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

1,913 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. jimvan49

    In Eureka yesterday I found an Abbeycourt 2012 Cotes-du-Rhone Reserve for $6, a Bushranger Captain Moonlight 2011 Australian Shiraz for $5, both under screw cap, a few other wines already mentioned (Cascade Range riesling, Predicat Priorate, Long Barn red blend, Legado Bierzo Mencia) and an Ace apple-pumpkin hard cider from California Cider Company (we make pumpkin-rhubarb-apple butter that is wonderful, so I had to try this). I found one line on the internet somewhere that implied that the Abbeycourt was a Laboure-Roi negotiant bottling.

    Reply
    1. Delmartian1

      We purchased a bottle of the Abbeycourt in Oceanside last Saturday. Found it to be a bit on the simple side and reminded me of a Beaujolais Nouveau…pass on picking up any more of these at the $6 price point.

      Reply
      1. jimvan49

        I agree with you, Delmartian1. The wine was quite simple especially on the first day. It has seemed to deepen on the second day, and while it is drinkable, it isn’t one I’d seek out again.

        Reply
  2. DavidLikesWine

    It had been a while since I’d been to the Palo Alto store, so I ventured over there this morning. Joe, who used to manage the wine section, has been promoted to “owner.” He’s a great guy and doing a lot with the place.

    New to me:

    2013 Petit Le Mont Sauvignon Blanc (Loire Valley, Certified Organic, bottled by Foucher Lebrun) – $4.99

    2012 Fort Simon Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc – $5.99

    2011 Shingleback Davey Estate Shiraz (McLaren Vale) – $9.99 ***2011 was not a great vintage for Australian reds***

    2010 Mercer “Sharp Sisters” Columbia Valley Red Blend – $7.99

    Still a mess of the 2013 Van Duzer Pinot Rose, 2008 Legado de Farro Mencia, and Joe said he bought the remaining 27 cases of 2011 Victor Zin so if you like that one, there’s a ton of it available here!

    Reply
          1. DavidLikesWine

            FWIW, it had just arrived and wasn’t on the floor yet. Joe was nice enough to grab some off the pallet in the back for me. Will be trying this weekend, but from the links you posted, this looks like a winner for $5…

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              I’ve not actually been to the Oakland store, but I called and talked with Mark and he said they do not have it yet. The Berkeley store’s wine section is so infrequently stocked, it will probably be days before I see it there.

        1. Darrell

          Was rather confused by the cellartracker review since they called it a Sancerre, but on examination of the accompanying photo, the label did say Val de Loire. Seems to me a Val de Loire should be less than a Sancerre or Pouilly Fume for which we have paid $5 or less a bottle at GO.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            We have paid less for higher bred Loire SB. But, those deals are in the past. if this really is a good Loire SB for $4.99, then i will not hold past deals against it.

            Reply
            1. DavidLikesWine

              Sorry for the delay, it was a busy weekend :) I really like this wine. I’m admittedly new to Loire SB’s, but I found it well balanced between fruit and acidity with some interesting almost honeyed notes (but not in a bad way and not out of balance). For $5 this is an definite “buy” for me.

            2. Darrell

              Thanks, David, for the report and SB, the Palo Alto store is on the ball. The Berkeley store doesn’t have a wine steward to order the wines like they used to.

            3. seedboy

              Oakland has three cases of this wine. if you want some you may need to ask one of the wine people.

            4. Delmartian1

              Picked up a bottle in Oceanside on Saturday. I prefer my SB to be a bit dryer but the wife really liked this one. It had a slightly sweet finish reminiscent of a Rose D’anjou from the Loire.

      1. weinish

        Still not in Oakland. Guy told me Saturday to come in on Sunday. Was there today and yesterday. Nada. Fortunately, I live less than a mile from the store and have to pass it every day. Which is also unfortunate.

        Reply
            1. seedboy

              Mark at Oakland says this is the best Sauvignon Blanc the GO has ever sold.
              The Evening Land Chardonnay is nicely made. It has good balance and is refreshing. The flavors are muted, which could be due to recent travel, and could be due to noticeable sulfur. I left some in the bottle and will report back later. I will buy a few bottles of this because I think after it settles down it will drink like the pricey wine it was made to be.

            2. Darrell

              The other guy in Oakland wasn’t jumping up and down about it. It’s OK. Will have to check out Mark’s taste vs mine someday.

            3. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi Joel. Based on your tip, I rushed right over to the Richmond store. On one of the stand-alone islands, there were indeed 6 bottles (now 5) of the Petit Le Mont 2013 Sauvignon (blanc), but the shelves along the wall had about 3 cases’ worth. I saw only 10 bottles of the Evening Lands Chard. Bought one.

            1. Seedboy

              weinish: The Loire, or the Chardonnay? I like the Loire wine a lot and have bought it in quantity. The Chardonnay, the flavor seemed muted even the second day. I have some wine to return and will convert it into Evening Land Chardonnay.

            2. Darrell

              Had an in store sample and purchased a bottle to try over the weekend. Let’s put it this way, I’ve had much better Loire SB’s from GO for $5 and less. Mark’s and my taste differ. Would rather drink some of the NZ SB’s from GO.

            3. weinish

              I disagree but that’s because I like my wines more restrained. The NZs are not as subtle; more bold and grassy. If that’s your thing then this probably isn’t your favorite.

              It’s the best one I’ve had from GO.

            4. Darrell

              Let me clarify what I meant. I have liberal tastes when it comes to various styles of wine. I can enjoy the Loires and NZ SB’s, but within the subdued,minerally styles from the Loire this wine doesn’t have the SB character and nice fruitiness of some of the other Loires I’ve had for $5 or less. The value just isn’t there. I have bought a 2007 and 2008 Charles de Puy Val de Loire that was much better for $4 and Pouilly Fume and Sancerres for $4-5 a bottle. What I meant when referring to the NZ SB’s was the value I found within the NZ style found at GO was much better value than the Le Petit Mont Val de Loire quality and value found within the Loire wines I have bought at GO.

            5. weinish

              I don’t think I’ve ever had a Loire SB from GO, especially anything I recall as being minerally.

              When did they have these?

              I know things have changed over the years.

            6. weinish

              The first one was not 5 dollars. It was a mistake for one day. Granted I bought 5 of them but once they realized it they priced it back to $16.

            7. weinish

              Alright, so of the 3 listed, one was actually $16, one was in Renton and the other I missed at Berkeley. Bob is claiming it is the best SB he’s ever had at the store for the price. Based on this info his comment might still hold up.

            8. Darrell

              Weinish, you are the guy, I believe, who sent me on a wild goose chase looking for that $5 bottle of Sancerre back in the Summer of 2013. Well, if you check the above Sancerre link and other posts under What’s New, you will find that the wine did come down to $5 and many of us picked it up for $4 on the Nov. 2013 sale. At the time I thought the wine was too fresh and recently fermented, the bottle being just a year old, so I waited a year to try another and to my nose, a better wine when certain aromas blew over. You must have had a temporary absence in reading the blog.

            9. seedboy

              I got a case of that sancerre when the price dropped, after which it all disappeared from the Berkeley store within a day. It still tastes young to me. I’m drinking those Fume Blancs and the 2008 Touraine that the San Leadro store had for $2.99.

            10. weinish

              I really liked the Sancerre. I was bummed I didn’t buy it all at the time knowing it was a price mistake. Took it to a party with a number of wine industry folk who were eating shellfish, and they all enjoyed it more than the Kermit L wine we also brought which was $15 more.

            11. Darrell

              Weinish, you are making me feel quite good with your experience with the wine industry folks and Kermit Lynch at the $4 a bottle level for the Sancerre.

            12. weinish

              Well, it would have been better if I had told them it was GO.

              Right now i am just waiting for GO to drop the price of the Rioja, which is now a dollar more than it is at K&L.

              Has ANYONE bought it?

            13. Darrell

              Yes, I tend to not disclose the price of a GO wine also. Which Rioja? The one that’s been around for quite awhile. I forget the name.

            14. seedboy

              weinish, I have bought the Rioja because that is my son’s birth year. It is a very nice Rioja but way over priced for the GO. I have told the Oakland store that but they’ve done nothing about it.

            15. weinish

              It’s been sitting for months. When they had the 2004 Brunello last year for $20 you knew you were paying half. We go to GOs for the deals. I’m not going to spend what I’d pay at KL, Solano, etc for the same wine. It’s not why I’m there. I wouldn’t buy a new shirt with tags at salvation army even if it is the same shirt sold at Macy’s.

            16. weinish

              Regarding the 2011 Evening Land Chard, I didn’t find the flavors muted at all, especially day 2. Drinking it right now.

              If you’re into California-style Chardonnay (even though it’s Oregon), you’ll like it. Citrusy, lush, vanilla, standard buttery, and pretty crisp. A bit too sweet/candy for me, which is why I don’t love these types of wines. But for those who do this seems like a steal.

            17. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi Weinish. The Arroyo Grande AVA is in San Luis Obispo County, CA, so your ID is correct. I’m also sipping this wine this evening on its second day. Review up soon.

            18. weinish

              That’s what I thought and my wife said the same but then I was looking at their website and it was oregon. Maybe it was a different producer. Lot going on today.

            19. BargainWhine Post author

              My understanding from word of mouth is that the OR winery has a number of projects in different places.

            20. Seedboy

              Evening Land makes wine on the Central Coast, Sonoma County, Willamette Valley, and Burgundy. I’m drinking a 2011 bourgogne red right now.

            21. Seedboy

              This is a confusing thread. The Evening Land Chardonnay is from just south of San Luis Obispo.

      1. DavidLikesWine

        Well, I bought one this morning, but I’ll wait to open it until I read your review :)

        Reply
  3. permiesworld

    I picked up a Hinman Vineyards 2011 Oregon Pinot Noir ($4.99 SRV $17-20) today. I’ve purchased the Hinman PN outside of GO several times. It’s usually a decent PN under $20. 2011 was problematic though so I have no idea how this will taste. It’s not even on their website. 2010 and 2013 are there with tasting notes…so I’m guessing this could be a stinker. Still, it’s worth trying, just because I’ve had good experiences with them before.

    Reply
    1. jwc

      I saw this too PW, but passed. I haven’t had much luck with Hinman over the years, a lot of ownership changes if I remember right. Believe they are now part of Sylvan Ridge, here in Oregon, but could be wrong on that. Some of the ’11’s are coming around, others not. Good luck, look forward to hearing about it, if we are seeing it locally, sounds like the producer just wants to unload it, and isn’t concerned about potentially hurting the brand. Sure we’ll see some more 11’s, and 13’s…just saw a Samuel Roberts 2013 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) for $8.99 at Beaverton, but passed on that too. Many producers are just starting to release their 13’s, with a fantastic ’14 vintage right behind that, should be interesting.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        Interesting, JWC. I wasn’t aware of that. My last Hinman was from the 2009 vintage. I liked it. I had a really excellent Firesteed 2011 but so far it’s been the only local one I’ve enjoyed for that vintage. I wonder what’s up with the 2012’s? Haven’t seen much of anything. It just sort of skipped to 2013. Have you? I would have passed on the Samuel Roberts one, the last one I tried was one of the worst bottles I’ve ever picked up at GO (that included that sulfury Panther Creek wine, that I did not wait a day for it to clear).

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          We tried one bottle of the Hinman, but weren’t impressed enough to re-buy. Thin, tart, and uninteresting is all I remember about it. Incidentally, the cork was branded Sylvan Ridget, though the label was Hinman.

          Also seen but not purchased by me was Seven of Hearts Durant Vineyard Pinot, also a 2011. It was 7 dollars, but should have gone for much more. Anybody given this one a try? I know almost nothing about Oregon Pinot Noir, so this producer would be a gamble (pun intended) for me.

          Reply
          1. permiesworld

            Durant produces some wonderful PN. I haven’t heard of that one though. Normally their PN is rather expensive for local offerings (avg. about $40-$60/bottle). I would try that.

            Bummer about the Hinman. Sounds exactly like the type of PN I avoid. Thanks for the info, I might just return it. Blast.

            Reply
            1. flitcraft

              I don’t have the bottle in front of me, but as I recall the winery was Seven of Hearts (pretty label, too) and it was a single vineyard wine attributed to Durant Vineyard. Perhaps a vineyard that sells to a variety of producers? Anyway, I think the alleged street price of the wine was about 30 dollars, so if it’s any good it’s a screaming deal.

