deVine Thoughts

May 15, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for May 17

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:07 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

This week’s online offer is the 2017 Phelps Innisfree Cabernet Sauvignon – $45.99 (regularly $56.99)

Joseph Phelps has long been one of Napa Valley’s flag bearers for outstanding Cabernets – his flagship red Insignia is one of the cult wines of the region and a multiple time 100 pointer. Innisfree is made from blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon that just miss the cut for the Phelps Insignia. Often that happens in years when the crop is generous and yield is abundant. It is a fine wine for a second label, with less oak, a beguiling approachability, easy drinkability and most importantly, much less money than the star bottlings.

The wine itself is obviously Napa – fragrant, offering up bright, intense Bing cherries, cassis, black raspberries, red currants while the palate offers much the same with some added chocolate notes in a well-rounded, balanced mouthfeel. Soft velvety tannins in the long, sustained finish. Meant for near-term drinking.

2017 Joseph Phelps Innisfree Cabernet Sauvignon (California – Napa Valley, United States) – $45.99 (regularly $56.99)

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May 14, 2021

Quevedo Port Advent Calendars Pre-Sell

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 1:44 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

This is a special pre-sell for two Quevedo Advent Port Calendars. The ETA is for November of this year, in time for the Christmas holiday season. The deadline to pre-buy the two calendars is midnight Sunday, May 23rd.

The regular Quevedo Port Advent Calendar – $129.99 has been a favourite at deVines for 3 years now. This has a small footprint that fits very easily underneath a Xmas tree. There is 24 x 50mL bottles (2×12 different ports).

New for this year is the exciting Quevedo Luxury Port Advent Calendar in a Mahogany Box – $621.99 which contains 24 x 90mL bottles including some rare and old Colheita’s and a couple of bottles of a fascinating new style of Port called Garrafeira -essentially a Colheita that has been specially aged in huge glass container for a minimum of 7 years – the 1994 and 2000 Garrafeira are only sold in this package and not available for retail separately. Inside every drawer you will find a different 90ml bottle for each of the 24 days. Every bottle has its own online introduction by Oscar Quevedo, the 5th Generation current owner and operator of the estate. The QR code is on each bottle so you can scan it with your mobile phone. This will access the introduction UTUBE VIDEO.. Only 300 boxes available to the world. Another interesting note with this package is that next year, there will be a refill only pack for sale, so you can use the Mahogany box year in year out going forward. What a special Xmas present this is for the port lover!

For a list of all the ports included in these packages, please click the links below.

2021 Porto Quevedo Luxury Port Calendar in Mahogany Wood Box (Douro, Portugal) – $621.99

2021 Porto Quevedo Port Advent Calendar (Douro, Portugal) – $129.99

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May 11, 2021

2020 Bordeaux Futures Campaign

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 9:59 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

For only the 2nd time ever, Bordeaux has had a trio of great years – 2018, 2019 and now 2020. The last and only other time this occurred was 1988, 89 and 1990. Thus, we are announcing there will be a Futures Campaign for the 2020, the so-called “Covid Vintage”.

How does Futures work you ask – well at its most basic level, you’re purchasing unfinished wine – you pay for it in full now, and in two years time, they arrive and you have some great Bordeaux to cellar for some time before enjoying the fruits of your patience. The wines when bottled will be 10-15% higher so you get a price break. Nowadays, you buy futures so you can get your hands on a bottle or two of something great and rare. Bordeaux being one of the great wines in the world – at the top end, demand far out strips availability and Futures may be the only way of ensuring you get your hands on some illustrious houses.

Unlike last year, the wineries have sent out whole bottles to the critics ahead of time, even though some critics were able to attend tastings in Bordeaux in late April. Thus, there are way more critic reviews and scores this time around than the same time last year. So far, it appears 2020 will be a Right Bank vintage, so the Merlot dominant appellations of St. Emilion and Pomerol will be highly sought after while Margaux and Pessac Leognan hits some high spots from the Cabernet dominant Left bank. Of course, the great Growths with their deep pockets will always make a great wine irrespective of weather conditions, but overall, 2020 was an exceptionally warm, hot and dry vintage especially for June, July, August until mid-September and those old properties with old vines were best able to withstand the hydric stress.

The pricing appears to be an increase of a few percent, thus a little more expensive than the giveaway pricing from last year, but still quite a bit cheaper than 2018. Giving the April frost issues that decimated crops throughout France, you know 2021 will be a more challenging vintage and prices on what’s in the system will be going up to recoup some of the potential losts. Alas, this kind of pricing provides a rare opportunity to buy some higher Classified Growths that has previously been out of reach, so don’t hesitate, just dive in.
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For those seeking the absolute top-tier, please drop us an email so we can help. It gets harder and harder every year to get the highest scoring most prestigious wines, some wines we get one 3pack. Of course, there isn’t enough to go around as every retailer wants some of the superstars leading to some frenzy buying and quick sellouts and staying up all night waiting for new releases/offers.

