Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:45 PM
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:30 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:53 AM
It’s June and that means summer is almost here! The kids are our of school, Fathers’ Day is almost here, and the summer solstice is right around the corner. For these exciting times, it’s always a great idea to have some solid, versatile wine at the ready, ’cause one never knows just what may arise. The June Dirty Dozen features 12 bottles, all chosen for their versatility and quality, packed in one box, ready for you to enjoy. Cheers!
Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines
2016 Rosé, Balancing Act $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Only 400 cases were made of this charming Washington State Cabernet Franc Rosé. The pale apricot color hints at the delicate melon and strawberry fruit. At only 12% alcohol, this Rosé has a light and easy palate feel. Perfect on a hot summer evening while dining alfresco. Food pairing options here are vast, though a big garden salad would be nice!
2014 Erbaluce di Caluso, Giacometto $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Erbaluce is an Italian white grape variety that has high levels of natural acidity and is grown mainly in northern Piedmont. The estate of Bruno Giacometto is located in the commune of Caluso, about 30 kilometers northeast of Turin. Super refreshing and full of vigor, this wine is ideally suited for raw seafood, especially oysters on the half shell.
2014 Devon Riesling, Richard Böking $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
This dry/off-dry Riesling is a blend of fruit grown from the winery’s top 5 steep-slope vineyards that don’t end up in their single-vineyard bottlings. The grapes are picked early to retain freshness and minerality. Classic juicy notes of green apple and minty herbs finish tart and tangy. Serve with Korean fried chicken, Thai curries or a pan-fried pork chop.
2015 Gavi di Gavi Rovereto, Ernesto Picollo $15.49, $12.39 reorder
Made from 100% Cortese, Gianlorenzo Picollo ferments and raises this Gavi di Gavi in all stainless steel tank. This gives the wine its freshness and clean expression. Quality-wise, you’ll be hard pressed to find a white wine close to this price. Gavi di Gavi is the wine of choice on the Italian Riviera, so feel free to pop it with your mussels or shrimp scampi.
2015 Côtes du Rhône Blanc, Tour de l’Isle $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Whaddya get when you blend fairly equal parts Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette, and Grenache Blanc? To Robert Rocchi, proprietor of Tour de l’Isle, you get a delectable, balanced white wine that’s long on character and short on price. With summer on the immediate horizon, this is a great go-to white for those warm evenings. Serve it with seared scallops.
NV Vouvray Brut, Domaine d’Orfeuilles $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
Speaking of outstanding values – the Vouvray Brut from Domaine d’Orfeuilles has to be our favorite budget sparkler with its Granny Smith Apple-like fruit and dusty minerality. Anya swears that it is the only sparkling wine that she can drink and not wish that it was Champagne. Sparkling wine pairs particularly great with salty foods like fried chicken.
2016 Barbera d’Asti, Il Falchetto $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
This is some Barbera d’Asti! Here you will find red cherry fruit buoyed by Barbera’s telltale acid freshness and soft tannins. It’s essentially a single-vineyard bottling from the commune of Agliano Terme called Pian Scorrone. The bottles have a unique dimple under the back label, but don’t fret, this wine is perfect for a bowl of olives, a fresh baguette, and a salumi platter.
2015 Blaufränker, Pfneiszl 1L $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Sisters Birgit and Katrin make this dynamite Blaufrankisch from their family’s estate in Austria. Just across the border in Hungary, they also make wine from their ancestral vineyards. This versatile red is fruity and dry with notes of cherry and rose petal. It comes in a screwcap liter-sized bottle, so there is more to enjoy! Serve at cellar temp to retain vibrancy.
2013 Dão Reserva, Porta dos Templarios $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
This is a sturdy, fruit-driven Portugese red made from a blend of three grapes, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz and Jaen. The overall quality of wines being imported from Portugal has improved dramatically over the past decade. If you are looking to find quality and bang for your buck, its time to explore this wine region. Match it up with chorizo or merguez.
2013 Syrah/Grenache, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder
No fuss, no muss – TWH pal Thierry Boudinaud blends tank-fermented Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre for his Grange des Rouquette red. Its round purple fruit flavors and aromas are easy to like and its price point makes it easy to stock up on. No need to overthink any pairing ideas – it’s great on its own, or will suit burgers, pizza, or pasta perfectly.
2015 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Speaking of pasta-pairing wines, this spaghetti red made by another TWH pal, Enrico Pierazzuoli, is just the kind of wine you get if you stop somewhere in the Tuscan countryside and order a bicchiere di vino rosso. Made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Barco Reale gets a touch of new barrel treatment which gives it its complex character.
2014 Château Couronneau Bordeaux Supérieur $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
Winemaker Christophe Piat is fully on the biodynamic train these days with a handful of vintages under his belt. Say what you want, but we’ve noticed a big difference in the expression of his wines of late – as in, they’re explosive! The purity of fruit combined with the sense of place makes this an ideal bottle to open with a juicy, sizzling porterhouse.
Saturday, May 6, 2017 11:04 AM
And they’re off! The Kentucky Derby may be around the corner, but the month of May is chock-full of festive spring days, such as a day for all you Moms out there, as well as that unofficial start of summer known as Memorial Day Weekend! With all of the good that May brings us, it’s good to have a stash of quality, versatile wine at the ready. Picnics, barbecues, brunch with Mom, or a long weekend at the cabin? The DD has you covered!
Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines
2014 Chardonnay, Ramsay $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Kent Rasmussen’s winery began over thirty years ago out of his garage. Today, Kent has a modern facility in southern Napa. Ramsay is a companion label that focuses on combining quality with affordability. This well-balanced Chardonnay is full, without question, but stays fresh and lively on the palate. Serve it up with some buttermilk fried chicken sandos.
2015 Vermentino, Federici $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
The Ligurian coastline is known as the Italian Riviera. Not far from the Tuscan border, in an area famous for Carrara marble quarries, is where you will find Cantine Federici. Vermentino is the dominant white grape variety, producing mineral-driven, floral, crisp wines. A tiny bit of Albarola is blended in too. Try with basil pesto pasta or use other herbs.
2015 Arinto, Dom Diogo $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Quinta da Raza is a family estate established in 1769 in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. Their soil is unique for the region because it is granitic with bits of clay and schiste – ideal conditions for producing crisp, vibrant whites. Arinto is known for its citrus expression: so think lemon and grapefruit. Thirst quenching and delicious, serve it with asparagus.
2014 Château Couronneau Blanc $11.95 sale price, $11.35 reorder
A recent article featured in The Wine Advocate sings the praises of the 2014 vintage for white Bordeaux. Neal Martin goes on the record by stating, “Much is sold for bargain prices compared to other French wine regions.” Biodynamically farmed Couronneau is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. Serve it with spring salads with goat cheese.
