Hello friends. Our normal Cyber Monday tradition has been a big mishmash of sparkling wines and sticky wines: our attempt to provision you for holiday needs.
This year, for a number of different reasons, we’ve offered a bunch of sparkling wines already over the past few months. So today, we’re going to offer just one bubbly (a last call reoffer on a list favorite), and focus the majority of our energy on a panoply of sticky wines. Riesling and Sauternes, Port and Sherry, Madeira and Tokaji. Our first Coteaux du Layon.
It’s an embarrassment of riches. Those of us who love this style of wine know that this is the one time of year when we can safely share our forbidden love with others. And if circumstance forbids us from opening these stickies this year, we can rest safe in the knowledge that these categories of wines approach immortality. Another year in the cellar is only going to make these wines that much more exciting next year. Or maybe the year after that.
Please note: this is the inaugural bottling, the 2015 disgorgement, in dark green glass. We originally offered it on October 18, 2015, and we’re now down to our last 89 bottles. Between today’s offer and having this wine open for RhiAnnon and Dylan to pour at our tasting bar, you can bet this will be last call on our debut bubbly for our house winery, Block Wines. Now then, excerpts from the original offer:
The wine is an exclusive project partnering with the Griebs of Treveri Cellars to produce a sparkling rosé from 100% Washington Pinot Noir, from a single block of a cool Yakima Valley vineyard. Our low dosage allows Pinot’s mineral and savory complexities to play a major role here, balancing the delicious red fruits (strawberry, cherry) and stone fruits (peach, nectarine) and autolytic notes (bread, almond paste). Pale pink, delicate, charming: this is the starter of parties, loosener of lips, destroyer of worlds.
We did this for the holidays last year, and I know a lot of folks really enjoyed the opportunity, so it’s back! Again we have the ability to access the entire available stock of locally-warehoused Kopke Colheitas, thrilling single-vintage tawny ports ranging from 1937 to 1989. Here is a PDF showing an inventory snapshot as of November 16. We’re not the only ones accessing these, so it’s possible that quantities have changed, or even gone out of stock. All we can do is try. If you’re interested in any of these, please just respond to this e-mail with the vintage and the number of bottles requested, and we’ll do our best to bring them in.
Accessing glorious, perfectly-cellared old D’Oliveira madeira, on the other hand, is new for this year. And it’s a little different from the Colheitas. With the madeira, we’re ordering from the Rare Wine Co warehouse in California. Please get order requests in by end of day on Thursday. We’ll be placing our order first thing Friday morning, and the wines *should* arrive on Dec 12. We also don’t know exactly how many bottles of each wine are down in Cali; just that there are “some.” Here is the PDF, current as of Nov 18. Again, if you’re interested in any of these, please respond to this e-mail with the wine and the number of bottles requested, and we’ll do our best.
This is the same Sauternes we offered last year at this time, so technically this is a reoffer. A new shipment is literally scheduled to arrive today. Of course it’s a little risky sending out this offer when the wine is not yet out of the container (wineries have been known to send different vintages than expected), but I think another chance to access this well-priced beauty is worth the risk. As a reminder, Chateau de Suduiraut is one of just eleven Sauternes First Growths (all, of course, bowing before d’Yquem, the “Superior First Growth). Castelnau is the Chateau’s second wine, coming from its younger vines, and as such, represents a fine value in Sauternes. It shows plenty of funky/honeyed botrytis character over a core of bitter orange, fig, and golden raisin fruit. A long, rich, opulent sticky, this is of course the classic foie gras pairing but is also phenomenal after dinner, either with dessert or soft/salty cheeses.
Another one I tasted a long time ago (August) and hoped would last out the year, and it has. Barely. This is among the finest sweet wines I have tasted from Washington in some time. It’s three-quarters Outlook Vineyard fruit; the remainder DuBrul, and here’s how David O’Reilly describes the process: [TEXT WITHHELD] The result is something special. A wine with 9% alc and 22.9% RS, it begins with a nose of pineapple upside down cake and marmalade, moving into a glorious palate with layer upon layer of clover-honey-drenched fruit (stone, citrus, tropical) all cut through by bright acidity. The finish is long, rich, and deeply satisfying. Pass the duck liver mousse!
Wine Advocate (Robert Parker): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 98pts.”
Need I say more? I was totally smitten with this motor oil of a wine: brown sugar and sultanas, cherries and figs, brown butter and coffee, mixed nuts and caramel corn. The most unctuous of the bunch, and a chance to taste a wine comprised in some small part by grapes harvested in 1927.
Founded in the 11th century, Kiralyudvar has spent most of its thousand years as the property of the Hungarian royal family. After World War I, the estate was transferred to the Tokaj Research Institute of Viticulture and Oenology, and by the 1990s, the estate had fallen well out of fame. That was the state of affairs in 1997, when Anthony Hwang came along. Hwang, a partner in famed Loire superstar Domaine Huet, purchased Kiralyudvar, and brought with him Huet’s winemaker Noel Pinguet to consult on the project. Twenty years on, Kiralyudvar’s star has risen immensely, no surprise given the folks involved.
All the Aszu wines combined – from 3 Puttonyos (least sweet) to 6 Puttonyos (most sweet) – represent about 1% of Tokaji’s total production. These are rare treasures indeed, and this one is so new to market that tech info is hard to come by. Expect alc of around 11% alc, RS of around 20%, and a laser beam of acidity cutting through botrytis-tinged layers of citrus and stone and cherry fruit. It’s only the second 6 Putts Kiralyudvar has produced since the 2003 vintage.
Please request what you like, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. These wines should all arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.