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The VAULT

The VAULT

The VAULT

A person’s wine collection tells a lot about their passion and personality. While not every wine is for everyone, certain bottles simply command respect in a way that goes beyond personal taste. Every bottle is a reflection of the culture that produced it, the people who devoted hours and days, months and years to the art of winemaking, each grape carefully picked and processed when the time is just right. Some blends are so coveted, it takes you a decade to receive your first bottle, and the wait makes the wine that much sweeter. If a wine is worth adding to your collection, it performs astonishingly at any kind of social gathering and will create memories for years to come.

As a result, the market for top-quality wines grows every year. It is more important than ever to secure your spot on big waiting lists, as many brands produce only a small amount of wine annually. With how much wines can vary from year to year, due to the condition in which grapes grow, you don’t want to miss the best vintages. Part of our mission is helping people like you wrap their lips around the juiciest, most elegant blends we can find. While some people are in it for profit, we think the true joy of wine comes from tasting it, and sharing it with your closest friends, family, and loved ones. The sheer emotion that goes into winemaking rubs off on the person imbibing it, allowing you to peer through windows across time and space and rekindle your love for nature, and your love for humanity. Let’s explore this land of delicious swirling crimson together.
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1995 guigal cote rotie la landonne Cote Rotie

One of the treats when tasting through the profound Côte Rôties made by Marcel Guigal was the opportunity to taste all of the bottled 1995's. Reviewed in previous issues, they are even better from bottle than they were during their upbringing (a characteristic of many Guigal wines). The 1995 Côte Rôtie la Landonne is the stuff of legends and is every bit as compelling as readers might expect. This single vineyard wine will have at least 2 decades of longevity.Robert Parker | 99 RPDeep ruby-red. More sauvage aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, tar, mocha, minerals, mace and roasted game. Superconcentrated and powerful, with a near-solid texture. One of those rare wines that seems almost too big for the mouth. Finishes with huge, toothfurring-but-ripe tannins and great persistence.Vinous Media | 97 VMA full-bodied Syrah in an international-style that's complex and seductive, layered with cinnamon, toasted oak, plum, game, smoke, mineral and black fruit flavors. Turns massively tannic on the finish. Balanced and elegant despite the obvious richness, it's tempting on release, but needs a bit of time to tame the tannins. Drink now through 2015. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

95
RP
As low as $725.00
1998 beaucastel cdp hommage a jacques perrin Chateauneuf du Pape

I've been lucky enough to have the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin numerous times recently and it has never failed to deliver everything I could want from a wine. Getting the best parcel of Grenache from the estate and a dramatically shifted blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah and Counoise, it's a massive and concentrated Chateauneuf that surprisingly still seems to show its Mourvedre component front and center. Blackberries, kirsch, truffle, gamy meats, licorice and earth all give way to a full-bodied, seamless, impeccably balanced wine that carries its huge core of fruit with remarkable freshness and grace. While it will no doubt continue to evolve gracefully, it's brilliant today.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThe 1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin is fruit forward with rich, sweet blackberry and cassis notes paired with melted licorice, spice, roast meat and subtle truffle and earth aromas. The palate is full bodied, perfectly balanced and with some real density and depth. Almost chewable, this is silky smooth and doesn't show a hard edge anywhere. The blockbuster finish picks up ripe and sweet tannins.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDA wine made with a high quantity of Mourvèdre (60%), and produced only in the best years, in memory of François and Jean-Pierre's father. Superripe, with huge fruit, its' jammy, gamy and rich. Dusty tannins and excellent black-fruit flavors. The final effect is a wine that epitomizes the potential elegance and the power of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in one glass. A great wine with a distinguished future—at least 20 years.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEBright saturated ruby. Confectionery aromas of cherry liqueur and roasted meat. A wine of extraordinary density; incredibly thick but, in comparison to the basic '98 Beaucastel bottling, this has more shoulders. More black fruits than red. Finishes with great, lush tannins and explosive berry and cocoa powder flavors. Among the longest wines of my tour of the Rhone Valley. This is "only" 14.2% alcohol.Vinous Media | 97 VMStill a bit of a brute, as the Mourvèdre thoroughly dominates, with tar, pan-roasted liver, graphite and loam notes that hold sway over more typical Châteauneuf notes of currant, licorice, garrigue and mineral. This is very dense on the finish and still somewhat backward, so patience is required for this giant.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Best from 2010 through 2032. 415 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThe only vintage of Hommage with more Grenache than Mourvèdre, as it was such a brilliant year for Grenache. This is explains its colour: much more pale than a classic Hommage at this stage of maturity. Very much ready now, the aromas come out like a cloud rather than a whisp. Has plenty of meat stock, horse chestnut shells, chestnut and plum scents, with a gentle spicing in the background. Very full-bodied, very generous and rounded. The alcohol is a little more evident than a classic Hommage, the fabric a little looser - it doesn't have the Mourvèdre tannic muscle. The finish is less long than a classic vintage, but more succulent. An atypical vintage for this cuvée, so perhaps should be described as a 'great Châteauneuf' rather than a 'great Hommage'. Either way, it's an exquisite wine. Drinking Window 2020 - 2030.Decanter | 96 DEC

