Category Archives: $20 and less

Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose NV

ALSASE | FRANCE | $19
Delicate strawberry, raspberry and pear — quite light — with notes of vanilla cream, caramel and citrus peel. Beautifully salmon pink with exquisite bubbles that dance on and on. Refreshing and light, yet full of flavor. It’s that magic of one’s first taste on cotton candy; ooh what a thrill — and the magic and joy of a lighter-than-air concoction. 100% Pinot Noir. A very good wine and a great value. (reviewed 7/13/14)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, France, Sparkling Wine

Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir 2012

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $20
Red plum and raspberry fruit with notes of sweet earth, coffee and verbena. Light-medium bodied — almost lean — focused and refreshing with nice, natural acidity showing through. She plays to her strengths, errs little and succeeds wildly. A good wine and at $20 a superb everyday Pinot bargain. (Reviewed 7/11/14)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, California, Pinot Noir

Girard Sauvignon Blanc 2013

NAPA VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $18
Flavors of grapefruit and lemongrass dominate with accents of pear, green apple and wet stones. Light, crisp and focused, a quenching wine delivers on its promise yet readily yields the spotlight to the conversation, meal or celebration. No superstar, this; rather a most successful supporting act. A good wine and great value. (Reviewed 5/24/14)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, California, Sauvignon Blanc

Palmina Dolcetto 2011

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $20
Pomegranate and cranberry fruit with notes of pink pepper, almonds and orange zest. Medium bodied, fruit focused with a prominent, but pleasant, acidity on the finish. A playful wine — thoroughly enjoyable and quite a lark. Indeed, a rhapsody: I see a little Dolcetto of a man; Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? A good wine. (Reviewed 4/13/14)

1 Comment

Filed under $20 and less, California, Italian Varietals

Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris-Pinot Blanc 2012

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $18
Crisp d’Anjou pear with hints of kiwi and pineapple, plus lemongrass, bright stone minerals, floral notes and oak. Fairly light bodied with some viscosity. Finishes clean with a pleasant biter kiss. A freckle-faced lass, fresh as spring, whip smart, full of goodness. 75% Pinot Gris, 25% Pinot Blanc. A very good wine. (reviewed 10/5/13)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, California, Uncategorized

Bodegas Ordonez ‘Zerran’ 2011

MONSANT | SPAIN | $17
Forward cherry and pomegranate fruit with accents of sassafras, sage and citrus peel. Full-bodied, with extracted flavors. Focused, flavorful and adaptable. Dry finish with a pleasant acidic perk. Here’s a charmer: Utterly enjoyable, simple with a purpose, exits suddenly, leaves only fond memories. A guest you’ll ask to return. 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo, 10% Syrah. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/5/13)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Ravenswood Zinfandel ‘Old Vine’ 2010

LODI | CALIFORNIA | $20
Forward blackberry fruit, full bodied, with accents of roasted plum and cassis, and hints of allspice, almond and bay. It’s all about the fruit, this one is, and it’s there and good, yet also restrained. So, while jammy, it’s a thin spread rather than a heaping spoonful. Focused and enjoyable: A good wine, and a great value. (Reviewed 11/19/13)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, California, Zinfandel

Marques de Riscal ‘Proximo’ 2009

RIOJA | SPAIN | $10
Black cherry and roasted plum fruit with deep flavors of earth, cigar box and orange zest, and a faint note of licorice. Medium bodied, ripe fruit, easy on the palate with supple tannins and soft acidity. Very satisfying with an inherent confidence that comforts. She’s settled into her beauty, she has; that youth shines elsewhere is of no concern, as she will always have this quality, the one we know as “it.” Tempranillo. A find at $25; an absolute must-have at under $10. A very good wine. Provided by Wine Chateau. (Reviewed 12/21/13)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals

Bodegas Ordonez ‘Zerran’ 2011

MONSANT | SPAIN | $17
Forward cherry and pomegranate fruit with accents of sassafras, sage and citrus peel. Full-bodied, with extracted flavors. Focused, flavorful and adaptable. Dry finish with a pleasant acidic perk. Here’s a charmer: Utterly enjoyable, simple with a purpose, exits suddenly, leaves only fond memories. A guest you’ll ask to return. 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo, 10% Syrah. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/5/13)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Gran Toqui Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

ALTO CACHAPOAL VALLEY | CHILE | $12
Soft blackberry and plum fruit with flavors of licorice, cocoa, chai spice and graphite. Plenty of low notes here, with pleasant, subtle tannins and a spritely counterpoint of acidic brightness on the finish. Lightweight in the mouth, yet the flavors are weighty. Something of a brooding wine: A fugue of baritones. A good wine and a great value. Wine provided by Wine Chateau. (Reviewed 8/4/13)

Leave a comment

Filed under $20 and less, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile