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

4,183 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. BdB

    I bought 2 bottles of Languedoc reserve 2011 Fontaine du sud at the S Cruz store for 5$ (11$ elsewhere?) 2 weeks ago and found it delicious right off the bottle (no waiting is nice). It’s quite dry with berry/spice flavors and just enough oak. They have a few cases left so I’ll get more. Anyone else tried it?

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

      I gave that Languedoc a nice review in the Guest Contributions section a few weeks ago. Short answer, I liked it, but it’s not an ager.

      Reply
      1. BdB

        I think I read your review and took note Doug, thank you for pointing it. That’s why I value this blog, I am not knowledgeable and there are too many wines going through. You confirm what I suspected, that it should be drunk soon. I’m glad it’s still available, many good wines disappear too fast.

        Reply
    1. Doug Green

      I had a feeling that the 2012 Chateau Bensse was going to be about as good a Bordeaux as GO had. I didn’t buy it because it was $11.99, if it had been $9.99 I would have, but thanks for taking the chance and validating my suspicions.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I really liked the 2011 Chateau Bensse and bought several bottles last year. I was disappointed with the 2012. Ok but inferior to 2011. Several stores have a St. Emillion for $10 that is better.

        Reply
    2. Doug Green

      BTW Seedboy, I was reading some of the rest of your blog, and I feel the need to come to the defense of Kenneth Volk Vineyards, obviously a winery I like much more than you do. IMHO, Ken Volk does their best work with non-traditional varietals for California, where they can really scour the state for prime patches of old vines that are not fashionable in the state. In particular, their Spanish and especially their Portuguese and even Austrian varietals, are top tier, and there are not many direct analogues to these wines elsewhere in the Paso, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara areas. I don’t bother with their Pinots, Bdx Varietals, and Zins, as there are generally better and cheaper alternatives. But I defy you to find a better Souzao, Touriga Nacional, Negrette, or Blaufrankisch made in the state of California.

      Reply
        1. seedboy

          I am not the writer of Soif, it is the work of a wine enthusiast who lives in the Central Coast; I know him through mutual friends, via Facebook.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            I completely agree with his tastes in wine and think his reviews are valuable, However, I just wish he would back off his pseudo-literary style because it’s not funny, interesting or clever – it just makes the reivews nearly unreadable. Plus half the time I really don’t know if even likes a given wine or not.

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              I was about to say the same. The going beyond simple prose makes evaluation a of a wine a bit difficult.

  2. Sebastian

    Just finished a bottle of the 2014 Lake County Lake and Vine Sauvignon Blanc (I think it was $3.99 at the Oakland Store). I don’t have much bad or good to say about it. It was decently tasty, but it was pretty flabby and sweet for a SB, reminding more of a Pinot Grigio. It had some tasty notes of pear and citrus. I drank it over two days and didn’t see much new appearing the second day. Worth every penny of its price tag, but definitely not a good buy if you are looking for a crisp SB on this hot day.

    Reply
    1. Sebastian

      I tried the 2013 Parcel 41 SB from Napa Valley (4.99 at Oakland) and found it much more to my liking. It comes in a very thick glass bottle with a small elegant label that makes it feel classy from the start. It was, indeed, a very tasty SB – crisp, nicely acidic, a little fruity for a SB but well balanced with a little air. There wasn’t much of it on the shelves, but I would grab more if I find some on my next visit.

      Reply
    2. flitcraft

      Thanks for taking one for the team, Sebastian. My memory of the 2012 was not of a flabby or sweet wine, so I poked around online regarding the supporting grape change from the 2012–the substitution of Sauvignon Musque for the 2012’s Semillon. Seems that the Sauvignon Musque is a clone of Sauvignon Blanc with a floral, muscat-like nose and flavor. The Wiki-article referenced Gewerztraminer as originally a clone of Traminer that developed similar characteristics. Since I’m no fan of floral, muscat-flavored wines myself, I will avoid this one.

      Reply
  3. Darrell

    Saw a 2014 Eighty20 Riesling from Pareto’s Estate for $3 a bottle at my West Bay GO. It’s produced and bottled by and the grapes from the 2013 Riesling were sourced from the Mesa del Rio Vineyard and Viento Vineyard, a Scheid Vd. concern down in Greenfield, CA. The 2013 was semi-dry and supposed to go with all kinds of so called ethnic foods.

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

      This Riesling is $3.99 in San Diego. If it was $2.99 I’d have picked up a bottle, but my need for whites is minimal, so I passed.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Doug, your price is correct because I refrained from trying it, just like you, so it must be $3.99 and I might have reported an incorrect price. Another reason I didn’t try it was I know how hot Greenfield gets before the afternoon cools the area down.

