A Fantastic 94 Point Red Under $17!
We have a new Spanish red that is so distinctive in relating its origins and winemaking style that we felt compelled to bring to your attention. It doesn't hurt that James Suckling rated it 94 points and it's only $16.98!
Coming from the Terra Alta region of Catalonia, the "Via Edetana" from Bodegas Edetaria is, above all, a wine about mouthfeel. Its aromas show resinous wood and subtle ripe berry, while in the mouth there is a cool and mellow quality with a mouth-filling mix of chalky and crushed velvet tannin, along with other skin extract, which seem to meld onto the palate. The flavors are dominated by restrained boysenberry and old mahogany wood, with a subtle licorice-like sensation. The tapered finish shows a glint of brightness before ending with the flavor of perfectly ripe fruit skins and a warming sensation. Overall, there is a firmness and restraint in this wine's character that sets it apart from some of its "internationally-styled" Catalonian neighbors. It's also an appetizing wine that can be chewed over, perhaps along with a New York strip or slow-cooked Lamb shank!
The winemaking is traditional with some modern improvements: the grapes are grown organically, then kept cold before being fermented with native yeast, and ageing takes place in medium-sized French oak barrels that are more appropriate for Garnacha.
The varieties that compose the wine are familiar throughout the Catalonian wine regions like Priorat and Montsant: Garnacha, Syrah, and Carignan. But there are actually two types of Garnacha at play here: the more common Garnacha "Fina" along with a type that evolved a fuzzy leaf-bottom, called Garnacha "Peluda." It's the latter that winemaker Joan Angel Liberia particularly likes to include in the family wines, as it brings a richer extract, brighter acidity, and lower alcohol to the mix.
Another key to this distinct wine is, of course, where it comes from in Spain: the southern Catalonian wine region of Terra Alta ("highland"), which encompasses foothills and valleys on the inland side of the small but dramatic mountain range that separates them from the Mediterranean Sea (the famous Priorat wine region is further up that range). This makes for a mostly Mediterranean climate with some extreme inland influence, which is particularly great for growing ripe but balanced Garnacha and Carinena grapes!
BODEGAS EDETARIA 2017 TERRA ALTA "VIA EDETANA"
Try a bottle today and taste this dramatic landscape in liquid form!
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "I love the licorice accents here, which work so well with the overtones of blueberries, citrus, boysenberries and brambles. Firm and tight on the taut palate, which is medium-bodied and so lithe and restrained. Clear-cut and precise. Drink now."
Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Guide 2021 #1 Red Wine of the Year!
If you're looking for a Barolo for the cellar (or wine fridge), even for just a couple of years, Pio Cesare's single-vineyard Ornato should be an easy choice. This is especially true for the 2016 vintage, which, in the hands of a great producer like Pio Cesare, has led to wonderfully quintessential & particularly age-worthy Barolos. If fact, the gold standard Italian wine guide by Gambero Rosso named Pio Cesare's 2016 Ornato their 2021 #1 Red Wine of the Year!
The estate is one of the original Barolo producers, going back to 1881, and that combined experience has served them well in developing one of the most refined, accessible house styles out there. They have always been firm believers in the classic Barolo model of blending vineyards to make their desired style in larger quantity while maintaining high quality. Nevertheless, since 1985 they have made a more limited production wine based on their Ornato vineyard in Serralunga d'Alba, which leads to wines of greater concentration, structure, and aging ability. While a small amount is aged for a year in French barrique (small barrels), the wine is aged mostly in large, traditional oak vats for 30 months. This deft aging regimen contributes to the depth, complexity, and refined texture that their Ornato is known for without smothering Nebbiolo's beguiling fruit and floral perfume.
Give this wine what it deserves: a great meal and great company. We suggest letting it open up in a decanter for several hours (you can use the technique of double decanting if you're going to be dining out).
PIO CESARE 2016 ORNATO BAROLO
JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "The blue fruit and freshness are impressive here. At the same time, there's richness and focus with ripe fruit. Yet, it remains cool and bright. Superb center palate with great fruit and depth, but compact and focused..."
WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "...offers a stunning presentation in this classic vintage. The bouquet shows small berry fruits and cassis, all framed by crushed stone, forest floor, blue flower and candied orange skin. There is a dusty mineral note to this wine as well, with terrific intensity on both the nose and the palate. The Ornato kicks in with finely integrated tannins and acidity that holds all those fruit flavors high and tall. What we have here is a standout Barolo that is staunchly vertical, linear and upfront. "
93 Points for Daou's "Bodyguard" Blend!
When Georges and Daniel Daou were children, the Daou family was forced to flee Beirut at the advent of the Lebanese Civil War. Their mother, Marie Daou, summoned her innate courage and strength, leading the family to safety in France where they would build a new life. It was here, in the south of France, that Georges and Daniel first dreamt of a life in wine.
Bodyguard honors the love and hope that defined this impactful time. True to form, this wine marries two varietals of tremendous power: A blend of 59% Petit Verdot and 41% Petite Sirah. Bodyguard showcases Daniel's mastery of high phenolic grapes—allowing him to create rich, powerful wines with elegance, restraint and complexity. Daniel uses his winemaking artistry and phenolic mastery to tame these dark, tannic grapes, creating a beautifully balanced and accessible cult wine.
The Daou property lies on a bed of calcareous clay. This soil is found throughout western Paso Robles (as well as St. Emilion along the right back of Bordeaux), and is fantastic for growing wine grapes. Daou mountain rises 2,200 feet in elevation in the hills of the Adelaida District on the west side of the Paso Robles AVA. With its steep mountain slopes of up to fifty-six percent, DAOU Mountain rises dramatically above the Coastal Range with breathtaking views from the highest winery on the Central Coast of California. The warm area is cooled by the Pacific Ocean, fourteen miles away, and gentle breezes that flow over the Templeton Gap. This helps to fashion wines with ripe, juicy fruit flavors that retain freshness and vibrancy, along with even ripening and vine balance every year. The Daou brothers are committed to sustainable farming practices. Daniel employs cold-soaking to extract more color from the grapes, and he ages the wine for 10 months in French oak barrels, of which 50% of them were new.
