3/7/23 The Cellar Door's 'JUST PROPER' HotSheet

96-Point Ridge
Deep Piedmont Special
Grower Champagne & 13-buck Italian & French Values

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$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE

A longtime favorite Cotes-du-Rhone value, Domaine de la Guicharde has been making delicious wines in the hills above the village of mndragon in the Southern Rhone since 1988. A great wine to pour at just about any occasion, it falls under the mantra of ‘you are never alone with a Cotes-du-Rhone.

Grower Cotes-du-Rhone indeed. 60% Grenache/40% Syrah from a real Domaine, not a large co-op or negociant, the 2019 is a significant soulful red Rhône that runs with the big dogs with a layered texture that's energetic, spicy and chock full of overflowing character and length for a mere 13 beans. Drink it now and very often.

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[reg. $35.99]
SPECIAL - $19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Would you like a Dolcetto that damn near tastes like a smoothed out Barolo? Then this is the one. Marcarini is located in La Morra and is a fine Barolo producer. One of the gems in their range is their Boschis di Berri Dolcetto. Consistently one of the two or three finest Dolcetto wines produced.

Truly unique Dolcetto d'Alba, they come from a 150-year-old vineyard, which was protected from the rampages of phylloxera by the sandy soil conditions of the Barolo region. The local vine is thus not on American rootstock. The smell is literally stunning, primarily licorice, spearmint and raspberries. In the mouth, the wine is generously structured, fresh and supple at the same time, with notes of mineral, fine herbs, and a silky core of fruit the finish is very deep and drawn out. In its prime drinking window now and will continue for another three-4 years. Enjoy this red with braised fare, mushroom-based dishes including risotto or pasta.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Question: Do you ask what grapes comprise the blend when you drink a bottle of Chateau Latour, Chateau de Beaucastel or Mouton Rothschild? Quick answer=NO! Why? Because it is more about the terroir and what the vineyard brings forth on the wine.

Gemischter Satz roughly translates into ‘mixed set’ and the blend here is a remarkable 17 varietals from 50-year-old vines. Comprised of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau, Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Grauburgunder, Fruhroter Veltliner, Neuburger, Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Samling, Roter Veltliner, Grauer Voslauer, Hietl Rote, Weisse Voslauer and Silberweisse, this DRY white wine is the epitome of spice and mineral all in one bottle. Compelling apricot, mandarin, pine needle and, white pepper, chalk and spice traits, there is marvelous depth and viscosity offset in a most refined and complex way by mineral-driven briskness. Serious scents of wet stone, mint and oyster shell start to shine on the second and third sips. Classy, linear, harmonized and very drawn-out this wine can be consumed over the next 5 years with spicy foods, hearty fish dishes, as well as casseroles based around sausage or even a grilled pork chop. Many of you all have recently experienced this Austrian talent’s Gruner Veltliner but this is her specialty and it is a worthy treat for any white wine aficionado.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

From South Africa is a Cabernet Sauvignon that is from the New World but certainly shows its Old World inspirations. Blended from mostly cooler climate Stellenbosch fruit combined with 20% warmer climate Paarl fruit, this wine plays well above its division.

Earth-laden with red and blue fruits, forward mineral/ironstone, graphite and spiced. More and more aromatic as it unfurls in the glass, everything comes together nicely on the silky but structured texture that extends and fans out on the deceptively packed, lingering finish. This is a steal for 18 bucks and perfect for drinking with roast beef, grilled steak or short ribs.

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$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE

A show of hands, how many of you have ever had a wine from Emilia Romagna’s Gutturnio region? Good, that makes most of us!

From just south of Piacenza and almost at the border of Lombardy, this is one of Italy’s most recent DOC upgrades as it was separated from the Colli Piacentini region with tighter regulations. This blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Bonarda makes for the perfect weeknight tipple. Smoky aromas of blue fruits, violet and pepper. Tangy, generous and a real spice box with the Bonarda revealing its exuberance on the finish. A real winner for pulled pork and more. This has been my go-to lasagna wine for the last few vintages.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Not all Burgundy is expensive. Often this region is stereotyped by nothing but Grand Cru. Trophy hunters and label chasers are to blame for much of these misinterpretations, but true Burgundy lovers enjoy wines from all the communes of this prominent Pinot region. Givry in the Cote Chalonnais is one such region where a plethora of a new generation of producers where discoveries of terroir and character are emerging.

No shortage of aromatics, ample Pinot Noir floral and spiced raspberry tones shine through under a layer of discreet red earth, allspice and smoke. Caressing and mouth filling with fine lift, grace and underlying backbone for some longevity. The finish is filled with smoothness, class and no shortage of persistence. Very enjoyable now and given the backbone and quality of the vintage, this wine will develop nicely through 2029.

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Two upper-end Cuvees available from this terrific grower - INQUIRE!

Up until last week I was unfamiliar with this Grower Champagne producer from the village of Cramant. Owning 44 plots within the five Grand Cru villages of Champagne’s Cotes-de-Blancs region, Antoine and Clement Pertois-Lebrun are fifth generation growers and after tasting a number of their bubblies, I highly encourage al Champagne lovers to get in on these wines, especially while they are priced well.

All Chardonnay from Cramant, Oiry, Chouilly and Le Mesnil sur Oger, the vins claires are elevated in both stainless steel and neutral oak barrels before going into bottle then aged at least three years on its yeast. Creamy and lavishly styled, alluring scents of baked apple, brioche, perfumed almonds and lemon blossoms lead into a texture with silky bubbles that convey richness and total Champagne class and finesse. Full of livewire acidity, it is a perfect aperitif and pairs nicely with scallops or sole in sauce

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$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

96 Points – Decanter Magazine… A real standard-bearer for not only Zin, but for American wines in general, Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel since 1966. Typical of this offering, think of Lebron James, who still an NBA bad ass, this complex, powerful, debonair yet sultry wine is always one of the grand wines of the Zinfandel realm!

Roasted coffee, black licorice, briar, snappy mineral and wicked blueberry and rhubarb fruit. The mouth-feel is warm, full-bodied and chock full of smoke tones. Plenty of spine here to carry it even further in the cellar as well. Expands even more on the finish where it reveals old vine Carignan and Petite Sirah notes with white pepper. We can write a novel about this wine, but we will simply state that it is one of the profound young offerings to come from Ridge. For those of you who do not believe that Zin ages, think again, I have had these wines at 30 years old and they are ungodly! Drink through 2040+.