Saturday, February 22, 2014

California Syrah delivers

I am becoming a big fan of Kohler wines. This one was purchased from Trader Joe's as the other Kohler red 'Quartette' has become a house favorite.This 2010 Santa Ynez valley Syrah is every bit as good, maybe even a bit better and is the same price-$ 9.95 , a little steep for the weekday but in there for a weekend treat. This is a pretty big red without being overwhelming-there's a bit of restraint in the wine making here , unusual for the region where blockbusting high-alcohol reds are the norm. I say get this one before it is all gone-it is a real great dinner wine. 8 swiggs.

Weekend French red

This wine from the south of France was really great. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre-not unlike a Chateauneuf du pape but from a region southwest of the Rhone. This was a gift so how much this wine costs and where it was purchased is not known to me but the Domaine d' Aupilhac 2011 Montpeyroux is a really nice red for California folks who are used to fresh, bold fruit. I'll give it an 8 1/2 swigg rating.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pat Paulsen wines

If you ever get a chance to get one of the offerings from Pat Paulsen winery I highly recommend it. This 2009 Wirth Ranch cabernet is really fantastic and at $ 19.95 is still affordable for a weekend treat. The complex flavors rival what you would get from Napa wines costing twice as much. I also tried the Alexander valley merlot and was equally impressed. I'm excited to look for more varietals at the local market where I found this bottle. I'll give it 9 swiggs and hope that New Leaf markets does not run out of it soon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Parade of holiday cheapies

 One thing I like during the holidays is having affordable wines that don't taste like crap.....I'm sure that everyone will be on board with that plan. This is the time of the year when I look for sub-$10.00 bottles that are good enough that visitors will be very happy to quaff......and I'll be happy because I can afford to have a lot of this type of wine around. #1 is the 2011 Boeger  cab from Trader Joes at $ 9.99. I reviewed the zin awhile ago and liked it-the cab is even better-7 swiggs.
Here's one that might be tougher to find at Trader Joes-this 2009 Powers Columbia Valley cab is a bit nicer than the Boeger and $8.99-a dollar less. I give it 7 1/2 swiggs and recommend  it highly.
This one should be in good supply at T.J's -the Vintjs 2011 Paso Robles Petit Sirah. I reviewed the Lodi Zin from this label and was impressed. The Petit Sirah is just as good and at $ 7.99 a real buy. 7 swiggs. All three of these wines are definitely above average in quality at the price range and distinctive enough to keep people coming back for more.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wine shipment from Tobin James arrives

Yes, last year we joined a wine club. Tobin James winery is just outside of Paso Robles -a good stopping point between L.A. and Santa Cruz or parts eastward like Yosemite. This is the first bottle out of the box of nine that arrived yesterday. This is the Tobin James "James gang reserve" 2009 Paso Robles zinfandel. This was a big meaty red almost like a Syrah. There's a ton of flavor to balance the high 15.8% alcohol. We had this a bit after dinner so I can't say how it would go with food but hey, it was so good I had to write about it. I'll give it a 9 1/2 swigg rating......with some age it might be a 10. It would be hard to find a better wine of this type. $ 28.00 from the winery-20% case discount for us club members.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Grenache blend from Santa Barbara county

I looked at the blend of grapes in this wine and thought " Chateuaneuf du Pape" . The Curtis 'Heritage Cuvee' pretty much delivered on the promise of a nice southern Rhone style blend. The dry red wine is very nice with food and will cost barely half of what you would pay for the same blend from France. Granted, new world wines will not have the same exact style even if the varietals are the same but still, this is a really nice blend of Grenache 39%, Mourvedre 26%, Cinsault 19% and Syrah 16%. I was hoping for of a bit more of the Syrah to come through but that isn't a deal breaker for me. I really enjoyed the wine. 8 swiggs and it is $ 16.95 at Shoppers corner.

Italian red from prestigeous area

One of the most sought after wines from Italy is Bolgheri. I have seen these wines for sale but have not been able to afford one until now. The Greppicante 2008 Bolgheri is only $ 19.95 at Shoppers corner and really is a treat. I like the dry richness of this wine. It isn't as pruny or tannic and some of the other top-flight Italian offerings and it went well with our dinner of pasta and salad. I'll give it a solid 8 swiggs and recommend that you pick up a bottle for a weekend dinner some time.