Monday, March 28, 2011

Mclaren new favorite region of Australia

I used to buy Australian wine without much thought to the fact that the country is immense and the variety of wines equally ample. As I have tasted through the years I have found two regions that produce the kind of reds that I really appreciate : # 1, Barrossa , # 2, Mclaren Vale. Both of these south Australia valleys produce world class Bordeaux varietals and Rhone grapes but the biggest star seems to be Shiraz , or blends thereof. This Tintara is available at Shopper's Corner for $ 9.99 ( reg. $ 16.99 ) and is a 2006 Shiraz from Mclaren Vale , home to one of my favorite wines of the world, Yangarra. Most of the Yangarra wines are near the $ 30 mark so finding a neighbor for under $ 10 made me buy it. I was not disappointed.....the wine is flavorful and rich without being over ripe or volitile with too much alcohol. I give it a solid 7 swiggs and recommend it for folks who want to check out how good Australian wine can be without breaking the bank.

Italian great for under $ 15.00

Trader Joe's has a few 'La Loggia' wines in stock pretty much year-round. I have had two, the Barbaresco and the Barolo. They are both inexpensive examples of two top-end wines from Piedmont. These wines from top estates are often in the $60-100 + range so finding one under $ 20 makes me suspect. In the case of the 2005 Barolo for $ 14.99 , I was surprised to find a really terrific wine that represented a classic style of the region-not some westernized version without the local character. The almost 'pruny' taste leads me to believe that unlike more pricey versions of Barolo, this one is drinkeable now and should not be aged further. The 2006 is available now and I'll be tasting it soon. For now, you'll have to settle for my review of this one and my hope is that it is still on the shelves for you to try. 8 swiggs.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A taste of Amador

I am of the opinion that the zinfandel from the sierra foothills has something not present in any other California zin. I was maybe a little skeptical when I purchased this bottle but I was pleasantly surprised with a familiar great taste of an area of California that has some of the oldest vines in the country. This 2005 Amador cellars has the great complexity that is a character of the best wines of the area , Deaver , Renwood, Sobon estate and a few more. At $ 14.99 it is not too much to pay for this kind of quailty. I'll give it 7 1/2-8 swiggs. Available at New leaf markets.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Holy %^&*, a Priorat for under $ 10 !!

Just when I got used to seeing my favorite wine from Spain for under $ 15 , Trader Joes comes up with this one for $8.99 . I only bought one bottle as I know well that Trader Joes has in the past had some wines that looked like a real deal only to be disappointments in the glass . Not so with this Reves 2006 from Chapillion. The blend is 40% Carignan , 35% Garnacha, 25% Syrah....a virtual Chateauneuf du pape , but from Spain. I expect a nice complexity from this normally pricey wine and even at the low price, the Reves delivers. It's cheap enough for a weekday dinner but good enough to serve when you want people to really have a treat that might not be something they have ever had. I give it 7 1/2 swiggs for the first may be revised upward in coming weeks now that I have a stash of a few more bottles.