Cheap Wine Critic

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  • Mar 12, 2013 at 9:28pm

    Previously available for $13.99

    Lists: Wishlist

  • Feb 20, 2013 at 7:50pm

    Previously available for $21.99

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Jun 30, 2011 at 9:48pm
    The 2006 Shingleback Shiraz is the kind of wine that makes one realize how easy it is to become a wino if one doesn't exert some serious self-control. I decanted this wine about an hour and a half before drinking, since I suspected it would need some time to really open up. Now, here I am not three hours later about to finish the bottle! This wine is big and deep and fruity and just downright delicious. It's a party for the whole palate that leaves a warm and fuzzy finish of fruity tannins after each sip.

  • Feb 20, 2013 at 7:48pm
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    Average Price: $13.99

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Jul 9, 2011 at 11:37pm
    Either this bottle was "corked," or the 2007 Lodi Oak Ridge Cabernet is by far the oakiest Cab I've ever had. What might otherwise be a typical sweet, fruit-forward wine has been completely overwhelmed by French and American oak aging (or spoiled by a bad cork). The flavor is tough to evaluate beneath all the oak and sugar, and the finish on this wine is almost non-existent, aside from the sense of having just licked the inside of a barrel. Even on the nose I have difficulty detecting anything but oak. If you really like that big oak flavor and don't mind a heavy dose of sugar in your wine, perhaps this one is for you; for me it was undrinkable and had to be dumped. Update: after experiencing the same taste in a different wine that normally tastes fine, I realized that this bottle was definitely corked.

  • Feb 20, 2013 at 7:44pm

    Previously available for $24.95

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Feb 20, 2013 at 7:41pm
    I first tasted the 2007 Duck Walk Reserve Cab at a North Fork wine tour in the Spring of 2012. Impressed by its big and bold yet soft and smooth flavor profile, I bought two bottles to save for a special occasion. Sometimes my judgment becomes clouded after sampling a dozen or so wines, but not this time. Right out of the bottle, this wine delivered on all of its prior promises. The nose brings the sort of ripe red fruit one expects from a solid Cabernet but with a certain visceral quality as if you can feel its velvety strength emanating from the glass. This sexy Cab delivers big black cherry flavors with just a hint of spice draped in decadently soft tannins. In my experience, reds this smooth often suffer from a sort of flabby dullness that leaves one not quite satisfied, but this wine finishes with just enough acidity and tartness to sustain a formidable blend of verve and vigor. The best Long Island wine I have had to date, my only regret is gifting the other bottle to a friend who I can't say for certain will appreciate it as much as I do.

  • Dec 3, 2011 at 9:48pm
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    Average Price: $13.99

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Aug 4, 2011 at 12:05am
    The 2009 Layercake Shiraz is a good example of what wine reviewers are referring to when they use terms like "Aussie fruit bomb." I remember trying the 2008 vintage and quite liking it. However, the 2009 has way too much residual sugar for my taste. This wine has an appealing deep violet color and a mouth feel slightly thinner than the color would suggest. The medium finish leaves behind a pleasant dash of cracked pepper and spice, but the sugar lingers on. Had the vintners allowed it to ferment longer and break down those extra sugars, the wine would probably earn an extra half point.

  • Dec 3, 2011 at 9:45pm

    Previously available for $9.49

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Dec 3, 2011 at 9:45pm
    The 2007 Ilka Cabernet scored 87 pts on Wine Enthusiast and only cost $10 so I figured I'd give it a whirl. On the nose I get a sort of artificial, Hawaiian Punch aroma with hints of mint. The Wine Enthusaist review describes the palate as having a "natural, balanced feel" with flavors of berry, cassis, brown sugar, etc. I have to disagree with the "natural, balanced" part. For me, this wine tastes a bit like cherry cough syrup but with a definite pepper and spice element in the back of the mouth, which saves it from tasting completely manufactured. Strangely, the tannins are scarcely present, yet the wine has a long, hot finish with a lingering mineral component. Though the mild tannins certainly bring it down a notch, my biggest complaint with this Cab is that it's just too damn sweet--and more of a high-fructose corn syrup sweet than a brown-sugar sweet.

  • Aug 9, 2011 at 12:13am

    Previously available for $12.99

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Aug 9, 2011 at 12:13am
    The 2009 Maipe Cabernet has a dark purple color and ripe berry aroma with minty accents. On the palate, this wine delivers plenty of fresh fruit and a youthful green edge that softens a bit with aeration. Though it has a prominent oak component, verging on too much for my taste, this wine is structured and lively enough that you should be able to tolerate the long, oaky finish.

  • Jul 26, 2011 at 11:56pm

    Previously available for $17.99

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Jul 25, 2011 at 11:27pm
    The 2009 Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz-Cabernet blend is a deep purple hue with a ripe fruity, minty, and slightly earthy aroma. The flavor is lively and fruit forward, delivering more sugar than spice, yet sufficiently tannic and layered with blackberry and citrus accents on the mid and front palate. Earthy, mineral undertones and minty highlights linger for some time on the finish; however, this wine doesn't improve much from start to finish. A sweeter, new-world style--some might even describe it as "jammy"--this wine is a sure crowd pleaser and a good value at $15.

  • Jul 26, 2011 at 11:54pm
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    Average Price: $11.98

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Jul 26, 2011 at 11:54pm
    At twice the price, the 2007 Concannon Conservancy Petite Sirah would still be a good value. Deep burgundy in color with gentle earthy and floral aromas and a lush, creamy mouth feel, this wine is soft, structured, and silky smooth. I've tasted some Cabernets that approached this level of smoothness--the 2008 Los Vascos Cab, for example--but not without skimping on fruit. This wine suffers no shortage of fruit; yet the red, blue, and blackberry flavors it delivers are well-tempered and smoothly integrated. There is absolutely nothing jammy or jarring here, and the smooth flavor rides all the way through to the soft tannic buzz that coats the back of the mouth on the finish.

  • Jul 21, 2011 at 6:55pm

    Previously available for $9.99

    Cheap Wine Critic's Review:
    Added Jul 21, 2011 at 12:23am
    The 2008 Muirwood Cab is an accessible medium-bodied Cabernet and an excellent value at $13. A little swirl of this deep crimson Cab gives off ripe red fruit aromas with pleasant earthy undertones. On the palate too, this wine offers plenty of fresh, ripe fruit with enough sugar to please fans of fruit-forward reds without alienating lovers of old-world reds. This Cab doesn't jump out and woo your palate on the first tasting; rather it slowly seduces the taste buds with an elegant nonchalance as you drink. Oak aging has mellowed this wine, softening the tannins and leaving subtle traces of spice and cedar box behind after each sip. While some may prefer bolder and others mellower styles of Cabernet, the 2008 Muirwood Cab strikes an impressive balance between the silky smooth and the beautifully bold that's sure to appeal to wine drinkers of all stripes.

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