Wines

30 Items Found

Dom Jean Royer Le Petit Roy 15eme Product #31415 (In Stock)
Dom Jean Royer Le Petit Roy 15eme Dom Jean Royer Le Petit Roy 15eme

Our second shot at Jean-Marie Royer’s everyday wine shows why waiting a bit can be a virtue even for “little” wines!  Because as impressive as this was last Fall, the 2015 edition of Petit Roy is simply stunning right now.  For this wine, Jean-Marie blends fruit from a small plot just outside the Chateauneuf boundaries and a family vineyard inside the boundaries that doesn’t qualify for the CdP AOC because it has too much clay.  Then – the secret sauce – he adds a bit of “real” Chateauneuf du Pape juice that didn’t get into the main wines.  Because the rules forbid declassifying CdP to Cotes du Rhone, this is legally just “table wine” and cannot carry any indication of area of origin or vintage (although, as you can see, he cheats a bit there).

In 2015, La Petit Roy isn’t very “Petit.”  In fact, it’s a pretty big and burly thing with deep base notes of black raspberry and roasted strawberry plus lively accents of crushed herb, lavender, black pepper and spice.  The grapes are mainly Grenache with seasoning splashes of Syrah (for depth) and Alicante (for herbal complexity and color).  Very Provençal and pretty enough to serve at a party but with more than enough heft to pair with leftover leg of lamb.  It’s wide open and ready to love today but will still be pumping out joy in 2020. Fantastic value for a “baby CdP.”

Regular Price (1) Price : $21.99/ea
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The Dude Napa Proprietary Red 2014 Product #31334 (In Stock)
The Dude Napa Proprietary Red 2014 The Dude Napa Proprietary Red 2014

This is an unknown wine with a fantastic pedigree.  Winemaker Neil Koch learned red wine making from Philippe Melka at Seavy, Vineyard 29 and Bryant family before making Cabernet and Chardonnay at Lewis Cellars.  Today, he’s a wine broker in Napa, which gives him plenty of insight into the best places in the Valley to get outstanding (if under-priced) grapes.  His 2014 The Dude blends Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Merlot (28%), Cabernet Franc (27%) and Petite Verdot (7%) from vineyards in Calistoga, Rutherford, Carneros and Oak Knoll.  The northern sites give power and flesh; the cooler, southern, vineyards add brightness, freshness, and keep the alcohol at a very palatable 14.1%.

Opens beautifully with 30 minutes of air. Rich, dark aromas of black and red currant, blackberry, chocolate, cedar, herb and spice burst from the glass.  Take a sip and you’ll love how it pumps out dark fruit, bitter-sweet chocolate, crushed herb, and baking spice flavors that completely fill your mouth.  There’s plenty of luxury here, but also a fine freshness and vigor as the flavors drive on through the finish before expanding with a pop of late arriving flavors.  Just 1,200 cases made. Smooth, rich, flavorful, and delicious now – 2024.

Regular Price (1) Price : $29.99/ea
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En Numeros Vermells Priorat AiAiAi 2015 Product #31540 (In Stock)
En Numeros Vermells Priorat AiAiAi 2015 En Numeros Vermells Priorat AiAiAi 2015

“AiAiAi” is the kind of thing you say with a smile when something surprising happens, and tasting Silvia Puig’s 2015 “baby” Priorat and then seeing the very reasonable price certainly qualifies!  Tiny production – just 3,216 bottles in 2015.

I don’t think I can improve upon my note from our first taste of 2015 AiAiAi:  “Even though it's dead young, the nose is already giving with bold aromas of roasted red berries - raspberry, strawberry - dark red flowers and a big dose of Priorat's signature warm slate.  The flavors are classic Priorat, too - actually, classic $50-$70 Priorat.  Super rich roasted red fruit, sweet spice, a hint of vanilla bean, and a bit of cracked pepper with a texture that enters pure and precise, expands to fully coat the inside of your mouth and then draws back into clear focus with delicious, ripe, chewy, tannins.  Finish goes on with raspberry jam, slate, and more lingering.  Not a trace of heat.  What a delicious wine!”

