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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4,417 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. Doug Green

    On the last night of the sale, I ran across something interesting that I had to grab. Empire Cellars Winemaker’s reserve 2011 Petite Sirah, from a Calistoga appellation, for $5.99 pre sale. An aged Napa Valley Petite Sirah for under $5 on sale definitely piqued my curiosity, so I grabbed it. Also, for reference and comparison, the Concannon 2014 Petite Sirah for $4.99 pre-sale was also available and I grabbed one of those too – since Concannon is a known good producer of PS, and how bad could that be for $4. I have since found some very highly complimentary tasting notes online for both of these wines.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I thought the Empire was an oaky mess but others have had better experiences. A couple of the stores have had a riesling made from Carneros grapes, German name I cannot remember, that is quite dry and lacking in petrol but some might find the acid a bit harsh; I personally really like it.

      Reply
      1. Doon

        Agree the Empire a tad rough but it did improve a bit on second day. Interesting that on last day of sale some Hensteeth vineyard designated Cabs showed up; bought a Link ‘12 Knights Valley on a lark. Anyone tried it?

        Reply
        1. Alan

          Really liked the Hensteeth Cab- very extracted so more of a cocktail wine in my opinion, but eminently sippable. Empire PS didn’t work for me on the 2nd day, but should have tried decanting. Have 1 more bottle and will try that.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            Edelweiss Fence Row Block 2013 Riesling, that is the wine I was talking about. $4.99 at Oakland and Richmond. Cork finished. I might buy a couple more of these because I do like having some dry Riesling around.
            A wine I got at Richmond the last day of the sale and really like is the Tres Hijas 2013 Sonoma County blend, Syrah 60%, Zinfandel 20%, Mourvedre 11%, Tannat 9%. $6.99. Good flavors, nicely balanced, good on the third day, I’d buy a few bottles of this if I run across it again.

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              If you don’t see it in Richmond or Oakland, Petaluma might have some should you range out that far.

            2. BeerBudget

              This landed in Milpitas and Palo Alto. Popped a bottle tonight and agree – this ones worthy. Milpitas seems to have better stock than during the sale. Picked up a number of promising bottles: Cultivate 2014 Pinot Noir. Sequoia 2016 Santa Clara Valley Petite Verdot, 2015 Kimmel Mendicino Merlot, Teorrevieja Reserva Maipo Valley Malbec, 2013 Gerard Bertrand Fitou, and the previously mentioned Mariposa red blend.

            3. Seedboy

              BeerBudget, a number of those wines have appeared in Richmond as well. Also Quackenbush Mountain Vineyard (Rutherford Grove is the vintner) Zin 2010 for $3.99. Lake county fruit from a 2000 foot elevation vineyard overlooking Clear Lake.

            4. Doug Green

              This Edelwieiss wine has showed up in Poway for $4.99. The only reason I didn’t buy it is because I don’t drink much dry Riesling, and my local 99 cent store (just about a mile down the road from the GO in Poway) just got in the Pacific Rim 2014 Columbia Valley Dry Riesling for $3.99 and I’ve had very good experiences with other Rieslings and Gewurztraminers from this winery, and this one has some quite good tasting notes. BTW, this same 99 cent store is also where I found the 2013 Clayhouse Adobe White for $1.99 (although it’s gone now) and a nice Geyser Peak Moscato for $3.99 so they are giving the GO a run for their money in sourcing cheap but good white wines. They also have some interesting Aussie and South American red wines at the $3.99 price point that I need to try.

            5. Happybaker

              Doug – woo hoo – my SoCal 99 cents store had the Clayhouse Adobe white (2013) today. No price listed so I asked the cashier the price and she said “Probably 2.99.) I said “I know. But could you scan it and check it for me anyway?” She did and – $1.99!!!!!!

              I bought a bottle, gave it a quick chill and I agree, it’s nice! And it’s extra nice for the price. As I am a viognier fan, I will probably go back and nab a few more bottles.

              And too, the price helps make up for the two bottles of Bluewing Chardonnay 2013 I got from GO. Just didn’t like it. But maybe the one bottle I opened was bad. Dunno. Just happy for the Playhouse White : )

            6. Seedboy

              My take on the Cultivate Pinot Noir is that is has varietal character but is pretty thin and somewhat bitter. If you are looking for a pinot that won’t cost much try a bottle but I’m not buying any more.

    1. Darrell

      Happy, the link above didn’t show the page 3 Ardente so went to the Sun Valley website to get their circular and saw an Ardente CS Grand Reserva from 2003. That’s an older bottling and the 2011 label doesn’t look like that. It’s buff colored and labeled as Select Reserve.

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

        Darrell – thanks for taking a look and reporting back!

        I did call sun valley and had them pull a bottle to check the year. They said 2011.

        Gee, I guess I might have to drive out there and nab a bottle just to sure…. I might even have to try some 😏

        Reply
    1. Happybaker

      Doug I’ve seen tons of posts! (But then again, I’ve checked the box that basically says “Tell me everything!”)

      I was stunned but then not, when I thought about it – NoCal is having empty spaces and gaps on their shelves, cases being sold out. In LA, at least where I shop, not that much of a frenzy, lol.

      Reply
    2. Tom Murray

      Here are a couple of interesting items at Santa Rosa on the next-to-last day of the sale:
      • 2013 Lea Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir Buona Terra Vineyard (Tensley Wines, Buellton). $6.99 prior to sale discount. 91 points from Parker according to the K&L Wines web site (klwines.com/p/i?i=1178169). It’s out of stock at K&L but their price had been $27.99.
      • 2011 Russian River Valley Nebbiolo (Buona Vita Cellars, Healdsburg). $5.99 pre-discount. The winery web site says, “The 2011 Nebbiolo is a remarkable wine from a difficult vintage. The grapes were never touched by a pump. They went from destemmer to macrobin to a 1 ton fermenter where they were tread by foot for several days and then gently punched down until dry.” $27 direct from the winery. More info at buonavitacellars.com/wines_11.html.

      Just got back with them so haven’t tried either one.

      Reply
      1. Zoel

        Thx Tom – just my tasting note – I’ve had past vintages of the Lea (both Chard and PN), and haven’t been impressed…fruit is decidedly low-key, especially for Central Coast. Lea is Joey T’s wife – both are sweethearts, btw, and very talented – but the Lea wasn’t cutting it for my palate.

        Reply
    3. Darrell

      I think most of the interesting wines for this sale have been covered and before the sale for some of them. During this sale, I have often thought that it might be worth your while for some of you Southlanders to actually make a trip up to Northern CA for some of these wines not available down there if bought in quantity. I was glad to see that the 2011 Ardente CS was available in SD County.

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      1. bowzart

        I’m up here crowded against the border of the Frozen North (Canada). We have scoured the Stanwood store, and Mount Vernon, and Bellingham. It is obvious that the selection this time around is fine for furnishing our “house wine” stock with adequate but in no way exceptional wines, but decidedly lacking in the great stuff we got last spring. I

        ‘m wondering if there is anything about the way distributors dispose of wines that has to do with the calendar. I will eagerly await any insights that come back

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        1. Darrell

          After Flit mentioned the McEvoy PN Evening Standard, I tried to find it here in the Bay Area and I think it’s only available in the PNW. This winery is just down the road from me in the Petaluma Gap AVA and it seems to be a good climate for PN. Wish I could try it.

