Spring Break March Madness
Today March 24 from 1:30 - 6:30
It’s the start of Spring Break as well as Day Two for the Sweet 16 of March Madness. What this all means is that we are uncorking some kickass juice for Today’s Friday Sips. School’s out we got Bs and Cs on our wine report card, which are always good marks. Costanti, Burgundy, Cava and whatever else may be uncorked. So if you are in town, stop by to sample wines that we normally don’t uncork for Friday tastings. We will also be showing the NCAA games on the TV for those who have betting or bracket interest.

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2012 Conti Costanti
Rosso di Montalcino
Special - $26.99 btl./$323.88 case

The Costanti family has been part of Montalcino since 1555. Montalcino residents are a tightly knit community, with a strong sense of identity and deep love for their territory. After all, they are producing the purest and most profound expression of Sangiovese in the world. Andrea Costanti is one of the ambassadors of this great Tuscan appellation and after meeting him for the first time ever a few weeks back, I came away even more impressed after finding out that he has always resisted the urge to expand beyond his 5000 cases. The reason being, he has never wanted to have land that isn’t around his winery.

With one taste of Andrea's wine, it is clear that he is rooted in great local traditions yet he is receptive to what is going on in the international wine community. The Costanti vineyards are located in the Matrichese cru, the central area and the heart of Montalcino, a territory that produces wines of the greatest complexity and elegance. The biggest thing he explained about this wine is that 2012 is a 5-star vintage for Montalcino. This awesome Rosso is luscious and ripe with red berry fruit, roasted sage, and 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 to be at the forefront. This is a wine that to be consumed with a fine meal, especially roasted meat dishes, pasta with sage and butter preparations and it would make a mushroom dish sing. This is a Rosso really wanting to be a Brunello and often outdoes many of its more famous Brunello brethren. Drink over the next decade.

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2014 Pillot Beaune Boucherottes
Premier Cru
$39.99 btl./$479.88 case

Through marriage, Laurent Pillot scored red wine vineyards from several grand villages within the Cotes-de-Beaune. Boucherottes is a Premier Cru vineyard in southern portion of the Beaune appellation and a stone’s throw from Pommard. This beautiful parcel planted between 1966 and 1996 presents a terroir that is warm and plush, on a slightly stony, brown limestone soil adjacent to the Pommard 'Boucherottes' Premier Cru. Laurent has a mere 1.13 acres of this Cru and usually about 200 cases are ever produced.

A 100% different profile in comparison to the red Chassagne that we poured last week. Licorice, quite botanical and floral with underlying red and black raspberry. Cinnamon and cocoa arrive. Excellent depth and prominent spice as is usually the case on this wine. Classy on the finish. While there is always excellent aging potential to this Beaune Premier Cru, this wine always provides early enjoyment and can be had with a Sunday roast. Drink through 2026.

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2011 Agusti Torello Mata Cava
Brut Gran Reserva
$23.99 btl./$143.94 - six pack

It has been quite a long time since we have been able to feature the bubbly wines from Agusti Torello Mata. Often times Cava can be stereotyped and referred to as being industrial. While this region South of Barcelona certainly has refinery producers like Frexinet and Segura Viudas, there is a thriving scene of growers producing great sparkling wines that are more than just eye opening. One of the greatest sparkling wine producers outside of France, Augsti Torello is the renowned godfather of the grower Cava producers. What makes it so special? Agustí Torelló makes small quantities of hand crafted sparkling wines based around the areas indigenous varietals of Parellada, Macabeo, and Xarel-lo and this cuvee was disgorged in early January so a good 5+ years on the lees.

Refined aromas of lemon, biscuit, and mineral entice on the nose. Tightly focused and very elegant flavors of hazelnut, lemon, and spice. This has some very serious high-class mousse. No comparisons here to Champagne, as this wine is special in itself. Lovely on its own, it does work very well at the table with shellfish, fish, and poultry. If you love bubbly, do not miss this! We also hate to remind you, but Mother’s Day, Easter and Summer will be here soon enough, and there is an excellent chance that this wine will be gone by the time they roll around, so stock up now!

These 3 selections...and whatever other surprises may be opened. Come on by today, March 24!

