June 2013 Dirty Dozen

Friday, June 7, 2013 6:23 PM

And just like that, we’re on to the month that begins the summer. You don’t need to be a dad, grad, or June bride to appreciate this month (but it doesn’t hurt if you are!), there’s plenty of fun stuff to do with the long days and the warmer weather. For your vinous needs, please allow us to help. The June Dirty Dozen is chock full of interesting, versatile wines all packed up for one low price. Viva la Dirty Dozen! Be a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines
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2009 Chardonnay, Pezzi King $17.98 net, $16.18 reorder
Kicking things off this month is a delectable Russian River Valley Chardonnay from the folks at Pezzi King. Sourcing fruit from two well regarded vineyards (Bacigalupi and Windsor Oaks) whose coastal influence makes for deep flavors of apricots and nectarines with proper balancing acidity. This is one to pop with your sushi or spicy tuna tartare.

2010 Fernão Pires, Quinta do Alqueve $11.49, $9.19 reorder
Fernão Pires is an ancient Mediterranean grape variety produced in the Ribatejo, approximately 40 miles north of Lisbon, Portugal. Proprietor Paulo Saturnino Cunha blends in 10% barrel fermented Arinto to give the wine depth and complexity. Think orchard fruit here. Apples, pears, peaches, and nectarines come to mind; serve it with a fresh mixed green salad.

2010 Roeoro Arneis, La Brenta d’Oro $13.98 net, $12.58 reorder
From Roeoro in Italy’s Piemonte region comes a bright, food friendly Arneis. Known by some as Barolo Bianco, the grape has had a huge resurgence since it received DOC status in 1989. It shows hints of herbs, pears, and almonds on the aromas; the palate is clean and refreshing with the pear-like fruit braced by zippy acidity. Pair it with a chicken sando.

NV Törley Gála Sec $11.98 net, $10.78 reorder
A nice, dry sparkler from … Hungary? Yes, it’s true! The folks at Törley blend Grüner Veltliner, Müller Thurgau, and Királyleányka, and the result is a dazzling, affordable bubbly that will make you say “yum.” Perfect at brunch!

2009 Vernaccia Tradizionale, Montenidoli $17.99, $14.39 reorder
Nurse of the vines, Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s vineyards lie on the hillsides above the medieval village of San Gimignano in Tuscany. These vineyards are actually ancient seabeds, and it is common to find seashells among the soil. This lends a particular degree of saline mineral to the finished wine. Extended skin contact gives the wine strength and complexity.

2012 Rosé Ventoux, Domaine Fondreche $13.99, $11.19 reorder
When a customer walks in looking for “your driest Rosé”, this is undoubtedly where we’ll point them. Made from 50% Cinsault, with the balance of Syrah and Grenache, the Fondreche Rosé is bright, dry, and crisp. It truly has the personality of a Provençal Rosé at a fraction of the price. Great on a sunny day at the beach, or next to fresh salmon.

2011 Tempranillo, El Cortijillo $9.98 net, $8.98 reorder
We just love Tempranillo, especially when it comes from Spain. It consistently delivers complexity in a medium bodied frame, and in this case, the price is right. Seriously, we don’t know how they can make this for such a low price, but we’re asking no questions. Tempranillo is versatile and can be paired with a multitude of dishes. A great wine for tapas.

2007 Bacco In Toscana, Guado al Melo $14.98 net, $13.48 reorder
Made from 80% Sangiovese from Tuscany, the Bacco delivers a one-two punch of fruit flavors and freshness. It’s blended with Syrah which gives it a spicy, smoky quality. This will shine when paired alongside most marinated meats.

2010 Touraine les Demoiselles, Domaine des Corbillières $14.99, $11.99 reorder
What if you were to combine the expressive aromas of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc with the elegant mouth feel of Pinot Noir and prop it up with the backbone of Côt (Malbec)? That’s what we have here. We’re happy and proud to have been working with Veronique and Dominique Barbou for close to 20 years now, as their wines are a big hit with staff and customers alike. The quality you get for the price you pay here is in your favor big time. Great with grilled sausage.

2010 Galatina Rosso, Valle dell’Asso $12.98 net, $11.68 reorder
In the Italian region of Puglia (in the southeast), Negroamaro and Primitivo thrive, and our friends at Valle dell’Asso blend them (70% of the former, 30% the latter) to craft this lively, spicy juice. It has a smoky profile with hints of cigar box, leather, and allspice on the nose. The palate is medium and complex. It’s a great wine to pair with spicy red sauces.

