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Crazy good deals! Close outs! Incredible savings!

1)   Klinker Brick Brickmason Red Blend 2016, Lodi:  $14.79 Brand new from Klinker Brick and Wine Spectator chose the  wine to feature in an upcoming article “8 Top Value Wines under $20 from California”.  Only 8 chosen wines and they didn’t pay for the press! 80% Zinfan­del, 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Sirah. Deep red fruit aromas lead into notes of toasty vanilla with firm tannins and bold structure.

2)  Claude Branger Muscadet Sevre et Maine Monnieres-Saint Fiacre 2014:  $25.99 Newly recognized cru amongst the exciting recognition of multiple crus being declared in Muscadet Sevre et Maine.  Bright, piquantly pip-tinged apple, lime and white currant fruit create an invigorating and bracing palate presence, leading to a rapier, refreshing finish. (91-92) Points” – David Schildknecht – Vinous – May, 2017

3)  Gilbert PICQ & ses Fils Chablis 2017:  $33 The ambassador in many ways for Zen-like Chablis. Vines, fruit, stainless steel, no wood contact, into bottle. That’s the simplicity of Picq. Their razor-sharp, saline Chablis can be thrilling. –Neal Martin, Vinous Media, August 2018, The 2017 Chablis was blended the week before my visit and is sampled directly from stainless steel vat. None of the parcels were touched by the frost. It has a very fragrant, quite floral bouquet with hints of fruits de mer and yellow flowers. The palate is well balanced with impressive weight for a village cru, full of tension with a sappy, almost Muscadet-like finish. Very fine. 89-91 pts –Neal Martin, Vinous Media, August 2018

4)  Dusted Valley BFM Red Wine 2011, Columbia Valley:  $62 On deal! Usually $82 78% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec from Stone Tree, Bacchus, Red Heaven and Birch Creek Vineyards. Aged in 40% new oak. The BFM stands up to its reputation of being the biggest merlot based blend coming out of Washington today. Technically, Chad Johnson and Corey Braunel could label this as Merlot.  It’s akin to cherry bomb explosion with cherry jam and kirsch backed by dark chocolate.

5)  Calcu Futa 2010, Colchagua Valley:  $54.99 On deal: suggested retail: $65 WE 94 pts. Editor’s Choice This dark, smoky, well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon has an upfront bouquet of smooth berry fruit, spice and fine herb aromas. Its plush and powerful palate is home to wild berry, plum and spice flavors. Firm into the finish, it’s a well-built heavyweight ready to drink through 2028.

6)  Tedeschi Capitel Nicalo Valpolicella Superiore 2014:  $20 Intense and elegant: fruit aroma (currants, black cherries) with the vanilla and tobacco of Slavonian oak.  Good body, good structure, lively acidity and alcohol content well balanced with tannins. The after taste confirms the notes in the bouquet. A complex and elegant wine.  30% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 10% Rossignola, Oseleta, Negrara, Dindarella.

7)  Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvee Flourete 2016:  $35 You’ll find the liquid reincarnation of the stony terroir from which this red hails. Garrigue—wild thyme, rosemary, and, judging from the scent, some lavender—grows copiously around the vineyard, adding an almost smoky, resinous perfume to the wine, as if the baking summer sun had liberated its aromas and the mistral had swept them off to flavor the grapes. Aged in large, neutral foudres, this wine has chewy tannins that are amazingly elegant, while it contains no shortage of depth and density for extensive bottle aging, if desired. Cuvée Floureto’s mineral finish keeps things very fresh, providing a tension rarely evident in Grenache-based blends. It almost seems as though the wine has been filtered through stones—but don’t worry, that’s the only kind of filtration we would allow this Vacqueyras to endure.  70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre & Cinsault.

8)  Prieler Blaufrankisch Johanneshohe 2015, Burgenland, Austria:  $23.99 WE 93 pts. #38 of Top 100 Wine Enthusiast list. The nose is still shy and closed. Likewise, the body is taut and will take time to unfurl, but all the structure and promise is already here. This wine is firm and bright, slowly showing dense blueberry notes edged with cinnamon and pervaded by freshness. The structure is firm and still crunchy but with a juicy release. On the finish, white pepper shimmers in the blueberry fruit. Drink 2019–2029.

