What’s New?

Please use comments here to alert everyone to interesting wines you’ve seen at which stores, but which have not yet been reviewed.  Please post any tasting notes in Guest Contributions, or as a comment on a main-page review, as comments here older than six weeks or so will be deleted.

You can check out what reviewers have at home to review at this sub-blog:

GrossOutWine Review Queue

3,713 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. JoelA

    A couple of new items at Pinole:
    2015 PG8 pinot grigio (Oregon) $ 3.99
    20123 Spanish Guerilla verdejo (Rueda) $ 2.99
    2014 Smoking Loon zinfndel $ 3.99
    2011 Castle Rock syrah (Washington) $ 4.99

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Castle Rock is a long-time negotiant here in Washington. Their wines are generally sound if not exciting. Typical retail is around a ten spot. I haven’t seen this one in the Puget Sound area.

      Reply
  2. davidlikeswine

    Had a chance to swing by Palo Alto today, not much new to report other than a few newer vintage (’14 and ’15) Bordeaux arrivals. Good quantities of the Hearthstone Sangiovese, Bruno di Paso and Lodestar with just a couple bottles left of the Paso Superiore. All the Cairdean wines save the Chardonnays are there as well as the Bailiwick pinots. The hunt continues.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      Bailiwick pinots all gone from the stores I frequent. Fortunately I went long on those wines, many of them still on my living room floor to my wife’s consternation.

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      Joe knew how to stock up on the Bailiwicks and if he had the Cairdean Chard. I wanted, I would have purchased a couple of cases more. He had a lot of the Cairdean line though. Funny, SB, that I am in the predicament you are in, but with less consternation from my better half. I told her room will be made when the weather warms and I will be forced to remove the Bailiwicks to the cellar which is filled to the gills thanks to GO.

      Reply
  3. BargainWhine Post author

    I apologize for my absence from the main page. I’ve had a chest cold for the past 10 days or so that has now moved up into my sinuses. I expect it will still be at least a few more days before I feel like drinking any wine.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      BW, I can empathize since I am similarly affected and have put off drinking as well. Flit, the evaluation of older GO PN bottles have been put on the back burner as my nose is on hiatus.

      Reply
  4. davidlikeswine

    Had the chance to swing by Palo Alto today, and there’s a trio of New Zealand white’s I hadn’t seen before from the producer Matahiwi (Hawke’s Bay region):

    2012 “Holly” Pinot Gris
    2012 “Holly” Sauvignon Blanc
    2013 Chardonnay

    All $5.99 / $18.99

    The Pinot Gris wound up in my basket.

    There’s also a 2013 Robert Stevens Meritage, Alexander Valley, for $6.99. Can’t find any info about it online, but it at least looks compelling.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      The Meritage is OK but needs air. I did not like it the first day but found it acceptable the next. I won’t be buying more.

      Reply
    2. kevinreynoldsart

      Lacey, WA GO has the 2013 Robert Stevens Meritage, Alexander Valley for $6.99. Upon opening and the first taste there is definitely oak on the nose and palate, however, on the second sip the oak wasn’t noticeable to me. Pleasant, but probably won’t buy more.

      Reply
  5. lim13

    Today I bought my first two wines at the Silverdale GO in many months…2011 Spangler southern Oregon Grenache ($6.99) and 2014 Citadel Mendocino Carignane ($7.99). Both left me cold with the Carignane being just marginally better than the Grenache. Both rather thin, out of balance and hardly memorable. Back to drinking my cellar and waiting for my next Gainey wine club shipment. Happy New Year folks!

    Reply
    1. Michael Turner

      Both of these are at SODO Seattle as well. I like them both, but yes, they aren’t for everyone.

      The Citadel Carignan I feel is really closed down at the moment and will eventually emerge as a pretty good wine. Everything is there it’s just not showing well, it’s just too young to really evaluate fully. I plan to try one every month and hopefully it won’t stay backward long..

      The Spangler is definitely thin but flavor wise it’s great(at least I think so). Also, after a few hours open it comes into it’s own and I think really think it tastes good. Again, this wine isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but if you like domestic grenache and wines that are a bit more challenging, it’s worth picking up.

      I plan on posting my notes for both of these to Guest contributions later this week.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Did you ever post your notes, Michael? I’ll be more specific as to what I found. The Spangler: Clear pale ruby with a slight brick tone…looks more like a weak Pinot Noir; nose shows black pepper and faint raspberry; in the mouth, there’s sweet fruit on the front of the tongue with decent acidity and restrained tannins; flavors show more black pepper and little fruit; in body and texture, it’s washed out and thin; definitely not a repeat buy. And I love domestic Grenache…just not this one. As for the Citadel: Just slightly hazy medium ruby/garnet color; nose is slightly skunky; in the mouth, it’s moderately tannic…but more tannins than fruit…flavors of cherry and wood; shows the most tannin mid-palate through the finish; drinkable, but nothing special. I suspect that with age it’ll be all tannins and no fruit.

        Reply
  6. seedboy

    I ran into BW at the Richmond store yesterday and announced I had too much wine and was going to cut back for a while. Let’s see how long I can stick with that. Meanwhile I hope you all had a merry Christmas and have a happy New Year.

    Reply
    1. GOwinelover

      Happy New Year, all! I don’t have any GO wines in my queue with the lack of exciting wines during the Fall sale so it will likely be a while unless someone in San Diego has requests.

      Reply
  7. Zoel

    The’14 is unoaked – just opened one tonight. It is decent and worth $6, but nowhere near the caliber of the ’12 to my palate. None in SRosa, RPark, PETA, Oak, or Rich…

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      I happened to be going down to the San Mateo Peninsula and called Joe at the Palo Alto store to check on the Cairdean Chardonnays and he said he got more of the 2012 RRV Chard and has some ’14 unoaked left. So I look for the ’14 and it had just sold out, but he did have the ’12 RRV, 4-5 cases on the floor and not on the shelf. I grabbed a case on your word and thought about how I have been missing out on the Cairdean Chards elsewhere and so grabbed a second case and thanks to you, I’m glad I did. It is definitely worth the extra dollar over the unoaked, but nonetheless, wish I had some of the unoaked ’14. The ’12 Chard. has noticeable oak but is well balanced against the amount of Chard. fruit. Palo Alto is well stocked with the Cairdean bottlings. I even bought a bottle of Cab Franc to try because it is from the cooler Coombsville AVA and might have some form of methoxypyrazine character. Don’t usually pay this much a bottle.

