The month of August is about as summer as summer gets! 31 days, no national holidays, okay, maybe a solar eclipse this year, and sure, there is always the Perseid meteor shower, but celestial shows are always better viewed away from cities – perhaps while camping? Why not? Well, however you spend your August, we’ve got your wine needs in this here box. 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility, for one low price. The August Dirty Dozen!
2015 Muscadet, Domaine Des 3 Versants $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Located in the village of La Févrie, on the banks of the Sevre River, this 4th generation family owned estate makes textbook Muscadet. Handpicked grapes are vinified in tank and left on the lees (sur lie) through the winter before bottling. Super crisp with a tonic attack, try it with raw oysters (the perfect pairing) or with a main course salad.
2016 Bianco, Isola Del Satiro $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
This is an appealing blend of Catarrato, a native Sicilian grape, and Grecanico, aka Garganega, the grape most commonly used for making Soave. Produced by Alcesti whose vineyards stretch over 30 hectares south of Marsala on Sicily’s west coast. Youthful, with vigorous notes of yellow fruit, pair with Arancini, grilled swordfish or stuffed squid.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Clifford Bay $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
In the heat of summer, a vibrant, grassy, sassy Sauvignon Blanc will often hit the spot. This Sauvignon Blanc is made with grapes grown in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, and they claim to have approximately 2400 hours of sunshine per year. The sunny, dry climate ensures full ripening of the grapes. Anything with goat cheese pairs beautifully here.
2016 Rosé Les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Fresh off the boat, and the first of our sextet of 2016 French Rosés to be included in The Dirty Dozen, the Les Cimels Rosé is a lively, dry offering. Made in the Provenç:al style, blending 40% Mourvèdre and 40% Cinsault (with equal parts Syrah and Grenache), one sip can whisk you away to the pebbly shores of France’s Mediterranean coast. Serve it with a bowl o’mussels.
2015 Entre-Deux-Mers Blanc, Château Ferran $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Another 4 grape blend here, (40% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, 10% Muscadelle, 10% Sauvignon Gris) this white Bordeaux is all about great value! All tank fermented, one swirl and sniff results in clean, fresh aromas of acacia and citrus blossoms. The palate opens up to flavors of apricots and peaches and it finishes crisp and complex. Petrale Sole will work well with this wine.
2015 Bourgogne Aligoté, Domaine Verret $14.49, $11.59 reorder
Brand new among our roster of French imports, Domaine Verret is located in the Yonne department of Burgundy. Southwest of Chablis and southeast of the city of Auxerre, it’s a hidden corner of Burgundy. This Aligot´ makes for a perfect apèritif white. Notes of straw and leesy white fruit greet you aromatically and the palate is round with a fruity core. Crabcakes anybody?
2012 BioNoir, Tinhof $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
Organically grown Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and St. Laurent are blended together to create a soft-tannin red that exudes aromas of red cherry and violet notes. Erwin Tinhof owns thirty five acres of vineyards in the northern part of Austria’s Burgenland region. Serve at a cool cellar temperature, so chill it if you need to – serve with pork & veggie brochettes.
2015 Rosso Conero, Marchetti $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Maurizio Marchetti is masterful with the Montepulciano grape. His entry-level Rosso Conero, the Castro di San Silvestro, over delivers for price, vintage to vintage. Aged in old Slavonian oak barrels for 14 months, this wine combines power with finesse. Brambly blackberry flavors are front and center. A smart choice for humble cuts of beef.
2015 Red Blend, Jordanov $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Winemaking in the landlocked Macedonian Republic can be traced back centuries. The Jordanov family makes wine from both indigenous and international varieties at their winery in Tikves. The Red Blend is a third each Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Vranec, a black-skinned grape native to the Balkans. Enjoy with cevapcici or sausages.
2014 Côtes de Provence Les Trois Frères, Domaine des Aspras $17.59, $14.07 reorder
“I like my red wines earthy and fuller bodied.” Say that to any of us, and we’ll put a bottle of the 2014 Les Trois Frères in your hands. 90% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; the farming is all organic here, and the wine dark and brooding with that dominant earthy aroma. It’s the perfect wine for those grilled steaks and truffled mashed potatoes.
2013 Agrippa, Grange des Rouquette $17.59, $14.07 reorder
The southern Rhône Valley’s dominant red grape has to be Grenache, though there is a healthy dose of Syrah growing there which is used in blends. So a 100% Syrah from the southern Rhône is a bit of an anomaly, though Thierry Boudinaud happily makes his Agrippa when the conditions are perfect. Pour it with a smoked brisket.
2015 Chianti Montalbano, Pierazzuoli $13.49, $10.79 reorder
And rounding out this month’s DD is our pal, Enrico Pierazzuoli’s 2015 Chianti Montalbano. When he was here back in February, Enrico regaled us with tales of the challenges of the 2014 vintage, though he was happy with the end result. His take on the 2015? “We could have just stayed at the beach.” Conditions were THAT good. A perfect spaghetti red.