December 2008 Dirty Dozen

And that makes 12! A dozen months gone by this year, a dozen wines in the box. Why not? It makes plenty of sense. These wines were chosen for their versatility and pairing ability. With all of the gathering, partying, and noshing coming up this month, the December Dirty Dozen just plain makes sense! A great gift idea! Bottle Count:

Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines

Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.

2007 Rose, Chateau Grande Cassagne – $10.99, $8.79 reorder
This Rose actually has the distinction of being reviewed by The Wine Advocate … favorably. 89 points for a Rose is something you don’t see every day, but we have nothing contrary to say about this wine. Perfectly balanced fruit, herbs, and pepper combine with a vibrancy that wow the palate with a lovely mouth feel that pinches all of your flavor sensors. Perfect with a turkey dinner.

2006 Montravel Blanc, Chateau Calabre – $11.99, $9.59 reorder
Got a white Bordeaux palate, but want to stay on a budget? Have no fear, this Montravel Blanc will do you right. Blended using the same grapes as its Graves counterparts (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle), it shows off aromatics of citrus blossoms and stone.

2005 Chardonnay, Gournier – $12.39, $9.91 reorder
The ideal Tuesday night Chardonnay, Gournier’s wines are all business. It shows fleshy fruit that sit softly on the palate like a light snowfall. Tee this one up with any of your favorite Chardonnay pairings … you know, it is crab season after all!

2005 Les Tours – Domaine la Hitaire – $5.95 sale price, $5.65 reorder
So flexible, so versatile, so friendly. Weighing in at 11.5% alcohol, it’s the kind of wine that you can tipple while cooking or entertaining. Made from Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Gros Manseng (really), it’s a fresh expression of a nice crisp country wine.

2004 Riesling ‘Vielles Vignes’, Domaine Ehrhart – $17.99, $14.39 reorder
Versatility seems to be the catchword for this month’s DD. Dry Riesling is always so, so easy to pair with a multitude of cuisine. Recently paired with amazing success with a roast chicken with Mediterranean rub, those of you who enjoy Asian cuisine will find it to be an excellent go-to wine with white meats made in Asian style.

2006 Marsanne/Viognier, Vignobles Boudinaud – $12.99, $10.39 reorder
This white Rhone blend is a perfect partnership. The Viognier adds tropical fruit to the aromatics, the Marsanne gives it structure and purity, together the harmony is spot on. Again, the wine is dry, yet demonstrates a lovely interplay of tropical fruits, herbs, and minerals.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Joel Gott – $15.48 net price, $13.93 reorder
Wow! You don’t see California Cabernet in the Dirty Dozen very often, so when you do, it’s time to load up! Luscious dark fruit and spice have a velvety texture and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. We just don’t know how Mr. Gott is able to do it for such a low price, but we ain’t asking. You all know what to pair this with, but this month we’re thinking lamburgers.

2005 Vin de Pays, ‘Les Plans’, Domaine Santa Duc – $12.79, $11.68 reorder
Our staff recently had their noses in a couple glasses of this Santa Duc super bargain, when Ben said, “You know, I love Santa Duc. They really know how to do pepper.” It’s true, their wines are full of complexities like rich minerals, herbs de Provence, and of course, cracked pepper. The fruit must be jealous with all this other stuff going on! Bowl of pasta with a ragu and a chunk of baguette here.

2006 Grenache/Syrah, Mas des Bressades – $12.29, $9.83 reorder
Cyril Mares does the winemaking here, and if it is consistency you seek, look no further. This classic red Rhone blend is a match made in heaven. The fruitiness and friendliness of the Grenache are buoyed in fine fashion by the smoky, sturdy structure of the Syrah, and vintage after vintage, Mares works his magic for us all to enjoy. Holiday pot roast? This ought to do the trick.

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Domaine des Cantarelles – $15.99, $12.79 reorder
In most vintages, Cantarelles uses 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet, but the weather was so perfect in 2005, that they went with 85% Cabernet and the rest Syrah. That’s good for everybody. If it is a full bodied red with dark fruit, earthy minerals, spices, and a hint of the garrigue you seek, seek no more. You have found the promised wine. This will stand right up to that rib eye steak.

2006 ‘Les Enfants Terribles’, Mas Carlot – $13.99, $11.19 reorder
Nathalie Blanc Mares (and her husband Cyril, see above) named this wine after their children and the son of the importer. Perhaps it is the wild nature that the kids had in common with a country blend of Syrah and Mourvedre that gave her the idea. This is a sturdy wine with lots of character. The Mourvedre gives it that je ne sais pas that anchors the smoky Syrah. This wine begs for Cassoulet.

2007 Merlot, Domaine Saint Antoine – $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Merlot isn’t just for bashing anymore. This medium bodied offering from what is looking like yet another outstanding vintage is teeming with ripe fruit, smooth medium tannins, and a hint of a walk in the forest. On the annual buying trip that importer Bobby Kacher leads each January, the buyers were all buzzing about the wines from this producer. Got duck?

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Filed under French Wine, Peter Zavialoff, The Dirty Dozen, Wine Clubs/Samplers

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