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

1,608 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. rgardner2

    A few likely Precept Brands spotted at the Lakewood WA store:
    – Sagelands Riverbed Red 2011 $4.99 (plus a Sagelands white). 51% Syrah, 42% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon
    – NV Fly Chocolate $1.99. “Red wine with natural dark chocolate flavors.” Walla Walla WA! Label has a zipper being opened (how classy!). No mention of grape source. Quick search shows a CA aviation-themed winery of the same name so maybe a trademark issue
    – NV Fly Pink Moscato. $1.99 Grapes from Chile, but bottled in W2.

    I did buy the Riverbed Red.

    Reply
  2. DavidLikesWine

    Russian Hill wines just hit the Palo Alto store.

    Good supplies of:
    ’06 Russian River Pinot
    ’06 Estate Pinot
    ’06 Tara’s Pinot
    ’06 Leras Pinot
    ’06 Top of the Block Syrah
    ’03 Ellen’s Block Syrah

    Reply
  3. permiesworld

    I stopped in to the Lebanon Oregon store this morning and spoke with the owner/operator, David. He’s such a helpful owner…said he appreciates the blog. Oregon doesn’t appear to be getting any of the Russian Hill wines. He did have some other info for me though.

    Wine sale info: It’s the 3 or 4 days before Easter (which falls on April 5th), firm dates.

    Also, for those that liked the Quest Pinot Noir, he’s getting some in soon (it’s already been ordered). I asked him to call me. The last vintage was one of my favorites, I bought a case. This is a different vintage coming. He already has some Quest chardonnay. He said he was also getting some Pyrenees wines in soon. I mentioned that they can be quite unpredictable but that I loved the Garnacha last time. This time there will be: Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo and a Rose.

    I also noticed that of the three GO’s locally, they may not have the hugest supply but they definitely have the largest variety south of Salem. I’ve had a hard time finding anything I wanted to try of late…but he had several there that I hadn’t seen and so I picked a few up (there are a lot of options over there that I did not pick up including many of the Bordeaux, lots of white wines that I don’t normally review as well as several other reds that I haven’t seen on the shelves around here):

    Rutini Merlot 2008 $4.99
    Luna Pinot Grigio 2012 $4.99
    Le Val Mourvedre Rose 2013 $4.99
    Kalbarri South Easter Australia Shiraz 2013 $4.99
    La Galiniere Merlot 2011 Coteaux de Peyriac $4.99
    James Bryant Hill Central Coast Merlot 2012 $5.99
    Alfredo Roca Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $4.99

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I’d be wary of those Bordeaux, RB. Did you notce if they were more offerings from AW Direct (who seem anymore to be the sole supplier of GO Bordeaux)?

      Reply
      1. RB

        No, I didn’t investigate any further than the front labels. They don’t interest me – I just hadn’t seen them here before.

        Reply
    2. seedboy

      Lots of Morey burgs about three years ago. I still have a bottle of Corton Charlamagne and a couple of other whites, all the reds are gone.

      Reply
  4. Welltravbrit

    Thanks very much for the heads up on the Russian Hill wines, the comments here were greatly appreciated. I was in Oakland yesterday and bought some from the back of the store. I went for the 2003 Ellen’s Block Syrah (which I liked very much) and the 2006 Estate Vineyard which was pretty good too. These are an amazing bargain for the price. I decided to buy some more today and as I was nearby, I headed to the Berkeley store. They had their cases right out on the floor and I bought some more of the 2003 Ellen’s Block Syrah, the 2003 Top Block Syrah and a Tara Pinot from 2006, along with some more of the Estate Pinot, all at $6.99. They also had the Windsor 2003 and the Leras 2003, but was leery of these given the earlier comments. I didn’t see any of the Leras 2001.

    As always there was a 10% discount for purchases of two cases or more.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Greetings WellTrav(eled?)Brit and welcome! Thanks for sharing your experiences and votes of confidence in the wines. If you have any of the wines you opened yesterday still around, would you tell us if they were still tasty the next day?

      Reply
      1. Welltravbrit

        We tried the Estate Syrah the next day and it had a faded quality, in my opinion it was far better the first night.

        Reply
    2. Darrell

      WTB, I didn’t see the 2003 Leras PN but rather the 2006. Did I miss it? The SF store also has the 2005 Leras PN, 2002 Syrah Ellen’s Block and 2004 Syrah Estate Vd. for $5.99 and no discount. Got the same line as Rocklin about the wines are already discounted. The Berkeley bottle becomes $6.30 if you buy two cases anyway. There are other stores selling bottles for $4.99 and $5.99. My wife has been getting after me to play the GO receipt drawings with all the wine money savings we are supposed to get being the prize. Well, I don’t think SF has the drawing. She once won in San Leandro and I took the call. Bennie at the time said I should have dropped my wine receipt into the hopper.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        After having been critical of the SF store for raising prices on nice wines, I’m impressed they’re selling all these for $6.

        Reply
    3. Don Bevins

      For those bent about not getting a 10 per cent discount–would you rather pay $6.99 a bottle and get the discount on two cases or pay $4.99 a bottle with no discount? The math seems pretty simple to me. Rocking continues to have a good supply of the 2006s.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Don, this whole RH wine buying isn’t quite as simple as math. The wine most of us really like could only be had at two or three stores and they all charged more than $4.99. Some were $6.99 and another store was $5.99. For me the quality of this bottle was worth $6.99 plus 10% discount and the $5.99 store didn’t give a discount so there was a $.40 difference. From your scouting, the Rocklin store didn’t have this older bottle of syrah.

        Reply
      1. seedboy

        I heard late March.
        Latest word on the Russian Hill wines at Oakland: $6.99 per bottle, limited to 6 total per customer. Sold out of the back, find the wine guy on duty.

        Reply
        1. GOWineLover

          Is this Russian Hill Winery Wines? Is this a group of wines from Russian River Valley? Does anyone know what they actually got or if other GOs got any? Thanks.

          Reply
        2. BargainWhine Post author

          Since I have started writing here, it has always been the Wednesday through Sunday of the first full week of a month. In that time, however, the month has varied, including March, April, and May, as I recall.

          Reply
    1. Expat

      Has anyone tried the Terra Antiga white from Portugal? Crisp, dry, slightly effervescent. Dee-lightful. Sorry to poach on this thread but I have no idea how to start a new post in this section.

      Reply
        1. seedboy

          Well, that said, it does not seem to work for me either. I was at the Petaluma store yesterday. It has some interesting wine including Merlot, Ruby Cabernet, and Zinfandel from the Dickerson winery. These are all Napa grapes (I presume the Dickerson vineyard of Ravenswood Zin fame). These wines are as old as 1985 and range to 2001 or so, and the prices are quite kind. He also has some Australian wines by Sheldrake, these are older wines, the syrah reminded me more of a Rhone wine than Australia.

          Reply
  5. weinish

    I purchased the Gergenti 2010 Sangiovese – Nero D’Avolo yesterday. Had some last night, and having it now. As I mentioned, I’m somewhat keen on the 2010 Italian wines across the board, so I took a shot at this Sicilian wine.

    I think it was $9.

    There’s nothing wrong with this wine, and it’s definitely Italian, although it’s a bit “new world.”

    Fruit forward, mostly sangiovese, but the Nero (syrah-ish) definitely plays a roll.

    Slight effervescence on the tongue, but wears off immediately. Tastes very slightly candied, and that’s why I’m calling it “new world.”

    Don’t think I’d buy it again at that price, but likely would at $5.99.

    Reply
  6. JoelA

    Not much new at San Pablo; they do have the Kimmel chardonnay. However, they still have a number of the old favorites such as the Echelon, Quickfire and Tarkettle Road pinot noirs and the Mont’Arquato barbera.

    Reply
  7. permiesworld

    I didn’t intend to go to GO today but got a call from one of the wine guys, said I might want to come down (they got a load of reds and he knows I like reds). So I did.

    I ended up picking up some that seemed interesting. I’ve been away from the blog so I’m not sure if they’ve been reviewed or not. Most of the Prices were good.

    Healdsburg Ranches Appellation Series Pinot Noir RRV 2011 $5.99 ($25 SRV) 2-20-2015
    $4.99 2-20-2015
    Bushranger Captain Moonlight 2011 Shriaz Mudgee AU $4.99 2-20-2015
    $4.99 2-20-2015
    Heliotrope Pinot Noir 2010 CA Heliotrope Winery, Napa $5.99 2-20-2015
    Berryessa Gap Rocky Ridge Collection Tempranillo 2011 $3.99 2-20-2015
    Gaetano D’Aquino Valpolicella 2011 $5.99 2-20-2015

    I’m not sure if the Healdsburg Ranches RRV PN is one of the wines that Seedboy is referring to, but Albany looks to have about 2 cases of it.
    This is what the wine guide says about it: http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/healdsburg-ranches-2011-appellation-series-pinot-noir-sonoma-russian-river-valley but nothing is listed on the Healdsburg Winery site.

