Weekend VinopoPick 12-18-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

Featured New Arrival
Glantenay: The Smart Play in Top Volnay

Trending Champagnes

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines

Spotlight on Tuscany
Top Reds for Winter Drinking

New Grapelive Reviews for Galician Treasures


Featured New Arrival

Glantenay: The Smart Play in Top Volnay

“The disarmingly modest Thierry Glantenay is emerging as one of the Côte de Beaune’s most exciting producers of red wine. From his hillside winery overlooking the Marquis d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs, Glantenay is producing a lovely range of elegant, pure and intense Volnays and Pommards that are increasingly consistent and stylistically assured….In the cellar, no matter which barrel you choose, the wines taste reliably wonderful: indeed, after my first tasting with Glantenay, some years ago, I was compelled to return a week later to verify that I hadn’t been imagining things, and that so serious a producer could really be so little known.” – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Burgundy from the absolute top producers is something we’re always excited to buy—as long as the pricing is right, which is generally the problem.  For Thierry Glantenay, though, we couldn’t be happier to be in the game.  His wines, from old vines in Pommard and Volnay, have a purity and class that immediately mark them as absolutely top tier—and yet his prices are significantly lower than producers like Lafarge or d’Aangerville.

These are stunning wines for which the clock is ticking—there’s no way they’ll be priced this affordably for long.  Once a producer starts to get widespread notice these wines are going to skyrocket in pricing and so let’s take a moment to appreciate that you can currently buy Glantenay’s Bourgogne for nearly half the price of d’Angerville, or his Santenots for a third of Arnaud Ente’s (a third!!).

His premier cru Volnays are standout values as well—still under $100, but from some of the top terroirs in the village (and from extremely old vines as well).  This is d’Angerville/Lafarge/Lafon level stuff for a third to half as much. As William Kelley put it in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, “I was compelled to return a week later to verify that I hadn’t been imagining things, and that so serious a producer could really be so little known.”

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Thierry Glantenay Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chenes 2017 750ML ($114.95) $89 special
Neal Martin-Vinous 92-94 points
“The 2017 Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er Cru, which contains around 30% whole bunch fruit from the older vines in Glantenay’s parcel, has a very perfumed bouquet with wilted iris and violet petals permeating the dark cherry and boysenberry fruit. The Clos des Chênes has a hint of fig with further aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, a gentle grip in the mouth but very good substance and a silky smooth finish that is real class on the finish. There is actually less Clos des Chênes in 2017 than in 2016 due to the sheer concentration – try to grab a bottle if you can because this is very impressive.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes wafts from the glass with aromas of raspberries, cherries, citrus peel, rich soil and warm spices, subtly framed by creamy new oak. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, with the most depth, dimension and amplitude of any wine in the cellar, its juicy core of fruit entirely cloaking is fine structuring tannins. One of the best renditions of this vineyard I tasted in 2017, it’s a very impressive wine.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thierry Glantenay Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots 2017 750ML ($109.95) $85 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots is showing very well from bottle, wafting from the glass with aromas of raspberries, wild berries, dark chocolate and burning embers. Medium to full-bodied, ample and enveloping, it’s supple and lively, framed by powdery tannins. This has developed nicely and will offer a broad drinking window.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 90-92 points “The 2017 Volnay Les Santenots 1er Cru has more mineral expression and just a tad less VA than the Brouillards by comparison. The palate is well balanced with succulent tannin, juicy black fruit with hints of blueberry and cassis that dovetail into a finely structured, almost flinty finish. This has very good potential.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thierry Glantenay Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillards 2017 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90-92 points
“The 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillards exhibits beautiful nose notes of orange rind, wild berries, cassis and rose petals. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and satiny, with a lavishly textural attack, melting tannins and a succulent core of fruit, concluding with a long finish. In 2016, this cuvée was so small that Glantenay included it in his Volnay AOC, but happily, 2017 marks its return to the range.”

