Weekend VinopolPick 12-6-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Collector’s Corner
Hudelot-Noellat’s Insider Vosne + Chambolle

Trending Wines

A Rosé in Winter

William Fevre’s Top Tier ’17s

Staff Pick: A Sicilian Favorite

A Vinopolis Bestselling Chateauneuf Returns Next Week


Collector’s Corner

Hudelot-Noellat’s Insider Vosne + Chambolle

Hudelot-Noëllat has remained a true insider’s secret in Burgundy—a venerable domaine with great holdings whose pricing has yet to catch up with the quality and rarity of their wines.  The current winemaking team has pushed Hudelot-Noëllat to new heights and the wines are still values, even if they are expensive.

At first glance, it may seem odd to call a wine priced in the many hundreds of dollars a value.  Yet, when we talk about the very top tier of Burgundy, this sort of conversation gets common.  The best wines are produced in incredibly miniscule quantities and so true Burgundy-heads are always looking for wines to scratch that top tier itch at slightly lower tariffs. It’s hard to find Richebourg and Romanée St. Vivant at this quality level for this sort of pricing (compare to, say, Cathiard, to get a sense of the values they offer). Their premier crus from Chambolle and Vosne are also excellently priced, especially from hallowed terroirs like Charmes and Beaux-Monts.

We just acquired a perfectly cellared parcel of Hudelot-Noëllat, that contains many of their top bottlings with some bottle age.  It’s a rare chance to get these wines with a head start in the cellar and we bought every single one that we could.  We’ve got some highlights below and the full list of these wines (plus some rare Roumier that just arrived) at the end of the section.

Some Highlights, Just Arrived:

Only two bottles available
Hudelot-Noellat Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($199.95) $149 special
Burghound 91 points
“An exceptionally pretty and refined nose offers up very fresh red pinot fruit aromas nuanced by earth, crushed herbs and very discreet spice hints that can also be found on the generous yet precise middle weight flavors that possess a textured mouth feel and a strikingly intense and persistent finish that also evidences a touch of austerity. Like its villages counterpart, this is very Chambolle in character but with much better overall complexity.”
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Pale medium red. Sexy nose offers red fruits, crushed stone, cinnamon and flowers. Broader and suppler than the Chambolle villages, but still with a light touch to its musky red berry and cherry flavors. Nice sap and energy here, but less tart than the village offerings. This persistent wine will rely as much on its acids as on its tannins for structure.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Only three bottles available
Hudelot-Noellat Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($179.95) $139 special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 91 points
“[May 2019] The 2011 Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru has a very appealing, harmonious bouquet with ample red cherries, crushed strawberry and subtle undergrowth scents that gain vigor with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded, quite sensual entry: red fruit laced with white pepper, blood orange and subtle leafy notes. It gradually unfurls towards the finish maintaining adequate freshness and with a detailed bitter orange-tinged aftertaste. Excellent. Tasted at Flint Wines Burgundy 2011 tasting.”
Burghound 91 points “A discreet backdrop of wood frames the highly expressive airy, cool and ultra-pure red orchard fruit aromas that exhibit a lovely spicy character. The middle weight flavors display equally good purity with a round and supple texture before concluding in an unusually powerful finish in the context of what is typical for the appellation yet this is essentially a wine of silky, finesse and understatement.”

Only two bottles available
Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2006 750ML ($319.95) $279 special
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Medium red. Slightly musky nose began tight but showed black cherry and menthol with air. Then very sweet, fruit-driven and light on its feet, with pungent red berry flavors spreading out to saturate the palate without giving any impression of weight. Offers superb intensity of fruit and length. A splendid showing today, but this also has the acid/tannin spine for a long and positive evolution in bottle.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A noticeable touch of wood spice adds nuance to the otherwise earthy and relatively somber red pinot fruit where notes of underbrush and a hint of animale are also present. The big and well-muscled flavors possess fine concentration and lovely texture on the brooding and youthfully austere finish that is not only very firmly structured but delivers seriously impressive length. This is a powerful wine by any standard but particularly so in the context of the vintage and one that will need at least a decade to be at its best.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Only one bottle available
Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2008 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The estate’s 2008 Clos de Vougeot is a pretty, layered and open wine laced with dark red fruit, flowers and black pepper. It is a soft, supple 2008, and while undoubtedly very well-made, it lacks the visceral thrill of the very finest wines of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.”
Burghound 92 points “A densely fruited nose of very fresh and reasonably refined animale and earth-suffused red currant and plum aromas introduces exceptionally pure and gorgeously textured middle weight flavors that also possess excellent volume and plenty of taut muscularity on the slightly herbal, long, austere and detailed finish. A balanced effort that should amply reward mid-term cellaring, at least by the standards of this cru.”

