Hi-Time's Holiday Newsletter

We have always enjoyed the crazy busy holiday season as it's a great time to enjoy a glass of wine with the right meal, family and friends, as we reflect upon the year at hand and dream about the next one. It's a time of giving gifts and thanking folks for what they do and who they are. It's a time for us to highlight the best we have to offer-- it's our goal to make your holidays even better, to help accentuate this special time. So, we decided to publish this special holiday edition... We wish you and yours the merriest and happiest of holiday seasons and look forward to seeing you here in the shop or online. Cheers!

Top North American Cabernets

12 Champagnes of Christmas

Top Spanish Wines

Top Other Imported Wines

Wine Bar & Events

Top North American Reds

Top French Wines

Top Southern Hemisphere Wines

Top Spirits

Top Sake

Top North American Whites

Top Italian Wines

Top German/Austrian Wines

Gift Ideas

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Top North American Cabernets of 2018

MORLET 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY "COEUR DE VALLEE"#1 MORLET 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY "COEUR DE VALLEE"

Kicking off this year's "Top Cab" list is a wine from arguably one of the best Cabernet vineyards in the world, crafted by one of our wine staff's favorite winemakers in California! Luc Morlet is a very talented man; he crafted high-scoring, powerful wines when he took over the winemaking duties at Newton Vineyards from John Kongsgaard and he was also the head winemaker at Peter Michael Winery (note: he is still Sir Peter Michael’s consulting winemaker)! Having earned several 100-point scores over his career, he does what it takes to make profound wine. Enter the Beckstoffer family’s To Kalon Vineyard. This glorious vineyard in western Oakville in the heart of the Napa Valley is full of gravel and low nutrient soils. This causes the grapes to struggle, focusing the energy of the plants toward flavor in the grapes, and it received plenty of sunshine during the day, yet the Mayacamas Mountains to the west block the scorching afternoon sun, allowing the grapes to retain freshness. Aged for 16 months in French oak, and blended with a small amount of Cabernet Franc, this wine earned 97 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate!

ROBERT PARKER 97 POINTS - "From the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, the 2013 Coeur de la Vallee shows creamy tannins, beautiful blackberry and cassis fruit, and hints of blueberries, violets, forest floor and licorice. This is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, and the black fruits are triumphant in this gorgeous wine. It should drink nicely for 25-30 years." 

$175.00 750ml [245390] add to cart button

DUNN 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON HOWELL MOUNTAIN#2 DUNN 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON HOWELL MOUNTAIN

Randy Dunn is one of the true icons of the Napa Valley. Since 1979, Randy Dunn has produced powerful, structured wines that can stand the test of time. Several of his Cabernet Sauvignons from the early 1980s are just beginning to show their true nature and these wines are a slap in the face to anybody who says California wines cannot age! Red fruit dominated, aromatic with violets, structured and with hints of earth, his wines are very traditional in style and it is one of the best renditions produced in the valley. His wines are highly sought after by collectors, restaurateurs and enthusiasts alike. Beginning in the early 2000s, he began to make his wines a bit more open-knit and accessible earlier in their lives, but the quality has not dipped one bit! Still a hard wine to find, we were at the right place at the right time and instead of our typical two or three case allocation, we were able to secure enough to put it on our "Top Cab" list this year!

ANTONIO GALLONI 98+ POINTS - "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a towering majestic wine. Rich, powerful and yet massively tannic, the 2013 possesses a stunning combination of super-ripe fruit, bright acids and plenty of supporting structure. In the early going, the Howell Mountain is a bit reticent, especially next to the Trailer, but after several hours, the vibrancy of the Howell Mountain bottling dazzles. Dunn's Howell Mountain Cabernet is without question one of the wines of the great 2013 vintage."

ROBERT PARKER 95-97 POINTS - "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain boasts an opaque color, abundant notes of blackberries, spring flowers and blueberries, fabulous richness and a distinctive, singular smell of pen ink. With great intensity, formidable body, sweet tannin and a long finish, it should drink well for 25+ years."

$134.99 750ml [217610] add to cart button

O'SHAUGHNESSY 2014 CABERNET SAUVINON HOWELL MOUNTAIN#3 O'SHAUGHNESSY 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON HOWELL MOUNTAIN

Betty O'Shaughnessy's Howell Mountain property is simply...STUNNING"! Every single individual who walks through the doors of the winery eventually leaves feeling like they are family and 100% of the time the person leaving tells their friends and family that O'Shaughnessy is a "must see" winery in the Napa Valley (hint....go visit them!). The animated Sean Capiaux makes the wine. He has worked at Peter Michael, Jordan and Pine Ridge wineries, in addition to crafting lovely Pinot Noirs under his eponymous label. The vineyards are planted on the property in an amphitheater-like setting, as to take advantage of maximum sunlight during the day. This wine is all about intensity balanced by subtlety, and has earned a stunning 95 points from Robert Parker!

ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "Betty O'Shaughnessy bought her property on Howell Mountain in 1996, and ever since 1999 has had the very talented Sean Capiaux making her wines. Her vineyards on Howell Mountain sit at a high elevation of just under 2000 feet in the red, rocky, volcanic soils the area is known for. I have always been a big fan of these wines, as they are full-flavored but incredibly pure and well-balanced, and that has continued with her bevy of 2014s."

"The sensational 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (which is reasonably priced, given how superb it is) is her largest cuvee of just under 3,300 cases. It is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest tiny quantities of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Petit Verdot, and a real head scratcher, St. Macaire. Inky purple to the rim, with notes of white flowers, licorice, forest floor and graphite, this wine exhibits classic mulberry, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit notes, some background, vague oak, a full-bodied, beautifully proportioned mouthfeel, and a layered finish. Like most 2014s, it can be drunk now, but it has at least two decades of cellaring potential." 

$100.00 750ml [247500] SOLD OUT

#4 ST. SUPERY 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON "DOLLARHIDE" NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "They have multiple cuvees, including their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Dollarhide Estate Vineyard coming from Napa Valley. This is a big, robust style of Cabernet Sauvignon with blackberry and graphite, some licorice, and plenty of underbrush and earth. Full-bodied and powerful, it will benefit from several years of bottle age and evolve for at least two decades."

$84.95 750ml [264420] add to cart button

#5 SCHRADER 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON "DOUBLE DIAMOND" NAPA VALLEY

Coming from the highly-regarded Oakville District of the Napa Valley, the 2016 vintage of Double diamond opens with layered, intriguing aromas of black currants, dark cherries, blackberry, cherry compote, toast, and oak spice with notes of herbs, pine cone, and dried earth. In the mouth, the palate is rich and juicy, bursting with big, rich flavor. The tannin structure makes this a great wine to enjoy opun release, but it will also mellow nicely for the next two to six years.

$69.95 750ml [258450] SOLD OUT

 #6 FEATHER 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON COLUMBIA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Feather is lovely, unfurling in the glass with aromas of cassis, blackberries, petroleum jelly and burning embers. On the palate, it's full-bodied, ripe and powerful, with an expansive attack and an ample core of dark berry fruit, underpinned by a fine-grained, stony chassis of ripe tannins. This wine is made by Howell Mountain veteran Randy Dunn, and its profile—while marked by the torrid 2015 vintage—will be familiar to followers of the wines he produces there."

$59.98 750ml [275887] SOLD OUT

#7 GALERIE 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON "PLEINAR" NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 91 POINTS - "The 2014 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon called Pleinair is a blend of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is aged 20 months in 58% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine has a similarity to a top-flight St.-Julien from Bordeaux. Loads of Christmas fruitcake, cedar wood, tobacco leaf, black currants and spice box all jump from the glass and from the flavors of this round, juicy, medium to full-bodied wine with silky tannins. Drink it over the next 15 or so years."

$49.98 750ml [229030] add to cart button

 #8 LOUIS MARTINI 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 93-95 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley spends 18 months in a combination of 30% new and 70% used French and American barrels. It is another big boy at 15.4% natural alcohol. This wine, which was not yet in bottle, is fabulous, and there are 42,000 cases of it. One of the strongest efforts yet from the Martinis, this cuvee still sells at a modest $38.00 – a fair price for something this compelling. The wine has an opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of blueberries, blackcurrants, licorice, camphor and graphite. The wine is full-bodied and multilayered on the palate with sensational richness and length. It should drink well for 20-25 years."

$29.99 750ml [240110] SOLD OUT

#9 FREEMARK ABBEY 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley-blended of 78.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5.6% Malbec and 2.2% Cabernet Franc-has a compelling perfume of dried roses, fragrant herbs and dusty earth over a core of crushed plums and blackberries with a waft of tobacco. Medium-bodied, lively and expressive in the mouth, it has a pleasant pluminess accented by herb and earth notions, finishing long and chewy. 36,160 cases produced."

$39.98 750ml [223420] SOLD OUT

 #10 NAPA BENCH 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

Napa Bench is rich and flavorful, with red and dark fruits that are apparent in the nose with plum, currant and blackberry tones. The aroma is layered and shows the power of Cabernet and of oak nuance. The pallet is fine grained tannin, long and refined, with a finish that lingers and invites a second glass or two.

$24.98 750ml [250500] SOLD OUT

Top Cabernet Sauvignon Under $20

AERENA 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON RED HILLSAERENA 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON RED HILLS

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.

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! 

