Tag Archives: Qupé

Grocery Store Chardonnay Project

Findings include:
• Very drinkable (86 to 87 point) wines can be obtained for as low as $7-9
• While high QPR (quality price ratio) wines can be found at virtually all price points, the highest rated wines (92 and 91+ points) can be found at the $15-20, $20-25 and $30-and-above price ranges
• The $26-30 range contains surprisingly few highly rated wines
• Three U.S. wine firms are responsible for nearly 17% of these wines, and the top eight wine firms own over 37% of these labels
• Nearly 16% of these grocery store Chardonnays exhibited relatively high residual sugar (sweetness)
• Less than 14% of these wines were bottled under screwcap
• 6% of the wines were affected by TCA and/or oxidation Continue reading

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Santa Maria Valley: Low Profile, Cool Climate Excellence

With the new developments at these three Santa Maria producers, I expect the appellation’s profile will soon be rising. Savvy wine buyers already know that Bien Nacido on the label is a signal that the wine inside is bound to be good. Some of the other producers who are making wonderful wines from grapes grown in this region include Chanin, Foxen, La Fenêtre, Paul Lato, Summerland and Tyler. Continue reading

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California Rhônes: Thoughts on 2012 Rhône Rangers Tasting

The biggest Rhône grape success story in California in terms of quality of offerings and relative value is Syrah. I’ve written previously here about the different styles of Syrah. California produces a lot of great Syrah, including cooler climate Syrahs that have savory and peppery characteristics reminiscent of Northern Rhône Syrah.
California also does well with Viognier, the white grape that produces the very expensive, floral and peach flavored wines of Northern Rhône’s tiny Condrieu appellation. Our versions typically lack the minerally qualities of great Condrieu, but the best producers are capturing Viognier’s peach and floral flavors, with good underlying acidity.
Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Chateauneuf du Pape, Northern Rhone, Petite Sirah, Rhône, Syrah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Syrah: The Rodney Dangerfield of Wine

Syrah is a black grape that, unlike Pinot Noir, is relatively easy to grow and to make great wines from. Unfortunately, while it is a grape that is popular with winemakers, and there are many very well made and reasonably priced bottlings on the market, it has yet to gain much respect among U.S. consumers. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Northern Rhone, Syrah, Washington State | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments