Hunting for Wines from Private Collections

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  • 1 in stock
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  • 1 in stock
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Huet 2005 Vouvray Cuvée Constance 500ml

Forward and open which is unusual for Constance. Beautifully knit palate and very long with exceptional purity and at least 50 years ahead of it. DL

  • white sweet
  • 8 in stock
  • $149.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Cornelissen, Frank 2012 Etna CS (Chiusa Spagnola) Munjebel Rosso No. 9

The newest member of the MunJebel family – acquired by complete coincidence:  Frank was tending one of his plots when he noticed a vineyard with promising looking vines, but grass so unkempt that it towered above the bush-trained vines.  After a bit of inquiring, he found that the land belonged to one of his workers and was able to negotiate a lease.  The vines needed a lot of work, but after the pruning he realized that the vineyard was ungrafted and decided to bottle it as a new MunJebel.  Stylistically it falls somewhere between the MC and VA in weight and acidity.  The flavors also seem to run more herbaceous and savory, but by no means under-ripe.  Delicious, and a happy addition to the lineup.  JR

  • red
  • 13 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Cornelissen, Frank 2012 Etna MC (Monte Cola) Munjebel Rosso No. 9

MunJebel “MC” is sourced entirely from Frank’s plot in the Monte Colla vineyard which produces the densest and most concentrated of his offerings.  At about 800 meters in altitude, it’s a very steep, terraced plot, with 40 year-old vines planted in the traditional alberello (little tree) training, which is thought by many to create wines with improved richness and complexity.  This is not a timid wine, and aromas of black cherry and cassis fly from the glass.  Those same fruit flavors permeate the palate for a powerful wine.  Not for the shy!  JR

  • red
  • 19 in stock
  • $64.99

Cornelissen, Frank 2012 Etna VA (Vigna Alta) Munjebel Rosso No. 9

“VA” stands for “Vigne Alte,” and is comprised of Frank’s oldest vines in the high-altitude crus of Barbabecchi, Guardiola, and Tartaraci. The average vine is quite old at 80+ years and, quite impressively, is grown on native rootstock. We can’t blame the Phylloxera bugs for not wanting to climb the 900+ meters some of these vines reside on. I always find the VA bottling to have the most acid, and a wonderfully lifted floral quality to the wine. In this vintage the wines have gained in depth and concentration, but if you’re after one with a lighter touch, this is it. JR

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $64.99

Els Jelipins 2009 Vi de Taula Sumoll

Gloria and Berta Garriga make Els Jelipins with great love and attention (but zero intervention) in the tiny hilly hamlet of Font-Rubi, Penedès (Spain's Cava country). The heart of this wine is the rare and beautiful Sumoll grape, which Gloria hunts determinedly, sometimes claiming just a handful of rows in vineyards normally relegated to local co-op production. Jelipins is brilliant upon release and haunting with additional age. With some time to open in the bottle or a decanter, the 2009 shows ravishing aromas of kirsch, cranberry, brambly blue fruit, lilacs, pencil lead, and café-au-lait; clear and layered flavors of mulberries, raspberry seeds, red currant, and tart black raspberry intertwine with sheer minerality and that fierce and buoyant acidity that is Jelipins' trademark. Each bottle is unique and wild. Gloria says it best: "The Els Jelipins philosophy is plagued by flaws-desire-contradictions-energy-dilemmas, like the wines that we love: always mature-subtle-vigorous-fine-balanced, at times strange-shy-surly-contradictory-hard, and never dressed up... Like us, spartan-combative-amicable-ridiculous-happy. Whether or not this is the right way to go (if there is a right way), it is the way we have chosen." Ariana Rolich

  • red
  • 15 in stock
  • $77.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $47.99

Rhys 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vyd

The Horseshoe vineyard was planted in 2004 at an elevation ranging from 1,360 to 1,610 feet above sea level, with the blocks of Pinot Noir occupying the highest portions of the vineyard. There is a ridge that separates this vineyard from the coldest of the sea fog, though it is still affected by cooling maritime influence. The vineyard lies on the Monterey formation, a ridge of brittle, rust-mottled sedimentary shale (intermixed with limestone) that provides swift drainage and allows for low vigor. Interestingly, the warmest month at Horseshoe is September, mitigating the difficulties of the previous cool summer months with a final solar sear at the end of the season. This beautiful wine exhibits over the course of its multipartite structure the whole range of red fruit character: enticing handfuls of fresh black cherries on the nose become tenser, more austere cranberry on the palate before transforming into a beguiling strawberry character on the stately finish. Interspersed through these variations are other mineral and herbal notes: freshly felled white pine, bitter chocolate, dry pine straw, and a hint of sage ash. The tightly wound structure will take a few years to spin out and resolve itself into focus. This wine will take a few years of cellar training before attaining the mastery for which it was made. Drink 2020-2035. Andrew Farquhar

