Wines by the Bottle

Sparkling Wine and Champagne

Pétillant Naturel

(Otherwise known as ‘method ancestral’, or ‘pet-nat’, ‘pétillant naturel‘ refers to sparkling wines which undergo a single fermentation, re-started in bottle, without additives, to trap carbon dioxide. We’ve been happy to witness a recent resurgence in wines of this style, as we find them to be uniquely expressive and vibrantly alive.)

2011 Bele Casel ‘Col Fondo’ Prosecco, Asolo, Italy    $30 btl
A delightfully drinkable & aromatic Prosecco, with an opacity in the glass and a charmingly tart and fresh palate feel

NV Philippe Bornard ‘Tant-Mieux’ Rosé, Jura, France*** $60 btl
This generously sparkling Poulsard-based rosé shows a beautiful garnet/cranberry color, and, a bit drier than the previous bottling, exotic flavors of saffron, oolong tea, light pomegranate and a stimulating finish.

NV Gramenon ‘Tout en Bulle, le Vin en Liberte’, Vin de France *** $65 btl
An extremely rare bottling to see in America, this is a frothy, lively blend of Clairette and Viognier from the Rhône valley, artisianally crafted from start to finish; charming flavors of grape sorbet, chamomile and orchard peach combine beautifully.

NV Domaine de l’Octavin ‘The Péteux’, Jura, France*** $58 btl
Whoa, this Savagnin-based sparkling is REALLY alive – after opening, it takes a minute for the wine to settle down, but it’s worth the wait – there are few sparkling wines out there that match its purity – lemongrass, golden raisin, papaya & more.

NV Jean-Pierre Robinot ‘Les Années Folles’, Loire, France ***  $60
A radical ‘Pet-Nat’ made from Pineau d’Aunis – my notes read ‘fabulous!’ – very dry, w/rhubarb, pepper & a touch of gueuze

Multi-Vintage Champagne

Bollinger ‘Special Cuvée’, Aÿ $130 btl
A classic; rich and stylish, with authoritative mousse and assertive petillance.  Its late-harvest peachiness balances nicely against flavors of vanilla liqueur, opulent gala apples, and hazelnut – the finish is particularly fine.

Fluteau, Blanc de Noirs, Gye-sur-Seine*** $65 btl
From 100% Pinot Noir, this shows lots of bright wild strawberry and orange peel on the nose, while the palate shows a very restrained pétillance – this is very soft on the whole – leading to flavors of fresh-baked croissant and charming bing cherry.

Godmé Père et Fils ‘Extra Brut’, Grand Cru Verzenay***     $125 btl
A family-grown, biodynamic marvel that spends 5  years on the lees, this is quite dry, very savory, exotic, and really unforgettable; under a gentle pétillance, flavors of sage and daikon and tonic and wasabi combine with high-toned granny smith apple.  Superb.

Krug ‘Grande Cuvée’, Reims   $140 btl
A powerhouse of a Champagne – this wine is incredibly full-bodied and expansive on the palate, with intensely concentrated ripe    fruit flavors and forward notes of toast, vanilla, and spice, the result of fermentation in small oak barrels.

Laurent Perrier ‘Ultra Brut, Nature’, Tours-sur-Marne   $125
L-P’s premier bottling, in my opinion: very dry (bottled with no dosage), w/intense sparkle, oyster brine, ginger, tonic, soy, & more.

Pierre Peters, Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru le Mesnil-sur-Oger***    $100 btl
A personal favorite luxury cuvée: extremely fragrant, with powerful, rich vanilla, keen, edgy citrus, and an elegant envelope of orchard fruit.

Pol Roger ‘Réserve’, Epernay   $120 btl
A classically rich and balanced style, famous for its stimulating, fine ribbon of bubbles, toasted brioche and ripe golden raisin.

Varnier-Fannière, Blanc de Blancs, Avize Grand Cru***  $110 btl
I can’t say enough about this spectacularly elegant and powerful wine; crafted in tiny quantities, it’s just heaven in the glass

Vintage Champagne

2002 Chartogne-Taillet ‘Cuvée Fiacre’, Merfy***    $125 btl
This blend of first-press Pinot and Chardonnay is the best tête-de-cuvée I’ve ever tasted from my favorite winemaking couple in Champagne, Elisabeth Taillet and Phillipe Chartogne.  They exude an aristocratic charm and sense of bonhomie which somehow, osmotically, comes through in their wines.  The pitch-perfect ripeness of this 2002 expresses itself in tendencies: nectarine tending to cherry, soft saffron tending to cinnamon, linden leaf tending to spearmint; while the whole finishes with a succulent creamy tone.

2000 Gaston Chiquet, Brut, Dizy***    $110 btl
A personal favorite handcrafted Champagne; luscious and elegant, with juicy, lightly spiced bosc pear, a powerful mousse, shades of almond and strawberry/vanilla cream, all draped around a firm acidity and chalky undertones.  A marvel.

2002 Marguet, Brut, Grand Cru Ambonnay***    $90 btl
Outstanding balance for an ’02; it strikes the perfect margin b/w generosity and restraint, w/sweet cream & honeycrisp apple

1995 Pierre Moncuit, Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru le Mesnil sur Oger***   $140 btl
An extremely refined style, showing amazing acidity, salinity, and chalk; dried apricot, chestnut, and vanilla come to the fore

1985 Salon, Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil $500 btl
After 10 years on the lees, and over 10 years in bottle, this masterpiece shows the type of muscularity and grace that Michelangelo imagined; aromas of golden raisin, white truffle, lemon and quinine lead to a very fine palate of truly remarkable length.

Sparkling Rosé

NV Avinyo, Brut Rosé Cava, Penedes, Spain ***   $40 btl
We love this hand-crafted, dry rosé for its perfect blend of bright sparkle, generous mousse, and lasting red fruit flavors.

NV Paul Bara, Brut Rosé, Grand Cru Bouzy, Champagne, France*** $125 btl
A powerful, luxury rosé bottling: the mousse is silky, the ribbon of bubbles is firm, and the amazing finish lasts all night long.

NV Camille Savès, Brut Rosé, Grand Cru Bouzy, Champagne, France*** $130  btl
Complex and sophisticated, this shows a light salmon-pink color, aromas of fresh-baked bread, and a tense, agile palate that combines flavors of ripe persimmon, keen plum, and a hint of smoke. Easy to love, this is a connoisseur’s delight!

NV Vilmart & Cie ‘Cuvée Rubis’ Brut, Premier Cru Rilly la Montagne, Champagne, France***   $140 btl
The classiest Rosé I’ve ever had, this stimulates and soothes the palate like a hot tub does your naked body: flavors of sun-dried tomato combine with fresh pomegranate seeds, white chocolate, fresh raspberry, and much much more.

Other Sparkling Wines

NV Adami, Brut ‘Bosco di Gica’ Prosecco, Valdobbiadene, Italy***    $40 btl
A very dry, refreshing, and complex style from one of the top 3 Prosecco houses, this is the ideal beginning to your night…

NV Domaine Berthet-Bondet, Cremant du Jura, France*** $50 btl
A plush, full-bodied style of Jura Cremant, showing a rich mousse, tropical fruit, and flavors of vanilla, juicy nectarine, and more.

2007 Bründlmayer, Brut, Kamptal, Austria***    $70
The very best sparkling wine in Central Europe; Willi B. handcrafts this in tiny amounts – the result is near perfection.

2006 Ferrando ‘La Torrazza’ Spumante, Erbaluce di Caluso, Italy***  $45
This artisanal, vintage Erbaluce Spumante has only improved with time; its initial citrusey, fruit-forward impact has developed into a full, rich, nutty mouthfeel reminiscent of fine Champagne; tropical mango, pistachio, oolong tea, and more

NV L. Mawby ‘Cremant’ Brut, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan***   $40 btl
Single-vineyard, hand-picked, small-production, 100% Vignoles (!) which spends its first fermentation in small oak barrels, and undergoes its second in the Champagne method.  Low yeast, light toast, fresh pears, ripe kiwis and an exciting mousse combine beautifully.

NV L’Origan, Cava Brut ‘Nature’, Penedes, Spain $85  btl
A luxury Cava, the Krug of its zone, this is rich and toasty and powerful, showing roasted vanilla bean and white chocolate flavors, cut with more refreshing qualities of lime, tonic-water, and papaya – the bubbles are settled and soft.

2008 Quartz Reef, Brut, Bendigo, Central Otago, New Zealand*** $55 btl
I’m convinced that Austrian-born Rudi Bauer at Quartz Reef is making New Zealand’s finest sparkling wine today. Aged over 24 mos. on the lees, his ’08 blend of 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Chardonnay has incredible mousse, persistent sparkle, and a flavor profile with a uniquely ‘heathery’ tone.

2007 Max Ferd. Richter ‘Mülheimer Sonnenlay’ Riesling Brut Sekt, Mosel, Germany***    $60 btl
My favorite sparkling wine in Germany, this is only made in special years from a single vineyard of friable grey slate by our good friend Dirk Richter, fermented first in huge neutral oak casks, then again in bottle, this spends over 2 years on the fine lees, and is very carefully hand-riddled to preserve its inherent complexity.  A real work of love, showing stonefruit, citrus, and a slow, easy ride along the palate.

NV Tselepos ‘Villa Amalia’ Sparkling Moschofilero, Peloponnese, Greece*** $50 btl
Very crisp, clean and refreshing, with a racy mousse and generous aromatics, this is the finest sparkling wine in Greece!

[For the sparkling wines above, ***  indicates a grower/récoltant house]

 

New Arrivals and Rarities

Small Format [half bottles]

NV Camille Savès ‘Carte Blanche’, Bouzy, Champagne, France   $45
This ‘split’ is one of our favorite Champagne ½ bottles on the market today; it shows a very cool combination of ripe orchard fruit, a tight ribbon of pétillance, cool acidity, and a touch of creamy ‘toastiness’ on the sides of the palate.

NV Vevi ‘Golden/1954’, Verdejo/Viura, Rueda, Spain    $50
A very traditional style of Verdejo, this is left to ferment at its own pace for two years under a veil of yeast, like a sherry wine,   and is then entered into a solera system, begun in 1954, where it gains in complexity and color. It tastes like a dry, lighter-bodied Palo Cortado, with flavors of macadamia nut, rice milk, jasmine, and kiwi… And is a stellar cheese pair!

2009 Château Haut-Segottes, St.-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France   $40 
This well-structured, very traditional Bordeaux shows fresh cassis, black cherry, and milder, very flavorful tannin.

 

Large Format [magnums]

2011 Ameztoi ‘Hijo de Rubentis’ Sparkling Rosé, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country    $100
It’s an absolute joy to share this ‘party in a bottle’ – there’s not much of it made.  Literally the ‘son of Rubentis’, this is made in a Champagne method (unlike Ameztoi’s ‘Rubentis’), and only bottled in magnum format.  On the palate, it starts off extremely keen and lively, but then quickly settles down into a fascinating and exotic set of flavors – don’t miss!

2011 Hermann J. Wiemer, Dry Riesling, Seneca, Finger Lakes, New York    $110
The Wiemer estate is home to the finest Riesling made in America.  The few magnums they bottle show a unique expression, different than their 750s – the palate feel is brisk & centered, while the mid-palate is lush and fruit-forward.

 

White

2011 Dominique Derain ‘En Vesvau’, Saint-Aubin, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France   $95
Dominique is on the cutting edge of a mid-generation of maverick, non-additive producers who are making some of    Burgundy’s finest wines from lesser-known appellations; we had the good fortune to visit him in France in the spring of 2012, and are terribly pleased to offer his wine at Webster’s – they can be difficult to find outside of the east coast.  All Chardonnay, this is showing beautifully just now, with macadamia, talc, vanilla éclair, a shade of gueuze, and a long, lean, arresting end.

