FRENCH WINE

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  1. ALAIN VOGE 2015 CORNAS FONTAINES V.V.

    Item #: i_345737
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 96
    eROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: "Only produced in top vintages (this is the first since 2012), the 2015 Cornas Vieilles Fontaines comes from 80-year-old vines within the La Fontaine lieu-dit. It's a tough wine to evaluate at this stage, as it's quite closed and reticent on the nose, showing some crushed-stone notes and typical granite-based austerity, but on the palate it shows great purity of fruit and vigor. It's full-bodied but tight-laced, focused on driving through the long finish like a thoroughbred down the stretch. Give it at least 5 years in the cellar"
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    $159.99
  2. ARBALEST 2015 BORDEAUX

    Item #: i_345941
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    From 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.
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  3. BERNARD GRIPA 2015 SAINT JOSEPH BLANC LE BERCEAU

    Item #: i_350617
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS: "Starting with the whites, and another great vintage, the 2015 Saint Joseph Blanc is as classic as they come. Offering lots of white peach, tangerine and floral notes in a fresh, concentrated, lively package that just begs to be drunk. This wine is a year in, year out no brainer, and while I like it in its first 3-4 years, it evolves gracefully. To give some perspective on when to drink these, the 2013 is incredible today, and I’ve tasted this cuvée going back over a decade with terrific results."
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  4. BERNARD GRIPA 2015 SAINT JOSEPH LE BERCEAU ROUGE

    Item #: i_350579
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    100% Syrah.
    The powerful nose is showing black pepper, blackberries and subtle violet flavours. The taste is full-bodied and dense, with silky and firm tannins. It could be paired with lamb, beef and spicy dishes as well as a great array of strong cheeses. It could be cellared for more than 15 years or enjoyed in its youth by decanting for at least an hour before serving.

    Domaine Gripa has named their top Saint Joseph cuvée “Berceau”. It is a selection of their oldest vines from the appellation. There is only one hectare of vines that produce this label. Exclusively planted on terraces, these challenging vineyards can only be maintained by hand. The granite soils of Saint Joseph provide great freshness to the wines, despite their low acidity.
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  5. BERNARD MOREAU 2015 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET MALTROIE

    Item #: i_350691
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 90
    STEPHEN TANZER 90-92 POINTS - "Slightly high-toned aromas of ripe peach, mirabelle, honey and resin. A sweet, honeyed fruit bomb in the mouth, with its impression of sucrosité (actually less than 1.5 grams per liter, according to Moreau) leavened by ripe acidity. Boasts excellent definition and lift for its ripe fruit and finishes with a spicy nuance."

    WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Maltroie felt a little taciturn on the nose, surprisingly, not quite as energetic as the village cru. The palate is fresh and taut on the entry with a hint of apricot and quince, just a dash of ginger on the back palate, leading to an elegant, saline finish. This is a very commendable Maltroie, although it is not the stronger Premier Cru that Alex Moreau fashioned in this vintage."
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    $104.99
  6. BESSON 2015 GIVRY GRANDS PRETANS 1ER CRU

    Item #: i_351597
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    A typically broader, more generous wine of strong spice tones and dark fruit expression. This wine is juicy and pure, showing a penetrating quality and delicate minerality to the flavors of red berries and flowers.
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  7. BILA HAUT 2015 OCCULTUM LAPIDEM

    Item #: i_345550
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 94
    WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "One of the more polished, sexy examples of the cuvee, the 2015 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem checks in as a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and the balance Carignan and Mourvèdre, aged all in concrete tanks. It boasts killer notes of black raspberries, cassis, pepper and licorice, with just a hint of chocolate appearing with time in the glass. This medium to full-bodied, layered and beautifully textured red is an incredible value and will be impossible to resist over the coming 4-5 years, and I'm sure it will keep even longer."
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  8. CHABLIS 15 LOUIS MICHEL MONTEE DE TONNERRE

    Item #: i_345932
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Burghound: 92 OUTSTANDING
    White Burgundy is one of our favorite wines and the purest expression of Chardonnay comes from the great, cool climate appellation of Chablis. This delicious, mouth-watering style offers such transparency and transmits the racy minerality in a way that no other can.

    Over the past several years, the wines of Louis Michel have become a staff and customer favorite. They offer everything you could want, exhibiting signature characteristics of Chardonnay from this region. This is the perfect wine to pair with oysters, shellfish, seafood or poultry or to refresh as we move into the warmer time of the year. Both the 2015 and 2017 Louis Michel Montée de Tonnerre wines are designated as "Outstanding" by Burghound's tough critic, Allen Meadows.

    The Michel family has been making wines in the heart of Chablis since the 19th century and the domaine is now overseen by Guillaume Michel. Louis Michel & Fils were among the first to vinify its wines only in stainless steel tanks. This approach highlights the purity of the Chardonnay with these wines exuding finesse, purity and freshness.

    Montée de Tonnerre is located on the right bank of the Serein River alongside the Grand Crus. It is regarded as the most prestigious and sought-after of the Chablis Premier Crus. The famous chalky Kimmeridgian soils are deep and well drained. The south-west facing vines enjoy plenty of sunshine and produce a wine with sun-kissed aromas. This is the ultimate expression of a successful partnership between soil and climate resulting in powerful wines that are complex and balanced.

