A 98 Point Chardonnay Under $20 and 100 Point Red!
What do you do if you are already one of the most celebrated winemakers in the world and you have an unbeatable gig? If you are Alejandro Vigil from Catena, you partner with the boss on your new solo project and keep working your day-job too. Alejandro partnered with Adrianna Catena, Nicholas Catena's youngest daughter, to form El Enemigo.
This wine is limited so grab it while you can!
EL ENEMIGO 2016 CHARDONNAY
JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "This is really amazing with an exotic dried-fruit character of pineapple and mangoes. Full-bodied, rich and fruity with cream, pie-crust and caramel character. Crazy chardonnay with a little Jura style and some flor undertones. It really does have flor in the barrel when aging. Love. Get it. Drink now."
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "With an even darker, more intense golden color but fresher aromas and flavors compared to the 2015 vintage, the 2016 El Enemigo Chardonnay has more noticeable notes of curry and nuts, with higher acidity, which gives it somewhat of a Jura character. It has 13.5% alcohol and 7.4 grams of acidity (in tartaric), so, very healthy natural parameters. It had a longer élevage sous voile, up to 13 months, so that probably explains why the yeasty and spicy character is more marked here than in the 2015. Winemaker Alejandro Vigil likes it like this, but he doesn't want more of the flor character, as it's not supposed to be a flor wine. Superb!"
Enemigo focuses on high-altitude Cabernet Franc, producing four different Cab Franc bottlings-two Gran Enemigo Single Vineyards, a Gran Enemigo blend, and the entry tier Cab Franc. We'll simplify the line-up a bit and say the "Gualtallary Single Vineyard" is the best of the line and it comes from the extreme high altitude region that helped make Catena famous.
This wine is very limited so grab it while you can!
EL ENEMIGO 2013 "GRAN ENEMIGO" GUALTALLARY SINGLE VINEYARD CABERNET FRANC
WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "I was really looking forward to tasting the 2013 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard since all of the previous vintages have been truly exceptional, and I wanted to see what it would be in a cooler year. The bottled wine contains perhaps 15% Malbec in the blend, and they will soon stop mentioning Cabernet Franc on the label. It fermented in 500-liter oak barrels with 50% of the Cabernet Franc and all of the Malbec and then matured in used oak foudres. It's very intense and powerful, but at the same time, there is a kind of lightness on the palate that makes if feel light on its feet but with great inner power. There is citrus acidity that makes it effervescent and electric. It has some 7.5 grams of acidity and a pH of 3.45, very healthy parameters. The peppery character appears after some time, giving it a Chinon-like twist, and it also reminds me of my favorite Bordeaux, Pomerol's Lafleur. This is definitely world-class and worth lying down, as it should develop further complexity in bottle. This is one of those wines where the only improvement I can think of is having magnums rather than bottles. Bravo!"
JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS - "This is a fabulous wine with blackberry, dark mushroom, blueberry and white pepper character. Full body, fine tannins and fantastic depth and length. Goes on for minutes. A magnificent red. Beautiful encore to the superb 2012. Drink or hold."
$115.00 750ml SOLD OUT
Special Purchase is Best Bordeaux Buy in Recent Memory!
We just made a special purchase of the 2015 vintage of Chateau Hourtou. This full-bodied red blend surprised us with its delicious dark fruit flavors and surprising complexity. The rich, ripe fruit flavors are very pleasing and really showcase the quality of the 2015 vintage in Bordeaux. We would expect to pay at least $20.00 for this wine, but getting this bottle for $14.95 makes this a steal.
Cotes de Bourg is an Appellation d'origine controlee (AOC) for Bordeaux wine situated around the small town of Bourg-sur-Gironde near Bordeaux, France. The first vineyards in the area were founded by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, Bourg was a major port for wine and the vineyards developed at the same tempo as the estuary traffic. The average age of Hourtou vines is 40; some are up to one hundred years old – a sure sign that the fruit will be concentrated.
This special purchase of the remaining bottles from the 2015 vintage is one of our best Bordeaux buys in recent memory. Chateau Hourtou is a delicious wine, which would make a terrific case purchase. We only have a limited amount available. When it's gone it's gone!
CHATEAU HOURTOU 2015 COTES DE BOURG
Vibrant ruby in color. Expressive aromas of violets, currants, red and black fruits, blackberry and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and generous with rich fruit and a creamy mouth filling texture. Red and black currants, crème de cassis and blackberries persist on this fresh and thirst-quenching red.
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "This is very structured for this appellation with steely tannins and a generosity of plum and currant fruit. Full-bodied, round and savory. Flavorful finish. Drink or hold but better in 2020."