DAOU 2018 PROPRIETARY RED PASO ROBLES "BODYGUARD"
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS! - "...the Bodyguard By Daou releases are made by the Daou team and focus on value - and they succeed admirably! Based on 59% Petit Verdot and 41% Petit Sirah, the 2018 Proprietary Red is a ripe, sexy wine with loads of black fruits, espresso roast, chocolate, and a kiss of violets that give way to a full-bodied, balanced, impressively textured wine with silky tannins, a great finish, and just loads of character."
A Bold Wine Advocate 94 Point Red!
Wine marketing departments like to throw the word "bold" around a bit loosely these days. For the 2017 Valderiz from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, it's a fitting descriptor. It's both intense in flavor and mouthfeel, with an extra-full body, and can stand up to the bolder flavors of the grill. After giving it time to open up, the wine has concentrated dark-fruited flavors including blackcurrant, plum cordial, plenty of creamy vanilla, and subtle woodsy spice, but stops short of being too sweetly fruited. There is also plenty of mouth-filling, grippy tannin from the glass-staining skin extract and oak, and though it softens up a bit with air, this feature is a plus with protein-rich dishes. What really separates this from the average big and bold wine out there is the level of depth, and that the components all work together harmoniously.
Coming from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, the star of this wine is the local version of Tempranillo called Tinta del Pais, with thicker skins compared to the types found in Rioja. The differences feel appropriate in its home on the plateaus above the Duero river valley in central Spain, where the moderating Mediterranean influence has given way to a more dramatic continental climate.
The dry sunny summers make it easier for Bodega Valderiz to farm organically (they don't use any systematic synthetic pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers). The wines are fermented with the native yeast and they don't add enzymes to help the process along, contrary to conventional commercial winemaking. Neither filtered nor fined, the taming of this wine comes the old-fashioned way: through 2 years of aging in French and American oak barrels.
Although Bodega Valderiz was founded in 1997, winemaking is a family tradition involving at least 7 generations. Tomas Esteban was the one who decided to make a bigger business of it, and in 1980 started to seriously expand his vineyard area using clippings from the family vineyards. When his sons were ready, they became the winemakers and Bodega Valderiz was officially born.
VALDERIZ 2017 RIBERA DEL DUERO
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This full-bodied red is generous yet structured, featuring depth and balance. Ripe flavors of plum and currant mingle with cocoa, clove and mineral notes, supported by mouthcoating tannins and balsamic acidity. Harmonious and long."
Huge Score for this #1 Wine of the Year!
This Malbec makes it on our list of Top South American Wines of 2020 for being another great example of the modern Argentina terroir scene, this time from a particularly small and under-the-radar winery. Tim Atkin, a critic and Master of Wine, named the Uspallata 2017 Malbec the Red Wine of the Year in his 2019 Argentina Report. Sitting in a stunning mountainside nook, 6,560 feet above sea level, this comes from what's said to be the highest vineyard in the entire wine region of Mendoza. High-altitude vineyards like this tend to yield wines with well-developed flavors and aromas, restrained alcohol, tannin that is ripe and soft, along with balancing fresh acidity. And that's exactly what you get in this Malbec. Macerated long enough to have a glass-staining depth of color, it's silky and warming on the palate, with the distinct aroma and flavor of blackberry essence, background hints of a savory character with wild herb, and very subtle use of French oak. There's a stony dryness to the finish that leaves you with that soft, floral-like blackberry essence that lingers on. This is a wine that is not shy about its forward, primary fruit character, but does so in a way that is refreshing and clean. A perfect wine for a mixed grill! We suggest letting it open up in the glass for half an hour, and serving at cellar temperature (up to 60F).
This wine owes its origins to the wise decisions that owners Ariel and Belen Saud have made. They first planted a mere 10 acres of vineyards in 2008, half of it being Malbec, within their giant ranch of 100,000 acres in the Andes and its foothills. The next key to their success came in 2015 when they hired Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach, well-seasoned winemakers who worked together at the famous Catena winery, as well as having their own successful winery, TintoNegro. That pedigree is already delivering at this still-nascent winery!
USPALLATA 2017 MALBEC
#1 RED WINE OF THE YEAR - 2019 ARGENTINA REPORT
TIM ATKIN 2019 ARGENTINA REPORT 98 POINTS - " 'You could keep it for 20 years,' says Alejandro Sejanovich of this incredible, world-class Malbec. You could indeed, which is remarkable when you consider that the vineyard was planted as recently as 2010. Peppery and intense, this wouldn't look out of place in a tasting of top northern Rhones, with notes of grilled meat, tapenade and wild thyme. A red with stunning intensity from a unique site."
94 Point Crazy Value Back in Stock!
A couple of months ago, we emailed an offer for the 2017 Lafage Narassa and it was one of the quickest sell-outs in the history of Hi-Time. We just secured more of the delicious 94 Pointer and it is up for grabs!
"Almost too good to be true" - Jeb Dunnuck
"I've raved time and time again about the quality -and value - coming from Domaine Lafage's Jean-Marc Lafage" - Robert Parker
"At this quality, they could charge three to four times the price" - Jeb Dunnuck
The wines of Domaine Lafage are undoubtedly some of the greatest values in the world. The estate has created custom cuvees with its importer Eric Solomon and is producing absolutely gorgeous wines. Today, we are offering the 2017 Narassa which is a full-bodied, richly fruited wine which is deeply satisfying. We sold a lot of Narassa from the previous vintage, but somehow the 2017 manages to take it to an even higher level! We are able to offer this delicious wine for $15.95 per bottle and it's hard to believe how good this wine is for the price.
Jeb Dunnuck totally agrees and awarded this wine a whopping 94 Points. He described this wine as a "full-bodied, deep, meaty Syrah-reminds me of a top California GSM blend." He finished the review by stating, "At this quality, they could charge three to four times the price."
