Weekend VinopolPick 12-28-18

In Today’s Newsletter:Staff Picks: New Year’s Champagne

New Wine Advocate Reviews
For Sicily, the Northern Rhone and Austria

Two New Grapelive Reviews

Just Arrived: Mugneret-Gibourg’s Cult Classics

Oddero: Titan of Traditional Barolo

Clos Apalta’s Chilean Perfection


Champagne for New Year’s?

Our Top Picks

Budget Champagnes
Bereche et Fils Brut Reserve, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The NV Brut Réserve Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Non Filtrée is a blend of all the four different terroirs cultivated by the Bérêche family—35% Ludes (chalk), 30% Ormes (sand), 25% Mareuil-sur-Port (clay) and 10% Trépail (chalk), which adds up to seven hectares for this cuvée. The current release of the non-vintaged unfiltered Réserve is based on the 2015 vintage and, as usual, includes 35% of reserve wines from a solera. Fermented in oak barrels and small cuves, the assemblage of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir (from vines averaging 40+ years old) is pure and fruity on the nose, very elegant and spicy, with red fruit and cherry aromas. Pure and elegant on the palate, with intensity, remarkable finesse and complexity, the Brut Réserve reveals a still tight but long, salty, promising finish.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Lemon curd, delicate herb and spice notes lead to flavors of crushed white cherry, toasted brioche and honey, with a streak of salinity, in this firm, focused Champagne, showing a lacy mousse. Offers a long, mouthwatering finish.” [Review is for the Jan 2018 disgorgement]

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 375ML ($24.95) $18 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($89.95) $66 special
Case-12 R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $319 special (that’s only $26.58/bottle!)
Importer note
“The Dumont Brut NV is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes from their vineyard have qualities that seem less aggressive and more sumptuous than those from the northern districts. In addition, vinification of whole berries at low temperatures enhances this quality of soft elegance. The NV is a blend of vintages typically between two and five years old. It is aged for two years on the lees before disgorgement. Dosage is 9 grams.”
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This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
This is the only listing for a half bottle in the USA today!
Perseval-Farge C. de Pinots Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Importer note “The “C. de Pinots” is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A gentle pressing is done with a vertical press and the juice is vinified in stainless steel vats and in barrels (not new). A part of the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation. This cuvée is typically a blend of several vintages with at least 40% being reserve wine. The Champagne rests 48 months “sur lattes” before being disgorged. The dosage is 7g/L.”
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Splurge-Worthy Bubbles
Andre Clouet ‘Le Clos’ Bouzy Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($379.95) $319 special
VinopolNote: Only 250 cases of this rare bottling were produced, all from one of the four walled Grand Cru vineyards in Champagne.  100% Pinot Noir, aged 8 years sur latte, from a great vintage.Andy:
Christophe Mignon Brut (Pur Meunier), Champagne 2010 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Winery Cellar Release
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Mignon’s 2010 Brut Nature Blanc de Noirs Pur Meunier is fabulous. Bright, focused and energetic, the 2010 Pur Meunier is endowed with real class. The flavors are bright and focused, but it is the wine’s multi-dimensional personality that truly stands out. There is a sense of verticality supported by beams of minerality that is simply compelling. This is the single finest Champagne I have tasted from Christophe Mignon so far. The 2010 emerges from parcels in Festigny and Le Breuil planted in 1976. Bottled with no dosage.”

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Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $159 special
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 ond 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.”

New Year’s Dom Perignon Spectacular

Best in Country Pricing on the Champagne Legend!

It’s nearly New Year’s Eve, which means we’re offering you a great deal on Dom Perignon.  With pricing under $130 by the six pack, any lover of classic Champagne needs to stock up!
Just Arrived! In Stock Now:
Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($199.95) $149 special 
Case-6 Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($999.95)
$769 special (that’s only $128.17/bottle—the lowest listed price in the country!)
Case-3 Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($499.95)
$399 special (that’s only $133/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2006 Dom Pérignon is a beautifully balanced, harmonious Dom Pérignon that strikes an incredibly appealing stylistic middle ground. Rich, voluptuous and creamy, the 2006 shows off fabulous intensity in a style that brings together the ripeness of 2002 with the greater sense of verve and overall freshness that is such a signature of the 2004. Bass notes and a feeling of phenolic grip on the finish recall the 2003, as the Pinot Noir is particularly expressive today. After an irregular summer that saw elevated temperatures in July followed by cooler, damp conditions in August, more favorable weather returned in September, pushing maturation ahead and leading to a long, protracted harvest. The 2006 falls into the family of riper, more voluptuous Dom Pérignons, but without veering into the level of opulence seen in vintages such as 2002.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2006 Dom Pérignon comes from a very rich vintage with an early ripeness that brought a lot of aromatic maturity. The white-golden prestige cuvée contains a bit more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir and opens with a deep and seductive, pretty accessible nose with intense yet fresh fruit aromas of pineapples, with peaches and tangerines. Lively and elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, unusually aromatic and fruity DP with a long and tension-filled expression.”

