Guest Contributions

Please use this page to post your tasting notes of Grocery Outlet wines that have not (yet?) been reviewed on the main page, and comments thereon.  If it’s easy to do so, please include in some order the wine’s year, name, producer, varietal(s), wine region, price and the GO store where you bought it.

Please add your notes for wines that have been reviewed on the main page to comments under that review.  You can search main page reviews using the box in the upper right corner.  Note that comments in this blog are not included when you use this search box.  To find everything in reader reviews and other comments, please add “” to your search.


1,756 thoughts on “Guest Contributions

  1. Darrell

    Picked up a 2013 Albariño from Clavo Cellars in Paso Robles. It’s a PRODUCED AND BOTTLED BY wine for $4.99 and IIRC, a $14.99 suggested price. I’m not all that familiar with the variety so looked up the characteristics of the wine here : . Dry with decent acidity that would go with shellfish or fish crudo. Not all that aromatic or fruity, but rather the minerally, beeswax nose. Not at all bitter, med. body, clean more minerally flavor, though not quite like Chablis and Loire whites. Just going have to try more Albariños.

    1. seedboy

      There was an Edna Valley Albarino at GO Summer of 2016, I want to say it was called Bodegas M, saw it only at Oakland, very nice wine, I drank a lot of it that summer.

  2. flitcraft

    Spangler Vineyards, Grenache, 2011, Southern Oregon, 13% ABV. $??

    I picked this up during last spring’s wine sale and promptly forgot all about it. So, here is my belated review, especially for those of you who have it and recall which GO you bought it from. (Enough foreshadowing for you guys?)

    This is an example of the kind of wine that I think is often a superb bargain at GO. It’s a wine made by a real winery–in this case a small family-run winery–from a reasonable appellation (i.e. not Central Coast) of a varietal that probably doesn’t get enough consumer love. So, all the factors for this being a winner were there.

    And yet, it wasn’t. It was thin and fruitless–in fact, more than fruitless, it was darn close to utterly flavorless. No Grenache character, and other than alcohol, darn little wine character. Something must have gone terribly wrong somehow with the grapes or the wine-making process to have turned out a product with so little redeeming social value. I get no pleasure out of reporting this, and candidly, if I saw another Spangler wine at GO I would try it, because I am a fan of interesting wines from small wineries, even if they aren’t to everyone’s taste. But this one, sadly, was a dud. If I could remember where I’d gotten it, I would have taken it back.

  3. seedboy

    Rose (yes, that is the wine’s name), Willamette Valley, don’t recall the vintage, Oakland, not more than $4.99. Nice simple label on pretty bottle, corkburger finished. Pretty color. Best GO rose I have tasted in quite a while, fuller flavor than most, great acidity, bone dry. I think this is mostly (at least) pinot noir. I plan to buy some more.

    1. Seedboy

      This wine comes from the Great Oregon Wine Co. and is called Rose City Rose. 2016, $3.99. Very good at cool room temp (low 60s) on the second day.

            1. Happybaker

              Grrrr….. You’re killing me here! I may do a call ahead to a GO that is much farther from me then the burbank one. In an imperfect neighborhood… but boy howdy does their wine buyer have a good eye. They had the Cairdean Chardonnay oh so long ago.

  4. Zoel

    Just to let all you NBay folks know, the Petaluma store now has plenty of the ’11 Ardente Cab at $12….they have at least 30 cs on the floor, plenty for all. Per past notes, a very well-made Atlas Peak cab in a somewhat lean style.

    1. Happybaker

      Good to know the tasting notes – I called the Sun Valley GO (SoCal) and their Ardente is the 2011.

      Do you kind folks think this is nice enough to be a holiday gift wine?

  5. Darrell

    Just had the Diama Prosecco suggested by Robair at Oakland GO with a game steak and egg breakfast that is $5.99 pre-sale. It’s dry enough for me and at a lower end price for Prosecco at GO’s and so will pick up more. Thanks to all for the evaluations and suggestions on this sale.

