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

2,888 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. seedboy

    2 new wines from Bonny Doon have appeared at the Pleasant Hill GO, each for $8.99: 2012 Le Cigare Blanc, a rhonish white, and the 2013 Mourvedre Contra Costa County. I’m told the white is very good. Excited about both.
    They have also put out the three Rose wines I saw in the Oakland back room Sunday morning.

    Reply
      1. Vinogeek

        When I saw the Bonny Doon, I was excited. Checked a few reviews and read that the Mouvedre was, made to drink now. Left them on the shelf. Would guess it’s still a well made wine, but I do like more tannic and acidic structure than the typical, made to drink now wine.

        Reply
      1. seedboy

        I have had the Mourvedre open two days. First day it did not taste like much but second it fleshes out to be a nice balanced wine with good red and black fruit and some herbs. The white I opened last night was great from first pour, it has a nice waxy body balanced with good acidity and fruit. I really need to stop buying wine but need a few more of each of these.

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          1. seedboy

            Third day the Mourvedre seemed to have faded but maybe that was just me. A glass of the blanc also seemed a bit faded (ditto).

            Reply
      2. lim13

        When you see the retail prices from the winery for the Le Cigare Volant Red, $17 might seem like a steal. Guess that would depend on the vintage that GO might get (if that’s even the wine we’re talking about). And we probably will never see it up here anyway. I remember when I paid $17 many years ago when the first vintages were released. It was one of my favorite wines. I cherished my Cigare Volant long sleeved tee shirt that I bought at the winery…and wore it until it fell apart. I could always strike up a conversation with a stranger when wearing it…especially when standing in movie, concert or grocery store lines. Had the whole story from the back label on the back of the shirt. Flying cigars, eh?

        Reply
      3. seedboy

        I did some investigation and found out that the $17 wine is the Old Telegram, which is a mourvedre. I am told that company-wide, the supply is not large, but it appears it is being allocated specially.

        Reply
          1. lim13

            I had the same question…what vintage. Old Telegram was another of my old favorites from Bonny Doon. The 2011 was killer or as R. Grahm put it…”a real bruiser”.

            Reply
  2. BdB

    Started a bottle of a fine Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand I found at the Santa Cruz store, another good suggestion from the wine manager. It’s “the loop” 2014, comes from the Marlborough region, I paid 5$ which seems a good price for a wine that has many flowers and fruits in both nose and palate and has a nice zing. Very crisp and refreshing, I’ll get more for some warm summer evenings. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
  3. inthewinecountry

    I also found a GO in Woodland yesterday while I was at a farm picking up some apple root stock and I grabbed their last bottle of a 2011 Castle Rock Sonoma Co. Pinot. I have always liked their consistency so I don’t hesitant to pick one up if its a steal.

    Reply
  4. inthewinecountry

    I saw the comments about the Pinot Gypsy Boots and thanks seedboy for the link. I was curious about it but didn’t want to pay the 13.00 although if its a good Pinot its worth it. I did pick up a bottle of the 2011 Kimimela Pinot for 4.99? at the Santa Rosa store and had it last night with Roast chicken rubbed with white truffle oil. The label’s a bit strange but its says the grapes are from Edna V. and the winery is in Buellton of all places. I don’t like to air my wines as I like to see how they evolve in the glass. This one had some good spicy notes right off the bat with some heavier tannin backbone. after about a hr. the fruit was still there but the tannin was starting to come thru more,I could feel it coating my teeth. I have a half bottle left to try today but I think its a decent Pinot and would go good with a spicy or red meat dish. Not for people who like more lighter delicate pinots.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      ITWC: It’s nice to read “I don’t like to air my wines as I like to see how they evolve in the glass.” That’s always been my wine drinking philosophy. And even more so now that I’m pushing 70. I don’t want to keel over while a great wine is airing! : ~) That Kimimela Pinot sounds right up my alley, but I don’t expect we’ll see it up north here in WA.

      Reply
  5. flitcraft

    Not much new at the Lake City GO that hasn’t been listed or commented on except:

    Lachryma Christi Feudi di San Giovanni bianco. Just being shelved, no price yet. I’ve seen it around at either supermarkets or wine shops, I know. Will report back if it seems reasonably priced, which I would say is 5.99 or less.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Flitcraft. We’ve gotten the 2011 vintage of this wine at the Richmond store. I tried a bottle and thought it was pretty good for $4. It had ripe apple and lemon, with some blanched almond, some richness of pear / melon. At first a bit heavy and dull, the quite crisp acid comes out with a little air. My reaction was that it’s wine to recommend to CA-wine drinkers who like a ripe but crisp Chardonnay.

      Reply
  6. BdB

    There have been a few wines I enjoyed lately from the Santa Cruz store : the Los Poetas libertad 2011 (Argentinian red blend), 7$ came and went, I found it elegant and delicious. Right now they have the Coppola Votre Sante 2012 pinot noir, 5$, quite rich for a pinot but I liked it a lot, the palate, not so much the nose . Also available is a white blend from Spain, Rioja region (mostly Viura), 3$ nice flowery nose and pretty dry, kept on getting better over the 3 evenings I drank it (pumped the air out thoroughly between servings). Lastly also a good value at 3$ is the “Rocks” 2013 red from Cornerstone, very nice everyday wine.

    Reply
  7. EHL

    Saw an interesting older bottle at Skyway and picked it up to sample: the 2005 El Bully, Enciro, from Jumilla, Spain, composed of predominantly Monastrell (Mourvedre) 85% with Merlot 15%; $5 GO, SRP $10.

    Upon opening, this 11 year-old wine exhibited a nose of spice, licorice, raisins and black fruit, with the palate mirroring its aromatics, along with a hint of nuttiness and salt.

    Dark shoulders with sediment present, the wine’s color was a hazy, opaque dark purple with a noticeable brown rim, full-bodied, and its 14.5% alcohol showing.

    Tasting of mature Mourvedre and Merlot grapes, the wine’s complex, layered flavors brought to mind a port-like essence, although very dry not sweet whatsoever.

    While not a smooth, fruity, easy bottle to quaff, I enjoyed the complexity of the wine with its interesting flavor profile and depth, although I imagine some could consider it to be over the hill…

    One positive review of an earlier vintage (http://winecast.net/2007/02/03/enciro-monastrell-merlot-el-bully-2004/), while Wine Enthusiast/Spectator (http://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/el-bully-2005-enciro-monastrell-merlot-red-jumilla/) gave it a combined 85 about a decade ago, with time changing its character, perhaps for the better…

    ;}

    Reply
  8. JoelA

    At Oakland:

    2012 Gypsy Boots pinot noir $ 12.99
    2012 Francis Coppola Votre Sante pinot noir $ 4.99
    2014 Don Rodolfo tannat (Argentina) $ 3.99
    2012 Asylum Lodi zin (from Lunatic Wines) $ 4.99

    Reply
  9. flitcraft

    Good news, bad news…

    Last week I saw that the Crown Hill GO in Seattle has some of the Kennedy Shah Malbec for 4.99 and the Villa des Collines French rose for 3.99. I picked up one of each to check out, but figured that given the quantities out on display, neither would be available if and when I got back this week.

    Well, I am happy to say I was wrong; there’s a nice supply of both. But the rose is now 4.99, and the Malbec jacked up to 8.99. (Sad face emoji should be imagined here.) I think the rose is still worth it, but the KS Malbec isn’t. YMMV of course.

    I wonder if the Crown Hill owner is monitoring this site…

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I’ve yet to see the rose’ over here, but $8.99 for the Malbec (and that’s Hudson Shah rather than Kennedy Shah, flitcraft) is highway robbery. However…could it be that what you saw is indeed Kennedy Shah Malbec? Could both be available? I believe KS is the winery’s higher priced line. What I bought is the Hudson Shah. Too many Shahs!

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Both the regular Kennedy and Hudson Shahs, named after the owner’s kids, are part of their lower tier line priced up to $20, with the top shelf stuff retailing up to $52 for the KS “Reserve” wines.

        And as to Crown Hill ownership monitoring this site, it’s probably a sure bet that all or most of the GOs’ management with an interest in their wine sales surveil this blog…some just choose to take advantage of the free exchange of info more than others…
        :\

        Reply
    2. flitcraft

      Here’s my take on the Hudson Shah Malbec: it’s pretty nice. It’s a little tight on opening, but it blooms into a nicely balanced wine, with a pronounced fresh blueberry note on the nose and especially on the palate. I almost never get blueberry in wines, even when other people do, so this must be all-blueberry-all-the-time to get me to taste it. It also has a bit of nutmeg on the finish, and made me start thinking that it was high time I made blueberry muffins again.

