Thursday, April 28, 2011

*Abbaye de Saint Hilaire Domeni 2008

Grown in a vineyard in the Vars in Provence, once belonging to a romanesque monastery, this red, a blend of Shiraz, Granache and Cabernet Sauvignon, is the middle grade of three. It's a a nicely balanced mix of dark berry and chocolate, with a slight tinge of licorice at the finish. On line only, a good buy at $7.99.

On Line Sale.

I should have mentioned in my previous post on this subject that you will be charged a shipping and handling fee if you buy on line from the PLCB. In my case, I bought 18 bottles and was charged roughly eighty cents a bottle, which I thought was not excessive. Of course, if you were charged that much when you order only two or three, that would be way out of line. I simply don't know if there's a standard shipping fee, or if it's calculated per item.

*Lobster Reef Pinot Noir 2009

New Zeeland's Marlborough Valley is more famous for its whites but they also grow some very nice reds there. This one, aged in oak for six months, is a little on the light side for a Pinot Noir, but extremely pleasant to drink, with dark cherry, blackberry and plum elements and very soft tannins at the finish. I very much doubt that you will find it for a better price than the $7.99 at which it is on offer on line.

Monday, April 25, 2011

*Acinum Chianti 2009

This young Tuscan red is all San Giovese. It's relatively light bodied for a Chianti, with elements of cherry and blackberry, some spice, but none of the acrid finish that characterizes many cheaper Chiantis. A nice wine, and attractively priced at $6.99. (Internet only).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

This California red comes on strong with black cherry, caramel and oak,with more than a hint of spiciness. It has an even finish and is altogether quite pleasant. $10.99.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PLCB On Line Sale

I have ordered a case and a half of various wines featured in the PLCB on line sale. I shall report on them seriatim as we drink them, marking them with a *, so that you may know they're available only on line.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nimbus Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008

This single vineyard Chilean white in many ways reminds one of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, though it is not quite as herbal and has stronger fruity notes, mostly citrus and white peach. Drink it now. $8.99.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tapena Garnacha 2008

Having massively disliked both the Verdejo and the Tempranilllo from this Castillian producer, I hesitated before getting this red, but I do like a grenache so I took a chance. Indeed, it's a nice enough wine, with good cherry and dark berry flavors quite prominent, but not to the point at which it could be called a fruit bomb, a touch of caramel and relatively soft tannins. Unfortunately the price, $9.99, is out of line as it's available for three dollars less in both N.J. and N.Y.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jacob's Creek Chardonnay 2009

Owned by a gigantic French combine, this Australian label puts out vast quantities of undistinguished but drinkable wines. This Chardonnay is the expected fruit bomb, with strong elements of peach and cantaloupe and a citrus finish. Your first impression is that it's sweet, but it's not, it's just that there is so much fruit up front. Nice for those of you who like that. On sale at $5.99.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hope Chardonnay 2009

In this country surveys have shown that women prefer Chardonnay to any other varietal by a two to one margin. Thus it is only fitting that this Australian wine maker donates half of his profits to breast cancer research. The wine itself is pretty true to type, fairly heavily oaked with apple and citrus elements. Nicely priced at $6.99 and you're contributing to a really good cause.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pighin Pinot Grigio 2009

This white from Friuli is full bodied for a Pinot Grigio and has a pleasing combinatiom of peach and citrus elements, along with a hint of hazelnut that makes for a nice finish. Attractively priced at $9.99.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Coronas Tempranillo 2006

This Catalan red from Spain's largest producer, Torres, is mostly Tempranillo, with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon--the name Tempranillo is a diminutive of the Spanish temprano, early, and refers to a native early ripening grape. The wine itself is a nicely judged blend of dark fruit flavors and relatively soft tannins, and drinks very smoothly. $9.99.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Montes Classic Series Merlot 2009

This Chilean red, meant to be drunk young, is the entry level wine from a serious grower, as distinguished from the mass providers of plonk, of whom there are several in that country. It' a nicely rounded mix of dark berry and spicy pepper flavors, with only a hint, if that, of the unpleasant aftertaste of many of the cheaper Merlots. $7.99, a decent value.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bistro Chardonnay 2006

As a rule I'm suspicious of wines with cute labels and cute names, this one has both, it tends to be all about marketing, and, worse, this is a product of the huge combine Barton & Guestier. But here we have an exception. This white from Languedoc is nothing like the heavily oaked fruit bombs from California, it's almost austere, with discrete mineral elements and subdued peach flavors. It's near the end of its useful life, which accounts for its throwaway price of $5.99, but still very nice . Get it if you can!

Georges Duboeuf Cotes du Rhone 2009

Duboeuf started out with a tiny vineyard in the Macon area in the '50's, was discovered and patronized by the legendary Alex Lichine, and built that connection into a gigantic enterprise that dominates wine production in the Beaujolais and later expanded massively into the Rhone. What we have here is a not particularly distinguished, mass produced red, with cherry and raspberry elements and black pepper at the finish, which some will like but which strikes me as somewhat acerbic. However, if you don't mind this the closeout price of $6.99 makes it a good value.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quieto 3 Malbec 2009

Yet another Malbec from Argentina, this one is a blend of grapes from three different vineyards in Mendoza,of varying altitudes. It tastes of black berries, plum and ripe cherries, and is pungently spicy - we detected cinnamon. On the assertive side, but if you don't object to that, a nice wine. $8.99.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vina Esmeralda 2009

This Catalan white from the famous Torres winery is a blend of 85% Muscatel and 15% Gewurztraminer. I would have liked the proportions more in favor of the latter, as the result is assertively floral in the nose, with heavy apple and ripe apricot flavors that verge on the sweet. $9.99.