The Grapevine

What They’re Reading – Wine Spectator

February 28th, 2013

Wine Spectator this week is Bordeaux at Its Best along with a report on California Rhones. Bordeaux is a “classic vintage” with 450 wines at or above 90 points. Expect your customers to be chasing them. [level-members]

Before that, there are a Smart Buys and Best Values to note from Spain and Chile, respectively: The Bodegas Borsao Campo de Borja Berola 2009 is a Smart Buy at $15 and the Viña Falernia Pedro Ximénez Elquí Valley Reserva 2011 is a Best Value at $9.

Now, on to Bordeaux. As solid a vintage as 2009 was, 2010 is in some eyes not just better, but interesting because it is so different from the 2009. That said, some felt the 09’s are and will be more accessible. Being huge Cab Franc fans here at GSM, we were thrilled to hear that Cab Franc-based wines excelled in Pomerol and St. Emillion.

Not surprisingly, the prices on top rated wines are enough to make you drink. Even the “smart buys” are mostly in the $40 to $50 range. The “top values” offer some relief in the $15 to $25 range. Chateaus Montlabert, Bel Air, Belle-Vue, de Carlmagnus, la Croix Lartigue, Dalem, Lafont Meaut, Paloumey, and Peyrabon all scored well and can be had – if you can find them – without breaking the bank.

California Rhones don’t get quite the same breathless treatment, but the have had strong vintages from 2006 straight through 2010, with all regions scoring 94 or above each year. (The regions they follow are Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbera. Top value reds include bottlings from Tuck Becksetoffer, Eberle, Flux, Orin Swift, and Rusack, Klinker Brick and Groundwork. Whites at reasonable prices include Jemrose, Herman Story, and Vogelzang.