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LATEST WINE DEALS POSTED 5/21/18

Crazy good deals! Close outs! Incredible savings!

1)  2012 Ciacci Pianrosso Riserva Santa Caterina d’Oro Brunello di Montalcino:  $194.99 WE 100 pts. Cellar Selection This gorgeous wine opens with alluring aromas of sweet pipe tobacco, underbrush, new leather, truffle, plum and eucalyptus. Smooth and full-bodied yet elegant, the savory, juicy palate delivers crushed Marasca cherry, raspberry preserve, licorice and menthol alongside polished, enveloping tannins. Fresh acidity provides impeccable balance while an orange zest note lifts the finish. Drink 2023–2032.

2)  2012 Pianrosso Riserva Santa Caterina d’Oro Brunello di Montalcino (Magnum):  $369.99 95 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate “The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d’Oro is a gorgeous expression that sits firmly on a base of dark fruit, spice, tobacco and crushed river stone. There is a spot of ripe fruit and candied raspberry that comes into focus as the wine warms in the glass. The wine is slightly shorter in the mouth, but it quickly makes up for that thanks to balanced elegance, fine tannins and tangy acidity. (ML)”  (2/2018)

3)  Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rose 2017, Provence:  $20.99 Peach, white cherry and white raspberry notes mingle together, with a juicy feel through the stone-tinged finish. Great summertime wine. Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren.

4)  Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old:  $97.99 Decanter 95 pts. “A first in several ways.  The ‘Assemblage’ a preciser word than blend to describe its intricacy is drawn from the house’s famous collection of reserve wines, in particular the 1988, 1996, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintages.  The grape varieties are very close to the classic choices that Veuve Clicquot herself preferred as she built her brand post 1815: today, 47% Pinot Noir, 27% Chardonnay and 26% Pinot Meunier – the quintessence of the house’s heritage & core values.  More innovatively, and perhaps uniquely among the big houses, Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut, Extra Old is double aged-three years on the lees in vats (up to 5% oak), then three years in bottle before release.  This slow maturing allows the wine to become soft and mellow yet light-footed, needing a tiny dosage of just three grams of sugar; the smallest figure in the house’s history. A Champagne for refined cuisine- try tartare of scallops, risottos, sushi and sashimi.  Lovely color, bright, delicate gold twinkles, superfine flowing cordon of bubbles. Poised intensity of aromas/flavors, greengage, peach, and spiced lemon, a soupcon of liberating oak. Toasty finale. Drink 2018-2015.

5) Reserve des Rochers Macon-Chaintre 2014:  $12 Aromas of pear and golden delicious apples mingle with scents of wet stone.  Full bodied, this Chardonnay is also fresh, crisp, and clean, with citrus acidity and an edge of minerality to complement its long finish.

6)  Cantina Kellerei Tramin Chardonnay 2015, Suditrol-Alto Adige:  $14 Special deal price. Delicate fruity aromas and a dry finish. It tastes fresh and lively with hints of pineapple, pear, citrus, vanilla and butter.  This is a wine to enjoy as an aperitif, or to pair with appetizers, fish and poultry.

7)  Dom Ruinart 2006:  $153.99 One of the highlights among this year’s new tête de cuvée releases, the 2006 Dom Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blancs is a powerful, almost tannic Champagne built on structure and intensity. Then again, much of the Chardonnay here comes from the Montagne de Reims, where wines tend to naturally be quite broad. Even though it’s now ten years old, the 2006 is much less expressive than either the 2002 or 2004 at a similar stage. I expect it will be quite a few years before the 2006 is truly ready to drink. Over the years I have been fortunate to taste Dom Ruinart back to the 1970s, and while I don’t think the 2006 will need decades to be at its best, it certainly does look like a long distance runner. There is plenty of citrus and floral driven intensity, although the bouquet is less toasty and open than it often is. In short, the 2006 Dom Ruinart is a wine for those who can be patient. It will be a fine investment for those looking for a wine to cellar to commemorate special occasions. Antonio Galloni 96+ points. Drink 2021-2046.

