Hot Sheets

Olive Oil, Cabernet Franc, ApexBuy reds under 13, Napa Merlot, Montepulciano & more

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

"I don't know Ka-rate, I know Ka-razy!!" - James Brown, the Godfather of Soul.
In our case, we know both Crazy and now Zarate! Located 10 minutes away from famed producer Do Ferreiro, the wines at Bodegas Zapata are in the same league. This influential estate were pioneers in the making of Albarino during the decade of the 1950s. Only 10 hectares here and this offering from 35-year-old vines (5000 cases) is the flagship of the estate. There are some other single Cru wines coming at some point but for now, I am absolutely blown over by this one.

Two words define this wine, ‘delicate exuberance’. Not so much about being tooty-frooty, this wine is solely about the land and sea where it is grown. Marine scents abound, one thinks they are experiencing the Atlantic Ocean upon first scent. Saline, smoke, shells ride up front with bits of lime and flint leering through. More and more aromatic as it unfolds in the glass. In the mouth, the flavors are brisk and intense. The influence of fine farming, winemaking and vineyards gives it impressive density as it spreads out on the palate and leads into a pulsating, livewire, lasting finish. This is the ultimate seafood wine, whether it be Ceviche, clams, salt cod or grilled salmon, this is your choice!

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Made from 100% Cabernet Franc, Chinon wines are a distinct taste of France and replicating these wines in the New World is quite a challenge. Bravo to those who succeed but they are few and far between. The current winemaker at Domaine J-M Raffault, Rodolphe Raffault, is 14th generation. He has ably assumed his ancestors’ role, and is making wines that are some of the finest in the region. Having prime-time terroir doesn't exactly hurt either.

Clos D'Isore is an enclosed vineyard that dates back to the 17th century. The current 6+ acres were planted in 1938 are steeply situated in clay/limestone soil sitting atop a white chalk subsoil. Coming from a superb red Loire vintage, the 2015 is a bit like the hot principal at school that makes you want to pull the fire alarm then get sent to the office! Sinister beauty, there is formidable old vine depth. Penetrating cranberry, sandalwood and cinnamon-red hot spice. More and more spiced earth/mineral arrives as it unfolds in the glass. Violet, rock and chalk. Compact with penetration, balance and austerity throughout. Loads of persistence and high tones aspects on the long, pure finish. A wine for those who truly appreciate the art of detailed French wines. The 20-dollar red ages impeccably! If you want to have one now, have it with rillettes, steak au poivre and fries or a lamb curry because it is not a lollipop or cocktail Cab Franc. I advise aging it for a few years because it will really be at its best from end of 2019 – 2027.

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$25.99 - 500 ML BOTTLE

Located in Castelnouvo Berardenga, Fattoria di Petroio is a stellar Chainti Classico producer who happens to produce a small bit of olive oil from the 800 or so trees. Not a lot of oil is made here, but when it is available, all of the gourmands on this list should be salivating! The olives for this bottling are a blend of all of the varieties of olives grown at the estate, Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo, and we don’t often offer it out to the entire list.

This southernmost tip of Chianti Classico tends to produce oils that take on an intense and flavorful quality, and this one definitely exhibits those traits, and then some! Nice buttery texture that reveals ripe, heady fruit with an abundance of flavor, and true to Tuscan form, plenty of spice. For us at The Cellar Door, we just love dunking bread in it, but it will also work drizzled over fresh zucchini or perhaps with an American version of Bistecca Fiorentina.

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$22.99 BTL./$275.88 CASE

Last week when Brian O’Donnell delivered some wine, he proudly declared 22 years and running for wines at Belle Pente. It is great to see the continuity and consistency always on display with these wines and best yet is that they are some of the secret finds in all of Oregon and remain remarkable values.

The Willamette Valley is a blend of Pinot Noir from four vineyard sites in Yamhill-Carlton and Dundee Hills and is deep with beautiful restraint and elegance. Refined aromas of crushed red fruits, roasted sweet herbs, toffee, lavender and cinnamon swirl from the glass. Relaxed and ultimately drinkable right now, this pinot has a delicious core of deep fruit in the mouth a result of confident and non-irrigated vines. Have this fantastically priced high-quality pinot with grilled pork tenderloin, salmon and halibut with a soy preparation.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

A reluctant partner to Languedoc, the wines from Roussillon are very different even though they utilize many of the same grapes. The people, politics and wine are distinctly Catalan and these days offer excellent value.