    The Heliotrope is a Bronco subsidiary I think but it had decent ratings and appears to be a single vineyard Pinot:

    http://www.wine.com/v6/Heliotrope-Winery-Pinot-Noir-2010/wine/138199/Detail.aspx?state=CA

    The Cantavida is an AWD wine…it interested me for that reason.

    The Bushranger Shiraz retails for about $18 USD.

    Info on the Old Vine Rey Sol http://www.vinesse.com/buy/2010-rey-sol-carinena-spain-old-vine-garnacha/

    I also picked up a Rico Seco Cab that Lim and the others have been liking so much.

    Reply
  8. jwc

    Popped into the Hillsboro GO, and a large number of Argentine wines have arrived. I picked up the Trumpeter 2011 Pinot Noir (which I’m drinking now and enjoying) for $4.99, and a Malbec-Syrah blend for $3.99. The bottles are heavy, the label looks classy, hard to believe these are $10 retail wines. This pinot, while not great, is certainly serviceable, and I like the medium light body, cherry and strawberry flavors. From the Rutini family which has been producing wine in Argentina since the 19th century. Also at Hillsboro a Rio Seco Reserva 2010 Cab Sav $5.99, and a 2008 Rutini Merlot at $4.99, plus a plethora of South American wines all at $4-$6. As Flitcraft, I believe stated, their economy is taking a bath, I guess we are the lucky recipients. Frankly I’m surprised at the quality of this Trumpeter PN for the price.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Thanks for the report, JWC, on the bounty of Argentine vino….hopefully it finds its way down here to SF Bay too.

      Already tried the Rio Seco Cab, which Lim reviewed very positively, and it was excellent for the money.

      Look forward to tasting the Trumpeter PN and Malbec blend should they surface!

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      Also related to the Argentine economy, I saw stacks of Calle Brandsen Malbec Reserve in Reno while searching for their CS Gran Reserve. Didn’t pick up any.

      Reply
  9. seedboy

    Here is the latest word on the Russian Hill wines: The stores cannot “order” these. They are being allocated by corporate. The current best estimate is that they will be delivered to stores on Saturday.

    Reply
      1. seedboy

        I am told this stuff will not arrive in Oakland until Sunday. It will be allocated and sold out of the back of the store.

        Reply
          1. seedboy

            They plan to limit how much people can buy because quantities of some wines are limited. This is rather like what a liquor store does when it gets one bottle or two of Pappy Van Winkle.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Hey SB….any idea what they are bringing in….Pinot or Syrah….vineyards and vintages?

              Thanks for the heads-up.

        1. seedboy

          Oakland has received seven of these wines. Tshey are not yet available to purchase, maybe tomorrow, and the pricing is undecided but potentially quite exciting. I have tasted them. There are three pinots, all from 2006, a RRV vintage that many considered problematic. These wines are all light in color and in mouth. The basic rrv bottling is a nice wine that has good pinot aroma and flavor. The Leras vineyard wine is past its prime but if it is the only one you can actually buy pick up a couple of bottles. The Estate Vineyard wine is the best of the pinots, it has more going on than the RRV.

          The syrahs offer more even though they are mostly older. These are cool climate syrahs, gamy with good pepper aromas. First, avoid the 2003 Windsor Oaks unless you are looking to make vinegar. The 2001, however, is amazing, still very fruity with nice acidity. It might be the best wine of the bunch. The 2003 Ellen’s Block is a nice wine, one you would be happy to pour for a wine lover. The 2006 Top Block is better, though, with good fruit and stuffing.

          There might be other wines elsewhere.

          Reply
          1. EHL

            Went down to Oakland GO today and picked up three bottles each of the ’06 Estate Vineyard PN and ’01 Windsor Syrah, the pick of the litter according to SB and confirmed by the wine staff there.

            The bottles were going for $7 a piece, with GO’s posted retail value of $35, although the Russian Hill website lists their present stock of Leras PN ranging up to $50.

            According to the folks there, they received 20 cases of each of the seven wines available…and they are going fast!

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              The Berkeley Store got all 7 of the wines I tasted plus a 2006 Tara Vyd pinot. They are on the floor for $6.99.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Thanks for your notes on these wines. I stopped by Berkeley this AM and got two pinots and two syrahs.

          2. Don Bevins

            At the Rocklin store today–Estate, Tara vineyard, and the basic red label Pinot noir as well as the top vineyard Syrah. All were the 2006 vintage and were priced at $4.99.

            Reply
            1. JoelA

              Berkeley had 6+ cases of each of the seven wines on the floor as of an hour ago,. Price $ 6.99. Didn’t see any signs of limitations on purchases. Richmond received only six cases total; they’re down to the last couple of bottles. Also priced at $ 4.99.

            2. Don Bevins

              A search of Russian Hill’s website reveals some excellent reviews for the Pinot noirs from the 2006 vintage that seem to be out there at GO. At the prices mentioned earlier, I will stock up with more tomorrow as well as check out Roseville for any other vintages.

            3. Darrell

              I was told before any of the Russian Hill wines arrived anywhere, the price was going to be $4.99 a bottle. Stop by the Rocklin store on the way up to Reno and ask the big, heavy set guy, who thinks he knows the situation about purchasing for the store, about the Russian Hill wines and he doesn’t know a damn thing. So when coming back today from Reno, Tues. around 4PM, my wife asks me do you want to stop by Rocklin and I said no, they won’t have it and just whiz on by Rocklin. So Don, you can kick me for not checking the store out again. I should ask for the owner instead of the big, dumb guy. I’d patronize this store if they gave cases discount. Come back to the Bay Area and find the bottle is $6.99 except for Richmond which must all be gone now. I don’t think I am going to buy any just out of principle and I don’t give a GGD how good they are. I think the price appreciation has been caused by chatter.

              Irritated as Hell

            4. EHL

              Funny you guys…because I was told the day before the Russian Hill wines were sold that all the bottles were priced at $5, only to find when picking up my stock that they had appreciated by 40% overnight to $7.

              Compared to retail and what the Winery is asking for their present stock of Syrah and PN (up to $56), though, we are still getting a bargain.

              Nonetheless, it is grating to find that the same stuff is selling for a significant difference in the same locale, especially if you were one of the “lucky” ones who was allowed to buy cases…lol.

            5. Darrell

              I don’t look at the winery price as being applicable when the wine ends up at GO and we must judge the wine as a GO wine and its merits. I have to judge these wines within the GO milieu and their pricing.

  10. GOWineLover

    2011 Healdsburg Ranches Appelation Pinot Noir $5 at Pleasant Hill CA

    87 points on CellarTracker, WE
    2 for $25 on Wine Spies

    Pretty lacking in depth. Kind of a watered down Cima Collina. This does taste like cheap pinot at the end of the day. I found the smokier, leathery aspect to dominate but without supporting moutheel, tannin or finish. Pretty acid. Certainly very food friendly and worth trying though not up my alley. Will take the Cima Collina all day over this. Hoping for some RRV superstars in the near future.

    Reply
    1. GOWineLover

      Also, not much in the way of fruit here. Dried something, maybe, but smoke predominates.
      It’s not cheap tasting because of sweet ripe fruit that dosent resemble pinot but more due to overall character.

      Reply
    2. permiesworld

      We liked this ok, tasted it tonight. It didn’t taste watered down but it definitely was on the lighter side for Pinot Noir. But to me, I’ve tasted a few “watered down” style Cabs and this doesn’t remind me of that…just more of a summer Pinot. I think what I liked most about it was that it wasn’t overly fruity, not vegetal, not tart…just a nice light Pinot. I wouldn’t pay $25 for it but I did find it fine (completely non-offensive) for the price.

      Reply
  11. JoelA

    New at Richmond this morning

    2012 Chateau Les Marias Bordeaux
    2011 Chateau Billard Bordeaux
    2011 Chateau Lamothe Bordeaux
    The above 3 are from our friends at AWD and are $ 6.99 each.
    2011 JanKris Paso Robles zin, $ 5.99
    2011 Healdsburg Ranch Russian River Valley pinot noir $ 4.99

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      2011 Ch. Grand Billard, $6.99 SF, 3/4 ” whole cork
      No sediment
      Hue- Rhodolite, no orange
      Tone- med.
      A&B- med. intensity, fruity w/ oak in background, not distinctly Bordeaux. Not herbaceous might be due to lower CS content. Berryish and currants and not funky.
      Flavor- Soft entry, med- acid, low wood. Tannin toward the front of the tongue so not mouth coating. Not hot with good balance of grape to wood.
      Not a GO bargain since Wine Searcher avg. price is $8, but better than most of the Bordeaux I have tried from GO.

