In Today’s Newsletter:
New Arrivals Including:
Cristom, Goodfellow, Cameron, Peyrassol,
Chemarin, Lisini, Costers del Priorat, and More!
Vinous Raves About 2016 in the Nahe (Donnhoff and More)!
Linne Calodo is Searching for Perfection in Paso
Catch a Rising Star: Thibaud Boudignon’s Electric Savennieres
Cranking the Heat in May: Upcoming Wines Galore!
Classic Chablis at Old School Pricing
The April Sale Ends in a Few Days!
Baby Sassicaia (San Guido’s Secret Wine)
New Arrivals: Rosé
Cristom Estate Rose Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
VinopolNote: This crisp wine is named for the onion skin color that Pinot Gris takes on with just a little skin contact. The result is a wine that drinks like a delicious rosé, but with a year or two in bottle will develop a bit more texture and richness like a skin-contact white. Super tasty and always a favorite.
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Commanderie de Peyrassol’ Rose, Provence 2017 1.5L ($61.95) $49 special
Importer note “As always, the 2017 version of the workhorse of the Peyrassol cellar is built on the backs of Cinsault and Grenache, with Syrah, Rolle, Ugni Blanc, and Clairette playing minor supporting roles. Pouring a classic silvery salmon color, the fruit is pitched toward red: ripe strawberry, red apple, stony cherry. The dense yet tightly focused palate shows the natural concentration of the vintage, and the finish is prolonged by a mouthwatering, very gently bitter sensation of tannin.”
Importer note “Made entirely from estate fruit in 2017, “Chateau” is primarily Cinsault, with increasingly smaller amounts of Grenache, Mourvedre, Tibouren, and Syrah. This is a higher-toned, more floral, more filigree wine than its brother above, with subtle herbal notes framing clean, lifted fruit on the nose. Though equally as dense—and perhaps more penetrating due to its more overt mineral character—it is no richer than the “Commanderie,” and it expresses the vintage’s firm tension with elegance.”
Winery Note “This is the perfect introduction to Goodfellow Chardonnay. Our Chardonnay spends 21 months on the lees in neutral and new French oak puncheons. The Willamette Valley bottling is bright and crisp, with the texture and complexity that comes with extended elevage. Vineyard sources: Whistling Ridge and Durant Vineyards.”
VinopolNote: Briary with a round mouthfeel but not over the top in fruit or alcohol. This is a blend of mostly Foster Farms Vineyard and one block of Armstrong Vineyard.Nielson By Byron Chardonnay, Santa Barbera 2014 750ML ($21.95) $16 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “The assemblage of the 2015 Cotes du Rhone includes only 50% Grenache, with the balance made up of 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Cinsault and 5% Counoise. Perhaps as a result, it displays ample complexity on the nose and palate, with scents and flavors reminiscent of thyme, lavender and bay leaf alongside cherry and red berry fruit. It’s medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, dry finish that elevates it well above ordinary. No, it’s not a massive blockbuster, but it’s a fine, elegant, unoaked table wine at a bargain price.”Nicolas Chemarin Regnie Les Haute Ronze, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, mineral-laced aromas of ripe red and dark berries, violet and licorice. Sappy and penetrating, offering bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Concentrated yet lithe, delivering excellent finishing clarity and strong, mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “I have not seen a Riserva from Lisini for a while, so this wine comes as a pleasant surprise. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva takes us back to one of the warmest vintages in re-cent memory. However, this wine holds nicely with plenty of lush primary fruit to keep it smelling and tasting younger than its years. Dark cherry and dried blackberry rise to the top. Soon to follow are layers of spice and sweet tobacco. The mouthfeel is thickly layered but vel-vety smooth all the while”.
From the superlative Ugolaia cru, a 3.7-acre, southeast-facing vineyard by the same name, planted in 1978 with selected grafts (top grafted onto wild vines by Lisini senior experts). Crops are 1.1 kilo per rootstock, and élevage is 36 months in Slavonian oak barrels (11-20 hl.), followed by 18 months’ bottle age.
Importer Note “This special albariño from Do Ferreiro is sourced from vines in the Salnes Valley that are over 200 years old. Tasting Notes: Intense citrus and ripe tropical fruit on the nose with delicate white floral notes in the background with elegant and intense saline minerality. Broad and long, dense and silky, with the fruity and floral aromas along with stone fruit. Palate has notes of balsamic with good acidity, and freshness; great balance. This will be a very long-lived vintage.”
Importer note “Blanc de Pissarres is derived from the word “pizarra” which is “slate” in Spanish. Made in small quantities, this white wine is sourced from selected parcels in the vineyards of Sant Martí and Mas Alsera. It is a blend of three local varieties: Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, and Pedro Ximénez. Vinification Grapes are de-stemmed and crushed with 10 days of skin contact before fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Finished in 1,000L foudres.Tasting Notes: The nose shows the marked personality of the Priorat’s White Grenache, with its characteristic notes of white flowers, herbs and fruit skin. The palate is unctuous, with citrus and smoky flavours. The finish is very persistent and offers a surprising and lovely sweet touch. It is the warm and charming footprint of the Pedro Ximenez variety, in interesting balance with a fresh and genuine minerality.”
Importer note “Pissarres is derived from the word “pizarra” which is “slate” in Spanish. This wine is a blend of grapes from Mas Alsera in Torroja del Priorat and Sant Martí in Bellmunt, Costera del Priorat’s flagship wine encompasses both the rugged center of Priorat as well as the region’s warm south. Vinification: A mix of de-stemmed and whole-cluster grapes are fermented with indigenous yeast in cement vats. The wine is then aged 12 months in 2,300L and 3,000L Slovenian oak barrels and amphoras.”
“No German Riesling region can boast more consistent and distinctively delicious success in vintage 2016 than the Nahe, but terroir and weather don’t offer the full explanation… Without question, the Nahe is replete with extraordinary locations for growing Riesling. The 2016 vintage showcases how these are able to strike a critical balance between water retention and drainage as well as between, on the one hand, sun exposure and heat retention sufficient to promote ripeness and, on the other, cool enough conditions, especially at night, to preserve acidity. But it isn’t just the terroir here that’s talented: the region’s top growers are among the most adept anywhere in Germany.” – David Schildknecht, Vinous
Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2016 750ml ($37.95) $33 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “A head-turningly variegated and intriguing nose features saffron, thyme, marjoram and lemon zest, as well as an intimation of the raw-scallop-like saline-sweet savor that goes on to captivate the salivary glands on a superbly sustained finish. The feel is flatteringly silken, and there is a welcome sense of buoyancy even at 12.5% alcohol. (For background on this fascinating quartzitic slate site and its vines, planted in the 1930s and featuring unusually loose clusters, consult my review of the inaugural 2015 Abtei bottling. The Rumpfs are planting additional adjacent vines. Note also that in reviewing the 2015, I neglected to add “Ruppertsberg” – which only appears in small print on the wine’s back label – to the official name of the site.)”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “Suggestions of rutabaga mingle with thyme, oregano, and intimations of fresh lemon on the nose, then translate into a brightly juicy, intriguingly earthy impression on a palpably high-extract palate. This finishes with glowing piquancy, consummate refreshment and plenty of intrigue. It should prove fascinating to follow.”
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David Schildknecht-Vinous 91 points “This year’s Kahlenberg – unlike its 2015 predecessor – is just as austere in its firmness, piquancy and initial impression of stone wet as the corresponding Tonschiefer bottling. But there is a juicier abundance of apple, grapefruit and white peach, and the finish is more refined, featuring the invigorating crunch of mustard seed and the bite of huckleberry, pleasantly pungent green herbal nuances, and impressive transparency to tinglingly stony and mouthwateringly maritime mineral nuances. “Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “Predictably, Hermannshöhle is once again intriguingly complex. Gentian, buddleia, thyme, smoky black tea, white peach and lime mingle on the nose, then reconvene on a fleshy, full-bodied yet compactly concentrated and brightly juicy palate. The formidable finish displays greater piquancy, underlying stoniness and sheer grip albeit not quite the same vibrancy as its Dellchen sibling. It will be fascinating to compare these two as they evolve in bottle.”
