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 “site:grossoutwine.wordpress.com” to your DuckDuckGo.com search.

2,134 thoughts on “Guest Contributions

  1. Seedboy

    Rock Wall RRV Pinot Noir 2019, $12.99 at Napa: This is a very rich fruity wine that is nevertheless nicely balanced. It drinks like an expensive California pinot. Lots of cherry and plum with a bit of cinnamon and some menthol, with adequate acid and some tannin. This is from the Rosenblum family’s Lone Oak vineyard, which they’ve owned since the 1980s. I am generally not a fan of this winery but this wine is 13.5 (the 2018, which is there but I’ve not tried it, is 14) and in balance. I will go buy some more.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      I agree, liked the Rock Wall PN a lot! Certainly more of a cab-lovers style, but very well made and balanced. Good value as well (it’s GO after all)…stock up!

      Reply
  2. Seedboy

    I do not remember how long ago the GO liquidated the library of Rutz Cellars but it was an epic sale. This last weekend I opened one of my last bottles, a magnum of the 1996 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir. It was a lovely wine, still showing good red fruit and secondary and tertiary characteristics. Elegant in the mouth. Samples tasted the next day were lovely. I wish I had bought more of these but my recollection is that this particular bottling was scarce in the sale. One reason I opened it was one of the other guests brought the Williams Selyem Weir 2009. It was a good wine but the Rutz was better. Maybe the best $8 I ever spent on a bottle of wine.

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  3. Seedboy

    Yesterday a friend and I were discussing his recent disappointment with older Chateauneuf du Pape wines he’d had, and we resolved to find some older bottles and hope to catch them before they were aged beyond pleasurable drinking. So I selected a Les Closiers by Ogier, 2004, that I bought at the Berkeley GO store well more than ten years ago. Short cork was in good shape. The wine was delicious with plenty of Grenache fruit, balanced, not much tannin left, no sign of oxidation. Next day the fruit is faded some but the last glass is pretty good. I am glad of two things. First, that when this was available for $2.99 per bottle I bought every one I could find, and, that I opened it last night and not 5 years from now.

    Reply
  4. BargainWhine Post author

    I forget why I put away the Rock Wall 2015 California Zinfandel “Monarch Street,” 14.88% ABV, into cool storage for a while, or exactly how long it’s been, or what the GO price was. However, I opened it tonight and was underwhelmed. While it still aired slowly over 3+ hours, it never became anything I found especially exciting or interesting. I decanted it off a small amount of sediment, and it started off having some promising brambly Zinfandel character in the first hour or two, but fully aired, it tasted like many other Rock Wall wines: soft and ripe, blue / purple / slight red fruit, some prune, slightly tannic finish. There’s still a little Zinfandel character if you look for it, but not much.

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  5. Kim

    Hi all. I’m in Los Angeles area headed back to Las Vegas and want to stock up on wine on my way back ( I’m currently in Santa Monica). Which store has the best selection of wine? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  6. BargainWhine Post author

    Opened tonight Vincent Morey & Sophie 2007 Santenay “Les Graviéres” 1er Cru, Burgundy, France, 13.5% ABV, $11. Pretty sure I bought this at the Berkeley, CA, store before summer 2012. (Berkeley store no longer exists.) Opens from lighter red cherry, orange, stemmy tannin, to softer, much darker red / purple cherry, almost plum, lighter red raspberry, burnt earth / Pinot funk, stemmy earth. Not some amazing red Burgundy, but very nice and at a perfect age, IMO.

    Reply
      1. flitcraft

        That was seriously good Sauvignon Blanc. Sorry to hear that they are going into receivership. But I will keep an eye out for any of their wines that turn up at GO.

        Reply
  7. flitcraft

    Thomas Estate Shiraz, Estate Reserve 2006, 14.2% ABV, 4.99 probably bought at Lake City GO, based on price tag.

    Another orphan, cold and lonely in the cellar. I had some leftover beef tenderloin so I went hunting for an appropriate match and this one seemed to fit the bill. The back label claimed that this was, and I quote, a “BIG red” and, went on to say that, while delicious upon release, it would be even better with “extended age.” Well, check that box–it’s fifteen years on. Opened and took a tiny sample to swirl–lots of typical Aussie shiraz notes of black fruit. Color was what I call ‘claret,’ like an aged Bordeaux. On tasting, it did have some tanginess and a lot of secondary flavors. It went well with the leftover beef tenderloin, though by the end of dinner, I thought it was starting to get tired. The original plan was to save a half bottle for the next evening, but as it seemed to be beginning to fall apart, we decided to drink a bit more of it after dinner, saving only about a cupful at the end. (Hard work but somebody has to do it…)
    Caveat: I’m not a huge fan of Aussie shiraz, though I often find that I like them more than I think that I will. So take this review with more than the usual grain of salt. If you happen to have this in your cellar, get it in the queue to consume soon.

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  8. BargainWhine Post author

    Going through the collection recently, I found a forgotten bottle of Deux Amis 2011 Vyborny Vineyards Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley, CA, 14.5% ABV, $6. (The only reference to this wine I can find on this site is here, and it doesn’t say much beyond giving a date in July, 2015.) Anyway, I opened it tonight and fortunately it seems at pretty much perfect maturity. It seemed at first maybe past its prime, but it opens over 2.5 – 3 hours to show pretty full, supple, ripe fruit of boysenberry, blueberry, dark red cherry, with zingy / tart acid and mildly clamping tannin in the finish. It’s not all that complex, but pretty yummy. At the moment, I’m finishing of the last of it, 4+ hours after opening, and it’s developed a nice delicate-ness. Anyway, should you have any, there’s no reason IMO to wait to open it, but you should give some air.

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  9. Doon

    Tonight opened our last bottle of ’15 Moillard Chardonnay “Tradition” with first of the season local King Salmon, total home run. This is certainly my favorite Chardonnay I’ve found at GO, thought the Foppiano a few years back would give it a run for the money. a multi-layered, thoroughly engaging wine at or near its peak of enjoyment. Only wish I had bought more.

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  10. flitcraft

    3 Horse Ranch 2014 Syrah, Snake River Valley AVA Idaho, price??.
    This wine was available, along with its siblings Chardonnay and a Syrah-Mourvedre, about two years ago at the Crown Hill GO. I bought a couple of bottles of the reds at one of the semi-annual sales, cellared them, and forgot about them. The wines were beautifully packaged and, checking their website, seemed to be exactly the kind of wine that was likely to be a hidden GO gem–made by a small family winery, in a non-trendy area, from their own estate grapes. Somehow I hadn’t gotten around to our stashed bottles till just now. So, if you happen to have some of these, here’s my review:

    First night: we opened the wine and poured out a glass apiece to let it sit a while as i fixed dinner. So, it had been open and passively airing for about an hour or so before drinking. First impressions were very favorable: a nose of black and red fruit and some spice and maybe a little bit of leatheriness. And the palate cashed in what the nose promised: tangy sour cherries, huckleberry, and plums and definitely a nice note of spice: mace, nutmeg, and cinnamon notes. Really a very good wine all around, and one I regret not buying more of.

    Third night, having skipped night two due to a meal that wouldn’t have worked with the wine, we had a somewhat less positive reaction to the wine. There was an undercurrent of stale dried fruit that made an unwelcome entrance to the party, and what had been a harmonious wine seemed out of joint on night three. .Bottom line: the wine was really delightful the first night, but seemed to fall apart and reveal less appetizing elements by the third night, so if you have this, it’s drinking beautifully on opening, but I would try to finish it sooner rather than letting it hang around later.

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  11. lim13

    Opened my next to last bottle of 2014 Wild Horse Unbridled Santa Barbara Pinot Noir last night. Paid $6.99 and $4.99 for more, one year later at the Bremerton GO. My notes: Clear fairly dark ruby with just the slightest bricktone on the rim; fruity raspberry/cherry nose; tastes sweet on the front of the palate with tons of black cherry fruit; light, but chewy tannins and quite delicious; showing a longer finish now too; holding up extremely well and worked perfectly with our char-grilled black peppercorn pork tenderloin.

    For years, I belonged to the Wild Horse Wine Club, but dropped out when I felt they were experimenting with too many varieties (like Valdiguie?) instead of concentrating on what they did best. I do miss their dry Malvasia Bianca. Checking their website today, I see they’re still making an incredible number of wines. Looks like Gallo now owns the winery. Check this out (Thunderbird is now a collection of varietal wines??? That’s a far cry from what that brand used to be…fortified paper bag wine!) : https://www.sanluisobispo.com/living/food-drink/wine-beer/article228805999.html

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      What’s the word? Thunderbird!–I don’t have memory of the mid-fifties jingle, but I do recall the rep of the wine. I found this interesting item:https://drunkard.com/whats-the-word-thunderbird/
      Best/worst part of the story was the Gallo reps actually left empty Thunderbird bottles in skid row areas as ‘advertising.’