      Reply
        1. seedboy

          Weinish, nice to see you on the board again. You will not be seeing those reviews from me, I’m avoiding all of those wines. I have bought a few GO Bordeaux wines that I have enjoyed, mostly though they have been off vintages of known houses; the Smith Haut Lafite Blancs I have bought have been delish, but they are more than $20 a bottle (and much more at retail).

          Reply
          1. JoelA

            All the new Bordeaus I have seen so far are either shipper-bottled ones or bottled by a minor chateau in some minor area of Bordeaux. For ten or eleven dollars I can get such wines that have been selected by good wine stores.

            Reply
            1. Expat

              Such a bummer that they never get good Bordeauxs. A couple years ago they had a killer Burgundy for about $20 ($75 retail) but never anything close since.

            2. Darrell

              GO seems to purchase AOC Bordeaux or Bordeaux Superieur only and if they bought some Cru Bourgeois and charge the same prices, I might try more. I wasn’t enthralled with those Burgundies of a couple of years ago including the Beaujolais. Didn’t pick up any of them after tasting a couple of them. The Beaujolais didn’t taste like Gamay at all. Big name bottles but little to nothing wines for me at those prices. Preferred to invest the money in the CdP and Rhones that came along with that sale.

            3. JoelA

              The only reasonably good Bordeaux I have seen recently was the 2004 Haut-Medoc from Sichel.. The Burgundies from Pierre Morey that GO had a couple of years ago were pretty good though young at the time; I have one on tape to open soon to see whether I was right about it. The ones a bit more than a year ago were from Jacques Boisset, from whom one can’t expect much, even from very good vineyards. Some of them were OK.

      1. Expat

        Despite my poor GO Bordeaux experiences from the past I bought a bottle of this 2011 Chateau Grand Billard. I’ll report back. Darrell, your review at least makes me feel it’s not a complete dud.

        Reply
  12. jwc

    Popped into Tanasbourne, and at the recomendation of the wine guy, Shawn picked up a bottle of Berryessa Gap 2011 Tempranillo for $3.99. Appears to be a $20 retail bottle, Shawn’s palate is pretty good so I’m looking forward to trying this wine.

    Reply
      1. jwc

        Yes it is, I tried it tonight, enjoyed it. I noted leather and red fruit aromas, red berry and rose petals along with tobacco and light herbs. Medium bodied, with juicy acidity. For $4 a nice buy, would be good with burgers, pizza, casual cuisine. Good QPR, I’ll be going back for a couple more. This is one I would have passed by, if Shawn hadn’t recommended it.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld

          I think there’s some major bottle variation with this. We tasted it tonight. Our bottle was very thin tasting, bitter/tart cherry. No noticeable Tempranillo style, nothing that you listed and since I know that I very much like wine you normally recommend, I’m going with either bottle variation or bad handling.

          Reply
          1. jwc

            PW, could be, I have 2 more bottles too so we’ll see what happens on those. I’d describe my first bottle as a fun, casual bistro wine. I do recall the GO wine guy, saying drink it the first night, it falls apart on Day 2 (never a good sign) so that’s what we did. Certainly not a wine to cellar, 83 Pts would be how I would score it. Who knows, maybe I’ll be returning them should they be like yours PW.

            Reply
  13. Darrell

    Found in Reno:
    2011 Terrane PN, Wiley Vd. Anderson Valley, $7 Produced and bottled by
    2012 Harrington PN, Wiley Vd. Anderson Valley, $8 Produced and bottled by
    2008 Road Less Traveled CS
    Backlog of past GO Bordeaux going back 2-3 years. New store though. Like a mass burial of our not so favorite Bordeaux Give case discounts.
    Free bagging

    Found in Rocklin:
    Free bagging, no cases discount from which I was given BS from the manager that the wines are already discounted to which I told him that other GO stores do discount. Others stores that do are; Richmond, Petaluma, Berkeley and Pleasant Hill. SF doesn’t discount to my knowledge. If I like a wine, this is no small matter to me.
    Chehalem Riesling $5.99, vintage?
    2010 Graham Beck Ad Honorem Chardonnay, $3.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I find that the case discount situation is wildly inconsistent. I’m almost an employee of the Berkeley store and I almost never get a case discount there. Oakland, a couple of the checkers hook me up but it is rare.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        SB, it seems most of the checkers in Berkeley know about the cases discount. The number of cases varies between 2 or 3 among the stores. It seems Robaire can fix you up with the discount in Oakland since he knows you’re a fixture in Berkeley.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          Maybe you are more aggressive about asking for the case discount. I’ve known most of those checkers in Berkeley for more than ten years and they don’t volunteer it and I don’t ask. Robaire does not offer me one, either. One of the Oakland wine guys routinely does.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Example:
            $10/btl. x 12= $120
            $9/btl. x 12= $108
            $120 – $108= $12 which if spent on a $9 discounted bottle will get you 1 1/3 bottle extra
            So if you spend the 3 case undiscounted amount on discounted bottles, you would end up with 4 extra bottles. That’s my perspective. Many of my extra bottles end up as gifts.

            Reply
      2. lim13

        No case discounts anywhere in WA state GO’s that I’m aware of. The way I see it, that should be a corporate decision that applies to all stores.

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          My experience is the same. The Lake City GO has a policy of giving the 60 and overs a ten percent discount on the mornings of the third Wednesday of the month. Lots of seniors prowling the aisles then. And wine is included. There was also some kind of Seahawks discount there during the football season, effective only during game time, if you were wearing Seahawks gear and you knew how many games they had won to date (!!) I never bothered to find out exactly what the discount was…

          I wish there was a bit more consistency in those kind of policies and in the pricing. I can understand why pricing varies state to state, what with liquor taxes being different, but I can’t understand why item pricing varies store to store. I get irrationally annoyed when I buy something at one GO for 5 bucks, only to find it for 3 bucks at another one. Even when I know that the 5 dollar price is a reasonable one, I find myself feeling ripped off when I later see that cheaper price. Not a good way to engender customer good will.

          Reply
  14. DavidLikesWine

    Some new / new to the store items at the Palo Alto store this morning:

    Ch. Grand Marchand Bordeaux 2011 for $9.99/bottle (more expensive than any other GO store…)
    2011 Sagelands Vineyards Columbia Valley Chardonnay 5.99/13.99
    2012 Kimmel “Four Blocks” Mendocino County Chardonnay 4.99/14.99
    2011 Sagelands Vineyards Columbia Valley “Riverbed Red” 4.99/11.99
    2012 Sterling Albert Napa Valley Merlot 3.99/14.99 (hopefully no off-putting notes like the syrah)
    2003 Nonno Guiseppe Cabernet 5.99
    Eastmoor Hills Estate Columbia Valley Cabernet 5.99/13.99

    Reply
    1. DavidLikesWine

      Doing a little research and FWIW the Kimmel Chardonnay was a gold medal winner at the 2014 SF Chronicle competition and got 92 points from Tasting Panel. Unoaked, aged on the lees until just prior to bottling. Methinks I shall be returning for a few bottles this afternoon.

      Reply
        1. Darrell

          I hope sparkling wine isn’t in your meh Chardonnay category. There are many ways to enjoy Chardonnay due to winemaking’s manipulation of the variety, more than any other variety I can think of. I’ll be commenting on either GC or WN on a Chard. I just picked up.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Most “regulars” on this blog know that I’m a card-carrying member of the ABC club. If I’m going to drink it, unoaked is my preferred style. As for sparklers, Darrell…my wife and I drink more of them than any of our wine consuming friends. But few of the ones I buy contain Chardonnay, as I prefer Cava, Prosecco or Blanc de Noirs. Lately we’ve been consuming a fair amount of Traveri sparklers made from all kinds of grapes including Pinot Gris and Gewurz. Traveri is a fairly new eastern WA sparkling only producer who is quickly making a name for their relatively inexpensive, high quality wines. They’re located in the old Sagelands Winery (and before that, Staton Hills Winery) in west Yakima County.

            Reply
      1. seedboy

        Well, so I did buy a bottle and I am glad I did. This is an austere, minerally wine with good balance. It is a bit shy on fruit. I saved a bit of it and will check it out tonight.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          The second day glass was lovely, a bit more apple and pear fruit than the first day, still nice minerality and balance. I also tried the Banshee, which did not fare well in comparison; I found it blowsy with fruit. I’ll try it again today and report back.

          Reply
  15. JoelA

    Nothing much new at Berkeley.

    At Oakland:
    2011 Chateau Grand Marchand Bordeaux, $ 7.99. As opposed to the other Bordeaux currently at GO, this one’s estate bottled so might be of better quality.
    2010 Homewood merlot port $ 7.99
    2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection cabernet, magnum, $ 9.99
    2010 Heliotrope pinot noir $ 4.99
    2003 Nonno Giuseppe Redwood Valley cabernet $ 5.99
    2007 Ravenswood Sonoma County cabernet $ 6.99

    And they say that the shipment of better wines mentioned by SB will be coming in early next week.

    Reply
            1. GOWineLover

              Yeah, I’m not sure how it works if the central warehouse or corporate designates certain allotments to certain stores. I am also don’t know AVAs involved but really hope there is some more high quality/unique juice around the corner.

    1. Darrell

      The 2011 Chateau Grand Marchand Bordeaux, $ 7.99 also has a sticker that says the wine won a gold medal in a Paris tasting.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Remember…it’s Bordeaux at GO. Careful, Darrell! GO may have had those stickers printed. I’ll wait to hear from the brave of heart. Our local GO just brought in three new Bordeaux too: Chateau Bayot La Cour, Chateau Lamothe and Chateau Rousset-Caillau. Got this info in an email, so haven’t been to the store to check vintages.

        Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              I was intrigued by the nice name (Heliotrope), but the color through the bottle struck me as indicating a heavier, fruitier wine than I like in a Pinot. Would be glad to be wrong, but I have enough other interesting GO wines right now. Has anyone tried it?

          1. Expat

            pretty sure I had this about 6 months ago (possibly suckered by the gold sticker – subliminal connection to grade school I guess) and was underwhelmed. Such a bummer that most GO Bordeaux’s pretty much blow. They get some nice Frenchies from less prestigious appellations but bottom of the barrel from Bordeaux.

            Reply
        1. Darrell

          Lim, I hear you especially about the part about “the brave of heart”, but if I may suggest a 2011 Ch. Grand Billard which has a Los Angeles International Wine Competition gold. If you find it up north, give it a try. I must say that the LAIWC hands out gold quite liberally though.

          Reply
  16. lim13

    While this has nothing to do with GO wines (at this point), thought some of our readers might be interested in this info. The read is very brief, but quite informative. Hard to keep up with appellations anymore.

    Reply
      1. lim13

        Sorry, but I’m a bit confused by your comment, BW. Did the link I provided not take you to a brief article about a new appellation (The Rocks District) awaiting approval in WA state? And if so, what recommendations are you talking about?

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          At the bottom of the article, there are links to three articles this author wrote about the Rocks District, one in the Wine Enthusiast. It recommends some wines to try from the area, priced $40 – $80 or so.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Appreciate the clarification. I stopped at the end of the main article…and glad that I did. No $40-$80 wines for me on a fixed income either. Those days are long gone.

            Reply
    1. rgardner2

      I was in WW in October and drove to this area to see what the hype was about. They aren’t kidding about the stones, no way you could plant wheat. As for prices, I picked up some Watermill Syrah for $15 a couple of months ago (Seattle – Full Pull) – so it’s not all $40+ (yet). I’d put it on par with the Canoe Ridge Reserve Merlot GO had a few years back for $15. Cayuse @ $80 is turning into a cult wine (or already is), and here is another good article on the Rocks area and Cayuse http://www.greatnorthwestwine.com/2015/02/09/cayuse-vineyards/

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Thanks for the link, RG2…good reading. Cayuse has never been within my means…and I’ve recently seen the new releases going for well over $100. I see Baron as a bit of an eccentric and I’m always wary of wineries that get so much hype. When I first read the article about The Rocks district, the vineyards in the Rhone area immediately came to mind. $15 for a Watermill wine is surprising to me. Was it marked down? Older vintage etc.? I see only one red wine on their website for under $20 and that’s a 2012 blend called Chances R.

        Reply
        1. rgardner2

          I got it from one of the new Seattle wine merchants that I found out about from CellarTracker discussions that have great deals on WA wines (and some other stuff, but for me, it is access to some local (WA) wines without going to a $$$ wine shop and i don’t live in Seattle/Woodenville either). List price was $24, and paid $15 for the 2009 Syrah (“Rocks”). I’m surprised you aren’t on their mailing list (Full Pull, there are 3 other lists in Seattle, and Full Pull is the best)). I don’t buy their $80 wines either.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Never heard of them, but I did go in and check out their site. However…last thing I need is more wine, so I won’t be subscribing. Appreciate the info though, RG.

            Reply
  17. flitcraft

    Seen at the Lake City Seattle GO:

    D’Aquino Valpolicella DOCG 2011 for 5.99
    Silver Lake Reserve Merlot 2007, for 7.99
    Several new 7-9 dollar Bordeaux (that I meant to remember the names of, but lacking a writing implement, didn’t)
    Greg Norman 2010 Cab-Merlot, for 7.99

    They still have:
    A fair amount of the Imbasa Grenache/Syrah and the Havoc and Mayhem rhone blend, at 6 and 7 dollars, respectively
    The Victor Old Vines Zinfandel at 7 dollars (which was a bit more refined than a lot of Lodi zins, but a bit too hot for my liking)
    These have disappeared from other area GOs…

    I walked out with no wine this time. Was tempted by the D’Aquino–since we’d had a good 2011 valpolicella ripassa not long ago–but this wasn’t a ripasso and the bottle just didn’t say ‘try me.’ The Silver Lake also detained me briefly, but I’ve got enough red wine around that the price point was unappealing.

    Reply
      1. lim13

        With that intro, BW…I suspect at least one someone will try it now! : ~) Almost makes me want to run back down to the Silverdale GO from where I just came home empty handed. There have been few new wines there in weeks, but my wine guy tells me new stuff is scheduled to arrive starting next week…for the Spring sale in a couple of months.

        Reply
    1. lim13

      I too saw all those wines at Lake City on Thursday, flitcraft. And like you, I bought none of them either…just the one bottle of ’09 Brandsen Reserve CS that I mentioned earlier. I’ve never been a big fan of Silver Lake wines, but on Friday, RB in Olympia mentioned that reserve Merlot along with reviews here.

      Reply
  18. Darrell

    Has anybody seen a 2011 Ch. Grand Billard AOC Bordeaux that I found at the Geary SF store at $7 a bottle? I wonder if it came in with the 2012 Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Superieur and 2013 Chateau Haut Reygnac AOC Bordeaux, both $7.99.

    Reply
  19. dluber

    Richmond, CA Feb 5th –
    Castillo de Jumilla 2012 Monastrell and Caminetto 2013 Primitivo – both $4 IIRC.
    Haven’t tried the latter; the Jumilla was full and ripe, big nose of blueberry and boysenberry, fat, fruity palate with zingy acidity and smooth tannins. Went down quite agreeable, although a little too hot and alcoholic and not terribly complex; improved with air, might improve with age.

    Reply
    1. Expat

      Anybody try the Grandfather Clock merlot? A fellow customer strongly recommended it but I didn’t know his palate. I had reservations because many people like juicier wine than I do and my concerns turned out to be true. It had a lot of oak, which taste good at first sip but gets sickening to me quickly – like I’m drinking a cream soda. I can see why a lot of people would like this wine and it actually was fine with a calzone a few nights later because I didn’t want acidity or tannins but it felt like a higher end Bronco production.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        Just a tasting. I didn’t buy it and didn’t end up drinking a glass. Totally agree with your take on it although I didn’t have the opportunity to taste it a day later. But I think the “reminds me of a higher end Bronco” is a perfect summation. I can’t remember the price but I think that the average wine buyer who pays $12 or under for their merlot, would find it equitable in quality.

        Reply
  20. RB

    At the Olympia store: 2007 Silver Lake Reserve Merlot, Rattlesnake Hills, Roza Hills Vineyard, $7.99. Paul Gregutt’s 2011 review is here:

    http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/silver-lake-2007-roza-hills-vineyard-reserve-merlot-columbia-valley-rattlesnake-hills

    I liked it quite a bit and (4 years later) didn’t find any of the ‘thin and hard’ characteristics he notes. As of a couple of days ago there were about 1.5 cases left.

    Also seen was a 2010 Hall SB, Napa Valley, I think either $5 or $6.

