Open Saturdays UPDATE: We’ve set our calendar for 2015 bonus open Saturdays for TPU members. We’ll be open from 10am-2pm on each of the following Saturdays:
March 14, 2015
June 20, 2015
Sept 12, 2015
Nov 21, 2015
Dec 19, 2015
This information will be available for future reference on our main website, as well as at the bottom of future offers.
Hello friends. This is the latest in our ongoing series of Jan/Feb Friday reoffers, featuring some of 2014’s most popular wines and offering one more chance to access these beauties before they sell out. Today’s group focuses on a trio of import wines from the 2011 vintage. Now four years past vintage, each of these is entering a lovely drinking window.
2011 Montepeloso A Quo Toscana IGT
Most of our Tuscan offers to date have been focused on the interior regions – Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano – but today let’s drive west until we hit the coast, within spitting distance of Napoleon’s island exile Elba. Today let’s drive until we reach the town of Suvereto, and the hillside vineyards of Montepeloso (located here).
Here is Galloni, writing recently about this producer: Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “[TEXT WITHHELD].”
And here is his review of this specific wine, a fine review from an exacting critic: Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90pts.”
I think Galloni’s drinking window is spot-on, too. This puppy is in the early stages of its peak and should continue to drink beautifully for the next five years. It’s earthy and savory, full of spicy tomato paste and raspberry, angostura bitters and brewed coffee. The 14.5% listed alc is just about right for a warm region in a warm year, and this does have plenty of plush fruit, but terrific balancing acidity to keep things vibrant. It’s a blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Marselan, Alicante Bouschet, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and it is a hearty, seductive winter red.
Originally offered January 20, 2014, more than a year ago, this was the subject of regular reorder requests throughout the rest of the year. Depending on importer stock, sometimes we were able to fill them, sometimes not. But now that importer has given heads up that they’re down to their final parcel of the ’11. Last call!
Excerpts from the original: In Europe, there are twin beating hearts of varietal Mourvedre production. One is Bandol, in the Provencal region of France. The other is Jumilla, Spanish capital of Mourvedre, (or Monastrell as they call it there), and this is a Jumilla wine that is a good value in an average vintage and an exceptional value in a good vintage like this. Olivares, in Jumilla, has a single vineyard (Finca Hoya de Santa Ana), with vines as old as 80 years, growing in a sandy moonscape (see pictures one, two, and three) that has never caught a whiff of phylloxera. Unlike much of Jumilla, this site sits at considerable elevation (2700ft), allowing for large diurnal shifts and excellent acid retention.
It’s matured entirely in neutral barrels (some small, some large), allowing the old-vine fruit material to shine bright. The nose is an alluring mix of flowers, exotic spices, and brambly blackberries. On the palate, it’s the live-wire intensity you notice first, completely belying the price point. There’s a real palate-coating quality here, and depth, and mineral tone, and lovely inner mouth perfume. The list goes on. Priced like a mid-week wine, this would not be out of place for a special occasion in the least. Its quality has not escaped the critical eye of Tanzer’s IWC. Never known for heaping praise (or points) lightly, this is an incredibly strong review from IWC for a wine at this tariff: Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (Josh Raynolds): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
We first offered this one on May 5, 2014 and then reoffered it on August 18. It was – and continues to be – one of the most popular import wines we’ve ever offered. Excerpts from previous offers:
This one was already popular from the previous 2010 vintage as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape for $19.99. And then the winery dropped the price further, such that our TPU for the 2011 was $14.99. Yikes.
One of the most recently added villages to the eighteen allowed in Cotes-du-Rhone Villages is Massif d’Uchaux, and it’s also one of the most compelling. Why? Because it’s as close a named village as we have to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Renjarde has its roots in Chataeuneuf. It is owned by the Richard family, proprietors of the outstanding Chateauneuf producer Chateau La Nerthe, as well as Prieure de Montezargues in Tavel. The vineyard is more than 40 years old, majority Grenache rounded out with Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Carignan. In 2011, the blend is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 5% each Mourvedre and Carignan, and it was fermented and aged in a combination of concrete and stainless steel, so there’s no oak influence here whatsoever.
The wine is a great ringer to slip into a Cheateauneuf du Pape tasting. It has the wonderful Provencal scent: the brushy garrigue, the floral lavender and cherry blossom, the resinous mint, all framing a core of pure black raspberry and rocky mineral. What I especially like about this is that it’s a ringer not for modern (over-rich, over-alc’d) CdP, but for classic CdP. Alcohol is right around 14%, and the whole package is balanced, classy, with a great cooling mineral tone to balance Grenache’s fleshy fruit. There’s sneaky back-end chew, loads of complexity, and terrific palate-weight. “Ultra impressive” says my note, and at sub-$15, it’s a house wine candidate.
Please order what you like, without restriction, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.