Hot Sheets

Award Winning Chateauneuf, Walter Scott Pinot, Port, Unoaked Italian White, Savory Malbec & more

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

2017 is here and I have to say, not only does my crush on Walter Scott wines continue, there is an even bigger crush for this vintage. Later to develop, this vintage possesses power, sophistication, and backbone and lift that makes it enjoyable now but one that will age beautifully as well.

Clos des Oiseaux, Justice, Prophet and Sojourner from the Eola-Amity combined with the famed Freedom Hill Vineyard make up the blend of vineyards for this wine that should never be referred to as a quote ‘entry wine’. This is way above the realm of what should ever be $25 in quality. In fact, there are numerous versions that I see and taste that are of this quality and sell for 10-15 dollars more. Aromatic, forward and laden with nutmeg and exotic spices along with impressive, smoke-tinged, red raspberry scents. Crawling through the mouth, this wine exudes its caressing qualities that are eloquent and absorbing from start to the lingering finish. As previously mentioned, this enigmatic Pinot is quite extroverted now but if you want something that is collectible for a song, it can also age nicely for a decade and probably even further.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Italian white wine. No oak. Two great wines aspects that are beautiful things. Owning a mere seven hectares, this estate produces seven different wines from their home base in Campania’s Avellino hills. Founded in 1997, this estate has quickly become one of the stars of the region and deservedly so, these magnetic wines are fabulous from start to finish.

The Irpinia designated Fiano, declassified from the estate’s Fiano d’Avellino offers terrific value and drinking pleasure. Stony, oceanic aromas prevail with underlying rose-oil, Anjou pear and prominent pink grapefruit tones. Propelling, nicely formed flavors are concentrated along with a sense of weightlessness this white is succulent, dry and really hangs around; this is an ultimate vehicle with seafood. Why waste the same money on some dirty sugar-water Pinot Gris when you can drink something so titillating like top Fiano.

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$31.99 BTL.

Wine with chocolate? Tawny Port is a slam-dunk, especially when it comes from one of the apex port lodges. Whether it be their legendary vintage ports that live forever or a wonderful 10-year-old tawny such as this, Quinta do Noval is always at the forefront for high quality port wines. Always on the power side, these are deep wines of substance.

A smooth an outstanding Port that delivers lovely aromas of flan, caramel, toffee and intermittent dried cherry characteristics. Mouth filling and with a classic sweetness and a refined, vibrant finish, that reveals its cask elevation. As mentioned, it is great with chocolate, but it will also work with desserts laced with coffee or a stilton cheese. The beauty of a tawny port is that it has already been tawnied for you, so this means you can cork and uncork it as you wish and enjoy the bottle over several months vs. a vintage port that has to be consumed in one sitting.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Pound for pound and euro for euro, Chateau Coupe Roses is one of France’s most prolific producers. François Calvez is committed to making wines that reflect his best hillside vineyards in the region. Organically farmed, these hearty, soulful red wines will compliment festive food and to bring a warming atmosphere to your home….and will not break the bank!
The La Bastide is classic Minervois. Equal parts Grenache and Carignan with 5% Syrah, this value-oriented, soulful Southern French red wine shows off bold wild spice, lavender and strawberry notes that have nice depth and focus of fruit. The finish is pure, wild and spicy with stellar length. This wine will work with an array of dishes like roasted chicken, a hearty stew or by itself by the fireplace.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

In 1902, when Nicolas Catena's grandfather left the vineyards of Marche and planted his first vineyard in the desert soil of Mendoza, it hardly seems possible that he realized they were embarking on a journey that would lead to revolutionizing the most important winegrowing region of South America. The Catena family is responsible for extensive research of microclimates and clones that are used by many producers in the Mendoza today. The basic criteria was to select those clones that produced the best quality grapes at the lowest yields per hectare in order to achieve the flavor concentration necessary to produce distinguished wines.

Dramatic and aromatic nose of bold, dark plum-pepper, allspice, violet and hot rock. One smell reveals that it is from old vines at a high elevation. Sexy, saturated, chewy and polished. Dense, vinous and a real mouthful of red wine. Through all of this, it maintains elevation that calls you back for another glass and another and another, etc., etc. The finish is penetrating and dense, revealing chocolate-covered raspberry red tones and sticks around for a long time.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Are you ready for a very different Nebbiolo experience? If so, continue to read this entry. Carema is the Piedmont’s most northwestern wine regions situated at the border of the Valle d’Aosta. A small and very well run cooperative founded in 1960, the Produttori di Carema consists of 45 growers and the wines emerging are fantastic expressions of their region and especially the Nebbiolo grape.

