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

6,744 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. lim13

    On Thursday my wife and I cruised down to Olympia to visit one of our favorite farmers’ markets. So I had to pay a visit to my old buddy, Stan, the assistant manager and “wine guy” at the Olympia GO. As I’ve mentioned before, Stan was my wine connection at the Silverdale GO before he moved south about three years ago. We had a nice visit and I couldn’t leave empty handed, so (because my wife was wanting to try a Chardonnay), I bought two “negociant type” Chards. One is a 2018 Caged unoaked CA Chard with weird label…undeniably varietal, fruity and flavorful and with a touch of sweetness. The other is a 2017 “a Crisp Chardonnay” that I didn’t really care for…had some oak, but little in the way of concentrated fruit or body. Both are $4.99 here. I doubt I’ll buy more of either, but I found the Caged pleasant enough for summer sipping, as unoaked is my preferred style and it’s hard to find any (let alone a decent one). Finally, Stan told me he’s been selling tons of 2016 Columbia Crest Cab Sauv, so at $5.99 I bought two to try later. I’ve never really had a bad bottle of Columbia Crest and sometimes hit upon a really fine one.

    Reply
  2. BargainWhine Post author

    Los Haroldos 2019 Malbec Estate, $6. On its first night, it was initially rather tight and acid, but kept improving up to 5 hours after decanting, finally arriving at dark chocolaty-caramelly boysenberry / blueberry, dry black blackberry (seems redundant, but I’m trying to say it is not red or purple tangy and fruity, very ripe but not sweet, almost black-earthy), increasingly thick and rich. Not really meant for long aging, but quite yummy over the next year, likely two.
    Several days later, the saved bottle was more even and balanced, less fruit than the first day finished up, less acid than the first day started, although I certainly did not give the saved bottle 5 hours of air, so who knows? Certainly, I liked it better than the popular Clos D’Argentine 2014 Malbec.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      I’ll be on the lookout for their reserve – in past vintages, the Los H reserve was well worth the upcharge ($2-3). Deeper, more balanced – but both needed lots of air

      Reply
  3. Weinish

    Bibi Graetz white blend, I think 2018, is average.

    When first opened its lean, a bit crisp and dry. After about an hour it turns for the worse with sugar showing up on every sip.

    If you opened for 4 people over a meal and had some seafood it’s fine. Not a throughout the evening wine.

    Reply
  4. BargainWhine Post author

    I very much like the Benziger 2018 rosé, 14.0% ABV, for $4. While it has more fruit to it (suggesting heartier varietals like Syrah or Cabernet) than the typical light, elegant, Provence rosé, the wine is still very dry and decently structured, and also has nice complexity of red cherry, darker tangerine, pink grapefruit, slight citrus pith.

    Reply
  5. BargainWhine Post author

    The Noble Tree 2015 “Chalk Hill – Russian River Valley” Old Vine Zinfandel “Estate – Sonoma County,” $8, was, I thought, a fairly typical RRV Zin (given enough air). However, the Noble Tree 2016 “Chalk Hill – Russian River Valley” Chardonnay, 13.9% ABV, $6, is unusual and may find some fans among those of you who don’t usually like New World Chardonnay. While the flavors are what I think of as typical RRV lemony, lighter yellow apple, the fruit and oak are quite restrained, the acid prominent, and has more-than-typical-for-CA minerality and bitterness in the finish that make it more food-friendly. Almost a sort of southern French style.

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  6. Angela T Carlson

    Went to the Alameda store and found a 375 ml bottle of Robert Sinskey Pinot Blanc Los Carneros 2014 for $4.99. Picked up 4 considering the name and original price point. Has anyone else tasted this wine yet?

    I’ll post my notes once I get to it, but have several open bottles in the fridge I need to finish off first.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      2104 Pinot Blanc?? I look forward to hearing about it, although don’t push yourself to “finish off several open bottles,” although I completely understand. 🙂

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      1. Angela T Carlson

        Tasting notes: So disappointed: Oxidative, toasted brioche(?), vanilla, oak, maybe a dash of pear on the finish(?). Definitely past it’s prime, just returned all of them which is quite rare for me.

        Reply
          1. flitcraft

            This isn’t the first time in recent months that a seriously defective wine hit the shelves at GO–I recall a Negroamaro rose that Lim13 reported as spoiled, and the Casamatta rose that I took a flyer on was likewise spoiled. I did notice that it disappeared from the Kenmore GO not long after I had purchased one, even though it looked as though they had a couple of cases minimum. But, that’s putting the onus on the individual store owners to detect defective wine and remove it from the shelves. Somebody at corporate needs to taste the wine before sending it along to local stores. After all, especially during a pandemic, folks may not be inclined to take back bad wine and alert the store owner to the problem, but, like I am embarrassed to say, we might just shrug and pour it down the sink instead.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Excellent points, FC…and there is absolutely NO excuse for dry “white” wines that are brownish or deep golden in color (when in clear glass, almost always indicating obvious oxidation) being for sale on the shelves…and I’ve seen some of those over the years. It’s bad for business…not only for the customers and GO, but for the producer as well.

        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Sorry to hear this, for all the reasons everyone has noted, but thank you for reporting. Don’t blame you for returning them.

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        2. 5-Star Bar

          I think that this may be a “different strokes” kind of wine. I really enjoyed it. I adored the aroma. Oxidized? Yes. To me, however, it was complex and unique. It smelled liked varietally authentic Pinot Blanc, which admittedly was a bit oxidized, but the oxidization actually benefitted the bouquet. Made it deeper, richer, more mysterious. Golden Delicious Apple perhaps and a difficult to define but charming fruity note that it took me a good half hour of nosing to come to a conclusion about – slightly underripe Cantaloupe. It was indeed challenging but to me anyway it was unique and rewarding as well. My only criticism of it was that it lacked some fruit on the palate and was bone dry on the finish but if you enjoy whites that are acidic and lean then this may be up your alley.

          It reminded me of an “over the hill” 1994 Columbia Crest Chardonnay that I found as a “dusty” around 2000, languishing alone on an obscure store shelf and, yes, gathering dust. When first opened it was undrinkable, a vinegar candidate, a drain pour. As fate would have it I just happened to be making Smoked and Grilled Salmon for dinner that night. After it was finished on the bbq I decided to retry the chardonnay while eating the salmon for dinner in what I figured would be a futile, last ditch attempt to salvage a fatally flawed bottle. When I took a sip of the wine after taking a bite of the smoked, grilled fish the result was absolutely astonishing. The fatty fish transformed the wine into an unctuous, honeyed, utterly delicious drink. Never experienced anything like it before or since. The conplete transformation was astonishing. The Robert Sinskey Pinot Blanc isn’t as oxidized as that ’94 Columbia Crest Chardonnay was but I’d wager that it would benefit from a pescaterian pairing in a similar vein. I bought 2 originally and went back to the Geary store in San Francisco and bought 3 more. Just my .02 cents. YMMV. Whatever your take isn’t it nice to be able to return things again?!

          Reply
          1. Angela T Carlson

            5-Star, I’m glad you had a different experience. If you get a chance to do a similar pairing with this wine, please share. I love lean, acidic, minerally wines, but not combined with oxidation. When I was Cellar Master for the local German Wine Society, the President was really into including older vintages, especially from the ’70’s. I tried to like them, but alas I need at least a little fruit amongst the petrol, rubber tires, etc. Same with dessert wines (he loved the sweet stuff), for me the acid needs to cut through the fruit like a knife through butter.

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            1. DARRELL

              As the pleasant, fruity, floral terpenes age away in Rieslings, the petrol-like 1,1,6,-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronapthalene ,TDN for short, takes over. If you were lucky with some of the sweeter, aged Germans from the ’70s, the Botrytis smells would be there to enjoy.

  7. flitcraft

    North by Northwest Syrah, 2015; Walla Walla Valley AVA; 13% ABV, $14.99

    Seen at the MLK GO and also at Kenmore in the Seattle area. I bought a single bottle, because I really love Syrah as a food wine, and there hasn’t been a lot of better-level stuff for that varietal at our local GOs in a while. It is allegedly selling for about $40 a bottle–and there’s enough evidence online to suggest that this isn’t an outlandish retail price. The wine is produced by King Estates–better known for their Oregon wines, including some very good Pinot Noir. (I also saw a North by Northwest Riesling for, I believe, 5.99 at the MLK GO. Didn’t buy it so no review.

    Popped and poured, it is a fairly big, fruity wine, with a lot of tangy black fruit prominent in both the nose and the palate. Nice long aftertaste, too. It’s a food wine, not a sipping wine, and the lower alcohol level was nice to see in a ‘high end’ red wine. My husband spontaneously noted that he thought it was a pretty good wine with the beef stroganoff we had for dinner. I would buy more if it were, say, 6 or 7 dollars, but 15 dollars is too much for me. I would have been annoyed with myself if I had paid anywhere close to ‘normal’ retail for it. Not everyone’s cuppa, but it is a very respectable Washington Syrah for accompanying a meal, at least, if it were more reasonably priced.

    Reply
    1. 5-Star Bar

      Thanks for the heads up. I so miss the King Estate Oregon Pinot Gris we used to see around these parts fairly regularly in the early 2000s. Their Pinot Noir was pretty solid too. A more restrained, elegant style. I’ll keep an eye out for the NXNW Syrah. I saw the Riesling tonight but had so many other items I didn’t quite bite. Knowing it’s provenance from your review of their Syrah I will pick some up next time I see it.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      A friend emailed me last week and told me he saw the North by Northwest Cab Sauv in the GO where he lives in Mt. Vernon, WA for that $15 price and said he thought it was pretty decent. I told him too rich for my blood in terms of GO wines and that I’m glad he enjoyed it, but I’d be passing on it if I found it here in Kitsap County. Haven’t changed my mind and haven’t looked for it.

      Reply
  8. BargainWhine Post author

    Yesterday afternoon, I decanted the Cavatappi 2015 “Molly’s Cuvée” Sangiovese, $8, at 4:30. It was very good with dinner at 8, but quite different from the 2014. The fruit for the 2014 was listed as coming from the “Boushey, Red Willow, & Alder Ridge Vineyards,” and was 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It fully aired the night I opened it, and became soft and ripe, with aged complexity. The 2015 is 100% Sangiovese from Red Willow Vineyard (Columbia Valley, WA), 14.4% ABV, and was tight, acid, and aromatic, dominated by ripe and tart red cherry, but with nice subtleties of darker fruits underneath. While it was great with lamb chops, even after dinner, after being open 4.5 hours, it never fully opened / aired, so I put away a 187.5ml screw cap bottle of it for another day. Its fruit is very much WA, but the style is much more Italian than the 2014. I’m tempted to get a couple more bottles. 🙂

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Just a comment or two on the vineyards you mentioned, BW. Boushey, Red Willow, & Alder Ridge are all Yakima Valley locations, but very different microclimates. The first two are inland, warmer sites and very old, established vineyards, while Alder Ridge is the “newer” site of the three, up above the Columbia River Gorge with cooler breezes. Red Willow is one of the oldest (and most western of the Yakima Valley) vineyards in the state and I believe Peter Dow the founder and original owner/winemaker of Cavatappi worked directly with Mike Sauer, the vineyard owner, to plant Sangiovese…some of the first Sangio vines in WA. I’ve never been a huge fan of Peter’s wines and have bought even less of them since he left and they became part of the Precept Brands monolith…which is why they show up often at GO…one of Precept’s best customers. But I appreciate that Dow introduced Sangiovese to WA wine consumers.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Lim13. Thanks for the context for these vineyards and this producer. The large difference between the 2014 and 2015 vintages of these wines, despite the overlapping vineyard source which you say is on the warmer side, makes me think the difference is mainly in differing weather in the two vintages. While I’d guess you’d like if not be amazed by the 2014, the 2015 may be more of what you have disliked about Peter Dow’s wines in the past. Have you observed a large 2014 v. 2015 difference?

