Wine Talk

Snooth User: DancesWithWords

Rex Goliath Sauvignon Blanc - So Disappointed! :-(

Posted by DancesWithWords, Apr 26, 2013.

Being a huge fan of the Rex Cab (as a "great-value, lots-of-bang-for-your-buck" wine) and mildly fond of their Merlot and Pinot Noir, I was hoping that their Sauvignon Blanc would be of comparable quality ... but all I can say is, "Bleah." Harsh, burning, and nearly flavorless, with next to nothing in the bouquet -- not at all like the Rex reds.

 

Guess this really is a case of "you get what you pay for." Won't be buying this one again :-(

Replies

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Reply by EMark, Apr 26, 2013.

Y'know, typically, people come onto this board and start raving about some wine that they have had.  Also, the wine they are bragging on is often fairly esoteric and possiby unobtainable for the average wine lover.  Of course, I learn from every one of these posts, and I do appreciate their contribution.

It is also almost a breath of fresh air to read about somebody's disappointment.  It it equally educational for me.  So, thank you, very much, DWW.

We've all been there with disappointing wines.  And the "you get what you pay for" attitude certainly minimizes the ouch factor.  Of, course, when you are disappointed by a wine for which you paid "serious bucks" (and you get to define that term), the ouch factor increases exponentially.  Believe me, I've been there--and fairly recently.  So, if you have that experience, my virtual shoulder will there for you to cry on. ;-)

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Reply by JenniferT, May 3, 2013.

That's a great point, emark! Maybe we should all talk about wine we were disappointed by more often (and why). It's really at least as useful as the rave reviews. 

I'll start. :) 

It's a pain I've come to know as well. I picked up a special bottle on my way home to celebrate returning from a long trip away for work. It took me awhile to get around to drinking it, but I finally did crack it open about a week ago. It was the Billecart Salmon Brut Rose champagne, and I was pretty excited about drinking it from the combination of rave reviews and personal recommendations. (90 pts RP, 92 pts WS and WE, and rave reviews from various sources online). It really seemed to have iconic status. Aside from the inconvenience (really, additional investment) of purchasing and travelling with the wine, it was also quite expensive - $115 Cdn. (Although writing this was somewhat therapeutic because I just verified the price, and had previously thought the wine was more expensive, closer to $140). But still.... 

So I thought it was good, but not great. Certainly disappointing against the pricetag and expectations. A simple wine that lacked complexity and a short finish - I did write a review about it if anyone is interested.

Undaunted, I followed it up by a second attempt at having a special bottle of champagne and purchased the Gardet. I was similarly underwhelmed. Sommelier-in-training BF thought it was a run of the mill Cava (fairly, I think).

DOUBLE BURN! I swear I heard my bank account crying a little. :)

Just in terms of sparkling wine, we both enjoyed Iron Horse I had recently (at about HALF the price) much more! For that matter, I recently had an inexpensive sparkling PN from Australia (Bird in Hand winery) that I enjoyed as much (more, probably) than the Garadet champagne.

I'm still quite a wine newbie in the grand scheme of things. I spend most of my time coming to realize the vast amount of things I don't know at this point. But I do know this - all this wine drinking and experimentation does get expensive, for sure. 

 

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Reply by outthere, May 3, 2013.

I try not to get my hopes up on cheap wine with scores printed right on the label. Rex Goliath is the typical manufactured Grocery Store wine (See Apothic). It is what it is. Their Cab is a good chugging wine that leaves you feeling like hell the next morning. Not my cup of tea.

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Reply by JenniferT, May 3, 2013.

Hey Outthere, do you think the more inexpensive, lower quality grocery store wines have more compounds, etc that contribute to feeling crappier the following day? Or do you mean that you just tend to chug/drink more of the cheap stuff at once, and therefore feel crappier?

Just curious. I am starting to think there are differences between different wines in this regard, but I don't really understand what they are.

 

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Reply by outthere, May 3, 2013.

It's just my opinion but I don't get headaches from good quality wines but always get them from cheap mass produced wines that are the same vintage after vintage. The winemaking style is to appeal to the average consumer who wants familiarity from year to year. Problem is that due to vintage variations the fruit isn't the same every year. Therefor they do the work in the lab adding and subtracting to bring the final product out with the same characteristics year in and year out.

