In Today’s Newsletter:
First Offer: Cameron Dundee Hills
Plus Subscriber Case Specials
The Next Cornas Star
Our New Top Spanish Value?
Rose of the Day
Super-Charged Brunello – 2014 Casanova
John Gilman Reviews
Donnhoff’s and Schafer-Frohlich’s Stunning ’18’s
First Offer: Saint Cosme Northern Rhones
Plus: Rare, Back-Vintage Large Formats
Cameron Winery’s 2017 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
And Bonus Subscriber Special Case Prices!
Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($29.95) $27 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($359.95) $309 pre-arrival special (that’s only $25.75/bottle!)
Notes from John Paul: 12.6% alcohol. The 2017 vintage is a classic and high-toned. This is 60% Abbey Ridge fruit, which really shows on the nose with floral and cherry notes. You pick up the influence of Clos Electrique on the palate
And it’s even lower by the case!
In Stock Now – Bonus Case Special:
Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Case-12 Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($299.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Delicious and bold! Drink now or cellar for 3-6 years.
And it’s even lower by the case!
Case pricing ends Friday, May 17th at 6 pm Pacific
The Next Cornas Star
There’s no two ways around it—Cornas has become the hot AOC in the Northern Rhone, perhaps in France. Allemand, Clape, Ooka, Paris, etc—prices have been going up, demand has been going up, and wines are in stock for shorter and shorter periods of time. Against that backdrop, we’re always on the hunt for the next hot producer—someone to stock up on before prices skyrocket and in Domaine Lionnet, we’ve found our next star.
Lionnet is basically the Levet of Cornas—the heir to Robert Michel, stylistically. In fact, it was Levet that referred Lionnet to Neal Rosenthal, which tells you all you need to know. These are old-school Cornas, made with 100% whole clusters, fermented in cement vats and then aged in older, large barrels. No new wood, no pretension, and tiny quantities—the domaine only owns 2.2 hectares! These are classics in every sense of the word and a vintage like 2015 shows off the estate to great effect, with the warmth of the vintage rounding off the tannins and allowing the fruit to fully express itself.
These are wines that you’re going to want to stock up on and then forget about for 10-15 years (like, say, Levet). When you pull them out, they’re going to be absolutely stunning (a 2004 tasted a few years ago was the wine of a very star-studded night). Plus, by then these will be in such short supply that you’ll be glad you bought them while you could.
In Stock Now:
Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brulee, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Cornas Terre Brûlée comes from a total of seven different lieux-dits throughout the appellation (all are granite soils) and was vinified in concrete tanks before spending 18 months in older demi-muids. It offers a classic, traditional feel in its blackberry, peppery herbs, bouquet garni and violets aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity and superb concentration, it’s just another sensational Cornas from this vintage. Bravo to Corinne Lionnet and Ludovic Izerable!”
Grapelive 95+ points “One of my favorite wines and producers, Domaine Lionnet makes an incredible and authentic Cornas that never disappoints this Syrah geek. It’s always a nervy, stemmy wine, but with gracious fruit and textures to balance everything out. I find these wines to have a raw sex appeal and with a dark earthy seduction. In terms of pure Syrah it rarely gets much better than this!… Ludovic’s style is all about nature, with 100% whole cluster, 100% stems and all organic farming. He ferments native and uses long maceration (three weeks) in cement vats before malos in large cask, all well used and never new, with lengthy elevate/aging. There are never any additions or adjustments with just a tiny amount of sulfur. Each parcel is between 40 and 100 years old, including four great lieu-dit sites: Chaillot, Combes, Brugeres and Mazards. [Each is] hand-picked and fermented individually. Each of these Crus add to the whole and give this wine its special personality and chemistry. Domaine Lionnet’s attention to detail really shows in the bottle. These are electric and thrilling wines….A touch of air sets this 100% Syrah alive and releasing an inner perfume of violets, while a meaty wave flows underneath before reaching a climax of earth, spice and a core of black and blue fruit on the full bodied palate showing layers of boysenberry, cassis, blueberry, damson plum and kirsch along with vibrant peppercorns, dried basil, salted black licorice, bacon fat and truffle. This deep garnet hued Cornas lingers on and on recalling the violet and edgy stems for minutes in the aftertaste…If you love Jamet or Allemand you’ll want this wine, and at almost half their price this wine is a rockstar value.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A terrific wine, the 2015 Cornas Terre Brulee combines smoky notes of grilled plums and meat in a full-bodied format. It’s richly tannic and velvety at the same time, with a finish that’s simultaneously drying (from tannins) and mouthwatering (from juicy fruit). Farmed organically, vinified with stems in concrete and aged in used, large-format oak, Cornas doesn’t get more authentic (or better) than this!”
