Weekend Vinopolpick- January 10th 2015

January 10, 2015

Flash Sale

Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz, McLaren Vale 2013 750ML ($89.95) $66 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Dense, dark and brooding, with smoky, tarry overtones to the pulsing core of blueberry, plum and black tea flavors, weaving licorice notes through the finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $68.99
The average price is $76 / bottle

Great Italian Wine Buys

Azienda Agricola Ceralti Scire Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany 2012, 750ML ($29.95) $14 special
Tucked away in the medieval village of Castagneto Carducci near Tuscany’s seaside, is the historical Ceralti estate.  The family once sold its grapes to Ornellaia and Sassacaia.  Recently, they have begun producing their own estate wines, which offer supreme value.  Their 9 hectares of vineyards are located mostly on the hills surrounding Castagneto and Bolgheri.  The grapes are grown using traditional methods to encourage low, concentrated yields and are hand-picked during harvest.  The family is currently expanding its farm, planting olive trees for experimental cultivations and new vineyards using local grape clones.  The Scire is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot grown in soils rich in clay.  The winery describes it as having an intense fruit flavor with good balance and soft, sweet tannins.  When we tasted the wine in store, we found it to be a well-balanced, medium bodied Bordeaux-style blend with good tannins.  It opens with notes for red cherries and cranberries.  There is a streak of woody herbs and underbrush, with a hint of campfire smoke on the finish.Petrolo Torrione Toscana IGT 2009, 750ML ($39.95) $25.70 special
James Suckling 94 points
“Aromas of lightly stewed fruit, with hints of fresh herbs and spices. Full bodied, with soft tannins and a fruity finish. This is balanced and long, with a caressing finish. Best ever. Mostly Sangiovese, with a hint of Merlot. Better after 2013” JS

Ca’ del Baio Asili, Barbaresco DOCG 2011, 750ML ($59.95) $36.60 special
Case-12 Ca’ del Baio Asili, Barbaresco DOCG 2011, 750ML ($599.95) $399 case-price special (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2011 Barbaresco Asili captures the pedigree of this great site. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon all resonate in an impeccable, silky Barbaresco loaded with class. A translucent, crystalline wine, the 2011 impresses for its balance and overall harmony. What a gorgeous wine this is.” AG

Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT 2010, 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Antonio Galloni 94+ points
“The 2010 Fontalloro (Sangiovese) is impeccable. A sweet, open bouquet melds into expressive red fruits. Compared to the 2010 Rancia, Fontalloro is a decidedly more delicate, feminine wine. All the elements are very nicely balanced. I expect the 2010 will enjoy a fairly broad window of drinkability. Today I give the 2010 a very slight nod over the 2009, only because I think the 2010 will age a little longer, but both are striking.” AG

Marchesi de Frescobaldi Luce della Vite ‘Luce’ Toscana IGT 2011, 750ML ($99.95) $69 special
Wine Spectator 95 points –#47 Top 100 2014
–“Highly recommended. Polished and complex, featuring ripe black cherry, plum, mint, vanilla, chocolate, leather and tobacco aromas and flavors. Dense and tannic, with concentrated sweet fruit for balance. Finishes long and harmonious. Merlot and Sangiovese. Best from 2017 through 2035.” WS

Bodegas Muga

Bodegas Muga winery is located in the historic town of Haro in Rioja.  It is owned and operated by Juan Muga, whose grandparents Aurora and Isaac Muga Martinez founded the estate in 1932.  The estate’s 620 acres of vineyards rest at the foot of the Montes Obarenses within the Rioja Alta, a sub-region of the Rioja.  The Rioja Alta is considered the most important sub-region due to the quality and quantity of the wine produced.  The vineyards are typically at a high elevation with warm growing days and cool nights that contribute to complexity of flavors, retention of acidity, and moderate alcohol levels.  The soil in the region is a mix of clay, iron, alluvial and limestone.The region is well known for its love affair with oak and Bodegas Muga is no exception.  The estate owns over 14,000 barrels from a variety of sources and makes use of them in the fermentation and maturation stages of vinification.  The estate is noted for being the only Spanish winery with its own master cooper and in-house barrel-makers including a “cubero” who specializes in large casks.  Their usage of new barrels is, however, judicious and their wines represent tradition albeit more robustly than most.

