Weekend VinopolPick 3-20-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

Subscriber Special
Bow and Arrow’s Rhinestones – Under $20/Btl

New Cayuse in Stock Now

First Offer
New Champagnes from Ulysse Collin

Featured New Arrivals
Chile’s Top Pinot Producer
And An Icon of Chateauneuf

Stunning, Old School 2016 Gigondas

Don’t Forget Our Weekend Subscriber Special
A Vertical of Oddero at National Best Pricing


Collector’s Corner
Just Arrived: The Best of the Best

New Cristal Vinotheques


Subscriber Special

Bow and Arrow’s Rhinestones – Under $20/Btl

Bow and Arrow’s Rhinestones bottling, a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, has probably done more to define their style and the style of the “New Oregon” than any other.  Juicy, fresh and slightly peppery (from the Gamay) it’s a red wine that manages to refresh with ease.  We sell a lot of it, for good reason—it’s a wine that manages to pair with nearly anything, or be delicious on its own.  Plus, it’s well priced (under $25) and local, two big perks. It’s become one of winemaker Scott Frank’s signature bottlings, representing his outside-the-box thinking and exceptional craftsmanship.

To make a good thing even better, we’re dropping the price on this Vinopolis favorite—it’s now under $20.  We want to move a lot of this wine to help Scott out (and because it’s fantastic).  He sells most of his wines through restaurants, whose business has been decimated, and so we jumped at the chance to take a bunch off his hands and offer it to you at a fantastic price.  This is a great wine to stock up on while you self-quarantine and remember—we’ve always got $25 flat rate shipping to California, plus free Oregon shipping on orders over $120 through the end of March.

In Stock Now:

Bow & Arrow Rhinestone Red, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($26.95) Was $21.90, Now $18 Subscriber Special
Winery Note
“To understand Rhinestones we have to talk about the Cheverny region of France’s Loire Valley where, by law, the red wines must be a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir.  We follow this stricture with all the Pinot and Gamay fruit we source from Johan Vineyard.  The blend is determined by nature and vintage.  Aged in a mixture of concrete and old barriques, this wine is the flagship of the Bow & Arrow operation and communicates what we’re about as much as anything we make.  Effortlessly drinkable but rewards detective work if you’re in the mood.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $24.99
The average listed price is $27

Looking for another great Under $20 Bow & Arrow red? Check out their beautiful 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot.

Bow & Arrow Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($24.95) $18 Subscriber Special
Winemaker Note
“[W]hile this ethos of “wine for the people” infuses the entire posture at Bow & Arrow, it’s this wine, the Willamette Valley Pinot in particular, that serves as our proof of concept.  You can make, in the Willamette Valley, a Pinot Noir sourced from Biodynamic and Organic fruit that is lovingly and naturally tended to form start to finish AND sell it at a price that nearly anyone can glass pour.  Assembled mainly from Johan Vineyard, Walnut Ridge and Hughes Hollow fruit, this wine was handled no differently than our single vineyard, top priced Pinot Noir.  Tasted blind I imagine it would hang tough with any line-up of Oregon Pinots of any price or pedigree.  (“I humbly submit” keeps getting auto-corrected to this hubristic nonsense.  I’m sorry.)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $23



New Cayuse in Stock Now

Cayuse is one of the most in-demand wineries in North America, producing wines from both Rhone and Bordeaux varieties that are among the finest in the world.  We’re always on the hunt for more of these hyper-rare bottlings—and this set of new releases is a prime example of why the wines are so exciting.  As usual with Cayuse, quantities are extremely limited (a three-pack of each wine, plus an extra of the Chateauneuf-destroying God Only Knows) so snap these up quickly if you want them in your cellar.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Cayuse Vineyards Camaspelo, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($149.95) $135 special, 3 bottles in stock now

Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The 2016 God Only Knows saw a fair amount of stems (60-80%) and was brought up in neutral demi-muids and foudre. It’s incredibly complex, offering blackberry, smoked earth, Iberico ham, white pepper, spring flowers, and violets. It’s seamless, ultra-pure, medium-bodied, and just glides across the palate and has a Burgundian weight and richness. 535 cases.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Featuring a playful label, the 2016 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard is a blend of 90% Grenache, with the remaining 10% comprising unknown varieties. This has a seductive nose of cherry and wild strawberry, with a floral essence and rich minerality, tamed by soft red spices. There is a touch of black pepper here, suggesting a splash of Syrah in the blend. The wine is tight on the palate but gives pleasure on many different levels, as it has both breadth and depth. There is a focused core of rocky minerality to the wine as it lingers on the long, textured finish with good balance and structured tannins. This is impressive juice! Only 535 cases produced.-AM”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points “Bright medium red. Knockout nose combines red cherry, pomegranate, mocha, white pepper and a sexy high-toned floral element. At once salty and juicy on the palate, savory but not particularly meaty, with a dominant flavor of crushed red cherry complicated by notes of garrigue and truffle. Finishes very long and subtly palate-staining, with terrific floral complexity. This wine struck me as a little darker in character than the No Girls Grenache made by Elizabeth Bourcier at Cayuse. And it’s still tightly wound. (13.6% alcohol; vinified with 75% whole clusters; from a crop level of just 1.5 tons per acre)”

Cayuse Vineyards En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($179.95) $125 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“En Chamberlin Vineyard—2000 saw the planting of 10 more stony acres. Grafted on phyloxera resistant rootstock, it’s another first for our region. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet-Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.”


First Offer

New Champagnes from Ulysse Collin

Perhaps no vigneron exemplifies the New Champagne like Ulysse Collin.  Born to a family of grape-growers, he worked tirelessly to free the family land from contracts selling fruit to negociants and now vinifies all of his wines as single-vineyard/vintage bottlings.  His wines are profoundly introspective and challenge preconceived notions about what Champagne should be. At the forefront of the new wave of ultra-terroir-driven Champagnes, Olivier produces deeply vinous, mineral and hyper-concentrated wines. True to their terroir, these are reflections of the individual parcels.

These wines are exceptionally rare and we’ve just received our allocation of the new releases, arriving this coming Friday.

“Winemaking as a rule here is as natural and non-interventionist as possible. All fermentation is carried out with indigenous yeasts, which can take a remarkably long time to complete: six to eight months is not at all unusual for Collin, and even when tasting vins clairs in June or July, they are typically still in the middle of their alcoholic fermentations. Both the fermentation and malolactic are carried out in three- to six-year old barriques, and the wine is neither fined nor filtered before bottling, which takes place in the fall after the harvest.” – Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net

Arriving Friday, March 27th:

Only six bottles available
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Enfers’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) ($189.95) $159 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Disgorged with in March 2019 with 2.4 grams per liter dosage, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Enfers (2014) is based on the 2014 vintage, supplemented by some 10% reserve wines, and spent fully 48 months on the lees. Opening in the glass with expressive aromas of fresh pastry, green mango, waxy citrus fruit and white flowers, it’s medium to full-bodied, precise and elegantly enveloping, with superb depth at the core, racy acids and a beautifully defined, delicately chalky finish. Like all of Collin’s 2014-base bottlings, this is a tender, charming rendition of Les Enfers.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Enfers is a wine of tremendous breadth and staying power. Clay-rich soils in Congy yield a Champagne of real textural resonance. Apricot, orange peel, vanilla and tropical overtones infuse the 2014 with notable character. All the elements seem amplified in the Enfers, including a mousse that is a bit brawny. This release includes 10% reserve wines from 2013 and spent a total of 48 months on its lees. Olivier Collin has another lot in the cellar that will be released with 60 months on the lees. Dosage is 2.4 grams per liter.”
90% 2014, 10% 2013. Disgorgement date may vary from reviews.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only twelve bottles available
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Pierrieres’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (’15) 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96+ points
“Disgorged in March 2019 with 1.7 grams per liter dosage, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Pierrières (2015) is based on the 2015 vintage and contains fully 60% reserve wines from 2014. It’s still a touch shut down after its recent disgorgement, unwinding in the glass with scents of lemon oil, pomelo and crisp white peach that mingle with nuances of lily pollen and freshly baked bread. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated on the palate, it’s searingly intense, with a racy spine of acidity that lends the wine incredible cut and energy, despite its unquestionable breadth and concentration. The finish is long, mouthwatering and electric. This is another brilliant Pierrières from Collin, but at least a year’s patience is warmly recommended.”
Antonio Galloni 94-95 points “The 2015 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blanc Les Pierrières is tense, vibrant and wonderfully focused. In this release, the Les Pierrières is 40% 2015 and 60% 2014 [if it is based 2015 why is there more 2014 %] juice that spent two years in oak, with the reserve wines no doubt contributing freshness and overall energy. Crushed rocks, citrus, white flowers and slate add striking layers of nuance. A slight touch of reduction adds character, but with less of an imprint than in some previous editions. Olivier Collin told me that he lowered the SO2 prior to bottling, which explains why this edition of the Pierrières is not as reduced as some of its predecessors have been. Dosage is 1.7 grams per liter.”
40% 2015, 60% Reserve wine

