Saturday, October 30, 2010

Villa Marchesi Pinot Grigio 2009

Pinot Grigio enthusiasts will find this Friuli wine highly atypical. Instead of the dry, flinty elements they might expect, it offers up a soft blend of pear and peach, with very little acidity. If such is to your taste, you'll probably like it quite a lot and, for once, the PA price of $9.99 is at the low end of the market.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay 2008

While the other wines with this label that we've sampled from the Chilean Concha Y Toro megacombine have been, if unremarkable, drinkable, this Chardonnay is a real disapointment. It has neither the mineral flintiness associated with the French variety, nor the buttery fruitiness characteristic of the California exemplars. It is thin, dull, with an acidic, slightly bitter finish. Not worth even the sale price of $7.99.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Helfrich Now&Zen 2008

This Alsatian white, a blend of five different grape varieties, which locally goes by the name of Edelzwicker, is surely a front runner in the silly name derby but otherwise is fairly unremarkable. It manages, at one and the same time, to be both slightly sweet and citrusy. $7.99, but those of you living near to a Trader Joe should be aware that this chain frequently features it as a loss leader for half that price.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aric 2004

This red blend from Corbieres in SW France is quite untypical, coming across with a strong fruitiness reminiscent of a good Californian. That is, however tempered by a chocolate/caramel element and a hint of licorice in the finish that gives it a sophisticated character. A really good wine and an outstanding bargain at the sale price of $7.99, but drink it now, it's pretty nearly at the end of its life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This Chilean is without question a Sauvignon Blanc, with the citrus and grassy elements of the breed. It's somewhat tart on the tongue which recommends it as a companion to blander foods, such as the roast chicken we paired it with. A good value at the sale price of $7.99.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Terrazas Malbec 2008

Yet another Malbec from Argentina's Mendoza Valley. The vineyard is above 3,000 feet which makes for a long, intense growing season, but somehow this wine doesn't quite make it for me. There is the expected mix of fruit, in this case plum, and chocolate, but the tannins are a little too harsh. $.9.99.

Colores del Sol Malbec 2009

Argentina's Mendoza Valley produces any number of pleasing Malbecs and this one is no exception. IOt exhibits dark cherry and the typical chocolate notes and has a very even finish. $9.99, available for two dollars less in many places.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Casa de la Ermita Roble 2008

This red from Jumilla in Southeastern Spain is mostly Monastrell with some Petit Verdot. Aged in oak for three months, it has an austere presence, with subdued elements of blackberry and plum and soft tannins. It won't overwhelm a meal but it provides a decent background to red meats or even pasta, which is what we had with it. $10.99.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wild Rock Sauvignon Blanc 2008

This New Zealand white from the Marlborough Valley has small admixtures of Viognier and Riesling which give it a somewhat more subdued presence than many others of its ilk. There are elements of melon, apple and citrus, but only a hint of the characteristic grassiness. $9.99.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vina Herminia 2009

I decided to give this red Rioja another chance after having dismissed the '08 earlier. This vintage is better, although the wine is clearly immature,the tannins are more civilized and there is a nice enough blend of dark cherry and caramel. Somewhat overpriced at $9.99.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vina Sanzo Verdejo 2009

This Spanish white from Rueda in the N.W. has a pleasant floral bouquet and comes on the palate with notes of apricot and apple, with just a slight citrus finish. A nice wine with delicately flavored fish, as it will not overwhelm it. $9.99.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Faustino VII 2007

This mass produced red Rioja is 95% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuela and is aged in American oak for ten months. What came across most even after two hours of letting it breathe were strong tannins with more than a hint of licorice that pretty much overwhelmed the dark berry elements. Can't say we liked it. $8.99.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Casalnova Prosecco

This Italian bubbly from the Veneto is not to be confused with a French brut, but it can't be accused of being actually sweet. It has a fairly pleasant pear/apple taste and does nicely as an aperitif. It's being remaindered at $4.99 for a four pack of splits (the equivalent of a 750 ml bottle) and at that price it's truly lovable.

Pierre Sparr Alsace One 2007

This light white wine is a blend of five different grapes. The result is a wine that can't quite make up its mind: it goes from a rather mellow pear and apple note to a fairly strong citrus finish. On the whole, while it's clearly not getting any younger, it's not bad, and at the clearance price of $4.99 a great buy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frontera Malbec 2009

Grown by the giant Chilean combine Concha y Toro in Argentina's Mendoza valley, this young red is a sort of Malbec in a minor key. It's red berry notes are subdued, you get coffee rather than chocolate and the tannins are a little too prominent. Still, it's drinkable and at $5.99 you can't complain too much.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cortijo Tinto 2009

This young Rioja, a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenache, has black cherry and chocolate elements along with a fiery finish in which some licorice can be detected. It's a nice drink and, coming with a natural cork, will probably improve in the bottle for a year or two. Unfortunately the price, $10.99, is once again out of line, it can be had for three dollars less in N.Y. & N.J.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dona Paula Los Cardos Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

This entry level red comes from a winery in Argentina's Mendoza Valley which is owned by a Chilean Combine. It's a nicely put together wine, with pleasing elements of black currant and cherry with a pronounced chocolate finish. I like it a lot, but not at $10.99. Four dollars less in various Western N.Y. outlets, so go to it, you folks in Pike County.