December 2017 Dirty Dozen



Eleven months down,



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!

The Chillables

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.

The Reds

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. 

The December 2017 Dirty Dozen - $109