Posted by Tom Gable
From $8 value Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County to well-aged classics from the Pauillac area of Bordeaux and the finest vineyards of Napa Valley, 2011 promises to be a bountiful year for finding high quality wines from around the world and at prices that suit most budgets. Here are some recent finds that were Tweeted about since Jan. 1, 2011.
- Good value Chardonnay 09 Landers-Jenkins, $10 Calif. Tropical nose, mid-body to fat, 13.0 alc., so works with appetizers, cheeses.
- Toasty oaky Chardonnay 08 David Bruce , $14 Santa Lucia Highlands. Fatter style, round, ripe 14.2 alc. w/gamey cheeses, garlic sauces.
- Good Chardonnay value, toasty style 09 Fritz Russian River Valley, $13. Oaky/tropical nose; mid-fat body, soft acids. W/fish, cheeses.
- Rich oaky Chardonnay 08 Patz and Hall, Hyde (Carneros), $50. Aged in 50% new French oak; ripe grape nose; big fruit, fat but decent acids. W/salmon.
- Good value Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 09 St. Clair, $10. Weedy grapefruit nose; mid-body; decent fruit; crisp acids. W/garlic shrimp.
- Food friendly Sauvignon Blanc 09 Warwick Professor Black, Stellenbosch, South Africa, $12. Light varietal nose w/citrus; mid-body; fruity finish. California-like.
White Burgundy (Chardonnay)
- Fine food Chablis 08 Bichot Vaucopins, $25. Clean Chardonnay nose, vanilla, pear; good acid/fruit balance; long finish. W/coq a vin.
- Value Bichot 09 Bourgogne, Vieilles Vignes, $10. Light Chardonnay nose, pears, apples; crisp on the palate, with soft finish. W/appetiziers.
- Super value Italian Paolo 09 Sangiovese, $10. Cherries, mint, cedar nose; mid-body, fruity finish. Equals $15+ wines. w/pasta (of course).
- Big BBQ wine Fleur de Lyeth 09 Red (Cabernet/Merlot/Petite Sirah blend), $13. Ripe grape nose; big, fat, long finish. Goes well w/chocolate, too.
- Beef wine Chateau Millegrand 08 Minervois, $13. Fruity Carignan nose, hints of terroir; bid-body; deep flavor; good as $20+ wines.
- Value Pinot Noir 08 Queen of Hearts $8 Santa Barbara. Stinky PN nose, berries; light-mid body; soft finish; PN flavor. Party sipping.
- Tasty Chateau de Macard 09 Bordeaux Superieur $11. Mid-garnet; earthy, berries (50 % Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon); fruit and style as good as $15+ wines.
- Classic Pauillac 86 Pichon Baron. Distinct terroir, Cabernet, Merlot, oak nose, tobacco; mid-body, refined tannins; life left. w/beef.
- Rich 2000 Pessac Leognan, De Fieuzal. Earthy Graves nose, cedar, Cabernet; mid-body; long finish; aging well. A "find" in any vintage.
- Beringer 01 Private Reserve, classic Napa Cabernet nose; herbaceous, minty; balanced tannins, long finish. W/good cut of beef.
- Refined Cabernet 2000 Spottswoode Napa estate. Aging well. Rich Cabernet nose w/wood/cassis/mint; mid-body, balanced. W/pan-fried filet mignon.