Here we are in south Texas drinking J. Lohr 2015 Los Osos Merlot, which we buy at the local grocery store for $11.68 American dollars. You can get it at Ontario’s LCBO for $22.95, and it would probably be worth it :-). It’s a lovely wine, tasting of black cherry and chocolate, with decent tannins. We found the 2015 is a bit bolder than the 2014, but I guess the grocery store must have run out of the 2014 (I suppose we contributed to that, we’ve been drinking it for the last 5 or so weeks).
He said: The 2015 is much nicer than the 2014. Great value – it’s affordable.
She said: Shut up already, you do run on!
We actually went to J. Lohr winery a few years ago in the Paso Robles wine region in southern California. Their tasting room isn’t a giant chateau or anything, but their wines have been consistently yummy and really great value, and I believe they produce quite a lot of wine. We got started on their Zinfandel, but this Merlot has become a real favorite. We’ve tried other reds, but keep coming back to this one. Personally, I like both the 2014 and the 2015.
If you have the chance, give it a try, and be ready to grab a couple of extras! And if you’re wondering where to go in California, the Paso Robles wine region is a real gem. Lots of wineries, but still not as touristy as wine regions to the north, so you often have a more leisurely tasting with lots of personal attention.
The problem with watching weekend PGA golf on TV is that it always involves wine. We try to ration it out, saving enough to have with dinner. Doesn’t always work that way…
We started with Tapiz Alta 2011 Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina ($18.95). This was reviewed on WineAlign by David Lawrason who said, “This is a balanced and complete if not huge cabernet – an absolute bargain. Argentine cabernet seems to pack in a centre of gravity that some lack (cabs can famously have a ‘hollow middle’). There is even a sense of graphite minerality. Tapiz employs Pomerol-based Jean Claude Berrouet, perhaps accounting for the great sense of composure. In any event, it too is a great buy under $20.”
He said: for burger night, a high-end cab might be too bold. This wine is quite acceptable. The tannins are still there, but aren’t too overwhelming and having it with a burger is going to be just fine.
She said: We’re just about out of wine, we need to open another bottle of something to have with the burgers.
He said: I thought we had lots left. Those darn glasses! Large wine glasses are ideal for a wine tasting experience but are quite deceiving in terms of how much wine they hold. Makes the wine go down so much faster.
She said: Getting back to the Tapiz, it’s really a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m getting berry on the nose and some hefty pepper in the mouth. But it still doesn’t come across as too robust. And for the price it’s a great wine.
He said: Where did the time go. Need to get the burgers on. Let’s have a wee taste of that Freakshow Cabernet I bought today.
She said: The Freakshow just knocked our socks off! Stay tuned! Tapiz worked just fine with the burgers – it was probably the perfect wine for burgers. A bit of potato salad would have been good too.
This wine is one of the reasons we belong to Opimian. Priced at only $17.00 per bottle (Canadian), it came in a nice wooden crate, which hinted at what we would find inside. Chateau Pique-Segue is one of those gems that you don’t run across regularly, which is part of the value of a purchasing group like Opimian. It appears to be a smaller winery, producing about 500,000 bottles per year. In fact, here in Ontario, it doesn’t look like the Liquor Board carries any Bergerac wine at all.
Chateau Pique-Segue Bergerac is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Bergerac is an appellation at the eastern edge of Bordeaux.
She said: It’s not a super robust wine, but still has enough tannins that it will do better with food than on its own. I certainly get some nice pepper, but like most Bordeaux wines, it doesn’t have that “in your face” fruit hit – it’s more subtle and complex. For the price, it’s a great wine to have on hand.
He said: Purple colour with abundant flavour intensity, I get flavours of plum, oak, smoky, pepper and chocolate. It’s dry with medium complexity, medium body and a long finish. Serve with roast beef, old cheddar. Would definitely recommend this wine.