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90+ ?

Joltingjoey Dec 14, 2011 01:03 PM

A store in my town in Rhode Island is featuring wines from 90+, a "virtual winery" based in Boston.
What they're doing looks interesting. I found quite a bit on the web.

Wondering if anyone's tried their offerings and if anything's really outstanding. Thanks.

  1. w
    weg Dec 21, 2011 01:13 PM

    I have bought a couple of the wines and went to a tasting where there were about a dozen to sample. I though that they were all decent for the money. I liked the Rhone and the Washington Riesling especially. I am not offended by the marketing approach, especially since I find numerical ratings to be a lot of hooey which I ignore anyway. I am more concerned that they have apparently teamed up with the Phantom Gourmet to market a Pinot Noir. I will not buy that one.

    5 Replies
    1. re: weg
      Bill Hunt Dec 22, 2011 07:49 PM

      Thank you for the info. As many of us are not intimately familiar with this concept, we can but guess, and speculate.



      1. re: weg
        Midlife Dec 22, 2011 08:57 PM

        I appreciate the input as well. I, myself, don't take point ratings at face value, but my work in wine retail tells me how much they matter to lots and lots of consumers. This is clever marketing, and the knowledgeable will not be concerned or fooled. The masses, however, can be misled by this cleverness. Ultimately the product will speak for itself.

        1. re: Midlife
          zin1953 Dec 23, 2011 06:39 AM

          >>> my work in wine retail tells me how much they matter to lots and lots of consumers. <<<

          So true. Sad, but oh-so-true!

          >>> This is clever marketing, and the knowledgeable will not be concerned or fooled. The masses, however, can be misled by this cleverness. <<<

          We're in 100% agreement here. Not just "can be misled," I fear, but "WILL be misled."


        2. re: weg
          Joltingjoey Dec 23, 2011 09:04 AM

          Did you try the Malbec? I think it's outstanding. Can't believe I paid just $10 for it.
          I'll try the Rhone next. My store doesn't have the riesling, but I'll ask them to get it.

          1. re: Joltingjoey
            Joltingjoey Jan 16, 2012 01:58 PM

            OK, skeptics & cynics. I've now tried 8 or 9 of their offerings and can honestly say that I'm totally impressed with their quality and value. I've paid $10 for most and $15 for several (I haven't tried their $20+ bottles), and have enjoyed them all. The biggest surprise was the California chardonnay (Lot 40) which sounded like a flabby oak-bomb from the description, but turned out to be a lean, elegant, food-friendly chard. Also, the Oregon Pinot Noir (Lot 28)
            was outstanding.

            btw, I'm not a novice, nor am I overly influenced by rating numbers.

            I really look forward to hearing from anyone else who has tried them.

            weg: the Rhone was a bit too oaked for my taste and I still haven't found the riesling.

        3. Midlife Dec 19, 2011 04:41 PM

          Could someone help me understand how the wines get rated 90+ (or anything at all) if they are not a labeled, 'for sale' product?

          On the surface this appears to be a Cameron Hughes kind of operation. That can be a good thing, but Hughes' wines would be rated under HIS label. From what I know he buys "finished" wines as well,but in bulk, then bottles them under his label. 90+ seems to have a different methodology

          6 Replies
          1. re: Midlife
            zin1953 Dec 19, 2011 08:43 PM

            I don't think the wines are rated anything . . . it's the BRAND NAME that is "90+" (or, at least, that's how I read it). Of course the ***implication*** is something else again . . .

            1. re: zin1953
              Bill Hunt Dec 19, 2011 09:17 PM

              Years ago, I encountered a local wine shop (not in PHX), that was named something like "Special Reserve," and they claimed to have isolated on the very best wines from around the world, and then offered them at bargain-basement prices. Turned out to be rather like "Odd Bins," where all of their wines were being "dumped" by distributors and wineries - basically wines that did not sell. After tasting a half-dozen, I no longer wondered why they had not sold. It was obvious, and on the palate. They were just not "well-made" wines. Still, they lasted for about five years, until all patrons caught onto the marketing ploy.


              1. re: zin1953
                Midlife Dec 20, 2011 09:14 AM


                I agree. The specific wines they sell under their label are probably not rated at all. But this is really stretching the limits...............

                "The wines we purchase must have a pedigree of 90 or higher ratings, best buy or gold medal accolades from a respected wine authority or publication.

                I suppose "pedigree" could mean that the source of the juice has made wines rated 90+ or won medals, or that the vineyard source has produced fruit with the same "pedigree". Sheesh!! . Back to "depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is!".

                1. re: Midlife
                  Chinon00 Dec 20, 2011 06:27 PM

                  I read that on their site and was totally fooled."Pedigree" could mean exactly what you've stated. Nice observation.

                  1. re: Midlife
                    Bill Hunt Dec 22, 2011 07:48 PM

                    Well, many of us have encountered wines for "famous" vineyards, that did not match up (some, not even close) to others from the same spot of land. Probably one of the ultimate examples would be Burgundy, where one plot in a highly-revered vineyard, and only a few rows over, has great PN's, while another producer from that same geographical spot, has really weak wines, but the prices reflect the same terroir. Some winemakers are just better than others. Same can be said for vintages - in many bad ones, some winemakers find a way.


                2. re: Midlife
                  Bill Hunt Dec 19, 2011 09:12 PM

                  Ah, Cameron Hughes. I have had many, but certainly not all, and regardless of the hype, have yet to find one, that I wished to buy. The concept might be fine, but all of the wines from that label have left me scratching my head, and wondering.

                  However, a wino friend claims to have found several, that were great, and great deals. Guess that his luck is better than mine?


                3. b
                  budnball Dec 15, 2011 09:47 AM

                  Seems like a pretty good way to taste different wines at a cheap price and without a lable distraction. I would start with a varietal that know well and get a feeling for quality before branching out, but at $12 you won't be out much. Doubt you will find much outstanding but likely very good daily drinkers.

                  1. z
                    zin1953 Dec 15, 2011 07:32 AM

                    Oh my gawd, it's finally happened! Why wait for Parker to review your wine? Let's just give ourselves 90+ points and leave it at that!


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: zin1953
                      Chinon00 Dec 15, 2011 11:05 AM

                      "Let's just give ourselves 90+ points and leave it at that!"

                      Is that what they're doing? Didn't find where they stated that on their website.

                      1. re: Chinon00
                        zin1953 Dec 15, 2011 03:47 PM

                        Website, schmebsite -- it's in the NAME!

                        In the "there's one born every minute" school of marketing, can you honestly believe that never occurred to them???

                      2. re: zin1953
                        kaleokahu Dec 16, 2011 09:04 AM

                        Hi, Jason:

                        Maybe the folks at 90+ didn't have $40K for RP.


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