The red wines are produced from a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha (Grenache), Mazeulo (Carignan) and Graciano.  The family is a proponent of using the traditional blend of grapes for their Rioja wines, which impart complexity and their own unique characteristics.  Tempranillo, which most likely originated in the Rioja, is the base of the reds.  Garnacha is lighter with more fruit and floral aromas and potential alcohol.  Mazuelo is crisp and delicately flavored.  Graciano gives inky and perfumed notes to wine.

The grapes are analyzed for quality upon arrival to the winery through measurements of total acidity, color, potential alcohol and physical condition.  Grapes that meet their requirements are sorted by quality and vineyard and destemmed before fermentation in large wooden casks.    The wines age for two the three years and are racked off the sediment every four months.  This process helps aerate the wine, as well.  Before bottling, the wines are fined with the traditional use of egg whites to soften tannins and remove any remaining sediment.  Bottles are aged for 9 to 36 months, depending upon the style of wine.

New Release: Bodegas Muga Wine Arriving Here Thursday January 15

Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($499.95) $439 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.58/bottle!)
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“(70% tempranillo, 20% garnacha, 7% mazuelo and 3% graciano; fermented in large oak vats and aged for 28 months in small French and American oak barrels of varying age):  Inky purple.  Flamboyant aromas of ripe berries, incense, potpourri, smoky oak and pungent minerals.  Lush, fleshy and alluringly sweet, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that coat the palate.  Smooth, seamless and impressively concentrated but also lively, with sneaky tannins giving shape to the long, spice-accented finish. “
Bodegas Muga Wine Available Here Now
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(70% tempranillo, 20% garnacha, 7% mazuelo and 3% graciano; aged for 24 months in French and American oak): Brilliant ruby. Black raspberry and smoky oak scents are lifted by enticing mineral and spicecake notes. Dense, supple and deep, with intense flavors of black raspberry, mocha and vanilla. Very full, velvety wine, finishing with smooth, ripe tannins and a vibrant red berry quality.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “So we moved on to the reds with the 2009 Reserva, a vintage where they harvested quite late and they compare to 2005, a powerful year. The blend is 70% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name here), 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from old terraced vineyards in the lowest part of the Oja valley where the river meets the Ebro. The grapes are fermented with their natural yeast in old oak wooden vats for 20 days with daily pumping-over and aged for two years in barrels, the first year in new ones, and the second year in used ones. The young nose is dominated by dark fruit aromas intermixed with notes of orange rind, licorice, Chinese ink and smoked peat. The palate shows some grainy tannins denoting a young but tender wine, with good intensity and acidity, ideal to have with food. ..Very Rioja. Drink 2014-2020.” WA

Just Arrived – Dominio de Pingus Wines

Peter Sisseck has had a blessed run during his career in the wine business. He had the very good fortune to acquire some of the finest, oldest vineyards in Ribera del Duero when it was still possible to do so, and he used these
vineyards to create one of the world’s iconic wines. Releasing his first vintage of Pingus wines in 1995 to rave reviews across the board, he has become an icon among Spanish winemakers. From the very beginning, the Danish winemakers worked to push his old vine Tempranillo to its highest limits, focusing on low yields of the utmost quality. The Flor de Pingus is made from vineyards in the La Horra zone, with vines averaging 35 years or older in age, each parcel is hand harvested and vinified separately before blending.For Peter, Pingus’ success has been a gift worth sharing and in 2006, with that spirit in mind, PSI began. With the help of winemaker Pablo Rubio, Peter’s goal with PSI is to encourage the local growers who have been working the vineyards in Ribera del Duero for decades to make a wine that is truly theirs. Their aim is to move these growers, step-by-step, towards farming healthier vineyards and getting better fruit, making available their expertise and equipment and rewarding growers with higher prices for their fruit as the quality improves. The partners employ long, gentle macerations to get the most harmonious extraction possible from their grapes, using a mix of large and small oak casks and cement tanks, with virtually no new wood. The wines are subtle, delicate, and as compelling as anything seen in modern Spain, providing a true connection to Ribera del Duero and its growers.

