Category Daily Drinkers

A Killer Single Vineyard Red Burgundy for $26

May 10, 2017 Daily Drinkers  No comments

FullSizeRender-4Burgundy is the most expensive wine region in the world, and it frankly has a spotty track record - when the wines are on, they are breathtaking, but when they are off, they are expensive disappointments.  This seems to be changing for the better, but time will be the judge.  Knowing this, I'm always excited to try a well reviewed burg in the $30 or less range.  Most choices in this range are generic "bourgone", but I recently had a chance to drink a wine from a single parcel in the southern Santenay region that really impressed me.

From vines ranging in age from 30 to 80 years old, the 2014 Domaine Vincent & Sophia Morey Santenay Les Hates could almost fool you as a California wine on the nose, with good ripeness and a little oak showing.  On the palate earthy burgundy flavors

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A Paul Hobbs Napa Cab Under $20?

November 21, 2012 Cellar WorthyDaily Drinkers  No comments

Ahnfeldt Napa Cabernet 2009I've tasted several vintages of the Ahnfeldt Cabernet, and while I always thought it was a solid wine, I never found it particularly exciting... until they hired Paul Hobbs.  Hobbs is the Cabernet master (along with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Malbec).  Somehow every wine he makes, or consults for, turns out great.  At $19.95, this has to be the greatest value in Napa Cabernet.

Paul Hobbs is probably best known for his own label which produces Cabernet starting at $75 for the Napa Valley bottling and going up to $250 for the To Kalon Vineyard bottling.  The other part of Hobbs' business is consulting for several wineries from California to Argentina.  Wineries lucky enough to acquire his consulting expertise usually experience dramatic increases in the quality of their wines.

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The 2010 Rhones Are Where It’s At

November 15, 2012 Daily Drinkers  No comments

Chateau De Saint Cosme 2010 Cotes du RhoneLet's review the last five vintages in Southern Rhone.

2006: Good

2007: Great

2008: Okay

2009: Great

2010: Greatest

Which vintage do you want to drink wine from?  I pick 2010, so in the interest of bringing the best wines (at the best prices) to our readers, I've picked several 2010's to drink this month.  The first is the Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone Les Deux Albions Rouge.  I'll reiterate that if the French would simplify their wine names, they would sell WAY more wine in the U.S.

Maybe us savvy wine consumers are the beneficiary because this wine should be at least twice the price.  At $16.95 you are getting a super polished, focused and downright delicious wine for not much.  This is juicy, spicy and complex, likely due to the blend of 4 different grapes

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A Crazy Cheap (and Good) Bubbly for the Holidays – $5.99

November 7, 2012 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

Cristalino Brut CavaIf you're anything like me, you love to serve wine to guests, but unless they are real "wine people" you don't want to break the bank.  Such was the case recently when my wife was hosting a wedding shower and her loving husband (your's truly) was tasked with acquiring the libations for the event.  No self-respecting wine guy would serve Asti Spumante to guests no matter how elementary their wine knowledge, so you know I did the research.  After all, I was later announced as Mason "The Wino" Hewitt at the wedding reception!

Whether it's a bridal shower, Thanksgiving or just plain Tuesday, everyone's budget bubbly should be Cristalino Brut Cava.  At $5.99 per bottle, you can afford to have a case of this sitting around for whatever occasion might arise.  The reviews from the wedding

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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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My Go-To Chardonnay Under $15 – Talbott Kali Hart

July 30, 2012 Daily Drinkers  No comments

Talbott makes some incredible Pinot and Chardonnay from their estate vineyards in Monterey County, and the Kali Hart, named after proprietor Robb Talbott's youngest daughter, is always a great value.  This 100% estate wine is their entry level, and as I've said many times, some of the greatest values come from entry level or second wines of higher-end producers.

If I see this wine in a shop or on a restaurant list, I know, no matter the vintage, that it's going to be a good bet.  This held true for the 2010 vintage which shows the bright acid signature of Monterey County balanced by round oak and beautiful yeasty flavors from 9 months of aging on the lees (dead yeast).

I applaud Talbott for bottling this and other wines under screw cap.  Hopefully more domestic wineries wake up and

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A Great Summer Sauvignon Blanc Under $10

June 20, 2012 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

2011 Infamous Goose Sauv BlancSometimes it's difficult to write up all the great New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs I drink because, eventually I would sound like a broken record: Bright tropical fruit flavors, crisp green apple, etc., etc.  That isn't a criticism, but rather a testament to the consistency and quality of NZ's signature wine, which is, for me, the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world.  It also remains a good value although I have noticed some price creep in the better known labels.

So, when the time came for a refreshing beverage on a warm Chicago evening this week, we headed to the roof deck with a bottle of 2011 Wild Rock "The Infamous Goose" Sauvignon Blanc.  So how is it?  It's the perfect summer Sauvignon Blanc.  Light, pale green and fruity with, well, bright tropical fruit flavors, crisp green apple,

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Finally, A Great Napa Cabernet Under $25

June 5, 2012 Cellar WorthyDaily Drinkers  No comments

Now that the economy is thawing out, it's getting much harder to find good Napa Cabernet under $25.  In fact, the last one I wrote up was on November 1st of last year.  As a point of reference, I've written up several Bordeaux and Rhone blends under $25 since then.  So I was thrilled to taste White Oak's 2007 Napa Cabernet.

With most wineries realeasing 2009s, I'm not sure why this '07 is still around but I have an idea.  2007 was such a great vintage (arguably the best of the decade) and the economy was in the crapper.  So there were an excess of great values on the market at the time.  Fast forward to today and the economy has improved and two good, but not exceptional, vintages have been released (at higher prices).    How do those '07s look now?

This is super dense and

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