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Snooth User: laynictx

Relative newbie looking to spread wings a

Posted by laynictx, Sep 2, 2009.

I got started with my first cabernet savignon in October of 2008, so not even a year out of the bottle. I have a fairly decent wine cellar/seller in my area and have found en employee there who has been really helpful with pointing me at wines I might like at a variety of prices. I am a nurse, and drink only 1-2 glasses of wine at a time.

I have tried a number of wines and have listed some I like on my profile. So I am ready to spread my wings and try some different wines. So far I have not liked a white wine at all, but have really limited it because I haven't liked them. Most are too fruity, I did have one that was more green apple and pear that was nice but that was it for whites. I pretty much stick to reds, particularly cab's and red blends.

Hopefully, those of you with more experience will be able to help me expand my wine list a bit. Here is a bit of info on what I like:

First is meaty, almost chunky, red wines. A nice strong dark fruit and earthy nose (??) when first opened, smoother after a bit of decanting. I like the wine to cling to the glass when it is swirled. High tannins are fine, but don't really like the big alcohol/acid that comes with those.

I like blackberry, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla, lavender, tobacco, oak, the darker cherry flavors, cassis, anis and earthy (I have been known to call them "dirty" but not too dirty). Smoky is fine. I want a strong start, fruity, with a nice, long velvety finish. I do NOT want an acidic finish, don't like the alcohol smell/taste at the end.

It probably sounds like I know what I want, but finding wines to try that fit those descriptions when faced with rows and rows of wines is a bit challenging. And I am wondering if I should try something outside the cab sav family. I have tried a few of the Australian Syrahs and they have been okay for the price.

Well, if anyone has any wines to recommend, please let me know. I would prefer to spend less than $30/bottle, even less is better (under $15). Thanks in advance for all your help.

layni from texas


Reply by GregT, Sep 2, 2009.

I don't know what's available your way but you might try some malbec from Argentina. You can find some pretty good buys and they sound like what you'd like. And if you're willing to spend as much as $20 a bottle, you'll usually get a markedly improved one. They can be called "reserva" or "gran reserva" and for the most part that doesn't mean anything in Argentina, any more than it does in the US. But those are usually a slightly better wine than the producer's basic line and worth looking for.

Tannins and alcohol are unrelated. In fact, they're largely reversely correlated because the people making hi alc wines usually make them fairly soft.

Of course you should try something outside of the cab sauvignon family, but while you're in it, try Clancy's Barossa from Peter Lehmann. It's about $13 to $15 and it's really a great little wine - a blend of cab, merlot, shiraz.

And then you can look at some of the newer producers from Spain. The young wines tend to have fairly soft tannins and a lot of fruit, but some from Ribera del Duero have bigger tannins and they're quite good. Bodegas Arrocal, Cillar de Silos, Casajus (which I sell) are three that I really like and they're in the $25 range or less.

Reply by penguinoid, Sep 3, 2009.

With regards to white wines, you can certainly find white wines that aren't particularly fruit driven. Quite a number of French white wines are good here -- the Loire (eg, Savennières-Roche aux Moines, Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre), Alsace and Chablis being good bets. The best of these can have a minerally intensity which can be quite beautiful and a world away from the fruit-dominated white wines you might have tasted before.

With red wines, you might want to have a look at some of the wines from the various Rhône area appellations...

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 3, 2009.

I would suggest exploring Spain, old vine Grenache based blend made in a modern style in particular.

Tres picos, El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa, Bodegas Ateca Garnacha de Fuego,Bodegas Atteca all deliver the goods.

I would suggest buying a few of these wines then seeing if you like or dislike them. Once you can say why you like or dislike a group of wines it becomes easier to make ver improving choices!

Reply by basilwino, Sep 15, 2009.

As mentioned by others, try Argentine Malbecs for sure. Also while there maybe Carmenere. Peter Lehmann Shiraz and Shiraz blends from Australia. Spanish Old Vine Grenaches. Also try some reds from the Toro region - bigger, bolder spicier. Maybe some Old Vines Zinfandel from Calif? How about some Chilean Cabs?

Reply by Cheese and Grapes, Sep 16, 2009.

When you are walking down the isle looking at all those wines, look for Chile Carmenere and California Zinfandel. Those meet your descriptions. BTW, I'm a nurse too!

Reply by laynictx, Sep 20, 2009.

Thanks! I took the list to my local "guy" and he pointed me in some interesting directions - and I even tried a couple of whites (I thought I didn't like white wine). I have tried a bunch of Syrah's and Zin's, but they just don't do it for me. I think they are a bit too, for lack of a better word, "spicy" at the end. I am learning that I really, really like the Argentinian wines both reds and whites. Thanks again to everyone who gave suggestions and tips. Am working my way through the world of wines - hehe.

Reply by dmcker, Sep 20, 2009.

So what whites did you try, and what was your reaction to them--esp. what you liked about them?

Reply by amour, Jan 20, 2010.

Have you tried the wines of LEBANON?

I would suggest you do !

Quite unique !

Should they not be in your area,
there is a reliable shipper in ENGLAND.


Reply by redsfortherestofus, Mar 30, 2010.

Cheers Layni!

I'm very interested in wines in your price range as well and have just recently begun reviewing them after several years of sampling.  Other than price, I am picky about flavors and scents as well and I enjoy many of the same.  I recently had a very delicious 10 or 11 dollar bottle of petite sirah.  I would highly recommend this wine and the petite sirah as a varietal you may enjoy.  Here is the link to the petite sirah and a link to my review:

Happy Tasting!


Reply by amour, Mar 30, 2010.

Talking about good affordable ZINFANDEL...

I recently fell in love with St.Francis ZINFANDEL / Old Vines / California.

I was in a hotel  restaurant in South Beach, owned by singer Gloria Estefan, when a young man from Norway started chatting me and offered me the lovely Zinfandel...

I said thanks, told him to join SNOOTH, which he did on the day he returned to NORWAY!!!!

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