Monday, July 13, 2015

Recycle Bin, Week of July 13

We've had some magnificent discoveries as well as some terrific disappointments over the last couple of weeks. Savvy shoppers will seek out the dwindling supply of the reds in particular and avoid the overhyped wines. The French red reviewed below serves as a reminder to trust your own palate over that of the experts.  Easiest favorites from this bunch are the Broad-side and the Amancaya.  We'll start with the bad news and move to the good...

2013 Chateau Saint Roch Maury Sec $18
A retailer, whom I like quite a bit, referred to this as a "spectacular wine" and which Parker gave 95 points to. I give it a shoulder shrug. Honestly, how someone can see their way to refer to this ordinary syrah-grenache blend as anything other than slightly above average is beyond me.

NV Chateau de Campuget Costieres de Nimes Blanc $10
Acidic, sharp, and harsh. Almost no fruit to speak of and very little in the way of redeeming qualities.  At least I've got some cooking wine back in stock.

2011 Quinta do Crasto Duoro Branco $16
I should've paid closer attention to the vintage before pulling this off the shelf. Most whites, Portuguese in particular, are meant to be drunk young. At four years old, this one is over the hill. Any vibrance it once had is long gone.  What's left is flat and one dimensional. That won't stop me from trying a newer release of this one, but beware that wholesalers and retailers are peddling old inventory as fast as they can.

2010 Bleasdale The Broad-side (Shiraz/Can/Malbec) Langhorne Creek $15
Speaking of peddling older inventory, here's an example of when that can benefit you.  This intense, brooding, savory red blend packs a lot of interest and drinking enjoyment for the money.  At five years old, I would've expected much of the fruit's vigor to have faded, but this Aussie is holding up beautifully.  Structured and fine-boned, it's got layers upon layers of attention-commanding flavors and acidity.
2012 Domaine Ehrhart Pinot Auxerrois Val St Gregoire Alsace $15
Brimming with fresh, bright fruit, this lovely Alsatian white packs an unexpected level of body and gorgeous sunshine into the bottle.  Auxerrois is rarely bottled on its own, but has consistently rewarded.  This is no exception.
2014 Rutherford Ranches Chardonnay Napa Valley $14
Something of an anomaly. Certainly the first 2014 I've tasted, you can tell it's from California, but it is a restrained version of typical chardonnay. There's actually some minerality and acidity here, gently overlaid overtop the fruit.  Easily enjoyable.

2012 Amancaya Malbec/Cabernet Gran Reserva Mendoza $20
A collaboration between Domain Baron de Rothschild and Nicolas Catena, this elegant and powerful red gives many Napa cabernets a run for their money.   Terrific balance, despite its potency, this wine has plenty of grip and mouth-coating tannins to make it versatile and exceedingly enjoyable. 



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