Our New Top Spanish Value?
Jumilla, in southern Spain, is one of the top sources for rich and dense value reds. The dominant grape there, Monastrell (AKA Mourvèdre) handles the heat well, ripening slowly without becoming overly alcoholic. The resulting wines are dark, powerful and, thanks to the limestone soils, surprisingly fresh as well. We’ve always leaned on the region for top value wines and with the arrival of Casa Castillo’s new release, we have another winner. This is a brilliant wine—especially for under $12 a bottle. A sure winner at any party you’re going to throw or a fantastic house red for grilling and chilling, this is one to stock up on.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Casa Castillo Monastrell, Jumilla 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Casa Castillo Monastrell, Jumilla 2016 750ML ($179.95) $128 special (save over 10%!)
Wine Advocate 91+ points “The first wine in the range is the 2016 Monastrell, which in reality contains some 8% combination of Garnacha and Syrah, cropped from a more continental, cooler and dry vintage. Like all the wines from the property, it fermented with indigenous yeasts, in this case with grapes from different plots, and matured in used oak barrels for eight to nine months. Juicy, primary, incredibly fresh and with a vertical palate, longer than wider, like a hypothetical blend of 2013 and 2015, cool but dry. This is always a great value, even more so in 2016. 160,000 bottles produced from a single blend that is bottled throughout the year.”
Rosé of the Day
The Best Rosé in Thailand. It’s Not Thai.
He Just Tasted It There. (We Know.)
Every year, James Suckling conducts a wide-ranging rosé tasting in Thailand. It’s always a fun report to read and there are always one or two wines that we get turned onto as a result. A few years ago, Chateau Routas won and we discovered the wine as a result. We’ve bought it for the shop ever since and lo and behold it won again this year. This is a classic Provençal rosé: crisp, pale and dry. It’s been a customer favorite over the last few years and this vintage looks to be one of the best.
Featured New Arrival
2019 Best in Show; 2019 Best Value – James Suckling
Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Case-12 Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($219.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle—save 12%!)
James Suckling 93 points “The nose here is immediately captivating with its freshness, focus and interest. It suggests sea salt, thyme, freshly squeezed nectarines and a touch of well-executed, lifted citrus. The palate shows some good density and the fruit/acid balance is played out nicely. Medium-bodied and sleek and refreshing. Makes you come back for more. Routas on the money as always. Drink now.”
The 2014 Casanova di Neri
2014 was not an easy growing season in Tuscany, but you look hard, you can find truly exceptional wines—like in the case of Casanova di Neri’s Brunello. They decided not to produce any of their higher end wines (Tenuta Nuova or Cerretalto) and so all of those barrels went into the “normale” Brunello. The resulting wine is super-charged relative to normal—this effectively represents a best barrels selection of the entire estate (they declassified the usual amount of wine to the Rosso, as well). The resulting wine is the best of both worlds—it has the early drinkability of the 2014 vintage without a loss of complexity or depth. This isn’t a wine and cellar for multiple decades, but it’s a beauty right now and should improve over the next 5-10 years. We have as much as we could get our hands on arriving in June and it’s a wine you should be buying in bulk as well.
