Sunday, November 20, 2016

Nice price on a Napa stalwart

We don't get to drink this one very often as it is usually priced out of the Swiggtator comfort zone. Trader Joes has this 2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Merlot for $ 21.99 , about $ 16.00 less than the winery price. The wine is dark and rich as one would expect from this very established winery-a bit tannic and dry but still really good. I am going to see if the Cabernet is also at Trader Joes....I have seen it there on occasion. I am sure that it will be a bit more but if it is under $ 30.00 it represents a really good deal for a top-tier wine. We had this one with pasta and a salad, probably not what one would typically associate pairing with such a dense wine but it worked well enough for us. The price makes is a weekend treat and too spendy for most occasions but this is coming into the holidays so what the heck......give it a try. 9 swiggs.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Napa Cabernet at a good price

Every once in awhile I will give a sub-$ 20.00 Napa Cab a try to see if I can find a winner. This Uppercut Napa valley Cabernet 2013 comes pretty close. The wine is not tannic and ready to enjoy. While it might not be as full bodied and rich as the best from Napa it is at such a low price ( $17.99 ) that it is really worth a try . This one is available at Trader Joes. It has really nice fruit flavor and none of the vegetal elements that make some Napa wines unappetizing to me. All good here and a good choice for a weekend treat.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Napa Merlot at a decent price

This Tangley Oaks 2012 'Lot 13' Napa valley merlot is one I had not tried. I'm always on the hunt for the classic Napa taste at an under $ 20 price point and at $ 16.99  this one was in the range. On the back it states that the wine was in barrels for around 20 months, bottled in 2014 and released last year. All that waiting provides a very nice-not overpowering Napa red that is really outstanding for the price. We had it with some pasta with red sauce and a salad. The wine paired up really well with the pasta-good enough to merit 9 swiggs. This wine is sold by the Terlato wine group so it is probably available in more places than just the bay area. I found it at Shopper's Corner here in Santa Cruz.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tobin James Rhone style

GSM, Grenache , Syrah, Mourvedre.......these grapes are blended to make some spectacular wines in the south France. Since the '70's there has been a bit of a similar thing going on in Paso Robles and Sonoma as well. Tobin James always seems to put their own stamp on a grape varietal , maybe a bit less subtle than most but the wines are undeniable good. This 2012 GSM really is different than their other offerings. That is one thing I appreciate about Tobin James......there;s a theme to their winemaking but each wine is really distinct- a hard thing to pull off in a climate so hot that every grape is pushed to the limit in terms of ripeness. This one does not disappoint. We gave it 9 swiggs and you can find it at the winery.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Top notch local Zin

This is the latest release of the Storr's Rusty Ridge Zin. No surprise here- as good as it could be. This is not a cheap wine but what it delivers is well worth the price and more . You can find this at the winery in Santa Cruz, local New Leaf bay area markets and other Santa Cruz stores. This is a very jammy , alcoholic wine so be prepared for something unique. It is about $26-29 depending on where you purchase it. We gave it a perfect 10 swiggs.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rare reserva Chianti bargain

Ever want to drink a mature wine but didn't want to break the bank ? Now's your chance . Shoppers Corner in Santa Cruz scored some of this 2008 Belvedere Chianti Reserva and is selling it for only $ 14.95. The original price is supposedly over $ 30.00. Money, however does not guarantee for a great tasting wine but in this case I feel that at this price it is unusual to find something this specatcular. It is wonderful with food and really should be enjoyed a.s.a.p. as I don't think that it will last much longer. We gave it 9 swiggs and rated it in the top-5 of the year so far.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dry Creek Zin

I found a new Zin at Trader Joes that shows some promise. This 2013 Painted Cave Dry Creek valley Zin is very good for $ 11.95 and a rare treat at this price from one of Sonoma's leading appellations. The wine is not overly jammy or sweet, just a nice balanced red that is better with food than a lot of Zins. I'll give it 7 1/2 swiggs and say that it will probably drink even better in a couple of years. It's no Ridge Geyserville but it is barely a third of the price.