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96-point Chianti - Ridge Geyserville Special & Cristom Pinot - Valpolicella Ripasso & Muscadet for 11

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[reg. $49.99]
SPECIAL - $35.99 BTL./$431.88 CASE

What more hyperbole can we drop on Ridge that already has not been said? 2018 provided this team of Zin-masters conditions that were favorable to making full on, lush wines but with the heart, soul and backbone that is always what Ridge Zins are about! Located on the western edge of Sonoma's Alexander Valley, Geyserville was Ridge's first source of red wine grapes in 1966, other than Monte Bello Ridge. The combination of Geyserville's climate, gravelly soils, and varietal mix imparts class and definition not usually associated with zinfandel.

It is never easy to describe a ‘typical’ Geyserville. Each vintage is unique, distinct, extraordinary, yet they do have some elements in common, and the term layered seemingly was invented for Geyserville. While we’re at it, the wines change, re-inventing themselves in bottle, developing more nuance and complexity as years pass, yet they are magnificent when young. 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet, the 2018 is operatic, packed with peppery tones as well as pronounced chocolate covered plum tones, briar and licorice. In the mouth, it is crammed with savory, luscious and spicy flavors that have full fruit, and extremely well integrated, and carry over into the gorgeous, ripe finish. Drink now through 2019+.

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Let’s get this out of the way immediately. Muscadet is a Loire Valley region outside of Nantes whose dry wines have absolutely nothing to do with the Muscat grape. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, these sizzling-dry wines express their unique soils impeccably and are some of the greatest vehicles to pair with seafood. Young Jeremie Huchet is one of the producers who brings a bright future to a region that can sometimes be caught up in its own archaic nature. A man of terroir indeed, this entry wine (we will feature the Crus very soon) is the real deal for 11-bucks.

Cool as hell – twenty-times as engaging! Brisk, sweeping, classically dry, tangy mineral quality. A step up in range from many others at this level along with a superior finish that is akin to being shot out of a cannon into a cool pool, this wine is so imminently likable. A match made in heaven with oysters, although this wine has enough depth and energy to go with scallops or halibut dressed in a beurre blanc as well.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Tommaso Bussola is one of the leading producers of Amarone. Originally a stonemason, Bussola took over this estate, having learned some about the business from his uncle, Giuseppe, also a local grower. In general, Valpolicella is a region noted for high quality reds that offer a lot of wine for not a lot of money, having said that, not all Valpolicella is created equally. The inquisitive nature of Tommaso Bussola results in the creation of some the region's most interesting and thoughtfully produced red wines. This one from the Ca del Laito line is steal at 20 bucks.

Made utilizing the Ripasso technique, the unique winemaking practice of Valpolicella, which wine made during the recent vintage is reserved then placed atop the pressed grape skins and lees in the vats just used for Amarone and allowed to ferment further in contact with those skins, thus acquiring additional body and flavor. This version has it all! Dark, lush, dried strawberry, dark chocolate, ginger, and tobacco combine with a full and pleasing texture that keeps up with hearty dishes. The complexity here is inspired by Amarone and unlike Amarone, is one that can be accessed now. If you like big Italian red wines then do not miss this one! Drink over the next 3-4 years.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

While the majority of grapes in the Northern Rhone Valley are Syrah, there is also white wine made Northern Rhone. Condrieu, Hermitage Blanc and St-Joseph Blanc quickly come to mind but perhaps the fastest rising appellation is Saint-Peray. One of the first of nine regions to be established as a controlled appellation in 1936, the reputation was built previously and afterwards to the production of sparkling wine. 30% of the appellation’s production is still bubbly but it is the dry whites that have become prominent.

Along with being a master of Cornas, Domaine Voge established themselves as one of the pioneers of dry St-Peray. While Roussanne is permitted in the blend, Voge utilizes 100% Marsanne. Harmonie is one of three cuvees and is a great gateway into the mysterious but sultry white wines of this area. Marsanne is a very intriguing and elusive grape. The resulting white wine is very fragrant and alive with scents of pear, blossoms, ginger, lime and ample underlying minerality. Mouth-filling and full of energetic burst with lovely complexity and complimentary succulence that carries all the way to the delectable, drawn-out finish that is teeming with flavor and character. Enjoy this delicious white wine with monkfish, grilled tuna or white meats as well as soft-ripened cheese after the main course. Perfect for drinking now and over the next four-6 years.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

There is common perception that Sicily's climate is akin to a blast furnace. This could not be further from the truth; this island is filled with diversity when it comes to soils, elevations, and climate and grape varietals. Wines from Mt. Etna are some of the trendiest and exciting to come from Italy these days.

Murgo is a producer who seems to be more known for their sparkling and white wines but they also make credible and tasty reds. This entry-level value reveals aromatic tones of red plum, prominent floral traits, clove and thyme build as the wine unfolds in the glass. An engaging, yet mouth-filling and dry texture entices one to enjoy and elaborate over its merits even further.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

One of the most stunning landscapes in Spain is located in the Galician area of Ribeira Sacra (Sacred Banks). This region dates to the Romans who excavated the many terraces still present today. The most important grapes are Godello, Albariño and Treixadura for white wines and Mencia, Brancellao and Merenzao for reds. Adega Algueira is a prominent grower, established in this small region for 30 years. Lately many Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain have claimed discovery of these wines and deservedly so, they are smashing.

The question is, are you cool enough to drink Ribera Sacra? This wine is so chic and bright that you will have to go out and buy a new pair of RayBan's just to fit in. Frankly, this red wine makes me want to jump out of my shoes whenever I drink it. Lifting, inviting tones of marionberry, pepper and soft roasted herbs and plenty of meat and mineral that all seem to build as the wine opens in the glass. Wonderful intensity and medium body from low-yielding fruit, high elevation and old vines. A red wine that will pairs impeccably with Spain's national vegetable – pork! Sausages, chops, loin, Serrano ham, it all works with this wine.

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PRI$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASECE

If one dares to go to the state line in the Walla Walla Valley, after wading through the meth labs and pit bull breeders, there are some very good wineries. Most set up their tasting facilities downtown but there is fine production there. Gifford-Herlinger has been an under the radar favorite from this area for several years and their Stateline Red is always delicious.

57% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Verdot. Seemingly silky aromas play off cinnamon, licorice, blackberry, herbs and earth that prevail in the mouth; dazzling and vibrant with a luscious, layered, smooth and mouth filling personality that exudes class. The finish pleasantly lingers then snaps back and gives even more. Try this chewy red with Swedish meatballs or a lamb dish slathered with cumin.

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$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

One should never refer to the Mt. Jefferson Cuvee as a mere entry way into the world of Cristom. This famed Oregon estate always overdelivers with this wine, which receives as much love as their top single vineyards. Once again, Cristom has launched a rocket with this smashing Pinot Noir.

As it has so often been stated, Steve Doerner is the most cerebral winemakers in Oregon, and with his vast experience with Pinot Noir, it is no wonder that these are some of our favorites This offering is brand new from the ultra-successful 2018 vintage, and once again, Steve has proven his mastery over this finicky grape. The wine is still youthful and is typical of a Cristom wine in that it is based around aromatics, finesse and beauty. Red berry, violet, soft smoke, and elusive herbs and spices are the characteristics of the wine. In the mouth, it is very young and packed in, but what is underneath is velvety, concentrated and long without being jam. Ultimately, it should go to the cellar for a year or two but if you wish to uncork one, decant about an hour in advance. Drink over the next 10-12 years.

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$54.99 BTL./$659.88 CASE

If you were to put me on a deserted island where there would only be one choice of a Chianti, Felsina’s Vigna Rancia would probably be the choice! One of the icons in all of Tuscany, the Vigna Rancia Riserva is from some of the estate’s oldest vines and brings forth wonderful depth of flavor and ages like a beast.Incredible presence of authority here, this 100% Sangiovese is all about the magnificent and pristine site just outside of the village of Castelnuovo Berardenga.

Deep and dark black cherry and plum fruit are hallmarks of this wine. Loads of Tuscan scents like savory violet, thyme, sottobosco and toffee ride shotgun on this impressively complex number. In the mouth, this is incredibly opulent and ripe with fruit that buries the tannin, although the grip is noticeable. The true highlight of this wine is its aftertaste that is graceful, complex and if we had a stopwatch, it would make a couple of rotations! This bottle of awesome profoundness has appeal now due to the saturation of fruit, but it will be at its ultimate best from 2023 through 2038++. Madonn'! If you like scores, this has 96+ points from Vinous.

3-LITER - $255.00
5-LITER - $419.00