top10

 

 

 

QPR Stands for Quality to Price Ratio.  These are the wines that represented the highest quality and lowest prices.

 

Here are the top QPR wines I had in 2012.  I selected only bottles of wine that I purchased in 2012.  Will all (or any) of these wines be available in your area?  Good question.  The short answer is, all won’t be available, but one or two may be sitting on a shelf, especially the ones I bought towards the end of the year.

 

Instead of using the price I paid, which may have been a close out price, I am using the “Community Average value” from Cellar Tracker.  This means, you may actually find the wine for a lower price.  I just needed a good way to show an actual price.  It would be stupid for me to show a wine with a suggested price of $50, just because I bought one bottle at a blowout for $19.99.

 

The Cellar Tracker “Community average value” can be skewed if there were a lot of bottles bought at a sale price.  That means, I’m sorry if you can find the wine but it is considerably higher than the price I have listed.  There are a lot of factors that could cause the average price to drop below the current cost, volume discounts, special offers, sales, etc.

 

To be in the Top 10, a wine’s “Community Average Value” had to be under $20.  As an added bonus, I included five wines with an average value of $20.00 to $25.00.  Like I mentioned earlier, since the price listed is the “average” price, you may be able to find some of these for under $20.

 

Unfortunately, the average price of a couple wines in my list had their average price creep over $20 in the last week.  Instead of removing them, I left them on the list since with low “ownership” wines, one person paying suggested price can skew the average.

 

QPR

 

 

10 – 2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge – $13.56

 

My comments

This was a new one for me in 2012.  I bought one bottle, tried it, and had to load up.  I think this one will improve a bit with some cellar time and drink well for a couple of years.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted about 2 hours.  The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  Blackberries, Asian spices, licorice, cracked black peppercorns, plums, cherries, eucalyptus, underbrush, cherry, and a hint of smoked meat on the very nice and open nose.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Loads of spicy fruit on the palate that is not raisiny or syrupy.  Ripe but not overly so, walking the fine line.  Nice length on the finish which does show a bit of spicy oak.  Tasty now, but a bit more cellar time may be rewarded.  (90 pts)

Brassfield Eruption

 

 

 

9 – 2011 Villa Creek Pink – $15.10

 

My comments

This is one of my perennial summer Rosé wines.  This one is generally good with a light dinner on a warm day, or just a cool beverage to tame some Summer heat.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very nice looking pinkish salmon color.  The very crisp and clean nose has strawberries, white peaches, cherries, Asian spices, citrus zest, and a touch of earthiness.  Light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness makes for a very nice palate on a warm evening.  The palate has nice crisp, sweet fruit and spices with some earthiness lurking in the background.  The finish shows nice length with the fruit and spice slowly giving way to a touch of mouthwatering, citrusy acidity.  This is a very nice Rose with or without food.  (91 pts)

VC Pink

 

 

 

8 – 2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico – $22.45

 

My comments

This was suggested to me by a friend at my local wine store as one to try.  I did, and as usual, he was right.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice, ruby red color.  The very nice and pleasing nose has plums, black cherries, baking spices, underbrush, dried herbs, and fresh flowers.  This is barely medium body with ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is rich and lush on the palate with plenty of acidity holding everything together very nicely.  The finish has very nice length with red fruit, spice, and nice earthiness.  A very nice Chianti Classico, I need to pick up some more.  (91 pts)

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

 

 

 

7 – 2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County – $16.43

 

My comments

A top notch winery, a high quality region, and one of my favorite grapes, how could I not love it?

