Hot Sheets

Chateauneuf vs. Gigondas, Brisk Italian Whites, a 20 year old Italian Cab, Oregon Pinot Noir and more

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$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

Superb organic producer from Panzano in Chianti. We have watched the rise of this estate over the last few years and the last few vintages have seen them better than ever.

A Chianti that possesses soul and savory qualities to go along with the radiant core of generous fruit. Red plum and blackberry with hints of vanilla, sage, smoke currants, excellent chewy flavors, multiple layers and a driving, persistent finish. Drink over the next decade with Marcella Hazan’s tomato/butter sauce with pasta and Italian sausage on the side.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Commencing with his first wine in vintage 2006, we instantly were able to grasp that Tyson Crowley was going to be a formidable force when it comes to fine Oregon Pinot Noir. Having honed his craft previously at Cameron and others Tyson has been able to take those lessons and equate them into his own work.

Crowley wines and the 2019 vintage are Pinots for Pinot lovers, very sexy, elegant and aromatic. If we want something gutsy, see the Rhones and Tuscan Cab below, because pinot noir just ain't supposed to be like that. A blend of four sites, Tuckwilla Vineyard, Four Winds Vineyard, La Colina Vineyard and Oracle Vineyard, this wine follows the velvet rule of Pinot Noir. Very engaging aromas of spiced raspberry, perfume, and red clay. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied, silky, refined and very airy with lots of flesh and earth notes on the finish. Drink now through 2029.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

There are numerous iterations and clones of the Trebbiano grape but one that is so very crucial is Trebbiano Abruzzese. This is the same version that goes into Valentini’s Trebbiano, which is regarded as one of the most prolific white wines in all of Italy. Alas, this grape is becoming more difficult but this from 55+ year old vines is very special indeed.

Trust me, if you are a fan of dry white wines, you will love this unoaked version from steep hills just inland from the Adriatic Sea. Incredibly intense aromas attack the nose, a nod to the old vines in the vineyard. Packed with orange blossom, mineral-smoke, anisette, jasmine and white flowers with stunning nervosity that sends it spinning around the palate. The finish is long and satisfying; a real clinic of wonderful terroir. A beautiful match with risotto or spaghetti with shellfish, cracked crab, omelets or asparagus-based preparations.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

It really isn't a competition but a comparison of the Southern Rhone's two greatest appellations. The muscular aspects of Gigondas shine through with Pesquier's wines with most of the fruit being on the classic plain with a smattering from the Dentelles de Montmirail.

2017 is grand-scale and Pesquier's Grenache-dominated, traditionally produced wine shines radiantly. Focused scents of Provencal herbs - lavender and rosemary with hidden notes of black cherry. Exuberant and structured with plenty of ripe fruit that is followed by licorice and cocoa. Plenty of stuffing is here and for all of the lofty qualities of the wine, there is finesse and old vine depth underneath and the forecast is for more great things to come. Drink through 2030+.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

One of the comparison's I use for Gigondas versus Chateauneuf is that Gigondas never attains the ultimate finesse and dimension that the finest CNDP wines bring, hence the price difference as well. Like the Pesquier, Galet's wines are traditionally produced and cuvee Tradition is NOT an entry wine but named as it features a higher percentage of Grenache, also coming from 50-60 year old vines.

One of the best-kept secrets of Chateauneuf, and vintage 2017 is tres magnifique chez Mayard. Traditionally vinified, and an outstanding value, Cuvee Tradition boasts deep and balanced crème de cassis, crème de mure, white pepper and smoked earth. Plenty of balance for a big wine, plenty of Grenache-laden peppery fruit stands out. The finish is compact but very lengthy indeed. Drink through 2033.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

A tasty wine that comes from South Africa's Western Cape region. Blackberry, Havana Cigar, cherry pit with undertones of mineral, nutmeg and cinnamon, this cab, if it were made in Washington or California, would command twice the price! Layered and classy, maintaining poise and lift which calls one back for more. Drink this over-performing Cab through 2025; serve it with spicy meat dishes, grilled beef or strong cheeses at the end of a dinner.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Le Velette is one of the stars of this region in Umbria and if one were to ever drink liquid emeralds, this would be it. Intense bouquet filled with fresh fruit, floral and mineral nuances. Complex flavors of lemon, lime and apricots with a beguiling roundness and a piercing, zesty finish that has a sneaky touch of almond. Great for Ceviche and other light seafood dishes.

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Southeastern Spain and mostly Monastrell grape. Deep almost opaque color let's you know this little $11 red has serious cojones. Deep, dark and warm perfume of spice, new saddle leather, anise, creamy black and blueberries. A fun-filled, crowd pleasing wine that is great to bring to upcoming Spring & Summer backyard parties.

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$44.99 BTL./$269.94 - SIX PACK

Back in the 70s before many of famous names in Tuscany became superstars there were, and still are, old friendships that turned into collaborations. Riccardo Falchini became quite a Vernaccia di San Gimignano producer and wanted to do reds. His friend Giacomo Tachis, yes, the same dude behind names like Antinori and Sassicaia advised him quite well and his love of Bordeaux came about on his land in this area. Now Riccardo’s son is in charge and there are times that he opens up the library and offers older versions.

2001 is a legendary Tuscan vintage. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2001 is quite glorious, smooth and supple and drinking very well. Broad, beautiful and essence of both Tuscany and Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep aromas and even deeper flavors it is chock full of cassis, blueberry and violet with spikes of cocoa and mint that seemingly swirl in the glass. The texture is buxom and creamy with lots of sensuality to it. A mineral/sage/coriander underlay and deceptive structure will allow this wine to age, however, when you uncork a bottle; it will prove to be irresistible! At age 20, it is starting to drink exquisitely but no problem for hold on for another 5-7 years.