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

1,016 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
    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.

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      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.

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        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.

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          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.

  5. lim13

    Today, I bought the following in Silverdale for review:

    2012 Ashlyn’s Vineyard Private Reserve Red Columbia Valley $6.99 (based on reader Roger Emigh’s positive comments)
    2012 Ashlyn’s Vineyard Malbec Columbia Valley $6.99
    Penny Stamp NV Lambrusco Reggiano Italy $5.99 (Please keep the laughter down! Remember, I’m the guy who reviewed the apple wine and the sangria! Times are tough at GO)

    Reply
      1. lim13

        Have you seen many good ones shipped to the US, Seedboy? I’ve found a couple over the years, but they’ve been few and far between. A well-chilled, lightly sparkled red works well for me in the hot weather. And I frequently harken back to my early days of wine consumption in the late 60′s and early 70′s…with Riunite Lambrusco in a bota bag at an outdoor concert. Man! am I old!

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    1. GOWineLover

      I bought two of the Lambrusco but they aren’t any sort of deal, really, considering TJ and Fresh & Easy has them at the same price or cheaper. Being 32 (is that an excuse?), I’d never had one so I have no basis for comparison, but it is fun for what it is. I won’t be buying more, though.

      Reply
  6. lim13

    Finally found a few new wines at the Silverdale GO. I picked up two for review…the only ones that truly interested me: a 2012 Nieto Senetiner Reserva Pinot Noir from Argentina at $4.99 (bin5 reviewed the 2009 Chardonnay and found it “Drinkable”) and a 2012 Tollo Rocca Ventosa Montepulciano D’Abruzzo for $4.99. Found a young Chianti that wasn’t a Classico or Riserva, so I passed it by.

    Reply
  7. PW

    Stopped by the Salem GO. The only new thing of note was

    N’Zuri Chenin Blanc 2013 ($5.99 IIRC)
    http://www.winetasting.com/product/N-Zuri-Chenin-Blanc

    (From the above link: This Chenin Blanc was grown in Western Cape, located on the southwestern corner of South Africa. The country’s largest wine producing region, Western Cape experiences a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Showing classic apple and pear fruit flavors, this wine is best paired with roasted vegetables or fish.

    Wine Profile
    Vineyard Notes
    The vines, which grow in deep alluvial soils, are all five to ten years old. Mostly grafted onto Richter 99 rootstock the vines received supplementary irrigation based on hydrometer readings. Canopies were actively managed to ensure berries are kept in the shade, away from direct sunlight.)

    The did have some more of that Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge 2006 Vineyard Chardonnay. We liked that so picked up some more.

    Also found a couple of the SB recommendations others made. TYVM.

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        And not only that! Today, I picked up (at the Richmond store):
        - Macaron 2011 Pinot Noir, IGT della Venezie, Italy, 12.5% ABV, $5
        - un4seen 2009 red, California, blend of Zinfandel, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, 13.9% ABV, $4
        - Punto Niño 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Malle del Maipo, Chile, imported by Wilson Daniels, from the Chilean outpost of southern French producer LaRoche, 14.5% ABV, $6 on 3 July
        Also new: a Greg Norman Argentinian Malbec, a “Haute Red” (?) CA Pinot Noir, and probably a couple other things I passed over.

        Reply
        1. Patrick

          That Artesa sounds good, hope it gets to the So Bay(SF) I have been enjoying Casarena 505 Chardonnay Mendoza 2012 Argentina, I’m drinking it like it is 90+ degrees out which it is south of San Jose, very cold, no oak, screw top, comfortable chair on the patio, nice bay breeze cooling it down, summer brie’s make you feel fine! Out

          Reply
  8. lim13

    Stopped in at the Silverdale GO this afternoon (6/26/14). Absolutely nothing, zero, zip, naughta’ new. But the shelves are sure looking bare, so they’ll have to bring something in soon. Hope it’s not the same old stuff. I did notice that they still have the Cate Cab and Chardonnay that a number of our readers like. If it’s around for the next sale, I’ll try it, but can’t bring myself to pay $10 for the Cab. I think the Chard was only $5 or $6, but I’m not a big Chard fan.

    Reply
    1. bin5

      My turn, I stopped by the Skyway, WA store today (happens to be convenient from my current work site). They had a few new wines (up here anyway) including The Road Less Traveled ($6). There were several Los Hermanos wines by Beringer which are “off dry” wines and had a 1 to 10 sweetness rating on the back and the Cabernet was a 3. I passed. I picked up a 2012 Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir from Argentina ($5) just because. Still not much new out there, but maybe this is a sign.

      Reply
      1. Don Bevins

        $5 for a pinot noir from Argentina seems like a reasonable gamble. There have been reasonable pinots from Argentina at GO in the past. They have tended go be from Patagonia which one does not usually associate with great wines but a region in which PN seems to do well.
        A note from an earlier post- I was pleased with the Moore Wood PN. At $10, it was vastly superior to the Cottonwood from Oregon at the same price.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Don and Bin5,

          The 2010 Maula Pinot Noir from Argentina was quite good, so there is some precedent. I think I still have a bottle of the Maula aging away.

          Don, at a GO I ran into someone pretty well wine-informed who thought the Moore Wood PN was quite simple, so I have avoided it. Was your experience with it different?

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            I can second BW on the Maula PN and still have a bottle myself. Would like to know how the 2012 Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir from Argentina turns out.

            Reply
  9. RB

    I’ve seen a lot of comments about the cab from Cate, but I don’t think I’ve seen a mention of the 2012 Cate Chardonnay, Napa Valley. I got a bottle at the Olympia store for $4.99 and think it’s quite nice. Pretty dry, with maybe a hint of oak, but not much. The label alludes to flavors of pear, melon and citrus and that seems pretty accurate. I might add kiwi to that list. I think I’ll get more.

    Reply
  10. PW

    Stopped by GO today to try and find a decent Sauvignon blanc. I didn’t really see any but they did have this:

    Chateau Bonnet Bordeau 2010 Andre Lurton Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Rose $4.99.

    Occasionally I like Rose and it seems to have a decent review for $5:
    http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2011/10/2010-chateau-bonnet-bordeaux-rose.html

    Btw…if anyone has any recommendations for a good SB in the current offerings, I would be most grateful. White wine isn’t my area and the only SB I’ve ever had that I liked was Beringer’s Knight’s Valley SB 2009 (if that helps with the recommendations).

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I’ve had a number of Ch. Bonnet Sauv Blancs, PW. Got a bottle or two in the cellar right now. Purchased at regular price. They’ve all been inexpensive, somewhat grassy and very flavorful. So that rose’ just might be a decent one. Please let us know. As for GO Sauv Blancs, it’s hard to say because who knows what’s available it what stores/regions? My best advice: go to the lower right side of our homepage, click on the “Select Category” dropdown arrow and click on Sauvignon Blanc. That’ll give you the reviews of all SB’s beginning with the most recent. Then just find one that sounds good to you and call to see if your store has it.

      Reply
      1. PW

        Oh thanks. I thought the drop-down was for regions only. I didn’t realize if I went farther it would give me varietals etc. Nice. That worked. I remember the Maddalena from the store today and it sounds good (based on your description). I need it for a dinner pairing and it sounds close to the one I liked so I’ll pick that up. Thanks again.

        And I will post when we have that Rose. Waiting for a bit warmer weather.

        Reply
      2. PW

        Had the rose’ last night with friends. Or rather we tasted it and then decided to open another bottle of wine instead. It tasted dry, like cedar and thick water through mineral/gravel. Not at all pleasant. Then again I’m not big on mineral-ly wines.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Assuming you just put the cork back in and put it back in the fridge, please try the rose again and let us know if it’s any different. Those things can need a surprising (to me) amount of air.

          Reply
          1. PW

            Actually we didn’t save it. I assumed it was like more like the whites we’ve had that were worse with a lot of air.

            If I ever come across a situation like that again though, I will try that.

            Reply
    2. jwc

      PW, a couple other SB’s you may want to try, the ’07 Baccharis from Mendicino and the Little Rascal from Napa. I’ve seen a magnum of a New Zealand SB called Monkey Bay, but had a hard time with the label & name of the winery for that matter, anyone tried this? $8.99 in Portland. I really liked the Baccharis, but it is a heavier CA. style of SB. A couple options for you in addition to the Madalena, plus the Baccharis was discounted to $3.99, from $6.99. I penned a note on it under Guest Contributions, happy hunting.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I had the first vintage of Monkey Bay to arrive in the U.S., JWC. Had it at a large wine tasting a few years ago. It was pretty generic and unexciting. It’s also pretty cheap in lots of retail outlets in both 750′s and “the big boys”. We had the 1.5 L bottles at the Silverdale GO too. My suggestion? Skip it. I’d go for that Maddalena or Little Rascal that are in the “Select Category” listing. And I’m glad I helped you find that listing, PW.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          The nose of the Maddalena is quite intense and varietal compared to the Fortress SB. In the mouth, it’s a bit coarse in the back of the tongue. I did like it for $3.99 a bottle here in CA.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            I liked both of those wines but the Maddelena won out for quantity purchase because it was $1 less. The one you might see with the tasteful dog silhouette is good, too, and I recently liked the M____ Fiori from Napa.

            Reply
            1. PW

              Thanks everyone. I found the Maddalena (also saw the Little Rascals but am holding off on that one, based on Lim’s description…the asparagus pee desc puts me off a bit. lol!). I am going to be in Salem tomorrow so I’ll see if they have any of the other recommendations.

        2. jwc

          Thanks Lim13, I was considering taking the plunge on the Monkey Bay magnum, but the wacky label & name held me back, appreciate you confirming. I popped over to Vancouver today, and not much new. There’s a lot of wine there, but most of it is too high priced for the quality, as well as being priced light years beyond what most GO consumers will pay. PW, they did have a Top Chef SB for $7, and a NZ SB, called Table something for $7 as well, these are most likely a pass. I did see a new Cab Sav from Six Prong, for $11, but passed, as I’ve got more cab, than any other varietal.
          Would like to see a decent/new pinot noir, and a couple summer roses roll in.

          Reply
      2. PW

        Thanks for the recommendations. I had not seen your review on the Baccharis. After reading it, it looks like something we would like. I’m not sure if it’s here locally but I will check.

        Reply
        1. PW

          Has anyone else tried the Baccharis? I’m just curious. We tried it last night but didn’t end up drinking it. It reminded me of green wood with a bit of petrol. It was dry but there weren’t a lot of discernible (or pleasant) flavors. So I just wanted to know if anyone else found it agreeable? We ended up drinking the 2010 Lunatic red (still going strong…ancient GO purchase).

          Reply
  11. JoelA

    2 more sauvignon blancs at Berkeley for you lovers of that grape.

    2013 Mario Fione (or something likie that; can’t read my scribble) Napa Valley, $ 4.99

    2011 Karly Amador County $ 4.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I like the Mario. More of a Napa style, melon fruit with some citrus and herbaceousness well in check and it is a current release not an olde timer

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Has anyone tried that Karly yet? Story is that Turley bought that winery and the vineyards, that is why the wines are being blown out.

        Reply
  12. Seedboy

    Here’s something not new but it seems time to mention it: GO Corporate is considering closing the Berkeley store and building condos on the site. No proposal has been made to the Berkeley Planning Commission but one is expected. When I know more I will report.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Is it just that the lot is getting more expensive with all the development around the train station? Would the GO still have a Berkeley store, i.e., would it just move elsewhere?

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        I hear tell that there was a search for another location, but that has been abandoned so there is the possibility of no Berkeley GO. Has anybody checked the offices above the store for occupancy?

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          GO corporate has moved out of the upstairs offices and now is in Emeryville. There is now a sign posted on the parking lot fence regarding the planned development, they plan to demolish the existing building and build condos with ground floor commercial.

          Reply
  13. PW

    Stopped by the Corvallis GO today. Not much new to report. One thing I did pick up (besides the Road Less Traveled) was this:

    Grand Marchand Bordeaux 2011. $8.99 Normally I don’t buy Bordeaux there but this one looks like it might be worth a gamble. I liked the description on WE. We’ll see.

    (WE link: http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/chateau-grand-marchand-2011-red-bordeaux)
    This firm wine has black-currant and red-plum fruit, nicely integrated with the dry core. Ready to drink, although capable of aging a year or two.
    — (9/1/2013) — 86pts

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi PW. The Grand Marchand Bordeaux is down here too, for $8, I think. Please let us know what you think of it.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Had a glass of that Bordeaux at the Oakland GO……not impressed.

        Could do better with your GO dollars.

        Reply
      2. PW

        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
  14. lim13

    Went to a tasting at the Bremerton GO tonight 6/13/14. Here, briefly is what I tasted:

    2011 Pavi Napa Pinot Grigio: Fruity and spicy with what appears to be some residual sugar; serviceable, but I’d stick with the Little Rascals that I reviewed recently. $4.99
    2012 Toolbox Kitchen Essentials North Coast Red Wine: Another weird label and name and their web site is even more strange; vinted & bottled by Hill Wine Co. St.Helena. The wine had texture and some tannin; lots of fruity flavors; tastes off-dry; no idea of the varieties involved. $5.99
    2012 Spanish Demon Tempranillo, Rioja: Medium purple color; again, it has honest texture with moderate tannins; flavors of strong black pepper, which I like. This is the only wine that I almost bought…but didn’t. Very stylistic in its peppery qualities for a Tempranillo. $6.99
    2012 Finis CA Cabernet Sauvignon: another stark, tacky label; decent varietal fruit with light tannins and soft texture; fairly flavorful. Bottled by AWD in St. Helena $5.99

    Another uninspired day in the wine section at GO. I’ll likely stop in for the tasting at the Silverdale GO tomorrow, Saturday 6/14/14 and will hopefully report again.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Stopped by the Silverdale GO tasting tonight and except for a relatively tasty extra dry Prosecco from DaLuca for $6.99, I again left unimpressed. The Prosecco was more austere than fruity, just off-dry and had a steady bubble stream.

      I also had the chance to try the 2004 Bordeaux Standard Haut Medoc that BW reviewed. As BW said, it’s far more representative of true Bordeaux (in its earthiness) than anything we’ve had from GO recently, but it really didn’t do much for me. It has held up surprisingly well though.

      Finally, I tried two newer vintages of wines that I previously reviewed: a 2012 Ashlyn’s Vineyard Columbia Valley Private Reserve Red (light and thin with little flavor) for $6.99 and a 2011 Tarkettle Road Cab Sauv that had strong black tea flavors with a subtle sweetness on the front of the tongue and a feel of thickness on the palate. But at $10.99 I had no desire to buy any.

      Reply
      1. PW

        Interesting. The last wine we bought from GO was the Toolbox Kitchen Sink (I usually never get caught up in these weird ones but that one made me laugh so I wanted to try it…haven’t opened it yet.)

        We bought the Tarkettle cab on the last wine sale. Liked it fine. Better than many but not as well as the Dry Creek Mosaic or the Cate (both are my fav. cabs from GO to date, though the Cate is a bit young, it’s still nice).

        Wasn’t a fan of that Diablo tempranillo. Co-incidentally it was the peppers tastes that put me off. I’m really picky about my tempranillo though. I don’t like the broad range/styles that are offered…just a very narrow margin that is a bit spicy, earthy, little bit of leather with a nice fruit balance…nothing vegetal. Mostly I’ve found the Spanish ones to my taste but not much outside that aside from Abacela’s Fiesta and Bartholomew 2009…that was lovely.

        I was really surprised the 2004 Haut Medoc was as nice as it was. Not a re-buy but a pleasant surprise nonetheless.

        Thanks for all the updates. I was wondering about the Pavi & the Toolbox.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Just a couple of clarifications, PW. Which Tarkettle Cab did you like? I tried the 2011 on Saturday, which just showed up at Silverdale. The only one here during the last wine sale was the 2010. And in regard to the Tempranillo…I had the Spanish Demon. Is that what you meant by Diablo? Also, the flavor in the Spanish Demon was distinct black pepper (which I enjoy) as opposed to green or bell pepper (which I do not enjoy)…very different flavors.

          Reply
          1. PW

            Oh wow, I didn’t even notice the difference in dates. It was the 2010 from the wine sale that I liked. And I need to check my notes about the tempranillo. I too like black (and white) pepper to a degree (I like the spicy) but loathe green pepper & most “vegetal” tastes. I only remember (without the notes which I don’t have on me) that it was a pass for us. I thought we might like it (being Spanish and usually we have great luck, to our tastes anyway, there). Again, it could have been a mishandled bottle. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wondered, given the variation of posts from here on tastes etc if our wine is experiencing that. Another local friend mentioned the same thing…she buys from the same GO stores and we’ve compared bottle variations of the same wine purchasing from different stores from surrounding towns. I’ll never forget going to the last wine sale at one store and seeing cases stacked in the sunlight right by the front windows of the GO…of good wine too…the sun just beating down on it. At it gets hot here in the valley.

            Reply
    1. Don Bevins

      New in the Sacramento Greenhaven and Roseville stores in a Moore Wood Central Coast 2011
      Pinot Noir. This is a cellared and bottled by product but the phone number on the back label is the number for Testarossa Winery which produces some world class pinots. At $10 it is about
      my price point limit but we all have to take a chance once in a while.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        There is also a Moore Wood pinot rose for $5.99 that is pleasant, shows best when it is not really cold.

        Reply
      2. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Don. I was tempted by that Pinot, but one person I ran into in a store didn’t like it. Please let us know what you think.

        Reply
        1. Patrick

          I encountered a lady at GO who was looking for Moore Wood, I told her I was married, I didn’t know it was a Pinot!

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Under guest contributions I mentioned a 2007 Toolbox Chard. from the Oak Knoll area of the Napa Valley and the front label had two past tense verbs concerning construction, but the ladies neglected the term ” drilled.”

            Reply
  15. jwc

    Just as I was able to report nothing much new in Portland, or at least the west side…but that was OK due to there being plenty of the Hogue Genesis Riesling, the Baccharis SB and the 2010 Wolf Blass Presidential Shiraz, along with the Echelon RRV pinot noir to get by on, I was one the east side today and popped into the Milwaukie GO. They had 3 bottles of a 2001 Le Riche South African Cabernet Merlot blend (55% cab/45% merlot) and a couple bottles of a 2009 Seidelberg estate chardonnay, both for $3.99 each.
    Picked them up, as I continue to really enjoy the 2001 Le Riche Cab Sav Reserve, as well as the 2007 Seidelberg Reserve Syrah. Was a little leery about a ’01 non-reserve cab/merlot blend, but am betting these will be fine. As far as the chardonnay, South Africa seems to make a lot of nice chards, more French in style, lighter, complex and not a lot of oak treatment, which is a plus in my book. So we’ll see, this appears to be the last of the SA wines in the area. Was happy to have stumbled upon them, sorry Bin5 and Darrell :). I will hoist a glass in your honor, cheers!

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      JWC, thanks for hoisting some 2001 Le Riche for me. Let us know how it compares to the 2001 Reserve so we can know what we are missing. Some down here have the 2003 blend and from SB’s description, just possibly, we can vicariously compare the two vintages.

      Reply
  16. Seedboy

    A number of Rutz pinots have appeared. There is Sonoma Cuvee 2008 ($5.99 Oakland, $9.99 Berkeley) and 2009 (I’ve only see this promised to a customer at the Oakland store) and also a 2000 Sonoma Coast ($5.99). I opened the latter yesterday and like it. It is lighter bodied with a lot of red fruit and good acidity. I went back to day for the last few bottles and it was gone. the 2008 seems plentiful; it needs air but ends up a nice balanced pinot.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      There is also a nonvintage wine made from French grapes but they appear to be from the south so I’m not interested.

      Reply
    2. 5-Star Bar

      I stopped by the GO-South SFO on my way back from the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend on Saturday 5/31. I noticed the Rutz collection which, due to their use of a Latin U looks more like RVTZ. I have had the opportunity to try several of their “library” wines over the past 15 years or so but have to admit to being generally underwhelmed. I’m not a pushover for Pinot either as I feel that there has been a correlation between the popularity of Pinot (fueled by the otherwise charming film “Sideways”) and the dilution of the quality of wines produced from this varietal to satisfy skyrocketing demand. After a quick search on the net I decided to pick up a bottle of the 2008 Sonoma Cuvee to sample based on a handful of positive reviews online (CellarTracker avg. 89/4 reviews), and a 93 Tasting Panel score. According to the online lore Keith Rutz made the decision to focus on wine full-time in 2001. Apparently this move paid dividends. When I got around to tasting the Sonoma Cuvee a week later I was not only “not disappointed”, I was DELIGHTED! Up front a complex, elegant, seductive bouquet leapt out like Pinot perfume from the glass. On the palate a superbly balanced blend of intense, authentic red berry flavors melded seamlessly with a pleasant dollop of slightly spicy oak on the finish. I went back and picked up 8 more bottles a couple of days later. IMHO 2 big thumbs up for this one. This is in its prime now at peak drinkability and without a doubt the best RVTZ wine I’ve ever had…

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Glad you like this wine. Some of the Calif. GO stores received a large supply of Rutz library wines about three years ago, going all the way back to the 1992 vintage. My impression was that the vineyard designated wines, and the ones called Maison Grand Cru, were generally pretty good, especially the 1992 and 1994 Quail Hill, the 1996 Weir, and most of the Dutton Ranch wines. 1997 Martinelli needed to be drunk quickly (most of the former were from magnum). These wines generally had good fruit, balance and minerality, although they were a bit light bodied for the big flavor crowd. Other wines, such as the ones designated Russian River, were not so good. Considering that these magnums cost $7.99 apiece, I’m happy to have been able to buy many cases of them.

        Reply
      2. lim13

        Thanks so much for your positive comments about the 2008 Rutz Sonoma Cuvee, 5-Star Bar. I too have been underwhelmed with the Rutz wines at GO. I believe most of what I’ve had in the last couple of years has been non-vintage plonk.

        Reply
          1. bin5

            We got the 2011 Rutz Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Noir up here in WA ($7). None of the older stuff and Proprietor’s Reserve designation is typically a reason to avoid. I opened it and then the neighbors dropped by and I didn’t take notes, but it was drinkable and we finished the bottle. I wouldn’t buy it again as there is still a fair amount of the Echelon ($6) out there and is a much better wine.

            Reply
        1. Seedboy

          What I hear is that Rutz is making some wines just for GO. These older wines that are appearing are not those wines. This non-vintage French pinot I’m seeing, I am skeptical of it.

          Reply
          1. 5-Star Bar

            I too was skeptical of the French sourced Rutz Proprietors Reserve Pinot. So skeptical in fact that I only took a chance on the 2008 Sonoma Cuvee. I visited the GO-SFO store on Geary yesterday and was pleased to see a few bottles of the Sonoma Cuvee have appeared on the shelves there (along with the Rutz Late Harvest Chardonnay Mendocino dessert wine (which I also tried and found reasonably enjoyable) in a 375ml format. Also noted the return of the Road Less Traveled Stellenbosch Cabernet which I favorably reviewed here. A great deal at only $4.99. Just give it some time. I recommend pouring a single glass on day one to get the ball rolling and re-corking the bottle overnight to enjoy the following day for best results.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Regarding the Road Less Traveled, Stellenbosch SA Cab……I had a bottle of it recently and was immensely impressed…..incredible value for $5!

              When first opened and poured, the bouquet was pretty intense, overpowering and, to be totally candid, a little off-putting….however, for the first time I finally detected what others have termed the smell of fine leather…..mixed in with woody earth and a strong bell pepper essence. Very interesting…..but I am sure a lot of casual wine drinkers probably would not enjoy it beyond the initial sip, as it is definitely not what I would term a smooth and easy-drinking red.

              The second day, however, the Cab improved significantly…..and by the third day….WOW….it was so elegant, supple, dark, rich, complex and mysterious that it was hard to believe it was the same bottle.

              FYI…..I got a tip that the Oakland GO just got a decent shipment in (6/15/14), whereupon I bought a case yesterday…..but I would hurry as it may go fast……a GO employee snagged like 7 full cases before it was even put out on the shelf, supposedly for his brother’s wedding party…..but if the Cab is not aired properly (and he is not a wine guy), I think his guests will be sorely disappointed…..LOL!

  17. lim13

    Stopped by the Silverdale store today for the first time in a week and pickins are still looking mighty slim. I picked up the only wine I hadn’t seen before… a 2010 Thomas Scott Grand Reserve Sonoma County Chardonnay for $4.99. You know things are tough when it’s me buying only a Chardonnay for review. Hardly a favorite variety. And I got a peek at “new arrivals”…two pages of wine and only a couple of truly new ones. And nothing piqued my interest. The drought continues. Very disillusioning.

    Reply
    1. bin5

      Nothing much new on this side of the Sound either lim13. I did see the Roblar Syrah and Pinot but I couldn’t remember if anyone reviewed those yet so I left them for now. I did pick up the Rutz Pinot to try.

      Reply
        1. Patrick

          We had this Roblar issue before when the Palmeri Syrahs were here, Kerry Damsky the owner winemaker at Palmeri is listed as the winemaker at Roblar and yet the Roblar we get at GO rarely gets a drinkable, and yet we all scrambled to get all the Palmeri we could! We talk about bottle variation. Is this brand variation. Maybe our guy Tom from Santa Maria could do a tasting at Roblar.

          Reply
          1. Tom from Santa Maria

            Hi Patrick — I’ve never visited the Roblar tasting room, and my only experience with their wines involved a Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir that G.O. had a while ago, which I didn’t care for at all. Given that the Santa Maria G.O. has had a good supply of the Happy Canyon Merlot, which I liked very much (and, coincidentally, from vineyards just down the road from Roblar), I haven’t been tempted by the more recent Roblars.

            Reply
            1. Patrick

              Hey Tom, I was wondering if they had any good wines! I am drinking the Happy Canyon Merlot also and if you Google Tom Barrack Neverland Ranch or the winery there is a lot of info. I lived in SBar for 5 years in the ’70s on Micheltorena by the Riviera ,could have bought the house for $17,500.00 coulda shoulda.

      1. lim13

        Both the Roblars were there at Silverdale yesterday too. I had recalled them not being liked much, so passed right by.

        Reply
      2. bin5

        Thanks for all the replies on the Roblar, kind of how I remembered the posts. On another note, I just received the Renton, WA tasting line up for Saturday. They listed the Anoro Chardonnay at $6. Based on the reviews I will have to give that a try.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Would like to see that over here, bin5…but it has yet to make an appearance. I’ll be curious as to your comments and whether or not you think an unoaked/low oak Chardonnay person like me might like it.

          Reply
  18. Seedboy

    I’m going to throw caution to the wind and announce that I love the Italian pasta and sauce combo packs I’ve seen lately at the Berkeley GO. Three different ones, nicely made pasta with sauces (fish-based) including only natural ingredients, would make for a primi for 4, and only $1.99. The one with the sardine sauce (a Sicilian thing, with fennel and raisins) is brilliant.

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      I just bought a 3 ltr. bottle of red wine in So. San Jose. $21.99. It has a heavy bottle and wax top. Only thing on the bottle is “House Wine” so it is Wa. State Precept and had good reviews for the 2010. Magnificent Wines site doesn’t show the big bottle just the box and 750′s. I see that these wines got good reviews in our categories under Wa. no way I’m going to open it to see if it’s good! If you have had this let me know if it’s worth saving for a party.

      Reply
      1. jwc

        Patrick, I would say YES, a well made bordeaux style Washington red. I still have a few of the ’09 750′s that GO had over a year ago. Tastes more expensive than it is, enjoyable.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Saw this bottle but hadn’t a clue as to what was inside, so thanks, JWC, about the possible contents. The DM bottle has has to be worth something.

          Reply
    2. Darrell

      Bought the sugo pronto alla pescatora for the tubular pasta to go with a tubular cephalopod. I will use the sauce on some other pasta instead. Difficult to find this shape pasta at such a reasonable price.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        That sauce is pretty good and the pasta is high quality. Berkeley store still has some of these.

        Reply
  19. Seedboy

    Has anyone out there tried the Olin cabernet yet? Berkeley and Oakland have new Aussie wines, a 2006 grenache rose that is surprisingly fruity for its age with decent acid and a methode champanoise pinot chard blend that would be good if the dosage had not been so sweet.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Seedboy. I got a bottle of the Olin Cab, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. By Aus methode champanoise pinot chard blend, do you mean the Jumping Grape? I got a bottle of that, too. Sorry to hear it’s sweet. Did you try out that older Austrian rose?

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I did mean the Jumping Grape. It is a nicely made wine but just more sweet than I like. The Austrian rose, I did not try it.

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Seedboy. I opened the Olin Cab this evening. Full write-up tomorrow, but after 2.5 hours in a decanter, I’m not likin’ it much. What comes to mind so far is “cherry SweeTart.”

      Reply
  20. PW

    Anyone see this here in Oregon? I saw that it is in a few places in CA…just wondering if we have it around here?
    Eco Terreno
    2010 Alexander Valley Three Vine Red $9.99 (retail 35.00)

    Reply
      1. PW

        lol Ok. Thanks. This one looks like something that falls within our likes so I was hoping we’d see it.

        Reply
  21. andrewshawkitch

    The GO in southeast Portland is inundated by ecoVINO’s helibiker white table wine for $3.99. One website said it has been at Trader Joe’s for $4, but I don’t go there. Also apparently they have a Chardonnay (http://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/food/tulsa-couple-s-ecovino-adds-two-france-produced-wines-to/article_1d2c6fb3-152e-5f98-affc-70bd795ce5ea.html). Anyhow, this couple imports biodynamic/organic grapes from Languedoc and makes wines in California. For 4 bucks this wine was awesome. Tasted mostly like Chardonnay (unoaked, to my preference), with the tartness of a vino verde or sauvignon blanc. A slight pineapple taste developed going into a grapefruit bitterness and ending in a lovely meyer lemon tartness. Alcohol content is not mentioned, nor is this wine on their website: http://ecovinowines.net/wine/2010-chardonnay/Oh, the mysteries of Grocery Outlet wines!

    Reply
  22. PW

    Not much new in Corvallis this week.

    Greg Normal 2011 Malbec (Mendoza region) $5.99 (Lim13 reviewed the 2010 on here.)
    Pavi Napa Valley Pinot Grigio (I believe this was $5.99 too)
    They also had a syrah/garnacha blend…I think it was called Day’s End (but not positive…that’s what my notes say but my handwriting is atrocious). @$10.99. Seemed kind of high for that type of blend…

    I didn’t end up buying anything except another of the Lupi Reali and an Echelon RR pinot noir.

    Reply
      1. lim13

        Actually PW…I kinda’ liked Greg Normal better. Brought an immediate smile to my face and I can never have enough of those! I too saw the Pavi PG up here in WA. I’ve walked on by a few times. The wine wizard on my left shoulder says, “Buy it!” The one on my right shoulder says, “Leave it there!” Does have nice enough packaging. Ah, what to do?

        Reply
        1. PW

          LOL!
          I almost bought it (the Pavi) but the GO guy, who knows my tastes by now, said that it was on the sweet end and I prefer the drier whites.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            It looks like the Little Rascal’s wines are made by the same folks who make the Hill Sauvignon Blanc that is at the Berkeley store. The SB is pretty good, but I’m not a fan of the LR Pinot Grigio, which seems pretty simple except for a bitterness I don’t care for.

            Reply
  23. lim13

    Picked up the following today at the Silverdale GO for review in the coming days:

    2011 Gaucho Argentinian Malbec $4.99
    2012 Gaucho Chilean Carmenere $4.99
    2008 Luna Negra Tempranillo Reserva, Spain $5.99 (which I now see that OregonLady on May 10th did not like)
    2011 Little Rascal’s Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc $5.99 (which Patrick really enjoyed)

    Reply
    1. PW

      We liked the Luna Negra. I think BargainWhine did as well. We actually bought a case because it’s (imo) a nice red for summer. I don’t expect it to go into next year though. It’s not a 3 day wine. A friend of ours said it showed it’s age on day three…pretty vinegar-y, but so far day one and two have been enjoyed by us.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Thanks for the reminder, PW. We’ll see what my bottle brings. There were a couple of other Tempranillos that showed up today at my GO, both younger and with less appealing labels…so I went with only the Luna Negra…for now.

        Reply
        1. Delmartian1

          We tried the Luna Negra last night matched with BBQ rib eyes and a lite ceasar salad. It was quite pleasant. Also picked up a bottle of the Muriel Tempranillo 2011 from Rioja but have not opened it yet.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Thanks for the feedback, Delmartian1. I’m going to copy your Luna Negra comments with the comments under my review of that wine. Also, we welcome your comments about the Muriel Tempranillo when you open it, but please post them under that review by bin5 on May 19th. Thanks!

            Reply
    2. Don Bevins

      The Gaucho wines have not shown up in the Sacramento area yet but keep on the lookout for a pinot grigio from the Little Rascals folks. The color is true to a pinot gris and is very tasty at $4.99. This could well be the best of the pinot grigios for everyday consumption to show up in quite some time.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Actually, Don…I believe I saw the Little Rascal’s PG up here today. It was the sort of bronze-like color that I don’t often see in PG’s, so while I’ve had them in that color, I was afraid it might be oxidized. Guess I may just have to try a bottle if it’s still around. Haven’t seen the Barrymore yet. Also…just found this PG article that might be of some interest to you and some of our readers: http://palatepress.com/2014/05/wine/pinot-grigio-can-science-defend-snobbery/

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Lim, thanks for the thought provoking PG article. I don’t have to make excuses for not buying or drinking PG wines after reading the article. A whole lot of people used to like to drink a chauche gris from Livermore too.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            I still enjoy some Pinot Gris, Darrell. Guess I live too close to Oregon to not enjoy from time to time. Had a few Alasatian PG’s in the cellar too, but they’re gone now. A Chauche Gris/Trousseau Gris/Grey Riesling was one of our best sellers (when I was still working in the industry) in the 70′s and early 80′s…from Livermore just like you said…came from Wente Brothers…that and Weibel Green Hungarian. : ~)

            Reply
            1. jwc

              I have to agree with Lim13 on PG, here on Oregon there are many producers making excellent wines. I’d encourage you to try a King Estate or Erath PG, they should be available in CA. But not at GO unfortunately . The Washington produced PG from Willow Crest that was at GO awhile back was good for $5.99 as I recall. Anyhow hope you can enjoy a good one.

            2. Darrell

              Thanks,guys, will try to do. Here’s my logic concerning PG coming from the Alsace anyway. If bottles cost the same from any one maker, do I buy their Riesling, Gewurztraminer or the Pinot Gris? I think you know which varietal I will purchase last.

            3. rondo

              Lim, thanx 4 the article; now I understand why I enjoy gris while yet to find a grigio that I enjoyed. JWC, many years ago I bought a King Estate reserve from GO that i much enjoyed as well as some Alsatian ones.

      2. lim13

        Bought a bottle of the Little Rascal’s Pinot Grigio (as opposed to Gris : ~) ) at Silverdale today and will report soon. They had about three cases of it…and of course up here it’s $5.99.

        Reply
    3. Don Bevins

      I have always found the entry level pinot gris to be on the dry side and pinot grigios fruitier but not sweet per se. The Little Rascals I just find to be an excellent summertime companion to salads or lighter fare. It is by no means another Helfrich Steinklotz. similar to the Napa Pavi pinot grigio. It seems that California producers prefer to pinot grigio designation while Oregon producers lean toward pinot gris. Go figure.

      Reply
    4. Patrick

      I got a few new bottles in San Jose. Olin 2008 Alexander Valley Cab. $10.99. Thomas Scott 2010 Grand Reserve Chard. Sonoma Mission 2004 Merlot Napa. Finis 2012 Chard St Helena. Vino Fratelli 2011 Chianti, also saw a Windy Bay Pinot Noir Dundee Hills I didn’t buy yet. Any Oregonians know this wine?

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I’m a Washingtonian, not an Oregonian, Patrick. But if the Dundee Hills Pinot from Windy Bay isn’t measurably better than their Oregon PN that I reviewed here, I wouldn’t waste my time.

        Reply
  24. Darrell

    At the Richmond there was a Leslie Henessey, a SF wine retailer, 2009 SB for $4.99 a bottle. On the back label, asparagus is used as a descriptor. Scott’s seafood restaurant, a Bay Area chain, has their Chardonnay and Cabernet featured here also, but I don’t remember the price.

    Reply
  25. BargainWhine Post author

    This morning the Berkeley store got in the 2010 Havens Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain Vineyard for $16. It’s supposedly outstanding.

    Also the Le Riche 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot, from Stellenbosch, South Africa for $2 (not a typo. they say they may raise the price if it’s popular) JWC wrote about the Le Riche 2001 Reserve Cabernet here.

    Finally, they have the Jamaica Red Ale from Mad River Brewing, one of my favorite beers, although at $8 per 6 pack, not much of a discount.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I thought I’d responded to BargainWhine’s post but had not. By the time I got to the Berkeley store yesterday all of the Havens cab was gone. The South African wine, the code rings at $9.99 and it may take them a while to fix that. They did sell me 1 bottle at 1.99 and I like this wine a lot. It is still lively with some red fruit and some of the herbaciousness I expect from a Stellenbosch red.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Well, and by 11 am this morning the Le Riche is gone, one person came in and bought every bottle.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          I guess that’s why it wasn’t there when I came at around 12. We probably should look for it at restaurants or bars in Berkeley if we want to try any.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            I did go into a little place on San Pablo recently whose wines were all clearly GO purchases.

            Reply
            1. PW

              That’s pretty smart, if they follow which wines are good and don’t buy the bombs. The prices at GO can keep a cellar well stocked without breaking the bank…again, it’s just finding the nice ones in the mix.

            2. JoelA

              Are you not going to tell us where we can go to drink the wines we couldn’t find at GO because someone bought the whole lot for his/her restaurant? (unless this site doesn’t allow such plugs).

            3. BargainWhine Post author

              I can put you two in touch if you want, but I think legally restaurants and other stores are not supposed to re-sell GO wine, so outing them here may not be good.

            4. Seedboy

              My understanding is that restaurants cannot sell wines purchased from anyone other than a licensed distributor, with an exception for “owner’s cellar”. However, I do not know this to be the case.

            5. Expat

              I’m sure that it is a violation of a store/restaurant’s ABC license to resell wine that is not purchased from a licensed distributor. A local bar owner told me there was a time that Jameson was out at distribution but in stock at retail stores. They couldn’t legally buy it to use in their bar. Also, a bar in town near me was shut down, I think because they were buying liquor from Smart & Final. So buying GO wines and reselling is playing with fire.

            6. Darrell

              PW, we don’t know if the 2003 Le Riche CS/merlot is a good wine or bomb based on any evaluation here. I agree we can drink like royalty for relatively little shekels if we are guided by some advice here. The only wine I can’t seem to find is a cooking level Madeira.

            7. PW

              Darrell, I wasn’t say it was anything (I haven’t tried it)…just thought it was a smart idea to glean inexpensive wines as long as they were decent….however after looking it up, it appears that it is indeed illegal to do so.

            8. Darrell

              PW, OK, I understand now. I thought you were referring to a regular GO buyer and not a reseller.

    2. Seedboy

      More of the Havens is on the shelf at Berkeley. There is also a Pelligrini bordeaux blend called Milestone, 2006, that is $19.99. I tasted both wines, they are both delicious (even though the Havens had been open three days).

      Reply
  26. PW

    Had to buzz over to Corvallis today and stopped back by GO (they were stocking wines yesterday and suggested I stop back by).

    I was happily surprised to find a few new ones I wanted to try. Plus a restock of old favorites (Lupi Reali that Lim13 reviewed favorably and sold out almost as soon as it was stocked here and the Four that is our standby “know we’ll like” blend of Zin, Merlot and Cab Sauv. from Napa).

    Marlo 2011 Chardonnay Russian River Valley $5.99 (that has been favorably reviewed here already)
    Thomas Scott Grand Reserve Chardonnay Sonoma 2010 $5.99 I think. (The only thing I found on the web re: this was from here: https://www.drync.com/bottles/2010-thomas-scott-grand-reserve-chardonnay)

    Luna Negra Tempranillo Reserva La Mancha 2008 $6.99 (Says aged 24 months in French oak…seems more promising than the last one I tried though I don’t know anything about it.)
    Stefano Montefulciano D’Abruzzo 2012 $5.99

    There were a few more new ones but I was in a hurry…just picked up these.

    Reply
    1. OregonLady

      I bought 2 bottles of the Luna Negra Tempranillo and took one back. Neither of us liked it at all.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi OregonLady and welcome! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like this wine. Would you describe for me what you didn’t like about it, or what kinds of wines you prefer?

        Reply
  27. PW

    Stopped by Corvallis GO to return that other bottle of the Terra di Vigne. Not much new there but they were stocking…so maybe later. The only slightly interesting thing I found was a 100%Tempranillo (rarely see them there). I bought one, just because I’m a fan in general of the Spanish style…though I know this one is a lower end.

    Spanish Demon Tempranillo 2012 Rioja $6.99

    We picked up some more of that Cate 2012 Napa cab $9.99. Still find that one to be extremely pleasing for it’s price point.
    And one of the Bordeaux Standard Haut Medoc 2004. $6.99

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi PW. I’ve seen the Spanish Demon Tempranillo around me in CA, I think for a dollar less as usual. Please let us know how you like it, and of course how you like that Haut Medoc.

      Reply
      1. PW

        I would put it at drinkable, only because it was neither stellar nor bad. We were on a wine-walk yesterday and it was much better than some of the wines we taste tested and worse than others. Mainly, as a tempranillo, it lacks spice or character but as a red wine that I’d serve with something like hamburgers it’s fine. Although I think it’s more like something you’d expect for $7 at Trader Joe’s than a good bargain at GO. Just my thoughts.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Thanks, PW. After reading the back label’s saying something like “soft and easy drinking” I thought it didn’t sound like my kind of wine. Your comments seem to confirm that.

          Reply
  28. Seedboy

    Two “new” pinots in the Berkeley store now.
    First, 2010 Patassy, $6.99. This is from the Green Valley subappellation of the Russian River Valley (near Sebastapol). A small family winery that has apparently been sold and the purchaser is blowing out the inventory. http://www.winex.com/Newsletter_view.aspx?id=3914. This wine strikes a good balance between ripeness and acidity. I’ve saved most of the bottle and will report further in a day or so.
    Draper & Esquin Carneros 2009, $4.99. Draper and Esquin was at one time a fancy wine shop in the Jackson Square neighborhood in SF. That store has been closed for 20 years but the name lives on (poorly) through this wine. It smells of pinot funk from the start, which carries through into the mouth, where you don’t get much more than sweet cherry candy. Skip this, spend a buck more for the Echelon or spring for the Patassy.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      SB, I reviewed the Patassy April 13 from a bottle from Redwood City during the sale and I thought for sure this wouldn’t be your kind of PN and I said you probably wouldn’t like it since I thought it to be a bit low in acid. I described it as perfumey, detergent like smells and the lower acid made it seem soapy, but I did buy some and I think this particular vineyard has potential. Glad you like it, but caveat emptor. I shopped Draper and Esquin in the ’70′s, but in my wine buying/study gap, I didn’t realize they bottled under that label. I met Eric from Richmond the other day in Richmond and we exchanged tasting notes and it was a pleasure meeting him, but he saw the Draper and Esquin bottle and said it was new and so I grabbed it and told him I’d review it. I thought my bottle was better than you described and worth the money. Didn’t get the PN funk.

      1999 Draper & Esquin Pinot Noir, Carneros $4.99, vinted and bottled by
      1 3/4 ” whole cork, stained 1/8 inch. Nigh 15 yr. old PN with minimal sediment so no decanting necessary.
      Color: Hue- Almandine red w/ wide orange rim Tone- med-
      Aroma and bouquet: Med- nose of strawberryish PN fruit. Not much bottle bouquet as one might expect from a 14+ year wine. Very light to no wood. pleasant, clean non-perfumey PN.
      Flavor: Light PN sweetness, no alcohol burn. Med-acid, low tannin and easily quaffable. Will pick up more to drink now and will let the younger Pinots recently bought at the last sale age a bit.

      This wine is representative of a lighter PN from the Carneros and fills a niche in cuisine. I usually have a light to heavier white with my seafood, but in this bottle I can see it going with heavier sauced fish. Though I don’t drink much Gamay, this wine is goes down like a smoother Gamay, but with PN nose and flavors.

      Reply
          1. seedboy

            I’d buy a bottle of the 1999 based on that review. As for the Patassy, it is sort of on the edge of being overripe to me but I thought it was just acidic enough.

            Reply
            1. Expat

              I’m drinking the 1999 Draper and Esquin right now. Darrell’s review is dead on and I can’t add much. It really benefits from some air time – softens and some interesting funky notes develop. Probably past its prime but it’s growing on me. It has old world sensibilities and 12.5% alky-haul so it scores points with me. I’ll rebuy at least a bottle.

      1. EricfromRichmond

        It was a pleasure meeting you too, Darrell. I’ll have to try the Draper & Esquin PN, my fears that it would be too old seem unjustified. I’m glad BW posted about the Angove Cab. I think my description made you run the other way, though I think it’s delicious.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          I’m glad to hear you two met each other. Eric, would you let me know if you have any quibbles with my description of the Angove Cabernet?

          Reply
          1. EricfromRichmond

            No quibbles at all. I don’t think my palate is refined enough to pick up on all of the things going on in it. For me the raspberry was very prominent and I think I may have have told Darrell something about a raspberry Jolly Rancher’s candy, but in the best possible way. Any way I like the Angove quite a bit.

            Reply
            1. EricfromRichmond

              BTW I just stopped in the Richmond store and picked up a Havens 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. I see from their website that the 2009 is selling for $45: http://havenswinery.com/products/
              Full disclosure- I’m all in favor of big California fruit bomb cabs and this may be my favorite GO wine yet. If it were a little cheaper than $16, I might have bought a case. I had to settle for picking up two more bottles. This one reminded me somewhat of the Robert Nenow- not at all subtle, but pretty spectacular.

            2. bin5

              Hi EricfromRichmond, I bought a boatload of 06 Havens when they went bankrupt in 2009 at around the same price as what you just bought. They are still very nice wines. I bought some 3 liter bottles for $80 (which are sleeping right now). Havens showed up again a couple years ago, not sure who bought them or what their story is now. I see their wines on WTSO a lot for $17-$20 (includes shipping). I will keep my eye out for this up our way.

            3. mereimage

              I picked up the Haven’s Spring Mountain Cab today and will give a whirl in a day or two.

              Just to add some info on the Haven’s story. During the early 2000′s I spent much time at the Haven’s facility (also shared with Peter Franus at the time). Haven’s Merlot and the then Cab Franc heavy blend, called Bourriquot, were some of my favorite wines. Needless to say I was crushed to hear the news of Michael’s brand demise many years later. However, surprised to see the Haven’s logo (name, with a vine shoot with budding leaf) on the window of a tasting room in Napa. The tasting room belonged to Stonehedge, that confusing brand mostly seen at Trader Joe’s. So, I was curious and stopped in. What I found was the brand was continuing under this ownership but the wines couldn’t hold quality nor value to the good ol days. Without sounding obvious, it’s hard to make the same wine with a different winemaker, history, grapes, etc.

              For fun, if you’re Wine Library fans, check out this early, and I mean early, episode with Gary V and Michael who gives a little history of Haven’s Wine Cellars and review of the wines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31sHcoq20fo

    2. JoelA

      Sorry, but I did not like the Patassy PN. Yes, cherry and raspberry, but too much cherry and not enough of anything else. Plus the entry is rather harsh. And I’m not interested in seeing whether or not it will be better with a few years aging. The wine’s out of balance.

      Reply
  29. JoelA

    A few new ones at Richmond (at least I think they’re new):

    2011 “Barise” white by Scott Harvey, $ 3.99
    2011 Pavi Napa Valley pinot grigio $ 4.99
    2011 Project Paso chardonnay (Paso Robles) from Don Sebastiani, $ 4.00
    2005 Arceno Chianti Classico $ 5.99
    2011 Colli Chianti Classico $ 7.99
    2012 Cline mourvedre rose $ 4.99

    Reply
  30. lim13

    Picked up the following wines today, 4/23/14 at the Silverdale, WA store for future review:

    2011 Windy Bay Oregon Pinot Noir $7.99
    2011 Marlo Russian River Valley Chardonnay $5.99
    2012 Waterbrook Columbia Valley, WA Sangiovese Rose’ $5.99
    2011 Barossa Edge Aussie Shiraz $8.99
    2011 Maddalena Paso Robles Sauv Blanc $4.99

    Where were these wines during the 20% off sale?? There were a couple of other new wines there today…a Chianti Classico and a CA white blend…but I passed for now.

    Reply
  31. bin5

    Stopped by the Kent, WA store today. They had a 2009 Terra Di Vigne Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet for $25 (claimed retail of $50). I couldn’t find anything on Google. $25, really? They also had the Quickfire Top Chef wines (from Terlato). I picked up the 2010 Cabernet ($8) and 2010 Chardonnay ($7) to give a try. I left the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris on the shelf for now.

    Reply
    1. PW

      I bit on the Terra. I frequently find that the price for a decent Napa cab of that vintage (it’s my one wine indulgence) since I can’t find the 2007′s very reasonable, is about 2.5% that price. So I thought I’d try it. Saving it though for a sunny day and a good bbq’d steak.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      All of the wines you mentioned above, B5 were at the Silverdale store today, 4/23/14. I doubt I will ever spend $25 for a GO wine…regardless of how good it might be touted to be. I’d be far more inclined to spend that kind of money on one of a number of tried and true wines from producers whom I’ve trusted over the years.

      Reply
    3. Anzyk

      They have that at my GO in Corvallis, OR, too. Likewise, nothing at all online. $25 is a lot of money for a bottle of wine (for me; why else would I shop at GO?), and I’ve bought a lot of wines there that I really wanted to like, but just didn’t. Hoping that someone will come up with some information or open a bottle and tell us if it’s worth the money!

      Reply
  32. Ashlander

    Just want to say thank you to all of the contributors here that make navigating the GO wine scene much easier. Based on recommendations here, bought Wolf Blass Shiraz and Barrymore Pinot Grigio at the Palo Alto store and Gloria Ferrer Pinot in Vacaville (Mon after the sale). There were others, but those come to mind off the top of my head.

    It was the first time in both stores and I was impressed with their wine offering compared to S. Oregon.

