THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'ALL OUT BLITZ' HOTSHEET
93 point Barbera for 20, Woodward Canyon Cab, Tuscan Syrah & more
2012 BORGO SYRAH
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
Situated east of Montepulciano in Tuscany is Tenimenti d’Alessandro, an estate specializing in Rhone varietals since the late 80s. With 80 acres under vine and with famed Barolo producer Luca Currado consulting and working alongside winemaker Filippo Calabresi, these wines have seriously taken off in the last few years.
Borgo is Alessadro’s entry Syrah and it is lip smacking delicious. Having note that one might find in the Northern Rhone, the Tuscan terroir is never sacrificed. The elevage here is done without the use of new barrels and the wine displays aromatic creamed plum with complex scents of woodsmoke, sage, white pepper, graham, cinnamon and sneaky strawberry. Texturally it is generous and giving with direct fruit and instant likability. The vivid and gliding finish closes with lively fruit tones but also typical smoke and earth notes. Enjoy over the next few years with smoked meats or mushroom-based dishes.
2013 DURBAN MUSCAT BEAUMES-DE-VENISE
$13.99 - HALF BOTTLE
$335.74 - CASE OF 24 SPLITS
Domaine Durban produces an entire wine but it is this sweet dessert wine that made them famous.
Exuberant, generous, and pure sinful pleasure Durban’s Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise offers enticing rose-petal, satsuma, spice and rosemary oil scents while white anise scents bark out from a distance. Wickedly rich, sweet and full with inviting citrusy tones that come from the elevation from the vineyard sites in the Dentelles de Montmirail and aid in maintaining freshness. Super-viscous finish with plenty of brightness make this wine perfect to pair with creme brulee, fresh berry tarts or even white chocolate.
2014 J-M RAFFAULT CHINON ROUGE
$12.99 BTL./$155.88 CASE
Made from 100% Cabernet Franc, Chinon wines are a distinct taste of France and replicating these wines in the New World is quite a challenge. The current winemaker at Domaine J-M Raffault is Rodolphe Raffault who is the 14th generation.
Raffault’s classic Chinon is all about pleasure and even though it is made with Cabernet Franc, serve it in a Burgundy glass as it has more in common with wines like Burgundy that are all about aromatics. Stylish, elegant and very food-friendly. Laced with scents of currant, mushroom, cinnamon, sandalwood and pepper. Refined and compelling with an elegant, seductive texture. Finishes dry and lively which makes it the perfect picnic wine with charcuterie and cheese.
2012 J-M RAFFAULT CHINON ROUGE
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE
The village of Chinon is known for its castle and its most famous resident, 15th century writer and clergyman, Francois Rabelais. One such philosophy that we live by around here is one that Rabelais once wrote, "When I drink, I think; and when I think, I drink". This pretty much sums up the attitude of Chinon's 9000 or so citizens, one visit there and you will see, it is food and wine hedonism at its finest.
Clos D'Isore is an enclosed vineyard that dates back to the 17th century. The current 6+ acres were planted in 1938 and are steeply situated in clay/limestone soil that sits atop a white chalk subsoil. The 2012 is a well-structured wine with generous raspberry fruits, Asian spices, pronounced flint, sanguine and pekoe, all snugly fit into one impressive gift from the old vines and earth. Old-vine depth backbone and persistence abound, this wine is an under 20 buck offering that will drink and develop nicely through its 10th birthday.
2012 OLIM BAUDA BARBERA D'ASTI
SUPERIORE 'LE ROCHETTE'
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
The Bertollini family at Olim Bauda have become serious practitioners of Barbera wines and it is quite a thrill to see these nice folks receive heaps of praise for their wines from top to bottom. Le Rocchette is from the eponymous-named vineyard in Isole d'Asti whose vines were planted in 1950 and instantaneously one can discover that this wine steps it up a level or six from most 20 buck Barbera D'Asti wines.
‘Olim Bauda's 2012 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Le Rocchette is gorgeous. Beams of underlying acidity and minerality support the expressive fruit and give the wine its sense of drive. The Rocchette will drink nicely for at least another handful of years. This is a joyous, utterly irresistible wine from Olim Bauda. – 93 POINTS, VINOUS’
2014 PAZO DE SENORANS ALBARINO
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
We featured this a few months back but a recent re-order with a stronger dollar has brought the price to 20 bucks. Located in the Northwest corner of Spain is the Galician region of Rias-Baixas. Until 25 or so years ago, there was no D.O. for this area. Today, only 100% Albarino from this region may be labeled with the Rais-Baixas D.O. Because of the close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, this region's climate is quite different than in other parts of Spain and is Spain’s only region where Albariño can flourish naturally.
Meticulous farming and hand harvesting characterize Pazo de Senorans Albarino. The wine is also aged on its lees and stored in stainless steel tanks that make for a very clean and dry wine with great minerality and intensity. Gorgeous scents of peach and white flowers swirl around the nose while crisp dry fruit plays on the tongue and saturates the entire palate. We absolutely love this wine! Albarino is the ultimate seafood wine and this offering will pair well with crab, smoked albacore, mussels and more.
2014 BODEGAS PABLO CARINENA TINTO
$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE
Funny enough (and only in Spain) is that this red wine value comes from Carinena region of Spain and features none of the namesake grape, instead it is 100% Garnacha from old vines.
Savory fruit jumps from the glass followed up with hot rock, wild spice and warm raspberry fruit aromas that shine on the nose and especially on the broad, very smooth and sophisticated palate. Wines this good at 9 bucks just don't come along too often and this mighty effort at such a tiny price merits buying by the trunkload!
2013 WOODWARD CANYON
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 'ARTIST SERIES'
$43.99 BTL./$527.88 CASE
The 22nd version of Rick Small's Artist Series Cabernet is a formidable and exciting one. Vintage 2013 delivered up smaller quantities in a quite warm setting allowing for full-scaled wines that unlike their 2012 counterparts, are easier to see and consume at a younger stage. They will also age well given their submerged backbones that play nicely off the generous fruit.
Being such a large wine, it is amazing at just how fleet-footed and harmonious the 2013 really is. Cassis, plum, cocoa powder aromas dominate with underlying Walla Walla-esque minerality and attractiveness. Amplified and gaining more dark tones as it opens, the fragrances carry over to a texture that is buxom, layered and very structured. As it moves towards the back of the mouth, it thrills with a captivating finish that is long and laden with cedar and baking spices. As mentioned, it is impressive to see even early on but this wine has serious capacity to age for 10-15 years.