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The Weekly Dozen - A Two-Falanghina Celebration

I have a new “F” word. It’s “Falanghina.” We’ll talk about its origin and how it tastes and who in California produces it. And we have a duo of them this week.

There is also a white Burgundy that’s a steal, a Pinot Grigio that actually tastes like wine – very good wine, and a run of enjoyable red wines at reasonable prices. And so, as mother used to say, “Shut up, and drink your wine.”

2018 Louis Jadot Macon-Villages ($14). Yes, Côte d’Or white Burgundies can be outrageously expensive, but further south we come across this budget-friendly find – a lovely Chardonnay with crisp apple flavors, good minerality and a lightly creamy finish.

2017 Pighin Friuli Grave Pinot Grigio ($15). Bright, spicy, lovely fruit – not too tart, yet with good acidity.

2017 Villa Mathilde “Rocca dei Leoni” Campagnia Falanghina IGT ($16). Falanghina is a little-known (outside of Campagnia) variety, and it wasn’t even recognized as a grape by U.S. regulators until five years ago. So imagine that we have two of them falling into our proverbial laps this week. This one has fresh flavors of citrus and green apple, a bit of spritz to further liven it up and good acidity without being tart.

2017 Castoro Cellars “Whale Rock Vineyard” Paso Robles Falanghina ($30). Somehow the grape made its way to Paso, which can resemble Campagnia if you squint your eyes a little. Both Falanghinas are worth your while, but I like this one a little more – firm flavors of pear and stone fruits with lightly savory notes.

2016 Cantele Salento Primitivo IGT ($11). Nice bright cherry flavors balanced with a savory acidity.

2017 M. Chapoutier Tournon “Mathilde” Victoria Shiraz ($15). Enjoyable smoky, raspberry flavors with savory tannins; fades a touch quickly from the palate.

2015 Zenato “Alanera” Veronese Rosso ($20). Great structure with ripe, rich fruit and a chocolate-brownie finish.

2016 Lapostolle “Cuvée Alexandre” Apalta Carménère ($25). Rich, palate-lingering berry flavors, good savory notes and enough tannins to remind us that this is a wine of substance.

2016 Oak Farm Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon ($25). Good fruit and oak flavors, good textures, sweet finish.

2016 Charles Krug Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($39). A middle-of-the-road Napa Cab with lively cherry/berry fruit, oak barrel flavors and modest tannins.

2016 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($40). Very enjoyable – not a big wine, but a full-bodied one with smooth, dark fruit and some savory notes in the finish.

2016 Gary Farrell “Hallberg Vineyard” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($55). A wine that delivers on its steady taste – dark cherries, a little tart – rather than on its complexity.

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

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