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.

Napa Valley red with heart

That's a purple heart to be more precise. This wine is made by a Viet Nam war veteran and he annually donates to the Purple Heart foundation some of the proceeds from the sales of this wine. There are other reasons to buy this wine- for one , it is reasonable for a Napa red at $ 13.99. For two, it is very well made and a nice dry example of a red wine from this great region. I found this one at Shopper's Corner here in Santa Cruz but I'm sure that it exists elsewhere. We gave it 8 swiggs, a good score in this price range. There is no information on the label indicating what grapes are in the blend but it seems to be a Bordeaux style .

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Napa Cab that is a bargain

Yes......sounds impossible but in this case it is true-there's a Napa Cabernet for just under $ 15.00 that is pretty darn good. Back in the early '90's I got a bunch of reserve wines from Sterling and cellared them for awhile. I would taste one very six months or so and conclude that the wine was too tannic. It remained that way until the last bottle was drank......so I decided that I really didn't care for the way Sterling Cabs were made.
Here it is, many years later and I found this bottle at Shopper's corner and decided to give it a try. This  2011 Sterling anniversary Napa valley cabernet is a very good wine for $ 14.95-in fact it would be a very good wine for $ 20. It isn't huge but it does the Napa style justice and really improved as we drank it. I would give it 7 1/2 swiggs, maybe 8. If you find it anywhere, pick up a bottle and see what I mean.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tobin James Syrah

Last weekend while coming back from an MTB race in the southern Sierra foothills I drove by and braved the huge throngs at the Tobin James Zin festival weekend. I bought a 1/2 case of assorted wine including this one: 2012 Rock 'n roll Syrah. This Paso Robles red is really good for the money, a common feature of all of the Tobin James wines. There's a lot going on with the flavor, big but not too jammy, lots of nice floral high notes. I'm not kidding......this one is very much worth looking for.  This wine sells for about $ 18.00 at the winery and I'll give it 9 swiggs. I'll be reviewing the rest of the box in the coming months.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Toscana to remember

Every once in awhile I see a label and give a double take-this wine was one that got my attention. The vintage was 2008 so I saw an opportunity to get a ready to drink Tuscan red for a fairly low price. I have now had three bottles in the last several weeks of this wine and am very impressed. You can find this one at Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz and it sells for $ 13.99. This one drinks like a $ 50.00 Brunello.......yes, it is that good .  I'll give it 9 swiggs and call it the best wine so far of 2016.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Petit Sirah deal of the winter

This 2007 Ursa Petit Sirah is not one out of the cellar that has been waiting-I bought it last night at the west side liquors in Santa Cruz. I was not sure that it would still drink well after years on the shelf but I was really impressed at how this wine has held up. Nearly nine years old and it still has intense flavor and the almost black color of the varietal-with 14.5 % alcohol, this Sierra foothill wine is a product of very hot summers with the high alcohol being balanced by the really big flavors. This isn't an overly sweet wine but certainly not as dry as an old-world version-it is definitely California and a really great example of Petit Sirah and the intensity of the grape at its best. At $ 11.95 it is also a real deal for the kind of quality in the bottle. I'll give it 8 1/2-9 swiggs.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Can't do much better than this

Maybe you might think that I'm more than a little partial to Ridge wines. This is true-it is not hard to find excellence in nearly everything they have bottled in the last 30-odd years. This 2012 zinfandel from Paso Robles is no exception. For a fairly young version of this wine it drinks now like it has been in the bottle for ten years-it will probably be just as good in ten more from now. There's lots of flavor across a wide spectrum.....a good way to describe it would be 'round', encompassing all the great flavors possible in a central California zin-for that matter, any zin from anywhere. Expect to find this for $28-32 in a good market. We found this one here at Shopper's Corner for $ 29.95.  9 swiggs . A great treat for special occasions.