Weekend VinopolPick 6-2-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

June Sale Spectacular: Elouan
Saint Cosme’s Classic Gigondas – Is it the Best Ever?

New Arrivals:
Rosé, Vincent, Pepiere’s Clisson, Gimmonet,
Graillot, Heredia, Produttori & More!

Stuart Pigott With New Alsatian Reviews
Rock Out With Bow & Arrow’s Air Guitar
2x Dry Riesling Reviews from Grapelive
Good Things (Deals on Kermit Lynch Wine) Come in Threes
Baby Sassicaia: San Guido’s Secret Wine
2016 Ports, Some of Them Perfect


A June Sale Spectacular

From the Creators of Meomi


(AKA Meomi 2: Electric Boogaloo)

We’re kicking off the June with some spectacular sale wines from the creators of the smash hit Pinot Noir Meomi.  We have the Elouan Pinot Noir at outrageous pricing, plus hard to find magnums of the Elouan rose and magnums of the Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Pinot Noir.  Keep reading to find a full spreadsheet of the June Clearance Sale wines at the bottom of the newsletter or just click here to see the full list on our website! 

Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 Clearance Price
Case-6 Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon 2016 750ML ($129.95) $99 Clearance Price (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon 2016 750ML ($249.95)
$179 Clearance Price (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator
88 points “Well-knit and approachable, with delicate raspberry and spice flavors. Drink now through 2022.”

Elouan Rose, Oregon 2016 1.5L ($39.95) $29 Clearance Price

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Elouan Rose, Oregon 2017 1.5L ($39.95) $29 Clearance Price

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Belle Glos ‘Clark & Telephone’ Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $79 Clearance Price
Winery note “The color is a deep scarlet-red with lush aromas of blackberry bramble, nutmeg, and hint of caramel. The wine is fresh and exuberant in the mouth with sumptuous strawberry jam, ripe black cherry, cranberry and warm gingerbread. It is perfectly balanced with refreshing acidity, velvety tannins and a hint of toffee carrying through its long finish. When asked to describe this wine, I simply say it’s like a taste of Christmas, all year long!”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!


Just Arrived

St. Cosme’s Classic Gigondas

The Best Version Yet?

“For the reds, Barruol sees 2016 much as the other vignerons I have visited on this trip—with bold ripeness reminiscent of vintages like 2009 and ’10, but with a level of freshness that sets it apart….The pHs are low here too. But not as obviously different from the normal as in Châteauneuf ’16,’ he says, comparing it to his own Gigondas…The quality and style of the vintage is very consistent all over though. The impression of freshness is in all the wines.” – James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Saint Cosme is one of the notable estates of the Southern Rhone. Louis Barroul is a talented winemaker and is the 14th generation of his family to make wines in the domaine that was founded in the 1500’s. The wines he makes are rich and powerful, with undeniable terroir signatures.  To highlight these varying terroirs, the estate bottles a handful of single vineyard Gigondas which are the most interesting and coveted wines in the portfolio.

2016 looks to be an unqualified success for the estate (as with most in the Rhone).  They seem to combine nearly everything we’re looking for in Rhone wines, which reminds us of something like 2005 or 2010—a rare feat.

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($289.95) $219 special
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($519.95) $419 special
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “Even Saint Cosme’s 2016 Gigondas looks built to age. It’s full-bodied and firmly tannic but balanced by ripe fruit notes of cherries, peaches and chocolate.”
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “Looking first at the base 2016 Gigondas, it’s certainly going to be another outstanding wine from Barruol. Based on 70% Grenache and the rest close to an even split of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it offers classic St Cosme notes of dark fruits, tapenade, pepper and smoked earth. It has plenty of tannin and will need 2-3 years of cellaring and shine for a decade or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Arriving Next Friday, June 8th

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 98-100 points “Leading off the special cuvees and from the sandiest parcel of the estate, the 2016 Gigondas Hominis Fides (100% Grenache) has perfection written all over it! Just as fine, elegant and seamless as it gets, yet also with blockbuster depth and richness, it boasts incredible notes of black raspberries, loamy/sandy soils nuances, game, and camphor. Don’t miss it!”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Rich and velvety but undeniably tannic, the 2016 Gigondas Hominis Fides is another stunning wine from proprietor Louis Barruol. Stone fruit, cherries and chocolate notes all mingle easily on the full-bodied palate, ending in a supple flurry of tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $149.99