$19.95 750ml [204920] add to cart button

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Top North American Reds of 2018

#1 JONATA 2014 SYRAH BALLARD CANYON "LA SANGRE DE JONATA"

Welcome to what is the best Syrah from California we've had all year! Jonata is the Santa Barbara property owned by Stan Kroenke, who also owns Screaming Eagle in Napa Valley. While these two properties share the same owner and the same dedication to world-class wines, they are completely separate entities, with their own winemakers, vineyard managers and winemaking facilities. Ballard Canyon is a relatively new AVA in the Santa Ynez Valley, with the cool Sta. Rita Hills to the west and the very warm Happy Canyon to the east. Ballard Canyon has proven itself as an area ideal for Syrah and the low fertility of the soil amplifies the positive characteristics of this Rhône variety. The property is comprised entirely of sand, which produces wines of intense aromatics and combined with warm weather, wines with richness and structure.

JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "It’s always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvées, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."

"Unquestionably the star of the show is the 2014 La Sangre de Jonata, and it's a more finesse driven, elegant, cool climate example of the cuvee than normal. Reminding me of an Hermitage from Bessards, it offers gorgeous notes of blackberries, cassis, leather, scorched earth and pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, firm, polished tannin and a focused finish, it will be more approachable that most vintage of this cuvee, yet I still wouldn't touch bottles for 3-5 years. If you must drink a bottle over the coming couple of years, give it a 2-hour decant."

$135.00 750ml [232480] add to cart button

#2 QUILCEDA CREEK 2014 PROPRIETARY RED "PALENGAT" COLUMBIA VALLEY

Quilceda Creek has received more 100-point scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate than any other winery in Washington. Paul Golitzin is winemaker and son of founders Alex and Jeannette Golitzin. He learned his masterful touch with Bordeaux varietals from not only his father, but also his great uncle Andre Tchelistcheff (Cabernet Sauvignon would not be ANYWHERE near its current success without Andre's work in the Napa Valley), however Paul has developed his own style and worked with the amazing fruit from the area. Eastern Washington state is very arid and these grapes only receive approximately 9 inches of rain per year (less than SoCal). Comprised of fruit from four of the best vineyards in the region, we were, again, in the right place at the right time to get a healthy allocation of this ripe, forward and hedonistic Cabernet-blend from the most sought-after producer in Washington State!

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "This is a sensational vintage from Quilceda's Paul and Alex Golitzin! Both the classic Columbia Valley Cabernet and the Galitzine Vineyard are sheer perfection, and the Palengat release is also just about as good as it gets. These are incredible wines that offer everything you could want from Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon, and readers owe it to themselves to try these wines!"

"A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, the sensational 2014 Palengat Vineyard is loaded with notions of chocolate covered plums, licorice, roasted herbs, and graphite/lead pencil shavings. Up there with the of the top vintages of the cuvee, this full-bodied, rounded and hedonistic 2014 shines in the vintage, has no hard edges, gorgeous purity, and plenty of ripe, sweet tannin. It’s a serious mouthful of a Cabernet and will drink nicely for 10-15 years." 

$119.98 750ml [242430] add to cart button

#3 BEAUX FRERES 2015 PINOT NOIR WILLAMETTE VALLEY "BEAUX FRERES VINEYARD"

If you have ever thought about venturing into Oregon Pinot Noirs, now is your time! And if you are an Oregon Pinot Noir zealot, now is your time! 2015 is going down in the record books as one of the best vintages in the history of the state, with warm weather throughout most of the growing season, and the sun shining bright during harvest. The wines are forward, inviting, complex, and nuanced. Located in the Ribbon Ridge sub-region of the Willamette Valley, Beaux Freres is planted on steep, contiguous southward facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils, comprised of old marine sediment. With a focus on biodynamic farming, the vines are planted at high density and some vines on the property are 30 years old, with several being own rooted!

WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich, expressive blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by savory spice and espresso details. Builds depth as this dances toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025. 2,700 cases made."

$95.00 750ml [202630] add to cart button

#4 BOOKER 2016 PROPRIETARY RED "MY FAVORITE NEIGHBOR" PASO ROBLES

JEB DUNNUCK 95-97 POINTS - "Still in barrel, the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated 2016 My Favorite Neighbor offers smokin' notes of creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, licorice, smoke tobacco, and hints of violets. With full-bodied r still fresh, chalky, moderately tannic, elegant and lengthy red."

$79.95 750ml [205700] add to cart button

#5 OCCIDENTAL 2016 PINOT NOIR SONOMA COAST

After establishing his eponymous winery as one of the leaders in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from both Napa and Sonoma, Steve Kistler has branched out and begun a new winery and named it Occidental. Steve's new winery is a slight diversion from his prior one. The Kistler wines come from prime vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa Counties, but the name Occidental (which comes from the Latin word for "western") gives a clue to the difference in these wines, as the vineyards for Steve's new project come from vineyards that lie in the far western reaches of Sonoma County, near the coast.

$67.95 750ml [250010] add to cart button

#6 ZOTOVICH 2016 GRENACHE SANTA RITA HILLS ESTATE

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The Grenache is a new wine for Zotovich starting with the 2016 vintage. Intensely aromatic and expressive, the 2016 possesses tremendous fruit purity and tons of complexity, all of which comes through with notable energy. This is an impressive showing, to say the least."

$35.95 750ml [295720]add to cart button

 #7 CHALK HILL 2015 PROPRIETARY RED CHALK HILL ESTATE

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2015 Estate Red is deep garnet-purple colored and delivers a good amount of oak-inspired notions to begin over a core of blackcurrant cordial, blackberry pie, preserved plums and chocolate box with hints of vanilla pod and cigar box. Big, concentrated and full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with black fruit preserves, framed by ripe, firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a woody note. Forget it for 5-6 years and drink it over the next 20. 5,240 cases produced."

$49.95 750ml [210200] SOLD OUT

 #8 PENNER-ASH 2015 PINOT NOIR WILLAMETTE VALLEY

WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Expressive and refined with pretty raspberry and lavender aromas and tightly focused blackberry and spiced cinnamon flavors that lead toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2023. 9,100 cases made. " 

$34.95 750ml [249920] SOLD OUT

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Top North American Whites of 2018

#1 PAUL HOBBS 2016 CHARDONNAY SONOMA MOUNTAIN "RICHARD DINNER"

At our store, we have nicknamed Paul Hobbs "Midas"....because everything he touches is golden! Whether it's his Argentine Malbecs, his Napa Valley Cabernets, his Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs or Sonoma Chardonnays....everything seems to shine! This time around it’s the Richard Dinner Vineyard Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain that is catching our eye and captivating our palates! Paul Hobbs has sourced from the small, revered hillside site since the winery's founding in 1991. Plentiful daytime sun exposure is balanced with cooling morning and evening fog coming from the top of San Pablo Bay to allow fruit to develop rich flavors while retaining bright acidity.

WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard comes charging out of the glass with super intense grapefruit, green mango, lime leaves and lemon curd scents plus touches of baking bread, coriander seed, crushed rocks and nutmeg. Full-bodied and laden with citrus and tropical fruit layers in the mouth, the palate has wonderful tension and a compelling oiliness to the texture, finishing very long with a mineral kick. 535 cases were made."

$79.98 750ml [230540] add to cart button

#2 RAMEY 2014 CHARDONNAY SONOMA COAST "PLATT"

About 20 years ago, David Ramey was part of a select group of winemakers who became tired of "laboratory" or "squeaky clean" wines devoid of character. He wanted to bring terroir back into wines from California, and his success was the benefit of the consumer! David Ramey became known throughout the wine world as a winemaker associated with stellar quality, and he brought his expertise to brands such as Chalk Hill, Matanzas Creek, Dominus Estate, Rudd Estate, as well as his own brand.

This particular bottling comes from the Platt Vineyard. This is Ramey’s coolest site, producing wine that is more focused and mineral driven than fruit driven. Located five miles from the Pacific off Bodega Highway, midway between Sebastopol and Bodega Bay, the vineyard sits at 800' on a south-facing slope overlooking the Estero Americano (which funnels cooling marine weather to the Sacramento delta via the Petaluma Gap). The soil is Goldridge Loam uplifted from ancient ocean floor, and this soil gives the perfect balance of brightness and richness!

ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "The 2014 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard has expressive pink grapefruit, warm peaches and brioche notes with hints of praline and ginger. Medium-bodied with great richness and depth in the mouth, it has a lovely creamy texture offset by a wicked backbone of freshness, finishing long with mineral and savory/yeasty layers."

$41.98 750ml [252840] add to cart button

#3 DRAGONETTE 2016 SAUVIGNON BLANC HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA "VOGELZANG"

If you've ever had any of the Dagueneau Sauvignon Blancs from France's Loire Valley, then you know those wines are things of beauty. It was over a glass of Dagueneau that brothers Steve and John Dragonette and close friend Brandon Sparks-Gillis decided to leave their jobs at a Los Angeles wine shop and search throughout Santa Barbara's Santa Ynez Valley to find vineyards that could best exemplify the enticing characteristics of this grape. They have found those vineyards, and now their Sauvignon Blancs have become some of our favorites! The Vogelzang Vineyard is our favorite bottling of Sauvignon Blanc from the boys. Situated on a gently sloping bed of well-drained, gravelly loam with serpentine, the warm to hot summer days and cool to cold evenings is ideal for promoting full phenolic ripeness while still retaining critical acidity.

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Vogelzang Vineyard offers tons of varietal character, with a sense of vertical lift and structure that gives the wine its distinctive shape. Orange peel, mint, jasmine and a host of tropical inflections round out this super-expressive Sauvignon Blanc from Dragonette."

$42.95 750ml [215960] add to cart button

#4 JOSEPH PHELPS 2016 CHARDONNAY SONOMA COAST "FREESTONE"

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard features delicate lemon juice, orange blossoms and baking bread notes with hints of white grapefruit, chalk dust, yuzu and lemongrass. The palate is medium to full-bodied, very refreshing and tightly wound at this youthful stage, with super intense citrus flavors and gorgeous mineral sparks, finishing long and savory. 2,725 cases produced."

$35.99 750ml [223520] add to cart button

#5 ALBAN 2016 VIOGNIER CENTRAL COAST

VINOUS 92 POINTS - "Bright gold. Heady citrus and orchard fruit and violet aromas are given spicy lift by a gingery element. Sappy and broad on entry, then tighter in the midpalate, offering sappy nectarine, poached pear and honey flavors braced by a suggestion of bitter lemon pith. Shows impressive tension for its heft and finishes impressively long and smooth, displaying resonating floral and pit fruit notes. This Viognier delivers outstanding bang for the buck compared to pretty much any other New World rendition of the variety that I know." 

John Alban makes some of the most aromatically complex and explosively rich wines in the New World from traditional Rhone varieties. Since 1989 he's worked entirely with fruit from his own superb clonal material, planted on chalk-rich hillside vineyards in Edna Valley. Don't wait for reviews this Viognier is extremely popular!

 $25.95 750ml [200440] add to cart button

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12 Champagnes of Christmas

GUY LARMANDIER 2008 BRUT ZERO “SIGNE FRANCOIS” GRAND CRU BLANCE DE BLANCS#1 GUY LARMANDIER 2008 BRUT ZERO "SIGNE FRANCOIS" GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANCS

Guy Larmandier is a small artisan grower based in the southern Côte des Blancs village of Vertus that was discovered by famed wine importer Neal Rosenthal back in the early 1980s. Despite this long association and decades of consistently high quality, the firm remains something of an “insider’s secret” with an under-the-radar media profile. “Signe Francois” the firm’s tête de cuvée has earned the top spot on our best Champs of the year list because it masterfully exudes the depth, breadth and balance that one associates with the elite Champagnes of the stellar 2008 vintage-- all at a price that is shockingly low. Neal Rosenthal writes: “[This] is produced from their oldest parcels of Chardonnay in the grand cru village of Cramant (along with a small amount of fruit from a holding in the Grand Cru Chouilly), and it spends a full five years on the lees before disgorgement. No dosage is present in our version of the 2008, but one would never even know it is missing--the wine’s depth and richness is extraordinary, voicing the sappy and dense character of the fruit François wrests from these old vines. Notes of pear tart, fresh figs, baked apples, and cherries frame a vibrant, expansive palate, and the wine’s chalky core shows itself in a clinging, almost salty finish." Bravo!

IMPORTER NEAL ROSENTHAL NOTES - "Larmandier’s prestige cuvée is produced from their oldest parcels of Chardonnay in the grand cru village of Cramant (along with a small amount of fruit from a holding in the Grand Cru Chouilly), and it spends a full five years on the lees before disgorgement. No dosage is present in our version of the 2008, but one would never even know it is missing--the wine’s depth and richness is extraordinary, voicing the sappy and dense character of the fruit François wrests from these old vines. Notes of pear tart, fresh figs, baked apples, and cherries frame a vibrant, expansive palate, and the wine’s chalky core shows itself in a clinging, almost salty finish."

$69.98 750ml [359280SOLD OUT

GOSSET 2004 BRUT “CELEBRIS”#2 GOSSET 2004 BRUT "CELEBRIS"

Established in 1584, Gosset lays claim to be the oldest wine house in Champagne. Thanks to Jean-Pierre Mareigner, its masterful chef de cave of 32 years, the Gosset style of no malo, crystalline structure and profound longevity remains as intact as ever. This 2004 “Celebris” is another of his masterpieces that is just now hitting full stride.

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Gosset's 2004 Extra Brut Celebris is a powerful, bracing wine. Pinot Noir-infused red stone fruits, dried leaves, mint, herbs and spice notes, along with the low dosage, give the wine its distinctive combination of power, breadth and raciness. The 2004 needs a bit of time for the bouquet to open up, but when they do, the wine is quite expressive. Now 12 years after the vintage, the 2004 Celebris offers a good bit of aromatic and flavor intensity, with the slightly mature notes that are typical for a wine of this age. Chamomile, honey and lightly roasted almond are some of the nuances that linger through to the creamy, expansive finish..." (12/16)

$109.98 750ml [377663] add to cart button

GEOFFROY 2008 BRUT VOLUPE#3 RENE GEOFFROY 2008 BRUT VOLUPTE

TERRY THEISE 2 PLUSES - "This may be the sexiest wine JB [Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy] has made; pure straw and hawthorne and a complex and stylish minerality, iris and plantatain lead into a finsish so intricate it's nearly heart-rendering. Perfect balance into a glowing farwell."

A blend of 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir disgorged 02/16.

ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Geoffroy's 2008 Brut Cuvée Volupté is pointed and tightly wound, with persistent veins of minerality that give the wine its spine. Even so, there is no shortage of breadth and pure power. With time in the glass, the fruit blossoms nicely. There is plenty of vintage 2008 character, even if the Volupté at times tilts towards the burlier side of things."

 $72.98 750ml [325728] add to cart button

 #4 PERTOIS-LEBRUN "LE FOND DE BATEAU" NO. 10 EXTRA BRUT BLANC DE BLANCS GRAND CRU

This new to us grower-producer has created a most exciting terroir Champagne that perfectly showcases the ripe, broad demeanor for which the Chardonnays of Chouilly are prized. This then is a single varietal (Chardonnay), single harvest (2010), and single parcel Champagne. The Le Fond du Bateau lieu-dit was planted more than 50 years ago by Paul Pertois and is situated in the cru's best quadrant, i.e. south of the town directly east of the Butte de Saran on the northern border of Cramant. Environmentally-friendly vinicultural practices are employed in this vineyard including organic fertilizers and treatments, aromatherapy and biodynamic principles. The family intentionally reduces the vine's vigor and yields which results in enhanced aromatic concentration. This wine was fermented in stainless steel with malo and given 10 months to settle prior to bottling. Further complexity was achieved by seven years of yeast aging prior to disgorgement. While rich with a soft minerality, there is more than enough acidity to keep everything taught and focused through the extended finish. The flavor excitement and refinement exhibited in this superb bottling definitely make Pertois-Lebrun a name to watch.

$69.98 750ml [377688] add to cart button

#5 POL ROGER 2004 BRUT MILLESIME

WINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - Cellar Selection. Just approaching maturity, this rich wine is sumptuous and complex. It has intense fruitiness, with apple and grapefruit flavors that are followed by a tight texture as well as the first signs of toastiness. It has plenty of life yet. Drink now–2024."

$75.98 750ml [374666] add to cart button

#6 LASSALLE 2008 SPECIAL CLUB

One of the benchmarks of the great 2008 Champagne vintage, Lassalle's Special Club is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir with eight and one half years of lees aging.  The dominance of Chardonnay combined with the racy acidity of the 2008 vintage results in a higly kenetic play and enduring play of pristine yellow and green orchard fruits and chalky minerality. Drinks considerably drier than the eight grams of dosage would suggest.

$89.98 750ml [377286] add to cart button

#7 PIERRE PAILLARD 2012 EXTRA BRUT BLANC DE BLANCS "LES MOTTELETTES"

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2012 Les Mottelettes Bouzy Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra-Brut is from an old vineyard planted with Chardonnay and roughly 10% Pinot Blanc in 1961. The wine opens very precise and fresh on the nose, where ripe, concentrated and slightly flinty fruit aromas are revealed. Round and generous on the palate yet precise and fresh, with a crispy character, this is a "white" Bouzy with great complexity and length. Still terribly young, this fascinating Blanc de Blancs should be kept for at least a decade. Disgorged in August 2017 with a dosage of 2.7 grams per liter; tasted in April 2018."

$62.98 750ml [378226] add to cart button

#8 CLAUDE CAZALS 2009 EXTRA BRUT BLANC DE BLANCS "CUVEE VIVE" GRAND CRU

JOHN GILMAN 91+ POINTS - "This bottle of Cuvée Vive from Champagne Cazals was disgorged in September of 2017 and finished with a dosage of three grams per liter. The wine is quite stylish on the nose, offering up a fine blend of pear, apple, a touch of almond custard, chalky soil tones and a gently floral topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, crisp and focused, with a good core, pinpoint bubbles, fine balance for its lower dosage and a long, nascently complex finish. Good juice that will be even better with a bit of bottle age to allow the secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. 2018-2040." 

$49.98 750ml [379468] add to cart button

#9 VOUETTE ET SORBEE 2014 BRUT NATURE BLANC D'AGRILE

PETER LEIM 2 STARS - "This release of Vouette & Sorbée’s blanc de blancs is less opulent than previous editions, feeling elongated and racy on the palate. It’s notably citrusy in flavor, driven by its firm spine of acidity, and it finishes with vibrant, energetic length, demonstrating harmony and poise. Last tasted: 4/17." 

74.95 750ml [376202] add to cart button

 #10 VILMART 2012 BRUT "GRAND CELLIER D'OR" 1ER CRU

WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Ripe fruit and floral aromas carry over to the palate of this firm and focused Champagne, accenting the Honeycrisp apple and white cherry fruit, toast, lemon curd and grated ginger flavors. Fine and creamy in texture, with a mouthwatering juiciness through to the lasting finish. Disgorged October 2016. Drink now through 2028." 

