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

3,915 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. davidlikeswine

    A trio of new wines from Nottingham Cellars (Livermore, CA) in at Palo Alto, all at $6.99. From their 1846 line, a 2015 Arroyo Seco chardonnay, a 2014 Livermore Valley red bordeaux blend, and a 2014 Livermore Valley Petite Sirah. Small production, 168 cases of chard and 224 cases of PS. These look like current releases, and pretty detailed info can be found on the website: http://nottinghamcellars.com/1846/

    I wound up bringing them all home and will report back soon!

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      the red blend is pleasant enough but nothing exciting. The Petite Sirah is made in an easy drinking style, it is not the big bold wine some might expect from this grape.

      Reply
  2. Doug Green

    My Escondido GO had a few interesting wines that I haven’t seen in any of my other area stores: A couple of Cavatappi Maddalena Nebbiolos from Washington State (2010 and 2012 vintages) and a couple of Morande Gran Reserva wines: Their 2009 Syrah, and their 2010 Cabernet. All of these wines were packaged in very high end looking larger than usual bottles (thicker glass, not more capacity). I picked up a bottle of the 2010 Cavatappi Nebbiolo and the Morande 2009 Gran Reserva Syrah. Unfortunately, because I’m going to be out of town next week, I won’t have a chance to try either of these prior to the 20% sale, but I thought I’d give people a heads up, as they look interesting. I saw some tasting notes on earlier vintages of the Cavatappi Nebbiolo and they were mixed, but my sense from reading them was that most of the folks who were dissing them just don’t like typical old style Nebbiolos and are used to rounder, more fruit-forward wines with lower acidities than these typically have. From what I read about the Morande, it just seems to be a well-regarded Chilean Syrah.

    Reply
      1. Doug Green

        I passed on the Morande 2010 Gran Reserva Cabernet, because I’ve heard that 2010 was a poor vintage in Chile (unusually cold and wet, topped off with one of the strongest earthquake in history) and it seems to get lesser scores across the board. But the 2009 Gran Reserva Syrah gets good write-ups.

        Reply
    1. seedboy

      That 2010 Nebbiolo was one of the worst wines I’ve gotten at the GO in years. I don’t know how a wine that is only 11% alcohol could also be so lacking in acid, but it was, and it really did not even taste like wine.

      Reply
  3. Darrell

    I never buy rosé, but I thought I’d try a 2014 Cloudveil Vineyards PN rosé because it was made from PN and I was hoping it would have a strawberry PN character that I find in some pink Champagne. Cloudveil is in Dundee and a Precept Wine group label. It wasn’t for me since it was a tad too sweet for me and had no PN character. It would make a nice sipper but I don’t sip too often. My thought is this wine might be a result of a saignee bleed to better the color and structure of their PN, but the color or tone is fairly deep so it might not be typical saignee. Bought at the SF GO for $4.99 a bottle. Think from now on, the recommendations of the blog on rosés will be tried instead of being adventuresome.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I actually liked this pinot rose. First, I like rose and drink it regularly. Second, I found a good amount of pinot character but it requires that the wine be cellar temp, not cold, and get some air.

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

        One of my GOs in San Diego has a Bila Haut rose from Languedoc-Roussillon, that was selling for $5. I’ve heard good things about their reds (Parker loves them), and if I was into roses at all, I’d have bought it. I believe it’s made of Grenache and Cinsault. Other folks looking for roses might want to keep an eye out for this one.

        Reply
        1. GOwinelover

          Thanks for the heads up, Doug. I’ll keep my eyes put and if I can find it, I’ll try to write a review.

          Reply
      2. Darrell

        I was expecting too much. I have tasted chilled rosé Champagne with both the nose and flavor of strawberry type PN and this wine didn’t have anything for me. There’s a Purple Cowboy rosé of PN from the Central Coast and saw it at the Petaluma GO for $2.99 and I didn’t bite. Also in Petaluma there was a Santa Alicia 2011 CS for $6.99 which I hadn’t seen before.

        Reply
  4. Zoel

    Picked up several new bottles from G2 (Greg Gauthier) (one in SRosa, one in Santa Clara – don’t ask!). First was a ’15 Chard from his Rockin’ H vineyard – decent Chard, not too oaky or too lean, but no outstanding qualities or great fruit, either. Chablis-like to some extent, at $7 there are better buys. The Gauthier Select Vineyards Zinfandel Los Chamizal was $14 (vs. list of $44), haven’t opened yet…this is round 2 of Greg’s wines…he must be either hurting or shutting down.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Zoel. A number of these Gauthier wines have shown up at the Richmond store. Here’s as best as I recall: 2013 Napa Yountville Sauvignon Blanc $6, 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Rockin H Ranch $7, 2013 Zinfandel Los Chamizal Vineyard $8, 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rockin H Ranch $10 (people I trust thought highly of this), 2013 Napa Carneros Pinot Noir $15.

      Reply
      1. Zoel

        Very interesting on the pricing…haven’t seen that delta in pricing before ($14 for the zin here vs. $8 in Richmond). IF it is good, that’s worth the gas money! Note the PN and Chard were certainly made in the Bouchaine style (his old employer) and they do a pretty solid job, so no surprise the PN are solid. I’ll be lookin’…

        Reply
      2. seedboy

        The Los Chamizal zin is a quality wine, nicely balanced, not too boozy. Sounds like I might like the Chard too.

        Reply
        1. Zoel

          I was able to try the GG Pinot as well…from an open bottle (48 hrs air) and agreed with Steve (Petaluma GO) that this was a “close but no cigar” kinda wine. Not bad, but just wanting it to be a bit better/more structured/deeper. These wines are packaged well, presented well, and have fine pedigreed, but each one kinda misses the mark…perhaps high expectations not met. Tasted the Boheme PN afterwards, no contest, not even the same league.

          Reply
  5. davidlikeswine

    Had the chance to swing by Palo Alto today and there are two new Pinots that seem pretty compelling:

    2012 Bohème “English Hill Vineyard” Pinot – $14.99 / $48.00
    2012 Bohème “Stuller Vineyard” Pinot – $14.99 / $53.00

    Both wines are Sonoma Coast AVA and the website (http://www.bohemewines.com) is pretty robust in info on clone selection and details about each specific vineyard. The owner/winemaker is Chuck Wagner’s nephew so there’s not only family history but money behind the project. Current releases of these wines are the 2013’s. Picked up the Stuller Vineyard bottling to get back into the swing of things! There seemed to be reasonable quantity of both of these, and I’m keeping them in mind for the upcoming wine sale.

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

      FYI, I saw these the other day in one of my San Diego stores. Both Prince of Pinot and the Wine Enthusiast give these two wines scores in the 90s, and they do validate the $48-$53 list price points, so there is some favorable info about them out there. Still, I have a hard time ponying up $20 for GO pinots, but if I was to do so, these might be worth the shot WE gives the Stuller a 90 and the English Hill a 93, while Prince of Pinot gives the Stuller a 92 and the English Hill a 91. There’s a third bottling: Taylor Ridge, that gets similar scores, but which I did not see at GO. The winemaker/founder, Kurt Beitler is, as you mention, of the Wagner family of Caymus and Belle Glos

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I tasted the 2012 English Hill. To my taste it was just a tad on the ripe side, with just not quite enough acidity. I’m sure that is popular with a lot of folks but not for me. If the others are the same I’m not in. I should also note that my pinot noir storage facility is stuffed to the gills with Bailiwick and the like (I still have some Rutz magnums that need drinking as well) so it would take a pretty good deal for me to hop.

        Reply
        1. Zoel

          Yeah, wish I had stocked up even further on the Bailiwick, as each bottle continues to get raves. Just love-love-love these type gems.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Zoel, I think Palo Alto might have some still since Joe really stocked up. When I was there a little more than a week ago there was some.

            Reply
            1. davidlikeswine

              There’s some 2011 Sonoma Coast and 2013 Marin left, but maybe 4-5 cases total 🙂

        2. Zoel

          Tasted the English Hill yesterday in Petaluma GO…big PN, well-made and solid. Agree that the Bailiwick was a better buy, but the Boheme is in the same league, perhaps a touch deeper/steeper on the palate profile. Not for the shy or mellow PN lover, but certainly an interesting and tasty CA PN.

          Reply
  6. BargainWhine Post author

    My recent cold left behind an ear infection. I’m treating it, but I’m not sure when all symptoms will be gone, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to return to drinking and reviewing.

    Reply
  7. JoelA

    NV Le Grand Massat, Cuvee Tradition Cotes-du-Rhone, $ 5.99 at Richmond.(13% alc.)

    Executive summary:: Fuggetaboudtit. Don’t know the grape variety/ies but the wine is astringent with just a little fruit, and somewhat bitter tannins in the finish.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. Thanks for trying this one and reporting about it to us. I ordered only 12 bottles for the Richmond store because I had already gotten a bit of the Cour Bellvue Minervois and Corbieres. When it showed up, I thought that, on one hand, the color looked good through the bottle, but OTOH it was (1) non-vintage and (2) in a Bordeaux-style bottle.

      Reply
  8. Darrell

    Got around to tasting, side by side, the 4 bottles of Tilla PN, the 2011 Spring Hill Vd. , 2012 Tina Marie Vd., 2013 Green Valley of RRV and 2014 Tina Marie Vd. I believe all were RRV appellation. They were $6.99 a bottle and were produced and bottled by and finished with good solid 2″ corks branded with the vintage branding on all, except for the 2011. There is an attempt to present a quality bottle like Bailiwick’s PN, but overall, slightly less value than Bailiwick’s.
    2011 Spring Hill Vd. – Veggie/silage nose and wife said eucalyptus-like. Low- PN in nose and flavors of PN not there. Barely drinkable
    2012 Tina Marie- M PN nose of an orange rind character, good acid and decent length and flavors.
    2013- Green Valley of RRV- Floral nose, partly due to the tonellerie’s particular oak, in my opinion. M- PN , but wood predominates, toasty nose. Oak flavors and less PN than the 2012.
    2014 Tina Marie- Again the similar floral oak nose with a M floral PN nose. Less length and thinner than 2012, 2013 and L PN flavor. Drinkable+
    Would definitely buy the 2012 and up there with most of the Bailiwick’s. Might buy the 2013 and not the 2014, though decent enough for $6.99. Would return the 2011 if I lived closer to the Palo Alto store.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      These became available when the Bailiwick wines were still around and figured any dollar I had to spend on pinot was better spent on the B wines.

      Has anyone tried any of the Champagnes that are available?

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        The distance for me to travel to better stocked GO’s is limited due to distance and I never saw the Tilla’s before and never noticed them on the websitie. You’re correct about spending money on the B wines. Haven’t seen the Champagne.

        Reply
  9. Tom from Santa Rosa

    Santa Rosa G.O. has signs listing dates of the upcoming wine sale as April 10 to 16 (Easter).

    Reply
  10. Zoel

    Cuvaison is a high-quality winery, with a focus on Chard and Pinot. Definitely Carneros style…will hope to see some here in the Bay Area. Good vintage year as well…

    Reply
  11. RB

    At the Lacey store: 2013 Cuvaison Estate Grown Pinot Noir, Napa Valley, $11.99.
    First off – I don’t know much about CA Pinot Noir. Based on my little bit of looking around online I decided to spring for one of these. I enjoyed it, but it’s really not in my wheelhouse, so I won’t buy more at this price point. I suspect that others will like it more than I did. I did see that Lim13 reviewed a 2005 vintage of this here several years ago. Only about a case or two on the shelves.
    http://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/cuvaison-2013-estate-grown-pinot-noir-napa-valley

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      Cuvaison’s pinot is grown in Carneros, a cooler area south of the town of Napa, just north of the San Francisco (actually, San Pablo) bay. It is a cooler windy place that, to my taste, is marginal for pinot nowadays but better for Merlot. I’ve not tasted that wine but would buy a bottle if I saw it here in California.

      Reply
  12. JoelA

    Tried a bottle of the 2012 Eos Paso Robles zin, currently $ 5.99 at Oakland. It’s an OK wine, but not much more. Doesn’t have the punch of a good PR zin, with a little vegetal taste in the finish. Not for keeping, either. Not up to the level of previous Eos wines,unfortunately.

