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Sale on CA Wines....What's the Killer Buy Here?

A friend has been invited to buy wine via a private insider sale, and is wondering if any of these are particularly good wines at particularly good value. I checked some prices, and they're definitely quite low.

Hewitt Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 03
650/case 

Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 05
California - Rutherford
700/case 

Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 05
California - Napa Valley
450/case 

Sterling Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 05
California - Rutherford
450/case 

Sterling Vineyards Reserve Merlot, Napa Valley 05
California - Napa Valley
400/case 

Sterling Vineyards Reserve SVR Bordeaux Blend, Napa Valley 04
California - Napa Valley
400/case 

Sterling Vineyards Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley 05
California - Napa Valley
325/case 

Rosenblum Cellars Maggie's Reserve Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 06
California - Napa Valley 
300/case 

Canoe Ridge Vineyard Reserve Merlot Columbia Valley 05
California - Sonoma Valley
300/case 

Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry Red Blend Napa Valley 05
Washington - Columbia Valley
300/case 

Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Dulcet Cabernet / Syrah Napa Valley 03
California - Napa Valley  
325/case 

Canoe Ridge Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 05
California - Napa Valley  
300/case 
 
Moon Mountain Vineyard Estate Cabernet Franc Sonoma Valley 05
California - Alexander Valley
300/case

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  1. Quick take from personal familiarity and wine-searcher.com price comparisons:

    In order of value-

    BV Georges de Latour

    Provenance To Kalon (There's a Provenance Cab at Costco a lot but it's their lesser quality wine.

    Sterling: Good price values, and their Reserve wines have always impressed me as head and shoulders above their regular bottlings. If the friend likes Merlot - I just had a bottle of the Three Palms Merlot last night (it as an '03) and it's very, very good (one of the best California Merlots I've had, short of Twomey). I'd say the Sterling Reserve Cab is a good value too.

    The rest are decent wines, but not as good a price break, I don't think.

    Hope that helps, Jim. I'm sure you'll get lots more opinions on this.

    Hey, have your friend buy them all and invite us to a tasting. :o)

    1. I'm not much of a Cali Cab girl, but I just love, love, love everything Provenance puts out.

      22 Replies
      1. re: invinotheresverde

        Thanks, all. A wine guru of mine just got back to me, and said he doesn't find any of these wines particularly interesting........but I'm not sure if he knows every single one of them! :)

        1. re: Jim Leff

          If he's focused on European wine, he might not. Also, they are higher-end premium volume wines, not California cult wines. I don't know if there are 50% deals out there on things like Harlan, Switchback Ridge, or Araujo.

          1. re: Midlife

            Yeah, good point; he's into the winehoundish cult stuff.

          2. re: Jim Leff

            I agree with your wine friend. Not really a winner among them.

            The Provenance To-Kalon is the best of the lot. Tom Rinaldi does a good job.
            Steer very clear of Sterling -- the wine is not worth the $$.
            Beaulieu still had major wine/cellar taint issues during thse vintages (and prior), meaning not only were the wines corked but the entire winery was infected with taint (TCA/TBA). 75% of the wines from this era that I've had have been corked.

            I'd take a pass. Wait till something special comes along. The best buys are from Europe right now and you're on the East Coast, right?

            1. re: maria lorraine

              Plus, isn't JJ Buckley selling that Provenence for $3? / bottle right now?

              1. re: whiner

                Got a link, whiner? I just checked and saw $75.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Wow, My ancient chowhound moderator's instincts perked up and I was about to check what had evoked this apparently flaming response....LOL....

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      My guess is you called whiner..................um............. whiner. :o)

                      1. re: Midlife

                        Yeah, I read it as totally bombastic, ala:

                        "Got a link, whiner? I just checked and saw $75."

                        "Yeah, I got your freakin' link! Link THIS, buddy! And I bought the wine for HALF that price!"

                        1. re: Jim Leff

                          Hey, are those hot links? How's the sauce? Do they come with slaw?

                          1. re: Jim Leff

                            Whiner is impressive -- I know him a bit. God, what a good international palate.

                            To get this hot dog cart back on track, I couldn't believe Whiner's $3/bottle (must've been a typo) so I went to JJ Buckley's website and found the Provenance To-Kalon Cab listed at $75/bottle (out of stock now),

                            And if you want to see for yourself -- to quote Jim Leff,

                            "I got your freakin link" right here:
                            http://www.jjbuckley.com/search/c~0~v...

                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              SORRY guys... was out for a while! HERE is wh I thought it was $39: http://forums.winespectator.com/eve/f...

                            2. re: Jim Leff

                              Jim,

                              I kinda' doubt that ML would ever do that, unless it was aimed at me.

