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 »





Santa Ema Reserve merlot review

25 09 2013

Today we look at a 2009 reserve merlot from Chile’s Maipo area, which I found at Total Wine for $14.

This wine is deep purple in the glass, and throws off aromas of caramel, honey, allspice and cloves.

It is 13,5% alcohol, comes in a heavy and stately bottle, and Read the rest of this entry »





Les Martinieres table wine: YOU MAKE ME WANT TO –

14 10 2012

Today we look at a French white wine.  Seven dollars at Total Wine.

If you get excited about great food.

If you get excited about delicious wine.

If you like a bargain, but you love an extreme bargain — then it’s time to discover Read the rest of this entry »





La Crema Sonoma Coast pinot noir: IMPORTANT NOTICE

26 09 2012

ALERT!  La Crema 2010 Sonoma Coast pinot noir is delicious — and right now it’s just $16.89 at Costco.

Wow.  I’m used to seeing this wine for around $23.  Regardless of the price, it is compelling: light, but spicy.  It smells Read the rest of this entry »





Harbor Front pinot noir review: OH GOOD GRACIOUS

28 06 2012

Today we check out a 2010 pinot noir from California that sells at Total Wine for $9.99.

OH MY GOD THIS WINE IS GOOD.  At just ten bucks, you HAVE to try it.  I promise, even though it’s an inexpensive pinot noir, which therefore should be wriggling all over the place to try to disappoint you, this wine in fact does nothing wrong.

It’s got aromas of rhubarb and blackberry, and in your mouth it’s a whirlwind of pleasurable cranberry, eucalyptus, roses and unknown spices.

I hereby nominate and confirm Harbor Front pinot noir as a flagrant, screaming, Best Value.  It is highly:

Harbor Front pinot noirRecommended.





Cloud Break pinot noir review: GAME CHANGER

21 06 2012

Cloud Break Pinot NoirToday your Wineguider reviews a 2011 pinot noir from California that is just $7.99 at Total Wine.

Sure, at this writing 2011 seems recent for any red wine, but there’s some good news here.  Cloud Break‘s aroma:  vintage middle school jelly bar.  (Translation: AWEsome).  Taste:  innocent, with lovely reminders of cherry cough drops and almonds.  It has a nice light-bodied mouthfeel appropriate for a pinot noir, with hints of oak and speecy-spicy meat-o-ball.  At this price, simply a great pinot noir.  Not complex, but extremely yummy.

Serve slightly chilled, but not refrigerator-cold.  Mark West was my GO-TO pinot noir under $9.  Now it’s Cloud Break.  Consider the low-priced pinot noir game, “changed.”  A Best Value winner (hence the guy at the slot machine), Cloud Break pinot noir is:

Recommended.





Cupcake sauvignon blanc review

14 06 2012

Hello!  Today we review a 2011 sauvignon blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough Valley, selling at Costco for just $7.89.

WOW do I ever like this wine.  The 2011 Cupcake sauvignon blanc is a summer party hit — it has a fun name, a lighthearted yet classy label, and its taste is tangy and refreshing, with lemon, a little lime, and just a whisper of  grapefruit and honeysuckle.  It does nothing wrong, and with the crazy low price, this is kind of a big deal.  In fact, why isn’t everybody talking about this?  What is going on!?  Why isn’t this wine on the FRONT PAGE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES?   EVERY DAY?

I would like to humbly suggest that you hurry to Costco and buy as much of this little stunner as your family can afford.   Or, to Total Wine, where it sells for a mere $7.97.  Or anyplace you can find it, really.  That guy at the slot machine is laughing because Cupcake 2011 sauvignon blanc is a Best Value winner, even at $12.  And it is highly:

Recommended.