Narassa is made from a single lieu dit, or vineyard site in the Cotes Catalanes near the village of Maury. It is planted with Grenache and Syrah on black schist soils lending the wine classic notes of black fruit and intense minerality. The wine is hand-harvested, undergoes a cold soak before fermentation and spends its time in a mix of concrete tanks (80%) and wood barrels (20%). The result is a rich, crowd-pleasing style with impressive texture and generosity of fruit.
We really enjoy this wine which has become one of our customer's favorite red blends in the store. As a reminder, Domaine Lafage also produces the very popular French Chardonnay Novellum, which is also in stock.
This wine will likely sell out quickly. It is a blockbuster of a wine, which is an absolute steal with amazing fruit flavor and one to buy by the case!
LAFAGE 2017 NARASSA ROUGE COTES CATALANES
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Almost too good to be true, the 2017 Narassa is based on 82% Grenache and 18% Syrah, with the Grenache coming from the black slate soils of Maury and the Syrah from the higher elevation, sandy, granitic soils of Saint Martin de Fenouillet. Brought up all in used barrels, this full-bodied, deep, meaty Syrah reminds me a top California GSM blend and has a rocking nose of white pepper, black olives, cedarwood, and ample black fruits. At this quality, they could charge three to four times the price."
Another 94 Point Premier Cru Chablis at a Great Price!
After the runaway success of the Louis Michel Chablis email last week, we thought we would offer another high-scoring Premier Cru from this terrific producer. We were also able make a special purchase of the excellent Montee de Tonnerre vineyard and can offer it at a fantastic price!
White Burgundy is one of our favorite wines and the purest expression of Chardonnay comes from the great, cool climate appellation of Chablis. This delicious, mouth-watering style offers such transparency and transmits the racy minerality in a way that no other can.
John Gilman awarded this wine a score of 94 Points calling it, "A first-class example" which is "pure and precise." William Kelley of the Wine Advocate calls the Montee de Tonnerre "another great success."
Over the past several years, the wines of Louis Michel have become a staff and customer favorite. They offer everything you could want, exhibiting signature characteristics of chardonnay from this region. These are the perfect wines to pair with oysters, shellfish, seafood or poultry or to enjoy on its own.
The Michel family has been making wines in the heart of Chablis since the 19th century and the domaine is now overseen by Guillaume Michel. Louis Michel & Fils were among the first to vinify its wines only in stainless steel tanks. This approach highlights the purity of the Chardonnay with these wines exuding finesse, purity and freshness.
Montee de Tonnerre is located on the right bank of the Serein River alongside the Grand Crus. It is regarded as the most prestigious and sought-after of the Chablis Premier Crus. The famous chalky Kimmeridgian soils are deep and well drained. The south-west facing vines enjoy plenty of sunshine and produce a wine with sun-kissed aromas. This is the ultimate expression of a successful partnership between soil and climate resulting in powerful wines that are complex and balanced.
If you already tried the wine from last week's email, you know how good these wines are. Here is another opportunity to explore Premier Cru Chablis from a master. Enjoy!
LOUIS MICHEL 2018 CHABLIS MONTEE DE TONNERRE
JOHN GILMAN 94 POINTS - "Not surprisingly, the 2018 Montee de Tonnerre is one of the more structured premier crus in the cellars this year and it will want some bottle age to start to stir. The potential here is excellent, with the very pure and precise nose offering up scents of green apple, smoke, flinty minerality, citrus zest, spring flowers and a hint of the beeswax to come with bottle age. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with an excellent core of fruit, fine transparency and grip, snappy acids and a long, soil-driven and vibrant finish. This is a first class example."
VINOUS 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Chablis Montee de Tonnerre is clean and precise on the nose, perhaps more in the vein of a traditional Chablis than, say, the Butteaux. The palate is fresh and lively with crisp acidity, impressive tension and a twist of sour lemon toward the finish that keeps this Chablis alert and alive."
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre is another success this year, delivering inviting aromas of citrus zest, crisp green apple, white flowers and oyster shell. Medium to full-bodied, with good depth and tension, it's one of the more tightly wound, structured wines in the cellar."
Sale on Wine Advocate 93+ Point Tuscan Red Under $20!
Formerly known as "Il Toro", the RomiToro Rosso is an elegant blend of Syrah and Petit Verdot that expresses the benefits of a moderate climate such as Tuscany's, where vines grow naturally without needing irrigation and yield an excellent quantity and quality of fruit. The resulting wine is a bold Super Tuscan that attests to the fact that French varietals can thrive in Tuscany and give exceptional quality, whilst retaining an undeniably Tuscan character.
Beautiful diversity, density in the nose: brambleberry, raspberry, flambéed cherries are tempered by scents of scrub oak hillside, wet nursery and sea side campfire. The palate starts lush with bright red berries and white pepper, leading to firm tannins and forward acidity-- excellent structure! The strength and grip of this bull is lifted by dark red, spicy fruits: plum, redcurrant, cherry cola. Bellisimo!
CASTELLO ROMITORIO 2018 ROMITORO
WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The previous vintage of this wine carried the name Il Toro, but the wine has been renamed with this vintage. In archaic Italian, the name RomiToro translates as Romitorio. The Castello Romitorio 2018 RomiToro is made with equal parts Syrah and Petit Verdot, all aged in oak for 10 months. This edition opens to an inky dark appearance followed by a thick and succulent texture. It offers a certain firmness to the tannins and a thinner spot on the mid-palate that thickens quickly as the wine hits the palate. Dark plum, prune and blackberry emerge at the top. Lighter notes of spice, smoke and tar also appear. Pair this wine with your favorite steak dinner. Some 44,437 bottles were made. The wine was bottled in December 2019 and hits the market in February 2020. RomiToro is one of the great value wines to emerge from Tuscany."
Double 94 Point Premier Cru Chablis at a Great Price!
White Burgundy is one of our favorite wines and the purest expression of Chardonnay comes from the great, cool climate appellation of Chablis. This delicious, mouth-watering style offers such transparency and transmits the racy minerality in a way that no other can. We made a special purchase and are thrilled to have a limited amount of the terrific old vine Premier Cru from Louis Michel.
