Tuesday, January 31, 2012

*Bridgman Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Both of us very much liked this Washington State red . It's medium bodied, fruit forward (mostly blackberry and plum) but with enough oak blended in to make it both interesting and restrained. A nice, even finish. Extremely attractively priced at $7.99.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

*Apex Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This Wasington State white is a very pleasing mix of tropical fruit, reminiscent of a New Zealand, without the pronounced grassy element. A very sophisticated wine which is fun to drink by itself and also went extremely well with our Paprika Reisfleisch ( leftover sirloin steak sauteed with rice and paprika). A real bargain at $ 6.99. Get it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

*Lechthaler Teroldego Rotaliano 2009

Most South Tyrolean reds are light in body and color and, to use the local term,"suffig", i.e. you can drink a lot of them. Not so this one, which comes from a growing area atypical for the region, at low altitude and completely flat. It's medium bodied with a strong element of red cherry and a spicy finish. $7.99.

*Castelvero Cortese 2009

This Italian white from Piedmont is very fresh and light bodied, with mild citrus elements. There's nothing complex about it, a good aperitif or summer wine. Near the end of its useful life, so drink it now. A good buy at $5.99.

Friday, January 27, 2012

*Domaine le Soustet Cotes du Rhone 2006

T'is the season for online only specials and they will be so designated by the usual *. I had my doubts about this red because of its age and because the cork broke upon extraction, which, (while I'm no professional sommelier, I'm still reasonably experienced), is generally a very bad sign. However, not to worry, the wine, a half-and-half syrah/grenache blend, was excellent. It's a beautifully smooth mixture of cherry and plum, with a finish of very soft tannins and just the slightest acidity. A real find at $7.99. But drink it now.

Villa Silvia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008

Given at least two hours to breathe, this Italian red from Abruzzo is a nicely rounded wine with with wild cherry predominating along with soft tannins.8.99.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rio Perdido Malbec 2010

A Mendoza red from Argentina, this is not exactly your archtypical product. It exhibits more of a Cabernet Sauvignon red berry fruitiness and, to my taste at least, lacks the Malbec sinature chocolate element. Not at all bad, just not what you'd expect. $9.99.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Charte d;Assemblage Rouge 2010

Like its white counterpart this Languedoc red is a decent table wine. It's still very young, reminiscent of a Beaujolais Nouveau, with a few rough edges at the finish. It may well improve with age. $7.99.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pasquier Sauvignon 2010

A blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Vermentino, this white from the Pays d'Oc in south west France has a more rounded, fruity and aromatic character than a straight Sauvignon Blanc without copletely losing the flinty crispness associated with that grape. A nice country wine, eminently drinkable but, as so often, overpriced at $9.99. Available for two dollars less most places.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Basa Blanco 2009

This white Rueda blend from Spain is clearly an exception to the rule that whites don't need to breathe. Upon first opening it I found it to have a somewhat sweetish, rather unpleasant taste. This soon went away, however and what was left was a quite pleasant wine, tasting mostly of ripe peach, with elements of mown grass. $9.99.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Valentin Bianchi Sauvignon Blanc 2010

It was bound to happen: a wine from Argentina's Mendoza Valley which both of us just plain didn't like. Anyway, this entirely lacks the crisp, steely character typical of the grape; instead it has a sweetish, on the borderline of off, taste. For whatever reason there are huge fluctuations in the price of this wine, PA is about average at $9.99.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Halala Afrika Chenin Blanc 2009

There's nothing particularly remarkable about this South African white, it's a pleasant enough, light bodied quaff with subdued flanors of peach and apple. It does contain 14.5 % alcohol, so is best drunk with food. $7.99.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Found Stone Pinot Grigio 2010

This young Australian white from a major combine is light, with predominant citrus elements. Reasonably pleasant but unremarkable. $7.99.

Val Berger Fitou 2009

Although this Languedoc red announces itself as a Syrah/Grenache blend, by French law all Fitous must incorporate a certain percentage of the Carignac grape which, while extremely productive, tends to make an inferior wine. Perhaps this is the reason that, even after more than an hour's breathing, this wine still had a rather bitter aftertaste. Perhaps it would have been alright after two hours. $8.99.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Silver Point Sauvignon Blanc 2010

This white is a blend of grapes from various vineyards, some in the Marlborough Valley, some outside of it, The result is fairly typical for a New Zealand wine, with elements of peach, citrus and the trademark newly mown grass. Decently priced at $9.99.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Patient Cottat Le Grand Caillou Sauvignon Blanc 2009

This Sancerre reminded us of a New Zealand. It's fresh, crisp, oaky with peach and melon tones as well as a strong hint of new mown grass. A particularly good choice for summer. $9.99.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quinta de Casal Branco 2008

There are two raps on this Portuguese red: One, it's badly overpriced at $8.99, being available for two and even three dollars less in N.Y. & N.J.; and two, unless you let it breathe for at least an hour it comes across with a burnt caramel taste. After that, it;s quite drinkable, with elements of red berry and chocolate.