Grocery Store Scores

Posted on: May 16th, 2006 by

One of the great pleasures of my job is traveling all over the Seattle area and beyond, leaving no grocery store or wine shop unturned. Although I am there to sell wine, I keep finding myself buying wine. Why?

In the strangest of places if you look right (to paraphrase a song…free bottle of wine for anyone who can name it w/o the use of Google) there are some incredible finds. This is because:

1) They don’t know what they have.
2) They know what they have, but it just doesn’t work in their store.

So what have I found? Here is a selection and the retail price:

2001 Joan d’Anguera La Planella Montsant $10
1999 Chateau Fontenil Fronsac $25
2000 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz $22 (!)

I bought the La Planella and drank them; they were awesome. I have had the 2003 and 2004 and I can say this is a wine that will really benefit from two years of cellaring, but don’t keep it too much longer. It’s nice to be able to buy a wine at that price that will reward your patience. Although it’s all Grenache/Syrah/Monastrell/Kitchen Sink, it picked up some Bordeaux-type qualities. Really a pleasure to drink.

I’ve had the Fontenil (both 1999 and 2000)and say what you will about M. Rolland, these wines are smokin’. The 2000 was one of my first introductions to Bordeaux and the 2000 vintage. I drank it with a friend (during a slow Sunday…sweet!) and customers kept us from guzzling it. Over about a four hour period, that wine kept changing. WOW! The virtue of the 1999 is its price and it’s readiness to drink.

The St. Henri…I’m not a big Aussie fan at all, but I have been curious about the St. Henri because they age it in old oak barrels. No new oak! It could be stunning. I’ve had my eye on these for a couple of months and need to pull the trigger.

Wherever I am all over the country, I always love peeping the wine section of any store hoping to find gems like these. Happy hunting!

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