Special Pricing on Best Selling Rhone Red!
We just made a special purchase of the remaining stock of the 2016 Domaine Palon Gigondas. This lush, fruit-forward Rhone blend has become a customer and staff favorite and we know this wine very well. The distributor needed to make room for the next vintage and offered us special pricing. We immediately jumped on it and took every bottle they had. We are now able to offer this delicious wine at a reduced price.
This wine offers enormous appeal with richly textured fruit flavors which remains fresh and oh so drinkable. The mouthfeel is round and full-bodied yet balanced with beautiful, silky tannins. The overall impression is one that is harmonious with a wonderful polished texture, culminating in a surprisingly long finish. The Wine Advocate gave this outstanding wine 92 points, calling it, "A lush fruit-bomb with enormous appeal". We completely agree and love the richness, intensity and concentration of this wine!
Sheltered by the Dentelles de Montmirail, Domaine Palon basks in its Mediterranean climate crafting a wine of color, depth and well-ripened fruit. This commune northeast of Chateauneuf du Pape is well-known for the quality of its Grenache-based wines which are blended with Syrah and Mourvedre.
The Palon family has farmed the land since the 1930s and sold wine to the local co-operative until Sebastien began bottling under the family name. The grapes are picked by hand and carefully sorted to retain only the best berries.
DOMAINE PALON 2016 GIGONDAS
This wine is an absolute crowd pleaser. Already an outstanding value at $19.95, our special pricing of $16.99 makes this a complete no-brainer. Get it while you can!
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Gigondas Tradition is a lush fruit-bomb with enormous appeal. Hints of marzipan add nuance to ripe cherry fruit in this full-bodied, creamy-textured wine that finishes with a hint of warmth. It's not the most complex wine, but it offers a ton of luscious fruit for drinking over the next 5 years."
Huge Scores for Three Exceptional Tuscan Classics!
February is Italian Wine month at Hi-Time Wine Cellars, with a 10% discount on all Italian bottles, and we want you to make the best of it! This week we're featuring three exceptional 100% Sangiovese wines from the Fontodi estate in Tuscany, all from the lauded 2015 vintage. They are all modern classics, and will be rewarding those who stocked up on them for years to come!
The Fontodi estate lies in the heart of the Chianti Classico region near the town of Panzano, and is famous for the "Conca d'Oro" (golden shell) vineyard area named for its amphitheater shape. This prime growing land contributes toward the ripe yet fresh style the estate is known for. Key to the continued quality of the soils is that the vineyards are organically farmed.
EU Certified Organic
Quantities are limited so don't hesitate to order. First come, first served.
FONTODI 2015 FLACCIANELLO
WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "I'm hardly surprised to report that Fontodi's 2015 Flaccianello della Pieve is one of the best wines recorded in this report of new releases from Tuscany. This wine sits as tall and as proud as the Colosseum in Rome or the Pyramids of Giza in its undeniable glory and beauty. It would be impossible to exaggerate its many lasting attributes and qualities. Perhaps the most remarkable is the smooth and seamless nature of its many complicated moving parts. It produces abundant power, intensity and elegance as if this were the easiest accomplishment in the world. But we all know that's far from the truth. Despite the heat of the vintage, this wine is constructed with firm building blocks as if it were from a cooler year. That's the Panzano magic in a nutshell. This vintage is very young and tight, and you need to exercise patience to allow it enough time to evolve."
WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Rich and opulent, with a sheen to the black currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Additional notes of thyme, leather, mineral and tar add depth, while the burly tannins still ride roughshod on the finish. Nonetheless, all the components are there and this shows fine length. A more muscular style for this wine, reflecting the vintage. Sangiovese. Best from 2021 through 2035."
FONTODI 2015 VIGNA DEL SORBO GRAN SELEZIONE
WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo (100% Sangiovese) is a wine that inspires a deep, deep breath into your glass. There's so much to take in and admire. So where to start? First, the wine shows a beautiful appearance that is thick and dark but allows for just enough ambient light to make it shine with ruby rays from deep inside. Then you have the bouquet that presents a solid wall of interwoven and ultimately beautifully balanced aromas. There is dark fruit, tobacco, leather, spice and polished river stone. Lastly, the mouthfeel reveals a similar level of extreme flavor equilibrium with very fine but still very young tannins. That mid-weight structure, matched to the wine's natural acidity, is a major guarantee of longevity. Bottle production in this vintage is 30,000 units strong."
#60 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "This is concentrated and monolithic, with blackberry and black cherry flavors augmented by tar, tobacco and iron notes. Offers excellent potential, but will need time to absorb the tannins. Powerful, showing fine length."
