9/26/22 The Cellar Door's 'TANGERINE DREAMS & MARMALADE SKIES' HotSheet

Cameron Red
Arneis, Cotes-du-Rhone,
Tempranillo & more under-20 treats
Dunn Cabernet & Dessert Muscat

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$16.99 BTL./$101.94 - SIX PACK

The name of the grape, Arneis, is derived from Piedmont dialect and means little rascal. One of the more finicky grapes to grow, the white wine it produces is synonymous with the Roero region and has experienced somewhat of a revival over the last few years. The name Almondo is synonymous with this region and often is regarded as one of the finest two or three producers.

The 2020 reveals classic, beautiful aromatics of white peaches and flowers that lead into a rich, mouthful of citrus fruit and spice. Often times we talk about wine with food, but this one tastes just great on its own. If you are going to enjoy it with food we would recommend fish, preferably white fish done with a citrus marinade or fruit salsa or it can easily make for a perfect aperitivo or a fine porch pounder.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Located in the northernmost point of Spain’s Ribera del Duero region, the vines for this single vineyard, 100% Tempranillo are 25 years old and are planted at 2800 feet. A young team all around, Marta Castrillo and Cesar Mate founded this estate in 2013 and given their location, choose to make wines built around nuance, detail and a lovely core of fruit versus many in this area that are seriously extracted, heavy and boozy.

The El Holgazan rocked my world when tasting last week. Forward, upbeat flavors of mouthcoating blueberry, milk chocolate, red plum, minerally earth, cinnamon and perfume come together on a perfectly built elegant and sophisticated frame. Lingering red and dark perfumed berries and spice permeate the palate and expand into something quite wonderful. A vibrant and pretty decadent drink right now and over the next 6-8 years. Enjoy it with classy yet hearty fare like slow cooked leg of lamb.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

One of the fabled producers of Italy, Luigi Cataldi Madonna has been instrumental with the Montepulciano grape as well as to lift this area away from being mere trattoria wines into something more expressive and fine. Malandrino, meaning rogue or someone naughty, is the specialty of this famed house and the 2020 is off the charts delicious. About a decade ago, Cataldi Madonna changed their Montepulciano program drastically by eliminating the use of oak and moving solely to cement tanks for aging. The change has been well received by wine-lovers and this already legendary producer once again has led a movement.

Smooth, savory and generous, possessing concentrated notes of black plum, ripe cherry, licorice and lavender. A meaty and exotic offering that maintains a satisfying roundness and beautiful balance. Flavors fill the mouth with deep and fleshy yet vibrant red earth tones dominating the smooth and succulent texture. An upscale Montepulciano with a savory long finish, pair this tasty red with aged pecorino, grilled lamb or penne Bolognese.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

It is still amazing that we can sell this wine under 20-bucks. Aside from small increases and currency fluctuation, this wine’s price has remained very steady for two decades.

Cahors is a favorite with the locals throughout France, and especially in the brasserie and bistro. This honest, full-bodied, and very French red works perfectly with anything that is bad for you. Confit, pate, bleu cheese, pretty much any sauce that has been reduced and finished with a half-pound of butter. Mainly Malbec with a little Merlot dropped in for suppleness; it is chewy, ripe and possessing plenty of firm edges as well. Unless you are a bit masochistic, this is not a wine for sitting around and having a conversation on politics. It cries out for food - Hedonistic and soulful food.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE - LIMITED

John Paul, the mad genius behind Cameron winery has been committed to Nebbiolo since he first planted a bit on Clos Electrique in 1994. By 2003, there was half an acre. In 2006 John’s friend Alan Foster, or as John calls him, Hippie Alan, planted Nebbiolo on his White Oak Vineyard in 2006. This is the same site as where he gets the fruit for his Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir and blended with Clos Electrique, this is a legitimate, delicious, ageworthy New World Nebbiolo and when tasting it, I see why John is so excited about the wine.

