Walla Walla Syrah
SuperTuscan from Montalcino
Cotes-du-Rhone, Cru Beaujolais, Cool Chardonnay

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$26.99 BTL./$161.94 - SIX PACK

The proprietress of a superb Brunello di Montalcino estate, Patrizia Cencioni does not spend her time behind a desk. Starting in 1989 at age nineteen, this relatively unknown producer walked away with a Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso for her 1997 Brunello and never looked back. These days this female owned and operated (Patrizia is now joined by her two daughters Arianna and Annalisa) estate is one of the superb gems of the region. Until recently and before a larger winery got involved with the name, the estate, and wine was simply called Solaria. That all had to change and it is now known as Patrizia Cencioni but she keeps the name Solaria around just to give the corporate assclowns at Antinori the middle finger. Gotta love the Italians!

Todd ‘Pancetta’ Bacon resurrected a direct import relationship with Patrizia and we are able to offer her wines at killer prices. Solarienne is Cencioni’s Super Tuscan offering that is a blend of 50% each Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grown entirely within the confines of Montalcino. Very snazzy as always with this wine, endless rivers of luscious blackberry and blueberry fruit combine with Tuscan herbs, strawberry licorice, underlying cocoa and allspice tones that gleam from the glass and follow into an irresistible texture that is palate-filling all while submerging the tannins. Drawn out, nicely formed and very drinkable over the next 10-12 years.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Another shipment of this delicious Cotes-du-Rhone from a Gigondas specialist has arrived into Portland and after uncorking a bottle this past weekend, I can tell you that it is drinking very well indeed!

From fruit solely from the village of Sablet, all the edginess when it first landed has now all smoothed themselves out. Wild spice and minerality up front, however there is plenty of smoked plum, cracked pepper, and pronounced rosemary and lavender. Chewy, substantial and affable. Very exciting suave flavors move from exotic spice to peppery tones. Expansion and depth are present, along with a finish that has classic Rhone succulence and white pepper notes. A real steal of a Cotes-du-Rhone that will please over the next 2-3 years with grilled fare as well as braised fare.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

The wine Bisci built its reputation on, Matelica’s sheer hard limestone is unique to the area and what differentiates its Verdicchio from the neighbor Castelli dei Jesi versions.

Resounding aromas of mineral, crustaceans, lemongrass, underlying yellow flowers, anise and limestone. In the mouth it presents laser-beam focus, terroir-specific, energetic and revealing depth and character all in a precise package. The finish is superb and once again, that word mineral enters the conversation. Perfect for shellfish, particularly crab; it also has the intensity to stand up to halibut or sole in a cream sauce.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

One of two Cru wines made from Moulin-A-Vent chez Terriere, Le Moulin is a prestigious single climat located just below the famed windmill of which this famed Cru takes its name. Old vines grown in pink granite soil just below sand, this is often one of the most Burgundian of all Beaujolais wines and has major capability to age very well.

From the great 2020 vintage, this broad-shouldered offering is chock full of coffee, peat, tightly packed raspberry, graham-spice. Creamy and with layers of distinction, but around the edges there is plenty of grip. The top quality fruit leads to loads of deep vinous qualities without being heavy or overripe. All in the back of the mouth today, we recommend sitting on this one for a year or two before drinking it over the next 10-12. If you must drink one, do decant and have it with a steak jacked with morels in sauce.

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$23.99 BTL./$143.94 - SIX PACK

Southeastern Sicilian wines, particularly those of the Cerasuolo di Vittoria region, are the trendiest thing to come from Italy these days. Planeta is one of the island’s most influential producers and without a doubt, was one of my top visits on my most recent trip to Italy and Sicily.

The 2020 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Rosso is a delicious 60% Nero D'Avola, 40% Frappatto blend that exudes the essence of both of these native varietals. Flamboyant in color and aromatics with lots of blackberry, plum and sanguine aromas, but also exuding its sensuous, smooth side from the distinctive red soils of the region. Well-rounded and very flavorful this is a wonderful selection to pair with just about anything done with tomatoes, eggplant or Spaghetti alla Nerano.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

A tasty Chardonnay that will appease both the buttery/oaky palate as well as one who prefers a more Burgundian effort, this deserves your attention at the twenty-dollar price.

From three South African regions and aged in 15% new oak, this fleet-footed darling shows a solid nose of tropical fruit, spice and yes, buttery charm without the grease. Instead, think of pure creamy length and palate-coating mouth-feel. The palate is refined with ripe, tropical notes and light custardy spice. There is plenty of brightness to balance the whole package. Overall, this wine of equilibrium pairs well with fettuccini Alfredo, prosciutto, and shrimp ceviche.

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

With so many great values, we just love the wines of Southwest France around here. Unfortunately, there are more than enough bad wines produced to make one have to choose carefully. Humble Madeiran is an area that we have written about in the past and here the Tanat grape takes center stage, and let us tell you, it is one tricky grape because it is like an unruly animal that needs to be tamed, so that it can be shown off. Few manage to be able to do it, but when they do, it is something that is real taste of "le vrai France".

Alain Brumont with both his Chateau Montus and this one, Chateau Bouscasse is widely acknowledged at the papa of modern Madiran. Recently we tried this excellent offering and it is a smashing, underpriced red that is a bunch of French punch. Inky, dark and potent with blackberry, licorice, cooking herbs, and undertones of smoke dominate the nose. Chewy flavors abound in the mouth, with unbridled energy, earth tones, and a tangy, drawn-out finish. A lot of wine for not a lot of money and perfect for drinking with duck, barbecued ribs or a gnarly blue cheese over the next 4-6 years.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

After now working with Doug Frost and company’s Echolands wines for about a year now, it is no surprise that they make stunning Syrah wines. From the heralded Les Collines Vineyard along with additions from The Rocks District, this 12.8% alcohol version is aged in 500-liter barrels and very little new. This allows for the purity and depth of Syrah not to be overwhelmed by a bunch of oak furniture.

Smoky, peppery and chock full of cassis, currants and subtle cinnamon/white pepper. Lavishly flavored with resounding burst, this is showing beautifully and complete along with outstanding persistence and savory brightness on the finish. Brilliantly focused and ageworthy Walla Walla Syrah. Hold until end of 2024 and drink through 2031+.

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$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

The 2021s from Byron Dooley’s Seven of Hearts label and Luminous Hills Vineyard are going to become collector’s items. Byron and his wife have now taken retirement and 2021 is their last vintage where wine is made. They still own the luminous Hills site but are now are only selling the fruit. Luminous Hills is Byron's estate vineyard and after walking through this vineyard, one sees why Byron planted here and the sheer diversity of the terroir of his site. Ranging from 600 feet in elevation up to 800, 2 different soil types are present along with both Pommard and Dijon clones. With its rocky underbelly and high elevation, this estate vineyard is all about bringing forth essence of elegance.

The 2021 Astra is uber fine! Captivating perfume builds from the glass as it sits, leading to lavender, violet, underlying strawberry licorice and pekoe/cinnamon notes. Crunchy dark tones combine nicely with virtual Burgundian sensibilities of smoky, floral aspects, turned earth and strawberry. Graceful, layered and sensuous in the mouth with engaging exotic spices - this penetrates deeply, but is true to its Pinot Noir roots. Lots of lift and suppleness arrive on the finish that provides fantastic balance and pleasantly hanging around for quite a while on the long finish. Drink this beauty over the next 15+ years.

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$10.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

The Carmenere grape was originally planted in the Medoc in Bordeaux and is part of the Cabernet family. While virtually extinct there due to it being difficult to ripen in Bordeaux's conditions, it is alive and thriving in Chile.

Los Morros's version is an assertive charmer. Leather, spice, tealeaf, black licorice and black plum shine on the nose and follow through to a texture that is broad, polished and persistent; it is a yummy, full-flavored wine that is perfect for every-evening consumption.

THE CELLAR DOOR'S Corbieres & BurgundySpecial WINE

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

When it comes to Languedoc’s Corbieres region, Domaine Fontsainte is definitely on the Mt. Rushmore of producers. For almost forty years, this leader has consistently released detailed wines that reflect the varietals and terroirs of this area and best of all they remain terrific values.

The black label classic version is 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah from clay-limestone soil with plenty of gravel and large stones. The Carignan is made by the classic carbonic maceration method, which allows for forward, room-filling aromas of ripe strawberry, anisette, garrigue and cocoa tones to twirl from the glass. This wine is round, vivacious and luscious in the mouth with tannins that are ripe and integrated. Everything shows off the fruit, which moves right into the lengthy expressive finish with pepper, earth and complexity. Ideal with bratwurst, burgers, pizza, grilled fish or roasted chicken with herbes de provence.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

La Demoiselle is the killer, Reserve wine from this estate and the 2020 is so delicious that I need to find a damn megaphone to shout it out even louder! Made with 60% Carignan from 100+ year old vines along with 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre, the wine completely overachieves for its price point. I love to uncork bottles of this delicious red with really thick, grilled Carlton Pork Chops slathered in olive oil, garlic and fennel in the warmer months - the combination is nothing short of a miraculous nuclear explosion!

Instantly after pouring into the glass, Mediterranean aromas of crushed red raspberry, wind-swept herbs, lavender and pepper along with gentle cocoa notes filled the air. A soulful wine indeed, a truly harmonious ensemble of savory richness and poise that all follows through to the ample dry and vibrant finish. A Corbieres of impeccable quality, this can age nicely for 10-12 years from vintage date. Enjoy it with sausage and bean casserole, grilled steak and of course, pork chops!

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SPECIAL - $39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE

A classic WTF moment is when we are able to sell wine from a top-notch producer such as Claude Marechal at such great price. Let’s face it, Pinot Noir from just about anywhere is expensive but this Burgundy from an appellation just north of Beaune comes from vines planted in 1955 and at age six is starting to drink well and will continue to rock for several more years to come. The distributor is a bit long on this wine, thus a very special price!

Marechal hit the ball clear out of the park, on to the adjacent street and broke a Peugeot car window with the quality of his 2017. Accentuated scents of red flowers, blackcurrants, freshly turned earth, kisses of licorce and hints of wild, animalistic spiciness flow brilliantly. Old vine depth of flavor combines with a vinous texture, deceptive structure, and tremendously long finish, it is a wine of startling intrigue and dimension that is starting to smooth out, gain secondary aspects yet still promises a long future of elegant enjoyment and development. Drink this apex French Pinot value through 2033.

95-point Brunello & New Haut-Rian
Southern French Rose Value
Cool White Wines, Rioja, Red Burgundy

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

A remarkable value from Languedoc, this 100% Carignan rose comes is a neighbor of Pinet, which is famed for Picpoul. Following the mantra of don’t think, just drink, this magnetizing rose wine both lights up and pleases the senses.

Melon, lime, thyme surround bursting strawberry and cranberry notes all carrying to a pulsating, nimble texture that extends nicely and is one that we have taken to calling ‘adult pink lemonade’. At this price, drink lots and then lots more…at least until it sells out.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

93 Points – The Wine Advocate…The Crianza classification is often the one most wine drinkers associate with Rioja. Often these wines are accessible and offer stellar value for under $20. The regulations for Crianza state that the wine must be aged 12 months in barrel followed by 12 more months in bottle before release. 95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano, 2% Garnacha, Hermanos Pecina takes the aging of the wines a bit further, aging it 24 months in used oak barrels and holding it 18 more months in bottle before release. They could ACTUALLY call this wine Reserva!

2016 is current and brings back memories to those who loved Rioja wines from Pedro Pecina's past (he worked at La Rioja Alta for 20 years). Blackberry, cherry pit and black raspberry fruit on the nose while vanilla and spice tones fold into the fine core of fruit. An ultra-smooth finish keeps you coming back for another glass. This will pair nicely with all types of red meat and game. If you like good Rioja at a good price, grab yours now and enjoy it over the next decade.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

The Haut-Rian onslaught begins! Culminating in an afternoon with Pauline Dietrich on June 16th, we will be offering new releases of Chateau Haut-Rian up until that time. White, Rose, Cremant bubbly and this red Bordeaux are all ready to roll.

The single parcel wine ‘Saint-Seurin’ is Haut-Rian’s wondrous luxury wine. From the estate’s oldest vines, the presence of 20-30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12 months aging in oak brings about a fine presence of depth, finesse and extensive potential. Cassis, Italian plum and vanilla along with undertones of sage, North African spice and anise. Layered and with good impact and depth in the mouth, but plenty of spine and firm Cabernet character. Broad-scaled yet very smooth finish that spreads out very nicely. Displaying ample character, complexity and aging potential, this is irresistible now and can develop through 2029. Enjoy it with a grilled ribeye steak with slow-sweated shallots in butter placed on top.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

The grape that is the spiritual soul in Liguria is Vermentino. Terenzuola is one of this microscopic region’s most prolific producers.