Top Cabernet of the Year Under $20!
This is perhaps the one wine that rivals our 'Wine of the Month' in terms of velocity. Our customers have come to expect our Top Cab Under $20 to over deliver for the money, so we take extra time in securing this spot.
AERENA 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON RED HILLS
In addition to working at chateaux Troplong-Mondot and La Tour Figeac in Bordeaux, winemaker Aaron Pott has also worked on the winemaking teams at Newton, Beringer, Quintessa, Krupp Brother, Blackbird, and Seven Stones. As you can tell, he definitely has a capable hand with Cabernet Sauvignon! Farmed from vines at an elevation of 2,400ft in the Red Hills of Lake County, just over the hills from the Napa Valley, Aaron crafted this mountain-inspired Cabernet Sauvignon using the same dedication to quality that he uses with Napa Valley fruit, as Red Hills often has similar soils and warm daytime temperature as its more prestigious neighbor.
This Cabernet is dark ruby in color with hints of purple, and the nose shows violets, cured meats, blackcurrants, black cherry, a hint of olive, graphite, and raspberry liqueur. Briary, with silky tannins and a combination of bright red and rich dark fruits on the palate, this medium- to full-bodied Cabernet has a finish that lasts much longer that most at this price point!
Incredible Baby Chateauneuf to Buy by the Case!
One of the greatest things about the nearly perfect 2016 vintage in the Rhone Valley is that the quality is not only relegated to the higher priced cuvees. The hype of the vintage is justified and the wines are undeniably pleasing. Case in point is the Grand Veneur Champauvins from the humble Cotes du Rhone appellation. This "Baby Chateauneuf" is an amazing wine displaying persistent, deeply fruited deliciousness that just won't quit!
The Wine Advocate gave this wine 92 Points in its glowing review and said this wine is "Worth buying by the case." Wine Spectator also gave this wine 92 Points and called it, "A terrific value."
Other quotes by the critics include:
"This is the poor person's Chateauneuf du Pape" - Robert Parker
"A big, brash mouthful of fruit...as always, it's a terrific value" - Wine Spectator
"It's a full-bodied, concentrated wine that could mop the floor with many Chateauneufs" - Wine Advocate
The consistent theme amongst critics and us here at Hi-Time is this is seriously good juice for under $18.00! It's really easy to understand why. The grapes are sourced from a single vineyard plot known for its quality, which is located just outside the boundary of the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation. This means we can enjoy an excellent wine at a fraction of the price of its famous neighbor.
This delicious, crowd-pleasing wine is one to grab by the case to share with friends and family.
GRAND VENEUR 2016 COTES DU RHONE LES CHAMPAUVINS
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Now that it's in the bottle, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone les Champauvins is looking as good as I predicted last year. It's a full-bodied, concentrated wine that could mop the floor with many Châteauneufs. Rich black cherry fruit is joined by complex herb and spice notes, a creamy mid-palate and a lingering finish. Worth buying by the case."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Capable of rivaling many wines from neighboring Châteauneuf du Pape, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone les Champauvins (tasted as a tank sample) is a big, brash mouthful of fruit but one that's not without nuance. Hints of licorice, cracked pepper and garrigue all come into play, along with a bit of warmth on the long, mouthwatering finish. Supple tannins make it approachable now, but it should easily drink well for 6 years, if not more. As always, it's a terrific value."
99 Point Beaucastel is a Legend in the Making!
Chateauneuf du Pape doesn't get much better than this. In fact, Rhone blends don't get much better than this. The legendary Chateau de Beaucastel needs almost no introduction and is a benchmark of quality for the appellation. Consistently earning high praise from critics, it has previously won Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year award. The 2016 Beaucastel only deepens the legacy with a wine that knocks it out of the park. Combining the perfectly ripened fruit from the great 2016 vintage with the winemaking prowess of the Perrin family, Beaucastel has created a legend in the making.
Rarely do you see such unanimous praise from critics across the board. Chateau de Beaucastel in 2016 is as much of a sure thing as you can get. Consider the following quotes:
"I was blown away by how well Beaucastel's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing" - The Wine Advocate
"This is a stunning Beaucastel. A classic" - James Suckling
"A ripe, sexy, rounded style"- Jeb Dunnuck
The palate on this wine is full-bodied and laden with tremendous concentration and depth of fruit. This fantastic wine is youthful and its charms will continue to evolve for years to come. This is the type of wine to buy several bottles of and marvel as it evolves and gains complexity over time. Exuberant in youth, remarkably poised after a few years and a confident, welcome friend at 10 plus years of age, this is a stunner to enjoy at every stage of its development.