      I don’t think I ever knew anyone that was done and out enough to admit to drinking Thunderbird, but I do recall friends who drank Boone’s Farm Apple Wine and Real Sangria back in the day.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Loved that article about T-Bird and Gallo, flitcraft. Got a few chuckles here, but sadly…I remember T-Bird, Ripple, Night Train, Wild Irish Rose, Bartles & James, Boone’s Farm, Annie Green Springs, Pink, Ruby & Golden Chablis et. al. from Gallo and Italian Swiss Colony. We sold lots of that stuff in the 70’s and early 80’s. Thank God those days are far behind us! But I do have a bottle of T-Bird in the cellar…given to me 16 years ago at my retirement party by my fellow workers. Haven’t had to resort to opening it yet…or maybe I’m just thinking it needs a little more age.

        Reply
      1. GOwinelover

        It is. It’s definitely not ultra complex and I haven’t had Malbec in a while so likely enjoyed it more than normally.

        Reply
  12. BargainWhine Post author

    Opened tonight the World’s End 2013 “If Six Was Nine” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. (I can’t recall the price, nor find mention of it on this blog, although I’m pretty sure there was some.) It needed a good 3 hours’ decant to open, fill out, and soften, and nicely ripened and darkened after 4 hours. IMO, needs air but not any more age.

    Reply
  13. BargainWhine Post author

    I opened a couple bottles recently that were in GO a while ago. Unfortunately, I think I’d have preferred both with a little more age. Maybe I’ll open another of each this fall or early winter.

    Cadaretta 2015 Syrah. Had a moment after being decanted 4 hours when it seemed like it would fully open to soft dark purple fruit, but that moment passed and the wine didn’t improve after that. Unfortunately, I didn’t save a portion of it for later.

    Esterlina 2013 Estate Pinot Noir. This was $18 a few years ago, although I bought it during a sale. It was pretty close to being ready that I expect the saved 187.5ml screwcap bottle will be quite good. It promised extremely smooth and elegant, medium-bodied red cherry, orange, stem.

    Reply
  14. BargainWhine Post author

    Opened a Cadaretta 2015 Windthrow (mostly Syrah with some Grenache and Mourvedre). Still on the younger side but pretty tasty. Needed 3 hours decanted to be fully aired.

    Reply
    1. Michael

      What was the price? I understand the winery has closed, and the wines sell at discount. Have other Cadaretta wines shown up at GO?

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I can’t quite remember. I think it was $10, but it might have been $8. These were around at least a year ago, I think.

        Reply
        1. Zoel

          Yes, there have been several Cadaretta wines here in NorCal. The Syrah was solid, as was the Cab (Reserve? Can’t remember)..methinks they are both in the $8-$9 range. Well made and nicely packaged vino. Definitely worth a try imho

          Reply
  15. Seedboy

    Corino Dolcetto d’Alba 2012 North Berkeley Imports. Bought some many years ago. Wow, what a lovely wine. A nice core of cherry fruit shines through this wine but it still has tannin and acid to balance.

    Reply
  16. Seedboy

    Still drinking down the cellar. Poggio Arduini Salento Primitivo 2010. Tasty balanced red wine with no rough edges. Kind of fell apart on day 2.
    Montemaggiore Dry Creek Syrafina, syrah/viognier 4%, estate grown, 2012. Weird wine. The viognier actually dominated the flavor and not in a good way. Holding this one was a mistake.

    Reply
  17. Seedboy

    Could not find where this had been posted about before but I opened a bottle of the Chalone Gavilan Chardonnay 2016 tonight and it is lovely. I think Richmond finally ran out of this about a week ago. I know there was bottle inconsistency here but I have opened many lovely bottles of this. My gut is if you have any you needn’t be in a hurry to drink it, either it is improving or it is already gone.

