Friday, February 27, 2009

Kathy Lynskey Pinot Gris 2006

This New Zeeland white is being remaindered at $7.99 and in this case it's all too obvious why. What we have here is an out of control mix of white fruit flavors, with no nose to speak and insufficient acidity, that does not just convey a hint of sweetness but is actually sweet. If you want to drink grape juice you can get it for a lot less than this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Haut Poitou Sauvignon Blanc 2007

As a rule, Sauvignon Blancs, except at the high end of the price scale, tend to be subdued, even dull. Not so this varietal from a commune with connections to the Loire valley's leading grower, Georges Duboef. It exhibits a good nose, a rich blending of white fruit flavors and a strong, even finish. This wine was awarded a gold medal at a 2008 agricultural exhibit in Paris, and rightly so. It is presently being remaindered at $9.99 (why, for goodness sake, it's in its prime) and should be snapped up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quinta do Casal Branco 2006

This Portuguese white, from a vineyard better known for its reds, doesn't assert itself particularly and would do for an everyday quaff with all but red meats. It has a good nose and offers an interesting blend of white fruit flavors with a hint of fresshly mown grass. The downside is a slightly acerbic and not altogether pleasant aftertaste. $7.99.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Terra Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2007

This Chilean white is intended to display a mix of tropical fruit flavors, tempered by a slight acidity. Those elements are present alright, and it has a good nose, but the overall effect has somehow gone wrong, one has the impression that what one is drinking is slightly medicinal. $7.99.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

La Carraia Tizzonero 2006

This Italian red is grown in Umbria from Montepulciano grapes. It displays rather more tannin than its more famous cousins, but otherwise is a pleasing blend of dark fruit (mostly plum) flavors, with just a hint of the sweet. According to the label, this is caramel, but if so, it was too subtle fo us to detect. This is a nice wine, but $12.99 seems on the steep side.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Basa Rueda 2005

This Spanish white from NW Castille is pleasant enough, with a nicely blende mix of white fruit flavors. But it has, at best, a slight nose and no very convincing finish. Moreover it's beginning to show signs of age. Even the closeout price of $10.99 appears to be out of line.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Almira Los Dos Grenache/Syrah 2006

This Spanish Campo de Borja doesn't make it. Subdued is an understatement, there is practically no nose, the dark fruit flavors are barely perceptible, there is no perceptible aftertaste. Even at the closeout price of $9.99 it is vastly overpriced. Forget it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Trivento Select Torrontes 2008

This Argentine white, although it has a pronounced nose and strongly defined mix of white fruit accents, with the citrus element predominant, is simply not ready to drink. Either it was picked too early, or it was insufficiently aged. It has some promise and may possibly mature in the bottle, it's anybody's guess. $8.99

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Alright, so it was Valentine's Day and we splurged. This is the premium Argentine product of the Chilean Aurelio Montes winery and while it doesn't quite measure up to their superb Chilean Alpha, it's not all that far behind. What we have here is a rich, deep, beautifully blended wine featuring predominantly plum and oak. It's nose is modest, but for that it has a very even finish. It will make your holiday meal. $14.99.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignom Blanc 2008

This New Zealand white is produced by one of the world's biggest wine combines. It is a very young, relatively well made, very smooth blend of light fruit flavors, with peach predominating. It has a good nose but not much of a finish. It's hardly in the same class as the Giesen recently reviewed here, and even at the temporary sale price of $11.99, it's no great bargain.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trapiche Chardonnay 2007

This Argentinian vineyard is best known for its premium reds. This Chardonnay is a relative bargain. A nice blend of white fruit flavors, while perhaps lacking a well defined acidic background, nevertheless asserts itself in competition with demanding foods. It stood up very well to our turkey mole. $6.99.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

El Coto Rioja 2004

This Spanish red, made from the Tempranillo grape, has a nice, soft, light blend of dark fruit flavors, with just the right touch of oak. It went beautifully with our paprika chicken, which can be demanding. The only thing wrong with this otherwise extremely pleasing wine is the really outrageous price of $13.99. (N.J. $9.99, which is about right).