FUNKY FRESH FLAVOR FEATURE


FRIDAY SIPS
Sicilian Shakedown featuring Planeta
Special Guest - 'Don' Pancetta
Today Sept. 21 from 1:30 - 6:30
Sicliy is very exciting right now and Planeta is one of the island’s most influential producers. Drop by today to taste four wines utilizing native Sicilian grapes being poured by our friend Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon.

Don’t be oobatz and miss this one, otherwise we’re getting the cement shoes. Todd will arrive at 3:30 (I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early).


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2015 PLANETA MAMERTINO ROSSO
NERO D'AVOLA/NOCERA
$26.99 BTL./$161.94 - SIX PACK

Planeta is one of the most important and influential estates in Sicily. Initially gaining notoriety using French varietals, this estate literally was the one that woke up the island into making top-notch wines as others followed suit. Alas, along the way, their ideals of uber modern and utilizing grapes like Chardonnay and Syrah became out of fashion as a movement towards native varietals took hold. Therefore, what does Planeta do, they turn around and utilize Sicily’s indigenous grapes while continuing to do what made them so prominent.

Located in northeastern corner of Sicily, just outside the city of Messina, the Mamertino DOC is steeped in history yet has only been decreed since 2004. In this area, it is mandatory that the wines be made with a minimum of 60% Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s spiritual grape and blended with at least 10% of Nocera or other aromatic varietal. For Planeta’s version, the 2015 is 60% Nero D’Avola and 10% Nocera and aged 12 months in 3500-liter barrels. Polish and energy abound with strawberry/balsamic aspects, licorice, sage and underlying floral characteristics with smoothness and sensuality in the mouth. Layers of fruit, mineral, hints of allspice dominate the streamlined and structured palate. Dark tones arrive on the racy finish, which are what the Nocera grape brings to the party. Long and very packed with impressive character and potential; drink this underrated Sicilian red through – 2024.



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2015 PLANETA CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA
$17.99 BTL./$107.94 - SIX PACK

If you were ever in the mob and ratted on your friends, you might find yourself in the Witness Protection program working as a carnie operating a tilt-a-whirl. Not all is lost, though. Since your pasta dish would essentially be egg noodles and ketchup you're gonna have to make an upgrade on the red wine. Drinking Planeta's Cerasuolo di Vittoria would make you reminisce about loan-sharking or whacking someone.

Made with 60% Nero D'Avola and 40% Frappato, this hearty red is gorgeously fragrant. If roses are spicy, then this is it! Alluring tones of potpourri, roasted earth, tangy Italian spices and smoky mineral. In the mouth, it is lavish, smooth and very savory with plenty of depth and personality. Deceptive spine and backbone are present which will allow it to age, however once you taste it is pretty tough to keep your hands off it. Loaded with vibrant fruit and persistence on the firecracker of a finish. Perfect for drinking over the next two or three years with fish and tomato dishes.



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2015 PLANETA ETNA BIANCO
$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

As mentioned earlier, in the last two decades, Planeta has embraced Sicily’s local varietals and this includes white varietals. Over the last several years, they have purchased vineyards in some of the best areas including Mt. Etna and these selections are absolutely smoking!

100% Carricante and what I love about this wine is that they haven’t mucked around with it and had it suffer in a bunch of new barrels, only a small percentage (10%) is fermented in wood and none is new, the remainder is done in stainless steel tanks which preserves the freshness and character of the Carricante grape. Instant white peach aromas leap from the glass along with underlying scents of quince, anise, subtle spice and mineral. Overflowing zesty aspects shine on the palate, which penetrates quite deeply and possesses ample expansion as well as a lingering, vibrant finish. An excellent choice with many seafood dishes, it has weight and depth to go with salmon but enough vibrancy that will allow it to pair well with sashimi or prawns.



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2015 PLANETA ETNA ROSSO
'ERUZIONE 1614'
$31.99 BTL./$191.94 - SIX PACK

There is common perception that Sicily's climate is akin to a blast furnace. This could not be further from the truth; this island is filled with diversity when it comes to soils, elevations, climate and grape varietals. Wines from Mt. Etna are some of the trendiest and exciting to come from Italy these days and there are so many excellent choices done in small quantities from this area. Having recently tasted this wine, it really bowled us over with its regal and excellent characteristics.