2015 is ultra-successful as it the conditions provided excellent generosity, but also possesses plenty of crunchiness and zip due to the elevation and cool nights. Very engaging, savory scents of rose, red plum, mint, licorice and subtle undertones of smoke and herbs lead into a mouth-filling and vivacious texture that oozes deliciousness and a level of depth that is exactly why this producer is regarded as one of the finest in all of Piedmont. A wine with substance and dimension as well as owning a finish that takes off. A ton of goodness here for not a ridiculous amount of money, enjoy this with beef/pork stuffed ravioli or a risotto done with cheese and mushrooms.

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$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE

The Dao region is one of Portugal's most famous and oldest producing areas first being recognized in 1908. Situated south of the Porto region, in Centro Portugal, the red wines here tend to be hearty, assertive and packed with character from its diverse sandy/granitic soils and both maritime and continental climate. The region is home to a dozen indigenous grape varietals but the majority of the reds are made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro Preto and Encruzado. Quinta Das Maias is part of the Quinta dos Roques estate and the philosophy here is to produce wines based on the Jaen grape.

80% Jaen (also known as Mencia in Spain), 20% Touriga Nacional, this mouth-coating number delivers up loads of strawberry, licorice, herbs and coriander. Buxom, yet cerebral, there is a hell of a lot of goodness in the bottle. Chewy and beefy along with plenty of vibrancy to balance it out. Really fine with smoked meats.

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$44.99 BTL./$269.94 - SIX PACK

One of the exciting arrivals into the Oregon wine scene is the emergence of Lingua Franca. Founded and operated by Larry Stone (Master Sommelier), David Honig and the legendary Meursault maestro Dominque Lafon, and along with winemaker Thomas Savre, this estate is nothing but the truth. I had the chance to sample their lineup of wines last week. Easy to say I was more than bowled over by the precision and focus of the entire range We will see more in the coming weeks but I thought that it was appropriate to offer this one now.

Bunker Hill Vineyard is located in the Salem Hills just south of the city. Lingua Franca farms and leases the site, selling some fruit off to friends as well. Planted in 1995 and at an elevation of 600 feet, this may be the closest to apex Chablis in Oregon that I have tasted. Elegant aromas of round and creamy pear, white peach, hazelnut and a delicate touch of flowers fill the nose. What stands out on the palate is the palate-clinging texture and lingering mouthfeel, which are perfectly balanced with notes ripe pear fruit, mineral, honey, and a subtle hazelnut with mineral electricity that is reminiscent of top Chablis yet still is definitive of what small batch Oregon Chardonnay is. Very compelling and delicious, it is gorgeous, world-class chardonnay not to be missed! Drink now through 2026+ with roasted poultry, lobster, and crab with lots of butter or soft-ripened cheeses.

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$65.99 BTL./$791.88 CASE

Accolades you ask?!?! This wine’s got ‘em! 98 points, Jeb Dunnuck, 95 points, Vinous, 95 points, Wine & Spirits. In all honesty, greatness need not be hyped when it comes to Vieux Donjon's Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines because they back it up.

Jacked with aromas of rock dust, asphalt and dense, jammy blackberry and black licorice. Thyme and sage emit from underneath to add complexity. Compact and layered. Incredibly concentrated with some roasted earth tones, yet there is underlying regalness and Grand Cru depth. When I tasted this, it immediately took me to thinking that it could be a separated-at-birth twin of a Rousseau Mazi-Chambertin! Awesomely structured and high-toned finish that has unreal length, this is one of the profound wines of Chateauneuf and really needs a few years before it should be consumed. Best from 2022 – 2036+.


Sicilian Shakedown featuring Planeta
Special Guest Don ‘Pancetta’

This Friday, Sept. 21 from 1:30 - 6:30

Sicliy is very exciting right now and Planeta is one of the island’s most influential producers. Drop by this Friday to taste four wines utilizing native Sicilian grapes being poured by our friend Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon. Don’t be oobatz and miss this one, otherwise we’re getting the cement shoes. Todd will arrive at 3:30 (I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early).


2014 Planeta Etna Rosso ‘Eruzione 1614’
2015 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria
2014 Planeta Nero D’Avola/Nocera
2016 Planeta Etna Bianco