100
RP
As low as $749.00
2000 chave hermitage cathelin cuvee Hermitage

Chave’s 2000 Cuvée Cathelin was monumental. It was a privilege to taste, but also a shame to open so early. If the 1991 seemed young, the 2000 came across as a veritable new-born. Antonio Galloni | 97 AGSurprisingly, there will be about 200 cases produced of a 2000 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin. Based on earlier visits, I thought this cuvee would not be produced again as the Chaves were embarrassed by all the attention previous offerings received. However, they will continue to produce it as long as it does not detract from their classic cuvee. The Cuvee Cathelin displays more new oak than the regular bottling as well as firmer tannin, yet also great length, palate presence, and structure. Boasting a chocolatey, blackberry nose, huge intensity, and super elegance and finesse, it will require 5-6 years of cellaring. Qualitatively, it is no better than its sibling, but does possess additional structure and new oak characteristics. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040.This family-run estate continues to go from strength to strength, with the father and son (Gerard and Jean-Louis) team pushing all the right buttons to achieve success at all quality levels. Jean-Louis Chave is responsible for several negociant wines.Robert Parker | 96 RP

96
RP
As low as $6,749.00
2007 beaucastel cdp hommage a jacques perrin Chateauneuf du Pape

I continue to be blown away by the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin and it’s a magical, hedonistic, thrilling wine in every way. A blend of 60% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, and the balance Counoise and Grenache brought up in a large oak foudre, it offers to-die-for notes of roasted Provencal herbs, black truffles, assorted red and black fruits, ground pepper, lavender, and incense. Thick, opulent, full-bodied and incredibly powerful on the palate, it has the sexy, fruit-loaded style of the vintage front and center yet backs it up with masses of tannins and structure. Drink it any time over the coming two decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDNo Hommage a Jacques Perrin was made in 2008, but the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin is an utterly perfect wine. Composed of 60% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, and the rest Counoise and Grenache, this prodigious effort boasts an inky/blue/purple color to the rim in addition to an exceptional bouquet of camphor, roasted meats, blueberries, black cherries, black currants, truffles, beef blood, pepper, and incense. The sumptuous aromatics are followed by a wine of compelling intensity, full-bodied power, perfect balance, laser-like focus, and a finish that lasts more than a minute. The 2007’s texture reminds me of the 1998 Jacques Perrin, and the freshness of the fruit and explosive aromatics are to die for. There are only 500 cases of this legend in the making, but for those lucky enough to find any, it will last for 40-60 years.One of the great estates of the Rhone Valley, Chateau Beaucastel has been run by several generations of the Perrin family, beginning with the late Jacques Perrin (who died in 1978), then the brothers Jean-Pierre and Francois, and now their sons Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu. Beaucastel has nearly 200 acres in vine in Chateauneuf du Pape, and they have branched out with an impressive operation under the Perrin et Fils label, purchasing grapes and acquiring land (in Vinsobres and Gigondas, for example). Their goal is to become the most recognized name for high quality wines in the southern Rhone. As shrewd consumers know, one of the best values in under $10 a bottle wine is La Vieille Ferme. The Perrin et Fils cuvees include wines made from purchased grapes as well as their new acquisitions in Vinsobres, Gigondas (25 acres), and the Cotes du Rhone village of Cairanne (35 acres). The Perrins enjoyed tremendous success with their 2008 red wines, largely because yields ranged between 18 hectoliters per hectare for Beaucastel, to only 20 hectoliters per hectare for Coudoulet. The mildew that affected everyone was the culprit. The entire family acknowledged there was an extraordinary triage and culling out of the grapes at the sorting tables.Robert Parker | 100 RPStill opaquely coloured. Interesting nose; meat stock, smoked duck, struck flint, cigar tobacco - a very smoky, savoury style. It’s opulent, with a soft, yielding texture, this is ready for business now. It’s very rich, exceedingly opulent, the alcohol is very high. Great depth and length, with star anise on the finish - almost has a mulled character. Incredible length; a narcotic vintage of Hommage that is atypical and unforgettable. A wine to share among friends, a glass would be enough. Perhaps two... Drinking Window 2019 - 2050.Decanter | 99 DECThis has all the heady, dense crushed fig, linzer torte, currant confiture and melted licorice flavors of the vintage, but carries them effortlessly, thanks to perfectly embedded tannins and gorgeous, creamy layers of tar, roasted mesquite, braised chestnut, maduro tobacco and iron. Offering amazing mouthfeel, a stunning array of flavors and awesome density, purity and length, this shows the glory of Mourvèdre in 2007. Best from 2012 through 2035. 580 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WS(based on 70% mourvedre) Opaque ruby color. Remarkably complex bouquet of dark berry compote, potpourri, sandalwood, smoked meat and licorice, complemented by a smoky mineral overtone. Broad, palate-coating dark fruit flavors pick up notes of candied flowers and licorice with air and show a pungent Indian spice character. Becomes more floral with air and leaves sweet cherry and floral pastille notes behind. I’d buy all of this that I could afford.Vinous Media | 97 VM

