Weekend VinopolPick 9-20-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Beaux Freres Flash Sale
Plus Special Sequitur Sale Pricing

First Offer: 2017 Fourrier

Featured New Arrival: Agathe Bursin’s Wonderful 2018’s

Newly Arrived Wines from Vajra

Bastide Blanche: Budget Bandol

Sea Smoke’s Cult Pinots

Collector’s Corner

New Champagnes from Georges Laval

The Sleeping Giant of the Rhone


Beaux Freres Weekend Flash Sale

Beaux Freres is one of the Great Names in Oregon wine—one of the wineries that helped put the Willamette Valley on the map.  Big, rich wines with lots of character (plus a familial relation to the Mayor of Monkton) mean that these wines were some of the earliest sought-after wines from our corner of the wine world.  They continue to make excellent wines and we’re excited to offer them to you at pricing that’s more exceptional than usual—but just for the rest of the weekend.  Stock up quickly—these prices are gone once the wine is or Monday hits.

Beaux Freres Flash Sale Prices Expire Sunday, September 22nd at 11:59PM (PT)
Arriving Friday, September 26th:

Beaux Freres Belles Soeurs Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($109.95) Was $99, Now $79 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “The has an attractively smooth and supple style to it with bright strawberries and fresh red cherries, framed in flowers and fresh leaves. The palate is very smoothly delivered, amid silky, plush and attractively fine-cut tannins that carry freshness and depth into an elegant yet long finish. A triumphant return after a 12 year hiatus, this is sourced from Beaux Frères, Upper Terrace and Sequitur vineyards). Drink across the next decade.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Impeccably polished and structured, with gracefully expressive cherry and blueberry flavors, laced with black tea, spice and orange peel notes, taking on richness toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2027.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Beaux Freres ‘The Beaux Freres Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($109.95) Was $99, Now $79 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points
“There’s a real sense of depth and detail here with fresh cherries and blueberries, swathed in vanilla-dusted violets, fresh-cut roasting herbs and biscuit spices. The palate has a very plush and smoothly rendered feel with a long, smooth and seamless run of ripe blueberries and cherries. Concentrated and elegant pinot with a long, long finish. Drink across the next decade.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Combines structure with verve, offering richly expressive raspberry, violet and orange peel flavors that take on polish and complexity toward well-buffed tannins. Drink now through 2028. 3,600 cases made.”
Josh Raynolds 94-95 points “Deep red. High-pitched cherry, black raspberry and rose scents are complemented by hints of succulent herbs, exotic spices and musky flowers. Shows impressive energy and focus on the palate, offering juicy dark berry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors given a spicy edge by a hint of star anise. Closes smooth, appealingly sweet and very long, with fine-grained tannins adding framework and gentle grip.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $91.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 94-95 points
“Bright red. High-pitched red berry, cherry cola and incense scents show outstanding clarity and spicy lift. Palate-staining red berry preserve, spicecake and floral pastille flavors slowly deepen on the back half. Manages to come off graceful as well as lithe, with no rough edges. Finishes smooth, spicy and extremely long, featuring sneaky tannins and lingering red fruit and candied rose notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beaux Freres Zena Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) Was $75, Now $69 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beaux Freres Flash Sale Prices Expire Sunday, September 22nd at 11:59PM (PT)

Plus, Special Sequitur Sale Pricing

Looking for top wines from Mike Etzel, founder of Beaux Freres?
Check out our verticals of his current project, Sequitur, just arrived and in stock now:

Sequitur Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The 2015 Sequitur Chardonnay delivers toasted almonds, baker’s yeast, fresh ginger and coriander seed on the nose with a core of grapefruit, white peaches and spiced apples. Light to medium-bodied, it gives a great intensity of savory flavor layers intermingled with stone fruit and citrus notions, finishing long with great freshness and mineral notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Sequitur Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
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.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Broad and spicy, open-textured and generous, with ripe plum and currant flavors, shaded by pepper, sage and coffee notes as the finish sails past fine-grained tannins. Completely harmonious and made to age. Drink now through 2024.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $99
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
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.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Pale to medium ruby purple in color, the 2015 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a very provocative nose of Bing cherries and cranberries over a core of red roses, game, yeast extract and underbrush. Medium-bodied, with wonderful energy and freshness, it has a lively backbone and long finish paved with very fine, ripe tannins.”
Winery note “Sequitur 2015 Pinot Noir “Two fold,” a collaboration between our Mother, the earth, those of us who “play” in the vineyard and winery, and you, the wine lover.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $99
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points
“Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.95
The average listed price is $93

Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-95 points
“Lurid red. Spice-tinged blackberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola, incense and smoky minerals. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated dark berry and spicecake flavors and suggestions of rose pastille and mocha that build with air. Concentrated but also vibrant and precise in style, delivering superb finishing cut, well-knit tannins and impressive, fruit-driven persistence. (30% new French oak).”
Nick Stock-Jamessuckling .com 96 points “Beautifully deep, blueberries and plums on offer with notes of fresh violets and moist, fresh-tilled earth. This is full of life and very pure. The palate has focused and fresh tannins that sit in very vibrant style with a deep push of concentrated blue fruit, holding the finish in superb style. So fresh and long, this will age well. Drink across the next decade or more.”
Winery Note “TOTALITY—During the growing season of 2017, Oregon was treated to a total solar eclipse, where the moon passed exactly between the earth and the sun.  Day turned to night, the temperature dropped and the farm animals were disoriented.  The moment of awe was tempered with a deep sense of vulnerability, as we witnessed our world bow down to the power of nature.  May this 2017 vintage seeped in “totality,” bring you a fresh perspective.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


First Offer

2017 Fourrier

Domaine Fourrier makes some of the most captivating wines in Burgundy.  To Burgophiles, this isn’t a surprising 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.

We’ve just finalized our allocation and pricing of the excellent 2017’s.  Due to the extreme weather that Burgundy experienced that year, yields are once again down.  When you combined those low yields with the estate’s ever increased popularity, quantities are down—and heading further down that road in future years.  If you love the estate like we do, you ought to jump on these as soon as you can.

Arriving ETA October:

Only three bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($999.95) $469 pre-arrival special
Decanter 97 points
“The Fourriers are one of only five owners of this superb premier cru, with a 0.89ha parcel that was planted in 1910. This is a wonderfully dense, layered expression of the terroir with flavours of liquorice, plum, black cherry and strawberry, granular tannins and laser-like focus and precision.”

Only two bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Les Champeaux Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($279.95) $229 pre-arrival special
Decanter 94 points
“Like many of the Fourrier holdings, this hails from the Brochon side of the village and shows corresponding zip and acidity. As ever, the 20% new oak is deftly handled, complementing the scented tobacco pouch and wild strawberry aromas and flavours.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Only four bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Les Cherbaudes Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($279.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Decanter 96 points
“Cherbaudes is located just below Mazis-Bas, where Jean-Marie Fourrier’s 0.67ha parcel was planted in 1940. This has the richness and density of a grand cru, so maybe its neighbour has influenced the quality of the wine by osmosis. It’s spicy, sweet and brambly with a fine, nuanced finish.”

Only six bottles available
Domaine Fourrier La Combe Aux Moines Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($279.95) $229 pre-arrival special
Decanter 96 points
“Combe Aux Moines is something of a signature wine from Fourrier alongside his Clos-St-Jacques. Reflecting its elevated position, this is a bright, aromatic, wonderfully refreshing style with some ferrous notes and a smooth, balanced finish.”

Only three bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Les Goulots Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Decanter 96 points
“Aromas of summer pudding and Turkish Delight waft from the glass on this delicious premier cru bottling. Facing east, this 0.34ha parcel was planted in 1966 and has yielded an elegant, ethereal, scented Pinot with impressive balance and focus.”

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Decanter 92 points
“Vieille Vigne (always singular at Fourrier) is sourced from 12 different parcels, most of them on the better, western side of the route nationale. This is always a pleasure to drink, and the 2017 is no exception, with supple, scented, alluring red berry notes, some vanilla oak and a zesty finish.”

Only one bottle available
Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($1499.95) $799 pre-arrival special
Decanter 97 points
“Its name may or may not have something to do with the fact that this was (allegedly) once a field of cherries, but there’s no denying that this is a wonderfully aromatic, zesty wine that combines palate-coating fruit sweetness with sappy acidity and a patina of vanilla spice. A very complete grand cru from a superb domaine.”