      Reply
      1. davidlikeswine

        Hey Darrell! I had the cab franc over about 4 days and by day 3-4 that pleasant green bell pepper methoxypyrazine note was definitely there. Pretty absent days 1-2. Maybe a long decant or just enjoy the bottle over a few days?

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          DLW, thanks for the note, but what you describe is the opposite of what I would expect in that the greenness would taper off with time. I know many people don’t like this character, but I look for some of this or a variation of it in some of the classic vintages of Bordeaux, classic as opposed to great years. This cooler Coombsville AVA is new to me and I expect the Bordeaux varietal red wines to age much, much longer than up valley Bordeaux varietal red wines( talking decades here and for you younger tasters to find out). I hope these bottles have long, Bordeaux type corks. One of my complaints about earlier CA Cabs is they are finished with too cheap a cork and could have aged much longer. There is an Oakville winery that had a recorking done to your oldest wines of theirs of about 20-25+ year old bottles and after some 20 years after that, the present, the bottles are amazingly good oxidationwise. Others I have bought at recent auctions of this winery’s same bottles are just awful, though that could have been the seller’s cellar ( have done this twice with the same vintage bottling). I’ll stop now and end this written loquaciousness since I could go on and on about wine aging experiences.

          Reply
          1. davidlikeswine

            Hi Darrell! The cork’s have been consistent in my experience across the Cairdean wines. Approximately 1.75-2 inches in length, natural cork. So sad to hear about the auction bottles being bad. What a bummer! I’m wondering if a better way to express my earlier sentiments might be that the herbal character is there all along, it just takes some time for the other “stuff” to blow off so it can come through? BW’s review was consistent with my experience. There’s a lot going on and evolving with this wine over time. Looking forward to hearing your experience with it!

            Reply
    2. Zoel

      Had a long drive down towards Santa Cruz, and stopped in the Hayward store on a whim to try to find more Cairdean Chard…not a big selection at this location – but SCORE! they had several cases of various Cairdeans out. I picked up the remaining ’12 Napa Chard (~10 btls), and then found ’12 Sonoma Chard! Have not heard much about this, but grabbed 10 blts of that as well. They had ’11 Napa Unoaked (plenty) and some other tidbits, including a Cab/Sangio blend for $7 that I’ll try. Notes to follow…

      Reply
  8. seedboy

    Oakland got more of the Cairdean wines yesterday including a 2011 Pope Valley Cab ($29.99), an Atlas Peak Petit Verdot, a 2012 Napa Valley Roussane, a Chardonnay.

    Reply
    1. Expat

      I visited family in the Bay Area and made my first trip to the Oakland Gross Out seeking out the Cairdean cabs. (Seedboy, I wondered if you might be roaming the aisles). I bit the bullet and bought the Atlas Peak 2011 Cab for$30 (maybe it was Pope Valley but I thought it was Atlas Peak) and the Petit Verdot for around $15. I took the cab to a family party. It was a solid cab. I thought it had structure and plenty of fruit for my tastes. The $150 retail is absurd. $30 wasn’t a rip off but I”m not motivated to get any more at that price. At $15 i’d buy at least 6. I am curious about the other Cairdean cabs so I’m hoping someone tries them and posts.

      Reply
      1. JoelA

        I recently drank a bottle of the 2002 Ardente cabernet (Atlas Peak), which I had bought for ten dollars. It was excellent but I’m not interested in any of the Cairdean cabernets priced at two or three times that amount. Guess I’ve been spoiled by some GO deals.

        Reply
        1. Doug Green

          I just generally don’t find cheap California cabs to be all that interesting – almost without exception. I find that anything from Napa or Sonoma that sells for under $15 has been discounted to that sort of price point for a good reason – there are rare exceptions, such as Cameron Hughes or Trader Joes wines from good appellations that have been originally made to sell for $30+, but the winery got into a cash crunch and had to clear out the stuff in bulk to those sort of labels, and other than Napa and Alexander Valley or Knights Valley, which is similar to and right next to AV, the rest of California is not really optimal soil+climate for Cabernet Sauvignon. OTOH, Washington State Cabs, or Chilean Cabs can be really good at those price points. But as a rule, if I’m buying a California red wine at that price point, I’ll take a flyer on a Syrah or other Rhone blend, or a good Argentine Malbec over a Cab any day of the week.

          BTW, I just opened a couple of very fine wines at bargain prices that I picked up during the 20% sale last month and just got around to popping: The 2013 Cuvee Darius Fitou, which is a GSM blend, and the Torn 2013 Old Vines Lodi Zin. The Cuvee Darius was not showing much the first day over the course of an hour or more when I opened it, but I put it on a vacuum pump and the 2nd and 3rd day it really opened up nicely, with good fruit and a stony terroir quality that compared very nicely to a typical $15+ Cotes du Rhone, like a better Crozes Hermitage or St. Joseph from a good producer. Pretty nice for what I paid for it, which was I believe $6 less 20%. The 2nd wine, the Torn 2013 Old Vines Lodi Zin, I had mixed feelings about. It certainly tasted good, with tons of fruit and good concentration – but I also had the sense it was a manufactured wine, without any identifiable terroir or typicity. But I can’t complain at $5 less 20% – but I guess I just like a bit more focus and purity in my zinfandels. I would never confuse this for a good, focused, pure zin from a place like the Russian River valley or Dry Creek – of course, try finding one of those for under $5.

          Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      I think the Cairdean 2012 Atlas Peak Petite Verdot is a good deal at $13. It slowly opened up over 4 days to be a nicely smooth and elegant wine (still quite young), if not as complex as the 2011 Atlas Peak Cab ($30). It’s the most structured PV I’ve tasted, although I haven’t tasted that many unblended PVs, and I am planning to give my bottles at least 5 years of age.
      I opened the 2012 Coombsville (SE Napa Valley floor) Cabernet Franc tonight, and it also seems nice, but I’ll see what it does over the next few days.

      Reply
      1. Zoel

        I opened up the Cairdean Cab Franc the other day, and was fairly impressed…took about 3 hr to really bloom, and then was quite enjoyable and a decent value. Yes, a tad heavy-handed, as has been noted on the Cairdean string, but a solid CFranc all the same. I bought some more yesterday.

        Reply
      2. Zoel

        Just popped open the Cairdean PV…double-decanted…at first, very put-off by the VA on the nose – whew, scary…and was ready to go fetch another bottle while I let this sit for a day…but upon first taste, realized it was one of those volatile fumes that doesn’t affect the palate. Most interesting. I agree with BWhine above – nice structure for PV, and some complexity. Lacks some of the acid others have missed in many of Cairdean’s reds, but I find it balanced and tasty. More black fruits, some spice and clearly oak on background – this winemaker has a somewhat heavy hand, but I like the full-blown approach. At $14, not a “back the truck up” rush, but certainly a decent value and fascinating wine to have at hand. I’ll go 91-92 points, and will enjoy its development over the evening.

        Reply
        1. Expat

          I had the Cairdean Petit Verdot over the course of several days. I’ve had this varietal as a single bottling a couple times before and found it interesting, like an inky petite sirah, so I was hopeful about this one. I appreciated its dark,dense, tannic elements but as Zoel said it was heavy-handed, too heavy-handed for me. I actually didn’t think it was balanced but rather clunky. I can see why PV is usually used in small amounts as a blending grape for depth and color. It softened with time but still came across as a bull in a china shop that I don’t think will balance out with age. So many better options at the price point at GO.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            Update – this Cairdean Petit Verdot has been sitting on my counter at room temp for at least a week. Several times I’ve come back to it to see if it’s shot. Surprisingly it’s not and I think it keeps getting better. I had some last night and it was the best yet. I still think it is an interesting component more than a good single varietal but, man, this thing has legs. It’s got a backbone of steel. I think if I got this again I’d decant it for a day then serve it with a rich rib eye or equivalent.

            Reply
            1. Zoel

              Expat – DUDE – you get the award for Patience as well as investigation…thanks for the experiment. Clearly this wine needs 5-10 years, based on your exposure time, perhaps more. The old rule of thumb was 1 yr/1 hour open, but I tend to go 5 yr/each day open as a rough guide. Glad you enjoyed…. .

  9. Zoel

    Yes, I posted the Caidrich blend a week ago…decent and a good value in a blend. Opened up considerably on day two…decant rec’d

    Reply
  10. davidlikeswine

    Had the chance to run by Palo Alto today:

    All of the Bailiwick Pinots are still there, all at $6.99:
    Londer ’11 and ’12
    Sonoma Coast ’11, ’12, ’13
    Marin ’12 and ’13

    The Tilla Pinots are there too, all at $6.99:
    Tina Marie Vineyard: ’12, ’13, ’14
    Sonoma Coast ’13

    All of the Cairdean’s plus a few I hadn’t seen mentioned here:
    whites:
    – ’13 unoaked Napa Chardonnay: $6.99 / $43.99
    – ’13 Haley Margaret White Rhone Blend: $5.99 / $37.99
    – ’13 “Leanne” Suisun Valley Riesling: $5.99 / $24.99
    – the Fume Blanc is there too, but I forgot to write down price / vintage
    reds:
    – ’12 Cabernet Franc, Acquaintance Vineyard, Coombsville: $18.99 / $44.99
    – ’11 Cabernet Sauvignon, Acquaintance Vineyard, Coombsville: $24.99 / $129.99 (really?!)
    – ’11 Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak: $29.99 / $149.00
    – ’11 Zin Dessert wine: $9.99 / $57.99 (375mL)

    Reply
      1. Zoel

        BTW – received a six-pack of Cairdean Merlot from Last Bottle – looks like they had first dibs and snagged the Merlot. It is excellent (91 pt), paid $16. If GO gets any remnants, grab it.

        Reply
        1. davidlikeswine

          The last Cairdean round at GO had a Merlot, I think 2008 or 2010, and it was fantastic. I saw the Last Bottle and *almost* got some more myself. Really good stuff.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            My beef with these wines is the ones I’ve tasted are made in a really ripe low acid style. Is that true of the Merlot too?

            Reply
            1. Expat

              That was my opinion of them as well. A year or two ago I hastily bought about 5 bottles of the Merlot when they were clearing them out at GO. When i would open one I was bummed how Parker-eque it was and regretted the purchase. If you like that style they are fine but if you like backbone, tannins, acidity and structure they are kinda sloppy.

              I’d be interested in taking a flyer on a Cab of theirs if it wasn’t a high alcohol, overripe juicyfruit.

            2. seedboy

              Expat, my experience of the Cab Sauv was just that. I’m trying to remember the last GO cab I bought and liked. It was probably the Atlas Peak wine with the red label.

            3. Expat

              The Pope Valley cabs were really good. Muscular tannins. I still have a couple left but wish I would have bought more. I liked the Blackford but just had one recently and it was a little flabby and pruney. So yeah, a good GO cab is like hen’s teeth for my tastes.

            4. davidlikeswine

              Interesting! I’m not remembering the Merlot as being too flabby, but maybe I have more of a preference for that style ripe than I thought.

              FWIW, I think the Atlas Peak and Coombsville cabs are both sub-14% ABV. I want to say 13.5 and 13.8 respectively.

            5. Darrell

              SB, I believe that Atlas Peak wine with the red label that you liked was the 2005 Ardente or maybe it was the 1999. Those wines were priced much lower than these recent red Cairdean’s.

