FUNKY FRESH FLAVOR FEATURE


FRIDAY SIPS
Pink Parade Rose Tasting
Today, April 20 from 1:30 - 6:30
Drop this today from 1:30 - 6:30 and prepare to be sunk by four pink torpedoes!! Sancerre, Provence, Languedoc & Lombardy will be represented.
We'll also uncork a red for les nostalgiques who have the notion that something may fall off of them if they drink something pink. :-)


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2017 DOMAINE LA MANARINE
CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE ROSÉ
$15.99 BTL./$191.88 CASE

Just heard that there is a new perfume out there Eau de Stilton. Have we really become that desperate for original scents?!?! They claim that it is earthy and fruity but does not smell like old socks. Moral of this story is, let us look to the English for fish and chips and beer while sticking with the French when it comes to perfume and wine. This time of the year, we are also looking to France for the dry and very delicious rosés that we love so much. Domaine La Manarine is from the Plan de Dieu area in Provence that is the true spiritual home of Côtes-du-Rhône wines. On this plain, it is solely CDR. A young, familial Domaine of 40 acres in a sea of grapes created by Gilles Gasq in 2001, these wines have been quite impressive in their short history.

60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre & 20% Syrah. Not a hint of sweetness in this bone dry offering that is quite Froggy. We say Froggy, not only because it is French, but also because the aromas leap from the glass! Smoke, strawberries and subtle herbs dominate the nose while the palate is lifting, refreshing and full of zest and generosity. It is going to be an issue to score well-made Southern French Rosé in copious amounts for vintage 2017 because of a short but impressive crop. Only three cases are available so come and get it if you want some because it will sell out!



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2017 MOULIN DE GASSAC
PAYS D’HERAULT ROSÉ
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

So many Rosé that I taste in this price range are boring and insipid and are rejected. A few weeks back when Samuel Guibert was here and I stuck my beak into a glass of this delightful wine from one of Languedoc’s prime influences, I breathed a sigh of relief. Normally we are brutally honest around here when it comes to wine, however, it is one thing to make the "yuck" face in front of some idiot wine marketer, but when it's the family who made the wine, that is not an option (unless you are Paolo Saracco that time he tasted Phelps Chardonnay)!

50% Syrah, 50% Carignan from land near Sete and the Thau lagoon, this directly pressed Languedoc rosé is full of verve. Percolating aromas of cherry pit, melon and sea salt aromas lead into a crisp shimmering texture that provides simple pleasure. Toss back this summer slammer on your porch, at a picnic, at the beach, in the hot tub, to cure a hangover and on and on.



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2017 COMINCIOLI ‘DIAMENTE’
CHIARETTO ROSÉ
$19.99 BTL./$119.94 – SIX PACK

While there are many pink wines produced throughout Italy, the truth is that there are only three TRADITIONAL Rosé-producing areas, Abruzzo, Puglia and the Chiaretto wines from the area around Lake Garda. When it comes to these wines, Comincioli is one of the supreme leaders.

The 2017 is a splashing blend of Groppello, Barbera, Sangiovese and Marzemino, this wine is like standing under a cold, gushing waterfall. Currant, lime, blackberry, wildflowers and smoked herbs are non-stop. Flavorful and impacting with a bracing texture that seemingly is an electrical storm in the mouth; the finish is zesty, engaging and entices you back for about four more glasses and then another bottle. An indelible choice for food pairings, enjoy it with grilled swordfish, barbecued chicken, spicy Thai food or stuffed zucchini. Locals in the area also refer to Chiaretto as Christmas wine and we recommend holding a bottle or two and making it a mighty match with holiday crab.



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2017 NEVEU SANCERRE ROSÉ
'LES GRANDS FRICAMBAULTS'
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Artisan winemakers are a lot like fine musicians, no potential virtuoso would ever want to be called a Justin Beiber or Nickelback wannabe. Like this, no brilliant, small wine producer would ever want to be compared to the jagoffs at Gallo. Having been making Sancerre wines for over 40 years, Domaine Neveu doesn't need some PR idiot promoting some conjured up, embellished romantic 'story' about his legendary Sancerre wines. If you want cajolery from top-notch terroir and winemaking craft, just open a bottle of any their wines and the aromas and flavors will do all the articulating for you.

