The following are highlights from wines tasted and Tweeted during the past two months on good finds in red wine values in Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhone blends from the U.S. and France, plus a big grapey Shiraz from Australia. Among the missing: values in Pinot Noir.
The Pinot Noir grape is more difficult to vinify than most so the quality entry-level Pinot Noir wines tend to be priced closer to $20 whether from Oregon, California, France, South Africa and beyond. But we’ll keep looking!
Also included: notes from three older reds.
Stylish/value Bordeaux Superieur 09 Ch Macard $11. 50% Cabernet Franc 30 Merlot 20 Cab Sauv. Berry, wood, earthy French nose; good fruit, body. w/beef
Wash State ultra value Cabernet 09 “14 Hands” $9. Smokey mint berry nose; balanced, soft fruity finish. Styled for food. w/tri tip.
Value BBQ wine Silver Stone 05 Onyx $10. Cabernet 52% Merlot 41 Syrah 7. Berry nose, jam; mid-big body. Match for lively sauces.
Tasty value Cotes du Rhone 09 St. Espirit $10. Grenache, minty nose; good fruit, finish; equals $15+ wines. w/picnic fare, parties.
Value BBQ, picnic, beach wine Marietta NV Old Vine Red (mostly Zin) $10. Prune, jammy nose; mid-body, decent fruit, flavor, finish.
Super value Cotes du Rhone 09 Andezon $11. Minty, earthy Syrah nose; good fruit, flavor; long finish. w/pasta, beef, hearty sauces.
Calif-like value Bordeaux Superieur 05 Ch de Launay $11. Berries, jam, wood nose; mid-body, tight tannins. w/BBQ, heartier sauces.
BBQ, rib wine Yarrunga Field 09 Barossa Red blend (Shiraz Cab Merlot) $12. Spice/jam/wood nose; big, grapey, chewy, long finish.
BBQ rib Shiraz 08 Stalking Horse McLaren Vale AU $13. Pepper, mint, wood nose; big, chewy, long finish. w/Cajun sauce too.
Value Cabernet Sauvignon w/style 08 Sean Minor Napa Valley $13. Berries, wood, varietal nose; good fruit, flavor, finish. w/beef
Value/style Grand Fleur de Lyeth 09 Red $15 (Cabernet, Merlot, Petite Sirah). Mint, earth, chocolate nose; smooth finish. w/good beef.
From the Cellar
For special guests. Spottswoode 01 Napa Cabernet. Classic nose; berries, oak, mint; mid-body, balanced; soft rich finish. w/filet.
Rich older Napa Cabernet 02 Larkmead. Classic varietal nose, mint, oak; mid-body, round, ripe, stylish finish. w/good cuts of beef.
Big Cabernet Waypoint 04 Napa, Weiss. Herbaceous, minty, oak nose; semi-tannic; rich finish, a little hot; long life ahead. w/beef.