    Reply
    1. glpease

      That’s sad to hear. I’ve had some really great bottles of EOS Zins, and still have a few of their Zinfandel “Ports” in the cellar. They’re drinking wonderfully. Though, if you had any of the black label Renwoods that made the GO circuit a few years back, both Zins and Zin Ports… Those were exceptional.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I liked EOS when they were independently owned. I used to stop into their tasting room at times and really liked their petite sirah. Someone bought them a few years back and now it tastes like manufactured wine. I completely ignore it now.

        Reply
  13. Darrell

    I got away to San Mateo county, the Palo Alto GO, and found good selections there, much better than my local GO in Marin. The store had the recent Sauterne, Chateau Simon Carretey 2008 Sauternes, and still had Bailiwick PN and Cairdean bottlings, no Chard though. New to me were several vintages of Tilla PN and different vineyards, all $6.99 a bottle and produced and bottled by. The vintages were 2011,2012,2013 and 2014. Broke down and picked up the Santa Alicia 2008 Millantu that others have tried, but the interesting items that PA GO carried were additional bottles from Santa Alicia, a Syrah and PN, both $6.99 and retailing for $15. I see why others picked up the 2008 Millantu since it was good packaging, tissue wrapped and heavier bottle compared to their other bottles, rather reminiscent of the 2007 Matilde Lamadrid Malbec packaging. The really interesting thing was a Santa Alicia Anke Blend 2 bottle made of Carmenere, Petit Verdot, and Shiraz because it retailed for $15, but the price was $8.99 which made me wonder as to the pricing/quality. Is this bottle better than the Millantu which retails for $25? The Redwood City GO had the 2015 Cour Bellvue Corbiere whereas none seen in Palo Alto.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Darrell. As I recall, I actually preferred the Millantu to the Anke Blend 2, with the former having more weight and complexity.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Hmmm, somewhere along the GO powers that be, someone may have liked the Anke Blend 2 better to price it $1 more than the Millantu. Will let you know when tasted side by side.

        Reply
      2. Darrell

        BW, was the Anke Blend 2 a buck more than the Millantu? I finally tasted the two side by side and agree with you about the weight and length, but preferred the pyrazines of the Carmenere and Petit Verdot in the blend. For me this should be there since I think of varietal components and I don’t get even a touch of it in the Millantu. I realize I am in the minority in this, but the Millantu is aged in new barrels for an 18 to 24 month period according to the back label and this type of aging predominates and covers up varietal character. This aging regimen works for Bordeaux, but doesn’t seem to work outside of Bordeaux as well. Dang, I agree with the GO pricing of the two bottles.

        Reply
        1. Doug Green

          I paid less for the Anke Blend 2, because I had gotten it during the last 20% sale. I just got the Millantu, and I will be curious how the two compare, but I have yet to try either one. A couple of other interesting pickups from South America here in San Diego are the Nieto Senetiner 2013 Bonarda for $6, and the Crios 2013 Torrontes, which I have had elsewhere – which is an outright steal at $3.99.

          BTW, one of my local stores mentioned that the next 20% sale is the week of April 10th.

          Reply
  14. Expat

    I finally tried the Waterbrook 2013 Malbec, Columbia Valley (12.9%). Not sure how much I paid – probably around $7. I was pleasantly surprised. Nice blue fruit balanced by some tannic backbone and acidity. It isn’t super complex but I didn’t give it much breathing time, to be fair. It is, as the label says, a “food-friendly” wine and I appreciate the modest alcohol level. Anyone tried or at least seen this?

    Reply
  15. Sebastian

    I tried the Cult Napa Valley white – a blend of sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc – and thought it was pretty good. Nice, refreshing, crisp white that had some nice citrus and mineral complexity, making it a perfect fit for the warm day. I think it was 5.99 at the Oakland store. They also a had a Cab and a rosé made by Cult that I did not try.

    Reply
  16. BargainWhine Post author

    Arrived today:
    Cavatappi 2010 Nebbiolo “Maddalena, $7. I liked the 2007, which was $10.
    Ernest Rapineau Brut, Brut Rose, and Champagne Premier Cru. Champagne price is $25, and I think the other two are not much less.

