Italy continues to be a great source for unique and unexpected wines, even after being at the center of the wine universe for centuries. Campania is the region around Naples, famous for the ancient volcano Mount Vesuvius, which has not only shaped their culture and history but also provided unique soils with lots of volcanic rock. These soils and the rugged coastal to mountainous environments provide a backdrop for wines unlike anything found in the North. An impressive mix of rich Mediterranean citrus born from the warm dry coastal climate with hints of mint and grassy herbal notes. The palate is powerful, full of white fruits and some skin tannin for texture, but little astringency to get in the way of the pleasure. Wine drinkers fixated on Italian Pinot Grigio just don't know what they're missing.
Regular Price $18.99, $16.14/case
2015 EVOLUCIO BLAUFRANKISCH
The Blaufrankisch grape doesn't hold quite the acclaim or recognition in Europe as other more famous grape varieties, but it is hard to beat for good old fashioned fun. An older crossing of ancient Germanic grapes, the variety thrives in Austria and Hungary where it makes some of the juiciest and easy drinking red wines found. This exceptional value bottling is made by a Hungarian based winery from fruit sourced just over the border from Austria, and is pure juiciness. Several shades of red and black cherries dominate the aromas with subtle cool spices in behind, and a very soft texture on the palate that shows just a suggestion of tannins to keep any true sweetness away. This is a gulpable red that should hit a wide variety of palates and be easily enjoyed with an equally wide number of foods as well.
Regular Price $12.99, $11.04/case
NV TREVERI BLANC DE BLANC EXTRA BRUT COLUMBIA VALLEY
Even if you only drink Champagne or sparkling wines on New Year's Eve, you HAVE to appreciate a bargain like this when you find it. Since 2010 this producer in Washington has been focused on making quality sparkling wines in the traditional manner with both traditional and non-traditional grapes. This Extra Brut bottling is made from 100% Chardonnay, and it will STUN those of you that like their bubbly as dry as possible. Nice tight bubbles in the glass with dusty white fruit aromas, and plenty of body in the mouth to support the dry citrus and crisp, tingly finish. As the carbonation dies down over time, the creamy, slightly yeasty flavor of the Chardonnay comes through, which really gives insight to the inherent quality of the wine. Pop some for the holidays, and you just might be ending up keeping one in the fridge all the time!
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
2015 DOMAINE BASSAC 'LE MANPOT' COTES DE THONGUE
Don't let the whimsy of this mustachioed label fool you, this is seriously good wine from the Languedoc. A relatively newly formed estate, Domaine Bassac has jumped in with both feet to the organic/biodynamic concepts, already one of the largest of its kind in the region. A blend of mostly Bordeaux varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little splash of Syrah,, Le Manpot (named after an ancestor that sported a famously flamboyant mustache) has the richness of a Cotes du Rhone with the flavor profile of a nice Bordeaux. Dark cassis and currant fruits on the nose, surprisingly silky on the palate with darker fruits coming through, and a nicely structured finish with better tannins than usual from a Languedoc wine. A great red meat or roasted vegetable wine option.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
2016 AZ. AG. INAMA SOAVE CLASSICO
Usually in the Select Six we look to feature wines from completely different countries whenever possible to provide maximum diversity. While there are two white wines from Italy this month, they are as diverse as can be, which is of course part of the wonderful nature of Italian wines and their culture. Soave is one of the noble white wines of the Veneto, despite the hit their reputation took from mass market brands for decades. Classico refers to the original vineyards closest to the city, where the standards for quality are still high, all the way down to how each vine is trained. This bottling shows off everything that makes Soave great, an intersection of unique quality and excellent value. Beautiful aromas of white flowers and minerals with a touch of cool citrus, plump and vibrant in the mouth full of bright textures, and a racy finish that shows off more of the minerality and touches of almond skin type dryness. A dream match-up with most any fish dishes or risotto.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2014 CASA DE SANTAR DAO VINHO TINTO
(Wine Spectator 89points)
We have been on a bit of a Portuguese kick in recent months with the Select Six, but we just can't help ourselves. Not only are there many screamingly good values to be found, but the diversity is such that you won't get bored trying the same varieties over and over again. The Dao valley sits just below the more famous Douro Valley, where Port is found, but their grapes of choice are very similar with lots of emphasis on Touriga Nacional. The intense grape forms the backbone of the many rich and opulent reds that emerge from here, often Rhone-like in their plump fruit and softer tannins but with blacker fruits. Huge in size for the money, loaded with black cherry and plum aromas along with hints of baking spices, intensely loaded with fruits on the palate as well with an inky, teeth-staining finish. A great all purpose value for hearty wintertime enjoyment.
Regular Price $11.99, $10.19/case
These wines regularly sell for $92.94
For Select Six December they are $79.99
You Save $12.95!
Select Six White (2 of each white) is $88.99
Select Six Red (2 of each red) is $70.99