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          1. BeerBudget

            I’ve heard that some wineries stipulate that liquidated inventory can’t be distributed in their home market. I couldn’t find the Clos du Bois Sonoma County PN anywhere in Norcal…

            Reply
            1. Zoel

              This is also true…same story line as ensuring that winery retail prices aren’t below the local stores…don’t want to upset those retailers carrying your product on their shelves. Typically all depends on the deal and future business…and the converse equation is true for the sellers – it can be tough to move a small unknown WA-state wine in SoCal, for instance. All part of the fun of the wine industry….

          2. seedboy

            Oakland had 6 bottles of the McEvoy on a ‘star pallet”, which contains a mix of wines. I bought two of them. It is rather lean for my taste. Darrell, PM me about this.

            Reply
        2. Zoel

          RE: Wine closeouts and seasonality – yes, but it is more random than you’d expect. The primary reason wineries dump vino at GO (or flash sites) is typically a combo of excess inventory and cash needs. The remaining cases are getting ‘old’ and new vintages are approaching soon, so unless a winery “dumps” the extra inventory, they’ll never get back on track with the current vintage. If one holds on too long, the market tires of selling the old vintage and presumes something is amiss, especially with whites. And sitting inventory is dead money – so wineries are often looking for a cash infusion as well.
          While timing/inventory mgmt is the primary driver, there are many other reasons wineries will want to move vino cases at a discount. There may be significant marketing changes – whether it be subtle (ie. label changes) or repositioning the brand (moving up in price/image) or name changes (ownership shift) or 1,001 other ireasons. Wineries don’t want the old and new bottles on the shelf together. It creates confusion and dilutes the image. So they’ll run the channel dry on the old version, and dump the last bits into the discount channel. Some will even “buy back” the old versions from the retail channel in order to facilitate the shift/change.
          A little-known factoid – wineries can’t just “throw out” wine in quantity. All wine (alcohol) needs to be accounted for per ABC regs, and there are hurdles to simply dispose via the drain. It can be done, but actually is expensive. It is usually cheaper to pawn off the vino to a third party retailer (ie. GO) and be done with it. Winery’s loss, GO’s & Consumer Gains.
          So – based on the above, there may be some seasonality spike in late Fall, when there seems to be surge in bottling (hence release of new vintage). Hope this helps – other insiders – please share your thoughts…

          Reply
          1. JoelA

            Not only wineries but distributors as well. And sometimes a distributor has to clean out the back of the warehouse, which is when some of the older vintages appear.

            Reply
            1. Zoel

              Yes, you’re absolutely right…both the distributors as well as large retails sometimes have pallets (or more) they need to dispose of in convenient ways.

            2. seedboy

              Another thing I’ve seen is distributors cease distributing new vintages of a wine, and they have little reason to push their remaining inventory. This has traditionally been a mechanism for GO getting higher end wines.

    4. GOWineLover

      If it’s any consolation, I found your and Happybaker’s posts tremendously helpful. I only visited San Diego Downtown after stopping into Oceanside and not buying much. I find the Downtown selection to be pretty good. I ended up with:
      – 2 ANKA Red Blends
      – 2 Wild Oats Pinots. Should have a review up shortly
      – 1 Italian Vivace, 1 Torrontes
      – 2 Mariposa Red Blends
      – 2 Hensteeth Pinots
      – 1 Gratia Carmenere
      – 1 Handcraft Red
      – 1 Four Star Red for old times and because I still like it for the money.
      – 1 Sylvester Sangio
      – 2 of that Cotes du Rhone

      I returned a $15 bottle of red that BargainWhine said was terrible – some winery that sells in Danville – so that lessened the hit substantially.

      Reply
          1. Zoel

            I’m confused by that term “too much of it”…hmmm, the hedonist in me never gets too much of a good thing. On that note, haven’t been able to find the Mariposa here in NBay – am I missing it somewhere? Thx

            Reply
    5. Eugene

      Very few of the wines praised by California or Washington reviewers showed up in Oregon. The best I could find here were two: Dois Irmaos Pinot Noir 2015, Willamette Valley, 13.5%, $11.20 sale price, and Brunilde di Menzione Brindisi Reserva 2013, 13.5%, $7.99 (I believe). If anyone finds either of these on the last sale day, I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts.
      The Dois Irmaos PN seems less austere the most Willamette Valley PNs I’ve tried (though I’ve tasted a rare few richer than this). Almost like some of the Santa Maria Valley California PNs. It’s very pleasant with salmon, lamb, and other milder red meats. The Brunilde is the first Brindisi I’ve come across, made entirely from the Negroamaro grape, and bottled in glass so thick that it might serve well as ship’s ballast (be careful of your back carrying a full case). We enjoyed it with a 10-year-old aged cheddar, and Valley PN, tasty, but it struck me as like other austere, closed-in Oregon PNs I have had.

      Reply
      1. Eugene

        A bit garbled at the end: I liked the Brindisi with aged cheese and later with beef, but was disappointed to find the more expensive Samuel Roberts PN was too much like other austere, closed in Oregon PNs I’ve had over the years.

        Reply
      2. bowzart

        The Brindisi I found in Mount Vernon, bought one bottle to test, and when I got back to get more it was gone. We didn’t find it in Mount Vernon, Bellingham, or Stanwood. I have a case awaiting me in Eugene, for which I will drive 300 miles to get if I can get there before it is consumed. I really like it. I’m going to go for it. It’s very good. Fortunately, there are other reasons to go.

        If I were ever to get in a bar fight (not likely), I would consider myself lucky to have that Brindisi bottle. I’ve packed a lot of wines to my cellar, but never have seen such a massive bottle. It would almost double the weight of the case.

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        1. Expat

          I’m mystified with the positive reviews of the Brindisi. I got it about 6 weeks ago when it showed up in Santa Maria and I had high hopes, admittedly partially because of the 20 pound glass. I was hoping for an old world style wine with dryness and character with some fruit. Instead it had a weird profile that I associate with cheap, mass produced wine. Hard to describe – fake fruit, cheap perfume…I don’t know how to describe it. It was so off putting to me that I think I consumed perhaps 3 ounces total over two nights before dumping it out. Sorry if I offended anyone but I thought it was dreadful and it wasn’t corked.

          Reply
  2. inthewinecountry

    Here is what I have bought before and during the sale. Los Picos 2016 Reserva SB similar to New Zealand SB’s The Vino Rosso Albertone 2013, For those who like Duro and Melbec try the Pata Negra Ribera Del Duero 2009 , the Feuille De Vigne 2011 from Languedoc is a great deal and I grabbed a 1/2 dozen bottles, For those wondering about the Wild oats Pinot from Edna Valley if you like pinot just buy it, at almost half the price of the Saintsbury by George you will not regret it.
    As for the Ardente, I called the Store in Santa Rosa at 3:00 and rushed down there to get some at 5:00 it took almost a hr with traffic to get there and by that time they were sold out and a lot of the shelves had bare sports so it must of been a good day for them.

    Reply
      1. inthewinecountryi

        Thanks Darrell, Steve saved me 2 bottles. Tried one, not as good as some of the older Ardente we had 2yrs ago. Wish I could try the 2009. The Roseville store had a decent NZ SB called Grove Mill for 3.99 little heavy on the Grapefruit character but I would buy more if you see it around.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          I’ll keep my eyes open for the Grove Mill since I don’t mind grapefruit and nowadays $3.99 a bottle for NZ SB is a bargain. You might get your wish about the 2009 Ardente.

          Reply
  3. BeerBudget

    Looks like Bailiwick is closing its doors, citing margin pressure from increased Pinot production in California. Its a shame, but we might get to see some closeout inventory.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      Egads – that’s a shame – and an astute observation about the challenges of retail vino in today’s (distributor-dominated) marketplace. I think their pricepoint was just set too high – had they targeted $17-$20 range, they would have cleaned up vs. Meomi and LaCrema. At $35, very tough competition from CA and OR. Hope we get to see some of the remains…I’m still enjoying some of the last batch.

      Reply
  4. flitcraft

    The Alder Springs wines referenced here have shown up in at least some of the Seattle area GOs. Also, only seen at the Crown Hill store, McEvoy Ranch Red Piano red blend, 2013, at 7.99 and McEvoy Ranch Pinot Noir, the Evening Standard, also 2013, at 7.99. The red blend is said to sell in the mid thirties; the Pinot in the mid forties. I initially saw just the Pinot out, but today the red blend appeared, too. No idea on how or why a wine at that ostensible price point is here at GO now. But I bet they won’t be here for long.

    Reply
    1. Sebastian

      I just bought a bottle of the McEvoy Ranch pinot as a gift from Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago for $35. I didn’t get to taste it, but the wine buyer at Whole Foods had lots of good things to say about it (for what that’s worth).

      Reply
      1. flitcraft

        I haven’t opened the bottle I bought; I was a bit diffident given the discount rate–80% off isn’t a typical pricing these days–and I was worried that there was something seriously wrong with it. But seeing the second McEvoy Ranch wine makes that less likely. In any event, I’m not buying in lots bigger than 2 bottles these days till the cellar is under control…
        Any signs of these two wines elsewhere?

        Reply
  5. Darrell

    I usually try to taste bottles before the sale, but this time I sampled bottles the first day of the sale. Today I tried the 2008 and 2011 Ardente CS Select Reserve and also the 2000 Grande Riserva which was purchased long ago in a Nov. 2011 sale along with some of the 2002 Ardente Sangiovese. I first tasted the 2011 in the parking lot which I would normally spit out, but somehow this wine slipped down my gullet it was so inviting. It had a smooth mouth feel and a sweet entry, probably why it slipped down the gullet. The nose was fruity with nice oak. The 2008 wasn’t as inviting, being more tannic with a weedy, oaky nose and less fruit. Since there was the 2000 in the wine rack, it was opened for comparison. There was the obvious age difference in the nose and color, but the 2011 isn’t going to age out like the 2000. The 2000 is more tannic, more so than the 2008. It also has more of an acid bite not perceived in the 2011. Like others have said, it’s worth purchasing and in fact today I ran into a GO exec type who said somebody bought 33 1/3 cases of the 2011 at a store with some pull apparently. I still prefer my ’90’s vintages from the Ardente CS Espressione bottlings although I’ll be drinking the 2011’s to stave off the drinking of the Espressione bottles.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      We popped the ‘11 Ardente tonight. True to terroir as well as vintage. Initially leaner ( for Napa Cab), with interesting spice notes. Opens over time, fills up. Not a monster , but certainly a competent vino, will improve. Glad i snagged 8 or so

      Reply
        1. seedboy

          I drank a bottle of the 2011 over three days. I liked it the first day and my notes are similar to Darrell’s. However it did not age well, the second day the fruit went to tart cranberry with some green character, and the third day those qualities did diminish with nothing good to replace them and little else of note. I would actually buy more of the 2008 if I run across it but not the 2011.

          Reply
    2. BeerBudget

      The owner of the Palo Alto store told me he ordered 32 cases and sold the first 25 within 20 minutes of opening. The 1 1/3 must be for his own cellar 🙂 Took a 1/2 case for my self and popped one last night; Inky thick in the glass, but lean on the palette – needs a ton of air. Really curious to see how this opens up over the next couple of days.

      Reply
        1. BeerBudget

          Second day was much as the first, green olive and weeds – no distinct fruit. Third day brought restrained licorice and dried cranberry. I think I need a bigger decanter… I should note I don’t use a separate smaller bottle like BW – just recork the bottle. Overall quality wine, but I can’t help but think the Morande Cab from the last sale would have gone better with my ribeye.
          Other sale notes – I quite enjoyed Woodenhead Mendonoma Zinfandel and Adobe Red Paso Blend. I get the impression that the latter was the odds and ends leftover from Clayhouse’s blending (8 Varietals!) – but it works and doesn’t have the bulk-wine taste that most reds below $4 are crippled with. Good sale so far and finally got my hands on a case of the Laurent Miquel Pas de Geant.

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      1. GOWineLover

        Wow. I hate when they put out bottles late. I was in Oceanside and only bought 6 bottles of red. Almost none of the recently discussed bottles were available. I’ll try to hit Downtown tomorrow morning.

        Reply
        1. Doug Green

          The 2011 Ardente CS wasn’t the only interesting wine that they put out late in Poway. Another one was the Gillmore 2013 Mariposa Red Blend: This is a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Merlot, dry farmed from a single vineyard in the Maule Valley in Chile. Pre-sale price is 4.99, elsewhere $15.99. Unlike most of the Chilean stuff that shows up in GO, this winery is an artisinal boutique operation aiming at quality with small production. After I bought a bottle, I did some research on it and found that it had several 89-93 point scores from known reviewers, including a 91 from the Wine Advocate (Luis Guttierez) and a 90 from Steve Tanzer. After I saw this, I popped my bottle, and its REALLY GOOD, and very Bordeaux-like. I already ran back to the store and bought six more bottles @$3.99. It’s eminently fair value at the $16 it was meant to list at. Drinking nicely now, but still young and will keep. If my cellar had room, I’d buy 1-2 cases of this at the sale price.

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          1. Happybaker

            Doug – thank you for your post! The Gillmore 2013 Mariposa Red Blend sounds pretty awesome and I’ll head to my local GO this weekend in hopes of nabbing some. Love Chilean wines!

            Reply
  6. Doug Green

    First pass through the Poway store for the fall 20% sale, here’s what I felt was most interesting and hence, what I bought:
    Silver Trail 2013 Napa Valley Pinot Noir 5.99 pre-sale. I reviewed this earlier and liked it, and
    bought a couple more at the sale price. Everything else I bought either just based on reputation, location or other folks recommendations:
    Hensteeth 2011 Sonoma County Proprietary Red 12.99 pre-sale.
    Saintsbury By George 2011 Carneros Pinot Noir 12.99 pre-sale
    Gratia 2016 Gran Reserva Carmenere Agere Valle Central, Chile 5.99 pre-sale
    Los Haroldos 2015 Estate Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 6.99 pre-sale
    Quara 2016 Estate Malbec, Valle de Cafayate, Argentina 5.99 pre-sale

    Reply
    1. Happybaker

      Doug – thanks so much for your post! I have two friends who love Argentinian Malbec’s and now I have some good recs to pick u for them!

