Friday, July 30, 2010

Villoa Sorono Pinot Grigio 2009

I intended to pick something special for my 300th post, but our ham in a very spicy mustard sauce would have masked the nuances of any subtle wine, so we settled fo this simple, not to say simplistic, North Italian white. Although it lacks the bite of a good Pinot Grigio, it is by no means unpleasant, with some elements of peach present, balanced by a citrus finish. At $4.95, why not take it along on a picnic on one of these hot summer days?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Villa Sorono Pinot Noir 2009

There's no subtlety whatsoever in this very young red from the Veneto, it has a detectable cherry element and fairly strong tannins, but stops short of being actually harsh. However, if you're looking for something to wash down a highly seasoned meat, such as the barbecued pork ribs we drunk it with, this will do. It's drinkable and at $4.99, will not put a hole in your pocket.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This young New Zealand white has not quite come into its own. It exhibits a nice blend of apple and grapefruit flavors but not much of the grassiness that is so characteristic of Marlborough Valley wines. Perhaps another year or so in the bottle will bring this out, at present it's a little bland. Decently priced at $11.99.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finca Flichman Malbec Reserva 2009

This Argentine red has both more body and more bite than the '07 previously reviewed here. Plum flavors are nicely complemented by oak and the characteristic chocolate.
It's interesting, even mildly assertive, and a reasonable buy at $8.99.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rojo Mojo Shiraz 2008

This Spanish red from La Mancha has a big cherry flavor along with a lot of tannins. The finish is gritty, bordering on the harsh. Overpriced at $8.99, available for quite a lot less elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Terrazas Malbec 2008

This Argentine red has elements of red berry and currant, along with the expected chocolate note, and a pleasantly spicy finish. I like it. $9.99, two dollars less in N.Y.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chateau Saint-Robert Graves 2006

This white Bordeaux is a well made wine with dominantly citrus flavors, a hint of orange among them. Unfortunately it's starting to fade, which accounts for the relatively attractive price of $10.49. You're taking a chance, but if you get a good bottle you'll be well rewarded.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bellum Providencia 2006

This red from Yecla (province of Murcia) in Southeastern Spain is made from the Monastrel grape. It is a very good wine indeed with lovely, subdued flavors of plum and dark berries, balanced by oak and soft tannins and with a distinctly nutty finish. Moreover, (will miracles never cease?), the price of $10.99 is well below anything I was able to locate on the net. It should be fine for another year or two, get it and drink it!

Varichon & Clerc Blanc de Blancs Brut

We wanted to celebrate Spain's triumph in the World Cup with a cava, but failed to find a decent one on offer at a decent price, so we settled on this bubbly from Savoie, figuring that at least the seven Catalans on the Spanish starting eleven wouldn't care. The wine is alright, but just that. No way is it a Brut, it tends in the direction of sweetness, with elements of apple and pear. Moreover, the price of $12.49 is a bad joke, you can get it in N.J. for four dollars less.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This young New Zealand white is a revelation. It has all of the Marlborough Valley characteristics: citrus, with a touch of kiwi fruit and the unmistakeable freshly mown grass factor. It's nicely balanced, finishes well, and is a real steal at $7.99, Get it!

I know that I've sniped unremittingly at the P.L.C.B., and mostly for good reason. But now I'd like to pay a heartfelt compliment: The manager of the Hummelstown store is a real gentleman. Would that there were many more like him in the organization.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Greg Norman Shiraz 2006

This Australian red, unlike many other wines produced with celebrity names attached to them, is a very good wine indeed. It has a rich mixture of dark berry flavors, along with elements of caramel and oak. Above all, it's extremely smooth in the drinking. The present sale price of $14.99 is quite acceptable.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tapena Tempranillo 2008

This rather undistinguished Castillian red, with a plum flavor that almost slides into prune, and a distinct caramel element, is a prime example of what we, here in PA, are continually forced to endure. It's, at best, a very modest wine, and is priced at $9.99. In N.Y. & N.J. it goes for three dollars less, and is barely worth that. Must we resign ourselves to this situation for all time? Are these people really ensconced in their position of absolute power beyond possibility of recall?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Omaka Springs Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2008

This Marlborough Valley New Zealand white has a nice citrus character, mostly grapefruit, whch gives it a refreshingly acidic character. The aftertaste is just the slightest bit tart. Decently priced at $8.99.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grange des Roquette 2008

This southern Rhone red is a Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre blend. A nice, round taste of ripe blackberry and caramel with a slightly acerbic finish make it both pleasing and relatively interesting. $9.99.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Laboure-Roi Pinot Noir 2009

This young red from Aude, in the southwest of France, is produced by a gigantic combine which owns vineyards throughout that country. It is uncomplicated, with not particularly defined red fruit flavors and strong tannins and has something of a bite to it. Not bad, and at $6.99, affordable.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holiday Suggestions

Here are two mass produced whites you might consider if you plan on entertaining thirsty multitudes on the Fourth: 1) Principato Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay 2009. This North Italian blend is a light, pleasant mix of peach and apple notes, but try to get it in N.Y. or N.J., where it sells for three dollars less than the $11.99 that we have to pay our friendly PLCB. 2)Fontana Candida Frascati. This wine from the region south of Rome comes without a vintage year designation. It's a fresh, somewhat floral wine with elements of white melon and citrus and, mirabile dictu, at the present sale price of $11.99, is a decent value. These wines are no great shakes, but either will constitute an acceptable quaff for a Holiday picnic.