$79.98 750ml [377709] add to cart button

 #11 ANDRE BEAUFORT 2010 BRUT NATURE POLISSY BLANC DE BLANCS

Jacques Beaufort has long been one of our Champagne hero's. Back in the early 1970's Jacques was virtually alone leading the charge against the use of chemicals and herbicides and he has now been farming biodynamically for decades. Beaufort's approach to winemaking is equally stripped-down and non-interventionist. Such a strict, natural approach has its oblivious risks, and over the years his Champagnes have been a bit "hit or miss" but his hits like this 2010 are often home runs. This is a bright, exuberant (dare we say hedionistic) Champagne that belies it Brut Zero configuration. The 2010 Andre Beaufort presents a delicate mousse and persistent bubbles, greeting your nose with pear, herbs de Provence and toasted hazelnuts. Expressive in character and bold on the palate, it culminates with a fine, zippy finish.

$72.98 750ml [378941] add to cart button

#12 PLOYEZ-JACQUEMART EXTRA BRUT ROSE

JOHN GILMAN 92+ POINTS - "The new release of Ployez-Jacquemart Extra Brut non-vintage Rosé was disgorged in November of 2017 and is from the base year of 2014. The cépages is this cuvée’s customary fifty percent Chardonnay, thirty-seven percent Pinot Noir and thirteen percent Pinot Meunier, with ten percent of the Pinot Noir still red wine. The new version offers beautifully purity on the nose, wafting from the glass in a lovely mix of strawberries, a touch of tangerine, complex, chalky minerality, bread dough and a touch of rose petal in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with lovely transparency, refined mousse, zesty acids and excellent focus, length and grip on the elegant and complex finish. This is more accessible out of the blocks than the base year 2013 version was at this point in its evolution last year, but I have the sense this will age just as long and gracefully. Just lovely Rosé."

$39.98 750ml [353780] add to cart button

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Top French Wines of 2018

DOMAINE PALON 2016 GIGONDAS

The 2016 Gigondas follows the estate’s hugely popular Côtes du Rhône which was our Wine of the Month for March. The Gigondas is a delicious wine which manages to take it to another level with increased intensity and concentration. This Rhône blend offers enormous appeal with richly textured fruit flavors which

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."

 $19.95 750ml [350908] add to cart button

PIERRE RIFFAULT 2017 SANCERRE 7 HOMMES

The Riffault family have been winegrowers for several generations and their vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc are located in Sancerre on the left bank of the Loire River. The grapes are vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and are not exposed to oak.

This Sancerre displays aromas of hawthorne, floral aromas, white orchard fruits, grapefruit zest and citrus. On the palate, this wine is clean, crisp and dry with ripe fruit characteristics and wonderful freshness.

$21.95 750ml [322547] add to cart button

DOMAINE OLIVIER LEFLAIVE 2016 BOURGOGNE BLANC LES SETILLES

JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS - "A tangy and fresh white with sliced lemons and hints of dried tea leaves and flowers. Medium body, bright acidity and a long, flavorful finish."

Les Setilles is sourced from vineyards within the communes of Puligny Montrachet and Meursault, with each village representing roughly half of the final blend. Grapes are sourced from multiple plots within each village in an effort to maximize complexity of the final wine.

$22.99 750ml [350058add to cart button

REMOISSENET 2015 BOURGOGNE ROUGE

In the glass, it's a deep, saturated ruby with hints of purple at the rim. Its aromas are bright and perfumed, headlined by ripe fraise de bois, red currant, and black cherry mixed with savory notes of underbrush, dried flowers, and baking spices. There's good mid-palate weight) and silky tannins, with lots of acidity to drive the wine to a fruity, perfumed finish. Consider for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

$24.98 750ml [350958] add to cart button

CHATEAU MARSAU 2015 COTES DU BORDEAUX

WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Marsau is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with a savory, meaty, earthy nose of smoked meats and scorched earth over a core of warm plums and blackberry pie plus a hint of pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm, chewy structure and good concentration of muscular fruit, finishing savory/sweet."

WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Very solid, with a beam of black currant and fig paste flavors enlivened with singed juniper and warm tobacco notes. Reveals a light charcoal hint through the finish. Focused and fresh. Drink now through 2021. 3,333 cases made."

JAMES SUCKLING 92-93 POINTS - "A very dense and rich Marsau with big tannin structure and ripe fruit. Full body, tar and blackberry character. Asphalt and graphite undertones. Fascinating young red."

$21.99 750ml [346044] add to cart button

DOMAINE CABIRAU 2015 FIRST THINGS FIRST

WINE ADVOCATE 93-96 POINTS - "A new cuvee from Dan Kravitz, the 2015 Maury Sec First Things First is a blend of 60% Grenache, 22% Carignan and 18% Syrah that had 75% of the crop brought in at the “correct” time, and 25% brought in over a week later due to broken equipment in the cellar. Scheduled to be bottled in August or October, it offers sensational notes of black raspberries, cassis, violets and graphite as well as full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin and an undeniable sexiness that makes it already impossible to resist. Count me a fan and I’d suggest breaking more equipment during harvest in the future as well (or just harvest later)" 

$29.98 750ml [350940] add to cart button

PAUL JABOULET 2015 CROZES HERMITAGE

JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The finest vintage to date, better even than the stellar 2010, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert is a gorgeous, deep, layered, and incredibly satisfying Crozes. Blackcurrants, olive tapenade, truffles and earthy notes all emerge from this full-bodied, gorgeously textured and seamless 2015. With fine tannin and no hard edge, it can be drunk today or cellaring for 15-20 years." 

$39.98 750ml [345478] add to cart button

CHATEAU ROUGET 2015 POMEROL

WINE ADVOCATE 92-94 POINTS - "The 2015 Rouget is the blend of five parcels around the Pomerol plateau and I took time to taste each of them when I visited Edouard Labruyère. A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc aged in one-third new oak, it has quite a punchy, high-toned bouquet with licorice-tinged red fruit that opens nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, rounded in the mouth with moderate acidity, the Cabernet Franc very articulate. I like the cohesion here, svelte in the mouth with black fruit and allspice fanning out on the structured, sandalwood finish. This is a well-crafted Rouget that deserves wider consumer appreciation. I would not be surprised if this Rouget ends up at the top of my banded score." 

$59.99 750ml [351779] add to cart button

COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL 2016 COTES DU RHONE

JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS -"This has a very plush, luscious and generously fleshy feel. Cherry compote, raspberries, blackberries and plums. Tarry elements, too. Smooth, velvety, pure and even. Succulence, elegance and clarity. Such value here. Drink or hold."

ROBERT PARKER 92+ POINTS - "The 2016 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel was bottled just two weeks before my visit, hence the plus sign attached to its rating. Planted just outside the boundaries of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, the vines here average 80 years old. Mouthwatering aromas of red fruit and spice lead the way, backed by a full-bodied wine that's creamy and lush but also silky and vibrant. As always, it's one of the best Côtes du Rhône wines from a given vintage... Certainly, the wines are breathtaking at the upper levels, but the Perrin family continues to put effort into the entry-level wines as well, from the Coudelet de Beaucastel, which is always one of the top Côtes du Rhône wines, to the other wines reviewed under the Famille Perrin heading."

$28.99 750ml [311270] add to cart button

CHATEAU D'ISSAN 2010 MARGAUX

ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "A complete, medium to full-bodied, exquisite Margaux from this medieval, moat-encircled, compellingly beautiful estate in the southern Medoc, D’Issan’s 2010 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. The deep, gravelly soils mixed with clay have provided extraordinary aromatics. The yields were ridiculously low (22 hectoliters per hectare) and the wine tips the scaled at 13.7% natural alcohol. Production was small after the selection for the grand vin, and the result is a dense, purple-colored wine with beautiful aromatics of spring flowers, blueberries and black raspberries as well as hints of cassis, tar and charcoal. The wine is gorgeously pure, well-balanced, and soft enough to be approached in 4-5 years or cellared for 25-30."

$105.98 750ml [399990] add to cart button

CLOS DES PAPES CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE

WINE SPECTATOR 98 POINTS - "This has a drop-dead gorgeous core of cassis and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors that holds center stage but still allows notes of Lapsang souchong tea, anise, incense and shiso leaf to chime in. Very long, with a sublime feel through the mineral-tinged finish. So seductive already, but this will cruise in the cellar. Drink now through 2040."

WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Bottled in May, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is a floral, elegant, unbelievably complex wine. Roses and violets, cherries and stone fruit, cinnamon and allspice and more are carried across the full-bodied yet almost weightless palate, finishing in a swirl of silky tannins and lingering spice. Drink it over the next two decades."

$109.98 750ml [350727] add to cart button

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Top Italian Wines of 2018

#1 CIACCI PICCOLOMINI D'ARAGON PIANROSSO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ENTHUSIAST 100 POINTS - "This gorgeous wine opens with alluring aromas of sweet pipe tobacco, underbrush, new leather, truffle, plum and eucalyptus. Smooth and full-bodied yet elegant, the savory, juicy palate delivers crushed Marasca cherry, raspberry preserve, licorice and menthol alongside polished, enveloping tannins. Fresh acidity provides impeccable balance while an orange zest note lifts the finish."

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro is a gorgeous expression that sits firmly on a base of dark fruit, spice, tobacco and crushed river stone. There is a spot of ripe fruit and candied raspberry that comes into focus as the wine warms in the glass. The wine is slightly shorter in the mouth, but it quickly makes up for that thanks to balanced elegance, fine tannins and tangy acidity."

