Weekend Vinopolpick 2-28-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

First Offer: 2016 Pergole Torte

New Wines from La Fortuna – Staff Pick Estate

Top Wines from Valle d’Aosta

Lopez de Heredia: Featured New Arrivals

New Arrivals
Including Vilmart, Geoffroy
Gouges, Montepeloso and More!

A Tuscan Icon at $20+ Off the Next Best Price

Staff Pick
Oregon Meets the Loire and We All Win

Trending Wines

Collector’s Corner
Grand Crus from Domaine Raveneau


First Offer:

2016 Pergole Torte

Our annual offer of Le Pergole Torte is one of the highlights of the year for lovers of classical Tuscan wine.  Perhaps no wine short of Soldera and Biondi-Santi’s Riserva manages to capture the aristocratic nature of the Sanviovese grape.  The 2016 is perhaps the finest vintage yet—a capstone on a year when everything went right in Tuscany.  A rising tide might lift all boats, but Montevertine seemed to float higher than most.

If you’re unfamiliar with the wine, know that one of Chianti’s greatest wines isn’t labeled as a Chianti, despite being made in the heart of the Classico zone.  Montevertine originally left the appellation because at the time, white grapes were required to call a wine Chianti and Sergio Manetti wanted to make a wine that was 100% Sangiovese, a scandalous thing. Thus Le Pergole Torte was born. It’s a special wine, one that stops a conversation every time you get a chance to taste it.

It’s tempting to compare this wine to Grand Cru Burgundy, after all, most of Montevertine’s most ardent fans are Burg lovers first and foremost.  That’s doing it a disservice, though—this is a wine that is iconic in its own right.  We get smaller and smaller allocations each year, so grab these while you get the chance.

Arriving ETA Late March

Only twenty bottles and one double magnum available.
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 3L ($999.95) $799 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 99 points
“The 2016 Le Pergole Torte is magnificent, just as it was last year. Rich, dense and explosive, with stunning depth and texture, the 2016 possesses off the charts intensity while remaining light on its feet for such rich a powerful, lay+ered wine. There is almost no perception of tannin. Black cherry, plum, lavender, menthol, spice and new leather all meld together in a pliant, striking Pergole Torte endowed with tremendous pedigree and nuance. Put simply, the 2016 is off the charts great. The only reason the 2016 does not earn a perfect score is that cramped quarters in the cellar oblige Montevertine to bottle Pergole Torte in several lots.”

In Stock Now:

Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($189.95) $166 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2015 Le Pergole Torte captures all the radiance and intensity of the vintage. Deep, powerful and resonant, the 2015 will be a racy wine once it emerges from its recent bottling. As always, the Pergole Torte is differentiated from the Montevertine by its greater textural richness and perfume. In 2015, Pergole Torte is exotically ripe and flamboyant, not to mention utterly captivating. Don’t miss it.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96-98 points “Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate’s oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le Pergole Torte sees both its alcoholic and malolactic fermentations in cement, and the wine later ages in new oak barrels for 12 to 18 months depending on the vintage. After that first phase in barrique, it goes into large botte to complete its integration. This gorgeous vintage opens to a deep, dark appearance with a velvety presentation of dark fruit and black cherry flavors. The wine’s textural richness is ultimately what sets this fantastic vintage apart.”

Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The flagship 2014 Le Pergole Torte possesses striking depth, nuance and pliancy, all in the midweight, slightly slender style of the vintage. Sweet red cherry, plum, cinnamon, dried flowers, mint, cinnamon and pomegranate infuse this super-expressive, sexy Pergole Torte.”
James Suckling 96 points “A transparent wine with flowers, dark fruit and citrus fruit on the nose. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a bright and fresh finish. I love the dynamic cherry and vivid floral character. Mineral, too. Bright acidity. This is one of the best wines of the 2014 vintage in Tuscany. Auguri. Drink or hold.”

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



Staff Pick Estate

New Wines from La Fortuna

We’ve written before about the brilliant wines that La Fortuna is turning out, but we recently had a chance to taste through their lineup (the winemaker was in town after a Slow Food event in Seattle) and were reminded how fantastic these bottlings are.  From the top to the bottom, these wines are excellent.  The winemaking shows lots of skill, but their humble personalities have kept prices reasonable, at least for now. 

