My Blog: $30 or Less, 90 Points or More in Olympia, Wash.
August 29th, 2011
I spent the weekend near Olympia, Wash. with my friend Andy Lench and his family. Andy is a well-known wine merchant specializing in fine Bordeaux with his multi-national company Bordeaux Locators. What I didn’t know is that his daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Javier, are running a small wine shop in Olympia called Gran Vin Wine Merchants. So, I visited the shop on Sunday and they organized an impromptu tasting: wines $30 or less, 90 points or more. What are friends for?
I didn’t video it, but I thought I would give you the tasting notes. They had some lovely wines for close to the $20 mark. One outstanding wine was under $15. The only wine I didn’t give 90 points was Andy’s own Bordeaux, but maybe it was a little closed compared to the others.
I tasted all the wines blind.
2007 Domaine Grand Veneur Lirac Clos de Sixte: Rhone value. Fruity and spicy with lots of meat notes too. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a chocolate and berry character. Long and powerful. Lots going on here. 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre. Drink now. $19 - 91 points.
2007 Quinta Do Vallado Douro: This is a favorite Portuguese wine for me. Lots of violets and berries on the nose with hints of sandalwood. Full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins and a fruity finish. Delicious and juicy. Drink now. $19 - 90 points.
2007 Philippe Cambie Cotes du Rhone Les Halos de Jupiter: Wonderful black pepper and dark fruits on the nose. The aromas are intense. Full-bodied, with round and soft tannins and a juicy, chocolate finish. Lots of fruit. $18 - 91 points.
2005 Chateau Carignan Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux: Loads of fruit with currants and spices on the nose. Lots of dark fruits. Full and juicy. Medium finish. Needs more on the finish to be outstanding. 100 percent Merlot. $29.95 - 89 points.
2007 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva: This is an excellent value from Tuscany. Lovely flowers and dark fruits. Subtle. Full to medium body, with firm and silky tannins and a pretty finish. Balanced. Drink now. $14.99 - 90 points.Comments