    Reply
        1. seedboy

          I am curious to try the Premier Cru bottling. I have tried the Nebbiolo. Flabby and does not taste like that grape.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Thanks for your impression of the Nebbiolo. I was a little wary that the price ($6, not $7 as I wrote above) was so low compared to the 2007.

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              It showed no better the next night. It might have been slightly more recognizable as coming from Nebbiolo grapes but tasted even less like wine. I do not understand how one could make a wine that is only 11% alcohol, but with no acid.

            1. seedboy

              It is the worst GO wine I’ve tasted since the Panther Creek Pinot disaster of about 3 years ago.

            2. Expat

              BW, yes I tried it and couldn’t get through a glass. I’m sure it was the same one Seedboy is referring to even though it was last year sometime.

            3. Seedboy

              Ok so to further muddy the Nebbiolo waters, there are two different ones. The 2010, which I reviewed, and a 2012 from the same maker, same price, at Oakland. I did not buy any because there were other new wines (Nottingham Cellars 1846 Red Blend, some new New Zealand wines). If you see the 2012, it is not the wine I hated.

          2. Darrell

            SB, the SF GO has the Premier Cru and the Rosé as well as the Brut. You have time to try some since the store seems to have an ample supply of the Rosé and Premier Cru. Did pick up a Vertuze and hope this satisfies my penchant for good sparkling wine.

            Reply
      1. Darrell

        Finally found Ernest Rapineau Champagne and not directly through Cellartracker, but rather through Google. The Wine Searcher prices aren’t much more than the $25 at GO. Never have seen such unfavorable reviews on Cellartracker before.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          I’ve seen no review of the Premier Cru wine or the Rose but the Brut gets killed, doesn’t it? I’ve got enough Champagne now so that I don’t feel compelled to take a chance, but if you see a California sparkler in the $8 range called Vertuze it is worth a try (good texture, dry, no off flavors).

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Finally tried the Vertuze and the characteristics of a good sparkling wine are there, but just a bit too much dosage for me. It had a fine bead though the sparkle wasn’t long lasting. I appreciated it more than GO’s Prosecco’s. The cork was very short and not all agglomerated, but with layers of cork. Cork was difficult to extract on my bottle and remained compressed.

            Reply
    1. glpease

      Since almost no-one bottles from individual barrels/tanks anymore, unless they are very tiny or very large, and do assemblage just prior to bottling, bottle variation is far more likely to occur form closure inconsistency or, rarely, problems in the bottling line. The latter often results in premature oxidation from excessive air in the lines, the former, either oxidation from seal failure or reduction due to poor OTR characteristics of the closure.

      In my previous notes, I mistakenly referred to this one’s cork as “synthetic.” I had confused it with one in a different wine. This one appears to be colmated cork, really only meant for about 4-years.

      Reply
  17. Seedboy

    Vertuze Brut, California Sparkling Wine, Methode Champanoise, NV, $7.99, Richmond store. Intended to be a plus $20 bottle it seems to be here because of a labeling issue. Plentiful small bubbles. Fresh, clean, pretty dry, some mineral, nothing offputting about it. If I were throwing an “event” I would buy cases of this but decided to limit myself to 2 more bottles.

    Reply
    1. glpease

      Thanks for pointing this one out, Seedboy. I picked up a bottle last week, and really enjoyed it. The bead is fine and delicate, the flavors nice and fresh, and the finish, to me, is just towards the off-dry side. Lovely for the price. I may pick up a few more. Sparklers, good ones at least, always bring smiles. We can always use more of that.

      Reply
  18. rgardner2

    2013 Slovenian Whites for $3.99. puklavec & friends (lack of Caps theirs). Seen in Tacoma, Kennewick, and Yakima. Sauv Blanc and Pinot Gris blend. Nice acidity, not flabby. Crisp, dry. I’d give it an 87-88. Food friendly. No oak, so cooking-friendly too (hate Calif Chard).[I saw 2 blends, only bought this one]

    2014 Three Rivers Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). $5. I haven’t had a bad wine out of this winery (and I’ve visited a few times)

    Odd, but had 4.2 Vivino rating. Fuego Supreme Red North coast Calif, NV. $6. Yakima GO. “Napa Wine Arts”

    Reply
    1. RPT

      I bought a Robert Stevens Meritage that was “Cellared and bottled by Napa Wine Arts”. Can’t find any info on them. Anybody know anything?

