What’s New?

Please use comments here to alert everyone to interesting wines you’ve seen at which stores, but which have not yet been reviewed.  Please post any tasting notes in Guest Contributions, or as a comment on a main-page review, as comments here older than six weeks or so will be deleted.

You can check out what reviewers have at home to review at this sub-blog:

GrossOutWine Review Queue

1,092 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. permiesworld

    Stopped by the Corvallis and Albany stores today. Nothing new. At all.
    There’s still some FOUR on the shelves. I was surprised. Hadn’t seen that in a while. Still like that for an inexpensive daily…
    Corvallis also still has the Remarkable Pinot Noir. That’s all for the weekly update in the Mid-WIllamette Valley. Was hoping for something exciting, leading up to the wine sale…

    Reply
  2. flitcraft

    At last, a couple of new wines turned up at the Lake City GO–the Schlumberger Maison Rouge, the Dream Walker chardonnay, and an Avery Lane 2010 merlot.
    The one I bought and tried was the Avery Lane. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for it, since my memory of the Avery Lane merlots of ten years ago was that they were pretty generic, inoffensive wines without a lot to recommend them. But in fact this one was really not bad. It’s a medium to light weight bodied merlot with black cherry and plum flavors. It would do better with a bit brighter fruit and a bit more acid, but by no means as flabby as a lot of low-end merlots. I would give it a marginal thumbs up at the price point, and would like it enough to re-buy if it were 4 dollars a bottle instead of 6 dollars.

    Out of curiosity, I did a little research on Avery Lane, since in the early 2000’s their red blend was our ‘house red.” Here’s what I already knew: Avery Lane was acquired by Precept when Precept was just getting started, and they immediately dumped all of their wines in preparation for a new look label. So, they had a cabernet, a merlot, and a ‘red blend’ that appeared in local Seattle grocery stores for $3.99. The cab and merlot turned out to be bland and overly sweet wines, but the red blend was much, much better–a syrah based kitchen sink blend with lemberger and sangiovese as well as merlot and cab. Lip-smackingly good for the money.

    Then came a jazzy new label and a price of around 8 or 9 bucks. Then it disappeared entirely, including from Precept’s website. Online skulking around indicated that there was apparently a merlot produced in 2007 that included sangiovese and lemberger, like the old red blend did. And somebody online liked it. That’s all there is…The bottle today says nothing about Precept, and nothing about Avery Lane, except that it gives the winery as being in Walla Walla . The actual wine, though, is Washington state, which means the grapes could come from anywhere in the state. I was unable to find a website for Avery Lane.

    So…bottom line, it’s a drinkable, even mild thumb’s up merlot that is overpriced by GO standards but would likely fly out the door if priced that way in a supermarket. More than you needed to know, but there really hasn’t been much to report on from the Seattle precincts.

    Reply
  3. permiesworld

    Stopped by both the Salem stores today. Saw the Harrington Santa Cruz PN but didn’t pick it up.
    Also saw the Panther Creek PN, but I’m not sure which one it was (in reference to the two reviews listened in here). No luck on the Lanson Brut or Jeff Hill.

    Did pick up these:
    2010 Mercy Chardonnay Arroyo Seco, Zabala Vineyard (Mercy Vineyards) $5.99 (Original price was $30 according to the website)
    2012 Van Ruiten Pinot Noir Steamboat Vineyard (Van Ruiten Family Vineyards) $7.99
    (currently selling for $19-$25/bottle)
    2011 Samuel Roberts Winery Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $15.99. I’m bugged at this. Didn’t check my receipt. Thought the tag said $5.99. I never would have expected a GO wine to be $15.99 (especially since this wine isn’t much more at the retail outlets…I think you can get it for $18.99…so not a great deal. Original price was $30.)

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      FYI, I did just today see the 2011 Samuel Roberts Winery WV PN, at costco for $17.99 (or whatever Costco’s change suffix is…was less than $18). So even though I haven’t tried this yet, it’s just an information FYI that GO’s price is definitely not a bargain…unless you want to save $2 and already know you like the wine.

      Reply
  4. JoelA

    At Richmond today

    2010 “The Crusher” Wilson Vineyard (Clarksburg) chardonnay $ 5,99
    2013 Costero Bay (Monterey) chardonnay $ 5.99
    2012 Lithos Napa Valley chardonnay $ 6.99
    2008 Ben Hogan “Carnoiustie” (Paso Robles syrah/cabernet/mrlot blend) $ 5.99
    2011 District 7 (Monterey) cabrnet $ 5.99
    2012 Van Ruiten (Lodi) pinot noir $ 6.99
    2011 Myka “Kane” (cabernet/petite sirah) $ 8.99
    2012 Gunn Estate New Zealnd (Marlborough) pinot noir $ 6.99
    20010 Reata Carneros chardonnay $ 5.99

    Reply
    1. lim13

      With all the new and mostly interesting stuff showing up…up and down the coast…I believe I smell a 20% off sale around the bend somewhere.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        For anyone unfamiliar with this, twice yearly, the GO has a sale that is 20% off all wine. The time of the spring sale has varied, but the fall sale has always been the Wednesday through Sunday of the first full week of November. That would likely make it Nov 5 – 8 this year.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          Hey Lim and BW,

          On the subject of GO wine sales, I don’t know about other GOs throughout the West Coast, but I have been informed that at the Oakland store they will be having a 20%-off sale in early November…….and that they encourage folks to place their “ORDER” with wine staff as early as two weeks before the actual sale begins.

          They will then put aside whatever you desire to buy on a dedicated pallet, specifically reserved for you to pickup at your leisure during the sale period!

          I’m not sure if this is old news………as I certainly didn’t know about this perk……..but apparently some of the GOs have experienced near fist-fights and unpleasant behavior as folks scramble to secure their stash amongst popular choices when the sale starts.

          The Oakland GO hopes their policy becomes better known, as they wish to defuse a “riotous” atmosphere from developing as their wine sale’s legend develops stature …….LOL.

          Reply
            1. Jim H

              I had this exchange with two of them yesterday, suggesting just that. Last year I did so and it was nearly impossible to find my two cases amidst the mountain of same in the back room. Have seen those unpleasant “exchanges” during the 20% sales in years past. Good idea. Unlikely to be stiffed, they’d just sell it for full price later. And yes, Oaktown has indeed been invaded by hipsters riding fixies (usually at night, dressed in dark clothing and without lights) in the area just over toward Telegraph and more downtown from the GO.

            2. Darrell

              Pray tell, are these hipsters where OPD might or should be involved or do I have a naive defn. of hipster.

            3. EHL

              Glad you got the word, Jim…….and, Darrell, these hipsters aren’t members of the Black Panther Party and (usually) aren’t packing either……good luck bagging a Ram (or sheep?)…..

            1. EHL

              Hey JWC……..yeah, it is Oakland, LOL……but you would be surprised at the “gentrified” clientele patronizing this store and, for that matter, all throughout Oaktown, as it is undergoing a dramatic renaissance……a lot of new money and blood coming in, perhaps an after-effect of the IT boom cascading throughout the SF Bay area.

          1. lim13

            This concept is news to me, EHL. I haven’t heard anyone mention it on the blog in the last three years. And I mentioned during the recent Road Less Traveled Cab excitement that the owner of the Lake City GO in north Seattle absolutely refused to hold six bottles of that wine for me, though it was not during a sale. He didn’t know me and was afraid that I would stiff him, never show up and leave him stuck with the wine. I don’t think I’d care to get involved with taking orders in advance. Another very real problem is that November was in the middle of holiday stock buildup when I was in the retail wine business. Our in-store warehouses were filled to the rafters with product. We wanted as much out on the floor as possible to make room in the back.

            They’re still inviting complaints and criticism. What happens to the customers who never get the pre-order information or are gone (vacation etc.) when the announcement is made? I would think that GO corporate would have final control regarding this “policy”. If I was a store franchisee, I’d sure want to discuss it with other franchisees and with headquarters. I’m sure our readers might have a take on this. If so…please chime in. I’m still chuckling to myself about a wine riot at GO. Kinda’ like department store madness during a big sale. Maybe GO will need to hire wine security officers!

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I’ve found if you actually get to know the people at these stores they will provide customer service like this. If they don’t know you, you may not get rhythm.

            2. EHL

              Good point, Lim…….on the security officers especially, which they already have…….two on-duty bruisers at all times at the Oakland GO…….but I imagine they might have one stationed around the wine stacks during the opening day of the sale, not at the exits like normally……LOL.

              As to the advisability of their pre-sale “Order” policy, the Oakland GO is a large corporate operation, not a franchisee store, the latter being smaller and more economically vulnerable, I would imagine. The Oakland GO’s wine and beer sales are huge…….as I understand, one of the top two amongst the entire GO family……..with daily sales sometimes in the several tens of $thousands.

              From your comments, I guess their policy is unique……they must feel pretty comfortable about the customers they have formed a rapport with and move so much product that they aren’t concerned with being stiffed.

          2. Darrell

            Gee, I have been to the Oakland store on opening day of a sales and have never seen this riotous behavior. I have never tried to get to know Steve when he was there as he was a bit dogmatic. Robaire will listen and tend to know your tastes and make recommendations accordingly. I am afraid I might be gone for this Nov. wine sale pursuing red wine fare in the Rockies. Anybody have suggestions on wine pairing for mutton, Rocky Mountain mutton.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Now that you mention it, Darrell… I did have a Colorado red back in 2005 that a friend brought back for me. It was a 1999 Plum Creek Redstone Reserve Colorado Cabernet Sauvignon. I served it at my annual wine tasting for friends and here are my notes: “Slightly cloudy; medium garnet; lots of forward chocolate fruit in the nose; medium body with decent extract; varietal chocolate, coffee and leather flavors; lots of tart acidity; fruity and flavorful. This wine really surprised me—I expected it to be light in color with high acidity, but only two of 11 people picked it to be the ringer in a flight of four CA or WA Cabernets! Excellent effort.” I don’t know about mutton, but you might check out their wines. Though by the vintages on their site, I’d say they may be down for the count.

            2. Darrell

              Lim, thanks for the link to the winery as I am familiar with this area of CO in my pursuit of red wine fare. The Palisade area is known for their peaches and the wines from this area are quite decent. I see what you mean by down for the count when you see old vintages being sold on the website. It’s a shame.

        1. permiesworld

          Right now, nothing new here either. Odd thing today. I went into the Corvallis GO to check the stock and there was this bottle of “Bellefountain Red Hill Vineyard Dry Reisling 2000″ on the shelf. I couldn’t see a price and I had no idea (still don’t) if Reisling holds up to 14 years ageing. But Bellfountain was a Corvallis winery that closed (IIRC). So if it wasn’t too much $ I was going to risk it. Plus I’d never tried a dry Reisling (not being fond of the non-dry).

          Super weird though…when I got up to the register, there was no price for the wine. Wasn’t in their book or the computer. Both owner/operators were gone. The guy who stocks the wines came over and said “Yeah, that was so weird. That’s not one of our wines. Somebody put it on the shelf. I have no idea how it got there.” So they didn’t sell it. Strange experience.

          Reply
      2. flitcraft

        I’m jealous of all the new wines you folks are getting to try. Wish that this would happen in the Seattle area stores. Nothing new except for a few ringers like the Chill Out wines is appearing, and all of the very good/flawed/interesting wines that I keep reading about have failed to show up at the Lake City, Kenmore, or MLK GO’s. (I’ve left out the SODO GO because it barely has a wine department at all these days…)

        So when are we going to share in the bounty of new wines, I wonder. The 20% sale has little appeal unless they start re-stocking with new wines here.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          Hey Flitcraft……what about all the great bottles that Lim has been reviewing lately up there in the great NW (i.e., 2005 Wattle Creek Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Terre Davino Piemonte Barbera, 2009 Pena Roble Ribera Del Duero (Tempranillo), 2000 Forestville Alexander Valley Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon…….many for less than $4 and that’s just the Reds).

          Sure wish we had some of those interesting wines to try down here in the SF Bay area!

          ……also, don’t forget all those exceptional bottles of South African Reds (Le Riche, et. al) that you folks got a steal on that we never even sniffed……I guess it all evens out somewhat…….LOL.

          Reply
          1. flitcraft

            Nope, nary a one of those have shown up in Seattle. We did get the Road Less Traveled reds from SA, but that’s about it. Very much hoping that some good stuff gets to us soon, or I’ll be down to reviewing old GO wines stashed in the cellar.

            Reply
    2. EHL

      Hey JoelA…….had a glass of the District 7 Cab from Monterey County and it was pretty tasty upon opening……a decent nose with dark cherry/plum fruit in a smooth, balanced, full-bodied wine that was neither overly jammy nor dry…….and preferred it over Myka (Kane) Cab/PS blend, which was pricier but not noticeably better. Also tasted the Ben Hogan (Carnoustie) Red blend, which had been opened a day earlier with noticeable sediment……..but I enjoyed the Monterey Cab the most, a wine of substance that perhaps belies the reputation that most Reds from that area tend to be on the thin and light side……..and don’t forget it’s only $5.99.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I had the District 7 Cab too. I liked it ok but didn’t get too much dark cherry/plum from it. It was more red fruit to me with very light tannins, moderate body and that slightly strange note that I don’t know how to describe. It’s not fruity – more of a bright fermentation that’s not funk/brett. I get it a lot in moderately priced wines and especially South American ones. The wife really didn’t care for the District 7 at all.

        Reply
      2. lim13

        I remember when Monterey Cabs all had serious green bell pepper issues. I could never handle them and have never given them another try. I’m assuming things have improved?

        Reply
        1. EHL

          Hey Expat and Lim………I only had a glass when the bottle was first opened, so my positive impression was based solely upon that, but I assumed the Cab would develop further and improve upon breathing…….and there was no offensive green bell pepper or overly herbaceous element that I was able to detect, either in the nose or wine itself….