9)  Forge Cellars Dry Riesling Classique 2017, Seneca Lake:  $17.99 “Our most important wine aims to reveal the true nature of the vintage and to explore the terroir of lower east Seneca Lake. Due to our focus on this narrow 8-mile stretch of slope on the southeast side which includes 13 of our 14 Riesling vineyards, this is our first labeling under the Seneca Lake AVA. In 2017, we chose not to make our top cuvée, Les Alliés Riesling, and de-classified our fruit in order to ensure the absolute best quality would remain in our core wine. Candied lemon, apricot peel, Asian pear, and anise join with salinity to give impeccable freshness.” —winemaker


Only a very limited amount of the next 2 famous, special wines.  First come, first serve:

10)  Sine Qua Non Grenache Testa dei Cherubini 2014:  $389.99 Jeb Dunnuck 99 pts. As with the extended aged Syrah release, the 2014 Grenache Testa Dei Cherubini (80% Grenache, 15.5% Syrah, and the rest Petite Sirah and Viognier) comes all from the estate Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent just under 38 months in 25% new French oak, with the balance in neutral barrels (varying sizes). Layers of black raspberry, cassis, white chocolate, white flowers, and Asian spices flow to a full-bodied, supple, powerful Grenache that has silky, silky tannins, a seamless texture, no hard edges, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s already approachable, yet in my experience, this extended élevage results in a very stable wine, and I suspect this beauty will have another two decades of longevity.Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 98 pts.  The 2014 Grenache Testa dei Cherubini saw fully 37.5 months in wood, some 25% new, but its influence is imperceptible; the wine is strikingly pure and vibrant. Krankl commented that the longer the wines spend in barrel, the more slowly they seem to evolve in bottle. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of juicy red cherries, peonies and plums, it’s initially quite reserved, becoming more expressive with air. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and very concentrated, with strikingly fine-grained, revolved tannins, juicy acids and impressive length and depth. Like the 2015 Le Chemin Vers l’Hérésie also reviewed in this report, it’s remarkably pure and integrated and ranks as one of the finest Grenache bottlings I’ve tasted from Sine Qua Non. It’s also one wine that will clearly benefit from bottle age, no matter how tempting it may be when it’s released in November of this year.

11)  Sine Qua Non Syrah Capo dei Putti 2014:  $440 Jeb Dunnuck 99 pts. Leading off the reds, the extended barrel-aged 2014 Syrah Capo Dei Putti boasts an insane bouquet of cedar wood, white chocolate, caramelized meats, candle way, and assorted red and black fruits. With full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and an incredible elegance, it changed every time I came back to the glass and is a multi-dimensional, riveting red wine from California. A blend of 90% Syrah and the balance Viognier, Petite Sirah, and Grenache, partially destemmed and aged 38 months in 94% new French oak, give this beauty 2-3 years of bottle age, count yourself lucky, and enjoy bottles over the following 10-15 years.Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 96 pts.  The 2014 Syrah Capo dei Putti saw an amazing 38 months in fully 94% new oak, and it was showing superbly when I tasted it, unfurling in the glass with brooding aromas of blackberry preserve, cherries, bay leaf and a remarkably integrated framing of smoky new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, hyper-concentrated and deep, with an incredibly dense core of fruit that’s definitely ripe but avoids overt sucrosity—and is complemented by an impressive degree of savory nuance. It’s a blocky, dense Syrah that will merit some time in bottle, but it is sure to make a considerable impact whenever it’s opened. 896 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were produced.

12)  Olivier Leflaive Rully 1er Cru Les Cloux 2016:  $39 Allen Meadows – Burghound “Pretty, cool and airy aromas are composed by notes of pear, apple and white peach. The much rounder and generously proportioned medium-bodied flavors possess good mid-palate sap that coats the mouth on the caressing and relatively pliant finish. This well-made and balanced effort should be enjoyable young.”  (6/2018)

13)  Tinazzi Amarone della Valpolicella Collezione di Famiglia 2013:  $62 Ample range of aromas ranging from fruit, especially cherries and marasca cherries, to spices, such as cloves and cinnamon with a licorice and cocoa finale.  Multifaceted and balanced structure with the right blend of tannins, glycerine and fruit. Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella.

