Weekend Vinpolpick 1-8-21

In Today’s Newsletter:

Weekend Snowden Subscriber Sale
Top Value Napa Cabernet, Discounted Further

Vajra’s Classic Piedmont, Restocked

Just Arrived:
The Best Produttori Barbaresco Yet?
Antonio Galloni Says “Don’t Miss It!”

Super Tuscan Subscriber Special
Petrolo’s 2014 Torrione


The Timeless Wines of Rioja
CVNE, Marqués de Murrieta, and Bodegas Muga


Weekend Snowden Subscriber Sale

Offering one of Napa Valley’s best quality-to-price ratios, Snowden has earned the respect of both its peers and consumers alike. Today we’re thrilled to Subscriber-exclusive discounts on their already-great value Cabernets (and one great Merlot). Mix-and-match, buy in bulk and save big on one of Napa’s best estates and their stunning wines.

Located at the confluence of several of Napa Valley’s most acclaimed appellations, including Rutherford and St. Helena, Snowden is a Beverly Hills estate without the 90210 zip code. This location, on the gentle hillside of the Vaca Mountains, allows the estate’s third generation winemaker Diana Snowden Seysses to produce wines of power and nuance. Having trained in both Napa and Europe, her wines combine prototypical Napa muscle with freshness and intricate fruit. Napa Valley producers, especially those with comparable pedigrees that so convincingly achieve this balancing act, are notoriously expensive. Snowden is a rare Napa classic which remains relatively affordable.

The quality of the estate’s fruit has been an open secret within the valley for decades, and many of Napa’s most respected names have purchased fruit over the years, including Silver Oak and Caymus. However, we’re here to publically out Snowden for the greater good. These prices do not reflect the quality on offer, and the wines deserve a place on your dinner table.

Buy Any 3-5 Bottles of Snowden, Receive a 5% Discount
Buy Any 6-11 Bottles of Snowden, Receive a 10% Discount
Buy Any 12+ Bottles of Snowden, Receive a 15% Discount
Offer valid on in-stock wines
Discount will not display online
We will adjust your order manually before finalizing and charging your card.
Snowden Subscriber Special Valid Until 10AM Monday, January 11th

In Stock Now:

Snowden Vineyards ‘Brothers Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 special, that’s $71.25 at 5% off, $67.50 at 10% off, and $63.75 at 15% off!
Antonio Galloni 93+ points
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is gorgeous. In this vintage, the Brothers has a bit more tannin and overall structure than normal, but in 2017 a power outage resulted in the wine staying in tank for an extra ten days. In the end, that looks to have been a help, as the 2017 offers a terrific combination of fruit density and structure, within the mid-weight style of the year at Snowden. This is a beguiling wine that may very well turn out to be a surprise in time. Super classic, old-school, medium-bodied wine with good depth and resonance alongside notes of black cherry, leather, tobacco, licorice and gravel.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Succulent and open in feel, with friendly plum and raspberry puree notes set on a silky structure, backed by light rooibos tea and anise hints. A stylish Cabernet, offering an alluring mouthfeel. Drink now through 2029. 636 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, that’s $46.55 at 5% off, $44.10 at 10% off, and $41.65 at 15% off!
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“Snowden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is gorgeous. Dark, powerful and beautifully structured, the 2016 Ranch is a huge overachiever. In 2016, the Ranch is a wine of real power, gravitas and character. Black cherry, plum, lavender and savory herbs all develop in the glass, but it is the wine’s persistence and overall balance that stands out in this deeply flavorful, classically built Cabernet from Snowden. Best of all, the 2016 is a superb wine for the money.”
James Suckling 92 points “Elderberries, blueberries, blackberries and hints of hazelnuts and walnuts. Medium to full body, focused acidity and a medium-chewy finish. Drink in 2022.”

Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special, that’s $39.81 at 5% off, $37.71 at 10% off, and $35.62 at 15% off!
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is an attractive, mid-weight wine that shows the more gracious, understated side of the year. Floral and spice notes give the 2017 lovely aromatics to play off a core of sweet red berry fruit. This is a very pretty wine.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Buy Any 3-5 Bottles of Snowden, Receive a 5% Discount
Buy Any 6-11 Bottles of Snowden, Receive a 10% Discount
Buy Any 12+ Bottles of Snowden, Receive a 15% Discount
Offer valid on in-stock wines
Discount will not display online
We will adjust your order manually before finalizing and charging your card.
Snowden Subscriber Special Valid Until 10AM Monday, January 11th



Vajra’s Classic Piedmont, Restocked
Vajra remains one of our favorite producers in the Piedmont.  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 decade. There’s a reason the cru bottlings all scored in the mid to high 90’s from Antonio Galloni–these are profound wines.

We’ve secured more of their stellar values Barolo Albe, Langhe Nebbiolo, and Freisa, but we don’t expect these to be wines that linger on our shelves (or in our computer system) very long. Anyone serious about their Piedmontese drinking ought to be stocking up.

Freshly Restocked!

G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2016 3L ($299.95) $249 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Elegant and expressive, this red evokes cherry, raspberry and floral notes, aligned to a refined structure. This is balanced and leaves an aftertaste of fruit, tobacco and iron. Best from 2023 through 2043.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Aromas of woodland berry, new leather, camphor and pressed rose waft out of the glass. Juicy and delicious, the chewy palate doles out succulent Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry and white pepper. Polished tannins and fresh acidity give it an immediate appeal but this also offers several years of drinking pleasure. Drink through 2028. Editor’s choice. – Kerin O’Keefe”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “If you were to consider the entire portfolio of wines made in the Barolo appellation, this wine always stands in its own little corner. Albe is a brand on its own, and it represents one of the most versatile, accessible and well-priced Baroli to emerge from the appellation. The G.D. Vajra 2016 Barolo Albe sets off on the right foot, offering forthcoming intensity with forest fruit, wild cherry, crushed stone and blue flowers. Winemaking is straightforward in stainless steel, and the wine finishes in Slavonian oak casks. Some 40,000 bottles are hitting the market now.

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

G.D. Vajra Freisa ‘Kye’ Langhe Rosso, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 92+ points
“The 2015 Langhe Freisa Kyé is incredibly finessed. Once huge and bombastic, the Kyé has developed into a much more refined wine in recent vintages. The 2015 Kyé is dark and mysterious, not to mention quite closed in on itself. I won’t be surprised if there is more to this wine. Time will tell.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The 2018 Langhe Nebbiolo emerges from a parcel in Sinio. Dark fruit, spice, earthy notes and a good bit of tannin give the Vajra’s Langhe Nebbiolo a decidedly brooding, powerful feel and quite a bit more seriousness than is typical at this level. Sweet red berry fruit, mint and spice add freshness alongside bright acidity as the 2018 opens up in the glass. This is such a pretty and expressive wine.”

Looking for Vajra’s outstanding cru Barolos?  We have a few bottlings left from Ravera, Coste di Rose, and Bricco del Viole—along with some of their more muscular Luigi Baudana wines from Serralunga

“The Vaira family has turned out a magnificent set of Barolos at both their own winery and at Baudana. Harvest wrapped up on October 22, very late by present day standards, and ideal for wines that emphasize purity of fruit. As always, the Barolos are all about finesse and nuance, very much like an artists’ pencil etchings, where all the lines are totally delineated. At Baudana, the wines are naturally more muscular, but that is Serralunga, after all. Most importantly, the Vairas have developed a personal style that melds classicisim with a level of approachability that makes these wines so alluring, even upon release.” –Antonio Galloni

In Stock Now:

G.D. Vajra ‘Coste di Rose’, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Dusty cherry, black currant, eucalyptus and hay aromas and flavors highlight this energetic red. There is purity to the beam of fruit, and while the structure is muscular, the lasting impression is of sweet fruit. Best from 2023 through 2045.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Barolo Coste di Rose is plump, juicy and forward – all qualities that make it one of the more approachable wines in the Vajra range. Plump dark cherry, plum, licorice, spice and menthol all flesh out in a racy, juicy Barolo that will drink well right out of the gate. Plush fruit and silky tannins add to the wine’s voluptuous feel and early accessibility. This is very good, but it is not particularly complex.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “Boasting a lithe, mid-weight style and a very silky finish, the G.D. Vajra 2016 Barolo Coste di Rose is fragrant, floral and delicate. The bouquet here is almost all wild rose, violet and honeysuckle or jasmine. The fruity component of the wine is fine and light with cassis, white cherry and cranberry. Fruit comes from a 1.5-hectare parcel inside the Coste di Rose cru with a high percentage of well-draining sandy soils that contribute to the wine’s graceful textural embroidery. There is a hint of cherry or raspberry sweetness on the finish. A mere 4,800 bottles are hitting the market now. This is the second vintage produced.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Red berry, rose, dark spice and menthol form the nose while the graceful palate offers juicy Marasca cherry, strawberry compote and licorice. Bright acidity and polished tannins provide support and impart finesse. Drink through 2031. – Kerin O’Keefe”
James Suckling 95 points “This has some very attractive rose perfume and anise spice with raspberry, redcurrant and red-cherry aromas. Blueberry pastry, too. So perfumed. The palate has very fine, almost crystalline tannins and such intense, juicy and vivaciously delivered flavors of essence-like red fruit. So precise. Drinkable now, but with potential for long-term cellaring.”

G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points
“From the Bricco delle Viole cru, or the vineyard most strongly associated with this historic estate, this is a versatile or “evergreen” wine that always delivers consistent results. The G.D. Vajra 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole sees fruit from a seven-hectare vineyard with high exposures positioned at 400 to 480 meters above sea level. This site shows characteristic Tortonian-era soils classified as Sant’Agata marl with fossils. These soils have an enormous capacity to regulate the ripening process, resulting in the longer growing seasons relished by the Nebbiolo grape. In a word, the profile here is classic. You get delicate fruit tones and wild rose with camphor ash, licorice and tar. The wine is beautifully harmonious and ethereal. Some 15,000 bottles are hitting the market now.
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is going to need a few years to emerge, but it has all the qualities to develop into a truly special wine. Dark red/purplish fruit, hard candy, mint, lavender and sweet spice give the 2016 striking inner perfume. On the palate, the 2016 is a tightly wound, classically austere Barolo that will especially delight readers with traditionally leaning palates. In this late-ripening vintage, there is a great balance of structure, aromatics and mid-palate sweetness. I absolutely loved it.”
James Suckling 97 points “The nose is packed with blue flowers, such as violets, iodine and blueberries. Very charming, seductive aromas here. The palate has such plush, long and expansive style. Elegant and smooth, it delivers an expansive bloom of fragrance and flavor at the finish. Effortless and layered. This is a star of the vintage. Drink now and for two decades.”

