95 point French Syrah, Montepulciano, BordeauxValue, Pinot Gris & more

Click to Order
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Having reestablished themselves as one of the apex producers in the Tuscan village of Montepulciano, Avignonesi continues to impress with their finely crafted and farmed offerings. This estate dates back to 1377 and pope Gregory when he moved the papal estate from Rome to Avignon. One of the families returned and were known as Avignonesi and started this estate, which is one of the oldest in Tuscany.

2016 is a pretty damn seamless vintage for Tuscany and Avignonesi’s Ross is a tremendous value that is a look into the future of what the top cuvees will bring. 90% Prugnolo Gentile (Montepulciano’s close of Sangiovese) along with 10% of Colorino and Canaiolo, this wine rocks for 20-bucks! Sage and violet-dominated scents with red plum aspects are followed by a savory texture that is nicely buffered by a subtle roasted coffee secondary aspect that brings about another level of complexity. Accessible now and over the next 4-5 years, this is a thought-provoking Tuscan wine with serious backbone and persistence for its price.

Click to Order
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

As we have often stated, there is a glut of wine out there and on occasion, we do see price decreases as many distributors and wineries need to move through vintages. Here is one such example. Listing at $35 around the interwebs, this wine becomes quite a steal for 20. A single vineyard, Russell-Grooters, that sits alongside other excellent producers like Soter and Ken Wright, this is classic Yamhill-Carlton and being 2013, is classic Pinot instead of being a Cabernet wannabe.

Ample depth but with prominent vivacity and structure; pronounced red cherry, strawberry, kisses of ripe herbs, smoke and licorice. Forward, velvety and drinking well, however, don't be fooled, this wine is possesses sneaky backbone and will certainly stand up to some heartier dishes. More substance arrives in the middle and the wine finishes with piquant components of spice, earth and nutmeg. We love the best expressions of Oregon’s 2013 vintage and this one will please for another 5-7 years.

Click to Order
MEDOC (Bordeaux)
$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

The Francisco family has been making wine in the Médoc since 1870, when they bought Château de la Croix, a Médoc Cru Bourgeois. The Château Pey Martin is in the Northern part of the Médoc vineyard. The Gironde Estuary lies to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west. This geographical location; surrounded by water, protects the wines and moderates the climat. The soil is a mix of gravel and clayey limestone.

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc with the Cab Sauv showing off immediately with very engaging aspects of cassis and blackberry. Underlying mineral and plum with just a kiss of oak. Lush entry, some marine aspects, finesse and smoothed out. A perfect bistro Bordeaux that pairs well with duck, lamb or beef.

Click to Order
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Not only is Doug Beckett, Peachy Canyon founder and one of the finest Zinfandel producers in California, he is one of the pioneers of the Paso Robles wine region. Plenty of deliciousness is always on offer here and the Westside Zin is always one of the regions excellent expressions of both site and the Zinfandel grape.

Best described as Energy Drink for Zin enthusiasts, the 2016 shows superb Zin density without being heavy or ponderous. Extroverted with fleshy raspberry, cranberry and cherry tones along with plenty of Provencal herbs, briar, and smoky spice. In the mouth, it is bright, plump and chock full of berries, licorice and pepper. The generosity of 2016 gives off an ever so slight exotic character as the wine moves towards the spice-laden finish. Consistent from start to finish, and really good, too! Drink now through 2024 with a big steak.

Click to Order
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Too often folks who fancy themselves as Oregon wine experts think that the Willamette Valley ends at McMinnville. Foule sentimentale indeed! Go south and you will find plenty of excellent things happening. Cardwell Cellars is located just outside Corvallis and is watched over by Mary’s Peak. This cool site is dry farmed and recently I had a chance to taste several offerings.

The Pinot Gris is flat out scrumptious. Being 12.3% alcohol, it allows one to have several bottles - oops, I mean glasses! Vivid pear-spice fruit, lemon and a nice touch of mineral and mushroom permeate from the glass. The texture is classically round. It also is seemingly very crystallized with serious cut and mouthwatering briskness. The finish is nakedly pure and drawn out. A magical match with cured salmon appetizers. Drink it now and drink it often!

Click to Order
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Allured by the Salta region, one with plenty of Argentina’s extremes, Anko co-owners Jeff Mausbach and Colo Sejanovich are delivering interesting wines of high quality that are making the wine world take note of what can be accomplished in these rugged vineyard sites.

The 2017 Malbec is a steal. ‘Pure and minerally, with concentrated dark plum, boysenberry and macerated cherry flavors. Creamy midpalate, showing a long, intense finish filled with dark chocolate and Asian spice. Drink now through 2024. – 92 POINTS – THE WINE SPECTATOR

Click to Order
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

As fine as the Malbec is, the Torrontes is what really lit it off when I tasted the range.

Torrontes is seemingly the white grape of choice in Argentina. A bit more serious than most, Anko’s version exhibits more than just explosive and dramatic aspects. Fragrances of peach pit, flowers, and orange citrus fruit follow into a brisk, alluring texture that is bright, complex and with charming depth that keeps you coming back for more. On second sip, we found aromas of gooseberry, spicy banana and lychee that lead to a surging floral finish with a touch of honey. Fully dry and playing fantastically on the myriad of fruit flavors this wine is perfect foil with spicier seafood preparations.

Click to Order
$54.99 BTL./$659.88 CASE

On the last full day of Karen, Michael and my visit to France, we spent the entire day with Lionel Fraisse, partner and winemaker at Domaine Voge. Safe to say we not only had an education tasting wine, Lionel took us up into some of France’s steepest and most treacherous vineyard sites which also happens to be home of some of the world’s greatest Syrahs. In fact a couple of the sites registered as ‘flights of stairs’ while we climbed up them!

Les Chailles is from four specific sites in Cornas, 40-year-old vines and planted on sandstone and granite soils. 2016 is perhaps the finest version of this wine that we have worked with to date and considering what so many other Syrahs from the new world are going for and not farmed at 40 degree angles without the use of tractors, it is a steal and will age impeccably. ‘Edited for content’ notes from our visit: ‘Immediate profound nose; rock-star quality. Very Grand Cru. Nose teases with black plum, black cherry and alluring smoky tones. Unyielding balance and sans compromise, the texture is classic Voge with caressing tones with lots of deceptive power and spine. Goes a bit introverted on the youthful finish, but wow, this shoots out very far and sticks around for what seems to be an eternity….here's where the real Rated NC-17 notes commenced regarding this great wine, but we'll leave those to your imagination! This promises to be legendary Syrah…hold and then drink from 2023 – 2036.’ If scores set you off, this has 95 points from both Wine Spectator and Decanter.

Friday Sips

Pink Parade V-3

This Friday July 19 from 1:30 - 6:30

Remarks, Adjudications & Assertions from areas producing Dry Rose outside of Provence. Join us this Friday for our third Rose event which features pink wines from Mt. Etna, Spain, Oregon and Touraine.


2018 Calabretta Terre Siciliane Rose
2018 Merieu Touraine Rose
2018 Crowley Pinot Noir Rose
2018 Valerio Navarra Rose