Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Refosco

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…)

Emergence White Wine

Although we generally prefer white wines with a bit of acidity, we did enjoy this fuller-bodied offering from Paso Robles. This blend–consisting of Grenache Blanc (33%), Marsanne (29%), Viognier (25%), and Roussanne (13%)–has an enticing nose of peach, cobblestone, and subtle floral notes. (more…)

Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles

A bouquet of dried leaves, raspberry, and dirt. The palate offers mild fruit and balanced tannins. This competent, though not particularly complex, blend seems inspired more by Burgundy than the Rhone.

Familia Nueva Liberte Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a well-made, reasonably priced Cab from Paso Robles. The nose is dominated by ripe (but not overripe) dark fruit, particularly plum. With the restrained tannins, this could easily be a Merlot/Cabernet blend. In any event, it’s good.

Castoro Cellars Syrah, Paso Robles

Strong barnyard smell, along with stale potpourri and concord grape. On the tongue, it’s an odd combination of green vegetables and overripe fruit. Avoid.