Ninety Plus Cellars has taken an old concept and refreshed it with a twist. In essence, Ninety Plus Cellars is a negociant, same as such prestigious Burgundy houses as Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Leflaive. Ninety Plus goes about its business somewhat differently however. Ninety Plus Cellars focuses on wineries that have earned 90+ ratings from The Wine Spectator.
Literally, the buyer for Ninety Plus Cellars goes to these elite wineries and asks for some of their production. Ninety Plus then sells the wine under its own imprimatur. Selling wine under another label is not new. Keying on wines that have scored 90+ is new.
Why would wineries make their wines available under someone else’s label? In a word, economics. There’s nothing like cash flow to keep a business happy, especially in such a capital-intensive business as wine. Of course, Ninety Plus Cellars cannot tell you the provenance of their wines, that would undercut their suppliers. The quality’s in the bottle, whatever the name of it is. Reaction to the wines has been completely positive. That’s the point, finally.
You will notice that Ninety Plus Cellars offers more than just American wines. The wine buyer seeks value wherever it can be found. The determining factors remain simple: delicious wines, value priced. For a local note, the business is based in Boston.
Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Lot 2 $9.99
From Marlborough, where New Zealand’s great sauvignon seemingly pour from fountains. Crisp, dry, citrusy, and a great, great price.
Riesling (Mosel) Lot 66, $9.99
The rollicking 2011 vintage produced lively wines with fine fruit and great acid balance. With grapes from the legendary Mosel River valley, this is a classic Mosel. That means crisp, refreshing, and delicious. If the situation calls for something light and fun rather than hefty, this is a top choice.
Chardonnay (Sonoma) Lot67, $13.99
Sonoma’s Russian River Valley produces classic California chardonnay. The wine is full-scale, the price is not.
Zinfandel (Sonoma) Lot 54 $12.99
Plenty of power in the ripe fruit flavors. A big rich wine that can be sipped alone or with spicy, meaty dishes.
Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) Lot 62, $15.99
Pinot Noir particularly likes the coastal climate of Sonoma Coast, where therre’s plenty of sun yet the Pacific helps keep temperatures cool in the vineyards. This allows the fruit to gain depth while retaining structure.
Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) Lot 45, $24.99
Ninety Plus lists the source price for this wine—that is, what the supplier would sell it for—as $69.99. Is that a deal or what? And remember that our 20% case discount, which can be mixed, means a further whack at the price.