Weekend VinopolPick 2-26-21

In Today’s Newsletter:

Featured New Arrivals

First Offer:
New Wines from Casanova di Neri
Including the Legend-In-The-Making ’15 Cerratalto

Recent Price Reductions

Just Arrived:
High-Scoring New Wines from Cornas’ Domaine du Tunnel


Benchmark Alsatian Dessert Bottles

The Exquisite Champagnes of Marie-Courtin


Featured New Arrivals
Siduri is an acclaimed West Coast titan of Pinot Noir, founded by Adam Lee—one of the hottest winemakers of the late 90’s. Known for big, rich wines, Yamhill-Carlton is a natural for fit his style of winemaking—with a penchant for bold wines that combine seductive textures with richly-perfumed aromatics.

We’ve got the best price in the country by a mile—just $19 per bottle and $16.58 on cases, with our closest competitor at $29.98. That’s a $10++ per bottle savings, for a bold, 93-point Oregon star.

In Stock Now:

Siduri Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2016 750ML ($39.95) $19 special
Case-12 Siduri Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2016 750ML ($449.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“The 2016 Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir is a beautiful wine. Coming from two sites and fermented with 20% stems and aged 15 months in 30% new oak, it offers a deeper ruby color as well as a classic bouquet of red currants, black cherries, scorched earth, spice, and forest floor. Elegant, medium-bodied, and layered, it’s a gem.”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 91 points “Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton has a deep, broody, black-fruited nose with ripe blackcurrants and black cherries with hints of crushed blueberries, licorice and grated cinnamon. The medium-bodied palate is flavored of blackberry and boysenberry preserves with nuances of pie spice and touches of black soil with a lovely frame of firm, structuring tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long. 938 cases produced.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Vibrant and zesty, with floral black raspberry, orange zest and clove flavors that saunter on a long, snappy finish. Drink now through 2023. 938 cases made. — TF”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.98
The average listed price is $35

Freemark Abbey’s modern era dates back to 1967, when the winery was purchased and quickly transformed into one of California’s most prestigious properties. Unfortunately, over time, quality slipped and the reputation of the once legendary winery fell into a bit of obscurity. After a few ownership changes, the changed hands in 2005 to the current ownership, who have poured money and attention into it in a way that hasn’t been seen since the winery’s original heyday. Winemaker Ted Edwards was brought in and the winery has experienced a renaissance.

The 2018 Freemark Abbey Napa Chardonnay is a prime example of the new era. It’s full-bodied, rich and textural—a monument to Napa’s original glory days.

In Stock Now:

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $26 special
Case-12 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($479.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2018 Chardonnay is a very pretty, nuanced wine that deftly balances textural richness and vibrancy. Lemon peel, orchard fruit, mint and bright floral notes are finely sculpted in this classy, wonderfully polished Chardonnay from Freemark Abbey.”


First Offer:

New Wines from Casanova di Neri

Including the Legend-In-The-Making ’15 Cerratalto

Casanova di Neri is one of Italy’s truly elite modern producers—an icon of Brunello. Their “normale” Brunello is one of our most-requested bottles each vintage and the Tenuta Nuova and Cerretalto are sought after by collectors.  We’ve just secured our allocation of the 2015 Cerretalto and ’16 Brunello+Tenuta Nuova, which arrive this spring and summer.

These are normally highly-sought after wines, but the quality of the 2015 and ’16 vintages takes their desirability to a new level. The 2015 Cerretalto comes from a “fairy tale” vintage, in the words of James Suckling—a year that’s seen more rabid demand than any in recent memory. We only have twelve bottles coming, so you do the math—we’d be surprised if any hit the shop floor.

Likewise, the Tenuta Nuova and Brunello are stunning in 2016—a year that has elegance and classicism married to richly-textured fruit. All three wines have deservingly high scores

Arriving ETA June:

Only twelve bottles available
Casanova di Neri Cerretalto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($399.95) $319 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98+ points
“Of these new releases from this benchmark estate, the Casanova di Neri 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is my favorite wine. This Riserva is larger than life with ripe fruit, raspberry, cherry, spice, cola, root beer, mesquite and cedar. The wine offers a flashy and generous quality of fruit that unfolds over time with a multifaceted and multi-layered presentation. One thing that stands out here is the acidity that is bracing and tart at first but then succumbs to an important supporting role, rendering lasting freshness and persistence to the finish. With time, you get a flash of cherry and crème de cassis that seals the deal.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 95 points “The 2015 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is remarkably fresh and balanced despite its large-scale persona. Minty herbs give way to raspberry and cherry with exotic spices and a hint of pine resin. It boasts depths of silky textures; yet it remains juicy and full of energy, displaying ripe red and black fruits, laced with salty minerals, as hints of cinnamon and baker’s chocolate form toward the close. Fine tannins come forward on the finish, tugging at the cheeks, yet all under an air of sweet spice and violet florals. As young as this is today, it’s hard to put the glass down, and I can only imagine the depths that will be revealed with five or more years of cellaring.”

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

Arriving ETA April:

Only 24 bottles available
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97+ points
“This is one of my sweetheart wines from Montalcino. The Casanova di Neri 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova offers a long list of aromas on an ever-shifting and fluid bouquet. You get bright cherry, rose potpourri, black truffle, caramel, butterscotch, sandalwood, road pavement and chalky mineral. In fact, each time I come back to this wine, that mineral element seemed to grow in intensity and scope. The wine offers a grounded fruit side that is contrasted nicely against a grounded oak component. The mouthfeel is creamy and long, and the wine shows terrific tannic integration. When you come back hours later, you might find black olive, bresaola and licorice.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 96 points “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova drawing you in with a display of exotic brown spice, mint and cedar dust. Further coaxing unlocks depths of cherry, plum, hints of dark chocolate and roses. It coasts along a medium-bodied frame with velvety richness, complemented by polished red and black fruits while contrasted by brisk acids and hints of sour citrus. This coats the teeth in concentration, as if you can feel the pulp, seeds and skins of its fruit, while a layer of fine tannin slowly grounds you back to earth. The Tenuta Nuova already has so much to give, yet it will be many years before it reaches its apex. Wow. Thinking back to my tasting of the 2015, I can’t say that the 2016 is necessarily a better wine, just a little less immediate. Either way, both wines are beautiful expressions of vintage.”

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The Casanova di Neri 2016 Brunello di Montalcino (or the so-called “white label” Brunello) takes a minute or two to open, and like all these new releases from the Neri family, you’re best off opening your bottle five hours before serving them. This classic expression displays raspberry, tar, hazelnut, dried fig, asphalt and some crushed chalk. The wine is streamlined and compact in terms of mouthfeel, giving us an accessible Brunello from a benchmark Montalcino estate.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 94 points “Casanova di Neri’s 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a wine of pleasurable contrasts but also massive structure. Ripe dark fruits and autumnal spices offset savory herbs and hints of animal musk. It enters the mouth silky, cooling and lifted, with a noticeable inner sweetness to its polished cherry/berry flavors, but it then sways more toward inner earth, minerals and grippy tannins. The 2016 urges you to take another sip, as there’s so much upfront appeal; yet each time you do, it reminds you once again that it’s a painfully young Brunello in need of cellaring. That said, the potential here is incredibly high.”
James Suckling 93 points “Tile and balsamic aromas with red plums and cherries. Full-bodied with a pretty center palate and ripe, rich fruit. It’s a little timid now, but shows violets, bark and black cherries at the finish. Drink in 2023.”

Casanova di Neri Giovanni Neri Rosso di Montalcino 2019 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Giovanni Neri is the new wine of Casanova di Neri, dedicated to the founder in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the estate. A unique wine that respects the philosophy and the style of Casanova di Neri, that are still the same as fifty years ago. Giovanni neri is the expression of a Sangiovese that comes from a vineyard that has a wonderful exposition, exceptional soil and vines forty five years old.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Recent Price Reductions

We’ve been slashing prices on all sorts of wines recently. We’ve got a selection of our new subscriber specials below, but you can see all 248 recently-discounted wines in our webstore.

