Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sella e Mosca Terre Rare Riserva 2005

The Carignano grape is generally consigned to a back up role as an addition to better known varietals, but on Italy's island of Sardinia, where long, hot summers are the rule, accompanied by sea winds, it's a player in its own right. What we have here is a wine that is aged in oak for a year, then for an additional year in the bottle. The flavors are dark berry with plum and medium tannins, the finish is mildly acidic. A very good value at the sale price of $7.99.

Paisaje de Tupungato 2007

This red from Argentina's Mendoza District is the flagship wine of the well known Finca Flichman. A blend of 70 % Malbec, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot, it's aged in oak for a full year and has a high alcohol content of 14.5%, which is reflected in the nose. It exhibits a nice balance of dark fruit flavors with a good deal of oak and soft tannins, with a finish that is partly spice and partly typical Malbec chocolate. According to the winery this wine is made only in very good years. A superior quaff and, moreover, at an attractive sale price of $11.99.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sasso Pinot Grigio 2009

My CDC's characterization of this white from the Veneto was "bubbly water with alcohol". While I don't think it's quite that bad, I have to admit that it lacks both the forward fruitiness and the bite of a good Pinot Grigio. Moreover, our friends at the P.L.C.B. assure us that the price of $8.99 is a real bargain, it's being quoted at ten dollars more elsewhere. Where? In Hong Kong? In Geneva? In this country it's available for two, and even three dollars less. How long until we vote them out once and for all?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trapiche Oak cask Pinot Noir 2009

This red from one of Argentina's largest producers is one step above their entry level. However, unlike the similar Malbec previously reviewed here, it is not particularly successful, being too heavily oaked and leaving one with a somewhat bitter aftertaste. $8.99.

Mirassou Chardonnay 2009

It would appear that this is our week for CA wines. This central coast Chardonnay is all peach and apricot, stopping just short of being actually sweet. My CDC thought it was fine, I didn't much like it. It is, however, at $12.99, insanely overpriced, being available for five or six dollars less (!) almost anywhere. How long until we vote these people out?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Clos Lachance Zinfandel 2007

I decided the time had come to give CA reds another chance, and what wine better to do it with than something called Lachance? In the event, we differed on this one. My CDC rather liked it's pronounced licorice/annisse element. I thought that it was too assertive, masking the blackberry/cherry flavors that were trying to get through. $8.99.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Collepino Merlot/SanGiovese 2008

The giant Banfi combine produces mostly plonk, but also some wines that aspire to something more. This Super Tuscan, although slightly rough, does have a nice blend of red berries and cherry along with a caramel finish. At the closeout price of $5.99 it's certainly worth getting.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Mano Pinot Grigio 2010

This young white from the Veneto is relatively light with a dominant citrus element and very little in the way of finish. An acceptable summer quaff, but not much beyond that. $6.99.

Bela Sera Pinot Grigio 2010

Of the many Italian Pinot Grigios available here in magnum bottles for summer outdoor consumption we have decided we like this one best. It has a pleasing, rather full bodied peach element with a citrusy finish. If you can get it with the instant rebate coupon it's a steal at $8.99. Get it!

Chateau Tour de Rodet Graves 2009

This red Bordeaux is 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and largely exhibits the traits of the former. It is earthy, with blackberry and cassis elements and a definite note of caramel. Interesting, as one finds mostly whit Graves in this country, but rather pricey at $11.99.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

La Tour Travers 2009

This red Bordeaux bears the designation "Grand Vin de Bordeaux" which is a step up from an ordinary table wine. It's light, austere, with rich tannin dominating. A very nice wine. $9.99.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Graham Beck The Game Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010

The vineyard producing this South African white is next door to a game reserve and apparently the baboons cross over to steal the grapes once they're ripe, thus informing the owners where to begin harvesting. Be that as it may, this is a nicely rounded wine, with notes of tropical fruit, a distinctly lemony finish and just the merest hint of aeration. $9.99.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lurton El Albar Verdejo 2009

Typically, the Spanish Verdejo grape is grown in maritime climates and thus harvested late, so that it may attain a full ripeness. In very cold years this goes wrong, but mostly not. This product of the French Lurton combine is grown in Toro, in the province of Leon. It's fairly dark in color, has white fruit elements and a citrusy finish. $7.99.

Ninety Plus Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Here we have an interesting concept. This company buys up surplus production from independent New Zealand vintners who can't or, for reasons of exclusivety, don't wish to sell it themselves, and resells it, at a lower price, under its own label. Thus you don't know what you're getting but chances are it's going to be good (90+ refers to the ratings of the originals). This wine, Lot2, is a typical Marlborough Valley, with ripe melon and citrus flavors and a hint of mown grass. $9.99, which seems a fair price.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Domaine Saint Martin Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2009

This Loire white is made by a process called "sur lie", which means that the wine is left to age for some months on the detritus of the fermentation, which gives it a rounded, buttery element. The predominant elements are pear, green apple and citrus, with the merest hint of smokines. Nicely priced at $8.99.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Montinore Pinot gris Estate 2009

Unlike my experience with CA wines, I have rarely been disappointed in an OR white, and this one is certainly no exception. While light, it's far from thin, has a predominantly pear, smooth, buttery quality, and a refreshing finish. An excellent buy at $8.99.