As usual, items offered will be sold on a first-come first served basis and in some cases maximums applied. In many cases we won’t be able to go back for more of something once it sells out and if we do, price will be second tranche (release) pricing.

If you’ve subscribed to Futures before, you will be automatically enrolled for this year’s campaign. For those new to the game, please subscribe to the 2020 Bordeaux Futures Offerings using this link –
https://secure.campaigner.com/CSB/Public/Form.aspx?fid=1842652&ac=cdw8

It is a two step confirmation, you will have to click the link sent to your email address. This ensures you get the offers as soon as we release them. Any unsold product will go on the main website two days after the offerings. As usual, we’ll be updating each product with running counts of what’s left for sale as best we can. Subscribers can expect two offerings per week over 3 or 4 weeks beginning next week, the campaign will end early to mid June.

We’ll be looking for some less expensive reds from the Right Bank Satellites. I’m seeing some great wines from Cru Bourgeois to Satellites that will retail around $50 – these are great earlier drinkers, a smattering of 1855 5th Growths around $80 (which we rarely see) and even some top bottlings around $100, so there is wines to consider at all price levels. Sauternes will be limited and expensive for 2020 as the weather did not cooperate for botrytis until the bitter end and yields were down substantially.

Bottom line, if you’ve been hesitant to get into the Bordeaux Futures game, jump in now, there may be never be another great opportunity as this, we won’t likely see this kind of pricing for the 2021’s.

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May 10, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for May 10

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:09 am

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Author: Dirk Chan

Our online feature this week is the 2017 Miguel Torres Celeste (Ribera del Duero, Spain) – $21.49 (regularly $25.99).

Founded in 1870 by Jaime Torres, Bodegas Torres (Miguel Torres SA) is a historical wine growing company located in Pacs, some 4 km (2.5 miles) from Vilafranca del Penedès, where the company has its head office. Torres is the family winery with the most extensive vineyards in the Denomination of Origin (DO) of Penedès and the largest winery in Spain. They also run the Miguel Torres Chile winery in the Chilean Central Valley, and in the United States (California) where in 1986 Marimar Torres founded Marimar Estate. Torres is also Spain’s largest producer of DO wines under its own label, exporting to more than 140 countries.

The Celeste is born 895 meters above sea level, where the vines and the sky form a magical connection, resulting in a wine filled with the freshness, emotion, and intensity of a starry night. Hence, the name and astrological label. Located in the Ribera del Duero D.O. wine region in north central Spain, the area stretches about 115km along “the banks of the river Duero” touching the provinces of Soria, Burgos, Segovia and Valladolid.

Celeste is an opulent yet structured wine brimming with fruit, body and colour: as unique as the night sky in the Ribera del Duero. Decant for a half hour and paired with some grilled meats.

2017 Miguel Torres Celeste (Ribera del Duero, Spain) – $21.49 (regularly 25.99)

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May 3, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for May 3

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:00 am

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Author: Dirk Chan

This week’s online special is the 2017 Signorello Edge Cabernet Sauvignon – $32.99 (regularly $41.99). This is a sweet deal for Napa CabSau. Hailing from Alexander Valley, which is a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is one of Sonoma County’s hottest AVA.

Famous winemaker Ray Signorello whose Estate and Padrone Cab sells for a lot more money made Edge, it is meant for earlier consumption but will age well for five to eight years. Edge spent 16 months in French oak barrels, of which 35% were new. It is dense and luscious with a deep ruby red color that is followed by an intense cassis fruited nose interlaced with strawberry jam, blueberries and a burst of floral and vanilla notes. Soft and supple on tannins, the finish is long with notes of herbal tea and chamomile. Yum – pair with a grilled rib-eye.

2017 Signorello Edge Cabernet Sauvignon (California – Alexander Valley, United States) – $32.99 (regularly $41.99)

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May 1, 2021

2018 Louis Jadot “Celebration” 1er Cru Pre-Sell

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 1:53 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

This is the 4th release of the Jadot’s Beaune 1er Cru 150th Anniversary now renamed Celebration. We are offering this 2018 version as a Pre-Sell – $79.99, you purchase it now and we call you for pickup when it arrives in September 2021. This pre-sell offer ends Sunday, May 9th as we have to get our order in by then so please order asap.

I remember tasting the first release, the excellent 2009, which was followed by 2012, 2015 and now 2018. It is an assemblage of numerous Beaune climats that Jadot owns, it has always been an incredibly expressive and flat-out delicious Pinot Noir from the very beginning that doesn’t require decades of cellaring.

