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

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4,438 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. BdB

    I was at he Santa Cruz store yesterday and they had 2 reds I like a lot again: the Marques de Arienzo Rioja Crinza 2007, a steal for 3$ and the cat amongst the pigeons Shiraz 2009 also a great deal at 4$. Both are nicely aged, robust and delicious. Another chance to stock up on these.

    Reply
  2. 21stcbacchus

    Just stopped into the Palo Alto GO and was wondering if anybody has tried the 2011 Boccali Vineyards Tapa Tapa Syrah.
    I have been to the GO in Milpitas, Fremont, and Redwood City in the last month. And it appears that Palo Alto GO has the most extensive stock of wines.

    Reply
    1. 5-Star Bar

      Wow, talk about “Truth Stranger Than Fiction” 21stCBacchus! Bought this wine back in June (I’m a native of Los Angeles and the Ventura County appellation really intrigued me), just opened it night before last, and am finishing the last glass as I am writing this post. Truly serendipitous, the type of occurrence that inspires my faith in the mysteries of our universe…

      In any cosmic event, I was really amazed at how much I am enjoying this wine. I wasn’t expecting too much (perhaps minimizing expectations to avoid being disappointed). Hoped it would be at least rustic and satisfying. Had no idea how elegant, balanced, and complex it would be. While not quite as big of a blockbuster as the Russian Hill 2003 Ellen’s Block, for a couple of $ less I’m a fan. Big thumbs up.

      Only problem now is I only bought 1 bottle of it and now, sadly, it’s almost gone 😦
      As I read once upon a time in Wine Spectator in its review of the 1997 Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon : “Pray you have this in your cellar”.
      I did, and I hope that some of you have this 2011 Boccali Topa Topa Syrah in your cellar too!

      Reply
  3. permiesworld

    Did anyone try the 2013 Lunatic blend? I usually do (I picked one up because I couldn’t remember if we’d tried it). And I can’t find any notes on it. (Senility I suppose…) Anyway…has it been posted about, on here?

    Reply
  4. lim13

    Just arrived in Silverdale, WA per an email I just received:
    2007 COWAN VINEYARDS TARTAN RED $4.99
    2008 COWAN VINEYARDS CAB FRANC $4.99
    2008 COWAN VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON BLANC $4.99
    2008 COWAN VINEYARDS MERLOT $4.99
    The winery website surprisingly shows all the reds as 2006’s. Weird to me that they’d hold the wines that long…and that they don’t show ANY more recent vintage reds. The winery is in Prosser, Yakima Valley. Not long after they first opened they were making some decent, reasonably-priced Cabs (though a bit bell peppery). But haven’t heard anything of them or tried their wines since the 2003 vintage.

    Reply
    1. RB

      All of these except the SB also showed up at the Olympia store this week. The Cab Franc (2008) was the only one that interested me and I tried it last night. Not bad, but not a repeat buy for me. At first it seems totally flat and lifeless, but after about 30 min. it became more interesting.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I updated the vintages on my post above…and bought one bottle of each (except the Sauv Blanc, on which I passed). Will report when I get to them. Thanks for your input, RB.

        Reply
      2. lim13

        Decided to open the 2008 Cowan Cab Franc after reading RB’s comments. Clear medium garnet and significantly lighter around the rim; has a rather appealing nose of cedar and sassafras; in the mouth, there are medium tannins, decent acidity and plenty of dried cherry fruit; it’s certainly varietal and a respectable effort. At first pour, it seemed light and oaky, but after about an hour it changed significantly…for the better. It’s hardly complicated and I doubt I’ll buy more, but I’ll enjoy the rest of the bottle tomorrow.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          Hey Lim…picked up a bottle of the Cowan Vineyards, Cab Franc and Tartan Red Meritage a couple of days ago to sample from the MLK GO. They attracted my interest because these wines, as you know, are estate-grown, produced and bottled at the Yakima Valley AVA winery.

          I agree with your tasting notes on the Cab Franc (100% CF)…the nose is definitely dominated by cedar, with pleasant red fruit in the background, showing a medium-body and austere, dry nature. The wine was fairly tasty from first opening but became a bit more acidic to me on the second day.

          As to the Meritage (46% Cab, 36% Merlot, 18% Cab Franc) it is somewhat more fruity but still noticeably dry and not jammy whatsoever, exhibiting a medium-body and brilliant garnet color. This wine is easier to quaff than the CF, smoother and more balanced, especially on the second day.

          Both wines are a decent buy for $5 (SRP $18) and worth trying…

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Appreciate your feedback, EHL. I finished my bottle (actually, my wife and I finished it) tonight and didn’t really notice it being more acidic. But the one thing I did notice is a considerable amount of very fine, silty sediment in my glass…even with the bottle still one third full. I’ll try to open the Tartan Red next to compare with your notes.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Didn’t notice a lot of sediment in my bottle of the CF or Meritage, Lim…although both corks showed a good amount of dark sediment/buildup on them. I just assumed it was due to their relatively older vintage.

              Go Seahawks !!! Glad I’m not out there in Minnesota, chancing some serious frostbite after paying big bucks for the privilege…LOL.

              ;}

            2. lim13

              So I’m sitting here with a glass of the 2007 Cowan Meritage, labeled Tartan Red (blend percentages showing above in EHL’s comment) and I pretty much concur with his tasting notes. Here are mine: Just slightly hazy ruby/garnet with slight brick tone around the rim, showing it’s age (though 8 years isn’t really that old); smoke and dried cherry with herb and menthol tones in the nose; more fruit forward and no cedary qualities like the Cab Franc; in the mouth, it’s full and rich with great dried cherry and black raspberry flavors; pretty good dollop of acidity balances the fruit; tannins really don’t show until the finish, then they’re firm, but soft. All in all, another decent and austere effort and a reasonably good buy for a fin (that’s a five dollar bill for you youngsters), but still not a re-buy for me.

            3. rgardner2

              My comments on the Tartan (posted here a few days ago) were,
              “Cowan Vineyards Tartan Red Premium Wine Yakima Valley 2008. Needs air and approaching over the hill (browning). 50% CabS, 32% Merlot, 18% Cab Franc. Much better second day (stored in half-bottle). $5, so a decent table wine after air.”
              I haven’t seen the Cab Franc. The “Premium” label makes me think of Preston Vineyards (WA, friends of friends, don’t like).
              Anyway, going through Yakima (Union Gap) tomorrow and plan to visit the GO. I hope to find some Berg Family CS.

  5. BdB

    I tried the 2006 Bell Hill Merlot, it’s delicious, smooth, nicely made and aged. Since GO seems to have quite a bit of it right now, I advise trying it soon to be able to get more before it’s gone. It’s a good value at 6$. Also tried the Lady in red, though there’s nothing wrong with it (it’s a good everyday wine) IMO there are better wines for 4$.

    Reply
  6. rgardner2

    A few new ones at Tacoma 6th Ave:
    – Fra Guerau Montsant 2006 (Spain). $5. I’d give it a 3.2, drinkable but thumbs down. Corked? Over Half-bottle will become cooking wine.
    – Cowan Vineyards Tartan Red Premium Wine Yakima Valley 2008. Needs air and approaching over the hill (browning). 50% CabS, 32% Merlot, 18% Cab Franc. Much better second day (stored in half-bottle). $5, so a decent table wine after air.
    – StoneCap Riesling 2012 (Columbia Valley). This is the second label of Goose Ridge. $3, 12.5% so I’m guessing off-dry. Back label says it goes with spicey foods. I expect this to be decent, particularly at $3
    – Criss Cross Meritage 2011 (CA) $6. Think this has been covered (BevMo wine?)

    Seen at a couple of stores:
    Francis Mayes’s Tuscan Sun Tondo Tondo Sangiovesse 2012. $4 I like. Bit light. Great everyday drinker at $4
    Kyra Ancient Lakes White Blend (Riesling/Rousanne) WA – $4 – Fruity Riesling, off- dry. Slightly flabby.
    A to Z 2012 Pinot Noir (OR) $4 375ml (perfect for reusing as a half-bottle, wine decent)

    Yakima/Union Gap. Why did I not stop off here before? Great selection of the type of wines I like (plus the usual sweet that sells). The wine guy was knowledgeable and immediately directed me to the wine I was looking for. I’d put this store up there with the Renton and West Oly stores for wine quality (better than 4th Ave of late). I went there for:
    Trios Flash Point Sangiovesse Reserve 2011 (Yakima) $9, as reported by RB in the Oly store. [They were sold out of the Mouvedre, and I left only 6 of this one].

    Other interesting wines in Yakima:
    Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Apalta Vineyard Merlot 2010 $7
    Berg Family CabS (WA)
    Creacion Carmenere 2014 (Chile) $5

    Kennewick. Ownership change happened a couple of months back, so slowly restocking.

    Reply
  7. Darrell

    At the SF Geary GO there’s a $1.99 bottle of EOS Chardonnay and a $7.99 Jodar NV late bottled port from Amador county. Tried the port and does drink without much burn for 19% alc. The rim had orange and did have age in smell and flavor. The only complaint is the oak extraction which there shouldn’t be if emulating the Portuguese wines. The oak is in the nose and flavor. The Woodbridge might be more to the liking for a traditional port drinker even for $2 more.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Darrell. I really like the Jodar Port, although I don’t know much about Port, so your caveat probably applies.

      Reply
  8. BdB

    I tried and liked the Lion’s Lair 2011 family reserve red from south Africa. It’s mostly Shiraz (70%) second is Cinsaut (20%), 4% Mourvedre and Grenache, an original and nice blend . Found it in the Santa Cruz store where the wine guy (who’s very knowledgeable, he’s turned me on to many fine wines) pointed it to me. They had 4 cases, at 4$ it get thumbs up from me. Took an hour to open up, it’s quite dark and dry with chocolate/caramel/oak in the nose and cherry/spices/slight oak well balanced in the palate. Nice finish too, I’ll get a few more bottles for future enjoyment.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Another very nice South African Red CdR blend, tasty on the first and second day…and for a great price…going back for more, too, at the MLK GO!

      Reply
  9. Jeane van Doorn

    2013 Bushwood estate vine Zinfandel from the best vineyards from the Sierra Foothills of California. Fruity with notes of spice and cocoa powder good by itself. 14.5% alc. By vol..
    Best wine i found at grocery outlet for $5.99. Retail is i think $18.99.
    Not harsh but very soft to your palate. It’s sweet but not too sweet. Hope you will have that in grocery outlet on your shelf in stock all the time . Bought 4 bottles of Bushwood wines.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Jeane and welcome! I thought I had reviewed the Bushwood Zin but I apparently did not. I agree with your description of it. Although it uses some of the cheap oak product I dislike, I thought the fruit and flavors were quite good.

      Reply
  10. DavidLikesWine

    New to me at Palo Alto today:

    2012 Mignanelli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot 5.99 / 24.99
    2005 Bell Hill Lake County Merlot 5.99 / 19.99
    2011 Michael Pozzan “Annabella Platinum” Napa Cabernet 11.99 / 24.99
    2012 Martellotto “Melodeon” Santa Barbara Chardonnay 7.99 / 24.99
    2012 MacPherson “Basilisk” Shiraz / Mourvedre 5.99 / 24.99

    Also some vintage ports, 1999 in 750mL bottles and 2003 in 375mL bottles (19.99 / 11.99 respectively). Forgive me, the producer escapes me right now, but it was two names, maybe starting with a T and a G…

    Anywho, the chardonnay looks interesting (family winery, individually numbered bottles, nice presentation) and the Bell Hill looked interesting as well, but didn’t want to roll the dice just yet. Anyone had that one?

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      I’m thinking Tuke Holdsworth on the ports. This lodge was bought out by Sogrape in the 1980’s, then orphaned by them, hence their appearance at Grocery Outlet via AW direct wines.

      Haven’t seen them up here, but the 2003 375 ml bottles were a fixture at GO a year or two ago. 1999 was not a widely declared year (in fact, I can’t think of any port lodge who declared it, what with 2000 already in barrel). 2003, on the other hand, was very widely declared, so the 2003 is likely the better of two years. But the 2003 is almost certainly shut down at the moment–even if it is early maturing, I wouldn’t expect much of it till 2018 or so…

      Reply
      1. DavidLikesWine

        YES! That’s it! Thanks so much. Got it, will pass on the 1999 and snag a bottle of 2003 for later enjoyment 🙂

        Reply
      2. EHL

        Hey Flitcraft and Lim…saw an interesting TK Port at the Skyway GO recently, believe it was a pretty old vintage, most likely the 1999 product discussed.

        However, they were asking $40 for it, quoting an $80 SRP…way, way too much, especially if that year was on off-vintage, too…hmmm.

        After sharing the delicious Woodbridge Portocino (that I picked up for $8 at Oakland during the last sale ) over the Holidays with friends, I have definitely developed a taste for Port-like substances and have been on the lookout ever since we killed that bottle.

        Any reasonable candidates like that around here, at GO or otherwise?

        ;}

        [ed. note: sorry for the delay. This was somehow caught by the spam filter.]

        Reply
      3. EHL

        Hey Flitcraft…saw an older vintage bottle of the Tuke Holdsworth Port (believe it was the 1999) at the Skyway GO recently. Unfortunately, it was priced at $40, with an $80 SRP reputed…way, way too much, especially for that year, according to your learned assessment.

        After picking up a bottle of the Woodbridge Porticino for $8 during the last sale at Oakland, I drank it sparingly over the Holidays with friends…and it was delicious each time, satiating the need for something that fell between wine and Scotch while enjoying a roaring fire on chilly nights lately in Seattle…LOL.

        Having knocked off that bottle of Port-like substance, which I developed a fond taste and hankering for, have you or Lim seen any reasonable deals for Port/Port-like candidates up around this area?

        :}

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          EHL, if my memory serves me correctly, I remember Flit mentioning some 2011 vintage port in half bottles from good houses at TJ’s. and the price was reasonable. Just shared a bottle of 2011 with the kids from one of the more prestigious houses and was amazed how drinkable it was. Went down rather too easily and deliciously. Apparently, this bottle will be drunk sooner rather than later. I am a bit leery of Tuke Holdsworth at that price and vintage. There were some 2003 and 2007 Warre’s sold in the Bay Area a couple of years ago for $30/bottle and according to wine searcher they run $50 and $60, respectively. Just like you, there’s been more port drinking, partly due to roasted chestnuts w/ Costco Stilton and a week of extra cold down here.

          Reply
        2. RB

          A little while ago there was some 2007 Yakima River Shiraz Port at the Lakewood store for around $7 (I think) for 750ml. Never saw it down in Olympia/Lacey. Pretty tasty.

          Reply
        3. EHL

          Thanks much, Darrell and RB, for the quick response! Will follow up.

          Guess there’s quite a coterie of Port imbibers in our esteemed GO community…never knew…LOL!

          ;}

          Reply
        4. EHL

          Just in time, research reveals the 2001 Woodbridge Portocino has shown up around Seattle GOs…MLK and Lake City have it now.

          $10 for a really tasty and delicious treat to be savored in small sips…

          ;}

          Reply
            1. EHL

              Good one, Darrell…LOL!

              Don’t forget with the Niners out of action, the Hawks are representing our NFC West Division back East now…and if things turn out well, on to the rubber match with the Cards again. Talking about them, quite a stupendous, unbelievable game tonight against the Packers, eh!

              ;}

          1. flitcraft

            We picked up a bottle of the 2001 Woodbridge Portacinco to try side-by-side with the 2000 vintage that was around during the last sale. It’s very similar, actually, with the 2000 having the edge on the nose (almost a floral, violet-note there) and the 2001 on the palate (the 2000 has a licorice flavor in the finish that I didn’t like as well). But honestly, without a back to back tasting, I couldn’t have told the difference.

            I wish I knew exactly what style of port the Portacinco is emulating. It does throw some sediment, though much less than a vintage Portuguese Port would. I would guess that it’s late-bottled–maybe five or so years after vintage? It’s a terrific cellar defender for the price, and I don’t say that lightly, since I usually don’t care as much for faux ‘ports’ as for say, reserve ruby Ports. This one seems capable of additional aging, though at our house, I doubt it will get that chance.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Hey Flitcraft…nice to hear that this Port-like substance, that I really enjoyed too, is some decent stuff, especially for the bucks.

              Sadly, though, sipping it didn’t seem to do much for our Hawks in the first half of their lamentable demise…LOL.

              ;[

  11. BdB

    Saw 2 reds at the Santa Cruz store on Dec 28th that grabbed my attention, wonder if anyone tried them. The lady in red , red blend from Krestel vineyards 4$ and the Bell Hill 2006 merlot, $6 (elsewhere $20) it seems like both are loved.

