Hot Sheets

10 Upstanding, Tasty Wines

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Famed Tuscan village Montepulciano has always been famous for its wine but sometimes known for just a handful of producers. More and more we are seeing the emergence of quality from either newer estates or longtime properties who have really notched up the quality and are incredible bargains.

Founded in the 14th century with owner/winemaker Susanna Crociani’s cellars in the town of Montepulciano, these hearty wines are made with utmost of tradition utilizing large Slavonian barrels and only native varietals. 75% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese), 15% Canaiolo Nera and 10% Mammolo, this mouthfilling treat from the profound 2016 vintage is seriously delicious. Savory Tuscan herb scents highlighted by sage and laurel ride alongside vibrant red plum, violet, espresso and bountiful spicy aromas. Full yet with classic Tuscan tanginess along with deceptive backbone and depth define the palate then roll over into an elevated, extending finish. Drink over the next 8-10 years with a thicker cut of pasta with a meat sauce, braised beef with red wine or a nice Pecorino cheese from Tuscany.

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$59.99 - very limited

November is always a blazing time of year for new release Oregon wines and there will not be too many better than these wines from one the state's most sought-after, influential and top-level producers. John Paul of Cameron has been working in Dundee for 30 years and his limited production single vineyard wines are epic every year but given a vintage like 2017, holy moly!! Normally these wines do not make it on to the weekly musings but John was a bit more generous with an allocation so folks will have a chance at them. Do not be fooled, there isn't much available and these wines will sell through in rapid fashion.

The new 2017 is youthfully packed and primary-toned with frontal lavender, violet, licorice and an underbelly of perfume and earth. Finely formed with a beautiful core of ripe-textured fruit upon entry. Plenty of cushion but this is very deceptive with the wine clamping down in mid palate revealing that it will age stupendously. Briny acidity present, ample spice, quite stuffed and very fluid throughout, especially on the driving finish. Young now, however, there is deceptive accessibility to want to try a bottle. Do so if you would like but this wine is destined to be very special. Hold until 2023 and drink through 2035.

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$59.99 - very limited

Like Clos Electrique Pinot Noir, Abbey Ridge is equally as profound. From 40-year-old vines, this truly is one of Oregon’s Grand Cru Pinots.

Exciting, exuberent scents that go from introvert to extrovert and back and forth. Hints of Valhrona chocolate but with sneaky perfume and a whole heap of raspberries and red earth. Very fleet-footed and full of sophistication with awesome old vine depth. Vertical and all in mid-palate at this point but over time this wine will expand and really spread out. A real teaser that keeps one tuned in, this is definitely a long-ager and will be a grand vin indeed. Potentially one of the greatest Abbey Ridge Pinots ever, drink 2023 – 2035.

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$59.99 - very limited

If you have been living under a rock and haven’t known, John Paul from Cameron is one of the great influences for Chardonnay in Oregon. Like the previously mentioned wines, the vintage rules the day here and it is a great one. For vintage 2017, Clos Electrique Blanc definitely takes its cue from Meursault and more so on the superb Premier Cru level. Clos Electrique is always about the many clones of Chardonnay that John uses for this wine.

Beautifully defined and scintillating aromas of orange, cream, buttered toast, cinnamon and mineral waft from the glass and instantly draw you in. Being the temptress that it is, this wine immediately cries out to go onto the palate that is ripe and rich, but has lots of spine and lift and citrus character. Brilliantly delineated around the edges, this wine carries into a long, polished and graceful finish. Perfect for white Burgundy aficionados or for anyone who loves the most stellar of Chardonnays. Drink this wine with any hedonistic seafood dish but proof is in its aging potential and ultimately be at its best 2021 - 2030.

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(Sauvignon Blanc)
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

There is something about wines made from grapes grown in kimmeridgian soil that when paired with oysters can cause immense euphoria. The fact of the matter is that France was once covered by water, and kimmeridgian soil gray limestone with decomposed crustaceans. The Kimmeridgian chain runs from the northern part of Burgundy to the Upper Loire and encompasses such famous regions as Sancerre, Chablis, and Pouilly Fumé. Clotilde Davenne made her bones as winemaker at Domaine Brocard for 17 years. Now on her own with family land, she is making prolific, lightning-in-a-bottle white wines from the entire Yonne region including Chablis, Irancy, Cremant de Bourgogne and this jaunting white wine.

Oui, there is Sauvignon Blanc grown in Burgundy! Formerly known as Sauvignon Saint-Bris, the region was elevated to its own appellation status a few years ago. Located in close proximity, and in some cases overlapping the boundaries of Chablis, this gem offers up the essence of great Sauvignon paired with the essence of great Chablis. It is here that the terroir takes over. Scintillating aromas of gunflint, lime, pine, gooseberry and a gentle hint of fresh herbs instantly assault the olfactory senses! The texture is vigorous, vinous, searing-dry and terroir-laden, all flavors that make this a spine-tingling match with oysters. It is also intense enough to go with halibut or salmon. At 18 bucks, if you love French Sauvignon Blanc as we do, you will not want to pass this one up.

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$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE

One of the finer producers of Corbieres, Chateau St-Esteve is better known in France than in the US. One of the pioneers in having the Boutenac area elevated to AOC status just over a decade ago (Corbieres0Boutenac now), this estate makes fantastic wines that are the essence of Southern French soul.

The Classic Corbieres is comprised of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Carignan & 10% Mourvèdre from several areas throughout the appellation. Inviting, expressive and well balanced with aromatic strawberry up front while smoke, white pepper and licorice permeate beneath the surface; this wine shows engaging personality and carries to the dinner table very nicely. A selection that pairs with so many flavors. Try with mushroom quiche, grilled fish, and roasted chicken with mushrooms, braised pork loin, sausages and more. Drink it now, drink plenty and drink it often!

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Wine has been made in the central Spanish Toro region of the Castilla y Leon for eons, but interestingly, the region was only granted D.O. status in 1987. Up until the early 90s, the biggest problem with Toro’s wines is that they have been incredibly alcoholic in nature, but now, this area is living up to its potential with great young producers as well as well-known Spanish producers from famous regions like Vega Sicilia who have bought land and are making fabulous, nuanced reds.

Matsu has been in the Toro region since the 1930s but since 1998 have sought to make textured but restrained wines. They have also eschewed the Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva categories to focus on vineyard identity. 100% Tempranillo with a full aromatic nose offering spiced plum, roasted meat, vanilla, sandalwood, all of which set an interesting flavor frame for the underbelly of blueberry and blackberry. Warm, full and inviting with a nice balance between spice, rich ripe fruit and a natural firmness and extension. Drink over the next five years.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Vinho Verde is a Northern Portuguese white wine from the Minho region whose name literally means "Green Wine", referring to its youthful freshness rather than its color. Its many small growers characterize the region. Many of these growers train their vines high off the ground, up trees, fences, and even telephone poles! Vinhos Verdes are light and fresh. There is some spritz within the wines, but not enough to merit semi-sparkling status but they do have a definite pétillance.

At 9% alcohol, this is a "more" wine meaning its light, airy, thirst-quenching qualities make you want to drink more and more! Lime-blossom, seashore and mineral-tinged, it is explosive and slaphappy! Classic Vinho Verde wine isn't meant to be sipped, it is meant to be slammed. Toss it back with a plate of clams, at any upcoming holiday party or with a bunch of friends.

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$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

Bucklin is a Zin specialist who happens to possess one of Sonoma's most prized and oldest vineyard sites, Old Hill Ranch. Founded by William McPherson Hill in 1851, the Bucklin family purchased it in 1981 and commenced selling grapes to Ravenswood's Joel Peterson.

The Bucklin label was created in 2000 and only they and Ravenswood make wines from this revered place. One of two Zin wines, this big-boy is a blend of 60% Zinfandel, 15% Grenache, 10% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Petite Sirah and 10% of twenty other varietals from a twelve-acre block of vines that were planted in 1885 (that is not a typo). Boisterous, powerful and intense flavors and aromas of raspberry, blackberry, ground pepper, briar and vanilla. Mouth filling, with serious back-end depth and spice, this is a Zin with serious cojones and yet has prominent elevated acidity for structure, balance and vibrancy. At five years old, it is quite lovely and will continue to age for another decade.

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$92.50 - very limited

About twenty years ago, Rick Small of Woodward Canyon started to produce this wine from his home vineyard and lately is one that we feel is his crown jewel amongst his many other great wines. Formerly known as Estate Red, this is one of Washington's most special and is made to specify its site over its grape blend…If you love Woodward Canyon, this is a must have.

33% Merlot, 33% Petit Verdot, 22% Cabernet Franc & 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lyrical scents of roasted coffee, black raspberry, tobacco, dark chocolate and nutmeg sing from the glass. The penetration and multi-dimensional characteristics from the nose are also present in the mouth. Luxurious and not without a bit of cushion, this stuff is almost dangerous! Soothing and smoothly textured with building spice and a head-spinning core of blue fruit take the lead, but the backbone is what ultimately carries the wine and will bring longevity. While it is a Walla Walla wine, this seemingly has a foot in St-Emilion. Quite inspiring! Drink 2020 – 2032, although if you wanted to test-drive a bottle, it won’t whack you!


Fabulous New French Arrivals from Animaux du Vin
Special Guest – Chad Zimmerman

This Friday Nov. 15 from 1:30 – 6:30

Drop by this Friday to taste new French arrivals and a current favorite or two from our friend Chad Zimmerman, a.k.a. the Animaux du Vin. Pouring Bordeaux, Rhone and more. I’ll have the wines open at 1:30, Chad arrives at 3:30


2015 Chateau Gaillard Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
2015 Chateau Peyrou Cotes-du-Castillon
2016 Pesquier Gigondas