William Kelley of the Wine Advocate awarded this wine a score of 94 Points calling it, "A formidable rendition of this reliably superb cuvee" and a wine "well worth seeking out." Antonio Galloni of Vinous also scored this wine 94 Points and stated, "The 2017 Chablis Butteaux Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru is truly fascinating" and "gorgeous."
Over the past several years, the wines of Louis Michel have become a staff and customer favorite. They offer everything you could want, exhibiting signature characteristics of chardonnay from this region. This is a perfect wine to pair with oysters, shellfish, seafood or poultry or to enjoy on its own.
The Michel family has been making wines in the heart of Chablis since the 19th century and the domaine is now overseen by Guillaume Michel. Louis Michel & Fils were among the first to vinify its wines only in stainless steel tanks. This approach highlights the purity of the Chardonnay with these wines exuding finesse, purity and freshness.
The Premier Cru vineyard Butteaux gets its name from the French word "butte", meaning the top of the hill. Its Kimmeridgian limestone-rich soils are deep and well-drained imparting the famous chalky notes Chablis is famous for. This is a textbook example of what a quality Chablis should taste like and white Burgundy doesn't get much better than this for the price point.
Unfortunately, we were only able to purchase a small amount of this delicious wine. Grab it while you can, because when it's gone, it's gone!
LOUIS MICHEL 2017 BUTTEAUX 1ER CRU VIELLE VIGNES
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "A formidable rendition of this reliably superb cuvee, Michel's 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux Vieilles Vignes wafts from the glass with a complex but reserved bouquet of fresh peach, crisp yellow apple, iodine, mandarin oil and paraffin wax. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep, dense and concentrated, with a racy spine of acidity cloaked in vibrant fruit, concluding with a long, searingly saline finish. This is well worth seeking out. Today, Guillaume Michel presides over this important 22-hectare estate, which has long been the reference for tank-fermented and matured Chablis, a style that the Michel family did much to popularize in the 1980s. Intense and tensile wines are the calling card here, pure and unadorned by style and consistently high in quality. Indeed, I sometimes think that Louis Michel is the most underrated of Chablis's great domaines. Certainly, prices remain very reasonable. As usual, certain cuvees stand out-at the premier cru level, the old vine Butteaux, the Fourchaume (from Vaulorent) and the Sechet, Montee de Tonnerre having taken a beating in recent vintages-but the overall standard, even for the lower appellations, is regular and high. They come warmly recommended, and their 2018 collection shows plenty of promise."
VINOUS 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Chablis Butteaux Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru is truly fascinating. In this vintage, the Vieilles Vignes is airy and lifted, with its weight and power more implied than overtly stated. Citrus peel, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and white pepper give the 2017 a striking aromatic top register. This is such a gorgeous wine."
Superb High Scoring Beaujolais Duo at Great Prices!
We are thrilled to offer two fantastic Beaujolais from the exciting 2019 vintage. These refreshing red wines from Jean-Marc Burgaud immediately caught our attention when we tasted them and were blown away by the purity, intensity and freshness of the fruit.
We previously featured the Burgaud's Lantignie from the prior vintage and it was quickly snapped up by our savvy customers. This time, we were able to purchase the Lantignie as well as the Morgon Cote du Py. They are both delicious, satisfying examples of high-quality Beaujolais and offer tremendous value as well!
William Kelley of the Wine Advocate also loved both wines awarding the Lantignie 92 Points and calling it "one of the region's finest values." Lantignie is considered one of the best villages due to its hillsides and granite soil which produces a wine with a bright ruby color and a fresh and fruity nose. The vines range between 40 and 100 years of age.
The Morgon Cote du Py received a score of 94 Points with Kelley calling it "another of Burgaud's real successes this year." This wine offers increased depth, complexity and a very long finish. It is a tremendous example of the quality to be found at the Cru Beaujolais level. The Cote du Py is located on a hillside near the tiny village of Morgon. The vineyards average 50 years of age and are planted in rich soil of blue stones coming from decomposed schist.
Further praise followed with Kelley stating, "The more I taste Jean-Marc Burgaud's wines, the more I find to admire. A winemaker at the peak of his powers, Burgaud has abandoned new oak in favor of seasoned wood, and extraction is more measured than in the past, with his classical semi-carbonic macerations ranging from between seven and 15 days in duration, depending on the cuvee. And there's just one bottling of each wine, making for rare consistency."
Winemaking is traditional at this domaine with Jean-Marc practicing organic and refusing to use chemical fertilizers or insecticides. He respects the land, plowing the soil and harvesting by hand. The finest grapes are selected with whole bunch maceration taking place in vats (both stainless steel and concrete vats are employed) followed by aging in used wood.
The popularity of Gamay from Beaujolais increases every year. What's not to like with beautiful, juicy fruit such as dark cherries framed by silky tannins? Beaujolais is a fantastic medium-bodied culinary partner and is often served with turkey, chicken and traditional fare served during the holidays. It is also deeply satisfying to enjoy on its own.
These wines are among the best you will find in Beaujolais and the quality to price ratio is hard to beat. We are happy to offer these eminently drinkable, refreshing Beaujolais at great prices.
BURGAUD 2019 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES LES VIGNES DE LANTIGNIE
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Offering up pretty aromas of blackberries, peonies and subtle forest floor, the 2019 Beaujolais-Villages Les Vignes de Lantignie is medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping, with lively acids, velvety tannins and a long, mouthwatering finish. As usual, this saw a short six- or seven-day maceration with whole clusters, followed by elevage in cement tank. Once again, Burgaud has produced a characterful and viscerally drinkable Beaujolais-Villages that exemplifies all the merits-as well as the incredible value-offered by the appellation at its best."
