Joel Gott Chardonnay and our “Top Picks of the Week”

This is a series of weekly bargain wine picks by the members of the Vintage Wine Tasting Club. We meet every other month for a formal tasting session but in between we connect with each other whenever we discover a great wine bargain. Our location is in the San Francisco Bay Area so if you live outside this region, you may not be able to find the great wine deals we have discovered. This week we recommend these three wines.

Joel Gott Chardonnay Monterey 2009 ($8.89 – Costco) Joe’s Pick
More often than not, we find Joel Gott wines to be wines with good price-to-quality ratio. For fans of unoaked Chardonnay, you will find this wine to be to your liking. It has decent aromas and flavors but is not really a light tasting wine. We also like the Naked Chardonnay by Four Vines but the Joel Gott beats the Four Vines in price by about $3 dollars. Go for this one at Costco for a great summer or picnic wine. 87 Points.

Chemin des Olivettes 2009 Languedoc ($8.99 – Costco) Joe’s Pick
When we visited France last fall we combed the wine shops and food markets (Carrafour stores mostly) looking for wines under 10 Euros. We tried several French wines at that price. By and large the best values we found were the wines from the Languedoc region of France. This wine region is located in the south of France near the town of Montpellier just north of Spain. We spotted this wine at Costco and had to give it a try. This wine comes in at 13% alcohol and is a blend of 35% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre. Red berry flavors highlight this wine’s characteristics and it is certainly a wine that can go nicely with a number of dishes like chicken, pork, and even tomato pasta dishes. An excellent value at this price. My Costco had plenty of a couple of weeks ago. 87 points

Callabriga Dao 2007 (Trader Joe’s – $8.99) – Ray’s Pick
Here’s a pleasant surprise – a red wine from Portugal little known in the U.S. and quite suitable for the table. Grown and vinified in the Alta Beira region in central Portugal, it is a blend of native Portugese grapes including “Tinto Roriz,” the Spanish Tempranillo rootstock. At 13% alcohol, it’s a smooth red with a berry bouquet and a medium body. If one would want to be perverse, one might serve this to a “wine expert” friend and ask him/her to identify the wine. Drinkable now. Next time in your local Trader Joe’s, take a look at this wine.


  1. It was hard to find the same deals that you have mentioned, but I would still purchase it! Do you usually drink the wine right away or do you have it aged for a certain time period? It still puzzles me on how long the wine should be aged for.

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