- Item #: i_311367Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 100WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "Truly great stuff, this wine performed at a three-digit level both in the horizontal tasting of 2005s in Baltimore, as well as in Montreal at this mini-vertical. This sensational, opaque, bluish/purple wine offers up notes of vanillin, spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, plus a touch of licorice. The wine hits the palate with a thunderous cascade of ripe, rich, concentrated fruit. It is full-bodied, multidimensional and layered. The tannins are beautifully integrated but still present, and the wood, acidity, alcohol, etc., are all beautifully assimilated in this magnificent, majestic vintage of Angelus. It can be drunk now, but it is still an adolescent and that suggests it has at least another 25-35 years of longevity."
- Item #: i_345082Bottle Size: 750MLeROBERT PARKER 91-93 POINTS: "The Château Angelus 2014, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot was picked between 2 and 22 October over a 3-week period. It has a surprisingly bashful nose at first, not one that comes racing out of the blocks to greet you. But there is plenty of fruit here, beautifully defined, a little more introverted than usual possibly due to the higher percentage of Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, linear in style with a saline note complementing that lattice of black fruit. It gently builds towards the spicy, slightly compact finish but never fully let’s go, the Cabernet Franc lending a slight savory edge on the aftertaste. This will probably need three of four years in bottle as this is slightly harder compared to recent vintages with more backbone. Yet it still constitutes an admirable Saint Emilion even if it does not ignite the same pyrotechnics as say, Pavie or Ausone."
WINE SPECTATOR 93-96 POINTS: "Features base notes of bittersweet ganache and smoldering tobacco, with dark plum, currant and fig fruit flavors. Despite the charcoal thread, this is lush and integrated, showing no aggressive edges at all. The tobacco accent chimes in at the end for added effect." –JM
VINOUSMEDIA 93-96 POINTS: "The 2014 Angélus, equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, boasts superb depth and textural richness. Firm tannins give the 2014 its explosive energy and overall tension. Mocha, espresso, new leather, French oak and licorice gradually open up in the glass, but with some reluctance. The 2014 will need quite a bit of time to find its more finessed side, but its there."
- Item #: i_345941Bottle Size: 750mlFrom the highly regarded winemaker from Hartwell, Realm, Kata and Fait Main (Teeter Totter) comes an absurd value. The inaugural release of the Arbalest is a project involving winemaker Benoit Touquette and importer/distributor Kimberly Jones. Our French and California wine buyers sampled this wine together last week and absolutely loved it. After tasting it, we knew we had to bring it into the store and quickly snapped up every single bottle that was available. This lush and juicy full-bodied wine boasts an abundance of dark fruit flavors and incredible texture with silky smooth tannins.
The idea of Arbalest was born when Benoit and Kimberly were traveling in France. They tasted a lot of wine in Bordeaux and both felt they could improve the quality of reasonably priced wine from the region. Benoit drew on his relationships in Bordeaux and found a source for high quality grapes. Benoit then did what he does best. He made this wine in his style consistent with his other wines, but kept the price amazingly low.
Benoit was born in Bordeaux where he was surrounded by family and friends in the wine business. He was amazed at the passion people had for wine and soon felt it himself. He graduated from Bordeaux University with a Master’s Degree in Oenology and learned from one of Bordeaux's greatest, Michel Rolland. After some time, Benoit decided it was time for a new challenge and decided to go to Napa. There he worked with another legendary winemaker, Andy Erickson, whose resume includes such iconic estates as Dalla Valle, Screaming Eagle and Spottswoode.
The mentorship of Michel Rolland and Andy Erickson was transformative for Benoit. He has learned well and clearly knows how to make delicious wines. In the spirit of full disclosure, we have to admit this wine possesses the character of Touquette’s full-bodied Napa reds. The quality of the perfectly ripened fruit flavors and creamy texture in this Bordeaux blend made us feel like we were enjoying a much higher priced wine. It does have a touch of minerality you might encounter in Bordeaux, but this is a dead ringer for a high quality Napa wine.
Enjoy the inaugural release of this limited production wine while you can.
