Happy New Year! Yes, it’s January, and it’s time to reset the calendar, tally up last year’s resolutions, and set some resolutions for 2018. Trying more new wines is usually a mindful goal every year, as that is the only true way of knowing for sure whether or not you like a particular wine. Let us make that task a little easier for you. The Dirty Dozen club comes out once per month with 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility, packed in one box for one super-low price. Get your January 2018 Dirty Dozen today!
2016 Orvieto Vignarco, Palazzone $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder In 1969, the Dubini family purchased their estate in Orvieto, but it was not until the late 1980’s when they began to sell their wine commercially. A classically styled Orvieto with the majority of grapes being Grechetto and Procanico; expect subtle notes of peach and almond blossoms. Try with roasted winter squash dishes or a sauced pan-roasted chicken.
2016 Terre Siciliane Bianco, Colosi $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder Over the past few decades, Sicilian wines have seen a rapid increase in quality as well as interest from wine drinkers looking to expand their repertoire. The Colosi Bianco is a triumvirate of native Sicilian varietals: Inzolia, Cattaratto and Grillo. Crisp, completely unoaked and zippy, this white is a nice way to start off a meal or match up with shellfish risotto.
2016 Falanghina, Cantine Le Grotte $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Though Falanghina is most often associated with Campania, there is a bit that is grown on the backside of the boot in Puglia. Cantine Le Grotte’s vineyards are in Apricena, just a few kilometers inland from the Adriatic Sea. Straw yellow in color, it has distinct notes of navel orange and cut flowers. Pair with pork scaloppini or any rice based casseroles.
2014 Montagny Les Guignottes, Dom. Les Guignottes $12.95 sale price, $12.30 reorder White Burgundy here, folks. White Burgundy which is on sale, no less! Montagny is an appellation in the Côte Chalonnaise, which is just south of Burgundy’s vaunted Côte d’Or. Only white wines are allowed to adorn the AOC on their bottles, and the grape is Chardonnay, of course. This is an expressive, fruit driven white; pair it with scampi.
2016 Côtes de Provence Rosé, Domaine des Aspras $16.99, $13.59 reorder Over in Provence, specifically in the village of Correns, comes this direct-import Rosé. Correns was the very first village in France to earn official organic designation for all its farms and vineyards. This is grown-up Rosé – it’s bright, precise, has complexity, and finishes crisp and lipsmacking dry. A great wine to sip with your octopus a la plancha appetizer.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc Perigord IGP, Puy-Servain $8.79, $7.03 reorder Last April, while visiting Daniel Hecquet just outside of Bordeaux, he introduced us to a new line that he and some fellow growers have been working on launching: the Puy 170 Perigord IGP. The bottom line is solid wines for a song. This SB is expressive and well-balanced. It’s easy to drink and easy to purchase… great for parties, light salads, or goat cheese.
2014 Merlot, Cousiño-Macul $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder Cousiño-Macul is a historic winery in Chile’s Maipo Valley. It was founded in 1856 and is still operated by the original founding family. This is an honest to goodness Merlot with its soft tannins and ripe berry flavors. Easy going and versatile, it’s enjoyable by the glass or will carry over to the dinner table to accompany your favorite comfort food.
2013 Rouge, Le Cirque $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder Côtes Catalanes, in southern France near the border of Spain, is an exemplary geographical region for viticulture. Hot summer days are tempered by winds coming off the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. This un-oaked, bold red is a yummy blend of Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Dusty tannins give way to dark berry fruit. This one calls for lamb.
2014 Borgaio, Meleto $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder Castello di Meleto is a grand estate in the heart of Tuscany. The castle dates back to the 11th Century. Today they not only produce wine, but also olive oil and raise heirloom pigs. Their Borgaio red is mostly Sangiovese and fermented in tank. A small portion is aged in neutral barrel to flesh out the wine. Red sauced pasta dishes are the way to go here.