          2. Expat

            DavidLW thanks for the intel on those cabs alcy levels. If I see one around here I’ll give it a shot. I’m a little fussy in my old age about wines being dry enough so I acknowledge I might be a little annoying when I call wines overripe but at least you know my perspective.

            Reply
          3. Darrell

            I reviewed GOWL’s 2010 Cairdean Merlot tasting and the bottle price was $6 and the recent spate of Cairdean GO offerings are much higher priced. Under the comments there seemed to be bottle variation with the 2010 Merlot and hence, the possibility of lower pricing for such a bottling when the powers that be determine price. This recent offering from Cairdean may be sounder just basing the reds on the price.

            Reply
          1. Zoel

            Hey Darrell – Last Bottle is fine for some buys…but often over-hypes some wines, and takes quite a margin on others…they had the Luna Merlot for $13, while GO had it at $6. Different models and margins, and probably buyers as well. So caveat emptor…

            Reply
    1. Jojo

      I tried the ’11 Cairdean cabernet. Definitely not worth the price of $25. Probably not worth $10. Just a disjointed wine.

      I also tried the ’11 Dessert Wine. Very average, nothing special. Totally agree with BargainWhine. Since you can rarely find zinfandel ports at retail, wineries usually only make them available at the winery or to private wine club members, $9 is worth it. Everybody should try zinfandel port if they have not already. Cheap introduction here.

      Reply
      1. Carol Foster

        I just tried the ’11 but our GO has it for $34.99. Way overpriced (others show under $20 which is still too much). Drinkable, but not memorable, nor will I buy more.

        Reply
    2. Doon

      First, thanks to all the posters here who help us all navigate GO’s wine section. I recently picked up the ’12 Bailiwick Londer and Sonoma Coast, tried side by side after decant and 45 minute rest. Sonoma Coast not as balanced, piquant finish overshadowing the fruit. Londer had better fruit, a very solid buy at $7. Next day the Sonoma fared better, but I still prefer the Londer.
      After shopping Redwood City for about 18 months of scavenging at GO, it reminds me of early years (80s) Trader Joe’s, i.e. lots of plonk on the shelves, but every once in awhile you find a superb everyday wine at a true bargain price. Recently checked out Palo Alto and the selection is a bit better; Joe suggested a Montepulciano ‘d Abruzzo that was a very solid buy. Had not seen the wine in Redwood.Don’t know if any of you have tried the Lincourt Sauvignon Blanc, classic Santa Ynez fruit, with a little age, perfect cracked Dungeness crab wine for $5.
      Keep Posting!

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I’ve been wondering about that Lincourt. That is a real winery. I have a lot of SB now; but then I seem to have a lot of a lot of things.

        Reply
      1. seedboy

        SF store has 2013 Tilla Tina (?) Marie Pinot. This is a different vintage than I’ve seen at the other stores. It is the best of them I’ve tasted, too, balanced and lively, and it compared well with the Bailiwick 2013 Marin. I would call both a good buy. Mark at the Oakland store says they have some interesting stuff coming in this week, I will check later today and let you all know.

        Reply
      2. JoelA

        The Bailiwick 2013 Marin is better than the 2012. Like its sibling, however, it’s not a very fruity, opulent wine. Not as complex as the Sonoma Coast pinots and certainly not with the same body. Nevertheless it has some good taste components, a good structure, enough acid, and a fair finish. If you like a pinot with a bit of a tight structure, then try this one.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          Yesterday the Pleasant Hill store had some bottles of one of the Marin wines and a few 2011 Sonoma Coast (unless the woman driving the fancy Mercedes bought all of them).

          Reply
        1. Zoel

          I grabbed 3 bottles (all that was left) in Santa Rosa…and wish I could find more…very solid Carneros Chard for the money. Flinty, with a nice citrus nose, opened up nicely as it warmed. Better after an hour on the counter. Seems to be all bought out in NorthBay and East Bay – anyone seen a stash (of the ’12 Chard)? Thanks

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Zoel, did you cover other North Bay stores besides Santa Rosa? I commented on the 2014 Carneros Chard. from the GO in Marin and when I returned to get more, there wasn’t any left.

            Reply
    3. samosamo

      just bought the Cairdean Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak. at Grocery Outlet. Check out online. Unless I’m mistaken this is not $149. There were places selling for anywhere $19.99 $21.99 to back East more. No where was it ever showing $149.

      Reply
      1. kmarchionni

        Yeah, we just saw this after buying 2 bottles for gifts. Very disappointed in GO – we bought it for friends who are wine savvy and hoping they don’t think we gave them a bottle of mediocre wine.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi all. My interpretation of the $150 vs. $20 or whatever is that the first one is what the winery originally hoped to charge for it, whereas the latter prices are those charged by the places to which this wine has been sold off at a discount. Other discounters’ prices seem to be less than the GO’s. However, that does not mean this is a “$20 wine.” IMO, this is a pretty good wine for that price, probably even at the GO’s price of $30, but one that still needs a bit of age to come together and show what it’s got. I did not think it was showing all that well now, but probably will be quite tasty and complex in about 5 – 8 years.

          Reply
          1. kmarchionni

            They liked it so that was great. We grabbed a bottle, as well, and it had some sediment on the cork and at the end. All in all, I probably wouldn’t spend $25 on it again but it was definitely nice.

            Reply
    4. Darrell

      The closest GO in my neck of the woods here in Marin doesn’t have the widest selection of wines and I was surprised to see the 2014 Cairdean Carneros unoaked Chardonnay for $5.99 a bottle. Having just Carneros Chard fruit intrigued me so tried a bottle and was pleasantly surprised. Fruitiness jumps out of the glass even though the wine is cold. The nose is of a apple/pear nature and might include some fermentation bouquet, though waning. Medium + body with decent acid and just a mite bitter.

      Reply
  11. Zoel

    Seedboy – Bingo! It was the mid-palate miss that marred my opinion of the cab. At that level, I seek a full spectrum, and this was slightly lacking. I didn’t find it as overblown as you did, but agree on the value equation.

    Reply
  12. Zoel

    And SRosa only got the ’11 Sonoma Coast-
    It’s very good, a tad more fruit forward than the ’12, yet I think the ’12 will evolve better.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Of the Bailiwick Sonoma Coast PN, there was more production of the ’11 compared to the ’12 or ’13. There is better distribution of the ’11 at the GO’s, probably due to the higher yield. I preferred the ’11 to the ’12 and bought accordingly and didn’t purchase any of the ’13.

      Reply
  13. rgardner2

    Windy Gap Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2015, $5.99/18, screw cap. Kennewick WA. This is not the same as the CA winery that comes up in Google, named after the Wallula Gap, so I’m guessing naming dispute I’d say $15, needs a little air, good deal at $6.

    Guess: 3rd label of Goose Ridge. Not Precept as they are mostly Walla Walla, not Kennewick.

    Reply
  14. Expat

    Tilla Pinot Noir 2014, $6.99/$39.99 (doubt it). Had to try it and will serve it tomorrow night a “card night”. Looks high production value and says “Tilla Marie Vineyard, Green Valley of Russian River Valley”. Almost no info on line and a placeholder website for tillawines.com
    Anyone know anything about this or seen it at your GO?

    Reply
    1. Michelle B

      It’s at Santa Rosa GO. I have no doubt it’s $40 retail if from Green Valley of RRV, whether it’s worth that is another matter.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      G.L. Pease liked it enough to get a case of it. I’ve had a cold with a lot of sinus congestion and haven’t gotten to it or the 2012, supposedly also good but not quite as good as the 2014.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Oakland had some of these wines yesterday. They also still have Bailiwick, a far superior wine. Pleasant Hill might still have some of the Marin wine. I tasted a three days old bottle last night and it was delicious.

        Reply
    3. Jojo

      ’14 Tilla Pinot is worth the price of $7. Sweeter pinot, cherry cola, but not in a bad way. I doubt anyone can find a better pinot for $7. Not outstanding, but no one should be unhappy.

      Reply
        1. Jojo

          I prefer the Bailiwick to Tilla. 2013 Sonoma Coast, 2012 Sonoma Coast, both simple and balanced. Can’t go wrong for the price. Didn’t try Londer or any Marin County.

          Reply
            1. Darrell

              I, too, like the 2011 Sonoma Coast even though a problem vintage. There is more of this than either the 2012 and 2013. The differences among the three vintages aren’t that great, but I didn’t pick up any 2013. All are more tannic than the recently tried 2010 Wilson-Daniel PN.

        2. Jojo

          Had the ’11 Londer Vineyards. Beats the ’13 Sonoma County, ’12 Sonoma County, ’12 Marin County. Slightly more complex than the others. Hard to fin, though. All Bailiwicks taste roughly the same to me, regardless of vintage.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Agreed that the Bailiwick Pinots taste similar, but what impresses me about the wines is the winemakers know how to age the Pinots, the balance of wood to PN. They know when to pull them from barrel and what proportion of new to used barrels to use. I’d be curious to taste their Chalone AVA Michaud PN to see if it is markedly different than the Northern AVA’s. I incidentally met one of the growers, Mark Pasternak, of the Marin Borderline PN ( Chileno Valley) while dining out in West Marin. His wife just happens to supply rabbit for the restaurant.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              My impression of the Bailiwick 2012 and 2013 Borderline Pinots was that the vineyard was young (I have no info and could be totally wrong) but I thought it had a lot of potential as the vines age.

  15. Expat

    Chateau de Piote Bordeaux Superior (Cuvee Prestige) – $10.99/$25.99, 12.5% alcohol. – This looked like a legit Bordeaux and the Silver Medal from the LA International Wine Competition did influence me. It received an 86 from Wine Enthusiast and I think that’s about right. Not a stellar Bordeaux but a solid, unpretentious one. So for me this was a big winner and worth $11. It tastes like a real French wine, not the Franco flotsam and jetsam the GO usually brings in. Nice and dry – a classic French wine. I didn’t give it much time to breathe but the fruit was opening up as dinner wore on but it’s not trying to appeal to the modern, North American style. It’s dry, earthy and was great with pan fried rib eye. Seedboy, I think you’ll like this if you find it. Only place I’ve seen it is Paso Robles.

    Reply
  16. RB

    The Olympia store has Kestrel Lady in Red, Columbia Valley, $3.99. For me, this non-Vintage blend is always a reliably good everyday wine. Same as the current ‘edition’ listed online for $18, tho I’m pretty sure they are clearing it out at the winery for not a lot more than the GO price (by the case of course).

    Reply
  17. BargainWhine Post author

    Arrived today at Richmond:

    A bunch of Cairdean wines: 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “Acquaintance Vineyard” Coombsville Napa Valley $25, 2013 “Leannan” Suisun Valley Riesling, Fume Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc), 2013 “Haley Margaret” Napa Valley white blend for $5 with the “Elsewhere” price of $38, and a Port-style Zinfandel $9 for 375ml.

    Tilla 2012 and 2014 Tina Marie Vineyard, “Green Valley of Russian River Valley” Pinots Noirs, $7

    Reply
    1. DavidLikesWine

      These are coming in to Palo Alto as well with the addition of the Cab Franc. The Port-Style Zin is fortified with brandy made from the estate cabernet grapes, which is pretty cool.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I opened the Port-style Zin last night. It had nice dark Napa Zin fruit (reminds me of this Benessere 2011 Zin), but so far it seems pretty simple. It may well improve over the next couple days, though.

        Do you know if that Cab Franc will also be from 2011?

        Reply
    2. Zoel

      I opened a bottle of the ’11 Cab Coombsville last night. Very well made, solid Napa cab. Nice aromatics, perhaps a touch restrained (PnP). Opened up over time a bit – one can still tell it is 2011 fruit, lacking a bit of lushness/richness. Solid 90-91 pt wine…but not memorable nor special. For me, not a repurchase at $25, but it is a good value for <$30.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Zoel, I had a different experience with this wine. It is made the the Robert Parker style, overripe (slightly stewed black fruit but no red fruit, no herbaceousness with low acid and tannins fully resolved. I don’t like that style at all. That said, I also thought it was really missing something in the mid palate. I left the rest of it at a friend’s house and he reported that his next day taste of it showed even worse than the first night. We opened this wine after two bottles of the Bailiwick pinot, 2011 and 12 Sonoma Coast, and each of them is a better wine at one third the price.