1992 Eyrie, Pinot Gris ‘Estate’, Willamette Valley, Oregon   $140
Jason Lett at Eyrie recently reviewed his father’s entire library collection (the only one of its kind in Oregon), and recorked only the best bottles (no cork taint, no bottle variation).  It’s a long, laborious, 21-step process, and we’re very grateful for the opportunity to share the fruit of his family’s labors.  1992 was the hottest season in Oregon’s 50-year wine history, and Eyrie’s earliest harvest ever; their Pinot Gris captivated me with its elegant floral nose, and a palate of light honey that slowly gives way into a light, gentle butterscotch & minty hawthorne tone, while the acidity is firm and satisfying; a glorious aged gem.

2010 Jean-François Ganevat ‘Grusse en Billat’ Chardonnay, Jura, France   $95
Ganevat’s rare wines have become legendary in the trade.  He bottles tiny amounts of around 40 different labels each year; we’re excited to share his really gorgeous Chardonnay – savory and elegant and plush by turns.  Don’t miss.

2004 Gravner ‘Anfora’ Ribolla Gialla, Venezia Giulia, Italy   $190
Fermented in clay amphoras, this legendary ‘orange’ wine is one of Josko Gravner’s personal favorites.  Layer after layer of flavor unfurls on the palate; chamomile, clove, nutmeg, fresh fennel seed, apricot, even cinnamon – don’t miss.

Red

1983 Catherine & Pierre Breton ‘Beaumont’, Chinon, Loire, France    $120
Don’t miss a chance to enjoy this glorious cellar selection from our friend Pierre Breton (his poster graces our front wall). ‘Beaumont’, from Cabernet Franc vines planted to clay and limestone, is usually classed as ‘a wine to drink young’ – I love it when a wine defeats expectation!  This is very much alive and stimulating, with restrained tannin & supple fruit.

2011 Fred Cossard ‘Bedeau’, Pinot Noir, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France   $100
Fred is another leading pioneers of Burgundy’s ‘natural wine’ renaissance; his low-sulfured, unchemically-treated, native-yeast wines show a purity that’s really unique for the region – you won’t find this flavor and expression elsewhere.  This ‘Bedeau’ is one of the most dynamic wines I’ve had in recent years, relentlessly shifting between tartness & suavity.

2011 Domaine de Vens-le-Haut, Mondeuse, Savoie, France   $95
Labeled a ‘Micro-Cuvée of Exception’, this stunning Mondeuse is sourced from two tiny sites, totaling 3 hectares, of black sandstone and limestone clay, and it’s one of the most dynamic reds I’ve had this year.  In the glass, it takes a few minutes to get up on its feet, but then shows about 45 minutes of sheer delight – a little ‘rude’, a little edgy, it doesn’t flatter the palate as much as nudge it into greater receptivity.  Tart cranberry combines with pomegranate and hazelnut/cocao; incredibly drinkable, it’s shadowed by a sliver of tannin.  I’m fairly sure 19th century esthetes would class this as ‘le beaute du diable’.

 

Reserve Whites

France / Burgundy: Côte de Beaune and Chablis

2009 Domaine Billaud-Simon, Chablis    $55
A top-tier Chablis, more forward and less ‘nervous’ than others, showing surprising cinnamon/apple spice and a rich body

2005 Coche-Bizouard, Meursault ‘Les Chevalières’    $90
A very clean, delectable style of Meursault from a favorite higher-altitude site – flavors of lemon and ripe comice pear

2010 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin, Chablis Grand Cru ‘Valmur’    $90
Profound depth here; the rich macadamia nut and dark tropicality combine with a mouthwatering sense of minerality

2007 Benoit Ente, Bourgogne Blanc   $65
A fabulous wine from a terrific year, this develops beautifully in the glass (or decanter) – very harmonious and satisfying

2002 Domaine Sylvain Langoureau, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Les Chalumaux’     $95
Succulent gala apple flavors and a soft, pillowey minerality are underscored by shades of citronella, lavender, and spice

2008 Benjamin Leroux, Auxey-Duresses $75
Full-bodied and extremely evocative, this is plush and super-polished, with spicy yellow apple, acacia honey, and more

2003 Leroy, Beaune    $105
A top ‘03 from this superlative estate – it has the girth of Pavarotti and the speed of a TGV-train; muscular & nervy

2007 Paul Pernot, Puligny-Montrachet    $100
For many years, Paul’s wines have been the benchmark for Puligny’s powerful side; this shows terrific impact and acidity

2008 Gilbert Picq et ses fils, Chablis    $50
A taut, densely knit Chablis that grabs the palate and won’t let go, with flavors of stonefruit, kiwi seed, and smoky spice

2010 François Raveneau, Chablis Premier Cru ‘Foret’    $215
We only receive a few bottles of Raveneau’s legendary, benchmark Chablis each year; layered, wondrous, challenging

France / Burgundy: Mâcon, Côte Chalonnaise

2007 Vincent Dureuil-Janthial, Rully Premier Cru ‘Le Meix Cadot’    $65
One of the fullest-bodied, most herbal Rullys I’ve ever had: lavender, fennel, tapioca, vanilla extract, and much more.

2002 Colette Ferret ‘Le Tournant de Pouilly’, Pouilly-Fuissé $115
This is a rare work of living history from an amazing vintage – since M.Ferret’s passing, we won’t see Fuissés of this caliber again – don’t miss a chance to try this – dry honeycomb and smoke and turmeric and guava and mint and much more

2007 Domaine de la Folie, Rully    $55
This sinuous, wondrous Chalonnaise Chardonnay reminds one of many other wines at once – it has the perfume and salty grip of a top manzanilla, the tart grapefruit and rich taffee of a Tocai, and a signature honey-crisp apple & pecan tone

2007 Domaines Leflaive, Mâcon-Verzé     $65
A newer wine from this storied biodynamic domaine that carries incredible complexity, salinity, body, & torque – don’t miss

2008 Domaine Thibert ‘Vignes Blanches’, Pouilly-Fuissé    $75
My favorite single-vineyard Fuissé, this ’08 shows an amazing balance of intense citrus, creamy meringue, and keen mineral

France: Alsace

2008 Barmès-Buecher ‘Leimenthal’ Riesling, Wettolsheim    $60
Unique for Alsace, this dry Riesling comes from a single micro-parcel of pure limestone; totally arresting and stimulating

2006 Paul Blanck, Gewurztraminer ‘Altenbourg’, Kientzheim $75
Incredibly suave, succulent palate feel and perfectly integrated sweetness – one of the best Gewurztraminers of the vintage

2008 Albert Boxler, Riesling Grand Cru ‘Sommerberg’, Niedermorschwihr   $95
Wow – the intense acidity here is unforgettable! From a steep, Mosel-like hill, this is one of the best single wines in all of Alsace – ripe grapefruit, salty papaya, a brush of tart green apple, and a ghostly smokiness lead to a long finish

2002 Marcel Deiss, Grand Cru ‘Altenberg de Bergheim’, Bergheim   $155
“It’s not a wine, it’s a dream.” (J-M. Deiss) This creation fulfills the spirit of the earth.  One of the best wines you’ll ever have.

2002 Marcel Deiss, Premier Cru ‘Burg’, Bergheim   $84
“Sumptuous, concentrated. . w/the particular spices of Keuper marl: cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.” (J-M. Deiss)

2004 Rolly Gassmann, Gewurztraminer ‘Oberer Weingarten de Rorschwihr’, Rorschwihr  $95
Extremely complex, savory, and floral; not as sweet or spicy as others: yellow roses, balsamic/almost soy, incredible acidity

2006 Meyer-Fonné, Pinot Gris ‘Hinterberg de Katzenthal’, Katzenthal  $40
Marvelously rich and honeyed, with a touch of sweetness, this remains elegant on the palate, never too heavy; perfectly aged

2009 Martin Schaetzel, Gewurztraminer ‘Cuvée Reserve’, Ammerschwihr $35
A delicious, classic Gewurz, showing lemon zest, spicy mustard powder, and a rush of bright acid on the pinpoint finish

2002 Trimbach, Riesling ‘Cuvée Frederic Emilé’, Ribeauvillé    $75
This elegant Riesling defines its style for Alsace – lean, very dry and crisp on the palate. A blend of Grand Crus Geisberg and Osterberg, it shows orange pith, nectarine, and young bosc pear, alongside a shade of smoky petrol

2007 Domaine Weinbach, Riesling ‘Cuvée Théo’, Kaysersberg    $70
Utterly unique, this Riesling combines a malty richness with cool, refreshing tones of spearmint and peach – don’t miss

2004 Domaine Weinbach, Pinot Gris ‘Altenbourg’, Kaysersberg   $120
One of the loveliest Pinot Gris I’ve encountered, this takes your breath away with an earthy trueness – starchy and tropical

France: Loire Valley

2011 Champelou, Sec, Vouvray  $40
This is a textbook example of a classic dry Chenin Blanc, showing delicious tart green apple, cinnamon and chamomile

2011 Lucien Crochet, Sancerre   $55
Crochet is one of the top 3 producers in Sancerre today; this terrific bottling shows great gravitas and clean refreshment

2009 Didier Dagueneau ‘Silex’, Blanc Fumé de Pouilly   $230
If you haven’t tasted it before, this infamous, indulgent luxury bottling is worth a try; remarkable depth and concentration

2005 Foreau ‘Clos Naudin’, Vouvray Demi-Sec    $68
Wow – this is a deep, bass-driven Vouvray, with shiitake mushroom, overripe pear, dark peppercorn, and a smoky finish

1995 Foreau ‘Clos Naudin’, Vouvray Moelleux    $175
Well.  This masterpiece is a true delight, and a privilege to offer – its concentration and layered depth are unforgettable

2009 Domaine de la Louvetrie, Muscadet, Sèvre et Maine sur Lie   $28
I adore this classic expression of Muscadet by Jo Landron – it’s extremely finessed, saline, dry, and memorably satisfying

2007 Damien Laureau ‘Le Bel Ouvrage’, Savennières $85
This (literally) took my breath away at a recent tasting; semi-dry on the whole, w/chestnut honey, cinnamon & wildflower

2006 Luneau-Papin ‘Clos des Allèes’, Vieilles Vignes, Muscadet, Sèvre et Maine sur Lie     $32
From a top Muscadet producer, this shows more fruit and a touch less mineral than some, w/ fresh melon & wild strawberry

1996 Alphonse Mellot ‘Cuvée Edmond’, Vieilles Vignes, Sancerre     $190
No kidding, man! – this biodynamic wonder is one of the best French whites of the last four decades, it’s just amazing

1999 Domaine aux Moines, Roche aux Moines, Savennières   $54
One of the best bargains on the list, this extremely vibrant, mineralic/saline Chenin is full-bodied, dry & stimulating

2007 Marc Ollivier ‘Granite de Clisson’, Muscadet [1.5L magnum] $120
One of our favorite Muscadets ever made (and one of Marc’s), this shows glorious, thirst-slaking minerality and drive

2005 Château de la Roche-aux-Moines (Nicolas Joly) ‘Les Clos Sacrés’, Savennières   $70
From a great vintage, this is a very accessible wine from our friend Nicolas, all chamomile/raspberry tea and smoke

2003 Château de la Roche-aux-Moines (Nicolas Joly) ‘Coulée de Serrant’, Savennières    $155
One of the world’s legendary wines; its intensity will leave you breathless.  Its tightly knit textures require early decanting.