Eruzione 1614 takes its name from one of the many eruptions that have occurred on the volcano and this particular one lasted over 10 years. 100% Nerello Mascalese and coming from three renowned sites on the mountain, this wine exudes class from the get go. The olfactory notes of this red wine change like an obstacle course as it sits in the glass. Transparent and very focused with prominent red fruits, savory herbs like rosemary, laurel and anise. Some underlying balsamic and turned earth aspects arrive as it unfolds in the glass. Expansive and ethereal on in the mouth, plenty of depth from these ancient vines comes through immediately. Lots of palate coverage and almost velour-like qualities, especially on the very refined finish that shows rocky energy along with intermittent kisses of vanilla. Very wonderful to drink now and over the next decade. Pair this with mushroom dishes, game or little birds.




COMING NEXT FRIDAY
SEPTEMBER 28!!
THE ANNUAL FATTORIA DI PETROIO FRIDAY SIPS WITH SPECIAL GUEST PAMELA LENZI

Join us next Friday September 28 from 3:30 – 6:30 as the matriarch of Petroio will be on hand to pour and discuss the estate's love Chianti wines. This is always a party so if you love Chiante, do yourself a solid and be here.

FEATURED WINES:

2014 Petroio Chianti Classico
2015 Petroio Chianti Classico
2013 Petroio Chianti Classico Riserva
2015 Petroio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
2017 Petroio Toscan Rose






CELLAR DOOR'S WEDNESDAY WINE
10-Dollar Deliciousness + Bubbly including a 95 pointer


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2017 CHATEAU VIRGILE
COSTIERES-DE-NIMES ROUGE
$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

What a surprise to see these wines again after a five-year absence in Portland. Located as far south as one can get before arriving at the wild swamps of the Camargue, this Rhone Valley sleeper has been quite the value for us. This is a vintage that if you like impactful red wines then you will adore drinking this wild-child alternative to Cotes-du-Rhone.

60% Grenache, 30% Syrah & 10% Mourvedre, this sturdy red is packed full of alluring violet, sea-salt, lavender, blueberry and cherry aromas along with the classic roasted earth, pepper and feisty aspects that is commonly found in the wines of this far-reaching, western end of Rhone Valley, virtually in Languedoc region. Chewy and ripe flavors expand into a firm and spicy middle then extend into the way above average finish. A great red for grilled steak, spice incrusted pork tenderloin or smoked sausages.



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2017 CHATEAU VIRGILE
COSTIERES-DE-NIMES BLANC
$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

For the first time ever, we are offering you the ultra-delicious white wine. Accounting for only 4% of the estate’s production, this blend of 40% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne, 10% Viognier & 10% Rolle (Vermentino) is picked at night to retain its zesty quality.

Following the pattern of modern Rhone white wines, this offering emphasizes varietal, place and liveliness over the old school of Southern French whites, which were often too heavy. Fine, aromatic scents of white peach, fennel, mineral, ginger and acacia. Soulful and energetic with excellent depth and peach notes from the Roussanne and touch of Viognier. Plenty of lifting, powdery lime/pear notes come from the Marsanne and Vermentino. Hangs around on the palate very nicely and the finish really calls you back for another glass....or bottle!



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DOMAINE COLLIN
CREMANT DE LIMOUX BRUT
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

The coolest-climate growing region of the vast area of Languedoc, Limoux is a region on the western fringe of Languedoc and one that specializes in sparkling and white wines. Alas, there are often too many poor examples especially those with the Blanquette de Limoux designation that utilize the high-yielding Mauzac grape. Fighting against the machine-harvest, mass-produced menace, Champagne native Philippe Collin is more about quality, hence no Mauzac in this sparkling wine. Cremant de Limoux on the other hand are bubblies that are flavorful and represent exquisite value. Best of all, little to no Mauzac used in the blend!

