We have a decent backlog of reviews for you this week, including a smoking deal on a French sauvignon blanc, a cautionary tale on vintage variation, and reminder of why we should all be drinking more Italian wines. Cheers!
2014 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet $10
A far cry from the 2012 reviewed back in June. Noticeably less refined with a strong bite on the finish. I cannot recommend this one at all. Note: if you see the 2012, grab it!
2012 Montevina Barbera Amador County $11
A rich, inviting nose beckons. Soft, supple Texter serves as the platform for Rich, balanced fruit with a notable dusty element on the midpalate. Soft, round, and accessible, this is an easy one to reach for, particularly at the price.
2013 Caves des Perrieres Pouilly Fume $10
A nearly electric nose gives way to an equally energetic attack of grassy, Granny Smith fruit. As honest and straightforward as this wine is, it also has real grip, acidic framing, minerality in torpedoes, and palpable tension. Quite a lot for $10! I only wish I had discovered this at the beginning of the summer. Purchased at Trader Joe's.
2010 Filomusi Guelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo $14
It used to be that Montepulciano was almost exclusively bottled in 1.5L bottles, stocked on the bottom shelves at grocery stores, and rarely exceeded $7 (for the big bottles). Today, there are many examples of terrific wines being made from this grape and this is yet another. Easy-going, round, and soft on the tannins, this is a versatile wine for any night of the week. As a sobriety test: try saying this wine's name three times.
2012 Schild Estate Grenache Mourvedre Syrah Barossa Valley $15
A carbon copy of the 2011 vintage - rambunctious, volatile, attention-commanding, and magnetic. Lighter bodied, but positively enormous flavor, the juxtaposition adds to its allure. Can't get enough of this wine.
2013 Ramsay Estate Pinot Noir North Coast $17
A smooth and nuanced pinot. Such a welcome surprise.
2010 Confidencial Tinto Reserva Lisboa (Portugal) $12
Very friendly fruit with enough structure to keep it interesting and enough acidity to make it a terrific accompaniment to hearty fare. Thankfully missing the blockish, teeth-hurting tannins that many inexpensive Portuguese wines have. The only tacky part of it is the sticker on it reading "92 points".