Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend 2012

Highway 12 Sonoma Red

Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend – 66% Merlot

Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend 2012

Costco $12.99

My neighbor a couple of doors away is a red wine drinker and he invited me over to taste a glass of red that he termed “one of the best wine bargains I have found in years.” Craig liked the wine so much that he went back to Costco and purchased not one but two cases. Craig is not a member of the Vintage Wine Tasters, although we would like him to be. He’s still working and not able to attend our tastings. The wine he had me taste was this Highway 12 Sonoma Red Blend. After one sniff and sip, I told Craig that I agreed it is a fantastic tasting wine for $12.99. A couple of nights later Janelle and I tried the wine with dinner and we both agreed that this wine is case worthy. It is a very young wine and one that I believe will age nicely for the next 2 to 4 years. This wine is an example of the great quality of the 2012 harvest in California. It is a very likeable wine and a true crowd pleaser. The wine is 66% Merlot, 19% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, and 3% Petite Sirah.  The Merlot shines in this wine and really delivers a smooth and elegant wine. I checked the Highway 12 online Website and the wine is selling for $22. 90 Points.

Globerati Wines – Whole Foods

Last week I posted the article “Any wine bargains at Whole Foods?” and mentioned that I had purchased two Globerati wines at Whole Foods in San Mateo.  Globerati makes an exclusive line of wines for the Whole Food Stores and the price for each of the five different wines is $6.99.

Globerati Gascogne Blanc 2012

globerati-blancThis is a white blend from Gascony, France. The blend of grapes is French Columbard 70% and Gros Manseng (30%), the latter of which I do think I have ever tasted before. It is a very dry white wine. I expected it to be crisp and  refreshing after I’d checked the description, but I think neither of those traits were in the wine. The wine is a good aperitif wine and will go well with light cheese. The wine is enjoyable and worth a try, especially if you shop at Whole Foods. Why make two stops, one for food and the other for wine? Give it a try. 86 Points

Globerati Bonarda 2013

Globerati BonardaThis is one of the most widely grown grapes in Mendoza, Argentina. Yet it is Malbec that we see on the shelves here in the United States.  I do not quite understand why there isn’t more Bonarda wine exported to the U.S. It is very tasty and, of course, an inexpensive wine. This Bonarda has a nice aroma with just a tad of green vegetative character.  I like this wine a lot more than the Gascogne Blanc. It is well made, tasty, medium bodied, and has a decent finish. This is a very gentle wine and I think it’s perfect with an oven roasted chicken, and worth a try. If you have not tried a Bonarda wine (also known as Charbono) start with this inexpensive and good tasting wine. 87 Points

Mas Donis Barrica – a delightful Montsant wine bargain

mas donis barrica

Mas Donis Barrica from the Montsant

Mas Donis Barrica – a delightful Montsant wine bargain

From the Capcanes Cellars in the D.O. Montsant in Spain, this is a fantastic wine bargain. It is $12.99 at the Spanish Table. Both KL Wines and Wine.com are sold out and will not be able to restock. I liked this wine enough to buy a half case at the Spanish Table in Berkeley. As of last week, they had plenty. While I was at the Spanish Table, some guy purchased two cases. The Spanish Table does give a discount on case sales. The Wine Advocate rates the Mas Donis Barrica 94 Points, Steve Tanzer 90 Points. Wow, and only $12.99! What I like about this wine is its complexity. It is a wine to sip and savor, and each taste brings something new to ponder. It is a very delightful wine with loads of soft fruit. Nothing big about this wine, just a gentle wine throughout. It is 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah. The Garnacha is from 70- year-old vines. Janelle and I were lucky enough to visit this winery a year ago. We were on a press trip with wine bloggers traveling the Priorot and Montsant wine regions. Capcanes is an impressive winery and one of the very few wineries that produces Kosher wines. Janelle wrote an article on Capcanes Cellars. I rate this wine 90 Points. Get it while you can.

Poggio al Tufo Maremma Toscana Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – KL Wines $11.99

Reviewed by Vintage Wine Taster Mike

Poggio-al-TufoThis medium-bodied beauty is a solid Cabernet for the money. This wine is only $12, and it competes with the likes of California wines priced in the $20’s. There is rich dark berry fruit and sound complex flavors which round out to a mouth-full of Cabernet. This wine would pair with a wide range of BBQ, tomato-based and garlic-infused meats and veggies. Wine Spectator rated it 93. I found its nose to be the big hit when it opened up. There is enough tannin and acidity to give this wine 5 to 9 years of solid drinking. I had the Rudy Cabernet for $20 from Von Strasser and it was not as good as this wine. Produced by a large owner of land and wineries in Italy; they have hit a triple with the bases loaded. Such a deal and there is plenty of it at K&L

Any wine bargains at Whole Foods?

whole foods eco-friendly wine

Everyone knows the old saying about shopping at Whole Foods. "We call Whole Foods,  Whole Paycheck!"  I do shop frequently at Whole Foods in San Mateo, and I believe if you are a careful shopper you can find plenty of good prices and not spend … [Continue reading]

Searching for Portuguese Red Wine

Portuguese red wines

Portuguese Red Wine Taste Off - September 2, 2014 At our bimonthly meeting of the Vintage Wine Tasters, we blind tasted six Portuguese red wines, all under $20 a bottle. Vintage Wine Taster Mike was in charge of the Portuguese red wine tasting. The … [Continue reading]

Gundlach Bundschu Gerwurztraminer 2013

Gundlach Bundschu Gerwurztraminer 2013

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 … [Continue reading]

How safe is your wine?


The Napa earthquake got us thinking again about the "Big One."  The USGS says there is a 90% chance of an earthquake in Northern California of at least 7.5 magnitude within the next 30 years. How safe is your wine from the "Big One?" How is your … [Continue reading]