In Stock Now:

A powerful bottle of Northern Rhone Syrah from the Roederer team.
Delas Frères Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhône 2015 750ML ($44.95) $28 Super Subscriber Special
Case-6 Delas Frères Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhône 2015 750ML ($279.95) $156 Super Subscriber Special (that’s only $26/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Inky and concentrated, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon is no easy-drinking Saint-Joseph. It’s smoky, herbal and ashy all at once, yet it’s buoyed by ample black cherry fruit and vibrant acidity. This medium to full-bodied Syrah has plenty of tannins, but they’re ultimately silky and most apparent on the long, licorice-tinged finish. This is approachable now but should be even better in 3 years and should drink well for at least another 10 after that.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Both Saint Joseph releases are brilliant in 2015. The 2015 Saint Joseph François De Tournon comes vines around Tournon, Mauves, Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, and Vion, and is always destemmed and aged in 30% new barrels. This full-bodied, rounded, sexy beauty shows the power and fruit of the vintage. With classic notes of black and blue fruits, violets, incense and pepper, drink this textured, expansive, terrific Saint Joseph over the coming 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next lowest listed price is $39.99

What a great deal in new-wave Priorat
Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’ Garnatxes en Àmfora, Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($44.95) Was $33, Now $29 Super Subscriber Special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2016 Planetes de Nin Garnatxes en Àmfora was produced with biodynamically farmed Garnacha that fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in 700- and 1,000-liter terracotta amphorae for seven months. They do two versions, one with a little SO2 and the other without, and the difference is minimal. At first one was more closed, but when it opened up, they were very similar and showed some herbal and raspberry leaf aromas intermixed with wild berries and notions of earth, aromatic and balanced. It has fine tannins and a velvety texture. 7,395 bottles were filled in April 2017.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $34.99

The finest release to date of one of Tuscany’s most historic wines
Avignonesi Grandi Annate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $69 Super Subscriber Special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“You’ll notice that this wine is no longer labeled “Riserva.” Avignonesi wanted to reduce the time it spends in oak and made the name adjustment accordingly. This seems like a good idea to me. The 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Grandi Annate gives new life to one of Tuscany’s most historic wines. There is more elegance and finesse here. I must say that past vintages have been a disappointment, but this expression seems to break all ties with the past. Fruit is sourced primarily from the Banditella vineyard that tends to produce more austere and concentrated Sangiovese. Indeed, this wine is highly redolent of black fruit, tar, licorice and even a touch of white mushroom. Everyone loves a comeback story and that’s what you get here.”
James Suckling 93 points “A chewy and silky wine with just ripe fruit, chocolate and hazelnut character. Fresh earth undertone too. Medium body, fresh finish. Drink now or hold.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $95

Hebrart Cuvee Reserve Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) Was $45, Now $39 Super Subscriber Special
John Gilman 91 points
“The Marc Hébrart “Cuvée de Réserve” non-vintage Brut now in the market is from base year 2017, though this is only forty-five percent of the blend this year. It also includes fifteen percent 2016 juice, ten percent 2015 and fully thirty percent 2014. The blend this year works out to eighty-two percent pinot noir and eighteen percent chardonnay, with the vins clairs raised entirely in stainless steel, going through full malo and aging about twenty months on its fine lees prior to disgorgement in October of 2019, with a finishing dosage of eight grams per liter. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a vibrant blend of apple, a touch of almond, fresh-baked bread, a fine base of soil tones and gentle smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and nicely balanced, with a good core and mineral undertow, pinpoint bubbles and a long, zesty and complex finish. This is very tasty, with the significant percentage of reserve wines in the blend really adding complexity. 2020-2035.”
Importer note “45% 2017, 15% 2016, 10%2015, 30% 2014.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $50

Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese*** Green Capsule (Feinherb), Mosel 2016 750ML ($99.95) Was $89, Now $79 Super Subscriber Special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2016 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** (Green Capsule) is deep and complex on the nose, though discreet in its fruit expression straight from the bottle. However, the fruit is beautifully flinty, fresh and really fine. Lush and round on the palate, this is a full-bodied, ripe and intense yet well-balanced and elegant Himmelreich whose sweetness of roughly 30 grams per liter is still prominent at this young age. However, the wine is intense, long, firmly structured, very mineral and provided with serious tannins and a lot of stones. I am tasting it far too early (and straight after the three-starred Rosenberg Auslese), but it’s a highly promising Riesling from a great vintage for the Mosel. Bottled in September 2017; tasted March 2018.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 96 points “A remarkable 2016 Mosel riesling that’s just off-dry. Stunning apricots and fresh herbs in the nose. Dense, succulent and yet elegant. The finish is a cascade of herbal notes, ripe fruit and floral honey. A very long and clean finish with a lot of power. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Top producer+epic vintage=a wine to stand the test of time, and willpower.
Domaine Dugat-Py Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee Coeur de Roy Tres Vieilles Vignes 2010 750ML ($249.95) Was $169, Now $149 Super Subscriber Special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin Coeur du Roi is racy, deep and totally sensual. Clean veins of minerality support a core of expressive blue and black fruit. The 2010 is both deep and long. All the elements are beautifully balanced in this impeccable, mineral driven wine. Cassis, blueberries, sweet flower and mint inform the energetic, palate staining finish. Dugat used 75% whole clusters, which gives the wine an attractive aromatic lift throughout. These vines are between 50-100 years old.”
Burghound 90 points “Outstanding. A ripe and attractively perfumed nose features notes of black cherry, cassis and plum that are given added lift from the copious floral nuances. There is simply incredible concentration to the round and suave medium weight plus flavors that possess a velvety mouth feel on the powerful, precise and superbly focused and persistent finish. This explosive effort delivers knockout quality for its level.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $201.99

Put this up against Petrus, L’Evangile, or anything else of that caliber from Pomerol.
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta’s Reserve, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($499.95) Was $399, Now $349 Super Subscriber Special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Made from 100% Merlot, the 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and gorgeous nose of black plums, warm blueberries and mocha with touches of anise, red roses and spice box. Medium to full-bodied and densely packed with layers of blue and black fruits and perfumed notions, it has a firm yet plush backbone to support and a very long, layered finish.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 96 points “Saturated ruby-red. Brooding, medicinal scents of dark cherry, menthol and licorice. Boasts outstanding breadth and density of material, with its expressive flavors of black cherry, dark berries, spices and bitter chocolate complicated by salty minerality and lifted by a subtle floral quality. This distinctly soil-driven wine is showing more personality today than the ’16 and should reach its plane of peak drinkability earlier. And yet my sample tightened up in the glass to show a rather powerful tannic spine. (14.4% alcohol; 100% Merlot; from fruit harvested three weeks earlier than in 2016; 88% new French, 3% new Hungarian and 9% second-fill French)”

The master of Mencia delivers a single-vineyard masterpiece—a testament to Bierzo.
Raúl Pérez Ultreia de Paluezas, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($79.95) Was $59, Now $54.50 Super Subscriber Special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“One of the few vineyards in Bierzo where the soils have a significant content of limestone is San Juan de Paluezas, in a different valley looking into Las Médulas goldmines. They produce three barrels of the 2016 Ultreia de Paluezas from this vineyard. This year it had a shorter élevage, only around 12 months, as they saw it was ready and was racked out of the wood. Limestone soils always deliver dry, chalk-like tannins and a special tastiness that often translates in an almost salty feeling. It has more bones than flesh; it’s austere and should develop slowly in bottle. In fact, they are now releasing the 2015, as they feel it benefits from some more time in bottle. I like the austerity here. 850 bottles produced from a small plot with very low yields.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA
Now even lower!
The next lowest listed price is $62.99

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serraboella’, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($41.95) Was $33, Now $29 Super Subscriber Special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Currant, strawberry, cherry, floral and leafy flavors are the highlights of this racy, elegant red. Balanced on the firm side, with excellent length. Best from 2020 through 2032. 800 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Want to see all 248 Super Subscriber Special wines?
Head to our webstore for the full list!


