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

7,660 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. BargainWhine Post author

    Opened a couple recently arrived Cabernets (Sauvignons). Both of these were pretty tight and not that pleasant on the first two days I had them open (“uncorked” about 3 hours/day). These notes are for the third day. Presumably if you have them after they’ve been in the store or at home for a week or two, instead of just off the truck, they’ll be more accessible.

    Ballard Lane 2017 Central Coast, CA, cellared and bottled by Ballard Lane Wines, 13.9% ABV, $6. I found this tasted repulsively like cheap candy and grape stem the first couple days, but today it finally opened to be decently tasty, with flavors of red and purple cherry, undertone of blackberry, still with a slight candy-ish aspect and mildly stemmy finish (latter perfectly ok with me), body medium.

    Storyteller 2017 Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, CA, vinted and bottled by Winepress Vintners, 14.1% ABV, $8. This was not unpleasant at first, just not showing much. On the second day, it started to hint that there were some darker flavors beneath the red currant and cherry. On the third day, the red currant / red cherry quickly gives way to darker purple cherry, blackberry, very dark roast coffee with dark chocolate, in a nicely supple fuller medium body, still a fairly tannic finish. A pretty tasty and honest Cabernet.

    Reply
  2. WineObsessedRN

    Ventured to Lewiston, ID GO to see if they had any Gordon Estate bottles. All gone but surprising they had a huge selection of French wines! I don’t know enough about French wines to pick one out, and no time to Vivino them all. Bought a bottle of Late Harvest Zinfandel 2015 Russian River Valley 375ml $9.99 by Harvest Moon Winery and will review in future. DocLager, you might wanna check out the Lewiston GO. Bordeaux, Morgon, others.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Morgon as in Beaujolais? I’d be checking that out. I had such poor luck with GO Bordeaux that I stopped even looking a long time ago.

      Reply
      1. WineObsessedRN

        Lim13, not sure whether the Morgon was Beaujolais or not, just recognized the name. I bought a Bdx last fall, Chateau Aux Fourniers, incredibly weedy, sink wine, couldn’t drink more than a half glass. Did stats on all GO wines tasted, 54 different wines over the last 16 mo (our GO opened Oct 2020), 12 (22.2%) were case or multiple buys, 8 were awful, 34 were drinkable but not worthy of a rebuy. Eleven out of 12 multiple buy were WA, OR and CA, one was Graham Vintage Port 2016. Omitting the vintage port which skewed price way off at $34, ave price per bottle was $8.
        The undrinkables were from France, Italy, WA. Someone on Vivino had remarked on my ratings, so had to quantify, examine and analyze. I’ll look at that Morgon more closely if I return to Lewiston in the near future.

        Reply
    2. doctorlager

      WORN – I picked up a couple of bottles of the Gordon Estate merlot that were still on the pallets in Pullman. I didn’t see any other varietals, but they seem to have a lot of wine that hasn’t made it onto the shelves yet!

      Reply
      1. WineObsessedRN

        DocLag, how funny! I was there yesterday, picked up Tre Fratelli Red Blend 2017 (it was not good, brought it back for a refund today), a bottle of the Gordon Estate 2016 Merlot and a bottle of the Skyfall Cab 2017. I spoke at length to the owner who also purchases the wines, to ask how she decides what wines to buy. She said she looks mostly for WA wines and reorders what wines sell briskly. I did get a look-see at some of the other cases labels, nothing else appealed. Some boxes bore no labels or hints of contents within. Still not unpacked today, looks like they have to rearrange a lot of bottles to make room.

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      2. WineObsessedRN

        DocLag, tried the Gordon Merlot 2016 tonight. PNP very tangy,needs 2 hrs air. Here’s my Vivino review.
        🕰2016
        💯87/100 🌟3.7
        👁Deep ruby
        👃👅Dry,red fruit,faint green pepper nose,tart crisp light bodied cherry,leather,sage,spicy black pepper finish,med tannins,med finish,tangy merlot upon opening.
        Two hrs air brings out mellow deeper black fruit,herbs,leather,chocolate covered espresso bean.
        🌇Pasco WA
        🌄Columbia Valley
        ⛽13.8%ABV
        💵$24 winery GO $6😳
        Nice QPR,aerate the heck outta this.
        Was pleasantly surprised how much I liked this especially after the Tre Fratelli. (Melinda Parks brought in 10 cases, yikes! Avoid.😬)
        “Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!”

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        1. doctorlager

          WORN – yes, the Gordon Brothers is a very decent buy at $6 a bottle! I went back today to see if any were left, but I was obviously too slow – doh!

          Reply
          1. WineObsessedRN

            DocLag, Bummer! My guess is the owner called a couple local pub/restaurant owners that a new shipment arrived and they cherry picked wines in bulk. I’ve noticed GO wines being sold BTG ($8) and bottle ($20+) at various places. I noted they passed on the Tre Fratelli Red Blend as there are 12 cases out. You can’t blame them, quick turnaround is vital for a business. Some of that stuff stays on the shelf forever, doesn’t move. ie Hidden Creek White Blend, terrible storage issues. During our conversation, I sensed the owner does not have a lot of wine knowledge, just trial and error, seeing what flies out the door. 🤷

            Reply
            1. JJ

              Our wine buyer doesn’t seem to even like to drink wine! Therefore, his knowledge base about wine is pretty low–other than what he’s learned on the job. He particularly dislikes Chardonnay, and now I’m wondering if he and Lim13 had a bit of a pact up in Silverdale on that one! 😉
              Having said that, he stocks a great section of wine….one of the best in the Northwest region, I’ve come to understand.
              But I also can’t help wondering what we DON’T get because without that historical or personal perspective he misses some of the great wine deals on the offer lists.

              My brother was a very successful sommelier up in Anchorage Alaska, who ordered and sold the hell out of the Captain Cook Hotel cellar for years, and was–as he put it—‘diseased’ with wine. But when he moved down to Portland to live near his kids, he couldn’t even get a Grocery Outlet wine buyer job. We were incredulous based on his deepest of knowledge….but that apparently wasn’t what they were looking for!!

            2. WineObsessedRN

              JJ, There was no “Reply” area under your post, so replying to my own. Very telling that GO passed on someone w deep knowledge of wine. GO wines tend to cater to the common masses who just want cheap, drinkable wine priced below $9. Maybe just looking for someone young and muscular to move all those heavy cases who has confidence to sell the heck out of mediocre wines.🤷 I’m following Mt Vernon GO on FB. They post photos of any old wine and how they sold out last time.

            3. lim13

              No “pact” with Stan re: Chardonnay, JJ. No idea why he doesn’t like it other than he doesn’t like wine…period. After I retired, I went to work for a distributor for a short period. The owner told me he didn’t care whether or not I knew anything about wine, just if I could sell a boat to someone who lived in the desert. My guess is that the majority of GO contractor/owners and their employees know little about wine or even drink it. What really amazes me is how few owners who are aware of this blog never look at it to see what their customers like or may like. There once was a GO in Portland that used our reviews for shelf talkers…novel idea, eh?

            4. lim13

              WORN, your comment “GO wines tend to cater to the common masses who just want cheap, drinkable wine priced below $9” is pretty much true of all box type wine retailers. Most customers don’t cellar wine; they want to drink it now and don’t want to pay too much for it. When I was still working, our greatest dollar sales were in box and jug wines, followed by 750 ml wines under $10. Last I checked, folks who were considered “serious” wine buyers made up about 8% of the wine buying public.

            5. JJ

              Well, you certainly couldn’t accuse Stan of ‘selling’ a bottle of wine to anyone.
              I’ve grown very fond of him, but that’s not his modus operandi, at all!
              And my brother, who nearly exclusively drinks GO wine now—after a career of not only selling, but cellaring DRC’s, Richebourgs, Trimbach and Zind Humbrecht Alsatians, etc. etc., with his enthusiasm, would have been able to sell a white zinfandel to the Wine Spectator.
              He’s an oddfellow though, so they just couldn’t see what they were passing up…..

              Hey, I’m liking this Gordon Merlot!
              Some nice lush fruit with both bell pepper and caramelized tones, with little bits of skunk, leather and tobacco….a healthy spread of wood in the mouth, and decent enough acidity–but on the softer side of acid. Good fruit. Based on it being this nice right out of the bottle, don’t think I’d let it sit around too long.
              I also have the Gordon Malbec open, trying to compare the two—after thinking I wouldn’t be interested in a Gordon at all. The Malbec is a bit shoe-polishy, but I’ll try some later and see if it’s softened up a bit from yesterday.

            6. WineObsessedRN

              JJ, My husband, daughter and I stayed at the Capt Cook in Anchorage about 22 years ago during a UW Med School WWAMI conference. Classy place w a very nice grand piano that I practiced Chopin Nocturnes on. Alas, was not into wine at that time but your comment re: somm brother triggered very nice memories and wanted to thank you! 🙏

            7. Seedboy

              These stores are all over the map. In No Cal there are two independently owned stores whose owners know wine and it shows. In Petaluma Benny buys wine that is not in the order guide and gets some really interesting stuff. At the Richmond store the owner is very interested in wine. He sticks to the order guide but buys well from it. He will go long on something good and often has the better wines long after they’ve sold out elsewhere. Well, and BW works there too. On the other hand the corporate-owned store in Oakland has workers who stock the wine section and know wine but the ordering is done by someone who is not knowledgable.
              I too see GO wines being sold in restaurants. I understand that it is illegal (at least here in California) for a restaurant to buy wine at retail and serve it, but that apparently does not stop people.

            8. WineObsessedRN

              Seedboy, there was no “Reply To” after your comment about the California wine rule for restaurants. There is a loophole in the WA law that allows alcohol purchases from retail source if its for a wedding, a banquet or “if consumed with a meal”. That is a loophole as big as a barn door. I see wines from Grocery Outlet, CostCo, Moscow Coop being sold in almost all the restaurants here. Black Cypress has both the worst house wine (Hacienda box wine, a Bronco label) and the best wine list (Quilceda Creek,Cayuse,Leonetti etc) in town.

            9. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi WORN. WordPress allows comments only a certain number of “layers” deep. I believe I have that setting as large as possible, but this group does still reach that limit fairly often. At that point, we just reply to the last comment that allows it, even if we’re not actually replying to that comment, just as you have been doing. Thanks.

            10. JJ

              WineObsessedRN: So glad you experienced a bit of the Captain Cook Hotel, known fondly by insiders as Wally World!! (due to its owner, the Alaskan ex-Governor & Nixon’s Interior Secretary Walter Hickel, and his son Wally Jr.)
              If you ate in the Crow’s Nest during your time there, you would have seen my bro’s large linebacker visage running to and fro, dispensing $300 bottles of wine to off-duty North Slope workers.
              If you ate up in the Quarterdeck, you were in their ‘Club’ restaurant–in which my sister, my husband, and I all worked at one time or another in the 80’s.

              I would have liked to see you play that piano 🙂

          2. doctorlager

            On a side note, I’m sad that Gordon Brothers was forced into this sell off. I’ve met Jeff and other members of the family before (they’re Washington State University alums), and worked with them a couple of times on projects. My understanding is that they are going to stay in business. And while I like getting their wine cheaply (well, 2 bottles before it sold out), I would overall prefer them to stay in business than me get a deal.

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            1. WineObsessedRN

              DocLag, that is very wonderful you know Jeff Gordon and family. You’ll be pleased to know I found the 2016 Estate Syrah at Food Coop in Moscow selling for the normal price ($20), so some retailers are hopefully paying more to the family than GO.

            2. doctorlager

              Well, they restocked the Gordon Brothers, so I bought a few more Merlot, and a couple of the Cabs. And hoping the winery makes it!

            3. WineObsessedRN

              DocLag, In the immortal words of Matthew McConaghey, “Awright, awright, awright!” ‘m going to stop in today and pick up some of the Gordon CS to try out, hope you left some behind! 😉

            4. WineObsessedRN

              DocLag, Thanks for the heads up on restock of Gordon Brothers CS and Merlot. I’ve had small tastes of this at local restaurants, was served stale wine so didn’t show well. I really liked it this time!
              🕰2016
              💯88/100 🌟3.8
              👁Ruby
              👃👅Dry,black cherry,vanilla,pralines,caramel,oak,plum,eucalyptus,sage,thyme,dill,slt grippy tannins,nice acidity. Pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this!
              🌄Columbia Valley AVA
              🌇Pasco WA
              🎖WS 88pts Dec 2020🎖
              Best post 2021
              💯2900 cases
              💵$24 GO $6 😍
              I’ve had this served to me at several restaurants and not impressed, they were pouring stale wine from open bottles. Currently in prime IMO,drink up! 🍷

              Now we’ve got a half bottle of the merlot and cab. I’ll mix them together tomorrow to see if it helps!

