Wine Picks of the Week
A Gerwurztraminer, A Chardonnay and a new wine bar
Gundlach Bundschu Gerwurztraminer 2013 – $14.99 Costco
I loved the 2012 vintage of this wine and I like this one even more so. I like this wine so much that I went back to the Foster City Costco to buy more, but there was none left. The wine guy there said someone had just bought what was left of the 2013 Gerwurztraminer. He thought they would get more in and said to come back in a week. I immediately headed over to the So. San Francisco store and they had enough to satisfy me. The price at the winery is $22.50. That in itself is not a bad price, so $14.99 at Costco is a great deal. This is a dry Gerwurztraminer, very refreshing and loaded with tropical fruit flavors and exotic spice. The wine makes for a wonderful aperitif, and also goes well with some mild spicy food. I actually prefer drinking this wine all by itself. I give the Gundlach Bundschu Gerwurztraminer 2013 91 Points. I saw a Tweet on this wine from Tim Fish, Wine Spectator wine reviewer: “It really shows what California can do with Gewurzt in the right hands and the right vintage.”
J Lohr 2012 Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay – Safeway $9.90
This is one of the specials currently at Safeway and I paid $9.90 a bottle, buying a mixed six pack. Overall, the J Lohr winery, a family-owned winery in Paso Robles, does a nice job with their big production wines. Suggested retail price on the 2012 Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay is $14. Checking the J Lohr Website, I see that the 2013 vintage of this exact wine is listed for sale on their online wine shop. Remember, 2012 was a banner year and maybe J Lohr unloaded inventory to the Safeway. Janelle is taking charge of this review. “I think this a great everyday drinking Chardonnay. It has enough oak to satisfy me. It is not big and creamy, so just right for a cocktail wine. 87 Points”
Viña Real Crianza 2009 – Costco $10.99
There is a huge supply of the Viña Real at the So. San Francisco Costco. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gives it 91 Points. It is a very mellow and mild wine. It is a bit a too light for my palate. I did not find it to be a good representative of the Tempranillo wines of Rioja. I won’t be going back to buy more of this wine. There are plenty of good Tempranillo wines from Rioja for around $10 or so. Maybe it was an off day, but am going with 85 Points.
Wine bar opens in Burlingame
A new wine bar opened last month in Burlingame on the corner of Howard and Park Ave. It is called H29 Coffee and Wine Bar. You guessed it, it is named after Highway 29, the road that runs through the Napa Valley. The wine bar is a combination of a coffee shop, beer bistro, and wine bar. They do serve lunch and dinner along with their coffee treats in the a.m. We tried H29 other day at happy hour. They have several wines on tap. On Tap wines are not new. They became popular about 2 years ago and the popularity continues to grow with more wineries offering on tap wines for restaurants. We tried the Miner Sauvignon Blanc for $6. It looked to be about a 5-ounce pour. I would love to see a real wine bar in Burlingame like Nectar, but that closed a couple of years ago. H29 is okay but a wine bar should have several choices and offer wines from all over the world. The good wine bars have those wine dispensers that keep the wine fresh and free of oxidation. H29 Coffee and Wine Bar is worth a try for both coffee, wine, and dining.