  6. Darrell

    Bought a Bordeaux, 2015 Chevalier Saby $15 pre-sale, and preferred the 2011 Ardente CS for the money especially. Lighter in body, which us to be expected, and aromatics but a decent Bordeaux for GO. The label said Grand Cru St. Emilion though I couldn’t find it listed under any St. Emilion Grand Cru Classé listing.

    1. Expat

      I bought this in Palo Alto a few weeks ago. I liked it and felt it was a legit Bordeaux. I was also attracted to the Grand Cru St Emilion designation. It did seem like a French wine made for Americans. Not as austere and earthy as a classic Bdx. At $15 it just isn’t quite there for a re-buy for me. I just bought their Merlot (bottled as Merlot) which I’m sure I”m going to be disappointed in at $15 but we’ll see.

      BTW, I thought the Ardente 2011 Cab was great. I picked up a 6 pack. Deep and dry, stout tannins. This is the style I like. Not sure if I’ll have the same day 2 bummer that Seedboy had but I’ll find out more tonite.

    2. JoelA

      My understanding is that Grand Cru and Grand Cru Classe are not the same when it cones to St. Emilion. The latter is a permanent status akin to other areas of France whereas the former is awarded year by year.

      1. Darrell

        Thanks, Joel. I was looking for some such explanation, but couldn’t find it. I was wondering where the Classé part went.

  7. Doug Green

    Gillmore 2013 Mariposa Red Blend: $4.99 Pre-sale price in Poway

    This is a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Merlot, dry farmed from a single vineyard in the Maule Valley in Chile. Elsewhere price is $15.99. Unlike most of the Chilean stuff that shows up in GO, this winery is an artisinal boutique operation aiming at quality with small production. After I bought a bottle, I did some research on it and found that it had several 89-93 point scores from known reviewers, including a 91 from the Wine Advocate (Luis Guttierez) and a 90 from Steve Tanzer. After I saw this, I popped my bottle, and its REALLY GOOD, and very Saint-Emillion-like, with an opening note of cedar and plum, hints of cigar-box and cocoa on the nose, slight tannins but a round rather than angular structure, and a rich, lingering finish. I already ran back to the store and bought six more bottles @$3.99. It’s eminently fair value at the $16 it was meant to list at. Drinking nicely now, but still young and will keep. If my cellar had room, I’d buy 1-2 cases of this at the sale price. At the very top echelon of GO values I’ve experienced in the past year.

    1. Ashlander

      That one sounds like a winner! I will keep my eye out for it. The label is sure distinctive enough. Should be easy to spot if it’s available.

  8. Doug Green

    Ventana 2014 Arroyo Seco Estate Grenache: 4.99 pre-sale in San Marcos.
    Based upon the price and my expectations as well as the fact that I only saw this wine in one of the 4 San Diego shops I had visited over the past 2 days, this was the first wine that I opened among the dozen I have bought at the sale which began today. Not really what I expected, this wine is lighter, brighter, and fruitier than I expected, with less concentration and structure than most Spanish or French-sourced Grenaches. That being said, it is a delicious warm weather quaffing red wine, especially at the $4 sale price. The ;palate is all strawberries and rose petals, and a very delicate mouth-feel, but a surprisnigly lingering finish. It has a nice racy acidity that makes it an excellent food wine that will go well with barbecue, but with less weight than a typical Zinfandel, which might normally be my go-to Red for BBQ.. As it is devoid of tannins, it will not be a keeper but it will be an easily accessible red wine for the white wine crowd. Defintely worth picking up a couple more at the sale price. I should add that the bottle itself is rather massive, which was one of the things that incorrectly set my expectations about this wine, but which also makes it impressive to gift, especially for friends that are not serious red wine aficionados.

