Our Top Valentine’s Day Picks
Just Arrived, Straight to the February Sale!
Rising (Natural) Star of the Loire – Francois Plouzeau
Subscriber-Only Larkmead Sale Ends at Midnight
A Vertical of Oddero Brunate and Rionda
Newly Arrived: Burlotto’s “Other” Wines
de Montille Malconsorts at National Best Pricing
February Sale Recap
Krug Vintage Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $248 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.”-SR
Decanter 97 points “This is the current and latest vintage release from Krug, and is a fitting successor to 2002, though it’s very different in style – unusually, the blend contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. Despite this, it is hallmark Krug with its oxidative profile. It has a luminous freshness and good density without heaviness. There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004, displaying candied fruits, minerals, gingerbread, white chocolate, caramel and marzipan. This has a long, dry autolytic finish, great balance and lovely bead. Disgorged just after the next, and very different, vintage we tasted, the Krug 2003. Drinking Window 2017-2037.”
Serious but approachable rosé Champagne from a rising star.
Pierre Paillard ‘Les Terres Roses’ Bouzy Grand Cru Brut Rose XIV, Champagne NV ($59.95) $49 special
Stephan Reinhardt note “Wow! Of all the producers I have met and the wines I have tasted during my Champagne tour in April and May this year, the cuvées from Champagne Pierre Paillard were among the most stunning. The domaine and the vineyards are entirely located in Bouzy Grand Cru, arguably one of the finest addresses in the Montagne de Reims if not in the entire Champagne region. Bouzy is also one of the warmest terroirs. You can expect round and full-bodied wines from here, often dominated by Pinot Noir. The wines that Antoine Paillard presented to me during a meeting in Cramant were breathtakingly precise, sharp and finessed. I already really liked the wines and the domaine two years ago, but the new cuvées are even better, or let’s say: dramatically better. The wines are by no means bold or rich, but they are so well defined and elegant that I’d call them great wines. This 11-hectare domaine (which produces 95,000 bottles at maximum per year), where a great attention is laid on the genetics of the vines and tie vitality of the soils, is most likely a rising top producer for Bouzy if the quality and style of the range I tasted becomes standard here.” [No review for the XIV]
Louis Roederer Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “An elegant Champagne in an aperitif style, with flavors of crushed blackberry, biscuit, spring blossom and Meyer lemon zest riding the finely detailed bead, underscored by a streak of salinity that emerges on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2022.”
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
VinopolNote: 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.
Domaine Bruno Cormerais Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie Granite de Clisson, Loire 2013 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
VinopolNote: 51 months sur lie in tank before bottling, from the Clisson AOC–one of the most prestigious sub regions of Muscadet. This is from the estate’s best vineyards on the special decomposed granite soils of Clisson.
Bow & Arrow Time Machine Blanc, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special
John Gilman 90 points “The Time Machine Blanc 1.0 from Bow & Arrow is a roughly fifty-fifty blend of chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc, both barrel-fermented and blended together. The wine is 11.5 percent octane and bright and snappy on the palate, with a lovely nose of lime, apple, a touch of honeycomb, citrus peel and salty soil. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish, bright and bouncy, with a fine core, lovely soil signature and just a bit of the wildness on the backend of a natural wine. This is loaded with personality and very tasty- not to mention a great, great value! 2018-2023.”
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Saint Amour, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Nick Stock-jamessuckling.com 93 points “Rich aromas of poached strawberries and pastries, as well as pomegranate and blood oranges. Really fresh. The palate has a very plush and lively strawberry core. Raspberries, too. Juicy, sapid appeal. Drink now or hold.”
Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2005 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 2005 Chianti Classico Riserva is an impressive wine for the vintage. It boasts a serious core of fruit backed up by considerable structure. The sheer purity and delineation is fabulous. I won’t at all be surprised if the 2005 blossoms into an even better wine than this note suggests. There is no shortage of potential. Ideally the 2005 should be cellared for at least a few years.”
