Sunday, January 16, 2005

Wine Update: Beaucoup Wines

It's been a while since my last wine update, so I have a lot of ground to cover.

  • 1995 Bodegas Faustino Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja: I picked this up at duty-free on my way back from my last trip to the UK. It counts as the most expensive wine we've tried -- around $20 US. (We haven't quite made it into the category of "wine snobs" yet.) It was definitely a good wine. I think we've reached the point where we can easily pick up a good wine for more than $10, and with some work pick up a good one for less than $10. The next trick may be to figure out how to pick up a great one for more than $10.
  • 2002 Navarro Correas Malbec: Malbec is a Bordeaux blending grape that has come into its own in Argentina. This was an enjoyable wine, but not a "buy-again".
  • 2001 Trumpeter Merlot: Another Argentinean wine. Christina shared this with some friends while I was out of town and really enjoyed it.
  • 2001 Pepperwood Grove Merlot: This came from the same producer as Smoking Loon, one of our favorite Syrahs. It was somewhat disappointing, and not surprisingly, peppery.
  • 2002 Charles Back Goats do Roam: I had wanted to try this wine since I first read about it. It was very good, and increased my interest in both Rhone-style wines and blends.
  • 2002 Los Vascos Cabernet: This was an enjoyable Chilean Cabernet, but not so good that it's at the top of the list to become our "house Cab".
  • 2003 Trumpeter Merlot: When we went back to the wine store, they had no more 2001 or 2002 vintages of this wine. A guy from the distributor happened to be at the store, offering samples of other wines. Christina asked him how the 2003 vintage was, and he said it was very good. He then made a weird comment that sounded like it was about Riunite. We couldn't figure it out, and I thought maybe he was making fun of us for asking about vintage on an under-$10 wine. It turned out it was a reference to the Rutini Family, who make the Trumpeter wines. It was a very good Merlot.
  • 2002 Errazuriz Ovalle Grand Selection Carmenere: We enjoyed this, but it wasn't as good as the Carmen Carmenere I got at Piggly Wiggly.
  • Korbel Brut Sparkling Wine: We popped the cork on this New Years Eve. Combined with giving away some other sparkling wine, that freed up a bunch of space in the wine chiller. Yay!
  • 2001 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet: We bought the 2003 vintage of this wine because of a recommendation on an episode of Simply Wine with Andrea Immer. Because of the recent vintage, we decided to let it age for a while. We were excited recently to find the 2001 vintage in a store. Coincidentally, that episode was re-running the evening we opened this wine. It turns out we made a mistake -- she was recommending the Carmenere, not the Cab. It was a decent wine, anyway.
  • 2003 Indaba Merlot: This is a South African Merlot. They use some of their proceeds to fund scholarships for South African wine producers. That's pretty cool. Also, they make some very enjoyable merlot. Christina and I both really liked it. She didn't think it quite matched up to the Trumpeter; I'm not sure. It had a little bit of spice which matched up well with the pizza.

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