Here we have compiled for you a collection of the e-newsletters that we distribute every 4 to 6 weeks to our client list. Please note that prices, vintages and availability of the wines in these newsletters may have changed, but please feel free to contact us if you see something that piques your interest.
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Cases of Six
February 28, 2018
Six Bottle Cases
For our first multi-winery offer of 2018, we have decided to focus on some of the wines that we offer in cases of six bottles each. As you know we are required to sell by the unmixed case, so this format makes it easier on the wallet to try a wine you’ve maybe not had before or to share a case with colleagues or friends.
We always have upwards of 250 wines available, dozens of which come in cases of six and half-bottles.
You may know that many Champagne firms are exploring the chalky coastal ridges of southern England in an effort to prepare for further climate change and migrating viticultural areas. Mike and Chris Roberts saw the potential of East Sussex over 20 years ago and are pioneers in the region, founding this premium sparkling wine venture in 1995.
The Bloomsbury Non-Vintage Brut is the expected blend of crisp Chardonnay, perfumed Pinot Noir and fruity Pinot Meunier. It is “Champagne method”, as are all the wines produced here. On the palate it is delightfully crisp and refreshing, with a generous mid-palate and a rounded bright finish.
This was the official wine served for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! Quite the endorsement!
“This wine brims with fruit and freshness. A host of apple notions comes alive on nose and palate: The appetizing, ripe tartness of Cox Orange Pippin, the mouthwatering crispness of Granny Smith and the mellowness of Golden Delicous. It has a refreshing, open honesty, juicy and totally inviting. Underneath all that allure lies rich autolysis, underlined by a fine, creamy mousse. Flavours and freshness linger.”
Paul Hobbs’ Russian River Valley Chardonnay is the quintessential wine of this appellation in an exceptional vintage.
The fruit was hand-harvested at night and whole cluster pressed while still cold from the field. It was barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts and malolactic fermentation spontaneously occurred in barrel. It aged for 12 months in French oak barrels sur lie, 50% new, and then 4 months in stainless steel. In barrel it was stirred bi-weekly and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
“The 2015 Chardonnay explodes on the nose and palate with sheer power, delivering full-throttle tropical fruit and allspice flavors with a touch of buttered toast. The full-bodied palate has a lovely savoury edge that offsets the fruit.”
(91-92) points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2017
“A layered and rich wine with cooked-apple and -lemon character. Round and phenolic. Flan and light butterscotch. Lovely potential.”
“You know you’re doing something right when, after 45 years of Chardonnay winemaking, they name a California Chardonnay style after your winery, the “Montelena style.” In short, it means a non-malolactic, minimally oaked Chardonnay. This estate has long made one of the best examples of a quiet, restrained Chardonnay that ages for 20 or more years.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2014
In the outstanding 2014 season, Calistoga’s iconic winery, Chateau Montelena, has turned out another gorgeous Chardonnay. More “Grand Cru Chablis” than “toasty, tropical California”, the wine is restrained, structured and textural. It unfolds slowly and ages very well.
“This is a dreamy creamy white founded in stoney mineral and juicy acidity that shows a mix of baked apple, pineapple and melon. A tease of green olive provides a briny, salty edge to its tense balance. A lingering hint of vanilla oak figures prominently on the lengthy floral finish.”
“It’s no coincidence that some of the most celebrated winemakers in Piedmont – such as Gaja, Giacosa and Conterno – own vineyards in Serralunga, even though their wineries are based elsewhere. Seen by consumers as the most formidable of wines because of their intense tannic structure, Serralunga Barolos are regarded with awe by insiders.”
Stephen Brook on Serralunga, Decanter, Nov 2014
If you’re in search of high-quality Barolo that you don’t need to wait 10 years to open, this is the wine. It has lovely aromatics, and excellent palate presence, with a core of plump fruit surrounded by the broad, weighty feeling of the Nebbiolo grape. Decanting is recommended.
“A fruit-driven style, this red also displays ample tannins. Cherry, strawberry, floral and leafy tobacco flavours are backed by a vibrant structure. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
The rich volcanic soils and elevated vineyards of Mt. Etna, Sicily, make this appellation very exciting. The star of the show for red grapes is Nerello Mascalese, a grape often compared to Nebbiolo in its ability to produce big red wines that are pale to the eye, rich on the palate, and display an acidic tension, fruity red flavours, dark spicy shadings, and meaty characters like cool-climate Syrah.
This wine is 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio, another indigenous grape which adds colour, fruitiness, and richness, but little tannin.
“This shows meaty aromas with dried strawberries and some dried rose petals. Medium-to full-bodied palate with a beautiful texture and a clean and fruity finish. Drink now.”
Marqués de Murrieta is a winery of global standing: the oldest, the largest, and perhaps the greatest of all Rioja Estates, a “First Growth” if you will. The vineyards are contiguous, the vines are very old and the winemaking technology and talent is second to none. In fact, 2017 Tim Atkins (Master of Wine) Rioja Report named Maria Vargas “Winemaker of the Year.”
The 2011 Gran Reserva is a blend of 91% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo, 3% Graciano, and 2% Garnacha, grown at the Ygay estate in the south of Rioja Alta. The wine is aged for 24 months in American oak barrels of varying ages and more than three in bottle, surpassing the aging requirements for the Gran Reserva designation.
The 2011 Gran Reserva is a recent release that has yet to be reviewed broadly. Wine & Spirits categorized the dry, sunny vintage in Rioja as a “drink or hold” vintage. My favourite kind! This wine is rated 96 points in Tim Atkin, MW’s 2018 Rioja Report.
“Affinity” is a single-vineyard bottling from the La Londe Vineyard, an estate vineyard in the Mt. George foothills just south of Stags Leap District. Though the majority of Affinity has always come from this site, now the volcanic, stony terroir can be presented even more clearly. The 2014 vintage is composed of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Verdot, 5% Merlot, 3% Malbec, and 2% Cabernet Franc, harvested at 2.8 tons per acre.
“Aromas of ripe fruit, walnuts and dark chocolate with some cloves. Full body, chewy tannins and a extracted finish.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, Jan 2017
“Delicious black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, some spice box, licorice and incense are all present in this supple-textured, medium to full-bodied, opulent wine, which is sexy, lush and ideal for drinking over the next decade or more. The colour is a healthy dense purple, and the wine full-bodied and textured, with a beautiful finish and real harmony. Drink it over the next decade.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2016
For the last three vintages, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Ric Forman’s Napa Cab has been among my favourites of the year. Though it is grown in the foothills of Howell Mountain, the wine is effortlessly elegant and poised. It doesn’t rely on brute force or mountain tannins to impress.
I would recommend another 3-4 years in the cellar before drinking any, and I have no doubt this wine will age gloriously for over 20 years.
“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a absolute knockout from Ric Forman in this vintage. The blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot and 7% Merlot opens to gorgeous aromas of ripe dark fruits woven together spring florals, spices and hints of anise all coming together. On the palate this is beautifully structured with remarkable overall balance and precision. This continues to impress all they way though the finish with its wonderful elegance and purity. A simply brilliant wine which will certainly evolve gracefully for many years. (Best 2022-2035).”
96 points, International Wine Report, Nov 2017
“A weightless, translucent wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon exudes class. Vibrant and finely sculpted, the 2014 possesses striking nuance from start to finish. Scents of lavender, rose petal, mint and sweet spice notes give the 2014 its brightness and sense of energy. Today, the 2014 is a bit compact relative to how it showed from barrel. I expect the wine will put on a bit more weight during its ageing. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2014 at least a few years. Even today, though, the 2014 is a very pretty and pure wine. 2020 – 2039.”