Taking its cue from the northern reaches of Piedmont (Gattinara, Ghemme) versus the Langhe, this Nebbiolo is very red in its tone. 100% Nebbiolo and revealing alluring, refined scents of licorice and wet stone along with red fruits and potpourri-spices. Submerged perfume and earth unfolds as the wine airs in the glass. In the mouth, a sultry core of fruit presents itself before gaining structure and spine. Energetic, mysterious and elusive yet very seductive. Enjoy this Nebbiolo through the end of the decade.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

If there were to a declaration of a spiritual white wine grape from South Africa, it would be Chenin Blanc. Also known as Steen, this grape accounts for 18% of the white wines produced and was first noted as arriving sometime on the mid-1600s.

Coming specifically from the Bot River section of the Walker Bay region, this cool site and producer’s Chenin ‘outLoires’ many from there at the same price level. Engaging scents of quince paste, yellow apple, lanolin, and peach. Driven by vertical mineral acidity, there is nice body behind the briskness. Finishes long and lingering and will pair beautifully with salmon on a cedar plank, grilled prawns or a tangy goat cheese.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Old School, influential and unapologetically California in profile, this Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot/Cabernet Franc-based blend delivers so much good for an excellent price, especially in comparison to so many others in the state’s famous growing regions. Unlike many others from California in this price level, there isn’t any fruit from Lodi or bulked out juice to this wine, all of the grapes come from Sonoma; Gundlach’s estate vineyard along with smattering from the Mayacamas Range.

Chock full of cassis, blueberry and violet with spikes of cocoa that seemingly swirl in the glass. The texture is buxom and creamy with lots of sensuality to it. A subtle mineral underlay and deceptive structure give this wine nice spine and breadth of flavor. Very drinkable now, especially with braised shortribs or a grilled steak, it would not surprise us if this were to age 3-4 years, too.

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$13.99 HALF BTL./$335.76 - CASE OF 24

Recently we featured the red wine from this fine Rhone estate, but this week we decided to show you all the sweet dessert wine that made them famous, their Exuberant, generous, and pure sinful pleasure Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise.

Enticing rose-petal, satsuma, spice and rosemary oil dominate the nose while scents of white anise bark out from a distance. Wickedly rich, sweet and full with inviting citrusy tones that come from the elevation from the vineyard sites in the Dentelles de Montmirail and aid in maintaining freshness. Super-viscous finish with plenty of brightness make this wine perfect to pair with crème brulée, fresh berry tarts or even white and milk chocolate.

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SPECIAL - $13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE
The under-15 Cotes-du-Rhone of your dreams!

100% Grenache. Black raspberry, lavender, smoke and grenadine scents lead into a provençal palate that possesses refined palate presence yet is buoyant and full of smooth and savory characteristics with excellent fruit and white pepper on the beautifully lingering finish. In eight months this has filled in even more but maintains perfect balance and can also be served with a slight chill. A heavenly weeknight wine and so very versatile, enjoy it with grilled sausages, slice of pepperoni pizza, a simple hamburger, Pho, chicken with Provençal herbs, minestrone.

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$99.99 BTL./$599.94 - SIX PACK

One of the Napa pioneers who first brought forth the merits of Napa's hillside fruit, Randy Dunn's wines are always very prized for their longevity. The Howell Mountain cuvee will kiss you on the cheek and then kick you in the cojones three times then shut itself down for 15 years while the Napa, and especially in this vintage is one that Cabernet lovers can enjoy earlier.

Intense, yet sophisticated aromas of plum, raspberries, smoke, violet, cocoa, nutmeg and cedar-box. Rich and comes at you in waves, there is plenty of tannin-structure here for aging, but they are considerably more tame than the Howell Mountain cuvee. Finishes with authority, but planes out and the flavors stick around for a heck of a long time. I would tell you to wait until 2025 to gain ultimate pleasure but if you wanted to enjoy a bottle, decant and aerate a couple hours before serving.