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The Weekly Dozen - Good Different

I was once on a wine trip to Portugal when one of my fellow writers said, “Right now, I would just like something that tastes rustic.” I know what she means.

Most winemakers understandably want to get rid of any rough edges their wines might have, especially if any of those could be considered a “flaw” on a judge’s score sheet. But with everyday wines that don’t cost very much, a little roughness can be refreshing. It’s the difference between deliciously rich whipped potatoes and smashed potatoes with the skins still on with olive oil rather than butter. Both have their place.

So with this week’s dozen, we have some rustic wines and quite a few wines under $20.  We also have a dynamite blended Scotch that comes out smoking.

2018 Garofoli “Macrina” Verdicchio dei Castelli dei Jesi Classico Superiore ($15). A regional classic that has been around forever, it has light orangish flavors, a medium body and a cleansing spritz.

2016 Garofoli “Podium” Verdicchio dei Castelli dei Jesi Classico Superiore ($26).  Quite interesting, and quite different – spicy and prickly with notes of both grapefruit and dried apples.

2018 Cline “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Mourvèdre Rosé ($13). Fresh strawberry flavors with a pleasant, tangy finish.

2018 Peyrassol “Cuvée de la Commanderie” Côtes de Provence Rosé ($15). Very nice, with tart fruitiness and a crisp finish.

2018 Tasca “Regaleali” Terre Siciliane “Le Rosé” IGT ($15). A little sweet, but lots of spritz and a crisp finish.

2018 Château Minuty “Rosé et Or” Côtes de Provence ($40). Mainly Grenache, with moderately full-bodied, rounded fruitiness and good acidity in the finish.

2017 Cline “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Zinfandel ($15). These three old vines Cline reds all have a rustic characteristic – but good rustic – and here it is spicy garrigue notes that follow after the cherry fruit.

2016 Tasca “Regaleali” Sicilia Nero d’Avola ($15). Very nice everyday red with dark cherry and blackberry fruit and light but flavorful tannins.

2017 Cline “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Mourvèdre ($16). Fruit forward – mulberry, full-bodied and granular with walnut-flavored tannins.

2017 Cline “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Carignane ($17). Lots of cassis and berry jelly flavors with a hint of coffee in the finish.

2016 Garofoli “Piancarda” Rosso Conero ($17). Light-bodied with blackberry flavors, fruit tanginess and mild tannins.

Laphroaig “Cairdeas” Triple Wood Original Cask Strength Scotch ($80) (at 59.5%). Can a smell be smooth? As soon as the golden liquid is freed from the bottle and tumbles toward the glass, the dried smoke aromas float up. The smokiness is just as satiny with the first sip – excellent. Although every Scotch has dozens of flavors, the ones that jump up here, in addition to peat, are sweet caramel wood and a savory, salty seaweed bite. 

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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