Our impression is that some of you started cooking and opening wines last weekend and have had an occasion or two to do so since. People have asked if we have more of this or that, THANK YOU. While asking if this or that is available and if this or that price is still doable, we have put together a composition "The Deals We Can Do Again" Some are very limited.
Enjoy your weekend,
All of the very best,
Rex & Michele
2010 Magister Bibendi Rioja Riserva (Graciano)
I opened my last 95 points Decanter, 2010 Rioja Riserva Magister Bibendi yesterday with beer brined bbq chicken and dill potato salad. This Reserve Rioja is incredible with bbq, incredible period and certainly incredible for the price. Beautiful red plums, cherries and spice, elegant, multiple layers, exceptional structure. The complete package. Blake is not around so we called his office. They have 5 cases remaining in the computer, which means four and change. Because fuel has gone up , the 2010 Riserva has also, to $22.50! Buy this wine if you have room, its off the charts. Rex
Graciano is a difficult grape to grow. Graciano is usually sold in small percentages to great Rioja producers who blend it for backbone, enhancing their prized Rioja Riservas. We have seen only one 100% Graciano before, that was the 2009 Ondelan which we sold for $50 per bottle. Today we tried the 2010 Magister Bibendi Riserva. This wine is a
remarkable find at twice the price.
The flavor Profile; Though no complete cataloguing gas been done, Graciano has some Pinot Noir in its DNA. The first word which came up of everyone mouth when we tasted the 2010 Magister Riserva was "rich". The primary flavor components are robust raspberry followed by opulent, dusty cherry preserves. Time has layered this 2010, yet it Is virtually seamless from beginning to end. The finish is long and then very dry with influences of tangerine peel. This wine is exotic and very versatile. We tried it with turkey breast we had beer brined then smoked, exceptional. We tried it with sharp, aged cheddar. The Graciano highlighted the sharpness of the cheese perfectly. I will definitely be putting one back for a steak and this maybe be the worlds best pizza wine for both cost and flavor combination. This is a new ( library) release from a classic vintage. R
95 Points Decanter Magazine;
" The palate it is lovely. Fresh, tannic and serious, it is made for the long run. A very different style that is persistent and will not please everybody, but it is definitely worthy of praise. SJE: Fine oak aromatics surround this with, twinned with ebullient red fruits and a lift of vanilla. It is super juicy in the mouth and tapers on a fine leafy finish. Extraordinary that this is 100% Graciano! PM: A 2010 Reserva with style and intrigue. The mature, exotic flavors make for a lively palate; it is sappy and interesting with a mouth-watering finish. Really original. Drinking Window 2017 - 2024"
2012 Le Dragon de Quintus,Grand Cru Saint Emilion
We tasted the 2012 Le Dragon last November . We were highly impressed. We were not the only ones. Le Dragon sold out that same day. We never had opportunity to write an offer. The importer has now restocked, which allowed us to show the 2012 La Dragon in a six bottle Bordeaux tasting at The Classic Café.
Simply put, the 2012 Le Dragon de Quintus is in its primary drinking cycle and is a show stopper.
About the wine;
The 2012 La Dragon de Quintus has evolved into a big wine. Blackberry and blueberry components are deep, rich and layered.
The tannins are chewy, appealing and very glass coating. There are both violets and lavander on the nose and those types of fresh nuances are évident in the middle and through out the finish which has excellent length and spice andraspberry. There is money behind the La Dragon ( Haut Brion ). In fact, La Dragon is a prized single Grand Cru vineyard in Saint Emilion with vines ranging from 65 to well over 100 years old
which explains the intensity and layering of this wine. Quintus purchased that vineyard from Château Tetre Dugay for this small production project. The land was megaexpensive. The bottle is heavy and looks expensive. The six pack case it comes in looks expensive and the wine itself lives up to the package. The 2012 La Dragon tastes easily like a hundred or so dollars which we assume is their eventual goal, but for now this one resides in the hugh value catagory. Reviews below. Rex
91 points, Wine Enthusiast
This wine of the Haut-Brion's newly acquired Château Quintus is rich, with layers of black plums and dense juicy tannins. A dark Merlot-dominated wine, it's smooth and likely to be ready soon. Drink from 2017.
90 Points, James Suckling
A solid wine with blackberry, plum and berry character. Full and chewy. Solid. Drink now.