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2016 375ML ($49.95) $39 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 95 points “‘You had to search all across the surface of Hermannshöhle to find any significant amount of botrytis this year,’ explained Dönnhoff, adding that this wine, no less than last year’s remarkable pair of TBAs, was only possible thanks to the much larger share of this site that the Dönnhoffs control since they swapped Kupfergrube for Hermannshöhle with Gut Hermannsberg. Ripe white peach, pear, fig and pineapple colorfully, almost riotously dominate the nose and the luscious, glycerol-slicked, dense yet delightfully buoyant palate. Piquant peach kernel and pear seed supply welcome counterpoint and green herbal notes provide counteracting coolness, while an influx of quince reminds me of this year’s two Spätlesen, though here it takes jellied form. The wine’s high residual sugar is completely tamed, so if ‘Auslese Goldkapsel’ has you imagining something conspicuously sweet, think again. But the taming isn’t thanks to extreme acidity. ‘You have to be careful that nobly sweet Riesling remains taut [straff] but doesn’t become too harsh [streng],’ observed Dönnhoff. ‘I mean, there are BAs and TBAs nowadays that need decades before they would even become pleasant to drink!’ Not a problem here. The finish is sustained as energetically as it is richly.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “A fascinatingly multifaceted nose incorporates wet stone, leather and almond extract with more familiar white peach, quince and lime. A seductive aura of lily-like perfume hangs over this entire performance. The palate is palpably dense despite alcoholic levity, and subtly creamy while retaining animating primary juiciness. In common with its Brücke sibling, this leans more toward quince as it launches into a finish of honeyed richness – a function of nearly overripe but also nearly botrytis-free berries – yet retaining freshness as well as transparency to crystalline stony mineral nuances. “Under the right conditions,” observed Dönnhoff, “Hermannshöhle delivers something extra in the realm of sweetness, and for that you need cool nights that preserve slightly harder acidity” – which 2016 delivered in spades. Look for significantly more from this bottling after it’s had a decade or so in bottle.”Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($74.95) $59 special
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 1.5L ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special, ETA May
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “Musky hints of peony and iris mingle with sea breeze and scents of ripe white peach on a nose that reflects the floral and marine mineral mystery that seem to be part and parcel of Riesling from this great site. While the texture is silken, there are insistent impingements of mustard seed, peach fuzz and crystalline stones that add to the sense of vibrancy and invigoration conveyed on a superbly sustained finish. The cooling, inhalative sense of floral and herbal perfume hauntingly remains even after the fruit and mineral flavors have finally subsided. This wine reinforces the intuition I had when tasting Schneider’s collection, namely that this vintage of Dellchen will continue in bottle to give Hermannshöhle unusually tough competition.”
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “A lovely, site-typical nose favors irresistibly seductive floral perfume of cherry blossom, rowan and honeysuckle, garlanding luscious pear and white peach laced with bright lime. The buoyant palate is subtly creamy yet simultaneously animating and brightly juicy, prompting an irresistible urge to take the next sip long before the superbly-sustained finish has died away.”
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 95 points “The site-typical nose delivers a head-turningly fragrant rush of buddleia and heliotrope, while anticipating the juicy, piquant, crunchy fresh red raspberry, pit-inflected white peach and lime that dominate a silken, almost creamy, yet animatingly bright palate. Inner-mouth perfume rises seductively as fresh ginger adds incisive invigoration and an influx of quince reinforces the sense of richness. On one level, the finish is penetratingly bright and vibrantly animating, preserving invigoratingly piquant hints of seeds and pits. Yet simultaneously it seems to float with near-endless suspension into the ether, subtly echoing the complexities that went before and adding a mouthwatering hint of salinity.”
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “Bosc pear, lime, struck flint and wet stone on the nose anticipate the brightly juicy, snappy, strongly stone-inflected impression on a polished, buoyant palate. Here is an excellent example of density allied to levity and animation such as vintage 2016 is especially capable of delivering. This finishes with an impressive sense of energy and a striking, undulating interplay of fruit and mineral elements. It’s likely to follow in a line of Leistenberg Kabinetts that display stamina in bottle.”