    Reply
  18. flitcraft

    2010 A. Diehl Dortfelder, Pfalz 13% ABV, 1 liter, no idea what I paid for it, but probably not much
    Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of Dortfelder as a grape. Me neither. And I have no recollection when I bought it or what I paid, or even why I did, though ‘an educational experience’ probably figured into it.
    So…I assumed that a German red wine would likely be light in character, and that assumption was borne out. The wine was indeed both light in color and light in body. On the nose, which was not terribly pronounced, I got a bit of plums and a bit of something like sage or thyme. Tasting it, the plum was certainly there, with a fruity kind of acidity that reminded me of stewed plums–which often taste brighter than when the plums are eaten fresh. Also noticeable was a faint prickling of spritziness, so faint that my husband wasn’t sure it was even there till the second sip.
    I sincerely doubt that the winemaker intended that this be laid down for a decade. But, it really wasn’t bad at all, accompanying Chinese lamb dumplings. And, with a whole liter of it, we’ll get a chance to try it with some salmon tonight as well. Not a bad little educational experiment!

    Reply
  19. Seedboy

    Rutz Cellars 2008 Sonoma Cuvee Pinot Noir, I don’t remember the price or when I bought it. As you all might have noticed I am drinking through some ghosts of GrossOut wines past and this one was next at bat. This was not part of the library liquidation (I still have many of those wines) but a later wine that I suspect was bottled specially for GO. Lovely wine through and through. Still plenty of fruit, no sign of deterioration, elegant mouthfeel with just enough acid to hold it all together. The corkburger is in perfect shape. I actually hope I have more of this, but doubt it. Next up: an old New Zealand SB.

    Reply
    1. flitcraft

      Seedboy, love your ‘blast from the past’ reviews. We’ve not been into a grocery store since May, so we’re going through our cellar and finding some surprising gems that I’d forgotten. I think when I retire one of my resolutions is to keep a spreadsheet on what we have. But then, I’d have no excuse why we hadn’t gotten around to drinking stuff that, objectively speaking, is long best its ‘use by’ date, and wouldn’t have had as many pleasant surprises. And if there is one thing most welcome here in Pandemica, it’s pleasant surprises.

      Reply
  20. flitcraft

    1881 Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009; 7.99 when purchased, some time ago.
    This wine says that it was made and bottled by Charles Krug. I found a single bottle of it in the cellar during our big re-organization, and made a note to consume it soon.

    Soon happened to be today, as it turned out, with lamb loin chops. This was a lovely example of somewhat aged Napa Cab, which is mostly too rich for my blood. Dark ruby-red, with the slightest bit of bricking on the rim to testify to its age. Beautifully mature, with the silky-smooth cassis and black fruit being balanced with a touch of oak, and I do mean only a touch. This was made by somebody who knew what they were doing. If you have this in your cellar, lucky you. It probably will be fine for some time yet, but I cannot imagine it will be better than it was tonight.

    I believe it was purchased at the Lake City GO, based on the price sticker. In the past, when that GO has gotten a one-off wine in a small amount, they haven’t bothered to put it in the computer but just slapped a price sticker on it. I do wish I’d gotten more of it, but hey, that’s the adventure of GO wines. Now if only the PNW GO’s would get more wines of this quality these days…

    Reply
  21. Darrell

    Found at the Petaluma GO, a 2016 Mount Eden Vineyard, Edna Valley Chardonnay for $5. It is a produced and bottled by wine and according to the back label, barrel fermented. The nose is a vanillin, citrusy and applely mixture. There is some pear also. There is no indication of bâtonnage. Some of the early Mount Eden Vineyard Chardonnays were heavy on toast from the barrel ageing which made the wines rather pungent, not unlike White Burgundies. In the mouth, it is clean with a good balance between fruit and oak, med. body and decent acid.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I need to go up there and get some. Mt Eden does not grow those grapes but they make and bottle the wine. That wine is about $25 on release.

      Reply
      1. Don Bevins

        Mt Eden wine not at Rocklin or Roseville. We did enjoy the Rubissow 2014 Merlot $24.99 after a couple of hours in a decanter.

        Reply
        1. Seedboy

          Those wines are grown up on Mt Veeder and need air.
          I think the Mt Eden was a Bennie purchase and therefore Petaluma only.

          Reply
  22. Seedboy

    Gustafson Family Vineyards Dry Creek Zin 2014, Richmond, $6.99. This is a lovely zin. Mountain fruit from a vineyard west of the valley, elegant, balanced, if I find some more of it I am buying.

    Reply
  23. Seedboy

    Oakland has some new Chilean wines from Marin, labelled Cartagena. Having recently visited Cartagena, Colombia, I decided to give the Pinot Noir a try. Back label says the grapes were grown near the Caribbean. Sadly this wine reminds me of why I am consistently disappointed by moderate priced Chilean red wines: light body, green flavors, high acid, but not enough fruit to balance those out. I’d take it back if not for Covid rules. There is a Sauv Blanc I might try.