Only one bottle available
Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Burghound 92-95 points
“This is quite floral with wood influence that is akin to sandalwood as it’s quite fragrant but not toasty or especially spicy. There is plenty of earth influence on the array of red berry fruit suffused nose that complements the broad-scaled flavors that possess excellent size and weight before concluding in a beautifully persistent finish. The supporting tannins are quite fine and the overall impression is unusually seductive as most young Clos de Vougeot tends towards austerity rather than seduction.”

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Only two bottles available
Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2008 750ML ($799.95) $699 special
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points
“Medium red. Pungent perfume of blood orange, licorice and herbs, lifted by a floral topnote. Tactile but backward, with terrific lift and perfume to the raspberry and crushed fruit flavors. The terrific rising finish displays great energy and a wonderfully light touch. Really stains the palate. With aeration, a deeper smoky, earthy tang and more adamant minerality emerged. A beauty, but lay it down for at least seven or eight years.”

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Only one bottle available
Hudelot-Noellat Les Beaux Monts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Bright medium red. Raspberry, flowers and spices on the nose, enlivened by a piquant hint of orange peel. Then pretty and penetrating, with sharply delineated flavors of red fruits, flowers, spices and minerals. High-pitched, pure and long, finishing with firm tannic support. Lovely wine.”
Burghound 91-93 points “A cooler and more elegant aromatic profile presents wonderfully airy, even lacy red and blue pinot fruit, pungent stone notes and ample spice hints that also extend to the focused, powerful and solidly concentrated middle weight flavors that are not quite as complex as those of the Suchots but are finer and even more persistent. A qualitative choice, at least at this early stage.”

Only three bottles available
Hudelot-Noellat Les Beaux Monts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($189.95) $149 special
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points
“Bright medium red. Pure but shy aromas of red cherry, blood orange and menthol. Denser and thicker than the Chambolle Charmes but rather inexpressive today in spite of its more layered texture. Finishes firm and vibrant, with nicely ripe tannins and lovely persistence. Excellent potential here.”

Only one bottle available
Hudelot-Noellat Les Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($499.95) $399 special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points
“Bright medium red. Knockout nose offers plum, raspberry, Oriental spices, blood orange, minerals and underbrush; a real essence of Vosne-Romanee. Then dense and sappy in the mouth, with wonderful pinot tang to the dark raspberry and crushed stone flavors. Offers a compelling combination of chewy texture, electric energy and intriguing soil tones. Finishes with superb palate-dusting persistence. This is almost grand cru-like in its power.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The Entire List of Newly Arrived Burgundies:
Shop all the Hudelot-Noellat and Roumier wines in our webstore.


Trending Wines

We recently re-tasted this and it’s beyond electric in ’17.  A stunner.
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
The Clos Electrique is Cameron’s estate vineyard, named after the electric deer fence that surrounds it.  This is planted to a mix of clones and is vinified traditionally—no racking and all in older barrels.  This is crisp and coiled, with distinct minerality and a lot of power in a lithe frame.  Like most vintages of the Electrique Blanc, this is quite good now but will be stellar in a few years.

One of the hardest US Pinots to source, this cult wine is available for now.
Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills 2017 750ML ($134.95) $99 special
Winery Note
“Southing refers to the south-facing hillside bluffs found on our estate vineyard.  Each year, our goal for this wine is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance.  Southing is a true expression of the terroir of Sea Smoke Vineyard:  seductive flavors and fine tannins complimented by cool climate acidity.  The ever-changing nose of the 2017 Southing exhibits baked strawberry, floral scents of rose and violet; and subtle spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity.”

The other (Chardonnay) side of Clouet.  This Blanc de Blancs sees a long time on lees.
Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Case-6 Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($349.95) $279 special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2009 Brut Dream Vintage is a very pretty, expressive Champagne. Hazelnut, dried flowers, spices, mint, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are all wonderfully laced together. Medium in body, radiant and quite open, the 2009 will drink well upon release.”

