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.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Local red of note

A few days ago I was reading the local paper and found a review of this wine. I have been a fan of this winery since the early '90's when I knew the owner at that time and got to sample a lot of the reds from that vineyard. The quality was usually very good but every once in awhile they would make something really special. Many years later the winery now has a tasting room just a few blocks from where I work and the wine is more widely available.
I picked up this 2012 Pierce Ranch Petit Sirah yesterday and we had it with dinner last night. While it might not be the biggest wine from this grape it is still really robust and flavorful. It isn't overly sweet or alcoholic , it strikes a really nice balance between a dry and fruity version of this intense varietal. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs. You can generally find this for $ 19.95 at New Leaf markets or at the tasting room on the west side of Santa Cruz.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A taste of an oldie

I bought a bunch of this Sagelands Columbia valley cab a number of yeas a ago from the local Shopper's Corner market for $ 8.99. I was really happy with the '99 but when they ran out of it they got in a shipment of '02 which I was not as keen on. It was still a good value but I put a bottle away and pretty much forgot about it until a couple of nights ago. This bottle sat in my cellar for over 10 years-I had just watched a show about sommaliers that had a part about drinking older wines. Now this wine is not as old as the wines featured in the show but at nearly 14 years old it should have been well past its prime, not having a reputation for being an 'ager'. I was rewarded with a very nice wine with some pruny port-like tastes and richness that was not there when the wine was young.
So......if you run across this wine you might want to get a few bottles and try drinking it over a period of years rather than months to really see what time can do with it. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs and say that it is far better now than it was back when I bought it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In this case , the reviewers are correct !

I used to buy wines from Bogle about 20 years ago . Looking at the grapes used in this blend I was curious to see if Bogle could pull off a nice wine for $ 8.99 , right in the range of a 'weekday' wine price for me. There's old vine Zin, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah in this blend, not really a Bordeaux or Rhone style-more of a California "Hey.....let's try this and see what happens" style-or at least that's how I interpret it. About 8 years ago I bought a wine called River Park that possibly was a similar blend with grapes from central California and it was one of my top picks of the year. I can't say if this Bogle is that good but on first taste I will say that it is a very successful experiment and a wine that I will keep buying. This 'Essential Red' 2013 can be found at Trader Joes and scores a 7 1/2 swiggs-oustanding for a sub $ 9.00 red. The wine Enthusiast gave it 89 points and I think that they are right on the mark-almost an outstanding wine.