Hot Sheets

Chateauneuf Special
Oregon Pinot Noir, Andrew Will Cab
Value reds and white for under 15

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$37.99 BTL./$227.94 - SIX PACK

Normally we do not kick off our weekly musings with a 38-dollar offering but since this is from a legendary vintage and terrific Panzano-based Chianti producer, we just had to lead off with this wine. When it comes to Tuscany’s vintages, one can speak highly about 2010, 2006 or 1999 (not 1997, that’s a joke) and all are outstanding but 2016, wow. Just wow! A vintage that so many wine producers described as perfect conditions and easy to deal with the wines that have emerged are usually long sold out or are on the secondary market and stupid expensive. Commencing with the 2010 vintage, the vaunted and prestigious Gran Selezione classification, which tops the name ‘Riserva’, classification was created and over a decade later, it is now the category of the most prestigious wines from Chianti Classico.

Grand Cru Sangiovese indeed, this upscale Chianti has substantial structure, fruit and the finesse and balance to go the distance. An undertow of supporting aromas of dark chocolate, tobacco, toffee and leather and mingle gracefully with smoked morellino cherry, roasted herbs, violets and licorice and this complex array of aromas are flawlessly echoed in the mouth. This poised and personable bottle of Chianti is drinkable now with a grilled T-Bone or an aged piece of Pecorino Toscana but it will undoubtedly give you many years of enjoyment. Profound juice, enjoy through 2035.

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[reg. $19.99]
SPECIAL - $13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Two disclaimers: 1.) As you read this week’s HotSheet you might gather that I may or may not be listening to Robert Wyatt as I write this morning. 2.) I really, really dig this white wine from the Sierra del Gredos region outside of Madrid. Perhaps it is just my curiosity piqued by grapes we normally don’t have in our everyday drinking repertoire, or most likely, because it is flavorful, detailed and drinks so easily that it is both adventuresome and dangerous!

Exciting and aromatic, this blend of Macabeo, Albillo, Moscatel and Malvar grown on granitic soil damn near boogies down upon pouring. Fragrant and lively with brilliantly portioned mango, mandarin and fresh-cut flower scents are underpinned with spice-driven minerality from the granite. This is a wine one can smell all day long. In the mouth, it is powdery, tangy and mouth bursting with qualities that touch all of the senses. Superb fruit/mineral balance on the lingering finish allows this to accompany various seafood preparations like smoked albacore tuna, fried salt cod fritters, calamari or a seafood driven paella.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

This Newberg-based producer is one that should be more known by so many. Et Fille (translated to ‘and daughter’) has been in existence since 2003 when Howard and Jessica Mozeico started the operation as a father and daughter tandem. Howard was always an enthusiast who started making wine in his garage in the 1980s. He and daughter Jessica left their jobs and became co-winemakers, founding this outstanding yet somewhat of an unknown superstar estate. Sadly Howard passed away in 2017 but Jessica has forged onward, continuing the ‘and daughter’ legacy for her own young daughter. I tasted a lineup of wine with Jessica last week and it is safe to say we will be featuring these wines prominently in our Oregon repertoire, especially for those who will be giving holiday gifts.

A true to form Willamette Valley blend, this wine comes from four different sites (Palmer Creek Vineyard in Eola-Amity and Kalita, Deux Vert and Fairsing Vineyards in Yamhill Carlton). Cool toned yet having the substance of this full vintage, the earth and spice balance out the cool plum and smoke aspects. Rather ethereal on the palate, nice acids will develop even further for another 6-8+ years as well.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

From a top-notch producer and vines up to 60 years old, this belly rub of a Loire Valley Gamay performs differently versus Beaujolais.

The initial aroma that wafts from the glass will bring many back to their childhood with the scents of opening a fresh box of red-hot candies. Enticing smoke, violet, cinnamon, chalk and gently placed herbs follow through to a sultry, dry texture that shows persistence and depth without being the least bit gooey. Terrific fruit and chalky minerality creeps through in the mouth the movement is superb. The finish is poised and polished and revealing plenty of Moroccan spice and mouth-watering red fruit. Very drinkable now, but it will work beautifully with North African or Indian meat dishes as well as traditional, hedonistic French foods that are bad for you like pate or soft-ripened cheeses.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Over the past few years we have seen a shift in the California Chardonnay market with consumers drinking less and less of the big thick ooey-gooey, over-oaked monsters. While the style is one that many still like, it is difficult to enjoy more than one glass of anything with the viscosity of maple syrup. Sensing this trend, excellent Chardonnay producers such as Talley Vineyards have maintained the "California profile" while at the same time reducing the extraction, thus making a wine that will keep you coming back for another glass.