      Reply
        1. Michael Turner

          That has got to be the worst review style I have ever come across. Wow. It appears that they didn’t like the Robert Stevens and liked the M Ray but I’m really not sure.

          The Robert Stevens has done well for me in SODO. I have tried it and for the price thought it was a good wine. It doesn’t look like I wrote notes for it though. Oh well.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            He does have a distinctive style. I’m accustomed to it and I construe his reviews as you do. I do recall buying a bottle of this and feeling I’d misspent my money but I don’t recall the specifics.
            BTW there are a number of newish wines at the Oakland and Richmond stores including a California sparkler called Vertuze for $8, a couple of 2015 southern French roses including one by Chapoutier, and 2 Sonoma pinots by Boheme for $14.99.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              The two Boheme Pinots are both 2010s, and are the Sonoma Coast Stuller Vineyard and the Russian River Valley English Hill Vineyard. “Elsewhere” prices are about $50.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              I guess I should have said “the two Boheme Pinots at Richmond.” I just assumed they were the same at all stores.

          2. Expat

            His literary style is really obnoxious, and not in a charming way when he rants or is flat out unclear. I also am turned off by any writing that uses profanity to sound “edgy”, It’s a cheap gimmick that just comes off as juvenile.

            HOWEVER, I really like his wine sensibilities and found myself reading a bunch of his reviews. From a wine standpoint I’m completely in agreement with his tastes and feelings about current trends. He lives in my neck of the woods (no “woods” here, actually) and has some interesting posts about Central Coast wineries. To me this is a valuable resource because I think I’d like everything he likes.

            Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Very much hope this turns up in Washington. It sounds like a great summer wine. (Assuming, of course, we ever get rid of winter and make it to summer here.)

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      I got a bottle because of (1) the Seghesio Arneis Russian River Valley we had earlier that was very good for the price, and (2) the bottle / label looks like a good production, although I was worried about age since it’s 2011 vintage. It’s still in the fridge, so thanks very much for your notes.

      Reply
    3. glpease

      I just tried this one. For $3, it’s a definite bargain. It was delicious with potato leek soup for lunch today. I’m trying to slow down buying, because the only alternatives are speeding up drinking, or finding another place to live whilst the house turns into wine storage. I’m really having a hard time NOT picking up a case of this. *sigh* I’ll find a place for it, I suppose.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Well, you may find it easier to not pick up a case now that it’s gone from the Richmond store, at least.

        Reply
  19. Darrell

    I don’t buy wine in a bag/box generally, but saw a 1.5L Jewelry Box CS bottled/bagged in Ripon, CA which I am a bit leery of when I see Ripon and it might be the opposite of. The wine originated in SE Australia and so that intrigued me plus the price of $5 a mag bag. Was wrong in purchasing at that price since that’s the avg. going price, so no deal here. The website says the wine saw American oak. I have no idea who does the aging for these kinds of wines or if Jewelry Box plays eleveur of bulk wines. My experience with bag wines is that they are too reduced, i.e., just bottled out of the tank. With the advent of oak flavoring techniques and micro-oxidation, these bag wines may taste better.than before.

    Reply
  20. BargainWhine Post author

    The Santa Alicia 2008 “Millantu” (Chile) blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Carmenere is excellent for $8.

    Reply
    1. jimvan49

      I agree – this is a quality wine, looks and tastes like one too. It is from the Maipo Valley in Chile, and has traditional “cassis” flavors, in a rich, well balanced style. I found it to be an excellent wine for the price and ready to drink after about 20 minutes of airtime. I found mine in the Eureka store on 3/10/17.

      Reply
      1. glpease

        So, I’ve tasted this from two bottles, now. The first was remarkable. A really beautifully made wine with a lot of richness, beautiful balance, supple fruit, and still a little grip. Based on that tasting, I bought another seven. Opened one last night, and found it a bit animalic and a little reductive. A day of breathing has done a little to ameliorate the flaws, and a clean copper penny in the glass helped with some of the reductive characteritics, but it’s still a bit funky, both on the nose, and on the tongue. It could be variability in the damned long synthetic corks; maybe some of them aren’t sufficiently porous to allow any gas exchange.