            5. WineObsessedRN

              DocLag, I picked up a few more bottles of the Gordon CS & ML, the owner happened to be there and she said the Gordon bottles were selling quickly, a couple cases of each, a third of what she got in and it was only out a day or two. You might wanna stock up before they’re out.

  3. BargainWhine Post author

    Haven Point non-vintage Pinotage and Shiraz (two wines), Wines of Origin Western Cape, South Africa, both 13.5% ABV, $6 each, “Integrity and Sustainability Certified” by the SA Wine and Spirit Board. These wines are both in the soft, ripe, fruity vein that is not really my thing, but which is certainly good for casual occasions. They are pretty straightforward open-and-pour wines that are just as good the next day, and even quite acceptable on the third. I liked the Pinotage less, but I don’t like Pinotage much in general, and it did seem to have decent varietal character of tangy purplish red plum skin / dark red raspberry, with notes of red roses and (what I think of as) typical SA rusty earth / maybe dried orange peel. I found the Shraz more interesting, possessing more weight and complexity, showing varietally typical rich (at least compared to the Pinotage) funky dark red / purple cherry, with notes of blueberry and white pepper, finishing with blackish earth. It has only a small hint of the green bell pepper common in SA wines. [P.S., later in the day. Today, the third day of these wines’ being open, I had about 40% of the Pinotage (my wife preferred it) and 50% of the Shiraz left. As I am wont to do, I tried blending them, and preferred the blend to either separately. So I poured the remaining wines together into the same bottle, and I quite like the result, which has developed a pleasant, supple texture, and more balancing acid.]

    Reply
  4. BargainWhine Post author

    Château Haut Beyzac 2019 Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France, $13. Nice, ripe fruit but quite tightly structured. On the first day, I found it pleasant and interesting enough, with red plummy, red cherry / currant, slight blackcurrant, but even decanted 6.5 hours, it still had a tight, tannic core that did not relax. Probably that core contains the “black fruit” touted on the back label. Four or five days later, I opened the saved 187.5ml screw-cap bottle. After sitting in the glass for 2.5 hours, it showed ripe and elegant Bing cherry and red currant, with darker purple plum / blackberry underneath, although it still did not fully come into its own. I think many people will like it now, but I would definitely prefer it with a couple more years’ age. This strikes me as pretty good deal, especially if you have a good place to leave it for some short-term aging.

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  5. BargainWhine Post author

    Silhouette 2017 North Coast Reserve “Cuvée 211” red blend, 14.5% ABV, $10. I tasted this over three days, since, on the first two days, it seemed like it wasn’t quite showing all it had. It didn’t taste bad on the first two days, but it seemed somewhat thin, simple, tightly structured. It didn’t even change all that much by the third day, except finally in the last few sips. In the first couple days, its flavors were of tangy, ripe fruits of red cherry / plum, black raspberry, darker purple or even black plum, dark blackberry, brown earth / stem, vanilla / oak. These sound good enough, but I found it a bit coarsely textured and a somewhat incoherent melange of different grapes that I could not identify. In those last few sips, that coarseness and incoherence resolved into smoothly delineated structure with darker red fruits, hints of purple fruits, earth and spice, and I could finally see why it’s worth $10 at GO. It would likely have been better if I had let it sit at home for a couple weeks, but I’d guess it will be better in a year. Has anyone else tried this? I’d be curious to hear others’ experiences.

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  6. rgardner2

    I don’t see any comments on this week’s ad of Gordan Brothers at $6/bottle, CS, Merlot, Malbec and Mertot. Maybe going up on Wednesday. Anyway, all solid wines, $6 for a daily drinker. List is $20.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Another winery under stress, apparently. Pushed by creditors into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. I didn’t realize that this is supposed to be the oldest estate winery in Washington. The pandemic has hit family owned wineries like this one especially hard. While I can’t speak for the quality of the wines–never having had them–I’m still sad about this situation. The bankruptcy filing lists a fair bit of wine inventory, so we may see more of the wine at GO.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        I was just going to comment about the Gordons having had problems for at least a couple of years now, FC. Then I read your remarks. I knew Jeff Gordon was a wine grape grower before opening the winery in the 80’s, so I’m sure he (and Bill Preston/Preston Winery, now long closed) were early pioneers in estate wineries in WA. Many other early WA wineries were buying their grapes from other growers. I saw all the Gordon wines (add Syrah to RG2’s list above) at the Silverdale store today. I believe most of them were 2016’s (but don’t quote me on that) and were priced around $6-$7. One of the challenges for “old time” family wineries in WA is that the competition has seriously increased and improved. Going from five or six wineries in the state when I started in the business in 1974 to more than a thousand today has vastly affected the industry (both positively and negatively)…to say nothing of Covid’s effect. Like Hyatt and Bonair, a sad situation indeed.

        Reply
        1. JJ

          Lots of commentary about the Gordons, but don’t see any notes….has anyone tried them?
          Didn’t know their history, but I’ve had a sorta negative association with them, as they’ve been house pours at the Anthony’s seafood chain for many years. In trying them a few times many years ago I was terribly unimpressed…. probably a Cab and a Chard.
          Maybe I should give them another chance.

          Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I think this wine was better on day 2, when the cherry fruit came out more. I drank this more or less concurrently with the Mercer blend, which seems to be mostly Merlot, and prefer the Gordons.

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        1. lim13

          Forced myself to buy some Gordon today because it appears to have been pretty widely circulated and I like comparing notes with folks from other GO states (an opportunity that seems to pop up less frequently anymore). I bought one each of the Cab, Merlot and Malbec. The Syrah was gone (the one I most wanted to try) from Silverdale and the owner told me they get only 4 cases of each wine forced out and no reorders. All at $5.99 and all 2016.The Merlot has pretty, clear, dark garnet color, a good whiff of vegetal bell pepper on the nose, lots of the cherry fruit (that SB mentioned) along with tar and the bell pepper on the palate and decent texture and acidity. Oak was rather strong at first, but quickly integrated with the fruit. Worth trying if you like walking the line between fruity and savory.

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          1. JustAnotherWineSnob

            Actually, I thought the Malbec was the best wine of the bunch. YMMV.

            The wine was forced out because it was on AD for 2/2. But there is plenty for reorders…trust me.

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            1. lim13

              Thanks JAWS. That include the Syrah? Sure be helpful if all the store personnel got their info straight. But I know communications can be every business’s downfall.

          2. lim13

            Opened the 2016 Gordon Estate Malbec tonight. Again, clear deep garnet with a slightly closed and smoky nose; better acidity than the Merlot, giving it a bit of tang; light tannins and flavors of tobacco, dried cherry, red plum, menthol and balanced oak. What I like best is no obvious green bell pepper like I found in the Merlot, but not what I’d call fruity. Though not an eye-opening Malbec, a solid and reasonably decent buy for six bucks.

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          3. lim13

            Tonight it’s the 2016 Gordon Estates Cab Sauv. Clear deep ruby; back label pretty much hits the mark…”black currant, berries, chocolate and leather”; quite varietal and typical of WA State Cabs; moderate tannins and balanced acidity; lots of “sweet” fruit; fairly long finish; nothing stunning, but a decent buy at six bucks and a fine everyday red for drinking right now. My favorite of the three Gordon reds I tried.

            Reply
            1. DARRELL

              Lim, from your description the CS might be better than an everyday red. Can you describe your “quite varietal” WA CS. I think the early Ch. St. Michele cabs were kinda green. As long as GO Bordeaux varietals aren’t too woody, I will age them. I think I’m more Kervorkian with wine than the other fella.

            2. lim13

              So Darrell…I generally think of most WA State Cabs being more fruit forward than austere with the flavors I mentioned above from the Gordon label, as well as cherry, mint and herbs. To me, black currant and leather often dominate. The early WA State Bordeaux varieties were heavy in the green/bell pepper flavors that I don’t particularly enjoy. But fortunately much of that has changed (for the better if you ask me), though I still run into the bell pepper occasionally. I believe canopy management and leaf stripping has helped with that, much as it does with Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit gets riper and the vegetal qualities are reduced. I didn’t detect any green flavors or overstated wood in the Gordon Cab.

      2. DARRELL

        Curiosity got me to try the Gordon Merlot I found in Novato. It was a bit tannic with the cherry and oak components in the fore. I didn’t detect the pyrazines Lim tasted. It must be below my tasting threshold. Personally I would age the wine to let the oak meld with the fruit and if there substantial pyrazines for me to detect, long term aging would be better.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Appreciate your read on the Merlot, Darrell. For our non-chemistry-knowledgeable readers (like myself), by pyrazines you’re referencing the bell pepper qualities, correct? As a former wine educator, its always been important for me to discuss wine in terminology that most everyone can understand. New or prospective wine consumers can easily become intimidated by “foreign” terminology and ultra flowery wine reviews. But back to the Gordon…I didn’t really find much tannin and wouldn’t age the wine myself. But then I don’t expect to buy more anyway.

          Reply
          1. DARRELL

            I don’t think my usage is ” foreign” or “flowery” and in fact one GO wine person uses it quite regularly in his description of NZ SB’s. From reading other’s tasting notes I come across this term quite frequently and I don’t think they are chemistry oriented. The readers here are beyond your “wine educator” level besides and if I can educate beyond your level, I will. The Gordon Merlot wasn’t overly tannic, but I was thinking about the level to age the wine and with higher levels of pyrazine, in my opinion, one should age the bottle a bit.

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            1. JJ

              I’d say ‘pyrazines’ isn’t too common an expression in the non-professional wine world, and many don’t know its associative qualities. One can always look it up, I suppose……

            2. DARRELL

              JJ, I would say this doesn’t have much to do with professional wine experience. While the term isn’t common, it isn’t uncommon either. I think I have used the term here before without comment. Maybe it’s the tasting notes I read. I expect those who don’t know would look things up as I do. I once saw tasting notes that used the term “torrefaction” and had to look that up and I thought the term quite appropriate.

  7. WineObsessedRN

    Has anyone tried Floating Rock Syrah 2015 or the 2017 CS? This is Hyatt’s second label, they’re based in Zillah, WA. I happened to notice awhile back this winery is up for sale. Not closed yet, still making wines presumably but apparently want out.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Haven’t tried them and haven’t had any Hyatt wines in years. Back in the 80’s they made some excellent merlots…their flagship wine, then. So no help here. But I am checking with my Yakima Valley contact to see if i can get any info. Also, I’ll mention here that I stopped into the Bremerton GO today to see what changes the new “owners” have made. Store looks a bit cleaner and less cluttered, though a lot of empty shelves (as they attempt to figure out inventory?) wine selection isn’t bad, but smaller than Silverdale. I bought nothing per my “no buy” status, but did notice they have the 2018 Latitude 38 Pinot. What shocked me is that they had 30 (yes, that’s 30) of the supersized $50 bottles of the Primarius PN standing up on the shelves. This store is not a huge wine sales store, so i have a feeling they’ll be there for a loooooong time. If anything would have forced my hand into buying a few bottles, it’s any of the La Domitienne wines, but alas! nothing to be found. Wonder why they’re not making it up here to WA? I loved their past vintage of Picpoul and would be willing to try their rose’.

      Reply
    2. lim13

      Heard back from my Yakima Valley contact who tells me that Leland Hyatt who is in his 80’s, still owns the winery. He has sold off some of his vineyards and has been trying to sell the winery for several years now, as has Bonair nearby, though both unsuccessfully.
      Here’s one consumer review of the 2015 Syrah, WORN: https://www.vivino.com/users/eric.obe/reviews/231393229 Found nothing on the 2017 Cab.

      Reply
      1. WineObsessedRN

        Lim13, thanks so much for this information! That makes sense that if he started making wines that long ago, he would want to sell his winery and retire now. Guess his heirs if he has any, would be in their 40s to 60 even. Winemaking is a challenging business to be in for most people, I would think. There’s that old joke “How do you make a small fortune in wine? Start off with a large fortune.” :/

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        1. lim13

          As an addendum, selling a winery right now isn’t easy for most. Add to that the fact that both Hyatt and Bonair are old facilities with excess old inventory. So don’t be surprised if you see more of their wines at GO…hopefully in decent condition.

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          1. WineObsessedRN

            Lim13, thanks for all your insights. I looked up Hyatt, several wines on case sales from $75-$100. That’s gotta hurt. Have never seen cases of wine priced that low at an independently owned winery. 😞

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          2. WineObsessedRN

            I did try a bottle of the 2015 Floating Rock Syrah for $7. It was okay, not great. I recently had some very good Syrah from Idaho that unfortunately, the Floating Rock paled against. (Colter’s Creek Fondo Syrah 2018 out of Juliaetta,ID)

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            1. lim13

              Thanks for you comments, WORN. Haven’t seen any Floating Rock wines over thisaway. And I’m unfamiliar with Colter’s Creek. Unfortunately, don’t see much Idaho wine over here anymore, though I do have a bottle of 1985 Rose Creek Cab in the cellar…that was killer in its heyday.

