Some recent under $20 tastes:
- 2005 Domaine La Garrigue, Cuvée Romaine, Côtes du Rhône - An excellent bargain from importer Eric Solomon. Rich, earthy and structured with bright, but not simple fruit. Very peppery and spicy with a warm, but firm tannic finish.
- 2005 Dolcetto d’Alba, Lorenzino, Germano Ettore - Brightly rich, fruity and charming, but with an edge you would expect from vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba. Delicious and ready to drink with anything from pizza to a good steak. Very nice.
- 2006 Barbera d’Alba, Germano Ettore - Zesty, fresh and bright. A wonderfully fruity and refreshing barbera that should be drunk young to enjoy all its youthful charms.
- 2006 Dolcetto, Walla Walla Valley, Woodward Canyon - A nice effort, deeply purple in appearance, aroma and flavor and enjoyable to drink. However, you can buy much better dolcetto at a lower price than this from top Italian producers. A curiosity, but a pleasant one.
- 2006 Coteaux du Languedoc, Domaine Le Pas de l’Escalette, Julien Zernott & Delphine Rousseau Vignerons - This wine is just so charming and pleasurable to drink that buying by the case is mandatory. Brilliantly and brightly fruity without simplicity, this is just a great red to have around this house as it’s guaranteed to elevate many a weekday dinner or weekend party.
- 2004 Pinot Gris, Pfleck de Wettolsheim, Domaine Barmès - Yet another oily, over-the-t0p quasi-late harvest wine from Alsace. Thick, sweet and ultimately boring (to me anyway). At 14.5% alcohol avoid driving after dinner.
- 2005 Riesling, Winninger Uhlen Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Freiherr von Heddesdorff - At 9% alcohol, this wine is the polar opposite of the wine above - thank goodness. Light and delicate without missing any complexity. What a great bargain and so, so easy to drink. With just a touch of sweetness to balance the zesty acidity, this wine is so refreshing a second glass always seems to follow the first.