        Reply
    3. Zoel

      Also opened the ’12 Cairdean Caidrich last night as well…this is a blend, mostly Cab/Syrah with a dollop of P Verdot and Merlot. Decanted and drank…first night was good, solid interesting Cab/Syrah blend with good fruit, decent structure, somewhat muted nose. Overall wife and I thought it in the 86-88 pt range – decent and worth the $8 (bought at Petaluma). Fast forward to 24 hr later – the Cab has become more pronounced, with a sweet fruit edge not seen last night – far better. Raise it up to 90pt, and it is a strong buy if you like these type blends.

      Reply
  18. rgardner2

    Found a likely unique to GO Rose. Finding nothing in search engines other than one rating on Vivino at 5. 2015 Les Pigoulieres Syrah Grenache Pays d”oc. $5/$18. Bottled by Les Celliers de Haute Croix and imported by Evaki of San Luis Obispo. Alc 12.5%. Label states “fresh and fuity.” WA State.

    Reply
  19. DavidLikesWine

    At Palo Alto:

    All 5 Bailiwick Pinots (’11, ’12 Londer Vineyard, ’12, 13′ Sonoma Coast, and the Marin)
    – the 2012 Londer is moving quickly, but there’s still a few cases left

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      The bailiwick 2012 Londer Pinot finally opened toward the end of the third day it was open. It was left open 2 – 3 hours on the first day, and also tasted on the second day. I got a few bottles and plan to lay them down for at least 5 years.

      Let me also add, because any review I get out will be too late: the 2012 Sonoma Coast bottling was outstanding for $7. On the first day, it was pretty good right away, but fairly quickly improved until finally opening after being decanted about 2 hours. Smooth and elegant, slightly viscous CA Pinot Noir, in the cherry and orange earthy vein. Next day, saved screw cap bottle not so good. Better finished in one day, like tomorrow. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Zoel

        Bailiwick PNs just arrived at Petaluma – several pallets, according to Steve…had the ’12 Sonoma Coast last night…awful PN – friends, don’t buy any of these…go for the cheaper stuff)

        (OK, for the diehards that read past that line and into this, this wine was superb…really well made, I suspect all of the Bailiwicks are, I see several cases in my future…yum).

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          You jokester you; had me going there. The whole release of the Bailiwicks have a high QPR. These Pinots give the 2012 Maranet a run for the money and, for me, beats the 2009 Pinnacalitos PN. The Petaluma store didn’t get any of the Londer Vd. PN of either vintage and just one vintage of the Marin, I believe.

          Reply
    2. seedboy

      Oakland still has good quantity of the 13 Sonoma Coast and some of the 12. I think I cleared out the rest of the 11 but might have left a few. Look at the labels not the signage.

      Reply
  20. Expat

    Just saw and grabbed a bottle of Vadossi Chianti Reserva 2013 from GO in San Luis Obispo. I think it was $6 or $7. I’ll report after tasting but has anyone seen it or tried it?

    Reply
      1. Expat

        This was a pretty decent Chianti. Nice and dry, a few rough edges but overall enjoyable and it did well days later. It had the classic dried cherry flavors and medium body I find in a lot of Chiantis. It’s not a steal at $7 and not a bulk buy but worth it if you like this style of wine.

        Reply
  21. Seedboy

    If you see any Pinot Noir from Bailiwick, just buy it. These wines have flown off the shelves at Oakland and Richmond. There are a number of them. The 2012 Londer Vyd Anderson Valley is elegant and balanced with nice sweet but not sugary fruit. The 2012 Sonoma Coast is not as complex but also quite tasty. These wines are all $6.99 and are a much better deal than any pinot I have seen at the GO this year.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      It is unlikely that Oakland or Richmond have more than a few bottles of these wines. I do not know about other stores.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Monday Oakland had some of the 2011 Londer and the 2012 Sonoma Coast. The Londer shows the cool of the 2011 vintage, more austere with a bit of green in it.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          The 2012 Marin Bailiwick pinot noir was not as good as the rest sound. Initially it had a very fine nose (which stayed fine over two more days) but was acidic and a bit thin. By day 2 it had opened up and had a medium bodhy with reasonably good fruit. However, on days and 3 it had bitterness in the finish, too much to my liking. 14.1% alcohol.

          Reply
    2. Doug Green

      I was just about to ask about these wines. Prince of Pinot scores them all in the 88-94 range, and considers them very good values at $25-38. At $6.99 they could be screamers. Actually, they raved about the 2012 Londer from Anderson Valley, and gave it a 94. I won’t be posting which GO I saw them at until I pick up several bottles.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I opened a 2011 Londer two days ago. It tasted a bit green (they probably picked before the rain) but the second day that green had turned into tobacco but the fruit was still there, making for a complex wine. I will buy more of this to cellar if I find it. I opened one of the Marin wines last night and it was also delicious. I hope to find more of these and stock up.

        Reply
      2. Darrell

        “If you see any Pinot Noir from Bailiwick, just buy it, ” I second SB’s recommendation on the Bailiwick PN. My wife and I happened to like the 2011 and my wife didn’t care for the Borderline which is grown at the Marin, Sonoma county line. I didn’t mind it. This is my second post about the Bailiwick since I didn’t get through last night to notify possible Thanksgiving buyers. Anybody else having trouble getting through or is it just me.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I do think that the Marin wine is the weakest but I prefer it to any other GO pinot for less than $10 that I’ve seen this year.

