Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Colonia Las Liebres 2009

A pleasing, robust country wine, this red from Argentina's Mendoza Valley is made from the originally Italian Bonarda grape. It's somewhat drier than the Malbecs but by no means unpleasantly so. It will complement any red meat dinner very well. Unfortunately, at $8.99, it sells for three-and-a-half dollars more than what you can get it for elsewhere. (Are you still with us, guv?)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Protocolo 2009

This Castillian white from Cuenca, best known for its "cacas colgadas", houses that appear to be glued to the sides of a cliff, is a simple country wine, perfectly adequate for washing down a light summer meal, but without any outstanding characteristics. $7,99, available for two dollars less in neighboring states, which in that price range is a huge difference.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

CDR 2008

This regional white blend from the south of the Cotes du Rhone is a simplistic wine with no very pronounced qualities. Moreover it has a somewhat odd aftertaste. $8.49, which is too much.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Joseph Douhin Laforet 2009

This Burgundian Chardonnay is, for a non-California product, surprisingly fruity, bordering on the sweet. Only for those who like that sort of thing. $9.99.

Colorado Caper

Last week's foray into CO turned up a few nice wines as well as further proof of PA's idiosyncratic pricing policies.
1) Marcus James Malbec 2010: this pleasing Argentine red from the Mendoza Valley has the usual chocolate elements with a touch of licorice at the finish. On sale in CO at $5.99, in PA the 1.5 liter bottle goes fo $8.99. Grab it!
2) Olivares Altos de los Hoyos 2009: a truly distinguished wine, this red from Spain's Estremadura has potent but restrained dark berry flavors, soft tannins and a peppery finish. $9.99, a whopping six dollars more in PA.
3) Georges Duboeuf Macon Villages 2009: a Chardonnay from the Burgundian giant, this is on the thin side, rather bland, but certainly drinkable. $7.99, four dollars more in PA. (We're waiting to hear from you, Governor).
4) Le Dome du Grand Bois Cotes du Rhone 2010: this youngish red is beginning to come into its own, with pleasant deep plum elements and an even finish. $7.99, not available in PA.
5) Los Cowboys Malbec 2010: in spite of its insinuating name, this Argentine red from Mendoza is a superior wine, with beautifully restrained indications of all the best qualities of that country's Malbecs. A pleasure to drink. On sale at $9.99, not available in PA.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fairview Sauvignon Blanc 2010

This South African white is a nice blend of apple and citrus flavors, very smooth and well defined. $8.99, which is standard, except for San Francisco, where it's on offer for half of that. Hey, you guys out there, buy it up quick!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Zuccardi Bonarda 2009

This Argentine red, made from a relatively seldom used grape, has cherry and plum flavors, overshadowed by a very prominent oaky acidity. Not one of our favorite Mendozas. $8.99.

McLaren Vale Tatachilla Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

I found this South Australian red to be wholly overlaid with a rather unpleasant, acrid and all but fizzy element that masked whatever fruity factors might have been in evidence originally. I suppose it's simply a case of the wine being over the hill.$7.99, which may be a bargain, but not for that vintage.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Conte Brandolini Vistorta Merlot 2006

I'm not a great fan of Merlot, the cheaper ones tend to an unpleasant bitterness. This Italian one from Friuli however is a good one. Medium bodied, it has a well integrated character, with plum and black cherry, soft tannins and an only slightly acerbic finish. Curiously, the PA price of $11.99 is well below of what you'll find anywhere else.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Zuccardi Chardonnay/Viognier 2009

My CDC rejected this Argentine white with two words: Too sweet. Curiously, given the fact that I'm no admirer of sweet wines not intended to be dessert wines, I disagreed. To be sure, the mix of apple and honeydew is a bit bland, and the finish certainly lacks any bite, but I still found it drinkable. $8.99.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Patch Block Sauvignon Blanc 2008

This French white from Languedoc, a product of the gigantic Duboef combine, is not up to their Chardonnay. It's somewhat assertive, with pronounced citrus elements, and moreover, it tastes as if it's on the point of turning. $6.99.

Placido Pinot Grigio 2010

Here's another possibility for your summer parties. This white from the Veneto comes from the Banfi combine. It tastes of apple and citrus and stops well short of being bitter as many low end Pinot Grigios are. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the sale price of $10.99 for the magnum is attractive.

Anciano Tempranillo 2004

I reviewed the '03 and was only midly impressed. This vintage is considerably better. It has a deep, rich mix of dark berry flavors with a nice touch of caramel. And the price has gone down, so that at $7.99 it constitutes a good buy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pirineos Mesache Rosado 2010

For me this Spanish rose from the Aragonese foothills of the Pyrennees merely confirms A. J. Liebling's dictum: The only drinkable rose is a Tavel. My C.D.C. rather liked it but I fond the overpowering mix of cherry and peach simply too sweet. Maybe as a desert wine. $8.99, a dollar less in N.J.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gran Familia 2008

This Rioja red has a nice, round presence, with lots of red berries up front. Very smooth in the finish, uncomplicated, essentially a good country wine. $8.99, a dollar less in N.Y,

Friday, June 3, 2011

Red Guitar 2008

The label immitates Miro, the wine is a would be claret. This red from Navarre, a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, is a nice blend of plum, dark berries and soft tannins, the finish is exceptionally smooth. $9.99, available for two dollars less in N.Y.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Marques de Borba Alentejo 2008

This Portuguese white has a dark straw color, there's a strong nutty element to it, and elements of tropical fruit. It's certainly distinctive and the price, $8.98, is attractive, but it's not getting any younger, so drink it now.