Week 7 Virtual Tasting - Your Favorite QPR & Daily Drinkers - Robert for ADA

Theme: QPRs and Daily Drinkers
Host: Robert Alfert
Date: Jan 6th - 13th
Format: $5 per Tasting Note

Charity American Diabetes Association (ADA) - Tour de Cure Century Ride

I’ll hand the microphone over to Robert now for his thoughts…

So here we are starting the New Year, and if you are like me, you have spent more money than ever imagined over the holidays, drank more premium wines that you can shake a stick at, and just want to get back to normal: Simple, pleasurable, affordable wines. I wanted to host one of these great, weekly threads, to highlight great values and wines that punch well above their class, as admittedly, my favorite threads have introduced me to wonderful, inexpensive wines. As I drink wine most every day, my daily drinkers should generally be within a range of reasonble, say an average price of $25 or less. Let’s try to stay in that range, but I do not want to lock out some truly amazing finds from the group if the price is a bit higher. I learned about Gonon that way, still one of my best recommendation from this site.

Many of you know that I’m as passionate about cycling as I am about wine. So my charity for this thread is the ADA Tour de Cure century ride (100 miles). The ADA does this ride around the country, and in March, is doing one in Orlando. The event turns out many hundreds of avid cyclists and last year raised over $500,000. My cycling team is doing the event, so my Firm and I are each committing up to $500.

So each note is worth a base of $5 bucks. I will double that for every “old world” wine (you define it). And if you sign up for one of these Tour de Cure rides, which I enourage, I will contribute another $25. Help me get to that $1,000 for this great cause!

Raffle As an additional incentive, let’s run a little raffle here with the winner getting 3 QPRs of my choice - wines that I personally drink - shipped to you (U.S. only). You get a raffle “ticket” for every note you post. All I ask that is you later post notes on my wine choices, even if you conclude that I have the palate of a Yak.

Cheers all, and Happy New Year!

I’ll kick-off here for no other reason that last night I popped one of my all-time favorite QPRs, Domaine Guion, Bourgueil.

2009 Domaine Guion Bourgueil, Cuvee Prestige - $12.99.

Hard to find a better bottle at this price. Hard to find anything at this price that does not taste like a mass-propduced commodity. This wine is the exact opposite, a wine that reflects, or at least gives the impression of, old-world farming and wine-making. There is nothing elegant about this wine except for its simple, unabashed beauty. It is completely rustic and built for the very long haul (I’ve gone through quite a few, but am trying not to touch another for 3-5 years with some to hold another 10+). A wonderful fusion of raspberry puree, ash and river bottom. Herbaceous. The texture of the wine is very unrefined, grainy, like appreciating a true country pâté over a creamy foie gras terrine at a Michelin 3-star. A country wine with a sense of place. Most here would pick this wine blind as a Loire Cab Franc.

(89 pts.)

PS. I rarely serve this wine to guests or bring to dinner parties as it is a polarizing wine, most not liking it. For those that like this rustic style of Loire CF, this is the best QPR in the marketplace. Domaine Guion also makes a base domaine that is about $1 cheaper, and a special release in quality years, Deux Monts, which comes from the best section of the vineyards and, I think, sees some additional oak treatment. It’s about $5 bucks more. The Cuvee Prestige is more in my wheelhouse.

NV Valdespino Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Palo Cortado Viejo C.P. - Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry (1/5/2015)
This is a very interesting wine. I found all sorts of aromatic and flavor elements, from grilled peach to roasted nuts, caramel and a general note of pleasing oxidation. I don’t think I am yet getting half of what this has to offer. Hoping to follow it over several days, and keep teasing more out of it. Delicious stuff, and given the low 30s price tag it is a real value for fascinating wine.

I will respond with an Argentine wine tomorrow and try to get in an old world before the week is out–maybe a Chinon.

Now for the big thought process…what QPR wine goes with homemade mac and cheese!

Depends if you make it with lobster or chorizo!


Lets play! I have an entry level Aglianico from Villa Matilde, Campania that should do the trick.
Davids choice should be interesting!


Have had a bottle of this open in the fridge for a couple days, so pulled out a glass for lunch today to contribute to the thread.

2003 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Auslese

Florals and white peaches on the nose and palate. Just a hint of petroleum at this stage. Fairly well balanced and has, I think, sufficient acid to carry the sweetness. It’s not cloying in any way. However, has a markedly flat and broad mouth feel and not a whole lot of verve/dynamism. Serviceable, but there are better values out there for $20.

2003 was a tough year for the Mosel. There are numerous better years for Schmitt-Wagner.

2012 Eidos de Padrinan Albarino, Rias Baixas

Just got home from work, wife sauteeing seafood, open bottle of Albarino going. I love Albarino with seafood, the crisp acids, salinity and peachy notes, usually followed with a little bitter clip.

