Terras de Xisto, Alentejo, 2007

This portuguese wine from the Alentejo region is a very nice red. It doesn't smell the way it tastes at first and it looks a bit bland and weak, but its taste surprises positively. It's very smooth and has some fruity flavor, without being fruity. As for the grapes, if only the portuguese would label them properly -- it's probably a mix of whatever they grow in the Alentejo.


Maillen, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

This was the third bottle of the night (with a few friends, of course), so I don't recall the details of this one, sadly. It was decent, though.

Update (2010-01-24): This is actually not good. I tried it again a few days later and thought it had no character and was not pleased with it.

La Playa, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

A decent chilean Cab that was downed with pizza. A little on the undecided line between dry and a bit fruity.

Cavia, Malbec, 2007

This is a decent but not great malbec from Argentina. I've had better ones. This one wasn't as full-bodied as I usually expect a malbec to be.


Rio Sol, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006

This is a wine from the San Francisco Valley in Northern Brazil. It's surprisingly good. Brazil is not known for its wines but the few good ones typically come from the south. San Francisco Valley is an up-and-coming region in the north, just 8 degrees south of the equator. This wine is very dry and doesn't taste great at the first sip. But one gets used to it. Should go well with meat, but in this case, it worked okay with cashew nuts as an appetizer.


Casa Lapostolle, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

Another old friend, this cabernet is really good and flavorful. It's rich, but not too much. And it's dry, but you can definitely taste a little fruit deep down inside. Definitely worth its $17 price tag. Pair it with jucy steak, like I did tonight.


Charamba, Douro, 2005

Charamba is one of my staple reds. It's a frequent guest at my house which I first discovered in Portugal itself. This "basic" wine doesn't list any grape -- it's just "red wine" from Douro, Portugal. But for $5.99 it's really unbeatable as an everyday mundane wine. It's dry, but not too dry. A little tannin here and there and an overall decent glass of red for unassuming situations.


McManis Petite Sirah 2006

To continue my McManis streak, here's another good one, the 2006 petit syrah. Not as rich (or buttery) as the Merlot, this one is well-balanced and very palatable. With some effort, one can actually taste the californian soil in it (I kid you not). My wife and co-taster says she's found a new favorite, but I'm not backing her up on this one. It's really good, but you won't see me craving it anytime soon. I still prefer their merlot, younger as it is, for its butterly flavor.


Buena Vista, Merlot, 2004

This 2004 Merlot from the Carneros region (Napa Valley) smells very nice. The taste was a bit below my expectations: a bit watered down at first. It takes a little while to fully appreciate its quality. I'd definitely drink it again and for $17.99 even buy it again, but because of its unimpressive taste, it's not my first choice for quality gourmet wine. It went down well with a seasoned salmon and a salad, though (yeah, fish goes well with red).


Beaujolais Noveau, Georges Duboeuf, 2009

Like all Beaujolais, this Duboeuf is nothing more than hype. My best adjective for it is... crude. Not to throw away, to be sure, but nonetheless not something I'd pay more than its $9.99 price tag (and even then, there are better wines out there for this price, see McManis Merlot 2008 for an example).


McManis Merlot 2008

Just picked this one up at Whole Foods for Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. Young wine, 2008, very nice bouquet, buttery flavor. Was positively impressed with the bouquet and the buttery flavor for such a young wine for only $9.99. Went down well with turkey. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving.