Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tarima Monastrell

A Spanish red from Alicante, this 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre in France) comes without a vintage indication, although I strongly suspect that it's quite young. It's a decent enough wine, typical of the dark colored, full bodied qualities associated with the grape, with cherry and raspberry elements, and a touch of licorice in the finish, but, as we in PA have come to expect, at $9.99 it's egregiously overpriced, being available for three dollars less in a lot of places. Has anyone kept tabs on how our governor is doing on his other campaign promises?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chateau Cambis Grenache/Syrah 2010

I reviewed this red Cotes du Rhone Villages in its previous incarnation under the "Vignerons de Caractere" heading. At that time it had, as the law then required of wines of that designation, an admixture of Mourvedre. I must say that I liked the older version better, the Mourvedre gave it a nice, soft character. This version is a little harsh, with overly pronounced tannins and a slight peppery element. It's not bad, but the other one was better. $9.99.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Alianca Dao Reserva 2009

This Portuguese red blend is a quite pleasant country wine, with prominent tanins, and a vanilla element. It is, however, grotesquely overpriced at $11.99, being available in other states for as much as five dollar less.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fat Bastard Shiraz 2011

This country red from Languedoc with the trendy name is a big seller in the U.S. It has a fairly dry, slightly licoricey element about it, and goes down pretty easily. Nothing special, but then it only costs $7.99.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Banfi Chianti Superiore 2011

Given the fact that it's produced by a huge combine, this is a very nice young red. It exhibits a certain duskiness, along with plum and cherry elements and a fair degree of acidity.A pleasing quaff, and favorably priced at $7.99.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Diseno Torrontes 2011

At long last, a Torrontes that's to Nancy's taste. What we have in this Argentine white is a nice floral bouquet and a well rounded apricot element, with just enough acidity to make it credible as a dinner wine, and a slight stony character reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I liked it too. $8.99.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CO Jaunt

On a brief trip to CO I drank three wines: One, a really vile Bordeaux, which I won't dignify by mentioning it; two, a white Touraine, Chais St Laurent, Lieu-dit Les Jarrieres, 2011, a spicy wine, with pronounced grapefruit and pomegranate elements, not at all bad, $10.99, not available in PA;  and Rioja Vega 2009, a Spanish red blend of Tempranillo and Granacha, with red cherry and subtle cinnamon flavors, a very pleasant wine. $9.99, three dollars more in PA.  In spite of this disparity, my overall impression was that CO prices have caught up to PA. Let's face it, my friends, cheap is dead!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

La Pluma Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011

This South Italian red is a fairly primitive wine, with cherry and plum notes, and rather asserive tannins. Nothing to write home about. $8.99.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chichery Sauvignon Blanc 2011

This Languedoc white has a reasonably pleasing combination of tropical fruit and citrus elements. Nothing out of the ordinary, but basically alright. $9.99. which is perhaps a bit on the high side.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Santa Julia Magna 2010

A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Argentina's Mendoza Valley, this red really does need to breathe, I'd say for a minimum of two hours, lest it's taste be masked by seriouly bitter tannins. Once these have dissipated, however, one is rewarded with a highly pleasing, civilized blend of red berry elements, reminiscent of a good claret. Quite attractively priced at $10.99.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Domaine de Nizas 2008

Owned by an American wine maker, this vineyard in Languedoc produces a variety of wines, including this red blend. It's nicely made, with subdued accents of plum and blackberry, certainly a cut above the majority of Languedoc reds, many of which do not rise above the level of mass produced plonk. Whether it's worth 11.99 is anybody's guess.

Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2009

This red Rioja, a 100% Tempranillo, aged 14 months in the barrel and another three in the bottle before release, is a nice, well rounded blend of dark berries and cherry, with a bit of spice at the finish. But, at $10.99, it's not particularly cheap, even for a crianza. Be sure to let it breathe for at least an hour.