Hot Sheets

Dry January Doesn't Exist at The Cellar Door

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The Arley’s Leap program changed after John created a wine in 2016 called Julia which is made from the Martin Ray clones that were planted at Abbey Ridge 30-something years ago. In 2017 given the scant quantities of what was from that block combined with the fact that John didn’t feel that it should be a hundred dollar wine, Arley’s Leap made a return. Alas only with about 75 cases.

The 2017 Arley's is palate coating, and destined for stardom with cellar time even though it is so very open knit at the moment. The first aromas almost transport you to somewhere in the Cote-de-Beaune with its alluring, penetrating perfume of lavender, turned earth, rose petal, smoked herbs and subtle meaty tones. Cerebral and very suave, there are layers of sophistication and grace in the mouth. Super-material on the drawn-out finish that is even-keeled and just waiting to unleash itself. Killer juice from one of Oregon's masters and one that ages beautifully. Drink through 2032.

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

Owned by a Saint-Emilion goddess, Catherine Nouvel will break your stereotype-thinking minds of what is Merlot. The vines for this wine are 80-years-old and the power of this terroir really conveys to the greatness of the wine.

Aged in one-third new oak, this wine reveals deep forward and youthful aspects of violet, blackcurrant, sweet red pepper and a hearty meatiness that leads on to a generous palate with fine tannins and a cherry infused cocoa spice that lingers on the dense finish. A damn fine example of Right Bank terroir at its pinnacle and with the class of something more expensive. Drink now and over the next 8-10 years with lamb, venison and other gamey meats.

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$29.99 BTL.

Alain Coudert’s Fleurie wines are very well known, but the Cuvee Tardive is very sought-after, especially when it garners a 95-point score. I just landed another case before the end of 2018 and decided to offer it to the entire list. First come, first score!

‘Youthful purple. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red/blue fruits, baking spices and potpourri, with hints of blood orange and savory herbs emerging with aeration. Juicy, densely packed mulberry and boysenberry flavors show excellent clarity and powerful back-end thrust becoming sweeter with air. Shows serious power and sexy, floral lift on the impressively persistent finish, which is supported by slowly building, youthfully gripping tannins.’ – 95 POINTS - VINOUS

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Often the calling card of a fine Northern Italian winery can be their inexpensive Pinot Grigio even if their forte happens to be world class Amarone. It is for this reason, we feel, that the Zenato family takes this delicious white very seriously from the vineyard to the winery. They take nothing for granted, are meticulous at every stage of the process and that shows in this white.

Round pear and ripe citrus fruit rule the day in the fleshy, crisp and incredibly refreshing mouthfeel. Perfect for summer parties, gatherings or celebrations, Zenato's Grigio makes for a wonderful aperetivo and pairs beautifully with anything from the sea.

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

If you love French Sauvignon Blanc anywhere near as much as us, you will not want to miss this glorious wine because this is the Upper Loire Valley at its finest. Just like Steph Curry is a perennial all-star in basketball, Masson-Blondelet is always at the top of the list of apex Loire Valley producers.

From a single site of Portlandian limestone, this classy Pouilly-Fume has absolutely gorgeous aromas of gooseberry, lime, serious flint and stony energy. Stacked is the key word here in describing the palate as pure citrus fruit flavors are interspersed with the perfect amount of mineral and savory herb flavors. The differences between Sancerre and Pouilly are evident as there is more broadness to this wine. Unoaked, this offering possesses classic Pouilly-Fume allure and is a terrific pairing with salmon, roasted chicken and especially good goat cheese.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Bodegas Ostatu is a family winery located in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa region in the town of Samaniego. Striving to produce Rioja wines that emphasize site over long barrel aging, this philosophy not only reflects this red but the entire range.

90% Tempranillo along with a 10% blend of Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha, the 2016 is absolutely smashing! Neo-classic with aromatic tones of prominent violet and blackberry that mesh nicely together with undercurrents of cocoa and Moroccan spices to form a Rioja that shows both flashiness and detail. Owning a sophisticated, rich, velvety texture that crawls throughout and coats the palate, it also picks up grip and structure on the deep middle and persistent finish that is stacked with fine material. Extremely lovable now, this exciting upscale Rioja without and upscale price will also develop and drink nicely through 2025.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Jean-Marc Lafage is an influetial producer in the Southern French region of Roussillon. This red is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre from 65-year-old vines planted in schist soils at about 500 feet in elevation.

Comfort wine for comfort food, this chewy red is chock full of accentuated aromas and flavors of spice, lavender, cherry, rhubarb and licorice. Hearty from start to end, and loaded with plenty of hot, exotic spices on the warm and inviting finish. Prepare something forceful, yet inviting with it, the perfect paring is a classic white bean/duck/sausage cassoulet dish that is native to the area but it will also pair beautifully with a simple meat loaf and garlic-spiked mashed potatoes. Enjoy over the next 4-5 years.

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[reg. $85.99]
SPECIAL - $65.99 BTL./$395.94 - 6 PK

Run by sisters Enrica and Elisa Scavino and once known as an ultra-modernist utilizing a swath of shiny new oak, the estate of Paolo Scavino has done a complete 360 and now makes wines that are very classic using what modernity has provided. Recently these wines have soared as the sisters have really found their niche. Carobric is a blend of three grand cru sites (CA for Cannubi, RO for Rocche, BRIC for Bric del Fiasc). Rocche di Castiglione makes up the majority of the 2014 vintage and it is a wow wine indeed, especially at this hot price.

The 2014 Carobric is sort of a Barolo anti-hero, a well-dressed bad guy yet very likable. Still very primary in its personality, the energetic character from limestone is very present with lots of mineral and movement. Dark chocolate, black fruits creep in with underlying scents of porcini, asphalt and mint. Lots of depth and virtual mountainous structure. Serious spine and acidity that cuts into the rich texture. At age five, this certainly has early appeal but no doubt it will smooth out further and gain more complexity over the next 10+ years.


Three is a Magic Number

This Friday January 10 from 1:30 – 6:30

More cool items from our year-end stash. Drop by to taste three inviting wines. We’ll start with these three and when they sell through we will move on to another fun selection


2017 Morgen Long Chardonnay Willamette Valley
2016 Montmirial Vacqueyras
2018 Girard Sancerre ‘La Garenne’