Rick's Picks ~ Wine Values  

 

Its easy to find a great wine at $50, or a really good one at $25. Find one for under $15!  Now that's hot.
Rick's Picks - What's hot right now that I recommend buying for now or later .

Criteria for Rick's Pick Wine Values:

Available now - just released and/or in sufficient quantity to be obtainable
Wine you'll enjoy drinking time and again.
Great value for the money - you can afford drinking without waiting for a special occasion.

 
 
January 2011
Flinders Ranges Shiraz 2006 Flinders Run
Southern Flinders Ranges
Baroota, Australia
Shiraz
2006
We love this wine - perhaps one of our favorites in our cellar. The 2005 vintage was fabulous. We first found and tried it for $33 in Central Illinois. We then bought a case on-line for $29. Binny's then had it for $27 and we bought all we could get. We recently found the 2006 vintage for under $20 and while not as good as the '05 its a great value. Below are notes on the '05.
RM 93; RP 95; WS 91; IWC 92 - RM - Dark inky colour. Medium to full bodied, elegant rich symphony of flavors of sweet currant, pepper, vanilla, spice, red raspberry, blueberry and a lingering essence of creme brulee' and cedar on the soft finish.  RP review - "...aged for 18 months in French and American oak hogsheads with 50% new staves. Purple/black in color, the wine exhibits a big, brooding bouquet of pain grille, pepper, Asian spices, blueberry, blackberry, and licorice. This leads to a full bodied (15.2% alcohol), super rich plush wine with layers of spicy black fruit flavors, excellent balance, and a long pure finish. For a wine this size, it is remarkably light on its feet. Give it 2-3 years to more fully evolve and drink through 2020. This is quite a debut for Flinders Run." 
WS - "Dense and peppery. A lively mouthful of dark-hued fruit and spice, lingering on the clear, focused, juicy finish. Fine tannins frame this nicely. Best from 2009 through 2015. 2,000 cases made." (WS)
International Wine Cellar - "($32) Glass-staining ruby. Explosively perfumed nose offers a surreal array of dark fruits, oak spices, flowers and minerals. Fat but focused, with intense, spicy blackberry, cassis and floral pastille flavors. Gentle tannins add structure but can't contain the wine's expansive, sweet personality. Gains strength on the long, sappy finish. This has enormous immediate appeal." (IWC)
Winery Notes
Attractive deep purple, red with rich complexities of spicy berry fruits with subtle vannillan oak. A full flavored wine with berry and licorice characters to the fore, soft tannins giving it a nice lingering taste. A robust wine for hearty food. – Mike Farmillo – Leading Winemaker Boars Rock. Exhibiting rich ripe berry fruit characters, the colour of black cherries completed by toasty American and French Oak flavours achieved from lengthy barrel maturation. The palate is rich, round with spicy flavours and balanced tannins.
 
December 2010
Cambria Julia's Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Cambria Vineyard 
Santa Maria Valley
Pinot Noir
2008
January 23, 2011 - RM 90 - Medium bodied, delicate, white pepper predominates, soft cherry flavors, spicy oak, hint of cocoa with finely integrated tannins. Great value pinot noir - hard to find a pinot of this allure at this price.
$17-23
 
Sept 2010
Joseph Carr Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Joseph Carr
Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon
2007
September 7, 2010 - Joseph Carr Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - RM91 - Dark color, medium-full bodied - Forward black fruits accented by a layers of coffee, cigar box and hints of spice, eucalyptus and mocha. What a nice surprise to discover this quality wine from Napa Carneros at the Red Carpet Club at Dulles Airport! Too bad I was rushed to catch a cross country flight. Can't wait to try it again. What an ever nicer surprise to find it available at under $20. I bought a case!
 