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only six bottles available
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Roises’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($229.95) $189 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roises (2014) is based on the 2014 vintage, supplemented by 10% of reserve wines from 2013, and it was disgorged with 2.4 grams per liter dosage in March 2019 after 48 months sur lattes. It’s already quite open and expressive, in keeping with Collin’s other 2014-based releases, bursting from the glass with aromas of crisp Anjou pear, waxy citrus rind, green mango, blanched almonds and pastry cream. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and enveloping, with ripe but racy acids, a deep and crisply fleshy core of fruit and a long, saline finish. This is quite a textural, gourmand and charming rendition of Les Roises, and it’s exquisitely elegant.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Collin’s 2014 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roises is a wonderfully inviting, nuanced Champagne that captures the interplay of richness and freshness that this south-facing site is capable of. Apricot, melon, mint and exotic white flowers meld together in a dense, textured Champagne loaded with class and personality. This release is mostly 2014, with just 10% reserve wines from 2013. Most importantly, Les Roises is all class. Dosage is 2.4 grams per liter. Disgorged: March, 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only twenty four bottles available
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2015) 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 98 points
“Disgorged in March 2019 with 2.4 grams per liter dosage after 36 months sur lattes, the extraordinary NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons (2015) is based on the 2015 vintage with the addition of fully 60% reserve wines from 2014. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of honeycomb, minty yellow orchard fruit, dried white flowers and almond paste, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with incredible depth and dimension at the core, a racy spine of tangy acidity that belies the base vintage, and a long, searingly intense finish. This is a remarkably complete and concentrated rendition of Les Maillons, but it’s also among the most elegant and vibrant that Olivier Collin has produced to date. While my expectation are always high when opening bottles from this producer, they were nonetheless transcended by this new release.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2015 Extra-Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons is ample, creamy and also incredibly inviting. More than anything else, the 2015 stands out for its textural sophistication and total class. Here too, the significant presence of 2014 reserve wines (60%) works beautifully in capturing an attractive interplay of fruit richness, savory complexity and layers of texture. Gorgeous Pinot aromatics and flavors meld together in this striking, effortless Champagne from Olivier Collin. Dosage is 2.4 grams per liter.”
40% 2015, 60% Reserve wine

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

Only twelve bottles available
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Rose de Saignee Extra Brut, Champagne NV (’15) 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast 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.)



Featured New Arrivals

Chile’s Top Pinot Producer and An Icon of Chateauneuf

New Pinots from Montsecano

Many people don’t think of Chile when it comes to Pinot Noir—after all, it’s Cabernet/Carmenere country, right?  Not entirely—Chile’s a geographically diverse country and they grow some really excellent Pinot Noir in pockets like Las Dichas, in the Casablanca valley.  Montsecano is the most noteworthy producer here and we just got a drop of the new vintage of their excellent value “Refugio” Pinot Noir.

