The Vintage Wine Tasters review three wines for you this second week of December. Two of these wines are exclusive wines, one made for Trader Joe’s, and the other for Whole Foods. The third wine is a Girard selection, one of Napa Valley’s notable wineries.
Girard Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 – K&L Wines $10
This a strongly recommended wine from Vintage Wine Taster Mike. Mike says: “ This wine is offered via K&L wines for the super price of $9.99 a bottle. It sells for $20 retail at all other retailers. (wines-searcher.com) Using their profile they designated old vines as those 35 years and older. The Vaca Mountains are the source for the majority of the Zinfandel in this bottle. The color is a deep and dark red with long legs which show the viscosity of the wine. Aromas of dark blackberries and some plumb are evident on the palate. At 15% alcohol the wine carries its fruit well and is not hot on the finish. While young, there are full tannins shown and it is still perfect for traditional Zin food: pasta, red meat, rich cheese and solid stews with garlic, tomatoes and onion. WS gives this wine 90 points. I think for the price it is worth 90. Beats similar wines at this price, head and shoulders in quality and style. Highly recommended. ”
Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Meritage Lot #63 – $12.99
This is a recent addition to the shelves of Trader Joe’s stores here in the S.F. Bay Area. This is a very tasty Napa Valley Meritage from the glorious 2012 vintage. It is a red blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Malbec, and 7% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is amazing, strong and powerful, and delightful. The mouth feel is full bodied, yet the wine has a velvety character. There are wonderful black fruit flavors. This is definitely a wine that requires a rather meaty dish. It is bold but not so much that you get tired after one glass. The cost is $12.99 and to me it drinks like a $20 to $25 bottle of wine. An easy 89 Points in my book. Interesting note: I placed this bottle on a dinner table along with two other well-noted bottles of Napa Valley Cabs. Perhaps it was the TJ label, but no one at the table was interesting in even sampling this wine. Perception and image!
Charles & Charles Merlot 2013 – Whole Foods $12.99
Previously we have recommend the Charles & Charles Rosé and the Post No. 35. This Merlot is made exclusively for Whole Foods and is a selection for their Top Holiday wines for the winter season. To me the wine is very young. Perhaps it was extra juice they needed to unload. The Merlot just does have not enough “oomph” for me. I give it 85 points. I was disappointed because I like the wines produced by Charles and Charles.
San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines
The San Francisco Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné announced his “ Top 100 Wines 2014” in the Sunday edition of the newspaper this past weekend. It will show up online at sfgate.com this Wednesday. There were no wines on the list for $20 or less. However, Jon Bonné did have a page devoted to Values under $40. I guess we all have a different perpective on the definition of a value wine. My values are all under $20. For us, a $40 bottle of wine is a splurge wine for special occasions. Perhaps those who seldom drink wine feel they can afford the big bucks for wine every now and then. There were several wines on that list that were under the $20 mark. I found very few wines that I recognized, no “supermarket wines” that I am familiar with. Check out the list online when it is there and let us know what you think.
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