July 2010
Chateau Larmande St Emilion 2005 Chateau Larmande
Bordeaux
St Emilion
2005
Merlot 65%, 30% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
July 24, 2010 - Chateau Larmande Grand Cru Classe St Emilion 2005: RM 91- My best of tasting pick from an earlier Bordeaux flight tasting. Medium bodied, floral perfume, flavorful red berry, plum fruits, subtle spice, cherry-cranberry, nice texture and an appealing moderately firm grip of tannin in the finish. A great '05 Bordeaux for drinking in the near-term; a great value for such an elegant wine. 

The 2005 Bordeaux vintage was so good that even 'lesser'  labels were outstanding - if you call a Grand Cru Classe a lesser label.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Aromas of ripe fruit, coffee bean and sweet tobacco follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a long, balanced finish. Rich and layered. Best after 2013." (03/08)
http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=351693
This wine retails for as high as $40 but can be found for as low as $26. Its as good as many wines selling for 2-3X that price.
NOTE - The 2009 vintage is rated WS 92-95 and is selling at futures for $27.
May 2010
Turn 4 Four Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Turn Four
Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon
2007
May 17, 2010 - Turn Four Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - RM91- Deep dark purple color. Medium bodied. Not highly complex but wow - tasty! Rich forward black and blue fruits - spicy clove, hint of cinnamon and vanilla and a touch of black pepper on the long flavorful finish. I bought this bottle while traveling in Colorado Springs. Good value at $18. Buy it if you can find it. http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=767489
March 2010
Conn Creek Napa Valley Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Conn Creek Limited Release
Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon
2005
March 24, 2010 - Conn Creek Napa Valley Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - RM 87 - Great value in this easy drinking cab. Bright ripe dark cherry and blackberry, mocha, spice and subtle coffee on the dried fruit moderate finish. Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot.
$16-23
 
February 2010
Belle Glos Meiomi Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2007 Belle Glos
Sonoma Coast
Pinot Noir
2007
March 1, 2010 - Very aromatic and flavorful - black berries, raspberries, spice, herbs, subtle white pepper and black olive with a smooth polished velvety texture and long lingering tannin finish. Great value blend from several vineyards with different sub-climates in the true Sonoma Coast - pronounced May-OH-mee” which means “coast” in the language of the native Wappo tribe. From the Wagners of Caymus fame. Tasted at Flemings in Beavercreek.
$24
December 2009
Cambria Julias Vineyard Santa Maria Pinot Noir 2007 Cambria
Julia's Vineyard
Pinot Noir
2007
  Rated 93WE #1 WINE OF THE YEAR
Complex flavors of cherries, Mandarin orange, cola, pomegranates, licorice and cinnamon spice, made even richer by smoky oak.
$20
November 2009
Chalone Monterey County Pinot Noir 2005 label Chalone Vineyards
Monterey County
Pinot Noir
2006
December 19, 2009 - Chalone Vineyards County Pinot Noir 2005 - RM 87 - Aromas and flavors of tart black cherries, black raspberry and cola with hints of spicy clove and nutmeg. A hard to find great value in a presentable pinot noir.
$15
October 2009
Hahn Meritage 2007 label Hahn
Meritage
Central Coast
2007
Once again, Hahn Meritage rates a Rick's Pick as a tremendous value. Symphonic balance of well crafted berry fruit flavors result in a sophisticated style yet easy drinking wine that belays its under $20 price point. Hahn Monterey County Meritage Red Wine 2007 - RM 87 - Black cherry, black berry, spice and cedar. Remarkably sophisticated and complex yet nicely polished for this price point. Another great value respectable presentable red wine under $18.
$14
September 2009
Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Cliff Lede Vineyards
Napa Valley - Stags Leap District
Sauvignon Blanc
2007
October 31, 2009 - Cliff Lede Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2007 - RM 90 - Nicely balanced acidity, subtle oak, citrus and remarkable peach fruit flavor that turns to mango and hint of passion fruit and tangerine on the finish. Fabulous complement to lobster with a dash of lemon butter. starter. First tasted at the winery - got some at home - a staple white for the cellar.
$21
 
   
June 2009  
Chateau Pesquie Cotes du Ventoux Terrasses 2006 Château Pesquié
Côtes du Ventoux
Southern Rhone
Terrasses
2006

June 17, 2009RM 88 - Ripe black fruit black raspberry, plum, with a hint of earthiness. Soft, medium-full body, and a long finish. Great value easy drinking every day wine.

