THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'CHEETO BENITO' HOTSHEET
Nebbiolo, Meursault, Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir, Oregon Gris & more
2013 OLIM BAUDA NEBBIOLO D'ALBA
$17.99 BTL./$107.94 - SIX PACK
With being firmly entrenched in the fall season, nothing says ‘autumnal’ like delicious Nebbiolo and this along with the following entry from Elio Grasso are two excellent choices.
Perusing through a price book last week, I noticed something new from one of our most favorite Barbera specialists. Located in the Asti district, I was genuinely surprised to see these guys making Nebbiolo that comes from the Nebbiolo D’Alba DOC in the small village of San Pietro. Situated between Barbaresco and the Roero, Dino Bertolini makes the wine with ample structure and spine that acts as though it comes from its more famous neighbor.
Assertive and classic aromas of mushroom, turned earth, dried cherry, herbs, asphalt and sinister spice lead into a texture that is firmly focused with red fruits dominating and filling the mouth. The finish shows plenty of Nebbiolo grip and verticality as well as a packed, but impressive finish that is very indicative of a classic vintage like 2013, one that is somewhat 1996 or 2004. Make no mistake, this wine is still youthful and can easily age another 5-6 more years, but with the right slow-roasted meat dish and decanting 60-90 minutes beforehand, it will prove to be a very formidable pairing.
2015 ELIO GRASSO NEBBIOLO LANGHE
$21.99 BTL./$131.94 - SIX PACK
The 2015 Nebbiolo is one of the finest Nebbiolo values on the market right now. A renowned Barolo producer, Gianluca Grasso gives this wine all of the love and attention that he does to his single vineyard Barolo wines. Definitely not the power of a Barolo, but a sleek and full Nebbiolo expression nonetheless.
Aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, the 2015 Nebbiolo Langhe Gavarini is from the Barolo district of Monforte D’Alba and displays freshness and lots of clarity that are indicative to this part of the Barolo zone. Aromatic rose-petal, red cherry and mineral carry over into a texture that is classically put together with its firm and wry character that exudes plenty of dark tones to bring just a hint of softness. This is not a by-itself quaffer, have it with pasta, a simple lamb dish or while listening to Led Zeppelin’s ‘No Quarter’. 2015 shaping up to be an exciting, warm vintage and this is a great start. Enjoy through 2022.
2014 CHIDAINE TOURAINE ROUGE
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE
For years, many have been trying to figure out France's obsession with Jerry Lewis movies. Many will disclaim this, but we don't believe it. Maybe it is Jerry's lightheartedness and forwardness going against their nature, but in some twisted way, they must think that Jerry has as much soul as Marvin Gaye.
Soulful wines are also important to the French and the best way to describe this Loire Valley red wine is that it is a true taste of France. 50% Cabernet Franc, 35% Côt (Malbec to you and me, Russ) along with 15% Pineau D’Aunis, make no bones about it, this is one of the Loire Valley's finest producers, and is pound for pound, one of the tastiest tipples that we work with. The epitome of a Country French Wine, this smooth, aromatic blend offers pure high-pitched scents of strawberry, earth, allspice and a kiss of licorice and mushroom. Gorgeously vivacious, food-friendly juice that has nice ripeness, gritty earthiness, and a peppery, vibrant, red licorice-like finish. All of these flavors combined with pork or duck sausage promise to make for a perfect evening.
2014 SEVEN OF HEARTS PINOT GRIS
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE
A favorite producer who makes one of the most flavorful and unique Oregon Pinot Gris around. This excellent white comes from two vastly different growing areas (Yamhill Carlton and the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge) that together meld nicely into a tasty wine for anyone who is attracted to these sorts of satisfying wines.
Beautiful scents of peach, smoke, and mineral on the nose. Completely elegant and understated in the mouth there is marvelous concentration of fruit, and fine length. A superbly integrated and DRY white wine to kick off any evening and while perfect all by itself, it will accompany so many of your favorite seafood dishes. Personally, we would invite a few friends over, grab some crab, and drink an abundance of the remarkable Seven of Hearts Pinot Gris.
