Hot Sheets

Under 40, 98 point Cabernet, Nebbiolo, French Red Values, Washington Red & more

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Very unexpected because often times Italian varietals done outside of Italy rarely convey their essences outside of being fruity. Here’s one from the very well-known Charles Smith of K Vintners fame in Walla Walla fashioned up something extremely legitimate and is a wonderful also has a 93 point score from The Wine Advocate as well.

‘On another level, and worth the uptick in price, the 250-case 2014 Barbera Cervo (from vines planted in 1997 and tiny, tiny yields) was brought up all in barrique and is easily the finest example of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington. Elegant, layered and concentrated, with a serious feel in its black cherry, lavender, underbrush and peppery herbs bouquet, this terrific effort is a real head-turner that readers should seek out! – 93 POINTS – THE WINE ADVOCATE

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

We are not shy about our fascination with the fun, intense unoaked Spanish white wines of Rueda (then again, we're not too shy about very much). There is Rueda and then there is Javier Sanz with many pre-phyloxerra 150-year-old vines. While a good percentage of the Verdejo based whites that we offer from Rueda are delicious everyday slurpers, the Sanz version is quite a bit more serious and is still a hell of a deal.

Although among only a small handful of truly alluring Spanish white varieties, Verdejo was in danger of extinction by the early 1970's as many quantity conscious growers were clearing way for higher yielding varietals such as Viura and Palomino. Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes tossed in but Javier Sanz is an absolute purist and one who firmly belives in the fine qualities of the Verdejo grape. Zesty but never explosive, white grapefruit, lemon, ginger, mineral, peach, and earth scents lead into a vinous texture that possesses superb delineation and zestiness. The slow-building finish is very long and subtle with saline soil tones and terrific grip. This one is too tempting to pass up. Have it with cod, smoked salmon, or spicy shrimp dishes.

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$35.99 BTL./$431.88 CASE


A neighbor of Ridge and not made in Napa, the reality is that we are all the better because none of this is prevalent with this under-the-radar and over-delivering Cali Cab. From a historical as well as pleasure perspective, the Santa Cruz Mountain-situated Mount Eden Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays rank among the best in California. Their second label is Domaine Eden and like most second labels, there is incredible value to be had.

Decanter Magazine (February 2017) rated this wine 98 points, the highest out of a field of 191 Cabernets from California. One of the judges, Stephen Brook had this to say, ‘Exquisite black currant nose! This leads onto a silky, lean, elegant palate with fresh acidity in an atypically mouthwatering style of California Cab. It has intensity, persistence, charm and finesse’. Normally we could be skeptical about the English rating American wines. In this case the panel included Brook, who has authored 40 books, including ‘The Wines of California’, Ronan Sayburn, Master Sommelier and Sarah Knowles who holds a prestigious Master of Wine title. There is some credibility to these cats....and if you don’t trust them, trust me, this wine is fabulous and in an old school Cali Cab way, one that isn’t jammy and full of octane but one of balance, structure and character. Drink this over the next 12-15 years but if you want some, you had better email quickly because this will sell out!

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Sometimes it is important to have a wine that you can just drink and shut up about. Well, here is just the wine that fits that statement. From SW France’s Madiran region and a blend of 60% Tannat and 40% Cabernet Franc this is a hearty red that will make you look like a rock star at your next backyard bash.

Forward, dark and haunting with black and red plum, roasted coffee, spice, maple and dark cherry. Just the right amount of oak ageing is used to soften out the formidable Tannat bringing a roundness on the palate. Drink this red all summer long with barbecued ribs, grilled meat and with a plate of hearty cheeses and meats.

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

While watching some snobby idiot from the Food Network’s so-called intelligensia plug the white truffle experience in Piedmont, we couldn't help but wonder what would happen if your truffle hunting pig was better at hunting for compliments instead of tartufi bianci. Vegetarians will cry out in horror, but more than likely he would show up at the antipasti course as sopressata, salami, and prosciutto and be served with this magnificent Nebbiolo that happens to come from the Barbaresco single Cru of Bricco di Neive.

Younger vines and declassified from the family’s Via Erte Barbaresco, this Nebbiolo is a hell of a deal that hails from the warm, soon-to-be vaunted 2015 vintage and is very tasty indeed. Aged for 5 months in tank and 5 months in large Slavonian oak, this wine maintains the purity of Nebbiolo yet has a bit more to provide. Glorious aromatics with plenty of telltale rose petal and black licorice, but there are also overtones of birch, coffee and blackcurrant. In the mouth, this shows plenty of playful tendencies, but also has glorious depth and sophistication. Very long and extensive and crawls nicely through the mouth and possessing submerged tannins that allow for early accessibility. Barbaresco in all but name, enjoy this excellent Nebbiolo on through to its 10th birthday.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Moulin de Gassac is the value project of famed Languedoc producer Mas de Daumas Gassac. Since 1970, the late, great showman of Languedoc Aime Guibert accomplished so much including kicking Mondavi’s ass out of the region! More importantly, he proved that the terroirs in the Larzac and other Languedoc areas could be fabulous and now with four of Aime’s children leading the Domaine, these efforts are continuing even further.

The 2014 Moulin is a superb and smooth drink that is made from 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon & 30% Grenache. Enticing and defined aromas of plum, blueberry, pepper and mineral invite one in for many sips…it is easy-going, fleshy, balanced and clean with gently placed herb and spice notes on the finish. Serve it with chicken or a pungent sheep's milk cheese.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Lately when someone asks me what I like from California, the first answer seems to be Banshee’s wines. Having worked in various fields of the wine business, these guys craft superb wines that are resiliently and unapologetically California in style but they really aim to focus on balance.

The 2014 Banshee Sonoma Coast Chardonnay displays beautiful aromas of lemon curd and passion fruit with hints of butter and honey intermingled with a ribbon of caramel. Creamy and desirable, flavors of lemon meringue and pineapple carry to a racy and piquant finish that shows fine depth, integration and elevation. Drink this tasty Chardonnay with red snapper or scallops dressed with a rich or exotic sauce.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Bodega Lopez de Heredia is one of the grand old estates in Spain and truly one of the most special producers in the world. Located in the heart of Rioja, Haro, this large estate is the owner of the great vineyard site, Vina Tondonia. What makes Lopez de Heredia so unique and special is just how many wonderful wines they produce. It is probably because they make wine for themselves and never stray from their passion for the great tradition of Rioja, especially their philosophy of extended aging in barrel and bottle.

The 2004 (yes, 2004!) Vina Tondonia Reserva was released last year. This wine spent six years in oak, followed by the rest of the time in bottle. 2004 is one of the grandest vintages of the last 25 years and of course, Lopez has staked their claim on greatness. Mellow aromas of mineral, sweet roasted spice, lead pencil and game add to the rich roasted strawberry, cherry and earth on the nose. This truly elegant and seamless, old-school Rioja is finesseful with a rich and serious core of lovely ripe but dry red fruit flavors, the finish is long with soft tannins adding backbone and structure. This lovely is still a bambino as it will continue to develop for at least another decade but even at this stage of the game, it has such elegant complexity that it would not be a crime to open one with a rack of lamb, roasted rabbit or aged cheeses.