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twiley

The Wine List and bargain bin

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I've seen quite a few people asking for wine recommendations so in an effort to make things easier. I'm going to post all suggestions in here.

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PINOT NOIR

 

Probably the best inexpensive Pinot I have had lately would be the A to Z pinot from the Willamette Valley. It's a simple Pinot but a great value, I think I paid 9.99 for it and bought a case.

 

i have heard good things about black mountain being a high value for a cheap wine.

 

opened a freemark abbey pinot the other night. very nice. cherry, current, rassberry, and a little spice. was about $25.

 

Recently we've been buying and enjoying Rex Goliath Pinot Noir... for about $9.99 a bottle.

 

2002 Domaine Drouhin - Pinot Noir - $39.99

The fleshy, medium to dark ruby-colored 2002 Pinot Noir Laurene displays an aromatic profile of sweet black fruits. On the palate, this broad shouldered, concentrated, medium to full-bodied wine offers plummy black cherries, blackberries, and hints of tar. Its finish is slightly rustic, with loads of tannin that reveal some bitterness.

 

 

Well, I haven't posted notes from my weekly wine drinking lately because I've been sticking to a bunch of the same ones....A lot of Shea, Lemelson, etc.

 

The other day, Bier mentioned Francis Tannahill winery. I'd never had anything from the winery but recognized the Tannahill name as the former winemaker of Archery Summit. Well, after a little research, it is the same person. Sam Tannahill was the winemaker at Archery Summit during the late 90s and early 00s during a stretch of great wines for the winery. From there he went to Shea vineyards. Thats a hell of a resume' right there. He married the winemaker from Chehalem and they started Francis Tannahill winery, while still making wines for other wineries as well. They are also the heads of A to Z wineworks, which many view as the best budget Pinot label in the NW.

 

Fast forward to this evening: we arrive at our regular Wednesday night wine bar and I happen to notice a couple bottles of 04 Francis Tannahill Hermit Pinot Noir on the shelf. I grabbed them both quick and got them opened. At first sniff, I thought the first bottle was corked. I set it back down, chatted a bit, and took a whiff of the other...similar smell. I figured I'd never be hearing the end of getting these two bottles.

 

From there it got interesting. If you want to experience a wine opening up a couple hours, I've never found a better example. When I went to take the first sip, the wine reached out, slapped me around, and called me a bitch. At that point I realized what a HUGH young wine this was. Over then next 90 minutes, it came around to one of the most enjoyable Oregon Pinots I have had in a long time.

 

During the late 90s and early 00s, the only real criticisms of Archery Summit's wines were the Oak forward, strong tannins overpowering the wine a bit. I don't agree with it as a criticism but as a positive characteristic and could see the same in this wine. The 04 vintage in Oregon is typically more earthy than the fruit forward vintage of 03. This wine certainly met that and as the night went on the the decanter worked its magic, we got a very balanced wine with deep dark fruit, characteristic Oregon soil, and plenty of leather.

 

Unfortunately, we drank the last two bottles at the wine bar or I would have been coming home with some. This is definitely a wine that could be saved for 5-7 years. Thanks Bier....You definitely chose your classmates well.

Edited by twiley

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Zinfandel

 

The rosenblum vintner's cuvee would be a great zin for such an occasion. under $10 but the wine drinkers will enjoy it.

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Blends

 

The winery is Juslyn. I tasted the 02 Perry's Blend (Parker 91 pts) likely about $60 retail, the Vineyard Select Cab (Parker 93) likely about $80, and the Estate Spring Mtn Cab (Parker 94) likely about $95. All of them were very elegant but profoundly extracted. They really did get better up the line, which is somewhat uncommon. I liked the Perry and will likely pick it up mostly because it fits in better with the price point of my list. However, for personal choice, I was really down with the other two. The vineyard select was pretty but still and some grip and tannin. The Estate was freaking awesome if a bit better for the long haul. None the less, any are assured to please.

 

If you like that, there's something special about the Lodi area. We've been digging up all of the Zins from that area and many are better than the 7 Deadly Zins. The same winery that produces the 7 Deadly Zins also produces an Earthquake Zin which I love. They also produce an Earthquake Cab which I buy a case at a time. Great if you like them big and fruity. Windmills Zin is the least bold of the bunch. Talus has the same character as the 7 Deadly Zins but is somewhat thinner and less fruity, but at half the price it is an excellent wine.

 

Try some Pillar Box..It's made by the guys who make Henry's Drive, Parson's Flat and Dead Letter. It 's a blend of Cab, Shiraz and merlot. The fruit is very forward and there is a little burn but a great value at 7.99 at Cosco! Let it breath for awhile. I think I have the 04'.