2010 Sablonettes, Chenin Blanc, Anjou   $34
Clean as a whistle, this vivid, high-acid, slightly spicy Chenin is remarkably refreshing; watermelon, spearmint & more

2008 Domaine Thomas-Labaille ‘Cuvée Buster’, Les Monts Damnés, Sancerre $60
An absolutely gorgeous Sancerre from a difficult year, this has a power, grip, and persistence that are unforgettable

France: Other Regions

2009 Antoine Arena, Vermentino, Patrimonio, Corsica $70
An evocative, savory white – rather full-bodied – with subtle floral aromatics, juicy nectarine fruit, and a persistent finish

2009 Barrère ‘Clos de la Vierge’ Sec, Jurançon $38
Very dry, medium-bodied, this shows a lovely array of tropical fruits like pineapple and kiwi, and finishes with a cool smokiness

2004 Domaine Berthet-Bondet, Chardonnay ‘Tradition’, Côtes du Jura    $50
According to tradition, this is aged under a fine veil of yeast (aka flor); strong acidity, savory nuttiness, a note of marzipan

2008 Jean-Paul Brun ‘Terres Dorees’, Beaujolais Blanc    $30
This rare Chardonnay is the best Beaujolais Blanc I’ve ever had; ‘08 was a great year!  Lush yellow fruit and smokin’ acidity

2009 Domaine Faillenc ‘Pas des Louves’, Corbières     $35
A luscious, refreshing blend of Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne and Macabeo; honeysuckle, jasmine green tea and more

2012 Félines Jourdan, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc    $26
Picpoul is often referred to as the ‘Muscadet of the South’; this is the first bottling which fully convinced me of the claim.  From older vines planted to fossil-riven stone, and given several months on the lees, this has great grip and deep refreshment

2010 Domaine de Gioielli, Vermentino, Cap Corse, Corsica   $42
This stands as the single finest white from Corsica I’ve had, thanks to its precision and delicacy – don’t miss this rare gem

2009 Château Haut-Lavigne, Côtes de Duras $32
A great summertime wine, this eastern-BDX blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon wowed our staff with its grace and charm

2006 Charles Hours ‘Cuvée Marie’ Sec, Jurançon   $42
Gros Manseng and Petite Corbu, this is dry, smoky, and very intense, with chicory, anise, cream soda and mushroom

2007 Domaine de Marcoux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc $75
This rarity from a storied biodynamic estate is sourced from 2 tiny plots; its rich, nutty creaminess is balanced by great acid

2011 Jean Masson, Jacquères, Apremont, Savoie    $34
A classic expression of Savoie’s leading white varietal; wild alpine flowers, pristine ripe fruit, and a layered, zippy finish

2007 Domaine de Montbourgeau ‘En Banode’, L’Etoile, Jura     $65
Only made in special years, this single-vineyard, flor-aged Savagnin/Chard is amazingly complex, with hazelnut and orange zest

Italian Whites

2009 Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adige $40
Kerner ravishes the palate like few other whites, showing white pepper, blackcurrant, wild strawberry, and salty minerality

2011 Bera, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont $42
This artisanal Moscato d’Asti is the very finest made; perfectly integrated sweetness & a sparkle that tickles the palate

2009 Bisson, Bianchetta Genovese, Golfo del Tigullio, Liguria $45
It’s great to welcome back the new vintage of a favorite Ligurian white: zesty lime, celery soda, jasmine tea, and more

2008 Bruna ‘Le Russeghine’ Pigato, Liguria   $55
A supreme expression of the Ligurian varietal Pigato, this remarkable wine shows rich aloe, plantain, and shades of mint

2010 Cabanon, Riesling, Oltrepo Pavese $38
One of the finest dry Rieslings in Italy, this shows stimulating spearmint and fresh summer peach, w/a fringe of creaminess

2002 La Castellada ‘Bianco della Castellada’, Collio $130
A breathtaking, naturally made (zero sulfur/unfined/unfiltered) blend of SB, Chard, and PGrigio; absolutely unforgettable

2011 Cirelli, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo   $60
From its pale yellow, slightly hazy (yet still reflective) color, it would be difficult to know that this terrific Trebbiano spent 3 months with its skins, in clay amphora, before bottling – on the palate, it speaks of chamomile, jasmine, and zesty citrus

2007 COS ‘Rami’, Insolia/Grecanico, IGT Sicily   $55
From Sicily’s legendary, pioneering biodynamic estate, this is a mature, lively, tropical wonder, w/pineapple, guava & more

2005 Les Crêtes, Petite Arvine, Valle d’Aosta     $60
A rather profound wine from the Alpine northwest, whose Grand Cru Chablis-body is cut with exotic flowers and spice.

2008 Marco Furlan, Ribolla Gialla, IGT Delle Venezie     $32
The most savory Italian white I’ve had in a long while: rosepetal aromas; nettle tea, soda bread, lemon zest and a saline finish

2009 Ermes Pavese, ‘Blanc de Morgex’ Prié Blanc, Valle d’Aosta    $55
An incredibly rare, tiny-production wine from the Alps; rich & spicy & so  satisfying: golden raisin, caraway, more

2007 Planeta, Chardonnay, Sicily   $70
Recognized as one of Italy’s very best Chardonnays, this powerful wine shows incredible ripeness and a long finish

 

Austrian Whites

2007 Hiedler, Grüner Veltliner ‘Maximum’, Kamptal    $75
If Grüner was grown in Meursault, this wine would be the result. A top Grüner, full-bodied, with wondrous development

2001 Hirtzberger, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Honivogl, Spitz, Wachau   $90
This has a fiery white-pepper and high-acid heart that beats against a taut chest of intensely ripe orange & persimmon

2010 Knoll, Riesling Federspiel, Wachau   $70
Emmerich Knoll crafts full-bodied, multi-dimensional wines of salinity and power, combining in this ’10 with cool citrus

2009 Leth, Riesling ‘Felser Weinberge’, Wagram   $35
A cool, generous, less tense Riesling than those from the Wachau, with a charming lushness next to its pinpoint precision

1990 Leth, Roter Veltliner, Wagram $145
Beautifully aged, this is elegant and taut on the palate, with flavors of oyster brine, olive, lemon zest, and a hint of birch smoke

2011 Loimer ‘Lois’ Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal   $28
This lean, bright, slightly spicy Grüner is a terrific introduction to the varietal, w/classic kiwi fruit, citrus & white pepper

2006 Nikolaihof ‘Vom Stein’ Riesling Federspiel, Wachau   $50
Elegant, bold biodynamic Riesling, showing a great balance between petrol, grapefruit zest, malt, and toasted plantain

2003 FX Pichler, Riesling Smaragd, Oberhauser, Wachau    $75
This rich 03 from the legendary Franz Xavier has a sapphire purity and fire beneath its wide-open verbena and citrus

2006 Rudi Pichler, Roter Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau    $85
We love Roter Veltliner for its spicy, intense, exotic, high-acid torque, and few make it better than our friend Rudi

2001 Rudi Pichler, Riesling Smaragd, Achleiten, Wachau   $74
This Riesling is one of Wachau’s best.  White spice, cumin, loess, toast, nectarine, and citrus favors frolic at their ease

2007 Prager ‘Wachstum Bodenstein’ Riesling Smaragd, Wachau    $75
Positively kaleidescopic, this densely knit and dynamic dry Riesling is unforgettable – one of Austria’s finest expressions of terroir – decant it early and it really shines

2009 Heidi Schrock, Muscat, Neusiedlersee-Huggeland, Burgenland $45
We love Heidi and her wines! This delectable Muscat is fresh and über-charming, with jasmine and anjou pear

German Whites

2009 Christmann, Riesling Trocken, Pfalz   $35
From one of the top 3 producers in the Pfalz, this shows a powerful set of flavors: macadamia, dried mango, turmeric

2007 Schlossgut Diel, Riesling Kabinett, Dorsheimer Burgberg, Nahe   $50
From a site of quartzite stone and a great year, this caresses the palate with gentle sweetness and refreshing acidity

2006 Dönnhoff, Riesling Spätlese, Norheimer Kirschheck, Nahe   $85
Surprising flavors of red raspberry sorbet and fresh bing cherry sing out in this elegantly structured, mineral-driven wine

2005 Dönnhoff, Riesling Spätlese, Oberhäuser Brücke, Nahe    $90
From a monopole of kaleidescopic soil complexity, this is rich & fairly sweet, with guava & kumquat: one of the world’s best

2008 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofsberg, Riesling Spätlese, Saar    $70
An erotic, sensuous Riesling whose sweetness and acid flit like butterflies on the palate before settling into graceful harmony

2007 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofsberg, Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, Saar    $65
A half-dry wine of taut acidity and crystalline purity, this is one of Germany’s very best; lemongrass, ginger, lime, and more

2008 Keller ‘von der Fels’ Riesling, Rheinhessen   $70
A favorite ’08, this is vivid and agile on the palate; sourced from younger vines within the great crus Kirschspiel, Hubacker and Morstein, it shows exuberant melon and peach alongside the acidity and drive.  We only received 6 bottles; enjoy this soon!

2009 Müller-Catoir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pfalz $55
Unusual, utterly captivating Sauvignon Blanc; clean crisp fruit and lime blossom is tempered by a malty, creamy texture

2004 Müller-Catoir, Scheurebe Spätlese, Haardter Mandelring, Pfalz     $74
Bold cassis, crushed fennel-seed, citronella & ore develop on a line of marvelous tension to a dry finish of memorable weight

2004 Müller-Catoir, Riesling Spätlese, Haardter Burgergarten, Pfalz     $62
Whole blocks of diverse qualities swing through the palate by turns; keen citrus, malty lambic, and sweet orange spice

2003 Müller-Catoir, Riesling Spätlese, Haardter Herrenletten, Pfalz      $89
Epic.  One of the top wines of the vintage.  This shimmers with unforgettable complexity: lithe and agile and powerful

1999 Balthasar Ress, Riesling Auslese, Rudesheimer Berg Rottland, Rheingau $70
From Ress’ best, steepest site, this impeccably aged Auslese really took our breath away with its power and semi-dry grace

2008 Reuscher-Haart, Riesling Spätlese #10, Piesporter Goldtropfchen, Mosel   $40
Handcrafted by great friends, this is one of my favorite wines of ’08; very suave on the palate, with integrated sweetness

1995 Max Ferd. Richter, Riesling Auslese, Graacher Domprobst, Mosel     $115
A rich, dark Auslese to sit and contemplate, showing dried papaya, vanilla malt, a note of petrol, and oily macadamia

1987 Max Ferd. Richter, Riesling Estate, Brauneberger Juffer, Mosel    $45
This very fine 20+ year old Riesling shows like a demi-sec, with apple, cinnamon & a hint of light, dry acacia honey

2006 Willi Schaefer, Riesling Spätlese #12, Graacher Domprobst, Mosel     $60
The supreme balance between gentle sweetness and poised acidity here will elicit gasps of wonder: one of the marvels of ‘06

2004 Robert Weil, Riesling Spätlese, ‘Estate’, Rheingau      $75
A clean burst of light, both lacy and powerful, with perfectly balanced sugar and acid, anjou pear & dates & kiwi & more

Spanish and Portuguese Whites

2012 Ameztoi, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country   $35
An affirmation of life, this is the Txakoli we turn to when we need a refreshing lift; its light sparkle soon reflects in your eye

2012 Casal Garcia, Vinho Verde, Portugal   $24
Enlivened by a light spritz, this is one of our favorite go-to spring and summer wines – lively and deeply refreshing

2011 Burgans, Albariño, Rias Baixas $34
A benchmark Albariño, sexy and hip-shaking, showing tangy grapefruit, ripe melon, and strong peachiness throughout

2009 doFerreiro ‘Cepas Vellas’ Albariño, Rias Baixas $70
This legendary wine, from 100+ year-old vines, represents the apogee of Albariño’s potential; finessed, saline, silky & plush

2011 Vinha do Foral, Dry Moscato, Setubal, Portugal   $28
This is another great quaffer for any weather; charming, crisp, and uncomplicated, w/great aromatics and acidity

1981 R. Lopez de Heredia ‘Viña Tondonia’ Gran Reserva Blanco, Rioja Alta, Spain $160
Stunningly alive: ripe Alhambran oranges in a summer sunset, white birch smoke, a meadow of dewy lavender and sage

2009 Laureano Serres ‘Mendall / L’abeurador’, Macabeo, Penedes $55
Utterly unique wine, naturally made with almost zero sulfur – it’s hazy and Gravner-like, with elegant, engaging textures

Australian and New Zealand Whites

2008 Felton Road, Riesling, Central Otago, New Zealand    $55
Half-dry (9.5% alc.), picked at Spätlese ripeness, this has stunning clarity and weight, with a long, supremely elegant finish

2006 Petaluma, Riesling, Hanlin Hill Vineyard, Clare Valley, Australia     $40
Galloping acidity and low alcohol helps this mid-bodied, taut, steely Riesling stand out; a big marzipan and apricot finish

2008 Pegasus Bay ‘Bel Canto’ Dry Riesling, Waipara Valley, New Zealand $70
A powerful, very dry Riesling (14% alc.), showing lush, delectable flavors of guava, dried apricot, petrol, and honey