8) Clos Apalta Lapostolle Le Petit Clos de Clos Apalta 2014: $49.99 Suggested retail: $61 WE 92 pts. A black color and baked ripe-fruit aromas are the greeting on this second wine to Clos Apalta. While this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Merlot and Petit Verdot feels soft along the edges, it’s propped up by tartaric acidity. Blackened flavors of saturated blackberry and cassis maintain lush ripeness across the finish. Drink through 2020.

9)  De Martino Estate Gallardia Cinsault 2017:  $19.99 Violet tones and shallow blue. The nose is very fresh with red cherry. The palate has high acidity. Tannins are more granular. A very easy drinking wine.

10)  Nickel & Nickel Bear Flat Merlot 2015, Oak Knoll District:  $49 Crazy good price compared to anything online! The 2015 vintage shows the beautiful balance of rich fruit and supple structure that we love to see and taste in our single-vineyard Merlots. Sage, cedar, and plum aromas open onto a palate layered with juicy, berry fruits. Flavors of spice, black olive and forest floor complement the waves of dark, supple fruit, while warm oak and silky tannins provide elegant support. Harmonious and full, this wine is gently polished, allowing the flavors to carry from the entry into a long, lingering finish.

11)  Caymus Suisin Grand Durif 2015:  $57.99 Deep, majestic purple, with a nose of blueberries, wet earth and saddle leather. The initial impression on the palate is broad, smooth and weighty, then springs into gear with rich harmonious tannins. Oak plays a significant role in providing vanilla character. This wine can be enjoyed now, though it is still quite a baby.

12)  Walt La Brisa Pinot Noir 2016, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County:  $34 Crazy good price! Cheapest online: $40 The WALT “La Brisa” Sonoma County Pinot Noir articulates the signature characters of Sonoma: vibrant and opulent with an underlying brightness and length to the palate. Teeming with ripe red berries and spicy toasted aromas, the wine is lush and persistent on the mid-palate while long-lasting and delicate on the finish.

13)  Walt Pinot Noir 2016, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County:  $34 Suggested retail: $44 WE 95 pts. Despite amazingly luscious aromas of star anise, stewed black cherry, black currant pie and coffee cake, this bottling still offers a prominent line of wet gravel and river stone minerality on the nose. Exotic mulberry and black cherry flavors ride atop the soft tannins and an underlying acidity, while white pepper dust and menthol unfold on the finish.

14)  Quilt Chardonnay 2016, Napa Valley:  $27.99 The 2016 Chardonnay shows aromas of ripe pears, roasted almonds, buttered toast, honey, lychee, jasmine blossoms, freshly washed river gravel, and lemon zest. On the palate, the wine unfolds flavors of baked apple with vanilla drizzle, pineapple-mango cream, buttered toast, salty popcorn and lemon curd with notes of nectarine and cantaloupe. Medium bodied with a rich, generously textured and unctuous mouthfeel. Bright, mouthwatering acidity. A long, lingering finish.

15)  Martin Ray Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa:  $27.79 The diverse sources of this Cabernet Sauvignon exemplify the Napa Valley terroir. The strong, traditional bouquet layers notes of ripe black cherry, dark cassis, aromatic violets, and savory curry spices rooted by earthy undertones. With clean fruit throughout the palate, this medium-bodied wine has well-structured tannins balanced by a nuance of toffee and caramel oak influence.

16)  Jansz Sparkling Rose, Tasmania:  $22.99 Decanter 92 pts. With 68% Pinot Noir and 6% Pinot Meunier in the blend, this pale salmon traditional method rose has lingering, creamy strawberry and shortcake nuances to the palate; 26% Chardonnay gives line and length. Supremely drinkable.

17)  Siduri Pinot Noir 2015, Russian River Valley:  $31.79 WE 91 pts. Bright, compressed fruit stars in this approachable and affordable Pinot Noir that’s rounded with tannin and focused acidity. Cranberry, orange, cherry and cola flavors highlight its medium-bodied power and concentration.

18)  Angeline Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016, CA:  $12.79 This wine is no exception to Angeline’s dedication in over-delivering quality in every bottle of wine. The California Pinot Noir is a wealth of aromas such as fresh cranberries, maraschino cherries, and orange zest. The palate is round and juicy with lively acidity, and a touch of sweet, toasty oak on the finish.

