FUNKY FRESH FLAVOR FEATURE


FRIDAY SIPS
Sicily
Today February 17 from 1:30 - 6:30
Meander through Sicily with us in a stolen Fiat today as we feature four wines from across the island that are not only about pleasure but also prove why this is one of Italy’s trendiest of regions.


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2014 TERRE NERE ETNA ROSSO
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

One of Italy’s most fashionable wine regions is Etna, which runs through the valleys and hills from the sea to Mt. Etna and is often referred to as a Mediterranean Burgundy. Many outsiders from Tuscany and other regions of Italy are buying land here due to the burgeoning reputation and early signs of impeccable quality. One such outsider is famed Italian Wine Broker Marco de Grazia and almost instantly, recognition came due to the estate's impeccable quality.

95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Nerello Cappuccio this outstanding wine adventure is ruby red in color with a persistent bouquet of mulberries, black cherries, mint and sage. Flavorfully textured, dry with plenty of generous, ripe fruit that carries into a lingering and balanced finish that possesses a touch of well-integrated tannin. We highly recommend this hearty red with grilled and roasted red meats or hard sheep's milk cheeses.



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2015 TERRE NERE ETNA ROSE
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

The most amazing thing about this Rose, made since 2007, is that the grapes for this wine are specified to be Rose and are from 55-year-old vines. 100% Nerello Mascalese and 100% delicious, this wine from volcanic soils succeeds where so many non-traditional Italian pink wines fail to do, which is to provide pleasure yet provide ample detail with varietal presence. This rose absolutely builds as it unfolds in the glass.

Pliant, bright and teeming with cherry pit, blueberries and plenty of smoky and savory aspects from Etna’s volcanic soils. Lovely presence on the palate, this wine stretches out nicely on the palate and bursts into being vivacious and mouthwatering on the home stretch. Flavorful and fun yet with no shortage of sophistication this Rose will pair well with mussels, grilled shrimp, roasted or grilled chicken with Italian herb. Even though this is a way more than a summer slammer and pairs beautifully with food, it is quite an enchanting drink on its own.



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2012 PLANETA NOTO NERO D'AVOLA
$19.99 BTL./$119.94 - SIX PACK

Planeta is one of the most important and influential estate in Sicily. Initially gaining notoriety using French varietals, this estate literally was the one that woke up the island into making top noth wines as others followed suit. Alas, along the way, their ideals of uber modern and utilizing grapes like Chardonnay and Syrah became out of fashion as a movement towards native varietals took hold. Therefore, what does Planeta do, they turn around and utilize Sicily’s indigenous grapes while continuing to do what made them so prominent.

The grape varietal Nero d'Avola is sometimes incorrectly referred to as Calabriana (i.e. hailing from Calabria) is considered the most typical and representative red grape of Sicily (excluding the territory of Etna). The incorrect name Calabrian is an "Italianization" of the word in old Sicilian dialect, "Calaurisi" which actually means, 'grape of Avola.' The Nero d'Avola was selected for cultivation by grape-growers of Avola (Siracusa) several hundred years ago and spread to the commune of Noto (which received its DOC status as Noto Nero D’Avola in 1974), the provinces of Ragusa and Caltagirone, and recently, throughout the rest of the island.

Very SE Sicilian with its generosity, full, tangy aromas of wild plum, cracked pepper, cherry pit, tealeaf and pepper follow into a texture that is sultry, ripe and mouthfilling. The finish is vibrant, complete and very indicative of what fantastic Noto Nero D'Avola is all about. Drink this offering over the next 5-7 years.



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2011 DONNAFUGATA 'TANCREDI'
TERRE SICILIANE ROSSO
$36.99 BTL./$221.94 - SIX PACK

Etna and the southeast aren't the only area of Sicily that are getting all kinds of love, other areas are joining in on the fun as well. The Donnafugata estate has over 100 years of wine and other production under its belt but it wasn’t until the 80s when Giacomo Rolla came in and launched this estate into one of the island’s most iconic.