Only two bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Les Petits Vougeots Vieilles Vignes, Vougeot Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($399.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Decanter 94 points
“Sometimes overlooked in tastings at Fourrier, this 0.34ha parcel contains vines that were planted in 1930 and 1955. Delicate, smooth and scented, it’s a focussed, floral, sweetly defined Pinot that wouldn’t look out of place in neighbouring Chambolle-Musigny.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Only three bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Echezeaux Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Decanter 93 points
“Aux Echézeaux is a very well-sited 0.47ha village parcel just to the south of the Mazoyères grand cru on the border with Morey-St-Denis. Planted in the 1930s, this old vine cuvée is aromatic, refined and detailed, with chalky acidity adding extra bite to the summer berry flavours.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only three bottles available
Domaine Fourrier Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Solon Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special

Shipping Season is Here!

Have wines on hold, waiting to ship?
Reply to this email or give us a call (503-223-6002) with a shipping date and we’ll get you on the schedule!


Featured New Arrival

Agathe Bursin’s Wonderful 2018’s

Agathe Bursin is a wonderful producer of Alsatian wines, with a strong following in France, but somehow remains slightly unknown in the US.  Her production sells out before it’s even bottled—mostly to private clients in Europe, but a little makes its way over to our shores.  Yet when it gets here, sometimes it gets overlooked, because she makes wines that are useful at the table (and are priced as such) instead of being ‘trophy’ wines for collectors to fight over.  She lacks a national importer, which is another reason they might be a bit under the radar, though her wines are brokered by Thomas Calder (who also sells Prevost/Bouchard/Pattes Loup/Boulay, etc) which speaks to the quality of the wines.

The Bursin family has been making wines in Alsace for several generations and Agathe has taken the family domaine to new levels.  Educated in Burgundy, she worked in Chablis before returning home to the family winery and there is a marked Chablisienne influence on her wines in terms of their clarity of flavor and brightness.  All the wines she makes are delicious, and she’s known in Alsace as something of a Sylvaner whisperer, but we’d urge you to check out the entire range!

We think the wines of Alsace are perfect for the fall—they have freshness and elegance that you’re looking for but more weight and gravitas than similar wines across the Voges.  If you’re looking for white wines to go with lighter “red wine fare” like pork, chicken or braises, these make less filling, refreshing pairings (and they’re wonderful with salmon and crab, as well).

Just Arrived:

Agathe Bursin Pinot Blanc Parad’Aux, Alsace 2018 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 special
Classic Alsace Pinot Blanc.  Clean, crisp with nice minerality and a touch of nuttiness.  This would make an excellent aperitif or a smashing pairing with fish.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Riesling Bollenberg, Alsace 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“[Translated] Bollenberg is one of the three arid hills bordering the village of Westhalten. A thin layer of loess lines the hillsides. The soil is a pale yellow loam, very fine and sandy with clayey limestone. This soil is particularly favorable to full expression of the different Alsatian grape varieties.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Riesling Dirstelberg, Alsace 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
: The Disrstelberg vineyard is mostly composed of pink sandstone and is known as a high quality vineyard for a variety of grapes.  The wines from the site tend to be linear and crisp, with good varietal character.  Unlike many Alsatian producers, Bursin errs on the side of delicacy and raciness rather than pick too late and allow the wines to become rich and flabby for the sake of “power.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Agathe Bursin Sylvaner Eminence Zinnkoepfle, Alsace Grand Cru 2018 750ML ($39.95) $36 special 
: 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 only listing in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Sylvaner Lutzeltal, Alsace 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
: Bursin is known for Sylvaner and this is her entry-level bottling.  While it lacks the complexity and intensity of the higher-end wines, it offers great value and is wonderful insight into the house style.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Want to see all the in-stock wines from Bursin (including other vintages and her coveted SGN/VT dessert wines)? Just head to our webstore to see the full list.

Newly Arrived Wines from Vajra

Vajra remains one of our favorite producers in the Piemonte.  From top to bottom, the wines are excellent and they’re a real reference point that others are judged against.  The estate has always been good, but seems to have reached another level over the last 5-10 vintages.  These are stunning wines, built to age. They are best known for the Bricco delle Viole, but across the board these wines deliver real value and character.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“This Barolo offers a more immediate approach, with lots of dark berry followed by spice, tilled earth and black truffle. The 2015 Barolo Albe pours to a medium dark color and lays out a mid-weight texture, with bright primary fruit that is expertly woven into the wine. It exposes clearly etched veins of acidity and some determinedly firm tannins. Despite the Albe’s accessible personality, I recommend that you wait a few more years before popping the cork.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Pretty, featuring rose, cherry, raspberry and mint flavors, with a touch of mineral. Supple, harmonious and elegant, offering a long finish. The aftertaste is tinged with orange peel and tobacco notes. Best from 2021 through 2036. 4,500 cases made.”

G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The 2015 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole is a delicate and pure expression of Nebbiolo. The wine shows its naked beauty with pride, provocatively semi-dressed in lacy, floral aromas of wild rose and pressed violets. At this young age, the wine exhibits a gentle mix of fruity and floral characteristics that merge into the bouquet with intrepidness. The fruit from this vineyard within the Barolo township has maintained its freshness and crispness despite the heat of the 2015 growing season. I think it would be a lovely match for a veal piccata and cream sauce, with parsley and capers.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Enticing aromas and flavors of plum, cherry, iron and menthol are folded harmoniously into the lush texture and broad tannins of this long and vibrant red, with licorice, mineral and tobacco elements lingering. Best from 2022 through 2040. 1,200 cases made.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The flagship Barolo Bricco delle Viole is quite understated and gracious in 2015. Medium in body, with the persistent tannins that are so typical of this site, the 2015 is lithe, focused and full of energy. The warm vintage notwithstanding, in 2015, Vajra’s Bricco delle Viole is distinctly sinewy and tense. It will offer considerable appeal to readers who find some of the other 2015 Barolos too open and giving in their youthful stage. Kirsch, rose petal, mint and chalky notes build into a finely cut finish. Time in the glass softens some of the youthful, austere contours, but this remains a 2015 Barolo that needs time in bottle to be at its very best.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Also In Stock Now:

G.D. Vajra Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2015 Barolo Ravera captures all the best the vintage has to offer. More importantly, it has that extra level of textural richness and sweetness that the Bricco delle Viole does not have, at least not today. Creamy and beautifully textured in the glass, the 2015 is a total winner. Bright red raspberry and pomegranate fruit notes are lifted, while expressive floral and blood orange overtones add brightness. The 2015 suggests that the Ravera might, in time, become the flagship wine here. Don’t miss it!”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
G.D. Vajra Coste & Fossati Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2017 Dolcetto d’Alba Coste & Fossati is a wine of extraordinary and arresting beauty. Intense and yet also remarkably delineated, the Coste & Fossati is a terrific example of the heights Dolcetto can reach in skilled hands. Readers will find a gorgeous, beautifully layered wine endowed with tremendous energy and focus. Dark plum, graphite, smoke, menthol and licorice all build in this super-expressive and nuanced wine from Vajra. I loved it.”

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



Rosé of the Day

Bastide Blanche: Budget Bandol

Bastide Blanche makes some of our favorite rosé from Bandol—that it happens to be under $20/btl (by the case) doesn’t hurt.  This is some legitimately great rosé at a fraction of the price of Padeaux and Tempier.  Sure, it’s not quite as grand as those two wines, but at the price difference, why worry?  This is a wine to buy by the case and drink up whenever the mood strikes.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($259.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Vivid orange-pink. Bright, minerally and focused on the highly perfumed nose, displaying fresh blood orange, strawberry and floral aromas that expand steadily with aeration. Energetic and chewy in the mouth, offering concentrated red berry, citrus fruit and honeysuckle flavors that show excellent depth and delineation. Closes taut and precise, displaying strong persistence and a resonating floral note.”