 

You know, the Coppola Rosso (Zin 47%, Cab 32%, Syrah 21%) is a really decent bottle of wine for $7. Usually if I'm just looking for some table wine at home I pick up 1 or 2 of these in the store. I've also been drinking the Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel lately, it's $8.

 

2002 Barrel Select - Silver Ridge - Cab Sauvignon - $13.99

 

2003 Mas Carlot - Cuvee Tradition - Blend (Syrah/Grenache) - $8.99

The deep ruby/colored 2003 Grenache/Syrah Cuvee Tradition (a blend of 45% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and a touch of Mourvedre) offers blueberry, blackberry, and cassis notes in an uncomplicated, exuberant style. This medium-bodied red displays good grip on the palate, fine purity as well as ripeness, and slightly austere tannin in the finish. Drink it over the next 1-2 years.

Edited by twiley

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More Blends

 

2002 Kilikanoon Medley - $25.99

The 2002 Medley is a classic GSM, meaning 50% Grenache, 40% Shiraz, and 10% Mourvedre sourced from old estate vineyards in Clare, Barossa, and McLaren Vale. Its dark ruby/purple color is accompanied by a big, peppery, earthy nose possessing sweet cherry, blackberry, truffle, and licorice scents. With superb purity, medium to full body, and a fleshy mouthfeel, it should drink well for 4-5 years.

 

2003 Bodegas Castano Solanera Yecla Vinas Viejas

 

8.99 to 11.99

 

A Monastrell ( a local Spanish grape) and Cab blend...

 

It's been a while since I have had this wine, but it always seems to be an exceptional value from year to year. It has a great nose of blackberry jam and saddle lather. The tip of your tongue and mid palate is coated with blackberries with a bit of dark chocolate and broad tannins that give a smooth and silky finish. I find my tongue searching for blackberry seeds stuck in my teeth!

 

Not as complex as the 98 Remeriz de Ganuza, Reserva (Rioja)we had with dinner tonight (Pimientos Rellenos: Small red peppers stuffed with minced elk tenderloin, then dipped in batter, fried & cooked in a wine & tomato sauce.) But it was a nice wien for after dinner!

Edited by twiley

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Grenache

 

2003 Las Rocas - Garnacha - $8.99

This is the second vintage for the ambitious project of importer Eric Solomon, who discovered these ancient high altitude Grenache vineyards (70-100 years old), and brand named his offerings Las Rocas. The 2003 Grenache has just been released, and it’s another winner. Moreover at $8 a bottle, it’s a steal. Aromas of sweet black cherries, raspberries, pepper, and loamy soil soar from the glass of this medium-bodied, surprisingly elegant, personality-filled red. Soft tannin and good depth suggest drinking over the next 1-3 years is warranted.

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Shiraz/Syrah

 

Delicato is a great line of very inexpensive wines. The Shiraz actually scored something like a 90 from Wine Enthusiast a few years back despite the fact that it costs like $7 per bottle.
Edited by twiley

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Sauvignon Blanc

 

Opened a bottle from Honig (and am finishing it as I type). I'm no wine elitist but I do know when I enjoy a bottle. This is one of those bottles. Not bad for $14.

 

Honig makes a great Sauv Blanc. Napa does a good job with that grape. It is certainly it's own style and not what i typically look for from the grape (I tend towards Loire Valley styles) but it can be great.

 

Edited by twiley

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My wife and I drink either Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir depending upon what we are eating with it. And our house wine for both of these over the last 6 months or so has been Cavit. It is very affordable and our unsophisticated palletes love it.

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House Wine:

 

 

Busch Light.

 

Goes well with every meal and social situation. AND, it won't break your budget. Expect to spend around $13.00-$15.00 per 30 pack. Starts off smooth and finishes smooth. Best served ice cold.

Edited by Chief Dick

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House Wine:

Busch Light.

 

Goes well with every meal and social situation. AND, it won't break your budget. Expect to spend around $13.00-$15.00 per 30 pack. Starts off smooth and finishes smooth. Best served ice cold.

And this was why I kept it locked. :D

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House Wine:

Busch Light.

 

Goes well with every meal and social situation. AND, it won't break your budget. Expect to spend around $13.00-$15.00 per 30 pack. Starts off smooth and finishes smooth. Best served ice cold.

good work Richard wine sucks ... :D

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good work Richard wine sucks ... :D

 

 

you are on the road to a serious ass kickin

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I like Riesling, and Chateau St. Michelle is pretty darn cheap. Around $7 = $8 per bottle. Kendall Jackson is good as well.

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House Wine:

Busch Light.

 

Goes well with every meal and social situation. AND, it won't break your budget. Expect to spend around $13.00-$15.00 per 30 pack. Starts off smooth and finishes smooth. Best served ice cold.

 

there is a wine i really like out of washington (can't remember the winery offhand) that sells a "house wine" that is a really nice cabernet blend, and sells for under 10 bucks. the label is sort of a crude looking block black and white thing, you'll know it if you see it.

