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The Weekly Dozen - Eastern Andes

Our samples box has been running over with wines from Argentina the past few days, but now we’ve done our best to reduce the inventory.

Corkscrews at the ready!

NV Alma Negra Mendoza Brut Nature ($20). A very pleasant, lightly spiced, slight plump yet very dry sparkling wine.

NV Scharffenberger Mendocino “Excellence” Brut ($20). Good intensity, slightly toasty with a pleasant hint of yeast and a satisfying finish.

2016 Hess “Panthera” Russian River Chardonnay ($38). Needs decanting and an overnight stay in the fridge, as it opens tasting sweet and extracted – but still a big, flavorful bruiser of a white even on the second day.

2017 Amalaya Salta Malbec ($14). Full, rounded, very Cabernet-like in taste with ripe fruit and mild green savory flavors.

2016 Zuccardi “Polignos” Tupungato Alta Malbec ($23). Seductive – mellow, yet slight tangy cranberry and rhubarb flavors with lots of dusty tannins.

2017 Colomé “Auténtico” Salta Malbec ($25). Rich, purple berry flavors with a chalky, creamy finish.

2016 Zuccardi “Polignos” Paraje Altamira Malbec ($25).  Lightly juicy with engaging raspberry flavors and a lightly tart finish.

2016 Zuccardi “Polignos” San Pablo Malbec ($25).  Tight and chewy in structure with cherry fruit, lean finish and savory notes.

2017 Zuccardi “Polignos” San Pablo Cabernet Franc ($30).  A well-balanced wine for sipping or with food – smooth, dark-cherry flavors and a little rasp in the finish.

2016 Hess “Lion Tamer” Napa Valley Red Wine ($40). A mainly Malbec, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah blend with good fruit flavors but with powdery notes and almost syrupy finish.  A wine for people who like big, concentrated reds.

Blue Ice Potato Vodka ($28). At 40%. Lightly sweetish and very smooth with only a mild finishing bite. And the potatoes? A main source of starch for traditional Eastern European vodkas, the potatoes here are russets, so you may want to pair your drink with French fries.

118 + 1st O.R.E. 118 “Raw Vegan” Gin ($35). At 41%. Of course, gin is a flavored vodka, but this one tastes like an herbal vodka, as it dials down the distinctive juniper flavors of gin and dials up the softer tastes of other savory herbs.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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