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Icons and Collectables
November 8, 2018
Icons and Collectables
The Best Wines of the Season
It’s incredible to think that in less than two months, it’s the holidays again! Yikes! Where does a year go? It’s time to start thinking ahead to parties, gifts and those special moments to share with loved ones.
For us in the wine business, now is the time of year when many of our most exciting, most collectable, most artistic wines arrive in market. So I have pulled together an offer which includes wines that are:
*Not available at LCBO
*Imported in very small quantities
*Acclaimed by those all-powerful wine critics
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of our offerings though. We have so many more wines available, including those from Altesino, Volpaia, Duckhorn, Forman, Faust, Shafer, Ridge and Flowers, among others. We represent over 100 wineries in total and have over 300 wines available at all times.
Any questions? Feel free to call me. I’m always happy to “talk wine”: 647 955 8872 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to hear from you.
It almost seems like oak is a dirty word in Chablis. It’s driven into us from day one that “there’s no oak in Chablis!”. Not true. And Fabien Moreau is one of the few vintners who proudly discusses his use of oak. Mostly for fermentation, a little for élevage. The cracking acidity of Chablis is tamed somewhat by the use of older barrels and this gives his wines more complexity, more layering, without ever losing the inherent tension and focus of this Chardonnay.
“Vaudésir, along with Le Clos, sit atop most critics’ lists – certainly mine – of top Grand Cru vineyards in Chablis. To me, the wines from Vaudésir, in the hands of the best producers, combine power with elegance and epitomize the stature of Grand Cru classification. Christian Moreau’s 2016 Vaudésir fits that mold perfectly. Adverse weather reduced their crop of Vaudésir in 2016 by half. But what they made was sensational. Riveting acidity highlight prominent flinty mineral notes that command your attention. This is the kind of wine where one sip makes you take notice and say, “Wow.”” 96 points, Michael Apstein, Feb 2018
“(100% fermented in barrels; just six barrels made from 0.5 hectare, or 18 hectoliters per hectare): Medium yellow. Very ripe but reticent aromas of soft citrus fruits, yellow peach and hazelnut. Sweeter and more glyceral than the Blanchots (this wine fermented until the end of January) but also more refined in texture. Yellow stone fruits dominate, with the oak element contributing a captivating sweetness. This rather voluptuous Grand Cru nonetheless shows good tension and structure; it will need time in bottle to harmonize.” (91-93) points, Stephen Tanzer vinous.com, Aug 2018
The philosophy of Olivier Leflaive Frères is simply to produce great wines. There are no secrets to this – everything starts in the vineyards.
In 1982 Olivier Leflaive became co-manager of Domaine Leflaive, along with his uncle Vincent, and later with his cousin Anne-Claude. In 1984 while at the helm of Domaine Leflaive, Olivier decided to create his own company, to buy grapes and make wine. This is Olivier Leflaive Frères.
This Meursault comes from 15 different lots and the wine is fermented in oak barrels of varied ages before blending. It is round, opulent, and rich, with characteristic Côte de Beaune tension, as good Meursault tends to be.
“Vibrant and toasty, with smoke, vanilla and clove notes augmented by peach, apple and lemon flavours, backed by a lively structure that leaves a clean, tangy aftertaste. Best from 2018 through 2028.” 92 points, Wine Spectator, June 2017
“A blend of many parcels, this wine brings out the character of Meursault, poised between a crisp, mineral style and something much richer. Wood aging has brought out the riper side of the wine, emphasizing apricots as much as citrus. Drink this sumptuous wine from 2020.”
The terroir of Puligny-Montrachet is second to none, and Olivier Leflaive is fortunate to have access to fruit from over 21 sites in the appellation, bringing a beautiful depth to the wine. This is Chardonnay of elegance and richness, perhaps a reference point for the varietal.
After pressing, the wine goes through primary and secondary fermentations in French oak barrels (20% new), where it then matures on fine lees for 12 months.
A blend of a variety of parcels in the Leflaive home village of Puligny-Montrachet, this wine is rich while also intensely structured and mineral textured. Spice and buttered toast comes from the wood aging along with the peach and ripe quince fruits. The line of acidity that cuts through the wine adds to the complexity. Drink from 2020.” 92 points, Wine Enthusiast, June 2018
“This white comes on softly, offering aromas and flavours of butterscotch, vanilla, pastry, floral and white peach. Remains open and turns tense and fresh on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2024.” 91 points, Wine Spectator, Aug 2017
A little secret every vinophile knows is that Delamotte is a sibling winery of the great Champagne house Salon (which we also represent). This means that when Salon isn’t bottled (7-8 years out of every decade), Delamotte receives the lion’s share of the fruit. So, for $68 to $115 for the Delamotte wines that we carry, you’re drinking wine that “just wasn’t quite good enough” to be $800 Champagne.