Scott Paul Quatre Journaux Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2012 750ML ($79.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Vivid ruby-red. Drop-dead gorgeous, highly perfumed aromas of red berry preserves, Asian spices, sassafras and smoky minerals, with an intense floral nuance. Sweet, penetrating and pure, offering nervy red fruit and rose pastille flavors complemented by deeper notes of mocha and licorice. Shows outstanding balance and clarity, with smooth tannins building slowly through a long spice- and mineral-inflected finish.”
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume, Loire 2015 375ML ($59.95) $49 special
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume, Loire 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
#52 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Wine Spectator 98 points “Highly Recommended. Waves of creamed Jonagold apple, Cavaillon melon, mirabelle plum, mango and white peach flavors provide thrilling range, while flashes of honeysuckle and verbena add detail and focus throughout. Unctuous yet pure, sweet yet invigorating, with an inner brightness that matches the outward hedonism. Best from 2020 through 2045. 100 cases imported.”
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Premiere Trie Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($499.95) $419 special (that’s only $69.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2016 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie opens with a very clear, deep and flinty/herbal bouquet of ripe concentrated stone fruits intermixed with chalky/smoky aromas, very complex and truly exciting! Light, fresh and tensioned on the palate, that is very pure and salty but also tight and concentrated. The 2016 Le Mont reveals crystalline acidity, delicate but serious tannin grip and a long, complex, stimulating finish. This is Chenin Blanc full of energy and aging potential, provided with concentration, lingering salinity and vibrancy. This is a fascinating Le Mont, surely the top wine of Huet’s excellent 2016 series. Bottled with 92 grams of residual sugar, it tastes less sweet than the corresponding Clos du Bourg. Tasted February 2018.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Juicy in feel, with an intense beam of glazed peach, dried apricot, fresh ginger and heather honey notes, backed by baked mirabelle plum accents and a flash of almond cream on the long, rich finish. A wonderful balancing act, keeping the exotic fruit and sweetness fresh and delineated. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
One of the best values in Vin Santo.
Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2007 375ML ($59.95) $48 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A wine of grace and stature, the 2007 Vin Santo is gorgeous. There is plenty of texture and plushness that is typical of the year, and yet the wine has more than enough acidity to play off the caramel, burnt sugar, dried cherry and floral notes. The wine’s midweight, understated style belies the 217 grams of residual sugar.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (375-milliliters) aims high in terms of residual sugar (at 215 grams per liter), but you’d hardly know. This dessert wine shows great integration with sweet notes of candied fruit, honey, caramel and almond marzipan. There are floral notes as well with jasmine and honeysuckle, but you also get dusty mineral tones and some herbal notes tucked in at the back. This is a medium-bodied wine with enough balanced acidity to keep it light, tonic and refreshing. As always, Isole e Olena produces one of the most elegant and ethereal Vin Santos in Chianti Classico.”
Bodegas Perez Barquero La Canada Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles NV 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The NV La Canada PX is sourced from a vineyard in the Moriles Mountains called Cerro de La Canada, ‘the canyon hill’ and undergoes oxidative aging in solera and is bottled at an average of 25 years old. It boasts the characteristics of a very old PX, incense, licorice, roasted coffee and the sweetness is nicely compensated by a bitter chocolate touch. What is surprising in such an old wine is the overall sensation of freshness and elegance of fruit, with balsamic flavors of dried herbs, flowers and camphor. A truly elegant sticky. Drink 2013-2025.”
Just Arrived, Straight to the February Sale!
Case-12 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($199.95) $119 February Sale Special
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “Like the white, the 2017 Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé (30% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cinsault, and the rest Rolle, Carignan, and Counoise) has a beautiful saltiness that makes your mouth water. White cherries, strawberries, and spice notes all flow to a medium-bodied rosé that has terrific acidity, plenty of fruit and a clean, dry finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Editor’s Choice. This ancient estate, founded in the Middle Ages by the Knights Templar, has produced an exemplary rosé. It has lightness and poise as well as great fruitiness, acidity and a crisp, zesty texture. Perfumed and with red-currant and strawberry flavors, the wine is ready to drink.”