Beguiling Rose from one of the true masters of Sancerre, if you were to put a blindfold on and taste the wine, it wouldn't matter that the wine was pink, you would still believe you were drinking fabulous Sancerre Blanc; it is truly all about terroir, rocks and acid! Neveu's luxurious Sancerre Rosé is treated with the same meticulous care as the estate's white Sancerre wines. Alluring, intense aromas of raspberries and strawberries combine with brilliant gunflint, lemon-lime, herbs and crustaceans that march directly into a lively attack with nice body and nervosity that is akin to sticking one's finger into a socket, all reinforcing the wine's prowess. Owning a scintillating long aftertaste, if you have never experienced Sancerre Rose it is high time that you did. Like great Bandol or Tavel Rosé, Sancerre Rosé wines are extremely high in quality, but are completely different animals all together yet deserve the same attention. Drink it over the next 2-3 years with grilled salmon, Thanksgiving turkey, fresh crab, and much more!






CELLAR DOOR'S WEDNESDAY ROSÉ


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2017 CARREL JONGIEUX ROSE
VIN DE SAVOIE
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

With production down it is going to be time to discover Rose wines other than the South of France. Quite honestly, I’d rather offer you superb wines from other areas than to compromise and sell you mass produced so-called rose wines like AIX, VRAC or Notorious Pink that are PR-driven, industrially made merde in a refinery. This is real wine made by an overachieving producer. If Carrel were in Burgundy, Bordeaux or the Rhone, his wines would fetch much more money but given his humble locale, we are all the better for it.

Impeccably formed, this Savoie blend of Gamay & Mondeuse is quite beguiling. Smoke, lime, touches of freshly cut roses with Alpine herbs and strawberry arriving on the scene to add layers of complexity. Combining a flavorful palate-presence with excellent chime, this mouth-watering marvel can be consumed in copious qualities or with grilled chicken or tuna jacked with herbs, anise, and not a bad combo with shellfish done in a Thai-inspired preparation. Get it while it’s here because there is 30% less available than last year.





FRIDAY SIPS

Pink Parade Rose Tasting

This Friday, April 20 from 1:30 - 6:30

Drop this Friday from 1:30 - 6:30 and prepare to be sunk by four pink torpedoes!! Sancerre, Provence, Languedoc & Lombardy will be represented.

We'll also uncork a red for les nostalgiques who have the notion that something may fall off of them if they drink something pink. :-)

ROSE WINES TO BE TASTED:

2017 Manarine Cotes-du-Rhone Rose
2017 Moulin de Gassac Languedoc Rose ‘Guilhem’
2017 Neveu Sancerre Rose
2017 Cominciole Chiaretto Rose ‘Diamente’







THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'CHERRY BLOSSOMS' HOTSHEET
93 pt. ChiantiSpecial, Montrachet, Bandol, Kelley Fox Pinot Value Reds & more


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2014 ISOLE E OLENA
CHIANTI CLASSICO
[reg. $27.99]
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

All Italian and Tuscan wine lovers should be absolutely demanding a Chianti such as this. The legendary Paolo de Marchi and his Isole E Olena property consistently make REAL Chianti wines, not knocked-up Napa Valley wannabes! Year in and year out, the consistency of excellence that this wine delivers is unparalleled…hell, even Wine Enthusiast Magazine is on board with a large 93-point score:

‘Fragrant and refined, this radiant red opens with enticing scents of wild berry, aromatic herb, dark spice, menthol and whiffs of tilled soil and pressed blue flower. Ethereally elegant and boasting great tension, the palate delivers succulent red cherry, raspberry, clove and a hint of licorice while vibrant acidity and polished, fine-grained tannins lend balance and support. Drink through 2024. – 93 POINTS, WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE



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2014 DOMAINE DES OUCHES
BOURGUEIL 'CUVEE 20'
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Next to Pierre Breton, Domaine Des Ouches brothers Thomas and Denis Gambier are right there when it comes to brilliance in Bourgueil, a village in close proximity to Chinon. Cuvee 20 is a play on words. 20 in French is vingt and it rhymes with vin, the French word for wine. Picture yourself kicking back in a French café or bistro with a hunk of paté or rillettes in front of you and having a blast with this particular wine.

