Happy New Year! Yes, it’s January, and it’s time to reset the calendar, tally up last year’s resolutions, and set some resolutions for 2018. Trying more new wines is usually a mindful goal every year, as that is the only true way of knowing for sure whether or not you like a particular wine. Let us make that task a little easier for you. The Dirty Dozen club comes out once per month with 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility, packed in one box for one super-low price. Get your January 2018 Dirty Dozen today!
2016 Orvieto Vignarco, Palazzone $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder In 1969, the Dubini family purchased their estate in Orvieto, but it was not until the late 1980’s when they began to sell their wine commercially. A classically styled Orvieto with the majority of grapes being Grechetto and Procanico; expect subtle notes of peach and almond blossoms. Try with roasted winter squash dishes or a sauced pan-roasted chicken.
2016 Terre Siciliane Bianco, Colosi $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder Over the past few decades, Sicilian wines have seen a rapid increase in quality as well as interest from wine drinkers looking to expand their repertoire. The Colosi Bianco is a triumvirate of native Sicilian varietals: Inzolia, Cattaratto and Grillo. Crisp, completely unoaked and zippy, this white is a nice way to start off a meal or match up with shellfish risotto.
2016 Falanghina, Cantine Le Grotte $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Though Falanghina is most often associated with Campania, there is a bit that is grown on the backside of the boot in Puglia. Cantine Le Grotte’s vineyards are in Apricena, just a few kilometers inland from the Adriatic Sea. Straw yellow in color, it has distinct notes of navel orange and cut flowers. Pair with pork scaloppini or any rice based casseroles.
2014 Montagny Les Guignottes, Dom. Les Guignottes $12.95 sale price, $12.30 reorder White Burgundy here, folks. White Burgundy which is on sale, no less! Montagny is an appellation in the Côte Chalonnaise, which is just south of Burgundy’s vaunted Côte d’Or. Only white wines are allowed to adorn the AOC on their bottles, and the grape is Chardonnay, of course. This is an expressive, fruit driven white; pair it with scampi.
2016 Côtes de Provence Rosé, Domaine des Aspras $16.99, $13.59 reorder Over in Provence, specifically in the village of Correns, comes this direct-import Rosé. Correns was the very first village in France to earn official organic designation for all its farms and vineyards. This is grown-up Rosé – it’s bright, precise, has complexity, and finishes crisp and lipsmacking dry. A great wine to sip with your octopus a la plancha appetizer.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc Perigord IGP, Puy-Servain $8.79, $7.03 reorder Last April, while visiting Daniel Hecquet just outside of Bordeaux, he introduced us to a new line that he and some fellow growers have been working on launching: the Puy 170 Perigord IGP. The bottom line is solid wines for a song. This SB is expressive and well-balanced. It’s easy to drink and easy to purchase… great for parties, light salads, or goat cheese.
2014 Merlot, Cousiño-Macul $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder Cousiño-Macul is a historic winery in Chile’s Maipo Valley. It was founded in 1856 and is still operated by the original founding family. This is an honest to goodness Merlot with its soft tannins and ripe berry flavors. Easy going and versatile, it’s enjoyable by the glass or will carry over to the dinner table to accompany your favorite comfort food.
2013 Rouge, Le Cirque $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder Côtes Catalanes, in southern France near the border of Spain, is an exemplary geographical region for viticulture. Hot summer days are tempered by winds coming off the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. This un-oaked, bold red is a yummy blend of Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Dusty tannins give way to dark berry fruit. This one calls for lamb.
2014 Borgaio, Meleto $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder Castello di Meleto is a grand estate in the heart of Tuscany. The castle dates back to the 11th Century. Today they not only produce wine, but also olive oil and raise heirloom pigs. Their Borgaio red is mostly Sangiovese and fermented in tank. A small portion is aged in neutral barrel to flesh out the wine. Red sauced pasta dishes are the way to go here.
2013 Vinsobres, Tour de l’Isle $17.59, $14.07 reorder One of several Côtes-du-Rhône villages which has the character enough to be given its own village status (not to be taken lightly), Vinsobres wines are usually half Grenache, rounded out with Syrah and Mourvèdre. That’s what we have here – it’s a great, versatile red. You can drink it on its own, or you can pair it with the usual suspects – how about meatballs?
2014 Château Pitray, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder There has been a lot of activity around Castillon throughout the last decade as investors (many of which are Right-Bank châteaux owners) are snapping up any Castillon properties which come on the market. Why? Though further east, it still shares many similarities with St. Emilion, which is next door. This red is medium/full bodied and is great for steak.
2015 Fronton On l’Appelle Negrette, Vignobles Arbeau $12.59, $10.07 reorder Just north of Toulouse in southern France, north of the Pyrenees one finds the appellation of Fronton. The principal grape there is Negrette. What is it? It’s a light-bodied, spicy, fruity grape which yields lighter styled wines similar to Cru Beaujolais. Here it is on its own, bright cherry fruit, spicy forest floor, no harsh tannins, and a silky finish; Ahhh.