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RED WINE

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  1. Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2011
    Descendientes de Jose Palacios La Faraona Mencia 2011
    Depp, bright purple.  Drop-dead aromas of dark berry preserves, Asian spice, potpourri and incense, with an intense mineral overtone.  Stains the palate with sappy, chewy black raspberry and floral pastille flavors enlivened by notes of allspice, star anise and nutmeg.  Silky, sweet and penetrating on the finish, which clings with outstanding tenacity and clarity.  There's an elegance and focus here that's reminiscent of the best Burgundies, but with more power and texture.  If I were a third-world despot this is what I'd be drinking every day. STEPHEN TANZER, wineaccess.com
    2011
    mencia
    Spain
    355
  2. Handpicked Highbow Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    Handpicked Highbow Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
    This wine is from a single high-performing block that has had a number of excellent vintages over the past 15 years. It is a monoclonal wine of G9V3 Cabernet Sauvignon, an unfashionable clone in some circles, but in this vineyard, on this hill, a stunning example of the  variety. The fruit was hand harvest in late-March and yields were low but of excellent concentration and character. The must was fermented in static red fermenters and the wine was aged in French oak barriques, 40 per cent new, for 15 months.

    This is a superbly elegant Cabernet wine. This special wine, our very first Highbow Hill Cabernet, has superb perfume and purity of fruit. It is an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon that will age well over 20 years, but is ready for theenthusiast now. GARY BALDWIN
    2013
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Australia
    506
  3. Forlorn Hope Mil Amores 2012
    Forlorn Hope Mil Amores 2012
    The DeWitt Vineyard is sustainably farmed, made up of granite and quartz soils. A blend of Portuguese grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz, Trincadeira are planted in a single block. The block was picked and co-fermented at the same time. Aged only in neutral oak for 12 months then bottled. The blend is loaded with black, blue fruit, earthy and spicy undertones, unmatched suppleness with lots of intrigue. PWS
    2012
    Tinto, Touriga
    USA
    362
  4. Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2013
    Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2013

    According to the Guigal's, the 2013 Cote Rotie La Turque has a similar level of dry extract to the 2010 (after that, the 2012, followed by the 2011). Inky purple in color, with masculine notes of crushed rock, cracked pepper, bacon fat, scorched earth and concentrated dark fruits, it has a stacked mid-palate, but is certainly holding things closer to the vest than either the 2011 or 2012. It has a classic style and I suspect will require a decade of cellaring to become approachable. (98) JEB DUNNUCK

    2013
    shiraz
    France
    467
  5. L'Evangile 2017
    L'Evangile 2017

    Pomerol - LIMITED
    2 BOTTLES reamin at timne of offer

    The 2017 L'Évangile, 100% Merlot for this first time, is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Dark, sumptuous and wonderfully inviting, the 2017 has so much to offer. Dark fruit, spice, mocha, leather and licorice infuse the 2017 with notable depth. Time in the glass brings out lovely aromatic top notes that add freshness. A rapturously beautiful wine, L'Évangile is stellar. Frost wiped out half of the potential crop, including all of the Cabernet Franc, which means the Grand Vin is 100% Merlot. Technical Director Jean Pascal Vazart opted for gentle pumpovers and longer extractions than normal. (97) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  6. Canon 2017
    Canon 2017

    Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 
    7 BOTTLES remin at time of offer

    Nicolas Audebert and his team have done it again. The 2017 Canon is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. Rich and vertical in construction, the 2017 possesses off-the-charts richness and intensity in all of its dimensions. In the glass, the 2017 is sumptuous and layered, with superb detail and tons of sheer pedigree. In 20 years, readers will have a fabulous time tasting the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 together and debating their respective merits. Dark plum fruit, striking Franc aromatics and the clean, focused energy of Saint-Émilion's limestone plateau make for a ravishing, exquisite wine of the highest level. In a word: breathtaking. (97) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Canon was bottled on 15 May, 2019. This needs time to settle in the glass, the oak rather vocal at this early stage and overshadowing the blackberry and briary aromas. It only takes a couple of minutes for this Saint-Émilion to settle and reveal more limestone-infused fruit that really shows its terroir. The palate is very well defined with crunchy black fruit. I appreciate the chalky texture and freshness of this Canon, almost brittle, with blackberry and brine-like notes on the finish. Whilst not up there with the superlative 2016, the follow-up is still very fine. Note that over multiple tasting this Canon improved between September and December. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  7. Montrose 2017
    Montrose 2017

