I've got Fridays and Saturdays off work... So I tend to do a lot of wine shopping on Friday morning. I picked up a few bottles Friday, and here's the report:
2001 Familia Zuccardi Santa Julia Malbec. Mendoza, Argentina. I'm a sucker for $8 Malbecs from Argentina. This one was a little older than most bargain Malbecs, but despite a ton of sediment around the synthetic cork and shoulders of the bottle, it was a delightful afternoon wine. Still good and plummy, fruit forward and easily drinkable. It's not often than you can drink such a cheap wine after five years of aging and have it still be pleasing. I'd love to try a more recent vintage, or the reserve.
2003 The Lucky Country Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon. Barossa Valley, Australia. This is a second-tier wine from the distinguished Australian producer Two Hands. Funny story behind this one. I walked into the store eager to get a cheap Bordeaux that was on special that week. A couple of cases had been lost in the back of a warehouse for a few years and they were eager to unload it. I grabbed a bottle, and one of the seasoned employees that I know well urged me against it. I promised to buy something of equal value as thanks, and asked for a fun Shiraz. He pointed me to this little gem. For $15, this was an amazing wine. Big fruit, medium tannins, great berry flavors and an easy finish. A dear friend of mine treated the girlfriend and me to dinner. I took the bottle with us, and we had the wine over dishes like beef tenderloin and glazed pork chops and risotto. An excellent choice, and a classy looking bottle. 55% Shiraz and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon.
2004 Three Blind Moose Chardonnay. Central Coast, California. I needed an inexpensive cooking wine, and I fell in love with the label. How can you resist a name like Three Blind Moose? It's part of the giant Constellation wine conglomerate. It looks like they're marketing to a young, hip crowd, and maybe it will work... As for the wine itself, it's a fairly standard California Chardonnay, which is what I figured when looking for something to boost a chicken casserole. Lightly oaked and not buttery in the slightest. Big and fruity. Reminds me somewhat of Fat Bastard or Red Bicyclette. Sort of a baseline Chardonnay that's not going to offend the casual drinker, though I think that the tartness and heavy acidity would be a little rough if you were drinking more than one glass. Runs around $10 for a bottle, but it made the sauce taste great.
I'm also sitting on about 30 reviews from tastings that I haven't got around to posting... Maybe tomorrow?