FUNKY FRESH FLAVOR FEATURE


THE CELLAR DOOR'S WEDNESDAY WINE
Barbaresco Value, Rose & French Cab Franc


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2018 RONCHI BARBARESCO
$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

An estate on the rise, Ronchi’s ‘Classico’ Barbaresco comes from the namesake Cru site of Ronchi butting up against Montestefano. This wine is from vines planted between 1980 and 2006 and is an incredible value for under 30-bucks. In 2018, Barbaresco performed more consistenly than Barolo, making wines of smoothness and sophistication, many like this will be vastly underrated.

Often times Barbaresco and Barolo at this price can be nothing more than glorified Nebbiolo Langhe. That is not the case here. Very stirring and luxurious, there is density, expansion and early smoothness. Loaded with perfumy aromas of porcini, rose petal and prominent black licorice all which follow into a texture that is still a touch youthful, quite spicy palate staining, structured and very drawn-out. You really want to have this one with food…mushrooms or braised meat and do decant. Not inaccessible, it will undoubtedly be at its pinnacle from 2024 – 2032.



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2018 J-M RAFFAULT CHINON
'LES PICASSES'
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

I just re-tasted this yesterday and it is banging a banging summer red, especially when served with a slight chill. Rodolfe Raffault is in the upper echelon of Chinon producers and this wine is 100% Cabernet Franc from a single Cru known as Les Picasses.

Packed with notes of wild strawberry, fennel, and licorice on the nose with an ampleness that is true to the 2018 vintage. Symbiotically balanced red raspberry fruit in the mouth, with savory spices and herbs, and great supporting structure on the finish, lots of brightness and dimension carries over to the soulful finish. Pair this with BBQ ribs, roasted duck, rillettes, pate en croute, even a joyful dish of steak-frites. Drink through 2030 if you like to age them but this is so buoyant and pleasurable now.



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2021 MILENRAMA RIOJA ROSE
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Led by young but influential sisters Ruth and Ana De Andres who have many projects throughout Spain, this wonderful Rioja Rose is from their line of Rioja wines that as winemaker Ruth has stated, ‘vinos buenos, bonitos y baratos’.

Mostly Garnacha with a dollop of Viura, this direct rose is a thrilling roller-coaster ride. Vibrant, luminous and full of strawberry, cranberry and underlying herbs with zippy, brilliant flavors along with a finish that explodes and extends. Drink it now and drink it often!







THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'SLICED & DICED' HOTSHEET
Trio of Red Blends
Collectible Cab, St-Emilion & Burgundy
Sancerre & Italian White Values


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2020 MASTROBERARDINO FALANGHINA
DEL SANNIO
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Famous for the city of Naples, Italy’s Campania region also produces top-drawer wines. Stretching from the north on the Molise/Lazio/Puglia borders, and down past the Amalfi coast and towards Calabria, five provinces make up the whole of Campania and grapes are grown in all of them. Sannio is located within the Benevento province and is famed for the Falanghina grape, hence its own DOC, Falanghina del Sannio. Perhaps the most famous and iconic producer of wines from Campania is Mastroberardino who especially excels with their wines of Avellino and Taurasi; however, this is one of the most terrific expressions of Falanghina that we have come across.

Genuine and complex aromas of freshly peeled mandarin, anisette, sheer earth and delicate white flower billow from the glass. Intense and incredibly nervy in the mouth with a great contrast of melon, blood orange and white spice enhances the ravishing mouthfeel. We love unoaked white wines and while this white is Southern Italian, it possesses the minerality and complex flavors found in fine, purely styled whites from the world over. Have it with tomato-based seafood dishes, spaghetti alle vongole or grilled swordfish with a salmoriglio sauce.



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2018 BURKLIN-WOLF ESTATE ROUGE
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

The hook for this wine is its name and locale. From Germany’s Pfalz region, which is somewhat of an extension of Alsace, the name Rouge sounds a whole lot nicer than Rot. Either way this cool climate red wine is dry, vibrant, medium bodied and perfect for summer.

Made from Dornfelder, Pinot Noir and Acolon grapes, lively cherry pit, clove and vanilla scents follow through to a succulent, juicy texture that has a good core of fruit, spice and lively aspects which allow it to be a nice glass of red on its own but also pairs well with sausages, chicken tikka masala, pork tenderloin with cumin/coriander spices and best of all, I see this pairing with the Thanksgiving turkey come November.



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2018 SALCINA 'OLD SOUL'
MENDOCINO RED BLEND
$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Continuing our run of cool red wine blends is this new arrival from Mendocino. A 400-acre ranch, 40 of which are dedicated to vines and this offering is a tribute to Italian immigrants who came to California and made blends that carried over to their dinner tables.

A field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Malbec this is unapologetically made in a historic California style. Blackberry cobbler, briar, plum and pepper tones confidently fill the glass. Possessing a texture that will make you brave, this full-flavored selection is destined to go with barbecued chicken or ribs as well as carne asada tacos.



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2020 DOMAINE DURBAN
BEAUMES-DE-VENISE ROUGE
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

What initially brought this Provencal Domaine to fame was their renowned dessert wine Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise. For millennia, dry red wines have been produced here and in 2005, the village of Beaumes-de-Venise was elevated from Cotes-du-Rhone Villages status to full appellation status. A neighboring region of Gigondas and Vacqueyras, Beaumes-de-Venise has its own personality and engaging terroir from their picturesque high-elevation vineyards in the Dentelles de Montmirial.

Remarkable character/price rapport, the classic Rhone blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre, is highlighted by Montmirial’s elevation and cool breezes. A complex array of aromas waft from the glass, specifically herbes-des-provence, white pepper, exotic Asian spice, wild plum and red raspberry. This attractive Southern Rhone red is a well-honed balancing act of lacy pure red fruits, deep spice and fine structure with a lingering silky finish. Drink it through 2028.



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2020 THOMAS-LABAILLE SANCERRE
'L'AUTHENTIQUE'
$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

A rarity these days is to find top notch Sancerre, especially those from the village of Chavignol and its top producers. L’Authentique is Jean-Paul Thomas-Labaille’s multi-parcel cuvee, solely from Kimmeridgian soil and is one whose pedigree is of many that I sell close to thirty-dollars.

When I tasted this wine last week, it immediately put me in an excellent mood! Pure, finesseful, classic Sancerre aromas of peat, seashore, pronounced mineral and subtle lemon scents. Linear, electric and focused in the mouth with plenty of intensity in a restrained package; the finish is extreme mineral. Perfect fodder with just about any seafood ranging from freshly shucked oysters, sole bathed in a tarragon-cream sauce or grilled chinook salmon on a cedar plank.



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2018 CHATEAU GAILLARD SAINT-EMILION
GRAND CRU
$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

By now many of you all have become familiar with the prodigious wines from Chateau Gaillard’s Catherine Papon-Nouvel. This amazing winemaker emits Saint-Emilion from her pores and her wines are some of the best non-classified Grand Cru wines in the appellation.

2018 is a killer red Bordeaux vintage and once again, this wine soars. Given the wine’s depth, it has lots of penetrating fruit which submerges the tannins and makes it deceptively easy to access now. Ah, ah, ah, do not drink it all because it will age nicely for 10-15 years. Notes from my visit to the Chateau in May: ‘Unequivocal excitement from points A, B and C!! All about sensuality. Moves from plum to raspberry; splendid penetration and old vine (50 yrs) depth. Underlying mineral and cocoa powder present. Brilliant depth and generosity, persistence and backbone’.

I then reached for a second, third and fourth glass with my duck parmentier at lunch….



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2020 L'ISOLE DEI PROFUMI
SICILIA ROSSO
$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

With ever-rising shipping and fuel costs, it is becoming increasingly a pain in the ass to find ten-dollar wines that actually have character, are not gimmick wines and above all are very drinkable. With this, we welcome back an old favorite from Sicily.

An extremely extroverted drop with aromatic tones of red plum, clove and thyme that lead into erupting flavors that show freshness and fruit. Combine this with pastas with light-to medium sauces or lightly cooked fresh tuna.



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2018 PILLOT VOLNAY
$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

We know how great Laurent Pillot’s white wines are but lately we almost anticipate his releases of red wines even more. Through marriage he inherited several great parcels and it is an absolute thrill to offer this lux red, which seems to be on a rocket-like trajectory as Laurent and Adrien have really focused and really acknowledged this site’s potential and beauty.

Laurent Pillot’s Volnay may well be the most prolific value in his lineup of 2018 reds. Pole vaulting perfume! Very exciting from the get-go! Touches of oak up front with cinnamon and clove spiciness. Peppercorn and lacy strawberry fruit abound. Youthful as to be expected. Layered and stacked with Premier Cru depth as it should be, because 2 of the 5 sites are Premier Cru vineyards (Ronceret and Brouillards). Not a quality issue but Laurent doesn’t bottle these separately since there is not enough to make for full cuvees so it is all blended together. Lovely persistence and spreads out impeccably. Here is where the curse words in my notebook of excitement commenced, use your imagination. As tempting as this wine is to enjoy now, I would opt to hold this one for another year or two and it will develop exquisitely through 2031+.



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2015 SPRING MOUNTAIN
CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA
[reg. $99.99]
SPECIAL - $65.99 BTL./$395.94 - SIX PK

95 Points - The Wine Spectator... I cannot believe this wine is still available and at this special price. Consider that when one sees its Walla Walla or other Napa Cab brethren. Spring Mountain is prime real estate for Cabernet Sauvignon, with Diamond Mountain to its north and Mt. Veeder to the south. A sort of cult winery going back to the 1960s, for those of you who are not familiar with this winery, Spring Mountain is a small production operation, all the fruit is from their own three historic vineyards in this elite Spring Mountain appellation of Napa Valley, and the quality is still impeccable. Considering how expensive the majority of Napa Cab is these days, this special wine is quite a deal and ages beautifully.

'Sports an intense and pure beam of raspberry and cassis flavors, flanked by sage, incense and black tea aromas and backed by mouthwatering licorice snap notes and a bramble-filled finish. A beautiful example of mountain fruit. Best from 2022 through 2040.' – 95 POINTS – WINE SPECTATOR