Sunday, December 16, 2007

Underachieving Siblings

Don't you hate it when yo know something is good but you can't get it, then find what should be a good substitute's disappointing?
These wines are such beasts. The Wine Spectator called the Borsao,Tres Picos, Garnacha 2005 a "great value" at $12 a bottle retail, anointing it with the proverbial "90" points. Well, I couldn't get the 'o5 but found the 2006, at double US retail price (see the little green $21.90 tag at the bottom). So, do I go for it, I think? We have a wine monopoly, so it's this vintage at this price, or nothing. How much difference can one year make? Oops, in this case, quite a bit, because this is not a memorable wine ("90" points should translate into a wine that screams "wow" to your palate...) The 2006 version is a medium scarlet, you can easily see through the glass. French toast brunch nose. Tastes of strawberries, slightly sweet, medium bodied with a spicy finish. An interesting wine, maybe even a good wine, but nothing special and NOT worth $21.90. This should cost about 10 bucks, so save your dough for something better.
Lets try again. The Castello Monsanto, Chianti Classico Riserva, 2004 received even better accolades in the same magazine - it scored "91" and was named a "smart buy" at $22. I couldn't get it up here, but found their Chianti Classico, 2004 regular bottling for the same $22 (canadian). Lets try this ersatz version of the riserva, I thought - how much different could it be? Big mistake. This stuff is worse than several $7 plain Jane sangiovese's that crowd the general aisles of the liquor store. Earthy, dried cherries on the nose, but it's all about tartness on the palate. Just not very enjoyable. I even tried it with pizza (the newspaper wine writers seem to have a thing about "pizza wine" - as if we look for a wine to match with pizza???), but it didn't raise the Monsanto's enjoyability rating. A failure at a $10 price point, this is an absurd buy for $22. Yuk.
So, watch out for the impostor siblings!!


At 8:53 a.m. , Blogger Mark V Marino said...

This is more a reflection of the slip in the dollar than the values of these wines. The Canadian Dollars is now on a par with the US where it used to be 1.00 US to 1.50 Canadian!
A sad comment on our economic state of affairs!


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