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David M. Bueker

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Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by David M. Bueker » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:51 am

Welcome to the WLDG Wine Values discussion thread. This topic is all about finding really good wine at a really good price. In order to maintain the value focus we do have a few “rules.” I use the quotes because the rules are not hard and/or fast. They are just meant to keep the discussion on track.

1. This will be a lasting topic. It might be fun to see what happens with value/pricing over time, and keeping the topic active will make it easier to go value hunting. We’ll try to make sure the topic stays on the front page. Active posting is the best way to do that, but we might make the thread a “sticky” if we think it is needed.

2. It will not be mandatory to post in the value thread but optional. You can still post your tasting notes wherever. If you really want to make sure people see your note, post it as a separate thread. Double posting to this thread is always ok if there is value worth highlighting.

3. This will not be intended for any old plonk but as a place to call out wines of exceptional value that we really want to share with the community.

4. We have established a cut-off of US $25 (and the equivalent in Euros, Pounds Sterling, Oz and NZ dollars and so on). See here for a currency converter. As of 3/31/2014 $25 is just about 18 Euros and 15 Pounds just to give folks an idea.

5. The cut-off will be firm but not inflexible. We do not want to ban an amazing $27 value by rigid enforcement of the rule.

6. The price is price paid for the wine. Let’s leave out discounts, shipping and/or tax, as those costs vary from place to place. (Although see rule #5 as well.)

7. Try to mention where you acquired the wine, and also the importer if applicable. That will help folks find the wine in their market.

So that already looks like too many rules. Anyway, as has been shown by a number of discussions over the years, value is important to just about everyone. Robin and I look at this thread as an opportunity to keep value front and center for the community.
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Bersano 2010 "Costalunga" Barbera d'Asti

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:09 am

Thanks for kicking this off, David. I hope it becomes a lasting forum tradition! I'll start with an excellent $20 Italian table red that I enjoyed a few months ago but, as far as I can tell, didn't post on the forum. I'll also change the subject line to reflect the wine - that might be a good habit for us all to get into.

Bersano 2010 "Costalunga" Barbera d'Asti ($19.99)

Garnet, clear at the center shading to a pale, transparent edge. Red fruit and floral notes, roses and violets, carry over in the flavor as crisp red fruit, gentle acidity and firm tannins, finishing with a hint of tart cranberries in the finish. Simple, tart and fresh, one of those lovable Italian wines that comes to the table ready for dinner. Alcohol is in balance at 13%. U.S. importer: Vin Divino, Chicago. (Nov. 13, 2013)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with red meat, poultry, pork, sharp cheeses or robust veggie main dishes. It was excellent with a dinner of creamy polenta topped with an autumn harvest ragù.

WHEN TO DRINK: Like its Northwestern Italian neighbor Dolcetto, Barbera is intended for early drinking while it's young and fresh, to be enjoyed while waiting for the more magisterial Barolos and Barbarescos to age. Enjoy it soon, but don't worry about it going around the bend, as a good Barbera should last for six to eight years past the vintage..

VALUE: It's a good wine, but $20 felt a little pushy for Barbera d'Asti. A quick check at Wine-Searcher.com bears this out, showing many offerings in the mid-teens.

WEB LINK:
Bersano's main page, available in English and Italian, is just a little too ad-agency fancy for me, with its embedded music and pop-up pages. Try this link to go direct to the mini-page that promotes the Costalunga Barbera d'Asti in English.
http://www.bersano.it/Inglese/Costalunga.htm

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Compare prices and find vendors for Bersano "Costalunga" Barbera d'Asti at Wine-Searcher.com.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/bersa ... g_site=WLP
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Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco

by BMcKenney » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:05 pm

This is not a specific tasting note on a specific bottle. Perbacco was definitely my gateway drug to Nebbiolo and Barberesco and Barolo. I started drinking this wine with the 2009 vintage, which was warm but approachable. Now the 2010 is on the shelves here and I have bought two cases of this nice QPR wine. 2010 is a cooler, more structured vintage resulting in a more classic wine.

Perbacco is declassified Barolo fruit. In 2010 some of the fruit that normally goes in the Perbacco actually went in to the entry level Barolo Castiglione. That's how good the vintage is. I was worried that the remaining fruit wasn't going to be that good, but the 2010 Perbacco doesn't seem to be any worse for wear.

The price should be around $25 on average. And it is well known and should be readily available in most markets.

I believe that Perbacco is approachable young, but can age for a decade easy, especially in a good vintage. I'm still new to this wine so my experience is limited but it's not hard to read the tea leaves. Nebbiolo is a long term ager. I'm going to enjoy following the 2010 vintage for many years. I don't know if this wine ever goes in a to shut down mode or not. I"ll find out eventually.

