Time for a roundup of wines recently imbibed, both winners and losers. Got lucky as there were twice as many winners as losers. Actually, coming to think of it, if you're careful, it's much easier to pick a good wine than a bad one, even if you're not spending a lot of money.
Right, lets get to it. The best of the bunch was the Bogle, Petit Sirah, 2006. This wine punches way above it's mediocre heritage (not the grape heritage but the wineries!). A "wow" wine and a cannot miss at $20. Almost as good is the Marquis Phillips, Southeast Australia Shiraz, 2007. Dense, full flavoured, very new world style shiraz. Very good and also well worth the $22 entry point. Don't laugh, I've talked about this next wine before - the Yellow Tail, The Reserve, Shiraz, 2007. Make sure you buy the Reserve - it's head and shoulders above their usual crap. Tasty, full bodied and over oaked and I love it. Very good and a bargain at $18. Don't believe me? blind taste it with your favourite aussie shirazes (how do you pluralise shiraz...?) Good wines are the Santa Rita, Medalla Real, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 and the Cousino Macul, Antiguas Reservas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006. Both cost around $20 and are well made, tasty, serviceable wines that I would gladly quaff. The shocker of the group is the much cheaper Santa Rita, 120, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007. This has a nice mix of black pepper and blackcurrant. Straightforward wine, a very drinkable mid week wine. $10 or less.
And the losers are....first place is the Castillo de Almansa, Reserve, 2005 from Spain. Usually an OK cheap "pick me up anytime" choice, this version is simply not good enough for it's price. $15 gets you a light, peppery, chuggable "OK" wine. Overpriced.
Second place is the Yalumba, South Australia, Y Series, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006. Crap wine, at least this bottle was. Way overpriced at around $18. 'Nuff said.
And, last place is the "G" by Dehesa Gago, Toro, 2006 It LOOKS good - nice package, nice marketing, from a "hot" region (Toro in Spain), but this is not very good wine. Bubblegum nose. Light palate - I thought it might appeal to people who actually like beaujolais nouveau. It was better the next day, but it still gets a crap rating. What a waste of $20.
ps...prices are BC prices.