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Eminently Drinkable Plonk!


RobInAustin
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First, this topic is Dover Canyon's idea, so I won't take the credit. Just thought I would get the ball rolling. No particular order:

Condesa de Laganza from Spain. $7.99 or so. A smooth easy to drink red with nice bright fruit and soft tannins with a hint of smoke. We jokingly call it Condeleeza Rice.

Jewel Winery: all 8-9 bucks, from Calif.. I recommend the whole line, but my personal favorites are the Viognier (VIG for under $10! amazing and pretty darn nice, with pretty flower notes and decent viscocity and clean finish), Petite Syrah, for a more full red and the Pinot Noir for something lighter.

Amano Primitivo, Italy. 9.99. Rustic cousin of Zinfandel. Big, rich and fun.

Bonny Doon "Big House" Red and White. 9.99.

Gascon Syrah, Argentina, 8.99. Full rich, smoky and perfect with any red meat from the grill.

Fairview "Goats do Roam", South Africa. 7.99 Fun Rhone blend from Charles Back. The Goats white is pretty decent too.

Peach Canyon "Incredible Red" Zinfandel. Paso Robles, 9.99

Finca Flichman, Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet, Argentina. 7.99 each.

Now the last one is bit of a cheat, is $10.99 BUT is a full LITRE so you get more:

Berger Gruener-Weldltliner, Austria. So light, clean and crisp, with nice herbal tones and pretty acidity. Great with fish or chicken or warm evenings.

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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The monthly newsletter from my local wine store has a list of recommendations from their panel of experts.

This month's list has a few wines under $10. Anyone here have any experience with these?

Red:

02 Corrina Sangiovese (Italy, Tuscany) $9

03 Peace Red Bled (S. Eastern Australia) $8

01 Val de Paniza Tinto (Spain, Carinena) $9

01 Nieto Senetiner Don Nicanor Red (Argentina, Mendoza) $10

99 Monte Majone "Il Palagio" (Italy, Tuscany) $10 (sale price)

03 Dom du Pavillon Cote Roannaise (France, Loire) $10

White:

03 Fairview Goats do Roam White (S. Africa, Paarl Valley) $9

02 Bouchard Aine & Fils (France, Burgundy) $10 (sale price)

03 Marques de Vizhoja (Spain, Galicia) $10

There's two more on sale that are not much over $10 but might represent good value. I've enjoyed an older vintage of the Trimbach at a restaurant:

01 Trimbach Gewurtztraminer (France, Alsace) $13

02 Dom des Echards Hautes Cotes de Beaune (France, Burgundy) $13

Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Just thought I would add my opinion since I'm a world-class wine expert <cough, cough, nudge nudge, wink wink>

Big House Red is a nice wine - especially for the price. The rose is okay. But I don't particularly care for the Big House White. But I'm a big red wine drinker. So there's a bit of bias in there.

Goats Do Roam is an INCREDILBE wine. Especially for the price. For everyday drinking - you can not go wrong with this.

It's funny; this morning, I was at Harry's Farmer's Market (local chain under Whole Foods). I browsed the wine department as I always do (found Ravenwood's Teldechi 2001 for $35 a bottle once - my, at the time, favorite red, and still 2nd favorite - but I digress). I saw a few bottles of Jewel for nice prices. Different varietals, all of which I do not remember. I almost picked up a bottle of their Zin, but didn't. I still have a case (various things) from my trip to California last October. But I may go back soon to get something.

And I will look for the Amano Primitivo. Dover Canyon (Mary) and I had a conversation about Primitivo a while back. I'd like to see what it's like.

-Greg

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Great post, Rob!

Here are some $10 or < wines I have had over the last several months that have been very drinkable...

France

2002 Domaine Merieau Gamay Touraine - $9

2001 Louis Bernard Cotes-du-Luberon - $6.85

Spain

2002 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha - $10

2001 Castano Hecula - $9

2002 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha - $9

USA

2002 Leaping Lizard Pinot Noir Los Carneros - $10

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What do ya'll think about Bogle? I've like all I've tried, but I don't know much about wines. All are under $10, except maybe the Old Vines Zin.

IMHO, Bogle's wines are ok. They used to be better quality and a better value a few years back. There certainly is nothing wrong with them, but for me, they lack character.

Cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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Bodegas Osborne Solaz - A Tempranillo/Cabernet blend for $6.99. Amazing wine for the price. My favorite grab-and-go to the BYOB restaurant wine since it compliments most food.

Domaine St. Michelle Blanc de Blanc sparkling. About $9.00 and surprisingly Champagne like in that price range.

Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio. As an aside, I am not normally a big fan of Pinot Grigio, however this one has decent depth and flavor at about $10 and is certainly better than Santa Margherita at twice the price.

Hogue Cellars Columbia Valley Fume Blanc. About $7. Nice light cocktail wine, aperitif or with a summer salad.

Snoqualmie Winery Cabernet/Merlot $9. Very well balanced for the price. Great wine to accompany grilled dinners.

Argyle Chardonnay ~$10. Great elegant chardonnay for the price. Much closer in style to a French or Alsace wine than a big overblown California chard.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Another addition

Glass in front of me as I type.

From Eric Solomon, European Cellars Selection, importers:

Palacio de Menade, Cuevas de Castilla, Cuvee RS, 2002

Rueda White Wine, Spain,

$7.99

Pretty nose of fresh straw and sweet grapefruit, slight floral tones. On the palate, good light body, nice viscocity, and fresh apple and pear fruit flavors, along with green grape, thyme, white pepper, and parma violet (the sweet smelling kind). Lingering finish.

A knockout for 8 bucks!

Cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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Some of my favorite everyday wines. All Southern Hemisphere and some admittedly not that easy to find. But worth looking for.

Excelsior Cabernet 2002/2003, Robertson, South Africa -- Tons of black fruit, some chocolate, decent spine. $8.99.

Kaiken Cabernet 2002, Mendoza, Argentina -- Currants, herbs, medium body, smooth. $9.99.

Santa Ema Cabernet Reserve 1999, Maipo Valley, Chile -- Plums, some mint, nicely rounded. $8.99.

Wynns Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot 1999, Coonawarra, Australia -- Mulberry, cedar, spice. $9.99.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Selak's Premium Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2002

Just under the 1,000 yen mark from Costco, Japan...not sure if it scrapes in under $10.00 in the US or not.

I saw a review that said

Punchy mixture of gooseberry and melon on the nose, generously backed up with suggestion of zesty lemon and passionfruit. A cocktail of crisp, elegant and ripe fruit, finishing long and tangy.

I would have said something more like "appropriately pissy and grassy", but it has plenty of taste though I think "elegant" might be pushing it.

I have great respect for Selak's. They started out like any other West Auckland ex-sherry makers, rose rapidly during the '80s, and now make some very good wine indeed, but I am impressed with the care they put into their everyday wines.

This wine is not one of the classic NZ savvies that bring tears of exultant nostalgia for misspent evenings drinking Marlborough wines on the wharf in Picton, but it'll do, it'll do...

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Please pardon me but Godzonese is not my first language.  :smile:  I take it that "pissy" is a good attribute for a sauv blanc to have?  I'm guessing you mean 'alcoholic'...

i'm guessing she means "cat piss". new zealand SBs often have a nose of cat piss. in fact one producer ran with that idea and called themselves "Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush." yummy.

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i'm guessing she means "cat piss".  new zealand SBs often have a nose of cat piss.  in fact one producer ran with that idea and called themselves "Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush." yummy.

Yes, I think she means 'cat piss' as well, many NZ SBs tend to have a nose of cat piss/asparagus, which while it sounds awful, really isn't as bad as all that. I just can't come up with a better term to describe the smell myself either. I usually say, "Cat piss, but in a GOOD way..."

Cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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"Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush." yummy.

I bought just a little of this last year from the winery to bring back to Japan as gifts, plus another Sav B they called "Fat Cat" - a pleasant drink, from memory milder than the Selak's SB. The winery owners were bewailing the latest twists and turns of the NZ Post Office, which make it prohibitively expensive to send small orders of 6-12 bottles overseas by post. Very annoying.

Yes, I did mean the "cat's piss" nose...to me, that sounds like what the other review called "green pea" flavors, but I'm just guessing. I'm no expert (as if I needed to say that!).

To me, used to NZ SBs, French Sb tastes flat and metallic, though very smooth. NZ SB, on the other hand, can certainly get overblown.

As to whether "pissy" is good or not....in my amateur way, how can I explain...it's more that without that and the grass, you would have an extremely floral/fruit wine. Those flavors, in moderation, pin the wine down somewhat.

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i'm guessing she means "cat piss".  new zealand SBs often have a nose of cat piss.  in fact one producer ran with that idea and called themselves "Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush." yummy.

A friend of mine bought a bottle of this for me as a gag gift. The wine was certainly drinkable, but I've had better SB from that part of the world.

I prefer to refer to that aroma as "Eau de Litterbox" myself. :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Some low-end red wines I enjoyed over the summer (it's not that I shun pinks and whites, it's that a friend recently asked for a list of inexpensive reds, so I have this handy). Asterisks indicate my favourites. Prices are in Canadian dollars (C$1 = US$0.75) and include 15% sales tax.