2009 Pyramid Valley ‘Lion’s Tooth’ Chardonnay, Canterbury, New Zealand     $100
From my favorite New Zealand producer, Mike Weersing, this gorgeous Chardonnay has all the complexity of the finest Grand Cru Burgundy; biodynamic viticulture & hands-off vinification provide for an intensely pure, memorable impression

2007 Torbreck, Marsanne/Roussanne, Barossa Valley, Australia    $70
The best blend of its kind from the Southern Hemisphere, showing chamomile tea, quince, and rich hazelnut cream

Whites from Other Countries

2011 Argyros ‘Atlantis’ Assyrtiko blend, Santorini, Greece   $30
An outstanding vintage for this Santorini fave, showing ripe tropical fruits, volcanic minerality, and herbal spice

2010 Badenhorst, Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa   $30
Adi Badenhorst is making some of the best wines in SA today; this is beautifully perfumed, full of citrus, and very quaffable

2008 Anne-Carole and Conrad Caloz ‘Les Bernunes’ Heida-Paien, Valais, Switzerland $80
Heida-Paien (i.e. Savagnin), the varietal here, shows beautifully; very lean and refreshing, with juniper, watermelon, and mint

2007 Cotar, Vitovska, Kras, Slovenia   $65
The Vitovska grape (believed to be a cross of Malvasia and Prosecco) is unique to Slovenia; Vasja Cotar makes one of the finest wines from it that I’ve ever tasted.  With just a few days of skin contact, native yeast ferment, and about a year in mostly used oak, this is slightly ‘orange’ and terrifically refreshing; mandarin orange, melon, gueuze, dry Sicilian honey, fine tannin

2011 Crios, Torrontes, Cafayate, Argentina     $28
A powerfully aromatic, Muscat-like nose leads to a unique blend of kiwi and pear flavors and a crisp, refreshing finish

2009 Ivanovic, Tamianika, Morava, Serbia   $30
This delightful dry Muscat (aka Tamianika) gives cool flavors of grape sorbet, peach blossom, and gentle citrus notes

2003 Movia ‘Veliko Blanco’, Brda, Slovenia    $75 [Pinot Gris, Ribolla, Sauv. Blanc]
This savory, rich, single-vineyard biodynamic wine is just insanely cool; cardamom, saline, chicory, epoisses, and more!!

2011 Domaine Sigalas, Assyrtiko/Athiri, Santorini, Greece   $30
Tense, high-acid salinity and refreshing mandarin orange flavors mix with bright lemon zest, a touch of olive oil, and thyme

2011 Stobi, Zilavka, Tikves, Macedonia   $34
The rare, mid-bodied Zilavka varietal shows a great combination of passionfruit, gooseberry, balsam and cream soda

2009 Caves du Vieux Moulin ‘Amandolyre’ Fendant, Grand Cru ‘Vetroz’, Valais, Switzerland  $60
In the Valais, Chasselas goes by the name Fendant; this bottling by Romain Papilloud at Vieux Moulin may be the best expression of this varietal we’ve had, combining pink grapefruit & watermelon, oregano & thyme, rosewater & meringue.

American Chardonnay

2008 Belle Pente, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon   $65
Striking balance here between mouthwatering acidity, generous & rich palate feel, nutty complexity & a persistent finish

2008 Davis Family Vineyards, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma    $60
A fuller-bodied style which nicely balances succulent orchard fruits with a rich, creamy texture – the finish is like a crescendo

2007 Dehlinger, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma   $75
A personal favorite RRV Chard – it carries a lot of heft and weight, and shows dry persimmon, gala apple, and cool toast

2006 DuMol, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma     $105
From one of the most sought-after wineries today, this RRV bottling has it all: ripe yellow apple, nectarine, vanilla, and more

2007 Forman, Chardonnay, Napa Valley    $80
Napa legend and good friend Ric Forman consistently crafts some of Cali’s best Chard – 07 was a great year for him – judicious use of oak perfectly frames classic flavors of fig and gala apple – the finish has great length and lift.

2005 Littorai ‘Charles Heintz Vineyard’ Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast   $130
One of the most elegant and evocative American Chardonnays made to date.  Brisk meyer lemon, olive, a profound finish

2007 Monticello Vineyards, Chardonnay, Napa Valley   $50
Winemaker Chris Corley brings a great deal of thought to his craft – the clean fruit and excellent acidity here is superb

Other American Whites

2009 AmByth Estate ‘Priscus’, Paso Robles, California   $90
This Rhône-style blend, led by Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, was one of our favorite discoveries of our California trip of September 2013.  From a pioneering biodynamic estate, it shows a rich, dry, succulent body, and a savory finish

2008 Ca’ del Solo Vineyard, Muscat, Monterey County, California $30
A perfumed, bright, and elegant dry Muscat from the passionate Randall Grahm, showing ripe apricot and kiwi

2007 Hickory Creek, Semi-Dry Riesling, Lake Michigan Shore    $38
The best wine yet from this young estate just across the lake, showing white peach, thyme, early petrol, and a killer finish

2008 K Vintners, ‘Kung Fu Girl’ Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington    $28
A quaffer’s dry Riesling, very juicy and fresh, with pear, a note of tangy grapefruit, and a lean, medium-toned acidity

2009 Hermann J. Wiemer, Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York $38
The Wiemer estate produces what we believe is the very best Riesling in America. Don’t miss a taste of this – it’s supremely refreshing, with taut, crisp acidity, flavors of green apple, linden leaf, sencha tea, and much more

 

Reserve Reds

France / Burgundy: Côte de Nuits

2008 Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny   $95
This masterpiece, from a brilliant year, is quite elegant, delicate, and yet intense; its complexity deeply stirs your emotions

2007 Alain Burguet ‘Tradition’, Gevrey-Chambertin   $75
A succulent, approachable, deeply pure Gevrey from a favorite estate, with ripe bing cherry, a trace of spice & a great finish

2004 Robert Chevillon, Nuits-St.-Georges Premier Cru ‘ Les Bousselots’    $135
This wine takes my breath away – such pure Burgundy is hard to find – earthy mushroom, iron, elevated black fruits

2008 Jérôme Chezeaux, Nuits-St.-Georges   $75
Right now, if I had to choose one wine to showcase NSG’s potential, I’d choose this; fuller-bodied and deliciously rustic

2006 Domaine Collotte, Chambolle-Musigny, Vieilles Vignes    $90
Classic Chambolle, very fine and lean, with filigreed tannin, red fruits (just on this side of tangy), and a very long finish

2008 Claude Dugat, Bourgogne Rouge    $80
Located in Gevrey, Claude consistently crafts superlative wines; this ’08 shows powerful acidity and graceful tannin

2008 Sylvie Esmonin, Gevrey-Chambertin   $85
Sylvie works her tiny estate in a ‘natural’, traditional way; her powerful ’08 Gevrey has smoky depth & dazzling complexity

2005 Harmand-Geoffroy, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru ‘Champeaux’    $115
A classic Champeaux from an infamous vintage, showing evenly ripe fruit perfectly framed by firm tannin and clean acidity

2004 Philippe & Vincent Lechenaut, Morey St.-Denis    $105
The powerful, elegant Lechenaut style is fairly legendary – their 04 MSD is more of the latter – very refined and savory

2007 Benjamin Leroux, Nuits-St.-Georges Premier Cru ‘Aux Thorey’     $130
From my new favorite NSG producer and a great 1er Cru – succulent fruit, amazingly balanced acidity & an all-night finish

2009 Lignier-Michelot ‘Vieilles Vignes’, Chambolle-Musigny    $75
Virgile Lignier is one of the finest Burgundy winemakers today; this mid-bodied, old-vine bottling is worthy of meditation

2008 Méo-Camuzet, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru ‘Les Cras’   $210
From a higher-altitude site bathed in sun and planted to rich soil, this marvelous Chambolle shows unforgettable balance

2002 Philippe Naddef, Gevrey-Chambertin, Vieilles-Vignes    $90
Philippe’s firm, masculine, oaky style is tantalizingly balanced by the perfectly ripe fruit of 2002; one of his best ever

2004 Philippe Pacalet, Gevrey-Chambertin $150
A restless ‘natural’ winemaker, Pacalet makes wines of raw, elegant, savory precision; this 2004 is one of that year’s best Gevreys

2003 Domaine Christophe Perrot-Minot, Vosne-Romanée      $140
A seductive Vosne made of ermine and velvet; the essence of ripe  dark cherry, iron, layered tannin, and powerful minerality

France / Burgundy: Côte de Beaune

2002 Domaine Chantal-Lescure, Pommard  ‘Les Vignots’    $75
Darkly expressive, silky Pommard, showing dark violet, tangy plum, juicy fig, and a powerhouse finish of surprising tannin

2008 Bruno Clair, Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru ‘La Dominode’    $135
From a miniscule, sunny site and a great year, this favorite is succulent and powerful for an ’08; plum, cumin, and more

2008 Jean-Luc Dubois, Chorey-les-Beaune, Vieilles-Vignes $50
A new favorite wine from an underappreciated appellation, this is very light bodied and beautifully perfumed – don’t miss!

2005 Florent de Merode, Pommard Premier Cru ‘Clos de la Platière’   $80
I’ve always loved this 1er Cru for its hearty, rustic expression, which has joined with really powerful structure in 2005

1991 Camille Giroud, Beaune ‘Greves’     $105
A superb wine from a warm, underrated year, this shows rosehips and smoky black cherry and a shade of pistachio

2007 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay   $130
All Dominique Lafon’s wines show a precise elaboration; none more, perhaps, than this exquisite Volnay.  Don’t miss.

2005 Albert Morot, Beaune Premier Cru ‘Bressandes’    $95
Bressandes is a cool and sandy site, giving pinpoint, graceful wines – few estates craft them better than Morot.  A gem

2005 Joseph Voillot, Pommard , Vieilles-Vignes    $85
As robust and generous on the palate as its winemaker, J-P Charlot, this shows intense cherry fruit and spicy tannin

France / Burgundy: Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon

2005 Domaine du Clos Salomon, Givry Premier Cru Monopole ‘Clos Salomon’, Côte Chalonnaise   $60
It’s the finish that stands out here, of steady acidity, which picks up as the ripe cassis & cranberry compote fruit falls away

2008 Domaine Guillot-Broux, Gamay, Mâcon-Cruzille    $36
A new all-time favorite Gamay, this lovely, light-bodied wine is incredibly quaffable, with great acid & chalky minerals

2004 Domaine Joblot, Givry Premier Cru ‘Clos de la Servoisine’, Côte Chalonnaise   $75
Classic Joblot, w/ a firm core of intense cherry and tangy cranberry, a touch of oak and spice and a keen, powerful finish

2008 Domaine de Moirots, Givry, Côte Chalonnaise   $38
Lean-bodied, this gives a great picture of the fugitive beauty 2008 provides; keen acidity, tart fruit, haunting tannin

France / Cru Beaujolais

2011 Georges Descombes, Morgon    $42
Excellent vintage of this remarkable, silky Morgon; evocative florals, notes of licorice, earthy funk & raspberry tea

2009 Louis et Claude Desvignes ‘Voûte St.-Vincent’, Morgon   $40
A medium-bodied, lip-smacking and satisfying Morgon, w/an aromatic nose and firm mid-palate of goji & black cherry

2011 Domaine Diochon, Moulin-a-Vent   $48
Extraordinary balance of taut minerality, keenly ripe red fruit, and a satisfying sense of grip on the long finish

2006 Paul Janin ‘Clos du Tremblay’, Moulin-a-Vent   $48
An iron-rich, mineral-driven Moulin-a-Vent, this is nearly Rhône-esque for its spicy game and fine-boned, tasty tannin

2011 Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie    $38
With a dark undertow, unusual for Fleurie, expressed in a densely knit melange of dried fruit, carob, date and thyme

2005 Jean-Paul Thevenet ‘Vieilles Vignes’, Morgon    $55
Beautifully aged, from a terrific vintage, this old-vine bottling combines intense fruit with great acid and flavorful tannin

2011 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly   $45
A perennial favorite which often elicits peals of happy laughter, this lean and lively wine shows a perfect knit in 2011

France / Loire Valley

2008 Domaine le Briseau ‘Patapon’ Pineau d’Aunis, Coteaux-du-Loir $60
A terrific biodynamic Aunis, naturally produced, from north of the Loire river, showing white pepper and blueberry fruit

2010 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie ‘Cuvée Alouettes’, Bourgueil   $40
From a terrific year and one of our favorite estates, this classic Cab Franc shows tart cranberry, green pepper, and soft tannin

2005 Lucien Crochet ‘La Croix du Roy’, Sancerre   $50
Amazingly finessed and powerful Sancerre Pinot Noir; lean, tart, and plush by turns, it engages the palate with charm

2009 Clos Delorme, Valencay $32
A rather rare Malbec blend from a tiny zone in the eastern Loire, this is tart and pretty on the whole, with a slight sappy edge

2009 Beatrice and Pascal Lambert ‘Les Terrasses’, Chinon    $32
One of the most cheerful wines from Chinon, this is juicy, ripe, and downright fun, w/bing cherry fruit and cool licorice

2012 François Dhumes ‘Minette’ Gamay, Auvergne   $46
From a 1.6 hectare parcel of vines in the center of France, near the Loire’s source, this deeply expressive and thirst-quenching Gamay tastes like a still Lambrusco in some ways, with flavors of dark olive, mulberry, and a hint of sassafrass

2012 Olivier Lemasson ‘R12′, Vin de France   $36
A favorite, naturally-made blend of Grolleau, Malbec & Gamay, with an aromatic beginning & palate-flattering texture

2011 Domaine de la Pepière ‘Cuvée Granite’, VdP de Val de Loire    $32
This classic field blend is just singin’ right now, with pronounced minerality underscoring exuberant fruit and light tannin

2010 Domaine de la Petite Marie ‘Galluches’, Bourgueil   $42
From flinty soils similar to Pomerol’s, and aged in giant casks, this delight shows lean, forward fruit & a hint of salinity

2004 Clos Rougeard ‘Les Poyeux’ Saumur Champigny   $130
One of the top reds in all of France.  Vinified organically from a single plot of 40-60 year old vines, partially fermented in used barrels from Haut-Brion, matured for years in a very cold cellar. The palate is impeccably harmonious.  A benchmark.

France: Alsace and the Jura

2006 Domaine Berthet-Bondet ‘Rubis’, Côtes du Jura $45
Very juicy and light-bodied, high in acid and low in tannin, this is showing tangy passionfruit, grapefruit, and cranberry

2011 Emile Beyer ‘Tradition’ Pinot Noir, Eguisheim, Alsace   $42
A classic, textbook Alsatian Pinot, showing tart cranberry, a note of succulent black raspberry, and soft, tea-like tannin

2007 Philippe Bornard ‘La Chamade’ Ploussard, Arbois Pupillin, Jura $58
We’re thrilled for the opportunity to show this rare wine, all light raspberry tea, lavender, leather, and bright acid

2007 Jean Bourdy, Côtes du Jura    $50
A supremely elegant Poulsard/Trousseau/Pinot Noir blend, with vivid, racy ground cherry, fresh goji, and strong acidity

2012 Michel Gahier ‘La Vigne du Louis’ Trousseau, Arbois, Jura   $60
Michel works with meticulous care in his vines and cellar; his wines, which improve every year, have become some of the finest in all of eastern France.  The vines for this wine were planted by his grandfather (Louis) to a subsoil of heavy gravel and limestone.  It has a bit more body than other Trousseaus, with meaty fruit surrounding a delicate core.

2007 Michel Gahier, Trousseau, Arbois, Jura $65
A lacy, delicate red wine of consummate charm, showing ripe cranberry, cinnamon, and a finish of lean acidity

2011 Jacques Puffeney, Poulsard, Arbois, Jura   $55
It’s always a treat to share wine from ‘Le Puff’!  This is really beautiful shortly after decanting; filigreed, angular, fine

France: Bordeaux, Left Bank

1996 Château Batailley, Pauillac    $180
A benchmark ‘96, whose bold cassis flavors belie a dazzling restraint; with fresh-turned gravel and slow-smoked meats

1994 Château Cos d’Estournel, St. Estèphe    $170
Simply outstanding – full bodied, rich, with notes of berries, cedar and tobacco that fill the palate, with a long finish

1997 Château Gruaud-Larose,  Grand Cru, St. Julien    $150
Great balance with ripe cherry and cassis fruit, layers of tobacco and spice, with a ripe, supple texture and a long finish

2004 Château du Jaugaret, St.-Julien   $140
This uniquely artisanal Bordeaux was crafted by one man, J-F Fillastre, from a tiny plot that’s been in his family 350 years – aged in used barrels for 30 months in a very cool cellar, it has an overt saltiness on the nose, and a body of amazing cut and precision, with flavors of gravel, cedar, and subtle cherry.

2004 Château Moulin-Riche, St. Julien     $80
A favorite every year for its pitch-perfect balance, this shows grilled steak, iodine, cassis, and a trace of Indian spice

2010 Château Respide-Medeville, Graves   $60
Respide-Medeville has become our favorite Graves estate; this ’10 is showing aristocratic structure and vivacious fruit

2006 Domaine Saint Guirons, Pauillac   $105
A dark, brooding Pauillac, showing rich tannin, and flavors of bouillon, carob, and date – the finish is quite memorable

2009 Moulin de Tricot, Haut-Médoc   $65
Outstanding!  Dense, succulent textures balance against just the right degree of dark tannin; very satisfying throughout

France: Bordeaux, Right Bank

2009 Château Belles Graves, Lalande-de-Pomerol   $65
This personal favorite combines a very finessed palate feel with woodsy, shiitake-toned flavors and a persistent finish

2003 Château de Bellevue, Lussac-St.-Emilion   $50
An extraordinary Bordeaux for the price, this mature, mid-bodied wine shows vivid fruit, gravelly minerality & cool tannin

2005 Château Corbin, St.-Emilion Grand Cru   $110
It’s great to be able to show another wine from the famed 05 vintage; this is ripe, dark and earthy, with a very rich feel

2005 Château Haut-Segottes, St.-Emilion Grand Cru    $80
This small-production St.-Emilion has terrific structure; it’s rather powerful on the palate, with gravelly tannin & keen acid

2006 Château Nenin ‘Fugue de Nenin’, Pomerol   $50
This upper-tier ‘second label’ from Nenin is a real bargain for the quality and vintage; spice, cocoa, mint, and more

2010 Le Pavillon de Saint-Jacques, Lalande-de-Pomerol   $55
From a delicious, softly structured, ‘crowd-pleasing’ beginning, this quickly gains striking lift and complexity

2009 Château Peybonhomme les Tours, Cru Bourgeois, Côtes de Blaye  $30
One of the most immediately likeable BDX I’ve ever had, this is a classic Blaye; soft blueberry, tangy tannin, gentle spice

2008 Château Recougne, Bordeaux Supèrieur $35
A more serious, tannic, ‘rustic’ Supèrieur, with spicy oak, graphite minerality, gently ripe red fruits, and a generous finish

2011 Château Tire Pé ‘Diem’, Bordeaux  $30
Don’t let the affordability here fool you; this spectacularly drinkable, structured young BDX will enliven your night

France: Northern Rhône

2008 Theirry Allemand ‘Reynard’, Cornas    $160
Theirry’s wines are rare and savage; I’m fortunate to be able to offer a tiny amount of his outstanding ’08 Reynard – don’t miss

2009 Bernard Burgaud, Côte Rôtie    $120
It’s finally back!  This allocated, small-production, traditional wine will knock your socks off; gamey, dark, unforgettable

2010 René-Jean Dard & François Ribo, Hermitage   $200
A fabulously drinkable Syrah from this legendary appellation, with a sapid, savory edge and clean, very pure spicy fruit

2008 René-Jean Dard and François Ribo, Crozes-Hermitage   $70
This very unique wine shows a different side of the Crozes appellation – it’s very lean & light-bodied, with a persistent finish

2005 J. M. Gerin ‘Champin le Seigneur’, Côte-Rôtie    $120
Deep ruby color; classic aromas of lavender, cumin, and wet red earth; velvety, flattering textures; keen tannic grip

2011 Pierre Gonon, St.-Joseph    $95
Gonon has become one of our favorite producers in the Northern Rhône; this combines terrific grip with a warm, haunting charm

1998 Paul Jaboulet ‘La Chapelle’, Hermitage    $175
Ten + years out, this is just starting to blossom, showing licorice, spicy raspberry, iron & granite minerality, and much more

2002 Patrick Jasmin, Côte-Rôtie    $110
In ‘02, Jasmin’s classic profile of tarragon, pink peppercorn, and medium acidity was enriched by a succulent midpalate

2004 Michel et Stephane Ogier ‘L’Âme Soeur’, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes     $80
Stunning old-vines Syrah from a single parcel of terrassed schist across the river from Côte-Rôtie, w/warmth, cut, & drive

2008 Michelas-St.-Jemms, Crozes-Hermitage   $45
This affordable Crozes shows a brighter, ‘easier’ side to the appellation, with young raspberry, gentle spice & elegant tannin

2008 Rene Rostaing, Côte Rôtie    $125
A great vintage from this legendary producer, with forward minerality, generous red fruit, and a long, heartwarming finish

France: Southern Rhône

2009 André Brunel ‘Cuvée Sabrine’, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages   $38
Ripe blueberry and blackberry flavors immediately strike the palate, and quickly soften into a lush, harmonious total feel

2011 Olivier Cuilleras ‘Vieilles Vignes’, Côtes-du-Rhône   $45
This old-vine bottling is a bit high-toned and austere, with cedary tannin, tense acidity, and perfectly ripe red fruit

2004 Domaine Font de Michelle ‘Cuvée Etienne Gonnet’, Châteauneuf-du-Pape    $95
Font de Michelle’s top cuvée, this packs a lot of punch: licorice, cassis, and rosemary develop in a very ‘smooth’ total texture

2010 Moulin de la Gardette ‘Cuvée Ventabren’, Gigondas   $85
A new favorite Gigondas, this begins immensely dark, brambly and inky, and then gains great restraint, poise & herbality

2007 Montirius ‘Le Clos’, Vacqueyras     $60
From a leading biodynamic estate, this graceful, mineral-driven wine is a star of 2006: cassis & spicy white pepper-dust

2009 Domaine le Piaugier ‘Ténébi’, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Sablet   $50
One of the unsung gems of the southern Rhône, Piaugier’s rare, single-village ‘Ténébi’ bottling is 100% Counoise, and you’ll never experience a finer example of the varietal; a stimulating combination of earl grey tea, succulent fruit & silky tannin

2009 Domaine de Sang des Cailloux ‘Cuvée Azalais’, Vacqueyras    $65
An exotic, spicy, mineral-driven, urgent wine; w/red grapefruit, black cherry, and licorice, it flatters the palate completely

2011 Domaine de la Solitude, Côtes-du-Rhône   $40
A defining wine for the CdRhône appellation, with medium acidity, firm tannin, and a brace of raspberry and spice

France: ‘the South’

2006 Antoine Arena ‘Carco’ Rouge, Patrimonio, Corsica     $80
This extremely  rare Niellucio (Sangiovese), crafted by Corsica’s most talented winemaker, has an impact on the palate that you’ll never forget:  fine, taut acidity, high-strung persimmon, schisty tannin, notes of ink and salt… don’t miss this gem!