    3. flitcraft

      I saw that both the 2015 and 2017 Syrahs were around, so picked up one of each for evaluative purposes. The 2015 was not impressive–very little Syrah fruit, no mid-palate to speak of. A hard pass on rebuy. The 2017 was much better, with lots of tangy blackberry/black currant fruit. It’s not particularly complex, but it would be fine as an everyday drinker. If I didn’t have a full cellar, I’d probably pick up a couple more. If this were in an ordinary grocery store, I’d expect wine of this quality to sell for 10 to 12 bucks.

      Reply
  8. BargainWhine Post author

    Latitude 38 2018 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, CA, 14.3% ABV, $7. This Pinot has been very popular through at least three vintages, if I recall correctly. I had a bottle of the 2017, but I found it over-ripe and under-structured. This vintage, however, is very good for the price, with well-balanced flavors ranging from purple cherry / plum, redder cherry / raspberry, orange, stemmy structure, a little spiced earth. There is not a huge amount of depth to it, so I don’t expect it to last longer than the next year, but it’s delicious for the price. (I tasted it only after it had been decanted for an hour, when I found it already pretty good, but the flavors described above did not fully come out (for me, at least) until it about three hours.)

    Reply
    1. DARRELL

      The 2017 Latitude 38 PN bottles I have had didn’t exhibit any over ripeness for me. The PN character was there with minimal wood. I think with the Stelvin enclosure, I won’t worry about bottles aging away any time soon. I still have the 2008 Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Vineyards, Marlborough, NZ with Stelvin from a GO sale many years ago,
      ( https://grossoutwine.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/2008-sacred-hill-sauvignon-blanc-marlborough-vineyards-marlborough-nz/ ) and it is finally showing some gray hairs.

      Reply
      1. JJ

        I would agree with Darrell….I’m still working through the many 2017 Latitude 38 PN’s I bought (along with those Rocklin’s too!!)…and overripe would never have been my experience with them. They do once in awhile seem a bit tired in the glass, but then I pop another out, and smile again to find such a nice delicacy of Pinot fruit, and superior quality for the price.
        I look forward to trying the 2018, and will probably wish another sale were coming up….

        Reply
        1. DARRELL

          I checked out Cellar Tracker on the Lat. 38 and there are detractors of the wine, some who bought from GO. There may be variability here, but I can’t believe that unless there is poor handling somehow. The last sale had the 2018 and you might get lucky the next sale.

          Reply
      2. lim13

        I too found no overripe quality in the ’17 Lat 38 PN and still have a couple left. Currently in another “No Buy Wine” stage, as we’ve been trying to drink only from the cellar. Too much wine and likely too little time for this “old guy”. Drank up all my ’08 Sacred Hill PN a long tome ago and also drank up the couple bottles of 2010 that we bought at the winery while in NZ. Hard to believe that review of the ’08 was written by our long gone founder of this blog nearly 12 years ago…before BW and I were offered to take over the blog duties.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hmm… Well, that was my definite opinion of the bottle I had, and my taste doesn’t usually differ that much from the rest of all y’all’s. Perhaps, like some other GO wines, multiple batches, of differing qualities, were labeled under the same name and year?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            I bought a bottle of the Latitude and opened it Saturday. This is a good quality ‘Pinot Noir in the grocery store $20 a bottle market place. It is fruity but the balance is there. BTW I bought some of th dried Bing cherries I bought at Richmond and have steeped them in some of this wine, they were really good in Sunday’s Manhattan.

            Reply
            1. JJ

              Hi Seedboy….what a great idea for the cherries! It’s so hard to find good quality cherries for Manhattans….TJ’s used to have a small jar of totally yummy cherries in a heavy syrup, and I would use a bit of that syrup in my (bastardized) Manhattan, which I thought was fabulous.
              Were the dried cherries you bought, at GO?
              I think you may be in California, so it might be a moot point up here in WA, but I’ve got some dried Montmorency or Morello cherries I’ll try this with—and I prefer the sour cherry in any case.

              Just to confirm…you were trying the 2018 Latitude, not the 2017, correct?

            2. 5-Star Bar

              Sounds like a great idea, especially with a good measure of the wheated Maker’s Mark 46 or Makers Mark “Bespoke” version available at Bay Area GOs that sell spirits.

            3. Seedboy

              Yes, the 2018. I did buy the cherries at the GO, specifically for making into cherries for Manhattans, although I generally prefer sour cherries. And, 5-Star, I usually use Rye for the drink. I did get some of the barrel-proof Makers at K&L and it made for a fine cocktail (I like over-proof booze for cocktails).

            4. JJ

              Seedboy….I think over-proof rye sounds exactly right for my cherried Manhattans…..I know we’re not talking wine here, but I’d love a couple good recommendations for reasonably-priced rye favorites, if you’re willing.

            5. 5-Star Bar

              Not Seedboy of course but…

              Rye was, of course, the original spirit called for in a Manhattan cocktail but, just as brandy was the original spirit in a Sazerac cocktail whereas nowadays rye is commonly called for in modern recipes, I frequently enjoy substituting bourbon in a Manhattan especially since there is a general dearth of ryes at GO. If you want to venture forth and “shop outside the GO box” Rittenhouse is indeed a good overproof choice and reasonably priced especially at big box outlets such as Total Wine and More or Bev Mo. I personally prefer Rittenhouse’s older and bigger brother in the overproof rye department – Pikesville Rye. Made by the same distillery as Rittenhouse (Heaven Hill) it is at leasy 6 Years old and 110 proof (55% abv) whereas Rittenhouse is 4 years minimum and 100 proof (50%). Drink for thought. Alas neither of those is available at GO. If you want to go the GO bourbon route instead I’d go with Elijah Craig Small Batch (94 proof / 47% ABV) which is also made by Heaven Hill or alternatively the Maker’s Mark “Bespoke” (unique bottle shape, more rectangular at the bottom with a more elongated neck) or the oakier, spicier Maker’s 46 which has a special combination of custom oak staves inside the barrel. Both of those weigh in at 90 proof / 45% ABV.

              Cheers!

            6. bretrooks

              I don’t drink cocktails all that often, but I do like Manhattans, and when I make one they’re generally: Rittenhouse / Carpano Antica Formula vermouth / orange bitters (Fee, currently) / a good cherry or two (Luxardo, currently). Rittenhouse is 100 proof, and I find that it has a bit more spice to it than something like Bulleit (also decent, but not my preference for cocktails).

            7. Seedboy

              For a Rye for Manhattans it is hard to beat Rittenhouse. It is 100 proof, tasty and not expensive. At the moment it seems hard to find. I recently got a really good deal on the Knob Creek, which is also 100, and liked it but it costs 50% more than the Rittenhouse. Wild Turkey makes a 100 Proof Rye that costs in the low $20s also. If you have a Total Wine near you they carry the latter two but I’ve not the Rittenhouse there in ages.

            8. lim13

              Just a very quick “historical” comment. When I started in the retail liquor and wine industry in the mid-70’s, we sold but two ryes…Rittenhouse and Old Overholt…and there was little call for them. In fact we only ordered them in units of 4-6 bottles, never full cases because those minimal quantities lasted for many months.

            9. JJ

              Oh my, Lim….that really brings back an old memory–now that you brought up history.
              You’ll have to suffer me through this one~

              When I was 19 or 20, and in college in Santa Barbara, I did a bit of home health care side work. I didn’t realize it fully then, but it was a very interesting place to do such work. One of my ‘clients’ was the vain and glorious Bea Hakes. She had a flawless mile-high beehive doo atop her head, and wore floor-length and highly patterned flowing skirts. She would sit down at her piano, with the most beautiful long and slender fingers I’ve ever seen, and pour out what I recognized even then, was an unbelievable prowess.
              She told me she’d been Ray Charles’s piano teacher way back when, and she chafed at the ‘direction he’d taken’….scolding his memory for veering away from his classics and succumbing to the jukebox jazz. She was ‘disappointed in him’. Geezus.
              I never could confirm that claim (which I didn’t give a second thought to back then, but certainly did once I realized who Ray Charles really was, later), but that’s neither here nor there on THIS blog….because what I remember most about old Bea, is that she liked a drink. She was surely an alcoholic, but I didn’t know too much about how that played out at that point either, and the main thing was that she needed me to buy it for her. Grocery shopping for her was one of my tasks, but I remember especially when she needed some booze (which was pretty often), she would add breezily at the end of the list, as if it was just a little afterthought: “Oh, and bring me a fifth of Ten High” or “Bring me a bottle of that “Old Oveholt”.
              I guess I had made the mistake, or the favor, of telling her I had fake I.D—which came in so handy at all those cool SB bars and clubs–so we could dance our fannies off.
              From thereon out, I was her unwitting dealer.

              Thanks guys for all the Rye suggestions!!
              Unfortunately, up here in Prohibition-era Washington, taxes are so high that a bottle of Rittenhouse I priced at about $42 last week, at Total Wine—that’s when they have it, which they didn’t.
              I’ll be looking for the GO versions of whiskeys mentioned….I can hope until then!!

            10. DARRELL

              JJ, what Bea Hakes related to you about Ray Charles and his career is true. He couldn’t succeed doing the “classics” and realized he could do better changing his music. She taught him piano well though.

  9. BargainWhine Post author

    La Fouquette 2020 Côtes de Provence rosé, 70% Grenache, 20% Rolle (aka Vermentino), 10% Cinsault, 14.1% ABV, Jeff Wellburn Selections, $6. Grenache and Cinsault are lighter reds and Rolle is a white grape, so this is unsurprisingly a delicately flavored rosé, tasting of cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, yellow apple, the usual “tart red berries,” and some bitterness of fresh herbs and melon rind, and possessing a smooth minerality. IMO, another winner from JWS.

    Reply
  10. bretrooks

    Not much new of note in the SLO store today. I bought a couple of cases through different offers elsewhere this week, so today I just picked up a couple of bottles to fill holes in the rack:

    2015 Yering Station “Village” Shiraz Viognier ($6, the notes left here make it sound like it’s right up my alley)
    2018 Zonin Lugana ($4, Trebbiano di Lugana, which I understand to be a clone of Verdicchio).

    Reply
  11. WineObsessedRN

    Anyone try the Arienzo de Marqués de Riscal Rioja Crianza 2014 ($4)? A couple cases popped up in Pullman.

    Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          I also think this is a good value. Myself, I’d pair it with roast chicken or anything pork (ok, maybe not BBQ ribs), although nothing at all sweet, as it’s quite dry.

          Reply
        2. Seedboy

          It would have worked with the spaghetti Bolognese I had for dinner the other night.

          I don’t know if any of you still have any of the 2014 Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The bottle I opened a couple of days ago was the best yet. Glad I have a couple more of them. I also recently opened a 2016 Gavilan Chardonnay and it was lovely. I know there were some bad bottles of it but I’ve been really lucky.

          Reply
        3. WineObsessedRN

          I bought a bottle of the Arienza 2014 to try it out.
          Here’s my review on Vivino
          🕰2014
          💯80/100 🌟3.0
          👁Garnet w slt brick edge
          👃👅-Dry,leather,earthy,claypot,potting soil,sour red cherry,dried raspberry,slightly tart,med tannins,med hi acidity.
          ⛽-14%ABV
          🍇 90%Tempranillo,5%Graciano,5%Mazuelo
          🕰18 mo American oak
          🌄Elciego,LaGuardia,Rioja
          💵$12 MSRP $3.99 GO
          Definitely a food wine.
          Label changed 2015 to embossed glass red initial “A”,unloading stock w old paper labels.
          Fine for MWQ®. Not a rebuy for me.
          —- Michael, it tasted much better alongside cheese and bread.
          ( MWQ means midweek quaffer btw).
          I’m looking for those “Unicorn” wines. Delicious and cheap. The Thorn Merlot 2017 was one of those at $7. I ended up buying a case and a half.

          Reply
          1. doctorlager

            Very funny. I bought one of these in Pullman tonight and in fact had it with spaghetti bolognese as someone mentioned above. I agree that it’s a midweek quaffer, but at $4 it’s a steal IMO.

            Reply
            1. WineObsessedRN

              Hi DL! Small world, I was at the Pullman GO today at 3PM picking up more Thorn Merlot, decided to try the Arienza as well. If you ever see an Asian lady in glasses and N95 mask on her phone parked in the wine section, say “Hi!” 😀 (I’m looking up reviews and researching bf I buy wines.)

            2. doctorlager

              Hi WORN – I like your reviews on Vivino. I’m sure I’ll see you in GO one of these days – I’m the tallish British guy, often also on my phone! Cheers!