The first thing I notice is the hue on this wine, darker in color than most Albarinos, golden. Pretty peachy nose, florals and some cream. A nice blend of creaminess on the palate with decent acidic lift, traces of sea salt, iodine, tart green apples, apricots and peaches. Some residual waxiness. A full-bodied Albarino, which for us, paired very well with a seafood dish that was moderate in weight. I could see this wine overpowering oysters, crustaceans. Clamps down with the traditional bitter pit, which cuts the weight quite nicely. A really nice wine priced at the upper-range for Albarinos. Retail was $23.99, bought on sale for $19.99.

(90 pts.)

Nice note Robert. I am a big Albarinho fan but doubt I will find yours up here. I usually turn to the Terras Gauda Rias Baixas O Rosal which I find is excellent with pork tenderloin.

This doesn’t count, unfortunately, because Viognier is a classic QPR candidate. I guess the lesson is to stick with spain. I’ll post a good Spain wine this week.

  • 2013 McManis Family Vineyards Viognier - USA, California (1/6/2015)
    See Grafstom note. It’s not insutlng, actually worked with the dish of nuts, but it’s not a QPR winner in the Viognier category.

Posted from CellarTracker

We drink quite a bit of Bourgueil. We eat mostly vegetarian so it’s a useful dinner-table wine for us. C and P Breton’s Franc de Pied is our usual choice. Tonight we had this one, the last of three bottles:

2011 Domaine de la Butte Bourgueil Le Pied de la Butte.

It lacks the green pepper/herbaceous quality of the Breton wine. Instead, it’s heavy on the pencil shavings with dark red cherries and tart black fruits (blackcurrants and blackberries) that gain weight with air. Also, a delicious autumnal (brown rather than green) stalky and savory element. Really nice depth to this wine with good grip and persistence on the finish. Drinks way above its price point (around $18) and may be a new favorite every day Bourgueil for us.

2009 Tercero Gewürztraminer The Outlier - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (10/27/2014)
– cracked and poured –
– tasted non-blind over a couple hours –

{Same experience as most recent bottle}. Typical, medium-sweet lychee aroma on the Nose. Medium bodied on the palate. Slight alcohol taste; lots of mineral; noticeably slightly sweet. The fruit is fading here, and I would recommend drinking up. Great QPR at the $16 I paid!

Posted from CellarTracker

2011 Marc Plouzeau Les Clos Chinon

Tasted at around 55-62F over 1.5 hours. About $16 all-in. Off the initial pour this is all cut lilacs, wet gravel and green beans on the nose. Simply dominated by fresh, cool and green aromas. On the palate, all the aromas with a trace amount of dark cherry fruit. Very precise and well delineated. Lovely texture with great weight, refreshing acidity and just a touch of tannic grip. Over time as the wine warmed it showed more weight and a bit more fruit character.

Still quite young with plenty of density and quite long on the palate. My wife found the fruit lacking, and while I would prefer a slightly greater core of fruit I thought the texture and acidity was lovely. Truthfully, the wine was likely consumed too cool and the cold winter night not likely the right setting. Still have several more bottles left and will wait for Spring or Summer when the weather is warmer. But even in winter, a nice change of pace.

2012 Crowley WV Pinot Noir (~$20):

Very, very good. Dark fruit, a little spice, medium body, great complexity. I may have judged 2012 too soon - this is amazing for the price.

Oregon may not be the best pinot QPR on the planet (I haven’t had enough NZ to really judge), but it’s definitely the best QPR on the west coast. This was just terrific, much better on the second night.

Old world spirit from the new world, I leave it up to Robert to judge!


2013 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone

Tasted at around 62-64F over 2 hours. I love this wine for the price. (~$12). On the nose this all pepper spice and violets. On the palate this is fresh dark fruits, camphor, cracked pepper and violet petals. There’s a tremendous level of transparency here as the varietal characteristics drive the wine on the palate with the fruit providing support in the background. Good acidity with freshness and a medium body. This may put on some weight in time, but it’s plenty ripe for my palate. More than anything this is interesting and distinctive.

Great topic, Robert, and since I know how much you love shiraz and southern rhone, I’ll post some in your honor.

2012 Thorne Clarke Shotfire Shiraz - This is usually a pretty solid buy and the 2012 is one of the better Shotfires I’ve had in a while and a great qpr at $16. It is classic big-boned shiraz with lots of dark fruit, blackberry, cassis, with some pepper, a little sweetness/vanilla, and obviously young and tannic. But it remains pretty balanced and works great with hearty winter stews.

Ha, I’m deducting money for that post!

Kidding aside, I wish I still had the palate for Southern Rhones, about 10 years ago they were probably 75% of my daily drinkers. The note from Taylor on the St. Cosme was interesting, 2013 was not a hot year, was it? St. Cosme’s CDRs used to be mostly syrah, so in the past did not spike the Grenache heat as much.

I’m digging the Loire notes!!