JAMES SUCKLING 97 POINTS - "What a nose of clay, earth, crushed stones, rose petals, red licorice, baking spices, tar and Chinese spices. The level of sophistication to the red-fruited core, laser-sharp acidity and polished tannins, which grip and caress the palate, make this the greatest Chianti Classico ever made by Fontodi. From organically grown grapes. A long, long finish. Drink in 2022."
FONTODI 2015 CHIANTI CLASSICO
The most well-traveled of the lineup, this is as close as Fontodi gets to a "weekly dinner wine," while maintaining its status as a truly artisanal product. The wine is aged for 18 months in the small French oak barrels previously used on the grand wines. The result is the brighter side to the Fontodi house style.
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "The purity of fruit here really makes an impression on you. The nose shines with freshly picked blackcurrants, dark plums, freshly cut herbs, cinnamon, raspberry cheesecake, glazed cherries, orange and lemon rind. The palate is so well-crafted with a silky ball of tannins surrounded by layers of blue and red fruit and enveloping acidity. A long finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now or hold."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Rich, packed with cherry, leather, dark chocolate and wild herb aromas and flavors. Dense and vibrant, with a long, mouthwatering finish that picks up a graphite edge."
We also have large format bottles of 2015 Fontodi Wines.
Click HERE to see all our 2015 Fontodi wine
Two Amazing Vineyards, One World-Class Wine!
Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast.
Don Hartford grew up on a small strawberry farm in western Massachusetts, and later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After earning a BA. Don Hartford met his wife, Jennifer Jackson-Hartford, at Santa Clara University in Northern California in 1979. (Shortly thereafter, Jennifer's father, Jess, started a modest 16,000 case winery called Kendall-Jackson.) For more than twenty-five years, Don has been immersed in winemaking and winery management. In the process, Don has returned to one of his first loves—the land and farming.
Hartford Family Winery specializes in making wines from single vineyard sites. In recent vintages we have made about 25 different single vineyard bottlings. Small and low-yielding vineyards deliver expressive and personality-rich wine.
Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart have produced a sensational lineup of wines in 2015. This is a smaller yielding year, and while quantities are tiny, the wines are concentrated, rich, and flamboyant while also staying elegant and seamless. These are world-class Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that readers need to seek out!
HARTFORD COURT 2015 LAND'S EDGE PINOT NOIR SONOMA COAST
JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Land’s Edge Vineyards comes from the Seascape and Far Coast vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. It was completely destemmed, spent 11 months in 34% new French oak and was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This beauty offers a darker slant in its black cherries, blackberry, sous bois, spring flowers, and damp earth-like aromas and flavors. These carry to a deep, rich, seamless Pinot Noir that has remarkable purity, a layered texture, and a great finish. It picks up a touch of marine and ocean-like salinity with time in the glass and is a rich, complex, complete Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Drink it over the coming 8-10 years."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 96 POINTS - "This is comprised of fruit from two coastal sites, but it does not hold back on flavor or complexity. A juicy entry of spicy red and blue fruit is surrounded by moderate structure and an imprint of rose petal. Lasting in intensity and acidity, it's dotted in citrus and polished tannins"
Huge Scores for a Pair of World Class Wines!
Looking for a couple of world-class wines that are ready for immediate drinking pleasure? Look no further than our pair from Vinedos del Contino, a "chateau" of the famous CVNE wine company in Rioja, Spain! In the tradition of Rioja, these Tempranillo blends are aged for an extended period, both in oak and bottle, yielding supple and complex wines upon release.
CVNE (Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana), which has been a leader in Rioja since 1879,started working with the owners of the Contino estate in 1973 to establish a Rioja "chateau," akin to those of Bordeaux. The vineyards are all located in the Rioja Alavesa subregion, which benefits from high altitude and a combination Atlantic-Mediterranean climate.
CONTINO 2012 RESERVA
The youngest is the Contino 2012 Reserva, aged for two years in French and American oak, then rested in bottle for another two years before release. It's made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo (aka Carignan) & Garnacha.
The International Wine Challenge described the results as "sexy, highly perfumed...thick, but energetic." Indeed, there is an irresistible combination of sappy fruit and bright freshness throughout.
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Aromas of wet earth, spice and dark berry follow through to a full body, round and soft tannins and a long and decadent finish."