And if that didn’t make my case for this being a great value, Delamotte’s Brut NV is $5 less than Veuve Clicquot’s “Yellow Label” Brut NV. You know the one.
“Based in the Chardonnay region of the Côte des Blancs, it’s no surprise that this producer has a dominance of that grape in its blend. The wine has great minerality as well as tight acidity and delicious citrus flavours. It’s a dry, finely balanced wine to drink now.” 92 points, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2017
“The Delamotte Non-Vintage Brut blends approximately 55% Chardonnay with 35% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. It is clear, round and spicy on the predominantly fruity and vinous nose with its delicate chalk and hazelnut flavours. On the palate this is a lithe, finessed, fresh and elegant Brut with good structure and a pure, salty-mineral and cleansing finish. The mousse is highly delicate, the whole performance almost filigreed yet well structured. This is a delicious Brut.” 91 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Nov 2017
“Understated aromas of orchard and stone fruits with spice lead into an impressive palate showing great tension and structure. The bright acidity balances the concentrated quince fruit. Delicious purity and energy in a tight package.” 92 points, Decanter magazine, Aug 2018
In my 12 years here at Rogers & Company we have never been able to offer the Clos du Bourg Sec from Huet. This is one of the three Huet estate vineyards – the Sec (the dry bottling of this vineyard) most famous for having the longest ageing curve. It is definitive Chenin Blanc for the connoisseur. Slow to age, with incredible depth of capacity. Try one now with a good decanting, and age the rest for 10-20 years, if you have the patience.
It’s amazing how often I hear, “You represent Peay? I didn’t know that!”.
Without much wine to go around, their wines often arrive and sell out without any promotion at all. For example, we receive only 20 cases of this Chardonnay, which I think is among the best we offer. It is very much in the style you expect of the extremes of the Sonoma-coast. A type of Chardonnay which reminds me of Puligny-Montrachet with more muscle.
“The 2015 Chardonnay Estate is laced with the essence of slate, stone fruit, mint and white pepper. Bright, sculpted and nuanced, the 2015 screams with class. The 2015 deftly manages to be rich and intense, but not at all heavy. A hint of reduction adds nuance without being overpowering.” 95 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, March 2017
“Readers who aren’t familiar with Vigna del Sorbo owe it to themselves to check it out what is without question one of the great reds of Italy.”– Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Feb 2014
“A powerful, structured wine, the 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo won’t be ready to drink for a number of years, much less be at its best. In recent years, the Sorbo has been much more forward, but the 2014 is decidedly austere and ungiving. Graphite, smoke, black cherry, plum and licorice notes infuse the dark, mysterious finish.” 95+ points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Jan 2018
“I tasted this wine as a preview about eight months ago, and it has fleshed out considerably since then. The 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo impresses for the depth and the intensity of the fruit. The bouquet is shapely and round with dark cherry nuances, blackberry, grilled herb and sweet spice. You also get a lingering moment of strong firmness and power on the close. This wine does the vintage proud.” 94 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2017
When conditions co-operate to deliver a magnificent harvest, the Produttori del Barbaresco produces their single-vineyard Riservas. The Montefico vineyard is renowned for growing masculine, rich Nebbiolo, which some call the “Barolo of Barbaresco”. It just may be one of the finest values in the region.
“New leather, camphor, forest berry, dried rose and culinary spice are some of the aromas you’ll find on this exceptional red. The firmly structured, poised palate doles out juicy cranberry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise framed in tightly-knit, refined tannins while bright acidity provides energy and balance. Drink 2020-2033.” 96 points, Wine Enthusiast, March 2018
“A dark, brooding wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano comes across as quite virile today, with huge tannins and equally imposing dark fruit. Smoke, leather, licorice and game add to an impression of raw, almost unrestrained, power. There is not a whole lot of finesse here at least not now. The Montestefano is a wine painted in broad brush strokes that emphasize power over elegance. Then again, that is Montestefano. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2013.” 95+ points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Oct 2017
I see the wines of Priorat as a “bridge” for wine connoisseurs from Old to New World. Although grounded in the incomparable terroir of the region, the wines aren’t at all “dusty or earthy”, they’re brimming with fruit…creamy, dark and opulent. If you love Napa Cabernet and American Syrah, look to the best wines of Priorat for your next adventure.