    Reply
    1. Don Bevins

      There is also a Cartagena Riesling at the Rocklin GO. Pinot noir was nothing to recommend and I haven’t seen the sauvignon blanc in Roseville and would likely give it a try

      Reply
  24. Seedboy

    This concerns two Mourvedre wines I bought many years ago and have recently opened, both from the 2011 vintage.
    Bonny Doon Old Telegram. I paid over $10 for this I think. It has rounded into a really elegant wine with an almost pinot-like elegant mouth feel. Still some dark fruit, well balanced. I drank it over a three day period and it just kept going. I hope I have a few more of these.
    David Girard El Dorado Estate. I think this was about $5 a bottle and I bought it when some of this winery’s other wines were available, I bought every bottle I found. This is under cork (OT was screwcap). A really lovely wine that was very similar to the OT, except that it did start to deteriorate after the first day. I am pretty sure I have a few more of these and think I should drink them up in the next couple of years. I see a big wine glut on the horizon and I need space to take advantage of it.

    Reply
    1. delmartian1

      Thanks for the update on the Old Telegram. I “splurged” and bought one bottle at the time which, of course, is “too good to drink” so remains in the wine cellar. I’m thinking about a pairing with lamb. Thoughts?

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        I got a couple bottles, apparently during the Spring 2016 sale, of the 2011 Old Telegram ( to put in cool storage and opened one tonight. I thought that, while it has evolved well, I’d likely prefer it with another year or two on it. Still, after being decanted about 2.5 hours, it went well with roasted rack of lamb ($9/lb from GO). It had smooth tart and ripe red and purple fruits, spiciness, but to me did not fully open and relax or have aged complexity. I did not have the restraint to drink it over three days. 🙂

        Reply
        1. flitcraft

          Wonder if that lamb has made it to Northwest GOs?? I’ve had terrific lamb chops and lamb shanks over the years from GO, mainly Aussie I think. One of the real bargain meats to be found.

          Reply
        2. Seedboy

          I opened one of those in the last few months and had the same basic impressions.I have a couple more of those and will not touch them for a couple of years.

          Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Thanks for your update on the Old Telegram. (I believe it was 2011, IIRC.) I think I have a couple bottles in my rented climate-controlled storage locker. However, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get into said locker due to Covid-19 lockdown, so I’m glad to hear it sounds like it’s got some life left in it.

      Speaking of Mourvedre, though, tonight I coincidentally opened a bottle of the “Time Waits for No One” 2017 Monastrell from Jumilla, Spain. You may recall it as the wine with the black skull and crossbones on a white label that was around several months ago (last summer?). The wine frustratingly took 3.5 hours to fully open, but after that it was, while tasty, not as complex or elegant as I would have hoped. I have one more bottle which I think there’s not much hurry to open.

      Reply
      1. GOwinelover

        I remember where I bought that monastrell since I was traveling. I recall it being quite disappointing. I think it was…$6.99?

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Hi GOWL! The TWFNO Monastrell was $5.99 IIRC. I thought it was pretty good when it first arrived, pretty tasty Mourvedre, although not easily identifiable as Spanish. It was quite popular in our store. I liked it enough to buy a couple more bottles, but maybe it wasn’t worth that investment of money and time.

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          1. delmartian1

            FYI that I actually saw some TWFNO Monastrell in the San Marcos (San Diego County) store this morning. They also still have some of the reserve Acumen Mountain red. I’m guessing wine sales have dropped right off so not much is moving these days.

            Reply
            1. flitcraft

              Well, I can’t speak for others, but the last time I was out of the house was March 9th. I miss grocery shopping, but it isn’t worth the risk in you’re in a high risk group…So, if other folks think the same thing, I would guess that stores like GO that don’t deliver may see wine sales off from typical sales.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi flitcraft! I actually feel much better about working in a grocery store now that (1) most customers are following guidance and wearing face (nose and mouth) coverings and (2) the store is taking care to reduce the number of customers in the store at one time, with people waiting outside in a well-spaced line. On the first point, I think it will soon become mandatory to have a face covering to enter the store. Are there similar precautions in Seattle? In the meantime, are you living from supplies you’ve stocked up on, or do you have deliveries that you carefully wipe down after receiving?

