Weekend VinopolPick 8-24-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Fourrier Magic
Truly Transcendent: 2012 Il Poggione
Featured New Arrival: Crowley Single Vineyards

New Arrivals, Including:
Cayuse, Phelps, Carillon, Piancornello,
Castello di Verduno and More!

Hirsch on the August Sale – Austria Pure and Clear
Hot Wines of the Week
Méo-Camuzet Richebourg, Crown Jewel of Burgundy
New Wine Spectator Scores for Tuscan Favorites
One Week Left in the August Sale


Just Arrived!

Fourrier Magic

The Sought After 2016

Domaine Fourrier makes some of the most captivating wines in Burgundy.  To Burgophiles, this isn’t much of a claim—the wines that Jean-Marie has produced since taking over from his father have become hot tickets in the Burgundy world.  If you aren’t familiar, though, these are wines to put on your radar. Fourrier’s style is heavily influenced by his time working under Henri Jayer and the wines show this.

When young they’re among the most impressive in Burgundy, combining succulent fruit with minerality and a complexity that’s nearly unmatched in newly released wines.  They improve with age, as well, though we’ve always had a hard time keeping our hands off of the lower-tier wines in the first five years after the vintage.  Fourrier works exclusively with old massale vineyards (anything from vines younger than 30 years is sold off) and that sort of soul really makes it into the bottle.

By all accounts, 2016 in Burgundy looks to be a classic vintage and provides an interesting contrast to 2015. Where 2015 is built on power and ripe fruit, the ’16s are very much centered on more classic expressions of each terroir.  Wines from the vintage have very high quality across the board, with really pure fruit and lovely textures.  Fourrier is a producer who excels in most years, and 2016 very much plays to his strengths.

With each release, the Fourrier wines become harder and harder to find. Allocations keep narrowing and demand keeps rising.  Some of these wines have sold out, but we have an assortment of these wines at the high and low ends available.  All are only available in small quantities, though, so grab them quickly.

Just Arrived:

Only 19 bottles available!
Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Decanter 90 points “The Gevrey Vieilles Vignes is a great success, and effectively equivalent in quality to several of Fourrier’s premiers crus. It opens in the glass with aromas of red and black cherry fruit, rich soil and a framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep at the core and nicely concentrated, with plenty of succulent fruit. This is the most enrobed and complete of Fourrier’s villages in 2016. Drinking window 2024-2040.”
John Gilman 90 points “The 2016 old vine bottling of Gevrey AC, which hails from parcels on the northern side of the village, was showing very well indeed, offering up a fine bouquet of cherries, black raspberries, raw cocoa, mustard seed, dark soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is full, plush and generous, with a good core of fruit, fine soil signature, modest tannins and a long, poised and sappy finish. This will want a handful of years in the cellar, just to allow its secondary layer of complexity to emerge and the tannins fall away, but it is going to be very tempting to drink right out of the blocks. 2021-2050.”

Only 2 bottles available!
Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne 2016 750ML ($1,499.95) $1,199 special
John Gilman 96 points “The 2016 Griotte-Chambertin from Domaine Fourrier is a great wine in the making. The bouquet is pure, sappy and quite expressive, but the palate is still on the primary side and the wine will deserve a fully twelve to fourteen years in the cellar to start to properly stir from hibernation. The nose is a superb blend of red and black cherries, gamebird, a very complex base of chalky soil tones, woodsmoke, spicy oak, mustard seed and a pungent topnote of roses. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and already quite velvety on the attack, with a sappy core, lovely transparency and grip, fine-grained tannins and a long, tangy, refined and laser-like focus. There will be plenty of temptation to drink this on the earlier side, unless it closes up significantly after bottling, but it would be crime to really touch a bottle before at least 2030! 2030-2100.”
Decanter 95 points “The Griotte is beautiful in 2016, the inherent elegance of the vineyard synthesising perfectly with Fourrier’s limpid style. Aromas of cherry, raspberry, rose petal and liquorice mingle with subtle nuances of rich soil, introducing a full-bodied, silky wine, its fine, chalky tannins cloaked in a deep and ample core of pure, glossy and succulent fruit. This should be very special with some bottle age. Drinking Window 2026 – 2050.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $1,399.99

