Weekend VinopolPick 7-27-18

In Today’s Newsletter:New Releases from Felsina and La Gerla
Special Sequitur Subscriber Sale
Featured New Arrival: New Release of Moueix’s New Napa
K Vintners Kicks off the August Sale

New Arrivals, Including:
Altesino, Foillard, Schaller, Paris, Gulfi + More!

The Next Burlotto? Cast. Verduno’s Star is on the Rise
Only Four Days Left in the July Sale
Trending: Popular Wines of the Week
New Grapelive Review for a Master of Sylvaner
The Complete July Sale


A Trove of Tuscan TreasureNew Releases From Felsina and La Gerla

Arriving in September

Recent vintages have been kind to Tuscany.  2012, 2013 and now 2015 have all been marked successes, delivering wines of opulence and class.  Whether you prefer Brunello, Chianti or Super-Tuscans, there are a multitude of brilliant wines across the region that all deserve your attention.  We have a set of classic producers we love and new releases from two of them arrive in September.

La Gerla makes fantastic Brunello in a traditional (yet approachable) way.  The wines always have striking purity of fruit and elegant structures but are free of the sweet tinted oak that masks many “easy drinking” Brunellos. The pricing is on-point and the combination of all of the above has turned the estate into a Vinopolis staple.  We have their epic 2013 Brunello and 2012 Riserva arriving this fall and both are some of the best wines ever produced by the estate.

We also have some of the higher end 2015’s arriving from Felsina—a winery that needs no more introduction at this point.  They’re reference point Chiantis and the lower-tier wines from 2015 were stunning, so the Rancia and Fontalloro should be some of the best in years.  Both the Rancia and Fontalloro are 100% Sangiovese, but the latter is more of a modern, Brunello/Super Tuscan-styled wine.  These are wines to collect, savor and treasure.

Arriving ETA September:

La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 375ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
La Gerla Riserva gli Angeli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Riserva gli Angeli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 1.5L ($219.95) $159 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Riserva gli Angeli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 3L ($499.95) $319 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points “Bright medium ruby. Very clean and fresh aromas and flavors of red currant, cherry pit, flowers and blood orange jelly. Bright, juicy and very light on its feet, offering superb vinosity and clarity of flavor, this conveys an impression of real underlying density and a multilayered mouthfeel. A knockout wine of outstanding energy and class, finishing with polished tannins, uncanny sweetness and lovely subtle persistence, not to mention outstanding balance (it hides its 14.5% alcohol very well).”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “Here is a dense and meaty Tusan red that flaunts its immediate power, structure and intensity. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva gli Angeli is robust and deep thanks to a generous offering of dark fruit, spice and tar-like aromas. Fruit is carefully selected for this wine, and the grapes are fermented in stainless steel. Post fermentation, the wine goes into large Slavonian oak casks for four years. The finish is soft and supple with sweet berry flavors. This wine has made an impressive jump forward in this vintage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $98.55
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $45 pre-arrival special
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 1.5L ($139.95) $115 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94-97 points “The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is one of the most finessed young Rancias I have ever tasted. Silky, aromatically precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. This is an impressive showing.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 92-95 points “Another impressive 2015, the Fontalloro is a wine of breadth, power and persistence. Today, the oak is still not fully integrated, but there is more than enough depth and resonance in the fruit to make me think that will happen. I can’t wait to taste the 2015 from bottle.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Special Sequitur Subscriber Sale

Unlisted Online

A Discount Just for You

We’ve a mini-vertical of Michael Etzel’s Sequitur arriving today—all three vintages that the winery has made.  If you’re unfamiliar with the estate, allow us a quick introduction: Mike Etzel (Beaux Freres) planted, farmed and vinified this site just up the hill from the Beaux Freres estate vineyard.  Like the BF wines, it’s big and rich, with lots of Ribbon Ridge character.  We were able to secure special pricing on the wines and as such can offer them at an incredible price—a price so good that it won’t appear on our website.  If you order on our website, we’ll manually adjust the price before we finalize your order.  Just act quickly—quantities are extremely limited.

Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $79 Secret Clearance Price
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points “Limpid ruby-red. Smoky, mineral-accented aromas of black raspberry, cherry cola and incense carry a strong spicecake overtone. Stains the palate with sappy red berry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that are lifted and given definition and tension by juicy acidity. At once rich and nervy, with no excess fat but showing excellent depth and intensity of flavor. Finishes with sexy notes of candied violet and smoky Indian spices and superb, gently tannic persistence. This wine’s Beaux Freres bloodline is very clear to see.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $79 Secret Clearance Price
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Deep brilliant red. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented red berries, cherry cola, vanilla, five-spice powder and sandalwood. Alluringly sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a compelling blend of power and delicacy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins frame the lingering red fruit preserve notes.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $79 Secret Clearance Price
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The online price will appear as $99
We will change your price manually before finalizing the order.


Featured New Arrival

A New Vintage of Moueix’s New Landmark

Christian Moueix, of the family behind Petrus and individually the driving force behind the Dominus Estate in Oakville, La Fleur-Petrus and Trotanoy in Pomeral, and Belair-Monange in St Emilion, acquired this century-old estate at the foot of the Mayacamas Range in Oakville in 2008. He has meticulously transformed it into a world-class vineyard, having renovating the vineyards and converting to dry farming.

The result is an important new player in the high-end Napa Cabernet market.  This is more of a truly Napa-styled wine compared to Dominus, his other project (which has always been Bordeaux inspired).  This is big, rich and flamboyant and in its first few vintages has already established itself as a wine to watch in the scene.  Luckily, pricing has yet to explode (for now—though the same could have been said about Dominus for quite a while…) but we have a suspicion that this could become a very hard wine to find over the next few years.

Just Arrived:

Ulysses Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
James Suckling 98 points “The evolution of this wine has been phenomenal since I tasted it in barrel a year ago with the same black cherry, plum and citrus character but with a turn to orange leaf, dark Chinese tea, and mushroom. Full body, fine and velvety tannins with a touch of dust to the texture. So much chocolate and fruit undertones with forest floor and hints of tobacco, too. The mouthfeel and complexity are seductive. Better from 2022 but a joy to taste.”
Robert Parker 94 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was aged for 17 months in 45% new French oak, is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine is dense purple, with sweet cedar wood, unsmoked cigar tobacco, crème de cassis, and black raspberries in a classic, almost St.-Julien/Pauillac style. This emerged from a valley floor vineyard on the west side of Napa, where Christian Moueix told me that 2014 was characterized by generally slightly higher than average temperatures for the summer with only minor heat spikes in June and July. August and September went off without a hitch, and the harvest took place during the month of September. This full-bodied wine will hit its peak in 3-5 years and last for 25-30.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $176
Also In Stock:Ulysses Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($189.95) $149 special
James Suckling 98 points “Fabulous subtle aromas of black currants, violets and lilacs with a hot stone undertone. Full-bodied and dense, it shows such wonderful energy and synergy that delivers a firm yet gentle tannin backbone and complex mouthfeel that seduces you. Evolves wonderfully. Second wine from this new estate, which is owned by Christian Moueix of Dominus and Bordeaux.”
Robert Parker 96 points “The 2013 Ulysses is absolutely mind-boggling, as so many wines from this vintage are. Gorgeous blueberry and blackberry fruit, along with the telltale cassis and floral notes, jump from the glass. Again, this is Pauillac-like, with some cedar wood and subtle barrique smells. Again produced nearly all from Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, rich and long, with slightly sweeter tannins than the 2012. Production in 2013 was 960 cases, and Moueix told me that the entire growing season averaged about two and half weeks ahead of schedule from bloom break to harvest. This is a prodigious effort and will certainly stand as the great Ulysses of the first trio to be released. I suspect it will be drinkable in 3-4 years and keep for 30 or more, given the Moueix track record.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “Gravel, smoke, graphite, savory herbs, tobacco and iron are some of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. A typical wine from the eastern sector of Oakville on the border with Yountville, the 2013 is loaded with feral, savory notes, while the expression of blue/blackish fruit lies a bit more in the background. In 2013, the main signature is an expression of structure that is both vertical but also incredibly insistent through to the finish. In other words, this is a super-classic 2013 built for the cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $182