It’s amazing, really—this is a family-owned and operated producer that goes back generations in Montalcino, with some amazing real estate, and yet the wines are rarely talked about among serious collectors in the US.  La Fortuna’s vineyard sits smack dab in the middle of some of the best names in Brunello, just west of the town of Montalcino.  Casanova di Neri is barely more than a half mile east on the same ridge and Fuligni is the next address on their street.  Despite that, you can buy their entry level wine for under $15 and their Rosso for just over $20.

These are some of the most striking wines in the DOCG, with bold, rich flavors and lots of complexity.  Until the secret gets out, these wines represent some of the best opportunities in Brunello di Montalcino to drink fantastic wines (especially the 97 point/staff pick Riserva) at below market prices.  

In Stock Now:

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($699.95) $564 special (that’s only $94/bottle!)
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 1.5L ($259.95) $219 special, 5 magnums in stock now
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 3L ($499.95) $428 special, 3 double-magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 97 points
“Perfumed, with wild herb aromas and a subtle mix of strawberry and cherry fruit. Vibrant and dense, with fine acidity driving the long finish. Though elegant, there is intensity and fine energy on the aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2028.”

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
This is the only listing for a double-magnum in the USA today!

La Fortuna Giobi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 20 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
“Some ash and spice undertones to the cherry and berry aromas. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Linear and focused. Better in 2020.”

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($119.95) $88 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($619.95) $499 special (that’s only $83.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Fluid and fruity, supported by a matrix of dense tannins, this features a fine texture and structure, offsetting the saturated flavors of cherry, red berry, leather, iron and tar. Stays focused while cruising to a lingering finish. Really youthful, intense and long. Best from 2022 through 2045. 330 cases made, 200 cases imported.”
James Suckling 95 points “Very attractive and intense aromas of ripe black cherries and plums, leading to a palate that has a quite firm tannin core and finishes with a convincing serving of rich, ripe darker plums and berries. Drink or hold.”

Arriving Early March:

La Fortuna Fortunello Rosso Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
: A fantastic value, showing pretty varietal notes of red cherries and spice. Moderately rich, savory and expressive.
Winery Note “A wine that first expresses itself through its colour; intense ruby red. Extraordinary via its intensity and absolute pleasure on the palate, vigor, length, freshness and fruity finish. A wine that will improve with age with its scents of raspberry and red berries.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
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!

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points
“Vivid red. Perfumed aromas of violet, rose and red cherry on the bright nose. Then dense suave and juicy, with enticing red cherry and spicy flavors that linger nicely on the vibrant finish. Lovely balance and sneaky concentration here.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “A dense, lush red, this delivers cherry, leather and spice flavors, with accents of earth and tar. Stays solid and long on the finish, the spice and earth elements echoing. Best from 2020 through 2033. 2,220 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $56 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points
“Aromas of blackberry and cherry with flowers. Smoky. Hot stone. Medium to full body, firm and fresh tannins and a delicious finish. Beautiful now but needs a year or two to soften.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Starts out with cherry, iron and tobacco flavors, before firming up, with a solid structure. A kernel of fruit holds steady as this red unfolds on the lingering finish. Best from 2022 through 2036. 2,200 cases made, 1,000 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



Top Wines from Valle d’Aosta

Italy’s Valle d’Aosta, on the border of France and Switzerland, is perhaps the best wine region that most drinkers have never heard of.  Best known for incredible skiing and its iconic mountains (Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, etc…), it also produces incredible wines in both red and white—all of which remain overlooked and undervalued, as a result.

Feudo di San Maurizio is one of the best handful of producers, making wines that capture the essence of the region.  We’ve finally secured tiny amounts of their excellent 2018’s (24 bottles of each wine) and get to present them to you today.  The two reds will surprise you with their depth and complexity, despite their stainless steel upbringing and the Petite Arvine reminds us that the grape is one of the best white varieties in Italy.

Across the board, these deliver precision and elegance coupled with beautiful aromatics and surprising intensity.  We love the reds for spring and summer—they deliver the weight of Pinot Noir with a different-enough set of flavors to make things interesting.  The white, too, seems perfectly suited to spring produce, with a bit of weight but fresh and delicate flavors.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now

San Maurizio Mayolet, Valle d’Aosta 2018 750ML ($44.95) $39 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points
“Bright red. Delicately floral and sweet spice nuances complement bright raspberry and red currant aromas and flavors, complicated by hints of white pepper, nutmeg, coriander and cumin. Juicy, dense, long and pure, with a remarkably fresh, very spicy and saline finish and notes of lavender and peony. This light-boded wine is at once juicy, spicy and bright. Planted at 700–1,000 meters above sea level, the vintage characteristics play a huge role in what Vallet’s Mayolet wine will taste like each year; this has 12.5% alcohol…Not surprisingly, given the variety’s extremely compact bunches (which makes Mayolet a pain to work with and hence many producers are abandoning it, a big mistake given the quality of the wines), the grapes are picked in three different tries or passes in the vineyard. Aged in stainless steel only.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Feudo di San Maurizio Cornalin, Valle d’Aosta 2018 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93 points
“Deep red. Rich, luscious flavors of red cherry, Oriental spices, black tea and black cherry. Tactile, sweet and long, featuring youthfully chewy but noble tannins that provide backbone. Finishes very long and smooth, with a perfumed note of lavender. 13.5% alcohol. Only stainless steel.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Feudo di San Maurizio Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta 2018 750ML ($37.95) $33 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points
“Luminous straw-green. Apple, nectarine and white peach complicated by white flowers. Clean, fresh flavors similar to the minty aromas have a tactile, delicately chewy mouthfeel (despite the absence of any skin contact here). Finishes very long, juicy and clean, with a minty nuance and a hint of residual sugar (purposely left so as to emphasize the aromatic molecules of a semi-aromatic variety). About 5,000 bottles a year.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Featured New Arrivals

Lopez de Heredia

Lopez de Heredia is one of the world’s elite wine estates.  This statement isn’t a surprise to anyone who reads at all about Spanish wines, but it bears repeating.  “Why?” you might ask, “would you tell us something we already know?”

The answer to that question is that for all of the grace, complexity, age-worthiness, and profundity of the wines, the prices are shockingly low.  You can purchase the entry level wine from the greatest traditional Rioja estate for less than $30.  You can buy their Reservas (for which the current releases are 2006/7!!) for under $40.  Even their great wines–old Gran Reservas, with bottle age, will set you back less than the average bottle of 2010 Mouton.

How can this be?

The idea that you can buy a bottle of Gran Reserva Tondonia from the 1970’s, directly from the winery’s cellar, for the same price or less than a current vintage of top-tier Bordeaux?  We don’t think this will last that long.  We’ve got some new wines from Lopez that just arrived and they all over-deliver.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The red flagship 2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva was inspired by the vineyards of the Médoc but produced with local grapes, 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, which achieved 13% alcohol in 2006. It always matures in used American oak barriques for some six years. The oldest of all the reds I tasted, it was also the one with more freshness, which speaks to the quality of the vineyard. This takes the lion’s share of the 400,000 bottles the winery produces, with some 220,000 bottles filled over a period of 12 consecutive days in May 2014.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is a remarkably lively wine for a 12-year-old Rioja with notes of licorice and dried cherries and a very elegant tannin structure that runs through the medium to full body of this red like a silk thread. The dry finish is long and polished. Drink or hold.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Vivid red. Highly perfumed scents of ripe red currant, cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, leather and rose oil, along with a hint of coconut in the background. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering deep-pitched red fruit preserve, spicecake and floral pastille flavors and a hint of mocha. The silky, sweet, impressively long finish features excellent clarity and lingering spice and smoke nuances.”

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2007 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
James Suckling 95 points
“A stunning vintage of this Rioja classic. Ripe and concentrated, yet cool and delicate with tons of fine tannin. Lots of earthy, autumnal Burgundy-like nuances, as well as notes of violets and plums. Long, complete finish. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “2006 was a hard year to follow, even if 2007 was a great year in Rioja and exceptional for López de Heredia. The 2007 Viña Bosconia Reserva shows a little tannic, fulfilling the reputation for being a more rustic wine than Viña Tondonia. There are notes of chocolate-covered cherries and hints of forest floor. Maybe with a little more time in bottle? 70,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2014.”

