Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No Contest

Who do you trust for wine advice? the wine consultant at the local store or a magazine like the Wine Spectator? I was at the store picking up some Spanish wines and the local fella said - "hey, ya gotta try this one, it's hot and only $13". They had it stacked up by the case, and people were plopping the bottles in their carts. What the hell, I thought - it's only $13. The wine in question was the Laderas de El Segue, Alicante, 2006. Now, it wasn't such a stretch that this may be a bargain good wine because I've tasted $4 wines in Alicante that were very good. Sadly, this one is a complete miss. It had that fake, oh-oh nose (Koko immediately said "bubble gum"). On the palate it's a lightweight grape juicy sappy effort with no body, just a little heat from the alcohol. CRAP wine. So much for the local consultant.
As I was leaving the store I saw a bottle of the Montecillo, Crianza, Rioja 2003. In the back of my mind I remembered seeing an article in the Wine Spectator titled "250 wine bargains" that listed the Montecillo as a top Spanish bargain at $11, scoring 87 points. Now, I hate the point scale (more on that another day), but I think they correctly nailed this one as an "87" translates into "good" on their scale. Strong cedar nose (smells like sticking your nose into a pile of fresh chainsawed cedar chips) with a medium red, slightly brick colour. The predominent flavours are, er, woody but in a soft, beguiling style. The fruit is definitely in the background. This is still a good wine, especially if you love the traditional Rioja style. It costs about $17 up here, but that's still fair value.
So, in this case, the snooty magazine beats the snotty nosed kid at the wine store....


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