“The 2015 Salanques comes from a steep, three-hectare vineyard located near the village of Poboleda. This deep ruby/purple coloured beauty offers a stunning bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, violets, and hints of resinous herbs and flowers. Medium to full-bodied, with a light, graceful, elegant texture that just glides across the palate, It’s not huge, but has plenty of intensity and length.” 93 points, JebDunnuck.com, Feb 2018
“A similar blend of 65% Garnacha, 25% Cariñena and 10% Syrah resulted in a 2015 Salanques with higher ripeness and notably lower acidity, reflecting a much warmer and drier year. It’s ripe and with lots of earthiness, mineral and characterful, with ripe fruit without excess, elegant tannins and a polished, sleek texture within the rusticity of the zone. 18,000 bottles were filled in March 2017.” 92+ points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, April 2018
The best wine, from a First Growth winery(Tim Atkins MW Rioja Report 2018), from the most exciting region in Spain. Yes please!
The “Castillo Ygay” is always made only in the best years, from grapes sourced from their best vineyard, La Plana, planted in 1950 and located on a plateau at the highest point of the Ygay estate, at 485 metres above sea level. It is matured for two and a half years in American oak barrels and three years in bottle which gives this wine its depth, complexity and intensity.
This is an iconic Rioja, an unforgettable wine, and a must-have for any cellar.
“Following on from the 2005 and 2007 releases, this is another stylish, complex, world-class red from Vicente Cebrián and María Vargas, with 19% Mazuelo providing the backbone of this ageworthy wine. The heat of the vintage has put plenty of flesh on the bones, complementing the savoury, spicy elegance. The tannins and acidity add balance and refinement. What a wine! 2025-40.” 97 points, Tim Atkin MW’s Rioja Report, Feb 2018
“In 2009, the final blend was Tempranillo with 19% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), one of the highest percentages of Mazuelo ever. The grapes are now sourced from the La Plana vineyard within the Ygay estate, one of the higher-altitude plots at 485 meters. The grapes fermented and aged separately, the Tempranillo in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French barriques for 26 months, given its power. It has that seriousness, character and somehow rusticity of the Mazuelo, austere, harmonious and still young. It has good depth and concentration, still young and lively with fine tannins and a backbone of freshness that lifts it up. It will develop for a very long time in bottle. This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul.” 96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2018
Listed above we have the sibling wine of Champagne Salon, and here we have the sibling wine of Mount Eden, which is one of California’s Iconic Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wineries.
Domaine Eden sits about 1 mile from its famous sibling in the Saratoga foothills. The soil here is more generous than Mount Eden’s limestone terroir, and the fruit is therefore more open and forward. Combine the two and you have something really special – structured, yet drinkable Cabernet.
“Once again, this more affordable “younger brother” to the Mount Eden bottling competes with gusto. Including 14% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, it shows savoury black plum, black pepper, char, leather and dried herb aromas on the nose. The palate is hearty and almost salty tasting, with beef, charred black fruit, pine resin and caramel flavours. Very satisfying and full of umami characteristics.” 93 points + Editor’s Choice, Wine Enthusiast, Dec 2017
“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Domaine Eden is a touch more reserved today than it was a year ago, opening in the glass with aromas of crushed wild berries, raspberries, raw cocoa and tobacco, all framed by cedary new oak. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a nicely layered mid-palate, fine tannins and a tangy finish. Cellar it for a couple of years and then follow it for a decade or more.” 92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, May 2018
“Domaine Eden, the second label of the historic Mount Eden Vineyards, produces some of the best value wines in California, and the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is terrific. Expressive notes of raspberry and crushed wild berries mingle with cassis and floral top notes, introducing a supple, open-knit palate with light, sapid tannins, zingy acids and a vibrant core of fruit. Juicy and delicious.” 92 points, Decanter magazine, May 2017
I’ve been saying this for years, but here it goes again, “Frog’s Leap makes amazing Napa Cabernet!” Are you tired of the over-the-top power of some Cabernets? Are you looking for aromatics, harmony and balance over tannic brute force and richness? This is the Cabernet for you. A dry-farmed wine culled from the centenary Rossi Ranch, this is a master class in “Rutherford Dust”, the famed terroir of this central-Napa town.
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous wine, not to mention a tremendous value. It is also the kind of wine that is easy to overlook in a universe of turbo-charged Napa Valley Cabernets. But that would be a mistake. The 2015 is dark and ample on the palate, with a bit more textural richness than normal because of the unique conditions of the year. Succulent black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and new leather all flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine’s exceptional balance that makes the deepest impression. Even better, this is one of the very finest values in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon readers will come across. Don’t miss it. 2020-2035.” 94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2018
“The prevailing style of Napa Cabernet today emphasizes power, weight and extravagance, but Frog’s Leap is one of a small but significant number of Cabernet producers that form a kind of alternate Napa universe. They are making wines of balance and restraint that are a direct link to Napa’s past […] The Frog’s Leap wines are subtle and nuanced […] They’re easy to drink with a meal and rewarding, especially for one who has despaired of finding Napa Cabernets that are table wines, not jammy fruit bombs that overwhelm food.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times
Of the mountain appellations in Napa, Mount Veeder seems best summed up as producing “towering skyscrapers” of wine. The intensity of this cool southern environment, high above the town of Yountville grows Cabernet like blueberries, with an incredibly small skin-to-juice ratio. A less boring way to say that is, “the wines from here are super-intense.”