100
RP
As low as $1,169.00
2007 rayas cdp Chateauneuf du Pape

This was a brilliant showing by the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve from Rayas, the finest bottle I’ve had to date. Offering a classic ruby color as well as gorgeous notes of kirsch liqueur, sappy green herbs, flowers, and rose petals, this beauty hits the palate with a full-bodied, rich, yet also fresh and vibrant texture that carries nicely integrated acidity and fine tannin. It’s certainly one of the gems in this great vintage and is going to have a long life. I’d be thrilled to drink bottles any time over the coming 15+ years.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDI think the Rayas 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape will turn out to eclipse the 2005. It is unequivocally the finest wine made here since Emmanuel Reynaud’s uncle, the late Jacques Reynaud, produced his brilliant 1995. This wine was just released this year, with the 2008 coming on the market in the next few months. The 2007 is a relatively dark ruby/purple-tinged wine, more intensely colored than most Rayas Chateauneufs tend to be, since they are made from 100% Grenache and color has never been one of their hallmarks. The extraordinarily youthful and still burgeoning aromatics of black raspberries, black cherries, truffles and licorice lead to a full-bodied, powerful Rayas with sweet tannin, adequate acidity, and an ethereal richness and unctuosity that delicately offers a sensual texture. It is full-bodied, concentrated and approachable, but won’t hit its peak for at least another 4-5 years and will last for 25 or more. This is a spectacular Rayas, the likes of which hasn’t existed at this qualitative level since 1995.Robert Parker | 98 RPBright ruby. Red berry, cherry and Asian spice aromas are lifted by sexy notes of rose petal and blood orange. Impressively pure and perfumed, with remarkable precision and cut to its concentrated but lively flavors of cherry and black raspberry. The weightless, mineral-driven character of this wine is something else. In a distinctly delicate, feminine style, with superb finishing cut and energy. This will probably cost a fortune when it lands in the U.S. , unfortunately.Vinous Media | 97 VMA very elegant, perfumy style, with shiso leaf and mulled spice notes up front, followed by silky black cherry, linzer torte and kirsch flavors that glide through the incense-tinged finish. There’s good latent depth and fresh acidity without the headiness typical of the vintage. Best from 2012 through 2022. 250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
RP
As low as $2,475.00
2010 domaine grand veneur cdp vieilles vignes Chateauneuf du Pape

A monumental effort meriting a perfect score, the super-rich 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 4,000-bottle blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah from 55- to 105-year-old vines and was aged for 18 months in small oak. The wine offers majestic blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with kirsch, licorice and subtle Provencal herbs in the background. It is akin to chewing meat in the mouth given its viscosity and thickness. This utterly amazing wine comes close to being over the top, but it pulls back just in time. A massive Chateauneuf du Pape (even for a 2010), it needs 5-6 years of cellaring and should age effortlessly for 25-30 years. Bravo!With impressive holdings in the northern sector of Chateauneuf du Pape as well as an ever expanding, high quality negociant business, brothers Christophe and Sebastian Jaume have taken this estate, established in 1826, to new heights. The estate wines, which are sold under the Domaine Grand Veneur label, are classic, quasi-modern-styled Chateauneuf du Papes that represent brilliant examples of their impeccable viticulture and winemaking. Interestingly, all three cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape were produced in 2011. That decision appears to be justified by the quality of what I tasted as well as their potential for extended maturity beyond a decade. As for the 2010s, the Alain Jaume offerings and the Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone cuvees were all reviewed in my report on the wines of Kysela Pere et Fils in Issue #201. The 2010 Domaine Grand Veneur estate wines, especially the Chateauneuf du Papes, are brilliant.Robert Parker | 100 RPI absolutely loved this wine on release (I rated it 98+) and it certainly didn’t disappoint on this occasion. Made from a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah that spent 18 months in mostly new barrels, this tour de force gives up killer notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, wood smoke, cured meats and wild herbs. Deep, rich and concentrated, yet opulent and expansive, it’s just now starting to round the corner and is at the early stages of maturity. It will keep for another 15+ years.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDOpaque purple. Deeply pitched aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry-cola, lavender and vanilla, with a spicy topnote. Fleshy, palate-staining blueberry and cassis flavors are lifted by juicy acidity and pick up a smoky quality with air. Supple and expansive on the endless finish, which strongly echoes the dark fruit and vanilla notes.Vinous Media | 95 VMRipe and packed, but well-focused, with a broad beam of linzer torte and boysenberry fruit backed by graphite, violet and pastis notes. Picks up plenty of muscle and toasted spice on the finish, showing lots of latent depth in reserve. Very solid. Best from 2014 through 2024. 250 cases made, 40 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

