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Wine Varietals

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1997 Rocche Dei Manzoni Barolo Vigna d'la Roul

The 1997 Barolo Vigna d’La Roul reveals espresso characteristics, intermixed with chocolate, caramel, leather, and black cherry/berry fruit. Full-bodied and smoky, with a supple texture as well as hedonistic, luxuriously fat, fleshy appeal, it can be consumed now and over the next 12-15 years.Robert Parker | 90 RPDeep red-ruby. Extravagant, somewhat sauvage aromas of smoked meat, toffee, nuts and red berries. At once fatter, deeper and more vinous than the Vigna Big, but can’t quite match the ’98 version for precision or freshness. This has more supporting fat for its substantial tannins. Quite persistent on the finish.Vinous Media | 90 VM

As low as $150.00
1997 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 1997 is just short of perfection from this great vintage in Napa Valley. A spectacular wine, it was the first made by Rosemary Cakebread. Production was quite high, as the new plantings started to fully produce, with 4,800+ cases declared. This is wine that fills the olfactory senses with gorgeous ripeness, blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries and cassis, while spring flowers and a touch of oak still lingers in the aromatics. When the wine hits the palate, the extraordinary intensity, purity and multi-dimensional complexity all seem to converge with a cascade of fruit, glycerin and richness. Like most Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignons, it is only 13.8% alcohol. This is a magnificent wine, a young adolescent in the scheme of its potentially fascinating evolution and should have a good 25-30+ years left in it – although it’s strutting its stuff at present. Certainly in the first two decades of Spottswoode wines this is clearly one of the most compelling efforts.Robert Parker | 98 RPDeep, bright ruby. Very ripe but reduced nose shows a chocolatey ripeness to the primary flavors of cassis, blueberry and licorice. Densely packed and powerful, conveying a tactile texture to the sweet flavors of black fruits, tobacco and spice cake. Firm acidity gives clarity and definition to the middle palate of this very concentrated wine. Finishes savory, deeply spicy and firmly tannic, with terrific length and grip. Considerably fresher and better balanced than a bottle I tasted for my Spottswoode vertical last year.Vinous Media | 94 VMElegantly framed, with rich, appealing herb, currant, chocolate and black cherry flavor that’s complex and concentrated, finishing with firm, well-integrated tannins. Best from 2002 through 2010. 4,826 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

As low as $379.00
1997 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port

A deep black inky core with deep ruby rim. The nose dose not have the definition or the ripeness of the -92 yet it is cut from the same cloth. Scents of pure blackberry, blueberry, liquorice, raisin with a touch of dried blood and a sense of being earthier than the previous two declarations. The palate is medium-bodied rather than full-, but has lovely balance and a bewitching sensuality. I love the sense of earthiness to this port and it is adorned with a cohesive, very refined finish. Superb.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP-NM This is rather flashy for Taylor, with plenty of upfront appeal to its floral, spicy aromas and gobs of fruit. It’s very lush and soft on the palate, almost overloaded with blackberries and plums, then firms up and begins to show that Taylor reserve on the dusty finish. Hold.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WESaturated deep ruby. Great minerally aromas of black plum, black cherry, roasted meat and deep spices. Very sweet and very dense, with youthfully backward black fruit, mineral and bitter chocolate flavors. Finishes with wonderfully ripe, sweet tannins and superb persistence and grip. Has the verve most ’97s lack. This may ultimately challenge the great ’94.Vinous Media | 95+ VMJuicy and energetic, with lots of warm raisin, toffee and toasted peanut notes, mixed with mulled fig, singed juniper and baked plum flavors. Has a warm Christmas pudding feel through the finish, with nicely inlaid brambly grip.--1997 Vintage Port retrospective (January 2017). Best from 2020 through 2035. 10,000 cases made. Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Taylor Fladgate) The 1997 Taylor is a good bottle that is either in a rather cranky, adolescent phase, or is not quite in the same league as the fine 2000 vintage. The bouquet offers up a mélange of black cherries, cassis, weedy, Napa Cabernet-like notes, chocolate syrup, tar and tobacco. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and broad, but without the customary density and laser-like focus of the great Taylors, with good length, ripe tannins and good balance on the finish. Certainly a good drink by any standards, the 1997 Taylor only falls short by the very, very high standards of this house. (Drink between 2020-2100)John Gilman | 92 JG

As low as $255.00
1997 tommaso bussola amarone vigneto alto Italy (Other)