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($29.95) $24 special 
James Suckling 95 points
“Cubillo is a very focused and quite crisp style of red that has spent three years in barrique and then in larger cask to wait for bottling, which happens two years before the expected release. The richness and depth of complex dried wood and spice here is seamlessly sewn into the dried red and dark cherries. The palate is pinned around a fresh-blackberry core that marries still sweet fruit to more savory style. Long and balanced. The tannins are fine yet assertive. It freshens into the finish nicely. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2010 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza is superb and shows great depth and nuance, with great freshness, and the red cherries are complemented by notes of blood oranges, nutmeg and other spices. It has a soft and harmonious palate, with great balance and very good freshness. 90,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2017.”



New Arrivals


Throw vintage out the window with Vilmart—this is incredible Champagne.
Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($159.95) $133 special, 5 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
“Aromas of confit citrus, pear, fresh pastry and English walnuts preface Vilmart’s 2011 Brut Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée, a full-bodied, muscular and incisive wine with a deep core, racy acids and a delicately nutty finish. Disgorged a few months ago, it is a terrific effort that transcends the vintage, even if it won’t go down as one of the great renditions of Coeur de Cuvée. Champs told me that he picked five or six days after his neighbors, and that appears to be borne out by the wines body and structure.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Coeur de Cuvée is gorgeous, especially within the context of the year. Translucent and airy, the 2011 is a Champagne of real elegance. Sage, mint, dried flowers, orchard fruit and lemon peel all grace this super-expressive and pretty Champagne. These 60-year-old vines handled the challenges of 2011 well. Harvest took place in August, which after 2003 and 2007, is not as freakishly unusual as it would have been a generation ago. The 2011 is undoubtedly terrific. Even so, I would not push my luck on aging given the inherent fragility of the year. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.”

One of the best values in higher-end bubbly out there.
Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier d’Or Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Disgorged Nov 2017
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2013 Grand Cellier d’Or soars out of the glass with majestic intensity. Rich, concentrated and somehow also light on its feet, the 2013 is sublime. I could describe the aromas, flavors and textures, but, really, more than anything else, the 2013 is flat-out delicious. The level of detail and precision here is simply tremendous. Disgorged: July, 2017.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “The July 2017 disgorgement of Vilmart’s 2013 Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or is showing brilliantly, bursting with scents of lime, citrus oil, freshly baked bread, crisp green apples and white flowers. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, broad and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack, a beautifully pure core of fruit, tangy acids and a nicely defined finish. While it’s still a young wine, just beginning its drinking window, its quality is already apparent.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “With an intense spine of rapierlike acidity, this sleek Champagne is fleshed out by rich, up-front spice, lime blossom and minerally oyster shell accents and dried white cherry and candied kumquat flavors set on the creamy mousse. Drink now through 2028. 400 cases imported.”

Every year, this is in the running for best rosé of the year.
Bereche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rose, Champagne 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 91-92 points
“The 2015 Campania Remensis comes across as very lifted and airy in this release. Small red berries, chalk and mint add shades of nuance to this very pretty Rosé. At times, the 2015 comes across as a touch frail, but then again this is a trial disgorgement, so we will have to wait to see how the wine turns out. For now, the 2015 offers lovely freshness and an understated feel that is quite appealing. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Meunier and 5% still red Pinot. Dosage is 2.8 grams per liter.”

A new single-vineyard bottling from Geoffroy, this Brut Nature Meunier is tops.
Rene Geoffroy Meunier ‘Les Tiersaudes’ Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2013 Brut Nature Les Tiersaudes, 100% Meunier, is fabulous. Soaring aromatics and creamy, beautifully layered fruit meld together in a deeply expressive Champagne that hits all the right notes. Refined, perfumed and exquisitely elegant, the Tiersaudes takes Meunier into a rarified expression of total finesse. Bright, saline notes punctuate the finish. I loved it.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points “…derived entirely from Cumières Pinot Meunier, the 2013 Brut Nature Les Tiersaudes offers up a lovely bouquet of lime zest, smoky orchard fruit, red berries, bitter orange and spices. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a youthfully frothy but incipiently fine mousse, excellent concentration at the core and a firm girdle of acidity, concluding with a long, dry and chalky finish. The expression of fruit is so pristine and the wine’s structure is so complete that I can understand why Geoffroy opted to release this as Brut Nature, though I would love to experience the additional plenitude that a disgorgement with one or two grams per liter dosage might possess.”
Terry Theise Note “[(+)] Another single-vineyard wine, this is entirely Meunier, grown on clay (not chalk), a 1-time-only bottling of just 1300 bottles. It’s alovely, almost delicate Meunier; caraway and rye-toast, not austere but pure and ascetic; detailed finish and high-register aromasof seemingly every sweet grain. As refined as Meunier can be. With a new deg. 4/2018 it remains a curiously expressive Meunier,though for whatever reason I found it more austere this time.”

