Category Archives: Peter Zavialoff

Peter’s thoughts on wine.

2013 Paul Pernot Aligote – Bargain White Burgundy

When I first started here at TWH several years ago, I immediately learned I would be helping customers whose wine knowledge and experience ranged from beginner to MW, or Master of Wine. If I didn’t already know a customer, a little conversation would give me a clue as to where they might be, but one never knows for sure. Though, as is policy for any retailer, all customers are treated with the utmost respect.

Earlier this week, two customers entered the shop. After greeting them, it seemed they wanted to browse on their own. I lifted my eyes from my flat screen from time to time to check on them, and all seemed fine. It’s a fact, smartphones are tools that all young people have, and one of these two gents was staring at his.  A short time later, he walked over to me and asked if we carried a particular wine that he recently enjoyed and showed me a picture from his phone. I was surprised (and impressed) that the bottle was a Bourgogne Aligoté made by one of Burgundy’s most famous red wine producers. He raved and raved about it. I said we don’t, and proceeded to look for a local merchant who might carry it, using WineSearcher Pro. I found one, but it was pretty pricey. Which got me to thinking, if this producer thinks they can sell their Aligoté for $80 retail, we here at TWH are sitting on a bargain. A big bargain!

Considered Burgundy’s “other” white grape, Aligoté once constituted nearly half of the white grapes planted in the region. I first heard of Aligoté my first month here, at a dinner with one of David’s tasting groups. A white Burgundy had been poured double-blind (single blind is when one knows what wines are being poured, but not which is which; double-blind leaves the taster with no clue at all), the tasters all explained their rationale in thought and then took a stab at guessing what it was. One notable Bay Area wine personality’s guess was an older Aligoté. This acted as the catalyst for some research I would be doing shortly thereafter. If a wine expert could confuse a Premier Cru white Burgundy with an Aligoté, I needed to know about Aligoté!

Wine research has two facets, reference material and liquid material. There’s enough written about Aligoté to give one a basic understanding of the grape and the wine it produces, but just like reading about how to swim, one must jump in! Luckily, we stock Aligoté from time to time, so it was time to jump. It smelled like Burgundy, it tasted like Burgundy, well what do you know, it WAS Burgundy. I found it to be less voluptuous as Chardonnay can be, with fresher acidity levels. I was told that there were austere versions of the wine which require a kiss of Crème de Cassis, creating the famous Kir. But fortunately, the Aligotés that we’ve imported over the years have been well balanced, fresh, and complex.

TWH regulars need no introduction to Paul Pernot, the man is a living legend in and around Puligny-Montrachet. He makes a Bourgogne Aligoté. Wait, he’s famous; how much is HIS Aligoté? $20 per bottle (with case discount)??? It’s summer, it’s warm; a cool, crisp Bourgogne Aligoté is perfect for this time of year. It’s time to jump in!

It’s been a really fun week here at TWH in Dogpatch, we’ve had some wonderful customer interactions! It’s always nice to hear a customer compliment our write-ups, and this week we received high praise from more than a handful of you! On another occasion, a neighbor was entertaining her sister who lives on the east coast, and after helping them with a bottle or two, after they left, but before they were in the car, the sister exclaimed, “they ARE pleasant!” He-he. Later that day, a regular, friendly customer who hadn’t visited us in a while told me that we were, hands down, his favorite local wine shop! He mentioned a competitor, and said that he had been there a couple of times, but couldn’t get the time of day while there. We had a fun conversation and afterwards, as I was helping put his wine in the car, he asked me what time it was. I told him around 5, but didn’t know exactly. He excitedly said, “See, I can get the time of day!” I looked puzzled. He repeated it gleefully. I still didn’t get it. Wake up, Pete.