The 2019 Talley Chardonnay has juicy qualities with tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and a hint of apple, spice, vanilla, and plenty of length. Lovely on its own, or even better with simple roasted chicken, it is a wine to enjoy over the next couple of years. Another successful vintage for Talley, but then again what else do you expect from such a terrific producer.

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$14.99 LITER BTL./$179.88 CASE

The first question once you see the name of this engaging red wine will undoubtedly be: "What the hell is Pratsch Zweigelt?" Forget the Teutonic name. Not unlike the Dothraki in Game of Thrones, we also have our own unique language, and in this tongue, it translates to ‘anything that comes in a liter bottle and is this much fun has to be called date wine’.

Bursting, medium-bodied and provocative, this flavor-laden Austrian (not Australian) red is chock full of cherry and berry notes along with the aphrodisiac-like scent of the hard top of a crème brulée that has just been cracked with the spoon. An exculpatory guzzleable and promiscuous bottle of whoopass that is perfect for an everyday glass of red. Serve with a meat and cheese plate, sausage and peppers, schnitzel, Chef Boyardee ravioli (preferably eaten directly from the can) and so much more.

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$44.99 BTL./$539.88 CASE

After a decade or so of making terrific Cabernets from a blend of vineyards and labeling it as Columbia Valley with a black label, Andrew Will winemaker Will Camarda decided it was a good time to start labeling the Cabs with their own sites. This offering comes from the profound Champoux Vineyard and what is in the bottle is magical indeed. Long established, Champoux is named after original owner/vineyard manager Paul Champoux who first planted in 1972. Now owned by a small consortium that includes, Andrew Will Woodward Canyon, Powers and Quilceda Creek, wines from this vineyard are always of apex quality and distinction.

The initial surprise of this Horse Heaven Hills Cab is that it is devoid of octane and comes in at a civilized 13.5% alcohol level. Decadently aromatic with brilliant tones of cassis, blueberry as well as engaging mineral tones that are shrouded nicely by harmonious tones of nutmeg, coriander and tobacco that come from the typical well-balanced use of oak. In the mouth, the wine shows beautiful range and refinement with caressing fruit that spreads out like a peacock's tail. Don't be deceived, this wine cellars impeccably. Decant about 45 minutes to an hour before pouring if you want to have a go at it now but for best results hold it for another 2-3 years then drink through 2030+.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

What’s up with the tiny house trend? I’ve been trying to figure it out for years. I am all about living econo and minimalistic, however, one doesn’t necessarily think about things like sharing a tiny house and enjoying Mexican food night. Then again, there are preventative remedies and one such is this tasty Malbec.

Tercos, meaning stubborn in Spanish, underscores the tenacious, burro-like soul that this hearty red possesses. Vivid along with a core of blackberry fruit surrounded by aromatic black tea scents, licorice, cocoa, warm spices and a fresh, earthy quality that finishes with cool high-elevation lift. Enjoy with braised lamb or slow-cooked pork shoulder, but is most courtly and dignified for Mexican food night in any dwelling.

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[reg. $67.99]
SPECIAL - $45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE

Coming to the grand finale of the Postmodern Bacon Carnival Hot Sheet as I parachute down from two quad-shot lattes, a bean counter freak out of sorts occurred. No, one of our distributor’s accountants didn’t drop acid; they just dropped the price on this wonderful Chateauneuf. One of the terrific estates, Florent Lancon has taken these wines in to Sly Stone, ‘I Want To Take You Higher’ levels. Already an established superstar neo-classical, yet contrarian producer, this Chateauneuf from a top-notch vintage is a steal for the price.

50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre & 10% Cinsault farmed from 37 different parcels in the ‘Solitude’ Lieu Dit on the western side of the Le Crau Plateau, this wine is hearty, generous and the epitome of a black-tie gangster. Smoked plum, grenadine, kisses of licorice, smoked meat and violet flow from the glass. The texture is youthful and structured but with ample velvety, stylish silky tones that make the wine somewhat accessible with a good decanting. Old vine saturation and smoothness presents itself at first then moves into a suave, licorice-laden, very lengthy finish that persists pleasantly with fruit, spice and everything nice. If you like your Chateauneuf young, have it with a grilled steak or sassy Latin-inspired pork chop. If you prefer them older then a slow roasted leg of lamb, grilled duck breast as well as any game dish or roadkill pairs exquisitely. Drink this stellar steal through 2033+.