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

The secret weapon in the Hebrart lineup, back in stock.
Hebrart ‘Noces de Craie’ Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($149.95) $109 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Terry Theise note
“…this preview bottle was extraordinary, following on the heels of the masterly 2012. It’s 100% Aÿ PN, from Cheuzelles, Longchamp, Pierre Robert, Pruche and Chauffour. Another Coeur de Cuvée, massale selection, deg 9/2018. Our “marriage of chalk” is surprisingly lapidary and ready. More seductive than the “Favorites” and also fruitier. It has a huge adamant length you did not expect—all the power is in the back, it only seems to yield. Like a sweet-natured person who always seems to prevail, or a sideways strength you don’t feel being used. A wonderful, surprising work of genius.”

One of the best deals in white Burgundy we’ve tried in a while, this is serious Maconnais.
Domaine Clos des Rocs Macon-Loche “En Pres Foret”, Burgundy 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Importer Note
” Sourced from a small 0.5ha parcel of 25-year vines, with a southeast exposition and clay-limestone soil. Fermentation and elevage are split between roughly 75% steel cuve and 25% neutral oak. The wine is fresh and clean, with pleasant aromatic concentration, citrus notes, and an airy finish. As with the series of Macon-Villages produced at Cheveau, this surprisingly complex, satisfying wine offers compelling value.”

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

We’re snapping up some wines that were still somehow at the distributor.  Gouges has been on fire recently.
Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 20 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 91 points
“The 2016 Nuits AC had just been racked the day before my visit and had its SO2 adjusted a touch as well, and yet the wine was in good form and easy to taste! The bouquet is deep and quite sappy this year (perhaps from the addition of some Chaignots?), jumping from the glass in a lovely mix of black cherries, sweet dark berries, woodsmoke, venison, dark soil tones and raw cocoa. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with fine focus and grip, ripe, seamless tannins and a long, vibrant and tangy finish. Fine, fine AC. 2024-2060+.”

Clos de Porrets might be the most undervalued terroir in Nuits-St. George.
Domaine Henri Gouges Clos des Porrets Monopole, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Earthy reduction in the aroma gives way to pure cherry, raspberry and stone flavors, revealing flashes of spice and dark, meaty elements. Dense and lush, with black fruit, spice and toast notes on the long finish. Powerful. Best from 2023 through 2042. 200 cases imported.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 92 points “The 2016 Nuits Saint-Georges Clos des Porrets St-Georges 1er Cru has an open and expressive bouquet with raspberry coulis, wild strawberry, orange pith and light rose petal aromas. I would just like a little more cohesion. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and well-judged acidity, slightly confit in style with suggestions of brown sugar sweetening the finish. But harmonious and quite persistent, this is a promising Nuits Saint-Georges. Tasted blind at the 2016 Burgfest tasting.”


After a long wait, this is finally here—and it’s worth the time.
Montepeloso Eneo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($49.95) $34.50 special, 35 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2015 Eneo is a beautifully saturated and concentrated wine. The unusual blend used here is Sangiovese with Montepulciano, Marselan and Alicante Bouschet. The bouquet is profoundly bold and exuberant, with generous integration and beautiful power. The warmth of the vintage further adds to the overall intensity of this carefully crafted red wine. The mouthfeel is seamless and soft.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Brace yourselves—our Georgian section just got infinitely bigger.
Gotsa Tsitska, Asureti Valley, Georgian Republic 2017 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“My great-grandfather made wine in western Georgia. In the early 20th century our family moved to Tbilisi (Georgia’s capital) but continued making traditional wines. Our current cellars are in Kiketi, 1300m above sea level, where history says the Georgian Kings had their favorite wines vinified. Our vineyard is located 10 km from the winery in the “Algeti” National park, 550 mt. above sea level.”
Aged in amphora, unfined, unfiltered, low sulphur, spontaneous fermentation.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
A Tuscan Icon at $20+ Off the Next Best Price

When we get a chance to offer a wine for more than $20 less than the next best price, we’re very, very interested.  When that producer is an icon of their region and the bottling is one of their very best—we’re in all the way. In this case, we’re offering two vintages of Castello di Gabbiano’s top Chianti Gran Selezione (the excellent “Bellezza” bottling at prices that are stunning compared to the rest of the market.