2015 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder
It says Viognier, though 15% Marsanne is blended in, giving this user-friendly white added complexity and richness. It’s all tank fermented, allowing the clean, fruity/blossomy aromas to pop. On the palate, it’s light to medium bodied and has a crisp finish. You can serve this as an aperitif or as a versatile house white, as it pairs well with poultry or seafood.
2015 Rosé Les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $9.95 sale price, $9.45 reorder
For many of us, Rosé is appropriate to drink all year long; for others, it is a seasonal beverage. Well, if it is indeed a seasonal wine, the season has begun! Sure, there’s a particular satisfaction one gets sipping on a glass of Rosé on a warm afternoon or evening. This Rosé has just the right amount of fruity goodness to get you pouring that second glass.
2012 Zio Paolo, Vino Lauria $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
This 100% Nero d’Avola was fermented in stainless steel tanks before bottling. The grapes were grown organically around Alcamo in western Sicily half way between Trapani and Palermo. Here the soil is rich in clay and limestone and the climate arid. Try this simple, friendly red with eggplant and tomato-based dishes like Moussaka or Parmigiana.
2013 Pinot Noir, Praxis $13.95 sale price, $13.25 reorder
Bill Arbios is a veteran winemaker with over forty years of winemaking under his belt. His 2013 Praxis Pinot Noir is made from grapes grown just west of the town of Sonoma, not far from Carneros, yet still within the Sonoma Coast AVA. It is medium-bodied with earthy flavors of cherry and soft plum, accented by spice notes. Pair with lamb riblets or chops.
2014 Estate Red, Christopher Michael $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
The Harm brothers are the masterminds behind Oregon’s Underwood wines. They teamed up again to tackle Washington State grapes. This red blend is predominantly Syrah, with additions of Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Grenache. Juicy, soft tannins combine with plum and red currant fruit – perfect with flank, flap or skirt steak.
2015 Fronton On l’Appelle Negrette, Vignobles Arbeau $12.59, $10.07 reorder
The last couple of DD’s featured a couple of wines sourced from the Fronton region near the French city of Toulouse. This semi-remote viticultural area is the home of the Negrette grape. This is 100% Negrette. The aromas are bright and fruity, with hints of herbs and forest floor. The palate is light in body, making this a fine red option for rotisserie chicken.
2012 Château Les Gabriaux, Médoc $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Who says Bordeaux wines are expensive? Certainly, the 60 or so most famous wines from the region can command a king’s ransom, but what about the other 7,000? Of course, one must be on their toes, keeping an eye out for quality among the less expensive wines. That’s how we found the Les Gabriaux. It’s inexpensive and delicious. Serve up some Prime Rib here.
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ca’ Lojera $15.99, $12.79 reorder
You may know Ambra and Franco Tiraboschi’s Ca’ Lojera by their terrific Lugana white wines made from the Turbiana grape, but here’s a sample of their 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown near Lake Garda in Italy. It’s expressive and layered, kind of a throwback to those California Cabs of yore with their brambly berry fruit and hints of mint.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 12:07 PM
Yay! It’s March. There’s something special about this month. Maybe it’s because the days are getting longer. Maybe it’s because the weather is warming up. Maybe it’s because baseball season is less than a month away. Whatever the reason, we’ve made your wine purchasing decisions really easy. The March Dirty Dozen contains plenty of interesting, versatile wines, sourced from all over the map. Get your March DD today!
Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines
2015 Orvieto Classico Vignarco, Palazzone $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
In 1969, the Dubini family purchased their property in the Umbrian hills, planting grapes soon after. By 1982 they had made their first Orvieto. The Vignarco is made up of 80% Garganega and is entirely vinified in stainless steel. Golden-hued, fresh with a lovely floral scent, it’s perfect for light meals and appetizers; try it with crab cakes atop dressed greens.
2015 Moscato Secco, Uvaggio $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Don’t let the “Moscato” scare you … this is “Secco” so it’s dry, dry, dry. Yes it has lovely exotic aromatics, but it has so much more going for it. A dead-ringer for a Ribolla Giallo from Alto Adige, this perfumed and alluring white is extremely versatile as a stand-alone sipper or a meal enhancer. Match-ups include pasta alla Vongole, vegetable gratins or frittata.
2011 Mottobello, Brigatti $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
This wine hails from Colline Novaresi, which is situated in Piedmont’s northeast corner. Here the grape Erbaluce (or locally known as Greco Novarese) is the exclusive white varietal. It’s known for producing higher acid wines, though the 2011 Mottobello has tempered acidity, crisp fruit flavors and a light overall palate feel. It’s great with oysters.
2015 Lugana, Ca’Lojera $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Franco and Ambra Tiraboschi’s Ca’Lojera is located in Sirmione, on the southern shore of Lake Garda. Caution: If you search images for a picture of Sirmione, you may feel the need to visit. The grape they use for their Lugana is Turbiana, the local name for Trebbiano di Garda. It has a bright yellow fruit and floral bouquet and finishes crisp and clean.
2015 Sauvignon & Sémillon Hors Saison, Domaine La Hitaire $14.49, $11.59 reorder
Modeled after the white blends from nearby Bordeaux, this Côtes de Gascogne is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. It’s all tank-fermented, so it’s fresh and vibrant with aromas of pears, kiwi, and apricots. The palate is crisp and expansive, and the finish balanced and lipsmacking. This is the kind of wine to serve with breaded filet of sole
2014 Ventoux Blanc, Domaine de Fondrèche $16.99, $13.59 reorder
White wines from the southern Rhône Valley may be among the most overlooked wines from France, but quality to price-wise, they are some of the most value driven wines out there! This 4 grape blend (Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, and Rolle) is teeming with complexity. Think pears and nectarines – this is great on its own, or you can pair it with pork chops.
2014 Toro, Yaso $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
100% Tinta de Toro, aka Tempranillo, the Toro region of Spain produces robust, hearty reds – this one from Yaso is no exception. Just 40 miles east of the Portugese border, viticulture here dates back to pre-Roman times. Deep purple with lush fruity flavors, it’s a stick-to-your-ribs kinda red. Some take-out from your favorite BBQ place is a wise option here.
2013 Red Wine Blend, MF Wines $15.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Matthew Fritz wines frequently appear at TWH because they offer tremendous value. They are aces at sourcing high quality fruit at below market prices, then passing along the savings. This particular Red Wine Blend is a delicious combo of 85% Merlot and 15% Petite Sirah, all from Napa Valley. It’s super with a French Dip, Osso Buco or a calzone.
2014 Ribera del Duero, Sembro $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Another Spanish Tempranillo, this one comes from further inland in Ribera del Duero. Ribera del Duero sits on a high plateau at about 2800 feet above sea level, where summers are hot and winters are harsh. The Sembro has vibrant red cherry fruit, easy tannins and a medium-bodied texture. Try pairing it with Merguez lamb sausages, chorizo or fajitas.
2014 Fronton, Château Coutinel $8.99, $7.19 reorder
The seldom heard of grape Negrette thrives in the Fronton region, which is near the city of Toulouse, France. Think of it as a cross between Gamay Noir and Malbec. Its aromas are of cherries and forest floor and it’s medium bodied. The dark plummy notes take over mid-palate, and the finish is rich and complex with a hint of amaro. It’s great with spare ribs.
2012 Bergerac, Château Calabre $7.95 sale price, $7.55 reorder
About 100km north of Fronton, as the crow flies, is the appellation of Bergerac, of Cyrano fame. Its proximity to Bordeaux shows in the grapes grown for the local red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This easy-drinker shows bright red and purple fruit with an herbaceous quality. It’s a great wine to pop with burgers of any sort.
2012 Château Les Clauzots, Graves Rouge $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Speaking of Bordeaux, this month’s DD has one of those too! Château Les Clauzots is located in the region’s southern tip, near the city of Langon. It’s 50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and does it deliver for its modest price! Dark berries and cassis dominate the aromas and the palate is rich, balanced, and refined. Here’s your steak night wine.
Thursday, February 9, 2017 11:40 AM
Okay, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this year, so six more weeks of winter are in store for us; if you believe those kind of things. With the winter weather still present, hearty meals abound in our kitchens … and most likely, your kitchen too! For February this year, we’ve chosen another Dirty Dozen which provides versatility, though this month’s sampler is big on wines that will suit those hearty, comfort foods.
2015 Pinot Grigio, Riff $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
This is the 9th vintage of Riff that TWH has carried. At Riff, the famed winemaker Alois Lageder pulls together quality growers from the slopes of the Dolomites to produce a top-notch Pinot Grigio for a song. It is crisp and snappy, with bright citrusy flavors. Try this perky Pinot Grigio with a lemony kale Caesar salad or Sole Meunier.
2015 Verdejo Rueda, Viña Oropéndola $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Northwest of the Spanish capitol of Madrid lies the Rueda appellation. Here the white grape, Verdejo, reins queen. Verdejo is known for making dry yet aromatic wine. This one comes from vines that range in age from 40-120 years old. Where else other than Spain can you get old-vine goodness for such a price? Serve with Pollo con Arroz or veggie pasta.
NV Manzanilla Sherry 375ml, Barbiana $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
In our continuing effort to bring exciting new wine experiences to the Dirty Dozen, this month we’ve included Sherry for the first time. Manzanilla is a Fino sherry that is produced and aged within the town of Sanlúcar de Barremeda. It is bone-dry, salty with notes of almond and citrus, and has firm acidity. Try with fried or grilled seafood and cured meats.
2015 Pinot Auxerrois Val St. Gregoire, Domaine Saint-Rémy $18.99, $15.19 reorder
Pinot Auxerrois is a different variety than Pinot Blanc, though in Alsace, it may be bottled and still legally be labeled Pinot Blanc. Confusing? Sure. Important? Maybe to some. What’s it like? Well, it’s dry, it shows aromas of apricots and white peaches, and has a fleshy medium body. It’s a great wine to pop if you feel you may be in a white wine rut.
2015 Ugni Blanc Blend Les Tours, Domaine la Hitaire $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Essentially a typical Gascogne blend of Ugni Blanc (65%), Colombard (30%), and Gros Manseng (5%), the Les Tours has enjoyed a loyal following at TWH for over a decade! What’s not to like? It’s fresh. It’s crisp. It delivers a kiss of honey somewhere on the mid-palate, which disappears as the finish dries out. Extremely versatile, serve with a smile.
2015 Entre-Deux-Mers, Château Ferran $10.99, $8.79 reorder
We continue to hear more and more about wines from Bordeaux’s somewhat overlooked “between two rivers” appellation. Their quality has improved greatly in past decades, and their price tags make many of them screaming bargains. The Château Ferran is a typical white Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Seafood works great.
2014 Petit Siós, Costers del Sió $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
The appellation Costers del Sió is Catalonia’s most inland region. This region is harsh. It’s semi-arid with extreme temperature variation. And yet it can produce charming wines like this blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon, offering up fresh berry flavors wrapped in smooth, firm tannins. Pair with slow cooked one-pot wonders.
2013 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Tiberio $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Tiberio is run by brother and sister, Antonio and Cristiana. In 2008 they took over the estate from their father and by 2013 were named “one of Italy’s Rising Stars” by Decanter magazine. Their old-vine Montepulciano grapes are vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks, creating a pure expression of the grape. Bold and spicy, serve with roast meats.
2015 Pinot Noir, Underwood $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Underwood Pinot Noir is a staple at TWH because even at this price point they consistently deliver quality. The key is they leave the fruit alone and allow it to shine through. Expect bright flavors of red cherry, subtle notes of dried herbs and soft structured tannins. Nothing complicated here, just darn good wine. Match up with grilled Panini or sloppy joes.
2014 Côtes de Provence Les Trois Frères, Domaine des Aspras $17.59, $14.07 reorder
From the all-organic village of Correns in Provence, this blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, full-bodied, concentrated, and earthy. Perfectly suited for the month of February, Les Trois Frères is definitely the kind of wine to break out with hearty fare, such as beef stew, cassoulet, leg of lamb, or a juicy T-bone steak.
2012 Bordeaux Supérieur, Château Castenet $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Good, honest Bordeaux here; and it comes from Entre-Deux-Mers too! As noted above, we’ve noticed the quality of some of the region’s smaller producers’ wines to be on the upswing in quality, and this fine quaffer stuck out in a tasting of other inexpensive Bordeaux wines which didn’t exactly make the cut. Drink it on its own, or with grass fed beef sliders.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vinum Africa $17.99, $14.39 reorder
English ex-pat, Alex Dale grows his Cabernet Sauvignon in Stellenbosch, where the variety enjoys its role as the appellation’s most important grape. He has witnessed some big money move in recently, buying up Cabernet vines, and making “Icon” (read “Ego”) wines, but he keeps his Cab in the “great value” level. Pop this with some dry Memphis ribs.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:08 AM
Happy New Year! Here we are again, it’s January, and the slate has been wiped clean. 2017 has arrived, and here in northern California, Mother Nature has been making up for lost time by drenching us with rainfalls which have exceeded our average. We looked at the forecast, and it says that the next week will be a wet one. So while we stay dry indoors, why not have one of our January Dirty Dozens within arms’ reach? It just makes sense; 12 different wines, all chosen for their versatility: The January 2017 Dirty Dozen!
2013 Blanquette de Limoux, Saint Nicolas $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
This delightful and affordable sparkling wine will keep you celebrating well into the New Year! Blanquette de Limoux is a high elevation region along the Pyrenean foothills. The wine is produced from the Mauzac grape, which ripens late and retains good acidity. Honeyed and full of orchard fruit flavors, try this bubbly with all types of snacks and finger foods.
