Goulart “The Marshall” Malbec 2010
The 2010 vintage of Goulart’s “The Marshall” Malbec keeps this winery’s tradition of giving us a good Argentine Malbec at an exceptional price alive and well. This vintage will not disappoint the followers of “The Marshall” because it checks all the boxes that has made this wine a perennial favorite. If you are looking for a fruit forward wine with cherry and berry flavors this is not the wine for you. “The Marshall” has fruit but it is dark fruit that is integrated into the body of the wine. This classic Malbec has mid-range tannins contained in a firm structure that is carried from start to finish. The aroma is one of spice and there is oak to spare for those who prefer an exotic oak component in their Malbec. Malbec is a perfect pairing for grilled meat, especially beef, so if you are planning a cook out be sure to grab a couple of bottles of Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec to enjoy with your meal. This wine has been rated 88 points by Wine Spectator and 87 points by International Wine Cellar. P.L.C.B. stores are currently offering this wine as a “Chairman’s Selection” for $13.99 Product code 33356.
The Liquor Control Board of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday, February 19, 2014 that Tableleaf, their in-house brand of wine, will be discontinued. The remaining stock will be sold at discounts of $2 to $3 per bottle. Vinestone, another in-house brand was discontinued last year. The L.C.B. developed seven other in-house brands but the fate of those labels has yet to be determined.
Snarky Puppy Performs at SummerSounds
McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Jack’s Blend South Eastern Australia 2011 is a Red Wine Blend that has a solid character and the good taste that are usually only found in a more expensive wine. Jack’s Blend exhibits a light oak aroma with a medium body and a long smooth finish full of mild tannins. This offering would pair well with grilled meat or even pizza. I had the pleasure of drinking this red while sitting with friends under a starry night sky in St Clair Park , Greensburg Pa as the band Snarky Puppy performed at SummerSounds. When you need to grab a bottle or two of red wine for a gathering of friends this wine will give you good quality at a great price. Jack’s Blend can be found at P.L.C.B. stores for only $5.99 or online for under $10.
Hot to Trot Red Blend Photo Courtesy: 14 Hands Vineyard
The 14 Hands Vineyard in Paterson, Washington produces one of the best blended red wines made in the United States. This red was once only available to restaurants in selected markets but now can be found in wide distribution due to overwhelming demand. Hot to Trot is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvgion, Mourverde and Petite Verdot grapes harvested from vineyards in several of Washington’s AVA regions including Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope and the Yakima Valley. It is made using techniques that are usually reserved for more expensive wines, these include cold soaking, performing a daily pump-over to extract color and flavor followed by aging in both French and American oak barrels. This extra care produces a medium body red wine with flavors of very lightly oaked red berries and dark fruit with a hint of vanilla giving way to refined supple tannins followed by a pleasant lingering spice and mocha finish. Reds from WashingtonState can be pricey but this blend always delivers a well crafted wine at a great price and its ability to pair flawlessly with a range of food makes it very difficult to beat. 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend can be found at P.L.C.B. stores for $12.99 with the product code 5213. I suggest using the in store product locator on the website www.finewineandgoodspirits.com to check for availability of this wine because of demand.
state store (Photo credit: Foxgirl)
Did you know that you could have the chance to sample wine and spirits or even meet a celebrity at your PLCB store? To find out if any events are slated for your favorite store you must first find your stores ID number by visiting www.finewineandgoodspirits.com and using the store locator feature to identify the 4 digit number assigned to that store. Position the cursor over the Promotions tab, then point at the Events tab at the far right end of the drop down menu, lastly click on the In-Store Events. Enter your store ID number into the box marked Store then click Search and a directory of all the events scheduled for that store will appear with a description of each that can be expanded for more information when clicked.
