20 Buck Cab, Cali Chard & Spain Specials, Collectible Cote-Rotie, Montepulciano & more

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

One of the finest Cru Beaujolais that we have tasted in the last year has been deservedly noticed and has a 91-point score from Vinous. Saint-Amour has a reputation as being the wine of love and the majority of the appellation's wines could be sold in France for Valentine’s Day. Gerard Lebeaupin is one of the last holdouts to vinify his wines in old wooden vats, using a large wooden grill to submerge the grapes allowing for better extraction, color, aromatic complexity and structure. Named after one of the region’s prime sites, Clos de la Brosse, Lebeaupin has a mere 4 acres of ancient vines (90+ years old) and makes between 300-600 cases per year. We loved this 2016 and sadly we are getting down to the end.

Old vine hedonism at its best, this seamless Gamay delivers a luminous presence of creme de framboise, smoked violet, anise and undertones of strawberry and cinnamon-stick. Resoundingly vivacious, this gem is a total eruption of flavors that cascade through the mouth. Finishes lengthy and full of spice, but fills in beautifully with sultry fruit that coats the throat as it goes down. The classic pairing would be roasted chicken with mushrooms. We also recommend going outside the borders and having it with Indian or Moroccan cuisine as well as grilled fish. Now with a fine score – 91 POINTS - VINOUS

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[reg. $29.99]
SPECIAL - $19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Condado de Haza is a famed estate owned by one of the Ribera Del Duero and Spain’s most influential producers, Alejandro Fernandez. Along with Vega Sicilia, this man put Ribera Del Duero on the wine map with his other prominent estate, Pesquera. By the time the late 80s arrived, the Pesquera Ribera del Duero reached lofty heights and Fernandez decided to expand. After several years of negotiations, with various owners who held these scattered plots, 1989 resulted in the first plantings of this now contiguous vineyard site in the hilltop village of Haza.

100% Tempranillo and perhaps the biggest change in recent years is the estate using mostly neutral barrels in lieu of new ones which has led to a wine of balance versus one that has been whacked. Loaded with classic Ribera aromas of black raspberry, roasted nuts, pepper, smoke, and a touch of sweet spice, there is also a fine core of fruit in the mouth, with plenty of complex game and spice notes that carry on well after the wine is swallowed. Perfect fodder for lamb and one to drink over the next 7-8 years.

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[reg. $49.99]
SPECIAL - $26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Louis Roederer does Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Okay, so we definitely know that they utilize these grapes for their sparkling wines in both France and California but Roederer chairman Jean-Claude Rouzaud had an idea to acquire Dach winery to make non-sparkling versions of these grapes. With significant investment and love, the results are now in and are fantastic. In order to get this kick-started, our distributor has given us incentive to get into your glasses with an excellent, limited special price.

The 2013 Domaine Anderson Chardonnay is quite formidable. The biggest thing for this wine is it never strays from its California roots with depth, richness and some of the butter tones yet it does reflect its cool site with a brisk and vivacious finish. Plenty of quince, pear, nutmeg and white peach along with a fine toastiness that flows nicely into a creamy full texture yet one where the volume is restrained and carries well to the table. There is oak here but not overblown by any means. Ample orange and spice on the lengthy finish. One to have with richer seafood dishes and one to look at instead of drinking overpriced and overoaked versions from Napa and Sonoma.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

The hilltop village of Montepulciano is one of the most picturesque in all of Tuscany. Although the village is heavily touristed, many of its wines are some of the renowned sleepers in Tuscany. The son of Vino Nobile, the superb producer Fattoria del Cerro's Rosso di Montepulciano is quite the flavorful Sangiovese treat that works well for every evening consumption.

If Barry White drank this wine, his tunes would be even more seductive than they are! This version is a neo-classically styled Rosso that is a hell of a value for fourteen bucks. Tangy, dry and possessing aromatic tones of black cherry, almond, herbs and spices. Gorgeous ripe flavors that are both tempting and true to form for one of the noble sites of Tuscany. Drink with anything ranging from a slice of pepperoni pizza to a penne Bolognese or a fish stew spiked with anise and capers.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Undoubtedly a Cabernet lovers Cabernet comes one hell of a twenty-buck version that possesses way more character and class than one should at this level. So many times critics and tasters lump all of Australian wines into one genre when it comes to vintage. This is sort of like saying that climate, weather conditions and soils are the same in Atlanta as they are in Los Angeles. Western Australia is its own entity, especially the Margaret River area that has tendencies of a dry Bordeaux vintage or cooler California sites due to its coastal proximity.