            3. WineObsessedRN

              Hi DocLag, I post on Vivino a couple times a week, my husband calls it my “wine homework”! If you join Vivino, look me up, follow me and I’ll follow in return. I’m #26 in USA currently, profile shot is Halloween photo of me and my daughter in wine themed costumes. She’s the bunch of purple grapes and I’m the wine bottle! How lucky you were to get some Buty wines at such a phenomenal price! Wow! (Coincidentally, I attended Whitman 2 years way back when.)

  12. BargainWhine Post author

    Among the recent arrivals in rosé is a Terra Nostra 2020 rosé of Sciaccarello from Corsica, 12% ABV, $6. At first, I was excited to see a wine from a novel place made from a novel grape. However, as I looked more at the label, it seemed kind of familiar… Looking it up here, I found my own review of the 2017 vintage. I again think it’s quite good for the price, with delicate tangerine / cantaloupe, slight pink grapefruit and tart red berry flavors, with some fresh herbs and smooth minerally texture.

    Reply
    1. GOwinelover

      Thanks for posting this one. I don’t track past GO wine purchases anywhere but distinctly remember the 2017 being one of my wife’s and my favorite roses from there ever. When it disappeared, we switched over to the Confidencial.

      Reply
  13. WineObsessedRN

    Hadn’t been to the Pullman GO in weeks!
    Picked up Thorn Merlot 2017 ($7) by Prisoner Wine Co (Constellation). Here’s my Vivino review.
    Thorn Merlot
    🕰2017
    💯89/100🌟3.9
    👁Purple ruby
    👃👅Dry,black currant,espresso,blackberry bramble,spiced plum,dust,black pepper,leather,oak,med++ acid,high tannins,long finish
    🍇ML,SY,PS,MB %unspec
    🌄Hudson,Stagecoach,Antica,Trefethen VYs,Napa Valley AVA
    ⛽15.2%ABV
    🎖92pts WS🎖
    💵$40 MSRP GO$6.99
    Did not strike me as a ML,but more BdX like. High ABV a bit offputting.
    Constellation has owned PWC since 2016, prior to that, Huneeus purchased from Dave Phinney in 2008.
    I passed on the gargantuan “not Jeroboam” $50 bottles of Primarius PN.
    Only 4 allotted, it’ll be interesting to see if they sell!

    Reply
  14. flitcraft

    I started my day by prowling the shelves of the Crown Hill GO at 8 am. Not much wine to report on–all the Flume wines were gone, for example. The only new wine not commented on here was a Recri 2021 Malbec for 4.99–a dollar more than the Cabernet-Malbec wine seen around the time of the fall sale. More concerning, though, was the fact that the two central shelves in the wine area were gone. Not just empty–totally removed. I asked the person at the checkout stand what was up, and he didn’t know. But what it meant was that the space dedicated to wine is currently only about 60% of what they had last time I visited. This may be temporary, perhaps. I’ll report back next time I’m there. Due to the dearth of interesting wines, I concentrated my visit on
    other bargains. Which I will report on in the proper section here…

    Reply
  15. BargainWhine Post author

    Last for tonight: Ascua Rubia 2019 red blend, Mendoza, Argentina, imported, bottled and cellared by Studio Beverage Group, 13.5% ABV, $5. Seems initially very promising, with full red / purple / black fruits that struck me as coming from Syrah, Malbec, and Cabernet, but I could not find any details online. However, it did have some roughness that promised to air out to become a tasty wine. But that rough bitterness did not smooth out, even with more air on the second day. To my taste, it even got worse, which is a shame, since it seems like the fruit was pretty good. So, I guess I could recommend this if you like a robust, rustic wine and are pairing it with rather zesty food, but as I tend toward preferring complexity and finesse, it’s not for me.

    Reply
  16. BargainWhine Post author

    Next up: Motacilla Alba 2019 Monastrell (Mourvèdre), Spain, imported and bottled by Studio Beverage Group, which we’ve discussed previously, 13.1% ABV, $5. This shows nice Monastrell soft, tangy, dark red cherry, purple cherry / grape, slight fruit licorice?, with complexities of orange, wood, stem that strike me as typically Spanish. The body is a little lighter than Monastrell can produce, although it does fill out significantly with more air on the second day, and the finish has some woody roughness if you really focus on it, but it has good typicity and I find it quite tasty for the price. It’s been a while since I tasted it, but this wine might be interesting to taste it with the Caracol Serrano, which is 55% Monastrell, the same price, and still around.

    Reply
  17. BargainWhine Post author

    I opened three wines last night that have been around for a while, but which I had not previously tasted. These notes are based on yesterday’s and today’s tastings. First up, King’s Pass 2016 “El Camino Real” Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CA, 14.5% ABV, $6. Not a shy wine. Shows intense, slightly buttery / butterscotch-y, yellow apple and pear followed immediately with lemon fruit and acid, some lime, and oak that is a bit strong for my taste, but at least it is decent oak. I would expect this to be pretty popular with the folks who like Pra Vinera Chardonnay, as it also has that strong oak, but this wine has tastier fruit and better acid balance, IMO. The butterscotch character, though, indicates it’s getting a little long in the tooth, so don’t wait that long to drink it.

    Reply
    1. positivepauly

      That Kings Pass Chard has been a staple of mine for awhile. I’m terrible about sharing tasting notes, but I’ve probably enjoyed at least 2-3 cases of it in the last couple of years. It’s pretty broadly available, and an easy drinker for me. Your notes are spot on – and I agree that it’s getting a bit past it’s prime now. Last bottle I had was fine but the previous one was definitely noticeably missing a step.

      I love the profile of this one, though.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi positivepauly and thanks for the “second,” i.e. vote of agreement. Would be glad for you to post your notes.

        Reply
  18. bretrooks

    Picked up a few bottles today:
    2018 Château Le Peyrat Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux ($10) This was just hitting the shelf and didn’t have a price label yet; I forgot to ask the price before checking out and might have not taken it at $10, but I have it how…we’ll see how it is.
    2020 La Domitienne Grenache Gris Sud de France ($6) The palest pink color I’ve seen in a very long time…this’ll probably get opened today while I’m cooking.
    2017 Rioja Vega Rioja GG Garnacha y Graciano ($6) I liked our last bottle of this & picked up another for the rack.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi bretrooks and thanks for the updates. ICYMI, please see my thoughts about the Grenache Gris here. Looking forward to hearing how you like these.

      Reply
  19. BargainWhine Post author

    Since y’all were talking about it: Mercer Family Vineyards 2017 “Heritage Blend,” Horse Heaven Hills, WA, 14.5% ABV, $10. According to Lim13’s research, this is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, and Malbec. The first night, after it was open 2.5 hours, it showed soft, supple, elegant, mildly earthy dark red fruits of cherry, plum, raspberry, plus some blueberry, vanilla, with a little zingy acid in the finish. It was pretty tasty, but the main thing I wasn’t fond of was its use of wood product with that flavor I usually, but perhaps inaccurately, call artificial vanilla, although it was hardly as bad as many. Anyway, a few days later, the remainder from the saved screw-cap bottle had fuller and softer fruit that pretty well covered up the wood, with the flavors less red and more purple / blue, some complexity of plum pit / preserved plum, and better integrated acid. Overall, I think this is pretty good for the price. I wouldn’t age it any longer.

    Reply
  20. BargainWhine Post author

    Yering Station 2015 “Village,” 98% Shiraz, 2% Viognier, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia, 13.5% ABV, $6. As I’m quite fond of, but can no longer afford, the wines of Côte-Rôtie, which also blend a little Viognier into Syrah (Shiraz), I was very eager to try this wine when it showed up today. I am not disappointed! it amazes me how the 2% Viognier can soften the Shiraz, make it more delicate, lighter purple, and aromatic. While it still tastes of Shiraz’s tangy dark plum / boysenberry / black raspberry and tar / espresso, the Viognier provides a lightness and lift which gives the wine a body and delicateness more like a California Pinot Noir. Whereas I usually like lamb with Shiraz, this could go with pork as well.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      The bottle you handed me yesterday is half gone. It was a winner with tri tip grilled over charcoal and grape vine cuttings.

      Reply
        1. Seedboy

          It was good enough for a repeat purchase. It has an elegant, Pinot Noir-ish mouthfeel that I rather like. I have two bottles and will drink them over the next year.

          Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Nearly all of this wine we received was the 2015, but we got (I believe only) one case of the 2014. When yesterday I opened one of the 2014, I didn’t like it that much, as it seemed a bit thin and a bit too old. However, tonight, I opened the saved 187.5ml (=750ml/4) screw-cap bottle of this wine, and, while it still strikes me as slightly too old, it has a lovely complexity of roses, lighter black raspberry, syrupy red cherry, mulberry / licorice, spiced earth. So… maybe not as good as the 2015 but still probably good for $6.

      Reply
    3. William

      I tried this wine yesterday – both decanted and non- decanted. This wine is harsh, acidic, unbalanced. NOT recommended at any price.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi William and welcome! Sorry if I should assume this, but how long did you air this wine after you decanted it? I agree this wine is surprisingly unpleasant at first, especially given how yummy it becomes after airing in a decanter for ~3 hours, or what it’s like the next day.

        Reply
        1. William

          I did not notice any improvement the next day. This is the worst GO wine I have tried so far. Of course, taste is subjective, but I usually agree with the consensus. Maybe my bottle was an outlier.

          Reply
    4. bretrooks

      To chime in with another perspective, we opened a bottle of this last night, and my experience with it was largely the same as yours, BargainWhine. (Perhaps, William, yours was an off bottle?) I might not have compared it to Pinot myself, but there’s something about its mellow structure that makes me think I know what you’re getting at. We liked it well enough that I picked up a couple more today, along with a single bottle of 2019 Château Haut Beyzac Haut-Médoc ($13).

      Reply
    5. lim13

      I told myself I would break my promise to myself and buy one bottle of wine at the Silverdale GO today…the Yering Station “Village”, just to see which “side of the fence” I was on, considering the varied comments here. But the wine was not to found. Saw the Latitude 38 PN though for those who might be looking.

      Reply
  21. BargainWhine Post author

    Lux Royal “Blanc de Blancs” Brut non-vintage vin mousseux sparkling wine, from Maison Fortant, imported by Boisset America, 11.5% ABV, $10. Dry, very fruity with balancing acid in (I would guess) Chardonnay flavors of lemony yellow apple, hint of lime zest, doughy yeastiness. Not what I would call refined and subtle, but does have French dryness and restraint compared to typical Californian sparkling wines. Went well with Daphne’s Creamery “Double Cream” Brie (8oz, $5).

    Reply
  22. bretrooks

    We’ve slowed our consumption a bit over the last week or two since the holidays, so we haven’t actually tried much of what I’ve picked up lately, and I wasn’t really intending to pick up anything new. However, I spied 2001 Château de Francs Les Cerisiers on the shelf at $9.99. It might be past its prime, but I don’t run across reasonably priced wines from our anniversary year very frequently, so I had to get a couple. Nothing else new that caught my eye.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi bretrooks! Please let us (me) know what you think of this wine whenever you get to it. I’ve been tempted to get another bottle, but I have enough older Bordeaux at home that I should drink up.

      Reply
    2. bretrooks

      Tried this yesterday and here’s the note I wrote up for CT:
      One glass consumed over ~45 minutes. Garnet in the glass, with distinct rusty orange-brown at the rim. Not dead, exactly, but the flavor profile here was entirely tertiary: savory roast beef notes and a bit of prune/raisin fruit in the mix. Although over the hill, I found it structurally sound enough to be intellectually interesting and finished my small glass of it. My wife did not find this enjoyable at all (as I suspect most wouldn’t), and we moved on to a different bottle.

      Also tried the 2017 EOS Riesling Late Harvest Tears of Dew:
      Two small pours consumed over ~45 minutes. Slightly “light syrupy” with pear and stone fruit notes, maybe a hint of honey, simple overall but a pleasant enough flavor profile. Not nearly enough acidity for my palate, alas.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but from my experience, you did not give it (the Chateau de Francs) enough air. I agree that it wasn’t that great after just 45 minutes. I’m not sure what it would be like on the next day, but did you try it again?

        Reply
        1. bretrooks

          Somehow I missed your note over the holidays…thanks for pointing me to it. I don’t have a ton of experience with wines of this age, but I did save ~2/3 of the bottle on the counter for future days hoping that air and time would help, and I did sample a little bit yesterday evening (day 2). I found it noticeably less dominated by the savory component, and I liked it more…I think my wife might enjoy it now, as well. We’ll finish it off this evening, and I’ll update my CellarTracker note accordingly.

