Wine Find: Recommendations for value wines
3:47 PM EST, December 3, 2013
2010 Wolfgang Puck Red Wine Blend
7:44 PM EST, November 25, 2013
2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer
12:39 PM EST, November 19, 2013
From: Julienas, Beaujolais, France
8:43 AM EST, November 13, 2013
From: North Carolina
3:48 PM EDT, October 22, 2013
From: Columbia Valley, Washington
November 5, 2013
From: Carneros, Calif.
1:41 PM EDT, October 9, 2013
From: Toscana, Italy
8:06 AM EDT, October 16, 2013
From: Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France
10:06 AM EDT, October 2, 2013
From: Coteaux du Languedoc, France
2:54 PM EDT, September 20, 2013
From: Columbia Valley, Wash.
5:12 PM EDT, September 17, 2013
From: Sonoma County, Calif.
1:42 PM EDT, September 3, 2013
From: Salta, Argentina
8:50 AM EDT, August 28, 2013
From: Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
10:55 AM EDT, August 14, 2013
4:50 PM EDT, September 10, 2013
From: Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, France
11:21 AM EDT, August 7, 2013
From: Central Coast, Calif.
12:37 PM EDT, August 20, 2013
From: South Mountain Vineyard, Maryland
2:44 PM EDT, July 23, 2013
3:29 PM EDT, July 30, 2013
From: Napa Valley
11:12 AM EDT, July 17, 2013
From: Tuscany, Italy
10:40 AM EDT, July 10, 2013
From: Catalayud, Spain
10:27 AM EDT, July 2, 2013
10:48 AM EDT, June 19, 2013
From: Central Coast, Calif.
3:26 PM EDT, June 11, 2013
From: Rioja, Spain
8:06 AM EDT, June 26, 2013
From: Brouilly, Beaujolais, France
7:13 PM EDT, June 4, 2013
From: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif.
8:05 AM EDT, May 29, 2013
From: Rapel Valley, Chile
11:29 AM EDT, May 15, 2013
From: Monterey, Calif.
2:14 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
From: Wagram, Austria
3:22 PM EDT, May 21, 2013
From: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, Calif.
10:53 AM EDT, May 8, 2013
5:24 PM EDT, April 9, 2013
2009 Ferrari-Carano Tresor
11:32 AM EDT, May 1, 2013
From: Central Coast, Calif.
8:41 AM EDT, April 3, 2013
6:46 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
From: Livermore Valley, Calif.
7:42 AM EDT, March 27, 2013
From: Mendoza, Argentina
9:24 AM EDT, March 13, 2013
From: Eden Valley, Australia
9:55 AM EST, February 27, 2013
From: Barossa Valley, Australia
11:10 AM EST, February 6, 2013
From: Barossa Valley, Australia
9:12 AM EST, January 23, 2013
This soft, accessible rustic red blend comes from a widely distributed producer and carries an attractive price tag. This versatile wines boasts flavors of blackberry, black cherry, chocolate and spices. It's a wine meant for casual consumption and not built for long cellaring. It's medium- to full-bodied and very smooth. Nothing challenging, just a pleasure to drink.
2:03 PM EDT, November 2, 2012
Argentine torrontes is one of the great white wine values in the world today, and this is a splendid example at an attractive price. It's the tiniest bit off fully dry, and it offers clean, fresh flavors of citrus peel, lime, pear and minerals. There's just enough sugar to give it a rounded feel, not enough to make it sweet. And the bottle comes with a lesson in Argentine history. Viva la Revolucion!
4:26 PM EST, February 8, 2013
This wine is an exceptional value made with one of my favorite grapes for young red wine. Garnacha, the Spanish equivalent of the French grenache, may not be the most subtle of reds, but it produces full-bodied wines with up-front, exuberant flavors. This fine example offers bold flavors of blackberry, earth, herbs and black pepper. A little rustic? Yes, but delightfully so.