          Reply
        1. Darrell

          SF GO had a few bottles of 2011 Londer and no 2012. Very little of the 2011 Sonoma Coast which I like over the 2012 and 2013 of which SF had plenty and also the Marin wines,too. Went down to Redwood City GO and the fella there hadn’t heard of Bailiwick. I hope he isn’t the Sam fella. Joe in Palo Alto has his ear to the ground and managed to have most all the Bailiwick Pinot in quantity.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            The Oakland store has cases of the 2011, 12 and 13 Sonoma Coast, the Cairdean Fume blanc 2013 Rutherford ($5.99?) and Coombsville Cab Franc (over $15), and the tilla Spring Hill 2010 pinot, the latter for $6.99. I came home with the Tilla and the Fume.

            Reply
        2. Doug Green

          Re: the Bailiwick Pinot Noirs. One of the stores in San Diego has some of the 2011 Sonoma Coast and the 2012 Borderline. Grabbed one of each of these. Will open both soon to see if I should stock up. Prince of Pinot gives them both scores of 90 and says that they are fine values at $28. I would think even better value at $7. BTW, the same store also has the 2010 47 Friends Pinot. and the 2013 Double J Ranch Carneros Pinot. Anyone tried all of these?

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            47 friends seems a manufactured wine, at least to me, intended to be a lower shelf grocery store wine. A bit flabby, color suspiciously dark. Either of those Bailiwick wines is far better, and I think they are the same price.

            Reply
          2. Darrell

            Doug, I agree with SB. When I first read your question about comparing the Bailiwick PN with 47 Friends, I didn’t remember trying it. I looked in my wine rack and saw the sample bottle I bought for the last sale. Apparently I didn’t like it enough to buy on the sale, but I bought plenty of Bailiwick not on sale. I also tried the Double J Ranch and wasn’t impressed.

            Reply
    1. JoelA

      I see that it was just two years ago that we were reviewing Hill wines. I didn’t see a single comment that suggested that the wines were not made from the alleged grapes. Maybe all of us need some re-education (no, not Cambodian-style).

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I read somewhere that before any labeled wine could be sold through the bankruptcy, there was a process to determine whether the label was legally accurate, so, the wines we got at the GO should be what they claim to be. I’ve opened a couple of the pinots lately and they have been lovely wines but I’d drink them up.

        Reply
      2. Zoel

        My understanding was that TonyW @ Invino (town of Sonoma) bought out all of the Jeff Hill vino after indictment…he was moving a lot of the meritage, really tasty. The Pinot was just okay…he probably still has some…

        Reply
          1. Seedboy

            The GO got a lot of the Hill wines. There was also a Napa Valley appellation pinot that I liked but not quite as much as the Carneros that Darrell mentioned. I liked a Chardonnay the GO had, and have a couple of bottles of Cabernet about which I am hopeful.

            Reply
  22. DavidLikesWine

    Did a Palo Alto run this morning. Some updates:

    The Pech Merle zins still are not in. Bummer. BUT, the Stemmler Pinot is in. It’ll be on the shelves tomorrow, but if you go in today, just ask for Joe and he can grab you some bottles out of the back.

    Also new:
    2003 Valley of the Moon “Cuvee de la Luna” Sonoma County (now the Moon Mountain AVA)
    – 70% cab, 16% petite verdot, 14% merlot
    – $9.99 before the sale price. This is old school Valley of the Moon. I loved this producer before it was sold a few years back and grabbed a couple bottles. Looks like maybe 2-3 cases are there.

    2013 Jean Bouchard Hautes-Cotes de Nuits – $9.99 / $27.99
    – negociant red Burgundy, but nevertheless red Burgundy for $8 on the sale. Only one case in and it’s on the floor.

    The Blakeslee Pinot is gone. The Everett Ridge Estate Zin is all but gone as is the Macrae Petite Sirah. Still some great wines to be had. Happy hunting!

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I tasted one of the Pech Merle wines, it was $9.99 and really good. Full bodied and ripe but still balanced. You could proudly serve these wines.

      Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Pech Merle 2012 Treborce Dry Creek Zin, $9.99. This and its sister wine, which costs $1 more, are now on and endcap at the Oakland store. As I said above, “really good. Full bodied and ripe but still balanced. You could proudly serve these wines.” I have not tasted the other wine. Robair told me he prefers this one, and one possible inference from that is that the other wine might not be quite as “big”.

          Reply
          1. Weinish

            Seed,

            I will be in Oakland on Thursday. Have to coming to town for a visit. Heading up to Napa on Friday and I’m expected to bring some wines.

            If you have any suggestions that would be great. It has been a long time for me.

            Reply
          2. JoelA

            When I first opened this wine, my reaction was :Uh-oh! A very hard nose, indicating too much oak and too much extraction, and maybe too much petite sirah. However,the wine began to open up quickly in the glass. Next day the hardness had disappeared. Now this wine was much more flavorful, more in line with SB’s description. Also the alcohol (14.8%) was not dominant (except when I felt my head spin after having an additional amount – to double-check my assessment, of course.

            Reply
  23. Anthony

    At Lakewood, Wa.: Wiilowcrest Merlot $6.99
    At 6th Ave. Tacoma: Cuvaison pinot noir $11.99
    At 20% off, both well worth the money.

    Reply
    1. Expat

      I can’t find anything online about these wines. I think Seedboy commented on the Barolo awhile back. I’m curious about the Barbaresco.

      Reply
  24. Anthony

    At 6th Ave. Tacoma:
    2011 Coelho winery Atração pinot noir Willamette valley Amity, Oregon $7.99
    Not much fruit left. Some tart cherry, underripe black or raspberry, decent acidity, interesting pepper note. Retailed for 20+ bucks. Ok with cheese and crackers; you could do a lot worse. The OPN pinot noir , which is still around is about the same but a dollar cheaper.

    Reply
  25. rgardner2

    Two really good manufactured wines for $6.99 at the Tacoma GOs (6th and 56th, but not at Lakewood):

    – Projection Wines Winemaker’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Heavy bottle. big bunt, says Napa, but appellation California. 4.4 on Vivino, with 35 ratings. I opened a bottle, this is a $25-30 wine. Classic California CabS, better than Robert Mondavi of a similar ($20-25) price (way better than the $10 RM Private Selection).
    – Windstorm Zindandel Old Vine 2015 that others have said needs a few more years. Bottle is the same as the Projection CS, possible connection.

