Hot Sheets


THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'HEY BULLDOG' HOTSHEET
Saint-Joseph Special
Montepulciano & Washington Cab
Blazing Bordeaux Value & Billecart-Salmon


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2019 GRACCIANO DELLA SETA
VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the major wine from the popular and much visited southeastern Tuscan village of Montepulciano. The grape here is not, repeat not Montepulciano. That grape comes from Abruzzo further south on the Adriatic Coast. In this area, like the majority of Tuscany, the prime grape is Sangiovese (locally known as Prugnolo Gentile) and the organic producer Gracciano della Seta does very well indeed in highlighting the grape and where it is grown.

Mostly Sangiovese, the 2019 is a sultry beauty that woos you in from the first waft of violet, lush cherry, raspberry and perfectly roasted Tuscan herbs. This wine is all about smoothness and balance in the mouth with an intense depth of flavor, alluring spice from aging in traditional large barrels and fine grained structure all framing the rich fruit. The quality is echoed on the finish with the depth and expansion of flavor lingering on the palate. Uncorking one now with a hearty Italian meal is not a crime however, this delicious wine will continue to develop and drink beautifully for 10-12 years.



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2015 CHATEAU HAUT-PLANTEY
HAUT-MEDOC
$16.99 BTL./$101.94 - SIX PACK

Here we go again with a blazing Bordeaux value and one that is drinking superbly at age seven! Located in the heart of the Haut Medoc and not far from Margaux and St-Julien, it is a prototype blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 60% Merlot blend.

Dramatic with sneaky fullness, flavorful, nicely layered aspects shine from the quality, depth and charm of the 2015 vintage. Broad texture, nice earth and movement. Very Medoc, with its elegantly poised finish this red punches well above its weight class at 17-bucks. Drink now – 2025. Delicious with prime rib, game like elk or venison but also simpler fare like lentil soup or a burger.



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2020 DONNHOFF WEISSBURGUNDER
PINOT BLANC TROCKEN
$26.99 BTL. - VERY LIMITED

Known for their highly acclaimed and much sought after Riesling wines, Cornelius and Helmut Donnhoff also make a miniscule amount of dry and very compelling Weissburgunder (that's Pinot Blanc to you and me, Russ) from their vineyards in Germany’s Nahe Valley. Very unlike their Rieslings, this wine adds superb diversity to this estate’s already top-notch lineup.

This wine really shows off the savory, very poised side of Pinot Blanc with forward aromas of nose-tickling minerality, citrus, pear, and soft cardamom spice all from the site and varietal. Balancing fresh terroir character with ripe and pure fruit, this wakes your palate up and coats it with balanced earthy richness that makes it perfect to start choice for grilled prawns, lightly battered cod, sea bass or white sausages.



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2018 VILLARD SAINT-JOSEPH 'REFLET'
[reg. $55.99]
SPECIAL - $39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Francois Villard has been toiling in the Northern Rhone since 1991. A trained chef, Francois makes exceptional wines in Condrieu, St-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Cote-Rotie. Early on, Francois’s style reflected those times, extracted, opulent and oaky. However, in the past decade, he has reversed course, producing elegant renditions of these wines using whole-cluster fermentation with a very restrained influence of oak.

It does not get any more textbook syrah from the Northern Rhone than this. Fresh, persistent aromas of herb-encrusted roasted meat, high-toned red and blue fruits, exotic spice, white pepper and black olives lead things off. The granite dominant soils add a level of sophistication to allow this top echelon St.-Joe to have a commonality of neighboring Cote-Rotie. The palate shows dense substance with a bit of smoke and succulence that tastes of plum, mineral and spice. With vines ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s, the old vine layers are spread throughout the palate extending to the long, suave finish. A great Saint-Joseph that can be approached with decanting but will also age for 15+ years.



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2019 CASA CASTILLO
JUMILLA MONASTRELL
$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

The Jumilla region of Spain has been doing wonders with the Monastrell (Mourvedre) grape, which is also the basis for the Southern French region of Bandol and is a virtual thrift store of values.

