- Item #: i_352545Bottle Size: 750mlThe Beck-Hartweg vineyard has one more special feature: 25% is classified as Grand Cru Frankstein (only 4% of the total Grand Cru production of Alsatian wine has this classification) and is spread among four south-east sloping hillsides of solid granite. The mountain granite soil is a composite of light, stony,shallow sand and forces the roots to penetrate down into the rock fissures for nutrients which gives the wine crystalline minerality and long finish.
- Item #: i_379662Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94James Suckling: 93Bollinger has been the first Champagne House to achieve the certification of “Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne,” a new set of standards established by the Champagne governing body to encourage stronger viticulture practices. Bollinger in 2012 in addition was accredited with “High Environmental Value” certification in 2012.
The delicate color and golden hues are a sign of the wine’s maturity and Bollinger’s wine-making methods. A wonderful aromatic depth. The wine’s fruity, spicy and floral notes intertwine to reveal a highly complex nose; wild peach, plum and orange peel precede saffron and tonka bean, complemented by a fresh, mineral aspect. Dense and harmonious in the mouth. A creamy effervescence and fresh structure, with a gentle saline finish.
- Item #: i_353322Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINT - "A big red, rich in texture, laced with black cherry, pomegranate and violet notes, showing hints of iron and earth. Features a solid structure underneath and finishes long and sappy."
- 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_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_351434Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "The iconic 2012 Pape Clement is a candidate for near-perfection as well as one of the wines of the vintage. From proprietor Bernard Magrez, this is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This extraordinary vineyard (a few miles to the west of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion) has hit all the highlights of this vintage. Interestingly, the quality of the Pomerols and Graves wines in 2012 is closer to what one would consider a great vintage than the general image of 2012. This is truly great wine and not far off their magnificent 2005 and 2010. Full-bodied, with rich cassis, subtle burning embers and spice followed by velvety, well-integrated tannins, the wine is lush, expansive, savory and profound. This is a remarkable wine that could be drunk at a reasonably young age, but should cellar brilliantly for a quarter-century. Yields were modest at 37 hectoliters per hectare from this 132-acre estate. The alcohol level came in at 13.5%. (RP)"
- Item #: i_333858Bottle Size: 750MLROBERT PARKER 94-96 POINTS: "The final blend for the 2012 Cheval Blanc was 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Despite the use of 100% new oak, there is not a hint of vanillin, toast or espresso notes in the aromatic bouquet, which is filled with scents of black currants, sweet cherries, lavender, forest floor and a hint of underbrush. Concentrated with a surprisingly lofty alcohol level of 13.9% as well as a tannin level that equals their 2010 (a wine bestowed a three-digit score), this full-bodied, opulent 2012 has a pH of 3.8, which accounts for its suppleness, velvety texture and heady richness. It is a great success in this vintage. It will be approachable early given its silky structural aspects, and should last for two decades."
- Item #: i_353074Bottle Size: 750ml90% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Franc
The Trotanoy vineyard, located in one of the best-exposed areas of the plateau and spared, in part, by the dramatic frosts of 1956, slopes gently to the west. The soil is a very dense mixture of clay and gravel which tends to solidify as it dries out after rain to an almost concrete-like hardness, hence the name “Trot-anoy,” — “too wearisome” to cultivate. The soil at the highest point of exposure contains a good proportion of gravel, becoming progressively more dominated by clay as the elevation declines. Under this clay is a subsoil of red gravel and an impermeable layer of hard, iron-rich soil known as “crasse de fer.” This fascinating soil diversity brings power, depth and complexity to the wines.
- Item #: i_374662Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS-"A 100% Pinot Noir here with a terrific floral nose: violets and red roses, some gently flinty reductive notes and red berries to boot. The palate's impressive thanks to plenty of tannin and a really impressive structure. Bold, long and very pure. Red-cherry-pip finish. Drink now."