Castello di Gabbiano is one of the most notable producers of Chianti Classico—a historic estate that’s pushed forward into the 21st century as one of the most important producers of Chianti out there.  Their top wine is the Chianti Gran Selezione “Bellezza,” a 100% Sangiovese that challenges the best in Brunello and Chianti.  These are wines that drink well young but also will reward bottle age.

We’re offering a mini-vertical of the wines from two excellent vintages at astounding pricing—up to $22 less than the next best price online.  These will run you less than $25/btl by the six-pack, and at that price are some of the best buys in the world of wine.

In Stock Now:

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2012 750ML ($59.95) $28 special
Case-6 Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2012 750ML ($359.95) $149 special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“A wine with a wonderful depth of fruit but slightly marked by the new wood. Full body, round and silky tannins and a medium finish. This needs two or three years to come together in the bottle. A solid red.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Editor’s Choice. Baked plum, Asian spice, vanilla and menthol aromas carry the nose. The elegantly structured palate offers fleshy black cherry, licorice, mint and well-integrated French oak alongside fine-grained tannins that lend firm, polished support. A coffee note marks the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza is plump, juicy and expressive. Succulent red cherries, plums, sweet spices, leather and smoke flesh out nicely in the glass. The aromatics are slightly forward, which leads me to believe the 2012 will not be a long-term ager. Still, today the Bellezza is attractive and immediate, both qualities that make it an excellent choice for near term drinking.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
The average listed price across all vintages is $43

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 750ML ($59.95) $28 special
Case-6 Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 750ML ($359.95) ($359.95) $149 special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points
“This is settling into a nice groove, in a contemporary style, offering plum, black cherry, earth and tobacco flavors, framed by spicy oak. Balanced and beefy, with a long, spice-tinged aftertaste. Drink now through 2027. 2,000 cases made, 1,350 cases imported.”
James Suckling 92 points “Plenty of new wood at the moment with berry and chocolate undertones. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a flavorful finish. A little overdone but still outstanding. Drink now.”
Antonio Galloni 91 points “Gabbiano’s 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza is terrific. Succulent red cherry, woodsmoke, tobacco and licorice all flesh out in this soft, open-knit Riserva. A sheen of oak does not really seem to add much and in fact masks some of the purity of the fruit. Even so, the 2013 is very nicely done in this style.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Made entirely with Sangiovese, this opens with aromas of black plum, vanilla, eucalyptus and a touch of ginger. The savory, balanced palate doles out ripe black cherry, licorice, white pepper and cedar alongside fine-grained tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $46.99


Staff Pick

Oregon Meets the Loire and We All Win

Bow and Arrow remains one of my favorite Oregon wineries.  Scott Frank (the winemaker/founder/etc) has managed to do two tough things—make wines that are bright and refreshing, plus keep them affordable.  Perhaps no wine epitomizes this like his “Air Guitar,” a Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon blend that reminds me of fantastic wines from the Loire.  At first taste, this seems like it’s a bit glou-glou (and it’s certainly poundable if you want to go that route) but with air or a bit of time in the cellar this wine always opens up to reveal a more serious side.  I drank my last ’16 about a month ago and it was absolutely marvelous—everything you’d want out of a mid-tier bottling from Baudry, for example, but less expensive and local.  That wine had a long life ahead of it and I wish I had more in the cellar (confessionally, I didn’t realize it was my last bottle at the time) but I won’t make that mistake again in ’17.  I’m stocking up.

In Stock Now:

Bow & Arrow Air Guitar, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special, 35 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Like Rhinestones, the name Air Guitar is a self deprecating poke at attempting French style wines in America.  The “least likely to exist” of all of our Willamette Valley sourced wines, this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Borgo Pass Vineyard and Cabernet Franc from Johan Vineyard.  Don’t let the playful nature of the wine’s label fool you -this is our most profound expression of red wine from this region and the one that rewards the most patience.  Aged 10 to 12 months in puncheon.  ”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



What a wine.  An icon of Brunello delivers in a big way in ’12.
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Bright and juicy, this is packed with cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral aromas and flavors. Linear in shape and tightly wound, yet very pure, with a long, detailed aftertaste that pulls all the elements together. Best from 2021 through 2040. 350 cases imported.”