All kidding aside, speaking for all of my colleagues, we are so grateful for counting all of you as customers and greatly appreciate your reading of our communications! Each and every interaction is precious to us, and we feel extremely lucky to be able to provide such service in this wonderful environment! To further comment on the aforementioned east coast sister’s comment that we ARE pleasant; how can we NOT be? Try the 2013 Paul Pernot Aligoté, it’s delicious! – Peter Zavialoff

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Bastille Day: French Fizz – NV Domaine d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut

14 July 2015. Bonne Fête Nationale! Or, Happy Bastille Day! We’re hearing all about parties and celebrations planned for today at local French restaurants, brasseries, and bistros. Our Twitter feed is full of pics of folks in France enjoying their big holiday. We even have a couple of customers visiting St. Emilion as I type! Needless to say, there is festive energy in the air … with a French twist. If your plans include any of these big celebrations, bravo! Enjoy! If not, if something a little low-key is more suitable, one can get by on Bastille Day simply with a delicious bottle of French wine.

If it’s a celebration, why not kick things off with something sparkling? One of our favorite fizzes has to be the NV Vouvray Brut from Domaine d’Orfeuilles. It’s sparkling Chenin Blanc, dry and crisp, with a snappy Granny Smith appley fruit component framed by a dusty mineral character. It’s easy on the pocketbook; and in case you really want to let your hair down, it comes in magnums! We have gone on and on about this wine in the past, as it has a wonderful amalgam of complexity rarely found among sub $20 sparkling wines. Anya once declared that d’Orfeuilles’ Vouvray Brut is “one of the few sparkling wines, that when I drink it, I don’t wish I was drinking Champagne.” When my favorite football club won Europe’s top prize, it was a magnum of this stuff that was popped and poured for a few enthusiastic supporters. So no matter how you intend to observe Bastille Day 2015, there’s a spot for the NV Domaine d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut.

It’s nighttime in France now, and we’re seeing further evidence of celebration via the internet. We’ve got a day of work here at the shop, but afterwards, we’ve got choices. Like I mentioned above, even if you want to go low-key (it IS Tuesday afterall), some French wine is plenty of celebration in itself. You can bet all of us here at TWH will be partaking in some of that this evening. Let’s kick things off with the d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut!Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under Chenin Blanc, Peter Zavialoff, Sparkling wine, Vouvray

The July 2015 Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen
The July 2015 Dirty Dozen

Now that we’re officially into summer, it’s the time for holidays, picnics, and summer’s bounty at local famers’ markets. The backyard grill is getting its share of use, and depending on what you might be tossing on it, we’ve got some lovely vinous suggestions for you. The wines were all chosen for their versatility as well as their suitability to the goings on of July and summertime. Great for any occasion; pick up a July DD today!!

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.

2014 Les Cimels Rosé, Château d’Or et de Gueules $13.99, $11.19 reorder

Fresh off the boat comes this fresh, Provençal style Rosé from good old Château d’Or et de Gueules. A blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache, this one is light and crisp, its delicate pink robe revealing citrus blossoms and herbs. It’s a great all-purpose Rosé and will pair well with a fresh Provençal salad and the great outdoors.

2013 Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, The Winery of Good Hope $13.49, $10.79 reorder

From the Helderberg area of Stellenbosch, the old bush vines work their magic atop decomposed granite soils while facing the ocean’s cool breezes. It’s pure Chenin Blanc, with its Granny Smith apple character, and a little hint of lime, framed in minerals. It makes for a good aperitif, is great for picnics, and works well with grilled chicken leg quarters.

2013 Pinot Grigio, Inacayal $13.99, $11.19 reorder

Yes, it’s Pinot Grigio, but it’s made more in the style of Alsatian Pinot Gris. It’s rich and concentrated, with a nectar-like mouth feel revealing complexities such as ripe peaches, nuts, and mushrooms. In mid-palate, one gets the sensation that the wine could be a little off-dry, but the acid kicks in just then and the finish is crisp. Try it with fish tacos.

2012 Vermentino, Uvaggio $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

It may sound like it’s an Italian import, but No! – this wine is homegrown from Lodi, CA. Winemaker Jim Moore picks the Vermentino early to insure freshness and uses only free-run juice to ferment in stainless steel tanks. Aromatic and dry, try with Asian noodle dishes, pan-roasted scallops, steamed clams or grilled chicken.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Alluviale $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder

This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has a bounty of lemongrass and honey-lime flavors. It has lots of attack on the palate but with a subtle hint of lanolin on the nose. Chill down on a hot day to slake your thirst while watching the setting sun. Serve with fresh green-leaf salads sprinkled with goat cheese, white-fleshed fish or raw seafood.

