Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Henry Fessy Fleurie 2007

About thirty years ago reds from the Beaujolais went out of fashion in the English-speaking world, they were dismissed as being too insubstantial, and largely replaced in our favor by full bodied fruit bombs from various parts of the New World. Now some of these are making a comeback. This bottle delivers a nice blend of cherry and plum flavors, without being in the least too thin. It's undoubtedly near the end of its useful life, and I can imagine opening the occasional bottle that's gone bad. This, I feel sure, is the reason for its spectacularly low price of $7.99. Let it breathe for a couple of hours and hope for the best.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Brut Dargent Blanc de Blancs

"Blanc de Blancs" means this non vintage French sparkling wine from the Jura is made from the Chardonnay grape only. It's a long way from a Champagne, just slightly watery, by no means unpleasant, but quite unmemorable. $11.99, which is too much.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tons de Duorum white 2012

A blend of four local grapes, this Portuguese from the Douro is very fragrant, with ripe peach and apricot elements, along with some citrus. It approaches the semi-sweet without actually getting there. Pleasant, but certainly not if "dry" is your chief criterion. $9.99.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Simply Naked Sauvignon Blanc 2011

As its name suggests, this unoaked New Zealand white is fairly uncomplicated. It's fruit forward, with elements of tangerine, melon and white peach, and only the merest hint of the freshly mown grass taste characteristic of N. Z. whites. I find it a pleasant drinking wine, so long as you don't expect something extremely dry and flinty.$7.99, available for a dollar less most places.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gestos Malbec 2012

This Argentine red from Finca Flichman is slightly better than the '11 I reported on last year (which itself was quite good) but, at $8,99,also a dollar more.Inflation, or simply price hike?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

El Agosto Menzia 2010

I've had generally good experiences with wines from the Bierzo in N.W, Spain. (Some listings put this area in Castilla y Leon:This would lead to instant ostracism of the bloggers on the spot. The Bierzans are fiercely independent and consider themselves to be a separate province). The wine, aged for eight monhs in French oak, is a little on the assertive side with a bit of a dusty flavor along with its red berry elements. Still, a pleasant drinking experience. $11.99.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jacob's Creek Pinot Noir Reserve

This non vintage red is one of the better products coming from this gigantic Australian combine. It displays elements of strawberry and red cherry and a touch of acidity in the finish. $9,99, can be had for a dollar less.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Alta Max Malbec 2011

Still another Malbec from Argentina's Mendoza region; it would seem that I'm determined to try all of them in my price range. This one is characteristic of the breed, with nice, plummy flavors and the trademark touch of chocolate. $8,99 after instant rebate coupon, which makes it a nice buy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crucillon Garnacha 2011

This Aragonese red is a Campo di Borja, the region that gave the world two Borgia popes. The wine is moderately aggressive, with cherry and plum flavors and a touch of the nutty. Unfortunately the PA price of $9.99 is well above the norm.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Telmo Rodriguz Basa Blanco 2011

This white blend from Rueda, northwest of Madrid, has just enough Sauvignon Blanc in it to give it a grassy element, reminiscent of a New Zealand white. A very smooth drinking wine, making it an ideal companion to pork and chicken dishes. $9.99.

Hogue Gewurztraminer 2011

Nancy flatly refused to drink this WA State white, claiming it was sweet. Well, noone ever maintained that a Gewurztraminer was bone dry: ideally, it's a mixture of ripe fruit and highly spicy elements. (Gewurz in German is a spice). Perhaps this particular exemplar emphasizes the former at the expense of the latter quality, but I found the combination of ripe peach with a hint of nuttiness by no means unappealing. And you're certainly not going to find it anywhere else at the ultra low PA price of $6.99. If you like something different once in a while, try this, you might like it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Perrin Nature 2010

In the Rhone as well '10 was an exceptional growing season, with a wet Spring, a hot Summer, and a prolonged Indian Summer, so that otherwise quite ordinary wines turned into really good ones. This is the case with this organically grown red, a blend of (mostly) Grenache and Syrah. It tastes  of dark berries, with elements of chocolate and licorice. I've not been there, but by all accounts the wine is made by a French version of superannuated hippies.  You can do a lot worse for $8.98.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Val Delosfrailes Rose 2011

Every once in a while (fortunately not too often) I put A. J. Liebling's dictum that no rose aside from a Tavel is worth drinking to the test. I have found almost none to contradict it, including this Cigales from Valldolid in Spain.  It's a bland, fruit forward wine, on the verge of being sweet. Lovers of American Chardonnays might like it, but I can't think of anyone else who would. $5.95.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Reserve des Vignerons Saumur Champigny 2010

This is a red from the Loire. It exhibits blackberry and cherry elements, along with a certain amount of minerality and a lightly spicy finish. 2010 in the Loire was a particularly long growing season, so the grapes imbibed a lot of sun, which manifests itself in the smooth, cheerful quality of this wine. If you're not familiar with the reds of a region known chiefly for its whites, this is an excellent place to start. $10.99, not a bad price at all for this bottle.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Santa Julia Torrontes/Pinot Grigio 2011

Like its red stablemate this Argenine white, a blend of 90% Torrontes and 10% Pinot Grigio. is a relatively simple but eminently drinkable wine, with the melon and peach elements characteristic of a Torrontes, but just enough of the Pinot Grigio acidity and flintiness to make it interesting. Once again, at $6.99 for the liter bottle, a tremendous buy.  I don't quite see how this vineyard manages it, but I certainly wish it all the luck in the world.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ormarins Picpoul de Pinet 2012

In the pre-philoxera days the Picpoul grape dominated production of whites in the south of France. It's poor resistance to disease caused it to all but die out in the epidemic, and now it is grown almost exclusively in Herault, in Languedoc, particularly in the coastal regions as it thrives in sandy soil. This exemplar is extremely fruit forward, with melon and peach elements, and not very much of the acidity that gave the grape its name (Picpoul in local dialect:sting the lip). Lovers of American Chardonnay should like it quite a lot. $8.99.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

La Petite Vigne Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Unlike the '10 which was far too lemony, this Languedoc white has a nice blend of peach and citrus elements and is a pleasant sipping wine, as well as. as we found, good accompaniment to pork chops.$7.99.