    Saint-Estèphe 2ème Cru Classé 
    13 BOTTLE remain at time of offer

    Extremely aromatic with currant, wild-herb and fresh-violet aromas. This is regal cabernet sauvignon at its finest. The palate has unwaveringly long and defined tannins that carry such fresh, piercingly pure, redcurrant and cassis flavors. A twin to the superb 2015? A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.(97) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner. What impresses most about the 2017 is its freshness and sophistication. I won't be surprised if Montrose turns out to be even better than this note suggests further down the road. Graphite, licorice, menthol and sage lead to a finish with real grip and freshness. The 2017 is such a classy and promising wine. (95+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Montrose was so impressive from barrel and now, bottled since July, it continues to put in a strong case for being one of the best Left Bank wines. It has a very pure and intoxicating bouquet with intense blackberry, light cassis, juniper and violet aromas, almost Margaux-like in terms of personality. Although there is a patina of new oak after bottling, it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip on the entry. Tightly wound at the moment but supremely well focused, this is a classic Montrose, "cool" and reserved, demonstrating impressive tension and precision towards the finish. It will require less time in bottle than the 2016 for example, so broach this superb Saint-Estèphe after five or six years and then it will give 25 to 30 years of drinking pleasure, and knowing Montrose, probably longer. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  8. Vieux Chateau Certan 2017
    Vieux Chateau Certan 2017

    Pomerol

    Just as it was en primeur, the 2017 Vieux Château Certan is regal and soaring right out of the glass. Inky blue and purplish fruit, chocolate, licorice, lavender, spice and mint come together in a dense, dark and powerful Pomerol. The 2017 is an explosive, vivid wine of monastic beauty. In this vintage, VCC is especially dark and somber, which adds to a real feeling of mysterious beauty. It is a towering achievement from Alexandre and Guillaume Thienpont.. (98) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  9. Forman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Forman Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is dense, pliant and wonderfully expressive. Ric Forman's wines are always on the restrained side, but the 2015 packs a good bit of punch. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, sage, mint, and rose petal overtones all add to the wine's precision and nuance. In 2015, Forman took in fruit from Thorevilos, which he co-manages with David Abreu, but ultimately decided to add that juice to the Cabernet Sauvignon rather than bottle it separately. Dollops of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec round out the blend. This is one of the classiest wines of the vintage. ANTONIO GALLONI
    2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    USA
    446
  10. Dominio Do Bibei Lacima 2015
    Dominio Do Bibei Lacima 2015
    The 2015 Dominio Do Bibei blew my mind. It's is a blend of 80% Brancellao and 20% Mouratón from different vineyards, and it has a super elegant, aromatic and ethereal profile within the power and earthy character of the wines from the zone. This fermented and aged in barrels and had an extra élevage in 1,500-liter oak foudre, but the oak is perfectly and neatly folded into the wine, which is nuanced perfumed and really captivating. The palate also reveals great harmony and balance, good freshness and very fine tannins, and the way all of the elements seem to complement each other suggests that this is going to continue evolving slowly in bottle. A great Ribeira Sacra expressing the character through the traditional varieties of yesteryear. 2,021 bottles were filled in July 2017. LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2015
    Spain
    471
  11. Montrose 2017 1500ml
    Montrose 2017 1500ml

    2 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
    Saint-Estèphe 2ème Cru Classé 
    Extremely aromatic with currant, wild-herb and fresh-violet aromas. This is regal cabernet sauvignon at its finest. The palate has unwaveringly long and defined tannins that carry such fresh, piercingly pure, redcurrant and cassis flavors. A twin to the superb 2015? A blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.(97) JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 Montrose is a very pretty, polished wine that speaks much more to finesse than power. Expressive floral and spices notes add an attractive inner sweetness to a Montrose that in 2017 leans more into the red fruit spectrum. Gracious yet deep, with terrific overall balance, the 2017 Montrose is a total winner. What impresses most about the 2017 is its freshness and sophistication. I won't be surprised if Montrose turns out to be even better than this note suggests further down the road. Graphite, licorice, menthol and sage lead to a finish with real grip and freshness. The 2017 is such a classy and promising wine. (95+) ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Montrose was so impressive from barrel and now, bottled since July, it continues to put in a strong case for being one of the best Left Bank wines. It has a very pure and intoxicating bouquet with intense blackberry, light cassis, juniper and violet aromas, almost Margaux-like in terms of personality. Although there is a patina of new oak after bottling, it is in sync with the fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip on the entry. Tightly wound at the moment but supremely well focused, this is a classic Montrose, "cool" and reserved, demonstrating impressive tension and precision towards the finish. It will require less time in bottle than the 2016 for example, so broach this superb Saint-Estèphe after five or six years and then it will give 25 to 30 years of drinking pleasure, and knowing Montrose, probably longer. Tasted twice with consistent notes. (95) NEAL MARTIN