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

G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine & Spirits 95 points
“Bricco delle Viole, a cru that rises up to 1,575 feet on the Barolo commune’s western edge, has clear views of the Alps. This wine channels some of that Alpine coolness in its elegant feel: Vibrant acidity propels the wine’s spiced cherry and plum fruit while lush, polished tannins draw it out through a long finish.”
Grapelive 95 points “One of Italian’s treasures, the Vajra Bricco delle Viole Barolo is fast becoming a must have wine for Nebbiolo enthusiasts…you would be rewarded by not missing this gorgeous 2015 version, which lacks for nothing in the big league of top Barolo bottlings!….The 2015 Bricco delle Viole is luxurious and has Burgundy like grace on the palate enjoying its plush and youthful fruit, but underneath there is classic structure and character with pure Nebbiolo seduction flowing across the full bodied palate with deep red berry, plum and black cherry fruit along with flashes of mulberry and strawberry as well as a subtle meatiness, anise, chalky stones, cedar and delicate rose petals. This wine, which is already drinking fabulous should continue to grown in dimension and add layers, if you can’t wait you’ll find it ever changing in the glass and certainly I would suggest building and evening and meal around exploring it.  The Bricco delle Viole, the hill of violets, is an iconic wine and sets the tone for understanding the Vajra’s wines….The Bricco delle Viole is one of the last sites to be picked in Barolo and this long hang time really elevates this wine with incredible depth and there is always a Grand Cru Core d’Or feel here with a sense of minerallity and finesse. Vajra is traditional in the winemaking, taking great care in the vineyard and it the cellars with each cluster being rigorously sorts and individually berry de-stemming before a lengthy maceration and gentle handling of the wine through primary fermentation. The top Vajra Barolo sees close to 42 months in large Slavonian casks, mostly 25 and 50 hectoliters to allow this fantastic Nebbiolo to fully develop all of its beauty and stunning nuances… I am always grateful for being able to try his wines, these are too good to miss!”

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!

Luigi Baudana ‘Baudana’, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $77 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Macerated cherry and raspberry fruit is supported by rose, iron and eucalyptus flavors in this red, which is complex and intense, with an elegant frame and beautifully integrated tannins. Just as this feels approachable, the fine-grained tannins take hold, ending with a very long finish. Best from 2023 through 2045.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Barolo Baudana is laced with sweet red cherry, floral overtones and silky tannins, all of which make it one of the more refined, sensual Serralunga Barolos readers will come across. In this tasting, the Baudana impresses with its haunting aromatics and transparent expression of Nebbiolo. Like all of these wines, it needs time in bottle but it is super impressive, even in the early going.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Balsamic aromas of camphor mingle with pressed rose, new leather and small red berry. Firmly structured and youthfully austere, the linear palate features dried cherry, licorice, cinnamon and tobacco alongside assertive but noble tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2026–2036. – Kerin O’Keefe”

Luigi Baudana Cerretta, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $77 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2016 Barolo Cerretta is dark, virile and imposing. Black cherry, lavender, scorched earth, cloves, leather and a range of balsamic notes give the Cerretta its somber, virile feel. Ample and powerful yet also medium in body, the Cerretta captures so much of what makes Nebbiolo so captivating, specifically the ability for a wine to constantly transform in the glass.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This is perfumed, featuring graphite, white pepper and underbrush aromas, with a core of cherry and currant flavors. Elegant and linear, with firm tannins giving support on the finish, showing fine balance and length. Best from 2023 through 2043.”
Shipping Season is Here

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Just Arrived!

The Best Produttori Barbaresco Yet?

Antonio Galloni Says “Don’t Miss It!”

The Produttori del Barbaresco normale is one of the finest values in the world of wine. The Produttori needs very little introduction as a producer of some of the finest wines in Italy, and their entry level Barbaresco delivers grace, power and complexity with a price-tag that’s still easy to swallow. What’s better, their 2017 may be the best edition ever.

Antonio Galloni says “Don’t miss it!” while awarding it a 94-point rating—a tie for the highest ever score he’s given to the bottling. It’s got the same fantastic vineyard sources as usual (this year’s edition is based on Pora, Ovello, Montestefano, Muncagot and Rio Sordo) and the same fantastic commitment to quality, but the slightly warmer ’17 vintage allowed for even more richness and texture.  It’s a miracle that these wines are still affordable and available, especially when compared to the skyrocketing prices of Barolo.

In Stock Now:

Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG ‘2017 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Case-12 Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG ‘2017 2017 750ML ($599.95) $459 special (that’s only $38.25/bottle!)
Case-6 Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG ‘2017 2017 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $39.83/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2017 Barbaresco shows just how appealing this vintage can be. In 2017, the warm, dry growing season gave the Barbaresco an extra kick of richness that fills out its frame and adds so much immediacy. Sweet red berry fruit, cinnamon, rose petal and mint are open in the glass, but it is the wine’s seductive radiance that wins the day. Pora, Ovello, Montestefano, Muncagota and Rio Sordo are the main vineyards used for the straight Barbaresco. The 2017 is such an inviting and expressive wine. Don’t miss it!”