Arriving ETA June:
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93 points “Bright deep red. Perfumed nose of red cherry, Oriental spices, flint and graphite. Rich, dense and suave on entry, then lighter and more linear in the middle, but with a plush juicy mouthfeel that makes it hard to put the glass back down once you’ve started tasting it. Very pure black/red cherry and spice flavors linger impressively on the long, refreshing finish. A knockout 2014 Brunello that lacks the size of the bigger vintages (very appropriately, I may add, given what the 2014 growing season was like) but showcases enchanting purity and grace. Vey well done”
Wine Advocate 92 points “This is the white label Brunello from Giacomo Neri and his son Giovanni. The 2014 Brunello di Montalcino is faithful to the vintage with a compact and streamlined style that suggests a near or medium-term drinking window. In general, I am hesitant to recommend this vintage for any significant cellar aging, and one reason is because these wines perform nicely straight out of the gate. The same goes for this relatively easy expression that is redolent of wild berry, rose hip, blue flower and moist potting soil. Because the Brunelli Tenuta Nuova and Cerretalto were not made in this vintage, this wine represents a blend of fruit from across the estate. This is the first time this has happened at Casanova di Neri. Bottle production is 75,669 strong. -ML”
James Suckling 92 points “Wild red fruit and orange zest with cedar and wild herbs. The cherries here are fresh and lively and the tannins cut a sturdy, even frame around impressively long, fresh flavors. The only Brunello made here in 2014; there are no single vineyard bottlings. Drink or hold.”
John Gilman offers a welcome alternative to the ripeness-oriented palates of Robert Parker, James Suckling, etc. He’s written his newsletter, View from the Cellar, from his home in New York and attracted a following as a voice of reason, or at least of classicism. We love his writing because of the history and detail he provides for each estate, as well as his willingness to use a much broader spectrum of the 100 point scale. He doesn’t inflate scores like some others and so when we see a high scoring wine (which we’ll say is 90 and above for him), we know we should pay attention. He recently reviewed the 2018 German vintage in his recent issue, with particular focus on the wines of Donnhoff and Schafer-Frohlich. These are wines to pay attention to and we’re excited to share the new reviews.
Arriving ETA Fall:
John Gilman 99 points “The 2018 Felseneck GG is also utterly brilliant young wine. The inherent elegance this year in all of Tim Fröhlich’s Grosses Gewächs bottlings reaches its summit with the Felseneck, with the bouquet soaring from the glass in a blend of lemon, pink grapefruit, smoky overtones, a beautiful base of very flinty slate minerality, dried flowers and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is pure, complex and bottomless in its depth, with a full-bodied and very refined profile, a zesty girdle of acidity, laser-like focus and great cut and grip on the very, very long, electric and utterly refined finish. A transcendental expression of the 2018 vintage! 2026-2080.”
John Gilman 97 points “I have never tasted a better young example from the Stromberg than this 2018 from Tim Fröhlich! The wine is so beautifully refined and precise this year, delivering a great bouquet of tart orange, sweet grapefruit, gorgeously complex minerality, wild yeasts, citrus zest, a touch of cress and a lovely floral topnote redolent of orange blossoms. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very, very long on the backend, with beautiful mid-palate depth, great cut and grip and a very, very long, snappy and nascently complex finish. This is breathtaking. 2026-2070.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
John Gilman 96 points “The 2018 Halenberg GG from Tim Fröhlich is also stunning, with just a bit more elegance than the Frühlingsplätzchen. The bouquet is flat out beautiful already, delivering a gorgeous constellation of pink grapefruit, a touch of quince, fresh lime, smoky overtones a beautifully refined and salty base of slate, a touch of wild yeasts and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and supremely refined in profile, with a lovely core of fruit, great mineral drive, racy acids and impeccable focus and balance on the very, very long, complex and seamless finish. Pure magic. 2024-2070.”