19)  Chappellet Mountain Cuvee Proprietor Blend 2016:  $34.79 Lush, layered and complex, this Bordeaux blend begins with concentrated aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, and dark chocolate. As the wine evolves in the glass, notes of anise, clove and bay leaf emerge, creating an inviting combination of fruit and spice. On the palate, a creamy texture underscores the wine’s richness, while accentuating flavors of ripe plum, vanilla, and roasted coffee that glide to a long, lingering finish.  Blend : 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc.

20)  Gamble Paramount Red Blend 2013:  $89.79 Made from nearly equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this adds a handful of Petit Verdot for good measure. Smooth, round and approachable, it offers a powerful grip and dense black fruit, finishing with balanced acidity.

21)  Morgan G17 Syrah 2015, Santa Lucia Highlands:  $19.99 This Rhone-style blend has a rich ruby red color, highlighted with purple edges. Boysenberry, white pepper, and hints of sweet flowers jump out of the glass. The wine is medium-bodied with soft tannins; it offers a mouthful of black fruits and cured meat. Its weight and balance make it a perfect pairing with anything off the grill.

22)  Trione River Road Ranch Chardonnay 2015, Russian River Valley:  $29 WE 90 pts. This is a bright, effusive, full-bodied wine, with underlying acidity that keeps it fresh in the glass. Apple and pear flavors combine with firm texture, providing weight and breadth.

23)  Les Carisannes By Hubert Brochard Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Loire Valley:  $12.39 Sauvignon Blanc Les Carisannes comes from a five-hectare vineyard in Bannay near the Sancerre appellation. The name Les Carisannes is a contraction of the names of the three sisters and grand-daughters of Henry Brochard: CARoline, ISAbelle, and ANNE-Sophie. Stony soils and vinification in stainless-steel tanks yields a fresh tasting wine with notes of minerals.

24)  Sonoma-Loeb Pinot Noir 2016, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County:  $29 79This wine begins with a nose that is both vibrant and complex, with lovely aromas of dark cherry, pomegranate, anise, vanilla and clove. On the palate, it is round and mouth filling with gorgeous red berry flavors, supported by lingering notes of currants, vanilla bean and roasted coffee.

25)  Vins Auvigue Saint-Veran 2014:  $16 On deal! WE 87 pts. This is an attractively crisp, citrus-flavored wine. With lime and ripe apple fruits, the tangy texture bursts with freshness. The wine is ready to drink.

26)  Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay 2016, Santa Rita Hills:  $29.99 The 2016 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills checks in as a blend of the 3D, Acin and Machado Vineyards, and it’s brought up identically to the single vineyards. In addition, there’s really no barrel selection made, so don’t think of this cuvee as a second wine. Like the Hapgood, it’s a seriously rich, unctuous beauty that offers notes of buttered citrus rind, candied lemons, honeycomb and hints of minerality. Deep, rich and thrillingly textured, it’s certainly the smart value play of the lineup as it’s half the price, but more than half the wine.

27)  Sparkman Kingpin Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Red Mountain:  $61.99Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 90 pts. I loved the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Kingpin, which incorporates 6% Petit Verdot. Rounded, textured and medium to full-bodied, its deep ruby/purple color is followed by outstanding notes of crème de cassis, sweet oak, licorice and hints of charred earth. Balanced, nicely concentrated and with plenty of length on the finish, it should drink nicely for at least a decade.

28)  Kenwood Six Ridges Chardonnay 2016, Russian River Valley:  $19 Fruit flavors of lime and Fuji apple join together with notes of vanilla, tropical fruit, and allspice. The mouthfeel exhibits a rich creamy sur lie character from barrel age complemented by a wonderful minerality on the finish.  Serve slightly chilled, this Chardonnay makes an excellent match to a number of dishes including Chicken with Dijon Mustard Sauce, Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salad, or Pumpkin Risotto.

29)  Charles Krug Merlot 2014, Napa:  $21.79 Napa Valley Merlot has expressive aromas of ripe red and black fruit followed by hints of spice. Supple body and medium tannins envelop flavors of berry and cherry which linger on the palate through a long, smooth finish.  Blend: 82% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec.

