NV Rene Barbier Mediterranean White $6 (Received as a press sample)
Redemption! The first pass at this wine revealed industrial chemicals and soap. The PR firm representing this producer thought I might've had a bad bottle and sent a replacement. Good move. Fresh and lively, if simple, this thirst-quencher has a dash of zip and a finish that has a touch of dry Sherry-like character. Smoking deal.
2010 Sergio Mottura Orvieto White $16
Bright, minerally, and bursting with as much energy as the dancing porcupine on the label. Perfect wine to welcome the warmer weather with - and enough substance to hold its own with hearty summer fare.
2011 Mercer Canyons Chardonnay Columbia Valley $12
Flat and boring. A mere shadow of its Cabernet sibling.
2011 Assobio Esporao Duoro Red $15
94 points!? Sure, this is a pleasant, well made, full red with nothing to complain about - and some nice points. But, really, Wine Enthusiast, get real. $15 might be a smoking bargain on the QPR scale, but this won't be coming home with me again.
2008 Santa Rita Carmenere "Medalla Real" $20 (Received as a press sample)
Very, very well made. Not a drop out of place in this poised, maturing Camenere. It's got grip, tannins to make a Napa Cab jealous, and blue-core fruit that conjures smiles and another pour. Pretty terrific.