What are you buying right now?
Newly arrived '05? Pre-arrival '05? Scrounging for '04s or '02s or earlier?
Yes, I'm not being specific in terms of country, regions, etc; just curious as to what fellow wino fiends are spending their ducats on....
'05 Barossa/McLaren Vale Shiraz/GSM. A lot of Two Hands and Torbreck.
'06 Mollydooker. Wondering what the fuss is about, and trying them for the first time. As a bonus, they have cute labels.
'03 Silver Oak, Alexander Valley. Debating whether I should get split a case with someone at $50/bottle. Seems like a pretty good deal, but even my local wine merchants have admitted to being thoroughly unimpressed by their recent offerings since Meyer left. They are a little more enthusiastic about the '03.
'96 Champagne. Discovered the sinful pleasures of vintage champagne recently. Working my way up, I have a feeling this is going to burn a hole, nay a blazing inferno, through my checking account by the time I'm done. I'm beginning to regret turning down a generous offer of a birthday gift of a half case of any wine I wanted in favor of a nice dinner. Salon anyone?
And of course, Vitamin Water, Formula 50.
I think your comments about Silver Oak are right on the money. We just moved from SF after living there 8 years. Being a collector we spent lots of time in Napa and Sonoma. Years ago Silver Oak was a favorite, still have some '91 that is drinking fine. However, IMHO it did and has gone downhill since Justin sold it and has since passed away. I think there are any number of better cabs in Napa. for the same price or even less.
Upon Justin stepping aside, about the time of the sale, the Napa changed dramatically, as the new winemaker could not work a deal with the Milat brothers, who provided the eucalyptus elements to the Napa bottling. They have since opened their own winery at their vineyard, right at the Oakville Cut and Hwy. 29. I have only had a few of the AVs, since then, and they have been lacking in other elements, as well.
Two Hands...just got hands on Ares '04, Lily's '06 and Angel's Share '06.
Mollydooker...the entire line. Fuss is warranted should you like that style wine. If not, you'll be pretty disappointed and should stick with the $20 Lefty series.
Lots more Aussie wines, probably too many. I've been laying off the mailing lists for the time being with the US Pinots and Syrahs. I have too many to work through!
Re Mollydooker - I am not afraid of big wines and drink many, but despite repeated attempts found last years' Boxer pretty much undrinkable. Like a wine milkshake. Of course, I have never tried the "Mollydooker Shake," so maybe that's the problem!
The cab/shiraz blend (Maitre'd?) I thought was somewhat better. I did like the white they made, a verdelho whose name now escapes me. I did also have one of the higher end Shiraz bottlings (Carnival of Love?) at a blind tasting and it was quite potent, but still a bit too far over the top for me (and I don't often find myself saying that). I assume the 06s are more of the same?
megathon, I've liked the Colonial Estate wines in the past but haven't had them in a while. I have enjoyed l'etranger and l'explorateur. Those must be among the less expensive since when I bought them, I was definitely not accustomed to forking over lots of dough for wine. Sorry, I'm not qualified to comment on the current releases!
Bought the whole case of Thomas Coyne's Viognier (Livermore) in my local Whole Foods store. For around $15 a bottle I consider it a great purchase.
Bought 2 cases of Dashe Cellars Big River Ranch 2003 Zinfandel Alexander Valley. Geat zin, sweet blackberries, clove, chocolate. $28 per bottle.
Bought 2 bottles (at $55 a bottle they are a bit out of my price range) of SummerWood Diosa 2004. I had this wine before, it is a Syrah blend. In the current stage of my wine education this got to be the best wine I ever had in my mouth.
This meant to be a reply to the OP, but the site is a little screwy right now, I post where I can:
2005 Alain Corcia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Collection "Patricia" ($24.99).
Chapeau! This got me back in the right track of good, reasonable values (the way they should be!) from the southern Rhône.
2004 Girardin Montrachet ($299.00).
A Montrachet by the book. Worth every single penny.
2006 Vacheron Sancerre Blanc ($24.99)
Superb biodynamic effort by cousins Jean-Dominique and Jean-Laurent Vacheron.