The prodigious 1997 Amarone Vigneto Alto TB is reminiscent of Henri Bonneau’s 1990 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins. The lofty 16% alcohol is barely noticeable. Yields were a minuscule 20 hectoliters per hectare. Sadly, there are only 300 cases of this extraordinary Amarone. It boasts notes of smoke, truffle oil, blackberries, plums, and earthy, concentrated black currant jam. Layered, thick, full-bodied, and dry, with extraordinary purity as well as definition, it is an amazing achievement. While not for everybody, this is a singular, impeccably balanced wine. Anticipated maturity: now-2020.Robert Parker | 96 RP

As low as $279.00
1998 Chave Hermitage Cathelin Cuvee

Reticent, minerally nose hints at great sweetness and ripeness; notes of blackberry and tar emerge with aeration. Round, rich and layered in the mouth; still quite closed but the wine extraordinary depth of flavor is already apparent. Slight suggestion of peppery austerity. Great intensity with no excess weight. Finishes with explosive length and noble tannins. This is essentially made up of Bessards for its tannic support, Meal for its sheer amplitude, and Peleat to round out the blend. This is likely to be the best Cathelin since the 1990, and is another legend in the making. It will also drive trophy collectors nuts, as there only about 2,500 bottles of this elixir, and a goodly number of them will never leave the Chaves’ caveVinous Media | 98+ VMThe opaque black/purple-colored 1998 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin (200 cases) offers a huge nose of smoked licorice, blackberry, cassis, new saddle leather, and vanillin. Tasting like liqueur of Syrah, it is extremely full-bodied and awesomely concentrated, with formidable tannin as well as mind-blowing levels of extract and density. The tannin is sweet, and the wine seamless for a young Chave Hermitage.Robert Parker | 98 RPBeautiful red. Balanced, with a deft dose of mocha, spicy oak, red and black fruit and mineral notes. Its supple tannins fold nicely into the long finish, which tastes of grilled game and red berry jam. Drink now through 2015. 200 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

As low as $9,980.00
1998 comte de vogue musigny vieilles vignes Burgundy Red

Bright red-ruby. Brilliant aromas of strawberry, raspberry, cherry and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully intense, sharply delineated flavors of red berries, spices and mint; a wine of great density and verve, not to mention powerful structure for long life. A rare combination of silky texture and lightness of touch. Fabulous back end features utterly suave tannins and resounding, vibrant fruit.Vinous Media | 95 VM(Domaine Comte de Vogüé Musigny - Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru Red) (with thanks to Dr. Reed Day). This is just now beginning to display hints of secondary development though the essential thrust of the nose remains ripe aromas of red and black pinot fruit that is nuanced with hints of violets and anise plus a fascinating array of spices. This remains mildly austere on the palate though much less so than it was in its true youth with plenty of soil and mineral-inflected nuances to the impressively dense and powerful yet classy flavors that deliver simply huge length. As classic Musigny always is, this delivers an incredible combination of power and grace. While this can certainly be approached now with pleasure, for my taste I would still be inclined to cellar this for another 5 to 8 years first. Multiple notes. (Drink starting 2016).Burghound | 94 BHTasted blind, I was able to identify the producer from the tannic structure of the 1998 Musigny Vieilles Vignes. The nose is very attractive: well-defined with boysenberry and raspberry preserves that segue into scorched earth and light seaweed scents. The palate is not quite as endearing, with firm, almost obdurate tannins that lend this Musigny a foursquare personality. It possesses the weight and sinew to age for another decade, yet at the same time it is difficult to see the return for one's patience. If only the palate had the charm of the nose.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 90 RP-NM

As low as $1,015.00
1998 dyquem Dessert White

The 1998 Chateau Yquem was released several months ago. This estate does not allow tasting from cask (where the wine spends 42 months), and it is not released until five years after the vintage. The 1998 Yquem (95 points) is a great success. Made in an elegant style, it is not a blockbuster such as 1990, 1989, and 1988. It is well-delineated, with wonderfully sweet aromas of creme brulee, pineapples, apricots, and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, it is not as sweet as the biggest/richest Yquem vintages, but it is gorgeously pure, precise, and strikingly complex. Already approachable, it should evolve for 30-50 years ... without a doubt.Robert Parker | 95 RPPale gold. Knockout aromas of creme brulee, coconut, vanilla bean, honey and orange peel. Lush and seductively silky in the mouth; its creamy, seamless texture makes it seem deceptively accessible today but sound acid structure should keep it going for 20 years or more. Not hugely sweet or tropical but very complex and fine. Firm, hazelnutty finish offers great length, if not quite the grip of the ’89.Vinous Media | 95 VM