Arbalest displays aromas of blue florals, blackberry, boysenberry and plum. On the palate, this wine is full-bodied with well- integrated tannins and flavors mirroring the nose. Fresh dark fruit including blueberry and creme de cassis are followed by beautiful hints of umami on the mid palate. The finish is seamless and persistent. Drink now through 2022.
- Item #: i_350182Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 100WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "The 2005 Ausone is a perfect wine of the vintage. It displays crushed rock, spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning purity and richness, and perfect harmony among all of its component parts (acidity, tannin, wood, alcohol and extract). Still youthful, but oh, so promising, this wine should be set aside for another decade and drunk over the following 50-75 years. Drink 2025-2100."
- Item #: i_399905Bottle Size: 750MLeROBERT PARKER 90 POINTS: "The 2013 Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse) offers impressive intensity given the growing season with crisp and pure dark cherries, raspberry coulis and subtle earthy bordering upon loamy scents. The oak here is nicely enmeshed and attests some clever winemaking in this challenging season. The palate is well balanced with a little chewiness on the entry. There is admirable weight here, even if I discerned more finesse and precision on the 2013 Pavie-Macquin. Still, this constitutes a sterling effort and it should give 10 to 15 years of pleasure, possibly longer."
- Item #: i_333594Bottle Size: 750MLORGANIC CERTIFIED
The good-natured proprietor of the Château de Bellevue, André Chatenoud, seems more at home in his cellars than anywhere else. Though he and his family have owned the property since 1971, the history of the château dates back to at least the 18th Century. One needs only to explore the incredible limestone caves and see the rich range of old graffiti engravings to be impressed: from harvest workers of the 1700s to American G.I.’s of the 1940s. The terroir of Château de Bellevue is characterized by exceptional quality – only surprising because the great, low prices here at Bellevue stand to shift the perceptions of what good Bordeaux should cost.
When I have some in my glass, I can't help thinking of Bellevu'’s subterranean, chalk-walled cellar. I taste it in the wine a chalky tannin and sort of a dusty coating on the wild berry fruit. Think about it gorgeous tannin with fruit and flesh to match. Kermit Lynch
- Item #: i_351025Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100ROBERT PARKER 100 POINTS - "Made up of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the opaque bluish/purple 2005 from Bellevue-Mondotte offers amazing chocolate espresso notes along with blueberry and blackberry liqueur, some incense and a hint of flowers. Full-bodied and staggeringly concentrated, this blockbuster wine (in a blockbuster vintage) is unreal. Talk about a wine that is beyond belief -- this is a great achievement from Chantal and Gérard Perse. Drink it over the next 25-30 years. Sadly, there were only 340 or so cases produced."
- Item #: i_399920Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 95#55 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "This brims with ripe, juicy plum, blackberry and açaí berry flavors, studded with licorice and fruitcake notes and backed by a nicely integrated apple wood detail through the finish. Pumps a lot of fruit out but does so energetically. Best from 2020 through 2035."
- Item #: i_333506Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Wine Spectator: 93eROBERT PARKER 91 POINTS: "Probably the flagship estate of visionary Stephan von Neipperg, the 2011 Canon La Gaffeliere is less exotic and open-knit than usual, but it exhibits beautiful notes of black currants, licorice, camphor and forest floor. A burgeoning complexity as well as medium to full body and well-integrated wood are found in this pure beauty. Drink it over the next 10-12 years."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS: "Offers a deliciously mouthwatering range of red currant, damson plum, blackberry and loganberry fruit, spiced with hints of black tea and cinnamon and backed by a long, briary, fine-grained finish. A sleek, refined wine that should age well. Best from 2016 through 2028."
- Item #: i_333177Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Wonderfully ripe and decadent, with tobacco, meat and ripe berry aromas, with hints of currants. Full-bodied, and very velvety, with unctuous fruit flavors. Long and exotic aftertaste. Terrific wine. Best after 2010."
