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 »





Domaine Des Quatre Vents Fleurie (red burgundy) review: TOTAL WINE! WHY ARE YOU CHARGING $22 FOR THIS!?

16 11 2013

Today we look at a 2010 red from Fleurie, in France’s Burgundy region.  I bought it at Total Wine for $22.

This wine is a nice choice for Thanksgiving.  It’s not too strong, it has a good balance between light tannins and mild fruitiness (i.e. it’s not bone-dry) and it has flavors of black tea, nutmeg and cranberry, unique compared to American reds.  Even with these interesting flavors and some minerality, it’s not a Read the rest of this entry »





Chateau Carignan Prima merlot (Bordeaux) review

2 11 2013

Today we examine a 2010 Bordeaux that is 100% merlot.  I found it at Total Wine for $25.

Here we have a nice example of a French red – robust, yet restrained.  Delicious fruit, yet not sweet.  But is the price too high? Read the rest of this entry »