Only 3 bottles available!
Domaine Fourrier Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Solon Vieilles Vignes 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special 
“Healthy dark red. High-pitched perfume of cherry, red licorice and minerals. Energetic wine in a rather cool, leanish style, offering good intensity and medicinal reserve. Finishes with harmonious, toothdusting tannins and good length but with its firm acidity, this comes across as slightly tart. “-Stephen Tanzer-Vinous
“Enough wood to notice sets off the ripe and fresh red berry fruit and spice scents. The nicely round, rich and textured middle weight flavors possess a lovely intensity before concluding in a dusty finish where touches of warmth and rusticity appear.”-Burghound

Only 6 bottles available!
Domaine Fourrier Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($999.95) $699 special
John Gilman 94 points “With the shortened crop in Clos St. Jacques, there is no Cuvée Centennaire here this year, just a single, truly lovely bottling of this great vineyard. The nose is pure, nascently complex and very precise, offering up scents of red plums, cherries, gamebird, mustard seed, a complex base of soil, roses and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep full-bodied and classically structured, with a sappy core, excellent backend mineral drive, ripe tannins and a very long, vibrant and promising finish. 2030-2070.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93-95 points “Bright dark red. Knockout ethereal nose combines raspberry, licorice, rose petal, lavender, wild mint and spices. Densely packed but juicy, suave and a bit youthfully imploded, conveying an almost magical impression of weightlessness. Cool and reserved but not at all hard, this fully ripe but reticent wine spreads out to saturate the palate, showing a lighter touch than the Combe Aux Moines. Displays a captivating restrained sweetness from start to long finish. As the lower part of his Clos Saint-Jacques parcel was frosted (production for this premier cru was cut by 30% in ’16), Fourrier chose not to make a separate Cuvée Centennaire.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Only 4 bottles available!
Domaine Fourrier La Combe Aux Moines Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($299.95) $219 special
“The 2016 Combes aux Moines from Jean-Marie Fourrier was also down by thirty percent in quantity, but is absolutely stellar in quality. The stunning nose soars from the glass in a mix of red and black cherries, grilled meats, raw cocoa, black minerality, woodsmoke and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with great purity and soil signature, ripe, perfectly integrated tannins, bright acids and fine focus and grip on the very, very long and very pure finish. This will take a couple more years in the cellar to come around than the Goulots, but it will be every bit as refined and elegant when it has reached its plateau of maturity. Superb juice. 2028-2065.”
Decanter 91 points “The Combe aux Moines was still quite heavily charged with CO2 when I tasted it, but this warm site has produced another sweet, open-knit wine which offers up aromas of ripe cherry, summer fruits and rose petal, and a rich, full-bodied, ample palate impression. This is just a little brief on the finish, which keeps the score down a touch. Drinking Window 2024-2040.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 91-94 points “Good moderately saturated red. Deep, brooding aromas of black cherry, licorice and smoky minerality. As mineral-driven as the Goulots but with more size and breadth to its dark fruit and spice flavors. Sweet and seamless in the middle, spreading out horizontally to saturate the palate; lovely floral element. Finishes suave and very long, with fine-grained tannins; at once fully ripe and vibrant. This beauty will need at least a few years in bottle to reveal its full personality.”

Only 3 bottles available!
Domaine Fourrier Les Petits Vougeots Vieilles Vignes, Vougeot Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($499.95) $399 special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 89-92 points “Bright, moderately saturated medium red. Rather wild scents of crushed cherry stomp, flowers, medicinal herbs and minerals. Offers a lovely fine-grained texture and sweetness of fruit but still in a juicy style for all its ripeness. Very good for this cuvée but there are just three barrels of this juice from 0.34 hectare–or not much above 20 hectoliters per hectare. Savory and long on the aftertaste, with plenty of tannic support.”
Burghound 89-91 points “A discreet application of wood more easily allows the cool, pure and airy essence of black cherry and floral scents to be appreciated. The equally elegant flavors possess a sublime mouthfeel, indeed the word lacy would be apt, though the finish is sufficiently tight and linear at present that a few years of bottle age should help to flesh it out.”