K Vintners Kicks off the August Sale
Charles Smith K Vintners River Rock Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 August Clearance Sale Special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Syrah River Rock is another rock star Syrah from this estate and it’s just about overflowing with Rocks character. Currants, smoked herbs, olive brine and some peaty notes all give way to a ripe, concentrated, seamless beauty that has loads of charm and character. With fine tannin and a layered style, it will keep for 10-15 years.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $43

Also Newly Arrived!

If Charles Smith is going to put his face on a label, you know the wine’s good!
Charles Smith K Vintners The Creator Cabernet – Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($59.95)
$51.90 special
Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2015 The Creator is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah, but even though it’s in the minority, the Syrah seems to define the wine’s personality. The bouquet wafts from the glass with notes of grilled meat, bay leaf and ripe blackberries and mulberries. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, rich and layered, with immense depth and concentration, its ample core of fruit largely concealing an abundant endowment of fine-grained, ripe tannins. Despite its scale, it eschews extractive excess, and it should be well worth following for the next 15-20 years.”

The most overlooked wine in the K lineup.  Class in a glass.
Charles Smith K Vintners The Boy Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “Translucent ruby in hue, the 2015 The Boy is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of Griotte cherry, rose hip, licorice and kirsch. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, satiny and expansive, with beautifully refined tannins, superb concentration and a long, lingeringly fragrant finish. Reminiscent of a top vintage of Emmanuel Reynaud’s Château des Tours, this belongs on any short list of the best Grenache being produced in North America.”

New ArrivalsFeatured Arrival – Part Two

Legendary producer in the best vintage since ’01.
Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Case-6 Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($899.95) $679 special (that’s only $113.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 98 points
“A stunning red, featuring peony, strawberry, cherry and mineral flavors, accented by notes of wild herbs. Intense and deep, with great purity and elegance, a firmly wrought structure and a long finish. The harmony between fruit, tannins and acidity should allow this to age beautifully. Best from 2019 through 2036.” WS
James Suckling 97 points “Beautiful aromas of dark fruits and minerals. Full-bodied, succulent and chewy. It’s tight and stony. Lots of black olives and wet earth under the fruit. Bright and linear wine with beautiful layers…” JS
Wine Advocate 96 points “Montosoli enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli. This special single-vineyard expression shows a beautifully fragrant and floral bouquet that is exactly in line with what this firmly consistent producer strives to achieve. This wine represents one of the most distinctive expressions of varietal voice and that’s what makes it so precious and rare. Sangiovese sings loud with small berry nuances and loud floral impressions of rose, violet and lavender. Its underlying complexity is further enhanced by anise seed, cola and licorice stick. The wine’s texture is soothing soft and silky. This is one for your cellars to age ten years or more.”
VinopolNote: This single-vineyard Brunello is one of Italy’s first ‘cru’ wines. The soil of ancient limestone offers stunning wines of elegance, especially in such a brilliant vintage as 2010.
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
New Arrivals – France
Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“A dependable producer of Tavel and Lirac (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), the Lafonds have turned out a spice-driven 2017 Tavel that’s bottled under screwcap. Hints of allspice and clove accent watermelon and red berry flavors, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and richly textured, leading into a long, silky finish. Bravo!”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
A young domaine with a bright future, this is a fantastic value.
Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
VinopolNote: From 40 year old vines. Aged for 10 months partially in oak barrel.
This is the only listing in the USA today!
We’ve liked what we’ve seen from 2016 in Chablis.
Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Vaucopin Chablis, Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
James Suckling 93 points “Wonderful aromas of dark cherry, citrus and hints of banana from the whole berry fermentation. Medium to full body, light tannins yet shows grip and minerality from the combination of bright acidity and slate soils. A beautiful encore from the excellent 2015. Made from organically grown grapes. Drink now.”The flagship bottling for the master of Morgon.
Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Lurid ruby. An expansive, mineral-accented bouquet displays powerful red and dark berry, incense and potpourri qualities, and a Moroccan spice nuance adds urgency and lift. Bright, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining black raspberry, blueberry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors that slowly firm up with aeration. Shows superb depth and clarity, with nary a rough edge to be found. Closes supple, sweet and insanely long, leaving a sexy floral note behind.”