    Reply
  33. Seedboy

    Tonight the Berkeley store had:
    two Riojas. One was pretty young and I paid it no mind. The second is the 2005 Heras Cordon Reserva Rioja. This wine is priced at $18.99 so roughly $15.00. Not a great reduction from retail but it looks like a good wine. http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1137719
    Tarkettle Road Pinot for 9.99. Not sure this is the same vintage but I might check out a bottle: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1561901&searchId=B4E84738%23selected%3DW1561901_1_K39d3ab00c22244bc43dc8cf5ccddfcd1

    I bought a bottle of the Vavasour pinot at Dublin. It is not exciting me but it is well-crafted. I saw this wine in Oakland but they had little left.

    Oakland had a couple of cases of the Poggio Brunello on the floor, and the Ripasso lives on.

    Reply
    1. Delmartian1

      Saw both Riojas here in Oceanside as well. I think the younger one was a 2011 and at $14.99 of no interest. Also passed on the 2005 as it seemed a little pricey for a Rioja at GO.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I tasted the 2005 after it had been open for about 1.5 days. It seemed pretty good, but I think that if I wanted to spend that much, I could get wine I like better at other stores even for the sale price = 0.8 * $19, IIRC. However, I suspect even the 2005 needs more age, so it may have just been a bit shut down.

        Reply
    2. Seedboy

      I’ve consumed part of a bottle of the Tarkettle pinot over two nights. It is pretty much correct but to me is is just slightly lacking in acid. It might please those who feel differently about acid in pinot.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        The Tarkettle Pinot is now at the Silverdale, WA store…and I believe at Bremerton too. I passed on it for now.

        Reply
      2. Darrell

        I finally got around to trying a bottle of the pinot and I love the nose, one of the better smelling pinots from GO. I think I know what you mean by low acid, but I am not as sensitive as you. If I remember correctly, you didn’t like the low acidity of the Samantha Starr which I had along side the Tarkettle. I am going to get me some before the sale ends today.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          The Samantha Starr needs more acid. I finished the bottle of Tarkettle last night. The fruit had subsided but the minerality shown through. Definitely a better wine than the SS.

          Reply
        2. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Seedboy and Darrell (or anyone else for that matter). Do you know where in the northern East Bay (i.e., somewhat close to Berkeley) still has the Tarkettle Pinot?

          Reply
            1. jwc

              2014 Spring Sale comments: From my perspective the sale was a winner, here on the west side of Portland, there were a number of higher end South African wines, older vintages in some cases, at bargain basement prices;
              Le Riche 2001 Reserve Cab Sav $3.99 ($45 on release, drinking beautifully), 2007 Seidelberg Rolands Reserve Syrah $2.99, 2009 Nitida Cab Sav $3.99, Nabygelegen 2006 Seventeen Twelve (Merlot, Cab Sav & Petit Verdot blend) Umkhulu 2003 Shiraz “The Big One” $4.99, 2011 Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc (wines of Kevin Grant) $2.99. All prices before discount. I was familiar with Ataraxia and have enjoyed these wines in the past purchased at GO, but the rest are all new to me, and based upon the high quality of the Le Riche cab & Seidelberg syrah, am excited to pop the cork on the others. In addition the numerous Wakefield offerings, and the Ribera pn’s, plus all the other stuff folks have been mentioning such as the various Mosaics, Hogue, Beringer, Cellar No 8, Echelon Collection & Tarkettle wines, a pretty impressive effort. Did anyone on the west side pu the SA offerings? I’d be interested to here your take on them, as I’m pleased with the QPR, on what I’ve tasted to date. The Le Riche Reserve is outstanding, I was stunned at the quality, and prime condition of this wine. Hope you had a similar experience.

            2. lim13

              Your sentence mentioning “Mosaics, Hogue…” etc., JWC were the only wines we saw up here in Kitsap County, WA. Never saw any South African wines, no Wakefield or Riberas. For me, the sale was very average, which is probably a good thing. I look forward to another buying hiatus as I’m tripping over all the bottles in my cellar.

            3. seedboy

              This is re jwc’s comment of today’s date. We did not see any of those South African wines at any of the 5 or 6 No Cal GO’s I went into for the sale. I would have loved to have seen them. We got some new stuff, only one I bought was a 2005 Rioja Reserva that appeared in Berkeley.

            4. BargainWhine Post author

              The Oakland store had two wines from Robertson Winery, Roberston, South Africa: a Shiraz and a Pinotage. $12 each didn’t seem like bargain basement prices, but I’m unfamiliar with them. I got a bottle of Pinotage to learn meself a little about the grape.

            5. PW

              This is also re: JWC’s comment (no reply button there). We were very happy with the results of the spring wine sale. The only things we didn’t find that we thought we might like were the Block 9 wines and the South African. Everything we’ve tried so far, we’ve liked in varying degrees…which is huge because recently we’ve had about an 80% dislike on everything we’d been buying there. Thumbs up on the Ribera Pinot, the Mosaics (both cabs and Zin), the Lithos Cab (really liked this one…totally didn’t expect to), we even liked the Tarkettle Zin that someone reviewed and didn’t like too much. We previously liked the Echelon RR pinot noir so we bought more of that. And we enjoyed (but wouldn’t buy again) the Cherubino Valsangiacomo
              Drassanes 2011. Haven’t yet tried the Tarkettle (PR) cab, the Sonoma Landing Merlot. Overall we spent too much but probably saved quite a bit in the long run.

            6. Darrell

              Concerning JWC’s comment on the sale, it seems the PNW got most of the sale items I purchased, but had more than we had if all those South African wines were well distributed there. I would have jumped on some of those wines for a try. I remember going through a couple of cases of an Ataraxia Chard. that I loved. Have been drinking a SA sparkler that gives French vins de mousseux and cremant a run for their money. I was curious about a Pinotage I purchased at GO. It was a no go for me. Hope BW has better luck with his.

            7. Don Bevins

              Ditto Darrell. I still remember the excellent South African wines at GO a couple of years ago. The Bouchard Findlayson SBs and Chards in particular. I even dropped big bucks on their high end Pinot Noir at the Elk Grove store. I have seen no interesting South African wines in this area in quite some time. I tried the Barrymore Pinot Grigio tonight. Sale or no sale, I will load up for the warm months ahead.

    3. lenarque

      I’m sipping my Rioja Heras 2005 right now. The comments I read talk about balck fruit mostly cherries and blackberries but I smell more like strawberry and raspberry pureed and some vegetal fern like aromas. Very spicy in the mouth, it’ll be perfect with the spicy tri tips you can find at many retail stores. I agree with some other tasters this wine hasn’t shown yet its full potential and I’d give it another 5 years to mature for the best.
      My conclusion is that at that price, the wine is not stellar but has the potential for it. Patience has its virtue.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Greetings lenarque and welcome! I tasted the Heras Rioja after it had been open about 1.5 days, and my reaction was similar to yours: it’s likely not yet at its peak, and for the price it didn’t seem that great a deal. It might be worth it, but I couldn’t tell.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          The Berkeley store still has a mess of this on the floor. I’m looking for them to drop the price significantly because it won’t move at that price.

          Reply
        2. seedboy

          I opened and decanted a bottle Saturday night and most of it was left over the next day. It was delicious both days and I think this wine is not yet fully developed.

          Reply
  34. Ashlander

    I forgot to mention this on the previous post, the wine guy at Grants Pass flagged me down and pointed out a 2012 Radius Cab Sauv from Washington. He said it was incredible and he was buying a case. There was only a couple of cases in inventory so I ended up buying 5. It was $5.99. I was a little surprised at how much he was raving about it.

    Reply
    1. Ashlander

      Didn’t care for it. A bit of a candied flavor in my opinion. I will be returning the remaining 4 next wek.

      Reply
  35. Ashlander

    For Willamette Pinot Noir fans, I found three interesting wines at Grants Pass GO.
    2006 Ribera Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir
    2007 Ribera Stormy Morning Vineyard Pinot Noir
    2008 Ribera Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
    All are $7.99
    I ran over to McDonalds to get online and research these. Not too much info online. I am leaving the area tomorrow for the bay area so I will not have the chance to come back and get these during the sale. I doubt they will be in the Palo Alto store. I looked at a vintage chart and it looks like 2006 and 2008 were both good years. I will probably buy 3 of the 06 and just 1 of the 08. If anyone knows anything about these, I would appreciate the feedback. If they are outstanding, I might be able to hit up the Medford store tomorrow and see if they have any.

    Reply
    1. PW

      We only had the 08 here. I picked up several. Not too much online. I posted the little that I found on the Spring Wine sale thread.

      Reply
      1. PW

        I forgot to mention that the 08′s at our store are both the Molly’s Vineyard and the Stormy Morning Vineyard. It says on the back label which is which.

        Reply
      1. PW

        We tried the Cottonwood a month or so ago. A friend of ours also purchased a bottle. We were all very unimpressed. I didn’t finish my glass. We ended up dumping the bottle. It was really sour. I don’t know if it was corked or what…but definitely not a fan.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          You beat me to the punch, PW. I believe it was the Cottonwood that JWC and I tried together when I was visiting the Portland/Hollywood store. Like you, I didn’t like it at all. I doubt it was corked…I just think it was inferior wine. And it paled in comparison to the Echelon I’ve reviewed here. We tried them side by side.

          Reply
          1. PW

            You are right there definitely is no comparison. I wasn’t sure re: the corked because it was just so bad. lol

            Re: the Ribera, I’d be interested in what you thought on that one. I think it’s showing it’s age a bit. Mostly our pinot noir seems to do well for about 5-7 years (just in my very inexperienced opinion) and I know the online site said that it should last a few years past 2012. I just think it’s showing it’s age a bit. We still liked it. Not as much as the Echelon, but it’s very different. Not as heavy an alcohol or spicy tasting.

            Reply
            1. jwc

              On the ’08 Ribera pn, initially the wine is light bodied and somewhat disjointed, the fruit/acid don’t mesh together, integrate May be a more descriptive word. After a day, the wine had become richer, fuller quite flavorful with dark, ripe cherry and spice. Day 2 was far better, decant this for a couple hours, to enjoy the wine at its peak. No foil on the bottles, uncertain what the story behind the wine is. For $6.41 after discount, Thumbs Up

          2. GOWineLover

            Thanks for the comment. Was wondering on this one. The only wines I picked up were the Echelon, Gloria Ferrer and Vavsour Pinots, a random Torrontes, a few Helfrich Gran Cru Pinot Gris, and a cheap Central Coast Chenin Blanc. I like the Sawkar, very similar to their Merlot in winemaking style but much more subdued, if a bit old.

            Reply
            1. Delmartian1

              I had great hopes for the Helfrich Gran Cru Pinot Gris but it was less a crisp dry Alsatian white and tasted more like a demi sec Semillon..much too sweet and cloying for me.

  36. bin5

    I stopped by the Renton store today to see what they were starting to stock for the sale. Not a lot of new wines actually and the wine manager said he didn’t get sent as much as usual. Pretty weak list actually:
    2007 Munari Petite Sirah and Syrah $6
    Tarkettle Road Cab $9 Zin $6
    Still Wine Washington Red $4 White $4
    Picos Garnacha $6

    They have a pretty good amount of the Echelon RRV Pinot $6 and just a little of the Wolf Blass.

    Reply
    1. GOWineLover

      Pleasant Hill is stocked up for the sale but not with much that is interesting. In all likelihood, the 375ers of Gloria Ferrer pinot will be gone. They do have a lot more of the ’06 Robert Nenow cab that I though was quite good even though it’s expensive for GO…$12 on the sale price for a pretty serious cab. Nothing else has really caught my eye…

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Anyone seen the Pelllegrini Block 9? Berkeley is out already. Had a lot of those half bottles of Gloria Ferrer today though.

        Reply
        1. Don Bevins

          Some of the older Pellegrini reds were in the Roseville GO Monday. The winery seems to be trying to reinvent itself and the Cloverdale Ranch label will be going away. A new label design seems to be happening.

          Reply
        2. Darrell

          Saw some Block 9 on the San Mateo peninsula today, Redwood City, Palo Alto and SF. Can’t remember if SSF had some. Palo Alto is a nice store with the refrigerated wine having a nice selection of cheeses next to the wines. Clean restrooms and at least accessible unlike SSF. Half bottles of this and that just about everywhere.

          Reply
  37. flitcraft

    Seems like the Lake City GO got its allocation in for the sale, since there’s about half again as much wine there as typical. Some new items–
    Robert Oatley Rose of Sangiovese 2008 at $5; I liked the 2010 version last year, but this one may be a bit long in the tooth
    Beringer 2011 Malbec at $5–no idea at all on this one; the label says it’s Argentinian grapes, and the front says “Premier Release”–I passed
    Ste Chapelle Late Harvest Riesling 2010 at $4 (a split)–39 degrees Brix, was made under the watch of Chuck Devlin still; should be a good deal
    Quickfire Cab/ RRV Pinot Gris, and Napa Valley SB–6 dollars for the PG and SB, 8 for the Cab–no sign of the acceptable PN that has been written about here
    Lake and Vine SB–now at $4. It may be a little flabbier than I’d prefer, but c’mon, at that price? Seriously…
    Lunatic white now at $5–it was at $4 last month.
    Albeno Munari 2007 Petite Sirah and 2007 Syrah–don’t know anything at all about these wines, other than the shelf talker seems to think that they sell for a lot more than the $6 that GO has priced them at

    I didn’t buy anything because it didn’t strike me that I’d be really annoyed if on Wednesday they were all gone. Just thought I’d report on the stock at LC for those contemplating a sale run.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Your next to last sentence says it all for me, flitcraft. Your list from Lake City is indeed pretty sad. I’m heading down to the Silverdale GO on Tuesday for the first time in a week…for a sale preview. Not sure why, but I’m not expecting much. The Lake & Vine and Lunatic are fine, but I don’t need anymore of either. And the price of Lunatic was raised a buck since last month? C’mon, man…what’s with that? I finally had a bottle of that 2010 Oatley Rose of Sangio and I wasn’t too fond of it…just seemed washed out and less flavorful than I was expecting. So the 2008 would be a “no go” for me. The 2010 St. Chapelle LH Riesling sounds the most interesting. If it’s anything like the 2008 at $2.99 that I reviewed over a year ago…and it was available over here…I’d buy some. Here’s a reminder of that review: http://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/2008-ste-chapelle-snake-river-valley-late-harvest-riesling-idaho-2-99/ Thanks for your report, FC.

      Reply
  38. Seedboy

    Oakland store today had the 2009 Pellegrini Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Block 9 Cloverdale Ranch for 9.99. I bought a bottle but won’t get to it for a few days.

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      SO San Jose has Pellegrini Milestone 2006 for $19.99 and a 2012 Excusez-Moi Ca Cab from Michel Schlumberger for $5.99 also I wrote the name of another $19.99 Red but I can’t read my writing something like Maggione Superiore 2003.

      Reply
          1. mark seiden

            well, lise ciolino the winemaker of montemagiorre is a genius. i saw this wine in the redwood city store today for about $21, as i recall. if you have time in sonoma to arrange a visit (you need to prearrange) by all means, go.

            Reply
            1. JoelA

              Just had a bottle of this 2003 Montemaggiore the other night. It is a fine wine, more than worth the price and still in some stores. Not old at all, rich and ripe cabernet with syrah (don;t know how much) adding some structure but not the usual earthiness. I think it’s rich enough to satisfy California tastes and well-structured enough to satisfy old world tastes, and still ageable.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi Joel. Thanks for your report on this wine. I had a small sample Darrell gave me in the parking lot, and then, it tasted complex but with a rather light body. Glad to hear there’s more to it than that.

        1. Seedboy

          Berkeley still has some of this. I’ve not bought any because I’ve chosen to use my money on other things.

          Reply
    2. rondo

      SB, please let us know what you think of the Block 9 when you try it (hopefully before the sale. Thanks

      Reply
  39. RB

    Looks like a few new things might be trickling in to the Olympia store. Picked up one of just a small number of Waterbrook 2012 Sangiovese Rose (Columbia Valley) for $5.99. Goes for $12 through the winery.
    Among the new boxes being unloaded I saw at least one case labeled Mosaic 2012 Russian River Valley Zinfandel – wasn’t priced yet.

    Reply
    1. PW

      I absolutely loved the Mosaic Cab they had earlier this year. I hope our store gets some of that RRV Zin.

      Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            I got a bottle to review, priced at $10 here in CA. I had been avoiding it because 2012 seems a little young still. Even though there’s no way I can review all the bottles I have before the end of the sale, I thought I might as well buy more to review on sale.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Look forward to your review, BW…as I saw it at the Bremerton store tonight for $10.99, but passed it by.

  40. Ashlander

    New store opening this week in Palo Alto. This is my hometown and where my mom still lives. I am very excited about the prospect of being able to go to a bay area G.O. that will be close to my visits. As a matter of fact, I will be there during the sale! It is near the corner of East Meadow and Alma.

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      Ashlander, I drove by that before it opened, I was surprised P.A. allowed it there. I’ll check it out, for so long it has been Redwood City then San Jose.

      Reply
      1. Ashlander

        Patrick,
        I was surprised too. I was driving my mom around on errands and saw the store. I went the next day, but they were not open yet. Looks like a brand new building.

        Reply
    2. Darrell

      Great since I go to the University on occasion and will swing by Alma. Check out Redwood City and then Palo Alto. Thanks for the notice.

      Reply
    3. jwc

      Ashlander, I grew up in Los Altos, so you must have gone to Paly HS, not Gunn. Our state senator Ron Wyden attended PAHS, even some nice small wineries in the area, such as Page Mill in the PA hills and Gerard-Cooper in the Los Gatos Mts. Ramona’s Pizza!! Good times!

      Reply
      1. Ashlander

        JWC, We went to Page Mill about a year ago. Very nice! I went to Cubberley and then Paly. That should give you a hint about my age. My wife went to Paly also and taught at Loyola before we moved. Ramona’s was a great pizza place. Unfortunately even the “to go” Ramona’s is closed now.

        So happy to have a GO in Palo Alto. It was a bit of a pain to make the trek over to RWC.

        Reply
        1. jwc

          OK,cool, I do remember the basketball court at Cubberley, spongey, made you feel like you were Dr.J (Julius Irving), sorry to hear about Ramonas, I loved that place. Remember seeing Van “The Man” Morrison play at the Varsity Theatre on University Ave, had dinner right next to him. I bet you’ll see a lot of nice wine in PA, close to Napa, Sonoma and Santa Cruz Mts, lots excellent wineries, in addition to be close to GO corporate.

          Reply
  41. BargainWhine Post author

    Just stopped by the Berkeley store. A week ahead, there’s not much new for the sale except a big pile of half bottles of Argentine wines – Malbec, Tannat, Syrah – at $6 to $8 per 375ml bottle. The word I got was that the store manager at the Redwood City store helped arrange the deal and says they’re worth that price, but I’ll likely wait until the sale to find out.

    Reply
    1. PW

      That seems a little high. I’ve been on an Argentine Malbec kick lately. Found some really good wine (though not at GO), at least IMO, fro $7-$14 for a 750ml. So that doesn’t seem very discount to me.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        In case anyone wants to research these wines, here’s what the Berkeley store (and I believe also the Oakland store) had (all half bottles, all imported by Best of Argentina, Redwood City, CA):
        Bodega Cicchitti 2010 Malbec $8
        Cuesta del Viento, all 2007:
        Bonarda $6
        Syrah $8
        Tannat $6

        Reply
        1. PW

          I just looked up the Malbec. It looks good (the description does to me anyway). It doesn’t look like a good sale price given that you can buy the 750ml for $15.75 online but it’s rated 92pts (WS) fwiw. I probably would try it if they had it locally. I didn’t look up the others.

          This is what one site said:
          Very dark inky purple core with a brighter purple and fuchsia rim. Dark rich fruit aromas of blackberry, raspberry and plum surrounded by milk chocolate, dried leather, wet clay and a hint of coffee. Much lighter on its feet in the mouth (meaning the dark rich aromas imply that the wine will be heavy and cloying, but this is not the case), with fresh, juicy red fruits, particularly cherry and raspberry. Great acidity makes this a fantastic food wine. Dark chocolate, coffee and hints of earth linger on the finish. Medium to fill bodied with ripe, approachable tannins.

          (the site: http://www.budgetbottle.com/?iVar=6049)

          Reply
  42. lim13

    On 4/1/14 at the Bremerton, WA GO: 2007 Chateau Marsau Bordeaux for $7.99. Wine World, a large wine shop in the U District of Seattle is selling this for $10.99, so I’d say this is no great value. If you’re inclined to try it, might want to wait for the sale. The bottles are packaged in very nice wood crate cases. Here’s one Brit’s take on the wine: http://tikichris.com/2012/01/17/wine-of-the-month-2007-chateau-marsau-cotes-de-francs/
    Anyone out there had it?

    Reply
  43. JoelA

    At Pinole today

    2009 Lady in Red merlot $ 7.99
    2012 Wolf Blass dry riesling $ 4.99
    2008 Gloria Ferrer estate pinot noir (Carneros) $ 4.99 half bottle

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      The Wolf Blass is a decent slightly off dry riesling. Not much petrol, but enough acid to balance the fruit and sugar

      Reply
  44. jwc

    Some new wines at Tanasbourne, and some familiar ones as well;
    2011 Turkettle Road RRV Pinot noir $9.99
    2010 Turkettle Road Cab Sav. $8.99
    2006 Hare’s Chase Shiraz Barossa Valley $10.99
    2012 Greystone cab sav $4.99 (2nd label of Markham, per a CellarTracker reviewer.)
    2010 Greystone Calif. Merlot $3.99
    ’04 Bordeaux in the cheesy bottle that BW reviewed $6.99
    2007 Covey Run Reserve Merlot $5.99
    2009 Robert Oatley Shiraz Mudgee $3.99
    2010 Robert “Bob” Oatley Chardonnay $6.99, new vintage, enjoyed the previous vintage @ $3.99 better.
    Picked up the Oakley Shiraz, which is solid bottle especially on Day 2, the Covey Run Reserve Merlot and the Greystone Merlot. The shiraz IMO is a good QPR, and have seen selling in town for $15. No whites, as I had found some Chehalem INOX chardonnay on closeout from another source. A nice Oregon unoaked chard should you happen to see it. Cheers!

    Reply
  45. Don Bevins

    New in Roseville of particular note:
    Helfrich Steinklotz Grand Cru 2008 Pinot Gris 2008 – A tasting experience. At $6.99, I’ll buy more during the sale if it is still around. Check for leaking corks.
    Top Chef- As well as the pinot noir mentioned there is chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and sauvignon blanc out there. All seem to be at $6.99. The Pinot was fine but lacked depth. Again, wait until the sale.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I’d definitely buy that PG. Is it dry? I agree that the Top Chef pinot lacks depth but it has good acid/fruit balance and has some earthiness to it.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Seedboy. There was a little of the Helfrich Grand Cru Pinot Gris left at Richmond yesterday. From Alsace, I’d bet it’s off-dry. I hope there’s still some around by the time I review it. :)

        Reply
      2. Don Bevins

        Floral and honeysuckle aroma hint at a wine sweeter than it is in the mouth which features spice and mineral notes. I would not suggest holding the wine for very long. Great to find a grand cru vineyard in Alsace at this price. A $25 wine upon release.

        Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              Thanks! That gives me a good idea of how dark of flavors it could handle. It probably would have been fine with my chicken and mushrooms yesterday, but I thought I’d play it safe with the Pinot Noir.

      3. Expat

        Tried the Top Chef Cab last night. I’m thinking it shares characteristics with their Pinot Noir. It was pleasant with some nice notes, good balance but not very complex. You can tell it’s a well made wine but it’s very “safe”. Not enough backbone or dryness for me, but then again I like the old world style. Looking forward to trying the Gloria Ferrer Pinot split. Hoping someone will review soon.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          I saw that Gloria Ferrer split at Oakland yesterday. They have a lot of them. Shared it with a few wine-loving friends last night and we all liked it. Nice balance, good fruit. Other wines newly appearing are Greg Norman Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2011 ($4.99), Cline Mourvedre Rose 2012 (same), and Montemaggiore Superiore 2003, $19.99. Here is the cellartracker for the latter. http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=490912&searchId=49BC97F9%23selected%253DW486925_1_K42c3416902b05bc7dbe6deb2430611b0 I’ve tasted this wine, hours after it was opened, and is pretty good. plenty of stuffing, good balance, dark pruney fruit, still a bit of rough tannin.

          Reply
  46. lim13

    I feel compelled to mention that you haven’t seen any reviews from me in a while because my local GO has been going through another of their periodic limited choice/no choice stages. It’s been weeks since anything has grabbed my interest. They just brought in a couple of new Bordeaux, but the ones I’ve tried most recently left me severely gun-shy. They also brought in a couple of WA state Wines of Substance reds. But the Syrah from them that I reveiwed a while ago also left me cold. I’m heading down there today. Maybe I’ll soon have something to review…maybe not. Prospects for an interesting sale in only two weeks are beginning to scare me!

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Well…I didn’t come home empty handed. I bought the following, which I hope to review soon:
      Cellar No. 8 CA Red Wine $3.99
      NV Street Sonoma County Shiraz (with weird label and story…stay tuned) $4.99
      2010 Volteo Garnacha, Spain $5.99
      2011 Lupi Reali Trebbiano D’Abruzzo, Italy (Organic) $3.99

      I passed on both Wines of Substance because both the Cab and Merlot are 2012′s…one + year old WA state varietals hold no interest for me…especially at $9.99 and $7.99 respectively. I passed on the new Bordeaux for much the same reason…all were 2012′s…and because as I said above, lately the GO Bordeaux (most from AW Direct) have not impressed me at all.

      Reply
  47. Seedboy

    A number of new wines in Oakland. Two wines labeled Live Fire, I think there is some sort of TV chef connection, a pinot and a SB. The pinot is central coast, $6.99. It tastes like pinot and has a nice balance of acidity and fruit. I’ll report later on what it is like second day.
    2006 Rotta Cabernet Franc Dino Boneso Vineyard. I want to say $6.99. Here is the Cellartracker page: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1048594&searchId=7D1B3C16%23selected%253DW1048594_1_Ke5a70a74e42a81f025ea807c43852dbf There is also a muscat canelli.
    Robertson Winery Wolfkloof shiraz 2008, South Africa, $9.99.
    There was a Washington Gewurtztraminer and a Riesling, same winery, both sweet so I paid them no mind.

    Reply
    1. JoelA

      A couple of new ones at Berkeley today

      2011 R8 cabernet $ 6.99
      2009 Samantha Star pinot noir (San Lucas) $ 9.99
      2011 Stemmari syrah (Sicily) $ 4.99
      2004 Sichel “Private Vintage Standard” (Haut-Medoc) $ 5.99

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Joel. I think I reviewed that Haut-Medoc here. The back label just says “shipped by Maison Sichel.” Is that the producer as well? I couldn’t find a name that seemed to be the producer.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          T.A. .61, P.H. 3.7 and no ML which I find unusual unless there was no malic acid in the grapes, which is kinda hard to believe. SB, was the wine slightly gassy?

          Reply
  48. Ashlander

    Bought the following wines at Medford. Not sure how new they are since a couple were in the area usually set a side for wines they have had for a while and/or lower inventory wines. They are all a bit higher than I usually spend on wines at GO. I decided to try and find wines that listed an AVA or Appellation (not sure if I am using those terms correctly), rather than the generic “California”. I guess since 3 of them are imports, they were pretty guaranteed not to have California on them.

    2011 Tarkettle Road Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, $9.99
    2012 Barone Fini Merlot Trentino, $7.99
    2006 Hare’s Chase Shiraz Barossa Valley, $10.99
    2012 Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola Sicily, $6.99

    I would be interested to hear any feedback on these wines or wineries for those of you that are more informed than myself.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  49. JoelA

    Not a lot new at San Pablo but they still have a number of wines that have been favorably reviewed here, so if you want to restock – or possibly take advantage of the sale next month to add to your stock, consider these

    2010 Roc de Chateauvieux vouvray $ 7.99
    2010 Karly Pokerville zin $ 6.99
    2011 Luna “Lunatic” white $ 5.99
    2006 Michaud chardonnay $ 9.99
    2010 Triptych red $ 5.99
    2007 Rubia Rabbucolo Toscana $ 7.99
    2010 Ernst Gouw pinotage $ 5.99
    2010 Mont’Arquato barbera $ 5.99
    2009 Eos merlot $ 4.99
    2012 Michel-Schlumberger merlot $ 5.99
    2009 Winfield Estate pinot noir $ 4. 99
    2010 Echelon Russian River pinot noir $ 5.99
    2007 Covey run syrah $ 4.99

    Reply
  50. Ashlander

    Medford Store. Hare’s Chase 2006 Barossa Valley Shiraz $10.99. This had a retail price of $34.99. I was tempted to buy it, but the “expensive” price tag discouraged me. Instead I decided to research it online and then buy it tomorrow if it looked good. Not a lot of info online. Cellartracker had 4 reviews with an average of 90.7. Somewhat promising. Wine.com had it listed as out of stock and priced at $19.99 with a Professional Review from James Halliday of 94. It seems like a it might be a good buy. Unfortunately at the price, I still wouldn’t buy more than 2 or 3 bottles of it unless it completely knocks my socks off. I doubt it will last until the 20% off sale.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      The Wine.com storage facility is about two blocks from the Oakland GO. I suspect it is out of stock at the former because it is in stock at the latter, but, have not seen it at the Berkeley store yet.

      Reply
  51. bin5

    I picked up two interesting wines today at the Skyway, WA store. A 2010 Wolf Blass Shiraz President’s Selection and 2010 Greg Norman Malbec from Argentina. Both were only $5 which seemed like a good price. Stay tuned.

    Reply
    1. jwc

      I’ve been impressed with the 2010 vintage from Oz BIN5, have had a number of excellent Shiraz’s, non GO wines, but excellent. Hopefully the Wolf Blass falls into that camp .

      Reply
  52. PW

    Stopped by the Corvallis, OR GO today.

    Picked up a Sonoma Landing Vineyards Merlot. 2010. I know 2010 was a challenging year but for (I think it was $6.99) I’m hoping for drinkable. Don’t know anything about it.
    Picked up another of the “Four” wine…I wish someone here would review it. It’s been the best inexpensive red blend that we’ve found there. Heads above that Echelon Red Blend.
    Also picked up that Nandu Malbec that Lim reviewed. New to the store but almost all sold out already.

    Nothing else much to speak of.

    Reply
    1. PW

      The wine person at our store today, mentioned that there was a wine sale coming but but didn’t give the dates. Thanks.

      Reply
  53. RB

    Stopped by the Crown Hill (Seattle) store on 3/15 and saw a few things new to me:
    Vinum Cellars 2009 Petite Sirah (California) $6.99
    Wines of Substance 2012 Merlot (Washington State) $7.99
    & a WOS Cab, I think also a 2012, $9.99
    Also had a ‘Zen of Zin’ Old Vine Zinfandel from Ravenswood. Don’t remember the year, but I think it was $5.99 or so.

    Reply
    1. wineoracle

      Zen of Zin is all over town right now at about that price. Light bodied and very VERY herbal. I think it smells of pot actually. Some might like that.

      Reply
  54. BargainWhine Post author

    At the Richmond, CA, store today, there were three interesting-looking wines from Tarkettle Road: a Sauvignon Blanc for $5, a Lodi Zinfandel for $5 and a Cabernet for $10. I got a bottle each of the SB and the Zin, but the Cab looks promising, too.

    Reply
    1. JoelA

      Not a lot new at Berkeley today:

      2011 Lupi Reali trebbiano d’Abruzzo $ 2.99
      2009 Kestrel “Lady in Red” cabernet (WA) $ 10.99
      and some blended wines from a winery in Buellton such as Zoey’s white and Jamey’s red, both $ 3.99.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I commented on the cab in the comments section of Bargain Whine’s review of the Sauv Blanc. JoelA was right – not much of a bargain. It’s decent but boring and not worth ten GO dollars. So many better options at that price point.

        Reply
  55. Ashlander

    At the Grants Pass GO, 2011 Hamilton Estates Merlot, 2010 Dante Red Blend, 2009 Redwood Vineyards Pinot Noir. I don’t remember the prices. All in the $5-6 range. Not a whole lot of info online, but I did see the Redwood is part of Bronco. All with the “California” designation. Bottled in St Helena, Oakville and Napa respectively, for what that’s worth.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I’ll be reviewing that wine shortly, RB. And I’ll hold off on reading your attached review link until afterward…as I prefer to have somewhat unadulterated first impressions. : ~)

      Reply
  56. JoelA

    At Richmond today

    2010 “1805″ Columbia Valley malbec $ 4.99
    2009 Eco.Love Marlborough sauvignon blanc $ 4.99
    2009 Rocland Estate Barossa Valley shiraz $ 5.99
    2009 Rocland EState Barossa Valley Grenache ( 15.5% alc.!) $ 5.99
    2009 Rocland Estate “Ass Kisser” grenache (only 14.8% alc.) $ 2.99
    2010 Perry Creek “Zinman” Eldorado red wine $ 8.99
    2009 Marques de Caro crianza (Valencia) $ 6.99
    2011 Willow Crets (Washngton) pinot gris $ 5.99
    2011 Rosemount traminer-riesling $ 3.99

    still in stock: the very good Mariah Mendocino syrah ($ 10.99)
    back in stock 2003 Nonno Giuseppe zin $ 4.99)

    Reply
      1. Patrick

        I mentioned this site to the wine guy at the Santa Clara store a few weeks ago and when I went in yesterday all the wines that had “Thumbs Up” reviews had a copy of Grossoutwines review hanging from the shelf. Pretty Cool!

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Very cool indeed!! Thanks, Patrick. It’s always good to share wine information…especially at point-of-sale.

          Reply
        2. adlerpe

          Robair at the Berkeley store has also been hanging Grossoutwines reviews. I was speaking to a guy stocking wine at Berkeley last weekend, and he mentioned the samples Juan had given to BargainWhine. I referred him to BW’s post on the Gérard Bertrand 2006 Tautavel.
          Said wine-stocking guy (Robert?) informed me that GO Corporate has just hired an additional wine buyer, who used to buy for BevMo. He’s supposed to have an extensive list of contacts, so we may see some interesting developments over the next few months.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Really? I’ll have to see that. Robaire has always told me he never reads this site.

            That Tautavel is the only sample Juan has given me, and only the second GO-gifted wine I have received. When Bennie was still at the Oakland store, he once gave me one bottle.

            Reply
  57. BargainWhine Post author

    This is a little off-topic here, but recently at the Richmond, CA, store, I bought a large bottle of Quimera Imperial Stout from Chile for about $3 ($3.04 or some unusual number). I’m not a beer aficionado, but I think this stuff is great, especially for the price. It has a dark roasted grain taste, with some coffee, caramel and spice, in a rich (although not super-heavy) body. There was another Quimera beer in a lighter style that I forget.

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Although I don’t like it as much as I liked the imperial stout, the amber ale is pretty good, too.

        Reply
  58. lim13

    Purchased on 3/1/14 at the Portland/Hollywood GO for upcoming review:
    Hacienda NV California Brut Sparkling Wine $5.99
    2009 Jaqk Pearl Handle Sonoma Coast Chardonnay $4.99
    2011 Nandu Malbec, Argentina $4.99
    When I returned home, I found that the Nandu and the Jaqk are now available in Silverdale…and the Jaqk is a much better deal at $3.99! More on my visit to the Portland/Hollywood GO shortly.

    Reply
  59. rgardner2

    Not much reason to post of late, plus the cellar is full (from other sources) but I went to the Lakewood WA store today and saw some old friends:

    2008 Arch Terrace Merlot (Red Mountain WA) $10. Still about a case on the shelf, and I’ve bought about 3 cases. Reviewed here several times (complex merlot, needs air)

    Red Door PN $8

    And for new:
    2006 Simi Sonoma Merlot $10 ($15)
    2007 Covey Run “Reserve” Syrah $5/8? (only bought becuase 2007 was outstanding in WA, I’d say $15 if a current vintage)
    2010 Echalon Red Blend (CA) $4/10

    I saw several sweet reds. I’m not a Lambrusco fan, but it sell to the demographic.

    I see Hogue Genesis is available in OR – I recommend it

    Reply
  60. jwc

    New at Tanasbourne in Beaverton:
    2007 Covey Run Reserve Syrah $4.99
    2008 Columbia Syrah $5.99
    2005 Rutherglen Estates GSM (from World Wine Headquarters, WWHQ, looks to be an Australian negotiant) $4.99
    2010 Aramis Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale Australia $5.99
    2006 Exodus Chardonnay Ozland as well from WWHQ $6.99
    2010 Hogue Genesis Riesling $4.99
    Plus a couple other Aussie whites that appear to be higher end, a chardonnay, from WWHQ whose names escape me right now, the chard at $6.99 and the SB at $4.99.
    I picked up the Aramis Cab, the Rutherglen GSM, and several of the Covey Run Reserve Syrah. Good to see some different offerings.

    Reply
  61. JoelA

    at Berkeley today:

    two wines from the Rock Wall winery at Alameda. This is the winery established by Kent Rosenblum and his daughter after he sold his winery.

    2011 Rock Wall Napa Valley petite syrah $ 10.99
    2012 Rock Wall Julia’s Vineyard Russian River zin $ 12.99
    also

    2010 Madrigal Napa Valley sauvignon blanc $ 3.99
    2012 Dante reserve pinot grigio 5.99
    2011 Echelon pinot grigio $ 3.99
    2006 Gerard Bertrand Tautavel Cotes du Roussillon Villages $ 4.99
    2007 Gerard Bertrand merlot $ 4.99
    2011 Red Lie Lodi zin $ 4.99
    2006 Zelus red (Clarksburg) $ 4.99
    NV Street Pinot (Sonoma County pinot noir) $ 3.99

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. The Berkeley store also had the two Rock Wall wines and the Gerard Bertrand wines, the latter including the 2006 Cigalus red. I liked the 2007 Cigalus red only so-so, mostly because of storage issues I guessed. Let’s hope this group of Bertrand releases is from a different source. There were other new wines at the Berkeley store today about which I was curious but did not get any of, including that Zelus, a 2007 “Misa” Carneros Merlot, and a Columbia Winery Malbec. We’re getting a new wave and, once again, it’s too much for me to keep up with. I hope some of these make their way up north, and that DLuber returns. :)

      Reply
        1. seedboy

          It actually showed better over the next couple of days, some more complexity coming out and no signs of deterioration. I think that travel did not help out this wine. I have seen two roses from this maker, 2010 and 2011, they are not very good.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            I revisited the 2011 Grenache rose last night and thought it was better. Dry, good balance, some fruit, somewhat minerally.

            Reply
    2. Alexandria Malloy

      Livermore here-
      I bought the Rock Wall Zin. It wasn’t as fruity as I had hoped, but it’s a nice strong zin, with lots of spice. I liked it better the second day- and it’s certainly not a bad deal. I also tried the Zombie Zin- just because it looked fun, but it’s watery and weak. I didn’t think it had much flavor, and the label was the best thing about it. That said, when I went back today to the store, it was all gone- no doubt someone bought it for their Halloween party. I also like the Mosaic Zin- probably better than Rock Wall. I thought the Mosaic had a bit more flavor, and I like the lower alcohol, though it is only 1% lower, you still get a lot more alcohol nose off the Rock Wall than off the Mosaic. I’ve got the Mosaic Cab, too, but I have not tried it yet. Still, the zins I am getting at Discount Grocer don’t seem to come anywhere close to the zins I buy at Safeway (which has a 20% off sale)- and I’m very partial to Ruby Hills Peacock Patch Zin, and the Old Ghost Zin (probably my two favorites). It’s entertaining to buy the wines at Discount Grocer, but I wish the quality was a little better. Seems to me we were getting better wines there a few years ago than we are getting now.

      Reply
      1. PW

        Do you think maybe that’s because there are so many 2010/2011′s being sold right now? They haven’t been my favorite (or even close to it) vintages in almost anything. I’m enjoying the younger 2012′s from a lot of different locations better than those years in general.

        Reply
        1. Alexandria Malloy

          I’m looking at my pics- (I take pics of all the labels of wine I’ve enjoyed, and I keep a pinterest of them)- it looks like these were the ones I liked: Peacock Patch 2009, 2010, and 2011, 2010 Stonyridge zin that was so good I bought futures on it- so I don’t know. But it’s an interesting thesis. I’ll have to pay more attention to the years of our favorites. I WILL say that Montemaggiore Superior is amazingly good. Just opened some, and it’s very very very tasty. It’s a cab syrah blend- of course it’s a 2003.

          Reply
          1. PW

            Most of my fav’s (I save them on an app) run 2007-2009 & 2012. I do have a few 2011′s and a couple 2010 but my list of what I disliked is predominately 2010 & 11 with a couple random. It’s a pretty long list too. Lol

            Reply
      1. EricfromRichmond

        At the Richmond store:

        Zelus Red 2006 Blend of Tempernillo (40%) Cab Sauv (18%) Syrah (26%) Barbera (11%) and Malbec (5%). Kind of a everything but the kitchen sink blend 4.99
        Misa Merlot 2007 I think this was $6.99

        Reply
    1. flitcraft

      They have it (at least a few) at the Crown Hill GO, too. I bought three and opened one. It’s somewhat light-bodied for such a young vintage port, and on the dry side for a vintage port, with nice milk chocolate, dark berry, and plum flavors and a medium long finish. It’s certainly very enjoyable now but it will likely develop some nice secondary flavors with aging. It won’t age for decades, but then again, I’ve gotten to that age where I don’t buy current release vintage port anymore. This should be at its peak in ten years or so, for those who prefer aging their port.

      Croft vintage ports went through a kind of iffy period in the 1970′s and 80′s, but recent vintages have been top flight, and Roeda is supposed to be their best quinta (or so I’m told!). It’s actually on my to-visit list late this spring when I’m in Portugal.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Thanks for your knowledgable evaluation and hope to find this Quinta vintage port down here in the Bay Area. There’s older vintage port in the cellar, but haven’t drunk or read enough to be experienced.

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          I would definitely buy if you see it. It’s priced like a reserve ruby instead of the single quinta vintage port that it is.

          One of the ironies with vintage port, I think, is that it takes so many years of experience in drinking them before you develop opinions about ageability and projections of what a baby vintage port is likely to grow up to be, but by that time, you’re too old to be able to benefit from that perspective with regard to newly declared ports. Hence, I will not be buying the 2011′s despite all the indications that it will be a sensationally age-worthy port, since I can’t be sure the old age home will okay my drinking it once it’s fully ready!

          The Croft single quinta, though, is a short term ager, in my opinion.

          Reply
  62. JoelA

    New at Richmond (more or less)

    2010 Three Hoots Napa Valley sauvignon blanc, $ 3.99
    2010 Echelon Russian River Valley pinot noir $ 5.99
    2007 Chevrier pinot noir $ 4.99
    2011 Little Rascal’s Napa Valley sauvignon blanc $ 4.99
    2010 Echelon Napa Valley chardonnay $ 5.99

    Reply
    1. lim13

      The Echelon PN (along with a Pinot Gris) same price and Little Rascal’s SB (a dollar more) are also now available at the Silverdale GO along with a Legaris Crianza ($7.99) and Montevino Montefaco Sagrantino ($11.99). The last two may be of interest to me…the first three are not.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I bit on the Echelon last night in Oakland. I was surprised, it is pretty good. Very forwardly fruity, but a real minerality to it as well, no noticeable oak. I’ll drink the rest of the bottle tonight and report. There is also an Alexander Valley cab for the same price, along with that NV Chard.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          The second half of the Echelon pinot was pretty good. It had not evolved much except that a bit of wood stuck out. I’m thinking I’ll buy some more of this. I also bought a bottle of the Alexander Valley cab. It is very soft, low acid. I’m taking it back.

          Reply
          1. bin5

            I think Echelon started out with Pinot and Chardonnay and earned their original reputation on those wines. I will have to give it a try if I see it, thanks sb.

            Reply
          2. lim13

            Thanks for the input, SB. I bought two of the Pinots based on your comments….the fact that it’s from Russian River Valley…and because the back label says it’s from their “Collection Series” (“the Upper Echelon”). Maybe I’ll review it…maybe not.

            Reply
            1. RB

              I also was motivated by SB’s comments to pick up this Pinot and am drinking it now. I will definitely go back and get more. Thanks as always for the guidance.

            2. EricfromRichmond

              I bought a couple of bottles of the Pinot, opened one last night, and really liked it. Roberto , the liquor manager, said they had 4 cases, but they seem to be moving pretty fast so if you wanted to try it, I wouldn’t wait too long.

      2. lim13

        I bought a bottle of the 2006 Legaris Crianza, Ribera Del Duero 100% Tempranillo that I mentioned above…for review. And that Sagrantino above? It’s the same one that BW recently reviewed…the Ottomonti…now at the Silverdale GO.

        Reply
    2. PW

      We tried the Echelon Russian River Pinot Noir tonight. I have to admit to being apprehensive about trying it. I am a bit fan of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and haven’t yet found anything outside the area that I like as much.

      It was surprisingly satisfying. More heat than I would expect for only 13.5% alcohol but nice flavor. More medium body than I expected for a CA pinot (which always seems “thinner” to me than the WV counterparts). That was also nice.

      We tried it without food and with dinner. It was (in my opinion) much improved with food. Overall a very nice pinot noir, especially for the price. I will buy more if they have it next time I am at GO.

      Reply
  63. lim13

    The Seattle/4th Ave. store had 2009 Wild Horse Central Coast Chardonnay today, 1/30/14. For years I belonged to the Wild Horse wine club…usually very nice wines. I left when they stopped focusing on a few varieties and started making everything under the sun. If it had been something other than Chardonnay at GO, I’d likely have picked up a bottle. I absolutely love their dry Malvasia Bianca…a very hard-to-find variety.

    Reply
    1. bin5

      Hi lim13, what time were you at the Seattle store yesterday? I was there just after 1pm and didn’t see the Wild Horse. I didn’t see much of anything new in there and came out empty handed.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Stopped in before my 11:00 dental appt. in U Village. So I was there around 10:00 a.m. The Wild Horse was on the middle shelf of the section just to the left of the front door toward the south end of the shelving.

        Reply
    2. jwc

      I saw the Wild Horse chardonnay in Vancouver, but at $9 passed. The ’09 Deep Sea chardonnay seems like a far better value, and the quality is very good. I have enjoyed Wild Horses wines in the past, suspect this will last awhile at this near retail price.

      Reply
  64. RB

    Picked up a bottle of the 2010 Echelon Red Blend, California, at the Olympia store for $3.99. The 2011 Cab from Echelon was recently reviewed by bin5, prompting a little discussion of the recent history of the label, but I hadn’t seen anything about this blend, and since there has been no recent action up here in the North I thought I’d give it a try. Nothing special, but my wife labeled it ‘serviceable’, and I agree. Some decent dark fruit flavors with a little bit of tannin – maybe a slight bitter edge in the finish. Better than anything I can get from Trader Joe’s at the same price, anyway. The label says nothing about what’s in the blend and the winery’s website has no reference to this wine.

    Reply
  65. JoelA

    New at Richmond (at least I think they’re new)

    2011 Hogue gewurtz $5.99
    NV Enanzo Navarra garnacha rose $ 3.99
    2009 Pellegrini Russian River Valley chardonnay $ 7.99
    2011 Washington Hills syrah $ 5.99
    2009 Vinum petite syrah $ 4.99

    and some old favorites (previously reviewed by somebody) still around if you need some more or are behind in your drinking:

    2008 Helfrich pinot gris (Alsace) $ 2.99
    2006 Mariah Mendocino syrah $ 10.99
    2010 Risorgiemento barbaresco $ 10.99
    2001 Senorio de Aqulia Garnacha $ 4.99
    2010 Viano Contra Costa zin $ 4.99
    2008 King Mountain Sonoma zin $ 6.99
    2008 Beaver Creek Fairytale $ 6.00
    2011 Blue Plate Clarksburg chenin blanc $ 2.99

    Reply
  66. Seedboy

    Villa Crespia Brolese Rose Extrabrut Franciacorta, Oakland store, $16.99. This is not prosecco. It is made from pinot noir and chardonnay. A lovely bottle. The wine is also beautiful, with a lovely copper color and small bead. It was quite crowd-pleasing with ceviche. However, although it is called Extrabrut, this wine is almost an Extra Dry, too sweet for me.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Still waiting for a true Champagne at about this price. Wasn’t about to try the Franciacorta I saw from SF at a little less than $16.99. Too bad about the dosage.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I have not seen real Champagne at the GO in more than two years. But it was a great one, the Gonet Medeville, for $14 a bottle. Brilliant wine.

        Reply
  67. lim13

    Picked up today at Silverdale for future review: 2011 Ashlyn’s Vineyard Reserve Red, Columbia Valley, Wa $8.99 and 2012 Cerro Chalten Malbec, Argentina $5.99.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      I look forward to your review of the Ashlyn’s Vineyard Reserve Red. I’d never heard of this wine, but a quick check online makes it sound like a small family winery. Hope the wine is good, and also that whatever caused it to end up at GO isn’t bad news for the winery (though it probably is, sadly…)

      Reply
      1. lim13

        New to me too, flitcraft. Appears to be (or was?) a Chelan area winery. Only info I found with a quick online search was from various GO Facebook pages. Stay tuned. I’m suddenly wading through a bunch of wines to review.

        Reply
        1. bin5

          I wish I could wade in your pond lim13. I was at the Renton store yesterday and there was nothing new. I’m with JWC and have been catching up on the cellar lately.

          Reply
  68. PW

    I went to the Corvallis OR GO today to actually pick up a couple more of the Mosaic Cabernet Sauvignon. We finally tried it and liked it. (Although it was a lot more like a blackberry merlot to me than a cab…). I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had quite a few new wines…some of the things you guys have been mentioning in the new stock.

    The had the Giormani Valpolicell Ripasso 2011 $8.99
    French Connection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Lodi $7.99
    Lucinda & Millie Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $6.99
    Pra Vinera Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast 2012 $6.99
    and a Red Blend from Napa that looked interesting…don’t know anything about it:
    Four Stars 2012 Red Wine California $4.99
    These were just the reds. I was running out of time so next time I go back, I’ll check the whites.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I believe all of these wines except the Ripasso are currently at the Silverdale, WA store now too…although pricing may be different. Thanks for the info, PW.