John Gilman 94+ points “By picking early in the Felsenberg, Tim Fröhlich was able to keep around 7.5 grams of acidity in his GG here this year, and he estimates that the wine will end up just about 12.5 percent octane. It is an absolutely superb bottle in the making, with the nose delivering a beautiful young constellation of tart orange, pink grapefruit, flint, smoke, lemongrass, wild yeasts, citrus peel and a delicate topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, fullbodied and very elegant and seamless in balance, with a superb core of fruit, lovely backend mineral lift, bright acids and a very long, complex and extremely promising finish. Great juice. 2024-2065.”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2018 Frühlingsplätzchen Grosses Gewächs is going to be closer to 8.5 grams per liter of acidity in this vintage, as is the Halenberg, and this gives the wine just a touch more precision and backend lift than the lovely Felsenberg this year. The bouquet is stellar, wafting from the glass in a blaze of lime, pink grapefruit, a touch of herb tones, salty minerality, citrus peel and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, laser-like and gloriously transparent, with a superb core, zesty acids, laser-like focus and a very long, very minerally and complex finish. This is stunning young wine! 2024-2070.”
Schafer-Frohlich Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 90+ points “The 2018 Estate Riesling Trocken is also an excellent bargain from Tim Fröhlich this year. The wine is twelve percent in alcohol and carries an impressive 8.5 grams of acidity this year, with all of the fruit for this bottling hailing from volcanic soils. The bouquet is beautifully expressive out of the blocks, offering up scents of lemon, tart orange, wild yeasts, an excellent mineral underpinning, white flowers and citrus zest. On the palate the wine is pure, elegant and medium-full, with lovely focus and grip, outstanding cut and grip and a long, complex and dancing finish. A stunning value this year! 2019-2040+.”
John Gilman 92 points “Tim Fröhlich’s 2018 Vulkangestein Riesling Trocken is also absolutely stellar in this vintage, with a touch more ripeness than the Estate Riesling Trocken (approximately 12.5 percent) coupled to the same purity, cut and backend lift. The wine is very mineral in personality on both the nose and palate this year, with the bouquet delivering scents of tart orange, grapefruit, wild yeasts, a very complex base of minerality, lemongrass and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, medium-full, racy and complex, with a lovely touch of salinity to its backend mineral signature, excellent focus and balance and a very, very long, classy finish. Great juice. 2023-2060.”
John Gilman 92 points “The 2018 Schiefergestein Bockenaur Riesling Trocken is also a stunning wine and in many vintages, this is Grosses Gewächs complexity and breed! The absolutely superb nose soars from the glass in a blaze of pink grapefruit, wild yeasts, flinty slate minerality, dried flowers and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, medium-full and very transparent and elegant in personality, with great intensity of flavor, lightness of step and stunning cut and grip on the very long, complex and precise finish. This is GG quality without the GG price tag in 2018! 2019-2050+.”
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2018 Goldkapsel Spätlese from the Felseneck vineyard was made solely with shriveled golden berries and there is not a trace of botrytis in this beautiful wine this year. The bouquet is nicely youthful at the present time and takes a bit of coaxing to offer up a gorgeous blend of pear, white cherries, wild yeasts, a lovely undertow of salty slate, white flowers and a whisper of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is very pure, medium-full and racy, with a lovely core, superb filigree and bounce and a very long, vibrant and complex finish. This just dances across the palate. 2024-2070.”
Weingut Donnhoff Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Weingut Donnhoff Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
John Gilman 89 points “The 2018 Estate Trocken had been bottled three days before my visit, but was still showing very nicely. The fruit for this bottling hails from volcanic soils in and around Oberhäusen and the 2018 version comes in at 11.5 percent octane. The bouquet is bright and quite elegant in its constellation of lemon, grapefruit, a touch of wild yeasts, a lovely base of minerality and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish and nicely focused, with fine mineral undertow, good balance and grip and a long and classy finish. This is a really good entry level wine! 2019-2040.”
Case-12 Weingut Donnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($379.95) $275 pre-arrival special (that’s only $22.92/bottle!)
John Gilman 91 points “The 2018 Tonschiefer was also bottled a few days prior to my arrival at the estate, but again, was not yet closed down from the mise and was showing very well indeed. The alcohol here is somewhere between twelve and twelve and a half percent this year and the wine offers up a very refined and precise bouquet of tart orange, slate, grapefruit, a nice touch of the vintage’s salinity, citrus zest and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and quite racy in personality, with a lovely core, excellent backend mineral drive and superb lift and grip on the very long finish. This may well be the finest vintage of Tonschiefer I have ever tasted! 2019-2045.”
