Dirty Dozen February 2020
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  • 2016 Ribona, Boccadigabbbia    $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder

    Ribona, also known as Maceratino, is a rare Italian grape grown almost exclusively in the Marche.  Boccadigabbia puts their Ribona through a primary fermentation for several days and then adds late-picked whole berries for a secondary fermentation. The result is a rich white with good acid structure and persistent exotic aromas of acacia blossoms. Great with a Picatta, fish or poultry.

    2018 Insolia, Baglio di Pianetto    $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

    Insolia, officially named Ansonica, is a low acid grape that is naturally tannic. As it ripens, the berries turn golden. Knowing when to pick is key to keeping it fresh and lively in the glass. At Baglio di Pianetto, they hand harvest their organic grapes in three passes. All tank-fermented, this is an especially expressive example of the grape. Enjoy alone or with seafood pasta or grilled octopus.

    2018 Gavi, Le Rive   $11.69, $9.35 reorder

    The Gavi appellation is in Italy’s eastern Piemonte region – if one was to draw a triangle connecting Barolo, Milano, and Genoa, Gavi would be right in the center. The grape is Cortese, and It’s one of our best deals in white. It’s dry, it’s crisp, with just a little yellow fruit and citrus blossoms in the aromas. Imagine dining seaside on the Italian Riviera with a plate of fried calamari and this.

    2017 Saint-Bris, Domaine Verret     $17.99, $14.39 reorder

    There is but one tiny corner of Burgundy where it is okay to grow Sauvignon Blanc, and it is in Saint-Bris. The mountains create a natural border, but as the crow flies, Saint-Bris is actually quite close to Sancerre and the eastern Loire Valley. There is a similarity, as the wine has fresh, expressive fruit with a mineral presence. Think of Saint-Bris as a Sancerre-substitute … from Burgundy! 

    2018 Petit Chablis Terroir de Milly, Sébastien Dampt $19.99, $15.99 reorder

    The Dampt family are no strangers in Chablis, they’ve been making wine here for over 150 years! Now in his mid-30’s, Sébastien continues the family’s tradition of making great wines AND selling them for very fair prices. His 2018 Petit Chablis is bright and stony, with zippy Granny Smith apple aromas. It’s a great food wine, as there are many options, but crab cakes and this work well.

    2017 Passerina Colle Maggio, Torre Zambra    $12.95 sale price, $12.30 reorder

    We’ve been more than pleased with all of the wines from Torre Zambra, but remember, their whites caught our attention first. Passerina is a grape indigenous to Abruzzo, and is widely planted in Italy’s Marche region which borders the Adriatic Sea. The flavors are subtle; it’s floral, light, and has a nervy finish. Best paired with lighter fare, shellfish or linguine and clams work great.

    2014 Merlot, Praxis    $13.95 sale price, $13.25 reorder

    Winemaker Bill Arbios makes this Alexander Valley Merlot from a small vineyard situated behind the not-to-be-missed Jimtown Store. A Double Gold Medal winner at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, this formidable Merlot is aged in American oak barrels from Wisconsin chosen for the extreme tightness of their grain. Give this a go with slow braised fatty cuts of beef like chuck or brisket.

    2017 Lamezia Rosso, Statti    $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

    Calabria’s ancient name is Enotria Tellus, which translates to the land of wine. The Statti family, who produce olive oil and breed dairy cows, grow vines on hillside slopes that shelter the grapes from the maritime winds. A traditional blend of Gaglioppo, Greco Nero and Magliocco, this is a gutsy red with flavors of black cherry and plum. Serve with dishes spiked with Calabrian chili peppers.

    2018 Garnacha, Lechuza    $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder

    Some of the best and oldest Garnacha vines grow in the lesser-known region of Mentrida in central Spain. The growing conditions are hostile as there is little rainfall, and summer temperatures get well over 100˚F. This juicy, plump and succulent red comes from old bush vines aged between 50-70 years. It’s a super value! Pair it up with rice dishes, Shepherd’s Pie or meatloaf.

    2017 Merlot, Jordanov    $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

    Jordanov is located just fifty miles south of Skopje, Macedonia’s capital and largest city. The family runs a modern winery with a tasting room and restaurant on the property. They grow several varieties including international ones like Merlot. This is a supple, elegant wine that has notes of red currants and just a touch of herb. This one is a crowd pleaser! Pop open with lamb stew or Portobello burgers. Yum!

    2016 Côtes-du-Rhône, La Vieille Gargouille    $9.95 sale price, $9.45 reorder

    This little fruit-driven Côtes-du-Rhône shines a light on the terrific value that can be found in the southern Rhône. Fresh red and purple berries and an herbal hint are front and center in the aromas. The palate is medium bodied, with a plummy mouth feel. The best news is that we’ve had a bottle open for five days and it was still going strong on the fifth day! Pair with pizza and/or pasta.

    2016 Montravel Rouge Vieilles Vignes, Puy-Servain   $19.99, $15.99 reorder

    Just beyond Bordeaux’s eastern border, north of the Dordogne River, is the appellation of Montravel. Mostly known for their white wines, made from the traditional white Bordeaux grapes, there are some red vines planted here as well. Think Right-Bank Bordeaux in style - made up of 80% Merlot and the rest Cab Franc, this drinks like a hearty Saint-Emilion. Pair it with grilled meats.



Well would you look at that! It’s a leap year – we get an extra day in February this year. 

Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day are just a couple of weeks away, so it might be a good idea to stock up on some vino in case you’re dining and/or celebrating. 

The Dirty Dozen is a great way to get 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility for one low price