JAMES SUCKLING 97 POINTS - "This is all about finesse and beauty with such great length and polish. It literally melts in your mouth. Full-bodied yet agile and vivid. So many undertones of cedar, berries, cream and light toffee. Fabulous. Contender for the wine of the vintage." 

$159.95 750ml [301123] add to cart button

#2 TIGNANELLO 2015 ANTINORI

WINE SPECTATOR INSIDER "HOT WINES" 97 POINTS - "Dense and intensely flavored, with violet, black currant, blackberry, graphite, wild herb and spice aromas and flavors, this is concentrated and solidly built, yet also harmonious, vibrant and pure. Approachable now, but should be better in a few years. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc."

WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Tignanello is a wine that opens, like a fully blossomed rose, right in front of you. This vintage is immediately accessible, generous and opulent. The wine will surely flesh out and gain focus with more bottle age, but one of the best qualities of this vintage is just how beautiful the wine tastes straight out of the gate. The fruit is beautifully ripe with fresh blackberry and cherry nuances, spice, leather, sweet tobacco and smoke. Up until this vintage, the various blending components that make up Tignanello were vinifed in separate lots. Starting with 2015, the wine is blended sooner in order to achieve better overall integration. The entire Tignanello estate counts 130 hectares of vines, but the single-vineyard "Tignanello" that makes this wine is 57 hectares."

JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little more sangiovese than usual. Best since the legendary 1997?"

$109.00 750ml [305878] add to cart button

#3 G.D.VAJRA 2013 "BRICCO DELLE VIOLE" BAROLO

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 97 POINTS - "The 2013 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is a real head-turner. Sweet, perfumed, vivid and exceptionally beautiful, the 2013 is simply stunning. A wine of exceptional finesse and sensuality, the 2013 hits all the right notes. Today, the 2013 reminds me of the 2008, but with more depth, density and creaminess - especially through the middle - and slightly redder fruit tones."

The estate of GD Vajra is situated in Vergne, the highest village in the Commune of Barolo. Its vineyards are planted with Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera at heights of 350-400 meters, which result in distinctive and aromatic wines. The Vajra family is a group of dedicated, passionate winegrowers, who are also grounded and sensitive to the human role in winemaking. Their philosophy remains faithful to the traditional and authentic wines of Piemonte, and in essence they regard themselves as the instruments that enable nature and the environment full self-expression through their wines.

$84.95 750ml [302721] add to cart button

#4 SETTE PONTI 2016 ORENO

Bordeaux-style blend, Oreno is ruby red in color with violet reflections and spicy aromas of blackberry. In the mouth, ripe berries lead to spices and sweet oak on a full body with firm tannic structure. Pair with full-flavored meats, game and roast for an easy win.

JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS - "Gorgeous floral and deep, dark berry aromas with hints of spices such as cinnamon and hazelnuts. Full body and ultra-fine and strong tannins that are powerful yet so sleek and beautiful. Fantastic length and texture. Deep, dark and profound. Takes you on a long journey and shows you its true character. Better in 2025. Give it time." 

$69.98 750ml [301969] add to cart button

#5 LISINI 2013 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS 'HIGHLY RECOMMENDED' - "Exuding cherry, strawberry and floral flavors tinged with iron, earth and spice notes, this ripe red is elegant in profile, tightly wound and deftly balanced, ending with a kick of fruit, spice and mineral elements." 

$49.98 750ml [301011] add to cart button

#6 IL BORRO 2013 SUPER TUSCAN

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2013 Il Borro is a delicious wine that I have tasted several times over the past few months. It presents seamless aromatic integration with luscious dark fruit, proportioned doses of spice, tobacco and sweet blackberry flavors. This wine offers velvety softness and plumpness over a richly extracted mouthfeel and sweet oak tannins. The slightly cooler 2013 vintage reveals very long persistence with pretty nuances of moist earth, rum cake and cherry liqueur. This is a landmark wine from the Il Borro estate in Tuscany."

$59.98 750ml [301068] add to cart button

#7 FELSINA 2015 CHIANTI CLASSICO "RANCIA" RISERVA

ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is one of the most finessed young Rancias I have ever tasted. Silky, aromatically precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. This is an impressive showing."

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is a tremendous wine with an impactful yet very elegant bouquet. The central theme here is darkness and richness, and you get both of those things to the extent that Sangiovese can offer. The magic here is that Sangiovese sticks stubbornly to its inner grace and elegance, especially in a classic vintage such as this. Gravel alberese soils add to the wine's overall sharpness and detailed focus. There is a touch of sweet cherry confit ripeness on the close. Some 40,000 bottles were made." 

$46.98 750ml [303071] add to cart button

#8 SAN GUISTO A RENTENNANO 2015 CHIANTI CLASSICO

WINE SPECTATOR INSIDER 93 POINTS - "Shows extra dimension right from the first sniff. Cherry, strawberry, earth, graphite and tobacco aromas and flavors grapple with stiff tannins, but find equilibrium on the long finish. Solidly built for the long haul."

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Chianti Classico is one of the very best wines in its class. Rich, ample and creamy, it is endowed with serious volume to match its racy personality. Even so, there is more than enough Sangiovese freshness to ensure many years of fine drinking. Expressive floral notes give the wine just the right amount of aromatic lift to balance some of the natural richness of the year. What a gorgeous wine this is!"

$29.95 750ml [301054] add to cart button

#9 SALCHETO 2015 VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO

WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Aromas of green tomato and tomato leaf segue into plum and cherry flavors in this concentrated red. Leather, iron and sanguine notes chime in as this cruises to a lingering aftertaste. Shows terrific intensity and balance."

2015 is undoubtedly one of the most impressive vintage of its decade. It was marked by a strong thermal stress in August, which has particularly influenced acidity levels. The result is a wine "eat and drink all in one", fleshy and soft. The 2015 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is 100% Prugnolo Gentil, a clone of Sangiovese. This wine has elegantly integrated flavors such as cherry, spice, leather and tobacco. Enjoy!

$21.95 750ml [301026] add to cart button

#10 SELVAPIANA 2015 CHIANTI RUFINA

WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Pure cherry aromas and flavors are enhanced by a smoky element in this juicy, round red. Hints of earth and mineral add interest on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 7,000 cases imported."

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Selvapiana's 2015 Chianti Rufina is terrific. Dark red cherry, wild herbs, tobacco, cedar and spice notes are this attractive, midweight Sangiovese’s distinctive signatures. As always, the 2015 is lifted and gracious in feel." 

$15.95 750ml [301753] add to cart button

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Top Spanish Wines of 2018

#1 CLOS MOGADOR 2015

WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "This time there were two vintages of the top-of-the-range red to taste, as the 2014 is almost finished and the 2015 Clos Mogador will be released soon. In this warmer vintage, there is a little more Cariñena in the blend, with the final breakdown something like 45% Garnacha, 29% Cariñena, 16% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This had the same vinification and aging as the 2014: fermentation with indigenous yeasts and a 35- to 45-day maceration, followed by an élevage in 300-liter barrels and 2,000-liter foudres that lasted 18 months. 2015 is a rounder and easier year than 2014, and it feels a little riper, supple but with good freshness. It's clean and precise with nicely integrated oak. This was an easy vintage for the winery, and the wines are easy to understand and more approachable early on. 31,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2017."

Clos Mogador is named after the single vineyard that René Barbier started to cultivate in the 1970's in the now-famous wine village of Gratallops. The wines of Clos Mogador have become as famous as other mythical wines of the world such as Italy's Sassicaia and Bordeaux's Château Margaux. It has reached the cult status (and prices) as "un Grande Vino" on the world's stage.

One of the most interesting aspects of winemaking at Clos Mogador is the fact that René presses the grape using an olive press, which has the effect of only extracting half of the amount of juice that a typical wine press would, making the wine 50% more concentrated. Considering that Priorat wines are already highly concentrated, and that "normal" yields are absolutely microscopic (especially compared to other Spanish wine regions such as La Rioja), the wines of Clos Mogador are nearly elixirs. Robert Parker, the influential wine critic, was one of the first international critics to praise the wines of this stunning winery.

$89.95 750ml [377354] add to cart button

#2 CONTINO 2010 GRAN RESERVA

We were impressed upon tasting Contino and knew immediately this would be near the top of our "Best of 2018" for Spain. The nose exudes scents of bright sweet red fruits (strawberry and cherry) while containing secondary notes of oolong tea, balsa wood and dried orange peel-- very expressive! The palate balanced elegance with strength amidst layers of intensity. Black cherry and dark plum were uplifted by an amazing spice vein, well-integrated oak and dried fruits and pressed florals. The mid-palate and lengthy finish resonated with notes of red berries and strawberry tea. Pair with Spanish food (think lamb and pork, red peppers, pimento, garlic, saffron) or try a different approach: American south-west cuisine, barbecue or even roast game and hard cheeses. Jamón Ibérico? Of course. To be honest, it is so well-balanced we really enjoyed it solo when tasting for this newsletter though with the food traditions in Spain, who would want to pass up a Spanish meal? Not us! ¡Salud

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." 

$59.95 750ml [383634] add to cart button

#3 ALVARO PALACIOS 2016 GRATALLOPS

Our notes...The nose is complex and fascinating: anise, dark red fruits, earth, white pepper, incense, walnut, hibiscus. It was like each nosing brought another element to the surface, to have their moment under the sun before joining their compatriot scents in a rich, unified conglomeration. When tasted, red fruits, purple florals and silky tannins took the lead. Balsa wood, dried cherries, cranberry tea and mixed herbals provided support as polished acidity kept the wine brisk and lively with an upward focus- excelsior. While not a 'heavy' wine, the nose and flavor profiles certainly have plenty of gravitas. There are many extraneous spokes of flavor and scent that merge seamlessly to create a stronger, more enticing whole wine. We really enjoyed this one and believe it will evolve beautifully for many years to come. Dried red fruits, dark spices, forest floor flavors slowly recede in the finish.

$54.98 750ml [383025] add to cart button

#4 AALTO 2015 100% TEMPRANILLO

JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Aalto is a gorgeous wine, and even at the retail price of $50, is a value. Loaded with notions of blackberry and cassis fruits, vanilla, graphite, and high-class oak, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, has beautiful concentration, and ripe, polished tannin. It certainly has a modern slant, yet is balanced, has terrific purity, and a great finish. Give it a few years." 

$44.95 750ml [380691] add to cart button

#5 MAS QUE VINOS 2014 LAS MADRE GARNACHA TINTORERA

WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The first Garnacha Tintorera from the Más Que Vinos team, called 2014 La Garnacha de la Madre, fermented with indigenous yeast in cement vats where it matured for one year before it was bottled. La Madre (the mother) is the name of an estate, a cold place that makes the wines ripen slowly. They planted a plot there with material from old vines and they reckon the massale selection they have is a different to the rest of Garnacha Tintorera, and it certainly feels very different. There is no rusticity in the aromas, on the contrary it feels very refined and perfumed, floral even, with violet aromas that made me think of a Touriga Nacional; it is high-pitched, with spicy aromas akin to pink pepper, curry, sandal wood and Moorish spices. It also has contained alcohol and great freshness, because even if the acidity per se is not high, the pH is clearly lower and the sensation is super fresh. This is a real surprise. A great surprise. 6,000 bottles produced and filled in January 2016."

$36.95 750ml [379419] add to cart button

#6 CUNE 2010 GRAN RESERVA

#22 on Wine Spectator Top Wines of 2016

WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This generous red shows a traditional character, with leafy, dried herb, tea and spice notes framing dried cherry, licorice and leather flavors. Firm tannins and balsamic acidity impart structure, and this shows plenty of depth, with a juicy, spicy finish. Drink now through 2025. 600 cases imported." 

$29.95 750ml [382303] add to cart button

#7 PERINET 2015 MERIT RED

WINE & SPIRITS YEAR'S BEST PRIORAT & MONSTANT - "Notes of black tea take the lead in this blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 23% Syrah, the remainder Garnacha and Cariñena. On a second plane, the aromas and flavors of black fruit and spice add complexity. As it opens in the glass, touches of schist emerge, even as the wine remains centered on ripe fruit. It's dense and unctuous, very much in the style of Perinet wines." 

$24.95 750ml [383122add to cart button

#8 RAUL PEREZ 2017 ALBARINO ATALIER A CRUZ DAS ANIMAS

This Albariño shows the saline and bright, acid forward qualities of the grape when grown in Rias Baixas, but also the rich, satisfying textural elements from Raul's expressive winemaking. Highly recommended Albariño!

$21.98 750ml [383963] add to cart button

#9 CAPCANES 2016 MAS COLLET SELECCIO

JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS- "Bold, black fruit, balanced by generous, supple tannins, making this an easy red to enjoy. But it also has some real depth with notes of licorice and earth adding some complexity to the nose and the long finish. Drink now or hold."

Capcanes is a village hidden away in the Priorato hills inland from Tarragona is the source of many fine wines today but has a long wine growing history.

The viticulture roots date back to the 13th century. Prior to Phylloxera, at the turn of the 19th century, the valleys were very densely planted. After the devastation caused by this insect, many farmers were seduced by the Spanish Industrialization, left the countryside and moved to the big cities. From a former Capçanes population of 2500 people, presently there are 400 left. Only about 1/5th of the original vineyards were replanted, predominantly with Garnacha. Some of those vineyards, approaching 100 years in age, still exist although yields are low.

$14.95 750ml [379447] add to cart button

#10 TORRES 2014 ALTOS IBERICOS CRIANZA

The nose is loaded with forward, ripe red fruits, assorted red berries, strawberry and plum. Savory notes of black tea and spice mélange provide additional layers. In the mouth the red fruits continue with bright cherries taking the lead, bolstered by umami earthiness and spice, tea and balsa wood reflections. It is impeccably balanced and drinks like a wine at least twice its price. The finish is lengthy and reiterates the olfactory and gustatory delights we experienced-- fruits and spices, earth and umami, enwrapped in a lush, rich mouthfeel that slowly recedes like a cloud-free summer sunset over the Pacific Ocean… brilliant, memorable, rewarding.

$9.95 750ml [383160] add to cart button

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Top Southern Hemisphere Wines of 2018

#1 CASA LAPOSTOLLE 2014 CLOS APALTA, CHILE

#5 ON JAMES SUCKLING TOP WINES OF 2017

JAMES SUCKLING 100 POINTS - "An extremely aromatic and focused Clos Apalta with blackberry, blueberry, floral and hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. Focused and tight. Precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 

$115.00 750ml [350249] add to cart button

#2 ELDERTON 2014 SHIRAZ "COMMAND", AUSTRALIA

WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "From vines planted in 1894, the 2014 Command Single Vineyard Shiraz aged in a combination of French and American oak (80% new). Aromas of smoky campfire and vanilla lead the way, followed by expressive raspberry fruit. It's full-bodied and lush across the palate, creamy in texture, impressive in its concentration and balanced by a crisp, fruit-driven finish. Quintessential Barossa Shiraz."

$89.95 750ml [379971] add to cart button

#3 BURN COTTAGE 2015 PINOT NOIR, NEW ZEALAND

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The medium to full-bodied 2015 Burn Cottage Vineyard Pinot Noir offers up aromas of roses, ripe cherries, crushed stone and subtle hints of pencil shavings. Despite 31% whole clusters and 19% new oak, neither is readily apparent on the nose at this stage. On the palate, there's a sense of restrained fruit coupled with wiry, herbal, tea-like nuances that add complexity and texture, extending through a long, silky finish. This remarkable property remains at the forefront of Central Otago Pinot Noir producers."

$59.95 750ml [382553] add to cart button

#4 MONTES 2015 PURPLE ANGEL

JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS - "This is perhaps the greatest Purple Angel ever. Full body, tight and compressed with an amazing texture and density. Fantastic fine tannins that are silky and polished. I love the energy and intensity. A blend of 92% carmenere and 8% petit verdot. One for the cellar but I can't wait to drink it again."

$59.95 750ml [377131] add to cart button

#5 SAVAGE 2016 "FOLLOW THE LINE" CINSAULT BLEND, SOUTH AFRICA

MASTERS OF WINE 95+ POINTS - "The 2016 vintage looks set to impress critics yet again. It sings a lofty melodic chorus the moment the cork is pulled. The riper, dryer vintage plays to the strengths of these red varieties with a seductive perfumed nose of parma violets, sweet cherry blossom, bathroom soaps, rose petals and potpourri sweet spice. Its brilliance lies in the synergy created marrying the vibrant marzipan laden Cinsault with the sappy, mineral, red fruited Grenache, leaving the Syrah to lend a tantalizing depth of structure and peppery savoriness. The palate is seamless, harmonious and elegant with sweet boiled raspberry bonbons, red currant herbal tea infusions, ripe cranberries, and a crunchy, vibrant, strawberry-fruited finale. Sweet, silky, fleshy tannins linger on a creamy, opulent, energetic finish. Perhaps less of the exotic, crunchy hubris of the 2015, but the 2016 is a far more self assured, confident wine that looks set to once and for all, cement its global icon status as one of the truly great fine wines to follow, year in, year out. Drink now to 2030+"

$39.95 750ml [378950] add to cart button

#6 CATENA 2014 ALTA MALBEC, ARGENTINA

JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "Aromas of graphite and dark fruit with hints of spice and tea bag. Mushroom too. Full body, yet refined and beautifully textured. Love the low oak impression. Made in mostly concrete eggs. Fantastic. Drink now." 

$36.95 750ml [377302] add to cart button

#7 CASA LAPOSTOLLE 2015 "CUVEE ALEXANDRE" APALTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON BLACK LABEL, CHILE

WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Cuvée Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon was produced with a field blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc planted in 1920 in Apalta. It's a classical expression from Colchagua, with some fennel notes and abundant but fine-grained tannins and good length."

JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A very complex cabernet with violet, blackcurrant and lavender character. Some mint. Full body, firm and velvety tannins and a cedar and hazelnut finish. Made from biodynamically grown grapes."

$17.95 750ml [378159] add to cart button New Vintage!

#8 LANGMEIL 2015 "HANGIN' SNAKES" SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER, AUSTRALIA

WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Composed of 96% Shiraz and 4% Viognier, the 2015 Shiraz / Viognier Hangin' Snakes displays a deep garnet-purple color and a nose of fresh black currants and black cherries with hints of violets, Provence herbs, cloves and cinnamon stick. The black fruit and spices fill the medium-bodied palate, supported by soft, approachable tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and perfumed."

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Vivid purple. Spice-tinged blue fruits and violet on the fragrant nose. Sweet and seamless in texture, offering juicy boysenberry and cherry flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Lingers with very good tenacity and just a hint of dusty tannins that add final grip." 