The previous vintage (2015) was an amazing wine, but the 2016 appears to be even better! Chateau de Beaucastel is a wow wine, which is a must have for wine lovers.
CHATEAU BEAUCASTEL 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE
JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS - "This is a stunning Beaucastel. A classic! Has a superb array of fruit, ranging from red, through to blue, darker purple and black. Nuances of dark, stony minerals, spices, wild flowers and herbs. So fleshy. This has impeccable balance, super-silky tannins and an extraordinarily long finish. This has decades ahead of it. Drink or hold."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Bottled only a week before my visit, I was blown away by how well Beaucastel's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing. It's full-bodied, creamy, lush and rich, with layers of raspberry fruit, garrigue and spice that unfold across a seamless palate. No doubt it will go through cycles of being open and closed throughout its lifespan, but it would be a mistake to simply order a case, put it into storage and forget about it without trying one first and swooning over the sheer lusciousness and youthful complexity."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Being bottled the day of my visit, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape checks in as a blend of 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the rest a mix of permitted varieties. It offers a ripe, sexy, rounded style that quickly shows more structure, minerality, and tannin with time in the glass. Blackberries, blueberries, smoked earth, violets, and garrigue all give way to a full-bodied, deep, structured Beaucastel that's going to benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and keep for two decades. It reminds me of the 2001."
$68.99 750ml  SOLD OUT
Triple 97 Point Chateauneuf at a Great Price!
"The reds here in 2016 are the best wines I have tasted from Ferrando yet, and that includes the 2010s and '15s!" - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
"Enchanting floral aromas, intoxicating raspberry and cherry fruit and enthralling hints of Swiss cocoa." - Wine Advocate
"It's a rock star wine." - Jeb Dunnuck
We're thrilled to have the 2016 Saint Prefert Auguste Favier Chateauneuf du Pape in stock. This stunning Grenache-dominant blend received a score of 97 Points from Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Jeb Dunnuck! When thinking of top producers from the most famous of the Southern Rhone appellations, Saint Prefert is always near the top of the list. Under the stewardship of Isabel Ferrando, this iconic winery somehow continues to build upon its success.
Chateauneuf du Pape is the most prestigious appellation of the Southern Rhone and Isabel Ferrando is certainly one of its brightest stars. After purchasing the estate in 2002, Ferrando made improvements in both the vineyards and cellar. The results speak for themselves. This Reserve Auguste Favier is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Cinsault grown in terroir of pure rocks and stones.
This is a special wine, which is very aromatic and displaying its flashy fruit already. It will certainly reward those who are patient enough to cellar it, but we suspect most will have a hard time keeping their hands of this beauty.
Chateauneuf of such quality at this price doesn't come around too often. Grab it while you can!
SAINT PREFERT 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE RESERVE AUGUSTE FAVIER
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "A blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Cinsault, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier boasts enchanting floral aromas, intoxicating raspberry and cherry fruit and enthralling hints of Swiss cocoa. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it nevertheless comes across as fresh and nearly weightless. The use of stems (the wine is all whole bunches) and an elevated proportion of Cinsault has certainly contributed to this wine's soaring aromas and sense of freshness. It's a fascinating wine."
#90 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 97 POINTS - "This is beautifully rendered with a core of focused red currant, plum and raspberry coulis flavors that stretches out nicely while flecks of tobacco, bergamot and singed sandalwood weave around. A bolt of iron detail shows through the finish with a light echo of worn leather. Well-built, showing ample energy in reserve."
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "Incredibly perfumed and complex, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Auguste Favier has put on weight since I tasted it as a barrel sample and offers full-bodied notes of currants, Asian spices, dried flowers, and lavender. It's powerful, concentrated and layered, yet always light on its feet and beautifully balanced, with a seamless, elegant texture as well as the purity of fruit that's the hallmark of this great vintage. It's a rock star wine from this terrific estate that's going to drink beautifully for two decades."
Stunning Spanish Favorite is Back in Stock!
We always look forward to any new release from any of the Gil Family Estate wineries-- their group of small family wineries, scattered throughout the Spanish geography, have an excellent track record with our staff, customers and palates.
