Still totally awesome packaging, though.
2002 Roero Arneis: Yo, you guys really need to check out Stelvin closures. I'm not kidding around here. Yay cork taint: this one had to go down the sink immediately. I left a glass out overnight in hopes of getting the stink blown off enough to guess what this might have tasted like - it still reeked the next day, but I suspect it might have been a pretty good wine before it was bottled. A shame.
2003 Mendoza malbec, Albertsons house brand ["Origins"]: Not too shabby for $7. I had a glass, and then bunged it back in the fridge. Pretty much everything Argentine malbec is supposed to taste like, although kinda muted... but hey, $7, right? We can't all drink Susana Balbo.
If anything it seems to suggest that Albertsons house brand wines are good. Still leery of the $24 Barollo [sic] and the $21 Sonoma 'Q' meritage, however. If only I were a real wine writer... hm... maybe I'd be able to score free samples... Anyone want to put together a bogus consumer group and get in touch with Albertsons PR?
2003 Thurston Wolfe Sweet Rebecca: Nothing special. Just kind of grapey and sweet - but not too much - with a good wallop of alcohol [brandy was added to stop fermentation]. I like it fine, but it's nothing special.
2002 Iby Blaufränkisch Hochäcker
2003 Thurston Wolfe Lemberger
Same grape, different countries. We tried the Austrian one first, which was pleasantly dusty and pretty straightforward. Then... the Washington wine. Sure tastes like the weather's warmer here: it was lovely, full, rich, and full. I shared both bottles with a bunch of friends - and even the three Europeans present agreed that they liked the New World version better. The Austrian wine is absolutely lovely - don't get me wrong - but it just seemed thin compared to the local produce. Still, it might work better with food... who knows?
I think I finally understand why Lemberger/Blue Franc is planted so much in Washington, though. Really awesome stuff.
2000 Bonny Doon Critique of Pure Riesling
Just old enough to start hinting at kerosene on the nose, this was in fact pretty damned awesome - probably the best American Riesling I've had to date. Sadly, that was the only bottle I had of it. sniff!
2002 Chehalem Dry Riesling Reserve
This was also really damned good, but as with the Bonny Doon, there seemed to be a bit of sweetness there that kind of detracted from the experience.
2002 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling
This, on the other hand, was the best damned wine I've had to drink all summer. I really, really wonder why no one even attempts this style outside of the Clare Valley in South Australia. This is dry to the point of brutality, but wow! Piercing, steely, smells vaguely like muted citrus peel, no sugar to speak of, acidity right up front... and the perfume. Oh, the perfume. Hard to describe what it smells like other than "of itself." I can't wait to drink this again in five years.