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Rioja, Oregon Pinot for 20, Chateauneuf, 1st Growth Dessert Wine, Kistler & more

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

A new offering from one of Oregon’s apex producers and a twenty-dollar version that tastes and behaves like it should be a hell of a lot more. In response to competition along with the national escalation of pricing for their other bottlings, this wine was really made to appease the local market and can’t be found outside of our local area.

Made from mostly estate fruit and Lia’s Vineyard, this Pinot is serious business! An achingly beautiful Pinot Noir value that has enticing and beautifully aromatic aromas of crushed black raspberry, violet and cinnamon that shine brightly from the glass. Texturally, the wine is stylish and refined with an abundance of penetrating fruit along with sneaky structure. The finish is suave and understated with a hint of allspice, red earth and cocoa from oak. A mouth filling Pinot, this selection will pair wonderfully with chops and will drink and develop wonderfully through 2022.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Rioja is Spain's most famous region and it is carving out a new identity to go along with its established sense of tradition. There are still many revered, extended oak-aged wines from this area, but many others are blazing a trail to establish a new identity for this historic growing region based on vineyard, soil and terroir rather than a wood profile. Sierra Cantabria, run by the Erugen family, have been offering several delightful Riojas for not a lot of money over the last decade.

100% Tempranillo and exactly what fine Rioja is all about. Savory fruit-forward tones of strawberry and spicy oak mingle nicely with earth tones. Generous but never overdone, excellent fruit is present in the mouth with lacey tannins and refined spice from a thoughtful use of oak enable this wine to carry nicely to the dinner table. Drink it now through 2022 with roasted lamb or pork loin.

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

Paolo Petrilli is very well known throughout Italy for his excruciatingly limited and delectable pomodori (tomatoes) and are a true sense of pride for the man. Only 12 acres of tomatoes are planted to go along with the minute 23 of vines, which covers four different cuvees. When it comes to the vino, a source of pride in Paolo's cellars is this 100% Nero di Troia wine. The moniker of this cuvee, "Il Guerro" translates into "the Boar", which is a nod to how laborious it is to work with this finicky grape varietal. Lastly, only 250 cases are produced of this smoky, spicy, full-on gorgeous wine.

Not seen much outside of Northern Puglia, the Nero di Troia grape is uniquely Southern Italian and has a personality that moves from being moody, dark and haunting to turning playful and vibrant all while the wine unfolds in the glass. The initial sensory aspect of Nero di Troia when you smell it is smoked plums and this special version is staggeringly rich in both aroma and flavor. Having sampled this last week, this wine is drinking exquisitely. Delivering ripe but perfectly fresh fruit, cloves, cinnamon, and chocolate, and mouth-coating, deep tactile sensations which combine iron, power and a enveloping, voluptuous texture that's infinitely deep, structured and long. The ultimate in iron fist in velvet glove, this wine will pair extremely well with slow-roasted meats jacked with herbs and spices or a spice-laden pasta pomodori. Extremely accessible and will drink well 2024.

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$65.99 BTL./$791.88 CASE

There are California Chardonnays then there is Kistler. Since the winery's inception in 1979, Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler have continued to do nothing but wow and draw hyperbolic responses from wine lovers throughout the world. Rarely are we ever offered the opportunity to feature any of their wines, but at this moment, we have a chance to do so!

The 2014 Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay shows why Kistler is regarded as one of the apex predators when it comes to this varietal. All of the great Burgundian techniques are practiced all while maintaining California roots and material. Rich aromas and flavors of orange, churned butter, smoked hazelnut and an underlay of vanilla spice, this is definitely NOT "Cougar Juice"! The opulence is nicely buffered by a lively streak that makes it succeed with balance where so many others in California fail. Enjoy over the next 4-5 years with sautéed scallops or lobster.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

These days, Portugal is a bastion of chocolatey delicious. OK, so I am not sure about their chocolate, but when it comes to wine, this nation is making excellent wine on all levels including many excellent values. Casa Da Passarelle is an award winning producer in the Dao region that we have come to admire. Last year we offered their white, this time it is their red Dao.

Made with native varietals, Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaen and Touriga Nacional, this is an attractive, hearty red that is forward and supple. Aromas and flavors of boysenberry, cherry, roasted earth and spice carry over to a fresh, crowd-pleasing and smoothed-out finish. Perfect for everyday drinking, it will pair with sausages, chicken and ham~n~cheese sandwiches.