2010 Merlot, Domaine Saint Antoine $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Domaine Saint Antoine’s Jean-Louis Emmanuel toils over 20 hectares of vineyard among the stony limestone soils of the Costières de Nîmes. He de-stems his fruit and vinifies his Merlot in stainless steel tanks, giving the wine freshness and purity. Now sporting a screwcap, this is an ideal picnic wine, as it will shine when paired with a roast beef sandwich.

2009 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Santa Duc $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Yves Gras blends Rhône stalwarts Grenache and Syrah with a little old-vine Mourvèdre and the result is splendid. It has dark brooding fruit, an earthy mineral core, the quintessential Santa Duc black pepper thing, and a complex, balanced finish. It’s a great all-purpose red, it goes with barbecue, or roasted pork loin, or a pizza with the works.

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Ravan And Kekfrankos

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 10:04 PM

Last week, Pete alluded to a recently arrived container that has brought back into stock Puy Servain’s 2009 Montravel VV Rouge (only 20 cases left!) and the 2009 Couronneau Bordeaux Superior (this is our 3rd and final shipment) along with a slew of 2011 Roses from France. My perennial favorite is from St. Antoine. The ’11 has matched the quality and pleasure of last’s years version, but this time it’s made entirely from Syrah which is probably why I detect an even spicier fruit quality. You can’t imagine what a visual delight it is to gaze upon the floor stacks of pale pink wines; you’ll have to make a pilgrimage to the store to see for yourself! This brings up a point and that is this: if you only read our emails and have never visited our store, you might not know that TWH carries wines from places other than France, Italy and the US, which you might not expect like Greece and Spain. Of late, our vinous curiosity has taken us to Eastern Europe, increasing our selection fourfold! I’m jazzed to introduce a duo ofnot to miss wines; one white from Slovenia and one red from Hungary.Anya Balistreri



This exotic white from Slovenia has been my ‘go-to’ wine for anyone who might otherwise fancy whites from Northern Italy or Northwest Spain. Ravan is the local name for a grape that is also known as Green Sauvignon (formerly Tocai Fruilano) or Sauvignonasse. Don’t get confused by the names–I’ll just keep to the name Ravan because that’s what it says on the label! Kabaj is an estate located only 15 miles from the Adriatic, borders Northeastern Italy and lies at Goriska Brda at the foothills of the Alps. The winemaker, Jean-Michel Morel, is a French vigneron who met and married Katja Kabaj in the late ’80s. They returned to live in Katja’s family village of Šlovrenc where generations of Kabajs have tended vines. The Ravan is fermented with native yeast, spends time on the skins and is aged in large cask barrels. It’s the kind of white that captivates the senses with a complex mélange of fruit and herb aromas ranging from citrus to spearmint.There is richness at the mid-palate with flavors that continue on to a long tangy fresh finish. I’ve had customers tell me that it reminds them of white Bordeaux with an exotic edge. Last time I popped open a bottle was with mixte grille of shrimp, pineapple and bananas. It was a crazy-good combo. The 2009 Ravan from Kabaj gives access to a unique flavor experience from a little known wine region crafted by a skilled winemaker.



Kekfrankos is the Hungarian name for Blaufrankish. Or is Blaufrankish the Austrian name for Kekfrankos? Oh never mind! The things to know here is that sisters Brigit and Katrin Pfneisl make wine from ancestral vineyards located in the region of Sopron in Hungary just at the border with Austria. Sopran is a peninsula of territory that literally juts into Austria’s Burgenland wine region. The sisters farm their vineyards organically and with the 2009 vintage are officially certified organic. Winemaker Brigit had studied winemaking all over the world before settling down on this project with her sister. A young winery with great promise! I love the fresh blue fruit flavors of this Kekfrankos. It has soft tannins and the bright spicy fruit has just a hint of herb. This is an exuberant, juicy red, perfect for those who want complexity but without any heavy tannins from skin or oak. I’m planning to get better acquainted with this one tonight alongside a sandwich consisting of Ribeye on focaccia fromLiguria Bakery. Now, doesn’t that sound yummy?

May 2012 Dirty Dozen

Monday, May 7, 2012 2:20 PM

The only month with all 31 days spent in spring is upon us. Happy May! It’s also National Barbecue Month, so let’s get grillin’. The Derby, Mothers’ Day, and the old unofficial kickoff to summer, Memorial Day are all coming soon. For any parties or get togethers you may be having, may we suggest the May Dirty Dozen. 12 great wines. 1 low price.

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2007 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Northfield $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Introducing Northfield Wines! They’re a small, family-run producer with vineyards in both New Zealand and California. For this bottling, they blend 25% Semillon with their Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and the result is a crisp, clean kiss of citrusy fruit and mineral with a soft landing. Pair this up with a spring afternoon and a chicken salad sandwich.

