CELLAR SELECTS

Bordeaux Blends Value Picks

Value Picks for October 2009

2006 RoxyAnn Claret, Rogue Valley
$24.95 (2,000 cases)

This soft, ripe wine is a quintessentially Bordeaux blend of 40 percent Merlot, 35 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 percent Cabernet Franc. Warm and plush on the palate, it delivers big in the fruit department with pleasingly plump flavors of cherry and cola.

2006 Bridgeview “Black Beauty” Merlot, Southern Oregon
$14.95 (665 cases)

The beauty here is in the balance. Juicy blueberries and dark cherries are complemented by a touch of oak vanillin that adds interest and resolved tannins that bring a dry counterpoint to the sweet fruit impression.

2006 Abacela Merlot, Southern Oregon
$19.50 (889 cases)

An array of aromatics—tobacco, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried raisins—entice upfront, then follow through in the flavor, adding complexity to the briary berry fruit. The overall experience borders on the elegant and persists from start to finish.

2006 Bridgeview “Blue Moon” Cabernet Sauvignon, Southern Oregon
$9.95 (3,000 cases)

Currants and ripe plums accented by black pepper make for a soft, spicy taste impression that’s enjoyable throughout and belies the low price. The bottom line adds up to a tasty bargain that ought to be easy to find.

2006 Lorelli “Amantéa” Cabernet Sauvignon, Applegate Valley
$22.95 (148 cases)

An inky dark appearance suggests extracted pigment and tannin, but the delicate aroma of dianthus (carnations) introduces an earthy, minerally wine that needs breathing time before the fruit opens up. The winemaker apparently felt a touch of Merlot (6 percent) would complete the statement. Cellaring for a couple of years could prove rewarding.

The Oregon Wine Press tasting panel has selected the preceding wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the retail marketplace. But a call to the winery or your favorite wine merchant will best determine where they may be purchased. The above wines have met the following criteria: produced by an Oregon winery; retail price up to $30 per 750 mL bottle for Pinot Noir, or $25 for other varietals; currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.

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