5/4/20 The Cellar Door's 'Almost Cut My Hair' Hotsheet

The Cellar Door's 'Almost Cut My Hair' Hotsheet
The First Five - Rose/White Wines

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

A white Burgundy delight as well as a delightful value, these days I can’t pontificate at just how good the Macon region truly is right now….and you better take notice because the days of $20 Bourgogne Chardonnay from the Cote D’Or are in the rear view mirror. With the new designation of Bourgogne Cote D’Or and many producers lowering yields, declassifying fruit and upping their games, these wines are all coming in now $25-$35. This all makes Macon look epic!

Auvigue is a stalwart and timeless producer in the Maconnais. This estate has holdings in all three major areas of the region and their wines are found in many top restaurants in France. This offering is from vineyards situated above the village of Fuisse, just outside of the Pouilly-Fuisse zone (hence Macon-Fuisse) and is aged without the use of oak barrels. Pristine aromas of lemon, freshly cut crisp yellow apple, plenty of flint and mineral all enhance the wine as it builds momentum in the glass. Deceptively expansive, with diamond-like precision and finesse glimmering on the palate as well as a textural finish with depth of flavor that pleasantly hangs around. Enjoy this killer with grilled prawns or salmon, roasted chicken rubbed with fresh herbs or a light mushroom pasta dish.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Time to get your pink on! After glancing at the weather report, the sun and warmth will be returning in quick fashion and this perennial favorite should be in your glass.

70% Tempranillo, 27% Garnacha, 3% Viura. 2019 is a thrilling rose roller-coaster ride that is vibrant, luminous and full of strawberry, cranberry and underlying herbs. Zippy, brilliant and flavorful with a finish that explodes, extends and calls you back for more. Drink it now and drink it often!

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Over the years, I have proudly proclaimed our hotsheets as ‘Vernaccia-free zones.’ For the most part, I loathe the stuff because so much is overproduced, diluted and geared for tourists at outdoor terraces in the town of San Gimignano itself. Every now and then, there is an exception.

Lively tones of orange, lemon, mineral, anise and a hint of almond carry over into a clean and crisp texture that is fully dry on the palate with lift and palate-presence usually not found in these wines. With so much zip, one can easily through back several glasses with antipasti, lighter seafood preparations or a simple pasta tossed with vegetables and olive oil.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

I normally hiss at Oregon Pinot Rose but early on Byron Dooley dedicated portions of his Luminous Hills vineyard for Rose and due to his commitment, he is truly one of the best in Oregon for this category. Coupled with his specialization and the cool 2019 vintage, this wine is best described as luminous brilliance.

Aromatically expressive and glowing from the glass, there is an abundance of strawberry, mineral and savory fennel notes. In the mouth, it is intense, elevated, super-succulent and inviting from start to finish. Pleasurable, but also very complex and no doubt that it'll drink well into next year; serve with grilled chicken, pork, halibut or toss a bunch down with a bunch of friends.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

The area around Mont Sainte-Victoire is very well known for its Cotes-de-Provence Rose wines. Chateau Gassier is one of the very fine producers of the region and this wine in my mind is infinitely more accessible and fun than their top version, which is about 15-bucks more expensive than this selection.

A spirited kitchen sink blend of Provencal grapes (40% Grenache, 31% Syrah, 12% Cinsault, 6% Semillon, 5% Rolle, minimal blend of Cabernet, Carignan, Tibouren, Mourvedre and Clariette), this dry pink is a mouthful of yum! Sea breeze, subtle spice, strawberry-watermelon notes jump from the glass and lead into a sophisticated and lip-smacking texture that shows itself to be both a regal and joyful Rose. Espirit de Gassier Rose is perfect fodder with grilled tombo tuna, grilled salmon, vegetable-driven salads and goat cheese slathered in olive oil and Provencal herbs.

And Now...Five Reds
Margaux, Zin Nebbiolo & more

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Barbaresco in all but name, Marchesi di Gresy sources the grapes for this Nebbiolo from the same hill (Martinenga) as their prolific Barbaresco wines. The same attention to detail that goes into the estate's Single Cru Barbaresco ‘Camp Gros’, Barbaresco ‘Gaiun’ and Barbaresco ‘Martinenga’ carries over to this Nebbiolo that is basically Barbaresco without the required aging time.

When cellarmaster and good friend Jeff Chilcott visited back in January and showed off his usual marathon lineup, one of the standouts and revelations was the performance of this over-delivering Nebbiolo. Very Barbaresco in stature, this wine captures the sophisticated princess-like features that prevail throughout the region and especially on the Martinenga hill. Elusive, uptown and ravishing with authentic tones of chocolate licorice, mushroom cap, roses and red berry. Teeming with sensuality from start to finish this wine shows impressively strong varietal character and underlying deceptive grip. Very accessible now and will age nicely through 2025.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

It is quite eye opening to see just how many apex red Burgundy producers have made their way down to the Beaujolais region. One of the Cotes-de-Units top vineyard managers and married to Ghislaine Barthod, these two are royalty in Burgundy with their own rarified labels. In 2014, Louis and son Clement bought a Domaine in Moulin-a-Vent and results have been very fine indeed.

The vines for this cuvee come from four parcels near the windmill itself. Alluvial soils with pink sand along with pink granite combine to make a very sophisticated Moulin-A-Vent. This is Gamay at its most superlative possessing a cushiony, lacy quality and this does not disappoint. Chock full of cherry, graham, underlying pink peppercorn and plenty of exuberance on the nose, all of these characteristics carry over into a wine that fills the mouth with excitement and flavor, all while never becoming ponderous or undrinkable. Energy, depth and persistence all come from focused winemaking and these 50-60 year old vines. Versatility at its finest here, this wine will go with so many traditional dishes but also can pair well with Vietnamese beef-based dishes, pot-au-feu (French roast beef) and even heartier seafood dishes. Drink over the next decade.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Owned by Jean Sorge who also owns a more famous Chateau in Bordeaux's Margaux region, Chateau Deyrim-Valentin, this property exquisitely run by his daughter Christelle Sorge is located in Soussans, one of the five villages that make up the Margaux region. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot and 1% Carmenere and located not far from the Gironde, this wine has impressive gravelly notes yet is sheer Margaux.

Overflowing finesse with an almost velvet, plum, peony core that is surrounded by a kiss of vanilla and allspice. Creamy, lacy, expansive. Submerged backbone and essence of Margaux velvety smoothness. Long and rather expressive for such a youngster. Most likely will close a little but then again, one never knows because the future is unwritten. Drink 2021 – 2030.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Easton might not be one of the most recognized names in the Zinfandel world, but it performs each year with great consistency. Being from the outback area of California Zin, Amador County this Zinfandel features very ripe delicious fruit, but Bill Easton's philosophy is to avoid extremities at all cost to produce a civilized, full Zin that is adept to carry over to the table.

2015 is a generous and unapologetic California Zin that provides admirable character. Broad aromas of red berry fruit and a hint of sundried tomato and spice, the fruit barrage continues in the mouth with darker berry tones, black pepper, and good underlying structure and spice, all which allow for pairing with ribs, barbecued chicken or pork.

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

From one of the warmer spots of Spain, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon offers up forward and lush aromas of raspberry, blackberry, coffee, toasted earth and vanilla. Nice structure and balance on the palate, it maintains freshness along with exotic spice. Perfect with an array of dishes off the grill…a no-brainer...don't think, just drink!