New Wine Advocate Reviews

For the Northern Rhone, Sicily and Austria


In Stock Now:Alta Mora ‘Guradiola’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
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

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Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “This is a slightly more austere and sophisticated expression among Gulfi’s various single-vineyard expressions of Nero d’Avola. The 2013 Sicilia Nerobaronj delivers that same black-fruit ripeness that you get in the other wines; however, the bouquet in this wine is slightly sharper and more focused. Spice, tar and cured leather frame a dark core of black fruit. This is a thickly textured wine for medium-term consumption. The Baroni vineyard is distinguished by clay-limestone soils with white rocks. Only 6,800 bottles were made.”-ML
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Gulfi Neromaccarj Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2013 Sicilia Neromàccarj bursts open with dark fruit intensity, including dried cherry and blackberry confit. Like the other wines in this series of single-vineyard Nero d’Avola wines, this expression produces above-average density, darkness and richness. But the Neromàccarj also offers an elegant side that comes forth, thanks to the contained intensity and the firm delineation of its aromas. Smoke, tar and black olive appear on the close. The Maccari vineyard site is almost at sea level and has limestone, clay and rocky soils that are rich with organic matter. Only 3,200 bottles were made.”-ML

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Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Sicilia Nerosanloré is a rich and plush red wine with a mid-weight approach backed by lots of rich fiber and fruity thickness. The house style at Gulfi always prizes ripeness and higher-than-average concentration. Blackberry preserves and cherry confit are backed by spice, sweet tobacco and sticky tar. The San Lorenzo vineyard site enjoys the highest altitude of all these cru sites. It is located at 600 meters above sea level and has red sandy soils. Only 3,800 bottles were produced.”-ML
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The next best price is $51.99
Arriving ETA January:Gulfi Nerojbleo Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2015 Nerojbleo (an IGT Terre Siciliane wine) shows a fruit-forward approach with plump cherry and summer plum that rise to the top of the bouquet with a direct and immediate personality. The quality of the fruit is ripe, dense, dark and very black in character. This is a mid-weight Sicilian wine to pair with fried chicken or spicy pork. This wine is perhaps easier in style, but I like the fresh transparency you get here. Some 80,000 bottles were made.”-ML

Northern Rhone
In Stock Now:Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Joseph Les Coteaux, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2016 Saint Joseph Les Coteaux looks as good from bottle as it did from tank last year. Richly concentrated and velvety, this medium to full-bodied beauty features savory notes of black olive, allspice and clove, backed by supple tannins and a long finish.”-JC

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Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Saint-Cosme’s 2016 Condrieu delivers a lusty, mouth-filling mélange of mandarin oranges and ripe apricots. Full-bodied, lush and silky, it’s round and mouthfilling but finishes clean and dry. Just lovely stuff for drinking over the next 3-4 years.”
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The next best price is $69.95
The average price is $77
Saint Cosme Cote Rotie, Rhone 2016 750ML ($64.95) $52.50 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “A blend of Syrah from the lieux-dits of le Plomb, Besset, la Viallière and Neve, Saint Cosme’s 2016 Cote Rotie was fermented using whole clusters and aged in (mostly) used barrels. It’s a sexy, supple Côte Rôtie, with notes of hickory smoke, wood ash and bacon balanced by lush dark-fruit flavors. Slurp it down it over the next 7-8 years while waiting for some of the more tannic examples of the appellation to mature.”-JC
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The next best price is $66.39
The average price is $76
Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “Proprietor Louis Barruol sourced his 2016 Crozes Hermitage from the commune of Gervans, which has particularly granitic soils. It’s smoky and refined, with cherry and cassis fruit underscored by hints of dried herbs and meaty elements. With its ample fruit and fine-grained tannins, it’s already drinking well—and should do so for at least another 4-5 years.”-JC
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Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, Rhone 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Sourced from granitic soils at the northern end of the appellation, the 2016 Saint Joseph boasts sexy aromas of hickory smoked bacon and cassis. Medium to full-bodied, it’s silky and suave on the palate, picking up hints of espresso on the long, fine-grained finish. Approachable now, it should drink well for at least another 6-7 years.”-JC
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Arriving ETA January:Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Sainte-Epine, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 93-points
“Impressively dark and saturated in color, the 2016 Saint Joseph Sainte-Epine showcases its granite origins, boasting scents of crushed stone on the nose, along with hints of plummy fruit and grilled meat. It’s medium to full-bodied, framed by firm yet ripe tannins and classy notes of pencil shavings that linger through the long, silky-textured finish.”-JC

