Falling Behind or Glancing Back? The Wine World is Looking Up.

We love to gloat! Gloating is so underrated; relegated to the emotional garbage dump along with gossiping and schadenfreude. Well, tBoW is gloating with the widespread endorsement of the new CHEAP WINE REALITY. It is officially and widely understood that wine prices are down across the board and bargains are everywhere. Here is the LA Times article “$15: The New Normal” that proves the point. Lesser known is our observation that this downward spiral has dragged along pricing for wines formerly considered out of reach.

Of course, we are talking about premium Burgundies, Baroli and even Super-Tuscans now looking more like Clark Kent than Super-Duper-Man. The same would certainly apply to premium Rhones; perhaps even Bordeaux. We just do not track those regions as closely. [ed. you find a La Landonne under $60 you let us know]. This is all good news for the consumer. As we have long suggested, dig through that $15 – $20 bin that is no longer on the back wall of your local retailer. Now it is in the center aisle. Bully! And if you have some extra cash on hand from your savings skip the Napa Cab section and mosey over to the Burgundy and Italian aisles. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Here are reviews of wines recently tasted.

2008 Malibu Sanity Chardonnay $35-ish: This wine is no longer available two and a half years down the road. It now becomes the first official “can’t get it” Malibu wine of desirability. Charles Schetter is the maniacal vintner [ed. he means that in a good way] and this is his second Chardonnay vintage. Schetter seeks a Burgundian style. We never tasted the first. Pulled the cork on this during the NCAA championship game and put it in front of Mr. California Chardonnay. He immediately declares this is not a New World wine. It must be a “boorgun” because it lacks the essential oaky buttery qualities he values in his glass of chard. At the same time he likes it and says it is “pretty good.” tBoW says tapioca, oily and viscous, kinda lean. Enough acid, balance and flavor to try again in 6 months. Very nice wine from the man above Paradise Cove. 14.1%

1996 Domaine des Perdrix Echezaux Grand Cru $55: Case in point! A price cut in half for a truly rare wine considered to be from one of the choice vineyards in the Nuits St George. Color is deep red brown. Poo poo nose. We know. Sounds awful but it ain’t. Also cinnamon (just like your own poo poo). Masculine wine. Godfaddah wine. Eggz-otic. Integrated flavors. We covered the same wine last year at same time! Downright perennial. 14%

NV Henriot Champagne Blanc Souverain $45: Another bottle that saved the worst March Madness championship game possibly of all time. This is crisp and lean. All Chardonnay. Austere but this side of Dom which we consider to be very austere. Green, sorta lime flavors. Very nice. 12%

2008 Gurrutxaga Bizkaiko Txakolina Ros√© $10: Basque pinkie. Very lean acidic wine with grapefruit flavors. Almost grassy with a spritz. Wine geek wine. You know…”dude, you gotta try this!” At this price it is a steal. At Steve Goldun’s Wine Palate. We would list the grapes but we never heard of them anyway. If you see and you like trying something unusual, grab it. U20 Extreme. 10.5%

The summer is looking UP!

1 Comment

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    igty says:

    shetter is proof that malibu is capable of growing fine burgundy style wines. he’s further proof that it’s all about the farmer and the technique, not the property. why is he the only guy in the santa monica mountains who does it like he loves it. the rest of the dilletantes who dabble in owning a winery don’t sell wine, they project a lifestyle image to their friends. if i want to show out of town wine snobs an example of so. cal. vintages ya think i’m gonna crack a rosenthal? shetter gets my business and deservedly so. it’s pricy, but the best wine south of santa barbara.

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