- Bodegas Montecillo
- 2003 Montecillo Gran Reserva
People send me wine. Yes, poor me. They do this because they want me to write about it.
Some of this wine is good. Much is so-so. A little is actually bad.
As much as I enjoy semi-informed viciousness, I hate to write mean things about wines I don’t like. So, as the golden rule goes, if I can’t say something nice, I say nothing.
Which is why I'd like to tell you about some of the better wines — and best bargains — I’ve tasted in recent months.
Chances are you’ve had some of Italy’s most popular sparkling wine, Prosecco, made from a grape by the same name. With Italians falling over themselves to supply America’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for these sparklers, I was still surprised to see winemaker Ruffino making one. I tend to associate Ruffino with the iconic Chianti they also make. Still, after tasting their Prosecco (good stuff), I’m keeping an open mind. ($15 a bottle.)
Speaking of good and inexpensive bubblies, Spain’s Jaume Serra Cristalino is lovely — and has a criminally low price of about $10.
2009 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay ($20) - I confess I’ve come to think of Robert Mondavi wines as grocery store wine (read: meh). Which is unfair, really, since this was a nice wine. Especially since I was expecting it to be the typical buttery chardonnay big winemakers such as this one have made in recent years. In other words, I was nicely surprised.
2009 Fat Monk Pinot Noir Central Coast ($15) - Good stuff. Especially considering it’s only $15 a bottle. You’d typically have to shell out twice as much for a decent pinot noir.
Of course, for inexpensive and drinkable pinot noir, you really can’t beat the 2008 Mandolin Pinot Noir ($11). Never thought I’d say an eleven dollar pinot noir is, um, pretty good. But this stuff is. Ideal lightly chilled on a picnic.