From time to time, The Dozen likes to include spirits into the mix, and this is one of those times. We have a couple featured at the end of this edition.
But don’t overlook the great wines we have featured – some of which would make excellent holiday gifts – from Billecart-Salmon and from the talented Nickel family of Napa Valley.
2021 OTU Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($18). Quite nice – lively and juicy with kiwi and fresh citrus flavors.
2021 Vinum “Wilson Vineyard” Clarksville Chenin Blanc ($18). Good fragrance, crisp and clean apple and pear flavors and good intensity in the finish.
2020 Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett ($27). A classic entry-level Riesling with piquant berry fruitiness and hints of fruit oils, with slightly sweet finish but with balancing acidity.
2020 Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay ($64). Beautifully done – apple fruit and oak merge seamlessly – good weight, good fruit, good toast, good acidity.
NV Los Dos Cava Brut ($12). A very soft Cava with creamy apples flavor and a soft, cushy finish.
NV Lini 910 “Labrusco” Lambrusco Reggiano Rosso ($17). Lovely herbal smells of briers and huckleberries, frizzy not bubbly and with lots of green savory edges and bitter tannins.
NV Fitz-Ritter Pfalz Rieling Extra Trocken Sekt ($23). Nice, almost fluffy stone fruit, herbs and geranium leaf flavors with good intensity of bubbles, though not as crisp in the finish.
NV Billecart-Salmon Grand Cru Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut ($93). Nice mousse, candied fruit, gentle green herbs, little vanilla, good minerality – excellent.
2018 Bella Union Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($66). Tart and brambly with cranberry and cassis flavors – an assertive Cab in a good way.
2019 Nickel & Nickel “John C. Sullenger” Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($110). Beautiful and complex wine, very perfumed, both red and black berry fruitiness, good acidity and lots of dusty tannins.
Luxardo Espresso Liqueur ($25). From the talented family that produces those rich cherries in your Manhattans (as well as many other liqueurs), the Espresso has the aromas of un-percolated ground beans, but the flavors are those of a sinfully creamy espresso, the kind you won’t get at Starbucks. (27%).
Anchor Distilling “Junipero” Gin ($35). One of the innovations of Fritz Maytag, Junipero has lovely aromas of juniper – soft, not jagged – and extremely smooth flavors of botanicals that are harmoniously woven together and not to be picked apart. Great to sip or in a Martini to go along with the Luxardo Manhattan. (49.3%).
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.
Photo Courtesy Dr. H. Thanisch
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