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Nov 20, 2007 02:51 PM

Top 10 Overrated Wines

This was on another wine board and I thought it was interesting. Generallyy speaking (and noting there are a few exceptions), I agree with the comments about Marlborough SB, Austrailian shiraz and super-Tuscans....

Your take?

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  1. This is a silly post that could have been both funny AND pointed. To dismiss entire grape varieties or countries is just absurd. When they get specific, there is much more power. Though how could we tell that Screaming Eagle is really over-rated since 99.999% of us will never have the chance to try it?

    For me, I would say that the Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz is overrated, but the Boxer is not. I would say that Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc is overrated, but other NZ Sauv Blancs can be quite interesting. I think Silver Oak in general is way over-rated. And the list goes on and on and on...

    1. Easy : Opus One.

      Tougher : DRC. Of a dozen or so tasted, no big hits, except the buyer's pockets.

      7 Replies
      1. re: RicRios

        "Easy : Opus One."

        Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

          1. re: zin1953

            oh golly, do numbers even go high enough?

        1. re: RicRios

          Ouch on the DRC. I've never had a bad experience, I've also only paid for two that I have tasted. But it is my favorite winery.

          I think you could argue it is overpriced -- the price differential between Dujac (which tastes more like DRC than any other winery I know of) and DRC is tough to stomach -- and Dujac is already really expensive. But I don't think DRC is overrated.

          1. re: whiner

            The similarity is not surprising. Jeremey is Aubert's godson. However, compared to his dad - he can't make wine. Going forward, Dujac is in trouble from what I've tasted.

            1. re: Caillerets

              That is no gouda. The youngest Dujac I've had is the '99 Charmes-Chambertin.

          2. re: RicRios

            These types of bordeaux style blends are among my favorite domestic red wines, but I have to admit, for the money, I don't get Opus One. There are at least two dozen domestic red blends at less than half the price (often much less) that I like as much or better.

          3. You could argue that latour and palmer and lafite and DRC and d'yquem and any of the other french wines costing $350+ on release are far more overrated than the $20 mollydooker or the $13 Brancott S.B.

            I like how the writer completely dismisses entire countries and varietals. Its bizarre to say "grab a loire sancerre" if you want to a decent SB. I like the fact that the same grape tastes completely different when grown in the central coast, the loire valley, or the marlborough. Different expressions of the same grape for different foods or different moods.

            With increased interest in the Loire, will he label that region next years "overrated region"?

            Its an interesting idea for a topic, so I'll give you some of my overrated wines...
            Caymus Conundrum....a fun wine at $15, a ripoff at $28.
            wines I think are overrated, but I'll never know cuz I'll never taste em..
            Eroica Single Berry riesling....$200 for a 375?!?!
            Opus One...just so many other similar wines for less than half the price.
            Screagle ...okay, I'll agree with him on that one.

            11 Replies
            1. re: chrisinroch

              i agree on the OPUS, but disagree on the Conundrum, we always keep it in the house,

              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                I'm with you on the Conundrum. Also, I buy it by the case at US$19, so I find it quite the "deal." Now, I did like the blend better, prior to, what was it? - the '96, when Wagner cut the level of Muscat quite a bit and the Viognier a bit. It went from an expression of Southern nights, with all the flowers in bloom, to just a good, mildly aromatic white, that goes with a ton of different food items.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  This is why there's more than one winery in the world! Even at $19, I'd opt for other things, personally -- but that's my taste. Happy T-day!

                  1. re: zin1953

                    And, that IS why there is more than one winery. While we agree on many, there are some wines, that we do not appreciate equally. Just because Conundrum has been our house white for some years now, does not mean that it will be appreciated by all. However, when I've put it into the wine list at several events, it has been the universal hit, even against wines costing 4x. Now, that only means that it can be a "crowd pleaser," and nothing more. Over the last decade, I've had more folk wanting the name of this one, than all of the 1er Cru Bdx, major Cal-Chards, and even somewhat rare OZ whites. Heck, even more than most of my favorite white Burgs, that cost as much per btl., as a six-pack of this one. Is it for everyone? Nah. Many find it too fruity, and want something more austere. That is their taste, and I respect it.

                    Still, I'll be we agree on more, than not, over the course of a few years.

                    Appreciate your comments, as always,

                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                    Preference or not, this is lovely wording:
                    "It went from an expression of Southern nights, with all the flowers in bloom, to just a good, mildly aromatic white, that goes with a ton of different food items."

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Thanks. I saw it at COSTCO over the weekend. For some reason Trader Joes, only has the half bottles.

                  3. re: chrisinroch

                    Actually, I'd take the Eroica Single Berry Riesling over a d'Yquem. If it had just a little more acidity, it would probably be, imo, the best dessert wine on the planet.

                    1. re: chrisinroch

                      Yeah, I don't quite get Conundrum either, especially at $25+ in NYC. At $19, it's not so bad.