I do love (and need) drink now cellar defender wines that don't need to age, but I also really appreciate a great, classic, $25 wine that has the stuffing to age like more expensive wine.

The Perbacco is typical, classic Piedmont Nebbiolo. Extremely floral on the nose. You can smell it from yards away. It has classic rose petal and tar components. Great medium body and smooth mouth feel. A real food wine of course. But still enjoyable with out food. Nice balance in the overall package and a solid buy at $25.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Jenise » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:52 pm

B, love that term "cellar defender". Haven't run into it before but anyone with a cellar recognizes the need immediately.
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Re: Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco

by Tom Troiano » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:09 pm

BMcKenney wrote:Perbacco is declassified Barolo fruit.


I believe I read somewhere that Perbacco is by rule from vines less then 5 years old. Does that sound correct?
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by David M. Bueker » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:53 pm

Don't know the specifics on the vines, but had the 2010 Vietti Perbacco at a business dinner tonight. Excellent and only $40 on the restaurant list, so certainly under our $25 target at local retail.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:33 am

Sabor Devino is an excellent restaurant here in town with a very good wine list/wines by the glass in the bar.

2011 Quinta das Touquinheiras Vinho Verde.

I have seen this Alvarinho on the shelf for just over $20 Cdn. The nose has lovely fragrance highlighting hints of honey, melon and floral tones. Very good acidity, turns out to be medium dry on entry. Some spice, apricot and good minerality. I would guess this would go great with a spicy Asian dish but feel I prefer my VV a tad drier.
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2011 Pierre Gonon Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche Les Iles Feray

by David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:26 am

2011 Pierre Gonon Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche Les Iles Feray - France, Rhône, Ardèche, Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche (4/1/2014)
Consumed over the course of 2 nights, this was actually quite tight the first evening. Showed more acid and tannin than naything else. Fast forward to night 2, and there's lovely richness on the palate, as well as aromatics of meat, berry and smoke. A beautiful showing, but it just took a whole lot of air.

Cost was about $20 for the 2011.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:07 am

Pierre Gonon is quite a well-known name David, so guess would be a treat eh.
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Re: 2011 Pierre Gonon Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche Les Iles Feray

by Bruce K » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:42 am

David M. Bueker wrote:2011 Pierre Gonon Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche Les Iles Feray - France, Rhône, Ardèche, Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche (4/1/2014)
Consumed over the course of 2 nights, this was actually quite tight the first evening. Showed more acid and tannin than naything else. Fast forward to night 2, and there's lovely richness on the palate, as well as aromatics of meat, berry and smoke. A beautiful showing, but it just took a whole lot of air.


My notes from the 2009, consumed last fall: Wow! Just fantastic. It has violets, pepper, spice and red/purple fruit accented by a slight touch of barnyard on the nose, followed by flavors of red and purple fruits, more pepper and spice and good earth. Just sings with bright, refreshing acidity, smooth texture and relatively light body.

Don't know if the extra 18 months or so of age helped -- or maybe the vintage made a difference -- but this just exploded out of the glass. Either way, it's a wonderful wine and a great value.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:51 am

I was given a heads-up on a recent arrival of a dry Verdicchio here in town so I wasted no time seeking out a bottle downtown.

WTN: 2012 Marotti Campi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Albiano, Marche It.

Diam-type cork, $19 Cdn, 13% alc, Lot 13052, no oak.

Bright straw yellow, no green. Floral nose with peach, green apple and some minerality. Some pear as it opened in the glass, nice focused nose here.
Initial entry is dryish, savoury, fresh, good length, near ripe pear and peach tones, very drinkable. Nice fruit balance here, not too tart in my opinion. Medium-bodied, went well with sun-dried tomato chicken breast and salad. Buy again!
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:49 pm

There was a time when the Chateau Saint Cosme Gigondas was a great value, and that was in the 2000 vintage when it cost $19.99. Now it's over $30, and I can use my funds more wisely elsewhere. The 2000 was quite tasty the other night, with warm herbs, red fruit and earth-well worth it's price tag. Too bad those days are gone.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:29 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote: pretty uncomplicated

Bob, if you don't mind, we're trying to reserve this new topic for wines of special interest that fall more into the "back up the truck" category. Your TNs are always welcome in the forum, of course, but please, let's put our more routine wines - especially in this price range - into regular TNs. I think we all agreed when we started this new topic that we didn't want to clutter it up with "pretty uncomplicated" wines.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:31 pm

If a wine from Luxembourg is not of special interest, I do not know what is?
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Jenise » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:55 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:If a wine from Luxembourg is not of special interest, I do not know what is?


