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





Mark West 2009 Russian River Valley pinot noir wine review

13 10 2010

Hi!  Today we review another Mark West pinot noir, a California red wine that costs around $20 a bottle.

Bottom line: A yummy pinot, but at $20, not recommended.

OK folks, I’ll keep this short.  You’re forgiven if you’re thinking. “Hey Wineguider, shut up already about Mark West!!” — this is the 3rd I’ve reviewed — but I have good reason for my focus on them: that amazing 2008 $9 pinot with the orange label.

This $20 pinot is also good, although its label is beige: it’s fruity, it’s a bit minerally, and it’s balanced.  It tastes like real pinot noir.  And it’s a beautiful ruby red color.  However, it doesn’t have serious depth or strength of flavor, and doesn’t have a lot of complexity.  At $20, I start to expect these things.  Another problem: I enjoyed it with a spinach salad that included hard boiled eggs and bleu cheese, and honestly, the salad overwhelmed the wine. 

I love their $9 pinot from 2008, and I liked their $17 2009 Santa Lucia pinot a lot, but at $20, this Russian River pinot is unfortunately:

Not recommended.

Next!





PINOT TO THE PEOPLE! Mark West 2008 pinot noir review

1 09 2010

Today we look at the 2008 Mark West pinot noir from California, which costs $11 a bottle at most places, $9 at Total Wine.

You probably don’t really care if today’s wine tastes like cherries, boisenberries, or whatever — the main question is, how good is it?  Answer:  holy crap, it’s really damn good!   Mark West pinot noir tastes like real pinot.  This is an amazing feat in today’s world of inexpensive pinot-dom.  There’s a “kick” to it.  Some SPICE.  And even a little bit of complexity.  The website says “Pinot for the people.”  Yes!  This lovely red is Everyman’s pinot noir. 

You can taste more alcohol in this pinot than with some others, although the percentage is reasonable (13.8%).  Other flavors are floral and sort of strawberry-like.  It’s not too sweet, like some inexpensive California pinots (say, Mirassou), and it’s not bleached-out and generic, like many others (say, BV).  

If you want a good, affordable pinot noir, or a good wine for Thanksgiving — THIS is your wine.  If you want a “crowd pleaser” for a party where you’ll serve only one red, this is NOT your wine — but only because many people are not used to the unique flavors that pinot noir provides. 

So, is Mark West better than the 2009 Grayson Cellars pinot noir, which I recommended?  Yes.  Is it better than a $40 Oregon pinot noir?  Probably not.  But luckily Mark West is NOT $40.  In fact, I’m awarding it a “Best Value” designation.  Mark West pinot noir is: 

Mark West 2008 pinot noir reviewHighly recommended!