BURGAUD 2019 MORGON COTE DU PY
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2019 Morgon Cote du Py has turned out beautifully, delivering an inviting nose of smoky black cherries, cassis and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, bright and lively, it's deep and concentrated, with a fleshy core of fruit underpinned by tangy acids. This is another of Burgaud's real successes this year."
Champagne Henriot: The Audacity of Independence!
Founded in 1808, Champagne Henriot is one of the few remaining family-owned houses with over 200 years of history and legacy. Over the years, the house has been cultivating a distinct style of its own, guided by the pursuit of the purest expression of Chardonnay, as well as a conscious and sustainable approach to the environment. The new Cellar Master, Alice Tetienne, oversee 35ha of vineyards, growers, and a small-scale production. She was awarded the "Best Winemaker of the Year" in 2020 by Trophees Champenois for her dedicated work.
The Brut Millesime 2008 marks our 200th Anniversary of the house! It is an exceptional champagne capturing the quintessential character of the 2008 vintage.
Every Champagne Henriot Brut Vintage is unique because it is a story of the year, the climate, and style of the house. The 2008 is unlike any other vintage. When Apolline Henriot founded Maison Henriot, she first created the Brut Souverain NV to tell the story of her terroir; however, she had a deep respect for nature and the climate is part of that, so she decided to create another champagne that would be the story of one year—a Brut Millesime, the definition of the environment. Champagne Henriot owns and sources from predominantly Premier & Grand Crus vineyards and the quality of the Brut Millesime is defined in the grapes at harvest. Champagne Henriot practices a very natural winemaking to allow the terroir to shine through.
The 2008 vintage was a very classic year with perfect climate conditions. A little bit colder than average, but there was warm sun in the spring and summer; it rained, but just the right amount. This champagne is incredibly distinctive of the Henriot style, the elegance of the champagne region, the serious profile of Premier & Grand Crus, the structure of the Montagne de Reims, and the freshness of the Cote des Blancs. The style and profile are the DNA of the house.
The Brut Millesime 2008 is 59% Grand Cru and 41% Premier Cru. It's an interesting cuvee, dominated by chardonnay-53% Chardonnay, 47% Pinot Noir. The chardonnay villages in this champagne include the Chouilly and Avize from the Cote des Blancs as well as Trepail from the Montagne de Reims. The Pinot Noir is sourced from Avenay, Mailly, Verzy, and Verzenay from the Montagne de Reims. A beautiful representation of the vineyards from Champagne Henriot.
It's a tremendous symbol and tribute to Henriot's legacy and vision that the wine Apolline Henriot originally produced is still being created 200 years later!
HENRIOT 2008 BRUT MILLESIME
DECANTER 96 POINTS - "An undramatic, cloud-filled season came right in a late harvest in October. A textbook cool vintage of great ageing potential. The perfect 50/50 balance of mineral-stamped Chardonnay and powerful, masculine Pinot makes this a champagne for patient drinkers, as it will take time to reach its peak. Vibrant acidity is joined by notes of white flowers and that magnificent mineral structure." Michael Edwards
Fantastic Pinot Noir at a Great Price!
Pinot Noir is such the perfect grape when it's "done right." And this bottling of Red Quartz Pinot, from Chile's Casablanca Valley D.O., is not only done right, it's also a heck of a bargain for the high quality of wine found within the bottle!
Red Quartz is a small production Pinot Noir from the coastal mountain vineyards in Chile's Casablanca Valley, 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean with direct exposure to the cool marine climate. Winemaker Vicente Johnson spent many years in California (making wine and earning his MBA at Sonoma State) and their locale in Chile reminds him of the landscapes of Coastal Sonoma. The soils here are mainly granitic with high presence of Quartz under a layer of sand and red clay, tainting the quartz in a red/orange color. Red Quartz Pinot Noir is a unique wine coming from this special location.
TRASIEGO WINES 2019 RED QUARTZ PINOT NOIR CASABLANCA VALLEY, CHILE
The nose is a lovely mixture of red fruits, cherries and berries, and dusty underbrush, incense and minerality. Complex! Inviting! The palate takes the red fruits and runs with it as tastes of raspberries, cherries, cranberries and pomegranate fill the glass and profile. Notes of cedar, forest floor and garrique add depth, and bright, forward acidity keeps the wine lively and uplifting-- and will help cut through some of the rich foods we envision enjoying with this one! The finish lingers with notes of cherry lambic, underbrush and ground clove. Beautiful wine!
An Exceptional New Rum from Foursquare Distillery!
We are always excited when we receive a new rum from Foursquare Distillery. Their track record is spotless and loaded with well-deserved accolades (see below).
The latest Mark from Foursquare, XIV, is a blend of two distinct single blended rums, both 10 years of age. One is aged 10 years entirely in Ex-Bourbon Barrels, and the second sees double-maturation, 4 years in Ex-Bourbon then 6 additional years in Ex-Port Barrels. Bottled at 51% ABV - 102 Proof. No color, no sugar, no additives, no filtration.
Earning 5 stars (out of 5) from The Fat Rum Pirate (thefatrumpirate.com), here's a snippet from their excellent review: "The blend of ex-bourbon and partially matured ex-port cask rum really brings this rum alive and gives it an a real edge. On one hand you are getting all the sweet notes from the Port cask but at the same time you are getting some of the Bourbon-esque spice and vanilla you find in something like Foursquare 2004. This is a bit like a combo of Port Cask Finish and that rum. Which is pretty delightful it has to be said."
Foursquare Rum Distillery is located on a former sugar plantation that dates back to approximately 1720, within the tiny Caribbean island of Barbados. The distillery was re-opened by the Seale family in 1996, distilling operations and blending are currently directed by Richard Seale, 4th Generation Trader/Distiller of R.L. Seale & Co.
Exceptional Cask Selections represent the unique and rare offerings of Foursquare Rum Distillery that Richard has hand selected - his personal projects are only released when he feels they are of exceptional quality. These are one-of-a-kind expressions, available only for a limited time, and showcasing truly unique approaches to both Rum blending and maturation.
