January-February 2010 Newsletter

Blue's Best Buys

By: Anthony Dias Blue
   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 and spirits tasted over the past month. Mid-priced or wallet-friendly, each of these selections deserves its "Best Buy" rating because of its outstanding value-to-price ratio.

Round Hill 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($8)
Bright and tangy with racy, juicy acidity and lively plum; fresh, balanced and long with hints of vanilla oak.

 88 Oak Grove 2008 Merlot, Reserve, California ($8)
Smooth, lush and tangy with plum, black raspberry and spice; juicy, balanced and pleasant; not brilliant but a great value.


Firestone Vineyard 2007 Merlot, California ($10)
Crisp and juicy with clean flavors of plum, raspberry and racy acidity; supple, smooth and an excellent accompaniment to food.

 88 MAN Vintners 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coastal ($11)
Fresh and juicy with lively plum and tangy acidity; long, balanced and snappy with lovely long finish.

 89 Terrapura 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, Chile ($11)
Fresh and juicy with lively fruit and racy acidity; smooth, peachy and long with delicious fruit and  a clean, balanced finish.

 88 Brancott Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir, South Island, New Zealand ($12)
Clean and smooth with earth, flesh and racy acidity; juicy, long and balanced with lively structure and silky texture.

 89 Don Miguel Gascón 2008 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($14)
Smooth and lush with ripe plum and berry fruit; mellow, stylish and clean with density and lovely balance; long and charming.
 89 Caposaldo NV Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Italy ($15)
Aromatic and fresh with peachy, ripe, juicy flavors; crisp, clean and totally charming with balance, racy acidity and great style.

 88 San Felice 2006 Chianti Classico Chianti, Italy ($15)
Fresh and meaty with violets, spice and plum fruit; smooth, balanced and juicy with good length and medium-weight style.

 89 Joseph Carr 2006 "Josh" Cabernet Sauvignon, Amber Knolls Vineyard, Red Hills, Lake County ($15)
Silky and juicy with tangy plum, smooth spice and racy acidity; fresh, lively and bright.

 89 Kendall-Jackson 2008 Chardonnay, Vintner's Reserve, California ($15)
Smooth and bright with tangy fruit and lush texture; lively, clean, balanced and long with juicy flavors and solid style.

 89 Talley Vineyards 2006 Bishop's Peak Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($18)
Smooth, bright and plummy with lush fruit and mellow acidity; balanced, plump and balanced with lovely texture and length.

 90 Frei Brothers 2007 Merlot, Dry Creek Valley ($20)
Smooth, lush and ripe with sweet oak, bright plum and raspberry fruit; supple, rich and deep with gorgeous texture and a long, balanced finish.

 89 Chateau Ste. Michelle 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cold Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley ($28)
Smooth and dark with black plum and blueberry fruit; sleek, lush and balanced with good structure and a long, rich finish.

 90 Folie à Deux 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa ($28)
Silky and bright with tangy plum and berry fruit; long, fresh and totally charming with brisk acidity and lovely balance.

 91 Grey Stack 2008 Chardonnay, Wagner Family Vineyard, Sonoma ($28)
Bright and juicy with lovely crisp fruit and balance; clean and racy with nerve and style.

 91 Wilson Winery 2007 Zinfandel, Molly's Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ($32)
Smooth and juicy with ripe blackberry, raspberry and rich texture; long, mellow and balanced with lovely, mouth filling flavors.

 90 Quivira Vineyards 2007 Zinfandel, Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley ($34)
Juicy, dense and firm with clean, rich black fruit and fine structure; lush texture, balance and a long, spicy finish; a biodynamic wine.

 90     Wallis Family Estate 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Little Sister, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain ($40)
Smooth and velvety with ripe plum and toasted oak; firm texture with good acidity and balance, long and good aging potential.

 91 Marimar Estate 2006 Doble Lias Chardonnay, Unfiltered, Don Miguel Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($45)
Nervy and bright with pure, fresh acidity and lively flavors; tangy, silky and persistent with delicious fruit and a long, bracing finish.

 92 Sbragia Family Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Rosso Vineyard, Napa ($50)
Smooth, rich and showing with lovely plum, cherry and spice; deep and complex with supple texture and great length.

 91 MacPhail Family 2007 Pinot Noir, Ferrington Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($60)
Fresh, juicy and dense with nerve, spice and lovely red cherry fruit; long, balanced and charming with a lovely finish.

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