        When it was good, it was very, very good. This bottle isn’t quite undrinkable, but it’s nothing I’d serve proudly. I’m debating what to do with the remaining six.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          I had high hopes of picking up some after JV49’s tasting, but I don’t know now. Hope your other six are like your first. When you use the term reductive, is it like my usage of a reduced wine? I have seen the term used to mean something else or inappropriately by Cellar Tracker commenters, but I know you know your chemistry.

          Reply
          1. glpease

            Thanks, Darrell. I do too… And, yes, I mean reductive to mean having the qualities of wine that’s undergone some reduction in the bottle. In winemaking, it comes from minimizing contact with oxygen during the process. In bottles, it’s often a result of closures with insufficient OTR (oxygen transfer/transmission rate). Early screw-caps often developed this problem over time. Now, with better membranes in the closures, they can do as well as a cork, and more consistently, providing the capper doesn’t screw them on too tightly. Colmated corks, which this appears to be, are only really good for about 4 years.

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              Gee, I don’t have a problem with “insufficient OTR” when it comes down to whites, but I don’t buy any screw capped reds since I like a bit of aging. Glpease, since you mentioned colmated corks, I had to look up various wine bottle cork type enclosures and found this link of not lengthy reading and might be of interest to some of us: http://www.reliablecorksolutions.com/corkcompare.html.

  21. Sebastian

    I was in the Redwood City store today and saw several intriguing bottles of less-known southern Italian varietals:
    1. 2012 Dedalo Ciliegiolo from Sicily (I got a bottle but it was corked and vinegary)
    2. 2013 La Casa dell’Orco Fiano di Avellino DOCG (got a bottle but haven’t opened it yet)
    3. A red and a white Sicilian blend that I didn’t get or remember the name of. Both were labeled from the Etna region. I recall that the white contained mostly carricante, but I don’t remember what was in the red.

    Reply
  22. BargainWhine Post author

    Arrived today: Chateau Simon Carretey 2008 Sauternes, $7 for 375ml. Color good and no signs of leakage. Will taste after dinner and report.

    Reply
  23. lim13

    Finally found two white wines at the Bremerton, WA GO that I’m really liking; two Sauv Blancs of completely different styles. The first is 2012 Chateau LaRose Saint-Germain Bordeaux Blanc (80% SB 20% Semillon) for $3.99; light, fresh, grassy, nice acidity and appears to be unoaked; should be great with shell fish, particularly oysters and clams. Appears to regularly retail for $10, so it’s not a complicated wine, just a delicious quaffer at less than half that price.

    The other is a more “serious” style of SB: 2013 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley in a heavy glass punted bottle with attractive label. This one has obviously seen oak and shows no grassy herbaceousness, but more depth and body. Reminds me somewhat of the Gainey Santa Ynez Valley Limited Release Sauv Blancs that I’ve had many of and love…except this one seems to have less pronounced fruit. I prefer the Bordeaux and for $50 will buy a case; just a few bottles of the Napa SB (though it theory it’s the better buy with a winery retail of $30). Guess it’s just a little too “serious” for me.

    Reply
    1. RB

      I bought a few of the Bordeaux Blanc from the Olympia store based on your review.
      At the Lacey store I found a red blend (70% Merlot, 30% Cab) from the same producer, also 2012, and took a swing. It was decent, but unremarkable for me at $6.99.

      Reply
    2. Zoel

      Just had the Cornerstone SB last night…big Napa SB, not for the shy/delicate, but wonderful flavors and depth. No-brainer at that price as well, drinks with many $35 SBs.

      Reply
  24. BdB

    I tried a bottle of Tillman 2013 old vine Zin for $4 and really dislike it. It has a repugnant smell, maybe that’s what some call rubber, and the taste reflected that smell a bit. Maybe it’s my bottle? I’ll be returning it, something I’ve done only once, but this to me this is a dud.

