Friday, March 29, 2013

Altos Los Pumas Pinot Noir 2011

A young Chilean red, this is redolent of raspberry and plum, but hasn't quite jelled. Maybe in a year or two. 9.99. 

We're off on our Spring trip, and will report anything of particular interest.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Medrano Irazu Reserva 2006

Time respects no wine, and this red Rioja is nearing the end of its useful life, but it's still near its prime. A highly civilized mix of plum and raspberry, with both chocolate and vanilla elements, this is a superior quaff. Get it while you can. 11.99, and that's a bargain!

The Crossings Pinot Noir 2009

I wasn't exactly blown away by this New Zealand red from the Marlborough Valley. There's a slightly metallic element, overshadowing the fruity character, that's no to my taste. Nancy didn't mind it though. $9.99, after instant rebate coupon.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Estello Malbec 2011

This red from Lamguedoc is actually better than the white from the same producer, It has a reasonably dry character, with linguering elements of red berries. $6.99. So the PA House passed the privatization bill. Let;s see what the Senate will do. Raise your voices!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Estello Viognier 2011

I should think that this white country wine from Languedoc is made especially with American tastes in mind: it flirts with being sweet, without quite crossing the line. It wouldn't make it as a pour in a French bar, but maybe there will be some who like it over here. $6.99.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kaiken Malbec Reserva 2010

It's been some four years since I last reviewed this Argentine red from the Mendoza Valley and, if anything, it has improved. A nicely balanced red fruit and chocolate character give it its archtypical flavor, something to be savored slowly, sip by sip. Buy it up at the present sale price of $10.99.

Zinc 2011

Zinc is the French word for a simple bar, after the ubiquitous countertops made of that material. They serve simple wines, usually from the owner's home province, by the glass, and this country white from the Pays d'Oc could well be one of these. It's uncomplicated but goes down pleasantly enough and, at $6.99, won't break the bank.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Wolf Trap 2011

A Syrah/Mourvedre/Viognier blend, this South African red, designated wine of the year by a South African wine guide, is fairly heavily oaked and has a finish that's a bit too acidic for my taste. $8.99 after instant rebate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Casillero del Diablo Carmenere 2011

For a mass produced wine, this Chilean red is not at all bad. It mixes raspberry and chocolate elements with a nicely guaged acidity in the finish. $8.99 in PA, this  sells for a wide gamut of prices, all the way from seven to thirteen dollars. Caveat emptor!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

La Vieille Ferme White 2011

This Rhone white tastes mostly of peach and stops just short of being actualy sweet. lovers of American Chardonnay may like it; we didn't particularly, but found it went alright in spritzers. $7.99, with instant rebate.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Natura Carmenere 2011

The Chilean winery responsible for this wine displays an award as having been selected "Green Winery of the Year".The wine itself, mercifully, is not green in color, but rather a dark purple. It's young, perhaps not quite ready, but not unpleasant, with red cherry flavors and a somewhat peppery finish. $8.99., a dollar less in N.J.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ruffino Chianti 2011

For a mass produced wine, this is by no means bad. It displays subdued red fruit elements, with a moderately acidic finish. Of course, as we are in the realm of the PLCB, the price of $7.99 is unrealistic; this wine is available for as much as three dollars less in any number of places, a difference that, at that price level, is huge.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chateau Saint Sulpice 2010

When I was a schoolboy, we used to make jokes about "les suplices of Saint Sulpice--the agonies of St Sulpice". Never mind, this red Bordeaux blend (mostly Merlot), originating not a dozen miles from the outskirts of that city, is a civilized wine, with subdued fruity elements, and a long lasting finish. $11.99, which is about average throughout the U.S.

Honoro Vera Garnacha 2011

Sorry,  faithul readers --that is, if I still have any-- I've been out of circulation for a few days, and U.S..hospitals have these imbecilic rules about not serving wine. What we have here is another example of Garnacha's renaissance in Spain. This quondam plonk grape is now used to make quality wines and this one, from Calatayud in S.W. Aragon is a good example of the phenomenon. It exhibits a nice combination of ripe fruit elements, mostly plum and blackberry (although as I have been forced to conclude blackberries that one buys in supermarkets these days taste of nothing at all) and is nevertheless dry, with a distinct peppery finish. A very nice wine. $9.99, which is a dollar or two above the market, but still very much worth getting.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fat Bastard Pinot Noir 2011

A Languedoc red from this well-known producer, this wine has a subdued red cherry elment and a somewhat acidic finish. Not at all bad for $7.99.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2011

This white from Provence is somewhat rounder than the '07 which I reviewed a while ago, but still quite pleasant. At the present sale price of $7.99 (with instant rebate) it's a nice buy.

I am greatly heartened to note that our governor has made good on his election promise and that there is now a House Bill in the works that would prvatize the PLCB. Let's see if it gets our legislators' approval. You might write your representative, expressing your support of H.B, 790.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Apart from having a bright red plastic cork, all but impossible to extract, this red Rioja, which doesn't bear a vintage designation, is a reasonably pleasant wine, with red berry elements and a satisfying acidic finish. Not a bad buy at $7.99, providing you own a double action corkscrew: the somelier kind just won't do it.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

El Agosto Mencia 2010

Alright, so the worm turns. This red Bierzo, aged in French oak for eight months,  is a very fine wine indeed, with nicely dosed red berry elements and  just the right amount of acidity.I suppose that Bierzo wines simply aren't known in the U.S. so,  at $12.99 it's a good ten dollars below the market. Will wonders never cease?  By all means, stock up.