          Reply
          1. Expat

            OK, so I may need to update my opinion of the District 7. After night 1 I vacu-vinned the remaining half bottle and just got back into it, about 4 days later expecting nothing and getting ready to dump it. That weirdness I didn’t like is pretty much gone and the fruit is there and pleasant. I may not have given it enough time to open up the first night. It’s not a tremendous wine but pretty solid. I guess my advice is to give it some decent air time before drinking. If anyone can pop and pour this and let me know how to articulate what I’m tasting I would be grateful.

            Reply
        2. Seedboy

          What happened is folks figured out that, as a general proposition, Monterey County is not a good place to grow Cab. Remember Smith and Hook? Maker of much green Cab? That was located in a place we now know as the Santa Lucia Highlands, which is now the home of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. I’m betting that there is little Cab in the Salinas Valley and its surrounding hills now, and the only Cab in the county is grown either in Carmel Valley (still probably a bit too cool there) and a separate valley whose name I cannot remember.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Appreciate your info on the Monterey Cabs, Seedboy. Thanks. And yes…I remember Smith & Hook. Their name always made me think of Peter Pan.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I just checked. This label is now owned by Hahn. It appears that Hahn’s SLH holdings (I presume, the old Smith & Hook property) is now growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot Gris, and a Malbec they make into a rose. The Smith & Hook cabs are from Paso Robles and “central coast”.

            2. Darrell

              I still have the1983 Smith and Hook CS in bottle and magnums and they have aged well due to the strong character that some don’t like. Bought at TJ’s way back.

          2. Expat

            Thanks for the info Seedboy. I drive through the Santa Lucia Highlands several times a year on my way to the Bay Area. It really is a cool climate appellation so I can see Cab flopping there. Like you say, I see mostly PInot Noir and Chardonnay coming out of there (and some Syrah). It’s actually a region I want to explore since it’s less than two hours from me and I like cool climate wines. There was a cab from this area at GO a couple years ago – pretty sure it was Chateau Julien and it was a 2000. I actually liked it a lot. It tasted like a French wine to me.

            I wish I could articulate the District 7 flavor component I was getting because it’s something that is in a lot of wines. It’s not green bell pepper and almost an herbaceousness but not really, because I like the eucalyptus and minty elements in wine. Whatever I’m smelling and tasting, I’m not saying it’s a defect but it may be a profile that just doesn’t appeal to me. It comes off as an underdeveloped flavor.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Thanks very much for the info, guys………gee, drink a glass of wine from an area you aren’t familiar with…….and be rewarded with a wealth of background and insight …….another perk of being a GO patron….

            2. Darrell

              I bought the above 2000 Ch. Julien Estate Vineyard CS hoping it would have some bell pepper or herbaceousness, but the wine had none. Still have some and I would describe the wine as a heavier Cab. After looking at the winery’s website back then, as best I could tell the grapes were grown in the San Antonio Valley AVA, a region IV. It’s not a region IV as you find in the Central Valley since the night temps drop quite a bit. I am familiar with this area since I try to obtain PN fare there. Monterey County has quite a microclimate range and the wineries there take advantage of this just like Ch. Julien or Scheid with their different vineyards within the county.

            3. Seedboy

              The Ch. Julien tasting room is in Carmel Valley. I’ve not ever stopped there, and do not know where the grapes are grown (vineyards surround the tasting room). The GO did have some of their wines a number of years ago, I doubt that I bought any of them.

            4. BargainWhine Post author

              Interesting you say that, Expat. The only experience I can claim is tasting at Gainey once in 2006 and tasting a SLH Syrah that had roasted meats and violets in a way that I very rarely recall in New World Syrahs.

  5. Seedboy

    Oakland had Foppiano Russian River Sauv Blanc 2011 today for 3.99. Robair spoke favorably of it. I bought a bottle but have not tasted it. Still plenty of the Hill wines and that Carneros Chard that was recently reviewed.

    Reply
  6. Seedboy

    A couple of new wines at Oakland today. I’ve not tried either one.
    Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc Steen op Hout 2011, $3.99. Cellartracker page: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1472936&searchId=8EAACA0C%23selected%253DW1795764_1_K0e9cb839e6055f1058e4c7c0f4cea603
    2010 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley, $5.99 Cellartracker page:

    http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1506826&searchId=698D9CBD%23selected%253DW1888384_1_Kd1db22475d3e3a64f5b2fabca9e279b8

    With the latter it seems that it depends on how you feel about funky pinot.
    Oakland still has all of the Hill wines.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      That Chenin Blanc appeared in Silverdale yesterday too. I’ll likely grab one for review later. I’ve usually enjoyed other Mulderbosch wines at regular pricing i.e. their Sauv Blanc and Rose’. I’ve had the Chenin, but it’s been years. And I’ll be reviewing a different Panther Creek Pinot. They’re a very reputable Willamette Valley winery in McMinnville.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Bought a bottle of the 2011 Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc and a 2011 Montemar Harmonia Red Blend (BW reviewed the 2010 in September of 2013) in Silverdale today for review.

        Reply
    2. EHL

      Thanks for your comments on the Panther Pinot Noir, SB…….saw the earlier positive blog mentions re Panther and Oregon PN, so picked up a bottle to taste later…..and at $6 seems to be quite a bargain from a respected Willamette winery, regardless of whether you are into PN funk or not. Should be a broadening experience.

      Also, picked up an interesting Red blend from Spain’s Catalunya region that Robaire recommended…….Proyecto Cu4tro (Project Four)…..which intrigued me because of the eclectic mix of grapes I was not familiar with: 55% Marselan, 8% Samso and the rest Garnacha with a touch of Syrah. Attached is some background info and review: http://www.amazon.com/2011-Proyecto-Cuatro-Spanish-Blend/dp/B00F5C0YGS.

      Upon opening, the wine had a nice fragrant nose of vanilla, spice and dark fruit, and it had a bright, lively character I enjoyed. With a ruby-colored, medium-body, the wine was dry yet smooth and exhibited a velvety tannic finish. On the second day, the vanilla nose dissipated somewhat, with more fruit aroma, and the wine darkened, showing more complexity.

      All in all…… a pretty nice, balanced bottle of Red wine from Spain…….for $3.99! Gotta get more.

      Reply
    3. Seedboy

      I opened the Panther Creek. It smells so much of sulfur, I bet if Bryan Harrington had put a bottle of this in each barrel of his wines that have ended up at the GO they would not be undergoing secondary fermentation in the bottle. Maybe it will blow off. I’ll report back.
      There is a Foppiano Sauv Blanc that I’m liking, pretty tasty. Good fruit and acidity, fresh tasting, refreshing.

      Reply
      1. G.L. Pease

        After reading your notes, I opened a second Panther Creek. Textbook brett. Funk doesn’t come close to describing the horrors in this bottle. Mouse urine and rusty metal. There’s still nice fruit under the miasma of stench, but it’s not worth struggling past. Considering your experience, I’ll put my good bottle down as the anomaly. This won’t be coming home with me again.

        Reply
    4. G.L. Pease

      The Panther Creek PN is quite nice. It opens with a somewhat cannabis character in both the nose and on the palate, but this gasses off after a few minutes in the glass to more typical Willamette characteristics. I actually quite like this one, though it’s not as refined or as nicely presented as Hill Wine Company’s 2012 Napa PN, which to me is a dead steal at $8. Back to the Panther – Cherries, herbaceous undertones, interesting spice – clove, pepper, tarragon. Really a fascinating wine, and well worth tossing a fiver down for it.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Maybe I should ask because there may be two different ones running around, which Panther Creek did you get? Mine was the 2010 Winemaker’s something or another. I detected no cannabis on it, just matchstick sulfur.

        Reply
        1. G.L. Pease

          Cannabis aromas aren’t uncommon in some pinots. This was the same wine, the 2010 Winemaker’s Cuvée. See my comment above. Apparently, there’s lots of bottle variation, here. Brett bloom in the bottle is a likely culprit for what I was tasting in the second one. It was actually nauseating.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Just to be fair…some people (perhaps not me) actually like brett in their reds. I suspect that might be in small doses too.

            Reply
            1. G.L. Pease

              There’s a big difference in a little brett finding its way into the wine from the vineyard, or even in the barrels, and the stuff being so badly contaminated by it that it stinks like this. I like the Burgundy funk, which is partly attributable to brett, but when it goes secondary in the bottles to this extent, the results are less than pleasant. I was being kind when I said mouse urine. Think mouse cage that hasn’t been cleaned in days. Stench. I had to hold my nose to pour it down the plug hole.

              And, though it may appear I am trying to be funny, I’m actually not. It was really that bad.

      2. EHL

        Highlights of cannabis in a Red wine……..first time I have heard of that……..does that refer to the PN’s smoky character or to its mind-altering effects……..LOL?

        Either way…….an interesting and creative descriptor, GLP……I really look forward now to uncorking my bottle……..maybe tonight!

        Reply
        1. lim13

          I certainly didn’t think you were trying to be funny, G.L. I’ve read enough of your comments to appreciate that you know of what you speak. And it sounds like this is one Panther Creek that I’ll be leaving on the shelf should I ever see it. But I suspect many of our readers have never heard of brett, have no idea what it is and likely have no interest in knowing. Nonetheless, this looks like a perfect educational opportunity. Check this out.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            I know a little about brett and think it is one of the aspects of European wines that I like when in a controlled, limited amount.

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              I poured a bit more of the 2010 Panther Creek Wed. night. Both the nose and palate are still overwhelmed by sulphur, which had even toned down quite a bit.

            2. G.L. Pease

              Like SB, I poured a little of the Winermaker’s Cuvée over a couple days. The last pour was down the drain. Disappointing, really. The good bottle was quite good. The bad, as dreadful as I’ve ever experienced. It’s been a bad week for GO wines for me. A Chianti that I picked up some months ago was corked .Another had so much VA I couldn’t get it near my nose. Others have just been lackluster and uninspiring. The Hidden Cellars 2010 Mendocino Zinfandel is a nice exception. A little coppery in the nose, but overall, quite a nice balance of fruit and spice, and at 14.5% ABV, refreshing for it’s lower than trendy alcohol content.

            3. Seedboy

              On the third night, enough of the sulfur has blown off so that I can detect wine underneath it. I don’t quite know why I’m doing this to myself, but I feel compelled to continue this for a while.

          2. Seedboy

            After the third night, I gave the bottle a big big shake and then took out the cork. I left it on the counter all night and now it tastes like a wine I might buy. I might buy, as an experiment, one more bottle, aggressively, and then decant it. I wonder what it would then taste like the first night

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Thanks for taking one for the troops, SB……I will certainly try all your tricks when I open my bottle……..and as I may have mentioned before, Robaire really loved this PN……..

            2. Seedboy

              Hey EHL, look at the comments on the 2006 Panther Creek, someone was tried the experiment I suggested and posted thoughtful notes about it.

            3. Seedboy

              I did finish the bottle tonight. Isn’t this the fifth night? It still had the sulfur aroma and also was showing brett. Underneath the flaws the wine tasted correct but the work to get to it is not justified

    1. Seedboy

      Meanwhile, the Berkeley store wine section is only being stocked three times a week. That store does however have a screaming non-wine deal: California Olive Ranch EVOO, .750 l, $7.99. This is the current crop oil, not last year’s. Two years ago the NYTimes declared this was the best California olive oil.

      Reply
  7. RB

    Stopped by the Lacey, WA store today and a few things that I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned here caught my eye. Two that I picked up were a Luna di Luna Private Collection 2010 Valpolicella Classico Ripasso, $7.99, and a Jean-Luc Colombo 2009 Les Forots Cotes Du Rhone Syrah, $5.99.
    Also saw these two and include some related links:
    Six Prong 2009 Cab Sauv, Horse Heaven Hills (I think $10)

    http://www.greatnorthwestwine.com/2013/05/07/six-prong-2009-cabernet-sauvignon-horse-heaven-hills-20/

    Belle Ambiance 2012 Cab Sauv, California ($6?)

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/gil-lempert-schwarz/wine-week-belle-ambiance-cabernet-sauvignon

    Hope to try the first two soon, but it may take a bit since we’re now in the thick of fresh hop beer season.

    Reply
  8. jwc

    Popped into Tanasbourne, lots of new stuff:

    Laurelwood Napa Valley Merlot 2009 $5.99 Wilfred Wong gave it 89pts for what that’s worth.
    Westland 2008 Hillside Blanc Willamette Valley (Mathven Family Vineyard) $4.99
    Robertson (South Africa) Sweet Red & Sweet White $2.99
    Mulderbosch 2011 Chenin Blanc $5.99
    Berton Vineyard 2011 Barossa Shiraz $5.99
    Wanderlust 2012 Chardonnay Chile $5.99 (Cultivate Wines, owner previously headed Screaming Eagle)
    Dream Walking 2012 California Chardonnay $5.99 (Cultivate)
    Copa Cabana (Cultivate) Cab Sav-Carmenere blend $5.99
    Mercy Arroyo Seco 2010 Chardonnay Zabala Vineyard $5.99 (originally $30)
    2008 Winter Hill Sauvignon Blanc $3.99
    2010 Wilson Daniels California Central Coast Pinot Noir $5.99, its back
    2011 Samuel Roberts Winery Vitners Reserve Willamette Valley $15.99

    I went for the Laurelwood Merlot, Winter Hill Sav Blanc, Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc (excited about that one, CB is supposed to be South Africa’s signature varietal) and the Mercy chard, as well as more of the Harrington PN. Did speak with one of the employees who is into wine, he mentioned a Panther Creek ’07 pinot noir coming in soon, he thought perhaps Oct. for $7. Not quite the vintage of ’06, and he wasn’t sure of the vineyard designation, but he was excited, Panther Creek for $7 is unheard of in these parts. Hopefully it isn’t hype. Lots of good options right now in Beaverton.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Oakland has the Wilson Daniels for $4.99. I’ve consumed parts of a bottle the last couple of days, it tastes like pinot that has had the soul stripped out of it.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        When the Wilson Daniels first came to GO at a sale, I remember the PN being covered up by wood though I could taste the varietal character. I stashed a case away to let the wood and grape meld. I hope what you have said about the soul stripping isn’t true.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          For a refresher on what was said about this wine in May 2013, check this out. And my question: why are we seeing the same vintage again more than a year later (though I can guess)?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            That is a very good question, lim13. I’m betting this wine came directly from WD, the GO has bought a mess of wine from them in the past. Now, is this part of the original purchase and it just sat in a GO warehouse for a year, or is this a new parcel? The oakiness referred to above is gone, as is any tannin that was ever in this wine.

