Monday, April 29, 2013
Five Wines Under $15 - April 2013
It tough times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines with a baker’s Five Wines Under $15.
The release of the 2012 rosés is a sure sign that spring is officially upon us. The first comes from Julia’s Dazzle. A side project from Long Shadows founder Allen Shoup and winemaker Gilles Nicault, it’s mostly Pinot Gris with a splash of Sangiovese added. Contact with Pinot Gris’ dark skins gives the wine its appealing color. The wine is made in a rich, full style. Look for a full review in an upcoming issue of Wine Enthusiast.
The next rosé comes from Renegade Wine Co, a project from Trey Busch at Sleight of Hand Cellars that pairs quality juice with rock bottom prices. The 2010 Renegade Rosé is a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault. It’s bone dry with a tart blast of acid. A perfect summer sipper at a price that can’t be beat.
Meanwhile, the Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Pinot Gris strikes an exquisite balance of cooler climate sites (30% is from Evergreen Vineyard) and warmer locations. It has complexity of fruit flavors and Evergreen’s hallmark acidity and minerality. This was my selection for my monthly Virtual Tasting in March. At the end of these tastings (which take place on Twitter) I ask the attendees whether they would buy the wine again or not. This became just the fourth unanimous “Buy” wine in all the years I’ve been conducting these tastings and is a gorgeous summer wine.
The final wines come from Giant Wine Co., a joint venture between winemakers Chris Gorman (Gorman Winery) and Mark McNeilly (Mark Ryan Winery). These are all appealing, accessible wines at prices that make them hard to resist. The Ghost in the Machine Riesling – on the sweeter side of off-dry but with well balanced acidity – comes in at a shocking $7. The two reds, both mostly Syrah with just a splash of Cabernet, at only $13. These latter two wines will no doubt provide further evidence that if you put Syrah on the label, some consumers shy away. Put Red Wine and consumers will flock to it. At these prices? Who cares? Drink up.
Read previous Five Wines Under $15 here.
Julia’s Dazzle Pinot Gris Rose Horse Heaven Hills 2012 $15
NR (Not Reviewed) Pale salmon. This is a lightly aromatic wine with melon and strawberry. It’s full bodied with a textured, viscous feel and rich flavors and citrus twist on the finish. Note: Review will subsequently appear in Wine Enthusiast.
Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Pinot Gris Columbia Valley 2012 $13
(Excellent) A moderately aromatic wine with pear, melon, citrus, and spice. The palate is medium bodied with tart, crisp green apple and white grapefruit flavors and a mineral filled finish. A delightful bottle of wine that screams for summer. 100% Pinot Gris. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. 12.5% alcohol. 9,000 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.
Renegade Wine Co Rosé Columbia Valley 2012 $10
(Good) Pale salmon colored. Subtle aromas of watermelon, strawberry, and citrus. The palate is dry and tart with a blast of acid that carries it through on the finish. 76% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, 4% Cinsault. 12.5% alcohol. Recommended
Giant Wine Co The Ghost in the Machine Riesling Columbia Valley 2011 $7
(Good) An aromatically appealing wine with grapefruit rind, white peach, and mineral notes. Its off-dry leaning towards sweet with tart fruit flavors and a cleansing, acidic finish. 100% Riesling. Roza Hills, Olsen Brothers, Milbrandt, and Evergreen vineyards. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. 11.5% alcohol. Sample provided by winery. Recommended
Giant Wine Co The Ghost in the Machine Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010 $13
(Good) A moderately aromatic wine with smoke, bacon, tire rubber, plum, and a lemon twist. The palate has medium bodied, sweet fruit flavors and soft tannins. An enjoyable easy drinker. 95% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 12 months in French and American oak. 14.4% alcohol. 3,700 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.
Giant Wine Co The Ghost of 413 Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010 $13
(Good) A roasty, toasty wine with notes of dark cherry, bacon, game, and smoke. The palate has plush fruit flavors and soft tannins. Drink up! 14.2% alcohol. 98% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 12 months in French and American oak. 3,700 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.