$16.95 750ml [377499] add to cart button

#9 HEY MALBEC 2017, ARGENTINA

WINE ADVOCATE 91+ POINTS - "The young and fresh 2017 Hey Malbec! mixes grapes from young vines in the Valle de Uco with those from older ones in Luján de Cuyo. It fermented with some full clusters in concrete vats and used barriques, and most of the wine was kept in concrete with just a small percentage in oak. This has an explosive nose, with great maturity, moderate acidity and superb natural balance. It's very clean, focused and fruit-driven. It seems simple, but t'is a lot more complex and has more depth than you think. There are flowers, berries, herbs and spices, with a juicy, harmonious palate. What an entry-level Malbec should deliver."

$16.95 750ml [378987] add to cart button

#10 MOUNT RILEY 2017 LIMITED RELEASE SAUVIGNON BLANC, NEW ZEALAND

WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "More complex and less tropical than the regular bottling, the 2017 Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc boasts aromas of grapefruit and cut grass. Flavors range from melon and fig back to grapefruit, which lingers on the finish. Fruit sourcing is Wairau (70%) and Awatere (30%)." 

$14.95 750ml [383226] add to cart button

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Top German Wines of 2018

#1 FALKENSTEIN 2017 NIEDERMENNIGER HERRENBERG RIESLING KABINETT TROCKEN (DRY)

The family winemaking team headed by Erich Weber and his sons at Hofgut Falkenstein are making some of the most bone-dry, thrilling Rieslings we can recall and the 2017s from Falkenstein are among Germany’s brightest.

The 2017 vintage marked Germany’s smallest harvest in 50 years, but what wines that did emerge are extraordinary. The wines have a ripe acidity from low yields, coming from a late harvest. Falkenstein’s 2017 Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett Trocken is dry, electric, deep, thoroughly mineral and beautifully textured.

Located in the Saar, a cooler sub-region of the Mosel, the Webers have been making wine at the estate since the mid-eighties. Their non-interventionist style of winemaking calls for no pesticides or herbicides, thus enabling a system of biodiversity to flourish in their soils of grey slate and quartz. In addition, the wines are bottled with low sulphur.

Falkenstein’s wines continue to gain in popularity (by customers and the press alike)… plus they sell for very reasonable prices. We expect to see less of their wines available in the future. As for now, the time is right to dive in.

MOSEL FINE WINES 92 POINTS - "The 2017er Niedermenniger Herrenberg Kabinett Trocken AP 01 (known internally as the "Mutter Anna, Meyer Sydney" cask) comes from 60- to 70-yearold vines. This develops a superbly elegant nose of apricot blossom, apple, pear and slate. The wine is still marked by bitter lemon zest on the palate but the finish is sublimely airy and elegantly balanced. This is again a great success with superb finesse and precise." 

$19.98 750ml [374421] add to cart button

#2 SCHAFER-FROHLICH 2017 RIESLING BOCKERNAUER FELSENECK GROSSES GEWACHS "GG"

JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "Deep and dark in the nose, but blessed with ravishing, tart stone-fruit character on the palate that is almost perfectly balanced by the intense mineral acidity. Enormously long and surprisingly charming finish for a Schafer-Frohlich wine. Huge aging potential. Drink or hold. Stuart Pigott." 

$76.98 750ml [372075] add to cart button

#3 RAUMLAND NV SPARKLING BLANC DE BLANCS "ALCOHOL FREE"

Non-Alcoholic? From one of the most highly-regarded sparkling wine houses in Germany. This may be our first German beverage ever to make our Top Wines list that's not even wine. It is so delicious though, we had to include it. But hey! If it's served at top Michelin-starred restaurant, The French Laundry, then why not serve at the family table? Made primarily of the Bacchus grape, all the aromatics  flavors persist without pasteurizing, only preservation is done by filtering and carbonation. This gentle grape process makes it alcohol-free. The sparkling juice boasts a heady bouquet of elderflower, peach, and lemon, with a fresh gentle mousse. It is bright and fresh with a long finish. An excellent aperitif and versatile with light to medium flavored dishes, creamy pasta, pork and poultry. Even the hardcore Champagne nerd will go ga-ga for this guilt-free fizz.

$19.98 750ml [372078] Sorry but this wine won't be available until the end of December!

#4 DONNHOFF 2017 RIESLING HERMANNSOHLE GROSSES GEWACHS

JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "This defines high elegance. Everything you look for in a dry white wine with very fine aromas of white and yellow peaches, but also a thousand wild herbs and flowers. Enormous delicacy at the very long finish. From organically grown grapes. Fair'n Green certification. Drink or hold."

$88.98 750ml [304565] SOLD OUT

#5 SCHLOSS SCHONBORN 2001 RIESLING BERG SCHLOSSBERG SPATLESE DRY

Golden yellow. Ripe apricot, herbs and nutmeg on the nose. Rich peachy fruit is kept in check by understated yet present acidity. Richer in depth and finishes dry with good length.

$29.98 750ml [322890] add to cart button

#6 ZIEREISEN 2016 WEISSER BURGUNDER (PINOT BLANC) DRY

One of the best Pinot Blancs in the store, Period! Lovely clear and with fine, ripe and concentrated fruit aromas intertwined with mineral flavors on the nose, the 2016 Weisser Burgunder (Pinot Blanc) is a serious and terroir-driven wine with a very good structure and mineral persistency. Beautiful texture!

$17.98 750ml [342376] add to cart button

#7 LIESL 2015 SPATBURGUNDER PINOT NOIR

Liesl's red is 100% hand-harvested Pinot Noir from small estate-owned plots, macerated in stainless steel and matured briefly in neutral oak. Created to enjoy with foods like charcuterie, aged cheeses, and especially sausage and salumi, this Pinot envelopes the tongue with black cherry fruit, piquant clove, savory earth and forest berries plus a heap of vinous history and authenticity, too.

$12.95 750ml [375498] add to cart button

#8 HEXAMER 2017 RIESLING PORPHYR FEINHERB (OFF-DRY)

Clear and fresh on the nose, this offers apple, lime and nettle aromas on the nose. Light, crisp and piquant on the palate, with a stunning good length and juicy intensity, this is a very aromatic and persistent Sauvignon of excellent quality. The finish is pure and grippy, and reveals a simulating grip and purity.

$17.98 750ml [328023] add to cart button

#9 VON WINNING 2017 SAUVIGNON BLANC

Clear and fresh on the nose, this offers apple, lime and nettle aromas on the nose. Light, crisp and piquant on the palate, with a stunning good length and juicy intensity, this is a very aromatic and persistent Sauvignon of excellent quality. The finish is pure and grippy, and reveals a simulating grip and purity.

$17.98 750ml [322588] add to cart button

#10 HOFGUT FALKENSTEIN 2017 RIESLING NIEDERMENINGER HERRENBERG SPATLESE FEINHERB #3

MOSEL FINE WINES 92+ POINTS - "The Estate made four different bottlings of Niedermennig Herrenberg Spätlese Feinherb in 2017. The one carrying the AP 04 (internally known as “Onkel Peter”) is made from a parcel in the south-facing Zuckerberg sector still planted with un-grafted vines and was fermented to 27 g/l of residual sugar. This wine proves still on the reductive side and only gradually reveals its potential as delicately smooth scents of pear, herbs, tobacco and spices emerge from the glass. The wine proves delicately intense on the palate and leaves a gorgeous feel in the superbly smooth finish. 2022-2037"

$22.98 750ml [311396] SOLD OUT

Top Austrian Wines of 2018

SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG 2016 RIESLING KAMPTAL SCHLOSSKELLEREI (TROCKEN, DRY)

WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Peach and grapefruit flavors hold court in this focused white, picking up accents of floral, apple and mineral. Intense and long, with a vibrant aftertaste echoing the complex flavors. Silky texture. Drink now through 2025. 650 cases imported."

$14.98 750ml [362338] add to cart button

HOFER 2015 SAINT LAURENT DRY RED

We were wowed by our second Top Austrian wine, made of the variety St. Laurent, a black grape long thought related to Pinot Noir. Made by family biodynamic producer H. & M. Hofer, the wine is Austrian, but feels entirely Burgundian on the palate. Captivating scents of ripe red and black cherries, forest floor and earth, make for an inviting nose. More aromatic black cherry resides on the palate, smooth, ripe but still beautifully fresh. The wine is rounded out by good structure and bright acidity to provide a backdrop for the precisely drawn, gloriously pure fruit. It's elegant and authentic.

Importer Terry Thiese: As long as he keeps having it, I'm a keep selling it, cuz the wine is beautiful and keeps getting better. It's become Burgundian and entirely delicious, plummy and porcini-ish, and I guarantee you it's a "WTF is this?" kind of wine.

$19.98 750ml [322456] add to cart button

WEINGUT MULLER 2017 GRUNER VELTLINER

In the middle of the picturesque wine village of Krustetten in southern Kremstal, the Muller family winery make a delightful, dry Gruner Veltliner our staff is currently loving. Harvest time for this particular Gruner was in the beginning of October. Only fully and physiological ripened grapes were allowed to be harvested and transported to the cellar. Fermentation was completed in stainless steel tank with temperature-controlled environment. Light green-yellow in the glass, the wine opens up with a delicate spice on the nose, with a grassy and a fine apple fragrance. Bright acidity and lively peppery spice make this is a light, dry and refreshing Gruner Veltliner! 

From Kremstal. Light green-yellow in the glass, opens up with a delicate spice in the nose and fine apple nuances. Superb fruit on the palate. A light and refreshing Veltliner, ideal for warm summer days! The Muller family estate is located in the southern Krems valley and is managed by Stefan and Leopold Muller. 