$13
May 2009  
Hartford Family Winery
Sonoma Coast
Pinot Noir
2004
May 6, 2009 -  - RM 91 - $26 - Medium to light bodied, soft, silky, spicy red raspberry, red berry, clove, hints of white pepper and oak on the lingering finish. Nice complement to L's chicken picata. Good value in this mid $20's pinot - half the price of comparable pinots.  
$25
April 2009
Susana Balbo Crios Mendoza Malbec 2008 Susana Balbo
Crios
Mendoza Argentina
Malbec
2008
April 18, 2009 - Nice full flavor of spicy black cherry and black berry fruits with a hint of ripe plum and toasty vanilla on the finish. Declassified fruits that don't find their way into the expensive lots can be found here. Consistently respectably rated, approachable, enjoyable easy drinking wine that is a tremendous value. Try it. 
$14
Palmina Santa Barbara Barbera 2007 Palmina
Santa Barbara
Barbera
2006
April 15, 2009 - Intense color dark, big full black fruit flavors - blackberry, black cherry and  black currant with a hint of nutmeg with a earthy mineral finish. Good value wine for drinking now - not for the feint of heart. Try it. 
$14
February 2009
Snoqualmie Wahluke Slope Syrah 2006 Snoqualmie Vineyards
Wahluke Slope Columbia Valley
Syrah
2006
April 7, 2009 - Snoqualmie Vineyards Wahluke Slope Columbia Valley Syrah 2006 - RM 88 - Rich black fruit aromas of blackberry and blueberry with an undertone of spicy mocha, herb and smoke tones with a luscious soft tannin finish. Great value wine at under $14. Try it. 
$13
Seghesio 2007 Sonoma Zinfandel

#10 on the Wine Spectator
Top 100 Wines of the World


We did it again! Seghesio’s Sonoma Zinfandel has been honored again with an incredible #10 placement on the Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 Wines of the World listing. This is remarkable when you consider the company it shares on this list is generally associated with very low production and extremely high prices. Our Sonoma Zinfandel is an outstanding value and consistently well-made wine.

Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2007 Seghesio
Sonoma County
Zinfandel
2007
$20
April 27, 2009

RM 89; WS 93 points - WS #10 of Top 100

The Seghesio family has been making wine for a century in northern Sonoma County and farms more than 400 acres of Zinfandel in Alexander and Dry Creek valleys. They make a range of vineyard-designated Zinfandels, such as Home Ranch and Cortina, and a bottling from the oldest vines. But for this Sonoma County 2007, winemaker Ted Seghesio tapped his diverse grape sources for a more widely available, well-priced wine. Aged 11 months in 75 percent American oak, it's complex, with a supple texture and a spicy finish.

 
June 2008
McMannis Family Vineyard Merlot 2006 Label  McManis Family Vineyards
River Junction Appellation - Lodi, California
Merlot
2006
June 20-22, 2008 - McManis Family Vineyards River Junction Merlot 2006 - RM 87 - Great value wine at less than $10. From the junction of the San Joaquin and Stanislaus Rivers, just south of Lodi, California. Spicy oak flavors predominate with black cherry, black berry fruit, toasted oak and a subtle strawberry vanilla on the finish.
$9
December 2007
Hahn central coast meritage 2006 label Hahn
Meritage
Central Coast
2006
For the second time, Hahn Meritage rates a Rick's Pick as a tremendous value. Symphonic balance of well crafted berry fruit flavors result in a sophisticated style yet easy drinking wine that belays its under $20 price point.
$14
November 2007  
  Estancia
Keyes Canyon Ranch, Paso Robles
Zinfandel
2005
RM 89 - Medium bodied, easy drinking wine with aromas and flavors of red berry, black cherry, a hint of mocha and spice. Great value - a lot of flavor for under $14. December 5, 2007
$11-14
October  
Klinker Brick Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2005 Label Klinker Brick Winery
Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
2005
RM 91 - Dark, full bodied, floral fruit - black and red berry, spice, cassis, a hint of red raspberry, black cherry fruit on the full round tannin finish. Great value - a lot of flavor for $16. Third generation producers harvesting vines planted by their grandparents. The winery is named for 'klink sound these heavy bricks found in their home and around historic town of Lodi make when 'klinked' together. October 31, 2007
$16

