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The Sec Wines Newsletter features wines that we're really excited to offer you.  These are wines worthy of a special feature due to their high quality to value ratio and just plain deliciousness.  Enjoy!

Domaine de Marzilly (Champagne Ullens) Brut, Lot 08, $59.89 bottle / $329.94($54.99) six-pack
New exiting Champagne discovery! Maxime Ullens de Schooten, an architect by training, started his domaine in 2012 and it had its first real commercial vintage in 2016. He’s had some excellent tutelage (but we can’t say from whom) that has propelled him from upstart to the 2020 "Winemaker of the Year" from the renowned Gault Millau -a new Champagne star has been born! This is a blend of 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay. This is more of a wine than a Champagne- there's even less pressure with 5 bars using natural yeast. Max is not looking for Meunier's exotic fruit flavors but something more complex and pure - a sort of autumnal palette of dried fruit and nuts and brioche. This Champagne has exceptional balance and while it makes for a splendid aperitif, it really excels at the table. Get in on the ground floor.

Special Price: $58.89 per bottle


2017 Olga Raffault, Chinon, Less Picasses $29.89 bottle / $165.00($27.50) per six-pack
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but… longtime readers of this column know that traditionally minded Olga Raffault is not just our favorite producer of Chinon, but of Cabernet Franc grown anywhere in the world. The Les Picasses vineyard is one of the finest in Chinon, thus making it one of the finest Cabernet Franc vineyards in the world. Fifty+ year old vines grown on clay with a limestone base combined with minimalist winemaking give us one amazing Chinon.  This wine is all about the earthy, minerally side of Chinon; beautiful raspberry fruit supports leather and soil tones, framed by mouthwatering acidity and fine-grained tannins with amazing finesse. While the 2017 Olga Raffault Les Picasses is certainly very enjoyable to drink now with charcuterie, grilled fatty ribeye or a simple pork shoulder roast, this wine will improve as it ages effortlessly in the cellar through 2040. I've had the pleasure of enjoying the 1978, 1989 and 1995 over the past few years and flipped over all three vintages. I'm confident the 2016 will join the ranks of the above trio of mature vintages.

Special Price: $29.89 per bottle


2021 McKinlay, Pinot Noir, Special Selection, Chehalem Mountains, W.V. OR $44.99 bottle / $251.94($41.99) six-pack
Insider alert: For over 25 years, Matt Kinne of McKinlay winery has been quietly issuing some of the finest Pinot Noir in the new world. You won't find McKinlay wines reviewed in the wine press, but you will find them in the cellars of the savviest Pinot Noir collectors. Matt's 2021 Special Selection bottling is the winery's most structured and age-worthy Pinot Noir. McKinlay issues several different Pinot Noir bottlings in most vintages, but his Special Selection is the one he bottles with long-term development in mind. From the Estate and Ladd Hill vineyards planted in the ‘70s with the noble Wedensville and Pommard clones, the 2021 Special Selection offers a Volnay-like beautiful nose with scents of violets, earth, game and warm cherries. The palate is reserved yet penetrating with exquisite balance (13% alc.) and a seductive silky texture. Really pretty red fruit, earth, minerals and a hint of cinnamon in the background are supported by lively acidity and suave tannins that ensure a very long and graceful evolution. This may turn out to be the value of the vintage for Oregon Pinot Noirs capable of long-term cellaring. What kind of style of Pinot Noirs do we stock our cellars with? This kind!  A true value.

Special Price: $44.99 per bottle


2019 Evening Land, Chardonnay, La Source, Eola-Amity, W.V. OR $69.99 bottle / $389.94($64.99)
This is sensational Chardonnay and will please discriminating Oregon and Burgundian Chardonnay lovers alike. Evening Land's Seven Springs Vineyard is one of the oldest and most sought-after sites in the Willamette Valley. Planted in 1984, the vineyard has always been dry-farmed and for years now, also farmed biodynamically. Hot shot sommeliers Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman are now in total control of the vineyard and with their vigilant oversight and visionary stance on winemaking, the quality of these wines continues to elevate. La Source is a small portion of the Seven Springs vineyard and is an obvious step up from the very good “regular” Seven Springs Chardonnay. This is just about the best that Seven Springs Vineyard has to offer for Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. “The grapes for La Source come from just down the slope in the Seven Springs vineyard from the top-of-the-line Summum bottling, but are tended with the same biodynamic methods, and the fermentation is the same. They are now using 500 litre Austrian puncheons from Stockinger with a very light toast, and the slightly reductive style still shows the influence of mentor Dominique Laron. La Source is similar to Summum but creamy and a bit softer, yet it has a charm of its own. Drinking Window 2021 - 2031.” - 94 Decanter + 94 Wine Spectator

Special Price: $69.99 per bottle


2019 Cameron, Nebbiolo, Willamette Valley $39.99 bottle / $227.94($37.99) six-pack
Geek Alert: From Cameron's famed estate vineyard, Clos Electrique, and Foster Farm vineyard in Ribbon Ridge, this is the finest, most Piemontese-like Nebbiolo made outside of Piedmont. The nose offers very cool, ethereal aromas of menthol, leather, and dried rose petals. The palate is all Nebbiolo with its firm tannins, medium body and notes of orange peel, fine tobacco and dried porcini. Very Alto-Piemontese-like. Enjoyable now with decanting and some hearty fare, this wine will really blossom over the next 7-15 years. For those of you familiar with Cameron’s Nebbiolo, I think this is the best vintage yet of this wine.

Special Price: $39.99 per bottle


2020 Montenidoli, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Tradizionale, Tuscany $24.99
After meeting the charming proprietress, Elisabetta Fagiuoli, I felt my judgement of this wine might have been clouded. But low and behold, I adore it even outside of Elisabetta's presence. This is Vernaccia made in the old way: following local tradition, the must macerates on the skins and is pressed just before the fermentation begins in order to capture the character and the flavors of the land. Pale yellow, tending towards gold, with hay and almonds on the nose, the palate is rich, yet racy with fine minerality and acidity and a firm dry finish. Enjoy as an ideal partner with olive oil-based Mediterranean dishes, or on a lazy afternoon/evening while you're doing whatever you're doing.

Special Price: $24.89 per bottle


2020 Dom. Eugene Carrel, Mondeuse, Jongieux, Savoie, France $18.99
Eugene Carrel's Jongieux Mondeuse is made from 100% Mondeuse, a grape with some similarities to the Jura’s Poulsard/Ploussard. Deep crimson color with aromas of strawberry, blackcurrant and raspberry mixed with earthy and spicy notes waft up from the glass. The palate shows a soft, supple character buoyed by a refreshing acidity that frames red fruit and floral flavors with a notable earthy finish. Enjoy with all manner of poultry, red meats and Savoy cheeses. Lip smackin’ good.

Special Price: $18.99 per bottle


2022 Ch. Soucherie, Anjou Blanc (Chenin Blanc), Les Rangs de Long, Loire Valley $23.89
The white wines of the Anjou appellation are 100% Chenin Blanc and compare stylistically to those of Savennieres. But, since Anjou Blanc is not nearly as famous as Savennieres, the price tags are much friendlier despite the wines competing favorably with their Savennieres counterparts.  Aromas of almonds, beeswax, and honeysuckle slowly reveal themselves with a little aeration. The palate is completely dry, dense and concentrated with an indescribable sense of intensity and energy with pretty fruit and minerally finish.  Already delicious now and ready to enjoy over the next four years. I can’t think of a better Chenin Blanc for less than $30.

Special Price: $23.89 per bottle


2018 J.L. Chave Selections, Hermitage Blanc, Blanche $69.89 bottle / $399.00($66.50) six-pack
Hell yeah, this is real-deal white Hermitage at a screaming price from the master - Jean Louis Chave! This old-school Hermitage Blanc is 100% Marsanne and is more accessible than Domaine J.L. Chave's $300 + regular white Hermitage. This insanely delicious wine walks the tightrope of being a huge rich wine while maintaining a sense of elegance at the same time. No review yet. Drink over the next decade.

Special Price: $69.89 per bottle


2021 Ca’N Verdura, Ca Ses Rosetes, Giró Ros, Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Spain $37.99 bottle / $209.94($34.99) six-pack
Geek alert: Ca Ses Rosetes is a new white wine from a single 1.4ha vineyard of giró ros vines, located in the area of Son Borràs de Passatemps, outside the village of Santa Maria del Camí, Mallorca. Giró ros is one of the indigenous white varieties of Mallorca recovered at the beginning of the 21st century, which shows great promise and ability to improve in bottle. In his converted garage winery in the center of the ancient town of Binissalem, winemaker Tomeu Llabrés’s wines are handmade, without additions, subtractions or corrections. His primary objective is maximum respect and transparency for his terroir. To say that his 2021 Ca Set Rosetes is delicious is an understatement. It is also fascinating white wine that is texturally pleasing with fresh stone fruits allied with a strong minerals vein. This wine is not only fun on its own, but very versatile at the table.

Special Price: $37.99 per bottle



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