- Item #: i_313630Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS-"This vibrant version shows a range of toasted brioche, baked cherry, crystalized honey, grated ginger and coconut flavors, remaining light-footed and lively throughout. Beautifully balanced, with a lasting, mouthwatering finish. Disgorged 2014. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases imported. (10/16)."
PETER LEIM 2 STARS-"Beginning with this release, chef de cave Thierry Roset has reduced the number of crus that are included in this wine, although the general composition remains the same: one-third of each variety, with about 40 percent of the blend composed of reserve wines that average about ten years of age. As usual, it's generous in aroma, showing a waxy, burnished richness and an unusual complexity and depth for a non-vintage brut. At the same time, it feels lively and vibrant thanks to its fresh acidity, along with a pervasive chalkiness that saturates the wine from start to finish. This is already one of the finest NVs on the market, and if anything, it's only getting better with each new release."
- Item #: i_376660Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS-The 2008 Brut Millésimé from Charles Hedsieck continues to perform superbly, opening in the glass with a youthfully reserved bouquet of pear, yellow apple, citrus oil, honeycomb, dried white flowers and warm biscuits. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and incisive, with a racy spine of acidity, a pinpoint mousse, excellent concentration and a long, elegantly chalky finish. This 2008 is still several years from showing all its cards, but it is a brilliant Champagne in the making."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS-"Well-cut and refreshing, this is lacy in texture and finely knit, with rich hints of toasted brioche and candied orange peel accenting the black cherry, salted almond and chalk notes that linger on the finish. Disgorged 2019. Drink now through 2026. 3,000 cases made, 100 cases imported."
- Item #: i_325598Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "A fleshy, acidulous cuvees which suggests the liveliness of pomelo or morello cherry, mingled with the irresistible aroma of freshly picked wild strawberries. the aromatic finess evokes, like a cherry or almond ree in bloom, a natural, sophisticated elegance. A delicate, structured wine, with aromas of homemade red fruit jams, warmed by hints of pepper and cinnamon. This elegant, seamless Champagne is supple in texture, expressing toast, coffee, spice and dried berry aromas and flavors that pick up a hint of vanilla as well. Offers lovely harmony and a long aftertaste. Drink now through 2013."
- Item #: i_322154Bottle Size: 750MLWINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "A bramble- and bay leaf—edged version, with a mix of dark cherry and red currant fruit forming the core. Light singed tobacco and a fresh chalk threads line the finish. Long and refined, showing a lovely tug of earth at the end. Drink now through 2026."
Les Varennes du Grand Clos is a slope of siliceous clay and limestone that has proven its ability to yield complex Chinons that stand the test of time-old bottles from decades past are still in their prime. Farming is organic, and the wine ages for over a year in barrel before bottling. The trademark of Les Varennes is its finesse: while structure is certainly not lacking, there is a harmony to fruit, acid, and tannins that allows us to pull the cork today. Its earthy flavors pair perfectly with rustic French cuisine; try a beef stew or wild mushrooms for a guaranteed match.
- Item #: i_345408Bottle Size: 750MLGrowing up the son of famous “Gang of Four” Morgon producer Jean-Paul Thévenet, Charly Thévenet was exposed quite early on to traditional, more natural viticulture—a philosophy that his father and friends helped to resurrect in Beaujolais in the early eighties. Though only in his twenties, Charly has already started a dynamic career. A few years ago, with extensive experience working for his father and in Marcel Lapierre’s winery already under his belt, he purchased a parcel of eighty-year-old vines in Régnié, west-southwest of his hometown of Villié-Morgon. Régnié is a terroir enjoying something of its own renaissance in the hands of talented growers like Charly and his dad’s pal, Guy Breton. In fact, Regnié has joined the short list of Grand Crus in the Beaujolais. Situated on a plateau of seabed stone in the foothills of the Côte du Py, it gives a fresh wine with solid acidity.
As the next generation of the natural wine movement, Charly seems to have inherited his father’s savoir faire. He uses biodynamic farming techniques in the vineyard, never adding synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides to the vines. He harvests late, with an aggressive sorting of the grapes, adds minimal doses of sulfur dioxide, ages the wine in four-year-old Burgundian barriques, and bottles his wines unfiltered. Add a dose of that Thévenet talent, and you have a recipe for excellent wine! The 2007 vintage marked his first release and his first collaboration with KLWM.
We are unanimously impressed with this rising star.
- Item #: i_374880Bottle Size: 750MLThe vineyards of Merfy, seven kilometers north of Reims, lie on the southern slopes of the Massif de Saint-Thierry in the Montagne de Reims. These slopes were planted shortly after the arrival of the Romans and monks of the neighboring Abbey of Saint-Thierry expanded the vineyards in the 7th century. Today, Chartogne-Taillet remains the only grower-producer in the village and under Alexandre Chartogne’s guidance, the wines of Chartogne-Taillet are some of the most sought-after Champagnes being produced. Lovers of grower champagne are familiar with Chartogne-Taillet’s Les Barres, the single parcel, un-grafted Meunier wine, released first in the 2006 vintage. This was the first wine that Alexandre produced after returning home to his family domaine, from working with Anselme Selosse, his mentor.
- Item #: i_374657Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 92JOHN GILMAN 92+ POINTS-"Alexandre Chartogne’s Sainte Anne bottling hails from several different lieux à dits in Merfy and is fermented in stainless steel tanks, with indigenous yeasts and the current release is comprised of a fifty-fifty blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The current release is excellent, offering the tactile seriousness on the palate that is the calling card of all of Alexandre’s wines that I have had a pleasure to taste so far, along with superb, racy structure and impressive nascent complexity. The bouquet is a blend of apple, white peach, complex minerality, gentle brioche, white flowers and a bit of high-end smokiness. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, young and beautifully focused, with a rock solid core, great cut and grip, very refined mousse and outstanding length and grip on the primary finish. This is still very early days for this superb wine, so tuck it away in the cellar for at least a couple of years and let it blossom. Fine, fine juice."
- Item #: i_375047Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Alexandre Chartogne, who is now widely recognized as one of Champagne's most important grower-producers gives a lot of the credit for his success to the legendary guru of fizz, Jacques Selosse. While his viticultural tutelage with Anselme Selosse was brief, it was an experience that truly changed the arc of his career. As he explains: "It was Anselme Selosse who taught me that a winegrower's responsibility is to understand his terroir. So, I came home to Merfy and started digging holes." Merfy is situated on the Massif de Saint Thierry just northwest of Reims and its vineyards sit upon a thick layer of sandy topsoil which contributes a signature suppleness and fruitiness to its wines. Alexandre is one of the most curious and conscientious winemakers in Champagne and there is no place where this zeal is more evident than with his approach to his single vineyard Champagnes. They dramatize just how sensitive and precise his winemaking is. Chartogne's first single vineyard release was from the 2006 vintage and it was 100% Pinot Meunier from ungrafted vines in the sandy Les Barres parcel. That bottling which showcased the heights to which a Meunier based Champagne could reach, soon became one of the most sought-after grower bottlings in all of Champagne. Among the Meunier vines in Les Barres are scattered rows of Pinot Noir. Alexandre has finally incorporated these vines to fashion an exciting new expression of the Les Barres terrior. All of Chartogne-Taillet's single vineyard cuvees are now strictly allocated "back room" treasures. However, because this Les Barres was a "first of" release we were able to acquire enough quantity to actually to put it on display and talk about it. Of course, we are sure that once the word gets out subsequent releases will never make it to back to the cellar sales floor.
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "From a climat Chartonge made famous for its Pinot Meunier growing in chalky soils, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Barres (Pinot Noir) derives from a westerly exposed parcel of Pinot Noir growing in sand-and hails entirely from the 2015 vintage. It's showing very well, exhibiting attractive aromas of mirabelle plums, raspberries, anise, pastry cream and yellow chartreuse. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and muscular, with tangy acids, excellent concentration and a long, chalky finish."
- Item #: i_351375Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Wine Spectator: 95Decanter: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it’s not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades."
