Recycle Bin, Week of Feb. 10

This week's wine has been more about reaffirmation of opinion rather than discovery.  That said, there are a couple of fresh faces in with those making repeat appearances here.  We'll start with the new, but read to the end - for the best is last.

2009 E Guigal Crozes Hermitage $27
You've got to give credit where credit is due.  Lettie Teague at the Wall Street Journal wrote an accessible and easy-reading piece on the northern Rhone sub-region of Crozes Hermitage for the Weekend Journal.  So good, in fact, that I ran out and bought one of her recommended wines; the E Guigal.  Loving cool-climate Syrahs, this was an easy one to find appeal in, though it's a bit coy in expressing its better qualities and the tarry, black heart (which I love) isn't for everyone.

2010 Paraduxx Napa Valley "C Blend" $45
A perennial risk-free option on restaurant wine lists.  Everyone seems to like this wine - and why not?  It's open, friendly, lush, and hearty.  But as easy as it is to drain a bottle of this, at this price I expect to be bowled over - and on that measure it falls short.

2009 Domaine Camp Galhan "Les Perassieres" Languadoc $15
The 08 vintage of this wine was featured in the Essential Drinking For Winter Months piece back in December.  Drinking like a southern Rhone red, this value-packed gem has a real soul to it.  Nothing complicated, but a full spectrum of flavors and dimension make this a lovely one to warm up to with a winter's night meal.  The 2009 is on par with the 09.  Glad I stocked up.

NV Toffoli Conegliano Valdobbiano Presseco Superiore "Gold" $16
Making its second appearance in as many months, this bubbly (available in a convenient split for $10) serves as a terrific reminder that sparkling wines ought not to be relegated to special occasions and Hallmark holidays.  Inexpensive and fun, it's a great aperitif and a fun way to start an evening.

NV Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red $6
This was recommended a couple of weeks ago.  That it's here again suggests that I'm taking my own advice.  
2010 Chateau de Marsan Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux $15
This Bordeaux was featured in a recent piece on aging wine.  It will require great patience to age this wine, though, as evidenced by the fact that another bottle was popped just a few weeks after writing that article.  Here's what's new about this wine, though: on day two (without having been preserved with Vineyard Fresh - which is how I cork almost every bottle overnight) it was stunning and irresistible.  This wine extends a very positive trend for less expensive 2010 Bordeaux. Smart consumers will do as I have and stock up.