            Reply
          2. dluber

            Alright, after a long absence here I feel I must chime in as OP of that review. I never updated it, but after hearing others liked the 2010 W-D CC pinot better than me, I got another bottle at the tail end of the first run and tasted it weeks later, when it was all gone (around 9/2013). I liked it much better then; maybe my nose was just working better, but it had seemingly picked up some complexity and was moving towards the sweet spot for pinots for me – lighter-medium bodied, sweet fruit, and silky tannins with good acidity and spicy, rich aromatics. Seemed to have some short-term aging potential.

            I remember regretting not getting more, so I just now saw it was back and grabbed a case on good hopes. Also got a bottle of the Panther Creek ’10 Winemaker’s Cuvee based on reputation and limited experience (had a lovely 2001 Chard from them courtesy of GO, held up for years; hadn’t checked in here or on CellarTracker yet on the current pinot offering) and am liking it very much. May go for a case of that too, although the reviews here and on CT seem to be running about 3:2 shitty (sulfide/mercaptans/Brett) to 90 pt-ers. I’m guessing the whole lot was dumped on GO because they had a bad barrel or two…or three…or more. Definitely a gamble, but that’s what we’re all about at Gross Out Wine, eh?

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Gotta’ pick your moments, DL…what a pleasant surprise to hear from you! Y’all come back now…ya’ hear?

      2. G.L. Pease

        Grape Koolade and Jolly Rancher. This wine has no typicity, really, and the overbearing lolly tastes made it almost impossible for me to get it past my nose. When I was a lad, my doctor would give me a little lolly with a farm implement on the other end of the stick. This reminds me so much of that, I almost feared the vaccination. Given sufficient air time, it does have some redeeming qualities – there’s a background spice that would be really pleasant if not for the candy coated nose. I just read the winemaker’s notes on this one, and found them entirely too optimistic. Maybe in the barrels it had more to offer, but today, not so much.

        I can’t say the wine is flawed, from a wine making perspective, but from a drinking perspective, it’s no bargain, even at this price.

        Reply
    2. flitcraft

      Hmmm…last year GO had that Copa Cabana blend in 3 liter boxes for 4.99 a box, later reduced to 3.99 a box. We bought a couple for cooking purposes…

      Reply
      1. jwc

        Yes I too bought one of those at $3.99 flitcraft. Certainly a far better deal in the box, thought the wine was drinkable -, but that Cultivates story is very interesting, the charity work and all the good they do. The owner having been the principal Screaming Eagle, and has now bought Mayacamas. Big article on him in Food & Wine magazine a few months back. Fascinating guy, now looking at South Africa and buying a winery there, probably has by now. For me this Copa Cabana is a pass, may try the Dream Walking California Chard, just because I’m in that state a lot…dreaming that is.

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          For me, the wine was on the lower end of drinkable when it first appeared, but at the equivalent of a dollar a bottle, it was certainly worth having around for making beef stew and similar dishes where the finesse of a wine would be lost anyway. (And as I recall, it worked fine in a tinto de verano, wine plus lemon Italian soda over lots of ice.) But at 6 dollars a bottle, this one is a definite pass for me, too–you can do much, much better for the money.

          The charity work is a great story, though. Same thing for the Piggybank wines that came through recently–they, too, have an interesting and commendable charitable tie-in with their wine sales.

          Reply
    3. permiesworld

      I picked up the Dream Walking Chardonnay today too. The un-oaked designation was intriguing to me. I waver back and forth on too much oak, not enough oak, no oak. I can’t decide how I really like Chardonnay…sometimes there are good ones in all three areas.

      Reply
  9. lim13

    Well, I returned my mostly full bottle of Tin Roof Zin today and picked up a couple bottles of southern hemisphere Sauvignon Blancs to review at some point. Both are $3.99 here. I bought:
    2009 Eco.Love NZ SB (sustainably grown and vinified and in a wild bottle); they also have a 2009 Riesling that I passed on for now.
    2010 Winter Hill Stellenbosch SB, South Africa that comes with a rather stark label that looks suspiciously similar to the Road Less Traveled labels. And I believe Seedboy thought this wine was pretty decent.

    Reply
  10. permiesworld

    I stopped by the Corvallis GO while I was out today. Spoke with the owner, very nice gentleman.
    I asked him about the Jeff Hill wines and they are not on the Oregon availability list. He said he’d check into whether or not he could get them. He saw them on the CA distributor list but it’s low availability (60+ cases) for all the stores.

    Picked up:
    The Carnelian Project 2012 Paso Robles Red Blend for $6.99. (Can’t find any info on what’s in the blend.)

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I have been drinking the Hill Chardonnays the last couple of days, they are quite good, I’ve been running low on everyday Chardonnay and will be buying more of them. A friend whose wife is really picky about Chardonnay (she especially does not like to taste age on them) says they both like these wines too.

      Reply
  11. EricfromRichmond

    At the Richmond store, two Pinot Noirs from Jeff Hill 2011 and Hill Wine Company 2012. The bottle for the 2011 almost lured me in, it’s pretty substantial and looks like it should contain a very sophisticated wine. The 2012 bottle a little less so. I remembered that 2012 is supposed to be a better year (right?) and bit on the 2012. Came home to look it up on the internets and found this article:

    http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/hill-wine-co-files-for-bankruptcy/article_a34679ef-9b55-5b60-9c4e-18e7281ca226.html

    about how the winery has filed for bankruptcy and Jeff Hill is being sued multiple times for nonpayment of purchasing grapes. This tawdry piece of information appeals to some base part of me and has further piqued my curiosity about this wine.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Sunday morning Richmond still had these two pinots, and also had the 2012 chardonnay. However the Jeff Hill won’t last long.

      Reply
      1. GOWineLover

        I was not impressed with the 2011 and had very, very high hopes. I have had more than a handful that best the wine, but, I guess, not at the $9 price point. The wine still lacked finesse to me, though it definitely represented the AVA well. Too thin around the edges for my taste. Food friendly with good acid backbone. Absolutely worth a try but reminds me of my first (and only) purchase from Lot18.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          Sorry GOWL that the Jeff Hill Carneros PN didn’t meet your expectations based on the hype…….although I did add the caveat that I am no PN connoisseur, LOL…….and at least you didn’t pay the $65 retail and for $9 I trust you got your money’s worth of a decent wine.

          Reply
  12. EHL

    Greetings,

    A number of interesting new offerings at the Oakland GO.

    Picked up an Argentine bottle of Trapiche 2011 Oak Cask Syrah from Mendoza Valley (http://www.winelegacy.com/ItemDetail.aspx?Item_), after tasting it………a big, bold red with a nice nose of spice and plum, followed by an elegant, smoky, rush of velvety dark fruit……after breathing for a couple of hours, a well-balanced wine with a pleasing finish. One of the better Syrahs I have tasted in a while and a very nice example of this dark varietal……quite the value for $5.99……and even at the low retail price of $15!

    They also had a number of high-end offerings from the Jeff Hill Winery (aka Hill Wine Co.) of St. Helena, Napa Valley. (Sidenote: the formerly highly-regarded winemaker, Hill, is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, along with other assorted misfortunes, including criminal charges; hence the immediate need to liquidate his assets, I imagine.)

    I tasted four of his wines, including three Pinot Noirs and a Cabernet Sauvignon……and of the bunch, I most enjoyed the Jeff Hill 2011 Carneros Napa Valley PN……which Invino rated pretty highly at 94 points (attached is their glowing review: https://www.invino.com/wine/pinot-noir-hill-wine-company-carneros-napa-valley-2011/V2NCMOE0A.html#.VCcz9yldU00). Although I am no PN connoisseur, it brought to mind the “Old World” style of PN……with an aromatic bouquet of earth and mushrooms, accompanied by a restrained yet delicious medium-bodied wine redolent of lush fruit……a pretty sophisticated and nuanced red. I was lucky to pickup a bottle for $8.99 (retail $65), as only a few were left out of the 40 case shipment that arrived yesterday. Apparently, a few others also fell love with this wine and recognized the immense value……as they bought cases in the tens……raiding the stock before it even hit the shelf!

    There are plenty of cases of the other two Hill PNs (which have a different label stating Hill Co.) included a nice Mt. Veeder Napa Valley offering ($18, retails for $65) which was delicious, too, but not the equivalent of the Carneros IMHO. Rounding out the group was Hill’s Cab (price unknown, retail $30) which was an elegant and very tasty wine, and to be frank was significantly better than the Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve CS which has been floating around GOs. I believe these were all 2011-12 vintages.

    Keep your eye out for these Hill bottles, especially the Carneros PN!

    I also picked up a bottle of the Deux Amis 2009 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, which I haven’t tasted. The GO wine staff indicated this was one of their favorites from the recent arrivals and as one reviewer noted on-line: “The Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is the deepest in color, reaching a dark garnet hue. As it opens up, it reveals qualities of dark chocolate and light syrup, which make one quietly intone “Eureka!” Starting with notes of black berry and cherry, it moves to these heavier qualities of Zinfandel. Contained within a balanced and firm structure, it is the strongest of the three Zinfandels. The finish lingers with berry and spice, suppleness and roundness.” The Oakland GO also has another Zin, along with an interesting Petite Sirah, from Deux Amis winery.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      On your recommendation I went to Oakland. Of the Hill, the Carneros pinot is gone and so is the cab. The Mt Veeder pinot is still there, and at 16.99 it will be a while. The Napa pinot at 7.99 is still there. Two vintages of chardonnay, one of sauv blanc

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Seedboy……you saw EricfromRichmond’s comment……it appears the 2011 Jeff Hill PN is available, as the supply wasn’t decimated by raiders like at Oakland. Hopefully it is likewise priced at $9……quite a value at that price point. Although Eric didn’t mention it, they may also have the Cab.

        Happy hunting (although I would call first)!

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Oakland did have a Hill 2012 Napa Valley pinot for $7.99. It is pretty good, my wife certainly likes it. Good fruit, nice balance, no off flavors. I’ll go to Richmond tomorrow morning before the Raiders game. Berkeley showed no sign of this stuff, but that may be because the wine area was never stocked today. That store is looking to hire a wine person.

          Reply
            1. EHL

              Raider’s misery???………how about Cal, as East Bay residents……you gotta love the resurrection of the Golden Bears……at least one our teams has risen from the graveyard…….LOL!

    2. Expat

      just had the Trapiche Syrah tonight. A touch sweet for my old world palate but a nice wine nevertheless. I enjoyed it with the oak grilled chicken I cooked up while watching the Giants crush the Pirates.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Hey Expat…….are you sure that “sweetness” didn’t permeate from the dominating Giant’s victory…….especially compared to that vinegary A’s loss last night……..LOL!

        Reply
        1. Expat

          Ha! Yes EHL, I did get a wash of lush fruit flavors right as Crawford hit his grand slam and silenced all of Pittsburgh. And I loved it. The Billy Beane 2014 Blend was definitely corked. He should have been satisfied with his own vineyard and not have outsourced supply. Serves him right.

          Reply
    3. JoelA

      Just finished the 2009 Deux Amis Shadick Ranch (Dry Creek Valley) zinfandel. I concur generally with the description above. It has the classical zin flavors of chocolate/coffee/berry with more than the usual Dry Creek fruit and a bit less than the usual earthiness. Alcohol is almost 15% but the wine is well structured, with good acid.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Joel. Where did you find this Zin? I didn’t see it today at the Richmond store, which I thought was your regular store. Thanks.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          BW…….they have a good supply at the Oakland GO……along with the Deux Amis Petite Sirah…….which I have heard is not as good, since DA is known for their Zins, not PS.

          Reply
            1. GOWineLover

              Agreed with Seedboy on the Deux Amis Shadick Ranch. I thought it just wasn’t all that well integrated though the overall flavor was okay. Really pretty light bodied for a Zin, though certainly not overly jammy, which I prefer. Body just didn’t match the tannins well. It’s fine for $6.

  13. permiesworld

    Went to my fav. (for wine) local GO up in Salem today.

    Picked up for review.
    2006 Eagle Eye Malbec Napa Valley $9.99 (Alphawolf Ranch, LLC)
    2009 Mayerdale Pinot Noir Garnier Vineyards Columbia Gorge $9.99 (Garnier Vineyards)
    2009 Quest Pinot Noir – Eola-Amity Hills $9.99 (Quest Cellars)
    2008 Westland Lane Willamette Valley Hillside Blanc $4.99(Methven Family Vineyards)
    2009 Fava Brothers Vineyards Marcucci Farms Zinfandel Russian River Valley $8.99 (Marcucci Farms)

    Didn’t see any of that Lanson Brut or the Ribera that Lim13 found. Was looking for those but still, Salem had a good selection.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      I forgot to mention, that Eagle Eye Malbec is a limited edition bottling (260 cases retailing currently for $35). I absolutely love a good Malbec so I bought two of these, in hopes that it’s great…I don’t usually do that.

