2018 Gruner Veltliner, The Fableist $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Sourced from two vineyard sites in Edna Valley, this wine is redolent of honeysuckle and blossoms. It is texturally satisfying with vibrant, quenching acidity. 80% was vinified in tank and the rest in neutral barrel. This combination works to keep the wine fresh while at the same time giving a rounded finish. True to its Austrian roots, serve with cream-based soups or fried cutlets.
2018 Catarratto, Baglio di Pianetto $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Baglio di Pianetto’s organically certified grapes, grown on hillsides just south of Sicily’s capital, Palermo, offer quality and value. The native Catarratto is hand-picked, lightly pressed and sits on its lees for three months. This wine has lots of personality with a distinctly mineral note. The citrus flavors mimic a ripe juicy Pomelo. Try with grilled shrimp, crab cakes or Caponata alla Siciliana.
2018 Jareninčan, Črnko 1L $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
This Slovenian white blend is made from the family’s estate grown six hectares of mixed varietals on the region’s unique marl soils. The grapes are sustainably farmed. Varieties included in the blend are Müller-Thurgau, Sauvignon Blanc and Welschriesling. Light in alcohol and generously aromatic, this wine is easily gulpable. Lovely as an aperitif with salty snacks like olives and cheese.
2018 Montravel Blanc Terrement, Château Puy-Servain $14.49, $ 11.59 reorder
Soft, light, and crisp. That describes Daniel Hecquet’s latest Terrement which will have you at hello. It’s made in the style of a white Bordeaux, and straight from the winemaker’s words, it’s made from 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Sauvignon Gris. It drinks quite a bit beyond its price point, truly a wine of class and distinction. Serve it up with lighter fare such as white fish or goat cheese fritters.
2018 Côtes de Provence Rosé Les Trois Frères, Domaine des Aspras $17.99, $14.39 reorder
Speaking of class and distinction, how about a little Provençal Rosé for the Holidays? Founded in 1961, Domaine des Aspras is now managed by its third generation, and the property is in the village of Correns; the very first vinous village to declare all farming be done organically. It’s pale, it’s sleek, it’s bone dry and lipsmacking. Tee this up with poultry or alongside fettucine with clams.
2018 Vinho Verde Assinatura de Família, Santiago $9.99, $7.99 reorder
Coming in at 10.5% alcohol is our directly-imported Vinho Verde from the folks at Santiago. Made up of 40% Arinto, 30% Trajadura, and 30% Loureiro, it’s light on its feet with a little effervescence. Its aromas are of citrus blossoms and orchard fruit. It’s great on its own, as an aperitif, or with cream-based pasta dishes. That low alcohol is a game changer, so go ahead and pour that second glass!
2017 Carignan, Union Sacre $19.98 net price, $17.98 reorder
Only 250 cases of this Paso Robles Carignan were produced. Winemaker Xavier Arnaudin is a trained chef and sommelier from France who relocated to California’s Central Coast after being invited to work a harvest. Union Sacre is his passion project when not working his day wine job. Elegant, fleshy and meaty, this red craves center stage. Pair with braised meats and hearty veggie stews.
2010 Montefino, Monte da Penha $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Monte da Penha is located in the vast Alentejo region of eastern Portugal. Their vineyards are set at high altitudes in a variety of soil types that produce big, age-worthy, rugged wines of structure; fortunately, this 2010 red is ready to pop open. An equal blend of Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Aragonez (Tempranillo) and Alicante Bouchet, pour into a large goblet, let it breathe, and enjoy!
2018 Tempranillo, Flaco $9.48 net price, $8.53 reorder
Yet another example of why we love Spanish wines so much! Dry-farmed, 100% Tempranillo grown at 2400 feet on clay soils outside of Madrid. Aged in stainless steel and concrete tanks, this budget-friendly wine is the ideal tablemate for your everyday Pizza/Pasta/Burger needs. Zesty red berry fruit, hints of white pepper and soft tannins culminate into a charming, everyday wine.
2016 Dolcetto d’Alba, Aurelio Settimo $16.59, $13.27 reorder
Mention winemaker Tiziana Settimo to any of us and you’ll likely find us in high praise of her wines and for all she does. After all, we have Tiziana to thank for our line of wines from Abruzzi producer Torre Zambra. Settimo makes wines with particular honesty. There’s no new oak used, and for her juicy Dolcetto, it’s bright and fruity. You can sip it alone, or pair it with pasta with red sauce.
2016 Syrah Agrippa Grange des Rouquette, Vignobles Boudinaud $17.99, $14.39 reorder
It’s 100% Syrah from the southern Rhône, which one doesn’t see very often. Our buddy in the Rhône, Thierry Boudinaud, only makes his Agrippa in the best vintages, evidenced by the release of the 2016. It’s medium to fuller bodied, dense, and concentrated. It has a little grip, so go ahead and seek out something hearty to eat with it. Steak is a no-brainer here.
2016 Ventoux Rouge, Domaine de Fondrèche $16.99, $13.59 reorder
2016 – the year winemaker Sébastien Vincenti made a change in his winemaking style. Beginning back then, and continuing to present day, he has been allowing more oxidization during the winemaking process, making the wines open and accessible in their youth. It’s Grenache and Syrah, so treat it as you would a fancy Côtes-du-Rhône. A Neapolitan Pizza with olives and sausage works.
11 down, one to go; it’s December, and if that chill in the air doesn’t remind you that the year is almost done, we don’t know what will.
It’s likely the month with the most social engagements of the year, and in months like that, it’s always a good idea to have some delicious vino at the ready.
12 bottles, all different, one low price. Stop by and pick up your December Dirty Dozen today.