Ever hear wine snobs talking about the higher pleasure of drinking aged wine and haven't been able to find out for yourself whether they're just self-deceived ego-maniacs or whether they're actually on to something? Well, here's your chance. The Wine Warehouse has a 2002 Merlot for a great value, circa $12. It's 8 years old and just starting to reveal signs of aging. And as a bonus, the wine is from Israel--Israeli wines are fairly rare. So this wine may provide you with two firsts. Here are my notes.
Taste: medium bodied, stewed prunes (again), molasses on the finish. Very focused still. A fairly long, smooth finish.
Although this wine is just starting to show elements of aging, it is holding up very, very well. This wine is ready to drink now. The stewed prunes & molasses are the best way I can describe the aging characteristics of this wine. But don't take my description alone, go taste it for yourself.
Who, I ask, doesn't like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on a hot summer day? Still when I arrived at my local retailer late there were no clerks available to help me sort through the good, the bad and the ugly. So when I saw this wine in a waist-high stack of 3-4 cases in the middle of an aisle with a price tag of $9.99 I must admit that I was skeptical. I took a chance anyway and have to say that I was impressed with the wine I got for the price. 2009 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, Awatere Valley, Marlborough) Color: transparent pale yellow. Nose: bold pink grapefruit with some orange blossom. Screams NZ SB! Taste: balanced, light-medium mouth-feel, lime peel/oil with a mineral finish.
The only way this wine could improve is if it were more tightly focused (it was slightly flabby esp. on day 2) and for my tastes a little less sweet. But, again, for a sub-$10 white wine I was very happy.
I found this wine at the Timberlane location of Market Square Liquors.
Michel Chapoutier is one of the most respected winemakers in all of France. He took over operations of the family business from his father around 1980. All of the wines produced by Michel are from the Rhone region of France; and all of the Chapoutier vineyards produce biodynamic wines. So any opportunity to sample a bottle of a Chapoutier wine is exciting. And his most recent vintage of his Bila-Haut for $11 shouldn't be missed. 2008 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Domaine de Bila-Haut (France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon): this wine is a Grenache blend, which is very common in the Rhone.
Color: slightly transparent edges.
Nose: raspberry, muted cinnamon and soil.
Taste: primarily raspberry, but also tempered notes of nitrogen/soil and graphite/lead. Dry, medium tannin. All of the elements are very well integrated. Balanced
This wine cries out for food. If you're a wine drinker who believes that wine is a compliment for food, you'll love this wine. I drank it with dry rubbed, grilled chicken and it was an outstanding match.
I found this wine at the Wine Warehouse, but I'm sure that you can find it at Market Square Liquors too.