September 2007

Mollydooker
Two Left Feet
McLaren Vale, Australia
Shiraz Blend  - Shiraz (68%) – Merlot (17%) – Cabernet Sauvignon (15%)
2006
RM 90 January 27, 2008 -  They did it again. Winemaker notes - This wine has superb intensity with aromas reminiscent of butterscotch, plum, white chocolate, cherries and raspberry fruit. Its spicy, big, unctuous texture and incredible density of fruit gives you a wonderfully rounded mouth-feel and a silky smooth finish. "Smooth, vibrant and distinctive for its tarry blackberry and charred meat flavors, riding high on a sleek frame. Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon." -Rated 90, Wine Spectator
"The 2006 Shiraz (68%) – Merlot (17%) – Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) “Two Left Feet” is a glass-coating opaque purple color. The brooding nose reveals plummy dark fruits, blueberry, licorice, and a hint of chocolate. On the palate it is thick, layered, and voluptuous. The structure is well-concealed and the wine is seamless and very long. It will reward a few years of cellaring but delaying gratification will be difficult. It is a great value. - Rated 93, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Mollydooker (the Australian equivalent of “Southpaw”– both Sparky and Sarah Marquis are left-handed) is the label of the renowned winemaking team of Sparky and Sarah Marquis. This is their second vintage following the schism with The Grateful Palate and the end of their involvement in the hugely successful Marquis Philips project. Total case production is 72,000, down from the 120,000 cases produced under the Marquis Philips label. They have also set up their own importing company in the United States. Mollydooker has been divided into four tiers beginning with “The Lefty Series”. These five wines are line-priced at $20. Next up the ladder is “The Party Series” priced at $50 a bottle, followed by two wines comprising “The Love Series” priced at $80. At the top of the pyramid is one wine, “The Velvet Glove” Shiraz priced at $175. "
$19.00

August 2007

Layer Cake Barossa Shiraz 2005 Label on Rick's Winesite on McNees.org/winesite Pure Love Wines
"Layer Cake"
Barossa Valley
Shiraz
2005
RM 88 - $16 - Great value in this medium-full bodied, thick rich, dark  fruit forward shiraz. Black fruits are offset by an undercurrent of slight mineral. Good value at $16.
$16.00

July 2007

Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot 2003 Label Columbia Crest
Columbia Valley
Merlot
2003 & 2004
RM 90 WS 90 Tasty, easy drinking, ripe black cherry, plum, currant and a hint of cocoa and spice with a long chewy velvety tannin finish. Designated a Best Value by WS. . Great value at $12.
$12.00

June 2007

Tintara McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon Label Hardy Wines,
McLaren Vale, Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon
2005
RM 88 Dark, medium full bodied, black fruit, black cherry, a hint of smoke from one of Australia's oldest wineries. Good value at $15.
$15.00

February 2007

Girard
Napa Valley
Petit Syrah
2004
RM 91 WS 90 WE 92 Big thick chewy extracted forward fruit of blackberry, ripe plum and black cherry. Very firm, sophisticated but silky and finely integrated tannins. Not for the feint of heart. This is a blend of 90% Petite Sirah, 8% Zinfandel and 2% Carignane. Great value at $20.
$20.00

January 2007

Barone Ricasoli
Campo Ceni
Toscana
Sangiovese
2002
RM 88 WS 86 Firm smooth nicely integrated tannins, dark medium bodied, modest fruit of blackberry, black cherry, a hint of mineral and tobacco. Great value wine and good complement to hearty Italian cuisine.
$16.00
January 2007

