THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'DOUBLE-DOG-DARE' HOTSHEET
Five Pairs including Montrachet, Heists for 8, Italy & California
2015 LA PLAYA ESTATE
$7.99 BTL./$95.88 CASE
Let’s get a holiday week started off well with a pair of best buy wines from a fun, value-oriented producer from Chile who brings it with forward, honest, and most important delicious everyday drinkers.
The 2015 Red Blend is a chewy, plush assemblage of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. Sheer deliciousness and substance without getting silly with just a bunch of wood, this tangy red delivers blackberry, pepper, cherry, fine herbs and spices that dominate the nose while a prominent core of mouth-filling fruit pleases the palate. Finishing with an earthy-spice note, this everyday wine works well with grilled kebabs, lasagna, or ratatouille.
2015 LA PLAYA ESTATE
$7.99 BTL./$95.88 CASE
If you like the profile of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll love this wine. Lately it seems that Chilean Sauvignon Blanc have the Kiwis envious because if one were to find one of their versions that have the same quality as this, you would easily be in for a bill that is almost twice the price.
This wine is like a ‘scratch~n~sniff’ thing - one whiff and you're hooked! Boasting an explosion of smoke, tangerine, grapefruit and freshly mowed grass then moving over into a palate that is mouth-watering with lots of fervor and fun. Done without oak, it is about as clean as they come and just bursts with character and zeal from start to finish. Drink with simple grilled shrimp, salads or just by itself.
2014 DOMAINE PILLOT
$45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE
If you are a White Burgundy-lover, you MUST have some of these apex wines. A visit to chez Pillot is like returning to school and taking Chassagne-Montrachet 101, 102 and the master's program. Simply put, Laurent Pillot is a Chassagne Guru! Having visited the area for 4 days last month on my sojourn to France, 2014 is one of the greatest white Burgundy vintages I have seen in almost 30 years of working with Burgundy. Sadly, due to a devastating frost in Burgundy back in April, there will be little to virtually no 2016 wines and the prices will increase on the 2015s so we absolutely implore you to take advantage of these, especially since we can still sell them at fair prices. Example, I just tasted a cult California Chardonnay last week and lo and behold, I have to sell it for north of 60. Looking at that scene, it makes this French Chardonnay a steal!
After tasting a this wine in France, I told Laurent that he should invent his own Premier Cru name for this wine because it is way above the regular village quality level! Very precise Chassagne aromas of peach, orange and rosemary. Plenty of mineral beneath a gentle kiss of vanilla from proper use of barrique. Beautiful expanse from the vintage occurs in the mouth. Beautifully drawn out, but also very energetic. Killer Juice! Drink now - 2026.
2014 DOMAINE PILLOT
$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE
Laurent "Nelson" Pillot also kicks Puligny-Montrachet ass as well! With a little over 1 acre situated in the village vineyards, within a cannon's shot beneath Puligny-Montrachet's Grands Crus, Pillot's Puligny-Montrachet is always the intellectual hitman of his vaunted all-star line-up. Noyers-Brets is a single vineyard site that is located just south of the village with Laurent's vines being at the top of the vineyard. Even though they are so close in terms of distance, the wines of Chassagne and Puligny couldn't be more different.
The '14 Puligny-Montrachet shows aspects that Bryan refers to as "stony opulence" along with an intense lemon and apple tone. An ethereal, finesseful yet luxuriously deep offering that has good attack and poise while showing nice expansion and richness; the finish is very electric and almost cobra-like with its striking capabilities! Awesome juice that should be drunk now through 2026.
2011 BERTANI SECCO
SPECIAL! $24.99 BTL./$149.94 SIX PK.
Bertani's role of importance in the Veneto region cannot be understated in the least. Located near Verona in northeastern Italy, Bertani is one of the region's most renowned and influential wineries producing a full spectrum of classic wines from the Veneto (Valpolicella, Amarone, Soave & more) which have enjoyed a reputation for quality right from the start. The Original Vintage Secco and its recipe are from a time well before Amarone and Ripasso came to existence. Bertani Cristian Ridolfi came across an 1888 document in the Verona library written by the Commission of Agriculture and Industry that described in detail the Secco-Bertani winemaking process as it was back in 1888. Cristian was inspired and embarked on a journey to re-create this wine, as it was when first made using the original clones, winemaking methods and equipment that were used back then – a truly unique project. The future back from the past. The philosophy of this wine is to bring back from the past the best of the winemaking of the original Secco.
Unlike the modern version of Secco Bertani, this wine is made without the use of the ripasso technique. 80% Original Corvina clones, 10% Sangiovese Grosso, 5% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon following the blend of the original document this terrific Italian red is mind blowing. The 2011 possesses classic Veneto amare scents along, this super-Veneto red unveils broad scents of plum pit, dark Valrhona chocolate, chartreuse-like herbs, cracked pepper and nutmeg that carry over into a layered and rich texture that is full and assertive, yet maintaining what we call "Bertani handsomeness." Drawn-out and very long, this is a super value at $25 and these six packs will not be available for long. Drink through 2022 with braised meats, especially pork or a full-flavored soft-ripened Italian cheese like Taleggio.
2015 BERTANI VENETO ROSE
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE
With the warmth of 2015 in the South of France, I am finding that some of the cooler growing regions and non-traditional Rose producing areas have performed extremely well throughout Europe. More known for its potent red wines like Amarone, the Veneto isn’t exactly known to have a river of rose. Bertani took hold several years back and started producing this wine, an undeniable palate pleaser that quenches the thirst and gives a fine buzz in the process.
Based around the brisk and electric Molinara grape, this light-colored rose lights up the room from the moment it is poured into the glass. Superb strawberry fruit along with hints of herbs and mineral waft from the glass and follow through to a texture that exudes freshness with its dry and invigorating flavors that conjure up images of biting into a slice of freshly cut watermelon. Drink this wine through the summer with grilled fish, hors d’oeurves or just out on the porch while you watch life go by.
2011 BLAS SERRANO
RIBERA DEL DUERO 'PHYLOS'
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE
Farmed at 2500 feet in elevation, the shallow crumbly chalk over limestone soils here are what drives the wines. It also doesn't hurt that the wines are made by Sophie Kuhn who studied in Burgundy and made wine at Château Cheval Blanc in St-Émilion.
The Phylos is 100% Tínta del Pais (Tempranillo) and from 30-50 year old vines. Aged for a short 4 months in used French oak, this wine displays the freshness along with the presence of depth that Ribera Del Duero is well known for. The aim with the Phylos is to make a smooth, mouth-filling, fruit-forward Tempranillo with just a touch of barrel ageing to soften the wine further and make it ready for drinking now. The nose is fresh and fruity with aromas of currants and violet plus a touch of clove and mocha spiciness. Mouth-filling, medium to full-bodied with flavors of black cherries, spiced plums and crushed red fruit complimented by a harmonious and well-rounded finish. Drink with grilled sausages or a slow-roasted pork loin.
2009 BLAS SERRANO
RIBERA DEL DUERO CRIANZA
$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE
Blas Serrano's house specialty is the Crianza wine that really emits excessive complexity and character for such an outstanding price. Like the Phylos, the grape is 100% Tínta del Pais, however the Crianza is from 50+ year old vines and 14 months in oak.
Flamenco in a glass, this broad red reveals sexy, polished and refined tones of blackberries mashed with strawberry, balsamico, coriander and intermittent espresso tones. In the mouth, it is layered and palate staining with excellent depth and personality. Spreading out nicely in the mouth as it moves from front to back and as it opens, the persistent red and black berry qualities shine through. The finish is suave, poised and really shows excellent persistence. A killer drop of neo-classical Spanish red wine that really cries out for lamb chops. Drink over the next 8-10 years.
2014 SIDEBAR ZINFANDEL BLEND
$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE
Sidebar is the latest project from Napa Valley legend David Ramey that demands your attention. Featuring wines that are pleasurable and well-priced, Ramey has branched out to do some other varietals aside from their grand scale Cabernets and Chardonnays. These new wines under this new label are tasty and fabulous. Earlier this year we featured the Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc. This go round we are featuring a well-crafted, full red that has typical Ramey smoothness.
78% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Alicante Bouschet and a 2% blend of 12 other varietals all coming from 125 year old head-pruned vines, this wine is what is so good about California. Chewy yet civilized and not overblown, bright and exuberant strawberry and cherry combine with spicy dark qualities and make this Zin-based red a superb example of the cool Russian River Valley area. Enjoyable as a young wine, it will drink and provide happiness when accompanied with tangy, meaty dishes over the next 4-6 years.
2014 SIDEBAR MOURVEDRE BLEND
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE
Sidebar’s blend of Rhone varietals comes from Mendocino County’s Redwood valley and is from vines at 1200 feet in elevation and in an area where there are regularly 50-degree temperature swings between daytime and nighttime hours.
Class and sass about, all of the grapes used in this blend seemingly take a solo at various parts of the show. Exuberant red cherries and grenadine from the Grenache (37%) are followed by licorice and ground pepper from the Syrah (15%) as well as echoes of blueberry and tea-smoke from the Mourvedre (48%). In the mouth, the wine is hearty and mouth filling with a presence of depth, expansion, generosity and exotic spice. Drink this inviting California red over the next 5-7 years with an array of food selections but the simplest and best choice is to have it with a fat steak.