2016 Gewurztraminer, Banyan $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
One can easily make the argument that this Gewurztraminer from Monterey County is one of California’s best wine values. The fruit comes from old vines grown at Ventana Vineyards. Winemaker Kenny Likitprakong intentionally made it off-dry to pair with Southeast Asian cuisine. Give this Gewurz a go with curry, be it red, green or yellow. Delicious!
2015 Verdicchio, Fattoria Laila $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Fattoria Laila’s vines are grown in the rolling hills of the Marche overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Verdicchio translates to “little green one,” hence the flavors can lean toward the herbaceous. Along with fresh, cut grass aromas, this Verdicchio displays crisp acidity on the palate. A great meal starter with shrimp scampi, fried calamari or marinated cracked crab.
2015 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Tour de l’Isle $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Sourced from vines growing in and around the village of Vinsobres, this four grape blend (Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette) delivers refreshing orchard fruit aromas with a medium-full body, finishing with zippity fresh acidity. It’s a great all-occasion quaffer, yet would be perfect if paired alongside a platter of seafood tapas.
2015 Gavi, Ernesto Picollo $10.99, $8.79 reorder
One of our most popular bargain whites, the Ernesto Picollo Gavi has been a great pleasure to carry for nearly a decade. If one has a look at our staff members’ invoices over the years, it is not beyond the stretch of imagination that the Gavi is one of the top white wines that we take home to share and to drink ourselves! A simple pesto pasta pairs well here.
2014 Montravel Blanc, Château Calabre $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Speaking of TWH employees’ favorite white wines, enter another contestant, this one from just beyond Bordeaux’s eastern outskirts. Daniel Hecquet blends 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, and 10% Muscadelle to make this easy-going, food friendly, crisp white wine. It works well as an aperitif as well! Otherwise, you can pop it with a tuna salad.
2015 Malbec Reserva, Apaltagua $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Apaltagua harvests their Malbec grapes by hand between April and May. Their vineyard lies between the Curico and Maule Valleys. Maule Valley is one of the first regions to be planted with grapevines by the Spanish. Expect rich notes of cherry and cassis accented by a kiss of vanilla. Well-rounded on the palate, try with beef stew or other one-pot delicacies.
2013 Garnacha, Botijo Rojo $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
The name Botijo Rojo refers to the traditional clay water vessels used by grape pickers during harvest. This is yet another great example of a Spanish wine that delivers both high quality and affordability. 100% Garnacha, flavors of deep red cherries are augmented by dusty notes of underbrush. Silky and supple, try with pollo con arroz or paella.
2014 Aljubarrota Reserva, $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
A blend of three varietals – Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional and Trincadera – this is a hearty, jammy Portugese red. Both Touriga Nacional and Trincadera are used in the production of Port, so you know the flavors are going to be intense. This high-impact wine is perfect for burgers as well as high-end cuts of meat for a special meal.
2014 Chianti Montalbano, Tenuta Pierazzuoli $13.49, $10.79 reorder
Longtime TWH pal, Enrico Pierazzuoli (who will be visiting us in February!) crafts Tuscan wines from two different sites: one in Carmignano, just west of Firenze, and the other in nearby Chianti Montalbano. Enrico makes his Chianti from 100% Sangiovese, and as written on the label, it takes one vine to make one bottle of wine. Drink this with a nice pappardelle.
2013 Syrah, Domaine Saint Antoine $11.49, $9.19 reorder
Moving down to the south of France, in Saint Gilles to be exact, is Marlène and Jean-Louis Emmanuel’s Domaine de Saint Antoine. We’ve been working with the Emmanuels for 20 years, and it’s easy to see why: Value. Jean-Louis de-stems his fruit and raises the wines in tank for that pure fruit expression. Try this Syrah with some smoked pork ribs, yum!
2013 Agrippa, Grange des Rouquette $17.59, $14.07 reorder
And lastly, speaking of Syrah, check out this southern Rhône Syrah named after the famous Roman architect who allegedly designed the famous Pont du Garde near the Rhône River Valley. Thierry Boudinaud doesn’t make this wine in every vintage; it takes a special one for him to do so. It’s full bodied, so think big with your pairing ideas … like a rib-eye!
Saturday, December 3, 2016 11:26 AM
The December 2016 Dirty Dozen
We’re still scratching our heads here. How exactly did it get to be December already? Time flies, this we know. 2016 is on its way out, and 2017 is right around the corner. There’s plenty to do to get there, so hold on tight! There are holiday parties, corporate and private, and the holidays themselves. We’re making the wine part easy. 12 bottles, all chosen for versatility, in one box for one low price. The December Dirty Dozen.
2015 Picpoul de Pinet, Chevalier de Novato $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Picpoul refers to both the appellation and the grape. The word itself translates to “lip-stinger” which suggests the zippy acidity of the wine. The appellation covers 3000 acres around the Ètang de Thau, a series of lagoons along the Mediterranean. Expect tonic-like freshness with fragrant, floral flavors. Serve well-chilled with any manner of shellfish.
2013 Verdejo, Atino $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
The aromatic grape, Verdejo, though planted throughout Spain is most at home in Rueda. Rueda is a region northwest of Madrid smack dab in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula. The climate is continental with hot, dry summers and cold, harsh winters. Crisp and citrusy with hints of flowers and clover on the palate, serve with crab cakes or Risotto Milanese.
2015 Moscato di Pavia, Centorri $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Three generations of women are credited for making this charming, playful Moscato – it tastes just like popping a fresh grape into your mouth. The vines are on average 20 years of age, lending complexity and depth. Low in alcohol and with a slight frizzante, try as an aperitif or as the closer to a meal. Or snuggle up on the couch with a glass and some cookies.
2013 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Domaine Boudinaud $7.95 sale price, $7.55 reorder
We’re just not drinking enough white wine from the Rhône Valley. One can seldom go wrong with a white Côtes-du-Rhône: great blends and very fair prices. This CdR Blanc is made from 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne, and it shows fresh, fleshy white and yellow fruit and has a crisp finish. Pair this with some seared scallops wrapped in bacon.
2014 Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, The Winery of Good Hope $9.95 sale price, $9.45 reorder
This is 100% Chenin Blanc is from old bush vines planted in decomposed granite facing the ocean. Those ocean breezes keep the fruit relatively cool and fresh, lending balancing acidity to the tangy, voluptuous, green apple-like fruit. It’s great wine to have by itself or one can try a variety of pairing ideas, including vegetable tempura or Fettuccine Alfredo.
2014 Mâcon Villages Les Tilles, Domaine Sainte Barbe $19.99, $15.99 reorder
White Burgundy. Among the critics, it is consensus that 2014 was a great vintage for Burgundy’s white wines. Domaine Sainte Barbe does not use any fancy new oak for their wines, preferring to showcase terroir and fresh fruit over the aromas new barrels impart. It’s got plenty of class and complexity, and would be great with that Dungeness crab!
2015 Le Loup Dans La Bergerie, Orliac $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
80% Grenache with the remainder Syrah, this juicy little number is the perfect “everyday” red wine. Why perfect? Well, the fruit is bright and lively, the tannins are soft, the acidity is balanced with the fruit, and no intrusive oak to speak of. Drink on its own or with food; it can do it all. Ideally suited for pizza in all its forms, calzone, or a messy meatball sub.
2013 Merlot, Jordanov $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
A value like this would have to come from an under-represented, unknown wine region like land-locked Macedonia. How else could you make a Merlot from mature vines, age it in French oak for 14 months and offer it for well under $20? Notes of plum and blueberries mingle with herb for a classic presentation. Tasty with lamb ragoût or a prime rib roast.
2015 Cilegiolo Maremma, Morellino $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Winemaker Sergio Bucci is a strong believer that obscure Tuscan “field blend” varietals can stand on their own if properly understood and vinified. A case in point is this Cilegiolo – a red varietal typically blended into Chianti. Rarely do you see it bottled solo. Super charged red cherry flavors with aromas of sage and violets dominate. Va bene!
2013 Ventoux Rouge, Domaine Fondrèche $16.99, $13.59 reorder
Winemaker Sébastien Vincenti has done something unusual recently. He has eliminated one of his fancy labels (Nadal), and is now using those grapes in his entry level rouge. The result is an upper class Rhône blend, 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre. It’s as versatile as it is classy. Serve it with pork wrapped, pork sausage-stuffed pork loin.
2015 Malbec, Alberto Furque $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Sourced from vineyards some 3000 feet in elevation, Alberto’s daughter Carolina has some mountain fruit to make her Malbec with. The grapes are fermented in steel tank and raised in concrete prior to bottling. This allows the fruit and terroir to shine. Deep and lush, the structure is bold, yet the nuances are delicate. It’s a good one for a juicy steak.
2013 Syrah/Grenache, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder
French country wine – 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre, all tank fermented for optimal freshness here. This is the kind of wine served throughout the southern French countryside in cafés and bistros. It’s easy to quaff, with or without food, and easy on the budget. It’s a given to say this is great with a baguette, bowl of olives, and salumi.
Thursday, October 6, 2016 8:25 PM
Another summer gone, another autumn is here. October is always an interesting month, with its changing leaves, longer nights, cooler breezes, and more occasions for hearty dishes. This month’s Dirty Dozen was carefully chosen to suit the needs of October, featuring versatile wines from seven different countries! There’s no need to overthink your wine selections for the month; pick up an October DD today!
2015 Vinho Verde, Adega Monção $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Portugal’s Vinho Verde occupies the northwest corner of the country. This exceedingly interesting example comes from vineyards around the town of Monção, hence the name of the winery, near the border of Spain. With a hint of petillance, this citrusy, minerally wine has thirst-quenching freshness. Delicious alone, it’s also superb with shellfish, raw or cooked.
2014 Gruner Veltliner “Q”, Unger $11.98 net price, $10.78 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 the most affordable and is all tank fermented for optimal freshness. Yellow fruit flavors with aromas of white pepper; pair it with sushi or spring rolls.
2014 Sauvignon Blanc, MF Wines $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Mighty Fine Wines indeed! Industry insiders Matt and Fritz use their connections to source high end fruit for a fraction of the price, passing the savings on to their customers. 100% Napa Valley fruit for under $15? Yep, it’s a deal, and delicious too! Crunchy melon and juicy pear fruit matches up with zesty acidity on the finish. Try with a quiche or BLTA.
2014 Montravel Terrement, Château Puy-Servain $13.49, $10.79 reorder
Some could contend that a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris grown just east of Bordeaux is a bit of a poser, but this wine is not posing as anything! It’s a crisp, complex white with a rich mid-palate and a clean finish. Wines of this pedigree generally come at much higher prices; that’s the beauty of direct importation! Pair it with clams and pasta.
2015 Ventoux Rosé, Domaine Fondrèche $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Consistently our lightest, leanest Rosé, Sébastien Vincenti has done it again with his 2015. It has just enough aromatic character to distinguish itself as a Rosé, yet the palate is bone dry and full of lipsmacking zip. This textbook Provençal-styled juice makes for the perfect aperitif on a warm, autumn evening, and can still complement those Moules Florentine.
2014 Riesling Vieilles Vignes, Domaine St. Rémy $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Our pals in Alsace, Corinne and Philippe Ehrhart, have now added a “perceived sweetness” scale to their back labels, eliminating any confusion about what may be in that tall bottle so many associate with sweet wines. The scale on this one is at 1, meaning the driest. There’s still plenty of appley, pear-like fruit on the palate, but the finish is dry and crisp.
2014 Prieto Picudo “El Aprendiz”, Paramo $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Prieto Picudo is a native Spanish red that nearly became extinct. The vine grows extra low with its branches literally on the ground. This makes pruning and harvesting backbreaking work because you have to do it while kneeling. The Spanish call this rastra. Intense dark fruit with notable acidity makes this red perfect for pot roast or steak with Romesco sauce.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Filosur $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
What drew us to this Argentinian Cabernet is its freshness and medium-bodied profile. Not heavy, with just the right amount of fruitiness, this red can function as a house red for large, casual parties or provide pleasure for your Monday-Thursday imbibing needs. Simple yet delicious, try it with ground meat based dishes, such as meatloaf, meatballs, etc.
2013 Corbières, Château la Boutignane $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Corbières is a sub-region of southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon. This is a typical Corbières, with the inclusion of 50% Carignane, the remainder being a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. The earthy combination of red plum and green leaf tobacco makes this ideal for roasts and chicken stew be it Cacciotore, Chakhokhbili or Country Captain.
2014 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Whether you’re grabbing a pizza after work or cooking up some pasta with a tomato-based sauce, the Le Farnete Barco Reale is your go-to red. Enrico Pierazzuoli’s other production facility is located in the hills just west of Firenze. Blending 20% Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese gives this wine a little backbone to go along with the fresh, tangy fruit aromas.
2013 Touraine Les Demoiselles, Domaine des Corbillières $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Take 40% Pinot Noir for its delicate elegance, blend it with 30% Cabernet Franc to give it some Old World herbal aromas, and finish it off with 30% Côt (Malbec) for its power and richness, and you’ve got Corbillières’ Les Demoisellescuvee. It’s a versatile son of a gun, and can pair well with a French Dip, cheeseburger, flank steak, or barbecued brisket. Bring it!