Like all their wines, this never sees oak, just stainless steel and concrete tanks.  The soils in Las Dichas remind us of the Willamette, with red clay over volcanic rock, and there’s a certain similarity to the fruit quality in their wines.  For under $25, it’s an absolute steal (as is their top of the line $40 bottling, in its own way). 

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Montsecano ‘Refugio’ Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2018 Refugio Pinot Noir also follows the line of the 2018 Montsecano. It is fresher and from a cooler vintage when the grapes were picked a little less ripe and the maceration was shortened. The nose is spectacular, a mix of wild herbs, flowers and berries, some rose petals and even a touch of citrus peel, coming through as aromatic and fresh. The palate is perhaps a tad lighter than previous vintages and perhaps a little more “natural.” But it has very good complexity, developing aromas of violets with time in the glass, and it has lots of freshness and balance.”

Also In Stock From Montsecano:

Montsecano Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“One of the best vintages of the grand vin here has to be the eponymous 2016 Montsecano, produced 100% with Pinot Noir from the zone of Las Dichas in Casablanca. The vines were planted in 2006 on red clay and granite soils and, as all the wines here, sees no oak whatsoever; it fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and was kept in egg-shaped cement vats until bottling in February 2017. This is simply delicious. This is not a Burgundy Pinot Noir, there is always a touch of rusticity here, an earthy touch. This is a pure Pinot Noir; it slowly opens up in the glass to an intoxicating mixture of wild flowers and herbs, with that rustic touch. The palate has very fine-grained tannins, tasty and long. I think this captures the intensity of the people that work here. 8,000 bottles produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Marcoux V.V.: An Icon of Chateauneuf

Marcoux’s Vielles Vignes bottling is one of the true iconic bottlings of Chateauneuf, up there with Beaucastel’s Hommage, Rayas, Cuvee de Capo and Janasse’s VV.  It’s perpetually on the shortlist for wine of the vintage in years that it’s bottled and we just received our allocation of the 2016 today.  This is a stunning wine that encapsulates everything grand about the 2016 vintage in the southern Rhone. Big, rich, flamboyant and yet perfectly balanced, it’s a wine for the ages.

In Stock Now:

“the wine of the vintage?” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous
Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($169.95) $135 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points
“Bottled end of March (like the traditional cuvée), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes comes from just two terroirs — Charbonnière and Esquierons — since they no longer use grapes from Galimardes, as it was recently replanted due to disease. The wine was completely destemmed and brought up all in concrete tanks. This rocking effort is still a baby in terms of evolution but still gives up a huge bouquet of kirsch, strawberries Asian spices, candle wax, white flowers, and graphite. Deep, rich, and powerful, yet with the hallmark elegance of the estate, it has fine tannin, an awesome mid-palate, incredible purity and a huge finish. It’s another great, great vintage for this cuvée that readers shouldn’t miss.”
Josh Raynolds 98 points “Vivid ruby-red. Powerful raspberry liqueur, cherry pie, incense, potpourri and spicecake aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a vibrant mineral nuance with aeration. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated but shockingly lithe raspberry, cherry liqueur, five-spice powder and lavender pastille flavors given lift and spine by a jolt of juicy acidity. Blends richness and delicacy with a deft hand and finishes wonderfully long and precise, with pliant tannins adding shape and gentle grip. Is this the wine of the vintage? It’s definitely on the (very) short list.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “All Grenache, mostly from sandy soils and aged only in concrete, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a compelling wine. It offers the essence of ripe Grenache in its notes of ripe plums, purple raspberries and stone fruit, then layers on savory-spicy-meaty complexity. Full-bodied, rich, velvety and slightly warm on the finish (it reached at least 16% alcohol), it should provide thrilling drinking over the next decade.”

Stunning Old School, 2016 Gigondas

2016 is widely considered the Southern Rhone’s finest on record. Cool nights produced reds with a level of freshness that is rare in Gigondas, and unheard of when paired with the ripeness achieved that year. This was truly a Goldilocks year.  We’ve been buying everything we can get our hands on from quality producers—the wines are stunning and no-brainers at the table.

Clos du Joncuas is an estate that is just starting to garner the attention it deserves—making it the perfect time to stock up. This can be attributed to the fact that Clos du Joncuas, unlike many of its neighbors, didn’t spend the past thirty years chasing scores with overly modern winemaking practices. Instead, it focused on improvements (like going organic in 1980) that have only recently come into vogue. 

This is authentic old-school Gigondas.  A vintage like 2016 gives a bit more polish to the wine, rounding it out enough to give it widespread appeal, but there’s nothing forced or artificial about this bottling.  The new (high scoring, ironically) vintage is in stock now, and at under $30/btl by the case, it’s still reasonably priced enough to stock up on.

In Stock Now:

Clos du Joncuas Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Clos du Joncuas Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Vibrant ruby. Smoke-accented cherry and red berries on the highly perfumed nose, which takes on sexy incense and baking spice nuances with air. Smooth, concentrated and appealingly sweet, offering mineral- and spice-accented boysenberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors and a spicy touch of cracked pepper. Finishes silky, sweet and impressively long, with harmonious tannins and lingering spiciness.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Gigondas is a blend of 80% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault. It’s full-bodied, plush in texture and maybe even a bit warm, but this big and balanced wine offers plenty of black cherry fruit and hints of cinnamon and allspice. Velvety and long on the finish, it should drink well for 6-7 years.”
Decanter 93 points “Pure stewed damsons on the nose, really enlivening, with some wild strawberry within. The palate is medium-bodied, with gentle, textural wet-clay tannins and vibrant damson acidity. Drinkable, svelte and very well put together and in good balance.”

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


Don’t Forget Our Weekend Subscriber Special

A Vertical of Oddero at National Best Pricing

We love hyper-traditional Barolo—there’s something about it that seems aristocratic, truly the wine of kings and the king of wines.  The combination of power and delicacy, the youthful austerity that blooms into glorious aromatics and texture with age is magic.  While it doesn’t always lead to high scores from reviewers, it does lead to absolutely stunning wines down the road.

Oddero’s wines represent some of the best, most traditional Barolo on the market today. 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, released only after ten years of aging.  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 Piemontese wines.

We’re offering some exceptionally sharp pricing on a vertical of Oddero’s Brunate and two bottlings of their Vigna Rionda.  All these wines were cellared at the winery until last year and are the lowest prices in the country.  These are special wines at excellent prices—at least until we sell out or Sunday night rolls around.

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Sunday, March 22nd at 6PM (PT)

In Stock Now:

Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Was $99 Subscriber Special, 2 bottles in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $118.99
The average listed price is $128

Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Was $99 Subscriber Special, 11 bottles in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $118.99

Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Was $99 Subscriber Special, 12 bottles in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $109.94

Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007 1.5L ($499.95) Was $419, Now $369 Subscriber Special, 4 magnums in stock now
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.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
The next best price is $399

Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2008 750ML ($219.95) Was $169, Now $139 Subscriber Special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2008 Barolo Riserva Vignarionda was held back at the winery to be released commercially ten years after the harvest. The fruit is sourced from 50-year-old vines that benefit from organic farming. You feel the robust nature of the Serralunga d’Alba village, with heat, structure and power at the back. It is a classic but powerful Nebbiolo, with earthy tones, sweet spice and dark chocolate. This wine is moving beautifully along its aging trajectory. Bravi. Only 2,000 bottles are available.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Now a decade old, this Barolo reveals hints of truffle, carob and burnished leather in the bouquet, with fading cherry and berry fruit and licorice and spice accents. Displays the tightly knit, Serralunga structure, along with a chalky, minerally sensation on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2036.”
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $171