2014 Soave, San Rocco $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

San Rocco is a tremendous value from one of Veneto’s best Soave producers, Monte Tondo. Using 100% Garganega from pristine vineyard sites, this wine offers a burst of citrus with elegant perfume. Light in body, it’s a delight for casual sipping or can marry beautifully with summer’s veggie options like zucchini, corn and peppers.

2013 Abril, Azul y Garanza $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

The winery is located in the Navarra region of northern Spain. The winery’s vineyards, which are farmed organically, exist in desert-like conditions with minimal rainfall and extreme temperature fluctuations between day and night. This tobacco-scented Tempranillo has piercing bitter cherry flavors and full tannins. Try with smoky, grilled meats.

2012 Mencias de Dos, de 2 $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder

Another Spanish stunner, this 100% Mencia from Bierzo (aka “Gateway to Galicia”) is a bargain considering it comes from an organic vineyard with vines averaging 55 years of age, grown on slate and quartz soils. Three months in barrel rounds out the natural bright acidity of the wine. Serve with highly seasoned meat on small sticks cooked over fire.

2009 Assisi Rosso, Falesco $19.98 net price, $17.98 reorder

This Umbrian red illustrates the complexity of Sangiovese when blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon – dark berry flavors accented by underbrush and licorice notes. Plumy and rich, this red benefits from time in bottle, showing off smooth tannins and restrained fruity flavors. It is complete and ready to drink. Go bold here with food pairings.

2012 Château Couronneau Rouge $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder

Winemaker Christophe Piat’s commitment to biodynamic practices has finally earned him the esteemed Demeter insignia on his labels. What has happened to his wines since he began implementing these procedures has been quite impressive! The fruit and mineral expressions of the 2012 Couronneau are breathtaking. Serve this one with a grilled cowboy steak.

2007 3 Cepas, Furque $15.99, $12.79 reorder

What do you get when you blend 50% Malbec, 30% Syrah, and 20% Merlot? 3 cepas, that’s what. It’s a delectable blend, now with a little bottle age, that will do just fine when the time calls for a sturdy red. Furque’s vines are 3000 feet above sea level, so the cool nights give the fruit the acid they need for balance. Enjoy it with a leg of lamb.

2011 Morgon “Douby”, Château de Raousset $19.39, $15.51 reorder

On the opposite spectrum in the red wine department, a Cru Beaujolais is light in body and well suited for the summer months. It shows cedary, tobacco-like aromas with cherries and berries, and a little forest floor. On the palate, it’s fresh and easy and would accompany a pizza margherita perfectly. Best results if you put a chill on it before serving.

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2012 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly From Sylvain Langoureau

Happy Independence Day! We hope you’re all having a wonderful long weekend, capped off by a festive 4th. Our staff is taking what is a long weekend ourselves, being closed both days this weekend, but we’ll be back on Monday! In the meantime, what do we do with a long weekend? That’s easy. Several customers asked me on Friday what I was doing. My answer was, rest, relax, get some sun, go on a hike, meet some friends, eat some good food, and drink some good wine. Another customer asked me what I’ve been drinking lately, and without giving it much thought (as I visualized my recycle bin), I said Rosé and Bordeaux. That is true, of course, but then I remembered something. I remembered the 2012 Domaine Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly I had last week!

Wow! That’s a tough one to forget. Not quite as bad as the time I had to call the host of one of our Bordeaux tasting group’s most decadent dinners to ask, “We’ve been going over each bottle from last night’s tasting for a half hour, and could only think of seven. What was the eighth?”
“Well, what are the seven you thought of?”
After I told him, he laughed at first, then berated me (in a friendly way), and busted my chops that I forgot about the 1985 Margaux!
So, yeah. Not quite as bad as that, but still, if you love Chardonnay; Old World Chardonnay, the 2012 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly from Langoureau is pretty special stuff.

