May 2010 Tasting Panel Newsletter
Blue 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 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 Château Saint Martin 2008 Grande Reserve Cru Classé, Côtes de Provence, France ($15)
Bright and juicy with racy acidity and fresh, lively citrus and peach; long, balanced and charming.
88 Sebeka 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa ($8)
Racy and fresh, with searing acidity and silky texture; bright citrus and a fresh, clean finish.
88 Skalli 2008 Fortant de France Chardonnay, Vin de Pay d'Oc, France ($8)
Smooth and silky with bright, juicy acidity and fresh fruit; clean, bright and balanced.
89 Chateau Ste. Michelle 2009 Viognier, Columbia Valley ($15)
Round and lush with smooth apple and citrus fruit and lovely aromatics; dense, ripe and clean with pure fruit and a long, balanced finish.
STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES
89 Hayman & Hill 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Selection, Napa Valley ($15)
Smooth and fresh with tangy ripe plum and black raspberry; juicy, clean and balanced with some nice style and depth.
88 Jekel Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Arroyo Seco ($15)
Smooth and lush with plummy, ripe fruit and dense flavors with notes of herbs; clean, long and ripe.
88 Milbrandt Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Traditions, Columbia Valley ($15)
Clean and ripe with smooth plum fruit and sweet vanilla oak; long, silky and balanced with style and depth.
90 Napa Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($26)
Fresh and ripe with good density, texture and lovely sweet American oak nuances; clean, balanced and long with lots of charm and ripe plum fruit.
TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES
88 Villa Wolf 2007 Pinot Noir, Pfalz, Germany ($11)
Smooth and crisp with clean, bright cherry fruit and juicy acidity; light and fresh, balanced and long.
LOOSEN BROS. USA
92 Craggy Range Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir, Te Muna Road, Martinborough, New Zealand ($39)
Deep ruby color; lovely tangy black cherry and racy acidity with gorgeous, lifted flavors; lively, Burgundian and pure with exquisite flavors and structure and these vines are only 5 years old.
88 Concannon 2007 Petite Sirah, Conservancy, Livermore Valley ($15)
Bright and clean with juicy blackberry fruit and tangy acidity; balanced and fresh.
THE WINE GROUP
88 Saint Roch 2009 Côtes de Provence, France ($13)
smooth, fresh and juicy with lovely raspberry/strawberry fruit; silky, clean and balanced.
JEFF WELBURN SELECTIONS
88 Cupcake Vineyards NV Brut Rosé, Méthode Traditionnelle, France ($16)
Crisp and dry with raspberry fruit and nice pink color; clean, fresh and lively with a nice finish.
UNDERDOG WINE MERCHANTS
The "twisty" icon denotes wines that are sealed with srcrewcap or other non-cork closure.