2013 Vinsobres, Tour de l’Isle $17.59, $14.07 reorder One of several Côtes-du-Rhône villages which has the character enough to be given its own village status (not to be taken lightly), Vinsobres wines are usually half Grenache, rounded out with Syrah and Mourvèdre. That’s what we have here – it’s a great, versatile red. You can drink it on its own, or you can pair it with the usual suspects – how about meatballs?
2014 Château Pitray, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder There has been a lot of activity around Castillon throughout the last decade as investors (many of which are Right-Bank châteaux owners) are snapping up any Castillon properties which come on the market. Why? Though further east, it still shares many similarities with St. Emilion, which is next door. This red is medium/full bodied and is great for steak.
2015 Fronton On l’Appelle Negrette, Vignobles Arbeau $12.59, $10.07 reorder Just north of Toulouse in southern France, north of the Pyrenees one finds the appellation of Fronton. The principal grape there is Negrette. What is it? It’s a light-bodied, spicy, fruity grape which yields lighter styled wines similar to Cru Beaujolais. Here it is on its own, bright cherry fruit, spicy forest floor, no harsh tannins, and a silky finish; Ahhh.
One to go - Welcome to December! There's not a whole lot of 2017 left, and now that we're in the middle of the Holidays, there are many reasons to celebrate. To aid in this year's festivities, we've packed 12 bottles of wine, all different, all chosen for their value and versatility, and put them in a box with this handy write-up for one outrageously low price - pick up your December Dirty Dozen today!
2015 Saint Chinian, Petit Paradis $13.98 net price, $11.68 reorder Saint Chinian, a sub-region of the Languedoc between Minervois and Faugères, is planted mainly to red varieties. This exception to the rule is a perky, peach scented blend of Marsanne, Vermentino and Grenache Blanc. Terrific freshness with a smooth palate feel, this can work magic with rotisserie chicken, cold noodle salads or soups with winter greens.
2016 Picpoul de Pinet, Le Chevalier de Novato $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder Another alluring white from the Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet is both the name of the variety and the appellation. Grown along the estuaries of the Mediterranean, Picpoul has acidity like that of a Muscadet combined with the roundness of a white Rhône. An elegant start to a celebratory meal when paired with oysters on the half shell or smoked trout rillettes.
2015 Chardonnay, Dreyer Sonoma $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder For over twenty years, Dreyer Sonoma has been making top quality, super-affordable wines. Their Chardonnay comes from Carneros, a region that benefits from San Pablo Bay’s cooling breezes. A Chardonnay far more balanced and nuanced than most comparably priced ones, it’s a crowd-pleasing choice for cocktail parties and other festive gatherings.
2017 Unoaked Chardonnay, Good Hope $14.99, $11.99 reorder Nope, you’re not seeing things; this is a 2017 Chardonnay, harvested this past spring. The fruit comes from two vineyards, one ocean facing and the other in an inland valley. The varietals are blended giving us the best of both worlds, zippy acidity and ripe yellow fruit. Now that it’s crab season, feel free to pop one of these and get crackin’.
2016 Montravel Terrement, Château Puy-Servain $13.49, $10.79 reorder Another wine, fresh off our latest container, is Daniel Hecquet’s Montravel Terrement Blanc. Daniel pays homage to the Marquis de Ségur using a derivative of the word terroir to spotlight the vineyard the illustrious Marquis once owned. It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, and a great wine to serve with a vegetable tart with goat cheese.
2016 Touraine Rosé, Domaine des Corbillières $16.79, $13.43 reorder The Domaine des Corbillières Rosé has been among our favorite Rosés for as long as we’ve been selling them. In 2016, they crushed it! This fine offering is impeccably balanced with hints of strawberry and melon-like fruit aromas along with stony minerals propped up by fresh, crisp acidity. This is about as good as Rosé gets. Try it with seared ahi tuna.
2014 Nero di Troia, Cantine Le Grotte $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Nero di Troia is the third most planted grape in Puglia after Negroamaro and Primitivo. Think of Puglia geographically as the heel up to the mid-calf of Italy’s boot. Nero di Troia is a purple skinned grape that when ripe, expresses rich fruit and mild tannins. Lots of forest berry juiciness here. Match-ups include slow roasted pork, brisket or mushroom lasagna.