A great under $20 bottle of dry Riesling.
Weingut Korrell Johanneshof Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 91 points
“The Korrell estate in the Nahe has been a beautiful addition to my lineup of fine Riesling producers and I have been impressed by all the wines I have had so far.  I really enjoy this 2016 Trocken, which I missed in my first exploration into these wines, with its crisp detail, tangy fresh stone fruits and vitality of form…This 2016 is brightly fruited with layers of white peach, grapefruit, tart apricot, quince, melon and green apple fruits all of which are in a transparent loop on the medium bodied palate with plenty zing from natural acidity and mouth watering saline, this is classy dry Riesling that is accented by hints of orange blossom, minty herb, clove, dried spicy ginger, crushed stones and intense liquid mineral. There’s a light smoky and petrol note and a touch of reduction, letting you know you are drinking Riesling, but overall there is an open and easy feel to the Korrell Trocken that invites joyous abandon and it can be easily enjoyed as a refreshing sipper and or with a more serious meal, this stuff will not let you down. The texture comes through as it warms in the glass and the steely edgy quality here fades to allow the fruit to flow…  Martin Korrell, the sixth generation of the Korrell family, is the talent behind this ambitious and innovative estate, he has a wonderful palate of diverse soils to work with here, not far from the likes of Donnhoff, Schlossgut Diel, Hexamer, Gut Hermannsberg, Kruger-Rumpf and Schäfer-Fröhlich. There is volcanic, slate, quartz and gravel in the Nahe, plus Korrell has their prized single vineyard monopole Paradies cru vineyard which is set on mineral intense clay and fossilized limestone, that gives Korrell’s flagship Riesling a fantastic textural richness and depth that reminds me of some of the great Pfalz GG’s.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

It’s hard to get bigger and richer in CdP.
Clos Saint-Jean Deus-Ex Machina Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“With its more discreet oak and layers of complexity, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Deus Ex Machina is my favorite release here this year. Layers of dried spices accent raspberries and cherries in this full-bodied, rich and velvety wine. It’s more complex and complete than either the Combe des Fous or the Sancto Santorum, longer on the finish and supremely elegant.-Joe Czerwinski”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Deus-Ex Machina (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) shows more classic Mourvèdre notes, with blackcurrants, Asian spices, crushed violets, cured meats, and graphite all giving way to a power packed, opulent, hedonistic 2017 that does everything right. Incredible depth of fruit, building tannins, no hard edges, and a finish to die for are all part of the package.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95-96 points “Deep crimson. An expansive, complex bouquet displays cherry liqueur, boysenberry, incense and candied lavender qualities, along with a smoky mineral nuance that builds steadily in the background. Shows impressive depth and energy to the ripe red and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors, which turn sweeter and livelier with aeration. Closes extremely long and floral, with rounded, even tannins and emphatic, spice-tinged persistence. This one looks like it’s build for the long haul.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Great value from the Rhone, this single vineyard offering always sells briskly.
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2017 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle —the lowest listed price in the country!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points
“Deep magenta. Deeply pitched aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, candied flowers and allspice show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining cherry, blueberry and spicecake flavors that show noteworthy depth and back-end thrust. Finishes very long and smooth, with fine-grained tannins and resonating cherry and floral character.”