2014 Bordeaux Supérieur, Domaine des Maréchaux $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
When in Bordeaux, scouting for quality in the under $10 per bottle category, one encounters a plethora of wines that, let’s just say to be nice, we don’t want. So when we taste one that has expressive character and balance, we pounce. The 2014 Domaine des Maréchaux is pounce-worthy. It’s firm yet expressive, and would properly suit a grilled ribeye perfectly.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 8:11 PM
September is here! What? What? What? No need to worry, summer isn’t over just yet. There’s still plenty of time left to get in a last visit to the beach or the last barbecue of the season. Fall is right around the corner, so we better act quickly! Good thing there’s a Dirty Dozen to take care of the wine department for the month: 12 bottles of wine, all different, all versatile, a little cheat sheet with some notes and pairing ideas, and one low price. Yay!
2014 Santa Barbara County White, Demure $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Owner/winemaker Vailia Esh left chilly Toronto on a lark and set out for sunny Paso Robles. Shortly thereafter Desperada Winery was born. Along with the Desperada wines, Vailia tinkers with different varietals, and here she has blended 88% Riesling with 12% Chardonnay for her Demure label. It’s dry and crisp, so pair it with those pork chops.
2014 Rueda Verdejo, Menade $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Three siblings, Marco, Richard, and Alejandra Sanz have been running Menade since 2005. They can trace their winemaking roots back 5 generations. Rather than rest on that laurel, they are true pioneers in the organic movement, having secured the certification for their vineyards. This Verdejo is stony and herbal – a great partner for raw oysters.
2014 Vinho Branco, Rufo do Vale D.Maria $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
From Portugal’s Douro D.O.C. comes this blend of natives Côdega de Larinho and Rabigato. The former brings floral aromas as well as flavors of peaches and melons while the latter brings a little zippy acidity and backbone to the party. As the summer fades away, treat yourself to a glass of this to sip with a Caprese Salad with fresh heirlooms and burrata.
2013 Hors Saison, Domaine la Hitaire $9.95 sale price, $9.45 reorder
It’s a Côtes de Gascogne made from 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. Brothers Rémy and Armin Grassa run this property now after taking over from their father, Yves, of Domaine de Pouy fame. The 2013 Hors Saison is an easy going, medium bodied white, perfect for Tuesday nights. It goes great with goat cheese or a turkey sandwich with the works.
2014 Ventoux Blanc, Domaine Fondrèche $16.99, $13.59 reorder
Our man in Ventoux, Sébastien Vincenti blends Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette, and a little bit of Rolle for his Ventoux Blanc, and the result is smashing. Like their red counterparts, white Rhône blends have to be some of best values on the market. Citrus, stone fruit, and minerals hover around your glass as you toast your Chicken à la King.
NV Vouvray, Domaine d’Orfeuilles $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
Sparkling wine made from 100% Chenin Blanc, this Vouvray is long on character. It’s not Champagne, but its small bubbles and dusty mineral expression could potentially fool a few people. The palate is marked by crunchy Granny Smith apple and mineral, and the finish is balanced and creamy. Great for a toast, an aperitif, or a bucket of fried chicken.
2012 Vinho Tinto, Rufo do Vale D.Maria $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
We head back to Portugal’s Douro for Vale D.Maria’s red version of Rufo. This one is made from a blend of Touriga Franca and Portugal’s most famous red grape, Touriga Nacional. It’s a medium-bodied wine offering notes of dark red and black fruit with some spice. It’s great with tapas and small bites, or you can pair it with a pizza margherita.
2014 Negroamaro Salento Arcangelo, Palamà $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Originally planted by Romans in the southern region of Salento, Negroamaro is a robust red with sturdy structure and pleasant black cherry aromas. The tannins are well integrated making this a clean, easy sipper which can be appreciated in its youth. It’s a versatile red, so it’s a ringer with pasta dishes; but we’re thinking bread, olives, and salumi.
2014 Merlot, Domaine de Gournier $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Longtime Dirty Dozen fans may remember Gournier, as their wines were once regulars in our monthly sampler. When we discovered several cases that were up for grabs at a ridiculous price, we snagged them. This Merlot is juicy and balanced with brambly fruit and a medium body. It’s a great picnic red (screwcap), or a fine partner for a cheeseburger.
2013 Mountainside Shiraz, The Winery of Good Hope $13.49, $10.79 reorder
Speaking of great picnic wines, Alex Dale’s Mountainside Shiraz sports a screwcap as well, and what’s inside is pure Shiraz magic. The nose is ripe and expressive with notes of red fruits, smoke, and gamey meat. The palate is restrained and medium bodied, and the finish is exquisitely balanced. This one is best suited for a slow-cooked smoky beef brisket.
2014 Les Trois Frères, Domaine des Aspras $17.59, $14.07 reorder
Say bonjour to our new Provençal producer, Domaine des Aspras. Coming from the first all-organic French grape growing village, Correns, Les Trois Frères is 90% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This Côtes de Provence is a dark, earthy wine. It’s full bodied, so it’s best to pair this with something hearty … maybe a nice, rich bowl of cassoulet.
2013 Costières de Nîmes Les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $15.79, $12.63 reorder
“Wines with this much complexity don’t sell for $15,” that’s what Anya said after she tasted the 2013 Les Cimels in our employee tasting room. This has been THE go-to house red for over a decade. Dark purple and black olive-like fruit are the core with aromas of forest floor and black tea. One note of caution: this bottle will be empty before you think it will!
Thursday, August 4, 2016 12:19 AM
If you’re a fan of summer fruits and vegetables, this is your month! There’s no peach better than an August peach, and visit to a farmers’ market this month can inspire the laziest of us to dust off the apron and whip up an array of fresh victuals. To help enjoy the fruits of your labor, may we suggest the August Dirty Dozen? 12 different wines, all chosen for their versatility, packed in a handy box with pairing suggestions for one low price. BooYah!
Reorder Special !!! 20%off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines
2012 Chardonnay HIP, Hedges $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
A fantastic value for domestic Chardonnay, this Washington State white is crisp and lively made in an unoaked, Chablis style. All of the fruit comes from the Dionysus vineyard, planted in 1973 on the east side of the Columbia River. Expect snappy apple flavors and a clean finish. Serve with grilled chicken, fried calamari or Baja fish tacos.
2013 Aligoté, Domaine Fichet $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Domaine Fichet broke away from the local co-op to make wine on their own beginning in 1976. Situated in Igé, just north of Mâcon, Fichet planted a bit of Aligoté in 1998. It is textbook Aligoté with its bright acid finish. Traditionally, Aligoté is used for making Kir. So if inclined – add a bit of Cassis – otherwise pair alongside oysters, prawns or fresh goat cheese.
2014 Côtes du Rhône La Source, Mourchon $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
La Source is a classic blend of 6 Rhône varietals: Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, and Bourboulenc. The vines average 40 years of age. Flavors of underripe apricot and white peach dominate the palate. It works well with sushi, poke, ceviche and fresh spring rolls. A screw cap makes opening easy!
