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The Dozen - Summer Whiteout

Call it body shaming for wines, if you will, but traditionally many white wines were just, well – very flabby! They did not have much structure or crisp finishes, lacked balancing acidity and did nothing to accentuate their minerality. On top of that, some were also sweet, which made the situation even less attractive.

Increasingly, winemakers got the message and, among other solutions, picked a little earlier and added acid in the winery if needed.

So what we have among The Dozen are some nice white wines for early summer drinking, along with a couple of sparklers and some enjoyable reds.

2019 CK Mondavi California Pinot Grigio ($6). Enjoyable and a real bargain. Crisp green fruit flavors with a few savory notes in the finish.

2018 Crasto Douro White Wine ($16). A lot of Sauvignon-like green flavors; full-bodied, but crisp finish.

2019 Inama Soave Classico ($16). Quite good, with rich green flavors, a hint of pistachio, good structure and very fresh acidity.

2018 Umani Ronchi “CaSal di Serra” Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore ($18). The name is a mouthful, but the wine is a little more restrained – vibrant green fruit, a little spicy, a little nutty.

2017 Inama “Vigneto di Carmonare” Soave Classico ($28). An ordinary Soave can be a little like a person who hasn’t spruced up for the day – okay, though a little bland – but a good winemaker can tart up the wine to be something quite fetching. As is the case here, with beautiful, refreshing green fruit in front and a pleasant lactic aftertaste.

2017 Clos Mogador “Nelin” Priorat White Wine ($53). White Priorats are a lot less visible than the region’s reds, and I find this one especially fascinating in its almost feral complexity. It has some of the fruit oiliness that we find in many Rieslings along with some cheese/whey notes followed by a garrigue-like, gamey finish. This is a wine that makes you stop talking at the table for a minute or so to see where it will take you.

NV Freixenet Italian Sparkling Rosé ($20). A little bit “grapey” with its intense fruitiness, but nevertheless refreshing.

NV Gloria Ferrer Carneros Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine ($20). Very intense and refreshing – full, but crisp with pleasant yeasty notes.

2018 Ron Rubin Russian River Pinot Noir ($20). Pleasant, light-bodied with cherry/raspberry tastes and a somewhat savory finish.

2016 Inama “Carmenere Piu” Veneto Rosso ($21). Nicely assertive with savory cherry flavors and mild tannins.

2016 Inama “Bradisimo” Veneto Rosso ($30). Nicely structured with complex blackberry jam flavors – fruity, but not sweet.

2017 Inman Family Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($68). Juicy cherries suitably restrained with savory notes and mild-tasting tannins.


Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com.

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