- Item #: i_345526Bottle Size: 750MLeROBERT PARKER 96-98 POINTS: "Taking longer to develop in the glass than the exuberant and sexy la Mouline, the 2012 Cote Rotie la Turque (93% Syrah and 7% Viognier that will see four years in new oak) offers Bordeaux-like notes of lead pencil and graphite to go with olive, smoked herbs, pepper and ripe dark fruits. Possessing a touch less raw material than both the 2009 and 2010, it nevertheless has full-bodied richness, serious mid-palate depth, lots of sweet tannin and a fabulous finish. It will need 4-6 years of cellaring and drink well over the following two to three decades."
- Item #: i_344271Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96eROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: "One of the more charming and forward efforts from Chave, the 2012 Hermitage sports a mostly opaque purple color to go with classic creme de cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notions of lead pencil shavings, violets and powdered rocks. Deep, full-bodied and sumptuously textured, with good freshness, this pure, elegant Hermitage shows more and more definition and cut with time in the glass, but never loses it's more fruit forward, charming profile. I suspect it will drink nicely for most of its life."
VINOUS MEDIA 95-97 POINTS: "Presented as components from four different barrels: #1, from Beaume: Exotic scents of candied licorice, dark berries and smoky Indian spices. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, displaying superb depth to its bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. #2, from Peleat: Explosive red fruit and potpourri aromas, with a bright mineral overtone. Silky and sweet, offering vibrant raspberry and cherry compote flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. The red fruit note echoes strongly on the back half. #3, from Meal: Fleshier and rounder than the first two components, offering plush dark berry and violet flavors that coat the palate. Chewy tannins build on the finish and fold smoothly into the wine's dense fruit. #4, from Bessards: Emphatic mineral and dark berry aromas pick up a sexy floral note and a hint of cola. Sappy, penetrating and sharply focused, displaying an impressive array of red fruit and floral qualities and strong finishing spiciness. Jean-Louis Chave told me he thinks this wine will be "classic Hermitage with an emphasis on fruit, not structure, but not lacking in structure at all--just compared to, say, 2010 and 2005." -- Josh Raynolds
- Item #: i_378965Bottle Size: 750mlA single vineyard Premier Cru Champagne from the "Tue Boeuf" site near Epernay. The parcel was planted more than 50 years ago entirely to Pinot Noir. For the 2012 harvest yields were a minuscule 30 hl/ha. Malolactic fermentation was blocked and the wine was matured for eight to twelve months in used barriques prior to the second fermentation. Dosage was just two gram per liter.
- Item #: i_333895Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 91-93 POINTS: "The 2012 Nuits Saint Georges Les Charmoix is Etienne Grivot’s second village cru in Nuits Saint Georges, sourced from old vines with a propensity to ripen a little later than Les Lavieres. The nose is therefore rounded and fleshier than the aforementioned cru with buoyant red cherries and strawberry. The palate is also showing a more sorbet-like freshness and offers lovely blood orange notes on the vibrant finish. This is superb for a village cru."
- Item #: i_377744Bottle Size: 750MLSUSTAINABLE FARMING 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
Old vines in Verzeney Grand Cru
Jean Lallement (Lall-Mont) is an estate of only four hectares split between Verzenay and Verzy in the Montagne de Reims. A tiny producer, one of the smallest in this portfolio, but what wines! Original, complex, distinctive and yummy, all from a young vigneron who’s restlessly improving every year. The vineyards are spread between Verzenay and Verzy both grand cru villages, with small holdings in the premier cru of Ludes. Alex Lallement explained the terrior of Verzenay as more masculine and higher in elevation, while Verzey is more feminine and perfumed.
- Item #: i_376844Bottle Size: 750mlThe Nicaise family has been making Champagne for four generations from their 22 acres of vines in the Premier Cru village of Hautvilliers a town famed as the home of Dom Perignon. The quality of this grower-producer really took a major step forward in 2007 when the latest generation, Laure Nicaise-Préaux and her husband Clement Préaux, officially started working at the house to help with the winemaking. Clément apprenticed at Selosse and worked at the Mailly co-op so he came armed with great training and experience. As his father-in-law has slowly yielded more control to him, Clement has lowered the dosages and improved the overall balance in the wines. From the excellent 2012 vintage this Chardonnay dominated (80%) Brut displays an effusive array of bright orchard fruits combined with outstanding precision and length. Drinks like a vintage Grande Marque costing twice its modest price.
