Yes, at $31 or less than $8 a bottle, it’s a significant discount over what those same four bottles would cost at your local Montgomery County Liquor store ($37). And if you factor in the cost of gas, it'll save a bundle over schlepping to Total Wine in Virginia and then to Calvert Woodley in the District in search of the lowest prices in the area ($35.77). But it’s nowhere near as good a deal as advertised: 50 percent off the regular price of $62. “Regular” prices averaging $15.50 a bottle are about 50 percent more than these wines should cost.
Codice Tempranillo from Spain has been a consistently solid wine for decades. (As a complete aside, it was the wine recommended by the folks at Andover Liquors back in the early 1990s when we lived outside of Boston that first introduced us to the tempranillo grape made famous in Rioja and to Spain as a great source of value wine.) Codice is made in Spain's La Mancha region by Dominio de Eguren, maker of Protocolo, among our favorite $6 red and white wines. It would be a contender for the Top 5 Spanish Red Wine Values if it was more widely available locally. (It’s available at Total Wine in Virginia and in Montgomery County, but it’s hard to find in the District.)
“A mix of kiwifruit, Key lime and melon flavors show a distinct, juicy lime sorbet note, with shades of fresh herbs and lemon zest,” is how Wine Spectator’s MaryAnn Worobiec described the 2011 vintage of Ponga in the June 15 issue, scoring it a solid 87 points.
“This compact, juicy white has a solid core of fresh apple, verbena and floral notes backed by a lively finish,” wrote James Molesworth in the April 30 issue of Spectator, scoring the Excelsior Chardonnay 85 points.
“Soft notes of toasted red apple skin and cedar plank enhance the peach and sweet citrus core of this white,” wrote Wine Enthusiast’s Lauren Buzzeo in March, awarding an identical 85 point score to Excelsior. “Zippy and somewhat prickly with a mouthwatering finish.”
This four pack would be a fine companion to your Labor Day barbeque, with a little something for everyone. And at $31, it may be worth a one-stop shopping trip to Bel Pre Road.
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