October 2013 Dirty Dozen

Saturday, October 5, 2013 6:39 PM

October is a great month for so many reasons. Sports fans are rejoicing as it seems everything is on. All over the northern hemisphere, vintners are busy with their respective harvests. What better to celebrate than with 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility, packed in a box for one incredibly low price! The October Dirty Dozen! 

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines 

Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.

2012 Montravel Terrement, Château Puy-Servain $13.99, $11.19 reorder
Just beyond Bordeaux’s eastern frontier lies the appellation of Montravel. Proprietor Daniel Hecquet blends equal parts Sauvignon Blanc with Sauvignon Gris and the result is terrific. It’s a well-balanced, zippy white that will put a smile on your face while keeping some scoots in your wallet! Pair it up with a Tuna BLT and you’ll be set.

NV Vinho Verde, Broadbent $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
This Vinho Verde is light-bodied and kissed with a touch of effervescence. Bart Broadbent has made it a priority to bring in fresh, youthful wine transported in cold storage to ensure the wine tastes just like it does in Portugal! Low in alcohol, quaff it down after a long hike, or with your BFF while noshing on take-out Chinese and catching up with things.

2011 Viognier, Le Paradou $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Crisp and completely unoaked, this Viognier is grown in the high altitude mountain vineyards of the Luberon in the east of the Rhône River Valley. Showcasing the mineral side of this aromatic grape, it is taunt and lively. Serve this floral white with lemon-stuffed roasted chickie or with lime-drenched ceviche.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc, CMS Hedges $11.98 net price, 10.78 reorder 
The Hedges family, instrumental in developing the wine region of Washington State’s Red Mountain, offers tremendous value at all levels. This (mostly) Sauvignon Blanc white, with trace amounts of Chardonnay and Marsanne, is citrusy and pungent. Not a bad choice for shellfish risotto or peppery salad greens topped with hazelnut-encrusted goat cheese.

2009 Fiefs Vendéens Les Clous, Domaine St. Nicolas $18.98 net, $17.08 reorder 
Domaine St. Nicholas is at the forefront of quality in the tiny Loire Valley appellation of Fiefs Vendéens, south of Muscadet along the Atlantic Ocean. Mostly Chenin Blanc with some Chardonnay, this dried apricot, tangy, apple blossom-scented white is characterized by sleek, rocky acidity. Try with steamed clams, raw oysters or smoked trout.

2012 Rosé, Grange des Rouquette $10.79, $8.63 reorder
Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud produce a swath of wines from in and around the Rhône River Valley. Their Grange des Rouquette Rosé is made from 100% Syrah and is bright and crisp with red-fruity goodness. Try it with fish tacos.

2009 Refosco, Russolo $18.98 net price, $17.08 reorder
Refosco is an ancient grape variety with a somewhat mysterious origin. It’s known for making big hearty wines with considerable weight and power. Also known as Teran in Croatia, this is a rugged, rustic wine with black cherries and raspberries present on the palate. Earthy and leathery, try this with sausage and peppers … Long Island style!

2011 Casamatta Toscana, Bibi Graetz $9.98 net, $8.98 reorder
“Casamatta” means “crazy house”, and though the name is whimsical, proprietor Bibi Graetz’s intent is to produce an easy-to-like table wine and sell it for a more than fair price. This is 100% Sangiovese that is lively and fruit driven, with nuances of loamy soil, rich iron, cherries, and plums. They won’t send you to the casamatta if you pour this with a pizza!

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vinum Africa $17.99, $14.39 reorder 
Englishman Alex Dale has tapped into something special in South Africa. He and winemaker Edouard Labeye “stay out of the way” allowing the fruit and terroir exhibit themselves. This Cabernet Sauvignon benefited from an Indian summer, giving the wine perfect levels of fruit and tannin. Deft oak treatment gives it that cigar box aroma. Rack of lamb?

2010 Syrah, Domaine de Saint-Antoine $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Showcasing the sauvage side of the south of France comes Jean-Louis Emmanuel’s 2010 Syrah. Jean-Louis de-stems all of his fruit to lend an air of ripeness to his brawny, ripe, Provençal Syrah. Think smoky, earthy Syrah bursting with red and black berries. Kind of makes you want to pour the bottle in a carafe, set the table with tumblers, and serve cassoulet.

2011 Rouge de Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $12.99, $10.39 reorder
100% Gamay, this is a light-bodied, charming red, laden with red cherries and perfumed with notes of violets and roses. Dynamo winemaker Thierry Michon has been farming biodynamically since 1995 and has championed Fiefs Vendéens, a little known region of the Loire where Atlantic winds whip through vines grown on mostly slate and some silex. Roast chicken!