30)  Purple Heart Red Wine 2015, Sonoma County:  $18.99 The Purple Heart – No honor better symbolizes the bravery, determination and selflessness of the military men and women serving our country. Inspired by this most noble medal, and in tribute to the late Peter Mondavi Sr.—a proud World War II veteran—his sons, Marc and Peter Jr., challenged veteran winemaker John Moynier to craft an exceptional red wine worthy of its iconic title. The wine serves as a testament to the integrity and virtue of the Purple Heart Foundation, and aims to further the organization’s cause through both awareness and fundraising. To this end, Purple Heart Wines proudly makes an annual donation to the Foundation, which goes toward serving the unmet needs of military men, women and families. Join us as we lift a glass in tribute to our brave heroes and thank them for the profound contributions and sacrifices they have made.  Aromas of cedar, plums, blackberries and black currant with hints of black licorice. Dark ruby and opaque in appearance, this medium-bodied wine is lushly textured with notes of red and black fruits, blueberry and hints of cardamom. Seamless across the palate, the wine has a long, velvety mouthfeel and finely balanced tannins. It will drink beautifully upon release and will continue to gain complexity and grace with 4-5 years cellaring. Blend: 67% Merlot, 19% Zinfandel, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc.

31)  Charles Krug Pinot Noir 2015, Carneros, Napa:  $28.99 Charles Krug Pinot Noir comes from the cool, foggy Carneros region where Burgundian-style varieties maintain their balance of acidity and ripeness. Aromas of cherry, vanilla, raspberry and hunts of cocoa envelop flavors of black cherry and caramel.

32)  Trinchero Meritage 2010, Napa Valley:  $48 WE 91 pts. Cellar Selection. The Cabernet grapes, which account for 80% of the blend, bring intense, nervy black currant flavors, but Petit Verdot also expresses itself in the form of violets. New oak dominates everything, with layers of toast and caramel notes. Give the wine 6–8 years in the cellar to come together.

33)  Trinchero Haystack Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Atlas Peak, Napa:  $55 WE 90 pts. Cellar Selection. Black and thick, a study in smoky oak and tar, this intense vineyard-designated Cabernet will behave better over time. Brawny tannins surround substantial layers of blackberry and coffee, the feel on the palate weighty and voluptuous. Cellar through 2026.

34)  Clio Red Wine 2015, Jumilla:  $48.99 92 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate  “Tasting two completely different vintages of the same wine is very revealing, and having the 2015 Clio next to the 2014 showed how each of them revealed the character of the vintage. 2015 is a very complete and balanced year, resulting in classic, powerful wines with concentration and balance, and all that is needed to age in bottle. This is a similar blend as the 2014, mostly Monastrell with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for almost two years in French and American oak barrels. The oak is there, but it feels like the fruit is able to integrate it with some more time in bottle. In general, there is a lot more balance and freshness than in the 2014, and the character of the Monastrell is a lot more noticeable than the Cabernet. This should develop nicely in bottle. (LG) 92+ “ (12/2017)

35)  Wind Racer Pinot Noir 2012, Russian River Valley:  $39.99 Special deal price! Beautiful aromas of clove, dark chocolate, blackberry, and rose petals demonstrate the unique, bold personality of the Russian River Valley. On the palate, distinct flavors of dark plum, espresso bean, and black licorice lead to a broad, balanced wine with food-friendly acidity. The Russian River’s warm, sunny days and cool foggy nights are optimal for Pinot Noir – the wines have great texture and weight without being overdone or losing their natural acidity. The classic deep, rich, dark aromas and flavors the Russian River is known for, shine through this wine.

36)  Camarcanda 2010 by Gaja, Bolgheri:  $149.79 Suggested retail: $170 WE 93 pts.  Made by Angelo Gaja at his estate in coastal Tuscany, this blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc leads with aromas of plum, spice and warm toasted notes. The structured, elegant palate delivers restrained black currant and black cherry accented with notes of black pepper and coffee alongside polished tannins. It’s still young and a bit nervous, so give it time to develop its potential. Drink 2015–2030.

37)  Burly Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa:  $64.99 Dusty chocolate and black cherry aromas layered with bright fruit notes and oak. Velvety and intense, leading to dark cherry and boysenberry notes. This is an elegantly structured wine with silkiness through the mid-palate and a persistent, juicy finish. Deep, coating tannins ensure that this wine will age beautifully in the cellar. A wonderful mineral note shines through the whole experience. Layered, complex, and lingering, a true wine drinking experience. Wonderful now, this wine will benefit from further bottle aging reaching its peak in 4 to 6 years but drinkable for 12 years.