Only 1 bottle available!
Domaine Fourrier Les Goulots Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 93 points “Normally we will taste Goulots ahead of Champeaux in the lineup chez Fourrier, but I am guessing that the idea was to show the two Gevrey premier crus that escaped frost damage first, followed by the crus higher up on the Combe de Lavaut, where yields were off by an average of thirty percent. Champeaux lies right below Goulots on the slope and the 2016 here is an outstanding wine in the making, delivering a fine nose of red and black cherries, dark chocolate, grilled meats, a lovely base of soil, a touch of fresh herbs, woodsmoke and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very pure on the attack, with a sappy core, excellent soil signature, fine-grained tannins and a long, vibrant and nascently complex finish. A beautiful bottle in the making. 2028-2060.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 91-93 points “Good bright-medium red. Tight, dark aromas of black fruits and licorice pastille lifted by a whiff of cranberry. Ripe and broad, but with terrific inner-mouth floral lift and a rocky pungency. Tannins are fully ripe and fine-grained. Offers a rather exhilarating–and uncommon–combination of cooler flavors and full phenolic ripeness. This wine comes from a very cool, east-facing site planted on rock, which had difficulty ripening its fruit prior to global warming. A tighter, more intellectual style than the Champeaux: Fourrier loves the Goulots with sushi, while he’d pair the Champeaux with a rib-eye steak.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Only 1 bottle available!
Domaine Fourrier Les Cherbaudes Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($279.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Decanter 93 points “Fourrier’s old vines in Cherbaudes, just below the Clos de Bèze, were planted in 1928, and they have produced one of the highlights of the range in 2016. Aromas of plum, cherry, forest floor and grilled meat are framed by a creamy application of new oak, introducing a full-bodied, concentrated wine with an excellent chassis of rich tannins and good depth at the core.Drinking Window 2024 – 2045.”
John Gilman 92 points “There was no frost damage at all in Cherbaudes and the 2016 from Domaine Fourrier was showing very well at the time of my visit, with a plush and transparent personality that augurs very well for its future development. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a fine blend of red plums, cherries, chocolate, mustard seed, a complex base of soil and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with lovely nascent complexity, ripe, seamless tannins and a long, vibrant and classy finish. The vineyard of Cherbaudes can sometimes be a bit sauvage in personality out of the blocks, but the inherent elegance of 2016 has ameliorated this character trait and the wine is already very elegant. 2027-2060.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


Truly Transcendent

The 2012 Il Poggione Brunello

Most Brunello collectors buy either traditional or modern examples with the exception of a few wines whose appeal seems to transcend stylistic categories. These wines are the real ‘collectible’ Brunellos: there’s always going to be a market for them. In that category, Il Poggione manages to be unique. It’s a wine that’s traditionally made, yet approachable, beloved across the board and is still reasonably priced.

For that reason, Il Poggione remains one of our favorite wines in Brunello—it’s tough to beat the combination of quality and price. The wines are probably the least expensive, collectible-quality Brunello out there. The 2012 vintage is no exception and the wine is gorgeous, with all of the personality you’d expect from a classic vintage. The wine is in a very nice place right now if you wanted to pop a bottle and it’ll certainly age for a couple of decades without breaking a sweat.

We’re offering this at an exceptional price—less than $50 a bottle by the six-pack.  Buy a bunch, drink a few now and then wait for the fireworks to really start around the wine’s 10th birthday.  We always wish we had a bit more of this in the cellar, but at this price, we don’t have any more excuses.

In Stock Now:

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) $55 special
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 ($519.95) $299 special (that’s only $49.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year’s best Brunellos.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $76


Featured New Arrival

Crowley’s 2016 Single Vineyards

It’s a pleasure to taste the new releases from Tyson Crowley.  His wines combine both delicious upfront fruit with a bright acidity and a keen sense of terroir.  The new releases tasted are prime examples.  Both the 2016 La Colina and Four Winds vineyard wines are delicious up front, but show very different personalities.  La Colina is a classic Dundee Hills site and shows it—the wine has generous fruit and the soft floral notes that we look for from the AVA.  The Four Winds, on the other hand, is from a much cooler, high altitude site and shows a firm backbone and a distinct savory streak that only comes from vines living a hard life.  Either way, these are wines that are delicious and thrilling, especially from the successful 2016 vintage.  Both just arrived and ought to be in your cellar sooner than later.

Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Winery note “The Four Winds single vineyard Pinot Noir is gaining fans! Our 2014 sold quickly and we’re beginning to understand why. This wine is about elegance, length, transparency and subtlety. It’s an understated wine. The La Colina has angles and density while this wine is all about pretty and sleek. It’s delicate and approachable young and has quintessential Pinot flavor. It’s lighter in color and weight and always leans toward ‘classic.’ Dry farmed, 100% Pommard clone, aged for 22 months in neutral barrels.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Winery note “The beautiful rolling La Colina Vineyard was our first vineyard holding and it’s been an exceptional site from the very beginning, turning out many of our favorite barrels in the cellar year after year. Dry farmed, 100% Pommard clone, aged for 22 months in neutral barrels.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!


