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With the holiday season in full swing, we thought it was time to highlight our selection of large format bottles! Once again we have a fantastic selection available from some of our favorite producers -- some that would be perfect for the 1,000 holiday parties you have to attend to this month, and others guaranteed to impress the in-laws when you head home for family celebrations. There are people who would argue that less is more, but if you peruse the picks below (bubbles first, followed by whites then reds), we think you'll agree that more is definitely more. Happy Holidays! Tim Gagnon

 

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Mosse, Agnes et Rene 2014 Vin de France Magic of Juju 1.5 L

We all know Agnès and René Mosse are venerable masters of Chenin Blanc, and we look forward to tasting their different expressions each year. It just so happens, however, that our crafty friends in Anjou found some Melon de Bourgogne (the grape of Muscadet, to the west of Anjou) in 2014, and their popular cuvée, the "Magic of Ju-Ju" is now all Melon (with a few bunches of Chenin). It's delicious, fresh, with a nose reminiscent of golden delicious apple skins, and a dense but predictably mineral mouthfeel. I drank this over the course of 5 days and it was fantastic each time I revisited it, though it would be very easy to finish it off in one sitting with the right friends!  Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Suenen NV (2009 Base) Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs 1.5 L

Located in Cramant, Suenen is a Champagne house to watch. Though the family has grown vines since 1898, Aurélien Suenen who took over the estate has brought a new energy to the wines. Farming organically (though not certified), the work in the vines translates to wines of purity and terroir expression.

The 2009-based Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra-Brut is sourced entirely from the Côte des Blancs villages of Cramant, Chouilly, and Oiry. Upon opening there are aromas of lemon curd and tangerine peel which evolve to feature oyster shell and chalk. With 4 grams dosage and the ripeness of the base vintage the wine is rich (though not flabby) with incisive chalky minerality and pungent, saline acidity. The balance between power and poise is impressive in this classy Blanc de Blancs.  (Disgorged 4/1/14.) John McIlwain

 

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $124.99

  • Organic

Bérêche, Raphael NV Champagne Brut Reflets d'Antan 1.5L (b10)

Based on a perpetual cuvée started in the 1980s, this Reflet is 2/3rds reserve wine and 1/3rd from the 2010 vintage. Whatever may have been the experience of 2010 for other growers, this Champagne speaks to Bérêche's deft hand in the vineyards and the cellar. Medium golden in color and adorned by a finely-beaded mousse, a parade of aromas begins with fresh ginger, ripe raspberries, and hazelnuts, followed by cinnamon buns, black licorice, hickory, and creamy millefeuille. The palate is guided by a concentrated core of minerality that expands out to tingly edges of fresh butter, blackberry preserves, black cherries, and a limeade finish, garnished with sage and blackberries. Time will unfold this super-concentrated Champagne. (Disgorged : 5/2015).

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $239.99

Knauss 2012 Württemberg Riesling Sekt Zero 1.5 L

Andi Knauss always knew he wanted to be a winemaker. He took over Weingut Knauss in 2004 and immediately began converting to organic farming. Similarly natural practices are carried out in the cellar with native yeast fermentations and minimal (if any) sulphur being used. His Sekt Zero is made from 100% Riesling harvested from 12 separate parcels of 15-30-year-old vines all grown on incredibly thin, clay soils over a limestone base with no dosage or SO2 added. The limestone is what shines through in this wine and sets it apart with a bracing, racy acidic structure. Fresh apricot and lime zest are ever-present, as well as an opulent toasty quality on the palate. It is quite complex while being vibrant and refreshing at the same time. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $71.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Raventós I Blanc 2013 Conca del Riu Anoia de Nit Reserva Rosé 1.5 L

Pepe Raventos stepped outside of the Cava appellation in 2012 to create the Conca del Riu Anoia designation, which is committed to prioritizing the area's indigenous varieties, estate fruit, longer elevage, and biodynamic methods. The de Nit rosé was the first Conca wine and continues to sate and impress us with its lively aromas of pert pink lemonade, tart cranberry, and a hint of pepper; the palate is dry and elegant, with quite brilliant and refreshing acidity, flavors of strawberry seeds, musky ripe raspberries, and orange zests, flanking the complex saline and mineral core, stemming from Raventos' calcareous soils, rich with marine fossils. This is an incredibly versatile rose sparkling wine for apéritifs, snacks, richer seafood, and spicy fare. Make sure to stop by tonight, Thursday, December 10th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm to taste this wine with Pepe Raventós himself! Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99