- Item #: i_345051Bottle Size: 750MLBurghound: 92-94BURGHOUND 92-94 POINTS:"A beautifully complex, elegant and gorgeously pure nose offers up notes of violet, plum and a broad range of spice elements that are trimmed in just enough wood to notice. Just as with the Bèze there is seriously good richness to the muscular and voluminous big-bodied flavors that brim with palate coating dry extract that does a good job of largely buffering the very firm tannic spine. This sleekly constructed effort is excellent and should amply reward extended cellaring."
VINOUSMEDIA 92-94 POINTS: "(from the Morey side; 20% vendange entier; 13% natural alcohol, chaptalized to 13.3%): Saturated medium red. Highly perfumed aromas of huckleberry, blackberry, licorice, violet and menthol. Quite powerful and backward on the palate, with classically dry dark berry flavors accented by youthfully aggressive herb, spice and pepper notes. Very uncompromising Bonnes-Mares with no easy sweetness. Finishes stony and very long, with slightly edgy tannins that will probably require at least a decade of patience. This reminded me of a classic, austere Bonnes-Mares from the old days." -- Stephen Tanzer
- Item #: i_351894Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMIC
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The bright and fresh citrus color of the 2012 Langenberg indicates a traditional field blend of different (mostly white) grape varieties, such as Riesling and the early ripening Muscat and diverse Pinots. The complantation is cultivated on the poor and weathered granite soils of a steep, south-facing and terraced vineyard in St-Hippolyte, and all the grapes were picked in one passage. The wine starts with a lovely clear bouquet of white fruits and flowers, along with refreshing citrus flavors and a stony/mineral touch. The minerality is even more present and expressive on the palate which reveals a subtle, gently sweet and elegant fruit, as well as a lot of tension and vibrancy. The Langenberg finishes pure, minerally-piquant and salty and with a stimulating grip. “Granite gives tension and finesse, not volume,” says Jean-Marcel Deiss, adding that the Langenberg "is a strict and protestant" wine. However, it is excellent at least for the next 8 years."
- Item #: i_325417Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 91ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2012 Special Club finds Arnaud Margaine at his very best. Ample, creamy and beautifully layered on the palate, with exquisite aromatics, the Special Club dazzles from the very first taste. All the elements simply fall into place. Lemon peel, orchard fruit, crushed rocks and lifted floral notes convey brightness, but here, too, I am blown away by the wine's precision and focus. The 2012 is 100% Chardonnay, aged partly in wood, with full malolactic fermentation. It may very well be the most complete Champagne I have ever tasted from Arnaud Margaine. Disgorged: August 2017."
- Item #: i_376559Bottle Size: 750MLWINERY NOTES: "Apples, stone fruits and wounderful aromas of freshly baked bread open to a full-bodied yet profoundly stony palate. Focused, fine and long on the finish, we beleive it will age well for at least a decade."
This limited (70 case) Millesime is a 50/50 blend of Grand Cru Chardonnay (Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant) and Premier Cru Pinot Noir from Hautvillers and Cumieres. Hand harvested with 33% of the base wine undergoing malolactic feremtation followed by extended "Sur Latte" aging for 84 months.
- Item #: i_375984Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS-"A sleek, creamy Champagne, with an expressive range of toast, apricot, candied Meyer lemon zest, cassis and pastry cream set in a tightly knit and racy frame. This offers personality now, but the focus and concentration recommends it to the cellar as well. Disgorged February 2017. Drink now through 2030."
- Item #: i_352070Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 95 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "The iconic Belle Epoque bottle reveals a well-structured, taut wine. With Chardonnay very much in evidence in the mineral texture, the wine is almost as floral as the bottle. Drink from 2021."
- Item #: i_350619Bottle Size: 750mlTiny, cultish, producer in Cote Rotie making around 800 cases per year, including a couple barrels of Condrieu.
Organically farmed vineyards located on the southern end of the appellation in the lieu-dit of "Cordeloux" on steep, primarily granitic soils.
The Condrieu is nicely phenolic in texture, and avoids the cloying quality that one often finds in this appellation. The richness of the wine is nicely balanced with an underlying acidity (he is clearly picking on the early side).