Hot Sheets

Cool Whites & Etna Rose
Muga Rioja, Valpolicella & Pinot Noir

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

Languedoc is one of the few remaining ‘unearthed gems’ in the wine world. In the past and even still, this part of the South of France was known for producing large volumes of low quality wine. Today, thanks to the efforts of many talented young winemakers, the region is producing excellent wines, discovering apex terroirs that have always been here but have never properly been utilized. Beloved Minervois has taken on newfound popularity with wine geeks due to its rising qualities in the bottle and Domaine Courbissac is what we refer to as one of the mothers of Minervois.

This blend of equal parts Syrah and Mourvedre is produced on the Roc du Piere terroir, the stoniest part of the vineyard, which gives this cuvee its name. This fleshy red wine has a nice balance between structure and fruit; nimble, and yet with plenty of depth and personality without being heavy. Dark berries, black pepper and underlying raspberry play off vivid minerality and dried herbs and spices. Drink over the next 6-8 years with lamb, cassoulet, pork chops slathered in olive oil and herbs or braised in tomatoes.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Want to escape Chardonnay hell and Pinot Gris purgatory? While many of our nation's clergy have gotten themselves into a bit of trouble in recent years, the Cellar Door's Reverend du Vino is still performing exorcisms to chase away evil wine demons. This week's sermon has us shining the light on the upstart white wines from Greece. It is high time that we all stop thinking of Greek wines solely as the stuff that is one-step up from floor polish, retsina, and opening your eyes to some of the delicacies that have been coming from this ancient wine producing country.

Assyrtiko is the spiritual grape of Santorini. Over time, it has spread its testimonial to other parts of the country including the calcareous soils of the Nemea region of NE Peloponnese. Persistent, cool scents of jasmine, powdery lime, saline and peach bounce from the glass and carry over into an intense, zesty palate. The finish is absolutely luxurious and fresh. Remember, while Greek wines will go with Greek food, I recommend serving it with just about anything that is Mediterranean in character. A perfect choice with calamari or grilled shrimp.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Following the smoke issues of 2020, it is nice to see 2021 arrive and with nice quality. The only issue with 2021 is that quantities are small. Located in Ribbon Ridge, Ayres has been delivering fabulous Pinot Noir values for almost two decades and this offering is quite exciting.

Along with Brad McLeroy’s estate fruit, purchased fruit from other Willamette Valley regions complete the snapshot of this tasty Pinot. Graceful and pure with fine aromas of red flowers, strawberries, herbs and spice, dominate the cerebral, aromatic nose. Stylish, lacey and velvety with a subtle backbone; the finish extends, seduces and never flows outside its borders. A true classic, this Oregon Pinot Noir pairs well with mushroom-based dishes, fowl, or grilled pork tenderloin. Drink over the next 5-6 years.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Since 1999 the formidable team led by Susanna Balbo and winemaker Edy Del Popolo have put forth consistent, full-flavored wines that exemplify both strength and finesse. Ahhh there is that word that most Americans don't understand. The connotation that finesse means light could not be further from the truth.

Often in this business, you hear Americans use the word "smooth" to describe a wine. Basically, they are saying the same thing the rest of the world says when they talk of finesse. Enough of semantics, BenMarco is simply very good Malbec! Classy and aromatic with a full nose of Indian spice and black raspberry, it speaks of Argentina. Handsome in the mouth with loads of depth, character, vibrancy from start to finish. Steak wine indeed.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Riesling may be produced into various levels of dryness ranging from eye-watering, bone-dry, blitzing wines all the way up to some of the grandest dessert wines in the world. The Pfalz region is an extension of Alsace's Vosges Mountains and is one of Germany's warmest and sunniest, hence mostly dry wines are produced here.

Burklin-Wolf is one of this area’s leading and oldest estates and their dry wines are exquisite to pair with so much of our local Oregon seafood. Understated perfume with lovely lime and nectarine qualities. Cracked rock mineral and almost powdery with its components, this is what dry Riesling is all about. Lovely substance up front but gains its firmness, mineral, and backbone in the middle and on the piercing and pleasure-driven finish. Lots of grapefruit and smoke on the finish. Drink over the next 5 years.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Christophe Lapierre farms 10.7 hectares split between plots in Chenas and Moulin-a-Vent using very traditional winemaking practices. Having worked with his father (Gerard) and uncle’s (Hubert) wines for many years, the succession to Christophe went smoothly after their respective retirements. These are smashing wines that reflect excellent price/quality rapport and come from very old vines.

Chenas and Moulin-A-Vent are neighbors but they couldn't be more different. From 50-year-old vines, this is Gamay at its most superlative. Chenas always has a cushiony, lacy quality and this doesn't disappoint. Chock full of cherry, graham, underlying pink peppercorn and plenty of exuberance on the nose, all of these characteristics carry over into a wine that fills the mouth with excitement and flavor, all while never becoming ponderous or undrinkable. Versatility at its finest here, this wine will go with a rotisserie chicken and it will pair well with Vietnamese beef-based dishes, pot-au-feu (French roast beef) and even heartier seafood dishes. Being 2019, there is persistence and depth here but more importantly, it is very accessible and yet ageworthy. Drink over the next 8-10 years.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Typical of the Italians, they are always late! One of the nation’s most rocking Rose wines has finally arrived and as usual, it is ungodly delicious. 100% Nerello Mascalese that has been macerated for 12 hours then pressed to retain the free run juice.

From Sicily’s Mount Etna bursting scents of jasmine, sage and electric berry tones along with late arriving smokiness pull you right in. Expansive but elevated and very fresh throughout, terrific dimension and length. Enjoy this over-performing pink wine with arancini, sauteed greens in garlic, swordfish with tomatoes.

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$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

Quite honestly, there are not enough hyperbolic words to describe both the wines of Muga and what this producer has meant to the quality and history of the Rioja wine region. Once again they deliver and their 2018 Reserva is drop-dead stunning.

Mocha-spiked dried strawberries lavishly waft from the glass with Moroccan spices; leather and roasted earth are along for the ride. Captivating, majestic, mouth-filling, very smooth, and gaining complexity as it unfolds in the glass. Lots of movement throughout as well as a drawn-out, silky finish with slight peppery tones make this a compelling wine for under-30 bucks. Drink it over the next 10-15 years with roasted pork or lamb.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

From the influential Amarone producer, Masi’s Valpolicella is made in a traditional, clean, fresh style that is exactly the definition of a summer wine standard. From one of Amarone and Italy's most important addresses, Masi's Valpolicella is a non-ripasso version chock-a-block full of explosive and vibrant red raspberry fruit and a tangy long finish. A perfect and vastly underrated wine to go with hearty pasta dishes like stuffed shells or lasagna.

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$59.99 BTL./$719.88 CASE - LIMITED

About a decade ago, this fine (actually the finest) Gigondas producer dove into Chateauneuf by buying some small plots, succeeding mightily from the get-go. Parts of these nine acres were part of the former Domaine de Montpertuis including a portion from Le Crau.

Habemus Papam is not a new guitarist for the band Ghost; however, the 2019 is the real deal. 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah, partially destemmed and aged in 3600-liter large barrels and clay amphorae, this wine is compelling and engaging even at this young point. Deep blackberry, black cherry, white pepper, rosemary and subtle smoked meat aspects swirl from the glass and carry over to a harmonious, vinous, yet energetic texture. Finishing very stony/mineral, this Chateauneuf soars for what seemingly is hours after the wine is swallowed. If you have a nice meal, one can access it now but for best results wait until end 2024 and drink through 2034.