EL NIDO 2016 CLIO
This is why we look forward to releases from the Juan Gil family of wines-- they tend to be, like this one, stunning. This year’s release, once again, was a joy to taste and we highly recommend it. Where the 2015 felt bigger, in terms of structure and acidity, then the 2014, the 2016 is at a place in its bottle life that’s all about synergy. Each component is complete in its own skin while contributing to make a better ‘whole’ wine-- one that smells and tastes lovely. The nose is warm and rich with layers of autumn spice, blackberry compote, dark florals, vanilla bean, incense and balsa wood. Excellent stratification of scents. The palate continues what the nose started: mixed black and red fruit flavors, brown spices, cola nut, black cherry cola. Fine, elegant tannins course throughout, keeping the wine uplifted and lively. The finish is long and near-perfect; waves of black berries and ripe red fruits slowly surf over beds of tannins, allowing the imbiber to enjoy a perfect sunset ride to eventually reach the shore, echoes of fruit and spice as comforting as the white noise of the surf, reminding you of the beautiful journey just taken. 70% Monastrell, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stunning High Scoring Duo for Less Than $25 Each!
"Claude-Edouard Geoffray has cast his magic wand over recent releases from Château Thivin and, in my humble opinion, produced some absolute classics." - Neil Martin, Wine Advocate
Just in time for the holidays, we have a duo of fantastic wines from Beaujolais that pair amazingly well with holiday fare and are also delicious to enjoy on their own. We have long been fans of Chateau Thivin which is a benchmark domaine of the Côte de Brouilly. Thivin consistently produces wines which are utterly delicious and showcase amazing purity of fruit without being heavy. The Wine Advocate's William Kelley agrees and rated both wines as outstanding with scores of 93 and 94 Points!
A visit to this domaine was one of the highlights of our trip to Beaujolais last year. The bucolic scenery and warm hospitality of Claude and his wife made this a memorable stop. The wines perfectly complemented the cheese, charcuterie and pate which were served on a sunny afternoon overlooking the vineyards.
Château Thivin is the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly and was built in the fifteenth century on an ancient volcano which juts out steeply into the valley below. It is one of the historic estates of Beaujolais and consistently produces exceptional examples from the Cru of Côte de Brouilly. Thivin's parcels are predominantly south-facing and are planted entirely with Gamay vines that average 50 years of age. Traditional whole-cluster fermentation maintains the characteristic fruity qualities of Gamay, which is transferred to large neutral oak barrels for aging before bottling.
In 1976, Richard Olney took Kermit Lynch to visit Chateau Thivin on their first wine trip together. It was Olney's top recommendation in the whole of the Beaujolais region. Of course, Kermit is known for his keen eye for quality and soon a relationship was formed and the wines were imported into the U.S. Today, Claude, his wife Evelyne, and their son Claude-Edouard continue the tradition as staunch and proud defenders of the terroir of Brouilly.
These two offerings from Chateau Thivin are perfect if you are looking for delicious, refreshing wines that will satisfy you and your guests. Enjoy!
CHATEAU THIVIN 2017 BROUILLY REVERDON
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS – "The 2017 Brouilly Reverdon bursts from the glass with lovely aromas of blackberries, cassis, plums and potpourri. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, bright and juicy, with sweeter fruit than the 2016 rendition but a shared sense of crunchiness and vivacity. It was only bottled three weeks before I tasted it, but it was already showing very well."
CHATEAU THIVIN 2017 COTE DE BROUILLY
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS – "The 2017 Côte de Brouilly is superb, unfurling in the glass with aromas of ripe cassis, candied violets and plums. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, structured around fine-grained but chewy tannins and tangy balancing acids, with considerable depth and substance at the core. The wine is still quite primary and will need some time to come together, but it’s an excellent rendition of this storied cuvee that resembles the 2011 vintage."
A Fantastic California Pinot Noir!
We strive each year to find a wine for November that will both fit the changing weather patterns and have the ability to stand tall at the Thanksgiving table. Pinot Noir, generally, has enough fruit, acidity and the right temperament to stand up to the stronger flavors of Thanksgiving while not overpowering the bird. This Three Saints 2013 Pinot Noir, in particular, is an ideal wine for the month and the holiday.
THREE SAINTS 2013 PINOT NOIR SANTA MARIA VALLEY
Three Saints is named for the three most dynamic wine growing regions in Santa Barbara County: Maria, Rita and Ynez. This 2013 is predominately from their Santa Maria Valley vineyard and reflects the generous texture they’ve found often from that site.
The wine leads with a nose of sweet dark cherries, earthy spice and a touch of smoke. In the mouth, ripe cherries again take the lead, bolstered by a layer of fine acidity and overall smooth texture, light earthiness and a long, sweet finish. Soft tannins echo in the background and back-palate. This is definitely in the "pretty Pinot' category with elegance and lush fruit abounding; the light acidity and tannic structure will help to cut through the richness of the table, making it ideal for this month. Stock up and Reap the harvest!