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The Dozen - Good to Great

There is so much good – not necessarily great – wine produced that there is a tendency to easily dismiss what should be regarded as a pleasant accompaniment to the evening meal. We don’t similarly demand that the bread or steamed vegetables be extraordinary, but we often have over-sized expectations of what we drink.

We have here several good wines at good prices, some quite good. There is one that is outstanding, but in our praise for it, we shouldn’t forget those that also serve us well.

NV CK Mondavi California Moscato ($5). Little sweetish, quite fruity and creamy, good structure.

2019 CK Mondavi California Chardonnay ($6). Lightly creamy, crisp, hints of baked apple.

2018 Line 39 California Sauvignon Blanc ($10). OK drinking – muddled green flavors and a little weedy.

2019 Flora Springs “Soliloquy” Napa Valley White Wine ($44). Quite enjoyable Sauvignon Blanc – creamy up front, but crisp in the finish with lime and spicy notes.

NV Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut ($18). Light strawberry flavors, lots of mousse, good minerality, a little creamy and tight in the finish – very enjoyable.

2019 Garofoli “Kòmaros” Marche Rosato ($13). Generous, but not sweet, dark spiciness and a touch of earthiness in the finish.

2017 Garofoli “Piancarda” Rosso Conero ($17). Rounded cherry and rhubarb flavors – a touch good edgy.

2018 Massolino Dolcetto d'Alba ($19). Lean and flavorful with some spices in the finish.

2017 Cedar + Salmon Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs ($23). A light-bodied, satisfying Pinot with fresh raspberry flavors and a tangy finish.

2017 Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo ($27). Quite enjoyable – smooth purple fruitiness with a touch of tartness at the end.

2017 Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot ($28). Fruity sweet with lots of cherries, a hint of cocoa and a savory finish.

2016 Gamble Family “Paramount” Napa Valley Red ($93). An average red wine left opened overnight will taste tired and drab. Because this one was a little tight when I first poured it, I tasted it again the next day. And the next. It actually improved daily as it opened up and blossomed – the sign of a wine worth waiting for and one that will be enjoyable for quite a long time. But even first out of the bottle, the wine has excellent dark, velvety fruit with walnut notes in the finish.


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

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