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The full-bodied, dense 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape seems a bit closed at the moment, but Asian five spice powder still brings plenty of complexity and nuance to the rich, dark fruit aromas and flavors. Multidimensional, layered and long, this is another terrific vintage for Beaucastel's main cuvée, perhaps falling just slightly behind the 2016 and 2018."
- Item #: i_352234Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc takes it up a notch, offering rocking notes of white peach, quince, crushed rocks, and honeysuckle. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a beautiful core of sweet fruit, a layered texture, and a great finish. It’s unquestionably another beautiful wine, and while 2018 was challenging for the whites, you wouldn’t know it by tasting this."
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "A terrific example of Beaucastel's white, the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc boasts lavish aromas of honeydew and tangerine. It's full-bodied and round, lush and concentrated, with terrific length and presence on the palate."
- Item #: i_353254Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS: "With some of the oldest vines in all of Bordeaux, especially one parcel from 1905, Belair Monange’s 2012 (14.5% alcohol) is a tribute to this great terroir that was poorly managed and exploited prior to the family of Jean-Pierre Moueix taking over. Now it is Christian Moueix and his son Edouard who manage the property and produce the wine. The 2012 is a beauty, with a deep ruby/purple color, complex notes of minerals, crushed rock, red and black fruits, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, great texture, long finish and true ability and character. It should age beautifully for 20 or more years and yet be drinkable another three or four." (APRIL 2015)
VINOUS 95 POINTS: "The 2012 Bélair-Monange brings together power and finesse in what is a very complete expression of Saint-Emilion. Beams of supporting tannins give the 2012 much of its energy. Red stone fruit, chalk, mint, spice and expressive floral notes are all nicely delineated. I expect the Bélair-Monange will drink better earlier than the other top wines in the Moueix stable. This is the first vintage that incorporates the Magdelaine vineyards, which were annexed in 2012. Bélair-Monange is now under the direction of Edouard Moueix, who lives on the property and seems determined to take the estate to the top of the hierarchy in Saint-Emilion. The 2012 is certainly a strong move in that direction."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS: "This is marked by a pleasantly firm chalky thread which frames and carries the core of pure damson plum, bitter cherry and red currant fruit. Light floral and alder notes hang in the background, while the minerality stretches everything out on the finish. Refined, restrained, long and should cellar well. Best from 2017 through 2027."
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS: "Wonderful wine for the vintage with firm and silky tannins, savory and ripe fruit as well as hints of earth and mushrooms. Chalk and citrus undertones. Full body and a beautiful finish. Addition of Magadeline vineyards shows promise and expanded quality. Better after 2017."
- Item #: i_352922Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92Wine Enthusiast: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93If Chateau Belle-Vue isn't on you radar, it should be! We (happily) taste a lot of wine in the course of sourcing the best for Hi-Time and reject thousands of offerings that don't make the cut. The 2016 Belle-Vue was immediately appealing and several members of our wine staff lingered over this bottle and enjoyed more than one sample in the arduous and noble pursuit of further research.
This ready to drink Bordeaux is showing aromas of violets, black currants, blackberries and dark cherries. Subtle notes of vanilla, baking spice and earth added interest. On the palate, this wine is on the richer side of things, full-bodied and oh so silky smooth.
The quality of this wine is impressive and totally over-delivers for its humble price-point. Noted critic Jeb Dunnuck awarded this wine 93 Points stating Belle-Vue has "ultra-fine tannins and fabulous balance" and "it's almost too good to be true and should be snatched up by readers."
James Suckling said the wine "tastes like a very good Margaux!" This is high praise and actually right on point as Chateau Belle-Vue is located a stone's throw away from the Margaux classified growth, Chateau Giscours.
This rich, juicy, crowd pleasing wine will impress those who are not easily impressed. Even better, we bought everything they had and are selling it at the best price in the nation!
The quality to price ratio for this wine is off the charts and makes this an absolute no brainer.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Château Belle-Vue is one awesome Haut-Médoc as well as an incredible value. Deeply colored, with a powerful bouquet of crème de cassis, black cherries, leafy herbs, and earth, it’s medium to full-bodied, has ultra-fine tannins and fabulous balance. A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 20% Petit Verdot, aged in 30% new French oak, it’s almost too good to be true and should be snatched up by readers."
