That’s it for the whites and now I can turn my attention to the reds, beginning with the American reds. And all I have to say is that this is a list that can put many a steakhouse to shame, though many a steakhouse would like to be able to charge these prices. It’s a veritable who’s who of California. There’s BV, Beringer, Caymus, Grace, Shafer, Silver Oak, Bond, Cosentino, Duckhorn, Kosta Brown, Kistler, Seasmoke and a big list of Williams & Selyem. All California stalwarts, but showing surprising thinking in-the-box after the whites.
Salvation comes with the Oregon list, which features several gems worth taking note of:
2006 Brick House, Boulder Block, Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley - $105
2007 Soter, Mineral Springs Ranch, Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley - $99
2007 Stoller Vineyards, JV Estate, Dundee Hills - $54
The French red list offered up a similarly impressive lineup of producers. Great classed growths, a surprising number in magnums, from good and great vintages, is generally fairly priced for whatever that might be worth. The Burgundy list is a bit spotty, while the Northern Rhone returns to trophy land as it’s packed with Guigal’s Lalas and the like.
The Southern Rhone shows promise, full of Chateauneuf, several with some age and all fairly priced; but if you want French wine here, consider the great selection of Bandol from Domaine Tempier. I know, I didn’t expect to find this either, but who’s complaining! Horizontal tasting!
2005 Bandol, Cuvée Classique, Domaine Tempier - $69
2005 Bandol, La Migoua, Domaine Tempier - $99
2005 Bandol, La Tourtine, Domaine Tempier - $115
Next up are the red wines of Spain, with a whole page dedicated to Spain’s iconic red: Vega Sicilia. Iconic wines generally come with iconic prices and that is much the case here, though the 1986 Unico is a pretty decent value at $595.
The rest of the Spanish list is also pretty steakhouse-heavy, with plenty of big wines from Numanthia, Pingus, Clos Erasmus, and Alvario Palacios. But there are good values to be found here as well.
2004 Embruix de Vall Llach, Cellar Vall Llach - $66
1997 Bodegas La Rioja Alta, Gran Reserva 904 - $103
I’m getting used to great surprises here and the Italian list is no different. There are actually specific pages for the wines of the Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, as well as the wines of Angelo Gaja! More steakhouse prices, but kudos, nonetheless. Then the wines of Italy are broken down into two pages, one just for the wines of the south, which is short and lacks much interest, assuming that you’re not interested in Montevtrano. From the north, there are many Brunellos to choose from, super Tuscans, a ton of young Barolo and Barbaresco, and four particularly compelling wines!
2008 Barbera d’Alba, Tre Vigne, Vietti, Castiglione Falletto - $51
2006 Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, Bric d’ Bianc, Luca Ferraris Vineyard, Monferrato - $41
2006 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Pietra del Diavolo, Il Faggeto, Montepulciano - $58
2000 Montefalco Rosso Riserva, Arquata, Adanti - $60
More big time wines come down the pike from Australia, where Penfold’s Grange has a page of its own. The regular listings from Australia are fairly extensive, with more big time wines from the likes of Clarendon Hills, Henschke, Jim Barry and Yalumba. It’s a nicely rounded list, particularly when you add in the dozen vintages of Grange, but if I had to order Australian, I think I would want to check out these to see how they’re faring:
1995 St Hallett Old Block Shiraz, Barossa Valley - $110
1993 St Hallett Old Block Shiraz, Barossa Valley - $125
There are also red wines from New Zealand and Austria (three in total), plus some rather mainstream wine from Argentina and Chile on the list, which is finally rounded out with a trio of wines from Mexico, two of which I’ve had and would add to the list as solid values!
2003 L.A. Cetto Nebbiolo, Private Reserve, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California - $39
2007 L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California - $34