Hot Sheets


THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'DRY JANUARY IS RUBBISH' HOTSHEET
Stylish White Burgundy & Etna Bianco
Palacios Priorat & Classic Napa Zin
Barbaresco Value


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2016 DEI ROSSO DI MONTEPULCIANO
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Brunello, Chianti, Vernaccia, all regions that seemingly receive more love than the eastern Tuscan region of Montepulciano. This ranking certainly needs to change. Caterina Dei has long been one of our most esteemed Tuscan producers that we annually promote and have superb success. Along with Avignonesi, Boscarelli and Poliziano, she is one of the Big Four in the area and her Rosso is serious business indeed.

Sage and violet-dominated scents with wild cherry fruit underneath. Luscious, round flavors are nicely buffered by a roasted coffee undertone. The finish invites you back for another glass. Declassified Vino Nobile, it is perfect for everyday consumption, but also is one that will carry nicely to any elegant Italian dinner as well. Have with eggplant parmesan or slow roasted beef.



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2020 PALACIOS PRIORAT
'CAMINS DEL PRIORAT'
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

92 points - Wine Advocate... Known as one of the three or four producers who helped reinvent modern Priorat, Alvaro Palacios has become synonymous with ultra-luxurious wines. Not wanting to be known as a producer who specializes in wines for label chasers about 15 years ago, Alvaro created this as an entryway into this famous Catalan region located about two hours south of Barcelona in Spain. Palacios is originally from Rioja, but in 1989, at age 26, arrived in Priorat with passion, vision and enough energy to light up Barcelona…and its suburbs!

The 2020 Palacios Camins del Priorat is an illuminating blend of 55% Garnacha, 15% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cariñena. Wind-swept lavender, thyme, plum and black licorice scents shine on the nose and follow through to a detailed, hearty texture that is broad, sensuous, mouth-filling and done with symphonic harmony. Priorat power is present, but the mineral vibrancy and lift are very present on the smooth, silky, long finish. Drink this impeccable value over the next 5-6 years with slowly-braised fare.



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2021 FEUILLARDE MACON-CHARNAY
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Along with being a Saint-Veran superstar, Lucien Thomas also produces a hell of a toothsome Macon-Charnay. 2021 was a small but very zesty vintage for wines in the Macon and this is exactly as promised. Alas, quantities are small.

Coming from 30-year-old vines and elevated in stainless steel tanks, it shows knockout scents of lemon, gooseberry, Granny Smith apple and stony mineral. Zippy flavors dominate, but there is also nice expansion and intensity in the mouth from the yields being 30% less than allowable for the appellation. Crisp and lithe on the finish, it is perfect with a roasted chicken with chanterelles.



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2018 HAMACHER 'H' PINOT NOIR
WILLAMETTE VALLEY
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

One of Oregon’s longtime terrific producers, Eric Hamacher produces confident, stylish, heart and soul Pinots.

The ‘H’ is a great entry-level value that sticks and jabs well above its price point. Raspberry, plum, cracked pepper and allspice scents. Forward flavors, bold fruit from the warm 2018 vintage, nicely layered and persistent. An excellent drop to impress out of town guests. Drink over the next 4-6 years.



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2021 TERRE NERE ETNA BIANCO
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

So many of yinz know Marc de Grazia’s Terre Nere red and rose wines but it isn’t often that we have the possibility to offer the brilliant white to our entire audience.

The 2021 Etna Bianco is comprised of 70% Carricante, 20% Catarratto, 5% Grecanico, 5% Minnella and what I love about this wine is that they haven’t mucked around with it and had it suffer in a bunch of new barrels, only stainless-steel tanks which preserves the freshness and character of these native grapes. Instant white peach aromas leap from the glass along with underlying scents of quince, anise, subtle spice and mineral. Overflowing zesty aspects shine on the palate, which penetrates quite deeply and possesses ample expansion as well as a lingering, vibrant finish. An excellent choice with many seafood dishes, it has weight and depth to go with salmon but enough vibrancy that will allow it to pair well with sashimi or prawns.



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2021 COLONIAS LAS LIEBRES
CABERNET FRANC
$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Colonias las Liebres is made by famed Malbec practitioner Altos las Hormigas and for over two decades this Italian-owned operation continues to innovate and provide quality.

A resoundingly delicious Argentine take on Cab Franc, this wine rocks cassis, tea-smoke, raspberry, and cinnamon/turned earth scents that follow into a texture that is pure and uplifting. Excellent depth, body and length belie its modest price point. Drink this delicious, superbly priced Reserve Cab Franc over the next 3-4 years with grilled burgers, grilled pork sausages or grilled eggplant.



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2017 STORYBOOK MOUNTAIN ZINFANDEL
'MAYACAMAS RANGE' NAPA
$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

Like the earlier mentioned Rosso di Montepulciano, Storybook Mountain’s wines have been produced for now over 45 years and while often overshadowed by the new and shiny, Jerry Seps and now his daughter Colleen Williams continue to churn out some of California’s best Zinfandel offerings that are both delicious in their youth but have a real propensity to age very well indeed.

Forward flavors and aromas of fresh blackberry, raspberry, baked pie, classic spice and roasted earth. There's also a hint of exotic dried sweet herbs and spice adding complexity to this blanketing red. Mouthfilling and long lasting on the palate, with great food-friendly restraint and balance, the ripe tannins frame the perfumed fruit perfectly. By no means is this wine undrinkable now, in fact it’s almost too smooth early on!! This is a great red for grilled steak and hearty, slow-cooked tomato-based stews with olives and eggplant. Storybook Mountain's Zins also have a real propensity to age and gain richness…no problem to lay a few bottles away and uncork them in a decade.



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2020 CHATEAU LA VERRIERE
BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR ROUGE
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Located at the furthest point east in Bordeaux where Castillon meets the Dordogne/Lot region of Duras, Alain Bessette is not only an ultra-talented vigneron; he is annually awarded as one of the ‘Talents of Bordeaux Superieur’.

Smoked blackberry, interwoven vanilla-coffee tones, showing more earth aspects as it unfolds. Quite swanky in the mouth with sneaky spices engaging with dark fruits on the entry all harmonizing with the red Cabernets on the balanced, long finish that is packed and very persistent. Enjoy this toothsome red with grilled or roasted chicken, sautéed rib eye with slow sweated shallots and butter on the top or a nice hearty pho. Perfect for cold, rainy nights and a steal for under 15-bucks.



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2018 GIUSEPPE CORTESE BARBARESCO
$36.99 BTL./$443.88 CASE

Without doubt, Cortese is one of the finest producers of Barbaresco. This estate’s primary holdings are in the Grand Cru Rabaja vineyard and the Barbaresco wines are always sought after.

The classic Barbaresco is a relatively new cuvee for the Cortese family and comes from 35-year-old vines from both the Rabaja and Trifolera vineyards. Very Barbaresco in stature, this wine captures the sophisticated princess-like features that prevail throughout the region. 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. Not inaccessible but if you uncork one, decant it an hour in advance. If you have patience, wait two more years and drink it through 2034.






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