There are many wines made here and vineyards are in various places in Sicily, the renowned Tancredi Rosso comes from their Contessa Entellina site in SW Sicily about 70 km south of Palermo. Made with Nero D’Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and other varietals, this blend is always formidable and large scaled.

Stirring aromas of bold, dark plum-pepper, tobacco, cinnamon, violet and hot rock, one smell reveals that it is the best of modern Sicily. Sexy, saturated, chewy, polished, dense, and a real mouthful of red wine, especially with all of its varietals doing their stuff as it moves throughout the palate. Through all of this, it maintains freshness which calls you back for another glass and another and another, etc., etc. The finish is penetrating and dense, reveals chocolate-covered raspberry red tones and sticks around for a long time. Wow! Drink through 2024+.







TEMPRANILLO TEMPTATIONS - CELLAR DOOR'S WEDNESDAY WINE


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2015 BODEGAS VIZAR TEMPRANILLO
$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

Located just outside the far western edge Ribera del Duero in what is known as “Riberadollid”, Bodegas Vizar’s organically farmed vineyards are situated between the great vineyards of Bodegas Mauro and Abadia Retuerta.

Savory spices combine with generous dark fruit, violet, hints of licorice and roasted earth tones on the nose and follow through into a texture that is warm, plush and inviting. The fruit is the focus here and there is plenty of it. This would pair very well with grilled pork chops although I could envision myself throwing down a bottle of this with a cheeseburger. A wonderful value and a small price to pay for such a mouthful of red wine.



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2015 EMILIO MORO 'FINCA RESALSO'
RIBERA DEL DUERO
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Home to luminaries such as Vega Sicilia and Pingus, Ribera Del Duero is a region in Spain that garners incredible hype and accolades. Sadly with all of the acclaim comes lofty price levels and to score a legitimate offering from an upscale, well-established producer for 14 bucks is an absolute coup.

Solely Tempranillo, this warm, inviting flavorful red offers up complete scents that allow the warm fruit to shine. 4 months aging in oak barrels is utilized to add a level of refinement, class and spice. Strawberry, cocoa powder, tobacco and truffles shine on the nose and lead into wide, mouth filling flavors that are smooth, integrated and very luscious. A terrific number from a much-heralded producer, this flavorful wine cries out for a ribeye or smoked sausages. Drink now through 2020.



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2012 LA HORRA
RIBERA DEL DUERO 'CORIMBO'
$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

A few years back, rumors persisted about Rioja icon Bodegas Roda buying land and making wine across the small mountain chain in the primo region of Ribera Del Duero. Soon enough rumors became facts and for the first time we are seeing the results of the brilliance that this estate exudes.

Made from 100% Tinta del Pais (the Tempranillo clone for the region), this wine displays the power and richness that is what this area is about yet maintains all of the class and suaveness that Roda is about. Exuding Spanish sophistication at its finest, the 2012 is loaded with flavor and aromas of black plum, raspberry, fresh-cut roses, vanilla and cedarbox. The texture is ripe and caresses all of the senses with fine structure and zestiness brought about from the area’s cool nights; it is also very long, stacked and silky. Truly undervalued at 28 bucks, roast some pork laced with paprika and go to town. Drink now through 2024.







THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'JUMP ON BOARD' HOTSHEET
Sancerre, Stags LeapSpecial, Feather Cab, Tuscany & more


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2013 POLIZIANO
VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO
[reg. $35.99]
SPECIAL - $26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

One of the Big Four of the Tuscan village of Montepulciano, the neo-classical stylings of Poliziano are always some of our most popular offerings. Year in and year out, Federico Carletti delivers broad wines of texture done with modern practices yet somehow these wines never lose their definition of origin.