      I may buy the Silver Trail Pinot for myself : )

      Reply
    2. Doug Green

      A few more interesting finds in the Escondido store:

      Vasco Urbano 2013 Grenache, Marina Ranch Livermore Valley 9.99 pre sale. I had been wanting to buy this prior to the sale but felt it was slightly costly. At 7.99 I am there
      Clayhouse Adobe Red Blend 2013, Paso Robles 3.99 pre-sale. Their white blend was a screaming bargain at 1.99, I am hoping the Red is a comparable value
      Dehesa La Torrecilla 2013 Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah. 6.99 pre-sale

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        I have tasted that Clayhouse red. It is a serviceable red wine. I recently found and opened one last bottle of the white, it was delicious.

        Reply
      2. Doug Green

        From the San Marcos store::
        the Wine Guerilla 2013 Sonoma Zinfandel that others have praised 6.99 pre-sale
        The Monteverro Vermentino 2014 from Toscana that others have praised 3.99 pre-sale
        and finally, a wine I have not seen before: a Ventana 2014 Arroyo Seco Estate Grenache from Monterey 4:99 pre-sale. I have high hopes for this Grenache, as this vineyard has sourced some great Grenache for other wineries, inccluding that it’s been a component of the Bonny Doon Cigare Volante for many years. This might be the first sale wine I pop, due to there being more of it at this great price, but only at this one store in the San Diego area.

        Reply
  7. seedboy

    A couple of new things I’ve seen
    2012 Saintsbury By George Pinot Noir $14.99. Richmond. They say this comes from the best lots of their estate wine, appears to be a tasting room only product but it also looks like Wine.com had it for a while.
    Praxis Alexander Valley Merlot 2013 $5.99 Richmond. One positive tasting note on Cellartracker.
    A sparkling Chardonnay from Piemonte, Richmond and Oakland, less than $10. I’ve had some very good Chardonnay from Piemonte. Bottle does not say how the bubbles are introduced.
    There is a rumor that more Ardente cabernet is coming in. I found one stray bottle of the 2002 at Richmond the other day. I’d love to see more of these. Winery was sold last year to the Sills winery, and that winery burned down in the fire.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      RE: ’12 Saintsbury “By George” – due to the perks of living in wine country, I asked my friend – who was the winemaker – about this bottle. It is a blend of several Carneros designate vineyards, a TR-only pour. Should be pretty tasty by now…if we get some in NBay, I’m in.

      Reply
      1. BeerBudget

        I’ll be looking for it. I don’t have an extensive sale list – Laurent Miquel for sure and perhaps more of the Ano Verde and Wine Guerilla. Question for everyone – since the Hensteeth bottles seem to be still widely available, which are worth the relatively high-price point?

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        1. Doug Green

          I have no firsthand experience, but my spidey sense tells me that the best deal of the Hensteeth wines is likely to be the Proprietary Bdx Blend discounted from $15 down to $12. That’s going to be the first one I grab in the sale.

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        1. Zoel

          SRosa also has the “By George”, perhaps 10 cs, moving fast. Looking like they spread this out, along with the Woodenhead Zin ($8)

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          1. Zoel

            BTW – opened a bottle of the Saintsbury “By George” last night…very solid and competent Carneros PN. Somewhat muted nose, opened up over time. Cherry, some sour notes as well, fairly balanced and tasty. Well worth the $15, even better at 20% off.

            Reply
    2. Seedboy

      Ardente cabs are starting to appear. Different label from before. For those who are not initiated, these wines are made from grapes grown up on Atlas Peak. They are not going to be big fruity wines. The will appeal to those who are patient and are willing to decant.

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      1. GOWineLover

        Very exciting. The last run was great, IIRC going back to bottlings in the late 1990s. Outstanding cab period and even better for $10. Any idea what the price point is?

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        1. seedboy

          These are $11.99. I got a 2009 from the SF store. It is what I expected, balanced but lean. Would be good with juicy meat. SF store also has Woodenhead 2014 Zin, 50% Mendocino 50% Napa, for $7.99. A nice juicy Zin that is not overdone. I believe the GO has before had this same wine but probably a different vintage. I also tried out the Praxis Merlot. It is varietally correct and well made and a good deal at $5.99 maybe $6.99. I don’t think I’ve seen a new white wine recently, other than the sparkling Chardonnay (which I have not tried). Those Sunce wines that Santa Rosa has have not come south at all it appears. Richmond still has a stock of the Chardonnay (best GO chard in ages, to my taste) and Oakland still has the the Vermentino and the Volpe Pinot Grigio.

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          1. Zoel

            The Santa Rosa Sunce was a small one-store local deal. Doubt there is any outside of here. The Woodenhead should be a great deal!

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        2. Darrell

          I will have to try the 2009 Ardente CS. to see how it compares to the other vintages from Ardente that went on sale sometime in Dec. 2014. I bought only the 1996, 1998 and 1999 vintages in quantity and didn’t care too much for the vintages from the 2000’s since they were a bit too barrel influenced for my taste. I think there was a different winemaker for the 1990’s vintages and he left more CS or fruit in the wine.

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          1. seedboy

            I have now tasted the 2011 Ardente. It has more fruit than the 2009 and is overall a more satisfying wine. I will buy a few of them on the discount. I should note that of the older ones I liked the 2002 and 2005 the most, I liked the 1996 but it is teetering on the edge of being too old even for me.

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            1. Darrell

              SB, are the 2009 and 2011 widely distributed? I noticed you visited the SF GO, not your usual haunt. I remember you liked the 2002 and 2005, 2005 being a birth year. I guess the 1996 is too Kervorkian for you while I am still fine with it, it being weedy/olivey and not much caramel. Of the three 1990’s vintages, I try to restrain myself from drinking the 1999.

            2. delmartian1

              Thanks for the notes…I still have a half case of the 2000 and will be sad when it is finally gone. Sounds like 2011 is comparable.

            3. seedboy

              First a correction, the wine I got at SF was a 2008. It has rounded into a lovely wine but I doubt I will get over there to buy more during the sale. The 2011 on the second day took an unfortunate turn, the fruit went all tart cranberry and more green than I like appeared.
              I doubt these wines are widely distributed. Richmond had none on the floor yesterday. I’m driving to Big Sur tomorrow and will stop at a couple of stores on the way to see what I can find.

            4. inthewinecountry

              SB, I drank my last 2005 for my BD in Sept and it was great! typical 2005 big structured and meant to age. Just how I like my CS. but I like them at their peak and I don’t think I would hold this one more than a couple more years.

            5. Zoel

              SRosa has about 10 cs of the ‘11 Ardente, I picked up a six-pack at the sale…they will be sold out by tomorrow

            6. delmartian1

              No sign of the Ardente in the Oceanside store this morning…has anyone seen it here in San Diego County?

    1. Happybaker

      Okay, here’s my extra formal, extra fancy review of the first few bottles I nabbed from the sale. (SoCal, Burbank.)

      Do NOT buy “Holding Thumbs” 2014, 3.99 pre-sale price. Nice body but there’s something really “off” about it.
      As of today, do not buy “Double Oak Chardonnay” 2014. Very bright and fruity but just not perfect, even for a cheapie. That said, nice enough that my “not” is in lower case and tomorrow, after it’s been open for 24 hours, I may change my mind. I’ll give it a chance and check back in.

      DO buy Long Barn Chardonnay, 2016, $3.99 before sale. Same brand I’ve loved before, different vintage – still very nice. Great everyday chard.

