Weekend Vinopolpick 6-21-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Hot Deals on Cool Champagne

Horsepower: Cayuse’s Pinnacle

Michel Niellon’s Textbook Chassagne

Just Arrived: A 98 Point Super Tuscan Knockout

Rayas on a Budget?

Trending Wines

Rosé of the Day – Tavel’s Better Brother

New High Scoring Oregon Arrivals

Corton-Charlemagne, Iconic Burgundy

June Sale Highlights


Hot Deals on Cool Champagne

The beautiful (and beautifully packaged) Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque radiates elegance, with a fine mousse and delicate flavors and aromas.  It’s always one of the best values in Tete de Cuvee Champagnes. We’re making the value even better by offering a deal on the 2011 version that’s as good as the wine is—under $100 a bottle by the six pack.  Plus, we’re bringing in the house’s excellent Grand Brut NV and offering it to you under $35 per bottle and under $30 by the case.  At these sorts of prices, you can pour “special occasion wine” on takeout-sushi-Tuesday.  We’re stocking up on both of these wines and you should to.

In Stock Now:

Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($179.95) $108 special
Case-6 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($959.95) $599 special (that’s only $99.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Always a light, ethereal style of wine, this is also very fresh and still young. It will age with its taut minerality from the Chardonnay in the blend. A softer background will become toasty over the next few years. The vintage date on this bottle is 200 years after the foundation of this producer. Drink from 2021.”

The average listed price is $156

Arriving Tuesday, June 25th:

Perrier-Jouet Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Perrier-Jouet Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($549.95) $359 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points
“A fresh and elegant Champagne, with the delicate mousse imparting a soft creaminess to the finely knit flavors of poached apricot, toast, lemon preserves and spun honey. Smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2021. 40,000 cases imported.  –AN”

The average listed price is $50

Just Arrived

Horsepower: Cayuse’s Pinnacle

The Horsepower project from Cayuse represents the ultimate vision of Christophe Baron.  The Horsepower wines all come from estate vineyards which are farmed biodynamically using horses (of course).  Planted at extremely high density, some are even grown on stakes rather than wires, as a throwback to the original farming techniques of the Rhone.  Like the “Hors Catagorie” wine that Christophe makes on his own (one bottle left!)—no expenses are spared in making these wines and the yields from the dramatic vineyards are extremely low.  We just received our allocation of the 2016 Syrahs (in 3pk OWCs) and are happy to offer them to you today.

In Stock Now:

Only three bottles available
Cayuse Horsepower Syrah High Contrast Vineyard, Walla Walla 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“From a vineyard planted in 2013, the 2016 Syrah High Contrast saw loads of stems and mostly neutral barrels. This thrilling wine has a Chave Hermitage-like purity and class as well as gorgeous notes of cassis, black raspberries, smoked earth, and graphite. It’s deep, pure and layered, incredibly layered, pure, and long, with a finish that won’t quit. This isn’t for those looking for an inky, massive wine, but it’s pure class, complete, amazingly long, and elegant. Give bottles a few years in the cellar and it’s going to shine for 15-20 years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Only three bottles available
Horsepower Vineyards ‘The Tribe Vineyard’ Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($199.95) $179 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points
“The 2016 Syrah The Tribe is largely in the same mold with a gamy, meaty, backward profile. Smoked meats, earthy dark fruits, ground pepper, and wood smoke are all present in this medium to full-bodied, concentrated Syrah that’s going to benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age and cruise for 15-20 years.”

Other Highlights from Christophe Baron, In Stock Now:

Only one bottle left!
Hors Categoire Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($349.95) $319 special
Wine Advocate 99 points
“The first vintage for this new vineyard (they made a 2013 but kept it all in magnum… if you get a bottle, call me), the inky colored 2014 Syrah is a huge, unctuous effort the exhibits crazy notes of Asian spice, soy, shiitake mushroom, blackcurrants and tar. Tasking like a young Hermitage la Chappelle from Jaboulet (from a great vintage), with lots of tannin, blood, minerality and smoke, a huge mid-palate, and tons of tannin, it’s a tour de force in Syrah I wish I could pour for every reader. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and drink over the following two decades or more.”