Perfect “bistro” Cornas.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points
“(no new oak) Opaque ruby. Potent, mineral-accented dark berry scents are complicated by floral oil and peppery spice nuances. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet black raspberry, blueberry and violet pastille flavors that become livelier with air. Sappy and open-knit, closing with solid thrust, silky, even tannins and strong persistence.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “Looking at the Cornas releases, the 2016 Cornas Granite 30 comes from the Patou and Saint Pierre lieux-dits and was completely destemmed before aging in a mix of barrels. It’s a ripe, vibrant beauty that’s overflowing with fruit. Blackberries, blueberries, violets, spring flowers and hints of minerality all give way to a full-bodied, unctuous effort that has good acidity and sweet tannin. It’s another no-brainer wine from this estate.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2016 Cornas Granit 60 has the potential to eclipse the 2015. The nose is an exciting blend of flowers, minerals and fruit, while the palate is full-bodied and generous without the hardness or austerity of the 2015. This standout 2016 finishes long, plush and bright. With only about 5,000 bottles made, shrewd buyers will snap it up on release.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “(no new oak) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, licorice and olive on the intensely perfumed nose. Plush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering sweet blackberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are energized by a vein of juicy acidity. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins build steadily and add shape and gentle grip to the lush, creamy dark fruit.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 points “The 2016 Cornas Granite 60 offers a deeper, richer, more profound profile. Blackcurrants, scorched earth, leather and bouquet garni notes all flow to a full-bodied, powerful 2016 that has terrific mid-palate depth and plenty of tannins. Nevertheless, the fruit and texture that’s the hallmark of this estate shine, and it’s going to drink nicely in its youth as well. This cuvée comes from the Patou, Les Mazards, and Sauman lieux-dit and slightly steeper slopes. It was 70% destemmed, aged in a mix of barrels, and there are just over 400 cases made.”

This is the most gutsy, old-school bottling from Paris.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points ” (vines over 100 years old vines and no new oak) Brilliant purple. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, Asian spices, incense, smoky minerals and olive paste. Deeply concentrated yet lively boysenberry, cherry pie, spicecake and bitter chocolate flavors are underscored by a building mineral quality. Shows a compelling blend of depth and litheness and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, displaying remarkable clarity and insistent mineral character. I don’t think I have ever tasted as profound a wine as this one from Vincent Paris, who seems to be one of the most underrated and under-the-radar producers in the northern Rhône.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “There are only about 3,000 bottles of the stunning 2016 Cornas la Geynale. Tasted from tank prior to bottling, it looks every bit the equal of the 2015—oozing with concentrated purple fruit and crushed stone but without that vintage’s massive tannins. The 100-year-old vines Paris works with at this site face south and achieved terrific ripeness, making the wine approachable relatively young.”

New Arrivals – Italy
Perfect pizza wine.  It’s hard to want more out of this bottling.
Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
VinopolNote ” Gulfi’s Cerasuolo (“cherry skin” in Italian) is a perfect blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato.  It combines the best of both grapes to yield a light to mid weight red with just enough savoriness to balance out fresh fruity flavors.  The new vintage arrives next week and will disappear just as fast as last year’s did.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The Next Burlotto?

The Castello di Verduno’s Star is on the Rise

While Burlotto’s cru Barolos have skyrocketed in price and scarcity over the last two years, the other major producer in their village, the Castello di Verduno, remains a relative bargain.  This is a classically styled producer making wonderful, traditional wines and for the immediate future they’re both available and exceptionally priced.  To an Italian from Piemonte, the discrepancy in pricing between Burlotto and the Castello di Verduno would seem fantastical—cases are easily made for both producers as being the top dog in the town—which means that this is a prime buying opportunity for us.

