Friday Sips

Today July 27 from 1:30 - 6:30
Stop by today to celebrate Bryan & The Cellar Door’s 20th anniversary. This afternoon, as well as in some of the coming weeks, we’re going back into the annals and featuring favorite producers’ wines that we have loved over the years and which have special meaning to them. A bit longer of a read than usual but well worth it.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Between now and the end of the year, we will be periodically celebrate Bryan and Cellar Door’s 20th. This will entail going back through the annals and picking wines that we have consistently loved as well as having some sort of pertinent story to go along with the quality. The first choice today is from Spain’s Galicia region.

Back in the day when Albarino was somewhat of a mystery, the only thing that really had a presence was Martin Codax Albarino. This was once a well-run co-op and a good go-to when introducing people to this white grape. The assclowns at Gallo have since put their tentacles in to Codax and the wines are absolutely ‘mierda no potable’. Fortunately as time passed we started seeing a plethora of other producers who make Albarino and searching back I discovered that Pazo de Senorans, along with two others were the first REAL Albarino wines that we offered. The fact of the matter is that there is still unbelievable brilliance at this estate. Old vines are the secret here and upon first smelling the wine, one can see the overwhelming evidence! Beautifully detailed aromas that pull together orange/pineapple and lemongrass scents together with wind-swept seashore/mineral tones. In the mouth the flavors are brisk and intense. The influence of ancient vines gives it impressive density as it spreads out on the palate and leads into a seducing, vivid finish. This is the ultimate seafood wine. Whether it be Ceviche, clams, salt cod or grilled salmon, this is your choice!

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Not only is Cristom important in the development of the Oregon wine industry, they are important in the world of Pinot Noir as well. This estate is also influential on my time in the business as well and this traces back to my days in Pittsburgh when we were first introduced to the wines. Steve Doerner has a connection with Domaine Dujac and our mutual friend, the late Christophe Morin who was the chef du culture Chez Dujac inspired us and brought much joy to so many. The whole cluster practices that weren’t as prevalent in 1994 are de rigueur these days. It was around 2002 that I had a 1996 Cristom Louise. This proved that after some time in the bottle that this was an apex, cerebral predator of a Pinot producer.

The newly released 2016 Mt Jefferson is an excellent gateway into the world of Cristom. His approach to raising pinot is the perfect marriage of respect for the greats of the Old World but with a conscious use of what the New World has to offer. The 2016 Mt. Jefferson Cuvee is something very special for 30 bucks! The name “Mt. Jefferson Cuvee” takes on significance in two manners. First is the view of Mt. Jeff from the winery as well as Steve and owner Paul Geary's admiration for Thomas Jefferson and his contributions to the culture of wine. The balance of ripeness, structure and definition of the 2016 vintage adds a sensuous core of dark juicy berries and candied mushroom cap to the elegant red tones and complex spice. Fine and extremely finesseful in the mouth with all of the components in perfect line and an uplifting finish that suggests that this wine will grow and gain complexity over the next 8-10 years.

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$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

Over the years, many of you have heard me go on and on about this Emilia Romagna estate. Cristina Geminiani is a groundbreaker not only when it comes to wines from this region. Not only did she immediately come and change the landscape, she took the Albana grape, made into one of Italy’s two or three greatest dessert wines. She also took the red wines of the area into another stratosphere by going for quality in lieu of quantity and the results accolades soon arrived. If that were not enough, she created a small, quality driven consortium of Romagna growers with a very strict quality charter all done to enhance the status of this area’s outstanding wines. Lastly, imagine taking over the family estate in 1987 and being a woman in the chauvinistic world of Italian wine. Cristina didn’t just open the door for future generations of women winemakers; she kicked it in by becoming the premier and most innovative producer of her area. In almost 20 years knowing her, she not only is one of the nicest people that I have worked with, she has had quite a profound impression on how my daily dealings in life in general.

Only produced in the finest vintages, we have absolutely no problem in putting this full-flavored Sangiovese in the league with the likes of Fontodi's Flaccianello, Felsina's Fontalloro or Antonelli’s Tignanello. It is that legendary - and it doesn't even come from Tuscany. Many accolades have been handed to this wine over the years and in 2013, this award-winning red is nothing but awesome! At $35 is a steal and anyone who likes to collect Italian wines should be all over it! Only 850 cases produced and aged in French oak barrels (20% new), there are ungodly penetrating aromas from the first moment that it hits the glass, While still young, it is starting to gain aromatic complexity with notes of dark cherry, black licorice, pepper, tobacco, and earth. Lavish and intense in the mouth, there are plenty of suede-like tannins right now, but they will continue to integrate over the coming years. Seriously complex and beautiful style of Sangiovese that can be consumed over the next 12-15 years.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. - Oscar Wilde' Even though Domaine de Beaurenard wines are beloved here at The Cellar Door, there was a time that they were not. It was never the quality but as in any medium, one hears things and sometimes Americans having an eight-second sound-bite mentality, the thought was that the wines at this estate were overaoaked. Move to January of 2003 and my first ever visit to the Domaine, lots was discovered and it became clear that I was erroneous in the presumption of what the estate was all about philosophically. Learning just how fanatical Frederic and Daniel Coulon are about farming and winemaking made me reflect and realize that it is important to see and taste before ever forming beliefs. These wines have never been hopped up and are some of the finest. Best of all is that over the years, the Coulon family have become great friends and we have had many fun experiences tasting, eating and drinking with them.

Way more complexity and dimension than an ordinary Cotes-du-Rhone should ever have, the 2016 possesses an equally, if not more compelling story to the vaunted 2015 and is one of the best versions of this wine that we have seen to date. Plenty of stuffing here with the beautiful Beaurenard perfume lurking beneath the surface. Plum, thyme and licorice present, lots of palate coverage but smooth and not heavy whatsoever. White pepper and plenty of persistence on the long finish. Drink through 2021.


Special Friday Sips Tasting with Syncline Cellars

Join us Friday August 3rd as we welcome Poppie Mantone owner/founder of Lyle, WA-based Syncline Cellars who will be on hand to pour and discuss her excellent Rhone inspired wines.

Syncline Wines Being Featured:

2016 Syncline Carignan-Grenache
2016 Syncline Subduction Red
2015 Syncline 'Cuvee Elena' Red
2017 Syncline Grenache Blanc
2017 Syncline Gruner-Veltliner