Only two bottles available
Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
Wine Advocate 100 points
“Incorporating a touch more Viognier than normal, the 2014 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard is 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier from the first vineyard planted in the stones region of Walla Walla. Sporting a surprisingly deep, inky color, it offers a heavenly bouquet of black olives, tobacco leaf, smoked meats, pepper, blackcurrant and black cherry notes. Deep, rich and ever changing in the glass, with incredible complexity and layers, this full-bodied masterpiece has building tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great, great finish. It’s pure perfection in Syrah, and the finest vintage of this cuvee ever made. As a bonus, it’s also the largest production Syrah they produce. Bravo!”

Only two bottles available
Cayuse Vineyards En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2012 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The dark ruby, opaque 2012 Syrah en Chamberlin Vineyard is a classic example of this vineyard. Gamy, complex and nuanced, with lots of olive tapenade, ground herbs, charcoal and wood smoke, as well as a beautiful core of dark fruit, it has full-bodied richness, building tannin, and a light, elegant texture. One of the more approachable 2012s from Christoph, it still doesn’t lack for tannic grip. It offers plenty of pleasure now, but should have 15 years or more of longevity.”

Want to see all 12 Cayuse bottlings in stock and available at the shop right now? Just head to our web store for the full list.



Michel Niellon’s Textbook Chassagne

Michel Niellon is a paradigm of classicism in white Burgundy.  We know that a number of top Willamette Valley Chardonnay producers buy the Niellon wines for their own cellars and for good reason—they exhibit all the things we love about White Burgundy and Chassagne in particular.  Tactilely mineral, tension filled and beautifully balanced, they have the edge we love and the breadth to carry it well.  Two 2017’s just arrived and we couldn’t be more excited.  ’17 seems to be a very serious, classic vintage that’s one to buy for now and the cellar.  As William Kelley, the new ace reviewer for the Wine Advocate described it:

“For white wines, 2017 should be taken more seriously: classically balanced and beautifully defined by site, these white Burgundies are less tangy and tensile than the 2014s, but they approach and sometimes surpass that vintage in quality. There is a succulence and plenitude to the 2017 whites that makes them very appealing indeed, and it is hard to find a recent analogy for the character of the vintage. While yields in Pinot Noir were the highest since 1999, the Chardonnay harvest was less copious. What’s more, at the press, yields of juice were lower than anticipated. Accordingly, some of the 2017s also possess impressive levels of dry extract. While many of the wines will drink well on release, their aging potential—if they are spared by premature oxidation—appears to be very promising.” – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

In Stock Now:

Domaine Michel Niellon Clos de la Maltroie, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer 89-91 points
“Bright light yellow. Expressive nose combines pear, honey, menthol and flowers. Ripe, fine-grained and nicely concentrated, showing more gras than the Chaumées “Clos de la Truffière” but also healthy acidity and floral lift. A bit aggressive on the back end but not spiky, finishing with very good length.”

Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 88 points
“The 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Village Blanc exhibits an attractive bouquet of green orchard fruit, toasted nuts and white flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny and succulent palate with bright acids and a generous core of fruit. It’s a lovely Chassagne that will drink well for a decade or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Just Arrived

A 98 Point Super Tuscan Knockout

Castello di Ama is a standout Chianti producer but their best wine is a Super Tuscan—the awe inspiring L’Apparita.  2015 is one of the best versions yet—a stunning wine that Antonio Galloni called “phenomenal” while declaring “[t]here is little doubt the 2015 will soon take its place as one of the epic editions” on the way to bestowing a 98 point rating.  Anyone who loves the top wines of Italy (or Bordeaux, for that matter) ought to be looking to add as much of this wine as they can afford to their cellar. This is going to be a legend.