CONTINO 2010 GRAN RESERVA
The Contino 2010 Gran Reserva comes from the oldest vines, and is aged three years in French and American oak, followed by two years in bottle before release. It's around 70% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano, 12% Garnacha, and a few percent of the white grape, Viura. The result is a seamless whole, rich but elegant. The savory and dried fruit notes of age are starting to come forward, mingling with the fruit and spice, inviting the long savoring of aromas and flavors that any wine lover can appreciate.
JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "This is very Asian with black tea, mushroom and bark aromas, and ripe fruit undertones. Full body, round and polished. Edgy structure with blackberry, mushroom skin and cedar. Fantastic finish. Just a baby. Stock up for the cellar. Better in 2020 but already excellent."
California Chardonnay Cracks Wine Spectator's Prestigious Top 100!
The 2016 Overlook Chardonnay was named #78 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year! This prestigious list is published annually to honor successful wineries, regions and vintages. The 2016 Overlook Chardonnay was one of only seven Chardonnays to make the list. Enjoy this award-winning Chardonnay with family and friends.
2016 in Sonoma County has been ideal for growing wine grapes. Winter brought much-needed rainfall which saturated the root zones while replenishing the local lakes and ponds. Moderate temperatures and bright sunshine enabled the vines to thrive throughout the spring and summer which has all contributed to a balanced, optimal growing pace.
An elegant blend of premium fruit from Sonoma County, the vineyards used in the Overlook Chardonnay represent some of the best that 2016 had to offer. Greg Stach's expertise selecting the finest sites and their growers' excellent viticultural practices yielded truly exceptional fruit from respected parcels such as the Russian River Valley, Petaluma Gap and Sonoma Carneros. The Chardonnay is hand harvested, hand sorted and fermented using all native yeasts providing the purest snapshot of what this vintage had to offer.
LANDMARK 2016 CHARDONNAY "OVERLOOK" SONOMA
Pale lemon yellow, with aromas of ripe lemon, yellow apple, pineapple and toasted oak. Balanced and layered on the entry with ripe lemon, green apple and grilled ripe pineapple with attractive smoky oak and vanilla barrel notes. The crisp mid-palate shows savory chamomile flower and a pleasant mineral texture with sustained fruit that continues through the clean, textured finish.
#78 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Well-built and rich, with a solid core of apple pastry, fig and guava flavors that offer a creamy texture. Nutmeg and clove notes show on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2022."
Best White Burgundy Purchase in Recent Memory!
We recently tasted the 2017 releases from Domaine Chavy-Chouet and were thoroughly impressed. We called down additional staff members to try them at the wine bar and everyone was blown away by the entire line-up. This is exactly what we look for from fine Burgundy where Chardonnay achieves its greatest expression. We immediately grabbed as much wine as we could and are thrilled to offer you our best white Burgundy purchase in recent memory.
For those wanting to do a "deep dive" into what makes White Burgundy so special these wines from Chavy-Chouet are the perfect introduction. Romaric took over day to day operations of the estate in 2014 after growing up in the vineyards. He has great respect for the history and tradition of Burgundy yet has made improvements in the vineyard and the cellar which reveal themselves in every bottle.
The Bourgogne Blanc is a fantastic wine which will make believers out of anyone who tries it. You would be hard pressed to find a better white Burgundy for the price. Vinous Media's Burgundy critic, Neal Martin loved the Chavy Chouet wines and wrote, "There is a lot in this regional white and it represents great value." This wine is an absolute steal and one to purchase by the case with confidence.
The wines from Puligny Montrachet, Saint Aubin and Meursault are made in the same manner with the only difference being the vineyards themselves. They are textbook examples showcasing the terroir of three different appellations. Trying these wines side by side is a revelation.
Chavy Chouet's wines have a transparency which allows the terroir to express itself loud and clear and reflect the very essence of their appellations. By that we mean, Puligny tastes like Puligny should showcasing perfect balance with white flowers, orchard fruit and vibrant citrus flavors. The St Aubin Premier Cru reflects its location near the famed Montrachet Grand Cru vineyard. The limestone based soils transmit tension, precision and minerality characteristic of the appellation. The Meursault from the Premier Cru Charmes vineyard is mesmerizing with a richness and depth one would expect yet is accomplished without any heaviness at all.
Enjoy the wines from Chavy Chouet and discover how good Chardonnay can be.
As always, quantities in Burgundy are limited. Grab these wines while you can. When they're gone, they're gone.
CHAVY CHOUET 2017 BOURGOGNE BLANC LES FEMELOTTES
VINOUS 90 POINTS - "The 2017 Bourgogne Blanc Les Femelottes comes from five parcels from 15 to 60 years old vines adjacent to the Puligny-Montrachet village crus. It has a lovely, almond and white chocolate scented bouquet that is very well defined. The palate is well balanced with a fine thread of acidity, a touch of bitter lemon and frangipane towards the composed, quite phenolic finish. There is a lot in this regional white and it represents great value."
