Wednesday, May 16, 2012

wine spelunking: wine reconnaissance.

I had a few extra bucks this week and it's been awhile since I've bought wine. However, to minimize the previous week's error-o-ignorance, this trip would be a highly planned, finely choreographed reconnaissance mission devoted to deep scientific research. Me, my bike and my camera rode down to Topline where I photographed every possibly intriguing label in my price range, starting in the French room and then casually, carefully, wandering the aisles.

These are all the labels I took photos of (click to enlarge).  Then I plugged them all into Google to see what I could see.

That big clump of labels in the upper right yielded precious little info; though intriguing they've been eliminated from this round.

Researching French wine is painful, because it's all in French and you need all the words. It takes forever.

There's a lot of Pinot stuff because I find at this stage of the game I'm more into something subtle with less alcohol.

In the end, these are the wines I'll next try, all in the neighborhood of 87-89 points.  If I could hover in the 88-91 points at the $20-ish mark, I'd be satisfied. 

2008 Domaine Gardies Cotes de Rousillon Villages Mas Las Cabes.
(Seriously, that's like a million words.)
Melville is pretty steady, and they had a 2010 Syrah and this 2009 Santa Rita Hills Estate Pinot.  It's a few bucks more, but chances are it won't disappoint.  There's a pretty good Owen Roe presence as well, including  a 2010 Abbott's Table and a 2010 Sinister Hand, both affordable and equally inoffensive, but I'm looking for something...different.

Lastly...the one I actually wanted to get on the spot but was disciplined and first researched...turns out I could have gotten it afterall and not rue the reconnaissance: 2009 Fritz Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  Something to look forward to.