        Also, I opened the saved 187.5ml screw-cap bottle of the 2015 tonight, and even over 2 hours in a glass, I felt it did not fully open, so this is a pretty tough wine. I think it will resolve and be good with a little more age but, again, what a contrast from the 2014.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Haven’t had either the 2014 or 2015 vintages of the Cavatappi, BW. But I contacted my “walking encyclopedia” of WA wines and longtime friend Dr. Wade Wolfe of Thurston Wolfe Winery in the Yakima Valley. A UC/Davis PhD, he was viticulturist and vineyard operations director for Ch. Ste. Michelle in the late 70’s and early 80’s and later, viticulturist and general manager at Hogue. He opened his own winery in 1987…Thurston Wolfe. Here’s what he had to say about the 2014 & 2015 vintages in the Yakima Valley: “Weather-wise the two vintages were very different. 2014 was slightly warmer than average with moderate crops and no water restrictions. Vine development and harvest timing was pretty typical, though somewhat compressed. I started harvest on 9/18, which was about a week later than normal, and finished on 10/20, which is about a week earlier than normal. Fruit was fully mature, but red wines had relatively soft tannins and the color was a little lighter than usual. 2015 was our hottest growing season on record and a drought year with the Rosa irrigation district (Boushey) allotted only 33% (one acre foot) of their normal amount of water. We had two unusually hot spells in June, one at the beginning of the month and one at the end. Both experienced temperatures over 100 degrees for almost a week. The result was vine development was greatly accelerated and there was more sunburn and smaller berries than usual. For varieties that experienced sunburn, we did a lot of thinning based on that, so mostly from the west sides. I started harvest on 8/31 and finished on 10/2, so about 2.5 weeks earlier on both ends. It was the first time I had harvested all my Cabernet before 10/1. The resulting red wines were darker and more tannic than 2014.”
          Wade said he would agree with you, BW, that the 2015’s were tighter and less developed than the 2014s. On the acid side, both vintages had similar acids at harvest, but the 2015 pH’s were lower, possibly due to smaller berries and higher amounts of tartaric acid versus malic acid, which is metabolized more by heat.
          TMI??? Sorry about that…but I so appreciate Wade always being willing to further my wine education that I felt the necessity to share!
          And finally…I went back in my wine cellar program and found that the first vintage of Cavatappi Molly’s Cuvee Sangio that I ever had was the 1993 (perhaps then winemaker/owner Peter Dow’s first or one of his first) from Red Willow Vineyard. Tasted in 1998, I said “very deep black/garnet; intense nose of leather and tar; medium body with nice balance of fruit, acid and light tannins; flavors of tar, leather and dark chocolate; tannins show bigger and better in the long finish; at its peak.” This was one of the first Sangios from WA state. I had also forgotten that Dow had brought a barrel sample of this wine to a panel discussion that I organized and moderated at the annual Society of Wine Educators conference in LA in the late 90’s. His Sangio was the hit of the seminar. Also on that panel were Wade Wolfe and David Forsythe, then of Hogue. The subject was new or lesser known grape varieties in WA state.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            Wow! Detailed expert commentary on WA 2014 v. 2015. Very interesting how he had to manage given the conditions thrown at him, and how he’s able to pull up that amount of detail. Also interested in your notes on the 1993 vintage. They make it sound like a quite ripe wine, not austere at all, which as I recall was your objection to Cavatappi wines. Thank you!

            Reply
            1. lim13

              You’re very welcome, BW. Needless to say, Wade is a very, very detailed winemaker and viticulturist…my “go to” guy on WA wines and vineyards…particularly Yakima Valley. And yes, I’d have to say the Cavatappi Sangios have become far more austere.

            2. lim13

              At the risk of being boorish…more info to share from a senior OCD wine lover: I just came up from doing some cleaning in the wine cellar and found (among about a dozen empty bottles that I’ve saved for posterity) an empty 1988 Cavatappi Maddelena Nebbiolo, hand-labeled as bottle #254. And that I believe was the first wine that Peter Dow produced (from Red Willow fruit). It would take me some time to find my notes, but I’m not sure it would be worth the time and effort anyway. I often forget that before I began my computerized wine notes in 2001, I kept all my tasting notes handwritten in tiny notebooks dating back to 1974, about the time I seriously got into wine. Just read my notes on a 1979 Concannon Livermore Valley dry “Sauterne”, a 1974 Simi Reserve Alexander Valley Cab, and a 1975 BV Private Reserve Cab (Georges de Latour). Good lord, I’m old!! But it’s fun checking out those notebooks every now and then.

            3. BV guy

              “and a 1975 BV Private Reserve Cab (Georges de Latour). Good lord, I’m old!!” Gee, I must be older than old!!!

            4. lim13

              Considering that many of the bloggers on this site may have been BORN in 1975 or thereabouts…unfortunately, BV guy…that could well be the case. 🙂 or 😦 But then old is open for interpretation, right? Some days I feel much older than others!

    2. BargainWhine Post author

      I had bought two more bottles of the Cavatappi 2015 “Molly’s Cuvée” Sangiovese before it was gone, and opened one last night. It was still pretty tight, and needed at least 3 hours of air, but I felt it was starting to fade, and I won’t be waiting long to drink my other bottle. I’ll just decant it a good bit ahead of dinner.

      Reply
  9. BargainWhine Post author

    The C.V.N.E. (or Cune) 2019 Verdejo, Rueda DO, Spain, 13% ABV, is pretty good for $5. It’s fairly light and crisp, with tart citrusy flavors of lemon, yellow grapefruit, a little lime, with drying bitterness / minerality on the finish. Its flavors and character lead me to hazard the approximate equation: C.V.N.E. Verdejo + gooseberry ≅ New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious with the Partanna Castelvetrano green olives.

    Reply
        1. Seedboy

          The CVNE Grenache is a very good quality Spanish Grenache. Plenty of fruit plus good structure of tannin and acid, I could see cellaring a few of these, if I could find space for them.

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            IMO, while there’s not a huge rush to drink this wine, it’s one that strikes me as meant to drink while it’s fresh and lively, but to each his or her own.

            Reply
    1. Michael

      Santa Marta Reserva 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley, Chile, $5 at Eugene, Oregon, GO. I wasn’t a S.Blanc fan until I tried the recent Mudhouse S.B. from New Zealand. This one strikes me as similar to Mudhouse, but with slightly more pronounced citrus favors. Now that summer warmth is here, a glass before dinner, served chilled at basement “cave” temperature, was refreshing. The rest went very well with a grilled tuna and zucchini dinner. Our daughter, who taught in Curico a few years back, found it memorable. I went back for a case the next day. No sign of C.V.N.E. Verdejo here.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Thanks for your report on the Santa Marta Sauvignon Blanc, $4 down here in N CA. I liked a Santa Marta Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (forget the vintage) for $7, and found the current Merlot / Malbec blend from them pretty good for $5, but not unusually so.

        Reply
      2. lim13

        Based on your comments, Michael and the fact that I alerted the blog to the Mud House SB, I thought I’d like to give the Santa Marta SB a try. But the Silverdale, WA store had none and the owner/manager said it hasn’t even shown up on her requisition forms. Generally speaking in terms of South America, I’ve always preferred Chilean whites and Argentinian reds.

        Reply
        1. Michael

          Following the blog from Oregon, and comparing notes with a friend on the Washington coast, I’ve noticed that GO seems to divide wine between the states in curious ways. For example, the Carden Willamette Valley Pinot Noir in all its vintages apparently went to Oregon and Nevada, while Carden Cabernet went to Washington and California, none here. The Mud House SB showed up here, but long after Washington GOs had it. So alerts on the blog can be frustrating if the recommended wine never shows up, but often very helpful in figuring out what’s worth trying among all the wines at GO. Thanks for your note on the Mudhouse, Lim13. We’re still enjoying it.

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          1. Seedboy

            There is definitely a geographic element, but there are also other things that determine who can get what, and a few of the stores purchase outside the GO supply chain (Petaluma and Santa Rosa are two examples). It would be helpful if people would tell us in their posts which store supplied the wine.

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            1. Jimmie

              Can be frustrating. Reading about good wine from other GO’s that may never show up here in Sacramento. I notice wines from Lodi , Clarksburg, sierra foothills ( all within half hour drive) available at my local GO. I suspect not widely available outside Sac. Commend the buy local trend. Would be interesting to learn how each region/store chooses their alcohol purchases.

            2. lim13

              One thing to keep in mind, Jimmie…not all wines are “chosen”. Based on my years in the retail wine industry, a number of wines are “forced out” by headquarters in limited quantities to those stores that sell the most wine…particularly if there are a limited number of cases of those wines available.

            3. Seedboy

              I’ve talked with folks who purchase wines for individual stores. Here is process. Some wines are forced to the stores. They tend to be wines that might otherwise languish in the warehouse, not desirable wines. There is an order guide that shows what products are available for stores, the store price and the suggested price, you can order from that. If a store has a good wine selection it is because the person who orders the wine knows wine, and keeps an eye on the order guide. More desirable wines can disappear in a hurry. One other thing I can report is that one of my local stores might have a wine that was never offered to another, or, was no longer in the order guide by the time that other store looked.

          2. doctorlager

            IMHO you had a lucky escape with the Carden Cab. I was looking forward to trying it but it was barely drinkable on the first night, and undrinkable the second. It takes a lot for me to pour wine down the sink but it was vinegary poison by day 2.

            Reply
            1. flitcraft

              Might be bottle variation on the Carden Cabernet, I think. The one I had was definitely not fruit forward, and it did have a pronounced acidity, but I found it very drinkable, albeit in a more Old World way, on the first night, and better with a day’s airing. If it is a question of different preferences rather than bottle variation, and you can still find the Bomb, it might be more up your alley–more upfront plush fruit and not as much acidity.

            2. lim13

              This comment about the Carden Cab surprised me. While I much preferred the Bomb Cab due to its more forward fruit, I found nothing structurally “wrong” or bacterially unsound about the wine. As flitcraft said, perhaps bottle variation? I’m anxious to try another bottle from the cellar now.

            3. DARRELL

              I have bought a Stellenbosch CS from GO that ranged from a screaming deal to a red wine not worthy of cooking wine. These bottles are opened with some apprehension since there is such variation.

            4. lim13

              Couldn’t wait, so I opened another bottle of the Carden Cab tonight and I’m “sticking to my guns”. Nothing “structurally “wrong” or bacterially unsound about the wine”. Definitely a savory type CS, as opposed to fruit driven (the Road Less Travelled from South Africa from a few years ago comes to mind). The nose doesn’t seem as pronounced in fruit as the last bottle…perhaps a bit more tart cherry in flavors and aromas…and I’m getting some black tea flavors now too; still shows a fair dose of tannin and acidity. Strikes me as a wine that’s definitely not for everybody. And again, I found the Bomb far more to my taste.

            5. doctorlager

              Hmmm. Food for thought. The first one I tried was much more drinkable, so maybe bottle variation. But the second one went south way too fast, and so maybe it was just the cases that we received in Pullman. I typically enjoy cabs, but this had super high acidity, and a tart citrusy element that I don’t associate with such a wine. I’m in Walla Walla quite often, and I was drinking cabs from Dunham with friends at the winery a week ago. I wasn’t expecting the same, obviously, but it reminded me of what the Carden was missing.

            6. lim13

              Another consideration, doctorlager, is the Cabs you were drinking at Dunham (nice stuff!) were likely not nearly 10 years old. Do you have much experience drinking aged wines? Just asking because most Americans have no idea what aged wine tastes like, as most get consumed within just a few years…and there is often a huge difference. Like scotch, for most, aged wines are an “acquired taste”. And personally, I prefer mine younger. But, as previously floated here, bottle variation could be the culprit of your “bad” bottle.

            7. doctorlager

              Hi lim13, I have drunk older wines. I’m actually a Brit who has lived in other parts of Europe before moving here, and been in Eastern WA for about 17 years. I have a pretty broad range of tastes, and although I tend towards old world wines where possible, I do like many varietals from this neck of the woods + California too. I’m also a fan of quaffable wine (which is why I’m on this page of course!). That second bottle, second night was just acrid, but I could give the benefit of the doubt on the first night. Maybe corked, maybe an odd bottle, I just don’t see that I would chance a third bottle!

            8. doctorlager

              Also, the wines that I finished with at the tasting at Dunham were 2010 and 2011 cabs. They were delicious, and only a tad (OK, $20) more than the apparent selling price of the Carden. I feel it was beyond bottle variation! Perhaps a dodgy case sent out to Pullman?

            9. DARRELL

              “The nose doesn’t seem as pronounced in fruit as the last bottle” sounds like bottle variation to me. What doctorlager experienced was just extremely bad luck bottle variation IMHO.

            10. lim13

              I can certainly understand your reluctance to buy more Carden, dl. And thanks for the personal info. I’m a little surprised that Dunham is still pouring 2010 & 2011 Cabs…especially at $20. Library wines sometimes go for more than current vintages. Score for you!