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Arriving ETA April:

Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes, Rhone 2016 1.5l ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Cornas Empreintes features hints of cedar, brown sugar and dried spices layered over its plummy fruit (it was aged in 20% new oak, with the bulk in older wood). Full-bodied, supple and ripe, it’s charming but with more stuffing than that word suggests, showing ample concentration and soft, dusty tannins on the long finish. It’s a terrific Cornas to drink over the next 10-12 years.”-JC

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Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Premices, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Premices, Rhone 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2016 Cornas Premices, from relatively young vines, has turned out well. Menthol, leather and plum combine on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is supple and charming. Already easy to drink, it offers decent concentration and a long finish lined with soft, dusty tannins.”-JC
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Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Confidence, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92? points “After being told last year that there was unlikely to be a 2016 Cornas Confidence, it was eyebrow-raising when this showed up in my blind tasting. Aged in barrel (30% new), it’s a meaty, beefy, umami-laden wine that’s full-bodied, concentrated, supple and long. Despite the overall size and roundness, the fruit here isn’t fruity, making for something of a surprise and a conundrum.”-JC
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Arriving ETA January:Weingut Leo Alzinger Ried Hohereck Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “From steep, southeast-facing terraces with weathered gneiss soils, the 2017 Ried Höhereck Riesling Smaragd is concentrated, fresh and piquant on the nose, displaying ripe white fruit aromas but also some greenish fruits. Dense and piquant on the palate, this elegant, tightly woven Riesling has remarkable phenolic grip, freshness and a stimulating astringency on the salty finish. Stunningly fresh given this steep and warm terraced vineyard. Tasted in Unterloiben, Wachau, September 2018.”-SR

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Weingut Leo Alzinger Hollerin Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91 points “From deeper, loamy, weathered gneiss soil, the 2017 Ried Hollerin Riesling Smaragd is intense and concentrated on the nose but still shy and reductive in the expression of its white fruit aromas. Rich and round but dry and piquant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, lush and generous Hollerin with stimulatingly salty-piquant acidity and good structure. Still young but with good potential. Very juicy. Tasted in Unterloiben, Wachau, September 2018.”-SR

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Two New Grapelive Reviews

In Stock Now:

Chateau de Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Grapelive 94 points “Louis Barruol’s Saint Cosme [is] most famous for [the] Gigondas, [yet the] negociant series is one of the great values in the wine world. His northern Rhone lineup especially impresses, with his Crozes-Hermitage always a stand out. This 2016 is no exception with the vintage’s amazing combination of power and poise showing a deep character, but with a lovely freshness of detail and inner energy. Barruol’s deep/dark purple/garnet hued Crozes-Hermitage is 100% Serine clone (a local and an ancient variety of Syrah). [It] is 100% destemmed fruit coming off main sites in the extraordinary hillsides around the villages within Crozes, Larnage, Gervans and Erôme. [The] vineyard plots [are] of sand/clay over granite soils. This vintage was aged in 20% new French oak with the rest being put in 1 and 2 times used cask, with the Syrah seeing about a year of elevage before bottling unfiltered. [This makes] for a rich, ripe and vivid Crozes-Hermitage Rouge with a pure and earthy Syrah personality and a classic regional terroir core and character with a loaded palate of black and blue fruit, spice and savory elements with a raw tannic grip as well as the vintage’s nice acidity that gives this wine an exciting kick in the ass! Barruol notes that his growers… in Tenay, Habrard and Batits sit behind [the] Hermitage hill itself, with the oldest vines having the ability to produce wines that can compete with Hermitage! I do not doubt that and you can feel their presence in vintages such as this, no question. Again this wine is an absolute steal for the price. The Saint Cosme 2016 Crozes surprises for the width and textural feel with beautiful layers of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry, damson plum and black cherry/kirsch fruits along with light camphor/embers, violets, mission fig, cinnamon, black licorice, creme de cassis, peppercorns, and a hint of crushed rock and leather. There is a lot going on here, and the finish is exceptionally lengthy and smooth. It has serious palate impact, while still fresh in details at 13% natural alcohol. It is medium/full in body, perfectly weighted, and I can see it getting better over the next 3 to 5 years, too. Very impressive. It’s a Syrah that delivers on its promises. Delicious stuff. Give [it] air or decant for best results, but [it’s] absolutely magic when paired with rustic/robust cuisine. Drink this Crozes over the next 5 to 10 years.”

