We start off this edition of The Dozen with wines from a variety of places with a variety of prices, then close shop by switching out grapes for grains. But do take special note of some very iconic, collectible reds.
2022 Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Good herbal and green fruit aromas and flavors with moderate body, good depth of taste, and a crisp finish.
2022 Bird in Hand South Australia Rosé ($20). Rich, orangish flavors with medium body and good acidity though not uber-lean.
2019 CK Mondavi “Family Select” California Cabernet Sauvignon ($16). Red berry flavors, moderately tart, and slightly fruit sweet.
2021 Giornata Paso Robles Montepulciano ($37). A rare varietal bottling of this grape in the U.S., it has plump cherry tastes with a tight rope of acidity and a few green savory notes.
2019 Giornata Paso “Luna” Robles Nebbiolo ($50). A very lean Nebby with flavors of cherries and red table grapes with lots of tannins and crisp acidity.
2021 Bouchaine “Calera Clone” Napa Valley Pinot Noir ($90). The first of two very different clonal selections from the same vintage and the same vineyard, this one has lilting aromas and cherry flavors, yet with light bitters and tannins keeping the fruit in check – very enjoyable.
2021 Bouchaine “Mt. Eden Clone” Napa Valley Pinot Noir ($90). Warm and generous cherry flavors with some notes of baking spicy, crisp tannins and a long finish – also very enjoyable.
2019 Brion “Caldwell Vineyard” Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon ($210). My favorite of the two very collectible Brion wines here – although both are superb – is rich, luxurious blackberry fruit, an edgy note of green, walnutty tannins, and good barrel flavors with a lean finish.
2019 Brion Moon Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($210). Delicious blackberry fruit, a little leaner than the Caldwell and with a touch more spiciness – excellent with red meat.
The Legendary Silkie Blended Irish Whiskey ($40). Soft approach with almond and grain flavors, simple and supple mouthfeel, a little like a mellow Bourbon. (46 ABV).
The Legendary Dark Silkie Blended Irish Whiskey ($42). Cracked corn and toasted grain aromas and flavors with a wisp of smoke and a touch of sweetness. (46 ABV)
The Legendary Midnight Silkie Blended Irish Whiskey ($49). The smokiest – though still quite mild – and the most complex of the three, with more burlap than vanilla (perhaps from the Imperial stout finishing barrels) and a little less linear than the other two. (46 ABV).
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.