        Reply
    1. JoelA

      Wasn’t there a 2014 Moillard burgundy some time ago? Haut Cote de Nuits or something? I think it cost about % 20.

      Reply
    2. Seedboy

      I’ve now finished a bottle of the white. First day it really did not give up much, second day some minerality and apply citrus fruit comes out. It will not be a repeat purchase for me.

      Reply
  4. BdB

    2014 Evan’s and Tate’s Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia, 4$ at the S Cruz store today, July 11. Prettiest label I’ve ever seen, even a little emboss ( I’m thinking of buying a few for gifts). Wine to match, rich, big, fruity, nice nose, complex enough to be interesting. Seems to be liked, https://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-364092-0001-evans-tate-breathing-space-cabernet-sauvignon-margaret-river-australia. Money well spent, I’ll get more tomorrow.

    Reply
  5. JoelA

    2013 Douglas Green “The Beach House”; 98% syrah, 1% mourvedre, 1% viognier; Western Cape (South Africa); bought Monday at Oakland for $ 3.99 (13.5% alc.)

    Tried out something new; never had a South African syrah before and I don’t know whether this one is typical or not, but in any case it’s quite pleasant and a good value.
    Enough acid for balance; plummy earthy syrah fruit and overall pleasant flavors – so pleasant that I kept forgetting to pay attention to the flavor components while drinking it. Don’t know what (if anything) the very minor amounts of mourvedre and viognier contributed – or why they were included (perhaps the winery had a bit left over from some other wine).
    Anyway, as I said, it’s a very pleasant wine at a very pleasant price.

    Reply
        1. Happybaker

          Joel,

          Just got it today at the Burbank SoCal GO. Frustrated that I could not find it on the wall and what do you know, they had an end cap display of it! $3.99 as well.

          It is hot here but hope to try it tomorrow night with a red wine loving friend. We’ll either have it with Greek/Armenian kabob’s or, pizza. Too hot to cook!

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            This is a nice little cool climate syrah. Nice fruit flavors come out rather quickly after you unscrew the bottle. Balanced, no oak flavor, easy to drink and lasts to the next day. A good summer quaff especially if you keep it cool (on ice on a warm day).

            Reply
            1. Happybaker

              Seedboy, you said —

              “This is a nice little cool climate syrah. Nice fruit flavors come out rather quickly after you unscrew the bottle. Balanced, no oak flavor, easy to drink and lasts to the next day. A good summer quaff especially if you keep it cool (on ice on a warm day).”

              Thank you so much! One of the things I had been wondering about was, in this heat, should I give it a quick chill?

              I think I’ll throw it in the fridge for an hour, before we drink it.

              Huzzah! Thanks for the help!

    1. Doug Green

      Now I’m going to have to buy a bunch of this to give away as gifts, because it’s named after me (although I had never heard of it before I stumbled across it at my Poway GO).

      Reply
      1. JoelA

        Hope your friends don’t start to think that in reality you are a wealthy winery owner who should be drinking only top quality wines and who shouldn’t be buying at GO.

        Reply
  6. JoelA

    2011 Helwig Suisun Valley syrah, bought last week at Richmond for $ 7.99 (13.5%alc,),
    It’s a medium weight wine with some fruit and a bit of earthiness but nothing to write home about.

    Reply
  7. JoelA

    2011 Helwig Suisun Valley sytrah, bought last week at Richmond for $ 7.99 (13.5%alc,),
    It’s a medium weight wine with some fruit and a bit of earthiness but nothing to write home about.

    Reply
  8. Doug Green

    Lots of new stuff showed up in Poway this week, mostly Pinot Noirs: The 2013 Judson Hale Walsh Ranch Mendocino PN for $7.99, the 2013 Wild Oats Edna Valley for $4.99, the Uhu Vineyard Willamette Valley 2013, and an Italian one: Gaetano D’Aquino Veneto 2014 Pinot Noir for $4.99. This is packaged in a Bordeaux style bottle. I’ll probably pick up the Uhu based upon Seedboy’s complimetary note on it, and the Veneto based upon a couple of good notes on Vivino and it’s relative unusualness.
    What I bought today was a South-African Shiraz called The Beach House (a wine by Douglas Green), because apparently, the winery it comes from and I share the same name, although I had never heard of it until now. If this wine is any good, I’m going to need to buy it in volume to give it away as a novelty item due to the winery’s name. So watch, I won’t be surprised if this should probably turn out to be the worst $3.99 swill that I have ever encountered at GO.