Sea Smoke’s Cult Pinots

Sea Smoke, made famous by the movie Sideways, is known for making tiny amounts of rich, full-bodied Pinot Noir.  We’ve got two of their Pinots coming in, the “Southing” and the even-more-limited “Ten”.  Made from their self-proclaimed “California Grand Cru” vineyards, these are rich, dense Pinot Noirs that will appeal to anyone who loves lots of power in their wines.  If you’re interested, act soon—these will likely sell out before they hit the shelf.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills 2017 750ML ($134.95) $99 special
Winery Note
“Southing refers to the south-facing hillside bluffs found on our estate vineyard.  Each year, our goal for this wine is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance.  Southing is a true expression of the terroir of Sea Smoke Vineyard:  seductive flavors and fine tannins complimented by cool climate acidity.  The ever-changing nose of the2017 Southing exhibits baked strawberry, floral scents of rose and violet; and subtle spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $120
Sea Smoke Ten Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills 2017 750ML ($159.95) $119 special
Winery Note
“Ten is named for the ten Pinot Noir clones found on our estate vineyard. Our most masculine wine, it is brooding and intense, with firm, mature tannins and a long, velvety finish. Ten is not for the faint-of-heart and has been known, on occasion, to convert even the most fanatic Cabernet lover. ”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $140

Collector’s Corner

This is an icon of a wine from a top tier vintage (PS the ’17 just landed, as well).
Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($699.95) $579 special
Jasper Morris, MW 95-97 points
“A satisfactory yield approaching 45 hl/ha. Medium deep purple. Refined, reserved and really classy. Do not expect an explosion from Clos de la Roche but do expect something to make a long term classic. The balance on the palate is exquisite and subtly nuanced, as always it is a drier style but the fruit is infused throughout. Exceptional persistence. Magical. (Jan 2018)”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2016 Clos de la Roche from the Seysses family was really singing at the time of my visit. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a refined blend of red plums, cherries, gamebird, a touch of fresh nutmeg, superb soil tones and a deft base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant out of the blocks this year, with a sappy core of fruit, outstanding backend soil signature, ripe, suave tannins and a long, complex and tangy finish. I love the balance and breed this exudes this year. 2030-2075. (Nov/Dec 2017)”
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points “(the estate made a full crop of 40 hectoliters per hectare, as there was no frost here): Full, dark red. Captivating aromas of raspberry, strawberry, spices, flowers and sweet new oak. Juicy, intense and aromatic on the palate–youthfully imploded in a positive way. Projects compelling energy and subtle sweetness to its red berry and spice flavors. Finishes very long and tight, with an exhilarating wild berry element. A knockout sharply delineated Clos de la Roche that offers terrific intensity without any sense of weight.”

Jamet’s 2014 remains overlooked and underpriced relative to their other vintages.
Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie, Rhone 2014 750ML ($189.95) $169 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points
“Deep ruby. Heady, smoke- and mineral-tinged blueberry, raspberry and violet aromas show outstanding clarity and a hint of Asian spices. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering deeply concentrated but surprisingly animated red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors, along with a suggestion of spicecake. The strikingly long, penetrating finish features intense minerally cut, an echo of juicy red fruit and fine-grained tannins that come in late.”
James Suckling 95-96 points “Plenty of violets, pepper and deep-set spices are all part of the equation here, and this is a very complex Côte Rôtie that has a wealth of darkly stony notes, coal smoke and dark chocolate. Just superb! The palate’s succulent and swathed in plush, fine tannins that envelop black- and red-plum flavors. Plenty of volume, great elegance and a lot of detail. A vintage when experienced makers could still shine, and the sorting in the vineyard was clearly a large part of this. Classy wine with so much on offer. Best from 2020 for a decade or more. Tasted in tank shortly before bottling.”

The list of Validcava’s peers is pretty small (Soldera, perhaps Biondi-Santi, and…)
Valdicava Madonna del Piano, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2007 750ML ($299.95) $219 special
James Suckling 98 points
“An impressively structured wine. Aromas of blueberries and blackberries with hints of violets. Full body with velvety, rich tannins. Very tannic and powerful, yet the tannins are polished and pretty. Layers of everything here. Give this another three to four years before opening.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano is another super- finessed wine. Subtle floral notes meld into expressive red berries in a sumptuous Brunello that captures the essence of the vintage. The style is rich and deeply textured, but the 2007, as outstanding as it is, needs at least a few more years in bottle. Once again, finesse rules the day.”

