Wine for December’s Warmth

22 Dec

This December has been unseasonably warm. This has left my palate unsure what to do. I keep pulling out radically different bottles from my cellar and tasting queue.

Domaine Du Bouscat 2012 Caduce by Jean Pierre Dubernard. 13.5% ABV, $10/bottle from Garagiste, online from $12/bottle.

Dark ruby in color, nose of dark fruit, funk, forest floor and barnyard. In the mouth,  cassis and black plum are dominant fruit with strong tannins. Notes of young oak, spice box, sour blackberry, clay and wet stone on the medium long finish. My brother-in-law (the doctor, not the historian) loved it served with a shoulder roast- I have to agree, it paired perfectly and was a terrific value at this price.


bouscat modus

Modus Operandi 2012 Petite Verdot, Rocca-Collinetta Vineyard, Napa Valley. Two barrels produced; 14.5% ABV. Direct from Winery; MSRP $75/bottle.

Unusual as a single vineyard as opposed to a blending wine for bordeaux reds. Deep purple in color with a nose of blueberry, iris, violet and pepper. Big, bold, a classic single vineyard approach and distinct petite verdot that immediately stands alone. An Anti-Syrah, perhaps? Tasting notes shifted with time; fruit became quite muted on Day Two with considerable air for a more mature, austere approach. Better impact on Day One.
(I happen to know Jason Moore has a couple of cases left of this beautiful wine, as well as his Vicarious Red , stunning Cabernet Sauvignon, and his beautiful sauv blanc and rosé. (Huge discounts for his club members, the Modus Operandi winemaker undoubtedly creates some of my favorite wines to cellar and enjoy. )


Minutolo Fiano Polvanera 2014 White, Gioia Del Colle, Italy; 12%ABV. From Xavier Wines, $19/bottle.

Medium straw in color, a beautifully aromatic nose with pineapple, tangerine, wildflowers and a hint of sulphuric funk. In the mouth, shockingly tasty- I did not want to put down the glass, to write a tasting note let alone eat. Bright fruit notes of banana, followed by almond, bergamot, & chamomile. Ignore the slight note of funky sulphur, this is a brilliant wine that I’d pay $30 for. I have been a fan of  very few Italian whites but this is a titan in my book; I wish I’d purchased a case when the bottles were at hand. Kept beautifully in the fridge for over a week as I rationed this off to myself, one half an ounce at a time.


I have to thank James at Xavier Wines for turning me on to this delicious Puglian minutolo. One of the things I love about wine is you may feel like you know what you like to drink, and your friends can introduce you to a delicious bottle that makes you want to learn everything there is to know about  a wine region.

Do you have a similar story to share?

À votre santé!


One Response to “Wine for December’s Warmth”

  1. Kat December 23, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    Petite Syrah is one of those varietals for me. I try to find it everywhere I go (not easy!). It’s such an underrated wine. Rich and delicious!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: