1st Bottle Red: Cataclysm, Red Blend, Columbia Valley

For the wine snob: As the last ice age came to a close, the glacial dam holding back. Lake Missoula would periodically burst, releasing a 400-foot wall of water that tore across the Pacific Northwest. The cataclysmic floods devastated everything in their path and reshaped the landscape. But from this upheaval, new life was born. The floodwaters scoured soil and sediment from the land as they went , pooling and eddying through what is now the Columbia Valley, leaving a nutrient poor, but well drained soil. Pair that with Eastern Washington’s reliable sunshine and wide temperature swings, and you have near perfect conditions for growing grapes. Cataclysm pays homage to the forces that continue to shape and reshape the earth beneath our feet.

For the rest of us: 40% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Syrah. Inspired by the bold brilliance of traditional Bordeaux blends, the Cataclysm Red Blend puts a little chaos in the mix with robust Syrah. Aromas of chocolate, fig, stewed cherries and blackberries mix with vanilla and cassis. Marionberry and blueberry envelop the palate with hints of the dusty soils of Eastern Washington. This is a deeply structured blend with a velvety mouthfeel that lingers with toasty oak and spice well after the last sip.

1st Bottle White: Secateurs, Chenin Blanc, Swartland

For the wine snob: Owned by cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst, together restored the cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930’s to make natural wines in the traditional manner. The vineyards are made up of very old bush-vines planted with Chenin Blanc (average 40 year old vines), Cinsault (average 45 years), and Grenache (average 58 years). The vines are un-irrigated grown on a variety of granite soils that are naturally low yielding. Most of the Chenin vines were planted in the late 1960’s to mid-1970 and tend to yield around 4 tons/hectare.

For the rest of us: Chenin blanc has a lot of structure on it’s own, but this wine has a tiny bit of Semillon and Grenache blanc added to round it off. The aromas are flinty with honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit notes.

2nd Bottle Red: Camigliano, Rosso Di Montalcino DOC, Italy

For the wine snob: Previously appreciated and widely known under various denominations, the Rosso di Montalcino acquired a precise identity and official recognition with the issuance of the Denominazione di Origine Controllata in 1983. The community can now boast of having three denominations of origin: Brunello, which requires extended aging; Rossodi Montalcino, a younger wine that combines a special vivacity and freshness with a superb structure, and the Moscadello di Montalcino.

For the rest of us: 100% Sangiovese grosso. Ruby red color. The nose is very fruity, of red ripe fruits. It has a good acidity and smooth texture, well balanced between tannin and alcohol. The after taste id fruity and mineral, with a good persistence.

2nd Bottle White: Luigi Baudana, Langhe Bianco Dragon, Italy

For the wine snob: Dragon is a unique white blend from the Langhe. Originally produced by Luigi Baudana during the 1980s with Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc, it has evolved to embrace Nascetta, an exciting heirloom variety, and a tiny amount of Riesling. Dragon was born out of two dreams: to respect and carry on the legacy of Luigi Baudana’s vineyards and to offer a white wine that could be both easy and fun, and yet with a true complexity underneath. The vineyards grow on ancient soils dominated mostly by Serravallian limestones and Arenarie di Diano of Tortonian origin. Grapes are picked at optimal ripening. The fruit is carefully sorted and undergoes a whole cluster gentle pressing. Fermentations last up to twelve – fifteen days in vertical vats at low temperature. Weekly batonnage are operated for the purpose of keeping fine lees in suspension and better protect this wine from oxidation, with lower sulfur levels.

For  the rest of us: 45% Chardonnay, 30% Nascetta, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Riesling. A pale and bright yellow enriched by dry perfumes of stone, flowers, and summery grass. Dry and slightly savory on the palate, its stinging freshness is well balanced by a warm taste. This is the promise of our Langhe Bianco.


