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This wine is singing loud! Matrot's wines, both red and white, can be powerful and backward in their youth. Their Corton-Charlemagne can take yours before even expressing a little bit of its personality. Their reds had been the same for a long time but in many cases even more austere. When you take the already backward wines coming from Beaune, which are beautiful but can be polarizing, and you add that to Matrot's power it would be hard to drink for a long while. That has changed! A new approach to the reds has made them much more approachable in a handful of years vs. a decade. This great premier cru is the perfect example of how power can combine with elegance. Blagny is a hamlet within Meursault. There is the Meursault-Blagny white, but for Pinot Noir, it is called "Blagny". The same mineral soil that gives the wine intensity for reds and white is at the heart of this one. At six years of age, it is showing its ample fruit, mineral texture, and some newer wood to round it all out. A drinker and a keeper. 

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SKU: Matro Blagny "La Piece Sous le Bois 1er Cru"

The wines of Greece have had a period of popularity that they never had before, and it is well deserved. To many, they were thought of as souvenirs or something you would just have at a Greek restaurant. Or, people would think of Retsina as the wine of Greece and that brings back thoughts of something brown and smells of Pinesol. All of this couldn't be further from the truth. The wines have been competing on the world stage of wine for years now.

My first trip to Greece to visit wineries was almost 20 years ago. Back then we only saw a few wines of high quality coming into the US. When I visited I could see the greatness, and the potential of every single winery visited. The country's wine regions are incredibly diverse, and every single place has indigenous varieties that sing about the area they are grown. One of the most incredible places in Greece to showcase their individuality is Santorini and their grape, Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko is a special grape, as it gets ripe and retains its acidity-which is rare. What that does is allows the special minerality of the island stands out - always! 

Assyrtiko is like a Stradivarius, as it has the perfect tone and is like no other. However, like a Stradivarius, you need the right person to really show why it is the best, and that person is Paris Sigalas. Paris has been pioneering the wines of Santorini for decades. He took Assytiko to new heights with his winemaking style, which I can describe only as "Pure". He also makes an oaked version of the wine, and both oaked and unoaked showcase the amazing volcanic terroir of the island. Tasting a vertical of 12 vintages, oaked and unoaked, I was stunned by all the wines I was comparing it with. For unoaked I was mentioning the top Grand Cru of Chablis, and for the oaked, I was talking about wineries like Haut-Brion and Mission Haut-Brion. There is an intensity of fruit that sticks out on the nose, which combines with an intense flintiness - reminiscent of striking a fire starter. The texture is like lemon curd with a beautiful chalkiness that lingers on the tongue, and the finish stays for what feels like a decade. 

A wine like this competes with the top whites in the world, and thankfully it doesn't have its price. This will become an addition to your list of favorites. 

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SKU: Sigalas Santorini 19

Sandrone is a winery we have spoken about often, and we now have their last read release for this year. We have their amazing Valmaggiore Nebbiolo. This vineyard is outside of Barolo in the famed region of Roero, in Piemonte. It has the structure of Sandrone's winemaking, as well as some of the more plush fruit that is seen in Roero. They make a small amount, just like their Barolo's, and this is one you should snap up right away. It disappears very quickly, and people wait for its release every year. 

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SKU: Luciano Sandrone "Valmaggiore" Nebbiolo 2019

Ciacci Piccolomini is a rockstar among greats. Each release of their Brunello is widely anticipated, but not nearly as much as their flagship and raison d'être - the Vigna di Pianrosso Riserva. Pianrosso is their plot which makes the most concentrated, robust wines that are a perfect canvas for opulence. They also have a fragrance that I can only compare to the spice of great Barolo, with the coffee-like aromas of St. Julien Bordeaux. The 2015 is a blockbuster. Only 6 bottles were given, so grab them fast!

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SKU: Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona "Riserva" 2015

For the first time ever, Sauvignon Blanc is having success globally, not just in the wines of Marlborough, New Zealand. Many people's palates have moved to fresher varieties and styles of winemaking instead of the rich, concentrated, heavily oaked white wines. We see that in the shop, as more people are drinking crisp varieties from Italy, Greece, Austria, Germany, and France. Included in France is the true home of great Sauvignon Blanc - the Loire Vally.

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are the gold standards for the purest examples of Sauvignon Blanc with both fruit and mineral intensity. Sancerre has pure chalk Kimmeridgian soil which gives its zing-like texture. Just across the way is Pouilly-Fumé, which also has the beautiful Kimmeridgian soil but also flint mixed in. This additional layer of soil adds a great intensity level to the knows - one which is like using a firestarter while camping. 

Régis Minet is a second-generation winemaker at what was his family's estate and is now his own. With forty harvests of experience, he knows the land and has the ability to morph with the years. In a time when many are pushing ripeness to fit into a specific profile, he works the wine to fit the land - keeping true to the classics of the region. His wines have intensity, a lean, dry citrus rind character, along with a zip of terroir which almost makes the center of your tongue numb. In my years of building wine lists, it is a wine that has always been a staple because it is such a standout from the Loire - period. Another perfect porch sipper which goes with all the amazing spring and summer vegetables, any type of goat cheese, and yummy smoked fish. 

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SKU: Régis Minet "Vielles Vignes" Pouilly Fumé 2020

There aren't many more superlatives that can be said about Bründlmayer, other than "INCREDIBLE"! This release is classic Grüner Veltliner, however, it is an exception to the rule. The Lamm vineyard is one of the warmest sites, that faces south near the border of Heilegenstein. While the usual Grüner has a little lightness and prickle on the finish, the Lamm takes on an unctuousness that dominates the palate. It has great balance, and classic chalkiness, but an almost Yellow Chartreuse richness and herbal note that keeps the flavor on the palate for forever. We tasted this in an Austrian class recently and it was remarkable. It is tasty now, but a great one to put away if you are patient enough. 

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SKU: Brundlmayer Lama Gruner Veltliner

One of the last places people think of when the words "Cabernet Sauvignon" are used is Sardinia. Sella & Mosca has been making some of the greatest wines in Italy, and in Sardinia for over a century. They focus on the local varieties of Vermentino and Canonau (grenache). However, one thing they did decades ago is plant Cabernet on a plot that has turned into a treasure in the region of Alghero in Sardinia. The Marchese di Villamarina is like well structured Bordeaux from St. Estephe, but harkens back to the 80s when the wines had power. This 2014 is a drinker and a wine for the cellar. It has rich, powerful fruit, with dried savory herbs, and a punch of vanilla from the oak. This is a find!

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SKU: Sella & Mosca "Marchesi di Villamarina" 2014

It isn't often when a new winery starts in a location that is known for tradition, let alone begin and rise to the top of the ranks - such is the story of Siro Pacenti. In 1970 Siro purchased property north of the town of Montalcino, in Pelagrilli. Here he planted vineyards on the clay soils facing north to the town of Sienna. However, as an individual in pursuit of excellence, the first wines weren't bottled until 1988, which gave time for the vines to reach a maturity level worthy of Brunello. Siro's son, Giancarlo, had taken over the day-to-day at the property and he bottled both Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino. 

In the early nineties, they added a new gem to the property from the town of Piancornello. This new gem was vineyards south of the hill of Montalcino. These vineyards are planted to mineral-rich soil with a base of marine layers. The appellation of Brunello di Montalcino is a mosaic of soils, which range from clay, sand, schist, mineral, and marine. Much of the house styles of wineries are based on where their vineyards are planted. The flavor and textures of the final wines showcase the vineyards they are planted on. In the case of Siro Pacenti, it gave them the next flavor component to blend for their wines so they could mix power and elegance.  

There are two main bottlings for their Brunello's. The first is the Pelagrilli. This wine is made from their "younger" vines, which happen to be at least 25 years of age. The second is the "Vecchie Vigne", which is made from vines 35 years of age and older. They also produce a Rosso di Montalcino that they make from their younger vines that are 25 years and under. Unlike many wineries in the area, Siro Pacenti uses the same vineyards for their Rosso as they do their Brunello. 

In a rare occurrence, the winery has released a vertical of past vintages of their Vecchie Vigne, so we are offering this to you. For our Friday Five, we are doing a Friday Five +1. This six-pack is the '12, '13, '15, and '16 of the Vecchie Vigne, as well as the '16 Pelagrilli. To boot, we thought we would add the Rosso to Montalcino from 2019 to have a wine to drink while you watch these babies grow up. There are only four of these available, so act fast. They don't make a lot of wine, and they hold even less of the back vintages. Ciao!

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SKU: Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Vertical

G.D. Vajra is another rockstar amongst the other rock gods in Piemonte. They excel at Barolo with their single-vineyard wines and their "Normale" - which is a term that gets used here in the U.S., but there is nothing normal about any of their wines. Today we are offering a wine that should be three times the price, but we are happy it isn't. This Barbera is like hawthorn berries, dried cherry, and a fresh pop at the end. Like a great Beaujolais, it benefits from being served at cellar temperate. Put this on ice for a few minutes, pull the cork, and you have the perfect summer wine for charcuterie on the deck. 

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SKU: Vajra Barbera 2020