          Reply
  23. BargainWhine Post author

    La Domitienne 2020 Mourvèdre rosé, Mont Baudile Pays D’Hérault IGP, Jeff Wellburn Selections, 13% ABV, $6. Dry with delicate pink and orange fruit flavors, slight red berry tartness, herbal quality of fresh grape stem, gently textured minerality. Nicely elegant wine that would go down way too easily on a hot day.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      From WA Tasting Room Magazine re: the Mercer Heritage Blend:
      “Mercer Family Vineyards 2017 Reserve Horse Heaven Hills Heritage Blend, $24.99
      Editors Choice – Outstanding (91-94 pts.)
      Robust, brimming with a savory richness that highlights blackberry coulis, currants and dark cherry, backed by mocha, warm spice and mineral notes. Fresh acidity and supple tannins thread through the energetic and expressive finish. Blend of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec”

      Reply
  24. WineObsessedRN

    Did anyone else happen to pick up Sbragia Andolsen VY CS 2012 ($9)? Pullman GO got in a single case this fall, I bought several.
    Also seen: El Paso de Robles CS 2019 ($10) which is the 2nd label of Castoro Cellars.

    Reply
  25. WineObsessedRN

    A sudden flood of Flume Family wines (Columbia Gorge), Riesling, Dolcetto, PN and others into our store. A wine pal on Vivino said Flume was sold to Aniche so is no longer in business. Anyone try these?

    Reply
    1. positivepauly

      I love the Flune wines! I am a little biased after I discovered that one of my favorite winemakers Rich Cushman had a strong influence over their production (and made a lot of them). He was chatting about that the last time I saw him in November. The Dolcetto rose is especially nice, and Rich’s specialty is Riesling (and it definitely fits within his profile)

      AniChe is also a fantastic winery, and Rachel will do those grapes well. Rich is cutting back his endeavors (I believe he’s sold the tasting room) but will never stop making wine. His Viento label has been a favorite for as long as I’ve been tasting wine.

      His son Peter is quite the winemaker, too. He makes wine for several labels, including his own.

      Reply
      1. WineObsessedRN

        Thanks, positivepauly! Love the background hx on winemakers and these wines. Pullman didn’t get the Dolcetto Rosé but I might try a bottle of the Dolcetto or Red Blend!

        Reply
    2. lim13

      I reviewed the Flume Riesling during the sale. Here’s what I said: 2016 Flume Family Vineyards Columbia River Gorge Riesling, Hood River, OR $3.99 sale price at Silverdale, WA; whiffs of sulfur when first poured, which takes a while to blow off; then shows typical green apple and a little peach in the nose; medium dry with decent acidity and BIG mouthfeel as if the must got considerable skin contact…almost chewy finish; not bad and certainly unusual texture.

      Reply
    3. RB

      The Olympia store also has a mess of Flume wines. I saw PN, Syrah, Red Blend, Pinot Gris and two vintages of Dolcetto. Most reds were $10.

      Reply
    1. WineObsessedRN

      lim13, thanks for the info. Always sad to see small independent wineries who strive to make great wine, close their doors. Will be savoring the last bottles of Wildebeest Red 2016.

      Reply
      1. doctorlager

        I was lucky enough to pick up some unlabeled shiners of theirs last weekend – 2010 Mourvedre and 2010 Mourvedre-Syrah 50/50 blend. Bottled in 2011, and really quite good.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          Seems somehow odd to me that the Buty wines showed up on the east side of the mountains close to the winery, but nothing over here on the west side. Makes me wonder if GO can have wine direct shipped from a local WA distributor. That would make sense if Buty’s distributor (perhaps out of Spokane) was sitting on a limited supply of Buty wines in their warehouse. Why bother shipping across the mountains…especially with all the Covid trucking/shipping issues and the recent pass closures due to snow?

          Reply
        2. WineObsessedRN

          Wow, DL, were these Buty shiners at the Pullman GO? Or did you travel to Buty since roads seemed to be clear?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            None of the Buty wines has appeared at California GO stores. I did buy a couple of bottles at K&L, which has been selling library wines for months. I am looking forward to the 2009 Sauv Blanc blend.

            Reply
          2. doctorlager

            Hi WORN – the Buty shiners were on offer only to Whitman College faculty (my partner is one) so we picked up in person. Great deal for $8 a bottle!

            Reply
            1. WineObsessedRN

              Hi Lim13, thanks for the link explaining all the rules and regulations regarding “shiners”. I knew they were wine bottles without labels, but that was the extent of my knowledge til perusing the article! Very informative!

  26. BargainWhine Post author

    Two wines opened this evening. My thoughts after they’ve been open about 2.5 hours:
    – Clos de Mendoza 2020 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, bottled by Mendoza Vineyards, 13.5% ABV, $6. The Mendoza Vineyards Malbec was pretty popular for the same price, so I thought it’d be interesting to try this bottling. There are stylistic similarities between the two wines, to my taste mainly in the somewhat roughly woody structure, but this one is made to be more immediately accessible, being comparatively soft and fruity pretty quickly. After 2.5 hours, the fruit fills out and darkens to taste of typical Argentine Malbec boysenberry / blueberry with more tangy black raspberry / red cherry acid and still a bit of roughly woody tannic finish. It will probably be smoother tomorrow, but my impression is that this is not built to last much more than the next year or so.
    – Lozano “Montes de Leza” 2015 Crianza, Rioja DOC, Spain, 14% ABV, $7. Strikes me immediately as more ripe than I’m used to for a Crianza, but still with nice woody structure, and overall tasty. After nearly 3 hours open now, it shows supple darker fruit flavors of dark red cherry and plum, with hints of flavors that strike me variously as dried black mission fig, blueberry, soft black raspberry, and still finishing with cinnamon-y woodiness. Anyway, pretty good for the price considering we’ll all have to live with riper wines thanks to global warming. Hardly the worst of it.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      2nd day update, both wines benefiting from being open 2.5 hours:
      – Clos de Argeintine 2020 Malbec. Fruit and wood smoothed out and integrated, but fruit flavors are lighter (redder, less purple / blue) and body is also a little lighter / more supple.
      – Montes de Leza 2015 Crianza. Fruit and wood well integrated, showing some softness, now the flavor(s?) I can’t quite describe strike me as including licorice along with fig and blueberry. Also a little raisin / prune.

      Reply
    2. JJ

      I realized just now I have no idea how to create a post….only to comment on others. If someone could enlighten me about that, much appreciated.

      I wanted to ask about the Torii Mor Chardonnay (Willamette Valley/2017/$8) which was available up here in Olympia. I tried one and have found a lot to appreciate. They have a great pedigree, and this didn’t disappoint. Anyone else tried it?

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Scroll all the way to the bottom of the “What’s New” page and you’ll see a box that says “Leave a Reply”. Type you’re post there…your post should then appear at the top of the “What’s New” page. I believe that’s as close to a “post” as you’ll get. Haven’t tried the Torii Mor, but then I generally don’t do Chardonnay. I’m beginning to wonder, though, why so much Torii Mor is showing up at GO.

        Reply
        1. JJ

          I’m wondering that too…but upon reading the notes for this wine, it was clear that the grape production in the field that year was generous, and they had to go about limiting it to boost the quality. Maybe they just ended up with a lot of it. But whether that would account for the PN as well, not sure. Wish I could have tried that…did you see that in Silverdale, lim?

          Reply
          1. lim13

            I’ve seen no Torii Mor and no Buty wines of any kind in Silverdale or Bremerton. But I haven’t been in either store in a few weeks, as I’m trying to get myself into “drinking my cellar” mode again. My wife and I would like to find a rambler, downsize and move, which means moving all my wines. Need I say more? 🙂

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              For the last few months K & L Wines in California has been selling Buty library wines at good but not quite GO prices. Anyone have any thoughts about this winery?

            2. lim13

              In checking my wine cellar program in the PC, Seedboy, I see I haven’t had any Buty wines since the 2004 vintage…and those were all whites. They quickly established themselves as a very reputable winery, but I’ve heard or read little about them recently. Their Chardonnays from the Conner Lee Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope were always among their best wines. Here’s a little info on that vineyard: https://www.lawrencevineyards.com/connerlee I’m unsure as to which varieties are being spotted in the GO’s, but I’d likely start with trying a Chardonnay (particularly if it’s Conner Lee), if available. And yes…even this ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) member would be willing to try one.

        2. WineObsessedRN

          lim13, I’ve only seen Torii Mor 2014 Olson VY PN at our GO, a single case at Thanksgiving. Perhaps a cash flow issue. Did a deep dive on Torii Mor. Dr. Donald R Olsen, a 1961 medical graduate in neuro moved from WI to buy Dundee VY. Sold fruit to Argyle, started Torii Mor in 1993 at age of 58. 1K bottles. 2010- $6M loan fr USDA to keep in biz. 2015 age 80 pain doc at Tillamook hospital. Winery expanded to 2 tasting rooms, large management team, 15K bottle output 2010. Not sure why at age 80 you still wanna practice medicine. No obit so 86 now by dates given. No mention of wife or kids. He did have a son that died young in an MVC (motor vehicle crash) in the 80s.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            I took our 5 couple wine tasting group to Torii Mor for a visit and private tasting shortly after they opened. They’ve made some outstanding wines for a number of years now (as you’ve noted). I’m sure, like so many wineries, they’ve taken a big hit from Covid too. Even some of the oldest and/or best wineries are struggling. Though when times get tough, we all tend to consume more alcohol. Yea wine!! And hey…if you’re able to still practice medicine and do it well at 80 (or 86?), more power to ya’!

            Reply
      2. WineObsessedRN

        JJ, our local GO got a single case of the Torii Mor Olsen VY 2014 PN which was very good. No chardonnay. Bought 7 of the PN at $8 each (release price $60) 4 given out as Christmas gifts, only 1 left. This is my Vivino review
        An elegant, ethereal wine, like a gentle caress.
        Not to everyone’s taste, but I quite enjoy this.😍
        🕰2014
        💯90/100 🌟4.0
        👁-Light garnet w watery edge
        👃👅-Dry,raspberry,dried rose petals,faint clove,hint of forest floor,fresh acidity,whisper of tannins,long finish,silky,elegant refined.
        🍇-100%PN
        🌄-Olson Vineyard,100 acres,vines planted 1972,Dijon,Pommard clones
        🌄-Dundee AVA
        🌄Willamette Valley OR
        🕰18 mo aged,12%new French oak,20%1 yr barrels,rest neutral
        ⛽-13.5%ABV
        💵-$60MSRP/$7 GOBM
        🎖RP 90,WE 89🎖

        Reply
          1. WineObsessedRN

            Hi JJ, Pullman. Very small wine section compared to others. We went to the Walla Walla GO last summer when we went wine tasting. Nice selection there. Only bought 6 bottles there. A somm who loves his GOs in CA says he brings a waiter’s friend, tastes the bottles in his car and goes back into buy more if its good! Luckily, nothing is farther than 10 min away here! I can’t be seen drinking in my car Hobo-Style, too small a town!

            Reply
            1. DARRELL

              Before reading Grossout for tasting recommendations, I’d take corkscrew and wine glasses to sample wines on the sale. Trouble was I had to top off opened bottles to save the opened bottles from oxidation. Topped off sampled bottles and drove cork back in. Well those days are over since I have Grossout to evaluate wines. Instead of a corkscrew, may I recommend Coravin for sampling since it saves the sampled bottle, good, bad or meh, and is quick. You needn’t cut the foil it is so quick.

          2. RB

            There was some of the Torii Mor PN at the Olympia store early on during the last sale, but there was significantly less after my visit! It is quite good.

            Reply
            1. positivepauly

              I tried really hard to snag some of the Torii Mor PN but it was gonzo by the time I got there during the sale. I did luck out and snatch one of the Ferrari Carano PNs though!

              Oly also still had some of the Monsanto 2014 Chianti as of a month or two ago. Haven’t looked recently to see if it was still there, but the ones I’ve opened have been really pleasing!

            2. JJ

              Can you tell us more about that Chianti….I’ll be going there tomorrow to p.u. some wines…am curious. Price and your impressions would be appreciated 🙂

            3. positivepauly

              I can’t seem to find my specific tasting notes, and it’s been a few months since I’ve opened a bottle (I have two left and just opened one of my Red Mountain cab bottles, otherwise I’d crack one of them open).

              I know a few others grabbed some in the most recent wine sale thread.

              If my memory serves me properly, it was a little on the bright and acidic side still, even being from 2014. But opened up nicely and smoothed out pleasantly. I would definitely grab more if it’s available when I visit next.