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Forman Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Grapelive 94+ points “Ric Forman’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a big Napa Valley wine, but with the vintage’s fresher style, sharp detail and potential for extended cellar aging, it absolutely thrills from start to finish, making one of his best efforts in years, I like it much better than 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013 editions, somewhat a sleeper year overall I adore this one with its wonderful play between opulence and vibrant form. Mainstream media types have gone crazy for the ultra luxurious, fat chocolate style Cabs, especially loving the 2013 and 2015 vintages, and while Forman excelled in those years too, I still am much more excited by the complexity and inner energy found in the best 2014’s like those of Corison, Corra by Celia Welch, Chappellet and this Forman, ask me in 15 to 20 if I’m proved right, but I think they are more intriguing than the more heralded 2013’s, so we’ll see. Ric Forman credits Bordeaux as being the biggest influence on his wines and style, though you can’t hide, especially in the last decade the explosive ripe quality of Napa fruit, so the touch Forman has is even more impressive, as like his inspiration he crafts wines of elegance and unending layers with a sense of soul, life and restraint. Like the top cellars in Bordeaux, Forman uses the most advanced equipment while using traditional hand harvested fruit, that is cared for with gentle techniques, it is also quickly done, with the grapes processed within 30 minutes of picking. Ultra selection of berries on the clusters, with rigorous hand sorting, the fruit is gently de-stemmed in a French Delta de-stemmer and transported, intact whole berry, for fermentations in small 2-4 ton temperature controlled stainless steel fermentors. Cold primary and maceration lasts for 3-4 weeks to get all the extraction of color and complexity of the skins, while malos happen in the barrels and the wine is aged for almost years, with no pump racking periodically done and a light egg white fining being done, also a la Bordeaux. Forman’s blend usually comes out something like 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest being close to 5-6% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5-6% Petit Verdot all coming off Ric’s own vines in Saint Helena, 100% off the estate owned and farmed Grande Roche Vineyard with the finished wine getting about 75% new oak. This 2014 flows with pretty perfume and delicate toasty sweetness on the nose with acacia flowers, vanilla, mocha and black fruits while the palate gains depth and feel with every sip, evolving into layers of blackberry, creme de cassis (currant cored), plum and cheery along with a touch of cedary wood, tobacco spiciness and hints of licorice, sage and unsweetened cocao, before a lengthy finish that reveals the oak in a graceful way along with an echo of the vanilla/mocha. After time in the glass you feel the expressive purity of fruit and the wine gains a sense of integration and class, while filling out and delivering a full bodied palate impact. This is worthy of its hype and reputation, and why Napa is a force in the wine world, excellent and finessed stuff.”


Just Arrived!

The Cult Classic Wines of Mugneret-Gibourg

Mugneret-Gibourg has gone from an under the radar, insider’s pick in Burgundy to a blue chip, collectible estate in a few decades.  That’s a testament to the quality of the wines and, in turn, to the quality of the holdings of the family.  Blessed with exceptionally old, massale selection vines in some of the premier vineyards in Burgundy, these are some of the most pure expressions of Pinot on the planet.

While many of the bottlings we secured have sold out, but we still have ten wines available, ranging from the Nuits Chaignots to the rare and sought after Ruchottes-Chambertin and Echezeaux.  You can see all ten bottlings by clicking here, or read on for some highlights.