2005 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains, L'Exception, Domaine Michel Lafarge (Pre-Arrival) @ $19.99
No idea, haven't got it yet. But smells good on paper!
2003 Abadía Retuerta Rívola Sardón de Duero ($13.29)
Excellent PQR, with the special bonus that spousal unit loves it.
Lots of 05 from a recent Sonoma trip plus 05 and 06 fall mailing list releases ->
Bella 05 zins
Porter Creek 05 pinot, syrah and zin
Preston 05 barbera, mourvedre, rhone blend, zin
Gary Farrell 05 Bien Nacido pinot and Cresta Ridge chard
Chateau Montelena 04 zin, 04 cab, 03 estate cab, 05 chard
Melville 05 pinots (Terraces, Carrie, High Density, Clone 115)
MacPhail 05 pinots (Toulouse, Sangiacamo, Pratt)
W.H. Smith 06 pinots (Maritime, Sonoma Coast)
Pax 06 syrahs (Alder Springs, Kobler) and roussanne
Penner Ash 05 pinots (Shea and willamette Valley0
We've been drinking the Melville's through out a trip to Santa Barbara and then one to New Orleans. for me, the Carrie's has been the standout, winning rave reviews over the SeaSmoke Ten and Southing on several tastings.
I was only able to pick up a few of these, and would love to go back and buy about four mixed cases (vineyards). A good reason to gas up the Landcruiser and take about 18 styro-shipper cases with me. If I go the max, of 19, wife has to fly back to PHX., and that only works, if she has a business meeting.
re: Bill Hunt
That reminded me that my Melville pinot noir supply is getting thinned out. I was down to 15 bottles. I just ordered a mixed case of 5 Carrie's, 5 Terraces, and 2 Viognier. They've also been holding a case of 05 Estate Santa Rita Hills pinot noir hostage since April. I still have a bottle each of Clone 115 and High Density I never tried.
From their newsletter, their pre-release of 06 Santa Rita Hills pinot noir shipping mid-November has gone up $4 to $32.
Anybody doing a wine junket in that part of the world would be well-served to head up to Chef Rick's in Santa Maria. It's a well-executed California / Southwest / New Orleans fusion in an unobtrusive strip mall storefront.
re: The Chowfather AKA sobe
So far (other than what I tasted at winery) I've had the Gary Farrell (which was actually '04 Starr Ridge), the MacPhail '05 Toulouse Vineyard, the W.H. Smith '06 Sonoma Coast, the Melville '05 Terraces, and the Penner Ash '05 Willamette Valley. I'd be hard pressed to describe any of these as Burgundian, though I thought the MacPhail and Penner Ash were both excellent and the WH Smith very good too in a nice medium-weight style. All have more layers and subtlety than the "fruit bomb" or "pinot as syrah" style of some PNs, though the Melville and Penner Ash in particular tend toward that direction.
Here's the ones I have notes on.
MacPahil '05 Toulouse Vineyard (Anderson Valley) ->
"Wow! Slightly translucent brownish-red color, with a potent bouquet of spice, bay leaf, a hint of truffle. Started with a bit of pinot funk which blew off over time. In the mouth it's delightfully silky and smooth, with soft fruit, lots of spice with a touch of dusty earth, and a slightly creamy oaky finish that goes on for 20-30 seconds."
Melville '05 Terraces (Santa Rita Hills) ->
"Bright clear ruby color. Upon first opening this seemed really closed so I let it sit for a couple hours and came back to it. Nose is rather earthy and a touch stemmy rather than fruity, with hints of smoked meat coming out over time. Fairly soft entry on the palate, with creamy blueberry followed by chewier cherry and more earth and mineral notes. Feels like it needs some time to come together."
Penner Ash '05 Willamette Valley ->
"No formal notes taken, but this had bright ripe cherry and berry fruits, some flowery notes to the nose, lovely velvety texture, and nice acidity on the finish. "
W.H. Smith '06 Sonoma Coast ->
"Translucent garnet color. Classic pinot nose with just a tiny hint of funk which quickly blew off. Light-medium weight, with cherry and other red fruits and some minerally, wet stone notes toward the back end."