Wine Spectator:  Aromas of espresso and mocha give way to an intense mix of gravelly earth, dark berry, chocolate and cedary oak, maintaining a bold expression of flavors and a long, full finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,300 cases made.  Score: 92, James Laube, November 15, 2017

38)  COS Nero di Lupo 2014, Sicily:  $23.99 Suggested retail: $30 WE 91 pts.  Aromas of sunbaked soil, truffle, game, Mediterranean scrub and mature black-skinned fruit lead the nose on this earthy red. Made entirely with Nero d’Avola, the round, delicious palate tastes of ripe black cherry, blackberry, orange zest, spice and chopped herb. Velvety tannins and bright acidity support the juicy flavors. Drink through 2017.

39)  Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir 2014, Santa Rita Hills:  $38 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 91 pts. The polished, elegantly styled 2014 Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills gives up lots of black cherry, crushed flowers, leather and spice aromas and flavors to go with a medium-bodied, supple and nicely textured profile on the palate. This fresh, nicely focused 2014 has nicely integrated acidity, very polished tannin and the balance and depth to keep for 5-6 years.

40)  Alvaro Castro Dao DOP 2015, Portugal:  $14.99 This wine has that elusive combination of weight and elegance, fruit and minerality. It piles citrus flavors over notes of apples and apricots, a medley of fruits that are shaped into a firm, concentrated structure. Bright acidity complements the ripe fruit, and finishes with a light note of toast and mineral.  Blend: 40% Cercial, 40% Bical, 20% Encruzado.

41)  Velenosi Villa Angela Pecorino 2015, Offida, Marche:  $16 Fine and elegant nose, yellow fruits and flowers, with sage, thyme and broom hints. The perfect ageing of the grapes creates the highest potential of this wine on the palate: well balanced, smooth and fresh at first, followed by a pleasant texture and enhanced flavor. The great structure and minerality makes of this wine fresh and inviting.

42)  Atalon Sauvignon Blanc 2016, North Coast:  $14.79 On deal. The aromas open with notes of white flowers, tropical fruits, mandarin, and fresh pineapple. The palate expresses flavors of fresh citrus, papaya, and stone fruits. The texture is creamy yet fresh and inviting, perfect for sipping on a warm day or pairing with light, seasonal dishes.

43)  Witness Tree Pinot Blanc 2015, Willamette Valley:  $16 The Pinot Blanc variety is grown in very small quantities in the Willamette Valley.  Only two and a half acres in production, planted to the “Abbey Ridge” clone of Pinot Blanc, is a low-yielding, early-ripening, small-cluster vineyard site.  This limited bottling offers delightful fruit flavors reminiscent of apple and pear, balanced beautifully by a crisp refreshing acidity. Serve it with lighter table fare, crab or other shellfish, or simply on its own.

44)  Sohm & Kracher Lion Gruner Veltliner 2016, Niederosterreich, Austria:  $23WE 92 pts. Pure notes of fresh apple and pear peel are appetizing on the nose, with a touch of spicy tangerine peel. The palate amplifies these expressive fruit notes. Ripeness of fruit and concentration characterize the mid-palate that also shimmers with white pepper. The finish is long and intense, again with that lovely tangerine pith.

45)  Tajinaste Bianco 2016, Vino de Calidad de Las Islas Canarias:  $21 A blend of 90% Listán Blanco (for flavor) and 10% Albillo Criollo (for acid). The nose is charming and easy-going, evocative of tropical fruits. The palate turns citrusy thanks to a bracing backbone of acidity. The finish is creamy and round, with a mineral edge that calls for the next sip – pronto!

46)  Big Table Farm Edelzwicker 2014, Willamette:  $27 Edelzwicker is an Alsatian term meaning noble blend, and is applied to any blend of white wine grapes. Here, it is Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling, capturing the floral aromatics and lightly oily mouthfeel of the former, along with the citrus and pear flavors from the latter two components. All in all it’s an aromatic, floral, broadly flavorful and distinctive white wine.  The owner of the winery told me to put a case away for a year and the wine would be terrific so that’s what I did!