2013 Cascina Bongiovanni Barolo
96V, 93WS, 93JS, 92WE
A while back Rino worked us a price on the
2013 Cascina Bongiovanni Barolo for a tasting
which he asked we not publish mass or put on the web
, $47.00. This is a beautiful Barolo with elegant red fruit and marvelously integrated tannins. It is drinking now and will for ten years. Multiple 90 plus point reviews are included below. We kept some for the house, with a just a bit of air this Barolo becomes deeply layered and complex. If you do not finish it, this wine shows outrageously great the next day. Average price on the net is $62 and goes as high as $79. Let me know if you have interest. Rex
93 Points - Antonio Galloni's Vinous
"Cascina Bongiovanni's 2013 Barolo is fresh, floral and vibrant, all qualities that make it a good choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry, rose petal, licorice and mint develop beautifully in the glass. The 2013 is delineated and highly expressive in its aromatics. This is a lovely entry-level offering that expresses the perfumed, sensual personality of the vintage nicely." - Antonio Galloni (Feb 2017)
93 Points - Wine Spectator Magazine
"Straddles the line between elegance and power, with a firm structure underlying rose, strawberry, cherry and spice flavors. Accents of earth, iron and tobacco sneak in as this winds down on the lingering finish. Best from 2020 through 2033. 750 cases made." -BS (Web Only 2017)
93 Points - James Suckling
"Interesting aromas of fresh rose petals and cherries. Full-bodied, round and flavorful. Bright finish. Succulent. Drink now or hold." - (July 11, 2017)
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
"Espresso, toast, new leather, menthol and French oak aromas take center stage. The firm palate offers juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, anise, roasted coffee bean, vanilla and sage alongside tightly knit fine-grained tannins." - Kerin OÕKeefe (9/1/2017)
2013 Howell at the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Mount Veeder Estate
$89 per, $79 on six
We have opened this bottle for dinner each of the last two evenings. The 2013 Howell Mount Veeder is big and voluptuous, it is unfined and unfiltered. The flavor profile combines blackberry with deep dark cherry, a powerful Cabernet. What truly sets this Cab apart is the spice composition. The spices are exotic, OUTRAGEOUSLY exotic, mostly Asian, like Burgundy. The structure is perfect and the acids are zesty. The finish goes for days where chocolate joins all the spice. 350 cases were produced and it is beautiful.
Tech Data: The wine is a small lot co-fermentation of 4, 8, and 169 clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, grown on a south facing slope at about 800 ft elevation in nutrient poor ancient seabed and volcanic soils. The fruit was hand selected and sorted prior to destemming, and the berries were sorted after destemming to remove any imperfect fruit. It underwent native fermentation in tank, managed with twice daily punchdowns and a long extended maceration. The new wine was racked into carefully selected mostly new French oak barrels and aged for twenty months before bottling unfined and unfiltered.
97JS, 94RP, 92WS
$95 per,Very limited
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot
Almaviva is the Cabernet based Bordeaux style wine which is the product of a collaboration between the houses of
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Concho Y Toro and Opus One. Almaviva is produced in Chile, the vineyards are at high altitudes just below the Andes snow caps. The vines are old, all pre-phyloxira, including pre- phyloxria Carmanere, the lost Bordeaux varietal. We have shown all of the vintages listed in tastings on multiple occasions. They always wow the crowd and always sell, far above the average sales of other Cabs in the same price range. They all get high praise from multiple reviewers.
97 points James Suckling A wine with wonderful blueberry, blackberry and hints of cedar and spice. Full body, dense and beautiful fruit. Chocolate, walnut and berry. It goes on for minutes. A fabulous wine. Better in 2020 but gorgeous now. (5/2016)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The current release is the 2014 Almaviva, the classical Bordeaux blend from Puente Alto, one of the most prestigious appellations in Maipo. This is a late and slow ripening terroir. This was the reason why the frost of September 2013 didn't affect them, because the vines had not yet sprouted. In the last few years they have been on a quest in search of more purity, precision and character, improving the quality of the tannins to make them silkier without losing length and volume. It's easier said than done, but they are getting there. The harvest started on April 1st with the first Merlot and finished on May 16th with the last Carmenere. The final blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot; they didn't use any Merlot this time. After a sorting of bunches and individual grains, the grapes fermented in stainless steel tanks, some with native yeasts, others with selected ones. Malolactic was in oak barrel or tank, especially in warmer years. The élevage was in 77% new French oak barrels, the remaining ones second use, and it lasted 18 months. 180,000 bottles were produced. There is one single lot that was bottled between January 6th and 20th of 2016. I retasted the 2012 and 2013 for comparison, and they are developing as expected, showing the character of the vintages... 2014 would be something in between 2012 and 2013, without the excesses of heat or cold from those years but with lower yields in 2014. (LG) (4/2017)
92 points Wine Spectator Elegant, with good cut to the pure-tasting dark plum, green herb and dried cherry flavors that feature plenty of loamy notes. Espresso and dark chocolate accents fill the refined finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 14,200 cases made. -KM (Jul 31 2017)
2014 Justin Isosceles Cab
$55 per, 10 % off 6 or more
2014 Justin Isosceles Cab has just arrived. 49 six pack cases came to Texas, if we act fast, we can probably get 12 of them. Retail is normally $65.00 and average price is $72.00. We were offered a deal today making it $55.00 per. This matches the lowest price on the net. Take 10% off six or more to make it an even better deal!!!