This Spanish classic is exceptional in ’15 and a perfect party wine as a result.
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($359.95) $285 special (that’s only $23.75/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“One of the flagship cuvées from this estate that’s produced in every vintage, the 2015 Reserva is a blend of 70% Tempranillo and the rest Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano that spent 24 months in used French and American oak. Blackberries, currants, cigar wrapper, cedar box, and hints of vanilla all flow to a medium-bodied, concentrated, beautiful Rioja that has ripe tannins, beautiful balance, and a great finish. You couldn’t go wrong with a case of this.”
James Suckling 94 points “Complex nose with ripe black cherries, deeply integrated cedary oak, baking spices, dried flowers, leather, fresh tobacco and earthy notes. This is silky and mellow with long, laid-back tannins that deliver ripe dark plum flavors into a spicy and earthy finish. Drink or hold.”

Big, bold, rich and powerful—it’s a love-child of a Brunello and a Napa Cabernet.
Argiano Solengo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Fantastic aromas of flowers such as violets and roses with dark purple fruits and hints of stones, too. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a long and linear finish. This is a return to the great Solengos of the mid-1990s. The best since 1997. Cabernet sauvignon 50%, petit verdot 30%, merlot 15% and sangiovese 5%. Drinkable now but better in 2020.”

It’s hard to think of a more appropriate Christmas wine.
Bouchard Pere & Fils Greves Vignes de L’Enfant Jesus, Beaune Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Burghound 92-94 points
“A discreet though not invisible application of wood sets off highly complex aromas of plum liqueur and a wide range of floral elements that are trimmed in soft spice and earth notes. There is outstanding richness to the full-bodied and concentrated medium-bodied flavors that possess a seductive, even caressing mouth feel before concluding in a decidedly firm, well-balanced and slightly austere finish. This is very clearly built-to-age and should mature slowly over the next 12 to 15 years. Very impressive.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Beaune 1er Cru Les Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus is very successful in 2015, offering up a very black-fruity bouquet of crushed cassis, red cherry, caramelized orange, asphalt and cedary new oak. On the palate, the wine is concentrated, intense and full-bodied, with sappy acidity and considerable length, its fine-grained tannins asserting themselves on the firm, grippy finish. While this is currently rather primary, its raw materials are impressive and it should develop very well: tellingly, an open bottle improved over several days.”

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

Looking for the absolute pinnacle of Napa wine?  Look here.
Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard Proprietary Red EE, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard is scented of pure plums and ripe blueberries with redcurrants and touches of lavender, roses, bay leaves and dusty earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm, fine-grained, vibrant and refreshing, finishing long and perfumed. 1,403 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2016 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot, which is the smallest amount of Cabernet Franc to date. Brought up in new barrels, it has gorgeous blue fruits, violets, spring flowers, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and just about as seamless and silky as it gets, this is a magical wine to drink over the coming 15 years or more.”

Bold and sexy, the 2015 is drinking well right now.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Jeb Dunnuck – Rhone Report 96 points
“The inky colored 2015 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme is a serious winner in the vintage. A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre and the rest counoise, Vaccarese and Muscardin, it offers a huge nose of blackberry jam, garrigue, crushed violets, and incense. Ripe, unctuous and opulent, yet not over the top, it reminds me of the Trois Source cuvee from Vieille Julienne. This is a smoking good release that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and shine of over a decade.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Xavier Vignon is one of the Rhône’s leading winemaking consultants, and so it’s no surprise he had access to some great fruit for his 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme. Tellingly, the blend entirely omits Syrah, containing 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 8% Counoise, 4% Vaccarèse and 3% Muscardin. Floral notes and ripe cherries appear along licorice and vanilla (one-fourth of the wine was matured in new barriques), yet this is no drink-now version of CdP. This full-bodied wine boasts broad shoulders, a plush, creamy center and a muscular finish loaded with ripe tannins and spice. Give it a few years to mellow, and drink it over the next 15.”



