Friday Sips

New Italian Arrivals Poured By Pancetta
Today July 28 from 1:30 - 6:30
Drop in today to sample new wines and new vintages as well as to celebrate Bryan’s 19th anniversary at The Cellar Door. Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon will be pouring a lineup of excellent Italian wines that are not only great for summer but will be fetching the year round. Todd will arrive at 3:30 but I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early.

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$14.99 BTL./$89.94 - SIX PACK

There was a time that tasting Pinot Bianco could be a bit like sitting through Godfather 3, you sort of see what they were trying to achieve but you are always left scratching your head as to why they even bothered. I featured the Girlan wines a little over 10 years ago and thought they were lovely, however, for some reason they up and disappeared from the market. Move ahead to VinItaly this past April and Pancetta running across them again. He commenced representing them and brought preview samples back and safe to say that several of us in town were mighty impressed because these wines were no longer merely lovely wines, they have become quite formidable and on the lines of names like Hofstatter and Santa Maddelena.

Pinot Bianco is a lot like Chardonnay in that it is what I refer to as a ‘blank slate’ grape, taking on the tones of where it comes from. In Alto Adige, the vineyards that the grapes come from are high elevation, and the aromas and flavors are very fine and pure. Adding to this, Girlan does very little to tamper with the purity, doing all fermentation and aging in stainless steel tanks. If you ever wanted to know what we are talking about when we say, pure, clean and crisp, then this would be a good example. Attractive aromas of apple, peach, and white flowers along with prominent flinty, stony aspects. Clean and elegant in the mouth, this has subtle richness, with virtually crunchy fruit and a pristine, mouthwatering finish. One can have this wine on its own as an aperitif but it really shines with grilled prawns or fresh crab.

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$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

When I sampled this wine two months ago, my notes quickly deteriorated into unmentionable, deviant thoughts. After proofreading the notebook, I decided that if I wrote them, it would warp all of your fragile little minds! Sauvignon Blanc takes on many forms and flavors and the best from Alto Adige can be utterly compelling.

Girlan’s 2016 Indra Cuvee Sauvignon is a vibrant, naked and devilishly seductive vino Bianco with fleshy flavors of Meyer lemon, melon, creamy pear and substantial minerality. There is no wood utilized so the detailed flavors are that much more underlined. The finish is crisp and cleansing. Not many producers can put forth such an animated, flavorful and complex white wine with considerable length that entrancingly conveys both varietal, site, and maintain a 20-buck price point. Drink now and over the 3-4 years with alder or cedar plank grilled salmon, summer salads with fresh cheeses, and light vegetable-based pastas.

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$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

Here at the Cellar Door we often like to go on a wine safari that takes us deep into the netherworld of just about any given wine-growing nation. Even though the region around Lake Garda is well known, when it comes to wine, this area of Lombardy often goes unnoticed in lieu of some of its more touted neighbors of the Veneto or Franciacorta. Chiaretto is a vibrant pink wine from this area and is one of the three ‘traditional’ rose producing regions. There are several very fine producers but they are all akin to being Honda Accords versus Comincioli’s which is more akin to being a Porsche or Mercedes.

From Lugana and Lake Garda's Riviera del Garda Bresciano region with lust, oops I mean love, comes Comincioli's Chiaretto Rose comprised of Groppello, Barbera, Sangiovese and Marzemino grapes. All at once, this Rose is quenching and mouth filling with ripe strawberry, lime, and watermelon offering ultimate pleasure. Exhilarative and multi-faceted with lingering cherry, strawberry and chamomile tones billowing into the mouth yet maintaining a delicacy and zip straight on to a lingering finish of savory herbs with perfectly ripened fruit that is bone dry. Excellent to have on the porch but even better to have with a plate of cheese and salami, grilled swordfish with a tomato/caper salsa or herb encrusted pork tenderloin.

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$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.