      Reply
    2. jwc

      I heard from the wine guy at Tanasbourne that the Eagle Eye
      Is ok, but he thought it was a little old, past it’s peak and not quite worth the GO price tag of $10. So PW I hope he is wrong and you enjoy it tremendously! Strange on the Terrane Pinot noir from Harrington, have not seen up here in Portland, with the exception of the Harrington Anderson Valley and Santa Cruz PN’s. Even weirder that the GO buyer would not taste numerous samples from wines w/o sulfites. The high percentage of a flawed wine with the Terrane PN seems like a crazy risk to take. Although to be fair, we are talking about 1 bottle to date. Far from a large number of defective wines. PW did you return the wine or bring your experience to the attention of the GO store owner? Will be interesting to see where that rabbit trail leads.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        I saw another Harrington wine at Salem (Lancaster) GO. Not the Terrane though but it was a Wiley Vineyard Pinot noir. Didn’t buy it but if you are in Salem, that one is there. I can’t remember the name. But I believe it’s the same year, same vineyard, same producer. I almost bought it to see if it is affected the same way.

        A Guest contributor posted on the Terrane thread. Said that they had the same experience. I don’t know which store they purchased it from though.

        Did you try the ones you purchased? I’m so curious how they taste. No one around here has them.

        I hope the Eagle Eye is good. We haven’t tried it. Was waiting for a dinner to complement it. I will admit though that I wondered how well Malbec aged. I haven’t actually done any personal tests on it. It will probably be the next one we open though.

        Reply
          1. permiesworld

            OK, Seedboy. You convinced me. :) I was in Lebanon today and picked up the Harrington 2012 Pinot Noir $7.99 Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley. Oddly, this one says “contain’s sulfites” so I’m not sure if that means added or just natural. I will do some research on it.

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              I think they have to put that on the label even if they don’t add any during wine making, if they use sulfur on the vines to prevent mildew.

            2. seedboy

              I think I know what is going on here: Harrington’s Terrane wines are the ones with no sulfur added during wine making. Is this 2012 Harrington or Terrane?

            3. permiesworld

              Seedboy, the wine I reviewed a few days ago was the Terrane. The one I picked up today was the Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2012. I see that they are two different lines of wine. I read that the Terrane wines contain no added sulfites (at least that’s what I’m reading on their site…that they take a pro-biotic approach with those) like you mention. The other wines are non-specific regarding it.

              Lim, that’s where my confusion comes in. I wasn’t sure if they (in their whole production) did not add additional sulfites, or only not to the Terrane. Thank you for the article. It was very informative.

          2. jwc

            SB & PW, I posted a review in Guest Contributions today on the 2012 Harrington Santa Cruz Mts. pinot noir. Very well made wine, for those interested please check it out.

            Reply
        1. Ashlander

          Liked the Malbec on the first night. Of course, we had already finished a bottle of a different red that night. I was looking forward to drinking the Malbec on the next day. It was vacuumed sealed with a little over half the bottle left. It tasted a little oxidized.
          I will be trying the Harrington Coastal Pinot tonight.

          Reply
            1. Ashlander

              I am not much of a wordsmith when it comes to wine, however, here are my thoughts:
              Lighter style, some cherry and maybe cola. A little closed perhaps. Pleasant enough to drink. I think there are wines that are less expensive that I would prefer to drink though.

              I also drank the Wiley Vineyard version as well. I opened that the previous night and it had that strong Pinot funk on the bouquet. Some people might like that, but I thought it was a little overpowering. By the next day, that funk had really diminished and the wine was much smoother. A bigger wine than the Coastal. The Coastal did not have the overpowering funk that the Wiley showed upon opening.

              Bottom line, not sure if I will be buying much more of either version. My wife and I are kind of the open a bottle and drink it now types. We haven’t seemed to master the art of letting a wine breath.

  14. lim13

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen wines roll into my local GO with such a vengeance. Seems every day there’s something new. That’s good. That’s real good…except I’m having trouble keeping up. Today, I purchased the following in Silverdale for future review (and I’m already sitting on a bunch to review):

    2006 Panther Creek Freedom Hill Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $12.99 This price is a real stretch for me with GO wines, but I’m fairly familiar with Panther Creek and they’ve been around for quite a while, producing some above average Pinots…especially from this vineyard. Someone here on the blog already mentioned this wine.

    2004 Il Fornaio Chianti Classico (from solid producer, Dievole) $4.99

    2007 Star Angel Paso Robles Syrah (from Chilean producer Montes) $5.99 Are you reading this, JWC?? Aren’t you into the Montes wines?

    2009 Pena Roble Ribera Del Duero (100% Tempranillo) $4.99

    I also found, but did not buy a 2013 Bay Leaf CA Zin for $6.99, a 2010 Winter Hill Sauvignon Blanc (was still in boxes, so unsure of “birthplace” and price), 2009 EcoLove (???) New Zealand Riesling and Sauv Blanc for $3.99 and a 2008 Fonseca Quinta Do Panascal Vintage Porto for $19.99 (or $119.94 for a wooden case of six). Are you hearing this, flitcraft?

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      That Winter Hill SB is from New Zealand or South Africa, and in Calif is 2.99. It is pretty good, in a NZ sort of style.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Good info on the 2008 Ports (drink ‘em now) and the Fonseca in particular, RB…easy reading too…I like. And at regular retail of $60, this seems like a good buy. Thanks for the info.

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          Well, I spent this morning tooling around to the Seattle area GO’s and no sign of it at Kenmore, Lake City, MLK, or SODO. I called Crown Hill, Renton, and Tacoma and no dice either. I hope maybe it’ll come later? It’s a really good deal.

          Reply
    2. jwc

      Yes Lim13 I do enjoy Montes wines especially the Alpha and Angel lines of the brand. Also I had mentioned the Panther Creek PN’s although my contact said they’d be $7 vs $13! Still ’06 was a very good vintage in the Willamette Valley, and the vineyard is a great one. Should be drinking quite nicely, look forward to reading your review

      Reply
    3. Delmartian1

      Held off with my comments on the 2010 Winter Hill as Oceanside only had a few and I wanted to get back and clean them out (got the last 7 yesterday). Surprisingly good and had trouble telling the difference between this wine and an Entre Deux Mers. This was unexpected as typically I can distinguish wines from the southern hemisphere but not this time. Sure wish our GOs down here would get some of that port!

      Reply
  15. lim13

    Went by the Silverdale store today to pick up a couple more bottles of the Buena Vista Sauv Blanc and came out with more new wines for future review. Feast or famine! I’d say that GO is making a serious effort to gear up for the next big sale. I bought the following:

    2010 Buena Vista Sonoma Merlot $4.99
    2011 Avery Lane Columbia Valley Chardonnay $5.99
    2010 Terre Davino Piemonte Barbera $3.99
    2009 Artesa Elements Chardonnay 58% Napa 42% Sonoma $4.99
    2005 Wattle Creek Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $8.99

    I’m still trying to determine if the Avery Lane is another addition to the Precept Brands portfolio. But while checking that out, I happened to notice that Precept now has Gruet sparkling wines in their stable. Gruet has usually received very positive reviews for the New Mexican bubblies. my wife and I visited them about seven years ago and were very impressed. So let’s start seeing them at GO, eh?

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Avery Lane used to be a Precept brand, but it died a few years back. (Did they jump or were they pushed? Hard to say…) They had a red blend that the local grocery stores used to sell for $3.99 that was quite drinkable, especially when bought by the case with an additional discount. It was our house cheap red before I discovered Grocery Outlet. (Our high school aged daughter used to call anything cheap but serviceable by that name, as in “I scored an Avery Lane sweater at the Gap today” or “It’s an Avery Lane level luncheonette.) I confess that I never had (or even saw, I think) the chardonnay, though.

      Very much agree about the Gruet sparkling wine, especially the blanc de noirs. Good stuff at a good price point. I hoper, though, that the acquisition by Precept isn’t some kind of kiss of death. Seems like Precept is where struggling brands go to die.

      Reply
  16. permiesworld

    Picked up some new ones today at Corvallis
    Remarkable Lot 11 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2007 $9.99 (Decided to go ahead and pop on this even though I cannot find any info online about it.)
    The Ringleader California Pinot Noir 2012 $7.99 13.5% avb (Ringleader Graton Sonoma CA)
    Terrane Pinot Noir 2011 Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley $6.99 13.5% (Harrington Wines. The Wiley Vineyard is in Mendocino…one of our favorite little vacation spots. I’m looking forward to trying this.)

    No luck on the Lanson Brut Champagne or the Santa Cruz Pinot but maybe Salem will have them when I check there later this week or this weekend.

    Reply
  17. lim13

    Dropped in at the Silverdale GO wine tasting yesterday and tasted the following:
    2013 Cate Napa Sauv Blanc which for me was a disappointment. Little in the way of nose or flavors; just kind of washed out and blah.
    Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne. I was really surprised, but delighted to see that Stan the wine guy was pouring this $20 bottle. Brilliant pale straw with plenty of tiny bubbles; absolutely bone dry, tart and austere; a classic and a definite food wine. Well worth the $20 if you like your Champagne in this style, but I think I’ll wait for the sale and get a couple for $16, as it’s moving very slowly.
    2010 (I think) Roblar Syrah wasn’t fantastic, but flavorful, fruit forward and inoffensive. An o.k. sipper, but not a purchase for me.

    And I purchased the following for review in the coming weeks:
    2000 Forestville Sonoma Reserve Cab Sauv for $3.99 (I purchased this only because I wanted to see if a four dollar, 14 year old, inexpensive-at-normal-retail cab could actually have anything left)
    2011 Tin Roof Lodi Zin $4.99
    2010 Geoff Tate (of Queensryche) Insania White, WA $3.99 (Semillon.Sauv Blanc blend); the store received but one case
    2012 Masterpiece Russian River Valley Zin $9.99 (a real stretch for me at GO, pricewise)
    2011 Buena Vista Sonoma Sauv Blanc $4.99
    NV Tyler Florence (Food Network chef) Blend #4 Sauv Blanc $4.99 (made by Michael Mondavi’s son)

    BTW, word is that GO is already gearing up for the next big 20% off wine sale by bringing in loads of new product…but no dates have been mentioned yet.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      It’s PW….Wordpress wouldn’t let me register under that though…said it was taken, but it’s still fine to call me that.

      And thanks for the heads up on the Lanson. I absolutely love a nice, dry champagne. That’s a good price too. Even at $20, it’s half off. I haven’t ever tried it but I plan on picking some up if it shows up around here.

      Good to know re: the Cate SB too. I almost bought that last week when I was in there.

      Reply
    2. jwc

      I’d be interested in the Buena Vista SB, and The Tyler Florence Blend SB, heck even the Geoff Tate Insania White, which sounds like the anti-thesis of all that is good and rational in the world :) I think I’m kidding, but after listening to Queensryche, once was enough! In Beaverton/Tanasbourne I was told there will be a 2010 Panther Creek PN available for a song, for the upcoming sale. Does sound like they are gearing up for the event, have not heard any dates yet either.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        You’ll see I just reviewed that Tyler Florence, JWC…good stuff! Buena Vista was once known for their inexpensive and tasty SB’s, but I haven’t had any in a long time. Kind of a new old fashioned label on this one…stay tuned. I’d love to see that Panther Creek up here. Haven’t had one of their Pinots in years, though we visited the winery a number of times in the 90’s and usually enjoyed the wines.

        Reply
    3. jwc

      Sounds yummy on the SB Lim13, had a sense the wine was good, just by looking at the label prior to reading your review. Someone gave that artwork serious thought, wine going into it had to be good. I believe Rob Mondavi Jr. makes the label Spellbound, and also one called Medussa…which I’ve seen at GO from time to time over the years. Spellbound a solid economical brand, while Medussa a step or two up the ladder quality wise. I do know he makes/or did make the Morton’s Steak House..house cab sav, something called 4Leaf which I too saw at GO Salem, about a year ago. The name 4Leaf was a tribute to the 4 generations of the Mondavi Familybeing in the wine business, for a short description. I got the last couple bottles on the shelf, I believe for $10 a piece. I found it very similiar to the Robert Mondavi Napa Valley bottling, which I grew up on, and always enjoy. Anyhow, got off track a bit…I did see a new pinot noir an ’09 Quest going for $10 in Beaverton Tanasbourne. From the Amity/Eola Hills area, not familiar with this producer but the manager said it was a winner. Did pick up the Harrington PN’s, both the Anderson Valley & Santa Cruz Mt appelations for $8 ea. Thanks SB for your note, there is a lot of positive press about Harrington, especially from the Pinot File/Prince of Pinot. He really likes most of their wines a lot! Good enough for me to give them a whirl. Thanks all, until next time…

      Reply
  18. PW

    New at Corvallis GO

    Remarkable Lot 11 2007 Pinot Noir. $9.99 (I almost bought this. My experience with (new world) pinot noir though tells me that this grape does not age well over here. 5 years on the outside…maybe 7 for the really expensive & well done ones…but this one isn’t originally priced in that category so I passed. I really wanted to try it though and probably would have if it weren’t $10, with 2007 being such a great harvest year for CA…if anyone does, I’m really interested in your findings. I saw the 2008 listed here and was apparently liked…)

    2011 Candoni Pinot Noir $6.99 (Bought this one. Never had an Italian Pinot Noir so I bought it simply for the test.)
    2008 Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Nick Faldo $4.99 (I believe)
    Vin Mousseaux Pol Champigny Brut $7.99 (Bought this one too. Couldn’t find any info on it but am looking for something to replace that 2011 Cantare Prosecco that we liked so much.)