1st Reserve Bottle Red: Guy Breton, Morgon, France 2018

For the wine snob: Guy’s principal wine, the Morgon “Vieilles Vignes” is sourced from the Saint Joseph and

Grand Cras subzones of the appellation, which give fine, stony wines. A high-lying sandy

parcel contributes more complexity, structure, and acidity to the blend. 40% of bottling comes from purchased grapes from the lower part of the climate “Les Charmes”. Aged 60% in used barrels, 40% in tank.

For the rest of us: 100% Gamay. Brilliant, bright-rimmed ruby. A highly complex, expressive bouquet displays intense red and blue fruit liqueur, cherry compote and incense aromas, along with notes of star anise, smoked meat and lavender. Silky, broad and spicy on the palate, offering alluringly sweet black raspberry, cherry cola and floral pastille flavors that convey depth as well as energy. Chewy tannins build steadily through the sweet, broad finish, which shows outstanding persistence and leaves behind sappy blue fruit and floral notes

1st Reserve Bottle White: Ca’n Verdura, Supernova Blanc, Mallorca

For the wine snob: Supernova Blanc is Ca’n Verdera’s premier white wine from the indigenous moll (premsal) grape grown in the cal vermell soils, consisting of red, iron-rich clay and limestone with small and medium-sized galets. The flagship Supernova Blanc originates from the best plots of old-vine moll from bush-trained vineyards planted in the 1950s in the villages surrounding Binissalem, including the village of Santa Maria,which are considered the finest vineyards in the area. Grapes come from the Cas Pastor, Cas Verd, Son Borrás, and Plà de Buc plots, planted at 130 meters.

For the rest of us: This complex island white is medium bodied, with a profile of citrus, chamomile, fresh herbs, fennel, and white fruit notes, which provide great freshness. Wines are made with low intervention and minimal sulfur at bottling. Production is necessarily very limited, as every bottle in this garage winery is sold each vintage.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas, France

For the wine snob: Dominique Ay, the serious-minded proprietor of Domaine Raspail-Ay, makes one of the most iconic wines in all of Gigondas . Its 19 hectares make up one contiguous block of vines, mid-

slope on the rugged clay/limestone terraces, the best terroir of the Gigondas appellation. The imposing rock formation of the Dentelles de Montmirail looms above as a backdrop. Everything about Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas is traditional: a classic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre; vinification in concrete, and

aging in large oak foudres. Besides a small amount of Gigondas Rosé, only one wine is made – Gigondas. There is no Côtes du Rhône, no “Réserve”, “Vieilles Vignes”, or special new oak cuvée bottling. Only one wine, consistently ranked among the top wines produced in the appellation year in and year out.

For the rest of us: 70% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre. Domaine Raspail-Ay produces classic Gigondas wines. Full-bodied, fruity, fine and well-balanced. Aromas of red fruits – raspberries and black cherries – with notes of black pepper, lead to more complex scents of licorice and herbs de Provence. Tannins are ripe, the wine fills the mouth with warm, generous flavors yet with an underlying structure that bodes well for future potential. A fruit-forward and accessible wine, Domaine Raspail-Ay is an ideal wine for restaurants.


2nd Reserve Bottle White: Dumol Estate, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

For the wine snob: Our finest Chardonnay from the 2020 vintage and one of the greatest chardonnays we’ve ever bottled, the 2020 Estate typifies the style of the vintage—density and concentration, with high acidity and driving energy. It’s a wine that can age and develop even greater complexity in bottle for a decade. What I love

about this wine is the interplay between floral, fresh herb, and fruit characters both aromatically and on the palate. The vines’ low yields this season drive the deep, rich structure so the wine is textural and chewy with powerful fruit extract. The high natural acidity picks up the wine and cuts through all this density, so the flavors echo long and clear. What a magical wine.

For the Rest of us: Intensely fragrant aromas of nectarine, apricot, and citrus with lily, sage, and thyme. Lime and lemongrass flavors drive the palate with vibrant zest. The wine’s texture is deep and enveloping but there’s tremendous energy and lift to the finish which is drenched with wiry mineral acidity.