Very California Chardonnay—rich, decadent and compelling, especially for the price.
The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley2018 750ML ($34.95) $16 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley2018 750ML ($379.95) $169 special, (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Winery Note
“Inviting notes of honeysuckle, white rose, lemon meringue and baked brioche on the nose. Balanced yet with crisp acidity on the palate with flavors of ripe Asian pear, melon and Meyer lemon with a lingering, elegant finish. Dutton Ranch is composed of 1,100 acres of premium Sonoma County vineyards planted on coveted Goldridge sandy loam soil. Fruit for this vintage was sourced from several locations within Dutton Ranch’s Russian River Valley vineyards. Plots in the warmer end of the valley contributed ripe tropical elements, while those from cooler areas lent minerality and a structural backbone.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $31

Looking for an alternative to Dönnhoff GG’s at half the price?
Weingut Korrell Johanneshof Kreuznacher Paradies Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Weingut Korrell Johanneshof Kreuznacher Paradies Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2017 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special, 8 magnums in stock now
Weingut Korrell Johanneshof Kreuznacher Paradies Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2017 3L ($199.95) $179 special, 3 double-magnums in stock now
Grapelive 94 points
“The radiant and graceful Korrell Paradies Trocken leads with expressive pure apple tones. [It] impresses for its elegance and subtle character. It’s a wine of great poise and delicacy, especially admirable for such a young Riesling. The monopole estate vineyard, Paradies, is the oldest single site Korrell has and is the flagship wine from winemaker Martin Korrell. It comes from his family’s vines that are set on limestone and clay soils in Bad Kreuznach area of the Nahe region. The Paradies Riesling Trocken is a gorgeous white of depth and precise winemaking that takes advantage of this unique site in the Nahe. This wine is the heart and soul of Korrell and it is product of its unique climat,or terroir. It sees more sunshine and the limestone allows for serious concentration, while retaining acidity, though there is always great attention paid to pick dates to finely tune this signature bottling to place and vintage. Korrell mixes some traditional stainless fermentations with some native yeast and barrel ferments to craft his wines. The Paradies shows a beautiful leesy finesse that reminds me a bit of the Von Winning GG’s, with a long time on the lees adding a beautiful glycerin density to this gorgeous dry Riesling. Coming off Korrel’s incredible Riesling Cup win for his Von den Grossen Lagen (Grand Crus) Riesling Trocken, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to try this wine, and found this particular wine just as intriguing. Martin focuses on preserving heightened aromatics and crisp mineral tones, while allowing the mouth feel and depth to shine through. It is an amazing accomplishment to get it all right, and Korrell deserves his time in the limelight. This is complex and glorious stuff. Layers of green apple, peach, mixed fresh citrus and melon fruits are lifted by liquid rock, steely mineral and faint perfume of white flowers along with a silkiness of mouth feel. While still delightfully crisp, [this delivers] an exciting energy filled performance. This is a winery that about to break out and join some elite company, in fact they are riding high after winning, as mentioned, the famous Riesling Cup award with their unique multi (Grand) cru Von den Grossen Lagen Trocken Riesling. This wine is just extra proof there is real quality here! The lightly golden hued and generously textured Paradies will age well. It’s full of charm, class and potential. Best to let this one have another 3 to 5 years, though it certainly is delicious right now.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 94 points “Very clean and fresh, but behind the effusive, fruit-salad character that makes this so seductive, there is a lot of structure and the finish keeps pumping out the fruit and chalky minerality. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A stunning prestige cuvee from a top Champagne house.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $125 special, 18 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that’s highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Taittinger’s 2007 Comtes de Champagne will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Today, the 2007 comes across as a slightly more open version of the 2004, with freshness that makes that wine so appealing, and a touch of textural richness that recalls the 2002. Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Taittinger’s prestigious Comtes de Champagne is composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger (Côte des Blancs). The citrus-golden colored 2007 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the fourth in a row after the 2004 vintage (which will be followed by 2008 whereas there will be no Comtes from 2009, 2010 and 2011) and opens with a nobly intense yet nuanced bouquet of ripe fruits, chalk, iodine and a touch of brioche. The wine indicates a coolish and precise character on the clear, flinty nose that develops lemon, pastry and floral notes. On the palate, this is Taittinger at its best: clear, fresh, lush and elegant, offering both sensuality and noble elegance. The 2007 reveals great finesse and is a perfect expression of both the Taittinger style and the Côte de Blancs. The wine (of which 5% has spent four months in oak barrels to give roundness and a touch of toast) is tightly woven, well concentrated and even juicy yet always clear, fresh, pure, fine and elegant. The finish is intense, clean, vivacious and complex, with good grip and lingering salty minerals that indicate good aging potential. Disgorged in October 2017; tasted in May 2018.”

