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The Dozen - Return of the Big Reds

Enough of the prelims of chilled whites, sparklers and rosés. No more bargains under $10. Let’s get it on with some serious drinking for the evening hours.

2017 Garofoli “Podium” Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore ($28). Very enjoyable – a little juicy without being sweet, medium body, good finish.

NV Segura Vidas Cava Brut Rosé ($10). Nice – pretty strawberry flavors with sweet spices and a little cream.

NV Gloria Ferrer Carneros Blanc de Noirs ($19). Just a very nice, rich, satisfying sparkler with lots of minerality with eau-de-vie-reminiscent fruit flavors.

2017 Tablas Creek “Patelin de Tablas” Paso Robles Red Wine ($24). Satisfying red fruity Rhone blend with good structure and balance, easy tannins and pleasant bitters at the edges.

2017 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($28). A rich, fruitier, somewhat “sweeter” version of Napa Cabs.

2017 Clos du Cellier aux Moines Givry Ier Crus ($47). Tightly wound even after a long decant, this is definitely a Burgundy for long cellaring. Very fragrant and lively fruit, long on the palate with lots of lean acidity.

2016 Beaulieu Vineyard “Tapestry” Napa Valley Red Wine ($53). A beautiful wine with dark blackberry and cherry fruits that are firm without being extracted with underlying savory notes.

2018 EnRoute “Les Pommiers” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($54). From the Nickel clan of Far Niente – excellent dark, vibrant, concentrated flavors, a big, aggressive Pinot in what has become the prevailing style of Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast reds, reminiscent of big Sancerre Pinots of a decade or so ago.

2016 Epoch “Veracity” Paso Robles Red Wine ($69). Well-made with dark fruit tending more toward berries than cherries with dusty, earthy tannins.

2018 EnRoute “Marty’s Vineyard” Russian River Pinot Noir ($85). Also a big Pinot, but a little more restrained and complex, with rich berry and cherry flavors that have great length.

2011 Chêne Bleu “Heloise” IGP Vaucluse ($88). From one of my favorite producers, this southern Rhone blend is smooth with dark, murky flavors that evolve in the glass – delicious, but a little less-complex than previous vintages.

2017 Sullivan Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($112). Decant this one for a while to let its flavors evolve – lots of blackberries and mocha tastes and well-integrated but big and dusty tannins.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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