France

- Peyrouzelles 2002, Gaillac, Domaine de la Causse Marine $17.50*

- Clos de la Briderie 2002, Vieilles vignes, Touraine-Mesland, $17*

- Touraine 2002, Cuvée Ad Vitam, Vieilles vignes, Michaud, $16.50

- Château de Grézels 2000, Cahors, $15.50

- Château Monauriol 2000, Côtes-du-Frontonnais, $18*

- Château du Galoupet 2000, Côtes de Provence, $18

- Domaine du Cros 2001, Lo Sang del Païs, Marcillac, $15.50

- Château la Tour Boisée 2002, Minervois, $18.75*

Portugal (quickly becoming my main source of inexpensive reds)

- Pedras do Monte 2002, Castelão, Terras do Sado, DFJ Vinhos $13.10*

- Quinta das Caldas 2001, Douro, Dominguos Alves de Sousa, $15.50*

- Duque de Viseu 2000, Dao, Sogrape, $14.50

- Tercius 2000, Ribatejano, Falua-Sociendade de Vinhos, $19.40*

- Altano 2000, Douro, Silva & Cosens, $12 (drink slightly chilled)

Italy

- Vitiano 2002, Umbria, Falesco, $15.50

- San Lorenzo 2001, Rosso Conero, Umani Ronchi, $18*

- Medoro 2002, Marche, Umani Ronchi, $12

- Ulysse 2000, Etna, Duca di Castelmonte, $18 (nero d'avola)

- Rosso Virzi 2001, Spadafora, $19 (nero d'avola and syrah)

- Nero d'Avola 2001, Rapitala, $14

Morocco

- S de Siroua, Domaine des Oulet Thaleb, Thalvin, $17* (excellent bargain syrah)

California

- Big House Red 2002, Ca' del Solo (Bonny Doon), $20*

Uruguay

- J. Carrau Pujol 1999, $14.20

Australia

- Koonunga Hill 2001, Cabernet-Merlot, Penfolds, $16.50

Edited by carswell (log)
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02 Bouchard Aine & Fils (France, Burgundy) $10 (sale price)

01 Trimbach Gewurtztraminer (France, Alsace) $13

Have had neither of these in the speicified vintages but... The Bouchard is a reliable generic white Burgundy and 2002 is a good to excellent vintage; at $10, it's worth taking a chance on. Trimbach consistently makes some of Alsace's finest wines at every price level. The house style tends toward the dry and minerally, though the gewurz usually has enough underlying sweetness to soften the edges. 2001 was a very good vintage in Alsace and $13 is a good price. My advice: go for it.

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I don't mean to rain on any parades, as there have been some good wines, BUT, I thought the idea of the thread was "wines UNDER$10 US", so please, try to limit your suggestions to UNDER $10, you know, $9.99 or less? Looks like we're losing that focus here.

cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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I don't mean to rain on any parades, as there have been some good wines, BUT, I thought the idea of the thread was "wines UNDER$10 US", so please, try to limit your suggestions to UNDER $10, you know, $9.99 or less? Looks like we're losing that focus here.

Stop this campaign of cultural imperialism! :raz:

Seriously, at the current exchange rate, US$10 works out to about C$15. And that US$10 usually doesn't include sales tax, whereas Quebec prices always do. So, at the very least a US$10 threshold is equivalent to a C$17.25 one. But it's not that simple. Inexpensive wines tend to be cheaper in the States than in Quebec (it's often the other way around for expensive wines). For example, you pay US$9.99 for Big House Red, while I pay C$20. That BHR is the most expensive wine on my list and most of the others are 20-40% cheaper. In other words, I don't think we've lost focus at all. Besides, on an international board like eGullet, you've got to make allowances; C$10 won't get you drinkable plonk, let alone eminently drinkable plonk, in Quebec.

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For the most part the wines I've recognised in this thread can be had in the Chicago market without pushing the $10 price point too hard, at least when they are on sale. Two notable exceptions are, however Trimbach Gewurtz.- $17 to $19 and L. Felluga Pinot Grigio, which, at $21.99 is higher than Santa Margarita- $21.79 at the same store. By the way, is it true that Santa Margarita P.G. is line priced with their Cab and Chard in Italy? What's up with that :blink:

Back to the subject of under $10 pleasant wines:

Whites: Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc ( S. Africa), Hugel Gentil ( Alsace ), Chat. Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris ( Washington ), Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling (Ask Randall Graham, not me!) and Les Salices Viognier ( Southern France ).

Reds: Windy Ridge Pinot Noir ( California ), Columbia Crest 2 Vines Shiraz (Washington), Parallel 45 CDR ( Rhone Valley ), Norton Malbec ( Argentina ), Wishing Tree Shiraz (Australia) and Murrietta's Neonato ( Spain ).

None of this wines require polishing the Reidel Crystal to enjoy, nor are they designed to. Drinking any of them, as well as a great number of the other wines mentioned in this thread, is a visceral experience rather than an intellectual exercise. They come from all over the world and can be enjoyed with cuisine from all over the world as well. And they can also be enjoyed during a round of YAHTZEE (sp). They may not be ambassadors of their respective terroirs but so what. Great thread. Please keep posting on it!

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