2015 Bobal, Aula $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Bobal is the native grape of Spain’s Utiel-Requena region just west of the city of Valencia. The climate here is a cross between Mediterranean and continental. Hot, dry days give way to cool nights, providing ideal conditions for growing wine grapes, especially Bobal. Raspberry, cherry and a hint of balsam notes prevail. Serve with pizza, pilaf or pasta.
2015 Vranec, Jordanov $12.98 net sale price, $11.68 reorder Jordanov is located just fifty miles south of Skopje, Macedonia’s capital and largest city. In this region, Vranec reigns supreme. A black-skinned grape, Vranec produces a full-bodied red with flavors of sour cherry and cassis. If you tend to enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, you’re in for a treat! This can easily stand up to a rib roast with Yorkshire pudding.
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Inacayal $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder One of Argentina’s best-known enologists, Adriano Senetier founded Inacayal in 1997 in the foothills of the Andes Mountain Range, identifying the vineyard as mineral-rich alluvial soil. He sold the winery in 2010, but stayed on as the grower. The 2015 Cabernet is full in body, with spicy aromas and dark, earthy notes. Sure to be a hit with a juicy steak!
2015 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder They’ve been allowed to grow Cabernet Sauvignon in Carmignano since Medici times. TWH pal Enrico Pierazzuoli blends it (20%) with Sangiovese to make both his Carmignano and Barco Reale. Think of it as a “baby Super-Tuscan,” with fresh red fruit up front and a medium bodied finish. This works great as a spaghetti red or with a Pizza Margherita.
2016 Château De Cranne, Bordeaux $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder Be the first ones on your block to taste a bona fide 2016 red Bordeaux! The vintage will be a famous one for years to come, and this wine is a terrific sneak-peek as to why. Elegant, yet ripe fruit intermingles with zippy, fresh acidity, all in balance with no harsh tannins. It’s not Margaux, but hey, it’s a 2016 that’s ready to drink with those lamburgers.
Yep. There's no denying it; November is here - And seeing that the sky is going dark early these days, it's time for our festivities to move indoors! No problem here, it's a great time of year for hearty dishes accompanied by sturdy red wines. If it's white wine that tickles your fancy, it's a good time for those too, as crab season and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. Either way, we've got you covered - The Dirty Dozen is a great way to get both for a great price. Pick up your November Dirty Dozen today!
NV Giavi Prosessco Superiore DOCG $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder November and December are certainly the months during which we do the most celebrating and entertaining. So for those occasions which benefit from sparkling wine, we thought to include our award-winning Prosecco to this month’s mix. The Giavi Prosecco is expressive and alive in the glass with great balance and a dry finish. Great, all-purpose fizz!
2015 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder A closer look at the back label tells us that this is 85% Viognier and 15% Marsanne. The Marsanne gives the wine some body and adds aromatic complexity. All in all, this VDP d’Oc is big on charm and low in price. It makes for a great aperitif, though should you save it for the Thanksgiving Day table, you will find it very handy for its versatility.
2016 Les Cimels Rosé, Château d’Or et de Gueules $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Speaking of versatility, Rosé wines top the charts when it comes down to the breadth of cuisine which they pair well with! TWH pal, Diane de Puymorin crafts her Rosé more in the style of Bandol and/or Provençal Rosé, using Cinsault and Mourvèdre as the primary fruit. It’s clean, crisp, and dry on the palate with hints of fruity aromas.
2015 Gruner Veltliner “Q”, Petra Unger $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder Petra Unger took the winery over from her parents in 1999. With vineyards planted on either side of the Danube in the Kremstal region of Austria, Petra makes several cuvees of Gruner Veltliner. The “Q” is her most affordable and is all tank-fermented for optimal freshness. Yellow fruit flavors with aromas of white pepper; pair with crostini or bruschetta.
2015 Chardonnay, Benoit Badoz $17.98 net price, $16.18 reorder The Jura is a relatively small wine region sandwiched between Burgundy to the west and Switzerland to the east. Here Benoit Badoz, who is a 10th generation vigneron, makes traditional wines. The Chardonnay is delineated and cut. It goes through malolactic fermentation in tank and sees no time in oak. It’s snappy, so give it a try with oysters and mussels.
2015 Valréas, Clos Bellane $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder The Rhône Valley’s Clos Bellane is a small domaine situated at a high 1300 ft. elevation. The property is farmed organically and the soil is mostly limestone. This sensational white is predominantly Marsanne with Viognier and Roussanne blended in. A distinctively crisp white Rhône wine, pair it with grain-centric main dish salads.
2011 Tinto, Terraços do Tejo $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder Portugal offers terrific value for everyday, honest reds. This one is no exception and blends Aragonès (aka Tempranillo), Syrah and Castelão into a spicy, softly fruity wine. The tannins are well integrated, creating a complete taste sensation on the palate. A versatile wine, this can go with hearty fare like beef stew or can satisfy alone while curled up on the sofa.
2016 Rouge, Petit Canet $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder Delightfully fruity, this Carignane, Syrah and Grenache blend is the perfect antidote for any lack of sunshine. Bursting with berry fruit, this tank-fermented red is easy to get, easy to enjoy. The fruit comes from certified organic grapes from vines ranging in age from 25-45 years old. Working late; too busy to cook? Order pizza in, pop the cork and call it a night!
2015 Zinfandel, A Campo $17.98 net sale price, $16.18 reorder Winemaker Jim Moore worked two decades at Mondavi in Napa before going out on his own. With over 40 harvests under his belt, Jim continues to produce bright, well-balanced wines. His old vine Lodi Zinfandel is marvelous! Lots of zesty berry fruit, at once generous and lively. This is a no-brainer, full-bodied red pick for the Thanksgiving table.
2015 Gaillac, Château Langlade $9.49, $7.59 reorder Just north of the Pyrenees, near the city of Toulouse, lie the villages of Fronton and Gaillac. While the former may be best known for their indigenous grape, Negrette’s inclusion to the local blends, nearby Gaillac has a couple local grapes as well: Duras and Braucol. The two are blended with Syrah here and the result is a lightweight, versatile red.
2014 Luberon, Tour de l’Isle $15.59, $12.47 reorder Taking on the role of the negociant, Tour de l’Isle’s Robert Rocchi works with producers in and around the southern Rhône Valley, advising them on everything from vineyard work to what to include in the final blend. This Luberon, from Y. Rousset-Rouard, is medium-bodied with fruity aromas. Treat this like a spaghetti-red and you’ll be in business.
2014 Morgon Tradition, Domaine Pierre Savoye $18.49, $14.79 reorder And what would a November Dirty Dozen be without a CRU Beaujolais? The autumnal aromas of cedar, tobacco, and forest floor are in harmony with the season; and it is medium-light in body with fresh acidity, perfect for the array of small dishes one finds on the Turkey Day table. Please join us in our tradition, by serving Savoye’s Morgon at your table!
And that means that all over the northern hemisphere, in wine country, it's harvest time. The cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours have winemakers at the ready to work their magic as the fruit which will someday become 2017 wine comes in from the vines. While we wait for that magic, how 'bout a smattering of 12 bottles of harvests past, packed in one box, for one crazy, low price? Swing on by and get your October Dirty Dozen today!
2016 Blanco, Armas de Guerra $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder Vinos Guerra is the oldest winery in Spain’s Bierzo region and owns some of its oldest vines. This citrus-laden white is made from local varietals Doña Blanca and Godello which were planted between 1955 and 2008. This wine is focused, chalky and dry, with plenty of fruit. It’s ideal with seafood, be it raw or cooked. Try with a poke bowl or sushi.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Old Coach Road $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder This tropical, guava-tinged Sauvignon Blanc comes from Nelson, a wine region at the north end of New Zealand’s South Island. Here, the Tasman Bay provides a moderate climate. Only about 25 wineries exist in this small area just to the west of better known Marlborough. Two vineyards make up the fruit for this wine. Serve with quiche Lorraine.
