The Dozen Vol. 27 No. 06

The Dozen – Tiny Bottles, Big Tastes

Sample-size tasting portions yield some fine wines.

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Everyone is trying to re-engineer how we first try our wines these days, whether it is because of economics, the fear of carbon footprints, or simple convenience. That holds true for both wine writers and consumers. Recently, I even wrote about wine in new paper bottles.

I also recently received 5 tubes, each 40 ml, of Pietradolce to go along with an online tasting I couldn’t attend as well as 7 tubes of mainly Paso Robles wines from Sampl, a tasting kit firm, to illustrate how its 100 ml. tubes can give good pour and also serve regions in collectively marketing their wines.

It all makes sense, of course, but nevertheless I would rather have a full bottle, even if I can only sample a small portion of it. Of course, I don’t stand alone in selfishly preferring something that doesn’t make practical sense.

So, then, this will be the first issue of The Dozen where all the notes come from sampling tubes, not bottles. For those who sent the tubes, don’t complain if you don’t like the review by saying, “Oh, the bottle tastes much better.” Prices are for the full bottle, whether you drink it all or not.

And so, we progress…

2022 Union Sacré Monterey Gewurztraminer ($23) – Very fragrant with nice peach flesh and peach skin flavors – fruity, yet not too sweet.

2021 Tablas Creek “Patelin de Tablas” Paso Robles Blanc ($28) – Mellow apple flavors, a little soft on the palate, with whey notes and texture.

2021 High Camp Paso Robles Grenache Rosé ($28) – A lovely wine with vibrant but light cherry and strawberry flavors and with good mouth feel and good finishing acidity.

2021 McPrice Myers “High on the Hog” Paso Robles Red Wine ($22) – Quite enjoyable with red berry flavors – not too “bright” – with muddled mulberry and other fruits.

2020 Adelaida “Keeper” Paso Robles Red Wine ($29) – Rhone blend that is a bit like a Côtes du Rhone with soft fruitiness and dusty tannins – could profit from a bit more structure.

2018 Avenales Ranch “Shell Creek Vineyards” Paso Robles Petite Sirah ($39) – Muted dark fruits with savory notes and hints of unsweetened chocolate.

2021 J. Dusi Paso Robles Zinfandel ($37) – Good, vibrant black raspberry flavors with fine structure and acidity.

2019 Pietradolce “Contrada Rampante” Etna Rosso ($62) – Thin structure, but powerful presence with crisp cherry flavors and a lot of tannins.

2019 Pietradolce “Archineri” Etna Rosso ($62) – Reminds me of a Chianti blend – nice, gamey red-berry aromas and flavors – tart and tannic.

2018 Pietradolce “Contrada Santo Spirito” Etna Rosso ($46) – Tart and raspy in the beginning, firmer in the middle with dried fruit flavors and savory undertones in the finish.

2018 Pietradolce “Barbagalli” Etna Rosso ($144) – Gamey aromas, with great intensity of red fruit flavors, long on the palate and with good flavor persistence.

2019 Pietradolce “Feudo di Mezzo” Etna Rosso ($54) – Full-bodied with red fruitiness and raspy tannins.

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.

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Don’t miss Features, Reviews, News, and Recipes from top Restaurateurs!

Suggested roles: Restaurateur (e.g. manager, owner, cook, chef, sommelier, bartender, mixologist), PR (e.g. PR agency), Producer (e.g. winery, distillery), Marketer (e.g. ad buyer), Consultant, Journalist

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We don’t spam! Check out our Privacy Policy. You may manage your subscription here.

Roger Morris writes about wine, food and travel for The World of Fine Wine, Drinks Business, Meininger's Wine Business International, Wine Enthusiast and other publications in the U.S. and Europe.

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