2014 Lugana, Ca’Lojera $15.99, $12.79 reorder
As summer’s bounty bursts to life at local farmers’ markets with dazzling aromas, colors, and flavors, we can’t help but feel the same for Ambra and Franco Tiraboshi’s Lugana and its panoply of expression. Fresh melons, stone fruit, orchard fruit, and a kiss of honey all linger on the palate. A great choice to pair with breaded flounder filets and fresh zucchini.
2013 Grüner Veltliner Liter, Hofer $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Once the darling of hipster somms everywhere, Grüner Veltliner continues to enjoy a loyal following of those of us who love dry, crisp, herbaceous white wines; especially in the summer! Keeping it real, the Austrians bottle some of these in full liter size with beer bottle caps. A fresh green bean salad with green goddess dressing would be great with this.
2014 Rosé, Grange des Rouquette $7.95 sale price, $7.55 reorder
Here’s one for the anti-wine snob folks. Rosé made from 100% Syrah using the saignée method, or the bleeding off of the pink juice during fermentation of red wine. Rosé wines made using this technique tend to be rich, intense, and long lived. It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy this with an ice cube or two as you mow through an order of hot chicken wings.
2014 Garnacha, Santo Cristo $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
This 100% Garnacha, aka Grenache, is a perfect example of why so many believe that the best values for wine in the world come from Spain. The concentration and depth of flavor here is head scratching when considering the price tag. Juicy, deep plum and blackberry flavors are uplifted with spice and dusty tannins. Try it with Santa Maria style tri-tip.
2014 Monte Reale, Garofoli $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Traveling east from Tuscany towards the Adriatic Sea, Sangiovese continues its dominance. In the Marche, Sangiovese is often lighter and fruitier. This makes for a pleasant, versatile drink. Monte Reale is entirely tank-fermented Sangiovese. Expect flavors of cherries, cherries, and more cherries. Pair with capellini tossed with fresh tomatoes and Genovese basil!
2015 Pinot Noir 375ml can, Underwood $5.98 net price, $5.38 reorder
A can of Pinot Noir? Sure, why not, we are not snobs! The innovative packaging is convenient for toting along on hikes, picnics in the park, floating down rivers, or any August activity that takes you outdoors. Inside the can is 100% Oregon Pinot Noir with its medium bodied cherry-laden fruit, soft tannins and notes of cola. Simply perfect with a deli sandwich.
2012 Ventoux Fayard, Domaine Fondrèche $16.99, $13.59 reorder
On a serious note, Domaine Fondrèche has the finest terroir in what was once called the Côte de Ventoux, on the eastern side just beneath snow capped Mont Ventoux. It’s half Grenache, all tank fermented. The other half is barrel aged Syrah and Mourvèdre which gives the wine depth, complexity, and texture. This calls for a dry rubbed beef tenderloin.
2012 Bergerac, Château Calabre $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Of course there’s a statue of Cyrano in Bergerac, but that’s not what the region is famous for. The red wines of Bergerac are composed of the same grapes one finds at the hallowed chateaux of nearby Bordeaux, but the pricing is much more appealing. This rustic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon comes in screwcap; great for a picnic!
2010 Château La Gorre, Médoc $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
Speaking of Bordeaux, here we have a delicious, affordable Claret from the remarkable 2010 vintage. Full bodied with fine balance, the La Gorre outdrinks its price point considerably. It shows concentrated aromas of cassis, black cherry, and earthy mineral. When you see that perfect steak at the butcher, it’s great to know you have this waiting for it.
Saturday, July 2, 2016 6:47 PM
Friday, June 3, 2016 10:16 PM
Happy June, everybody! We’re super excited about the Dirty Dozen we’ve put together this month, as the wines are versatile, suit the season perfectly, and provide huge value as a mixed case. June is always about Dads and grads, but summer is coming, and there will be plenty of occasions to head off for a picnic, barbecue, or day at the beach! Just don’t forget the vino! The June DD has got you covered. Enjoy the season!
2013 Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Panizzi $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
The only white wine to reach DOCG status in Tuscany, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is famed for its floral bouquet and persistent acidity. True to the varietal, this one from Panizzi has a satisfying bitter almond finish. Straw-colored with greenish reflections, this white can start the meal with an antipasto platter then continue on with light pasta or fish.
2013 Bordeaux Blanc, Château Suau $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Château Suau began converting to organic farming in 2008 after its proprietress came to the conclusion that using conventional products on the vines was having a harmful effect on vineyard workers. The soil here is a combination of clay and gravel. A charming citrus-laden white, serve chilled with fresh goat cheese or alongside grilled fish.
2015 Chardonnay, Milou $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Hands down, one of the best values for Chardonnay, especially if you are looking for one that is simply fermented and attains its richness from the fruit and not from oak chips. The vines grow on marl soils with clay and limestone in south France’s Languedoc region. A harmonious marriage of peach and pineapple flavors, pair with poultry or pork dishes.
2013 Macon Les Tilles, Domaine Sainte Barbe $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Whoa! What’s going on here? White Bordeaux, and now white Burgundy? This is the Dirty Dozen, right? Sure, this direct-imported Mâcon is fresh and zesty, with layers of complexity ranging from pears and citrus, to dusty mineral and baking spices. There’s no new oak involved here, so tee this one up with things like crab salad or a lobster roll.
2014 Rose l’Instant, Domaine Fondrèche $12.95 sale price, $12.30 reorder
The perennial winner of the palest Rosé in da house award, we’re big fans of this sleek, crisp offering from the Rhône Valley’s Ventoux region. Sébastien Vincenti is the winemaker, and we have found (after years of experience) that his Rosé drinks very well into its second year! The faintest bit of red fruit suggests pairing it with a sunny day on the beach.
2013 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Domaine Boudinaud $13.99, $11.19 reorder
TWH pals Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud have several vineyard sources to draw from, and this white is ALL Côtes-du-Rhône. It’s 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Rousanne, so it’s fuller bodied and round on the palate, yet is fresh as a daisy. It’s another one that can be served as a cocktail wine, but bring it to the table and start carving that chicken!
2013 Minervois, Astruc Ste. Eulalie $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
A blend of Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache, this herb scented, dusty fruited red is medium bodied and pure. Languedoc’s Minervois appellation takes its name from the village of Minerve named after the Roman goddess of wisdom. This sun-drenched red will compliment a wide array of cuisines, particularly those found along the Mediterranean.
2012 Lagrein, Cortaccia $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Lagrein is most likely native to Alto Adige, or Sudtirol, in northeast Italy. Despite the high elevations, during growing season days can reach warm temperatures to ripen grapes. At its best, Lagrein is noted for its deep plum and cherry flavors and firm acidic structure. It begs for food and pairs nicely with roasted and grilled red meats or strong cheeses.
2013 Bonarda, Argento $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
In Argentina, Bonarda is only second to Malbec in the number of plantings. It originally hails from France and also grows in the Napa Valley where it is known as Charbono. A late ripener, this rustic varietal produces deeply colored reds with strong tannins. Aromatically spicy with plumy fruit, match it with hearty, comfort foods, pizza or gourmet burgers.