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a garnet red color.  The very intriguing nose has cherries, Asian spices, plums, dried leafy herbs, meat juices, leather, white pepper, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  This has solid fruit and spice on the plush and velvety palate.  The palate leans heavily on the tart cherries and Asian spices, but the pepper, plums, and pepper spread out to totally envelope the palate in flavor.  The long, lingering finish echoes the palate with the spicy, cherries and a touch of earthiness seeming to never totally fade.  This is a fantastic value that should find a place in your cellar.  This can be enjoyed over the next 4 to 5 years.  (91 pts)

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

6 – 2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau – $14.47

 

My comments

I used to drink a ton of this wine, but for some reason, probably price, I moved on to other wines.  My local wine store had this at a great price so I had to grab a few bottles, I’m glad I did since it is as good as ever.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very tempting nose features plums, cherries, wood smoke, baking spices, wild flowers, and some dried herbs and cedar.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and dried herbs grab the initial spotlight with some spicy oak and baking spices adding nice depth in the background.  The finish has nice length and highlights the savory elements with the fruit in the background.  A very nice, value priced “baby Priorat”.   (91 pts)

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau

 

 

 

5 – 2008 Treasure Hunter Cabernet Franc Catch 22 – $19.33

 

My comments

This is a Negociant that buys excess juice from wineries, sometimes does some blending, bottles it and sells it for a fraction of the price the original winery would have charged.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very interesting and inviting nose has blackberries, dried herbs, licorice, black cherry, baking spices, cigar tobacco, dark chocolate, cedar, and some violets.  This has medium body with fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a fair amount of upfront berries and black cherry with dried herbs and spices, slowly a nice hit of dark chocolate creeps in on the backend.  The finish has decent length and leans more toward the dried herbs and dark chocolate with the fruit playing more of a supporting role in the background.  This is a fantastic, young wine for under $20.  I’m going to try and hold off opening another for a few months, but it will be tough.  (92 pts)

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Franc Catch 22

 

 

 

4 – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé – $18.46

 

My comments

This is another of the Rosé wines I load up on before Summer rolls around.  This one usually has a bit more acidity than the Villa Creek Pink (#9 above).

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice, light, pinkish salmon color.  Minerals, strawberry, white pepper, melons, orange zest, and a bit of dusty earthiness on the very appealing nose.  This has light body with crisp acidity.  This is a very dry rose with nice minerality and fruit with the white pepper and citrus making an appearance on the back end.  Nice, lingering, mouthwatering finish. The real deal. Even those who like a crisp French Rose will find pleasure in this wine.  (92 pts)

Bedrock Rose

 

 

 

3 – 2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – $18.02

 

My comments

This is another wine I used to buy in large volumes but avoided when the price crept up.  The local store featured this for an outstanding price and I ended up getting well over a case to enjoy over the next few years.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The elegant nose has blackberries, plums, smoke, dried herbs, vanilla, black cherries, wild flowers and minerals.  This is medium body with silky, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  There is nice layered fruit, spice, and dried herbs on the palate with just a touch of earthiness in the background.  This has nice length on the finish which shows spicy berries.  Very nice.  (92 pts)

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

 

 

 

2 – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Casa Santinamaria – $17.89

 

My comments

I joined the Bedrock mailing list to get their red wines, but thus far I have preferred their Rosé and whites.  The Bedrock red wines need some cellar time, but their whites, like this one are outstanding and offer fantastic value.  This is composed of Muscadelle, Chasselas, Zinfandel, Semillon, and even a little bit of Chardonnay.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow/straw color.  This ha a very intriguing nose with apples, pears, peach, minerals, white pepper, citrus zest, a very nice floral note and just a bit of an herbal note.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  This has luscious, juicy fruit on the palate with citrus, herbal notes and a bit of white pepper in the background.  This very unusual blend is very unique and delicious.  This is another winning white wine from Bedrock.  (92 pts)

Casa Santinamaria

 

 

 

1 – 2007 Core Hard Core – $20.16

 

