When Wine Line was fermented in 2007, I thought I should mention wines that were a really good deal. In other words, they should be an excellent value to price, readily available and under $15. Nothing has changed, except the price. That has moved up to $20. Sorry about that. Here are wines that made our table in 2016 and received two thumbs up from me and the Navigator.
The industry seems to be courting the millennials with more red blends. Of the 400 new wines introduced in 2015 and 2016, more than a 100 were red blends, according to Shanken News Daily. Most red blends, for me, tend to be sweet but they are popular, with 8 percent of the market. Here are 10 red wines that got our nod of high approval in 2016. Our favorite blend was Chronic Cellar’s Rhone Blend of syrah, grenache, petite sirah, mourvedre and tannat, called Sofa King Bueno. The remaining reds were; E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone, Clayhouse Malbec, McManis Syrah, Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael David Lodi Petite Petit, Bogle Petite Sirah, Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) Pinot Noir and, saving the best deal for last, Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rosés and White Wines
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Dry rosés have finally earned a bit of shelf space in the market place. I’m talking dry pinks not sweet white zins. Here are five we enjoyed; Lang Twins Sangiovese, Bonny Doon Vin Gris De Cigare, Mercer Horse Heaven Hills, Ryder Estate Pinot Noir and Bernard Griffen Sangiovese. Six whites that made our all-star list are; Hess Monterey Chardonnay, McManis Viognier, Kunde Estate Chardonnay, Dry Creek Fume Blanc, Bokisch Las Cerezas Albariño and Vina Robles White 4, a smooth blend of vermentino, verdelho, sauvignon blanc and viognier.
Seven daily wines from the Grocery Outlet (Merced and Turlock), were selected by our elite Wineaux Tasting Panel. All are under $5 unless noted: Squadra Rosato (Sicily), Gaucho Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile), Hayes Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Goss Creek Chenin Blanc, Cycles Gladiator Chardonnay and Stateland Pinot Noir ($7.99).
Looking for a nice light pinot noir under $10? Here are six solid pinots you can count on; Noble Vines 667, Bogle, Castle Rock, Seaglass, Line 39 and McManis.
Have you noticed how Raley’s has revamped their wine section? I love it. They have a What’s New Section, more Old World wine selections, great discounts on six-pack purchases and some stores have certified wine stewards to assist shoppers. Well done Raley’s and congratulations for winning the 2016 Retailer of the Year Award. Cheers!