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Region Vintage Name Qty Type Case Size Format Price Note Rating
Red Bordeaux 2005 Pichon Baron

1 Case 12 75cl £1,400
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $145 - 180

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Apr 2008

    Source

    176, The Wine Advocate

    As usual, this superb Pauillac possesses an inky/blue/black color in addition to a big, sweet nose of graphite, charcoal, burning embers, black currant liqueur, and toasty vanillin from new oak casks. Full-bodied with high but sweet, well-integrated tannins, the 2005 Pichon Baron is more backward than the blockbuster 2003 or prodigious 2000. Nevertheless, it is a superb effort whose power, length, and tannic structure suggest it should be at its peak between 2015-2035.

Tasting Notes
94
Southern France 2009 Puech-Haut, Prestige Rouge

2 Case 6 75cl £60
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    $18

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    31st Aug 2010

    Source

    190, The Wine Advocate

    I’m infringing on David Schildknecht’s territory, but he has not yet tasted this wine. From a bio-dynamically farmed estate, this 2009 is a blend of 55% Grenache (from 60- to 75-year-old vines) and 45% Syrah (from 40-year-old vines), all planted in limestone soils, and aged completely in concrete tanks. This remarkable offering is a naked expression of the vivid terroir and excellent fruit found in this region. The incredible aromatics consist of forest floor, spring flowers, sweet black currants, raspberries, licorice, and incense. With a pure, velvety, seamless, full-bodied texture and a finish that lasts 30+ seconds, this wine possesses a stunning integration of acidity, tannin, and alcohol, suggesting this 2009 will age nicely for 3-5 years, possibly as long as a decade. However, it will be hard to resist given its current performance. Bravo! I have followed Chateau Puech Haut for a number of years, and met proprietor Gerald Bru over a decade ago. Bru has employed some extraordinarily talented winemakers, beginning with Michel Rolland, followed by Claude Gros (of Chateau Negly). His current consultant is Philippe Cambie. 

Tasting Notes
93
Red Burgundy 2008 La Romanee

Comte Liger-Belair

1 Case 3 75cl £11,750
  • Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair
    2008
    La Romanée
    Grand Cru Red 750 ml
    Score: 97
    Tasted: Jun 11, 2015
    Drink: Try from 2023+
     
    Tasting note: This is turning out to be even slightly better than I originally thought with its gorgeously complex, elegant, pure and refined nose that feature ample amounts of spice to the cool red currant and plum aromas. The highly sophisticated and silky textured medium-bodied flavors possess an abundance of dry extract that buffers the dense but fine tannins on the balanced and superbly persistent finish that still exhibits a touch of youthful austerity. This really opens on the finish with simply marvelous breadth and overall this is a magnificent wine of class and indisputable grace. Moreover I would enthusiastically nominate this as one of the wines of the vintage.
     

Tasting Notes
97
Red Burgundy 2008 La Romanee

Comte Liger-Belair

1 Case 6 75cl £23,500
  • Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair
    2008
    La Romanée
    Grand Cru Red 750 ml
    Score: 97
    Tasted: Jun 11, 2015
    Drink: Try from 2023+
     
    Tasting note: This is turning out to be even slightly better than I originally thought with its gorgeously complex, elegant, pure and refined nose that feature ample amounts of spice to the cool red currant and plum aromas. The highly sophisticated and silky textured medium-bodied flavors possess an abundance of dry extract that buffers the dense but fine tannins on the balanced and superbly persistent finish that still exhibits a touch of youthful austerity. This really opens on the finish with simply marvelous breadth and overall this is a magnificent wine of class and indisputable grace. Moreover I would enthusiastically nominate this as one of the wines of the vintage.
     

Tasting Notes
97
Red Burgundy 2007 La Romanee

Comte Liger-Belair

1 Case 6 75cl £22,500
  • Score: 95/100 - 1cs 6x75 long term in bond 

    Producer note: Louis-Michel Liger-Belair told me that 2008 was a "very complicated vintage. The April to June period was reasonably good but July and August were difficult. We began picking on the 27th of September and there was a moderate amount of sorting required. I would estimate our sorting losses at between 5 and 12%, which when coupled with the naturally lower yields of the vintage left us with, on average, 30% less wine than in a normal harvest. This is to say that in 2008 we realized yields of between 19 and 27 hl/ha. Sugars for the grapes that we kept were very good at between 12 and 13%. I did a relatively soft vinification as I reduced the cuvaison by a few days. Extraction though was really no problem as the grapes that we kept had normal skin thicknesses. The new wine had very high levels of malic acid, which definitely has affected the élevage due to the long malos. You had to be very vigilant to make sure that everything was very clean. Normally, we would just add a dose of SO2 but if you're malolactic is still progressing, you risk stopping it. Overall, I really like the vintage as the wines are pure and very transparent." As the scores and comments suggest, the in-bottle '07s have turned out very well, which is to say pretty much consistent with my original expected ranges. (A Becky Wasserman Selection/Le Serbet, www.leserbet.com, Beaune, France; additional distributors include Veritas Imports, www.veritaswine.com, CA & TX, and USA Wine Imports, www.usawineimports.com, NY, NY for "Selection Pas Mal", New York, NY; Justerini & Brooks, www.justerinis.com, UK and Richards Walford & Co., Ltd., www.r-w.co.uk, UK).
    Tasting note: As it usually is, the nose is positively kaleidoscopic with a wonderful breadth of red and black fruit aromas, violets and Asian spice nuances that continues onto the rich, full and very stylish medium full flavors blessed with impressive amounts of supporting mid-palate sap that relegate the firm tannic spine to the background for the moment before exploding into a youthfully austere and mouth coating finish that seems to go on and on. This is not an especially big La Romanée but like several of its brethren, it's tightly focused, balanced and carries enormous flavor authority.
     

Tasting Notes
95
Red Burgundy 2008 Chambertin

Rousseau

1 Case 12 75cl £23,500
  • Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils
    2008
    Chambertin
    Grand Cru Red 750 ml
    Score: 96
    Tasted: Apr 19, 2016
    Drink: Try from 2023+
     
    Tasting note: A still mildly toasty nose features remarkably dense yet elegant aromas of deeply pitched yet extremely cool and restrained red and blue fruit aromas that are nuanced by a broad range of earth, game and underbrush hints. There is an utterly beguiling purity to the relatively refined but muscular medium full-bodied plus flavors that are strikingly complex, vibrant and perfectly balanced before culminating in a gorgeously long finish. This is brimming with upside development potential and while it too will require plenty of patience, its class and grace are such that it can be enjoyed now though I would strongly counsel waiting. In a word, magnificent. Tasted thrice recently with consistent notes.
     

Tasting Notes
96
Red Burgundy 2005 Musigny Vieilles Vignes

de Vogue

2 Case 6 75cl £7,750
  • Prepare to be transported. A positively brilliant nose of violet and rose petal shines against a background of intensely spiced extravagant red and black pinot fruit nuanced by hints of earth and stone and this minerality continues onto the surprisingly supple flavors that convey a remarkable sense of energy and power on the almost unbelievably intense, focused and structured finish that seems to go on and on without end. And the '05 VV has what all truly great burgundies have which is that extra dimension of power without weight as this carries terrific punch and power yet delivers that explosiveness with impeccable class and grace. While I am duly mindful of the many legendary wines this domaine has produced (see the database for all vintages reviewed dating to 1919), the 2005 could very well join the list of the all time greats, there is really that much potential here. Whether it will ultimately transcend the heights achieved by the 1919 or the 1949 (among many others) remains an open question, I have zero doubt that 2005 will be a genuinely great vintage for this wine. Brilliance personified and absolutely a 'wow' wine, in fact, this merits a double 'wow'.

Tasting Notes
99
California 2016 Insignia

Joseph Phelps

2 Case 6 75cl £920
  • A barrel sample made up of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and is a little reticent at this still nascent stage (to be bottled in January 2019), opening out to reveal chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and black raspberries with touches of underbrush, cedar chest and bouquet garni plus a hint of grilled meat. Medium to full-bodied, the palate springs forth with exciting energy, offering loads of red and black fruit layers and compelling herbal sparks, featuring a firm, fine-grained backbone and bags of freshness lifting the finish. 13,500 cases are expected to be made.

