Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday's Best and Worst Wine of the Week

It is here is this week's wine of the week!

I wanted to write about the PIG flu but I'll see if it is still on my mind next week but since it is Friday I wanted to get back to my regular schedule of the week's best and worst wine.

First, a little insight into wine buying. While it isn't rocket science that due to the economy high end wines aren't selling as well these days. Timing is everything though and I've been saying for awhile that the proverbial shit will hit the fan this fall when new releases come out and new grapes come in. Why? well lots of reasons but wineries will be faced with a back up of last year's vintages still in the warehouse with new vintages ready to release and new fruit showing up. So, while most have resisted price cuts to try to maintain their image now they will no longer have a choice. like those wines over $30 this Fall will be a great time to buy. Be patient and snoop around your local wine shop for deep price cuts in the coming months.

Here is the big thing though. Current grapes coming in are in huge oversupply. Some growers aren't even going to pick them. Pinot Noir that brought $3,000 per ton last year is bringing $1700 this year. What does that mean to us that I don't hear anybody discussing?

Cheaper wines across the board will be much better quality this time next year. Wineries don't throw out the best juice they throw out the worst. They sell it off as concentrate for grape juice or other non wine uses. But for the wine they do make and sell they follow a practice called declassification or as the French call it....replis. So, everything from the jug to the $6.99 bottle of Barefoot Merlot will get better because they push the quality down. It is also the initial reason Two Buck Chuck ever worked.....oversupply. So don't be surprised if that less expensive bottle you normally drink starts to taste a little better to you in the next actually will better.

Cheers. Now onto the best and worst.

The Best (wine I enjoyed) this week: Crios Malbec Rose 2008, Argentina

Why I picked it: I know what you are thinking. Rose? Yes. I love Rose. Rose Rocks. Some people say Rose is the white wine for red wine drinkers....I wouldn't go that far but in the summer on a hot day Rose is awesome but don't forget about it once it gets cold. I love Rose for Thanksgiving. So with that in mind, I revisited some recently as we started thinking about the Thanksgiving menu.

It is dry with bright strawberry flavors with nice crisp acidity. Drink it a little chilled. I think it would be a great BBQ wine as well for white meats like Pork, Turkey, Chicken on a bun.

Where I drank it: home but bought at Lukas

How much?.....Under $15 as I recall.

Final tip: When buying Rose age matters in that I always like to buy the younger vintage. When looking at the section I give strong bias to newer over producer. Rose is best when fresh.

The Keith Olbermann (worst wine I drank this week): Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2007.

Why I picked it: We all know about Sideways.......someone said cleverly, "it isn't a movie it is a manifesto". Castle Rock has cashed in big time. The problem is this really isn't very good Pinot anymore. It lacks what makes Pinot so awesome. Charm. Delicate but interesting flavors. This one has simple strawberry and raspberry flavors and finishes pretty short but strangely it is a little bitter. They are blending Syrah into this for sure, probably the max allowed by law, and as for the appellation well......doesn't it seem to change with every bottling? That always makes me suspicious they are buying finished wine on the spot market and blending to order. Not classy Castle Rock. I'm not impressed and I can't recommend this swill not even for the price. It is hard to find Pinot in this point that is good and this wine confirms the notion. Pinot is another really solid choice for Thanksgiving but we'll keep looking.

Where: Home.....bought it at Lukas.

How much: $10.

Final tip: Buying Pinot right now is unlike other wines. It truly is hard to find good, inexpensive examples. Like I said above in the intro prices will start to fall but you probably still won't see much at or below $10 that is worthy. For this variety, $15 is the jumping off point and $20 is realistic to really experience what it is all about.

Cheers and Vaya Con Dios!

1 comment:

Josh Peck said...

+1 for the crios malbec. We had a barbecue a few weeks ago and enjoyed it.

Not normally a fan of rose, but the malbec kick was nice.