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The Weekly Dozen

One of the things I love about the wine world is that there are a dizzying number of wines to drink – and someone who loves each of them.  Even people who think nothing of paying $50 or $100 or more for a weekend or big dinner wine, still enjoy their under-$20 weekday selections.  And while I prefer drier wines with savory notes and great acidity, I’m always tasting table wines that appeal to those who prefer things fruitier and even sweeter – and I include those in The Dozen whenever possible.  So grab your shopping list, and let’s head for the market!  Next week: Wines mainly from the classic regions.

2017 Citra Trebbiano d’Abruzzo ($10). With its pleasant, tart-green flavors, this would be a good basic pour to wash down shellfish, especially fat oysters.

2016 Morgadio “Legado del Conde” Rias Baixas Albariño ($15). Years after Americans discovered Albariño as a good wine-by-the-glass choice, the region remains a value. This one features a tarter profile, with orange-peel minerality and a finishing tang.

2017 Domaine Bousquet Tupungato Chardonnay Reserve ($18). From organic grapes, it’s a satisfactory blend of soft, almost-sweet fruit and balancing acidity and savory notes.

2017 Left Coast “Truffle Hill” Willamette Valley Chardonnay ($24). Good mouthfeel, mellow apple flavors with a hint of cream and a pleasant, balancing, green-fruit flavor in the aftertaste.

2017 Geyser Peak California Cabernet Sauvignon ($14). Finding an inexpensive California Cab for under $20 is always a stretch, but this one fits the category if you don’t expect too much.  It’s powdery, cherry flavors aren’t too far forward, plus they are kept in check by a fairly crisp finish – good for pizzas and parties.

2016 Plungerhead Lodi Petite Sirah ($14). Strictly for the fruit-forward and fruit-backward crowd.  It has beautiful raspberry fruitiness but lacks the acidity to clear the palate, leaving a residual sweetness long after you’ve swallowed.

2016 Vega Sindoa “El Chaparral” Navarra Red ($14). Lots of raspberry flavors – a lighter red with good acidity and hints of wood in finish.

2015 Decero “The Owl and the Dust Devil” Agrelo Red Wine ($29). I’m not sure what those people who put numbers on wines were thinking when they didn’t rate this one higher, but it is an excellent blend (Cabernet, Malbec, Peitit Verdot and Tannat in that order) of ripe fruit, savory notes including bacon, chewy tannins and barrel flavors. Taste a bottle, then buy a case.

2016 Casadei “Filare 41” Toscano Petit Verdot IGT ($50). One of a good line of Casadei reds, it has rich fruits blended with delicious old-barrel notes that make many northern Italian wines so alluring.

2014 Rutherford Ranch “Proprietor’s Selection” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($55). Mature and satisfying cherry flavors  with good balance of savory notes and smooth tannins.

2016 Dutton Goldfield “McDougall” Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir ($62). It’s fantastic to receive about a dozen samples from the same winemaker, same grape and same vintage and taste all at the same time – but hard to choose which ones to feature! Dutton’s Pinots fall into the $60- and $70-dollar range, and this one is a delicious and food-friendly red – lean, yet with warm, dark, juicy flavors and mild tannins.

2016 Dutton Goldfield “Deviate” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($72). This Pinot has lovely, dark cherry and rooty aromas and flavors, yet with lots of tang and tannins – a lean wine that is big in texture if not in body.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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