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Newly Reviewed and Re-Arriving in May!
Weingut Donnhoff Roxheimer Hollenpfad Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 90 points “Prominent peach kernel piquancy, peat-like smokiness and an aura of quarry dust combine for a sense of austerity on the nose, which a bit of oiliness helps assuage on the palate. This bottling conveys an overt sense of high extract but it’s not muscle-bound, and its gripping finish boasts admirable fresh peach juiciness and transparency to smoky-stony nuances as well as invigorating bites of mustard seed and black pepper. It can’t hurt to give this a bit more time, though I confess that although 2016 represents the sixth installment of Dönnhoff’s Roxheimer Riesling, I have not yet had an opportunity to witness how it evolves in bottle. (For more about this fascinating and historically renowned sandstone site, consult my note on the Dönnhoff 2014.)”
Weingut Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2016 750ML ($27.95) $20.90 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “Suggestive sweetness of honeysuckle and lily-of-the-valley mingle with scents of fig and white peach on the nose, and a delightful corresponding interplay of luscious fruit and inner-mouth perfume prevails on a buoyant, silken palate. Savory and piquant suggestions of sprouted grains, citrus zest and marine minerals contribute to the invigoration and saliva-inducement of a lip-smackingly lingering finish that manages at once to caress, stimulate and refresh. Once again, this is something of a little (as in “delicate” and “low alcohol”) masterpiece. It’s so charming and ingratiating that, just as with Dönnhoff’s Kirschheck Spätlese, I think it’s easy to underestimate the accomplishment represented by such poise, beauty and irresistible drinkability. This might well keep pace in bottle with the corresponding Leistenberg (a wine with which I have considerable experience of aged exemplars, whereas I haven’t drunk a Krötenpfuhl older than six years.)”
The Search for the Perfect Paso Pour
“Not a year goes by when Matt Trevisan doesn’t tell me that he’s still fine-tuning his style and thinking as much as possible about ways to reach his potential as a winemaker–and, increasingly, as a grower. A quick look at the names of his wines gives one an idea of his curious nature and he’s one of the more reflective producers that I visit, anywhere. He reminds me a lot, in fact, of Jean-Louis Chave, another young vigneron who, like Trevisan, is constantly questioning his own work even though his wines are consistently among the very best examples of his appellation.” – Josh Raynolds – Vinous
It takes a lot of drive to reach the top of an appellation. The amount of time and energy that a young winemaker has to spend thinking about and refining his/her craft to be considered one of the top producers in a region is enormous. To reach the top, then, and continue to obsessively refine one’s craft takes a certain mindset that’s uncommon—it’s very easy to rest on your laurels.
Linne Calodo has become one of the preeminent producers of Paso Robles wines—made from creative blends that increasingly are coming from estate fruit off of their 20 acre vineyard. They continue to refine and work, though—they’ve moved to increasing amounts of large-format cooperage and although the wines are still massive they’ve become increasingly refined. These are special wines, up there with any big reds coming out of the state and they deserve your attention.
In Stock Now from Linne Calodo
Linne Calodo ‘Perfectionist’, Paso Robles 2014 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Deep ruby. A highly complex, spice-laced bouquet evokes black and blue fruit preserves, incense and Moroccan spices, and a smoky mineral quality adds lift. Stains the palate with concentrated, sharply delineated boysenberry and cassis liqueur flavors that are energized by a spine of juicy acidity. Definitely rich, but shows outstanding energy and clarity as well. Finishes sweet, velvety and extremely long, leaving notes of candied flowers and spicecake behind.”
72% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre
Linne Calodo ‘Problem Child’, Paso Robles 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 19% Mourvèdre and 7% Syrah, the 2015 Problem Child has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of blueberry preserves, dried mulberries and preserved plums with touches of baking spices, violets and raspberry leaves. Full-bodied and full-on rich and seductive, it has lovely spicy and berry preserves palate with plush tannins and a long, peppery finish.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Dark purple. Deeply perfumed, spice- and mineral-accented cherry liqueur, boysenberry and black currant aromas are complemented by a sexy floral nuance. Shows impressive depth as well as nerve to the sweet black and blue fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors, which are sharpened by a jolt of juicy acidity. Supple, harmonious tannins sneak in steadily, adding focus and shape to an impressively long, mineral-laced finish.”