FOURSQUARE DISTILLERY "DETENTE" EXCEPTIONAL
CASK SELECTION MARK XIV SINGLE BLENDED RUM
2018 ISC "Supreme Champion Spirit" - Foursquare Mark VI "2005"
2016, 2017, 2018 & 2020 ISC Rum Producer of the Year
2016 & 2018 IWSC Rum Producer of the Year
Along with a number of Gold & Trophy Medals in both the IWSC & ISC in multiple years
"To drink Foursquare Rum, one must only possess a dream of tasting some of the finest things that money can buy..." - Warren Bobrow, Forbes.com
"I believe that this distillery is the Pappy of Rum" - Fred Minnick, Author of "Rum Curious"
Don't Miss our Greatest Chateauneuf Deal of the Year!
"Usseglio is not only one of the top addresses in Chateauneuf-du-Pape but in all of France as well" - Jeb Dunnuck
"The tannins are always supple, the extraction gentle, and the wines show no hard edges" - Wine Advocate
"This typifies much of what is great about the 2016 vintage" - James Suckling
We just made a special purchase of the delicious 2016 Pierre Usseglio Chateauneuf du Pape, which allows us to offer it at a fantastic price. Loaded with rich, ripe and juicy fruit, this Rhone blend is hard to put down. The fact that it is a resounding success is echoed by numerous outstanding reviews from the critics who attest to its delicious drinkability. When most Chateauneuf is priced at $50-$100, this Usseglio Chateauneuf is available for well under $40.00. This is a knockout and fans of bold, ripe and lushly palated wines will love this wine!
Wine Enthusiast gave this wine a score of 94 Points, described it as "voluptuous in body" and a "rich, densely fruity red."
Rhone-loving critic Jeb Dunnuck awarded this wine 93 Points calling it a "rock star" saying, "Don't miss it."
James Suckling gave this wine 93 Points and raves about its, "abundant, ripe, dark fruit" and typifies much of what is great about the 2016 vintage."
It comes as no surprise to those who receive our emails that we are unabashed fans of the 2016 vintage in the Rhone Valley. The combination of deeply fruited wines combined with a fantastic freshness makes this one of the most desirable vintages in modern times. Pierre Usseglio makes several different cuvees which are worth your time, but the Tradition knocks it out of the park when it comes to bang for the buck!
Domaine Pierre Usseglio is a family business which dates back to 1948 when Francis Usseglio left Italy to work in Chateauneuf du Pape. He soon realized wine was his passion and established Domaine Usseglio. Today, the domaine has holdings in Chateauneuf, Lirac and Cotes du Rhone and has an excellent reputation amongst its peers and wine lovers. The estate is overseen by brothers Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio.
Usseglio's vineyards from the most famous appellation in the Southern Rhone are diverse and composed of sandy, clay and stony soils covered by round galets. These stones store heat throughout the day and then diffuse warmth to the vine at night. This results in greater maturity of the grapes. The 2016 blend is composed of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and 5% Mourvedre.
This wine delivers full-bodied, hedonistic pleasure in a glass and should not be missed! This special pricing delivers at a price below almost every Chateauneuf on the market.
This is a crowd pleasing Chateaneuf du Pape, which is delicious now and will give pleasure for at least the next decade. We are thrilled to be able to offer it at the lowest price in the country.
PIERRE USSEGLIO 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE
WINE ENTHUSIAST 94 POINTS - "While voluptuous in body, this rich, densely fruity red offers luscious black-plum and dried strawberry flavors offset by a mineral freshness and subtle notes of porcini mushroom and crushed earth. An enveloping wine, it's seductive already and likely to gain complexity through 2030."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The classic 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape checks in at around 75% Grenache, 10% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, and a splash of Cinsault. This rock star traditional cuvee gives up loads of black licorice, garrigue, black raspberries, and kirsch liqueur. It's powerful and full-bodied, yet elegant and seamless, with fine tannin, no hard edges, and a great finish. Despite the richness and weight, it stays weightless and elegant, with silky tannin. Don't miss it."
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Attractive freshness and power, this typifies much of what is great about the 2016 vintage. It carries the ripeness well. Dark berries and flowers lead to ripe plums and succulent, long tannins carrying abundant, ripe, dark fruit. Blows out big flavor on the finish. Drink or hold."
VINOUS 93 POINTS - "Deep crimson. Expansive aromas of raspberry liqueur, garrigue and licorice, plus a smoky mineral topnote that adds urgency. Takes on darker fruit character with aeration, showing impressive concentration as well as vibrant, spicy lift to the bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors. The floral note comes back strong on the impressively long finish, which is given shape by smooth, well-knit tannins."
Sale on Wine Spectator 94 Point #26 on Top Wine of the Year 2019!
Psst! Listen to the fortissimo deal on the #26 Wine from Wine Spectator's 2019 Top 100 List!! We have a Cabernet Sauvignon, organically farmed in the San Giovanni vineyard in the heart of Chianti Classico that's been brought to fruition under the gaze of world-renown winemaker Michel Rolland. Further, this is from the 2013 vintage, of which Wine Spectator says: "...this year looks like one of the best years since 2001." Adding another layer of harmony to the arrangement, this is a collaboration that Tuscan vintner and international wine importer Lia Tolaini Banville, who met the grandchildren of Thelonious Monk, wanted to create to honor the late, great jazz pianist and composer. Known for his percussive style of piano playing, as well as his use of dissonance, angular melodic attacks and silences and hesitations, and his unique mode of dress and idiosyncratic habits during playing (stand up and dance for a few measures-- why not?), Monk is considered by many to be a true genius in the world of jazz-- one of the giants. So if you're going to honor Monk with a wine, it had better be great. And with a Wine Spectator 94 Points, this is definitely Legit wine!
In the nose we have tons of bright red cherry and berry fruits, hints of hillside brush, a touch of wild herbs, mint and cranberry. The palate leads with the same red cherries and berries and adds some vanilla bean, redcurrant and forest floor notes to the composition. The body is muscular and fit with grippy acidity and silky tannins making this perfect for our favorite Cab foods (looking at you, steak with black pepper, rosemary and butter!). Light spice and a touch of kirsch, cherry liqueur, makes for a delicious, memorable finish that lasts and lasts, a coda we enjoy revisiting.