Conterno’s wines are iconic and 2009 was a sensational vintage.
Aldo Conterno Colonnello, Barolo DOCG 2009 750ML ($199.95) $125 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The 2009 Barolo Colonnello is destined to occupy a special place in my heart as it turned out to be the first sample in my opening blind flight as Italian reviewer with The Wine Advocate. Darkly concentrated and rich, it sets the stage beautifully for 2009 Barolo thanks to its enormous grace, power and elegance. Where it really wins praise, however, is in the mouth. It shows solid grip and firm tannic tenacity that is bold and muscular without going over the top. It moves steadily over the palate in an exceptional manner. The bouquet opens to wild cherry, black licorice and drying notes of crushed white pepper. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Alluring and complex aromas of cherry, licorice, sandalwood and leather segue into sweet berry, floral and spice flavors in this red, which is still a bit monolithic, but harmonious and youthful, with a long finish and a spicy aftertaste. Best from 2017 through 2032. 250 cases imported.”

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A step up from Faiveley’s “regular” Clos de Beze, made in miniscule quantities
Domaine Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Beze “Les Ouvrees Rodin” Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($1499.95) $1199 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2016 Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru Les Ouvrées Rodin is showing brilliantly from bottle, unfurling in the glass with a rich bouquet of cassis, cherries, red berries, grilled game, licorice, spices and smoky new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and expansive, with a deep and intense core of sapid fruit that cloaks its satiny but abundant structuring tannins, underpinned by succulent acids and concluding with a seriously long, penetrating finish. This special cuvée hails from a parcel of vines planted in 1966 on the Chambertin side of Clos de Bèze, and its name commemorates a Faiveley family connection with the sculptor Rodin.”
Stephen Tanzer 95-98 points “(like the “regular” Clos de Bèze, this special cuvée from 60+-year-old vines on the Chambertin side of the cru was totally destemmed): Dark red-ruby. Less expressive but slightly riper aromas of purple and black fruits and pungent spices. Then utterly seamless and suave on the palate, offering a lacy, feminine texture with great energy and sophistication. The penetrating red berry and white pepper flavors are amplified by the wine’s mineral underpinning. The endless rising finish combines serious power and refined tannins. Ultimately a bit less expressive and tight-grained than the classic Clos de Bèze but this is even deeper.”
Burghound 94-97 points “(a selection of the oldest vines in one of their 3 parcels). This is aromatically similar to the regular cuvée save for being even spicier and displaying a bit more wood influence. There is almost painful intensity to the super-sleek big-bodied flavors that possess a positively gorgeous mouthfeel due to a mid-palate that brims with sappy dry extract that coats the mouth on the hugely long and impeccably well-balanced finale. While this may change given that these are barrel samples but based on the two that I tasted, this is actually slightly less structured though I emphasize slightly. Either way, this is a seriously impressive effort that should age effortlessly. (94-97)/2034+.”

Keller BA.  It exists (barely), but not for long.
Weingut Keller Monsheimer Silberberg Rieslaner Beerenauslese, Rheinhessen 2018 375ML ($319.95) $249 special

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A monument to the Northern Rhone.
Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon, Rhone 2013 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98+ points
“The star of the show in 2013 is the 2013 Ermitage le Pavillon. Coming from the west and eastern edges of the Bessards lieu-dit and aged in 30% new French oak, its sensational black/blue color is followed by the awesome bouquet of cassis, smoked earth, graphite and caramelized meats that could come from no other terroir in the world. Full-bodied, massive, dense, sexy and with a liquid rock-like character that comes out with time in the glass, it has sweet tannin and a blockbuster finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will have 30-40 years of more of ultimate longevity.”
Josh Raynolds 96 points “Saturated ruby. Pungent, spice- and mineral-accented aromas of dark fruits, candied violet and licorice pick up a peppery topnote in the glass. Sappy, incisive and pure, offering vivacious, deeply concentrated black raspberry and boysenberry flavors and a spicy topnote. The endless finish shows superb clarity and power, harmonious tannins and a strong mineral quality.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Racy and tightly coiled in feel, with a bright iron spine and tangy sanguine and pepper notes amid the core of cassis, bitter cherry and damson plum fruit. Shows terrific cut and precision. Minerality courses through the finish. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