    Reply
    1. Expat

      Hi Doug, did you try any of these? I bought the Judson Hale and considered the Wild Oats and the Gaetano PInot. Curious what you think.

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

        I tried the Gaetano D’Aquino and liked it for the price. My review is in the Guest Contributons section. I bought the Uhu Willamette Valley Pinot, but haven’t opened it yet. I’ll probably get around to buying the Judson Hale.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          That Gaetano D’Aquino pinot has disappeared from the Oakland and Richmond stores, anyone know where I can get it in the Bay Area? BTW I recently bought a pinot called Cowboy Red. I was originally put off by the name but then noticed it is a single vineyard wine from Trinity County and worth a try at $4.99. Opening it I am not sure what to think. It has much more body than I would expect from a winery’s second label pinot. Just not sure the flavor profile is appealing. I will finish the bottle tonight and let you know what I think.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            Interesting wine. I would not imagine, blind, that it was from California. The fruit is kind of shy. It tastes real, though, meaning it does not seem manipulated. I wish it had just a tad bit more acid. I might buy a couple of bottles to see what a couple of years of bottle age does for it.

            Reply
  9. flitcraft

    Lake and Vine, Lake County Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, 5.99; seen at Crown Hill and SODO GO’s in Seattle.

    I didn’t try this one myself, but I recall enjoying the 2011 version of this wine. That one had semillon in it, this one has Sauvignon Musque in the mainly SB blend. Anyone tried this?

    Reply
  10. flitcraft

    Two Northwest Roses:
    Kestrel Rose, 4.99 (sorry–bottle recycled before I caught the vintage or ABV, but it was light).
    North by Northwest Columbia Valley 2014, 5.99 (again, forgot to note the ABV pre-recycling, but I think it was in the 12-13 percent range). Both seen at Crown Hill GO and SODO GO in the Seattle area.

    Both are made by real wineries–in the case of the North by Northwest, it’s the ‘value line’ of Oregon’s King Estates winery, though in this case the grapes could be Washington, Oregon, or a combination.

    The Kestrel is a lovely pale salmon color, much like a Provencal rose would be. But it’s rather washed out, flavor-wise. It was served too cold (my bad!) but even as it warmed in the glass, there wasn’t a lot there. Nothing off, but nothing is still nothing.

    For a buck more, I’d go with the NxNW. It’s a few shades darker, and more pink than the Kestrel. But, besides being ‘pretty in pink,’ it had more flavor going on–I would guess there’s syrah in there somewhere–like slightly underripe strawberries. Juicy, fruity, and it gives the impression of being off-dry, though I think it’s less a matter of residual sugar and more a matter of being distinctly fruity. It reminds me of the Adobe Clayhouse Rose from last year. If you liked that one, you’ll like this one. If you like your roses more austere, this probably won’t float your boat.

    Reply
    1. RB

      These two wines are also at the Olympia store, along with two other Kestrel wines from the same 2015 vintage: Pinot Grigio and Viognier. Both also $5.99. These are the same wines currently for sale from the winery online.

      I agree with your assessment of the rosé. I wanted to like it, but there’s just not a lot there. I read a review online that described it as ‘watery’ and that seems apt to me. The ABV is 12%. The PG is better, with more backbone to it, but needs to be warmed up a bit to flesh out the flavors. As with the rosé it is very thin when cold. The Viognier I did not like. Nice floral nose, but off-putting flavors.

      Kestrel has been one of my go-to NW wineries for many years. Apparently, 2015 was the first vintage for a new winemaker, so I’ll have to see if their style and my tastes still match up in years to come.

      Reply
      1. RB

        Oh, and these Kestrel wines are all in the ‘Falcon Series’ and, for what it’s worth, the rosé is 100% Sangiovese.

        Reply
  11. Zoel

    Finally tried a “Hilt & Blade” Zin, which the SRosa wine guy said was among his best movers…I can’t figure out why. I remember several reviews here last month, and you guys were “spot-on”. Jammy full style, but lacking much structure or finesse. Ok with a BBQ perhaps…

    Reply
  12. Doug Green

    I saw several interesting bottles for the first time in one of my San Diego stores that I had not seen before, and I was wondering if anyone else had seen or tried any of these yet: I have not yet bought or tried any of these, but I intend to.

    Beringer 2013 Clear Lake Zinfandel $4.99 list price is $23.99. Interestingly, this is a specific appellation in Lake County, but there is no mention of that on the label.

    Sunce 2014 Old Vines Old Clones Zinfandel and 2014 Cattich vineyards Syrah. Both $6.99 list. The Sunce wines that had gotten the pretty universally good reviews here were the 2013s of these same wines. These are the newer vintage at the same price.

