Sunday, June 27, 2010

La Vielle Ferme 2008

This Cotes du Ventoux, grown on the slopes that Petrarch once roamed and that Cezanne painted so often, is, unfortunately, a very modest exemplar of a Cotes du Rhone.It exhibits rather modest black fruit elements and has a fairly acidic finish. It's basically o.k., but nothing to write home about. $8.99.

Rene Barbier White

Like its red cousin this Catalan white is extremely basic. It has a sweetness about it that tastes as if it had been induced, but is drinkable. Even at $5.99 it's overpriced, being available for two dollars less in a number places.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Volteo Tempranillo/Shiraz 2008

This Castilian red has a nice, restrained blend of blacberry and oak, is smooth on the palate and has a very slightly acidic finish. I would compare it to an average Rioja, good but not outstanding. $8.99, a dollar less in N.Y.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cuvee Signee Chinon 2008

This red from the Loire Valley, while on the unassertive side, ha a very pleasant, dry mix of dark berry flavors with a touch of oak. Without calling attention to itself, it makes a nice complement to a meal. $9.99.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Marques de Riscal Reserva 2004

This red Rioja, made from the Tempranillo grape, has a distinctive red cherry taste with a strong admixture of oak and pronounced tannins. If not allowed to breathe properly, it comes off as bitter, otherwise it's a solid accompaniment to red meats. However, at $17.99, it's massively overpriced, available for four dollars less in our more fortunate neighboring states. Vive la concurrence!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gazela Vinho Verde 2009

This young Portuguese white, a mass produced wine from that country's largest winery, is nevertheless fresh, with the right amount of bubliness and a lemony accent. It's an uncomplicated summer quaff and relatively cheap at $5.99, although a dollar less in many states.

Monday, June 14, 2010

CDR 2007

This red Cotes du Rhone, while lacking the body of, say, a Gigondas, is nevertheless a very pleasant wine. Many of the "no names" in the region have of late cut back in quantity and worked on quality and it shows: a good mix of black berries and plum with a pleasing nutty character. $8.49.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nederburg Lyric 2009

What I said about the '08 still goes. In sum, not very exciting but drinkable. As the price has now been reduced to $6.99 you might consider getting a few bottles for everyday use.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Two Oceans Chardonnay

This South African white does not come with an indication of the vintage year, so it's evidently a blend. Aged in steel but with an admixture of oak chips, it tastes heavily of oak and has a distinct element of sweetness. $ 8.99, but two dollars less in NY. and N.J. Forget it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Marc Mir / Rosell Mir 2008

This Catalan Penedes is a blend of 30% Chardonnay and 70% Xarel-lo. If you are an inveterate Chardonnay devotee, this is nothing for you. But if you have an open mind, you'll appreciate its soft, gentle peach and pear notes. Without being in the least sweet, it does remind one of that possibility. We liked it. $9.99.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This New Zealand white from the Marlborough valley is crisp, fresh, and exhibits touches of tropical fruit and pear along with a touch of lemon grass so typical of that country's whites. The finish is pleasing without being overpowering. A nice wine, decently priced at $8.99.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village 2008

This is to confirm what I previously posted, while a so-so wine in a great year can be very good, in a mediocre year it is merely mediocre. Drinkable, but with no outstanding qualities. $8.99, two dollars less in N.Y., N.J. & CT.