Monday, June 30, 2014

Modest Monday - Wines Under $10: La Granja 360 Verdejo Viura
La Granja 360 Verdejo Viura 2013
Castilla y León, Spain

I'm always excited to find a good value wine, and this little wine definitely fits the bill. Hailing from the northern Spanish region of Castilla y León -- by way of your neighborhood Trader Joe's -- this youthful summertime white is a gem. I may have been drawn to the wine because of its packaging (hooray for Peacocks!!), but the contents of the bottle is what's holding my interest. It's a blend of Verdejo and Viura (also known as Macabeo, the most widely planted white grape in Spain). Yum!

Review: This wine is light and bright -- lots of lemons and grapefruit on the nose, along with a bit of white flowers. The palate is dry and round with mouthwatering acidity. The citrus flavors come through, paired with ripe white peaches and a pleasing herbaceous note. This wine has a surprising length and balance.

Food Pairing: Anything light and easy. It was beautiful with a turkey sandwich...

Bottom Line: Mr Joe, you have done well by carrying this wine. Coming in at under $8, this is definitely a win.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2013
  • PLACE: Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla y León​​​ (Vinos de la Tierra ~ Vin de Pay)
  • GRAPES: 70% Verdejo, 30% Viura (aka: Macabeo)
  • BOOZE: 12%
  • CELLAR: Drink now

Where did I get it?  Trader Joe's
What's the damage?   Low Price

Monday, June 16, 2014

Modest Monday - Wines Under $10: Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin

Oh my, oh my. It's been nearly TWO MONTHS since my last blog post. It turns out I cannot work a full time job, part time job, go to wine school and maintain my blog. The good news: wine school is on hiatus until the fall so I'll be back to blogging. Let's kick it off right with a nice cheap red:

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin 2011
Lodi, California

This is one I've seen in the grocery store for years, but hadn't tried. It's not the greatest in all the land, but nice and easy for $9.99.

Review: A pretty dark ruby color with aromas of ripe black plums and cherries, licorice, and sweet spice. The palate is a tiny touch off dry, showing more dark fruit and a hint of cocoa and black pepper. It's lighter bodied and has a shorter finish than I would expect from most Old Vine Zinfandel, but clearly the goal is an easy drinking fruit forward style of wine. While the wine lacks tannic structure, it does have a lifting acidity that gives the wine a boost of freshness.

Food Pairing: I can easily see this wine paired with most light fare. I would even give it a light chill in the summertime and bring it out for grilling. 

Bottom Line: Nice flavor, decent structure. A good value for $10.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2011
  • PLACE: Lodi AVA (American Viticultural Area)
  • GRAPE: Zinfandel
  • BOOZE: 14.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink now

Where did I get it? Giant
What's the damage? Low Price