2014 Malbec, Alberto Furque $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Representing one of the best value red wines in the shop, we’ve been big fans of the Furque’s Malbec for over a decade! What’s not to love? All tank-fermented, big bold aromas of purple fruits and olallieberries, the palate is full bodied, yet all in balance with sweet tannins. It’s another barbecue friendly red, we’re thinking cowboy steak with chimichurri.
2014 Luberon, Tour de l’Isle $15.59, $12.47 reorder
The bouquet of fresh purple and black berry fruit is up front and center at first whiff, but Robert Rocchi’s Tour de l’Isle Luberon has plenty of substance to seduce the taster to pour a second glass. It’s mostly Syrah, with some Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault blended in. Its light tannins make it a great all purpose red: Pizzas, pastas, meatballs, etc.
2012 Montravel Terrement, Château Puy-Servain $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Last but certainly not least is Daniel Hecquet’s ringer of a Montravel that we feel can hold its own in a blind Saint Emilion tasting. Made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it has bold aromas of brambly fruit, a hint of spice, and a touch of mocha. On the palate it is firm, yet fruity; the red to open up with good company and rack of lamb.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:26 PM
The May Dirty Dozen
Now that it’s May, we’ve got so many fun options available to us. With the longer days, the Kentucky Derby, Mothers’ Day, and the unofficial beginning of summer, Memorial Day on the horizon, it may be a good idea to have some wine handy. Well, we just happen to have something that works perfectly! 12 wines, all different, all chosen for their versatility, boxed up for an incredible price: The May Dirty Dozen
2014 Picpoul de Pinet, J & D Selections $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
2014 Gruner Veltliner 1L, Wimmer $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Stephen Vincent $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
2015 Rosé les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $13.99, $11.19 reorder
2011 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Tour de l’Isle $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 9:55 PM
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 9:56 PM
Thursday, February 4, 2016 6:21 PM
Thursday, January 7, 2016 10:22 PM
Friday, December 4, 2015 12:15 AM
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015 8:58 PM
Grab your coat and hat, it’s November! The chill in the air and the long nights make it easy to stay indoors and hang out with friends and family. And while doing so, why not have a box of twelve different wines, all chosen for their versatility, for one low price to choose from. Tick-tock goes the clock. Thanksgiving is almost here, and the holidays are right around the corner. The Dirty Dozen is a simple solution for all your vinous needs!
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
2014 Viognier Pays d’Oc, Grange des Rouquette $11.99, $8.79 reorder
TWH pals Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud produce this Viognier (85%) and Marsanne (15%) blend from the balmy VDP d’Oc. Its aromas are of Granny Smith apples, white peach, and apricot with a hint of white pepper. On the palate, it’s well-balanced and has a lively finish. If you want to go all out, pair this with grilled halibut with asparagus.
2014 Ventoux Blanc, Domaine de Fondrèche $16.59, $13.59 reorder
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a white wine from Domaine de Fondrèche. Not because we haven’t tried (we’ve begged them), but because so little is made, barely any makes it out of the Rhône Valley, let alone France. It’s a fancy tasting blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette, and Rolle. Get the good stemware and serve pan-fried trout.
2014 Montravel Blanc, Château Calabre $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Just beyond Bordeaux’s eastern frontier, north of the commune of Ste. Foy la Grande is Montravel. Given its proximity to the vineyards of Bordeaux, the same grapes grow there. This fine, inexpensive copycat of white Bordeaux (Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle) is crisp and balanced. A roasted vegetable torte with goat cheese is perfection here!
2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Copain $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Winemaker Wells Guthrie was a “regular” at TWH long before he started Copain and became known for making some of the most lauded Pinot Noir and Syrah in California. Balance over power is the approach here, and this pink made from Pinot Noir reflects that delicate touch. Freshness, red fruit, and citrus abound. Try it with flatbread with olives.
2014 Chardonnay, Apaltagua $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
This tropical fruit-laden Chardonnay is rich in the fruit department, yet finishes clean and crisp. No oak helps to keep this wine lively and bright. The grapes are grown in the San Antonio Valley, west of Chile’s capital, Santiago, and near the Pacific Ocean. Pair with a sandwich, panini, grinder, hoagie, sub, or po’boy.
2014 Pinot Gris, 99 West $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Pinot Gris is Oregon’s most widely planted white variety. This one hails from Willamette Valley in western Oregon. Spiced pears permeate the clean, subtle fruit notes on the palate. A versatile white that can be enjoyed by itself or with a wide array of cuisines. Try with pork tenderloin accompanied by quince paste or applesauce – yum!
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bliss Family Vineyards $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
A rarity: estate-grown California Cabernet Sauvignon for under $15! Grapes growers in Mendocino County for three generations, the Bliss family makes this spicy Cabernet in a straightforward manner, offering value and character. Black plum and berry flavors lead the way. Can’t go wrong with braised short ribs, lamb shanks or slow-roasted pot roast.
2012 Tempranillo, Ercavio $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
This is a crazy good value red for those who are looking for bolder, juicier flavors. Old vine Tempranillo grown on limestone and clay soils at elevations above 2000ft east of Toledo equate to a saturated purple color in the glass and flavors of black currant with a slight hint of licorice. Divine! This wine will stand up to spicier fare like chili or posole.
2012 Teroldego Rotaliano, Lechthaler $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Teroldego makes its debut in a DD! A deeply pigmented varietal, Teroldego thrives on the flat plateau above Trento where the vines are trained on pergolas to limit vigor. Fruity and bursting with black cherry flavors, this red is fermented in tank and spends less than a year in barrel. This one would be lovely for the Thanksgiving table.
2012 Syrah, Domaine de St. Antoine $11.49, $9.19 reorder
When driving up to St. Antoine, one immediately gets it; it’s not a winery, it’s a farm. No fancy fountains, Ionic columns, or manicured hedges. Instead, there are green fields, tractors, and grizzled farm workers. But don’t think for a second that Jean-Louis Emmanuel’s focus is not on his wines! This Syrah is fresh and complex and drinks great with that pizza.
2012 Tradicional, Quinta do Alqueve $11.29, $9.03 reorder
Alpiarca, some 40 miles north of Lisbon is where you’ll find Paulo Saturnino Cunha and Quinta do Alqueve. For his Tradicional, he blends Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Trincadeira, and Castelao, and the result is one of the best bang-for-your-buck reds out there. Über versatile, you can pair this with all your favorite red wine dishes.
2012 Vinsobres, Tour de l’Isle $17.99, $14.39 reorder
Once part of the more general Côtes du Rhône Villages designation, Vinsobres has been able to label their wines as their own village since 2006; they’re that distinct. Deep aromas of red and purple fruit surround an earthy core in this medium-full bodied red. This will pair great with steaks and chops of all sorts and sizes.
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