It’s fairly well documented that despite my passion/obsession with the wines of Bordeaux, I have a thing for Chardonnay too. It started with local representations; but it wasn’t long at all before I was sitting in a friend’s apartment in Foster City listening to a salesperson tell me about Mâcon Villages. I bought a case of the French stuff, and put it in my trunk. This was back in my baseball playing days, and the case made it to the next game. As was customary back then, when the games were finished, the team would get together afterwards and pull out the ice chest. I have to admit, I received some sideways looks from a couple of my teammates when they discovered white wine in the ice chest, but I was a persuasive teammate and had a handful of baseball jocks sipping French Chardonnay after the game!

Fast forward to the present, and I have to say that every bottling of Langoureau’s Saint-Aubin En Remilly that I’ve tasted has been outstanding. This 2012 is already revealing layers of aromatic pleasure ranging from stone fruits, blossoms, minerals, and just the perfect hint of vanilla spice. The palate is zesty and expressive, yet subtle and delicate. The deft use of oak is much appreciated as the finish is a slow fade of crisp joy. After a long hot day, a chilled glass of Premier Cru En Remilly was the bomb with, get this: tomato & melon gazpacho, maine lobster, cucumber & avocado salad, lemon olive oil, and crostini. Yeah, that was a good way to finish the day. It’s not exactly a bargain wine, but if one considers what Premier Cru white Burgundy usually goes for, it absolutely IS a bargain. A big one at that.

Seeing that it is a holiday weekend, that would be special occasion enough to enjoy a bottle of the 2012 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly. Better yet, I’m going to share a bottle with some great friends who are kind enough to host these good friends, good food, and good wine events. Happy Independence Weekend!Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Chardonnay, Independence Day, or English football:

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2008 Chateau Gloria: Instant Decadence For A Modest Price

As I alluded to yesterday, summer is here, and I can go on and on about more white and rosé wines, but on the heels of the praise of Grüner Veltliner, I thought to change it up a bit. Why not? It’s probably no surprise that my thoughts are on Bordeaux, that’s just natural. The Bordelais just hosted VinExpo this past week, and though we were able to follow the festivities via social media, my inbox was unusually quiet this week. That’s all good, we all need time to catch up on things. As I was doing a little housecleaning this morning, I stumbled upon a fairly recent acquisition, the 2008 Château Gloria. I thought, “Here’s an outstanding bottle of red Bordeaux, with a little age on it, for a very fair price. Hey, people drink red wine during summer too.” Summer barbecues? But of course.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about another St. Julien chateau, and my very first experience with it. Back in those early days of exploration, I listened to a lot of people from various wine shops, and received a lot of good advice. Occasionally, I went off on my own and would try something on a hunch. One of these early hunches was Château Gloria. I liked the price and saw “St. Julien” on the label. That was enough to go on. It did not disappoint. I found it very enjoyable with a cedary, tobacco, forest floor element, with a good dose of concentrated dark fruit, all in balance. My fellow diners were equally impressed. Maybe it was the pomp of decanting the bottle, I don’t know, but my friends thought I paid double what I did for it. From that moment on, in my mind, filed under Château Gloria was this experience.

Things have only gotten better at the chateau over the past 20 years as quality has improved remarkably. The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker remarked back in 1998 that, “Recent vintages of Gloria have pushed the level of quality even higher.” After revisiting the 2003 last summer, Parker declared, “Year in and year out, there is rarely a better wine for the money than this dark garnet Gloria.” If you think about the wild ride of Bordeaux pricing, you’ve got to love the fairness in pricing shown by the team at Château Gloria.

