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The Weekly Dozen - 9 Lives to Drink

When I opened the Fedex box containing two samples of wine, each with a label reading “9 Lives,” I thought, “Well, this is interesting.”  And when I picked up the slim bottle of wine with a pinkish orange tint, I assumed it was another late summer rosé. Wrong!  It was actually a Riesling. Has Halloween come early this year?

And so it’s been an interesting week of sampling wines, but I should note that the current dozen contains some well-priced, well-made wines that have nothing at all unusual about them.

Nevertheless, watch your step as we run through the current 12:

2018 San Pedro Nine Lives Central Valley (Chile) Sauvignon Blanc ($9). No kitty jokes, please! Good, basic Sauvignon with lime and kiwi fruitiness, crisp and clean.

2018 El Coto Rioja Verdejo ($18). Pleasant, clean green flavors with nice touch of creaminess in the finish.

2017 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Fumé Blanc ($23). Crisp, fresh, green-apple flavors with a hint of oak and a touch of cream.

2017 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay ($26). Combo of ripe apple and rounded tropical fruit flavors with nice bitters at the edges.

2018 Bannister “Cole Ranch” Mendocino County Riesling ($28). You don’t often see a Riesling orange wine – one that gets a little color and a lot of flavor from spending some time on the skins – and there may be a reason. The sour apple flavor is okay, but it has a chalky, Tums-like dryness and a bitter aftertaste. 

NV Lini 910 Lambrusco Emilia Rosato ($18). Dark red sparkler – fruit-forward tangy cherry and elderberry flavors, but with good acidity.

2018 El Circo “Payaso” Cariñena Garnacha Rosé ($10). Lots of orange and other citrus flavors – full-bodied, long on the palate.

2018 El Coto Rioja Rosado ($13). Quite fruity with strawberry and creamy, spicy flavors.

2018 San Pedro “9 Lives” Central Valley (Chile) Cabernet Sauvignon ($10). Jammy red fruit but with good acidity and a touch of herbal green in the finish.

2018 Böen Monterey-Sonoma-Santa Barbara Pinot Noir ($24). Concentrated dark berry fruitiness without being extracted, spicy and a little tangy. From the Wagner family.

2016 Eberle Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($45). A very solid basic Cab – nice dark fruit with walnut tannins, well-balanced, long on the palate.

2014 Yatir Forest Judean Hills Red Blend ($52). Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot with a touch of Tannat – combo of red and dark cherry flavors with a little tanginess and a savory finish.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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