- Item #: i_311394Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 98+ROBERT PARKER 98+ POINTS - "A masterpiece in the making, proprietor Alain Vauthier's 2009 Ausone boasts a dense purple color along with notes of powdered chalk, crushed rocks and wild blue, red and black fruits. Extravagantly rich with great minerality, precision and freshness as well as a voluptuous texture (unusual for a baby Ausone), this is an extraordinary wine. Sadly, there are fewer than 1,200 cases ... for the world. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060+"
- Item #: i_351255Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91-93Wine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS: "This is alluring, with a well-melded mix of plum sauce, melted licorice and raspberry coulis flavors, carried by polished tannins and flowing through a graphite-edged finish. Very solid, with latent grip. Should cellar well. Best from 2017 through 2023."
- Item #: i_351420Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Wine Enthusiast: 95 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "As usual, the 2005 Branaire-Ducru is one of the more distinctive wines of St.-Julien. Proprietor Patrick Maroteaux has turned out another classic. While not as opulent or fleshy as the 2003, and it remains to be seen if it will eclipse the 2000, the 2005 is a big, structured, intensely rich effort with raspberry, blueberry, and spring flower garden characteristics, stunning purity, full-bodied power, and good underlying acidity as well as harmony. The hard tannins suggest 8-9 years of cellaring will be beneficial; it should last for three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+."
- Item #: i_350728Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "This cuts a wide swath, with mouthwatering tobacco and warm ganache notes leading the way, followed by a wave of fig, blackberry and black currant preserves. Shows remarkable definition already, even though the structure is strident. Tempting now, but just put this in the back of the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035."
- Item #: i_346026Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93-95Wine Spectator: 96James Suckling: 96-97#2 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Still youthfully tight and backward, with a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper holding sway for now, but the core of cassis, blackberry and plum fruit waits in reserve, showing prodigious depth. When the toast and fruit melds, the backdrop of tobacco, singed iron and chalky minerality will get a turn to show. There's a lot here. Built for the cellar. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2025 through 2040."
ROBERTPARKER 93-95 POINTS - "The 2015 Canon la Gaffeliere is a blend of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon picked between 19 September and 6 October at 37 hl/ha and matured in 55% new oak barrels. It has another "cool" bouquet, a common thread among Comte Stephan Von Neipperg's 2015s - very restrained at first, nicely focused and gradually revealing undergrowth and even a subtle charcoal scent (probably from the Cabernet Sauvignon). The palate is medium-bodied with black fruit laced with graphite and cedar, the Cabernet brothers really defining the character of this Saint Emilion and edging it towards say, more Figeac in style. This is a fascinating 2015, more cerebral than previous vintages that I have tasted over the years."
VINOUSMEDIA 95-97 POINTS - "The 2015 Canon La Gaffelière is seriously impressive. Like all of Stephan von Neipperg's wines in this vintage, the Canon La Gaffelière is endowed with considerable richness and a sense of vertical structure. The significant presence of Cabernet Franc gives the wine striking aromatic lift, which it very much needs. Mocha, red cherry jam and sweet floral notes give the 2015 its soaring perfume. This exceptionally beautiful Saint-Émilion is going to need time to fully come together, but it is super-impressive, even in the early going. The 2015 has been nothing short of magnificent on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. The presence of Cabernet Franc is felt in the wine's strong aromatic signature." -- Antonio Galloni
JAMES SUCKLING 96-97 POINTS - "Very tight yet shows wonderful cream and lemon rind texture. Full and powerful with walnut and spice character. Linear and focused. 55% merlot, 37% cabernet franc and 8% cabernet sauvignon."
- Item #: i_351550Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMIC, ORGANIC
Bright and red color. The nose is deep with intense aromas of cherries that evolve toward floral notes. The palate is fresh and well-balanced. It is dominated by fruit notes of cherries. Long and aromatic finish.
- Item #: i_350590Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER 98 POINTS: "Dense ruby/purple, with notes of crushed rock, blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with some licorice and chocolate, this full-bodied, massive wine from proprietor Philippe Cuvelier coincides with the resurrection of this premier grand cru classé in St.-Emilion. As the wine sits in the glass, notes of espresso roast and chocolate emerge. This full-bodied classic should continue to drink well for another 25 years. This is a killer effort."
