-94)/2031+.”
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points “Good dark red. Pure, cool, very reticent aromas of raspberry, redcurrant and licorice plus a positive hint of mustard seed. Backward and unforthcoming on the palate as well, showing subtle saline mineral and soil tones but little easy sweetness or fleshiness. Finishes with slightly granular but ripe tannins and very good length.”
The next best price is $96.94
The average price is $102
Domaine Faiveley Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 92-93 points “Flint, spices and black fruits on the nose, making this an exuberant one. An exciting wine that combines earthy power with a racy elegance, which is what makes it stand out. The serious tannic structure at the finish suggests that this has great aging potential. Only the third vintage of wine. Try in 2021.”
Burghound 91-94 points “This is aromatically interesting, and particularly so for LSJ, as there is an exotic character of dried yellow fruit to the otherwise more typical aromas of earth, humus, game and wild dark berries. There is a relatively refined mouthfeel to the tension-filled, muscular and mineral-driven flavors that culminate in a beautifully persistent finish that is moderately austere but not strict. Patience required. (91-94)/2031+.”
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “Bright dark red. Deeper pitched and more musky than the Clos des Issarts on the nose, showing more dark fruits and violet than raspberry and minerals today. Then plush and fresh in the mouth, offering surprising early appeal and sweetness to its flavors of dark berries and flowers. Can’t quite match the Clos des Issarts for its tightly coiled spring, but boasts excellent old-vines intensity and plenty of verve. Despite its firm tannins, I suspect this wine will give relatively early pleasure. The yield here was less than 30 hectoliters per hectare, according to technical director Jérôme Flous.”
The next best price is $129
Domaine Faiveley Les Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($159.95) $139 special
James Suckling 93-94 points “A deep and complex wine that makes this site often referred to be the best of Nuits St. Georges. A potential Grand Cru. The dense structure and impressive tannins extend through the long, velvet finish. You can drink this now for the generous blue fruits, but if you want all the minerality give it five, ten or more years of aging.
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points “Bright red with ruby tones. Very pure, youthfully medicinal aromas of black raspberry, violet and menthol. Wonderfully rich and subtly sweet, offering grand cru volume and depth to its flavors of red and darker berries, licorice, spices and minerals. This utterly suave wine boasts a rare combination of ripeness and coolness. The youthfully medicinal finish mounts slowly, with saline soil and mineral tones emerging as the wine opens in the glass. Splendid potential.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A broad-ranging nose features notes of red and dark raspberry, cherry, lavender, earth and a suggestion of the sauvage, all of which is trimmed in just enough wood to notice. There is excellent delineation and vibrancy to the overtly powerful medium weight plus flavors that also possess obvious muscle before concluding in a saline and lightly austere finish. This is quite firmly structured and will need plenty of time to reach its full apogee. In a word, excellent. (91-94)/2031+.”
The next best price is $150
The average price is $160
Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2008 750ML ($37.95) $33 specialOld+ungrafted vineyards. One of Calabretta’s top bottlings.
Calabretta Nonna Concetta Nerello Mascalese Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, South Australia 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The full-bodied 2016 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz is a blend of fruit from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Upper Adelaide and Wrattonbully. It’s a warm-climate, rich, plush Shiraz, with a velvety mouthfeel and lingering savory notes on the finish.”
James Suckling 91 points “A warm, early harvest has delivered a wine with more dried, baked blackberries and plums, reflecting the DNA of Penfolds style, and a wine that makes a more savory, spicy and earthy impression than the previous 2015 release. The palate is assuredly rich and round with blackberry and dark plum-pastry flavors, layered on silky, dense and rich, ripe tannins. Long and mellow. Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Upper Adelaide, Wrattonbully fruit sourcing. Drink now or hold.”
Tis the season for stocking up. Whether you’re buying for a party, for gifts, or because having a “house wine” or two is an especially appealing thing this time of year, you’re going to want to grab a case or two of the same wine. We’ve taken a selection of wines we think would make excellent holiday-season bottles and are adding/reducing some case prices for the month of December. These are all wines that deserve to be bought in bulk this month, at prices that will make you jump.
Perpetually the best value in high quality, crowd pleasing Champagne
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
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.”
Similar to the Grand Reserve but leaner and brighter.
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Grapelive 93 points “This is some sensationally great bubbly! Jean-François Clouet, who was born and raised in Bouzy, still lives in the 18th century village house built by his ancestors. He takes his lineage seriously and respects his family’s traditions and that of the region, [Bouzy, where he] is a renowned grower producer. Clouet makes a full range of intense and stylish Champagnes, all of which come [from] family plots mostly comprised of 100% Pinot Noir from Clouet’s lieux-dits in the Bouzy zone. The André Clouet “Silver” Grand Cru Brut Nature is a non-vintage, zero dosage Champagne of exceptional class and delicacy. It’s a severe and high-toned 100% Pinot bubbly from mid-slopes around the village of Bouzy set on the chalky limestone and clay. It went through full malo and was aged on its lees in neutral French oak barrel. [This adds] to the surprise of its crisp detail, considering its malo/wood winemaking fashion, though like a great Burgundy it changes and gains with time in the glass adding richness to the tight form it initially shows. If ever there was a Champagne that fits all my wants and desires, then this Clouet, fits the bill. I adore Extra Bruts and Non Dosage styles absolutely best of all and this Andre Clouet Silver kills it for the price! Lemony briskness leads the way with hints of hazelnut, brioche and wet river stones adding a touch of white cherry, unripe apple and cool green melon, all lifted by the pure tight beading of its electric mousse. The Pinot Noir gives a bite of extract which makes this a fantastic food Champagne. It is perfect for oysters, sushi and mussels in spicy broth. It’s not for everyone, but damn it’s good. It’s without question a thinker’s sparkler not a crowd pleaser, which just makes it that much more special.”
