THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'TWO DOWN, TWO TO GO' HOTSHEET
Stellar Chablis Values, Volpaia Chianti Riserva, Cab, Palacios Priorat & more
2013 CALCU CABERNET SAUVIGNON
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE
In the local Mapuche language, Calcu means ‘magician’. And indeed, owner Ricardo Rivadeniera and winemaker Rodrigo Romero have created a magical value Cabernet Sauvignon from the distinctive flavors of Chile's Colchagua Valley.
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carmenere and 5% Petite Verdot, this wine emits nothing but goodness. Chock full of deep cassis and mocha tones along with underlying mineral, cedarbox and nutmeg all which carry over into the mouth. Full-flavored, quite extensive for a mere 13 bucks and nicely lingering. Drink now and over the next 3-4 years.
TROIS CHABLIS GLORIEUX
1.) 2014 GROSSOT CHABLIS
PREMIER CRU 'VAUCOPIN'
$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE
Jean-Pierre Grossot is the prototype Chablisien farmer who is regarded as one of the tigers poised to move into the league of Raveneau, Louis Michel, Dauvissat & Fevre, all of whose Premiers Crus run well into the stratosphere. Already obtaining notoriety, I really expect the prices of this producer to rise in the future. In the meantime, take advantage of something cool and über-delicious for amazing prices!
Owning 32 acres (25 in AOC Chablis and 7 spread out over three different Premiers Crus) this producer has converted his vineyards to organic and harvests everything manually. Vaucoupin is located just east of the village of Chablis and is a steep, south-facing slope with a tad more clay in the soil to go along with the chalk. 2014 is an exquisite version of this Premier Cru, which possesses natural depth and backbone from the 45-year-old vines. Dense and generous from the clay soils old vines but quite taut and nerveaux up in front, then builds nicely and lingers on the back. An incisive wine of noteworthy class, with subtle grapefruit and pineapple flavors that are enveloped by firm minerality and peat tones. Very long, fresh and aromatic on the back end. Drink now through 2024 with very refined seafood dishes. A true Chablis lover’s Chablis!
2.) 2014 GROSSOT CHABLIS
PREMIER CRU 'FOURNEAUX'
$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE
Fourneaux is a Premier Cru site and one that has a warm microclimate, hence Fourneaux or oven. South facing and very steep, when in adept hands, this site really over-performs.
Clay and limestone over kimmeridgian soil, one sees and tastes not only Chablis but also the sunshine that aids in the wine’s depth. The 2014 reveals some perfumed stone, musk, saline, tangerine and undertones of spicy earth. Very clean and precise yet rounder than both the Vaucopin and Mont de Milieu. Nice layers of fruit here, but they never interfere at all with the classic flinty character of the wine. The finish builds plenty of electricity and has good outward qualities. Drink through 2025.
3.) 2014 GROSSOT CHABLIS
PREMIER CRU 'MONT DE MILEAU'
$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE
Mont de Milieu is Grossot’s most structured and stacked Premier Cru. Bordering the Grands Crus and quite steep, this vineyard is packed with Kimmeridgian soil and laden with sea shell/fossils.
Very complete nose. Citrus fruit, but along with musk, serious crustaceans, crushed limestone and gunflint. Impressive depth here along with gentle mushroom and anise tones beneath the surface. Linear and very electric and nervy. Goes very deep, but is tight and youthful; serious oceanic flavors and the finish can best be described as mighty! This is superb quality almost reaching Grand Cru levels in this great vintage. Drink through 2028.
2015 ALVARO PALACIOS
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
Alvaro Palacios is known for some serious high-end juice; however, his Camins is an excellent way to have a Palacios Priorat experience for 20 bucks. Consistently this dude kills it with his Priorat wines and he remains one of Spain's most important figures.
2015 is the ninth vintage for the Camins and once again, it soars into orbit. 40% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah & 10% Merlot and packed with broad plum, cinnamon, licorice and serious wind-swept garrigue, but never fear, the distinct dance of the minerality never strays far in both aroma and taste-wise. Speaking of taste, the texture goes very deep with a full presence of black licorice fruit, less tannins and backbone, this offering never veer into heaviness or thickness and is meant to be consumed in the near-term. Resounding white pepper explodes on the finish that possesses excellent persistence; this is an excellent choice for grilled pork.
2010 FOUR VINES ZINFANDEL
‘MAVERICK’ AMADOR COUNTY
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE
If you're a Zinfandel fanatic you should unquestionably have this outfit's full-flavored bounties in your drinking repertoire. The Four Vines crew are wine rebels who specialize in Zin and make wines that are decidedly American.