  • red
  • 3 in stock
  • $99.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Baudry 2012 Chinon Domaine

The Baudry Cuvée Domaine has changed a bit over the years, now made mostly from parcels in Saint-Louans on classic limestone/clay soils with the addition of juice from gravel terroir, giving a more structured wine that ages beautifully but also drinks well young. ("Chameaux" and "Molière" in Saint-Louans and "Clos Testu" in Chinon near Le Clos Guillot.) In 2012 the Baudry reds are low in alcohol, with lovely purity and fabulous mineral expression. It's an excellent vintage for the Domaine cuvée, showing deep black/red color with aromas of blackberry, prune, violet, menthol, pepper and smoke. Deep black and red fruits on the palate, very dense but relatively light at 12.5% alcohol and framed in cool acidity. This is really showing the terroir - a beautiful blend of graphite, stone and black fruits in the long finish. Lovely now in a somewhat austere style, this should be very interesting in five to ten years or more. (After three days re-corked in the fridge, the wine has fattened up with sweet blackberry and cassis followed by a nice mineral finish - really delicious!) Less wine is available this year so don't delay putting away a case! (Organic farming, natural composts, hand harvested, wild yeast fermentation, aging in five to ten year-old vat and barrel.) David Lillie

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Baudry 2015 Chinon Les Grézeaux

From  60 year-old Cabernet Franc vines on a gravel soil over sandy clay and limestone at the bottom of the hill of Sonnay in Cravant. Aged 12 months in 3 to 10 year-old barrels.  Dark black/purple color with quite floral blackberry and strawberry aromas, with a bit of earth, spice and citrus. Very silky and supple on the palate ("We don't extract anymore" said Matthieu) with stony black fruits, meaty, chalky and long. Good acidity in the finish with graphite and velvety black fruits, quite elegant and closer to the 2014 in style than the other cuvées. This is a lovely "Les Grézeaux" and is highly recommended for early drinking or ten to fifteen years of cellaring.  David Lillie

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

Breton, Catherine et Pierre 2010 Bourgueil Les Perrieres

One of our favorite Loire Valley reds is the Pierre and Catherine Breton Bourgueil Les Perrieres, and we have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2010. As opposed to the heavier and more forward 2009, the 2010 is lighter and medium-bodied, perfectly balanced with earthy, bright acidity and obviously built to last — a "grand vin!" From 70+ year-old vines in mid-slope on soil of clay and silica over limestone. Deep black/red color; elegant aromas of black fruits, earth and mint, subtle and beautiful. Intense fruit on the palate but not at all heavy — blackberry, red currant, black pepper, bitter chocolate and mint with a hint of oak, framed in cool acidity with a tannic structure that will carry this wine for twenty years or more. Powerful and complex yet balanced and elegant at 12.5% alcohol. This beautiful wine comes from the Bretons long experience with this parcel, their 30 years of organic and biodynamic farming and a masterful vinification and élevage, with minimal SO2, which allows great terroir expression and ageability. I will be putting this wine in my cellar, along with my 2010 Baudry Croix Boissee, and, if I can afford it, a 2010 Clos Rougeard, for a nice tasting in 2034! (Some details: Hand harvested into small boxes; 7 day cool maceration, wild yeast fermentation in oak vat without addition of SO2, progressively warmer over 15 days; no chaptalization, minimal extraction — one pumping over, no cap punching; aged in 10% new, 90% one-year-old barrels for two years with one racking; bottled after 2 1/2 years on a "flowering" day.) DL

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Louvetrie 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le Fief du Breil

Jo Landron's Fief du Breil is from a beautiful walled vineyard sloping towards the Sevre, with clay, sand and quartz stones over a bedrock of orthogneiss. The vines average 40 to 50 years of age, the vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic and gives very low yields. Always one of my favorite Muscadets, the 2012 is sensational with lemon peel, pear and lime-flower aromas with a bit of smoke and sea-salt. The palate is dense with flavors of wet stone, citrus, white fruits. almond and bitter melon. Very long with fabulous saline acidity. Perhaps best in ten to fifteen years, it will provide exhilarating early drinking and will be very interesting in 20 years as well.

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Out of Stock
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  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

Pépière 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos Briords V V

(First produced in 2008, this great Muscadet is made from a three hectare parcel of old massale-selection vines (all over 60 years old, with a high percentage much older) on a slope above the Maine. The bedrock is Granite de Château Thébaud, a fissured rock that allows the vines to penetrate deeply, with ideal thin topsoils of clay, with sand and gravel allowing good drainage.) The 2015 vintage was a great relief to vignerons in the Loire and elsewhere as generally sunny, dry weather brought an ample harvest with good yields for the first time since 2010. In the words of Remi Branger: "For a description of the 2015 vintage, we had a quite beautiful growing season and dry weather in August (the grapes were lacking a bit of water), then at the end of August we had rain, but a bit too much, and this swelled the grapes. Fortunately the grapes stayed healthy and the harvest was beautiful, on September 10th, with good acidity, but a bit less concentration than in 2014. The 2015 Briords has developed well - personally, I find it quite fine and precise." Fine is a good description for the 2015 Briords. It shows subtle aromas of white fruits - pear and apple, nice ripeness,  with wet stone and herbal notes. The palate is predominantly minerals with citrus and stone flavors, dried pear and thyme, with good length, quite focused and very elegant, with a crystalline structure and very firm acidity in the finish. At 12% alcohol, the wine has lovely balance and will drink beautifully young - it should develop the secondary aromas and flavors of mature Muscadet at 5 to 8 years and drink well for another 10 years. Thanks to the team at Pépière for another lovely Clos des Briords!

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2014 Vouvray Deronnieres

The grapes for this new cuvee from Francois Pinon used to be included in the Silex Noir, but this wonderful vineyard, on a hill-top directly above the Pinon's cave, much deserves to be bottled on it's own. At 18 grams/liter of residual sugar, 12.4% alcohol and strong acidity, the Deronnieres approaches Demi-Sec in style but with superb minerality and balance. The wine shows subtle aromas of lime-flower, dried pear, lemons and stones. The palate is very saline and mineral with bitter lemon, white fruits, and herbal notes with impressive density and length. A great demi-sec with fantastic minerality that will age beautifully!

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2014 Vouvray Les Trois Argiles

The 2014 Trois Argiles is a fabulous young Vouvray in the Pinon's preferred Sec-Tendre style showing beautiful aromatics of pear, lemon confit, stone, almond, lime-flower and honey. The palate is deep and ripe with stone and saline minerals, creamy lemon, apple and pear. The wine is dense and very long with superb balance of ripe fruits with very firm acidity. A great Vouvray that is drinking wonderfully now and will be worth revisiting in ten, twenty or thirty years! 12.2%, 15g RS, and 6.2g total acidity.

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2014 Vouvray Silex Noir

After a disastrous hail-storm in 2012 and tiny yields in 2013, Francois Pinon finally has wine to sell and from an outstanding vintage. Tasting through samples of his 2014s in February we were thrilled by these beautiful wines, clearly among the very best of the appellation. The Silex Noir is from parcels of clay over limestone with black flint, giving wines with a unique mineral character and complex, open aromas. The 2014 is superbly balanced at 12.1% alcohol and 15 grams of RS with very firm acidity. Lovely citrus, dried pear, licorice and floral aromas with full-bodied palate of minerals, white fruits and citrus, finishing with good acidity. Though quite delicious now, this is a very young wine that will benefit from decanting or aging, perhaps best 2025 to 2035.

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Rouge Gorge (Cyril Fhal) 2012 VdP des Côtes Catalanes Jeunes Vignes

From 25 year-old Grenache vines in a parcel on gneiss subsoil called Mont-Redon. Hand-harvested into small baskets, foot pressing followed by three month vinification in wooden vats, then 8 months aging in stainless steel. 13% alcohol, bottled retaining some of the natural CO2, which will show itself in a *very light* spritz. "An infusion of grapes, allowing an expression of the delicacy of the variety"  Aromas of wild strawberry and dark cherry, with aeration blood orange, brown spice and animal notes emerge. The palate is very earthy with firm tannins This is an unusually subtle and complex Grenache, to be enjoyed over the next 3 to 5 years, serve quite cool and alongside gamy meats as the tannins cry our for hearty food. -DL/MSB

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

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Coudert (Clos de la Roilette) 2014 Fleurie Cuvee Tardive