2010 Domaine Leon Barral ‘Jadis’, Faugères     $80
The spiciest, most flavorful Faugères ever – starts lean and then gains amazing power – black pepper, strong cumin, more

2011 Andrea Calek ‘Babiole’, Ardèche   $45
In the hinterland between the northern and southern Rhône, Czech ‘dissident’ Andrea Calek is producing some of the most delicious and pure wines we’ve ever seen from the zone.  This is spicy and heartwarming, with a Falstaffian garrulousness

2010 Le Cedre ‘Heritage’ Malbec, Cahors   $40
This Malbec shows a very drinkable, juicier side to the Cahors appellation, with rich black fruits and soft tannin

2006 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Vin de Pays de l’Herault    $90
Sensual and thought-provoking, with great speed on the palate: spicy and sappy, mulberry and white sage and oregano

2011 Nicolas Gonin, Persan, Balmes Dauphinoises, Isère   $48
Isère, located near Annecy in the far southeast, is home to the last few parcels remaining of the ancient Persan varietal.  Known as ‘the Pinot Noir of the Savoie’, it’s very lean and light-bodied, with an impression of sweet blackberry fruit

2008 Château de la Liquière ‘Amandiers’, Faugères    $28
This tasted like a baby Priorat to me – so satisfying! – integrated layers of licorice, nutmeg, mocha, and toasted pomegranate

2003 Château Pradeaux, Bandol    $75
From the leading traditional estate in Bandol, this has phenomenal complexity and an energetic, spicy drive along the palate

2010 Clos Siguier, Malbec, Cahors   $40
A return to form for Siguier, this 2010 shows Cahors’ brighter side, with shades of passionfruit, light pomegranate, and more

2009 Château Simone, Rosé, Palette, Provence   $120
This legendary, hard-to-find wine sets a new standard for what rosé can be; pale crimson color and unforgettable flavor

2010 Domaine de Terrebrune, Rosé, Bandol, Provence   $60
One of the most keen and unforgettable Bandol rosés we’ve had; macadamia oil, ripe blackberry, and white pepper spice

Italy: Barbaresco and Barolo

Borgogno, Barolo Riserva.  $130     Available vintages:  1999, 1997
A wine of kings, made in enormous old casks to age forever:  dark cherry, toasted pomegranate, fresh chestnut, herbs

2004 Brovia ‘Rocche’ Barolo, Castiglione Falletto  $120
From a personal favorite estate and a terrific year, this ’04 is showing great just now, w/carob, dark chocolate and great fruit

Ceretto, Bricco Asili ‘Faset’, Barbaresco.  $140     Available vintages: 1999, 1998, 1997
‘Faset’ is an infamous south-facing site shaped like an amphitheater very near the town of Barbaresco and the Tanaro River.  For many years, Ceretto was considered the leading producer from this vineyard – today, however, this is a wine they no longer make.  This ‘mini-vertical’ represents a rare chance to taste a bit of the history of this storied wine and location.

2008 Ruggeri Corsini ‘San Pietro’, Barolo    $90
This youngster, full of rambunctious, in-your-face vigor – carob, dark cherry, iron minerality – also shows a lean, elegant side

Bartolo Mascarello, Barolo.  $200     Available vintages:  2007
Bartolo (1926-2005), a Barolo legend, was Piedmont’s greatest ethicist and traditional winemaking advocate; his daughter, Maria Theresa, shares his passion.  To taste a Mascarello is to learn to perceive what Barolo can be.

2004 Giuseppe & figlio Mascarello ‘Monprivato’ Barolo, Castiglione Falletto    $165
From a historic, southwest facing vineyard site of limestone-rich soil, this is only made in superb vintages by Mauro Mascarello, Giuseppe’s great-grandson; lean and lithe, showing pinpoint minerality, soft fruit, tar, and an amazing finish

2003 Francesco Rinaldi & figli ‘Brunate’, Barolo     $140
A beefy, mushroom-driven Barolo from this legendary traditionalist producer, with strong, satisfying tannin

1999 Bruno Rocca ‘Rabajà’, Barbaresco    $90
From a great year and a top vineyard site, this Barbaresco is smokin’ good; rosemary, toasted porcini, relaxed tannin

1998 Sottimano ‘Vigna Brichet’, Barbaresco [in magnum] $175
Brichet is one of Sottimano’s best sites; this shows vivid wild cherry, angular minerality, and a gamey-ness on the end

Italy: Piedmont

2007 Giacomo Conterno, Barbera d’Alba     $80
Roberto Conterno, Giacomo’s grandson, is one of the most talented, traditional winemakers in Italy today.  The powerful floral aromas on his ‘07 Barbera introduce an intense, unforgettable palate of keen plum, quince, and sassafrass.

2004 Ferrando ‘Etichetta Bianco’ Carema     $75
An extraordinary vintage for this favorite estate:  gorgeously lean, lithe, and keenly expressive, w/rosepetal, mint, and more

2010 Filippo Gallino, Barbera d’Alba $38
This shows a touch more body than its Asti cousins, yet remains clean, tart, and pretty, with lovely acidity and bright fruit

2006 Monsecco, Gattinara   $90
From the high northwest, this Nebbiolo shows gorgeous, supple fruit, then quickly turns dense, rich, and classically tannic

2005 Proprietà Sperino ‘Uvaggio’, Coste della Sesia     $65
Isole e Olena’s Paolo di Marchi is successfully reviving the great, ancient, northern Sesia river valley vineyards with this bottling of Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Croatina – such life and vibrancy! – rosewater, tumeric, cassis, violets, and more

2010 G. D. Vajra, Dolcetto d’Alba    $40
We were really taken with this classic Dolcetto at a recent tasting – tart, bright red fruit, generous acid, and a lovely finish

Italy: Tre-Veneto

2007 Abbazia di Novacella, Lagrein, Alto-Adige    $55
An all-time favorite varietal for its relentless edginess and tanginess and velvety exoticism, made by a legendary estate

2003 Abbazia di Novacella ‘Praepositus’ Lagrein, Alto-Adige   $75
My personal ‘Wine of the Year 07’; so seamless and lean and filled with goodness, one regards the glass smiling & astonished

2006 Ca’ la Bionda ‘Vigneti di Ravazzol’ Valpolicella Classico Superiore   $50
Perfectly aged, this ’06 single-vineyard Valpolicella (from a great year!) is one of the 3 top reds from the zone; don’t miss

2005 Ricci Curbastro ‘Santella del Gröm’, Curtefranca, Lombardy $45
A fascinating Carmenère-driven Bordeaux-style blend, with very lively acidity, succulent fruit, rustic tannin, and sexy feel

2007 Ermacora, Schioppettino, Colli Orientali del Friuli   $50
Aged in large botti, this is a bit more suave than other Schioppettinos, with relaxed tannin, latent acidity, and great spice

2006 Marco Furlan, Schioppettino, Venezia-Giulia   $32
This intensely flavorful Schioppettino is speedy on the palate, w/a touch more heft & raspberry/inkiness than most others

2006 Heinrich Mayr, Lagrein, Südtirol   $60
A phenomenal wine with a sexy, keen palate feel, this shows fresh goji berry, dark raspberry, a shade of mocha and great acid

2006 Monte dall’Ora ‘Saustó’, Ripasso, Valpolicella Classico Superiore    $80
A lush, powerhouse Ripasso, whose classic flavors of black raisin and carob are underlined by a clean, strong acidity

2008 Elena Walch, Merlot, Alto-Adige    $32
One of the best Merlots (if not the best) in all of Italy, showing black cherry, red licorice, rye, woodsy tannin, and strong acid

Italy: Tuscany

1998 Villa di Capezzana ‘Ghiae della Furba’ Carmignano    $110
A Sangiovese with a touch of Cabernet, this is intense and packed with black fruits, spicy oak, wild herbs, and more

2007 Fattoria di Felsina, Chianti Classico Riserva ‘Rancia’, Tuscany, Italy    $85
From an organic, hand-harvested estate nearly a millennia old, and a single vineyard (‘Rancia’) of superb exposition and elevation, this stellar Chianti ranks as a favorite bottling of ’07; dark cassis, cedar smoke, keen acidity, and great tannin

2010 Fontarenza, Rosso di Montalcino   $50
Excellent balance here between a well-structured, rich & tannic palate feel and a sensation of restraint and elegance

2005 Isole e Olena ‘Cepparello’, IGT Toscana   $120
This famous, unusual ‘Super Tuscan’, all Sangiovese, is also our favorite – elegant fruit, powerful development, tasty tannin

2002 Montepeloso ‘Nardo’, IGT Toscana      $160
The  very best 2002 Toscana.  Nearly perfect wine.  Structured and warm.  Sangio/Cab Sauv.  Myrtle and savory blackberry.

2010 Montesecondo, Chianti Classico   $48
One of the very few ‘naturally’ made Chiantis, this is lean & slightly savory, w/a soft mid-palate and persistent acidity

2008 P. Palmucci ‘Poggio di Sotto’, Rosso di Montalcino    $130
This glorious masterpiece is among the best Montalcinos I’ve ever had.  The detailed, entrancing aromas stimulate the imagination, while the lean, athletic palate conveys layer after layer of nuanced flavor; the finish is persistent & fine

2006 Castello della Paneretta, Chianti Classico Riserva   $65
Another great wine from a favorite vintage, this is just coming into its own, showing keen fruit and very elegant tannin

2008 Querciabella, Chianti Classico    $50
This pioneering biodynamic Chianti is a benchmark for the region, w/an arresting structure & lively, stimulating textures

2009 Villa St. Anna, Chianti Colli Senesi    $40
A favorite wine from a rustic & rambunctious appellation (Senesi), this shows lean, succulent fruit & a jazzy, brambly end

2006 Sesti, Brunello di Montalcino    $125
2006 has become a favorite Tuscan vintage; it’s a privilege to show Sesti’s gutsy, powerful, clove-driven Brunello at this price

 

Italy: Other Regions

2010 COS, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily   $65
This is my favorite vintage of this classic, for its supreme agility and ‘lightness’ – the flavors are vivid, yet it’s almost ethereal

2004 DeFalco, Taurasi, Campania $60
2004 is an unforgettable vintage for Taurasi; do NOT miss a chance to taste this traditionally produced, affordable wine

2009 Gulfi ‘Nerojbleo’ Nero d’Avola, Sicily   $35
This classic expression of Nero d’Avola shows dark plum, a hint of spicy cumin, and a plush, pomegranate-toned texture

2007 Napolini, Sagrantino, Montefalco, Umbria $80
Aged in mostly giant Slavonian oak casks, this delectable, traditional Sagrantino is inky, juicy, spicy and terribly alive

2011 Occhipinti, Frappato, IGT Sicily    $70
Arianna Occhipinti is a great friend and a leading light in the ‘natural’ world; her Frappato is utterly pure & soul-satisfying

2011 Panevino ‘Tanka li Canti’, Alicante, Sardegna   $65
Of all of Panevino’s extraordinary wines, this is the most exotic; made for the brave, with tense fruit and volcanic minerality

2005 Paolo Bea ‘Rosso de Veo’, Umbria    $95
From young Sagrantino vines, this handcrafted treasure is one of Umbria – and Italy’s – very best: dazzling purity

2002 Fattoria le Terrazze ‘Planet Waves’, Marches     $160
Bob Dylan helped make this 1-time only Montepulciano/Merlot blend; it comes smokin’ down the track w/a dark heat

2004 Tenuta della Terre Nere ‘Guardiola’, Mt. Etna, Sicily    $80
A very serious and delectable Nerello Mascalese, with palpable volcanic soil, powerful tannin and bold cassisey fruits

2004 Terredora diPaolo, Taurasi, Campania    $100
The best vintage I’ve ever had of this legendary Aglianico; volcanic minerality, licorice, black cherry, and a haunting finish

Austrian and German Reds

 

2009 Paul Achs, Zweigelt, Burgenland, Austria   $48
Paul’s Zweigelt is unique for its combination of perfectly ripe, muscular fruit and a rustic, evocative earthiness

2007 Friedrich Becker, Pinot Noir ‘B’, Pfalz, Germany    $65
Becker’s wines improve every year!  This galvanizes the palate with dark cherry, sassafrass, and cola; the acidity is very fine

2005 Heger, Pinot Noir, Baden, Germany     $45
One of the leanest, keenest Pinots in Germany, this shows tangy cranberry fruit, bright acid, and a note of macadamia

2008 Heinrich, Zweigelt, Burgenland, Austria   $42
A benchmark, medium-bodied Zweigelt, showing exotic flavors of mirabelle, saffron, ripe raisin and a kiss of oak

2005 Weingut Keller ‘Cuvée Felix’ Pinot Noir, Burgel, Rheinhessen, Germany   $150
Germany’s premier Pinot Noir; a special selection from a Grand Cru site, this is energetically complex, balancing rich, beefy gaminess, a pinpoint, filigreed acidity, and unctuous, dark, ripe fruits.  A marvel.

