The Dozen Vol. 25 No. 12

The Dozen – Last Roundup 2021

A final look at new releases from the old year, anticipating a new one.


Almost 500 wines later, we come to the end of another year of uncorking and unscrewing, pouring, tasting, and noting. And it’s been a good one – at least for wines – with loads of satisfying, affordable drinking all the way up to those whose greatness is to be marveled at.

Now, we have 2022 to anticipate. Thanks for sipping with us. ‘Nuff said.

2020 Jose Maria da Fonseca “Twin Vines” Vinho Verde Branco ($9).  Fresh and fruity with lots of spritzy carbonation.

2020 Cannonball California Sauvignon Blanc ($15). Very fresh, with keen green fruitiness of lime and kiwi.

2020 Duca di Salapurata “Kados” Sicilia Grillo ($39). Good green-yellow fresh fruits, a touch of whey, and a lightly tangy finish – a complex and versatile lunchtime wine.

2020 Quintessa “Illumination” North Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($42). From a blend of Napa and Sonoma grapes, this is a lovely wine with rich green fruitiness of white grapes and apples, Riesling-like notes of fruity oils, and a light, savory finish.

NV Angels & Cowboys California Brut ($23). Mouth-filling bubbles with simple sweet apple and cotton candy flavors.

2020 Concha y Toro “Trivento” Mendoza Reserve Malbec ($11). Rounded dark red raspberries with some creaminess and mild tannins.

2018 Duca di Salaparuta “Lavico” Terre Siciliane Nerello Mascalese ($19).  A light one, but one with very satisfying lean cranberry flavors.

2019 Angels & Cowboys Sonoma County Proprietary Red ($20). Good, ripe, slightly fruity, sweet berry flavors with a textured structure.

2019 Donnafugata “Sherazade” Sicilian Nero d’Avola ($21).  Tart red fruits with savory notes, a dot of pencil lead, and mild tannins.

2018 Inama “Carmenere Piu” Veneto Rosso ($21). Very supple with smooth, creamy chocolate and fruity flavors with dusty tannins.

2018 Planeta “Eruzione 1614” Sicilia Nerello Mascalese ($40).  Very light in color and body with a lean, minerally profile and tart cranberry flavors.

2016 Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Porto ($23). It is a bit richer and with more depth than the vintage 2015, the flavors – plums, fresh and dried figs, ripe red grapes – deepening yet mellowing as they cross the palate, all coming together in the finish.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.

Feature photo courtesy of Quintessa

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