Hot Sheets

Bandol, 95 pt. Barbaresco, Washington Blend, White Burgundy & more

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Founded in 1989 and named after his son and nephew, Andrew Will's Chris Camarda, now along with his son Will, is a Washington legend who makes extremely age-worthy wines and is on the pedestal of the state’s early influences such as Leonetti, Woodward Canyon and DeLille. Involuntary Commitment is a relatively new project that is a delicious, fulfilling, classic Washington blend and does somersaults for 20-bucks.

52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc & 21% Merlot, all aged in neutral French barrels, this fine Columbia Valley blend is about the balance of varietals and place versus that of being a smacked upside the head with jammy fruit and oak. Abundant cassis, blueberry and violet scents along with spikes of cocoa seemingly swirl from the glass. The texture is buxom and creamy with lots of sensuality to it. A mineral underlay and deceptive structure give this wine nice spine and breadth of flavor. Very drinkable now, especially with braised short ribs or a grilled steak, however, given who produces the wine, it wouldn't surprise me if this were to age 5-6 years, too.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Alongside luminaries such as Pradeaux, Gros Nore or Pibarnon, the Bronzo Brothers at Bastide Blanche make some of the most compelling wines in the entire Bandol appellation. So many of you know the prowess of their Rose wine, which is a perennial favorite, but this estate is even more compelling with their red wines.

As the legendary Replacements once stated, ‘Give Me One More Dose of Thunder’!! A velvet monster indeed, this blend of 93% Mourvedre and 7% Grenache and from the rocking 2016 vintage in this area make this wine a no brainer for Southern French enthusiasts and novices alike. Extremely vinous nose with lots of complex and youthful aromas of herbs du Provence, black truffle, leather, spice, strawberry and wild purple flowers. A finely tuned athletic offering with a hedonistic allure that is second to none. Although this stunning 2016 has an accessibility and could be had on the younger-than-usual side, this big, rich, structured and thunderous Bandol should see your cellar for a bit. The rewards will be greater than imagined... best from 2021 – 2028.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

If you thought Rose season was over, think again because there are still some dynamite versions that compel year round that are arriving. The big news in Piedmont in 2018 was when the legendary Barolo producer Giacomo Conterno estate’s Roberto Contero acquired one of Gattinara’s stalwart producers, Nervi. This brought about lots of wonderment from Nebbiolo lovers throughout the world to see what Roberto would do with this fabulous estate. Some of the wines are just arriving and after tasting this pink wine, I can say it is one of my favorites thus far in 2019.

90% Nebbiolo, 10% Uva Rara and a real reflection not only of the grapes but its volcanic, mineral-laden loose clay soils. Aromatically expressive, illuminating and glowing from the glass, there is an abundance of strawberry, mineral and savory fennel notes. In the mouth, it is intense, elevated, super-succulent and inviting from start to finish. Do not be lured in to think that this is a geeky rose because it is very pleasurable which only enhances its complexity. No doubt that this will drink well into next year, it is very alluring now and can be served with grilled chicken, pork, sausages or halibut now, or in late November with the holiday turkey or just after X-Mas with a post-holiday crab feast.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Brad McLeroy's Ayres Pinot Noirs have been Cellar Door mainstays for over 15 years now and we are doing backflips over the quality of his 2018 Willamette Valley. As usual, the Ayres Willamette Valley is Pinot Noir blended from the estate's Ribbon Ridge vineyard and augmented with the Oliver Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton.

Commencing with an ambrosial, extensive nose that comes in waves as the wine is swirled in the glass, sensuous violet tones, black fruits, herbs and transparent red earth tones reveal themselves nicely. With respect to the texture, the wine is somewhat like an Italian plum, exploding with ripe dark fruit and then gaining structure and grip on the brilliantly focused and extending finish. Instantly one can figure out that Brad was quite successful for 2018. Very drinkable now, but no problem for this wine to age 4-6 years, too. Kudos to Brad McLeroy for making yet another kickass Pinot Noir and resisting the temptation to increase his prices.