            11. doctorlager

              Oops – sorry I wasn’t clearer – $20 more than the list price of the Carden ($50) – that is $70 a bottle! I just did the tasting for $10!!!

            12. lim13

              Still a score for the opportunity to taste older Dunham vintages for a most reasonable price!

        2. 5-StarBar

          …not about the Carden because I never saw nor tried it. I only attended the local Carden West branch of elementary school. What I mean is that the distribution dynamics can indeed be frustrating. For example, I have to wonder why 2 GO stores located in such close proximity to one another as Petaluma and Santa Rosa routinely order outside the normal supply chain? Is that also true of other stores?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            I can’t speak to Santa Rosa very well other than to note that it is right in the middle of Sonoma County’s wine country and most of the stuff I see in there and nowhere else is local. In Petaluma’s case the store owner has a lot of connections and is a good person to do business with. 20 years ago he was manager of the Oakland store and brought in some amazing purchases, such as the contents of a distributor’s truck that had an accident and the insurer deemed the load a total loss on account of some broken bottles. He bought the salvage and put it on the shelves, including cases of Ridge Geyserville.

            Reply
            1. Bluto

              Great story and FWIW I saw something similar at the Santa Rosa store a few years ago, some bottles had stickers on them stating that they had been recovered from a train wreck…can’t remember what the wine was specifically but it was decent as I recall 😉
              BTW there is a new Grossout in Windsor and it is owned by the same people as Santa Rosa but don’t know much about the wine situation…

        3. lim13

          I was a bit surprised to see the Santa Marta 2020 Sauv Blanc show up on the Silverdale GO’s weekly email ad this morning. So I stopped in and picked up a bottle…$5 here too. I can appreciate Michael’s comment about it being more citrusy than the Mud House…grapefruity and a tad bitter pith on the finish. But at the same time, I find it softer on the front of the palate and lacking the concentration of gooseberry fruit and richness of the Mud House, which I still prefer.

          On another note, while at the store a CA dry vermouth caught my eye: A.G. Perino for $7.99. There was also a sweet vermouth for the same price. I like a dry vodka martini from time to time, so picked up a bottle. Parino Family Cellars of McFarland, CA., due east of Paso Robles and north of Bakersfield…San Joaquin Valley. Hot country, I expect? I’ve had a few domestic dry vermouths from small wineries, but haven’t found anything I like yet…and have often wondered why more don’t try producing it. The Italians and French seem to have the corner on that market.

          Reply
            1. lim13

              My wife and I tasted the Perino dry vermouth side-by-side with Noilly Prat (which is what I had on hand). The difference was obvious…both tasty, but completely different from one another. The NP is clearly more subtle in its botanical infusion…and the base wine slightly less fruity. But we enjoyed them both. Later in the evening I made a very dry (just a splash of the vermouth) vodka martini with the Perino and found it to be tasty and rather unique. Very hard to really describe the flavors and of course with all vermouths, the botanicals used are a proprietary “secret”. So, having found some info on the product, I think it best to let you read these two links and if it sounds interesting, give it a try for yourself. Two comments: I was just slightly surprised to see it’s part of the Precept Brands portfolio and with a suggested retail price of $9.99, it’s not as big a bargain at GO as I would have expected. Here are the links:
              https://www.ag-perino.com/dry-vermouth
              https://wineindustryadvisor.com/2020/12/15/ag-perino-italian-style-dry-sweet-vermouth

          1. Angela T Carlson

            I’ve discovered a couple of favorite CA domestic vermouth producers. They run a little on the higher side: $15-25, but I believe are worth it. High Low out of Napa has a great line that have a ton of complexity and nuance. At the wine bar we mixed their Dry vemouth with a minerally sparkling French wine over ice with fresh squeezed lime juice. Dangerously refreshing. Quady out of Madera specializes in Muscat and Vermouth. It’s been a while since I’ve tasted them, but definitely a solid producer and really nice people. Whenever I’m at work and people ask for our Vermouth ($3.49), I say “the cheap Vermouth is over there. Now that I’ve had good Vermouth I can’t recommend it “.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Unfamiliar with High Low, Angela…but I suspect it never makes its way up here to WA. I was drinking lots of Andrew Quady Essencia and Elyssum dessert wines back in the 70’s & 80’s, but just don’t drink much sweet wine anymore (though I still have a few favorites in my cellar). Had no idea they made vermouth. Think I’d have a tough time paying more than $15 a bottle for something that barely whispers in my martinis. But I have to admit that bubbly concoction you mentioned sounds like something I might wanna’ try. Can you give me the proportions or should I just wing it? I had an Oregon vermouth a year or more ago, but I wasn’t fond of the botanicals they used in it, so wasn’t a rebuy…and it was pricey!

    2. bretrooks

      Picked up a couple of these at the SLO store today, along with a small reload on the D. Pedro “D Soutomaior” 2018 Albariño. Nothing new of interest in terms of reds or roses.

      Reply
  10. BargainWhine Post author

    A wine showed up that initially quite put me off, the “RN13,” an organic wine from France for $5. From where in France? Made from what grapes? Who knows? And its closure is a levered stopper like that of a bottle of Grolsch beer. The label appears to show people eating at a table by the side of the road, watching a bicycle race go by.

    Well, curiosity got the better of me, and I can now report that that’s exactly what this is: an easy-drinking wine to go with a picnic. It has forward, fresh purple / red fruits that are not entirely simple, very little tannic structure, and acid that goes well with food. A highly agreeable quaffer.

    Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        No fizz, but I’m sure it will surprise no one that, while tolerable the 2nd day, it was better the first. Now what should I use the bottle for?

        Reply
          1. BargainWhine Post author

            I guess by neglect that is what’s happening to the last half glass of this wine. 🙂

            Reply
            1. 5-Star Bar

              LOL. Speaking of neglect as a passive means of producing red wine vinegar I know just how that feels. Once, around 2000-2001 I happened into several bottles of 1991 Whitehall Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for not much more than a song or two. Call it a song and a half. It was wonderful wine, truly memorable. Made a wonderful impression that has lasted to this day. One night I cane home from a long day at work and opened one of them to enjoy with dinner, relax, and unwind. I was very tired. I ate my dinner and went straight to bed.

              About 3-5 months or so later I was dusting and realigning the collection of empty, notable wine bottles that decorated my kitchen and I picked up the 1991 Whitehall Lane. To my abject horror it still had about 1/3 of a bottle of wine left in it. I was mortified and had nobody but myself to blame for such an egregious oversight. That wine had been so good that it almost physically hurt to realize how much I had wasted. “Oh well…”, I thought, “won’t make that mistake again”! Out of desperation I removed the cork and sniffed the languishing liquid inside, certain that it was a lost cause. To my amazement it had become some of the best vinegar I have ever had in my life. Balsamic like, complex, fruity, woody, and beautiful. What a silver lining that was.

  11. BargainWhine Post author

    Viberti Giovanni 2017 “Dolbà” (40% Dolcetto, 60% Barbera), Langhe, Italy, 13.5% ABV, $7. Initially tight, restrained fruits of darker red cherry, with hints of darker fruits and earth underneath. Opens slowly over 4 hours or so to become darker (black raspberry, red and dark purple plum, almost blackberry, with hint of prune, black peppery earth, drying stemmy tannins) with a little richness, but it is basically a fairly simple wine with lively acid that goes very well with food. If you like this Italian style (and there are similar French wines) of tart, easy-drinking food wine, this is for you. (Heads up, Weinish!) If you prefer the fuller and softer fruit of CA wines, this may not be for you.

    I was excited when I first saw the boxes of this wine, because they said “Barolo” in large, scripted letters. However, this indicated they are from the municipality of Barolo, not that it was Barolo DOCG wine. Sigh.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I like this wine a lot. Neither of these grapes produces anything complex or profound, their job is just to produce a rather simple but delicious table wine and this one succeeds. GO has previously had other wines from this winery, I think I still have a couple of bottles of Chardonnay and and of Riesling from them that I bought at the GO (yes, they grow Chardonnay in Piemonte. Gaja makes one that costs over $250 a bottle).

      Reply
    2. Weinish

      Wow.

      Nice shout out!

      I bought 2 bottles last night, had one. Agree with your take but like it more. Went back at 8 am to El Cerrito and bought the remaining 6 on the shelf.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Glad you liked it! I would guess there was more of this wine in the back, and the shelf should be restocked if you want more…

        Reply
    3. BargainWhine Post author

      I opened the saved screw-cap bottle of this wine (5 days later) and thought it was good with a little air in the glass, but not as good (i.e., not as structured and acid) as it was the first day.

      Reply
  12. BargainWhine Post author

    Tonight, I opened the recently arrived Cavatappi 2014 “Molly’s Cuvée” Sangiovese, “Boushey, Red Willow, & Alder Ridge Vineyards,” Columbia Valley, WA, 14.1% ABV, $8. 2013 and 2015 vintages are also available for the same price. At least this recently arrived, this wine needed 2.5 – 3 hours in a decanter to open fully, showing softer, ripe fruit of red and purple cherry, black raspberry / tangy purple grape, a little orange and allspice, with nice aged complexity of wood, earth, and stem, and still some nice tannic structure in the finish. With enough air, or perhaps the second day, this is a tasty and interesting wine for the price.

    For perhaps some context, here is the review I wrote in 2016 of the Cavatappi 2010 Molly’s Sangiovese, and here is the review I wrote in 2015 of their 2007 “Maddalena” Nebbiolo.

    Reply
    1. bretrooks

      The 2014 showed up in SLO, and we tried it yesterday evening. It seems well-made, although my wife and I both suspected there was a little residual sugar which detracted for us – we tend to be sensitive to that in reds unless we’re having an actual dessert wine.

      Based on enjoying the 2014 Lava Vine Suisun Valley Grenache last week, I bought a couple of additional offerings which showed up this week: the 2015 Mangels Vineyard Grenache and the 2015 Poor Ranch Syrah. We tasted the Grenache, and it also seems to be on the ripe/slightly off-dry side, and we didn’t like it as much as the 2014. We’ll see how the syrah is.

      We quite enjoyed the D. Pedro “D Soutomaior” 2018 Albariño, and I picked up a couple more of those. Also, for anyone curious, there were (yet again) a few bottles of the 2009 Peymelon hanging out on the shelf next to the Roc de Candele.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi bretrooks! Thanks for letting us know about these Lava Vine wines. Tonight I opened the only one I’ve seen, the 2015 “The Poor Ranch” Grenache, Mendocino, CA, “produced & bottled by Lava Vine Vineyards,” (the wine’s box credited Von Strasser) 14.2% ABV, $10. At least this recently arrived, I thought it needed 2.5 – 3+ hours to fully air, then showing soft, ripe, medium-bodied (although with an impressive thickness on the palate) of purple plum, black raspberry, slight blueberry, strawberry jam (although the wine is only slightly “jammy”), vanilla, maybe white pepper, herbaceous brown stemmy tannin, ripe zingy acid. For me, it’s an unusual, impressive, and interesting Grenache. IMO, drink it soon. [edit: reading this over makes me wonder if the blueberry and white pepper indicates that there was some Syrah in the blend. 2nd edit: bretrooks, I suspect you might find this wine also “sweet” but I have trouble distinguishing between sugar and ripeness.]

        Reply
        1. bretrooks

          Sugar vs. ripe fruit can be difficult to parse, and I definitely don’t always discern it correctly. The bottle of 2015 Mangels Vineyard Grenache we opened struck me as a little bit soft/lower-acid, which I find accentuates the sense of ripeness. It really wasn’t over the top at all – it was just a bit ripe/soft for my personal preferences. The Cavatappi seemed to have more of a candied character to its fruit, so that’s the one I’d be more suspicious of having RS…although I don’t really know how well that correlation holds.

          Side note: On each of the 2015 Lava Vine wines I saw (the Grenache, the Syrah, and a Petite Sirah that I didn’t buy), the alcohol was labeled at 14.2%, so I’m not sure that’s a number to put much stock in.

          Reply
          1. 5-Star Bar

            I had the same take on the recent Xanthos Cabernet offering. Great pedigree but alas, to my palate anyway, not exactly the Best in Show. That 14.2% across the board does seem a bit suspect.

            Reply
          2. Expat

            I tried the Lava Vine Petite Sirah (from the SLO store). It was fine but disappointing to me because it lacked the grippy tannins and iron backbone of a classic PS. I didn’t give it proper air time so my take on it isn’t really fair. Popped and poured with some lamb-blue cheese sausage (sous vide, pan seared) that was out of this world. (Bretrooks, if you ever go to J&R meats in north county and like lamb, get the Bah Bah Blue Cheese)

            Reply
            1. bretrooks

              Good to know about the PS – I really prefer my reds to have some grip, so it sounds like that might not be one for me to seek out. Duly noted about J&R…never been there, but that sounds pretty tasty.

