Saturday, April 21, 2012

Near perfection from Ridge

Lots of people make terrific Zinfandel in California from all sorts of locations but to me, one label stands out as the one I measure all the others by. Ridge has a long history of finding great fruit from all over the state to make their wines , particularly the Zin blends. this 2007 York Creek is really about as good as it gets. The wine is not all Zin as there's some Petit Sirah and a couple others that add depth and complexity. We did not finish the bottle with our dinner at a local restaurant and brought it home. The next night the wine was even better than the night before. I'm not sure the '07 is still available but it is worth looking for. The price I have seen is $ 26.95 so it is definitely a weekend and special occasion wine. 9 1/2 swiggs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weekday Merlot bargain

At the risk of shooting myself in the foot and giving everyone a chance to scoop up this wine before I can by some. This Buena Vista Carneros 2006 Merlot speaks of Sonoma. The nice earthy dry flavors were really great with the lunch I had today and for the price of $ 8.99 I feel this is one I'll want to stock up on. Trader Joe's has this and I'll bet that they didn't get a lot of it. I'm getting mine tomorrow....are you ? If so, I hope I get there before you ! 7 swiggs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Washington Cabernet

A certain wine publication trumpeted this wine as a real great deal and gave it a high rating. I have thought that Columbia Crest wines were occasionally good for the money so I plunked down the $ 9.95 at Trader Joes for this 2009 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet to try it out. At first I was was kind of uninteresting and run of the mill tasting. Since we were having dinner we were stuck with this bottle for the duration of the meal but fortunately the wine began to change and get some nice flavors coming through. I may have been put off at first and I have definitely had better wines at the price but I'll say that it isn't bad if you give it a chance. I'll give it 5 1/2 swiggs.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One of the 2006 wines that is still available

I do review a lot of Storr's wines as they are a local producer and we get a quarterly shipment as we are members of their wine club. It's a good thing as we regard these wines as among the best in the new world.....I'm not kidding ! This 2006 St. Clare is a Bordeaux style blend , complex and satisfying in a big way. This wine is drinking perfectly now. It is $ 19.95 at Shopper's corner while they still have it. 9 swiggs.

San Benito county Zin

There are some really hot days where this wine comes from. The heat does similar things to the wine that characterizes Sierra foothill wines but there is a difference. There's something a little lighter, maybe a little brighter when the wine comes from a hundred miles-or-so west. The De Rose 2007 Cienega valley dry farmed old vine Zin is a very nice example of the area.....high in alcohol but lots of flavor to balance it. I'm a fan, especially as it is available close by at New Leaf market and it is only $ 14.95....a lot of wine for that price. 8 swiggs.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dry Creek Petit Sirah

The wines from Unti always impress me. I don't think they are following any popular winemaking trends to satisfy the wine writers-I feel that they are making wines that really speak to the grape and the location of the vines. This 2007 Dry Creek Valley Petit Sirah is really great in that it does not go for the super high alcohol fruit bomb formula but retains the nice dry earthiness of the fruit. This approach makes for a wine that really compliments meals rather than dominates with jammy, overbearing raisiny flavors. I'll give this 8 1/2 swiggs-available at the winery and through K&L liquors.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blockbuster local Pinot

A couple of vineyards here in Santa Cruz make seriously extracted full throttle wines and Ahlgren is definitely that type of wine. This '08 Pinot from the Veranda vineyard may not be what Pinot lovers would expect as the flavor is ballistic like a sierra foothills Zin or Barbera. This might not be the choice for a compliment to a delicate fish dinner but really is impressive. For this type of flavor experience I'll have to give it 9 swiggs but if you are looking for a Burgundian Pinot Noir expeirence, best not mess with this's like bringing a bazooka to a water baloon fight.

Washington merlot , just like you would get in coach

Yeah, sad to say-this wine did not display the kind of earthy richness I have experienced from Washington state reds-at least it wasn't too expensive . The Buried Cane '08 Washington state Merlot $ 6.99. does not really say much other than " I am red wine" It does not say 'Merlot' or just is. While I have had much worse wines I have had much better, even at this price. I'll give it the neutral 5 swiggs......good enough to drink but not really distinctive. The screw cap is handy, though......