This is a series of weekly bargain wine picks by the members of the Vintage Wine Tasting Club. We meet every other month for a formal tasting session but in between we communicate with each other whenever we discover a great wine bargain. We love the sport of bargain wine hunting.
Saracina Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay – Golden Gate Wine Cellars $16.99 – Joe’s Pick
We visited the Saracina winery in Hopland last week and were very impressed with the quality wines produced by John Fetzer at Saracina. Hopland is far removed from popular Sonoma County and Napa Valley wine country and thus much less crowded. The prices of wine in the area are much more reasonable than the aforementioned, and by and large there are no tasting fees. The Sarcina Chardonnay is an all stainless-steel variety with a tad of Viognier blended into the wine. The fruit flavors are very evident: pear, pineapple, and apple. This is a lush and vibrant Chardonnay with an amazing taste. I think the wine is a steal at the $18 price I paid at the winery. Locally, the only place I could find this wine for sale was the Golden Gate Wine Cellars on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco for $16.99. I rated it 90 points; get it while you can.
Manzanita Creek 2009 3 Vines Zinfandel – Costco $14.99 – Bruce’s Pick
This is a very sumptuous Zinfandel with loads of jammy flavors and many pleasing spice aromas. It is a big wine so have it with a meal with substance. This is not a wine for salad lovers. This wine beckons me to the barbeque for wine-marinated beef tri-tip. What a match! The price on the Manzanita Creek Website for this Zin is $28 so the Costco price is almost half off the retail price.
I rank this wine at 89 Points. Note: I compared this wine with another Sonoma County wine, the Trader Joe’s Estate Zinfandel vinted and bottled by Mazzucco Winery in Dry Creek. No comparison; the Manzanita is a far more enjoyable Zinfandel.
Four Vines 2009 Naked Chardonnay – $10.99 various stores – Joe’s Pick
This week our Vintage Wine Tasting Club meets to blind taste six Vouvray wines. These wines are from the Loire Valley in France and are made from the Chenin Blanc grape. It is a dry and crisp wine and we look forward to reporting back to you on our Vouvray discoveries. Watch for the article on Thursday!