Wineguider: wine review shootouts

27 02 2011

Welcome to Wineguider, the wine comparisons website.  All shootouts, all the time.  Some of them, not even close to fair.  Our simple mission:  we review affordable wines that you can actually find at the store.  Please subscribe over there on the right, to be the first to receive each new wine review.  Enjoy!


Malbec shootout: Kaiken, Gascon, Clos d’Argentine

2 01 2017

Today we pit 3 malbecs in the $10-12 range against each other in a blind taste test conducted in our clean room laboratories in an underground bunker which have been meticulously designed to replicate my friend’s house. These malbecs are from from Mendoza Argentina (of course) and they are:

  • Kaiken Reserva, 2015:  Total Wine, $12.19
  • Gascon, 2015:  Total Wine, $12.19
  • Clos d’Argentine Reserva, 2013:  Costco, $9.99

The Kaiken hits you with a very big, full “mouth feel” borrowed from a more expensive wine. It has some

Read the rest of this entry »

Angeline pinot noir vs. … Angeline?

29 09 2016

Hello wine fanatics… today we review Angeline 2014 California pinot noir, available at Total Wine for about $13, and the “Reserve” of this same wine, which goes for around $18.

Angeline sells both California and Oregon pinot.  In past years I’ve been disappointed with them, with no major complaint other than, I just didn’t love the flavor.  With the 2014 California pinot (and its Reserve partner), that has changed.  I could drink these all winter.  Note:  the 2015 pinot noirs are already out, so if you are like me and find the 2014 to be especially enjoyable, your time to enjoy it may be limited.

But is the Reserve, as you would expect, the better wine?  I won’t keep you in suspense — the cheaper one is better.  Angeline California pinot noir is bright, with a few layers (what do you want for 13 bucks?) of flavor that include cranberry, cherry and spice, and a hint of rhubarb.  It’s light, but not “see-through”.  It’s fairly acidic for a California wine so you may wrinkle your nose if you’re used to thick and sweet shiraz, but it’s not as tart as some Oregon or French pinot noirs.

The Reserve version is beefier, less acidic, less thin, and has more powerful earthy and spicy flavors. But the flavors feel hyped-up, less honest, and less natural. There’s more “there” there, and I do enjoy drinking it, but I’m not in love with it.  The Reserve almost comes across as confused.
So there you have it:  the winner is, Angeline 2014 California pinot noir — the “plain” one!  To make it easy to distinguish, the winner has the white label.  The Reserve label is black.Angeline_PinotNoir_15_RT.jpg

Marques de Casa Concha carmenere review

13 02 2016

Hi there! Today we look at a 2013 carmenere from Chile, which I picked up at Costco for $18.

This can be quick, folks.  Although Marques de Casa Concha has a very nice aroma and is full bodied, with excellent mouth feel and a good balance of dark red/dark purple fruit vs. gentle spiciness, it is…. a little sour.

Because of that sour kick, I don’t recommend this one.  Maybe next year!


Carnivor cabernet and Fabula Riserva sangiovese review

4 10 2015

Hi there people! Hope life is going well.  I’ve been taking a break from writing wine reviews, but I had to come back and … well it sounds bad, but I had to warn you against buying this particular cabernet.  I tried Carnivor cabernet at Costco because it was $9 or $10 and they said other stores sell it for $15.  As it turns out, Read the rest of this entry »

Chateau Treytins bordeaux vs. Daou cabernet sauvignon review

25 04 2015

Today we compare a 2010 bordeaux (from France, of course) against a 2013 cabernet from Paso Robles, California.  Both cost $23.

The Chateau Treytins is a 2010 bordeaux that we found at Total Wine. It is 60% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 20% cabernet franc.  It is Read the rest of this entry »

LaCrema vs. Decoy pinot noir review / shootout

22 06 2014

Today we compare two 2012 pinot noirs from Sonoma County, California:  La Crema Sonoma Coast ($19 at Total Wine and Costco, but usually in the low $20s) and Decoy Sonoma County ($22).

Decoy first impression:  a beautifully sweet aroma, a delicious cherry-rhubarb pie taste, what could go wrong?  Read the rest of this entry »

Wild Haven reserve vs. BV Napa merlot shootout

1 06 2014

Today we pit the 2010 Wild Haven reserve merlot from Horse Heaven Hills in Washington State ($13) against the BV Napa Valley 2011 merlot ($16).

Whew.  These merlots were not easy to taste.  Both had unripe green vegetable flavors.  Both tasted sour.  Both make you feel like you have been really sick for a few weeks and you’re just now Read the rest of this entry »