11:14 AM EST, January 9, 2013
This moderately priced dry white wine from Spain is crisp and refreshing, with intense flavors of minerals, nuts, lime zest and mint. For its price category, it offers impressive bite and penetration. It's not a commonly seen variety, but it's quite classy.
6:43 PM EST, November 30, 2012
This wonderfully made red blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and other varieties is immensely appealing in a purely sensual way. It's not a wine for contemplation but sheer enjoyment with its medium-full body and lush fruit. It offers a rich variety of flavors including black cherry, raspberry, herbs and winter mulling spices. It gives the impression of sweetness without actually being sweet — a wonderful characteristic in a wine.
3:49 PM EST, February 15, 2013
This is a dry white wine made from the same grape that produces the luscious Hungarian dessert wines known as Tokay. It shows the power and complexity of the grape do not depend on its sugar content. It's lush, full-bodied, herbal and a bit exotic — with a distinct touch of pine that I happen to like (maybe not for everyone). At almost four years old it shows no sign of fading. This is an excellent choice when you want the weight of a chardonnay but a different flavor.
4:59 PM EST, December 31, 2012
It's hard to find a true Champagne that isn't at least good to drink. That's why they're a splurge, even in the least expensive category: non vintage brut reserve. However, Charles Heidsieck's version has long been a standout in the category. It's a full-bodied style of Champagne — with a smooth, creamy texture and the classic Champagne flavors of yeast, nuts and fresh-baked bread. Its complexity level is rare among its peers.
1:23 PM EDT, October 16, 2012
This is one of the best boxed red wines on the market, and it's in wide distribution at good wine retailers. Spain's garnacha, known in France as grenache, is a red wine varietal that combines full body with soft, lush, easy-to-drink fruit flavors. This one is typical of a good version in that its charm and "fun factor" outweigh its complexity — which is great for the type of occasions in which a box is appropriate. This wine offers lush blackberry and wild berry fruit with hints of herbs, earth and chocolate. Its price is the equivalent of less than $7 each of four bottles.
2:15 PM EDT, October 2, 2012
This fruity, aromatic, dry white wine is an imaginative blend of two of my favorite grape varietals: torrontes (85 percent) and riesling (15 percent). It's a fresh, lively wine with hints of kiwi, lime and juniper berries, along with touches of honey and tropical fruit from the riesling. It's not a wine for deep contemplation but for sheer enjoyment over the next few months.
5:54 PM EDT, September 14, 2012
According to Dry Creek, this was an "almost perfect" vintage for zinfandel. That's particularly significant because Dry Creek has demonstrated to my satisfaction that its zinfandels can age brilliantly for decades in top vintages. (Samples of the 1997, 1981 and 1979 Dry Creek zinfandels were exceptional in recent tastings.) This full-bodied red wine, bolstered with 13 percent petite sirah, is superbly flavorful — with generous raspberry and blackberry fruit and hints or anise, chocolate, black pepper and herbs. It's delightful now, but I hope to be around to taste it again in 20-30 years.
7:07 PM EST, November 20, 2012
This red wine made from Bordeaux grapes — cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc — along with syrah has turned out to be a harmonious and complex blend at a very appealing price. It's a smooth, subtle and layered wine with flavors of black cherry, smoked meat, herbs and earth. It's at a good state of maturity now but will only get better over the next 5 to 10 years.
11:47 PM EDT, October 26, 2012
This lush, smooth blend the five traditional Bordeaux grapes — with cabernet sauvignon in the starring role and merlot as its sidekick — plays above its pay grade. Very accessible for a young red wine, it offers ample black cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruit. It has all the elegance and class of many of its pricey Napa Valley peers.
