Breggo Pinot Gris 2012

The past several days of warm weather have made me think of Pinot Gris. There is something about the crisp brilliance of this wine that goes with outdoor living and the freshness of spring weather. Here is a recommendation for delicious Pinot Gris that I think will sell out quickly at Costco.

breggo pinot gris

Breggo Anderson Valley Pinot Gris

Breggo Pinot Gris Anderson Valley 2012 – Costco $14.99

I was very surprised to find this wine at Costco. Breggo is a boutique winery in the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. It has only been around for a few short years but had gained a reputation for its Pinot Noir and Alsatian-style wines. Breggo was recently sold to Cliff Lede, who owns Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Cliff Lede has retained the original winemaker, Ryan Hodgins. Good move! We have visited Breggo and have been very impressed with the quality of the wines. The wines are pricey, but not this standout Pinot Gris. It is $25 at the winery, but only $15 at Costco. That is a substantial discount.

The Breggo Pinot Gris is a powerhouse in terms of aroma and flavors. It is one of those wines that, as you savor each sip, you discover something different. It has a nice round mouth feel and a very generous, lingering aftertaste. It is not as crisp as most Pinot Gris but has more depth and finesse. The wine was uniquely produced. The grapes were fermented and aged in a 200-gallon concrete egg, a 900-gallon French oak oval, small neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. No wonder it is so good! 90 Points. By the way, fermenting in concrete is done extensively in Europe. Now a new technique has the concrete formed into an egg-shaped receptacle.

Another Pinot Gris wine I recently reviewed and highly recommend is the J Vineyard Pinot Gris – KL Wines, Bottle Barn @ $13.99, Costco $12.99.

Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa

Trecini from Russian River

Trecini from Russian River

Several readers of Wine Values and Bargains have recommended the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa. These readers argue that the Bottle Barn has the best overall wine prices. On our way back from the wine country in Healdsburg, we stopped in at the Bottle Barn. The Bottle Barn is located in a business center complex. Inside it is nothing fancy, just a whole lot of wine and spirits at excellent prices. I found many labels from wineries in the Russian River area, ones you will not find at Costco, Safeway or the like. The Bottle Barn must deal directly with these wineries. I do believe overall that the prices at the Bottle Barn are rock bottom, but not in every case. I found several wines that are a better deal elsewhere. Example, St. Francis Zinfandel was $14.49, but it is at Costco for $13.99. Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zinfandel is $19.99 at the Bottle Barn, but I have purchased it previously at the Safeway for $13.

I wish that we had a Bottle Barn locally because it is a fun place to shop for wine and find that “ultimate wine bargain.” Check out the Bottle Barn the next time you are in the Santa Rosa area. I purchased the six bottles in the photo below, all for under $20 each. I will review these wines over the next several weeks.

wines bottle barn

Wines purchased at the Bottle Barn


Paso Robles Zinfandel

We tasted two bargain Zinfandel wines side-by-side, Paso Robles Peachy Canyon Zin VS Trader Joe’s Paso Robles Reserve Zin. I think both of these wines are good examples of the style of Zinfandel coming from the Paso Robles area.

Comparing two Paso Robles Zinfandel wines

Paso Robles Zinfandel

Paso Robles Zinfandel

Peachy Canyon Westside 2011 – $12.99 Costco, $19.99 BevMo

Previously, Vintage Wine Taster Bruce recommended this Peachy Canyon Zinfandel and we thought it would be fun to try it and also compare it with a Trader Joe’s Zinfandel from the same area. The Peachy Canyon Zin has nice fruity and jammy aromas that pop from the wine glass. The taste is vibrant fruit but not too fruit forward. The Peachy Canyon is quite big in the mouth, perhaps due to the 15% alcohol. Peachy Canyon winery has been one of the stalwarts in the Paso Robles wine country with an emphasis on Zinfandel, making several different ones. It is a fun winery to visit when you are in the Paso Robles wine country. I really liked this wine very much with the first glass, but after that I began to be less enthusiastic about the wine (read below). My rating is 88 Points. [Continue reading]


Three Chardonnay Wines 2012 Vintage that will please

McIlroy Chardonnay

In this review, we look at three Chardonnays wines, each from different wine appellations in California. We have two Wente Vineyard Chardonnay wines, one from Livermore and the other from Monterey County. Both of these were sent to me as wine … [Continue reading]

Organic wines – Frey Chardonnay

image of Frey Chardonnay

April is Earth Month so I thought it would be fun to explore some the organic wines I see more prominently displayed these days. Whole Foods has an entire wine section devoted to Eco-Friendly wines. The Foster City Costco has increased its number of … [Continue reading]

Cameron Hughes Lot 408 Santa Ynez Valley Syrah

Lot 408

In this review, we offer three very different wine values worthy of a purchase. These reviews are posted at least once a week by the Vintage Wine Tasters. Who we are. Cameron Hughes Lot 408 2012 Santa Ynez Valley Syrah – Costco $9.99 … [Continue reading]

Pinot Noir under $10 plus Wine in a Box

image of Bota Box Merlot

It is very difficult to find decent Pinot Noir wines for under $20. How about the challenge of finding a good Pinot Noir under $10? Well, we think we found one very good one. And what about the sudden popularity of wines in a box? Is wine in a box … [Continue reading]

Valdemar Inspiration Rioja


We have four wines reviewed to start off your wine week. The first two are Spanish wines that are outstanding values. I think the wines from Spain offer the wine consumer the best value of any country in the wine world. Valdemar Inspiration Rioja … [Continue reading]

Masperla Priorat 2009

Masperla Priorat

Here are four wine recommendations from Vintage Wine Tasters Bruce and Joe. We have two wines from Costco to recommend and two that are at selected Safeway stores and are part of the Safeway 30% off Wine Sale. Masperla Priorat 2009 - $16.99 … [Continue reading]

Safeway 30% Wine Sale – Deal?

safeway wine sale

Deal or no deal, that is the question! 30% off all wines, really? Do you have trust in the Safeway? I just read on that the Safeway Company settled a lawsuit “alleging that it charged higher prices than advertised, misrepresented the … [Continue reading]

Syrah Taste Off – Fog Head Syrah

syrah wines

Our Vintage Wine Tasting group met this week for our bimonthly blind tasting of wines in the value and bargain category. For this blind tasting, the focus was Syrah wines from California and under the $20 mark. Vintage Wine Taster Jim C did a … [Continue reading]