A Rosé in Winter

Just because the weather has turned cold doesn’t mean that we stop drinking pink wines.  Where as in the summer a rosé might stand in for a red, pairing with burgers or grilled chicken, this time of year we tend to treat the wines as a very full bodied white.  Whenever you might reach for a wine like a white Rhone or a bigger Chardonnay, a rosé will work perfectly—without the pronounced oak of a richer white.  Whether pairing with salmon or cassoulet, rosé offer richness and refreshment in a fantastic package.  For winter rosé drinking, we tend to look for bottlings with a bit more weight and texture, but almost everything you like to drink can find a place at the table.  These are some of our favorite bottles, but you can see the full list of rosés in stock now on our web store.

In Stock Now:

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is one of our favorite four-season rosés.
Tiberio Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17.75 special
Case-12 Tiberio Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Ian D’agata – Vinous 92 points
“Luminous pink-red. Bright aromas of red cherry, redcurrant, blood orange and botanical herbs. Then bright and juicy, with laser-like acidity lifting and extending the red fruit flavors on the juicy, long, floral and slightly saline finish. A very precise, seamless Cerasuolo with no hard edges and sneaky concentration.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Crochet’s rosé always screams Sancerre, this year with a little extra gras.
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Importer Note
“Indeed, the 2018 Sancerre Rosé—clocking in just shy of 14%–is deeper in color than usual, as well as more vinous and commanding on the palate. Pure Pinot Noir produced solely from direct-press juice and aged on its lees in stainless steel, this ’18 manages to carry its weight very well, with ultra-bracing acidity and a sense of lift on the nearly viscous palate. While this wine often drinks much like Crochet’s epic whites—steely and mineral, with enormous cut—one feels the Pinot Noir a bit more in this vintage, but it is ultimately a very interesting and delicious rosé”

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

Nebbiolo always has autumnal flavors, which drink nicely in the winter, as well.
Cantalupo Il Mimo Nebbiolo Rosato, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17 special
Importer Note
“Estate-grown Nebbiolo fruit, crushed and left to macerate overnight, then pressed off and fermented at low temperature. This is the first rosè from Nebbiolo that I remember from northern Piedmont, maybe 15 years ago, and it’s just delicious: raspberries, strawberries, fresh acidity. Nice bright flavorful complement to all kinds of foods (salmon, roast chicken, pork, salumi…). Don’t hold the price against it!”

Pradeaux’s wines are built to age—including the rosé.  The ’18 is lovely right now.
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 1.5L ($79.95) $69 special
Neal Rosenthal note
“Pradeaux’s iconic Bandol Rosé really shines in 2018, with even greater complexity and length than usual. As mentioned above, a third of the wine was fermented in a single 50-hectoliter foudre (but moved immediately to tank following the fermentation), which contributes a subtle granular cling on the palate and opens up the wine a bit aromatically. While never a simple sipping wine, the 2018 is particularly vinous, offering real density and richness, yet retaining a freshness of spirit at the same time. The final blend comprises 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Cinsault.”

Burgundy of any color (pink, red or white) seems to go with salmon and roast chicken.
Fougeray de Beauclair Marsannay Rose, Burgundy 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
: Marsannay is the only village in Burgundy that permits rosé bottled under its AOC.  As you might expect, the rosé from the village is outstanding stuff and Beauclair’s offers excellent value (just like their reds, for what that’s worth).  Made from 100% Pinot Noir, the Marsannay rosé shows the dry and serious side of the genre, while managing to be delicious and fresh at the same time.  If you love Pinot rosé from the Willamette Valley, you owe it to yourself to try the original.

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You can tell this is from the southern Rhone in its wild, untamed personality.
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points
“Limpid orange-pink. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying fresh red berry and floral scents and subtle garrigue and mineral nuances. Silky, focused and lively in the mouth, offering zesty strawberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and pick up a hint of blood orange with aeration. The minerally note comes back strong on the finish, which lingers with impressive, floral-driven tenacity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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William Fevre’s Top Tier ’17s

William Fevre is one of the most iconic producers in all of Burgundy and one of the true pillars of Chablis.  One of the best and largest landholders in Chablis, the domaine owns a whopping 78 hectares over 90 separate parcels.  The access to this much fruit, in one of the priciest AOCs in France, gives Fevre a leg up in making some of the most iconic Chablis available today.  We’re excited to offer the full gamut of the ’17’s arriving next month—a vintage that’s really got us excited about going deep in Chablis.

After the warm, rich 2015 and ’16 vintages, 2017 Chablis wines in general feel like a breath of fresh air—fresh, stony, seaside air.  Yields were poor in ’17, but luckily for us and for the producers, the quality of what remained was superb—further proof that Burgundy can and will get better and better regardless of what Mother Nature throws its way.

Stylistically, 2017 is a classical vintage with a seductive side.  It’s not as bracing as 2014, but shares a similar style of fruit and degree of minerality.  These are beautifully Chablisienne wines that nevertheless seem to be delicious right out of the gate. The wines are marked by their chalky, smoky intensity. A character branded into the vineyards by Kimmeridgian soil. And the professional reviews gush with mineral descriptors for the entire collection on offer: from notes of “oyster shell,” “sea breeze,” and “iodiney minerality” – these are wines as intensely mineral as one could want in a fine Chablis.  We’re head over heels for the wines and have a nice selection of these ’17’s arriving next month, perfect for end-of-summer drinking and/or sleeping a few years in your cellar.  There are too many wines to list below, so we’ve included some highlights of the selection here.  If you want to see them all, you can head to our webstore to view the entire list of Fevre wines across all vintages or just look at the ’17’s arriving soon.

Arriving ETA December:

William Fevre Bougros, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90-93 points
“The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros is also very promising, offering up an attractive bouquet of peach, pastry cream and Meyer lemon. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, bright and tangy, with a textural attack but good underlying tension and stony grip.”
Burghound 90-92 points “A cool and ripe nose features notes of pear and apple that possess background nuances of iodine and seashell. There is excellent mid-palate concentration to the big, very rich and concentrated flavors that display a very round and suave mouth feel, all wrapped in a powerful, dry and slightly rustic finale. This muscular effort delivers sneaky good length and if it can develop more depth than I imagine with time in bottle, it’s possible that my projected range will be exceeded.”
Neal Martin 90-92 points “The 2017 Chablis Bougros Grand Cru suffered a lot of frost damage and was picked at less than 20hl/ha. It has a refined bouquet, nicely delineated if just missing a little focus and energy. The palate is well balanced with good salinity on the entry, but the remainder of the palate does not follow through with the same precision and tension as the other Grand Crus.”

William Fevre Bougros Cote Bouguerots, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bouguerots is also excellent, unwinding in the glass with aromas of salty oystershells, smoky reduction, crisp peach and wet stones. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, chalky and taut, with bright acids, good concentration and a mineral finish.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 92-94 points “The 2017 Chablis Bougros Côte Bouquerots Grand Cru, picked around 23hl/ha, has a detailed bouquet with Granny Smith, grass clipping, white flower and orange pith scents that are very well defined and seem to gain intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, a little fatter and weightier than the regular Bougros with quite an intense, saline finish. Excellent.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A deft touch of wood can be found on the cool and equally pure aromas of various citrus, spiced pear and oyster shell hints. There is fine density and punch to the brooding and powerful large-scaled flavors that brim with minerality on the tightly coiled bitter lemon-inflected finish where the wood telegraphed by the nose resurfaces.”

William Fevre Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93-95+ points
“The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos is potentially the finest of Fèvre’s 2017s, offering up notes of citrus oil, confit lemon, beeswax and sweet white flowers. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, glossy and rich, with a deep, firm core and chewy extract, balanced by juicy acids. It’s a powerful, complete Les Clos that’s built for the long haul.”
Burghound 92-94 points “Here too there is enough wood to merit mentioning on the decidedly cool and reserved nose that offers up plenty of floral elements along with those of citrus, iodine and oyster shell. The lavishly rich, muscular and overtly powerful flavors possess the hallmark minerality that carries over to the dense, citrusy and very dry finish. This beauty should age effortlessly.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 91-93 points “The 2017 Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru, from 4 hectares at the top of the hill, was harvested at around 23-24hl/ha. It has a very precise bouquet with oyster leaf, Granny Smith apples, wet granite and hints of almond that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with a touch of roundness on the entry that is counterbalanced by fine bead of acidity. There is wonderful salinity and a dash of spice on the finish. This is a Chablis that should give at least a decade’s worth of drinking pleasure.”