    2017
    Cabernet Merlot
    France
    356
  12. Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo 2016
    Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo 2016
    Aromas of wild berry, rose and baking spice align with a whiff of menthol. Elegantly focused, the vibrant, youthfully austere palate delivers crushed raspberry, Morello cherry and licorice framed in taut, close-grained tannins and fresh acidity before a rather drying, tight finish. Give it a few more years to fully unwind. Drink 2024-2036. (96) KERIN O'KEEFE

    Youthful ruby. Concentrated and lifted and with hints of sweet spice on the nose. Lithe, sweet and ripe cherry fruit palate charged with stalky tannins. Great intensity and transparency of fruit. Bright acidity and firm, slightly drying tannins that demand more ageing, streamline the whole. WALTER SPELLER
    2016
    Nebbiolo
    Italy
    457
  13. Galia Villages Tinto Fino 2015
    Galia Villages Tinto Fino 2015
    Small parcels from the villages of San Esteban, Fuentelcésped, Hontangas, Cuevas de Provanco and Trigueros de Valle. 88%Tinto Fino (20% whole bunch) with 10% Garnacha (100% whole bunch) and some Albillo white. Aged 21 months, partly in Darnajou 225 and 600 litres, plus 2 Taransaud 1200 litre foudre in their third year.

    Powerful but classy with fine fresh acidity and delightful earthen aromas developing with time open to air. Predominantly in a blue fruit register, with a crush of twig and glycerol tempered by fine minerality. Sweet spices and a vegetal tannin thread in the mouth replicates the woodsiness on the nose. Delicate bitters on the tongue elongate the finish, holding the mouth poised to notice the fine cloud of earthen-blue florals beyond. SCOTT WASLEY

    2015
    tempranillo
    Spain
  14. Gazin 2018
    Gazin 2018

    12 Bottles available at time of offer

    With a great terroir so close to Lafluer, and history that sold 12.5 acres to to Petrus in 1969, it is highly respected, especially in France. Great for consumers looking for a plump, tasty, iconic Pomerol. - Tom Portet

    NEAL MARTIN 94

    The 2018 Gazin has a lively, generous bouquet of vivacious wild strawberry, boysenberry and hints of tobacco. The aromatics are well delineated and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, offering seductive black fruit mixed with black pepper, truffle and clove. There is so much finesse toward the finish that it is approachable now, yet it certainly has the substance to suggest long-term aging. Not to be underestimated, this is another wonderful Gazin.

    Andrew Caillard MW 96
    Deep crimson. Attractive plum inky cassis herb garden flavours, supple and well concentrated with fine graphite tannins and vanilla spice oak notes. Finishes chocolaty firm and minerally. Effortless in its class and elegance.

    James Suckling 94-95
    This is very tight and polished with a compact and beautiful palate of blackberries, currants and black olives. Full-bodied yet structurally solid with a very long finish.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  15. Valandraud 2018
    Valandraud 2018

    12 bottles available at time of offer

    Jean-Luc Thunevin was one of the original Garagiste winemakers of the right bank, and his home estate presents the success of Merlot in the vintage, at 90% of the blend (vineyard plantings at 75%). Produced in miniscule quantities, it's one of the most sought-after wines in Saint Emilion (and you don't need to sell your house). - Tom Portet

    James Suckling               97-98
    This is a fantastic young Bordeaux with superb depth of fruit and complex tannin structure. Hints of smoke, spice and toasted oak. Full body and firm, dusty tannins. Very long finish.
     
    Antonio Galloni                     97+
    The 2018 Valandraud is every bit as compelling as it was from barrel, maybe more. Power and vertical, with tons of explosive energy, the 2018 dazzles right out of the gate. Inky dark cherry, plum, chocolate, spice, new leather, licorice and chocolate all race across the palate. The 2018 is a wine of tremendous stature that distinguishes itself in a vintage peppered with stunning wines. I would allow for a few years in bottle to help the tannins soften. I loved it.

    Andrew Caillard, MW 95
    Deep crimson. Intense dark plum cedar spicy aromas with wood varnish notes. Immensely concentrated and oaky with attractive inky complexity and plentiful graphite textures. Elemental but impressive despite the oak right now. Should settle down into completeness.  

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  16. Pape Clement 2018
    Pape Clement 2018

    12 bottles available at time of offer

    The highlight of the Bernard Magrez stable is also the most prestigious, and tellingly it has achieved consistent high scores. It's up 7% on the 2017 release, which is no surprise as it is perhaps the best releases to since 2010.  -Tom Portet
     
    Antonio Galloni      96
    The 2018 Pape Clément is such a beautiful and inviting wine. Silky, perfumed and layered, the 2018 shows the more restrained, vibrant style that has become the norm here in recent years. Red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and spice are front and center, while the oak - in the past so strong here - is really dialed back. The 2018 is going to be a fascinating wine to follow in the cellar over the next several decades. The purity of the flavors is just striking.

