11/20/23 The Cellar Door's 'HEAT SEEKING' HotSheet

Cameron Chardonnay
NW Pinot & Cab Franc
Sancerre & BaroloValues

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[reg. $28.99]
SPECIAL - $17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

91 Points – Vinous…One of the epic producers in Montalcino not only scores a touchdown, it spikes the ball and does a dance with its quality. I can just see the Count Cinzano, owner of Col D’Orcia doing this after he tasted this wine for the first time!

The 2019 Rosso is scrumptious with red berry fruit, roasted sage, violet and rich earth notes. There is a beautiful note of purity once this wine hits the mouth, with a core of ripe cherry, Tuscan roasted herbs and fine tannins that are both ripe and yet add a beautiful frame for the rich and decadent fruit which sits above all else. This Rosso has Brunello sass and moxie and is even better with food, particularly slow-roasted meat dishes, pasta with sage and butter preparations and it will make a meatball/tomato dish sing.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Forager is from the Scenic Root Winegrowers who produce wine in Beaujolais, Sonoma, and for about a decade, here in Oregon. Everyone wants to find that delicious Pinot for twenty but lately that is more akin to seeing or hearing a new D'Angelo album. Forager is quite an exception.

From a blend of Yamhill-Carlton and Tualatin Hills fruit and aged 30% in new French barrels, this forward pinot noir has racy acidity and a nice core of fruit to back it up. Vivid, luminous texture with a finish, which has more extension than the nose or frontal attack, lets on. Quite lovely and easy to like. Very true to the varietal and not for those who like Pinot to taste like alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon. An easy-drink Pinot to be enjoyed over the next 3-4 years.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

After highlighting Oregon, it is time to take you on a very different Pinot Noir excursion. Mais oui Jean Pierre et Marie-Claire, they do make RED Sancerre and it is 100% Pinot Noir. A Cellar Door favorite Sancerre, JM Reverdy makes terrific wine across the board and delivers quite a sneaky, yet very different type of red.

One thing this wine does not need is some PR idiot promoting some conjured up, embellished romantic "story" about the new age of Sancerre Rouge. If you want to be seduced by top-notch terroir and winemaking craft, just open a bottle and the aromas and flavors will do all the talking for you. Luminous and aromatic, this cool climate red hijacks all of the senses needed to appreciate and love this wine that comes from varying soils of silex, clay, limestone, gravel and flint. Kisses of herbs and spices, scintillating cranberry/cherry pit, violet, anise and emerging dark berries play off stellar smoke, herbs and cinnamon aspects. Somewhat of a ballerina in drag, cool red flavors are enhanced by sculpted mineral acidity. Certainly not an oak bomb, this can age...but given its open knit quality, why not grab some and enjoy it with the holiday turkey.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Winning the prize for this week's most esoteric selection on the sheet is this red from Valencia. The grape of choice here is Garnacha Tintorera, a nineteenth century French crossing of Grenache and Aramon Noir that made its way south into Spain and Portugal. The other 30% is from Mando, which brings about brightness and succulence offsetting the darkness of the Tintorera.

Wonderfully put together aromas of blackcurrant, strawberry, laurel and licorice shine on the nose and lead into a texture that is both handsome and tenacious all at once. Transparent, vibrant and complex with a finish that has superb snap-back and length. Have with anything ranging from paella to pork chops.

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$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

A Yakima Valley Cabernet Franc from Robin Pollard’s own vineyard and made by her partner, Andrew Will founder and legend Chris Camarda, this wine soars with purity and class.

An ambrosial expression of the varietal, it coats the palate with velvety dark plum, raspberry, Italian herbs and spices and chocolate covered raspberry. What is most notable is that while this is quite a decadent wine, it shows great balance and restraint with polished tannins and brightness that holds your full attention. Beautiful to drink now and through 2031. Try it with braised short ribs with a tangy sauce.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

The obscure region of Graves de Vayres has nothing to do with the more famous Graves region that is home to Haut Brion. This small area sits across from Fronsac and Pomerol with gravel soils that differentiate it from the surrounding Entre-Deux-Mers wines. We highlighted this Chateau's white a few weeks back and this week we are featuring their tasty red wine.

Merlot and Cabernet lead but with a noticeable presence of Petit Verdot and Malbec, this poised and personable Bordeaux has a telltale right bank Bordeaux nose of ironstone, raspberry, espresso and sandalwood. Elegant, sophisticated beyond its price tag and chock full of grace, terroir and a dry, austere, spiced-earth finish. A wonderful match with duck breast or a lamb chops.

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$74.99 BTL./$449.94 - SIX PACK

When it comes to Oregon Chardonnay, John Paul is on the Rushmore of great and influential producers. Clos Electrique Blanc is made from rare clones planted in the early eighties.

Aged two years in barrel (none new) 2021 is like taking a stroll through Chassagne-Montrachet, particularly a site like Maltroie. Honey, lemon brioche, blood orange and so much more shimmers from the glass. Expansive, broad but almost taking its cue from the name of the site, electric acidity. Lots of zing and power but as always ample balance and superb persistence. One of the finest ever produced. Will drink and age easily through 2034.

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$39.99 BTL./$239.94 - SIX PACK

In existence since 1974, Dosio has always been a fine producer but a rebirth in 2010 with new owners has taken this excellent La Morra estate to another level. Best of all, the prices are absurdly excellent, mostly given to direct relationship without any middle tier national importer.

The La Morra cuvee is essence of this particular village that is home to the likes of Ratti, Voerzio and Marcarini. La Morra is about beautiful Barolo and this particular offering comes from the more clay rich soils that Dosio owns in the Serradenari Cru. There is a superb voluptuousness and early expressive aspect to this wine but it will also age nicely. Intensely aromatic, this Barolo is telltale of its place with perfumed rose petal and red licorice tones. A sultry beast and lurking beneath are aspects of dense clay, asphalt, chocolate licorice and a deep core of red fruit. Wonderfully intense in the mouth with fine structure, this classy Barolo is marked by gorgeous mouthfilling flavors that carry over seamlessly from the nose. Hold for another year then drink through 2033+.

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$59.99 BTL./$359.94 - SIX PACK

When I visited Dosio in April, I flipped over the quality and accessibility of this wine. When I was told that it was on its way to Portland, I damn near did a cartwheel! Fossati is a classy Cru vineyard located in Barolo village right at the border of La Morra. Dosio’s version comes from vines in blue/gray marl soil and grown at 330-380 meters.

It is difficult to believe that this much Barolo can be had for such a great price! Textbook mineral, floral, perfume, berry and a hint of coriander and tar come out of this youthful, but substantially complex nose. Very red and refined with great Fossati and Barolo breed in the mouth. Lovely density and flavor here, but plenty of backbone and grip which will need some time to resolve and become exquisite. Wiry red currant dominated at the end. At age 8, this is starting to really be open for business, enjoy it through 2030+. This, along with the previous wine are two of the great Barolo wines for the money. Get in on these because they are quite undiscovered and prices will escalate in the coming years.

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$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

A LAST MINUTE TURKEY WINE!! With its almost quartz-like aromas, this wine keeps inviting you back for more.

Transparent, mineral-driven aromas unfurl and mandarin, grapefruit and gentle nectarine aromas carry over into a texture that starts round then turns on the jets with briskness, luminosity and a cool, oceanic, saline/mineral finish. Great with turkey but also for any feast of the Seven Fishes or crab feed, especially at 12.71% alcohol.