From the owner of Cheval Blanc, this is fantastic right now.
Case-12 Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($699.95) Was $588, Now $519 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $43.25/bottle!)
Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 93 points “A soft and fruity wine, with orange peel and berries and plums. Full body, with super fine tannins and a fruity finish. Refined and very pretty. Structured in the end. Fresh. Succulent. A style away from the over extracted one a few years ago. Try after 2018.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is very distinctive, with live-wire acidity running through the core of damson plum, linzer torte and blackberry fruit that’s framed by a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note. The long and driven finish has a piercing iron edge and a smoldering tobacco note that adds to the dramatic profile. Best from 2015 through 2025.” WA
Now it’s even lower!
Case-12 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($649.95) Was $540, Now $489 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $40.75/bottle!)
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”
Chateau Petit Faurie-Quet, Saint-Emilion 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note “From 35 acres in limestone clay soils. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Aged in 80% new oak barrels and 20% stainless steel vats.”This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Case-6 Domaine Chandon Brut, California NV 1.5L ($219.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Domaine Chandon Brut, California NV 1.5L ($39.95) $21.90 special
Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “The one blend in the Eggo range is the 2015 Eggo Tinto de Tiza, which mixes Malbec with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in 2,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats where the wine matured for almost one year. This feels quite complete and balanced, with good ripeness while keeping the balance and poise. The palate is juicy and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a bittersweet finish akin to sour cherries. Very tasty and long. Super. Incredible for the price. 16,000 bottles were filled in January 2016.”One of the legendary wines of Germany.
Case-6 Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($359.99) Was $294, Now $259 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $43.17/bottle!)
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling.com 96 points “Another 2016 Spätlese from Dönnhoff that’s still a bit shy on the nose, but on the palate it’s like a huge glittering diamond with more facets flashing many colors. An extremely long super-mineral finish that is impeccably clean in spite of the generous grape sweetness in this masterpiece of elegance. Better from 2018 with decades of ageing potential. Made from organic grapes and Fair’n Green certified.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “A fascinatingly multifaceted nose incorporates wet stone, leather and almond extract with more familiar white peach, quince and lime. A seductive aura of lily-like perfume hangs over this entire performance. The palate is palpably dense despite alcoholic levity, and subtly creamy while retaining animating primary juiciness. In common with its Brücke sibling, this leans more toward quince as it launches into a finish of honeyed richness – a function of nearly overripe but also nearly botrytis-free berries – yet retaining freshness as well as transparency to crystalline stony mineral nuances. “Under the right conditions,” observed Dönnhoff, “Hermannshöhle delivers something extra in the realm of sweetness, and for that you need cool nights that preserve slightly harder acidity” – which 2016 delivered in spades. Look for significantly more from this bottling after it’s had a decade or so in bottle.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Nahe Riesling Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese is bright, fresh and coolish-piquant on the nose, with flinty and slightly reductive aromas. Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a generous, mouth-filling Spätlese with a long, piquant and spicy-mineral finish. The Hermannshöhle is more dense and rich on the palate, the Brücke more light, delicate and finessed.”
Terry Theise note “For many people this is a ne plus ultra of Riesling, and they’ll be happy to hear that ’16 is a firm and herbal version of a classic for which the typical descriptors apply. But what you can’t describe is the moment – and there’s always a moment—when the love overcomes your resistance, your doubt or your fear, and you let yourself fall; finally someone sees you, your cells are urging toward her, and hoo boy, this could be bliss; watch out… here goes.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Case-12 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($319.95) Was $288, Now $259 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “This team has made a terrific 2016 Saint-Péray, (50/50 Marsanne and Roussanne aged in 15% new oak) from an appellation that continues to produce more and more outstanding wines. Honeysuckle, white flowers, caramelized peach and white currant notes give way to a pure, elegant, layered white that has terrific purity and length. It’s going to drink beautifully for 3-4 years or more.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Pale yellow-gold. Fresh and incisive on the nose, displaying vibrant citrus and orchard fruit scents complemented by hints of honeysuckle and chalky minerals. Shows very good depth of flavor but comes off lithe, offering juicy Meyer lemon and bitter pear skin flavors that pick up a spicy ginger note on the back half. Closes very long and precise, delivering a firm snap of minerality and lingering floral character.”
Thanks for reading!