    Lisa Perotti Brown 96-98
    Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Pape Clement is a little closed, slowly unfurling to reveal fragrant earth, crushed rocks, iron ore and tobacco notions over a core of crushed red and black currants plus kirsch, red roses and Ceylon tea. Full-bodied and wonderfully vivacious, it offers a solid line of firm and fine-grained tannins and amazing freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced.

    James Suckling 97-98
    This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More cabernet. Refinement with power.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  17. Pape Clement 2018 1500ml
    Pape Clement 2018 1500ml

    The highlight of the Bernard Magrez stable is also the most prestigious, and tellingly it has achieved consistent high scores. It's up 7% on the 2017 release, which is no surprise as it is perhaps the best releases to since 2010.  -Tom Portet
     
    Lisa Perotti Brown 96-98
    Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Pape Clement is a little closed, slowly unfurling to reveal fragrant earth, crushed rocks, iron ore and tobacco notions over a core of crushed red and black currants plus kirsch, red roses and Ceylon tea. Full-bodied and wonderfully vivacious, it offers a solid line of firm and fine-grained tannins and amazing freshness, finishing very long and mineral laced.

    James Suckling 97-98
    This is a very driven Pape Clément with fantastic density and finesse at the same time. Linear and driven, the finish goes on for minutes with incredible tension and focus. More cabernet. Refinement with power.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  18. Palmer 2018
    Palmer 2018

    EP Order minimum 3 bottles

    One of the most talked about estates, due to tiny yields of just 11 hl/ ha, and considering no 2nd wine (Alter ego) was made this year. Despite the difficulties working biodynamically, the ultimate wine is hugely successful and the price is a record. It's a mantel piece wine for the unicorn hunters….so what does that make a Magnum?  -Tom Portet
     
    Andrew Caillard, MW 100
    Deep colour intense dark cherry, black currant fruits with mocha espresso notes. Amazingly powerful and expressive wine with deep set blackcurrant pastille fruits, richly concentrated graphite tannins. Incredible balance and mineral length. Superb density and complexity. The wine of the vintage?

    Antonio Galloni 95-98
    A freakish, super-concentrated Palmer that recalls some of the most legendary vintages made here. The 2018 Palmer is a freak of nature from yields of just 11 hectoliters per hectare harvested over an entire month by CEO Thomas Duroux and his team. Rich, unctuous and flamboyant in its ripeness, the 2018 possesses off the charts intensity from start to finish. Blackberry jam, espresso, crème de cassis, licorice, menthol, lavender and cloves develop in a palate-staining, hedonistic Palmer that oozes with personality. This extravagantly ripe Margaux won't be for everyone, but it is a stunning, head-spinning wine that may, in time, very well join the ranks of the truly epic Palmers. A wine of pure and total pleasure, the 2018 is nearly impossible to resist. The blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. In 2018, Palmer bottled just their Grand Vin and no Alter Ego.

    James Suckling 94-95
    It is the essence of cabernet fruit with density that is so thick that it has the texture of grape puree. Full body and melted tannins that give the wine a sense of velvet. Very soft and juicy. With air, it goes to bright, crushed black currants. Tar. Fresh tannins give it energy. I have never tasted anything like this in all my 38 years as a wine critic in Bordeaux. From tiny berries of cabernet sauvignon (53 per cent), 40 per cent merlot and seven per cent petit verdot.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  19. Clos Fourtet 2018
    Clos Fourtet 2018

    Twelve bottles available at time of offer

    Just two minutes' walk from the place d'eglise of Saint Emilion, Clos Fourtet sits atop the cotes overlooking Canon and Beau-Séjour Bécot. The focus here is on richness and sweet dark black fruits, an inspiring level from owner Philippe Cuvelier and oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt. -Tom Portet


    Antonio Galloni                                98
    The 2018 Clos Fourtet is one of the most elegant, refined wines of the vintage. Silky and aromatically expressive, Clos Fourtet is all grace. Blue/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, menthol and sage all lift from the glass. Even with all of the natural richness of the year, Clos Fourtet sizzles with tension and delineation. Then again, that is the magic of the Saint-Émilion plateau. Clos Fourtet is easy to look past in 2018. It is neither exuberant nor exotically ripe. Instead, everything is in reserve. The 2018 is a magical wine, that's all there is to it. Don't miss it.

