Rondel Brut Cava

Rondel Cava

The Value Vine is kicking off the summer with our first review of a sparkling wine—specifically, a Spanish Cava. Like French Champagne, Spanish Cava is fermented (and develops its carbonation) in the bottle. Those who like their bubbles big will like this Rondel—no subtle carbonation here. Very dry, with a restrained nose and palate offering up subtle notes of green apple and sourdough bread. Not much depth, but a simple and enjoyable summer sparkler.

Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Refosco

Trader Joes Refosco 2010

Trader Joe’s is probably best known for its infamous Two Buck Chuck, but it is also a great source of unusual varietals, which is certainly the case for this wine. Refosco hails from, and is mostly grown in, northeastern Italy, where it has a tendency to be high in tannins and acidity. (more…)

Epicuro Nero d’Avola

epicuro nero davola

This is on the lighter side for a Nero d’Avola, both in color and in flavor. Stylistically, it’s closer to South America than Sicily, but at this price, these are quibbles. Almost entirely devoid of tannins, this is a very fruity, almost off-dry wine with a medium body and little acidity. (more…)

La Famiglia Pinot Grigio

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The nose is promising, with citrus, honeydew, and some sweet tropical fruit. There’s a nice acidity on the palate, though we would have liked a little more fruit. Nevertheless, for five bucks, this is a fairly priced, simple summer sipper.

Antica Corte Garganega Pinot Grigio

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A casual glance at this bottle suggests it’s a Pinot Grigio, but a closer look reveals that it is in fact 80% Garganega, and only 20% Pinot Grigio. The nose has some tropical fruit notes with hints of yeast and melon. While the palate does not offer much fruit, it is bright and acidic, with a bit of honeydew. (more…)