Hot Sheets

Half-Off Blend from Argentina, Barbaresco Under 30, Bubbly Value, Apex Pinot, Old Vine Docetto & more

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Made by a famed Barolo producer, this wine is one of the most spine-tingling, under-20 buck Italian reds that I have tasted this year. From 50-year-old Dolcetto vines within the Barolo village of Castiglione Falletto, this wine screams Piedmont and shows its varietal strength very well indeed.

Dolcetto is truly the no-brainer full red that makes everyone at the table happy as it pairs with an array of foods. What we like about this wine is that Scavino Sisters take a local, everyday grape like Dolcetto and dressed it up so that it is deceptively attractive. 2019 has given this Dolcetto a sultry personality with flavors of ripe red plum, dark chocolate-covered cherries, underlying blueberry and red clay earth. Very much a wine for the table and should be had with hearty winter fare such as baked macaroni and Fontina cheese laced with prosciutto and sage finished off with white truffle oil or a marinated pork tenderloin with a substantial mushroom prep. Buon apetito!

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Given all the crazy price jumps for Northern Rhone Syrah it still warms my heart to feature a selection from one of the appellation’s virtual undiscovered gems. The pricing here is also a gift as wines from this appellation have been regularly selling for north of 30. Saint-Joseph is an actual saint, allegedly the protector of scorned husbands, for whom the wine is named after. The only scorn these days would be the mistake of trying to compare these wines to the likes of Australia, California or Washington. Differing soils and slopes are what these wines are all about as well as their cool-climate conditions. Pascal Marthouret started out as an auto mechanic who happened to fall in love with wine and farming when he started tending his elderly godmother's vines. As he progressed, he was able to get out from under the car and through relatives, established his small 15-acre estate that also includes St-Joseph and Condrieu.

The newly arrived 2017 is essence of French Syrah and lovers of this region and grape will find it to be spellbinding. We love to drink wine, but there is something about putting the glass to your nose and just smelling the beauty of an enchanting wine, this is one of those special circumstances! The granite soils play a role in the sheer majestic, velvety quality that this wine possesses. Perfumy and fanciful aromas of plum, smoked meat, mineral, hints of violet and pepper as well. The texture is transparent yet with a shapely core of fruit that is pure and very seductive. Marthouret’s wines have such allure to them when they are young, but one could easily give it a few years for even more dimension. Have this St-Jo over the next decade.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

One of the most historic properties in California, enough cannot be stated on the influence that Gundlach-Bundschu has had on Sonoma and California viticulture. This estate has had peaks and valleys throughout its existence but recently has been on a major roll with outstanding wines that give off so much California character for their price levels.

Unapologetically Sonoma and California in profile, this Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend delivers so much good for an excellent price, especially in comparison to so many others in the state’s famous growing regions. Unlike many others from California in this price level, there isn’t any fruit from Lodi or bulked out juice to this wine, all of the grapes come from Sonoma; Gundlach’s estate vineyard along with other Sonoma sites. Chock full of cassis, blueberry and violet with spikes of cocoa that seemingly swirl in the glass. The texture is buxom and creamy with lots of sensuality to it. A subtle mineral underlay and deceptive structure give this wine nice spine and breadth of flavor. Very drinkable now, especially with braised shortribs or a grilled steak, it wouldn't surprise us if this were to age 4-5 years, too.

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$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE - LIMITED

I did a stealth offering of this Barbaresco a few weeks back to the Barbaresco fans. Someone in the state didn’t take their allocation so I scored a bit more. An estate on the rise, Ronchi’s ‘Classico’ Barbaresco comes from the namesake Cru site of Ronchi butting up against Montestefano. This wine is from vines planted between 1980 and 2006 and it has a very impressive accolade from Antonio Galloni at Vinous:

‘The 2016 Barbaresco is a real powerhouse. Deep and dense on the palate, the 2016 possesses remarkable intensity in every way. Black cherry, plum, lavender, cloves, licorice and new leather are all amped up. The 2016 is a dramatic, potent Barbaresco that has so much to offer. This is such a gorgeous, compelling wine. – 94+ POINTS, VINOUS.’ Drink 2022 – 2031.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Falerio is one of the more unknown DOC growing regions on the Le Marches region of Italy. Located almost at the border of Abruzzo, the white wines from this area are exhilarating, vivacious and epic bargains.

One of the early growers in the area Saladini Pilastri’s version is a blend of Trebbiano, Passerina and Pecorino. Plenty of orange rind, smoke, seashell and white flower tones follow into a texture that has plenty of cut and zestiness to go along with a fine core of fruit. A very pleasurable white wine with a simple plate of steaming clams or mussels. Buy this by the trunkload and get Plastered with Palastri.

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[reg. $24.99]
SPECIAL - $11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

An important producer in Argentina, Bodegas Norton delivers wines that on the top end are some of the most prized in Argentina. The local distributor of this wine is backed up with a couple of vintages and decided to do a slash and burn price on the delicious, in-its-window 2013 to make it move.

40% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, this is an unabashed powerhouse of a red. Broad, dark plum-pepper, allspice, cinnamon, violet and hot rock aromas are surrounded by allspice and vanilla scents from , one smell reveals that it is from old vines at a high elevation. Saturated, chewy, polished, and a real mouthful of red wine, especially with all of its varietals doing their stuff as it moves throughout the palate. Through all of this, it maintains freshness and spice. At age seven, this is drinking very well and a steal for 12-bucks.

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$49.99 BTL./$299.94 - 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. Oregon is in a perfect storm of great vintages with 2017 and 2018. There are some similarities but more differences, especially as they both will cellar very well.

All from the estate site, this Pinot walks the line with a fabulous core of fruit as well as having detail, finesse and plenty of savory, smoky qualities. Delivering grace and regal depth of fruit all conjuring up harmonious notes of strawberry, licorice, white pepper and cocoa-dust, this wine is quite the seductress. Texturally this offering is concentrated and persistent with plenty of dark tones up front that fan out into a vivid, suave and rich finish. This is top-notch, obsessive farming and winemaking at its pinnacle and while this wine has immense accessibility, there is even more potential lurking, which will undoubtedly unfold with a few years of cellaring. Drink through 2029+.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Raventos i Blanc is one of Spain’s most prestigious, prodigal and profound producer of sparkling wines. So much that they led the charge and established a new appellation for Spanish Sparkling wine called Conca Del Riu Anoia. This decision was made in order to separate the boutique, quality focused producers within the Cava category from those who are of the more industrial sized and based on quantity. The regulations are much more stringent in Conca Del Riu Anoia, a small geographical area surrounding the Anoia River valley Eastern Penedes. Lees contact versus Cava is a minimum of 18 months versus nine for Cava and only indigenous grapes permitted. Vineyards must be 10-years-old and organically certified as well.

All said and moving forward, this leader is making stunning sparkling wines. Stunning sparkling wine made from 40% Xarel-lo, 40% Macabeo, and 20% Parellada from 40-year-old vines. Upon bringing the glass to your nose to smell, one sees the evidence of excellent attention to detail. Laden with pear, citrus and freshly cut apple tone, then buffered nicely by fine leesy notes. Polished, mouth filling bubbles bring everything together into a package inspired by Champagne with all of its creamy gentleness.