100% Cabernet Franc and totally luminous, clean and full of fruit, earth and soul, this wine engages all the olfactory senses. Black raspberry, sanguine, roses and turned earth aromas carry over to a texture that surges with red cherry, sandalwood and an underlay of licorice then elevates and touches all points of the palate. At 12.5° alcohol, this is an enticing wine to serve slightly chilled with just about anything that will clog the arteries.



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2016 KELLEY FOX
PINOT NOIR 'AHURANI'
$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

Decidedly inspired by the old world, particularly Burgundy, Kelley’s influence from her time working alongside David Lett at Eyrie is very evident in her elegant, precise and very ageworthy Pinot Noirs that are consistently in Oregon's top echelon. Make no mistake, this is one of the finest producers in Oregon and her wines excel, especially as they age. The Ahurani is a new selection and a sibling of Mirabai.

A completely different narrative than her Mirabai, Ahurani, named after an ancient Persian goddess of water and well-being, comes forth in a very French style. In fact, as it ages, my suspicion is that it will be difficult to pick as a new world wine in a blind tasting. Coming from the smashing 2016 vintage, Kelley’s Ahurani is genuine Pinot with seductive aspects, it is cerebral and not a deeply-colored, caricature version like others that could be referred to as Pinot to pair with a pack of Kools. Instead, this wine has all the hallmarks of a siren on the rocks with rose-petal, crunchy and not jammy strawberry, subtle pepper and underlying jasmine/mineral aromas which dominate the nose. Ethereal flavors that are caressing, silky and vivid fan out and flow on through to the impressively long, airy finish that also provides pleasurable snap-back. Very accessible now, but for best results, give it another year and drink it through the end of the decade.



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2016 LOVE & SQUALOR PINOT GRIS
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Love & Squalor’s Matt Berson has been producing wine under this label since 2007 and has developed quite a reputation for producing epic Rieslings and very sultry Pinot Noirs. What is not as known is that he also makes a hell of a Pinot Gris as well and we are proud to offer it broadly for the first time.

A bold, broad and expressive Pinot Gris that has classy aromas of melon, apple, mineral and spice. In the mouth there is gorgeous crispness and refinement, but with gorgeous depth and breadth of flavor and balance which drive into a long, spice and mushroom-laden finish. The obvious match is grilled salmon, but it is versatile enough to drink with roasted chicken, spicy Thai shrimp dishes or scallops.



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2012 CHATEAU FIEUZAL PESSAC-LEOGNAN
'L'ABEILLE DE FIEUZAL'
$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

Chateau Fieuzal is one of the prominent red and white Bordeaux producers in a region that split off from the Graves area 30 years ago. Pessac-Leognan is home to such renowned producers like Haut-Brion and Pape Clement and this producer really punches above its weight class. L’Abeille is the estate’s second label and is one and only about 1300 or so cases are annually produced. It also happens to be one of the real sleeper values of Bordeaux.

More and more, 2012 is turning out to be a genuine sleeper, somewhat forgotten vintage. It also is starting to look even more impressive on a monetary standpoint as 2014, 2015 and 2016 climb in price. Fine spice, cassis and blackberry shine against a backdrop of smoke and sandalwood. The palate is exquisitely balanced, deceptively persuasive and deep with ripe berries and briary tones kick in on the entry and give way to alluring chocolate and tobacco tones that spread out on the finish and follow through with pepper and cinnamon. Good appeal and charm to this wine now, and will age well through 2023+.



