3/4/19 The Cellar Door's '10 Chewy Wines' HotSheet

Chave, Cameron, Bordeaux, Nebbiolo Special, Sherry & more

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

This past Friday John Paul rolled in with a big smile on his face all while gushing about the 2018 vintage. Now I am not sure if he was all fired up on caffeine but he definitely is on to something and right now, his Pinot Bianco is showing impeccably.

As always, the white wines of Friuli inspire Giovanni, this stellar offering brings forth excellent melon, lemon, and yellow apple scents around excellent minerality. Palate-coating flavors are complex and very compelling all while being enhanced by fine, dry crisp acids to make the entire mouth tingle and require another glass. Want to pair up an Oregon white wine with fresh salmon? Then look no further!

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Pessac-Leognan is an appellation within the Graves region that is reserved for the top estates and best terroirs. In existence since 1780, Château Picque Caillou is located in a very respectable neighborhood that is situated in close proximity to two famed Graves Chateaux, Haut-Brion and Pape-Clement and we are very excited to offer the powerful and brilliant 2015.

For 2015, the estate utilized 60% Cabernet Sauvignon (one of the highest percentages ever for this estate), 35% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot. An intense ruby red that is best described as elegantly persuasive. Fine spice, cassis and blackberry shine against a backdrop of licorice and violet. The palate is exquisitely balanced, concentrated, yet still youthful and rambunctious. Ripe berries and briary tones kick in on the entry and give way to alluring chocolate and tobacco tones that spread out on the finish and follow through with pepper and cinnamon. There is good appeal and charm to this wine now, and it is will age well through 2027+.

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[reg. $21.99]
SPECIAL - $15.99 BTL/$191.88 CASE

A special until it is sold out, this estate decided to switch to a national importer (meaning the prices will increase) and the now former local one is closing the remaining stocks out at a damn nice price.

Located in Lombardy and not very far from the Swiss border, Aldo Rainoldi is one of the superb growers of this miniscule growing region and his family has been entrenched in wine production in this area since the late 1800s. Inferno is actually the name of the subzone of the Valtellina region and one that has intensely rocky soils. 100% Chiavennasca (the local name for Nebbiolo) this red is one of the fiercest yet pretty expressions of this noble varietal. Licorice-laden, nice floral tones, chinato-herbs and very steely, it is linear, wiry and textbook with upscale depth and material all without ever being ponderous. True character and finesse shine on the packed, persistent finish - drink it through 2022+. All in all this wine screams purity and pairs well with earthy mushroom dishes or rack of lamb.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Located as far south as one can get before arriving at the wild swamps of the Camargue, this Rhone Valley sleeper has been quite the value for us. This is a vintage that if you like impactful red wines then you will adore drinking this wild-child alternative to Cotes-du-Rhone.

60% Grenache, 30% Syrah & 10% Mourvedre, this sturdy red is packed full of alluring violet, sea-salt, lavender, blueberry and cherry aromas along with the classic roasted earth, pepper and feisty aspects that is commonly found in the wines of this far-reaching, western end of Rhone Valley, virtually in Languedoc region. Chewy and ripe flavors expand into a firm and spicy middle then extend into the way above average finish. A great red for grilled steak, spice incrusted pork tenderloin or smoked sausages.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

We often ask ourselves around here, "What if The Mark Hollis didn’t thumb his nose at the corporate record companies in the 80s and never had recorded Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock?" We probably wouldn't have so many of the bands that we listen to regularly at The Cellar Door. A pertinent wine question would be, "What if Joe Swan never did Zinfandel?" We probably would have no Ravenswood or many other brilliant Zin offerings that we drink and sell today.

One of the grand names of California Zin, Joe Swan departed this planet in 1989, but his legacy lives on with his protégé and now owner Rod Berglund, who has been at Swan since 1987. It isn't too often that we get a chance to offer up a Zin with a tough of age on it, especially when it comes from a master such as Swan Cellars. Aged entirely in French oak, this Zin is now flirting with lovely secondary tones along with its big, bold qualities. From Russian River and packed with judicious marionberry, there are also complex tones of black truffle, thyme, pipe tobacco and smoked earth tones that are starting to ride shotgun. After 5 years, this wine is now starting to sing and to show its true pedigree. Spicy and layered, there are excellent red tones to balance out the classic power and bring a streamlined aspect. Pronounced cardamom and red earth shine on the saturated, extending finish. It is awakening right now and will continue to develop over the next decade, too. If you fancy yourself a Zin aficionado, then you have to grab some bottles of one of our nation's most historic of producer's wine!

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$17.99 HALF BTL./$215.88 CASE

And now for something completely different for your sipping pleasure!! When it comes to dry sherry, too many people think of garbage like Tio Pepe but little is known just how many beautiful, handcrafted farmer offerings come from the Jerez region.

