Friday, June 28, 2013

Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

The name is overwrought in the best CA fashion, but this young red is a very nice wine. Aged in oak for eighteen months, it's nicely balanced with black cherry and red currant elements, some vanilla, and some coffee. I would think it will age nicely in the bottle. The price of $12.99 is certainly in its favor. More and more I have the feeling that either the PSLB deliberately lures you with out of the way specials only to then soak you on their standard items, or that they just don't know what they're doing. Either way, if you're willing to put in the time, it's great fun to try to stay ahead of the game with them.

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011

When I savaged this vineyard's Chardonnay a few years ago I swore to myself I'd never buy anything from then again. But-- alright, let's not beat around the bush, I forgot -- I picked this bottle up. What these people have done is to create a spectrum shift. Their Chardonnay tastes like a Riesling, so sweet as to be well nigh undrinkable. This Sauvignon Blanc tastes almost like a Chardonnay, fruit forward, mostly passion fruit, with the barest hint of the famous New Zealand mown grass element. It's what in German is called " lieblich", which translates roughly into semi sweet. If that's your thing, by all means go ahead. The price of $9.99, however, is a good two dollars above the market. Does anyone know what's happening, or rather not happening in the PA state senate?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mas Janeil Le Petit Pas 2011

    A part of the Lurton combine,, this vineyard in the Cotes du Roussillon in S.W. France in the foothills of the Pyrennees, comes up with a pleasant red with muted red berry elements and soft tannins, A relative bargain at $9.99.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mirassou Sunset Red 2011

As readers of this blog will know I'm deeply suspicious of CA  reds at the lower end of the price range: they tend to be awful. Not so this product of what may well be the oldest winery in the state (it has been in the same family for six generations)  . An idiosyncratic blend of Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Merlot (who'd ever have thunk of it ?) it delivers a nicely balanced blend of red fruit flavors, along with a caramel finish, A real bargain at $6.99. ( Nerts to those of you who think that my only interest in life is to to knock the P.L..C.B.).

Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone 2011

Located alongside Chateau Neuf du Pape, this vineyard produces nice wines. This is their entry level red, a nice blend of red and black berry flavors, with a fairly long finish. It makes one curious about what their upscale wines might be like. $9.99.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Southbank Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Apparently this New Zealand Marlborough Valley has a smidgen of Shiraz added to it to cut down on the acidity. It certainly comes across as milder than what one would normally expect from a typical Marlborough white, with gooseberry and even strawberry notes and, in spite of its claims, none of the typical freshly mown grass element. $11.99.

Friday, June 21, 2013

McWilliam's Jack's Blend 2011

Normally Australian wines in the lower price range turn out to be, at worst, plonk, at best, fruit bombs. Not so for for this S.E. Australian red. It gives you pleasing, if indistinct red berry flavors, along with a strong note of caramel. By no means an interesting wine, but nice enough, and at $5.99, well worth the money.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chateau Bellevue White 2011

The vineyard which produces this wine in the Entre-Deux-Mers  district of Bordeaux is owned by the Vicomte d'Amecourt, one of whose ancestors invented a steam-driven helicopter in 1863. I don't believe the thing actually flew, but the wine certainly does. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Semillon (30%), it combines peach, melon  and guava elements, with just a very light touch of citrus. A very nice quaff, if you don't insist on something that's bone dry. $9.99.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Zuccardi Malbec Serie A 2011

The entry level Malbec for the well-known Argentine winery, this is a nice enough wine, with all the usual Mendoza elements: well blended red fruit tastes with quie a lot of red cherry, and chocolate in the finish. It is, however, massively overpriced at $9,99, being available for two and even three dollars less elsewhere.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Finca Flichman Malbec Reserva 2012

2012 was a great growing season in Argentina, so it's no surprise that this red Mendoza surpasses even the '09 that I liked a lot. Although, obviously, it's young, it exhibits a remarkably smooth blend of its inherent red fruit and chocolate flavors. The price has gone up to $9.99, but it's worth that.  My advice is to put down a few bottles of this vintage, it will only get better.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Broadbent Vinho Verde

This non vintage Portuguese white from the extreme N.W. of the country is more fizzy than the norm, but for all that, a most pleasant wine, well suited to accompany various spicy dishes, such as the Cantonese shrimp with which we paired it. $9.99, which is a bit on the high side.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Frontera Malbec 2011

Grown in Argentina by the gigantic Chilean combine Concho y Toro, this red is a fairly simplistic wine, with raspberry and dark cherry accents and pretty obtrusve tannins. $6.49: you can get it a lot cheaper, but you can also pay more. On balance, I wouldn't bother.

Tinto Lena 2011

"Tinto Leon" was the name this Leonese red used to go by, but the city fathers ojected that a private vineyard should not appropriate the city's name. Anyway, it's the entry level wine of a fairly large combine, a young, brash, uncomplicated country 100% Tempranillo that must at all costs be allowed to breathe for at least two hours before drinking. Once it's done that, it turns out to be a quite pleasant everyday quaff with good red fruit elements and a tannin kick at the finish.  At $ 9.99 for the liter bottle it;s a nice value as well.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages 2011

This is a red country wine, pleasant enough, but in no way exceptional. There are raspberry and red cherry notes. $8.49, which is about right.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lorca Bullas Monastrell 2009

This red from S.E. Spain is grown at an altitude of 3,500 feet. The hot days and cool nights producea wine that is thinner than one would expect from the region. There are nice red fruit elements, and the acidity is just sufficient to keep it interesting. $9.99.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monte Guido del Carmino Pecorino 2010

The Pecorino grape is supposedly the oldest Italian planting. Be that as it may, what we have here is a luscious blend of citrus and white fruit elements (mostly lemon and peach), from the Chieti district. A very individual white, and probably worth the $12.99 tab.

Chateau l'Hermitage Reserve 2010

A blend of Syrah and Mourvedre, this red Costieres de Nimes is exceptionally smooth for an affordable Rhone, many of which tend to have aggressive tannins. Nice red fruit and some, but not too much, spice in the finish. Advantageously priced at $9.99.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Faustino Seleccion de Familia 2004

As red Riojas go, this one probably exhibits more tannin and has a more acidic finish than most. If that doesn't put you off, then this is a more than acceptable table wine, provided you let it breathe sufficiently. Getting a bit long in the tooth, which undoubtedly accounts for its very attractive price of $8.99.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Martin Codax Albarino 2011

The '11 of this Galician white is somewhat more citrusy than either of the previous two years. The sale price is $10.49, a dollar less than the '09, a dollar more than the '10.