Thierry Glantenay Volnay 2017 750ML ($67.95) $54.50 special
Neal Martin-Vinous 90-92 points
“The 2017 Volnay Village comes from five parcels (including two small parcels of Premier Cru). It has a vibrant black cherry, bilberry scented bouquet with impressive vigour and neatly integrated oak. The palate is medium-bodied with light, supple tannin. Vibrant black cherries and raspberry, just a touch of salinity lending edginess towards the finish. Very fine.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 89-91 points “As usual, the 2017 Volnay Village includes two small premier cru parcels that Glantenay doesn’t wish to vinify separately, and it’s shaping up very nicely, offering up a fragrant nose of sweet cherries and berries, violets and orange rind. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, satiny and supple, with an ample core of sweet fruit and a fine-grained, elegantly chalky finish.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thierry Glantenay Bourgogne Rouge 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Neal Martin-Vinous 87-89 points
“The 2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir has a clean raspberry and blackberry scented bouquet (there is a tincture of the children’s drink Ribena here!) The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy tannin, fine acidity, fresh and lively with good energy towards the finish. Recommended.”
William Kelley, Wine Advocate “Glantenay’s 2017 Bourgogne Rouge is very persuasive, bursting with aromas of cassis, ripe red berries and spices. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, satiny and succulent, with a light framing of structuring tannins and a generous core of fruit. It will deliver great pleasure on release.” 

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Trending Champagnes
The Vinopolis staff’s “house” Champagne
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 3L ($319.95) $279 special
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 6L ($599.95) $519 special, IN-STORE PICK UP ONLY
Case-6 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points
“The latest release of André Clouet’s NV Brut Grand Réserve Grand Cru is showing well, exhibiting a nicely integrated bouquet of red apple, ripe citrus fruit, honeycomb and blanched almonds, followed by a medium to full-bodied, enveloping palate with a fine mousse, ripe but racy acids and an elegant, understated profile, concluding with a well-defined finish. This is a stylish, harmonious wine that makes for a fine introduction to the Clouet portfolio.” [Reviewed April 2019]

The average price is $43

A non-dosé version of the Vinopolis best-seller.
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 3L ($349.95) $279 special
Case-6 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Grapelive 92 points “
The beautiful “Silver” Andre Clouet 100% Pinot Noir non-vintage Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs is one of the best values in Champagne and this recent disgorgement is stunning and luxurious bubbly to enjoy almost guilt free. The Silver is a no dosage Brut Nature, meaning it is exceptional dry and vibrant in style, in a more grower-producer style, but still with regal richness and complexity with plenty of leesy brioche notes and a dense mouth feel showing lemon curd, quince, apple, wet stones, clove spice and hazelnut. With base of 2013 and a blend of reserve wines, this 100% Pinot Noir comes from all estate grown fruit from the mid slopes in the A Bouzy area, famous for Pinot Noir, on chalky limestone and clay soils that highlight the Silver’s mineral notes and ripe flavors. The Andre Clouet Champagnes are some of my favorite go to bubbly for any occasion, especially their zero dosage Brut offerings that have an additional zesty quality, like this one. The flexible personality, mature profile and charm here makes this Champagne an easy winner for sparkling wine enthusiasts and is also a crowd pleasing bottle for anyone and everyone, from novice to expert and has the substance and crisp detail to go with an array of dishes and flavors… Clouet uses traditional methods from start to finish with this Brut Nature Champagne seeing fermentation and aging in neutral French oak barrels, [and undergoing] full malolactic conversion, which definitely gives this wine added richness and depth. The Andre Clouet Champagne house is run by Jean-François Clouet, who was born and raised in Bouzy and still lives in the 18th century village house built by his ancestors. [He] strives to continue the regions tradition, but still is driven to elevate the quality levels here. Clouet farms some incredible Grand Cru plots around his home village of Bouzy as well as in the famous and very coveted middle slopes of Ambonnay with many vines in the best lieux-dits in the Champagne region. While great for celebrating events and special occasions, this Andre Clouet Silver Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, with its beautiful and vivid mouse, goes sublimely well with food and makes for a noble companion with any meal. I am always impressed by Clouet’s lineup of Champagne(s), but especially so this stylish zero dosage Blanc de Noirs, which I highly recommend!”

