Tuesday, May 28, 2013
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
"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
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
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
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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
Friday, May 17, 2013
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
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.