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Saint-Emilion & Sauternes Values, 94-point Bararesco & 93-point Rose, Montepulciano, Ken Wright & more

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$13.99 BTL./$83.94 - SIX PACK

Piantate Lunghe is a partnership of three growers who once sold their grapes to Umani Ronchi before jumping out on their own and achieving big success. Only in existence since 2004, this knockout producer has been receiving heaps of praise from Italy’s wine pundits and we have consistently been impressed since their debut here with the 2010 vintage.

Piantate Lunghe’s classic Conero Cuvee is pure Montepulciano revealing plenty of blackberry, smoked meat, rosemary and layered plum tones. Deep and mouth filling with sensual fruit to make it very attractive, but still maintains just enough of the savage personality that is Montepulciano, especially in the bursting, spicy finish that is super-long, especially for an 14 dollar wine! One of our favorite Montepulciano wines, you owe it to yourself to order some.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

One of the things that drives me crazy about wines merely named Cotes-du-Rhone is that they can be easy sipping 12-dollar wines, or boutique high-end wines like Coudoulet or Rayas’s Pignan as well as wines such as this, which are 100% Syrah and come from the NORTHERN Rhone.

From one of the Northern Rhone Valley's great Cornas masters, this fascinating, refined and aromatic overachiever is made with declassified Cornas fruit along with some from plots in and south of St-Peray. Very indicative of French Syrah from this area, aromatic violet, cracked pepper, red plum, subtle tapenade and pronounced woodsmoke are all very present on the nose. In the mouth, this deceptively structured wine can best be described as "purple". Stylishly textured, vibrant, plenty of depth and extension. Enjoy over the next decade with game, perhaps a Vietnamese beef dish, roasted chicken/mushrooms or a pan-seared steak slathered in peppercorns.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

It is easy to say that on September 20, Rose season is winding down but the reality is that Tavel season is just kicking in to high gear. 45% Grenache, 21% Clairette, 15% Cinsault, 8% Mourvedre, 6% Syrah and 5% Bourboulenc, Chateau D’Aqueria is a prime producer within the region and their wines have excellent Tavel quality from top to bottom as evidenced by a fat 93 point score from Wine Enthusiast:

‘Year after year, this mouthwatering rosé is an approachably priced, standout pick amid an excellent lineup of Tavel bottlings. It’s weighty and concentrated yet always invigorating, packed with crisp-tart blackberry and black-cherry flavors marked by complexities of bramble, garrigue and earth. A wine worth drinking beyond the summer months, it should fare beautifully through 2023. – 93 POINTS – WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Blended from nine of Ken Wright’s excellent single vineyards and meant to be an earlier drinker, Ken Wright's 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is an unabashed, full-flavored charmer that walks the line between the dark side and vibrancy of Oregon Pinot Noir.

Aromas of crushed blackberry, blossom and cinnamon shine brightly from the glass. Stylishly flavored with an abundance of penetrating fruit along with subtle structure; the finish is warm and crowd-pleasing with hints of allspice and cocoa. A delightful Pinot that will pair wonderfully with veal chops, roasted poultry or pan-seared steak. Drink over the next 5 years.

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$24.99 - 375 ML BTL./$299.88 CASE

There are many desert wines produced around the world, but there is always something special about drinking Sauternes from the Bordeaux region. In a land where there are not too many values (this is an expensive proposition to make) this week we are offering you a splendid one. Let’s face it, this wine isn’t going to put Chateau Rieussec or Chateau d'Yquem out of business, however, these half-bottles are wonderful expressions of what this hallowed ground has to offer and at a fair price.

Extremely agreeable aromas of honey, baked orange and gingerbread lead into a creamy, dense texture that is full of sweet flavor, low acidity and decent spiciness. Enticingly spicy on the finish which has excellent length for a wine at this price point. While it will easily develop 10 more years, it is irresistible right now! Have it with a tarte tatin, pear cake or something with walnuts. However, we suggest you use it as your dessert and have it with its most compatible match and that would be to grab a hunk of good Roquefort cheese!

