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


4,417 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. Zoel

    Hi GO knurdsters – this is a slightly different post – intended only for NBay/EBay folks. A local (Napa) custom-crush is having a killer “garage sale” in early Dec (12/9). You can taste before you buy…I went last week, found some bargains akin to the best GO – think killer PN and Syrah at $35-$60/cs.
    Note – I have no connection to these guys besides being a wine geek.
    If interested, you can email me direct at joel@chateauhr.com and I’ll share their flyer privately.

    1. seedboy

      I bought some of an earlier vintage of the Merlot and liked it. Shah Napa Cab was recently at the Oakland store but did not last long and at $25 a bottle was steep for me.

  2. rgardner2

    I haven’t posted in awhile from the Washington South Sound, mostly because there hasn’t been much to post about. In the past sale I snagged a couple of bottles of the Clos Du Bois Sonoma Reserve Pinot Noir (from the previous sale, and the last bottles at the store) and some, oh, that looks like something I should try. A case total (so under a month’s supply) from three stores (in the past 2+ cases per store, 3-4 stores).

    So on the last day of the sale I see an ugly label wine in the front of the store, $3, NV Cloudcap Red Wine, Surrey BC (Vancouver suburb where zero wine grapes are grown), imported by Precept Brands (WA). Almost no Canadian juice goes south of the border. Precept Brands is #2 in WA after Ste Michelle Estates and provide many of the NW wines to GO (Years back I got their Waterbrook Reserve from GO, outstanding)
    As for the wine, little on the interwebs. One article from the Wenatchee newspaper (buying it at GO in April). My taste says:
    Merlot blend (+Cab?). Drink soon, browning slightly. Decent, not complex. Some tannin/leather, berries. Tastes like a $15 bottle. This one surpassed my expectations. Not plonk.

    BTW, seeing a Brazilian Merlot, AVOID!

    1. flitcraft

      Ah, your advice on the Brazilian Merlot came too late for me. I picked up one during the sale, mainly for educational purposes, because I can’t remember ever having a Brazilian wine before. Something tells me this one will be memorable, but not in a good way!
      One of my wine-buying regrets is that, many years ago, when the Washington State Liquor store near me had a half case of Ethiopian wine, I didn’t buy any. I’ve always wondered what story I’d have to tell if I had…

  3. Sebastian

    I was in the Oakland store tonight and saw a couple of interesting new arrivals. One that a bid on was the 2013 Judson Hale Pinot Noir from Yountville (Mendocino County) for $7.99. I vaguely remember this showing up a year or two ago, but I don’t remember if I bought or if was the same vintage. There was not much out on the floor – maybe a case.

    One that I didn’t buy but am intrigued by is the Shah Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It is listed at $25 with an other store price of $150 (substantiated here: http://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/shah-estate-2011-cabernet-sauvignon-napa-valley-212143/). The burden of proof for me to drop $25 on a Gross Out wine is really high, so curious to know if anyone else has tried this.

    1. Darrell

      The Judson Hale PN first showed up at the Spring 2017 sale and was a 2012, llRC, and that bottling was from the Yorkville Highlands AVA in Mendocino County. I hope the 2013 you bit on is better than the experience with my 2012.

    2. Seedboy

      I’ve not tried the Shah. There is a lot of the 2011 there, considering the price. I saw a good review of it. Tempted to buy a bottle or two but . . .

      1. Expat

        I wish the Shah would show up at one of the central coast GOs. If it did I could relay later that IRAN to it and grabbed a bottle (couldn’t resist).

  4. Doug Green

    Happened to pop a bargain wine that I bought at a GO sale a year ago: The St. Francis 2011 Red Splash blend (a mix of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zin). This was a good bargain when I bought it for $3.99 less 20%. It’s a major bargain now, as the extra year has given it some more flesh and roundness, and it’s just delicious, and it would be delicious if I had paid $12 for it. I wish I had bought more than the three bottles I did grab, of which this is my last. This points to the wisdom of buying lesser wines from known wineries, as St. Francis is a top producer in the Kenwood area of Sonoma, and this stuff is obviously mostly made up of stuff that they de-classified and thinned out from their very highly regarded $30+ Merlots and Zinfandels.

    1. BeerBudget

      Been a fan of Red Splash since Vaynerchuk recommended it as a value pick almost a decade ago. It was a bargain at $15 back then, though it had a Sonoma County designation that last year’s didn’t. I was new to GO wines then and immediately suspicious of the $4 price tag, so I grabbed only 2 and not a case. Wish I had. I’m finding that you have to drink your way through a lot more sub-$5 bottles to find a winner than you do at the $7 level.

      1. flitcraft

        Boy, is that ever true! That’s one of the real values of this site–you don’t have to drink through all of them yourself! But, yes, I’ve kissed a lot of frogs before finding some princes in the lower price point realm.

        1. Expat

          I third that sentiment. I’m done with sub $7 bottles (of reds) at GO unless I hear from several of the brethren here that there’s a true gem in the rubble. I’m so overloaded now that I pretty much just look for special ones like Ardente or a St Emilion.