Linne Calodo Rising Tides Red, Paso Robles 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Vivid ruby. Intense red fruit liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille aromas develop suggestions of licorice and smoky minerals in the glass. Sappy and deeply concentrated yet impressively energetic as well, offering palate-staining raspberry and cherry compote flavors given lift and spine by a core of juicy acidity. Shows a striking combination of richness and elegance and finishes extremely long and seamless; supple tannins sneak in slowly to add shape and grip.”
54% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 14% Syrah, 2% Tannat
Thibaud Boudignon is a rising star winemaker in the Loire whose name will be well known in a few years, even if it isn’t now. The wines he’s making now are some of the most electric whites in the Loire. He’s based in Savennières and the wines have the power you associate with the AOC, packed into a tight beam of minerality. They’re incredibly intense wines and are going to age into real beauties.
Thibaud Boudignon is originally from Bordeaux (don’t hold it against him) but earned his winemaking chops in Burgundy under the tutillage of Phillipe Charlopin before moving to Chateau Soucherie to become their winemaker and oversee their modern revitalization. He left Soucherie after their ownership change to start his own domaine and hasn’t looked back since. These are some of the most can’t miss wines coming out of the Loire right now and if you like dry Chenin you owe it to yourself to stock up.
Arriving Friday, May 4th:
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Importer note “100% Cabernet Franc from 37 year old vines grown in shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil) and sand. Indigenous yeast fermentation with no malo. Aged 4-6 months stainless steel.”
Importer note “With a tight core of saline terroir enveloped within ripe medium bodied fruit, this chenin blanc delivers a focused example of Thibaud’s style of ripe fruit matched with elegance and precision.”
Importer note “100% Chenin Blanc from 35 year old, high density plantings grown on shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil. Indigenous yeast fermentation with no malo. Aged in 350l and 700l barrels (30% new).”
Importer note ” We tend to think Thibaud is redefining Savennières. He takes all of the unruly power and energy of Chenin Blanc on Schist and focuses it into a laser beam of flavor and texture. A truly phenomenal Savennières.”
Importer note “100% Chenin Blanc from the lieu-dit of ‘Les Fougerais’ in the heart of Savennieres – near Coulée de Serrant and La Roche aux Moines. These are 45 year old, high density plantings grown on grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil). Indigenous yeast fermentation with no malo. Aged in 350l and 700l barrels (30% new).”
Importer note “The newest addition to Thibaud’s range of Chenin Blanc comes from a half hectare plot within the Clos de la Hutte (1.5ha) lieu-dit. The vines are young but the wine is profound. There is a long history to this site and Thibaud is channeling every bit of it here. The volumes are miniscule – 1000 bottles released.”
Importer note “100% Chenin Blanc from the ‘Clos de La Hutte’ in the hamlet of La Possonniere. These are 4 year old, high density plantings grown on solid schist, some spots to the surface, others 30cm sand before hitting the mother rock. Indigenous yeast fermentation with no malo. Aged in 350l and 700l barrels (30% new).”
The next best price is $123
and next month is just around the corner…!
Muga Delivers a Superior Version of a Landmark Wine
Muga is considered one of the finest old producers of Rioja, combining a traditionalist approach with modern cellar techniques. Up and down the line, their wines offer tremendous value—these are wines that will age into dynamic, complex beauties. The Prado especially is worth paying attention to. With proper age, it’s a wine that can be the best bottle in almost any company, which makes it a steal. We have a tranche arriving in May at especially sharp pricing—you’re going to want to stock up.
Arriving ETA May:
Bodegas Muga ‘Prado Enea’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 99 points “The wonderfully silky texture with an added juiciness is what makes this wine so very special. The flawless and seamless nature to the wine is so impressive that it takes you breath away. Plenty of beautiful fruit but what mouthfeel. Drink now and forever.”
Decanter 96 points “Only made in the best vintages, and they don’t get any better than 2010, this is a brooding, ageworthy blend of mostly Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo. It’s rich, dark and complex with stylish tannins and scented oak.”
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points “This is an excellent 2013 with such purity and finesse. Cherry, stone and light cedar aromas follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Hints of cedar. It shows a focused energy. Drink now.”
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Wine Advocate 92 points “A super effort, the 2016 Gigondas les Pigieres boasts complex notes of dried herbs layered over ripe cherries and raspberries. This full-bodied, unoaked blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah manages to be fully ripe and creamy in texture without showing any alcoholic warmth. Drink it over the next decade.”
Case-12 Domaine Font Sarade Vacqueyras Premier Vin, Rhone 2015 750ML ($299.95) $259 pre-arrival special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “My favorite in the line, the 2015 Vacqueyras Le Premier Vin checks in as 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre that spent 14 months in French oak. It’s a killer bottle of wine and has lots of blackberries, cassis, smoked herbs and licorice aromas and flavors. Ripe, sexy and opulent, with low acidity and sweet tannin, drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”
Case-12 Domaine Font Sarade Vacqueyras Les Hauts de la Ponche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 91+ points “The 2016 Vacqueyras Les Hauts de La Ponche checks in as 50% Grenache and 25% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, completely destemmed and aged all in concrete tanks. It’s another early bottled wine from this estate that has medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black, black fruits, charcoal, and graphite aromatics and solid concentration. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age, which is unusual for a Vacqueyras.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “I enjoyed all of the wines from this estate, but I was blown away by the complexity and purity of the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Marquis Anselme Mathieu, which was made in concrete and aged in foudre. Not only does it show beautiful cherry and stone fruit notes, it layers on hints of clove, allspice, garrigue and green peppercorn. There’s ample weight and texture on the palate, with the plush tannins drawing to a silky, spicy finish that lingers for minutes.”Domaine de Fontavin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee David & Goliath, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “A hugely impressive effort, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape David et Goliath favors the giant. Christmas spices and dark fruit both lead the way and linger on the finish. The real story is the wine’s richness on the palate, where it packs a velvety wallop of soft, plush tannins. It’s 95% Grenache from Les Saumades, matured in demi-muids.”
#7 Wine Spectator Wine Of The Year 2017
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts a wide swath, with mouthwatering tobacco and warm ganache notes leading the way, followed by a wave of fig, blackberry and black currant preserves. Shows remarkable definition already, even though the structure is strident. Tempting now, but just put this in the back of the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035. 4,083 cases made.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “One of the wines of the vintage, the 2014 Canon La Gaffelière is explosive, lifted and aristocratic in its breeding. Bright Cabernet Franc aromatics give the wine its signature lift and precision. Raspberry jam, rose petal, mint, blood orange, tobacco and pomegranate build slowly on the palate, leading to a super-expressive, finely knit finish. Powerful yet also impeccably refined, the 2014 has it all. The 2014 is 55 % Merlot, 37 % Cabernet Franc and 8 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Don’t miss it. Tasted two times.”
La Chablisienne is the classic co-op in the heart of Chablis. Much like the Produttori del Barbaresco, they deliver classic renditions of their appellation in an affordable price point. We’ve got the classic premier cru “Les Lys” arriving in July and it’s exactly what you look for in classic Chablis. Fermented in stainless and from a crisp, cool vintage, this has all of the stony, green apple qualities we look for in wines from the AOC.—even better, it’s under $30!
La Chablisienne Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding! A subtle touch of wood sets off airy and elegant aromas of cool wet stone, tidal pool, algae and green apple. There is an equally cool and restrained mouth feel to the delicate, intense and delineated middle weight flavors that deliver excellent length on the lacy and chiseled finale. This is a classic Les Lys of finesse.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
April is about to draw to a close and with it the April Sale! Don’t miss the incredible deals on any of the over 50 wines on sale through the end of the month! Want to see all of them? Just click here to see a full list on our website!
Kermit Lynch “To get to the nitty gritty: you get a lot of Burgundian style, class, depth, and complexity for a great price.”
