Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vina Herminia Tempranillo Cosecha 2008

This young red from Spain's Rioja has been aged in oak barrels and presents itself with a most pleasing nose and a combination of dark berries, vanilla and moderate tannins. My guess is that it will get even better after a year or two in the bottle. Quite reasonably priced at $9.99.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

X Winery Chardonnay 2008

This Napa Valley wine has some nice pear and tropical fruit flavors, not much of a nose, and a very buttery finish. It lacks the bite of a really good Chardonnay. The sale Price of $9.99 is well below market, so if you're an inveterate fan of Chardonnays you might want to try a bottle.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chateau Lamargue 2005

Sometime ago I reviewed this Costieres de Nimes vineyard's white and liked it very much. This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre is more problematical. It comes on very nicely with a good nose and a satisfying blend of dark berry, plum and licorish flavors and I felt very hopeful about it, but as we worked our way deeper into the bottle we both found that the licorish became dominant, to the point of lending the wine a bitter taste. It may be that this was just a bad bottle, as too much air came out when I uncorked it. $8.99.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Espigueiro Vinho Verde 2008

This young white from the North of Portugal has a fresh, pleasant aroma and tastes of apples and citrus. It is nicely acidic and just slightly petillant. An honest, uncomplicated wine which can accompany spicy foods or be drunk as an aperitif. $7.99.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Elsa Bianchi Malbec 2008

This entry level red from an established Argentinian winery is a vey pleasant, versatile wine. It has a nice combination of dark berry and vanilla flavors, with just enough tannin to keep it honest. It will go with just about anything. $8.99, a dollar less in N.J.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mesta Macabeo/Moscatel 2008

This young Castilian white, aged for six months in steel casks, has a pleasingly fresh nose and tastes of apricot and peach with just enough acidity to give it some interest. Nicely priced at $7.99.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mirador Iberico Tempranillo 2006

This Spanish red from the province of Toledo is a simple country wine, with red berry and caramel notes and a touch of licorice. It's not bad, but at $8.99 considerably over priced for what it is.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mas Carlot Les Enfants Terribles 2007

This Costieres de Nimes, a blend of Mourvedre and Syrah, has the character of a Rhone wine. Along with nice, fruity notes of black berries and plum it exhibits a certain gravitas, with dusky touches of anise and, yes, red meat. The name comes from the four children of the owners. A good choice for steaks or roasts. $10.99.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pinot Evil Pinot Noir

This Corsican vin de pays, like many of that ilk, is a blend of several vintages and thus has no indication of its year. After a good three hours of breathing it was drinkable, but just: there remained a somewhat bitter aftertaste. It's thin, with only the barest cherry notes. Even at $5.99 I'd say forget it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rosell Mir Pla de la Creu Blanc 2008

This Catalan white, made from a grape more often used to produce cavas, tastes for all the world like a sparkling wine that has gone flat. It is fruity, just short of actually sweet, and lacks any acidity which might have given it some distinction. At $9.99 it's massively overpriced.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Real de Aragon Garnacha 2007

This is my 200th post and I've caught a live one. This Spanish red from Calatayud, having breathed for the requisite hour, has a nice, rounded presence of red berries and plum with enough of a spicy note to make it interesting. It lasts well on the tongue. Fairly priced at $9.99.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Castillo de Almansa Granacha Tintorera 2007

This Spanish red is grown in Albacete, in Castille. It has an intense dark red color, a good nose of black berries and a pleasing taste of plum tempered by a note of pepper. It was a good complement to our steak au poivre. A relatively decent buy at $8.99.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prelius Vermentino 2008

This Tuscan white is made from a grape originating in Spain which is said to do best in warm climates, which Tuscany does not always provide. Apart from the fact that it's touted as being the first wine organically grown in Italy there's nothing particularly remarkable about it: very little nose, apple and pineapple flavors with a finish that slides off into the sweet. $9.99.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Zolo Torrontes 2009

This Argentine white has a big, flowery nose and tastes of citrus and apple. It doesn't die on the tongue like some of that variety occasionally do, but there is a slight element of sweetness as the wine warms up in the glass. $9.49, although I hear it's being remaindered at Costco in neighboring states for five bucks. If you can find it at that price, get it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tinto Lena 2008

This very simple and unassuming country red from the Spanish province of Leon in the NW, if allowed to breathe for a good two hours, will provide an adequate accompaniment to straightforward dishes such as pasta. There is nothing whatsoever remarkable about it but it's drinkable and, at $8.99 for the liter bottle (translates to $6.75 for the normal 750 ml) it won't break the bank.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Zolo Malbec 2008

This Argentine red exhibits some red berry flavors and the note of chocolate that characterizes the variety but it's a rather austere wine, with strong tannins. Not our favorite Malbec. The price in this country goes through wild gyrations, all the way from sixteen down to eight dollars a bottle. $9.49

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simonnet Febvre Saint-Bris Sauvignon Blanc 2007

This white from the Chablis area has the odd distinction of being the only Sauvignon Blanc produced in Burgundy. It's aged in steel so that it lacks the oaky flavor generally associated with that grape. 2007 was a cool summer and perhaps for that reason this wine also is short on the white fruit/freshly mown grass element of the better Chablis, it's just light, dry and quite drinkable. $9.99.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nieto Senetiner Torrontes Reserva 2009

This young Argentine white is as yet not fully developed. It has a nice, fresh taste but the strong flowery odors and white fruit flavors characteristic of the grape are absent. It may or may not mature in the bottle. As usual the PA price, $9.99, is out of line. If you can get it in N.Y. at three dollars less, the current sale price, you might want to try a bottle.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

For the holiday we had two of our favorites: The Don David Tannat on New Year's Eve and the Giesen Marlborough the next day. They did not disappoint. Unfortunately I must report that our first new venture of the year, a 2008 Vinia Herminia Tempranillo from Spain's Rioja, turned out to be a bust. The nose was characterized by an unmistakable musty odor, and even after an hour's airing, the taste was dominated by harsh tannins. Even at $9.99 I don't recommend it.