          2. RB

            I tried the Seven of Hearts and my bottle was bad – cloudy and sour. Comments are on this blog somewhere. Another reader had the same experience. I returned mine.
            My experience with the Hinman was the same as yours, flitcraft.

            Reply
            1. permiesworld

              oh wow, that’s too bad about the Seven of Hearts, RB. Thought that might be good. You’ve just solidified my intent to return my Hinman as well.

              And reminded me why I’ve slowed my wine shopping…lol

        2. jwc

          The 12’s are fantatic, drinking great now and will only improve. There’s a reason none of this vintage has been seen at GO.

          Reply
          1. permiesworld

            I had set the Hinman on the counter to return it. My husband opened it thinking that I’d set it out for dinner. It was every bit what Flitcraft said…and what you’ve experienced in the past. We thought it was marginally drinkable at best (I was leaning towards thumbs down but I don’t like tarter wines).

            Reply
  4. jwc

    Picked up a 2011 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc for $4 as well as a 2007 Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon (Montes) for $5.99 so a. couple things of interest in the Portland area after a dry spell. Did see the Quest 2011 Pinot Noir for $9, but no interest in trying right now.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      I would pass on that quest…it was nothing like the previous year and a huge disappointment, IMO.

      Interested in both the wines you picked up…be sure and post what you think.

      Reply
  5. Jan G.

    First time buying wine at GO. Clerk said 4 star cab sells for $29.99 but was just $9.99 there. I bought one, looked on web to see they sell for $9-12. How much can we believe? Having said that, it is very smooth and yummy. ( not a very sophisticated review 😊)

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Jan and welcome! The 2012 Four Star red was appreciated by many here as a good deal for $4. The 2013 Four Star red at $10 was greeted here with skepticism, although I can’t remember if anyone tried it. I’m glad to hear you liked it, though, and thanks for sharing your enjoyment of it.

      Reply
    2. permiesworld

      If the Cabernet was made in the same manner as their four star blend (a project wine from a few Napa Valley vineyards that Bargainwhine linked to in his comment), I suspect it will be well done and at $10, for Napa wine, a decent buy. I haven’t tried it because I’m so overstocked on Cabernet that I haven’t bought any Cab from grocery outlet in almost a year. I would though, just because I like the four-star blend so much. Coincidentally we had that blend with dinner tonight. It’s more relaxed and more Zin forward at this point but still very food friendly.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the Cabernet!

      Reply
  6. Seedboy

    Today I was in the Santa Rosa store. It is an archive of GO wines past. They still have a lot of the Cima Collina pinot.
    A new wine I’ve seen in some of the stores is the Boccali Vineyards Ojai (Ventura County) Syrah 2011 for $4.99. This wine is medium bodied and needs a half hour of air but then becomes a really elegant Syrah, nice pepper and black fruit and meat flavors. My favorite GO syrah since the Russian Hill 2001 Windsor Oaks.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Thanks for the report, SB. I will be heading up north soon and will definitely stop by Santa Rosa to pick up some more CC PN!

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I meant to say something else: at the Santa Rosa store, there is a tamale vendor at the corner of the parking lot. His tamales are very good, at $1.75 per.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          …but do they go well with a nice Pinot, SB?

          Just kidding, I love a good tamale…and will have to check that out, too. Thanks SB!

          Reply
    2. Earstin

      I’ve gone to that store and was impressed with their selection. We left with 5 cases mostly cabs, Merlots and Bordeaux

      Reply
    3. flitcraft

      That Boccali Vineyards Syrah turned up at the Lake City Seattle GO this week, and I concur it’s a really nice California Syrah. Sounds like a family run winery that started out supplying wine to their Italian restaurant, according to the website. Hope the wine’s appearance here isn’t a bad omen for them, because they clearly know what they’re doing, even though they’re a little tiny operation.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Hey SB and Flitcraft…picked up some bottles today in Oakland on your recommendations…very nice Syrah from first popping the cork. Dark and intense purple liquid, with a touch of jamminess and heat bordering the dark fruit.

        Interested to see how it is tomorrow after its breathed a bit. Pretty confident it will develop further elegance, depth and complexity, per SB’s note. Any Syrah compared favorably to the ’01RH Windsor Oaks has got to be very special, especially for a five spot…

        Reply
    4. inthewinecountry

      SB, because of your report and EHL’s agreement I decided to swing by the Santa Rosa Store this last weekend and pickup a bottle of the Cima Collina PN looking forward to trying it. As for the tamales, I was going to try one but I guess they don’t set up shop on Sunday.

      Reply
  7. permiesworld

    We stopped by GO today to pick up some cheese for cold smoking. While we were there, I saw that GO has some (didn’t purchase any) Pyrenees Vineyard Rose and a Pinot Grigio on the shelf for $4.99 ea. I almost bit on the Rose, but because I wasn’t thrilled with this year’s offerings so far, passed. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone else picked up the Rose?

    Nothing else new to note. No more Twin Palms Chardonnay locally.

    Reply
    1. RB

      Two different Pyrenees rose’s showed up at the Olympia store this week. A Cab Sauv and a ‘Merlot Cuvee’. Both 2013, Southern Oregon, $4.99. The CS was not to my liking. Lots of strawberry candy flavor and not much else (although, admittedly I tried it at room temp). Haven’t tried the merlot.

      Reply
  8. EHL

    Just came back from Oakland GO…and there are about two cases-plus of the Enira ’08 Red blend sitting on the shelves!

    Apparently, they hunted some more down after the earlier stock sold out quickly when the word got out.

    The Primarius Pinot Noir is there, too, along with quite a stock of the Tractor Guy PN and the Swami PN. What a PN bounty, but no Cima Collina…

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      I picked up a bottle of the Cima Collina in San Leandro during the sale. I went there for some Jeff Hill Carneros PN, but it was gone. For me, the Enira is OK, but not enough Bordeaux varietal character enough for me.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Hey Darrell…after Benny left his San Leandro GO store because of the two armed robberies and relocated to Petaluma, I’m surprised SL GO still has decent wines in stock. May have to start checking it out, too…

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          EHL, I didn’t know about the robberies. That might temper my visits. Bennie’s sister, Liz, has taken over, I believe, and she is quite responsive to wine inventory questions which is greatly appreciated. The wine guy used to be at the inland Hayward store and is quite helpful.

          Reply
          1. EHL

            Well, Bennie’s sister must be one tough little gal…nothing like keeping a thriving business in the family, eh.

            Maybe they need to take some lessons from Oakland GO…and bulk up with security…like today, 3-4 guards on duty in the store, with another one riding shotgun in a security vehicle with blinking lights in the parking lot. Now, that’s how you dissuade armed robbers…

            With regards to the Enira, what do you want…it’s from BULGARIA…lol. Although perhaps a little too simplistic for your tastes, you might want to try the 2008 Legado de Farro Bierzo — Mencia, a Spanish wine that JoelA reported on recently.

            Picked up a couple of bottles and tried one tonight…nice…dark purple, rich black fruits, very earthy, complex, a little rough and acidic, although JoelA says it smooths out on the second day.

            Oakland has a good amount and its quite nice for three buckeroos!

            Reply
            1. 5-Star Bar

              Speaking of “smoothing out in the second day” I must say that I think that the Cima Collina definitely falls into that category. Contrary to those of us who felt it a wine to be drunk within a short window I think that it will still reward cellaring and patience. Immediately upon opening I found it to be a bit too fruity and simple for my taste.

              Day two was an entirely different story. Having had a chance to relax and unfold I thought it showed far greater depth, complexity and balance than on first opening. A top-notch Pinot from a very rare vineyard site like the Gavilan Mountains. Your patience with it should be rewarded.

            2. Darrell

              EHL, I boned up on Bierzo and the Mencia grape and found it quite interesting. The grape was first thought to be related to Cab Franc, but DNA analysis showed it to be related to a Portuguese variety called Jaen, a grape Robaire speaks fondly of. 5SB, vineyards on that side of the Salinas Valley aren’t rare , just rarely mentioned and if you drive down the valley you will see vineyards rise above the valley floor. I just can’t place where along that corridor the Chula Vina vineyard lies, but from the winery’s description it’s probably low lying. I doubt very much the vineyard is protected from the wind as the winery says because it is difficult to get away from the wind unless the vineyards get back and higher like the Chalone AVA.

            3. EHL

              Hey 5-SB…yes, I totally agree, my bottle of Cima Collina PN was delightful till the last drop…three days later. Unlike your experience, however, my bottle was sublimely rewarding from first popping the cork through the second day to the end of the dregs on the third.

              As you note, I believe that this exceptional Pinot has a lot of time left and doesn’t need to be hurriedly finished off in the short-term.

              I want to buy some more of the CC PN…who knows where is it available…lol?

              Darrell…just came back from Oakland where I picked up a half-case of the ’08 Legado de Farro Bierzo — Mencia…they still have about a case-and-a-half left, so I wouldn’t dawdle if you want to taste this varietal for a pittance.

            4. Darrell

              SB, you might check out San Leandro for some Cima Collina and I’ll keep my eyes open elsewhere. EHL, I picked up some of the Legaro in Richmond and they have quite a bit left. It’s good for the money, better than buying $2+ Chuck, just a tad tannic. Didn’t leave any for the next day to see if it smoothed out.

  9. RB

    At the Olympia store: Seven of Hearts 2011 Pinot Noir, Durant Vineyard (Dundee Hills), $6.99. I had high hopes for this one based on favorable reviews online, but my bottle was a dud. Cloudy and sour. I’ll return it. Maybe someone else will find a good one?

    Reply
    1. JJ

      Just called the store to inquire about this wine after also reading favorable reviews—-then I saw your note. Bummer! The wine buyer said she hadn’t had any returned yet. I hope you do return it, so that the store gets the message about the wine….I may venture into buying a bottle just to see, but doesn’t sound too hopeful. Probably a shipment not stored correctly….

      Reply
    2. Ginny

      Just picked up two bottles at the Crown Hill Seattle location — also cloudy. Not INCREDIBLY sour (might be fine with food), but not as good as I was expecting, either. Not sure whether I should test the second bottle before returning or not! Le sigh: $7 for a $35 Oregon Pinot Noir was probably too good to be true…

      Reply
      1. 5-Star Bar

        I have a suggestion for your Pinot problem. If it is available in a Grocery Outlet near you I highly recommend the 2011 Primarius Pinot Noir. Also from Dundee, Oregon it may be a $1 trade-up but well worth it in my opinion.

        I wrote a review of it in the comments section of this wine last night, but alas, for the 2nd time now my musings failed to post on WordPress (error message stated that I had neglected to provide my e-mail in the appropriate field but this was simply not accurate). Very frustrating to watch your comments completely wiped out after one has spent some time deliberating and then thoughtfully composing them only to watch them disappear entirely due to some technical problem! The same thing happened some months back when I tried posting my thoughts about the Swami Sonoma Coast Pinot (One of the “coolest” wine labels ever!).

        In any event I found the Primarius to be an elegant, delicate, and well balanced Oregon Pinot. While light in color it was full bodied and richly flavored with relatively light alcohol (the label states 12%). A fine example in the Elegant Style of just how pretty Oregon Pinot can be. Plenty of varietally authentic Raspberry and Tart Strawberry fruit balanced by lovely Rose Petal notes on the velvety smooth finish. Even an umami-like element of mushroom, or as they sometimes call it in the wine magazines “forest floor”. Perhaps it’s just that classic “Pinot funk” we often describe it as. Whatever the case this is textbook, quality Pinot in the Oregon style and I highly recommend it. I picked up 5 bottles during the sale and have no buyers remorse whatsoever.

        For those of you in the SF Bay Area There was still some left on the shelves at the San Francisco store last night…

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi 5SB. Unfortunately, I have no solution for the wordpress comment issue you’ve been having. This time it might be related to a possible typo in your email address, an extra hyphen compared to usual, but all this meant is that it was held pending moderation. So it’s unlikely that’s the underlying issue. All I can suggest is that perhaps you should write out your thoughts in a separate window before trying to post them here.

          As to the Primarius Pinot, my thoughts were similar but not identical. Thanks for your take on it.

          Reply
        2. EHL

          Hey 5-SB…nice review and thanks for your thoughts regarding this Oregon PN. May have to try it now, too.