C. G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery
Amador County
Syrah
2003
RM 91 - Deep garnet purple colour, mouthfull of forward fruit of black raspberry, cherry and dark plum with firm finely integrated tannins on a long smooth finish of coffee and tobacco.
$21.00
December 2006

Chappellet Napa Valley Chenin Blanc label on McNees Winesite

Chappellet
Napa Valley
Chenin Blanc
2003
RM 89 - Light, bright easy drinking - zesty and spicy with flavors of tropical fruits and citrus, crisp acidity - rich but subtle flavors of orange, pineapple and a hint of anise and eucalyptus on the soft finish.
$15.00
November 2006

Mollydooker
McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Padthaway
Shiraz
2005
Price: $20
Latest creation and new label from Sparky and Sarah Marquis, formerly of Marquis Phillips. Mollydooker is 'Australian for left-handed. Tremendous values in these two new offerings. Deep purple - full rich plum, currant, and mocha. RP says it best in his review -  Parker 95 - "The 2005 The Boxer Shiraz (primarily from McLaren Vale, followed by Langhorne Creek and Padthaway) exhibits a black/blue/purple color, an incredible density of fruit along with that tell-tale purity, blackberries, white flowers, melted chocolate, sweet licorice, and subtle wood. Full-bodied, beautifully textured and layered with an awesome finish, it should drink well for 4-6+ years. Two more expensive Mollydooker cuvees will be reviewed in my full Australian report in the October issue. Sarah and Sparky Marquis, who live by the motto, “We make wines that make people go wow - through attention to detail and commitment to excellence,” have hit pay dirt with these brilliantly packaged, screw cap-finished wines with labels that resemble Broadway vaudeville acts from the mid-thirties. Even more innovative, their back labels have a small postage stamp with all the relevant information so restaurant consumers can remember the wine by pulling off the stamp and taking it home. "
October 2006

Mollydooker
McLaren Vale, Padthaway, and Langhorne Creek
65% Shiraz, 19% Merlot, and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon
2005
Price: $20
November 26, 2006 - Latest creation from Sparky and Sarah Marquis, formerly of Marquis Phillips. Remember Sarah's Blend from the old label? This is another incredible value in this new release from Sparky and Sara Marquis. Again, Parker says it best..."It boasts an inky/purple color, superb intensity, a big, sweet, full-bodied nose of creme de cassis, graphite, white chocolate, black olives, blackberry liqueur, and spice, and a spectacular, voluptuous, even unctuous texture. This is a big, powerful, classic southern Australian red made with no compromises."
Aug 2006 Cline Cellars

Contra Costa County
Ancient Vines Zinfandel
2005
Price: $15-18
Oct 1, 2006 - Cline Cellars Contra Costa County Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2005 - RM 88 - Winemaker notes - "Shows wonderful dusty raspberry, blackberry, white pepper and spice, with coffee and chocolate characters. Aging in new and used wood has lent this wine a subtle vanilla quality that nicely complements the explosive fruit notes. Enjoy now or cellar for 5 to 7 years. Rick notes - Great value wine that is easy drinking, deep purple colour, mouthful of raspberry and smoky plum fruit and spice. Tasted at Mamo's gala Chip engagement party.
May 2006 Rosemount

GSM (Grenache Syrah Mouvedre)
McLaren Vale
2002
Price: $10-15
June 9, 2006 -  RM 87 - Huge bouquet. Flavors of intense blackberry, mineral, spice and a touch of blueberry on the finish. This wine is a decent value at $15. Its a great value at $10 where it is currently available at Trader Joe's.
April 2006    

2004 Thorn-Clarke

Thorn-Clarke
  "Shotfire Ridge" Shiraz
  Region/Appellation:
  Barossa
  Vintage - 2004
  Rating - RM89 RP90
  Price - $16
  April 15, 2006
92 points Robert Parker: "The outstanding 2004 Shiraz Shotfire Ridge is an excellent value. A full-throttle, dense, full-bodied Shiraz, it boasts a purple color as well as big, sweet, flamboyant aromatics of white chocolate, blackberries, cassis, smoke, and licorice. This deep, opulent effort is a total hedonistic turn-on. Drink it over the next 3-4 years." (10/05) This wine is another outstanding Barossa Shiraz. The bouquet has lifted fruit aromas, while the palate displays typical Barossa varietal Shiraz characters of chocolate and plum fruit. Expert use of oak has resulted in subtle vanillin flavors. 
March 2006    

Can Blau Monsant
  Region/Appellation:
  Spain
  Vintage - 2004
  Rating - RM89 RP90
  Price - $15
  Blend - Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache
  April 15, 2006

 

90 Points - Robert Parker (Wine Advocate)
"A fabulous value from the other side of the famed Priorat appellation (the frugal person's Priorat?), this dense ruby/purple-colored 2004 exhibits wonderful minerality along with beautiful raspberry and blueberry fruit notes interwoven with liquid slate/rock-like characteristics. Medium-bodied with gorgeously pure fruit, this blend of Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache is ideal for drinking now and over the next 5-6 years. There is even more good news as 6,500 cases are exported to the USA."
 
February 2006    

Panther Creek
  Pinot Noir Cuvee
  Region/Appellation:
  Willamette Valley
  Vintage - 2003
  Rating - RM91
  Price - $18
  March 14, 2006
   
Panther Creek, Willamette Valley Winemakers Cuvee, Oregon 2003 - RM 91 $64 - crushed cranberries, cedar, sweet mocha on the long finish, - supple, polished, complex- reflecting only blend of Willamette & Umpqua valleys. Tasted at Flemmings in Tysons Corner and w/ Carla M at Vidalia in WDC.
November 2005

Hahn Estates
  Meritage
  Region/Appellation:
  Central Coast
  Vintage - 2003 and 2004
  Rating - RM91 WS90
  Price - $13-18
  Nov 23, 2005 - May 20, 2006
Deep purple color. Intense aroma and mouthful of tasty of currant, caramel, red raspberry, plum and a hint of oak and vanilla. Delicious. Tremendous .value at $14-18
 
Sept 2005    

Tapestry
  Shiraz
  Region/Appellation:
  McLaren Vale
  Vintage - 2000
  Rating - RM90 WS90
  Price - $18
  Nov 26, 2005
Great value at $18. Tasted from magnum - Oaky plum, hints of currant, red raspberry and a finish of soft mocha.

Aug 2005

   

Glen Eldon Wines
  Dry Bore Shiraz
  Barossa
  2002
  91-94 points, The Wine Advocate
  Price - $24-35
"Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2002 Dry Boar Shiraz appears to be a winner. This 100% Shiraz from both the Eden and Barossa Valleys was aged 24 months in small French and American foudres. A dense purple color is followed by gorgeous aromas of creme de cassis, and full-bodied, full-throttle, well-balanced blackberry and currant flavors intermixed with licorice, tar, and pepper. Consume it during its first 7-8 years of life."
91-94 points, The Wine Advocate, October 2004
July 2005    

CSM 2000
  CSM
  Barossa
  2000
  89 points - REM
  Price - $16- 26
 Winemakers notes - Colour: Deep crimson with a black heart. Nose: Ripe blackberry with lifted violet and a hint of vanillin oak. Palate: Immense, yet elegant, complex, rich and flavourful with tiers of chocolate, wild berries and plums. Finishes with supple tannins and pretty oak shadings. CSM stands for 60% Cabernet / 30% Shiraz / 10% Merlot.
June 2005    

Bocca di Lupo
  Castel del Monte
  Tormaresca
  2002
  93 points Stephen Tanzer
  Price - $22-28
"Deep, almost opaque ruby-red. Refined aromas of blueberry and blackberry jam, with hints of dark tobacco, coffee and spicy, balsamic oak. Offers good grip on entry, then real power in a velvety package. Coats the palate with lush, sweet fruit flavors. Finishes clean, complex and long, with sweet but assertive tannins and remarkable freshness. Probably the best aglianico made outside of Basilicata and Campania." ($28)
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jul/Aug 05
     