NV Fortuna, Törley $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Now for something completely different. You love fizz, we love fizz. This sparkler from Hungary, made from Muscat Lunel, Muscat Ottonel, and Irsai Oliver (how’s that for wine geekyness?), has a rich, floral presence on the nose and palate. It has a hint of sweetness with just the right acidity to balance it perfectly. A spicy Thai salad works well.

2010 Malvasia, Borgo di Colloredo $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Pure 100% Malvasia here, all tank fermented, fresh and lively. The vines are over 30 years old giving the wine an abundance of complexity. The aromas are of fresh blossoms, the palate precise, and the finish long. Linguine with clams.

2011 Rosé, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $10.99, $9.03 reorder
Leave it to Costières de Nîmes superstar Diane Pouymorin to craft a strong contender for “Rosé of the vintage” for 2011. Made from equal parts Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, this year’s offering is light and herbal with a subtle kiss of fruit. Just what you’d expect if you were on holiday in Provençe. A baguette and a bowl of olives will do fine.

2010 Terrement Blanc, Château Puy-Servain $13.99, $9.45 reorder
Another crazy good deal by virtue of direct importation, Daniel Hecquet’s Terrement Blanc smashes the Price for Quality meter to bits! Named for the Terrement de Segur as all his land plus the house and property which once belonged to his grandfather were owned by the Marquis de Segur in the mid 18th century. Dry and crisp, it drinks like White Bordeaux.

2010 Hors Saison, Domaine La Hitaire $11.99, $9.59 reorder
In Gascony, Rémy and Arcin Grassa (sons of the famous Yves) toil in the vineyards at La Hitaire. ‘Hors Saison’ literally means ‘outdoor season’ in the local dialect, and one taste of this springtime quaffer will have you yearning to be outside.

2008 Toscana Rosso, Panizzi $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Next up is a 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany. Sticking with our springtime theme this month, we have a red with aromas of violets and earth. On the palate the tangy red fruit dances with the round tannins making for a complex, well-balanced finish. Definitely a great all-purpose red, it will pair well with pizza, salumi, or a tortellini salad.

2008 Pinot Noir, Avitus $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Since Pinot Noir’s surge in popularity over the last decade, it has become harder and harder to find one of fine quality without saying “ouch” at the register. Hailing from Auvergne in the middle of France, the Avitus does EXACTLY that-delivering that great berry, Pinot Noir flavor for such a low price. The screwcap makes it so easy to take on a picnic!

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Tololo $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
It goes without saying that some of the wine world’s best bargains come from Chile, but here’s further proof of the validity of that statement. Deep, rich purple fruit and spice dominate the aromas, the palate is full and smooth with fine tannins marking the finish. Now that it’s National Barbecue Month, git that grill a-blazin’, and toss on a rib-eye.

2009 Beaujolais Lantignié, Château du Basty $13.99, $11.19 reorder
Great vintages in Beaujolais DO happen, as evidenced by 2009. The wines at the Cru level are special, providing that friendly cherry fruit with a lighter body and mellow tannins. Beaujolais Lantignié sits between Cru and village level, still providing all that yummy, luscious berry fruit with wafts of spice and forest floor. Great with a duck breast sandwich.

2006 Tradition, Château de Valcombe $11.99, $9.59 reorder
Here at TWH, we taste and taste and retaste the wines we have stocked here in our warehouse. A recent staff tasting of the 2006 Valcombe Tradition had our staff fighting over who got to take the sample bottle home. Layers of complexity, dark purple fruit, a hint of earth, herbs, and the famous garrigue make this a superstar. Great with pasta.

2005 Trassegum, Château d’Or et des Gueules $21.99, $17.59 reorder
This month’s DD closes with a bang! Diane Pouymorin’s prestige cuvée is a blend of Syrah and 60+ year old-vine Carignan. The result is pure magic. Rich, savory purple fruit, spices, forest floor, and underbrush dominate the aromas. The palate is firm and precise, the fruit mingling with the earthy character, and sturdy tannins which fade nicely on the long, harmonious finish. Pure class in a bottle. Bring this to a fancy barbecue, and you will win everyone’s favor.

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February 2012 Dirty Dozen

Monday, February 6, 2012 6:40 PM

Well the normally 28 day long month of February will gain an extra one seeing that 2012 is a leap year. Shoot! If that’s the case, we better pullout the stops for the leap year month’s DD! How about 7 different countries represented by a whopping 17 grape varieties??!! That’s right. Where else are your going to go and get a case of 12 different wines from 7 countries, made up of 17 grapes for such a low price????

