Recycle Bin, Week of Oct. 21

It's been a busy month of tasting through a lot of samples, some good, some excellent, and a few duds.  Also a mixed bag of items here, including some in alternative packaging and an Israeli red.  Of particular note are the Greek red and the Italian white blend. I've purchased these two wines multiple times and will do so again in the near future - that's how delicious and satisfying they are.


2018 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Dolomiti Terra Alpina $13
Super light platinum blonde in the glass, but anyone thinking that will translate to a shy or insipid wine is in for a surprise. Steely minerals greet the nose and give way to crackling acidity that pirouettes around the palate. Textbook pinot grigio fruit, but its alpine provenance is evident in the chiseled structure. No flab on this food-friendly, fairly priced white.

2018 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco Dolomiti Terra Alpina $20
Almost as pale as the pinot grigio, but that’s where the similarities diverge. This nose points to something deeper and more complex. A creamy undertone on the tongue and a mellower vibe suggest more drinking, less talking. Enough space for the minerals to share center stage with the mountain fruit. Very easy going and just as alpine as the PG.

NV iCan (Mercer Estates) Chardonnay Washington $?
This tastes suspiciously similar to Mercer‘s normal Chardonnay bottling in glass. The incongruity of plump vanilla, toasty oak, and cream coming out of a metal can is a little peculiar at first. But it’s what’s inside that matters. Easy drinking and not cloying, this is an uncomplicated crowd pleaser.

NV iCan (Mercer Estates) Rose Washington $?
Simple yet flirtatious, this has a bit of acidity that makes it refreshing. Less fruity than expected, and again, incongruous coming out of a skinny, tall can.

2017 Skouras 'Zoe' Red Peloponnese Greece $13
I just can't get enough of this brilliant wine.  Made mostly from the agiorgitiko grape, it's lighter in density and a couple of shades lighter than a pinot noir.  But it offers lively, electric flavors and irresistible acidity.  Easily a top 10 value discovery for the year and another reason to be on the look out for more Greek wines.

2018 Carmel Private Collection Winemakers Blend Israel $15
Bright nose bursting with lively black fruit aromatics, a theme that (almost) continues in the mouth. Very structured, with broad oak notes framing a lighter weight consonant midsection than you’d expect from a wine of such dark flavors. But that juxtaposition allows for subtleties to echo and a refreshing aspect to linger. Will likely improve and open with a year or two in the cellar.

2016 Buglioni Bianco 'Il Desperato' Veneto $18
This was a discovery made on a recent trip to Verona, whose home town white is Soave. But the locals drink whatever is good, like this garganega-dominated blend.  Amazing lucidity and luminescence that triggers instant infatuation, I'll gladly look past the pricey-ish domestic price tag again and again as I fall deeper and deeper for this aptly named wine.