Saturday, February 27, 2010

2 Up Shiraz 2007

This robust and dense South Australian red is your archtypical Australian fruit bomb, with strong rapberry and blueberry elements, fortunately tempered by sufficient tannins ands oak. It remains consistent throughout and finishes with a hint of licorice. If that's your thing, by all means get it at $8.99, a very good price for this wine.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bulls Blood 2005

According to legend in 1552 the defenders of the fortress of Eger in northern Hungary, besiedged by the invading Turks who vastly outnumbered them, fortified their courage by drinking up the town's wine cellars. They fought so fiercely that the Turks concluded they must be drinking bulls blood and lifted the siege. Be that as it may, this red is not for the faint of heart. Although it's translucent in the manner of a South Tyrolean, it comes on with a big, earthy mix of tobbaco and plum, with strong tannins that make it a good choice to go with very spicy foods (we had Hungarian paprika chicken). Nothing subtle or complex here, but a pleasant enough quaff. $6.99.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Les Amadous 2008

This Cotes de Ventoux red from Provence is grown on the slopes of the mountain which Cezanne painted some two hundred times (or so it seems). While it is nice enough, with dark cherry and chocolate flavors tempered with strong tannins, which would suggest pairing it with spicy dishes, and an even finish, it lacks the master's palette, being rather one dimensional. $9.99, which is on the high side.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hidden Jewel Unoaked Chardonnay 2006

I bought this California wine for a direct comparison with the Les Charmes reviewed here the other day. It comes off second best. It's not nearly as crisp, and the green apple flavor, while discernible, is ill defined. Moreover there is a hint in the aftertaste that the wine is on the point of going bad. $7.49.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Les Charmes Chardonnay 2007

This Macon-Lugny from southern Burgundy is imported in coniderable quantities. It is rounder than the typical Macon and thus more accessible, but for that lacks the steely edge whih makes th variety so interesting. Unlike most California Chardonnays, it is unoaked, so it may seem atypical to many Americans. A good buy at the closeout price of $6.79.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2007

The region is famous for its robust reds. This white, 50% Viognier and the rest a blend of several local varieties, has a certain flintiness to it, along with apple and citrus flavors and does remain on the tongue. I find it somewhat subdued, but if you can find it at the closeout price of $8.09 you might want to try a bottle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Esprit de Labastide Gaillac 2008

This white from the valley of the Tarn in southwestern France comes on with a flowery bouquet and has a fresh taste of apples mingled with citrus. It is what in France is called "perle", that is ever so slightly bubbly. It will go well with fish, pork or veal, but doesn't have much of a finish, so is basically uninteresting to drink by itself. $7.99.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

X Winery Viognier 2008

A good Viognier should have deep notes. This Lodi white, although 15.5 % alcohol, doesn't quite make it. There's a decent nose and elements of peach, but on the whole, the effect stays on the surface. Just not a very interesting wine. $9.99.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Caliterra Reserva Chardonnay 2007

This Chilean Chardonnay is a nice representative of its variety. It has a decent nose and comes on with a strong and pleasing, but not overwhelming mix of white fruit and citrus flavors, tempered by a good deal of oakiness. If you can find it at the close out price of $6.19, it's a steal.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Le Moulin de la Dame 2005

This red Cote Bleue, just north of Marseilles, is most untypical for a wine from Provence. Mostly they're earthy, uncomplicated and fruity, but this is a subtle, reserved wine, which hints of raspberry, but plenty of oak and tannins, which comes on strong at the finish. Very decently priced at $9.99.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sangiuseppe Pinot Grigio Rose 2008

Given that the Pinot Grigio grape is a mutation of Pinot Noir, it's hardly surprising that a fraction of the harvest is pink. This particular wine is on the mellow side, with some apple and citrus elements. Drinkable, not particularly distinguished, but you might want to pick it up at the closeout price of $6.79.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Folonari Pink Pinot Grigio 2008

Yes, this comes from a mass producer in the Veneto, it certainly lacks the craggyness of a decent Pinot Grigio, but it has a fairly pleasant, mildly sweet blend of apricot and apple flavor. It might do as a dessert wine; we had it with a very hot Indian curry which, curiously, it complemented nicely. If you can find it at the liquidation price of $4.89 you might want to try a bottle.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tilia Torrontes 2008

This Argentine white, while pleasant enough, lacks the strong herbal notes that are an outstanding characteristic of the variety and has a discernably sweet finish. $8.99. In this price range I much prefer the Trivento.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jim Jim Shiraz 2007

This red from one of that country's oldest wineries, although by no means an Australian fruit bomb, has a good nose and a pleasing mix of dark berry and plum, with a fairly strong peppery accent. It went well with our home made, heavily spiced pizza. $8.99.