    Also, 2013 Stone Cap Rose $2.99 (RB saw it in Oly in June)

    Some real Champagne $20 ($40) Veuve de Bellay Brut (Lakewood)

    I heard the 20% off wine sale will start Nov 2. Projection CS is at the top on my list.

    Aside: seeing Gulf of Mexico small shrimp (71) for $5/lb (wild, not farmed). Plus lots of interesting frozen meals (ethnic) lately.

    Reply
    1. Anthony

      Bought a bottle of the Projection Cab after reading your comments; wasn’t sold before. Well, I agree. Definitely a “manufactured” wine. There will be plenty available when the sale starts as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for the notes though.

      Reply
        1. seedboy

          I’m not sure what Anthony means by this but here is what it means to me: a wine that is made with ingredients other than grapes, yeast, and a bit of SO2. This includes using oak additives, enzymes, or coloring additives like megapurple. A lot of GO wines, especially the ones that started out as wines intended to be sold on the bottom couple of rows in a grocery store wine section, are basically manufactured.

          Reply
          1. Anthony

            Thanks Seedboy, you’re better at words than me. But essentially , yeah , the opposite of crafted or ( forgive me for useing the term because it’s so beaten to death) artisanal. In other words, it wasn’t made by “somebody”. I try to decipher which wines that show up at GO are actually made by the winery on the label and not merely bottled by a negociant or specifically made for sale by discounters. The two recent offering, one by Kestrel and the other by Facelli are good examples of what I’m looking for. They don’t show up often and disappear fast but that’s the thrill of wine hunting at GO.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I think your buying style is much like mine. I try to avoid wines that look like they come from negociants or the like (I do make exceptions, mostly for pinot noir or for a Cameron Hughes wine, although the white blend currently on the shelf holds no interest). I generally avoid “American Canyon” or “Graton” on the back label. I have a prejudice against wines from the Central Valley (Manteca, Madera, Lodi). Red wines from Chile rarely pass my lips althogh the 2.99 pinot from Santa Alicia? is actually drinkable. I also avoid the low end stuff from Beringer and the big labels.

            2. JoelA

              My wine choosing-to-buy style is similar to SB’s. I also try to avoid wines made in “Santa Rosa”. The problem I have is that with the profusion of labels it’s not always easy to spot a wine made by a “real” winery, even if the wine is labeled as “Napa Valley” or the like..

            3. patrick

              A few years ago a guy wrote in with a site for finding out who actually was behind wines do to Patent or labeling requirements, I wonder if anyone still has that?

            4. Carol Foster

              Seedboy – I am surprised that you are avoiding the wines from Lodi. A bunch of their zins are really good. I find a number of them have lovely, soft tannins and are nice and rich. I think Lodi is coming into its own and their prices are far better than Napa.

            5. seedboy

              Carol, my issue with Lodi is 1) I prefer wines made from grapes grown in cooler climates, I think one gets more nuance and I definitely do not subscribe to the “bigger is better” school of wine making and evaluation (basically, the coolest climate in which the grape will ripen is ideal for me) 2) Lodi wines tend to be really ripe with high alcohol, and I just don’t like that style much. There are some good wines coming from there, but in my 20 years of buying GO wines I can only recall a couple from Lodi that I thought worth my time and money.

            6. Expat

              I agree with Seedboy 100% on style preferences. And I think it’s key to delineate between style and objective measures of quality because they are distinctly different yardsticks. I can acknowledge a well made wine that is not my style preference, therefore it’s a Thumbs Down for me (i.e. a jammy, ripe, high alcohol zin). I might give a Thumbs Up or Drinkable to a modest quality Italian or French wine that others might find painfully dry and austere. This is why I appreciate the reviews and commentators on this site who factor in their style preference to give their editorials context. For example, I know if Seedboy likes a wine I probably will too but I likely will not gravitate towards the wines Carol prefers (but I may be wrong as I read more of Carol’s comments).

    2. Plato

      Windstorm zin is now at Lakewood WA. Excellent. Honeywell &Todd has been a go to chardonnay for a while. Any recommendations?

      Reply
      1. michael

        4th ave in seattle has had H.I.P. Dionysius chard(from hedges) for a while and I’ve been enjoying that, plus Duboef Macon-Villages White that is pretty spectacular.

        Reply
          1. michael

            I think the M-V was a special just for WA state according to the wine guy at 4th, G.O. bought from a local distro for it. It is great, $7.99(half of regular retail) and current vintage I think(2013). He’s got a lot at 4th.

            The H.I.P. is 2013 Dionysus Vineyard. Produced by Hedges. It’s a great chablis-like chardonnay.. Pear, apple, lychee, maybe some anisette. Full palate, drinking really great.. Not sure how much is left of the H.I.P.

            Reply
        1. rgardner2

          WTSO also had the 2015 Windstorm Zin for $14.99 on Nov 2 (same wine at Grocery Outlet). No rating, but the write up was, “Sourced from vines dating back as far as the 1920s, Windstorm’s youthfully fresh Zinfandel is brimming with notes of black and blue fruits, smoked meat, and licorice, as well as hints of sweet and peppery spices. Flavorful, yet refined on the palate, it’s an easy-drinking red to pair with all your backyard barbecue favorites. Taste this delicious California Zin for half off the original price!
          “The wine exhibits a jammy aroma of blueberries, raspberries, Asian spices and licorice. The wine color is ruby red with a medium hue, and has a wide array of aromatics. The tannins are soft with a nice integration of oak flavors.””

          Reply
  26. BdB

    I went to the Santa Cruz store today and they still have some Diableta zin a Zinfandel 2012 (7$/20$) which has been reviewed by BargainWhine on the main page. It’s worth a try, a delicious example of the old style Zin. It was wonderful with an Asian meal as well as with beef tacos. Good right off the bottle and getting better with air.

    Reply

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