Archive for the '$11-$15' Category

7 Deadly Zins Michael & David Phillips Zinfandel

Type: Zinfandelseven-deadly-zins

Origin: California

Year: 2007 ?

Cost: $15.00

Rating: 9/10

Value: 9/10

Alcohol: 14.5%

Our opinion:

The bottle doesn’t tell me much, other than the seven deadly “zins”.  I don’t know what year it is or where it’s from (without the help of the internet).  It doesn’t tell me much about itself, either.  I tend to think that wine bottles with gimicky names must be hiding something–namely, a bad wine.  However this wine was named thus because of the 7 different wines that went into the blend.  Not entirely gimicky, yet catchy.  Easier to remember than some random guy’s name, which is wise.

A friend brought this bottle for after dinner drinks.  YUMMY.  It might have been my favorite of all the wines we tried tonight (4?).  I don’t frequently purchase zinfandels, for no particular reason, so maybe I will have to start.  This wine has just the right amount of complexity, fruitiness, roundness, a slight spice to it, a beautiful smell, and all around it just plain pleases me. I’m glad there was a glass left over when my friends went home, because I’m certainly enjoying it now!

Wait.. is that GREED?  or is it GLUTTON?  Who cares.  It’s good wine.

It was bought to go along with several dark and bittersweet chocolates. However I’m not convinced that the chocolate really did much for the wine, compared to others that I’ve specifically tasted along with a bite of chocolate and noticed the difference. It still doesn’t matter… leave the chocolate and take the wine.

Winemaker’s Notes:
A vibrant, sweet bouquet of raspberry jam, molasses and cinnamon toast evoke the senses of carefree youthful nights.  Excellent oak integration provides silken tannins and spice to pair with Lodi’s unrestricted wild berry fruit.

Others Say:

From: Cheapwineratings.com

“…But it’s no joke that this is a good zin.  It has a spicy nose with a bit of raspberry, tomato, pepper and cola.  It’s very clearly a Lodi Zinfandel right from the first whiff.  Raisins, jammy blackberry, walnut and black pepper make for a big, bold palate with plenty of complexity.  It has good concentration too, and a fairly long finish with a hot spiciness.

Poppy Pinot Noir 2007

Wine: Poppy

poppy-pinot-noir

Type: Pinot Noir

Origin: California – Monterey County

Year: 2007

Cost: $15.00

Rating: 8.5/10

Value: 8/10

Alcohol: 13.5%

Our opinion:

A decent Pinot Noir is hard to find when you’re shopping with a budget of $20 and under.  This wine was recommended again by the folks at The Wine Bin in Ellicott City, when I asked for a wine to drink along side a coq au vin.  Everyone really enjoyed this wine.  It was very easy to drink, smooth, tasty, and balanced.  There was no awful “I’m going to have a hangover” taste to it like the Mirrasou Pinot Noir has despite it’s cheap adequateness.

I’d say this wine complemented, yet did not interfere in any way with, the food we enjoyed with it.  I think this wine would also taste delicious on it’s own.  Even those less familiar with red wines would enjoy this wine.  It’s very popular and several stores report selling out of this pinot frequently, as it is hugely popular with their customers.

Bottle Says:

Great Pinot Noir, like the Califonia Golden Poppy, thrives in cool coastal climates.  Our poppy Wines are a blend o fseveral carefully selected vineyards, all located in cool regions and meticulously farmed for intense ripe flavors.  We employ minimalist winemaking and use only a touch of oak because we feel the best flavors are those derived naturally from the soil, sun and grape.  We recommend serving this wine between two and seven years of its vintage date.

Others Say:

From Snooth.com

“Fresh, light, a tad sweet. This Pinot Noir has a very light color and is very refreshing… drinks like a darker Rose. Great with chicken, fish, sushi.

“This was the first wine I tried that I really liked, and I ended up buying 3 bottles. It’s very accessible, but still has a distinctive Pinot character. I’m not good with descriptions, but I’ve never offered it to anyone who wasn’t very surprised at how good it was. If you’re a beginner in wine, track this one down and give it a try.”

