Hot Sheets

12-year-old Sagrantino, Collectible Evesham Wood Pinot, Barbera, Bordeaux & more

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Last week in the midst of tasting a bunch of rejectamenta, along came Nicola Argamante, a producer in Monforte who has worked with the likes of Paolo Scavino, Clerico and Aldo Conterno, to present a lineup of his excellent wines. In addition to hooking up with the greats of the area, Nicola achieved a PHD in viticulture from the University of Torino and became a very successful consulting agronomist for many Piemontese wineries. So, in 1995 when Nicola bought a farm with his winemaker wife Loredana Addari, it was to be expected that the results would be nothing short of fantastic.

Of course, Barolo wines are produced here but what this couple does with Barbera is over the moon in quality. The 2015 Barbera D’Alba is quite the charmer for under 15 beans. All estate fruit from Monforte d’Alba, this version is chock full of lovely flavor and character. Made without the use of oak, polished and forward notes of plum, black cherry, rose petal and violet dust playfully interact with all of the olfactory senses. Ripe, round strawberry and red earth linger on the supple frame, making it the perfect wine for fare such as braised or slow roasted meats, or try it with a three-cheese pizza of Mozzerella, Pecorino and Parmesan Reggiano.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Armujan is Corsini’s "Apex-Barbera" and comes from a Southwest-facing site that is located in a prime Monforte area. More chalk here, this wine is aged in an array of barrels before bottling. We are always fortunate to have this wine whenever it has had a chance to relax and develop in the bottle, so at age four, this wine is beyond seductive, and especially for anyone who loves a robust Barbera or other red wine.

From vines planted in 1948 and 1958. Fine and sophisticated, suave smoked blackberry scents with power-laden Monforte qualities shine with an alluring black licorice overtone. Creamy and very layered with refinement and grace beneath the surface. The finish is very old-vine-saturated, clinging to the entire palate and leaving a lengthy, spicy and multi-dimensional aftertaste. Drink now through 2022+ with full-bodied meat-based pasta or risotto dishes. If something other than Piemontese cuisine is desired, have it with grilled meat slathered in a tangy, slightly spicy sauce. MAGNUMS ($46.99) & HALF BOTTLES ($13.99) ARE AVAILABLE

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

The challenge for us is to get Riesling into your glasses. Sometimes we succeed sometimes we do not. I've been playing the wine game for almost 30 years and can't tell you countless times when you ask someone if they would like a taste of fine Riesling, they respond "oooooo, yuk-I don't drink anything sweet"! After their refusal to try it, almost every time they proceed to pick out a bottle of overoaked Chardonnay that is even sweeter!

Yes, there is a kiss of sweetness to this wine, but not more that would be in many 2015 Oregon Pinot Gris. On more than one or two occasions, I have mentioned that the greatest of white wines will outlive the greatest of reds and this sterling, 14-year-old Riesling is perfect proof! The main thing that drives this wine are the soils of the vineyard. Kaseler Nies’chen is a top vineyard in the tiny Ruwer region that is packed with hard slabs of blue slate. Pronounced lime, currant and peach along with subtle ginger notes. Piercing, very focused mineral tones which are classic to the blue slate bring out delineation and very cool finesse. Complex, secondary tones are present and reveal themselves in such a handsome way. Drinking exquisitely and still packing loads of life, 2002 was a grand vintage for Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese wines. This semi-dry Riesling possesses a low alcohol level (10.5%) and is brilliantly delineated, complex and most importantly, very detailed. Drinking wonderfully now and will continue to do so for another 4-5 years…if not longer.

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$39.99 BTL./$239.94 - SIX PACK

One of the quiet leaders of Umbria's Montefalco region as well as Sagrantino, Filippo Antonelli strives to make wines that are both full of character and flavor while retaining freshness, balance, and will carry over to the table. Unlike a competitor or two in the region, one need not search for a pair of tweezers to pull out any oak splinters left behind in the tongue when drinking an Antonelli wine! Sagrantino is the spiritual grape of Umbria's Montefalco region and Antonelli does a magnificent job in bringing out its full expression. Rarely seen outside of this area, this grape that puts forth large-scaled wines that can age for a long time so it is always a nice treat when Filippo does his library releases (which actually are prettly close price-wise to current releases) to exhibit a wine that is perfectly aged and can head directly to the dinner table.

For 40 bucks, one can be spiritual and yield to temptation at the same time while enjoying this 12-year-old, full-on red. With one whiff of this luscious Umbria red, you are transported to the land of the exotic with a potpourri of decadent aromas. Dried morellino cherry, Asian spice, fresh baked blueberry pie, wild mushroom and dried rose petal just to name a few. This intellectually-hedonistic nose is only outdone by the superbly balanced richness on the palate and it is a beautiful thing to see all of the components coming together to form kaleidoscope of pleasure that has the power and depth to stand up to powerful, flavorful dishes or Gorgonzola cheese. Enjoy over the next decade.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

We have been working with this excellent Walla Walla operation’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah for several years but this is the first time we have ever been presented with their Semillon. Led by Pepper Bridge winemaker Jean-Francois Pellet, it is only natural that this wine would express such excellent quality-price rapport.

Aged in neutral oak barrels to bring about textural complexity and not any smoky, buttery aspects, creamed fig and pear intermingle with orange and lemon scents giving way to a texture that reveals nice layers along with good vibrancy and raciness on the focused and lightning-cool finish. An excellent winter white wine for swordfish or big prawns.

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$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE

L'Ameillaud's Pays Vaucluse is always one of the world's superb bargains. Located between the Côtes-du-Rhône village of Cairanne and Mont Ventoux, this country wine is comprised of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Carignan from 30-year-old vines.

Given the warmth of 2015 combined with a 9-dollar price, this wine is going to provide lots of pleasure indeed. Dreamy and easy with pronounced lavender, plum, pepper and plenty of spiced-earth character. Open-armed Mediterranean flavors with excellent depth, personality and dimension make this a beyond suitable red with grilled meats or veggies.

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$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE

Larose du Gruaud is the second wine from famed Second Growth St-Julien Chateau Gruaud-Larose. This classic blend from younger vines of the estate has really come into its own over recent years and represents stunning Bordeaux value. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc & 1% Petit Verdot, we are thrilled to be able to offer up one from a very underestimated vintage of this delectable offering.

Upon the first moment that you put your nose into the glass, you can immediately notice that this Chateau declassified a hell of a lot of good fruit from the top wine down into this wine due to an extra layer of depth. Ample, fleshy aromas of tobacco, cassis, plum pit, fine herbs and freshly roasted coffee. Well-formed, classic Saint-Julien qualities combining red and black flavors and is providing lots of early pleasure. Quite becoming and gentlemanly, especially on the dusty and refined finish. Enjoy this excellent Bordeaux through its 12th birthday.

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$45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE

The top cuvee on the Evesham Wood pinot noir roster, the "J" is named to honor one of Evesham Wood founder Russ Raney's influences, Vosne-Romanee master, Henri Jayer. It was a yeast strain captured and cultivated from a near empty bottle of Jayer Echezeaux that Russ and his wife Mary had at dinner in the 80s to celebrate harvest. This particular yeast continues to be utilized for this cuvee by current owner and Russ protégé Erin Nuccio. Up there with the greatest of Oregon Pinots, Cuvee J is always sought after by the savviest of Pinot lovers and deservedly so, good luck finding another version at 45 around here that comes from 30 year old vines!

A selection of the six barrels from the estate Le Puit Sec Vineyard, one sniff of this masterpiece lets you know that you have pole-vaulted into the first division. Wonderful, but youthfully bashful aromas of violet, nutmeg-laced chocolate, blackberry and coriander spice supported by all of the old vine fruit components; this will gain an abundance of cerebral aspects as it evolves. Velvety and lacey and having a perfumed texture that is reminiscent of a Northern Nuits-St-Georges vineyard, there is generosity and charm with a thrusting finish that is svelte and lingers. Even though there is enough material to give it immediate accessibility, do give it time because Cuvee J is always one of the finest wines for aging in Oregon. Drink this 2020 - 2030.