    Andrew Caillard, MW                       98
    Deep crimson. Impressively focussed wine with fresh blackberry cassis plum aromas lovely graphite herb nuances and vanilla notes. Dense compact palate with deep sweet blackcurrant pastille fruits, blackberry notes and fine brambly textures, underlying vanilla roasted chestnut oak. Finishes firm and long. A very high calibre wine.

    James Suckling                             96-97
    This is one of the best wines I have had from here. Full-bodied yet focused and super dynamic. Tight and linear with fantastic length and energy at the end. Exciting.

    Antonio Galloni            94-97
    A wine of energy, persistence and total harmony. Sublime. One of the wines of the vintage, the 2018 Clos Fourtet is positively stunning. In the glass, the 2018 sizzles with tension and energy. A whole range of floral, mineral and red berry notes develop, but it is the wine's exceptional sense of harmony that leaves the deepest impression. Consulting winemakers Stéphane Derenoncourt and Jean-Claude Berrouet turned out a glorious Clos Fourtet in 2018. Don't miss it.

    Jeff Leve            96-98
    Decanter                  97
    Lisa Perrotti-Brown            95-97

     

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  20. La Fleur de Gay 2018
    La Fleur de Gay 2018

    12 bottles available at time of offer

    A special parcel of old Merlot that is conveniently stuck between Petrus, Lafleur and Vieux Chateaux Certan. First produced in 1982 and with just 7,000 bottles produced it has unicorn status. -Tom Portet

    James Suckling                             94-95
    The gorgeous balance on the center palate makes this one of the best wines from here in years. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a flavorful yet subtle finish. Fine.

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown            89-91
    Deep purple-black colored, the 2018 La Fleur de Gay delivers bold notions of baked plums, mulberries and blackberry preserves with touches of tar, bay leaves and truffles. Full-bodied and rich, with a plush texture, it has soft acid and a spicy finish.

    Antonio Galloni            86-88
    The 2018 La Fleur de Gay is a fruity, supple Pomerol that will drink well with minimal cellaring. Dark cherry, mocha, cedar, tobacco, licorice and menthol add lovely aromatic nuance as this pretty, silky Pomerol develops in the glass.

     

     

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  21. Troplong Mondot 2018
    Troplong Mondot 2018
    The 2018 Troplong Mondot will take readers who haven't tasted these wines in a few years aback. Stunning in its aromatic presence, the 2018 is silky, medium-in body and super-refined. Once again, I am blown away by the wine's total sense of precision. The Cabernets are only 15% of the blend, and yet the 2018 is so strongly marked by floral and savory accents. Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, rose petal and lavender all build in the glass. The 2018 is regal, refined and absolutely exquisite. 97 ANTONIO GALLONI
    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  22. Leoville Las Cases 2018
    Leoville Las Cases 2018

    Eight bottles available at the time of offer

    An easy argument for the Médoc's fifth 1st growth, year after year it presents as an exceptionally poised wine that evokes total class. I love it. It comes from the oldest vines of the property that average around 50-years old, this year the blend is structured with 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot. -Tom Portet

    James Suckling                           99-100
    OMG. This shows amazing depth of fruit and density. Full-bodied and so layered with incredible fruit and power. Blackberries. Blueberries. Violets. Hints of dried flowers. Fantastic fruit and tannins, yet agile and energetic. The château says 2016 plus, plus.


    Lisa Perrotti-Brown                                             98-100
    The finished blend for the 2018 Léoville Las Cases is yet another triumph for this great estate. Very deep purple-black in color, it is a little closed to begin, slowly emerging from the glass to reveal subtle woodsmoke, violets, tilled soil and underbrush scents over a core of warm cassis, wild blueberries and redcurrant jelly plus hints of rare beef and iron ore. Full-bodied, rich, super concentrated and bursting with latent energy, this is an atomic bomb waiting to go off in your mouth. It has a rock-solid foundation of firm, very ripe, very finely grained tannins and bold freshness supporting the muscular fruit through the epically long, amazingly nuanced finish. Simply breathtaking.

    Antonio Galloni                 95-98
    Sumptuous and spectacularly rich, the 2018 Las Cases is atypical but gorgeous in its singularity. The 2018 Léoville Las Cases is a rich, sumptuous, exotic wine in 2018. Plush fruit and suave, silky tannins give the 2018 a level of textural richness that is unusual for a young Léoville Las Cases. Crème de cassis, lavender, mint and sweet spice all build in this extraordinarily beautiful wine. I can't recall tasting a young Las Cases with this much immediacy and sheer allure. The 2018 Las Cases has a very bright future. It is also one of the unquestioned stars of the vintage. In 2018, the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot.