Have Wine Ready to Pick Up?

Stop by our shop 10 am – 6 pm daily
Feel free to call ahead before you arrive or for curbside service:


(You’ll help free up some space for your next order!)


Just Arrived:

High-Scoring New Wines

from Cornas’ Domaine du Tunnel

Domaine du Tunnel makes wines that we love to put on the shelves—when we can. They’ve turned into one of the hottest names in the Northern Rhone over the last few years and as a result, allocations are tighter than they’ve ever been. We’ve secured a small stash, including their stunning white from St. Peray, which arrive next month. Lovers of rich, textured wines of both colors won’t want to miss out.

Just Arrived:

Domaine du Tunnel Saint-Peray Cuvee Roussanne 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Case-6 Domaine du Tunnel Saint-Peray Cuvee Roussanne 2018 750ML ($419.95) $329 special (that’s only $54.83./bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“Starting with the 2018 Saint-Péray Roussanne, this cuvée is 100% varietal and is vinified in used barrels. It was bottled in July of this year and reveals a touch of green in its vivid gold color as well as notes of crushed citrus, lime, toasted bread, and flower oil. It’s a powerful, full-bodied white that stays pure, flawlessly balanced, and has a great, great finish. There aren’t many Roussanne whites out there better than this.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine du Tunnel Cornas 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Case-6 Domaine du Tunnel Cornas 2018 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $64.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95-97 points
“Readers looking for the essence of Cornas would do well to pick up a case of the 2018 Cornas. Deep purple, with a heavenly bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, crushed violets, olives, ground pepper, and gamey meats, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a balanced, classy texture, building yet polished tannins, and a great finish. It’s a winner.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up

Don’t want to stop in?

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car. 

(If another adult is picking up for you, please let us know
their name when placing your order.)




A legend in the making.
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast 99 points
“Aromas of woodland berry, underbrush, hazelnut and camphor form the nose along with a whiff of rose petal on this captivating, delicious wine. The full-bodied structured palate is still young and primary but already shows raspberry compote, ripe Marasca cherry, star anise, tobacco and the barest hint of game. Tightly knit noble tannins and fresh acidity provide the firm frame and impart serious aging potential. Hold for even more complexity. Drink 2026–2056.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points “All of these wines from Cavallotto deliver a very floral and perfumed subtext that gives lift and delicate buoyancy to the overall bouquet. This is the Castiglione Falletto magic that shows so well in this classic vintage. The 2016 Barolo Bricco Boschis offers dried cherry, sandalwood, bramble and forest floor. The wine reveals a slightly wild and untamed character that adds to its interest and personality. Overall, this is an elegant wine with a streamlined and elegant finish. The aromas are focused and bright. I can’t wait to taste the Riserva expression from this site when it is released in three years’ time.”

This wine would be twice as expensive if it were from St. Emilion
Château Joanin Bécot, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2016 Joanin Bécot is blended of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, aged on the lees in 65% new and 35% one-year-old oak for 15 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, it features warm plums, blackberry pie and wild blueberries aromas with touches of underbrush and menthol plus a waft of roses. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and plush with a good fruit core and perfumed finish. About 5,416 cases produced.”