May 2005    

Producer -
Querceta
Wine -
Chianti Classico Reserva
Region/Appellation:
Chianti Toscana
Vintage - 2000
Rating - WS 91 - RM 90
Price - $15-18
#64 Wine Spectator Top 100 2003 - 
Tasty fruit filled blackberry, chocolate, mineral and a long medium-bodied tannin finish.
Good value at $15-18.
March 2005    

Producer -
Rosenblum
Region/Appellation:
San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County
Vintage - 2003
Rating - RM91
Price - $18
 "Heritage Clones,"  Petit Syrah 2003 . RM 91 Great value at $19. Intense black inky color exhibiting lots of distinct flavors. This wine abounds with ripe blackberry, plum, pepper and spice.
 
November 2004

Producer -
Covey Run
Region/Appellation:
Columbia Valley, Washington
Vintage - 2002
Rating - RM88 WS 88
Price - $9
WS Review - Great value at $9.
Crisp in texture, dense in flavor, with layers of ripe blackberry, currant and peppery spice flavors that have more up front than on the spicy, fresh cedar finish. Drink now through 2008. 45,000 cases made. (HS)
October 2004

Producer - Tremendous value at $13 -  Intense full forward black berry, what Robt Parker calls "scorched earth and coffee" giving way to intense black pepper with a long lingering pronounced fruit of vanilla and plum or blueberry on the long oaky and tannic finish. 40% Monastrell, 40% Tempranillo, 20% Syrah
Bodegas de Murcia Dominio de la Peseta Crianza
Region/Appellation:
Alicante Valencia, Spain
Vintage - 2001
Rating - RM88 RP 88
Price - $13
 
September 2004

Producer:
Firm forward spicy plum, black cherry and raspberry flavor that's rich, ripe and deep. This is always very popular and enjoyable wine for parties and everyday drinking. Very good with bar-b-que, pasta, cheeses, and hor d 'ovres. I recommend this often for parties and its always a popular choice. 
Domaine Raspail-Ay
Region/Appellation:

Rhone - Gigondas

Vintage: 2003
Rating: N/R
Price$18
 
August 2004

Producer:  
MARQUIS PHILIPS SHIRAZ Robert Parker said of the 2002 vintage "The exciting, saturated inky purple-colored 2002 Shiraz reveals a gorgeous perfume of blackberry liqueur, white flowers, vanilla, and a hint of figs. Opulent, voluptous, and sexy, it is both flamboyant and immensely satisfying. This big, silky, flesh bomb should drink well for 3-4 years. For the price it offers unbelievable value. 93 Points." This one isn't as good as the 2002 but still as good value none-the-less.

Wine: Southeast Australia Shiraz

Region/Appellation: Australia
Vintage: 2003
Rating: N/R
Price$15
Where to find it: At select wineshops.
June  -  July 2004

Producer:

Ravenswood

Wine: Southeast Australia Shiraz

Region/Appellation: Australia
Vintage:2002
Rating: RM 88
Price:  $12
Where to find it: Widely available

Comments:

Full forward rich fruit of ripe berry and peppery cherry with a cedar finish. First tasted Mar 8 at distributor release tour where this was a standout from this California house known for its single vineyard Zinfandels. Its now available and a terrific value at $12 for everyday drinking. Consistent notes with  June 1 tasting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
March - April 2004

Rosemount Balmoral

Producer:

Rosemount

Wine:  Syrah

Region/Appellation: McLarenVale
Vintage:2000
Rating: WS RM 93
Price:  $26
Where to find it:  Binny's
Comments:
This is a wine that I bought on sale in recent years for $33 when it was listed for  $39. The release price has crept up to $53 yet Binny's throughout Chicagoland has a boatload of it for sale at $26 and for while it was $23!

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