The Vintage Wine Tasting Club top choices for the week of March 12, 2012
Dinastia Vivanco 2008 Crianza $19.99 – Spanish Table
Whenever I am in Berkeley I make sure to stop in at the Spanish Table. I like to stock up on Spanish olive oil, Paella goodies, and Spanish wines under $20. I have been wanting to try this wine ever since it was included in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 for 2011 and rated 90 Points. The Dinastia Vivanco wine makes me want to get back to drinking more Tempranillo wines from Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro. There is just something about Spanish Tempranillo that is so right with food. It seems to complement most of the dishes I enjoy. In price, Dinastia Vivanco is at the high of the spectrum for a Crianza (aged for 2 years, in barrel for 6 months) at $19.99, but it is well worth it. It is loaded with red fruit flavors and a long, lingering finish. The wine is big enough to go with a meaty dish but is also fantastic with a roasted chicken. I agree this is definitely a 90-Point wine.
Plungerhead 2009 Dry Creek Zinfandel $14.99 – K&L Wines
This was a big surprise for me. My nephew Tom brought this to our house for a family gathering. He was proud to say that this was one of his favorite wines of late and paid only $14.99 at K&L Wines. We had other wines open and the Plungerhead was easily everyone’s favorite. This is big Zin with enticing aromas and layers of flavors. Wine.com has this wine for $19.99, so the price at K&L Wines is a good deal. I rate this wine 88 Points; Wine Enthusiasts rates it at 90 Points.
Louis Martini 2009 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon $10.99 – Costco
This is a huge-production wine that you will see on supermarket wine shelves but Costco has the best price I have seen at $10.99. This is a “can’t miss” Cabernet wine that is very enjoyable. It is not a big robust Cabernet full of tannins; it is more soft and easy-going but flavorful enough to enjoy with chicken and pork dishes. 87 Points. Look here for our review of the 2008 vintage of the Louis Martini Cabernet.