    Reply
  21. DavidLikesWine

    New at the Palo Alto store this morning:
    2013 Caminetto Rosato Salento Vendemmia IGT $9.99 / $14.99
    2013 Terra Antiga Vinho Verde $4.99 / $9.99 (Wine Enthusiast “Best Buy” hang tag)
    2012 Roblar California Cabernet Sauvignon $5.99 / $16.99
    2010 Gergenti Nero d’Avola / Sangiovese Sicilia IGT $9.99 / $14.99
    2012 Anterra Merlot (Italy) $4.99 / $9.99
    2009 Calle Brandsen Estate Cabernet Mendoza, Argentina $5.99 / $9.99
    2010 Rio Seco Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza, Argentina $4.99 / $9.99

    Reply
  22. seedboy

    I am told that in the middle of the month some Russian River Valley pinot and syrah will appear, small quantities of various older vintages. Ask your local GO wine department what they know about this.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I saw the order guide today and it includes three 2006 pinot noirs from the Russian Hill winery, estate, Tara and Leras vineyards. Apparently there are only small quantities of these wines and they will be sent where corporate wants them to go.

      Reply
  23. permiesworld

    Well apparently I cannot hold when something interesting comes up.
    Stopped and saw the “Twin Forks 2011 Creekside Red Table Wine” $4.99

    Twin Forks is a secondary label for Laurel Ridge Winery (Yamhill/Carlton AVA if any of you are familiar with the Willamette Valley regions. Nothing was posted online so I called and spoke with the owner and she gave me a great deal of info. Going to try this tonight and write up a review. It’s a 50/50 blend of Merlot/Syrah.

    Reply
  24. DavidLikesWine

    2012 Windsor Oaks Russian River Reserve Zinfandel “Mountain Estate” at the Santa Clara store for $8.99. Spendy for a GO Zin, but talked myself into it by label which states the individual blocks the wine is from (Mountain Blocks 35 and 42). They apparently grow grapes for a lot of other wineries and keep some of the best grapes to make their Reserve wines. Only 375 cases. Very interested to try.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      The store in downtown San Diego had that same wine for $3.99. That is the only place I’d seen it. It is pretty austere for a zin but I like it. I think it will age nicely.

      Reply
  25. seedboy

    The Ber keley store today has a new Italian red wine, Sigismondo SuperAriminensis Sangiovese Superiore, 2012, for $9.99. This is not Tuscan. The limited information I’ve found on it suggests this is not a big discount off retail.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      You get extra points for informing us of a wine with a name that long, SB! Nice alliteration. Let’s here everyone say that fast, four times over!

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      This is from Romagna, on the eastern side of Italy. (Tuscany is on the western side) Judging by the label, the wine producers seem to think highly of the wine. However, so far, I haven’t liked the Sangioveses I’ve had from Emilia-Romagna, but I haven’t had one that seemed to take itself that seriously. As I still have a bit of a backlog, I didn’t get one on this visit.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Here’s a map that I keep on my desktop. It’s very simple, but may come in handy for some of our readers. And I believe Romagna is indeed in the very southeast corner of Emilia-Romagna.

        Reply
  26. flitcraft

    At Lake City Seattle: Alderbrook 2011 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 9.99

    Quick and dirty online search indicates it retails for about 30 dollars and has some positive reviews. Somebody else will have to try it out, though, since I’m on a no-buy since my husband figured out how much wine we have in the cellar…

    Reply
      1. flitcraft

        Probably both. We’ve been putting together a wineroom in the cellar for well over a year now–other things got in the way–and I recall telling my husband to plan for 480 bottles. But now that the bottle storage is complete, we still have wine that won’t fit. A lot, I’m afraid. So until we got the backlog down, I’m likely going to limit myself to reporting on older GO stuff and how it’s doing.

        Reply
    1. lim13

      That’s been at the Silverdale store for a couple of weeks now and not moving very quickly. I won’t be buying any either.

      Reply
    2. permiesworld

      Your comment made me laugh. I just recently endured a lengthy “wine organizational inventory, so that we know what/how much/where everything is…” and am now on a buying hiatus as well. It’s my own fault though, when Cameron Hughes released their 2011 and 2012 cab options over this last 18 months, they did several of the peak/leap districts and I stocked up.

      Reply
  27. DavidLikesWine

    New at Palo Alto store this morning:

    2012 Shadow Chaser “White” on the back labeled as McLaren Vale Chardonnay $3.99/$14.99
    2012 Sierra del Mar Vineyard Central Coast Red $4.99/$11/99

    Reply
  28. jwc

    In addition to the 2011 Rico Seco PN magnum I picked up and am enjoying, I also picked up the Pannunzio 2008 Cab Sav for $3.99, and a 2005 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico for $4.99. I believe PW picked up the same Cab for a couple bucks more, I did buy a bunch of the 2010 Pannunzio chardonnay a few months back, and really like it. Hoping for more of the same with the Cab. A lot of bordeaux arrived which I’m staying clear of for now, the one I thought looked interesting was from the great ’09 vintage, but a score of 75 Pts scared me off. Oh well, such is life at GO.

    Reply
  29. permiesworld

    I picked up these two today. The SB may be too old but I thought I’d risk it.

    MSH Cellars SB Yountville Napa valley 2009 $8.99
    Pannunzio Cabernet Sauvignon Argentina 2008 $5.99

    Reply
        1. permiesworld

          LOL!! That’s quite an appellation!
          I did have a reason for picking this specific one up. It is a secondary label for Source Napa (Gamble family). I like their Cabs but haven’t tried any of the whites. I figured, $9 is a great deal less than normal for their quality (although this SRP for this secondary label is listed only at $16, top end) and I wanted to see how it translated to their secondary labels.

          Reply
        2. Seedboy

          I”d happily try that SB. I personally don’t consider that to be old. However, that is twice what I’d want to pay for it.

          Reply
  30. JoelA

    Was in San Francisco today so thought I’d check out the GO store there. Found some items I hadn’t seen elsewhere but none that seemed especially interesting so I didn’t buy any. But maybe someone can provide favorable comments.

    2010 Salmond Marlborough (NZ) pinot noir $ 4.99
    2011 RoseNBlum pinot grigio $ 2.99
    2011 Salmond Marlborough (NZ) pinot gris $ 4.99
    2011 Ca’Romesco Friuli sauvignon blanc 8.99
    2009 Antano Rioja Crianza $ 4.99
    2011 Homer Marlborough (NZ) pinot noir $ 4.99 (this and the Salmond wines are from the same winery)
    2013 Risorgimento Barbera d”Asti $ 9.99
    2013 Caminetto Primitivo Salento $ 7.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I bought a bottle of that Barbera (Berkeley has it for a couple of dollars less). It tastes sweet and simple to me, I like Barbera but took this one back. The Friuli wine interests me but that is a pretty high price for a behind-vintage white wine.

      Reply
  31. flitcraft

    Seen at Kenmore in Seattle:
    Lots of the Calle Brandsen 2009 Cab reserve and estate and rather less of the the 2010 malbec reserve, all at 7 dollars
    Oveja Negra merlot 2008 from Chile, at 5 dollars.
    Plenty of the Lunatic Red and the Luna 2011 Cab, at the already reported WA prices
    A strange ‘wine,’ Stella Rosa low alcohol (5.5%) red, described as ‘partly fermented grape must’ and judged a 6 on a 10 point sweetness scale. Back label is in English, Spanish, and Chinese (no Italian) but the wine hails from Italy. Someone else will have to risk a 5 spot to try it…
    Alta Amo (or was it Alto Ama?) Spanish rioja and white blends, both 4 dollars
    Two that I ordinarily wouldn’t touch–both by Bourgeois Pig wines, apparently a negotiant that brings in bulk French wines. One, called Revolutionary Red Blend 2011, is a 60/40 blend of syrah and Grenache from the Pays d’Oc. For 2.99, I decided to be game. The one I didn’t buy was a pinot noir, also 2011, from “France.” For 4.99, I wasn’t inclined to experiment.

    At Lake City in Seattle:

    Mostly the usual suspects, except they have a case of Chateau Ste. Michelle Reserve Merlot, from 2000. The bottles are in absolutely pristine shape, so I have to assume they came from storage at CSM. But then, why not sell them there as library wines? 14.99 is near the top of the price point for a GO wine, and I have to think even more so at Lake City, which is not in one of the swankier parts of Seattle. Since there was no sign of the Gainey Chardonnay or the Eagle Eye Whatever-it-was, I figured I’d pony up and see what the story is.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I have a number of single vineyard (mostly Indian Wells) Merlots from Ch. Ste. Michelle from 1992 onward and one bottle of the 1999 Reserve Merlot that was one of the best they ever made to that point in time. They’ve all held up surprisingly well except for a corked bottle here and there. I’d love to hear how the 2000 is tasting, though $15 seems a bit pricey. Haven’t seen it over here anywhere yet.