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 99-100 points “The 2016 Gigondas Le Claux has slightly more mid-palate depth compared to the Hominis Fides, yet is also more tannic and structure. Damp clay, forest floor, currants spice and huge minerality all soar from the glass and this full-bodied beauty has an unctuous texture that’s currently hiding serious amounts of tannin. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 15+.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “More approachable than the blockbuster Le Poste, the 2016 Gigondas le Claux looks to be another Gigondas legend in the making. Apricot and cherry fruit lead the way, backed by masses of creamy, lush tannins and savory notes of dark chocolate and black olive on the long finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $149.99

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 points “Coming from Barruol’s favorite vineyard located on just up the hill from the domaine, the 2016 Gigondas Le Poste is another huge wine, and probably the richness, ripest example of this cuvee I’ve tasted. Possessing almost overflowing amounts of blackberry fruits, graphite, spring flowers and huge minerality, it offers awesome purity, full-bodied richness, and a great, great finish. I can’t wait to taste this from bottle.”
Wine Advocate 96-98 points “Even tasted blind, it’s immediately apparent that the 2016 Gigondas le Poste is something special. It’s a sneaky, seductive kind of special at first, sparked by subtle hints of toast and baking spices, then super ripe Grenache notes of cherries and stone fruit. It’s full-bodied, supple and creamy on the palate, things are cruising right along and then bam! There’s a wall of ripe tannins on the finish, promising so much more in the years and decades ahead. As a singular expression of grape variety, site and vintage, from a vigneron at the top of his game, this is a must for serious collectors.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $149.99

Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Sourced from three lieux-dits (including La Crau), Saint Cosme’s 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a blend of approximately 60% Grenache, 20-25% Mourvèdre and bits and pieces of other varieties. It’s full-bodied, rich and spicy, with hints of cumin, licorice, cinnamon and clove all swirling about on the long finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $59.99
Arriving Friday, June 15th:

Saint Cosme Cote Rotie, Rhone 2016 750ML ($64.95) $52.50 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “Côte-Rôtie is produced from 100% Sérine, an ancient and local variety of Syrah that is markedly different from modern selections. It is more oval, with lots of space in the bunch, resulting in a very aromatic wine. It is sourced from the schist soils of Le Plomb, Besset, La Viallière, and Neve climats. These hillsides are among the steepest in France with an incline as much as 55 degrees. The wine is made with whole cluster fermentation from indigenous yeasts, aged for 12 months in 40% new 228-liter barrels, and bottled without fining or filtration… On the palate, it reveals a fresh attack followed by an ample, structured, long-lasting finish. The wine unfurls in successive stages and ends with top-quality tannins produced by whole cluster fermentation. It features aromas and flavors of smoked ham, violet, graphite, graphite, and licorice.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.99

Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage is produced from 100% Sérine, an ancient and local variety of Syrah …It is made from 100% destemmed grapes, fermented with indigenous yeasts, aged in 20% new 228-liter barrels, and bottled without fining or filtration…Granite slopes rather than flatlands give Saint Cosme’s Crozes-Hermitage greater structure and complexity. The wine shows classic aromas and flavors of black fruits, smoked bacon, black peppercorn, and incense.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.99
Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, Rhone 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph is produced from 100% Sérine, an ancient and local variety of Syrah that is markedly different from modern selections…The wine is made from 70% destemmed with 30% whole clusters, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and aged in 20% new 228-liter barrels… Louis Barruol describes the microclimate of the vineyard Malleval as “very cold” which allows the grapes to retain acidity and showcase the floral aromas of the local Sérine variety. Aromas and flavors of blackberries and wild strawberries are accented by notes of peppercorns, tobacco, peonies, and violets.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.99
Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “Saint Cosme Condrieu is produced from fully-ripened Viognier which Louis Barruol believes is essential to achieving the variety’s full potential. “But ripeness must not imply excessive alcohol,” says Barruol, “We seek balance.” The wine is matured for eight months in used 228-liter barrels, and undergoes full malolactic fermentation on fine lees for 12 months…Saint Cosme Condrieu shows classic aromas and flavors of dried apricot, peach, and orange blossom with fennel, anise, and elderflower. Twelve months of aging on its fine lees in used Burgundian pièce brings texture to the palate. This is a classic Condrieu.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



New Arrivals

New Arrivals: Rosé

Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($249.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Grenache, Rolle and Syrah. Organic.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $138 special (that’s only $11.50/bottle!)
Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise. Organic. Biodynamic.