            3. BargainWhine Post author

              Hi delmartian1! I can’t believe this wine is still sitting around so much later than when it sold out of our store. With all the distraction of keeping a mask on and (ideally) 6′ distance from everyone, it’s hard for me to tell how much sales are changing. I still have plenty of work at my store at least.

            4. flitcraft

              Glad to hear that your GO has developed sensible policies to keep both customers and staff safe and confident in their safety. I have no first hand knowledge of what is actually happening in Seattle markets, since I’ve been using delivery exclusively since the first week in March. (Having an immunocompromised husband makes us both extra careful.) But my neighbors tell me that stores are putting in restrictions on how many shoppers can be in the store at one time, providing disinfecting wipes for carts, putting in one way traffic patterns within the store and spacing people at check-out lines. Delivery service has been most welcome, though you never know exactly what you’re going to get–last delivery I ordered 23 items and got 14! But we have plenty of vegetables in the freezer from our garden, and enough other pantry items to be well-fed, if sometimes in odd combinations of foods. And, to be on topic, we have more than enough wine to keep us going for months. But I do miss grocery shopping, especially the scavenger hunt that is Grocery Outlet. And I miss the fun of finding the bargains and yes, even kissing a few frogs along the way. So, I will be happy to see the end of the extreme lockdown measures, once they figure out how to do it.

          2. Darrell

            Del, if you haven’t tried the Acumen Reserve, you might try a bottle. I was reluctant to go out to purchase a $25 bottle since I tend not to buy that expensive from GO. I tried out one and wanted more. I missed out since most of it was gone.

            Reply
  25. JoelA

    Hi all. Living in Israel now about 2.5 years. Israel is a small country, with population about the same as the overall Bay Area. While some supermarkets have better prices than others there are no stores comparable to GO, especially not for wines. People say that there often is a surplus of wine here (Israel has over 300 wineries of various sizes) but nobody has taken on the role of bottling under secondary labels and selling at a discount. People say that instead excess wine is shipped to Europe and sold there at a discount.

    Imported wines are expensive and for the most part uninteresting for me. But there is lots of kosher wine here. If anyone’s coming this way, let me know.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      Sounds like a great biz opportunity to me! Only challenge is that’s its such a small connected market, hence the concerns re: brand image.

      Reply
      1. Joel A

        Should be a great biz opportunity but besides it being a small market, the market for imports is controlled by a small group of importers and/or distributors. And that’s the case for many products.

        Reply
  26. Dave Lipscomb

    Howdy folks, came across a 2015 Sonoma red wine called ‘Defiant’ produced and bottled by Seghesio in Healdsburg at my local GO in Sparks, NV. It was a cool $7.99 and I missed the 20% off sale by a week. I don’t know if it was there for the sale, but 20% off would have been even better. Anyhow, if you can get some, it is really good. Ruby red, clear, no sediment, clean cork, great nose and just an all around really nice red blend. Unlike some GO wines that you can’t find any info on, there is plenty of info about this one online. Good reviews and looks to be about a $30 average selling price elsewhere. I bought a case and it is since gone from the store, so hope you can find it at yours.

    Reply
  27. Zoel

    Ok – serious scoop here. The Acumen Reserve ‘15 is ‘da bomb’ – genuine Napa high end mountain fruit…I bought 3 at Richmond – popped one and was wow’d. Went back, all gone of course. Been looking – found out (thru Bennie in Petaluma- thx!) the only stash in CA was in Livermore…since I was driving to LA this weekend, made a stop and got 7 more…they still have about a dozen more. Best $27 GO wine ever, enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Rob

      Yup. Took a long while to track its origins but made a post about it on the guest contributions. If people haven’t tried it–it is well worth the drive.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        I’ve not tasted the reserves. The Mountainside Red I have tasted is a crowd pleaser but not a style I like much. I have at least a case of the Ardente cabs from a few years back that I am sure did not show well young but damn they are drinking great now. I’ll let the rest of you buy these.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          ” I’ll let the rest of you buy these.” ditto on that. The bulk of the Ardente wines came to GO in late 2014 with age on them and were ready to drink. My purchases had 18 to 15 years of age on them and were $9-$10 a bottle. At $27 a bottle, it’s not an incentive to range far to find a bottle to taste or purchase for that matter. The Acumen Mountainside Red was at my local GO and that is not a recommendation. I don’t get over to the East Bay where much of the better finds are. I do visit Sonoma County stores and that was extremely nice of Benny to find the Livermore store for the Reserve wine.

