Value Vino

2010 Glen Carlou ‘Grand Classique,’ South Africa

At a time when Bordeaux prices are high (when are they not, really?) and many California wineries are dealing with a challenging vintage, here’s a go-to wine for lovers of red blends. Cabernet Sauvignon comprises just over half of the cuvee,… Read more

2011 Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Syrah, Santa Barbara County

Opaque purple/black in hue, with aromas of leather, game, a hint of smoke, blackberry, a touch of blueberry and clove spice. As the wine opens up, it becomes more perfumed. A fairly smooth entry gives way to medium-grained tannins in the back end,… Read more

2011 Peter Lehmann ‘Portrait’ Shiraz, Barossa, Australia

Nearly opaque dark ruby color. Open aromas of plum, briary blackberries, black pepper and menthol. In the mouth, the berry fruit moves to the blue spectrum, picking up a note of chocolate. The moderate tannins make this a wine that’s ready to… Read more

2011 Dry Creek Vineyard ‘Heritage Vines’ Zinfandel, Sonoma County

Let’s begin by talking about what this wine is not — a big, jammy, fruit bomb style of Zinfandel. The 2011 growing season in Sonoma County simply did not provide the “tools” required for that style of Zin to be produced. That said, this is a… Read more

2011 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

Nearly opaque, dusty dark ruby color. Inviting scents of jammy black raspberry and plum, milk chocolate and a light whiff of white pepper. Lighter on the palate than the 14.8% alcohol would suggest. Firm tannins grab at the end, leaving a lingering… Read more

2011 Eminence Road Cabernet Franc, Elizabeth’s Vineyard, Finger Lakes

From the winemaker: “The fruit for this wine was sorted at the vineyard and again at the winery to remove botrytis affected berries. It was grueling, took forever and nearly one quarter of the grapes were discarded but in the end it paid off. Clean… Read more

2011 Domaine les Terres Promises ‘Au Hasard et Souvent,’ Provence

Jean-Christophe Comor left a life as a political insider and pseudo lobbyist to grow grapes in 2003, and one would have to assume that he’s now found his true calling. This blend of 50 percent carbonic macerated Carignan and 50 percent traditionally… Read more

2011 Mas Coutelou Sauve de la Citerne, Languedoc-Roussillon

Sauve de Citerne translates as ‘saved from the tank’, and what goes into this cuveé is the juice that Jean-François Coutelou doesn’t know what to do with. A blend of Mourvèdre with some Syrah and Grenache, this “recycled” wine is a… Read more

2012 Mai et Kenji Hodson P’Tit Luchini, Anjou, Loire Valley

Mai and Kenji Hodson stand out in the still under-the-radar region of Anjou, and not just because of their non-French names. Their P’tit Luchini is a perfect example of the best in “table wine” — a delicious, unpretentious red composed from a field… Read more

2010 d’Arenberg ‘The Footbolt’ Shiraz, McLaren Vale

A century ago, Footbolt was the name of a racehorse owned by Joseph Rowe Osborn. The horse was a winner, and Osborn parlayed his earnings into the purchase of the first vineyards of what would become d’Arenberg. This red has an opaque… Read more