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Jim Vandegriff

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Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by Jim Vandegriff » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:49 pm

It is a distinct pleasure to walk into my local Grocery Outlet (a west coast USA discount grocery chain) and find some very cheap wines to try. Sometimes they are awful, and sometimes excellent. I'm checking to see if anyone has had any of the wines I picked up today. First up, Luis Gurpegui Muga's "Pintoresco", a 2002 100% Tempranillo de Espana, vino de la tierra de Extremadura. It was $2.99 a bottle.
Next up was Tamas Estates 2001 California Cabernet at $2.99 a bottle. Finally, the expensive bottle, a 2002 Rosemount Estate, Orange Vineyard, Shiraz (from Australia) at $3.99 a bottle.
I will be popping them open in the next few weeks, but just thought I'd check to see if anyone had a history with the wines. Thanks, Jim
in Trinidad, CA, by the sea
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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by Hoke » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:02 pm

Jim:

I cruise through my local Grocery Outlet from time to time, to check out what they are currently offering. Sometimes you can score some decent stuff; usually it's a lot of dreck.

All I can give you on these particular wines is background:

The Pintoresco is table wine from the Extremadura...that means it can come from just about anywhere in the Extremadura, and the Extremadura comes from the root word "Extreme", because it is one hot sumbitch. Hot and rugged. Sorta like the Central Valley of CA, but higher. Decent producer though, so maybe it will be okay.

Ivan Tamas has been a negociant/bottler for a long, long time. His wines are usually okay, but seldom anything more than that. Still, for the price... Little old though.

I personally don't like the Rosemount's very much, Jim. But lots of people do. I would suspect you've got a pretty typical bottle of their wine that had to be moved out because the next vintage was coming in, so it was dumped in Grocery Outlet (that's how they get most of their wines). So if you're getting it for $3.99 a bottle, they paid maybe $12.00 a case for it, say. Comes down to economics: is it cheaper to bite the bullet and get $12 a case, or let it sit in the wholesaler's warehouse until you have to sell it off as "no-name", or write it off and destroy it?

Like I said, you could have some good stuff. Or you could have dreck. But it's not like you paid a whole lot for it anyway, right?

Let us know what you ended up with.
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Gary Barlettano

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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by Gary Barlettano » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:09 pm

Jim Vandegriff wrote:It is a distinct pleasure to walk into my local Grocery Outlet (a west coast USA discount grocery chain) and find some very cheap wines to try. Sometimes they are awful, and sometimes excellent. I'm checking to see if anyone has had any of the wines I picked up today. First up, Luis Gurpegui Muga's "Pintoresco", a 2002 100% Tempranillo de Espana, vino de la tierra de Extremadura. It was $2.99 a bottle.
Next up was Tamas Estates 2001 California Cabernet at $2.99 a bottle. Finally, the expensive bottle, a 2002 Rosemount Estate, Orange Vineyard, Shiraz (from Australia) at $3.99 a bottle.
I will be popping them open in the next few weeks, but just thought I'd check to see if anyone had a history with the wines. Thanks, Jim


I've had the Rosemount from GO. It ain't half bad. In fact, I've used it as my "amaze-your-friends" wine for a couple of months now at parties etc. The Tamás Estates is coming to you thanks to a fire sale, i.e. TE is under new management or similar and they're clearing out stock. They had a great case sale going a while back. (I wrote to Walter about it, but now I forget what I wrote. Ain't old age a beach?!") But it is definitely a deal. I haven't tried the others. Yeah, GO is the place to go sometimes, although you should take a pass on the Edmeades Shiraz if it's in yours. Mine is in Pleasant Hill.
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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by Jim Vandegriff » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:11 pm

Thanks, Hoke and Gary, for the insights. I'll post notes as the wines are opened (and I'll avoid the Edmeades shiraz). Jim
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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by wnissen » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:30 pm

Dear Jim,

I too am a frequenter of Grocery Outlet, and have seen the wines you refer to. Gary tipped me off to the Rosemount, but somehow I haven't opened it. I'll report back if I do, though there's already a ton of notes on Cellartracker about it.