The 2008 Gloria is drinking very well. Still youthful, it can be enjoyed now or cellared for another 10 years easy. Probably more. You can take my word for it. Or, here’s what the folks at The Wine Advocate had to say:

First, Robert Parker: “A stunning sleeper of the vintage, this beautiful, already irresistible, plum/garnet-colored 2008 is a wine to purchase by the case. It possesses a dense plum/purple color, a glorious perfume of Christmas fruitcake, cedarwood, black currants, jammy cherries and licorice, medium to full body and a silky personality. It will provide both a hedonistic and intellectual turn-on over the next 10-15 years. 90 points”

And Neal Martin: “The Chateau Gloria 2008 has a fresh, well-defined bouquet with tobacco and graphite notes. It is very clean with well-integrated and judicious use of oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a rounded black cherry and spice-tinged entry leading to a plush, well-defined finish. This is a well-made Saint Julien that should age well over 10-15 years. 91 points”

So yeah, summer can call for lighter wines meant to be sipped chilled, but there are times when you might want a bold, elegant red too. The 2008 Château Gloria is that wine. I’m looking forward to the first barbecue of summer, because I will be packing one of these. An hour or two in the decanter, and voilà: instant decadence for a modest price. Looking for a belated Father’s Day gift? How about a couple of bottles of 2008 Gloria – one for this summer, one for a summer down the road. To all the Dads out there, we wish you a very Happy Fathers’ Day! And a very Happy Summer Solstice too! – Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Bordeaux, St. Julien in particular, or all of the transfer gossip that permeates the English media this time of year:

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Summer Refreshment: 2013 Hofer Grüner Veltliner

Happy Friday!! Can you believe spring is almost over??!! Yep, looking at the weather map of the US, it seems most of the country is heating up. Here in SF, we’ve got our cool microclimate, but should one venture north, south, or east for an hour or so, look out! One of summer’s challenges is to stay cool and refreshed. We’ve all got our methods for keeping cool, whether it’s spending time at the beach, pool, cinema, or refrigerated section of the local grocery store. Refreshed? Rule #1 – stay hydrated, drink lots of water. Rule #2? Something cool and crisp in your wine glass. May we offer a suggestion? Full liter bottle. Unpretentious bottle cap enclosure. 12.5% alcohol. Certified organic. Crisp. Dry. Tank fermented. 15 bucks. How about the 2013 H & M Hofer Grüner Veltliner?

If one is going to name the most refreshing white wines of the world, Grüner Veltliner is going to be on the short list; its unpretentious, entry-level liter bottles hover near the top of the best values column. It is Austria’s most widely planted grape, and has a global fan base. It’s sleek, herbaceous, mineral driven, bright, and crisp. It’s a great wine to pair with summer salads and crudo dishes, and it is an ideal refresher whilst cooling off on a summer’s evening. That 12.5% abv helps a bunch too; sure, have a second glass! With all of our French and Italian direct-imports, we don’t spend a whole lot of time writing about Grüner-Veltliner, but take our word for it, we all love the stuff! Funny, it was at around this time last year when we sent out a pre-summer blurb about Veltliner. Go back a few more years, and we sent out another pre-summer Gru-V offer! So there you go, no coincidence; when the weather heats up, we love our Veltliner!

The 2013 H & M Hofer certified organic Grüner Veltliner is a Terry Theise selection imported by Michael Skurnik wines out of New York. If you’ve never read any of Terry Theise’s writing about Austrian wines, and you appreciate well crafted wine writing with substance and whimsy, give him a spin. Terry never disappoints. Here’s what he had to say about the liter bottlings of Hofer’s 2013 Veltliner, “This wine took off like a rocket, and we needed to contain it. That’s correct; we needed to write less business, because it was the only way to sustain quality and to ensure the wine would continue being organic.”

So giddy-up, next stop: summer. Let’s all get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. Hosting an impromptu gathering? Let us suggest the perfect summer aperitif wine: 2013 H & M Hofer certified organic Grüner Veltliner!

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The June 2015 Dirty Dozen

If one were to ask a hundred different people what their favorite month is, June would most likely top the chart. Any school kid would choose it, those that love to welcome summer would follow suit. June brides, Dads, and grads all have reason to put the sixth month first. Here at TWH, we’ve got a soft spot for June as well. The clock is ticking; summer is almost here! To get ready for it, why not pick up the June Dirty Dozen today? 12 wines, all different, all chosen for their versatility, one low price!

