6/29/20 The Cellar Door's 'BENT' HotSheet

Languedoc Red Special (Montpeyroux), Savory Chianti, Santa Barbara Wines, a rockstar Oregon Pinot plus a Burgundy Value

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Owner/winemaker Sashi Moorman is one of the busiest yet also one of the most eloquent winemakers in the US now. Along with partnering in Oregon at Evening Land, he also is involved in several other operations in California including this excellent Syrah estate that he owns along with his wife.

Inspired by the likes of Saint-Joseph, this is a very civilized California Syrah versus the likes of so many jammy versions that you can spread on your morning toast. Prominent smoke, graham, black pepper, undertones of game and blackberry arrive as it opens. Nice flow and movement, this is an excellent twenty-dollar selection that will work with grilled fare that is on the leaner side like beef tenderloin, buffalo or pork tenderloin. Drink over the next 3-4 years.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

The on-ramp into Jim Arterberry Maresh’s wine freeway from the Dundee Hills, this third generation Oregon producer comes from great bloodlines; in fact, one could say Oregon wine royalty. What he is doing with not only his family’s vineyard (Maresh) as well as some neighboring sites is nothing short of breathtaking. The prime focus here is on single vineyard wines but there is always fruit that is too good to be sold off and hence winds up in this cuvee that has impressive material indeed including doses of Maresh.

Pure as Pinot gets and never becoming a juice box, the 2018 Arterberry Maresh shines through with hearty minerality, red and purple floral aromas and creamy red and blueberry fruit. Silky and round in the mouth with ripe tannins and great purity of flavor. Cool and warm vintage influence abound, this wine is indicative of how awesome 2018 is as a vintage. This is lovely to drink now and over the next 6-8 years with soft cheeses or roasted chicken that has been loaded with morel mushrooms.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Grown at 6000 feet in Argentina's La Salta region, Dos Minas's Torrontes exhibits enticing aromas that are strikingly fragrant, with hints of peach pit, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. It has beautiful structure and brightness with a charming body that keeps you coming back for more. On second sip, we found aromas of gooseberry, spicy banana and lychee that lead to a surging floral finish with a touch of lime. Terrific with spicy fish tacos

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[reg. $32.99]
SPECIAL - $19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Coming from a line of winemakers that stretches across 3 generations, Sylvain Fadat is part of a small group of producers who are the leading force behind a revolution in Montpeyroux a sub-region of the Languedoc just outside of Montpelier.

Sylvian's first vintage was in 1989 and he came out of the gate announcing that this would be a region to be reckoned with. A blend of 30% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah, 30% Carignan, 10% Grenache and 5% Cinsault, the 2015 is a velvet monster with great character. Chewy, bold and voluptuous with all of the telltale wild blackberry, sage, olive, pepper and grenadine notes that are associated with the area. In the mouth, it is mouth coating, spicy and with plenty of staying power and length. Very approachable now, and will work with an array of dishes but its gastronomic soul mate would be leg of lamb or filet of beef doused with fresh chanterelles. Also a wonderful propensity for aging, drink through 2025+.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Here is something that is not a novelty but perhaps a wave of the future, a Santa Barbara Chardonnay that isn’t a pineapple princess greased up in butter and forced to wear an evening gown of oak. Made by the previously mentioned Sashi Moorman along with his Evening Land colleague Raj Parr, this Chardonnay is very coastal inspired and aged in neutral, old barrels.

It is very important to free your mind of the normal notation of Cali-Chard. Piercing, steely, beautiful mineral dominates this offering along with a robe of lemon, sea breeze and apple tones. In the mouth, it is athletic with plenty of spine, which all carries over to a lifting mineral driven finish that extends nicely. Drink this offering with fresh trout, halibut or chicken.

