11 down, 1 to go. December is here! It’s the most festive season of the year. The time we refer to as “The Holidays.” So during the hustle and bustle that this time of year regularly provides, why not make your wine pantry happy with 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility, for one incredibly low price? The December Dirty Dozen is just that! Sporting a 30% discount off the retail price, this is as no-brainer as it gets! Happy Holidays!
2012 Chardonnay Mirth, Corvidae $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
The team behind Owen Roe makes this stainless steel, tank-fermented Chardonnay sourced mainly from the Yakima Valley in Washington State. It’s a vibrant Chardonnay dripping with snappy green apple fruit. Seductive tropical notes and a good dose of acidity keeps it interesting. Pairing options include veal Picatta, chard frittata or series TV binge-watching.
2013 Verdejo, Rey Santo $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
From the Rueda region of Spain comes this 100% estate grown Verdejo. Straw yellow in color with succulent tropical and stone fruit flavors, this medium-bodied wine is several quality levels above most similarly priced Spanish whites. Enjoyable on its own pre-dinner, or perfect with a shrimp Louie salad, roast chicken, or butternut risotto.
2011 Albarino, Paco & Lola $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Albarino is characterized by its fleshy, floral fruit and bracing acidity. Often described as a cross between Riesling and Pinot Gris, Albarino’s popularity is booming in the US. And why not? Fleshy, cool and crisp, Albarino is superb with all types of raw fish preparations like sushi and ceviche, and surprisingly delicious with spicy Asian cuisine – Bahn Mi sandwiches, green papaya salad, pan-fried rice noodles with pork belly, yum!
2013 Rosé Les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $13.99, $11.19 reorder
For that Provençal look and feel, Diane Puymorin blends 40% each Cinsault and old-vine Mourvèdre with equal parts Syrah and Grenache for her Les Cimels Rosé. The name is the local dialect for “bouquet of fruits,” and one sniff will tell you why. Far less expensive than an airline ticket, this can magically transport the taster to the south of France.
2012 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $11.99, $9.59 reorder
TWH buddies Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud have many vineyards in and around the southern Rhône Valley. For their Pays d’Oc Viognier, they actually blend in 15% Marsanne to give the floral wine additional backbone and complexity. It works fine as the wine is fresh, lively, and rich. This makes for a great tapas wine … maybe some shrimp fritters?
2012 Macon-Villages Les Tilles, Domaine Sainte Barbe $19.99, $16.99 reorder
It doesn’t happen very often, but every now and again a white Burgundy lands in the Dirty Dozen! This one from the small, but vibrant 2012 vintage. The wine is lively and balanced, the fruit and acid propping each other up through a long, satisfying finish. With crab season here, this is a great go-to wine as it will accompany any shellfish very well.
2010 Pinot Noir The Table, Once Wines $13.95 sale price, $13.25 reorder
Finding good California Pinot Noir – let alone really good Pinot Noir like this one – for under $20 is not an easy task. Winemaker Sashi Moorman of Evening Land is credited with making this wine in collaboration with a group of celebrity sommeliers. What impresses us more is the wine itself: copious cherry fruit and a thread of damp earth delivered in a restrained style. This red has enough sophistication and complexity to serve even at the fanciest of holiday fêtes!
2010 Treggiaia, Az. Agr. Pugliano $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Transport yourself to the rolling hills of Tuscany with this charming Sangiovese blend made by Fulvio Galgani of Fattoria Bibbiani. Aromas of cherry and Etruscan herbs are supported by food-friendly acidity making it the ideal pairing for assertive pasta sauces like Puttanesca and Arabbiata, or try with a pie from your favorite local pizzeria.
2012 Garnacha/Tempranillo, Paco & Lola, $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
A 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo, this medium-bodied Spanish red is redolent of tart berries and forest floor aromas. By skipping out of any oak treatment, this red remains light on its feet. Paella is an obvious choice to match here, but so is cured or smoked ham, vegetable stews and any regional American chili.
2012 Saumur, Domaine des Hauts de Sanziers $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Loire Valley Cabernet Franc in its natural form here. No make-up, no smoke, no mirrors. Just that medium-bodied, herbal splendor that doesn’t speak, it screams of a place. It’s a cerebral wine, complex enough to start a conversation.
2013 Syrah, Domaine Saint Antoine $11.49, $9.19 reorder
Coming from just outside the Rhône Valley, our friends at Saint Antoine craft this brawny Syrah. Another terroir-driven wine that speaks of its place of origin, it’s 100% de-stemmed and all tank fermented. Papardelle with rabbit sauce.
2010 Côtes-du-Rhône, Tour de l’Isle $14.99, $11.99 reorder
DD fans may be somewhat familiar with the Tour de l’Isle Côtes-du-Rhône vis à vis the 2009 vintage which was featured earlier this year. The 2010 vintage was yet another gem in the southern Rhône leading us to believe that bad vintages are a thing of the past. This has all the charm, vigor, and finesse we look for. It makes for a great pasta wine.
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