Raventós I Blanc 2011 Conca del Riu Anoia Brut De La Finca 1.5 L

From 8 plots on the terraces of the Anoia River planted in the '70s and '80s, de la Finca is a thought-provoking and pleasurable blend of the three native white grapes of Penedès: Xarello, Macabeu, and a small amount of Parellada. de la Finca was Brut Nature in 2011, displaying intriguing, developed aromas and flavors commensurate with its 36 months on the lees, alongside youthful energy and bold acidity that indicate many great years ahead in bottle. Aromas of lemon balm, tangy peach skins, golden apple, floral orange water, and savory chicken broth; acid and herbs drive the palate of orange rind, lemon oil, dried apricots, sea brine, salted butter, and metal-tinged minerality. An elegant, powerful, and mouthwatering match for clams with pork sausage or roasted chicken with dark leafy greens, it is positively off the charts with aged hard cheeses. Make sure to stop by tonight, Thursday, December 10th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm to taste this wine with Pepe Raventós himself! Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $64.99

Falkenstein, Hofgut 2014 Saar Riesling Niedermenniger Herrenberg Spät Feinherb 1.5 L

The Niedermenniger Herrenberg is in full bloom in this weighty and balanced, barely off-dry Riesling. A wonderfully expressive nose offers aromas of honeycomb, papaya, and orange zest. The palate is broad and mouthwatering, gliding along with notes of peppermint and tarragon before crystalline clean green plum finish.

(A.P. Nr. 3 525 672 2 15)

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $51.99

Dreissigacker 2010 Rheinhessen Bechtheim Geyersberg Ries Trocken 1.5 L

Encouraged by the interest shown for the the initial release of his wines, Jochen agreed to send a limited number of magnums stateside. The 2010 Geyersberg in this larger format shows all minerality, one would expect from the vintage and all the added depth of flavor that magnums can offer. It shines a rich, brilliant golden yellow in the glass, while the nose is equally compelling. Aromas of lilacs, ripe red peaches, starfruit, and lemon zest are interlaced with star anise, freshly ground ginger, and smoky tones. The palate is refined, ethereal, and its towering minerality glides effortlessly. Fine floral notes are followed by a crescendo of Meyer lemon, cardamom, and star anise leading to a smoky, perfectly ripe nectarine finish. This is powerful and nuanced, dry Riesling!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $156.99

Dreissigacker 2012 Rheinhessen Westhofen Kirchspiel Ries Trocken 1.5 L

The return of Dreissigacker's Kirchspiel has been eagerly awaited and in addition to the standard format 2013; we couldn't be more excited to release this 2012 magnum. A comparative tasting of the two speaks, beautifully, to the stature of this limestone-rich site and the aging potential of this wine could not clearer. The nose offers floral, herbal and petrol aromas with highlights of hyacinth, wisteria, oleander, spearmint, cardamom, and smoky tones. The palate is finely filigreed, balanced, and weighty with touches of tart lemon/lime sorbet, menthol, and star anise before a lilting grapefruit and floral finish. Classically Kirchspiel, this wine also expresses the kaleidoscope nuance and vintage variation that is to be expected from a great vineyard and a masterful grower.

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $149.99

Bongran 1997 Macon-Clessé Tradition 1.5L

Jean Thevenet at Domaine de la Bongran is one of the great heroes of the Maconnais and I've been lucky enough to taste with him many times going back to the early 90s. He took great delight in maintaining the tradition of the demi-sec and moelleux Chardonnays of the Macon (Cuvée Levrouté and Cuvée Botrytis) but always with great balance and acidity due to his fanatically perfect organic vineyard work. The Cuvée Tradition Macon-Clessé is always a big ripe wine with a bit of RS balanced by fabulous mineral character, and though 1997 was a warm vintage the wine is in perfect condition, showing lovely secondary flavors backed by firm citrusy acids. A real treat! -David Lillie

Always a sort of outlier within Mâcon, Domaine de la Bongran has fashioned idiosyncratic, but startlingly pure expressions of their terroir. While other growers have fashioned quality, if workman-like Chardonnays, Jean Thevenet has embraced organic work in the vines, small yields, ripeness, and patience. The Cuvée Traditon is late-harvested, influenced by botrytis, and powerful. And in as much as this is somewhat flamboyant in terms of what we expect in a Mâconnais wine, there is great poise between the effusiveness on the fruit and mineral cut to the wine. The secondary aromas of honeysuckle and orange peel are followed by hints of gunflint and stone. The ripe palate shows nearly tropical with a pungent stoniness lending energy and drive to the long, rich finish. An unusual and magnificent wine! -John McIlwain

 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $99.99

  • Organic

Duplessis, Gérard 2012 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 1.5 L

Lilian Duplessis took over the estate from his father in 1999 after going to school and working multiple internships in the area near his home in Chablis. He currently farms 8 hectares of vines and has achieved organic certification as of 2013! Fermentation is done in stainless steel using native yeasts before being racked into barrel for an additional 6 months before bottling. Les Clos, one of the top of the Chablis Grand Crus, famous for its southwest exposure, is where Lilian’s only Grand Cru holding can be found. This vineyard balances fantastic ripening conditions from ample afternoon sun and northern Burgundy’s cool continental climate resulting in ripe, rich wines that never sacrifice the racy, mineral characteristics for which Chablis is known. 2012 was a stark contrast to 2011. The weather was markedly harsh that year in many parts of France, with hail and rain punctuating the harvest season, resulting in incredibly low yields; however the wines made from this troublesome year are proving to be both serious and delicious. This wine is very powerful and shows heady floral aromas alongside tropical melon, cool cucumber, and tangerine peel when young. It is racy and mineral on the palate, yet has a fantastic texture. This wine will reward a decade of aging. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $147.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Venus La Universal 2013 Montsant Dido (Macabeu Garnatxa Cartoixa) 1.5 L

Macabeu, Garnatxa Blanca, and Cartoixà (Xarello) from Sara Pérez and René Barbier Jr.'s home and winery in Montsant -- Venus La Universal. Fermented with native yeasts and raised in a mix of 300 and 600 liter barrels and locally made clay amphorae, this bottling of Dido Blanco combines big-boned flavors of orange, lime zest, pineapple, and apricot, with mouth-watering acidity, chalky minerality, and lots of length. A perfect autumn white with crispy seared chicken legs, savory baked squash, and mushrooms with thyme. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

Celler Escoda Sanahuja 2014 Conca de Barbera Vamos Vamos Macabeu 1.5 L

For those of you missing the wines of Laureano Serres (Mendall), take note: Vamos?Vamos! is 100% Macabeu, half from Laureano in Terra Alta and half from the ebullient Joan Ramon Escoda in Conca de Barbera. We stopped by the winery last spring, had a taste of Vamos?Vamos! from amphora, and were determined to claim a few of these magnums. Textured and minerally with a pinch of white pepper and zero added SO2 at any time. Vamos?Vamos! -- Want it?Grab it! Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

Montesecondo 2014 IGT Rosso Toscana 1.5 L

Another gem from Silvio Messana, this is pure, fresh Sangiovese in it's most drinkable form. Silvio took the "Rosso Toscana" off the label, as that category has a bit of a reputation for average or lower quality wines in the region, so this is simply called "Montesecondo" now, and it is definitely anything but average! Super lively, with bright cherry notes and great acidity. It is incredibly versatile with food, but also light enough to have on its own. Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

Montecivoli 2012 Morellino di Scansano 1.5 L

We hold dearly to our impression, formed years ago, that Morellino di Scansano should be a pure expression of Sangiovese, a bit lighter and easier-going than good Chianti or wine from Montalcino or Montepulciano, and somehow expressive of Scansano’s relative proximity to the sea. For a long time we’ve been on the hunt for Morellino that we really liked, but with no luck – to our taste the zone has fallen on hard times because of the introduction of all kinds of distressing innovation, most importantly permitting the addition to the wine of any old other grape variety that the producer might choose. The wines might taste like good red wine, but to us they certainly didn’t taste like Morellino. Then we found Montecivoli, where wine was first produced for commercial sale in the early 1990s. The vines are farmed organically and are not irrigated (which is notable because irrigation has become very common in Scansano ). The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for six months in 4-5 year old barriques. No spoofilation is employed in the production of this wine, and SO2 levels are very low. Anyway, we love the wine – it takes us back to our old ideal for Morellino. In the festive magnum size! Jamie Wolff

