Hello friends. The Eliminator is back! Version 11 is a buffed-up holiday Eliminator, with ten wines in total, including: two never-before-offered wines; two beloved private label wines coming to the end of their stock; three Oregon Pinots from the generous ’14 vintage; a Cote-Rotie ringer from the northwest and an honest-to-goodness Cote Rotie with a few years of bottle age.
As usual, these will be allocated as they’re ordered, and since all the wines are already in the warehouse, that means if you want to pick these up during our final two pickup days of the year (Thursday Dec 22, Friday Dec 23), we can absolutely facilitate that. Need last-minute gifts? Need ample alcohol to maintain sanity around unwelcome family members? The Eliminator has you covered.
Based on the name of the final American Gladiators challenge (see link for an excellent example of the original Eliminator, and also for an epic blond ‘80s mullet), this is where we eliminate extra bottles that have accumulated for one reason or another (some reasons purposeful; others accidental/stupid/I-don’t-wanna-talk-about-it).
A reminder: we handle this offer a little differently than most. These will be first-come first-served, and the upper order limits will be the number of extra bottles in the warehouse. So, if we have 15 bottles left, and you want all 15, and you’re the first to jump in, they’re yours.
This gives slight advantage to longer-term list members. Our offers are throttled, and it takes about two hours to send offers to the entire list. So the old-heads will get a bit of a head-start (much like the Gladiators Eliminator, but with fewer tassels), but list newbies will be nipping at their heels!
Godspeed. And good luck.
RhiAnnon and Dylan have been pouring this one at the tasting bar lately, and we’re suddenly getting low on the first Chenin release from our house winery. It seems to just keep getting better with each passing month, adding weight and earthy/honeyed/malt-powder complexity. 77 bottles remain of this old-vine Chenin (40-year-old vines), and if Loire Chenins are our guide, this should continue to evolve in fascinating directions for another five years at least.
You may remember this one as our fifth and final anniversary-week offer back in October. The notes from my tasting notebook: wonderful funky nose! fecund, naughty. bacon fat. brackish sea funk. what the hell?!? No mistake that it served as the finale; we got such outstanding pricing on this Funk + Funk Syrah (50% Stoney Vine = Rocks Funk; 25% Boushey Vineyard = Yak Funk) that I would characterize it as one of our best QPR offers of the year. To get that price required a substantial volume commitment. That volume has been steadily whittled away by reorders as folks got this wine home and opened it, such that we now have exactly 6 cases remaining.
We barely have enough of this left (37 bottles) to warrant its inclusion, so I’ll keep this brief and remind you that this is essentially the continuation of the old Evening Land Blue Label Pinot, from winemaker LJ Brimfield, who had worked with Dominque LaFon and Isabelle Meunier at Evening Land before striking off on his own. Targeted more for restaurant glass-pour than for retail, but we managed to wrangle some through our connections to the Oregon wine scene.
One of the most shocking and eye-opening wines I tasted in 2016, this Cote Rotie ringer from Matello has to be tasted to be believed. A lot of northwest Syrah producers talk the talk about Cote Rotie, but I’ve never seen something walk the walk quite like this, both in stats (listed alc of 12.8%; a full 10% Viognier coferment; 100% whole cluster) and in profile (huckleberry and bacon fat, charcoal and smoky earth, and oh the flowers). I went long precisely so that we’d have a little left to offer the folks that have become smitten with this beauty. We have just over 4 cases in stock.
We bought the remaining Seattle parcel of this outstanding vintage of Arctos, and we’re left with 74 bottles. Our TPU price is nearly 40% off the $43 winery-release, and this wine comes with a strong review from Sean Sullivan: Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[TEXT REVIEW WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
Our first ever FP&F wine was a 2007 vintage of Cabernet from this same winery, back in 2013. We followed that up with the ’08 vintage in 2014, and then this ’09 in late 2015. The trio of Cabs from this stellar winery (who by necessity remains nameless) have been among our most popular FP&F wines. We have 76 bottles remaining of this beauty, which deftly melds primary and tertiary Cabernet tones, and I’ll be very surprised if any of them survive today’s offer.
We grabbed a little extra of the ’14 Cousins, just because it’s so rare to see wine from Beaux Freres (whose 2014 Pinot from their estate vineyard just grabbed the #3 spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list) at anything approaching this tag. We have less than 4 cases remaining, so I think I’ll stop there.
Never offered, because we got so little of it. Just 30 bottles, all available today. Year in and year out, an unparalleled expression of Boushey Vineyard Syrah. Year in and year out, brutal allocation landscape. I’ll stop there, since we have so little, but for more info, here is a video from Bob Betz and co.
It’s rare enough for us to access Cameron Pinot that I snagged some extra bottles when we brought the wine in. Some of those were for my personal cellar, and now that those are set aside, we have about 3.5 cases extra remaining. The first time we’ve ever had access to Cameron’s estate vineyard, farmed organically and yielding a miniscule 1.5 tons/acre. This is haunting, ethereal Pinot Noir from one of Oregon’s masters.
We do so well with Saint Cosme’s 100% Syrah Cotes-du-Rhone each year (which, as predicted, landed a spot this year on Spectator’s Top 100 list; #43) that we were offered a tiny jewel of a parcel: 3 cases of Louis Barroul’s Cote Rotie, his highest expression of Syrah, and better yet, with a few years of bottle age. I tasted this at a lunch with Barroul earlier this year, and it was the star of the show, with dazzling funky/meaty/floral aromatics and breathtaking purity. I only wish we had more so we could have featured it in a proper offer. Alas, it will instead serve as the finale for our holiday Eliminator.
All these wines are in the warehouse and available for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.