Pingus Wines- Just Arrived Here at Vinopolis

Pingus PSI Ribera Del Duero 2011 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Glass-staining ruby.  Dark berry, bitter chocolate and potpourri on the perfumed nose.  Spicy, penetrating black and blue fruit flavors show impressive clarity and lift, with a zesty mineral nuance adding bite.  Smooth and seamless on the subtly tannic finish, which leaves juicy blueberry and violet pastille notes behind.”
This is the lowest listed price (including tax) in the USA!
The average listed price is $41 / bottle

Pingus Flor De Pingus Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($109.95) $89 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points
“Vivid ruby. Heady aromas of fresh blackberry, boysenberry and smoky minerals are complicated by pungent hints of vanilla, violet and allspice. Lush, intensely flavored and focused, offering deep dark berry and cherry compote flavors and a suave spicecake nuance. Finishes smooth, sweet and very long, with resonating spiciness, a hint of licorice and fully absorbed tannins.”

Pingus Wines – Also Available Here Now
Pingus Flor De Pingus Ribera del Duero 2010 750ml ($109.95) $69 special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
“Vivid purple.  Ripe cherry, cassis, potpourri and cracked pepper on the intensely perfumed nose, with subtle licorice and woodsmoke qualities adding complexity.  Deep, sweet and expansive, offering explosive dark berry compote, floral pastille and anise flavors.  A spicy quality gains strength on the finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind.  This bottling has been going from strength to strength in recent years and offers superb value relative to its ritzy Pingus sibling.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $91 / bottle

Pingus Flor De Pingus Ribera del Duero 2011 750ml ($109.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“The 2011 Flor de Pingus demonstrates wonderful purity on the nose, perhaps more feminine and wily than the 2010 with luscious raspberry, blackberry and forest floor notes. The palate is full-bodied with filigree tannins and a little more volume than the 2010. It seems generous and very supple at this early juncture with a caressing, peppery finish that is extremely well focused. There 2011 has awesome potential and I cannot wait to taste this after two or three years in bottle.”

There’s more to explore in Spain!
Gathered below is a list of Spanish wines, all in stock and available now:


Campillo Rioja Reserva Selecta 2001 750ML ($27.95) $29 special 3+ cases availableFaustino I Rioja Gran Reserva 2001 750ML ($37.95) $33 special 28 bottles available
Decanter Magazine 97 points

“Outstanding – Restrained, mineral style with elegant tannins. Youthful and fresh, feminine and complex. Deliciously decadent, with extraordinary vitality in the palate and a long unique, finish. A jewel at this price. Drink 2014–2030. Alcohol 13.5%.””Bodegas Abanico Hazana Rioja 2012 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
“(85% tempranillo and 15% graciano; aged for a year in a combination of French and American oak):  Bright violet color.  Highly aromatic scents of black and blue fruits, Indian spices and fresh flowers are complemented by a deeper note of candied licorice.  Juicy and broad on the palate, with intense dark berry and floral pastille flavors that become spicier with aeration.  Dusty tannins give shape to the clinging finish.”

Bodegas Ilurce Rioja Rio Madre 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special 10 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“(100% graciano; aged in French oak for 11 months):  Opaque ruby.  Sexy, high-toned cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by notes of Indian spices and fresh rose.  Smooth and seamless in texture, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that become spicier with air.  The floral element repeats on the finish, which shows excellent clarity and persistence.  This wine delivers uncanny value and has the structure to age.”

Vina Ilusion Rioja Tinto 2011 750ML ($21.95) $14 special 30 bottles available

Marques De Legarda Rioja Reserva Familia 1995 750ML ($99.95) $79 special 15 bottles available

Lopez Heredia Rioja Bosconia Reserva 2003 750ML ($37.95) $26 special 35 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “(80% tempranillo, 15% garnacha, 3% graciano and 2% mazuelo):  Medium red.  Ripe red fruit, flowers and spices on the nose, with a smoky nuance emerging with aeration; very fresh for this notoriously hot vintage.  Concentrated but not at all heavy, with intense red berry and floral pastille flavors and a deeper note of singed plum.  The finish is bright and high-pitched, with lingering cherry and raspberry flavors and a hint of candied licorice.”