          Reply
    2. rocky

      Thanks Zoel… to clarify though, are you speaking of the ’15 Reserve Cab, or the ’15 Reserve Mountainside Red Blend? Appreciate your help.

      Reply
  28. Seedboy

    Luigi Calissano Barolo Bricco Castelletto 1993, purchased a long, long time ago for $2.99. This wine was purchased at the Oakland store between 10 and 20 years ago. It came in a special gift box. I bought 6 of them (all that was left) and this was the last one. Cork was perfect, only the last one eighth of an inch was saturated. Light color with amber edge. Some sediment in the bottle. This wine shows why one should cellar Barolo a long time. Nose was shy (poured into Riedel Burgundy glasses), light body with mature Barolo flavors including rose, cherry and orange, gained complexity over an hour and a half. Wish I had more.

    Reply
  29. BargainWhine Post author

    Recent interesting arrivals of some Cadaretta (WA state) wines: 2014 “Springboard” Bordeaux-style blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot) is outstanding for $10, 2014 “Windthrow” Rhone-style blend (Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache) is excellent for $10, more on the elegant and ethereal (northern-Rhone-ish?) “feminine” side, and a Syrah which I have not tasted and of which I don’t even know the vintage.

    Reply
    1. bretrooks

      Some of these just showed up in SLO: 2014 Windthrow ($10), 2015 Syrah ($8), and a Cab (I forget the vintage/cost). We tried the Windthrow over the weekend, and it was quite good – still a larger-scaled Rhone for sure, but much better balanced than most wines I’ve had which clock in at similar ABV (14.9%). Another one we’ll probably head back to pick up more of.

      Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Yes, the 2015 Windthrow arrived fairly recently, but I haven’t tried it yet. Should be good. From your description, it sounds a bit more full-bodied than the 2014 was. The 2015 Syrah was a blend similar to the Windthrow, but the 2016 is 100% Syrah. Both good.

          Reply
  30. thriftyjuice

    Aril 2014 Russian River Valley Walker Vine Hill Vineyard Syrah $16.99 at Richmond GO. I can’t believe this wine is still available long after all the Aril wines sold out. This is a super wine if properly decanted. I know that a few were returned to Richmond that were not decanted. It’s fairly awful without decanting. It opens up quite well after 6 hours of decanting releasing flavors of cocoa, blackberry with aromas of earth & moist leaves. In my opinion, all the wines from Aril were super.

    Buena Vista 2018 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. $14.99 at Richmond GO. Yes, a Cabernet only 1 year old! Cabernet aficionados may not like this expression which seems
    more like a Zinfandel to me. Big and bold fruit flavors of boysenberry & current with a light
    dash of vanilla oak & tiny amount of tannin on the finish. A long, long finish. Silky texture,
    fruity without being an out-of-balance fruit bomb. Wish it as a bit cheaper but a very good
    wine without being a good example of Cabernet.

    Reply
    1. Zoel

      Good perspective on both the Aril and Buena Vista. The Buena is a typical example of well-made Cabs from Sonoma that are sourced from lesser terriors…they begin to resemble Zins or Syrahs plus come off hot. Pass for me…I thought this particular bottle was $10 too high for GO.

      Reply
  31. rob

    HI I am new to this site and live fairly near the Oakland store. I like funky or earthy wines in winter–I especially like some brett on my reds. It seems there is less and less wine available with brett (sometimes described as barny or tasting like sweat). Any GO reds with brett in the Bay Area stores (some wineries probably see it as a defect and thus may be offloading it). Also are there every any priorats at any of the stores?

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi rob and welcome. I also appreciate funky / earthy wines, and I agree there seem to be fewer available at GO, or maybe there just were never that many there to begin with. Many European wines, especially French, have traditionally had more funk, but those acquired by GO, especially lately, seem to be those made for export in a “clean,” more Californian style. One I found recently that had some funk was, oddly enough, a Spanish wine “El Primero,” made from Graciano and Garnacha, IIRC. Probably it’s not around anymore, especially at the Oakland store where wines move pretty quickly, but to me it strongly resembled a Cotes du Rhone.

      Reply
        1. Expat

          Hi Rob. I have similar preferences in wine as yours. Finding old world, earthy, restrained wines at Gross Out is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack but they do pop up. They were clearing out a Bordeaux (Haut-Medoc I believe) a few months ago that I think was a Costco deal that was earthy, dry and terrific. The current Bdx wines are mostly as Bargain Whine describes and not worthwhile. I’ll post in What’s New when I find one in this style. The York Creek wines are a mixed bag but the merlot was decent and fairly old world.

          Reply
          1. rob

            Thanks for the tips. I will look for the York Creek and see if they still are at the Oakland store. I also work in SF and frequently go to the Mission BART station. Any info on the GO there on 24th and Van Ness? Thanks again
            Rob

            Reply
            1. Seedboy

              That SF store has an above-average wine section. Oakland has a couple of vintages of the York Creek Meritage, 1996 and 1997 I believe. Richmond has a better selection of York Creek, and, generally.

            2. weinish

              Richmond still has the York wines.

              I’m in the earthy boat as well, but haven’t seen much.

              There are a number of Italian wines I haven’t gotten to at the Richmond store either because the prices seem high (low for Barolo), or they don’t seem overly interesting.

              I want to try the new chianti classico that’s there, but haven’t yet. Will soon.

              I have enjoyed that Petrichor – https://www.winemag.com/buying-guide/petrichor-2012-trois-rhone-style-red-blend-syrah-grenache-sonoma-county/

            3. Seedboy

              I opened a bottle of the Petrichor on Tuesday and, due to circumstances, did not finish it until Friday. This is a solid wine that has years ahead of it. Lovely red fruits last night, still shy though. This is mountain-grown (between Santa Rosa and Calistoga) and made with care.

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        In the funky / earthy vein, if not terribly substantial, is the Trenel 2014 Beaujolais Villages for $4. The price tag says “14/15,” so the 2015 may be around somewhere. IMO, it’s an excellently flavorful, lighter weight, every day red for the price. 2015 probably better.

        There is also a Trenel 2015 Macon-Villages (Chardonnay) for the same price I haven’t tried yet.

        Reply
  32. Christian Miller

    HORSE HEAVEN HILLS ‘les Chevaux” RED BLEND 2015, WASHINGTON, COLUMBIA CREST: deep purple-plum color with dark opaque middle; ripe but not cloying black fruits with a bare hint of green bean, typical Washington fruit purity; med-full body, decent acid, dense pate de fruits flavor with fine medium strength tannins, interesting tug of war between the sweet fruit and dry tannins, med length. 14.5% alcohol. Likely to be a crowd pleaser. $6.99

    Reply
  33. Doon

    Just posted this on What’s New, but seems I should have posted here:
    I recently found a Moillard ’15 Bourgogne “Tradition” at Redwood City, $7 (avg. retail per wine-searcher is $15). It appears nicely packaged for English speaking countries, labeled as “Chardonnay” (historically a warning sign for white Burgundy) and likely is large production, the house white, I presume, of a respectable Maison based in Meursault.
    The wine’s character reflects the home town of the Maison: pleasant nose suggesting rich fruit, borne out on the palate, viscous texture, medium length with a crisp finish. Per Vivino, finished 50% oak/50% stainless. I was running low on everyday whites and even though my preference runs to Chablis I went back for 6 btls. A real bargain in my book. Cheers!

    Reply
  34. Seedboy

    Fly By 2017 Lake County Zinfandel. I think this cost $7 or less. This wine has been around a while but this is my first purchase. This is a nice table wine, good balance, not booze, not jammy but pleasant fruit. Most GO zins are too much for me, this one is just right.

    Reply
  35. redwoodcityroger

    Evans and Tate, Big Squeeze Shiraz, 2017. Australia, no region specified. (Redwood City, $4.99, 13.5% alcohol)
    In the past, GO had an Evans and Tate wine called Smooth Operator. It was lush, well-balanced, and an exceptional bargain. Accordingly, I decided to try their Shiraz. The label said “Bold and tasty. Rich and mouth-filling American oak” “Mouthfilling combination of dark cherry and plum with black pepper and spice notes frame by tasty oak.”
    There’s no doubt this is a shiraz. The color is a dark, dark inky violet. And, the nose is smoky. Toasty, almost toasted coconut or toasted marshmallow. From the nose, one knows this will be a distinctive wine.
    There’s an initial burst of flavor, followed by tartness, acid, and the alcohol. And pepper — this wine is a pepper bomb. If you like black pepper, definitely try some.

    Reply

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