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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March 18, 2020
Like many of you, we have learned that dine-in service at all restaurants and bars in Ontario has been suspended. While we know this is an essential measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, our thoughts go out to our colleagues in the hospitality industry and our winery partners around the world.
Rogers & Company is scaling back our operations to minimize in-person social contact for team members, but we will maintain basic functioning for as long as possible.
With this in mind, our full portfolio of diverse wines remains available to you. That includes the following selection of wines available in cases of six bottles from our winery partners around the world.
For the time being, please continue to call me directly or visit us online. As one friend from Italy reminded me: “The vineyard does not stop… and we do not stop!“
We aim to do as much as we can for as long as we can.
Prices published here are per-bottle, inclusive of HST, exclusive of bottle deposit. For deliveries in the GTA and most of southern Ontario, we are waiving delivery fees until further notice.
Flowers’ vineyards are some of the most dramatic in northern California, perched atop precariously steep mountain ridges that spill off into the Pacific ocean. The vineyards are so steep, in fact, that vineyard workers wear soccer cleats to avoid slipping! They say that this extreme terroir produces grapes of great character, and in this rosé, it shows.
Elegant and distinct with aromas of strawberry, grapefruit, and a subtle hint of mint. Bursts of fresh citrus drive the palate and are balanced by flavours of nectarine and stone fruit. A silky entrance coupled with fresh and lifted acidity leaves you with that signature coastal expressiveness.
If you’ve been drinking Whispering Angel and you want to step it up a notch, I think you’ll find that notch here.
“Jurosa” is a single vineyard Chardonnay fermented in oak barrels, then matured in those same barrels (on lees, without racking) where it heavily stirred for 11 months. The winery uses this technique for its best wines, and this creates a creamy mouthfeel, while retaining the snappy acidity that fruit from San Lorenzo, Friuli is known for.
This is one of the most interesting white wine production techniques you’re likely to come across, and it produces one of Italy’s best Chardonnays.
“This is a terrific expression of this versatile French grape. The 2016 Friuli Isonzo Chardonnay Jurosa is fairly structured but lightweight in the mouth, with brilliant energy and an open, zesty personality. Orchard fruit, ripe peach, toasted nut, lemon mousse and creamy vanilla all conspire to create the beautiful bouquet. I would suggest drinking this wine within the next few years; however, this sample has the fibre and balanced acidity to withstand some near-term aging. Some 55,000 bottles were created.” – 93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Aug 2019
Also available, Lis Neris “Lis” 2016 at $70 per bottle (cases of 6). This is a blend of Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay produced the same way: barrel-fermented with 11 months ageing in oak. If you like the full-bodied, extracted, blended whites of Paso Robles and Napa Valley, “Lis” should be in your cellar!
Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils is one of Chablis’ most respected producers. The Domaine doesn’t hide the fact that they use oak barrels for fermentation and ageing, including some new and second-fill oak for tiny portions of their wines. This give their wines excellent texture, though the oak is very subtle on the nose.
“The 2018 Chablis Vaillons 1er Cru, blended from six parcels, is pure, focused and taut, all while expressing the natural richness of the year. Lemon confit, white flowers, white pepper, mint and a kiss of French oak add striking aromatic top notes to match the wine’s linear, energetic feel. The Vaillons has a surprising amount of freshness and lift, with bright saline notes that extend the finish. I suspect the opulence of the year will emerge more fully over time, but this is nevertheless a fine showing.” – (91-93) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Jan 2020
“Around one-third in almost exclusively old oak, this has a very strong, fresh chalky edge to the white-peach and lemon aromas. The palate has supple, seamless shape and texture, holding pithy peach at the finish. Drink on release.” – (90-91) points, JamesSuckling.com, Aug 2019
Domaine Serene may be the best winery in Oregon (though I am biased). It is an absolutely cutting-edge facility designed with one goal in mind: produce the best wines possible out of the Dundee Hills. They have produced Chardonnay for over 20 years and they now make five single-vineyard Chardonnays, one super-luxury bottling and the “Evenstad Reserve”, the focal-point white.
In 2016 the 2014 “Evenstad Reserve” Chardonnay was named Wine Spectator’s #1 White Wine of the year.
