Hot Sheets

10 Must Read Wines
Bordeaux by Lafite Rothschild
Croatian Wine, White Burgundy Value
Champagne, Brunello & more

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

We are going back to the Sierra de Gredos region just outside of Madrid and this time highlighting a wine from the specific locale of Mentrida. Having been established as an appellation since 1976, Mentrida’s Garnacha-based wines from vineyards at 1300-2000 feet deliver magical wines that one doesn’t have to break the bank to enjoy.

65% Garnacha, 30% Syrah & 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, the robe and color are almost like reflective violets while the nose proceeds to offer up cherries, briar, sandalwood and touches of tobacco. In the mouth, it is very distinctive, deep, but having symphonic harmony. The fruit and coolness of the soil are very expressive while the tannins are elegant with a finish that presents plenty of length and fine notes of chocolate-covered strawberry. If you are a fan of Rhone Wines, Priorat or and GSM blend, you need to try this wine! Enjoy through 2027 with game meats, perhaps venison and it will also pair very well with a hearty cheese.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

It is always exciting to offer a wine that is nine years old and is one that may be popped and poured. Named after the Irish family who purchased the estate in 1771, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild purchased it in 1973. The influential Edmond de Rothschild requested it as his final resting place and is buried there. As time has unfolded, the Rothschild family unearthed the potential that could be achieved in the Listrac-Medoc region.

Complex scents change like a slinky as the wine unfolds in the glass. Aged Bordeaux (as well as any aged wine) is not about becoming bigger and fruitier, they are about gaining more elegance, smoothness and dimension. This wine absolutely brings it with dried cherry, tealeaf, earth, cassis and fennel spice. Very resolved with expansive yet subtle flavors that move nicely as the wine flows towards the classy, very traditional finish. One to drink confidently over the next 5-6 years, serve it with a Sunday roast beef, duck, beef bourguignon or mild, soft ripened cheeses.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Every now and again one has to feed the intellect as well as to stump you with a wine from an area that may or may not be familiar to you all. Croatia is an emerging wine producing nation that offers both cool and warm climate wines made by attentive and thoughtful winemakers. This particular offering comes from the Peljesac Peninsula region on the Dalmatian coast.

The most widely planted grape in Croatia, Plavac Mali is the scion grape of Zinfandel is made in various styles. Frano Milos’s version is made in a very civilized style and aged in large Slavonian oak casks. A combination of black raspberry, blueberry, sage and spice. Cinnamon-earth tones, plenty of penetration but ultimately this is about the engaging succulent fruit! Flavors come in waves and turn red and vibrant on the persistent, drawn-out finish that shows some mocha and is rich without being burdensome or thick. Beautiful to drink now and will age nicely for 8-10 years.

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$13.99 BTL./$83.94 - SIX PACK

Year in and year out, this unoaked version from a splendid specialist is the best damn Barbera value that I sell – and 2019 has a little extra push and soul.

Resoundingly fresh with smoky-earthy tones wrapped around vibrant but penetrating, hearty strawberry and cranberry characteristics. The warmth of this vintage really provides an extra level of depth. Terrific with salami, pizza or a pasta with a tomato and/or meat sauce.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

A few months back we highlighted the White Burgundy wines from this Montagny-based stalwart and received excellent feedback on the 2019s. Newly arrived is the 2020 Bourgogne Chardonnay, which is an excellent precursor to the top-tier Montagny that will arrive in 2022.

A screaming value indeed, this savory white Burgundy is grown at 1000 feet and aged 75% in stainless steel/25% neutral barrels. Even though located in the Cote-Chalonnais and not far from the Cote D’Or, due to the high calcareous content in the soils, this wine behaves more like northern Burgundy, perhaps around the Chablis area. Perfumed smoke, yellow apple and with stylish lemon-lime tones. Excellent palate coverage is present in the mouth and deftly balances richness with brisk minerality. More stony aspects arrive as it opens and follows into a finish with persistence and character. Very likable and easy to latch on to. Quite a step up from many versions in this price range, enjoy this white with oysters, mussels and especially fresh crab.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Ayres' Perspective Pinot Noir was initially conceived to be a bridge between Brad McLeroy's Willamette Valley Cuvee and his Cru bottlings. As we have seen this offering develop since its inception, it has turned out to be quite a bit more than a mere bridge and is an excellent value.

Made from a blend of grapes from Ayres Estate and Ribbon Ridge neighbors Armstrong and Lichtenwalter Vineyards, the 2019 Perspective Pinot Noir emits floral notes of violet, jasmine and lilac along with herbs and ethereal strawberry fruit. It is easy to want to think that this is only about elegance with its alluring perfume and suave personality, this Pinot seduces you in, but do not be fooled, there is length, depth and above all, character behind its velvety robe. Enjoy through 2030.

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$15.99 BTL./$191.88 CASE

Lately it feels that any new producer of Washington Cabernet wants immediately to sell for fifty and upwards, sans track record. Fortunately, there are still several terrific values and this one happens to come from the Charles Smith kingdom and delivers a ton of tastiness for under-20 bucks.

An elixir of earthy, briary raspberry, cherry, and blueberry fruit with hints of smoke, woodland spices and black pepper shine on the nose and carry over to a texture that is laid-back, cool and with ample depth and persistence. Well-formed and not even close to being a hopped-up juice box, enjoy it over the next several years.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Like Malbec, Bonarda's presence Argentina is also very profound. Mentioned in the 19th century it seemingly has always been cultivated and is still Argentina's second most planted varietal and as it has evolved, it is now something very distinctively Argentine and easy to like.

Colonias las Liberas is made by famed Malbec practitioner Altos las Hormigas and savory, frontal red aromas and flavors present themselves straight away and entice you to want to drink it at just about any moment. Juicy and supple, it smoothly accompanies anything from pizza to empanadas to grilled meat or veggies.

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[reg. $51.99]
SPECIAL - $42.99 BTL./$257.94 - SIX PK

Until recently and before a larger winery got involved with the name, the estate, and wine was called Solaria. That all had to change and the winery and vineyard are now known as Patrizia Cencione…but she keeps the name Solaria to give the corporate assclowns at Antinori the ultimate middle finger. Gotta love those crafty Italians!

Portland is very fortunate, because Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon resurrected a direct import relationship with Patrizia and we are able to offer her wines at killer prices, even in the seamless, very profound 2016 vintage. Symphonic scents abound, the 2016 has traits of the likes of 1999 or 2006 and perhaps even more in that these wines will live for a hell of a long time. A luxurious wine showing red cherry, serious Tuscan herbs, rose, violet and gaining more sotto bosco as it slowly unfolds and teases at its greatness to come. Sexy, lacy entry leads into more expansive flavors that spread out a bit like a great Burgundy would, however, there is an abundance of youthful structure, and should definitely go to the cellar and allowed to become something even more special. We were commenting on the finish 5 minutes after the wine was finished. Mamma Mia! Drink this stylish, profound Brunello 2023 – 2032 and beyond. MAGNUMS AVAILABLE, TOO – INQUIRE

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$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

One of the grand Growers Champagne producers, Marc Hebrart’s son Jean-Paul took over in 1997 and built on his father’s legacy, becoming one of the best Pinot Noir-based estates in Champagne. Based in Marieul-sur-Ay, the same village as Billecart-Salmon, this multi-vintage Champagne is ridiculously underpriced.

The bubblies chez Hebrart are serious and intense, yet delicious enough in their own right to be drunk without thinking about them too much. This 82% Pinot Noir, 18% Chardonnay blend has an expressive nose of cream, lees, yeast, and freshly baked bread, and a palate finely balanced between acidity and weight.