Pour some of this shimmering white into a glass and it immediately screams Italian Riviera. Vibrant seashell, mandarin, lime and an underlying salted peach scent come together nicely and lure you in. The fine fruit tones are enhanced by energetic and lemony briskness, which is very apparent on the mouth-watering, palate-cleansing, thrusting finish. The biggest problem with this white is that it goes down excessively easily. This can be accessed alone, before dinner with friends yet it will nicely stand up to cod, salmon, shrimp, green veggies or something drowned in a romesco sauce.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Over the last several years, Michael Malat’s wines are what I reach for when I want something diverse and flavorful that I can drink on a weeknight or to share with wine geek friends. Since taking over for his emblematic papa who was one who helped the Kremstal region gain appellation status, Michael has continued and even surpassed him and makes wines all levels that deliver well beyond their price levels.

Multi-faceted as soon as it hits the glass, orange peel, yellow apple, herbs and wet stone ride out front and open into even further aromatics as it airs. Crisp, almost weightless, fanning out on the palate with an abundance of range and terroir all holding well within its 12% alcohol profile. I had this with onion rings over the weekend but it will also pair well with pad Thai, white sausages, or ling cod, breaded with lemon or with a fruit/spice side.

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$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

Chassagne-Montrachet maestro Laurent Pillot’s Volnay may well be the most prolific value in his lineup of all his 2019 and 2020 offerings. Two of the five sites are Premier Cru vineyards (Ronceret and Brouillards) and it is not a quality issue. Laurent does not bottle these separately since there is not enough to make for full cuvees so all the vineyard sites are blended to make quite an attractive French Pinot Noir.

Pole vaulting perfume and very exciting from the get-go. Touches of oak up front with cinnamon and clove spiciness. Peppercorn and lacy strawberry fruit abound. Youthful as to be expected. Layered and stacked with Premier Cru depth. Lovely persistence and spreads out impeccably. Here is where the curse words in my notebook of excitement commenced, use your imagination. As tempting as this wine is to enjoy now, I would opt to hold this one for another year or two and it will develop exquisitely through 2034+.

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$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

Bedrock Wine Company is from Morgan Twain-Peterson, son of legendary Zinfandel producer Joel Peterson. Since 2007, this Sonoma producer is killing it with Zins, Syrah, and blends from heritage varietals planted by immigrants who came to California at various times. After visiting Bedrock in Sonoma a few weeks ago and walking through the Bedrock vineyard, one must marvel at these ancient vines with the oldest going back to 1888 (yes, 1888 and not 1988!) being blended into this special wine. The essence of a field blend, this wine’s name of ‘Heritage Red’ is appropriate, resulting in one of California’s finest…and yet maintains poise, personality, verticality and above all, is not uber expensive.

Led by Zinfandel, there are twenty different varietals in this red that has fabulous potential. Lots of briar, blackberry, sandalwood, black and pink peppercorn, perfumed roses, African spices and on and on, this wine comes at you in waves. Full-bodied, plenty of girth but also generous acidity and vibrancy hold everything together. The finish and attack all merge and linger, especially revealing what is seemingly a spice box of flavors. The winery opened a 2016 of this and it had qualities of a top notch Chateauneuf combined with Bandol and Brunello so I would recommend holding until 2026 and drinking through 2040.

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Located on the cusp of Provence and Languedoc, this GSM blend shows dark and aromatic scents of lavender-dust and thyme along with black pepper and black cherry. Ripe, supple and smooth from front to back and then finishes with classic spiciness and broadness.

This is the perfect party or outdoor barbecue red wine, so what are you waiting for? Order a case, fire up the grill and invite some friends over!

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$46.99 BTL./$281.94 - SIX PACK

95 Points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine…Caprili’s Brunello di Montalcino over-delivers in the 2017 vintage and breaks many stereotypes. Very extroverted, flirtatious bombshell aromas of flamboyant Italian plum, licorice, amare and vivacious Tuscan herbs, this statuesque Brunello is broad, yet very pure and not succumbing to the temptations of small French barrique.

From start to finish, there is brilliant complexity to this wine due to the Bartolommei family’s decision to not produce Riserva and utilizing those grapes for this wine. Exuberant, yet posh on the palate with a rich core of fruit that balances the fine-grained tannins beautifully. A true to form wine closing with flavors that keep going and seemingly snap back with a second finish, all of which is a statement to the great success that Caprili put forth in 2017. Surprisingly approachable now with a hearty meal but will continue to gain in complexity over the next 10-12 years. Perfect while you wait for the 2016s to come to fruition.