      At 4.99, it’s a good buy. At the current 8.99, it’s a clear pass-on-by.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Although you, Lim and I all discovered different things that were highlighted in this wine, one thing we all agreed on was that the HS Malbec was a pretty tasty, well-balanced bottle to drink.

        Wonder if there was bottle variation for this vintage — good variation, however, that didn’t spoil the intrinsic quality of the wine — and perhaps that’s why it ended up at GO.

        Wonder if my next bottle of it will reflect blueberry-nutmeg or cedar-cocoa-coffee or floral-raspberry essences?

        This past week, Skyway still had a case of it, and it didn’t appear to be marked up over the original $5 price…

        Reply
  10. Expat

    Astrale e Terra 2009 Estate Cabernet Napa Valley Atlas Peak in Santa Maria 14.4 %. $7.99, This is a solid wine. Perhaps a tad more fruit than I prefer but I like really dry profiles. This has classic Napa cab elements and good structure. Really a nice wine and at that price a terrific deal.

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Or the 2010 Arcturus red blend? I decided that, at the rate the Cab was disappearing from the Richmond store (gone now), I should get one. (Haven’t opened it yet.) However, I have not even purchased the 2006 Merlot or the 2010 Arcturus.

        Reply
        1. DavidLikesWine

          09 Cab and 04 Merlot at Palo Alto, both $7.99. The winery’s website has a good amount of information, case production for the cab was around 250, 60 for the merlot. The big selling point for me, not having tried one yet, is that Scott Harvey is the winemaker. I’ve enjoyed several of his wines. WE gave the cab an 88. 82 on the Merlot, but at 12 years old, I had to try it :)

          Reply
          1. DavidLikesWine

            Opened the merlot tonight. It’s surprisingly fresh, which I’m guessing is the mountain fruit doing it’s thing. There was enough structure to the wine that I actually wound up running it through a Venturi since I didn’t have an evening to spend with it. Blackberry jam, some cassis, and some plum with decent structure. All in all a solid merlot in my book!

            Reply
  11. inthewinecountry

    I was at the Petaluma store last weekend and found a interesting collection of odd lot bottles on the shelf priced from 2.99 to 3.99. I was told the buyer had picked up a pallet of six cases of mixed bottles that were packed together from cases that had been damaged. I picked up 2 bottles of Gascon Melbec for 3.99 ea and as far as I could see only thing wrong with them was the labels were stained from wine. First one I opened was pretty tasty. Going for 12.99 at my local Safeway.

    Reply
  12. EHL

    Finally found the Hudson Shah Merlot after calling three GOs in the Seattle area…the SoDo and MLK stores sold out quickly apparently but there was about a case-and-a-half at Skyway today.

    Picked up four bottles but haven’t tried it yet, since there was also another bottle from the Woodhouse group…the Kennedy Shah 2010 La Vie en Rouge that also caught my attention. I bought this Rattlesnake Hills, WA, AVA wine for $5 (SRP $15) to sample over eight hours first.

    A Bordeaux-like blend aged in French Oak — dominated by Cab, with Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Syrah filling in — the full-bodied wine poured a brilliant, dark garnet color, showing a nose of cedar, vanilla-oakiness and candied black fruit. The palate reflected the nose…which I didn’t particularly care for, exhibiting tart black fruit with acidity and tannins somewhat in balance. Disappointingly, not a repeat buy from me, although some fans of the KS winery might like it. Hope the Hudson Shah Merlot is better…

    Nonetheless, the bright note from this expedition was discovering a couple of bottles of Croft Distinction Special Reserve Porto while perusing the racks at SoDo.

    Priced at $7 (SRP $20+) — after I tasted it, along with my companion (who earlier professed a profound dislike for Port) — we absolutely loved this Port from one of the traditional houses of Portugal. It was truly delicious, with refinement, subtlety and a smooth lightness that put to shame my former love, the Woodbridge Portocino (I know…fickle loyalty), and for three bucks less to boot. Although I am definitely no expert on Port, for a Reserve Ruby of this quality at this price, I can’t see how you can go wrong.

    If you see it…grab it!

    ;}

    Reply
      1. EHL

        Yes, I know, SB, I saw that one too and passed on it at Oakland. When I went back, it was all long gone.