In a totally unrelated matter I stopped at the Ripepi Winery last week and saw that picking had begun but I also noticed that there was a plentiful supply of fruit left to be harvested. I find that standing in a vineyard and seeing the ripe grapes hanging from the vines a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are looking for a wine that can be described as Bold, Plush, Opulent, Intense and Concentrated then you should look no further than Altus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005. This Cab has potent dark fruit flavors like currant, blackberry and black cherry along with wild berry flavors. The tannins are velvety but the finish is firm with a creamy minerality. This wine is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. Wine Spectator bestowed a 92 point rating upon it in 2008 and because of the structure of this blend, time has been kind to it. You can purchase this Altus wine in Pennsylvania only online from the PLCB website where it is listed on the Wine Sale page. The regular price is shown at $74.99 but the sale price is $35.99 and I believe that is a fair price for this bottle. PLCB Product Code 11238. http://www.finewineandgoodspirits.com
English: A colorful bottle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I recently discovered an unbelievable policy that the Pennsylvania LCB (Liquor Control Board) stores offer to their customers. The unwritten policy is to replace any unopened bottle of liquor or wine that a customer breaks as long as they return it with proof that the bottle was sealed when it was broken. I would have to admit that returning a bag full of shattered glass to a store for a replacement when it was my fault strikes me as strange but rules are rules. Imagine walking in with what is left of a bottle of $7000 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet and asking for another one for free. It is worth a try and Good Luck.
I hope that I have given you some motivation to get out and about this summer so you can make some fantastic new memories. Keeping with my theory that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get good wine, I would like to make some suggestions that will make for a well stocked cooler.
Let’s start with some reds!
1. Albeno Munari Tempranillo Calaveras County 2007 WE/88 $13.99
2. A to Z Wineworks Rosé Oregon 2011 $11.99
And now three highly rated proprietary Red Blends!
3. Bodegas Dios Ares Crianza 2008 WA/90 $12.99
4. Bodegas y Vined Luna Beberide Fincala Questa 2007 WA/90 $11.99
5. Boutari Elios Mediterranean Red Peloponnese 2009 WS/87 $12.99
Now it’s time to give these tasty white wines their time in the sun!
1. Alomos Torrontes 2007 WS/87 $10.99
2. Boutari Moschofilero Matinia 2010 WS/88 $12.99
3. Breemerton Verdelho WA/89 $12.99
4. Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa Albarino Rias Baixas 2008 WA/88 $12.99
These are just an example of the rated wines that are available at a reasonable price. I think you will enjoy any of these selections and know that you will find many others in your journeys.
I usually only recommend rated wines because to put it simply I see no reason to reinvent the wheel by trying to rate wines myself. When a wine is rated you can check its rating against the rating opinion of several other reviewers to see if it deserves your further consideration. The scale is a 100 point scale with the two most important ranges to me being 85-89 for a very good wine with special qualities and 90-94 for an outstanding wine that has superior character and style.
Pinot Noir is a popular wine that can be expensive but if you do your research some good examples can be purchased at a reasonable price. Louis Latour Volnay 2007 is Wine Spectator rated at 89 and can be found as a Chairman’s Selection at PA L.C.B. stores for $19.99, a sizable discount from its quoted price of $55.oo. This Pinot Noir is broad and sweet with a juicy ripe fruit body that offers cherry and raspberry flavors plus a silky texture. Look for it with the product code 13223 in the store or online.
Pinot noir Grapes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I would like to tell you about a wine that I have always kept in my wine rack, while others have come and gone this one has never disappointed. The wine is Cantina Zaccanini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This wine is a Proprietary Blend Dry Red that has an alcohol content of 12.5% to 13% depending on the vintage. The first thing you will notice is the beautiful dark ruby-red color with a touch of violet. The nose is one of ripe red berries and the taste is that of dark fruit and well-balanced tannins that gives way to a dry oak finish. This wine is made from Montepulicano d’Abruzzo grapes that are pressed and fermented with their skins on in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. It is then aged in oak barrels for 6 months then left to bottle refine for an additional 3 months. Bottles are released for sale 2 years after harvest and can be cellared to bottle refine for 3 or more years. This selection is a good match for dishes with a hearty Italian red sauce and entrée’s of roasted meats. You don’t have to remember that long name just look for the bottle with the little grape-vine clipping tied to it and you will have found one of my favorite reds. Item number 4560 and $14.99 at PA LCB stores.