      Silverdale has those Bourgeois Pig wines. Couldn’t get past the name, so I passed. Wish the Calle Brandsen 2009 Cab reserve would find its way west, but all we have is the estate. Thanks for the report, flitcraft.

      Reply
  32. lim13

    Picked up the following today at Silverdale:
    2010 Rio Seco Cab Sauv, Argentina $5.99
    2012 Rampage CA Zinfandel $5.99
    2012 Roca Malbec-Merlot, Argentina $4.99
    2009 Calle Brandsen Cab Sauv, Argentina $6.99 (Not the Reserva!)
    2011 Rio Seco Pinot Noir (which I now see that BW has in his review queue…however I bought the 1.5 L bottle for a dollar more than the 750 ml.) $5.99 (750 was $4.99)
    I’m suspicious of why so many Argentinian wines arriving all at the same time! Argentina going out of business? : ~)

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      The Oakland store also had those magnums of Rio Seco, Cab and Pinot. Even though they were only a dollar more, I couldn’t work up the nerve to get that much of something I was a little worried about. Anyway, I thought I’d be over this awful cold sooner, but I should be able to start opening bottles again soon.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I had similar thoughts, BW. But now I can wait until you review the Pinot in the 750 ml. If it turns out to be plonk, I’ll return it! If it turns out to be surprisingly tasty, it’ll get opened at the next party we attend…perhaps when the Seahawks win the Superbowl next Sunday!

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Lim, does that Perhaps apply to the next party or the Seahawk win. Good luck on being as lucky in the Conference game because I don’t think there will be slip ups on the part of NE like GB’s. That last punt with 2+ min. left to the game should never have been touched by GB.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Either/or, Darrell. As to the Superbowl…it depends on which team the Seahawks send to the Superbowl. They’ve traditionally been slow starters this year. But they’re my team, so I have faith. I think! : ~) Luck obviously wins games.

            Reply
          2. EHL

            Despite Seattle’s game-long mishaps until their miraculous comeback in the last three minutes of the NFC championship, the Vegas professional linemakers and bookies — the true experts — set the Superbowl spread, initially, at almost a field goal favoring the Hawks over New England…..and this in light of the Patriot’s thoroughly dominating victory over Indy.

            Just like last year’s Superbowl, Vegas set the initial line favoring Seattle over the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning by almost 6 points.

            Yet, in both instances, the betting public has overwhelmingly put their money up against Seattle, dramatically shifting the line and making the Seahawks an underdog by the same margin set by Vegas.

            Remember how the Broncos were decimated in ugly fashion by the Hawks; don’t be surprised to see history repeated with Brady and the Pats.

            Sorry to digress, but I just had to put in my two cents worth while drinking my glass of wine….Go Hawks!

            Reply
      2. jwc

        That’s why we have smart phones! I did a search on the Rico Seco ’11 Pinot noir and it rcvd a Best Buy from one of the sites. Good enough to take a chance on, decent econo PN :)

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Took my Rio Seco PN 1.5 liter to a Superbowl party on 2/1/15. We all thought it was varietal and pleasant enough, but on the light, thin side. Worked great for quaffing at a party, but no more for me. Our host opened a House Wine 3 liter box Cab Sauv from Charles Smith (Walla Walla) and it was pretty delish. But I’m sure it cost more than the Rio Seco and wasn’t purchased at GO. We had few real wine drinkers at the party, so no “good stuff” from the cellar.

          Reply
          1. darrell

            Was having dinner at a pop up restaurant of some renown and couldn’t see Pete Carroll’s losing face. It’s an old Pac 10 thing.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              He and Darrell Bevell, the offensive coordinator blew that game…not the team. And it’s a real shame because Jermaine Kearse’s unbelieveable catch to get the Hawks in position for the touchdown will get buried in all the negativity from the incredibly crappy play called. A bunch of really sad folks up this way. Call it sour grapes in you will, but the Pats didn’t win…they were given the game on a silver platter.

            2. lim13

              Yeah, PW…it was Pete…which is what I said above. But he first conferred with coach Darrell Bevell who runs the offense.

            3. EHL

              Hey Lim, I’m obviously a Seahawks fan, too…..and although I agree that that was the stupidest goal-line play call in Superbowl history, the game was really lost when Wilson and the offense gave the Hawks a 10 point lead and the best defense in the NFL couldn’t stop Brady and the Pats from scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

              All in all, there were many reasons why Seattle “gave” that game to New England…and my hats off to Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and the Pats for dominating the first and second halves of the Superbowl….as, unfortunately, they were the better team and deserved to win.

              ….nonetheless, the ending of the game turned my wine very bitter and sour…..

            4. lim13

              My last Superbowl comment. Three of the four key LOB players are headed in for surgery in the off season. Our defensive backfield was decimated, EHL. I still blame that final bone-headed call.

            5. Darrell

              I don’t think Jermaine Kearse is going to Disneyland. I heard that had the Hawks won, he might have had a great endorsement year from that catch. I did finally get to see Pete’s reaction to the interception.

        1. flitcraft

          Indeed. My colleagues in Buenos Aires tell me that the collapse of the peso is even worse than the official exchange rate suggests. On the black market you can get 12 or 13 pesos to the dollar (the official rate is about 8, still a big devaluation over just a year ago.) I’m sure that whatever meager dollar price GO paid these wineries is still vastly more than they could get for their wine in Argentina. Wish the Argentines luck–they will need it, caught between a government that hasn’t a clue what to do and the World Bank demands for massive austerity and another round of hyperinflation.

          Reply
          1. jwc

            I stopped by the Hillsboro GO, in addition to the South American wines mentioned already, saw the Triada Torrontes @ $4, Oveja Negra SB & a Chardonnay/Torrontes blend for $5. I suspect these are very good to excellent, but didn’t pick any of these up, as I have plenty of whites that I’m not drinking. Red wine is the vino of choice, this time of year, even though temps here have been extremely mild this winter. Quite a number of decent options in OR right now.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              O.K., JWC…I can’t let an opportunity slide. Being a wine for every occasion proponent, I hate to see folks categorize wines into seasons…or to only match with certain “color” foods. I’ll skip the traditional food matching thing because we’ve all talked about how some reds go better with lighter foods and some whites with heavier dishes. But wines with seasons? Let’s kill that “tradition” and get into matching what’s best with what we’re eating…which may mean drinking more whites in winter…my God, even drinking whites without food in winter! Guess I just hate seeing whites being constantly pooh-poohed by my red wine loving friends. Hey…drink what you want, JWC. I’m just trying to “stir the pot”. : ~)

            2. seedboy

              For me, wine choice is all about matching the food I’m eating. I also note that I’m generally drinking as much white wine as red, although is is about 1/3 white now because of the winter foods.

            3. lim13

              Just curious, SB…what do you consider to be “winter foods”? Although they may not be as tasty, and usually cost more, we seem to be able to get many foods, specifically fruits and veggies, year ’round now (thanks to hothouses and the southern hemisphere countries).

            4. flitcraft

              OK, I’ll bite. I, too, think of certain foods and preparations as ‘winter’ foods or ‘summer’ foods. It isn’t that the foods in question aren’t available year round, it’s more than I seem to find myself gravitating to certain kinds of foods during different seasons. Braised meat stews and casseroles seem appealing in the winter, whereas I wouldn’t be inclined to make a composed salad and a baguette for dinner these days, even though I can get salad veggies at the store if I wanted them. Roasted root veggies say cold weather eating to me, whereas grilled zucchini and asparagus say early summer. Maybe my food habits are a deep reflection of cultural practices that pre-date refrigeration, transportation advances, and supermarkets. Or maybe our bodies crave fattier meats and carbs in the winter to give us the wherewithal to rev up body heat to withstand colder temperature. Nature or nurture?

              Anyway, as it happens we drink more red than white all year round, but the disproportion is higher in the winter. Though that Triana Torrontes-Chardonnay blend that I bought a half case of last summer was awfully tasty last week with roasted root vegetables and a pork loin roast…

            5. lim13

              Thanks for “biting, FC…and for the specific examples. I had a pretty good idea that stews and casseroles would come up in the discussion. Maybe we do as much (if not more) white as red here because I cook more lighter stir-fry dishes and with a Norwegian wife, we eat a lot of fish and shellfish. Roasted root vegetables and a pork loin roast (our favorite roast…with garlic and rosemary) with a Torrontes-Chardonnay blend sounds good to me!

            6. seedboy

              Winter foods: except for cherry tomatoes, I really only buy produce that is in season locally. Meaning, for instance, I only buy asparagus in the late winter and first half of Spring. Winter foods to me are braises, stews, roasts, gratins. We eat a lot of beets and other roots, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, fennel, carrots, celery.