50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc, 10% Pinot Noir comprise the blend and one can see that Philippe Collin's Champagne upbringing with the wine's terrific finesse, both aromatically and in flavor. Distinguished by refined and elegant bubbles and a finesseful, seductive palate, this sparkler that shows electric apple, peach-caramel and smoke tones that take off and really entice one into wanting to toss back numerous bottles. Lively, vivid tones prevail in the mouth along with nice substance and body beneath the surface. Delicious anytime of the day, including breakfast…Bryan is thinking of having some with his Special K as this is being written!



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CHAMPAGNE BILLECART-SALMON
BRUT RESERVE
SPECIAL - $49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

Billecart is back at the special price for the season! At about 160,000 cases of total production spread out over 9 different selections, Billecart-Salmon is one of the Champagne region's mid-sized houses but is also one that Champagne-lovers know so well and one that we refer to as ‘mid-sized but mighty’.

What famed Champagne house Billecart-Salmon is doing is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Having changed focus at the turn of the millennium by considerably lowering production and almost taking on a grower's mentality, this house is now producing wines in a terroir-driven, richly layered but elegant reality. The petite, elegant mousse tells a lot about the quality of this impressive Champagne. It is quite full in style, with flavors of white currants, white chocolate, brioche and a rich, firmly dry and achingly beautiful long aftertaste. It is a perfect food Champagne, with structure, depth and a good tension between richness and elegance. Champagne-lovers take note, if you haven't had Billecart in a while, you owe it to yourself to re-visit or try it if you haven't had it before. Frankly, I find it all too difficult to convey my excitement for not only this wine on an e-mail blast. One last thing – 95 POINTS FROM DECANTER MAGAZINE





FRIDAY SIPS

Sicilian Shakedown featuring Planeta
Special Guest Don ‘Pancetta’

This Friday, Sept. 21 from 1:30 - 6:30

Sicliy is very exciting right now and Planeta is one of the island’s most influential producers. Drop by this Friday to taste four wines utilizing native Sicilian grapes being poured by our friend Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon. Don’t be oobatz and miss this one, otherwise we’re getting the cement shoes. Todd will arrive at 3:30 (I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early).

FEATURED WINES:

2014 Planeta Etna Rosso ‘Eruzione 1614’
2015 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria
2014 Planeta Nero D’Avola/Nocera
2016 Planeta Etna Bianco







THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'ALL SYSTEMS GO' HOTSHEET
Award Winning Chateauneuf, Walter Scott Pinot, Port, Unoaked Italian White, Savory Malbec & more


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2017 WALTER SCOTT PINOT NOIR
'LA COMBE VERT'
$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

2017 is here and I have to say, not only does my crush on Walter Scott wines continue, there is an even bigger crush for this vintage. Later to develop, this vintage possesses power, sophistication, and backbone and lift that makes it enjoyable now but one that will age beautifully as well.

Clos des Oiseaux, Justice, Prophet and Sojourner from the Eola-Amity combined with the famed Freedom Hill Vineyard make up the blend of vineyards for this wine that should never be referred to as a quote ‘entry wine’. This is way above the realm of what should ever be $25 in quality. In fact, there are numerous versions that I see and taste that are of this quality and sell for 10-15 dollars more. Aromatic, forward and laden with nutmeg and exotic spices along with impressive, smoke-tinged, red raspberry scents. Crawling through the mouth, this wine exudes its caressing qualities that are eloquent and absorbing from start to the lingering finish. As previously mentioned, this enigmatic Pinot is quite extroverted now but if you want something that is collectible for a song, it can also age nicely for a decade and probably even further.



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2017 CIRO PICARIELLO
FIANO IRPINIA
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Italian white wine. No oak. Two great wines aspects that are beautiful things. Owning a mere seven hectares, this estate produces seven different wines from their home base in Campania’s Avellino hills. Founded in 1997, this estate has quickly become one of the stars of the region and deservedly so, these magnetic wines are fabulous from start to finish.