Domaine Les Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs Rose 2017 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Grenache, Carignan. Certified organic.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
New Arrivals: Oregon
Vincent Pinot Blanc Tardive, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
VinopolNote “Vincent Fritzsche makes some of our favorite Pinot Blanc in the valley and this bottling is something special. The ‘Tardive’ designation refers to extended aging on the wine’s lees, which makes the wine reminiscent of a wine like Pepiere’s Clisson—the brightness of the Blanc tempered by the savoriness and texture of the extended elevage.  One of the more remarkable whites in Oregon and for the price, tough to beat.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Vincent Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points “Brilliant red. An expressive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, cola and five-spice powder, along with a subtle herbal note. Juicy, focused and lively on the palate, offering sappy black raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that become sweeter on the back half. Finishes smooth and long, displaying lingering red fruit and spice character.”
Winery note “This year’s Eola-Amity Hills bottling is a blend of Bjornson, Zenith, Silvershot and (new to me) Temperance Hill vineyards. The result is a classic expression of my home AVA, with a softer texture than the vineyard wines blended for earlier consumption. Don’t be afraid to hold on to this bottling though – examples going back to my first vintage 2009 are still drinking wonderfully. Bottled last August to capture its youthful freshness and held for spring release. Ten barrels.”

New Arrivals: France
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2015 1.5L ($64.95) $51.90 special
Winery Note “Set in the Clisson Valley, in the heart of the “Muscadet” appellation, the production area of this “cru” is on the best hillsides of the “Sèvre et Maine” region. The cru CLISSON is produced on the most southern part of the armoricain massif. The granitic subsoil is covered with gravels and sand or clays associated with river shingles. The deep-rooting is provided by the high draining qualities of these soils, which gives all the essential minerals to this exceptional cru. Fruit of much hard work, the grapes are pressed carefully. After fermentation, the ageing begins. The yeasts which compose the “lie” are regularly stirred in the vats. This technique, called “bâtonnage” in French, gives a great aromatic complexity and gustatory richness to this wine. A minimum two-year maturing provides this cru CLISSON with a great ageing potential. Served decanted at 12°-14°, this powerful, charming, exceptionally delicate wine is the ideal aperitif. Naturally served with scallop, smoked salmon and other fish cooked in a sauce, it twill astound you with a pan-fried “foie gras” (duck livers preserved in fat) or with mature cheese such as goat cheese or Comté.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuvee Fleuron Millesime Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2009 1.5L ($169.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2009 Brut Fleuron is round, voluptuous and racy. Explosive and spherical on the palate, the 2009 exudes richness, with plenty of the radiance of the year on display. Tropical inflections abound in a deep, boisterous Champagne that feels very ripe by Gimonnet standards. Still, there is so much to like, especially the way the wine maintains so much freshness given its intensity. Vineyard sources are 42.5% Cramant, 30% Chouilly, 18.5% Cuis and 9% Oger. Dosage is 4.5 grams/liter.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The smaller production cuvée is the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude, which is richer and more powerful, as well as more opulent. Black raspberries, plums, tons of pepper and crushed rock-like minerality give way to a rich, full-bodied, concentrated Crozes-Hermitage that has a broad, expansive texture and ripe, yet present tannin. Brought up all in used barrels, it’s a blockbuster, plain and simple. Drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Lurid ruby. Sexy, intensely perfumed aromas of dark fruit preserves, smoky minerals, exotic spices and olive paste. Silky and sweet on the palate, offering concentrated blackberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors enlivened by a jolt of smoky minerality. Shows excellent clarity and spicy lift on the seamless, strikingly persistent finish, which leaves a cherry liqueur note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Font Sarade Gigondas Cuvee Les Pigieres, Rhone 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
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.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Font Sarade Vacqueyras Premier Vin, Rhone 2015 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Font Sarade Vacqueyras Les Hauts de la Ponche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
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.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

