Renegade from Ancient Peaks is ridiculously good

Renegade wine

The beautifully balanced Renegade from Ancient Peaks in Paso Robles

Ancient Peaks 2011 Renegade

In last week’s article on Good Cheap Vino, we talked about the Daou Cabernet Sauvignon we picked up at the Safeway 30% off sale. I thought that was a very good deal, and this week I tried the Ancient Peaks Renegade. It is ridiculously good and an even better deal at only $13.85 a bottle if you buy a six pack. What I like about this wine is its complexity. It keeps on giving with each sip. It is so enjoyable and full of many flavors. It is smooth and gracious in the mouth and has a very nice after taste. Ancient Peaks winery is down at the lower end of the Paso Robles wine country in Santa Margarita. Just a few weeks ago the Tobacco & Alcohol Bureau approved the Santa Margarita area as a full- fledged AVA. As far as I know, Ancient Peaks winery owns all the vineyards in the AVA. The 2011 Renegade is a blend of Syrah 62%, Petit Verdot 28% & Malbec 10%. 91 Points. At the Ancient Peaks online wine shop the Renegade is $23.

Here is what Ancient Peaks winemaker Mike Sinor has to say about the making of the Renegade

If you get this article in an email you will miss out on the video. Click here to view it.

Wild Thing Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 – $12.60 Safeway Sale

This is just another wonderful and zesty wine by Carol Shelton. This Zinfandel is just a very fun wine to drink. It is light and vibrant with fruit flavors jumping from the glass. Just take a look at the color of the Wild Thing in the glass in the photo. It is lighter than most Zins. This may not satisfy the full-bodied Zinfandel drinkers, but it is more food friendly. The fact that it comes from old Zinfandel vines gives it a little extra character. I like it with a pesto pizza, and on a cool Fall evening this would go nicely with a hearty soup. 89 Points.

wild thing zinfandel

Carol Shelton’s Wild Think Old Vine Zinfandel, Mendocino County

Top Bargain Wines 2014 and Safeway Wine Sale

And so it begins, with the Wine Enthusiast the first to publish the top 100 wines of 2014. The latest issue contains the Top 100 Best Buys of 2014. It is also available for download free for anyone. I like that concept and congratulate Wine Enthusiast for making this available for bargains wine hunters. I went through the list and found many that I have seen at local wine shops and supermarkets. In the Wine Enthusiast photo, the three wines can be found locally.  The Aveleda is at K&L Wines, The Bogle at Trader Joe’s, and the Charles & Charles Rosé is at the Safeway.

Top 100 Bargain Wines - Wine Enthusiast

Top 100 Bargain Wines – Wine Enthusiast

Safeway 30% Off Sale is on

Returning from our trip to France we were restocking our kitchen groceries and were quite happy to see that the Safeway is having their 30%-off-all-wine sale from now until November 16. By purchasing a six pack or more, one gets an additional 10% off. I found several wines on sale for less than you can purchase anywhere, including Costco.

Exquisite Wine Tours – Napa Valley, Spain, Tuscany and more

The Summers Charbono is a favorite of ours and sells at the winery for $34. That’s half off at the Safeway!  The Gruet sparkling wines are terrific, especially the Blanc De Noirs. You will find them in S.F. Bay Area selling on average for $16.  The Charles & Charles Rosé is on the Wine Enthusiast Top Bargain Wines of 2014 and a steal at $7.55. I also like the Carol Shelton Rosé, selling for $9.44. I purchased a mixed case of wines, several of which I had not tried before. Last evening we opended the Daou 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. Daou is a top winery in Paso Robles, specializing on Bordeaux varietals. This wine sells at K&L Wines for $21.99. The Daou Cabernet received a 90-Point rating from Robert Parker. The blend on this wine is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. This is a delicious Cabernet, well balanced and very soft on the palate. It is quite an enjoyable wine, and I also give it 90 Points. I will certainly buy more of this wine at $17.99. Where can you buy a 90-Point Cabernet Sauvignon for less than $20?

Daou Cabernets

Beautifully balanced Cabernet Sauvignon

William Shatner’s ‘Brown Bag Wine Tasting’

This series is very funny and it so great to see wine “speak done” in this style. If you don’t see the video click here.

Loire Valley Wine Country and Wine Bargains

Chateau Chenonceau

What a difference one week makes in the wine country of France. A week ago we were in Burgundy. The weather was absolutely wonderful, warm with little, puffy clouds for a picture-perfect day. We are now in the Loire Valley, lodging in a very quaint … [Continue reading]

Finding Wine Values in Burgundy wines

Burgundy wine grower

Finding Wine Values in Burgundy wines When we say Burgundy, we do not mean those gallon jugs labeled Burgundy. We mean finding values and bargains in the fine Burgundy wines of France. We are currently traveling in France and visiting the Burgundy … [Continue reading]

Taste wine like a Burgundian

This is the best advice I have read, seen or heard on tasting wine. A quick exercise in wine tasting was given to me by wine educator and sommelier, Pascal Wagner. Pascal has been living in Burgundy for the past 18 years. Janelle and I are visiting … [Continue reading]

Catching the Crush in the Napa Valley


I have been very lucky the last couple of trips to the Napa Valley. I was able to watch the harvest at two different vineyards in the Valley. I have also had the chance to see the sorting and crushing of grapes and the tanks filled with the … [Continue reading]