Regular Price (1) Price : $39.99/ea
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Guillon Cotes De Nuits Villages Queues De Hareng 2014 Product #31356 (In Stock)
Guillon Cotes De Nuits Villages Queues De Hareng 2014 Guillon Cotes De Nuits Villages Queues De Hareng 2014

Just Jean-Michel’s fourth vintage from this fine vineyard located a touch south of Nuits Saint Georges, and easily the very best yet.  Oodles of raspberry, coffee, and red currant aromas and flavors and a silky, sophisticated, texture.  It’s rare to see a wine from a more “humble” site like this have the stuffing to benefit from 100% new oak, but the 2014 handles it with ease.  Delicious now and able to develop through 2024+.  Outstanding value here.

Outstanding Top Value "A discreet touch of wood sets off the ripe, fresh and complex nose that consists of plum, earth, violet and plenty of earth character. There is terrific intensity to the detailed, sleek and delineated middle weight flavors that are also endowed with relatively fine-grained tannins that shape the lingering finish that evidences a hint of bitter cherry. This is an excellent example of the appellation and worth your interest."Allen Meadows 89-91 points

Regular Price (1) Price : $44.99/ea
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Occidental Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2012 Product #31422 (In Stock)
Occidental Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2012 Occidental Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2012

Steve Kistler formed Occidental to create a smaller, more hands-on, Pinot Noir winery for himself and his daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth.  And, in just its second vintage, Occidental is already a huge success!  As Antonio Galloni said after tasting the estate’s three single-vineyard wines, “"Steve Kistler's 2012 Occidental Pinots are off the charts gorgeous... Readers who can find the Occidental Pinots should not hesitate to grab them, as they are truly magnificent."

Finding the Vinous 96-97+ point single vineyard wines is next to impossible (and, at $125-$175, expensive), so this is your best chance to enjoy Kistler’s benchmark Pinots at a very reasonable price.  The 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot is made from fruit grown in Steve’s Occidental Station and Bodega Headlands vineyards, both perched on hills bathed in the cool wines flowing through Sonoma’s Petaluma Gap.  The barrels used for this wine were just a touch more ripe and fleshy than Kistler was looking for in his single-vineyard bottlings – but no less delicious!

The wine opens with lovely aromas of crushed raspberry and cherry, cherry blossom, loamy earth and sweet baking spice.  On the palate it’s medium-bodied (at a restrained for California 14.1% alcohol) with generous flavors of tangy raspberry, sweet red cherry, and a nice layer of barrel spice (although hardly oaky!).  The pure fruit flavors keep on flowing through a fine, pure, finish leaving fresh raspberry and spice flavors lingering on.  The fine tannins and fresh acids suggest this will just keep improving over the next 5 years or so, but it’s so delicious now that you’ll be hard put to wait.  A rare and delicious opportunity to enjoy Steve Kistler’s work for those of us not on the mailing list!

Regular Price (1) Price : $69.99/ea
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Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vyd 2014 Product #31611 (In Stock)
Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vyd 2014 Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vyd 2014

There’s just a little bit of American history in the ground at Bedrock. The site was first planted in 1854 by the gentlemen who would come to be known as Generals William “Tecumseh” Sherman and “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker.  After phylloxera it was replanted in 1888 by Senator George Hearst—a mining magnet, an early father of California, and the father of publisher William Randolph Hearst.

Mike Officer farms two plots of this large site.  About 90% is 1888 Zinfandel with the rest "mixed blacks" (Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and others) plus a dollop of fortifying Mourvedre, also planted in 1888. The Mourvedre gives depth and a structure that will need a little time to fully unwind.  Mike recommends drinking from 2018-2028 and that seems right to us.

“The 2014 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard emerges from one of the warmer sites Carlisle works with. All of that intensity comes through in a big, dramatic wine endowed with serious presence, intensity and tannic heft. Black cherries, menthol, tar, licorice and smoke hit the palate in a big wine that shows the virile side of Zinfandel. The Bedrock is not especially polished, subtle or refined, but it sure is distinctive.”  Vinous (Galloni) 92-94 points

"Plump and rich flavors wrap around a big but refined structure, with briary wild berry aromas and zesty notes of smoky anise, cracked pepper and stony mineral that linger toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2028."Wine Spectator 94 points

Regular Price (1) Price : $54.99/ea
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Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Cuvee Alexis 2014 Product #31360 (In Stock)
Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Cuvee Alexis 2014 Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Cuvee Alexis 2014

Co-winemaker Alexis Guillon's cuvee is always a bit more elegant than the Domaine's other Village wines, but still has the concentration and depth that only comes from 60+ year-old vines. This is the best vintage for this wine I can recall and the best rating from Burghound, too.  Another outstanding value in classic Gevrey Chambertin.  Best from 2019 - 2029.