New Arrivals: Spain
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia ‘Vina Gravonia’ Crianza Blanco, Rioja DOCa 2008 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The first white I tasted was the 2008 Viña Gravonia Blanco, a true bargain traditional oak-aged Rioja from very old Viura vines (90 years old!) on gravel soils. 2008 was a healthy vintage, which resulted in a slightly smaller crop than 2007, and the white grapes were picked starting on October 9th. They have never added yeasts to their wines, and this fermented in centenary oak vats and matured in used barriques for four years. It was bottled unfiltered. It has the right balance between youth and freshness and the more-developed aromas. The notes of dried flowers, honey, nuts and petrol are intermixed with aromas of quince, medlar and other yellow fruit, with hints of saffron and spices, quite developed. The palate is very tasty, and it ends with a salty finish. This is a cool vintage, where the wines show very good freshness. They do their blends to achieve a homogeneous style that shows the fresh and mineral character of the Gravonia vineyard. Year in, year out, this is one of the greatest bargains in Rioja and Spain. They produced some 17,800 bottles, which were filled in November 2013.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
New Arrivals: Italy
Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Enthusiast 97 points– Cellar Selection “Still young but already boasting extraordinary pedigree, this fantastic wine opens with hallmark scents of wild berry, new leather, chopped herb, tilled soil and a whiff of violet. The polished, full-bodied palate delivers juicy wild cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and licorice while youthfully assertive, noble tannins and bright acidity provide age-worthy structure. A pipe tobacco note lingers on the finish. Drink 2023–2038.”
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “The Barbaresco Riserva Montefico shows all the energy and focus that is typical of this great site, but there is so much depth to the fruit that some of the more angular contours have been softened. Bright saline-infused notes lead to wild flowers and an exotic melange of red fruits in this beautifully delineated, vivid Barbaresco. All the elements are simply in the right place.”

Produttori del Barbaresco Nebbiolo di Langhe, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Wine Spectator 89 points “Cherry and licorice are the main flavor themes here, accented by earth and tobacco notes. Tightens up on the finish, clamping down with dusty tannins. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
New Arrivals: Southern Hemisphere
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “An aromatic version, with intriguing beeswax, honeysuckle, lanolin and marmalade notes that give way to a smooth, lush core of apricot and lime zest flavors. Mouthwateringly smooth and juicy, showing appealing complexity. Drink now.”
New Alsatian Reviews

From Stuart Pigott

We know Stuart Pigott as one of the world’s foremost experts on Riesling (he’s written extensively on the subject.  He’s recently joined James Suckling’s website to handle German, Austrian and Alsatian reviews, which we’re very excited about.  He recently published some praise for Domaine Weinbach that we felt was worth passing along.

Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Alsace Grand Cru Furstentum 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling.com 97 points “Very jasmine, very lapsang souchong tea and very madame’s boudoir! And in spite of this decadence, the wine has a great vitality which grows through the very long finish. Drink and hold. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.”

Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Alsace Altenbourg 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling.com 95 points “A powerful but fresh and delicate pinot gris that will become very complex if you wait for five or more years. The aromas of yellow fruits and fresh pineapple now dominate and they are pretty stunning. Drink or hold. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.”

Domaine Weinbach Riesling Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Cuvée Ste. Catherine 2016 750ML ($69.95) $54.80 special
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling.com 97 points“Still reserved but very cool and fine, this is a great dry riesling in the making with great concentration and balance. Hints of lime, oolong tea and licorice alongside the delicate peaches. Better from 2019 and it will be good for at least a decade from then. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.”


Bow & Arrow

New Review + New Case Price

Rock Out with Air Guitar!

Bow & Arrow Air Guitar, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Bow & Arrow Air Guitar, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Grapelive 91 points
“This Bow & Arrow Air Guitar is a unique Loire Valley, think Anjou, inspired red blend. [It] bursts from the glass with carbonic/whole cluster juiciness and bright intensity. It’s a cuvee of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Cabernet Franc, and while it seems at first playful and fruity like a Cru Beaujolais, it takes on a more serious cord with air gaining the Cabernet’s tannic grip and the spicy stems while filling out in the glass. This ruby/garnet Air Guitar is from organic sites, with the Cabernet Sauvignon from Borgo Pass Vineyard and the Cabernet Franc from the biodynamic Johan Vineyard. It highlights the vintage with ripe flavors and expressive charm, and all though I think Scott Frank’s other red blend, the Gamay and Pinot Noir Rhinestones is revolutionary and a next level wine for Oregon, this one too grabs my attention. The effort is to be admired with layers of fresh picked blackberry, racy cherry, plum and tangy currant fruit along with a hint of jolly rancher, cinnamon, black olive, light mineral, with an herbal stemmy nervy groove and a faint cask note from the used French oak puncheon it was aged in. While the winery says the rocking good Air Guitar is a self-deprecating poke at attempting French style wines in America, it is certainly not a failed attempt. I’m continually impressed by their wines, especially their Gamay and Pinot Noir offerings along with their Sauvignon Blanc(s) and their sensational Melon de Bourgogne, which is briny saline and Muscadet-like. This is a winery to follow, and as a bonus the prices are stupidly reasonable. This is fun stuff from Bow & Arrow. Drink now or hold for up to 5 years, these 2015-2016 reds and 2016-2017 whites plus the Rosé are the best yet from these guys. Don’t miss them.”


Dry Rieslings

Double Header of New Reviews

From Grapelive

Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Trocken, Abtei Erste Gewächs, Binger Brucke Im Ruppertsberg 2016 750ML ($37.95) $33 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94 points
“I walked this vineyard at harvest time 2016. [It is] the northern most vineyard in the Nahe, which is on the outskirts of Bingen. Once an Abbey owned plot, [it is] across the Rhein from Rudesheimer Berg with a beautiful south facing. It is a steep site that is terrible hard work to farm, so it has become a special place for me and certainly it is a rewarding set of vines for Georg Rumpf. The winery took this vineyard on in recent years and is restoring it after it was neglected for many years. Even in the short time Rumpf has had it the promise of greatness shines through with both the 2015 and now the 2016 vintages delivering outstanding wines. In what looks set to become a Grosses Gewachs in the future, this vineyard is one to follow, especially now with the price being so reasonable for the quality, and for the difficult hand work this vineyard requires! Farmed organic and on soils that mimic Rudesheimer Berg, this wine has an inner brilliance and powerful energy. It’s an amazing tiny terroir that graces this dry Riesling, giving slate character and remarkable fresh detail. While the 2015 has a raw/feral side to its concentration, the 2016 shows more elegance and finesse. It’s brighter, more intense and pure. Both are fascinating wines that are moving and certainly wonderful examples of mineral driven Trocken Riesling. The 2016 Abtei as tasted with Georg Rumpf at the Skurnik Wines West Portfolio Tasting in San Francisco, starts with orange blossom, flinty mineral/stone essences, vivid stone fruit, white peach and melon fleshiness as well as verbena, rosehip tea, tangerine, green apple and lingering lime and saline infused shale. The palate is forceful and crisp, but still refined and generous at the same time. [This is] a trait you find in all of Georg’s wines, especially his dry styles. While his fruitier wines are slightly more flamboyant/sexy they never feel overtly sweet or heavy. I love everything he produces, but this Abtei might be my secret favorite, as well as his Scheurebe, tough choices! Drink the 2016 Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Erste Gewachs between 2020 and 2030, though there won’t be any penalty for opening anytime.”

Weingut von Winning, Riesling, Paradiesgarten, Trocken, Deidesheimer, Pfalz 2013 750ML ($34.95) $24 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 93+ points
“The dry Paradiesgarten Riesling from von Winning is a killer wine and a great value in what you get inside the bottle. This is beautiful and vividly intense Riesling that excites the palate and engages the mind, much in the same way Burgundy does. This wine is somewhat like Premier Cru Chablis, but may I dare say better! The 2013 version is absolutely delicious with vibrancy, fleshy extract and layers of tangy fresh fruits, liquid mineral and flashes of the exotic. The vintage is really starting to blossom and fill out all the missing pieces of its youth. It is really finding its feet after being underrated after harvest, and these von Winning wines prove the year was worth some patience and will be great in the cellar. Especially good and now exceptional is this Trocken Paradiesgarten Deidesheimer which starts with a shining light gold/green hue in the glass, a bouquet of white flowers, citrus, chalk dust and salty sea notes which leads to a mouth filled with zingy and zesty grapefruit, white peach, lime, tangerine, an almost cherry note, pineapple, verbena, green tea, herbs and loads of stony mineral. There is plenty of evolution to come here and while I adore its austere brisk nature, it should round out over the next 3 to 5 years, though it won’t be necessary to age it if you are looking for refreshing summer or food wine. I find it very impressive with its youthful vigor in full force. This wine is a classy acid freaks wine of impeccable quality. [It is] wonderfully crafted, Pfalz terroir driven and racy. Drink from 2015 to 2023. This wine is a great introduction to the upper level of the von Winning wines, but if you are looking for total mind-blowing experiences, you should try the von Winning Grosses Gewachs-Grand Crus which take Riesling to heights that put the Burgundians to shame!”

Three Exceptional Deals

On Kermit Classics

Kermit Lynch has quite the palate, so when we can get deals on wines he bring in, we grab them—especially if it’s for venerable names like Lumpp, Germain and Joguet.  These are all some of the best wines of their appellations, at prices that are unheard of in the broader market.