The average price is $47

Äy is one of the best villages in Champagne to grow Pinot, and Gatinois shows off why.
Gatinois Ay Grand Cru Tradition Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $44 special
70% 2016 vintage
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Grand Cru Tradition is gorgeous, but it really needs another 6-12 months on the cork, as it is very reticent today. Dried flowers, red plum, mint and chalky notes add aromatic intrigue to play off the natural richness of the Pinot fruit, which is also evident in the wine’s copper-toned color. A Champagne of power and resonance, the Gatinois Brut Tradition has so much to offer. Best of all, it is a superb value. The blend is 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay, all from estate holdings in Aÿ. Dosage: 7 gr/L. Disgorged: July, 2019.” [Disgorgement date may differ from review]
John Gilman 90 points “The new release of Brut Tradition from Louis Gatinois is from the base year of 2016 and was disgorged in September of 2019. It is its customary blend of eighty percent pinot noir from Aÿ and twenty percent chardonnay. The vins clairs all go through full malo and the blend includes thirty percent reserve wines. The bouquet is deep, youthful and classic Aÿ in personality, offering up scents of peach, apple, hazelnut, chalky soil tones, bread dough and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, broad-shouldered, bright and zesty, with a fine core of fruit, frothy mousse, very good depth and complexity and a long, well-balanced finish. The thirty percent reserve wines give this wine a nice patina of age on both the nose and palate. Good juice. 2020-2035.”
Winery note “Predominantly Pinot Noir (80%) which brings richness, structure and a delicious character. The 20% of Chardonnay adds a feminine touch to the blend. There is also a significant proportion of reserve wines in the blend (30%). The champagne is aged “sur lattes” (horizontally on racks) in our cellars for 2 years before the yeasts are disgorged.”

Looking for a fun-sized bottle of bubbles? This is a value winner.
Nicolas Maillart Platine Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 375ML ($29.95) $24 special
***Half bottle***
Importer note “2017-base. 57% Pinot Noir, 28% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier. 50% 2017 + 50% reserve wine.”
Winery Note “Golden in colour with a fine, lingering bead Nose: Intense with notes of fruit and hazelnuts and a slight toastiness Palate: The initial impact is wonderfully fresh and vinous, followed by great finesse. Slow, gentle pressing using gravity-flow techniques. Vinification in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and a period in the barrel for a certain volume of reserve wines. Average two-year maturing period in the bottle. Disgorged by hand and laid down for at least three months before sale.”

One of the great, unsung, tête de cuvées out there.
Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne Grand Cru 2000 1.5L ($349.95) $299 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“A rich version, with beautiful integration and mouthwatering acidity that seems to amplify the flavors of toasted raisin bread, black currant, candied orange zest and salted almond. Fresh and focused, showing hints of oyster shell and spice on the lasting finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A stunning bottle, both in presentation and what’s inside.
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millesime 2008 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really punchy and broad-shouldered with muscular structure and citrusy undertones. Full body. Lightly tannic and a fresh and vivid finish. This is the first vintage without malolactic fermentation ever. One for the cellar. Better in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The straw-yellow/white-golden colored 2008 Louis XV Brut Millésimé blends 50% Chardonnay (20 % from Avize, 15% from Oger and 15% from Mesnil) with 50% Pinot Noir (41.5% from Verzenay and 8.5% from Bouzy). Disgorged in January 2018 with a dosage of six grams per liter, the 2008 displays a clear, pure, fresh, chalky-tinged and vinous nose with lemon, white fruits, brioche, hazelnuts, white blossoms and some caramel notes. Pure, lean, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a lingering hazelnut flavor, this is a straight yet complex cuvée with grip and a long, well-structured and textured finish. This 2008 is still terribly fresh and should benefit from further bottle aging. For the moment, I am missing the mouth-filling generosity of the 2006 and 1995. Mind that this is the first vintage of de Venoge’s prestigious Louis XV where the base wines didn’t undergo malolactic fermentation! Total production: 10,326 bottles. Tasted October 2018.”
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Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines

In Stock Now:

Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2020
Caiarossa ‘Pergolaia’ Toscana IGT 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Flavors of black cherry and blackberry stand up to the dense tannins in this fresh, deep and intense red, but this is equally about the vibrant acidity driving the fruit, wild herb nuances and spice-infused aftertaste. Sangiovese with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2022 through 2040. 4,700 cases made, 1,200 cases imported.”

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

Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2020
Chateau Thivin Brouilly ‘Reverdon’, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $24.50 special
Wine Spectator 91 points
“Lively acidity cuts through the bright cherry and currant notes of this mouthwatering red, showing details of white pepper, wet stone and dried herb that dovetail onto the finish. Offers light, integrated tannins, with great energy and focus throughout. Drink now through 2024. 1,900 cases imported.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points ” Deep, bright-hued violet. Fresh dark berries, candied flowers, allspice and a hint of blood orange on the expansive nose. Sappy and appealingly sweet, offering pliant cherry and black raspberry flavors that deepen and spread out quickly with air. Delivers a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes very long and smooth, with bright, mineral-driven thrust, silky tannins and lingering floral and spice notes.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 91 points “Richer, more voluptuous and larger-scaled than its 2017 counterpart, the 2018 Brouilly Reverdon unfurls with a ripe bouquet of mulberries, blackberries and licorice. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with broad shoulders and a generous, expressive profile. Richer, more voluptuous and larger-scaled than its 2017 counterpart, the 2018 Brouilly Reverdon unfurls with a ripe bouquet of mulberries, blackberries and licorice. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with broad shoulders and a generous, expressive profile.”

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

Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2020
Marchesi Frescobaldi Tenuta Perano Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “The core black cherry and blackberry flavors are shaded by iron, petrol and tar elements, with wild Tuscan scrub accents. This is powerful and tannic, and needs some time to integrate. Best from 2021 through 2033. 2,000 cases imported. — BS”

Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2020
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosado 2009 750ML ($299.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“The deep, rusty color announces that this is not a typical rosé. Distinctive, offering tangy acidity and light, firm tannins that frame the rich texture, giving this plenty of structure for food. Orange peel, tarragon, iodine and beeswax notes frame the dried cherry and tangerine flavors. Unique. Garnacho, Tempranillo and Viura. Drink now through 2029. 1,166 cases made.”

Arriving December 22nd:

Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2019
Marques Murrieta Finca Ygay Reserva, Rioja 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points
“The red blend 2015 Rioja Reserva is 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, a little more Graciano and Mazuelo, something logical in ripe and warm years like 2015. It’s produced with grapes from a diversity of the 30 different plots within the estate, to represent the character of if. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in American oak barrels for 18 months. It’s spicy and somewhat balsamic, with some dusty tannins. It’s a ripe and powerful vintage that only suffers next to the 2016 I tasted next to it when there’s a jump in precision and finesse. This is by far the largest volume produced at Murrieta, with almost one million bottles.”
James Suckling 93 points “So fresh and elegant with more than enough concentration and structure, this is a fine example of a 2015 Reserva. Ripe-blackberry, licorice, smoke and bourbon notes. I love the velvety texture of the long, intense finish. Better from 2019 and with long aging potential.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Cedar, tobacco, dried cherry and spice flavors mingle in this red. Features a polished texture, with well-integrated tannins and orange peel acidity. Supple, harmonious and graceful. Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2025. 100,000 cases made, 9,067 cases imported.”

