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Mt. Etna & Cornas Collectibles, Africa and other under 20 values, Magical Cru Beaujolais Combo

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

Chateau des Jacques is a renowned property that specializes in apex Cru Beaujolais. Famed Burgundy house Louis Jadot purchased the Chateau and vineyards in 1996. Unlike other Beaune-based producers who invested in the area, Jadot became entrenched in the grower’s community. They give back, participate and are a fantastic addition and influence to the region. In 2016 the Chateau was awarded three-stars from French wine guide Bettane & Dessauve noting it as one of the apex producers.

Morgon is a famous Cru that delivers quite intense wines. Single sites are produced but this cuvee is a blend from grapes owned in the. Always one of the more masculine Crus, 2018 is the second in a "tantalizing trifecta" of Beaujolais vintages. 100% Gamay, this wine comes from a blend of three sub-sectors, Cote-de-Py, Belleville and Roche Noire, which combine density and depth with nicely formed high notes and the classic spice and spine of the terroir. Packed with peonies, anise, and pulsating plum and prominent granitic spice-mineral aspects. The finish is takes flight with excellent fruit, movement and persistence making it all delicious early yes can easily age a decade from vintage date. A classic steak au poivre match as well as game meats likes venison of bison as well as soft-ripened cheeses.

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

Just up the road from Morgon is the king of Beaujolais, Moulin-a-Vent. Some of the grandest examples are produced from the vineyards around the village of Romaneche-Thorins and given how much Pinot Noir is around the world, it makes these wines so criminally undervalued. Like the Morgon, this is also blended from eight of the appellation’s lieu dit vineyards and the resulting wine is spectacular.
Deep and complex, this Cru Beaujolais is not what most folks are used to seeing from this genre in a world where Boy Georges Duboeuf is ubiquitous. This stuff is ‘sooo' unlike that stereotype. Moulin-a-Vent is one of the fleshiest, yet most structured of the ten Cru sites, and the 2018 vintage provides lush, silky aspects, yet with plenty of supporting grip, which will aid in the wine developing complexity over time. Persuasive, ripe black raspberry, smoke, licorice, allspice and prominent stony, earthy flavors control the narrative early then change course with a teeming, non-stop finish. Very versatile and can pair with an agglomeration of cuisines both classic and non-traditional. Pair with beef bourgignon (or any other good beef stew), coq au vin, bo luc lac, birria and on and on. Drink through 2028 and beyond.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Recent history has shown that South Africa has been quite successful with Sauvignon Blanc. Since the 90s (and even before) Mulderbosch has waved the flag of this varietal's potential and is one that gives the Kiwis a run for their money when it comes to Southern Hemisphere Sauvignon.

A toothsome Sauvignon indeed, subtle notes of gooseberry, lychee, peach, tangerine and lilies. In the mouth, the ripeness is kept in balance with crisp acidity and finely formed herb tones. A great way to get your palate jumping at the beginning of your meal and will take you to a first course of squash soup or a salad with fresh goat cheese.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Marchesi di Gresy's Dolcetto is from the Barbaresco village of Treiso and sourced from the high elevation, south-facing Monte Aribaldo hill. Due to the excellent site, over the years I have often referred to this wine as Dolcetto-plus.

Direct, enticing qualities of ripe blueberry, cranberry and subtle minerality virtually beam from the glass. Loads of gorgeous, dry-berry fruit in the mouth give way to a finesseful characteristic that is indicative of Barbaresco-area Dolcetto. Drink this superb red with smoked meat, sausage, salami or hearty pasta dishes.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

100% Garnacha. One of the exciting areas of Spain lies east of Madrid and known as Vinos de Madrid. Slowly the area is being subdivided into smaller appellations and Cebreros is one such region. Raul Perez, Cesar Ruiz and two other friends are behind Vinedos del Jorco and these old, high-elevation vineyard sites bring about an almost Pinot Noir side to Grenache.