Harvest time for this particular ‘Gruner Veltliner‘ was in the beginning of October. Only fully and physiological ripened grapes were allowed to be harvested and transported to the cellar. The fermentation was completed in stainless steel tank with temperature-controlled environment.

$12.98 750ml [302987] add to cart button

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Top Other Imported Wines of 2018

#1 FOUNDI ESTATE 2011 XINOMAVRO, NAOUSSA, GREECE

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2011 Estate is all Xinomavro aged for 12 months in a 60/40 mixture of used and new French oak. It comes in at 12.5% alcohol. This, the current submission, is another beauty from this winery and a fine bargain. The sensibilities here always include good structure and fruit, The wines never lack for power or acidity, but they wind up in balance with time...this is suberb, showing fine depth ... mid-palate finesse, a dry finish and a serious backbone...the juicy finish is impressive for its energy and flavor."

$23.95 750ml [372382] add to cart button

#2 KARAMOLEGOS 2016 ASSYRTIKO #34 ANCESTRAL VINES, SANTORINI, GREECE

Decanter 2018 World Wine Awards 98 points and Platinum - Best in Show. Pale green-gold in colour,with finely composed and settled aromas in which the quiet, understated sour-green fruit of the Assyrtico variety mingles with the distinctive crushed or powdered yet faintly burnt stone scents of Santorini's fine tephra soils. On the palate, this is an unusually broad, structured, almost thick-textured Assyrtico with the same profoundly satisfying combination of sour-green fruit and 'mineral' wealth; the wine has a notably saline edge, too. An outstanding summary of this unique terroir. 2018-2022.

$29.95 750ml [372385] add to cart button

#3 LA FERME ROUGE 2017 LE GRIS DRY ROSE, AOC ZAER, MOROCCO

La Ferme Rouge was founded as a vineyard and olive orchard in 1908. The winery was started in 1933. Located in the Zaer region of Morocco, about 45 kilometers from the Atlantic ocean and at an elevation of 450 meters, the vineyards benefit from cool ocean breezes. Grapes are hand-picked, pressed gently and fermented in temperature-regulated concrete vats.

The 2015 Le Gris is composed of 100% Cinsault. This rose has a lovely pale pink color and aromas of fresh berries on the nose. On the palate rich red berry and peach flavors lead to a clean dry finish.

$14.95 750ml [372380] add to cart button

#4 IXSIR 2013 ALTITUDES RED, BATTROUN DISTRICT, LEBANNON

This red, sourced from high altitude vineyards in Lebanon's Batroun district, is composed of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon; 26% Caladoc (a cross of Malbec and Grenache); 22% Syrah and 17% Tempranillo.  Decanter magazine describes Ixsir's Altitudes Rouge as: "...a beautifully integrated wine made with the help of Chateau Angelus' Hubert de Bouard.  Lifted cassis, capsicum, herbs and violets meld with silky tannins and fresh acidity."

$11.95 750ml [302556] add to cart button

#5 MILOS 2015 PLAVAC MALI, PELJESAC, CROATIA

The 2015 Plavac has a very dark color. On the nose you find aromas of boysenberries with a hint of fine herbs. On the palate this red has good fruit without a hint of jamminess. The finish is long and smooth.

The Milos(Mee-loash)family has farmed and lived on their land near the village of Ston for over 500 years. Their vineyards are located on steep hillsides leading down to the Adriatic Sea. The Plavac Mali (a relative of Zinfandel) vines are head pruned and organically farmed. Fermentation (only the native yeasts are used) takes place in open-topped stainless steel to start and then finishes in large Slavonian oak barrels, never new. The wine is aged first in the barrels then in the bottle until its ready to be released. 

$21.95 750ml [362382] add to cart button

#6 CORONICA 2017 MALVASIA (DRY), CROATIA

Moreno Coronica, whose family has lived in the area for 600 years, founded his winery in 1992 after the fall of communist Yugoslavia. Located about an hour's drive south of Trieste, Italy, Moreno has 75 acres of vineyards planted in "Terra Rossa" soil. He is well known for his crisp dry white made from Malvasia Istarka. This delicious white was fermented and aged in stainless steel. On the nose you find aromas of citrus and sea shells; in the mouth the wine is elegant, flavorful and deliciously dry.

Moreno Coronica's Dry Malvasia Istarska is considered a bench mark example of this indigenous variety. This is an unbeatable white with fresh grilled shellfish doused in Istrian olive oil. Enjoyed over the course of a few days it blossoms, becoming fuller, softer and more candied aromatically.

$19.95 750ml [362381] add to cart button

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Top Sake of 2018

HAKKAISAN SNOW AGED 3 YEARS 720ML YUKIMURO JUNMAI GINJO SAKEHAKKAISAN SNOW AGED 3 YEARS YUKIMURO JUNMAI GINJO SAKE

Though most Sake is meant to be imbibed young, Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo Genshu sake was carefully aged for three years alongside a massive snow bank stored in an insulated room, known as the “Yukimuro”. Sake is delicate and even the slightest vibration or change in the environment can trigger deterioration. This method of storing perishables at low temperatures, using the abundant snow provided by nature, has been used traditionally in the snowy region of Uonuma, Japan for centuries. From the cold of the snow alone, the temperature is naturally kept stable at 3 degrees Celsius. No electricity is used for Yukimuro storage. The natural cold air coming off of the snow alone is what does the chilling. This Sake is also undiluted (genshu). After three years, the taste of becomes full-bodied, rich, round-textured and very smooth. As 50% of the rice grain is polished away, this is technically a Daiginjo, (that is, a higher grade of Sake) though Hakkaisan labels this as Ginjo. That is because they hold themselves to a higher standard. Serve well-chilled.

Alcohol 17.0%, sake meter value -1.0, acidity 1.5, amino acid 1.3, koji rice used Yamadanishiki brewing rice used Gohyakumangoku , Yukinosei
rice-polishing ratio 50%, yeast Kyokai No. 1001 M310

$54.98 750ml [365584] add to cart button

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Top Spirits of 2018

THE GLENGOYNE WAY - "Six guiding principles keep us true to our past, true to our taste. To change just one element would be to alter the bold, complex flavors of Glengoyne."

Unpeated (air-dried barley)
Patience (“slowest stills in Scotland”)
Oak Casks (Sherry Cask)
Maturation (slow, measured aging with stone walls, earthen floors of warehouse, stacked no more than 3 high)
• Natural Color (no additives!)
Tradition - “Our progress is measured not in years or decades - but in centuries.”

"We stay true to the spirit of Glengoyne: 100% family-owned. 100% Scottish. And 100% free to do things our way." - Leonard Russell, Managing Director

The Glengoyne WayGLENGOYNE 10 YEAR SCOTCH

Fresh green apples, toffee and a hint of nuttiness. This is the taste of distilling slower than anyone else in Scotland, of barley we dry by air – never peat – and of hand-selected sherry casks crafted from European and American oak. 

Sale $25.99 Normally $44.99 750ml [111490] add to cart button

GLENGOYNE 21 YEAR SCOTCH

Christmas cake, honey, and rich fruit – with a long cinnamon finish. Matured exclusively in hand-selected sherry casks for 21 years. Perfect after dinner or, frankly, anytime.

Sale $125.99 Normally $169.99 750ml [101906] SOLD OUT

GLENGOYNE 25 YEAR SCOTCH

Elegant spice, treacle toffee, rich sherry oak – with an endlessly complex finish. Matured exclusively in hand-selected sherry casks for a character-building quarter-century.

Sale $289.99 Normally $399.99 750ml [107503] SOLD OUT

FOURSQUARE SINGLE BLENDED D-2005 750 12YR 118PFFOURSQUARE SINGLE BLENDED RUM D-2005 BARBADOS

Foursquare 2005 has become the first rum brand in history to win the Supreme Champion award at the International Spirits Challenge. The Supreme Champion award was presented to representatives of R.L. Seale & Co, owners of Foursquare Rum Distillery at the 2018 ISC Awards Dinner on 12 July at The Gibson Hall, London. Foursquare Rum Distillery produces its own range of rums which won three gold medals and two trophies at this year's ISC, as well as the overall Supreme Champion award. The Awards Dinner was attended by representatives of the brands which entered the competition, and the judges from every panel across the ISC as well as industry leaders in every category. Now in its 23rd year, the ISC receives more than 1,500 entries from more than 70 countries making it one of the biggest tasting awards in the world. Pieter de Bod, KWV master distiller, said - "KWV has been entering the International Spirits Challenge since 1997 as we regard it as one of the most prestigious competitions of its type."

"The rigorous judging process is second to none and it is a remarkable achievement to garner ISC trophies and medals as this signals not only supreme quality but also consistent dedication to the craft of creating world-class spirits." - Shay Waterworth, Drinks International

Sale $69.99 Normally $74.99 750ml [113625] add to cart button

Skip to the end of the images gallery Skip to the beginning of the images gallery ARETTE GRAN CLASE PRIV BAR EXTRA ANEJO 750ML 100PF HI TIME BARREL 52 MONTHS D-2014 BOURBON BARREL

TEQUILA ARETTE GRAN CLASE EXTRA AÑEJO "HI-TIME" BARREL

Extra Anejo "Hi-Time Barrel"; aged 52 months in used Bourbon barrel, distilled in 2014, toasting level medium. Limited.

Arete was a famous horse that won the gold medal in the 1948 London Olympics in Equestrian Jumping. Ridden by General Humberto Mariles, together they became the only double gold medal winners in this discipline. Like Arete, Arette is crafted with passion and strength to make for a premium, podium-worthy Tequila.

Sale $114.99 Normally $149.99 750ml [163451] add to cart button

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