It's the 2nd Sunday of the month - ESAVE Sundae - a great opportunity for you to buy last month's email features at the same discounted "ESAVE" pricing. Missed some emails? Or maybe, you ordered, tasted your selections and were really impressed, only to find the ESAVE pricing expired? Now you get this Sundae opportunity to buy at ESAVE pricing. Read full feature when you touch the B-21 Top Recommendation. Click on your Sundae above to reactivate last month's offers, always available in-store too. Even sweeter: these prices will be good tomorrow too, while supplies last.

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2018 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Reserve (750ml)
Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Ironically the great terrains of the vine are adverse to grape production. That swaths of Chateauneuf du Pape are planted in a bed of old river (Rhone River) stone flouts the mind. Much of Spain's Priorat vines are planted on vertiginously steep, ancient terraced slopes of decomposed slate. A winery guide on the touristic island of Santorini would point out vines planted in granite rock with its vine trellised in cirlces around the grape cluster to protect the fruit from the wind. Maybe the most remarkable, extreme vines exist on Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Indeed extreme is the standard here. The world's most challenging Ironman race takes place on Lanzarote each May. Volcanic activity have challenged the vignerons here, meters of volcanic ash sitting atop the island force them to burrow down to the "top soil" where the vine is planted. The landscape looks black-lunar, worthy of your Google Earth.

In Argentina at elevations of five thousand feet is the deserted region of Tupungato. Here in the foothills of the Andes defines the elevation limits of vines as Mt. Tupungato volcano soars in the vista to 22,000 feet. At the north end of the Uco Valley lies Tupungato. Within the region of Tupungato is coveted Gualtallary where some argue the best wines of Argentina call home. Clearly the altitude and exposition play a key role here as does the diurnal temperature swings of twenty degrees or more in a cool climate. What makes Gualtallary truly unique is the soils. Poor soils – adverse to grape production. Limestone stressed vine in vigor and yields, in effect a more concentrated wine. Alluvial soils of sand and stone force the vine to seek more nutrients. Wines of Gualtallary and Altamira have great concentration, but also freshness coming from limestone acidity and elevation.


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The limestone starts in the Reserva/Reserve range, of which I tasted the 2018 Malbec Reserve, which is produced from vineyards on limestone soils in Altamira and Gualtallary. This is incredibly elegant, floral and expressive, with superb minerality on the palate. It has fine-grained tannins and is silky, tasty, long and expressive. Superb! This wine is all about texture, and it's the best reserve I ever remember.

94+ points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 245 - Oct 2019)

In its current era, ALH is focused on producing styles that reflect the terroir in new ways. A blend of grapes from Gualtallary and Paraje Altamira, the Reserve was aged in foudres for 18 months. Bright, purplish red. The fruit on the nose is hidden behind aromas of violet and herbs plus a hint of cherry. The vertical palate revolves around freshness and chalky tannins. This is a reductive, skinny red, all bone and tension. For drinkers who follow the latest trends.

92 points, Joaquín Hidalgo, Vinous (Oct 2020)

$25.99

60+ bottles in stock and ready to ship.
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2017 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay (750ml)
Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
B-21 Top Recommendation
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It all happened by luck, to hear the story of Leeuwin Estates as told by owners Denis and Tricia Horgan. Denis, who loved to surf, and was an accomplished accountant who specialized in mergers and acquisitions received a call from a friend one night. Turns out the owner of what was then Western Australia's largest high rise plumbing company was quite ill and looking to sell his business, one which also included a beautiful cattle ranch in Margaret River. Denis and Tricia visited the Margaret River ranch and bought the entire operation – that was 1969.

A few years later, another call – this time someone was looking to BUY Denis and Tricia Horgan's place in Margaret River. That someone was Robert Mondavi. Long story short, the Horgans and Mondavi became partners – Tricia would never sell, to hear the story. Mondavi masterfully mentored the Horgans, from varietal selection to vineyard placement. All I want, he would say, is for this place to turn out world-class wines. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Leeuwin Estate – named for that immortal Cape – produces one of (if not the) most important Chardonnays in Western Australia.

James Halliday (Australia's most well-respected wine critic) tells us, "Leeuwin Estate is a class act, every facet of its business working with the precision of a Swiss watch. It stands at the very forefront of estate-based, family owned wineries..."


99AWC 96WS 96JS

This achieves another step up the quality ladder for Leeuwin Estate, seemingly impossible. There's been no change in the vinification, nor in the vineyard. The change is an increase in the intensity of the flavours, and hence their length and aftertaste. It's an extraordinary wine, among the greatest of Burgundy (and elsewhere in the world). Whatever you expect from its future development will be delivered.

99 points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion (Aug 2020)

Opens rich and lush, with grilled pineapple, ripe pear and fleshy apricot flavors. Details of mineral, lime skin and Meyer lemon add a fresh thread of acidity and a sense of precision, finishing with a note of sesame seed. Drink now through 2030. 800 cases imported.

96 points, MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator (Aug 2020)

Such complexity and resolve make for a very attractive nose with peaches, grapefruit, cedary oak spice, gunflint and wet stones. The palate has a plush, smoothly resolved texture with a rich, creamy texture and all-encompassing, ripe stone-fruit flavors, ahead of a very long, smooth finish. Grilled-hazelnut and apricot-kernel flavors to close. Great to drink now, but certainly a decade of cellaring in the tank, too. Screw cap.

96 points, James Suckling (Apr 2020)

$69.99

60+ bottles in stock and ready to ship.
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2019 Laberinto Sauvignon Blanc (750ml)
Sauvignon Blanc from Maule Valley, Chile
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Chile continues surprise and impress with world class red wines such as 100 pointers – Clos Apalta (2014, 2015, 2017), Almaviva (2015, 2017), Viña Seña (2015, 2018), and Vinedo Chadwick (2014, 2017). For white Chilean wines, one wine stands out as both exceptional and unlike the red counterparts is value inclusive. In 1993 Rafael Tirado began planting Sauvignon Blanc in volcanic ash sitting atop granite at 1800 feet in a remote area of the Maule Valley on the front range of the Andes. Now legally designated as Colbun, an appellation where Laberinto remains the only winery. This iconoclast planted much of these slopes in unorthodox fashion that flouts modern vinticulture and in one section the rows form a labyrinth, thus the name Laberinto. Saline minerality with citrus zest, this a uniquely Chilean Sauvignon Blanc akin to the wines of the Loire Valley in France.


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2019 was a milder year than 2018, and the 2019 Cenizas de Laberinto Sauvignon Blanc is marginally more civilized than the 2018 I tasted next to it. It was kept with the lees in the fermentation vessel for some eight months. Even so, in this part of much cooler Maule, the differences between vintages tend to be more subtle, and 2019 is not a warm vintage, just less cold. Perhaps the wine is a little rounder, more citrusy than herbal and surprisingly has lower alcohol than the 2018 I tasted next to it. It has terrific balance on the palate, with acidity that still makes you salivate and is effervescent but perhaps not as sharp as colder years. It's a balanced vintage,, and the wine feels very complete and precise. 18,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2019. He has moved from screwcap to natural cork in 2019, as he thinks it will result in higher complexity as the wine ages in bottle. Bravo!

94+ points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 247 - Feb 2020)

This Sauvignon Blanc from Colbún in the Maule Andes has a bold, compact, grassy flavor ranging from peas to cabbage with lime and pink grapefruit. Neutral on the palate with solid freshness, the well-judged lees-work lends it fat in the mouth and tamps down the tension. Lingers energetically on the gums.

92 points, Joaquín Hidalgo, Vinous (Mar 2020)

$17.98

60+ bottles in stock and ready to ship.
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2017 Bodegas Avancia Godello (750ml)
Godello from Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain
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B-21 Top Recommendation
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Many native grapes have teetered on the edge of extinction only to be rescued at the eleventh hour. My old buddy Jorge Ordonez, who single handedly introduced America to the regional wines of Spain in the 1990s, took a stand to preserve the Godello grape's heritage (alone with other varietals and regions) and began to promote it. Godello is a white wine grape from Spain's northwestern region of Galicia and most notably in Valdeorras. During the latter part of the 20th century while many were ripping up these old vineyards and planting more commercially viable grapes, Jorge was snapping up choice, old vine parcels of Godello. Then Jorge found the Avancia vineyard - one of the oldest, most traditional vineyards planted in Valdeorras. Avancia Godello expresses the authenticity and history of Valdeorras, the oldest Godello clones in the world. A completely unique white wine that ages beautifully. Avancia was recognized by Robert Parker as Spain's best Godello, produced from a single vineyard that was planted in 1904. Some compare to Grand Cru Chablis because of the richness, acidity and mineral length. Valdeorras, high above the Sil River, was named for the extensive gold mining that the Romans conducted here – Val-de-Oras roughly translates to Valley-of-Gold in Latin.


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The old vine cuvée is the 2017 Godello, which is 100% Godello brought up all in barrels, 15% being new. It has a touch of green in its light gold color and gives up loads of crushed citrus, tart pineapple, and salty minerality. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, multi-dimensional, and incredibly layered on the palate, it has bright acidity and an awesome finish. This brilliant wine can be drunk today or cellared for upwards of a decade.

96 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Sep 2019)

$29.99

60+ bottles in stock and ready to ship.
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