My comments

This is a blend of 37% Mourvèdre, 33% Cabernet, 26% Syrah and 4% Grenache, and that add up to 100% delicious!  I’m not sure if Dave Corey still has any of this and what his current price is, I was able to load up during a sale on Invino.  This wine is just entering a nice drinking window.  Thankfully I still have some in the cellar to enjoy over the next few years.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby color.  The captivating nose has black cherry, smoked meat, black pepper, cassis, vanilla, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness and cedar.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  The wine is rich and spicy on the palate with layers of flavors popping in, including nice dark chocolate and espresso grounds elements.  This has a fairly long finish full of fruit and dark chocolate with some nice, spicy oak and earthiness adding to the enjoyment.  This is an outstanding effort that will reward additional cellar time.  (93 pts)

Hard Core

 

 

 

Bonus – Five wines from $20.00 to $25.00

 

 

 

11 – 2007 Core Tempranillo C3 Reserve – $21.40

 

My comments

I’m a big fan of Spanish Tempranillo wines, but other than Villa Creek’s Mas de Maha, which is a blend with a fair amount of Tempranillo, most from California haven’t been noteworthy.  Finally, an outstanding California Tempranillo wine!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a slightly hazy deep ruby color.  The wine has an exotic and exciting nose full of cherries, black raspberries, well worn leather, earthy underbrush, baking spices, licorice, and dried herbs.  This has a medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is loaded with tart cherries, raspberries, and baking spices up front with some earthiness and dried herbs in the background adding nice depth and complexity.   The finish is fairly long and full of juicy fruit and spice that slowly gives way to dried herbs and a touch of earthiness.  This is still very young and with the abundance of fruit, acidity, and tannins, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  One of the better California Tempranillo wines I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.  (93 pts)

2007 Core Tempranillo C3 Reserve

 

 

 

12 – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.17

 

My comments

How about that the third Bedrock wine to make my QPR list, and like the two previous entries, it is not a red.  This is the second vintage in a row that this wine was a killer value.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  This has a fresh and refreshing nose full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy, acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  No hurry on this one, it should easily last a few years in the cellar, but as soon as you finish a bottle you will be drawn to open another.  (92 pts)

Bedrock SB

 

 

 

13 – 2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $22.89

 

My comments

This was another new find for me in 2012.  I bought a few bottles of Helioterra wine based on a recommendation during a “Berserkers Day” event.  If you don’t know what a “Berserker Day” is, visit Wine Berserkers.

 

My Tasting Note

From a bottle that had been opened but not decanted for about 4 hours.  The wine is a very light, transparent ruby color.  This has cherry, wet earth, underbrush, baking spices, and a hint of a soft, herbal note on the soft, delicate, but very inviting nose.  The wine has light to medium body with soft, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice spicy, earthy cherries on the palate with a very pleasing faint herbal note in the background.  There is decent length on the finish which may fill out with some additional cellar time.  My first exposure to Helioterra, but this will not be my last.  (92 pts)

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

14 – 2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia “Cuvee 32″ – $21.81

 

My comments

This is one of my favorite “Super Tuscan” wines coming out of California.  A “Super Tuscan” is generally a wine from Tuscany that had a non Italian grape blended with the native Sangiovese.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  On very enticing nose there are cherries, raspberries, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, blackberries, black pepper, and violets.  The wine has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is full of tart, spicy, fruit with nice earthy elements and some pepper adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long and features tart, juicy cherries, licorice, and some earthiness.  This is a very nice “Super Tuscan” from California.  Tastes fantastic today, but this will last in the cellar for up to five years.  (91 pts)

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia Cuvee 32

 

 

 

15 – 2009 Girard Petite Sirah – $24.00

 

My comments

This is another favorite in just about every vintage.  Girard is just about as consistent with this grape as any winery in the world.  They always seem to put out an exceptional Petite Sirah at a great price.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about an hour. The wine is a deep, dark purple color. There are blackberries, black pepper, smoke, licorice, dark chocolate, dried herbs, underbrush, and some earthiness on the dark and pleasing nose.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  There is a lot of fruit and spice on the palate with just a bit of earthiness coming in on the back end with dark chocolate and black pepper.  Nice length on the finish where the dark chocolate really kicks into high gear.  This is very young but already very nice.  (91 pts)

Girard

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

 

Cheers!