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2011 Lyric, Nederburg – $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Wait! Wasn’t 2011 just over a month ago?! Aha! From the southern hemisphere, make that South Africa’s Western Cape, comes a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (56%), Chenin Blanc (23%), and Chardonnay (21%) … how they arrived at the precise numbers is beyond us, but the wine is great. Think peaches and pineapple, citrus, and maybe a crab salad.

2010 Pedro Ximenez, Falernia – $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Most commonly known for its use in Sherry, the Pedro Ximenez grape was brought to Spain in the 1500’s by a German man named Peter Siemens. Perhaps because Google Translate wasn’t available at the time, they decided upon the Pedro Ximenez name. This one’s from Chile, and is rich, complex, and dry. It will accompany your pork roast perfectly.

2009 Chardonnay, MSH – $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Timing is everything. When the global financial situation took a turn for the worse, a spotlight shone on those producers that were making high quality wine for more than a fair price. Enter MSH. Great balance and weight … and price tag.

2010 Kiralyleanyka, Szoke – $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
We can’t resist … this from the distributor – “Yes, I have the Kiralyleanyka and it’s dry. It translates to the ‘Little Princess’ even though large, hairy Hungarian men drink it.” Seriously funny. What we have here is a bright, lively Hungarian native white that will have you closing your eyes and dreaming about a holiday on Lake Balaton with some roasted pike-perch.

2010 Rosé, Domaine Fondrèche – $13.99, $11.19 reorder
“I like a dry Rosé, that’s not tutti-fruiti, you know, like the ones they serve in the south of France.” Generally speaking, that would be what most prospective Rosé buyers say when asking for advice from our staff. The Fondrèche Rosé is EXACTLY that! Made from mostly Cinsault, the wine has a soft, dry, herbal profile that has stunning freshness and a crisp finish.

2010 Gavi DOCG, Ernesto Picollo – $10.49, $8.39 reorder
Wow! 6 perfectly chillable wines from 6 countries! This Gavi from Italia’s Piemonte appellation is the white wine of choice for all of the seafood eating folks living on the Italian coastline from San Remo to Cinque Terre. Think rich, round fruit framed by crunchy minerals propped up by racy acidity. THE perfect pairing for your shrimp scampi.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mercedes Eguren – $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
And now for the reds … hailing from España’s Castilla region, this Cab Sauvignon has it all going. The aromas scream of black cherries, plums, herbs, and a hint of chocolate. On the palate, it shows great weight and balance without tipping the scales overboard. This is one to be enjoyed with a nice cut of prime rib with potatoes au gratin.

2007 Plaisir 75cl, Roger Sabon – $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Coming from Cave Roger Sabon, the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer, this steal of a deal will not stay on our shelves very long. It is a 2007, though nowhere on the label will it reveal that, but we’re insiders, so we know. Less than half the price of his CdP, Sabon’s Plaisir is all that … 100% pure pleasure. This is one to pour with your cassoulet.

2009 Joven Selectión, Monasterio de Corias – $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
From Asturias in España, this 3 grape blend of Carrasquin, Verdejo Negro, and Mencia delivers top notch quality for a very fair price. Asturias is a champion appellation for yielding wines with light body and racy acidity, which is the perfect combination for the rich, sometimes spicy cuisine from the area. May we suggest drinking with Mediterranean meatballs.

2007 Trassegum, Ch&acic;teau d’Or et des Gueules – $22.99, $18.39 reorder
The diamond of the DD! Diane de Puymorin has hit paydirt (yet again) with her focused 2007 Trassegum. Made from mostly Syrah with equal parts old-vine Mourvèdre and Carignan, this is a wine to be taken seriously. It has a rich, smoky profile with notes of Herbs de Provençe, and a gamey, meaty backbone. Serve with something hearty, like a porterhouse.

NV Owl House Red – $7.48 net price, $6.73 reorder
This Cali non-vintage red is a blend of several varieties, though chiefly comprised of Counoise. Counoise is one of many grapes allowed in France’s southern Rhône Valley to be used in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. An über popular wine among our regular customer base, we find the Owl House a screaming value! Bring one to your next Tuesday night pizza party!

2009 Pinot Noir, Big Vine – $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Coming from an ideal vintage on California’s Central Coast, the 2009 Big Vine Pinot Noir knocks it out of the park for value in a Pinot Noir. Comprised mainly of fruit from the Arroyo Grande appellation, there is also a smattering of Santa Rita Hills fruit which gives the wine the finesse that will make you stop all conversation and quizzically look at your glass saying, “huh?” The wine is bright and lively with just enough cherry cola to balance the earthy nuances. Goes great with pasta.

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