2006 Meyer-Näkel, Pinot Noir, Ahr, Germany    $58
A personal favorite for its rich, exotic Indian spices, mahogany textures, bright red fruit, and long, refreshing finish

2008 Prieler ‘Johanneshöhe’ Blaufränkisch, Burgenland, Austria  $42
A world-class Blaufränkisch, this is dark, rich, and seriously delicious; tamarind spice, smoky mirabelle, and dusty tannin

2007 Reinisch ‘Grillenhügel’ Pinot Noir, Thermenregion, Austria   $75
This single-vineyard Pinot is one of the most complex & serious in Austria today; both dense & complex at the same time

2011 Setzer, Zweigelt, Weinviertel, Austria   $45
This perennial favorite is tasting particularly fine this vintage; keen red fruits, cool green cardamom, and fine tannin

2008 Wallner ‘Reserve’ Blaufränkisch, Südburgenland, Austria   $60
This sensational new arrival is one of the finest of its kind I’ve had; vivacious, delectable, nearly Burgundian complexity

Greek Reds

2006 Gaia Estate, Aghiorghitiko, Nemea   $70
For years, the Gaia Estate was Nemea’s global ambassador, and this ’06 shows why, with savory fruit and intense tannin

2008 Karydas, Xinomavro, Naoussa     $50
A gift to the wine lover, this is a perfectly complete Xinomavro: Nebbiolo-like, with rosehips, black tea, and a high-acid finish

2008 Kir-Yanni ‘Ramnista’ Xinomavro, Naoussa   $45
This rare, single-vineyard Xinomavro is tasting gorgeous just now; medium-bodied, w/deep aromatics & captivating spice

2007 Domaine Mercouri, Refosco, Letrinon   $38
This lovely Refosco-led blend is staff fave; cool aromatics introduce a palate redolent of oranges, cinnamon, and pekoe tea

2005 Monemvasia Winery, Aghiorghitiko/Mavroudi, Monemvasia    $48
A fascinating red, whose nearly Ripasso/Zin-like raisiney sweetness is balanced nicely with dry tannin in an elegant structure

2007 Moraitis ‘Reserve’ Mandilaria/Monemvassia, Island of Paros   $40
A rare, super-cool island wine whose spicy grip, touch of oak, and full body remind one of Petite Sirah or Zin – a gem

2010 Thymiopoulos ‘Young Vine’ Xinomavro, Naoussa   $42
This biodynamic delight is very ‘fruit forward’ and evocative of the Greek landscape, w/sun-dried tomato, oregano & more

Spanish Reds

2008 Bermejos, Listan Negro, Lanzarote, Canary Islands $65
A uniquely savory, dense red from the barren, hot, windswept eastern volcanic island of Lanzarote, one of the most remote vineyard sites on earth. Fermented in French oak, it carries flavors of baking spice, blackberry, smoky mirabelle, and more

2005 Bodegas Buten ‘Crater’, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Tenerife, Canary Islands   $85
Only 15 barrels of this spectacular biodynamic Listan Negro/Negramoll blend are made each year; very refined, don’t miss

2005 Ferrer Bobet, Priorat    $100
Wow; this really impressed me at a recent tasting for its powerful restraint; it’s huge yet dynamic on the palate; don’t miss

2012 Calandria ‘Volandera’, Garnacha Carbonica, Navarra   $32
This fun, super-fresh Grenache varietal, fermented by carbonic maceration (like most Beaujolais), has an easy briskness

2010 Doniene Gorrondona, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Basque Country     $44
Wildly unique, all Hondurrabi Beltza, from 150 yr. old vines, this is fairly tannic, with black raspberry, clay, chalk, & more

1981 R. Lopez de Heredia ‘Viña Tondonia’  Gran Reserva, Rioja Alta    $215
A wine made for contemplation, this is perfectly integrated on every level: acidity, herb, pomegranate fruit, leather, tannin

2008 Monasterio de Corias ‘Seis Octavos’ Joven, VdT de Cangas, Asturias $38
This rare Mencia blend is one of the coolest Spanish wines we’ve had; tangy & lean, w/cranberry, bing cherry, and great acid

2009 Emilio Moro, Ribera del Duero   $80
A defining wine for Ribera, showing a great range of full-bodied dark fruit, powerful baking spice and a big, chewy, rich end

2008 Raúl Pérez ‘Vico’ Mencía, Bierzo $55
A polished, round-shouldered Mencia whose fragrant aromatics immediately give way to spicy caraway and cardamom

2001 Señorio de P. Peciña, Reserva, Rioja Alta   $70
I couldn’t be happier to offer this gorgeous, traditional Rioja for the first time; its acidity, grip & purity is unforgettable

2007 Terra de Verema ‘Triumvirat’, Priorat   $65
An earthy, funky Priorat that hits the palate in waves, showing something new every time: cocoa nib, chicory, soft tannin…

2004 Valenciso, Reserva, Rioja Alta   $90
This rich, full-bodied Rioja is the only wine made by Valenciso; showing assertive heat and spice, it’s a new ‘modern’ classic

2010 Venus la Universal ‘Dido’, Montsant   $50
This extraordinary Garnacha/Merlot/Cab blend from Sara Perez & Rene Barbier shows full-bodied heat and spice

Portuguese Reds

2012 Casal Garcia ‘Tinto’, Minho   $24
This fun, easy-going field blend is a perennial favorite, with exuberant body, juicy fruit, medium acidity and light spice

2010 Quinta do Crasto, Douro    $40
A classically-structured wine from this favorite estate; the tannin and spice rein in the otherwise exuberant fruit nicely

2011 Marques de Montemor ‘Tinto’, Alentejo   $30
I was quite taken with the vividness of this biodynamic, native yeast-fermented Aragonez blend; ripe blue fruit & soft tannin

2006 Quinta do Monte d’Oiro ‘Lybra’, Syrah, Lisbon $40
This world-class Syrah (our first ever from Portugal) shows a great balance of baking spice, fresh fig, and cool pepper

2004 Muxagat, Douro $60
From a new favorite Portuguese estate and a terrific year; tarragon, black olive, white pepper, rich textures & dark fruit

2010 Niepoort ‘Twisted’, Douro   $48
A very polished, more ‘modern’ style of Douro red, from local master Dirk Niepoort; slick, jazzy fruit and soft tannin

2009 Passadouro, Douro $45
From a newer estate that works with old vines and fidelity to tradition, this is world-class! Herbal, dark & smoky

Argentine Reds

2011 Susana Balbo ‘Signature’ Malbec, Mendoza $48
This classic, benchmark Malbec showed rich and powerful in 2011, with dark chocolate, a hint of molasses & soft tannin

2009 Luca ‘Laborde Double Select’, Syrah, Mendoza  $50
Argentina’s top Syrah, and perhaps South America’s: it’s huge, sinewy and rich, with tobacco-smoke, wild raspberry & spice

2011 Ricardo Santos ‘Madras Vineyard’ Malbec, Mendoza  $42
A very giving and drinkable Malbec, whose medium body still conveys all the smooth, lush fruit the varietal is known for

2009 Tierra Divina ‘Old Vine’ Malbec, Mendoza    $40
Rich and satisfying, this old-vine bottling shows dark carob, black raisin, and an edge of licorice & sassafrass

 

Chilean Reds

2010 Apaltagua ‘Envero’ Carménere, Colchagua      $28
Blended w/15% Cab Sauv., this gutsy, earthy Carménere shows great structure beneath jalapeño pepper and plum

2009 Casa Silva ‘Reserva’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua $32
Clean, classic Chilean Cab flavors of poblano, light ‘char’, rich cherry fruit, a hint of eucalyptus & tobacco-toned tannin

2007 Errazuriz ‘Don Maximiano, Founder’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconcagua $150
The flagship wine from this iconic estate, and one of the finest, most dense & complex Cabs in the Southern Hemisphere

2010 Montes ‘Alpha’ Syrah, Colchagua    $42
A benchmark Southern Hemisphere Syrah, with bright, plummy fruit, cool peppery spice, and very relaxed tannin

South African Reds

2008 Paul Cluver, Pinot Noir, Elgin $50
Up front, this is a rich & rustic Pinot, w/dark fruit and notes of carob and chicory – the finish surprises with elegance and length

2012 Fairvalley, Pinotage, Coastal Region    $26
A classic Pinotage for its earthiness, char, and grip, complemented by notes of sweeter blue fruit and a shade of licorice

2006 Hamilton Russell, Pinot Noir, Walker Bay    $70
Stunning SA Pinot, like a Pommard with smoky venison notes, yet a terrific drive of cranberry-toned acidity on the end

2007 Rust en Vrede ‘Estate’, Stellenbosch  $80
This remarkable, cult Cab Sauv/Shiraz-led blend is the finest of its kind, w/powerful, iron-toned spice in supple textures

Australian Reds

2005 Bowen Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra $50
Eucalyptus and mint and chicory-toned, chewy/bitter tannin all over – in other words, a classic, smoky Coonawarra Cab

2007 Brokenwood, Shiraz, Hunter Valley $70
Outstanding Aussie Shiraz – very spicy, with super-ripe fruit, yet also incredibly clean on the palate, with a suave, long finish

2009 Eskadale Vineyards ‘Winner’s Tank’ Shiraz, Langhorne Creek $35
A juicy, easy-going Shiraz whose base of keen confiture and cranberry develops into dark raisin and gentle spice

2010 Ben Glaetzer ‘Wallace’ Shiraz/Grenache, Barossa $55
Ben’s something of a cult star these days; this ‘Wallace’ bottling is my fave for its generous spice, full body & even textures

2005 Henschke ‘Lenswood’ Pinot Noir, Australia $85
If you want to see how Aussie Pinot Noir performs at its best, look no farther; it’s extremely generous & well crafted

2008 Langmeil ‘Valley Floor’ Shiraz, Barossa $50
This gutsy Shiraz shows black pepper and a note of licorice in a fairly slick, keen palate of bright red fruit & medium acid

2010 Luke Lambert, Syrah, Yarra Valley $125
Don’t miss a chance to try this rare, gorgeous, naturally made Syrah; my single favorite wine from Australia just now, it shows a N.Rhône-style elegance and precision, thanks to balanced alcohol – the spice is especially memorable

New Zealand Reds

2009 Burn Cottage, Pinot Noir, Central Otago  $95
We’re excited for the chance to show the first vintage of this (already famous) biodynamic Pinot, made to be NZ’s best

2010 Mission Estate, Syrah, Hawke’s Bay    $65
One of the finest Syrahs from New Zealand to date; high-flown, lean fruit balances nicely with gentle spice & iron minerality

2009 Pyramid Valley ‘Howell Family Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc, Hawkes Bay   $100
Don’t miss this naturally-made Cab Franc – it’s the best from NZ; it starts w/big power and turns graceful in the glass

2008 Quartz Reef, Pinot Noir, Central Otago   $70
From a steep single vineyard of volcanic basalt near Bendigo, this remarkable, spicy wine has attitude, fire & generous fruit

2005 Staete Landt, Pinot Noir, Marlborough   $80
This classy Pinot has aged beautifully; its lean, elegant profile of lavender, saffron & passionfruit is unique for New Zealand

2006 Valli, Pinot Noir, Gibbston, Central Otago   $110
Grant Taylor at Valli is seeking to define Otago’s many terroirs; this shows terrific acidity, schisty mineral, and bright plum

Reds from Other Countries

2005 Château Belle-Vue ‘La Renaissance’, Mount Lebanon, Lebanon   $80
Terrific density and grip here, combined with a fairly exotic fruit profile – after 10 min. in a decanter, it really shines

2010 Château Damjanovic, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, Morava, Serbia   $30
Lean and light-bodied, this is a killer Bordeaux-style blend, w/cassis, graphite, carob, mint, and a pleasantly dry end

2004 Château Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon $120
This legendary wine, the flagship of the estate, is showing a gorgeous elegance & structure, all of its parts in great harmony