    Montresor Amarone della Valpolicella 2007 Castelliere delle Guaite. $19.99 list price is $99.99. Quite a bit of expense went into the packaging of this wine, with a massive bottle, and a gold embossed label encased in a vellum label jacket having it’s own additional text beyond what’s on the main label. The question is, is the wine itself anywhere near as special as the winemaker’s opinion of it, given the packaging and the pricing?

    Absent any feedback from others, I’ll surely pick up the Beringer and the two Sunce wines based upon my experience with the wineries for similar bottlings of other vintages. Which leaves the Montresor and it’s $20 GO price tag as a TBD.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I did buy the Beringer zin. I remember liking it enough to finish the bottle. I did not buy more but I’m cutting back on account of no more room for wine storage.

      Reply
            1. Darrell

              Expat, and you made mine, too. I just laughed seeing what I think is an empathetic response from you.

    2. BdB

      Doug you’re a lucky man, I loved the Sunce Syrah but got only one bottle, missed on the Zin which was praised on this blog (SAD!). If they were available in the S.Cruz store I’d spurge and buy a mixed case.

      Reply
    3. flitcraft

      There have been other Montresor Veneto wines here in the past that have been favorably reviewed. This one hasn’t made an appearance in the Seattle area, though.

      Reply
    4. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Doug,

      I commented on the Montresor Amarone here.

      I thought the Beringer Clear Lake Zinfandel was a flavorful, very solid wine (stayed good for days). My only criticism is that it didn’t have that much of what I think of as Zin character. I would not have been surprised if you had told me it was a 50 – 50 Zin – Merlot blend.

      BW

      Reply
  13. davidlikeswine

    Some interesting new arrivals at Palo Alto hitting the floor today:

    4 wines from Hensteeth:
    2012 Cabernet Verlander Vineyard, Sonoma County – $19.99 / $59.99
    2012 Cabernet Link Vineyard, Knights Valley – $19.99 / $58.99
    2011 Proprietary Red, Sonoma County – $14.99 / $48.99
    2012 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County – $12.99 / $19.99

    2 wines from Judson Hale:
    2013 Pinot Noir, Walsh Ranch, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County – $7.99 / $38.99
    2013 Chardonnay, Sanel Valley, Mendocino County – $5.99 / $24.99

    Also a good restock of the Ziobaffa wines for those that liked them including a nice little 2 bottle gift set in a nice wooden box ($7.99 with the Rosso and Pinot Grigio)

    Reply
      1. JoelA

        I dunno. Their website has no useful information about where they are, where the wines come from, or anything else. What’s there is just blather about their approach to wine-making (they claim to be an “underground movement”) which is no different than most other wineries, as far as I can tell. Their Facebook page is out if date and in addition speaks of a 40% discount they gave a couple of years ago.
        At 20 dollars a bottle, I’m out.

        Reply
          1. Doug Green

            I also don’t see anything compelling about these Hensteeth wines at those prices, although I might give the Proprietary red a try at $15, I’d certainly pass on the Cabernets at $20. The Hale Pinot at $8 seems likely to be worth a shot.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I’m working on a bottle of the Hale pinot. It seems more Oregon than California, which might have to do with vineyard elevation. The Bailiwick are more immediately satisfying but this might just do.

          2. Darrell

            Ditto, which I assume includes the Judson Hale wines also. Still on the lookout for a Bailiwick QPR, which, on reflection, could have been a tasting/pricing mistake by the powers that be.

            Reply
      1. Wine4Life

        The Judson Hale chardonnay (2013) is not very good. The initial smell is off-putting and the taste is an odd, metallic taste. The First Press Chardonnay is much better.

        Reply
        1. Zoel

          The Judson-Hale Chard sounds like the previous vintage they were carrying…mediocre fruit and meh winemaking…never a recipe for success.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            I tasted the pinot. If you are looking for exuberant California fruit you should go elsewhere, this drinks more like Oregon, earthy and savory with some cherry fruit.

            Reply
          2. BargainWhine Post author

            IMO, the J-H Chardonnay was more than just too old. My bottle had a weird chemical flavor, as though something went awry with the fermentation. I would not even cook with the rest of my bottle, so I returned it.

            Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      The Hensteeth Link Vnyd Cab is really good. Good on first day, better on second, best on third.

