Tag Archives: bargain wine

Tormaresca NePriCa

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2009
Puglia, Italy

The funny name for this wine comes from a blend of three grapes–Negroamaro (40%), Primitivo (30%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%). Negroamaro (“bitter black”) is a varietal unfamiliar to me until now–grown primarily in Puglia, Italy’s heel, and characterized by a particular bitterness. I definitely got that in the finish; not overpowering, but very distinctive. The Cab no doubt balances that out.

Dry and dusty in the nose, NePriCa is a beautiful, velvety scarlet with substantial legs. There’s definitely a lot of licorice up front (hello, Primitivo), a peppery center and a redolent perfume of cherries, cassis, and flowers. Very earthy and mineral-y. Then there’s that bitter finish, with just a tinge of sweetness at the very end. It’s interesting to taste a blend where each grape’s personality stands out so clearly, like instruments in a symphony. Drinks far beyond its very reasonable $10 price.

Panilonco Reserve Carmenere

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Panilonco Reserve Carmenere

2009
Colchagua Valley, Chile

OK, folks — this is one of the best values I’ve had in ages! $4 a bottle at Trader Joe’s. FOUR. BUCKS. And it’s one tasty glassful, brimming with berries and oak and a surprising hit of mint. Smells like blackberries and plums and spice. The finish lingers, and it’s just a wee bit tart (this mellows out with some breathing). Mildly tannic, big but not bold: a gentle giant.

Poet’s Row Merlot

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Poet's Row Merlot2008
Sonoma County

I’m not in love with this wine, but it has some nice characteristics and Hubbs enjoyed it. Lovely blackberry bouquet, dry and lightly chewy tannins with a bit of cedar and a smoky finish. This is a pretty full-bodied wine. I drank it on its own, but I think my impressions would have been better if I’d had a meal with it; it’s got the muscle to stand up to a nice, meaty dish. Beef stew, lamb chops… OK, now I’m hungry.

[Edit: Poet’s Row 2008 Cab is $9 at Trader Joe’s.]