New Italian Arrivals Poured By Pancetta
Today July 28 from 1:30 - 6:30
Drop in today to sample new wines and new vintages as well as to celebrate Bryan’s 19th anniversary at The Cellar Door. Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon will be pouring a lineup of excellent Italian wines that are not only great for summer but will be fetching the year round. Todd will arrive at 3:30 but I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early.

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$14.99 BTL./$89.94 - SIX PACK

There was a time that tasting Pinot Bianco could be a bit like sitting through Godfather 3, you sort of see what they were trying to achieve but you are always left scratching your head as to why they even bothered. I featured the Girlan wines a little over 10 years ago and thought they were lovely, however, for some reason they up and disappeared from the market. Move ahead to VinItaly this past April and Pancetta running across them again. He commenced representing them and brought preview samples back and safe to say that several of us in town were mighty impressed because these wines were no longer merely lovely wines, they have become quite formidable and on the lines of names like Hofstatter and Santa Maddelena.

Pinot Bianco is a lot like Chardonnay in that it is what I refer to as a ‘blank slate’ grape, taking on the tones of where it comes from. In Alto Adige, the vineyards that the grapes come from are high elevation, and the aromas and flavors are very fine and pure. Adding to this, Girlan does very little to tamper with the purity, doing all fermentation and aging in stainless steel tanks. If you ever wanted to know what we are talking about when we say, pure, clean and crisp, then this would be a good example. Attractive aromas of apple, peach, and white flowers along with prominent flinty, stony aspects. Clean and elegant in the mouth, this has subtle richness, with virtually crunchy fruit and a pristine, mouthwatering finish. One can have this wine on its own as an aperitif but it really shines with grilled prawns or fresh crab.

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$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

When I sampled this wine two months ago, my notes quickly deteriorated into unmentionable, deviant thoughts. After proofreading the notebook, I decided that if I wrote them, it would warp all of your fragile little minds! Sauvignon Blanc takes on many forms and flavors and the best from Alto Adige can be utterly compelling.

Girlan’s 2016 Indra Cuvee Sauvignon is a vibrant, naked and devilishly seductive vino Bianco with fleshy flavors of Meyer lemon, melon, creamy pear and substantial minerality. There is no wood utilized so the detailed flavors are that much more underlined. The finish is crisp and cleansing. Not many producers can put forth such an animated, flavorful and complex white wine with considerable length that entrancingly conveys both varietal, site, and maintain a 20-buck price point. Drink now and over the 3-4 years with alder or cedar plank grilled salmon, summer salads with fresh cheeses, and light vegetable-based pastas.

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$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

Here at the Cellar Door we often like to go on a wine safari that takes us deep into the netherworld of just about any given wine-growing nation. Even though the region around Lake Garda is well known, when it comes to wine, this area of Lombardy often goes unnoticed in lieu of some of its more touted neighbors of the Veneto or Franciacorta. Chiaretto is a vibrant pink wine from this area and is one of the three ‘traditional’ rose producing regions. There are several very fine producers but they are all akin to being Honda Accords versus Comincioli’s which is more akin to being a Porsche or Mercedes.

From Lugana and Lake Garda's Riviera del Garda Bresciano region with lust, oops I mean love, comes Comincioli's Chiaretto Rose comprised of Groppello, Barbera, Sangiovese and Marzemino grapes. All at once, this Rose is quenching and mouth filling with ripe strawberry, lime, and watermelon offering ultimate pleasure. Exhilarative and multi-faceted with lingering cherry, strawberry and chamomile tones billowing into the mouth yet maintaining a delicacy and zip straight on to a lingering finish of savory herbs with perfectly ripened fruit that is bone dry. Excellent to have on the porch but even better to have with a plate of cheese and salami, grilled swordfish with a tomato/caper salsa or herb encrusted pork tenderloin.

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Mind-blowing. The most appropriate description to describe the Volpaia wines these days. No matter how good something is, there is always room for improvement and at an already renowned estate like Volpaia, they are always looking for ways and means to make their great wines even greater! Back in 2001, the estate took on a consulting oenologist and the already transcendent Volpaia wines took a leap to being perhaps Radda's most prolific Chianti producer. Maintaining the fragrant, perfumed floral traits that are what Radda in Chianti are all about, this wine has an extra level of intensity but never strays outside its borders to become a caricature of itself. One item of recognition is the fat 92-point review from the ever-conservative scoring Antonio Galloni of Vinous:

‘The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Castello di Volpaia is impeccable in this vintage, with terrific focus to balance the overt fruit of the vintage. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, mint and sweet spices are all woven together in a flashy, mid-weight Riserva that should continue to drink well for at least a handful of years, perhaps beyond. Crushed flowers and a hint of rose petal add the final shades of nuance. – 92 POINTS’. Drink through 2027.