    Score: 97/100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, December 2018

    Lovely density and intensity with dark berries, blueberries and inky undertones with hints of spice, chocolate and walnuts. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. The texture and length are fantastic here. Complex. Hints of smoky wood at the end. This needs three to five years more in bottle age. Exciting wine. Try after 2022.

    Score: 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2019

    The 2016 Insignia has turned out beautifully. Silky, layered and positively striking, the 2016 is magnificent. In this vintage, Insignia is especially silky, refined and understated, which is unusual for this wine that has often been more bombastic. Readers will have to be patient with the 2016, as it needs at least several years in bottle to be at its very best, but this is all finesse and class.

    Score: 97 Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2020

    Sweet, racy and perfumed, the 2016 Insignia captivates all the senses with its exceptional balance. In 2016, Insignia is poised and vibrant in the glass, with gorgeous balance of aromatics, fruit and structure. Succulent dark cherry, plum, lavender and menthol are all nicely delineated. Today, the 2016 offers the mid-weight structure of the 2014 with the depth and darker profile of the 2015, a combination that is incredibly appealing. All of that makes the 2016 Insignia one of the highlights in this tasting.

    Score: 95/98 Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2018

Tasting Notes
97
California 2015 Napanook

Dominus Estate

1 Case 12 75cl £580
  • Rating

    93+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2030

    Reviewed by

     Lisa Perrotti-Brown

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2017

    Source

    233, The Wine Advocate

    Bottled in July 2017, Dominus’ more approachable, less tannic sister wine, Napanook, is a blend this year of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine is redolent of crème de cassis, potpourri, plum preserves and violets with hints of dark chocolate, menthol, licorice and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by firm, ripe, fine-grained tannins and finishing with great length.

Tasting Notes
93
California 2015 Insignia

Joseph Phelps

3 Case 6 75cl £790
98
California 2014 Insignia

Joseph Phelps

1 Case 3 150cl £740
97
California 2014 Insignia

Joseph Phelps

1 Case 6 75cl £740
97
California 2014 Dominus

Dominus Estate

2 Case 6 75cl £820
97
California 2013 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Joseph Phelps

1 Case 3 150cl £360
  • Rating

    91

    Release Price

    $75

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Oct 2015

    Source

    221, The Wine Advocate

    The Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, is a strong effort from Joseph Phelps and possibly could turn out to be one of the best generic Napa bottlings they have made in many a year. There are 23,000 cases of this wine, which is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and the rest Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, almost all of it coming from their estate vineyards. The wine saw about 45% new oak (55% French, 45% American) and is opaque purple in color, with a classic Cabernet expression of tobacco leaf, blackcurrants, licorice and Christmas fruitcake. It is full-bodied, dense, opulent and concentrated, especially for the introductory Cabernet Sauvignon in the Joseph Phelps stable. No doubt, the fruit coming from 100% estate vineyards has certainly added quality to this offering. This should drink well for up to 20 or more years.

Tasting Notes
91
California 2013 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Joseph Phelps

1 Case 6 75cl £320
  • Rating

    91

    Release Price

    $75

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    30th Oct 2015

    Source

    221, The Wine Advocate

    The Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, is a strong effort from Joseph Phelps and possibly could turn out to be one of the best generic Napa bottlings they have made in many a year. There are 23,000 cases of this wine, which is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and the rest Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, almost all of it coming from their estate vineyards. The wine saw about 45% new oak (55% French, 45% American) and is opaque purple in color, with a classic Cabernet expression of tobacco leaf, blackcurrants, licorice and Christmas fruitcake. It is full-bodied, dense, opulent and concentrated, especially for the introductory Cabernet Sauvignon in the Joseph Phelps stable. No doubt, the fruit coming from 100% estate vineyards has certainly added quality to this offering. This should drink well for up to 20 or more years.

Tasting Notes
91
California 2013 Insignia

Joseph Phelps

2 Case 6 75cl £895
  • Rating

    98+

    Release Price

    $250

    Drink Date

    2021 - 2071

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    28th Oct 2016

    Source

    227, The Wine Advocate

    The 2013 Insignia (their 40th vintage) is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This wine is aged 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels, and the production can vary from just over 10,000 cases to nearly 20,000 cases in a very abundant vintage. There were 12,300 cases produced in 2013, and this vintage of Insignia is certainly going to turn out to be one of the great ones. The wine offers a stunning inky blue/purple color, a gorgeous nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite, new saddle leather and barrique. The wine has fabulous concentration, a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel, and tremendous finish with moderate tannin. It’s interesting to note that the Phelps winemaking staff had been gradually reducing the amount of Merlot in this wine over recent vintages. The 2013 should hit its peak in 5-7 years and last for 35-50.

Tasting Notes
98
California 2012 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Joseph Phelps

1 Case 3 150cl £330
  • Rating

    (89 - 91)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2013

    Source

    209, The Wine Advocate

    Not surprisingly, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a deeper, richer, fuller effort with a more saturated ruby/purple color as well as lots of creme de cassis, smoke, forest floor, incense and background wood. Medium to full-bodied and rich in fruit with low acidity and extremely sweet tannin, this will be a crowd-pleasing, delicious Cabernet Sauvignon to drink early on or cellar for 10-15+ years. All of Joseph Phelps’ Sonoma Coast Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs will be included in the Sonoma report in the December, 2013 issue. One of the visionaries in California’s Rhone Ranger movement that began a quarter of a century ago, Phelps continues to focus on their Syrah program. I have mixed emotions about that because they made some wonderful wines from some other Rhone varietals in the past under the terminated Mistral label. On the www.erobertparker.com website, I will be posting one of the most historical vertical tastings I have ever done, that of Joseph Phelps’ proprietary red Bordeaux blend called Insignia, which was one of California’s first proprietary red Meritage wines launched in 1974. While visiting this winery in early September, I had the privilege of tasting every vintage from 1974 to 2012. This has always been a remarkable wine and sadly I am old enough to remember the 1974, to which I gave a great rating, but then suggested it be drunk within 10-12 years. I never thought it would last. Of course, it turned out to be one of the great mature wines of the vertical tasting, but more on that on the web site. The five vintages of Insignia which consumers should be keeping an eye on are 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Here are my notes on those wines which are either on the market or soon will be. By the way, the production of Insignia over the last 15-20 years has ranged from a low of 10,000-12,000 cases to a whopping 20,000 cases, often with the highest production levels in some of the greatest years. There are usually around 750 to 1,300 cases of the Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard. Usually 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is fashioned from the red soils of the Oakville hillsides (a spectacular sight as you drive south on the Silverado Trail). 

Tasting Notes
91
California 2012 Dominus

Dominus Estate

1 Case 6 75cl £920
98
Champagne 2007 Bollinger Grande Annee

1 Case 6 75cl £360
  • Rating

    94+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2019 - 2037

    Reviewed by

     William Kelley

    Issue Date

    30th Apr 2019

    Source

    Issue 242 End of April 2019, The Wine Advocate

    From a bottle disgorged in March 2017, Bollinger's 2007 La Grande Année is showing brilliantly, offering up a superb bouquet of lemon oil, confit citrus, almond paste, iodine, walnut oil and freshly baked bread. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, broad-shouldered and powerful in this frequently rather slender vintage, with excellent concentration, a deep and tightly wound core and a precise, chalky finish.

    There are plenty of projects afoot at Bollinger, as chef des caves Gilles Descotes explained to me during my early April visit—my first in some years to this important Aÿ-based domaine. One of the most important changes is that Bollinger has entirely abandoned the use of herbicides for four years now, an initiative that began with the impulse to rehabilitate their famed red wine monopole, La Côte aux Enfants, and which was gradually rolled out across all their holdings. Their facilities have expanded too, to make space for more barrels to insure a sufficiently abundant supply of wood-fermented base wine from the Special Cuvée in years when Grande Année is also produced. And the still red Coteaux Champennois from La Côte aux Enfants is returning to the range, from 2015 vinified separately from the red wines destined to rosé production, with some whole clusters added to the cuves. Descotes also has been working to better manage Bollinger's gently oxidative style, and while fermentation and maturation in old wood still lends Bollinger its strong and distinctive style, oxygen inputs at other stages in the winemaking process are more carefully controlled, resulting in more consistency and structural tension—a trend exemplified by the brilliant 2008 Grande Année (97+), which I reviewed last month. There's so much more to say about this house, but much of that can wait for an in-depth article in a future issue. For the time being, it's sufficient to note that all these recent releases come warmly recommended.

