2018 Chenin Blanc, Blacksmith Cellars $15.98 net price
Winemaker Matt Smith sources Chenin Blanc from a vineyard in Clarksburg that is essentially an island because it is technically surrounded by the river delta. The vineyard itself is sustainably farmed by the Ogilvie family. The vines are about twenty-five years old. Vouvray-ish with its peach and stone fruit profile, a kiss of honey and midweight palate. Pair with grilled chicken; make it spicy.
2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Sea Pearl $12.98 net price
A selection of grapes grown throughout New Zealand’s Marlborough region comprise this pungent, fierce Sauvignon Blanc. Gooseberry and under-ripe melon flavors dominate in this medium-bodied crisp white. It’s bottled in screwcap, so it would be a perfect wine to tote along on a picnic, boat ride or hike. It’s super zippy, try with shrimp rolls, goat cheese or Miso-marinated fish.
2018 Malvasia Chardonnay, Contrade $10.98 net price
The Malvasia group of wine grapes is large and most of them are not even related. This can cause confusion. Some are aromatic, and some are not. Some are produced dry, and some sweet. Contrade makes their’s dry with a lightly floral nose and flavors of kiwi and yellow apple. A touch of Chardonnay adds body. A terrific first course wine for Caprese salad or a seafood ceviche.
2019 Rosé Harmonie de Gascogne, Domaine de Pellehaut $ 9.98 net price
Here’s one for the grape variety collector as Merlot, Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Syrah are blended together for this snappy Rosé! Hints of strawberry and gooseberry frame the bright aromas, while the palate fans out, with tangy berries front and center. It’s pale and dry, kind of reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc sorbet, if there were such a thing. Try it with salads and other appetizers.
2018 Vinho Verde Assinatura De Familia, Quinta De Santiago $ 9.99
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!
2018 Petit Chablis Terroir De Milly, Domaine Sebastien Dampt $19.99
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.
2019 Guilhem Rouge, Moulin de Gassac $9.98 net price
The Guibert family owns the famous Mas Daumas Gassac estate in France’s Languedoc region. In the 1990’s they partnered with a local co-op to make affordable, quality wines. They insisted on working with only organically grown grapes like the ones they themselves farm. The Guilhem Rouge is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Juicy and bright, serve with tapas or meze.
2018 Counoise, Blacksmith Cellars $16.98 net price
Counoise is a lesser known, black-skinned Rhône variety that is gaining traction in California. This iteration is deceptive in that when you pour a glass, it is very light in color, but the palate is beautifully balanced and complex. Plum compote and wild strawberry notes dominate. Soft tannins and relatively low alcohol (13%) make for a very pleasant sipping experience. Great with lamb gyros.
2018 Château Grimard, Bordeaux $13.98 net price
Not all Bordeaux reds are made to cellar for decades. Some, like this one, are vinified for everyday enjoyment. Mostly Merlot and fermented in stainless steel tank, this soft-edged red has classic notes of plummy-cassis fruit and a soupçon of herb. The estate is located just outside Fronsac on the right bank of Bordeaux. Match up with burgers, Hangar steak or dry-rubbed ribs.
2015 Touraine Rouge Les Demoiselles, Domaine des Corbillières $16.59
Fabel Barbou purchased Domaine des Corbillières in 1923. Now run by his great-grandson, Dominique and his wife, Véronique, they produce some of our favorite red, white, and rosé wines. For the Les Demoiselles red they blend Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Côt (Malbec). The result is a delight. It’s a great red for an herb crusted pork roast.
2016 Côtes du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors, Domaine Lafage $12.98
This modestly priced number from Roussillon will alter your perception of inexpensive wine, as it punches far higher than its price-point. 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache team up to deliver a fruit-driven, round, silky red that will delight your taste buds. It’s full-bodied, with sweet tannins that will cut through a juicy rib-eye steak, or whatever cuts of red meat you want to pair it with.
2016 Carmignano, Le Farnete $22.49
The Cabernet Sauvignon which grows alongside the native Sangiovese in Carmignano, was a wedding gift from the French to the Tuscans when Catherine di Medici married into French Royalty. For the wine, its presence adds backbone and structure. It's a fancy wine, maybe one for special occasions, like Bistecca Fiorentina. The Tuscans like to point out that their gift to France was the fork!
Now that summer has hit full stride, it’s a great time to fire up that grill and enjoy all it has to offer. We’ll keep social distancing, but just getting out into the sunlight is such a delight.
This month, we’re featuring wines from five different countries in all colors, including Rosé. All chosen for their versatility and likeability, The Dirty Dozen is one of the wine world’s best values!
Get your July Dirty Dozen today.