Lovely woodsmoke aromas surround cassis, red plum, dark chocolate, cedar and allspice. Very poised and refined aromas lead into a texture that has lots of weight without being thick or ponderous. There is some oak here, but it is nicely integrated and buffered by seductively smooth tannins. The finish is harmonious, layered and drawn out with eye-opening red cherry fruit that is indicative of the region’s cooler influence. Drink this scintillating offering now through 2022 with a juicy thick steak.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Tom Monroe & Kate Norris produce wines that are reflective of their Oregon roots. However, there is a definitive nod to their French training, especially with the wines in the Division-Villages folder. These encompass grapes and inspirations of where they have spent time learning and especially drinking in France, specifically the Loire Valley and Beaujolais.

Chenin Blanc is quite the trend these days and Division’s 2017 is chock full of everything one looks for in a local white wine. Coming from the Willard Vineyard in the Columbia Valley and from 35-year-old vines, this is an absolute roller coaster of a white wine and falls into the ABC category, anything but Chardonnay. A dry and jaunting white wine chock full of explosive quince notes that dominate the nose, but expressive sense of origin allows the minerality and savory herbs to show through as well. Very ethereal and unrelenting, the texture that is linear and buffered by brilliant, rapier acidity along with an underbelly of lime and mandarin fruit and the vinous finish seems to go on for days. Racy, tense and zingy this wine is a mouthwatering match with smoked salmon, mussels and goat cheese.

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$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

After nine years at Whitehall Lane, Ray Courson started up Elyse with their first wine in 1987 from the excellent Rutherford Bench based Morisoli Vineyard. Three decades later, not only are these vines older, this estate has quietly become known as one of the finest addresses for Zinfandel in California.

Powerful and tender all at once, there is complexity and smoothness here that comes from Elyse holding the wines back and releasing a bit later. A distinct expression of Napa Valley Zin which displays crushed currant and strawberry licorice with some caraway, white pepper and mint tones adding extra dimension. The texture is full, nicely structured and well integrated between dense fruit, spicy oak and its deft earth tones. Barbecued ribs anyone???

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Nothing but honest, this tasty blend from the French portion of Catalonia always delivers up so much and keeps calling folks back for more.

52% Grenache, 36% Carignan, 12% Syrah. French mentality - Catalan spirit. Hearty, meaty flavors and aromas of roasted earth, red cherry, garrigue, anise and a pinch of pepper carry seamlessly into the mouth. Generous, fleshy with good backbone and lingering spice; enjoy with lamb off the grill or roasted in the oven, hearty vegetable stew or this would be lovely with grilled salmon.

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$59.99 - LIMITED

One of the highlights of my trip to the Cote-Rotie region back in 2015 was visiting and seeing for myself the re-emergence of this outstanding estate. A longtime proponent of traditionally styled Cote-Rotie and always a top producer, Bernard Levet’s daughter Agnes has taken on a big role and has kept the tradition alive yet with better farming practices has led this estate into the leagues with the likes of Rostaing and Jamet.

The 2014 Chavaroche is one of the supreme wines of the subtle, almost Burgundy-inspired 2014 vintage that I tried. Chavaroche is a single Cru within the Cote Brune of Cote-Rotie and the Levets own three small parcels (the oldest being planted in 1945!) totaling a mere 2.9 acres. Very traditional and very long-lived, this is for those who have patience or have a child/grandchild born in 2014. Youthfully tight right now with plenty of perfume and movement, there are tones of smoked meat, flowers and black olive that waft from the glass. The texture is compelling, intense and layered but very well structured and requiring cellar time. This is a resounding example of Cote-Rotie that will kick your ass if you open a bottle right now. Hold on to this traditional, non-destemmed wine until 2022 and continue to enjoy to its 25th birthday. Yowzah!

Barolo & More from Mauro Molino Special Guest Fernando Burani
This Tuesday, April 3 from 4:00 - 6:30
Drop by this coming Tuesday April 3rd to taste a lineup of wines from La Morra based Barolo producer Mauro Molino with special guest Fernando Burani. A delicious lineup of wines will be presented and we promise, it will be worth your time to come to this complimentary, casual and informative tasting.

2013 Molino Barolo
2013 Molino Barolo Vigna Conca
2009 Molino Barolo Vigna Conca
2016 Molino Langhe Nebbiolo
2016 Molino Barbera D'Alba


Frogwater Friday

This Friday, April 6 from 1:30 - 6:30

Some new French releases and our good friend Chad will be on hand to discuss them as well as impersonate many of your favorite non celebrities and celebrities. Always a jocular day when this madman is around but we also know the wines will be damn delicious indeed!


2015 Cabasse Seguret Cotes-du-Rhone Villages
2016 Cabasse Sablet Cotes-du-Rhone Villages
2016 Lebeaupin Clos de la Brosse Saint-Amour
2016 Jacques Rouze Quincy ‘Vignes D’Antan’