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$17.99 BTL./$107.94 - SIX PACK

Here at the Cellar Door we often like to go on a wine safari that takes us deep into the netherworld of just about any given wine-growing nation. Even though the region around Lake Garda is well known, when it comes to wine, this area of Lombardy often goes unnoticed in lieu of some of its more touted neighbors of the Veneto or Franciacorta.

Around 30 years ago, Cominciole recovered and resurrected two ancient varietals (Trebbiano Valtenesi & Erbamat) that had been abandoned for a long time. Out of this came this gem of a Northern Italian white wine known as Perli. Beautiful aromatics swirl from the glass with notes of mineral, lemon, white flowers and laurel and just for good measure, a bit more diamond-like mineral. There is a deep level of old-vine concentration that is coats the palate yet it is bone dry, with excruciatingly refreshing citrus notes of lemon, lime, tangerine, and flinty earth aspects lingering beneath. Very drawn out indeed, I can see this wine pairing up with a plethora of seafood choices ranging from traditionally prepared salmon to a ceviche with shrimp or rockfish that is bursting with all sorts of spices and exotic flavors.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Fronton, which is located about 40 miles outside the city of Toulouse is a rather obscure wine region located about 35 miles outside of the city of Toulouse. This area makes wines based around the local Negrette grape that are dark, flavorful and a true taste of France.

50% Negrette, 25% Syrah, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc, this individual wine offers up aromas of wild blackberry, plum pit, leather and anise along with bursting flavors that are clean and succulent. The Frontonization of Portland is on! Have this decidedly French red with anything bad for you like rillettes, smooth pate or soft cheeses.

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$64.99 BTL./$389.94 - SIX PACK

Over the years, many of you have been able to experience the range of wines from the renowned Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer, Domaine de Beaurenard. The Coulon family has been producing wine in Chateauneuf-du-pape since 1695, so there is an abundance of experience! Boisrenard is the family's top Chateauneuf and is from 90-110 year old vines with the yields being kept to about 1 ton per acre!! Parcels of old vines 70-100 years in age, planted in soils of great character and complexity, provide the grapes for this wine. These three old parcels, in which different varieties are planted together, embody the symphony of 13 varieties, though Grenache predominates.

Closed, introverted and very youthful but the aromas are the embodiment of these ancient vines. Lots of creamy blackberry and raspberry. Some roses present. Prominent smoke with a seducing entry then locks up as is very expected from this long-lived, luxury cuvee. Lifting and vivacious, Serious grand scale penetration but never going heavy. Tightens on the packed and very long finish. Definitely one that will age for a long time. Expect to drink this, as most Boisrenards about age 8-10 and it can easily age 25-30 years. An excellent choice for those wishing to put down wine for someone who was born in 2013.

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$39.99 - 500 ML BOTTLE

If the world were a just and fair place, every wine lover would know the history and high quality of the dessert wines of Hungary. Historically this country made dessert wines and were immortalized by consumers that included Prince Rakoczi, Pope Pius IV, Louis XIV, Catherine the Great, Voltaire, President Jefferson, Eugenie Napoleon and Queen Victoria. Tokaji is the wine region. Tokaj is the town. Aszu refers to the unique style of wine produced in this classified wine region. Under communist rule, the wine industry was still alive, but sadly, it was oriented towards quantity rather than quality. With the fall of the Iron Curtain came about investment and many changes.

Disznoko was classified as a First Growth in 1752, but it has only been since 1992 with owners AXA Millesime (owners of Lynch-Bages, Quinta do Noval, Pichon Baron-Longueville, Suduiraut and more) set out to restore old glory. In less than 20 short years, results of this major undertaking have been realized with phenomenal wines that anyone who considers himself or herself someone who enjoys and is perceptive about wine should be required to try. 2007 was magnificent for this Cru wine – layered with quince, apricot, honey, cardamom, marmalade and caramel aromas, this wine morphs, builds and changes like an obstacle course as it sits in the glass. Loaded with generosity, depth and density in the mouth with plenty of penetrating quince/citrus tones and mineral to set everything off. Have this with a farm-aged Roquefort cheese, foie gras or a marzipan-based tart with fresh berries. Drink over the next decade plus.