Happy weekend, everyone! In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 – unless noted otherwise.
Concannon Central Coast Pinot Noir 2009 Alcohol 13.5% by volume; $6.99 on sale at Vons.
On the Label: “Roots. Rocks. Intrigue. Since 1883, Concannon Vineyard has been handcrafting fine varietal wines from grapes grown along the Central Coast of California, a diverse region that stretches north from Santa Barbara to the San Francisco Bay. We carefully select the most ideal vineyards for growing each varietal and craft this expressive fruit into superb wines.
Our medium-bodied Pinot Noir is bursting with aromas of violet, cherry, earth and spice with an elegant and supple finish. Enjoy our Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir with dishes like herb-crusted lamb chops or plank-grilled salmon.”
My Take: This wine has come into its own. At a reasonable price, it is now as much a go-to wine for me as the Smoking Loon Pinot Noir. The wine is an easy-to-drink, light-to mid-weight taste; not too heavy, and not demanding food. I’m guessing a part of that is the 2009 date; if you can find that vintage, grab it. I haven’t tasted the 2010 yet (I don’t think) but my guess is it’s still a bit young.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ This wine will be perfect for upcoming summer meals, picnics, or just enjoying snacks with friends. At $7 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.
Primal Roots – 2010 Red Blend, California Alcohol 13.5% by volume $6.99 at Costco
On the Label: “Sensual and beautiful wines rooted in the art of winemaking. The true essence of our wine begins with the raw qualities of Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel that are artfully blended to create a smooth, full bodied, sensual wine. Aromas of mocha, vanilla, and spice give way to a silky texture and rich flavors of raspberries and chocolate that are truly uninhibited.”
My Take: Pretty bottle. I know, but that’s what caught my eye in the overwhelming panorama that is the wine section in Costco. The wine? It’s not bad. I think it’s still a little young – I’m finding the 2010s are, which is why I will do my best to not judge those wines too harshly. The price is good, certainly; there’s a punch to this wine that I think just needs some mellowing out. If you do grab a bottle, get two and save one for six months or so. Just to see if it’s better, later. Find them at http://primalrootswines.com .
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ And I’ll be keeping an eye out on this wine. I think I’ll hit up BevMo! and see if they have any 2009s.
Flock by Smoking Loon 2008 Monterey Pinot Noir Alcohol 13.5% by volume $18.99 at Vons
On the Label: “Of all the world’s greatest appellations to grow Pinot Noir, Monterey approaches perfection; it has the right balance of sun and cool marine influence, great weather during harvest, and diverse soils to coax out the delicate flavors that Pinot Noir lovers crave.
Usually he’d work alone, but sometimes the Smoking Loon would bring colleagues – his Flock.” Jake continued, pushing the ashtray across the table. “The Flock, now they were somethin’ else. They’d descend all at once, with this sound, like a thousan’ birds just flew in yer windo’, and carry out their mission in perfect formation, with a class an’ style that you just don’t see now a days.”
My Take: I resisted purchasing this wine. I resisted hard. Almost two, maybe even three years. But I finally weakened and gave in (hey, I’m a working woman, yay!). We happened to have a bit of the regular Smoking Loon Pinot Noir open, so we were able to taste test the two together.
Flock is like the Smoking Loon, only deeper. Richer. More. It’s everything I love about the Loon and oh, so much more. This is definitely my new go-to special Pinot Noir; its under $20 and I know I’ll LOVE the wine. For me, it’s a can’t miss (and if you’re up to it, there’s always Valentine’s Day…) and if you like red wine at all, I do urge you to try this.
My Rating: ~ Stay away. This is MY wine, you slut! ~ Need I say more?
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and will depend on life, the universe, and everything else that has happened that day. Your taste buds will differ
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?
Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever-popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
I love the descriptions. Both your own and those on the labels. : )
I’ve bought varieties of Smoking Loon for my husband, and he didn’t complain. I’ve not seen the other two wines, but for that price, I’m going to look for them. Thanks!
You are so welcome, Catie!
Good gods you are selfish! Puhleeze, this is MY wine, you slut! I am going to go out get that one then. Maybe Sunday, hmm. I haven’t see one friend in a while perhaps Sunday evening at her house.
Maria, you crack me up! Okay, I’ll share – but only if you don’t tell anyone!
Smoking Loon is one of the regulars I pick up, but I haven’t paid attention or simply haven’t seen Flock by Smoking Loon. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. Sounds like something we must try. I simply love it when you give that rating. 😀
lol…let me know if you like the wine! I know they carry Flock at Vons. Not sure about other places.