Chateau L’Avocat 2011 is our wine of the week is all about finding wine values and bargains, and each week we post the wines we think are worthy of a purchase. I’m in the midst of reading the book “Into Wine” by Oliver Magny, a famous French Sommelier and founder of the successful Paris Wine Tasting School. He has reinforced my belief that there are plenty of wine values and bargains to be found. The book is not out yet, but I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy. Magny is very passionate about wines that offer a sense of place to wine drinkers. He writes zealously about terroir, and that above all else is it what matters most in wine. Here is what Magny says about wines under $20 that reflect terroir. “Today we know how to consistently make good wine; the “know hows” and the technology have become widely available. Consequently, good wine is something you should not have to pay a lot of money for. There are countless wines that express their terroir and sell for less than $20.”

Chateau L’Avocat 2011 – KL Wines $14.99
Talk about terroir, Chateau L’Avocat is all about the expression of where it was made. The wine is produced from vineyards at 300-foot elevation that rest in gravely soil in the southern Graves appellation of Bordeaux. The Chateau L’Avocat is a blend of 50% Semillion, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Sauvignon Gris. The Semillion is barrel fermented and left on the lees for 6 months prior to bottling. I love the minerality and citrus characters of this wine. The barrel aging of the Semillion gives it some texture on the palate and provides a very nice finish. This is a thoroughly enjoyable white wine as an aperitif with light appetizers. The acidity and other characteristics of this wine make it a nice choice to pair with salads. Because this wine is so different from the norm of California Sauvignon Blanc, Chadonnay and the like, it might take a little getting used to. If you want to learn about wines and terroir that Sommelier Magny feels so strongly about, then give this wine a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in your ongoing education of wine. 89 Points for the Chateau L’Avocat.

image of Chateau L'Avocat

Chateau L’Avocat

Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley 2011 – Safeway $10.49 – this month if you mix and match 6 bottles.
The Quivira is delicious, very refreshing and crisp. I think it is a terrific wine bargain at $10.49. Normally it sells for $19. Quivira Vineyards and Winery is located on West Dry Creek Road in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. We have visited this winery several times and always enjoy this wine as well as their Zinfandels. The vineyards are all certified biodynamic. I am going to rate this wine at 89 Points, the same as the Chateau L’ Avocat, but I give the nod to the L’Avocat simply because the wine is so unique in character. The Quivira S.B. is very tasty yet not so distinctive from other Sauvignon Blancs from the Dry Creek Valley, such as Ferrari-Carano or Dry Creek Vineyards. All very good wines. Read about Quivira and their Biodynamic vineyards.

image of Quivira Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc

Quivira Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc

Early Poll Results
I am keeping the poll, “Where do you shop for bargain values“, open for a continued length of time. Only 66 of you have voted, so there is not much to learn from the poll until we get some bigger numbers. However, there is one interesting stat. BevMo has only three votes. I would have expected more, but perhaps the BevMo “same old, same old” is not cutting it any longer with the bargain wine hunters. I think BevMo needs to spice things up a little and branch out into some different labels.

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