2:06 PM EDT, September 25, 2012
9:41 PM EDT, September 4, 2012
This medium- to full-bodied regional Tuscan red wine — a 90-10 percent blend of the great Italian variety sangiovese and merlot — punches well above its price class. Made by the well-respected house of Antinori, offers penetrating black cherry fruit and hints of chocolate, herbs and earthiness. It's a smooth, complete wine that isn't that far from the level of some very pricey "super-Tuscan" proprietary wines. And where many of those wines are tannic beasts that require years to tame them, this wine is ready to drink now.
5:18 PM EDT, August 3, 2012
I'm an unabashed fan of Austria's gruner veltliner grape, which produces some of the most complex and satisying dry white wines on the planet. This organic rendition of this variety is crisp, taut and impecably put together. It offers herbal and mineral flavors with touches of lime, citrus peel, white pepper and honey without the sweetness. I'm already a repeat customer for this gem.
5:40 PM EDT, October 18, 2012
This zinfandel is incredible fun, but it's really not a great food-pairing wine. Yes, it's dry and one can serve it with food, but it's likely to overwhelm anything but fairly simple fare. In fact, it's delicious all by itself. Some good bread, manchego cheese, cold cuts — heaven. It's an intense, full-bodied wine with a lot of the flavors of Porto but without the technical sweetness. I say technical because there's so much ripe fruit it gives a sweet impression — part of the reason it stands alone so well. It has this racy acidity that keeps it from being a typical monster zin. It offers great flavors of black raspberry, blueberry, earth, smoked meat and chocolate.
6:29 PM EDT, August 28, 2012
Garnacha, Spain's name for France's grenache, produces some of the most decadently pleasurable red wines on the planet, They may not be the most complex of wines, but they pack a lot of flavor and don't require much aging. This is a particularly fine — and well-priced — example. It offer lush flavors of blackberry, cherry and chocolate along with earthy and herbal notes. Like many of the best wines, it leaves an impression of sweet fruit without actually being sweet.
5:15 PM EDT, September 11, 2012
This artful blend of zinfandel, grenache, syrah, merlot and other red varietal is simply a very pleasant experience. The mix proves to be harmonious, and each variety seems to play its part perfectly. There's the power and earthiness of the zin, the broad shoulders of the syrah, the exuberant fruit of the grenache and the soft elegance of the merlot. The cherry and blackberry flavors are intense and penetrating but not harsh. It's a model of balance. It just goes to show that while the soil is crucial, the skill of the winemaker is important too. A big bonus is that Kendall-Jackson wines are widely available.
12:00 PM EDT, August 21, 2012
Encountered in Ocean City, this oddity is just a very pleasant beach wine that requires no deep contemplation. "Rose Vinho Verde" is actually an oxymoron, because "Vinho Verde" actually means "green wine," and this is decidedly pink. It does, however, resemble real Vinho Verde (a delightful white wine made from borderline underripe grapes) in its light effervescence. It's a dry, refreshing wine with hints of strawberry, cherry and hibiscus tea. Nobody will mistake it for profound, but when you're taking a lunch break by the seashore, it's just right.
1:24 PM EDT, July 30, 2012
From: Mendoza, Argentina
10:55 AM EDT, July 3, 2012
Longtime readers know I am a strong proponent of boxed wines. It is a great delivery system, but at the end of the day it's about the quality of the wine inside. This red wine is simply the best red I've encountered in a box to date. It's a medium-bodied wine with ripe, intense flavors of raspberry and wild berries and a touch of earthiness. It's just a very well-rounded red wine that's ready to drink young but doesn't seem fragile or weak. At the equivalent of about $5 a bottle, this is a steal.
9:17 AM EDT, July 25, 2012
From: Wachau Valley, Austria
5:23 PM EDT, May 25, 2012
It's widely available, it's moderately priced, and it doesn't require a corkscrew. What more do you need in a red wine? It doesn't hurt that this medium-bodied blend of shiraz (75 percent) and cabernet sauvignon (25 percent) shows plenty of earthy character, with vibrant flavors of blackberry and chocolate. It's not the most complex red on the market, but it's thoroughly enjoyable and ready to drink. A wine for the masses, not the critics.