This special cuvée is made only in great years, and 2018 while a hot vintage, it is coming up as surprisingly fresh and lively and very fine in the Beaune region. It comes in its own designer label, separate from the customary Jadot labels. Giving the frost turmoil that happened earlier last month that destroyed a lot of vineyards all over Europe (including Burgundy), the prices of existing Burgundies on the market or upcoming are all going to increase so this a relative bargain and is actually cheaper than the last 2015 release. Burgundy lovers take notice!

2018 Louis Jadot Beaune Celebration Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $79.99

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April 26, 2021

Subscribe to Our e-Newsletters

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:37 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

For those of you who haven’t subscribed yet to our e-newsletter, its time to do so! The benefits are as follows:

1) you will receive our weekly online special every monday, with savings of 20% or more
2) you will receive our biweekly in-depth e-newsletter with feature articles, monthly cases of the month, pre-sell offers, feature articles and tastings info (when they happen again) and any upcoming special events.

Subscribe to our generic e-newsletter here..

Secondly, we are announcing that there will be a 2020 Bordeaux “En Primeur” Futures Campaign starting in May – you can subscribe to the Bordeaux Futures e-newsletter where you will receive offerings as they happen every 2-3 days in the month of May. Those of you who enrolled in the 2019 Futures Campaign last year are automatically enrolled this year.

You can enroll in our Bordeaux 2020 futures e-newsletter here..

NOTE: both of these e-newsletter subscriptions are TWO step enrollment, meaning in order to complete the subscription, you will have to go into your email and verify as a second step. This email verification is a very important step to complete the subscription.

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Weekly Online Offer for April 26

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 1:26 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

Located in historic town of Vendée (an hours drive directly south of Nantes), the vineyards for Prieure La Chaume is in fact the southernmost vineyard of the Loire Valley, equidistant from the Loire and the Medoc of Bordeaux. Completely planted on chalky soil, one of the vineyards is planted on southern slopes, another third on western slopes facing the Atlantic ocean and more exposed to the maritime weather, and a remaining third on the plateau.

Our feature this week is their Prieure la Chaume Bel Canto – $29.99 (regularly $37.99), a 100% Merlot cuvee organically farmed featuring a deep mazarin redcurrant-y color with dark purple hints. First mouthfeel offers a supple and velvety wine, with black berries aromas such as blackcurrant. Both supple and meaty, this wine got a soft species finish with black pepper notes. The name is a tribute to the Opéra de Parisan opera singer, Genevieve XIV born in Nantes in 1879, who became famous for her performance of Bel Canto, said to be ‘soft, elegant and swingy’.

Bel Canto is vibrant, elegant and expressive. It is a wine to enjoy now. Classy, supple, fleshy, velvety with black berry fruits and a touch of spice and peppery notes on the finish.

2017 Prieure La Chaume Bel Canto (Loire Valley, France) – $29.99 (regularly $37.99)

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April 19, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for April 19

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:34 am

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Author: Dirk Chan

Castello di Volpaia is a winery located in the medieval village of Volpaia. The estate has over 900 acres (360 ha) divided between vineyards, olive groves, and woods.

The village of Volpaia sits on a hilltop north of the town of Radda in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in Tuscany. Volpaia was built in 1172 as a fortified village on the Florence-Siena border. The winery’s logo highlights the coat of arms from the della Volpaia family, who lived in the village and took its name from the town itself. Volpaia is a terra murata, a walled village although not all of the wall exists now, Volpaia is one of the best preserved villages of its period .

Our feature this week is their 2018 Castello di Volpiaia Chianti Classico – $27.99 (regularly $34.99), showcasing cherry, walnut and stone aromas and flavors. Medium bodied, firm and lightly chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Delicious red from one of the flagships of Chianti, made from organically grown grapes.

The vineyards reside in high altitude – over 400m above sea level on predominantly sandstone soils rich in skeleton suitable for the production of elegant and long-lasting reds, harmonious and aristocratic wines that manage to maintain the fruity aromas of the best Sangiovese for a long time. Enjoy with pizza or pasta.

2018 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico (Tuscany – Chianti, Italy) – $27.99 (regularly $34.99)

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Two Wine Spectator Top 10 Wines from 2020

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:32 am

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Author: Dirk Chan

The famous American wine publication Wine Spectator reviews 15,000 plus wines every year and have been dishing out their annual Top 100 Wines of the Year since 1988 based on quality, value, availability and excitement..

With the diversity in the wine world, we in Alberta get fewer and fewer wines that make the Top 100 list as the years go by and sometimes even when we do, the vintage is wrong.

Therefore, we are thrilled to offer to you for consideration, two wines that made the Top Ten from 2020. Note there are years when we don’t have anything to offer from the Top Ten list, let alone two wines. Both are very limited availability and will be sold on a first come first served basis. Thus, If you want something special with some clout to serve at dinner parties when the pandemic is over, or if you merely want to compare your palate with those of the critics, here is your opportunity.

2016 Massolino Filli Barolo (Piedmont, Italy) – $76.99

2012 Bollinger La Grande Année Brut – $249.99

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