Arriving ETA January:

Wine Spectator #1 of Top 100 2020
Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, Rioja 2010 750ML ($219.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Falstaff Magazine 100 points
“[Translated] Dark ruby garnet, violet reflections, subtle brightening of the edges. Fine mint, fine black cherries, fine herbs, fresh heart cherries, mineral and inviting, a multi-faceted, young bouquet. Juicy, complex, elegant, extract-sweet texture, fine round tannins, ripe heart cherries, delicate nougat, sticks for minutes, enormous future potential. Simple calculation: buy what is possible.”
James Suckling 99 points “Marvelous aromas of crushed berries, tobacco, cedar and mushrooms. Some dried cheese. Then turns to flowers. Very complex. Full and intense with fantastic depth and power. It goes on for minutes. It is a wine that exudes tradition but gives a sense of modernity with precise winemaking. Two years in oak, one in concrete and three or four in bottle. Drink on release and age onwards.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97 points “I had very high expectations for the 2010 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, and the wine delivered as expected. 2010 was one of the finest vintages in Rioja in recent years, and this blend of Tempranillo with 15% Mazuelo (Cariñena) has to be one of the finest modern day Castillo de Ygays. The grapes come from a plot planted in 1966 at 485 meters in altitude, the highest in the estate, and the vines yielded 3,500 kilos per hectare. The two varieties fermented separately in stainless steel for 11 days, and the wine spent 26 months in a mixture of American and French oak barrels. I tasted the 2009 next to this 2010, and I had also had a bottle two nights before. So, I was able to compare this with the 2009, which was a very different year, as 2010 was a cooler year and a priori a more adequate year for long-aging wines like this Gran Reserva. The difference was the vegetative cycle, as the vinification and élevage was the same. This is sleeker and sharper, less developed and livelier than the 2009, which already shows some signs of “old wine” with aromas that remind me of the old classical Rioja reds. It has greatness and finesse and is a very attractive wine with all the stuffing and balance that is needed for a long (and positive) aging in bottle. This is one of the finest modern day vintages of Castillo Ygay. This is going to develop in the direction of the classical bottlings from yesteryear. 130,853 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2015.”
Decanter 97 points “Ygay these days is a blend of Tempranilo and Mazuelo, the later making up 15% in this vintage. 2010 will be remembered in the great vineyards of Europe as a classic year, elegant restraint and wonderful harmonious balance, even in youth, its key characteristics. The Ygay fits this template perfectly; plums and sloes, hints of blueberry and cassis, then figs, cocoa and sousbois, a distinct balsamic note to underline provenance. The Mazuelo etches fresh acidity and a powerful finish, leaving the Tempranillo the opportunity to dance flamboyantly on the mid-palate, the bringer of joy and harmony.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Maturing well, this round red is a lovely example of the traditional style. Orange peel, dried cherry, forest floor, vanilla and black tea flavors mingle harmoniously over round tannins and citrusy acidity. Generous but gentle, lively, balanced and harmonious. Tempranillo and Mazuelo. Drink now through 2030. From Spain. —T.M.”

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Spotlight on Tuscany

Top Reds for Winter Drinking

Tuscany has had a string of incredible vintages hit the market over the last few years, with the 2015 Brunellos as the highlight of the bunch. Bold, silky, and detailed, they’re absolutely thrilling to drink. 

The critics have been raving about it as well, with Eric Guido at Vinous saying that “It’s a vintage of power and purity, the result of a long growing season with no extreme events” before citing Andrea Mantengoli, who called it “A vintage made by God.”

Monica Larner, writing for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, exclaimed “Ask anyone who farmed Sangiovese that year. They will tell you: Fruit has never been more beautiful than it was in the picture-perfect 2015 vintage.”  She called the wines “a standout group of new releases from Montalcino” with “consistently high quality delivered across the board.”

We’ve got some highlights of the 2015 Brunello vintage below, along with some of the excellent 2018 Rossos. ’18 was a warm year that elevated the entry-level wines beyond what we normally see, and they offer excellent value for their prices.