In Stock Now:

Only two bottles available
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Les Feusselottes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2009 750ML ($399.95) $299 special
Antonio Galloni 92+ points “The 2009 Chambolle-Musigny Les Feusselottes is oddly enough much more typical of this wine than the 2010 tasted alongside it. The Feusselottes is quite closed, though. With time in the glass some of the red fruit and flowers begin to emerge, but the 2009 remains somewhat shut down. It shows lovely textural richness and depth all the way through to the layered, sexy finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $459
Only three bottles available
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Echezeaux Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2008 750ML ($559.95) $479 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2008 Echézeaux is flat-out great. It is a deep, dark wine graced with exquisite balance, lovely inner perfume and a layered, eternal finish. Here the slightly higher percentage of new oak (70%) gives the wine an additional measure of volume. The Echézeaux is made from two parcels; Les Rouges du Bas (just in front of Clos Vougeot) and Les Quartiers de Nuits (next to Clos Vougeot) vinified together. Everything of the Echézeaux is first-class.”
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Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Les Chaignots, Nuit Saint Georges Premier Cru 2003 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Stephen Tanzer 89 points “Good ruby-red. Blackberry, violet, minerals and graphite on the nose. Very full on the palate, with compelling sweetness and a slightly exotic character. Finishes with a note of roasted oak and a slight raisiny nuance. Less floral than it appeared to be a year ago from barrel. The Mugnerets began the harvest with this vineyard, picking on August 25, the last day before the very warm temperatures moderated.”
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Only one bottle available
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2002 750ML ($799.95) $699 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “This was made solely from the estate’s old vines; the recently replanted portion of the Mugnerets’ holding will not go into this cuvee for at least a few more years): Medium red. Knockout nose combines red berries, smoke, game and red licorice. Silky-sweet and seductive, with lovely subtle intensity of flavor. Velvety but not at all weighty, in the manner of the best Burgundies. Finishes with superb building sweetness and wonderfully subtle, persistent soil tones.”
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The next best price is $749
Only one bottle available
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2005 750ML ($999.95) $899 special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “Good medium red; seemed to deepen in color with air. Claret-like aromas of smoky redcurrant, graphite and flowers. Silky on entry, then sweet, spicy and floral in the middle, with lovely lift for the vintage. Finishes with substantial tannins and a lingering perfume of rose petal. The Mugneret ’05s, not surprisingly, manage to avoid the superripe, almost southern Rhone-like aromas of some wines from this vintage.”
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Want to see all ten bottlings from Mugneret-Gibourg, in stock now?
Just click here to view the whole list on our website.
Oddero: Titan of Traditional Barolo

Oddero remains one of the best sources for traditional, uncompromising Barolo.  The estate itself is old even by Piemontese standards, dating back to the 1700’s and they’ve been estate bottling since 1878—quite early by the standards of the region.  That history has ensured them some of the best holdings in Barolo and those terroirs translate into some absolutely classic Barolos in an old-school style.  Oddero’s had some ups and downs over the last 40-50 years but the current generation (the seventh) is producing the best in the recent history of the winery.All of the Nebbiolo vineyards of the estate are farmed organically and fermentation of the Barolos takes place in stainless steel before maturation in large casks—no barrique here.  These are fantastic up and down the range—the Barolo normale is a beautiful example and a fantastic deal and the cru bottles, from Brunate and Vigna Rionda are epic bottlings that demand time and patience but will soar after an extended sleep.

In Stock Now:

A beautiful entry Barolo
Poderi Oddero Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “Oddero’s 2013 Barolo is a beautifully delicate and nuanced expression of Nebbiolo from a balanced vintage. This edition offers a solid, firm and complete nature that translates to both the bouquet and the mouthfeel. The finish is polished, long and silky. I’ve always loved Oddero’s base Barolo and this happy wine generously illustrates that preference.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This strikes a nice balance between fruity and savory elements, delivering cherry, strawberry, floral, licorice and tobacco notes on a delicate frame. Harmonious and enjoyable now, though the refined tannins suggest that this will benefit from another year or two in bottle. Best from 2019 through 2032. 2,400 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $43

Arriving January 11th:

Brunate is one of the best crus for a reason.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points “Gorgeous dried fruits and citrus character with a dense palate, fresh acidity and a lingering finish. Another gorgeous Brunate. Drink in 2017.”