New Arrivals


One of the landmark bottlings in Napa, at a great price.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($249.95) $189 special
Wine Advocate 97+ points “Composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc coming from six vineyards and reared for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2014 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of crushed blackberries and fresh blackcurrants with touches of cigar box, sandalwood, dried lavender, beef drippings and mocha plus a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and incredibly elegant and fine in the mouth, the lively fruit is well structured by grainy tannins and seamless acid, finishing long and earthy. 14,500 cases were made.”
James Suckling 97 points “The blackberry, dark-chocolate and walnut aromas are persuasive. Full body, a dense and fruity center palate and beautiful depth and intensity. The tannin texture is exceptional. Great wine. Drink in 2020 and onwards.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Dominus Estate Napanook, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 96 points “This is fantastic on the nose with blackberries and forest flowers. Very aromatic. Full body with soft, well-integrated and medium-grained tannins. Undertones of black olives. Love the hints of sandalwood. Drink or hold.”

Cayuse Vineyards Flying Pig, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($169.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “I loved the Merlot dominated 2013 Flying Pig, and it offers full-bodied richness and depth, as well as a stacked mid-palate, to go with classic plum, cassis, wild herbs and dried flower nuances. There’s tons of dry extract here, and the tannin is notable, yet ripe, all of which make me believe it will be long lived. Like the 2012, short-term cellaring will be the name of the game.” JD

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Cayuse Vineyards Flying Pig, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($169.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “The Merlot dominated wine from the estate, the 2014 Flying Pig incorporates 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Like all of the Bordeaux blends here, it’s raised in puncheons, with a small amount being new. This full-bodied barrel sample has a rich, voluptuous style as well as textbook cassis, lead pencil shavings, cedar and graphite aromas and flavors. I love its overall density and depth, and it while it should drink nicely out of the gate, it should evolve gracefully as well.”

Betz Family Winery Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The 2015 Père de Famille is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 4% Merlot that’s mostly from Red Mountain aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. This inky colored effort is packed and stacked, with deep blackberry and currant fruits intermixed with lots of graphite, crushed rock, and minerals as well as smoky, violets aromas and flavors. This full-bodied beauty has gorgeous purity and elegance. It needs 2-4 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille exhibits complex aromas of pencil lead, inky dark fruit, wild blueberries, black truffle, incense and anise. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, layered and very concentrated, with a deep core of sappy fruit, rich structuring tannins and a long, penetrating finish. This will need some time in the cellar, but it’s very complete and full of promise.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The more elegant of the Carillon brothers
Domaine Jacques Carillon Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Burghound 89-91 points “Outstanding Top Value. A strikingly fresh and pretty nose combines notes of citrus, apple and acacia blossom. The rich, round and generously proportioned medium weight flavors possess a seductive mouth feel and subtle minerality before concluding in a sappy, focused and moderately firm finale. A quality Puligny villages.”

Perrieres is a top vineyard for a reason.
Domaine Jacques Carillon Les Perrieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($169.95) $149 special
Burghound 91-93 points “Sweet Spot Outstanding. A moderate amount of sulfur largely masks the nose today but it seems ripe. Otherwise the finer if slightly less concentrated middle weight flavors possess notably more minerality while delivering first-rate depth and persistence on the saline-inflected and chiseled finale. This too is excellent.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The hidden gem in the J. Carillon holdings.
Domaine Jacques Carillon Les Champs Canet, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($169.95) $149 special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 91-93 points “The 2016 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet has a terse, wet limestone-scented bouquet that is austere but very well defined. Très Puligny! The palate is crisp and taut with very good weight in the mouth, a fine thread of acidity and real salinité on the finish that you can feel a good 30 seconds after the wine has departed. Recommended.”
Burghound 90-93 points “Outstanding. More elegant and denser aromas are comprised by aromas of citrus zest, spiced pear, Granny Smith apples and a floral hint. The sleek and seductively textured flavors possess lovely volume and mid-palate concentration, all wrapped in a caressing, rich and sneaky long finish. Excellent.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Chateau Latour’s third wine and a great intro to the style.
Chateau Latour Le Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
James Suckling 90 points “A firm and silky red with currant, plum and berry character. Medium body, fresh finish. Stone and dark fruit. Drink now.”

