Barbaresco Value, 95 pt Bordeaux, Dry Provence Rose, Ridge Zin & more

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

First and foremost, we at The Cellar Door are not role models. Like Sir Charles Barkley, often times we are the anti-heroes of the wine world and we maintain our independence in bringing you the finest values from around the world. Many have accused us as not being ‘user friendly and cuddly’, but those folks are usually the enemy of the wine industry, the marketers. Truth be known, we can be pretty cuddly and we love to present wines that are forward and accessible like this best buy from Languedoc’s Minervois region. Located in the village of Azille, the estate of Chateau Massiac dates back to the Roman Empire. These days it is adeptly run and organically farmed by Bernard Boudouresques who is deeply committed to the quality of this region where one finds many excellent choices.

One of two Minervois cuvees, Sentinelles is an ideal bistro wine as it is delicious with steak frites, hearty stews, barbecued chicken or any other soulful fare. The makeup here is two-thirds Syrah and one-third Carignan. Aromatic Syrah forces are at play as soon as it is poured. Forward, ample personable and offering mountains of red and black fruit, peppery spice, roasted earth and prominent garrigue. The perfect spring and summer red to have around for just about anything that comes your way.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Located at the southern end of the boundary of Barbaresco village and bordering on Treiso, this terrific Barbaresco producer takes its name from the single Cru vineyard of Montaribaldi. Having been in existence since 1968 and owned by the Taliano family, the wines that emerge from this estate are outstanding values including this superbly priced selection. This is not merely a glorified Nebbiolo Langhe with Barbaresco slapped on to the label, it is a true to form version that comes from a single vineyard from the village of Nieve.

Roses, tar, subtle spice and earth tones dominate the nose of this gorgeous offering. Chewy, expressive red fruits assert themselves in the mouth with a hint of a cherry syrup/licorice thing going on. Noticeable structure and excellent definition that tightens its grip at the end. Overall, this shows way above average length, depth and penetration for its price point and although youthful, a Nebbiolo fiend can open one to see where it is, but for the best results cellar it until later next year and drink it through 2024.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Veni Vidi Velcro. I came, I saw, I stuck around, especially when someone pulled out a full-on liter bottle of this excellent white wine from Austria. Wonderfully brilliant yellow in color and loaded with impressive Veltliner aromas in the nose this gem is multi-layered with exotic fruit, pepper, spice, and nutty apple flavors in the mouth. Crisp acidity, lovely finesse and the liter bottle make this silky, medium-weight white a perfect date wine for light meals and picnic baskets.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Bow & Arrow owner/winemaker Scott Frank has been a friend for several years. Reaching back to his days at Cameron to now doing his own thing, it's a genuine thrill to see this cat doing wines on his own terms. Taking his cue from the Loire Valley instead of Burgundy, the Bow & Arrow manifesto is very individual with low alcohols and virtually unlike anything else that you may see or taste in Oregon.

Air Guitar is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Cabernet Franc. Given the grape varietals, it is easy to think of this wine being done in a larger Bordeaux-like style but the style here couldn't be more different. I really recommend serving Air Guitar in a Burgundy glass and it may not be for everyone, because it is certainly not a lollipop wine. Yet for those that love aromatic, soulful and sensual wines it should not be missed. Laden with red raspberry, warm, fragrant spices, red licorice and tinges of jasmine, this is absolutely dry, pure and red to the bone. Dark, haunting tones come as the wine opens and move into a succulent and drawn out finish. There is no doubt that Air Guitar will please any Francophile who loves Oregon wines and vice-versa. Pair it with a wide variety of foods from rillettes to beef curry dishes to your favorite lamb stew.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Words like breathtaking, staggering and astounding come to mind when describing the grand Zins from Ridge. Since 1999, Ridge has worked with grapes from this Russian River vineyard and proved that Zin can thrive in an area where Pinot Noir dominates. Ponzo is three plots, two planted in 1990 and one that is interspersed with Petite Sirah from 1952. The old one forms the base of what goes into this single vineyard offering.

97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah and the slightly cooler climate and morning fog allows this to be a very civilized Zinfandel. The 2015 Ponzo is extremely sensual and chock full of expressive notes of black raspberry, chocolate, vanilla, and spice entice on the nose. As any good Zinfandel-blend from Ridge should be, it is packed with exquisite fruit on the palate, along with milk chocolate, clove, briar, smoke and vanilla tones that bring about terrific complexity. Once again this iconic estate has managed to make a Zin with beautiful fruit, that is in total balance, and simply delicious. Bravo! Drink over the next 10-12 years.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

The sun is out and we are dreaming of spring but sometimes Rose from the grand, classic producing areas of France are even better in their second year. Located just outside of Aix En Provence, the Provence region of Palette is quite a rarity because its miniscule size and amount of producers, only 106 acres in total and five producers encompass this magical appellation! Chateau Henri Bonnaud produces stunning reds, whites and a wickedly handsome pink wine that is a virtual requirement for Bouillabaise and other Mediterranean seafood preparations. 40% Mourvedre, 40% Grenache and 20% Cinsault from limestone soils at the foot of the famous Mont Sainte-Victoire immortalized by Paul Cezanne, this wine takes Rose to another level than just one to sip outdoors on its own.

Directly pressed, sans malo-lactic fermentation, there is not only ample depth and personality, there is lightning in the bottle. Aromatically expressive, illuminating and glowing from the glass, there is an abundance of strawberry, mineral and savory fennel notes along with prominent marine/smoke scents. In the mouth, it is intense, elevated, super-succulent and inviting from start to finish. Drink over the next year with savory fish dishes loaded up with some sort of tomato based salsa.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

The Clash once so succinctly stated ‘NO ELVIS, BEATLES OR THE ROLLING STONES’! Non-conformist Portuguese producer Luis Pato seemingly has the same attitude in philosophy with ‘no cabernet, merlot or pinot noir’! A legend in Portugal, Luis Pato literally put the Barraida region and the Baga grape on the worldwide wine map. Located just west of the famed Dao region, the maritime influence on these wines cannot be understated and the Baga grape gives somewhat of a notation of an Atlantic Nebbiolo.

Based around Baga with a dollop of Touriga Nacional to bring about fruit and roundness. Bright with red berry, raspberry, a little bit of leather and spice box. Ripe, chewy red fruits are integrated nicely with subtle oak tones. The finish is wild with a little game and plenty of bright flavors and briary spiciness. Drink over the next 3-4 years particularly with Portugal’s main vegetable, pork.

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$45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE

Owned and operated by the Cuvelier family, who also have Classified 2nd Growth Chateau Leoville Poyferre in their roster of properties, this particular Chateau was their first purchase in 1903. Chateau Le Crock sits in a very respectable St-Estephe neighborhood located between Chateau Montrose and Cos D’Estournel. Although this is Cru Bourgeois in classification, this particular wine outperforms its status and has more class than some of the Medoc’s Classified Growth chateaux.

2014 is a vastly underrated vintage and one that is flying below the radar price-wise. We can sell 2010 but it would be $60 so this is a hell of a value. A classic Bordeaux blend with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc this is textbook Saint-Estephe with notes of violet, cassis, black cherry, tobacco, pencil shavings, cedar and cocoa powder. The rich aromas are echoed on the palate and joined by cigar box spice with lush ripe tannins, a touch of vanilla from the fully integrated oak and a long gravelly finish. At first, this stellar red is deceptively open but then it firms up in the middle, revealing its serious side and true pedigree. Best from 2019-2030+. If you want a score, this has 95 points from Decanter Magazine.


Spring Break Seamless & Themeless

This Friday, March 16 from 1:30 - 6:30

Always a fun and relaxed tasting as Spring Break gets started, so do we! Drop by this week as we uncork some new arrivals from around the world. We’ll start with four wines listed below but as usual with Seamless & Themeless Tastings, one never knows the magical road that will be taken.


2016 Cigliuti Nebbiolo Langhe
2016 Albert Seltz Sylvaner ‘Mittelbergheim’
2013 Altos las Hormigas Malbec Reserva
2010 Chateau du Courlat Lussac Saint-Emilion