From eighty year-old vines on clay and granite soil in Alain Coudert's beautiful Clos de la Roliette, just over the border from Moulin-a-Vent. By "Tardive," Alain Coudert implies that one should wait for this wine to mature, in this case probably about 5 to 7 years, although those unable to wait will certainly enjoy drinking it now. In the cavalcade of great Cuvee Tardives, the 2014 weighs in at 13% and shows a more weight and flesh than the racy and wonderful 2012, and a bit less structure than the 2010 (our favorite of recent vintages) and is brighter and more balanced than the monumental 2009. In other words, it's a fabulous wine that should be in the cellar of any lover of Beaujolais! The wine is a deep red/black color and shows fresh, high-toned aromas of blackberry liqueur, strawberry, violets, brown spice, licorice and grilled meats - really quite lovely. The palate is framed in stone and mineral flavors with firm acidity, with earthy dark fruits and an almost bitter finish of saline minerals and black fruits. This is a superb Tardive, very expressive of the manganese-rich soils and a lovely combination of beautiful floral/fruit aromas and a dark mineral-laden palate. Wait five to seven years, drink until 2030?

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

Lapalu 2012 Brouilly La Croix des Rameaux

From a plot of 80 plus year-old vines, aged in used barriques. A bit lighter than the Côte Brouilly, showing lovely high-toned black raspberry, wild strawberry and blood orange — really complex and elegant. The palate has deep black raspberry and cherry fruit with bitter herbs, citrus and mineral flavors and fabulous length. Really a complete wine with lovely fruit, terrific minerality and balance, probably best 2018- 2023, but delicious now as well...

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pignard 2014 Morgon Cuvee Tradition

While the “regular” Morgon is aged entirely in concrete vats before release, Tradition has an extended elévage in neutral barriques before release (think Griffe du Marquis from Alain Coudert). This serves to add depth to the wine, while also softening and rounding it, making for a very unique expression of the Pignards’ terroir. Exuberant on the nose with bright red and black cherry fruit, red licorice, brown spice, and strawberry compote rising from the glass. The palate is broad and supple with bright red fruit flavors along with a hint of fresh cream, tangerine peel, ample minerality, and fine-grained tannins. This wine is definitely structured to age, probably best in 5-10 years, but is lovely now in its energetic youth paired with steaks, game birds, or pork. Tim Gagnon

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Ridge 2014 Sonoma County Geyserville

Geyserville is Ridge's oldest vineyard, originally planted in 1892 on river rock, shale, and gravel to Zinfandel a supporting cast of usual heirloom suspects, including Carignan, Petite Sirah and Mataro (Mourvedre). Ridge has bottled  a Geyserville vineyard designate wine every year since 1966 - this is a historic site and wine. The 2014 is effusively aromatic, with rich black fruits and wild berry bramble, deep and dark earth, notes of spicy oak, and a trademark crunchy  mineral core that lasts through the long, elegant finish. A stately, serious, and impressive Zin. Ariana Rolich

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  • red
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Rhys 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay Horseshoe Vyd

The Horseshoe vineyard was planted in 2004 at an elevation ranging from 1,360 to 1,610 feet above sea level, with the blocks of Chardonnay occupying the lowest, most fog-ridden portions of the vineyard. The vineyard lies on the Monterey formation, a ridge of brittle, rust-mottled sedimentary shale (intermixed with limestone) that provides swift drainage and allows for low vigor. Interestingly, the warmest month at Horseshoe is September, mitigating the difficulties of the previous cool summer months with a final solar sear at the end of the season. On the nose this wine has notes of apple blossom and freshly baked bread, with some more delicate white peach notes. On the palate, this wine is still quite tightly wound, but with incredible dense notes of steely lemon, with great crackling acidity that is nonetheless exquisitely integrated throughout all aspects of the clear, precise structure from fore-palate to the long whiplash finish. Capable of improving for up to a decade in the cellar, though this wine would be fantastic with herb-roasted chicken or Point Reyes oysters. Andrew Farquhar

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Rhys 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir Skyline Vineyard

At 2,360 feet above sea level, the Skyline vineyard is one of the highest altitude sites for Pinot Noir in California. Cold nights are balanced by the purity of the sunlight this high above the fog line. The rocky, extremely thin soils here are fractured mudstone, sandstone, and limestone.This is the most monumentally structured of the Rhys wines, its chiseled architecture needing a number of years of mellowing to approach the great heights that a well-aged Skyline Pinot can attain. The electricity quivers like atomic nuclei across all aspects of this wine, and the nascent savory spice character will begin to bloom with cellarage, though this wine is quite forceful and impressive upon first contact. With 5+ years of aging these wines turn into some of the most distinctive, terroir-expressive wines produced in the Western Hemisphere, and with correct cellaring can last for up to two decades. Andrew Farquhar

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $99.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur