Monthly Archives September 2012

Robert Craig Affinity – High End Napa Cab Under $40

September 28, 2012 Cellar WorthyHigh End ValuesSpecial Occasions  No comments

Robert Craig's Affinity bottling really got on the map after Robert Parker awarded it 96 points in the 2007 vintage. I bought 4 bottles without tasting it. I've only had one and I'm very happy with the purchase. It's an exceptional wine.

That wine is long since sold out but, having drunk both pretty recently, I actually think the 2009 is drinking better today. Time will tell which ends up as the better wine, but today the 2009 is a massive Cabernet with a ripe nose of dark fruit with a background of oak. But where this wine really stands out from other Napa cabs in the price range is the velvet texture and exceedingly long, highly nuanced finish. A true Bordeaux-like elegance exists with Affinity, which makes since because it's grown just south of the Stags Leap District in a cooler

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A Crisp Unoaked Chardonnay for $12

September 24, 2012 Daily Drinkers  No comments

A newish trend in U.S. Chardonnay is to forgo the oak, allowing the crisp Chardonnay fruit to shine through.  It was a warm late-summer weekend in Chicago and the Chamisal 2011 Chardonnay "Stainless" provided a delicious alternative to the Sauvignon Blanc and Rose we've been enjoying all summer.

Tropical fruit and honey on the nose leads into a palate that is at the same time crisp, but also huge.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the winemaker is a Kiwi who clearly takes a Sauvignon Blanc approach with this wine, allowing the fruit flavors to shine through rather than "outside influences" of oak and malolactic fermentation.  Here is a nice video of the winemaker talking about his process with this wine:

I appreciate both styles of Chardonnay but think this is a very well-executed

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A 90 pt Rhone for $6. BUY THIS WINE

September 20, 2012 Daily Drinkers  No comments

Before I tell my highly entertaining story, I will cut to the chase.  L.A. Wine Co has this wine for 50% cheaper than the lowest price in the country. Check it out here.  It's easily the best deal I've written up all year.  No contest.

Okay, on to the story... I was at a local wine shop yesterday where I noticed a great deal on a Cotes-du-Rhone - $12 for a 90 point rated red from the 2008 vintage.   So I picked up a bottle of the 2008 La Granacha Signargues from Domaine  d' Andezon.  It's absolutely great for the price of $11.99.  Stony red fruit with a nice sweetness juxtaposed by a fine acidity that is absolutely textbook Cotes-du-Rhone Grenache.  The label looked familiar to me so I checked my cellar and realized I had ordered a bottle to try from L.A. Wine Company

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OZ Fights Back With A 91 pt “Ball Buster” Under $15

September 17, 2012 Daily Drinkers  No comments

The last time I wrote up and Australian wine was way back in December of last year.  Why?  In the late 90s through around 2007, Australia was known for values.  But at the same time the U.S. economy was tanking, The Aussies were riding the wave of popularity and raising the prices accordingly.

Australian Shiraz, and their crazy names might be back, because I've noticed the deals are getting better.  The 2009 Tait "The Ball Buster" is one of those deals.  Ball Buster might be an overstatement - my balls feel just fine, thank you - but this is quite a big, rich wine with opulent oak and a lofty 15% alcohol.  Still it has enjoyable nuances of raspberry and white pepper and a vien of acidity that keeps the ripe fruit in balance.

91 points from Tanzer and 90 from Parker's Wine Advocate

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Another Brilliant Wine from Eric Solomon (90-93 points)

September 14, 2012 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

Eric Solomon is an importer of mostly French and Spanish wines, who focuses on value above everything else.  Robert Parker says "Over the last twenty years, Eric Solomon has consistently been one of America’s finest small importers of handcrafted, artisanal wines."  20 years ago, I was nine, so I can't speak to his track record then, but every Eric Solomon wine I've ever had has been somewhere between good and great.

This one is great.   It comes from the Costieres de Nimes region in Languedoc Roussillon, France which somewhat confusingly was recently made part of the Rhone appellation rather than Languedoc.  Makes sense right?

If you tasted the 2009 Costieres de Nimes Lou Coucardie, which Robert Parker awarded 90-93 points from a barrel sample, you would get why Rhone decided to

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