“The vintage 2012 was a good vintage for syrah, but 2013 is a great vintage for this cépage. The late and cool vintages are always good for this grape that is well adapted to the northern areas of the Rhone valley. We noticeably remember about the magnificent vintage 1999 which gave syrah of stunning freshness. They were straightforward and precise. The syrah from Vinsobres and from the Terrasses Villafranchiennes of the Gard give this year remarkable results. Be ready to taste this year a Côtes du Rhône full of fruit and fresh aromas, with a nice tight texture. It will be “interesting” to propose this wine as a blind taste to your friends (or your ennemies !!) to get them wrong. It is possible that a few of them think that this syrah comes from Cornas or Crozes-Hermitage… It is my pleasure to offer every year a wine of this quality at a reasonnable level of price. This is what french wine means: bottle a bit of spirit even at an affordable price.”
For $12-13 it would be hard to whiff on this even with your shift in preference. The varietal character is obvious and really drives the palate. Maybe it puts on weight with time but righty now this all about freshness and savory character.
Yea, I know we all hate critics, and yea, I know we all hate scores and hype, but being the simple, feeble human that I am, I have to admit being curious when I get an emailer from my local retailer offering this for $15:
2013 Antucura Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza
Gorgeously refined, almost French in style. Typical Vista Flores notes of violets, lavender, tobacco and black pepper on the nose. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine-grained, classy tannins. Fruit characters on the palate are more dried fruit than lush and primary. Lovely age-worthy Cabernet.
95 points, Decanter
Anyone try this yet, or even prior years like 2012, 2011?
i’ll take a different route on this. Ever since the premox debacle I’ve been looking for a reasonable alternative to white Burgundy. For some reason we can buy in Puerto Rico NV Champagne from the big houses at super good prices. My contribution to this thread is Piper Heidsieck NV Red label. We can buy this wine in PR for $25.00 per 750ml and no white wine gives me as more pleasure for the buck. This blend shows a bit of the oxidative notes of older champagne while retaining freshness, lift, nice yeasty notes, and solid fruit/acid balance. Cheers!
I know this wine goes for $39 (my normal QPR threshold is $25), but it is so delicious, that it has to qualify as QPR for the joy it provides:
2012 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast- USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (1/7/2015)
It’s been a deflating, frustrating and agonizing day. But this is a delicious wine. The balance of the crisp, red fruit and the backbone of acidity is balanced on the edge of a sharp knife. There’s just enough tannin to wake up the palate, and say “here I am!” What a pretty and interesting wine. Thank you Jamie.
Another major winner in the Loire Cab Franc QPR annals. My second bottle in the past month, this one showing better. Nose a touch reticent, but the palate on this wine is fantastic. Deep, structured, chalky, revealing a very solid core of spicey, brambly, tangy red fruits, hints of sweet black cherries, dry earth and tobacco leaves. Love the crisp acidity on this wine. A full-bodied effort, finishes with a lot of grip. This is an ager. A major winner. I’m ordering more.
2013 Laetitia Winery Pinot Noir Estate- USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Valley (1/7/2015)
Really enjoy the '11 & '12 vintages of this wine, still have quite a few remaining. I’ll be loading up on the '13 now. This wine hits on all cylinders; great price at $18, Readily available at most big grocery stores, a pinot noir under $20, and a cellar defender. A true category killer that would be worth twice the price.
On the darker side for pinot, magenta. Nose has an entrancing herbal note, spicy, with dark fruit. Palate is squarely in the sights of the pinot lover. Spice, Rosemary, and dark Berry fruit. Tannins are very fine, this drinks beautifully on the pop and pour. Medium finish.
Wow, Brig, thanks for posting that! This is an easy to find wine, and the Chard is something I pick up regularly for dinner parties. Not my style of Chard, but my wife and her friends love it. And I love $20.
2010 Pedra Cancela Selecao do Enologo - This might not technically fit the bill for a favorite as this is the first bottle I’ve ever had of it, but it’s definitely good QPR, and I’m drinking it right now. Plummy goodness with spice and reasonable tannic structure for an $8 wine. Tasted blind I’d like to think I could peg it for Portugal.
No gobs of cheap oak. No over-extracted fruit. Almost refreshing.
I thought that I had to pull out my black turtleneck from the closet and grow a beard before I drank this 2011 Hureau Tuffe, Robert. There was no need for that. This was a good drinking wine that still showed those good Loire backward characteristics.
Hard and long day at work, cold outside, burgers on the grill. Zinfandel night, right? Yup.
It’s been almost 3 years since my last 2009 Ridge Lytton Springs. Hated it on release, the sweetist most unctuous Ridge that I’ve ever tasted. Stuck them in storage hoping for the best. The metamorphosis in just 3 years has been transformative. While still expressing a range of sweet black fruits, there are also brambly black fruits, a green streak (major yum) and bucket-loads of tobacco and black pepper spice. American oak is very well integrated, there but behind the scenes. Still chewy, still clamps down. An ager.
PS. I paid $29.99, so a few bucks more than my QPR range, but I think most of us can agree that Ridge is the quintessential QPR.
2009 Lapierre Morgon has opened for the second act of its life. A year+ ago it was sullen and closed. Now it has re-emerged with lots of fruit and a crisp minerality. Not much in the way of tertiary development, but regardless it is delicious.
2012 Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone St. Julien en St. Alban
Very reticent on the nose at first. After a couple hours decant and vigorous swirling, tart blackberry and ripe red cherries together with savory tapenade emerged. The palate adds a slightly roasted element to the mix. Tannins are smooth and the wine has a nice transparency. However, it skews a little acidic for my taste (and I generally like a lot of acid). Not a bad qpr at $20 but probably not a rebuy.
It’s possible that this one had a little heat damage and didn’t show as well as it could have. The store I bought it from relies on rapid turnover and it can get quite warm in the summer months.
I guess this can qualify as I just pulled a bunch of Scherrer into the everyday racks to make room for my Burgundy purchases:
2006 Scherrer Zinfandel Shale Terrace:
To me Shale has a very unique character for Zin, with a minerally (let’s say shale) nose, a touch of licorice, and something different than the normal blackberry fruit I normally find in Zin (including young Scherrer OMV), maybe more toward Rioja. I usually drink my Scherrer older than this but it’s worth a look at any age and this one is delicious. A nice bit of grippy tannin but otherwise very round and friendly. This shows only a hint of the cedary oak that is characteristic of Scherrer.