          3. bretrooks

            To follow up regarding the Lava Vine syrah, it struck me as being in a similar style the 2015 grenache – ripe, a little weighty and low on structure for my preferences. I suspect this one actually clocked in above the reported 14.2%.

            Just picked up one bottle while at the SLO location today: 2019 Corazon Profundo Tempranillo from Rioja at $6.99.

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              Drinking that Grenache right now. bretrooks has it right but not sure about the alcohol. I would buy a bottle or two if it were $5 or so.

    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Tonight (6 days later) I opened the saved screw-cap bottle of the Cavatappi 2014 Molly’s Sangiovese. It’s only slightly less full and ripe, texture more supple, still nicely complex and tasty. I can see how there might be a small amount of residual sugar. A slight hint of balsamic makes me think it should be consumed in the next couple months, with certainly no need to wait.

      Reply
  13. BargainWhine Post author

    The D. Pedro “D Soutomaior” 2018 Albariño, Rias Baixas DO, Spain, from Viñas e Adegas Galegas, 13% ABV, is terrific for $5. Nose of lemon fruit or flowers. On the palate, intense ripe lemon fruit (with stong ripe acid), lemon peel, with some yellow grapefruit
    and hints of less ripe lime, some minerality and bitterness of citrus pith. Delicious, elegant, with some smooth thickness in the mouth, especially as it warms in the glass from fridge temp.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Thank you for reviewing this wine, I have been wondering about it.
      I am buying wine for a friend and seek a recommendation for a California-style (buttery) Chardonnay. That is not my style, but this friend wants to try an array of Chardonnays.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        The D. Pedro Albariño is at least as good, maybe better, second day. Fruit softens and, to my taste, develops some tropical fruit flavors, something between cherimoya and golden kiwi.

        The standard buttery ripe and oaky GO Chardonnays are Pra Vinera and Pound Cake at $6. For a dollar more, the Kinneybrook is a little more restrained and balanced, and still plenty ripe and oaky and sweet for me.

        Reply
    2. bretrooks

      Just saw this over the weekend at our local store and picked one up. We haven’t tried it yet, but from your description, I’m really looking forward to it.

      Also bought two more of the 2009 Peymelon and a 2014 Lava Vine Suisun Valley Grenache ($9.99) to try. It didn’t have great complexity or anything, but it’s drinking well, the fruit and balance were good, and my wife particularly enjoyed it.

      Reply
        1. Expat

          Not to answer for Bretrooks but i’ll answer for Bretrooks. I think he got it in San Luis Obispo. That’s where i got some and I saw some in Arroyo Grande. Seedboy, any plans to come to the central coast?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            Not presently. Odd there is any left there, Wine1Percent has been saying great things about this wine and he is based on the Central Coast.

            Reply
          2. bretrooks

            Expat’s right – I’ve found it here in SLO. Two weeks ago, they had a few on the shelf, and I took all but one. This past Saturday they had a few again, so I grabbed a couple more.

            Reply
            1. delmartian1

              Found one single bottle of Peymelon in Mira Mesa (San Diego) this morning…will try over the weekend.

            2. delmartian1

              Oceanside (North San Diego County) has a couple of cases of the Peymelon. They also have the 2013 Roc de Candele St. Emilion and a 2003 Ch. Candele (from the same owner as the Roc).

  14. Jimmie

    Tried the Botte 2017 Petite Verdot based on previous good reviews here. I concur. Very unusual. Extracted. The color resembled pomegranate juice. I have read Verdot is usually blended, but this stood by itself. Read on label the town of Zamora. It’s about 90 minutes north of sacramento on I -5 corridor. Farm country. Middle of nowhere. Thanks to the winemaker. Paired in with marinated beef tenderloin. No leftovers.

    Reply
  15. flitcraft

    Waterbrook Limited Edition Red Mountain Rose, 2017 13.1% ABV $4.99
    I didn’t pick this up during the sale, but given the price point, I figured I wouldn’t mind paying full price if it turned out it was good. And there were a lot of cues that it might be: Waterbrook is a respectable if not first-rank Washington winery, Red Mountain is an AVA that is exceptional for red grapes, and this limited edition was apparently sold through their tasting room. So I was primed to expect a fine bargain rose.

    Alas, it was not to be. On the positive side, it is a beautiful medium salmon-tinged rose color in the glass, it’s reasonably light in alcohol, it’s bone dry, and it costs 5 bucks. On the minus side, it doesn’t really taste like anything. There’s vague fruit there, all right, but I would be lying if I pinned it with any particular fruit. Maybe this was more distinctive on release, or maybe there’s a reason that Red Mountain grapes don’t get made into rose more often. At $4.99 you can do better at GO–like the La Galope French rose, for example.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I believe this rose’ was mentioned by one of the Olympia folks who bought one toward the beginning of the sale…but don’t recall a review ever being posted. Based on your review, FC, glad I passed it by. After the Rindals sold the winery to Precept years ago, I lost interest as it became another monolithic winery…although I’m sure they produce a number of quality wines (like Ch. Ste,. Michelle). The Rindals made their wines in a much smaller building on the other side of Hwy 12.

      Reply
      1. GLENN

        I have been very pleased with Terra Blanc Arch Terrace reds from Red Mountain from GO. I rate their Cab Franc as my best domestic example.

        Reply
  16. BargainWhine Post author

    Coto Real 2010 Rioja DOC, Spain, 14% ABV, $15. Immediately after decanting (There was a fine sediment you may want to let settle before decanting off of it.), and often thereafter, this wine struck me as imbalanced or over-ripe, maybe too old. Now, three hours later, it is indeed quite ripe, but has settled into a supple and very elegant wine, with flavors of red cherry / cinnamon, and purple cherry / black raspberry with hint of licorice, smoky meatiness (charred ham?), slight prune and balsamic, drying wood and tannin (which may be less if you decant it off the sediment). This is a very good wine for the price, but it presents a bit of a challenge in that it does need a good bit of air to really show what it’s got and it should be consumed very soon.

    I could not find this wine on CellarTracker. The label looks like the 2010 Reserva except that it does not say “Reserva.”

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Last night, I opened the saved screw-cap bottle of the Coto Real 2010 Rioja. It was still in very good shape and didn’t change much as I drank it over about 45 minutes, so I think my announcing its impending demise may have been premature. It’ll probably be fine over at least the next 6 months, likely the next year.

      Reply
      1. Weinish

        This wine is very good and not my style.

        From the jump I knew it was big, and noticed the slight brownish red hues from the age. Expected a raisin that never came. Solid tannins, Oakey but not offensive, and big.

        If you’re a Cali Cab Drinker and you like some age this is a good wine for you.

        I expect I maybe got a good bottle and imagine there are some duds, but this tastes and feels an expensive wine.

        The Riserva version can be found on winemag.com and sells for $50ish

        2010 Rioja vintage was a phenom year

        Reply
  17. flitcraft

    Portofino NV Tawny and Ruby Ports750 ml. 7.99

    There hasn’t been any port of any sort that I’ve seen at a local GO in probably five years or so–maybe even more. So I was curious to find these and thought I’d give them a try. First off, these are true Portuguese ports, complete with selo of authenticy, which is on the bottle rather than across the cork these days. The Portofino label is unknown to me, but on the label it indicates that these are actually Martha’s Fine Wine and Spirits products. That is a legitimate family-owned port house dating back to 1727, but I have never seen it imported into the US–which may explain the “Portofino” labeling, which sounds more “Portuguese” than “Martha’s” would. Both are the lowest level of port–tawny aka ‘fine tawny’ and ruby aka ‘fine ruby,’ neither of which have (or indeed legally permit) any indication of age on the bottle. So I tasted with low expectations.

    First up: the tawny. Popped and poured, it has more warm fruitiness than a classic aged tawny would, and the beginnings of nuttiness and a more definite dried fig and apricot flavor characteristic of a young tawny. Colorwise, as you would expect with a tawny without an age specification, it’s pale plum with just the merest hint of tawnying. Simple, yes, but nothing particularly wrong with it. I stuck it in the fridge and poured a glass later after dinner, and found it quite pleasant. The French like to drink low-end tawny chilled as an aperitif, and I think this would work fine in lieu of a cocktail in warmer weather. So…I will pick up a few for summer backyard sipping.

    Next up, the ruby. Popped and poured, it is sweet, very simple, and has some of that annoying Robitussin flavor that cheaper rubies sometimes have. If you remember the Tuke Holdsworth ruby that appeared at GO a few years back, this is a better low end ruby than that one was–damning with faint praise. But I won’t be buying more of it, and this one will likely be used to make a port-and-blue cheese sauce for the beef tenderloin that I picked up a couple of days back.

    Reply
      1. Jimmie

        Yeah I bet the portuguese who made the wine would not be happy with the name of an italian city on the label. Unless they thought it inferior. Only been to Portugal once. They seem serious about wine
        . If you are ever in Oporto check out the Port museum. Fascinating history between England and Portugal. Ruby also useful for adding to gravy.

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          I’m guessing that the PR person who came up with the US labeling name was thinking, Porto is Portuguese for Port, and fino is Portuguese for ‘good,’ and ‘Portofino’ as a whole is likely to trigger in US consumers the reaction, “Hey, that sounds vaguely familiar!” (Even though it is a place in Italy!) I second your recommendation of the port museum in Porto–well designed exhibits that will interest even non-Port-lovers, including ‘sniff’ tubes to educate the nose as to the various aromas in Port. And–if you go there, it’s not far from Vinologia, a terrific cozy bar with an extensive by-the-glass set of Ports to try. (Don’t miss the Ramos-Pintos 30 year old tawny–it’s exquisite! And too rich for my blood by the bottle!) Portugal is, in my opinion, the last semi-discovered tourist destination in Europe–inexpensive hotels and eateries, good to great wines, stunning architecture, history, and scenery. Porto and Lisbon were kind of gritty twenty years ago, but an influx of EU money has tidied them up a lot. I’m going there in the early fall of 2022 and I am already salivating!

          Reply
          1. 5-Star Bar

            I had exactly the same impression about the branding implications of. the words porto and fino. I’d say you’re spot-on…

            Reply
  18. BargainWhine Post author

    Yesterday, a wine arrived that I had never seen before, a Tempranillo Blanco from Rioja Vega (2018, from Rioja DOC, Spain) for $7. According to that Wiki article, this white grape is a mutation of the usual red Tempranillo discovered only in 1988 and since propagated in relatively small amounts.

    While the nose is rather mild — of ripe lemon and yellow apple, maybe pineapple, and a little nuttiness — the palate is intensely flavored, with strong, ripe acid and a slight thickness of fruit. Although I suspect this example showing up at GO may be slightly oxidized (and I would be interested to taste a younger, fresher example), even on the second day, it is still a tasty and interesting wine.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      Purely coincidentally, I tasted the Rioja Blanco this afternoon with Benny in Petaluma. Similar tasting notes, but a tad more positive here. We both agreed it would a great pool-side wine…mouthfeel more like a cross of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer (dry)…on the finish, I picked up “quince” – tart, acidic yet refreshing. At $7, interesting for a summer quaffer

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Zoel! Today, on its third day open, I was expecting the Rioja Vega Tempranillo Blanco to have degraded, especially since I had thought it was a little oxidized. However, it’s at its best yet, really delicious. The fruit has filled out and become more elegant and complex, now more clearly including some green apple or lime and bitterness of citrus pith. There’s still the faint touch of something that might be oxidation, but it’s still lovely wine for the price.

        Reply
      2. Seedboy

        I really really like this wine. It has the body and structure of a red wine and the flavors of a white. Quite balanced with good acidity (which might be too much for some people). Second day I am getting real tannin on the front part of my tongue that tells me this wine might improve with age.

        Reply
    2. lim13

      Would like to have compared notes with those of you who tried this wine, so checked the Silverdale store today. But they received none and the manager told me it doesn’t even appear on their order list. So I suspect we’ll never see it here in WA.

      Reply
  19. 5-Star Bar

    In the “trip down memory lane” department does anyone remember the dearly departed Grocery Outlet that used to be at 1750 Harrison St in San Francisco? Was there until at least the mid-1990s I think. That location is now an Office Max. Before I got into drinking wine seriously I found some interesting things there, a couple of which I had never seen or drunk before or since. A random bottle of German glühwein (a spiced wine often served warm during wintertime) comes to mind as does a bottle of Maker’s Mark Mint Julep pre mixed cocktail. There’s a bottle just like it on display in The Library room at Bourbon & Branch.