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Super Tuscan Subscriber Special

Petrolo’s 2014 Torrione

Petrolo is one of the leading proponents of the Val d’Arno di Sopra DOC, a small area in Tuscany that only recently received the DOC designation. Frankly, the designation should have happened a while ago—these are distinctive wines made from unique soils and the quality across the board is very high. Petrolo’s wines provide a wonderful introduction to this undervalued corner of Tuscany due to both their quality, but also thanks to their forward-thinking. Today we’re offering a wine that exemplifies this progressive orientation, Petrolo’s Sangiovese-dominant Super Tuscan Torrione, at Subscriber Special pricing. If you enjoy a more modern interpretation of Tuscany, but hate paying Super Tuscan prices, this is a can’t miss deal.

In Stock Now:

Petrolo Torrione Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($39.95) Was $21.90, Now $18
Case-12 Petrolo Torrione Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($449.95) Was $236, Now $199
James Suckling 92 points
“A refined and silky rendition of this wine with pretty berry, citrus and light chocolate. Medium body. Chilled and delicious. Drink now.”

This is by far the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price nationally for all vintages is $36

Love Tuscan wine? We have 160 wines from Tuscany in stock now. Shop our entire selection, including famous names like Castello Di Ama, Il Poggione, Montevertine and more on our web store!




Delicious, drink-now Chablis.
Domaine Servin Cuvee Massale Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy 2018 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 92 points
“The 2018 Chablis Vieilles Vignes Sélection Massale is a fabulous wine with tremendous potential. Deep and exquisitely layered, the 2018 possesses lovely aromatic complexity to play off a core of pliant, layered fruit. Silky, perfumed and very pretty, the 2018 has so much to offer. There is a lot to like about this expressive wine.”

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

A 100% Syrah blockbuster
M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde R.I. Rectificando Invenies 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“As always, the 100% Syrah 2015 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde Rectificando Invenies (Ri) shows more minerality than the VIT release and offers blockbuster styled aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, crushed rocks, toasted bread and chocolate. Made in a voluptuous, pedal-to-the-metal style, with huge fruit and texture, it has building tannin and an uber sexy, incredibly layered and decadent palate. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. This Cuvée was completely destemmed and aged 18 months in demi-muids.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The newest vintage of one of our most requested Beaujolais. A stunner.
Daniel Bouland Morgon Les Delys, Beaujolais 2019 750ML ($49.95) $34.50 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2019 Morgon Les Delys Vignes plantées en 1926 has turned out brilliantly, wafting from the glass with aromas of ripe cherries, blackberries, strawberries, sweet soil tones and spices. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it’s seamless and multidimensional, and with striking concentration, succulent acids and powdery tannins, it’s long and penetrating. While this is carrying less puppy fat than the 2018 at the same age, it’s still quite a demonstrative, fruit-driven vintage of Les Delys, and while it will be long-lived, it can also be approached young.”

Library Owen Roe—straight from the winery’s cellar.
Owen Roe Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah, Yakima Valley 2013 750ML ($59.95) $33 special
Case-12 Owen Roe Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah, Yakima Valley 2013 750ML ($719.95) $359 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92 points
“Bright medium ruby. Musky, earthy aromas of raspberry, roasted strawberry, smoked meat and charred oak. Fat, sweet and deep, with good spicy lift to the very ripe flavors of plum, blueberry, dark chocolate and spices. A very rich, tactile Syrah with sexy sweetness but plenty of ripe, dusty tannins to support a graceful evolution in bottle. Ultimately richer than the Union Gap Syrah but also more tannic.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Nicely balanced, built to age
Compañía de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez ‘Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León 2013 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Case-6 Compañía de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez ‘Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León 2013 750ML ($259.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
James Sucking 96 points “
Exuberant red berries and cherries with a fine, rose-like edge and some coal smoke. Very juicy, fleshy, rich and ripe mid-palate with a dense, long and showy, glossy black-cherry finish. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Cropped from a cooler and late ripening vintage, the 2013 Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra resulted in fresh wines and certainly worked well with the slate soils of these old Garnacha vines in Cebreros. This has a very good balance between ripeness and freshness, power and elegance, with the character of the soils slowly coming through in the shape of fresh meat and beef blood, with the iron-like notes still pretty shy. This should develop nicely in bottle. 8,931 bottles produced.”

