Hot Sheets

Provence Rose, Sancerre, Dolcetto & Barbera

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$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

One Hundred Degrees today has had me a little lethargic, until I remembered that I tasted this Sancerre and the following wine from this hair-raising producer located in the northeast sector of the appellation. Having worked with Solena and NW Wine Company here in Oregon as well as Burgundy and New Zealand, young brothers Clement and Florian Berthier look as though they could be indie-rock musicians playing in Bon Iver but actually make resoundingly traditional expressions of Sauvignon Blanc that screams of their geological edifice in their vineyards.

This particular Sancerre comes from 40-year-old vines grown in Silex (flint) soils. If you want mineral, you certainly have mineral when it comes to this wine. Dominated by an exquisite sense of terroir, bountiful smoky aromas are wrapped by Texas grapefruit, white peach, lemon-lime and blossoms. The texture starts fleshy then expands, becoming dynamic, vivid, bracing and very multi-dimensional. This intellectual Sancerre finishes with old vine depth and extension, but carries plenty of vibrancy and will accompany king salmon, spot prawns an especially a good Crottin du Chavignol goat cheese very well indeed.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Thanks to tariffs and short vintages causing prices to escalate, Sancerre lovers should get to know the lesser-known neighbors of this region. Areas like Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly and Coteaux-du-Geinnois provide amazing wines that eflect excellent price/quality rapport. Located just under an hour north of Sancerre, the Coteaux du Giennois was upgraded to appellation status in 1998 and the wines are sort of a Remora to its more famous siblings.

Grown in soils comprised of silex, limestone and clay, there is both minerality and cushion to this Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of mineral, lemongrass, gooseberry and anise follow over to a brisk texture with fine depth and carries to the dinner table nicely. Superb breed and class, this wine will pair nicely with sockeye salmon, halibut with a pico de gallo or steamed clams served over a bed of pasta.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

So many folks know the Vacca name in Barbaresco from Aldo Vacca at the Produttori but over the last twenty years, his cousin Renato has carved out a beautiful niche in Barbaresco as well. Sadly, the wine world lost Renato in March following a lengthy battle with cancer but his wife Franca is carrying on his excellent legacy.

Cantina del Pino's Dolcetto is made from sites within Barbaresco and offers mouth filling qualities of deep blueberry, cranberry and subtle minerality. Loads of gorgeous, dry-berry fruit in the mouth give way to a finesseful characteristic that is indicative of Barbaresco-area Dolcetto. Drink this superb red with smoked meat, sausage, salami, a combination of all three on pizza or hearty pasta dishes.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Renato’s wife, Franca has a family vineyard in the Asti zone and the estate and a few years back folded this wine into the Cantina del Pino range. Aged 14 months, with six in barrel, before release, this wine reflects the smooth stylings of this terrific estate.

Something that is safe to your wallet, kneecaps and thumbs is this fine Barbera. Polished, forward notes of plum, black cherry, licorice, cocoa, and rose petal prevail on the nose, while penetrating aspects shine on the supple yet fresh frame. A classic wine seemingly made for mushroom dishes, leaner cuts of beef or steak and kidney pie.

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[reg. $44.99]
SPECIAL - $33.99 BTL./$407.88 CASE

The legendary David Ramey plays a significant role in the world's tapestry of mind-blowing examples of Chardonnay. David Ramey's expertise with Dominus, Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek resonates within his own wines. The Bordeaux varietal blends and chardonnays that he creates are among the most compelling in all of California. In addition to maintain soul and a sense of realness, these wines consistently receive acclaim, and deservedly so, they are damn delicious.

The Russian River Chard is a blend of vines from four Russian River Valley vineyards with vines planted between 1969 and 2006. Highlighted by a wide and complex aromatic profile and seriously long flavors, subdued and reserved cereal/oatmeal aromas float from the glass with broad juicy pear and minerality joining soon after. A Chard to please both the California and Burgundy lover's palate with long broad strokes of aromatic herbs, deftly balanced with citrus and buttery tones and a dramatically textured mouthfeel. Enjoy this top-notch Chardonnay over the next 6-8+ years.

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$37.50 BTL./$450.00 CASE

A true blend of Pinot Noir grapes from Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge, etc., I always go back to this wine and feel like it is a Director’s Cut because of the artistic efforts that go into making such a fabulous blend and in balancing the numerous vineyard sites.

2017 is a fabulous Oregon vintage and one that will age beautifully. Obtaining optimum balance and character the 2017 reveals black raspberry, an almost molé like character, engaging floral scents and plenty of exotic spices. Lavish and forming this wine penetrates deeply and possesses plenty of zestiness and harmony then turns graceful, compact and persistent revealing that it should be cellared for another year or two. Dark, lingering and very attractive, drink this stunning Oregon Pinot from 2022 – 2030.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

For those of you who enjoyed the pre-Hollywood versions of Chateau Miraval Rose this is one to seek out and drink. In 1999, this classic Provencal Chateau and its vineyards were revitalized and purchased by Tom Beve an American who formerly owned Chateau Miraval. Located in a different spot than Miraval and possessing different terroir, this Rose is prototype of what good, well crafted, Southern French Rose should be.

Made from the usual suspects, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre this pearl of a dry pink wine is lightly macerated on its skins for a few hours then gently pressed to put forth something quite complex and complete. The core of refined fruit flourishes beautifully and balances the crisp minerality of this lip smacking wine. As this beauty sits in the glass, aromas of fraise du bois, watermelon and herbs du Provence swirl from within. There are three words for this wine – GIVE ME MORE!! One of the most versatile wine styles that exists have this dry Rose with everything from grilled salmon to herb-crusted lamb lollipops to a fresh bucheron cheese.

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$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE

Prohibitionists and puritans would probably disagree with us immediately complain to the FCC, but sensuality and hedonism are good things. Why do we mention this? Most likely due to the fact that while we tasted this Spanish-tickler red wine last week, we kept coming up with many explicit food pairings that would co-habitate so well with this magical blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and a dollop of Merlot.

From the overshadowed Navarra region that neighbors Rioja, this red is varietally strong and honest with bold, fruit-driven personality, this chewy red is layered with raspberry and cracked pepper tones. Vibrant enough to go with tomatoes, hearty enough to go with a steak, enjoy it now and often.

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$39.99 BTL./$239.94 - SIX PACK

Named after the hamlet of Pez, which includes Chateau de Pez and Chateau Les Ormes de Pez, the Bouchara family has owned this estate since 1989 and has elevated them into the top Cru Bourgeois status in Saint-Estephe. Best yet is that it doesn’t dispense a price tag north of $55 like the other Pez’s.
Solid, sturdy but sensual – prototype St-Estephe based around almost equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with about 10% Petit Verdot in the mix. Cherry along with interesting scents of Havanas, roses, turned earth, rhubarb, licorice and cardamom. Generous entry then clamps down as to be expected. Underlying graceful tones, impressive material. Moves nicely but ultimately is packed in. Hangs around and lingers quite well. Stuffed, impressive finish; this is destined for unheralded greatness. Drink 2022 – 2030.