Case-12 Weingut Donnhoff Riesling, Nahe 2018 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
John Gilman 89 points “The 2018 Estate Riesling Feinherb had also been bottled at the start of the week, ahead of my Thursday afternoon visit, but it was showing quite well indeed (despite having to follow-up all of those GG fireworks). This wine comes in at 10.5 percent alcohol, has acids of 8.5 grams and sports around twenty-five grams of sugar this year. The bouquet is very pretty, offering up scents of white cherries, apple, salty minerality and spring flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-full, crisp and juicy, with very good backend mineral tug, bright acids and lovely focus and grip on the absolutely delicious finish. Another bargain! 2019-2040.”
Case-12 Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($379.95) $275 pre-arrival special (that’s only $22.92/bottle!)
John Gilman 93 points “The Leistenberg has the oldest vines of all the Dönnhoff parcels and they have really excelled in 2018. This beautiful Kabinett offers up a complex bouquet of white cherries, apple, salty slate, bee pollen and a lovely mix of spring flowers and fruit blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and filigreed, with its beautiful fruit tones stretched taught over its minerality, with bright, zesty acids and lovely lift and grip on the long and complex finish. Just beautiful. 2022-2060.”
Arriving ETA Fall 2019
Weingut Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Weingut Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($199.95) $123 pre-arrival special (that’s only $20.50/bottle!)
John Gilman 91+ points “The 2018 Krötenpfuhl Kabinett was still in cask and really showing beautiful potential on both the nose and palate. The bouquet is a lovely and delicate mix of apple, tart orange, salty minerality, white flowers and an esthery topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and dancing, with beautiful fruit, a lovely foundation of minerality, bright acids and excellent length and grip on the vibrant finish. This has really good acids for the vintage. 2019-2050.”
Case-6 Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2018 750ML ($319.95) $236 pre-arrival special (that’s only $39.33/bottle!)
John Gilman 95 points “Long-time fans of the two flagship Spätlesen from the Dönnhoff family are going to have a lot of fun over the coming decades debating the relative merits of these two brilliant wines from 2018! The Brücke Spätlese offers up a brilliant bouquet of apple, passion fruit, tangerine, fruit blossoms, salty slate minerality and a topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is medium-full, very pure and precise, with a great core, dancing acids and a very long, complex and filigreed finish. This has bottomless depth and is extremely light on its feet. 2023-2075.”
Case-6 Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2018 750ML ($399.95) $279 pre-arrival special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
John Gilman 95 points “The 2018 Hermannshöhle Spätlese from the estate has no intention of being upstaged by the Brücke this year, as this too is a brilliant wine. The nose jumps from the glass in a complex blaze of fresh pineapple, pungent citrus zest, apple, a beautiful base of slate, wild yeasts and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, complex, medium-full and beautifully suave on the attack, with superb mineral undertow and a laser-like and electric finish. Equally stunning juice. 2025-2075.”
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 375ML ($44.95) $37 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95 points “For several decades, Helmut Dönnhoff has been of the opinion that an Auslese is a wine that needs botrytis and every example here has been a botrytized wine, at least to some degree. So, it is a great rarity to find not one, but two completely clean Auslesen in the family’s cellars this year made from golden and shriveled berries and no noble rot. The 2018 Brücke Auslese is a beautiful wine in the making, offering up a lovely aromatic constellation of pear, white cherries, honeycomb, bee pollen, apple blossoms and a lovely foundation of salty, slate minerality. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a lovely core, great focus and grip, snappy acids and a very long, dancing and still quite youthful finish. 2030-2090.”
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 375ML ($44.95) $37 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 98 points “The purity and precision of the 2018 Hermannshöhle Auslese is the stuff that legends used to be made from. The bouquet is complex and utterly refined, offering up scents of pear, white cherries, bee pollen, a touch of orange zest, lovely salinity and a mineral bath of slate. On the palate the wine is fullish, racy and utterly seamless in its balance, with great intensity of flavor, laser-like focus and truly stunning mineral drive on the backend (particularly for Auslese), with an endless and magical finish. 2032-2090+.”