William Fevre Montmains, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90-92 points
“The 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains exhibits notes of salty oystershells, crushed chalk, tart green apple and white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, dense and concentrated, with a firm, backward profile and tangy balancing acids. It’s derived from 12 parcels, and some 40% of the cuvée hails from Butteaux. It’s very promising.”
Burghound 88-90 points “The nose immediately makes this wine’s origins clear with its lovely aromas of oyster shell, iodine and green apple-scented aromas. There is an appealing sense of vibrancy to the delicious, intense and super-saline-inflected flavors that contrast considerably with the lavishly rich and somewhat sweet finale. A curious effort as the nose is very Chablis yet the flavors, stylistically speaking, suggest the Mâconnais.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 88-90 points “The 2017 Chablis Montmains 1er Cru was blended the previous week. The bouquet is attractive with honeysuckle and light sea spray aromas. The palate is well balanced with a smooth entry, the 30% barrel ageing lending a pleasant roundness without impeding upon the terroir. It attenuates just a little towards the finish, but otherwise this is a competent but not dazzling Montmains and I have a preference for the Vaillons or Les Lys.”

William Fevre Les Preuses, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin – Vinous 93-95 points
“The 2017 Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru has a well defined bouquet with hints of white flower, nettle and dandelion augmenting the green apple and spicy aromas. The palate is powerful on the entry, very intense and focused with a precise and detailed finish that is one of the best that the domaine produced on the finish. Excellent.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92-95 points “The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses is a pretty, delicate wine, exhibiting lovely aromas of orange blossom, mandarin, oystershell and lemon oil. On the palate, it’s ample, full-bodied and elegant, with a tense, stony core and fine-boned structure. Right now, it doesn’t have the weight of the Côte Bouguerots, but it’s beautifully detailed and refined.”
Burghound 92-94 points “As is virtually always the case, this is more elegant than the Valmur with its ripe, pure and airy aromas of lavender, green apple, citrus and white orchard fruit scents. There is very good density to the relatively restrained medium-bodied flavors that possess plenty of minerality on the rich, sappy and palate coating finale. A wine of class, refinement and finesse.”

William Fevre Vaillons, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin – Vinous 90-92 points
“The 2017 Chablis Vaillons 1er Cru comes from 3.6-hectares located mainly in the heart of the valley. It offers light pressed flower scents on the nose with hints of nettle and dandelion. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, crisp and taut with a precise finish that just needs to develop a little more power. Very fine.”
Burghound 89-92 points “A more floral suffused nose flashes good Chablis typicity with its notes of petrol, pear and ocean breeze. Here too there is fine vibrancy to the sleeker and slightly finer medium weight flavors that offer both good minerality and salinity on the more harmonious finish. Lovely stuff.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 89-91 points “Notes of pastry cream, white peach, citrus oil and spring flowers introduce the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons, a tangy, medium-bodied wine that’s supple and structurally open-knit. While I found it somewhat ephemeral, Didier Séguier contends that it’s one of the highlights of the portfolio: let’s see how it performs from bottle.”

William Fevre Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
William Kelly – Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur was cropped at less than 20 hectoliters per hectare this year, but it remains quite classic in profile, unfurling in the glass with notes of green orchard fruit, lemon oil and anise, framed by light reduction. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, glossy and concentrated, with bright acids, a tight-knit core and a long, mineral finish. It’s a promising Valmur.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 91-93 points “The 2017 Chablis Valmur Grand Cru, harvested at less than 20hl/ha due to frost, has a clean and precise apple blossom, orange pith and white chocolate-tinged bouquet that gradually opens with time. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, full of tension and with good bite, leading to a saline finish that gets the taste buds going. Very classic in style, this should age nicely in bottle.”
Burghound 90-92 points “A citrus and mineral reduction tinged nose is comprised mostly of green fruit and honeysuckle nuances. The palate impression is much like that of the Bougros as the big-bodied flavors are dense and muscular while exhibiting excellent power on the only moderately complex if solidly persistent finish.”