Domaine Francois Lumpp A Vigne Rouge, Givry Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($49.95) $29 special
Case-12 Domaine Francois Lumpp A Vigne Rouge, Givry Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($399.95) $319 special (that’s only $26.58/bottle!)
Grapelive 92 points
“This Domaine is getting a lot of buzz for value, and I was very excited to try this Givry by Francois Lumpp. This area is in the Cote Chalonnaise, not far from the more famous Mercurey. There are a total of 240 acres of red and just 24 acres of white in the 27 climats within the Givry AOC (appellation) that are classified as Premier Cru vineyards, with wines designated Givry Premier Cru that show a vineyard name. This Lumpp A Vignes Rouge cuvee [is] a single vineyard Premier Cru Givry. Even though it’s a lesser known place, Burgundy fans have long looked here for purity, character and especially value, and with this Francois Lumpp you can see why. Kermit Lynch now imports Lumpp, who was founded in 1991 and produce just about 4,000 cases annually. Every wine François makes is from Givry, and interestingly from vineyards that he planted and nurtured–something that is exceedingly rare in Burgundy today. His vines are a massale selection of old bud wood grown on, in this case, a mix of Oxfordian Nantoux Limestone, Fine Marl, and Clay with A Vignes Rouge coming off 15 year old vines at 850 feet above sea level. Givry’s best premier cru sites are situated on the mid to upper level slopes of the rolling hillsides. These form the base of Lumpp’s holdings (all of which are in fact Premier Cru plots, except one white Lieu-Dit). Lumpp uses stainless steel to ferment with gentle punch downs then the wine is raised in barriques, of which surprisingly are about 70% new each vintage. The Premier Crus get one year in barrel as this one did with only one racking to clarify before bottling. This 2013 is astonishingly fresh and deeply flavored with a rich dark garnet/ruby hue and a vivid grapey nose that leads to a textured palate that shines with blackberry, plum, bramble berry and cherry fruits along with a streak of mineral, earth and briar adding sweet woody notes along with hint of tobacco, tangy currant, minty herb and apple skin. The tannins are supple, but firmer than you’d expect of a wine of this vintage and there’s a lot of pop from vital acidity, while being rather lush and dense. Certainly this Burgundy has ages to go and it’s a huge bargain, best with robust cuisine, and it must be said it has resolved almost all the oak making for a real entertaining and stylish wine.  Best from 2019 to 2026.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Charles Joguet Chinon Cuvee de la Cure, Loire 2014 750ML ($27.95) $18 special
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $21.89
Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny La Marginale, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $28 special
June Clearance Sale !!!
Importer note “100% Cabernet Franc. Biodynamic. Marginale is Germain’s old-vines cuvée, drawn from parcels on the limestone Fosse de Chaintre (lieux-dits of les Dares and Clos Maurice) and from a small parcel of old vines on Turonian limestone in Les Poyeux. Made from the estates oldest and lowest yielding Cabernet Franc vines, the wine is given an extra 6 months élevage. Perhaps more than any other red, Marginale encapsulates the metamorphoses of Germain’s wines from powerhouse intensity to the profound elegance that today defines this domaine’s reds. The wine is now raised in large 25-hectolitre foudre ) for 12 months before finishing its elevage in three-year-old Burgundian piéces purchased from a grower in Vosne-Romanée. Since 2013, Germain has also managed his vines and harvest to deliver ripeness at lower beaume, as well as employing a shorter maceration. The resulting wines have been more balanced and comparatively low in alcohol.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.99


Baby Sassicaia

San Guido’s Secret Wine

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.”



2016 Ports

Some of them Perfect

Arriving This Fall

2016 looks to be a classic vintage in Portugal, continuing the trend we’re seeing across Europe.  We’ve just securing pricing and quantity on some of the best bottlings to come out of the region in ’16 and are excited to offer them today—these are wines that are destined to become modern legends.  The scores definitely reflect this, but happily the prices don’t.

Arriving ETA September:

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 100 points “OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor’s I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years to show you everything it has to offer. Drink in 2025.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Fonseca Vintage Port, Portugal 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Lots of ripe fruit here with raisins and wet earth that turn to violets and hot stones. Full-bodied, tannic and powerful with fantastic grip and intensity. Grabs you. Impressive. Drink in 2025.”

Croft Vintage Port 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 97 points “Extremely perfumed with dark-berry and currant aromas. Hints of earth and spices. Full-bodied, round and medium sweet. Hints of resin. Opulent yet restrained. Shows ripe and beautiful fruit with clarity. Try in 2025.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


The June Clearance Sale

Check out all the great wines on our June Clearance Sale on the spreadsheet below or just click here to view a full list on our website!


Thanks for reading!