“One of the Brunellos of the vintage”
Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $48 special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 96 points “Deep red-ruby. Highly perfumed, mineral aromas of raspberry, red cherry, violet and iron. Wonderfully sappy but youthfully imploded in the mouth, this remarkably precise and well-delineated Brunello offers an extremely refined set of flinty red and black fruit herbal flavors. Finishes with a firm edge of tannins and very good floral and spicy lift. An outstanding, very pure and deep wine that really needs about a decade of patience. One of the Brunellos of the vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $55
Powerful, intense, yet full of grace.
Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 97 points “Luminous deep red. Less stony and scented on the nose than Piancornello’s memorable 2013 Brunello, offering hints of gingerbread and exotic fruit elements to the red berry and cherry aromas and flavors. Thick and creamy in the mouth, but lovely acidity and a saline element give the wine a three-dimensional texture and keep it light on its feet despite noteworthy concentration of extract and flavor. This densely packed, rich and ripe Brunello will age splendidly. Not surprisingly, this 2012 Riserva is weightier and fuller than the 2013 Brunello from Piacornello, but still comes across as refined and steely in the typical house style.”

Given the vineyard sourcing, this remains a steal.
Castello di Verduno Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($47.95) $38 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 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 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 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

New Arrivals Straight to the August Sale

Austria, Pure and Clear

If you’re looking for some of the most vivid, detailed and precise white wines in the world, look no further than Hirsch in Austria’s Kamptal.  These are wines that have a compact power and intensity, with flavor in high fidelity and at prices that seem silly relative to their quality.

Hirsch’s wines, from the low to the high end, are some of the best deals in the world of fine wine.  Both Grüner and Riesling are crisp and delineated, with clear terroir signatures and real gutsiness.  They represent what’s best about modern white wine making, with a stainless steel polish backed up by a spine of real soulfulness.  We have an assortment that just landed, and we’re offering them to you at unusually low prices—great values made better deals.

An incredible value formerly known as Grüner #1.
Weingut Hirsch Hirschvergnugen Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($21.95) Was $17, Now $14 August Clearance Price
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “A riper aspect of Bosc pear plays about this Grüner. The palate, however, reins this back in with punchy, zesty flavors of arugula, lemon rind and green pear. There is quite some concentration on the core as well as real verve and nerve.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $23
The “village” wine of the estate and a wonderful bottle.
Weingut Hirsch Kammern Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $18 August Clearance Price
David Schildknecht–Vinous 91 points “This cuvée, formerly (and, as Hirsch readily grants, misleadingly) labeled “Heiligenstein” because that name can also designate a Grosslage, is possessed of tangy freshness of apple and lime, an incredibly active sense of crystalline mineral impingement, transparency to greenhouse-like flower and foliage nuances, and invigorating nips of white pepper on a refreshing yet richly ripe finish. True, that description seems to fit Riesling more than Grüner Veltliner. But an earthy undertone of beet emerges with air to accompany the crunch and piquancy of which this beauty has absolutely no shortage. And while there is a flattering hint of textural creaminess, this wine’s sense of clarity and animation are also remarkable for the vintage. If one bears in mind that this cuvée is dominated by lesser lots from Grub, Lamm and Renner, then its sheer quality might not be so surprising. But as for its vintage-atypical personality, an attempt to explain that would have Hirsch taking us back to biodynamics and other imponderables.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $23.68