2008 Weninger, Kekfrankos, Sopron, Hungary   $40
One of the finest Hungarian reds we’ve had, this is really delightful, with notes of dates, plum, and baking spice

2006 Zlatan Otok, Plavaç Mali ‘Barrique’, Island of Hvar, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia      $70
Plavaç Mali, an ancient cousin of Zinfandel, shows wonderfully here: spicy caraway, black cherry, nice oak, and a great finish

 

American Pinot Noir

2012 Arnot-Roberts ‘Coastlands Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California   $140
One of the finest cult Sonoma Coast Pinots made today; totally natural, this shows raw and fascinating flavors; don’t miss

2011 Black Star Farms, Pinot Noir, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan   $42
This continues to be our favorite northern Michigan Pinot Noir, with a delectable array of red fruits and an assured total feel

2008 Brooks ‘Red Letter’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon   $65
This uniquely complex Pinot was bottled in honor of the late Jimi Brooks; its stellar balance and concentration was his goal

2010 Calera ‘De Villiers’ Pinot Noir, San Benito, California   $85
The most impressive of Calera’s new single vineyard selections, this is heavenly-pure, with rich bing cherry and killer acid

2010 J. Christopher ‘Lia’s Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, Oregon   $95
Underneath the apparent balance of acid & fruit lies a rich, spicy generosity that almost makes you think of New Zealand

2011 Copain ‘Tous Ensemble’ Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California   $55
From a challenging vintage, this elegant surprise is fairly lean on the palate, with notes of elderberry, concord & blueberry

2011 Eyrie, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon   $70
From the legendary pioneering estate, this is one of the best 2011s you’ll find; lean and expressive, w/a tense energy

2011 Firelands, Pinot Noir, Isle St. George, Ohio  $35
Our first wine from Ohio is also one of the best Pinots ever made in the Midwest; light-bodied, very complete & full of flavor

2010 Ojai, Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido, California   $75
A richer style of Pinot Noir, this shows cool bacon fat, pancetta, cassis, and smoke; the finish is memorably cool

2011 Ponzi, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon   $68
Generous and giving, this has rightfully become a Willamette classic; agave, spearmint, blackberry, and a hint of spice

2010 Joseph Swan ‘Saralee’ Pinot Noir, Sonoma, California   $80
Pure raspberry fruit flavors shine in a slightly hazy body; a crazy energy begins to show after a few minutes in the glass

2010 Willakenzie, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon   $60
I’ve always enjoyed Willakenzie’s wines for their leaner, edgier, more savory expression; this 2010 is one of their best yet

 

California: Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab-based blends

2004 Benziger, ‘Tribute’, Cabernet blend, Sonoma Mountain $135
Mike Benziger’s biodynamic commitment helped this achieve an amazing balance in a torrid year: a seamless total feel

Caymus ‘Special Selection’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.    $240  Available Vintages: 1999, 1998, 1995
The Wagner family at Caymus was making wine before Prohibition; this, their ‘Special Selection’, was first produced in 1975, and soon garnered great critical acclaim for its decadent, lush fruit, smooth textures, spicy oak, and elegant structure

2009 Coho ‘Summit Vine Ranch’, Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain, Napa  $115
Whoa, this dark, rich, heartwarming Cab remains supple and vibrant on the palate thanks to its high-altitude planting

Dalla Valle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.   $225 Available Vintages: 1999, 1998, 1997, 1995
Founded in 1986 on a high plateau in eastern Oakville, Dalla Valle swiftly came to define the ‘classic’ Napa style of the 1990s with this series of iconic bottlings; cedary spice, powerful oak, and layers upon layers of dark, intense fruit

2007 Andrew Geoffrey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District, Napa $125
This new Diamond Mountain classic is a dense, chewy, dark surprise, w/flavors of carob, tobacco, and heady tannin

Groth, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley    $250  Available Vintages: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995
Groth’s very special ‘Reserve’ Cab was first made in 1983; until 1999, it was always sourced from a uniquely situated, top-quality parcel – which was replanted in 2000. This small vertical presents a rare chance to taste the last of one of California’s most imitated wines, famous for the purity of its bing cherry fruit, great acidity, and very flavorful tannin

2006 Laurel Glen ‘Counterpoint’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Mountain $65
One of the best vintages we’ve had of this Sonoma classic, showing graphite, earl grey tea, and evenly ripened fruit

1999 Merryvale, ‘Profile’, Cabernet blend, Napa Valley $185
Incredibly profound, with a superb complexity of depth, structure and texture, showing vanilla, tobacco, mocha & cassis

1998 Robert Mondavi, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley    $225
An immensely dark, concentrated cab packed with currants, black cherry, plums, cedar, sweet spices with a long finish

1996 Stonestreet ‘Legacy’, Cabernet blend, Alexander Valley, Sonoma    $165
Drinks great now with its ripe, smooth texture and big flavors of currants, cherry, cedar, spices, coffee, and rich finish

California: Merlot

2007 Cafaro, Merlot, Napa Valley   $60
Journeyman Joe Cafaro crafted one of America’s best Merlots in 07; both plush and firm, with graphite, plum, and tasty tannin

2004 Duckhorn, Merlot ‘Three Palms’, Napa Valley   $180
A long finish – of sweet cassis and roasted cocoa bean and coconut and caramel – makes this a bit rounder than the ‘02

2002 Duckhorn, Merlot ‘Three Palms’, Napa Valley     $155
Almost unctuous, this big, smoky, currant-filled, earl-grey tea-edged, toasty Three Palms may be their boldest yet

1993 Shafer, Merlot, Napa Valley $200
A giant, outsized wine when young, this has settled down nicely, showing savory blue fruits, graphite, and fine tannin

California: Zinfandel

2008 D-Cubed, Zinfandel, Napa    $55
From Duane Dappen (of Brown Vineyards), this fave is savory, balanced & medium-bodied: fig, brown sugar & more

2011 Easton, Zinfandel, Amador County $34
A strong effort from our friend Bill Easton, this shows ripe black raspberry, spicy oak, and a touch of fresh dates on the end

2009 Doug Nalle, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma    $50
Bucking trends, Doug consistently crafts lean and elegant Zinfandel; this shapely ‘09 shows pretty cranberry and caraway

2009 Porter Creek, Old Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma   $65
Phenomenal concentration, power and purity in this biodynamic Zin; licorice, cumin, and brambly blackberry fruit

2007 Joseph Swan ‘Mancini Ranch’ Zinfandel, Russian River Valley    $55
One of the purest, juciest, most quaffable Zins I’ve had, showing terrific stony earthiness, a hazy color, and cool spices

2010 Turley ‘Dogtown Vineyard’ Zinfandel, Lodi   $110
This perennial powerhouse is dark, inky & palate-coating, w/mocha and raspberry; a great way to beat the colder weather

2009 Unti, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma $60
Year after year, Mick Unti’s wines continue to improve; his ’09 combines dark cherry, szechuan pepper, and fresh fig

California: Syrah

2008 Baker Lane, Syrah, Sonoma Coast    $45
I was really impressed with the energy this wine showed on the palate, w/stimulating white pepper, dried raspberry & more

2007 Peay Vineyards ‘Les Titans’, Syrah, Sonoma Coast $85
From a cool, ocean-influenced vineyard site, this powerhouse from a great family shows impeccable finesse and balance

2009 Qupe, Syrah, Central Coast    $35
Polished, fruit-forward Syrah, showing brassy black raspberry, a shade of spicy cumin, and even-toned acidity on the finish

Washington State Reds

2004 Betz Family Winery ‘Clos de Betz’, Columbia Valley   $75
A very fine, distinguished BDX blend, with cool gravelly tannin, slow-developing apricot and an herbal wild sage quality

2003 Dunham Cellars,  Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla   $90
Eric Dunham crafted an amazing Cab in ‘03:  this beats any Cali Cab by a long shot – awesome acidity & richness

2009 K Vintners ‘Milbrandt’ Syrah, Columbia Valley     $58
One of Charles Smith’s best Syrahs, this is very polished and elegantly spiced; blackberry, cumin, and clean acidity

2007 Seven Hills, Merlot, Columbia Valley     $44
Classy, sophisticated Merlot, with wonderful gravelly minerality, bright cherry, and a fine sandalwood/cedar tone

2005 Seven Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Red Mountain Reserve’, Red Mountain    $90
2005 was a superlative year for Casey McClellan at 7 Hills: this Cab shows an utterly remarkable balance and depth

2005 Seven Hills ‘Pentad’, Walla Walla    $85
A stately blend of BDX varietals, its rich textures remind one of Pomerol, with a bit more volcanic/iron savagery and sting

2008 Walla Walla Vintners, Merlot, Walla Walla   $50
This is a perennial favorite WA Merlot; its soft blackberry fruit is balanced by a full-bodied texture and a gorgeous finish

Other American Reds

2007 AmByth, Grenache/Mourvèdre/Syrah, Paso Robles, California   $85
Rockin’ cool, this spicy and mouthfilling biodynamic red is worthy of its Rhône cousins, w/lavender, currant, and smoke

2002 Barboursville, Nebbiolo ‘Reserve’, Barboursville, Virginia     $85
The best Nebbiolo outside of Piedmont: dark strawberry, tar, roses, mahogany-wood, and wildly tasty tannin at the finish

2008 Caparone, Aglianico, Paso Robles, California $40
Traditionally crafted, this very complete Aglianico beats out most of its Italian cousins; dark carob, spicy greens, lush finish

2010 Edmunds St. John ‘Rocks and Gravel’, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California $48
This terrific, naturally made Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre (sourced from Unti!) shows tarragon, thyme, and blackcurrant

2012 Forlorn Hope ‘Ost-Intrigen’ Saint-Laurent, Carneros, California   $50
I never thought I’d live to see the day when a delicious American version of the Austrian varietal St-Laurent (a relative to Pinot Noir) would find its way on this list.  I’m glad I did!  Extremely rare (25 cs produced), this has already sold out at the winery – we’re very pleased to offer it here… Medium-bodied, it shows exotic sassafrass, fennel, and caraway.

2006 Unti, Grenache, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California $60
Outstanding American Grenache; a worthy answer to the south of France, showing juicy licorice-toned fruit and bay leaf

 

Reserve Dessert Wine

2007 Clos l’Abeilley, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France  (375 mL)    $42 btl
A lovely, gentle, aromatic Sauternes, with blossoming gardenia, papaya, a shade of white pepper & a palate-coating texture

NV Broadbent ‘Medium Dry’ Rainwater Madeira, Island of Madeira, Portugal  (750 mL)     $45 btl
The best ‘Medium Dry’ on the market today, w/flavors of fresh pecan pie, walnut, intensely ripe kirsch and mandarin

2009 Coume del Mas ‘Galateo’ Vin Doux Naturel, Banyuls, Languedoc, France  (500 mL)   $60 btl
The last word in suavity for Banyuls, this red Grenache-driven blend is utterly silky and satisfying, with dark flavors of toffee, salted caramel, espresso bean, licorice, and much more

2010 Charles Hours ‘Uroulat’ Petit Manseng, Jurançon, Southwest France  (750mL)   $80 btl
Whoa, this legendary, classic wine from the far southwest is showing sensationally just now.  Clean, never unctuous, it’s all candied orange peel, spicy clove & cinnamon, and dark buckwheat honey; the acid is persistent throughout

2002 Kracher, Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese #5 ‘Zwischen Seen’ Neusiedlersee, Austria  (375 mL)   $120
2002 was a remarkable year in the Neusidlersee; Alois Kracher had 58 plots of TBA to choose from!  This Scheurebe #5 is my favorite; one senses the essence of many things at once: caramel, nutmeg spice, raw acacia honey, and passionfruit

2008 Samos Co-operative, Muscat Vin Doux, Island of Samos, Greece  (375 mL)    $40
A delicious modern example of one of old Europe’s most prized wines, this shines with fresh quince and sweet apricot

1997 Chateau la Tour Blanche, Sauternes Premier Cru, Bordeaux, France  (750 mL)   $125
A classic Sauternes, intense and complex with expansive flavors.  Being a 750mL bottle, this will require a few friends (very good friends!) to polish off; the ultimate in decadence

 

Sommelier, Jeremy Quinn