In Stock Now:

Castello di Ama L’Apparita Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($199.95) $137.50 special
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“Ama’s 2015 L’Apparita is shaping up to be phenomenal. That is the good news. But readers are going to have to give the 2015 at least another 8-10 years before the wine starts to drink well, as today, the flavors are remarkably primary. That is hardly a surprise given how this Tuscan thoroughbred ages. A rush of blackberry jam, spice, menthol, and graphite build into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. Over the years, I have had the chance to take virtually every vintage of L’Apparita. There is little doubt the 2015 will soon take its place as one of the epic editions.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “It’s impossible not to be completely smitten by the 2015 L’Apparita. This pure expression of Merlot from Chianti Classico is an exceedingly smooth and enriched expression with abundant tones of black cherry, spice, chocolate and barbecue smoke. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, and although this wine is not as extracted or dense as past editions, it is far more finessed and elegant. You get a clear taste not only of the grape but of the gravely soils that make up this extraordinary territory. What could be better than Merlot and Tuscany blended together in a single bottle?”
James Suckling 96 points “Aromas of black olives and violets with black fruits following through to a full body with firm and silky tannins. An intense finish. Shows linear yet strong tannins. 100% merlot. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $149
The average listed price is $160

Rayas on a Budget?

St Theodoric’s Beautiful Chateauneuf

We love the wines of Chateau Rayas, but we don’t love the pricing.  That beautiful, elegant sandy-soil driven style of Chateauneuf can be very hard to find and you usually have to pay through the nose to get it—so we’re always excited when we can get the wines of Chateau Theodoric.  Made from 100% whole clusters and aged in old, large format casks, these are the closest thing we’ve found to Rayas at far lower prices.  That makes sense—one of the two single vineyards of Theodoric literally abuts the Rayas property (Le Grand Pin). The other comes from not too far away, also from sandy soils.  These are wines for Chateauneuf classicists and the new vintage (2016) is perhaps the best ever made at the estate.

“Owned by importer Peter Weygandt, with the wines made by Baptiste Grangeon (of Domaine Cristia), Chapelle Saint Theodoric focuses on two terroirs (Pignan and Guigasse) of sandy soils. The wines are never destemmed and spend upward of two years in neutral demi-muids. These are classic, elegant, singular wines, and if there’s anything out there coming close to the style perfected by the Reynaud family at Rayas, this is it.” –Jeb Dunnuck

“In recent years these graceful, highly perfumed, delicate wines have become consistent standouts in my annual Châteauneuf-du-Pape tastings. Produced by Domaine de Cristia’s Baptiste Grangeon, in conjunction with American importer Peter Weygandt, the wines are made from fruit grown in sandy soils and with whole clusters, which imbues them with highly perfumed, spice- and floral-driven bouquets and a noteworthy light touch. That said, they certainly don’t lack for depth of flavor and intensity. These are among the most interesting wines being made in the appellation right now.” –Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Chapelle Saint Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Grand Pin, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-6 Chapelle Saint Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Grand Pin, Rhone 2016 750ML ($499.95) $389 special (that’s only $64.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95-97 points
“Even better, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Grand Pin is as always 100% Grenache that will spend two years in demi-muids. Rayas-like notes of rose petals, strawberries, and Asian spices all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly silky 2016 that has a tight, vibrant, structured feel that’s going to require patience. Buy a case of this elixir, give bottles 3-4 years, and enjoy over the following two decades. It’s sensational juice!”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “On the day of my visit this year, the 2016 La Guigasse was in full voice, while the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Grand Pin was singing quietly. Rosemary and pine notes accent dark fruit in this wine, which comes from 35-year-old Grenache vines in the Rayas lieu-dit. Boysenberry notes flood the full-bodied palate, bringing a smooth, velvety feel on the long, slightly warm finish. Winemaker Baptiste Grangeon opines, “For me, the 2015 is one of the best wines of my life, but Peter [Weygandt, the owner] says the 2016 is better.” What fun it will be to see how this pair develops over the next decade or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $85.99
The average listed price is $91
Chapelle Saint Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-6 Chapelle Saint Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($499.95) $389 special (that’s only $64.83/bottle
and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“As I predicted last year, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Guigasse has smoothed out considerably and seemingly absorbed the stemmy elements I noted previously. Still not yet bottled, it now offers wonderful fruit purity and intensity. Raspberries and cherries are delivered on a full-bodied, rich and creamy palate that somehow avoids any sense of heaviness. It looks to be a stunning example of 70-year-old Grenache from the sandy lieu-dit of the same name.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “Made from 100% Grenache in the La Guigasse lieu-dit, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse boasts a deeper ruby/purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of kirsch and black raspberries, spring flowers, rose petals, and exotic spice. This beauty builds on the palate, with terrific concentration, yet it always holds onto the more ethereal, elegant, seamless style of this estate.”

