Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Good pick for Turkey day

Pinot is what a lot of people drink with turkey on Thanksgiving so it is timely that I find one that delivers at a low price. This Estancia was $ 29.00 on release but Shopper's corner landed a good amount of it and it is on the shelves for only $ 9.95. This is a single vineyard wine from the Santa Lucia highlands- you can't get much better than that for Pinot.....it's like a new world Burgundy with all the subtle flavors . Since it is a 2011 it is very much ready to drink-I would not set this one aside for aging as it is perfect right now. We scored this one 8 1/2 swiggs.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

malbec with a bite

This is a new one for me....even though it is a bit of an old bottle. I have not had Altos las Hormigas before but have known of its pedigree for awhile. The price kept me away for years but I found it on sale at Shopper's Corner for only $ 14.99 , about half price for the current release. This one had some age so I was eager to try it. I really liked it although it won't please everyone. It has some pretty chunky tannins and should be had with hearty food-otherwise it kind of rips the roof of your mouth a bit. I don't mind the tannins because the complex earthy flavors are pretty amazing. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs even if my wife was not too keen on it.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Syrah from Calif

I really like the wines from Burrell School for the most part. They make an outstanding Zin and a good Merlot. I wanted to see what they could do with Syrah. I have to be frank-this wine is really tart. It isn't horrible, just off balance. It could have been really great but for some reason Burrell School made a really tart wine here. Even being a '12,-pretty much ready to drink , it kind of hits you with a real tart sensation in the middle of all the good fruit flavors. At $ 17.95 I would hope for better but we gave it 5 1/2 swiggs, not nearly what the Zin would have gotten. -From New Leaf market.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blockbuster Syrah from Washington state

Here's what I call a seriously great Syrah. This is a really rich, full bodied big-ass killer red-exactly what I like in a new world Syrah. This Watermill Walla Walla valley Syrah 2010 is good now but will probably be fine in 5 years as well. We had it with a pasta and it was fine but it really shined when dessert came out. It was a great counterpoint to the chocolate. It is not a sweet wine like Zin , it just works with a variety of foods. This was from Shopper's corner and was reduced from $ 26.95 to $ 17.95. There's also a Merlot from the same winery I'll want to try soon.9 swiggs.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer reds roundup

 Being really busy it has been difficult for me to find the time to review all the wines we have-also, we are tending to drink some old favorites often so there's nothing new on the dinner table most of the time. Here are some notable recent wines for you to consider. This one above is the Wheelhouse Dry Creek zin. At  $9.95 it really is a steal and can be found at Shopper's corner. We gave this one 9 swiggs....exceptional for a wine at this price but it was originally around $ 27.00. Shopper's can and does come through with some terrific deals now and then.

 I like a good Rioja and here's one at $ 9.95 from Trader Joes. It's not a real heavy wine but is rich enough. it is a 'Reserva' from 2012 and is ready to drink now. We gave it 8 swiggs, very good for a wine in this price range. Not a blockbuster, but a real authentic Spanish wine at a good price.
 19 Crimes " The Banished". Sounds Australian because it is-definitely a loud and brash sledgehammer of fruit but buy is it good. This is also a $ 9.95 wine from Trader Joes. If you like really big flavor this is your drink. 7 1/2 swiggs.
 I'm not sure where this Secret Cellars is sold or what the price is as it was a gift but I do recommend it. It is a classic Paso Robles deeply colored Cabernet that won't disappoint. We gave it 8 1/2 swiggs.

La Paca 2013 Garnacha is a good mid week wine , almost like a Cote Du Rhone but not quite as dry-maybe tasting a little more like a new world version of Grenache. This is well under $ 10.00 at Trader joes and scores a solid 7 swiggs.This is a really good food wine in that it won't overpower the meal.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Local winery using Napa grapes

This winery is two blocks from my shop and about 9 blocks from where I live. We have tasted wines there a few years ago but haven't bought any for some time. This one is on sale at Shopper's Corner for $ 17.95 , a really good price for a St. Helena Cabernet. It lives up to the pedigree for the most part-not super rich but still a really classy medium body red. I'll give it 8 1/2 swiggs-a great score for any wine at this price.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A few years makes a difference

About 5-6 years ago I was getting the '08 Ursa Sierra foothills Syrah at the local liquor store for about $8.95. and really enjoying it. After awhile the store ran out and eventually replaced it with this 2010 edition. I was not as impressed with the '10 and it had a new price of $ 17.99.  This was a couple of years ago - just yesterday I decided to give the '10 another try- my patience was rewarded with something really great. This wine has all the broad spectrum of flavors that mark the best offerings from the Sierra foothills. I don't think that this one is widely available but it is worth the search. It is one of the best of the year so far. We gave it a strong 8 1/2 swiggs.....very good for a sub-$ 20.00 wine. If I take a trip  up to that area of Calif. I will try to stop by the winery and see what they have.