Lopez Heredia Rioja Tondonia Reserva 2001 750ML ($41.95) $33 special 17 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2001 Vina Tondonia Reserva is bridled with a lovely nose of decayed red fruit, fireside hearth, a touch of mulberry and small red cherry. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, crisp red fruits (wild strawberry and cranberry) with a sharp, vibrant, tense, tannic finish that has immense precision. There is a slight saline note lingering in the mouth after the wine has (regretfully) departed…”

Senorio de P. Pecina Rioja 2011 750ML ($17.95) $11.90 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 88 points
“Brilliant ruby.  Fresh red berries and cherry pit on the fruit-driven nose and palate.  Juicy, focused and refreshingly tangy, showing good finishing cut and length.  Drinkable now but this lively wine is balanced to reward at least a few more years of aging.”

Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri Labastida 2010 750ML ($24.95) $29 special 32 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Saturated ruby.  Blackcurrant, smoky minerals and potpourri on the highly perfumed nose.  Silky and sweet on entry, then packed with juicy dark fruit complicated by floral pastilles and a hint of blood orange.  Powerful but lithe, with seamless texture, fine-grained tannins and impressive energy on the finish.”

Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri Rioja 2009 750ml($29.95) $24 special 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Bright ruby-red.  Sexy, floral-accented aromas of candied red fruits, cherry-cola and Asian spices, with slow-building tobacco and licorice nuances.  Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering sweet cherry and black raspberry flavors and a touch of cracked pepper.  Finishes with very good energy and length, leaving floral and cola notes behind.”

Remelluri Lindes De Remelluri San Vicente 2010 ($34.95) $29 special 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Glass-staining ruby.  Heady aromas of boysenberry, cassis, fennel and pipe tobacco, with a sexy vanilla undertone.  Lush, velvety and sweet in the mouth, with sexy flavors of black and blue fruit preserves, licorice and floral pastilles.  A fleshy, powerful but shockingly energetic Rioja, with supple tannins framing a long, sweet finish.”

Remelluri Rioja Reserva 2009 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2009 Remelluri Reserva aims at showing the character of Remelluri, as this is the first modern vintage that does not have grapes purchased from external suppliers. These grapes are now in the Lindes range of wines, but in the past they were blended with the estate grapes. The cool Remelluri vineyards behave very well in warmer years. This 2009 is very clean with predominant aromas of earthy red fruit intermixed with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, a satin texture with round, fine-grained tannins and quite classical and very well-proportioned style. This is a great vintage for Remelluri Reserva.”

Remelluri Rioja 2008 750ml ($39.95) $33 special 28 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(mostly tempranillo, with garnacha, graciano, viura and malvasia):  Ruby-red.  Redcurrant, cherry, rose pastille and spicecake on the highly perfumed nose and in the mouth.  Silky, sweet and penetrating, with slow-building tannins and excellent finishing cut and length.  A very successful wine for this difficult vintage, and it’s built to reward at least another ten years of aging.”

Remelluri Rioja Gran Reserva 2005 750ml ($89.95) $79 special 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2005 Gran Reserva is the first since 1999 selected from the best casks, where it is aged for 25 months in used French and American oak. It has a wonderful, wild mint-scented bouquet with hints of licorice and white fennel. The palate is medium-bodied with bold tannins that bolster its vaulted structure. It has very good weight with grippy, dry, tertiary tannins towards the long finish. It will need several years in the cellar. Drink 2016-2025.”

Benjamin Romeo Rioja La Cueva de Contador 2009 750ml ($99.95) $79 special 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2009 La Cueva de Contador is sourced from declassified Contador fruit: pure Tempranillo cropped at 1.2kg per vine that is aged in new French oak for 18 months. Its name is derived from the ancient caves under San Vicente de la Sonsierra castle where the old cellar is located. It has a seductive bouquet with beautifully defined, precise, graphite-tinged black and blueberry fruit that unfolds with passing moments. The palate has immense purity and sense of symmetry and gently grips the mouth on the long, elegant finish. If you cannot afford Contador, well, this sure as hell comes close!”

Bodegas Marquesa Valserrano Rioja Reserva 2005 750ml ($27.95) $17.70 special 3+ cases available
Case-12 Bodegas Marquesa Valserrano Rioja Reserva 2005 750ml ($299.95) $189 case price special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“(90% tempranillo and 10% graciano):  Deep ruby.  Highly fragrant scents of redcurrant, cherry, dried rose and spicecake, with hints of smoke and pipe tobacco.  Packs a punch, displaying very good vivacity to the cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors.  Finishes sappy, focused and long, with silky tannins and lingering sweetness.  This elegant wine is drinking well now but has the balance to age.”

Emilio Moro Finca Resalso Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($21.95) $18 special 3+ cases available
Case-12 Emilio Moro Finca Resalso Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($249.95) $192 case price special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Vivid purple.  Ripe boysenberry and blueberry aromas and an undercurrent of mocha on the nose, with candied licorice and vanilla qualities coming up with air.  Lush, weighty and round, showing good thrust to its dark berry liqueur and cocoa flavors.  Finishes creamy, round and long, with soft tannins and building notes of plum and dark chocolate.”

Emilio Moro Malleolus Ribera del Duero 2009 750ml ($49.95) $36 special 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Opaque purple.  A heady, complex bouquet evokes blackberry and blackcurrant liqueur, with suave oak spice and potpourri elements.  Sweet, broad and pliant, the  intense dark fruit flavors showing great power, richness and depth.  Very young but flat-out seductive, finishing on a sweet, sappy note of candied dark fruits, with lush, harmonious tannins.”

Emilio Moro Malleolus de Sanchomartin Ribera del Duero 2009 750ML($179.95) $149 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 97-100 points
“The 2009 Malleolus de Sanchomartin was tasted from a barrel sample. Opaque purple in color with lovely floral aromas, Asian spices, and incense, on the palate it effortlessly combines power with elegance. It has superb grip, great volume, and plush, succulent fruit. It has the structure to evolve for 8-10 years and should drink well through 2040.”

Fescenino Ribera Del Duero 2013 750ML ($17.95) $14 special 3 bottles available

Pedrosa Crianza Ribera Del Duero 2008 750ML ($29.95) $18 special 5 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Bright ruby. Fresh red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by notes of vanilla and clove, with a subtle smoky quality gaining strength with air. Spicy and energetic on the palate, offering sappy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and deeper vanilla and cocoa nuances. The cherry note repeats on the smooth, tangy finish. This will be drinking very well in another couple years.”

Pesquera Crianza Ribera Del Duero 2010 750ML ($37.95) $29 special 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate & Stephen Tanzer 92 points
” (100% tempranillo, raised for 18 months in small American oak): Vivid ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied red berries and cherry, with smoke, anise and cola accents. Sappy, penetrating bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors give way to darker cassis with air and pick up a peppery nuance. Smooth, sweet and energetic on the lingering finish.”

Arroyo Val Sotillo Ribera Del Duero Crianza 2006 750ML ($34.95) $18 special 32 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
“Vibrant and honest, with expressive raspberry and cherry aromas and flavors accented by mint leaf, liqueur and cassis. Really hits the spot and then fades away in no hurry. A smoking-good crianza that hammers home the fact that Ismael Arroyo’s wines are still leaders in RDD. Drink now-2015”

Finca Villacreces Pruno Ribera Del Duero 2012 750ml ($21.95) $18 special 3 bottles available
Robert Parker 93 points
“This blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from a vineyard situated adjacent to one of the famous vineyards utilized to produce Spain’s greatest red wine, Vega Sicilia. Made from relatively old vines, the 2012 Pruno is a sexy, opulent, voluptuously textured effort that spent 12 months in two-year-old French oak barrels. Reminiscent of a baby Vega Sicilia, it possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as notes of high-class, unsmoked cigar tobacco, creme de cassis, licorice, graphite and spice box. Full-bodied, deep, velvety textured, lush and heady, at $20 a bottle, it is another sensational bargain from Eric Solomon. Enjoy it over the next 5-6 years.”

