New Arrivals


2018 Mauro $45.99 (Wine Advocate 94 points)

I tasted two vintages of some of the wines, which makes for a very interesting comparison of the character of each year. The 2018 Mauro, from a cool and rainy year, is fresher than the 2019 I tasted next to it. It’s a blend of 90% Tinto Fino or Tempranillo and 5% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from certified organic vineyards, and it fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in French and American oak barrels and foudres for some 15 months. It’s serious and a bit closed, going in a way to the style of the Mauro from yesteryear, perhaps a little more floral and aromatic. It feels younger and less developed than the 2019. It’s powerful and has finesse and balance, with depth and complexity. 300,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2020.

2018 G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe $39.99 (Wine Advocate 93+ points)

This wine consistently delivers one of the greatest values to be found in Italian wine. The G.D. Vajra 2018 Barolo Albe has all its cards in play as an immediately enjoyable and extremely food-friendly Nebbiolo. This really is the top of the category in that sense. With straightforward winemaking (fermentation is in steel and aging in large Slavonian oak casks), the wine offers bold cherry, wild plum and plenty of fragrant blue flower and violet. This vintage has the added benefit of softly textured richness.

2018 Chateau Leoville Poyferre $129.99 (Wine Advocate 97 points)

A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, aged in 80% new oak barriques, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Morello cherries, plum preserves and blackberry pie, giving way to nuances of cedar chest, unsmoked cigars, vanilla pod and sassafras, plus a waft of crushed rocks. The palate is full-bodied, rich and decadent, delivering hedonic black fruits and lots of spicy accents with a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and satisfyingly savory. This is a very impressive showing that is delicious out of the gate but has the backbone to give a good 30 years or more of pleasure.

2015 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva $35.99 (Wine Advocate 94 points)

I tasted two vintages of their sleek and polished blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, the oldest of which is the 2015 Viña Ardanza Reserva. It’s a blend of 78% Tempranillo and 22% Garnacha (because they found that they needed a little more volume in the wine) from a powerful, warm and ripe year, very interesting to compare with the 2016. They consider 2015 a very good vintage; they compare it with 2001, a year when they produced all the wines. There are three wines from 2015, and there is something in common in all thee wines. The grapes were picked in mid-October and put through optical sorting to ferment followed by malolactic until the end of the year. The wine matured in used American oak barrels—the Tempranillo for 36 months with six manual rackings and the Garnacha for 30 months with five rackings. I find it to be more tertiary, with hints of leather and cured meat and a little wild, very spicy. It has a powerful palate with plenty of tannin, and it even feels that it needs some more polishing of perhaps powerful food… The final blend was bottled in September 2019. No 2013 or 2014 were produced. 300,000 bottles produced.