Recycle Bin, Week of Mar. 31

Just like the weather's been this past week - we've got some laughter and some tears in the line-up as we wrap up the first quarter.  Come one, spring, you can do it!

2011 Columbia Crest Chardonnay Columbia Valley $10
Hoping to strike gold twice in the $10-ish Columbia Valley Chards was too much to ask, I guess.  Where the Chateau St. Michelle rocks, this one rolls - downhill.  Cheap-tasting.  One dimensional and rife with thinly-veiled, big, distorted features that speak of over-manipluation and mass production.  Cloying residual sugar lingers like an uninvited house guest overstaying their welcome.

2011 Elizabeth Chambers Cellar Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton (Oregon) $32
Exotic spice spills from the glass piquing curiosity.  Actually looks like Pinot in the light.  Lighter-bodied than 99% of what's on shelves these days, but not the least bit shy on layered, acid-laced flavors that come at you fast.  Dried orange peel and fresh tarragon featured prominently on the mid palate.  Comforting?  No.  Exhilarating and thought-provoking?  Indeed.

2011 Browne Family Vineyards Columbia Valley "Tribute" $35
Luxurious, bombastic, vanilla-infused dark aromas overflow on uncorking. Despite the corpulence of the nose, the palate somehow manages finesse, unfolding gradually into a fine example of what Washington can do with Bordeaux blends.  Lacking in brute force and better for it. A superior product worth the money.  

2012 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $11
Need to jump start your summer-loving spirit? This is your wine.  Fresh, succulent flavors of ripe Grannysmith, sunshine, and new grass delivered in lip-smacking clarity. Terrific and a terrific value. Porch time here we come!