The average price nationally is $77


Trending Wines

From a vineyard that Chave works with, a stellar wine.
Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Saint Joseph Lieu Dit La Dardouille comes from a fabulous terroir (Jean-Louis Chave also works with this vineyard) and was brought up a mix of once- and twice-used demi-muids and barrels. It offers ripe, sexy notes of crème de cassis, violets, and graphite, with subtle new oak covered by beautifully pure fruit. With medium to full-bodied richness and depth, sweet tannins, and a great finish, it’s a gem of a Saint Joseph that will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for a decade. Hats off to the young Emmanuel Darnaud for another beautiful wine.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “(no stems; raised in a combination of one- to three-year-old barriques and demi-muids) Brilliant violet. Potent, mineral-accented black and blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral nuance with air. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering vibrant bitter cherry, blueberry and star anise flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Finishes floral, sweet and impressively long, displaying repeating spiciness and well-knit tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Remelluri’s secret value bottling. Beautiful, powerful Rioja.
Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri San Vicente, Rioja 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Case-6 Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri San Vicente, Rioja 2014 750ML ($179.95) $128 special (that’s only $21.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points
“Some richer, darker and deeper fruit character with plums, blackberries and a dark, earthy streak. The tannins are more upright, more elevated, and the fruit is richer and darker than in the Labastida. This has real presence, grip and energy. Try from 2021.”

Very dry, intensely concentrated top value Burgundy.
Henri Prudhon & Fils Sur Gamay, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Burghound 90 points
“A nicely complex combination offers up notes of apple and pear compote that is laced with hints of grapefruit and spiced tea. The middle weight flavors possess even better mid-palate concentration if not the same minerality or complexity on the fleshy, very dry and focused finale.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “As the name implies, this parcel of approximately ¾ of an hectare sits on a hillside overlooking the neighboring hamlet of Gamay (directly east of Saint Aubin and a neighbor to Puligny). The vineyard is a mix of 20 year old and 60 year old vines. The soils are classic clay and limestone and the vineyards face southwest. As with the other 1er Cru whites, this wine ages in barrel (20% new oak) for 12 months before bottling. The “Sur Gamay” yields a complex wine that often requires several years to express its full character marked by notes of honey and minerals.”

