Most popular wine reviews for 2010

2 01 2011

Happy new year!  Today we check out the most popular reviews for 2010 here at Wineguider wine reviews.  Getting right to it, these 3 reviews had the most views in 2010, by a sizeable margin:

  1. Hob Nob pinot noir
  2. Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc
  3. Mark West pinot noir 

Despite the raging, unprecedented popularity of the California chardonnay series, we have two pinot noirs and a sauvignon blanc — nice.  I like how pinot noir is sort of the new cab/merlot.  And though sauvignon blanc isn’t yet the new chardonnay, I can hope.  

It’s surprising that the no. 1 review for the year was a dis.  I admit that when I first tried Hob Nob in a nice bar, I thought it was a real winner.  I even gave it a second chance review, when I found it selling for significantly less, but still could not muster a recommendation. 

Which makes sense when you have the unbelievable Mark West pinot noir for only $9.  And don’t get me started on the Mark West Santa Lucia Highlands, which is just freaking unbelievable for around $15, or even less.

Of course, I wish the top 3 included some of my personal favorites (Pomelo, BolliniRosemount, Toasted HeadChilensis price drop alert, Domaine Serene, Lange, Zen of Zin, The Birdman, and the guest-review of Chateau Montet by That Girl), but you can’t have everything, can you?

As always, if you want me to review a wine, you can e-mail me at wineguider@gmail.com

Cheers and here’s looking forward to 2011!

-Wineguider





Hob Nob pinot noir review: REVISITED

21 09 2010

Hi!  Today, we re-examine Hob Nob pinot noir, a cool designer bottle from France that was $11 for our last review.  We concluded that Hob Nob tastes better than many other cheap pinot noirs, but it is often too sweet and is inconsistent from bottle to bottle.  It couldn’t be recommended at $11.

But then I saw it selling for only $8 — holy mackerel, time for a re-review!  So — this wine smells like, not cherries, but “cherry flavor.”  Giving it a whiff, I’m not sure if I’m about to enjoy a glass of wine, or suck on a Luden’s cough drop.  That’s fine — I’ve enjoyed many wines with unusual aromas.

As for taste, a young wine drinker who drinks “sweet nothing” wines might like this a lot.  Hob Nob is fairly sweet, but not offensively so. For $8, it even has a nice little complexity to it, with a trace of tannins.  More prominently, it has a heaping helping of cherry, with a cameo appearance by strawberry and Kool-Aid “black cherry” flavor.  My throat feels better already!

But to me, the flavors in this wine seemed confused, mixed up with a hint of something hard to identify, but which you don’t really want in your mouth (isopropyl alcohol? sterno??).  Finally — the kiss of death for most cheap pinots — Hob Nob pinot noir tastes almost nothing like pinot noir.  It’s good for only $8, but these issues lead me to decide that it is:

Not recommended.

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Hob Nob pinot noir review

5 07 2010

Today we review a pinot noir from France that costs only $11 a bottle.  [EDIT:  I’ve now seen it for just $8, which caused a re-visit to this review, right here.]  

Here’s the deal with pinot noir — it’s very hard to grow, it’s difficult to make into great wine, and it’s very hard to ship without damage by way of excessive heat or jostling around (“bottle shock”).  So why bother?  Because when it comes together, I believe pinot noir is simply better than any other wine.

Hob Nob pinot has some things going for it.  It can be a crowd pleaser for those who are just beginning to enjoy wine, or those who prefer something on the sweet side.  It is robust — not a wimpy see-through pink in color, like many pinot noirs.  And it has some definite taste notes — deep, dark cherries and black cherries — so it doesn’t taste like generic and totally nameless “red wine”, as many cheap pinot noirs do.  

The problem is that Hob Nob doesn’t really taste like pinot noir.  And, it is inconsistent.  Some bottles that I’ve tried have been simple in a “cheap wine” way, and blatantly too sweet.  Although many will still enjoy it, Hob Nob doesn’t quite merit a recommendation.  If you want a fun red wine with some sweetness and you don’t really care if it tastes exactly like pinot noir, you should try Hob  Nob — it’s a very good bargain.  But those in search of a great bargain “pinot noir” should check out the wine which I reviewed: here.

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