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$21.99 BTL./$131.94 - SIX PACK

Located in the northern Friuli hills and a mere 250 meters or so from the border of Slovenia, Branko is a small (3700 cases) family run winery, named after patriarch Branko Erzetic, whose son, Igor, runs the operation today. The current winery was set up in 1950, but the roots go back much further, as the Erzetic family has been cultivating grapes and producing wines here for many, many years. Friulano (the grape formerly known as Tocai Friulano) is a white grape native to the Northern reaches of Italy believed to originate in the Veneto region, a neighbor of Friuli. However, it is in Friuli where this grape thrives beautifully.

One of the benchmarks of this varietal, Branko's 2019 combines concentration with succulence. Scents of cassis leaf, peach pit, apple, lime, perfumed mineral from the sandstone in the soil and saline step forward at various times as this complex white opens in the glass. Virtually viscous but contradictory as there is ample structure and vibrancy that folds inward, becomes very linear and food friendly on the long, drawn out and elevated finish. Truly a grand scale Italian white wine it pairs beautifully with cured ham, Proscuitto San Daniele in particular. It will also marry up nicely with grilled prawns as well as grilled eggplant or asparagus dishes.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

The Carmenere grape was originally planted in the Medoc in Bordeaux and is part of the Cabernet family. While virtually extinct there due to it being difficult to ripen in Bordeaux's conditions, it is alive and thriving in Chile. Los Morros's version is an assertive charmer. Leather, spice, tealeaf, black licorice and black plum shine on the nose and follow through to a texture that is broad, polished and persistent; it is a yummy, full-flavored wine that is perfect for every-evening consumption.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Le Veli is the southern Italian (Puglia) project of the Falvo family, former owners of the famed Vino Nobile di Montepulciano producer, Avignonesi.

A fun offering meant to please a large number of palates. Made from 100% of the Negroamaro grape, it has strong Zinfandel-like influences. Tones of raspberry, briar, wild spice, savory herbs and gently placed vanilla tones fill the glass. Mouth-filling, ripe, generous luscious and without any pretensions, the wine reveals lots of depth and mouth-watering spicy fruit that is sure to delight just about any hearty red wine lover. Perfect with pizza or spaghetti topped with marinara sauce.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Chateau Coutet is one of St-Emilion's best-kept secrets. Situated in a golden triangle of St-Emilion between classified growths Chateaus Angelus, Beausejour Becot & Beausejour Duffeau Lagarrose, Coutet is one contiguous 26-acre plot in a hell of a respectable neighborhood. The present owner’s aunt passed away at the age of 104 and she never had any notion of using pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals, thus this estate has been organic 'unintentionally' since the late 19th century.

2015, along with 2016 are back-to-back profound vintages within Bordeaux and the quality is high on all levels. This wine is a heist at 30 bucks! Stacked and packed this wine shows off class and grace, yet has a trucker's mouth with a bit of attitude and sass to it. Teeming with earth, limestone, alluring raspberry, some violet and kisses of espresso and tobacco on the nose, it follows through to a texture that is mouth coating and having all of the substance of the great 2015 vintage. A superbly structured finish that hangs around nicely, this giant slayer can be consumed now and over the next decade, especially with duck or a rib-eye sautéed with butter and shallots.

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$44.99 BTL./$269.94 - SIX PACK

Based in Neive, Cigliuti is not only a very prolific, boutique Barbaresco producer. They also happen to be one this Italian region’s most on fire commodities right now and in the village, the hill of Serraboella tends to produce some of the most prolific not only in Nieve, but also throughout the whole of Barbaresco.

Via Erte is from a Cru known as Bricco di Neive and defies the stereotype notion that Barbaresco is more feminine than Barolo. Like the rest of Piedmont, sisters Claudia and Sylvia Cigliuti soared with their wines and this has a 94-point score from Wine Spectator: ‘A rose aroma introduces this elegant, fruity red, along with notes of underbrush and sun-kissed hay that offset the core of cherry flavors. Dense, assertive tannins shore up the finish and leave an astringent feel, yet there is plenty of fruit and length. Best from 2023 through 2045. 500 cases made – 94 WINE SPECTATOR