5/3/21 The Cellar Door's 'SMILING FACES' HotSheet

Champagne Vilmart & ChablisSpecials, Reds for 10, Soave, Rhone, Ripasso & more

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Quite possibly the future of the southern Rhone Valley is Ventoux, especially with its young producers making wines that reveal the area’s diverse terroir. Eric Bonnet is a superb Chateauneuf producer and we are excited to offer the latest release. A vintage of the sun and superior to the wonderful 2017 and 2018 vintages, 2019 in the Southern Rhone provided nicely concentrated wines and with higher yields show off nice freshness.

Scintillating lavender, red cherry, white pepper and smoky mineral scents lead into a texture that is both lively and layered as well as showing a level of sophistication that is normally reserved for wines of a much higher pedigree. Ethereal and spicy throughout then finishes up with pronounced strawberry, currant and thyme notes on the uncommonly long finish. At 14-bucks, this wine truly over-delivers, revealing it much more than just a Wednesday wine. Pair with anything from a sausage pizza to grilled pork chops slathered in herbs and garlic to steaks or chicken cacciatore.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

It is a bit of a mind bender to believe that we have been working with this wine for over ten vintages. Back in 2012 on a visit to Evehsam Wood, founder Russ Raney introduced me to this, new at the time, single vineyard Pinot Noir. There wasn't much made and he graciously offered us 5 cases of the 2007 vintage at the time. Fast forward and Russ's protégé, Erin Nuccio, now owns Evesham Wood. He has ably continued the legacy of this wine, which is even better as the vines have aged.

On the savory side, the aromas of this wine showcases deep red cherry, blueberry, mushroom and intermittent allspice tones. The mouthfeel is focused with ample amounts of raspberry and spice in lacy layers with ripe tannin and juicy vibrancy. This one can be enjoyed now but should age beautifully for another 10-12 years.

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[reg. $59.99]
SPECIAL - $45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE

A special deal on a special wine! Located on the same hill and right next to the Grand Cru Les Preuses, many feel this site should be Grand Cru. Alas, it sits in the neighboring Chablis village of Fontenay and not Chablis proper thus making it Premier Cru. Ahhh, but there is so much more to this wine due to it often performing at a higher level than its designation.

As with all Louis Michel wines, the Vaulorent is elevated in stainless steel tanks and is from vines that were planted in 1964. Very complete nose. Citrus fruit, but along with musk, serious crustaceans, crushed limestone and gunflint. Impressive Grand Cru depth here along with gentle ginger and spiced earth tones beneath the surface. Lux, yet very electric and nervy. Goes very deep from the old vines; serious oceanic flavors and the finish best described as mighty! This is virtually Grand Cru quality without the top Grand Cru price. Very special stuff indeed, enjoy it through 2030.

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

San Rocco is made using an ancient winemaking technique called "ripasso", which consists of taking freshly pressed Valpolicella Classico juice and adding in the rich/raisined grapes generally used for the noble Amarone. The ripasso method brings an exotic quality to the wine that adds to its allure, bringing a level of richness and intensity that is perfectly balanced by the fresh and bright berry notes of the newly fermented Valpolicella juice.

Tedeschi has been making this top-end Valpolicella Ripasso since 1976. From the People's Republic of Chocolatey Delicious, the 2017 San Rocco offers heaps of luscious dark cherry, plum, Egyptian spice, amare and dark chocolate. Full bodied and intense with great balance and fine-grained tannins support the lushness through to the long finish that is full of mouth-coating complexity. Enjoy now over the next 6-8 years.

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$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE

Red wines from France’s Anjou region are some of their most soulful and are regularly consumed in local wine bars around the nation.

From the western Loire, specifically Anjou, unoaked red wine adventure made from Cabernet Franc is all about intrigue and pleasure. Laden with red raspberry, warm granitic spice, cherry licorice and tinges of jasmine, this is absolutely dry, pure, and red to the bone. Lots of zing and earth tones abound. Perfect to pair with charcuterie, sausage, paté, steak-frites or slightly chilled with a substantial fish dish.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

At this price, there is no reason to deliberate and contemplate very much when it comes to this wine - don’t think, just drink!

From the warm climate La Mancha area, this Tempranillo is made in an early-drinking style that shows off sassy scents of raspberry, balsam, and spiced earth aromas that flow into a texture that is vibrant, supple and full of character. Plenty of persistence and nice snap-back, this is a delicious everyday red that works along, with a burger or a bunch of friends.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

At the top of the Soave mountain of winemaking sits Graziano Pra. His single vineyard Monte Grande does not really get any better, and not to mention that 2018 was a 150 point vintage in Northeast Italy.

70% Garganega and 30% of Trebbiano di Soave (actually a cousin of Verdicchio). The Trebbiano is blended in for its briskness. This adds a buffer to the Garganega, which is picked later, provides the wine’s density, form and full character. Nevertheless, it is Pra, and poise is what always rules the day with all of their wines. Gorgeous aromatics seduce with notes of mineral, lemon, and white flowers. Bone dry, excruciatingly refreshing citrus notes of lemon, lime, orange, not to mention even more mineral and a touch of mushroom and earth lingering beneath. Very complex, and just plain fun to drink, this is one of our absolute favorite Italian white wines, and a perfect drink for salmon season.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Based in Walla Walla since 1999, Brett and Denise Isenhower have been everyone’s secret find for years. Quite honestly, the wines from this property are very significant on all levels and offer up robust quality-price rapport. While the top wines are stellar, the ‘i’ Series of wines offers a 20-dollar experience that wine lovers can consume on an early basis; however, there is backbone for them to age a few years.

Sourced from sites throughout the Columbia Valley, this Cab is sheer deliciousness with good substance and without getting silly with just a bunch of wood; this hearty Washington red delivers currants, blackberry, fine herbs and spices that dominate the nose while a prominent core of mouth-filling fruit pleases the palate. A perfect wine to serve with grilled ribs or other fare…and one that will please a bunch of varying palates! Drink over the next 5-6 years.

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[reg. $179.99]
SPECIAL - $134.99 BTL./$809.94 - SIX PK

The 8,000 case estate of Champagne Vilmart & Cie led by Laurent Champs has widely been regarded as one of the pinnacle Grower Champagne producers period. Strong results soar from these cellars no matter what the vintage, and whenever we have the rare chance to offer a special on the estate’s top cuvee, we certainly take notice. Having sampled this bubbly last week, safe to say it was the best thing that crossed my olfactory senses.

80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, fermented and aged in 225 liter barrels, this wine is beyond a mere toasting Champagne. Top pedigree, there is an abundance of flavors that make one think that this may well be Grand Cru Burgundy with bubbles, it's that impressive. Insanely extravagant and grand, the 2011 is a champagne of perfect balance, great staying power and a tribute to what Laurent can do in a tricky vintage. Accents of lily, honey, brioche and toasted nuts shine within in its powerful bouquet. The taste is crisp, graceful, rich and lasting flavor that recalls notes of saffron and cinnamon. Delicate and enduring effervescence this is luxurious vintage champagne with great aging potential but for those who can't resist, can be accessed early. Usually only about 5000 bottles (not cases!) are made of this top cuvee so if you love Champagne, take advantage of this limited special.