            7. Darrell

              Lim, now you done it, ” a wine for every occasion proponent” is something I agree with. SB, I think most of us here will agree with your ” wine choice is all about matching the food I’m eating” and some days the hardest decision of the day is, “What do I drink with my meal.” In general I strive to have a white wine and red wine course with dinner and sometimes lunch. At certain times of the year, sparkling wine is had with breakfast and sometimes a still white if there is no sparkler. This sparkling wine with breakfast is somewhat seasonal due to special foodstuffs that are seasonal. My wine drinking can definitely be seasonal. For instance there are a couple of times a year only white will be had and that is the first of Dungeness crab season. This particular year will differ from others due to a more than usual natural, organic meat in the freezer and hence, more and older red wines will come out of the cellar ( for some reason this has brought out more after dinner distillates, too), but this will be spread out over the year.

              We do drink with the seasonal temperature. Chilled whites during the summer makes sense and during a heat wave I prefer a beer and adjust what I eat to the beer or white wine. It’s as Flit says, we can eat anything we want anytime of the year, yet we tend to drink more red during winter. I think one of the reasons we drink red in the winter is that stews and casseroles heat up the house and the body. My eating is a corollary to this due to getting my own in the fall and the less than prime cuts being utilized first, hence winter, as braises and daubes which happens to heat house and body.

              Drinking what we drink isn’t only seasonal but rather microclimate and geographic. We along the northern Pacific Coast can drink more reds due to the cooler climate and I am especially reminded of this since I live in the Bay Area where if you live in San Francisco, you could have a Port anytime of the year whereas one would be hard put to drink Port where I live or in our interior valleys during the summer. The Northern CA, Oregon and Washington Coast could drink the same way, you lucky guys.

              “Although they may not be as tasty, and usually cost more,” I agree with and therefore don’t buy southern hemisphere fruit and hothouse tomatoes. Use of root vegetables may be due to tradition and regional. I have been watching Scandinavian cooking shows and there is a strong use of root vegetables due to latitude and ease of storage. I have a daughter who went to Philly for a couple years of business school and when she came home she craved greens, pea sprouts in this case. You who have access to Chinese and Asian markets are lucky since there is a wide choice of folic acid rich leafy greens in the winter. We don’t have to rely solely on broccoli, spinach and kale for leafy greens in the Bay Area.

              Finally, one of the reasons we here drink more reds is the fact that GO comes up with bargain priced, produced and bottled by wines aged under ideal conditions, the wineries, that are ready or near ready to drink. Ardente, 19 years, and Blackford, 13 years old do come to mind. Some of you can probably cite further and better examples than I. Funny, it’s not even lunch time and I feel like opening a red for no food reason and drinking. All this typing has me parched.

            8. lim13

              Thanks for your mucho thorough remarks, Darrell. BTW, my wife and I grew the best beets in WA state last year…sugar sweet Bull’s Blood, Goldens and Chioggias (pronounced key-oh-gee-uh).

          2. jwc

            Alrighty then, I’m responding to Lim13’s comment on the seasonal white remark I made last week, no reply tab on Lim’s13 comment… here’s my take. I am drinking whites during winter, to match foods that are appropriate. Frankly, when its 37 degrees, with 20+ mile an hour winds and rain coming down sideways…chances are I will run with a hearty red, as opposed to a crisp, steely white. Matching hearty winter stews, rib packing comfort food with an appropriate wine is the train I’m going to ride. Having that always available NZ SB from GO, simply ain’t working on a wet frigid day. On the flip side enjoying a full bodied Pinot Gris, or chardonnay and matching with appropriate cuisine certainly works , I didn’t mean to be all red only. My comments were more geared to the fact that at GO, there will always be another pretty good SB. They just don’t sell like other white varietals ie chardonnay, riesling & pinot gris/grigio and ultimately wind up at GO as there final resting place. Lastly, as a 49er fan, with the Seahawks being my 2nd favorite team…the final play call did lose the game. Hard to believe they chose to throw the ball on the 1 yard line, with a monster like Lynch in the backfield. That is one that will hurt the Seahawk faithful for a long, long time…a play like that you don’t ever fully recover from.

            Reply
      1. lim13

        Once again, Joel…thanks. In your comment above, I’ve added a link to your review of the Rampage Zin. We’ll see what I come up with in my bottle. I need to hire an intern or research assistant to help me keep all this stuff straight!

        Reply
    2. jwc

      I picked up a magnum of the Pinot Noir, drinking it right now watching the Australian Open. Is there a football game this week? Serviceable if simple PN, medium bodied with raspberry and ever so slight candied cherry. A Best Buy at $5.99 for a magnum, light Thumbs Up in this econo category.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I guess that’s encouraging, JWC. Can’t wait to see what BW has to say about the 750 ml. The Pro Bowl was on this evening, but I’d hardly call that football.

        Reply
        1. jwc

          You know Lim13, after a 2nd glass, I’m giving this PN a Thumbs Up, $5.99 for a magnum is a nice deal. The wine is easy drinking, a South American take on PN, and the light candied cherry flavor disappeared after about an hour or so. Easy, simple and tasty enough.

          Reply
  33. rgardner2

    I visited the Kennewick WA store. Lots of the usual table wines found in all the stores, and bad Bordeaux. And old favorites (Tarkettle, Mosaic). I helped a couple that were just getting into wine an ‘sold them” a 2013 Cascade Creek Riesling Rockridge (I’ve had it, decent off-dry) as a local product. I think this is a Charlie Hoppes wine (custom crush from a top WA winemaker) as an educated guess, not too many wineries in Richland WA). The store still had some Preface CS (375ml). As for new to me:
    – 2013 Imbasa Western Cape GS – Lim13 posted a review (air!), so I bought (haven’t seen this in Tacoma).
    – 2006 Eagle Eye Voluptuous Red Wine (Napa Valley) $9/$32 ($25 at winery website). Modern label with an animal, but not an “animal label” and a heavy punt bottle. “34.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24.9% Merlot, 13.9% Cabernet Franc, 13.9% Syrah, 8.3% Petit Verdot and 4.2% Zinfandel” CT 87 (3 reviews).

    Might do a roll-by of Mt Vernon WA GO this weekend.

    Reply
      1. 5-Star Bar

        The 2006 Eagle Eye Voluptuous is a very nice wine From the Alpha Wolf Vineyard in Napa Valley and has aged quite gracefully. Unabashedly New World in style it now displays some of the more elegant hallmarks of aged Bordeaux varietals after being opened overnight. Great on day 1, it subsequently gains in complexity and nuance. Stays good for days thereafter, making me think that this wine still has plenty of life left in it.

        Don’t let the Cartoonish label art fool you, this is some serious stuff. The Syrah and a dollop of Zinfandel are a departure from traditional Meritage orthodoxy, but they work to add sophistication and finesse to the overall blend. At around $10 a superb value for a Library Selection Napa Blend. An enthusiastic Thumbs Up! from me on this one…

        Reply
        1. permiesworld

          Did you like it on day one? I opened it (it was around here in Nov. of last year) a while back but ended up thinking it was fine but not amazing, right out of the bottle. It was very (like you say) New World…really CA style. Then I got busy and forgot that I had it sitting in the fridge so after a week of air, I didn’t even try it again. Just dumped it. Your comments though make me wish I had.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            PW, if you placed the wine in the fridge right after having it with your meal, it probably was still good and just a little oxidized. When most of us store unfinished whites in the fridge there isn’t much of a noticeable change partly due to the wine being chilled when opened so a slower rate of oxidation than your room temperature red.

            Reply
          2. 5-Star Bar

            I’m both amazed and mystified by the unique ways in which individual wines and different vintages develop in the bottle after being opened and exposed to air. Even after many years of drinking wine as my adult beverage of choice it is still often quite difficult for me to predict exactly how a wine will behave after letting some of “the genie out of the bottle” and allowing the process of interacting with the air to begin again.

            Since its often just myself consuming a bottle it usually takes 2-3 nights for me to finish one. Thus a big factor for me when determining a particular wine’s Quality to Price Ratio (QPR) valuation is whether a wine improves or deteriorates over a 24-48 hr time frame. Each wine/vintage seems to have its own individual dynamic:

            Some wines “fall apart” after the first day open, becoming flat, hot, sharp, sour, too sweet or other characteristics which one deems unpleasant. I’ll call this a Negative Dynamic Since it generally diminishes or reduces the pleasure one gets from drinking it.

