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Barolo Value - Super Saint-Joseph - New, Limited Cameron Chardonnay - Russian River Zinfandel, Vinho Verde & more

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Often times when it comes to Rocca di Montegrossi and Marco Ricasoli’s wines, we have a difficult time in maintaining any sort of objectivity because they are just so damn good. Always a huge rock star in Chianti, Marco Ricasoli has stepped it up even more with warm, challenging 2017 vintage, yet once again, he has succeeded mightily with one of the finest Classico versions of the vintage. Virtually performing at Riserva level and drinking exquisitely, it also has a fat score from Wine Spectator and deservedly so, it is quite exciting indeed.

‘ A rich, plum- and black cherry–infused red, pitting the lush texture against a solid base of tannins. Tobacco, earth and mineral notes add depth. The finish is vibrant and long. Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino. Drink now through 2030.’ – 92 POINTS – THE WINE SPECTATOR

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$33.99 BTL./$407.88 CASE

Cameron is Cameron and is always one of Oregon’s finest so it is unsurprising to see John Paul shrewdly put something out in order to combat a potential economic downturn. For 2018 he has cut production on Clos Electrique Chardonnay and culled off three top barrels as well as one of old vine Abbey Ridge Chardonnay to make this 100-case value offering.

Ample lemon, hints of creme brulee, impressive peat and stony aspects with an underlay of perfumed spice and cereal aspects. Brilliantly focused in the mouth, fanning out on the palate, his Chardonnay delivers fine intensity, superb persistence and depth, loads of briskness and mouth-watering sensibilities throughout. A grand scale winner from one of Oregon’s most renowned producers at an amazing price. Only 105 cases produced so be fast….Drink through 2030+.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Portugal is a bit of the proverbial sleeping giant when it comes to their wines. In just a couple of decades we have seen this nation move itself into our everyday vernacular when it comes to wine production and more and more of wines like this are hitting our shores.

Renowned for centuries for the production of Port, over the last couple of decades or so, the Douro River Valley has been producing dry red wines and the quality continues to soar. Desafinado is one of the projects of Parras Wines and one that is dedicated to making dry reds. This particular offering kills it at 14-bucks! Blended with Touriga Franca, Tinta Roris (Tempranilo) and Tinto Barroca, hearty aromas of pronounced chocolate-covered strawberry from the Tinta Roriz grape co-exist handsomely with Moroccan spice, violets and sneaky granitic graham-like aspects. Bountiful and very stylish flavors captivate the palate with an almost-Italian plum-like quality before advancing through to the arousing finish that brings it all home. Enjoy with lamb, grilled sausage or a hearty stew.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

The village of Chinon is known for its castle and its most famous resident, 15th century writer and clergyman, Francois Rabelais. One such philosophy that we live by around here is one that Rabelais once wrote, "When I drink, I think; and when I think, I drink". This basically sums up the attitude of Chinon's 9000 or so citizens, one visit there and you will see, it is food and wine hedonism at its finest. Rodolphe Raffault is in the upper echelon of Chinon producers and we have offered the reds and rose in the past, however, this time we are offering something not seen much, Chinon Blanc.
100% Chenin Blanc and less than 5% planted in the entire appellation, this crisp and invigorating white with a distinctive personality that is unlike those of Anjou, Vouvray or Saumur. Grown in yellow limestone and clay soils, purity and terroir are tattooed all over this wine. Vibrant aromas of quince and mineral lead into a sculpted, crisp mouthful of orange and lemon citrus fruit, along with even more mineral. Very sneaky extension, this wine is a great white to get you out of the Pinot Gris/Chardonnay rut. Enjoy with tempura shrimp, curried chicken dishes or sushi.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Let’s get one thing out of the way; Vinho Verde is an actual wine region in Northern Portugal and not always the light and fizzy bone-dry drink that we all love to quaff. There are some serious, still white wines being produced here winemakers such as Anselmo Mendes are the absolute future of the region.