Aging for this wine occurs in large 10,000-liter barrels and the wine has a fine color yet with all of the grenache trappings. Raspberry, balsamic, mineral, thyme and ground pepper follow through to a texture that expands in the mouth then follows into a piquant, livewire, spice-laden finish.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

We do feel a bit like Robert Johnson at the crossroads with this one but we have been known to sell our souls for far less than a delicious red-wine value.

Dan Odfjell, whose Norwegian shipping business brought him into contact with Chile in the ‘60s and ‘70s, owns Odfjell Vineyards. Odfjell purchased property in the Maipo Valley in 1982, and eventually planted vines there in the early 1990s. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and perfect for everyday consumption, this number reveals ripe cassis, black currant, plum, and cocoa powder. Soft tannins, silky and a lasting, cedar-laden finish make this cab a perfect pairing with roasted rib of beef and grilled sirloin. Delicious now and over the next 2-3 years.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Still some available…Cameron produces some of the new world's most captivating chardonnays, but we need to set the record straight. First, these are not the old-style, insipid, lean and green chardonnay that Oregon was once so famous for. Secondly, these are not the proverbial pound of butter and two-by-four chards that you regularly see in California.

As usual, the entry level Cameron Chardonnay is one of the great deals in Oregon as the majority is from vines at Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique. The coolness of 2019 is bringing forth excellent white wines and this is chock full of lemon, mineral and pear aromas that intermingle nicely with subtle flint and undertones of spiced cereal. Flavorful without being overblown or heavy-handed with a silky smooth mouthfeel and great balance, this wine is a consistent winner that will pair beautifully with most Northwest seafood like salmon and halibut, or makes the perfect match with roasted poultry.

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$79.99 BTL./$479.94 - SIX PACK

96 Points – Decanter Magazine…One of the great names in Cornas, Domaine Alain Voge has been an inspiration for several generations of growers in this small but mighty Syrah growing region. Okay, 80-bucks is quite a lot of coin but consider how much Hermitage or even many Washington Syrahs are going for these days.

‘Vines with an average age of 60 years from lieux-dits Combe, Patou, La Côte, Les Mazards and Chaillot provide the fruit for this Cornas. It spends 20 months in barriques, around 20% new. There are multiple layers to the aromatic palate: rosemary, thyme, herbal bitters, blackberry, blackcurrant and loganberry. A medium-bodied, concentrated but unforced wine with no excessive extraction, a subtly spiced finish and sinewy, brushed tannins. Detailed, focused, structured and textural, this is captivating and true to its terroir. – 96 POINTS, DECANTER’. Hold until 2025 then drink through 2040.

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2010 CALABRETTA (Etna Rosso)
$34.99 - LIMITED

Slow Food’s Slow Wine guide describes Calabretta’s style as “a thousand miles away” from other Italian wine, but the gap might be better measured in time, since the estate seems stuck somewhere in the 19th century. This is a good thing when it comes to this wine and yes, this IS the current release. Proprietor Massimilano Calabretta believes in aging his wines like traditional Barolo meaning extended time in large Slavonian botti. Even though this wine could be called Etna Rosso, Calabretta chooses not to do so, naming it after the grape varietal that is from 70+ year ungrafted old vines and is farmed without the use of chemical herbicides or pesticides.

Simply put, this wine is a trip in time back to old Italy and is so damn delicious. Unlike modern Etna reds, this is sturdier and larger-scaled bringing forth scents of dark chocolate, black licorice, dried cherry, dried violet, pepper and hints of cinnamon and orange. Chewy, full-on, very cherry and intensely textured, there are plenty of complex, wild-spice and baked plum characteristics that come out. The finish is saturated and superbly long. Debonair, meditative stuff that can be drunk with substantial fare like grilled lamb, strong cheeses or pasta with game meats. Drinking well at 10 years, it will age even further. To experience these wines is something very special and if you love traditional Italian reds, I cannot encourage you more than to have a go at some bottles. Also – 94 points from Vinous