Friday, September 28, 2007


Hello Everyone:

Here is a list of WineSaver's top ten everyday reds. In order to make the list, a wine has to meet the following criteria:

1. Retail for under $25

2. Be generally available

3. Be something that I purchase again and again.

So, here, from #10 to #1, are the favorite reds:

10. Alexander and Fitch Anderson Vallen Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 ($6.00)

9. Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2005 ($12.00)

8. Beckman's Le Bec Red Wine 2005 ($18.00)

7. MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir 2005 ($16.00),

6. Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawara Shiraz 2004 ($24.99)

5. Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua 2005 ($12.00)

4. Qupe Syrah Central Coast 2005 ($16.00)

3. Greg Norman Estates Limestone Coast Shiraz 2004 ($13.99)

2. Penfold's Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet 2005 ($11.99)

1. Murphy-Goode Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 ($24.00)

What do you think?

'Till Next Time,
The WineSaver

Tuesday, September 25, 2007



The news about the projected effects of a massive drought on the Australian wine industry can be found at the following link:

As a big fan of Aussie wines, I trust that the effects are less than projected!

'Till Next Time,
The Wine Saver

Monday, September 24, 2007



A quick link to a great article on Pinotblogger - the Top Ten Wine Myths - enjoy!



Yesterday, I opened a bottle of a favorite Syrah.

The 2005 Qupe Central Coast Syrah ($16.50), is a very nice product. (label shown is from 2002).

From the Qupe website: The wine is: 93% Syrah, 4% Grenache, 2% Mourvèdre and 1% Counoise. The grapes come from 16 different vineyards in the Central Coast – 55% from Santa Barbara County; 39% from Paso Robles and 6% from the Arroyo Grande Valley. The most significant vineyard components in order of percentage are: Bien Nacido in Santa Maria, French Camp and Lonesome Oak in Paso Robles, and Chalbot Vineyard, a cool climate vineyard near Los Alamos in Santa Barbara County. Some of the other vineyards included in the blend are Vogelzang, Alisos, Stolpman, Colson Canyon, Black Oak, Windmill and Ibarra-Young (all Santa Barbara County).

It is generally available and is a very good value. I find it the equal of their single vineyard wines such as the Ben Nacido, which costs quite a bit more.

Look for spices, vanilla, strong fruit and great mouth feel - all at less than 14% alcohol. This is a nice wine to drink now or over the next two years.

Qupe's web site is: They have tasting rooms in Solvang and Los Olivos.

Let me know what you think of Qupe wines.

'Till Next Time,
The Winesaver

Wednesday, September 12, 2007



I enjoyed a nice Pinot Noir with dinner the other evening while attending a meeting at the LAX Hilton.

The 2005 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir ($16.00), from the Sonoma Coast, went well with a Caesar Salad and a wonderful Cioppino. The wine can be had for $13.95 or so. It cost $45 at the restaurant. (I know.)

The wine has nice forward-fruit, black cherry and berry flavors, along with a sense of vanilla from the oak storage. You get a definite sense of an earthy terroir as well.

All in all, this is a wine I recommend.

'Till Next Time,
The Wine Saver

Tuesday, September 4, 2007



Dorianne and I took a 4100 mile road trip last month, with stops in some interesting wine locations, specifically, the Okanagen region in British Columbia and the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Here are a couple of highlights from the trip:

One was Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, BC. Their specialty is sparkling wines. Like many of the 80 wineries surrounding Lake Kelowna, a 90 mile long glacial lake in central BC, Summerhill specializes in white grapes. Those who offer red wines (other than Pinot Noir, which can grow around the lake), grow their red grapes to the south, near the US border.

Summerhill ages their wines in a Pyramid - a unique feature that gets lots of attention. And yes, Californians, you can meditate in the Pyramid!

We had a fabulous Sunday brunch at Summerhill's beautiful winery. A number of Okanagen wineries have restaurants, and Summerhill's is excellent. A buffet featuring seafood and other items accompanied the sparkling wine very nicely. We sat on a patio with lake views.

We were joined by our hosts in Kelowna, Dr. Kenn and Rev. Deborah Gordon.

The Okanagen region is beautiful, but has a short growing season. The winters are mild by Canada standards, but not mild enough to provide a long enough season for most red grapes. Of course, Ice Wine is featured - which is harvested after the first freeze.

Summerhill is the largest organic winery in Canada. You can visit their site at

Later in the trip, we visited Oregon's Willamette Valley, the home of some of the finest Pinot Noir on the planet. We only had a short stop - a late afternoon and an early morning, so we visited only two wineries. The highlight was definitely Adelsheim Vineyards in Newberg. After a 5 hour drive, it was nice to have a tasting in their beautiful tasting room, then a picnic lunch (with goodies purchased that morning from Pikes Place Market in Seattle) and a half-bottle of Adelshien's 2006 Pinot Gris. Dave Page, in the tasting room, was both knowledgeable and helpful.

This was a nice, crisp wine with dominant pear and apple flavors that were a wonderful complement to our picnic goodies.

We also purchased some of Adelshein's 2005 Pinot Noir. This is their standard Pinot, and I found it to have the nicest character of the several we tasted. It's not that the higher-end Pinots were not wonderful - it's just that THIS Pinot was just as wonderful, if not more so. This signature wine can be found at better wine stores, at least on the west coast (where you can usually get it at Bev-Mo).

These are a couple of the highlights of the trip. One more was the Dreamgiver's Inn, the B&B just outside of Newberg, OR, where we stayed. Just 2 years old, the home is beautiful and the hospitality of owner Linda Kessler is just what you want. We highly recommend it.
'Till Next Time,
The Wine Saver