5:41 PM EDT, June 26, 2012
This is neither a typical nor an average sauvignon blanc. Matanzas Creek has a style all its own, and it certainly ranks in the top 1 percent of sauvignon blancs worldwide. The flavor profile is not the typical mouthful of grass and herbs. Fig is the dominant flavor, seasoned with nuances of citrus, pear, herbs, Asian spices and vanilla. It is much deeper, richer and more complex than most sauvignon blancs. While it's on the expensive side for a sauvignon blanc, it's a bargain for a great white wine.
1:08 PM EDT, June 12, 2012
From: Tuscany, Italy
4:57 PM EDT, May 22, 2012
There's a lot of just-average Italian pinot grigios on the market, including some well-known brands. Only a few stand out, and this is one of them. It's a ripe, full-bodied white wine with intense flavors of nuts, minerals and herbs — including mint and oregano. There's a roundness, length and complexity that takes this wine out of the realm of the ordinary.
3:32 PM EDT, July 17, 2012
Tired of the same old familiar varietals like tempranillo and sangiovese? For something truly exotic, expand your horizons to include zweigelt, a red variety from Austria. In previous vintages, I wasn't impressed, but Zantho's 2010 is a winner. It's a light, fruity style of red — kind of like a cross between a pinot noir and a Gamay from Beaujolais. This wine offers vibrant black cherry and wild berry flavors with hints of black pepper and earth. Though the wine isn't weighty, the finish is long. You could serve this wine with a slight chill on it. (If you see the 2009, wait for the 2010.)
12:18 PM EDT, May 14, 2012
From: Mendocino County, Calif.
2:31 PM EDT, July 10, 2012
Money is tight, so Wine Find doesn't make a lot of 30-buck recommendations. This exquisite Italian red, however, is exceptional even in this rarefied price range. It's fully mature and delightful to drink now, with floral aromas and soft, lush, layered flavors of black cherry, herbs, truffles and earth. Barbarescos are among the sexiest red wines on the planet, and this is an excellent one though its price is on the low end for this magnificent region. Its importer expects to have it in Maryland by the second half of this month. Barbaresco fans may want to put in an order with retailers. The wholesaler is DOPS.
1:34 PM EDT, May 7, 2012
From: Elqui Valley, Chile
2:15 PM EDT, April 27, 2012
2:41 PM EDT, June 19, 2012
This boxed wine, made in California for a Baltimore-based startup company and distributed in the mid-Atlantic region, fills a useful niche. In quality terms, it's a cut above most boxed red wines, though the price is correspondingly higher. And the 1.5-liter box — equivalent to two standard bottles at $11 each — fills a useful niche that that's been left vacant by most competitors. The company also makes a merlot and a chardonnay, each of which is equally worthy of a recommendation. A great debut.
11:42 AM EDT, April 23, 2012
7:45 AM EDT, April 17, 2012
From: Jumilla, Spain
2:00 PM EST, February 27, 2012
From: Rueda, Spain
4:52 PM EDT, March 20, 2012
From: Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy
9:56 AM EST, February 20, 2012
From: Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, France
10:46 AM EST, March 8, 2012
From: Colchagua Valley, Chile
10:50 AM EST, February 14, 2012
From: Rioja, Spain
April 11, 2012
12:18 PM EST, January 17, 2012
From: Valle Central, Chile
12:31 PM EST, December 2, 2011
The good name of Chablis was virtually ruined for a long time by American winemakers who hijacked the name to slap on their cheapest white wines. But there is a real place called Chablis in Burgundy, and it produces chardonnays with a distinctive style — of which this is a sterling example. Spared the heavy-handed influence of new oak, the pure flavors of the fruit and the soil come through crystal clear. There are hints of lemon, orange, green apple, minerals and subtle spices. It's expensive, yes, but this is the real deal, the product of a great vintage and an excellent gift for a devotee of fine dry white wine.