    Jeff Leve               98-100
    Chris Kissack               98-100
    Decanter                       98

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  23. Haut Bailly 2018
    Haut Bailly 2018

    Four Bottles available at time of offer

    Fortunate to escape the hailstorms of May 26th, Haut Bailly enjoyed a season that could be acted upon through glorious summer and autumn conditions. Still, crops are 50% less than 2017 and Veronique Sanders and her team have crafted a very intense and concentrated wine from their small crop. -Tom Portet

    James Suckling                                   97-98
    Incredible depth of fruit to this with a center palate that shows superb character and texture. I love the hazelnut and coffee-bean undertones to the beautiful fruit, which shows great finesse. Full-bodied yet compact and tight, giving a sense of agility and flight to the wine. Extremely tight and polished tannins.

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown            96-98
    Deep purple-black in color, it opens slowly with profound notions of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis, roasted nuts and black olives, unfurling to reveal notions of menthol, crushed rocks, molten licorice and chargrilled meat plus a hint of lilacs. Full-bodied, rich and densely laden with layer upon layer of vibrant black fruits and mineral nuances, it has a solid backbone of firm, velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with compelling restraint and exciting energy.

    Andrew Caillard, MW                                     97
    Deep colour. Perfect claret style with intense blackcurrant plum graphite aromas with some savoury notes, fine graphite grainy tannins and underlying vanilla oak. Tannins are plentiful but perfectly ripe with some al dente notes and plenty of thrust. Elemental but voluminous needing time to meld. Sine inky mineral notes at the finish.

    Antonio Galloni                 94-97
    Jeff Leve                 96-98
    Decanter                       98

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  24. Ausone 2018
    Ausone 2018

    1 Bottle at the time of the offer

    This really is a creation of true refinement and class, that lends itself to the harmonious, graceful style that is so typical of great St. Emilion. Suckling, Perotti-Brown and Galloni all awarded it perfection, with Jeff Leve noting that there are few wines at this level of quality produced from any vineyard in the world. If you can afford just one of 20,000 bottles produced annually, it will be a trophy for any cellar designed to last 50-100 years. -Tom Portet

    Antonio Galloni  99
    The 2018 Ausone is mind-blowing. The aromatics alone are mesmerizing. I don't know what more to say. Cabernet Franc is so expressive, so vibrant so nuanced. Rose petal, cinnamon, star anise and sage meld into a core of red fleshed fruit. The 2018 doesn't impress with opulence or richness, rather it is a Saint-Émilion that is all about persistence and energy. I won't be at all surprised if it merits a higher score in the future. Readers who can find it should not hesitate. The 2018 is a viscerally thrilling wine of the highest level.
     
    James Suckling 99-100
    This is really exotic with wild-fruit character that I have seldom encountered in Ausone. Full-bodied yet reserved and very tight. Amazing depth and purity of fruit. Incredible beauty. Sexy.

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown 98-100
    Full-bodied, rich, decadent and tightly knit, it offers layer upon layer of fruit, spice and mineral nuances with a firm frame of exquisitely fine tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and heart-stopping beauty.


     

    2018
    Cabernet Blends, Merlot
    France
    356
  25. Belair Monange 2018
    Belair Monange 2018

    10 bottles available at time of offer

    An absolute highlight that is the current rising star thanks to both a fine position and the vast investment from the Mouiex family. Nestled high next to Canon and above Angelus, the predominance of Merlot (90%) underpins are rich plum and chocolate layered structure that has delivers a points per dollar value that's hard to beat. -Tom Portet

    Antonio Galloni                               96
    The 2018 Bélair-Monange races across the palate, showing its exuberant, flamboyant personality. Ripe plum, mocha, blood orange, star anise and cinnamon fill out the layers effortlessly. Sumptuous and generous, with striking balance, Bélair-Monange hits all the right notes. It can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring, but also has the pedigree to age effortlessly for decades.

    James Suckling                                98-99
    This is very linear and structured in a classical way for Bordeaux with a very focused and tight core of beautiful fruit that gives an agile and vivid palate of pretty fruit and bright acidity, not to mention the ultra fine tannins, which deliver a seamless and limitless finish.

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown                  97-99
    2018 Belair Monange comes bounding out of the glass with all the energy and vigor of a pedigree puppy. Full-bodied, rich and decadently layered in the mouth, the densely packed layers are charged with energy, supported by firm, velvety tannins and a racy line of freshness, finishing very long and very spicy.