In Stock Now:

Lisini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Decanter 96 points
“With vineyards between Sant’Angelo in Colle and Castelnuovo dell’Abate on the inner edge of the Sesta district, Lisini’s vineyards are cleansed by constant breezes from the Tuscan Coast. Stony soils with an important underpinning of limestone as well as elevations over 300 metres help preserve freshness in their wines. The 2015 is beautifully fragrant, almost exotic in character. Plump red fruit and sweet summer herbs fill the mouth but rather than being heavy, this is poised and transparent. Ample powdery tannins are fine and lead to a tangy marine finish.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A serious, brooding red, with ripe cherry and strawberry flavors offsetting the beefy tannins. Loam, iron and almond notes chime in. Balanced and long overall. Best from 2023 through 2042. 2,500 cases made, 700 cases imported.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 94 points “The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino dark and rich, showing ripe black cherries and plum, with layers of haunting florals, exotic brown spice and smoky mineral tones. On the palate, a wave of polished textures wash across the senses, ushering in juicy black cherry with sweet herbal and floral undertones, with zesty spices and vibrant acidity adding a refreshing quality. The finish is long and remarkably fresh, an example of how the warmth of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be tempered by a deft hand, as fine tannins come forward, balanced by mouthwatering acidity and punctuated by residual pure red berry fruit. It’s a wine that’s very easy to love, with near term appeal and potential for the cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Tenuta Fanti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
James Suckling 95 points
“There’s a beautiful interplay between bright, primary florals, such as rose petals and tulips and dust, hay bale and dried raspberries. The palate suggests a ripe, powerful persona with chewy, juicy tannins and a fine line of pretty acidity. Best ever. Drink in 2022.”

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

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Case-12 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($719.95) $489 special (that’s only $40.75/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“The sliced plums and peaches are plentiful here on the nose. Full-bodied and dense with round and rich tannins and a long, long finish. Shows structure and intensity. Serious Brunello. Better after 2022.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is round and full of sweet, ripe cherry, strawberry, graphite and earth flavors. Firms up as the finish plays out, echoing an essence of fruit. Best from 2022 through 2039. —B.S.”

La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special 
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Black cherry and black currant fruit is accented by tobacco, earth and mineral flavors in this sleek yet dense red. Balsamic elements of juniper, thyme and olive add depth as this cruises to a long finish. The potential lies in the excellent length. Best from 2023 through 2042. —B.S.”
Eric Guido – Vinous 94 points “La Gerla’s 2015 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous, showing depths of earthy moist soil, minerals and hints of animal musk up front, giving way to crushed strawberry and cherry, getting spicy with lifting minerals yet retaining a rich character throughout. On the palate, silky textures are matched by cool-toned acids and refreshing moist mineral tones, as zesty cherry and cedar come forward. It’s so balanced and smooth, with high energy lasting into the long finish, showing saturating spice and salty minerals, yet remaining cool-toned and precise. The 2015 is a beautifully balanced wine that’s firmly rooted in the earth.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Castello di Camigliano Poderuccio Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Castello di Camigliano Poderuccio Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
James Suckling 90 points
“Lots of blackberries and tar, together with black-olive character on the nose and palate. Full-bodied and structured. A little raw, but should come around nicely with bottle age. Drink from 2020.”

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

Tenuta Fanti Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Eric Guido-Vinous 89 points
“The extroverted 2018 Fanti Rosso di Montalcino is showing masses of ripe strawberry, sweet spices and exotic florals with grounding notes of worn leather and hints of undergrowth. Silky textures meld into tart red berries with a peppery-herbal twist, in a soft and easygoing effort that’s energized by bright acids that only come forward toward the finale. A mix of red fruits resonate on the finish, along with wild herbs and florals, punctuating the experience on a Rosso that is very easy to like.”