          1. Doug Green

            Well, if you run into the Chilean Gillmore Mariposa 2013 Red Blend at $4.99, that’s certainly no frog, and it tastes like a quality St Emilion that costs 4-5x the price.

            1. BeerBudget

              Been looking out for this one. Other sub-$5 picks Ive enjoyed – Ano Verde Pinot Noir, Adobe Red, Street Cred Shiraz, Sylvester Sangiovese, and the Qupe. Probably had to plow through 2 cases of frogs to find them. Funny enough, all but the Qupe have labels that would lower my expectations – like they were made for a supermarket demographic.

            2. Doug Green

              BeerBudget, I’ve actually been pretty successful at finding a high rate of winners in the $4-5 range. Here are my very specific tips:

              1) Look for wines from REAL, KNOWN high quality wineries, such as the Qupe or St. Francis or Beringer Clear Lake zin. They have brand reputations to protect, and if they make something that’s crap, and they know it, there won’t be any sign of it’s true origin on the label.

              2) Look for SPECIFIC, narrowly defined geographical origin, and grapes that are known to do well in those regions. I tend to avoid anything that’s just labeled “California”, unless it’s from a known good winery, or there are multiple good tasting notes around for the specific wine.

              3) Don’t be afraid of regions of the world that are outside your comfort zone, in particular, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, and Washington State, are generally better value and quality in the lesser price ranges than California, France, and Italy.

              4) Don’t be afraid of exotic varietals: A $4 Torrontes or Albarino or Vermentino is almost guaranteed to be better than a $4 Chardonnay. Similarly, a $4 Tempranillo or Grenache is almost guaranteed to be better than a $4 Cabernet or Merlot (there are exceptions, such as some of the Chilean cabs)

            3. Darrell

              Doug, great tips on what to look for in under $5 bottles especially tips # 3and 4. I tend to look for “PRODUCED AND BOTTLED BY” also. On the Chilean Gilmore Mariposa 2013 Red Blend, I am not getting the St. Emilion experience you are getting from my bottle. Nice wine and well worth the price though.

            4. Seedboy

              I want to make sure folks know I am responding to Doug Green November 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm, I pretty much agree with him. I also have a prejudice against most anything that looks like it is from the Central Valley (yes this includes Lodi) or the “winery” is in Graton or American Canyon or Santa Rosa, unless it is a current, recognizable winery

            5. JoelA

              Also replying to comments by Doug, SB, etc., with which I concur. Usually the better California wines at GO are made by wineries in the region of the one named on the label. For example, Lodi wines can be OK but usually not when made by a winery (or seeming winery) outside Lodi. Some Italian wines can be good but so far my experience was that wines made by a producer identified by letters and/or numbers rather than an actual name are mediocre.

        2. Happybaker

          It’s not often you get to thank folks for frog kissing…

          But yes! I’ve had ti kiss far fewer frogs myself, now that I can see which frogs have been kissed – and reviewed – before me ; )

          Thanks GO Peeps!

  5. TonyS

    I had a new experience at one of the San Jose stores during the sale. I went once last week and got 5-6 bottles. I tried a couple of the reds, but nothing was worth getting more. I was in the area again and couldn’t find anything that was recommended so got a bottle of the Concannon PS and one of the La Merika 2014 Central Coast Cabs, both marked $4.99 ($4 on sale). We tried the Cab and liked it enough to get more, but saw it had rang up as Notte Monferrato at a dollar more.

    So I drove the 8 or 9 miles back to the store on the last day of the sale and talked to the guy stocking the wine about it. He scanned one and it showed as Notte Monferrato. I went back to display still marked $4.99 and got a few bottles of it and an 2016 Eagle Canyon Cab (another Delicato brand as it La Merika) and went to checkout figuring they would take care of it. The person checking out ahead of me needed the manager and I told the checker I probably also needed one – the wine guy had disappeared.

    The manager was not very helpful so I went to show her the sign and apparently the wine guy, who had returned, had taken it down since it was incorrect. The manager wanted to charge me scanned price and I said when I got it it said $4.99 and that is what she should charge me and she should correct the one charged wrong on the previously. She said I could get one at $4.99 and would not correct yesterday’s purchase. But the wine guy gave me two bottles at $4.99 before discount so I guess he did correct it, but I think I should try another store in the future.

    1. Darrell

      You said that there was a drive of 8-9 miles and I was wondering if you are north or south of the San Jose GO store. If you are north of it, you might try the Palo Alto GO store because of a more interesting selection and the owner is quite knowledgable about wine. Lucky for me there has been a change in ownership where I live and I hope returning wine for a refund won’t be a hassle as before. If there is difficulty, I will buy wine elsewhere.

      1. TonyS

        Palo Alto is a long way for me, but if I’m in the area I’ll try to check it out. There are a lot of GO stores in San Jose. I’m in SE San Jose and my closest store is Monterey Rd/Tully but I’ve never been very impressed with their wine selection. I’ve had better luck finding wine at Capitol Ave/McKee. I started going to Grocery Outley when my son went to grammar school almost 20 years ago near the store at Williams/Winchester. The store where I had problem is between these three and usually has homeless sitting on wall outside.

        The best wine selection I’ve found is at South Lake Tahoe store.


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