    Reply
    1. KatSupper

      I remember that store. I used them for my wedding reception – a few cases of Chateau St. Michelle Bubbly, William Hill chardonnay, and a Cab that escapes me. Celebrating 25 years anny later this year. We used to call it “smashed cans” instead of grocery outlet back then. I remember usually stopping there before or after going to Rainbow groceries.

      Reply
      1. DARRELL

        ” Smashed cans” I didn’t get that at first and get it now. Very funny. I always thought that Rainbow Grocery was a beginning of a GO in SF.

        Reply
        1. 5-Star Bar

          Yep, that’s the same store alright, just around the corner from Rainbow Grocery. And yes, the “smashed can” moniker rings a bell too. It also was commonly referred to back then as the “dented can” Grocery Outlet though I’m not sure I recall actually seeing any dented cans on the shelves there. It was a fun store in its day, kind of a grocery/grab bag/thrift store. It was like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never knew what you were gonna’ get but like modern GOs you always knew that the price was going to be right. Happy to hear that you will be celebrating your 25th anniversary this year. The Chateau Ste. Michelle sparkling and William Hill Chardonnay both sound like winners to me. Glad to know that the old smashed/dented can GO of yesteryear helped make your celebration festive and your marriage a durable one!

          Reply
          1. KatSupper

            Thanks, 5-Star! Cliche but true – time does fly.

            Damn, after reading your post, I think it was dented, not smashed, cans. aging grey matter. Yeah, the faulty recollection has both as great QPR’s. I especially remember I couldn’t find anything méthode champenoise at that price point anywhere in the city. Was totally watching the dollars for the event. [The morning of the nuptials, I even picked up, already sporting the rented wedding attire, a whole roast pig in Chinatown. Feed and provide cheer to our guests as best we could with limited funds].

            You nailed it – you never knew what you were gunna get there plus thrifting vibe.And oh do I miss the freshly made samosas at Rainbow grocery when doing that shopping circuit. I also recall going to a bakery, near both for day old, drastically reduced items…

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              I loved that store in SF by the freeway. I will never forget getting BV Grenache and Mourvedre there for next to nothing.

            2. 5-Star Bar

              Yep, just south of the freeway near Division Street. Wow SB, BV Grenache AND Mourvedre?! Never seen either of those under the BV label bottled as individual varietals. My first experience with BV, and a wine I fell in love with, was the 1994 BV Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. Anybody out there have access to a time machine? 😁

            3. DARRELL

              5-Star Bar, no time machine, but there is some 1991 Rutherford that a wine guy, Hank Rubin, recommended back at the time.

            4. Seedboy

              Those two BV wines were tasting room only products. The BV Rutherford was my go-to cab in the 80s and 1990s, I’ve not tasted one in years. I try to buy a couple of bottles of the Tapestry if I can get a good price.

            5. JoelA

              It was called Canned Foods and initially featured smashed cans, stock from warehouses that had suffered fires and the like. I got some great German wines there for $ 1.50- 2.00.

            6. 5-Star Bar

              As Arte Johnson used to quip on Laugh-In “Verrrrry interesting” JoelA. Thanks for the additional backstory info. Was it just called Canned Foods? Any idea how long it was there or what year it closed? Must have been around until at least 1996 based on KatSupper’s recollections. I really thought it also had a Grocery Outlet at the end of its name, or at least “Outlet” anyway but perhaps I’m subconsciously confabulating. I remember also buying some great German beer there too. In a 1 Liter bottle with a resealable ceramic and rubber flip-top a la the Dutch Grolsch brand mentioned here recently. BTW I just had a bottle of Grolsch 2 days prior to it being referenced for its “flippy” bottle style here. Serendipity…

  20. BargainWhine Post author

    Noble Tree 2015 “Chalk Hill – Russian River Valley” Old Vine Zinfandel “Estate – Sonoma County,” 14.9% ABV, $8. This is pretty tasty right away, but really needed ~3 hours’ decant on the first night for full, dark, ripe RRV cherry / boysenberry / blackberry fruit and dark spiced earth to emerge, and this is a wine that has been in the store for a few weeks, so it’s likely past the transit shock. It’s a little on the sweet and fruity side for me, and the oak could be better but is not awful, but I still found it pretty good for the price. On the second night (not in any saved screwcap bottle), it still needed almost as much air to become full, soft, ripe, brown-sugary, dark ripe boysenberry / blackberry, spiced black-earthy. Despite the amounts of airing needed, my impression is that it does not still have a long life ahead of it, so drink over next year or so.

    Reply
  21. 5-Star Bar

    Just finished off a bottle of the 2016 Goodnow Tempranillo. Inspired by both BW’s comments and my enjoyment of the Botte Petit Verdot (which has now appeared on the shelves at the San Francisco Geary Blvd store) I picked up another couple of JL Giguiere bottlings also at the SF/Geary store in The Richmond.

    The 2016 Goodnow Tempranillo is an enjoyable everyday red. Ripe but balanced it was a solid buy at about $5 or $6. It paired well with a Carnitas Super Burrito from Guadalajara on Mission in The Excelsior. The richness of the pork tempered by the adequate acidity level of the Tempranillo. Bonus points for the great label featuring a very classy Black Crow wearing a Top Hat and a Tux.

    I very much enjoyed another JL Giguiere red available also from the GO on Geary, the 2019 Headspace Cabernet Sauvignon. On the first night this wine really impressed me. For a wine so young and for such a low price (again I think that it was about $6) it showed excellent balance really. A great choice to become my next “House Red”. Fine balance, harmonius flavors of dark cherry and plum, quality oak, and a dry, very pleasant finish with polished tannins. I suggest you drink this over the course of one evening. Perhaps a dinner for 2 or with friends. On day 2 it wasn’t bad at all, still okay, but it just lacked the superb balance and finesse it showed on day 1. I looked but couldn’t find any real info about this wine online, just a CellarTracker “place card”. I also saw a Headspace Chardonnay on the shelves at Geary but haven’t gotten around to picking one up to try yet.

    Reply
  22. Happybaker

    I think this is going to be my silliest GO post yet.
    Sonoma Crest Chardonnay. Russian River Valley 2019.

    Saw a chardonnay that looked promising. I had never heard of the winery but the notes on the label fit what we like in a chardonnay and, it was just $5 or, $4 with my local GO’s “Buy 6, get 20% off” ongoing deal. Nice deep punt at the bottom so, I bit. I chilled it, opened it tonight and – hooray a real cork! No vinegar or off smell when I opened it and very tasty. Not the fanciest wine you will ever have but way better than wines of similar price (I’m talking about you, Barefoot) and a really nice acidy with a bit of creamy oakiness. Finally googled the wine and?

    Looks like it was made for sale for 7-11’s!!!!!!! I got the 2019, this is for the 2005 –

    https://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/sonoma-crest-2005-chardonnay-sonoma-county/

    But surprisingly decent and a fun adventure : )

    Reply
    1. JJ

      So glad you gave in to your silliness, and posted!
      This wine was a one-off that I happened to pick up at the sale, on our Olympia close-out shelf. So hard to come by any good Chardonnays these days. Didn’t try it until a bit later, sale over, but still wanted more at full price. We had sat and drank it slowly, while I talked to my sommelier bro on the phone, and I mounted quite a case for this wine, and found an awful lot to love.
      My good man Stan in Olympia had only one left, but he held it for me. I called all over, and found a reported two more in North Tacoma store, and since I was already going up to meet daughter there next day, Griffin held those for me—nice guy.
      When I got there, I found three more hidden behind other wines on the shelf, nabbed them all!

      I sure hope it shows like the first one~~I’ve got half a case to live down.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I miss Stan (and store owners Al & Mae). He came to you in Olympia (along with A&M) from Silverdale where I like to think I helped pique his interest in wine. I’m proud of what he has accomplished.

        Reply
        1. JJ

          I believe we talked of you just recently during the sale (tho I’m forgetting your first name).
          Stan mentioned an individual from his Silverdale days who was so pivotal to his wine knowledge/ordering. And maybe something about a different blog you may have been on? (or maybe he was referring to this one…..)
          I think this contact with you may have been crucial, as Stan does not seem like much of a wine-lover himself!! But he does a good job stocking this store. Now that I’ve been to many GO’s, I appreciate that it’s one of the most comprehensive and largest wine sections I’ve seen.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Jeff’s my name. Must have been this blog that Stan was talking about…back when BargainWhine and I were doing most of the actual review posts with label photos. One of my unaccomplished goals was turning Stan into a wine lover. He’d occasionally tell me about a sweeter styled wine that he found he liked, but he never was much of a wine drinker. He’s very personable and keeps his shelves and stacks filled and that’s what sells wine to “the masses”. He used to do monthly in-store wine tastings at Silverdale (which I miss). I tried my best to be at each tasting for an hour or so in case he had customers with questions that I could help with. Stan had to pour into those ridiculous tiny plastic pill cups because there was no dishwasher for real glasses and no budget to buy glasses. I always walked in with my own cheap real glass and customers kept asking me how I got a real glass. A few then ended up bringing in their own glass. Anyway, it was fun and Stan did his best to promote sales.

            Reply
            1. JJ

              I’ve tested many a wine at Stan’s tastings out of those pill cups! He seems to be chomping at the bit to get back to those events, once Covid gives its grubby little permission.
              Nice to meet you Jeff.
              We’re lucky to have Stan, and grateful for your efforts.
              I don’t think we’ll ever get him to like Chardonnay though!

            2. GOwinelover

              I love reading this. A lot of my wine “education” aside from buying lots from GO to figure out CA varietal and AVA differences was tasting at a BevMo’s location for free for years as well as hitting a few other lower-cost tastings in the area to get as exposed to as much wine as possible. A few of the GO’s still do unadvertised in-store tastings at the time of wine sale if you know the right people. I have never seen proper glassware, but we have used decent plastic glasses! I have very fond memories of some real characters who were allowed access but who did know wine but had very particular taste (one fellow turned every bottle to find only wines in the 12% ABV range).

              At BevMo, one woman brought her own wine glass even though their tasting stemware wasn’t bottom of the barrel terrible. Only half of us ever paid, as I would funnel any good GO find to the head tasters at least once a month. I learned a lot in the 3-4 years there, mostly that BevMo 5 cent wines are generally speaking quite mediocre especially compared to normal GO pricing, and that Wilfred Wong will give anything inside a wine bottle at least an 88 and that people actually care!

              That plastic cups comment set me off remembering blowing my palate but still tasting 40 wines inside a store owner’s office, a store that had a very large and well selected inventory for sales.

              When I was first dating my wife, we did silly GO verticals or comparisons like “current NZ 3-year old Sauvignon Blancs < $3.99", "wines with terrible labels that aren't terrible" (cough Cleavage Creek anyone?), 3-way blind white blend tastings, etc etc.

  23. Angela T Carlson

    Had a bottle of the Consentido last night, half in the lamb stew, the rest in me. Agreed that it was nothing spectacular, but a nice, bright red with peppery notes. Might make the other bottle into a killer sangria with green apples citrus and maybe some Calvados.

    Hey, anyone have an opinion on the 2018 Louis Jadot Rosé? Not amazing, but super drinkable and what a great price ($3.99 before the sale)

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Angela! Consentido darkens and fills in with more air, but anyway…

      I have not tried the Jadot rosé, but have been curious about the extent to which it tastes like Pinot Noir or Gamay, as I think those are the two main red grapes grown by Jadot.

      Reply
  24. BargainWhine Post author

    The Chateau Peymelon 2009 Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux, Cru Bourgeois, is really yummy, although I forget if it’s $8 or $9. To me, tastes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot fruit restrained by stemmy, earthy tannin. For immediate drinking, IMO.

    Reply
    1. Expat

      I agree and I bought the few bottles they had left in SLO for $8. Best French or even Euro deal i’ve seen at grossout in a long time.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        The next day (just put the cork back in the bottle, no saved screw-cap bottle), this wine is still very tasty, but less structured and with some notes of prune and balsamic. These things are mild enough that I don’t mind them, but if you do, it’s probably better to finish it first day, which admittedly the wine does not really discourage one from doing.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I liked it more the second day because it was more harmonious. That said has anyone seen any of this in the last couple of days? Oakland and Richmond are out.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            My question of April 27 concerned the Cotes de Blaye. I want three bottles of it, although I have no idea where to put them.

            Reply
  25. BargainWhine Post author

    Comments on the first night of the just-arrived Fritz 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.3% ABV, $15: Although it was surprisingly tasty after being decanted only 2 hours, I think it has a lot of still-hidden potential. After 4.5 hours, it was ripe but delicate and balanced by acid, with flavors of (not that strong) youthful rough raspberry, smooth darker red cherry, purple grape / maybe plum or black raspberry, slight hints of orange and herbs, elegantly structured. Yet to emerge but probably in there are the typical RRV baking-spiced earthy flavors. I saved 1/3 of it in a screwcap bottle that I will let sit for a few days before opening.

    Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Just none out on the floor, yet. The store has received two shipments with the Frist Pinot, but neither pallet containing it had been unstacked. I am not working today or tomorrow, but the folks there should be able to help you with it.

          Reply
            1. BeerBudget

              Doon – Did Redwood City have any more of the Carden or Bomb CS?
              I bought bit during the sale and think its good enough to buy and hold. The RD Grand Cru Reserve Syrah that they have was also worth the higher $12.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Tonight, 5 days later, I opened the saved ~275ml screw-cap bottle of the Fritz 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. It was immediately smoother and more accessible than on its first night, with the darker “grape / plum / black raspberry” flavors prominent, the red cherry very much fading to the background. After 2 hours in the glass, these are still the main flavors, with hints of root beer, very faint eucalyptus(?) or maybe something else herbal / vegetal, and a little of the baking-spiced earth, although darker than I had anticipated. It has been consistently elegant and gently supple, but now seems to be becoming slightly more textured. Would’ve liked a little more Pinot funk and earthiness, but this is pretty nice for $15.

      Reply
  26. BargainWhine Post author

    I think the Casamatta 2018 bianco (white blend: Vermentino 60%, Trebbiano 30%, Moscato Bianco 10%) is very good for $5. Dry, medium-weight fruit of yellow apple / lemon, white pear, lime, with small amounts of bitterness of citrus pith and minerality, texture just slightly fleshy. Tasty and refreshing in the warming weather.

    Reply
  27. bretrooks

    There seemed to be a reasonable amount of turnover in the SLO store this week, including the arrival of a handful of new bottles I was intrigued enough to try:
    2013 Château Roc de Candale St. Émilion Grand Cru ($9.99)
    2009 Château Grand Jauga Sauternes ($7.99/375ml)
    2016 Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes du Rhône Les Abeilles ($5.99)
    2016 Edward Lane Wines Red Wine Blend California ($5.99, mostly Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah)
    2018 Ion Rosé Lodi ($4.99, admittedly I was drawn in by the label…this one is chilling in the fridge right now and will be opened while grilling some prime sirloin caps this evening)

    Reply
    1. bretrooks

      Update: The Ion Rosé was a bit flat – it needs more acidity to it. Not a repurchase for me. We also opened the Roc de Candale. It was decent, but it was showing a bit more age than I would have expected, and the complexity was just okay. It’s fine for near-term drinking as an example of Bordeaux with a few years on it, but in the end, I’m not sure it’s a repurchase for us either.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        Thanks for the report bretrooks. I had the Roc de Candale last night and agree with your assessment. I liked it ok but think i’ll pass for a re-buy. Did you see the Edward Lane Napa Cab in SLO for $15? I was interested but wanted some data points before taking a flyer on it.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I did see that Edwards Lane cab. Old school Rutherford cab. By that I mean it still has unresolved tannins, the sort one used to see in cabs back before everyone started making cabs for Robert Parker. It is a 2012 or 13 and still needs years of cellaring.

          Reply
        2. bretrooks

          The 2012 Edward Lane cab was here in SLO, but I was in the same mindset as you – I’d like to know what sort of a wine I’m getting when stepping up in price range. Seedboy’s note about it being ‘old school’ makes me a little more interested…I’d much prefer a cab with some grip and structure versus an over-polished fruit bomb.

          Reply
          1. Expat

            Seedboy’s comments made me think about trying a bottle. I think we have the same sensibilities bretrooks so I’ll pay close attention to what you like. Do you make it to the other GOs? For work i’m up and down the central coast so I get to the AG, and Atascadero stores a lot. Paso sometimes. Santa Maria and Los Osos rarely.

            Reply
            1. bretrooks

              I’ve gotten into the habit of doing our family’s main shopping run for the week on Saturdays, and that’s when I generally stop in at the GO in SLO…I don’t really head to the other locations. And I’m always happy to trade notes on wines. Whenever I find something worth mentioning, I’ll mention it here.

    2. bretrooks

      Also tasted: The Edward Lane red was red-fruited, rich and extracted, but low on acid for my preferences. The 2016 Jean-Luc Colombo was darker and less heavy, maybe even lacking a bit in the mid-palate, but it was better balanced overall to me. I’d drink that one again in the near future, although it does feel like it’s tiring, so I’m not stocking up or putting any away.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        FYI, the Chateau Peymelon 2009 Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux, Cru Bourgeois is somewhat restocked in SLO. I have enough but was tempted to get more.

        Reply
        1. bowzart

          Well, you’ve aroused me from my torpor. Wine education and glassware.

          Glassware at GO tastings: the only glass I’ve encountered at one was at (can you believe this?) Yakima, WA. By the way, the Union Gap store usually has a pretty good selection. Of course there’s not much wine from the Yakima Valley. Too expensive? At that particular tasting the owner, Vicky Baker, was pouring. Vicky either is, or was (not sure although I try to follow the Herald) a member of the city council. I need to find out whether she’s a member of the Baker family who were my childhood neighbors. I left Yakima when I was 11, in 1954. The glass was real. I am the proud owner of several imprinted Grocery Outlet wineglasses. At home we mostly use stemless for convenience, currently Peugeot, but I often use the genuine GO stemware for whites when I don’t want my hands to warm the wine.

          In the late ‘70’s, beginning my career as a freelancer, Sunset Magazine sent me to Pasco to photograph Preston’s winery. Bill Preston tried to teach me how to describe wines by what they taste like. Rob Griffen and Peter Bos were running the production. Sorry to say, it never really took hold. I still just love the taste or I don’t. It tastes like wine. Since then, working for years participating in cellering operations for Alphonse de Klerk at Rolling Bay on Bainbridge island, my taste has become more focused – but it still tastes like wine.

          Right now, I’m writing from a campsite at Potholes State Park, listening to a conversation between two great horned owls. One, the mom with her baby, is in a tree at our campsite talking to dad, some trees away. We just had graciano, Más de Berceo, which I picked up at the Moses Lake GO. Wine Spectator 91 points, $5.99. It’s pretty good. They also have “Silent Oak”, a nice Portuguese red.

          >

          Reply
          1. JJ

            I’m feeling so appreciative of having so many Grocery Outlets all around!
            I’m delighted by how they’ve bloomed and are serving a unique population of people all over the West. Living here means we can always count on walking into a GO and finding at least a treasure or two, hopefully a nice block of cheese, and there will always be some wine for a decent to downright cheap price that I’ll be curious to try. I personally like how the wine selection available at any given time will simultaneously educate me about the current wine market in general. What’s leaking through to GO? Was it a great excess Pinot year in California? Why so many NZ SB’s a year ago, but so few now? Whatever happened to all the great California Chardonnay? And the Cali Sauvignon Blancs?
            We now buy wine pretty much nowhere else. When we find a good one, we stock up–like during a good run of Sockeye. Because we’re fans of Pinot Noir, currently our Cellar runneth over.
            Bully for GO!

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              One thought about NZ SB. The 2021 vintage is now probably fermented. When it comes time to ship the bottled 2021 (soon?) excess 2020 will appear at GO.
              I’m delighted to see all the recent activity on this board. Thoughts about a few wines I’ve sampled recently:
              Gerard Bertrand Wild Woman Chateau La Sauvageonne rose 2014. I forget what I paid for this and yes it is a 2014. This wine always had good structure and has been a delight to drink over the last few days. No oxidation (glass closure). Fruit is diminished, becoming more savory, with good acid and minerality providing a satisfying drink. My last bottle.
              Casanova di Neri Irrosso 2015, $5.99. When I saw this label at GO (Petaluma) I knew it would be great and, sorry folks, I bought every last bottle. Finally opened one last night. This is a blend of Sangiovese Grosso from younger vines planted for making Brunello someday, blended with Petite Verdot. Usually Tuscan reds require a lot of air but when opened this one yielded nice cherry fruit balanced with good acid and some tannin. If you want any of it JJ Buckley has it for $15.
              Bonny Doon Le Cigar Volant 2018, Petaluma, I think it was $7.99. Originally this wine was based on Mourvedre, this one is half Grenache filled out with Cinsault and Syrah. Absolutely delicious and going strong after being opened Sunday. Really nicely balanced wine with red and black fruit flavors, not much tannin, but properly acidic.
              The Jadot rose is a nice wine. Made from Gamay, it drinks too easily and will please most rose drinkers all summer long.

            2. lim13

              Just one suggestion, JJ…don’t limit your exposure to some wonderful wines and furthering your wine education by some terrific wine shop personnel by buying exclusively at GO. And also keep in mind that many of the small wine purveyors are struggling right now and could use your support.

            3. JJ

              I’m so jealous of what wines show up in your Cali GO stores….Bonny Doon Le Cigar Volant?!!
              Dang. The joys of being close to the source….

            4. JJ

              Seedboy, I’m so jealous of what wines show up in your Cali GO stores….Bonny Doon Le Cigar Volant?!! Dang. The joys of being close to the source….

              To Lim13/Jeff…..GO wines are now the joy more at the ‘end’ of my wine education, not the beginning. I welcome the simplicity of narrowing myself mostly to what pops up there, though I still wine-taste wherever I travel–including places like Bosnia/Herzegovina & Croatia, Algeria (!), Bulgaria, Western Europe, Canada, it’s amazing how many places make wine. We wine taste here too, but winemakers here tend to a bit full of themselves now, and the tasting fees are kinda outrageous. But just last week the hubby brought home some nice stuff from Girardet and a couple other wineries he visited while down in Southern Oregon visiting my bro. We love visiting the wineries in the lovely countryside up north of Victoria and look forward to getting back to Canada.
              REALLY looking forward to getting to New Zealand and South America!

              Living in Alaska for a decade in my twenties, working in the restaurant industry with some amazing wine heavies (because so much money ran through everything there) was an introduction to wine that I could never have dreamed up. One life-gift community college night class in 1985 launched me, my boyfriend-now-husband, brother and a few others into a lifetime of wine love. Offered by local dentist Bob Warren–whose side passion led him to found Specialty Imports, some of the best international wines Anchorage served–he was our introduction to everything vino, and at the highest levels. How German Rieslings from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer differ from those in the Rhine, and all the minutiae of their sugar classifications. Which French Gran Cru’s are made from mostly Merlot rather than Cab (Pommerol and St. Emilion). The byzantine French classification system. And so on….
              But it wasn’t only a wine learning class, it was a wine-tasting extravaganza and we left every Tuesday night class pretty sloshed. From his own cellar he brought us Chateau d’Yquem (Sauterne), JJ Prum Icewine, TBA, Auslese, Spatlese, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and so many Gran Cru and Premier Cru wines we didn’t know what hit us. It was unbelievable.
              We didn’t drink out of pill cups either.
              We certainly didn’t know at that point the Alaskan goldmine we were tapping.
              But we were quick learners and we soon found out.

              We all got into wine and appreciated the best of California–in the hay-day 80’s you could get GREAT Pinots and Chardonnays for $10-15/bottle…and visited wineries like Calera and Chateau Montelena, Groth and Sanford and Carmenet and Acacia, Grgich Hills and Stag’s Leap and so very many—when they still tasted for free, and you just dropped in anytime.
              We would attend wine tastings sometimes every week in Anchorage, often for free, which would offer a horizontal of the top 10 California Cabs of 1985, or a linear tasting of Pinots from around the world. It was a heady, zany, generous time to be a wino.
              The industry was so boom and bust up there we were picking up 1982-86 JJ Prum Spatlese and Auslese for $4, bottles literally thrown in barrels in the Bottle Barn chain, before they shuttered operations.
              My brother caught the disease bad, becoming a sommelier (thru that unique opportunism only Alaska could offer), and when he would get the inside track on the dissolution of some of the vast wine cellars up there–we were drinking the aged great wines of Vosne-Romanee….Richebourg, Romanee-Conti, La Romanee, etc….unbelievable art in a glass. Alsatian Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc like manna from heaven. Wines which were truly the crazy best stuff in the world, being sold for a relative song.

              I can’t believe my good fortune those 10 years or so, and I’ve had many great wines since, yet I never again would have access to that kind of aristocracy. So, I’m happy now to find a decent Pinot from California which has just a wisp of a ghost of a taste from those old days, or a NZ SB which gives me more joyful value in a glass than I expect it to.
              Cheers!

            5. bowzart

              JJ

              Sounds like you might be around here somewhere. We live one block from the road that goes to the ferry to Sydney BC, and can’t wait until we can get back up to Canada!

              Bosnia etc: The aforementioned Theodore Charles is a PhD candidate who has been doing his research on food, wine, and spirits in Turkey and the balkan states. He’s brought a lot of very interesting wines to his dad’s shop in Anacortes. I made him a pinhole for his camera, and got a bottle of a Croatian wine in exchange. To say it was “unfined” would be an understatement, but it was delicious. We’ve had several bottles of Turkish wines, all good. He’s worth following. “theodorecharles” on Instagram.

            6. lim13

              Whew! I’m outa’ breath. Appreciate hearing the history of your wine experience though, JJ. Can’t agree more about the expense of tasting at wineries…something we do little of anymore, having started out in the no charge wine tasting era of the 70’s and 80’s.

            7. DARRELL

              JJ, you are one lucky individual to have somebody like Bob Warren introduce you to those wines and in AK to boot. Most of the wines I buy from GO are CA PN and NZ SB. Smoke those sockeyes.

            8. JJ

              Yeah, didn’t know I was going there ’til I did! (Didn’t mean to tax your lungs 😉
              Stories and wine are two of the great joys in life, often found cohabitating.
              I hope others tell more of their wine-life stories here too. I know there’s some gems out there….

            9. BeerBudget

              That Le Cigar Volant 2018 is a beautiful wine at its normal price. Very curious why its showing up at the GO. The 2018 is a departure from Randall/Nicole’s typical blend, but it seems roundly applauded, especially for being priced below previous vintages… It’s either a distributor clearing out inventory or something to do with the CZU fire. Tempted to make up a reason for a trip to the north bay…
              I’m reminded of one of my first GO finds – a Bonny Doon Mourvèdre with a T-Rex on the label – likely what wasn’t used in the LCV blend that year.

            10. JustAnotherWineSnob

              The answer to your questions are the bulk market has dried up in both regions. 2020 was the vintage of the century in NZ and everyone and their brother scrambled to make/buy NZSB and the bulk market down there dried and prices skyrocketed.

              Almost the same in CA; with the fires last year there was a mad rush on the bulk market and the wine evaporated (pun intended), and prices went up. So all those wineries in CA didn’t make a 2020 vintage and are holding on to their wines to see what happened. A couple of insiders I know said that a couple of large players came in and bought a majority of the bulk juice to sit on and sell later – this is just what I hear though, I could be wrong.

              There will eventually be a course correction, and those wines will eventually find their way back into the stores. Buying closeouts, you’re at the mercy of what’s available…

          2. lim13

            Some interesting local stories here, bowzart. Good to hear from you, as its been a long time. I recall now that a number of years ago there was a very wine centered clerk at the Lake City GO who had a tasting with real glass GO logo wine glasses. But that was short lived. And your comments about Preston Winery conjured up some memories. When I was still working in the industry, I had a pretty good relationship with the Prestons…particularly son Bret (or was it Brent?), from whom I bought the grapes for the last wine I made here at home…a 1987 Pinot Noir. It was terrible, as the grapes were seriously underripe and I could get little color or body from them. Of course, WA state isn’t the best place to grow PN. I’m currently using the last of it as well aged vinegar. Peter Bos lived only a few miles from where we lived in Seattle. I met him when he was cellarmaster for Columbia Winery in Woodinville. He came to the first few of 26 annual wine tastings we had at our house. Last I talked with him about six or seven years ago, he was talking about moving here to Kitsap County where we’ve lived for the last 31 years.
            And finally…no great horned owls here near us, but the barred owls are around all the time, saying “Who cooks for you” and hunting for rodents! Our neighbor across the road is past president of Kitsap Audubon, so she keeps us well-informed.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Oh, and bowzart…I “lied”. My birding neighbor that I mentioned above, just texted us a photo of a pile of what appear to be juvenile barred owl feathers, likely left by a great horned owl’s unsuspecting attack earlier this morning. We DO (infrequently, apparently) have great horned owls nearby. 😲

            2. Seedboy

              BeerBudget I will not discourage you from a trip north. The Petaluma store is a source of many GO treasures. However I seriously doubt any Cigar Volant remains. Benny did not get much of it. Last Sunday, though, the Napa store on Isola had Terre Rossa Rosso di Montalcino that I highly recommend. Also the Hayward store near 580 was a consistent source of interesting wines during the sale.

        2. bretrooks

          Thanks for mentioning this – they had four bottles left when I was there this afternoon, and I took three of them. One more of the Jean-Luc Columbo too. Alas, no Cigare Volant, and nothing else really caught my eye.

          Reply
  28. BargainWhine Post author

    A customer recently commented that the Clayhouse 2015 Red Cedar Vineyard Malbec from Paso Robles, CA, tasted “like prune juice.” I opened one tonight and, while it does have a strong prune component, it does taste mostly of typical Malbec darker boysenberry / softer plum, if not very complexly so. Anyway, I think it’s certainly Drinkable for $5, although maybe I should say I can’t recall having tasted prune juice.

    Reply
  29. Jimmie

    divum pinot noir.2015 7.99. Reminds me of Morgan pinots but more overpowering in a good way. The nose is black cherry. Slightly syrupy. Dry finish.This is a fruit bomb. Over the top. Unusual. I would definitely buy more. Curious to hear other’s experiences

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I remember drinking a bottle and thinking it was good quality for a GO pinot in that price range but given the amount of GO pinot I have I’d not buy any more of it. I did buy a couple of bottles of the Steele 2014 Santa Barbara County, which the Hayward store has for $6 I think.

      Reply
  30. BargainWhine Post author

    Más de Berceo 2016 Graciano, Navarra, Spain, 14.5% ABV, $6. I have never seen the Graciano varietal bottled on its own, so I was interested to try it. This wine’s smooth red cherry reminds me most immediately of Monastrell (Mourvèdre), but it is more tangy, purple-fruited, and spicy, really its own grape. Jancis Robinson, in Guide to Wine Grapes (1996), writes, “Graciano is a richly coloured, perfumed variety once widely grown in Rioja in northern Spain. It has fallen from favour because of its inconveniently low yields, thereby depriving modern Rioja of an important flavour ingredient. It is still planted in Rioja (on about half a percent of available vineyard) and is being encouraged in Navarre.” This wine is good and certainly worth the GO price, but to me it is more interesting in that I can see how it would work very well in a blend with Tempranillo and Garnacha. It has richer fruit like Garnacha (although darker-flavored) but a better tannic structure more like Tempranillo.

    Reply
    1. BeerBudget

      $8 normally, but I agree, it drinks well above its weight. I wish GO could dig up some classier Spanish reds – the Casa Primicia Cofrida is the only one that has stood out in last couple years.

      Reply
      1. doctorlager

        This finally arrived in my Pullman branch. I agree that it is good value at $6. I wish we would get more Spanish wine in eastern WA!

        Reply
  31. doctorlager

    So I suddenly realized the sale was ending in 20 minutes, so I ran to my Pullman store to pick up a couple – including the Latitude 38 PN that I quite liked, and the “Caracol Serrano” Jumilla (Spain) blend. Then I saw a some Carden 2011 Cab for $6.99 and so picked 2 of those up on a whim. Looking forward to trying those!

    Reply
  32. GOwinelover

    Final comment of the Sale Weekend. Hope you all made out decently. I bought almost all everyday reds with the exception of the Kenneth Volk bottlings but even those can be everyday at the price point!

    My favorite Rose is the Confidencial which is now a 2019. Balanced all around – decent fruit depth but not sweet at all and nice, balancing acidity and dry (at least the 2018 was). Give it a try if you see it.

    Reply
  33. WineJosh

    Wine: 2018 Columna Albarino Store: Petaluma; Purchased 4/11/21 Price: $7.99

    Didn’t see anyone post here but in my Gmail search, I found the Wine Curmudgeon talk about it back in 2014, so I took a flyer. His price point was $10 and said the importer was a solid importer. This is spot on Albarino, as it should be from Rias Baixas, and to me on par with the Mud House in terms of hitting all the correct aspects of the variety from that region. Not really any age other than maybe some softer acidity… and I mean, this is still quite bright so maybe on release it was a touch rough? Lots of lime, under-ripe nectarine and a touch of salinity on the palate, maybe a slightly waxy note on the finish as it warms up. Very drinkable, nice and dry without having any bitter finish like some can have. They probably had a case or 2 left on the shelf.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Sure would love to see that Albarino (or any Albarino) up here in WA. And I assume you’re referencing the Mud House Sauv. Blanc?

      Reply
    2. GOwinelover

      Thanks for this update! I slept on the Mud House but managed a few bottles of it at a farther-away store.

      Reply
  34. BargainWhine Post author

    Opened tonight the De Bortoli, Heathcote “Regional Reserve” 2014 Shiraz, $5. Although it needed a 3-hour decant to really come out, I don’t think it needs more age, and the results were good but not outstanding. Although not a must have, this is IMO a solid buy to drink in the next few months.

    Reply
  35. bretrooks

    The SLO store was pretty picked over this morning when it comes to the wines I was interested in – Ken Volk all gone, out of the Goodnow tempranillo, no whites of special interest, limited new wines (I was hoping to see the C.V.N.E. 2017 Garnacha). Still, I loaded up a case with warmer weather in mind:
    8x 2018 Il Poggione Brancato Rosato (we’ve powered through most of a case of this)
    2x N.V. Seppelt ‘The Drives’
    2x 2017 Consentido Monastrell Barrica
    1x 2014 J. McFarland Pinot Noir Tribute (tossed in the cart on the way to the register)

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      That Il Poggione Brancato Rosato is excellent, slightly on the more fruited side for an European rosé, but still well balanced. The Consentido I thought was tasty enough wine but didn’t remind me that much of Monastrell (Mourvèdre). (I google translated “consentido” and got “spoiled.” I thought that doesn’t sound good for wine, but the second suggested translation was “indulged,” so, okay I guess.) Haven’t seen the McFarland Pinot.

      Reply
      1. bretrooks

        Agreed on the Brancato. I like pale, elegant Provence roses, and I like the Brancato as well. Really, we like most roses as long as they’re dry and have good acidity.

        We opened the McFarland over the weekend, and it was fine at $7 (I should mention that my palate doesn’t go for highly-ripe, CA pinot with glossy fruit, cola notes, etc.). This was ~12.5% abv IIRC, red-fruited leaning towards cranberry/cherry and with a little something like black tea going on too. It did feel like it might be getting tired, though.

        Reply
      2. rob

        Poggione is a big time brunello producer that uses its young vines for the rose. agree, its great. My favorite wine I’ve come across recently was the woodenhead pinot from mariah vineyard in mendocino. Also, petaluma had a few bottles of dolce for 20 bucks. that was a what the heck moment for me. No idea what the story is there other than it’s incredibly expensive for nickel and nickel to make that stuff, so they closed shop and liquidated.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          I took a look at the winery website. The most recent vintage shown there is 2013, and they have older vintages for sale. That price point is just too high, much higher than the price of all but a few Sauternes, so Far Niente probably had a hard time selling it. That said I doubt it was gotten through a winery liquidation. Benny, who owns the Petaluma store, buys a lot of wine outside the GO distribution. One thing he does is purchase the stocks of liquor stores. Could have come from one of those, or a restaurant that went broke and sold its wine cellar to him. When I was there Sunday there was an original 6 bottle case of the Dolce in the “back room” with one bottle missing, I guess he put it out on the shelf?

          Reply
        2. 5-StarBar

          Many years ago I worked a charity auction and dinner event at Nickel and Nickel. Live music provided by Hall and Oates. It was a beautiful evening, a lovely winery. The smell from the aging oak casks was phenomenal. Towards the end of the evening most of the guests had headed to the dance floor early, without finishing their dessert course and its dessert wine pairing – Far Niente Dolce. I was assigned the unenviable task of pouring dozens of untouched glasses of Dolce into large plastic slush buckets destined to be dumped down the drain. It still haunts me to this day…

          Reply
      3. bretrooks

        We opened one of the Consentido recently, and my impression is about the same as yours. It’s just fine as a “bottle of red,” but it doesn’t have much in the way of personality to recommend it.

        Reply
  36. lim13

    With the recent discussion about the lack of decent (or any) European wines at GO, thought it appropriate to post these comments from one of the longest operating (since 1975) wine shop owners in Seattle at Pike & Western Wines:

    “If it is not one thing it is another, something I am sure many of you are familiar with. That describes the first 15 months of this decade. While foot traffic is picking up and things are slowly improving, our big issue today is simply getting the wines we need. The pandemic has understandably affected quantities of wine brought into the country and city. Under normal circumstances inventories could be ramped up fairly quickly as normalcy returned but that is not the case right now.

    Our suppliers are facing challenges that begin in Europe. France is shut down again, consolidators have fewer workers and greater demand and, even if you can get your wine to port, there are not enough refrigerated containers to meet demand. Throw in delays at U.S. ports and a 4-6 week shipment turns into 8-12 weeks. It is a mess. What does that mean for us? Well, we might be out of your favorite French, Italian, German, Spanish Wine. The 2020 Rosés will likely be late, and even with tariffs suspended until early July we may see price increases.”

    Sounds similar to what others have said on the GO blog, eh?

    Reply
  37. BargainWhine Post author

    Probably this recent discussion of wines from JL Giguiere was the extra push I needed to try the new release, Wagon Train 2018 red blend (54% Petite Sirah, 34% Petit Verdot, 12% Tempranillo). I was a little wary of this blend because (1) I’m not usually a fan of wines dominated by Petite Sirah, finding them too coarsely acid and tannic and (2) it seemed likely a bit young. It turned out that the first concern was mostly unnecessary while the second is definitely valid. I’m liking it pretty well, now that it’s been decanted for 4.5 hours, although it’s still quite fresh and young. The PS does dominate, but it’s pretty well smoothed out by the softness of the PV and the Tempranillo adds some complexity. Anyway, especially if you don’t mind your wines young and want to be able to drink them over a few years, I think this is very good for $5.

    Has anyone tried a bottle of the Goodnow 2015 Tempranillo lately, which I reviewed four years ago as a little young, and which is still (or again) around?

    Reply
    1. bretrooks

      The Goodnow has been a staple for us over the last couple of years – we’ve gone through about three cases, I think, and just opened a bottle last week. I wouldn’t say it’s especially remarkable, but it’s solid, we like the dark fruit and the balance, and it’s been a safe-bet regular bottle to open on a weeknight evening or to grab on the way out the door to hang out with a friend (back when we did such things). Slight bottle variation, but not enough to complain about…we keep going back, anyway.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Thanks. I’ll probably get a bottle before the sale ends to see how it has developed since that review.

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Tonight I opened the saved 187.5ml screw-cap bottle of this wine. It needed about 30 minutes of air in the glass to become, certainly not elegant, but very full, thick, ripe, fruit of boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry, with acid of purple hibiscus tea and black raspberry, and thick, black-earthy tannins in the finish.

      Reply
  38. flitcraft

    Lago Cerqueria Vinho Verde Rose 2018/2019 4.99 10% ABV, 4.99 pre-sale price

    I found this at the Kenmore GO. At first, the only one they had was the 2018, then yesterday I saw they had the 2018 and the 2019 as well. You won’t have to squint at the labels to tell the different vintages apart–the 2018 is a pronounced salmony color, whereas the 2019 is just barely salmony–against a white shirt you can see it, but in your glass it will look pretty colorless.

    I picked up the 2018 when that was all there was, knowing that vinho verde–which this wine says it is–is best drunk young and fresh. Still, vinho verde is a good summer quaffer, so I thought it was worth a try. The 2018 is lovely in the glass and a refreshing, if not very noteworthy, tipple. It tastes of strawberry and lemon, with lively acidity but no spritz at all. Maybe a tiny bit if you think hard about it, but that might be placebo spritz, since I was expecting it. It’s a pleasant enough wine, but some of the GO French roses at this price point are more interesting. Although, at 10% alcohol, I didn’t mind indulging in a glass at lunch.

    I didn’t taste the 2019 back-to-back with the 2018–but my impression is that they taste exactly the same. The color is obviously the big difference–in the glass, consumed on our back deck, I couldn’t have easily distinguised it from a glass of water. No spritz again–though I could convince myself that there might have been the tiniest prickle. Again, a generous fruity acidity is the main characteristic of this wine.

    Given that you ought to be able to find a good vinho verde at about 10 dollars in your local grocery store, this wine is hardly a bargain. But if you bought it, you can happily sip in on a summer evening.

    Reply
  39. Seedboy

    Two recent pinots: Steakhouse and Jackhammer. First day I liked the Steakhouse, but it fell apart on day 2 and is now in my soup. The Jackhammer needed the air and was good on day 2 and 3, nice fruit with some structure.

    Reply
  40. Kathy

    Our store in Yucca Valley had stocked up for the sale. We purchased:
    Chardonnay/whites:
    Terra Blanca Chard 2018 (WA)
    Retro Chard 2017 (Monterey)
    Pacific Oasis Chard 2018 (WA)
    Pique Poul (we’ve purchased a lot of this wine)
    Roku Riesling 2018 (Monterey)
    Saintsbury Chard 2014 (Napa)

    Rose’
    Mirabeau 2019 (Fr)
    De Casta 2018 (Sp)
    Louis Jadot 2018 (Fr)
    Lindeman’s Sparkling (Au – we’ve purchased this before)

    Red
    Gallardia Cinsault 2017 (Chile)
    St. Clement Pinot 2017 (Santa Barbara)
    Clos d’Argentine Malbec 2014 (Argentina)
    Le Merlot 2017 (Hedges – WA)
    Owl Box Pinot 2018 (Carneros)
    Steakhouse Rib Eye Red 2018 (Paso Robles)
    Steakhouse Pinot 2019 (Santa Lucia Highlands)
    RD Syrah 2015 (Napa)

    The store had a lot of RD, but at $19.99 a pop we thought we would try the Syrah first ($9.99). It is a solid CA Syrah and will be a repeat buy.

    Reply
  41. Angela T Carlson

    Glad to hear the positive reviews. Got this at Oakland yesterday along with some 2017 Smith & Perry Oregon Pinot Noir and a 2016 Rockwall Tannat just for fun.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Angela! It hasn’t been that popular, but I rather liked that Smith & Perry Pinot Noir. I thought at the time (early last winter?) that it was a little young, so I’ll try one some time this summer. I’m surprised the Rock Wall Tannat is still around. It sold out at Richmond pretty quickly.

      Reply
  42. DARRELL

    Petaluma has an ample supply of a 2016 Australian Shiraz, a Terlato and Chapoutier collaboration, for $11.99, before sale. Bought one to try just out of curiosity.

    Reply
  43. BargainWhine Post author

    Also, the Mendoza Vineyards 2018 Malbec is pretty good for $6 (sale $4.80). It’s a bit closed on the first night, but opens up after some air on the second, so it would probably be fine to drink for another year or two. Pretty typical Mendoza Malbec: tangy boysenberry with some softer, darker purple fruit, black pepper and earth. Nothing amazing, but smooth, balanced, decently complex. There is also a Mendoza Vineyards 2018 Cabernet, $6, that I haven’t tasted but is probably also good.

    Reply
  44. BargainWhine Post author

    The C.V.N.E. 2017 Garnacha (Grenache) from Rioja, Spain, is pretty good for $6 (sale price $4.80): ripe darker red cherry and raspberry, tart lighter red cherry, hints of orange and sappy herbs. Not a powerful, “serious” wine, but lively and pleasant with food.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      That is a well-known Rioja maker. My trip to Oakland disappointed. Seemed like other than that $25 Napa cab they had nothing “special” and a no name brand Cab at that price is a no buy for me.

      Reply
  45. GOwinelover

    Pretty disappointed in the Latitude 38 Pinot Noir. Can’t remember who said it but it was something to the effect of “not worth stocking up on for the long term.” I wholeheartedly agree. This is not my style of Pinot Noir but it is well made as was the last bottling. I should have read the trade notes and tasting notes as I like a touch of smoke and oak with my Pinot Noir and this has next to none of it. I actually pretty strongly preferred the Rocklin Ranch that my local location sold out of. It’s not bad, it’s well put together but it’s pretty boring. I’ll easily get through the next 5 bottles without an issue but it’s not that super deal I was looking for.

    Reply
    1. DARRELL

      I just tried the Owl Box PN for lunch and wasn’t too strong on PN character whereas the Lat. 38 PN has plenty and worth a buck more, most definitely. I can understand you might want more oak, but that might not come in smelling the wine, but the wood is there on tasting. That just happened to me. To check on oak, let an empty glass of the wine stand for a bit and notice any oak aromas in the residue coming through. I guess your smoke is barrel char?

      Reply
  46. Seedboy

    2017 Terre Rossa Rosso di Montalcino $6.99 SF Geary Street. This is a lovely wine that really did not drink at its peak until day 2. Great Sangiovese. Sadly this store only had one left. Anyone seen it elsewhere?

    Reply
      1. Seedboy

        That is a different wine from the one I found. According to the interwebs, that wine is Sangiovese Grosso with some Merlot in it. I would bite on that. It is gonna need a mess of air. The Rosso I bought was decanted for hours, but was still more opened up the next day. Delicious then.

        Reply
          1. DARRELL

            Glad you found it. I was going to tell you that Petaluma has it. Had it with pizza and lasagne tonight and found it a bit tannic for my taste. Also bought the Caveliere d’Oro Toscana since GOWL bought some and actually preferred it to the 2017 Terre Rossa Rosso di Montalcino, especially considering the price difference, $3.99 vs $6.99 before sale price.

            Reply
  47. BargainWhine Post author

    Opened the Kenneth Volk 2012 “Cabernet Pfeffer,” $6. However, according to Wikipedia, the CP was apparently misidentified Gros Verdot, an old Bordeaux varietal. The body is lighter than (at least, California-grown) better-known Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, or Petite Verdot, but it does have elegantly complex flavors of Bing cherry and plum, with hints of black olive, black pepper, and soy sauce / sesame oil (???), red currant acid, and a stemmy, earthy finish. It’s totally dry and not jammy, and the fruit / acid balance really reminds me of Italian wines. (Earlier in its airing evolution, I was tempted by analogies to Valpolicella.) At least this recently arrived, this amount of development required a decanting of 3 hours. I’m really astonished that this kind of wine can be produced in California’s Central Coast.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      This wine interests me. Sounds like it is right up my alley.
      Casamatta bianco is in Richmond. It is a very nice white wine for those who like Italian white wines.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Opened the saved 187.5ml (=750ml/4) screwcap bottle of the Volk 2012 “Cabernet Pfeffer” (Gros Verdot) tonight and find it similar to the Volk 2013 Negrette in that, while tasty enough, I preferred it with the structure it had the first night open.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I bought one more bottle of the Kenneth Volk 2012 Cabernet Pfeffer (actually Gros Verdot) during the sale and opened it tonight. It already tastes a little old (balsamic / prune), admittedly decanted a few hours, so if you have it, drink up!

        Reply
  48. lim13

    Saw the Lange Rose’ in Silverdale too, but I can find a fair number of decent rose’s for less, so I passed. Been to the winery a number of times and they make some fine Pinots. Owner Don Lange is an accomplished folk singer and guitarist who played in the Chicago area years ago. I found some info about him in a book I just finished about Steve Goodman (singer/songwriter who wrote “City of New Orleans” made famous by Arlo Guthrie. Haven’t seen the other two rose’s yet, but the Alexandria Nicole sounds interesting…Counoise, Syrah, Merlot, Sangiovese, Grenache blend. And local wine writer Sean Sullivan of Wine Enthusiast says this about the Waterbrook: “It’s quite rare to see a rosé from this blazing hot appellation. This pale orange-tinged example has light cherry, herb and melon aormas. It drinks dry, with broad-feeling fruit flavors.”

    Reply
  49. RB

    At the Olympia store I picked up a 2019 Lange Rosé of Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills) for $11. More than I usually spend at GO, but I have fond memories of tasting pinots at their beautiful estate during an early spring snowfall. They make some good stuff.
    Also seen: 2018 Alexandria Nicole a2 Rosé (Horse Heaven Hills), $8; and 2017 Waterbrook Red Mountain Rosé, $5.
    I am well stocked on rosé, so didn’t buy either of these.

    Reply

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