New Grapelive Reviews for Galician Treasures

In Stock Now:

Nanclares y Prieto ‘A Senda Vermella’ Tinto, Spain NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Grapelive 90 points
“This unique non-vintage, ultra low alcohol crisp red, A Senda Vermella…is a blend of 60% Caiño Tinto and 40% MencÌa from different organic parcels in the Rias Baixas. This purple/garnet hued A Senda Vermella is brightly fresh, bone dry and tangy, it comes in at under 11% natural alcohol and shows crunchy layers of briar laced black raspberry, plum, cranberry and sour cherry fruits along with zippy acidity, saline, wild herbs, earth, citrus rind and hints of herbal tea, all of which make for a lighter red wine that is great with mussels in tomato broth, grilled octopus and or selection of hard cheeses. I enjoyed it contently with a Monterey style Paella with a wide array of goodies in it, the racy nature of the A Senda Vermella perfectly matched up with the flavorful bounty on the plate, making for a joyous experience on the light to medium bodied, low tannin, palate. The A Senda Vermella (’17/’18) was hand crafted by Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto using traditional methods and low sulfur with 100% whole cluster fermentation with foot-trodden grapes and a longish maceration that lasted close to 20 days. Then the dry wine was pressed and racked mainly used barrels, though about 20% of the vintage was rested in stainless steel tanks. The notes that the 2017 part was in oak and stainless for 22 months, and the 2018 part was aged exclusively in tank for 10 months, before being blend together. This non vintage red gets more depth and complex with air with more dark fruit coming forward as well as its savory kick with a little bite of bitterness in what is otherwise a smooth, simple pleasing and transparently quaffable wine. Interestingly, this wine was blended from both the 2017 and 2018 vintages and therefor is sort a Spanish version of a Vin de France, that cannot be labeled with a D.O. and has just Vino Tinto by Nanclares y Prieto on the label.”

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

Guimaro Camino Real, Ribeira Sacra 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Grapelive 92 points
“One of my favorite producers and wines, Guimaro, made by Pedro Rodriguez, makes red and white wines in the Ribeira Sacra region of Spain’s Galicia provence….These steep vineyard sites are back-breaking hard to work, with everything done by hand, they look more like frightening slopes in Mosel than what you’d expect in Spain, looking down upon the Sil river. This 100% whole cluster 2017 is full flavored with flinty earthy tones showing briar accented raspberry, huckleberry, plum, cherry and cranberry fruits, a touch of smoke, leather, mineral iron and anise, along with a delicately sweet floral essence that balances out the savory elements and dusty dry tannins. Mencia has qualities that remind you of the northern Rhone, but is brighter like Pinot or Gamay with a similar lively personality. The 2017 vintage is ripe, but full of natural acidity and takes a few swirls in the glass to reveal its true depth and textural quality, it is a wine that certainly benefits from simple country cuisine and robust dishes. Pedro’s wines are real, honest and terroir driven with the reds being made mostly from Mencia and the white crafted from Godello, ancient native grapes that require extra care and TLC to make world class wines, which he does at this small winery set in this remote place that was once highly prized by the Romans, who named it the Sacred Banks (Ribeira Sacra) and planted vines on the historic terraces…the wines from Guimaro, which means “rebel” in Gallego (the local dialect)…are wines of rustic charm and character from a region that humbly respects and honors the power of nature, they are wines of place, especially the series of single parcel wines like this Camino Real bottling, from all organic 40-60 year old vines set on the slate with a mix of sand, quartz and granite with a field blend of about 85% Mencía plus tiny amounts of Merenzao, Mouratón, Brancellao, Caiño, Sousón and Alicante Bouschet. In the cellar, Pedro, who was mentored by the legendary Raul Perez, keeps things simple, natural and non intervention in style, employing native or indigenous yeast, spontaneous fermentations in open-top wood vats and long macerations, with this Camino Real seeing a 40 maceration and primary fermentation on the skins, after which the wine was raised in a combination of used oak from large foudre to small used barrique and bottled with ultra low sulfur, unfined and unfiltered.”


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