      Reply
      1. PW

        Do you happen to know anything about that Four (star?) Blend from CA? It just says produced and bottled by Four Star Napa, CA…but I can find no info on it.

        Reply
          1. PW

            We had this last night. I’m no closer to figuring out what’s in it, at all. It was much sweeter than the normal wines I drink. At first (because of that) I didn’t like it at all. But it kind of grew on me a lot, during dinner. I couldn’t begin to say what I tasted because I don’t recognize anything. It made me think of a sweet, spicy chocolate-unidentified fruit, but that doesn’t mean that’s the flavors, it’s just what it called to mind, to me as my brain was trying to figure out what I was tasting. There’s one part of this wine (I have no idea what it is, that I like a lot.) In the end, as odd as it was (for my taste) I think it was worth the $4.99,.

            Reply
  69. JWC

    Nothing much of interest new in Portland, still working through the Flirts & Feeding Frenzies, along with the Penny Wise wines…even a bunch of EOS still here, amongst others of little interest. Oregon is the red headed step child it seems vs WA and Calif, did happen to find something of interest from Cultivate Wines, http://www.cultivatewines.com, very interesting site, owners have history with Screaming Eagle, but more than that, have there priorities/hearts in the right place. Jump on the site and check it out. I did pick up a 3 liter box wine from Cultivate,called Copa Cabana for $4.99. Yes, the name is certainly out there, I keep waiting for Barry Manilow to pop out of the box :) It a Cab Sav & Carmenere blend (60%-40%), it’s meant to be an everyday wine, and claims to be a couple steps up the ladder from the normal box wine. Do take the time to access the site, it will be worth it. I’ll report on the wine, once I decide to try it. I have never bought a boxed wine, but the story behind this effort, was more than worth the tiny gamble this purchase represented. Interested in hearing feedback on the site or wine, as there were pallets of it in Beaverton/Tanasbourne and it’s all gone now.

    Reply
    1. bin5

      Five bucks for 3 liters? It is an interesting site and business model, thanks for the heads up JWC. I hope this wine turns out to be great. Let us know for sure.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      Like the Cultivate philosophy, JWC. And they get their money to use for worthy causes as soon as it leaves their doors…whether we buy it or not. But again…I like what they’re doing! And just got done communicating with my fellow blog authors that I never thought I’d see Carmenere in a box. Had an email this morning from my GO in Silverdale that it’s in up here too…and for only $3.99 (another pet peeve of mine and others…GO pricing variations). Let us know what you think. I layed down until the urge to try it passed. Winemaker sure seems to like it in the video on their site. But how many negatives have you heard from a winemaker about their own wines?

      Reply
      1. jwc

        One last note on the Copa Cabana, viewed a segment from the Today Show where Food & Wine , wine editor Ray Isle featured the 750ml of the Copa Cobana, a 70% Cab Sav/30% Carmenere vs the 60% 40% blend in the boxed wine at GO. The 750 retails for $12, so the boxed effort represents a nice value. $3.99 in Silverdale Lim13, should be worth taking a flier on. Feel I’m a little burned out out on this wine, will let it sit on the bar for a week or two. Did enjoy a non GO purchase of a 2000 Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon magnum from the cellar last night, exceptional much more than I was hoping for, in the way of flavor, depth and finesse. As we haven’t seen much of a high end or premium red wine lately here in GO Portland, find that I’m hitting the cellar with more frequency. The Barolo’s and Blackford Cab Sav in other states haven’t shown up, just yet.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Thanks for the followup, jwc. Even at $3.99 and such a great deal, I’ll leave the Copa for the other GO shoppers. I know boxed wines at good price points fly out of the Silverdale store (and most grocery stores). By the way…for you and any of our Portland area readers, I expect to be down in Portland visiting my brother on Feb. 27 & 28. Perhaps we can meet briefly at the Hollywood GO (near where I’ll be staying).

          Reply
    3. Patrick

      @JWC, It seems that it is not GO that drives their trucks past you on their way to WA! Google OLCC vs Grocery Outlet

      Reply
      1. jwc

        Correct you are Patrick, Gross Out has a new DC in Vancouver, the Portland DC is located in Clackamas, a suburb of Portland. Vancouver DC delivers to WA GO’s only, I believe up to the Chehalis area…perhaps even Olympia? WA folks would know better on that end than I. Some years ago there were issues with trucks coming up from California into Oregon, and getting stopped at the border. The OLCC always wants there cut. Last night we had a family dinner at a classic Portland fine dining establishment that shall remain nameless, the GM came over to say hello, and somehow we got on the topic of the OLCC,
        he went off on a bit of a rant stating that the OLCC has really veered away from the reason the entity was founded for, to work in partnership with rests, bars and lounges etc in helping with alchohol control and the undesirable element (Mob) which at one time was rampant in Ptown. Now it’s secret inspections and secret diners, he was pretty fed up. Anyhow I’ll google the info, sounds like its good reading Patrick.

        Reply
  70. weinish

    Random note to wine drinkers.
    I met a fellow named Steve Heimoff who works for Wine Enthusiast. We talked yesterday for a bit, and I really enjoyed his approach to discussing wine and wine related matters.

    I’d suggest checking out his site: Steve Heimoff Blog

    Cheerio.

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi weinish. Thanks for the link and for mentioning our wee blog to him. I expect, though, that our small niche here is not that interesting for him, as he looks at a much larger picture than we do. And, geez, being able to count 300 $100+ Napa Cabernets he had tasted in one year?!? We get excited here when a $40 Napa Cab sells for $9. :) BTW, if you had him on your radio show, do you have a link to the conversation?

        Reply
        1. weinish

          He is seemingly interested in all things wine related because on some level so much really is.

          Seemed very aware of the different classes of wine buyers.

          I’ve not had him on my radio show just yet, but as soon as things start to iron out I will do so. I’m always looking for great people.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            “Seemed very aware of the different classes of wine buyers.” That’s what impressed me most about him, weinish. When he did the article I just mentioned, he had solicited feedback from readers. I sent him a letter about the content of my cellar and how important I feel it is to be ecclectic…something for all occasions…have first hand experience with all the varieties that are out there…not just the Napa Cabs and Chards that were so popular in the 80′s and early 90′s. And look for the bargains and best buys in order to live within your means.

            He really appreciated that when I spoke with him on the phone, but he was more interested in the physical “construction”, resourcefulness and layout of various cellars. That’s what his article ended up discussing. He reported on very simple cellars like mine to the multi-thousand dollar cellars of high roller collectors. I think he’s very comfortable being with folks from all different ways and means…and he makes us all feel comfortable with him. I appreciate that. As BW suggested…let us know if you have him on the air and if you can link us up. Thanks!

            Reply
    1. lim13

      I’ve mentioned this before, but Heimoff did an article on my wine cellar (as well as other cellars) in 1992 when he was working for Wine Spectator. I’ve appreciated almost everything I’ve read by him and I was ecstatic when he left Spectator for Enthusiast (my preferred wine publication of the two).

      Reply
  71. Jim Vandegriff

    Today’s find in Eureka was a 2012 Chateau Fourques Languedoc bottled by Pierre Landoque (he was associated with the les 12 Arches wine from two years ago) at 5.99. The bottle doesn’t give much info but I seem to remember similar wording about being between Nimes and Narbonne in the south of France on the les 12 arches wine (which I liked). Imported by A W Direct. I’m a sucker for wines from the south of France.

    Reply
  72. Darrell

    There seems to a boatload of Italians at the GO’s, at least at the SF store. This store seems to have a slightly different selection than others in the Bay Area as seen by the Cafaro CS. In addition to the other Italians mentioned at other stores, SF had some Italian sparklers, one a sparkling Aversa Asprinio grape variety for less than $15 using the Charmat process like Prosecco. The store also had a still Averso Asprinio too. Another one of interest was a Muratori Tenuta Villa Crespia ‘Novalia’ Brut, Franciacorta DOCG, using methode Champenois, closer to $15. Sorry about the inexact pricing as I was just interested in learning about Italian sparkling wine. These might be a reasonable alternative to a domestic “Cava” that was gifted to me that had an excessive dosage to me.

    Reply
  73. BargainWhine Post author

    At the Berkeley store today. there are a few new Italian wines imported by 8 Vini of Hayward, CA: Coli 2011 Chianti Classico $8, Giormani 2011 Valpolicella Ripasso $9, and Ottomonti 2007 Montefalco Sagrantino $11. I got a bottle of each. 2011 is not even on Robert Parker’s vintage chart yet, but this description says it was a hot year that made somewhat dull wines in Chianti Classico. Here is another vintage report for Italy 2011 covering the main wine regions. It seconds the report about Chianti and makes it sound like the vintage was better in the Northeast (including Valpolicella).

    The Richmond store also has that half liter Italian dessert wine for $11 that Seedboy mentioned. I’m not that into dessert wines, but I’d be glad to hear a report from anyone who’s tried it.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Based on that vintage chart the Valpolicella Ripasso seems promising but the Chianti less so. I’m going to calm down my purchasing for a bit as I’ve probably added four cases to my cellar in the last two months.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        The Sagrantino seems interesting, too. Montefalco is apparently a little southeast of Tuscany, and 2007 was a good year there. Wikipedia says Sagrantino is a very tannic grape, so the wine should be holding up fine…

        Reply
      2. Expat

        I’m drinking the Giormani Ripasso right now (PNP) from the Santa Maria, CA GO. It’s nice. Old World style fruity – not cloying or syrupy. Kind of reminds me of some Spanish wines. It’s got some backbone but relatively soft tannins. I splurged on an actual Amarone they have for $32.Villabella, 2007 I think. Hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Expat. I have seen that Amarone around here, too, but I won’t be able to afford it. Please let us know what you think!

          Reply
    2. bin5

      Hi BW, I went to the Seattle 4th Ave store yesterday and they had the Giormani ($9), the Ottomonti ($12), and also a 2010 Risorgimento Barbaresco ($9). I purchased the Ottomonti because it was unusual to me. I also bought a 2011 Cline Big Break Zin ($12). They didn’t have any of these wines at the Renton store. Not sure what it all means, just happy to see some new wines although the price points are higher than I like to see.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Oakland has the Ottomonti and the Barbaresco, although at slighly different prices. I bit on the Barbaresco, but won’t open it for a few days.

        Reply
            1. seedboy

              Tried the Barbaresco last night with broccoli (which usually pairs well with nebbiolo). This is a varietally correct wine that is tasty but not particularly complicated.

              Berkeley sported the Viano 2010 Contra Costa County zin yesterday for $4.99. This is made by a real winery in Martinez, California. Historically, it has been a bargain for an uncomplicated, honest zin. This particular wine has nice fresh fruit flavors, but unfortunately they used some sort of oak additive (there is no way this was barrel-aged, not at this price point, retails for less than $10 a bottle) and the wine would be better off without the oak flavor.

            2. seedboy

              Rondo, at this price I don’t expect to buy any more of the Barbaresco unless it shows me a lot more tonight.

            3. Seedboy

              Rondo, the second day open this wine actually seemed to have more body and stuffing. I left a bit to try tonight. Oakland has a lot of this, and still has some of that nice Brunello.

            4. Seedboy

              On day three the last of the bottle of Barbaresco had held up nicely. It may well be that this wine is just a year or so too young. I might just buy two bottles.

            5. Rondo

              Seedboy, thanks for the day three report. I bought a few. For whatever it’s worth, here’s what Antonio Galloni said about the 2010 vintage for Barolo:

              “Simply put, 2010 is the greatest young Barolo vintage I have tasted in 18 years of visiting the region and a lifetime of buying, cellaring and drinking these wines.”The 2010 vintage in Barolo is shaping up to be a modern-day classic. The cool growing season produced transparent, vibrant Barolos that pulsate with tension, crystalline purity and site-specific nuance.”

              Antonio Galloni, Vinous

      2. lim13

        Had a chance to stop by the Seattle 4th Ave store yesterday while visiting SODO wineries with friends. Picked up two of the Sagrantino (thanks, b5!), and one each of the Barbaresco and Ripasso. The case stack price signs on the last two were reversed. So I pointed that out to an employee who switched them to where they should be. An $11.99 sign was in front of the Ripasso, so I suspect some customers thought they were getting a super deal when it only rang up at $8.99!

        Reply
    3. flitcraft

      We tried the Giormani Valpolicella Ripasso tonight and really, really liked it. I’m very fond of ripassos generally–when we were a two income family, Zenato’s ripasso was one of our go-to wines. Actually, this one reminds me of that wine–black cherry, cassis, and licorice flavors with just enough acidity to carry it all into food friendly territory. Most ripassos are pushing twenty bucks these days (damn that euro exchange rate!) so 9 dollars is a deal.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi flitcraft. Thanks for the info while this wine is still in the stores! We can hope it will follow the same “fate” as the Capitel della Crosara VR and be further discounted to $6. :)

        Reply
  74. lim13

    Anyone out there tried the Dawson Creek Zin or Dawson Creek Red Wine? The price on both just dropped to $3.99 at the Silverdale, WA GO.

    Reply
    1. JWC

      I bought a bottle of the Dawson Creek Zin, I believe SB said it was from Stonehedge, and I’d had decent luck with their reserve wines from TJ’s in the past. Decent fruit, balanced, easy drink, in a food friendly style. Nothing close to an Amador County fruit bomb, for $3.99 worth a try I suppose, but then again I haven’t gone back for more, and there’s plenty of it in Ptown.

      Reply
  75. Seedboy

    New wine at Oakland, Italian wines imported by Wine Wave:
    Giardini Arimei-Dessert Wine, $9.99 for .5 litre. This is a very fancy looking bottling.
    Villa Crespia Borolese Rose Franciacorta – brut sparkler made of chardonnay and pinot noir from Lombardy, this wine costs $17 or so but retails at $40
    Villabella Amarone 2007 $31.99
    There is also a 2011 Valpolicella Ripasso for $8.99. I bought a bottle of the sparkler.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I suspect we may never see these wines up north in WA. But for those of you in Oakland and surroundings, I looked up that dessert wine (sounded interesting) and here’s what I found.

      $29 or $10…you decide. Wouldn’t mind seeing the ripasso up here. Oh…and by the way…Go Hawks…beat the Niners!! Sorry…couldn’t resisit!

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        The SF store had huge stacks of the Capitel della Crosara” Valpolicella Ripasso as you exited the checkout and the pile has gone to the wine corner of the store in a small stack of a few cases. SF store also has mags of Cafaro 2000 CS ($30), 2000 CS reserve and 2001 Alta Sierra ($40) that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

        The coach rivalry of the NINERS and the Seahawks goes back to the then Pac 10 when Harbaugh coached for Stanford and Carroll for USuCk. This chapped Carroll’s hide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujs7olBEVxE , when the Cardinal football really stank. There is a parallel to Jim Harbaugh and Bill Walsh, who doesn’t get appropriate credit for his play innovations, BTW, of Niners hire Stanford coach and in short order go to the Super Bowl. Go Cardinal-Niners!

        Reply
      2. flitcraft

        I wouldn’t mind seeing any ripasso up here in the NW–like the Capitel della Crosara that has apparently languished for months done in SF. Send it on up here and I guarantee we can whittle the pile of cases down!

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          I think I’ve “sold: about six bottles of the Valpolicella Riapsso so far, in various stores, recommending it to people looking for a good red. But there’s just so much I can do.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            During the November sale, I pointed out to another customer in the Berkeley store that the Capitel della Crosara VR, although the price tags still said $9, would now scan for $6 and then he’d get 20% off that. He cleaned out what was left on the shelf, so that was another person who liked it. :)

            Reply
    2. PW

      I think I picked up a bottle of that Valpolicella at the Salem OR GO. I’ll have to check. I know it was Valpolicella but I’m not sure if it was the Ripasso.

      I would like to try that “brut sparkler”….haven’t seen any sign of it.

      Reply
          1. PW

            Yes, I guess I missed that review. I agree with it t (except that I haven’t tried the Ripasso). It was better on day two. Probably with decanting, it would have been better the first day. I liked it though.

            Reply
  76. Seedboy

    Tarrica Zinfandel 2011 Paso Robles, $4.99 Oakland store January 10, 2014

    This wine appeared about a week ago and is already sold out in Berkeley but Richmond and Oakland had it Jan 10. This is made by a real winery. It is not a jammy wine and sports 13.5% alcohol. This is a nicely balanced zin with good fruit and would be great with food or without.

    Reply
  77. lim13

    Visited Silverdale GO today and picked up the following for review:

    Script & Seal White Wine, WA $2.99
    and three Bordeaux that all have similarly designed labels, all imported by AW Direct, all “bottled and cellared by Philippe Borlais and all 2012 vintage. I’m not expecting much but who knows? I’ll likely taste them all side-by-side.
    I also grabbed a bottle of Lunatic White for an “official” review…and a couple of wines that BargainWhine already reviewed…just so we could compare notes: the Tablelands NZ Sauv Blanc and the Discoveries CA Petite Sirah.

    That’s all folks!

    Reply
  78. flitcraft

    Not too much new at either Lake City of the MLK Seattle GOs. Lake City did have a new Italian–a 2011 Chianti Classico by Coli, for 8 bucks. Also, as I noted elsewhere, a 2009 Deep Sea Chardonnay for 4 dollars. A few replenishments–the Mosaic Cab is back, as is the Epilogue Chardonnay, the Kiona First Crush Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, and the Lunatic white blend. Nothing new that I noticed at the MLK GO, but they still have a bit of the Brophy Clark GSM and the Zany Zin.

    A good thing my cellar is reasonably well stocked, but I’d really like to see some interesting new stuff.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Mosaic Cab never got reordered in Silverdale ’cause the original shipment is still there…and price point is likely the reason. That’s why I never tried it. Kiona First Crush LHSB is still here too. Lunatic white has been marked down two dollars over here from $6.99 to $4.99. I tried it in-store a few weeks ago. It was tasty, but nothing extraordinary (to me), but at $5.00 it’s a much better value. Zany Zin is still over here too.

      Reply
      1. PW

        I wish they’d marked it down here. I still like it very much. (The Lunatic white).
        It’s been boring here too. They did re-stock the Luna di Luna Pinot Grigio so I picked up a couple more bottles of that. Otherwise nothing to speak of.

        Reply
    2. lim13

      Forgot to ask you if you ever tried the Vertikal Auslese that I recently reviewed, flitcraft? Seems like I remember you referencing it in a What’s New a while ago…but you weren’t expecting much from a cheap auslese in a blue bottle. You might enjoy it…I sure did.

      Reply
      1. flitcraft

        Actually, I did try it and forgot to post a note. I made the mistake of serving it with a pumpkin-peanut-ginger soup, which it really didn’t complement well. The second half of the bottle went down with stewed apple compote and Bird’s custard–much better. It seemed somewhat underpowered for an auslese to me, not enough extraction perhaps? But it was really tasty and an incredible value. Wish I’d scored a few more…

        Reply
        1. lim13

          I think you hit it, flitcraft. Richness and extraction are the attributes I’d usually expect to be missing from an inexpensive American market auslese. But I can deal with that. And how many inexpensive ausleses do we generally see? “Tasty and an incredible value” indeed.

          Reply
  79. BargainWhine Post author

    Has anyone tried the Backhouse Pinot Noir? I’ve avoided it because, from the back label description and color through the bottle, it appears to be in the heavier, ripe-fruity style of which I’m less fond. However, there does seem to be plenty of it, and things are a little slow of late…

    Reply
  80. bin5

    I found something new (for me) at the Renton store today. 2006 Simi Merlot at $10. Seems like something worth a try even at tat price. I also bit on a 2010 Arnold Palmer California Cabernet at $6. I don’t have high hopes for it, but that was all I saw that was new.

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I have tasted at Simi a couple times and liked their wines. The highlight of one trip was tasting barrel samples of all 5 Bordeaux varietals that they later blend together (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot). It was an interesting education in the differences between them. To be labeled Merlot, it has to be at least 75% Merlot. Do you know if anything else is blended in?

        Reply
    1. lim13

      Two more new wines than I’ve seen over here in Kitsap, bin5…good for you! It’s been a very long time since I’ve had any Simi wines. I remember visiting the winery back in the early 80′s when Zelma Long was winemaker. Sauv Blanc was their flagship wine then. I’ll be anxious to hear how the Merlot and the Arnie Cab pan out.

      Reply
  81. Seedboy

    Berkeley store has had a mess of samples lately, most of them white, and most of those foreign. It is good to see that they are looking at more wine. I’ve bought a bunch of them. I won’t comment on any of these unless I see it appear as regular stock.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Strange blend, RB. And those Duck Pond wines aren’t what they used to be years ago. But I’ll be curious to hear your take on it. Haven’t seen it up here. As a matter of fact, haven’t seen anything worthwhile up here in Kitsap County since before the Dec. sale. And I was in both stores (Bremerton & Silverdale) yesterday and today. Shelves are looking low and tired.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        That wine, and an 09 Chardonnay, have appeared in the bay area. The Chardonnay is trying to be a butter bomb, not my taste.

        Reply
      2. JWC

        Ditto on Portland’s west side, pretty barren. This time of year, at least in the past, has been when local GO’s have rcvd some excellent wines, mainly from local distribution selling off, premium wines that didn’t move in the marketplace, in order to bring in new vintages/offerings.

        Reply
      3. RB

        Tried it last night and it worked for me, lim. LIght, but with a little body behind it and just a touch of sweetness – maybe a tad more than I typically like, but not by much. For me, mostly the characteristics of a dry riesling came through, but my wife picked up more of the chardonnay-ish flavors (but with very little oak influence). I don’t know that I’ll get more at that price, but it was fun to try.
        Oddly, it seemed reminiscent to me of the tasty Riondo Soave Excelsa that I picked up at GO a few months ago and that others here have liked.

        Reply
  82. PW

    Has anyone tried the Lulu B Pinot Noir? I passed right by it yesterday…the label/name just didn’t draw me, plus it is a non-vintage, that I can tell. It’s new at our store but I bought another pinot (that I didn’t much like lol) and then when I got home I saw online that this one was a 90 point/Gold medal winner.

    http://www.lulub.com/wines/

    All I could tell from the label is that it appears to be their currant vintage (whatever that is) that won the gold medal etc…

    Reply
  83. PW

    What we picked up at the wine sale (all the prices listed are before sale):

    Salem, OR (Lancaster st)
    Here we got some wines we haven’t tasted before.

    Monticello Vineyards Presidential Pino Noir 2010 (9.99)
    Vintage Revenge 2009 red wine blend (know nothing about this one and can’t remember the price)
    Bouvet Signature Brut sparkling wine (9.99 I think)

    Corvallis, OR
    Here we stocked up on some that we already know we like.

    Lunatic White wine blend 2011 (6.99) Personally I can’t believe this is still on the shelves. It’s far and away my favorite wine from GO ever.

    Luna di Luna Pino Grigio 2011 private collection (4.99)
    Robert Hall 2009 Rhone de Robles (8.99)

    And then we bought some other new to us wines:
    Washington Hills Syrah 2011 (6.99)
    Fourplay Rosso 2008 (9.99)
    Rock Hollow 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (can’t remember the price on this one)
    Red Door Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir (8.99)

    Reply
  84. lim13

    Picked up this evening in Silverdale for review…though I doubt I’ll get to them all before the sale ends:
    NV La Croix Du Pin Brut and Rose’ Brut, France $8.99 each
    2010 Vertikal Riesling Auslese, Germany (that many have mentioned) $2.99
    2012 Hyatt Riesling, WA $2.99
    NV Aja Australian White (“to go with spicy Asian food”) $3.99
    2010 Cline Syrah, Sonoma, Ca $4.99

    Reply
  85. Jim Vandegriff

    I see that BargainWhine has this wine in his review queue but I saw it today at the sale in Eureka and couldn’t resist: 2007 Tenuta Poggio ai Mandorli Chianti Classico Riserva. From what I’ve read this is an old line Chianti Classico producer in the heart of Tuscany, and is probably worth a try at $6.99 less 20% if Chianti Classico is in your wheelhouse.

    Reply
  86. RB

    At the Lacey store today I saw a cluster of 2009 Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Cab. At $6.99 it’s not a great deal, but with 20% off I thought it was decent. More interesting to me was the 6 or so bottles of Rocca delle Macìe 2007 Riserva di Fizzano Sangiovese (Chianti Classico), $14.99/list at $25. With the sale discount I thought it was worth picking up one to try.
    http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/rocca-delle-macie-2007-riserva-di-fizzano-sangiovese-chianti-classico

    Reply
  87. flitcraft

    Not much, up here in the PNW. But at the Lake City GO I did see Vertikal Riesling Auslese for 4 dollars; labeled as Mosel, didn’t notice the vintage. The bottling is clearly intended for the US market, based on the label telling the reader that it’s a sweet wine, good as a dessert wine. But who ever heard of an auslese for that price?? Even with all the alarm bells ringing–it can’t be any good, can it?–if it is there on the 20th, I’ll have no choice but to try it. Besides, we’re having a honey-glazed ham for Christmas Eve, so maybe the sweet auslese would work with it…Also new there is a Cate Chardonnay, but given that I wasn’t impressed by the Cate red they had and I prefer my chardonnay unwooded, I passed. It’s 7 dollars, for those interested/

    Other wines spotted–Totally Random red and Mommy Juice, another red. Is it just me or are names like that such a turnoff that there’s no way you would buy them? I think the target audience are people who never drink wine, but see the bottle and think “Hey, that’s cool! Look at that name!!” You don’t have to put even mediocre juice in the bottle for that market, unfortunately.