VINOUS 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères comes from a 60-year old parcel that Hubert Chavy purchased at the beginning of the 1980s and essentially got it for free as part of an exchange. It used to be rented to other growers and lies just across the road from Chassagne. It has a fragrant bouquet with flecks of white chocolate and almond, like a pimped up version of the Les Femelottes. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine thread of acidity, vibrant and poised with a touch of salinity on the finish. Bon vin."
VINOUS 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Saint-Aubin Les Murgers des Dents de Chien 1er Cru comes from a parcel that was actually forest until 1986. Romaric Chavy told me it is always the last vineyard to ripen. It has a fragrant bouquet with apricot blossom, fresh pear and light nectarine aromas, all very seductive. The palate is very well balanced, very pure with a fine bead of acidity. This feels very harmonious and utterly seductive. You could easily drink this now although it will sure age in bottle. Superb."
VINOUS 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Meursault Les Charmes 1er Cru comes from the last parcel before Puligny, the vines planted in 1945. It has a fragrant floral bouquet with dried apricot, orange blossom, hints of caramelized pear and spice. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, very pure with good salinity and a very long persistent finish that is vrai Premier Cru."
$79.99 750ml SOLD OUT
A High Scoring Chianti Riserva Not to be Missed!
The new vintage of a perennial favorite is finally here! The Castello di Monsanto 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva has been well-received (including by us!), and it's no surprise since it comes from a winery with generations of experience and an all-around superb growing season in Tuscany.
For a wine with this complexity and depth, it's surprising to see a price tag of $22.98! At this price, this is a wine that we recommend buying multiple bottles of so that you can try them not only now, but over the coming 5-10 years as they soften and unfold!
The traditional Tuscan varieties, 90% Sangiovese with 10% Canaiolo and Colorino, form the blend for Castello di Monsanto's Chiantis, but their "riserva" Chianti differs in that it comes from a selection of higher quality grapes and is aged in smaller French oak barrels for a longer period (18 months).
The first thing that hits you is the heady perfume of bright, ripe cherry and pomegranate, followed by fresh herbal qualities and subtle gamey notes. The wine attacks the palate with those juicy red fruits, unfolding into the mid-palate with fresh bay leaf, orange peel, and background sense of wet earth and black tea leaves. Here we have the dense, grippy fleshiness and flavor intensity that high-quality, sunny-vintage Sangiovese is capable of. The oak plays a beautiful supporting role in the structure and dark undertones. The finish leaves you with a gently drying black tea leaf sensation along with the echoes of fruit. This wine cries out for a good meal, like grilled pork chops marinated in orange and bay leaf or the more traditional wild boar ragú with pappardelle pasta. We recommend aerating the wine for an hour before enjoying.
MONSANTO 2015 CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA
JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "Aromas of plums, cherries and hints of green olives. White truffles and deep earth, too. Full-bodied, so layered and beautiful with a fabulous texture and ripe tannins. It is so pure and minimalist in the end, showing the effect of traditional, hands-off winemaking. Don’t miss this. Decant before serving. One for the cellar. Drink or hold."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Tight and tannic for now, featuring cherry, black currant, leather, iron, juniper and tar flavors. Firmly structured, meaty and balanced on the tannic side, with a lingering finish."
Stunning Chateauneuf Releases from Bosquet de Papes at Best Prices!
Tasting through the stunning line-up from Bosquet de Papes re-affirmed the brilliance of this estate and reinforced our belief in the strength of the 2016 vintage in Chateauneuf du Pape. The wines from top to bottom are stunning and appear to be the best this great estate has made to date. Shockingly, the wines continue to offer an amazing quality to price ratio. Where else in the world can you find such critically acclaimed wines at such compelling prices?
Consider the following quotes from critics who review Rhone wines for a living:
"The wines here seem to be going from strength to strength" - Wine Advocate
"Today this estate unquestionably produces some of the top wines in the appellation" - Jeb Dunnuck
'This is a property to buy from before pricing jumps" - Wine Advocate
Nicolas Boiron is the gregarious, larger than life personality who has led this family owned domaine to its greatest heights.Each of these wines has its own personality, but the common thread is they all display delicious, full-bodied fruit flavors enveloped in silky smooth tannins.
Spend a moment to read the accolades from the critics. An additional bonus, these fine wines are offered at the lowest prices in the country. Happy Shopping!