The ’77 vintage is in peak drinking form at the moment.
W & J Graham’s Vintage Port 1977 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Graham is another great port house, producing one of the deepest-colored and sweetest styles of vintage port. Along with Taylor and Fonseca, Graham has probably been the most consistent producer of great port in the post- World War II era. Their tawnys are quite good rather than exceptional, but their vintage ports are truly sublime and sumptuous.”

Does it get better than Dal Forno Amarone?  Certainly not from the Veneto.
Dal Forno Romano, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2010 750ML ($399.95) $319 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 98 points
“This is a deeply communicative and articulate wine that boasts immense power and persistence. The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a creation of enormous beauty and unflinching intensity. The wine speaks at loud volumes with black cherry, spice, tarry smoke, barbecue marinade and grilled rosemary. Those balsam notes add length and continuity to the bouquet. In the mouth, the wine is complete and penetrating. It wraps thickly over the palate to soothe and entice your taste buds. Yet there is enough crispness to keep it from feeling cloying or too heavy. There is a point of tannic astringency on the finish that will accompany this wine over the next decade of its aging evolution. For that reason, it’s best to wait before popping the cork on this memorable vinous experience.”
James Suckling 97 points “Aromas of roses and other flowers with a deep fruit intensity. Full-bodied, dense and ultra-fine with a beautiful texture. Lots of new wood now but this will amalgamate with time into the wine. Fabulous potential. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Like a gymnast, this focused red shows both power and grace. Finely meshed flavors of blackberry puree, fig cake and Earl Grey tea leaf are framed by refined, dusty tannins, with a lasting finish expands on the palate with spice and smoky mineral details. Drink now through 2030. 450 cases imported.”

First Offer:

New Champagnes from Georges Laval

Champagne Georges Laval is one of the stars of the grower movement—a cult winery whose wines appear in miniscule quantities here in the states.  Vincent Laval makes wines that are rigid in their structure and impressive in their complexity—serious wines for studied drinking.  We’ve been working hard to secure some of these wines and are finally able to offer them today, freshly arrived.

Just Arrived:

Only six bottles available
Georges Laval Garennes Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2015) 750ML ($89.95) $71.90 special

Only twelve bottles available
Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($129.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“Wiry and tightly wound, the NV (2014) Extra-Brut Nature Cumières is fabulous. The flavors and textures sizzle with the crystalline purity that is such a signature in Vincent Laval’s wines. Today, the Cumières is tightly wound. It will need at least a handful of years to start to soften.”

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Only one bottle available
Georges Laval Cumieres Les Chenes Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“The 2015 Brut Nature Les Chênes, 100% Chardonnay, is dense and powerful from the very first taste. Soaring aromatics literally explode from the glass. Vivid and dazzling in its beauty, the 2015 possesses extraordinary intensity in every dimension. Vincent Laval opened this bottle à la volée, but does not expect to add any dosage, so this note should be quite representative of the final commercial release. Chardonnay is rarely this deep, complex or pedigreed.”

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Sleeping Giant of the Rhone

Delas is one of the most notable landholders in the Northern Rhone, with holdings in some of the best vineyards in every major AOC, yet they still manage to be overlooked when people put together collections of wine from the region.  We’d like to remedy that, so permit us a few seconds to sing their praises.

Delas makes some of the most powerful, intense wines in the Northern Rhone at prices that make them one of the superior values in the region. Density and richness are a hallmark of both the reds and the whites—there are no shrinking violets in the lineup.  We turn to them for big, bold wines that often show very well young—a remarkable trait in their part of France.

For whatever reason, the market has yet to catch up to the quality coming out of Delas’ cellar.  The Northern Rhone has turned into one of the hottest markets in the wine world, with many wineries getting expensive overnight.  That hasn’t happened to Delas—yet.  With the quality of recent vintages and the scores involved, we definitely see it happening soon, though, so if you love these wines now is the time to back up the truck.