1:37 PM EST, December 23, 2011
This dry Spanish white wine from the underappreciated verdejo grape is an outstanding value — with complexity found in few chardonnays or sauvignon blancs twice the price. It's a very fresh wine, with an exotic mix of mineral, pine, mint, lime, pear and apple and pineapple flavors. Imported by Kysela, this verdejo moves crisply across the palate and finishes strong. These days Spain (verdejo and albarino) and Argentina (torrontes) are truly the places to look for inexpensive white wines with character.
3:42 PM EDT, October 23, 2011
7:32 PM EST, November 12, 2011
OK, pardon the movie reference: This "good kee-AN-tee" would go well with any excellent cut of simply prepared red meat, and maybe pasta dishes as well. (Turkey? Maybe.) It's a full-bodied, structured red wine with a complex mix of black cherry, earthy and herbal flavors, with a touch of chocolate. It's drinkable now but should mature beautifully over five to 15 years. Not cheap, but worth the price.
11:20 PM EDT, October 9, 2011
This blend of malbec, syrah and the little-known red wine grape bonarda has yielded a smooth, ready-to-drink but complex and full-bodied wine with a lot of character. It offers rich blackberry fruit with notes of herbs, Asian spices, vanilla and a touch of pine. It's a great value in this price range.
8:52 AM EST, February 2, 2012
From: Vinos de Madrid, Spain
7:11 AM EST, February 1, 2012
From: Calatayud, Spain
9:41 AM EDT, October 31, 2011
Call me a throwback, but I still like these big zins that are so oafish to those afflicted with sensitive Euro-palates. At least when, like this well-crafted wine from Edmeades, a high alcohol level (15.5 percent) is concealed behind gobs of fruit. This full-bodied red boasts intense flavors of blackberry, cassis and chocolate that combine to give it a Porto-like character without the sweetness. Somehow its manages to be burly and smooth at the same time. Serve it with food with the muscle to wrestle with it.
4:35 PM EDT, November 4, 2011
If you're looking for a bargain, check back another week, If you're looking for a superb dessert treat to follow the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, this decadently wonderful wine justifies its price tag. It's patterned on the rare and wonderful beerenauslese dessert wines of Germany, and if it's any consolation, it's cheap by comparison. This nectar is packed with flavors of honey, winter spices, apricots, pear, apple and pineapple — then followed with penetrating acidity that keeps the fun going.
10:10 PM EST, November 18, 2011
This red wine blend offers impressive complexity for the price and is widely distributed by K-J, which may lack in snob factor but makes quite reliable wines. The winery calls this wine a "renegade" because the blend includes both Bordeaux varieties and other grapes, including zinfandel, syrah and petite sirah. I'm not sure that makes it all that revolutionary — California produces lots of offbeat blends — but it's very tasty. It offers pure, penetrating black cherry, black currant and herb flavors and is smooth, balanced and ready to drink.
3:00 PM EDT, September 5, 2011
The full-bodied Rioja red perfectly captures the sweet-but-not-sweet paradox of a really ripe, juicy young red wine. It just bursts with wild berry, cherry and blackberry flavors — with hints of herbs and anise — and goes down oh-so-smoothly. This exuberant red is a total pleasure bomb that can be drunk now. Will it last? Yes, but why delay gratification?
10:41 AM EST, January 23, 2012
From: Napa Valley, Calif.
4:00 PM EST, December 9, 2011
The 2009 red wines I recently sampled from a group called Planet Bordeaux are a great omen for devotees of these great wines. And the Lauduc Prestige was the best of the group, with lush, ripe flavors and a concentration and complexity unusual in wines that carry the less-than-exalted appelation of Bordeaux Superieur. It's lovely now, with its gripping black cherry and black currant flavors, but should develop well over 5 to 7 years. Its little brother, the 2009 Chateau Lauduc Classic Bordeaux Rouge, is less complex but a fantastic value at an estimated price of $8 if you drink it over the next year or two.