Definitely interesting, Bob! And I didn't see the post itself--but it doesn't sound like you were recommending the wine as an exceptional value--this thread should only be for wines you would.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Jenise » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:42 pm

Picked this up in Seattle for about $15; it's a producer I remember fondly from our days in Southern California but whose wines I haven't seen up here before. The 2012 Cantina Terlano 'Terlaner' is a blend of sauv blanc, pinot blanc and chardonnay which would seem to explain how it can present as both crisp AND soft at the same time. Pear and apple fruit dominate with a bit of apricot tang on the finish--great body and balance with a lengthy finish. Exceptionally nice for a $15 import. Would definitely buy again.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Brian K Miller » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:50 pm

Maybe this is too much verging on "plonk", but I am always amazed at how much I fundamentally enjoy, not in a wine geeky way, but as a simple quaffer with pizza and friends the entry level

2011 Antinori Santa Cristina Tuscan Red.

Definitely a little fruity and soft, but there is still noticeable "Italian" character here. A touch of lively bitterness, bright cherry fruit, definitely some enjoyable (to me) funk on the nose and the palate.

Not a great wine, but hey...an old school Italian red sauce and pizza joint in Vacaville is not necessarily a "great wine" kind of place!

My friend always orders this, and I am very appreciative and very happy to slurp it down with the pizza! Great weeknight pizza wine!
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Jon Leifer » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:57 pm

a step or 2 up from the Antinori Santa Cristina and also good value is the Villa Antinori..another red Tuscan blend, very consistent wine, over the years, SRP $25 but appears to be widely available for <$20..Antinori also puts out a white Santa Cristina that I tasted recently, wasn't that crazy about it,,I agree wth Brian that the red goes well with pizza, as does the Villa Antinori.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by David M. Bueker » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:20 pm

Let me try to reiterate what I laid out in the intro, and what Robin tried to reinforce. This is supposed to be about good to great value. I have no intention of deleting anything, nor does Robin. We're not asking anyone to delete anything. We just want to keep this thread focused on stuff that is worth buying because it is really good and has a really good price.

Sam, I think it would be fun to see your Trader Joe's post in the main forum. Same goes for Bob's wine. It's just that this isn't the right spot.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Jim Grow » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:28 pm

Casarena Reserva 2010 Sinergy this is an excellent Bordeaux blend from Argentina. It is 70% Malbec, 20% CS, 7% CF and 3% PV. Opened 3 hrs. prior in a decanter and I think this helped as the tannins were receding. The balance was excellent but this wine just needed more time, quite a bit more time. The fruit was a mix of black raspberry and plum ( little cassis unfortunately)
but I wonder what this wine would be like in ten years . It might surprise me but I'll never age these that long. Cost was probably about 15$.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Mark Lipton » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:49 am

2012 Domaine d'Andezon Côtes du Rhône is a perennial value for Syrah from the Rhône valley, and this year's edition is no exception. It's made by the Cave des Vignerons d'Estezargues growers' cooperative -- overshadowed in my estimation only by the Produttori di Barbaresco and La Chablisienne as quality growers' cooperatives -- and brought into the US by Eric Solomon. Retailing for $12-13 a bottle, this wine sports a varietally correct nose of brambly blueberries with a hint of black pepper and is medium-bodied and well-structured with no evidence of new oak or other forms of spoofulation. Very nice now, it'll likely improve with 2-4 years of age. No, it's not going to be mistaken for Côte-Rôtie or even St. Joseph, but it's an honest expression of N. Rhone Syrah for a very attractive price.

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p.s. A belated "thank you" to George Heretier for turning me onto this wine years ago.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by David M. Bueker » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:19 am

I used to buy and drink a lot of d'Andezon. Lately I've been focused on the Gonon Les Iles Feray. Price escalation on Gonon being what it is, I may go back to d'Andezon sometime soon.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Sam Platt » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:25 am

David M. Bueker wrote: Sam, I think it would be fun to see your Trader Joe's post in the main forum. Same goes for Bob's wine. It's just that this isn't the right spot.

Help! I'm being repressed! :)

No problem. I agree that my note is not keeping within the spirit of the thread. I will delete/move it.

PS: David - I am not quite sure how to delete the post. Can you do it for me. I will repost separately.
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Re: Wine Value - It's not a focus it's a way of life!

by Robin Garr » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:05 am

Sam Platt wrote:PS: David - I am not quite sure how to delete the post. Can you do it for me. I will repost separately.

Sam, I can do it, or David can, but please be assured that it doesn't really need to be deleted. We don't want to be Thought Police in this ongoing thread. "Quality" ultimately will remain in the mind of the beholder, and we won't second-guess that. We just want to curate it a little closely at the beginning, until it's clear that this doesn't replace the customary TN postings, Wine Focus, etc., but is primarily intended as a showcase for really great values, particularly in that $15-$25 range where value starts to make a real difference.
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