Every once in a while I get in a Grocery Outlet state of mind and will pick up a handful of CAREFULLY SELECTED wines from their shelves. Did I mention you have to be VERY CAREFUL selecting wines from GO. Forget brands and names, because you probably are not going to recognize most of them. I usually start with appellation in my selection process, with variety an almost equal input. Then vintage and WHERE IT WAS BOTTLED (very different from appellation). Of course, sometimes “COMPARE AT” prices factor in haha because WHO doesn’t like to get a 35-dollar wine for 6.99?!?!? Gross-Out geeks know exactly what I am talking about. Here’s three I grabbed at the San Luis Obispo Friday (because they also realize the importance of TIMING and LOCATION on GO selections). If you are not familiar with the wine-selection at GO, I would suggest giving it a try–beginners and wine-dorks alike. You can blow a lot of money on some seriously bullshit “wine”, but if you are CAREFUL, there are gems. (This post is non-sponsored, BTW)
Dirty finger-nail dried cranberry nail polish green waste bin loveliness both underscoring and defending my mantra of: Never buy French wine with a variety on the front label. This is a $6.99 wine at Grocery Outlet and go ahead: TELL ME YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TRIED IT. Come’on son! Gamey Gamay, clean and direct with awkward roundness mid-palate. Green in the nose, subdued fruit, no brett, clear focused tannin. You be the judge. You gonna throw this chick outa bed? Hell no you ain’t. Hit it again. Smoke a cigarette. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. SHOW ME a 7-dollar burg you gonna hate. I dare you.
2014 MOILLARD Pinot Noir Bourgogne “Tradition” Burgundy France 12.5
What is this, fuckin Napa?!?! Massive mint and spicy oak explodes outa the nose, settling to unsalted butter, Tootsie Roll and yellow pages. A friendlier Medoc at 6 years I have not experienced. Round and full in the nose, it’s only flaw a bit of chubbiness. In the mouth, we’re back to classic BDX lean & mean, bitter green tannin clawing in all directions, subverting and ostracizing the swelling throb of fruit but at the same time glorifying it in the way only BDX can pull off. Continuing my Grocery Outlet cork-pull tonight, this thing is, like, 10 bucks. I would be seen in public with this one, straight up.
2012 CHATEAU DE BENSSE Medoc 50/50 Cab/ME Bordeaux France 13.5
Deep chalk and licorice running hard against incredible concentration–deep dark cherry with supreme mint braised against smoky fennel and bright cool stream. Another Grocery Outlet experiment maybe 5 or 6 bucks tops, labeled IGT with a tiny nod to Umbria. No other info and I don’t really care. It is ridiculously good wine EVERYBODY here is loving. I feel the pond-water is a bit strong, but have been out-voted in favor of the beautiful compact fruit, direct mouthfeel and shrill tannins. Pretty much a no-brainer. Day 2 fat and dusty. Classic Italian.
2014 OCANERA “Gonfaloniere” IGT Umbria Italy 13.5
I did NOT get this at GO, but decided to throw it on here because it doesn’t merit its own blog entry and tasted it the same day at a local wine-bar BTG. I’ve tasted a lot of Verdad wines over the years (they are literally in my back yard) and never really been blown away by too many. THIS LITTLE THING THOUGH!!! Labelled Temp but 10/15 SY/GR or visa-versa, it just SINGS, with the Rhone varieties bringing out beautiful high notes over the stalwart Tempranillo. Find it if you can.
2014 VERDAD “Rock-N-Rojo” Tempranillo Central Coast California 13.5