    Jeff Leve                98-100
    Decanter                        97

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  26. Chapellle d'Ausone 2018
    Chapellle d'Ausone 2018

    A minuscule production and allocation but a delightful second wine from the great Ausone stable of Vauther family. Its volume is just a third of the volume to Ausone itself, and almost always close to a 50:50 blend of Merlot and Cabernets. It has great poise, purity and no excess of weight that will reward to whoever asks for it first. -Tom Portet

    Andrew Caillard, MW                       95
    Deep colour. Intense dark plum mocha praline aromas with violet notes. Generous and deep set with ripe dark cherry, blackcurrant fruits, fine chocolaty tannins. Long fresh sweet fruit finish. Classic proportioned wine with energy and density.

    James Suckling                 94-95
    This is a very tight and structured second wine with blueberry, spice and light hazelnut character. It's full of volume, but shows underlying firmness and brightness. Lovely length.


    Antonio Galloni                 91-94
    The 2018 Chapelle d'Ausone is a drop-dead gorgeous second wine. Wonderfully finessed in every way, the 2018 conveys intensity allied to a sense of weightless elegance.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  27. Le Petit Mouton 2018
    Le Petit Mouton 2018

    12 Bottles available at time of offer

    A real star amongst the second wines this vintage, and always in very tight supply. It contains an unusually higher blend of Merlot this year (40%) with lower yields consistent with the vintage story. A little sheep in volume, but always rewards buyers for its Pauillac credentials of black fruit and graphite, and perfect for drinking in around 5 -10 years. -Tom Portet

    Antonio Galloni     93
    Just as it was from barrel, the 2018 Le Petit-Mouton is fleshy, radiant and very easy to enjoy. Soft contours and silky tannins add to its considerable allure. Because of low yields, the Petit-Mouton was aged entirely in new oak. Rich, sumptuous and bold to the core, the 2018 is a rock star wine.

    James Suckling                 97-98
    This is phenomenal with such dense and layered tannins that go on for minutes. It's full-bodied with blackberries, blueberries and chocolate. Sexy and so beautiful. Not sure what to say here. Maybe it should have gone into the first wine?

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown                 92-94
    Deep garnet-purple, it comes bounding out of the glass with sit-up-and-beg notes of crème de cassis, plum preserves and mulberries plus nuances of chocolate box, Chinese five spice, licorice and candied violets. Full-bodied, rich and oh-so-hedonic, the palate is packed with juicy black fruit layers wrapped in a firm, velvety structure, with loads of fragrant spice layers on the very long finish.

    Andrew Caillard, MW                       93
    Medium deep colour. Lovely blackcurrant herb aromas. Sweet blackcurrant black cherry fruits, fine slinky textures and toasty oak notes. Still elemental with firm tannins. Pretty wine.

     

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  28. Trotte Vieille 2018
    Trotte Vieille 2018

    8 bottles available at time of offer

    98-99 points JAMES SUCKLING

     Wow. This really sends a tingle down my spine. Love the energy and length to this. Very distinguished. Full-bodied yet tight, polished and compressed. It has a great finish. Exciting. Really.

    93-96 points ANTONIO GALLONI
    The 2018 TrotteVieille is a super-intriguing wine. Aromatically deep and layered, the 2018 offers tremendous depth and textural finesse. Mocha, grilled herbs, black cherry, new leather and spice all wrap around the palate in a dense, racy Saint-Émilion. The blend is 54% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.

    91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
    Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Trotte Vieille leaps from the glass with vivacious scents of baked red plums, black raspberries and prunes with underlying scents of dried herbs, fallen leaves, dusty soil and tobacco. Full-bodied with a firm line of chewy tannins, it delivers a lot of stewed fruits on the mid-palate with a slightly warm finish.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  29. Petit Cheval 2018
    Petit Cheval 2018

    Six bottles available at time of offer

    The dynamic team of Pierre Lurton and Pierre-Olivier Clouet ensure Petit Cheval is always a small production of exceptional quality - tiny in 2018 at about 10% of the estate output. The blend is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet and POC (his actual nickname) believes this is the best vintage ever and is one of the great second wines of 2018.  -Tom Portet

    Andrew Caillard, MW                       95
    Deep colour. Attractive fresh mulberry red plum aromas with chocolate notes. Very well concentrated and supple with richly concentrated fruit and persistent fine graphite tannins, underlying savoury toasty notes. Very inky finish with superb fresh roasted nut notes. Teflon silky. Bloody good wine.

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown                 93-95
    The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Le Petit Cheval needs a lot of coaxing to encourage subtle nuances of crushed rocks, fallen leaves, potpourri and fertile loam to emerge before giving way to fragrant notes of warm blueberries, black raspberries, kirsch and unsmoked cigars with a touch of Marmite toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers layers of fresh, crunchy black fruits and loads of earthy sparks, framed by soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long.

