FUNKY FRESH FLAVOR FEATURE

CELLAR DOOR'S WEDNESDAY WINE
Washington Cab & French Syrah Value


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2015 ISENHOWER CABERNET SAUVIGNON
COLUMBIA VALLEY 'i'
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Based in Walla Walla since 1999, Brett and Denise Isenhower have been everyone’s secret find for years. Quite honestly, the wines from this property are very significant on all levels and offer up robust quality-price rapport. While the top wines are stellar, the ‘i’ Series of wines was created to offer a 20-dollar experience that wine lovers can consume on an early basis; however, there is backbone for them to age a few years.

Sourced from sites throughout the Columbia Valley, this Cab is sheer deliciousness with good substance and without getting silly with just a bunch of wood; this hearty Washington red delivers currants, blackberry, fine herbs and spices that dominate the nose while a prominent core of mouth-filling fruit pleases the palate. A perfect wine to serve with grilled ribs or other fare…and one that will please a bunch of varying palates! Drink over the next 5-6 years.



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2016 MARTHOURET SYRAH
COLLINES RHODANIENNES
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Pascal Marthouret started out as a mechanic who happened to fall in love with wine and farming when he started tending his elderly godmother's vines. As he progressed, he was able to get out from under the car and through relatives, has established his small 15-acre estate in the northern reaches of the St-Joseph area about 45 minutes just south of Lyon.

2016 is the seventh vintage that we have featured for this wine and like the previous versions; is a formidable value that tells the excellent story of this excellent but small in quantity vintage. With this Northern Rhone wine, Pascal has a very straightforward vision - purely delicious Syrah that is expressive of site and comes with an incredible price tag. His 2016 Syrah over delivers and is well detailed and fruit forward with notes of raspberry, cassis and white pepper. Generous with creamy fruit upon entry that planes into minerally vibrancy. A wonderfully versatile red to bring to friend's homes over the holiday season, especially when you are not sure what they will be serving for dinner. While not his upper level Saint-Joseph, there are grapes from the top wine that wind up in this delicious cuvee. Drink over the next 2-4 years.





FRIDAY SIPS

Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico
Special Guest, Petroio capo/winemaker Diana Lenzi

This Friday, October 20 from 1:30 - 6:30

(Diana will arrive at 3 but I’ll have the wines open for tasting at 1:30)
Drop by to taste four wines and olive oil and to meet the ever-enthusiastic and very fun Diana Lenzi as she pours and discusses her delicious wines. One of the new luminaries of Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti zone, Fattoria di Petroio has always been a player in Chianti but Diana taken her family estate to even loftier heights and are now amongst the top producers in this superb sub-region of Chianti Classico.

FEATURED WINES:

2013 Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico
2013 Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico Riserva
2011 Fattoria di Petroio Chainti Classico Riserva (MAGNUM)
2016 Fattoria di Petroio Extra Virgin Olive Oil






THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'CRUCIAL VELOCITY' HOTSHEET
Kelley Fox Pinots, Bubbly RoseValue, Chateauneuf Slayer, Chianti & more


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LUCIEN ALBRECHT BRUT ROSE
CREMANT D'ALSACE
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

An old favorite has made an improbable price comeback! For several years, we had not offered this sparkling Rose and not because it was the quality, that excellence has never waned. Turns out their former importer lived up to their reputation as price gougers thus making the wine much more difficult to sell. Recently Albrecht changed representation and the wines have reverted to pricing that we have not seen since 2009.

Made from 100% Pinot Noir, possessing a salmon pink color and although a non-vintage cuvee, this gem has a complex and fresh bead that would fool you into thinking it is from a single vintage. Albrecht has always produced this cuvee ‘Method Champenoise’ meaning it goes through the rigorous processing that is the same as is done in the Champagne region. Serve with smoked salmon, grilled vegetables, sushi or dessert. Better yet, just invite some friends over and throw a bunch of bottles back before, during and after dinner!



