Anthony Dias Blue's "Blue Reviews" are one of the most popular features of THE TASTING PANEL's print edition. Here are some extra reviews of Andy's favorite wines tasted over the past few months. Mid-priced or wallet-friendly, each of these selections deserves its "Best Buy" rating because of its outstanding value-to-price ratio.
88 Pedroncelli Winery 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, East Side Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ($12)
Ripe and bright with juicy citrus and smooth texture; balanced and long.
89 Hahn Estates 2007 Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands ($12)
Smooth and lush with spice, sweet oak and ripe fruit with a tangy acid structure; long, complex and balanced.
SMITH & HOOK
88 Hobnob 2007 Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France ($11)
Smooth and creamy with clove and racy acidity; sweet oak, ripe fruit and interesting flavors.
W. J. DEUTSCH & SONS
94 Robert Young 2007 Chardonnay, Alexander Valley ($40)
Thick and creamy with exquisite vanilla oak and lovely acidity; stunning, rich and showing ripe, mature fruit; a blockbuster - big and dense but elegant and really exquisite.
88 Murphy-Goode Winery 2008 Chardonnay, California ($14)
Fresh and juicy with bright citrus and lively, ripe fruit flavors; smooth, lush and balanced with a long finish.
JACKSON FAMILY ESTATES
91 Morgan Winery 2008 Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands ($26)
Smooth, balanced and and lush with excellent acid structure; another winning Chard from this over-achieving winery; long and stylish.
88 Jekel Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay, Gravelstone Vineyard, Arroyo Seco ($11)
Smo oth and silky with fresh fruit and subtle oak; lively and balanced, clean and quite nice.
88 Oak Knoll Winery 2008 Chardonnay, Winemaker's Select, Unoaked, Oregon ($10)
Clean, fresh and juicy with smooth fruit and lively acidity; balanced, long and quite charming.
89 Testarossa Vineyards 2008 Dahlia Chardonnay, Monterey County ($13)
Smooth and lush with nice juicy fruit and good balance; fresh, long and a real bargain; from Testarossa
91 William Hill Estate 2007 Chardonnay, Bench Blend, Napa Valley ($35)
88 Baron Herzog 2008 Chardonnay, Central Coast ($13)
Smooth and nicely balanced, clean and juicy with good length and some depth. Kosher.
HERZOG WINE CELLARS
Pretty and elegant with creamy texture, smooth fruit with vanilla notes; ripe tropical fruit and crisp citrus; long, lush and showing a firm acid backbone. E. & J. GALLO
89 Milbrandt Vineyards 2008 Traditions Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley ($13)
Juicy and racy with tangy acidity and bright citrus; fresh, lively and long with minerals and purity.
95 Banfi 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Tavernelle, Toscana, Italy ($40)
Smooth, lush and dense with ripe plum,velvety texture and spice; long and lovely.
93 Silverado Vineyards 2007 Merlot, Mt. George Vineyard, Napa Valley ($30)
Lush, juicy and rich with gorgeous depth and ripe blackberry fruit; good acid structure and a mouth-filling presence; long and seamless with an excellent balanced finish.
88 MacMurray Ranch 2008 Pinot Noir, Central Coast ($14)
Smooth and pretty with charming red fruit, velvety texture and lovely balance; easy-going and fresh with lots of style.
88 Domaine des Terres Falmet 2008 Cinsaut, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France ($13)
Smooth and minerally with rich blackberry and spice; mellow, clean and balanced.
89 Tenuta di Ghizzano 2008 il Ghizzano, Toscana, Italy ($15)
Smooth, ripe and wqith lovely plum and berries; fresh, juicy and charming. 85% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot.
88 Tamás Estates 2008 Double Decker Red, Central Coast ($11)
Smooth and mellow with complex red berry fruit and some soft herbs; ripe, lush and fresh with good length and style.
89 Quivira Vineyards 2009 Grenache Rosé, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley ($15)
A delightful biodynamic rosé made in a fresh Provence style; dry, rich and charmingly juicy with length and balance.
88Hendry 2009 Zinfandel Rosé, Napa Valley ($13)
Fresh and juicy with tangy raspberry fruit and good balance; dry, bright and stylish.