The Castello di Verduno, as you might guess, is a historically important producer of Barolo, located in Verduno, but also owns a cellar and important vineyard property in Barbaresco.  The estate is owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, who have made it a mission to create some of the finest wines in the region.  Their holdings are heavily skewed towards great vineyards—Rabaja and Faset in Barbaresco and Monvigliaro in Barolo, meaning their entry level wines show incredible class and purity as well.  Everything they do (including the rare Pelaverga) is very traditionally vinified, with aging in older barrels (or stainless) and no new or small-format oak.

These are wines to pay attention to, both for their absolute quality and for the value they represent in a world of increasingly expensive Barolo and Barbaresco.  They arrive at the end of next month and we’re waiting with bated breath already.

Arriving ETA Late August

Given the vineyard sourcing, this remains a steal.
Castello di Verduno Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($47.95) $38 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “The village Barbaresco from Verduno is a model of its type, showing absolutely typical aromas and flavors of redcurrant, fraise de bois, sandalwood and rose. Elegant, delicious when young but will age for many years in a good vintage. The grapes come from the Faset and Rabajà vineyards; vinification is traditional, with 21 days on the skins, and the wine is aged for 19 months in large Slovenian oak barrels (made by Stockinger, an artisan cooper from Austria) before bottling. (Barbaresco is only required to be aged in wood for 12 months, and I think this extra time in large barrels makes a difference.)”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Castello di Verduno Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “If you want a preview of Barbaresco without spending $70 or more, or if you just love good red lip-smacking red wine, try this Nebbiolo. All of the grapes come from the Barbaresco vineyards Faset and Rabajà, the vinification is shorter than that of the Barbaresco (7 days) and the wine is aged for 2 months in large casks and 6 months in stainless steel, no wood.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Not many grow Pelaverga, a delicious, delicate, red grape.
Castello di Verduno Basadone Pelaverga, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Winery Note “Soft, though bright ruby red. Intense fragrant nose, showing clear spicy overtones of black pepper and nutmeg, as well as fruity sensations reminiscent of cherries in spirit and strawberries. Nicely-balanced, lingering dry flavour.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Castello di Verduno Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



July SaleOnly Four Days Left!

There are only four days left in July, which means your time to take advantage of the deals in our July Clearance Sale is running out.  You can view a full list of the wines in the July Sale at the end of the newsletter, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights to check out:

Agathe Bursin Pinot Gris Zinnkoepfle Selection de Grains Nobles, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $69 Clearance Price
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 96 points “Deep golden-tinged yellow. The perfumed nose combines ripe pear, lime blossom and powdered stone, plus hints of spicy botrytis. Sweet but taut, conveying a lovely light-on-its-feet quality and displaying noticeable tang to the citrus and floral flavors; the presence of noble rot adds personality. Closes minerally and very long. This very refined SGN offers noteworthy fragrance and vibrant acidity; in fact, it’s so stony that it’s almost Riesling-like. About 30% of the grapes were hit by noble rot, and this adds complexity to what is a memorable wine (check out these numbers: 5.7 g/L total acidity and 130 g/L total [sugar]).”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
“The 2012… gives new life to one of Tuscany’s most historic wines”
Avignonesi Grandi Annate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) Was $77, Now $69 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 93 points “You’ll notice that this wine is no longer labeled “Riserva.” Avignonesi wanted to reduce the time it spends in oak and made the name adjustment accordingly. This seems like a good idea to me. The 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Grandi Annate gives new life to one of Tuscany’s most historic wines. There is more elegance and finesse here. I must say that past vintages have been a disappointment, but this expression seems to break all ties with the past. Fruit is sourced primarily from the Banditella vineyard that tends to produce more austere and concentrated Sangiovese. Indeed, this wine is highly redolent of black fruit, tar, licorice and even a touch of white mushroom. Everyone loves a comeback story and that’s what you get here.”
James Suckling 93 points “A chewy and silky wine with just ripe fruit, chocolate and hazelnut character. Fresh earth undertone too. Medium body, fresh finish. Drink now or hold.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
This is a throwback—great Chateauneuf at late 90’s pricing.
Domaine de Saint-Siffrein Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $29 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 90 points “Kicking off the 2012s, Saint Siffrein’s straight Châteauneuf du Pape offers loads of kirsch, mulled spice, blackberry and garrigue in its classic, medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured style. Made from 65% Grenache, 15% each of Mourvedre and Syrah and the rest Cinsault, aged 12 moths in stainless steel and foudre, it’s an outstanding, Provencal effort to drink over the coming 8-10 years.”This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Tenuta Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2010 1.5L ($149.95) Was $99, Now $89 Clearance Price
Wine Spectator 93 points “This smells like beef bouillon, picking up pure cherry and plum fruit on the palate, along with savory elements. Lean, with well-integrated tannins and a long, meaty finish of tobacco and earth. Best from 2018 through 2030.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Col d’Orcia’s 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vendemmia is all finesse. Sweet floral and spiced notes open up in the glass, followed by veins of bright red stone fruits. Hints of orange peel and white pepper add an attractive, beguiling upper register of aromatics. The 2010 is still a bit raw and much less expressive than it was from barrel, but it is promising.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!

Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($51.95) Was $46, Now $39 Clearance Price
“Brovia’s 2012 Barolo is classy, polished and absolutely delicious. With a little bit of air, the 2012 can be enjoyed now, but it also has enough freshness and balance to drink well for at least a handful of years. I have seen Brovia’s straight Barolo age well, so I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be the case here as well. Floral and red stone fruit notes give the 2012 much of its freshness and mid-weight feel. This is an especially lifted, gracious Barolo for the vintage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Arrowood Winery Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2014 750ML ($34.95) Was $27, Now $24 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 92 points “Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 4% Malbec, is scented of red currants, blackberries and wild blueberries with touches of olives and underbrush. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and packed with tense red and black fruits, it has a fine-grained texture and savory finish. 9,600 cases were produced.”
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TrendingPopular Wines of the Week

Always a top pick, especially in a top vintage.
Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graveful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral flavors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and under-brush-tinged finish. Best from 2021 through 2033.”Beautiful California Chardonnay, crafted with care.
Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2015 750ML ($299.95) $236 special (that’s only $19.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2015 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard from the Varner brothers is lovely, wafting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of honeycomb, ripe peaches and fresh apricot. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, pure and textural—displaying a touch more mid-palate ripeness than the 2014 rendition—and concludes with a long, saline finish. This is a characterful Chardonnay that represents terrific value.”

This staff favorite rosé is pale, crisp and delicious.
Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
“While Chinon is best known for its lovely, savory bistro reds, a few producers make dynamite rosé from the AOC as well.  Plouzeau is one of those that makes excellent rosé, and the 2017 version just landed. As a red, some don’t love Chinon because of its herbal, savory streak, but that’s tempered in rosé form, turning into a lovely background note of thyme or rosemary to complement the bright juicy fruit.  This is dry and crisp—and more importantly budget friendly.  It’s one of the best values in the rosé world, especially if you buy it by the case!”

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A budget friendly, very Orin Swift wine.
Orin Swift Abstract Red, California 2015 750ML ($37.95) $24 special
Case-12 Orin Swift Abstract Red, California 2015 750ML ($419.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Moderately complex, though loaded with zesty, supple fruit and offering appealing notes of black raspberry, smoky beef and cracked pepper. Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2022.”
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One of the wines of the vintage in Tuscany.  A knockout.
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($134.95) $108 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The flagship 2014 Le Pergole Torte possesses striking depth, nuance and pliancy, all in the midweight, slightly slender style of the vintage. Sweet red cherry, plum, cinnamon, dried flowers, mint, cinnamon and pomegranate infuse this super-expressive, sexy Pergole Torte.”
James Suckling 96 points “A transparent wine with flowers, dark fruit and citrus fruit on the nose. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a bright and fresh finish. I love the dynamic cherry and vivid floral character. Mineral, too. Bright acidity. This is one of the best wines of the 2014 vintage in Tuscany. Auguri. Drink or hold.”
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New Grapelive Review