Vina Sastre Ribera del Duero Pagos De Santa Cruz 2010 750ML ($79.95) $69 special 8 bottles available

Vina Sastre Ribera Del Duero Santa Cruz Grand Reserva 1996 750ML ($149.95) $89 special 7 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Dark red. Captivating aromas of dried rose, dark chocolate and truffle. Silky on entry, then suave and perfumed in the middle palate, with subtle flavors of minerals and baking spices. Offers superb intensity without any excess weight. Rising finish features very fine tannins and superb persistence. Not a fleshy wine but classy and highly complex.”

Vina Sastre Ribera Del Duero Santa Cruz Grand Reserva 1999 750ML ($129.95) $99 special 10 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
“Ruby-red. Sexy, expansive aromas of cherry-vanilla, blueberry, spicecake and potpourri. Lush, palate-coating dark fruit flavors display liqueur-like depth and sweetness but are unexpectedly energetic, with notes of zesty minerals and candied flowers adding complexity. The floral note resonates on the endless, juicy, sharply focused finish. Sastre thinks that when this wine is mature, “in about 10 or 15 more years,” it will smell and taste a lot like a Barolo”

Vega Sicilia Unico Ribera Del Duero 2004 750ml ($399.95) $349 special 3 bottles available
Robert Parker 97 points
“Pablo Alvarez described 2004 as a textbook vintage with perfect temperatures and rain just when it was needed. The 2004 has a haunting bouquet of dark brambly black fruit, cassis, honey, a tang of marmalade and bacon fat. It already boasts an intense, burly bouquet that will require years to soften. The palate is full-bodied with succulent, ripe, intense black cherries, white pepper, minerals and liquorice and it fans out beautifully towards the finish with tar-tinged black fruit interlaced with black pepper. This is a multi-dimensional Unico, more masculine and grander than the 2005, perhaps the sibling of the 1994? ”

Cecilio Black Slate Priorat Gratallops 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
“(70% garnatxa, 25% carinena and 5% syrah; aged for a year in concrete tanks):  Bright purple.  Zesty redcurrant and cherry aromas show good clarity, picking up floral and allspice qualities with air.  Silky and open-knit, offering pliant red fruit flavors and a touch of rose pastille.  Finishes supple and spicy, with lingering raspberry and white pepper notes and soft tannins.”

Scala Dei Priorat Escaladei Black Slate 2011 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special 16 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“(80% garnatxa and 20% carinena; aged for ten months in French and American oak tanks): Opaque ruby.  Assertive, mineral-accented dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by notes of licorice, candied violet and black cardamom.  Rich and broad but lively, offering sharply focused blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter with air.  Closes tangy and long, with mounting tannins and impressive length.  According to the importer, these vines range from 40 to 100 years of age.”

Mas Alta Black Slate La Vilella Alta 2012 750ML ($21.95) $19 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
“Two brilliant efforts from the Bodegas Mas Alta include the 2012 Black Slate, a project of Rhone negociant Michel Tardieu, Philippe Cambie and Eric Solomon. From vineyards planted at a 1,000+ foot elevation, it was produced from 50- to 60-year-old vines and reveals a Burgundy-like personality. Copious notes of black cherry and black currant fruit intermixed with subtle spice, vanillin, crushed rock and spring flowers are found in this medium-bodied, elegant, stylish 2012. A blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Carignan and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, it was aged 12 months in French oak, of which 60% was new. It should drink well for 3-6 years.”

Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi Priorat 2012 750ML ($79.95) $69 special 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
“(100% garnacha):  Brilliant ruby.  Potent red berry liqueur and floral scents are complemented by deeper notes of licorice, cola and licorice, with a mineral nuance adding lift and focus.  Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated but lively spice-tinged raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of candied flowers.  Silky tannins add shape to the extremely long, fruit-driven finish, which leaves a sexy spicecake note behind.  In the context of elite Priorat wines this is a serious value.”

Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes 2012 750ML ($44.95) $36 special 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Brilliant ruby.  Potent, mineral-laced raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by exotic floral and spice qualities, picking up white pepper and mocha accents with air.  Seamless and sweet, offering silky red berry preserve flavors with a touch of allspice.  Closes lively and precise, with sneaky tannins and a jolt of bitter cherry.”

