Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sartori Pinot Noir 2007

We were of two minds about this Italian red made in Verona. My CDC rather liked the cherry and chocolate elements tempered by strong tannins, I found it on the thin side with, to me, a distinctly bitter element. However the price is right, $6.99 with available coupon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tariquet Amplitude 2009

This young Gascon white is a blend of four different grapes, two of them more frequently used to make the Armagnac for which the region is famous. As a rule I'm very fond of whites from Gascony, the good ones have an imposing firiness about them. This one is more restrained, but still nice, with citrus elements predominating. $9.99.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2009

This young white, made in the Veneto by this large Tuscan winery, is light-bodied, exhibits pear and citrus elements and has at least a hint of the flintiness that mass produced Pinot Grigios (a million bottles a year for this one) generally lack. $5.99 with available coupon, a real bargain.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gran Sangre de Toro Reserva 2006

In the 1950's this Catalan red, in a blind tasting competition, placed first, ahead of several first growth Burgundies, a triumph which launched Spanish wines on the global stage. The French cried foul, claiming that that year's vintage represented an anomaly, but this bottle confirms the result. It's a lovely blend of black current and blackberry, with some liquorice and soft tannins. At $9.99 it's a genuine bargain.

San Pedro Apostol Heredad de las Suertes 2007

This Rioja red is at the limit of its useful life, the bottle we opened had a partly disintegrated cork. But forewarned is forearmed, we let it breathe for an hour and were rewarded with an intense plum and licorice flavor which can only be called fiery. The wine is unoaked. You might want to take a chance on it. $9.99.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Alasia Brachetto D'Acqui 2008

O che sciagura! This will be just your thing if you like your sparkling wines to taste like strawberry soda, only sweeter. We found that with heavy admixtures of ice cubes, club soda and lemon juice it became barely drinkable. $8.99 with instant coupon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Colorado Sipping

I've just returned from a fortnight in CO where I tried nine wines, all but one reds, that came within the parameters of this blog. I bought these at Cheers Liquors in Colorado Springs, an establishment that, both in the variety of its wine selections and in its prices, puts the PA state monopoly to shame. Only two of these wines are presently available here.

1) Woop Woop Shiraz 2008. This is an Australian fruit bomb, with plum and blackberry predominant and strong tannins kicking in at the end. $.8.99, $.10.49 in PA.

2) Garnache del Fuego. Grenache is a hot weather grape and in the South of Aragon where this wine is from it gets plenty of that. The wine lives up to its name, it's fiery, tart, acidic with elements of dark cherry and blackberry. Some people might find that it goes over the line, but I rather liked it. $8.99, a dollar more in PA.

3) Altes de La Hoya Jumilla 2008. This Spanish wine from the extreme South is made from grapes grown in very sandy soil. For that reason the vines, almost alone in Europe, were spared in the great phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century. The wine is robust, with cherry prevalent and some tannins. $9.99.

4) Las Olas Verdejo 2009. This Castilian white from Rueda is straw colored and just slightly bubbly. Citrus elements are predominant and it stops just short of being bitter. $8.99.

5) Oniro 2008. This wine, predominantly a Monastrell (85%) and aged for four months in oak, is grown in Southeastern Spain. It is a very nice mix of dark cherry and chocolate flavors with a hint of licorice and just enough tannins to make it interesting. $8.99.

6) Lasendal Garnatxa 2007. This is mostly made from Monastrel (85%) with Syrah making up the rest, Plum and blackberry predominate and, be forewarned in case you don't like this in a wine, it's highly peppery. $9.99.

7) Delatour Malbec 2008. This Languedoc red has very little in common with the Argentinian Malbecs. It tastes of plum and licorice and, unless it's allowed to breathe for at least an hour, is quite rough. $6.99.

8) Nolia Garnacha 2009. This young Catalan wine tastes of plum and dark berries and has a considerable element of zest to it. A good buy at $7.99.

9) Casabayo Tempranillo 2008. Aged for six months in oak and 100% Tempranillo, the favored grape of Rioja, this red comes from the region of Toledo. It tastes of red cherry and vanilla and, even after prolonged breathing, is still on the tart side. $9.99.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Frescobaldi Remole 2008

This Tuscan red is mostly Sangiovese, with an admixture of Cabernet. It comes across more like a New World wine, very fruity, mostly cherry and raspberry, but does have some bite in the finish. Not really my thing, but those of you who are into sweeter reds will probably like it. $8.99.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio 2009

If you're planning a Labor Day gathering for the multitudes this is not a bad choice. For a mass production wine this Northern Italian product has a certain amount of integrity, tasting fresh, fruity, with a discernible touch of the typical P.G. flintiness. At the sale price of $11.99 for the 1.5 liter bottle it won't be major factor in increasing our alarming negative trade balance.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Le Rime Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio 2008

This white Tuscan blend (70% C. 30% P.G.) from the huge Banfi combine in Montalcino, aged in steel casks, is a light bodied, rather fruity (mostly apple) product with some acidity at the finish. It's a very simple wine which, at the sale price, $6.99 after the instant rebate coupon, you might want to try.