January 2009 Dirty Dozen

Ahhh. New beginnings. If you’re like a lot of us, your mood won’t sour knowing that 2008 has passed. It’s left its mark, no doubt, but there’s something exciting about a fresh, new year when we can open ourselves up to the many possibilities that await us! For instance, just think of all the new wines we will get to try! Take this here mixed case – 6 white, 6 red, and one low price. Just repeat after me, ’09 is gonna be fine with plenty of good wine! Happy New Year!

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.

2005 Hippolyte Blanc, Chateau Grande Cassagne – $6.95 sale price, $6.60 reorder
Talk about strong beginnings – This prestige cuvee is made of 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc. It’s all about fleshy fruit, a little spice, and a crisp finish. Hippolyte himself planted the vines two generations ago. Let’s enjoy the fruits of his labor! Got pork roast?

2006 Viognier, Domaine des Cantarelles – $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Viognier can be interesting. The highly aromatic northern Rhone variety when grown elsewhere can yield a surprising array of wine styles. This one comes from the south of France and the wine is restrained (compared to some New World interpretations), yet aromatically zesty and alive. It can be a great starter, it works with cheese, but it really shines with spicy, Asian cuisine.

2007 Soave Classico, Le Albare Vigna dello Stefano – $13.99, $11.19 reorder
The Classico distinction points us to an area within the appellation known for finer quality. The results are in, and yes, this Soave is special. At first whiff, hints of lemon zest give way to a clean, fruity attack which would be ideal with sauteed scallops and pasta.

2005 Pinot Auxerrois, Domaine Ehrhart – $16.59, $13.27 reorder
It’s a tough call, but this clone of Pinot Blanc very well may be the most versatile white wine in the box. Open this one and you’ll be wowed by delicate orchard fruit aromatics and texture. Not exactly dry, yet definitely not sweet, this wine walks along the edge where the two meet. Bring it along on a picnic (okay, maybe an indoor picnic – try it, it’s fun!). Cheeses, enchiladas, or a ham sandwich – really.

2007 Touraine Blanc, Domaine des Corbillières – $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Escalating prices are moving Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs into the special occasion wine section. Sure Sancerre and Pouilly Fume are high quality SB’s that have a following, but what about those of us who enjoy cool, crisp, well balanced Loire Valley whites? Dive into one of these and you’ll be relieved know we can still enjoy the quality without multiple stops at the ATM. Pan fried sole ought to do it.

2005 Chardonnay, Lalande – $12.59, $10.07 reorder
Hands down, this is the leader when it comes to quality/price Chardonnay. When embarking on any endeavor that requires a fleshy white, you can’t go wrong here. In fact, a friend invited me over tonight for a chicken dinner. Here’s the wine. Winner, winner!

2006 Merlot Tradition, Montpezat – $9.99, $7.99 reorder
As we enter the red zone, let’s commence with this juicy little number from the Languedoc. From vineyards exposed to ideal conditions for Merlot, the wine is all tank fermented, giving it a depth and richness that will keep you smiling long after the bottle’s empty.

2003 Rouge, Chateau de Surville – $8.75 sale price, $8.31 reorder
A true treasure of a wine, this unfiltered blend rolls out deep, lush, dark fruit flavors that pinch your cheeks just right. A couple years of bottle age give this one a little extra complexity (think earthy, briary fruit with medium tannins). Perfect for a marinated flank steak.

2004 Syrah Prestige, Mas des Aveylans – $15.49, $12.39 reorder
Introducing the big gun! Okay, it’s not Hermitage, but a sexy Syrah with all this umph at such a price warrants some attention. Rich fruit and earth combine with that unmistakable Syrah smokiness to provide a knockout punch of silky sensations. This prestige cuvee was earmarked for a local restaurant. We were able to nick a couple cases from their order for the Dozen. Perfect for prime rib.

2004 Cabernet/Syrah, Mas Carlot – $13.99, $11.99 reorder
Just as in California, you don’t need to be a vintage expert to enjoy the fine wines of the south of France. Their conditions are every bit as consistent as ours. Nathalie Blanc-Mares’ wines have recently caught the attention of a well-known wine critic. We all know what that means. This 2004 is full of blackberry-like fruit with mellow tannins. Still, it has enough firepower to tame that New York strip.

2005 Grenache VDP, Andre Brunel – $8.49, $6.79 reorder
If you’re heading into the southern Rhone, one name you need to know is that of Mr. Brunel. He has been around the block and some of his more expensive wines are in high demand. But fear not; one doesn’t need to empty one’s wallet to get a taste of the master’s magic potion. This one is full of jammy, fresh fruit with hints of pepper. Great on its own and great any day of the week.

2006 Chianti Montalbano, Enrico Pierazzouli – $13.49, $10.79 reorder
Stepping across the threshold into Italy, we’ve got what we like to describe as not your father’s Chianti. Rich and robust, it is made of 100% Sangiovese. On the nose, it emits a modicum of herbs that seem to swirl around the medium purple fruit. On the palate, it is rich, yet restrained with medium tannins that make it ideal with anything from pizzas to penne and sausage or even lamb chops.

Check Out Our Complete Inventory at WineSF.com
Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines 5%/ Sale Wines

Click here to purchase all 12 wines for $109!

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

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