As low as $225.00
1998 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi

Intense aromas of tar and dark fruits. Full and solid, with chewy tannins and mineral, blueberry and blackberry flavors. Structured, yet fruity. Give it time. Tight still. But so layered and impressive.--1998 Piedmont blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2011. 890 cases made, 220 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(these vines are 38 years old) Deep saturated red. Wonderfully scented aromas of currant, smoked meat, dark chocolate and truffle. Lush, seamless and rich, with a near-perfect sugar/acid balance and great early appeal. The gamey note carries through in the mouth. A superb, very suave '98, showing well today. The Costa Russi has been more consistent beginning in '98, Gaja told me. "It's probably due to the drier weather and more sun; the vineyard is adapting itself to our new, more California-like climate."Vinous Media | 94 VMThe dark ruby/purple-colored, supple-texture 1998 Costa Russi possesses sweet, jammy raspberry and cherry fruit, medium to full body, gorgeous glycerin, low acidity, and a lightly tannic finish. Although large-sized, it has good finesse as well as beautifully pure fruit. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2020.Robert Parker | 92 RP

As low as $449.00
1998 imparato montevetrano Italy (Other)

I have been extolling the virtues of this wine, produced in partnership with the owner Silvia Imparato and consulting oenologist Riccardo Cotarella, for nearly a decade. I love its individualistic style. Each year, regardless of vintage conditions, it offers up compelling amounts of blueberry, blackberry, and black raspberry fruit presented in a distinctive, medium to full-bodied, fruit-driven, complex personality. It also exhibits a touch of minerals, marvelous purity and symmetry, as well as the potential for 10-20 years of evolution.The 1998 is an outstanding success, with elegance allied to power and intensity. Montevetrano’s hallmark blackberry and black raspberry component is present as well as beautiful purity/symmetry, and a long, medium to full-bodied, highly-concentrated finish. Sadly, production is a mere 2,000 bottles from a 4-acre vineyard planted in 1991 with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Aglianico. Like most of the wines made under the supervision of Riccardo Cotarella, it is aged in new French oak, and bottled with neither fining nor filtration. The 1998 should drink well for 10-15 years.Robert Parker | 92 RPThe 1998 is another excellent vintage for drinking today. Although this isn’t the most complex Montevetrano I am struck by how primary the wine is. The 1998 is open in its dark fruit with a soft, accessible personality that is similar to the 2000. Sweet, silky tannins round out the long finish. Readers who prefer layers of tertiary complexity will want to cellar the 1998 for a few more years, but from a textural standpoint, it is a highly rewarding wine today.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGDark ruby in color, with aromas of currants, berries and tar. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, berry, vanilla aftertaste. Needs time to come together. Another gorgeous red from Montevetrano, though not as great as the ’97. Best after 2002. 1,100 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

As low as $120.00
1998 krug Champagne

(Krug Vintage Brut (Reims)) It had been three years since I last crossed paths with a bottle of the 1998 Krug Vintage and the wine was just starting to blossom when I had it back in the summer of 2013. Three more years of bottle age have really done justice to this excellent wine and this most recent bottle was absolutely wide open and singing on both the nose and palate. The bouquet is deep, pure and shows a lovely, almost exotic sheen of fresh nutmeg and fresh coconut to augment more classic Krug notes of peach, tangerine, patissière, caraway seed and a glorious base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and inviting on the attack, with a rock solid core, great transparency, refined mousse and exceptional length and grip on the very long and focused finish. Just a beautiful vintage of Krug that is now reaching its apogee and promises to dazzle for the next several decades. (Drink between 2016-2045)John Gilman | 95 JG(LLLLPK 00178): Bright gold. Ripe orchard fruits, peach pit, toffee, marzipan and dried flowers on the pungent, smoky nose. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering palate-staining pit fruit nectar, apple pie and brioche flavors, enhanced by a toffeed quality. Closes spicy and very long, with resonating smoke and toasted hazlenut qualities.Vinous Media | 94 VM

As low as $640.00
1998 Lamborghini Campoleone Rosso

The 1998 Campoleone, is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Sangiovese. Just under 1,000 cases were produced. It is an impressive, exceptional effort. An opaque purple color is accompanied by knock-out aromas of new saddle leather, roasted espresso, chocolate, blackberries, and grilled steak. This rich, multilayered, full-bodied, moderately tannic wine is deep and serious. Cellar it for 2-3 years and consume it over the following 12-15. This is emerging as one of the finest wines of central-south Italy.Robert Parker | 91 RPFruit explosion on the nose, with berries, cherries, blackberries and violets. Black color. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a clean, fruity aftertaste. Needs more fruit on the finish to get more points. Not as great as the ’97, but still outstanding. Best after 2003. 1,650 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $84.95
1998 Le Pupille Saffredi