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2015 OLIVARES JUMILLA
'ALTOS DE LA HOYA'
$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

The 2015 Monastrell Altos de la Hoya is approximately 90% Monastrell (Mourvedre) with 10% Garnacha that was aged in small barrels, varying in age. The deep almost opaque color gives you the first hint into the fact that this little $10 red has serious cojones. Deep, dark and warm perfume of spice, new saddle leather, anise, creamy black and blueberries. A fun-filled, crowd pleasing wine that is great to bring to upcoming Spring & Summer backyard parties.



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2011 CHATEAU PRADEAUX BANDOL
$39.99 - LIMITED!

...and now for some serious Mourvedre!! These days Bandol is not just Domaine Tempier. Many stalwarts are finally being recognized for outstanding quality and the devout traditionalist Chateau Pradeaux is one that we have been working with and enjoying for many years. Very much a wine that ages extremely well, the 2011 is not just a can of whoop-ass; it is a whole case of whoop-ass! A drop-dead stunner of a Bandol vintage, this wine almost behaves like a French Barolo.

Serious tar scents with undertones of red flower and coffee from earth rather than from the use of new oak. Wiry texture and extremely tightly wound with resounding structure, this wine is powerfully-built and even in a warm vintage will age stupendously. 95% Mourvedre & 5% Grenache with deep, fine fruit notes underneath and more will come out with time. Expect this to be very ripe, layered and profound with complex notes of Provençal herbs, mushroom and floral tones as it ages. Firm and packed in the back, but really stays around exquisitely in the mouth. At age 7, this is starting to awaken and can be consumed with hearty fare through 2027.



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2015 PILLOT CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET
PREMIER CRU 'LES VERGERS'
$69.99 - LIMITED

Laurent Pillot is one of the kings of Chassagne-Montrachet wines and this address continues to go from strength to strength. Vergers is one of my favorite Premiers crus sites. The vines on the three small plots were planted in 1955, 1965 and 1984. More and more we are seeing top Premiers Crus with a hyphen followed by the word Montrachet nearing three-digit pricing. Because of this and the wine being one of the top level 2015s in Laurent’s lineup, at this price it should not be missed.

Starts a bit reticent with a rocky, briny nose. Rosemary present but loaded with blood-orange, mineral and plenty of density. A bit on the stubborn, youthful side right now. Super-depth and weight in the mouth with lots of brisk, structured steely tones. Vivid, fine, and having some extroverted fruit and lift on the lengthy finish. This is delicious now but will be a super-apex Chassagne! Drink through 2026.




FRIDAY SIPS

Pink Parade Rose Tasting

This Friday, April 20 from 1:30 - 6:30

Drop this Friday from 1:30 - 6:30 and prepare to be sunk by four pink torpedoes!! Sancerre, Provence, Languedoc & Lombardy will be represented.
We'll also uncork a red for les nostalgiques who have the notion that something may fall off of them if they drink something pink. :-)

ROSE WINES TO BE TASTED:

2017 Mascaronne Cotes-de-Provence Rose ‘Quat’ Saisons’
2017 Moulin de Gassac Languedoc Rose ‘Guilhem’
2017 Neveu Sancerre Rose
2017 Cominciole Chiaretto Rose ‘Diamente’







COMING DISTRACTIONS


April 25

Scavino Barolo Pre-Sell Seat At The Table Tasting. (By Invite)



May 11

10th Anniversary of Friday Sips!! A fabulous party indeed. More details coming soon!



May 16

Bordeaux Seat At The Table Pre-Arrival Tasting. (By Invite). Special Guest, Charlotte Fillaudeau from top Bordeaux Negociant MT Vins will be presenting a lineup of wine from superb Chateaux from throughout Bordeaux



June 8

Haut Rian Dance Party. Michel Dietrich’s annual visit and Tasting. Always a fun Friday and we’ll be pouring the new white, rose, red and a few others.



TBD

Second Quarter Bubblebath. Champagnes from Diebolt-Vallois & more.