One of the two or three best values in Zinfandel out there.
Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvee Zinfandel, Alexander Valley 2017 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
‘The 2017 Zinfandel Angeli, from a site in Alexander Valley, is rich, pliant and expressive. Super-ripe black cherry, hard candy, new leather, lavender and mint give the Angeli decidedly dark shades of expression. This sumptuous, flavorful Zinfandel should drink well for another decade or more.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

What a bottle of Brunello.  The top 2013’s are some of the best out there.
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($89.95) $61.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino lives up to the impeccable reputation garnered by this estate over the years. This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint. This Brunello shows elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future ahead. Some 200,000 bottles were made, so it should be easy to locate this excellent wine.”
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 95 points “Bright red. Pure, refined red cherry and wild strawberry aromas and flavors complicated by sweet spices and aromatic herbs. Deep and multilayered, the wine boasts polished tannins and a harmonious acid spine that lifts and extends the red fruit on the long, suave finish. An essence of Sant’Angelo in Colle with bigger body and palate weight than, for example, the Brunellos of Montosoli, but still sleek and refined as the best wines of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be. The cool-climate-styled 2013 vintage is precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels: this lovely, focused wine is the best classico Brunello from Il Poggione in years. Superb.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $77


Collector’s Corner

Just Arrived: 

The Best of the Best: Cristal’s New Vinotheques

William Kelley asks the question we’ve all been seriously considering: “Is Louis Roederer today the greatest of Champagne’s Grandes Marques?”

In a recently published overview in the Wine Advocate, Kelley goes on today to state that the quality of  Roederer’s wines, along with their “unparalleled commitment to organic and biodynamic farming” put the venerable estate “two decades ahead of many of their rivals.” Indeed, Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Roederer’s chef des caves, asserts that this obsession over farming (already a hallmark for Selosse and every top producer in Burgundy) produces better wines “what he likes to call ‘the pursuit of taste.’”

Looking at his new reviews (along with the scores of other major critics), it looks as though Roederer might have a lead even over Krug—especially with the debut of the new Cristal Vinotheque program.

Roederer’s Cristal is one of the premier bottlings in Champagne—a tete du cuvee that always lives up to the hype.  Even better than Cristal? Cristal Vinotheque—a late released bottling that represents the absolute pinnacle of what Roederer is capable of.

We’re pleased to offer two stunning vintages of Cristal Vinotheque: 1995 and 1996. The pair may represent the best back to back vintages in Champagne’s history—certainly we can’t think of a better duo off the top of our heads (we weren’t around to taste the ’61/’62 combo when they were young, but if you want to argue that, go for it).  Cristal excelled in both years and the newly released Vinotheques are anything you could ever want in Champagne.