If you saw some of the stuff they put in the wines to manufacture them you might think twice about drinking them.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 3, 2013.

My wife and I drink more if the wine is good.  Last night, we really liked the 2007 Lost Canyon Syrah Stage Gulch, so we finished the bottle.  How do I feel today?  Fine.  Some people definitely are reacting to the additives.  I had something recently from (I think) France that was kind of mass produced, and it left me feeling kind of crappy, so it's really more the industrial processing.

Which isn't to say that only less expensive wines get manipulated--some very expensive wines are vastly manipulated.  It's also possible to achieve similar results across vintages by natural means--a pretty good example is Joel Gott's Sauv Blanc because he buys grapes from different areas and is a brilliant blender and maintains a fairly (but not perfectly) consistent profile.  But he's never going to be able to do that in the volume of a Gallo or Rex Goliath. 

I think brands like Rex Goliath may initially try to make a product that's good to get a foothold via good reviews, but since they are usually appealing to drinkers who just remember they heard of the wine or enjoyed it a couple years ago, there's no percentage in emphasizing quality as the brand grows. 

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Reply by JenniferT, May 3, 2013.

Hmmm, thanks for that feedback - super interesting!

 

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Reply by JenniferT, May 3, 2013.

I would like to find out more about the winemaking process (e.g additives), and how it relates to scale. Clearly most winemakers must be aware of the negative effects of some of the additives, do a cost/benefit analysis...and decide to use them anyway. It must be contingent upon the knowledge level (or ingnorance) of the target market, as Foxall suggested.  

That's something I might try to get schooled on when I have some time later this summer.

Learning about wine keeps becoming bigger...and bigger....and bigger...... :)

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Reply by EMark, May 3, 2013.

For what it's worth, on the topic of low-dollar wines, I seem to have better luck with reds than with whites. 

The one exception is the Rene Barbier Mediterrean White.  I can get this wine for less than $4, and, while it may not be a great, change-your-life wine, it is very, very drinkable.

There is a Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red, and it is just as good.

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Reply by JenniferT, May 3, 2013.

A decent wine...any wine....for 4-5 bucks. That does sound life changing! :)

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Reply by gregt, May 3, 2013.

Jennifert - to make a generalization, for sparkling wine, you can buy Champagne, and grower Champagne, and you're paying a lot for marketing. CA makes pretty good sparkling wine, actually better in many cases, and it isn't always expensive and you're paying less of a premium because CA sparkling wine doesn't have the cachet that Champagne does. Ditto Cava. Made the same way as Champagne, but the Cava trade is dominated by Freixenet and Codorníu who sell an ocean of very inexpensive stuff. If you look however, you can find reserva and gran reserva Cava that is quite delicious and again, it's usually less than an equivalent quality Champagne because there's not the same cachet. 

Prosecco is a bit different because it's usually made with pressure, not a second fermentation, although production can vary a lot. But it's in a different class for the most part.

Anyhow, unless you really love sparkling wine, it's not really worth it to spend a lot of money on a bottle unless you're pretty familiar with that house. 

Again, those are wide generalizations so don't look for a specific example and expect that they'll hold true with certainty. 

As far as "additives", that's a different subject. The posts above make good points.

There are a lot of things that find their way into wine, not always for the best, but it's not necessarily true that the cheapest wine has the most additives or that the biggest players are more prone to use them.

Think about it.

If you're making a few million bottles and you can contract for grapes all over the state or country, if you have hail or rain or excess heat in one area, you may not have it in another. That's what Fox was talking about with the SB. So each year you simply buy the grapes that best suit your needs. That's what guys like Georges Duboeuf do. On the other hand, if you're a small winery with a few acres of grapes and your income depends entirely on what you sell that year, you might find it judicious to add a bit of acid or sugar or powdered tannins, or something less innocuous to your wine to give it what it would otherwise lack. 

Not every big producer is like Duboeuf and not every little guy is slipping in something else, but it's a mistake to imagine that there's more purity to a smaller producer than to a larger one. Not to mention the cleanliness issue - the big guys are able to afford to be clean - not so with every small guy, and if you have allergies or whatever, you may be reacting to some bacteria in the wine.

 


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