A monumental dry Riesling from one of the greatest vineyard/producer combos in Austria.
Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve Riesling, Wachau 2014 ($479.95) $319 special
James Suckling 98 points
“A huge dried apricot nose. In spite of the power this is super-elegant with a very long, radically mineral character that makes the wine swell in your mouth at the amazing finish. It may be too dry for some, but I find this spectacular. Drink or hold as long as you dare!”
David Schildknecht 96 points “Like its remarkable Vom Stein counterpart, I tasted this wine after it had been racked to tank, a few months before its December 2017 bottling, then again from bottle in the course of 2018. The penetrating nose is dominated by white peach, white currant and lime, anticipating the brightly juicy palate impression. But suggestions of crushed stone, bittersweet iris, clam stock, radish, kelp and smoky black tea add increasing intrigue as the wine opens to the air and is worked over in the mouth. There is underlying firmness but also a suggestion of silkiness born of lengthy lees exposure in cask, and the sense of levity, remarkably, is that of a typical Nikolaihof Federspiel more than of a Smaragd. The vibrant finishing influx of alkali, crushed stone, iodine, mineral salts, mustard seed and white pepper is almost savagely intense, practically stinging – taking matters in an at once mouthwatering and invigorating but also slightly austere direction. Here’s further proof for any who remain skeptics that the 2014 vintage – its challenges and vicissitudes notwithstanding – has at its very best delivered some of the Wachau’s and neighboring Lower Austria’s most exciting and potentially ageworthy wines of the past two decades. Tasting the outstanding 2013 alongside, this 2014 came nipping right at its heels: attention au chien!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. The beeswax, wet stone, hayflower and dried lemon notes on the nose of this wine suggest development. Its dry, slender yet concentrated palate has a weightless fluidity that echoes with eloquent beeswax and citrus oil flavors. The combination of lightness and beautiful depth make it so intriguing and moreish. Subtle, lovely, taut and fresh, it’s nowhere near its peak. The finish reveals a brilliant dash of mandarin. Drink 2028–2040.”


Collector’s Corner

Grand Crus from Domaine Raveneau

Raveneau needs very little in the way of introductions.  They’re the top producer in Chablis and one of the best handful of producers across Burgundy (white or red).  Unfortunately, that sort of fame has made the wines incredibly scarce.  We know of collectors who take trips to Europe just to drink these wines from restaurants that get yearly allocations (and who no longer allow customers to buy the wines to-go).

We’re excited to offer two Grand Cru bottlings from Raveneau, both just arrived directly from the local Kermit Lynch distributor.  We have one bottle each of the 2016 Valmur and (even more notably) the 2014 Les Clos—one of the greatest wines Raveneau has ever made.  Both are available first come, first served.

In Stock Now:

Only one bottle available
Domaine Francois Raveneau Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($1,499.95) $899 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2014 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos has a much more expressive bouquet than the 2015, with beautiful orange blossom and smoky scents decorating the nose. The palate is very well balanced and so saline in the mouth that you almost want to reach for your bucket and spade. This Les Clos is so seductive and so harmonious, seeming to bloom and deliver fabulous intensity on the finish. Whereas Valmur is the pick in 2015, the Les Clos might be the pick in 2014, thanks to its sense of completeness. But as I mentioned in my remarks from barrel last year, patience will be paramount for those seeking to witness this Chablis at its peak.”
Decanter 96 points “Lovely nose of greengage, yellow plum, pear and elderflower with a superbly tense structure and long mineral finish. A perfect blend of richness and finesse. Very complete.”
Burghound 96 points “Here too the nose is strikingly layered with notes of oyster shell, mineral reduction and perfumed floral scents. The concentrated, serious and powerful yet refined flavors ooze a fine minerality on the mouth coating and hugely long yet wonderfully chiseled finish. Interestingly this is slightly more complex than the Valmur though not necessarily more persistent. This should be first-rate if allowed 10 to 15 years of cellar time. Wow!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $999.99
The average listed price is $1,075

Only one bottle available
Domaine Francois Raveneau Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($479.95) $419 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur is a rich, exotic rendition of this great bottling, exhibiting aromas of honeyed peach, crisp apricot and sweet spices. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, powerful and layered, with a deep and ample mid-palate, concluding with a long, saline finish. It’s a textural, gourmand Valmur that I suspect may resemble the 2001 vintage when it reaches maturity.”
Decanter 94 points “The Valmur was showing brilliantly when I tasted it in October, offering up a surprisingly expressive bouquet of apple, spring flowers, lemon rind and oyster shell. On the palate the wine is cool, full-bodied and deep, with a taut, bottomless core and intense concentration. It’s glossily textural, but layered and very controlled. This will be superb.”
James Suckling 94 points “One plot located on the left side of the valley, so sheltered from morning and afternoon sunshine. The fruit is more deep and more opulent with a lifted floral edge to the nose, leading to a very succulent, supple, smooth and even palate. Plenty of ripe white peaches. Great fluidity and smooth, long and fleshy presence. There’s impressive depth here. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Thanks for reading!