Ten Magnificent Sixes

February 2017


One of the only limitations to buying directly from a wine agency is that we have to sell to you only by the case.  While most wineries ship in cases of 12 bottles, many of our most exciting and collectable wines come in cases of six.

 

So, I have pulled together a small selection of really exceptional and above all else, delicious wines from our catalogue. These all come in cases of six, and all will enhance any chilly winter’s evening spent around a dinner table, relaxing with family and friends.

 

I hope to hear from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Chris.

 


Ridgeview “Bloomsbury” 2014

English Sparkling

$55.95, cases of 6

 

“Would I admit to my French friends (who make such glorious wine) how often I drink English these days? Yes. Proudly.”

Hugh Johnson, OBE

 

A vibrant wine industry thrives in southern England and world-class “Champagne” method sparkling wines are setting the pace. Ridgeview is among the best, a family winery founded in 1994, focused solely on sparkling wines.

 

Interestingly, the Queen has a small vineyard at Windsor Park and though we doubt she helps prune and harvest, Ridgeview has been retained to produce her sparkling wines. Ridgeview’s wines have been served at numerous State functions, including visits from the Chinese Premier and at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

 

If you have 3 minutes to enjoy a short film about the winery, click here.

 

“Green apple and greengage on the nose turn into white peach and lemon on the palate. The mousse is frothy and lively and there is a wonderful depth to these tart fruit flavours that takes you to juicy, green pastures and white blossom. Glints of green apple flash at every corner and adorn the admirably dry finish. This echoes long and leaves the palate wonderfully clean.”
91 points, Wine Enthusiast, Nov 2016

Maison Alex Gambal 
Chassagne-Montrachet 2014
$92.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

The villages and vineyards that surround the Grand Cru Montrachet offer some of the best values in high-end Burgundy.

 

Alex Gambal buys fruit from select 1er Cru vineyards and lieu dits (special unclassified vineyards) to blend his village-level wines.  He uses as little as 30% new oak in his ageing regime, and the resulting wines display all the elegance, poise, minerality, citrus and perfume expected from this part of the Côte d’Or.

 

“This is also quite expressive with its aromas of resin, pear, apple and fresh citrus. There is a lovely purity to the intense and beautifully delineated middle weight flavours that possess a succulent mouth feel on the balanced finish that is also clean, dry and very solidly complex. This is more refined than usual plus it offers excellent quality for a Chassagne villages. Recommended. 2020+”
89 points (High Quality, Good Value), burghound.com, June 2016

Grgich Hills
Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013
$69.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

The cool, rolling hills of American Canyon and Carneros are home to most of Napa Valley’s Chardonnay vineyards.  Here, the cooling effect of San Pablo Bay and the rolling fog provides a cool climate in an otherwise “Mediterranean” environment.

 

Grgich Hills’ vineyards are farmed using biodynamic methods that go beyond organic to a philosophical realm, treating the vineyard as one organism and not a collection of separate parts. Activities in the vineyard are carried out according to astronomical calendars. The resulting fruit is healthy, clean, chemical free and easily made into beautiful, expressive wine.

 

Once the Chardonnay is pressed it goes into French oak barrels for fermentation. In Mike Grgich’s classic style, there is no malolactic fermentation, and so the wine retains freshness and crispness while the tropical fruit flavours and shadings of oak are nicely balanced.

 

His style of Chardonnay earned world-wide acclaim when Mike was the head winemaker for Chateau Montelena. His 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay won the now famous “Paris Tasting” hosted by Stephen Spurrier.

 

Located in the heart of Rutherford, in the foothills of the Mayacamas mountains, Grgich Hills remains one of Napa’s most recognizable wineries. I would pour the 2013 with grilled fish, double-cream soft cheeses and veal chops.

 



Altesino
Brunello di Montalcino “Montosoli” 2011
$111.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

“Montosoli” was first bottled in 1975, a magical slice of terroir that Wine Spectator once called “Italy’s Second Most Expressive Vineyard”. (Sassicaia was number one.) Adding to its legend, Montosoli has only been bottled 20 times.

