All wines purchased at Total Wine, St. Petersburg, Florida.
2009 Marquis de Monistrol, Cava Brut Winemaker’s Select:
12% abv; energetic bead, nice creaminess but still bright and lively in the mouth; charming and the equal of many N/V Champagnes. Buy more. $15.
2012 Terramore, Nero D’Avola:
12.5 % abv, organic grapes, screwcap; correct to its variety with hints of an herbaceous side; a bit of a puzzle as I like it and at the same time I’m not sure of it. I’ll buy another and try again. $10.
2012 Greek Wine Cellars, Assyrtiko Santorini:
12.5% abv; aromas, textures and flavors that reference Chenin blanc with the addition of some sappy fruit that is both sweet and bright (the wine, however, is dry); best at refrigerator temperature as it becomes oddly cloying at room temp. Probably not. $13.
2011 Poderi di Carlo, Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia:
12.0% abv; no evidence of skin contact as this is acidic and not especially intense, but it does have the characteristic scent of peach and nutmeg just at a lower intensity; quite clean and very bright, dry. I like it but I seem to crave more flavor. Maybe more. $13.
2012 Hugues de Beauvignac, Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Landguedoc:
12.5% abv, screwcap; floral and citrus nose; clean and crisp in the mouth with light fruit flavors; nicely persistent. Interesting both cold and warmed to room temp. Maybe more. $11.
2011 Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler, Riesling (Dry) Mosel:
11.5% abv, screwcap; a touch of sulphur on the nose but otherwise it’s what one would expect; despite the labeling, there’s a sweetness to the fruit although it finishes dry. Unremarkable but not unpleasant. No more. $15.
2011 Rocca Felice, Nebbiolo d’Alba Famiglia Lanzavecchia:
13.5% abv; ripe but quite correct nose with some layers and depth; excellent nebbiolo flavors, good complexity and even some finesse, this is quite accomplished and delicious with a level of complexity that is unexpected. Something very nice to drink while one’s Barolo ages. I’ll buy a good bit more of this. $16.
2008 G del R, Bierzo:
13% abv, the grape is Mencia; needed about 2 hours in the decanter to open into a darkly fruit, earthy wine with a touch of brett; not so much as to overwhelm but rather as nuance. Actually, made the wine more interesting. Probabvly buy again. $15.
I find it fun to bottom feed and see what can be found with good quality below $20. This round I had pretty good luck.
And found one diamond in the rough.