2010 Vinsobres, Tour de l’Isle $17.99, $14.39 reorder
Grippy and succulent, this soft-edged Grenache-based Rhône red is heavily accented with dried herbs. Vinsobres was given AOC status in late 2005. The Tour de L’Isle wines are crafted by Robert Rocchi, a successful restaurateur who took his impeccable palate to the next level. Enjoy late summer’s harvest by serving this delicious red with ratatouille, sliced tomatoes or stuffed zucchini.

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April 2012 Dirty Dozen

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 9:02 PM

Days get longer, the nights grow short, our Easter baskets are getting filled up, and what’s this? Baseball season? Yep, it’s April and it’s time for opening the windows and doors, getting some fresh air, and maybe a picnic or four. However you like to spend your time this spring, consider this: Twelve bottles, one low price.

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2010 Orvieto, Cardèto
Big on our list of springtime wines are dry, crisp, easy quaffers that deliver in the quality department, yet keep the big bills in your wallet. This Orvieto is just the ticket! Lean and crisp with a citrusy freshness, this blend of Trebbiano and Grechetto is a great refresher should a warm spring afternoon come your way. Pairs great with a bowl o’mussels.

2010 Chardonnay, Viano Vineyards
Is it us, or do you ever see Cali Chardonnay in the sub $10 category anymore? At least quality, sub $10 Cali Chardonnay? Sales reps visit us and pour and pour, but we keep saying no until the right one comes along. Well, here it is! From Contra Costa county, no less; halfway between the Napa and Livermore Valleys comes the Viano. Pair with a crab salad.

2010 Vino Valpredo Bianca Mia, Fritz Winery
Rather than choose between Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, why not blend them? At least that’s what our friends at Sonoma’s Fritz Winery thought. You know what? This is some quality juice. Aromas of stone fruits and citrus blossoms give way to a zesty citrus palate. Anya says grill up some shrimp and serve it with mango salsa … and this, of course.

NV Prosecco Superiore, Giavi
Talk to any of us about our new D.O.C.G. Prosecco Superiore, the Giavi, and prepare yourself for an enthusiastic reply! Seriously, this Prosecco has it all: tiny bubbles, a pale, frosty appearance, depth, and crispness. Crostini with caviar?

2010 Blanc de Domaine de la Petite Cassagne
Her name is Diane de Puymorin. We adore her wines … all of them. Diane purchased the Petite Cassagne estate back in 1998, renamed it Château d’Or et des Gueules, yet still pays homage to the old guard with a Rouge, Rosé, and this Blanc. Diane blends 40% Rolle (Vermentino) with Grenache Blanc and the result is a bright, citrus infused aromatic showpiece.

2009 Fernão Pires, Quinta do Alqueve
Dare we try to get wine geeky on you, but here’s Portugal’s Fernão Pires blended with a smidge of Arinto. Geeky? Maybe. But the stone fruity aromas and crisp mouthfeel will make wine geeks out of us all! Great with sardines.

2009 Garnacha Two Rows, Odisea
As we switch to the reds, let’s point out that our friends at Odisea have another hit on their hands. Mostly Grenache with small parts Syrah and Tempranillo, the Two Rows is a plump palate pleaser. Ripe cherries and raspberries mingle with vanilla spice and herbs resulting in ethereal harmony. If it’s burgers on the grill; sorry, these Two Rows are taken.

2010 Tempranillo, Enanzo
Yummy Tempranillo from Spain’s Navarra region! The philosophy at Enanzo is simple. To quote them, “this Tempranillo is made by applying the only true winemaking criterion: intimate, permanent, progressive harmony between man and his environment.” It works here, the herb infused fruit is braced by dusty tannins and spirited acidity. Great with pizza.

2009 Château de Bouchet La Rentiere
What a vintage 2009 was for the wines of Bordeaux! The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker likened the vintage to the legendary 1982 noting one exception: in 1982 there weren’t many small, inexpensive producers taking advantage of the perfect weather to make great affordable Bordeaux. That’s different now. Pair this beauty with your prime rib.

2008 Les Cimels, Château d’Or et des Gueules
If there’s a better $15 red wine here at TWH, I haven’t seen it. The aforementioned Diane de Puymorin blends some old vine Carignan with Grenache and Syrah, and the result is an herbal masterpiece. Forest floor, Kalamata olives, and black tea dominate the aromas, and the palate is more savory than fruity. The perfect wine for pasta with an herbal sauce.