50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan grown at 700-1200 feet compose this flavorful wine. Chock full of plum, cinnamon, licorice and serious wind-swept garrigue, but never fear, the distinct dance of the minerality never strays far in both aroma and taste. Speaking of taste, the wild, yet crunchy texture reveals presence of black licorice spice along with the aromatic herbs and never veers into heaviness or thickness. Resounding white pepper explodes on the finish that possesses excellent persistence. Drink now through 2019. An excellent value to enjoy with just about anything you might want to toss on to the grill.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

It isn’t too often that we feature an unapologetic Napa Merlot on our list but when it is done, you’ll know that it is quite good. Flora Springs is one of the most consistent performers when it comes to Napa Merlot, and we must give a tip of the hat to the estate for not following the lead of so many other producers by hanging on to their egos and shooting prices to psychologically insane levels.

Flora Springs’s 2014 Merlot possesses polished scents and all of the components are in their exact places. Cedar notes mesh in nicely with blueberry and strawberry notes with intermittent nutmeg and vanilla tones. Luscious, forward favors supported nicely by supple and round tannins give it the correct amount of body and backbone. Drink this sensuous Merlot now through 2023.

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$12.99 BTL./$77.94 - SIX PACK

From the Asti region and from one of our favorite producer, year in and year out, this unoaked version is the best damn Barbera value that I sell – and 2015 has a little extra push and soul.

Resoundingly fresh with smoky-earthy tones wrapped around vibrant but penetrating, hearty strawberry and cranberry characteristics. The warmth of this vintage really provides an extra level of depth. Terrific with salumi, pasta, or risotto with mushrooms and veggies.

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$33.99 BTL./$407.88 CASE

Boscarelli is not only one of the pillars of Montepulciano but is also one of the most important estates in all of Tuscany. Sampled on this last week, all I wrote on my notes was "simply wow"! As usual the De Ferrari family scored with their remarkable red that is best described as Sangiovese-Sensory-Overload and we think you're gonna like it!

The 2013 Boscarelli is a classic beauty that woos you in from the first waft of violet, lush cherry, raspberry and sweet roasted Tuscan herbs. Texturally, it is all about elegance and balance with intense depth, alluring spice from the earth and a gentle use of oak, all tastefully frame the bountiful core of fruit. Finally, on the finish, these qualities all come together as the depth and expansion of flavor lingers on the palate. Opening one now with a hearty meal would not be a crime but this delicious Tuscan treat will continue to develop for another 10-12 more years.

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$46.99 BTL./$281.94 - SIX PACK

The quality/price rapport for this profound producer’s workhorse Champagne cannot be overstated. I had a bottle over the weekend and realized just how quickly it disappeared and was craving more! Small and traditional is a beautiful thing when it comes to Champagne, so only the best of the best will climb out of Gratien's cellars in the backstreets of Epernay.

Champagne Alfred Gratien has been producing exquisitely made, handcrafted sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France since 1864 and has developed somewhat of a cult like status with great sites available to them and a rich tradition to back it up. Long-standing relations with growers in Champagne's Grand Cru vineyards gives cellar master Nicolas Jaeger (who followed his father Jean-Pierre) access to the finest grapes. The philosophy is akin to Krug or Bollinger which is to age the vins claires in small oak barrels. Gratien also prefers to have impeccable vibrancy to their Champagnes and this is achieved by not allowing the wines to go through malolactic fermentation. The bubblies from Gratien are Champagnes for those who love the elegantly rich parlances of Krug, Pol Roger or Roederer.

46% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier, 24% Pinot Noir and well-constructed with bursting, radiant fruit flutters from the glass along with expressive, polished scents of apple, serious brioche and citrus leading into a generous, yet elegant texture with very fine bubbles and a complex, long finish. A true connoisseur's Champagne, enjoy it by itself, with friends or with a memorable meal based around seafood.


This Friday August 4 from 1:30 - 6:30

Dog Days of Summer Sips

Dog Days may be upon us but we still need to drink and we all know that drinking IS good. Come by this Friday to taste four exciting wines that have absolutely nothing in common except for their high quality of flavor and personality.


2016 Zarate Albarino
2014 Haut-Rian Bordeaux Blanc ‘Cuvee Excellence’
2015 WT Vintners ‘Raconteur’ Columbia Valley Red (Cab-Syrah)
2010 Cosimo Taurino ‘Notarpanaro’ Salento Rosso
....and maybe some Champagne if more heat relief is necessary