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Thanks to its fragrance and discreet succulence, this tastes like a very good Margaux. That should be no surprise, because Belle-Vue’s vineyards lie immediately south of that appellation. Long and elegant finish. A blend of 45 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 35 per cent merlot and 20 per cent petit verdot. Drink or hold."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 92 POINTS - "This wine has a rich, generous character that gives it a full, dense texture. It has spice, ripe tannins and opulent blackberry tones.
- Item #: i_353005Bottle Size: 750mlAs has always been the case, Versino makes very little Cuvée des Felix—usually about 400 cases in total, a fraction of which make it to the US. Bois de Boursan grows all the 13 authorized Châteauneuf varieties in their multitude of vineyard parcels (27 plots across 10 hectares, all in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape proper), but this wine is driven by Grenache (65%) and Mourvèdre (25%), with Syrah (5%) and an assortment of other varieties comprising the balance. It is aged 18 months in used French oak barriques and is typically a touch more tannic and tightly wound compared to Bois de Boursan’s estate Châteauneuf bottling (which we offered back in January). Nevertheless, like most Châteauneuf-du-Pape, today’s 2012 is delicious to drink now, thanks to Grenache’s generous fruit. It is downright explosive right out of the gate, with a dark, ruby-black hue in the glass and lots of black fruits on the nose and palate: crushed blackberry, cherry, and boysenberry are layered with black licorice, cacao nibs, wild herbs, lavender, warm spices and leather with faint accents of dried olive and meat stock. It is full-bodied on the palate, its richness checked by a lively jolt of freshness. Think big, but agile: It’s built to age 10-15 years and will show best following a 45-minute decant and a service temperature closer to 60 degrees. Use some big Burgundy stems and pair it with pulled pork cooked “low and slow” in the oven. This pairing is a ‘master class’ in concentrated flavors and a great way to enjoy one of wine’s most enduring classics. Enjoy!
- Item #: i_353006Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93JEB DUNNUCK 91-93 POINTS - ""Still not bottled, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a terrific wine, as well as a great example of the vintage. Ripe and upfront, with a gorgeous bouquet of black cherries, blackberries, new saddle leather, and roasted herbs, it's full-bodied, has sensational depth and richness, ripe, yet present tannin, and a great finish. Give it a few years and drink it over the following 10-15 years."
- Item #: i_351420Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Wine Spectator: 94James Suckling: 94Wine Enthusiast: 95WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "This wine is more backward than I would have normally expected, but nevertheless, it is very impressive. The 2010 Branaire-Ducru displays an inky bluish purple color and loads of mulberry, raspberry, black currant, graphite and floral notes in its intense aromatics. Medium to full-bodied , with sensational ripeness, purity, texture and length, the tannins are slightly more prominent than I remember from barrel, but they are sweet and ripe (as opposed to astringent and bitter). This beautiful wine needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should keep 25-30 years. 12/2013"
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Very polished and stylish, with a velvety feel to the layers of crushed plum, currant and blackberry, while bittersweet cocoa and black licorice glide in on the gorgeous, black tea-infused finish. Features a lovely allure rather than raw power, making this possibly the prettiest St.-Julien of the vintage. There's plenty in the tank for cellaring as well. Best from 2014 through 2030."
- Item #: i_352749Bottle Size: 375mlWine Advocate: 94Wine Spectator: 93James Suckling: 95Wine Enthusiast: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 97**Please note, this is a half sized bottleWINE ENTHUSIAST 97 POINTS - "This wine is dense, mingling spicy nutmeg along with superb ripe honey and marmalade flavors. With its balanced acidity and opulence, it is going to be a great wine."
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "One of the top sweet wines in this report is the 2016 Château Coutet, which has the vintage’s plush, opulent style as well as thrilling purity and good acids. Pineapple, white flowers, sugared peach, and honeyed notes all emerge from this full-bodied, layered, balanced Barsac that’s already impossible to resist yet will evolve gracefully 2+ decades."
