2/5/19 The Cellar Door's 'Another Level' HotSheet

St-Emilion Grand Cru, Valentine's Day Rose Bubbly, Vietti, Oregon Pinot & more

Click to Order
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

If you are hoping for more than a kiss goodnight on Feb. 14, flowers alone will not cut it. Instead you will need a bottle of this impeccably made, sparkling rosé from one of Alsace’s finest producers that tickles the palate as well as one's spirit.

Made from 100% Pinot Noir and made by an Alsace specialist, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his daughter Laure take their sparkling wines very seriously by not making tooty-frooty, candied versions. Moreover, at $23.99 a bottle it should make every meal a milestone, or add to a daily a festive feast. The color is a beautiful pink that is pale, yet lively. The mousse is a delicate foam that cascades over one's tongue. The finish is all-together refined and elegant. More dry than the likes of the Lucien Albrecht, it sports succulent red currants and fresh strawberries touched by rose petals and ginger. Serve with salmon, grilled vegetables, couscous, and sushi or just by itself.

Click to Order
$25.99 BTL./$311.88 CASE

No matter how much you slice and dice it, this wine is way above its Nebbiolo Langhe stature. Aged in barrel for the required time to labeled as Barolo or Barbaresco, Luca Currado chooses off softer and more easy-going lots that are accessible early to make this always excellent wine that is blended from fabulous single Crus.

This bullies a hell of a lot of Normale Barolo! Let’s face it the stakes in the region are very high now and there are many folks who would label as wine this good as Barolo and Vietti has the ability to be able to declassify into something this fabulous. Lyrical and majestic Nebbiolo with drawn-out red fruits, chocolate licorice and undercurrents of perfumed earth tones. Exquisite movement, depth and persistence, especially on the detailed and luxurious finish. Not undrinkable now, but do decant. Drink through 2023.

Click to Order
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

The Black Slate line of wines are cool and very affordable from one of Spain's great regions that's known more its luxury wines that sell well above 20 bucks. The Gratallops is done by Celler Cecilio and is specifically from the high-elevation village of Gratallops (or as Bryan calls it-Garnacha-Land on the Moon) is a deep, haunting red from black slate soils.

Mainly Grenache with dollops of Carignan and Syrah, the 2015 is smooth, graceful and large-framed, it reveals copious amounts of plum, lavender, black cherry, slate and cinnamon tones that follow into a texture that is voluptuous and substantial. Plenty of lift and structure allows it never to be cloying; it also clings to the palate in a pleasant manner well after the wine is swallowed. Very enjoyable now with an herb-crusted, roasted or grilled pork dish, however it ages impeccably and this one will drink and develop nicely through 2023.

Click to Order
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

About as great as they come in New Zealand, Kumeu River Wines, located in the Auckland area, are an award-winning 5-star producer and one of the mighty, very high-end Chardonnay producers in New Zealand. The Villages version is quite a delicious gateway wine that leads into their vast world of Chardonnay.

Aged 80% in neutral barrel and 20% in stainless steel tank, this wine is meant for instant enjoyment. Classic uplifting and cool notes intertwined with lime, pineapple and creamy pear, maintaining the purity of fruit and highlighting the wonderfully fresh and crisp flavors. This is the perfect patio white as there is enough fruit to enjoy on its own and it will take you into a fresh seafood salad or grilled chicken meal without missing a beat.

Click to Order
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

From Italy’s Basilicato region comes this tasty red wine made from the Aglianico grape. From one of the leading estates, this version is one to provide immediate pleasure without shredding your teeth, tongue and palate as this grape can sometimes do so very well.

Honest, soulful and dressed up nicely without losing its natural beauty, this hearty red reveals wild berry aromas that are finely enhanced by undertones of tea-leaf, truffle and chocolate licorice. Bold and firm, this is a wine that is a great introduction to the racy Aglianico grape. It also lets one know that it is a wine for food, not for cocktail-style sipping. Enjoy over the next 2-3 years with sausage-mushroom pizza, slow-roasted lamb or a spicy-tomato pasta dish.

Click to Order
$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

One of Oregon’s superb makers, Matt Berson and his wife came up with the name Love & Squalor when they first started producing wine over a decade ago without much in the way of financial resource. Having learned his craft at Patty Green, J. Christopher and in New Zealand, Matt quickly became known for his scintillating Riesling wines.

Not only does he do Riesling very well, he also excels at Pinot Noir. The 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is quite a knockout offering that comes from several top vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley. Cinnamon/clove spice beneath lots of violet are very prominent on the rather sultry and graceful nose. Nice movement and polish in the mouth while being quite airy. Gains depth, substance, and especially fresh vibrancy; tightens a bit on the finish with touches of ripe fruit, dusty herbs and an underlay of detailed earth. Nice length and material here, this 2016 can be consumed early and will easily age for 7-9 years.

Click to Order
$8.99 BTL./$107.88 CASE

Southern Rhone Valley, France. 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Carignan. A favorite Provencal red this is almost too good to sell for 9 bucks!

One smell and you are transported to this dreamland with pronounced lavender, plum, pepper and plenty of spiced-earth character. Voluptuous, flavors with excellent depth, personality and dimension make this a beyond suitable red with grilled meats or veggies.

Click to Order
$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

From a long-time St-Emilion family whose winemaking and farming knowledge goes back decades, Madame Claude de Labarre bought this terrific property while she was still owner of Chateau Cheval Blanc in 1990. Joined by her son Arnaud in 1996. Terrific terroir takes hold at this estate and in 2017, the conversion to biodynamic farming was complete. In the winery, gentleness and energy are what the Labarre family are looking to achieve and with the newly arrived 2016 they have done just that with this young wine that has immense potential given the greatness of the vintage.

Plenty of St-Émilion limestone qualities on the nose along with raspberry fruit and enticing tones of espresso; authentic, flavorful and forward along with plenty of clarity, this wine provides a hell of a lot of pleasure along with deceptive backbone for aging, especially on the classically firm finish. It is not undrinkable with a good decanting; however, I would recommend putting it in the cellar for a couple more years because it will develop beautifully and do very well through 2030.


B is for Burgundy

This Friday February 8 from 1:30 – 6:30

It is a rare day when we do an entire Friday Sips tasting dedicated to Burgundy. Drop by this Friday to sample four excellent wines that span the region and reveal so much of its diversity.


2015 Domaine Bart Marsannay ‘Les Ouzeloy’
2017 Feuillarde Macon-Charnay
2016 Pernot-Belicard Bourgogne Chardonnay
2015 Pillot Beaune Bucherottes Premier Cru