Two Italian Summer Slammers for under 12

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Pack up the VW Mushroom Van, slap on some stinkyass patchouli and do a sun dance around a drum circle because this delicious white wine from Le Marches is downright groovy. Now that it (and the red below) is directly imported, is about 3-4 bucks less!

One of the finest Verdicchio values that we have tasted recently. Crisp, zesty and vividly flavored, this wine can be described as a Maritime Italian Chablis-inspired thing. Teeming aromas of flint, sea breeze, hints of lemon-peel and smoke lead into a tense, bone-dry texture that is well delineated, firm and loaded with character and flavor. Steam some clams or mussels in white wine and go to town. Peace, love and vegetable rights man!

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Lacrima di Morro D'Alba wines are unlike any other red wine that you will taste and despite having Alba in its name, this grape has absolutely nothing to do with Piedmont, Barolo, Barbaresco or Barbera.

Over the top and explosive with rose petal aromatics and a host of fruits, ranging from cherry to cranberry to apricot. Dry, medium bodied, modest in alcohol (13°) and with no shortage of flavor and character. Very juicy with lots of brightness and compliments sausage, carpaccio or chicken in tomatoes.

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$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE

When it comes to Crozes Hermitage, Alain Graillot is the Muhammed Ali of the area. There are other contenders, some very good, but none of their Crozes Hermitage wines are the equal of this champion's.

We love to drink wine, but there is something about putting the glass to your nose and just smelling the beauty of a great wine. Having recently revisited the 2014, I took note immediately that it is even better than expected when it first arrived. Magical perfume notes with prominent woodsmoke, olive, black raspberry, hints of licorice and cherry blossom immediately seduce from the start. In the mouth, it is ethereal, luminous, savory and with ample tight berry succulence but with plenty of depth and poise. Wonderful finesse and ethereal depth and a finish that is illuminating and sneaky-long with the youthful exuberance and structure taking over. Exquisite to drink now but no problem for it to age 10-12 years. Note that in 2014, their grand wine, La Guiraude, was not produced; it is all in this classic cuvee.


This Friday July 28 from 1:30 - 6:30

New Italian Arrivals Poured By Pancetta

Drop in this Friday to sample new wines and new vintages as well as to celebrate Bryan’s 19th anniversary at The Cellar Door. Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon will be pouring a lineup of excellent Italian wines that are not only great for summer but will be fetching the year round. Todd will arrive at 3:30 but I’ll have the wines open at 1:30 for those who wish to come early.


2012 Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva
2016 Cominciole Chiaretto
2016 Girlan Alto Adige Pinot Bianco
2016 Girlan Alto Adige Sauvignon Blanc

BordeauxValue, Library Oregon Riesling, Grand Cru Burgundy & more

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Over the last 18 months, many of you have come to adore the 2012 vintage from this excellent Bordeaux producer who is located in the Fronsac appellation, not far from St-Emilion. We have been keeping a secret from you - the 2014 is even stronger! Having tasted this wine at the Chateau last year there has been no shortage of anticipation and then re-tasting it in Bordeaux this year; we knew that it would imminently arrive and that you will all adore it!

Coffee, plum, violet and prototype Right Bank energy. Bright undertones and forest floor scents come out along with classic mineral. In the mouth it is suave, stylish and ‘tres Bordelais’. Gentle spices, plenty of fruit and earth, lots of movement and expansion on the surprisingly long finish. This really punches above its weight class. Drink over the next 5-6 years.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Last week, one of Oregon’s longtime, under the radar great producers made a visit to the shop. It is always great to see Brian O’Donnell but this time he came bearing info regarding a couple of library releases of his excellent dry Riesling. Claiming he held back much more than he could drink, he decided to let some loose and we are all the better for it. Along with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, Brian has been a keen Riesling master who always makes wines that age impeccably.

2010 is one of our finest vintages and this wine is exceptional. Aromas of pine, oily lemon, blood orange, and a touch of mint. Restrained, very fine and complex, additional notes of ginger and crystalline lemon fruit seduce the palate and follow through to a very ringing finish. Brilliant dimension, this golden-colored dry nectar drinks perfectly and will continue on for many years to come.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Not to be outdone by its younger brother, the 2008 is magnificent as well but is telling a very different, but equally compelling story. It is so cool to be able to get a Riesling that is mature and at optimum complexity and from a damn fine producer, too!

Gorgeous aromatics of mineral, smoke, wet chalkboard and lime blossom. Dry slightly more broadness but still very racy in the mouth with orange, lime and mineral. Finishing long, secondary and with classic old Riesling notes, the sum of it all is that it is scrumptiously delicious. A perfect wine with a wide variety of foods including scallops, pork chops, halibut, or other white fish, although like the 2010, this has fine maturity so avoid the super spicy stuff when pairing with food. Again, while aging nicely it will persevere and develop even further.

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

What an unfortunate set of circumstances with the name, however, this Monsanto is known for non-genetically engineered wines and generally screwing up everything in its wake. You won't find an ear sprouting off the side of the bottle, nor would you ever accuse this benchmark property of producing mass-produced wines that are made from a recipe book!

