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CDrew

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L'Ecole Semillion is some high class juice at #8. I've not seen it under $15 but would buy at that price. Great place to go tasting just outside of Walla Walla.

And a Bogle Pino Noir at #6 is an impressive showing. That's likely under $10 here. I will have to try. I mean that's likely Clarksburg or central valley PN, not known for it's premium qualities. Bogle makes nice wines for the $, but still that's much better than expected.
 

bstnh1

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winemaker81

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Equal parts Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Not a blend I'm used to seeing, but delicious.
I'm forming the opinion that a successful blend can be made from most red Vinifera. Historically the various European regions did their own thing, some because of what was legal to grow (e.g., France), some because of difficulties in travel, and more recently because "we don't do that" (resistance to change, common to most human endeavors).

In the past few years I'm seeing oddball blends, some of which is market share driven, e.g., "how to I differentiate my wine from my 10,000 competitors?" It's also likely that some winemakers say, "I wonder what this blend will taste like?". To my mind, it's all good.

I'm also seeing increased learning in the young(er) consumers. During my adult life many folks around me treated wine like it was mystical, and stuck to very limited choices, e.g., "I drink only Cabernet Sauvignon". They knew the name, they knew they liked it, and did not experiment.

My sons' friends (mid-20's) that drink red are much more experimental, trying blends. Several focus on CA blends. None (other than my sons) understand much about the varietals in question, but they know what they like.
 

winemaker81

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Winking Owl is surprisingly good for the price. They are plonk, no flaws, and nothing outstanding about them. The Chardonnay and Merlot are drinkable, even if not impressive.

They are great cooking wine.
 

jswordy

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Winking Owl is surprisingly good for the price. They are plonk, no flaws, and nothing outstanding about them. The Chardonnay and Merlot are drinkable, even if not impressive.

They are great cooking wine.
One word: Sangria :D No, make that TWO words: Spritzer.
 

winemaker81

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About 15 years ago I was shopping at Total Wine (wine chain in USA) and the salesman recommended I buy a case each of the Merlot and Chardonnay from Canyon Oaks. By the case it was $2.50/bottle. He said they had dramatically overproduced the year before and dumped a huge amount on the market -- he thought the wine was very good for a $10 bottle (based upon prices then) and at $2.50 it was a steal.

Total Wine didn't have it available for tasting, but I had dealt with this guy before and had found his recommendations to be spot on. So I took the chance and purchase a case of each.

Two days later I went back and purchased another case of each. Wow! That was a great deal! I haven't found one that good since then.

Price is a funny thing -- we want to pay less, but sometimes we don't trust it if the price is too low. A restaurant owner I knew had Fetzer Sundial Chardonnay on his list for $7.50 (this was many moons ago). He told me that his normal process was to double the wholesale price, but the wholesale on this wine was $2.25. If he put it on the menu at $4.50, he would sell few bottles as folks would think it was junk wine. So he basically tripled the wholesale prices and it was his best seller in that price range.
 
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