Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cheap is dead.

Having vented my spleen time and again about the PLCB price structure, in all honesty I must now report that, on a brief trip to IL last week, I found that most of the wines that I looked at in my favorite wine store had risen to levels identical to what they're selling for here. Now IL is a special case, all imports come through a Chicago consortium, affectionately known as The Mafia, and those nice folks might just have decided to put on the squeeze. But, from what I'm able to find out on line, I suspect that the price hikes are a national phenomenon. My simple brain has difficulty in comprehending why prices are shooting upward while the economy is tanking (I believe this is called stagflation) but perhaps some of you have the key to this puzzle.

Marquis Philips Holly's Blend 2008

I wouldn't recommend this white Australian blend (we are not told of what) as a sipping wine :it's a bit on the sweet side. However it was fine with our highly spiced paprika chicken. If you like German Rieslings, say, you might want to get this at the closeout price of $5.99.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tempra Tantrum Tempranillo/Cabernet

This non vintage Spanish red is distinctly better than the other two blends from the same vineyard which I reviewed here previously. It has a nicely rounded, mostly black cherry and raspberry taste and an even finish. A nice buy at $6.99.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec 2008

This Argentine Malbec comes on big with black berry and cherry flavors and, instead of the expected chocolate, something that is vaguely caramel. My dinner companions rather liked it, but for my taste it was over the top. $9.99.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vega de la Reina Sauvignon Blanc 2007

This Spanish white from Valladolid in Rueda is an unoaked, full bodied wine, with a lot of peach and the characteristic citrus element rather subdued. A nice wine, but drink it now when it's at its best. Nicely priced at $7.99.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kanonkop Kadette 2008

This is the entry level red of a famous South African winery. A blend, with pinotage the predominant variety, it is a hearty, earthy wine, that tastes of cherry and blacberry with a spicy element in the finish. A very nice buy at $9.99.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Markham Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Again, we disagreed on this Napa Valley wine. CDC liked it quite a lot finding it balanced and pleasant on the tongue. I thought that perhaps the relatively strong melon and peach elements did not mesh too well with the strong citrus aftertaste. At any rate, it's certainly worth trying at the closeout price of $7.99.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hefrich Now&Zen 2008

This Alsatian white, called Edelzwicker locally, is a blend of five different varietals. It tastes of pineapple and tropical fruits and is somewhat assertive, so I'd be careful what to pair it with, but with a strongly flavored dish it's quite pleasant. If you can find some at the closeout price of $5.99, by all means get it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc 2010

This young Chilean white announces itself with a pungent aroma of pear that is confirmed on the palate, along with some citrusy notes. In some ways it reminds one of a Marlborough Valley. By all means get it at the closeout price of $6.99.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir 2008

While this red from Languedoc calls attention to itself with a cute name (I suppose the self mockery must be intentional) what it is is a simple but fairly pleasant country wine. Ther are red berry flavors and some vanilla, along with soft tannins. $7.99.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Luna di Luna San Giovese/Merlot 2009

This Italian red from Umbria is reasonably full bodied, with dark berry flavors and a lot of tannin. We differed on this one; my CDC liked it, I was put off by the somewhat bitter finish, although, in all fairness, I just don't much like Merlots. If you can find it at the closeout price of $6.99 you might want to try a bottle.

Principato Pinot Grigio Blush 2008

For those of you who are put off by the flinty, citrus dominated characteristics of a good Pinot Grigio, this rose from the Veneto is just the thing. It' almost, if not quite, sweet, with peach the most prominent element. It might make a good summer picnic quaff. $11.99 for the 1.5 liter bottle.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hope Chardonnay 2008

This Australian Chardonnay is anything but your typical California fruit bomb. There is not even a hint of sweetness, the dominant element is citrus with underpinnings of melon, and there's a slight prickliness. A very nice all around wine, particularly suited to a hot summer day. Very nicely priced at $6.99 and a part of the profit goes to breast cancer research.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fuchs Gruner Veltliner 2008

Grown near the Hungarian fontier, in the Burgenland, Austria's easternmost province, this white is a nice wine, with predominantly apple and citrus flavors and an even finish. Unfortunately, once again, at $10.99, it's massively overpriced. You can get it for four dollars less in N.J.