Wine Rants And Raves

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a few mixed cases of wine at the local wine and spirits store.  While we’ve not made our way through all of my selections yet, below I provide some quick picks and pans.

First, the Mas Donis still stands out as one of the gems in the bunch.

From Italy we enjoyed L’Oca Ciuca Toscana The Drunken Goose 2005 ($8.99) — 40% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 30% Shiraz / Syrah, and the Vitiano Falesco Rosso 2005 ($11.99) — equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.  The Vitiano should be widely available and cost about $8 for those of you not living in a monopoly wine state like Pennsylvania.

From France I can recommend the Chateau de la Tuilerie Attrape Coeur Vin de Pays D’Oc 2003 ($9.99) — 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Wine Spectator gave it 89 points.

There are ocassions which call for a wine that is inexpensive but not visibly flawed.  For example, when you’ve already gone through one too many good bottles, but the night is not quite over…  I picked up the Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz Australia 2007 ($6.99) for such an ocassion and was pleasantly surprised.  Keep in mind, we probably already had one too many.

From South Africa, we’ve had several vintages of the Goats do Roam Red over the years.  The 2006 ($9.99) is a solid offering.  I’ve actually served close to a case of this one in the last 2 months. 

Perhaps my favorite was the Mapema Primera Zona Mendoza Argentina 2002 ($19.99).  A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec and 20% Merlot, this wine is basically an Argentinean Bordeaux.  Overall, this is a very complex wine with a long, long finish.  My wife and guests raved.

There were also several disappointments in the batch, including the Meridian Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2006 (too much oak, too little fruit), the Piping Shrike Shiraz Barossa Valley 2006 (the Lindeman’s was better for less than half the price), and most of all, the Green Point Shiraz 2005.  Robert Parker gave the Green Point 90 points.  However, I have now served this wine 3 or 4 different times over the course of several months and found it to be a repeated disappointment.  Perhaps it needs more time in the cellar.  That’s where my remaining bottle will stay for a while.

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