                      1. re: mengathon

                        Mengathon, another reason to visit sunny Arizona! Now, I enjoy this wine, and find that it pairs with a lot of foods. I've even served it with grilled beef, for "white-only" wine drinkers, and it's held up, OK. I do not enjoy thinking about buying it at most restaurants, as the markup is quite high, usually around US$50-70 - just out of hand!


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Funny how reading this board can jog your memories. I now recall the first and last time I had the Conundrum. It was definitely the '05, and I believe I had it with an experimental homemade saffron potato soup with fish stock and a bit of cream and thyme, with seared salmon and grilled asparagus. And I distinctly remember the salmon as being just a little over the hill. Or maybe it was the asparagus that clashed with the wine. For whatever reason, something just wasnt working in the mouth midpalate and the finish. The nose of the wine, I agree, is extremely pleasant and fragrant.

                          My expectations were also of something refreshing and light, which is probably not how most people would describe Conundrum.

                          You've convinced me to give Conundrum another try. That is, when I find it on sale for less than $25 =)

                          Happy Thanksgiving!

                          1. re: mengathon

                            You know, I've had it with salmon, done a few different ways, and found a metallic note to it. It does not, in MHO, pair with everthing, but goes a long way. I think that the parts of this wine put it into the category of a nice Riesling, when food is factored into the equation.

                            For salmon, I guess that I am a bit of a traditionalist, in that I like a lighter PN, or a well-made Pinot Gris/Grigio, though these have been more difficult for me to find. That "metallic" note seems to creep into a lot of wines with that particular fish, and I am not a fan.

                            As for the price, my Costco usually has it for US$19.99. My local boutique grocer has it for US$27, and if that was the price, I'd likely move it off my "house wine" list for white.


                    2. I gotta say, I agree with a lot of that article.

                      -I have little faith in the fruit-bomb St. Emillons

                      -With the exceptiong of fewer than a half-dozen (very expensive) producers, I don't find Aussie Shiraz enjoyable.

                      -Screagle is great, but even under old management it wasn't even one of the 3 or 4 best CA Cab/Blends. Under new management? Don't know and unless someone wants to open a bottle for me, I'll never find out.

                      -I'm not a huge Chilean Cab fan, BUT don't mistake that for a comment about Casa Lapostelle's abaility to make a great value Merlot dominated wine at the $20 range, and a truly world class Merlot dominated wine in its 'Clos Apalta'

                      -Long Island. Yup.

                      -The singling out of Sea Smoke is unfair. But the general sentiment that the popular Pintos coming from that region of CA lack the delicacy and detail that I want from a Pinot (or any wine in their price range) is pretty much correct.

                      -Clos de Vougot. This is another oversimplification with a good basic message. Even though it is a Grand cru lots of the wines produced from it aren't grand. This problem is not specific to Clos de Vougot at all, but because there are 80 different wineries putting out Clos de Vougots but probably only a handful of great wineries doing it, it is most apparent here. But you could also look at Echezeaux, Bonnes Mares, Charmes-Chambertin, etc and see that some producers are awesome and some aren't.

                      On the other hand...

                      -I think Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has its place. For under $15 Kim Crawford remains one of the better values in white wine. And there is so damn much of it that the prices are holding steady. It is a good summer quaffer and a good "beginner" white wine, too. Sure, it isn't as good as one of th ebetter Sancerre's but it isn't as expensive either. (And while we are at it my favorite dry Sauvignon Blancs don't come from the Loire, they come from Austria and Graves.)

                      - Super Tuscans. First of all, not all Super Tuscans are made from Bordeaux grapes. Take one sip of a San Giusto Percarlo and you'll know it is Sangiovese. Also, you'll know it is world-class and it certainly tastes of Tuscany. Second of all, there are some tremendous values in Super-Tuscans. Not the $100+ -aia wines, but the $30 wines like Ciacci Piccolomini's Ateo or Ucceliera's Rapace. And let's not forget Piccolomini's awesome Syrah - Favius. Then the 'big boys' that this is actually referring to... I dissagree there as well. I think, especially the wines of Bohlgeri do show a sense of place, they are half way between new wrold styled and Bordeaux style and often have a bit of a red clay sense. For $75 there is little coming out of Bordeaux OR CA can can compete with a Tua Rita Giusto di Notri.

                      -I don't know enough about Albarino to comment.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: whiner

                        I'm not a big fan of Long Island wines, but overrated? Are there world-class wines coming out LI? Probably not a whole lot, but the region doesn't get much press or acclaim to begin with to be overrated, IMO.

                      2. I tend to have significant issues with anyone who makes such generalizations and the article did just that. There were some fair or interesting points but overall I think it was unfairly conceived and was primarily intended by the article's author as a puff piece for her soon to be available book.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ibstatguy

                          I agree. The harm is that the avg GQ reader may only read one wine article in 2007 and this "drive by shooting" of an article is it.

                          1. re: chrisinroch

                            I would only hope that the "average GQ reader" looks into wine, more than the mentioned article. I do not go to GQ for anything, but I am not in their demographic. If one wants to spear a few "sacred cows," then this works. However, I feel that it offers little, regarding wine selections. Heck, even I could trash Cabs, Chards, Syrahs - wait, that's already been done.