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i've been on a little bordeaux kick. been getting bottles $15-20 and have really gravitated toward st emillion and pomerol.

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there is a wine i really like out of washington (can't remember the winery offhand) that sells a "house wine" that is a really nice cabernet blend, and sells for under 10 bucks. the label is sort of a crude looking block black and white thing, you'll know it if you see it.

Magnificent Wine Company - an offshoot of K Vinters

 

I know I've pimped this one out before. We buy it by the case - nice drinking wine to serve at dinners and other casual affairs.

 

One of my favorite bargains:

 

http://www.magnificentwine.com/index.php

Edited by twiley

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Two Angels Sauvignon Blanc by Shannon Ridge Vineyard. I've had the 2005 and its pretty damn good.

 

Buy some.

 

You don't even need a corkscrew. :D

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I would say this wine is a bargain for the age - very elegant and sexy for its age. It's a project of Viader and meant to be drank within 4 years. I paid $46 and it's well worth it particularly if you want to impress a wine enthusiast without blowing the bank.

 

100% Cab Franc

 

Dare 2004

 

ETA: I'm drinking a bottle of it right now and if I could I'd make sweet sweet love to this wine I would. Very impressive.

 

Tanzer

2004 DARE Cabernet Franc

Good ruby-red. Spicy, ripe, highly aromatic nose combines bitter cherry and blackberry. Silky, sweet and feminine, with a fresh flavor of blackberry. This possesses good fat as well as firm underlying structure. Finishes with broad tannins and a suggestion of nutty oak. In the style of a St. Emilion. Offers very good potential. 90 points.

 

Wine & Spirits

2004 DARE Cabernet Franc

If further proof is needed that Napa Valley can produce exceptional, elegant cabernet franc, here it is in this second line from VIADER. Finely ripe rather than ultraripe, its soft, red-fruited flavors feel gentle, leaving an impression that’s pretty rather than bold or heavy. The light tannins keep it mouthwatering throughout. 92 points

Edited by twiley

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Picardy Chardonnay from Western Australia. Stuff tastes just like Montrachet.

 

This price seems sort of high based on what I can get it for wholesale

 

At the price quoted above, this isn't such a bargain, but I get it for $19 wholesale (so it should cost a bit over $25 in stores) and it tastes like wines that cost me almost twice the price. Forget everything you've ever known about Aussie Chards. No crazy pineapple, etc. You don't even have to close your eyes to think you're drinking white Burgundy because the bottle even looks like it. Really, pretty unreal.

 

Other notes from the week...

 

'04 Dominus was tasting amazing despite the young age. Everyone thought it tasted closed but I got plenty out of it. Hardly a bargain at $94 wholesale. The "bargain" if you will is Napanook, it's 2nd label with a horrible name. 1/3 the price and pretty damned tasty in it's own right.

 

One of my French importers dropped off a glass of an '05 Morey St. Denis that was just delicious and only $24 wholesale (pretty damned cheap considering the vintage and Euro). Thing is, f'er has horrible handwriting so I can't read the producer. I'll have to call him on Monday. Something like Domaine Monchard et ???.

 

The bargain of the week was the 2006 Dona Paula Estate Malbec which should run you about $12-$15 in the stores. Not unlike other Malbecs of this price point, it really delivers not only in the glass but with impressive packaging that one typically sees in much higher end wines. Not that I'll be fooled into thinking a wine is better if you put it in some nice glass. Rather, when it's also some damned fine juice inside, it doesn't suck if it comes in an impressive bottle. If you like big reds that aren't overblown like some Aussie reds can be, you simply can't do better for the money than Argentina right now. It's almost unfair.

 

On another note, Twiley, Lawdawg, etc. I'm getting some insane bargins coming across my desk of late (some BS about a struggling economy). I've never shipped anything, but if you all want to pm me and have a way to do so, I'd be happy to let you in on the goods.

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I would say this wine is a bargain for the age - very elegant and sexy for its age. It's a project of Viader and meant to be drank within 4 years. I paid $46 and it's well worth it particularly if you want to impress a wine enthusiast without blowing the bank.

 

100% Cab Franc

 

Dare 2004

 

ETA: I'm drinking a bottle of it right now and if I could I'd make sweet sweet love to this wine I would. Very impressive.

Sounds tasty. I like CA Cab Franc when done well. Check out The Scrapper by Vinum as well.

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Menage A Trois by Folie A Deux

 

Excellent Cali blend (and most excellent name). Can be found for $7 or so a bottle out here, I've heard it's about $10 a bottle on the other side of the country.

 

My regular bottle.

 

Cheers!

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Penfolds product line from top-to-bottom is very good. I think their two cheaper product lines are some of the best values on the market.

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