One Wine Wednesday from The Cellar Door

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Cyriaque Rozier is a renowned enologist and vineyard manager best known for his work at the acclaimed Languedoc estate, Chateau La Roque. Located in Pic-Saint-Loup, Fontanes is his personal estate and one of the specialties here is this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard that was planted in 1970. Not a simple add-on to a portfolio, Cyriaque takes this varietal and this wine very seriously and since it is not labeled as Pic St-Loup, it continues to provide excellent value.

Year in and year out, this wine behaves way above average in quality and is way below average in price. The 2015 is a head-spinner that would make Linda Blair proud. Chewy, bold and voluptuous with all of the telltale savory blackberry, sage, pepper and lavender notes that are associated with the area along with cassis, mint and earth. In the mouth, it is full, expansive and spicy with plenty of staying power and length. This flavorful Cab is very approachable now, and will work with an array of dishes, especially a properly grilled steak slathered with crushed black peppercorns. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

Cristom Pinot Noir, 93-pt. Malbec, First French Rose, Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc & more

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Zorzal is located at 4500 feet in the sub region of the Uco Valley called Gualtallary just outside of Tupungato. Being at this elevation, Zorzal is the highest winery in all of Mendoza. Aged 12-18 months in 2-3 year old French barrels, this wine never departs from its origins nor is an oak bomb.

‘The 2013 Gran Terroir Malbec is a blend from different vineyards in Gualtallary, the highest part of the department of Tupungato in the Valle de Uco. The grapes fermented in cement vats and matured in used oak barrels for approximately one year. It's very perfumed and spicy, aromatic in a way that makes you go to the glass over and over again. The palate has the 2013 electricity and the Gualtallary chalkiness making for supple, tasty and saline flavors and a very long finish. Simply superb! – 93 POINTS, THE WINE ADVOCATE

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

We have all been craving more than just one day of filtered sunshine here in Oregon and lately I have heard many of you craving Rose. While I am unable to supply the orange orb in the sky, I have heard your shouts and can now offer you the first of our 2016 arrivals of Southern French Rose.

The cool nights of 2016 coupled with the even ripening has allowed for some smashing wines on all levels and we are excited to drink this, even if the sun isn’t out. Jean-Marc Lafage is highly respected for his entire range of Roussillon wines and the newly arrived Miraflors certainly pleases the senses. The usual suspects of Mourvedre, Grenache, etc. make up the blend and provide soulful and confident Mediterranean aromas. Good subtlety and finesse with aromas of strawberry, fennel, rosemary and a prominent "sea-smoke" note. Plenty of flavor, depth and detail all culminating with a lively, very spirited finish. This wine really screams for seafood, especially fish on the grill and dressed with nice olive oil and herbs.

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$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Originally a stone mason by trade, Tommaso Bussola took over the family estate, having learned some about the business from his uncle, Giuseppe, a local grower who still tends to the vineyards. In general, Valpolicella is a region noted for high quality reds that offer a lot of wine for not a lot of money, having said that, not all Valpolicella is created equally. The inquisitive nature of Tommaso Bussola lends to the creation of some the region's most interesting and thoughtfully produced red wines and this one from the Ca del Laito line is steal at just north of 20.

Made utilizing the Ripasso technique, the unique winemaking practice of Valpolicella, which wine made during the recent vintage is placed atop the pressed grape skins and lees in the vats just used for Amarone and allowed to ferment further in contact with those skins, thus acquiring additional body and flavor. This version has it all! Dark, lush, dried strawberry, dark chocolate, ginger, and tobacco combine with a full and pleasing texture that keeps up with hearty dishes. Amarone inspires the complexity of this wine. Unlike Amarone, is one that can be accessed immediately and doesn’t clock you with sheer mass. If you like big Italian red wines then do not miss this one! Drink over the next 3-4 years.

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$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Located at the southern end of Catalonia at just under 1500 feet, the high elevation and prevailing Mediterranean breezes aid in maintaining the freshness and piquancy that is sometimes not associated with this varietal.

