Sunday, March 29, 2015

Low budget Italian red thats a winner

Every once in awhile I find a wine where I like the look of the label and I buy it.... even if there's no vintage date and the information on the bottle is vague. Something about this one made me want to try it......I'm really impressed with the flavor at the price. A few years ago I found another non-vintage red from Paso Robles that was also really tasty and less than  $ 5.00 . Wines at this price that are this good are pretty rare so I'm planning on stocking up on this Ocarossa from Trader Joes At $ 4.99 it is one dollar less than out other favorite cheapie - Rabbit Ridge allure de Robles 2013.It tastes like a much more expensive Italian red-much like an Amorone or Ripasso. I'll give this one 7 swiggs.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I have always regarded Ridge Geyserville as one of the great wines of the world. That's I'm not kidding about this-there's too much good to say about this wine to fit in a short blog post but take my word for it-the depth of flavors without being heavy handed is something that very few wines can match. Go ahead-bring out your grand crus, your classified growths, your Napa cult wines. This bottle will hold its own. 71% Zinfandel for 2012, a bit more than the last one I tried but as always , a masterful blend . This one cost $ 37.95 at New Leaf market and we drank it for my wife's food, just the wine-it can stand on its own. 10 swiggs.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Local winery makes a winner

 Something about this bottle was calling me on a rainy Friday night. Here was a local winery ( Sones) making a Merlot from Santa Clara grapes and it was already 6+ years old on the shelf for $ 14.95. I had to try it. It did not disappoint being complex on the nose and rich on the pallet. This is the kind of red wine I had been jonesing for many weeks. The goodness of the wine was not too much of a surprise as Sones makes some great stuff. I'll give it 9 swiggs and it is either available where I got it at New Leaf market or from the winery in Santa Cruz.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Primitivo has the taste of earth

Here's a wine that really cannot be duplicated by anything from California. Not everyone will be happy with the dark , earthy tastes of this Italian red but I really liked it. Primitive is very much and old world Zin but with a bit less sweetness. There's almost a port-like finish on the wine mixed with the earthy flavors and texture. Its a nice taste of Italy for just under ten dollars. $ 9.95 at Shoppers corner. I'll give it 7 1/2 swings.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bonny Doon Claret ????

Indeed-I never thought I would see a Cabernet based wine from Bonny Doon vinyards but here it is and it is called "A proper Claret ". This 2012 blend of Cabernet, Petit Verdot ,Petit Sirah, Syrah, and Tannat might sound a little odd but the wine lives up to the name-it really smells and tastes like a red wine from Bordeaux . I bought this wine at the new tasting room on Davenport for about $ 20.00 just to see what kind of wine this would be. Eleven years ago I worked at the old tasting room in Bonny Doon for a summer and noticed that the selection of wines did not include much of the mainstream varietals such as Chardonnay , Cabernet or Merlot-that is why this wine is an unexpected item in the Bonny Doon inventory. I'll give it 8 swiggs and declare it a proper Claret , if you don't mind me saying so.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Drug store cowboy

Believe it or not, CVS stores can have a pretty decent selection of wines , as long as you don't have the hankering for something off the beaten track. Talk about beaten track, Kenwood Sonoma has been around for a really long time. I used to drink some of these wines about 20 years ago and had forgotten how good they could be. This 2011 Sonoma Merlot was only $ 8.99 a price range that does not feature many wines with an actual Sonoma designation. I bought this one and had it with dinner . This older style of winemaking, lower alcohol and earthier flavors is something that I still appreciate and miss in the current world of super fruity and high octane wines. I'll give it a solid 7 swiggs and declare it the value of the month.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Merlot has power to spare

I have been a fan of this winery for about 10 years, mostly for the Zin and Sangiovese. I figured that the merlot would probably be a good bet so I decided to bring one home and try it with dinner the following night. Typical for wines from the region there is a lot of flavor to balance the high alcohol, not unlike wines from other hot climates such as Livermore or the Sierra foothills. This Pietra Santa 2010 Cienega valley Merlot is very dense and flavorful-probably will last a long time in the bottle-of course, not at our was great immediately. This was found at Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz for $ 14.99 but can be bought from the winery directly or at better nor-cal wine shops. This is a small production wine but available in more places than one would think. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs.....a super good weekend wine.