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 »

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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 »





2014 Pinot Grigio shootout: Jermann vs. Albino Armani

31 05 2014

Today we compare two Italian pinot grigios.  They are THE most expensive ‘grigios I could find at Total Wine.  Jermann (2011) is $27; Albino Armani Colle Ara “1607” (2012) is $20.

When I first opened these, I thought this shootout was going to be easy because the Albino Armani was much better than the Jermann, and obviously much less expensive.  However, as I tasted both wines over a period of two days with various food, it became obvious Read the rest of this entry »





Decoy merlot vs. Purple malbec shootout

21 05 2014

This is the debut of the new Wineguider:  all comparison shootouts, all the time.

Today, we compare:

– Decoy, a 2012 merlot from California’s Sonoma County, $19 at Costco

vs.

– Purple, a 2011 malbec from France, $15 at the local wine shop.

Aroma Read the rest of this entry »





Abbeyville reserve cabernet review

13 12 2013

Tonight we check out a 2011 cabernet from Napa Valley, California that  I bought at Total Wine for $20.

We have noted that most 2011 and 2010 cabernets from the West Coast are not so great.  The question is, could Abbeyville reserve buck that trend? Read the rest of this entry »





Clean Slate riesling mini-review

5 12 2013

Tonight we check out a 2011 riesling from Mosel, Germany that I bought for $12.

OK this one is interesting.  Riesling can be teeth-shatteringly sweet, but Clean Slate strikes a nice balance.  The label is cool.  The “slate” in the name promises minerality.  Hey, I love minerality.  And alcohol is 10.5%.  That’s more than some rieslings, which can have as little as 7.5% alcohol. Read the rest of this entry »





The Wineguider Thanksgiving Pinot Noir Shootout

21 11 2013

Hi!  Today, in anticipation of The Big Dinner next week, we compare five pinot noirs, all of which I purchased at Total Wine:

  • $11:  Castle Rock Monterey County, California, 2010
  • $17:  Cloud Break Reserve, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, 2011
  • $22:  Coelho, Willamette Valley Oregon, 2011
  • $14:  Harbor Front, California Coastal, 2012
  • $18:  Mark West Carneros, Sonoma, California, 2010

Here is how they ranked, based on taste combined with value:

Read the rest of this entry »