  9. Zoel

    Fall Sale is a major winner! I picked up 9 cs (several for friends) and spent $650, with a savings of $2,235. The manager overheard the cashier sharing my savings, and jumped on the loudspeaker to announce it! (Afterwhich I requested donations).
    Key Buys – ’11 Ardente Cab, ’13 Woodenhead Zin, ’13 Sunce Zin, ’11/’12 Sunce Chard, ’12 Saintsbury “By George”, and ’13 Theory. I’ll share tasting notes later…note that all the Sunce is unique to SRosa…while others should be around in limited quantities.

      1. Zoel

        Nah (re:Sunce) – the deal was struck in Sept and they opted to save the Chard & Zin for the sale. The Riesling, Gewurtz, SB, and White Meritage have been on the floor for 2 weeks now. Not enough for all stores, so we win (this time).

    1. Darrell

      There’s some Sunce Chard in Richmond and I hate it when somebody gets on the loudspeaker and announces the savings.

        1. Zoel

          Yes, the ’14 was more spread out to stores…and I agree, the ’14 is really nice. A bit more fruit-forward (but still balanced)…just more pronounced RRiver fruit. I drank them (’11 and ’14 side-by-side last night), each had it merits. I was told that the second Sunce batch was only for SRosa, but that could be bad intell as well.

  10. philinoakland

    2014 Vermentino di Monteverro, $3.99 at Oakland store:

    Excellent value, reminiscent of the Italian light-bodied whites they sell in the bar at Oliveto in Rockridge for $8-9/glass. Peachy, dry, citrus. Pity summer will come to a close soon (perfect for today’s hot weather).

      1. seedboy

        I really like this Vermentino. The Oakland store has a bunch of it. It is from Maremma, a coastal region of Tuscany that is also famous for “super Tuscans”. A number of established Tuscan wineries are growing Vermentino in this region. When we were in Tuscany last summer we drank a lot of Vermentino and this one punches with any of them.

  11. Zoel

    Time for several notes…all bought at SRosa GO recently…
    ’14 Double Oak Chard – Sierra Foothills – $4 – just what I should have expected from this region…somewhat over-processed, sweet edge trying to cover a lack of fruit…will return. 75 pt

    ’12 Sunce Riesling – Sonoma – $4 – interesting, tough to judge…very dry and floral, well-made Riesling from Sonoma…a bit of a bite/edgy, but not in a bad way. Decent and better as a food wine, my guests polished it off easily. 86 pt

    ’13 Sunce White Meritage – Sonoma – $5 – nicely done meritage, with the semillion adding a bit of depth and polish. Better with food. Good value. 88pt

    Haven’t popped the ’13 Sunce Gewurtz but looks interesting…$5.

    ’15 Larent Miquel “Pas De Géant” – $6 – agree with previous post, this is a very good Rhone, with legs for several years yet.

    Nov 1 Sale should be a winner…

    1. BeerBudget

      You and Michael are giving me hope. Picked up the Laurent Miquel today along with an odd “Charles Roy” Burgandy ($11/22) that I’m not expecting much from. I said the same thing about the “Sylvester” Paso Robles Sangiovese ($5/13) and was pleasantly surprised; great varietal character, bright fruit and decent acid. Very glad Sunce is ok and we are seeing consistent releases from them – hope it’s not because they are struggling.

  12. seedboy

    The only one of those I’ve seen in California is the Outlier, which I liked but not as much as a similar blend from Alder Springs that was available at the same time. I still see a 49 Crows Chardonnay around and I liked it too but not really in the market for California chard right now unless it is high quality.

  13. Doug Green

    My research indicates that the 49 Crows 2013 Outlier White is the same wine as the Alder Springs 2013 Row Five White blend. Also, I believe it’s $5.99, not $6.99

    1. seedboy

      Those wines tasted different to me but that is not shocking, I once had a dinner with wines served blind and the two bottles of Cigare Volant, same vintage, tasted different.

  14. Michael Turner

    Here are some notes from my most recent email. I haven’t had a lot of time recently to post a bunch of stuff here(or even in my store) but I hope to get a bunch of notes up here before the sale. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good sale this year.