The biggest and richest wine out of the recent Scott Paul closeout bonanza.
Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Case-12 Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“The famous vineyard is showing well here. Winemaker Ian Burch has a fine ability to provide a distinct focus for each of the winery’s single vineyard selections. This bottling is refined, with an intriguing mix of flavors, from grapefruit and Bing cherry, to chicken broth and milk chocolate. As odd as it sounds, it all knits together quite well.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
If there’s a better value in Champagne, we haven’t found it.
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Importer note
“The Dumont Brut NV is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes from their vineyard have qualities that seem less aggressive and more sumptuous than those from the northern districts. In addition, vinification of whole berries at low temperatures enhances this quality of soft elegance. The NV is a blend of vintages typically between two and five years old. It is aged for two years on the lees before disgorgement. Dosage is 9 grams.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
“…a stellar, joyous wine. Bold, powerful and ample…”-AG
Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points
“This is an excellent vintage in Chianti Classico that shows especially well in the simple, more accessible wines such as this. The 2016 Chianti Classico Berardenga delivers the power and density of its territory. The southern side of the appellation often shows the richest expressions of Sangiovese. This wine opens to sweet aromas of dark fruit, cherry and plum. The wine shows a slightly savory side as well with spice and dried terracotta that recalls the gray gravel soils of the region. Bay leaf, cola and chopped mint appear as subtle background notes. Some 260,000 bottles were made.”
Wine & Spirits 92 points “The temperate 2016 growing season yielded a beautifully perfumed and posed Chianti Classico at Felsina. The aromas and flavors are pure Tuscany, with scents of lavender and dried thyme that lead into flavors of ripe black cherry and even savory tomato skin. Notes of pink peppercorns and leafy tobacco emerge with air, adding layers to the fleshy fruit.”
Antonio Galloni 91+ points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Berardenga is a stellar, joyous wine. Bold, powerful and ample, with a good deal of finesse for such a big wine, the 2016 shows why this is such a compelling vintage for Chianti Classico. Leather, game, smoke, tobacco and licorice infuse a wine that oozes Sangiovese character. The 2016 needs a few years in bottle to be at its best, but is already pretty alluring. Moreover, this is a fabulous expression of the estate. Don’t miss it.”


Rosé of the Day

Tavel’s Better Brother

Lirac sites next door to Tavel and Montfaucon’s rosé is made in that same style—just better than almost any Tavel we’ve ever tried.  It has the weight and richness of Tavel but with more vivacity, spiciness and energy than we’ve come to expect out of southern Rhone rosé.  This is a delicious wine, perfect for grilling or a night on the porch.

In Stock Now:

Chateau de Montfaucon Lirac Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Winery note
“30% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 10% Clairette. Chateau de Montfaucon is located in the heart of the Rhone Valley overlooking the river on the right bank. This complex rose from the great Lirac Cru terroirs combines intensity, gourmandize and finesse. Its red berry, almond and peach aromas along with its ample mouthfeel and fresh finish [indicate] a true gastromonie rose calling for audacious food pairings –Rodolphe de Pins.”
VinopolNote: One of the last truly old-school Southern Rhone producers (see Gour de Chaule in Gigondas, too). Long ignored due to its subtly, Chateau Montfaucon is seeing renewed interest in the US now that alcohol percentage is no longer the sole indicator of quality.

New High Scoring Oregon Arrivals
“The 2016 vintage in Oregon’s Willamette Valley was yet another for the record books in terms of quality. The Pinots in this report are bound to make Oregon fans extremely happy… The best examples, and there a lot of them, should provide pleasure throughout their lives. I also get the sense that those lives will be long because of the wines’ concentration and fruit intensity.” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

With so many recently reviewed wines in stock from the Willamette Valley, we had to break our newsletter feature into parts. Below are recently reviewed new wines from estates we’ve loved year in and out.  If you missed previous features on newly reviewed Willamette Valley Pinot, you can see all of the wines in a list on our web store.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Deep, bright-rimmed red. A highly complex bouquet evokes red berry preserve and cherry aromas, along with sexy Asian spice, rose oil and smoky mineral accents. Shows impressive delineation on the palate, offering concentrated, spice-tinged red fruit liqueur, cola and spicecake flavors that pick up a strong floral pastille nuance with air. Finishes extremely long and pure, with fine-grained tannins providing shape and grip to lingering raspberry and bitter chocolate notes.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Belle Pente Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2015 750ML ($41.95) $37 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Shimmering red. Powerful aromas of fresh red berries, cherry pit, blood orange and minerals, with a touch of licorice adding depth. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering densely packed black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that put on weight and pick up a spicy topnote with air. Shows very good breadth and seamless texture, finishing with impressive clarity, harmonious tannins and a lingering red fruit preserve quality.”

