Check out our Dirty Dozen archive HERE on our blog
Yay! Summer’s here … finally. To get you going this July, may we suggest the Dirty Dozen. That’s 12 different bottles, all chosen for their versatility, packed in a case for a song. A great choice for a long weekend, picnics, parties and any other gathering, you’ll find something for everyone here. Going global, the July DD represents 6 countries!
2009 Pinot Grigio, Inacayal
Grown in vineyards averaging altitudes of 3000+ feet, Inacayal’s Pinot Grigio is a Pinot Grigio all to itself. The altitude allows for cool nights maintaining proper acidity levels; the warm summer days contribute the rich, ripe, earthy fruitiness that finishes with a kiss of honey. That sweet kiss makes it ideal for light, spicy dishes like kung pao chicken.
2010 Scaia Bianco, Tenuta Sant’Antonio
‘Super Soave’ is what Tom likes to call this one; as blending Garganega with Chardonnay is tantamount to calling Sangiovese/Bordeaux Varietal blends ‘Super Tuscans’. All’s we know is it’s pretty dang yummy for its price point. Think rich, fleshy yellow fruit with just the right amount of zip to make this a no brainer when that lobster salad arrives.
2009 Vinho Verde, Vale da Mina
This crisp, herbal white from Portugal could be the most interesting bottle in the bunch. Its lipsmacking citrusy goodness will make you crave a couple of oysters. Checking in at 11% alcohol, it should be no surprise as to how fast it’s empty.
2006 Gewurztraminer, Herrenweg, Domaine Ehrhart
Philippe Ehrhart coaxes perfect balance of fruit and acidity out of his wines … and his Gewurz Herrenweg is known for its single vineyard richness. Rose petal, lychee nut and spice, this will pair perfectly with spicy curried shrimp.
2008 Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, ‘The Flying Winemaker’
Cameron Hughes has done us all a solid by sourcing grapes from all over (see below), but let’s talk about the Chardonnay he gets from Santa Barbara County. He gets the fruit from a long-time grower, uses new barrel on a third of it, and produces a delectable, complex Chardonnay that puts a smile on your face and keeps the green in your billfold.
2010 Bordeaux Rosé, l’Ecuyer de Château Couronneau
Brand new for us and fresh off the boat is a Bordeaux Rosé made by our friends Christophe and Bénédicte Piat of Château Couronneau. Bottled under their “l’Ecuyer” label, this fresh Rosé is comprised of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot. As you may know, the Piats have been certified Agricole Biologique, so cheers to July … and to organic Rosé!
2005 Tempranillo, Alberto Furque
Trekking back down to Argentina, we’ve got yet another product of high altitude vineyards. In this case, Rioja’s red champion Tempranillo. We love the cedary, tobacco-like nuance of the variety, and combined with the ripe New Worldiness Carolina Furque coaxes from her grapes, it’s all systems go! A little bottle age has given it the time to develop further complexity, which is a huge bonus. Bottled unfiltered, please don’t mind the sediment.
2005 Palombières, Domaine Montpezat
Last call for the Palombières! This seductive little number is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre. The latter providing the backbone for all that juicy fruit. This is a sip-on-its-own wine that is delicious with or without food.
2005 Merlot, Sonoma County, Table Wine, Sutton Cellars
Not your run of the mill, tutti fruity Merlot, this ‘old soul’ of a wine has an amalgam of complexity that will leave you dumbfounded as to how it can be done, in California, for such a price. Leave it to our pal Carl Sutton to come to the rescue. Hints of cigar box and pencil lead are usually complexities found in wines from St. Emilion, but here they are.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile, ‘The Flying Winemaker’
It’s a long way from Santa Barbara County (see above) to the Maipo Valley in Chile, but again Cameron Hughes knows no borders when it comes to finding fruit that can be made into great wine. Situated between the coastal mountains and the Andes, the Maipo Valley is an ideal growing space for Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re grilling lamburgers, pour this.
2008 Syrah ‘Only Girls’, Château d’Or et des Gueules
Ah, then there’s Diane Puymorin, who needs no introduction around these parts. Diane has crafted a 100% Syrah from the environs of the southern Rhône, and the result is money in the bank! Rich, round, spicy, unadulterated Syrah fruit will tantalize your palate and make you start thinking about grabbing some mesquite and a chunk of meat.
2007 Chianti Colli Senesi, Sono Montenidoli
This may come as a shocker, for as much as we laud the wines crafted by Mme Puymorin (above), Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s reputation as a winemaker is of legendary status. With vines planted in and around San Gimignano, her wines have a global following. This Chianti Colli Senesi is deep, rich and complex. Elisabetta herself told Anya that this was the wine for barbequing. No, she didn’t mean Memphis pork, she meant, “Just grill something, would ya?” Enjoy!
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