In Stock Now:

Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Pale green-hued yellow. Penetrating, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh citrus and pit fruits are complemented by chalky minerals, violet and fennel accents. Juicy, focused and concentrated, offering intense pear nectar, Meyer lemon and honeysuckle flavors that show outstanding clarity and minerally lift. The mineral and floral notes carry emphatically through a silky, appealingly sweet finish that hangs on with superb focus and tenacity.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “A step up, the bigger, richer 2016 Condrieu Clos Boucher is blockbuster stuff, offering serious notes of crushed rock, buttered citrus, orange blossom, and a smoky, meaty, mineral character that’s hard to describe. Possessing full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate concentration and a seamless texture, this beauty will be even better this time next year and keep for 4-6 years.”

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The next best price is $94
Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2004 750ML ($199.95) $119 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points
“Ruby-red. Very pungent, deep aromas of tobacco- and underbrush-laced red and blackcurrant. Powerful and rich, showing impressive sweetness to its potent cassis and blackberry flavors. Really stains the palate, finishing with exceptional purity and mineral tones. Whatever tannins are here (and you know there are plenty) are completely absorbed by the sheer fruit mass.”

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Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2015 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection! There’s a striking balance here calibrating bold, almost muscular ripeness against an invigorating granite edge. This wine is plump and full bodied, full of supple blackberry and plum flavors balanced by pert acidity and taut, penetrating tannins. It should be in peak from 2020–2035 but hold further.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Inky ruby. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, along with complicating suggestions of smoky minerals, candied flowers, olive and vanilla. Deep, chewy and expansive in the mouth, offering impressively concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and salty olive flavors that are complicated by a hint of smoky minerality and a building floral pastille note. Distinctly rich and powerful but surprisingly graceful as well, showing noteworthy clarity and mineral-driven thrust on the strikingly long finish.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2013 750ML ($119.95) $59 special
Jancis Robinson 18/20 points
“Very dark purple indeed. Altogether broader and less focused than the Côte Rôties on the nose. Peppery and subtle. Very glossy, layered, complex and magnificent. I would reproach this only very slightly on the finish but it’s a pretty magnificent wine.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “One of the gems in the vintage is the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes, which comes from both the Bessards and Grandes Vignes lieux-dits on Hermitage Hill. Completely destemmed, then vinified in stainless steel and concrete tanks, the wine is aged 18 months in 30% new French oak; it offers terrific notes of dark fruits, graphite and ample minerality in a full-bodied, layered, ripe profile. It’s more approachable than the Les Bessards, yet will still have three decades of longevity.”

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The next best price is $79.97
The average listed price is $89
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“This is loaded with well-defined loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry pâte de fruit flavors, flecked with anise and black tea notes and carried by a fine iron streak that lingers wonderfully. A wine of cut, purity and precision. Best from 2020 through 2035. From France.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A blend of Syrah grapes from several lieux-dits, including Les Bessards, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is aged in new and second use barrels. It’s a dark, concentrated wine, meaty, rich and tannic but with a bright beam of cassis fruit that lifts it and gives it great definition and shape on the palate. Give this medium to full-bodied wine at least 5 years in the cellar and drink it over the next 15.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “While the Les Bessards gets all the attention, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine Des Tourettes isn’t far behind and is unquestionably the value play. Beef blood, cassis, blackberry liqueur and loads of crushed rock nuances all emerge from this ripe, concentrated, full-bodied Hermitage that has a classic, structured profile. It’s well worth a case purchase and will keep for two to three decades. As always, this cuvée comes from two parcels, the lower part of the Bessards lieu-dit and the Les Grandes Vignes located at the highest point on Hermitage Hill. It’s completely destemmed and sees 16 months in 30% new French oak.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Enticing hints of sweet spice, black pepper and bacon fat seduce on the nose of this rich but balanced Hermitage. Blackberry and cherry flavors are fresh and juicy but structured by firm tannins and brisk acidity. A polished wine already, it should intensify its savory, smoky complexities well through 2030.”

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The average listed price is $87
Wait, there’s more!  Want to see all of the Delas we’ve got available (both in stock and pre-arrival)? You can view the entire list in our webstore.

Thanks for reading!