      Reply
      1. davidlikeswine

        Same for the Verlander Vnyd Cab. Needed about 2-2.5 hours in the decanter, but opened up with some really nice dusty almost savory notes. Not a fruit bomb, but still rich. Dunno if I’d drop $20 on another bottle, but it was enjoyable, and I’d have been happy to have paid around $35-$40 retail for it. The $60 SRP seems idealistic to me, which is probably why the wine wound up at GO.

        Reply
        1. Expat

          did you get that in Palo Alto? BW, can you describe the Link Vnyd Cab? Savory like Verlander or more sweet fruit?

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Hi Expat. The Link Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is not as uniformly dark as the Verlander. On the first day, it shows a dense palate of medium red (neither especially light nor dark) cherry fruit that is not particularly complex or compelling to me, although there appears to be some dark fruit buried in a very tannic finish. Indeed, on the second day, this dark tannic finish opens into some nice dark fruit that is well connected to the first day’s medium red cherry, becoming a much more complex and complete wine. On the third day, which I thought was the best, this is all more forward and integrated. Overall, I thought the Link Vinyeard Cab was the better wine compared to the Verlander Vineyard Cab. Expat, it’s not quite as dry and tannic as you might like best, but I think you would like it. I liked the Hensteeth 2012 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir, too. Also better on the second day. None of these are “screaming buys” for me, but I think they are good values.

            Reply
    2. Zoel

      Tried the Hensteeth PN yesterday at a picnic…slow to start, gained much in the glass over time…last glasses were far better than the first. Fairly typical SBarbara fruit (bright but balanced, clean finish) and a well-made wine. At $13, passable but not a back-up-the-truck buy.

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

        With this heat, I’ve been going for cheap but tasty whites.

        Many bottles of the 2014 Oomoo chardonnay – $3.99.
        https://www.vivino.com/wineries/hardys/wines/bin-141-colombard-chardonnay-201

        More of the cheap but delightful and slightly oaky Long Barn Chardonnay – also $3.99.

        Then last night got to shock a wine knowing friend when I served her BV Coastal Chardonnay (gave her many choices, that was the wine she wanted) and told her the price – 3.99.
        https://www.vivino.com/wineries/beaulieu-vineyard/wines/coastal-estates-chardonnay-2014
        Have NOT found the higher rated Rosés that folks have been talking about at my Burbank store. But I am keeping my eyes out!

        Reply
    3. Zoel

      Re: Hensteeth – I went for a bottle each of the PN and Proprietary Red…both are well-made and decent. PN – slightly juicy on the attack, took a good hour to flesh out, and that turned me positive on the wine…at $13, a tad pricey vs. several others at GO, and not a screaming rebuy. The PRed – well, very well made, easy to drink, but nothing stood out for me…let it sit a night on the counter, and on day two – same thing, nothing developed beyond a decent red…hints of deeper fruit and polish, but alas… At $48, well, no wonder it’s at GO. At $20, a pass for me.

      Reply
  14. JoelA

    2014 Villa Stellaria Alexander Valley Petit Verdot, bought last week at Oakland, $ 7.99, 14.1% alc.

    A good start tonight for this wine. Excellent raspberry fruit, balanced acid and tannins, good finish. Let’s see how it holds up over the next day or so.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      JoelA – I bought two bottles of this last week…and thought the first was excellent. Well-balanced and good structure, drinks far above the $8 (admittedly high for GO) price tag. I’m going back for more as well…the wine guy in Oakland told me it would be limited distribution.

      Reply
      1. JoelA

        Second night the wine is opening up further. At this time it’s very fruit forward but still went well with a spicy stew. Reasonable acid, tannin in balance. Doesn’t seem to have a lot of complexity so I don’t know what will happen with age, but it’s well worth drinking now. Certainly a deal at that price.

        Reply
  15. Zoel

    ’14 Anthony Koster Barrel-Select Cab – $7 @ Santa Rosa. Had picked up the A-Koster Chard and thought it decently made, so had high hopes for the Napa cab as well. Decent bottle here, but lacking any vibrancy of fruit (hollow mid-palate), disappointing for the region and vintage. Well made and technically solid, but the fruit character is just too muted for my tastes. Nice savory notes of herbs and vanilla (oak), persistent finish with a bit of spice. Was looking for more up-front on this one. 86 pt and pass for me.

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

      I would have bought this Koster cab if it actually WAS a Napa cab, but it’s not. It’s appellation is California, not Napa, and I studiously avoid generically sourced cabs, because Cabernet Sauvignon is very sensitive to it’s terroir and climate, and I have no way to know what a “California” Cabernet is going to taste like.

      Reply
          1. Doug Green

            That’s a good mantra. I would modify it as follows: Look for wines from well defined regions for the grapes being used, from real wineries. That’s my GO wine-buying philosophy in a nutshell.