        That’s another reason why this KS Red blend intrigued me, compelling me to try it on for size…

        Reply
        1. EHL

          By the end of the second day, the disagreeable candied dimension and oakiness dissipated considerably, with the dry KS Bdx blend becoming more integrated, balanced and tasty. Not bad…

          Reply
    1. lim13

      Appreciate the report on the Kennedy Shah, EHL…though I’ve yet to see it over here. I’ll avoid it. And for all who might not be aware, all the Shah wines are part of the Woodhouse Wine Estates whose two winemakers include Tom Campbell who had/has Horizon’s Edge Winery in the Yakima Valley (Zillah) for over 30 years. He used to produce some pretty funky wines and some pretty decent ones…particularly sweet dessert wines with unusual names/labels…and even had/has a winery in Montana…a hotbed of wine production. It’s Campbell’s nephew that owns Woodhouse in an industrial park in Woodinville.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        As usual, Lim, thanks much for the personal insider info on the wine world…helps to put things in context.

        On that note, as to the other Shah product — the Hudson Shah Merlot — I just saw a bottle of their 2013 vintage going for around $22 at QFC, so $5 for their 2010, which seems to have received favorable input, sounds like a pretty sweet deal…

        ;}

        Reply
    2. flitcraft

      I did see the Croft reserve ruby, but it was 9 dollars rather than 7. Still, it’s well worth the tariff. There’s been quite a lot of the Croft house that’s passed through GO over the past couple of years, including two of their vintage Ports, an excellent single quinta vintage, their reserve tawny and pink Ports and now this one. I hope this is not necessarily a bad sign for the future of Croft, which is a very old port house that went through some pretty bad years in the 1980’s and 90’s, only to be acquired by the Fladgate Group, which has resulted in huge improvements in the quality of their wines. Sadly, several venerable Port houses (Martinez and Gould Campbell the latest) are being discontinued by their managing firms, probably in an attempt to streamline marketing. I would be truly sorry for that to be Croft’s fate.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Well, if a bottle of Croft’s bargain-basement Reserve Ruby Port (picked up for the price of a pint of craft beer in some places) tastes like this, I can only imagine the array of sensory delights one of their Vintage Ports must deliver…looking forward to it.

        Also, thanks, Flitcraft, for the quick synopsis of developments in Portugal’s revered houses of Port.

        ;}

        Reply
  13. JoelA

    At Berkeley:

    2013 Elena Sonoma County sauvignon blanc, $ 4.99
    2012 Mortellotta Santa Barbara County chardonnay $ 4.99
    2006 Bell Hill Lake County merlot $ 5.99
    2013 Franciscan Napa Valley Equilibrium (white blend) $ 11.99
    2007 Marques de Arianzo crianza rioja $ 2.99

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      The merlot is tasty. A tiny bit green but i do not mind that in Bordeaux varieties. The crianza is Ok and not a repeat. I will walk by the Franciscan until its price drops or someone tells me it is awesome.

      Reply
      1. JoelA

        SB- sounds like if someone wants an OK three-dollar wine, the crianza will do. Correct?

        No, I’m not looking for that kind of wine but I meet a lot of people in the aisles who are.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          I am actually in the market for $3 wine for a PTA thing. I wish that Crianza were just a little better. I will probably end up buying white wine or the Provencal rose I’ve see n at Richmond, if there is any left.

          Reply
            1. seedboy

              Weinish I wish I could remember the name. 2014, really busy label, $2.99 at the Richmond store last time I saw it.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Seedboy is probably referring to Villa des Collines 2014 Rosé, IGP Alpes de Haute Provence. $3. It was very popular and is now all gone from the Richmond store.

            3. BargainWhine Post author

              It has not been in the order guide for a while, so most likely this vintage at least is gone forever.

        2. BdB

          Different palate, different tastes I guess, personally I really like that crianza. I’ve drunk 3 bottles in the last few months, every one was delicious and I’m looking forward to drinking more of it. I love Rioja wines, viva tempranillo!

          Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. That Franciscan Equilibrium went back and forth from $7 to $12 before settling (as far as I know) at $7 for a while now, at least at the Richmond store. I haven’t tried it, nor heard anything about it. As a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscat, I had thought it would have been a popular holiday wine, but it hasn’t moved much.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I served the Franciscan white blend at “card night” and just took a nip that night and then again a few nights later. It’s a solid wine but I can’t give detailed notes. I prefer crispy, snappy pinot grigios and sauv blancs and this had more viscosity and richness than I go for but it was a well done version of this profile.

