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Aug 16, 2008 07:29 PM


Is anyone familiar with any of the Reds listed under the Secret Values of the sommelier? Just curious if there are any good deals/quality wines on the list. Thanks in advance
*this is list from Michael Mina's restaurant in Miami area

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  1. I'm familiar with many of them, actually. And none of the ones I know seem to be particular values relative to their wine list price, which brings up...

    Of course, almost that entirelist is rediculously overpriced.

    That said, from that list, the EASY EASY EASY EASY choice, if it matches your food and you are willing to spend $105 is the 2003 Ojai Melville Syrah. Whereas most of the wines on that list are listed at 3 times their retail price, that is listed at only about 55% or 60% above retail (about $65 -- and very hard to get if you are not on the mailing list). And that particular wine is just about my favorite New Wold Syrah because it has terrific purity of fruit, but also great acid structure and complextiy to it sorely lacking in most of the more expensive, over-the-top, New World Syrahs. I've had about 4 bottles of the '03 already, and with a bit of a decant, it is really a world class wine, imo. I've rated it between 92.5 and 94 points, and I am a tough grader.

    1 Reply
    1. re: whiner

      >>> Of course, almost that entirelist is rediculously overpriced. <<<

      Well, it IS a Michael Minna restaurant . . .


    2. When I dined there, I went the route of paying the corkage. Brought a bottle of the 2001 Tom Eddy Cab (available at the Crown on US1) and enjoyed my meal immensely. The bread there is heavenly (drenched in truffle oil and served hot in a skillet).

      1. Several of these "secret value reds" are fair wines.

        A few standouts, IMO:

        The Tikal Malbec AMORIO (not patriota) 2006, a really nice if youngish great malbec.

        The Chave Cotes du Rhone 2006. Again, youngish but really nice.

        Some kudos to the Tenuta Le Cupole 2004.

        Go with any of the above that the wine steward highly recommends for the meal you have in mind. Enjoy.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chicago Mike

          True the J-L Chave 2006 "Mon Couer" Côtes du Rhône is $58, but you can widely find it at retail for under $20. Given the choice between the two, I'd say Chave's 2005 Crozes-Hermitage rouge for $65 is the better buy . . .

          1. re: zin1953

            The Crozes-Hermitage isn't on the "Red Secret Values" list.

            1. re: Chicago Mike

              Yes, Mike, and the "Secret Values" list is neither all that secret, nor all that valuable. And while the OP DID ask about the "Red Secret Values" list, I think there are better values in red wines OFF the "Secret Values" than on . . .

              Were I only handed that one page from which to select, I probably would pick the "Mon Coeur," but -- fortunately -- better wines at better prices (IMHO) exist off that one page . . . .


              1. re: zin1953

                Thank you Jason. That's a fairly extensive wine list so that's why I only asked about the one page. I appreciate that you reviewed the rest of the list and look forward to trying the Finca Sandoval Vino Tinto.
                Thank you to everyone else that took the time to review the list and make recommendations.

        2. "Secret Values of the Sommelier" is filled with a number of not-so-wines and (IMHO) questionable values.

          What's your budget? I'll presume it's under $100, and recommend three Syrah-based red wines from elsewhere on the list that I would order for myself:

          -- Jean-Louis Chave Crozes-Hermitage rouge Silène (Rhône, France) 2005, $65
          -- Tablas Creek "Espirit de Beaucastel" (Paso Robles, California) 2005, $92
          -- Finca Sandoval Vino Tinto (Manchuela, Spain) 2004, $51

          Keep in mind there are other, non-Syrah wines I'd order, but my #1 choice off that list would be the Finca Sandoval, period!!!

          It's some 85-90 percent Syrah (I forget the exact percentage off the top of my head). It retails in the low-$40 range. And it's absolutely delicious! I've purchased about 4-6 bottles at retail for my cellar, and another 4-6 off wine lists for precisely this reason: at $51, it's a steal!!!


          2 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            Just wanted to thank you for the Finca Sandoval Vino Tinto recommendation. After reading your post, I was anxious to try it. Ordered it at Bourbon Steak last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm hoping I can find it at one of my local wine stores!

            1. re: miamisage

              Glad you enjoyed it! It's a wonderful bottle . . . . IMHO, of course! ;^)

          2. As commented upthread, yes the prices are high ($102 for the Joguet Chinon, for example). And WTF is Veramonte Pinot Noir doing in this section of the wine list? If it were me with a gun pointed at my head to pick a wine from this section of the list, I'd go with the Tenuta de Trinoro Le Cupole.