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2015 Bodegas del Marqués de Vargas Rioja Crianza, Spain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has cranberries and tobacco.  On the palate, this is interesting.  More red currants than cranberries (or cherries).  Tart fruit.  slight tannins.  OK finish.  Drinking well now, it won't get better and is better consumed in the next few years.  Food friendly.  

2016 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux-de-Provence, France, Languedoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This one comes in a unique shaped bottle.  It is drinking quite well today and should easily last for five more years.  Ruby/purple, clear and bright.  The nose is tight at first.  With air, some black raspberries and raspberries come out.  Also some floral qualities and some spice.  On the palate, this has nice black raspberry fruit.  Slight leather.  Medium tannins.  A bit dusty underneath.  Good finish.  Very food friendly.  At around $15, this is a very nice value.  

2015 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Fiddletown, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

Looking for a good, not too expensive Zinfandel for parties, pizza night and just good sipping?  Here ya go!  This one retails for $20 and fits the bill.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, sour cherries, a bit of sticks and stones and slight dust.  On the palate, this is easy to drink.  It is ripe but not over the top.  Nice texture presumably from the high alcohol (15%).  Good finish.  This makes a nice cocktail wine but will go with big casual food.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser.  

2016 Quinta do Crasto Douro Crasto, Portugal, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.99USD

This house makes some great wines that are quite expensive.  This is there base value wine that retails for around $15.  It is a very nice wine for the money as well.  Purple/ruby in color though a bit flat.  The nose has cranberries and boysenberries.  On the palate, the fruit shifts more toward black cherries.  Slight tannins.  Good finish.  Drink over the next five years.  Will work with medium and heavier foods.  

2014 Château Les Grands Chênes, France, Bordeaux, Medoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

A nice showing for this 2014.  Given that, it is probably worth checking out the 2015 or 2016.  This retails for around $25.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has plums along with some dusty tobacco.  Also a very interesting saline feature.  On the palate, this is very tannic.  Black cherry fruit with a bit of earthiness.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Everything you could want in a value Bordeaux.  

2014 Bodega Numanthia Toro Termes, Spain, Toro, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$19.96USD

A perennial great value and this one was no exception.  Garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is a bit sweaty with nice cherry fruit.  Also a slight minty note.  On the palate, this has deep cherry fruit.  A sort of root beer quality creeps in which is interesting.  Medium tannins.  Nice finish.  Still youthful, this should have five to ten more years and will develop tertiary notes.  Will work with bigger foods right now.  

2016 Ermitage du Pic St. Loup Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St. Loup Tour de Pierres, France, Languedoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
83
Grade: 
B-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

A disappointing showing for this wine.  Ruby in color, flat.  The nose has some cedar and a bit of red currants.  On the palate, there is some fruit but it is disjointed and seems cloying.  At the same time the acidity is out of balance and harsh.  Very tart on the finish.  The flat appearance for such a young wine makes me wonder if this was indeed a proper bottle or it was mishandled somewhere along the distribution chain.  It retails for around $20 and should be better.  

2016 Mas de Boislauzon Côtes du Rhône Villages, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

Always a great value, the price has snuck up a bit and this was a bit disappointing considering all of the hype over the vintage.  That said, it was still a very good wine for a reasonable price.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a cherry candy quality to it.  Also a sour cherry note.  On the palate, this is very sweet/tart.  Sweet cherries almost cloying but not quite playing off a tart sour cherry note.  Medium tannins.  Ok finish.   And interesting wine that may settle down some and improve.  It will work well with stews and meat dishes.  

2015 Bogle Vineyards Phantom, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Who says there are no value wines from California?  This one was the winner of a blind value wine tasting we held.  It retails for around $20 which is a very good value.  The label says Proprietary Red, but most likely a Zinfandel blend.  Ruby/purple with some blue tones in color.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, some black olives (Syrah?) and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this is medium ripe with a nice texture.  Light tannins.  Drinking great right now.  very tasty.  It will match with grilled foods and spicy Indian food.  

2012 Kirkland Signature Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva, Spain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

Kirkland is the Costco store brand name.  For many, they are dismissive over the wine, but my experiences with Kirkland wines has been positive.  Not amazing wines, but very good wines for very reasonable pricing.  This one is a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero.  It was my WOTN in a tasting of value wines.  Ruby in color though a bit flat.  The nose has dusty red cherries with a bit of baking spice.  On the palate, this has a soft texture, but the tannins are firm and build with air.  Really nice cherry fruit.  It is a bit warm on the finish.  Very food friendly for most foods.  And all fo

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