OK, it is still dominated by too many schlock-meisters but Spanish importer Andre Tamers of De Maison Selections went out of his way and above of what many importers would ever do to find Bodegas El Maestro. Only produced in half bottles to ensure freshness, this sherry should be served cold. Yeasty aromas with intermittent brine, sea salt and chalk. In the mouth, it is dense and chock full of bright fruit along with an illuminating brightness and salty dryness along with a finish that goes and goes and goes. Have it for an aperitif; however, it is a magical compliment to sushi.

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$17.99 BTL./$107.94 - SIX PACK

When I initially sampled this wine, my notes quickly deteriorated into unmentionable, deviant thoughts. After proofreading the notebook, I decided that if I wrote them, it would warp all of your fragile little minds! Sauvignon Blanc takes on many forms and flavors and the best from Alto Adige can be utterly compelling.

Girlan’s 2017 Indra Cuvee Sauvignon is a vibrant, naked and devilishly seductive vino Bianco with fleshy flavors of Meyer lemon, melon, creamy pear and substantial minerality. There is no wood utilized so the detailed flavors are that much more underlined. The finish is crisp and cleansing. Not many producers can put forth such an animated, flavorful and complex white wine with considerable length that entrancingly conveys both varietal, site, and maintain a 20-buck price point. Drink now and over the 3-4 years with alder or cedar plank grilled salmon, summer salads with fresh cheeses, and light vegetable-based pastas. If you don’t believe it in writing, stop by on Friday to taste it as well as an entire lineup of Girlan wines.

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$11.99 BTL./$71.94 - SIX PACK

Falchini is a wonderful Tuscan producer on all levels but they are most noted for their fine Vernaccia wines but they also excel with their superb red wines.

The 2015 Chianti made here is a wine that runs with the big dogs and reveals the greatness of this vintage. Impassioned aromas of pronounced sage, cherry-blossom and some roasted earth. Touches of white pepper and shapely raspberry emit from the background. These are the hallmarks of the brilliant detail of the Southern Tuscan hills in and around Siena. Yummy, broad fruit along with a warm, classically structured finish that has superb length. We have been working this particular Chianti for well over a decade and this among the best that we have tasted from Falchini.

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There is Saint-Joseph and then there is Saint-Joseph from Chave. This version is not the ever-delicious and early accessible negociants version known as Offerus; this is the big gun version. All estate fruit and all from Mauves, which is the cradle of Saint-Joseph and often where the finest versions come from. 2013 is a classic, old school, long-lived vintage that will emerge as being gorgeous.

Lovely, aromatic core of plum, violet, pepper, and some exotic tones as well. Very flashy and alluring scents. Richly flavored, but maintaining harmony and focus. This is about class and breed and not about extraction and sweetness! Tight mid-palate and finish with a bold, yet ethereal finish. Loads of length at a young age but very compact as to be expected. Hold in the cellar and drink 2021 – 2030.
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$249.99 - VERY LIMITED

Okay, let’s take it up one more level. There is Chave Saint-Joseph then there is Chave Hermitage. Simply put, this wine is in the league with the likes of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild or DRC’s Grands Crus, simply profound and one of the world’s greatest wines. Period. End of discussion.

Collectors tend to scoop these up rather quickly so I jumped at the chance to offer the remaining few bottles of this epic Syrah broadly for the first time since 2002. As mentioned above, 2013 is a great vintage for the Northern Rhone, and the wines are endowed with plenty of structure and acidity to help age gracefully. The result of this great vintage is that the wine right now is absolutely stacked and packed. It is incredibly concentrated but lithe, complex but with no shortage of fruit and freshness. Really bound up, this wine reminds me quite a bit of the 1995, which really started to sing about age 15. One of the great Chave wines in a lineup of many. This wine requires patience and may well be for someone who was born in 2013. Drink 2025 – 2050+.


Alto Adige Wines from Cantina Girlan
Special Guest – Marc Pfitscher, export director from Girlan

This Friday March 8 from 1:30 – 6:30
(wines will be open at 1:30, Marc arrives at 3:30).

You owe it to worself to be here this Friday to taste this excellent lineup of Italian wines from Alto Adige up near the Austrian border. Girlan is a longtime co-op who makes impeccable wines that receive both buzz and accolades throughout the world.
We are very thrilled to have Marc Pfitscher from the winery on hand to discuss a lineup of five of their wines and provide a delicious afternoon indeed.


2017 Girlan Sauvignon Blanc ‘Indra’ ($17.99)
2017 Girlan Pinot Bianco ($13.99)
2016 Girlan Pinot Bianco ‘Plattenrigl’ ($19.99)
2015 Girlan Pinot Noir ‘Patricia’ ($19.99)
2017 Girlan Pinot Grigio ($13.99)