 

It is an extremely complex and elegant wine. It shows a deep ruby red colour which turns a garnet red with age. Its bouquet has outstanding breadth with hints of black cherry, blackberries, raspberries, violet, licorice, vanilla and a slight accent of pink peppercorn. On the palate it reveals a dry, warm, velvety mouthfeel, rich and long on the finish.

 

I think this is one of Italy’s great wines and great values. It will age for decades.

 

“The 2011 “Montosoli” is a simply gorgeous effort, as this beautiful single-vineyard Brunello slowly begins to open it delivers wonderful aromas of dark cherries and red berries followed by freshly cut flowers, leather and exotic spices. It continues to impress with its striking purity, while displaying remarkable overall balance and finesse backed by a silky, elegant texture and a long lingering finish. “Montosoli” is a top wine from the vintage, which should continue to evolve well for years to come. (Best 2019-2032).”
96 points, InternationalWineReport.com, March 2016

“The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino “Montosoli” provides us with one of the most beautiful tastes of Brunello in 2011. The secret here is that fruit is sourced from the “Montosoli” cru in the northern side of the appellation that performed very nicely in this warm vintage. The wine reaches excellent balance between power and elegance. It leaves a statement but never feels overwhelming. That intensity is presented in terms of fruit freshness, cherry, blackberry and currant. It also comes forth as spice, tobacco and leather. The mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth and silky. The tannins are integrated and soft. “Montosoli” is planted to a special clone that is grafted over when the vines die. The clone has never been replaced. Because the vineyard is located on the north side of the appellation, it was protected from the heat this vintage.”
93+ points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Jan 2016

 


 

Peay Vineyards

Pinot Noir “Pomarium” Sonoma Coast 2014

$99.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

The far-Sonoma coast, only miles from the cold Pacific, is California’s most exciting region for Burgundian and Rhône varietals. Ancient sea-bed soils, modest temperatures and brisk winds force vines to struggle, and as they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Peay’s wines are captivating, multifaceted, contemplative and overall, delicious. This is artisan winemaking at its finest, an Estate for the discerning oenophile.

 

“One of the highlights in this range, the 2014 Pinot Noir Estate “Pomarium” is a striking, inward wine. Whereas the “Ama” is overt, the “Pomarium” is introspective. Hints of menthol, cloves, licorice and cedar infuse a core of dark stone fruits. Medium in body, with deceptive power and plenty of underlying structure, the 2014 should drink nicely for many years to come.  2017-2024.”
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Feb 2016

 


Goldeneye

Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2013

$70.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

In 1996, years before the Pinot Noir craze began, Duckhorn Wine Company was already establishing itself in Anderson Valley, north of Sonoma. Here, Alsatian and Burgundian varietals thrive in the cool, almost maritime river environment.  Today Goldeneye is one of the appellation’s foremost producers.

 

“There is nowhere else in the world that makes Pinot Noirs that taste like ours here in the Anderson Valley,” says Michael Accurso, winemaker for Goldeneye. “They are deep, lush and complex, with an almost wild, rustic grace that frames the fruit in an incredibly compelling way. My job is to allow this essential Anderson Valley-ness to shine through.”

 

“The 2013 Goldeneye Pinot Noir shows impressive weight and purity. Sumptuous aromatics of black cherry, savoury notes and cedar spice evolve on the palate into richly textured layers of red and black fruit, cocoa, truffle, and hints of rose petal. Always a favorite, enjoy over the next 5-7 years. 2021-2023”
95 points “Classic”, californiawineadvisors.com

 


Duckhorn 
“Three Palms” Merlot 2013
$112.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

Shortly after we sold out of the 2012 Three Palms Merlot, Forbes magazine published this:

 

“In Napa Valley’s warm Mediterranean climate it’s easy to make big, ripe boring Merlot, wine devoid of personality. But in the right location, and with the right approach, it can deliver very fine wine, and in one special vineyard, truly wonderful wine, the best California Merlot there is: Duckhorn Vineyards’s Three Palms vineyard in Calistoga.”
“The Best California Merlot Ever”, Nick Passmore, Forbes.com, Dec 2015

 

The 2013 vintage in Napa is widely regarded as the better of the two years. This is an amazing opportunity to buy what could be a legendary wine in the making.

 

“Launching forth with a beautiful, elegant bouquet of red berries and cedar spice, the new Three Palms is a classic in the making. Simultaneously rich and elegant, it offers complex layers of blueberry, baking spice, and mocha. Given the embedded structure in this wine, it will age gracefully for years to come and evolve into an even more extraordinary wine. Enjoy over the next 10 years. 2016-2026”
97 points, “Classic”, CaliforniaWineAdvisors.com

 



Paraduxx
Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2012
$58.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

In 1994 Duckhorn set out to produce a blended wine that couldn’t be replicated anywhere in the world. In Tuscany, they blend Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon to make “Super Tuscans”, in Australia it’s Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, so in Napa – Zinfandel!

 

Each vintage determines the proportions of the varietals but every year you can count on a full bodied, rich and fruit-forward wine with aromatics and palate presence, as opposed to those sweet-ish, bright purple, cloying wines that are often advertised as “Perfect for BBQ!”. This can be drank now and for 6-8 years. It is amazing paired with braised and grilled foods.

 

“It is true that the combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel is eclectic and that is certainly part of the appeal of Paraduxx. This vintage is Cab-dominant at 60 percent (Zin represents 37 percent of the blend and Petit Verdot the remainder) and thus shows ripe blackberry and currant notes backed up with firm tannins. The Zin contributes a spicy note and a brambly fruit note that is plump and juicy. Perfect for the upcoming grilling season.”
91 points, Robert Whitley, winereviewonline.com, May 2016

 

“A soft and fruity red with blackberry, blueberry character and hints of bitter orange. Full body, firm tannins and fresh finish.”
90 points, JamesSuckling.com, July 2015

 


Red Cap Vineyards
Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
$142.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

Red Cap Vineyards is a very young winery, planted in 2003. It is only 10.5 acres in size, and at 1,900 feet above the Napa Valley floor, it is quite remote and spectacular. The iron-rich, nutrient-poor soils give the winery its name. They also give the Cabernet grown here it’s distinct minerally, dusty, rich, ferrous personality.

 

Dark black berry, dark plum, black currant, mocha, iron, soft leather, terracotta and pie crust flavours and aromas mingle. The ripeness is apparent on the palate; the round, densely-packed tannins tug gently and the finish resonates long after you swallow.

 

Red Cap produces only 300 cases annually (275 in 2013), and they certainly make something special. That production quantity is really too little to submit to the popular press, but in my estimate, this would be a 93-95 point wine by any critic’s standards.  Stock is limited, so act fast!

 


Quintessa
2013 Rutherford, Napa Valley
$239.95 per bottle, cases of 6

 

Quickly positioning itself at the top of the list of “Great Napa Cabs”, is Quintessa, planted in the heart of Rutherford. This is a biodynamic property. The annual blend is Cabernet dominant (but prescribed by the vintage) and each year it seems to get better. I can easily see this wine drinking well, without shutting down, for more than 20 years.

 

“This is really fantastic on the nose with blackberry, blueberry, lavender, and violets. Even sage. Full body plus extremely integrated tannins that are polished and refined. The balance and harmony is phenomenal. Goes on for minutes. Beautiful now but will satisfy for decades.”
98 points #8 Napa Valley Red Wine of the Year, JamesSuckling.com, May 2016

 

“The 2013 Proprietary Red Wine has always been good, but I think they have re-positioned themselves at a much higher pinnacle with the 2013. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend but has important component parts such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot from their gorgeous vineyards just off the Silverado Trail in Rutherford. The wine has a dense bluish/purple colour and a beautiful nose of black raspberries, blueberries, lead pencil shavings, and touches of oak and spring flowers. The complexity of the fragrance is followed by a wine with terrific body, stunning purity, wonderful balance, and great depth and richness.  This is certainly the most profound Quintessa made to date and should evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.”
96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2015

 


Chris McLean

direct: 647 955 8872

office: 416 961 2294 x 29