    Here’s hoping that something amusing turns up at the last minute for the sale…

    Reply
    1. bin5

      It is not just you flitcraft, I typically run from overly cutesy names or wines. I saw the Vertikal in Renton yesterday and passed for the same reasons you did. There were also a couple new inexpensive 2012 Bordeaux’s. I haven’t had much luck with them in the past and tend to avoid them. Most the store people I have talked to say they don’t see much new wines coming in before the sale.

      Reply
      1. Rondo

        I tried the 2012 Chateau Pipeau-Richotey, AWD imports;$6;
        It took 2 hours to open up and had a tobacco, currants profile with an astringent finish; the tannins retreated the next day, and was best on the fourth day. Okay if you need some Bordeaux, but wasn’t interesting enough for me to buy more.

        Reply
    2. JoelA

      I had a Vertikal wine a year or two ago; It was pretty good (not great, but the price was). I have a bottle of the auslese (Piesporter Goldtropfchen 2011) for trying but won’t get to it right away. Looking forward to your comments.

      Reply
    3. patrick

      Mommy Juice is a label from Clos La Chance in San Martin CA. They make good wines but I wouldn’t buy that label either.

      Reply
    4. rgardner2

      From the Lakewood store, saw the Mommy Juice and ran away – guessing high residual sugar. Minor delivery today at the store (stuff was still in boxes on the dolly, though Tony did pull them out – in between his calls to do management duties). I’m going back tomorrow for the 1983 port splits – 1983 is a memorable year for me, and a decent vintage year as previously discussed (and better than 80) so $16-20% + 9.5% tax.. Arch Terrace all gone.
      NEW:
      2012 Pra Vinera Cab Sauv North Coast $7/18
      2012 French Connection Lodi Cab Sauv (this is EOS from previous postings here)
      20xx Dawson’s Creek Zinfandel $5/10 – but boxes said Claret, sure, a claret..
      Vertikal Reisling

      (for Lim13 – picked up another autographed Washington Wine Project with both sigs last week at a used book store ~ $10)

      Reply
          1. G.L. Pease

            I did bite, and was not at all impressed with it. I don’t recall precisely why, but I put it on the list of wines not to buy again. It wasn’t flawed, but it wasn’t inspired, either.

            Reply
    5. flitcraft

      At the Kenmore GO today they had a wine tasting–but unfortunately, not of anything I wanted to try. I did taste the Cate Chardonnay–a butterscotch lifesaver flavored wine. Pass.

      Last night we tried the 1983 Tuke Holdsworth Vintage Port, just to see if we should be buying a bit more during the sale. We decanted through a coffee filter–the cork disintegrated during the opening process into cork crumbs. For a 375 ml, there was a respectable amount of sediment in the bottle. In the decanter, the wine was transparent light brick-red, more like a tawny than a VP. We tasted it about an hour after opening. It’s a very simple port, with sour cherry and toffee flavors and more than a hint of Robitussin. The finish is generously long, though.

      It’s not a great port. But it’s more than drinkable, lots better than the 1993 from last year, especially if you like a port verging into tawny port territory. If 1983 is a sentimental year for you, then go for it. (It is for us…) However, this is by no means a drop-everything, don’t miss wine.

      Reply
  88. Ashlander

    In Medford, 2008 Take a Break Malbec, Sonoma County, 2008, $4.99.
    I don’t recall seeing a lot of Malbec’s from Sonoma County. Back label says vinted and bottled by Drop in the Glass Wines, Geyserville. Nothing came up on a Google search for either Take a Break or Drop in the Glass.

    Reply
    1. Roseburger

      Got the same at the Roseburg GO (in April). Drinks real nice, doesn’t seem like a typical Malbec though. Weird about it being so anonymous.

      Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Also at Richmond today:
      Quinta do Pego 2006 LBV Port Unfiltered $20
      2011 Charquino Albarino $4
      2009 Clearwater Creek Chardonnay $5
      2007 Clearwater Creek Meritage $7
      2009 Deep Sea Chardonnay $4 (store manager rec)
      2010 Veridien Tinto $4
      2006 Marlargo Shiraz $4
      2008 Wolf Blass President’s Selection Cabernet $6 (DLuber rec)
      2011 Chateau California Cabernet $5 (not much left)
      2008 Beaver Creek “Fairytale” (lots of it, I forget the price, probably $8 $7) Although the composition is different from what I reviewed, all Beaver Creek wines have been good.

      Reply
      1. EricfromRichmond

        The Beaver Creek is $7 and there was a lot of it this morning.
        I also like the Wolf Blass.

        I picked up a bottle of Roblar Reserve Merlot 2011– it was an impulse and I didn’t check up on it before I bought it. It seems some of the responses to Roblar wines have been less than enthusiastic.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Those negative reviews have been for Roblar whites, and I don’t remember seeing a Roblar red before. Please let us know how you like it.

          Reply
          1. weinish

            Just want to see I had the Roblar Merlot last night, and REALLY liked it. Not huge California, but well bounced and very good. Went back today only to find one bottle. Wish I had bought more. Strange no one discussed this. I guess the rowers in the back got over on us!!!! :-)

            Reply
  89. PW

    I’m not sure if this is new, because it’s the first time I’ve been to the Lancaster store in Salem, OR, but it’s new to me (our GO’s have never had it). I’ve never even heard of it but it seems like it reviewed pretty well. I picked up 2 bottles.

    Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico 2008 $4.99

    http://www.cleveland.com/drinks/index.ssf/2013/10/ruffino_riserva_ducale_chianti.html
    http://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-54182-2008-ruffino-riserva-ducale-chianti-classico-riserva-docg-italy

    Reply
      1. PW

        No, sadly. It was the 375. I’d never had this before so I wasn’t sure if it was a good deal (wasn’t even sure if it came in the 750). Sounded good though so I bought anyway. They had some other Ruffino (I can’t remember what it was) in the 750 ml but not the Chianti.

        Reply
            1. PW

              I’m here at the store. I spoke to the wine manager. It’s gone. They had it. But she said people must have bought cases of it.

      1. PW

        I went there this morning…I couldn’t find it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, but I’m unfamiliar with the store. Nicer wine varieties than our local stores.

        Reply
  90. lim13

    Today, 12/13/13 my local GO wine guy told me that there are only 2-3 new wines on his order guide and that the info he received suggests there will be little new for the 20% off sale next weekend. Apparently the first-time Dec. sale was created to move out the leftover stock from the November 20% off sale. Bummer! Maybe things are different in California??

    Reply
    1. JWC

      Hopefully the sale will clear out the low end Gallo wines here in Portland. Cases and cases of merlot, pinot noir, cab sav and zin all at $3.99. For a $5 normal retail offering, really?

      Reply
  91. JoelA

    At Oakland today:

    2011 Vertikal Piesporter Goldtropfchen riesling spatlese $ 3,99
    2010 Vertikal Piesporter Michelsberg riesling table wine (price not marked but it’s got to be less than the spatlese)
    2011 Lebaron Ranch Sisters vineyard zinfandel (Sonoma County) $ 9.99
    2006 Poggio Rosso del Montalcino (this is the younger brother of their Brunello) $ 9.99
    2005 Celestial Bay cabernet (Margaret River, Australia) $ 3.99
    2004 Celestial Bay cabernet/merlot $ 3.99

    and at Richmond

    2012 B;ue Plate Clarksburg chenin blanc $ 2.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      That Blue Plate has been at Berkeley for a while. It is a pretty good white wine especially for the price. The Celestial Bay cab is nice enough. No fruit really, but good secondary character.

      Reply
    2. GOWineLover

      Anyone had the Cline Zins (Big Break, Live Oak) at Pleasant Hill? At $11.99, over 50% off retail and even better with this weekend’s coupon.

      Reply
        1. GOWineLover

          Didn’t take a pic and they’re not in the latest email. They’re recent. I want to say 2011. I can check tonight. I know Cline isn’t what they were having expanded production but I’ve stopped in multiple times and it’s fun to see how many different products they can get out of the grape. I guess the days of their being the best Zin under $10 are gone?

          Reply
  92. BargainWhine Post author

    Yesterday at the Berkeley store:
    2011 Raza Malbec Reserva $5. Bin5 liked the 2010.
    2012 “French Connection” from EOS, Cabernet from Lodi, CA, $7. The 2009 French Connection was very popular, but that was with fruit from Paso Robles, CA.
    2010 Vertikal Dornfelder, sweet red from the Mosel, Germany, $4. Lim13 has liked a couple Vertikal whites, but I’m staying away from a sweet red.

    Reply
  93. weinish

    I’m drinking the 2005 Chateau de la Motte Madiran now. 13% – AW Direct – $4.99 – Oakland.

    Straight from the bottle the fruit is muted/closed; tart if anything. Decanted some of it, and it has opened up a bit over the last 2 hours. Darker fruits but nothing I can point out particularly. Definitely a bit of a tannic wine with a dry finish. Maybe tomorrow it’ll open a bit more.

    If you want to wrestle with it and explore the changes, it may be worth picking up. But if you’re cracking it open immediately to pour for 4, it won’t receive much praise at the outset. My guess is it will open a bit more over night.

    Reply
    1. PW

      Thanks for the info. I was wondering about this one. Hadn’t come across a Madiran before so I picked it up. I’d be interested in your thoughts after it has rested the night….

      Reply
          1. G.L. Pease

            The Madiran wines take forever to open up. Tannat is really bold, hard, tannic. I’ve found that if I want to drink any of my 2000 Madirans, I have to open them up hours, if not the day before. They come out of the bottle hard, cold, stony, one-dimensional, and almost completely lacking fruit, but after HOURS of air, they evolve into nice wines. I don’t usually think that far ahead… The 2001s weren’t as solid as the 2000s, and I’ve not tried the 2003s. (I got the last bottle in Berkeley, and it sits, patiently waiting.)

            I can definitely get how these wines won’t appeal to most. I’ve never experienced anything other than some monstrous Riojas and Chiantis that needed as much air time to reveal their character, and even big Tempranillos and Sangiovese have something to offer shortly after the cork is pulled. It’s hard to plan around a wine that needs a day in the decanter.

            Reply
  94. lim13

    Purchased tonight at the Silverdale, WA store (hopefully for review in the coming week):
    2010 Nobilo Marlborough NZ Sauv Blanc
    2010 Triptych Paso Robles Red (Grenache, Syrah, Petitie Sirah), by Shimmin Canyon Vineyard
    both $6.99

    And the wine manager also says the three day 20% off wine sale will happen 12/19-21. But he tells me there is little new showing up on his order guide so far.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I had a long chat with Steve in Oakland yesterday. There the sale will be 20 – 22. He is expecting to have more of the Io blend in. He did not say anything about other stuff coming in. They have halved the prices on the two Poggio Salvi wines, but $19.99 is still a lot of money for folks even for Brunello.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        My apologies…I looked at the calendar too quickly. You are indeed correct, SB…it’s Fri, Sat, Sun 12/20-22…which is what I meant to say.

        Reply
    2. PW

      I was wondering about that Triptych also. I didn’t pick it up and left wondering if I should have. I’ll be interested in reading your review.

      Reply
  95. bin5

    I heard today that the Christmas sale is going to be for three days starting Dec. 20. I hope they get some new wines in before then. Pickings are still thin for anything new around here.

    Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Sale starts Friday the 20th and lasts the weekend. Apparently more of the Io blend is out there and we may see it then. Oakland was rather bleak today.

        Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Does anyone know if this sale will be the same as the semi-annual wine sales — 20% of all wine — or whether it’ll be a different discount, or maybe only off selected wines, or… ?

      Reply
  96. weinish

    Purchased the Cerrillos 2008 Syrah Limari Valley for $2.99 at Oakland. Imported by North Berkeley Imports.

    Big wine. I thought it was balanced. It ended with some real spice, and a tannic group. This is the kind of wine you’d want with Fatty Meats.

    I let it air for many hours, but the structure didn’t change considerably. It may have softened a bit.

    This is the kind of wine you can bring to a red-meat BBQ and it will serve you well.

    http://www.wineaccess.com/wine/product/11170941/2008-Cerrillos-Syrah-Limari-Valley

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I had not noticed that wine was imported by NBI. I’ll pick up a bottle, as if I need any more GO syrah. What I really need is a good $6 pinot, and that Castle Rock does not do it for me.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I got a bottle at the Richmond store a couple days ago. For $3, I worried it would be another Turchi, but the bottle and the wine inside looked nice, so I went for it. Glad to hear it’s good.

        I don’t recall a good $6 Pinot since the “remarkable” that’s been gone for a while now.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          There is a Chilean pinot in some of the stores that is typical of Chilean pinot, thin and tasting of green stems.

          Reply
            1. Seedboy

              Chono. Although the Clava that I tasted was pretty similar. I also tasted that Chilean Syrah imported by North Berkeley, again, dominated by unripe flavor and I would not call it green peppercorn.

            2. Rondo

              Seedboy
              A couple of years ago , I picked up the lone bottle on the shelf of 2005 Casa Marin pinot noir from Chile for $15; it was a fantastic bottle and if i were to see it again, i’d pick up more. So if you see one sometime in the future, don’t hesitate to try it.

          1. lim13

            Vavasour is an excellent producer. We visited the winery in 2011 and were very impressed. Prior to that I had consumed a number of their delicious Sauv Blancs over the previous five or six years.

            Reply
  97. PW

    The 2011 Lunatic White Wine Blend is at both the Corvallis and Albany, OR, stores. We picked it up on a whim, never heard of it before, ended up buying a case.

    I’m not qualified to leave an opinion beyond the fact that we liked it enough to buy a case and that’s never happened before at our GO’s….we don’t really seem to get the same things that the CA stores get.

    I found this online though. It might help:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/watch-out-for-these-two-lunatics

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Thanks so much for chiming in, PW. I particularly enjoy hearing from readers who feel they’re “not qualified to leave an opinion beyond the fact that we liked it enough to buy a case”. Of course you’re qualified…you liked it! And as BargainWhine and I have said on numerous occasions…that’s what really counts! We here in WA don’t seem to get many of the wines found in the CA GO’s as well. But then we get some they don’t get too. I hope we hear from you again. And I’ll be looking for the Lunatic White.

      Reply
  98. Ashlander

    In Medford, I saw a Dawson Creek Red Table Wine, NV, $4.99. I was about to dismiss it when I decided to take a closer look at the bottle. No description, but it says made by Stonehedge Napa Valley. I remembered Stonehedge from my younger days when my wife and I would go wine tasting in the Napa Valley in the 80′s. Back then V Sattui was our favorite winery because of the picnic area and we liked Sutter Home due to large amounts of wine they poured during the tastings.

    Anyway, I decided to give the Dawson Creek a try. Very light in color. Prominent cherry. For some reason, it made me think of the Lazy Creek NV Red. Pleasant and easy drinking. Not sure if I will buy more. Probably will buy another bottle or two.

    Reply
      1. GOWineLover

        Stonehedge appears frequently in Trader Joe’s and Big Lots. I’ve had some decent bottles over the years.

        Reply
  99. JoelA

    Some Burgundies still at Oakland this morning

    2002 Savigny-les-Beaune Les Marconnets $ 13.99
    2003 Beaune Clos du Roi $ 18.99
    2009 Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuisse $ 5.99

    Reply
  100. RB

    New at the Olympia store – Hyatt 2012 Riesling (Rattlesnake Hills), and Ste. Chapelle 2011 Chateau Series Soft Red (Snake River Valley). Both $2.99

    Reply
    1. jwc

      Also here in Beaverton, although the Hyatt Riesling is a dollar more in Oregon. Did see the ’09 Hyatt Riesling at Fred Meyer on sale for $10.99, so a more recent vintage for 7-8 $ less is not a bad gig.Haven’t felt inclined to pick any up, but there’s plenty of it. Should somebody take the plunge, please let us know what you think.

      Reply
      1. RB

        I bought one to try and opened it tonight. The back label says “Luscious and balanced, showing distinct flavors of pear, apple and peach with a light crisp finish” and also notes 2% residual sugar. I get mostly the pear flavor and don’t know that I would go along with the crisp finish. It’s pleasant, but doesn’t have enough acidity for me. I had it with a smoked salmon and gorgonzola salad and it kind of disappeared, leaving only a little sweet edge behind. If it was the middle of summer and I needed a light (11%), quaffable bottle to drink on the porch this would be a decent $3 pickup, but since it’s 28 degrees outside right now I’ll hold off.

        Reply
    2. RB

      A warning – unless you tend to go for those intentionally sweet wines that GO likes to stock stay away from the Ste. Chapelle Soft Red. Kind of like drinking a cherry Tootsie Pop. Bleah.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I intentionally kept my trap shut when I saw and heard reports of the Ste. Chapelle “Soft” wines, as to avoid influencing anyone’s potential purchases. But now that you’ve reported, RB…I’ve historically avoided any wine front-labeled as “soft”. Your description fits what I’ve encountered and what I’d expect.

        Reply
  101. mereimage

    A whole lot of new stuff hit So. San Jose. I’ll only scratch the surface with what interested me but primarily I found multiple cases and six packs of IO. Yep, it’s back and better than before!

    From IO
    - 2005 and 2006 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah (White Hawk is a stellar vineyard that has produced some of my favorite california syrahs). $6
    - 2006 (I think) Ryan Road Syrah $6
    - 2006 and 2007 Nielson Vineyard Grenache $6
    - 2005 Red (SGM) $5

    A few other notables, 2006 Robert Nenow Cab for $15, 2008 Greg Norman, Limestone Coast Cab $8, 2009 Long Gamma (Sonoma County) Red $6, Six Prong (Columbia Valley) Red, Pra Vinera (North Coast) Cab $4, 2011 Washington Hills (Wash. State) Syrah, 2008 Vavasour Awatere Valley New Zealand Pinot Noir $7.

    Also, There have been several good valued Italian offerings that are also pretty good! Specifically a 2011 Lupi Reali Montepulciano d’Abruzzo made with organic grapes $3

    Finally, since I’ve grabbed all I need, there is just under 2 cases of the Saint Aubin left. With that said, It’s gonna take me a few days to get through these IOs… So, I hope there are some left when I get back to the store next week.

    Happy hunting!

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I had heard that other IO wines were coming, this is good news. The Ryan Road I’ve seen before is a 2007. That wine is bigger than the Santa Barbara County syrahs (Nielson, Upper Bench) but more elegant than the typical Paso syrah. An earlier vintage of the blend, bought at GO a few years ago, is still drinking very well. I’m looking forward to the Nielson grenache arriving in Berkeley.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        The Berkeley store has put out a mess of the 07 Upper Bench. It is a nice wine. Robaire says he does not have any of the other IO wines.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Update: this morning Robaire was putting the 2005 blend on the shelf. There is still plenty of the 2007 Upper Bench.

          Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Does anyone know if there will be any whites among the IO wines? I have been hoping for a Viognier from them for some reason.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I was just in the back room in Oakland. They have three wines: the 06 and 07 Grenache and the 05 blend. Not much of the 06, it is a lovely cool climate Grenache that has the mouthfeel of a nice pinot, and is rather elegant. The 07 is barnyardy at first but blew off quickly. It has a bit more tannin. They have a few cases of this. The blend is 90% Syrah with a bit of Grenache and Mourvedre. It is pretty amazing and at $4.99 a steal. Apparently there is still more of this in the order guide so it might be around. We looked for the White Hawk Syrah, which they are supposed to have, but could not find any of it. They have a bit of that off label port.

        Reply
        1. bin5

          You’re killing me here in WA with these wines. I haven’t seen anything noteworthy here since the sale and even those pale in comparison.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            I’ll second that here on the peninsula, b5. But then the Silverdale wine guy told me no new wines until sometime this coming week. I’d love to try that Kiki sparkling that flitcraft mentioned, but none here and I never made it to Kenmore on Thursday.

            Reply
          1. mereimage

            Agree, with Seedboy’s assessment of the 07 Grenache and the Red blend. The Grenache opened up with slight green banana but is completely gone now after a day opened up in bottle and is delicious with intense blueberry and an earthy finish. The 06 White Hawk revealed a cool vintage with a lot of pepper spice and rich berry fruit with the biggest amount of tannins of the three I tasted but the star was the 05 Blend. Deep, inky color with a dried meat character, which I love in this style of wine. Can’t wait for them to put the Ryan Road and older vintages of WH and the Nielson Grenache on the floor.

            Reply
            1. Rondo

              Mereimage,
              Thanks for your assessments; I’ll be looking to try them. Up to this point , I’ve only seen and tried the 2004 Red blend (bought a few years ago) which i opened tonite, and it was drinking beautifully.

            2. MsLoathsome

              Fun times at the Oakland store today. I had been told that they were getting the ’05 blend on the shelf this morning, and to come in first thing. Well, I had to go to work so waited until lunchtime. What’s a few hours, right? (wrong) When I walked in around 12:45, two women were loading up their carts with all they could carry of the ’05 blend and a lot of the ’07 Grenache. I barely had a chance to put together a case of the ’05 before they cleared out all of it. If I were 10 minutes later, it would have been all gone. I was hoping to report here that Oakland GO had the ’05 blend but, sadly, now have to report that they have already been cleaned out!

            3. seedboy

              MsLoathsome, you might want to try the Pleasant Hill store if you can get out there. Berkeley still has the 2007 Upper Bench syrah.

            4. BargainWhine Post author

              Also, the Richmond, CA, store, (510) 619-2640, has these IO wines now. Or, at least yesterday, the 2005 blend and the 2007 Grenache were in boxes in back. Also a Concho Y Toro Merlot Gran Reserva for $10.

        2. Seedboy

          I opened a bottle of the blend when I got home. This wine is pretty elegant and tasty, it would be great with hearty winter dishes, but I’d give it a month to settle down to see what it can really do.

          Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I should have been clear. The blend I opened last night is the 2005 IO. I did buy some of that earlier wine. I think this wine might be even better, and I liked the earlier one a lot.

          1. Rondo

            I bought the IO red blend on the recommendation from Seedboy and Mereimage. Will take Seedboy’s advice to let it settle down before trying it. The blend was the only IO that the SF store had. They also had the 2002 Hamel Westside Hills Syrah, but it was $7, and also had a 2007 Ames Rutherford Cabernet (vinted and bottled by) that was $15 which I passed on.
            The owner of the store mentioned that there will be a 20% off sale for three days sometime before Christmas.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I did not get specific dates. These sales generally are Wed or Friday through Sunday. What I hear is that GO sales are down overall.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Seedboy, I’m surprised to hear the rumor that GO sales are down overall in this jobless “recovery.” Maybe it’s a result of rapid expansion? Also, do you have any speculations to share on why the LA-area and Arizona stores were closed?

            1. GOWineLover

              I like the 05 blend quite a bit. Both White Hawk vintages are very disappointing to me especially in comparison to the 06 Upper Bench. Pleasant Hill had all of these as of last night. Haven’t tried the 07 Grenache yet.

  102. rgardner2

    I dropped by the Kennewick (WA) store today this AM before crossing back over Chinook Pass (wow, latest I’ve crossed Chinook Pass, closed 6 months/year, my GPS went bonkers trying to dissuade me from the route on WA-410). Anyway, a few of the Arch Terrace left. Other wines of note:
    Pear Tree Pinot Noir (Marlborough) $5 (20). I don’t remember every having a NZ Pinot Noir.
    Tuke Holdsworth VINTAGE 1983 Porto. 375ml $16. Hidden in a corner, no price label anywhere so I snagged a bottle and asked for a price check. I grabbed one with the least ullage (um, most fill)
    I was in line #1, and she said its only $16, not as much as that one. Huh? Next to the register were 2 cases of 1980 VINTAGE Tuke Holdsworth 750ml for $50. They want an eye on the stuff. I stuck with the 1983 for sentimental reasons.
    I’ll be back there in a couple of weeks and am considering buying a few more bottles of the 83 (unless it shows up on this side of the mountains).

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      I’d be leaving the 1980 port be, myself. It’s a pretty mediocre vintage–even the major port lodges made so-so port that year. (If you want to be cynical, you can assume that 1980 was only declared because there hadn’t been a general declaration since 1977 and they already knew 1981 was a disaster, so cash flow needs overruled quality assessment.) Tuke Holdsworth is by no means a major port house. As far as I can figure, it is where Sogrape dumps its port not good enough to go into Ferreira, Sandeman, and Offley. (This is my guess as to why the 10 year tawny was so much better to my taste than its ruby reserve–those other brands don’t do a 10 year that I know of). $50 is a pretty good price if, against the odds, it turns out to be really good, but for only a little more you can buy a port that is much more likely to be good.

      The 1983 is intriguing, though. It’s an underrated vintage with surprisingly good port made by some of the lesser players (Gould Campbell and Smith Woodhouse, among others) and some ‘misses’ by major players like Taylor and Fonseca. I’ve had quite a lot of 83s since that’s our daughter’s birth year, and sentiment aside, it’s the best vintage in the 80′s. And it’s only 32 (if you buy two), rather than $50.