Exquisitely floral with undertones of ginger, lemon-lime and anise aromas immediately entice. In the mouth, it bursts and with an abundance of old vines delivers terrific flavor impact without the use of any intrusive oak. Enjoy this delicious number over the next year or so with grilled shrimp, fried (or baked) calamari or hors d'oeuvres.

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$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Darlings, this is Cabernet Franc, but what it really is, is Cabernet Franc with attitude! When poured in the glass, the hue of purple is stunningly gorgeous. Equally gorgeous are the aromas! Scintillating scents of black cherry, ironstone, dark chocolate cocoa powder, but most importantly is its intense presence of sandalwood. Mouthcoating, high-toned, layered and very vinous. This is total food wine and is one that makes Parisians go ape-merde-crazy! Persistent as hell, this is a seriously pleasurable glassful of Cab Franc. Very French in all aspects, enjoy with rillettes, pate, duck breast, roasted chicken or soft-ripened cheeses.

Over the years, we have featured this formidable and influential producer’s red wines from the Loire Valley's Saumur region. Domaine Filliatreau is one of the leaders in producing unoaked versions that reflect origin, varietal and best of all, are the epitome of vin de soif. Drink now, drink often!

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$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Located halfway between Florence and Lucca, this 120 acre estate has been adeptly operated by the Nieri family since 1895 and produces a range of Chianti and other Tuscan wines that are quite impressive. One of three different Chianti wines offered, the Montellori is a great Wednesday/Thursday tipple that is 100% Sangiovese from 30-40 year old vines and aged in stainless steel tank.

Well-balanced, ample, aromatic marionberry, cherry, Tuscan sage, and underlying red earth shine on the nose while in the mouth it is dry and hearty with excellent vibrancy and length. A perfect Italian red to pair with tomato-based dishes, simple pastas or hard cheeses.

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$46.99 BTL./$563.88 CASE

One of the real masterpiece works at Cristom, one of Oregon's most prolific producers, is their Sommers Reserve. Sourced primarily from Cristom's 4 estate vineyards (Jessie, Marjorie, Eileen & Louise) and then augmented with purchased or traded fruit from several other premier sites in the Willamette Valley this wine is treated with the same excellence as the estate's highly south-after single vineyard wines.

2012 is a marvelous vintage for this wine and is a Pinot that seemingly has no hairs out of place. Burgundy-inspired but Oregon through and through this poised Pinot delivers alluring, refined aromas of strawberry, sorrel, smoke, flowers and spices with an underlay of earth and red-hot candy pepper tones. Texturally, the wine is silky and incredibly balanced with beautiful transparency and exquisite finesse along with lacy depth and ultra-fine tannins. All of the spices that are on the nose are present on the drawn-out finish that seems to go on for days. Not inaccessible now but typical of a Cristom wine, this will improve immensely with a few years in the cellar.

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$45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE

After chatting with a friend in the business from France, he stated that a trend in Bordeaux (along with other areas) is to hold back wine and to release wines that are drinking well to restauranteurs as well as those who don’t really have the space nor the means to collect and have patience. This seems to bode well for all of us, especially when a second wine from an outstanding classified Third Growth Margaux producer comes available.

In existence since 1806, this Chateau has had an up and down history but since 1989 and even more so since 2006, this estate has been on a huge upswing. 2009 is a profound Bordeaux vintage and this second wine is meticulously selected and farmed which results in sterling quality. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot & 10% Cabernet Franc and the essence of velvety Margaux. Forward with aromas of cedar, bright cherry, currant and licorice along with secondary notes of cigar box and graphite. On the palate, it is round, plush and with ripe, rich bright red fruits, warm spice notes and earthy undertones. This wine possesses the power, great balance and class that are synonymous with the Margaux region. At age seven, this is becoming very now will drink and develop even more nuance over the next decade.


April 7

The Annual Haut-Rian Dance Party. New releases from Haut-Rian with special guests Michel & Pauline Dietrich.

April 28

Tedeschi Amarone, Valpolicella & more. A real treat with special guest, Tedeschi owner/winemaker Riccardo Tedeschi in the house with his great wines.

* Note: all Friday Sips may change based on late arrivals, distribution snafus or Bryan's ever-changing whims*