First Friday Tasting, December 1, 2017

Aurelién Verdet took over from his father in 2005 and since that time this young ex-motorcycle racer has gained a loyal and enthusiastic following for his generous and eloquent wines. But several years ago Verdet moved his representation to a large importer / distributor as his wines gained fame and this of course, led to the inevitable escalation in pricing. So when the email listing these close-outs came through Tuesday my eyes lit up like Clark's house in National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. Affordable, high quality Burgundy, ready to enjoy without cellaring is such a rarity these days. Taste these exquisite wines tonight. Just in time for the holidays! Gevrey-Chambertin 2012 (92 pts. Wine Spectator): Regular price: $82.95 / Now: $57.95 / $49.25 Authentica Wine Club.   Nuits St. George 2009 (91 pts. Wine Spectator):Regular price: $58.95 / Now: $49.95 / $42.45 Authentica Wine Club.

We had to get in line for this one since just 20 cases were brought into Oregon. And with good reason since these are among the very best wines from this picturesque village in the southern Rhone. That's saying quite a lot considering the company is St. Cosme, Santa Duc, and Cayron, among others. The 2015s are so successful because they combine exceptional clarity and freshness with the traditional power and weight of old vine grenache. The St. Damien Vielles Vignes Gigondas is even further underpinned by the 20% old vine mourvedré in the blend that adds mystery and gravitas. This will put many Chateauneuf du Pape bottlings at twice the price to shame! Domaine St. Damien Gigondas, Vielles Vignes 2015: $39.95 / $33.10

Easily one of the more impressive and fascinating wine estates I've ever visited, Remelluri is imbued with a sense of authenticity and spirituality that is hard to quantify but readily apparent as you walk these stony vineyards. The family is deeply committed to the stewardship of this incredible property at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria and to the legacy of those who held this land before them. (Read my article about Remelluri in the Register-Guard Food section, October 18, 2017) The 2011 Reserva is an eloquent expression of this unique property and the people who hold it in their care. It is modern in the best sense of the word, yet Riojan down to it's very soul. Another outstanding wine of limited availability. Remelluri Reserva 2011 (93 pts. Wine Advocate): $44.95 / $38.20