    Reply
    1. RB

      The Kestrel Lady in Red is always a solid, everyday choice in my book. I’ve many times picked up a case at the winery when they clear out the previous vintage, usually at twice that price.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Lady in Red had a $10 Cabernet at the GO a while ago that (I believe) a couple of people said was good, so I’ve been hopeful that their red blend was good. One customer, was also purchasing the Cline Zinfandel and the 4 Star red (both also $4 each), said it was very good.

      I tasted the 2006 Bell Hill Merlot and thought it was very good. A nicely aged Merlot with plenty of good fruit. There’s also the 2004 and 2005 Bell Hill Merlots around. One customer called the 2004 “chewy.”

      Reply
      1. BdB

        Thank you for the input, RB and BargainWhine, I’ll get some of each, will try the Bell Hill this evening, I’m quite curious about that one.At the Santa Cruz store they still had some Villa Vino Vecchio 2013 Syrah which I like a lot. i stocked up on that one, at 4$ it’s a great deal. I liked the Basilisk Shiraz 2012 which is still available ($5) as well. Both were robust, earthy, fruity, with a bit of oak and well balanced after airing.

        Reply
      2. Rocky

        Thanks BW for the tip on the Bell Hill ’06, I found it quite nice and a very good value at $6. Varietally correct, fairly dry red/blue fruits, medium+ length and body, mouthwatering finish, some oak but nothing obtrusive, easy to like with some secondary complexity. The ’04 was over the hill for me, and I have not seen the ’05 around yet. Anyone have much to say about the Annabella CS?

        Reply
  12. seedboy

    The Chef and the Winemaker 2011 Amador County Barbera, Richmond store Dec 27, $4.99 (I think). This may be the best GO barbera in years. Clean uncomplicated delicious fruit, nice balance. Cellartracker reviews complain of too much oak but I don’t get that at all (and as you know I’m oak-averse). To me the job of Barbera is to be simple and delicious and this one does it.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Thanks for the report! We’ve received the 2010 and 2011 and have some of both in stock. I’m glad to hear the year with the worse reputation is good.

      Reply
  13. flitcraft

    Seen but not purchased at the Lake City GO:

    Asylum Zin, by the same Luna winery that brings GO the Lunatic wines. Lodi appellation, 2012. I suppose when you’re winery starts with their “lunatic” wines, it’s not much of a leap to the “Who let you out?” Asylum line. Seems they’re trying to corner the market on tasteless names and labels. Since I wasn’t interested in a Lodi Zin, I passed.

    Reply
  14. michael

    New stuff at the 4th Ave GO in Seattle.
    SXS Shiraz 2012 5$
    Stalking Horse Shiraz Barossa 2012 7$
    Stalking Horse Shiraz McLaren 2010 7$
    Lapostolle Cuvee Alex Merlot 2010 7$

    Got a bottle of the McLaren Stalking Horse(good aussie shiraz, great at that price) and the Lapostolle(Really nice). There are a few other new things I will take a look at and get to later. Haven’t written any notes for these yet.

    Plus they have quite a bit of the Goss Creek Red Blend I think I read about here, which is a good buy at 5$.

    Reply
  15. RB

    The Lacey store had a small number of 2013 Kestrel Old Vine Chardonnay for $4.99 today. I’ve always enjoyed Kestrel wines and mostly recall that they tend to make their whites with not a lot of oakiness, which I appreciate. Winemaker’s notes linked on here:
    http://kestrelwines.com/wine_club/winemaker_notes

    Also, both the Lacey and Olympia stores have plenty of the A to Z 2012 Pinot Noir, $3.99 for 375ml. I don’t think I’ve seen any tasting comments on this one, but I think a lot of folks will like it. I don’t know enough to judge how varietal this example is, but to me it’s pretty tasty for the price. Still seems to be widely available at about $16 for 750ml. I found this page with a compilation of review quotes:
    https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1154394

    Reply
  16. DavidLikesWine

    Palo Alto has the Yokayo Cabernet (2013, Mendocino) for $6.99. Had it last night and found it pretty good. Takes about an hour or so to open up and has some really flavors and adds some heft to the mouthfeel around 1.5 hours in. The only complaint I have is a hint of bitterness (what I’ve heard others refer to as “stem-like” flavors). Was worth the $7, but not sure I’d stock up on more. I preferred the Las Huertas cab from a while back for a dollar less. Anyone else had this?

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I tasted this after it had been open just under a day. It still needed a bit of swirling in the glass to open up. The next day (two days after opening), it was quite good right upon pouring. Nice plum / boysenberry, some dark earth, a hint of orange. Compared to the Southern Slope Cab I just reviewed, this Yokayo Cab is great. 🙂 So, yes, probably the Las Huertas Cab was a better deal, but this still strikes me as a pretty good buy.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I finally got around to the Yokayo Cab. I really liked the earlier vintage they had a year or so ago (can’t recall the exact year) and bought several bottles for $10. This one was not nearly as good in my opinion. Overall decent profile and structure but somehow disjointed. Tried it over several days and it was always pretty good but slightly off. For $7 there are better options and for $3 more there are much better options.

        Reply
  17. Ashlander

    Probably not the right place to post this, but I saw a GO type deal at Costco that is worth mentioning. 2013 Sterling Vintners Collection Meritage. Case price is around $75 but there is a $40 dollar rebate. Didn’t buy it but the reviews online look pretty good. I think I will go back for the purchase.

    Reply
  18. BdB

    I noticed the Concha y Toro gran reserva 2011 at the Santa Cruz store and after some research (I found a lot about it including a video, some give it 92 points,16$ was the cheapest I saw) I bought 3 bottles and it was excellent. Beautiful dark subtle color, nice nose right away but strange flavors. After an hour of airing it delivered, totally my type of wine. Intense but well balanced, quite dry and many flavors I love, berries, spices and some oak. I’m sure someone who’s more experienced would spot more and express it better. I enjoyed it a lot with some ribeye steak. Was able to get some more. Would age well I think. They have a few bottles left in the Santa Cruz store.

    Reply
  19. BargainWhine Post author

    I’m having to take a break from drinking due to sinuses inflamed after a cold. There are a couple wines I’m particularly itching to get into, but will have to wait:
    Barahonda 2012 Monastrell from Yecla DO, Spain
    Antu 2011 Syrah from a mountain vineyard in Chile
    The Syrah looks particularly promising. Has anyone tried these? What did you think? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. DavidLikesWine

      I had the Antu when it was a $24 syrah from BevMo. I don’t have my notes on that wine, but I remember it being quite good. Very excited to see if this makes it’s way to Palo Alto!

      Reply
    2. seedboy

      I have tried both. The Antu is a nice cool-climate syrah, lighter body, more herbal than fruity but in a good way. Oakland sold out of this wine in one day. The Monastrell tastes like you would expect a mourvedre from Spain to taste.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        Just tried the Antu tonite. I agree with your assessment Seedy although I found the body substantial. It was tight upon opening – pretty tart and rough around the edges but really relaxed over time. It definitely has character but I recommend it but giving it some time to develop before sucking it down.

        Reply
        1. seedboy

          No more of this at Oakland unless they are selling it out of the back room. I have so much GO syrah it is hard for me to buy any more in quantity until I drink up, say, the Cliff Creeks.

          Reply
        1. Darrell

          I don’t mind this character and in fact just enjoyed the 2011 Echeverria Carmenere from Chile which my son said, ” Bell peppers?” It may be aging towards cedar in combination with the oak.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            I just bought a couple of bottles of the Concha y Toro SB that is currently around. Nice wine. Has anyone tried the Lake Sonoma SB? James at the Oakland store liked it.

            Reply
    1. lim13

      Just a suggestion, Rocky…if you would reply to the reply comments underneath the previously posted comment (for instance, just under my question about which wine you were discussing), we’d all be able to follow the thread of comments. That’s rather than at the very bottom of the page. Is that clear? Kind of hard to describe in writing. That’s why I wasn’t sure what wine was being discussed.

      Reply
  20. lim13

    Silverdale just got in one case of 2004 Atlas Peak Claret for $9.99. Anyone had it? Reviews I’ve found are mixed, as some feel it’s now over the hill. Also got 2012 A to Z Oregon Pinot for $3.99…suspicious! I’ve had some decent A to Z Pinots, but the price is scaring me.