Saint Cosme Northern Rhones
Plus: Rare, Back-Vintage Large Formats
Saint Cosme is one of the best producers in the Rhone and we’re always happy to feature all of their wines that we can get our hands on. We featured their stunning 2017 Gigondas’ bottlings on Tuesday (just click here to see those wines in our webstore) and we’re excited to feature their 2017 Northern Rhone offerings today, plus a bonus offer of some back-vintage large format wines. These are some of the best wines, and best values, offered in the world today and our pre-arrival pricing is the best we’ll offer.
Arriving ETA June:
Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 90 points “A plump, fun-filled wine overflowing with yellow apple, apricot, melon and star fruit flavors. A light bitter almond note keeps this just focused enough through the finish. A crowd-pleaser. Viognier, Marsanne and Picpoul. Drink now. 3,300 cases made, 1,200 cases imported.-JM”
James Suckling 90 points “An array of ripe, sweet, peach, banana and melon character here. Sweetly perfumed and bright. Good weight on the palate with density and depth. Some pastry-like richness into the finish. Drink now.”
The next best price is $18.94
The average listed price is $21
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 points “The 2017 Côte-Rôtie (all from the Côte Brune) shows a more floral character yet still has plenty of Côte Brune power, weight, and richness. Black fruits, spiced meats, olive, and gamey notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied, ethereal 2017 that’s already hard to resist. It’s a beautiful wine in the making and bodes well for the vintage.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Notes of smoked meat and cold fireplace mark the nose of Saint Cosme’s 2017 Cote Rotie. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a plush, seductive mouthfeel, supple tannins and a long finish. It should be a beauty.-JC”
Case-12 Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2017 750ML ($359.95) $279 pre-arrival special (that’s only $23.25/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The inky colored 2017 Crozes Hermitage isn’t far off the 2016 and has a darker fruited, peppery, charcoal, and licorice-driven style. It’s medium to full-bodied, straight and focused on the palate, yet has terrific ripeness.”
Case-12 Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, Rhone 2017 750ML ($419.95) $299 pre-arrival special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 91-94 points “As in 2016, the 2017 St. Joseph is slightly fresher and more focused than the Crozes release and offers a terrific perfume of raspberries, violets, spice, and a hint of bacon fat. It’s seamless, medium-bodied, and incredibly elegant on the palate, with plenty of sweet fruit and a great finish.”
The next best price is $34.99
Wine Spectator 93 points “Lovely bay leaf, pepper, lavender and tobacco notes impart texture and range as they wrap around a core of solid black currant and fig fruit. Shows a grippy charcoal feel through the finish. Very solid. Best from 2015 through 2024. 835 cases imported.-JM”
Wine Advocate 92 points “Another great traditional cuvee, the 2012 Gigondas shows the house style with its savory dark fruits, ground herbs, pepper and mineral-like bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuous and gorgeously textured, it can be drunk now or cellared for a decade.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2014 1.5L ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sports solid, charcoal-edged grip from the get-go, with roasted alder and savory notes forming a robust frame around the chewy-edged currant, plum and bitter cherry paste flavors. The long, dark, smoldering finish lets the woodsy and herb accents stride through. Shows the cool-weather profile of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2024. 3,700 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Blended, but still aging in barrel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape will likely be bottled in March 2019. Brandied cherries and dried spices mark the nose of this full-bodied, plush wine. It’s slightly warm, and certainly rich, but it remains fresh and long on the finish. It should be a beauty.-JC”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “Scheduled to be bottled in October, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape checks in as a mix of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault. Rounded, beautifully textured, and full-bodied, with terrific complexity in its incense, dried flower, cedarwood, and assorted red and black fruits, it should benefit from short-term cellaring and offer over a decade of prime drinking. “
Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Case-6 Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($179.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points “This second wine shows such a great balance of round tannins and juicy, creamy and chocolate character. Full, flavorful and joyful. Salty and juicy. Savory and even meaty. Drink now or hold.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “This is absolutely one of the best value wines you will find in Italy and I suspect beyond. The 2016 Bolgheri Rosso Il Bruciato is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Syrah. With more than one million bottles made, there should be no problem finding it at your nearest wine merchant. Once you do locate it, I enthusiastically recommend that you pick up a few cases. This vintage comes together with seamless intensity and smoothness. You get so much dark fruit flavor, paired with soft tannins, spice, smoke and dried blackberry. Il Bruciato pulls off its magic effortlessly. It doesn’t try to be anything other than it is: Delicious.”
Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny, Loire 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny, Loire 2016 750ML ($319.95) $219 special
Kermit Lynch Note: “100% Cabernet Franc from 4 to 70 year old vines grown on sand, clay, and Tuffeau limestone.”
The next best price is $26.87
Bedrock Wine Co. ‘Ode to Lulu’ Rose, Sonoma Valley 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Grapelive 93 points “Bright and intensely mineral infused the 2018 Bedrock Ode to Lulu proves again why it’s such a sought after wine with great flavor detail, zesty freshness and a lingering finish, this Rosé is complex and complete in a way that very few others can compete with. One of California’s great pink wines, Morgan Twain-Peterson’s Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu is a tribute to the great Mourvedre Rosé of the iconic Lucie ‘Lulu” Peyraud of Domaine Tempier, the legendary Bandol producer. The 2018 version of Bedrock’s Rosé is composed of 55% old vine Mataro (Mourvedre) and 45% old vine Grenache. Morgan says his Ode to Lulu is a love letter to the Bandol rosé we love so much and especially to the queen of Provence herself.…Layered and vibrant the 2018 shows off on the medium bodied palate with a mix of strawberry, grapefruit, sour cherry, rosewater and with a hint of dried herb, with all flavors revolving around it’s steely core and with a touch of stone and earth tones. The fruit really pops with a vivid clarity and makes this Bedrock Rosé great as a quaffable treat on a warm afternoon, but it is also serious stuff that revels in food pairings, and I for one think it goes sensationally with mussels in spicy broth, as well as BBQ and picnic fare. “A fantastic representation of the possibilities of Etna.
Alta Mora ‘Guradiola’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 96 points “The crystal-clear nose of jasmine, slate, quartz, wild strawberries, blueberries and tons of orange rind, not to mention chocolate shavings and walnuts, is stunning. The full-bodied palate is expansive and fruit-forward yet so minerally and uplifted by a fresh line of acidity that culminates in a long finish. Tight and refined in terms of tannin texture. So good now but better in 2019.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2014 Etna Rosso Guardiola is a wine of unique beauty and character. Having seen this stunning vineyard in person and climbed its steep ascent on the flank of the volcano, I am immediately reminded of the warm smells that come from these sun-scorched soils and the wild herbal notes that come off the scrub brush that grows in this harsh, otherworldly environment. This wine offers an immediate sense of place. The bouquet is elegant, almost ephemeral at first. It grows exponentially in intensity and complexity as the wine takes on more air in the glass. Give it the time it merits. Tangy acidity and sour cherry keep the palate very much alive. Congratulations to Cusumano of Alta Mora for this authentic taste of Etna inspiration. Only 5,310 bottles were made. Fruit comes from a three-hectare vineyard with 120-year-old vines.”-ML
Classic, oaky, rich California Chardonnay.
RouteStock Cellars ‘Route 121’ Chardonnay, Carneros 2017 750ML ($19.95) $17 special
Case-12 RouteStock Cellars ‘Route 121’ Chardonnay, Carneros 2017 750ML ($249.95) $185 special (that’s only $15.42/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Editor’s Choice. This is such a lovely white wine, priced attractively, which delivers a heady entry of honey and caramelized oak. Juicy acidity lifts bold flavors of lemon meringue, green apple and tangerine, finishing with a balanced weight and intrigue of nutmeg.”