    Reply
      1. PW

        I believe so, yes on the Veneto IGT. They also had that D’Aquino 2011 that I bought based on your review (how could I not? LOL A pinot that may not be a pinot was too tempting).

        Reply
    1. jwc

      Saw the ’07 Remarkable Pinot Noir here, made by Brophy Clarke which had a pinot noir & GSM last year that were pretty well rcvd if memory serves me right. Also new in Tanasbourne 2 PN’s from Harrington (SF warehouse producter, interesting website) a 2012 Wiley vineyard Anderson Valley for $7.99, and a 2012 Santa Cruz Mtn appelation, also $7.99.
      Did PU more of the ’09 Marichal Tannat, or should I just call it Juan Wine? In addition a 2005 & 2006 Katnook Shiraz for $5.99. ’05 was a stellar vintage in Oz, expecting that to be decent.
      Also, the ’09 Napa Cabernet that was going for $25, has been marked down to $14.97, still not interested…plus a number of new Italian Red offerings. The Ogi Tuscan Red still seems to be the best value for now. Do plan on checking out the Harrington PN’s. Have been enjoying several varietals from a now defunct Washington winery Canon de Sol, which is showing up at Fred Meyers here in Portland for $11.99. Not GO, but pretty good wine for the $. Wish GO could have been able to snag some…

      Reply
      1. PW

        JWC, where is here? I lose track.
        That Santa Cruz Mtn PN sounds interesting. A few producers (good ones) closed down last year in that area (off the top of my head, I can’t remember which ones but husband is from the area…I like the little bit of piney/juniper earth in so many of their pinots).

        Reply
  19. EricfromRichmond

    Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge 2012 for $5 at the Richmond store. Roberto said they have quite a bit of it. I remember liking the M-S merlot.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Eric. Notes from the Wine Curmudgeon: …it’s wonderfully stinky, with that barnyard aroma that the French do so well in the Rhone. For another, it’s a seven-grape blend where none dominate, each adding a little something to the mix. Who’d have thought carmenere would feel at home in a California red blend? Look for red fruit (cherry? raspberry?), some much welcome earthiness, and pinpoint tannins. If you’re looking for a house wine, this would be an excellent choice — nice on its own, but also fine with most red meat, roast chicken, and even hearty vegetables.

      Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Oops! Somehow I thought you wrote 2011. The Robert Parker vintage chart rates 2012 much better than 2011 (96 vs. 78), so the wine seems worth trying a bottle. I just bought a bunch of stuff from the Richmond store, though, so it’ll probably be a while until I’m back there (or need to buy more wine from any GO).

          Reply
    2. GOWineLover

      Nice house wine and very balanced. What one would expect from M-S given earlier bottlings re:less of varietal, just a quality effort at the price point. I find this just a touch sweet but a really lively and interesting and balanced blend. I think this would please a lot of folks. Surprisingly, between a glass venturi’d right after opening and 3 hours later poured from an open bottle, I don’t detect any difference. Definitely try it.

      Reply
  20. seedboy

    A few recent notes:
    1) Robair has been transferred from Berkeley to Oakland, where he is running the wine section. He has more help there and a lot more space, and the shelves are stocked well and when new stuff comes in it goes on the shelf.
    2) The Berkeley store’s wine section is suffering due to lack of Robair.
    3) Mark, who assists Robair in Oakland, tells me that we can expect to see wines coming in from the Napa earthquake.
    4) I’ve also heard that Bennie is selling the San Leandro store and is taking over the one in Petaluma. That store is huge and should benefit from having Bennie there. His being so close to the Sonoma County wine country should help bring more interesting wine into that store.

    Reply
  21. Ashlander

    Found an interesting wine at the Medford store. 2009 Marichal Tannat Premium Canelones Uruguay $4.99. I bought it about a 1-1/2 weeks ago and just got around to trying it last night. I did a little research and discovered that at Tannat is the “National” grape of Uruguay and Marichal seems to be one of the larger producers there.

    I opened it an hour or so before dinner so that it would have time to breath. I decanted half the bottle and tried some right away. It seemed a little closed initially. After about an hour, more of the fruit was present. No oak present. That’s also what the website says. It went very well with the grilled chicken we had. Both my wife and myself liked it. My apologies, I am not very good with descriptions aside from whether or not I like it. Anyway, I decided it would be worth a trip back to the store to get more. How often do you find a wine from Uruguay that you like?

    I went back late this afternoon and unfortunately all I found was an empty box. I was disappointed, but went behind one of the racks (ignoring the Employees Only sign) in search of a extra case. Lo and behold I found an unopened case. I pulled out 8 bottles. While I was in line, someone came up to me and asked if there was more of the Marichal. Apparently he had taken the last 3 bottles. I took that as a good sign as to the quality of the wine. I might have to go back tomorrow and see if any of it is still there.

    Reply
    1. PW

      I would try this, just because I’ve never had any wine from Uruguay. It would be worth the experience. Haven’t seen it here though.

      Reply
      1. Ashlander

        A lot of times the Grants Pass store will have the same wines as the Medford store, but GP didn’t have it either.

        Reply
        1. Patrick

          I got a Fava Brothers 2009 zin today at So. San Jose, $8.00. The 2006 was popular here about a year ago. I saw a guy buy about two cases (all they had) of the Clayhouse SB in Palo Alto yesterday, my guess a restaurant owner. If I bought cases I would have to stop shopping for bargains!

          Reply
    2. jwc

      Hey Ashlander, I picked some of this for $4 here in Portland. Label looked serious, and I recalled an article in WE a couple years ago, talking about this producer. Some of their higher end wines, tannat of all things, selling for $100 bottle, with high scores to boot. How ’bout them apples Seedboy? Sorry, couldn’t resist, knowing you, well shall we say,aren’t exactly enamored with the varietal. The only Tannat that I can truly recall enjoying, is Randall Graham’s “Heart of Darkness” which is a twisted excuse for a wine, probably why I like it. Just finished humorist Dave Barry’s book, “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead,” Does seem to be having an affect on me…hope others take a gamble on the Marichal, after all Juan was the greatest pitcher in Giants history. :)

      Reply
            1. 5-Star Bar

              Wowza, as the old saying goes “You learn something new every day. I too once enjoyed Bonny Doon’s/Randall Grahm’s “Heart of Darkness” Madiran (was introduced to it by one of my first wine mentors) with it’s awesome label by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas artist Ralph Steadman. Had no idea til I read this thread though that the red grape varietal synonymous with that region is Tannat. Thanks for the clarification.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. Thanks for the update. I added links to reviews where available and corrected some things I think were typos. Let me know if anything’s wrong.

      Reply
    1. lim13

      That rose’ sounds interesting. Haven’t seen it up here in WA yet. And just want to point out that it’s the 2008 vintage that got the 87 from Wine Advocate. This wine could be much different…maybe even better?

      Reply
      1. PW

        Yeah, I caught that when I got home. I don’t really give a lot of weight to the point system, except when something gets an 80 or 100. Sometimes I use it as a guideline so I posted it but feel free to edit my post and remove that if you want.

        I’m not familiar with the good harvests in Spain…so I don’t know how 2011 was. Here it was pretty dismal, for the most part….some good ones but in general it’s a vintage I avoid. We are going to try it tonight. At 2.99, I’m skeptical but hopeful ;)

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          The San Leandro store has a 2008 or 2009 Rhone rose, Abel Clement I think, that is $2.99 and pretty good. Indeed, one could do quite well for $2.99 at that store.
          Oakland has the 2009 Campo Cena IGT Toscana for $4.99. This is made by Barone Riscole, also responsible for the Brokio Chiantis. It is a blend of sangiovese with cab and merlot. Nice, easy drinking wine. Won’t blow you away but it is a nice wine for end of summer BBQs.

          Reply
    2. Patrick

      I found a few cases of Kendall Jackson 2011 vintners reserve Cab for $8.00 in San Jose, anxious to try it, I suspect some earthquake shake out will be coming soon!

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Yes……..the Kendall Jackson Reserve Cab is at the Oakland GO, too……picked up a few bottles last week for $6.99 a piece…….excellent CS, nice nose accompanying a smooth, complex medium-bodied red with tasty fruit in a restrained fashion……classic KJ…….going for over $24 retail.

        As to the Napa Valley earthquake “shake”-out, the word is that a number of the premier wineries there received generous insurance settlements and may be unloading some inventory under second (disguising) labels to generate quick cash……and GO Hdqtrs. was “Johnny-on-the-spot” to buy up surplus for its discerning customers……LOL!

        Wonder what’s coming down the road in the near future……….

        Reply
        1. jwc

          The KJ “Reserve” cab sav is selling here for $15-$16, at retail..which is in itself kind of a joke. Reserve, really? I did see an ’09 Grand Reserve at Rite Aid of all places for $18.99, which is a decent price. What’s next Ultra Reserve? Frankly, having spent a lot of money for the KJ Buckhorn high end cabs, and being really disappointed, these are of no interest. KJ owns more vineyards than almost anyone, except Gallo, and always does a good job with chardonnay. Just, way too mass produced for my taste…although I have to give them credit for having megatron case production down to a consistent formula. Much rather enjoy the Ogio Tuscan Red, for $4 here in Ptown.

          Reply
          1. EHL

            Hey JWC,

            I agree with you that the Ogio Tuscan Red, indeed, is a very nice bottle…..and for the $2.99 they are asking for it in the SF Bay area, quite the steal.

            Regarding the 2011 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve CS, did you actually buy a bottle and taste it?

            I can understand your disappointment with the high-end KJ wines you may have bought in the past and found unremarkable, especially for the price and jacked-up expectations, but all I can comment on is this particular KJ CS vintage, which offers a reasonably good bottle of wine from Sonoma for a more than fair GO price.

            …….at a minimum, the label still impresses the average wine drinker when you pull out a bottle to share at a party……….LOL.

            Reply
            1. Don Bevins

              New in Rocklin–From the folks that brought us A Road Less Traveled, a new 2010 vintage of Winter Hill Sauvignon Blanc which, for $2.99, I found enjoyable. Pretty much similar to the review of the 2008 but I did not detect the vegetal influences some found in the 2008. I will likely buy more as it will probably not last until the fall sale.
              Also a Masterpiece Alexander Valley chardonnay for $6.99. I passed on this. There is also a zin
              and a pinot noir which have received excellent press. Hopefully they will show up.

            2. Seedboy

              Hey Don, for the money that Winter Hill SB is pretty good. I prefer the Touraine that San Leandro has been selling for $2.99 though, it is more minerally and more complex.

            3. Expat

              Had the KJ Cab saturday nite. I was pleased – not spectacular but solid. Classic Sonoma cab profile and flavor components. I thought it had nice balance and, sure, it isn’t the most refined wine from the region but for $8 it is a good deal.

  22. BargainWhine Post author

    I probably won’t get around to a formal review for a little while, but in the meantime, the Ironstone 2013 Petite Sirah is very good for $5: full-bodied, balanced, complex.

    Reply
    1. GOWineLover

      BW, thanks for the reply. I have been wondering about it. Have you ever had their Cab Franc that shows up here and there?

      Reply
        1. JoelA

          I bought a bottle from Robaire today. He’s promised to bring in more new wines at Oakland. He said this wine isn’t for the faint-hearted. No problem for me; I like Lodi zins (well, of course not all pf them) and told him of a couple of my favorite wineries there.

          Reply
      1. EHL

        Hey GOWL,

        Have tried the Ironstone Cab Franc…….an unusual offering…….and it was very good……a serious, balanced and memorable wine……especially for the price. Even though the Winery in the Sierra foothills makes a lot of high-grade expensive stuff, the lower-end offerings are much more than acceptable……..and a steal at GO for $5!

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      A funny thing here. A friend gave me a taste of the Ironstone Petite Sirah, and it had quite a lot of depth and substance, so I got a bottle. That bottle I opened tonight and it wasn’t much like the taste I had. Not much of either depth or substance, rather $2-Chuck-like generic winemaking. Full review of my one bottle in 2 to 3 days. Anyone else tried this?

      Reply
      1. PW

        I had that and hated it…husband called it plonk. It just was awful. I thought maybe it was a bottle variation but your description really nails our opinion of it.

        Reply
  23. jimvan49

    In Eureka today, both at $3.99 were Victor Vineyards 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, and for those folks who like to add new countries to their lists, 2013 Grape Valley Riesling from Moldova (a former soviet union republic between Ukraine and Romania). Bottles have a clear plastic bag around them. Who can resist?

    Reply
    1. jimvan49

      By the way, Victor Vineyards says this about their wine: “Victor Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel is crafted from grapes grown on our Lawson vineyard and other selected vineyards with vines aging from 35 to 112 years old.

      Our Old Vine Zinfandel is rich with brooding complexity—supple tannins frame dark raspberry, blackberry and cherry rounded with brambly spice and hints of mocha, black pepper, and lightly toasted oak.
      Appellation: Lodi
      Blend: 85% Zinfandel , 15% Petite Sirah
      Vineyard age: 35 – 102 years old
      Alcohol: 14.5%”
      Price on the website was $18. Seems worth a try.
      Interested in Moldova? Here is a website: http://www.bulgaria.mfa.md/img/docs/viticulture-wine-industry-moldova.doc

      Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Regarding the Victor Zin, I must admit that I have a prejudice against Lodi wines but I bought this wine because it looked like it was made by a real winery. I was pleasantly surprised. It is big but not out of balance. I’m considering buying a case of it.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Interesting you say that. I had been avoiding this Zin because of its Lodi origin, but got a bottle yesterday after hearing Robaire’s description in similar terms to yours.

            Reply
            1. JoelA

              I bought a bottle from Robaire today. He’s promised to bring in more new wines at Oakland. He said this wine isn’t for the faint-hearted. No problem for me; I like Lodi zins (well, of course not all of them) and told him of a couple of my favorite wineries there.