“The 2017 “Evenstad Reserve” Chardonnay follows an exceedingly long line of beautiful releases, as the consistency of this wine is unparalleled in Oregon. The wine is a barrel selection sourced from a host of great Dundee Hills AVA vineyards. On the nose this takes on gorgeous aromatics of toasty lemon infused brioche with peat moss and lighter cantaloupe tones that all collide in the glass. The exceptional texture entices and adds to the drinking enjoyment. Ripe pear, apricot, lemon oil and shades of Challah bread with wet stone all collect momentum on this distinguished palate. While gorgeous in its youth, this stunning wine will cellar well for a decade or more. 2019-2032.” – 95 points, International Wine Report, Aug 2019
“A very fluid wine with bright, pear and peach aromas with an edge of almond praline and spiced biscuits. The palate has a balanced and measured feel with layered and smoothly constructed texture as well as a long, caressing finish. Drink now.” – 94 points, JamesSuckling.com, July 2019
Stéphane Vedeau makes some truly lovely, critically-acclaimed wines at La Ferme du Mont and another set of gorgeous, hands-off, scintillating wines here at his own winery, Clos Bellane. Clos Bellane celebrates the northern-most and coolest region in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The fruit comes in with soaring aromatics and great energy. This is unlike most Châteauneuf-du-Pape in my opinion. If you can use the term “Burgundian” to describe any, this would be the one.
“A blend of 77% Grenache and 23% Mourvèdre from mostly limestone-based soils on 1.14 hectares, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Urgonien is a full-bodied, plush, sexy wine. Garrigue and raspberry shadings mark the nose, while the palate is creamy textured and intense but balanced by mouthwatering acids and a hint of citrus zest on the long, silky finish. It’s another gem from winemaker-owner Stéphane Vedeau of La Ferme du Mont.” – (94-96) points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Aug 2018
“I was only able to taste a single wine from Clos Bellane, but this is a first-rate label run by Stéphane Vedeau, who’s the driver behind the La Ferme du Mont estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Tasted as a barrel sample and a blend of 77% Grenache and 23% Mourvèdre, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Urgonien was partially destemmed and brought up mostly in concrete tanks, with 10% in very old barrels. Elegant, seamless and ethereally textured it offers gorgeous notes of strawberries, flowers, and sappy garrigue. Gorgeous on all fronts, it glides over the palate with no weight, has silky tannin and a great, great finish. Enjoy this Rayas look-alike anytime over the coming 12-15 years.” – (93-95) points, JebDunnuck.com, Oct 2017
What is fabulous about Riojas is that they are released ready to drink – even a wine of pedigree and ageability as remarkable as this bottle. Twenty nine months in oak barrels (five more than necessary by Rioja’s designation scheme) and three years in bottle produce a powerful, balanced wine with some tertiary developmental notes, yet this remains fresh and fruity and ready to age. Were it not for the “Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial” bottling, this would be the winery’s top red. One of the best in the region.
“Picked comparatively early after the sweltering summer of 2012, this is a nuanced, unashamedly traditional cuvée of Tempranillo with 9% Mazuelo, 8% Garnacha and 3% Graciano, all from the extensive Murrieta estate. Perfumed, refined and exquisitely oaked, with the structure for a long life. 2020-2032.” – 96 points, Tim Atkin’s 2019 Rioja Special Report, March 2019
“Let the dark nose with its licorice, soy sauce, smoke and earthy notes draw you into the deep, concentrated palate, where the serious tannins have just matured to the point where there is a graceful line right through the wine. Drink or hold.” – 94 points, JamesSuckling.com, Nov 2018
The Vignole farm is situated in the heart of the Chianti Classico DOCG region, near Panzano. The vineyards cover 21 hectares along the Pesa River in an area also known locally as the Conca d’Ora (the “Golden Bowl”) for the outstanding quality of the wines produced there.
“Campicaia” is an 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The Cabernet brings weight and density to the wine. It is raised in barriques and casks of varying ages for 20 months. Following the blending of the final wine, it ages again for three months in barrique, then at least six more months in bottle.
2015 is a fabulous year in Chianti Classico, and “Campicaia” is already showing some mature notes that complement the bright cherry core and earthy spice. I think this is excellent value for a wine of this designation.
“To taste the indisputably original savour of Pinot Noirs from producers such as Flowers, Hirsch and Peay is to marvel at America’s Pinot Noir treasures.” – Matt Kramer, “Seven Wines to Try Before, Well, You Know…”, Wine Spectator
The Peay Estate vineyard is located only four miles from the frigid Pacific, providing a long growing season that allows physiological ripeness, yet modest sugar (potential alcohol). The fruit retains refreshing acidity and high-toned aromatics. Almost 25 separate blocks differentiated by clone, aspect, elevation, and other factors cover 35 acres of Pinot Noir vines.
After fermentation and oak ageing, the estate wines are blended blind. The winemakers don’t know the clones, or the percentage of oak, or the percentage whole cluster, or anything when they taste.
For “Pomarium” they blend a wine that leans to the darker fruit expression of Pinot Noir, including plums and blackberry. There is depth of flavour across the mid-palate, but it is not fat or fleshy. A few anise and bark notes peek out in the finish along with some floral notes from a touch of whole cluster. Only 575 cases of the 2017 were produced.
“The 2017 Pinot Noir Estate Pomarium is the most exotic, flamboyant wine in this range from Peay. Soaring aromatics and layers of bold, racy fruit rush out of the glass. Like the other 2017s, the Pomarium needs time to fully come together. Even so, it is impressive today. Crushed raspberry, pomegranate, mint and rose petal are all beautifully lifted in this sublime Pinot Noir. In this tasting, the Pomarium is marked by a very specific exotic quality.” – 95 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019
The Lytton Springs vineyard was planted in the first decade of the 20th century by Captain William Litton, who developed hot springs and a hotel and spa for wealthy, leisure-seeking San Franciscans. In 1972 Paul Draper, Ridge’s esteemed winemaker, made his first field-blend Zinfandel-dominant red wine. In 1991, Ridge bought the vineyard. In 1995 Ridge bought the Lytton West property, thus reuniting the original vineyard owned by the good Captain.
To call Lytton Springs Red a Zinfandel would be inaccurate, as the percentage of Zin does not qualify it so: in 2017 the blend is 74% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane, and 2% Mataro. Petite Sirah brings the structure and “muscle”, Carignane brings aromatics and energy, and Mataro (Mourvedre) is the spice cupboard. It is a wine greater than the sum of its parts and one of California’s most beloved wines.
“Ridge’s 2017 Lytton Springs opens up beautifully, with bright acids that drive a whole range of red/purplish fruit intermingled with floral notes. Creamy and ample in feel, the 2017 boasts superb balance and pedigree. Readers lucky enough to own it should plan on cellaring it for at least a few years. 2025-2042.” – 94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Oct 2019
“This blend of 74% zinfandel, 15% petite sirah, 9% carignane and 2% mataro has that signature Ridge freshness and definition with such reliable focus on fruit. Aromas of dried plums, dry roasted spices, red flowers and leaves lead to a palate that has such succulent, rich red berries and plums. So lively and attractive. Drink or hold.” – 94 points, JamesSuckling.com, Dec 2019
Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet remains one of the great values in the Napa Cab category. Biodynamically dry-farmed, decades-old vineyards in Yountville, Rutherford and Carneros contribute to the blend.
As a team we have often been lucky enough to open bottles of Grgich Cabernet from the 1980’s and 1990’s, pulled from our company founders’ cellar: they are some of the best-aged Napa Valley wines I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking.
“This wine shows the beauty of Napa Valley Cabernet. Not bigger, but just a more muscular style of Cabernet Sauvignon than is the norm, the 2013 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has extraordinary finesse. It’s truly an iron fist in a velvet glove. It conveys a gorgeous minerality, almost a hint of tarriness wrapped with supple, fine tannins. It has a Pauillac-like power for those who like comparisons with Bordeaux. But, indeed, this is Napa Valley Cabernet at its best with plenty of dark fruit and herbal flavours to enhance its mineral-like feel. Long and balanced, Grgich Hills Estate has created the paradox of a wine that is delicious for drinking now with a lamb chops, but will evolve and develop beautifully over the next decade or two.” – 96 points, Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Aug 2016
The Forman Vineyard is a 28.5 acre gem in Napa Valley. Located in the St. Helena appellation, it sits at the base of Howell Mountain, below the fog line. Planted by hand in 1978 by Ric Forman, one of Napa’s most esteemed vintners, it is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Viticulture is certainly “Bordelaise”, with vertical trellising and close planting. Each vine receives no less than 16 processes throughout the season, from thinning to green harvesting to canopy mangement. Every step of the process is done by hand, and only one wine is made from this terroir.
Each year when I look back over the wines we’ve sold and all the wines I drink, Forman’s Napa Cabernet is at the top of my “favourites” list. I consider it a true classic, one that any Napa Valley Cabernet fan should try.
“Forman’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon offers notable, depth and structure. Today, the 2016 comes across as quite dark and brooding, but it was also racked about three weeks before this tasting, so that might partly explain the wine’s showing today. Even so, the 2016 looks promising.” – 94+ points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Dec 2018