“Remarkably balanced, singing already, yet it’s full of potential”
Tenuta Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Eric Guido – Vinous 94 points
“At first, the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino is quite closed in the glass, to the point I move on to the wine next to it… However, upon returning to the glass a few minutes later, I come to realize that the 2015 simply needs time to come to life; and once it does, watch out. Here I find a gorgeous and intense display, mixing savory and sweet, as well as, earth and fruit, as dusty cedar and spice give way to ripe strawberry with a hint of citrus, with wild herbs and a hint of animal musk adding further depths. On the palate, silky textures meld into woodland red berry fruits, zesty spice, hints of cedar, savory herbs, saline minerals, and mounting tannins. The finish is long and structured, yet there remains enough primary fruit to balance it all out, as well as resonating acids, intriguing hints of citrus, and spice. This is remarkably balanced, singing already, yet it’s full of potential for the cellar.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This combines the best characteristics of Sangiovese, with cherry and strawberry fruit, earth, leather and iron notes and balsamic elements of wild thyme, rosemary and Mediterranean scrub. Shows a bit of heat on the finish, yet remains fresh and long. Best from 2023 through 2042. 16,600 cases made, 3,000 cases imported. — BS”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The Col d’Orcia 2015 Brunello di Montalcino (made with organic fruit) has a very distinctive aromatic profile with subtle hints of rusty iron and moist potting soil. However, this wine also shows an impressive evolution in the glass with those earthy and sanguine notes lifting to reveal sweet oak tones of vanilla and baking spice that remain pronounced in a second underlayer. To me, Col d’Orcia’s wines are almost always characterized by a medicinal or balsamic element, and the primary fruit is downplayed as a result. This vintage puts on a good show with wild berry, blackcurrant and dried blackberry. That said, this wine is more ethereal and spicy than it is fruity per se.”

Marietta is synonymous with great value in Sonoma Zinfandel.
Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvee, Alexander Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Antonio Galloni 91-94 points
“Marietta’s 2018 Zinfandel Angeli is dark, sumptuous and super-expressive. Inky dark plum, blueberry, mint, spice, lavender and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking depth and character. Readers will find a powerful Zinfandel with the structure and personality to age gracefully for many years.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A great, everyday, Tuscan drinker.
La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Grapelive 91 points
“The 2018 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino is ripe, textured and silky smooth with pure Sangiovese character. It goes wonderfully with simple cuisine and shows a good cut of freshness for easy youthful drinking pleasure. The 2018 vintage is less serious than 2016 in the Montalcino area, but still offers plenty of flavor and value to savvy Tuscan fans. The Rosso di Montalcino “Baby Brunello” offerings are going to be fun and there will be plenty of bargains to be found, like this La Fortuna with its polished and elegant styling. Fresh out the box the La Fortuna is smoothly rich with vine-picked tangy blackberry, wild plum, cranberry, strawberry and tart cherry fruits along with blood orange, tobacco leaf, potpourri florals, rosemary, lavender and spiced cedar notes. A richer form comes out with air and food, making it a medium to full bodied Sangiovese that has a lot of charm, especially for the price. This 100% Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello clone) was crafted with traditional care and made for early drinking with grapes coming from vineyard parcels that range from 15 to 25 years on the semi volcanic soils of the region and was fermented in temperature controlled tanks with about a 20 day maceration on the skins to give it that dark burgundy hue in the glass. After fermentation this La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino is racked mostly to large Slovenian oak casks for six months and aged a further six months in mainly 1 and 2 times filled small French barriques, which explains the luxurious velvety mouth feel, before bottling. This estate goes back a long way with the Zannoni [family] first arriving at “La Fortuna” back in 1907 to work the farmstead and through the generations rose up to finally purchase the property and become a private winery and label with fifth generation Gioberto Zannoni now in charge at this highly regarded Brunello label. I suggest buying the 2013 and 2016 if you can still find them, but don’t overlook these tasty and graceful 2018s either.”
Winery Note “Its burgundy red colour and intriguing acidity opens to the sense of smell with strong fruity flavours; intense and fascinating, spicy, it maintains a well-constructed pleasant taste, full and plain, velvety and smooth.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Benchmark Alsatian Dessert Bottles

If you’re looking for benchmark producers for sweet Alsatian wine there are the stars like Trimbach and Zind-Humbrecht, but their wines are increasingly difficult to find and the prices continue to creep higher. Fortunately there are the up and coming producers making wines of comparable, and sometimes, superior quality, but without the sticker shock. We’ve been beating this drum for quite some time, but the wines of Agathe Bursin are the shining example of where to find the payoff for standout quality. And today we’re sweetening (pun intended) the deal with Subscriber Special pricing on three of Bursin’s late harvest whites.