Renner always shows more finesse than Lamm.  Delicious.
Weingut Hirsch Kammerner Renner Gruner Veltliner Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($44.95) Was $36, Now $24 August Clearance Price
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92-93 points “Last tasted from tank, this smells esterously and sweetly of ripe quince, lychee, honeydew and caramelized parsnip, almost as if it were a blend incorporating Chenin Blanc and Gewürztraminer. A glossy and enveloping midpalate delivers a luscious reprise of the aforementioned elements, accompanied by seductive inner-mouth chamomile perfume, while alkaline and mossy notes lend intrigue to the soothingly sustained finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “The nose is rather shy and merely hints at green Conference pear. The palate is soft but very peppery, the ripeness of yellow-stone fruit bathes the flavors in a warm light. This slowly but irredeemably draws you to its delicious, fruit-driven core. Balance comes by way of lemon freshness and savory spice. Enjoy!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
One of the most profound whites made in Austria.
Weingut Hirsch Lamm Gruner Veltliner Erste Lage OTW Reserve Trocken, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $39 August Clearance Price
Grapelive 94+ points “Johannes Hirsch’s Lamm Gruner is truly majestic. It’s a dense, dry and powerful Gruner Veltliner that is comparable to a Grosses Gewächs; it’s a gorgeous single Grand Cru trocken white with tremendous class and pedigree. Lamm has to be considered one of the greatest vineyards in Austria, and this wine shows why! This 2015 Lamm is richly and heavenly textured with silky finesse and vital energy, hiding its powerful engine under a velvet cushion with stunning concentration and the purest minerality with layers of lemon/lime, minty almond oil, white anise, white plum and crushed stones. The vineyard Lamm is set on a core of loess and mica with a sandy/brown rocky top soil which in years like 2015 give weight and depth, without sweetness or high alcohols, meaning you can have a masterpiece like this one is. This wine when open, transmits joyous harmony, pleasure throughout and subtly sprinkles in earth, spice and even a sweet/meatiness. It’s beautiful detailed and nervy or cat-like in a smooth leopard kind of way. This is greatness in the glass. Drink this Gruner Cru over the next 5 to 10 years, and be sure to check out all of the Hirsch 2015’s!”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $50
The village level Riesling, a surprisingly serious bottling.
Weingut Hirsch Zobing Riesling, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $18 August Clearance Price
David Schildknecht–Vinous 90 points “Fresh apple, lime and vintage-typical honeydew melon are mingled with bittersweet gentian and iris perfume, crushed stone, iodine, and pungent green herbs in this firm but infectiously juicy performance whose sustained finish leaves the palate lightly shaken and profoundly refreshed.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Clean-cut zesty freshness pervades nose and palate with lively, ripe and toothsome citrus zest: mandarin and lemon dominate. The palate is sleek and slender with focus and verve. Wonderfully bracing.”
Terry Theise note “The structure is what I call ‘horizontal,’ but if you accept a wine that doesn’t jab at you, this has regions of herbs, smoke and irises, and a suggestive and fine, smoky finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $25
Gaisberg is always ethereal and beautiful.
Weingut Hirsch Zobinger Gaisberg Riesling, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $36 August Clearance Price
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “The haunting, esterous nose suggests rowan and white peach accompanied by kirsch and blueberry distillates. Firmer in feel than the corresponding Heiligenstein but bursting with midpalate flavor, this finishes with downright reverberative intensity; eye-watering brightness such as one least expects from 2015, not to mention mouthwatering salinity and consummate sheer refreshment. It seems to leave behind a load of crystalline stone and an alkaline residue you’ll have to scrape from your teeth.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “The nose just gives a gentle hint of ripe apricot. The palate, on the other hand, speaks freely of zesty citrus: ripe lemon and fresh Seville orange, full of tart zestiness and refreshing zing. This is slender and linear, taut but chock-full of fruit. There is drive and energy and total refreshment.”

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Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $55.99

Don’t worry about pronouncing it, buy it already!
Weingut Hirsch Ried Heiligenstein Riesling Erste Lage, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $36 August Clearance Price
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “The perfumed, otherworldly scent of blood orange works its charm on the nose of this lovely wine. The palate is remarkably fine acidity, great finesse and a very long and salty finish that is also pure and finely aromatic. The 13% alcohol comes along light and vital, and the tension in the finish is full of positive vibrations. A great dry Riesling from one of the world’s most spectacular vineyards for Riesling. Highly recommended!”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Last tasted from tank, slightly ahead of its July bottling, this leads with effusive and alluring scents of buddleia and freesia. The palate impression is oily, rich, peachy and nutty, but remains transparent to crystalline nuances and incorporates inner-mouth echoes of heady floral perfume. Peach kernel piquancy and smoky, alkaline notes reminiscent of Loire Chenin Blanc add counterpoint to the lusciously lingering, at once soothing, shimmering and vibrantly stimulating finish. One could long for the brightness and mouthwatering scallop-like briny sweetness of the 2014, whose rating I would now upgrade by a point from last year’s assessment, but this gorgeous 2015 will provide years of self-indulgence and fascination, especially if followed in parallel with the evolving 2014 and 2013.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $44.99
The average price is $52


The Hottest Wines of the Week

Cool climate Syrah for a ridiculously cool price. This wine kicked off our September Clearance sale:
Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2011 750ML ($24.95) Was $18, Now $11.90 September Clearance Price
$119 pre-arrival September Clearance Price (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
: 90% Syrah, 10% Viognier from the Deux Vert vineyard (planted 1994) in Yamhill-Carlton. Deeply colored, with fountains of dark fruit and spice, and smooth tannins. Only 130 cases were produced from these non-irrigated vines. Bottled at 12.7% alcohol, at Matello’s winery in McMinnville.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Big, rich Chardonnay in the August Sale!
Orin Swift Mannequin, California 2015 750ML ($34.95) Was $21.90, Now $18 August Clearance Price
Case-12 Orin Swift Mannequin, California 2015 750ML ($359.95) Was $279, Now $199 August Clearance Price (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Winery Note
“Bursting aromatics of honeydew, honeysuckle and ripe peach are complemented by a hint of jasmine, pineapple and cream. With lots of weight and viscosity, the full-bodied palate brims with ripe stone fruit, wet stone and a touch of sweet Meyer lemon. The fleshy, golden mid-palate evolves into a pointed, textured finish that closes with lots of minerality.”