One of several whites, the Passaros is made from Alvarinho (Albarino) and Loureiro and is what I have been so excited about when it comes to white wines these days. The aromas and flavors on this wine are scary-good! Fragrant freshly cut flowers and mineral tones are enhanced and buttressed by white peach and lime. Clean, bone dry and owning mouth-watering briskness. Very pure flavors that remind one of the shore with some engaging spice and roundness in the middle and chiming finish. This stuff if sooooooooooooooo undervalued, have it with spring rolls, steamed clams with saffron or salt cod fritters.

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$32.99 - LIMITED

What and who is/are Domaine des Equis and why are we offering it? Domaine des Equis is the neighboring winery of the genius Northern Rhône Domaine Alain Graillot and the owner/winemaker is none other than Maxime Graillot, Alain's son. Max and his brother Antoine have taken over the operations fully at Domaine Alain Graillot but they also have several other projects going on as well. For the Equis wines, Maxime uses a little less new oak and de-stems 70-100% of his fruit vs. papa Alain who does not de-stem at all. This Saint-Joseph comes from the steep vineyards of the classic portion of Saint-Joseph in the village of Saint-Jean du Muzols and is exquisite.

2016 is a classic vintage for the Syrah of Northern Rhone. The Equis possesses expressive aromatics of dark plum, violet, cracked pepper, and a touch of tapenade. Somewhat of a Cornas wannabe, this Syrah is lavish, generous and teeming with ripe cassis that touches all points of the mouth. Lots of snap and tang on the finish. Quite alluring and elegant now, but for best results give it until the end of 2021 and drink it through 2028. If you love great, soul-driven French wines then take advantage of this immediately before it sells out!

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Since taking leadership of his family’s estate, Gregory Barbet and Chateau de la Terriere have been on quite a roll. This estate produces fabulous wines in Moulin-A-Vent as well as Regnie but if there were a specialty of the house, it would have to be Brouilly. An awakening of sorts is ocuring with Cru Beaujolais and 2017 is a rare vintage that possesses broad fruit that is balanced by detail, mineral, freshness and ample structure.

Supreme sensuality is evident as soon as the wine is poured into the glass. Creamy raspberry fruit shines along with nutmeg and graham from the granitic soils. As it unfurls, mineral, peat and pepper arrive. A very mouth filling, chewy core that is very poised and succulent with engaging red earth on the layered, lifting, long finish. Beautiful now but will develop well for another six-7 years. A favorite with coq au vin or beef bourgignon.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

One of the grand names of California wine, Joe Swan departed this planet in 1989, but his legacy lives on with his protégé and now owner Rod Berglund, who has been at Swan since 1987. As much as we love and enjoy all of Joseph Swan's wines from top-to-bottom, what he became most influential for was his Zinfandel wines. Many have been inspired by these wines or have done time working there including the likes of Ravenswood Zin guru Joel Peterson. Aged entirely in French oak, this Zin is now flirting with lovely secondary tones along with its big, bold qualities.

Packed with judicious black fruit, there are also complex tones of black truffle, thyme, pipe tobacco and smoked earth tones that are ride shotgun. After almost five years, this wine is now starting to sing and to show its true pedigree. Spicy and layered, there are excellent red tones to balance out the richness and power. Pronounced cardamom and red earth shine on the saturated, extending finish. It is awakening right now and will continue to develop over the next decade, too. If you fancy yourself a Zin aficionado, then you have to grab some bottles of one of our country's most historic producer's wine!

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Folks continue to ask me what they should be buying and collecting for the future and one of the categories is 2016 Barolo and Barbaresco. These wines are monumental and built to age. Not quite as known as their cousins at Paolo Scavino, Lorenzo and Luigi Azelia's Barolo wines are serious business as well. These wines always receive numerous accolades and their gateway Barolo is a smashing value.

‘2016 Barolo is a blend of fruit from two parcels in Castiglione Falletto and five in Serralunga, with the character of Serralunga especially felt in the wine's tannic grip and persistence. Iron, sage, mint, smoke and wild cherry give the Barolo striking aromatic nuance and complexity, all in the mid-weight style that is such a signature at this address. The purity of the fruit is just striking. Stated simply, this is a tremendous wine in its peer group. – 93 POINTS – VINOUS