4/8/19 The Cellar Door's 'THIN AIR NINE' HotSheet

St-Emilion, Sauvignon Blanc, Under 15 Italian Reds, Walla Walla Syrah & more

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

If one were to look at a wine encyclopedia, go the ‘S’ section and find St-Emilion you might find a photo of this wine because it is prototype of what this famed Bordeaux region offers. A long-time, terrific St-Emilion Chateau, commencing in 2007, owner Mme. Jacquet turned everyday operations over to Christian Moeuix, owner of the famed Chateau Petrus in Pomerol. The secret weapon at Puy Blanquet is chef du culture Pierre Meunier who is a vital part of L'Equipe Moeuix, and was trained by the man himself.

A real gentle soul of a wine with a very classic St-Emilion nose. Violets, blue fruits, fine herbs and touches of graphite. After 5 minutes in the glass, the graphite moves to the background while espresso notes come to the forefront. Exquisite in the mouth and very Bordeaux in stature filling the mouth with harmonious fruit and spiced earth following through to a seemingly airy finish. Deceptively structured, this wine will certainly age. Drink or hold through 2025.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

It has been ages since we have placed a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc this high up on one of our weekly features. From the Marlborough region and owned by famed cinematographer Michael Seresin who worked on films like Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Magical Mystery Tour, this estate is one of the nation’s finest. Founded in 1990 and located on the South Island, it plays right into Michael’s fascination with organics and putting the best wine forward.

Unlike the stereotypical NZ Sauvignon, this wine is not an explosion wine. Think of it as an M-80 versus a stick of dynamite. Seresin chooses wild-yeast fermentation, lees contact, an addition of 7% Semillon as well as 20% of the wine fermented in old French barrique all coming together to deliver a wonderfully refined white that maintains beautiful aromatics yet has toothsome texture and mid-palate. The 2017 is brimming with youthful notations of gooseberry, lime, white grapefruit, tangerine and peppery spices. The palate is refined and picking up late arriving burst, combining great balance between the clean and almost piercing acidity, minerality and abundant fruit. Enjoy the fresh flavors of this wine over the next 2 years with salmon, prawns, lemongrass soup and young goat cheeses.

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PENEDES NEGRE (Cabernet Sauvignon)
$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

From our main man Albert Jane, he who happens to be the Catalan mind behind Acustic Celler. Albert’s family also has the Penedes estate of Jane Ventura and when his father passed, Albert inherited Mas Vilella and started his own Penedes project there. This particular wine is from the vineyard that is part of the estate and was planted by Albert’s parents some 40 years ago.

95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Sumoll, Mas Vilella is a special vineyard whose soils are meager and rocky and abound with fossilized crustaceans. Cedary and certainly stately, there are plenty of Meridonial aspects here, but the bottom line is that this wine is certainly well poised with devastating concentration. A mysterious brunette, this red has many twists and turns as well as layered cassis/currant qualities, touches of peppermint, brown sugar and cinnamon tones that are completely packed right now. The finish is superb, spicy and haunting. Youthfully as somewhat to be expected, the material here is mighty impressive. Drink over the next 15 years but if you do want to uncork one now, do decant it for about an hour beforehand.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

38.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 25.5% Sangiovese and somewhat of a new everyday item from Montepulciano rock star Avignonesi, somehow one of the critics, James Suckling bestowed 92 points on this savory and mouth-tingling Tuscan blend.

Very pretty aromatics, highlighted by wild strawberry, sage, and licorice. There is plenty of juicy black cherry fruit in the mouth along with nice structure and spice, I would almost refer to this as a great Italian meat and potatoes wine but would probably be best served with pasta, tomatoes and olive oil.

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$27.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

We initially worked and loved these wines about 10 years ago and have always continued to pine for them, wishing they weren’t with such a pain in the ass of a distributor. Recently they moved to a good one and we are doing cartwheels that we are able to feature them again! Otis Kenyon winery is the brainchild of Steve Kenyon and his family. The winery is located just on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley, and once you navigate through the pit-bull breeders and meth labs, you come to rock-laden vineyards, which are on ancient dry riverbeds. Also down here is Otis Kenyon's winery. Fear not, however, you really don't have to come down here – they have a tasting room in downtown Walla Walla. We did because we wanted to see the vineyards and taste with Steve. Classy wines are produced at Otis Kenyon and the wines are fairly priced, especially given their impeccable quality.