      Reply
      1. flitcraft

        And today, two ‘old friends’ from Tuke Holdsworth showed up–the Port Reserve (a ruby reserve) and the 10 Year Tawny. Both bottled in 2013, so this isn’t just a matter of having a few cases turn up out of old stock. I skipped the ruby reserve–I’ve been burned by that one in the past, finding it pretty one-dimensional and that dimension was nasty. The 10 year tawny is serviceable, though, but at 17 dollars, not exactly a deal. Ironically, I sent out my other half this afternoon to Costco with instructions to pick up a few of the Kirkland Signature 10 Year if it was under 20 dollars. He’s not back, so we’ll see if it appears….otherwise, I may have to scope out the Tuke Holdsworth.

        (We’re still drinking our Thanksgiving ports, so I haven’t yet tried the 1983. I’d be interested in opinions on it.)

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Now I’d be interested in opinions on the 1983 Tuke Holdsworth Port, as it appeared at the Silverdale store last week along with the Ruby Reserve and 10 year old Tawny. I likely won’t buy any of them, but I suspect our local readers might like some idea of what to expect.

          Reply
  103. Seedboy

    Oakland has two wines by Poggio Salvi. 2004 Brunello for $35. 2006 Rosso for $20. These are pretty much low retail for these wines. I bought the 1999 Brunello at the GO 5 years ago for $10. Nice wine in a traditional style, it stood out at a Tuscan meal here in Berkeley in the last year. However, at this price, I might buy one of the Brunello, if any.

    Reply
    1. Glen

      Saw the 2004 Brunello in the Oceanside store at $35 but passed since you can get decent Brunello at Trader Joe for $20

      Reply
    2. weinish

      So has anyone had the Poggo Salvi for $20? I have a bottle, but haven’t cracked it. I’m still getting the evil eye for having paid $20 for a GO Wine when I could have bought when “you now we both like…”

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I did taste the Poggio Salvi Brunello, which I think has been reduced from $35 to $20. I thought it was pretty good – nice medium red cherry, leather, tangy orange peel, roses – nicely aged and elegant, but a little bit light or simple for what was supposedly an outstanding year in Montalcino. For the money, there are other wines available these days that excite me more. Please let us know what you think, especially if you meant the Rosso.

        Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              However, as I recall, your and your lady’s tastes tend more exclusively toward the European, so maybe for you it’s worth it.

      2. Seedboy

        I got the 1998 and 1999 about 5 years ago. The last bottle of the 1999 was great this spring. I would hold that 2004 for years. Or decant the hell out of it.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I should add that this is a traditional maker so those who like exuberant California wines may find them austere.

          Reply
  104. BargainWhine Post author

    I was in the city to see family and stopped by the new store in San Francisco, on Geary in the Richmond district. I chatted a bit with the expert consultant (John) who was there to set up the wine section. He said the owner – operator of the store was himself passionate about wine and wanted the store’s wine section to be very good. The store appeared to be popular on its fourth day open, including among the neighborhood’s Chinese and Russians. The small parking lot was crammed, and neighborhood parking was tight, too. (Apparently, I’ve become pretty suburban since moving to Berkeley four years ago.)

    Anyway, my main point is that I didn’t see much there I hadn’t seen elsewhere, but two wines did stand out: Poggio Salvi di Montalcino, 2004 Brunello for $36 (“elsewhere $60) and 2007 Rosso $20 (“elsewhere $31″). I left them there for others more knowledgeable and wealthy.

    Also, I picked up a Chono Carmenere – Syrah from Chile for $3 that is excellent for the price, especially if you have a thing for Carmenere like I do.

    Reply
    1. Rondo

      I was there this weekend also, and also spoke to John, whom said he’ll be at the store for a few weeks until he trains someone to take over the wine section. I assume he’s one of GO’s corporate wine buyers from his knowledge of distant past purchases. I also saw the Poggio Salvi wines and mentioned to John that they were overpriced for wine selling at GO, as I remember purchasing the 1987 reserva brunello for $3 long ago. One interesting wine I did buy was one that my wife showed me, a Bordeaux looking label : 2011 Chateaux Cabernet Sauvignon, California, 13% alcohol. i commented to my wife that it looked like a Bordeaux label but said California on the label, produced and bottled by Chateaux Wines of Manteca. So as i was putting it back on the shelf John said “I wouldn’t put that back if I were you.” Asking why, he mentioned it was made by an long time assistant of one of the leading ladies of wine, and that if he could buy 5,000 cases of it he would. Bought a bottle to try and thought it was quite good for the what I would never have bought except for wife showing me the bottle and John’s comments.
      Popped and poured, the wine was med-full bodied,balanced,polished,and elegant, with a nice long finish. Flavors of black and red currant, touch of mint. Tasted like an expensive wine rather than some cheap plonk made in Manteca. Try it if you see it and let me know if you agree.
      Also some 2012 Bordeaux and Bordeaux superior for $6.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Rondo. I missed this comment of yours over Thanksgiving. Interesting to have another story from the store and date, and another recommendation of the Chateau California Cabernet. The store manager at the Richmond store, himself passionate about wine, has been recommending it to me for a while. Not sure what Manteca has to do with it, as I’d be very surprised if there are any vineyards anywhere near there.

        Reply
        1. Rondo

          After being left in the opened bottle on the table, the wine picked up volume and intensity on the second and third days. I went back a bought a few bottles because i won’t be around for the sale. At $5 a bottle, it would be a bargain with the 20% off sale for a cab that can be enjoyed immediately or aged a few years. Cannot confirm, but believed to be made by assistant of Heidi Barrett.

          Reply
  105. flitcraft

    Kenmore still had a passel of the Robert Oatley wines last I was there. I particularly liked the Rose of Sangiovese–this is not a grape that I associate with rose. The wine is beautifully colored pale salmon, which, come to think of it, would be a pretty good match for it. The label says dry, but it’s not especially austere. Pleasantly fruity in a strawberry vein, not at all sweet but not shrilly acidic either. Just a pleasant, nicely rounded rose. I served it with a pureed carrot, coconut and ginger soup and the wine was finished before the last of the soup vanished. I bet it would be a good addition to a Thanksgiving table, and I know this summer I will be kicking myself not to have picked up more of it.

    The Oatley shiraz is also a winner. Again, fruit forward but not in a blowsy, jammy, overly-extracted way. More like pie cherries with a kiss of vanilla oak. In fact, once I said it out loud, I found myself tasting it as cherry pie, with an undertone of vanilla-pastry to the dominant pie cherry flavor. Not your father’s Aussie shiraz. Much more food friendly.

    I also picked up a little of the Oatley chardonnay, but have yet to crack a bottle. We probably drink less chardonnay that any other major grape varietal at our house, since it often is not especially food friendly. But, based on the other Robert Oatley’s I have had–including the sauvignon blanc and tempranillo that popped up last year at GO, I expect it will be tasty. I didn’t pick up the pinot grigio–this is a grape for which I have too many misses for the hits.

    Reply
    1. bin5

      The recent Oatley’s are a good bargain and Maple Valley just put out more of the Shiraz. I reviewed the Chardonnay and gave it a thumbs up and bought some at the sale. All my friends will be getting a bottle of Oatley for Christmas.

      Reply
          1. jhrabideau

            Pretty. At least as good as the PG, with nice damask and yellow rose, chrysanthemum and orange peel and a hint of hazelnut; apricot and white peach were primary on the two bottles I’ve had. Attractive, and this is coming from someone who can’t handle sweet aromatics. Relatively low RS (I’d be surprised if it was 1.5), and kept beautifully into the second day.

            Reply
          1. jwc

            Thanks Lim13, I knew I had made a comment on the Oatley Gewurtz, I couldn’t find in Guest Contributions either, only the shiraz, which is another excellent value. Appreciate you making the effort to find.

            Reply
        1. RB

          Another ‘Yea’ vote from me on the Gewurtz. I loaded up on both it and the Chardonnay during the recent sale. I think there are still some of each hanging around the Olympia and Lacey stores.

          Reply
    2. lim13

      I’ve been a long time fan of Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese and it almost always gets above average reviews (though I suspect we’ll never see it in GO). The R.Oatley Tempranillo is still among my alltime favorite GO buys. Be nice if we saw it again sometime. And you might give the Blue Pirate Pinot Gris (that I recently reviewed) a try sometime if it’s around, flitcraft. For four bucks I was pleasantly surprised…fruity, but quite dry.

      Reply
  106. RB

    Not much new at the Olympia, WA store yesterday, but I did notice a NZ pinot noir, 2009 Pear Tree (Marlborough) for, I think, $5.99. Was slightly intrigued, but since I’m on a self-imposed post-sale buying slowdown I settled for the Alaskan IPA at $5.99 a sixer.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi RB. I briefly tasted that Pear Tree Pinot Noir and was not that impressed. Maybe more complexity and balance would have emerged with more air. And I think it was only $4 down here.

      Reply
  107. jwc

    Popped into the Tansbourne GO and they had 5 pallets of wine on the floor, an unusually high volume for this location. Inquired as to whether this was a late sale shipment, and the wine guy, just shook his head and said this will keep him busy for the next 2 days. Appeared to be a lot of the usual plonk Rex Goliath, Feeding Frenzy etc. although there was some of the Red Door ’10 pinot, along with a boatload of Ste.Chapelle wines from Idaho. Mostly Chuck Devlin riesling from what I could see amongst the shrink wrap, but hopefully the late harvest riesling would be a nice Thanksgiving treat. Did pick up an Argentinian cabernet sav 2008 Perdriel for $4.99 that had just been put out. WS gave it an 86, normally $20 retail, so sounds promising.

    Reply
  108. BargainWhine Post author

    Berkeley store also has the 2007 Folie a Deux Forchini Vineyard Zin for $7 (I think) and the Ritual 2008 GSM for $6.

    Reply
  109. BargainWhine Post author

    Berkeley store still has all three Bouchard 2006′s (Santenay, Monthelie, Nuits-St -George), a few bottles each of the 2003 Boisset Pommard and the 2007 Santenay. I got the last bottle of Saint-Aubin. :P

    New to me today are the 2006 and 2007 Robert Nenow Cabernets from Napa Valley, $15 each. Robaire says the 2006 has a little Merlot in it.

    Reply
    1. patrick

      I was surprised to see the Capitel Della Crosara Valp. Ripasso for $5.99 at the SJ south store (meridian). Hopefully the managers of more stores will lower their price.

      Reply
    2. jhrabideau

      Folsom store has a fair volume of stock this afternoon on a number of the burgundies: probably over four cases of the Bouchard Monthelie, in addition to over a case of the Saint Aubin, a couple cases of the Vougeraie 2002, about a case of a Morey Santenay Les Gravieres 2007 ($11), and (to my Rhone-less cellar’s joy) a pile–at least four cases each–of the Domaine Durieu CdP 2009 and a Domaine la Milliere CdP 2008.

      Also at least four cases each of both vintages of the Nenow, but I’ve enough Napa cab in my cellar to last the next few years.

      Despite needing no more wine, I picked up almost three cases total of the burgundies and the CdPs. Wine volumes are after I filled my cart. :-)

      Reply
  110. lim13

    On the shelf today in Silverdale, WA:
    The 2008 Arch Terrace Merlot $9.99 (looks to be around four cases; I bought 2 bottles)
    2011 Robert Hall Rhone du Robles
    Robert Mondavi Private Selection Zin $5.99
    The Mosaic Cab Sauv $10.99
    Little Black Stone NZ Sauv Blanc $3.99
    Ste. Chapelle Soft Red & Soft White (10.5% alc.) $2.99
    2007 Terlato Chardonnay $4.99
    2010 Fetzer Anthony’s Hill Shiraz, CA $4.99
    And a bunch of wines from Parlier, CA: Gravelly Ford Zin $4.99; Inspiring Red (organic) $3.99; Backstory Merlot $4.99
    Almond Roca wine based “liqueur” (from Precept Brands) $7.99
    Nothing here really got me excited (though I recall the Mosaic was reviewed well). I did buy a bottle of 2005 Hamel Russian River Valley Timbervine Ranch Syrah for $6.99, which I hope to review (if it hasn’t already been reviewed).

    I’ve decided (effective tomorrow) to at least try to buy only single bottles for the express purpose of reviewing them. No multiple bottles and no re-buys of wines I like….because my wine cellar is overflowing and my purchases now are certainly completely compulsive (actually they have been for years). I don’t expect that I’ll live long enough to enjoy all the wine I currently own. : ~)

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Good luck on the early New Year’s resolution to avoid multiple bottle purchases. GO can bring out the latent hoarder in all of us. I have to keep reminding myself, there’ll always be another deal, there’ll always be another deal…

      PS Life expectancies are constantly going up; the two things my retiree friends don’t want to do–run out of money or run out of wine. ;-)

      Reply
      1. G.L. Pease

        Preach it! When my bottle count hit 500 a few months back, I made a similar resolution, which I have happily failed to keep. Why? Well, first, there was this really delicious Sancerre. I’d have bought a case, but some greedy clown bought ALL of it at my local stores on the first morning of the sale. All. Of. It. I was lucky to have four bottles that I bought pre-sale. Then, this really nice Beaver Creak Fairytale showed up, and i had to pick up a few of those, and why not a few bottles of the Bodegas Palacio Rioja that’s too good to pass for $8, and a few more bottles of the Lake & Vine red, which is delicious beyond its price point, and a few of the refreshing Solombra Torrontés, not to mention the delightfully off-dry Swallow Gewürtztraminer, delicious with Indian food. And, some of my wine club shipments came in, and…

        I don’t think I’ve hit 600 bottles, yet, but I do seem to be acquiring faster than I’m drinking. I built racks for 18 cases a couple years ago, just to get the boxes off the floor. The racks are full, and the boxes are back. It’s hopeless. I’m doomed. But, in my doom, at least I’ll be drinking well.

        Reply
          1. JoelA

            I have managed to stay out of the obsessive compulsive wine buying club – except for those Burgundies. Would have bought a bottle or two of the vintage ports at Berkeley except that I have stopped buying wine to lay down ’cause I might not live long enough to enjoy them. If only I were ten years younger!

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Love the second sentence, Joel. Now you’re talking my language. But I also stopped buying Ports and most sweet style dessert wines because I drink less and less of them each year…and it takes us forever to finish a bottle.

    2. jwc

      I’ve heard your last line comment from my wife Lim13 a time or ten, saw the Hamel ’05 syrah in Beaverton yesterday, but the lone Cellartracker review turned me off.Did see an Argentinian sangiovese from Norton @ $3.99 and a Torrontes from Norton also @ $3.99 vintage ’09 on the sangio and ’10 on the torro, almost bought the sangiovese, if it would have been a reserva I would have bit. An entry level sangio from Argentina just seemed too weird, although it’s being grown in the Columbia Valley, and while its different terrior than anything coming out of Italy, some of them are quite tasty…Walla Walla Vitners Sangiovese comes to mind. Hope the Hamel is tasty, should anyone try the Norton wines here in the Portland area, please let us know what you think.

      Reply
    3. wineoracle

      I picked up a bottle of the Hamel Timberline Syrah in Renton this afternoon, and just opened it. My first impression is that it’s kind of sweaty/bretty. I kind of like A LITTLE brett, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. An hour or two of open time will tell whether it’s too much. YMMV.

      Reply
      1. mereimage

        Was not a fan of the Hamel Syrah. It seemed a few years past what I believe would have been a fairly nice wine but now just sits flat and tired. Also, I know this may sound a bit contrary to the positive comments about the Arch Terrace Merlot but I purchased one during the sale which I returned thinking it was an off bottle and grabbed another one based on those effusive comments but found the wine still quite off-putting with a strong diesel fuel nose that I could not get off the palate. I like my Rieslings a bit “oily” but this was simply not right.

        On a positive note, along with the burgundies in San Jose, there were a small handful of 08 and 09 Domaine Durieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape both for $15 (K&L has the 09 for $35).

        Reply
        1. bin5

          I’ve had some really good Domaine Durieu wines in the past. I would buy that wine in heartbeat at that price. I am into my second bottle of the Arch Terrace and not really getting the diesel, but we all have different sensitivities. I will think about this on the next one.

          Reply
        2. Seedboy

          I rather liked the Hamel blend. A 2002 but I did not think it tired at all.
          Which San Jose store had the burgs and CduP?

          Reply
        3. jwc

          I picked up a mixed case of syrah, merlot & cab sav by Terra Blanca a couple years ago here in Portland, from Fred Meyer. What I recall is that the syrah and merlot were fresh, vibrant wines, especially for a 2nd label brand. The Red Mountain fruit is so rich, flavorful and deep, I was impressed with the QPR on the Arch Terrace. Frankly I’ve never been too impressed with Terra Blancas first string, decent offerings but that’s about it. The vintages were from ’07 & 08, both strong yrs in the Columbia Valley that I purchased. Sure doesn’t sound like the same wine Mereimage, wines from Red Mountain normally age very well, ie. Kiona and Cadence for example. Bummer on your experience, for $10 at GO disappointing. The retail here in town is right around $15. Can’t recall any red wine having a diesel like quality on the nose, strange.

          Reply
        4. BargainWhine Post author

          mereimage, which Hamel Syrah did you try? I have seen only the 2002 “Westside Hills,” a blend of fruit from the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys. Seedboy, is this the “blend” you’re talking about?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            That is the blend I am talking about. I think this is a lovely wine and might buy some if I hadn’t just bought a mess of the IO, in addition to still having GO syrah in large quantity from other deals the last couple of years.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              I opened my bottle of the 2002 Hamel Syrah “Westside Hills” tonight and I agree. However, I think you got the better deal on the IOs.

          2. mereimage

            Sorry, don’t recall which one. I’m guessing the Westside but since I wasn’t favorable to it, I dumped it. Please forgive me if it sounds pretentious but I prefer terrior driven Pinot (recent finds the Boisette, Chambolle Musigny YES, the Pommard… not so much) and enjoy Rhone-esque; fruit driven and sustainable. Personally, I find most NorCal Rhone varietals experimental while Central Coast more in line with what we find from the rocky sandstone of CduP, Gigondas and Courthezon. Personally, the IO was a wine I would drink today and tomorrow and the Hamel one I’d prefer yesterday. But then again, I’m the guy who hasn’t liked the Arch Terrace. So, go figure.

            Reply
  111. JoelA

    Not anywhere as exciting as the Burgundies, but

    New at San Pablo

    2003 Sawker Sonoma Mountain reserve merlot $ 7.99
    2010 Cline Sonoma County syrah $ 4.99
    2008 Pepperwood Grove viognier $ 2.99
    and the 2006 Michaud chardonnay is only $ 9.99
    and there’s still plemnty of the 2010 vouvray at $ 7.99

    New at Richmond

    2008 Pepperwood Grove viognier $ 2.99
    2010 Pear Tree and Little Black Stone New Zealand pinot grigios $ 2.99
    2002 Hamel Dry Creek syrah $ 5.99
    2010 Corazon del Plata syrah/tannat (Argentina) $ 3.99
    2010 Homestead 1897 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon $ 9.99

    Reply
    1. JoelA

      Also new at Berkeley:

      2003 and 2007 Warre vintage ports at only $ 29.99. Typically sell at retail at $ 70 -80 for the current vintage. Hope they have been stored well.

      Reply
        1. flitcraft

          If you are a vintage port fan at all, jump on this one. Don’t go by taste–the 2003′s are all pretty much shut down at the moment, and the 2007′s are starting to shut down as well. Both years are fantastic, and Warre is making sensational VPs since their surprisingly excellent 1994. Jealous…as I don’t expect to see anything like that up here.

          Reply
  112. BargainWhine Post author

    Alert! A whole bunch of Burgundies, mostly red, a couple white, $11 – $22, just went up on the shelves at the Berkeley store. The red included Bouchard Aine & Fils 2006 Monthelie, Santenay, and Nuits-St-George; Boisset 2003 Pommard and 2009 Chambolle-Musigny; Dom. de la Vougeraie 2003 Beaune Clos du Roi and 2002 something-Beaune. The two whites are a 2009 Dom. Dublere Meursault Les Crotots and a 2009 Boisset Saint-Aubin. Also some Beaujolias (Moulin-a-Vent and Brouilly). A case of Deboeuf estate Morgon vanished right in front of me, so get there quickly if you want some of these wines. Robaire said Oakland and Redwood City will also be getting some of these, but he thought they don’t have them out yet.

    As I said, although not much by some folks’ standards, I got way too much for my budget. I’ll probably review some, lay some down, and save some for holiday meals.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I suspect we’ll likely never see any of these up here in WA, BW…but who knows? Of the Beaujolais, Moulin-a-Vent has always been my favorite…heartier and more age worthy. The older Burgundies you mentioned would probably be at the bottom of my list (as long time storage, moving and warehousing of wines that probably came over on ships scares me just a little).

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Lim13. It’s funny you say that about the Burgundies. For the couple years I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve usually found that paying more for a wine at the GO is no guarantee that I’ll like it much if any better than a cheaper GO wine. Thus, I’ve usually steered clear of the more expensive offerings. However, after tasting some of the “more expensive” wines during the sale, like the Michaud Chardonnay, the “La Vigne aux Filles” Sancerre, and the Monk’s Gate Pinot, all of which were good or even outstanding, I had decided to change my policy. (I guess this could be considered an upside in what I’ve been calling the rationalization of GO wine pricing, although this makes it much more like a regular wine store.) Since all my purchases to review are red, I resolved to get a bottle of an $11 Spanish white that’s been around for a while, trusting that it would probably be pretty good for the money. However, as you know, when I got to the Berkeley store this morning, there were all these Burgundies that forced me to totally blow a hole in my wine budget. So, I’m trusting that they’ll be pretty good, too, but of course I’ll save the receipt. :)

        Reply
        1. lim13

          For me, BW…the price of the old Burgundies isn’t really an issue (to some extent, anyway)…it’s the condition of the old burgundies that somehow found their way to GO. I noticed the ones Seedboy has tried and enjoyed were all more recent vintages.

          Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Rondo. I believe the 2009 Boisset Chambolle was $20. The Vougeraie 2003 Beaune Clos du Roi Premier Cru was $19 (this is the only one of these three I got). The Vougeraie 2002 something-Beaune was somewhere around $15. Sorry I can’t be more specific and precise.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          The Boisset Chambolle is a gorgeous wine, but very young and primary. Last night we enjoyed a bottle with some Vietnamese food and were very happy with it. We also enjoyed both the St Aubin and the Meursault. The Oakland store has not put this stuff out yet but at Berkeley it is mostly on the shelf or sold.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            When I left the Berkeley store at about 8:20, there was still a decent amount of the Chambolle and the St Aubin, and lesser amounts of other red burgs. The meursault is gone.

            Reply
          2. JoelA

            Glad to hear that the Chambolle is so good. I rushed down to Berkeley yesterday afternoon and grabbed one of each of the reds that I found there (the St. Aubin seemed to be gone).

            I’m not expecting anything fantastic here, except the prices. The wines are all made by, or imported by, the Boisset firm. Over the years Boisset purchased a number of businesses (e.g. the Bouchard Aine line) that had made pretty good Burgundies and used the labels to sell wines that didn’t match the previous qualities. On the other hand, there are some very good vineyards represented here (Beaune Clos du Roi and Savigny Marconnets, especially) and perhaps in response to criticism Boisset has improved the quality. We’ll have to see. Anyway, these wines probably sold for $ 40 and up originally so at these prices (which are less than one would pay for a basic Bourgogne) they still ought to be priceworthy.

            And the Dubouef Moulin-a-Vent at $ 4.99 should be a steal.

            Reply
  113. RGardner

    I checked today and didn’t see anything new, but I needed to use one of the five $3 off (over $25 excluding alcohol labeled “Goggle Gobble”) coupons I got during the wine sale. So in addition to 20% off, I also have $15 in coupons (Count to $25, buy, then go back). There is still some of the Arch Terrace Merlot at the Lakewood WA store, and I heard they are getting in more Ste Chapelle (Idaho) soon – but not the Late Harvest Riesling that Lim13 loved. So to get to $25 a few ideas somewhat wine related:
    Oneida baking pans $7 (cookie pan). Heavy duty nonstick (I don’t normally even go down that aisle)
    Tillamook smoked cheddar $2 (goes with wine, local stores are now out but it was there during the sale) $2
    Olive oils
    Tampanade and artichoke spreads (but avoid asparagus, doesn’t go with wine)
    Smoked Salmon (great Christmas gift) $8
    Cheeeese
    Carving Board smoked pulled pork $2

    Reply
  114. Carolyn Eychaner

    I sm trying to locate a wine with a Papillon label. I saw one on fb with estate 2007 on label .
    Help please?!?

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Carolyn. The only wine that turned up here with a Papillon search is the 2007 Papillon Pinot Noir. I thought it was pretty good for the money, but it has been long gone from the Grocery Outlet for quite a while. Good luck!

      Reply
  115. dluber

    Stopped into the Richmond, CA store for the first time last night and found a a pretty big wine selection with a very helpful floor manager (who looked familiar, I wonder if he was the guy who used to run San Pablo?). Found a few things I hadn’t seen at the other local stores recently including magnums of the already-reviewed Monsanto 2008 Chianti Riserva for $23 (so $18.50 today – and last May when BargainWhine got it).

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Yes, the store manager of the new Richmond store previously managed the San Pablo store (for 13 years, I think he said). He’s a wine lover and selects the wines himself, those over which he gets a choice at least, so I like going there for his selection and to talk with him about his wines. During the last sale, I got another of those magnums (magna?) to put in cool storage for years, so I left them there this time.

