The January 2015 Dirty Dozen

DD-BANNER

Happy New Year! It’s January 2015, time for new beginnings, and renewed optimism. As we look back and see the holidays in our wake, it’s comforting to feel the relative calm that January brings. It’s a great month to just chill, get caught up on our reading, and taste some new wines. The Dirty Dozen is exactly the discovery tool to accompany all three pastimes. So kick off your shoes, get the glasses, and let the DD do the entertaining!

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2012 Alento, Monte Branco $12.98 net price, 11.68 reorder

A slew of autochthonous grapes make up the blend for this zippy Portuguese white. It’s an easy sipper with pronounced amounts of bright, citrusy flavors. Young winemaker Luís Louro established the winery in Alentejo, a wine region in the southern part of the country. Saffron-infused steamed mussels and crab cakes work well as does a winter veggie slaw.

2011 Chardonnay, Brezza $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

This Langhe Chardonnay comes from an estate located near the town of Barolo, Italy. It is all stainless steel tank fermented, so it is a crisp rendition of this famed grape variety. 20+ year-old vines grown on sand and silt make for a stylish, structured white. Serve with pizza bianca or clam linguine.

2014 Gewurztraminer, Banyan $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder

This is seriously delicious Gewurztraminer! Perfumed aromatics are met with a dry, vibrant finish. The fruit is sourced from Monterey County, where climate suits the varietal well. The winemaker, of Thai decent, deliberately set out to make a wine to pair with Southeast Asian cuisine. Burmese tea leaf salad, Panang beef curry, Pad Kee Mao, oh yeah!

2013 Syrah Rosé, Domaine Saint Antoine $11.49, $9.19 reorder

Jean-Louis Emmanuel and his wife Marlène run this estate and its 20 hectares planted on a plateau of rocky limestone in the Costières de Nîmes. Their Rosé is made from 100% Syrah using the saignée method, or “bleeding” the juice off the skins after a short time on them. It’s a versatile wine that pairs well with pork chops, tuna salad, or a warm kitchen.

2011 Chardonnay, Lalande $13.99, $11.19 reorder

A semi-frequent visitor to the DD, the Lalande Chardonnay is a no-brainer in the quality for price Chardonnay category. It’s bright and fleshy with a crisp finish. It sees 33% new, 1-year, and 2-year old barrel to give it texture and aromatic complexity. Enjoy this one with a fried chicken sandwich, crab pasta salad, or just a baguette and some green olives.

NV Crémant d’Alsace, Domaine Ehrhart $17.98 net price, $16.18 reorder

TWH pals Corinne and Philippe Ehrhart farm organically and make their Crémant d’Alsace from 100% Chardonnay. It’s rich and creamy, with just the right amount of balancing acidity. It’s always good to have a bottle of sparkling wine handy just in case an occasion presents itself! You know what sounds great right now? Brats, potato pancakes, and this!

2010 Touriga Nacional, Quinta do Pinto $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

Big, rugged, earthy with plum flavors and a hint of tobacco and chocolate on the finish, this 100% Touriga Nacional is perfect for winter’s heavier fare. The winery is situated in the Lisboa wine region, which stretches along the Atlantic coast west and north of Lisbon. Aged for nine months in 2 & 3-year old French oak barrels, this wine will warm the soul even on the chilliest of evenings. Pair with braised, slow-cooked dishes, crusty bread and a roaring fire.

2012 Scaia, Tenuta Sant’ Antonio $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

A wildly popular red from a producer of Valpolicella and Amarone, Scaia is made from 100% Corvina. Juicy, red cherry and wild strawberry fruit is bolstered with herb and forest floor notes. Medium-bodied and plush, this is a crowd-pleasing, versatile red. Perfect for a wild mushroom ragout, Shepherd’s Pie, or truffled mac-n-cheese.

2012 Blue Plate Grenache, Picnic Wine Co. $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

A boisterous and playful lighter-styled California Grenache intentionally constructed to show off the grape’s juicy nature. Fresh strawberry and raspberry flavors are left unobstructed by oak, making this an ideal red to serve at daytime events. At home, take a cue from the label and serve with meatloaf and mashed potatoes or other diner favorites.

2010 Tradicional, Quinta do Alqueve $11.29, $9.03 reorder

Here’s another head-scratching, “How do they do it?” wine coming out of Portugal. We don’t ask how, we just enjoy it! It’s a four grape blend: Touriga Nacional (40%), Tinta Roriz (30%), Trincadeira (20%), and Castelão (10%). It gets a little oak treatment to knit them all together, and bam, is it ever great! Pair it with small bites like meatballs or sliders.

2013 Pinot Noir, Lomas Del Valle $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

Coming to us from Chile, the Lomas del Valle Pinot Noir tips the scales in the quality for price Pinot Noir department. Its aromas are of lovely Pinot-berry fruit with depth and earthy complexity. On the palate, it shows medium body with a red fruit attack that melts in the fresh acidity and finishes in harmony. We’re thinking thin-crust Neapolitan pizza here.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vinum Africa $17.99, $14.39 reorder

Transplanted Brit Alex Dale now calls South Africa his home and is involved with making and marketing the wines for Vinum Africa. Many have concluded the etching on the bottle to be an ancient tribal symbol, but alas, it’s just a clever way of spelling Vinum. This Cabernet comes from a sensational vintage when everything went right. We’re thinking a grilled T-Bone steak for this one.

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 Anya Balistreri, Peter Zavialoff, The Dirty Dozen

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