    Reply
  25. BargainWhine Post author

    Yesterday, three new wines arrived from North Berkeley Imports: a 2011 Cote de Nuits Villages (red Burgundy, i.e,. Pinot Noir) for $20, a 2013(?) Dolcetto D’Alba for $6, and a 2010 sparkling rose made from 100% Aglianico grapes (see here) for $7.

    Reply
      1. seedboy

        Frederic Magnien Côte De Nuits-Villages Croix-Viollette 2011 is the wine. Oakland has 6 cases. At that price it will move slowly.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          The wine was imported by North Berkeley Wine; comes from a village between Gevrey-Chambertin and Fixin. Not a great deal but about half the retail price (which like many French wines is probably too high). I will try a bottle sometime soon

          Reply
        2. Darrell

          The last price posting of a bottle of 2005 was $31 through Cellar Tracker Where to Buy and I think 2005 was a better vintage than 2011.

          Reply
            1. seedboy

              I did buy a bottle and drank a glass or so last night. It is a genuine red Burgundy, modest red fruit, good earthiness, balanced with sufficient acid and some tannin. If you have a California Pinot Noir palate you might find this wine a bit austere. I will report back on the second half of the bottle.

            2. seedboy

              2d day report: the only deterioration is that some of the fruit has dropped out. The rest of the wine holds up nicely, structure still firmly in place. This would make a good every day drinker over the next couple of years although the price is going to deter many. Too bad the sale is nowhere near.

            3. JoelA

              I’m not crazy about this Burgundy. Yes, it has fruit and some earhiness, but not any finesse, and not enough pinot noir flavor.

    1. seedboy

      The Dolcetto I saw was a 2012. I have seen this only at the Richmond store. It is what a Dolcetto should be: not complex, but it is delicious. Good black fruit balanced with some herb flavors and acid. Whatever tannins were once there are now well in the background. There is another month left to winter and this would be great with braised meats. I’m going back for more.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Dolcetto is called Corino. Second day it remained tasty. I also bought at Oakland Cloudveil Oregon Pinot Noir Rose 2014, $4.99. It is dry and has good pinot fruit flavor.

        Reply
    2. Sebastian

      I opened a bottle of the sparkling Aglianico rose tonight, and I have to say that I was disappointed. I was really excited about this one because I love Aglianico, but there just wasn’t a whole lot to this wine. It is extremely dry – probably more so than anything this color that has ever passed my lips. At first taste, there was a quick burst of puckering fizzy dryness, and I didn’t get much beyond that. I will say that as my glass warms up in the course of my writing this, it does mellow, and I get a little bit of citrus and cherry coming through. So if you have a bottle, maybe let it warm for a little while out of the fridge. I still have to call this one underwhelming.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Sebastian! Thanks for your impressions of this wine. I got a bottle, but haven’t opened it. It sounds like maybe even unheated Berkeley room temperature these days might be good for it.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          I’m betting this wine really needs to go with food and I’m thinking cured meats. That said I’ve not opened my bottle.
          I do live in Berkeley and have been leaving white wines and roses on my kitchen counter, the temp has been good for them. I just finished a bottle of that Spanish $2.99 Chardonnay that was left on my counter for four days and that wine was good to the last drop.

          Reply
          1. Sebastian

            I think you’re right on both fronts. Full disclosure: I was drinking this last night with some bread and peanut butter, which I realized in the moment was not the best choice.

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              I was sorely hoping this would be better than a GO Prosecco that usually average less than this Traditional method, sparkling Aglianico of $7. I tend not to buy Prosecco since it is made by bulk method and will pay a bit more for wines like this or a Franciacorta. Sebastian, a suggestion for a PBJ + fresh Summer fruit is an Auslese type if you have some. I never knew what to do mit Auslesen since they aren’t as sweet as Sauterne for dessert and I tend not to sip wines between meals.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              🙂 !!! Wow, that’s some impressively full disclosure. Thanks! 🙂

  26. Sebastian

    Just opened a bottle of the Brainstorm California Vermentino and was pretty pleased. It has a nice acidity and the musky floralness that I associate with the Italian versions of the varietal, although maybe a little less crisp. The winemaker’s website did not have any information about this particular wine. I think it was $3.99 at the Oakland store, so a good value if you are looking to try a not-so-common white.

    Reply

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