Monday, September 30, 2013

Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012

According to the winery, they were the first to produce a Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, in 1974. The present version is somewhat atypical, being neither flinty nor infused with a freshly mown grass element. Rather it's  full bodied with citrus and gooseberry prevailing. $9.99, is on offer elsewhere for both two dollars less and the same amount more.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Santa Julia Malbec 2012

Perhaps not quite as velvety as the Reserva, this Argentine red is nevertheless a very nicely smooth wine, with black cherry, vanilla, and chocolate elements, so long as it has adequate time to breathe (at least two hours). Acceptably priced at $9,99.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Siglo Crianza 2009

A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Mazuelo, this red Rioja is aged in oak and in the bottle for a total of 18 months. It's exceptionally smooth, with red berry and soft oak elements,  and no bitter edge whatsoever. A very nice wine and, on the whole, fairly priced at $12.99.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vina Gormaz Verdejo 2011

A Spanish white from Rueda, this is fairly typical of the variety, being light, aromatic, with a distinct nutty flavor and a slight acidity in the finish. $11.99. For whatever reason, my experience is that Portuguese Verdejos of an equivalent quality tend to be cheaper.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Root ; 1 Sauvignon Blanc

Yer another white from Chile's coastal region, this non vintage wine derrives its name from the fact that it's grown on pre philoxera stock (I've frankly never been able to detect any difference, but perhaps there are those who can). Like the recently reviewed Cono Sur (groan) it;s on the fruity side of the variety, with white peach and citrus elements predominant and a noticeable carbonation. $9.99. available for two dollars less in numerous places. When, if ever, can we expect any action from our distinguished state senate?

Diseno Old Vine Malbec 2011

We rather liked the standard version of this red from Argentina's Mendoza Valley. This one is better defined,  rounder, with a more pronounced chocolate finish. A very nice wine for $8.99.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cono Sur Saquvignon Blanc Reserva Especial 2012

This Chilean white does not exhibit the flintiness generally associated with wines made from that grape. Rather, it's pretty full bodied, with elements of grapefruit and white peach, along with a very slight element of bubbles. A pleasant wine but, like the red, at $11.99 it runs into stiff competition.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cono Sur Reserva Especial Pinot Noir 2011

Certainly a strong contender in the silly name derby, this Chilean red from the maritime Casablanca Valley has elements of cherry, plum, blackberry and vanilla, with enough oak induced acidity to give it a desirable edge. A nice enough wine, but at $12.99 it runs into some pretty stiff competition.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Man Vintners Pinotage 2011

Pinotage is a red grape cross which is all but unique to South Africa, having originated there in 1925. The early versions produced overly hearty, smoky country wines without much distinction. Lately some refinements have crept in, and this is not a badly made wine, with dark berry flavors and a hint of cinnamon at the finish. However, at $9.99, this is badly overpriced, being available elsewhere for as much as three dollars less.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cinzano Asti

Let's face it, this Italian bubbly is no brut, nor a sec, not even a demi sec: it's just plain sweet (Nancy wouldn't drink it). Not much in the way of bubbles, a taste of pear and melon, not cloying, but still not what a serious wine drinker would consider. Over priced, even at $7.99.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

G&D Private Stock Marsala

For those of you who like a  sweetish dessert wine, this CA Marsala is not a bad choice. With a fairly prominent burnt sugar taste, it nevertheless doesn't affront the palate with excessive sweetness. A bargain at $4.99.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012

I;'m happy to report that this vintage is as satisfying as ever and that it has a trifle more of the characteristic mown grass element. A nice wine, and the price, at $9,99, is right.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

A multi region, multi vintage wine, this Australian red is considerably better than the standard issue of the same product. It's very fruit forward, without being a fruit bomb. I detect blackberry and plum chiefly, with a touch of licorice in the finish. A little light bodied for a Cab Sauv, but pleasant to drink nevertheless.The price however, $9.99 with instant rebate coupon, is still out of line -- it's available for as much as three dollars less elsewhere.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chateau Argadens 2009

'09 was an exceptional vintage in Bordeaux and this Entre-Deux-Mers red, classified as a Bordeaux Superieur, in most years just barely above average, comes across as a very nice wine indeed. Cherry and plum is what I tasted, along with a robust, if short, iron based finish. $11.99.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chateau l'Ermitage Reserve 2010

One must not confuse this red Costiere de Nimes with a Chateau l'Hermitage. It;s nice enough, but a long way from attaining those heights. What we have here is a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Mourvedre, quite light, with a fairly fruit forward taste and a pronounced spicy element.  $9.99.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vitalonga Elcione 2008

The ways of the PLCB are indeed mysterious. This Umbrian red is just at the top of its form, yet it's being remaindered. A 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it displays plum, blackberry, and vanilla elements alomg with a peppery finish.  A nice buy at $9.99.

JM Fonseca Twin Vines 2010

Named in honor of twin daughters born to the owners. this Portuguese  white, a Vinho Verde, is light, refreshing, and more than slightly effervescent. It makes a pleasing end-of-summer drink, but the price, 7.99, s once again way out of line, You can get it for as much as three dollars less in any number of states.