The Dozen Vol. 26 No. 06

The Dozen – What’s the Purpose?

Not all wines should be judged by the same criteria.


When I’m sipping wines and making notes, it often occurs to me that we – I – may be evaluating all wines by the same judgment criteria when I should be asking instead, “What was the winemaker’s – or wine company’s – purpose in making this wine?” Is it to use the unlimited resources they may have available to make a stunning wine that will get 98 points and can be sold for a few hundred dollars a bottle? Or is it to make a decent bottle of wine for $12 that will go well with whatever is for dinner tonight? Or is it something in between?

So here are a dozen wines that all mostly meet their purposes – as diverse as those purposes may be.

NV CK Mondavi California “Buttery” Chardonnay ($7). The butteriness is in the finish, and it mostly serves that stated purpose, except it may linger a little too long after the apple fruitiness has disappeared.

NV CK Mondavi California Chardonnay ($7). Pleasant, refreshing with spiced apple flavors and a clean finish.

2020 Mesa “Giunco” Vermentino di Sardegna ($19). Green fruit flavors, light spiciness and a touch of vanilla cream.

NV Gamble Family “The Mill  Keeper” Napa Valley Chardonnay ($28). Creamy, lightly buttery apple flavors with good structure and moderate finishing acidity.

2020 Corvezzo Prosecco Rosé ($13). Quite enjoyable with light strawberry fruit, fine bubbles, and a crisp finish.

NV CK Mondavi California “Dark” Cabernet Sauvignon ($7). Very fruit-forward with purplish fruit that finishes a little sweet.

NV CK Mondavi California Cabernet Sauvignon ($7). It has rounded fresh raspberry fruitiness that is full-bodied and mildly tangy.

2019 Poliziano “Lohsa” Morellino di Scansano ($18). Lean blackberry flavors with lots of dusty tannins.

2019 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico ($21). Simple and straight-forward red fruitiness with some of that Sangiovese raspiness and earthiness in the finish.

2018 Poliziano Vino Nobile de Montepulciano ($26).  Very enjoyable with both dark and red berry flavors, lean and savory – a very versatile food wine.

2017 Capezzano “Villa di Capezzano” Carmignano ($29). On the savory side, with a good depth of dried fruit flavors and a lean finish.

2016 Castello del Terriccio Lupicaia Toscana IGT ($135). More of a savory wine than a fruity one – very lean with very dark berry flavors and notes of dusty chocolate.

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 is courtesy of Chianti Classico.

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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.

1 comment on “The Dozen – What’s the Purpose?

  1. George Vesel

    There are thousands if not tens of thousands of wines that meet their purpose. I think most who taste to analyze taste with value in mind.

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