Repost from the old site:
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some great cheap wines, mostly for $5 or less for 750ml or $10 or less for 1.5m. We will continue to look at more wines in this post.
I live on a really low income that is just above the poverty line, so I really can’t afford to spend much on wine. Nevertheless, I like my wine to taste good! A lot of cheap wines taste bad. So, this series is for those who don’t want to spend much money on wine but want something tasty enough so you don’t want to spit it back into the glass when you drink it.
Frei Brothers Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Frei Brothers Vineyards, Modesto, California, – Not so good, with black cherry, blackberries and vanilla predominating. This is another bad one from 2004, like the Mondavi Merlot below. Same bitter, nasty, biting aftertaste. Not a good wine at all, just avoid it.
Fish Eye Merlot 2004, Fish Eye Winery, Ripon, California – Great. Fruity with shades of plums. Smooth, goes down real easy with a great finish. All the Fish Eyes I have tried so far have been great.
Cook’s Brut Champagne, Cook’s Champagne Cellars, Madera, California – Very bad, crisp and fruity with pear and apple. This champagne is truly horrible. It’s also very cheap and none of the others were affordable at all.
Riunite Lambrosco Emilia, Cantine Riunite, Campegne, Italy – I’m not supposed to like it but I do. Many people trash this wine because it tastes a bit like a soft drink or sparkling grape juice. So what! A great wine for those who don’t like wine. Keep in mind it’s only 8% alcohol. Soft and fruity.
Barefoot Merlot 2003, Barefoot Cellars, Napa, California – Great. Chocolate and raspberry flavors with a bit of anise. This wine is delicious, and is often cheap or on sale. Everything Barefoot makes is good.
Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Merlot 2004, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, California – Not so good. This wine is pretty bad, I must say. I don’t know if this was a bad year or what for Mondavi (it was not for their White Zins) but this wine is bitter, with a nasty aftertaste.
Avoid at all costs. Woodbridge is one of Robert Mondavi’s cheaper lines, and the wines in these lines are simply not aged as long as more expensive wines, but still, many cheaper wines in this category are still quite good.
Woodbridge Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2005, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, California – Great, fruity, flowery, light and sweet. Keep in mind that the snobs hate White Zinfandel because it is considered to be “not a real wine”.
That is, it’s the sort of wine that non-wine-drinkers would like. Snobs/connoisseurs think it is more soft drink or Koolaid than wine. Who cares! It tastes great!
Woodbridge Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2004, Woodbridge Winery, Woodbridge, California – Another great White Zin from Mondavi. Strawberry and apple, light and sweet.
Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Zinfandel 2004 – Great Zinfandel! It has that fascinating peppery flavor unique to Zinfandels, along with black cherry and blackberry. Zinfandels do well in California’s warm climate. It got a good review on Cork Reviews here.
Turning Leaf Pinot Noir 2005, Turning Leaf Wineries, Modesto, California – Good stuff. Black cherry, berry and spice. Pinot Noirs are kind of funny wines – they seem a bit sour, so you may or may not like them. But I enjoyed this wine.
Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Turning Leaf Wineries, Modesto, California – Everything Turning Leaf makes is good. A deep fruity taste with spice, vanilla and oak.
Bolla Merlot De Venieze 2005, Fratella Bolla SPA, South Pietro, Verona, Italy – Very good. I like these Venetian wines. Cherry, cranberry and plum flavors predominate.
Chateau Ste Michelle Colombia Valley Merlot 2002, Chateau Ste. Michelle Wineries, Patterson, Washington – Fantastic. Buy it. Raspberry flavors aged for 16 months in barrels.
Lindemann Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Lindemann Wines, Karadoc, Victoria, Australia – Everything they make is good. If you can find it on sale, grab it. There are some great wines coming out of Southeast Australia these days.
Canyon Road Merlot 2004, Canyon Road Winery, Geyserville, California – An excellent wine, plum and red cherry with some vanilla. Creamy, smooth finish.
Beringer Stone Cellars Merlot 2004, Stone Cellars, Napa, California – excellent, smooth, even looks gorgeous in the glass. Fruity, blueberry with plum and blackberry. A good wine.
Beringer Stone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Stone Cellars, Napa, California – Great, smooth and rich, nice palate. Plum and berry and a long finish. Beringer Stone Cellars is making some really great cheap wines.
Beringer White Zinfandel 2005, Beringer Vineyards, Napa, California – Bright and crisp with strawberry and flowers. Another great White Zin.