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$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

For many years, this Tuscan estate wore the golden handcuffs making glossy wines that suffered in a swath of new French barrels. A few years back, owner Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni had a change of philosophy deciding to make wines that reflect the terroir and tastes of Tuscany and by bringing aboard famed Barolo/Barbera producer Luca Currado of Vietti fame, all was established in rapid fashion. This is a wonderful Chianti from a memorable vintage. Take Advantage!

‘The 2016 Chianti Classico is an explosion of floral-infused aromatics and red-toned fruit, all in the super-classic mid-weight style that is such a signature of the Querciabella house style today. Rose petal, lavender, mint and sweet raspberry fruit are pushed to the forefront. This is the first vintage in which more than half of the wine was aged in larger format oak ranging from tonneau to cask. Vineyards in Gaiole and Greve form the core of the blend, with a touch of fruit from Radda. The 2016 has enough freshness to drink well for another decade plus, but I would give it a few years in bottle for the bright acids to integrate a bit further. There are a number of pricier wines in Querciabella's range, but I am not sure any of them can match the Chianti Classico for pure pleasure. What a lovely wine it is. – 92+ POINTS, VINOUS.’

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

There are always inquiries as to where some of the best 10-dollar values come from. Today's energetic push goes to Portugal. From the Douro, this is a DRY red made from grapes also used in the making of Port.

A yummy everyday drinker filled with lots of dark berry tones, hints of graphite and pepper. Succulent and ripe in the mouth it shares aspects of cinnamon, earth, and pepper on the finish. A fun red to try with an array of cheeses, meats and good company.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

When one thinks of grape varietals from Italy, Aglianico usually doesn’t jump to the forefront. Sometimes known as the Nebbiolo/Barolo of the South, this grape really thrives beautifully in the Vulture area of the Basilicata region.

Dark and brooding it is medium to full-body in style and here is what you can expect: dark plum in color, the nose shares scents of pie cherry, raisin, and rich, moist fruitcake. The palate is seductive, offering a rich and spicy fruit with a minerality that speaks of the region from which it hails - plenty of volcanic soil in the vineyards. The texture and mouth feel lends good weight and grip to the long and chewy finish that finishes with depth and ferocity. A wine for food, not for cocktail-style sipping, enjoy over the next 5-7 years with sausage-mushroom pizza, slow-roasted lamb or a spicy-tomato pasta dish.

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$44.99 BTL./$539.88 CASE

Popular thinking is that Burgundy is expensive and there is certainly truth with that assessment. In fact, there is quite a movement towards highlighting wines from areas that that were not considered to be of a stately pedigree. Young producers have moved in, taken over and are elevating the images of villages such as Fixin, Marsannay, Auxey-Duresses, etc. making beautifully detailed wines sans the once de rigueur rusticity. I often state that I love all Burgundy and these days it excites me to no end to offer wines from top to bottom of this region that are remarkable and will please anyone who wants to dive in or from a Burgundy diehard who likes to drink and learn from all of the appellations. Plenty of selections of ultra-high end wines to appease label chasers are available but it is equally as thirlling to offer wines such as this that punch way above their weight class.

Amelie Berthaut is one of Burgundy’s fast rising stars, reimagining the region of Fixin, just north of Gevrey-Chambertin. As well as specializing in Fixin, the Domaine also has holdings in Gevrey, Vosne-Romanee, Chambolle-Musigny and Grands Crus Clos de Vougeot and Echezeaux but it is the Fixin wines that deliver serious bang for the buck. Les Crais is one of five red Fixin offerings and the Berthaut-Gerbet site is a little over 3-acres and vines average about 40 years old.

Aged in 20% new oak, and with the sand/silt and clay over top of a pink limestone base, the aromatics leap from the glass. Combining aromatic aspects of violet, licorice, currant, blackberry, earth and subtle nutmeg tones, there is an element of sensuality to this sultry, silky-smooth French Pinot Noir. A wine that wraps around the palate and highlights the region’s darker fruit profile before brightening on the vinous, structured, long finish. A terrific Burgundy that will drink well and develop nicely for 12-15 years, particularly due to the prodigious 2017 vintage.