A perennial favorite and surefire go-to wine that delivers consistency, value and widespread availability. It shows off a deep purple in the glass. The nose is full of blue fruit, coffee bean, a touch of oak. On the palate I sense some very lithe tannins that are very ingrained with blueberry, elderberry, cedar. The wine transitions very nicely to the mid palate and the finish gives me a definitive red currant note. The mouthfeel is very smooth, balanced and easygoing, making this a very flexible wine to pair with a variety of dishes. Cheese comes to mind as do the Sirloins I am grilling, with some Steamed Artichokes. The tannins are the longest running portion of this wine, leaving a definitive dry streak on the gums for quite a while. Not a hugely complex wine, it serves its purpose as an everyday drinker, capable of pairing with meats, pasta, cheese or all by its lonesome. Drink now. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
Pale yellow, almost cloud-like in the glass. A nose of lemon curd, green melon and kumquat. The flavors on the initial attack are pear, lemon and seven-up. This wine reminds me of a steely Chablis, very minerally and biting. Acidity is present but subsides nicely into a mid palate and finish of green pear and lemon drops. This winery is very consistent and I really enjoy what they make. 88 points and 5 stars for this $9 effort. A go-to winery in a pinch and on a budget. I served it up with grilled Salmon. Salut….
I saved this one for last in the Charles Smith repertoire that I picked up in Cali. It was worth the wait. Dark purple in the glass with a nose of cherry, blueberry and a hint of oak. The initial attack consisted of black cherry and plum jam. Nice acidity and slight tannins make for a nice mouthfeel. The mid palate is rather one dimensional, yet the tannins start to grip at this point. The finish is interesting with the tannins still coating the gums along with some mint and violet. Really interesting bottle. 89 points with a drinking window of 2015/2020
PS. After an hour this wine has really mellowed, opened up and that mid palate issue I had is gone. 90 points now. 4 stars at $15. Tasty and worthwhile cellaring a few bottles. Salut….
A Columbia Valley charmer that Moxie picked up a while back. She meant to make Sangria and bought a bunch of different whites to try. The party never materialized so I got to open her choices. This one was very pale gold in the glass and had aromas of pineapple, citrus, cantaloupe and ginger. It was not as acidic as I like but had a mouthful of lemon/lime, melon and some apple. A mid palate switch to blood oranges and the spice mix again. 87 points and 3 stars for this $11 wine. Drink now with light fare or by the pool on a hot day. It has a unique flavor profile that should appeal to many as an easy drinker. Salut….
We bought this wine in Truckee where I stayed after the Reno Air Race weekend. I have had this winery’s offerings on several occasions and recall reading about the Indian Wells wines that got favorable reviews. Standing in a Safeway wine aisle one has to go with memory and gut, not pricing and labels. This was a sure winner.
Priced at $15 and getting a WS score of 88 make this a good deal, I however went higher. Pure merlot plums and butterscotch greeted on the first whiff. Great balance of fruit, tannins and acidity came on the initial attack of purple plum torte and blackberry jam which had a sliver of oak thrown in. Blackish purple with good extraction were the clues I got on the first pour, I was not disappointed. 91 points easy from me and 5 stars without a doubt. The beauty of this wine is it’s consistency and the fact that they make a crapload of it making it readily available. Buy this one by the case for a great party wine that is flexible with most foods. 2014 to 2017. Salut….
A cool $10 offering from Washington state that has gotten many accolades. I am drinking it with roast chicken and charred eggplant. It’s working well for me.
A pale yellow/gold in the glass it offers up pear and melon hints on the nose. On the palate, a very delicious and somewhat creamy presentation of green apples, anjou peer and some lemon zest. This is an easy wine to drink, and a good thing it rings in at 11% alcohol because you will want to slurp it all night long. I would say it is off-dry with just a hint of residual sugar that makes it enticing without being cloying. The acidity is marked but not overly sharp. The finish is interesting and long. I am getting a sourness on the back end that makes this a really exciting wine that would pair beautifully with grilled salmon, chicken and perhaps a cheese board. For the price, you need to purchase this wine by the case because I agree with the 89 points that WS gave it and reckon that makes it a 5 star wine. Readily available you will recognize the label right away because it rocks. Salut….
New World nose of mushrooms and red fruit. Sharply acidic on the palate, it is also offers some raspberry and plum. Not obvious, there are some fine tannins in the background. This 2008 vintage is at peak now and offers a certain quality that is hard to pinpoint. My guess is that it started life as a 90 pointer and I would value it as a 3 star wine (for my palate versus its price).
Blueberries on the nose that translate through to the palate in this delicious Columbia Valley Cab that has a touch of Merlot and Cab Franc added in. Extremely youthful at 7 years, the wine shows great potential and vibrancy. Very similar in style to a Napa Cab, with tons of fruit up front and a long finish. It is drinking nicely now, but I think it has yet to peak. I reckon this wine will further evolve and last until 2018 at least. I really enjoyed the mouthfeel; no harsh tannins, balanced acidity and good fruity taste that seemed to go on for ever. I think this wine was underrated, it deserves 91 points. It’s a 4 star effort in my books.
Number 2 in our little party, always a good choice from the value-priced section. These guys can pump out a tremendous quantity of reliable, tasty wines, year after year. 2007 was no exception, with a pro rating hovering around 90 and a price point of $13 make this an easy choice for many a party host. Good fruit, decent tannins and a longer than expected finish give this wine street cred. For me however, it is a little boring- blame that on the fact that I have had this wine and many like it until I’m blue in the face. Given that, I have to award it 5 stars for consistency, QPR and the ability to be a crowd-pleaser. I would definitely recommend and buy it again.