      Yesterday was a fast, I have no time, run in, look, grab and get out day. So I got mostly cheapies (a few I still have to try and rate.)

      But my GO clearly revved up for the sale, big chunks of new stuff and, many higher end whites, whereas before they only had a few. So I guess I have my weekend work cut out for me : )

      Reply
    2. delmartian1

      Not in Escondido…no sign of the sale but I did notice that they are stocking up….I asked and was told it begins on November 1

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

        Delmartian1 –

        My bad! Okay, just the Los Angeles area stores then. Thanks for the correction!

        Interesting that you noticed your stores stocking up – I was away for a week and when I came back – much more wine and, many new brands. Fun to know they do that!

        Reply
  8. Michael Turner

    Here’s a list of stuff arriving soon(hopefully Friday) at SODO Seattle. I already have a few of these. (marked with a *)

    Cline Zinfandel Lodi, $5.99 *
    Diama Prosecco, $5.99 *
    James Mitchell Sauvignon Blanc, $4.99
    John Osborn Chardonnay Napa, $5.99
    Maturo Primitivo, $5.99
    Mille Lire Montepulciano, $5.99
    Pra Vinera Cabernet, $7.99
    Pra Vinera Pinot Noir, $7.99
    Goss Creek Zinfandel Sonoma, $6.99
    Les Belles Lavandieres Corbieres, $7.99
    Quara Malbec, $6.99
    Tusk’n Red, $4.99
    Cardwell Hill Pinot Noir, $7.99
    Casa Lapostolle Cabernet, $4.99
    Casa Lapostolle Chardonnay, $4.99
    Various CupCake Wines at $7.99
    Vina San Juan Red, $5.99 *

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      Picked up the Osborn here in Santa Rosa, hope to try tonight. Cupcake at $8 – egads, that’s close to full retail for medocrity.

      Reply
      1. RB

        “close to full retail for mediocrity”

        with that phrase you have, in my opinion, summed up the reason for the decline in posts here in recent months

        Reply
        1. Zoel

          I beg to differ…just picked up a case worth at SRosa, will be going back. Sale on Nov1 should be pretty solid. Rosa just picked up a bunch of Sunce whites (SB. Meritage, Gewurz, and Riesling) – I’ll try and let you know, since the Sunce chard was very good. They also have tons of the Guerrilla Zin at $7, very solid and less than 50% off of discounted prices. Sure, plenty of “meh” wines at meh prices, but that’s part of the fun, eh?

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            Looking forward to the Sunce whites. They generally do a fine job on SB. I wonder if their Kenwood tasting room survived the fire. My friends’ house down the street survived.

            Reply
            1. Tom Murray

              I live a couple of miles up Highway 12 from the Sunce tasting room (in Oakmont). We drove down that way earlier this week and didn’t notice any fire damage to Sunce or any of the other tasting rooms in Kenwood. I first visited that location in 1988 when the Smothers Brothers were using it as the tasting room for the wines produced under their name. When Sunce moved in, an employee there told me that Tom Smothers still owns the building.

            2. Doug Green

              I heard that Chateau St. Jean had significant damage. Arrowood and Imagery are in the burn area as well, but I don’t know what damage they sustained. I have a friend who owns a house in Sonoma near Ravenswood and Buena Vista which were right on the fire line but somehow not damaged, and Gundlach Bundschu (which sustained some damage) and the fire came within 100 feet of his house, but his house was undamaged. I know that Kenwood, Kunde, Matanzas Creek, Benziger, and St. Francis just missed being damaged. In Napa, I know that Signorello and Jarvis had major damage, Stags’ Leap Winery (not Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars) had damage, but not to the main facility and Mayacamas lost their tasting room, but not their main production and storage facilities. Storybook Mountain lost their building where they stored their older vintage library, but not their main facility, which is in an underground cave.

              The hotel I usually stay in when I visit Santa Rosa, the Wine Country Hilton, was completely destroyed, as was the nearby Fountaingrove Inn

        1. Zoel

          Osborn was okay, nothing special. Classic Napa “meh”, which means so-so fruit, okay winemaking, but nothing compelling. We found the “Marine Layer” chard to be much better – that’s a sale buy next week

          Reply
          1. Happybaker

            Zoel – what was the price for the Marine Layer chard? I remember seeing it here, in So Cal but could find nothing online about it so I passed.

            Very good to know about Osborn – thank you!

            Reply
            1. Happybaker

              PS – got a report from a friend I sent to the GO sale today. She and her hubby like reds and while they love and appreciate the really complex stuff, they are actors, with their own theatre company – so they are highly practical (aka thrifty!) as well! ; )

              She got some of the front page circular wine – the Handcraft Dark Red, took it home, popped it open to taste – and told me she was going back to buy a case.

              https://lastcallwines.com/handcraft-artisan-collection-california-dark-red-blend-2015.html

              After the sale it’s $3.19 a bottle and she described it as “Smooth, not too dry, not sweet, rich tasting, the cork smelled fruitier and sweeter than the wine was. So that made me happy. Definitely a hint of 🍇”

              Sounds like a fab everyday/party wine, I will be going to pick some up myself!

            2. Happybaker

              “$6, methinks for the Marine Layer.”

              Excellent. Thank you! Hope to be there in the next few days. And then back again to stock up!

  9. Happybaker

    I saw that my GO had the 50 Shades of Grey wine. (The “White Silk”.) I laughed at the idea of a movie branded wine. I laughed at (and loved) the difference between the retail price and GO’s price. Bought it, chilled it, opened it and – not laughing.

    It was pretty bad. Tasted kind of like detergent.

    The next day, I gave it another sip as sometimes wine changes after being opened. And it had. Much much better, like a tart Sauvignon Blanc. Not my fav SB but, drinkable.

    As I am a lazy gal and want my wine to be tasty from the moment I open it, this will not be a rebuy. But if anyone already has it – good know about the next day thing.

    Reply
  10. Ashlander

    WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THE REVIEWS FROM THE CONTRIBUTORS??!!!!

    Just wondering what happened to all of the contributors. There are three reviews since July. In the past, I found the reviews interesting and informative. Was there some collective decision to no longer participate on grossout for some reason? I would think with the sale coming up, there would be a lot more activity.
    Just wondering!

    Reply
    1. BeerBudget

      Is the sale date posted yet? There seems to be less interesting wine available at GO lately, especially below $8.

      Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I cannot speak for the regular reviewers (unless I’m considered to be one). My theory is that there is precious little to review, and unless some new wines appear very soon the sale is going to be a bust. The Richmond store had some new wines today including two from Ventana Vineyards, a white blend called Pastiche (I have no idea what it is and my research did not help) and a red Grenache, the latter $4.99, the former that or less. Also Humble Vine 2013 Victoria Shiraz 3.99.

          Reply
          1. GOWineLover

            I can speak for myself only, not that my reviews have been high volume. I have found very little of interest in San Diego. Fine, but not great values, seem to abound but I will likely stock up and review for the November sale. I also have a 5 month old and a new job, so that’s been pulling all of my time away! Looking to get more active through the end of the year

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              I think BW has time demanding parental duties that prevents wine evaluations as well. I am temporarily back from the Rockies, but am returning with my wife shortly and so haven’t visited any GO’s lately. When I return, I hope to take up some slack and go to East Bay or SF stores for some evaluations.