In Stock Now:

Agathe Bursin Gewürztraminer Zinnkoepflé Sélection de Grains Nobles, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $69 Super Subscriber Special
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).”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Agathe Bursin Gewürztraminer Zinnkoepflé Vendanges Tardives, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 Super Subscriber Special
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Agathe Bursin Riesling Zinnkoepflé Vendanges Tardives, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750 ML ($79.95) $59 Subscriber Special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 92 points
“Golden-tinged straw. The deep, rich nose boasts captivating aromas of honey, crystallized ginger and mango. Then light and refined and not at all weighty on the palate, offering precise flavors of tropical fruits and sweet spices. No noble rot hit these grapes, but there was plenty of passerillage (8.1 g/L total acidity and 65 g/L total [sugar]). Lovely VT.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


The Exquisite Champagnes of Marie-Courtin

“Dominique Moreau [makes] tiny amounts of Champagne under the Marie-Courtin label that are gorgeous, precise and elegant, and that I cannot get out of my head.” – Eric Asimov, New York Times
The Aube: once a sleepy backwater Department of the Champagne region where generations of vineyard owners and tenders subsisted on selling their crops to the Grand Marque luxury brand Champistocrats headquartered in Reims. Now it is a cradle to a movement. A movement to something of a Burgundian model: of estate growers escorting their grapes through to the finished wine, and in so doing expressing their grapes, their ground, and their esthetic. The Aube is not alone in this turnabout. It is happening all over Champagne. And the proprietress of Marie-Courtin, Dominique Moreau, is not alone in the Aube- the grower contingent there has other luminaries including Cedric Bouchard, Vouette & Sorbee, and Jacques Lassaigne.
But, we digress, as our story begins in 2001….
In the Aube, on a hillside of the Cote des Bars, near the village of Polisot, where Dominique Moreau took over a small vineyard of mostly 40-50 year old Pinot Noir (planted by her father-in-law) and combined it with her vision to produce single-vineyard, single varietal, single vintage Champagnes from biodynamically grown grapes- farmed with meticulous care, and vinified au naturel. Native yeasts, no dosage, minimalist intervention at all decision points. This was and still is a sharp turn from the conventional mind-set in Champagne, which is to produce a homogenous product- and plenty of it.
And the pace picked up markedly in 2006, when the visions were first bottled, and became something the world beyond the Aube could share. But they didn’t go far beyond the Aube. There were only 1,000 cases or so, and they were mostly intercepted by the restaurants and Champagne bars in Paris.
Since then?
Well, a modest linear progression of bottlings and growth, and an immodest exponential explosion of consumer knowledge, interest, and demand. It hasn’t hurt that Champagne is by far the hottest sector of the wine market today, and the grower Champagne is the hottest sector of the Champagne market. But Dominique would have succeeded in moribund markets, as her vision and skills are indomitable and her Champagnes approach transcendental.
‘Resonance’ is the base of the program here, a tank fermented Pinot Noir. The ever-holistic Dominique says that ‘Resonance’ refers to the balancing energies of earth and sky that affect the creation of a wine from its surrounding terroir.  But we’d say that it could equally refer to the harmonic symphony it adds to a glass. The 2008 vintage of this wine was the first to be received in the Western US in quantities above miniscule and we took in an outsized share. We were the first to have it, and the last to have it, but we didn’t have it long enough. Conservation of supply was not possible when demand was spurred by Antonio Galloni’s glowing reviews and breathless conclusion that: “It is a fabulous wine in every way. I loved it.” Year in, year out, it is a wine with gazelle-like poise, mineral verve and a filigreed tension that captures her vision of balance and energy.
‘Efflorescence’ is drawn from grapes at the base of the hill- Dominique feels they have greater power and potential. The wine is raised in used Burgundy barrels for a year. For Dominique, “Efflorescence” refers to “something that evolves in perpetuity”. Starting with the evolution encouraged by the small oxygen exchange in barrel, she feels that this wine in particular will show a very different face at each stage of its development in bottle. ‘Eloquence’ arises from a small amount of Chardonnay on Dominique’s estate. Elegance is as ‘Eloquence’ does.
She’s yet to share with us what was on her mind to name this bottling ‘Concordance’. But perhaps flying very high, above all else; because that is what it does. Dominique, by the way, recommends that all of her Champagnes be served in conventional wine glasses rather than flutes. We’d say that is an option on all but this Concordance, where it is a must. Consider a decanter too. Bubbling Burgundy it is, un voyage- sans limit, sans end. The bubbles are not accidental, but they are incidental.
 “These wines represent the height of vinosity in Champagne” –Antonio Galloni
“Intensely expressive, emotionally moving wines.” –Peter Liem