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

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2013 Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Blanc $11.99, $9.59 reorder

White wines from the Rhône Valley are some of the best bang-for-your-buck wines in the world! This one is a blend of 50% Rolle (some call it Vermentino), 30% Grenache Blanc, and 20% Roussanne, all tank-fermented with fresh and lively fruit expression. This is best served with light summer salads or avocado bruschetta drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

2012 Chenin Blanc, Blue Plate $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Here’s a Chenin Blanc grown sustainably in the Sacramento Delta commune of Clarksburg. It is pure sunny, melon-laden and tropical-tinged juice. The fruit is picked early to keep acids fresh and sugars in check. Fleshy, yet dry, this versatile white pairs up well with fried chicken and all the traditional sides.

2014 Vinho Verde, Arca Nova $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

Slightly effervescent and super low in alcohol, a well-made Portugese Vinho Verde, like this one, is perfect for daytime imbibing or partnering up with a picnic. A family-owned winery, Arca Nova makes their Vinho Verde from the grapes, Loureiro, Arinto and Trajadura. For an unexpected pairing, try it with spicy pan-fried rice noodles like Pad Kee Mow.

2012 Riesling Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ehrhart $19.99, $15.99 reorder

Okay, try this one. You’re sitting at a restaurant with a few friends. One friend orders a turkey sandwich. Another goes for corned beef and cabbage. A third likes the idea of the Dungeness crab salad, and you can’t take your eyes off the fish tacos. Think you all need the ‘by the glass’ list? Think again. This dry Riesling works with all of them.

2013 Chardonnay/Torrontes, Martin Fierro $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder

Tulum Valley, Argentina is north of Mendoza. The vines there grow at elevations exceeding 2000 feet. The combination of Chardonnay and Torrontes makes for a fragrant yet perky, clean wine. A chilled glass to linger over on the veranda is nice especially with some nibbles of fava bean puree on crostini, crunchy crudité or a composed dinner salad.

NV Vouvray, Domaine d’Orfeuilles $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder

June is a month known for several celebrations. And though we highly promote sparkling wines to be served at any occasion, this bottle may come in handy should you need a quick fizz pick me up. It’s made from Chenin Blanc and has aromas of dusty mineral and a crisp apple. Sparkling wine pairs very well with salty snacks like chips or popcorn.

2011 Syrah/Grenache, Laurent Miquel $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Spicy Syrah combined with juicy Grenache is a traditional blend in the Languedoc. Laurent Miquel vinifies these two complementary grapes to create an accessible and plush red. One famous British wine writer described producer Laurent Miquel “as one of the most reliable and forward-looking in the Languedoc.” Serve with any Mediterranean inspired dish.

2008 Tempranillo, Gárgola $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

This structured, soft tannin Spanish red comes from grapes grown in the Extramadura region. Situated along the border with Portugal in western Spain, this sparsely populated region is rich in wildlife and home to the famous Jamón Ibérico. Try this cured-meat delicacy with some Marcona almonds and a large goblet of the Gárgola for a quick festive feast!

2012 Grenache, Blue Plate $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Looking for a warm-weather red quaffer? Something juicy and light with little oak? If so, the Blue Plate Grenache is the one for you! Pretty aromas of strawberry, raspberry and a hint of violet charm the senses. Light-bodied and fresh, serve with teriyaki-glazed chicken, Korean short-ribs or anything spicy and assertive that needs a fruity back drop.

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. Pair it with Papardelle with rabbit sauce.

2010 Château La Gorre, Médoc $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder

Wait. What??? 2010 Left Bank Bordeaux in the Dirty Dozen? You bet. 2010 was one of the best vintages in the region in recent memory. La Gorre is another producer located in the village of Bégadan, and their 2010 is expressive and balanced. Treat it special: get the good stemware, a decanter, someone to share it with and a nice T-Bone steak.

2011 Ventoux Fayard, Domaine Fondrèche $17.99, $14.39 reorder

Winemaker Sébastien Vincenti has one of the best locales in all of Ventoux, and continues to churn out expressive wines with charm and complexity. For his Fayard blend, Vincenti uses 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre to give it some gaminess and backbone. Pop it with a simple Margherita pizza and your taste buds will be tickled.

Check Out Our Complete Inventory at Click here to purchase all 12 wines for $109!

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