          Also, I fully empathize with your predicament in composing an in-depth, thoughtful wine missive, only to have it disappear permanently due to some glitch while trying to post it. Been there, done that…totally exhausting and no fun…LOL.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            If a lengthy post, copy the text and then send and see if the post goes through. If it didn’t then paste to another reply and hope it goes through.

            Reply
  10. permiesworld

    First time in a while but I found a few things in Corvallis today…

    Harding Estate 2012 Napa Valley Pinot Noir $8.99 ($20 srv) Won a Gold medal at the 2014 LA International Wine Competition.
    http://www.wine.com/v6/Napa-Cellars-Pinot-Noir-2012/wine/129976/Detail.aspx

    Gunn Estate 2012 Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay (NZ) $5.99 ($20 at the vineyard now)
    http://www.vinesse.com/buy/2012-gunn-estate-new-zealand-chardonnay/

    Twin Palms Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay Single Vineyard $4.99
    http://www.twinpalmsvineyard.com/wines/
    ($25 at the vineyard right now…I expect it to be a typical buttery Napa Chard but I like that on occasion)

    Rowland’s Brook Shiraz/Cabernet 2014 (South Eastern AU) $3.99
    70/30 Shiraz/Cab blend. I think this retails for only around $10-12 usd…so not expecting much, probably another fruit forward Aussie Shiraz but I can’t help but try them :)

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      I’ll be interested in your review for the Twin Palms Chardonnay. We thought it pretty restrained by Napa Chardonnay standards. It definitely has some oak, but in good balance with the fruit. It’s not sweet or vanilla-y, and was actually food friendly. We don’t drink much Chardonnay, but ended up picking up several bottles at that price.

      Reply
  11. flitcraft

    I’m not sure this is appropriate, so please delete if it is, Powers that Be. But I thought I’d mention that the Lake City GO has lots and lots of Elysian 22 oz Split Shot beers, a milk stout where the beer was sparged with some Stumptown Coffee in the wort. It’s a delicious example of that kind of beer–it pours beautifully with a slight creamy head, is dark as night, and tastes of dark chocolate, espresso, deep roasted barley and light hops. Not sweet at all, but with a faint sweetish aftertaste from the milk sugar. If you like milk stout, or if you like espresso drinks, or if you just want to try something a little different, it’s 2.99 a bottle (retails for 7 apiece). We left with a case…

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Frankly I’d like to see an “other bargains at GO” section on this blog, since we all go there and I presume buy things other than wine. I know there are other places that collect that stuff, but it would be easier for all of us if it were available here.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Hey folks…yes, I second that. Great suggestion.

        It’s always nice to get a heads-up on exceptional deals on high-quality items while you are down there at GO for vino anyway! Otherwise, we’d just walk right by these spectacular bargains on the way to wine aisle.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          I go to the wine section and my wife goes down the aisles. She usually picks up jumbo eggs which were reasonable in price till of late. I was astonished how much a dozen eggs had risen and knowing this was a CA situation decided to carry an ice chest with ice packs the next time we went to Reno. One GO store had past date eggs for 99 cents a doz. for large and recently we picked up a doz. jumbo eggs for $2.09. So not only do we go to Reno for the usual fun, we go on an “egg run” as I call it.

          Reply
          1. Don Bevins

            For those liking the Enira 2008, the Sac Greenhaven store has plenty as we’ll as their 2006 Reserva at $5.99. Where were these during the sale??? They also had two Bertand roses. One was a 2012 Gris Rose and the other a 2013 Syrah rose made from organic grapes. Also a Viognier which I passed on for now.

            Reply
          2. weinish

            Such a coincidence.

            The other day I purchased Organic – Hormone Free eggs for a low price, as well as super cheap granola, and Olive Oil which was being sold at Costco, but they’ve since changed brands. All really quality stuff.

            I thought to myself, the Wine Blog needs a separate page for other items.

            Anyway, still waiting for that review on the Enira! :-)

            Reply
      2. BargainWhine Post author

        I will consider that as a separate page, i.e., akin to the What’s New page or the Guest Contributions page.

        Reply
      3. permiesworld

        I would as well. We’ve found some excellent beers there. Haven’t tried the one Flitcraft mentioned, but the Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball (funny name and someone originally bought it for us as a joke) only sells from Oct-Dec normally. GO just had a mess of it. It’s an ale with a bite…great if you don’t quite like Stout beers but want something stronger than an ordinary ale. Also recently, they were selling the dogfood that we pay $65 a bag for (it’s grain free) for our dogs…for $15.00. Needless to say, we stocked up while they had it.

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Flitcraft. Aside from “beer” and “stout,” you lost me. :) I hope some of our readers will appreciate your recommendation.

      Reply
  12. sonja

    …it breaks my heart to see the comments about some of the oregon wines as I live in Roseburg and enjoy several of the heavier reds.
    on a differant note, I just picked up a bottle of Cotes de Sonoma cuvee 614. Picking up pinot noir traits in the blend but was unable to clarify. Anyone know anything about this wine?

    Reply
  13. DavidLikesWine

    Palo Alto fully stocked still today.

    GB wines: 2008 Minervois ($6.99), 2009 Fitou ($5.99), 2012 Rose ($2.99)
    Leto 2012 Chardonnay ($6.99)
    Victor Zinfandel ($6.99)
    2010 Bushranger Capt. Starlight Chardonnay ($3.99)

    Still have the Kaikoura SB. Still have some RH Estate Pinot and Top of the Block Syrah.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      My husband brought back the Aresti Reserve Syrah. It’s sweetish and one dimensional. We’ll bring back the other two bottles (and he’ll probably let me do the wine-picking at GO from now on…)

      Reply
      1. EHL

        LOL…we can tell who wears the pants in your house, Flitcraft…just kidding.

        Nonetheless, you do have a nice palate and a knack for finding gems in strip mall GOs!

        ;}

        Reply
  14. Darrell

    PW has tasted a James Bryant Hill merlot, but I haven’t seen the label here. I found their SB, CS and PN, all from the CA central coast in Reno. The SB was $5, CS $6 and the PN $7. I tried the CS and PN. Passed on the CS which was light in color and too woody for me. The PN I thought enough of to buy. Light PN In color and nose with distinct but delicate PN flavor. Not much wood and for my cursory taste, a light Burgundy experience.

