Thank you to all readers, distributors, winemakers, retailers, writers, and friends for your thoughtful feedback and kind words about this website. We try our best, although travel and book writing and day jobs can sometimes get in the way. As a token of my appreciation, I thought I’d give a tip to all readers of the site: a retailer in suburban New York (Zachys; www.zachys.com) is blowing out wines at $10-$15-$20 price points, some of which have been reviewed here. I believe they ship everywhere in the U.S. where permitted, but you’ll have to follow up with them for the details. Anyhow, here are some suggestions of wines that you might want to purchase, with my thoughts:
Vocoret Chablis 2009: My original review of this wine was a bit stingy. I probably rated it around 86 points. Fact is, this is the only wine of which I’ve purchased 2 cases in the past year. Just bought another case this morning. It’s an honest Chablis, with good minerality. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in acidity and precision. This is not going to displace Raveneau or Dauvissat any time soon at the top of the quality hierarchy, but it’s a great every day sipper at $15 a pop on sale. Perhaps what I love best about this wine is that you and your spouse can nearly finish a bottle with a meal, and you don’t feel the least bit intoxicated.
Halos de Jupiter Costieres des Nimes 2008: Costieres des Nimes fared better than most other regions in the Rhone in 2008. The vines are not far from the Mediterranean, and the wine tastes infused with cool ocean air, and a pleasant hint of brine/seaweed. If you like the Arnot-Roberts Syrahs, you’ll probably love this wine. I adore it wine for its balance, honesty, and aromatic complexity. Again, a wine that you can sip with a meal and feel none the worse for wear. Whoever said Phillipe Cambie only makes one style of wine is utterly uninformed. Oh yeah, I picked up a couple more of these today for $10 a bottle.
Domaine Mas du Bouquet Vacqueyras 2009: Probably the best red wine one can find for $10 a bottle in 2012. This bottling exemplifies the classic dark fruit, spicy aroma, and tannic grip of wines from Vacqueyras. I think I bought about 6 bottles of this today for $10. Great to pair with meats and rich sauces.
Chateau Peybrun Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2009: This is a red Bordeaux blend from the Cadillac area, which is not far from Barsac and Sauternes. A really classy wine, from an ancient site that is organically farmed. 66% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, this shows nice cherry/red currant flavors that are edged with notes of cedar, plums, and pine. This wine takes it back to a time when all any vigneron ever wanted to do in Bordeaux was make a balanced wine. Best thing about this wine: it improves over the course of 3 days, without gassing it or sticking it in the fridge. On sale now for $15.
John Bernard Dawson