- Item #: i_346028Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92-94James Suckling: 97-98ROBERTPARKER.COM 92-94 POINTS: "The 2015 Cos d'Estournel is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23.5% Merlot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc that was picked between 17 September and 5 October at 44 hl/ha. It is being matured in 65% new oak, less than in recent years due to the tannin (IPT is 71). Deeper in color than the 2015 Pagodes, it has a very pure bouquet with tightly knitted blackberry, blueberry and violet scents, perhaps just a little Margaux-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity and harmonious in the mouth. What it does not quite deliver is the complexity of a top-tier Cos d'Estournel or the peacock's tail of flavors on the finish, which feels linear and conservative compared to its peers in more southerly appellations. You feel as if the vintage put a tight leash on this Saint Estèphe grandee. There is pedigree in this Grand Vin for sure and it is bound to give up to 20 years of pleasure."
VINOUSMEDIA 92-95 POINTS: A wine of cool sophistication and polish, the 2015 Cos d'Estournel is endowed with striking length and overall balance. Silky tannins support a core of graphite, smoke, licorice, incense, tar and dark spice. The 2015 is perhaps not as aromatically nuanced or expressive as in the very best years (although that may develop in time), but it offers terrific persistence through to the finish. Finesse and nuance are the key signatures in the 2015 Cos. Only 39% of the crop went into the Grand Vin, as opposed to the more typical 50% or so." -- Antonio Galloni
JAMES SUCKLING 97-98 POINTS: "This shows what great selection did in the northern Mêdoc. Big surprise. Really excellent. Full body, chewy and rich tannins and loads of ripe fruit. Black currants, blueberries. It has hot and ripe tannins yet cool fruit."
- Item #: i_346029Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92-94James Suckling: 93ROBERTPARKER.COM 92-94 POINTS: "The 2015 Côte de Baleau has a refined and intense bouquet with precise black and red fruit, seamlessly integrated oak and a sense of terroir coming through. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well-judged acidity and plenty of finesse and poise towards the finish. This is such a pretty Saint Emilion that you almost overlook its length and persistence. It is one of the best wines that I have tasted from the estate."
VINOUSMEDIA 93 POINTS: "Just as it was en primeur, the 2015 Côte de Baleau is pure class. Silky tannins, lifted aromatics and soft, caressing fruit meld together to inform a super-polished, elegant Saint-Émilion that speaks with a hushed, sensual voice. Readers who appreciate the more restrained side of Bordeaux will find much to admire." -- Antonio Galloni
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS: "Wonderful aromas of blueberries, flowers and blackberries follow through to a full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious finish. So attractive already. The quality of the tannins are wonderful. Best in 2015."
- Item #: i_334210Bottle Size: 750MLDeep purple color with aromas of black cherries, dark berries, figs, and hints of black tea, tobacco and pepper. Bright and youthful, medium bodied but fruit forward and friendly without being over-extracted. Excellent tannin intergration and very food friendly.
- Item #: i_346034Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96James Suckling: 97-98ROBERTPARKER.COM 94-96 POINTS: "The 2015 Ducru Beaucaillou is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot, picked from around 28 September to 6 October. Matured in 100% new oak for what will be 18 months, delivering 13.5% alcohol, it has a relatively opulent bouquet for Saint Julien, with ripe black plum mixed with blackberry and cranberry, very well defined and neatly interwoven with the new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly savory opening, gently but insistently gripping the mouth. It feels dense and structured with a subtle marine-like note towards the linear, black olive-tinged finish. Bruno Borie has a 2015 with backbone, with longevity in mind. I suspect this will require a decade for the tannins to soften and continue the purple patch for this grand estate."
VINOUSMEDIA 94-96 POINTS: "The 2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou offers notable depth, power and richness. There is plenty of tannin lurking beneath, but it is nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Smoke, tobacco, charcoal, leather and dark stone fruits give the 2015 much of its brooding, tightly wound personality. A wine of pedigree and exceptional class, the 2015 Ducru is structured yet also spherical in texture, with terrific balance and tons of style. The 2015 is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot." -- Antonio Galloni
JAMES SUCKLING 97-98 POINTS: "Very focused and reserved with a mineral, blackberry, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and refined. Walking a tightrope between steely tannins and and dark fruit. This is highly intellectual and unique. Great finish. Remake of the extraordinary 2014? Stronger than the 2015, for sure."