    Reply
      1. Darrell

        Not a strong PN nose with a med.- PN flavor and easy drinking, very little wood and tannin. I overrated it in the parking lot, but had with dinner and better evaluation. At $7 a bottle, money can be better spent on the Tractor Guy PN at the same price, IMO.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld

          oh ok Darrell, then I won’t make a special trip. We don’t have the Tractor Guy PN here. I just picked up a couple of the Oregon wine options. Hoping for something nice.

          Reply
  15. Darrell

    2011 Beneserre Sangiovese in Rocklin. Picked up last bottle of Michaud chard in Citrus Heights. No Kaikoura out this way.

    Reply
    1. Don Bevins

      Some Kaikoura at Roseville yesterday and a stack along the frozen food aisle at Citrus Heights. CH also still had the Firestone Gewürztraminer and a Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Zinfandel and the Cima Collina PN.

      Reply
    2. Don Bevins

      There is more of the Michaud Chardonnay at Citrus Heights on the bottom shelf of the white wine section and still a stack of the Kaikoura in the frozen food aisle.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Saw some more of the Michaud Chardonnay at the West Sacto. GO so I think it’s a re-release of the wine.

        Reply
  16. seedboy

    Oakland had some new Bertrand wines today including a Merlot, Chardonnay, and a 2008 Minervois, a Syrah/Carignan blend. Robair tells me there is more Bertrand in the back.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I got bottles of all the Bertrand wines at Oakland yesterday (the Minervois, an organic Chardonnay, and an unsulfured Cabernet) and would love to start weighing in on them, but I have come down with a slight cold (maybe compounded by allergies?) that seems to be aggravated by even slight tasting. In my absence, please weigh in on how your like your purchases.

      Reply
      1. Delmartian1

        Oceanside had no Bertrand wines and San Marcos only had the chardonnay. It is much more in the style of a California or Australian chard and nothing like a French white burgundy. Its OK but nothing special IMHO

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Thanks for your impressions of the Bertrand Chardonnay. I guess that’s about what you’d expect for $4 from southern France.

          Reply
  17. flitcraft

    Did a run this morning to the Kenmore and Lake City Seattle GO’s with a friend who has been complaining of an empty cellar. We found a much expanded wine selection at the Kenmore GO, a slightly expanded one at Lake City.

    Here’s what was bought: (all prices pre-sale discount)
    Masquerade Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG prosecco (8.99)
    Imbasa SA Grenache-Shiraz (5.99)
    Havoc and Mayhem Aussie Grenache (6.99)
    Four Star 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet (10.99)–much maligned over price around these parts
    Twin Palms 2012 Single Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay
    Austerity White Blend (California) (4.99)
    Victor Old Vines Lodi Zin (6.99)
    Powder Keg Calif. Syrah (6.99)
    Ritual 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) (4.99 I think)
    Greg Norman Cab-Merlot (Australian) (7.99)
    Woodbridge Portacinco (California ‘porto’ from Portuguese varietals)

    Reply
    1. Expat

      San Luis Obispo has “Absinthe One” for $12 (allegedly $60 retail). Seems like it may or may not be legit absinthe. Their Facebook site says they use wormwood but don’t use anise that causes cloudiness and use star anise instead. Hmmm. Could be an awesome deal or a dud. I’ll report back.

      Reply
      1. JJ

        Geez, you can buy absinthe at your local GO…..crazy prohibition up here in WA, though the rules just relaxed a bit recently and now Costco can undercut all the little guy liquor stores….but they don’t carry absinthe or ouzo!!!

        Reply
    2. RB

      The Olympia store has both the Four Star Cab and the Twin Palms Chardonnay. Victor Zin is also still in stock.

      Reply
        1. Don Bevins

          Nothing new and exciting today at Sac Greenhaven, Roseville,and Rocklin. Hopefully the rest of the week will pick up. Lots of Leto Chardonnay at Roseville.. Citrus Heights looks to be improving their section.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            I bought a case of the Leto at the Rocklin store about a month ago and tried it again yesterday because of the sale. It’s seems like a tank fermented then into the barrel Chardonnay. The price is $5.99 so got a few more due to the sale. Has a nice cork.

            Reply
    3. Ginny

      The Masquerade Conegliano Valdobbiadene prosecco is tasty, but at a buck more the CV prosecco Trader Joe’s sells is also very nice — so I only picked up five bottles.

      Reply
  18. DavidLikesWine

    Palo Alto Wine Sale Update:

    Stopped by the store this morning as the sale kicked off. Not too much new, but Joe said he’s got 4-5 Gerard Bertrand wines that will be out Thursday including some whites. Some that were surprisingly still around (all prices before the 20% off):

    – 2006 RH Estate Pinot as RH Top of the Block Syrah $5.99
    – 2006 Poggio Le Coste Barbaresco $14.99
    – 2012 Kaihoura Estates Sauv. Blanc $2.99
    – 2013 Antiga Vinho Verde $4.99

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        That is what I’ve heard from everyone who’s tried it (I’m assuming you mean the 2006 Poggio Le Coste), so I splurged (for me) and got a bottle. Only a few left at Oakland. I also got another bottle of the Ottomonti 2009 Sagrantino, a wine I can only guess has stayed around so long because it’s over $10, or maybe people just didn’t give it time to air.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          I really suspect that while price might be one reason the Sagrantino isn’t moving very quickly, the fact that the variety is unknown to most (especially GO’s regular shoppers) is a bigger reason. Hell! I was in the wine industry for many years and never heard of it until I saw your original review, BW. The Silverdale store still has it on the shelf too.

          Reply
      2. DavidLikesWine

        Glad to hear! From what I could find online, it looked like a winner, but $15 for a GO wine had me balking, fingers crossed there would still be some at sale time. About 20 left at Palo Alto this morning if anyone else wants to pick some up.

        Reply
          1. JoelA

            Bought a bottle each of the 2006 Barbaresco, and Victor zin and a bottle each of new wines: 2008 Bertrand Minervois (Oakland), a 2011 Barbaresco (Oakland) and a 3.99 Piedmont barbera (Richmond)

            Reply
          2. BargainWhine Post author

            I just stopped by the Berkeley store. They have a pretty good amount, for a more expensive wine, of both vintages. I picked up a 2004, as I already have a 2006 (fun to compare) and the 2004 is more highly rated on Parker’s vintage chart. Have you (or anyone) tried it?

