Saturday, November 17, 2018

Rutherford Lane- a taste of Napa

Trader Joes form time to time has $ 19.99 Napa wines often enough but not many as good as this one. Rutherford is very much the center of high quality Cabernet in Napa Valley. There are other good areas for sure in the valley but this region gets my vote for my favorite Cabernet bottles 90% of the time. This 2015 Rutherford Lane Cabernet truly has the taste of the spot- complex, rich and easy to drink. At nearly $ 20.00 I only have this one every now and then as I'm pretty thrifty and don't want to go broke drinking fine wine. That said, I don't mind being a little more broke after enjoying this particular bottle. While it may not be the typical under $ 10.00 swiggtator deal, it represents a heck of a deal for what it is- a great Napa Cabernet. 9 swiggs.

Tobin James knocks it out of the park again

We are members of this wine club so I'm not sure what this bottle costs - it is worth whatever they are charging. This 2014 James Gang reserve primitivo really is an improvement over the last one I had a year ago. I didn't like the 2013 as I found it overly tart. This one displays non of the tartness and has big rich flavors and complexity. I'm sure that it would be fine if left to age for another 5 years or so. That said, it is sensational now. Be prepared for a huge wine- 9 swiggs.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Very good Spanish red

Got this one at new leaf and had it with paella- perfect match. It might be a 2016 but it is ready to drink- tastes mature and very dry- perfect with food. This Finca Resalso 2016 is mostly Tepranillo and is $ 16.95. I would give it  8 1/2 swiggs easily- an excellent alternative to domestic wines if you are looking for a less alcoholic and over-saturated red.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Puma Road

Every once in awhile I like to give a shout out to some of my favorite spots to taste wine. Puma Road is not far from here, about 1 hour south in the Salinas Valley. If you drive south on River Road you will see numerous wineries on the road between Hwy. 68 and Greenfield. Puma Road is one of them- a really great place to taste excellent wine. This Meritage was on sale- I don't remember the price but whatever it was it was well worth it. I would give this blend a solid 9 swiggs- very much the perfect blend of Bordeaux grapes and ready to drink now. Their Malbec might be the best I have ever had. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Deal of the month

I know that we have only just started July but I think I have the deal of the month already. This is some old world goodness at a really low price. This Paniza Reserva is already 6 years old- this makes it ready to enjoy now. Mostly Tempranillo,  ( with 15% Cabernet and 5% Grenache) this blend is seemingly simple when you first open the bottle but with some exposure to the air it turns a bit earthy and more complex. It's not a really big or dense wine but has ample flavor to keep you coming back. I'll give it 7 1/2-8 swiggs.....remarkable for a $ 6.99 wine. It is at Trader Joes currently and looks to be on the shelves for at least another week or two.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Napa Cabernet deal

Not sure if you can still get this one but it is worth a look. This Technique Atlas Peak 2014 cabernet is very appealing with some bold fruit flavors and not too much tannins. At $ 14.95  ( at least that's what I remember..) it is unusual to find an AVA designated Napa wine like this one. The label does not say much about how the wine was made but at this price it isn't really an issue.
We had the wine with some Gnocci with a bold red sauce with Italian sausage, chili flakes, garlic and parsley. It turned out to be an excellent pairing. This wine was purchased at Trader Joes- I'll give it 8 swiggs.....not outstanding but really good for the price.

Monday, April 30, 2018

April lineup

Here's a Chianti that is really good and only $6.99 at Trader Joes. The Fior de Vino Riserva really has those nice earthy Chianti notes- a true-to-its-origin dry red. I'll give it 7 swiggs.
 Here's a shout out to a winery I visited in Paso Robles a couple of weeks ago. Rio Seco is a family owned winery that was built in an old building that used to be a marijuana growing room ! it's kind of funny now as that particular business is coming back now that California has de-criminalized it. Rio Seco though is sticking with growing grapes and making some affordable blends like the one pictured here, along with some really spectacular varietals such as Cabernet Franc and Petit Sirah , the latter being one of the best I have ever had. The flagship wines and not cheap but they are a good value for the quality they offer. The winery is a great place to visit- much smaller and more down-home than many in the area. The owner was a wonderful woman who was actually working the tasting room that day- a rare treat to get pours from the boss herself.
I have not been posting much new wine as I have not been getting very many new unrated bottles. When you find some good wines that are affordable there's two things that happen: # 1, you tend to stick with that wine for a few weeks. # 2, Once you review it, the wine mysteriously gets sold out never to return. I don't know about you but this frustrates the hell out of me. -That said, I can't blame people for liking the same good deals that I like. Case in point: Flux red wine at Trader Joes. If you can find it, get it- there's no more around here. It was $ 7.99 and easily 8 swiggs- one of the winners you hope to fine once a year if you are lucky. 
So here's one you still can find. The St. Hallett is a Shiraz at $9.99 from Shopper's Corner. It is almost fizzy but the flavor is like most Barossa reds- big and fruity. I do recommend it- I'll give it 7 swiggs.