Friday, February 19, 2016

7 Deadly Zins 2012 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

7 Deadly Zins is the best selling Zinfandel costing more than $10.  I have had the wine a few times in the past and was not impressed.  However, some of the popular wine magazines have rated the wine between 89 and 91 points in the past 2 years, so I decided to give it another try.  I bought it at Costco where both 2012 and 2013 versions were in the stack.  I selected the 2012.

Some of the reviews have mentioned a rich smoky flavor with hints of chocolate and plum with dusty tannins.  The wine is definitely a darker, thicker wine without lighter fruit tones.  The flavor may have some smoke and leather but it was less than expected.  I agree on the dusty tannins.  All in all, I did not find this wine to be very complex nor enjoyable enough to warrant the accolades. 

Costco sells this wine for $11.49 and Total Wines sells it for $11.47.

SC Wine Joe rating = 87 points

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Las Vertientes 2013 Benchmark Reserva Red Blend

The local Costco has Las Vertientes 2013 Benchmark Reserva Red Blend reduced in price from $23.99 to $16.99.  From my research,  I learned that the original price of $23.99 is actually much less than the online prices that go up to $35.  Costco's signage reported that Wine Enthusiast rated the wine at 91 points, so I purchased one bottle.

The wine is from Mendoza Argentina and the name Las Vertientes refers to the slopes in the Andes that carry the snowmelt to the Estate Agrelo Vineyards  in the Mendoza desert.  This red blend is 70% Malbec aged in 50% new oak. 

This is a complex wine that begins with blackberries but expands in the mouth to add licorice, smoke and spice.  Dry dusty tannins lead to a lingering finish.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol.

This is a quality wine at a great price.  I was in the Costco wine department today and only a few bottles were left.  Apparently, others recognized the value in this wine.

SC Wine Joe rating = 91 points

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Trader Joe's Reserve Syrah Paso Robles 2013 Lot #100

In August 2014, I wrote about the 2012 version of this wine.  I was very impressed with the wine, citing the complex blueberry and blackberry flavors with a hint of licorice, finishing with a reasonable amount of oak. 

I still like this wine and the description is still the same.  This wine is 76% Syrah, 12% Petit Verdot and 12% Malbec.  The alcohol content has increased from 14.1% to 14.6% and this remains a very good value at $9.99.  However, I think the rating of 91 points I gave to the 2012 version is a little too generous for the 2013 version.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Owl's Lair Mendocino County Red Wine 2011

Trader Joe's February Fearless Flyer features Owl's Lair Mendocino County Red Wine 2011 for $8.99.  The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah crafted from grapes grown in organic vineyards.  It is described as "dark hued and richly flavored, with round, robust berry notes".    I agree with that description but I also found it to be sweet and that diminished my enjoyment of the wine.   If you enjoy a sweeter wine such as Apothic Red, you will really like this, but otherwise you should save your money.

SC Wine Joe rating = 87 points.