The 2010 Maverick is authoritative, balls-to-the-wall, impactful Zin, although now six years old, it is really smoothed out and garnering excellent complexity. From dry-farmed, head-pruned vines from Amador County's Shenandoah Valley, the old vines here give this stunner intensity and an elixir-like concentration. Ripe, warm notes of raspberry and juicy cherry play off perfectly intertwined pepper-spice and lovely violet scents. The high elevation vineyard site brings forth a briskness that balances out the richness and makes this zin a great match for grilled meats, brick-oven pizza and tomato-based dishes.
2012 CARABELLA PINOT NOIR
$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE
Since planting his vineyard in 1996, Mike Hallock has been producing terrific wines in the Chehalem Mountain region in a very stealth manner. 25 years as a geologist, Mike brought this experience to bear when he chose his site and planted his seven different clones on his 58 acres. The style here is full-scale due to the warmth of the site, but nowhere does this wine resemble a boat plank.
About one-third use of new French oak allows the wines to maintain what Mike looks for in his wines, a real expression of both his site and the Chehalem Mountain region itself. The nose on this wine starts in cruising mode then quickly shifts into third, fourth and fifth gear. With engaging perfume, cinnamon, red flowers, smoke, and raspberry, this very real, yet full Pinot Noir is not made simply to appease Cabernet drinkers, there is a hell of a lot more there than just fruit, oak and more fruit. Lacy and deep flavors weave through the mouth buffered nicely by regal structure. The finish is fine and long with pronounced creamy red tones. This wine is very likable now and will continue to drink well and develop over the next 7-8 years.
2012 CASTELLO DI VOLPAIA
CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA
$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE
Mind-blowing. The most appropriate description to describe the Volpaia wines these days. No matter how good something is, there is always room for improvement and at an already renowned estate like Volpaia, they are always looking for ways and means to make their great wines even greater! Back in 2001, the estate took on a consulting oenologist and the already transcendent Volpaia wines took a leap to being perhaps Radda's most prolific Chianti producer. Maintaining the fragrant, perfumed floral traits that are what Radda in Chianti are all about, this wine has an extra level of intensity but never strays outside its borders to become a caricature of itself. One item of recognition is the fat 92-point review from the ever-conservative scoring Antonio Galloni of Vinous:
‘The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Castello di Volpaia is impeccable in this vintage, with terrific focus to balance the overt fruit of the vintage. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, mint and sweet spices are all woven together in a flashy, mid-weight Riserva that should continue to drink well for at least a handful of years, perhaps beyond. Crushed flowers and a hint of rose petal add the final shades of nuance. – 92 POINTS’. Drink through 2027.
2013 ROSTAING COTE-ROTIE
$159.99 - VERY LIMITED!
When it comes to the greatest of French Syrah, we go to straight to the moon by featuring one of the world’s greatest! We rarely ever get the chance to offer the legendary Rene Rostaing’s brilliant Côte-Rôtie wines simply because there is very little wine produced. Rostaing has been a grower since 1971 acquiring small parcels of Cote Blonde and La Landonne. What put Rostaing squarely on the map was the retirement of his father-in-law Albert Gentaz Dervieux followed a few years later by Albert’s brother Marius, 2 of Cote-Rotie’s most important growers thus bringing his total to just over 20 acres. Rostaing is out to prove that Cote-Rotie is its own animal and should never aspire to be Hermitage or Barossa, just something super complex and comfortable in its own skin. These wines some of the world’s finest Syrah wines and exquisite for those who love to collect.
La Landonne is a magnificent and very famous climat in Cote-Rotie. It is also so steep that it would make a billy goat puke! Rostaing owns a little under 4 acres in this hallowed site and the vines average 60 years in age with some planted in the early 1920s. La Landonne could best be described as the Chateau Petrus of Cote-Rotie as it wields power but has impeccable, underlying finesseful tones. 2013 is a magnificent vintage for Cote-Rotie and one where Gerin excelled.
This wine shows a cerebral perfumy Grand Cru Burgundy-influenced nose of violet, smoke, lavender, tar, smoke and licorice. In the mouth, it is youthful and packed in, but the laciness of La Landonne shines through! It also presents some hints of what is to come in the future as it is ethereal, smooth and ungodly long in the finish, albeit young. Give this wine 6-8 years to integrate its structured tannins and fruit and then enjoy it through 2037+.
This Friday January 20 from 1:30 – 6:30
New full-flavored, Montepulciano reds from Conero in Italy’s Le Marches Region
Alas, last week we were inundated and trapped under snow and ice so many of you weren’t able to experience these wines. We are repeating these wines and highly recommend that you join us as we embark on a Central Italian thrill ride.
2013 Piantate Lunghe Conero ‘Il Palazzo'
2011 Piantate Lunghe Conero Riserva ‘Rossini'
2010 Piantate Lunghe Conero Riserva ‘Rossini'
2014 Bucci Verdicchio