Most of us are interested in good cheap wine. There are a few people out there, however, who don’t fall into that category. You might ask if a dedicated wine geek really prefers to spend more for wine than he should. I have seen this happen. These folks tend to drink labels rather than wines. If you know someone like this, please do not tell them about these excellent value wines available in 2012. We wouldn’t want them to have an identity crisis or something.
Altos De Luzon 2007 If you have the opportunity to taste this wine, do it. Tasted blind, it could almost be mistaken for a California Cabernet Sauvignon. It is not a California wine, but rather a Spanish wine from the Jumilla area. A reasonably close pronunciation is Hoo-Me–Ya. They will probably pronounce it a bit differently in Jumilla. The wine is a blend of 50% Monastrell, which is called Mourvedre in France, 25% Tempranillo, and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lovely stuff. It was rated 90 by both Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. The wine is a dark ruby color with blue/black fruit aromas on the nose. It has a smooth, rich texture in the mouth with red and blue fruit flavors. The wine is made in a rich, new world style. While this wine isn’t cheap, it is less than you would expect to pay for a wine this good. I found this wine for less than $14 within 2 miles of home. If you can’t go out and find some nearby, it is available from wine.com.
Bogle Chardonnay, California 2010 If you decide to peruse my blog, you’ll find a page called Value Wineries And Wines. Bogle is featured there. Bogle also has its own article in the blog. A huge amount of wine is produced there, and it is usually quite good. It is solidly placed in that niche between innocuous jug wines and the premium stuff. I have said that their reds are better than their whites. I stand by that, but the 2010 Chard is a step up. It was rated 89 by Wine Spectator, and they called it a Best Value. The wine deserves that description. It is definitely a California Chardonnay with citrus, melon and pear flavors, along with some spiciness. It is balanced, so the oak does not overpower the wine. They made 300,000 cases of the stuff, and it is available for about $8 almost anywhere you can find wine. This is a very nice white wine value from 2010 in California.
Segura Viudas Aria, NV Brut Cava Cava is the sparkling wine that comes from Spain. It is made by the same method as French Champagne, so it is a wine category to be taken seriously. Why take it seriously? Because it is generally good to very good, and bargains abound. Good wine cheap. What a concept. I try not to generalize, but many good Cavas are on the light side. Lighter sparkling wine is appropriate to many occasions. If you can find good Cava for $8 – $10, and you can, what’s the problem? This Aria Brut has a little more going for it, though. Wine & Spirits has rated it 90 points. The wine is crisp and clean – both Cava characteristics – and there is some toastiness as it finishes. The bubbles are small, which gives a creamy mouthfeel. There is enough body to do well with many chicken dishes. This one is not just for celebrations. You can find Sigura Viudas Aria for $11 – $14.