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "The vibrant, tropical fruit-coulis character The vibrant, tropical fruit-coulis character draws you into this concentrated and elegant Barsac. Then the crisp acidity and a wave of lemon and mineral character comes through, driving the finish out in the direction of the horizon. Drink or hold."
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Pale lemon colored, the 2016 Coutet reveals gorgeous quince paste, candied ginger and key lime pie scents with touches of lemon marmalade and peach compote. Full-bodied, rich and seriously seductive, it has a lively line cutting through the sweet, dense layers and epically long finish."
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Unctuous in feel, with marzipan, candied orange peel and praline notes leading the way for a juicy display of mango, peach and papaya flavors. The rich finish has a nice toasty hint. Best from 2023 through 2038."
- Item #: i_353023Bottle Size: 750mlOne of the oldest and most celebrated domaines in Savennières, Chateau d’Épiré is rich in history, not only for its fabulous architectural rendition of the Petit Trianon of Versailles, but most especially for its exquisite wines. This cuvée is dry and accessible with notes of exotic fruits. Delicious and spectacularly complex, and it shows a value disproportionate to their pedigree.
- Item #: i_350029Bottle Size: 750mlIn 2009, the château’s new owner, le Comte de Colbert, asked Yves Lambert and his son, Arnaud, from Domaine de Saint-Just, to manage the estate. They accepted with a twenty-five year lease and immediately began a hard work of converting these historical vineyards to organic culture after more than fifty years of chemical farming. Today, five after many years of quality farming and the deft touch of Arnaud, the brilliance of the wines known centuries ago is reemerging.
Inside the bottle: The wine starts out aromatically expressing the magic that limestone imparts to its local vine community. Pure and striking fruits, like sweet lime, meyer lemon with lemon curd, exotic spice and flint dart out of the glass and into the nose. If you can manage to keep it in the glass for a couple of hours of slow observation and drinking, the wine will take you on a rollercoaster of highs that seem only to climber higher with every passing minute. Acidity? More than you can imagine but somehow it presents itself gently on the finish after a somewhat overwhelming initial attack from the first sip. The wine hasn’t a drop of tropical or rich, ripe fruit notes because this cold site rarely has a chance to develop botrytis, even in ideal years. The topsoil is pure sand with limestone gravel that has been unearthed from the tuffeau limestone that sits on thirty centimeters below the soil. It’s pure sand and limestone soils make it the most unique soil structure on the hill. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a white wine in the world that carries this fair of a price.
- Item #: i_344231Bottle Size: 750MLBrézé is a unique site due to its relatively high elevation and eminently nuanced geological profile. The high composition of tuffeau, a porous, chalky limestone also used in the construction of much of the Loire’s Renaissance architecture, results in finely mineral Chenin Blanc. Clay and sand also lend themselves to the diversity of the terroirs, giving body to the reds and richness to the whites. With five historic and clearly delimited Clos to work with, the Lambert duo has the incredible opportunity to truly understand and reveal the distinctions within this extraordinary appellation.
- Item #: i_345148Bottle Size: 750MLLauded by King Réné Anjou in the 15th century classical literature, the Château de Brézé wines were regarded with such esteem that the royals exchanged them annually with the great Sauternes of Château d’Yquem. The vineyards belonging to the Château de Brézé entered a Renaissance of their own in 2009 when Count de Colbert conferred upon Yves and Arnaud Lambert management of the viticultural estate. The father and son team have immediately converted the entire 25 hectares to organic methods, with official certification as of the 2012 vintage.
Loire Cabernet Franc from a historic property which is mentioned for the first time in the year 1063, in records from Saint Florent's Abbatial. Delicious flavors of tobacco, raspberry, cassis, violet, and pepper.
- Item #: i_311351Bottle Size: 750MLWe love the dry rosés from the south of France. This one is made from 30% Grenache Noir and 70% Syrah. The red grapes are cold macerated for between 4 and 12 hours. The juice is drawn off the skins when the desired color is reached. The wine is then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The result is a delightful dry rosé, with aromas and flavors of blueberries and blackberries and a crisp finish. Try this with quiche, ham, shrimp or fish or turkey burgers.