2009 Côtes du Rhône les Boissières, Vignobles Boudinaud
New to us is Veronique and Thierry Boudinaud’s les Boissières Côtes du Rhône. It’s an exciting story as 100% of what’s imported to the US is imported for us! Think honest, old-school Côtes du Rhône here. It shows plenty of fruit, but without going overboard. Toss in some cracked pepper and herbs Provençal, and you get the drift. This is yet another versatile bottle in what can be called The Versatile Dozen. Great on its own, or paired with cassoulet.

2006 Syrah, Alberto Furque
Ever popular with our staff and customers, the Alberto Furque line crushes it when it comes to quality for price. Grown at altitudes of over 3000 feet, the vineyards of Mendoza’s Bodega Aconquija (we call them Alberto Furque) get just the right amount of warm days and cool nights to produce wines with dazzling structure. This Syrah sings of balance and harmony. If you find yourself dreaming about some thinly sliced Argentine beef with Chimichurri sauce, pour this.

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September 2011 Dirty Dozen

Friday, September 2, 2011 9:11 PM

Heading out to San Francisco, for the Labor Day weekend show … whether or not you have your Hush Puppies on, you know it’s September and that means the kids are back in school, baseball season is entering its ‘pennant race’ phase, and in New Zealand, the Rugby World Cup is kicking off. No matter your distraction, the Dirty Dozen packs a wallop of value! 12 different wines packed into a box for $109? Just say yes.

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines

2009 Unico, Tierra de Castilla, Casa Gualda – $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Unico, or unique if you will, is a great way to describe this blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel from España. The floral nature of the Moscatel is just the right counter to round out the richness of the Sauvignon Blanc and the result is magic. Think blossoms and herbs on the aromatics, and a bright crispness on the palate. Grill up some halibut for this.

2010 Rosé, Grange des Rouquette – $11.99, $9.59 reorder
It’s 100% Syrah Rosé from the south of France. Though deep pink in color, the palate offers a surprise; it is vibrant, crisp, and DRY. This is truly a Rosé that can pair with just about anything. If you miss the south of France, one taste of this will transport you there.

2009 Bourgogne Aligoté, Domaine Paul Pernot – $18.99, $15.19 reorder
Affectionately referred to as Burgundy’s “other” white grape, Aligoté may not have the notoriety of Burgundian Chardonnay but in the hands of the right vigneron (ahem, Paul Pernot!), it shines with bracing minerality and dazzling citrus and green apple flavors. Try alongside poached white fish or semi-soft cheeses.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc, MSH – $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
MSH Cellars is one of those hidden treasures of Napa that make us wine geeks all giddy. This wine isn’t resting on its Napa laurels, though … It brings the goods too, smooth and creamy through the mid-palate with a bright, citrus finish. Pair this Yountville Sauvignon Blanc with a sunny afternoon and a drumstick.

2009 Marsanne/Viognier, Vignobles Boudinaud – $11.99, $9.59 reorder
Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud have been turning our heads lately with a wealth of high-class wines at very fair prices. This blend has all the makings of a fancy-pants white Rhône without the pretense. Crisp minerality, round Asian pear flavors, perfectly balanced acidity, and a long, dry floral finish make this tough to beat. Friday fish fry is a callin’…

2008 Pinot Gris ‘Im Berg’, Domaine Ehrhart – $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Longtime TWH friends, Corinne and Philippe Ehrhart continue to churn out great juice for a great price! They farm organically (2nd generation to do so), and the results are spot on. 2008 was a great vintage in Alsace, and this single-vineyard Pinot Gris has an abundance of complexity. Amazingly versatile, you can pop one with your fish tacos.

2007 Monastrell ‘Hécula’, Bodegas Castaño – $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
This is a steal! Seriously, we know you all shop at TWH because we find great value wines at all price points, but this one is not to be believed. We’re not alone in our praise, Steven Tanzer tasted it and said, “This could be a Bandol”. That’s saying a lot. Think deep, rich purple fruit with hints of smoky meat and earth. Pop it with a pork roast.

2009 Baron des Chartrons, Bordeaux – $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Here’s yet another sneak-peak into the hugely successful 2009 vintage in Bordeaux. This blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon is true to its vintage, showing rich, expressive fruit, great weight and dazzling structure. Goes to show that you don’t need to plop down multiple Benjamins to get a great taste of Bordeaux. A nice T-Bone works here.