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Light, vivid orange. Clean, focused and minerally on the nose, displaying fresh citrus and pit fruit scents and a hint of candied lavender. Sappy and precise in style, offering bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors and a spicy jolt on the back half. Clings very nicely on the finish, leaving floral and orange pith notes behind.”
The next best price is $13.99
The average price is $16
The Newly Arrived Wines of Francois Plouzeau
In both red and white, then manage to combine a surprising seriousness with a purity and deliciousness that marks them as truly top class Loire wines. The best comparison might be the wines that Damien Delecheneau makes at Grange Tiphane—they’re natural, sure, but are cleanly made and classically proportioned. We’re excited to have just received our allocation and to share these for the first time here at Vinopolis.
Domaine de la Garreliere Milliard d’Etoiles, Loire NV 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Cabernet Franc & Chenin Blanc. Methode ancestrale
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Importer Note “Absolutely not the run of the mill high-yield, machine-harvested, green and acid Touraine Sauvignon. And that can be a problem–because many people are so used to the hyper brisk norm that they don’t know what to do with a textured wine like this. La Mariée is the right stuff.”
“This is certainly not your run of the mill SB. When the grape is a more serious treatment (longer elevage, barrel aging) it takes on a less “obvious” personality, like with this wine. Mineral, textural and complex, this is a brilliant value and a world apart from anything coming out of New Zealand or Chile.”-Saul
Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine Cendrillon, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Importer Note “This wine is made from the best Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the old biodynamic vineyards that surround the cellar on the hill outside the village of Richelieu. It is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in used 500L barrels of various ages. This is a fascinating wine for us. The first couple of sips mark it as an interesting wine but, gradually, it opens up in the glass to reveal citrus notes and a fine line of minerality as well as a complexity that belies its price.”
Winery Note “Plot: Vine from 30 – 40 years old. Terroir: Aeolian sand and flint clay on limestone. Manual harvest at the beginning of October, destemmed – Yield 25 hl / ha. Indigenous yeasts – fermentation in concrete vats; Cuvaison over 3 weeks with a gentle extraction. Then the Malolactic Fermentation was made in barrels; Aging in barrels of 500L new 1/3, a wine 1/3 and two wines 1/3, for more than 12 months. Then, put in mass for 2 months. Unfiltered wine.”
Importer Note “Gamay without bullshit!”
The next best price is $27.30
Importer Note “Classic, delicious Loire Cabernet Franc that goes down so easy in the summer with a slight chill on it.”
What’s the hottest sale of the week?
Subscriber-Only Larkmead Sale
Ends at Midnight
Prices So Good, They Can’t be on Our Website
Discounted Prices Will Not Display Online
We Will Adjust Pricing Manually Before Finalizing Your Order
Sale Prices Limited to Stock on Hand
Robert Parker 93 points “The 2014 “White Label” red wines include the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which is a beauty. An elegant, Pauillac-style wine with notes of chocolate, cedar wood, fruitcake, unsmoked cigar tobacco and underbrush, it is dense, full-bodied and rich. It is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot aged 19 months in 75% new French oak. There are 2,705 cases of this wine, which finished at 14.7% natural alcohol. It should drink well for 20-25 years, but there’s no reason to defer your gratification.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Larkmead’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a very pretty, understated wine. Bright red stone fruit, floral notes and spice give the 2014 its refreshing, vibrant personality. The fruit is nicely pushed forward, but the 2014 is light on its feet and gracious, especially for a Calistoga Cabernet. Even so, this is a relatively laid-back style built on finesse more than power.”
The average price is $126
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The “Black Label” wines include the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the clone of Cabernet that is also called Eisele. This wine spent 20 months in 62% new French oak. A magnificent wine by any standard of measurement, with notes of scorched earth, lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, and blackberry and cassis fruit, this dense purple wine has undeniable minerality, a beautiful, full-bodied texture and a voluptuous finish. Drink it over the next 25 years.”
Antonio Galloni 92-95 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo is holding back quite a bit of its potential. Dark cherry, smoke, licorice, tar and menthol give the Dr. Olmo much of its brooding personality. The tannins are quite firm, but that should be less of an issue as the wine won’t be released for about a year.”