Belle Pente Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Brilliant red. Highly expressive aromas of fresh red/blue fruits, potpourri, baking spices and candied rose. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering penetrating raspberry, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors that are highlighted by a zesty mineral note. Intensely flavored and sharply delineated, with an impressively long, perfumed finish that delivers firm mineral cut and resonating floral character.”

Brick House Vineyards ‘Les Dijonnais’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Translucent red. Powerful, smoke-accented red berry liqueur, cola and lavender pastille scents show excellent clarity and pick up notes of Asian spices and savory herbs with air. Sweet and expansive on the palate, displaying concentrated but lively black raspberry, cherry cola and floral pastille flavors, appealing spiciness and a building mineral quality. Finishes with solid, spicy thrust and silky, slowly building tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s sappy, persistent fruit. (33% new French oak).”

Lingua Franca ‘The Plow’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($59.95) $55 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Vivid red. Heady aromas of red fruit liqueur, baking spices and smoky minerals, with a sexy floral nuance building steadily with air. Offers bitter cherry, raspberry and rose pastille flavors that show excellent clarity and depth with little excess weight. Gentle tannins frame a strikingly long spice- and floral-accented finish that convey a suave blend of power and delicacy.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Lingua Franca Estate Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Lurid red. Intense, mineral-accented red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of five-spice powder and candied flowers. Silky and appealingly sweet, offering incisive raspberry, cherry and rose pastille flavors that are accompanied by a smoky mineral quality. Shows excellent clarity and spicy lift on the energetic finish, which is framed by gentle, talc-like tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Light, vivid red. Highly expressive, spice-tinged red fruit, incense and potpourri qualities on the seductively perfumed nose, which is given vivacity by a smoky mineral accent. Sappy, alluringly sweet and precise on the palate, offering lively cherry liqueur, raspberry and five-spice powder flavors, along with a sexy floral nuance. Fine-grained and seamless in style, finishing extremely long and pure, with sneaky power, resonating spiciness and smooth, harmonious tannins. (all neutral oak).”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The Eyrie Vineyards ‘Daphne Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Translucent red. Powerful, mineral-accented red berry and lavender pastille scents show outstanding clarity and pick up notes of exotic spices and savory herbs with air. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering sharply delineated raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors with appealing spiciness and an energizing crack of smoky minerality. This concentrated yet nervy wine closes with superb, mineral-driven cut and shows no rough edges. Fine-grained tannins fade away quickly on a strikingly long, floral-dominated finish that leaves a hint of baking spices behind. (all Pommard clone; 12% new oak).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Corton-Charlemagne, Iconic Burgundy

The hill of Corton is the most recognizable landmark in Burgundy and the whites that come off of it are as iconic as the sight of the site.  Cascadingly mineral, effusively aromatic and packed with depth and age-worthiness, the wines of Corton-Charlemagne are a jewel of Burgundy.

When they’re on, only the Grand Crus of Montrachet and its satellites rival top-tier Corton-Charlemagne.  In the hands of a producer like Coche, there’s not a more desirable wine in Burgundy and even more affordable examples offer intense white Burgundy experiences.  We’ve secured several top examples (in extremely limited quantities, unfortunately)  both here now and arriving over the next several months.  All hail from excellent vintages and show the classic minerality and detail of the best wines from the hill.  Lovers of Burgundy would do well to lock these in now.