A wonderfully silky and seductive red. Intense aromas of ripe plums and cherries, with hints of vanilla. Full-bodied, with soft velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. Best after 2003. 1,250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSNew consultant Riccardo Cotarella’s first vintage saw the blend shift more to Merlot (40%), with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Alicante. The colour is notably deeper than the 1995. A dark-fruit nose with a whiff of vanilla-oak is followed by an assertive, fruity palate with touches of chocolate and coffee. Initially it’s velvety, but the tannins begin to take over and it finishes on a dry, slightly grainy note. Drinking Window 2020 - 2021Decanter | 91 DECA blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot, this opens with aromas of red currant, clove and toast. The structured, elegant palate doles out plum, sage and tobacco alongside fine-grained tannins. Drink 2017–2022Wine Enthusiast | 91 WEThe 1998 impresses for its considerable richness. Like so many Italian wines of this period, the 1998 Saffredi shows a determined attempt to extract as much concentration as possible. There is no arguing the wine has aged exceptionally well, but in hindsight many of the subtler nuances Saffredi is capable of are buried under masses of fruit and excessive French oak.Antonio Galloni | 90 AG

As low as $99.95
1998 ornellaia Super Tuscans/IGT

1998 is most likely the best vintage ever for Ornellaia. Petit Verdot was not yet used in the blend. Evolved bramble fruits meld with forest floor, helichrysum and Mediterranean herb aromas. On the palate this wine dazzles with the vibrancy of the best Pomerol-like minerality, with a tight-knit structure of velvety yet lively tannins amongst the fruit, and delicate acidity pushing a slightly pyrazinic finish with long, dark notes of Marmite and cigar-box supported by some citrus notes. Drinking Window 2019 - 2030Decanter | 99 DECThis is just a baby with so much extract and density yet always polished and beautiful. Full body, velvety tannins with a dusty and gritty texture. Complex flavors of fruit, tar and smoked meat. Solid all around. Powerful still. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 98 JSA cool and sleek Tuscan red, with tarragon and fresh sage aromas, blackberry and cherry undertones. Full-bodied, with a wonderfully silky palate of fine tannins and a long, fruity finish. Very sophisticated and reserved. Best after 2004. 13,330 cases made, 3,165 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOne of the highlights of the evening, the 1998 Ornellaia is not the most profound wine on the table, but it is among the most pleasing because it is in such a perfect place for current drinking. The aromatics are super-refined, but everything about the 1998 speaks to total polish. Hints of cedar, tobacco, licorice, mocha and savory herbs give the wine its nuanced personality. From magnum, the 1998 has another decade of fine drinking ahead of it.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGMade in a relatively structured style for the normally succulent Ornellaia, the dense saturated ruby/purple-colored 1998 offers up aromas of pain grille, spice, smoke, black fruits, and graphite. Full-bodied, concentrated, exceptionally pure, and long, it will be at its finest between 2005-2018. Very impressive, but it requires patience.Robert Parker | 93 RP

As low as $429.00
1998 radikon merlot Italy (Other)
As low as $220.00
1998 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose

There’s a firm, juicy pinot noir at the core of this rosé, a bold young wine that’s packed with citrus acidity and intensely concentrated fruit. If you open it now, the wine will need food to bridge its power, whether roast quail with chanterelles or a steak with sautéed wild mushrooms. Or cellar it, relying on the exceptional balance and depth of flavor to sustain the wine as it ages.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 95 W&SExotic notes of toasted coconut and rum spice accent this fresh and elegant rosé, while flavors of macerated cherry and plum, pastry and pomegranate ride the delicate texture. Graceful, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2020.Wine Spectator | 93 WSCopper-pink with a frothy mousse. Smoky strawberry and cherry aromas are complicated by buttered toast, blood orange and dried flowers. Deep and chewy, with vivid red berry and bitter cherry flavors underscored by dusty minerals. Gains power on the broad, focused and gently nutty finish. Already complex, and ready to drink.Vinous Media | 92 VM

As low as $410.00
1999 alain hudelot noellat richebourg grand cru Burgundy Red

The 1999 Richebourg Grand Cru from Hudelot-Noëllat personifies the vineyard with some style. It has a stunning, pure, elegant and effortless nose that maybe expresses that essence of pinoté better than more than a dozen other Richebourg wines present at this tasting. Raspberry coulis, wild strawberry and cold stone soar from the glass with great focus. The palate is tensile, the red berry fruit laced with orange zest that lends vivacity and energy. To be banal, this is just a Richebourg so well crafted that