2012 BISCI ROSSO 'FOGLIANO'
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE
If you love Italian red wines, there has never been a better time to get some of this one to be your versatile dinner red that you can serve for an upscale Italian dinner or with a steaming bowl of spaghetti & meatballs. Well, what is it? Read on...
A blend of Montepulciano, Barbera, Cabernet Franc & Merlot from vines planted in 1978 in the Marche region of Italy, Bisci is most notably a great Verdicchio producer and this red shows that they are just a great wine producer, period. Loaded with scents and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, herbs, and black pepper, it is soft and silky in the mouth. This is a yummy-delicious red that pairs well with everything from pasta to the holiday ham, yet is also one that can be served at more formal gatherings, too. Versatility thy name is Bisci!
2013 TELMO RODRIGUEZ
ALICANTE TINTO 'AL-MUVEDRE'
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE
Like Alvaro Palacios, Telmo Rodriguez is one of Spain's larger-than-life wine figures. Over the last two decades, this producer has taken central Spain's Tempranillo-based wines to various lofty heights. Rodriguez is all about balance rather than pushing ripeness and alcohol levels. Diving head-on into Spanish wines that are not made from Tempranillo, his project in the Alicante region offers impressive values that are nicely in-check. With this wine, Telmo has instantly made has his mark with the Monastrell (Mourvedre) grape and this is one that he insists on showing off the sandy soils of his vineyard sites and done without the intrusion of oak.
As is expected, the wine is generous with its deep fruit, while showing a balance seldom seen in the region. Fresh, lively, blackberry, cherry, smoke and earth aromas jump from the glass of this dark ruby-hued medium-bodied luscious wine that possesses energy and character. Perfect for every evening consumption and perfect for barbecued ribs.
2013 CH. DE PULIGNY-MONTRACHET
$65.99 BTL. - LIMITED
There is no such thing as a secret in the wine world anymore. While we agree with that statement, there are occasions when a Domaine that may have made poor wines in the past is passed along to a new generation that gives it “wine CPR”. Case in point, Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet has had a presence in the village of Puligny-Montrachet for many years, yet the wines were never as good as required, a very distressing thought considering they own some prized parcels of land in Burgundy. Starting with the 2001 vintage, one of the ultimate superstars in Burgundy, Etienne De Montille was brought in to work with the wines, and since his arrival and vineyards converted to organic/biodynamic farming, they exploded on the scene as a producer to be reckoned with. In 2012, Etienne along with his sister Alix were able to purchase this estate and more great adventures are coming!
Porusots, or Poruzots, is a Premier Cru site on a magical portion of the Meursault hill. Neighbored by Genevrieres and Gouttes D'Or, this site is where perfume meets classic nuttiness and broadness quantifying as prototype Meursault. 2013 from Chateau de Puligny is exceptional and this youngster is just starting to unfold and drink exceedingly well. Quite a robust offering, but never straying outside its refined roots, there are impressive crunchy lime and dried orange overtones with complex scents of hazelnut, earth, natural spice and brilliant flint secondary nuances. In the mouth, it's a big wine that possessing impeccable balance, substance and grip with a finish that is luxurious, tunneling and extremely long. In a word, OUTSTANTDING! Given the pricing on many other Premiers Crus in this particular neighborhood, this one is quite a steal! Drink this profound Meursault through 2025+.
2014 J. CHRISTOPHER PINOT NOIR
ABBEY RIDGE VINEYARD
$54.99 - LIMITED
Along with luminaries Cameron and Westrey, J. Christopher is the third recipient of fruit from one of Oregon’s Grand Cru vineyard sites, Abbey Ridge. Jay has had experience working with this vineyard since his days in the early/mid 90s while working at Cameron as well as continuing with grapes from this ungodly Dundee Hills vineyard site since the inception of J. Christopher. The 2014 was a mighty success but alas, there are o miniscule 100 cases and we are fortunate to be one of the few who are able to offer some.
Youthful as expected, this wine is the essence of sensuality. Lacy scents of lavender, blackberry, strawberry, herbs, violet and a nice presence of red earth fill up the glass. Vinous, nicely integrated texture reveals spicy earth, a more-than-abundant core of fruit and a rather luxurious, packed finish that is the result of very old vines. The second taste reveals more firmness and tightness indicating the need for cellaring. Hold on to this one until 2019 and drink it through 2028.