      Reply
  116. jwc

    Popped into the Portland Hollywood GO which had mass quantities of many of the wines being discussed here, like the Castle Rock pinot noir, Mosaic Cab, Hideaway Cab, Willow Crest pinot gris, Cat/Pigeon Aussie grenache/shiraz blend, Karly zin, Napa Ridge 09 pinot noir, Red Door Cellars pinot noir plus a ton of other wines…a lot of something called Harlow Ridge(Lodi pinot noir scared me off, merlot, cab sav…not appealing to my tastes) Crossed the Columbia River into Vancouver and stumbled upon Noyers Carneros District Chardonnay 2010 selling at $3.99, or a sell price of $3.19 at 20% off. This wine was Spectators #63 rated wine of the Top 100 last year, and is sold out at the winery. They scored it a 93, based on that I bought a case. While I don’t always agree with WS on there chards, as they tend to like the big oak influenced wines, and I prefer a more refined, layered tropical fruit flavor with a light hand on the oak, at this price the reward/risk factor seemed like a good one. Thank goodness for smart phones, wondering how GO got there hands on this as I haven’t seen it anywhere else. Also picked up the Sacred Hill Central Otago 2008 pinot noir at $4.99 before discount and an Alder Fels 2010 Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer 2010 for $2.99 as well. Finally stopped into Tanasbourne and they had just rcvd several pallets of assorted wines an ’08 NZ pinot noir called Osaka I believe for $8.99, and an Argentinian blend from Bodega Norton called Finca Perdriel Centenario 2006 (Malbec, Cab Sav & Merlot)
    the bottle weighs a ton, with the back label description telling of how the site is over a hundred yrs old, and the grapes struggle to get enough water, resulting in complex, intensley flavored wines ideal for cellaring. For $5.99 worth taking a flyer on. Looks like there is something for everyone so good luck in finding the wines that float your boat. We complain about GO at times for not having the quality of wines they have carried in past years from reputable producers

    Reply
  117. RB

    At the Olympia store yesterday I noticed three 375ml bottles of Chateau St. Jean 2007 Belle Terre Vineyard Special Select Late Harvest Riesling, Alexander Valley, for $7.99 (pre-sale discount) tucked away in the refrigerated case. Not knowing anything about this winery or vineyard I just decided to grab them based on the label details (botrytis? I’m there!). Researching I found what looks to be a pretty solid winery and winemaker and that the current 2008 release retails for $50/bottle at the winery. However, I could find no reference to a 2007 vintage. Hmm…not sure what to make of that. Still, at the price I think it’s worth a stab. I do wish they hadn’t stuck it in the cold case.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Indeed, RB…Ch. St. Jean is a very old and reputable winery…although they’re not the icon they used to be in the early 80′s when I first visited them. Their flagship wines were the Robert Young Vineyard Chardonnay, Le Petite Etoille Fume Blanc and Cinq Cepages red Meritage. I’d say you likely got quite the find with their LH Riesling. Please report back when you open one.

      Reply
      1. Rondo

        I agree that the LH riesling is quite a find. When I visited in in the 70′s & 80′s the LH riesling was one of the best that Calif. had to offer

        Reply
      2. RB

        Thanks for the insight, Lim13. As jwc suggested I will probably pull one of these out with the family at Thanksgiving and will report back.

        Reply
  118. lim13

    At a tasting in the Bremerton, WA store tonight, 11/8/13, I tasted the 2011 Pennywise Pinot Noir (light in color and body, low in fruit…not for me); the 2011 Chateau Haut Queray Bordeaux for $6.99 (did nothing for me); and the 2011 Luna Di Luna Pinot Grigio for $4.99 (not bad; bone dry with nice flavors). Most of the other wines being poured were the “sweet” versions of Chardonnay, Merlot etc…which do not appeal to me, so I didn’t try any of those.

    Reply
  119. Ashlander

    In Medford they had Cat Amongst The Pigeons Shiraz-Cabernet Barossa Valley 2009 $4.99. Dark Purple, some plum, spice and coffee. I liked it. Wife did not. She tends not to like Cabs. I will buy more.

    Reply
  120. Seedboy

    Berkeley and some other stores have Arch Terrace Red Mountain (Washington) Terra Bianca Estate Vineyard Merlot 2008. Generally I am skeptical about cheap merlot, even though with the discount this is $8. This is pretty damned good. There are little grains of flavor in this that I look for in a good wine. I drank this over 3 nights and the last one was pretty good. If you like merlot this is a nice wine at this price and it will probably live a while.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Very small correction, SB…but that’s Terra Blanca rather than Bianca. And they do produce some very nice wines, although not always consistent. It’s a beautiful Red Mountain easternmost Yakima Valley winery with their own cave which they dug into a hillside. A worthwhile stop if you’re ever touring up here. Arch Terrace is their second label. Most of all…glad you enjoyed the wine.

      Reply
    2. jwc

      Yes SB, that is a deal and a half. Red Mountain fruit from a very reputable producer, hope this finds its way to Ptown. Great vintage, I have some of this, even at retail still a great QPR. More like a soft cab vs a typical merlot, if that makes sense. Hard to figure out with GO, what ends up where?

      Reply
    1. weinish

      We’ve Been living on this wine for a little over a month. it is $2.99 at the Oakland store. it isn’t necessarily amazing but it is Minerally,Light And works for us as far as easy drinking wine.

      this app capitalizes every word I write unless I use the voice function.

      Strange.

      Reply
  121. Seedboy

    The Richmond store had the 2012 La Vigne aux Filles Sancerre marked down from $15.99 to $4.99, there are a few bottles left. This wine was a bit pricey for the GO but why that big a mark down?

    Reply
    1. dluber

      They had marked it down to $5 at Berkeley this week too; I went in just before closing last nite and it was all gone – none at the Oakland store today either. Might have to stop in Richmond tomorrow…

      Reply
        1. weinish

          There was ONE bottle in Oakland yesterday. I tried to buy it, knowing it had no barcode. They price checked it at $15.99. I balked. Bought two bottles of the Michaud Chard instead.

          Reply
  122. bin5

    I stopped by the Renton, WA store today. They had14 pallets come in yesterday and are just starting to get it out. I picked up a 2008 Brophy Clark Santa Ynez Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre ($8), 2008 Concannon San Francisco Bay Cabernet ($8), 2010 Karly Amador Zinfandel ($7), and a 2011 Mosaic Cabernet Dry Creek Valley. I will try to get to them before the sale. I tasted the Concannon and it seemed pretty good out of that little plastic cup.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Is there a vineyard designation on that Karly Zin, B5? That and the Brophy Clark GSM would be of interest to me. I enjoyed the BC Pinot Noir that I reviewed earlier this year. Have seen none of the ones you mentioned over here in Kitsap County…yet.

      Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I bought a bottle of this zin. Typical Amador zin, tastes like it was made from roasted fruit. Please note that the 2009 A Mano Primativo is available for $2.99, it is a nice zin-like wine but in a lighter, more food-friendly style.

          Reply
    1. lim13

      Willow Crest hasn’t been around all that long. They’re a little further west of Hyatt and Tefft in Prosser, but still in the Yakima Valley. They’ve produced some decent Rieslings, but I haven’t had the Pinot Gris. And it appears they’re now another Precept Brand. I had heard they might have been having some financial problems.

      Reply
      1. dluber

        Popped and poured one yesterday at a pumpkin carving party; didn’t pay that much attention but it didn’t seem to miss it. A non-wine snob crowd-pleasing quaffer, fruity and sweet-tart, ripe acidity and a slight spritz, a non-serious but perfectly drinkable wine. An OK aperitif, but I switched to red to wash down the root vegetable stew in red wine sauce (baked in a pumpkin of course). Among recently reviewed GO PGs, most reminiscent of the 2009 Firestone

        Reply
      2. bin5

        I have found Willow Crest to be a good (retail) value producer and their Pinot Gris is typically one of their better wines. I read where Precept is a shareholder (30% or something) and does all the selling and distribution. The winemaker admitted that wasn’t his strong suit. You can make great wine, but at the end of the day you have to sell it.

        Reply
  123. Ashlander

    In Klamath Falls: 2009 Castle Rock Carneros Pinot Noir, $6.99. 2005 Hyatt Vineyards Merlot, Rattlesnake Hills WA, $4.99. Both seemed to have good reviews online. Haven’t opened them yet. Will probably try the Hyatt tonight.

    Reply
    1. patrick

      Ashlander, I had the Castle Rock Pinot and it will be a good bargain for the sale if it lasts, Castle Rock started selling Pinot in the mid 90′s, never claiming to be the producer, they just claimed the ability to buy high end wine and sell it at a good value that was around $12.00 then. Pinot Noir is rarely a bargain, at $5.60 I’ll get at least 6 bottles.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I was just going to say that Castle Rock is more a negociant than producer. They bottle all different varietals and they never seem to be from the same state (usually CA or WA) or region from one vintage to the next. Some much better than others.

        Reply
    2. lim13

      Hyatt, like Tefft that we’ve been discussing recently is another one of those WA wineries that is somewhat of a mystery. They’ve been around since the 80″s, but I believe are corporately owned now, but can’t say for sure. They’re just up the road from Tefft in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA in Yakima Valley. Haven’t had their wine in years, but Merlot has always been their flagship. Most are very inexpensive at regular retail.

      Reply
      1. poursomemore

        GO (San Jose Williams Rd store) had an outstanding Hyatt Merlot aboutr three years ago, but the current web site label looks significantly different . I honestly can’t remember the vintage, but it was outstanding quality for the price. The couple of cases moved in a day, so I only got a bottle or two. Agree with Iim13 that something has changed, so the mystery is still in play. …maybe my memory is off, though.

        Reply
  124. seedboy

    Wilson Daniels pinot is back in Berkeley. Also Red Door Cellars oregon pinot, from what I can tell this is a cheap bottling. Robair tells me he has a mess of wine to put out but he does not appear excited about any of it.

    Reply
        1. jwc

          As far as Red Door Cellars pinot noir, at one time Laurent Montalieu (owner of Solena here in Carlton, OR) was the winemaker for this outfilt, this guy makes some good pinot, but I’m not certain he was involved with the vintage you are seeing in Calif. Red Door is a part of NW Wine Co.owned by Precept Brands, which may explain the GO connection, as we see many Precept brands at the GO from time to time. Are you following this, cause I’m getting a little dizzy…I’m guessing the wine is drinkable, but in an area loaded with great pinot noir, I have not felt inclined to try the wine. Retails between $17-$20 here in Portland. Hope that helps Weinish, and any others who might have an interest in this wine.

          Reply
      1. lim13

        Bought a bottle of the Red Door Oregon Pinot at the Bremerton, WA store today for $7.99 minus 20%. And it is indeed the 2010.

        Reply
  125. bin5

    The Robert Oatley’s are back. At the Maple Valley store I picked up the 09 Shiraz and 10 Chardonnay. There was also a 10 Pinot Grigio and 10 Gewerstemeiner. All these wines were $3.99, a dollar less than the other vintages and wines that showed up before. The previous round was all pretty good QPR. Just in time for the sale. I also picked up an Anima Umbria 2009 Grechetto from Arnaldo Caprai for $5. A new one on me.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Man! What I’d give to find more of the 2009 Robert Oatley Tempranillo!! After I posted my review back in March, it was gone from Silverdale in a flash (though I did get a couple more bottles). Haven’t seen any Oatleys over here yet, but my wine guy tells me there’s lots more wine coming before the sale.

      Reply
    2. jwc

      I commented favorably on the ’09 shiraz under Guest Contributions, quite a steal. Also picked up the ’10 Gewurztraminer, and saw some Oatley chardonnay all at $3.99. I’m guessing all these wines are excellent, as they’ve rcvd high scores from WE.

      Reply
      1. jwc

        The Oatley shiraz is a steal, $3.99 in Oregon, $2.99 in Calif.? Popped the Gewurtz tonight, aromatic like most Gewurtz’s, lychee along with lavender aromas and flavors. Slightly spritzy which I’m not a fan of, however the acid is decent, and the body is well balanced with nice structure. The back label states this is a single vineyard offering, with the vines planted in 2000. A very affordable Thanksgiving wine for white wine drinkers. A light Thumbs Up, and at this price a really solid QPR. Lim13 I’m betting you would enjoy this, cheers!

        Reply
  126. Ashlander

    Medford store is finally beefing up their inventory. Among the newcomers was a 2011 Cottonwood Marina Piper Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $9.99. 2011 Pennywise Pinot Noir and 2010 Pennywise Merlot, each $4.99. I did buy the Merlot and thought it was a good everyday drinker. Some chocolate, spice and acidity. There was quite a few cases of the Cottonwood, so I will probably wait until the sale.

    Reply
    1. GOWineLover

      Just had a 2010 Homestead 1897 Winery (formerly Pope Valley Winery, provider of the 2009 Cab unfavorably reviewed on this site) 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon formerly on WTSO for $14.99 bought at GO for $10. We had it with tri-tip and with 14.0% ABV, it was a pretty nicely balanced and elegant Cab. It did take about an hour to open up and I was initially disappointed in it but what a difference a decant makes. This is a good (not incredible) deal for $10 if you like a cab that’s a bit more austere. If you want a big fruit bomb, this is not it. Interested to hear others’ thoughts. My local GO only got 2 cases so this may be a limited allocation but I didn’t talk with the owner/operator so I’m not sure on that one.
      Original listing here: http://www.winefetch.com/deals/emails/WTSO/Napa-Valley-Estate-Red-Eakle-Ranch-2010-Homestead-1897-Formerly-Pope-Valley. Also http://whineofwine.blogspot.com/2013/01/homestead-1897-winery-2010-estate.html.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        Thanks for the intel. I bought the 1897 because it looked interesting and I’m thrilled to know that it’s Pope Valley. There were sharp divisions here about the Pope Valley. I loved the 08 and 09 cabs (both vintages were at my GOs on the Central Coast). Looking forward to trying this one. If it’s like the earlier vintages then your comment about it being good for those who like more austere wines is right on the money (that would be me).

        Reply
  127. jwc

    Popped into the Tanasbourne GO a 2007 Willamette Valley pinot noir from Chateau Bianca for $4.99, and a 2009 Robert Oatley Barossa shiraz for $3.99 for something new, and possibly entertaining.

    Reply
  128. lim13

    In the coming days, hope to review the following wines that I purchased today at the Silverdale, WA GO:
    2011 Marques de Caro Tempranillo, Spain $4.99
    2004 Las Vals White (?), France $5.99
    2010 Jargon Pinot Noir, CA $3.99
    2008 Ch Soubiran Cotes Du Marmandais Red, France $7.99
    2011 The White Knight Lake County Riesling, CA $3.99
    NV Caloro Zinfandel, CA $6.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I’ve seen a 2011 BoDo at Berkeley, have not paid much attention to it. Robair says he has a mess of wine to sell. Today there were two Pellegrini family wines, an Alexander Valley Merlot and a RRV Chard for $8 a bottle. This winery makes solid wines. He was putting out Jekel merlot and a Concannon Cab that appeared to be from Livermore fruit. I’m pretty sure that Livermore is not appropriate for red BoDo varietals but I’d not mind being proved wrong.

      Reply
      1. dluber

        The Concannon Cab is a worthwhile try at 20% off; not a classic cab by any means, little to no cassis or bramble, but ripe blackberry and black cherry, broad across the palate, smooth and even tannic grip, pleasant acidity – tastes like what it is: a good Livermore red, warmer than Napa, cooler than Lodi.

        Reply
  129. JoelA

    At Richmond today

    2008 Pierre Sparre Reserve Riesling $ 3.99
    2009 ” ” ” $ 3.99
    2010 ” ” ” Pinot Gris $ 4.99
    2009 Pellegrini Russian River chardonnay $ 7.99
    2010 Grant Burge Barossa Valley shiraz $ 5.99
    2008 Grant Burge Holy Trinity (grenache-shiraz-mourvedre) $ 12.99

    Reply
      1. poursomemore

        This wine (bought at Sonora, Ca, store) was a disappointment. Can’t say it was tainted or anything, but it had an edge that turned me off. I do remember consistently good ones in the past, though. Seedboy is correct below,

        Reply
    1. JoelA

      1. That should read 2009 Pierre Sparr Reserve gewurtz for $ 3.99

      2. The label on the Grant Burge shiraz is not the one you saw, which is for an old vines shiraz.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I’ve had a number of Sparr Gewurzes (at regular price) since the mid 90′s, Joel. Generally very tasty wines from a reputable producer…although quality on the regular labels that ship to the U.S. can be up and down. Single vineyard offerings are much better, but doubt we’ll ever see them at GO. If you try one, I’d love to see your comments. Likely we’ll never see it up here in WA, but who knows?

        Reply
      2. BargainWhine Post author

        I stopped by Oakland this morning and got a bottle of the Sparr Res Gewurz. There wasn’t that much left. As I’m sure you noticed, they’re re-reorganizing the wine and there’s a lot of empty shelf space, but so far I can’t tell there’s that much new coming to fill them.

        Reply
  130. jwc

    Picked up the following in Vancouver this week as Portland’s west side hasn’t seen much of anything new, or wines reviewed in WA. or CA.for that matter.
    Villa Mt.Eden 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $5.99. This is a score, Napa Valley cab from a solid producer and great vintage. Sadly it’s gone in Vancouver as they received a very small allotment, but be on the lookout at your GO.(and no I didn’t buy it all :)
    Tefft Cellars 2011 BFV (Barrel Fermented Viognier) Nice looking label, appears to be a serious wine, we’ll see. $3.99.
    Chalk Hill 2008 Sauvignon Blanc $3.99, many comments on this beast of a SB
    Verramonte Reserva 2009 Merlot $3.99 from Chile, I’ve had good luck from this producer in the past, so anxious to try this merlot, as an everyday red
    Spectacle White Wine out of Buelton, CA $2.99 (blend of viognier, chardonnay & SB))
    Saw the Pennywise pinot noir, chardonnay and merlot for $4.99 but passed. Nice too see some different offerings, and at lower price points than the $6.99-$10.99 swing we have been seeing a lot of these days. Combined with no sales tax to Oregon residents, I’m a happy camper. Good hunting to all!

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I believe Villa Mt. Eden is still a property of the owners of Ch. Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest etc. here in WA. Haven’t had one of their wines in a long time. Saw that Tefft (from Outlook, WA in the Yakima Valley) at the Bremerton store last week. They’ve made some pretty good wines over the years, but I believe most of their production is now in private labels and bulk. I represented them for a small distributor for a short period about eight years ago. The Viognier got my attention; the barrel fermented did not. I’m anxious to see what you think, JWC. Also curious about the Spectacle…though I haven’t seen it up here yet. Look forward to your reports.

      Reply
  131. bin5

    I was in the Renton, WA store today and the only thing that was new was a couple of labels from Don Sebastiani and their “the Other guys” production. One label was The White Knight and had a 2011 Moscato and 2011 Riesling at $4. The other label was PennyWise and there was a 2011 Chardonnay, 2011 Petite Sirah, 2010 Merlot, and 2011 Pinot Noir, all at $5. I picked up the Petite Sirah to drive around the block before jumping in too much. It looks like they retail for $10-$12.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      There wasn’t a clown on that PennyWise label, was there B5? Whenever I see or here the name PennyWise, I always think of one of my favorite authors, Stephen King. And that was the name of the evil clown in “It”. Hope that’s not a foreboding sign for the Petite Sirah. Haven’t seen any of those wines yet over here.

      Reply
  132. dluber

    Oakland yesterday had Karly 2010 zin, nice for the price ($5). A few other interesting new wines, but most looked like made-up names for CA-wide blends. Steve the wine guy said the Fall wine sale was on for 11/6 – 11/10.

    Reply
  133. Jim H.

    Oakland had some Upper Bench yesterday(Sunday morning.) Regarding the Chalk Hill, apparently sometimes GO is sold CA wines with the agreement not to sell in CA. Could that be the case here or has anyone seen it in NorCal?

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I have not seen the Chalk Hill, and in the last few days I’ve been at Oakland, Berkeley, Pleasant Hill, Pinole and Richmond. At Oakland, he has roughly ten cases of the Upper Bench, which to me is the best of the three IO wines.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      I suppose anything’s possible, Jim. But it seems weird that the 2006 Chalk Hill SB was sold in CA and not up here in WA. Now the 2008 is up here, but not in CA. Go figure.

      Reply
    3. dluber

      Oh, and I forgot: went to Berkeley a few days ago and got a CFR Sauv Bl (same guys who brought us the Open Range red last year), a Prelius Vermentino, and a Caprice sweet sparkling Gamay to round out the oddball collection. Haven’t tried em yet.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        that gamay is sweet. Beautiful color, quite frothy, also quite minerally. It is too sweet for me but if I were looking for a sweet bubbly that looked festive in a glass I’d buy a mess of this. There are only a few bottles left.

        Reply
  134. Seedboy

    Friday the Berkeley store had IO 2007 Ryan’s vineyard, a Paso wine that was better than most paso syrahs. Today, someone had cleaned it out. There is a new 2007 Oregon pinot from a name I did not recognize for $15. There was some Madiran, you can have that stuff, to me tannat seems like the anti-zin, all tannin and no fruit.

    Reply
    1. adlerpe

      Yeah! That’s why some of us like it!

      In addition to the three Madirans that have been in the Berkeley store for the last few weeks (2001 and 2003 Chateau de la Motte – note that the labels are different; 2004 Chateau d’Arricau-Bordes), a new Madiran arrived in Berkeley last weekend: 2003 Chateau Viella Fontaina, the top tier (at the time) from Producteurs Plaimont, the producer of the 2000 Chateau Viella Village that got a lot of favorable response here over the last year. Five bucks each for all the Madirans, pre-sale price.

      Reply
  135. Ashlander

    Medford GO had some new wines. Nothing looked really interesting. Just made a quick look as I was in a hurry. De la Motte 2001 Madiran, $4.99. Here is the 2000 review: http://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/de-la-motte-2000-madiran/
    Not sure how do create a real link.
    Also Cate 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauv, $9.99 retail for $19.99. The fact that it is 2012 and google did not come up with anything on it, makes me a little suspect. I will probably pass on this, but may try the Madiran.

    Reply
  136. seedboy

    Yesterday the Berkeley store had a small quantity of a pouilly fume that is pretty nice, a nice change of pace from both California SB and NZ SB, lovely citrus and minerality, good acidity, and $4.99. It will not be there long.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Berkeley and Pinole also have half bottles of a nice 2010 Sancerre for $3. Pleasant Hill has the two IO Syrahs. The IO Paso syrah that was at Berkeley on Friday is all gone. Grant Burge shiraz has appeared, 2010, $6, and one store (Pinole?) had the 2008 GSM in a fancy bottle for $13.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        The half (375ml) bottle of the Sancerre I opened this evening appeared to have heat damage: wine had leaked from the cork and dried, making the capsule stick to the bottle, and the wine, which tasted okay on first pour, quickly started tasting oxidized. Was your bottle totally okay?

        Reply
          1. adlerpe

            I got three splits of the Sancerre on two occasions; the two that I’ve already drunk were fine. I liked them – a little more perfumed than the Pouilly Fumé from the same vintner.

            Reply
    1. lim13

      Lucky you, RB!! Haven’t seen that for a long time. Must have been buried in a warehouse somewhere. Still a steal for a buck more. Let us know what you think when you open one. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if it was properly stored.

      Reply
      1. RB

        Well I didn’t see any reason to wait…what better rationale than ‘It’s Thursday’ to open a good bottle? And it was very good. I found your description spot on, Lim13. The first sip was full on apricot for me and it ended with nice pineapple/honey and slightly tart lemon. We enjoyed it on its own, but I bet it will be pretty special paired with something like butter cookies or shortbread and fruit. Thanks for clue-ing me in to this one.

        Reply
  137. bin5

    I went to the Kent, WA store today. Nothing much new. I don’t know what’s going on in Silverdale but consider yourself lucky right now lim13. I did find one interesting wine however, a 2002 Nice Legs Merlot made by Kiona for $6. I will let you know how it is. They also had the Kiona First Crush Rose there as well. I usually stay away from wines with cutesy names, but Kiona is a solid WA producer as lim13 has pointed out and if the merlot is Red Mountain fruit then it is worth a try.

    Reply
  138. JoelA

    New at Berkeley (besides the Senorio de Aqulia Gran Riserva carinena)

    2012 Cate Napa Valley cabernet $ 8.99
    2010 Terre de Mistral Cotes-du-Rhone red $ 3.99
    NV Caloro zinfandel $ 5.99
    2011 Petit Lixandre Bordeaux $ 5.99
    2012 Mosaic Alexander Valley chardonnay $ 7.99
    2006 Michaud Chalone chardonnay $ 13.99 (with a blurb claiming it;s been selling for as much as $ 40).

    Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Oakland had a good quantity of this wine today. Berkeley has it too, yesterday it was still the original price.

          Reply
          1. patrick

            I’m seeing a lot of the Capitel around the San Jose area, and at the reduced price, also a bunch of 3 Rivers SB at $3.99 It is not that usual for GO to drop their prices even on wines that don’t sell well, but these are good bottles!

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              Have they reduced the 3 Rivers Cab yet? That wine has been around since the spring and does not seem to move at $10