The specialty of the house at Poliziano is their exquisite Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Poliziano's 2013 Nobile di Montepulciano's classic beauty woos you in from the first waft of violet, lush cherry, raspberry and sweet roasted Tuscan herbs. All about elegance and balance in the mouth and echoed by intense depth of flavor, alluring spice from a perfect use of oak and fine grained tannins beautifully frame the wine's rich fruit and resounding detail of origin. The quality of this wine is reinforced on the finish, as the depth and expansion of flavor lingers on the palate. Opening one now with a hearty meal wouldn't be a crime but this delicious wine will continue to develop through 2025.



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2015 ORATOIRE SAINT-MARTIN
COTES-DU-RHONE 'P'TIT GARS'
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

It just seems as though that a firehose of excellent grower Cotes-du-Rhone that has been opened. In addition to the numerous versions that we have featured since the start of the year, we now are on to our first 2015 and it is from one of our absolute favorites. 10th generation winemakers in the village of Cairanne, Francois and Frederic Alary have been in charge since 1984 and are regarded as perhaps the grandest overachievers in all of the southern Rhone, producing wines that really exceed their humble appellation status. This particular Cotes-du-Rhone took on a name change; P’tit Gars (or little dudes) is what the brothers were known as while growing up in the village. The wine is from 2015 and is anything but little. A full throttle vintage, 2015 is the finest since 2010 (and 2016 may be even better)!

Pronounced exotic spice, sandalwood, lavender, smoke, Italian plum and pepper on the nose is followed by a substantial texture that is dry, pure, concentrated and red. The finish is firm, palate staining, revealing plenty of hot-rock aspects. Early on this is drinking exquisitely and suggested pairings would be anything from barbecued ribs to roasted duck, a fat steak or grilled, spicy Italian sausages. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Oratoire St-Martin’s wines have always been important to me here at The Cellar Door before for almost 19 years, and this producer merits attention from any lover of Châteauneuf, Gigondas, etc. If you want to know more about the single cuvees, their quality and pricing, shoot me an e-mail, they are available.



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2014 STAG'S LEAP WINE CELLARS
CHARDONNAY 'KARIA'
[reg. $46.99]
SPECIAL - $29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Established in 1970 and one of the winners of the Judgment of Paris, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is Napa influence supremacy. If not for this place well, you get the picture. Buttery yet balanced, there are some rather upscale traits going on here.

Orange creamsicle, almond croissant, tangerine, buttered popcorn and vanilla aromas abound. Generous, unapologetic Cali-Chardonnay with plenty of toast and creamy flavors that are kept in balance with a hint of uplifting, ripe citrus flavors. One to enjoy over the next 5-6 years with roasted poultry, creamy pasta preps or on its own.



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2015 LUBERRI RIOJA 'ORLEGI'
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

A delicious value red, Luberri’s Orlegi Rioja is aged entirely in stainless steel. Packed with clean, pure Tempranillo aromas of strawberry along with hints of earth, smoke and white pepper, it is quite the middleweight charmer. Savory flavors with surprising dimension, this clean red glimmers with plenty of juicy, mouth-watering notes throughout. Very pleasing indeed, this is a great red for grilled fish.



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2015 TOUR DU BON
BANDOL ROSE
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

It is time to toss aside the archaic thought of solely drinking Rosé wine in summer. In all honesty, many pink wines show even better after summer and into the following year. If after tasting this and your mentality hasn't changed then I recommend that you go home, kick your furnace up to 84 degrees and uncork some bottles of this stellar dry pink wine to get you in the mid-winter spirit!

As is always the case, Bandol Rose always shows better with a bit of age and Tour du Bon’s is no exception. Directly pressed, sans malo-lactic fermentation and from shear limestone on a plateau in the Bandol region, there is not only ample depth and personality, there is lightning in the bottle. Aromatically expressive, illuminating and glowing from the glass, there is an abundance of strawberry, mineral and savory fennel notes. In the mouth, it is intense, elevated, super-succulent and inviting from start to finish. Drink over the next year with savory fish dishes loaded up with some sort of tomato based salsa.



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2010 COSIMO TAURINO
SALENTO ROSSO 'NOTARPANARO'
$13.99 BTL./$83.94 - SIX PACK

Cosimo Taurono is the name that put the wines of Puglia on the map. For such a long time, this estate produced magical wines that epitomized Southern Italy. A downturn in quality occurred in the 90s and up until recently, this great estate was whizzing against the wind sometimes making wines that were quite nice and sometimes making wines that were one-step away from battery acid. Enter a new generation and currently, these wines are back on form and are reminiscent of the great values that we once knew while coming up in the biz and drinking copious amounts of them.

Notarpanaro comes from the name of the original farm on which the Taurino family commenced their winemaking ventures. This particular cuvee comes from a single parcel, is 100% Negroamaro, and truly deserves your attention. mountain berries, plum, allspice, almond allspice and cedar/tobacco characteristics unfold from the glass. In the mouth the dry and nuanced flavors coat the mouth and reveal tones that make one think of the fleshy, vibrant portion of the cherry that is right around the stone. The finish draws out and somersaults into being textbook, yet upscale Southern Italian with its tangy, earthy, spicy qualities and wild red fruits. Pair this delicious wine with slow roasted meats, perhaps something with a spicy Asian influence, but in all truthfulness, it shines best with pizza.



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2014 PAUL PRIEUR SANCERRE
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

I recently had a bottle of this excellent Sancerre and it was so delicious that it just had to be featured again! Based in the Sancerre village of Verdigny, the Prieur family have been growers in this famed Loire region for 11 generations and are cerebral assassins when it comes to this area’s famed Sauvignon Blanc. The obstacle course of soils (caillote, which is light limestone, silex flint and terre blanche clay/limestone) that this estate owns produces a novella of Sancerre terroir and is not a wine that reveals answers to your questions, but rather one whose complexity keeps you asking questions!

Above the norm, a virtual mosaic of aromas including mineral, iodine, brine, blossom, smoke, lemongrass and more mineral caress from the glass. In the mouth, this is lyrical Sancerre with prominent sophistication and never strays from its Sancerre sensibilities or paunchiness. The finish is classic, flinty, steely, soil driven and really hangs around making it a beautiful match with salmon but also will pair with halibut cheeks in sauce or a high-class goat cheese.



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2014 LONG SHADOWS
FEATHER CABERNET SAUVIGNON
$65.99 BTL./$395.94 - SIX PACK

In the early 2000s, Napa Valley vintner, Randy Dunn, joined up with the Long Shadows project and brought his artistry and expertise to Washington State to produce small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley's finest vineyards. His reputation for producing world-class Cabernet spans more than four decades. After making wines at Caymus from 1975-1985, Randy established Dunn Vineyards on Howell Mountain where he continues to create distinctive wines of high acclaim.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage produced wines with exceptional color and rich, complex flavors. Deep crimson colored with pure and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon character. Generous aromas and flavors of dark fruits, violets, coffee and toasted herbs combine with a textured mid-palate to deliver a big, yet focused, wine with polished tannins and persistent finish. Will drink well and develop nicely for 15-20 years.







UPCOMING FRIDAY SIPS


February 24

Syrah. Four versions from four regions from around the world.



March 3

Ayres Pinot Noirs. Special guest, Ayres owner/winemaker Brad McLeroy will be onhand to discuss and pour four of his excellent selections. Always popular, always delicious, if you love Oregon quality and value, you'll love this Friday Sips Tasting



April 7

The Annual Haut-Rian Dance Party. New releases from Haut-Rian with special guests Michel & Pauline Dietrich.



April 28

Tedeschi Amarone, Valpolicella & more. A real treat with special guest, Tedeschi owner/winemaker Riccardo Tedeschi in the house with his great wines.


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