Monday, December 30, 2013
Ruffino is a huge combine, producing vast quantities of both reds and whites. The entry level whites tend to be cheap but rather aggressively dry. This white however, grown in Umbria (and marketed simply as "white Chianti" on its home ground) is a step or two above that. Not precisely sweet, it nevertheless predominantly reminds me of pear, with just enough citrus to make it into a table rather than a dessert wine. A nice, rounded mouthful and certainly worth the price of $8.99.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
If I were employed in an Italian vineyard to help with the harvesting, this is what I might expect to be given along with my free lunch at noon. It's from Liguria, and it's red. That's the best that can be said for it; othewise it's raw, more than fleetingly bitter, and in no conceivable manner worth the "sale" price of, hang on to your hats, $11.99. (Which reminds me that it's now been at least a year since the initiative to do away with the PLCB was introduced. In that period ( not that anyone cares) I've tried to be fair, praising the Board for whatever real bargains it was offering, and there were certainly some, but from here on in, I'll just save my breath and, whenever expedient and justified by price, order my wine from out of state. The PLCB succeeded admirably in running rings around the voters, but not around the courts.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Made of 100% Chenin Blanc, this white from the region of Tours is a so-called demi-sec. In fact, it leans more in the direction of sweet, with elements of pineapple and peach, only partially tempered by citrus. Given its minerality and and slight carbonization, I'd consider it as a dessert wine. $12.99, can be bought for two dollars less in N.Y.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
All that the term Super Tuscan guarantees these days is that the wine is indeed made in Tuscany. This white blend is on the mild side of "dry", with predominantly apple notes and some quince. $11.99, but it sells for two dollars less in a lot of places.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Those must be some wierd truffles(ramassieres means truffles in the Provencal dialect, from having to stoop to dig them up, after they've been located by one's pet pig or dog) this red grows in the midst of. Even after a good two hours of airing, it tasted thin and unpleasantly bitter. Certainly not worth even the sale price of $9.99.
Friday, December 13, 2013
The Holiday Season having snuck up on us, it's time to look at Cavas. This Catalonian white from Penedes is Spain's best selling bubbly. It's certainly not bad, but the rather unusual mix (not to say contradiction in terms) of pineapple and citrus is not precisely to my taste. When it comes to Cavas, I prefer the Freixenet. $8.99.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
A blend of four different grapes, this young Tuscan red, made in the style of the Super Tuscans, is sometimes referred to as a "Baby Tuscan". It's fresh, with black cherry, blackberry, peach, and, yes, citrus elements. Not much body, but a good summer drink. $9.99.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
A Cabernet Franc, this Loire red ( from a region that specializes in whites )tastes of black cranberry and black cherry, the former lending it a rather acerbic note. In spite of being aged in concrete vats for ten months, it's on the thin side, with a noticeable amount of acidity in the finish. I prefer more body in my reds, but if you're looking for a wine that won't overwhelm light dishes, you might give it a try. The price, at $11.99, is under the market.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Grown at altitude in very dry conditions, this Argentine red from San Juan is a quality product, with the proviso that you let it breathe for at least an hour. Then it will deliver an extremely smooth mix of dark cherry, black berry, and ground black pepper, with just a mollifying touch of chocolate. It sells at a huge gamut of prices, anywhere from seven to seventeen dollars, with the PA price of $12.99 a tad on the high side.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Grown in the hills above Italy's Lake Garda, in the Northeast, this is a relatively cheerful white, it's flintyness balanced by white melon elements, the citrus finish muted sufficiently so as not to overcome the basically soft character of the wine. My preference would be to drink it al fresco in the summer. Fairly priced at $11.99.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Whether because it has aged insufficiently, or because the addition of sugar to this wine has beem overly enthusiastic, this South African white, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Viognier, displaying tropical fruit flavors, tempered by citrus, strlkes me as an unhappy menage a trois. On balance, it manages the difficult feat of being both too sweet and too light, with, as it that were not enough, the slight element of carbonization is entirely supererogatory. Way overpriced at $12.99.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
A Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon blend, this red from Argentina's Mendoza Valley is aged for eight months in oak. The result is a full bodied wine with lots of black fruit, chiefly cherry, plum, and blackberry; also soft tannins and just a hint of chocolate. An extremely pleasant bottle at the really rock bottom price of $9.99. If you have the room, I would put down a case.