Saturday, February 27, 2010

Syrah from Oakville for $ 8.99

Trader Joes every onece in awhile comes up with a ringer from Napa for under $ 10. Having had a ton of Syrahs from central Calif. in the last 4-5 months I was anxious to try something from Nor-Cal for a change. This bottle has the Napa valley Oakville apellation.....serious high end wine-grape country....Mondavi amongst others have their home there. You will find the typical big Syrah taste but with more complexity than wines from the other side of the state. -not to take anything away from So-Cal., but this wine offers a nice change from hotter climate high-alcohol Syrahs. Check it out......I give it 7 1/2 swiggs.

Friday, February 26, 2010

North coast that tastes like Napa

This Havens 2006 North coast cabernet is much better than the other 'north coast' bottles I have had from other wineries . At $ 9.95 it isn't much to pay for something this good and really fits the weekend wine catagory even though it is less expensive than most that I feature on this blog. I'll give it 8 swiggs and very enthusiatically say that it is ready to need to cellar this one. From Shopper's Corner.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A taste of the sierra foothills

Remeber when you were a kid, maybe your family went out to a pancake house every once in awhile. I always went for the boysenberry syrup on my waffles. This zin from Shenandoah really has a big hit of boysenberry......a real blast from my past and an unusual taste that only seems to happen in sierra foothill old vine zins. This isn't a particularly expensive wine at just under $ 12 but it is an excellent example of what these wines are all about which is massive berry flavors combined with spicy sweetness, almost like an apertif. It's excellent and I'll give it 8 swiggs. Some of the more high-end zins from this region can be more complex , maybe a bit earthier and richer but the Shenandoah really hits the mark of showing you the style present in nearly all the wines of that area.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

two $ 7.99 gems

Shopper's Corner has two excellent sub $ 8.00 reds right now. # 1, Cavedog NV Napa Valley cabernet is a real surprise. Usually non-vintage means bottom of the barrel. This is not the case with this's great and I would have it any night with dinner. It's a solid 7 swiggs and a screw-top as well......makes it easy when you can't find the corkscrew. # 2, Lily Pond syrah Carneros 2006 is one of those wines that makes you wonder why similar quality wines from the same region can cost five times as much. This is a bit fuller bodied than the Cavedog and maybe a bit more sophisticated....I don't know a better way to put it. I'll give this one 7 swiggs as well , but it is a completely different animal than the more mainstream Cavedog. Save this one for your snobbier friends that need to see a vintage on the lable.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Local Pinot worth seeking out

I have long been a fan of the wines from Santa Cruz mountians vinyard . I have enjoyed the Cabernet, the Durif but the winery has always kept pinot as their flagship wine. This 2006 Branciforte Creek vinyard pinot is one of the best and most authentic wines I have had in a long time. Pinot used to be a floral scented lighter colored wine than you find these days. It is almost that the modern producers want to make something on the order of a zin or syrah-concentrated and full bodied. I don't really go for the modern take on the pinot grape and I don't think that SCMV does, either. If you want something that will go great with food and also stays true to the more traditional style of pinot noir , this is your wine. I can't say enough about how I really enjoyed this one. 9 1/2 swiggs. Available at the tasting room in Santa Cruz.