William Fevre Vaudesir, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Burghound 91-94 points
“A background application of wood is present on the vaguely exotic aromas of dried pear, apple, white peach and quinine. There is both excellent delineation and punch to the notably saline-inflected flavors that possess good punch while retaining a lovely sense of refinement on the impressively complex and persistent finish. This is lovely juice that should age well over the mid-term.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 91-93 points “The 2017 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru has a well defined bouquet, quite complex with scents of honeysuckle, citrus peel, a faint touch of nougat and almond lending a soupçon of exoticism. The palate is well defined with a crisp, taut line of acidity. I admire the focus of this Vaudésir with a lightly spiced, quite tensile finish that lingers in the mouth. Excellent.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 91-93 points “The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir exhibits pretty aromas of spring flowers, orange blossom and white peach. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, tangy and taut, with a lean, structural profile. It will likely fill out with further élevage.”
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Want to see all the wines, in stock and arriving soon, available from William Fevre? Just head to our webstore for the full list or see below for the list in spreadsheet form.



Staff Pick

A Sicilian Favorite

When an opportunity to refresh my memory on the Gulfi wines came available recently, I was both grateful and humble in admitting that these wines have turned a corner from the dense wines of my memories. We tasted the single vineyard Nero d’Avola wines together – a treat to see the differences come to the front.

All of the wines were showing well, but the Neromaccarj stood out as having the most distinctive profile. The vineyard is the closest to the sea and has a mix of the clay, limestone and sand and the proximity to the water certainly gives the wine a brush of salinity. The fruit is dark, but not overripe, with only a little of the smoke and tar notes that can show itself in lesser bottlings. The finish was pleasant with a fresh lightness that held on and made my mouth water for another taste. The acidity was probably the most surprising aspect of the wines. I was very glad to see this, having remembered the wines from the 00’s with more density and finishing heavy. This was altogether more enjoyable, and the look of surprise was on everyone’s face.

We have a good supply on hand, and seeing the direction that these wines are taking, we’ll continue to have them available.

In Stock 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.”
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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Other Gulfi Highlights, In Stock Now:

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.”

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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
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.”



A Vinopolis Bestselling Chateauneuf Returns Next Week

We’re pleased to announce the return of one of our favorite Chateauneuf du Pape producers, Olivier Hillaire. Back when the shop was in its old location, Hillaire was one of our two or three best-selling producers—there were stacks of those wines and they flew out the door by the case.  They deliver exceptional value at each price level, from the entry level to the top end.  We’ve been unable to source them for the last few years but are excited to bring them back in force.  Now’s a perfect time to restock and grab a case or two for all your winter drinking and cellaring needs.

Arriving Next Week:

Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand, Rhone 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand, Rhone 2016 750ML ($599.95) $449 pre-arrival special (that’s only $74.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand comes from a parcel of Grenache originally planted at the end of the 19th century in a sandy part of La Crau. It’s Hillaire’s flagship, and it merits its status this vintage, where it shines with raspberry fruit and layers of dried spice complexity. It’s full-bodied and rich yet silky, elegant and long on the finish, epitomizing the delicious contradictions that Grenache can present.”
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Vivid ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes red fruit preserves, spicecake and incense, and a minerally element adds urgency. Impressively energetic on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry compote and lavender pastille flavors that deepen slowly on the back half. The floral note repeats emphatically on the impressively long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves a smoky mineral note behind.”

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Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Terrasses’, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Terrasses’, Rhone 2016 750ML ($539.95) $389 pre-arrival special (that’s only $64.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Terrasses is a fine example of old-vine Grenache from a parcel of vines near La Nerthe. Rose petals and black tea accent pristine cherry and raspberry fruit in this full-bodied but silky-lacy, delicate wine. Long, briny and refreshing on the finish, it’s deceptively drinkable but undoubtedly packs a wallop.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Brilliant violet. Lively, mineral-accented red and blue fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of lavender and vanilla. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen and become spicier as the wine opens up. Closes sweet, energetic and very long, displaying harmonious tannins and lingering smoke and red berry liqueur notes.”

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Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($299.95) $189 pre-arrival special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The young estate has turned out some crazy good 2016s, including the “basic” 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape, a blend of 90% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Syrah, all from the lieu-dit of Grand Pierre. Aged in concrete and neutral barrels, it shows terrific balance, matching black cherries and raspberries with hints of garrigue, and ample weight and richness on the palate with fine, silky tannins. Concentrated, flavorful and long, this should be available for around $50, making it a relative bargain.”
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