            With that in mind, I just grabbed a bottle of Calipaso 2013 Paso Robles Zinfandel for $4.99 supposedly the list price was $26.99 I’ve Not opened it yet.

            I probably should open this at the same time as the Windstorm and the Hilt & Blade, to get an idea which one I should grab more of. I would expect these all to be in a somewhat similar style – and very different from Sonoma zins like the Sunce.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              The Calipaso Zin has been praised by a couple customers at the Richmond store. One said that, to his surprise, he tasted some meaty flavor in it. He looked it up online and found out it has some Mourvedre in it, presumably the source of the meatiness.

  16. flitcraft

    Detour 99W Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley. Forgot the price–either 10 or 11 dollars. I picked this up at the SODO GO–now the best wine selection in the Seattle area–to bring to a barbeque. It vanished quickly, but not before I tried a little (sadly, in a plastic cup!). Very fruit forward style of bright-cherry Pinot, with a hint of mushroomy funk, but only a hint. If you like this style–and if you drink your wine in a proper glass–I reckon it would be very satisfactory indeed. For 6 bucks, I’d get more. At the higher price point, let your wallet be your guide.

    Reply
    1. Wasting Away 64

      Detour 99W Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2014 at 9.99 better the 2nd day and well worth it. Better with food, in this case, grilled turkey cheeseburgers. Picked up at the GO in Hillsboro, OR.

      Reply
  17. BdB

    I’m drinking with pleasure the 2014 Sunce Syrah (Russian river). Bought it a month ago at the S Cruz store for 6$ if I remember, could have been 7$. I was looking for the Zin which was praised on this blog, it was gone but the wine manager advised the Syrah, said he preferred it. It’s good right of the bottle (I like that) and had a nice nose of cassis, berries and pomegranate, quite inviting. Very unique in the mouth, like berry juice, mostly cassis, yet not too sweet, easily drunk on its own. Sadly I think it’s gone (I hope it isn’t), glad I tasted it, delicious. I’ll keep my eyes open for Sunce wines, it seems like they know the craft.

    Reply
    1. BeerBudget

      Both the Syrah and the Zin are solid, well made wines. There was plenty of the Syrah in Concord two weeks back, but I haven’t seen any in the South Bay.

      Reply
      1. GOwinelover

        When I lived in the Bay Area, it was my experience that *if* the Concord store ordered the better inventory (which Ralph normally did), that is would last far longer there. I would very often find wines long since sold out at many other locations or just head there if, say, Pleasant Hill texted that they only got a case or two of something very desirable. It was my “secret” that I only told folks here about.

        Reply
            1. JoelA

              It’s six years old but was still in good shape when I bought it during last year’s sale. But there aren’t any other museum pieces there.

  18. RB

    Picked up a bottle of the Ruby Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, for $5.99 at the Olympia store. Had hopes that it could be tasty based on a little internet digging, but unfortunately it was corked. Undrinkable and going back to the store.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      The Ruby is very good for the price if you get a good one, but there is a good bit of bottle variation.

      Reply
  19. BargainWhine Post author

    Last night, I brought a Wallenburg Teroldego Rotaliano ($7) to a BBQ party. I decanted the wine at a time when I expected to arrive at the party two hours later. I tasted it on opening (promising but very closed) and an hour later, when it seemed to have changed only slightly. However, on the way to the party, I got quite lost and didn’t taste the wine until it had been open about 3.5 hours, although it spent a lot of the time in a nearly covered decanter. I thought it was pretty good, tasting of dark fruit of cherry, boysenberry and plum, maybe slight blackberry. Teroldego has been compared to Zinfandel in flavor, but this wine was clearly not CA Zin, as it was more tightly structured (and decently elegant) and acid, and the flavors are subtly not-Zin.

    Reply
  20. BargainWhine Post author

    A bunch of pricey wines came in today:
    Auburn James:
    – 2013 Diablo Rosso, Livermore Valley, $15 “Elsewhere” $60
    66% Malbec, 30% Tannat, 4% Cabernet Franc
    – 2008 Meritage, Napa Valley, $10 E $36
    59% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petite Verdot
    – 2013 Malbec, Kirkland Vineyard, Livermore, $10 E $ 36
    – 2009 Syrah, Napa Valley, $10 E $ 36
    – 2009 Syrah, LIvermore Valley, $10 E $ 36
    – 2008 Dessert Wine of Cabernet Sauvignon, Raywood Vnyd, Napa Valley, $10 E $25 for 375ml
    Montresor:
    – 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella $20 E $100
    – 2009 Valpolicella Ripasso $10 E $28
    Eo Adonis 2008 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo $10 E $25

    Reply
    1. JoelA

      It’ll be interesting to see whether these wines are worth what the winery tends to charge for them. Never heard of them before so I went to their website. Wines are priced typically at $ 40 and above; the above ones are older vintages than those on the site. Naturally their website contains the usual accolades that wineries give themselves (artisanship, etc.); in addition, they fell that their wines are so fine that, kin addition ti requiring an appointment, their tasting fee is kn the high side ( $30 fir 5 wines).