            4. lim13

              I’d be mighty surprised if any GOs still had the Monsanto Chianti that arrived during the last sale. And I found a number of comments on the 2021 Wine Sale Post of this blog. All mentioned seeing and/or buying it, but not a single review that I could find. It was going for $8 in most locations. Spectator and Suckling both gave it a 91. But strangely, Suckling said “drink now” and Spectator said “Best from 2018 through 2028”. Go figure. Spectator also said “An elegant red, full of black currant, cherry, spice and herb flavors. Elegant and taut, in the traditional style, with fine complexity and a long finish.” Suckling said ” A wealth of attractive fruit such as cherry and berry. Hints of spice. Medium body. Flavorful finish.”

            5. flitcraft

              Regarding the Monsanto Chianti Riserva: We’ve opened one of our small stash of it from the sale, and my memory is that it had ‘cherry pie meets leather’ notes, and had the kind of mouth-watering acidity that makes Chianti such a food friendly wine. We consumed it over three consecutive nights, and thought it was best on night two. I’m in no hurry to drink the remaining three bottles we have.

        1. lim13

          Checked Silverdale today and found no Torii Mor and no Buty wines. Also none of the wines from La Domitienne that BW mentioned. Too bad because I enjoyed their Picpoul. However, I did see a bunch of the Flume wines including the PN, 2 vintages of Riesling with two different labels (2015 & 2016), Dolcetto and Dolcetto rose’ and I believe, a Chardonnay. I went against my own rules and came home with three bottles: one 2017 Tinto Rey Dunnigan Hills red blend in heavy punt bottle for $10 (because I found the blend intriguing…Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Tannat & Graciano) and two bottles (of only four on the shelf) of 2015 Panther Creek Kalita Vnyd Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for $7.00 each.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Oops! Also saw four of the $50 3 liter bottles of Primarius PN. One sold before I left the store, but I want no super sized bottles, thank you.

            Reply
          2. WineObsessedRN

            lim13, I heard the Panther Creek PN is very good (from a Vivino friend on West side). I picked up a bottle of the Tinto Rey 2017 too ($10)(a Matchbook label,if I recall correctly) and Maniere Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG 2019 ($9), in Pullman, have yet to try either.

            Reply
            1. lim13

              I’m a long-time fan of Panther Creek, WORN, since the late 80’s when they operated in the really nuanced old power building in McMinnville, OR. In 2013 they moved to a tasting room in Woodinville, WA where they still make OR Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. And should you ever get to McMinnville, be sure to visit the winery that moved into the old power building…Elizabeth Chambers. https://elizabethchamberscellar.com/
              They make outstanding Pinot Noirs and a beautiful rose’ of Pinot Noir.

          3. lim13

            Opened the 2017 Tinto Rey from Matchbook. Surprised to see a corkburger closure. Clear deep ruby/garnet with just the slightest brick tone around the rim; pleasant enough nose of tobacco, cedar and a touch of menthol; seriously soft and light on the front of the palate with moderate acidity and light tannins; flavors of more tobacco, black plum and dried cherry; fairly well-balanced and tasty. While the Petit Verdot (22%), Tannat (15%) and Graciano (7%) provide deep color, I guess I was expecting them to also provide more oomph and texture. The Tempranillo (56%) is the medium that pulls everything together for this flavorful but understated red blend. Needs a good 60-90 minutes to show best. I wouldn’t expect it to cellar long.

            Reply
            1. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi Lim13. Please see my thoughts about this wine from last summer here. It sounds like this wine is evolving even faster than in my updated estimate.

            2. lim13

              Thanks a lot, BW. I had this vague memory of reading a review of this wine somewhere on the blog, but didn’t bother spending time trying to find it. Actually, I kind of enjoy reviewing a wine that may have been previously reviewed…without the influence of first reading what others have said. I find that I’m more in line with your revisited tasting and notes. It may last a year or so, but I doubt I’d even wait that long. For me, it’s a drink now…and not a re-buy.

            3. BargainWhine Post author

              Agree that I’m glad to have your independent evaluation of this wine. I think I have a couple more bottles that I may have bought before I tasted the saved screwcap bottle. I guess I should think about trying one soonish.

            4. lim13

              In finishing the bottle tonight, BW, I’m getting more espresso/black coffee flavors, a bit more scratchy tannin and more obvious acidity. So now I’m thinking it may, as you mentioned, be more cellar worthy…but I still wouldn’t age it for long. I’m buying no more though, so you’ll have to be the one to see what happens to it…and fill us in on what you find.

          4. flitcraft

            Noted at Kenmore yesterday morning at my 8 am visit: Lots of the Flume wines, as noted here, although the Dolcetto Rose is 2015 vintage. I’m not one who thinks that rose has to be consumed promptly, but a 6 plus year old rose gave even me pause. If it is still there when I make my next first-thing-in-the-morning run, I may pick one up for scientific analysis. No Torii Mor, no La Domitienne, and no Panther Creek, sadly. Although I might be gunshy on buying more than one bottle of the Panther Creek–some time back, a load of Panther Creek turned up at GO, and lots of us bought with enthusiasm, knowing the winery. But there were many reports that the wine was seriously flawed–not just over the hill, but that something awful had happened either in the production or the storage of the wine. I’ll be interested to see reports on this single vineyard PC, which if it is good is a screaming deal. (Not that I’ve actually seen it or bought it at this point. )

            Reply
            1. lim13

              In checking my cellar program, FC, I found only one other Panther Creek PN that I bought at GO. It was the 2006 Freedom Hill Vineyard purchased at Silverdale in Sept. 2014 for $12.99. I bought 3 bottles and loved it. My notes included “ripe, sweet cherry flavors really showing nicely along with subtle black tea notes. This Pinot has weight too…slightly chewy with medium tannins (for Pinot anyway), it leaves me licking my lips. Unfortunately it fades quickly and picks up some heat and bitterness in the short finish. Their current release single vineyard Pinots are going for $45-$50…out of my range. So $13.00 is a definite winner!” and “aromas of black cherry, cola and earth tones; flavors of more cherry, smoke and dark spice” and “tons of “sweet” fruit in the mouth showing black cherry, black tea and wonderfully varietal flavors; medium weight with light tannins; this is one delicious example of Oregon PN, especially at 12+ years old”. But perhaps others didn’t have the same experience…which wouldn’t be startling news for some GO wines.

            2. lim13

              Yikes! Thanks (?) for the reminder, BW. No wonder I forgot that wine…and never purchased any, thank God. Obviously no comparison to the Freedom Hill that I had. Now I’m thinking I need to open one of the two bottles of Kalita Vnyd that I just bought…just to see what’s in store for me.

            3. lim13

              Finally got around to trying the 2015 Panther Creek Kalita Vnyd. PN. My notes: Brilliant pale ruby/orange; seriously closed nose shows almost no typical Willamette Valley Pinot aromas; there is a subtle sweetness on the front of the palate and tongue gripping tannins that provide decent mouth feel, but the flavors I expect are sorely lacking; the wine isn’t flawed, but is showing little Pinot fruit after 90 minutes of air. We’ll see if anything has changed after 24 hours of re-corking the bottle with plenty of air space. Back a day later to report: For some unknown reason, seems a bit darker tonight, but still rather orange and hazy this time (as it’s last pour from the bottle now with more sediment); nose is still pretty closed, but showing alcoholly aromas, cinnamon and some other dark spice; tasting a bit more varietal with tart pie cherry and mushroomy forest floor. Drinkable, but glad I only bought two bottles. Doesn’t remotely compare with the delicious 2006 Panther Creek Freedom Hill I bought at GO in 2014. I don’t recommend this wine. You win some and lose some, but it could have been much worse!

  27. BargainWhine Post author

    Three wines arrived recently from La Domitienne (southern French): a 2020 Picpoul de Pinet of which we’ve had previous vintages ($6), a 2020 Grenache gris ($5 or $6), and a Mourvèdre rosé (did not note vintage, but it’s $6). Interestingly, the boxes for the rosé say “Mourvèdre rouge,” but when opened, the wine was clearly rosé. Anyway, I’ll probably skip the Picpoul, since it seems to have been consistently good, and I may try the rosé, but what really caught my eye was the Grenache gris, since I don’t recall ever having this grape in a blend, much less bottled on its own. Its designation is Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert IGP, and it, like many rosés I’ve liked, is a Jeff Wellburn selection, 13% ABV. I think of it as the middle Grenache version of the better known Pinot series: Pinot blanc, Pinot Gris (Grigio), Pinot Noir. The color is similar to how Pinot Grigio can have an orange tinge to it, slightly more orange than a white wine but not as much as a rosé. On the palate, the texture has some resemblance to the softness of Pinot blanc, but the flavors are more citrusy — yellow grapefruit / pomelo (Asian grapefruit, a little more perfumed), barely ripe yellow pear, lemon, bitterness of citrus pith, slight roundness of cantaloupe and red berry tartness, similar to a rosé. Anyway, I find it quite yummy, but I suspect a bit of its appeal is its novelty for this wine nerd. I’m not sure what food I would pair it with. Pan-fried snapper? Fried oysters?

    Reply
    1. Angela T Carlson

      The Rosé is 2020, dry, spicy and delicious. Definitely what I love in a Mourvedre Rosé.
      No worse for wear being an “older” vintage and our shop will be carrying the new vintage at around the “previously listed retail”. I’ll be stocking up this weekend.

      Reply
      1. bretrooks

        Wish that Mourvèdre rosé (or even the Picpoul) had showed up here in SLO, but we did get the Grenache Gris. We enjoyed a bottle of that, although I would have preferred a bit more acidic zip. Simple, but nice to sip on with miscellaneous appetizers while cooking.

        Reply
  28. positivepauly

    Anyone discover the 2015 Primarius Pinot Noir magnums yet? Anyone bold enough to try one? At $50 AND 3 liters, it seems like a big commitment.

    They have some in the South Hill Puyallup store. Tempted…

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Actually, that would be a Jeroboam (3.0 L), not a magnum (1.5 L), Pauly. And I haven’t seen any over here in Kitsap, but I’d be unwilling to spring for one.

      Reply
      1. DARRELL

        While 3L isn’t a magnum, the Burgundy shaped bottle might not be a Jeroboam since it is sometimes called a double magnum. Jeroboam for Bordeaux bottles are 6 bottle size. The use of Jeroboam is clear when used for sparkling wine, 4 bottle size.

        Reply
      2. positivepauly

        Yes, right – more than a Magnum! I tend to conflate calling anything bigger than a standard bottle a “Magnum” lol!

        It was quite the commitment, even for us (we love our wine) so I did pass.

        Thought it was intriguing, though that they would carry a bottle that large. I think they have a nice target market offering good wines in the $6-10 range.

        Reply
        1. DARRELL

          Not trying to nitpick, but I want readers to know the confusion with Jeroboam. I tell you what really drives me nuts is when people who use the term split when applying it to mean half bottles. Larger bottles are difficult to use especially when one doesn’t have large gatherings, but with the advent of the newer wine preservation systems, one can utilize larger bottles with some efficacy. Depending on the age of the cork, one can preserve a magnum for instance. Pump out a bottle or so and pull the cork on the remainder much later,. A double mag might be tough though since that would use quite a bit of argon gas. There is a new sparkling wine preservation system that makes sampling magnums manageable.

          Reply
        2. lim13

          Wanted to add a couple of links too, PPauly, that I found interesting and you might too. Primarius is another Precept brand and for newcomers to this blog (or us oldies who might want to see what’s been added to the Precept portfolio lately) here’s a link:
          https://www.preceptwine.com/our-wines/ I’m sure you’ll see some familiar labels from GO shopping trips.
          The Primarius site was interesting to me in regard to their winemaker, Sarah Cabot, who plays full contact football in Oregon. Assumedly one tough lady!
          https://www.primariuswine.com/

          Reply
          1. rgardner2

            Last year I bought the 2014 Primarius Reserve PN for $6.99 at GO (Kennewick) and I thought it was quite good for the price but not worth the original tariff ($35?) – also drink now. The regular Primarius was cheaper, and an OK drinker, nothing special.
            For Lim13, Precept has opened a small Brown Family tasting room in Tacoma’s Proctor District, across the street from the Metropolitan Market = high end market, great wine selection. The CEO (Brown) of Precept lives on Fox Island (off Gig Harbor). The place is popular.
            Funny Met Market story from just before Covid. Walking past the meat/fish counter I hear a matron (cough) ask for some fish that would be good for frying. The counter guy sells her halibut cheeks for $39.99/lb. NO (waste of halibut cheeks)! She took 2#

            Reply
            1. lim13

              Thanks RG2. One of the guys I moved out here from Syracuse with 47 years ago…and his wife live on N Adams, blocks from the Met Mkt., so I’m quite familiar with it. Still a little too yuppie for me. Brown has a tasting room in Pioneer Square too, but I rarely go to stand alone tasting rooms.
              My Norwegian father-in-law was a halibut fisherman for years, so we ate lots of halibut. One of his favorite dinners was halibut beers…halibut cheeks dipped in beer batter and fried. I loved ’em too. But of course ours were free…and certainly not $40 bucks a pound. So I guess “to each, his or her own”…or “whatever turns you on”.

