“Undercurrents of pepper and white truffle”… for under $12 a bottle? How delightful.
According to a recent review by the wine ‘experts’ around the globe, one really can buy a bottle of vino here in the United States for under $12 and find it a pleasure when uncorked (or uncapped, as the case may be).
Unfortunately (for California vineyards, not for you and me), none of them found the best choices in this illustrious category to have come from the good old U.S.of A.. So sad. To quote one noted wine aficionado, ” California produces almost nothing worth drinking for under $15.”
Well, be that as it may, – Australia, Spain, Portugal, and the ever-note-worthy France, have apparently weighed in with some very flavorful contributions to the poor man’s pouting palate.
1) LAS ROCAS DE SAN ALEJANDRO GARNACHA 2005. $11. Scored a 90-point rating from Robert Parker, an notable wine critic. “A fruity red boasting of undercurrents of pepper and white truffles”, was the description christened it by, by, …by SOMEBODY! Oh, I don’t have any idea what a truffle tastes like, white or otherwise, but I am sure as hell going to find out!
2) BODEGAS LAN RIOJA CRIANZA 2004. $12. Two top groups of tasters, The Wine Trials tasters and the Boston Globe panel, found this red wine to have “a ripe, long finish” that “tastes as if it has been in the bottle longer than four years”. I should say! Anything that has spent four years in a bottle has got to be somewhat long in the tooth, …ripe, that is!
3) AVELEDA VINHO VERDE QUINTA DA AVELEDA 2006. $6. Wine Spectator awarded this filly 87 out of 100 points. A white wine with “an appealing freshness and an abundance of stone-fruit flavors and a hint of minerals”. Minerals? Editors of The Wine Trials called it “one of the great steals”. I’ll say! For 6 bucks, I know some people who would drop Starbucks and take up drinking!
From our dear (hmm) friends, the French:
4) DOMAINE DELAYE ST. VERAN “LES PIERRES GRISES”. $10. Steinberger (you know him) says, “this is an elegant wine with citrus notes”, and critics agree it is a delicious alternative to “unctuous, vanilla-scented California Chardonnays”. (You have GOT to admit we do tend to overdo it with the vanilla here!)
Finally, from our mates “Down Under”:
Australia’s YELLOW TAIL PINOT GRIGIO. $8. A dry white that is “redolent” – (from where in the world do they get these words, Bill O’Reilly?) – “redolent of citrus, green apple and pear”. Critics find the Aussie’s offerings “surprisingly well-made and complex”. (I just can’t help wondering, how complex can they be for eight bucks?!)
Well, I like the Aussies but, I don’t care much for their wine. It’s a bit too complex for this simple kid’s taste.
Russell Crowe, on the other hand…