    2. lim13

      Out of sheer curiosity, I picked up a bottle of the Moldovan Riesling in Silverdale today for review. Some bottles were in the plastic bag covering, others were removed. I was hoping to see the wine from Uruguay, so I could grab two wines from unusual sources. Actually, I’ve had a few wines from Russia (i.e. Rkatsitelli…a variety of grape) and a couple of jug wines from Uruguay…but it’s been a while.

      Reply
  24. EricfromRichmond

    I picked up a bottle of 2007 Stetzner Cab Franc at the Richmond store this morning around 11 am. There were about 6 or 7 cases on the floor- brought it to a party and it was delicious!

    Here’s the cellartracker page: https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1599234

    Went back tonight and picked up a few more bottles. There were only about 2 1/2 cases left. If you want to try it, you should get a move on.

    Reply
      1. Don Bevins

        Price please Eric. It seems that some really interesting reds are popping up in just a few stores.
        I have bought an excellent Huntington Cellars 2008 Alexander Valley Merlot for $8.99 but have seen it only at the Sacramento Greenhaven store.

        Reply
      1. 5-Star Bar

        Yeah, LOTS of new stuff at San Francisco today. Have picked up half a case of the 2007 Steltzner Cab Franc on faith based on the strength of good reviews here on the blog. Tried the 2009 Steltzner Pinotage. What a rare treat! First one I ever had that wasn’t from South Africa. Very nice, especially after given some time to breathe. Good the following day as well (kept it in the fridge overnight). An exceptionally rare bottling and an excellent value at just $4.99. Retailed for $28 on the Steltzner website. Ask yourself “What kind of unique drinking experience can I get for $5 at any major grocery chain?”…

        Reply
  25. PW

    Some new things of interest at Corvallis GO. Though I admit, I bought nothing. I just have too much stock on hand and I don’t know anything about these.

    Las Hermanas 2010 Made with Organic Grapes Monastrell (Jumilla) WE 86pts. I almost bought this one. The label killed me though…so weird…I may go back and get it. I believe it was $4.
    Vinum Cellars 2012 CA Pinot Noir (can’t remember the price on this one)
    WildHaven Merlot (Columbia Valley) (again, forgot the price…sorry)
    Red Autumn Chardonnay 2012 $2.99
    Banshee Pinot Noir 350ml 2011 $3.99
    Chateau Grand Marchand 2011 $8.99
    Ogio Pinot Grigio $2.99

    Nothing else really struck me.

    Reply
      1. RB

        The Banshee struck me as kind of odd. Maybe it’s a style of PN that I’m unfamiliar with, but it reminded me of a ruby port, both in the nose and taste. It isn’t for me (though I love a good port), but maybe someone else would go for that.

        Reply
        1. PW

          Sweet like port? If that’s the case, I’m glad I passed.

          Seedboy, I was tempted but at $8 for 750ml, I didn’t think it was a great deal.

          Reply
          1. RB

            It wasn’t really that the Banshee PN was sweet, more that it seemed dominated by ripe fruit flavors that brought port to mind. Very different from the more austere style that I’m used to.

            Reply
    1. lim13

      At the Silverdale store today, I bought one of the wines you mentioned, PW…the Banshee Sonoma Co. Pinot…and it’s a standard 375 ml. (rather than 350). Picked up a different very strangely labeled 2011 Las Hermanas red blend which is 70% Monastrell (aka. Mourvedre/Mataro) 30% Syrah. And continuing with the strange labels/names, I grabbed a 2011 Piggy Bank Grenache Pays D’Oc. Label reminded me a bit of early Bonny Doon i.e. Le Cigare Volant. I hope to review these soon, but it’ll be a busy weekend for me.

      Reply
      1. PW

        I’m pretty sure the Las Hermanas was a 2010 but I could have been wrong. My notes were scribbled (in a hurry). Interested in whether or not you like it. And yes, I saw my ml mistake on the Banshee but I couldn’t fix it (didn’t see til after I posted).

        Reply
    2. jwc

      From comments heard, the Ogio pinot grigio, sounds like a decent gris, for a song of a price. I have a lot of Oregon PG so, haven’t tried this yet, but will next time I pop in.

      Reply
  26. BargainWhine Post author

    I’ve changed the formatting of this page so it loads only 50 comments at a time. (You can continue to older comments at the bottom of the page.) The comments here are supposed to last only a couple months or so, and I chose the number 50 to approximate comments left in that time frame. I’m hoping this makes the page easier to use while I get around to deleting most of the older comments, save some I want kept for posterity. :) Please let me know any reactions you have to this change. Thanks.

    Reply
  27. RB

    A few new things have finally been rolling into the Olympia store recently. Interesting (to me) bottles spotted today:
    Las Hermanas Joven 2011 red blend (Monastrell/Syrah), Spain, $4.99
    Banshee 2011 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County (375ml) $3.99 – ($15 via winery)
    Lanson Black Label NV Brut Champagne, $20
    Lanson Rose Lable NV Brut Rosé, $25
    In addition to the PS from Hidden Cellars, there was also a Zinfandel, 2010, Mendocino County

    Reply
  28. JoelA

    Seen at Oakland today

    Frey 2011 syrah (Redwood Valley) $ 3.99
    Frey 2011 petite sirah (Redwood Valley) $ 3.99
    Victor 2011 zin (Lodi) $ 5.99
    Bay Leaf 2013 zin $ 5.99
    Bay Leaf 2013 pinot noir $ 5.99
    Clay Horse 2011 sauvignon blanc (Paso Robles) $ 4.99
    Clay Horse 2012 Adobe Pink (Paso Robles) $ 4.99
    (I couldn’t find any information on Bay Leaf or Clay Horse wines)
    Emerald Bay 2009 merlot $ 2.99
    Waterbrook 2012 Melange blan $ 6.99
    Covey Run 2007 reserve merlot $ 4.99
    Pioneer Red 2011 $ 4.99
    Wines For Dummies 2011 Chianti $ 2.99

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Mereimage. Yesterday, I nearly bought a bottle of the Clayhouse Adobe Pink for the nice label, but decided it looked a bit too red (as opposed to actually pink) for my taste. Now that I see you say it’s a bit sweet, I’m glad I did not get it.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I thought it was pretty good but for a bit of a cooked flavor that I found offputting enough so I won’t buy another. Has anyone tried the Sauvignon Blanc from the same producer?

          Reply
          1. mereimage

            I have not seen the SB… prob wouldn’t be interested, as Clayhouse pulls grapes from the central coast and most SB from this region tend to be just okay. My guess on the “Pink” it’s a typical California saignée method of production which produce more extracted and quick to bottle wines. I too judge rosés by their color. Looking for that perfect light salmon through a clear glass bottle is a good indication whether I’ll like it or not. I hope we’ll get something that fits that profile soon.

            Reply
    1. lim13

      So…just to clarify, Joel…that’s Clay House and not Clay Horse…correct? Also…for those who might be interested and were not aware…the Frey wines are organically produced? http://freywine.com/
      Over the years I’ve been a big fan of the Waterbrook Melange Blanc…and I believe that price you list is about five bucks off regular retail. It’s usually another kitchen sink blend. And finally, Wines For Dummies Chianti…sounds like one I’d be avoiding.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I bought a bottle of the Frey PS yesterday. It is surprising. The label says it is 11.8% alcohol. I don’t doubt that but it is unusual. The wine itself tastes a lot like sandlewood incense smells. I like it and will probably put a couple of them away to see what happens to them with some bottle age.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          The Frey syrah is pretty good also, and also has lower alcohol (12.5%), Good fruit, maybe a bit too much vanilla, well balanced, much like California wines were years ago before over-the-top ripeness and alcohol became prevalent goals. And the price is right! And it could age.

          Reply
            1. JoelA

              The petite sirah was pretty good the first day. It didn’t have a lot of PS character but was a pleasant lower-alcohol wine for easy drinking with some chicken. But it was drying out on the second day.

    2. BargainWhine Post author

      It has been a long time since I drank a Frey wine. From at least 10 years ago, my impressions were that their wines had interesting, varietally non-typical flavors, but were a bit too quirky and insubstantial for me to really like them. Your descriptions make it easy for me to conclude that their wines haven’t changed.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I was intrigued by the Frey PS because of the low alky-haul, biodynamic grapes, the “no measurable sulfites” and the fact that it’s a Petite Sirah. Like the bottle’s mid-1980’s pastel art label, it was odd. Not a typical inky, tannic PS. Fairly light with some interesting fragrance but also kind of hollow with some strange fruit notes. I can’t put a finger on it but it didn’t taste like any wine I’ve had before. The negative outweighed the positive for me.

        Reply
  29. BargainWhine Post author

    The Berkeley store has in three 2011 Cabernets apparently made by Ray Signorello, Jr.: Trim, Edge and Fuse, as best I can recall ranging in price from about $8 to $18. I didn’t get any, as Parker’s vintage chart rates northern California 2011 Cabernet a 78 / 100, but of course I’d like to hear from anyone who’s tried any of these.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Had a glass of both the Edge and Trim Cabs to try……a little soft, lacking tannins and structure……essentially nothing special, especially for the hype associated with Signorello’s product and their resultant higher prices. Wouldn’t buy, but I did pick up a half-case of the Hidden Creek Petite Sirah, which was IMHO significantly better than the Novella PS from Paso Robles I also tasted.

      Out of the 5 wines I’ve tasted recently, I most enjoyed the Tarkettle Cab, which had been opened for a couple of days, and would definitely pick up some bottles.

      Reply
          1. Darrell

            If you can, try the Napa Valley CS. I am surprised that much of the Tarkettles are still around since the last sale. The Sonoma coast PN is nice. I haven’t tried the RRV PN though.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Thanks for the suggestion, Darrell, will keep my eye out for the Tarkettle NV CS……..incidentally, the Tarkettle AV CS was leftovers at the Oakland GO……after the former Wine Guy, Steve, left for the San Leandro GO, they apparently cleared out some saved select inventory in the backroom, which included the Tarkettle…….along with two bottles of the 2007 RLT Stellanbosch Cab, which I promptly snagged of course…..and some other relatively expensive Spanish and Italian “trophy” wines, according to the new Wine Guy, Robaire, who transferred from the Berkeley GO……

    2. RW

      Bought Edge and Fuse in Redwood City CA yesterday. Agreed with EHL on Edge – nothing special, especially with $12.99 price tag at GO, definitely not a repeat buy. Will report back on Fuse after open it.

      Reply
  30. bin5

    Okay, can we please stop with the cutesy names already. “Funky Llama” from Argentina, really? Tasted it in the store – don’t bother, not that I think most of you would.

    Reply
    1. jwc

      FUNKY MAMA I might try, just saying…new at Tanasbourne 2006 Eagle Eye Limited Release Malbec (retail allegedly $35) $10, 2007 Novella Petite Sirah (EOS) $5 plus couple other items of no interest.

      Reply
  31. RG

    Lakewood WA today, noticed a bunch of stuff with cute labels (animals or silly names like Goofy Foot ) or “sweet” that most here wouldn’t be interested in.

    SA Road Less Traveled – all 2008.
    One bottle left of Arch Terrace Merlot (think I’ve bought about 3 cases)

    2012 “Volume” Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia, Accolade Wines and Glass Wines) $3 ($10). I’m drinking it tonight, middle of the road and pop-and-pour decent. Berries/Cherries, deep red and hearty, no complexity. Worth the $3, and better than $2 Chuck ($2.49 locally). Just a slight burnt off-taste that I can’t quite describe. Label says good with “Hearty burgers, thick crusted pizzas and anything from the grill.” Went well with Bacon Mac & Cheese.

    2011 Greg Norman Malbec $5/13
    NV Corbett Canyon RTW 1.5L $6 (Chile) – Sort-or square bottle, table wine.
    2009 Two Ponds Riesling $4/10 – Second label of WA Waterbrook (Precept Brands, common at GO). I’m sure it will be as least decent (WA Rieslings go for under half the price of a compatible CA Riesling – but we can’t grow Pinot Noir well)
    2011 Lupi Realli – still lots of this outstanding white https://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/2011-lupi-reali-trebbiano-dabruzzo-italy-3-99/

    Minor aside: Grocery Outlet (the Corporation) is being sold by the private equity firm (Berkshire Partners) that owns it. Current bid is over US$1B (News says $1.2B, I’ve heard $1.5B – all private equity). Several news articles this summer. I just worry they’ll expand too much and dilute our treasure hunts.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Appreciate the info on the GO corporate sale, RG. That’s all news to me. It will indeed be interesting to see what the results are…especially in terms of wine sales and selection.

      Funny too…when I was selling wine in the mid 80’s, we carried the Corbett Canyon wines in one liter bottles (most whites). It was from the Central Coast of CA before that region became seriously popular for serious wines. The wines were rather indistinct, but cheap and well-packaged, so they sold pretty well. I had no idea they were still around.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        The Corbett Canyon bottle with the square bottom is classic. Did you ever hear the early 90’s radio ads where every time they said the name it was an echo (‘canyon…canyon…canyon”). I live just off of Corbett Canyon road (technically a highway) and my wife used to drive by the original winery on her way to work in San Luis Obispo. They were still operational when we moved here about 10 years ago (no tastings, not open to the public) but a few years back sold off the property because most of their production is in the Central Valley. Now it’s sort of a co-op for boutique winemakers and a winemaker called Center of Effort. I went to an event and it was wild seeing the original spanish style house up front where the family lived and going in the facility. The image on the label is the actual house but now it’s torn apart on the inside. It’s a pretty big operation that could produce a lot of wine. Across the street is Kynsi Winery selling Zins and Pinots for $30 to $75/bottle so it makes sense they left the area. No point for making essentially jug wine in such a prestigious wine area.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          When I was still working in the industry we sold tons of that Corbett Canyon in both 750’s and 1.5 L bottles…with that square bottom. That was in the 80’s and the “unique” shape was a real selling point. Nostalgic! Thanks for the info.