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Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $24.90
This is ultra-classic Fleurie at a stellar price.
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie les Garants, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Case-12 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie les Garants, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($339.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Vivid ruby. Aromas of fresh dark berries, candied violet and smoky minerals pick up a hint of allspice with air. Sweet and nicely concentrated, offering juicy boysenberry and blackberry flavors and a touch of licorice. Finishes sappy and smooth, showing excellent persistence, lingering spiciness and dusty tannins that sneak in slowly.”
VinopolNote: Although the recent press for the Mouin-a-Vent has pushed it to the forefront of the Vissoux collection, the two Fleuries from Pierre-Marie Chemette have traditionally been the estate’s calling card. The Garants vineyard is on what the Domaine describes as “noble granite soil” and is the more structured, age-worthy of the two Fleuries (the soil has a definite Morgon influence on the wines). This is rich and structured, with some of the classic perfume of Fleurie, but also an iron-rich depth in its core.

An absolute stunner, perfect with cheese or Thai food.
Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese is bright, pure, very fine, floral and flinty on the nose. It is provided with perfectly ripe and concentrated, slate-flavored fruit aromas intermixed with lemon and grapefruit notes. This is a lush, piquant and elegant, filigreed and finessed Auslese. It has great finesse and provided with a lot of Spiel and salt. The finish is pure, piquant and salty, but also lush and generous. This is a very precise, straight and stimulating, highly digestible Auslese with a lot of energy, tension and aging potential. It is very clear and there is no hint of botrytis here.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “This offers a beautiful nose of cassis, grapefruit, greengage, apricot tree flower, white flowers and herbs. A more yellow fruit driven side comes through on the palate with yellow peach playing with acidity to produce a mouth-watering cocktail of Mosel charm. A hint of sweetness in the finish is still in need of integration of this gorgeous Auslese in the making. 2025-2045.”

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A Crown Jewel of Burgundy

Méo-Camuzet’s Richebourg

Méo -Camuzet is a legendary name in Burgundy for good reason, having produced legendary wines year after year.  Their top bottlings can stand toe to toe with any in Burgundy, including names like Roumier, DRC and Rousseau.  We’re excited to announce the acquisition of one of their two top wines, Richebourg, from the legendary 2015 vintage.  This is a wine to buy and treasure, a stunning achievement from a top vintage. 2015 was a warm vintage and played to their strengths, as well. It’s hallmark Méo-Camuzet, with big rich textures and extravagant aromatics. We only have one bottle remaining and it arrives next month.

Arriving ETA September:

Just one bottle left!
Meo-Camuzet Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($2199.95) $1999 pre-arrival special
Burghound 95-98 points “Here too there is enough reduction present to push the underlying fruit to the background. Otherwise there is breathtakingly good concentration to the broad-shouldered, succulent and lavishly rich flavors that also possess an almost haunting inner mouth perfume of spice and floral elements. There is superb power and buckets of dry extract and despite the imposing size and weight this remains refined and immaculately well-balanced on the massively long finale. I was knocked out by the potential this demonstrated but note well that it is a wine to buy and forget as this is going to need 20 to 30 years to reach its full apogee.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 95-98 points “Dark ruby-red, a shade lighter than the Cros Parantoux and Brûlées. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, boysenberry, licorice, flowers, musky roast coffee and crushed-rock minerality. Wonderfully spherical, dark and profound, displaying a tight but utterly suave grain and strong saline minerality. The wine’s superconcentrated black fruit flavors mount slowly and carry spectacularly on the rising finish. A monumental wine in the making.”
Decanter 96 points “A heady nose, more black fruit than red, hedonistic and sumptuous. The dense attack is super-concentrated but not heavy-handed or extracted. There is power but not at the expense of elegance. Magnificent, full of energy, and very long. Drinking Window 2020-2038.”

New Wine Spectator Insider Scores

For Tuscan Favorites

Two 100% Sangiovese Super-Tuscans just got great write-ups in the new Wine Spectator Insider.  While these points won’t hit newsstands for a bit, we’re give you the chance to stock up now, before the rush.  These are two of our favorite wines year in and out, and it’s no surprise they did so well in a great vintage like 2015.