The Irpinia designated Fiano, declassified from the estate’s Fiano d’Avellino offers terrific value and drinking pleasure. Stony, oceanic aromas prevail with underlying rose-oil, Anjou pear and prominent pink grapefruit tones. Propelling, nicely formed flavors are concentrated along with a sense of weightlessness this white is succulent, dry and really hangs around; this is an ultimate vehicle with seafood. Why waste the same money on some dirty sugar-water Pinot Gris when you can drink something so titillating like top Fiano.



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QUINTA DO NOVAL
10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT
$31.99 BTL.

Wine with chocolate? Tawny Port is a slam-dunk, especially when it comes from one of the apex port lodges. Whether it be their legendary vintage ports that live forever or a wonderful 10-year-old tawny such as this, Quinta do Noval is always at the forefront for high quality port wines. Always on the power side, these are deep wines of substance.

A smooth an outstanding Port that delivers lovely aromas of flan, caramel, toffee and intermittent dried cherry characteristics. Mouth filling and with a classic sweetness and a refined, vibrant finish, that reveals its cask elevation. As mentioned, it is great with chocolate, but it will also work with desserts laced with coffee or a stilton cheese. The beauty of a tawny port is that it has already been tawnied for you, so this means you can cork and uncork it as you wish and enjoy the bottle over several months vs. a vintage port that has to be consumed in one sitting.



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2016 CHATEAU COUPE-ROSES
MINERVOIS 'LA BASTIDE'
$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Pound for pound and euro for euro, Chateau Coupe Roses is one of France’s most prolific producers. François Calvez is committed to making wines that reflect his best hillside vineyards in the region. Organically farmed, these hearty, soulful red wines will compliment festive food and to bring a warming atmosphere to your home….and will not break the bank!
The La Bastide is classic Minervois. Equal parts Grenache and Carignan with 5% Syrah, this value-oriented, soulful Southern French red wine shows off bold wild spice, lavender and strawberry notes that have nice depth and focus of fruit. The finish is pure, wild and spicy with stellar length. This wine will work with an array of dishes like roasted chicken, a hearty stew or by itself by the fireplace.



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2015 CATENA MALBEC MENDOZA
APPELLATION LUNLUNTA
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

In 1902, when Nicolas Catena's grandfather left the vineyards of Marche and planted his first vineyard in the desert soil of Mendoza, it hardly seems possible that he realized they were embarking on a journey that would lead to revolutionizing the most important winegrowing region of South America. The Catena family is responsible for extensive research of microclimates and clones that are used by many producers in the Mendoza today. The basic criteria was to select those clones that produced the best quality grapes at the lowest yields per hectare in order to achieve the flavor concentration necessary to produce distinguished wines.

Dramatic and aromatic nose of bold, dark plum-pepper, allspice, violet and hot rock. One smell reveals that it is from old vines at a high elevation. Sexy, saturated, chewy and polished. Dense, vinous and a real mouthful of red wine. Through all of this, it maintains elevation that calls you back for another glass and another and another, etc., etc. The finish is penetrating and dense, revealing chocolate-covered raspberry red tones and sticks around for a long time.



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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE
PRICE

Are you ready for a very different Nebbiolo experience? If so, continue to read this entry. Carema is the Piedmont’s most northwestern wine regions situated at the border of the Valle d’Aosta. A small and very well run cooperative founded in 1960, the Produttori di Carema consists of 45 growers and the wines emerging are fantastic expressions of their region and especially the Nebbiolo grape.

2015 is ultra-successful as it the conditions provided excellent generosity, but also possesses plenty of crunchiness and zip due to the elevation and cool nights. Very engaging, savory scents of rose, red plum, mint, licorice and subtle undertones of smoke and herbs lead into a mouth-filling and vivacious texture that oozes deliciousness and a level of depth that is exactly why this producer is regarded as one of the finest in all of Piedmont. A wine with substance and dimension as well as owning a finish that takes off. A ton of goodness here for not a ridiculous amount of money, enjoy this with beef/pork stuffed ravioli or a risotto done with cheese and mushrooms.



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2014 QUINTA DAS MAIAS
DAO TINTO
$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE

The Dao region is one of Portugal's most famous and oldest producing areas first being recognized in 1908. Situated south of the Porto region, in Centro Portugal, the red wines here tend to be hearty, assertive and packed with character from its diverse sandy/granitic soils and both maritime and continental climate. The region is home to a dozen indigenous grape varietals but the majority of the reds are made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro Preto and Encruzado. Quinta Das Maias is part of the Quinta dos Roques estate and the philosophy here is to produce wines based on the Jaen grape.

80% Jaen (also known as Mencia in Spain), 20% Touriga Nacional, this mouth-coating number delivers up loads of strawberry, licorice, herbs and coriander. Buxom, yet cerebral, there is a hell of a lot of goodness in the bottle. Chewy and beefy along with plenty of vibrancy to balance it out. Really fine with smoked meats.



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2016 LINGUA FRANCA CHARDONNAY
BUNKER HILL VINEYARD
$44.99 BTL./$269.94 - SIX PACK

One of the exciting arrivals into the Oregon wine scene is the emergence of Lingua Franca. Founded and operated by Larry Stone (Master Sommelier), David Honig and the legendary Meursault maestro Dominque Lafon, and along with winemaker Thomas Savre, this estate is nothing but the truth. I had the chance to sample their lineup of wines last week. Easy to say I was more than bowled over by the precision and focus of the entire range We will see more in the coming weeks but I thought that it was appropriate to offer this one now.

Bunker Hill Vineyard is located in the Salem Hills just south of the city. Lingua Franca farms and leases the site, selling some fruit off to friends as well. Planted in 1995 and at an elevation of 600 feet, this may be the closest to apex Chablis in Oregon that I have tasted. Elegant aromas of round and creamy pear, white peach, hazelnut and a delicate touch of flowers fill the nose. What stands out on the palate is the palate-clinging texture and lingering mouthfeel, which are perfectly balanced with notes ripe pear fruit, mineral, honey, and a subtle hazelnut with mineral electricity that is reminiscent of top Chablis yet still is definitive of what small batch Oregon Chardonnay is. Very compelling and delicious, it is gorgeous, world-class chardonnay not to be missed! Drink now through 2026+ with roasted poultry, lobster, and crab with lots of butter or soft-ripened cheeses.



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2016 VIEUX DONJON
CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
$65.99 BTL./$791.88 CASE

Accolades you ask?!?! This wine’s got ‘em! 98 points, Jeb Dunnuck, 95 points, Vinous, 95 points, Wine & Spirits. In all honesty, greatness need not be hyped when it comes to Vieux Donjon's Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines because they back it up.

Jacked with aromas of rock dust, asphalt and dense, jammy blackberry and black licorice. Thyme and sage emit from underneath to add complexity. Compact and layered. Incredibly concentrated with some roasted earth tones, yet there is underlying regalness and Grand Cru depth. When I tasted this, it immediately took me to thinking that it could be a separated-at-birth twin of a Rousseau Mazi-Chambertin! Awesomely structured and high-toned finish that has unreal length, this is one of the profound wines of Chateauneuf and really needs a few years before it should be consumed. Best from 2022 – 2036+.




FRIDAY SIPS

Sicilian Shakedown featuring Planeta
Special Guest Don ‘Pancetta’

This Friday, Sept. 21 from 1:30 - 6:30

Sicliy is very exciting right now and Planeta is one of the island’s most influential producers. Drop by this Friday to taste four wines utilizing native Sicilian grapes being poured by our friend Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon. Don’t be oobatz and miss this one, otherwise we’re getting the cement shoes. Todd will arrive at 3:30 (I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early).

FEATURED WINES:

2014 Planeta Etna Rosso ‘Eruzione 1614’
2015 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria
2014 Planeta Nero D’Avola/Nocera
2016 Planeta Etna Bianco







UPCOMING FRIDAY SIPS


September 21

Planeta's Sicilian wines with Todd 'Pancetta' Bacon



September 28

Fattoria di Petroio Chianti & Olive Oil with special guest Pamela Lenzi




* Note: all Friday Sips may change based on late arrivals, distribution snafus or Bryan's ever-changing whims