Castello Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva 2004

Wine: Castello Banfi

Type:Chianti Classico Riserva

Origin: Italy

Year: 2004

Cost: $14.99

Rating: 7/10

Value: 4/10

Alcohol: 13%

Our opinion:

BOOOOORRRRINGGGGGG.

So after our glass of Tin Shed Shiraz, which as amazing, we selected a Chianti Classico off a wine list at the Antrim 1844 (www.antrim1844.com) to go with our dinner. We were prepared to lay down $45 for this 2001 Riserva, but they pulled the “ol switcheroo” on us, and brought this 2004 out on us.

I don’t know if this had anything to do with the fact that the previous glass of wine was so perfect, but this wine just did nothing for us. We tried to convince ourselves it was good, due to the fact that we were paying quite a bit for it, but neither of us were really falling for it.

It was easy to drink, light, lacked flavor, lacked a nose, and the taste (what little of one there was) fell off sharply as soon as it hit your palate. Maybe we had a bad bottle, because other reviewers seem to think it’s a nice buy. But in our opinion, don’t bore yourself. Not for $14. And certainly not for the $42 we paid for it!!

Bah.

Winemaker’s notes:

Grape Varieties: Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon

“Chianti may well be the single best-known wine in the world – historically celebrated, universally revered and enjoyed over centuries. Produced from select grapes grown in the “Classico” region of Chianti between Siena and Florence, this aristocratic Tuscan wine has reached new heights in Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva. After aging two years in Slavonian oak casks, this elegant, well-balanced wine has flavors of vanilla, cocoa and spice.

An honored red wine, Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva is a fine gourmet accompaniment to red roasts, pastas and cheese.”

Others Say:

“Another award winning wine from the Banfi Vinyard. Smooth but yet tasteful, not too tanic, well blended. Great choice to compliment your dinner with a light red wine.”

“Round, subtle and elegant, typical of a full-bodied Chianti Classico. Ruby-red in color with an intense vanilla and licorice bouquet.”

Sanrocchetto Verdicchio Dei Castelli Jesi Classico 2007

Wine: Sanrocchetto

Type: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

Origin: Italy – The Marches

Year: 2007

Cost: $10.99

Rating: 9/10

Value: 9/10

Alcohol: 12.5%

Our opinion:

The bottle looked different, and it had a great review at the wine store, so we decided to try it out.  i was cooking a dish witch chicken seasoned with Italian spices and stuffed with mozzarella, sauteed with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and white wine, so I decided to open this one.

I loved it…! Even though the first swig was straight from the bottle, and the next taste was in a glass that I had to add ice to, I really enjoyed this white.  White wines aren’t always easy to differentiate, apart from being ‘really bad’ or ‘too sweet’ or ‘so acidic I want to bite my tongue off and spit it out.”  This one was lightly fruity, just a little sweet, but ended dry.  I started calling it the champagne of white wines.  I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but it had something about it reminiscent of champagne.  Personally, one of my favorite whites, for a great price.  I say go for it!

Other Notes:

“Verdicchio … Smooth and balanced it has a light straw color, sometimes slightly green, Nice floral aroma on the nose and a dry but not astringent fruit flavor with a slight bitter finish.This wine well will go well with pungent Italian cheese like Pecorino, nuts, olives and seafood dishes.”

A classic dry white wine, best drunk young to appreciate its freshness.”

2006 Casalino Chianti Classico

Wine: Casalino

Type: Chianti Classico

Origin: Italy

Year: 2006

Cost: $14.99

Alcohol: 13%

Rating: 8/10

Value: 7/10

Our opinion:

Yum! I’ve been dying to buy a Chianti Classico for ages, but between the two of us, I’m the only one convinced they are worth it. Generally you cannot find a “classico” at the $10 and under mark, so it’s really a splurge for us cheapos. I’m going to be honest, I don’t remember exactly what this one cost, but it was in the upper end of the 11-15 dollar range. It could have been 16. I’ll have to go back and buy more to find out (oh well….). We got it at Corridor in Laurel, just like the rest of our stash.

We drank this one a few nights ago so my memory isn’t fresh. We must have gotten too drunk afterwards to review it but I will tell you that I remember it being really good. Here’s how I know…. we took “notes” on a todo list. Kosta interviewed me about the wine and my response was “I LIKE IT!” So that’s what’s written first, followed by a feeble attempt to describe it in better detail, followed by some unintelligible scribble and finally some swear words. No drunk review is ever complete with out the words “mother f**ker”.. … right?

“I like it!
smooth
needs to sit a bit
smooth at first
tangy toward end
Smells nice
Comflery

cowwardl a
great Chianti
mother f**keeer

Side note:

I’ve had some chiantis in the cheaper range (< $10) and been very disappointed. This one had the right balance of tannins and dark fruit. Yay for sangiovese. I fell in love with Chianti Classicos in Italy, where they were cheap. If you ever stumble upon a Machiavelli Chianti Classico, have a glass for me. I haven’t looked it up here in the states yet… but I remember the 10 euro price tag in Italy seemed steep next to the others at 2-5 euro a bottle, and that’s the only reason I didn’t bring some home!

This wine is a yummy classico, buy and enjoy. And if you find a cheaper one that’s as good… please, comment.

Others Say:

From thewineman.co.uk:

” From a careful selection of Sangiovese grapes grown on the Fattoria Casalino estate near Siena, owned by Bonacchi. This wine carries the Gallo Nero seal on the neck of the bottle. Ruby red in colour, the wine is soft, harmonious and velvety with a fruity bouquet reminiscent of violets.”

“Serve: At 18-20C to accompany roast meats, game and cheese. Open the bottle 1 hour before pouring.”

2007 River Road Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley

Wine: River Road

Type: Sauvignon Blanc

Origin: USA (Calfornia)

Year: 2007

Cost: $12.99

Alcohol: 13.2%

Rating: 7/10

Value: 6/10

Our opinion:

We tried this wine at Corridor when we went shopping, along with a group of other Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigios. This one was a lot sweeter than we usually enjoy, and we weren’t intending on purchasing it but I kept lingering on it. There’s something a little more elegant and classy about this wine, despite it’s sweetness. For those who usually enjoy a drier white wine, this is an interesting departure. Lots of fruit and citrus, somewhat big for a white wine, not thin at all, and sweet but without that cheap sugary aftertaste. Worth a try, if you’re in the mood for it. Recommended, for the right occasion.
Others Say:

We couldn’t find this one online either, but here is what the bottle says:

“Our Sauvignon Blanc, from vineyards in the cool Russian River Valley, shows aromas of ruby grapefruit and kiwi, with bright citrus flavors”

2006 Feudi di San Marzano Primitivo Puglia

Wine: Feudi di San Marzano

Type: Primitivo Puglia

Origin: Italy

Year: 2006

Cost: $11.99

Alcohol: 13.5%

Rating: 8/10

Value: 7/10

Our opinion:

This was our first “Primitivo Puglia” wine ever, I believe. I was skeptical because I’d never heard of it before, but maybe that’s just ignorant. It was delicious!! Medium bodied, somewhat of a dark fruit flavor. Give it a minute to aerate and voila … verrry smooth, earthy, yet sophisticated.. and drinkable! Yes. It’s gone now…. well except that tiny bit in Kosta’s glass… but I think he’d notice if I took it. 🙁

Anyway, I want more, so that must mean something!! Buy this one. For us.
Others Say:

We couldn’t find any specific reviews of this wine and vintage, but here’s is a description of the winery:
“The Feudi di San Marzano in Apulia is the latest project by Valentino Sciotti. He is a man who not only dreams big, but who has the vision, determination and professionalism to make sure that his dreams come true. In the case of Feudi di San Marzano, Sciotti’s concept is very simple. He stumbled upon the Cantina Sociale di San Marzano, with its deep tradition in winemaking, and immediately saw potential. By making a few changes in the already state of the art cellar and installing the brilliant Mario Ercolino as chief winemaker, he would be able to produce modern wines with outstanding varietal expression.”