1/23/23 The Cellar Door's 'AMPLIFIED' HotSheet

Bordeaux & Friuli White Wines
Icon Chianti & Value French Reds

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2020 Rocca di Montegrossi
Chianti Classico
$23.99 btl./$287.88 case

As I gaze out my window looking at the sun shining on the church parking lot by my house, I am trying to think when the last miserable version of this wine was unleashed. Maybe 2002?? Over twenty years, this wine continues to marvel and remains one of the top and best buys in all of Chianti Classico.

Marco Ricasoli’s hot streak continues with the new arrival of the impeccable 2020 Chianti Classico. 91% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo and 2% Colorino and very classic Chianti and Montegrossi. Powerful yet poised, sporting savory, sumptuous strawberry and Morello cherry along with perfumed herbs, wild spices and underlying floral notes. Like clockwork, it is chock full of flavor and will pair well with tomato-based dishes or roasted meats. Well honed, this beautiful Chianti Classico from such a renowned producer will drink well through 2031+.

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2019 Chateau Bruilleau
Pessac-Leognan (Bordeaux) Blanc
$26.99 btl./$323.88 case

Made from the top area for dry white wine in Bordeaux, pound for pound and value-wise, this was my White Wine of 2022! 65% Semillon & 35% Sauvignon, 12 months in barriques (25% new) and only 800-1000 cases produced. If this wine were from Burgundy, had a hyphen followed by the word Montrachet, it would easily sell for three to four times the price.

Spiced pear, nectarine along with fig, lime and vanilla arriving as it unfolds in the glass. Penetrating, full, creamy and intense with spices, old vine depth and persistency. Very brisk and luminous on the impressively long and luxurious finish. White Bordeaux from this area is very much a tradition but sadly one that is slowly disappearing. Everything involved make it such a joy to see one that is this good that retails for a great price. Drink over the next 6-8 years with lobster, clam chowder or some sort of bisque, dense fish dishes with a sauce and soft-ripened, aged cheeses.

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2020 Jim Barry Shiraz 'Lodge Hill'
Clare Valley
$19.99 btl./$239.88 case

The late Jim Barry gained notoriety for producing one of Australia's iconoclast wines, The Armaugh Shiraz and his children have kept the flag flying. There is good news and bad news regarding Jim Barry's wines. The bad news is that The Armaugh will set you back about $200 per bottle if you could find one. The good news is that Jim Barry produces a number of outstanding values including this scrumptious Shiraz from their home turf of Clare Valley.

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 supercharged, high-octane juice box, enjoy it over the next several years.

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2021 I Clivi Malvasia 'Vigna 80 Anni'
Collio Friuli Bianco
$26.99 btl./$323.88 case

Located in the far northeastern corner of Italy bordering Austria and Slovenia, Friuli can often feel as though it is in its own world. The majority of wines produced in the Friuli region are white and its wine growers are all seemingly mavericks and renegades all lining up to give Rome the double bird.

I Clivi is a small producer who seems to be on everyone's short list of Friuli favorites. Cool as a fan, this estate’s white wines always steal my heart, however, this particular, rare offering (only 250 cases produced) causes love at first sight. From 80-year-old Malvasia vines, this offering is both palate staining, electric and sees no oak in its upbringing. Classically aromatic with notes of ripe mandarin, smoke, minerality, rose oil and anise building as it sits in the glass. Layer upon layer of flavor fill the mouth along with livewire acidity to slice through the depth of these old vines. As the 2021 unfolds in the glass it is clear that this noble white needs a little aeration for all of the levels of complexity to come together so you might want to decant before serving. Enjoy with white meats, roasted poultry and denser fish dishes, perhaps with a little kick of spice.

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2019 Piquemal Cotes-du-Roussillon
$16.99 btl./$203.88 case

The French Catalan region of Cotes-du-Roussillon is located just south of the city of Perpignan in close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and running down to the Spanish border. Due to the abundance of schist soils, high elevation - and bearing in mind its Catalan roots – Cotes-du-Roussillon is sometimes referred to as France's Priorat.

A classic GSM from one of our favorite producers, the 2019 Rouge reveals Generous and rustic aromas of tea-smoke, blueberry, black licorice, lavender, pepper and subtle cinnamon notes. In the mouth, it is layered, lifting and with plenty of extension. Excellent mouth-filling fruit combined with minerally definition shows why this region is one of France’s most happening. Drink it with an array of dishes from braised venison to a grilled steak smeared with garlic and pepper.

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2020 Terriere Beaujolais-Villages
$13.99 btl./$167.88 case

Two rivers flow through the city of Lyon. but many of its natives will tell you that it is actually three rivers - La Saone, Le Rhone et Le Beaujolais! This is very true as it is one of the main wines served in the various eateries in this city known for its gustatory delights.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the steals of Beaujolais, especially given the region’s current popularity and price increases. Silky and smooth with notes of fresh summer berries, minerals and dried rose petals. This four-chord melody turns into a full-on sonata in the mouth with alluring depth from 70-year-old vines that happen to come from a specific lieu dit vineyard in the Cru of Regnie. Very long and very classic Beaujolais, this wine is a photo of diversity when it comes to food pairings. This wine will be featured in this week’s Friday Tasting.

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2016 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir
Le Puits Sec
$46.99 btl. - VERY LIMITED

Last year we offered and sampled the library release of this five star Eola-Amity estate’s 2014. For early 2023, next up from the library is the insane 2016. Since the mid-eighties, Evesham Wood is one of Oregon’s small but mighty producers. Founded by the late Russ Raney Evesham is owned and manned by Erin Nuccio (who worked alongside Russ for over a decade), these wines remain some of our finest.

Possessing plenty of substance and starting to really reveal its inner beauty after six years, the single vineyard 2016 shows 100% of Pinot Noir's sultry side on both the nose and the palate. Resounding floral aspects abound - roses play with lavender and mingle with red fruits, underlying red earth and smoke. The texture is lacy, finesseful and smoothly mouth crawling from start to finish. Long and engaging, even more starts to come out as the wine unfolds in the glass. A wow wine with fantastic follow-through as well as ample Eola-Amity backbone to allow for further development. Drink this killer Pinot Noir over the next decade.

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2018 Saint-Siffrein
$45.99 btl./$551.88 case

Located in the northern sector of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Saint-Siffrein has been making wine since 1860 in the outskirts of Orange. Organically farmed vineyards within the lieus-dits of Cabrieres and Palestor, a mosaic of soils highlighted by clay, limestone and portions of large galet stones make for wines that are velvety beasts.

Vintage 2018 is a blend of 55% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah & 5% Cinsault then aged 75% in 4500-liter barrels and 25% in tank. Amorous, vivacious and time-honored Chateauneuf aromas prevail from the moment it is poured. Aromatic tea-smoke, rose, cherry-pit, licorice, white pepper and rhubarb shimmer and then follows through to a velvety, well-sculpted, smoothed-out texture that extends and persists. Very lovely at age five and it will continue to drink beautifully for another eight-10 years.