Rotllan Torra Priorat 2010 750ML ($24.95) $19 special 8 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Aromatic, with floral, spice and smoke notes, this expressive red follows through with kirsch, vanilla and mountain herb flavors that mingle in the firm texture. Balsamic accents round out the package. Drink now through 2020.”

Bodegas Maurodos San Roman 2009 750ML ($69.95) $59 special 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2009 San Roman comes from 45-year-old bush vines or older in San Roman, Morales de Toro, Arjujillo, Villaester and El Pego between 720 and 760 meters and sees 24 months in new and used French (70%) and American (30%) oak. It offers a very seductive bouquet with luscious red berry fruit – raspberry, wild strawberry infused with crushed violets that open with aeration. The palate is full-bodied and very well-balanced, ripe succulent tannins, plush blueberry and black cherries forming the core followed by a silky, ripe, sensual, velvety smooth finish. Modern in style, but extremely well-crafted, this is a sensational, delicious Toro red.”

Terra d’Uro Finca La Rana Toro 2010 750ml ($17.95) $14 special 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
“The 2010 Finca la Rana is a project between Cristiano Van Zeller and Javier Ortega. It represents one of the region’s outstanding values. The vines are 22 years of age under organic viticulture and the wine is aged for 11 months in French Bordeaux barrels. The nose is well-defined with brambly black fruit, cedar and graphite, in fact, quite Bordelais-like in style. The palate is well-balanced, with a fleshy opening, crisp acidity, and luscious red berry fruits providing joie de vivre and fine tension on the approachable finish. This is a great little Toro red at a superb price. Drink now-2015.”

Descendientes J Palacios Bierzo Petalos 2012 750ML ($24.95) $18 special 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“One of my sure values, I thought the 2012 Pétalos could not be surpassed so I opened a bottle next to the 2012 Pétalos del Bierzo, and I was wrong. The 2012 is extremely aromatic, with flowery aromas of violets, lilies and roses, really fresh, with notes of red fruit (acid strawberries), no traces of oak whatsoever, subtle, really Burgundian with hints of blood oranges, denoting freshness. The medium-bodied palate is extremely balanced, elegant, round, with volume and incredible freshness. For a young, entry-level wine there is incredible complexity, developing notes of fennel and aromatic herbs, all of it very harmonious and subtle. For Ricardo there is a change to a cycle of Atlantic vintages (2012, 2013 and 2014 so far), but 2012 was a special vintage, shorter and dried, but at the same time fresh. This could very well be the best Pétalos ever, and I cannot recommend enough.”

Descendientes J Palacios Bierzo Corullon 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special 30 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2012 Corullón is very fresh and aromatic … more fragrant and fresh than Moncerbal, really open and accessible, changing by the minute, with faint notes of underbrush and captivating hints of bitter almonds and fennel. The palate is medium-bodied, very accessible, silky, with velvety tannins and good acidity. This is approachable now, but with it’s balance, freshness and weight, it should age effortlessly and with class. I’m also tempted to say that this is the best Corullón to date.”

Descendientes J Palacios Bierzo Las Lamas 2011 750ML ($119.95) $79 special 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2011 Las Lamas is a true expression of both the vintage and the vineyard, which is usually the most powerful of all the wines produced by the winery. Perhaps 2011 imprinted more character in the wine than 2010 did. The nose is full of blueberries, peach and gunpowder, wet slate, peat and smoke notes. It’s a powerful wine, this is the only vineyard where they have some clay mixed with the slate. Some fine-grained tannins hint at the need of a couple of years in bottle.”

Borsao Campo De Borja Tinto Garnacha 2012 750ML ($11.95) $8.80 special 13 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer & Wine Advocate 89 points
” (85% garnacha and 15% tempranillo; all stainless steel):  Vivid purple.  Expressive aromas of black raspberry, violet and white pepper.  Supple, spicy and pliant, with an appealingly sweet quality to the dark berry, spice and floral flavors.  Plenty of personality here, especially at the price.  Finishes on a refreshingly bitter note, with silky tannins and very good persistence.”