    Reply
    1. jwc

      Lim13, I think Id pull the trigger on both. I hear what your saying concerning both, but how often these days does GO get in wines that we’ve actually heard of or have a track record with? Hope to see them in Portland. ’12 was a stellar vintage for PN. Good luck.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      We got in a A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir today, but they’re half bottles for $3.99 each, getting into “pricey” range for GO wine. 🙂

      Reply
      1. lim13

        The A to Z could be 375’s here in WA too. I haven’t seen them…just read about them in an email. And thus far, I’ve passed on it and the Atlas Peak. Thanks, BW.

        Reply
          1. lim13

            Would appreciate hearing your thoughts, Aimee…as I’ve still declined buying any of the A to Z.

            But I did pick up a bottle of 2012 Covet California Pinot Noir at the Silverdale store for $5.99 and my wife and I both really enjoyed it. Brilliant medium ruby color; subtle cherryish nose; lots of “sweet” fruit on the front of the tongue; medium tannins give it firm texture; and fine acidity balance it all out. Pretty good deal for the price. From Buellton, CA, I’m guessing it’s a negociant wine and not a real winery.

            Reply
  21. RB

    A good number of new wines at the Olympia store this week, including:
    2013 Lunatic Red Blend, $5.99
    2011 Lyeth ‘L de Lyeth’ Cab, Sonoma County, $5.99
    2011 Lange Three Hills Cuvee Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, $4.99

    The comparison price for the Lange is $17.99, however that is the retail for their standard Chard. The Three Hills sold for $38. WE 90 pts:
    http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/lange-2011-three-hills-cuvee-chardonnay-willamette-valley

    Also, several wines from recently closed Trio Vintners in Walla Walla:
    2011 Mourvedre, Far Away Vineyard, Yakima Valley, $7.99
    2010 Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley, $7.99
    2011 Grenache, Far Away Vineyard, Yakima Valley, $7.99
    2011 Flash Point Reserve Sangiovese, Yakima Valley $8.99

    More info on them here:
    http://www.greatnorthwestwine.com/2015/05/01/trio-vintners/

    The Flash Point is made from Boushey vineyard grapes. Pretty nice. But the Grenache is very good. Amazing to find a wine at GO that made the Seattle Times’ top 50 PNW wines of 2014! My inner Grinch got the best of me and after tasting it I bought all the remaining bottles. I got what I wanted of the others and as of yesterday there were at least a case of each on the shelves.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Thanks for the link, RB. A very sad, but inspiring story about a lady who hopefully will continue to beat the odds. What a woman! I’ve seen none of the wines you mentioned except the Lunatic and Lyeth up north here in Silverdale. My experience with Lyeth of late has been far less than stellar (or even average). Lange’s a fine producer, but I’ve no interest in Chardonnay. I would like to try some of the Trio wines, but have no idea if they’ll ever make it here.

      Reply
      1. JM

        I had the Trio Flash Point at the Hazel Dell Wa store, not sure if it’s still in the warehouse or not, haven’t seen any of the others yet..Plenty of the A to Z PN (375 ml)…I hope to see some of the others on my order list tomorrow… [ed. note: JM appears to be an owner / operator at the Hazel Dell store.]

        Reply
        1. JM

          Actually I am the wine department manager…not an owner operator.. 🙂 So I LOVE watching this blog to see what I NEED to get ordered if I can get any of them in Washington!

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Well, welcome! As you probably know, we frown on GO employees (myself now included) trying to flog their wares here, but are glad for anyone’s participation in the discussion.

            Reply
    2. lim13

      The Trio Flashpoint Reserve Sangiovese showed up at Silverdale, so I bought a bottle. Clear medium ruby color; pleasant, varietal, spicy, red fruit nose; more red fruit and moderate tannins in the mouth; fairly high acidity. Not bad, but too much acidity for me (as is the case with most WA state Sangios). Not particularly complex and not much in the finish. No more, thanks.

      Reply
    3. seedboy

      Here it is ten days later and the only one of those wines we’ve seen in No Cal is the Lunatic. Which is the one I’m least interested in.

      Reply
  22. lim13

    From Silverdale GO: 2012 Wandering River Hawkes Bay NZ Sauv Blanc for $2.99 (from Roys Hill Estate in Hastings, NZ on the north island): Typical NZ SB with loads of gooseberry and citrus; high acidity and bone dry. Hear that, Seedboy? Nice find.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      Heard it loud and clear lim13. I like this wine. I’ve only bought one bottle, considering more, also considering a Concha y Toro reserve for the same price, may have more complexity. I have a lot of GO SB right now but I could probably find room for 6 more bottles.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        That’s always the problem for me…I can always “probably find room for 6 more bottles”. Haven’t seen the Concha y Toro up here.

        Reply
  23. seedboy

    Yesterday I saw at the Oakland store 2010 Campos de Luz, a Garnacha Crianza. It is the worst GO wine since that Panther Creek pinot noir. Overwhelming wood and pickle barrel tasting acidity. You can bet this one is going back.

    Reply
  24. lim13

    Having recently returned from Europe (left Paris the day before the horrendous terrorist attacks!), I’m totally out of the GO loop. Has anyone seen and/or tried the Louis Bernard Cotes Du Rhone in the seriously weird plastic bottles? My GO wine guy said he had customers returning so much of it that he pulled it from the shelves. The sides of the opaque bottles were collapsing inward. I couldn’t believe it was a Louis Bernard product (environmentally green or otherwise). And Happy Thanksgiving all! It’s good to be back in the US of A.

    Reply
  25. DavidLikesWine

    Some compelling wines new at Palo Alto today:

    2007 Lamadrid “Matilde” Agrelo Vineyard Malbec, Argentina $17.99 / $70.00

    2011 Lamadrid Agrelo Vineyard Cabernet Reserva $5.99 / $28.99

    2012 CH. Beausejour Les Maurins Saint-Emilion $6.99 / $14.99

    2011 Egelhoff Riesling, Napa Valley $4.99 / $24.99

    Joe has a 2 bottle limit on the Matilde. He only got 4 6-packs and apparently someone walked into the Redwood City store and bought all 24 of their bottles so he’s trying to let more folks get their hands on it. It won’t be out on the shelves, but you can call and ask for it. There were still about 14-16 bottles late this afternoon. 92pts Suckling / 92pts Tanzer / 90pts WE

    Rolled the dice on the Riesling. Usually wouldn’t on a Napa bottle, but it’s from Bob Egelhoff, 2011 vintage (cold which sucked for everything else but maybe good for this?), and it’s 12%abv. Will try it soon and report.

    Reply
    1. DavidLikesWine

      CellarTracker Review on the Matilde from 10/22/15 (not mine) with helpful info: 10/22/2015 – GTFREEK WROTE:
      100% Malbec. Vineyard planted in 1929. 24 months 100% new French oak. Nose shows almost Italian style with tomato leaf, cigar box, dried black fruit, dried roses, fresh stems, black plum skin. Palate has more classic Malbec notes of deep black jammed plum, black pepper, tertiary notes like turned earth, mushroom, there’s dried cedar, white and black pepper. Smells and drinks like it has age, but the color looks so young. High tannins, high alcohol, medium plus acidity, lots of structure here. Finishes long, high complexity. This is very, very good. Tough to push Malbec at a higher price range but this should make anybody happy.

      600 cases made.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I bought a bottle of the Matiled Malbec and am really looking forward to it. Higher alcohol than I normally get but if it’s in balance and has structure that’s fine.

        Reply
            1. Rocky

              Thanks Expat, but sadly no i’m in the bay area, and have not seen any Matilde @ lately up here…

      2. EHL

        Regarding the Argentine Matilde Malbec, allegedly retailing for $70, I haven’t tried it but according to the Wine staff at Oakland, it flew off their shelves despite its high $18 GO price.

        However, according to one of the guys who tasted a bottle, he wasn’t impressed. He said he couldn’t see paying the GO price for it, let alone the SRP. Moreover, he noted in comparison that the Steltzner Malbec, which Oakland had a few months back, was a much better Malbec for a lot less dollars.

        Go figure…

        Reply
        1. Rocky

          I have some Steltzner Malbec and Merlot which I would trade for Matilde if someone is interested. I hear Matilde was on the shelves at various prices, from $10 up to $18, depending on the store :/

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            The official GO price is $17.99. I’d be very surprised if any store were selling it for less than that, and not very surprised to see a higher price.

