2012 Oregon Pinot, 91 pt. Malbec for 20, BordeauxValue, White Burg Rose & Port for Summer Sipping

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

One of the world's southernmost wine growing regions is quietly and quickly becoming a rising force. With its various microclimates, Patagonia is one of the world's unique wine areas because here Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet and Pinot Noir are all cultivated and done very well and now are forging their own identities in the wine world. Bodega Noemia have risen to being one of the 2 or 3 leaders of this area and their Malbecs are outstanding, particularly their least expensive offering.

‘Bright medium ruby. Sexy aromatic lift to the aromas of raspberry, mocha and pepper, with a musky leathery quality adding complexity. Supple, savory and easygoing, with red berry fruit flavors accented by herbs and spices. Very sexy, seamless wine with serious palate presence. Finishes savory and very long, with edge-free tannins. A lot of wine for the price, and quite amazing for an entry-level bottling. – 91 POINTS VINOUS

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Just as Oasis is the Poor Man's Beatles or Simple Minds the Poor Man's U2, the Loire Valley region of Cheverny was once regarded as the Poor Man's Sancerre during a time when these bands (and many of us wine folk) were coming up. Whites from mostly Sauvignon Blanc are the focus, but like Sancerre, red and rose are also made and over the years, we have seen the regions and its wines forge their own identities.

From this picturesque wine region and made from 65% Pinot Noir/35% Gamay is an explosive pink torpedo that detonates then electrifies the senses. Bursting with hawthorn, raspberry, smoke, and lemongrass and highlighted by mouth-watering vibrancy, and plenty of nervy tell-tale stony minerality, this Rose wants you to adore it and finish the bottle - then uncork another and another. Brilliantly sunny, summer stuff, enjoy it with clams, goat cheese or by itself.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

So many times, I receive soliciting emails or phone messages to taste and sell many Oregon wines. It almost has become like a job interview and research has to be done in order to even want to determine if I will want to see them to taste, especially given how many producers are here and how little time that I have to even get to know them all. One producer who caught me when I wasn’t cranky and delete-finger-happy from the heat last week was Whistling Dog. Located in the southern sector of Eola-Amity, literally a mile or so away from Walter Scott and Bethel Heights, their Estate Vineyard, Nuestra Sueno is dry-farmed and one of the old guard vineyard sites situated in this excellent neighborhood.

What is quite joyful is an Oregon Pinot that is smack dab in its peak period and is at an excellent price. Made from dry farmed Pommard & Wadenswil clones, this 2012 is and absolutely delicious, multi-dimensional wine. Moving into secondary scents, it needs a minute or two to shake the cobwebs then reveals a nose dominated by cherry, mushroom, harmonious smoke and rose petals. The palate expresses vivid fruit, prominent earth, perfume and cinnamon along with a finish that is particularly long and savory. Drink this beauty now - 2022.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

A lovely little 10-dollar number from Spain's Navarra region. 50% Tempranillo, 50% Garnacha and your favorite barbecue wine even though you probably have not tasted it yet! Lavishly toned wild strawberry jam scents play off savory herbs, spices and licorice following into a supple, luscious texture, but possesses plenty of the nice peppery tones that Garnacha brings. Serious BPH (bottles per hour) factor here. Order by the trunkload!

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

There is common perception that Sicily's climate is akin to a blast furnace. This couldn't be further from the truth; this island is filled with diversity when it comes to soils, elevations, climate and grape varietals. Wines from Mt. Etna are some of the trendiest and exciting to come from Italy these days. Marc de Grazia’s Terre Nere is a real go-to producer; however, with the popularity and scarcity of the wines, they tend to disappear rather quickly. This is a superb producer who makes wines that showcase Mt. Etna's myriad of terroirs, both within the single cru wines as well as this overachieving wine from a blend of sites.

95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Nerello Cappucio, this wine is oh so Sicilain and oh so sensual. Irresistible strawberry and currant shine while undertones of mint, spice, licorice and violet join in. Flavorful and harmonious, there is ample vivacity and suaveness to go along with deceptive depth and length. Have with grilled lamb or try it as a red with grilled salmon drizzled with good olive oil, meat-filled ravioli or hard Italian cheeses.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

French Chardonnay lovers, would you like a Puligny-Montrachet experience without the Puligny-Montrachet price? Then you have to have this wine! An unabashed legend, Paul Pernot and his sons make wines that are nothing short of brilliant. Based in Puligny-Montrachet and the wines are all about sophistication and harmony but have impeccable depth, dimension and detail. One of the ways to assess a top Burgundy producer is the quality of his or her Bourgogne and this one certainly performs at a lofty level.

Made from declassified Puligny up near the border of Meursault, it is a superior version of Bourgogne Blanc. Floral notes with orange, mineral, rosemary and anise lead into a wiry, nervy texture that has all of the weight and richness that 215 has to offer. Linear, complex and lengthy finish makes a great wine for matching up with sole or halibut in rich sauces. Drink over the next 5-6 years. Now, if you want to experience the "real deal" from this iconic producer, there is a smattering of 2015 Puligny Montrachet ($65.99), 2015 Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Folatieres ($99.99), 2015 Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Garenne ($99.99) and 2015 Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru ($290.00) available as well.

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$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE

Chateau La Croix is the second wine of the Superb St-Estephe Chateau Le Crock and is one that Karen and Michael have been going crazy over given its impeccable value and price point. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of great values to be had in Bordeaux and 2014 is a very fine and vastly underrated (and undervalued) vintage.

35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, this is a classic St-Estephe blend. Aromas of red plum, dark cherry, cedar, graphite, violet and sweet tobacco on the nose, ahhh, vive Saint-Estephe! In the mouth, this beauty reels you in with an incredibly velvety feeling, perfectly ripened grape tannins and an uplifting minerality & cherry, licorice whip note. This is a deceptive bottle of young Bordeaux as it is so delicious right now, specifically with a pan-seared thick porterhouse, but there is also no doubt that it will unfurl and age well. An expression of textbook Bordeaux, seemingly ready and approachable when young but will continue to evolve over the next 10-15 years.

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$23.99 BTL.

Nothing says summer drinkin’ like great port! OK, I’m being a little facetious today. Then again, I have been known resemble that sentence on occasion!

Niepoort lovingly refers to their LBV Port as the little brother of the vintage port. Probably a bit of a misnomer because this is about as traditional as traditional LBV gets. Aged 4 years before release, Niepoort puts as much love and attention to detail in this wine as the high-end, ageworthy Vintage port. Alas, not much is ever produced and this is an LBV for Vintage Port drinkers and guess what, it does not have to all go down in one sitting. Typical Niepoort this has intense, black fruits on the nose and elegant raspberry character on the palate. Super-saturated and super-long, this is the absolute perfect match with chocolate, stilton or an aged gouda cheese.


This Friday August 11 from 1:30 - 6:30


Chateauneuf, Gigondas and Vacqueyras certainly don’t have the monopoly on delicious wines from the Southern Rhone Valley. Drop by this Friday as we explore wines from villages in and around the Cotes-du-Rhone from hailed producers as well as an up and comer.


2015 Floranes Visan
Cotes-du-Rhone Villages ‘Florescens’
2015 Floranes Visan
Cotes-du-Rhone Villages ‘Terre Poupre’
Oratoire St-Martin Cairanne
Cotes-du-Rhone Villages ‘Reserve les Seigneurs’
2016 Pesquie Ventoux Blanc ‘Les Terrasses’