Tasting Notes
94
California 2011 Dominus

Dominus Estate

1 Case 6 75cl £590
89
Champagne NV Gosset Grande Reserve

1 Case 6 75cl £140
  • (43% chardonnay, 42% pinot noir, 15% pinot meunier). A discreet, even restrained nose is comprised by notes of petrol, yeast, Meyer lemon, apple and a lovely floral hint. The rounded, delicious and caressing flavors are shaped by a relatively soft (though not flabby) mousse before culminating in a clean, vibrant and moderately dry finale. I like the delivery though this could use just a bit more complexity which could develop if this was given a few more years of cellar time. 91/2020+

    Score: 91 Allen Meadows, Burghound.com (65), January 2017

     

Tasting Notes
91
Champagne NV Gosset Grand Blanc de Blancs

1 Bottle 6 75cl £220
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2024

    Reviewed by

     Stephan Reinhardt

    Issue Date

    30th Jun 2016

    Source

    225, The Wine Advocate

    Gosset's lemon-yellow NV Grand Blanc de Blancs – 100% Chardonnay blend sourced in Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Villers-Marmery and Trépailopens – opens with a very clear, precise and concentrated bouquet. It is also pure and pretty coolish/greenish with chalk, herbs and lemon peels – really exciting! Very mineral and complex on the palate, this is a pure and finesse-full, but firmly structured and persistent Champagne with marjoram flavors in the long, stringent, tension-filled finish. This is a young and vital but serious, tightly woven and expressive, medium-bodied Champagne. It has an intense and deep taste, with excellent ageing potential. Impressive.

Tasting Notes
93
Champagne 2006 Gosset Grand Millesime

1 Case 6 75cl £245
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2024

    Reviewed by

     Stephan Reinhardt

    Issue Date

    30th Jun 2016

    Source

    225, The Wine Advocate

    From an excellent vintage, especially for Pinot Noir, Gosset's golden-yellow 2006 Grand Millésime Brut (which blends 56% Pinot Noir with 44% Chardonnay and was disgorged after eight years on the lees) displays a deep, rich and fresh, very mineral bouquet. This is followed by a full-bodied, very complex and persistent palate with purity, finesse and great expression. This is a mouthful of a straightforward, well-structured and refreshing millésime with a long and pure, salty and stringent finish. This 2006 combines richness with purity, elegance with complexity, and finesse with a serious expression and length. A great Champagne indeed.

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone 2015 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape

1 Case 3 150cl £250
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Joe Czerwinski

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2017

    Source

    233, The Wine Advocate

    The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone 2015 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape

1 Case 6 75cl £235
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Joe Czerwinski

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2017

    Source

    233, The Wine Advocate

    The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.

Tasting Notes
94
Rhone 2015 Pallieres Gigondas les Racines

1 Case 6 75cl £98
  • Rating

    (91 - 93)

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Oct 2016

    Source

    227, The Wine Advocate

    The 2015 Gigondas les Racines looks to be slightly superior to the Terrasses du Diable at this point and has a more minerality, dark fruit and garrigue in a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, even backwards style. It has depth and length, and will benefit from a few years in bottle.

Tasting Notes
93
Rhone 2015 Telegramme Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2 Case 6 75cl £120
  • Rating

    89+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2023

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    28th Oct 2016

    Source

    227, The Wine Advocate

    One of the finer, more elegant and classy examples of the cuvée I can remember, the 2015 Télégramme Châteauneuf du Pape is more a mini Vieux Telegraphe at this point than the more fruit-forward Télégramme examples of the past. Framboise, currants, dried earth and garrigue all emerge from this medium-bodied, elegant and finesse-driven wine that’s ideal for drinking while you wait on the top cuvée.

Tasting Notes
89
White Bordeaux 2013 Yquem

1 Case 6 75cl £1,075
  • The 2013 d'Yquem is rich, honeyed and voluptuous in the glass, but never excessively heavy. Crème brulee, candied lemon, apricot jam, orange marmalade, sweet spices and almond paste meld together in a Sauternes built on class and finesse What a gorgeous wine this is.

    -- Antonio Galloni

Tasting Notes
96
Spain 2005 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890

2 Case 6 75cl £520
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $175

    Drink Date

    2019 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Luis Gutiérrez

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2019

    Source

    Issue 243 End of June 2019, The Wine Advocate

    I tasted the 2005 Gran Reserva 890 again, and I liked it better this time than in my previous review, even if I normally like the Gran Reserva 904 better than this bottling, as I find it better balanced. I tend to feel less energy in this wine, as it spends a very long time in barrel, six years in this case. 2005 was an excellent vintage, and they implemented some improvements in the harvest, introducing 350-kilo boxes and refrigerated transport to the winery, which they think provides better grapes and potentially better quality of the wines. The palate is medium-bodied, the tannins have mostly melted, and it has lively acidity that lift the wine up. This is a very classical and polished Rioja. 57,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2012.

Tasting Notes
95
Spain 2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890

1 Case 6 75cl £450
  • Rating

    94+

    Release Price

    $149

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2024

    Reviewed by

     Luis Gutiérrez

    Issue Date

    31st Aug 2016

    Source

    226, The Wine Advocate

    The 2004 Gran Reserva 890 is the top of the range here, a wine that is only released three/four times per decade in exceptional years. They start by sourcing grapes from their oldest vineyards and going through a slow process of aging the wine in American oak barrels for six years, with ten manual rackings, and each time there is a selection of only the best barrels. The bottled wine is 13.5% alcohol with a remarkably low pH (3.0) that to me means 'quality' of the acidity, which is a healthy six grams per liter (in tartaric). The nose is all about forest floor aromas, game, cigar ash, incense, old furniture and some smoked meat. The palate shows what the technical data was hinting--very fresh with slightly dusty tannins and nice acidity. It's polished, but feels livelier than some older vintages. 38,000 numbered bottles.

Tasting Notes
94
Australia 2012 Cloudburst, Cabernet Sauvignon

1 Case 6 75cl £660
Australia 2011 Jasper Hill, Georgia's Paddock Shiraz

1 Case 6 75cl £240
Italy 2007 Quintarelli Giuseppe, Alzero Cabernet Franc

1 Case 6 75cl £1,550
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    31st May 2017

    Source

    Interim End of May 2017, The Wine Advocate

    A blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the 2007 Alzero is an Amarone-inspired red blend. The two Cabernet varieties undergo a three-month appassimento process and the Merlot is added at the last minute before bottling. This last grape adds a very evident layer of cherry sweetness and softness that goes a long way in defining this wine. Alzero has been in production since 1983 and no vintage has ever been skipped. This is a dark and brooding expression with a playful mix of sweet fruit intensity and dark tannic background shading.

