3/11/19 The Cellar Door's 'Vin de Soleil' HotSheet

Walla Walla Syrah, Meursault, Ratti Barbera, Values & more

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

A long-time Cellar Door friend, Pietro Ratti has been producing exquisite wines for over 25 years since taking over for his father and if you have ever have the chance to meet him and taste his wines, you will see slam-dunk evidence that they truly take on his personality - very gentlemanly stuff! The grapes for this Barbera selection are grown amongst some uber-famous Barolo vineyards in the La Morra district.

Offering up some sappy, blackberry liqueur tones over top of cranberry, cocoa powder and hints of mineral, this red is not jam made by a carpenter. As it opens, it shows off telltale La Morra perfume notes that then lead into an elegant, richly seductive texture that has a backdrop of sweet-hot spices and then finishes polished, warm, soothing and very drawn out. 2017 is outstanding for Barbera - drink with risotto dishes or a slow-roasted pork loin.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Pietro's Nebbiolo is from a single vineyard in the Roero region of Piedmont situated at an altitude of 820 feet. The soils here are sandy which make for quite a handsome Nebbiolo that is quite different from those of the Langhe region around Alba.

Persistently aromatic scents of strawberry licorice, rose, tar and spice follow through to a finely detailed texture that is essence of what Nebbiolo is and should be. Classy and thought provoking, elegant and full all at once, this classy red can be consumed over the next 4-6 years. Have it with braised lamb or beef in a red wine (preferably Nebbiolo) sauce.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Located in the Loire Valley just outside the city of Nantes, Muscadet is a region whose dry wines have absolutely nothing to do with the Muscat grape. Actually made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, these sizzling-dry wines express their unique soils impeccably and are some of the greatest vehicles to pair with seafood. Clos Armand is Muscadet maestro Michel Delhommeau's top wine and comes from a single parcel of 50-year-old vines grown in pure rock (gabbro & gneiss) soils.

Intense, magnetic nose that reveals some chamomile and Meyer lemon to go along with virtual riverbank/rock quarry and gunflint. Expansive and very electric with racecar precision. Builds and builds depth and dimension but never becomes heavy. This wine really wants fish in a beurre blanc sauce, but it will carry over nicely with crustaceans, too; serve it over the next 5 years with whatever you might serve with a great Chablis.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

A wonderful Walla Walla producer that has excellent bloodlines. The McKibben family from Pepper Bridge Vineyards along with winemaker Jean-Francois Pellet have partnered with Ray Goff to produce excellent wines from an ever-escalating region that offer stupendous value. The Syrah is the specialty of the house and the 2015 is a mouthful of over-delivering wonderment.

35% Seven Hills, 33% Les Collines, 14% Pepper Bridge, 13% Summit View, 5% Stone Valley Vineyards (all Walla Walla) are utilized in this dashing, full-flavored Syrah. Quite an engaging number, this Syrah is one that lovers of New World and Old World versions of the grape will gravitate towards. Plenty of dark blueberry and cherry fruit as well as tapenade, smoke and dusty earth carry over to a texture that has brambly fruit flavors, rich spice and pepper. A great introduction to Washington Syrah, this wine can be accessed now and can be consumed over the next 6-8 years. Pair it with grilled or smoked meats.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Torridly warm, the Toro region of North-Central Spain has no problem obtaining ripeness. Too often, the wines can become ponderous and caricatures of themselves. Fortunately, more and more producers such as Vetus are dedicated to producing wines that have fullness but are from higher elevation, cooler sites that maintain freshness and show off their origins very well.

100% Tempranillo (known as Tinta de Toro), a full aromatic nose offers spiced plum, roasted earth, vanilla, sandalwood, all of which set an interesting flavor frame for the abundant streaks of blueberry and blackberry fruit. Warm, giving and inviting with a nice balance between spice, creamy fruit and fluttering bright tones. Have this toothsome Spanish red over the next 3-4 years with roasted game meats or grilled pork chops.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Even with a renowned producer such as Meerlust, when I initially saw the sales representative pull out the bottle, my eyes rolled and sarcastically thought, ‘oh boy, another Cab-Merlot blend in an already flooded category’. That all changed after I tasted it because it doesn’t taste like the majority of mass produced versions in the world at this price point.

60% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, this wine has New World fruit but with even more prolific Old World earth and savory herb tones. Quite handsome, possessing dense aromas of blue fruits forward mineral/ironstone, graphite and spiced earth. More and more aromatic as it unfurls in the glass, everything comes together nicely on the silky but structured texture that extends and fans out on the deceptively packed, lingering finish. This is a steal for 18 bucks and perfect for drinking with friends who love Bordeaux or American blends.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

One of the more eye-opening white wines from Bordeaux that I have recently tried comes from Stephane Defraine. The large area of Entre-Deux-Mers is undergoing a quiet renaissance with producers who are keener on quantity versus selling insane amounts of diluted pure Sauvignon to the Bordeaux merchants.

Located in a prime site of the region this blend utilizes all of the grapes allowed for white wines in the area, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Gris, 20% Semillon and 20% Muscadelle. A golden, light yellow color draws you into an engaging nose of immediate citrus and white peach scents. Bright and ample attack with pleasant balance and an overall profile that morphs into terrific complexity. Layered yet vivacious and with the Sauvignon Gris providing a slightly spicy/peppery aspect and superb persistence. Compelling juice for 12 bucks, it will accompany superb seafood, salmon, sushi, paella and is outstanding to explore with goat cheese.

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$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE

Contrary to popular myth, there has been a culture of wine in Argentina for about 150 years. In reality, it has only been in the last twenty that it has become internationally known. There are many explanations including dodging bullets, an occasional military coup and a soccer riot or two.

Made by famed Mendoza producer Chakana, the Inkarri wines are biodynamically farmed and have great respect for the land that they come from. The 2016 is prototype Malbec highlighted by juicy, vibrant and layered aspects of black cherry fruit, mocha scents as well as vanilla and cedar-box. A hearty red that fills the mouth nicely and shows smoothness and instant gratification for not a bunch of money.

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$64.99 BTL./$779.88 CASE

The name Pernot in Puligny-Montrachet is quite an excellent one. Philippe Pernot is the son of the legendary Paul Pernot. To this day, he continues to work at his father’s Domaine; however, he and his wife also make wine from her family’s plots under the Pernot-Belicard label. Excellent wines are produced here and Philippe is certainly one to watch, especially since the prices are very kind indeed.

The Old Vines Meursault comes from 70+ year old vines from a single plot called Les Pelles Dessus and situated just below the Premier Cru of Les Gouttes D’Or. Quite honestly, this offering will outshine many Premier Cru from this village - it is that good. Exactly what Meursault is all about, the 2016 exhibits scintillating aromatics and generosity. Enticing from the start, scents of pear, anise, hazelnut, intense orange and impeccably intertwined vanilla-bean scents from their thoughtful use of new oak are very regal. In the mouth it is balanced, mouth filling and having flavors that keep building well after the wine is swallowed. This is textbook white Burgundy from a famed village and one that should definitely be experienced. Drink over the next decade.
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If one really yearns for the flavors and experience of true-to-life old school, uber-traditional Barbaresco then this is a wine that will really make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Tenuta Scarpa is a true throwback aging their wines in old large barrels for 42 months followed by two more years of bottle age before release. With a large back stock, Scarpa frequently releases library wine such as this. Tettinieve is a single cru 6-acre vineyard in the Barbaresco village of Nieve.

2006 is the vintage of the decade of the 00's in Piedmont and this wine is just starting to drink immaculately and will continue to do so for quite some time. Antique aromas of dried roses, sandalwood, porcini, menthol, mountain spices and on and on. Gorgeously giving there are no concessions to modernity here, this is dry, all about the land that it comes from and reflects its 12-year old color and age. Drawn-out and the essence of ‘guttural sensuality', this wine is dreamy for anyone who loves the nuances of old Nebbiolo. Drink through 2026+.


Chianti Classico

This Friday March 15 from 1:30 – 6:30

When it comes to the wines of the Chianti Classico region, we are in the midst of two fabulous vintages, 2015 and 2016. In keeping with our unintentional Italian theme thus far in March we are featuring three tasty wines from one of Tuscany’s most revered and all from both of these superb vintages.


2015 Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico
2015 Isole E Olena Chianti Classico
2016 Felsina Chianti Classico