          Reply
  32. lim13

    Got an email from the Silverdale store yesterday with a long list of new arrivals. I came home with two for review, as 90% of that long list was completely uninteresting to me. What I bought and hope to review soon are: 2013 Marco Fiori Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc for $5.99 and NV Domaine Laurier CA Sparkling Wine at $6.99.

    Reply
  33. EricfromRichmond

    At the Richmond store
    2010 Shingleback McLaren Vale Shiraz The Davey Estate
    cellartracker: https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1394821&searchId=0C48E090%23selected%3DW1394821_1_K8412d79e77600c8de8aedf6741d6c4f6

    2010 Shingleback McLaren Vale The Davey Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
    cellartracker: https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1623738&searchId=67AAB473%23selected%3DW1717603_1_Kef5acff9bfaf0ca9ad6a200d05bcd7be

    I’ve only tried to the shiraz which I find quite tasty and nicely balanced.

    Reply
  34. BargainWhine Post author

    Hi Everyone. I’m sorry to have been absent for so long. I’ve had a bad cold from which my sinuses are only slowly recovering. At the worst of it, I could not smell my stinky deodorant right in front of my nose. Today I’m posting a review of one of the last wines I tasted right before a lot of me rather shut down. Anyway, I hope to be back in action soon.

    Reply
    1. GOWineLover

      Thanks for the Vacaville report. I believe they moved the store closer to 80 relatively recently and I have not been in since then. If I recall, they used to have some interesting stuff and believe I bought some good hard alcohol there at one time. Oh well!

      I would think with freeway presence and closer proximity to the outlets that they would carry better stock but apparently not…

      Reply
  35. Robert Seeds

    I just learned that “Steve the Wine Guy” from the Oakland store is leaving and going to work with Benny in San Leandro. That is a much smaller store but Benny, the owner/manager, has many wines not seen at other GO stores.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Robair from Berkeley has taken over the wine duties at the Oakland store. No word on who will take over for him in Berkeley; the wine shelves went unstocked this morning.

      Reply
  36. bin5

    A lifting of the dry spell here in South King County. So a bunch of South American wines showed up along with a few other wines in Renton, WA. Here goes the list:

    2008 and 2011 Montes Alpha Carmenare (Chile) $6
    2008 Montes Sauvignon Blanc $4
    2007 Montes Alpha Chardonnay $2
    2009 Pascual Toso Reserve Cabernet (Argentina) $5
    2008 Santa Emma Barrel Select Reserve Cab/Merlot $4
    2007 Pasqual Toso Cabernet $4
    2009 Pasqual Toso Chardonnay $3
    2009 Amplus Santa Ema Carignane $6
    2007 Amplus Santa Ema Red Wine $7
    2010 Amplus Santa Ema Sauv Blanc $5
    2009 Two Ponds Chardonnay $4 (Precept Wines)
    2008 Two Ponds Merlot $4
    2005 La Laggio Barolo $8 (made it north!)

    Now I just have to find the time to do some reviews. Nice to have some new wines. I hope you see some of these on the other side lim13!

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Again, not a single new wine in Silverdale today. But I haven’t seen the wine guy in over a week, so I suspect he may be on vacation…and it’s likely that no one is ordering in his absence. I’m losing interest in GO.

      Reply
    2. mereimage

      a bunch of new stuff landed at So. San Jose. A couple of things noticed (and perhaps picked up)…

      Hidden Cellars, Mendocino Cnty, 2012 Chardonnay and 2010 (I think) Petit Sirah both $4.99. I recall this brand from my old days competing in wine tasting battles in Mendo County years ago. It has new labeling.

      a few Lodi Zins… most notably a 2011, Tin Roof @ $3.99 and Rampage Old Vines (crud… don’t recall the vintage) for $5.99.

      A new 2011, Tarkettle Road Napa Valley Cab. (Heavy bottle, and price comparison of $29.99 to GO price of) $9.99.

      From Washington St. a 2011 Waterbrook Chard for $6.99 and a 2007, Covey Run, Reserve Merlot for $4.99.

      Also, a Cali designated Chard called “Starlight” in a 1.5ltr bottle for $7.99

      There where more, including a labeled “chardonnay” from Italy for $3.99 from Mazzocorona… I am anxious to try this out of curiosity.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I have seen three Hidden Cellars wines. 1) 2011 Petite Sirah. I’ve been enjoying a bottle of this over the last few days. It is a very nicely balanced wine that is not super fruity, it actually has as much savory as it has fruit. I like it a lot. 2) 2010 zin. It seems more cool climate to me. The fruit flavors are red: raspberry, cranberry. Not a fruit bomb. Reminds me of what honest zin tasted like before ripeness got out of control. 3) Chardonnay. I’ve not tasted it.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          I also liked the petite sirah. Black fruit up front, coffee/cola/earthy flavors behind. Still young, could age a few years.

          Reply
    3. lim13

      Had some time to kill before my wife’s family’s annual picnic in Seattle today, so we stopped by the Lake City store. I picked up two bottles of the Pascual Toso Reserve single vineyard Cab you mentioned above, bin5. If you already bought some, please go ahead and review it. I happened to find that I reviewed the 2009 (I believe) Toso Sauv Blanc and liked it…back in 2012. I also grabbed two bottles of Castell Roc Brut Cava from Spain for $6.99 each and hope to review it. By the way, there were about four cases of 2008 Road Less Traveled Cab on the shelves there too for anyone interested.

      Reply
    4. jwc

      BIN5, thanks for the heads up on the MONTES wines, I’m a fan of this producer, the Alpha brand is usually extremely tasty. Haven’t seen here, but we seem to be at the end of the line in so many ways…

      Reply
    5. jwc

      Ventured over to Vancouver hoping to find the Montes wines BIN5 had mentioned, zip, zilch, nada. Just some of the same offerings that have been around 4ever it seems. The Bennet Lane white blend, 4Seen or something along those lines is nice, with all the 4 wines at GO, hard to keep track, or make that…hard to want to keep track of these wines. Did notice the Whipass (Whiplash) chard down to $4, sorry for the typo, but after viewing kind of like it, the typo that is. The Red Door pn is $6 still, as is the RRV pn from Chalone still around, along with a host of others. Not much new.

      Reply
    6. flitcraft

      Besides the Pasqual Toso reserve red that lim13 reviewed, we tried the Amplus Santa Ema Carignan, though the one at Lake City was the 2007. It’s an enigma of a wine. The color is deep purple with a bit of reddening at the edge of the glass, but honestly, it’s still the color of a very youthful wine. It’s quite fruit-intensive, for a wine with a bit of age on it. Definitely got the raspberries and blackberries touted by the label both on the nose and the palate, though the promised nutmeg and coffee were MIA for us. On opening the bottle, I was unhappy about the amount of ‘bright acidity’ to quote the back label. Don’t get me wrong–I generally wish that acidity levels were higher in wines, but this one is rather shrilly so. It reminded me of biting into a blackberry that turns out to be about a week’s worth of underripe.

      It was better with food, though it might have been better yet with food with more oomph that we drank it with (a casserole of greens, beans, and cheese). I think I would have liked it better if we hadn’t had the Pasqual Toso the night before…

      Reply
    7. jwc

      Hey Bin5, whatever happened to all the Montes Alpha etc wines you picked up in August? Big fan of Montes and Pascal Toso reds too. Fill us in when you can, thnx.

      Reply
  37. PW

    Stopped by the Corvallis GO today. I didn’t expect anything new (it’s been a while) but there were two wines that I picked up.

    The first is: Ogio Tuscan Red 2012 $3.99. I’d seen it talked about on the reversewinesnob site:

    http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2013/07/ogio-wines-pinot-grigio-and-tuscan-red.html

    I figured for $3.99 it’d be worth a taste.

    The second is: Tempra Neo 2013 Tempranillo Vinedos de Espsana $5.99
    I couldn’t find anything about it online. There’s several “tempra neo” sites but they are all Australian and this definitely says “Product of Spain” on the back. Nice looking bottle. It’s description on the back includes “…richly flavored with black fruit flavors, herbal notes and an earthy finish.” It sounded like something I’d like.

    I’m going to try that one tonight. Not much else of interest. A few new things but the ratings were 1+ stars pretty much across the board….I didn’t feel “that” adventurous.

    Reply
    1. PW

      FWIW, the Tempra Neo…nothing like a good Spanish Tempranillo. Very fruity. No spice. No earth….to quote Bargainwhine, I would probably say “tastes like cough syrup”. Not a fan. It’s fine if you aren’t expecting a decent tempranillo. It could have been listed as a red table wine and I would have had much different expectations. But as a tempranillo, it is one of my least favorite ever. As a red table wine, it’s drinkable.

      Reply
  38. RG

    Tacoma 6th Ave store has 2007 Pascual Toso Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza – Las Barrancas Vineyards) for $4.99. List price $20. On CT, 88.7 pts and average price of $16.81. Reviews say it is heavy and needs food.
    Otherwise mostly what has already been reviewed: SA Road Less Travelled, Mosiac, Giormani Valpolicella Ripasso DOC, Ashlyn’s Malbec, CATE…. Plus Square Mile Hard Cider $2.99/22oz (Portland OR) -

    Reply
    1. lim13

      What vintage of Road Less Traveled, RG? What little of the 2007 that came into Kitsap County (as I reported) was all scooped up by one customer…and have yet to see the 2008. I just picked up 3-2007’s and 2-2008’s…thanks entirely to flitcraft, who was kind enough to buy them for me in the Seattle area until I could get over there (for a dental appointment) today. I hope to review the 2008…after trying them side by side.

      And speaking of Seattle…I stopped at the 4th Ave. store today…by the stadiums. They have drastically reduced their wine section. They used to have wine on both sides of the store…now it’s only one small section…and nearly more beer than wine. They did have a few of the better wines reviewed here (Marlo Chardonnay and Sagrantino come to mind), but I won’t be going back to that store. Selection continues to be pretty depressing up this way.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        I think you have more 2008 RLT than we do in CA as far as I can tell. I have been drinking the 2007 right along, but managed to find one bottle of the 2008 and had it tonight. I prefer the Cab character of the 2007 since it is stronger in that herbaceous, green pepper bouquet. The 2008 seems to have less of that character or is masked by the fruitier side of that vintage. It is probably a CS that PW would prefer. I look forward to your side by side comparison.

        Reply
      2. RG

        I went back by Tacoma 6th Ave this evening, The Road Less Traveled is all 2008 vintage $5.99, at least 3 cases on display (bought 2 despite my wine-buying moratorium). I checked for full cases under the displays, none. The checker said she had been selling lots of it. I’d somehow missed the long thread (60+) in the reviews on this wine. I checked for the other new wines that bin5 saw in Renton, none here, at least not on the shelves yet. I’ll check Lakewood early next week (often has a better selection, but sometimes takes some time to get stuff onto the shelves (but I can ask the wine guy/manager what he has in back).

        .

        Reply
  39. seedboy

    Yesterday the Oakland store had the 2005 La Loggia Barolo for $7.99. I recognize this as the Barolo that is sold at TJ’s for about $15, but this is an older vintage. I bought a bottle and popped and poured it smells and tastes like barolo with nothing really off about it. I’ll recheck it tonight. Here is the Cellartracker page for this wine: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=792925&searchId=758FD775%23selected%253DW1390150_1_Kfdedef5742f97e6724eb462e82b8f4f8

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      The remnants of the bottle were probably better than on the first day, the wine seemed more complete. I suspect that this wine was shocked by travel. I’ll buy three or four more of these to have around and drink over the next couple of years.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        A big bunch of this was at Berkeley tonight. If you are interested, buy a bottle, wait a few days, decant and give it two hours.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Thanks for the recommendations and, holy crap, you’re not kidding about a “big bunch” of this at Berkeley. This afternoon, there was a block of cases stacked 3 x 4 x 5. I got a bottle.

          Reply
          1. Delmartian1

            Was in the Oceanside store yesterday and they had 4 cases….now, based on earlier recommendations, they have 3 cases. We opened one last evening and paired with veal scallopini and rainbow chard. It started off a bit on the acid side and reminded us of a burgundy in finish but after the first hour began to open up and taste like a Barolo. I too remember purchasing various vintages of this wine at Trader Joe over the past few years so there was little hesitation in going “all in”.

            Reply
    2. Seedboy

      I have now opened a second bottle of this wine. When my corkscrew pierced the bottom of the cork a bit of wine and gas spritzed out along the screw. However, the wine itself was just fine. I popped and poured it and it was tasty from the start. This is a nicely crafted Barolo for a kind price.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        On day 2, bottle 2 had not improved, nor had it deteriorated much. My take on this wine is that it will hold on a couple or three more years but it probably will not improve with additional cellaring.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          Sorry, but this wine did very little for me. It has some Barolo flavor but tastes dried out and a bit astringent. With the exception of a Nero D/Avola I have not been impressed with any Trader Joe’s Italian wine.

          Reply
  40. Darrell

    I think a 2009 Porta Sole, Trebbiano D’ Abruzzo is new, but watch out for the color. The bottle is light mint green and I saw a bottle that was browning.

    Reply
  41. lim13

    A couple of new Bordeaux at Silverdale, WA today…but with the luck I’ve had with GO Bordeaux, I passed. One was a 2012 (can’t remember the name) for about $4.99 and the other a 2011 Chateau Grand Marchand for $8.99…both from AW Direct (where most GO Bordeaux come from). I bought two wines for future review: Ogio Prosecco for $6.99 (BW favorably reviewed their Pinot Gris) and a NV Meld CA Red Table Wine for $4.99 (Zin, Merlot, Cab Sauv, Petite Sirah blend). That one scares me, but I couldn’t resist the grapes involved.