            Reply
            1. Rocky

              It was $9.99 at a minimum of 2 bay area stores, and later rose to $14.99 at one of them, and then on to $17.99 for the last portion of their stock. I wish I had been able to get more at the lower price, as the higher # was a bit hard to take after the initial bargain. Apparently there was a pricing error on the part of GO, which benefited the lucky few who snapped up those six packs.

            2. DavidLikesWine

              Rocky have you tried it yet? I’ve talked to a few people who bought it, but no one who’s actually opened it yet.

        2. Expat

          Oooohhkay, so I just tried the Matilde Malbec. Gave it 4 hours in a decanter and WOW. Absolutely terrific. I’m an old world guy and loved it. This strikes me as one of those wines that old world and new world fans would agree is splendid. Intense but not jammy at all. Deep, dark, earthy, chewy, firm tannins, great structure, rich dark fruit, lots of backbone. EHL, whoever that guy is who said he wasn’t impressed – I wouldn’t trust his opinion on anything.This is a powerful, elegant wine. One of the best I’ve ever had from GO.

          Reply
            1. Expat

              I don’t feel qualified to predict aging potential very accurately. With that disclaimer I’ll take a stab – it’s an unfined, unfiltered wine with a lot of structure and sturdy tannins so I’m guessing five years at least. It’s drinking well now though so I wouldn’t bother sitting on it too long.

          1. EHL

            Well, I guess I’m going to have to run down one of those bottles, Expat, if I can find it, which sounds like it will be pretty difficult.

            Appreciate your report and glad you found it to be well worth the money and perhaps more…

            :}

            Reply
        3. Darrell

          Finally tried a bottle of the Lamadrid Matilde Malbec after waiting for it to settle out. It is difficult to judge the tone or depth of color when the wine is turbid. This is a highly toned wine and still seems purple without much red. The color of the pouring bubbles are like a 3 year old vintage port, the pigmentation is so dense. The aroma and bouquet wasn’t high and was mainly oak and related barrel processing for me. Had to place nose into the glass and inhale deeply for evaluation. On the other hand, this wine in the mouth is something other worldly. The alcohol is somewhat high, but doesn’t burn too much. The tannins aren’t hard at all, but there. It was a highly extracted dense, chewy, voluptuous if not viscous mouthful. My main complaint about the wine is that it doesn’t have varietal character in the nose and flavor. I like it better than the recent Amarone which was a couple of bucks more. The Steltzner Malbec, which I had afterwards, is a completely different wine, apples and oranges. It’s easier to find food for the Steltzner. I had moose sirloin tip (quadriceps femoris for you butchers) steaks simply pan fried and moose demi-glace thrown into the pan for sauce and the Lamadrid just was too much wine for this preparation. It overpowered the meat which has quite a bit of umami compared to even beef. This wine might be better with tomato sauced based Italian food is all I could think of. I seldom buy $20/bottle or so from GO and thus far the only wine worth that much is the 2010 Luke Lambert Syrah which is also unfined and unfiltered.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            Darrell, I can’t disagree with your assessment. I wasn’t focused on pairing the Matilde with food – I just drank it as a pre-dinner wine with some cheese and crackers and thought it was really nice. Full disclosure – I don’t consider myself particularly adept at pairing food and wine but I do prefer wines that are food friendly. I also liked this Malbec more than the Amarone. The Amarone was fine but wasn’t great with our meal (steak). I wish our GOs got the Steltzner Malbec – sounds intriguing. We got the Steltzner Merlot, which I snatched up and liked quite a bit.

            Funny you mentioned the Luke Lambert, I just got back from the Bay Area where a friend gave me a bottle of the Luke Lambert Syrah that I had left there on a previous trip. That it is a great, restrained wine and I will enjoy it again.

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              Expat, your pairing with cheese is one of the better ways if not the best way to have the Matilde Malbec that I forgot about. Bottles like Matilde, thinking late harvest zins here, go well with cheese, before and after dinner or snack time.

    2. seedboy

      That Egelhoff Riesling is very good. Nice fruit, good acidity, maybe a touch of RS but really nice balance, minerality is really nice. I am headed to the Oakland store to buy more of this today. $3.99 there. They have another one from Washington that is $2.99 that is good but not as good.

      Reply
  26. DavidLikesWine

    New to me at Palo Alto today:

    Another Brunello: 2008 Sant Arturo Brunello di Montalcino $19.99 / $49.99

    2012 Wandering River Hawkes Bay NZ Sauvignon Blanc $1.99 / $9.99
    2010 Philo Ridge Nelson Ranch Vnyd Viognier $3.99 / $17.99
    2011 Philo Ridge Klindt Vnyd Pinot Gris $3.99 / $17.99
    2014 La Vieux Masi Cotes du Rhone Red $5.99 / $14.99

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I have tasted the SB. It is a good wine in a fairly typical NZ style. The Brunello and the Philo Ridge wines interest me, the latter are Mendocino County and the Brunello is actually going for prices in the $40 range.

      Reply
      1. DavidLikesWine

        I tried the Viognier, it shows nicely the first day but doesn’t have the legs to make it to day two. All acid with little fruit. Haven’t tried the Pinot Gris yet.

        Reply
    2. Darrell

      Hard to beat the QPR on the 2012 Wandering River Hawkes Bay NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Berkeley charges a buck more a bottle.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        None of these wines were at Oakland yesterday. Shelves were rather bare there, I think the wine guys are all exhausted.

        Reply
          1. seedboy

            Berkeley store had the Brunello. I found it odd that it was bottled in San Giminano, which is quite some distance from Montalcino. Negociant bottling? I do see that this wine is actually on the market.
            Second, the cork on my bottle was dark until about the top third of an inch. I wonder if there was a storage issue with these?
            I decanted half a bottle and did not touch it for half an hour. It is clearly brunello and in good shape. I doubt I will buy a lot of these but it is pretty tasty.

            Reply
            1. DavidLikesWine

              If you were going to pick between the two, would you take this or the ’09 Poggio Something-or-other?

            2. weinish

              I bought 2. Far and away better than the Dell’ Otto. Legit Brunello. No issue with bottle we opened.

              Don’t always trust Wilfred Wong but he gave it a 93. It’s in that area. 90-93.

            3. seedboy

              The second half of the bottle, just corked and kept on the kitchen counter, was good but I think this one only needs an hour or so of air, and I’m not sure about cellaring it long term.

            4. weinish

              The newer Brunello is better than the Otto Brunello. Except the new one probably had some heat, hence the cork. But I’ve had 3 bottles and all have been good. I returned the Otto bottles.

  27. flitcraft

    Seen in the Crown Hill Seattle GO: 375 ml bottles of Croft Vintage Port, 15.99, 20% ABV, 2007 and 2001.

    I picked up all four bottles–3 of the 2007 and 1 of the 2011. Will not be opening this babies for years yet, but both are from a historic Port house whose wines have been much improved recently after years of sad decline. 2007 is a very good year, and 2011 is ballyhooed as one of the two best of the last 30 years. (Of course, since the proof of the pudding is in the drinking here, we’ll have to wait a ways to find out if the experts are right…)

    Anybody seen these elsewhere? I’d love to have a few more of these. Typical price for this wine is 30 to 40 dollars a split.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Flitcraft, I thought you were done buying vintage ports, but I don’t blame you for buying these as I wouldn’t resist either. I got some 2011 mainly for the kids since this vintage was so highly touted though I got a bottle of the Nacional for myself and the wife. I was in line purchasing some wine and a lady in front of me wanted to order some 2011 Fonseca because she had some the night before and apparently loved it. I think you done good with the 2007, too. I hope we can see some of this down here. Oh, BTW, I believe a split is a quarter bottle.

      Reply
      1. flitcraft

        Ah, thanks for the terminology correction. I did tell myself that there was no point in buying vintage Port at my age, though I rationalized by concluding that smaller bottles mature more quickly (or maybe they do…) and that my daughter is now Port-savvy enough to appreciate the bottles that her father and I don’t get to before the old folks home!

        Reply
      2. Darrell

        Since it is getting cold, my wife and I have been drinking port, but as an aside to this, instead of having the usual walnut, pear and Stilton, we roasted chestnuts and let the Stilton melt on the hot chestnuts and sipped port with this.