BOSQUET DES PAPES 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE LA FOLIE
JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The deepest colored of the trio and a true “Wow” wine, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Folie is 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre that was completely destemmed and brought up 10% new barrels, with the balance in demi-muids. An insane bouquet of black cherry liqueur, blackberries, crushed rocks, and pepper garrigue gives way to a full-bodied, incredibly polished, seamless Grenache. This beauty does everything right and possesses a vibrant, sexy texture, no hard edges, and a blockbuster finish. It will most likely merit a triple-digit score in a few years and cruise for a decade or more."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape la Folie is a special cuvée that has only been made three times: in 2007, 2015 and 2016. As Nicolas Boiron points out, it's a "modern style" of Châteauneuf, completely destemmed and aged in demi-muids and barriques, with a fair proportion of those barrels being new. Mocha cedar notes mark the nose at this early age, while the flavors resemble caramelized cherries and baking spices. Full-bodied, rich, creamy and undeniably plush, it's still recognizable as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, showing velvety hints of chocolate on the long finish. The assemblage is 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre."
$79.95 750ml SOLD OUT
BOSQUETS DES PAPES 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE CHANTE LE MERLE
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "The all whole-bunch 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes is 85% Grenache, with the balance a mix of Mourvèdre and Syrah. The vines are all 80 to 90 years old, selected from parcels in Brusquières, Gardiole, Mont-Redon and Pignan. Glorious raspberry and cherry fruit picks up hints of mint and some stemmy notes, but they're remarkably well-integrated and should be completely absorbed within a couple of years. Full-bodied, rich and creamy in texture, this tour de force remains lively, silky and long on the finish. With 1,000 cases produced, it should be reasonably priced and reasonably available—an increasingly rare combination in Châteauneuf-du-Pape."
JEB DUNNUCK 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes is much more classic in style when compared to the La Gloire de Mon Grand-Père. It’s a non-destemmed blend of 86% Grenache and the balance equal parts Mourvèdre and Syrah, aged in a mix of foudre, concrete tanks, and demi-muids. Classic notes of black fruits, smoked herbs, seaweed, licorice, and pepper as well tons of minerality all emerge from this powerful, full-bodied, structured 2016 that has the purity of fruit and balance that’s the hallmark of this great, great vintage. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades."
$59.95 750ml SOLD OUT
BOSQUET DES PAPES 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE A LA GLOIRE DE MON PERE
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "I was questioning if the top cuvées were worth the money after tasting the traditional cuvée from winemaker Nicolas Boiron, then I tasted his 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape A La Gloire de Mon Grand-Père and decided that, yes indeed, the special cuvées in 2016 can certainly be worth the uptick in price. Based almost exclusively on Grenache (there’s a splash of Cinsault and Clairette) sourced from the La Gardiole lieu-dit and aged mostly in demi-muids, this heavenly beauty offers awesome notes of garrigue, toasted spices, flowers, licorice and loads of sweet Grenache fruit. Voluptuous, flamboyant, and sexy, yet also elegant and seamless, with a weightless texture, this is Grenache at its finest and is going to knock your socks off over the coming 10-15 years."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "There are 10,000 bottles of the stunning 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape A la Gloire de Mon Grand-Père, which is good news for lovers of 100% Grenache. Drawn from a single parcel in the lieu-dit of Gardiole (mostly sandy soils), half of the fruit was destemmed. It's full-bodied and concentrated but silky and refined, with scintillating purity of cherry and raspberry fruit, backed by crisp acids and enlivening hints of orange zest on the long, reverberating finish. It's a terrific value that should drink well for more than a decade."
BOSQUET DES PAPES 2016 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "A terrific example of this bottling, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Tradition is a blend of 75% Grenache, 12% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah and tiny amounts of Cinsault, Counoise and Vaccarèse. About 40% was destemmed in this textbook vintage, the fruit coming from 40 different parcels around the appellation. Floral and raspberry notes emerge on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied but silky textured, ending on subtle shadings of Provence herbs and licorice. It's a relative bargain that's easy to drink now, but it should easily go a decade or more in a cool cellar."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "A true gem of a wine, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape checks in as 75% Grenache, 12% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah and the balance a mix of permitted varieties. This classic cuvée comes from a multitude of sites throughout the appellation and is partially destemmed and brought up in concrete tanks and demi-muids. Terrific notes of peppery garrigue, new leather, and sweet red and black fruits all give way to a silky, seamless, full-bodied Châteauneuf-du-Pape that has no hard edges and a great finish. The classic cuvées are so good in 2016, it makes you wonder if the more expensive special cuvées are worth it."