    And by the way, there was a new floor display of 12 cases of the 2012 Four Star Red that just came in. The Greg Norman Malbec also showed up; and a couple of Beringer low end reds…an Argentinian Malbec for $3.99 and a CA Cab Sauv for $2.99 (neither interested me). I also got an email from GO that says they got a 3L container of Fetzer Gewurz for $6.99 (box? bottle?)! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen three liters of Gewurz. I love Gewurz, but most retailers even find it tough to sell in a 750 ml. bottle.

    Reply
    1. jwc

      I saw the Fetzer Gewurz here, a 1.5L for $5.99 (passed) but did pu the Beringer 2011 Founders Estate Malbec (sourced from Mendoza), popped the cork tonight, and actually like it. Full bodied, soft tannins, decent dark berry flavors, for $4 a light thumbs up. Also more of the Four red blend, which I liked on the first night, 2nd evening hadn’t evolved in my view, but still a nice little red. Also, the Un4Seen white and red blends are here at $5.One excellent shiraz that is around is the Wakefield 2009 St Andrew, but at $22, high for GO. It’s sitting on the shelf collecting dust and has been for a long time, perhaps a price reduction will be coming. Finally the ’07 SA Road Less Traveled Cab Sav is still around at $6, so decent wine around town, just not much new.

      Reply
    2. Don Bevins

      New at the Rocklin store:
      Vinum Pinot Noir Central Coast 2011 $6.99
      Vinum Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands 2012 $4.99
      Vinum Zinfandel Paso Robles 2011 $4.99
      Lucinda & Millie Lake County Chardonnay 2011 $4.99
      Wine Men of Gotham Aussie Chardonnay 2011 $3.99
      Perry Creek Zinman Red. I did not notice the vintage and it was not yet priced.
      Gloria Ferrer 2008 Pinot Noir half bottles back to $4.99

      Reply
    3. flitcraft

      I decided to take a chance on the NV Meld, since it was a reasonably heavy bottle and seemed like a potential “dump the stuff that didn’t fit into our range” bottle from a winery that didn’t want to be identified. On a pop and pour basis, it offered up sweet black fruit, a bit of acidity, and some dusty tannins, but seemed kind of thin. In fact, I was surprised to see that it was only 12.5% alcohol, since it tasted ‘hotter’ than that to me. On Day 2, the candied nature of the fruit was the dominant impression, and so we dumped it into a beef stew and opened something else. I’d say drinkable if you like ‘em with sweet fruit, but the Four Star is a lot better of that type for the same price.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Thanks for your thoughts on the Meld red, flitcraft. I’ll be doing my review of this wine soon and we’ll see how our bottles and our tastes compare.

        Reply
    4. 5-Star Bar

      Over the years I have come to love the Fetzer Gewürztraminer. Perhaps their best varietal in my opinion. While the cool Mendocino climate may pose a seasonal challenge to the full ripening of other types of grape German and Alsatian varietals Such as Gewurz and Riesling seem to thrive there.

      Two brief anecdotes:

      In the early 2000’s I brought several bottles of the Fetzer Valley Oaks Gewürztraminer to Manila, in the Philippines. After browsing what few California wines were available on the Asian capital’s store (mostly gathering dust) on prior visits, it occurred to me that the CA wines on offer there were thoroughly incompatible with that city’s economy, climate, and cuisine. What was in order, I thought, were cool, refreshing, off-dry, relatively affordable white wines rather than middle-of-the-road, relatively expensive reds.

      When I presented the Fetzer Gewurz to some well-to-do matrons who were friends of my host family one of them immediately informed me that she “didn’t drink”. I gently persuaded her, along with the other prim and proper ladies present, to give the well chilled white wine a try. By the end of the afternoon not only had the Fetzer been finished but the lady who had declared herself a paragon of sobriety had, to her own amazement, become a convert to the simple but substantial pleasures of the Fetzer Gewurz.

      A number of years ago I spotted a sole “library” bottle (6-8 years old) of Fetzer Gewurz that was part of a liquidation at the late, great, and sadly missed Spencer & Daniel’s. Needless to say I bought it on my faith in vintages past and boy, was I delighted. The wine had oxidized with age and was an amber hue, but it had gotten even better and complex with bottle age. Admittedly an oldie but a goodie!

      In a Magnum format it should age even better. I would gladly pay $5.99 for a 1.5 liter.

      Reply
    5. Dolores DeTeresi

      Need to know your opinion of the grand Marchand Bordeaux 2011.
      Purchased today 8/29 in west fresno GO. Looking for a good dinner wine for special BD celebration in November. Always trying product at GO. Used the Grossout site to guide recent purchases throughout drive in Oregon and Northern California last week.
      Thanks for response.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Dolores and welcome! I have not tried this wine, but reader PW posted this Wine Enthusiast link:

        http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/chateau-grand-marchand-2011-red-bordeaux

        and then her (I’m guessing) opinion:
        We had this tonight. It was much better than I expected it to be. I was surprised. I’m not saying it’s a great value. I would say it’s a $10 Bordeaux. I did decant it. It did taste of plums and black currant. We also tasted some pepper. Both black and green. It was very dry but after 2 hrs in the decanter was nicely balanced. Definitely not fruit forward style at all but we both agreed (and we haven’t had much luck with Bordeaux at GO so take this for what you will) it was the best one we’d had from there. I think it should be $5.99.

        Reply
      2. EHL

        Not a bad wine…..first glass I sampled left me unimpressed…….but still bought a bottle based upon the very favorable review at the Oakland GO store and tried it a few weeks later.

        The second time around, I much more appreciated the Grand Marchand Bordeaux…..a dry, subtle and restrained, not fruit-forward, red wine that gained complexity and body, improving on the second and third day.

        It’s definitely not a trophy wine that will knock the socks off would-be wine connoisseurs, but I enjoyed drinking it and think it’s a good value for the $8 asked……and those who recognize good wine will probably likewise relish a glass poured.

        Reply
  42. JoelA

    Spotted at Berkeley today

    2012 Giormani Valpolicella Ripasso $ 8.99
    2008 Azul Portugal Barraida $ 7.99
    2008 Aguia Moura Douro Reserva $ 9.99
    2011 Haute pinot noir (California) (Also at Richmond) $ 4.99

    Reply
    1. PW

      oooh, I hope those Portugese wines show up here. Especially that Aguia Moura Douro Reserva! It should be drinking well right now…since they seem to need so much time to age. Did you buy any?

      Reply
    2. seedboy

      That Haute pinot is thin and lifeless. Is that a new vintage of the Ripasso? Those Portuguese wines were new in the order guide last Saturday so other California stores should have access to them.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I found the packaging of the Haute Pinot repellant, but I got one anyway because the color through bottle looked like it could be a delicate and nuanced wine. I’m sad to hear it’s a bit beyond “delicate and nuanced.”

        Reply
    3. 5-Star Bar

      Tried the 2008 Aguia Moura em Vinhas Velhas Douro Reserva

      Translation: 2008 Moorish Eagle Old Vines Douro Reserve (aged 12 months in Oak)

      This wine is, quite simply, “da’ bomb”. Best Portuguese dry red I’ve tried (though admittedly haven’t tried all that many, <20 lifetime).

      A blend of:
      Tinta (Touriga) Nacional (34%)
      Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) (33%)
      Tinta da Barca (33%)

      Reminiscent of a Portuguese version of a Rhone style GSM blend and packaged in a similarly shaped, very substantial high quality bottle with a broad punt (dimple) on the bottom. Shows its best on the first night, immediately upon opening, so I recommend drinking up with friends and family on Day 1. Peak drinkability now, though might still age well for a few years more. Still good on the second evening, though a bit more on the tart side which should please fans of European styled wines (think Cranberry, Leather) just fine. Big thumbs up and a fine QPR/value @ just $9.99 at GO San Francisco.

      Wine Enthusiast Rated 92 Points

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi 5StarBar. Funny, I just opened my bottle of this, decanted it, and hadn’t even bothered to taste it, assuming it would need at least an hour of air. I guess I’ll have to go see how it’s doing. :) Thank you very much for posting this, but, in the future if you don’t mind, please post it in the “Guest Contributions” section. For this one, I’ll plan to write a review on the main page and include your review.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Not that any CA GO would mean much for me up here in WA, BW…but based on some of the negative comments I’ve read about higher pricing at the SF store…I’m just curious…did you also pay $9.99 wherever you bought it?

          Reply
      2. PW

        I have to admit, sometimes I’m quite envious of the selection the CA stores seem to get. This one sounds as good as I expected it to be.

        Reply
          1. mereimage

            agree with Seedboy! I still can’t get over the Zaca Mesa Viognier you got for six bucks when Cali was stiffed. Anyway… on the Aguia Douro Reserva… Was excited to give it a whirl and tried it last week and unfortunately my bottle was laced with TCA and couldn’t get passed it and soured me further. I’m curious to hear more comments.

            Reply
  43. Darrell

    Made an East Bay run and found some new bottles
    Taylor Madeira, $3.99
    2013 Marco Fiori SB Napa Valley, $4.99, produced and bottled by
    2009 Cantine de Marzo Beneventano Falanghina IGT,$1.99
    2011 Mission Point Pinot Noir,$3.99, produced and bottled by
    two botlles from importer Plume Ridge:
    2011 Ulrich Langguth rieling, Hessiche Bergstrasse, $2.99
    2012 Lacheteau Vouvray, $3.99, described as semi-dry

    Reply
      1. Darrell

        Sorry for the lousy proof reading. I went to the Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro stores as the Marin side has bupkis and Sonoma is a bit far plus the wife wanted to go to outlet stores in the East Bay.

        Reply
        1. GOWineLover

          Darrell,

          Thanks for the report. My wife and I had the Marco Fiori Sauv Blanc open last night. It was, IMHO, very, very good. I do look for a bit more fruit and don’t gravitate towards the grassy end of the spectrum. I thought it was very true to the varietal without too much of a departure from what one would expect from the region. In the past few years, I’ve tried every $4-5 Sauv Blanc GO’s in the Bay Area get and this one turned out to be my favorite. If you’re looking for just a touch of sweetness, more like a nod, really, to balance out typically Sauv Blanc flavor profiles, this is likely the wine for you. I thought it was great. Always eager for others’ opinions. Pleasant Hill has plenty left.

          That reisling looks like quite a score. I love a great super dry or even very sweet wine for what they are and have enjoyed the few Alsatians that have rolled through recently.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            It’s been awhile since I’ve had a SB that was a tad sweet unless it was near threshold. I’ll give it a try especially when the bottle is produced and bottled by.

            Reply
    1. seedboy

      Where, in particular, did you get the antine de Marzo Beneventano Falanghina, the Vouvray and the riesling?

      Reply
          1. Darrell

            That’s the one. SB, I know you like the Loire SBs, but you don’t have to try a Domaine Michaud Val de Loire from Touraine. There are better to spend money on.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              Darrell, did you not like that wine? I found some bottles of it there yesterday and at $2.99 per I could not help myself.

            2. Darrell

              SB, I think mine was a buck more at the time and so I was trying to save you those curiosity dollars. I didn’t care for it, finding many more Loires at $4-5/btl. much better. At $2.99 it’s approaching cooking wine price, speaking of which, I returned to pick up a case of that Falanghina for drinking and cooking. Let us know what you think of the Touraine.

            3. Seedboy

              I tried the Touraine last night and like it. It has great balance and minerality. It does show some age, with that red currant flavor I see in SBs that have some age on them. It was great with the penne with peppers, bacon and tomato we had for dinner last night. I will probably go back and get more.

            4. Darrell

              SB, it could have been my bottle that was off. It was drinkable but without freshness and much SB character. Glad you found a good bottle and at $2.99 a bottle, I am willing to retry a bottle if there is any left. Funny we haven’t crossed paths.

    2. Seedboy

      I went by the San Leandro store yesterday. Bennie has a lot of wines there that I have not seen at Oakland or Berkeley, including some of the ones above. I bought the 2009 Cantine de Marzo Beneventano Falanghina IGT and really liked it. It is in fine shape for a 5 year old white wine, with that lovely bitter almond flavor that I like in Italian white wines, and good balance. I also bought a 2008 Zin, Corkscrew is the name I believe, that is a clean, simple Amador zin. It won’t be a repeat purchase but others might like it.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        SB, Bennie does have a few tempting selections, which may or may not be good. Glad you liked the Falanghina and with your bitter almond decscription, I’ll have to try it. It is out of my way and it takes odd reasons to get over there, one the aforementioned outlet trip and another was a detour due to a major accident on I 880. The detour trip was when I tried that Michaud Touraine.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I would love to find a nice Touraine for cheap. Bennie has always had sources, the question was whether he would be allowed to buy the wines. When he worked for corporate they allowed him to do it, then not, then again, then not, etc. Now that he has his own store he has more freedom.

          Reply
      2. Seedboy

        The remnants of the 2009 Cantine de Marzo Beneventano Falanghina IGT continued to drink well last night. I’m going to go back and get more of this.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Finally tried it and I don’t get the bitter almond you do, but there was ample, bracing acidity and definitely worth the price. I can see where this would go with lighter Italian shellfish dishes.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Would like to add or ask, why bother with 2+ buck Chuck whites. I am always looking for an inexpensive cooking wine and this fits the bill.

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              As a native of So Cal I was once a dedicated Trader Joe’s shopper but now I really only go there for hard liquor. They stopped getting great wine deals years ago and shifted to a “grocery store wine” model. Pasta and olive oil — products for which I once depended on TJs — are cheaper at the GO.

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