    49 Crows Tempest Red Blend 2013, $7.99
    Mendocino County, CA. Rhone Style Blend from Alder Springs Vineyard. Nose is blackberry, plum, bacon fat, game meats, earthy, funky. Palate is more of the same with good acid and smooth tannins. This is rich and full and drinking pretty darn good. Alder Springs does some amazing stuff and this is right up there. Love it!

    49 Crows Outlier White Blend 2013, $6.99
    Mendocino County, CA. Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier. Nose is bright with flowers(jasmine), herbs(anise), minerals, white stone fruits. Palate is similar with some tropical fruit, apple and melon showing. Acid is crisp and bright and body is medium to full. Another good one here, should pair well with holiday foods and also do well on its own.

    Larent Miquel “Pas De Géant” 2015, $8.99
    Languedoc, France. 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache. Blackberry, jam, black pepper, plum, some game meat, a touch of bacon fat on the rich, expressive nose. Palate is rich, with more smoke and spice, blackberry jam, mushrooms and earth and pepper. Rich tannins and solid acid hold this big wine together. This is a wine that would benefit from a few more years in the bottle but after an hour or so it is drinking pretty great now.

    Les Coteaux du Rhone CdR Vieilles Vignes 2016, $6.99
    Rhone, France. Nose is classic Rhone with farmhouse funk, earth, smoke, blackberry, cassis, bacon fat and game meat. Palate is full and rich with more blackberry and cassis, smoke, spice and earth. Good grippy tannins and rich acid. This is nice and dry with a long finish. Another great wine.

    Cantina di Solopaca Fara Vivace Falanghina, $5.99
    Beneventano, Italy. The grape here is Falanghina, a classic Italian varietal that dates back to the earliest winemakers in Italy. Has a slight sparkle to it, similar to Moscato d’Asti. Nose is soft and sweet with pear, peach, minerals, green apples and cream. Palate is soft and smooth, medium to light body, with similar flavors from the nose. This is an interesting wine with great flavor and it is well made. A good substitute for Riesling this holiday season.

    Mystified Soft Red 2015, $4.99
    California. As the name suggests this wine is nice and soft with no real tannins or acid to speak of. Nose is blackberry, black cherry, strawberry, smoke, spice and a touch of earthiness. Even though this wine is soft, there is still a lot of flavor here, and a medium full body as well. There is a good amount of sweet fruit but it never gets too sweet, just enough to make it go down smooth. A nice party red that should please most palates.

    Rare Find Zinfandel 2016, $4.99
    California. I’ve had a few wines from the Rare Find line and they have all been really good for the money and this Zin is no different. Full of blackberry, bramble, earth, smoke and spice on the nose that carries over to the palate. Rich and full with soft tannins and nice lingering finish. Not the best Zin in the store but a great buy for the price!

    Vina San Juan Red Blend 2016, $5.99
    La Mancha, Spain. 50% Merlot, 25% Syrah, 25% Tempranillo. Nose is cassis, cherry, spice and forest floor. Palate is medium full with more smoke, earth, black cherry and blackberry. There are some light tannins and good acid, so this wine should hold up well against food(bbq, roasted meats, hearty stews) but it’s also pretty good by itself, as a prelude to dinner. Nice long finish.

    Cantina Puianello Lambrusco Rosso, $5.99
    Italy. Most Lambruscos tend to be pretty sweet so I was excited to get this one which, yes has some sweetness but is no where near as sweet as your typical Lambrusco. Nose is cherry, strawberry, blackberry and some brambly earthiness. Palate is full and rich with just enough sweetness to balance all the fruit. I would say this wine has about half the sweetness normally found in Lambrusco. Really nice stuff!

    I have others to post but I’ll have to do it later. All of these available at SODO Seattle. I’ll post a long list of New and Upcoming in Whats New?

    1. flitcraft

      Much appreciated. These days what we get in the Great North seems quite different than what is available in California.


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