                              I took it to be, "wow, I have not seen anything like that. Can you furnish a link, as I'd love to get a piece of that one?"

                              Maybe I am wrong, but I read it totally differently - but I am dense sometimes.

                              Hunt

                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                At you? Never. You are ever the gentleman.

                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  The essential point is that I was WRONG. Thank you, though, for straining to create a scenario where you are "dense" for being right!

                                  I didn't know we had a poster named whiner, because I hadn't been spending much time on the wine or SF board. So I thought someone was calling someone a "whiner". But enough equestrian flagellation...

                      2. re: maria lorraine

                        maria,

                        I've never liked Sterling's regular wines, but when we were there a few years ago we found their reserves to be in a whole different league. Haven't really tried them since the '03s though. Could the '03 Three Palms Merlot we enjoyed the other night have been from a different winemaker or better vintage?

                        1. re: Midlife

                          You probably drank the single best wine they make, but still, IMO, none of Sterling's wines have been worth seeking out for more than a decade. I do have opportunity to taste their wines here and there but nothing has ever struck me as wonderful, when there are so many other wines around me that do.

                      3. re: Jim Leff

                        Piling on...I wouldn't pull the trigger on any of these.

                    2. I had the 2004 Tapestry about a year ago and was not impressed. (Posted a comment on the "How about a new what are you drinking" thread.) I have not had the 2005, but I would have to hear something good from someone whose palate I trusted before I would try another. The 2004 was priced locally (SOCAL) somewhere between $20 and $30 by the single bottle if I recall correctly. By the way - the listing for Tapestry must be an error - it can't be a Napa Valley wine from Washington - Columbia Valley. I suspect they meant to say California - Napa Valley.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: scrappydog

                        Yes, and Canoe Ridge is listed as Napa Valley.

                      2. Not trying to be snarky or calling anyone out, but the prices from this "insider sale" have for the most part been marked up pretty significantly. I'll post the actual prices (not including sales tax but shipping is....wait for this.....FREE!) to let you and everyone else know there actually might be some better deals to be had (well, at least the ones that haven't sold out yet):

                        Hewitt Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 03
                        799/case *** yes, this is higher than what the OP originally posted ***

                        Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 05
                        California - Rutherford
                        499/case

                        Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 05
                        California - Napa Valley
                        399/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        Sterling Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 05
                        California - Rutherford
                        369/case

                        Sterling Vineyards Reserve Merlot, Napa Valley 05
                        California - Napa Valley
                        329/case

                        Sterling Vineyards Reserve SVR Bordeaux Blend, Napa Valley 04
                        California - Napa Valley
                        299/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        Sterling Vineyards Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley 05
                        California - Napa Valley
                        279/case

                        Rosenblum Cellars Maggie's Reserve Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 06
                        California - Napa Valley
                        259/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        Canoe Ridge Vineyard Reserve Merlot Columbia Valley 05
                        California - Sonoma Valley
                        259/case

                        Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry Red Blend Napa Valley 05
                        Washington - Columbia Valley
                        239/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Dulcet Cabernet / Syrah Napa Valley 03
                        California - Napa Valley
                        229/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        Canoe Ridge Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 05
                        California - Napa Valley
                        199/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        Moon Mountain Vineyard Estate Cabernet Franc Sonoma Valley 05
                        California - Alexander Valley
                        199/case *** SOLD OUT ***

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Eugene Park

                          Is this a public offer online somewhere? Can you give a link?

                          1. re: Midlife

                            It's a Friends & Family sale. I don't think it's proper to post here specific details about it. But it shouldn't be particularly difficult to sleuth out who is offering it.

                            1. re: Eugene Park

                              Well.............. all the brands are part of a company that begins with a 'D'. My daughter works for the company that begins with a 'C', so I can't be a traitor anyway. :o)

                        2. This is the Diageo sale. And other repliers are right, most is sold out. That said, there will be another sale on 11/12.

                          Moon Mountain Cab Franc 2005 is beautiful (comparable to Pride) and fairly priced at 300 a case.
                          Hewitt 03 Rutherford is amazing wine as well, fair at the case sale price.
                          Provenance Sauv Blanc is always outstanding.

                          Skip Sterling, Canoe Ridge, Sterling, Rosenblum.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: stalkingwine.com

                            Best deal IMO was the magnums of the '96-'98 Ch. Duhart-Milon. Basically worked out to $25 per 750ml worth.

                            1. re: Eugene Park

                              Good call. I didn't see them on the list. Do you like the 96, 97 or 98 better?

                              1. re: stalkingwine.com

                                I'll report back when I get the bottles and crack 'em open...... =-)