        Reply
      1. seedboy

        I should have said. Oakland. Also a couple of Shiraz and a cab. I liked a McLaren Vale shiraz well enough but not as much as this.

        Reply
          1. seedboy

            Nugan. Not sure where it is available, other than the Oakland store, which is sometimes the only place where a wine lands.

            Reply
          2. BargainWhine Post author

            Nugan Estate 2007 Shiraz “McLaren Parish Vineyard”, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 14.5% ABV, $5. (Also at Richmond, although not the Pinot yet.)

            Reply
            1. permiesworld

              I would buy that in a heartbeat. lol I was wondering if it was the Parish Vineyard…I don’t know anything about the 2007 vintage though. Or how well it’s holding at this point. I can’t remember which one we had but IIRC it was the 2008. We liked it a lot.

            2. seedboy

              This is the one I tasted. If you see it and like cooler climate Aussie shiraz this is good. I have so much GO syrah it is hard for me to buy much more

  28. permiesworld

    Well stopped by the Corvallis GO. All the wines that I wanted were not available. However, I did pick this up. It’s retail is supposed to be $16.99/bottle. It cost me a little over $13 for 3 bottles. I hardly ever go wrong with Italian Prosecco. I cannot find a region (even the bottle just says Italy) and the label completely puts me off (translates to “lady the woman” Prosecco)…but we’ll see.
    http://www.ladylafemme.com/wine/
    Did anyone else happen upon it? Or pick it up?

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Nice looking bottle and for 3 for $13 is quite a bit less than most GO Prosecco and I definitely would pick one up like you. The Chevalier Alexis Lichine sparkling wine just says France, but this Prosecco has D.O.C. on the label.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        We had some with dinner tonight. It’s a lot heavier than the Kirkland Prosecco (if anyone has tried that) from the Fruili region but it’s not bad. More mineral-ly but very similar in taste. I think it’s a good buy, especially for just under $4 a bottle. At GO’s regular price, we both thought we would choose the Kirkland (they always seem to get excellent Prosecco) but at this price, it’s a really good deal.

        Reply
      2. Darrell

        We down here finally have some of this Extra Dry Prosecco but at $5 a btl. in Berkeley. Not too interested when extra dry and costing more than your 3 for $13. If anybody down here sees this for 3/$13, let us know.

        Reply
  29. permiesworld

    So I’m just putting this here because I don’t know where else to put it…

    With only two days left in the wine sale (today and tomorrow), is there anything outstanding that you guys have tried that says “buy a case”? “Stock up?”

    While we didn’t have a lot of the wines that the CA stores stocked, I did end up buying almost 2 cases total. First time in many wine sales. A few were just ok (Ngumu…), two were horrible (El Belairin & Bow & Arrow PN), and a few were very good (Villa 46 & Fable) with the Amarone being my highlight.

    Reply
    1. JWC

      I PU an assortment of things PW, seemed whites were a little better option on the GO’s here in Beaverton. Both the Amarone and Barolo were sold out by the time I checked out Beaverton, although I did taste the Amarone. I PU an assortment of stuff, the ’11 Buena Vista Sav Blanc, Villa 46 Cuvee Blanc and Chardonnay which are excellent, along with a couple Tempranillo’s, the ’11 Boccali Vineyards Syrah, ’12 Macon Villages Les Pierres Blanches Chardonnay and a ’12 Canopy Merlot & Zinfandel blend, along with some ’07 El Jefe that folks have liked here. I returned the ’10 Padilla Erickson Cab Sav as I found it to be disappointing. Also a Michel-Schlumberger 2013 Chardonnay for $3.99 pre-sale price, that I found to be a decent chard for the price point.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        Which Tempranillos did you pick up? (I tasted one that I almost bought…can’t remember the name but it was a Reserva..super sour cherry…) I ended up only buying the Villa 46 Tempranillo. Also, I’m very interesting in knowing what you think of the 2012 Luna Cab and the Boccali Syrah…I almost picked those up.

        Reply
        1. JWC

          I’ve enjoyed the Boccali Syrah before, it’s worth your dime. I PU’d the Villa 46 Tempranillo which I liked, I found it to be true to the Paso Robles appellation, nowhere near a Spanish Tempranillo, which may be why I like it 🙂 Those Villa 46 wines are all well made, quite nice for the price. I don’t recall the other Temp., the wine guy recommneded it. I’m betting the ’12 Luna Cab is good, most of the scores I saw online were 88 Pts or in that ballpark. The high end wines are excellent from Luna, believe the retail on this is around $20. Also PU the ’09 Brunello that’s been mentioned here, ’10 Barbaresco Risorgimento and a couple ’10 Riserva Chianti’s from Ducarossa. A lot of good wines, nothing with a Wow factor as far as I can tell. Do plan to decant the Brunello for 5-6 hours or more, to try and catch it at its peak.

          Reply
          1. permiesworld

            Totally agree that the V46 is not at all in the Spanish style but it’s nice. I liked it. My husband loved it.

            I’m on the fence re: the Luna cab. I loathed the 2011. And I loved the 2012 Lunatic. Sad about 2013.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              FWIW, I tried the 2012 Luna Cab ($6.99 here), small samples over a couple days, and did not think there was all that much to it. I was mostly struck by a lighter, candy-ish flavor, without much tannin or depth to the fruit. Some customers have liked it, though.

  30. permiesworld

    When I was in Salem today, I saw that the 2013 Lunatic Red blend was out (bottle looks just like the 2012). Has anyone tried this? I actually didn’t pick up any, but they seem well stocked…so I was just wondering.

    Reply
    1. JWC

      I bought a bottle PW, found it to be a serviceable red blend. Good with BBQ burgers, ribs, meatloaf even pizza I suppose. Also bought the ’12 Luna Cab to compare vs the ’11 from last year.

      Reply
        1. JWC

          My bottle was Drinkable, I thought it was a bit disjointed on the first day, syrah seemed to be running the show. 2nd Day more integrated, decent red wine but I won’t be going back for more. ’13 was not a great year in CA or here in Oregon for that matter, that could be the green pepper component, results of a cooler vintage.

          Reply
          1. permiesworld

            ok. Thanks. That’s what I wondered. I’m stopping by Corvallis tomorrow. Probably pick up that Syrah (if it’s still there) that you mentioned in your other comment.

            Reply
  31. Expat

    Tried the Chateau de Bensse Medoc 2011 Cru Bourgeois ($11.99/ 13.5%) last night with a grass fed rib eye steak. Wow, finally a legitimately good Bordeaux at Gross Out. Ironically there are finally several serviceable Bordeaux’s right now from the Pasadena importer but this one is in a class by itself. Classic French, Old World – dry, earthy, extremely restrained fruit and smooth. This is my favorite style of wine and I’m going to spend all my sale $ on some of these. I’ll get less bottles but the quality is so much higher that it’ s a trade I’ll gladly make. Seedboy, I think you’ll dig this if I understand your sensibilities. Others will too if they like this style.

    BTW, if anyone tries this and can help me articulate that initial aroma I get I’d appreciate it.To me it smells like cork. Other words would be wood (not “oaky”) dusty and perhaps forest floor.It’s a very classic aroma from this style of wine and I’m not sure what the accepted nomenclature is for it.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Expat, all those terms sound good to me coming from a GO Bordeaux. All too often there are no smells and aromas in the Bordeaux from GO. Now I will be on the look out for this bottle. This is a higher than usual appellation for a GO Bx.

      Reply
        1. delmartian1

          We opened a bottle last night and were hoping that it would be a “stunner” but was not in our opinion. There was a slightly strange taste to it; hard to describe. We actually preferred the Mission St. Vincent Bordeaux of the same vintage and at less than half the price.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            Sorry to hear that. Not sure if there’s bottle variation or we have different palates. I bought 6 yesterday so I guess I’m all in. We’ll see how it unfolds.

            Reply
          2. Expat

            So based on your comments delmartian1 I grabbed a bottle of the St. Vincent on the last day of the sale to satisfy my curiosity. I agree it’s different but I think we have different preferences because I found the St. Vincent a lot less appealing than the Medoc and most of the other Bordeaux’s that have shown up lately. It’s much fruitier than the Medoc, which is the opposite of what i prefer. I got some tartness and very little length with it. Also it had a flavor I can’t describe but one I get in lower cost reds, especially imports. It sort of a floral/fruity flavor but not in a pleasant way. I know I sound like a total d-bag right now but I’m just trying to give my honest impression.

