Two Reds – One to Savor, Another to Avoid

I don’t necessarily think it makes sense to review poor wines – a waste of time, perhaps? – but in this case, since it’s a wine that frequently appears on store shelves and could be mistaken for a good value, I wanted to set the record straight. Well, at least from my point of view.
But let’s start off on a good note. I’ve been meaning to taste through SoMar’s Languedoc and Vin de Pays selection, and with the cold weather upon us, now seems like a good time to pursue this worthy goal. On my boss’s advice, I took home a bottle of 2008 Chateau Coupe Roses “La Bastide” from Minervois. I couldn’t find the exact blend for this vintage, but previous vintages have consisted of Grenache and Carignan. At $21.99, this may not be considered a “value” wine, but I think it is well worth the price. The wine bowls you over with rich blackberry and blueberry, but with a persistent undercurrent of earthy, even mushroom, tones that prevents it from being a fruit bomb. It is full-bodied and rich, and should go well with pork and lamb. Highly recommended!
As for the less-than-stellar wine, the 2008 Palo Alto Reserve from Maule Valley in Chile, a blend of Cabernet, Carmenere, and Syrah, was disappointing. If it were under $10, I probably would have been more forgiving, but at $11.99, I expect it not to taste like cooked fruit. I will allow that this may have been a bad bottle. But what did I do with the wine anyway? Drink it, of course. 🙂


One Response

  1. Dear Wooster,

    Sorry to read about your disappointing experience re the 2008 Palo Alto Reserve. As we have had so many positive responses to this wine, I do just wonder if the bottle you purchased might have been poorly stored, or exposed to light or fluctuations of temperature at some point? If you would like to get in touch with your mailing address and a daytime (helpful for UPS/FedEx deliveries), I would welcome the chance to forward you a couple of bottles for comparison. Looking forward to hearing further and with all best wishes, JK

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