Friday, May 22, 2009

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

This, like the Cabernere previously reviewed here, is a pleasant Chilean red, with a blend of dark berries and, unmistakably, chocolate flavors. The tannins, however, are considerably more assertive. At the sale price of $8.99 this makes an eminently acceptable everyday wine.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For your information

Today I complained to the manager of a PA wine outlet that they were repeatedly out of their specials. He acknowledged that this was indeed the case and said that they had no control whatever over what they stocked, this was all determined in Harrisburg. A local hotel had ordered several cases of various specials, they had been obliged to deplete their stock, and there was no way for them to restock. The result was that his customers were unhappy, but there was nothing he could do about it. Here you have it, my friends, a state monopoly with no bottom line to worry about does whatever it pleases and we are at its mercy. How about putting this on the ballot someday?

Red Bicyclette Chardonnay 2007

This white from Roussillon in s.w. France, heavily marketed in the U.S., is on the quiet side. It blends vanilla and subdued citrus flavors and, the best thing that can be said for it, is sufficiently unassertive to go with almost anything. $8.99.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chevalier d'Anthelme Cotes du Rhone 2007

This is a powerful country red from the south of France. There are notes of cherry, dark berries and pepper, with a good deal of tannin. It will stand up to just about anything. $9.99, which is no bargain, but acceptable.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quara Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Like the Malbec previously reviewed on this site, this Argentine red is a decent but not outstanding wine. It offers a blend of plum and dark berry flavors, complemented with a hint of chocolate and considerable acidity at the finish. $7.99, on sale.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere 2007

This Chilean red, a premium product of the huge Concha Y Toro combine, lives up to its name. It's peppery, fiery, without overstepping the bounds. Underneath the heat, there is a pleasant blend of plum and caramel. At $8.99 on sale, it represents a good value and will stand up to about any spicy dish.

Santa Helena Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Confusion may well arise, as there is a California winery of the same name, but this white comes from Chile. It is a nicely blended mix of apple and citrus flavors, with just a hint of grass. The finish is smooth, the wine was a fine accompaniment to our shrimp. $9.49.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vega Sindoa Tempranillo Merlot 2006

This Spanish red from Navarre has a distinct peppery element, blended with dark berries. It's not unpleasant, but unnecessarily assertive. Moreover, at $8.99, it's considerably overpriced. It's available in more fortunate states for as little as $6.50.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Campogrande Orvieto Classico 2006

This Umbrian white is produced by the Marchese Antinori combine of Florence, which claims to have been in the wine making business for twenty six generations. It is a nice, pleasant, light wine with indications of lime and pear, and a certain nuttiness about it. It has a fresh but unobtrusive quality and will go nicely with fowl and fish. Again, the price, $10.99, is on the high side, it's available in most other states for a dollar or two less.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2007

This New Zeeland white runs true to type: It's well rounded, with a good nose and melon and citrus accents. Unlike its Italian cousins, it lacks the hard edge associated with that grape variety; on the contrary, it could be described as rich and flowery. Presently on sale at $10.99.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Concannon Pinot Gris 2007

This California white has a somewhat higher alcohol content than your typical Italian Pinot Grigio. It lacks the sharp crispness associated with these, but for that comes up with a nice, rounded melon and citrus element, somehow reminiscent of a Chardonnay. The finish is even, and the sale price, $9.99, quite acceptable. If you're minded to try something out of the way, go for this.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Santa Maria Pinot Grigio 2005

This wine from the Italian south is, as the result of the long, hot growing seasons that prevail there, fruitier and more heavy bodied than one expects of a Pinot Grigio, with accents of honey, reminding one of the South German whites made from that grape. If this is not a problem, this isn't a bad quaff at $7.99.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Santa Ana Malbec Reserve 2006

This Argentine red is a decent entry level wine for those unfamiliar with the grape, which was imported before the philoxera disaster in Europe and is consequently grown on old vines. In France Malbec is generally blended and is unmixed only in Cahors and certain areas of Gascony, where it produces distinctive but penetrating wines. The dry climate and high altitude of the foothills of the Andes soften the effect and Argentine Malbecs tend to be fruitier with less assertive tannins. This bottle exhibits a nice blend of oak and dark berries. The price, $9.99, is once again high.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tempra Tantrum Tempranillo/Shiraz

This Spanish red is surely a strong contender in the silliest name extant derby. It comes without a year designation. The foremost impression is of oak and cedar, with dark berry and cherry discernible in the background. If you like an assertive wine with a distinct if idiosyncratic personality, this might be your thing. $7.99.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village 2007

Jadot is a mass producer, the largest in Burgundy. For the most part his entry level wines are undistinguished, drinkable but no more. Here, however, is an exception to the rule. '07 was an extraordinary year in Beaujolais and this wine reflects that. It comes on with a distinct impression ofcaramel, but this does not mask a nice blend of dark berry flavors. At the present sale price of $8.99 I definitely recommend it.