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2013 FATTORIA DI PETROIO
CHIANTI CLASSICO
$13.99 BTL./$83.94 - SIX PACK

The buildup for owner/winemaker Diana Lenzi’s visit this Friday is starting early. Located North of Siena the fine wines of Fattoria di Petroio deliver a lot of bang for the buck and the exceedingly tasty 2013 is no exception. Now firmly in charge of making the wines, Diana Lenzi is kicking serious Chianti arse with these Castelnuovo Berardenga-based wines and we are thrilled to not only offer this wine but to have her here this Friday to pour it along with two other of her Chianti Classico wines.

Flaunting sexy fruit and minerality, the generosity of 2013 is formidable in this fine-buy Chianti Classico. Hearty cherry, underbrush and savory spices flow from the glass and follow through to a texture that possesses depth and personality that never give way to being flamboyant or overdone. Plenty of character and spine, this wine is an excellent accompaniment to just about any Italian-inspired meal. Come by to meet Diana Lenzi and taste a lineup of her wines this Friday...info is at the bottom of this week’s musings.



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2016 CHAMPALOU VOUVRAY SEC
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Didier, Catherine and daughter Celine Champalou's Vouvray is Must-See Vouvray. A small grower in the hills above Vouvray, Champalou has been one of the fine reference points of the appellation since 1983. There are many pre-conceived notions about the wines of Vouvray. One of the biggest of these is that all the wines from the area are sweet. While Chenin Blanc does make some of the greatest dessert wine in the world, it can also be vinified drier than any New World Chardonnay or Pinot Gris that you have ever had. The top producers in the area all make Vouvray 'Sec,' which is bone-dry, quite racy and pure as well as being undeniably food friendly.

Electricity in the glass! Striking aromas and flavors of pear, ginger and quinine are role players to the rocky minerality. In the mouth, it is transparent and plentiful with lemon-lime that briskness cuts into it like a razor-sharp knife. Serious juice that maintains impressionist, artful playfulness especially on the taut and focused finish. Drinkable over the next 6-8 years, it is perfect for salmon, trout and especially young goat cheese.



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2013 SAINT-JEAN DU BARROUX
VENTOUX ROUGE 'L'ARGILE'
$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE - limited

Finally, it is back in the house and we have it exclusively! What Philippe Gimel is doing in Ventoux is transcendent. From Nancy and a pharmacist for 5 years, Philippe founded Saint-Jean de Barroux in 2003 after doing stints at famed Chateauneuf producers Beaucastel and Janasse. Originally starting with just over 10 acres, Philippe has gradually expanded to 33 acres spread out over three sections from just beneath Mont Ventoux to the Dentelles de Montmirial (85 parcels!) all of vastly different terroirs. Organic farming takes foot at this estate and the wines are full-scaled yet with all of the poise and freshness desired for wines from this area.

I tasted the excellent 2013 in France and decided that we had to have some. Even more impressive than the excellent 2011 and 2012 we used, the 2013 is comprised of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and then 5% each of Carignan and Cinsault. This Ventoux will honestly outperform a number of Chateaueuf because it is that damn good! Very traditional in its profile, the harmony and sophistication on this wine allow it to be something very special. Devastatingly eloquent, this over-achiever's aromas encompass you and draw you right in with its beguiling character. Loads of violet, thyme, plum and white pepper with an underlay of smoked rock, what we have here shows amazing poise and personality. Ethereal, mouth crawling and with impressive depth and spiced earth in the mouth and a lovely offering that is everything that we love about the Rhone Valley and Ventoux. L’Argile likes meat - drink this stellar choice over the next 10-12 years with beef, lamb, etc., you will not be disappointed!



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2013 BUTY 'BEAST WINES'
WILDEBEEST RED
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Created by famed Walla Walla producer, Buty, Beast Wines are meant to be the doppelganger of the Buty wines. Led by Nina Buty and winemaker Chris Dowsett, these wines have always impressed. Recently, the distributor dropped the price on the Wildebeest blend. This has made it very attractive for 20 bucks so if you love wines from this area that won’t break the bank, order yours ASAP.

59% Syrah, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, 7% Grenache, 4% Merlot and revealing chewy, hearty, full aromas and flavors of plum, milk chocolate, red licorice, plum, black cherry and nutmeg. In the mouth, it is sumptuous, palate staining and assertive with plenty of Asian spices on the drawn-out, lingering finish. Drink over the next few years. Perfect to pair with a beef brisket.



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2015 BODEGAS VINOS DE LEON
'TINTO LENA'
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

Coming in a liter-sized bottle, this is the pinnacle party Tempranillo! A no frills red from Northern Spain that is inviting, pleasing and excellent for upcoming celebratory gatherings. Fruit driven nose with enticing aromas of ripe red berry fruits. Texturally, it shows vibrancy and good breadth of flavor, finishing with sturdiness and good persistence. Drink this red with everything.



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2015 KELLEY FOX PINOT NOIR 'MIRABAI'
$33.99 BTL./$407.88 CASE

A few weeks back we had Kelley Fox here to lead a tasting of her excellent Oregon Pinot Noirs and the wines lived up to their expectations. Decidedly inspired by the old world, particularly Burgundy, Kelley’s influence from her time working alongside David Lett at Eyrie is very evident in her elegant, precise and very ageworthy Pinot Noirs that are consistently in Oregon's top echelon. Make no mistake, this is one of the finest producers in Oregon and her wines excel, especially as they age. Utilizing grapes from two specific, top-notch Oregon sites, Maresh and Momtazi, Kelley made a change in 2015 deciding to have the Mirabai come from fruit solely from Maresh, lots and sites that have more immediate access and don’t go into the minute production single vineyard wines.

The 2015 is stunning from the moment that it is poured. Genuine Pinot here with seductive aspects, it is cerebral and not a deeply colored, caricature version that pairs well with a pack of Kools. Instead, this wine has all the hallmarks of a siren on the rocks with rose-petal, crunchy and not jammy strawberry, subtle pepper and underlying jasmine/mineral aromas which dominate the nose. Ethereal flavors that are caressing, silky and vivid fan out and flow on through to the impressively long, airy finish, which also provides pleasurable snap-back. Very accessible now, but for best results, give it another year and drink it through 2027.



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2015 KELLEY FOX PINOT NOIR 'AHURANI'
$33.99 BTL./$407.88 CASE

The Ahurani is a new selection and a sibling of Mirabai. The same philosophy that is featured on the Mirabai is present in the making of this cuvee except that all of the fruit comes from the Momtazi vineyard in the McMinnville appellation.

A completely different narrative than the previous Pinot, Ahurani, named after an ancient Persian goddess of water and well-being, comes forth in a very French style. In fact, as it ages, my suspicion is that it will be difficult to pick as a new world wine in a blind tasting. A composed and sultry take on the terroir of this vineyard, Kelley’s Ahurani emits qualities of Italian plums, vibrant red and black cherry, anise and touches of nutmeg and smoke that impressively penetrate the olfactory senses. Luxurious aromas lead to luxurious, but very youthful flavors that pick up lots of structure and backbone. Excellent, persistent but packed finish, this wine is accessible with decanting but given the supporting material, there is no problem to age and drink through 2027.



FRIDAY SIPS

Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico
Special Guest, Petroio owner/winemaker Diana Lenzi

This Friday, October 20 from 1:30 - 6:30

(Diana will arrive at 3 but I’ll have the wines open for tasting at 1:30)
Drop by to taste four wines and olive oil and to meet the ever-enthusiastic and very fun Diana Lenzi as she pours and discusses her delicious wines. One of the new luminaries of Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti zone, Fattoria di Petroio has always been a player in Chianti but Diana taken her family estate to even loftier heights and are now amongst the top producers in this superb sub-region of Chianti Classico.

FEATURED WINES:

2013 Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico
2013 Fattoria di Petroio Chianti Classico Riserva
2011 Fattoria di Petroio Chainti Classico Riserva (MAGNUM)
2016 Fattoria di Petroio Extra Virgin Olive Oil







UPCOMING FRIDAY SIPS


October 20

Petroio Chianti with special guest, Petroio winemaker Diana Lenzi



October 27

Cookbook author Ivy Manning will be here with her new release, 'Soups from Scratch & Breads to Match' and pairing goodies with a selection of French wines poured by Chad Zimmerman



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