I am sick and tired of some of the garbage that is being packaged as mid priced wine. Yeah, the $15-20 range, that "sweet spot" - cheap enough you can drink it mid week, but may still be a very good (sometimes even great) wine. By garbage I mean don't mean a bad, undrinkable bottle, but rather one that really is way overpriced - one that should be in the "bargain" range of $5-10. The latest culprit is the Boekentroutskloof, The Wolftrap, Syrah-Mourvedre-Viognier, 2010 from South Africa. No nose. Light to medium bodied. A terrible sipper with really nothing going for it - was like grape flavoured hard candy. It was more drinkable with a nice beef stew, but really didn't add anything to the meal and certainly did not really stand up to the stew. Don't drink this one without food. $15. Rating: Crap wine by itself, OK if drunk with appropriate food. But please, save yourself some money and buy this if you want a cheap drinker:
The Santa Isabella, Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle Centrale, Chile comes in 3 litre box for about $30. So it knows where it stands, and does admirably for the price. 12.5% alcohol. Has a "real" wine nose - that is, smells of fruits, not bubble gum or candy. Slightly sweet, mellow, soft - tastes more like a merlot than a cab. Red berries but with a little white pepper on the back end that keeps it interesting. Gulpable. OK wine, bang on for the money.