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2012 Isole e Olena Cepparello

2 Bottle 150cl £115
  • The 2012 Cepparello is just as compelling as it has always been. Sweet, ample and generous from the outset, the 2012 shows all of its pedigree, even at this early stage. Radiant fruit and exquisite aromatics make a strong opening statement as the wine fleshes out in the glass. Ample, creamy and super-expressive, the 2012 is shaping up to be a superb Cepparello. The only thing the 2012 needs is time. An up and down year with hot temperatures in July and early August, followed by rain in September forced DeMarchi to be especially selective and bottle only the best lots. Production is down to 30,000 bottles from 36,000 in 2013 and 32,400 in 2011.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2012 Le Pupille Saffredi

1 Case 6 75cl £290
  • 95

    The excellent 2012 Saffredi is one of the best wines I have tasted from Fattoria le Pupille. This is an exuberant and expressive blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a smaller part Petit Verdot from the gorgeous hills of Maremma near Grosseto, Tuscany. The wine is rich and penetrating with a stunning sense of balance and inner poise. Dark cherry, blackberry, spice, leather, tobacco and grilled herb flow freely from the bouquet. The wine is softly textured with full body appeal. This fabulous Saffredi should age forward ten years or more. The Cabernet component of the wine shows perfect ripeness. (Monica Larner)

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 2010 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

1 Case 6 75cl £185
  • Rating

    93

    Release Price

    $65

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2028

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2017

    Source

    229, The Wine Advocate

    Altesino is now celebrating the release of its 40th harvest. In fact, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is inscribed with the words "our 40th Harvest" in gold letters on its front label. This is a truly delicious wine that exceeds my expectations. I love the way it takes full command of the slightly bolder and more opulent dark fruit aromas produced in this hot vintage. Black cherry, plum and crème de cassis converge on the bouquet. Grilled herb, forest floor, licorice and exotic spice play supporting roles. The finish offers moderate acidity on the Sangiovese scale. This means the wine is mush fresher and more tonic than most Tuscan reds. The finish is long and silky.

Tasting Notes
93
Rhone 2011 Delas, Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette Blanc

1 Case 6 75cl £200
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2013 - 2033

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    30th Dec 2013

    Source

    210, The Wine Advocate

    Also brilliant, the 2011 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc (100% Marsanne aged in 60% new and 40% 2-year-old barrels) offers up knee weakening notes of orange blossom, honey, buttered tropical fruits and crushed stone-like minerality. This flows to a full-bodied, decadently rich and layered palate that has crystalline-like purity and a knockout finish. Count me impressed and this classic Hermitage Blanc will offer up over two decades of prime drinking. Run by Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud, Delas, which is owned by the Louis Roederer-Deutz Champagne firm, is producing no nonsense, extremely high quality efforts that are near the top of each of their respective appellations. I was consistently impressed by the wines, and they stood out in all of the larger tastings that I was able to do. In addition, I was able to taste the wines again at the domain, and again once back in the states. These are serious efforts worthy of attention. As to the Hermitages, they produce two, a standard Domaine des Tourettes, and in top vintages, the Les Bessards. In addition to the top-flight Cote Rotie and Hermitage releases, this estate produces a bevy of high quality efforts from Cornas and Saint Joseph.

     

Tasting Notes
95
Vintage Port 2011 Croft

3 Case 6 75cl £180
  • Rating

    (92 - 95)

    Release Price

    $85

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    Neal Martin

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2013

    Source

    207, The Wine Advocate

    The 2011 Croft is initially taciturn on the nose, even after allowing it 20 minutes in my glass. A light swirling immediately awakens the aromatics to offer blackberry, Seville orange marmalade, blueberries and dried fig – complex and quite compelling. There is real mineralite within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety-smooth opening that belies the fine, structured tannins underneath. It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor’s or Fonseca. But Croft has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years. Tasted May 2013. 

Tasting Notes
95
Germany 2008 Donnhoff, Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein

1 Case 6 37.5cl £720
  • Rating

    97

    Release Price

    $275

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    27th Feb 2010

    Source

    187, The Wine Advocate

    "It's a Kabinett and Spatlese vintage, and there don't have to be Auslesen, besides which the world has enough Auslesen right now from recent years in which what used to be special has become routine," says Donnhoff by way of introducing the 2008 Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein A.P. #21. "But we left just a few bunches hanging in the Brucke, he continues, because they were in such stable health. It got to be December and I though oh dear! I'd promised the family I would not spoil the holidays." Finally, on the 30th of December, conditions were perfect for Eiswein. Scents of radish, lemon zest, and apricot preserves along with an ominously smoky prickle in the nose usher in a palate of Eszencia-like viscosity, apricot nectar concentration, delicacy (at only 7% alcohol) and complete absence of superficial sweetness. This finishes with piercing intensity and dazzling complexity, adding black tea; sea salt; ginger; seedy, tart red raspberry; and honey to the apricot jam and lemon. it's like a razor-sharp saber slathered in oily, ambrosial jelly and suspended in mid air. Few if any Eiswein of the vintage approach this for intricacy, refinement, or classic Eiswein character. I expect whatever portion of its 300 liters that is not drunk sooner to astound for at least two and perhaps three decades. It was back to the roots this year, announced a beaming Helmut Donnhoff when I arrived to taste his 2008s. He harvested in the last week of October and first half of November during which time he characterized the weather as cool and stable. I can guarantee you, he added, that we didn't for a single day have muddy boots.

     

Tasting Notes
97
Germany 2008 Donnhoff, Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese

1 Case 6 150cl £275
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $75

    Drink Date

    2010 - 2030

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    27th Feb 2010

    Source

    187, The Wine Advocate

    Thyme, mint, lime, and orange inform the nose of Donnhoff's 2008 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese which offers a lither texture and brighter, more saline mineral dimension than one is used to. In fact, it's remarkable the degree to which this resembles the corresponding Brucke in its intricate interweaving of herbal, mineral, citrus, and red berry strands, while wreathed in an aura of smoke and crushed stone. don't be deceived, says Donnhoff, there's a lot more stuffing behind this Hermannshohle. And by the way, the analyses of these Spatlesen, including Kupfergrube, are almost identical; the handling in the cellar was the same; and there aren't even 500 meters to separate the three of them. Plan to follow this for 20 or more years and to expect - as its author suggests - further complexity and richness along the way. It was back to the roots this year, announced a beaming Helmut Donnhoff when I arrived to taste his 2008s. He harvested in the last week of October and first half of November during which time he characterized the weather as cool and stable. I can guarantee you, he added, that we didn't for a single day have muddy boots. 

Tasting Notes
94
Germany 2010 Donnhoff, Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese

4 Case 12 37.5cl £290
  • Rating

    97

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2009

    Source

    185, The Wine Advocate

    The 2007 Oberhaueser Brucke Riesling Auslese A.P. #38 - which was auctioned - represents the traditional feinste Auslese. Over-ripe pear, quince, and intriguing - perhaps in part orchid-like - floral perfume fill the nose, accompanied by a nose-tweaking pungency of botrytis spice, and the palate is saturated with liqueur-like essences of orchard fruits and liquid gardenia and lily. This rich amalgam displays incredible finishing penetration, with coiled springs of bright citrus releasing to produce a shower of minerals and cinders; a scintillating interplay with the wine's fruits and flowers; and an uncanny sense of sheer lift. Expect at least three decades of drama. While Donnhoff returned to his usual humility in characterizing the latest vintage - following an atypically unabashed outbreak of enthusiasm in describing his indeed amazing collection of 2006s - it is clear that the 2007s delight him in a similar way, as outstanding representations of their respective sites at Spatlese ripeness. (Note, incidentally, that the Pradikat has been removed from any dry wines here, in keeping with a new convention of the Nahe branch of the VDP growers- association.) -Within that range of ripeness,- he submits, -one best-recognizes the site. Here you have nothing exaggerated, but instead a normal harvest, meaning a documentation of the vineyards, each a different face on the landscape. They all went to the same school and had the same opportunities- he adds, gesturing to the long row of Spatlesen on the tasting table, and alluding to his own role as well as the vintage-s. -It was a bit intimidating this year at harvest,- he added, -because when the grapes are perfect, you can only make mistakes.- I had the rare fortune to taste this collection twice, and like so many 2007s (a comment that even more growers made about their 2008s) the wines were much more impressive in September than in Spring. A 2007 Hermannshohle Trockenbeerenauslese, by the way, is still trying to become wine after two years.