            2. Seedboy

              I’ve seen in the No Cal GOs a Washington wine from a winery called Brown. I want to say that it is a red wine blend with nothing on the label telling us what is in it. I assume this is a Precept wine. Anyone know anything about it?

          2. flitcraft

            Seedboy, Browne Family Winery is considered the ‘high end’ brand at Precept. I’ve consumed my share of their reds–the Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blend were the reds served on Alaska Airlines first class–from back in the Before Times when I flew enough for status. A few years back, they were sadly replaced at Alaska by a Canoe Ridge red, which was a step down. As I recall, they were very good examples of their varietals that I would guess would retail in the high twenties to low thirties. It’s been probably five years since I’ve had any, though, so I can’t speak for what the wine is like today.

            Reply
            1. WineObsessedRN

              Recently had Browne Family Tribute 2018 at a party. It was enjoyable, provided by the hosts, here is my review from Vivino for it. 🕰2018
              💯89/100 🌟3.9
              👁-Deep ruby
              👃👅-Dry,black cherry,espresso,herbs,cocoa,cassis,vanilla,med acidity,med+ tannins
              🍇 34%CS,29%ML,13%MB,12% CF,12%PV-Columbia Valley fruit
              🕰17 mo-33%new French oak,67% 2nd-4th pass
              🎖92pts JS🎖
              💵$25
              Tasty WA St. BDX blend
              I brought Torii Mor 2014 Olsen VY, Willamette Valley OR that I got for $7 at GO, retail was $60 on release, plus a bottle of BUTY Wildebeest Red 2016 which I like very much ($6 GO vs $24 release). The Browne reds retail at around $25 at Safeway.

        1. RB

          I took a look at the large format bottles at the Oly store today. Most (3-4) were just magnums of non-descript bulk wines. The only one that was slightly interesting was a magnum of Masciarelli montepulciano d’abruzzo 2016 for $9. Pass.

          Reply
  29. doctorlager

    I picked up a bottle of Skyfall Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for $7 in the Pullman, WA store. Very smooth cab, fruity, slight pepper, and unusually for me there was some still left tonight (3rd day) that was still eminently drinkable with my spaghetti alle vongole. I picked up a few, and am considering clearing them out of the last few!

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Vintage please, doctorlager? When you get to “Trade Tools” from the Skyfall website, this is what you get: https://www.deutschfamily.com/our-brands/ Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits in Stamford, Connecticut. No Cab vintages showing beyond 2016 and when you click on that vintage for info…”page not found”. Nothing under “Store Locator” or “Contact”, so I’m thinking this “winery” is no longer producing, which may be why GO has it. Looks like original retail was around $15.

      Reply
      1. doctorlager

        Sorry, yes 2017 as pointed out. and just the drink while watching a James Bond flick! They restocked recently.

        Reply
    2. WineObsessedRN

      Those Skyfall CS 2017 I didn’t see, they must have flown off the Pullman shelves! I did try the XYZ CS (Milbrandt 3rd/4th label), ehhh not a rebuy. This is my Vivino review on that XYZ, had it twice this. Second time was the house CS at a local Italian restaurant.
      🕰2018
      💯82/100 🌟3.2
      👁-Garnet
      👃👅-Dry,red fruit,herbs,slt spice,raspberry,bit of coffee,soft tannins,med–acidity,short finish.
      Light bodied for CS.🤔
      ⛽-14.0%ABV
      🏰-Milbrandt Winery 2nd or 3rd label
      🌄-WA state
      No tech sheet available 🤷
      Stelvin closure
      The perfect CS for people new to red wine,fruity,soft,approachable.
      Am I buying more? No
      💵$14-GO$8

      Reply
        1. WineObsessedRN

          No worries, DL, early bird gets the worm! Did you happen to get any of the Graham’s 2016 Vintage Port that our GO had last fall? ($33.99 GO price vs $100+ retail) Incredible find!

          Reply
  30. Seedboy

    Some of the stores have a Morellino de Scansano made by Bruni. This is an Italian variety, this one made in Maremma, it sells for $5.99 I think. My first bottle of this variety. Reminds me of Pinot Noir in mouth feel, this one is elegant and nicely balanced with ref fruit and just a bit of a grip. I also tried out the Decoded RRV Pinot Noir that is $4.99. It is a bit shy on fruit, more earthy, but with air some nice cherry fruit comes through. Reminds me more of an inexpensive Bourgogne than a RRV Pinot.

    Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Interesting. The red fruit quality is certainly consistent with Sangiovese. However, it is young for a Sangiovese that drinks so easily, and required little air, even though I try to give other Sangiovese wines hours of air. Different clone? Climate in Maremma (which is on the coast) is very different from, say, Chianti Classico.

        Reply
  31. BargainWhine Post author

    And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Saltram 2012 “Mamre Brook” Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia, (no longer have the bottle so don’t know ABV, but probably about 14%), $6. Day 1 is tasty enough, but still a bit tight. The saved bottle a few days later is fuller and softer, showing flavors of ripe, dark cassis, plum, cranberry / blackberry, with some texture on the palate and balancing acid and dark earthiness. IMO, this is a very good bargain in aged wine. It is mature but does not need to have been consumed yesterday. Do so in the next few months, though.

    Reply
    1. bretrooks

      This showed up in the SLO store, and I’ve grabbed one to try…thanks for the mention. I’ve also picked up these recently to check out:
      2017 Skyfall Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley ($6)
      2018 Quinta de S. Sebastião Mina Velha Reserva ($6)
      2015 Bodegas Lozano Rioja Montes de Leza Crianza ($7)
      2017 EOS Riesling Late Harvest Tears of Dew ($7 / 375ml)

      I picked up two of the 2018 Domaine Lafage Cuvée Nicolas and found them nice enough but a little heavy and short on acid for my preferences. The 2017 Rioja Vega Rioja GG Garnacha y Graciano was really pretty good, although somewhat lean and dark-fruited…it struck me as somewhat Chinon-like from some reason. (I don’t drink a lot of Chinon but I like it when it’s not prominently green, just for the record.)

      Reply
    2. bretrooks

      We finally got to this one yesterday evening. Definitely a little tight on opening. Our bottle had a touch of a slightly bitter/mentholated note which didn’t really detract but might have if it were any stronger…I suspect more air would have smoothed this out, though. I agree with you – this is a pretty decent deal for near-term consumption if you like the style.

      Reply
  32. BargainWhine Post author

    And finally for tonight, a longish story: Mossback 2018 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, produced and bottled by Mossback, Zamora, CA, 13.9% ABV, $12. I opened this (very recently arrived) bottle four days ago, taking out enough wine so the level was down to the shoulder, and then tasting it ~3.5 hours later. It didn’t change very much over that time: lighter red cherry, pretty fresh-fruity, with hints of darker flavors underneath. Because it was so tight, I put the cork in for the night and left it for two days, opening it again for 3 hours two nights ago. It had maybe opened a little more, but still was pretty un-evolved. Last night, I opened it again for 3 hours. At the end of that time, it was starting to taste a little more like normal CA Cabernet, but was still had a good bit of young-tasting rough acid. Tonight, after being open 3 hours, it finally started to taste like a typical Cabernet: darker Bing cherry, hints of black and red currants and blackberry. It’s still on the lighter-bodied and more elegant side for Cab, but with very nice expression of CA Cab flavors. So, this is a rather young wine, and it appears it will not become the full-bodied Cabernet that most folks seem to desire, but it should become a very tasty and elegant CA Cabernet in two or three years. The address of Zamora, CA, makes it appear it’s from the same folks as the wines I usually like at JL Giguiere.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      This wine was featured in the weekly email ads for the Silverdale and Bremerton GO’s last Wednesday, so I suspect the company bought beaucoup cases. Only thing I could find about it was here:
      https://www.intowine.com/reviews/2018-mossback-cabernet-sauvignon-chalk-hill-usa-california-sonoma-wine-review
      I haven’t checked it out because we haven’t been able to get off our property since Sunday due to snow, ice and consistent below freezing temperatures. No mail delivery since last Friday and no garbage collection. Thaw may finally be on the way. Yippee! Being sequestered has “provoked” me to work on reducing the contents of my cellar. Maybe that’s what you need to work on your wine collection, Seedboy…a dose of inclement weather? 🙂

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Lim13. I didn’t get the “straightforward … nice cassis fruit, some black cherries with some underlying spice” until the fourth night, but maybe it was so recalcitrant in part because it had just arrived at the store. He and I agree that it’ll be better in a couple years. I thought it had a nice texture but I wouldn’t call it full-bodied, and I’m not confident enough to say it will drink well for 7 – 10 years after that. Also, it seems that, around here at least, the price was initially $10, but became $12 as soon as it was no longer an ad item. Anyway, I hope you’re out of your weather-imposed confinement soon, although it sounds like it hasn’t been too strenuous for you. 🙂

        Reply
  33. BargainWhine Post author

    Third: Domaine Lafage 2018 Cuvée Nicolas, Côtes Catalanes IGP, (southwestern Mediterranean) France, 100% Grenache, an Eric Solomon Selection, 15% ABV, $9. On the first day, it’s decently tasty right away, but benefits from 2.5 or hours of air, to show syrupy dark purple black raspberry / black cherry, smoky tar / wood, dark rose petals / lighter strawberry jam, darker dried herbs / stem, mildly tannic finish. Second day, it still needs some time (an hour?) to soften and fill out, similar to first day but fuller, riper, perhaps a little simpler, a little less floral and more jammy. Still yummy. Probably drink in the next few months.

    Reply
  34. Stan

    3 liter bottles of 2015 Primarious Pinot Noir, (Dundee? Oregon) $49.99. I was intrigued, but not enough to lay out 50 bucks.
    Seen in Hazel Dell store in Vancouver Washington. They also still have the Graham Port that folks were so excited about during the fall sale for $33.99.

    Reply
    1. WineObsessedRN

      Hey, Stan, hope you were able to pick up a bottle or two of the Graham’s Vintage Port 2016. We opened one at Thanksgiving, fabulous, best Port or dessert wine I’ve ever tasted! Initial release price was $150, now online for $110, so $34 was a screamin’ deal. Rated from 95-98 pts by various wine publications. Drinkable while young, prime 2028-2038.

      Reply
  35. BargainWhine Post author

    Next up: Warwick 2019 “The First Lady” dry rosé, Wine of Origin Western Cape, South Africa, imported by Elektra Wines, SF, CA, 11.5% ABV, $4. Apparently 100% early-picked Pinotage. Delicate flavors of pink grapefruit, cantaloupe / tangerine, tart red berries (although with something admittedly close to watermelon), with a little body from minerality. Very dry and very good for the price. Makes me wish today were a hot summer late afternoon.

    Reply
  36. BargainWhine Post author

    I’ve got a little backlog to get through, but I’ll try to post them all this evening. First, the Novellum 2019 Chardonnay, Vin de France, an Eric Solomon Selection, 14.5% ABV, $6. From Roussillon, southwestern France, “where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean.” Back label touts “rich texture, flavors of peaches and apricots, and a bright, crisp, long finish.” These are not flavors that I usually associate with Chardonnay, but I agree with this description, with the caveat that the flavors are on the lighter and more delicate side. I would also add a little, hmm, mustiness?, which is a little strong when you first open it, but declines with air and warming up from fridge temp. And some sharpness of lemon zest / citrus pith. In sum, I think it’s an unusual Chardonnay about which I’m not wild, but it’s a good and tasty wine for the price.

    Reply
    1. JustAnotherWineSnob

      Lafage pumps this Chardonnay over botrytis-ized Viognier lees. It definitely gives the Chard a unique flavor/aroma…

      Reply
      1. DARRELL

        JAWS,The back label stated “flavors of peaches and apricots” and I wondered where that came from. I wonder what was done with the Viognier, a dessert wine possibly. I am constantly amazed at the depth and breadth of wine knowledge contributed here.

        Reply
      2. BargainWhine Post author

        Thanks! This makes sense, I guess, of the Viognier-like flavors in this wine. Maybe the botrytis accounts for the “funkiness” I detected? Okay, scratch that. This site says “For many years we worked with a cooperative in the Languedoc to make Novellum from a special site that in most years had some botrytis, giving the wine weight without resorting to oak. Since that time we’ve moved the project to the Roussillon where Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have some Chardonnay planted near the Mediterranean that makes a remarkably complex and mineral version of the variety. There is no botrytis here so we resort to aging a small percentage in barrel – usually less than 30%. The remainder of the wine is aged in tank on the lees of Viognier.”