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

        Just what the wine world needs: Another Napa Valley winery with an over-inflated opinion of their own self worth. Conveniently, that promises an ongoing supply of wines for the likes of GO, and bulk juice to be repackaged by Cameron Hughes, Trader Joe’s and Kirkland.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          ” Conveniently, that promises an ongoing supply of wines for the likes of GO, and bulk juice to be repackaged by Cameron Hughes,” of which I don’t mind being beneficiary, especially if said Cameron Hughes ends up at GO.

          Reply
          1. Doug Green

            They rarely do, because Cameron Hughes prices the wines correctly at the start – already at about 1/3 of what these deluded self-congratulatory wineries without any track record do for the same juice.

            Reply
            1. JImi

              Cameron Hughes was recently sold to bail out of bankruptcy so his correct pricing of wines was not really working with regard to operating a business

            2. permiesworld

              Didn’t they just re-finance their loans? I believe Cam & Jess still own it.

              I’m a big fan of their wines in general. Some have been amazing, aged as well or better than bottles 4-5x their cost. Some are just average. Some are just incredible deals (e.g. $12 at World Market for a killer CH Stags Leap cab just a couple of years ago….unbelievable).

            3. Zoel

              Nope – CHughes was sold to Vintage Wine Estates (Pat Roney runs it, L Rudd finances). No immediate changes to CH, but they were in cash crunch as I understand it. Investments in expansion (of outlets) squeezed ’em.

            4. permiesworld

              oh that’s a bummer. I hope that the quality does not change. I really stocked up a few years ago when they were having amazing deals on some peaks cabs…so I haven’t bought in a while.

      2. purple_teef

        Been to Auburn-James. Worth every penny! I picked up the Diablo and one of each Syrah at the Santa Maria G.O. and they’ve all been fantastic.

        Reply
    2. seedboy

      Oakland has that Cabernet dessert wine and the Montepulciano and they say that some more interesting wines should appear Friday.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I drank a bottle of the Montepulciano over a 3 day period. It is a properly made wine that made no real impression on me. Nice bottle. The Amarone has already disappeared.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          It seems like there is enough of the Amarone to order. At least, we got in more of it. I thought this Amarone was pretty good, perhaps less complex than this Capitel della Crosara 2008 Amarone (another Montresor product), but with a good bit more fruit. I tasted it on the second and third days. On the second day, it was more overtly complex, showing tangy ripe and tart red cherries, cherry pit, earthy dried orange peel, touch of purple plum, and finishing note of some blackness (wood, olive?). I found it delicious but it didn’t make me think I could consider spending $20 on it. On the third day, the rich ripe dark red cherry fruit really came out, in a very smoothly integrated and elegant wine, becoming IMO a wine definitely worth the price.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            Robair liked the Amarone and sold me on a bottle of it. It is an elegant looking wine. Has anyone tried the Ripasso?

            Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I haven’t tried any of them yet. The Richmond store owner and one customer were enthusiastic about the Diablo Rosso. The customer, who also liked the Livermore Malbec, said the DR seemed to demand grilled meat. My co-worker in the wine section tried and liked the Meritage, and bought more.

        Reply
    3. seedboy

      Oakland has the Eo Adonis rose 2014 for $3.99 I think. Color is rather dark for a rose. Still fresh tasting and with some air a really nice core of raspberry fruit emerges.

      Reply
    4. Doon

      I tried the Valpolicella and it is seamless, varietally correct, medium+ weight, long on the palate with very fine fruit and very light tannin left, well made. I went back for two more; for current drinking, or over the ensuing year, not a cellar candidate in my opinion. Have you or anyone who posts here tried that Amarone? Same (vineyard?) designation and two years older.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I have one of each. Thanks for the review, I’ll get into the V sometime this year. I was going to hold the Amarone, as I have older ones in my cellar.

        Reply
  21. Doug Green

    I think the Sunce 2013 Cattich Vineyard Russian River Old Clones Zinfandel is delicious. Probably not ageworthy, but as nice a fruit-drven zin for near term drinking as I have had for $7 in a very long time. I think it blows away the Gauthier Los Chimizals, as well as any of the Lodi zins at GO. I need to pop my Mosaic 2014 from Dry Creek to see how it compares.