The average price is $31
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 92 points “The 2009 Brut Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites is another striking wine from Aubry. Lemon peel, almonds, white flowers and spices are laced together in a Champagne endowed with a real sense of phenolic weight and verticality. Many of the current releases from Aubry are finely cut this year, but the Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites is a wine that is very much tied to the ground. The 2009 is 25% Pinot Blanc/Fromenteau, 20% Petit Meslier, 15% Arbanne, 15% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir. Bottled February 2014. Dosage is 3 grams per liter.”
The average price is $65
Josh Raynolds 93 points “(made from fruit grown on a single site of the same name on the schist soils of the northern Côte Brune sector of the appellation; vinified entirely from whole clusters): Bright purple. Smoke- and mineral-tinged dark fruit aromas complement floral, olive and spice elements that gain strength with air. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering lively blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Puts on weight with air and finishes spicy, broad and very long, with fine-grained tannins adding shape and grip.”
The average price is $56
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92 points “From the Cote Brune side of the appellation, from the lieu-dit la Viaillere, the 2013 Cote Rotie la Viaillere is more ripe, sexy and textured than the Neve releases, and has fabulous notes of kirsch, black raspberries, peppery spice, licorice and garrigue. Not destemmed and raised in used barrels, this beauty bucks the vintage stereotype and is medium to full-bodied, has ripe tannin and a seamless, forward texture that makes it already hard to resist. Nevertheless, it will have 10-12 years of overall longevity.”
The average price is $56
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata is superb. A delicate, nuanced wine in this vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon speaks in hushed tones. Silky tannins and highly expressive aromatics add to an impression of total finesse. In many vintages, the Cabernet can be quite big, but not in 2013. This is a brilliant showing from Isole and proprietor Paolo De Marchi.”
The next best price is $65.98
Wine Spectator 89 points “Features a fresh red currant and pomegranate fruit core, laced with light chalk, savory and green olive accents, maintaining chalky cut through the light-bodied finish. Approachable, but pure and balanced enough to cellar for a touch. Drink now through 2020. 115 cases imported.”
The next best price is $21.89
Antonio Galloni 91 points “[Reviewed Apr 2014] Smoke, menthol, licorice, incense and grilled herbs all meld together in the 2000 Paleo Rosso. The 2000 retains good freshness and vibrancy, even if it lacks the personality of the years that follow. Grilled herbs, cassis and plums flesh out on the finish. Overall, the 2000 is a bit on the soft, delicate side, which suggests any remaining bottles should be enjoyed sooner rather than later. The 2000 is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc, the highest amount of Franc ever in the blend up to this point.[Vinopolis note: the back label just reads Cabernet Franc]”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2000 Paleo, a classic Bordeaux blend in this vintage, shows a high toast, vanilla-laced nose of cassis, blackberries, and Cabernet Franc herbs, and a supple, well concentrated palate of ripe fruit, minerals, and tar. The depth and intensity of 1999 are not here, but no one else achieved them in 2000 either. Drink: 2005-2018.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “Rich currant, blackberry and bark aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with loads of fruit and round, velvety tannins. Very long and rich. Paleo is slowly changing to a classic Bolgheri Cab blend, and the wine is much better. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.”
The next best price is $80.99
Arriving in October
Sassicaia is the most famous wine from Tenuta San Guido, indeed one of the most famous wines in all of Italy. Though very few people know it, the estate also makes lower tier wines that can be quite excellent, especially for their prices. The wine we’re highlighting now is one such gem and is a blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese that shows San Guido’s practiced hand. This is one to stock up on!
Arriving ETA October:
Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($27.95) $19.50 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 90 points “A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, the 2016 Le Difese shows a more evident touch of ripe fruit that you don’t perceive in the Guidalberto, which makes me think it comes from the Sangiovese component that is only used in this wine. The overall effect of that ripeness is that it downplays the wine’s inner complexity. But this entry-level red from Tenuta San Guido was never aiming for huge complexity to begin with. Dark cherry and cherry is followed by wild strawberry and tangy rose hip. This wine happily delivers on its promises of freshness and accessibility.”
Thanks for reading!