Bodegas Borsao Campo De Borja Vina Borgia 2012 ($11.95) $8.80 special 3+ cases available
Bodegas Borsao Vina Borgia 2013 Bag In Box 3liter ($29.95) $18 special 14 boxes available
Case-12 Bodegas Borsao Campo De Borja Vina Borgia 2012 ($99.95) $86 case price special
Stephen Tanzer 88 points
“Bright purple.  Jammy black and blue fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Plump, juicy and tannin-free, making for very easy drinkability.  For the money, this really delivers, a point not missed by the numerous restaurants that are pouring this fruit bomb by the glass. ”

Bernabeleva Arroyo Del Tortolas Tinto De Madrid 2010 750ML ($41.95) $33 special 22 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“(all garanacha, raised in small and large oak, 25% of it new):  Vivid ruby-red.  A powerful bouquet offers red and dark berry preserves, minerals, Asian spices and fresh flowers.  Fleshy black raspberry and candied rose flavors are deep and palate-staining, but there’s no sign of excess weight.  Turns spicier on the sweet, gently tannic finish, which clings with superb tenacity.”

Bodega Bernabeleva Camino Navaherreros Tinto De Madrid 2012 ($19.95) $16 special 3+ cases available
Case-12 Bernabeleva Camino Navaherreros 2012 ($199.95) $169 case price special
Wine Advocate 91 points
“Vivid ruby-red.  Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of raspberry, potpourri and Asian spices.  Silky, penetrating red fruit and rose pastille flavors pick up a mineral nuance with air.  Clings with excellent tenacity on the vibrant finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a touch of blood orange.”

Bernabeleva Navaherreros Tinto De Madrid 2011 750ml ($24.95) $21.90 special 25 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Bright ruby-red.  Flamboyant aromas of raspberry, Asian spices, pungent herbs and white pepper.  Dense, juicy and focused, offering mineral-driven flavors of raspberry, spicecake and rose pastille.  The incisive finish features silky tannins and an echo of juicy red fruit.  This sexy wine is delicious right now.”

Ameztoi Txakolina Hijo Rubentis Rosado 2012 1.5liter ($79.95) $66 special 4 magnums available

Gorrondona Bizkaiako Txakolina Tinto 2013 750ML ($29.95) $27 special 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2013 Gorrondona Tinto is a rarity, a red Txakoli produced exclusively with the red local grape Hondarrabi Beltza that fermented with indigenous yeast and went through malolactic in vat. It has an herbal nose, not unlike other Atlantic reds from southwest France or the Loire, a bit wild with some chili pepper and floral notes. It has certain elegance, with fine grained tannins. A red for blue fish? Drink now-2016.”

Bibei Lacima Ribeira Sacra 2009 750ML ($74.95) $51.90 special 12 bottles available
Bibei Mt Mouraton Ribeira Sacra 2008 750ML ($59.95) $44 special 12 bottles available

Olivares Altos Hoya Monastrell Jumilla 2011 750ML ($11.95) $8.80 special 3+ cases available
Case-12 Olivares Altos Hoya Monastrell Jumilla 2011 750ML ($139.95) $89 case price special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Bright purple.  Black raspberry and cassis aromas, with spicy mineral and floral elements gaining power with air.  Powerful dark fruit flavors are sweetened by vanilla and cola nuances and lifted by juicy acidity.  Impressively velvety wine, with very good finishing breadth and lingering spiciness.  Plenty of bang for the buck here.”

Zorzal Garnacha Vinas Viejas Navarra 2010 750ML ($14.95) $9.90 special 3+ cases available
Case-12 Zorzal Garnacha Vinas Viejas Navarra 2010 ($149.95) $89 case price special
Stephen Tanzer 88 points
“Bright purple.  Jammy black and blue fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Open-knit and juicy, with good clarity and lift.  Not the last word in complexity but extremely easy to like.  Finishes with good clarity and subtle spiciness.”

Zorzal Graciano Navarra 2010 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89 points
“Vivid ruby.  Bright, spice-accented aromas of cherry and redcurrant, with a deeper licorice note building with air.  Youthfully taut red fruit flavors show good depth and pick up spiciness with air.  Dusty tannins add grip and shape to the finish, which features notes of bitter cherry and cracked pepper.”

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