TOLAINI 2013 "LEGIT" CABERNET SUAVIGNON
#26 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2019
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This is broad and incisive, delivering black currant, plum, leather, earth and wild herb flavors. Dense and beefy, yet with ample fruit for balance, driven by vibrant acidity. This is starting to mellow but still has years of life ahead. Drink now through 2036. 15,000 cases made, 3,000 cases imported."
The Incredible, High-Scoring Wines of Paul Lato!
If you do not yet know the name Paul Lato, and you haven't heard us talking about him in our store, then it's time to listen up! We are telling you right now that Paul Lato is producing some of the most exciting Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Syrahs coming out of California's Central Coast!
After working as a Sommelier in Toronto, Paul decided to change gears and work in winemaking. After working with Jim Clenden at Au Bon Climat, Paul started making his first wines. Before he even had a name, esteemed critic Robert Parker tasted the wines and suggested that Paul hurry up and come up with a label, because Paul had true talent. Paul only works with premier vineyards; he tastes wines from other producers who use fruit from a potential vineyard, and if that wine excites him, then he tries to get the best fruit from the property.
Paul makes several different wines, but he does not make a large amount of any one bottling. In fact, he often makes just a few hundred cases of a particular label, which means getting your hands on them is even harder. However, our buyer has known Paul for well over a decade, so we tend to get a rather generous allocation...thanks Paul!
The scores for Paul's wines have only been going up and up. In fact, one of his Syrahs received 100 points! We just received a few releases this week, and we felt the need to bring these incredible wines to your attention before they're all gone!
PAUL LATO 2018 PINOT NOIR SANTA MARIA VALLEY "SUERTE"
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2018 Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard comes from a great vineyard just west of Bien Nacido and spent 17 months in 60% new French oak. Lots of black raspberries, spiced cherries, salty sea breeze, flowers, orange blossom, and violet notes emerge from the glass, and it's beautifully textured, full-bodied, and incredibly sexy on the palate. It's stunning today yet will evolve for upwards of a decade."
PAUL LATO 2018 CHARDONNAY SANTA MARIA VALLEY "LE SOUVENIER"
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard comes from a site outside of Santa Maria and was brought up in 60% new French oak. Awesome notes of white flowers, white currants, toasted spices, honeysuckle and a touch of spice all emerge from this ultra-classic, medium to full-bodied, seamless beauty. It does everything right and is just a classy effort."
PAUL LATO 2018 PINOT NOIR STA. RITA HILLS "SEABISCUIT"
JEB DUNNUCK 95+ POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard, from the Sta. Rita Hills, saw a similar elevage and was all destemmed and brought up in 69% new French oak. Ruby/plum-colored, with a spicy, woody style in its red and black fruits, it has lots of cedary spice, flowery incense, and violet notes, medium to full body, a pure, balanced character, and a great finish. It's still relatively tight and focused and will benefit from another year in bottle. It should drink nicely through 2030."
PAUL LATO 2017 SYRAH BIEN NACIDO "IL PADRINO"
JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS! - "Completely destemmed and aged 20 months in new French oak, it reveals a textbook bouquet of creme de cassis, blueberries, lavender, crushed rocks, pepper, iodine, and assorted meaty nuances. This gives way to an ultra-fine, full-bodied, concentrated Syrah that has no hard edges, heavenly purity of fruit, and a blockbuster finish, and despite being a big rich wine, it stays fresh, weightless, and elegant. It will probably merit a triple-digit score in 3-4 years and is undoubtedly one of the wines of this vintage. Bravo!"
93 Point Bordeaux Available at Best Price in the Country!
The 2016 Chateau La Bastienne is a delicious wine and a fantastic value-a pairing we love! We tasted this and loved the quality of the perfectly ripened fruit, which is really a hallmark of the great 2016 vintage in Bordeaux. La Bastienne echoes some of the outstanding values we have featured recently such as Chateau Belle-Vue, Chateau Puygueraud and Chateau La Prade. The rich, dark fruited juiciness of this wine is very pleasing. Critic James Suckling is also a fan, giving this wine a 93 Point score while saying it offers a very fleshy and attractive set of supple fruit."
Montagne Saint Emilion is a great place to look for value and boasts many of the best attributes of its neighbor St. Emilion. The village of Montagne is a reference to the rolling hills of this appellation. The soils are a mix of clay and limestone with well-drained slopes and a Southerly to South-Westerly exposure that provides maximum sunshine right up to harvest time. These privileged natural conditions help ensure that the grapes are perfectly ripe and reach their optimal expression.
Francois Janoueix fell in love with Chateau La Bastienne and was convinced the terroir was able to produce great wine in Montagne Saint-Emilion. Today, his grandson Pierre-Emmanuel continues his vision and the wines he makes are worth seeking out.
Driven by the same love of wine-making & craftmanship as his ancestors, he now oversees 25 acres of vineyards which average 50 years of age. The vineyards are planted to 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc and the grapes are hand harvested. After vinification, the wine gains complexity while spending one year in French oak barrels. The result is a delicious, supple wine showcasing rich and juicy fruit framed by supple tannins.
CHATEAU LA BASTIENNE 2016 MONTAGNE ST EMILION
The 2016 Chateau La Bastienne is a great wine to enjoy and completely over delivers for the price. Even better, we have it at the lowest price in the country!
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Very rich blackberry and vibrant fruit aromas in the mulberry and dark-plum spectrum with a concentrated palate that offers a very fleshy and attractive set of supple fruit, framed in ripe, sturdy tannins."
October Italian Sale Featured Winery: Castello Romitorio!
Throughout the month of October, you can travel to Italy in a glass with our 10% discount on all Italian still wines, and we have a couple of suggestions to get you started! We've been enjoying Castello Romitorio's wines over the past couple years, and you've met them if you had one of our previously featured wines, Il Toro or Ghiaccio Forte. But in light of the highly rated 2015 vintage in Montalcino, we have to feature their flagship Brunellos, which are full-bodied and powerful while maintaining Sangiovese's distinctive character.