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $389.99

Bonhomme, Pierre-Olivier 2014 Vin de France le Telquel Magnum

Mostly Gamay, with a bit of Côt and Pinot Noir, and dog on the label - what more can you ask for?! With notes of red fruit and black cherry, the 2014 Telquel is generous and satisfying, and at only 11%, the freshness and acidity make the second sip extremely easy. After some time open, the wine shows structure and some earth, as a reminder that it is a serious wine - even with the cute label.  EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Breton, Catherine et Pierre 2010 Bourgueil Nuits D'Ivresse 1.5 L

From old vines on the upper slopes of Bourgueil, where the clay over Turonien chalk gives magnificent long-lasting wines. Vinified with zero sulfur-dioxide, the 2010 Nuits D'Ivresse has deep aromas of strawberry confit, earth and spice. The palate is round but balanced and fresh. Buy a case and drink half now, wait 5 to 8 years for the rest. "It's a search for purity of fruit according to the principals of Jules Chauvet, a wine of "Pure Origine" without additives."This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $62.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Cayrou 1989 Cahors 1.5L

A beautiful mature Cahors released directly from the estate's cellars; Complex very secondary aromas, giving an integrated mixture of sweet blackberries, damp earth, farmyard and tobacco ash. The palate is balanced with a nice spine of acids which carry the flavors to a long, seamless, sweet, palate-coating chalky-mineral tinged finish with virtually no tannins left in sight. Lovely stuff.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $99.99

Celler Escoda Sanahuja 2013 Conca de Barbera Nas del Gegant 3 L

One Jeroboam always manages to sneak into the Magnum email and this year it is a real knock-out! A vivacious blend of Cabernet Franc, Garnacha, Carignan, and Merlot from Joan Ramon Escoda's organically farmed old vines on calcareous clay soils in Conca de Barbera. 50% in Amphora and 50% in stainless steel, fresh and fruit-driven, with no added SO2.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $189.99

Venus La Universal 2013 Montsant Dido 1.5 L

From husband and wife René Barbier Jr. and Sara Pérez, (son and daughter of legendary Priorat domaines Clos Mogador and Mas Martinet, respectively), comes this lovely blend of organically grown Garnacha from the granitic soils of neighboring Monsant, with some Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot, fermented with native yeasts and raised in a combination of large foudre and concrete tank.  Fermented with wild yeasts and raised in a mix of barrels (300L – 4000L), concrete, and amphorae, Dido is textured and vivacious, with juicy purple fruit, crushed berry seeds, tea leaf, tobacco, and, minerally earth. Fresh, versatile, substantial, and totally delicious! Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

Peciña, Hermanos de 2001 Rioja Gran Reserva 1.5 L

This Reserva is a fine example of what a great vintage Peciña had in 2001, showing aromas and flavors of strawberry, cedar, flowers, and baking spices. There is an almost luxurious quality to the palate with plush fruit, mushroom, soft silky tannins, as well as beautiful acidity and a floral lift to the finish. This Reserva speaks of the singularity quality of Rioja Alta and in particular of Peciña's village, San Vicente, where most of their best holdings are located. Let this bottle breathe for a couple of hours and it will reward you with subtle, precise Rioja spice and perfume.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $109.99

Peciña, Hermanos de 2006 Rioja Crianza 1.5L

Pecina's 2006 Rioja Crianza in magnum was starting to drink really nicely last year at this time. And now it is positively singing! Supple, elegant, and mature, this is an affordable luxury at $44.99. Vibrant aromas of orange oil, florals, and leather mingle with creamy, savory, evolved flavors of rosy red raspberry, sour cherry and cranberry fruit, with soft gritty tannins, bergamot, spicy cedar, sweet smoke, and spice. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $44.99

Swick Wines 2014 Willamette Valley Cancilla Pinot Noir Sans Soufre 1.5L

We have been impressed by the personality and freshness of the wines we've tasted from Joe Swick, an Oregon native with an enviable resume (including Kosta Browne in Russian River, Niepoort in Portugal, and Ceretto in Piedmont). This thirst-quenching Pinot Noir, sourced from organically farmed, un-irrigated Cancilla Vineyard in northern Willamette Valley on silty clay loam soils, is fermented with native yeasts, 100% whole cluster, trod by foot just a few times, with no added SO2 at any time during vinification. Tart and juicy, with flesh, seeds, and skins of wild strawberries, bright and buoyant wild cherry, brambly mulberries, and white pepper spice. 1.5 liters of fabulous Pinot Noir rarely costs this little. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $249.99