93 Wine Spectator "Shows a measure of finesse and restraint given the size, which is big and expressive, offering notes of plum, blackberry, baking spices and cedary oak. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032. 20,000 cases made.
93 Wine Enthusiast "The fruit-forward palate grabs the attention immediately with black currant, pepper dust, roast beef crust and more purple flowers, with tannins and acidity rising strong on the finish."
97+WA, 97V, 97JS, 96JD, 96WE
$175 per, lowest on net
$169 per on 6+
For those collectors of Blue Chip California Reds, we have received low holiday pricing on
2014 Joseph Phelps Insignia. Reviews are below. The lowest price we could find on the nest is $180.00. The average price of this wine is $227.00 and goes to $300.00.
We are offering at $175.00, $169.00 on six or more.
Quantities are limited.
Wine Advocate: 97+ Points Composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc coming from six vineyards and reared for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2014 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of crushed blackberries and fresh blackcurrants with touches of cigar box, sandalwood, dried lavender, beef drippings and mocha plus a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and incredibly elegant and fine in the mouth, the lively fruit is well structured by grainy tannins and seamless acid, finishing long and earthy. (Oct 2017)
Vinous: 97 Points The 2014 Insignia has turned out beautifully. Finely sculpted, nuanced and classic in structure, the 2014 is built on a core of energy and brightness. There is a level of purity and delineation in the flavors that is remarkable. Bright red cherry, lavender, rose petal and graphite add to the wine's sculpted personality. The 2014 is not an obvious or especially opulent Insignia, but rather a wine that makes its case with its impeccable balance. A closing flourish of bright, floral notes adds the final shades of nuance. (Mar 2018)
James Suckling: 97 Points The blackberry, dark-chocolate and walnut aromas are persuasive. Full body, a dense and fruity center palate and beautiful depth and intensity. The tannin texture is exceptional. Great wine. Drink in 2020 and onwards. (May 2017)
Jeb Dunnuck: 96 points The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia checks in as 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc and was brought up all in new oak. This beauty comes from six estate vineyards and offers a gorgeous bouquet of black raspberries, cassis, Asian spice and white chocolate. With full-bodied richness, a beautiful, opulent, yet balanced texture, sweet tannin, and a great finish, it's a gorgeous 2014 that's already hard to resist, yet will cruise for two to three decades in the cellar. (Dec 2017)
Wine Enthusiast: 96 points TOP 100 CELLAR SELECTIONS 2017 This fine vintage of Insignia combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. Soft, supple and seamless, it offers rich but balanced cassis and milk chocolate flavors, with supportive and complementary oak. It should do well in the cellar and will be best from 2024-2034. (Nov 2017)
100JS - #1 Wine of Year James Suckling
$115 per, Very, very limited
100 points James Suckling A glorious and complex nose of tobacco, blackberries and hints of stones and flowers. Hints of bitter chocolate. Full-bodied, very tight and compacted. Linear backbone gives this form and tension. It has the same character on the palate as well as cayenne and other spice. Loved the 2014 but this shows more fine-grained tannins. So balanced and harmonious. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 5% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Needs four or five years in bottle but a joy to taste now.