2015 Chardonnay, Sharecropper’s $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Sharecropper’s is a sensational value from the innovative Washington State winery, Owen Roe. Their 2015 Chardonnay is sourced from the DuBrul and Outlook Vineyards. This is fancy fruit and it tastes it! Not a shy Chardonnay, but one with lots of rich, creamy notes and lush, toasty oak flavors. Perfect for wild-caught salmon or veal Saltimbocca.
2016 Touraine Blanc, Domaine des Corbillières $16.59, $13.27 reorder We’ve been carrying the wines from Dominique and Véronique Barbou’s Domaine des Corbillières for two decades! Well, if the quality’s there and the price is right, then, why not? This Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc has the perfect balance of lively white fruit, citrus blossoms, and stony mineral. Try it with a caramelized onion tart with goat cheese and thyme.
2015 Côtes de Gascogne Hors Saison, Domaine La Hitaire $14.49, $11.59 reorder Down in Gascogne, just south of Bordeaux, comes this blend of Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Sémillon (30%). The property is owned by Armin and Rémy Grassa, sons of Domaine de Pouy’s Yves Grassa. It’s all stainless steel tank fermented, so it’s fresh. The Sémillon tames the Sauvignon Blanc with a round middle and gives it a waxy note. Think seafood here.
2016 Bordeaux Clairet, Château Armurey $9.99, $7.99 reorder Is it a red or a rosé? We’ll let you decide. Either way, it is chillable! This Bordeaux Clairet is a throwback to the style of wine shipped from Bordeaux to England in the Middle Ages. This easy going, unpretentious juice pairs with just about anything. So keep your bottle well-chilled and pour it with burgers, mac n cheese, pizza, pasta, or a French Dip sando.
2015 Malbec-Syrah, Tilia $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder Tilia wines are made by Leopoldo Kuschnaroff, winemaker and general manager of Mendoza’s Bodegas Esmeralda. This Argentinian red is a tasty blend of Malbec, which gives off an herbal fruitiness, and Syrah, which adds a dark berry and smoky component. An all-occasion red that can adapt to most cuisines, match it up with stuffed peppers or meatloaf.
2015 Cannonau di Sardegna, Sanguineti $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder This Italian island red hails from Sardinia where the Cannonau grape makes its home. The grape itself is closely related to Grenache and shares a similar taste profile. Antonio Sanguineti, though Tuscan by birth, has a way with Cannonau. Medium-bodied with strawberry fruit and notes of underbrush, this would be delicious with lamb shanks or Osso Bucco.
2013 Merlot, Praxis $13.95 net sale price, $13.25 reorder Bill Arbios has been making wine in northern California for over four decades. The man knows his stuff! This pretty little Merlot comes from a single vineyard located behind Jimtown Store in the heart of the Alexander Valley. Aged in American oak for two years, it is a balanced, round tannin red and is a solid option for the Thanksgiving table.
2014 Fronton, Château Coutinel $8.99, $7.19 reorder Just north of the city of Toulouse lies the appellation of Fronton. The principal grape grown there is Negrette, and all Frontonais wines must consist of at least 50% of it. It makes for a light-bodied wine, much like Gamay (of which 20% is blended here), so it is a good pairing partner for those dishes that benefit from a light red – like roast chicken!
2013 Côtes-du-Rhône La Boissière, Domaine Boudinaud $13.49, $10.79 reorder Thierry Boudinaud is one of our favorite Côtes-du-Rhône producers. He and his wife Véronique have several labels of wines in and around the Rhône, though their La Boissière is one of their best values. The blend is Grenache (55%), Syrah (30%), Mourvèdre (10%), and Cinsault (5%), and all together, it’s a great all-purpose red. Try it with Bragioli.
2014 Chiroubles, Château Raousset $17.99, $14.39 reorder There’s something about Autumn that just beckons the lover of Gamay-based wines. Maybe it’s that forest floor aroma which reminds the taster of leaves changing colors and falling. Maybe it’s that core of bright cherry fruit harmonizing with said forest floor. This Chiroubles is light in body and versatile with food – give it a spin with Veal Milanese.