90 Points…Under $10!

90 Points…Under $10!

Posted on Feb, 03. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

This offer has everything you need — great wine, great review, great price, and an interrobang!

Oftentimes distributors use published ratings as a means to try to get us excited about a wine — they’ll pack a bag of things that recently got reviewed well and wait with bated breath for us to gush about them as we taste them (figuring we’ll want to look as smart as Parker, Laube, Tanzer or whomever else). Many times it fails, as it sets expectations that don’t get lived up to by what’s in the bottle. What I far prefer when tasting, however, is to taste the wine first, then look to published ratings for confirmation (or not) of my enthusiasm for a wine — hopefully that’s most often how you see the Wine Guild use ratings around here, from Robert Parker to Wine Spectator to CellarTracker (my personal favorite).

A few weeks ago I had just such an experience. While tasting through a lineup of mostly higher volume production California wines, one really stood out to me by performing well beyond my modest expectations — a 2009 Pine Ridge blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier. We offered one of Pine Ridge’s second label wines last week (the outstanding value Forefront Pinot Noir), and discussed this important estate’s place in the history of the Napa Valley, so I won’t repeat that here. The winery is famous for their high end Cabernet Sauvignon, so I was surprised to see this interesting white blend at such a reasonable price point.

I’ll admit to not really knowing what to expect as I raised the glass, but I was extremely impressed with what I tasted — peach nectar was what came to mind, with floral notes and crisp acidity — a decidedly California take on Chenin Blanc. Wow…interesting… When they quoted me the price, I was even more shocked — at under $10 this would be a great white wine for everyday drinking (especially on those days when you’re serving seafood or quaffing something on the back porch as Spring arrives). But when I jumped on line to cross-reference my opinion, I was even more surprised. From eRobertParker:

Consistently a killer wine value is Pine Ridge’s 45,000-case blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier. The 2009 Chenin Blanc/Viognier offers up soaring floral notes intermixed with white peaches and apricots. This delectable, fresh, crisp, light-bodied, dry white should be drunk over the next year. 90 Points.

The notes on CellarTracker were similarly consistent, making this wine a certain offer for our membership. So here’s the deal:

2009 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier, California
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $8.79 • Premier Cru: $9.19 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $14.00
Buy Now!

This is a remarkable value, for a tasty white wine that’s flexible with food and still interesting enough to enjoy on its own (and not just another chardonnay). Stock up now, as Spring may be right around the corner given yesterday’s 60 degree temperatures…

Very highly recommended!

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