    Reply
    1. Rocky

      Doug, thanks for your input. The bottle I tried I to be very over-ripe and rather port-ish. Given the positive comments I’ve seen, I wonder if I had a bad bottle. Did you find it at all on that end of the spectrum, or was my bottle the exception?

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

        Not at all – it was very floral with a very ethereal nose of strawberries. Not port-like in the slightest. In fact, a very feminine, delicate zin, more toward the grenache or cote de beaune end of the spectrum. Very different from your description.

        Reply
    2. GOwinelover

      Just saw this in Seaside (Nor Cal) and 2 2012 Barolos. Was flying so couldn’t pick them up. Trying to find the Barolos in San Diego.

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

        Saw a Barolo at the Sun Valley, CA GO. Selling it for $16, the sign said it retailed for over $40.

        Sigh.

        Was having a nutty day so did not take the time to look up the wine fully and, at $16 — passed. Even though I know Barolo’s are awesome.

        Also… yeesh…. what to do… The Sun Valley GO is farther from my house then the Burbank one, and has a way more, um INTERESTING parking lot and clientele – but dang! Their wine buyer is spot on and tends to have better stuff then the close, clean and easy Burbank location.

        They also have had fun vodkas (Milk Money, retail $19.99, their price $6.99 and Into the Wild vodka – also $6.99, retail $24.99).

        I guess I will have to suffer with choices 🙂

        Reply
    3. BeerBudget

      Completely agree – wish I would have bought more in Concord. Anyone know if this is at Palo Alto or anywhere in the South Bay?

      Reply
  22. BdB

    Strangely there was another Luz Millar Ribeira Del Duero at the Santa Cruz store yesterday. This one is not a Crianza but I like it almost as much. Again dry, earthy, robust and well balanced. I paid 5$ (elsewhere 20$) and give it 2 thumbs up, well worth the price. It’s also 100% Tempranillo and seems to be 2012 (written small on the appellation label). I’d still pay a buck more for the Crianza but it’s gone here. I’d love to find a Reserva or Gran Reserva from them. Viva l’Espana!

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

      I had actually seen the cheaper Luzmillar Ribera del Duero earlier. IMHO, it’s OK,. but the Crianza is well worth the extra dollar (It’s normally a $20+ wine, whereas the cheaper one is normally a $10 bottle) Another Spanish wine worth grabbing if you see it is the Antano 2011 Reserva Rioja, also $5.99 – IMHO, comparable in quality to the higher end Luzmillar Ribera, but in a slightly brighter, more bordeaux-like style.

      Reply
      1. JoelA

        The Pata Negra 2009 Ribera del Duero Riserva is pretty good. Don’t know if it’s as good as the Luzmillar; perhaps someone will do a comparison.

        Reply
        1. BdB

          Funny, 2 months ago I bought a Pata Negra 2009 on advice of the manager but it’s a Rioja Reserva, not a Ribeira Del Duero. I haven’t tried it yet but will soon. I loved the Luz Millar reserva, for me the best GO wine in awhile.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            There were a lot of Pata Negra wines, which IIRC included Reservas from both RdD and Rioja, and Crianzas from both RdD and Rioja. I also thought the RdD Reserva was pretty good after a couple hours’ air: dry, earthy, fairly full and solid dark red fruit. Haven’t tasted any of the others.

            Reply
    1. Happybaker

      Seedboy –

      I think if you click the link “older comments,” many come back up.

      And we’ve been warned, anything older than 6 weeks gets deleted. But this is such a fun handy thread and seems to have more activity than guest contributions so, I’m continuing to be wild and post here ; )

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi all. Now that I’ve understood how to make this into pages of, I think, 50 comments each, I no longer delete older comments here. They just go into older pages.

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Yes, I wish the pagination would start with the 50 most recent comments, but the pagination apparently starts with the 50 oldest comments. When we start a new page, there are very few comments. Please click on the link for Older Comments at the end of the page.

      Reply
  23. Steve

    Hi all-
    Long time reader, first time poster. Two wines I wanted to alert everyone to.
    In Antioch:
    Saint glinglin 2011 carte verde
    Exactly what it says Great every day Bordeaux , even better at this price. $5.99

    in Hayward:
    Hilt and Blade antecedent Zinfandel 2015
    Great with BBQ. 91 points in enthusiast. Not that that matters, I’m not an astute wine drinker I just know I liked it.

    Reply

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