The Romitorio castello lies on a particularly high hilltop west of the town of Montalcino, in a less-populated area in which vineyards and olive groves break up wild, forested hills. Built in the middle ages, the castello has served various purposes throughout its long life, but its most recent incarnation as centerpiece to a wine farm began when, seeing the raw beauty and potential that nature had provided, famous artist Sandro Chia purchased it in the 1980s. That potential did not lay fallow, as Sandro's son, Filippo, became lead winemaker and helped shape the style Romitorio is now known for: wines with the cherry, floral, baked earth character Sangiovese, but delivered in a full, voluptuous package that is approachable upon release. All the labels are designed by Sandro Chia.
Since 1984, the Castello Romitorio winery has been committed to the study, exploration and promotion of Brunello di Montalcino wine. This has been possible thanks to the work of Italian artist Sandro Chia, and his bond with Franco Martini, a Brunello di Montalcino expert and the cellar master of Castello Romitorio. This bond now continues between Sandro's son Filippo and Franco's son Stefano, the next generation.
Sure, you can always tuck wines like these away for 2-10 years and they will keep getting softer and more expressive, but you can also get one into a decanter for a couple hours and enjoy it this week with a thick-cut T-bone or leg of lamb!
The 10% discount will be applied when you add a bottle to your shopping cart.
CASTELLO ROMITORIO 2015 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "...a suave and supple expression that shows a slightly more opulent texture compared to many of its peers. The Castello Romitorio vineyards tend to be cool... the estate shows its best results in a warm and sunny vintage exactly like 2015. You taste the natural richness and exuberance of the fruit, with variety-specific elements of wild cherry, blue flowers and soft earth. The house style prizes more width and latitude in terms of mouthfeel....At the end of the day, the quality of the fruit is really what shines brightest here."
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "A dense and rich Brunello with lots of ripe fruit, spices and hints of new wood. Full-bodied, chewy and rich. A muscular wine that needs time to come together. Better after 2022."
CASTELLO DI ROMITORIO 2015 'FILO DI SETA' BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS MEDIA 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta is sourced from a selection of vines planted around the Romitorio winery, and showcases it's high-elevation fruit (approximately 3,250 feet). Here I find a gorgeous and earthy bouquet of dusty soil, crushed stone, leather and dried red florals, as bright cherry comes forward, both lifting but also intensifying the experience. On the palate, soft textures envelope the senses in ripe dark red fruits, with spicy depths and a beam of laser-like acids, as saline-minerals saturate the senses amidst pretty inner floral tones. The finish is long and structured, resonating of mineral-laden dark fruit, a twang of savory herbs and spices, with lasting fine tannins. This is gorgeous and built for the long haul."
WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "We didn't see this wine in 2014, so it's nice to have it back. The Castello Romitorio 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta is born in a unique vineyard site that is characterized by a greater presence of schist or slate-like shards in the soils. These conditions contribute to the sharp and focused aromas you get here. Pencil shaving and granite rock come to mind. However, the wine is equally expressive when it comes to its ample fruit and floral profile, and there's enough spice and soft leather or tobacco to hold it all neatly together in one happy package. It ages in oak for 30 months. This wine marks an ideal marriage between vintage and soil."
Orin Swift's 95 Point Blockbuster Available at a Great Price!
We're excited to be able to offer one of our customer's favorite wines at great price! We sell cases upon cases of Dave Phinney's delicious wines from around the world, but now is a great time to stock up on the newly arrived 2016 vintage of D66. This is a hedonistic 95 Point wine Jeb Dunnuck calls a "bonafide blockbuster" which is "rich, opulent and decadent." We couldn't say it any better.
D66 is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah which displays great depth and concentration. This crowd-pleasing wine dials up the intensity and boasts a round, rich texture with supple tannins and ripe blueberry, blackberry and kirsch flavors which are deeply satisfying.
D66 comes from the brilliant mind of Dave Phinney who is the creative genius behind the Orin Swift wines. Phinney has developed an almost cult-like following with his string of successes, which began with "The Prisoner" red blend. Although this put him on the map, Phinney has continued to create highly sought after labels such as Mercury Head, Palermo, Papillon, Abstract and Machete. The secret to his success lies in his ability to make bold and juicy wines, which have silky smooth tannins and are approachable upon release.
More recently, Phinney has focused his efforts on making wines in the Roussillon region of France. This region in the Southwest corner of France lies within Department 66, which serves as the inspiration and namesake for the winery and his vineyards in the town of Maury.
When Phinney first gazed upon these old vine vineyards, he couldn't believe his eyes. In his words, "When I awoke, what I saw was insane. I looked out my bedroom window and saw one of the steepest, oldest vineyards I had ever laid eyes on. I was in - hook, line and sinker. If this is what I could see from my bedroom, what else was out there? They were, perhaps the most amazing confluence of vineyards I've ever been exposed to."
He immediately set out to explore the area and purchased some terrific vineyards, which are the source of the grapes for this wine. As they say, the rest is history. Today, these wines are better than ever, boasting a refinement of flavor and texture that is seriously pleasing. This full-bodied, rich and lushly palated wine will satisfy those who enjoy Dave Phinney's other wines as it is definitely made in his "house style."
D66 2016 VIN DE PAYS DES COTES CATALANES
Fans of David Phinney and Orin Swift will be very pleased with this blockbuster, which has to be one of our greatest values in the store. Enjoy!
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2016 Cotes Catalanes D66 is a bonafide blockbuster from winemaker Richard Case that does everything right. Loaded with notions of ripe blackberry and currant fruits, chocolate, ground pepper, licorice, and leafy herbs, this puppy hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth yet stays nicely balanced and light on its feet. Rich, opulent, and decadent are the buzzwords here, and it should keep for 7-8 years. The blend is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah aged 12 months in barrel."