        Reply
  14. Michael

    Some new stuff at 4th Ave in Seattle. No notes yet but I will be working through some of these over the next week or so.

    Clos laChance 2012 cab/meritage $5.99
    Filaree Zinfandel Mendocino 2012 $6.99
    Sequoia Pinot central coast 2012 $6.99
    Reserve Saint olive Cabernet and merlot 2014 vin de pays France $5.99
    Q Syrah Sonoma 2012 $5.99
    Esprit vignoble red 2013 France $4.99
    Vina Armani’s crianza 2009 $8.99
    Asylum Zin Lodi 2012 $5.99
    Impuls 71 red(Syrah blend) Columbia valley 2014 $7.99
    Hudson shah Malbec 2011 Columbia valley $4.99
    Sun star can 2013 California $6.99
    Sterling celebration red Napa 2012 $6.99
    Woodbridge portacino 2001 $9.99
    First crush late harvest sav blanc 375 Columbia valley $5.99
    Orgoglio trebbiano 2014 Italy $4.99
    Il feuduccio cerasuolo d’abruzzo rose Italy 2012 $4.99
    De alto amo rioja blanco 2013 $3.99

    I bought a mixed 12 and will report back later with notes.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Wowie zowie, that’s a lot of new stuff, especially at a GO that’s been systematically dis-investing in wine it seems for a while. New wine guy? New owner? Anyway, seems like a good sign for that store.

      I hope the Hudson Shah Malbec ended up in your case; I’d love to hear a report on it.

      Reply
      1. Michael

        It looks like new owners and definitely a new wine guy. Chatted with him a bit and he knows his stuff. Said he is working on trying to order every week instead of once a month like before.

        I will open the Shah tonight :)

        Reply
        1. lim13

          So I saw that DDobbs reported back on the Hudson Shah Malbec. What did you think, Michael? Second and third opinions are always good. I picked up two at the Silverdale store today, but likely won’t be opening them for a while. Also grabbed a 2013 Stone Cap (Goose Ridge) Columbia Valley Riesling for $2.99 and a 2014 Rio Grande Airen/Macabeo (Spain) for $3.99.

          Reply
          1. michael

            Loved it but didn’t make it back in time to buy any more. SODO is out now. I have a write up on a few more of these that I will post soon.

            Reply
          2. lim13

            Opened the 2014 Rio Grande Airen/Macabeo tonight. My notes: Brilliant pale golden color; nose shows Meyer Lemon, under-ripe pear and spice and a certain soapy quality; in the mouth, on the front of the tongue there’s a fair dose of acidity, but somehow at the same time the wine comes across as flat and flabby as it moves across the palate. And again, while the pear and lemon flavors are there, they’re not very pronounced…and the soapiness transfers as well. Interesting varieties, but not a very interesting wine. You’ll see from these links that Macabeo is used in blending Spanish cavas and Airen is now used mostly for brandy making.

            Reply
          3. lim13

            I’m impatient, so I opened a bottle of the 2011 Hudson Shah Malbec. My notes: Clear medium garnet with ruby rim; nose shows cedar, cocoa, tobacco and menthol mint; medium body and texture with soft, but firm tannins and great acidity which should bode well for additional ageing (though why age it when it’s tasting good now?); flavors of cocoa and coffee, blueberry and earth with a slight cedary finish and tannins that linger. Very nice balance of fruit, tannin and acidity. Hardly earth shattering, but a pretty nice five buck buy. I believe there were only four cases at the Silverdale GO…so locals, don’t wait.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Just opened up my first bottle of the HS Merlot.

              First impression, very nice and unusual nose for a Malbec…smells like a robust Pinot Noir to me, with a vibrant yet delicate floral orchestra of rose and lavender, mixed in with vinous red fruit notes. Have never had a Malbec like this…although perhaps not varietally correct, light in color and texture, it’s still a damn delicious wine, tasting of ripe raspberries and succulent strawberries, balanced with tart acidity and supple tannins.

              Blindfolded…I would have said without hesitation, this is one very nice Pinot. Did they put the wrong label on it…LOL!

              ;}

          4. lim13

            Opened the 2013 Stone Cap Riesling ($2.99) with fresh Dungeness crab tonight. I was thoroughly unimpressed. Nose and flavors were varietally correct with green apple, peach and lime…but texture was off…thin, somewhat watery and lacking enough acidity to balance the sugar for my taste. Want a delicious, perfectly balanced Riesling? Pick up some 2013 Ch. Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling for around $7.00 at your favorite grocery store.