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$46.99 BTL./$563.88 CASE

Owned, operated and made by Meursault Mega maestro Dominique Lafon, the Heretiers du Comte Lafon Macon wines are some of the rarest and finest of the region. When Lafon commenced his Maconnais operation in 1998, it brought prestige to the area and elevated many younger producers to improve the quality of their wines as well. In this case, we can quote one of the greatest TV shows ever, The Wire: ‘The King stay the King’ and we are definitely in the upper echelon of White Burgundy from the Maconnais region.

There are wines from St-Veran and then there is this particular St-Veran. From two south-facing parcels in Prissé (En Bergeron, Montchanin) and one north-facing parcel in Davayé (En Combes). All are at about 250m altitude, with slopes at 15% grade, and deep clay soils on hard limestone bedrock. Raised in 4500-liter foudres and 500L demi-muids with 9 to 10 months' aging on fine lees. Harvested and cropped at levels more akin to those of a Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru, this southern white Burgundy adventure provides pure scents that invoke the limestone-clay soils of the region along with lemon, red apple, peat, rock dust and hazelnut. The texture is very relaxed with lots of old-vine depth and persistence that carry into a dense, pure, piercing finish. This wine elicited notes of ‘wow’ and ‘holy merde’ in the notebook when I visited the estate back in. Having a special scallop dish or white meat or a vegetarian pasta with chanterelle mushrooms? Then this is necessary. Drink over the next 10-12 years.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Fabre Montmayou is from Argentina and owned by a man from Bordeaux so it makes sense that there would be excellent Cabernet Franc emerging from their Mendoza vineyards.

A resounding Argentine take on the varietal, this wine reveals tea-smoke, raspberry, clove and cinnamon scents that follow into a texture that is mellow, smooth and very poised. Excellent depth, body and length belie its modest price point. Drink this delicious, superbly priced Reserve Cab Franc over the next 3-4 years.

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

The wines that Cristina Geminiani, owner/winemaker/vineyard goddess of Fattoria Zerbina, produce could not be further from the mass-production wine world. Cristina studied at the University of Bordeaux and took over running the winery from her grandparents in 1987. While her focus is her native Sangiovese, she also plays with cabernet, merlot and a bit of Syrah. Romagna is not only a lovely area for Bordeaux varietals as well as very formidable for the noble Sangiovese.

The Ceregio is a delicious bottle of wine that has an added level of rich dark fruit from the complexity of the 2016 vintage. Made without the use of oak to allow the rich minerality, pure cherry, decadent cocoa, black licorice, cherry, and sage tones to shine. Ceregio is an extremely versatile red and is perfect with salmon, meat-sauced pasta dishes, antipasti and pizza.

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$59.99 BTL./$719.88 CASE

The co-op of Produttori del Barbaresco killed it with their 2014s! Unlike Barolo, Barbaresco experienced a grand but small quantity vintage for 2014. Spared the rain and hail, this region received only one-third of the moisture that fell in Barolo, thus we have seen impeccable wines. Aldo Vacca noted the balanced and structured of the vintage will allow these wines to will age impeccably. Upon tasting when visiting and re-tasting while stateside, my impression is that these are most transparent wines that are true to their sites. Ovello is prototypical Barbaresco and handsomeness is abound with this vineyard site. Always one of the top-billed, seemingly Ovello is now reaching even loftier status recently as evidenced by the stellar review from Antonio Galloni’s Vinous: 'The 2014 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello is bright and piercing, as it so often is, and yet it also has more than enough fruit to fill out its mid-weight, energetic frame. Pine, mint, crushed rocks and sweet red plum build into the huge, piercing finish. The Ovello is another wine in this range that demands patience. Even in the early going it is super impressive. The 2014 s an unusually dense, packed Ovello. It should be terrific in another few years' time. Drink 2024 – 2044. – 95 POINTS – VINOUS


French Wine Mash-Up

This Friday Oct. 4 from 1:30 – 6:30

Not necessarily a full-themed tasting but it will be all about France. I am wanting to clean some wines up to make room for new arrivals so we will be pouring and serving four French wines this Friday. When one, another or all sell through, we will move on to the next. Drop by for what will be a fun afternoon of autumn cleaning.


2014 Chateau Bruilleau Graves (Pessac) Rouge
2016 Chateau de Montmirial Vacqueyras
2016 Haut-Rian Bordeaux Blanc ‘Les Acacias’
2017 Duporte Cote-de-Brouilly