2009 Rouge de la Domaine de la Petite Cassagne – $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Superstar winemaker Diane Puymorin has won our hearts yet again with her Rhône-style blend which includes some old-vine Carignane. Keep in mind that this is very young wine, so decanting is highly recommended. Got cassoulet?

2009 Plavac, Dingac – $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
New for us this month is a red wine from Croatia! Plavac Mali is one of several indigenous grape varieties, combining the spicy red berries of a Zin with the body of a Beaujolais. It’s fantastically uncomplicated. Enjoy with your cheeseburger.

2009 Morgon Côte du Py, Domaine Pierre Savoye – $18.99, $15.19 reorder
Speaking of Beaujolais, have you heard about the 2009 vintage? Coupled with the fact that this is CRU BEAUJOLAIS, this has to be the trump card of this month’s DD. Highly complex, the aromas are of forest floor, bright red berry fruit, and earthy minerals. Its palate is light and fresh with very fine tannins. A bowl of olives and a baguette will work.

2010 Côtes de Ventoux ‘Fayard’, Domaine Fondrèche – $16.99, $13.59 reorder
Wünderkind Sébastien Vincenti continues to dazzle us with his Ventoux blends. Sébastien honed his skills under the tutelage of legendary Rhône master André Brunel, and his amazing string of vintage successes is astounding. The Fayard is a blend of Grenache and Syrah (with a little Mourvèdre and Carignane), and it shows rich, ripe fruit, herbs and earth.

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January 2011 Dirty Dozen

Thursday, January 6, 2011 9:14 PM

Happy New Year, all! Not only are we ushering in a new year, it’s a new decade as well! So, in order to set the precedent of always having interesting flavors and good cheer throughout the next ten years, may we recommend the Dirty Dozen? Twelve bottles, all different, chosen for their versatility, for one low price … start the teens off right!

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines

 Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Bola $9.98 net, $8.98 reorder
Fresh and bright citrus fruit jump out of the glass when you swirl this Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. We look far and wide for the best deals from all over the world, and we seem to keep striking gold in South America! The mouth feel is light and crisp, suggesting that this would pair perfectly with a variety of lighter fared dishes … like halibut?

2009 Chardonnay, Apaltagua $9.98 net, $8.98 reorder
Another tasty little number from the South American gold mine, also hailing from Chile, this un-oaked Chardonnay is just so dang friendly and full of flavor that you’ll shake your head wondering how it can be so reasonably priced! Bursting with hints of citrus, orchard, and tropical fruits (dare we call that a trifructa?), it’s perfect for your cracked crab.

NV Vouvray Brut, Domaine d’Orfeuilles $16.98 net, $15.28 reorder
What would a new decade be without some bubbly? From France’s Loire Valley, made from 100% Chenin Blanc, comes one of our favorite fizzes. It’s light and festive, has hints of lemon peel and stony minerals on the aromatics, and sings with pomp and harmony. Sparkling wine can and should be served with your meal, try this with pork chops and chutney.

2009 White X, X Winery $11.98 net, $10.78 reorder
Who said California doesn’t have an exotic side? Some Albarino and Muscat are blended with Sauvignon Blanc and a kiss of Chardonnay here, resulting in an amazingly aromatic white wine. Perfect for a citrusy ceviche and a sunny day.

2006 Riesling, Isabel $7.98 net, $7.18 reorder
Wow. In a word, WOW! When this one was poured for us, we just about lost it. Dry Riesling from New Zealand here. Okay, we got a super good deal on it, so we’re passing that along to you. It’s got that complex, petrol-like aroma that you get from Alsatian Rieslings, a dry mouth feel and a complex finish. THIS IS A STEAL! Perfect with Hoppin’ John.

2009 Domaine de Pouy $9.99, $7.99 reorder
Over ten years ago, when The Dirty Dozen was just a toddler, the Domaine de Pouy was a mainstay. Why you ask? Huge on quality, short on price. What a great concept. Take grapes that would otherwise be headed for the distillery, and make wine out of them. Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Gros Manseng. Household names? They should be.

2008 Minervois, Chateau de Paraza $10.98 net, $9.88 reorder
Moving over to the red side, first up is a blend of Syrah (40%), Grenache (40%) and Mourvedre (20%) from one of our favorite southern French appellations. The wine is an amalgam of brambly berries, exotic spices and sturdy structure. Another one that’s huge on value, tee up a Paraza Minvervois with a visit to the hof brau in your kitchen.

2009 Rioja, Palacio de Verano $11.98 net, $10.78 reorder
Another brick in our ever-growing Spanish wall, we just can’t get enough Rioja. Talk about value. These wines (both white and red) are so well made, tasty and food oriented that we were on board well before we saw the price. This one is medium in body, with dark red fruit and hints of herbs. Perfectly structured for a pizza margherita.