    BURGHOUND 92 POINTS OUTSTANDING - "(from a huge 4.5 ha parcel located in Chapelot). A pretty and distinctly ripe nose combines even more prominent notes of white flower along with those of pear, apple and quinine. The refined, pure and reasonably well-detailed medium weight flavors possess good richness and density while delivering reasonably good length on the moderately dry and lemon-inflected finale. This is also very classy and a wine that should benefit from a few years of bottle age to develop more overall depth"
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  9. CHATEAU BELLEVUE 2015 FRONSAC

    Item #: i_352493
    Bottle Size: 750ml
  10. CHATEAU BLAIGNAN 2015 MEDOC

    Item #: i_344263
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points
    WINE ENTHUSIAST 91 POINTS - "Intense and rich, this is an opulent, concentrated wine from a 240-acre vineyard. Powerful, dense and packed with black fruits, this shows solid aging potential. The tannins are already integrating with the generous berry fruits and the acidity, to give an impressive wine."
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  11. CHATEAU CANON LA GAFFELIERE 2015 SAINT EMILION

    Item #: i_346026
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 93-95
    Wine Spectator: 96
    James 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."
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    $109.99
  12. CHATEAU COS D'ESTOURNEL 2015 SAINT ESTEPHE

    Item #: i_346028
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 92-94
    James Suckling: 97-98
    ROBERTPARKER.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."
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    $189.99
  13. CHATEAU CREMADE 2015 PALETTE ROSE

    Item #: i_345567
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    You will find the same grape varieties as in the red wine with "Vieux Muscats Noirs" added. It is made partly by red tank bleeding and by direct pressing. Some lots complete their fermentation in oak barrels where they will age before being assembled. Its fruitiness with an expressive and elegant flavour will continue in a long and generous final tasting. A wine for gastronomy.
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  14. CHATEAU CROZE DE PYS 2015 CAHORS PRESTIGE

    Item #: i_334210
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Deep 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.
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  15. CHATEAU D'AUSSIERES 2015 CORBIERES

    Item #: i_352104
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    James Suckling: 93
    JAMES SUCKLING- 93 POINTS - "This is the best wine I had from this producer. Shows such finesse and depth with a linear focus and intensity. Medium to full body, dense fruit and a beautiful finish. Fruity and tight. Gorgeous. A blend of syrah, mourvedre and grenache. Drink or hold."
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  16. CHATEAU D'YQUEM 2015 SAUTERNES

    Item #: i_300064
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Spectator: 98
    ROBERTPARKER.COM 98 POINTS: "The 2015 Château d'Yquem was scintillating when I tasted it at the property during en primeur last year. A blend of 75% Sémillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, it delivers 144 grams per liter of residual sugar. Now that the wine is in bottle, that original “show-stopping” bouquet has become more refined. In fact, you could almost describe it as laid back or genteel until it begins to magically unfold and deliver seductive scents of lemon curd, orange pith, freshly opened tins of apricot and wild honey. You would call the aromatics more “pretty” than “powerful,” but of course, it is beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced with that electric line of acidity intact. It is a little spicier than I recall, with a fresh viscous finish. There is a persistent aftertaste whereby the mouth tingles some 60 seconds after the wine has departed. Maybe I was being optimistic when I suggested that it might rank alongside the regal 2001 and 2009. The 2015 Yquem does not belong in that hallowed company. But it is a prince to that king and that queen. Tasted September 2017."
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    $395.99
  17. CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY 2015 MERCUREY BLANC

    Item #: i_351592
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Spectator: 90
    WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Enticing aromas of lemon, apple and stone introduce this elegant, harmonious white. The vibrant structure carries this to a lingering conclusion. Drink now through 2023."
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  18. CHATEAU DE LA CROIX 2015 MEDOC

    Item #: i_352276
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    This is classic 2015 Medoc, full of rich concentration and power at a fantastic price. Situated not far from Saint-Julien, there is a lot to unpack and enjoy from this humble wine.
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  19. CHATEAU DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU 2015 SAINT JULIEN

    Item #: i_346034
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 97
    Vinous Media: 94-96
    James Suckling: 97-98
    Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France and also the name of the red wine produced by this property. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxiemes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The estate was purchased by Francois Borie in 1941 and has remained in the family since then. The family also owns other estates, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Château Haut-Batailley.

    Today the estate is managed by Bruno Borie; Wine Spectator touched on what an individual he is in this article from 2006 (note that Bruno has since married and is a proud papa!):

    "Since taking control of Ducru-Beaucaillou, the famed second-growth chateau in Bordeaux's St.-Julien appellation, in January 2003, Bruno Borie has installed original Keith Haring pop art on the ground floor and constructed a vast kitchen around a restaurant-quality stove to indulge his passion for cooking. He spends contemplation time on a tatami mat in a glassed-in room cantilevered over the Gironde River.

    Unmarried and childless, he has moved into the majestic chateau. Once his boyhood home, it now serves as a sort of giant bachelor pad. Tall, slender and often dressed in dark clothes, he looks more like a Parisian artist than a businessman, and like nobody else in Bordeaux."

    Ducru-Beaucaillou produces two wines. The grand vin called Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, and a second wine produced since 1995, La Croix de Beaucaillou. The wines are aged for 18 months in 50% to 80% new oak barrels according to the richness of the vintage, fined with egg whites, lightly filtered, and then bottled. Wine writer Jay McInerney wrote "Ducru has always been a wine of finesse rather than sheer brute power, a kind of Burgundian Bordeaux."

    ROBERTPARKER.COM 97 POINTS - "Composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou is provocatively and profoundly scented of chocolate-covered cherries, fresh black currants, crushed blueberries and licorice with touches of cigar box, roses and violets plus hints of black pepper and tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, rich and sultry with tons of seductive layers and firm, wonderfully velvety tannins, it has a very long, multilayered finish."

    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."

    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."
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    $182.99
  20. CHATEAU GOUBAU 2015 COTES DE CASTILLON

    Item #: i_351681
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Chateau Goubau is a new project in the Cotes de Castillon for the maverick wine-maker, Jacques Thienpont. Jacques has a knack of spotting exceptional terroir and then applying his alchemist’s touch. Le Pin and L’If are two of the most sought after wines in Bordeaux and we expect Goubau to be an estate to follow closely too. These are Merlot based wines, sometimes with Cabernet Franc, that betray a fleshiness and sturdiness that can be drunk 1-5 years after the vintage.
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  21. CHATEAU GRAND MAYNE 2015 SAINT EMILION

    Item #: i_346037
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 92-94
    Wine Spectator: 89-92
    James Suckling: 90-91
    ROBERTPARKER.COM 92-94 POINTS: "The 2015 Grand Mayne has a ripe small, dark cherry and mulberry scented bouquet, very perfumed with cassis scents emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very elegant and poised, part of a new style of Grand Mayne that is much more refined than the vintages of the 1990s and 2000s. In a word, what Jean-Antoine Nony and his team have made here is a "stylish" Saint Emilion."

    VINOUSMEDIA 91-94 POINTS: "Rich, ample and concentrated, the 2015 Grand Mayne is a terrific example of Saint-Émilion done in a modern, sumptuous style. Ripe, silky tannins wrap around a core of dark red cherry, raspberry, mocha, espresso and menthol. The 2015 is dense, powerful and voluptuous to the core, with terrific harmony. This is an impressive showing. Michel Rolland and Louis Mitjaville consult. Tasted three times." -- Antonio Galloni

    WINE SPECTATOR 89-92 POINTS: "Nicely packed together, with juicy raspberry and plum paste flavors buttressed by licorice and ganache. Shows some energy through the finish, but this is more about heft than grace. Score range: 89-92" –JM

    JAMES SUCKLING 90-91 POINTS: "A juicy and rich red with roasted coffee, chocolate and ripe fruit. Full body, velvety tannins. A little over extracted now but could come around with proper barrel aging."
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  22. CHATEAU GUIRAUD 2015 BORDEAUX BLANC

    Item #: i_311200
    Bottle Size: 750ML
  23. CHATEAU HOURTOU 2015 COTES DE BOURG

    Item #: i_351145
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    James Suckling: 92
    We just made a special purchase of the 2015 vintage of Chateau Hourtou. This full-bodied red blend surprised us with its delicious dark fruit flavors and surprising complexity. The rich, ripe fruit flavors are very pleasing and really showcase the quality of the 2015 vintage in Bordeaux. We would expect to pay at least $20.00 for this wine, but getting this bottle for $14.95 makes this a steal.

    Cotes de Bourg is an Appellation d'origine controlee (AOC) for Bordeaux wine situated around the small town of Bourg-sur-Gironde near Bordeaux, France. The first vineyards in the area were founded by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, Bourg was a major port for wine and the vineyards developed at the same tempo as the estuary traffic. The average age of Hourtou vines is 40; some are up to one hundred years old – a sure sign that the fruit will be concentrated.

    This special purchase of the remaining bottles from the 2015 vintage is one of our best Bordeaux buys in recent memory. Chateau Hourtou is a delicious wine, which would make a terrific case purchase. We only have a limited amount available. When it's gone it's gone!

    Vibrant ruby in color. Expressive aromas of violets, currants, red and black fruits, blackberry and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and generous with rich fruit and a creamy mouth filling texture. Red and black currants, crème de cassis and blackberries persist on this fresh and thirst-quenching red.

    JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "This is very structured for this appellation with steely tannins and a generosity of plum and currant fruit. Full-bodied, round and savory. Flavorful finish. Drink or hold but better in 2020."
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  24. CHATEAU LA COMMANDERIE 2015 SAINT ESTEPHE

    Item #: i_351701
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points
    WINE ENTHUSIAST 91 POINTS - "This wine has weight and rich fruit. It also offers the tannins and structure associated with Saint-Estèphe, which balance the generous potential of the blackberry flavors. Half-and-half Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the wine needs to age. Drink from 2025."
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