Bright and mineral, with a lovely complexity.
R. Dumont & Fils Solera Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $44.50 special
Importer note
“Dumont is one of the very few Champagne producers who produces a champagne using the solera method. Bernard Dumont has dedicated one stainless steel tank to the project which was first filled in 1991. He works exclusively with chardonnay for this cuvée and has been adding to the tank every year, making it at present, a blend of approximately 20 vintages. This solera system produced its first release in 2010. One of the most striking features of this champagne is the different effect created by producing a champagne from aged wine (the aging occurs after the first fermentation) followed by the typical duration of two years “sur lattes” as contrasted with a champagne produced from relatively young wines which are aged for a long time after the secondary fermentation and thus remain in contact with the lees “sur lattes” for an extended period. The dosage is 6 grams. Production is about 400 cases annually.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.45

“Supple and beautiful” from Eisele’s legendary estate vineyard.
Eisele Vineyard ‘Altagracia’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($169.95) $129 special
James Suckling 96 points
“Lots of violets and dark berries with sweet underbrush and fresh mushrooms, following through to a medium to full body, soft and silky tannins and a succulent and refined finish. It remains supple and beautiful. Hard not to drink now. Better after 2023.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The Altagracia is produced almost exclusively from estate fruit this year and was bottled at the end of June 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia comes bursting forth with vivacious black cherries, blackberries, wild blueberries and cassis notes with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, forest floor, violets and dusty earth with a waft of violets. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with loads of iron and mineral accents, finishing long and perfumed.”


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The Timeless Wines of Rioja


Looking for absolutely classical Rioja at outstanding pricing? Look for four letters: CVNE. CVNE (or Cune) was founded in 1879 by brothers Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asúa after Raimundo moved to the town of Haro (also of Lopez de Heredia fame) for his health. They set up the winery partially as a negociant, much like Bordeaux. Fast forward to today and the family (down the female line) is on its fifth generation of owning and operating the house—still making excellent, classical wines at more than fair prices.

CVNE ‘Imperial’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The wine that represents the traditional and serious reds from Haro, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva is a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has a textbook serious Haro nose, with dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate within the straight and serious style of the wine. 2012 was a warm year, but the wines are fresher than those from 2011. This has fine, slightly grainy tannins with good grip. A textbook Imperial Gran Reserva. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2015.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “(raised in new and used French and American oak barrels for two years) Vivid ruby-red. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, cherry-cola, potpourri and exotic spices, with a suave vanilla topnote and a smoky mineral flourish. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering lush red fruit, spicecake, mocha and coconut flavors that steadily tighten up on the back half. Finishes extremely long and spicy, with a resonating floral quality, well-knit tannins and lingering oak spice notes. This one is still quite young.”
James Suckling 94 points “A tight and beautiful wine with blackberries, bramble berries, rose petals and lemon grass. Medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins and a beautiful finish. Very fine-grained. Lovely now. Even better in 2020.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Marqués de Murrieta

Marqués de Murrieta is one of the great pillars of classical Rioja—a titan of the region that’s responsible for some of the greatest wines ever produced in Spain. They resemble more polished, powerful versions of López de Heredia while sharing their age-worthiness. However they also offer a distinctly more fruit driven profile in their youth. Murrieta’s wines have always been favorites amongst critics and consumers alike. We’ve just received a significant drop of their 2015 Reserva, a wine that appeared on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 of 2019.