“One of the highlights in this range, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt. Veeder) is seriously beautiful. A healthy dollop (24%) of Merlot gives the wine terrific mid-palate pliancy and fruit depth to play off of the more intensely mineral and soil-drive signatures, of which there are many. Raspberry jam, crushed rocks, blood orange, white pepper and red cherry jam infuse this deep, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon from Robert Craig. I would give the 2015 at least a few years to settle down, as the tannins are imposing at this early stage. 2020 – 2035.” 95 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, March 2018
In contrast to Mount Veeder’s intensity, Howell Mountain produces wines with chewy generosity. There is a wild and ferrous quality to the Cabs from here, a result of the iron-rich soils that define the appellation. Robert Craig’s Howell Mountain Cab is a full-bodied, pliant, cheek-stuffing kind of wine.
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec and a splash of Merlot that spent 18 months in 80% new French oak. It has a darker, mineral-driven style in its blue fruits, smoked earth, charcoal, and graphite aromatics. These give way to a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, fresh, lively 2015 that’s going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for 15+.” 94 points, JebDunnuck.com, Dec 2017
“Robert Craig’s 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain) is surprisingly open and accessible for a young Howell Mountain wine. Medium in body, with lovely underpinnings of minerality, the 2015 has quite a bit of mineral and soil-driven nuances to play off the inky red and purplish-toned fruit. Readers who enjoy Cabernets with a good deal of aromatic nuance will want to cellar the 2015 for at least a few years. Opening a bottle before then is hardly a crime, as the wine is super expressive even in the early going. 2020-2035.” 93 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, March 2018
O’Shaughnessy’s Mount Veeder is one of our best wines, every vintage. Intensity, concentration and density are all hallmarks. I suggest stashing this case away and dipping into it in 4 to 6 years, and then for the next 15 to 20.
The 2015 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is a total knockout in this vintage. It instantly opens with seductive aromas of ripe dark currants, blueberries, sweet exotic spices, violets, pencil shavings and tobacco all taking shape. Incredibly expressive, this full-bodied red is dense, layered with a gorgeous voluptuous texture that is nearly impossible to resist. It continues to display remarkable depth and concentration, with a mouthful of delicious ripe dark fruits and exotic spices that envelope the palate. This stunning wine comes to an end with a wonderful supple finish which shows tremendous length. While this is nothing short of absolutely stunning now, it will also cellar marvelously over the next decade or two.” 96 points, International Wine Report, July 2018
“Inky purple-black in colour, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt Veeder gives up notes of black currant pastilles, baked blackberries and mulberries with hints of mocha, underbrush and smoked meat. Full-bodied and completely packed with wonderful earth, fruit and savoury layers, it has a rock-solid foundation of ripe tannins and refreshing acid, finishing with great purity.” 95+ points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2017
“The Montelena Estate” is one of Napa’s grand wines. The volcanic soils of Calistoga and the incredibly warm environment up in northern Napa Valley grows a full-bodied, opulent wine.
It had always been a goal (a dream perhaps) of late owner Jim Barrett and current owner Bo Barrett to have this wine released to the public when it was ready to drink. This is not always possible for wineries given the cost associated with holding back products. Luckily for us, the winery did have some stock, and were able to make this a reality from the glorious 2007 vintage.
“Deep garnet coloured, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a very slowly evolving nose of crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, vanilla pod and smoked meats with touches of dried Provence herbs, cedar chest and cloves. Medium-bodied, plush, rich and generously fruited in the mouth, it has a wonderfully spicy character and long baking spice and black fruit-laced finish.” 95 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2018
“Good dark red. Musky nose combines blueberry, black raspberry, cedar, licorice pastille, chocolate, mocha, licorice, sage and wild herbs, along with a lightly resiny quality. Supple, spicy, dry and classic, showing lovely lift and depth to its rather primary blueberry, licorice and spice flavours. The wine’s high-pitched floral quality and its resiny spice tones nicely perfume the middle palate and finish. With its enticing lift and light touch for the vintage, this is just about ready to drink, but I suspect it will continue to gain in weight and thickness with further cellaring.” 94+ points, Stephen Tanzer, vinous.com, May 2017