14)  Nusserhof Elda Vino Rosso Abgefullt durch Heinrich Mayr 2013, Bozen, Italia:  $49.99 From my rep who has been in the business longer than me: “It is stunning. This is my favorite estate on the planet. 3 hrs barrel and 2 in bottle before release. Unheard of for this grape/area.  Like a cross between beautiful Pinot/Burgundy and elegant Northern Rhône Syrah.” “Elda” is dedicated to Heinrich’s wife, Elda. Obtained from a blend of Schiava, Lagrein and other native varieties. The grapes come from old 80 year-old vines located on the Trautmannhof farm, located on the eastern border of the classic area of ​​the Santa Maddalena DOC. Spontaneous vinification with 30-day maceration. Refining in large 20hl wood for 24 months. “Elda” is a deep ruby ​​red color. The nose reveals notes of red fruit, mineral notes, notes of embers and spices. In the mouth the taste is vibrant and very pleasant, good freshness with tannins content like tannins. Big final extension.

15)  Chateau Musar Rouge 2003:  $58.99 Should be: $72.99!  Wine Advocate 91 The 2003 Chateau Musar seems very different than years such as 1981, but maybe that’s just because it is so young, or possibly because of the vintage or an increasing nod to modernity. Either way, this is a ripe, sexy Musar. It retains its elegant mid-palate as well as lovely fruit and fine balance. There is a slightly sweet tinge to the finish, perhaps a touch of a high-toned demeanor. The lush texture and surprising richness make this a rather luscious wine by Musar standards. It is showing little but baby fat right now. Fresh and youthful, it is just a friendly puppy today. I’m not so sure it is in the winery’s preferred style, but it should be a very enjoyable vintage for consumers. Showing not a trace of age, it has a lot of potential and a long life ahead. It may yet be entitled to further upticks in score, but let’s be a bit conservative at the moment. Drink now-2035.

16)  August Kesseler Schlossberg Riesling 2015, Alte Reben, Rheingau:  $59.99Old vine Riesling from prestigious plot of land. With an intense aroma and fine drynose. In particular, yellow apples, dried apricots, Darjeeling tea and orange dominate the multi-faceted bouquet.

And Canada is really producing some real World Class wines.
Here are some to try:

17)  Hidden Bench Fume Blanc Rosomel Vineyard 2017, Beamsville Bench:  $40.99 Medium straw in color with an elegant but subtle nose of flint, candied lemon and hints of hazelnut. The palate is rich and weighted, balanced by refreshing acidity and flavours of rich slate and Granny Smith apple. Drinking beautifully now, this wine will reward those who cellar it for the next 3-5 years.

18)  Hidden Bench Natur Zero Dosage Blanc 2013, Beamsville Bench:  $58.99Zero Dosage is a term used when no sugar is added to the finished wine, which provides the most authentic expression of terroir. Notes of toasted brioche, dried almond and hints of citrus. The generous mid-palate, body, intensity and structure lead to flavors of fresh orange and an autolytic character. It’s fine and persistent bubbles give it a clean crisp finish. Drinking beautifully now, this wine pairs perfectly with many different cheeses and appetizers.

19)  Hidden Bench Felseck Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016, Beamsville Bench:  $58.99Intense nose of ripe red cherries, and hints of smoke. The juicy palate has velvety tannins framed by the subtle use of French oak to highlight the fruit character. Sour cherry and raspberry notes are followed by refreshing acidity and hints of graphite a classic expression of this vineyard. This wine will reward another 5-7 years of cellaring for those that can wait.

20)  Domaine de la Folie Rully Monopole Clos La Folie 2017, Burgundy:  $52Once renowned as the source of some of the appellation’s finest white wines, this 14-hectare domaine in Rully flies somewhat under the radar, but its pure and elegant offerings are still well worth seeking out. Classy but flavorful, they’re dependably delicious.–William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, July 2018  Showing a gorgeous peachiness together with a fine acidity. Crisp with fruity, floral touches and a focused finish. Fresh, citrusy, herbal, but not too firm. Lovely . A north-north east clay limestone Monopole vineyard of Domaine de la Folie planted with 40 year-old vines, that is fermented and aged in steel tanks only, no oak.

21)  Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux Premier Cru Meursault Gouttes D’Or 2013, Burgundy:  $86.99 Library vintage! At current prices! 3/4 acre planted in the early 1950s on a steep, rocky slope making for a rich but quite elegant wine underpinned by intense minerality.

22)  Hartford Court Velvet Sisters Pinot Noir 2014, Anderson Valley:  $69.99Wine Advocate 91 points The 2014 Pinot Noir Velvet Sisters emanates from another Anderson Valley site and is sourced from four separate clones – Dijon clones 115, 666, 777 and the Pommard selection. This wine displays notes of baked apple skins, pomegranate, black cherry and a hint of raspberry, with some floral notes as well as forest floor. It is rich, ripe, medium to full-bodied, and best drunk over the next 5-7 years.