2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
We have offered the 2015 Austin Hope cab previously at a slightly higher price. Yesterday we were offered a very quiet promo price to reduce the stock the distributor has held back for the restaurant community and asked to re-taste the wine. It is over the top opulent in a new world style. The Austin Hope coats the glass thickly with massive legs. The nose is fresh plum, flowers, coffee and bakers spice. The flavor profile is blueberry and black currant in front but the middle and finish is lush blackberry cobbler. The finish goes on for days. So if you like robust, new world Cabs this deal is for you. Normal pricing for this wine is $49.00-$63.00
97 points Wine Enthusiast
"Vintner Austin Hope, whose family is intertwined in the rise of Paso Robles, spent years working to release a wine of this caliber. Dark and thick in the glass, aromas of black currant and blueberry meet with roasted coffee, chocolate syrup and baked plum on the wondrous nose. The palate is soft and extremely expressive, with blueberry, black pepper, firm midpalate tannins and a finish that's redolent of cappuccino candies." (MK) (3/2018)
Mt. Jefferson Cuvee~Willamette Valley
95JS, 91WE, 90WA
We tasted the 2015 Cristom Mt.Jefferson Pinot on Friday afternoon. I have not gotten it out of my head. The 2015 Cristom is one of the best domestic Pinots I have tasted in forever. I did not write any notes. I just sat there dazed by how amazing this Cristom is showing. This morning I read Suckling's description, "raspberry crumble, dried wild strawberries, orange peel and milk chocolate shavings." What is not to love. But he keeps going, "crunchy red fruit... and a long finish." Even Parker has some of my favorite things, baking spices and violets. My suggestion is stock up - when do you get a 95-point wine under $28? Michele
P.S. Rex's Notes are below the critics reviews.
95 Points! JamesSuckling.com "The nose is fresh and shows great depth with raspberry crumble, dried wild strawberries, orange peel and milk chocolate shavings. Medium- to full-bodied with lots of spicy, crunchy red fruit, tangy acidity, firm tannins and a long finish. So good now but better in 2019. "
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, August 2017 "Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Mt Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir has vibrant red cherry and black raspberry notes with suggestions of baking spices, fertile soil and violets. Medium-bodied with a good core ofrich, ripe red berry flavors and a solid backbone of grainy tannins, it finishes with a refreshing lift." -Lisa Perrotti Brown
Rex's Notes; The 2015 Cristom Mt. Jefferson is vibrant. The flavor profile is multi -berry and wild. This Cristom exhibits fresh Bing cherry, wild raspberry and a tinge of blueberry at the finish. The spices are both Asian and baker. This Cristom is showing with multiple layers and nuances, it drinks easy yet it very serious bottle of Pinot Noir. The structure is rich like Chambolle Musigny.
2016 Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz, South Australia
For those of you who like really big reds, we have received a weekend deal on the 2016 Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz. The 2016 has not been rated yet, but they show a history of above 90 points scores, vintage after vintage. This is your typical big, velvety, red and blue fruit Mollydooker.
our price is the lowest price on the net
Winemaker Tasting Notes
: "The 2016 Blue Eyed Boy is dense in color with vibrant dark purple hues. A complex, alluring and lifted nose of blueberry, dark cherry, caramel and hints of vanilla bean leap from the glass. Powerful yet delicate, the wine voices luscious layers of fresh berries, black pepper, coffee and a finishing note of chocolate cream. Full bodied, well defined tannins provide the backbone, as the wine fills the mouth and continues to evolve with every glass poured."
NV Labruyere Grand Cru Rose- Anthology
10% off when mixed with 6 or more bottles
Grand Cru means 100 out of 100 points French Government Rated. Less thank 1 percent of all Champagne Rose made achieves the accreditation of Grand Cru
Our favorite go to Rose Champagnes.
The color is a popping pink and the bubbles are fine and flowing. This stuff is exceptional. If you have need for truly special Champagne in the coming months, I highly suggest you consider this bottle. Grand Cru Champagne of any type is rare. Rose is incredibly rare. This bottle is fresh with strawberry and just a hint of crème.
James Suckling "Plenty of ripe strawberry and exotic tropical fruits on the nose. An extremely fleshy and tangy palate, with gently nutty elements throught the finish and smooth pastry glow."
Although Champagne J.M. Labruyère is a recent estate the Labruyère family has been making wines in Burgundy since 1850 and Bordeaux since 1992. In 2012 the family acquired estate vineyards in the Grand Cru village of Verzenay in Montagne de Reims in Champagne, however, the origin of this estate goes back to 1820, when the cellars were built. The team at J.M. Labruyère is dedicated to making this domaine one of the best Grower Champagnes by combining tradition, sustainable agriculture, modern vinification, Burgundian know-how and a vineyard designate approach to let each terroir show itself.
Receiving national acclaim for being on the wine list at the French Laundry