    James Suckling                 93-94
    This shows beautiful density of fruit, but the tannins arrive at the end and show impressive length and density. Full body. Wild fruit. Excellent second wine from Cheval.


    Jeff Leve               98-100
    Decanter                       99


     

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  30. Vieux Chateau Certan 2018
    Vieux Chateau Certan 2018

    6 bottles available at time of offer

    The 2018 Vieux Château Certan is delicate, silky and understated, just as it was in barrel. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, mint, lavender, spice and wild flowers all open in the glass. The 30% Cabernet Franc, which is high for present-day standards, adds tons of aromatic lift as well as freshness, while bright, saline-infused notes extend the finish. Fine tannins and mid-weight structure give the 2018 an air of finesse that is impossible to miss. If I had to bet on one 2018 that could very well surprise 10-20 years out, it might very well be VCC. (97+) Antonio Galloni

    Andrew Caillard,

     MW                     100
    Deep crimson. Beautiful dark plum, cassis, inky, violet aromas with vanilla notes. Supple and smooth with inky rich plum dark plum, cassis, herb flavours, fine loose-knit lacy smooth tannins, lovely viscosity and generosity. A plume of tannin at the finish. Superb effortless wine.

    James Suckling               99-100
    This is a significant VCC with masses of fruit and juicy tannins. It's fresh, but impresses you with the rich and powerful fruit. A tower of a wine. Incredible depth and density. Thick and muscular. It is 30 per cent cabernet franc, the rest merlot.

    Lisa Perrotti-Brown               97-100
    Medium to deep garnet-purple-it has a very vibrant color-it drifts effortlessly out of the glass with wonderfully intense, beautifully delineated scents of red roses, black raspberries, kirsch and Darjeeling tea before the powerful, profound black fruits kick in: baked plums, wild blueberries, molten licorice and mulberries with touches of cigar box, cinnamon stick, tapenade and truffles. Full-bodied, rich, densely packed and revealing layer upon layer of red and black fruits with an incredible array of floral and spicy sparks, it has a high level of super ripe, incredibly fine, velvety soft tannins and fantastic freshness (not just from acid but from bright, crunchy fruit). It finishes very long, marvellously layered and with such jaw-dropping brightness from the fruit, the end is almost electric. Incredible.

    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  31. Domaine de Bellene Vosne Romanee Les Quartiers de Nuits 2018 Vieilles Vignes
    Domaine de Bellene Vosne Romanee Les Quartiers de Nuits 2018 Vieilles Vignes

    An overtly floral-suffused nose displays a lovely array of spice elements on the essence of red berry fruit aromas. I very much like the mid-palate mouthfeel of the sappy medium-bodied flavors that terminate in a powerful, rustic and mocha-inflected finish. This is quite a robust Vosne villages that will require at least some patience. BURGHOUND

    Always one of the wines of the range. Exhibits all the kirsch cherry and silken texture of a classic Vosne with the addition of some nice Asian spice coming from the 50% whole cluster. MICHAEL McNAMARA

    2018
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  32. Domaine de Bellene Nuits St Georges Chaignots 1er 2018
    Domaine de Bellene Nuits St Georges Chaignots 1er 2018

    A fresh, pure and layered nose consists of liqueur-like dark berry fruit, plum, violet, earth and touches of spice. There is excellent richness to the slightly more refined medium weight flavors that coat the palate with dry extract where the supporting structure arrives all at once on the grippy and mildly drying finish. I suspect that this will round into form once the sulfur addition is more completely integrated. BURGHOUND

    I haven't always been the biggest fan of Nicolas' version of Chaignots - although I love the vineyard with its the nod to the "silk" of Vosne a nice counterpoint to the rusticity of Nuits. This year this is a beautiful example and the best I've seen from him. MICHAEL McNAMARA

    2018
    Pinot noir
    France
    358
  33. Giovanni Sordo Barolo Gabutti 2016
    Giovanni Sordo Barolo Gabutti 2016

    Ripe red fruit, cherry, tea and liquorice. So deep and resonant, thick in flavour, earthy spicy and rolling with black tea tannin, opulent on the finish. Pow. This is it. (97) GARY WALSH, www.winefront.com.au

    Lovely scents of fresh and dried red berry fruits, brown spice, violets, some kirsch notes. Wonderful start. Rich in flavour, dense and formidable in its roll through the palate. “Endless pleasure” I spurted out, red berries, rose hip tea, alpine herbs, mint and fennel mainly, rolls long and fine, quietly powerful but also lithe and so succulent. Incredible tannin profile. Magnificent feel here. (96) MIKE BENNIE, www.winefront.com.au

    2016
    Nebbiolo
    Italy
    457
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