     

Tasting Notes
97
Germany 2010 Dr. Loosen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

1 Case 6 75cl £80
  • Rating

    87

    Release Price

    $26

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2024

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    26th Apr 2012

    Source

    200, The Wine Advocate

    Site-typical vanilla-tinged apple with bright inflections of fresh lemon dominate the nose and delicate juicy palate of Loosen’s 2010 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett. This understated Kabinett lacks the mineral savor or finishing refreshment of its Lay counterpart, but is adeptly balanced, admirably persistent, and should perform well for at least a dozen years. Cellarmaster Bernhard Schug offers an unadorned impression of the travails of 2010, in which he extensively double-salt de-acidified his musts. “This was especially necessary for the dry wines,” he points out, adding “I’m frankly surprised that those turned out as well as they did. The most stressful aspect of the harvest is that we waited for gradual diminution of acids and additional ripeness in flavor until we couldn’t wait any longer, and then it was a real rush to pick. It was an agitated, tension-filled autumn, and that is the way the wines turned out, too. We could have de-acidified another gram or so and ended up with an acid profile like that of 2009, but this would have been a mistake and have sacrificed the individuality of the vintage.” While Erni Loosen remains a staunch defender of residually sweet, delicate Mosel Kabinett as a category, his 2010s unfortunately underscore the challenges to achieving consistent success with this genre in an era when even in this, the rainiest growing season in nearly a quarter century, must weights galloped. It was with joy and relief that I began tasting the series of residually sweet Spatlesen from this collection, because what went before – with three exceptions – was frankly disappointing. Loosen has elected to henceforth accentuate the difference between Spatlese and Auslese by incorporating in the latter category, as Schug puts it, “more botrytis than we would have had in an Auslese three years ago.” (For the 2010s, that meant around one-third of the fruit.) The corollary of this – which has the desired result of simplifying the portfolio – is that with the exception of Pralat there is not, and will likely also not be in future, any gold capsule Auslese. Interestingly – though this can certainly be a matter of caprice and luck – only one of the wines in this year’s collection displayed any “Mosel stink” from fermentative residues or reductive reaction with the dose of sulfur applied at bottling, even though this phenomenon can often be a short-term annoyance with the odd Loosen bottling and was encountered quite often in other Mosel collections of the 2010 vintage. (If I could explain the phenomenon in question more adequately chemically, I would be only too glad to publish that explanation; but extended correspondence with scientific specialists has thus-far proved far from decisive.)

     

Tasting Notes
87
Germany 2010 Dr. Loosen, Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese

1 Case 6 75cl £150
  • Rating

    91

    Release Price

    $64

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2037

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    26th Apr 2012

    Source

    200, The Wine Advocate

    Mint and fennel in the nose of Loosen’s 2010 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese make for a metaphorically cooling impression that belies the wine’s high ripeness and botrytis component as well as standing in stark contrast to the estate’s other two (“regular”) Auslesen from this vintage. This comes to the palate with a sheer juiciness and bright citricity that also set it apart from its immediate siblings, lusciously suggesting strawberry preserves mingled with lemon and herbs as well as a welcome, savory salinity. What’s more, there is a sense of wet stone that helps set-off the fruit-herb melange in a lingering finish. This ought to show well for at least a quarter century. Cellarmaster Bernhard Schug offers an unadorned impression of the travails of 2010, in which he extensively double-salt de-acidified his musts. “This was especially necessary for the dry wines,” he points out, adding “I’m frankly surprised that those turned out as well as they did. The most stressful aspect of the harvest is that we waited for gradual diminution of acids and additional ripeness in flavor until we couldn’t wait any longer, and then it was a real rush to pick. It was an agitated, tension-filled autumn, and that is the way the wines turned out, too. We could have de-acidified another gram or so and ended up with an acid profile like that of 2009, but this would have been a mistake and have sacrificed the individuality of the vintage.” While Erni Loosen remains a staunch defender of residually sweet, delicate Mosel Kabinett as a category, his 2010s unfortunately underscore the challenges to achieving consistent success with this genre in an era when even in this, the rainiest growing season in nearly a quarter century, must weights galloped. It was with joy and relief that I began tasting the series of residually sweet Spatlesen from this collection, because what went before – with three exceptions – was frankly disappointing. Loosen has elected to henceforth accentuate the difference between Spatlese and Auslese by incorporating in the latter category, as Schug puts it, “more botrytis than we would have had in an Auslese three years ago.” (For the 2010s, that meant around one-third of the fruit.) The corollary of this – which has the desired result of simplifying the portfolio – is that with the exception of Pralat there is not, and will likely also not be in future, any gold capsule Auslese. Interestingly – though this can certainly be a matter of caprice and luck – only one of the wines in this year’s collection displayed any “Mosel stink” from fermentative residues or reductive reaction with the dose of sulfur applied at bottling, even though this phenomenon can often be a short-term annoyance with the odd Loosen bottling and was encountered quite often in other Mosel collections of the 2010 vintage. (If I could explain the phenomenon in question more adequately chemically, I would be only too glad to publish that explanation; but extended correspondence with scientific specialists has thus-far proved far from decisive.)

     

Tasting Notes
91
Germany 2010 Dr. Loosen, Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel

1 Case 6 37.5cl £165
  • Rating

    92

    Release Price

    $115

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2042

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    26th Apr 2012

    Source

    200, The Wine Advocate

    In keeping with this estate’s drive for a simpler portfolio of more decisively distinct bottlings, there is no “regular” Auslese counterpart to Loosen’s 2010 Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese gold capsule. Candied lemon, orange liqueur and honeysuckle in the nose are reinforced on the buoyant palate by a creamy texture and high residual sugar, yet also mingled with fresh citrus and cooling green herbal essences. Pungency of citrus rind and brown spices as well as a hint of white raisin emerge in the luxuriantly yet vibrantly long finish to remind one of the botrytis presence, but this handsome offering is very much in keeping with the move that Loosen and Schug have made in recent years toward less gaudy and opulent expressions of Pralat and toward greater elegance and retention of fresh fruitedness. I would anticipate at least 30 years of delight. Cellarmaster Bernhard Schug offers an unadorned impression of the travails of 2010, in which he extensively double-salt de-acidified his musts. “This was especially necessary for the dry wines,” he points out, adding “I’m frankly surprised that those turned out as well as they did. The most stressful aspect of the harvest is that we waited for gradual diminution of acids and additional ripeness in flavor until we couldn’t wait any longer, and then it was a real rush to pick. It was an agitated, tension-filled autumn, and that is the way the wines turned out, too. We could have de-acidified another gram or so and ended up with an acid profile like that of 2009, but this would have been a mistake and have sacrificed the individuality of the vintage.” While Erni Loosen remains a staunch defender of residually sweet, delicate Mosel Kabinett as a category, his 2010s unfortunately underscore the challenges to achieving consistent success with this genre in an era when even in this, the rainiest growing season in nearly a quarter century, must weights galloped. It was with joy and relief that I began tasting the series of residually sweet Spatlesen from this collection, because what went before – with three exceptions – was frankly disappointing. Loosen has elected to henceforth accentuate the difference between Spatlese and Auslese by incorporating in the latter category, as Schug puts it, “more botrytis than we would have had in an Auslese three years ago.” (For the 2010s, that meant around one-third of the fruit.) The corollary of this – which has the desired result of simplifying the portfolio – is that with the exception of Pralat there is not, and will likely also not be in future, any gold capsule Auslese. Interestingly – though this can certainly be a matter of caprice and luck – only one of the wines in this year’s collection displayed any “Mosel stink” from fermentative residues or reductive reaction with the dose of sulfur applied at bottling, even though this phenomenon can often be a short-term annoyance with the odd Loosen bottling and was encountered quite often in other Mosel collections of the 2010 vintage. (If I could explain the phenomenon in question more adequately chemically, I would be only too glad to publish that explanation; but extended correspondence with scientific specialists has thus-far proved far from decisive.) 

Tasting Notes
92
Italy 2007 Montevertine Pergole Torte

1 Case 6 75cl £1,200
  • Rating

    99

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2040

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    29th Mar 2018

    Source

    Interim End of March 2018, The Wine Advocate

    One of the unforgettable standouts in this historic retrospective, the 2007 Le Pergole Torte is an astonishing achievement. The wine offers soaring intensity and an enduring sense of balance and power. It has also entered a stunning phase in its lifeline, yet it still possesses that inner energy and youthfulness that ensures an even longer aging trajectory ahead. The bouquet is singular both in terms of its varietal purity and its aromatic reach. In many respects, this wine comes closest to the legendary 1990 Le Pergole Torte Riserva, an edition made only once in Montevertine's history. Indeed, this wine may have an upper leg on that wine given that inner youthfulness I mentioned above. The bouquet emits dark fruit and hints of exotic spice. The mouthfeel shows beautiful texture, fiber and even smoothness.

Tasting Notes
99
Italy 1990 Solaia

1 Case 6 75cl £1,680
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $75

    Drink Date

    2014

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 1994

    Source

    95, The Wine Advocate

    The 1990 Solaia is slightly more concentrated than the 1990 Tignanello, with a saturated purple color, and a classic, international nose of cassis, lead pencil, vanillin, and smoke. It is gorgeously rich, with a fat, unctuous texture, and a long, highly extracted finish. Well-balanced and already delicious, it remains unevolved and is potentially a 12-20 year wine. In the context of recent Solaias, I would rate it a worthy competitor to the other-worldly 1985. It is certainly much more opulent, with sweeter, jammier, richer fruit than the 1988 (most recently rated 88 points).  

Tasting Notes
94
Hungary 2007 Royal Tokaji, Birsalmas 5 Puttonyos Tokaj

2 Case 6 50cl £450
Hungary 2007 Royal Tokaji, Betsek 6 Puttonyos, Tokaj

3 Case 6 50cl £275
  • Rating

    91

    Release Price

    $115

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    Neal Martin

    Issue Date

    30th Dec 2013

    Source

    210, The Wine Advocate

    The 2007 Tokaji Aszu Betsek 6-Puttonyos is nicely defined on the nose with scents of orange-blossom, Clementine, creme brulee and just a hint of jasmine. The palate is very well-balanced with a viscous core of honeyed fruit pierced by perfectly judged acidity that counterbalances the 183 grams per liter of residual sugar. It segues into a spicy, animated finish with hints of white pepper lingering on the aftertaste. Excellent.  

Tasting Notes
91
Hungary 2003 Royal Tokaji Essencia Tokaj

[individual gift boxes]

2 Case 6 37.5cl £2,250
  • The 2003 Essencia has a fabulous bouquet with profound scents of lemon curd, frangipane, apple crumble, dandelion, wild mushroom and a slight adhesive note. The palate is extraordinarily pure with perfect acidity. It is perfectly focused with a crescendo of honey, quince, and Seville orange marmalade with lemon peel. This is out of this world.

    Score: 98 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (210), December 2013

Tasting Notes
98
Australia 2010 Torbreck Runrig Shiraz

1 Case 6 75cl £1,200
  • Rating

    100

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2018 - 2035

    Reviewed by

     Joe Czerwinski

    Issue Date

    31st Aug 2018

    Source

    238, The Wine Advocate

    Simultaneously incredibly rich and incredibly fragrant, the 2010 RunRig seems capable of aging at least another 15 years. Scents of violets and red berries combine with darker fruit, ample dried spice and hints of savory meatiness. It's a complete wine and one of the ultimate expressions of Barossa Valley Shiraz.

    Since I reported on Torbreck's recent releases back in March, what to do during my May visit? Perhaps a look back into the archives? OK, twist my arm... We tasted short verticals of the Les Amis (Grenache) and Run Rig (Shiraz). I've omitted including reviews of the 2013 and 2015 Les Amis (97 and 98 points, respectively) and the 2013 RunRig (98 points), because they're substantially similar to those published in Issues 225 and 232. Readers looking for the 2008 versions of these wines as part of the 10-years-later retrospective: they weren't bottled that year.

    Importer Information:
    Wine Creek, LLC 4900 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (707) 395-3900
    Rating

    100

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2028

    Reviewed by

     Lisa Perrotti-Brown

    Issue Date

    27th Feb 2014

    Source

    211, The Wine Advocate

    Deep garnet-black with a hint of purple to the color, the 2010 RunRig taunts at first with a slightly closed nose before it engages with subtle kirsch, preserved plum, dried mulberry and Christmas cake notes intermingled with hints of violets, cinnamon stick, mocha and game. Full-bodied, rich and incredibly concentrated, the palate astonishes with incredible poise for such a big style as it perfectly balances the wine’s generous fruit flavors with firm, velvety tannins and seamlessly vibrant, lively acid. It finishes with incredible persistence. Delicious now, it should drink best 2016 to 2028+. Importer by Wine Creek, LLC., Healdsburg, CA.

Tasting Notes
100
Australia 2008 Penfolds RWT Shiraz

1 Case 6 75cl £630
Australia 2006 Penfolds Grange

1 Case 6 75cl £2,050
  • Made from fruit coming predominantly from the Barossa Valley this year (97%) and containing 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2006 Grange has been added to my list of favorite recent vintages. Deep garnet-purple colored, it’s still a little youthfully mute, offering notes of warm cherries, black currants, anise, coffee and toast with underlying hints of soy, yeast extract, black olives and Indian spices. Tight-knit and solidly structured on the medium to full bodied palate, the concentrated fruit is densely coiled around the firm grainy tannins and very crisp acidity at this stage, but promises something very special in the years to come. It finishes very long, complex and layered with the cedar poking though the fruit purity. Patience is required for this vintage; it should begin opening out around 2016 and drink to 2030+. 

Tasting Notes
98
Australia 2005 Henschke Mount Edelstone

1 Case 6 75cl £600
  • The 2005 Mount Edelstone is a 100% Shiraz cuvee sourced from a vineyard planted in 1912. Yields are a meager 0.3 to 0.5 tons of fruit per acre. In combination with a near ideal growing season, this has resulted in a great edition of Mount Edelstone, one of South Australia’s iconic wines. Purple-colored, the nose gives up notes of mocha, chocolate, smoked meat, pepper, leather, blueberry, and blackberry. Elegant, already complex, layered, and thoroughly satisfying, this superb Shiraz has enough baby fat to be enjoyed now but will amply reward 5-7 years of cellaring. It will drink beautifully through 2025.

Tasting Notes
97
Rhone 2010 Ermitage de l'Oree

Chapoutier

3 Case 3 150cl £1,050
  • There are 716 cases of the 2010 Ermitage de l’Oree. I have been following this cuvee since its debut vintage and this 100% Marsanne possesses more richness than most Burgundy Montrachets. Although aged in 100% new, 500-liter demi-muids, the wine reveals no evidence of oak. Honeysuckle, caramelized citrus, white peach, quince and white currant characteristics are viscous and full-bodied, yet the wine possesses striking precision and laser-like focus. This monumental effort is the most opulent and richest of all Chapoutier’s dry whites in 2010. 
     

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone 2009 Ermitage Le Meal

Chapoutier

1 Case 3 150cl £960
  • Even inkier in color than the 2010, the 2009 Ermitage le Meal is as good as Hermitage gets. Locked and loaded with phenomenal notes of jammy black raspberries, creme de cassis, crushed violets, smoked earth and spice, it's thick and unctuous on the palate, with incredible density, a huge mid-palate and a layered, multi-dimensional, seamless, elegant texture that just keeps you coming back and begging for another sip. More hedonistic and voluptuous than the 2010, it should still evolve for just as long, yet have even a broader drink window.

    Score: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, September 2015

Tasting Notes
100
Rhone 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc - 6x75

Beaucastel

1 Case 6 75cl £590
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2015 - 2037

    Reviewed by

    Jeb Dunnuck

    Issue Date

    14th Sep 2015

    Source

    Special Report (Sep 2015), The Wine Advocate

    Revealing a touch of darker gold in its color, the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is another blockbuster that continues to shine every time I've opened a bottle. Ripe, decadent and supple, it has boatloads of honeycomb, caramelized citrus, brioche and ripe tropical fruits to go with a gorgeously textured feel on the palate. I suspect it's best consumed over the coming year or two or cellared for 5-6 years.

Tasting Notes
95
Rhone 1998 Hermitage La Chapelle

Jaboulet-Aine

1 Case 6 75cl £800
  • Rating:

    92

    Price ($)

    NA

    Drink Date

    2005 - 2025

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    26th Jun 2000

    Source

    129, The Wine Advocate

    This was the first vintage in the vertical tasting of La Chapelle that is beginning to reveal considerable secondary nuances and color development. Opaque purple/garnet with a touch of amber at the edge, this sexy, rich effort is more pleasurable aromatically than on the palate. However, it possesses multiple dimensions as well as abundant aromas of cedar, damp forest, spice box, and Asian spices. The soaring bouquet suggested the wine was more mature in flavor than it turned out to be. The wine is dense, with a firm, noticeably tannic edge, full body, and concentrated, powerful flavors. It is a classy, understated La Chapelle that requires another 5-6 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025

Tasting Notes
92
Vintage Port 1997 Quinta do Vesuvio

3 Case 6 75cl £270
  • Rating

    90

    Release Price

    $70

    Drink Date

    2020

    Reviewed by

    Robert M. Parker, Jr.