The average price is $183
The next best price is $146.25
That’s a difference of over $27/bottle!
Robert Parker 94 points “A blend of 72% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2014 Firebelle finished at 14.9% alcohol. It is a beautifully rich, chocolaty wine with notes of savory spices, black cherries and mulberries, some fudge and coffee bean. It has medium to full body, outstanding purity, concentration and length. It was aged in 66% new French oak for 19 months prior to bottling. Drink it over the next 15-20 years.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Firebelle, Larkmead’s Merlot-based wine, is terrific. Succulent black cherry, lavender, mint and dark spices infuse this pliant, creamy wine. Expressive savory and mineral-infused notes punctuate the finish. The tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to like and look forward to.”
The average price is $156
The next best price is $145
That’s a difference of $46/bottle!
Discounted Prices Will Not Display Online
We Will Adjust Pricing Manually Before Finalizing
Sale Prices Limited to Stock on Hand
“[Exceptional] Vigna Rionda yields the most perfumed, sensual and mystical of all Barolos. Rose petals, violets, sweet spices, nuanced fruit, silky tannins and often an element of weightlessness make Rionda the Musigny of Barolo.” – Antonio Galloni, on the Vigna Rionda vineyard.
Oddero remains one of the best sources for traditional, uncompromising Barolo. The estate itself is old even by Piemontese standards, dating back to the 1700’s and they’ve been estate bottling since 1878—quite early by the standards of the region. That history has ensured them some of the best holdings in Barolo and those terroirs translate into some absolutely classic Barolos in an old-school style. Oddero’s had some ups and downs over the last 40-50 years but the current generation (the seventh) is producing the best in the recent history of the winery.
All of the Nebbiolo vineyards of the estate are farmed organically and fermentation of the Barolos takes place in stainless steel before maturation in large casks—no barrique here. The top two wines at Oddero are their Brunate and their Vigna Rionda Riserva. The latter is only released after ten years of aging and both wines represent some of the best, most traditional Barolo on the market today. We’re excited to offer a small vertical of both wines, though quantities are fairly limited on both. This set would be quite a fun collection for any lover of Piedmontese wines.
In Stock Now:
2011 produced rich, early drinking (relatively) versions of Barolo.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 94 points “Gorgeous dried fruits and citrus character with a dense palate, fresh acidity and a lingering finish. Another gorgeous Brunate. Drink in 2017.”
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Enticing aromas of cherry, rose and spice lead off, while the flavors pick up tar and tobacco, echoing the spice. This is rich and balanced, with oak tannins adding another layer on the long sweet-fruit finish. Best from 2018 through 2032. 180 cases made.”
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “This opens with alluring red berry, menthol, new leather, star anise and crushed herb scents. It’s elegantly structured, offering sour cherry, cranberry, licorice and sage flavors set against firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. A hint of orange zest closes the finish. Drink 2023–2033.”
Held ten years before release, only 200 magnums were bottled.
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007 1.5L ($499.95) $419 special
James Suckling 96 points “This is drinking wonderfully now with so much depth of fruit and lots of juicy character. Full body, layered and intense. Plenty of dark berry and chocolate. Fantastic. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “This wine is released ten years after the harvest, giving consumers the opportunity to buy an older vintage of Barolo that has been stored carefully back at the winery. Older-release wines like this are becoming ever more popular in the Langhe. The 2007 Barolo Riserva Vignarionda is a powerful and exuberant expression that shows the density and the inner energy of Serralunga d’Alba. Blackberry and dark cherry lift from the bouquet to reveal pretty undertones of spice, leather and savory tobacco. Only 2,763 750-milliliter bottles, 200 magnums and 20 jeroboams were produced. This wine offers a very special taste of Nebbiolo.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “After 10 years, this is ready to enjoy. However, despite the sweet cherry fruit, leather, woodsy and mineral flavors, there are still dense tannins. This is moving in the right direction, mellowing gracefully and lingering with a long, fresh, tobacco- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Best from 2020 through 2034. 150 cases made.”