Marqués de Murrieta ‘Finca Ygay’ Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 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.”

Bodegas Muga

Muga is considered one of the finest old producers of Rioja, combining a traditionalist approach with modern cellar techniques. Up and down the line, their wines offer tremendous value—these are wines that will age into dynamic, complex beauties, but are delicious today.

Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($34.95) $23.50 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“One of the flagship cuvées from this estate that’s produced in every vintage, the 2015 Reserva is a blend of 70% Tempranillo and the rest Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano that spent 24 months in used French and American oak. Blackberries, currants, cigar wrapper, cedar box, and hints of vanilla all flow to a medium-bodied, concentrated, beautiful Rioja that has ripe tannins, beautiful balance, and a great finish. You couldn’t go wrong with a case of this.”
James Suckling 94 points “Complex nose with ripe black cherries, deeply integrated cedary oak, baking spices, dried flowers, leather, fresh tobacco and earthy notes. This is silky and mellow with long, laid-back tannins that deliver ripe dark plum flavors into a spicy and earthy finish. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 92 points “…This was a very long harvest (similar to 2016). They started at the end of August with the Cava, and they finished at the end of October with very healthy grapes, good yields and very good quality. The wine shows very good ripeness but without any excess. It has incipient complexity, still young and undeveloped but with very good balance between power and elegance, with fine-grained tannins and integrated acidity. This has to be one of the best recent vintages of this popular bottling. There are around one million bottles of it.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Earthy black fruit aromas are warm and ripe. Befitting a reserva from a hot year like 2015, this is big-bodied and flush, with flavors of toasty oak, chocolate and mixed berry fruits. Ripeness is not lost on a finish with mild heat. Drink through 2023.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really tight and powerful with gorgeous tannins and solid fruit. Full body. Tight and composed. Wet earth, smoked meat and hints of black truffles. Very long and powerful. Wonderful length. Real Rioja. One of the top best-value, high-quality reds in Spain. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The largest volume of the Muga winery is for the red blend 2016 Reserva, a wine that is sold as 2016 Crianza in Spain (for commercial reasons). This has the Muga style and the imprint of the cool and fresh 2016 vintage, one of the best vintages of recent years. 2016 is also a year of harmony and freshness that reminds me a little of the 2010. But the Muga family thinks it’s somewhere between 2010 and 2011, because for them 2011 is not so warm, even if it generally produced quite ripe wines. It has a mixture of red and black fruit with sweet spices that are very integrated and in harmony. The palate is silky and clean, and the tannins are round and gentle. A delicious Reserva/Crianza. They produced around one million bottles of this. It was bottled in January 2019. They like to bottle the wine in winter, perhaps in a couple of months.”

Bodegas Muga Selección Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
James Suckling 96 points
“The balance and purity to this wine is really impressive with blackberries, black truffles and dark fruit. Wet earth. Full body. Tight and compact. Structured, long and powerful. Superb length. Compressed and polished texture. Drink in 2022.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Selección Especial checks in as 70% Tempranillo and the balance Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano that’s an old vine and terroir selection. Aged 6 months in new oak followed by 24 months in 90% French oak and 10% American oak, it has a beautiful bouquet of blueberries, black raspberries, crushed violets, incense, and cedar. This gives way to a full-bodied, rich, powerful wine that has an incredible sense of elegance and finesse on the palate. It’s a brilliant Rioja that can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years or more.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “The very perfumed, expressive and floral 2015 Selección Especial is a lot fresher than the stereotype of the vintage I had before I tasted 2015 widely. It’s a year that has turned out fresher than what the weather during the growing season pointed at. It was a dry and warm year, but the wines have very good freshness, which in this case feels exceptional. My first surprise was how aromatic and open the wine is for such a young age, with aromas of lavender and other Mediterranean herbs jumping from the glass. I expected that from the 2016s, but I thought the 2015 was going to be more closed and reticent. The palate is medium to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins, balanced, fresh and very clean. This combines energy and elegance with classical Rioja character. 220,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.”

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