January 10, 2012
From: Gran Altura, Valle Calchaqui, Salta, Argentina
7:09 PM EDT, October 16, 2011
This Israeli wine isn't full-bodied, but it punches above its weight class with great flavor intensity and a finish that just won't stop. It's a complex red wine that offers well-focused flavors of cherry and wild berries, with an earthy, gamy overtone that traces its heritage to Burgundy. The alcohol level of 14.5 percent isn't geared toward French-style palates, but fans of good California pinot noir will feel right at home. For those who need to know, it's kosher for Passover but not mevushal.
3:36 PM EDT, September 26, 2011
From: Napa Valley, Calif.
9:28 AM EDT, August 3, 2011
As a general rule, it's best to steer clear of wineries with cute animal names and logos. Many have a certain "eau de zoo." But this oak-free chardonnay from Toad Hollow is too well-made to ignore. It's also a reminder that many of the chardonnays that are thrust into oak aren't improved one bit. This is a crisp, stylish wine with plenty of lemon, peach, apple and grapefruit flavor and a bright, lasting finish. It's a delicious wine for summer sipping, and there's no reason to hang on to it when you can enjoy it now.
4:02 PM EDT, October 2, 2011
This is hardly the greatest sparking wine on the market. But there's a good case to be made that this is the best widely distributed, reasonably dry bubbly in this price range. It's not as dry as most brut Champagnes, nor is it as complex, but it's a well-made, toasty, crackling wine that doesn't insult the palate — as cheap sparklers often do. It competes well with many of its counterparts in the neighborhood of $20. You could call it frugality with some class.
3:41 PM EDT, August 26, 2011
This is not a wine for people with delicate Euro-palates. It's a full-throated, concentrated, ripe (15.5 percent alcohol) red zinfandel with a distinctive old-vines character. It offers deep blackberry fruit, hints of chocolate, coffee and herbs and more than a suggestion of vintage port minus the sweetness.
2:49 PM EDT, September 16, 2011
The Santa Lucia Highlands area of California is an increasingly reliable source of fine wines, including pinot noir. This well-made example offers full-bodied, lush fruit with hints of black cherry and blackberries. Its creamy texture is very Californian, but it has earthy, herbal notes that hark back to Burgundy.
9:31 AM EDT, August 24, 2011
From: Trentino, Italy
5:46 PM EDT, March 12, 2012
From: Monterey, Calif.
10:00 AM EDT, July 26, 2011
Here's an intense, no-holds-barred sauvignon blanc that isn't for folks who are ambivalent about this bold white varietal. It's very dry, intensely herbal and fresh. There's a complex mix of flavors of figs, grass, lime, minerals and smoke. Wisely bottled under a screw cap. Best drunk over the next year.
12:32 AM EDT, April 30, 2011
This crisp, dry, impeccably clean and intensely flavored rose is one of the world's great pink wines — an often underestimated category. In addition to good length and penetration, it offers vibrant strawberry, cherry and rosehip flavors. This is an excellent wine to serve outdoors during the spring and summer months, served very cold.
3:16 PM EDT, September 8, 2011
This skillfully crafted blend of eight red grape varieties — most of the heavy hitters of the Rhone plus cabernet, sangiovese and zinfandel — provides great value. It's a medium- to full-bodied wine with the appealing flavors of wild berries, blueberry and chocolate. Complex? Nah. But very appealing and easy to drink.
2:18 PM EDT, July 1, 2011
The name is familiar, the price is inexpensive, it has a screw cap and there's a little plastic bull hanging from the neck. Does that mean this garnacha-mazuelo blend is just a flighty little pink wine? Hardly. It's bone dry, very serious and up there with the best rose wines on the market. The wine has a deep raspberry color and a floral aroma to go along with flavors of strawberries, cherries, rosehips and tropical fruits. It's best drunk this summer but will probably hold up better than most pink wines. But why wait when the summer is the perfect time to drink it?
