Juan Gil, Monastrell, 2009

This spanish wine, Juan Gil 2009, made from Monastrell grapes didn't please at first. It was too sweet and gassy (yes, it felt a bit bubbly). It reminded me of the terrible Yellow Tail. However, the key difference is that a day later, this wine was actually much better. It had lost its weird bubbliness (perhaps it needed an hour or so of air to breathe) and some nice spicy pepper and oaky flavors appeared. Overall, I'm giving this wine another chance. Hopefully, another bottle will confirm my second impression and its supposed quality.


Bogle, Petite Sirah, 2008

Bogle, this 2008 Petite Sirah with grapes from Clarksburg & Lodi, is light and pleasant. It has faint oaky flavors with a lot of fruit -- berries. It's a good pairing for a salad and cheeses. For about $12 a bottle, it's good everyday choice.


Marques de Caceres, Tempranillo, 2004

This Spanish wine from the Rioja region is a very good choice. At first, the Marques de Caceres smells a bit veggie-like -- a bit of turnip or so. Then, the powerful flavor hits the palate with nuances of berries and oak in a silky finish. This 2004 tempranillo wine has a dark ruby-red color. Goes well with meats, but worked just fine with my salad too. For $21 and an intense flavor, it's probably best saved for nice occasions.