Aside from a stretch in the late 90s and 2000s where there was a movement towards modernity, since 1961, the wines have been deservedly glorified by so many Tuscan wine lovers. These wines reflect their unique Tuscan terroir along with having strong Sangiovese character as well as beautiful finesse as well. If you were to grab an Italian dictionary, look up Chianti Classico, you probably would see a picture of Monsanto! Full bodied, refined, and teeming with harmonious red berries and appealing mineral notes and underbrush. The finish is super long, tangy and true to its Barberino Val d’Elsa terroir. Very good now, but will age beautifully for 5-8 more years as well.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

A delicious, hearty red blend from South Africa's Stellenbosch, Paarl and Elgin regions that is chock full of flavor and South African individuality. 80% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre, 3% Grenache and 11% Tannat with ample character that upholds the wine's moniker of pepper pot. Violet, plum, smoke, freshly ground white pepper herbs and licorice dominate the nose while in the mouth, full, spicy, smooth-flowing flavors take hold. Very drinkable now and over the next 2-3 years with grilled anything.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Not only one of Beaujolais’s most prolific producers, Domaine Desvignes is one of France’s wine treasures and their Morgon Cru wines are what is so righteous about the good that is currently occurring within Beaujolais. It is the farmers who are exciting and not the negociants like Boy Georges Duboeuf and his banana juice!

Javernieres is a sub cru located on the lower portion of the Py hillside in Morgon. 2013 is a fabulous vintage and this particular offering, is starting to unfold beautifully. Don’t think that it is all fruit, the old vines, soil and general makeup of this wine allows it to age impeccably. When it comes to Morgon and the sheer amounts of iron oxide in the soils of this cuvee, this takes on these aspects but there is almost a streak of Cote-Rotie inspiration in the glass. Monumental aromas that are very French possess pronounced minerality, perfume, olive, smoked meat and raspberry that sing from the glass. Very exquisite, this is virtual Grand cru Beaujolais with generosity and richness all while maintaining its poised and debonair traits. Layered and old-viney, but never becoming thick or over the top, it finishes with lovely pomegranate, graham, serious earthy and energetic stoniness and spiciness on the coating, detailed finish.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

One of the most stunning landscapes in Spain is located in the Galician area of Ribeira Sacra (Sacred Banks). This region dates back to the Romans who excavated the many terraces still present today. The most important grapes are Godello, Albariño and Treixadura for white wines and Mencía, Brancellao and Merenzao for reds. Adega Algueira is a prominent grower, established in this small region for 30 years. Lately many Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain have claimed discovery of these wines and deservedly so, they are smashing.

Paying tribute to the region’s Celtic lineage, the name Brandan comes from the Celtic warlord who originally settled this NW area of Spain. 100% Godello from 30-80 year old vines, this cuvee is a hell of a white wine deal that is a pure palate-pleaser. Lemon, pear, blossom and flinty scents open the show. On the palate, there is crisp electricity, a medium body and a velvety mouthfeel. Lemon and apple flavors together with some background rocky character captivate and luxuriate on the teeming, persistent follow through.

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$59.99 BTL. - LIMITED!

Jean-Marc Millot, who looks a bit like Beaker from the Muppet Show, has small, but very formidable holdings in and around the village of Vosne-Romanée. There are no tractors employed at chez Millot, everything is done by horse and plow in these old vineyards.

Not much of this Vosne Romanee is produced and the vines are quite old. Major triage in the winery has led to a fabulous, overachieving village level wine. Candied ceps, red licorice whip, pomegranate, cedar and alluring red flowers with an underlying serious deep sensuality just waiting to be released. Classic and classy red spice, flowers, with a warm and savory note that sets off the cool red tones beautifully adding an extra level of complexity. This elegant and sexy glass of pinot seriously needs a fine dish and preferably, a little bit of time in the cellar. Drink 2019 - 2027.

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$149.99 BTL. - LIMITED!

The only thing Bryan likes more than trying to run over hipsters is great Grand Cru Burgundy. Alas, these examples in the Cotes-de-Nuit are headed to the stratosphere when it comes to pricing, and while $150 is not cheap, it is a bargain, especially since I was offered another producer’s Echezeaux last week that will sell for $385.

Jean-Marc Millot's 2013 Echezeaux highlights aromas that come at you in waves. Classic exotic spiciness and floral character shine, although its youthful oak components lurk about. More blackberry-compote arrives as it sits in the glass. Powerfully textured with unabashed Grand Cru depth and personality, however, there is pronounced suaveness that is sleeping beneath all of the primary components. The finish is young and as to be expected, slammed tight with big league material all rolled up into a ball just waiting to unwind. This is superb juice and will require a bit of patience. Give this godlike genius Grand Cru until 2022 and drink through 2035+. Serious Grand Vin Indeed!