          2. Seedboy

            The Ventana Pastiche was $2.99. It is nicely made, no obvious oak, balanced, tasty. I’m not sure what is in it even after one glass. I suspect there is some Chardonnay, and doubt there is much if any Vognier. Maybe some Grenache Blanc and Sauv Blanc?

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              I liked the Ventana Grenache for its bright strawberry fruit and structure. Some might find it too austere. The Humble Vine Shiraz is more of an easy drinking crowd pleaser. I got these at Richmond, Oakland did not have them yesterday.

          3. Doug Green

            I reviewed a couple of interesting Pinot Noirs recently, and I was surprised how little follow-up comment that they received. Also, I posted something earlier and got told that my comment was awaiting moderation. Not sure what that is about

            Reply
            1. Happybaker

              Doug,

              Saw your reviews but it’s been too darn hot in la for me to think of pinots! After this week we should be heading to perfect weather for them and o will hunt back down and reread your reviews. Reds move slowly down here in the summer (except for that qupe red, gone almost instantly!) so I think I still have a shot at some of your wines 🍷

  11. auntbeapug

    Steak Holder “Big Red Wine” Paso Robles 2015
    As I recall, $4.99… definitely worth it
    I really like this wine. Recently, I’ve tried some other wines missing something whether it was a weak taste up front or an unpleasant finish. This red is interesting and complete. I am not a meat eater (label advises this goes with a carnivorous meal), but this paired very nicely with a Gouda, Havarti (with spice) macaroni and cheese. The nose is a lemony fresh cut grass. Front of mouth bright and citrusy. Finish is zesty with ginger, pepper, and a creamy hot cinnamon at the back. I suppose a big week at the office left me feeling fierce and wanting a little more power in my goblet… No weak Pinot tonight! I like good, dry, full wines (a well made Syrah or a creative GSM). This works for me. Anyone else try this one? Thoughts? I’m heading back to GO tomorrow to get more.

    Reply
  12. seedboy

    Yesterday the Oakland store put out a bunch of Sunce RRV Chardonnay Poole Vineyard 2014, for $6.99. I’ve bought a bottle but won’t be getting to it for a couple of days.

    Reply
        1. Seedboy

          The Sunce is selling well. One buyer bought 14 cases yesterday at Oakland. This is a full bodied Chard with good acid, no obvious oak, fresh and baked apple but it seems like there is more in there waiting to emerge. I think this wine might improve with a couple years of age. Buy it while you can, Oakland has little left.

          Reply
    1. CHRIS WARNER

      We took the last few bottles. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. We visited the winery this summer and it’s a wonderful place.

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

        I nabbed one of the 6.99 Sunce in SoCal – Burbank. Sounds like I should crack it open this week, to see if I should buy more!

        Reply
          1. Happybaker

            Sad to say I opened my Sunce – and it was not good. Flat and, well off. Almost bitter. Maybe it had not been stored properly? But considering all the other fab GO deals I have found, no big.

            Reply
  13. flitcraft

    Seen at the SODO GO in Seattle yesterday:

    Comtesse Florence Cote de Provence 2016 rose, 6.99; 50/50 Grenache and Cinsault
    Drouet Freres Privilege SB, 2015, 6.99
    Lavau Cote du Rhone Villages, 2013, 5.99; 50/50 Grenache, Syrah
    Maryhill Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc 2013, 7.99
    Ngumu red blend, W. Cape South Africa, 2015, 40/40/20 Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, at 5.99
    Evans and Tate Breathing Space Margaret Valley Australia CS, 2014, 4.99
    Killer Red Columbia Valley Syrah, 2013 Columbia Valley, 6.99
    Killer Red Columbia Valley Merlot, 2012, 4.99
    Plus more of the Cour Bellevue Corbieres and Minervois wines and the Anthony Koster Chard. that got good reviews…

    Honestly, if it’s wine you’re after–and why would you be here otherwise?–this is the Seattle area GO of choice, no question. Best selection and no ‘dynamic pricing.’

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Flitcraft. That Comtesse Florence Rose is quite good, as is the Drouet Freres Privilege SB (Loire). I don’t know about the others.

      Reply
    2. Michael Turner

      thanks for the nice words. I try pretty hard to have a good selection and I made a pledge a year or so ago not to raise prices unless directed to by G.O.

      A few more wines arrived today and a couple of them I am pretty impressed with.
      here is a list, I have tasted the Clos Du Bois and the Brunilde and will write up notes later today(spoiler alert, they are pretty great for the price):
      Bocavista Grenache, $4.99
      Bocavista Tempranillo, $4.99
      Boccatini Rosso Riserva, $5.99
      Brunilde di Menzione Brindisi Rsv(100% negroamaro), $9.99
      Caminetto Lambrusco, $4.99
      Clos Du Bois Sonoma Rsv Pinot Noir, $5.99(listed at $35.00 on their website)
      Dezzani Rosso Piemonte, $6.99
      Donatella Pinot Grigio, $4.99
      Jankris Syrah 2016, $6.99
      Orca Cabernet, $6.99
      Robert Stephens Merlot, $6.99
      Talbingo Hill Shiraz, $4.99
      Talbingo Hill Cabernet, $4.99
      McWilliams Cool Climate Shiraz, $4.99

      I should have some of these tasted by mid next week, I have limited Clos Du Bois PN right now but I am getting more next week, same with the Brunilde.

      Reply
  14. JoelA

    2013 Boccantino Sicilia Rosso Riserva, $ 4.99 at Richmond (131.53% alc.). A note on this states that with a couple of hours decanting or the next day it’s pretty good and tastes like a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. If I wanted a Montepulciano I could try one that’s at Richmond but this wine is all right, in any case. Good acid, good fruit, reasonable finish.

    I expect this to be my last post. In a couple of days my wife and I will be in the air, heading for a new life in Israel (unless some catastrophe intervenes). There are no GO stores or anything equivalent there and no closeouts on wine in general so I’ll have to pay higher prices for good wine than I’m used to.

    I might follow this site just for fun. Bye, all.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      You will be missed here. Mazel tov on the new chapter in your life, and raise a glass of kosher red wine to us once you’re settled–I’ll do the same from here!

      Reply
      1. Zoel

        JoelA – wish ya well – what town are you moving to?

        All – okay, too many obvious messages – just how many of us are members of the Tribe? (If you are, you know what I mean)

        Zoel

        Reply
    2. Happybaker

      Ack! Eeek!

      I am new to this site, but I am already sorry to lose you. May you and yours have a fabulous life in Israel and many wonderful discoveries 🙂

      Reply
    3. JoelA

      To follow up, we arrived safely Thursday and are now working on recuperating from jet lag (10 hours different from CA). Thanks for all your good wishes.

      Reply
  15. CHRIS WARNER

    B.G Wine Co. Zinfandel 2014 from Santa Rosa. On sale at the Oakland GO for 4 dollars. I think this is a line of wines similar to those of the great American Wine Company by Rosenblum Cellars.

    Really fruity on the nose lots of red berry and raspberry, very similar to the old vine zinfandel you would get in the Lodi region. It lacks that black pepper finish that I associate with Santa Rosa zinfandel and has a slightly sweeter finish. But if you enjoy fruit forward wine it’s for you.

    Reply
  16. RB

    At the Olympia store:
    2013 Clos du Bois Sonoma Reserve Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast), $5.99. Selling at the winery for $35 (GO has the ‘otherwise’ price listed as $8.99)
    https://www.closdubois.com/2013-Clos-du-Bois-Sonoma-Reserve-Pinot-Noir-Sonoma-Coast?pageID=BF0D8C25-D207-5CF8-26D8-481DE3969A92&sortBy=DisplayOrder&maxRows=10&

    I know next to nothing about CA PN, but I enjoyed this wine. A little bit of tingly effervescence on the side of the tongue at first pour, and then some nice fruit without being jammy.

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

      Generally Clos du Bois Pinot Noirs are light, clean, with cherry and rose petal notes, and typically sell at retail for $11-12 ish for their regular releases, and $18-21 for their reserves, but they are not really well regarded as a Pinot Noir producer – much more so for their Merlot and Cab/Merlot blends.

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      RB, after being gone from buying wine a couple of decades, many new AVA’s developed of which I was totally ignorant and have had to learn about them thanks to GO and all of you out there. I am still ignorant about the Oregon AVA’s for good PN., but over the last few years I have learned that the Sonoma Coast AVA has had a lot of success and I will definitely check this bottle out despite the gassiness. Under the August 15, 2017 posting under the 2010 Tarkettle Road Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, I mentioned just tasting a Tarkettle Sonoma Coast PN. I am very, very much sorry not having bought more of it. You probably didn’t have a chance to buy some of the Bailiwick’s Sonoma Coast PN,, but that was corroborative about PN from the Sonoma Coast AVA, among others. You might want to check out Petaluma Gap AVA wineries producing PN. In my opinion these have supplanted the Carneros for PN up here in N. CA. The Carneros might be better suited for Merlot. So far not a as much luck with the RRV AVA PN yet. Hope this helps.

      Reply
    3. BeerBudget

      Anybody in the Bay Area manage to get their hands on this? I was just in Palo Alto and Joe says he hasn’t seen it available – says wineries often stipulate that it not be sold close to a home market.

      Reply
        1. Darrell

          I mentioned under Guest Contribution that there wasn’t any of the PN in SF, but there was a stack of some Clos du Bois white that wasn’t on display with a price, just unopened cases. When Doug commented, I was hoping he’d found some in the SD area and mebbe it was in CA.

          Reply
          1. Doug Green

            Nope, I’ve not seen any Clos du Bois stuff in the San Diego stores. I’m just familiar with their Pinots from having tasted several vintages at the winery in Healdsburg.

            Reply
      1. Happybaker

        I’ve been busy but have been hoping to get to one of my GO’s soon for this. As I am in SoCal – can’t be considered close to a home market!
        Fingers crossed for wednesday…

        Reply
      1. Doug Green

        If I see that Qupe I’d be all over it. They are one of the better Rhone varietal producers in the Santa Maria area.

        Reply
    1. seedboy

      It really does taste like the advertised varieties, the mourvedre shining through. It is low in tannin and soft in the mouth, I wish it had more acid. Oakland has a white that is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier and either Marsanne or Roussanne. I’ve not opened one yet.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Marsanne is the grape. This wine tastes mostly like a clean inexpensive Chardonnay. Nothing to get excited about but if that is what you’re looking for have at it.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Second day open, at room temp the white shows more of the V and is in nice balance. A glass of the red, two days old, was good, Mourvedre less obvious now, good summer BBQ wine.

          Reply
            1. seedboy

              Yesterday the Oakland store had good supplies of both the red and the white. I opened another bottle of the red. It is a pleasant quaff, I wonder if it would take to being chilled slightly.

            2. Doug Green

              Finally found these two Qupe wines in San Diego. Picked up two of the reds and one of the white. Not tried yet.

            1. seedboy

              For a couple of vintages Bob Lundquist, the winemaker/rabid Dodgers fan, has bottled a Dodgers-labeled red wine. Previously it has been a syrah (the variety for which he is best known). This wine is roughly the same price point and contains the same grapes.

          1. Happybaker

            Seedboy –

            A bit too hot in SoCal (96!) for me to properly appreciate the Qupe red. But I did try the white and agree with you, right out for the fridge, almost flavorless but drinkable.

            Then I let it warm up and – ahh… much better. The Viognier really came out and it became quite a nice glass of wine. As the hubster is not a Viognier kind of guy, it’s up to me to finish the bottle – which I am very happy to do! (And yes had more flavor on the second day versus the first. Not what I would expect from a white, to open up like that, but you gave us the heads up and, great fun to have it happen.)

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              The Oakland store has a lot of the red but has run out of the white. They say more will come in Monday.

            2. Happybaker

              “The Oakland store has a lot of the red but has run out of the white. They say more will come in Monday.”

              Burbank (SoCal) seemed to have a good supply of both – I think folks have not discovered it yet. I may go back and grab more of the white and – more of the 2013 “Beachhouse” red.

            3. Doug Green

              Opened my first bottle of the Qupe modern red a few days ago. It was clean and fruity, but pretty closed the first day, but opened up nicely and was quite pleasant on days 2 and 3. Quite a good $3 red, but won’t be mistaken for Qupe’s typical $25-40 single vineyard red Rhone varietals, but seems very comparable to their lower end (usually $15-18 or so list) blended wines which I can usually find for the low teens. This is nice for 1/4th that tag.

    2. Darrell

      Bought a bottle in Petaluma since many have commented about this wine and it just so happens the family went out to dinner the night before and had a bottle of CdP from a noted winemaker and vineyard designated. Well the Qupe has a nose just as fine. I can’t distinguish among the three varieties as others can, but rather I judge whether it is a well made, complex red wine and this Qupe is quite decent for the money. Soft entry and low tannins. Wish the bottle was cork finished since aging would make it a bit more complex. I don’t buy Stelvin capped reds, but in this case I will make an exception.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Oakland did have a good supply of the white, but a famous local caterer bought 20 cases of the Qupe white. I drank a bottle over a couple of days and want to change my review. I think the first bottle I tried was shocked by travel. The more recent one is a balanced white wine with interesting flavors. Definitely a good buy for $3.

        Reply
  17. seedboy

    Oakland has started going through what they call a “star pallet”. It has small lots of stuff we have seen before so if there is a wine you’ve missed it might appear. The Calipaso zin and that Italian pinot are present today in small numbers.

    Reply
  18. Expat

    Eo Adonis 2008 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo $10. I got this in Palo Alto a few weeks ago. I know this was mentioned about 2 months ago but I don’t think anyone has tried it or commented on it. In my hand it felt like a legit Italian wine and I thought it was terrific. Vibrant red fruit but not fruity. Good tannins but not grippy. Lively acidity that was great with food. Besides the specific flavor components this just tasted like a quality wine. It tasted like an Italian wine but had some new world character too so I think it would have broad appeal. Alcohol stated at a surprising 14.5% but it seemed gentler than that. I hope this is available at a Central Coast GO because I will buy several of these if I can find it.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      This wine disappeared from the No Cal stores I frequent about a month ago. There is another one from the same label in a Burgundy shaped bottle that was more modest and $3.99 but pretty good, and a nice rose.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        I saw that cheaper Eo and wondered if it was any good. I may check it out. I’m going to look for the Montepulciano around here.