            Other wines display the opposite effect. I’ll call it a Positive Dynamic wherein a wine actually improves in the drinker’s opinion from one day to the next. It may become smoother, fuller, richer, more elegant, more complex, better integrated and in the process it increases the amount of pleasure a wine delivers to the person who is drinking it.

            I would suggest that there is also a third dynamic which is perhaps the most mysterious and unpredictable of all. I’ll call it the Variable Dynamic to describe a variable cycle of ups and downs after a wine is opened. This can be best observed when a bottle has been open from several days to weeks. It happens when a particular bottle undergoes an unpredictable series of “ups” and “downs” after being opened and being exposed to air. In this scenario the wine may open up and close down (tasting better, tasting worse) on different nights after opening. This sometimes pleasantly surprises you by how good it may still taste days or weeks later once the volatility of flavors finally subsides and what remains in the bottle is a consistently enjoyable wine

            More to the point I opened a bottle of the 2006 Eagle Eye Voluptuous, then put it back in a wine box and forgot about it for couple of weeks. When I ran across it looking through a wine box I was sure it would be spoiled. I decided to give it one final sip before pouring it down the drain and, much to my astonishment, it remained pleasant and eminently drinkable…

            Reply
            1. permiesworld

              Great description. I can completely identify with all of those situations you listed. Very well put. And I’m sad to know that I should have tasted that wine before dumping. ;)

        2. lim13

          I’ve avoided the Eagle Eye for weeks because of the label…even with the heavy punt bottle. Picked one up after rgardner’s comment. I’ll try to get a review up with photo in the next day or so, but appreciate your take on it too, 5-Star Bar.

          Reply
  34. DavidLikesWine

    2 new Bordeaux’s at the Palo Alto store today: 2012 Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Superieur and 2013 Chateau Haut Reygnac, both $7.99. I picked up the first and will put something in Guest Contributions soon.

    Reply
    1. GOWineLover

      Hated the Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu – had it with dinner out last night. It’s cheap Bordeaux and does nothing for me.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Funny, GOWL…your comment was just what I expected. About a year and a half to two years ago, I swore off buying any more young red Bordeaux from GO. They’ve almost all been less-than-impressive fair to poor wines.

        Reply
        1. GOWineLover

          So we agree on something! :) You have led me to lots of great wines over the years. I haven’t ever liked any Bordeaux from GO (I didn’t get any of the good stuff from the Fall sale)

          Reply
  35. lim13

    At the Bremerton GO this morning, they had at least a case of 2011 Gainey Vineyards Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay for $8.99. I’ve been a Gainey wine club member for many years and have 3 bottles of this wine in my cellar that I received in a club shipment at $22 a bottle. They produce some consistently lovely wines from year to year. I’d be a bit surprised to have seen this at GO if I hadn’t seen it a year or so ago at our local Costco where it quickly sold out. Cellar Tracker notes are here.

    Note of clarification: Regular retail is $22.00. I paid the club price of $17.60. So $8.99 is still a decent discount.

    Reply
      1. lim13

        If it sounds interesting to you, RB…you may want to give it a try because they have no distributor up here in WA. GO and Costco are apparently getting it direct from the winery or some other one-time-only supplier. I have never seen their wines on other WA retailer shelves.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I wonder if Costco is the source of the Gainey wines at GO. I’ve not tasted their wines in years, i recall some lovely sauvignon blancs.

          Reply
          1. rgardner2

            Legally in WA to my understanding, all out of state wines to a retailer (such as Costco) has to go through a distributor (maybe instate wine too). Three Tier under the 21st Amendment & Volstead Act. Even Kirkland (Costco) wine has to go though a distributor (Young’s Market/Columbia Wines in WA) that takes a token percent or two to make things legal.
            I’ll be looking for this one. Thanks.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              After spending many years in the industry here RG, I’m well aware of how things are “supposed” to work here in WA. But I appreciate your comments and also realize that some folks don’t mind “pushing the envelope” a bit. I’ve just never seen a WA state distributor listed for Gainey and find it odd that only one variety (Chardonnay) has shown up in only two stores…both large chains…Costco and GO. I’m investigating further.

            2. lim13

              Did my follow-up work on Gainey’s distribution here in WA. According to Gainey’s National Sales Manager, they are distributed by YMCO (Young’s Columbia ?) and were managed by Wilson Daniels (a company that GO is very familiar with) for the last 12 years. Gainey is currently only in Costco and GO here in WA, as I thought. There has never been any effort to grow their market here, but that may soon change. They’ve been moving out past vintages like the 2011 Chardonnay (the current release is 2013).

    1. mereimage

      I hope we’ll get a bit of this down here in California. In the past however, I’ve noticed those Santa Barbara county wines don’t make it here. I too was a member of Gainey for years when Rick Longoria was their winemaker. He made a stunning Limited Selection SB for Gainey that Parker and Tanzer raved about and I purchased anytime I could get my hands on one. The Gainey’s continue to make a large variety of wines but I’ve not had any in a while so it would be great to see some land in our local GO.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      Five cases of the 2011 Gainey Chardonnay at Silverdale today. And supposedly a palate of “new stuff” in the back.

      Reply
  36. DavidLikesWine

    Snuck by the Palo Alto store on my way to work this morning, and there’s more new / new to the store stuff starting to appear. I talked with Joe, the wine dept. manager, and he said the store has been performing well so they’re moving higher up the ladder in terms of stuff they get. FWIW, he said they’re getting a spread of the Ardente in (they sold out of the 2005 in one day) maybe including the ’99 (fingers crossed).

    2013 Myka Cellars Mitzi Central Coast Pinot Noir 8.99 (srp 27.99), 2012 Myka Cellars Cloe Santa Clara Valley Meritage 8.99 (srp 24.99), Chateau Riotor Cotes de Provence Rose 5.99 (srp 19.99), 2010 Espiritu de Argentina Gran Riserva Malbec 5.99 (spr 13.99), 2010 Greg Norman Limestone Coast Cabernet Merlot 7.99 (srp 13.99)

    Also, there’s about a case of the Cima Collina Pinot that just got re-stocked.

    Reply
    1. 5-Star Bar

      In regards to the Myka Cellars wines I saw the 2013 Pinot Noir in SF but decided against picking up a bottle as I feared it might be a bit too young and didn’t see any opinions about it on the blog.

      I grabbed a bottle of the 2012 Myka Chloe Meritage Santa Clara Valley instead as Expat had commented on it favorably. I quickly regretted my decision not to purchase the Pinot when I tried the Chloe Meritage (33% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot). What a stunner! I found the Chloe to be a truly awesome and uniquely crafted wine. Not only was it lovely on the first night, it got even better and more refined on the second night. A major score. Went back and got 3 bottles of it altogether to save for special occasions. When I went to SF to look for the 2013 Pinot, alas, it was already gone. As the saying goes “you snooze, you lose” I suppose…

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        5-Star Bar, I commented on this wine under guest contributions Dec. 15,2014 and didn’t like it as much as you did. I see you have the 1999, 2002 and 2005 Ardente CS. Have you tried the 2000 Ardente? For a buck more I think it’s better value than the Myka Chloe Meritage plus there is added age.

        Reply
      2. GOWineLover

        The Chloe Meritage was one of my top wines from the last sale. It is still in many stores and some have re-stocked. I still have a few bottles left. The Pinot was not all that well reviewed, and I tasted it and it didn’t hold up to other Pinots on offer at the time (Cima Collima, the better Jeff Hills).

        Reply
        1. GOWineLover

          FWIW, I have seen the Myka Meritage in the Bay Area at Lunardi’s on an end cap for $25. It definitely drinks at that price point.

          Reply
        2. G.L. Pease

          I like the Chloe, as well, and will stock up a bit on it. Nice complexity, good acidity, and delicious paired with richer foods – it’s certainly not a cocktail party wine… The bottle of Myka PN that I tried, on the other hand, was drab and uninteresting, lacking the typicity of Central Coast PN. Not a bad wine, just not particularly inspiring. I’d sooner buy a few more bottles of the Swami.

          Reply
  37. flitcraft

    I’ve seen (but not bought) the African Passion cab and merlot, both 2012, and a 2011 Arnold Palmer California Cabernet Sauvignon. What is the deal with all these golfer wines– Ben Hogan, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, and now Arnold Palmer?? Not to mention the Ditka merlot around… Somehow I have a hard time thinking that an athlete’s endorsement ought to sell much wine. But clearly the market thinks otherwise. I may take a chance on the Palmer cab if we don’t get anything more interesting in; right now it seems like California and Oregon are getting all the interesting stuff.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Hey Flitcraft,

      I have tried the Palmer Cab a while back and definitely enjoyed it…..decent wine for the price, although it is a dollar cheaper in the SF Bay area.

      Reply

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