New release, ten years after harvest. A magnificent wine.
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2008 750ML ($219.95) $169 special
Importer note “The name Vigna Rionda, meaning “round vineyard”, comes from the plot of land, a depression filled with rows of vines, with the whole slope in full sun. Bought by the Oddero family in 1985, the Vigna Rionda, like all the land around Serralunga, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte, is part of an unusual tertiary Langhian-Miocene geological formation, rich in calcareous deposits, marl, fine sand and sandstone, alternating with mineral residues from plant and animal organisms. Additionally the Vigna Rionda is sheltered by the Castelletto hill from northeast winds and the winter cold, and it has an excellent microclimate for vine cultivation. The prizewinning Oddero Barolo Vigna Rionda is a great, tenacious wine with a long life, with an intense, spiced bouquet, structured and complex on tasting, and very exciting.”
Burlotto’s “Other” Wines
From an unusual (for the region) Sauvignon Blanc (steely, with a touch more weight than you expect from SB) to a young-vines Barolo based Nebbiolo (fantastic), Burlotto delivers the goods at the lower end of the price spectrum, as well. All these are as old-school/traditionally made as the higher end wines, but from either obscure varieties (Freisa, which is like the party-child version of Nebbiolo) or blends (the Mores Rosso) so they offer excellent value. We just got a new round of these wines in and are excited to share these with you.
In Stock Now:
G. B. Burlotto Dives Langhe Sauvignon, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
G. B. Burlotto Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Importer Note “The Langhe Nebbiolo is a delicious wine to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet floral and tobacco notes meld into a core of bright red stone fruits, mint and anise.”
Importer Note “Mores is a co-fermanted blend of 50% Nebbiolo and 50% Barbera. The Barbera functions very well in softening the tannins of the Nebbiolo and contributing bright acidity and berry flavors. This is a stunning red wine, whether you are a Barolo lover or not, it has all the depth, body, length of finish and finesse you would expect from a glass of fine red. Give it a try!”
G. B. Burlotto Langhe Freisa, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Importer Note “Deep red color. Intense and fine nose with hints of roses, cherries, raspberries and minerals. Powerful in the mouth. Much fruit – scents of tobacco and dark berries. Fine acids and long taste, dry and some tannin in the back makes the structure very nice. A powerful and well balanced Freisa.”
Importer Note “Fresh and savory, this opens with aromas of dark berry, ground cooking spice and whiff of chopped herb. The vibrant palate doles out juicy black cherry, clove, star anise and blood orange accompanied by racy acidity.”
The Rare de Montille Malconsorts
At the Best Price in the Country
Only four bottles remaining
Domaine de Montille Les Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($419.95) $359 special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points “(vinified with two-thirds whole clusters and aged in 60% new oak; no frost damage here but the yield was just under 40 hectoliters per hectare): Healthy dark red. Explosive aromas of black raspberry, cocoa powder and espresso. Wonderfully sweet and savory, offering very intense yet silky flavors of black raspberry and minerals framed by harmonious acidity. Really outstanding inner-mouth energy and definition here! The resounding finish features firm, chalky tannins and terrific length and lift. This wine comes from vines at the top of this premier cru on hard limestone.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2016 Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Les Malconsorts includes two-thirds whole cluster and 55% new oak. It has a deep color and a very complex bouquet with blackberry, raspberry coulis, iris and touches of woodland, all reticent at first but unfolding with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and a fine line of acidity, fresh and vibrant with a gentle but insistent grip on the saline finish. It is a structured Malconsorts that deserves several years in bottle. This is on par with the excellent 2015 Malconsorts.”
The next best price is $399
That’s a difference of $40/btl!
February Sale Recap
We’ve slashed prices on Tuscan icons, Chateauneuf, great red Burgundy and classic Cote Rotie (and a whole lot more). It’s an amazing way to begin the month (provided you like excellent deals on outstanding wines) and we’re excited to bring you more in the days/weeks ahead. As with all of our Sale Wines—these prices are limited to stock on hand, so once we sell out, the sale pricing is gone forever. View the complete list below, and shop our web store by clicking here.