I know some people aren’t a big fan of wine scores, but I am. And here’s why. Wine scores make it easy for the average consumer to buy a decent wine without having to be a Sommelier. Most people when they go to their favorite wine store or liquor store, it can be confusing to buy wine, especially from countries that do not label by grape varietal, but by region. A rating system makes it easy for them. Allowing for the fact that not every person likes every grape variety, however if you like a Shiraz, and you see one at 90 points or more, you don’t have to be a wine expert to figure out that, the 90+ wine could be a pretty decent wine. There are other scales some critics and wine associations like to use the 1 to 5 scale. Me, I like the 100 Point System designed by Robert Parker. As a Sommelier in Training, Wine Blogger, Wine Writer and Wine lover I like the easy to understand language of the 100 Point System. When I say to someone at work, 92 Points, they know I really really like the wine.
Once a year, our local NSLC store puts out the 90+ list. I love this time of the year for discovering new wines, new wines that are at least 90 points, and I especially love it if they come in for a great price. Like this one…..
The Santa Rita Reserve Syrah was given 92 Points by Wine & Spirits and it comes in at the delicious price of just $16.99. I can’t remember if I have ever seen a wine at 92 Points for $16.99, so of course I had to buy it and try it immediately. Fantastic wine. It’s my new best deal at my local Liquor store. Santa Rita is one of Chile’s historic wine estates, founded in 1880. So they have been making wine for a very long time, and they hit it out of the ballpark with this one. This 100% Syrah beauty is flavorful with ripe dark fruits and some spice. Great wine for BBQ season, and will also pair well with pizza, pasta and OH, does it not scream out for pork! This has become a new staple in my wine rack.
Here’s another beauty. 94 Points by Wine & Spirits and under $20! That is not a typo. $19.99 for this gorgeous Finca El Encinal Tempranillo. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Here’s what Wine & Spirits had to say
“ Pay no attention to the toasted oak scents that introduce this wine, because they soon leave the scene. Fix your attention instead to the generosity of its fruit, voluptuous and smooth. This is richly layered in flavors (some closer to meat than fruit), with a density that traps and wraps in a lovely way. All in all, a complex wine and an astonishing value. Finca El Encinal is a project from the traditional bodega Franco Españolas de la Rioja”
And here’s what I have to say. I had this wine last night with a creamy pasta dish I made. It’s a kick-ass pasta dish if I do say so myself, with a homemade green olive paste and four cheeses baked in the oven. I know! There are a lot of complex flavors in that pasta dish with the different cheeses, olives, garlic and different spices. And this wine went perfectly with it.
Here’s another Spanish beauty that rated 90+ and came in at under $20. The Finca Antigua Crianza made from a blend of grapes that will tantalize your senses. Tempranillo (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Merlot (20% and Syrah (10%) It was then aged in French oak for 12 months . The grapes were also harvested a little later than usual, in late September and early October. You know what that means…It will be rounder and fuller and it’s a fantastic wine for any meat you would want to serve…can you say BBQ ! It also comes in a white variety at an even better price.. $16.99 here. Made from the yummy Viura grape, one of my favorite white grapes in Spain. It’s a light-bodied white with fruit and citrus flavors and moderate acidity. The vineyard, Finca Antigua, was named after the old vines growing on the estate when the Bujanda family bought the vineyard, in the middle of the La Mancha, which is known for being one of the best wine sites in Spain.
Another 90 point rated wine that came in at $18.99 was the Charles & Charles Post 35 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. It’s a blend of 58% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Syrah from the beautiful Washington State and will go with everything from steak, to meatballs, and from pasta to burgers. This is a big chewy wine that will stand up for itself no matter what hunk of meat your man puts on the grill. Dark berry fruit with a hint of spice and some chocolate, let’s sit back and enjoy this wine while the men do the cooking.
You know it’s wine time when you get these fantastic wines at decent prices. Enjoy, and I would love to hear your feedback on these wines.
Until next week, Cheers