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The Weekly Dozen - Intriguing Whites

This week’s selection has a couple of lighter reds, a dessert wine and an Irish whiskey to savor, but we open up with a great variety of six white wines that are to be taken seriously – even the Soave – and are delightfully complex to taste.

Most are from California and are a mix of white varietals and white blends.

2017 Inama “Foscarino” Soave Classico ($24). Enjoyable mixture of whey/cheese and lime flavors with a little spritz.

2018 Etude Carneros Pinot Gris ($24). The best Pinot Gris I’ve tasted from Napa Valley and one up to Etude’s overall reputation – firm flavors of ripe peach flesh and skin with a lean structure and an entrancing after-taste.

2017 The Prisoner “Blindfold” California White Blend ($29). Nice blend of Chardonnay and Rhone varieties which results in a more-exotic, Macon cru-like Chardonnay taste with firm flavors and levels of complexity.

2017 The Prisoner “The Snitch” Napa Valley Chardonnay ($29). A hint of Viognier adds to the mix, producing rich apple flavors and a pleasant bitters finish with a nice balancing tanginess.

2018 Ehlers Estate St. Helena Sauvignon Blanc ($34). Delightful – fruity but fresh, very floral with flavors of lime and tropical fruit and a crisp finish.

2017 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay ($80). Lovely expression of Napa-style Chardonnay – though not overly fruit-forward – with well-rounded brulée flavors, good minerality and a few savory notes.

2018 Inman Family “Endless Crush” Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir ($29). Full-bodied pink with candied fruit notes and chalky minerality.

2018 Yalumba Barossa Bush Vine Grenache ($18). A quaffing wine that is light-bodied with mild cherry fruit and a lean acidity.

2017 Scott Dijon Clone Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir ($24). Very enjoyable – fruity with cherry, rooty and cola flavors, but not overly big and burly as many California Pinots are these days.

2017 Kathryn Kennedy Santa Cruz Mountains Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon ($43). A classic and enjoyable old-style California Cabernet with good dark cherry and blackberry flavors and a spicy and savory finish.

2011 Capezzana Vin Santo di Carmignano Riserva ($60/375 ml). Rich sorghum and dark-honey flavors with piercing finishing acidity. Sip it with pastry desserts, especially mature - fruit tarts.

Knappogue Castle “Marco de Bartoli” Marsala Cask Irish Whiskey ($80). At 46% ABV. Very approachable 12-year-old that lands soft on the palate with dark honeyed notes from the finishing cask as well as vanilla bean and milled grain flavors.

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

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