Rondel Brut 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.

Sierra Foothills Gold Rush Red

The nose offers mild fruit and a dusting of oak. On the palate it’s a bit tart, and could benefit from a little more body. A decent drinker for the price, though.

HRM Rex-Goliath Pinot Noir

Aromas of bing cherry and a little bandaid. Tastes thin and diluted. Not awful, but uninspiring. Far more pleasant wines can be had for the price.

La Caumette L’Authentique Red Table Wine

This is by far the most mysterious French wine we’ve ever tasted. It’s non-vintage. The producer is La Caumette, with an address in western Languedoc. But there is no indication of grape varietal or origin. If the wine were any good, it might be worth trying to solve some of these mysteries. Alas, it is not. There’s actually quite a bit going on in the nose: some raspberry, a little spice box, and even some eucalyptus. Unfortunately, these aromas had to be teased out of much worse smells; namely, sweaty shoes, petroleum, and bathroom disinfectant. And the taste? Artificial sour cherry was the best we could muster.