        Reply
  19. JoelA

    New at Richmond
    2013 J. Wilkes Santa Maria pinot noir $ 9.99
    2012 Roberts Stevens Sonoma Coast pinot noir $ 5,99
    2009 Chateau Cousteau Cotes de Bordeaux $ 5.99
    2012 Robert Stevens Sonoma County merlot $ 5,99
    2015 Drouet Freres Privilege Val de Loire Sauvignon blanc % 5.99

    Reply
    1. Eugene

      The Wilkes Santa Maria PN showed up in Oregon stores for $10.99. I enjoyed it, but I gather that online sites think it’s not the best Santa Maria PN. I’d be very interested in what others think of it.

      Reply
    2. seedboy

      I tried the Robert Stevens pinot on a friend’s recommendation in spite of prior dissatisfaction with this label. I don’t like it. It starts out dominated by clumsy oak flavor and never really gets over that, the thin slightly underripe fruit remains dominated. Has anyone tried the Drouet Freres SB?

      Reply
    3. Kim

      I cannot find any info on Robert Stevens online, not even a winery website? Anyone know anything about this wine? I picked up a 2012 merlot…dun dun duh!

      Reply
    4. Zoel

      Picked up the Robert Stevens Merlot at SRosa for $6. Attractive packaging…upon uncorking, definite chemical odor (ethyls). Gave it time to blow off, decanted…still awful. This is a flawed product, not potable. I’m returning it…beware

      Reply
        1. Zoel

          Yes, to my amateur quasi-trained nose, I suspect that…almost turpentine-like. I may the name wrong, but not as bad as the odor

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            It smells like nail polish remover and my vinegar generator. It is an intermediate step to full vinegar which I never achieve since it never completely oxidizes the ethyl acetate.

            Reply
  20. JoelA

    Otto Vini 2016 Piemonte barbera, bought at Oaklnsad for $ 3.99 (12% alc.). I usually don’t buy wines this young but decided to give it a try because it’s from the folks who gave us the eight-varieties wine. It’s not from any specific area of the Piedmont so I didn’t expect a lot, and not a lot is what I got. It’s a pleasant inoffensive young wine with enough acid to balance the fruit, and that’s about it.

    Reply
    1. seedboy

      I was underwhelmed. I don’t expect a lot from Barberas, I expect them to be simple and delicious. This one is merely simple.

      Reply
  21. BdB

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

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

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

      Reply
      1. BdB

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

        Reply
    1. Doug Green

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

      Reply
      1. Expat

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

        Reply
    2. Doug Green

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

      Reply
        1. seedboy

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

          Reply
          1. Expat

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

            Reply
            1. Darrell

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

    3. JoelA

      awkward roundness mid-palate. Green in the nose, subdued fruit. not much finesse. probably from some miscellaneous area in the appellation. i wouldn’t rebuy

      Reply
  22. Sebastian

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

    Reply
    1. Sebastian

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

      Reply
    2. flitcraft

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

      Reply
  23. Darrell

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

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

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

      Reply
      1. Darrell

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

        Reply
    1. JoelA

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

      Reply
    2. Seedboy

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

      Reply
    3. Roseville Wine Lover

      Yes I have tried the White Burgundy from this producer and was pleased. It is medium bodied with a nice acidity and good fruit characteristics. As far as I know this is the first White Burgundy I’ve seen at Grocery Outlet. Not a wine for someone looking for a Rambauer esque style with heavy malo and oak aging.
      Cheers,
      RWL

      Reply
  24. BdB

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

    Reply
  25. JoelA

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

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

    Reply
        1. Happybaker

          Joel,

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

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

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

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

            Reply
            1. Happybaker

              Seedboy, you said —

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

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

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

              Huzzah! Thanks for the help!

            2. Happybaker

              Seedboy – finally opened by bottle of “The Beach House”.
              Yum.
              I had not had it in the fridge so I took a sip right after opening it and it felt a little “hot.” You know like too much alcohol. Nice but hot. Threw a glass of it in the fridge for 15 minutes then took another sip. Oh my. Really really tasty and, kind of fun. Playful. Maybe the mixed in wines lightened up the syrah a bit?
              Anyway I am now looking at my schedule to see when I can get back to that GO soon, so I can pick up a case. It’s the perfect “hanging out with a friend” wine.
              Thank you all so much posting about it!

    1. Doug Green

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

      Reply
      1. JoelA

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

        Reply
  26. JoelA

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

    Reply
  27. JoelA

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

    Reply
  28. Doug Green

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

    Reply
    1. Expat

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

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

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

        Reply
        1. seedboy

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

          Reply
          1. seedboy

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

            Reply
          2. seedboy

            I finally found the Gaetano D’Aquino pinot, a few bottles at Oakland. Nice light bodied pinot that seemed genuine. I don’t think I would hold it very long.

            Reply
  29. flitcraft

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

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

    Reply
  30. flitcraft

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

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

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

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

    Reply
    1. RB

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

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

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

      Reply
      1. RB

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

        Reply
  31. Zoel

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

    Reply
  32. Doug Green

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

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

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

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

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

    Reply
    1. seedboy

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

      Reply
            1. Darrell

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

    2. BdB

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

      Reply
    3. flitcraft

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

      Reply
    4. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Doug,

      I commented on the Montresor Amarone here.

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

      BW

      Reply
  33. davidlikeswine

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

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

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

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

    Reply
      1. JoelA

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

        Reply
          1. Doug Green

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

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

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

          2. Darrell

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

            Reply
      1. Wine4Life

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

        Reply
        1. Zoel

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

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

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

            Reply
          2. BargainWhine Post author

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

            Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

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

      Reply
      1. davidlikeswine

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

        Reply
        1. Expat

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

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

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

            Reply
    2. Zoel

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

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

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

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

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

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

        Reply
    3. Zoel

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

      Reply
  34. JoelA

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

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

    Reply
    1. Zoel

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

      Reply
      1. JoelA

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

        Reply
  35. Zoel

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

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

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

      Reply
          1. Doug Green

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

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

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

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

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

  36. flitcraft

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

    Reply
    1. Wasting Away 64

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

      Reply
  37. BdB

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

    Reply
    1. BeerBudget

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

      Reply
      1. GOwinelover

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

        Reply
            1. JoelA

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

  38. RB

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

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

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

      Reply
  39. BargainWhine Post author

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

    Reply
  40. BargainWhine Post author

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

    Reply
    1. JoelA

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

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

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

        Reply
        1. Darrell

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

          Reply
          1. Doug Green

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

            Reply
            1. JImi

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

            2. permiesworld

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

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

            3. Zoel

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

            4. permiesworld

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

      2. purple_teef

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

        Reply
    2. seedboy

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

      Reply
      1. seedboy

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

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

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

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

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

            Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

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

        Reply
    3. seedboy

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

      Reply
    4. Doon

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

      Reply
      1. seedboy

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

        Reply
  41. Doug Green

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

    Reply
    1. Rocky

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

      Reply
      1. Doug Green

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

        Reply
    2. GOwinelover

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

      Reply
      1. Happybaker

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

        Sigh.

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

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

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

        I guess I will have to suffer with choices 🙂

        Reply
    3. BeerBudget

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

      Reply
  42. BdB

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

    Reply
    1. Doug Green

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

      Reply
      1. JoelA

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

        Reply
        1. BdB

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

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

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

            Reply
    1. Happybaker

      Seedboy –

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

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

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

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

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

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

      Reply
  43. Steve

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

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

    Reply

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