In Stock Now:

Marie Courtin Concordance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($119.95) $75 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Concordance Sans Soufre (100% Pinot Noir) is bright, precise and absolutely gorgeous. Dominique Moreau seems to have really dialed in her approach over the last few years. I can’t remember tasting a Concordance with this much translucent energy. Pinot Noir in the Aube has rarely been this weightless and nuanced. The purity of the flavors is just striking. No dosage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $88
Marie Courtin Efflorescence Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($99.95) $59 special
No reviews yet for the 2014 vintage – Reviews for 2013 vintage provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A complete and wonderfully nuanced wine, the 2013 Extra Brut Efflorescence is fabulous. Bright and sculpted to the core, the 2013 exudes energy. Chalk, mint, jasmine and orchard fruit add complexity, but it is the wine’s overall balance that is most impressive. The Efflorescence offers striking translucence and energy from start to finish. The non-dosé style is especially successful here. Disgorged in April 2017 with no dosage.”
“Efflorescence is from an east-facing vineyard with 40-year-old vines (sélection massale) on Kimmeridgian soils. Fermented and aged for one year in pièces and 36 months on the second lees before the disgorgement…” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, writing on the 2013 vintage
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $76
Marie Courtin ‘Indulgence’ Extra Brut Rose, Champagne 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Rosé Indulgence is 100% Pinot Noir that sees a maceration of about 48 hours. Pomegranate, mint, dried flowers, game and dried pear are all finely knit. Lifted floral and savory notes suggest at least some whole cluster influence. This is such a classy and expressive Champagne. Here, too, I see what appears to be more finesse than in the past. No dosage. Disgorged: November, 2018.”
Importer note “50 year old Pinot Noir vines from .30 hectares. Sandy marl with veins of kimmeridgian. Balanced above all else, the Indulgence rose is made from 100% Pinot Noir that macerated for four days. Not too fruity, not too meaty…just right! Non-dosé.”
Marie Courtin Presence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 2017 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Importer note
“70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc. Harvested from massale selection vines of 1/3 Pinot Blanc and 2/3 Chardonnay averaging 20 years of age. The Pinot Blanc is planted in kimmerdgian-centric soils while the Chardonnay is planted in portlandian soils. Aged in apoxy lined tank, three year elevage sur lie, unfined and unfiltered, zero dosage and zero sulfur added. Dominique Moreau’s Blanc de Blanc blend combines Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc grown in the unique kimmeridgian and portlandian soils of the Aube. This zero dosage, no sulfur added cuvee is rich and racy and has a commanding “presence”, if you will, just as we have come to expect from this rising star.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $96
Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Importer note
“Sourced from massale selection vines 35-40 years in age from a single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar). The fruit for Resonance comes from the top of the slope where there is little topsoil. Clay and Kimmerdigian Limestone bands similar to those found in Chablis. The Cotes des Bar is closer in proximity to Chablis than to Epernay. Aged in stainless steel and bottled with no dosage. Fresh and nervy with a rounder character than in past years. Classic Marie Courtin cut with a bit more meat on the bone.”


Thanks for reading!