            Otherwise, the only other thing I can recall from that visit is that they’re still selling the Risorgimento 2013 Barbera D’Asti for $7 before sale discount.

            Reply
  19. BargainWhine Post author

    Just an off-topic side note about the Bellucci premium 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil I found today at the Richmond store, 750ml for $5. It does seem to be pretty good buttery, peppery, olive oil, but the bottle closure was quite challenging to open and to use. The black cap twisted off, leaving a plastic spout that did not dispense oil. The non-dispensing white plastic spout would rotate but not unscrew. I used pliers and wire cutters to remove the rest of the black plastic outer coating to get to the white plastic spout mechanism. It consisted of three parts, and was more than this stupid American could figure out how to use. Unless it reveals its secrets when I stare at it longer, I will just use one of those three pieces, which fits into the bottle, and put plastic wrap with a rubber band over it to seal it.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Another reason why stuff ends up at GO? Well you got a couple of good laughs out of me, BW. But I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been laughing if it was me trying to deal with that bottle. Pliers and wire cutters to open a bottle of olive oil…hmmmmmmm. Take a break from your stare down and open up a bottle of Raza Sparkling Torrontes (and re-read my comments below your review)! : ~) Oh, and thanks very much for the warning about the EVOO bottle!

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        I read your experience with the Raza Torrontes and got a laugh since I recalled another incident with a sparkling wine enclosure.

        Reply
    2. Seedboy

      I have bought a mess of this oil. There are three different ones, including an organic and a Tuscan. It could be the spout confuses people. You pour through the little hole in the white part that the screw cap screws onto. Be patient, maybe pretend it is a stubborn catsup bottle. Once some of the oil comes out it starts to flow better.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Seedboy. I could have used that tip. It’s also that the black cap fit so tightly onto the white spout that it was very hard to unscrew and screw back on. I could picture myself frantically fumbling with it with greasy hands when I desperately needed to add a little to a pan. I’m glad to hear you’ve figured out how to make it work. Maybe I’ll get another bottle or two now…

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          All of the oils are really good. The California Olive Ranch oils that are around are good and are current crop, but cost more.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            I love that California Olive Ranch EVOO. I bought a number of bottles of it last year when it was on sale for $5.00 a liter at our local Cost Plus World Market for one day only…cheaper than I’ve ever bought it at GO. Still got a few bottles in the cellar where it’s cool.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              Couple of years ago the NYTimes food section sampled California olive oils and their top oil was California Olive Ranch.

      2. Seedboy

        Anyway, I’ve been buying this oil like mad because it is good and the price is fine. Just unscrew the cap, turn the bottle over (maybe 45 degrees?) and be patient.

        Reply
  20. permiesworld

    I picked up two wines today…happened to be by one of the local GO’s.

    Lion’s Lair Dreyer Family 2012 South Africa Shiraz. $3.99
    label says “wines created by Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards”
    info re: the 2011 version:
    http://www.garyswine.com/fine_wine/south_africa/13902.html

    also picked up a Gancia Prosecco (since we are on a Prosecco kick) $6.99. Almost didn’t pick this up because the Kirkland Prosecco (Fruili region) is the same price. But…the link intrigued me so we’re trying it tonight.
    http://www.winescores.ca/viewwinereview?tuuid=TN11230030134a787f449d0f0&puid=525894676ddbd02af7a0aa203bebb45918cf787e_winescor&_usrctl=Gancia%20Prosecco

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Found this site too on the Lion’s Lair:
      http://www.vivino.com/wineries/leeuwenkuil/wines/lions-lair-swartland-shiraz-2011
      Reviews run down the right side of the page. Doesn’t sound terribly enticing to me…even at $3.99. But here’s hoping your bottle is more impressive, PW.
      The Gancia sounds a bit more promising. But the problem with NV wines is that you usually don’t know which bottling you’re getting and if one is any better than another. Of the two wines, I’m betting on the Prosecco…and I look forward to hearing about them.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        Oh wow, yeah, here’s hoping…at least it’s a different vintage. We’ll probably try it soon. I wasn’t going to buy anything but the two wines we can’t seem to keep in the house are Cava and Prosecco. lol I’m hoping this one is nice.

        Reply
  21. JoelA

    At Pinole:
    (I think some of these have been reviewed)
    2012 Chateau Rotior Cotes-de-Provence rose $ 5.99
    2010 Barrel 27 High on the Hog Central Coast white $ 4.99
    2010 Lincourt Courtney’s chardonnay (Santa Rita Hills) $ 4.99
    2009 Bushranger (NSW, Australia) Captain Moonlight shiraz $ 4.99
    2010 Bushranger (NSW, Australia) CAptain Starlighyt chardonnay $ 4.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      The Lincourt is a stereotypical pineapple/butter chardonnay. This is made by a real winery and was intended to be expensive. It is not my taste

      Reply
  22. JoelA

    With Indian food I drink beer. Also, if the plan will call for sharing dishes, I don’t eat pork, shellfish or any kind of catfish (the prevalent fish in Vietnamese restaurants).

    As far as dates are concerned, Passover begins next Friday and I won’t be eating out anywhere till mid-April. Don’t know whether or not I can fit in a dinner in the next week. Otherwise, I have no problem with restaurants in Oakland

    Reply
  23. jimvan49

    Mystery wine alert: I found a Piemonte DOC Barbera 2011 imported by Epic Wines. (It was labelled Va.Ca). I couldn’t find any info on the wine either on the epic wines website nor on cellartracker, but it certainly looks interesting for Italian Piedmont barbera fans. Cost – $4. I may try it tomorrow night. Did I miss a note on this somewhere?

    Reply
  24. JoelA

    Not much new at Oakland today except for a couple of pinot noirs from Oregon. But I’ve got plenty of good pinot noir right now.

    Reply
  25. permiesworld

    Well when I stopped in to the GO, I decided to pick up all three of the Pyrenees wines that they were offering. Why? Well the Cabernet and the Merlot are 2012 harvest. That was nearly a perfect harvest for the entire west coast. So I’m giving them one chance to redeem themselves on the Cab and Merlot. I also picked up the Tempranillo (normally for the Rogue Valley vineyards, I prefer their Tempranillo, Garnacha and sometimes Syrah…rarely the other two…).