Arriving ETA September:

$49 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “This red is savory and fruity, offering black cherry, blackberry, plum, leather, spice and underbrush flavors, matched to a firm matrix of tannins. Just a bit on the rustic side now, with beefy tannins, yet balanced overall. Sangiovese. Best from 2021 through 2035.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $57
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Ripe, offering black cherry, plum and floral aromas and flavors, this red is harmonious and lush. Shows accents of earth, mineral and tobacco, and the tannins meld together nicely. Finishes with a touch of sweet spice. Sangiovese. Drink now through 2028.”
August Sale Recap

Only One Week Left!  

With only a week left, August may be winding down, but our August Sale isn’t!  Take a look at these highlights and check out the full list of wines afterwards!

This is what Italian Pinot Grigio aspires to.
Jermann Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli Venezia Giulia 2015 750ML ($27.95) Was $21.90, Now $18 August Clearance Price
James Suckling 92 points “I like the aromas of sliced pears with hints of stones. Medium body, a dense center palate and flavors of pear skin and light cream. Fruity finish. Screw cap. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Aromas of white peach, flint and hint of banana carry over to the round, ripe palate along with green apple and a note of juicy tangerine. Fresh acidity brightens the creamy flavors and leads to a bright, clean finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $23
If we made it a California wine, you’d call it SQN (and the pricing a bargain).
Orin Swift Department D 66 ‘Pharaon’, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2014 750ML ($189.95) Was $136, Now $119 August Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 95 points “The top wine is the 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes Pharaon, and it’s a barrel selection that ended up being an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was aged in 75% new French oak. While the cooler, late vintage didn’t favor Grenache, Richard commented that Syrah excelled, hence the larger portion of Syrah in the blend than normal. About as sexy and textured as they come in the vintage, this beautiful 2014 offers lots of crème de cassis, black raspberry, chocolate and peppery nuances to go with a full-bodied, luxuriously textured, hedonistic slant on the palate. Despite the ripeness level, it stays fresh and lively, with notable underlying structure. Hats off to the team here. This beauty will cruise for another decade.”

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Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $160
Bereche’s sublime cuvee: based on a perpetual reserve started in ’85
Bereche et Fils Reflet d’Antan Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($299.95) Was $249, Now $199 August Clearance Price

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Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $289.99
Scarce quantity and rare quality
Lucien Le Moine Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy 2010 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 August Clearance Price
VinopolNote: Lucien Le Moine (the nom de plume for Mounir and Rotem Saouma) is one of the hottest names in Burgundy.  The rise has been meteoric due to the scarcity of the wines (under 100 barrels) and that they only work with grand and premier cru vineyards—with the exception of a tiny amount of Bourgogne.  To understand why the Le Moine Bourgogne rouge is such an exceptional wine, the first thing to understand is that the house doesn’t make, or set out to make, anything close to average wine.  Jaspar Morris MW calls them an “haute-coture negociant” and just like a high end designer, they want everything they do to make a statement.  The Bourgogne is a blend of village and premier cru wine from some under-the-radar appellations and even some Premier and Grand Cru barrels that don’t quite meet the exceptionally lofty standards to be sold under the vineyard names. Less than 500 bottles make it into the US, so the chance to acquire some is a special opportunity. When you couple that exceptional raw material with the Le Moine house style, which is heavily influenced by Jayer, you end up with wines in a very exclusive peer group.  That style produces exceptionally sensual wines—wines that have textures like silk and explosive fruit that seems to arrive in waves from nowhere.  They’re the opposite of rustic—polished and luxurious.  These are wines that any wine lover should covet and take pains to acquire for their cellar. 2010 is looking like an all-time great Burgundy vintage.  This bottling gives a clear picture into why.

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A more elegant take on Rio Sordo, this is a knockout.
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 1.5L ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price
Wine Spectator 95 points “A lively version, displaying cherry, plum, licorice, spice and subtle tar flavors. Taut and balanced, exuding a mineral element on the long finish. Really elegant overall. Best from 2021 through 2035. ”
Winery note “Barbaresco Rio Sordo was born through a severe selection in a vineyard of Nebbiolo grapes. The   immediate characteristics are its complexity and deepness accompanied with elegance and finesse. The colour is garnet red with slight orange flecks.  The taste is intense and persistent and its intriguing perfume as slight hint of wild fruit, spicy with sensations of leather and pepper. It combines perfectly with important red meats dishes, roasts, mature cheeses.””
This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!

Want to see all the wines in the August Sale?
Just head to our website or check out the full list below


Thanks for reading!