THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'PURPLE SKY' HOTSHEET
Montalcino, Under 10 French Wines, Barolo at Bottom, Bubbles, Andrew Will Cab & more
2013 LA PALAZZETTA
ROSSO DI MONTALCINO
$16.99 BTL./$101.94 - SIX PACK
Flavio Fanti's wines from Montalcino are just like the man. They flow with Tuscan blood and heritage. A proud and pinnacle Brunello producer, we have always been impressed with his raging good Brunello wines as well as the Sant’Antimo, however, for the first time, we are offering his off the hook, over-delivering Rosso di Montalcino and is one that if you are a true lover of Tuscany, is one that you should be drinking!
The 2013 Rosso di Montalcino is as required, made from 100% Sangiovese and chock full of violet, red cherry, sage, chicory and dark chocolate aromas which follow over into a texture that is tangy, mouth-coating, nicely structured and packed with wonderful flavors of Italy from the engaging and alluring start all the way to the drawn-out, sumptuous finish. Enjoy this vastly undervalued Tuscan treasure over the next 4-6 years with hearty pastas, roasted pork loin or a fat t-bone steak.
2015 REINE JULIETTE
PICPOUL DE PINET
$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE
Another great white wine value that we have tasted comes from the Languedoc. We are all about breaking from the tried and true and this week we're featuring one of our favorite non-traditional white varietals, Picpoul de Pinet. Picpoul is a yummy, fresh, clean white wine from the south whose name, literally translates to "lip-stinger".
Reine Juliette's version possesses exhilarating floral hints with lemon, lime and mineral. It is truly one of those great wines to keep around the house. At 8.99 per bottle, you can sit it, slurp it, cook with it, and as Bryan likes to joke, shower with it…although you may be fired from your job if you take his advice! While Picpoul may not be a household name, it should be your household wine. Enjoy with hors d’oeuvres, friends or lighter seafood preparations.
2014 EVESHAM WOOD PINOT NOIR
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
We initially offered this Pinot last fall but having recently revisited it seven months on, it is absolutely singing. In existence since the mid-80s, Evesham Wood is synonymous with excellence on all levels and perceptive Pinot Noir lovers have really picked up on this. On all levels, these wines provide excellent quality/price rapport.
2014 provided warm, dry conditions and the result at Evesham is a wine of distinct and generous fruit yet typical of what has always been done here, one that maintains balance and never becomes a caricature of itself. A plush pinot that has textural depth, ripe pure berry notes and fine balance. This wine will take you from salmon to lamb to roasted chicken and mushroom risotto. Drink over the next 3-5 years.
CREMANT DE BOUROGOGNE BRUT
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE
Cremant de Bourgogne this good doesn't come around too often. Mostly they are made in factories situated by the autoroute south of Beaune but Chabis-based Romain Collet not only makes formidable white wines but he takes his bubbly very, very seriously.
Made with 100% Chardonnay, young vineyards in Chablis’s Premiers Crus and marries up with those in Les Pargues, this fizz spends 15 months on its lees giving it much more complexity than virtually any Crémant de Bourgogne that we have tasted over our many years drinking and selling wine. Gushing, vibrant and loaded with delicate red berry fruits, a touch of herbs and mineral and absolutely alluring. In the mouth, this wine has teeth due to its low dosage. Mouth-filling bubbles provide a vivid, elevated and electric texture that coats and refreshes all of your taste senses. Simply slurpable, and excellent for drinking by itself, with hors d’oeuvres, or light seafood dishes.
2013 LES PERLES SYRAH
$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE
There is always something good happening in the South of France when it comes to delicious wine values. Les Perles is a series of varietally labeled wines made by the Minervois region’s Jerome Calmes that absolutely offers up amazing quality for 10 bucks!
This delectable, 100% Syrah is teeming with smoke, pepper, violet and plum. Quite vinous and almost too serious for its price point, smoked chocolate tones come from the glass adding to a texture that is silky with very good density. Lavender and thyme ride shotgun with classic cracked pepper on the expansive finish…This is VERY good juice.
2014 ANDREW WILL CABERNET SAUVIGNON
$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE
Andrew Will's Chris Camarda is a Washington legend who makes extremely age-worthy wines. A few years back, Chris created the "black label" wines that give a superb experience of what this cat has to offer for a fine price. No, they won't live as long as the single vineyard blends but they are perfect 8-10 year wines to drink while you wait for the big wines.
Made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon entirely from the fabulous Champoux Vineyard, this forward, lacy-smooth Cab unleashes scrumptious notes of blackberry, cassis, graphite, underlying dusty cocoa and earth along with just a kiss of smoked nutmeg as it rolls into the glass. Flavorful, driving, very persistent juice that pound for pound and dollar for dollar, is one of the best Washington Cabernet values out there. Lingering and sculpted, this is serious stuff that many other producers would get $50 for!! Drink this knockout through 2024.
2003 LOPEZ DE HEREDIA RIOJA RESERVA
$39.99 BTL./$479.88 CASE
Bodega Lopez de Heredia is one of the grand old estates in Spain and truly one of the most special producers in the world. Located in the heart of Rioja, Haro, this large estate is the owner of the great vineyard site, Vina Tondonia. What makes Lopez de Heredia so unique and special is just how many wonderful wines they produce. It is probably because they make wine for themselves and never stray from their passion for the great tradition of Rioja, especially their philosophy of extended aging in barrel and bottle.
The 2003 (yes, 2003!) Vina Tondonia Reserva was released last year. This wine spent six years in oak, followed by the rest of the time in bottle. 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, and the rest Mazuelo and Graciano, for a torrid vintage, this wine possesses mellow, harmonious scents of mineral, aromatic spice, lead pencil and game adding to the savory roasted strawberry, cherry and earth on the nose. This truly fine and seamless, old-school Rioja is finesseful with a rich and serious core of lovely ripe but dry red fruit flavors, the finish is long with soft tannins adding backbone and structure. This lovely Rioja is fully open for business; however, it will continue to drink exquisitely for at least another decade. Enjoy it with a rack of lamb, roasted game or aged cheeses.
2010 BREZZA BAROLO 'CANNUBI'
$54.99 BTL./$659.88 CASE
Sometimes with stardom comes arrogance and pretense. With so much recent worldwide demand for Brezza’s impeccable Italian masterpieces, one could expect this Barolo maestro to be a total jagoff. This is absolutely not the case, and while we always love selling great wine, it is an even greater pleasure to sell great wines from a genius and artist who is gentlemanly, extremely friendly and nice like Enzo Brezza!
An ultra-traditional producer based in the village of Barolo all of the grapes for this wine come from the hallowed slopes of the Cannubi vineyard. Since the mid-90s, Enzo Brezza has been on fire and right now, even today, they are much undervalued given their impeccable quality. 2010 is a special vintage and is aging very slowly, but not to worry, the magic will soon be arriving. Currently, the 2010 Brezza Cannubi possesses profound, perfumed aromatic qualities of rose and red licorice. Youthful and even after 5 years, primary scents still rule the day. Rose and strawberry licorice play off mushroom, tar and balsam. One can almost just smell this all day long! On the palate it is still tight as a tick, but with superb ripeness and stellar potential. Very wiry and Burgundian-influenced, especially on the youthful finish, which is stacked and packed with grand cru depth and length! Firm, penetrating and destined for greatness! Hold on to this until 2022 and it will undoubtedly live and develop even further for another two decades after that. A perfect choice for anyone who wants to celebrate an occasion from 2010 at some point in the future.