Thursday, January 31, 2013

Luzon Verde Monastrell 2011

From Jumilla, in the north of Andalucia, this Spanish red is a simple country wine, with understated red berry elements. Quite pleasing, but somewhat overpriced at 9.99.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Spanish Demon Tempranillo 2010

In spite of its inanely funky name, this is not a bad, young Rioja. It blends red cherry and blackberry flavors with a touch of chocolate, and has just enough gravitas to escape the fruit juice quality of many unaged Riojas. $9.99, available for two dollars less in N.Y.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chateau d'Oupia Les Heretiques 2011

This red from the Herault region is named in honor of the sectarians who, early in the 13th century, were massacred by the Church. In this case the blood of martyrs has given us an agreeable wine, with distinct cherry and red berry elements, and an interesting whiff of olive. Although the vineyard's entry level offering, it's nevertheless a superior country wine. 9.99.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cazes le Canon du Marechal 2010

This white, a rather unusual blend of Muscat and Viognier from the foothills of the French Pyrennees, named after the hero of WWI, Marechal Joffre, who was a landholder in the region, is a perfumed mix of apricot, pear and tropical fruit. Nothing special, but a nice enough country wine. $8.99.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hill of Content Shiraz 2006

Although sourced from several vineyards in both southern and western Australia, this red is remarkably well put together, with an extremely smooth, restrained mix of cherry and dark berry flavors. It's miles away from the notorious Australian fruit bomb, and a very nice wine indeed. The price, $9.99, is something of a conundrum. You can get it for as much as three dollars less in N.J., but you can also pay six dollars more. If we weren't in PA, I'd say the choice is yours.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hill ofContent Shiraz 2006

Not exactly an Austrialian fruit bomb, but close enough, this red exhibits ample red berry flavors. A pleasing wine. $9.99, can be bought for as much as three dollars less in N.J., as well as six dollars more elsewhere, Buyer beware!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Santa Julia Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Some four years ago I reviewed the Riserva of this Argentine red and praised it. This version is not quite as distinguished, but nevertheless very pleasing : a mix of cherry and red berry flavors, with a nicely acidic finish. $9.99.

Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages 2011

Beaujolais is known for producing the most light bodied reds in Burgundy and this one is no exception to the rule. It is, however, by no means insubstantial, being well defined, with restrained red berry elements and a touch of acidity. A nice buy at $8.49.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Altadonna Pinot Grigio 2011

From Italy's Veneto, this white offers an unusual amount of ripe peach elements, tempered by melon and citrus, with a finish that's just flinty enough to qualify it as a full fledged Pinot Grigio. A nice buy at $9.99, less than half of what a Santa Margherita sells for in PA, and in its way, every bit as good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mottura Bianco del Salento 2011

This white from Apulia, in the heel of the Italian peninsula, is light and refreshing, with green apple and citrus overtones and a hint of flintiness. A good, cheaper alternative to an upscale Pinot Grigio. $7.99.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Qupe Central Coast Syrah 2010

 A number CA of vineyards make up this label. This  red is relatively reserved (2010 was a cold summer) with subdued red berry flavors and a civilized, mildly acidic, finish. Even at the sale price of $12.99 somewhat overpriced.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Menguante Carinena Garnacha

Grown organically on 80+ year old vines, this Spanish red from the Zaragoza region in Aragon is a nice, concentrated blend of red cherry and blackberry, with a very smooth finish. There is no indication of the vinage year, it may well be a blend.Its price, in this countryat least, fluctuates wildly, PA's $8.99 is about average. At any rate, a pleasing table wine.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trois Amis Syrah 2010

Really a simple country red from the neighborhood of Chateauneuf du Pape, but not in any way to be confused with that noble wine,this manages to be both fruity and a little rough at the edges. To my mind, way overpriced at 9.99.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Finca Sophia Torrontes 2011

This Argentine white stops just short of being sweet. with distinct pineapple notes. although tempered by citrus. would go fine with Chinese or Thai food. $8.99.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rivarey Crianza 2009

This Tempranillo from Rioja has been aged in oak for twelve months. It's a quite pleasant mix of various red berries and an element of vanilla. $7.99, which is not a bad price for a Crianza.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Casa Santos Lima Lab 2010

A red blend of local grapes from the region of Lisbon, this Portuguese is a pleasant drinking 
wine with blakberry and muted strawberry flavors and a slightly spicy finish. $9.99, but available for as much as four dollars less in neighboring states.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Vinos Sin Ley Granacha 2009

From the Sierra de Guadarrama, NW of Madrid, this Spanish red is a laid back mix of dark cherry and blackberry, with a pleasantly spicy finish. A nice buy at $9.99.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

La Hilaire Les Tours 2011

 Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I fave a faible (roughly, a thing) for white Gascon wines. This one will certainly do nothing to change my mind. It's a pleasing blend of local grapes, with pear and citrus elements, and a very clean finish. Very decently priced at $7.99.

Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut

We decided to give this non vintage Spanish Cava a try four our New Year's Eve libation. In spite of being labelled Brut it's anything but savagely dry; while also not sweet, it falls somewhere in the middle, with quite pleasing apple and peach elements. While I prefer the brand's "black bottle" Cava, this was certainly pleasant enough. $7.99.