    Issue Date

    1st Jan 2000

    Source

    126, The Wine Advocate

    A delicious, forward, dark saturated ruby/purple-colored port, this 1997 reveals copious quantities of jammy, grapy, black fruit flavors intermixed with earth and spice, full body, and silky tannin. It should drink well soon, but last for two decades.

     

Tasting Notes
90
Vintage Port 1966 Taylor's Single Harvest Tawny Port

1 Case 6 75cl £960
  • Rating

    94

    Release Price

    $300

    Drink Date

    2016 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Mark Squires

    Issue Date

    31st Dec 2015

    Source

    222, The Wine Advocate

    The 1966 Single Harvest Tawny Port (i.e., a Colheita) is a traditional blend, aged in French and American oak. It comes in at 183 grams per liter of residual sugar. Surprisingly rich and fresh, this seems younger than its age. The complexity here is not quite as great as with some and the nuances of molasses and the like are controlled. On the other side of the coin, it has a rather sensual texture, finishing with a sugary burst. Underneath is the expected acidity and a bit of pop. Overall, it is rather seductive and quite delicious. Note that this will be released in January 2016, part of Taylor's old Colheita releases.

Tasting Notes
94
Italy 2016 Gaja Barbaresco

2 Case 6 75cl £750
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2019

    Source

    Issue 243 End of June 2019, The Wine Advocate

    I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can't claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine's future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine's carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.

    NEW RELEASE 18.07.2019

    2016 is among the best vintages popping up in this century and it has all the potential to be a must-have for Barbaresco lovers.

    Climate and harvest

    The winter has been mild, with low level of rainfall during the months of January and February. Starting from the end of February 2016 the temperatures finally dropped and stayed low until the end of March. This late winter led to a delay of about 10 days in the bud breaking. The spring has been rainy and mild. During the summer, the temperature growing trend has been steady without any particular heat picks. There has only been a couple of hot weeks in July, with temperatures hovering above the 30° C but never exceeding the 35°C. In particular, the climate trend has been determined by remarkable temperature variations between days and nights during the last part of the growing season.

    Tasting notes

    Barbaresco 2016 reminds us of 2004 for its elegance and finesse although more powerful. In terms of structure, it is closer to 2001 vintage and with more refined tannins. It is extremely elegant on the nose, a mix of dried flowers. The wine has a good structure mainly thanks to the long and beautiful season; intensity of flavors thanks to the important temperature shifts and the cold harvest time; harmony thanks to the steady and moderate growing seasons.

    It is a vintage suitable for a very long aging. It is deep, seriously structured and compact but also very fine and gracious with a rich and complex bouquet, juicy and sweet tannins, and a well-controlled mouthfeel.

    Vineyards

    14 vineyards situated in the municipality of Barbaresco. The land, at a height between 250 and 330 m above the sea level, covers a surface of 21.4 hectares. The plants are 40 years old on average.

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2016 Gaja Barbaresco

2 Case 3 150cl £750
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2022 - 2045

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2019

    Source

    Issue 243 End of June 2019, The Wine Advocate

    I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can't claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine's future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine's carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.

    NEW RELEASE 18.07.2019

    2016 is among the best vintages popping up in this century and it has all the potential to be a must-have for Barbaresco lovers.

    Climate and harvest

    The winter has been mild, with low level of rainfall during the months of January and February. Starting from the end of February 2016 the temperatures finally dropped and stayed low until the end of March. This late winter led to a delay of about 10 days in the bud breaking. The spring has been rainy and mild. During the summer, the temperature growing trend has been steady without any particular heat picks. There has only been a couple of hot weeks in July, with temperatures hovering above the 30° C but never exceeding the 35°C. In particular, the climate trend has been determined by remarkable temperature variations between days and nights during the last part of the growing season.

    Tasting notes

    Barbaresco 2016 reminds us of 2004 for its elegance and finesse although more powerful. In terms of structure, it is closer to 2001 vintage and with more refined tannins. It is extremely elegant on the nose, a mix of dried flowers. The wine has a good structure mainly thanks to the long and beautiful season; intensity of flavors thanks to the important temperature shifts and the cold harvest time; harmony thanks to the steady and moderate growing seasons.

    It is a vintage suitable for a very long aging. It is deep, seriously structured and compact but also very fine and gracious with a rich and complex bouquet, juicy and sweet tannins, and a well-controlled mouthfeel.

    Vineyards

    14 vineyards situated in the municipality of Barbaresco. The land, at a height between 250 and 330 m above the sea level, covers a surface of 21.4 hectares. The plants are 40 years old on average.

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2011 Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto Vigna Le Rocche (Red Label)

1 Case 6 75cl £1,630
  • Rating 97

    Drink Date 2020 - 2045

    Reviewed by Monica Larner

    Issue Date 30th Jun 2017

    Source 231, The Wine Advocate

    Here we have the venerated red label. The Bruno Giacosa 2011 Barolo Riserva Falletto Vigne Le Rocche commands attention and respect. The wine successfully, and somewhat magically, turns the tables on the overdone exuberance of the warm vintage and the natural heft that is inherent to Serralunga d'Alba. It does a great job of reining in all that power and transforming it into streamlined elegance instead. The wine opens to a dark and penetrating color and an immediately expressive bouquet. Thick layers of dark fruit, iron-rich earth, balsam herb, Darjeeling tea, dried ginger and cherry cola rise from the bouquet. The wine's Falletto signature is very strong. This is a Grande Vino with the proverbial capital G and capital V.

Tasting Notes
97
Italy 2010 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo

1 Case 6 150cl £5,850
  • Rating

    96+

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2038

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    26th Jun 2014

    Source

    213, The Wine Advocate

    The 2010 Barolo is a singularly elegant expression that benefits from extremely long maceration time (up to 54 days) and a non-interventionists’ winemaking philosophy. The wine is superb in its elegance and finesse that caresses the palate in the most delicate and ethereal manner imaginable. Small fruit tones are enhanced by ash, crushed mineral, licorice and dried mint. Because of changes in how Barolo can be labeled, the wine no longer carries the names of the four single-vineyards that make up the traditional blend for this wine (Canubbi, San Lorenzo, Rue and Rocche di La Morra). Instead, this historic wine is now labeled straightforward “Barolo.” Drink: 2017-2038.

     

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2008 Giacosa Barolo Riserva Rocche del Falletto

1 Case 6 75cl £1,275
  • Rating

    96

    Release Price

    NA

    Drink Date

    2017 - 2040

    Reviewed by

     Monica Larner

    Issue Date

    28th Jun 2013

    Source

    207, The Wine Advocate

    The 2008 Barolo Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto (aged 36 months in botte grande) is a gorgeous wine from every perspective. Its 360-degree beauty shines comes through in terms of the intensity of the bouquet and the elegance of the mouthfeel. Again, super-finely textured tannins give the wine backbone and create a supporting structure for rich fruit flavors. There-s just enough consistency here to fill the palate, yet the wine is never heavy or flat. It shows vibrant energy thanks to the natural freshness and that beautiful note of garden fresh red rose that pops up as nostalgic sign-off. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040. With the return of winemaker Dante Scaglione in 2011, the wines of Bruno Giacosa (-the genius of Neive-) continue to impress. Bruna Giacosa, Bruno-s daughter, has taken over daily operations at the winery since her father suffered a stroke in 2006. 

Tasting Notes
96
Italy 2007 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo

1 Case 6 75cl £1,675
  • Rating

    98

    Release Price

    $420

    Drink Date

    2027 - 2047

    Reviewed by

    Antonio Galloni

    Issue Date

    27th Feb 2010

    Source

    187, The Wine Advocate

    The 2007 Langhe Sori San Lorenzo is perhaps the most massive, virile wine in this lineup, and accordingly it will require the most time. Tannic and austere at the outset, the wine gradually opens to reveal staggering richness and depth in its dark fruit. The wine turns more elegant in the glass, revealing a myriad of black fruit, tar, licorice, spices and scorched earth in a dazzling display of class and elegance. This is one for the ages. Anticipated maturity: 2027-2047. My most recent visit to Gaja was quite an experience, as I tasted all of the estate’s 1989s, 1990s and 2007s. The 1989s and 1990s are reviewed in this issue’s What About Now feature. Angelo Gaja, always loquacious on a wide range of subjects, says virtually nothing about his wines, an approach I have increasingly come to appreciate in an era where so many producers are constantly in pitch mode. Then again, Gaja doesn’t really need to say anything, the wines speak for themselves. I tasted the 2007s at the winery in November 2009 and then again in New York in January 2010. Both times they were spectacular. Stylistically the 2007s remind me of the 1997s in terms of their opulence. Gaja’s wines are often immensely appealing when young – which is certainly the case with the 2007s – but then close down in bottle for a number of years, sometimes many years. My impression is that the Costa Russi and Conteisa are the most likely of these 2007s to offer the widest drinking windows throughout their lives with a minimum of cellaring. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation take place in steel. The wines then spend approximately one year in French oak and a second year in cask prior to being bottled. As has been the case for a number of years now, Gaja’s Langhe wines incorporate a small percentage of Barbera. On a final note, it’s great to see Gaja’s daughters Gaia and Rossana increasingly involved in the winery. They, and their younger brother Giovanni, have big shoes to fill, but couldn’t have asked for better teachers than Angelo and Lucia Gaja. 

Tasting Notes
98
Loire 2019 Sancerre Chavignol

Delaporte, Vincent

[Duty Paid]

6 Case 12 75cl £175£165
  • Pale gold with green hints. Very expressive, intense and complex nose with boxwood, rhubarb, blackcurrant, kiwi fragrances and a light vegetal touch (marigold). The entry is soft and round. Bright freshness on the palate, delicate and lively purity. Well balanced and harmonious, it ends with a clean lingering finish

    Drinking 2020 - 2023

     

Tasting Notes
Germany 2007 Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Spatlese

2 Case 6 75cl £170
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $54

    Drink Date

    NA

    Reviewed by

    David Schildknecht

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2009

    Source

    185, The Wine Advocate

    I'm tempted to assert that with his second rendition of this parcel (half of which gave its first crop) - namely his 2007 Kreuzncher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Spatlese - Donnhoff has hit a towering home run, except that the metaphor seems wrong for a wine that is really quite delicate and subtle. But what complexity and sheer sensual allure this has! Peony, lily, tangerine, blood orange, mint, and quince in the nose lead to a richly-textured, palpably high-extract, yet buoyant and refreshing palate performance, with a sneaky appearance of honeyed botrytis. And talk about salinity, savor, and animality in wine: you'll know what they are when you taste this. A finish can afford to be understated if it never seems to end. Absent a track record, it's still hard to imagine this rewarding fewer than two decades in the cellar, although like Donnhoff's Kirschheck, one certainly wants to savor some of it young. While Donnhoff returned to his usual humility in characterizing the latest vintage - following an atypically unabashed outbreak of enthusiasm in describing his indeed amazing collection of 2006s - it is clear that the 2007s delight him in a similar way, as outstanding representations of their respective sites at Spatlese ripeness. (Note, incidentally, that the Pradikat has been removed from any dry wines here, in keeping with a new convention of the Nahe branch of the VDP growers- association.) -Within that range of ripeness,- he submits, -one best-recognizes the site. Here you have nothing exaggerated, but instead a normal harvest, meaning a documentation of the vineyards, each a different face on the landscape. They all went to the same school and had the same opportunities- he adds, gesturing to the long row of Spatlesen on the tasting table, and alluding to his own role as well as the vintage-s. -It was a bit intimidating this year at harvest,- he added, -because when the grapes are perfect, you can only make mistakes.- I had the rare fortune to taste this collection twice, and like so many 2007s (a comment that even more growers made about their 2008s) the wines were much more impressive in September than in Spring. A 2007 Hermannshohle Trockenbeerenauslese, by the way, is still trying to become wine after two years. 

Tasting Notes
95
Argentina 2009 Catena Zapata, Nicolas Catena Zapata

1 Case 6 75cl £570
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $135

    Drink Date

    2014 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Neal Martin

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2012

    Source

    203, The Wine Advocate

    The 2009 Zapata is from selected vines marked by a red sash in order to raise the wine with meticulous care. It is 10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit that is aged in 80% new French oak for 24 months. It is pieced together from a mind-boggling 210 separate row micro-vinifications of multifarious lots and harvest times and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec. It has a spellbinding bouquet that exudes minerality, as if crushed stones had been sprinkled into the black fruit. With continued aeration, there are scents of oyster shell and black olive. The palate is full-bodied, with immense structure and backbone. The acidity is beautifully judged with filigree tannins that render the finish so elegant and refined, with notes of blackberry, soy, black plum and that stony aftertaste. Magnificent. Drink 2014-2035. There is no need to introduce Catena Zapata. I visited the winery, which stands like an Egyptian pyramid looking for its sphynx, and spent the entire morning darting from one room to another tasting the entire portfolio of wines from the family. Naturally, it was an honor to meet Nicolas Catena himself, who has been instrumental in Argentina’s progress over the last three decades (see video). But what is pleasing is to find such a famous winery refusing to rest upon its laurels and in fact, through the irrepressible head winemaker Alejandro Vigil, a man who patently contemplates wines 24/7, Catena Zapata are looking forward and asking themselves questions about the style of wines they produce, what ought to be the next stage of their evolution, instead of merely replicating previous successes. Nothing exemplifies that more than the premium wines. Several years ago, it was 100% or even 200% new oak by rote. Nowadays, more consideration towards harmonizing the level of new oak to the fruit and the character of the wine has meant that it has been dialed down to 60%. Speaking to Alejandro, he might reduce it even further, but of course, it should depend upon what is best for the wine. In addition, there has been a revision in their approach to malolactic fermentation, as attested by their Chardonnays, the length of skin maceration (reduced from 30 to around 22 or 23 days) and more experimentation with whole cluster ferments and co-fermenting with white grape varieties. Anything is possible. 

Tasting Notes
95
Italy 1995 Umani Ronchi Cumaro

1 Bottle 150cl £100
Italy 2008 Jermann, Vintage Tunina

1 Bottle 150cl £60
  • Rating

    92

    Release Price

    $74

    Drink Date

    2012 - 2018

    Reviewed by

    Antonio Galloni

    Issue Date

    28th Feb 2011

    Source

    193, The Wine Advocate

    The 2008 Vintage Tunina is terrific. The wine’s trademark expansive bouquet and generous fruit are beautifully balanced by a vein of minerality that is the hallmark of this cool year. All of the elements come together beautifully in the glass as the 2008 Vintage Tunina shows off layers of succulent peaches, pears, apricots, flowers and mint, along with hints of sweetness from the late-harvested fruit that is such a big component of the wine’s signature style. Vintage Tunina is Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018. These new releases from Silvio Jermann include a number of fabulous bottles. In particular, I was impressed with the top 2008s, a vintage where the cool minerality of the year prevails over the house’s typically lush style, an approach I tend to find less interesting. Jermann has a new red on the horizon, the Pignolo Vigna Truss, from recently purchased hillside vineyards in Dolegna, the home of his massive, new cellar. Previously, Jermann’s Pignolo had mostly come from the flats of Villanova, a far less prestigious village in Isonzo, rather than the Collio. I tasted all of the 2009 entry-level whites from screwcaps. Readers should be aware that Jermann is owned by my wife’s uncle. I have always viewed education as an important component of wine criticism. An article on Friuli without these wines would have been incomplete and ultimately the consumer would have been poorer for their exclusion. For those reasons I have chosen to include the wines in this report. Neither my wife nor I have any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in this property.

     

Tasting Notes
92

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