The Syrah comes from Otis Kenyon’s ‘Stellar Vineyard’ in the ‘The Rocks’ area of the Walla Walla Valley. Incidentally is the same place that Cayuse sources their Syrah from as well. Stunning aromatics leap from the glass showing wonderful wood smoke aromas and cracked pepper, black plum, hints of curry and an undertow of Mexican hot chocolate and mineral from the rocky earth. In the mouth, it is lavish, silky, yet quite substantial with a full core of fruit complemented by an excellent spine on the spice-laden finish. This WOW Syrah and should be enjoyed through 2025.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

From the Getaraiko region overlooking San Sebastián, comes the Txakoli from Ameztoi. Ameztoi has achieved cult-like status and is regarded as the region's finest. From the estate's vineyards, one can see the Atlantic Ocean, visualize, and feel the profound influence that it has on the grapes and the wines. Made from the ever-popular (at least in this part of the Basque region) Hondarribi Zuri (90%) and Hondarribi Beltza (10%) grapes, at 10.5-11˚ alcohol, Ameztoi's Getaraiko Txakolina is a visceral white wine that has a natural sparkle.

Resoundingly fresh and shimmering, detailed and precise with perfumed crushed stone, seashore and lime-blossom scents that follow into a pleasing, bracing, vibrant, chalky and elevated mouth-feel. Truly a wine that will undoubtedly make anyone slaphappy! Drink it now, drink it often, it is a marvelous accompaniment to sushi or other fresh seafood.

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$36.99 BTL./$443.88 CASE

If you were to ask who is the next up and comer for Oregon Chardonnay, it would be Seth Morgen Long. Pure and simple, whenever this guy makes an appointment, I had better be sure to block off an hour because he has an impressive lineup and all sorts of information, adjuncts and opinions. I also like that he is quite an old, crazy curmudgeon in a thirty-something’s body but still, I have flipped over his wines since first being introduced them a couple years ago.

Loubejac is a vineyard site located near Monmouth and as we are seeing with the likes of Lingua Franca, Walter Scott and others, this area south of Salem is quite the hotbed for undiscovered Chardonnays. Electric minerality and vibrant aromatics of flint, yellow citrus, white florals, and green mango. The palate displays purity and great tension as kernels of flavor move with thrilling natural acidity into a refreshing finish with only subtle suggestions of spice from third-filled French oak. Drink through 2026.

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$10.99 BTL./$65.94 - SIX PACK

An exciting wine from Paolo Petrilli and meant to be a younger sibling to the profound Agramente. Yes, this little 11-buck red has DOC status (C’acce Mmita di Lucera) and is a wonderful, up front, delightful Italian red for everyday use.

Based around Nero di Troia and blended with Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Bombino, this wine is ruby red in color with violet reflections, this dynamo is medium structured, with moderate acidity and soft tannins. It shares an intense, ethereal nose of plum, and black cherry. Perfect for a whole bunch of flavors, Motta Del Lupo is a smooth and easy drinking red wine with a long and friendly finish. Drink it now and often.

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$45.99 BTL./$551.88 CASE

After indulging on a crab feast at the coast this past weekend, one absolutely must chase all of the white wine and bubbles with a damn fine bottle or six of good red wine. We tasted this at a Seat At The Table event that we had last month featuring Cotes-de-Nuits Burgundy but having it paired with really good cheeses, it had my eyes rolling, it is that damn good.

From vines planted in 1977 and within the borders of Gevrey Chambertin, the taciturn Denis Bachelet is a Rushmore producer of Gevrey-Chambertin. Way, way more than Bourgogne status here. Pure as all get out. Perfumed fruit, subtle pepper and savory herbs. Terrific transparency and density. Some creamy aspects along with cherry pit. Stylish and fine with lots of depth, movement and wiry acids and tannins. Old vine persistence and palate coverage on back end that all seem to linger for an eternity. A stupendous example and one that will drink beautifully through its tenth birthday and probably beyond.


You’re Never Alone With A Cotes-du-Rhone

This Friday April 12 from 1:30 – 6:30

Outstanding new selections from Domaine La Manarine, a fabulous producer located in the Southern Rhone’s Plan de Dieu area. Come join us for sips of Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc, Rouge et Rose as well as a new Chateauneuf offering the Domaine.


2017 La Manarine Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge
2017 La Manarine Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc
2018 La Manarine Cotes-du-Rhone Rose
2016 La Manarine Chateauneuf-du-Pape