Kelley goes into plenty of detail about how much care and effort went into these two releases in his article (the two vintages aged both sur latte and sur pointe for different periods of time based on how Lecaillon felt they were evolving) and we’d heartily recommend a read.  We’d also suggest you grab one of our last remaining bottles/magnums—these aren’t going to be around for long.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut, Champagne 1995 750ML ($1,299.95) $1,199 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut, Champagne 1995 1.5L ($2,699.95) $2,499 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Decanter 99 points
“This Vinothèque version hasn’t moved from Roederer’s cellars in Reims until now. During its long evolution, it has spent ten years on its lees and then another ten on cork. Significantly, it also receives a lower dosage than the original Cristal release. Supremely seductive and endlessly complex, it has a generous, supple texture and intense yet delicate filigree flavours of sweet yellow fruits, quince, nougat, cream, patisserie and savoury hazelnut. Still remarkably young and fresh, this dances across your palate and has a long, savoury, autolytic finish. Charming beyond compare.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “This amazing wine is timeless. Just hinting a golden hue, the nose offers layers of toastiness balanced by an impressive amount of fruit and freshness. At 23 years old, it still has some life in it, showing bright citrus and minerality. Let it breathe before drinking to bring out all the subtleties.”
James Suckling 98 points “A very different style to the 1996, this has much more savory, autolytic influence. Fresh, chalky aromas with hazelnuts and grilled lemons, as well as a super fine, toasty thread. There’s roasted coffee, smoky grilled lemons and a big mouthful of fresh white peaches and truffles. Gently nutty. Pulls into chalk at the finish. Eight years sur latte and seven years sur pointe. Disgorged with 7g dosage of the same wine. Drink now to 2025.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96+ points “Disgorged in 2010 and re-launched in September 2017, Roederer’s low dosed 1995 Cristal Vinotheque (dosage: six to seven grams per liter) is very intense on the nose and shows lovely maturity. Due to the vintage, which saw some rain in the summer, the Chardonnay part is a bit higher than usual (43% instead of 40%), with just 57% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ). Five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 15% underwent malolactic fermentation (only the Pinot Noir though). The palate is rich and vinous but also pure, straight and fresh, finishing with a tight structure, persistent minerality and a yeasty character. Tasted in Reims in May 2018.”

Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut, Champagne 1996 1.5L ($2,999.95) $2,799 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Antonio Galloni 100 points
“One of the many highlights of the afternoon, the 1996 Cristal Vinothèque (magnum) exudes a level of richness and intensity that is simply breathtaking. That extra kick of richness the 1996 has developed in magnum and over extended time on the lees is pure magic in balancing some of the natural austerity of the year. What comes through is a Champagne of unforgettable profoundness. Smoke, crushed rocks, white flowers, mint and finely sculpted citrus confit/orchard fruit add striking layers of dimensions. The 1996 is so bright and so alive in the glass. A whole range of Chardonnay inflections punctuate the finish…” [Review is for a late disgorgement from 2009]
Wine Enthusiast 100 points “A re-release from one of the legendary vintages of the last 30 years, this Champagne still shows some of the intense acidity that marked that year. It has gained maturity, but it’s an ageless, magnificent wine. Although it is ready to drink, it will hold well through 2029.”
James Suckling 99 points “The wine starts with attractive, reductive, toasty aromas, then freshens with air to offer fresh flowers and very fine lime peel and lemon pith, as well as grapefruit and yellow plums. The palate has an intense, fine and fresh feel with super long, lemon and lime flavors, together with subtle, nutty moments that will build with time on cork. Then, a late, spicy edge and super tart, mouthwatering grapefruit. Seemingly endless length and potential. Kept on the lees for its entire life and disgorged in 2012. Dosage of 7g using 1996 wine – as pure as possible. A must for every collector of great Champagne.”
Decanter 98 points “A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, this is a truly remarkable champagne offering pure, unalloyed pleasure now and for many years yet. It has a fabulous nose showing freshness and fruit with supple, savoury aromas of brioche and cox’s apple. The acidity is vibrant, light and taut yet somehow also exhibits lovely roundness and a gorgeous satin-like texture. The palate spectrum is mind-boggling, with flavours ranging from cashew, cream, nougat and toast to white pear, citrus and crystallised fruits. Supremely balanced and refined, it finishes with a sumptuously long, savoury-umami finish.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 1996 Cristal Vinothéque spent 10 years sur lattes and four years sur pointe (for an explanation of those terms, readers are directed to the accompanying article) before disgorgement. Opening in the glass with a complex bouquet of dried fruits, honeycomb, fresh butter, lemon oil, spices and smoke, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and integrated, its racy spine of vintage-typical acidity elegantly cloaked in crisp but fleshy fruit, with terrific concentration and a long, precise finish. Incisive and powerful, this is a 1996 Champagne that has turned out very well indeed.”

Thanks for reading!