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The Dozen - Under House Arrest

There is no happy news. A health crisis grips the world.  Financial markets are unstable.  In most cases, going to a restaurant or bar is not an option. Only the young and/or the irresponsible want to party on as though nothing has happened.

That does not mean we should sit at home under consensual house arrest and drink ourselves into oblivion.  But it does mean that we should find a good reading chair, perhaps put on some soothing music and open a nice bottle of wine.  Sip and savor.

Here are some that recently found their way into my study. 

2018 Faisão Vinho Verde Branco ($8). A little spritz, green fruitiness, moderate body, not too crisp in the finish – actually, you might want to chill it a bit more than normal.

2018 Clean Slate German Riesling ($13). Don’t ask for too much at this price – it’s a pleasant, somewhat sweet Riesling that has nice “green” balancing acidity.

2018 Arínzano “Hacienda de Arínzano” Blanco ($18). Warm flavors of apple and tropical fruits, full on the palate with good finishing acidity.

2018 Reata Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($20). Smooth, creamy, flavorful. Nice flavors, but could it use a little more crispness in the finish? Possibly.

2018 Covenant “Blue C” Israel Viognier ($28). There isn’t much flavor intensity, but what’s there is good, more dry northern Rhone in style than the popular sweet, fruity wines.

2017 Scott Carneros Chardonnay ($28). In the mode – fat, flavorful, buttery.

2016 Dalton “Alma Scarlet” Israel Dry Red Wine ($23). Quite nice blend of Shriaz and Grenache with rich, cassis fruitiness, some savory notes, a splash of creaminess and good texture.

2016 Dominio Fournier Ribera del Duero Crianza ($30). Cherry/cranberry fruit, nice structure, pleasant tannins in the finish.

2015 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino ($50). Very good, but still tightly wound. Love the astringency of intense concentrated dry fruits with a mellow aftertaste and lots of citrusy, dusty tannins.

2016 Gamble Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($60). Drink now or cellar. Beautiful, complex wine with juicy black fruitiness married with spicy, savory notes.

2017 Bella Union Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($80). Part of the Nickel collection (see below), the wine shows the lushness of Cab’s dark cherry varietal flavors with some creaminess and a long, complex, lightly spicy finish.

2017 Nickel & Nickel “John C. Sullenger” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($125). Decant first. Rich, flavorful dark cherries, some savory notes, a little lean and leathery toward the finish, with light tannins. You may want to linger for a little while before turning the page.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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