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      So, to my surprise, now that the Novellum Chardonnay has been opened (I mean, with a cork in it) in my fridge for a week, I find I really like this wine. The Chardonnay lemony yellow apple flavor is more primary and forward, complimentarily accented by the Viognier peach and apricots, still with a pretty nice structure and balance. Maybe this is what it would be like if you don’t taste it immediately after it arrives at the store.

      Reply
  37. Seedboy

    There is a new vintage, 2014, of the Arienzo de Marques de Riscal Rioja Crianza, I think this was maybe $5.This is a soundly made wine, somewhat shy on the nose but a good balance of fruit and acid with some tannin. This would make a nice house red over the next year or so but I would not keep it longer. 3 years behind the current release.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      I opened a bottle of this tonight and agree it’s again a good deal for those who like a more dry, acid, and woody (i.e., Spanish) wine that still has nice fruit of dark red tangy cherry, dark red / lighter purple plum, bitterness of cherry pit / plum pit / almonds, slight orange peel.

      Reply
  38. GOwinelover

    Thanks to everyone who has posted about the beef tenderloin over the years. I finally took the plunge, used SeriousEats’ reverse sear method, and had a fantastic Christmas meal. We found the meat a bit gamey but it was a day past Sell By so could have just been … unfresh. It smelled bad coming out of the package but I have had that happen with lots of packaged meat of that type and the muscle itself smelled fine and did after cooking.

    I cook a ton but don’t eat a lot of red meat and thus hadn’t prepped a non-center-cut tenderloin before. We just folded it over so it was uniform height and tied it with double knots, threw it in at 225 for 95 minutes to 130deg and seared it in brown butter with a bit of rosemary. Easy steasy. 3 lbs fed 6 hungry eaters.

    Thanks again. What a treat. Have to believe this is just USDA Select and the cooking method helped. How do most on here cook? I’ve seen blasting at 500 but I would think you would get a really poor result. I know caterers and hotel all basically cook large amounts of red meat at low temp and sear before serving.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Reverse sear all the way. That’s how we cooked the boneless leg of lamb for our Christmas dinner, too. Works great for most any thick piece of meat that doesn’t need braising. I dry brine first–coating the meat on all surfaces with a generous amount of kosher salt and the aromatics I want with the meat–minced garlic and shallots, lemon zest, minced rosemary or thyme, coarse black pepper, smashed up anchovy, etc. Let it sit uncovered in the fridge overnight to create a dry crust on the meat and into a 250 degree oven to get to resting temperature, then seared on all sides. Easy-peasy!

      Your gamy smell on opening the cryovac package is not uncommon with that kind of packaging. I just give it a quick gentle rinse and, unless I’m unlucky like with the last batch of rack of lamb, the meat is just fine.

      Reply
      1. delmartian1

        Two words: sous vide. After a couple of hours throw it on a screaming hot BBQ for a couple of minutes to get that nice crust and you’re good to go.

        Reply
    2. DARRELL

      GOWL, I was researching the rolling of a piece of ribeye cap, spinalis dorsi, for dinner and this article linked to reverse sear by the author. This link is for you GOWL, https://jesspryles.com/how-to-cook-a-steak-with-reverse-sear-method/ , and the method wasn’t intended to show you the reverse sear, but rather the last part about the grade of beef and end results of quality. Not sure I agree with “Reverse sear all the way” since my son-in-law has rather expensive tastes and my wife decided to get him female, mind you, Wagyu beef. Guess who will end up cooking it, the-all-kinds-of-red-meat guy. The non-stick pan will be very,very hot and seared briefly on each side tataki style.

      Reply
      1. DARRELL

        GOWL, your mentioning of the grade of beef led to an evaluation of quality within the same grade. The rolled up spinalis dorsi was cut from a recent supermarket sale of rib roast. It was cleaned of external fat, rolled, tied and cut into small rolls for BBQ. The resulting meat didn’t have that nice BBQ flavor from the fat drippings on the coals that happens with Costco beef and so was quite a disappointment. Both are choice grade. From eating true wild pig experience, animals are what they eat. Grass fed vs grain fed anyone?

        Reply
    3. Seedboy

      I like that gaminess in the tenderloin. So much tenderloin is so flavorless. If you can find them hanger steaks are so much tastier and cost half what you’d pay for tenderloin.

      Reply
  39. BargainWhine Post author

    Moon Tree 2018 Petite Sirah, Lake County, CA, vinted and bottled by Legacy In a Glass, Nice, CA, 14.9% ABV, $6. Longtime readers know I’m not usually much of a fan of unblended PS, but I think this one does a great job of smoothing out its usual harsher acid and tannins without smothering the essential flavors and character of the grape. It’s pretty tasty right away, but promises (and delivers) more: softly rich and tangy boysenberry, purple grape, blackberry, dark earth, finishing with hint of prune / chocolate, and a thin layer of rather drying tannin. I really love this for the price. Lim13, IMO you could fill some of the Zinfandel slots in your cellar with this wine, should it make its way north.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      Yeah…I got excited reading your notes, BW…as I’m a lover of well-made, balanced PS…and I haven’t had one in sometime. The last I had from GO was a PS/Petite Verdot blend that I believe I reviewed hear earlier this year. So I’d love to give this a try, but I’ve become the eternal pessimist regarding wines seen in CA reaching us up here in WA. But I’ll have a look.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Checked the Silverdale store last night and, as expected, no Moon Tree Petite Sirah…at this point anyway. But for those interested, they did have the Umoya 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Africa that BW reviewed recently, though I bought none. Seems it may have been $5.99 rather than the $5 in CA, but I honestly don’t recall for sure.

        Reply
      2. JustAnotherWineSnob

        Shanon Ridge only offered us a few hundred cases, so there was simply not enough of the wine to justify shipping it to the outer states.

        Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Opened a bottle of this tonight to go with ribs and beans. Was really good after being decanted 3 hours. Still youngish and should do well for at least the next year. Ribs were marinated in and basted with Haven’s Kitchen Tangy BBQ Sauce, $2 for 5oz in a plastic pouch, to which I added only a little more salt.

      Reply
  40. BargainWhine Post author

    Alyssa 2019 Pays d’Oc IGP, France, 80% Grenache Blanc, 20% Viognier, 12.5% ABV, $4. The back label says “Alyssa is the embodiment of the modern woman,” so of course I was eager to taste it. I preferred this wine a bit warmed up from fridge temp, when it shows typical Grenache Blanc soft yellow and white pear, accents of Viognier honeysuckle, grape skin bitterness, perhaps a touch of fresh herbs. The style strikes me as fairly typical for a southern French white: ripe but not super-ripe fruit in a restraining structure, well balanced with acid, and a little more bitterness in the finish than
    typical in CA whites. Smooth and flawless. Although I am not wowed, I like it and think it’s
    good for the money.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I like this wine quite a bit for the price point but I’m really not much in the market for much of anything right now; only today was I able to put away most all of the four cases of wine that have been on my living room floor for the last month and a half.

      Reply
      1. DARRELL

        SB and BW, how does this compare to the Bonny Doon 2012 Le Cigare Blanc “Beeswax Vineyard” considering the price point?

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi Darrell! Well, the Bonny Doon 2012 Le Cigare Blanc was $9 almost 6 years ago. If it appeared at that price now, it would be a screaming deal. I mean, it was a good deal at the time. So, to make an equivalence based on how much I personally enjoyed these wines, I’d estimate that one Cigare Blanc roughly equals 3.5 Alyssa blancs. (I qualify Alyssa with “blanc” because there is also a rosé, which I have not tasted.) Seedboy?

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            The Bonny Doon wine definitely had a waxy texture that, I suspect, would explain the name of the vineyard; Alyssa does not have that. I still have some of the BD and have pondered opening one soon

            Reply
  41. BargainWhine Post author

    Chateau de Francs 2001 “Les Cerisiers,” Bordeaux – Côtes de Francs, France, from Hébrard & de Bouard, 14.5% ABV, $10. Starts out without much fruit, dominated by brown-sugary aged complexity with some stemminess in the finish, but fills out with smooth dark red cherry that darkens over a couple hours to more purple cherry, dark cassis / almost blackberry, still earthy brown sugar, a little tar, toasted cedar / oak. Probably a little past its prime, but still yummy for the price. There was some goopy sediment but I did not decant and didn’t feel like the sediment detracted from enjoyment of the wine.

    Reply
  42. Sebastian

    Krames Family Vineyard 2013 Joshua red blend. My curiosity got the better of me on this one – it’s a mourvedre/syrah blend from a small winery in Calaveras County (CA). Long story short, I should have passed. The bottle wasn’t spoiled or corked, but the wine was harsh and dominated by acidity. After 3 hours of air, it got drinkable but still out of balance. I imagine that this might have been a decent wine at one point, but it has definitely seen better days.

    Reply
    1. BeerBudget

      The 2011 was horribly out of balance – I could have used it to clean the latrine. Not sure this was ever a decent wine – it would have only been more acidic in its youth. Shame they named this ‘Joshua’…

      Reply
  43. weinish

    Monteviejo Petite Fleur Blend from Argentina.

    Solid value for $5.99

    Well balanced, not overly fruity, dry, good tannins, plum, berries, cherry, good finish.

    This wine would be solid for burgers and maybe even meaty pasta.

    Not my style per se but I dig it

    Reply
  44. BargainWhine Post author

    Umoya 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Africa, 13.1% ABV, $5. A little on the soft fruity side until open about 1.5 – 2 hours, then tastes of dark red / purple cherry, dark cranberry, lighter blackberry, earthy spice and hint of green bell pepper. IMO, good for the price. [Update: forgot to add: Imported and bottled by Studio Beverage Group, about which we’ve had some discussion earlier.]

    Reply
    1. DARRELL

      I have been to a couple of GO stores and haven’t seen this Umoya. I assume it is in Richmond. Has anybody seen this on the west side of the bay or North Bay?

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi weinish. To me, the Umoya Cabernet ($5) and the Monteviejo “Petite Fleur” 2016 red blend ($6) are pretty different wines, although IMO both good for the price. The Umoya is young, much more fruit-forward, and has some of those S African savory qualities, while the Monteviejo is fully mature and has that dry and structured fruit Argentine style. There is also a Monteviejo “Petite Fleur” 2016 Malbec (the red blend is half Malbec), also for $6, that I haven’t tasted yet, but should also be good.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          I bought a bottle of the Malbec before it was gone, and finally opened it tonight, for whatever that’s worth since it’s long gone. I prefer it to the blend! It has, at least to the best of my recollection, more richness and integration (nothing to integrate, I suppose) than the blend. Has classic Malbec boysenberry, blueberry, caramel / milk chocolaty richness. Anyway, if you have any, it definitely does not need any more age.

          Reply
    2. Seedboy

      I opened a bottle of this last night. BW’s review captures this wine. A couple of observations. Although I wish it had just a bit more acid it has a nice mouth feel. It also has a shy but pleasing bouquet. It is fruitier, and less savory, than the Stellenbosch Cabernets I have run across. At this price a case purchase would be rewarding over the next two or three years or more.

      Reply
  45. Michael

    2018 J. Wilkes Viognier, Paso Robles Highlands District, 15.2% abv, $8 in several Oregon GOs. The label caught my eye, seeming familiar, and eventually I recalled a very nice J. Wilkes Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir that showed up in Grocery Outlets a few years ago. This Viognier is good, too, different from the South African and Arizona Viogniers in GO stores recently. In spite of its high alcohol content, it has sufficient focus and delicacy to go very well with the fresh Dungeness crab hitting fish markets right now.

    Reply
    1. WineObsessedRN

      I enjoyed the J Wilkes Viognier 2018, but the high alcohol content was too much for me after 1 glass. I saved the rest corked in fridge, over time became more austere, less fruity. The label is owned by Miller Family Wines whose brands include Ballard Lane, Barrel Burner, Optik, Smashberry and J Wilkes. Fifth generation Central Coast farmer/landowners/winemakers. They acquired BNA Wine Group in 2020 who owned the following labels: Butternut, Humble Pie, The Rule and Volunteer. Just saw cans of Butternut PN at GO @ $2. (Didn’t note vintage).

      Reply
  46. BargainWhine Post author

    Not sure who wants Pinot Grigio this time of year, but the Cantina Vivallis 2018 PG from Trentino DOC, (far north central) Italy, 12.5% ABV, is outstanding for $4. It is dry and has good acid, but also has some softness of riper fruit — lemon / lime, ripe yellow pear, almost honeyed or tropical (hint of jackfruit??) at times, slight jasmine or gardenia with gentle minerality on the finish. Much better warmed a little from fridge temp, and to me, better second day, although I am tasting it very soon after it arrived.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Finishing off the last half glass of this Pinot Grigio the other day convinced me that part of the reason it was yummy is that it has a tiny bit of residual sugar.

      Reply

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