- Item #: i_345737Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96eROBERT 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"
- Item #: i_345736Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91-93Wine Spectator: 95James Suckling: 83Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsWINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "An understated style, but focus and you’ll see just how lovely the cassis, cherry and raspberry flavors are, carried by riveting acidity and flecked with notes of powdered white pepper and violet. An iron girder drives the finish, pulling everything along. This is defined by pure, sleek cut. Best from 2020 through 2035.
VINOUS 93 POINTS
WINE ADVOCATE 91 - 93 POINTS
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS
- 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_351566Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS: "Dark and lush, this red verges on jammy, with black cherry and black currant fruit shaded by violet and spice accents. A line of tannins marks the long finish, which shows density and structure. Best from 2020 through 2038. 100 cases made."
- Item #: i_376667Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92100% Pinot Meunier from two special parcelles (Maisancelle and Cote aux Chatalgniers)situated in the Marne Valley left bank of the river. This 2016 was disgorged in November 2018 with a dosage of 3g/l.
- Item #: i_350617Bottle Size: 750mlWINE 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."
- Item #: i_350579Bottle Size: 750ml100% 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.
- Item #: i_350691Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90STEPHEN 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."
- Item #: i_351597Bottle Size: 750mlA 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.
- Item #: i_321140Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91-93WINE ADVOCATE 91 - 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos du Fonteny, a monopole of the domaine, has a delightful bouquet with lively red cherry and crushed strawberry aromas. The palate is well balanced with sappy red berry fruit overlaying the fine tannins. It fans out towards the finish, offering enticing orange rind and blood orange notes that infuse the tart aftertaste. Lovely, just a really lovely Gevrey-Chambertin. Bruno Clair already has an impressive array of holdings in the Côtes de Nuits, from which he has been furnishing wine lovers with beautifully made, quite classically-styled wines for many years. Next year he will add another quite significant parcel of Bonnes-Mares from the cessation of a fermage with Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair, who own the monopole of vines on the Morey-Saint-Denis side of the border. That will surely make Bruno one of the most significant producers of this grand cru. I tasted through the 2015s with winemaker Philippe Brun and a young student who was studying oeno-tourism, assigned 2-weeks by her college at the domaine (I can think of worse work placements myself). "We had some millerandage during the growing season," Philippe told me. "We picked from 6 September and then over 10 days until 20 September. We picked the whites within two days."
BURGHOUND 90 - 93 POINTS - "A deeply pitched yet wonderfully elegant nose is comprised by densely fruited aromas of red cherry, cassis, earth, violet and sandalwood. There is a terrific sense of underlying vibrancy to the refined, cool and restrained flavors that possess a taut muscularity on the impressively persistent, well-balanced and mildly austere finale. This is definitely built-to-age and will require at least 6 to 8 years but reward up to 15 or so. In a word, excellent."
VINOUS 90 - 92 POINTS - "(from vines planted on rock, close to Ruchottes-Chambertin): Medium palish red. Subtle, somewhat reduced scents of raspberry, strawberry, smoke and earth. A step up in sweetness and pliancy from the village Gevrey, but with pungent minerality enlivening the middle palate. Offers an impression of breadth without weight and finishes with nicely buffered tannins. Lovely potential here.
- Item #: i_345483Bottle Size: 750MLBURGHOUND 90 POINTS -"This too is super-fresh with its airy nose that combines floral, red currant and evident wet stone scents. The racy and tension-filled flavors possess a really lovely mouth feel if perhaps not quite the overall depth and length as the best of these villages wines."
VINOUS 90 POINTS - "(from vines planted in the 1980s on rocky soil): Good dark red. Quite reticent on the nose, and a bit diffuse. Then juicy and sweet in the mouth, with soil-driven red berry flavors complicated by red licorice and mineral notes. Good density and breadth here--and a bit more size than usual for this wine. Finishes with dusty, horizontal tannins. Clair noted that this bottling is taking on more power as the vines age."
- Item #: i_345932Bottle Size: 750mlBurghound: 92 OUTSTANDINGWhite 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"
- Item #: i_344263Bottle Size: 750MLWine Enthusiast: 91 PointsWINE 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."
- Item #: i_346025Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 94"The 2015 Branaire Ducru is a gorgeous, totally sexy wine...Don't miss it" - Antonio Galloni
"This pumps lush fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture" – Wine Spectator
We are thrilled to have a small amount of the terrific 2015 Chateau Branaire Ducru in stock. This classified growth is an historic estate performing at a high level with the 2015 showing enviable concentration, perfect ripeness and power. We frequently look to this Chateau to deliver outstanding quality at more than reasonable prices. The Wine Spectator awarded this wine 94 Points and named it to its Top 100 list after trying thousands of wines! Antonio Galloni did them one better, dropping a 95 Point score and stating, "The 2015 is a wine of pure and total sensual pleasure."
This historic family run estate was once part of the larger Beychevelle property until it was purchased in the late 17th Century. Today, the Chateau from Saint Julien is run by Francois Xavier Maroteaux who takes advantage of the gravelly soils to grow Cabernet Sauvignon which comprises 65% of the blend. The remainder of the classic Bordeaux assemblage includes Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
This is definitely one of the better values coming out of Bordeaux from the excellent 2015 vintage.
We have a very limited amount of this wine. Grab it while you can. When it's gone, it's gone!
#33 ON WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF 2018
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This pumps lush fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture notes along, pushed by a rather polished but ample structure. Lots of anise and violet details cascade in on the finish, giving this extra aromatic dimension. Best from 2020 through 2038."
VINOUSMEDIA 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Branaire Ducru is a gorgeous, totally sexy wine. Rose petal, lavender, mint, sweet red berry and gently spiced notes give the wine much of its gracious, lilting personality. Precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 Branaire is all class. It's easy to overlook Brainaire in the context of Saint-Julien, where most of the other important wines are much more powerful. Branaire always speaks with a hushed, discreet voice. Readers who appreciate finesse will find much to admire here. The 2015 is a wine of pure and total sensual pleasure. In 2015, the blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged for 18 months in French oak, 60% new. Don't miss it." -- Antonio Galloni
- 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_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_352104Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 93JAMES 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."
- Item #: i_300064Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 98ROBERTPARKER.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."
- Item #: i_351592Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90WINE 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."
- Item #: i_346034Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 94-96James Suckling: 97-98Chateau 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."
- Item #: i_351681Bottle Size: 750mlChateau 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.
- Item #: i_346037Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92-94Wine Spectator: 89-92James Suckling: 90-91ROBERTPARKER.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."