For A Master of Sylvaner

Agathe Bursin Sylvaner Lutzeltal, Alsace 2016 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special
Grapelive 94 points “A beautiful and crystalline wine from Agathe Bursin, the 2016 Lutzeltal Sylvaner delivers a thrilling and complete performance that rivals any white made from this varietal and proves the talents of this Alsace producer, putting Bursin in the regions elite vignerons. In the past I’ve loved the Sylvaner wines of Domaine Weinbach. They continue to be a standard bearer for this grape in Alsace, but this Bursin is absolutely gorgeous and is one of the best I’ve tried, highlighting the quality of the vintage and of place. Bursin’s estate is in the town of Westhalten, near the famous Alsace wine center Colmar. [It is] set below the three hills of the area which are a calcareous formation: these are Zinnkoepflé, Strangenberg and Bollenberg, which form a crown around the village. This is a serious terroir with a very warm climate and littered with fossilized anemones and oyster shells with sandstone soils that gives these wines there unique bold expressions. Agathe Bursin, the youthful viticultrice, is also experimenting with co-planted varietals, and looks to be about to explore the path that Marcel Deiss has gone down. Her style is generous, but with refined elegance and a traditional feel. This Sylvaner is very along those lines with its medium body and opulent fruit backed up by brisk focus and sharp detailing. The beautiful and lightly floral nose is vivid with intriguing white flowers, saline, mineral tones and orchard fruits that leads to a richly flavored palate that is both dry and decedent with a mix of citrus, peach, quinces and tangy mango fruits along with a chalky/stony element, a hint of lees and an array of minerals, spice and a touch of summer herbs. This Sylvaner really impresses texturally and with its lovely charms. It’s a grape that needs to be re-examined, especially when you find one as good as this! With its extract and subtle acidity, I’d expect this Bursin Lutzeltal Sylvaner to last a decade or more, but not drinking it now would be very hard indeed. This is pure pleasure and class in the glass and a great summery white.”
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Other Sylvaner from Bursin, in stock now:Agathe Bursin Sylvaner Eminence Zinnkoepfle, Alsace Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($39.95) $30.90 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93 points “Straw-green. Herbs, quince, pear and green apple on the captivating nose. Very pure and clean in the mouth, and much deeper and more complex than the Lutzental; this is the first vintage in years in which I find a truly noteworthy difference in depth and charm between the Sylvaner Eminence and the Lutzental. Finishes long, mineral and very structured. In fact, this is one of the more tactile, structured Sylvaners from Bursin that I have memory of.”
VinopolNote: Agathe Bursin is known in Alsace as one of the top producers of Sylvaner.  This is one of her top wines and provides a compelling reason to pay attention to the grape.  Aromatically really interesting with a bright, mineral palate and great texture.  This is a wine worth paying attention to.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Sylvaner Eminence Zinnkoepfle, Alsace Grand Cru 2013 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Ian D’Agata–Vinous 92 points “Gold-tinged straw. Delicate aromas of peach, apricot and poached apple. Rich and dense on the palate, with lively acidity lifting the sweet flavors of orchard and tropical fruits. Finishes very long, with impeccable balance. These Sylvaner vines grow in the grand cru Zinnkoepflé, the soils of which are marked by calcaires à entroques. Planted in 1930 with a southeast exposure, these vines give the description vieilles vignes real meaning, but Bursin doesn’t care to use this wording on the label since she believes the term has been reduced to mainly marketing purposes. “In France, vieille vigne wines are made with vines ranging anywhere from as little as 20 years to as much as 100 years of age, so what‘s the point?” she asks.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


July Sale Recap

See the complete list of wines on our July Clearance Sale below or click here to shop the sale on our web store!

july spreadsheet 7-23-18


Thanks for reading!