100
RP
As low as $569.00
2010 henri bonneau chateauneuf du pape celestins Chateauneuf du Pape

Schedule to be bottled next week (I suspect it will be in bottle by the time you read this), the 2010 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins is a sensational effort. Deeper, richer and more concentrated than the Marie Beurrier, it reveals an unusually inky ruby/purple color to go with overflowing notes of kirsch liqueur, roasted meats, crushed flowers, garrigue and just about every other Provençal spice you could name. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, layered and a blockbuster-styled effort, it should surpass the 2007 and possibly rival the 1990. This is a tour de force in Châteauneuf du Pape!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97-99 RPThis is a big wine, driving with strong acidity and tannins that provide a firm, dry base. This is taking on some earthy, spicy character with alcohol that is a touch high. Still needs time. Leave until at least 2022.Decanter | 96 DECSchedule to be bottled next week (I suspect it will be in bottle by the time you read this), the 2010 Châteauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins is a sensational effort. Deeper, richer and more concentrated than the Marie Beurrier, it reveals an unusually inky ruby/purple color to go with overflowing notes of kirsch liqueur, roasted meats, crushed flowers, garrigue and just about every other Provençal spice you could name. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, layered and a blockbuster-styled effort, it should surpass the 2007 and possibly rival the 1990. This is a tour de force in Châteauneuf du Pape!Vinous Media | 95 VM

97-99
RP
As low as $699.00
2010 rayas cdp Rhone Red

Showing more finesse and elegance than the Pignan, yet still with plenty of density and concentration, the 2010 Châteauneuf Du Pape Reserve is a sensational effort from this estate that has a kaleidoscope-like array of framboise, darker cherries, sappy flowers, garrigue, and spice. Opening up beautifully with time in the glass as well, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, silky tannins, and a great finish. Reminding me slightly of the 1990, it is heavenly today and will be heavenly in another 15+ years as well.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDVivid ruby. An explosively perfumed bouquet displays red and dark berry preserves, potpourri, licorice and smoky minerals. Broad and fleshy, offering deeply concentrated black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a strong note of floral pastilles. Chewy tannins give grip to a powerful, alluringly sweet, endless finish. Shows as much density as I can recall from a young Rayas and is clearly built for the long haul.Vinous Media | 96+ VMThe three component parts of the 2010 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape show it to be a deeply colored vintage with terrific fruit intensity of licorice, raspberries and sweet, jammy cherries. Medium to full-bodied and ripe with 15+% natural alcohol and sweet, soft tannins, this ethereal 2010 is reminiscent of the 2005 although the tannins in the 2010 are more silky.(Not yet released)One of the world’s most mysterious estates is Chateau Rayas. This small 30-acre estate is owned by the Reynaud family, which dates back to the late 19th century,. The estate has always had an image of secrecy and seclusion. Following the death of Jacques Reynaud in 1997, his nephew, Emmanuel took over, and he continues to produce wines that go from strength to strength. A cool climate property in a hot zone, Rayas is tucked away in a forest with its vineyards basically one parcel of sandy soil. Emmanuel Reynaud, who is also the proprietor of the outstanding Vacqueyras estate called Domaine des Tours, has the same eccentric idiosyncracies as his uncle. It is not as difficult to get an appointment to visit Rayas as many people think, and I highly recommend it as it is always a fascinating place to visit. After 25 years, I never cease to be amazed by what emerges from these decrepit, old, haphazard cellars that look like a biohazard room in a video game. They don’t win the top prize for the dirtiest cellars in Chateauneuf du Pape (that goes to Henri Bonneau), but Rayas is a close second. Modern-day oenology graduates would be horrified by -working conditions,- but the magic elixirs to emerge from these ancient barrels, demi-muids and foudres are wondrous. On this trip, I tasted through the component parts of the 2010s, another top vintage for Rayas. Production was tiny, and the harvest was extremely late. In fact, Emmanuel Reynaud told me that 2011 would be at least ten days in advance of 2010. The 2009s, which have all been bottled, have turned out to be spectacular, and I tend to think the 2009 Rayas could turn out to be the greatest wine made by Emmanuel, even eclipsing the 2007.Robert Parker | 94-97 RP

98
JD
As low as $1,899.00

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