Although we may be able to enjoy almost every wine, most of us do not enjoy all wines equally. Some prefer big fruity wines while others, especially those who drink wine only at meals, like their wines to be leaner and tarter. And probably a majority would choose as their favorites those that are somewhere in between, regardless of the grape variety.
When I make tasting notes, I try to keep this in mind so that someone who wants to try a wine will have some idea of the structure of the wine they are getting and the flavors. I bring this up because this version of The Dozen has some fruitier wines but also some that are very tart – especially the Ermes “Vento di Mare” wines from Sicily that are made from organic grapes. Of course, not all organic wines are lean and tart, but a considerable number of them are, drawing fans for their tastes as much as their environmental profile.
So, like looking at a food menu in a restaurant, we can and should say that some wines are favorites while others are not bad but are not our preferences.
2021 Ermes “Vento di Mare” Sicilia Grillo ($12). Enjoyable green-fruit flavors and a good mixture of herbal and fruity.
2021 Ermes “Vento di Mare” Terre Siciliane Pinot Grigo ($12). Notes of lime and just-cut green grapes – very refreshing and clean.
2020 Biltmore Estate American Sauvignon Blanc ($17). An increasing number of wineries have been supplementing their estate-grown grapes with those from other regions – hence the American designation. Biltmore has done this for years, mostly to good effect. This one has very satisfying green fruitiness yet is very smooth and lightly creamy.
2021 Fresh Vine California Sauvignon Blanc ($19). Nice green fruits, a bit mellow in the middle, but with enough acidity for a crisp finish.
2018 Conventual Alentejo Reserva White ($25). Aromatic, tropical fruitiness with some fruit-oily notes.
2021 LangeTwins [correct] “River Ranch” Jahant Aglianico Rosé ($25). A little on the lighter side with crisp, clean strawberry fruitiness and some bitters in the finish.
NV Guinigi Treviso Prosecco ($17). Good bubbles and acidity to go with a blend of savory notes and floral fruits.
2020 Guinigi Treviso Prosecco Rosé ($17). Very pleasant, with creamy, smooth, light-cherry flavors.
2021 Ermes “Vento di Mare” Sicilia Nero d’Avola” ($12). Ripe and fruity upfront, but very lean and tart in the finish.
2021 Ermes “Vento di Mare” Terre Siciliane Pinot Noir ($12). Very nice succulent cherry fruit with a lean, very crisp finish.
2019 Markus “Bechthold Vineyard” Mokelumne River Cinsault ($34). Well-made, straightforward blackberry and black raspberry fruitiness with a lean finish and dusty tannins.
2017 Côtes de Tain “Nobles Rives” Hermitage ($75). Very good purple fruit and earthy flavors are long on the palate – great texture and finishing acidity.
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.