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ACCOLADE RESULTS

94 Points

2015 Donnafugata Ben Ryé

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, December 2018

This wine is something of a national anthem for Italian wine. It is indeed an extremely cheerful and happy one with flowing melodies and an impressive succession of high notes. The 2015 Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé shows the generosity and exuberance of a hot vintage. The bouquet offers dried apricot, raisin, fig and brown sugar. Not to be underestimated is that important blast of acidity on the close that keeps the wine from feeling too heavy or rich.

95 Points

2014 Donnafugata Mille e una Notte

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, December 2018

The 2014 Mille e Una Notte is mostly Nero d'Avola with some other red grapes in a supporting role. This was a terrific vintage in Sicily that did not see the below average temperatures and heavy rainfall that plagued the rest of mainland Italy. Instead, the growing season was characterized by balanced temperatures and steady sunshine. The fruit has matured beautifully here, showing blackberry, ripe cherry and plum. Tangy leather and spice add complexity to the wine. This is a full-bodied red with beautiful textual richness.

90 Points

2017 Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba Falletto

Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, December 2018

“Ripe and exotic, this red exudes blackberry, boysenberry, violet and mineral flavors. Solidly built, with a strong grip on the lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2024. 150 cases imported.”

91 Points

2012 André Brunel Les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

Josh Raynolds, Vinous, April 2015

“Brilliant ruby-red. Sexy, perfumed aromas of ripe red berries and floral oils, with hints of orange pith, white pepper and smoky minerals adding lift. Silky and open-knit, offering gently sweet raspberry and candied lavender flavors and a deeper suggestion of cherry pit. Finishes spicy and long, with lingering red fruit and floral notes and smooth, well-integrated tannins.”

96 Points

2010 André Brunel Domaine Les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, October 2016

“This beauty is just hitting its stride now, with a still-robust structure that is starting to show more velvety nuance while melding with the core of dark currant preserve, warmed fig and steeped plum flavors. Lots of cocoa and tobacco notes form the backdrop, and there’s a long, smoldering feel to the finish. Another classic from a classic vintage. Best from 2017 through 2035. From France.—J.M.”

92 Points

2015 André Brunel Les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, October 2016

“A terrific white that delivers on all accounts, Brunel’s 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a Roussanne-dominated blend that includes 20% Grenache Blanc. It comes all from the southern part of the appellation, in the lieu-dit of Les Serres. Aged in concrete tanks, it has a ripe, rounded, beautifully textured style to go with lots of ripe peach and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. I love its texture and it has first rate purity, as well. This is a classic Châteauneuf du Pape white that will shine on the dinner table over the coming 2-4 years.”

93 Points

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, November 2015

“A ripe, fruit-driven style, with lush creamed apple, melon and pear flavors pumping along, inlaid with ample heather and salted butter notes. The long, juicy finish pulls everything together, with enough energy to sustain brief cellaring. Drink now through 2017. 100 cases imported.”

92 Points

2015 André Brunel Les Cailloux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, October 2017

“Distinctive, opening with warm yellow apple and ginger flavors, followed by rich grapefruit oil, mirabelle plum and nectarine notes. Broad through the finish, showing a light waxy edge, but with an underlying freshness. Drink now through 2019. 100 cases imported”

90 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, March 2016

“A pretty, elegant white from this family estate, the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc has lots of lemon curd, honeysuckle and white flower notes to go with a clean, elegant and seamless style on the palate. Perfectly balanced, it's not a powerhouse, yet excels for its purity and light, supple texture. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years.”

87 Points

2013 André Brunel Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Grenache

Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2016

“Ruby-red. Lively black raspberry and cherry aromas show a slight jamminess and a hint of white pepper. Juicy and supple on the palate, offering gently sweet red and dark berry flavors that open up slowly with air. Smooth and seemingly tannin-free, delivering good finishing punch and a late jolt of bitter cherry pit.”

87 Points

2014 André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Rouge

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, June 2016

“Direct cherry fruit is laced with subtle cinnamon and black tea notes that provide a firm twinge through the finish. Drink now. 3,124 cases imported.”

90 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, March 2016

“The best vintage of this cuvee to date, Brunel's single vineyard 2014 Cotes du Rhone la Becassonne is a beautiful blend of 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 20% Clairette. Its medium-gold color is followed by outstanding notes of ripe peach, melon, pineapple and a touch of honey. Medium-bodied, rich, textured and still lively and fresh, it sells for about 15 bucks but tastes like it cost two to three times that. Buy it by the case and drink it over the coming couple of years (although, I would not be surprised to see it evolve nicely for longer).”

89 Points

2015 André Brunel Côtes du Rhône La Bécassonne Blanc

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, December 2016

“Fresh, with a juicy edge to the mix of plantain, green almond and yellow apple flavors. Light chamomile and verbena notes help stretch out the finish. Drink now. 1,250 cases imported.”

88 Points

2015 André Brunel Côtes du Rhône La Bécassonne Blanc

Wine Enthusiast, March 2017

“This is an easydrinking, harmonious blend of 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 20% Clairette. Pineapplle, anise and marshmallow aromas lead into wellrounded flavors of pineapple and melon. Drink now. Folio Fine Wine Partners. —J.C.”

88 Points

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, October 2015

“A fresh style, with a blanched almond frame around the apple, fennel and white peach flavors. Sleek finish. Drink now. 800 cases imported.”

88 Points

2013 André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages, Cuvée Sabrine Rouge

Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2015

“Deep ruby. Ripe cherry and red berry aromas, along with suggestions of licorice and dried flowers. Bitter cherry, plum and dark chocolate on the palate; a hint of cracked pepper adds spiciness. Chewy tannins build steadily on the finish, which shows good persistence and repeating spiciness.”

88 Points

2012 André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages, Cuvée Sabrine Rouge

Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2015

“Full ruby. Dark berries, cherry pit and a hint of smoked meat on the pungent nose. Bitter cherry and cassis flavors show a slight leatheriness and a hint of candied lavender. Closes with building sweetness and an echo of game; silky tannins lend shape. My score would be higher if it weren't for that sauvagecharacter, and I'm sure that fans of old-school Rhône wines will find my assessment stingy.”

87 Points

2013 André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages, Cuvée Sabrine Rouge

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, June 2016

“Shows a mix of bramble, pepper and tobacco notes, with lightly mulled cherry and blackberry fruit. The finish picks up light cedar and savory hints, lending this a slightly rustic feel in the end. Drink now. 1,036 cases imported.”

91 Points

2012 André Brunel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

Tara Thomas, Wine & Spirits, February 2017

“Year's Best: Although Brunel uses younger-vine fruit for this bottling (his older vines provide the fruit for Les Cailloux), it has plenty of complexity, from the spicy, herbal fruit to the notes of shiitakes and seaweed that give it a saline, umami depth. It’s mature and savory. Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa, CA”

91 Points

2012 André Brunel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

Wine Enthusiast, August 2015

“An excellent value, this comes from vines that average 40 years of age. It’s unusually complex for the price, offering hints of cracked pepper, clove, leather, plum and mint, all delivered with ample weight and a rich, supple texture. Drink now–2020.”