Outstanding Top Value " A moderately wooded nose also exhibits a touch of menthol on the classic Gevrey aromas of earth, underbrush, game and cool dark berry fruit. There is excellent mid-palate density to the intense, robust and muscular flavors that coat the palate on the slightly rustic and impressively long finish. Worth considering."Allen Meadows 89-91 points

Regular Price (1) Price : $61.99/ea
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Steininger Gruner Veltliner Grand Gru 2011 Magnum Product #31471 (In Stock)
Steininger Gruner Veltliner Grand Gru 2011 Magnum Steininger Gruner Veltliner Grand Gru 2011 Magnum

What’s even better than a great bottle of Grüner Grand Grü?  An even bigger bottle, of course! Loaded with crunchy pear, peach and citrus fruit aromas and flavors and just a touch of white pepper and baking spice.  Long on the palate and finish where juicy pink grapefruit acidity makes your mouth water and look for another sip.  Easy to drink on its own or with extravagant Holiday feasts.

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Dom Michelot Meursault Narvaux 2014 Product #31572 (In Stock)
Dom Michelot Meursault Narvaux 2014 Dom Michelot Meursault Narvaux 2014

Meursault's Lieu-Dit vineyards are kind of a halfway step from "village" to 1er Cru status, and Narvaux is one of the best.  Perched  on rocky soils high on the hill above 1er Cru Les Genevrieres, Narvaux gives classic Meursualt richness without heaviness and good energy with no hard edges.  Michelot's is about as fine as Narvaux gets.

“Pale yellow. Peach, orange, spicy oak and grilled almond on the nose. A distinct step up in energy and lift from the Clos Saint-Félix, showing much more mineral spine to its lightly saline flavors of citrus fruits, hazelnut and spices. Very Meursault but in a firm style, with the backbone to evolve gracefully. Finishes with sneaky orange zest persistence.”  Vinous (Tanzer) 90 points

“High-pitched, offering toasted sweet spice, lime blossom, citronella, mineral and nut oil aromas and flavors. Well-defined, intense and taut, with a stingy finish for now, but the potential is there."Wine Spectator 91 points

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Eric Rodez Ambonnay Blanc De Blanc NV Product #31468 (In Stock)
Eric Rodez  Ambonnay Blanc De Blanc NV Eric Rodez  Ambonnay Blanc De Blanc NV

A new wine for us, but one that’s been getting a lot of “buzz” in the wine world recently.  As The New York Times reported last Christmas Eve, “Rodez is centered in Ambonnay, which is known as pinot noir country, but the producer makes an unusual, superb blanc de blancs ($65) from Ambonnay chardonnay. It is richer and fuller than the blanc de blancs you might find from, say, Vertus, but pure and beautifully balanced with great finesse and minerality.”

This new release is a step up from both the wine tasted by The Times and the 91 point example Vinous showcased three years ago.  The nose is reminiscent of maturing Grand Cru Chablis with leesy, brothy, aromas of ripe apple, tangy pear, salty stone, and a pretty accent of toasted hazelnut and caramel.  The salty, minerally, Chablis-like character continues on the palate with lemon, lime, and Granny Smith apple fruit and loads of saline crushed sea shell and chalk.  The ripe apple and apricot fruit comes up nicely on the finish where the very small bubbles lift the flavors and leave fresh stone fruit, citrus, buttered biscuit, and toasted hazelnut flavors with a just right dusting of lime zest.  Richer than all this sounds, the Blanc de Blancs will sing with lobster and scallops or refresh nicely on its own.

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Ken Wright Pinot Noir Abbott Claim Vyd 2015 Product #31307 (In Stock)
Ken Wright Pinot Noir Abbott Claim Vyd 2015 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Abbott Claim Vyd 2015

For 2012:  WE 97 points and Wine Of The Year/WS NR
A vineyard that I’ve underestimated in the past but that has given Ken some his most exciting wines over the past few vintages.  Ken owns and farms this marine sedimentary site with loving care.  It’s not far from Savoya and Shea, but it often packs in even more power and punch than its more famous neighbors.  And, it handles heat well – when I visited during the very hot, very dry, summer of 2015, the vines here were verdant, healthy, and showed absolutely no signs of heat or water stress.