            Reply
    2. lim13

      Had a bottle of that Impulse 71 when it came to Silverdale about a month or more ago. My bottle was so God-awful, I returned it for a refund. Some of the other wines Michael mentions above arrived in Silverdale yesterday (Sun Star, Sterling, Orgoglio), but none really interest me. A Rio Airen Macabeo $3.99 showed up too…and one of those I may try…just for the odd varietal experience.

      Reply
    3. DDobbs

      just drank through 2 of the Hudson Shah Malbec. Picked up a case in Wenatchee, tipped by the owner. They were blowing through it. Not a wordsmith like a lot of the posters here but this is pretty above the bar GO stuff.

      Reply
  15. Seedboy

    Mezzacorona Pinot Noir 2012. Bought at the Richmond store last Sunday for 5 bucks or so. This wine is from the Dolomites. Think where Italy butts up against Switzerland and Slovenia. This wine has light color, and light body, but good pinot fruit flavors and also has good acidity and minerality. Unless you dismiss light colored pinots as a category check it out. I’ve not seen it at Oakland or Berkeley.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Thanks for the report, Seedboy. I have been very curious about this wine, but have not been able to get to it. As I recall, I’ve liked the Chardonnay (and / or Pinot Grigio?) from this producer, but not the Cabernet. Previously here, leftbanker quoted a wine writer as describing Pinot Noir as “a white wine masquerading as a red,” so I was cautiously optimistic about this wine.

      Reply
  16. rgardner2

    A couple new ones in the Tacoma area (Lakewood).:

    2009 Challenger Ridge Mystic Red RTW Washington $3 ($9?). 51% CS, 22% CF, 13% Syrah, 10% Petite Verdot, 4% Carmenere. 740 cases produced, Silver Medal – 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
    This winery’s tasting room was in Concrete WA (off North Cascades Highway WA-20) – last day was Dec 15. Bottle says wine made in Grandview WA (Yakima Valley, 200 miles away). During their clearance sale was $12.50/bottle (list was $25). they had a tasting room in Woodinville until 2012, then shifted to their vineyard in Concrete (grapes for this wine obviously not from thier vineyard). At some point Robert Smasne assisted in the wine making (maybe after the 2009 vintage). Winery’s Facebook page has some shutdown details.

    Also,
    De Bertolli Reserve Willowglen Tawny Port 17% (Aust) – low Vivino rating $7/11
    NV Osborne Manzanilla (Sherry) $7/14
    Sterling Limited Edition Celebration Red Wine Napa Valley 2012, $7/25 CT 88

    Reply
  17. BdB

    The Santa Cruz store just got a few (4 cases of 6 bottles) of the 2011 red blend “Los Poetas” Libertad from Argentina (7$/ 30$ elsewhere). I haven’t tasted it yet but from what I saw online it’s much appreciated. Won’t be there long…Had a taste of the Portugese 2011 DAO grilos red (4$/13$ eslewhere), it didn’t need airing and was quite fruity and well rounded/smooth, they just got quite a few boxes of it, it’s worth trying. I’m curious to see comments from a connoisseur about these 2 reds . Finally got around to the Blackjack ranch 2007 Allusion from Santa Barbara, it’s delicious, a real standout for me, glad I have a couple of bottles stashed away.

    Reply
  18. DavidLikesWine

    New to me at Palo Alto:

    2012 Lion’s Lair (Dreyer Family) Family Reserve White $4.99 / $18.99 (South African White Rhone blend)

    2011 Chateau Moines Medodin Bordeaux Superieur $9.99 / $23.99

    2009 Cat Amongst the Pigeons Barossa Shiraz $3.99 / $17.99

    Also available are the full spread of Windsor Oaks wines. The “Mountain Cuvee” seems really interesting, has anyone had experience with it yet? I’d imagine these wines might be shut down a bit from transport since they’re so new.

    Also, anyone familiar with the Lion’s Lair white blend? I saw the red was pretty well received.

    Reply
    1. DavidLikesWine

      annnnnd just saw the post on the Lion’s Lair. Request for feedback retracted. Still would love thoughts on the W.O. Mtn Cuvee

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      David, tried a bottle I bought along with the Chardonnay. It needs some aging as it is not mellow due to being tannic and sharp acids. Low raspberry aromas and good balance of wood. Would have thought to be worth a buck less, the same as the Chard. and this isn’t the Chard. bargain you found for us in the Chapter Three. Thanks for that.

      Reply
    3. EHL

      Hey David…although the PA GO is charging a buck more for the Lion’s Lair Red than most of the Bay Area, that South African CdR blend is worth it…and the owner knows it…LOL.

      This is the best wine for the money that I have found up here in the PNW, where, incidentally, it is going for $4!

      Love that delicious Syrah blend and — given the funky, earthy, black fruit nose — I imagine there is more Mourvedre and less Cinsault there than the label indicates.

      Have picked up over a half-case…and every bottle so far has been reliably memorable, leaving a smile on your face…

      ;}

      Reply
  19. Seedboy

    It was viewed as a tough vintage. Late frost and then harvest decisions were driven by early rain. Some folks picked green (the pinot tastes like that, and the Zin that I just opened isn’t giving up much fruit either) and some played chicken with the rain and had more plush wines, or, rot. I seem to remember a hot summer, too.

    Reply
  20. lim13

    Opened the 2008 Cowan Yakima Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that I mentioned here previously. 100% Cab Sauv; Clear medium garnet with a very slight brick tone around the rim; nose shows mint, cedar, earth and a slight vinegary aroma; in the mouth it has light tannins and a good dose of tart acidity; flavors of cranberry, pie cherry and red plum; very short on the finish. Simple and not the least bit enticing to me. Of the three Cowan reds I’ve had so far, this sits at the bottom of my list, with only the Merlot left to try.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Had the last of my four bottles of Cowan reds tonight…the 2008 Merlot…and it was by far the best of the bunch though still not a repeat buy for me. My notes: Clear deep ruby color with no signs of age; slightly closed nose slowly opens to dark cherry and cassis; in the mouth it’s rich and moderately tannic with good acidity and flavors of dried cherry, Santa Rosa plum and black raspberry; my glass is again coated with very fine sediment even though the bottle had been standing up for three days before opening.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Your descriptors of Santa Rosa plum and black raspberry sound mighty fine to me, just not what I’d expect for a Merlot though.

        Reply
      2. rgardner2

        I visited Yakima (Union Gap) and Ellensberg today and picked up the Cowan Cab Franc (Yak) and Merlot (Ell). Passed on Tartan Red (I already reviewed, drinkable, but not special). I’ll repeat what I said before about Yakima, I like their Apple WA sticker next to WA wines, even if they are Precept. And again, I’ll flog Impuls 71 (WA 71% Syrah, 29% CabSauv) $8 as a decent buy ($15-20 wine). I saw it in Kennewick, Yakima, and Ellensberg, plus 6th Ave Tacoma.

        Reply
  21. lim13

    Because Precept Brands is a GO mainstay and also based on recent discussions here about Cavatappi wines, I thought some of you might appreciate this article from today’s Seattle Times. At least now you get to see what Peter Dow of Cavatappi looks like. For you Californians, he kind of has that Jed Steele look. I enjoyed the article because my introduction to WA state wines began in 1975 with Ste. Michelle (before the Chateau was built in Woodinville) and Associated Vintners (now Columbia). My very first friends in the industry were Lloyd Woodburne, whom I met in 1975 and David Lake who became winemaker in 1979…both of the old Associated Vintners. Both contributed hugely to my love of wine.

    Reply
  22. Seedboy

    Lots of new wines from Windsor Oaks Vineyards at the Richmond store.
    2011 RRV Reserve Zin $5.99
    2011 RRV Pinot Noir $5.99
    2011 (?) RRV Unoaked Chardonnay
    2011 (?) Mountain red blend (syrah, cab, sangiovese) $6.99
    2012 (?) Sangiovese rose
    I bought zin and pinot and will report.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      The reds are vintage 2011. The Chardonnay and rose of Sangiovese are 2012. The mountain red was lighter bodied than I expected, but it has nice minerality and is an elegant blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, and Cabernet. I’m hoping to have a review of the Pinot up later today.

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      There’s also a 2011 RRV Chardonnay Reserve for $6.99 in SF. I have a feeling 2011 wasn’t so good a vintage on the Sonoma Coast.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        The Chard has a M- nose of pear/apple fruit with some oak in the background. Went to the winery’s site and see they barrel ferment and age sur-lies. I don’t think there is a high proportion of new oak. Decent acid and Med – flavor. Preferred the Chapter Three at $3.99 much more.

        Reply

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