            Reply
            1. delmartian1

              Good to know. We got back to our open bottle of the Medoc this past Saturday and the “strange taste” that we encountered at initial opening was gone…perhaps in the rush to try so many new wines so quickly we did not allow sufficient time for the wine to develop? At this price point there is still lots of it in our local stores here in north San Diego County.

            2. EHL

              Haven’t tried the Medoc but did pick up at Oakland during the sale several bottles of the St. Vincent Bdx, based upon its low bargain price and this discussion thread.

              Simply put, I was not impressed with the St. Vincent…it tasted like a cheap foreign $10 retail wine should…simple, thin, one-dimensional and too acidic, all wrapped around a candied fruit essence that I found unappealing. The second day saw it degrade further rather than improve.

              Didn’t finish the bottle and took all of them back for credit on other wine. Hope that all of the other people at the sale looking for a bargain Bdx, whom I advised to pick it up, weren’t similarly disappointed with the St. Vincent.

              As an interesting afterthought, though, I heard yesterday that the former “Wine Guy” at Oakland, Steve, had come from his Petaluma GO — where they had totally sold out of the St. Vincent during the sale — and was eagerly in search of more of this bargain Bdx at other GOs. Apparently, he was quite an enthusiastic advocate of the wine…so there may have just been some dreaded bottle variation amongst the pallets delivered to the various outlets…

              ;}

          3. Expat

            I’m always amazed at how much a wine can change with some air, especially ones with a lot of complexity that are really tight straight from the bottle. I often don’t plan ahead and don’t give them the chance to open up. I think I did take more care with the Medoc, which may be why I didn’t get the funky notes you did.

            Reply
    2. Darrell

      Expat, I finally tried a bottle and I would call the smell I first get as wood. I didn’t get any of the gout de terroir of the Medoc though.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        Wood is exactly what I smell. I think I said “cork” because I didn’t want my description to get confused with oaky (i.e. vanilla) flavors. You’re a more sophisticated French wine drinker than I am because I wouldn’t recognize the gout de terroir of Medoc. BTW, did you enjoy it?

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          I gave myself a small pour to evaluate since it was the last day of the sale. At $11.99 pre-sale, I passed on buying more, but I probably will enjoy the rest since it is French in mouth feel and aromas and have been utilizing more French wines of late, Bx. and CdR, due to the type of meals lately.

          Reply
  32. DavidLikesWine

    Went back today after opening the Blackjack Ranch Allusion last night. That wine is the real deal. Bought a case, still plenty left at Palo Alto.

    New today: Tanner Vineyards from Calaveras County, CA (tasting room in Murphys, CA) red flight:

    2011 Cabernet Calaveras County $8.99/$45
    2010 Mourvedre Calaveras County $6.99 / $30
    2010 Petite Syrah Calaveras County $6.99 / $30
    2011 Melange de Mere Blend (Cab, Syrah, Mourvedre) $6.99 / $36

    All right around 100 case production for each.

    Reply
  33. RB

    At the Lacey store yesterday I came upon about a case of Cavatappi 2008 Sangiovese ‘Molly’s Cuvee’ (Yakima Valley) for $8.99 (pre-sale). Made with grapes from Red Willow and Boushey Vineyards. I found this info on the winery’s history, along with tasting notes from last year:
    https://fullpullwines.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/two-from-cavatappi/
    I found it a very smooth drinking wine with a long finish. Maybe a little mellower than the above reviewer found it, 18 more months along. Displays it’s Sangiovese-ness very nicely. Will be great with a plate of pasta and marinara. I left 6 bottles on the shelves.

    Reply
  34. Ashlander

    I was at the Medford store for the first day of the sale. Wanted to stock up on the El Jefe since me and my wife both really like it.

    I was going to take the plunge on the Brunello that has been mentioned with mixed reviews here. The wine guy (Hank) said it wasn’t very good. He pointed to another wine and said I would go with that first.

    The wine is a 2012 Giormani Amarone Della Valpolicella. $19.99 (before discount). I went ahead and bought ONE bottle. I know there have been some positive feedback on on other Giormani wines, but I couldn’t find anything here or online for the Amarone. Anyone know anything about this bad boy? Is it worth $16 or should I stick with 4 bottles of various $5 wines? Help me Obi Wan Kanobi.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      I looked for that one here in the Willamette Valley…nothing. It’s a great price. I’d probably pick up a couple of bottles based on EHL’s review in guest contributions.

      Reply
    2. palfrey12

      I got Giormani, Valpolicelli 2013 Superiore rather than the Amarone. First, it was a smaller bet at 80% of 7.99. I liked it much better than the typical Italian red, less bare acid but a subtle flavor of black sour cherries and a smooth finish. It is dark, rich and textured and —for Italian reds— unusualy silky. This is going into my stock-up case.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Thanks for your report. I got a bottle of this yesterday and what you say about it sounds good to me.

        Reply
    1. palfrey12

      2011 La Tarasque, Cotes du Rhone, Old Vine Grenache at 80% of 3.99. Gentle and very quaffable. Darker purple than I expected and at maturity now. I’m stocking up from my Seaside GO.

      Reply
  35. JoelA

    A few things at Richmond

    2009 Arnaiz Ribera del Duero $ 7.99
    2013 Giormani Valpilicella Superiore $ 7.99
    20012 Filiree Mendocino zinfandel $ .99
    2011 Mission St. Vincent Reserve Bordeaux $ 4.99

    and possibly more coming tomorro

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      2009 Arnaiz Ribera del Duero…great buy. Good wine (Haven’t tried it from GO, so don’t know how this vintage is, but have purchased other vintages elsewhere.) I’ve seen it from $17.99-$24.00

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I drank a bottle over the last couple days and thought it was very good, definitely a good buy, especially at the sale price of $6.40. Soft, ripe and complex cherry fruit, lightly tangy, dried orange peel, with chewy, earthy, tannin. IMO, really needed a couple hours’ air in a decanter. Not too old but don’t wait to drink it.

        Reply
        1. JoelA

          Picked up a bottle of this and one of the 2007 Berberana rioja today, plus another bottle to try that Soph says he likes. That’ll hold me for a little while as I’m sill working on drinking down our wine.

          Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        No, some digit or other did not come out. I forget the price, but I seem to think it’s $4.99 or $5.99.

        Reply
    2. delmartian1

      Opened the Mission St. Vincent Bordeaux last night…for a net $4/bottle it is a great wine for day to day…very similar to a Mouton Cadet in terms of its bouquet, blended taste, and finish. Will be back for more.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Thanks for the report. Of the 5 recent wines (4 Bordeaux, 1 Bergerac) I’ve seen imported by Max Beverage, the three I’ve tasted were all solid wines that will be good for years. The Mission St. Vincent had the highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. I thought the Arnozan Bordeaux was also very good for $5 (pre-sale price).

        Reply
        1. delmartian1

          Found that Arnozan Bordeaux in the Oceanside store yesterday and opened it last evening. It was OK but a bit thin on the finish and we preferred the Mission St. Vincent.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            I liked the Arnozan. Not complex or long lasting but for $5 a solid deal and better than any other sub$10 Bordeaux from GO. Now I’m very interested to try the Mission St. Vincent based on your recommendation.

            Reply
            1. delmartian1

              I hope you enjoy the Mission St. Vincent. Overall I think this year’s sale was one of the better ones. I tried 8 new wines and went back for a case each of the top 3. They were (in no particular order) 2011 Mission St. Vincent, 2012 Roc de Lussac Lussac St. Emilion, and NV Juame Serra Cristalino brut rose Cava.

  36. RB

    Lots of pre-sale stock up at the Olympia store. The only thing new that caught my eye was the 2011 Arch Terrace Riesling, Cherry HIll Vineyard, from Terra Blanca wines on Red Mountain ($6.99). Originally $18 at the winery, it is Yakima Valley AVA, not Red Mountain like the Merlot from a past sale. Pretty nice, but not a repeat buy for me. Tartness and acidity are there, but not bracing. Pineapple and lemon flavors jumped out the most to me.

    Reply
  37. DavidLikesWine

    Did some pre-shopping at Palo Alto today. New to me:

    2012 Filaree Mendocino County Zinfandel – one case still in the box, no information or price. Made by DNA Vineyards in Ukiah. After a quick search, this guy makes a lot of wine for Trader Joe’s and this appears to be wine from his personal 4 acre vineyard. Might snag a bottle to try.