In Stock Now:

Just Arrived!
Louis Jadot Domaine des Heritiers Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“The 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru was a normal crop this year since the hillside was not affected by frost. It had quite a strict and laconic bouquet at first that demanded rigorous swirling, eventually revealing attractive cold wet limestone and apple blossom notes (I might have mistook it for a Bâtard-Montrachet if blind!). The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, plenty of sappiness here with a detailed, lightly spiced finish that lingers in the mouth. This is one of my favorite whites from Jadot in 2016.”
Decanter 93 points “This is quite ripe and expressive this year, offering up aromas of yellow orchard fruit, preserved citrus, crème pâtissière and toasted nuts. On the palate the wine is ample, full-bodied and powerful, with some chalky grip on the finish, a generous core of rich, succulent fruit, and good concentration. This seems set to drink well shortly after release. Drinking Window 2019 – 2028.”
Burghound 92-94 points “Like the Montrachet, this is strongly reduced today. The well-detailed and intensely stony medium weight plus flavors possess an excellent sense of underlying tension on the saline and green apple-infused, dry and well-balanced finish. Interestingly, the mouth feel is actually finer than that of the Montrachet though whether that will be the case when these wines are fully mature is another question.”

Just Arrived!
Domaine Michel Juillot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Juillot’s parcel in Corton-Charlemagne is adjacent to Coche-Dury. This is always a rich & generous Corton.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

2011 was an excellent, mineral-driven white vintage.
Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2011 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Burghound 92-94 points
“Here too the wood treatment is quite deft which allows the cool Granny Smith apples, pear, wet stone and spice scents to shine. There is also a seductive mouth feel to the broad-shouldered, supple and round flavors that brim with dry extract before displaying plenty of power and punch on the seriously long finish. This is easily the most backward wine in the range at present yet the impression is unusually fine, both in the context of the appellation but also in the context of this wine in general as it’s usually more robust. Be all of that as it may, this is very, very promising.”BH

Faiveley’s is quietly emerging as a top three Corton-Charlie.
Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($279.95) $225 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points
“(malo finished): Bright yellow. Candied lime, underripe pineapple and white peach on the nose, complicated by notes of bergamot and crushed stone. Plush and intense but youthfully reserved, conveying savory crushed-stone minerality; little oak showing despite the fact that nearly 50% was new. The almost painful rising back end features an element of medicinal herbs. A superb wine without any excess weight but still a bit disjointed. (The Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet were just starting their malolactic fermentations at the time of my visit.)”

Only three bottles available
Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 91-94 points
“Bright medium yellow. Mineral-driven aromas of crushed stone and petrol. Tightly wound and penetrating, conveying a strong impression of energy to its crushed rock, lemon and wild herb flavors. Offers a lovely combination of density and cut. This very citrussy, dry, slightly bitter grand cru appears to have superb structure for at least mid-term aging but is difficult to assess today.”
Burghound 91-93 points “Strong reduction dominates the fruit at present. Otherwise there is excellent richness to the succulent but punchy and powerful flavors that possess a sleek muscularity as well as ample minerality that really comes up on the long if slightly rustic finish which is unusual for this wine.”

Arriving ETA Fall:

Only 5 bottles available!
Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 95 points
“(production was half of normal in 2016; aged in 30% new oak and bottled at the beginning of April of this year): Pale yellow-green. High-pitched aromas of citrus peel, menthol, lavender and white pepper. Extremely tight without coming across as austere, conveying striking purity to its bracing flavors of grapefruit pith, lemon and crushed stone. Adamant minerality gives this very dense wine terrific inner-mouth tension and yet there’s an element of leavening sweetness here as well, not to mention compelling floral perfume throughout. This wonderfully smooth, rich yet weightless wine really dances on the palate, spreading out on the unflagging back end to saturate every square millimeter of the mouth. Cellarmaster Emmanuel Hautus compared this wine to the 2009 in its combination of richness, early appeal and potential longevity.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru is showing superbly from bottle, unwinding in the glass with a classy bouquet of crisp green apple, pears, almond paste, fresh pastry and Meyer lemon. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, concentrated and precise, with serious depth, tangy acidity, and chewy structuring dry extract while remaining elegantly textural. Intense and complete, it’s an immensely promising wine which augers well for Bonneau du Martray’s future.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $278
Vincent Girardin Quintessence de Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“From a single parcel in Aloxe that neighbors one of Domaine Coche-Dury’s, the 2017 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Quintessence de Corton-Charlemagne offers up a lovely bouquet of ripe citrus fruit, white flowers and honeycomb. It’s full-bodied, textural and massively concentrated, with a deep and layered mid-palate, succulent acids and a long, expansive finish. This expresses the ampler, more powerful side of Corton-Charlemagne and it’s one of Girardin’s finest 2017s.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points “(always from the same vines in Aloxe-Corton): Bright yellow. Musky lime and crushed stone on the nose. Rich and full but penetrating as well, offering a bracing combination of acidity and crushed-stone minerality. This tactile, densely packed, lemon-limey wine shows a light touch and finishes salty, dry and very long, with terrific energy and grip. This wine needs time and should enjoy a slow and graceful evolution in bottle, but its impeccable balance should also give it early appeal. In fact, it’s downright delicious right now!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
June Sale Highlights