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2012 remains a favorite, it’s such a classical Barolo vintage.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Enticing aromas of cherry, rose and spice lead off, while the flavors pick up tar and tobacco, echoing the spice. This is rich and balanced, with oak tannins adding another layer on the long sweet-fruit finish. Best from 2018 through 2032. 180 cases made.”
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Everything you’d want out of 2013 Brunate.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “This opens with alluring red berry, menthol, new leather, star anise and crushed herb scents. It’s elegantly structured, offering sour cherry, cranberry, licorice and sage flavors set against firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. A hint of orange zest closes the finish. Drink 2023–2033.”Held ten years before release, only 200 magnums were bottled.
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007 1.5L ($499.95) $419 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points “This is drinking wonderfully now with so much depth of fruit and lots of juicy character. Full body, layered and intense. Plenty of dark berry and chocolate. Fantastic. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “This wine is released ten years after the harvest, giving consumers the opportunity to buy an older vintage of Barolo that has been stored carefully back at the winery. Older-release wines like this are becoming ever more popular in the Langhe. The 2007 Barolo Riserva Vignarionda is a powerful and exuberant expression that shows the density and the inner energy of Serralunga d’Alba. Blackberry and dark cherry lift from the bouquet to reveal pretty undertones of spice, leather and savory tobacco. Only 2,763 750-milliliter bottles, 200 magnums and 20 jeroboams were produced. This wine offers a very special taste of Nebbiolo.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “After 10 years, this is ready to enjoy. However, despite the sweet cherry fruit, leather, woodsy and mineral flavors, there are still dense tannins. This is moving in the right direction, mellowing gracefully and lingering with a long, fresh, tobacco- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Best from 2020 through 2034. 150 cases made.”

New release, ten years after harvest.  A magnificent wine.
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2008 750ML ($219.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Importer note “The name Vigna Rionda, meaning “round vineyard”, comes from the plot of land, a depression filled with rows of vines, with the whole slope in full sun. Bought by the Oddero family in 1985, the Vigna Rionda, like all the land around Serralunga, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte, is part of an unusual tertiary Langhian-Miocene geological formation, rich in calcareous deposits, marl, fine sand and sandstone, alternating with mineral residues from plant and animal organisms. Additionally the Vigna Rionda is sheltered by the Castelletto hill from northeast winds and the winter cold, and it has an excellent microclimate for vine cultivation. The prizewinning Oddero Barolo Vigna Rionda is a great, tenacious wine with a long life, with an intense, spiced bouquet, structured and complex on tasting, and very exciting.”

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Clos Apalta’s

Chilean Perfection

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet founded Lapostolle in 1994. The Marnier Lapostolle family, known for founding Grand Marnier liqueur, drew on long long roots in wine and spirits within France. Their project in Chile, under the name Lapostolle, delivers world-class wines across every tier.  Their flagship wine, the Clos Apalta, is a wine spared no expense (as you’d expect given the names involved.  It’s regularly considered one of the top two wines in Chile, a Bordeaux styled blend that combines rich, opulent fruit and the structure to age for a long time.

We’re pleased to offer the 2015, a wine that received a perfect score from James Suckling as well as its sibling—the 2015 “Petit Clos”.  Both of these arrive in March and are going to be absolute must buys for lovers of Napa Cabernet or Modernist Bordeaux.

Arriving ETA March 2019:

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2015 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 100 points “There is a subtle complexity on the nose with currant, berry, fresh herb and wet earth aromas. Cut fresh flowers, too. Full body, dense and powerful. Incredible character here with such purity and polish. It goes on for minutes. Formed, sculptured yet soulful. A monumental wine for Chile. Unbelievable. More powerful than the 2014 which was 100 points. A blend of 46% carmenere, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot and 5% cabernet franc. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. Better in 2022”

Casa Lapostolle ‘Le Petit Clos Apalta’, Apalta Valley 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Casa Lapostolle ‘Le Petit Clos Apalta’, Apalta Valley 2015 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“Blackberry, fresh herb, wet earth and tar aromas follow through to a full body, with powerful tannins and density yet an agile and polished, textured finish. Much better than 2014. The second wine of Clos Apalta. Try it in 2021”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $41
Can’t wait?  Check out the 2014, in stock right now!Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2014 750ML ($159.95) $119 special, 17 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points
“An extremely aromatic and focused Clos Apalta with blackberry, blueberry, floral and hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. Focused and tight. Precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of carmenere, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.”


Thanks for reading!