4:16 PM EDT, June 3, 2011
This dry sparkling wine was my favorite of several well-made bubblies from this large Washington state producer, whose high-quality products are widely distributed nationwide. This wine has a very pale blush of pink, good intensity and just a hint of the flavor of pinot noir grapes. It has classic notes of toast and yeast, and a long, clean finish. It might not have quite the refinement of Champagne, but when you consider it's about one-third the cost, you'll appreciate how close it comes.
10:45 AM EDT, May 16, 2011
From: Mendoza, Argentina
4:17 PM EDT, August 15, 2011
This wine came as a big surprise. Usually, a California pinot grigio is better at a year old than two. But this full-bodied white wine from Carmenet — a once-prestigious label that seems to be undergoing a revival — is surprisingly complex and outstanding for its type. It offers an appealing and mature mix of lemon, apple, honey and spice flavors — far beyond the typical, fairly neutral pinot grigio. This sleeper wine punches way above its weight class. Drink it up this year.
11:51 PM EDT, June 17, 2011
This dry white wine — a blend of grenache, clairette and bourboulenc — is on the full-bodied side and offers intense flavors of tropical fruit, pear, apricot and spices. It shows a complexity and length that are unusual for its price range. A fine value from an exceptional producer.
2:42 PM EDT, June 24, 2011
White Burgundy (Bourgogne) is one of the world's classic beverages — with a style that California aspires to imitate but seldom gets just right. (When it does, the results can be amazing). There aren't that many white Burgundies that offer both classic style and an affordable price. This is one that delivers — with excellent balance, hints of apple, lemon and nuts and a subtle toasty quality. It's a lighter style, hardly a blockbuster, but it works on many levels.
3:03 PM EDT, June 13, 2011
From: Bolgheri, Italy
March 17, 2010
From: Santa Lucia Highlands, Calif.
9:43 PM EDT, July 16, 2011
This multistate blend of nine varietals from a renowned Oregon winery is a pleasing take on a full-bodied white wine that is not a chardonnay (though it's likely a component). Fruity but dry, it delivers a charming mix of tropical fruit, pear, apricot and citrus flavors — seasoned with a little nutmeg and clove. A wine that's more for pleasure than contemplation.
August 3, 2010
Garnet is Saintsbury's lighter pinot noir, but this is no lightweight in terms of flavor appeal. It's a succulent, medium-bodied red wine with pure, vibrant pinot noir flavors, including black cherry, wild berries and earth. Garnet has consistently been a top value over the years, but the winery considers its 2009 one of its best ever. I concur.
March 3, 2010
From: Trentino, Italy Price: $15 Serve with: White-fleshed fish, shellfish
9:39 AM EDT, May 9, 2011
From: Mendoza, Argentina
April 27, 2010
The Napa Valley's reputation is not at all exaggerated when it comes to cabernet sauvignon. It is arguably the best place in the world to grow the noble red grape, year in and year out. Not surprisingly, it has become expensive. And a top-quality caberrnet with real Napa character, such as this one, is a good deal at $28. It's a full-bodied, complex red with penetrating blackberry, black cherry, chocolate and cedary flavors, with short-term smoothness and long-term durability. Maybe you can find better if you spend twice as much, but chances are it won't be much better. --Michael Dresser
6:37 PM EST, February 11, 2011
"Grass is for Cows" is the motto of this producer, and it delivers a sauvignon blanc that is notable for its lack of grassy, herbal notes. Neither is it overly fig-flavored — the extreme some producers veer toward. It's a subtle, smoky, mineral-infused wine that reminds me very much of a good Graves from Bordeaux. It seems to be structured for longer aging than most California whites, and could develop very nicely with a year or two aging — something I rarely say about a sauvignon blanc. It's complex, persistent and very dry — all good things at the table.
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