The June Sale is well over half gone by and we’ve got a bunch of great wines in it.  We’ve got some highlights below, but you can also see the full list on our webstore, here, or by reading to the end of the newsletter.

In Stock Now:
Chateau Thivin Brouilly ‘Reverdon’, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $20.90 June Sale Special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2017 Brouilly Reverdon bursts from the glass with lovely aromas of blackberries, cassis, plums and potpourri. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, bright and juicy, with sweeter fruit than the 2016 rendition but a shared sense of crunchiness and vivacity. It was only bottled three weeks before I tasted it, but it was already showing very well.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($31.95) Was $28, Now $24 June Sale Special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2017 Côte de Brouilly is superb, unfurling in the glass with aromas of ripe cassis, candied violets and plums. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, structured around fine-grained but chewy tannins and tangy balancing acids, with considerable depth and substance at the core. The wine is still quite primary and will need some time to come together, but it’s an excellent rendition of this storied cuvée that resembles the 2011 vintage.”

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

Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $66 June Sale Special
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($179.95) Was $149, Now $138 June Sale Special
James Suckling 96 points
“Shows lots of black cherries, cranberry tea, caramelized orange peel, roasted herbs and citrus peel. Full-bodied with ripe and quite round tannins that frame layers of cherries. Bright and fresh, yet rich and long at the same time. The sangiovese character really springs out of the glass. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price for the 750ml is $79
The next best price for the magnum is $179

Muller-Catoir Haardter Herrenletten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($41.95) Was $33, Now $26 June Sale Special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2015 Riesling Trocken Haardter Herrenletten VDP Erste Lage has a lovely bouquet that reflects the small chalk stripe in the vineyard, which gives a wet and smoky stone fruit flavor, along with some lemon and herbal aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, almost mouth-fillingly fruity and reveals a seductive concentration and intensity; it also has a refined acidity structure on the palate. It is richer and more generous than the Bürgergarten, but with concentrated fruit. This is very long and intensely mineral Riesling. It is one of the best Herrenletten I have ever tasted at this domaine. Spectacular!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Avennia Sestina Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 June Sale Special
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points
“The 2016 Sestina checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw 21 months in 48% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It shows the purity and elegance of the vintage beautifully and offers classic Cabernet notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, crushed rocks, and tobacco leaf. With beautiful balance and that more elegant, finesse-driven style of the estate, it packs plenty of fruit and is a seamless wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years.”
Josh Raynolds 93+ points “(includes a good percentage of vines from the 1970s; aged in about 45% new oak): Bright dark red. Alluring violet and rose petal lift to the aromas of dark berries, licorice and black olive. Penetrating, savory wine with terrific saline minerality and lift to its wild berry and licorice flavors. This very concentrated, backward wine finishes with serious tannins but no rough edges. A bit more sharply focused than its 2015 sibling but this wine will need longer for its tannic spine to unclench. Even the Merlot yields were moderate in 2016, noted winemaker Chris Peterson. Following a bit of acidification, this wine finished with a pH of 3.8.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today
Now it’s even lower!

Thanks for reading!