Hot Sheets

Oregon Chenin Blanc, Fresh Vinho Verde
96-point Montegrossi SuperTuscan
Value Barbera, Priorat, Cabernet Franc

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Located west of Torino and north of Asti, Cantine Valpane always impresses with their Barbera wines. I am particularly fond of this entry version, especially for a vivacious summer red selection.

After Alba and Asti, Monferrato is the third prominent growing area for Barbera in Italy's Piedmont region. A tad warmer than the previously mentioned areas, this Barbera offers aromas of red cherry, blueberry and flowers setting the stage with sage and clove spice undertones. Legitimate, succulent with a round mouthfeel and a very friendly personality, it is a perfect Wednesday evening red for all occasions with grilled, braised and roasted fare.

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'COTE 50'
$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Back in February while attending Wine Paris, I had the chance to meet and taste this Domaine’s wines and speak in depth with Benoit Amirault about both his wines of Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas de Bourgeuil. Located across the river from Chinon, these Loire Valley Cabernet Franc wines have incredible range, soul and are a true taste of France. I was so impressed that we brought in three selections (email for details on the two upper end but not crazy wines) and this delicious offering kicks it all off nicely.

From vines right at the border of Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil, this 100% Cabernet Franc grown on sand/gravel/clay soils from 35-year-old vines, sexy, pure and forward aromas of cherry pit, smoke, herbs, violet and gravelly mineral prevail. Lilting terroir aspects with more sandalwood swirled in with undertones of plum and sanguine soon arriving. Billowy, vibrant and earthy, but with luscious dry fruit on the well-balanced and sneaky-sturdy palate and airy finish. Serve in any glass you would use for Pinot Noir and enjoy with coarse pate, pork loin or tenderloin, duck, steak-frites and rillettes if you can find them.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Back in the day Chenin Blanc had a presence in this area of Oregon, especially with Bethel Heights. Second generation grower/producer Mimi Casteel founded Hope Well vineyard in 2008 and sold it to Drew Bledsoe and winemaker/co-owner Josh McDaniels in 2019 and renamed it Coulee Estate and they have continued the legacy of this varietal by continuing to make a Chenin from the original quarter acre initially planted on the site.

Electric and gliding with aromas of persimmon, mango, quince, lemon blossom and honeydew melon. A local summer pleasure, this flavorful wine will play beautifully with halibut, salt cod, salmon or goat cheeses.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Following up on the terrific 2021 vintage, the 2022s are overly exciting as well, especially for Kabinett and Spätlese as botrytis did not set in for the dessert style wines. The Leistenberg vineyard is in the Nahe valley just outside Oberhausen. This particular site is ideal for Kabinett level resulting in Riesling wines that possess apex minerality yet beautiful refinement.

Overflowing with mineral that frames peach, talc and prominent lime scents that persist on through the long and mouth-watering finish. Well-balanced throughout, this is a food-lover's playground! Pair it up with Mexican-inspired seafood dishes or grab some ahi tuna, jack it with soy, ginger and a little Chinese five-spice, cook it on the rare side and go crazy! One other thing, these wines age like beasts, drink this steal through 2034+.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Chris and Andrea Mullineux are apex producers in South Africa and arbitrators of what is hip in this longtime wine producing nation that is very trendy with in-the-know wine people.

The Swartland Rouge is made from six parcels in the Swartland region, and the blend changes every year. For vintage 2021 the grape composition is 57% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 7% Tinta Barroca grown on shale, schist and granite. Aged in used barrels, this hearty blend reveals a myriad of aromas, plum and cassis notes mingle with meaty, mineral and earth nuances. The palate delivers all of this in a multi-layered silky package. It is certainly a full wine, but with focus and poise, designed to seduce rather than assault the senses. A very food friendly offering, use it with a range of cuisine from more traditional meat dishes through to an Italian-inspired tomato sauce or a plate of nice cheeses.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

A couple of weeks back we offered this Willamette Valley producer’s tasty Chardonnay value and this week we follow it up with their killer Pinot Noir that does not break the bank. Founded in 2000 by Molly and Darrell Roby, winemaker Chris Dickson takes some influence from friends like Tyson Crowley and John Paul and Tom Sivilli at Cameron.

Checking in at 12.8% alcohol, this Pinot Noir comes from four Oregon AVAs, Johan from Van Duzer Corridor, Vojtilla from Chehalem Mountain, Stormy Morning from Tualatin Hills and Bracken Vineyard in Eola-Amity. Not a burly, smoker-friendly version, this Pinot Noir is classy and built on site versus process, the 2022 is extremely becoming and laden with currant, violet and cinnamon notes along with a kiss of black pepper tones to add dimension. Enticingly aromatic, but the mouth is even more impressive! Excellent ripeness with seductive flavors that crawl throughout the mouth, this Pinot is impeccably refined with very deceiving structure, length and backbone. Enjoy this undervalued Pinot Noir over the next 6-7 years.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

The Priorat village of Porrera is Carinena country and along with 64% of Garnacha and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, this offering boasts 27% of this varietal and from incredibly old vines. The distinction of Porrera is a slightly cooler micro-climate and an abundance of ironstone packed in with the slate soils, almost a bit Cote-Rotie-inspired.

Made by the terrific Porrera-based producer Celler Cla Pla, this Black Slate offering shows off all the classic minerals of Porrera and then all the bright notes of what Carignan brings to the blend. Stunning cinnamon notes also creep through and are buffered by glorious wild strawberry notes. Rich and lacey with serious old-vine depth, crunchy fruit shows off well in the mouth followed by impressive persistence on the finish that is further enhanced by flavors of wind-swept Mediterranean herbs. Drink through – 2030 with game, particularly slow braised wild boar, oxtail or elk. Also goes very well with pork loin or even a braised pork enchilada with salsa verde.

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$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE

Vinho Verde is a Northern Portuguese white wine from the Minho region whose name means "Green Wine", referring to its youthful freshness rather than its color. The region characterized by its small growers of which many train their vines high off the ground, up trees, fences, and even telephone poles!! Vinhos Verdes are light, fresh, and intended to be drunk within a year. There is light spritz within the wines, but not enough to merit semi-sparkling status but they do have a definite pétillance.

At 9% alcohol, this is a "more" wine meaning its light, airy, thirst-quenching qualities make you want to drink increasingly and excessively! Lime-blossom, seashore and mineral-tinged, it is explosive and slap-happy! Classic Vinho Verde wine isn't meant to be sipped, it is meant to be slammed. Toss it back with a plate of clams, on a picnic or with a bunch of friends.

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$54.99 BTL./$329.94 - SIX PACK

96 Points Vinous…Led by Marco Ricasoli, Rocca di Montegrossi is one of Chianti Classico’s top, sought after and highly awarded producers. Along with greatness from those wines, Marco has been producing a SuperTuscan red called Geremia for over 30 years and this wine regularly receives awards in the same realm as the likes of Sassicaia, Tignanello and others but is one-fourth of the price of those luminaries.

2018 yet again is a legend in the making. Merlot and Cabernet as usual, this is a glorious, aromatic, youthfully complex offering. Waves of scents of blueberry cobbler, tangy earth, chocolate, licorice and on and on present themselves and keep coming as the wine airs. Layered, rich, expansive and just beginning to show what is truly to come. Broad and everlasting, this is a wine that will age extremely well. Wait until end of 2025 and drink through 2040+.