2004 Cotes du Rhone Villages, Domaine de la Janasse $15.99, $12.79 reorder
What do you get when you blend a little Cinsault and Carignan with your southern Rhone Grenache? Combine that with a little bottle age, and poof, we’ve got some world-class red wine here. Plenty of fresh, ripe purple fruit, a hint of herbs and sturdy structure make this versatile red suitable with a panoply of fare like pasta, cheeseburgers or stew.

2005 Tempranillo, Alberto Furque $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Aha, a New World version of Tempranillo. Carolina Furque makes the wine here now. Rich and ripe, this baby is bursting with fruit … but that’s not all. It’s got plenty of backbone and complexity too. Sourced from vineyards that average 3000 ft in elevation, the cool nights provide the fruit with the proper acidity to make Furque’s Tempranillo just right.

2005 Palombieres, Montpezat $13.99, $11.19 reorder
There seems to be a friendly theme going on throughout this month’s DD, and here’s another. Take 80% Grenache and blend it with 20% Mourvedre, and you’ve got a fruit-driven, easy to drink wine with a backbone. Easy to drink as a cocktail wine, you can pair it with anything unpretentious, such as a grilled Gruyere sandwich with tarragon aioli

2009 Beaujolais Lantignie, Chateau du Basty $13.99, $11.19 reorder
It looks as if 2009 has become the new 2005 in France. Stellar wines are appearing from all corners of the country, and if you love Gamay (we do), 2009 provided some fantastic wines from Beaujolais. Sure the Crus shined in this perfect vintage, but the Village wines did as well. Basty’s Beaujolais-Lantignie is bursting with crushed red fruit and a lively palate with light tannins. Show your friends and family what REAL Beaujolais tastes like.

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines 5%/ Sale Wines

Xavier Monnot: 2006 Puligny Montrachet

Monday, November 15, 2010 7:42 PM

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, WINE HOUSE! An independent, retail wine store open for 33 years? Now that is something to celebrate. And celebrating we are with spectacular deals-n-steals. The 2006 Puligny Montrachet from Xavier Monnot tops my list of sensational bargains particularly for those who, like me, dream of drinking white BurgundyALL THE TIME. At only $39.95 (originally $70), getting your hands on world-class Chardonnay is no longer just a dream; it can be a reality.

So many reasons to love this wine…let’s begin with the producer:Xavier Monnot. We’ve been singing Monnot’s praises for a couple years now. His ability to coax rich fruit without camouflaging a sense of place is a real talent and a major reason why Monnot’s wines appeal to both those new to white Burgundy and those who have been longtime avid devotees. Our tag line for Monnot’s wines has been that his Puligny tastes like Puligny, his Meursault tastes like Meursault and so on.The grapes that go into Monnot’s Pulingy Montrachet come from 60-year old vines that according to my sources are either below Charmes or Les Referts. Regardless of the exact location, the age of the vines and its placement in Puligny Montrachet provides superior material for some powerhouse Chardonnay. The 2006 Puligny Montrachet is true to the vintage with a ripe, tropical fruit profile. That tropicality and ripeness is buoyed by a stealthily hidden streak of acid that keeps the wine alive and refreshing. A weighty mouthfeel and a persistent finish signals to your tastebuds that they are now entering another realm of Chardonnay goodness. With Dungeness Crab Season in full swing, I can’t help salivating just thinking about pairing this with succulent crab dipped in butter, or better yet, mayonnaise (did I just write that? No, I don’t do that!). At a recent staff tasting, we all agreed that Monnot’s 2006 Puligny Montrachet is the type of white Burgundy that can really go far into a meal; not just relegated to fish and shellfish, it would be outstanding with poultry, pork or veal.

It’s getting crazy at the store now (THE SALE IS ON!), so I better finish this up. But before I do, I have to mention two other tasty treats: 2006 and 2007 Batard Montrachet from Paul Pernot. Come on, treat yourself. The holidays are upon us and you owe it to yourself to try a Grand Cru at least once. I had the pleasure of trying these two wines side by side at our Holiday Staff Dinner this past January. And let me tell you, I think I can still taste them! The 2006 was opulent with lots of volume and power, whereas the 2007 was sleeker and more delineated, though not lacking in fruit. They are strong reflections of their vintage.Thank you to all who have made it possible for us to make it to the thirty-three year mark. As they say in Russian, Many Years Wine House! –Anya Balistreri

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