    They were all $4.99 a bottle. The list prices are high (but again, except for the Garnacha which really was in a class by itself) I would put them in the $15-20 wine experience (IMO).
    http://www.pyreneesvineyard.com/wines/red-wines

    Pyrenees Tempranillo 2011 ($40)
    Pyrenees Merlot 2012 (SRV $50)
    Pyrenees Cabernet 2012 (SRV $80)

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      Oh and I picked up the 2008 version of the Zonin Primo Amore Sangiovese/Merlot “Dry Red Wine” blend for $3.99. The only thing I could find online was this (SRV $9.99):
      Taste and Colour:
      Attractive and warm ruby red color. Intense bouquet and pleasant vinous nose with outstanding fruity and spicy notes appealing.
      Description:
      Intense and pleasant vinous on the nose with excellent fruit and an appealing spicy vein. Dry on the palate with a sultry, soft and tangy key, which a fine and harmonious balance.
      Pairing:
      A particularly fine accompaniment for grilled meats, spaghetti bolognese and cheese.

      So we’ll see.

      Reply
  26. seedboy

    My favorite restaurant corkage wise is Binh Minh Quan in Oakland. Vietnamese. Friends and I bring our own glasses and wine and take care of it ourselves, no corkage. Their food goes great with red and white Burgundy and their California counterparts. We have also done Alsatian whites there.

    Reply
      1. permiesworld

        (should have said “that did read like pulp fiction”…totally agree with the author…it’s like the stuff of bad novels.) What a sad resolution…what is it about wine that makes people do such stupid things? Or is it like the author said…the lifestyle?

        Reply
        1. jwc

          I suppose the Reserve Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley Dahl mentions on the video clip, will now be named, Dead Man’s Red.

          Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      The article makes it sound like Mr. Dahl was a slick salesman who put too much stock in his own pitch. I think my favorite part was this description of “Lewis Perdue, the publisher of Wine Industry Insight, who is also a mystery writer and a former police-blotter journalist.”

      Reply
  27. DavidLikesWine

    New to me at the Palo Alto store:

    2004 Feudo Principi di Butera “Iperion” Sicilia red blend $4.99/$19.99. Decent scores from major reviewers (89 WS, 88 WE), majority Nero D’Avola with remainder cab and merlot. Hopefully my bottle will be better than BargainWhine’s…

    2000 Tenuta Ca’Bolani “Conte Bolani” Cab/Merlot Blend $5.99/$15.99 Comes in a cool wooden case for 6 bottles. Took a swing on a case since there were only 6. Not much info online, WineSearcher shows an average price of $28.

    2006 Poggio Le Coste Barbaresco $14.99/$34.99

    2012 Harding Estate Napa Valley Pinot Noir $7.99/$19.99

    2011 Fog Head Hillside Reserve Pinot Noir $9.99 / $19.99

    Beer/Wine manager said there’s a large shipment of Washington state wines coming in soon before the sale.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      WA state needs to keep that “large shipment of Washington state wines” up here in WA, David…because we’ve had nothing of real interest in a month and a half now! I’ve pretty much lost all interest in GO.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        I just got a call that the Pyrenees wines are showing up around here. I’m going to pick up a Tempranillo but pass on the Cab and Merlot. I’m going to see if there’s anything else of interest…

        Reply
    2. seedboy

      All of those wines except the 2000 are at Oakland right now. The 2000 sold out the first day it arrived. I bought a bottle at Petaluma or Santa Rosa.

      Reply
      1. DavidLikesWine

        The 2000 Tenuta Ca’Bolani “Conte Bolani” was VERY good. I don’t have time to run to the Palo Alto store today to check and see if there’s any more left, but I’d recommend snagging some if you’re in the area and it’s still available.

        Some fine sediment, but a great nose of red/dark red fruit, earth, and hints of vanilla oak. On the palate everything is in balance (fruit, tannin, acidity). Still has some time left as it’s in quite nice shape for a 15 year old wine. My wife and I enjoyed it very much.

        Reply
            1. DavidLikesWine

              As of Sunday night, Palo Alto still had a decent supply. Sorry, didn’t have a chance to swing by this morning.

      2. seedboy

        I would love to find more of the 2000. I really loved the one bottle I got. Rather Bordeaux-like. It has a 2 inch cork. It is in really nice shape, fully mature.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          When I see a 2 inch cork on a bottle, I like to think there is concomitant diligence throughout the wine production. SB, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would have been awestruck when extracting it from a midlevel Italian bottle.

          Reply
        2. Darrell

          I usually check the clarity of aged red wines with a bright LED flashlight for sediment and with this bottle of 2000 Tenuta Ca’Bolani “Conte Bolani” Cab/Merlot Blend I hard difficulty peering into the wine for clarity. I first attributed this to the darker bottle, but on pouring the wine into the glass, I found the wine deeply toned, med. ++ for this wine, more than any other CS/ Merlot bottle I have ever opened including the Blackford CS. Nice red wine with bottle bouquet as one would expect at 14 years old, but couldn’t detect much varietal character as I hoped.

          Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. I had suggested folks could come over to my place, but my house is such the continual disaster area these days, I have been reluctant to offer again. Others suggested a restaurant or some other venue, but I never heard more about that. Anyone else?

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        If I remember correctly, the difficulty of meeting was arranging a date for meeting more so than where to meet. I vote for a restaurant with low corkage.

        Reply
          1. weinish

            There’s an Indian restaurant on Grand Avenue in Lake Merritt called House of Curries. They have huge tables, and a lot of space. No corkage.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              Indian food, do not think of it as very wine friendly. Why not Binh Minh Quan? We’ve opened eight to ten bottles and no corkage and the food is very wine friendly, and well beyond the stereotypical “gewurtztraminer and riesling” suggestions. We usually drink Burgundy and its offspring

            2. Darrell

              SB, I agree about the affinity of wine and Indian food, but what is it about Vietnamese food that lends itself to a variety of wines and how is it different from a dinner of Chinese food? I probably lean towards Spettro or something similar, but much might depend on subsequent bottle corkage.

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