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The Weekly Dozen - To Europe with Love

It’s difficult being a producer in the international market, whether you sell a million cases or a hundred cases outside the domestic arena. Trade disputes, such as the ones the current administration seems to be waging against everyone, end up with collateral damage on innocent folk, and the current disputes with the European Union over aircraft and tech threatens to hurt everyone from French and Italian winemakers to importers to distributors to American consumers.

So show a little love for European winemakers as winter morphs into spring. And you can still drink domestic wines and Australian wines, even if you have to drink a little more. Here are some very good wines, mainly from Beaujolais and Tuscany.

2018 Enrico Serafino “Grifo di Quartaro” Gavi ($17). Quite nice – fruit-forward, fresh apple flavors with Burgundy-blanc-style minerality.

2017 Jean-Paul Brun Chardonnay Beaujolais Blanc ($18). A delightful wine – fresh, lightly spicy, good minerality and a hint of toast.

2018 Tasca Capofaro “Didyme” Malvasia di Salina IGT ($25). Fragrant, but dry – medium body with a chalky underlay, a hint of orange and orange peel and a spritzy finish.

2018 Château Thivin Beaujolais Village Rosé ($18). Bright fruit, a hint of cream, edgy acidity.

2017 Vietti “Tre Vigne” Barbera d’Asti ($18). Wow! We don’t often find wines like this at this price. It has more flavor, structure and tannins than most Barberas, with cherry/raspberry fruit and a tight structure. Seriously, this is the kind of wine to buy a case and drink it as your house red for a couple of weeks.

2017 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico ($21). An enjoyable, very light-bodied Chianti with that distinctive Sangiovese cherry fruitiness and raspy finish.

2016 Piron & Lameloise “Quartz” Chenas ($21). Delightful – fresh fruity, yet piquant wine – a Beaujolais quaffer in the best sense.

2016 Vietti “Perbacco” Langhe Nebbiolo ($26). Fruit fresh up front followed by savory notes and dusty tannins.

2016 Charly Thévenet “Grain & Granit” Régnié ($34). Fresh and refreshing Gamay in spite of its age, with rounded cherry flavors and an edge of bitters to blend with the plop of fruit lingering in the finish.

2015 Badia a Coltibuono “Montebello” Toscano IGT ($62). Many Tuscan reds – indeed many Italian reds – tend to be blended flavors resulting in a lovely finished product, rather than a complex weaving of strands. That is the case here. Vibrant fruit, light barrel notes, lively acid, tightly wound  and still a little young.

2015 Ruffino “Alauda” Toscana IGT ($81). Ripe, rounded cherry flavors, though not fruit forward, with lip-smackin’ tannins and bright acidity. Enjoy now or in a few years.

2014 Arízano “Gran Vino” Vino de Pago ($92). Very luscious – lots of blackberry fruitiness with great balance and a finish of dusty tannins.


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

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