This is the week we head out on our long-anticipated wine country excursion to France and Spain. We will be spending time in the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc region of France. In Spain we will visit Monstant, Priorat and the Rioja wine regions. Our trip will end with a three-day Digital Wine Communication Conference in Logroño, Spain, at the end of October. I will attempt to post a few articles on Wine Values & Bargains during the trip, but if you so desire you can follow our trip more closely on our Wine Traveler Blog.
Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz Viognier 2011 – Costco $12.79
This wine is a collaboration between two well-known wine executives, Tony Terlato and Michel Chapoutier. Interestingly enough, we will be visiting the M.Chapoutier winery in the Rhone Valley the week after this. All of the grapes for this wine come from vineyards in Victoria, Australia. Although it says Viognier on the label, the Viognier amounts to 5%. It is a tradition in parts of the Rhone to round out a Syrah with a very small amount of Viognier, and that adds some aromatics to the wine. This is a delicious and spicy wine, well made in all respects. There is a good amount of a pepper characteristic in this wine that carries through from aroma to finish. We both enjoyed this wine immensely and are giving the wine 90 Points. I like this wine with grilled chicken or a steak doused with flavors of spice and herbs. Delightful!
Cost Plus World Market Red Wine Sale
Vintage Wine Taster Bruce reports that he found several good wine values and bargains at the Cost Plus World Market Red Wine Sale. Bruce highly recommends the 2009 Bear Boat Pinot Noir at the sale price of $11.19 if you buy four or more, mix or match. The average price for this wine elsewhere is $16. Bruce also likes the Z Zinfatuation Zinfandel 2010 Amador County (13.9% alc.) produced and bottle by Trinchero Family Estates exclusively for World Market for $7.19. Original price $10.99 – $2.00 for the red-wine discount – $1.80 for the 4-bottle discount. Bruce says “It is smooth, with a rich spicy finish – I think it is a great buy.”
Abrente Napa Valley Albariño Napa Valley Albarino 2012 – $19.00
We had lunch on Saturday at the Park Tavern restaurant in North Beach. This wine was on the menu and sounded like it was worth a try. At $40 it was one of the less expensive wines on the list. This turned out to be a fantastic selection. All four in our party raved about this wine. It is so pleasant! The acidity is just perfect in this wine, and so is the subtle lime flavor. This is by far the best California Albariño I have tried. It is a collaborative effort between young winemaker Morgan Twain Peterson and Michael Havens. Michael Havens was the first winemaker to produce a California Albariño. If you can find this wine under $20, snap it up. Use the Wine-Searcher.com to see if you can find this wine near you. 90 Points.