2011 Pendulum Red Columbia Valley $20
Soft, lush, graceful, eminently pleasing. What else could you want from a $20 red?
2012 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir Russian River Valley $23
Sort of a flash in the pan that starts out ordinary, evolves to something bordering brilliant, then fades after a while. In that sweet spot, though, is a wine that aspires toward greatness at half the price with a spice rack of flavors that is centerfold-worthy.
2012 Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay $15
Full, fleshy, and loose. Comparisons between this wine and some women of a certain size and proclivity come to mind. Gregarious and fun.
2010 Sergio Mottur Red "Renfro" $26
Nice tezture, surely Italian, and some chalky tannins. But it doesn't hold a candle to what this wine was six years ago - or what the Orvieto white is today.
2010 Emina Tino Fino Ribero del Duero $18 (received as a press sample)
At first, just serviceable and much like a lot of $8 reds out there, except it's $18. Given time, though, it develops some structure and heft, but never materializes into anything noteworthy. Improves on day 2, but still lacks in distinction.