Artazuri Garnacha

With a nose that made one of us think of decaying wood on a forest floor, an acidic palate, and a bold sour cherry flavor, this Spanish Garnacha might be a little tough to appreciate, especially compared to the Borsao Garnacha we reviewed last week. But those who like their wines a little earthy—maybe even a little wild—will find much to appreciate here. Though at the top of our price range, the Artazuri earns three stars.

Epicuro Nero d’Avola

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…)

Fratelli d’Italia Chianti

The nose of this wine is smoky, musty, and gamey; the palate is acidic and dry, overwhelming the subtle berry fruit. Skip it.

La Famiglia Pinot Grigio

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.

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…)