    2012 Pine Ridge “ForeFront” Sonoma County Zinfandel – $7.99/$16.99 – An entry level label from Pine Ridge, cannot find any info on the zin, only the cab and pinot, both of which have been well received. Maybe this was a small enough production they left it off the website?

    2012 Luna Cabernet Sauvignon – $6.99 / $19.99 The 2012 vintage of this wine is allegedly much better than the 2011 that circulated a while back, at least that’s what the sign says 😉

    2013 Budeguer Cuatro Mil Chardonnay – also still in box, no pricing info – Apparently was a $30 chard in it’s day. WE gave a ho-hum review here (http://buyingguide.winemag.com/catalog/budeguer-2013-cuatro-mil-chardonnay-mendoza) which indicates it’s on the zippy/acidic side if you like that sort of thing

    Other wines in good supply that have been well-received here:

    2010 Padilla Erickson Napa Cab
    2007 Padilla Erickson El Jefe
    2007 Blackjack Ranch “Double Down” Syrah
    2012 Care Crianza Tempranillo/Merlot
    All of the new Bordeaux’s minus the cru bourgeois
    2013 Petit Le Mont Sauv Blanc
    2012 Chapellet “Cervantes” Sauv Blanc

    Lots of the new Brunello and Amarone as well.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I tried a half bottle of the Forefront Zin that had been opened and half-consumed two days prior. I thought it was pretty good. More reserved and finely structured than most Zin, with nice fruit. No idea what a fresh bottle would be like.

      Sorry to hear about the Budeguer Argentinian Chardonnay. The packaging looks very nice, so I got a bottle.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I opened the Budeguer Chardonnay tonight, and I actually thought it was pretty good, although you do have to like acid and minerally structure. I’m expecting the rest will be better tomorrow.

        Reply
        1. G.L. Pease

          I quite liked it, though it’s likely not going to appeal to the California Chardonnay lover, nor will it confuse the Chablis or Mâcon fan. Quite a different thing. Bright, citrusy, a little toasty, minerallic. Restrained ripe pear with an interesting almondy thing going on. I’d guess it to be fermented in barrel, giving it some nice oakiness that’s not overblown, and no one went crazy with the MLF. No butterbomb here, but enough weight and richness to work well with richer foods. This ain’t your shellfish quaffer. It would stand up nicely to sheepsmilk cheeses, fattier cuts of pork (not too heavily seasoned), maybe salmon. I’ll pick up a few, if there’s any left when I come in tomorrow…

          Reply
  38. BargainWhine Post author

    The Deep Sea 2011 Merlot is also pretty good for $4. The fruit to acid ratio is a bit lower than in the Deep Sea 2009 red blend, but it’s still quite tasty, although of course some may see that as a plus. There are clearly some other grapes in this besides Merlot.

    Reply
  39. BargainWhine Post author

    The Deep Sea 2009 red blend is very good for $4. Probably a Cabernet – Syrah blend, at perfect maturity now. IMO, needed 75 min in a decanter to air.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Picked up a bottle of the Deep Sea Red blend yesterday at Oakland.

      I was attracted to it by the nice Rhone bottle with a deep punt, the wine being produced and bottled in Santa Maria and its tastefully demure label depicting ghostly swirls of fog against a dark grey background, bespeaking the maritime influence on coastal vineyards the wine makers emphasized.

      I, too, enjoyed this delicious wine, a dark blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Merlot and Lagrein, barrel-aged for 26 months, 13.7% alc. Upon opening, the wine was a dark plum color, brilliant, and medium+-bodied.

      From the outset, the Deep Sea exhibited a pleasant nose and palate of cassis, dark plum, black cherry and a wisp of licorice and restrained oak. With smooth tannins, moderate acidity and a semi-dry essence, this wine is elegant and well-balanced.

      Also, it’s a refreshing change from the more heavy and thick-bodied wines I’ve been drinking lately…

      Reply
        1. EHL

          Hope you folks can find it, and that there are no bottle variation issues.

          Just a few cases at Oakland and going fast. Probably won’t be around for the sale next week, unless they get another shipment in. ;{

          Reply
      1. EHL

        Just came back from Oakland…they are putting aside cases or whatever you desire on their Sale Reserved pallet…so come and secure your stash.

        As to the Deep Sea Red blend, they have a new shipment and plenty of cases in reserve.

        As to the Deep Sea Merlot, it is all gone…good stuff apparently, as reported.

        New shipment and a number of cases of the Spanish wine BW liked…the Lo Nuevo “L’Opaco” 2012 Garnacha Tintorera – Monastrell…

        ;}

        Reply
      2. Expat

        I tried the Deep Sea Red Blend tonight. I can tell it’s not a bargain wine but for my personal preference it’s too soft and sweet. It’s not literally sweet but I like more tannins, more dryness, more earth, perhaps more acid but overall more backbone. However, if you like this general, prominent fruit style it’s a great deal at $4.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          After drinking so many heavier wines like the Padilla-Erickson El Jefe and Cab and the Blackjack Allusion, I found the Deep Sea Red blend to be refreshing with its lighter body, lower alcohol and tasty fruit. I can definitely see your points, however, as it is a totally different type of wine.

          At Oakland today during the sale, apparently all of the Deep Sea Red blend and Merlot were long, long gone…and Robaire warned me to keep a very close eye on my mixed case of the two wines as people earlier in the week were rudely snatching Deep Sea bottles out of other peoples’ carts when unattended…

          Reply
          1. Expat

            It’s ancient history now because i”m sure it’s long gone but I tried some of the Deep Sea blend that I had opened last Friday and just vacu-vinned with no refrigeration (no ridicule please). It was way more interesting than when I first opened it. It had some really interesting herbaceousness that I didn’t get on the first night. I couldn’t believe it because I didn’t treat this one well after opening. I still don’t love the overall profile in terms of structure but it does have some complexity to offer. I guess it just needs air.

            Reply
            1. EHL

              Hey Expat…I’m glad you found more redeeming qualities with the Deep Sea Red after giving it some time to breathe.

              Most of the wines I drink — I drink over at least two to three, sometimes even four days…so the bottles really have quite a span of hours to fully develop and evolve, for better or worse.

              I, too, found the Deep Sea to be definitely better the second day on…which is from where I drew my final tasting note conclusions…

              BTW, Oakland just got another shipment of this wine in a day ago…about four cases or so. So to those who missed out on picking some up during the sale frenzy, with a SRP of $25, it’s still quite a fine bargain for $4.

              ;}

    2. flitcraft

      No sign of it at any of the Seattle area GOs. At least, not yet. We did, however, get the Deep Sea Chardonnay in two separate flushes a year or two back, so it is quite possible it may turn up here.

      Reply
  40. permiesworld

    I was over in Lebanon OR today and stopped at my favorite GO. The wine selection there is very good (they have a nice variety) and I actually found a couple of things I wanted to try in addition to the

    Padilla Erickson El Jefe 2007 $4.99. (I picked up two bottles…I hope I don’t regret only getting two lol)
    and the Bow & Arrow 2009 WV Pinot Noir $6.99.

    I also picked up (and don’t know anything about)
    Villa 46 2012 Tempranillo, Paso Robles ($25). $4.99
    El Belairin Red Blend 2013 (60% Garnacha/40% Tempranillo). It was a Spanish red so I had to try it but at $4.99 (it’s about half off of the sale prices other places) so not a great buy.

    Good news for me though was that they still had some of that Fable Bobbejaan (South African red blend) that I love so much (and so far has been my favorite since that last AU Colonial Estate Shiraz that came through).

    Reply
    1. RB

      That Villa 46 Tempranillo is pretty nice. The small amount at the Olympia store went pretty quickly (full disclosure: I was part of that!). Hope you enjoy it.

      Reply
        1. RB

          Mainly I just said that I liked it – that’s about as detailed as my tasting notes get (What’s New on 10/7). Lim13 tried it and found it OK, but not a repeat buy. Better tasting notes there.

          Reply
          1. permiesworld

            My husband ended up really liking the Villa 46. I liked it too but it fell more in the “it was a good buy” category for me. Taste wise, I would have preferred a bit more spice to balance the fruit. On the other hand, it seems like a well made wine.

            Re: the El Belairin…dumped that. I think our bottle was corked. It tasted like wet cardboard to me and I’m not scheduled to be back in Lebanon any time soon, so just poured it out.

            Reply

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