We spent the holidays in St. Louis with my wife's family. While there, we hit up one of the local Schnuck's grocery stores that was having a clearance sale on a number of wine selections. My father-in-law, brother-in-law and I really cleaned up purchasing 6 or 7 cases. Some of the wines in this report came from that purchase. Others I'll try later and report on. The prices there were approximately 50% off retail and they took another 10% off if you bought 6 bottles (snicker). My favorite purchases were 4 bottles of 2008 Seghesio Barbera for $9 each and a lonely bottle of Domaine de Baumard Cremant de Loire Carte Turquoise for $10.
Anyway, here are some of the highlights and lowlights of the last week:
2010 667 Pinot Noir, Monterey - Super sweet, almost candied cherry nose. Borderline overripe and negligible tannins and low acid. A simple, refreshing, quaffing style Pinot Noir. $10
2008 Ramspeck Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley - Nice balance of sweet/tart cherry fruit and oak notes with nice bit of smoky bacon and graham cracker in there, too. Good tannins, acidity. Long finish accentuates the mouth-watering acidity. Solid effort. Price unknown.
2008 Bogle Vineyards Phantom, California - Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Old Vine Mourvedre. Charred blackberry with considerable mineral/wet stone character. Mouth-filling with nice acidic structure, but not quite as tannic as I had expected. Turns a bit bitter on the finish. I used to love this wine, but now I'm not so sure. About $17
2009 Avante Mencia, Castilla y Leon - Wow. Just way too much poopy diaper for me. Sorry, not my cup o' feces. Not even worth the $6 closeout tariff.
2008 Dunning Vineyards Chardonnay, Paso Robles - From my father-in-law's stash. Quite frankly, a bit lighter than I had expected. Light color. Thin palate, lemony, waxy flavor and texture with a bit of earthy mushroom. Great acidity and a not-so-great sulfuric finish. The acidity is the wine's saving grace and it makes for a nice pairing with seafood risotto. Unique, but I think I'll stay in the "all red" club for my Dunning shipments.
2001 Casisano-Colombaio Brunello di Montalcino - Just an amazing nose of dusty cherry and freakish fennel bulb. Hint of smoked tea in there, too. Medium-bodied with more dust and crazy licorice on the palate. Nicely balanced acidity and tannins. Ready to drink right now, but could probably hold for another 5-10 years. Thoroughly enjoyed this one with braised chuck roast with porcini sauce over soft polenta.
2003 Tenuta Luia Luia, Rosso di Toscana - Wow, what a difference a night made with this one. Didn't hold my interest at all during dinner as it was simple and dusty with hardly any discernible features. On day 2 with heavy appetizers, it shows decadent blue and black fruits, hickory-scented wood and anise. Rally thick and unctuous texture. Guess we should've decanted this one before dinner, huh?. Still, a bit pricey at $60
2006 le Clos du Caillou Cuvee Unique, Cotes du Rhone - Beautiful old vine declassified Chateauneuf-du-Pape here. All the deep red fruits and herbs de Provence One expects from a wine like this, but with some really intense, dry chocolate flavors, too. Raspberry finish goes on forever. Throwing considerable sediment. Good value at $25.