The vineyard is planted to a mixture of Pommard and Dijon clone that push through about 30 inches of sedimentary soils before hitting mother rock of fractured sandstone and siltstone.  Both the clones and the soils incline Abbott Claim towards a distinctive spice and floral focus, although there’s always plenty of rich plum, cassis and black cherry fruit.  Likely one of the stars of the vintage in ‘15.

Regular Price (1) Price : $64.99/ea
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Ken Wright Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vyd 2015 Product #31308 (In Stock)
Ken Wright Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vyd 2015 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vyd 2015

For 2012:  WE 96 points/WS 93 points
Always a favorite in Ken’s cellar, the Freedom Hills Pinot comes from a tiny slice (2.85 acres) of this well-respected vineyard lying between Eola Hills to the east and the Coastal Range to the west.  A tad warmer than vineyards in either neighboring region, but also possessed of unusually bright acidity that should sing through nicely in 2015.  Ken’s parcels were replanted about 10 years ago after phylloxera reached Freedom Hill, and now they give wine with a wonderful blend of richness and structure, accessibility and ability to age.  Lots of spice, chocolate, and herb notes to add complexity to the dark raspberry and plum. 

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Ken Wright Pinot Noir Shea Vyd 2015 Product #31309 (In Stock)
Ken Wright Pinot Noir Shea Vyd 2015 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Shea Vyd 2015

For 2012:  WE 94 points/WS 91 points
Ken’s signature wine and, arguably, Willamette Valley’s signature vineyard.  Wine Advocate has suggested that Shea is the Willamette Valley’s one potential “superstar” vineyard and Ken makes the benchmark wine from this famous site.  Ken uses fruit from three different blocks in the vineyard, two planted to Dijon 114 and one to Dijon 777 clones. Shea always gives black/red fruit - especially blueberry - but with more spice and earth than other Yamhill-Carlton wines.  Always a fine marriage of ripe fruit and juicy, fresh, texture, this usually wants a few years in cellar to show its best. Ken pretty much made the reputation of this vineyard, and it's always one of his most powerful, concentrated, wines. 

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Ken Wright Pinot Noir Canary Hill Vyd 2015 Product #31310 (In Stock)
Ken Wright Pinot Noir Canary Hill Vyd 2015 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Canary Hill Vyd 2015

For 2012:  WE 94 points/WS 91 points
One of only two wines Ken makes from volcanic sites, this is always distinctive for its notes of bright cherry, blue/black berry, and juicy acids.   It’s a blend of 30+ year-old Pommard and slightly younger Dijon clone growing on very shallow, porous, soils.  Lots of fruit with complicating accents of tobacco, herb, and more.  A barrel sample tasted in February was sweet and spicy with a firm but supple finish.  A neat marriage of Eola Hill’s spice and freshness with volcanic sites’ classic red fruit.  I plan to buy this one.

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Ken Wright Pinot Noir Latchkey Vyd 2015 Product #31311 (In Stock)
Ken Wright Pinot Noir Latchkey Vyd 2015 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Latchkey Vyd 2015

Pre-Arrival:  Wine arrives late-October
Not Previously Rated (first vintage 2014)

Love the dark, smoky, intensity of wines grown on the volcanic Jory soils of the Dundee Hills?  Well, then this is your Ken Wright 2015 because it delivers more of that rich depth than any other wine in the set.  The vineyard actually belongs to Ken’s son, Cody Wright, who farms it for his Purple Hands project.  Ken says the site wants to express cherry, huckleberry, and cotton candy aromas/flavors in a wine with lush texture and bright acids.  Tasted from barrel in February, I found it “Impressive!” with spiced cherry fruit and remarkable intensity on the back.  Pretty limited, so move on this one.

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Ken Wright Pinot Noir Bryce Vyd 2015 Product #31318 (In Stock)
Ken Wright Pinot Noir Bryce Vyd 2015 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Bryce Vyd 2015

Pre-Arrival:  Wine arrives late-October
For 2012:  WE 93 points/WS 89 points

Here's Ken's only Pinot from the Ribbon Ridge, home to folks like Beaux Freres, Penner-Ash, Patrica Green and Brick House. The sedimentary Willakenzie soils give floral and spice accents to the red fruit common in Ribbon Ridge wines, and help provide extra lift and juicy freshness in warm vintages.  It’s limited, so if you’re tempted, jump quickly here.

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Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2014 Product #31361 (In Stock)
Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2014 Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2014

Always one of Jean-Michel’s – and importer Olivier Daubresse’s! – favorite cuvees, I really cannot imagine how you wouldn’t guess very good 1er cru when tasting this blind.  It’s a powerful wine that can be aprecied now for the dense fruit and palate-coating richness but will need time to mellow and open to show earthy, iron ore, minerality.  Hold it until 2024 and enjoy through 2034 and longer.

Outstanding Top Value "I would describe this as moderately wooded as well with its notes of menthol and dense fruited nose of plum, dark berries, spice and abundant earth scents. There is outstanding richness and concentration to the notably powerful and serious middle weight plus flavors that deliver excellent persistence on the rustic finale. This old school effort won't win any awards for refinement but it is a first-rate Gevrey villages that really saturates the palate with dry extract. Highly recommended provided that you have the patience to give it at least 6 to 8 years of cellaring."Allen Meadows 89-92 points

Regular Price (1) Price : $78.99/ea
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Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut Tradition Product #14818 (In Stock)
Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut Tradition Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut Tradition

This stunning Champabage blends 70% Pinot Noir/30% Chardonnay from 3 Grand Cru sites in Ambonnay, Verzenay and Bouzy with about half from 2011 and the rest 2010, 2009 and 2008. Some of the base wine fermented in barrel for richness, supporting low (under 5 g/l) dossage levels.  This release was disgourged in May 2016 and will certainly be another in a long string of 92-94 point winners.  Galloni's review of last Fall's release remains on point.

"The NV Brut Grand Cru Tradition is all class. Suave, silky and expressive on the palate, the NV Grand Cru Tradition is quite pretty, with lovely brightness and freshness to balance the wine's inherent richness. Red stone fruits, hazelnuts, white flowers and mint are all pushed forward in this deceptively understated Champagne from Egly-Ouriet."  Vinous (Galloni) 92 points

Regular Price (1) Price : $84.99/ea
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Roy Estate Proprietary Red 2013 Half-Bottles Product #31558 (In Stock)
Roy Estate Proprietary Red 2013 Half-Bottles Roy Estate Proprietary Red 2013 Half-Bottles

Winemaker Philippe Melka is a wizard with texture, and this always marries fine levels of Napa power with super silky, plush, tannins for structure and aging potential.  The 2013 Prop Red shows the classic energy and structure of this great, great, Napa vintage, so try to leave some of this in a cool place until 2019 or so to get everything it has to offer.

"A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. This wine was aged in 85% new Taransaud oak for 19 months prior to bottling of 650 cases. The wine is a beauty, with loads of charcoal, scorched earth, blackcurrants and blackberry fruit present, along with underlying smoky notes. It is dense purple, full-bodied, and rich, with moderate tannin. This wine will benefit from another 4-5 years of cellaring and drink well for another 20-25 years."Wine Advocate 96+ points

Regular Price (1) Price : $89.99/ea
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Marie Bernard (Marc Morey) 2013 Puligny 1er Les Referts Product #31467 (In Stock)
Marie Bernard (Marc Morey) 2013 Puligny 1er Les Referts Marie Bernard (Marc Morey) 2013 Puligny 1er Les Referts

With its neighbors Combettes and Perrieres, the Referts vineyard makes up Puligny Montrachet’s boundary with Meursault. There’s always plenty of power and spice to this wine at Marc Morey, and in 2013 there’s also an extra-fine texture and excellent precision.  A truly delicious Puligny Montrachet.  This is more open and giving than Virondot today but it will really come into it's own from 2018 or so on.

"Outstanding. This too is notably cool with its beautifully layered nose of acacia blossom, green fruit and once again plenty of citrus character. There is first-rate intensity to the delineated yet fleshy middle weight flavors that deliver the same fine length if not quite the same complexity. I like the natural refinement of a fine Puligny and this should drink well after only 3 to 4 years of cellar time."Allen Meadows 91 points

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