You'd think if you spent over $30 a bottle, you should get some decent wine. Just think, for that thirty bucks you could get a very nice slab of steak or tuna at a reasonable restaurant, a good hardcover book, crikey, you can even buy a DVD player these days for that kind of money. So if you plonk your money down and the wine is just "okay", you feel a little robbed because you know you could have gotten a similar quality wine for sometimes less than half the price.
Which leads me to these wines. Three of us were guilty, all relying on other's advice. Don't get me wrong, none of these wines were crap, but they ranged from only okay to good, and at these prices, that is just not good enough. The best of the bunch was the Fontodi, Villa del Sorbo, Chianti Classico Reserva 2000. I almost gave this a "wow" rating as it opened up during the tasting session. This is classic chianti, full bodied with a nice tannic backbone and a half decent finish. I thought it was quite enjoyable but for the price....eeek!! It retails for over $60!!. So, will I be buying more? No sir.
The next best wine has been described as a "future classic", and perhaps the best carmenere made in Chile. The Concha y Toro, Terrunyo, Peumo, Block 27 Carmere 2004 is a rich wine, full of ripe raspberries but is in no way a "wow" wine. It may not even be the best carmenere I have had the pleasure to taste, I can recall other equal wines that cost half the price. The only attenuating factor may be that this wine will be great in 10 years ... but I doubt it. Would I buy another to lay down and try in 10 years? Nope, not at $30 a pop.
Then there is a bit of a California oddity - the Viader, DARE, Cabernet Franc, NAPA Valley, 2003. I have never had a pure cab franc from California; on the basis of this one, I doubt if I will be running out to try more. It is a very average wine, Ontario makes better. A waste of money at $50 a bottle.
Lastly, and in this case I mean solidly in last place, the Jean Pierre Mouiex, Pomerol, 2000.
This is disappointing because this late gentleman's firm makes some of the finest wine in Bordeaux including at Chateau Petrus in Pomerol. So why are they selling such insipid ordinary bordeaux for $33 a bottle? especially since the 2000 vintage was a good one. I give it an "okay" only because it improved with food but it is still a terrible value.