Top Red Wines 2014

The Vintage Wine Tasters meet regularly to taste wine formally and informally. We share our top value wine findings with each other and participate in recommending wines to Wine Values & Bargains. We are not professional wine tasters like the famous: James Laube, Jon Bonné, Antonio Galloni, and the like. We consider ourselves to be consumer wine tasters. I think our wine palates can relate better to the average wine drinker. We think you will enjoy this list of our favorite red wines for the year 2014.  We filtered out any wines that are no longer on the shelves of our local shops. Why bother recommending a wine if you cannot find it anywhere?  Not all Costco and Safeway wine departments carry the same wines. You may have to do some searching via the phone to hunt down some of these wines. If you live outside the greater San Francisco Bay Area, you most likely will not be able to purchase some of these wines.  Do you use the Wine-Searcher?  The Wine-Searcher does not list wines at Costco or Trader Joe’s but does a great service finding wines at small wine shops.  All of these wines are available for under $20. If you want to  know more about one of these wines, click on the link and it will take you to the original review.

Top Red Wines 2014 – Wine Values and Bargains

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We will announce the our favorite white wines for 2014 early next week. Watch for them on Wine Values & Bargains

Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Howell Mountain Zinfandel

Tj Howell Mountain Zin

Tj Howell Mountain Zin

Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Howell Mountain Zinfandel – $14.99

This is the real deal! Howell Moutain is one of the most respected AVA’s (wine appellation) in the Napa Valley.  Many of the wines that come from the hillside vineyards of Howell Mountain command ridiculous prices. We’ve mentioned in previous articles the greatness of the 2012 vintage, especially in the Napa Valley. The greatness came in both quality and quantity, and thus extra and excellent grape juice on the bulk market. Obviously, Trader Joe’s with their group of wine insiders have wrapped up deals with the 2012 vintage. I am telling you right now this Zinfandel is equal to Zinfandels that sell in the $35 to $40 category. It has deep black fruit flavors and complexity in the mouth. It is much different than Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Region or Russian River Valley; no spice but more lush in the mouth, polished if you will. It is a beautifully-balanced wine with a generous aftertaste. This wine requires a hefty dish.  How about a mushroom-stuffed pork tenderloin that was featured online at the Wine Spectator. That’s what we paired this wine with. On the label is says that 898 cases were produced. That is certainly not a lot of wine to go around for all the Trader Joe’s stores in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. I think that is why this wine was not announced in the recent Fearless Flyer publication. I happened to stumble on it perusing the wine department at the Millbrae store. It will go fast. Zinfandel fans, give it a go. 90 Points

Matetic “EQ Coastal” Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley 2013 – K&L Wines $12.99

Chilean wines always seem to be priced nicely for the budget-conscience wine connoisseur. If you like a classic New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc, you are really going to like this wine. Those good New Zealand S.B.’s are usually $20 and up, but this comes in at $12.99. I like the Gooseberry character and the crisp feel it renders in the mouth. While in the Loire Valley this past October, we tasted plenty of Sauvignon Blanc wines. These are in a much different style than the Matetic, so for me it is a welcome the change of pace. Robert Parker went bananas over this wine, giving it a 93-point rating. I am sticking with 88 points. It is good solid-drinking Sauvignon Blanc that your guests will certainly enjoy.

Matetic Sauvignon Blanc

Matetic Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc from Chile

Wines of 2014

In the next few days we will be posting our favorite wine values and bargains for the 2014 year. We will start with red wines and follow that up later with our white wine choices. This will be just in time for you to stock up for your New Year’s celebration. All of our choices are still out there on the wine shelves.

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