Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ten Wine Notes From The Supermarket

All these wines were purchased from supermarkets or the equivalent. They should be available all over the U.S. While many of these wines lack the unique and sometimes complex character of wines from small wineries, some of them are quite good values, and they are widely available. Also, many of these wines are frequently on sale with as much as 30% off. Perhaps the best buys of all are the Columbia Crest Two Vines series which in Washington state are even available in gas stations. The Chardonnay and the Merlot from Columbia Crest are perhaps the all time Best Buys of this group, usually available at about $7. I didn't taste these this time around, so here are my notes on the others which are all in the $7 - $12 price range:

2005 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma Chardonnay - This is your classic California Chard with good body, and traditional hints of vanilla and tropical fruit ( About $9).

2005 Round Hill California Chardonnay - A different style, drier, crisper, moving more toward a European style, more of a food wine, but it still works well on it's on (about $7).

2005 Rodney Strong California Chardonnay - Very nice, a great food wine, crisp and stony. Is this a new trend in California Chardonnays? Reminiscent of a French white Burgundy (about $10).

2005 Kendall Jackson Chardonnay - Perhaps the King of the supermarket Chardonnays. Bigger and more balanced than the Rodney Strong, less fruity than the Ch. St Jean (about $ 9).

2005 Beringer Founder's Estate California Riesling - What a pleasant surprise! Alleged to be sweet, but it seemed to me to be about one and a half per cent sugar. Tasted on a hot afternoon, it was really chilled and tasted crisp and refreshing. Not a lot of traditional Riesling flavors, but totally refreshing in the context of an outdoor festival ( about $5 -$10).

2005 Beringer Founder's Estate Cabernet Sauvignon California- Quite good. Good fruit, medium body, balanced, not too sweet or jammy (about $9).

2005 Beringer Founder's Estate Merlot California - Excellent for the price! Well balanced with interesting nuanced black fruit flavors. Reminds me of the very good Sterling Merlot ( about $9).

2005 Coppola Rosso Classic - This Zin/Syrah/Cab blend yields a wine that is easy, light to medium bodied, with lots of fresh strawberry fruit flavors. Not what you might expect from all the Zin and Syrah, kind of like Beaujolais Nouveau. Tastes good chilled by itself and a good BBQ wine (about $9).

2004 Bogle Petite Sirah - Okay, Bogle redeems itself! Even though there is no nose to speak of, this wine has lots of delicious plum flavors and is nicely balanced. It is nothing like the nondescript Zin we tasted recently from Bogle (about $9).

2005 Casa Lapostolle Merlot, Rapel Valley, Chile - This is the clear standout in the group. Deep red in color, it is big almost briary with great fruit and a hint of tannin in the finish, but not bitter. A real treat - this wine has some character. Definitely a best buy at $12.

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