Thursday, September 21, 2006

Artesa Elements 2001

Price: $13.99 @ Gary's Liquors, West Roxbury
Recommended by: Artesa's reputation
Comments: We have been big fans of Artesa since our trip to the winery a few months ago. Their merlot is something to worship, and their merlot reserve may be the best red wine we've ever tasted. Artesa's affordable Elements -- a blend of Bordeaux varietals (cabernet sauvignon 51%, merlot 29%, syrah 15%, others 5%) -- does not disappoint. It starts out tasting like a bright, fruity cab but finishes like a smooth merlot. And it only got better as we drank it. (We recommend decanting it for an hour or so before enjoying.) We're not certain that it's as good as Artesa's merlot, but for the price, this one is a real winner. (And if you make a sojourn to Napa Valley, make sure to visit their amazing winery!)

Rating: 7.75/10

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fleur du Cap Merlot 2001

Price: $9.99 @ Blanchard's JP
Recommended by: no one -- we just wanted to try a different Merlot.
Comments: This South African merlot is nothing spectacular. It has a fairly mellow flavor, with your expected berry taste. It's smooth with a decent finish. I don't know if we will be running out to get this again, but it was enjoyable.
Ratings: 6/10

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Red Guitar Old Vine Tempranillo Garnacha 2005

Price: $9.99 @ Luke's Liquors
Recommended by: no one -- we've been wanting to try more tempranillos and grenaches, and this one looked good (and had a pretty label!).

Comments: This Spanish old vine tempranillo/grenache has a really deep taste with smoky, berry flavors. It is smooth with a very dry finish. We drank it by itself, but we suspect it would taste better with a nice food pairing. We have enjoyed some Spanish reds a bit better, namely Vina Alarba, Rojo Mojo, and Panarroz Jumilla, but this one is tasty.
Rating: 6.25/10

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sterling Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Price: $11.99 on sale at Luke's Liquors
Recommended by: How much we enjoy Sterling's Merlot.
Comments: Among the Napa Valley sauvignon blancs that we've tried, this one does not rate very highly. It has flavors of tangerine and lemon along with a nice oaky finish. However, it is not very rich in flavor and it has a bit too much acidity to it. We enjoyed this wine, but comparably priced Marlborough sauvignon blancs (like Nobilo, Matua, and Villa Maria) are superior.
Rating: 5.5/10

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Price: $8.99 @ Luke's Liquors
Recommended by: reputation of the winery
Comments: This Chilean Cabernet was a bit young, but we let it decant for a few hours; it certainly got better as we drank it. It is a tasty wine, with strong cherry and plum flavors and a nice, oak finish. We did not enjoy it as much as the Casa Lapostolle Cabernet, but we look forward to trying some other Concha y Toro wines!
Rating: 6.75/10

Dr. Hans VanMuller Riesling Kabinett 2005

Price: $6.99 at Blanchard's
Recommended by: On sale!
Comments: For the price, this wine is pretty good. It is a bit sweet, but not cloying, with flavors dominated by green apple, lemon, and lime. It is not a complex wine, but its flavors last longer than we expected at this price. Also, it finishes with a steely cleaness that is quite nice.
Rating: 6/10