Tamas Estates is now on its second incarnation in the last couple years. Ivan Tamas used to be the house wine for some big hotel chain, and they they sold off the name and changed to Tamas Estates. Just in the last couple months they closed out all the wine by the case at 50% off. As far as I'm concerned, the only wines worth drinking are the regular barbera and the Monterey pinot grigio. The cab (at least a year ago, when it was the current release and selling for $12) was blah. Now Tamas is known as "La Rochelle" and has gone upscale. I haven't visited yet, so I can't comment on whether the wines are any good.

As for the Edmeades, I tried a bottle and loved it. My note: "2000 Edmeades Winery Syrah (USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County) 6/25/2006: 14.8%. 9% petite sirah. 3.68 pH, T.A. 7.9 g/L. 10 months in oak, 30% new. I'm a little confused, there's a rating from Parker on their website for an Eaglepoint Ranch syrah, but my bottle doesn't have a vineyard designated. Is this a labeling mistake? It doesn't matter, what's inside is fun, a big syrah with some balancing acid, a hint of black pepper showing through the wood, and complex to boot. An excellent value. Very Good." The second one was just as good, I'm glad to have five more.

Happy hunting!

Walt
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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by Gary Barlettano » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:56 pm

wnissen wrote:As for the Edmeades, I tried a bottle and loved it.


That's interesting, Walt. I bought about a case of the Rosemount and it was round and soft and fruity and biggish and consistently so. It wasn't great, but for $3.99 ...

I had two bottles of the Edmeades. Each was somewhat abrasive in an unpleasantly acidic and watery way. The whole syrah thing was lost. It could have been fermented Jamba Juice. I wouldn't share lest I lose friends.

It could have been a handling problem. GO is a fairly large outfit and I'll guess that bottles and cases are sometimes not always handled with kid gloves. Based on your comments, though, I'll have to give it another shake.
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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by MtBakerDave » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:48 am

I've been known to walk through the Grocery Outlet wine section from time to time myself. Actually there are three stores I might walk through at least occasionally, and they vary radically in the selection, even though they are all in Seattle. Dreck is putting it mildly for most of the stuff I see in there, but there are occasional gems. I've bought most of a box of '03 Veramonte Chard for parties and such this summer - $3.99 for that. I found some St. Supery Moscato one day at $3.99 for a 375, and I bought a couple bottles. That purchase earned me a comment from the checker that I was really going all out on the expensive stuff. If only she knew ...

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Re: Cheap, cheaper, cheapest...shiraz, tempranillo, cab at Grocery Outlet

by Isaac » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:57 pm

Jim Vandegriff wrote:It is a distinct pleasure to walk into my local Grocery Outlet (a west coast USA discount grocery chain) and find some very cheap wines to try. Sometimes they are awful, and sometimes excellent. I'm checking to see if anyone has had any of the wines I picked up today. First up, Luis Gurpegui Muga's "Pintoresco", a 2002 100% Tempranillo de Espana, vino de la tierra de Extremadura. It was $2.99 a bottle.
Next up was Tamas Estates 2001 California Cabernet at $2.99 a bottle. Finally, the expensive bottle, a 2002 Rosemount Estate, Orange Vineyard, Shiraz (from Australia) at $3.99 a bottle.
I will be popping them open in the next few weeks, but just thought I'd check to see if anyone had a history with the wines. Thanks, Jim

I bought a bottle of the Rosemount Estate Orange Shiraz, as well as the Merlot. The Merlot I didn't much care for, while the Shiraz I liked enough to go back for another half case. The others I haven't seen in our local store.

Most of the wine I buy there is unimpressive, but still pretty good for the price. Some I find undrinkable, and that's pretty hard for me, because I have a high tolerance for bad wine. Besides that, I'm cheap!

Other wines I've recently purchased there which I thought were good buys are the Little Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but not the Cabernet Franc or Merlot. Neither was actively bad, but neither showed me any character. Why drink them, even at $3.99, when the CS and Z are there for the same price?

Other recent purchases which did not inspire me to get more are the René Barbier Tempranillo and the Caliterra Merlot.

I have been fortunate to come across the occasional great buy there. Baystone Chardonnay and Shiraz were there for a while a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed them very much. Last year (I think - maybe early this year) I picked up some of Peter Lehmann's Clancy's Blend. We had one Monday night with a grilled T-bone, and it was very nice. I also liked the Luna Sangiovese and the Danzante Chianti (or maybe just sangiovese).

The bottom line is that there aren't many great wines there, if any at all, and there are bad ones, but, overall, the prices make it a good place for someone with little money to try a lot of different wines.

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