Packed with blackberry, iron, tealeaf and scorched earth aromas that carry over to the assertive palate that has bold fruit then gains brightness and firmness in the back. Do your best Uncle Gus impersonation, which is to grab a gallon of gasoline, toss it on to the grill followed by just about any carnivorous delight. Now that’s a fire!



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2020 JANUIK CABERNET SAUVIGNON
COLUMBIA VALLEY
$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

One of the most influential winemakers and producers in Washington, Mike Januik was and is one of the masters who helped place Washington firmly on the world's wine map. From his days as the Wine Director at Chateau Ste-Michelle, through his full-time ‘side-job’ as winemaker at Novelty Hill as well as his self-named top-level wines, this cat really does no wrong when it comes to mouth-filling reds.

A masterpiece in the making, Januik's 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is a super-value and is one that is a steal for its price point. Many others charge well north of fifty for quality like this! Already very complex in its youth, this hearty blend reveals prominent blueberry, raspberry and red earth. The use of oak here is intelligent with scents of tobacco and nutmeg soon to arrive. The texture possesses lots of movement and voluptuous qualities with a firm middle. The wine is packed and substantial on the finish, albeit youthfully exuberant. Drink this knockout red through 2031+.



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2021 SURRAU VERMENTINO DI GALLURA
$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Last month at a tasting up at Karen’s, someone brought a bottle of the 2020 to sample and it turned out to be quite a hit. Of course, the wine had been sold out for a few months and I wasn’t expecting any until later this month but some showed up a bit early!

From the northern end of Sardinia and grown in sandy and craggy, granitic soils, sea-smoke aromas somersault from the glass followed by fragrant mineral, lime and blossom notes. On the palate, it is crisp, succulent and ideal for an aperitif around antipasti or as a main pour with a light pasta and shellfish preparation.



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2018 DOMAINE CHAPUIS
MACON-MANCEY ROUGE
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Even though this terrific red is within the borders of Burgundy and Macon, it is made with Gamay and not Pinot Noir. Along with delivering very fine white wines, Domaine Chapuis is very sure-handed with their red wines and this personable red really falls into our mantra of don’t think, just drink - a lot!

An attacking spiciness is followed by cherry, plum and black peppercorn scents. Lively, vivid, and with sneaky volume this wine is vin de soif. Drink it with a slight chill in the hotter months with a charcuterie plate, turkey/pesto/provolone sandwich, or even a gazpacho. When the weather cools down then it is perfect foil for barbecued chicken legs or a lighter veggie/mushroom pasta or rice dish.



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2019 CASA SANTOS LIMAS
'BON VENTOS' TINTO
$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE

From the Vinhos do Lisboa region of Portugal and comprised of Castelão, Camarate, Tinta Miúda and Touriga Nacional, all native Portuguese varietals. At $8.99, what are yinz waiting for!?

Hearty, spicy & tangy aromas and flavors all provide delicious depth of fruit and ample definition of place. A great all-around, anytime red that should be ordered by the bottle and especially by the case if you are having a gathering and need to please a bunch of palates.



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CHAMPAGNE BILLECART-SALMON BRUT
BLANC DE BLANCS GRAND CRU
$99.99 BTL./$599.94 - 6 PK - LIMITED

Famed for their Champagne Rose, the last time I visited Billecart-Salmon, they said the bigger headache for them was not keeping the Rose in stock but keeping up with the demand for this Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs. Yes, the Rose is popular and over-the-moon delicious but after a visit and now sampling this Blanc de Blancs, I understand why this sells through so quickly and they have to spread it around.

Finesse from the get-go, this is bubbly beauty personified! All Chardonnay from Grands Crus vineyards in Avize, Cramant, Chouilly and Le Mesnil sur Oger, aromas of buttered biscuit, mineral, cream, lemon, orchard fruits and subtle cinnamon billow from the glass. Forward, rather lavish and lacy with its tiny bubbles, the seductive mousse continues with Grand Cru depth, class and extension and lingers on and on. A truly remarkable Champagne from a great producer. Oh yes, their Rose is available for the moment as well.






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