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