In the world of value wine, there’s little point in looking back nostalgically at the wines of the year. The best wine values typically sell out fast – particularly after they earn high scores from the critics – so why bother looking back?
Or do they all sell out? …
This wine market is anything but typical. The sluggish economy remains the value wine shopper’s best friend (assuming you still have a job). And many of our favorite values from 2011 (and even a few from 2010) are still on wine shop shelves. And most are still on sale. In fact, just last week Paul’s of Chevy Chase took another slice off the prices of a pair of favorites (plus one we recommend but have yet to featured here) that were already on sale.
Way back in April of last year, we recommended Falesco Merlot Umbria IGT, when Paul’s put the typically $15 to $16 dollar wine that scored 92 points from the Wine Advocate on sale for $13.49 by the six-pack. Since it’s made by the producer of one of our absolute favorite Italian blends (See “Is this Italian red the best $7 wine ever?”), we couldn’t resist after WA’s Antonio Galloni called the 2009 Merlot “one of the finest wines I have ever tasted from Falesco.”
Surely CW’s sale would spell the end of the wine that Galloni described as “a decidedly firm, vibrant Merlot” that will drink well for another five years. “Here the fruit is wonderfully precise and elegant. Jammy blueberries, blackberries, cinnamon, leather and crushed rocks are woven into a beautiful fabric. The French oak is layered very nicely, adding depth and flavor, but never overpowering the wine.”
But not only is the wine still available, Paul’s put it back on sale for $13.99 for a single bottle ($13.49 again for a six pack), as has State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD. The best price around, however, is the sale price of $12.99 (regularly $14.99) at MacArthur Beverages. (See this slideshow for representative prices around town.)
Compare prices and find Falesco Merlot online or at a store near you nationwide.
Another one of our favorites that also scored 92 points from influential critic Robert Parker, founder of Wine Advocate, is the 2009 Bodegas Volver - Single Vinyard La Mancha Tempranillo, which we featured in November when it was on sale at Paul’s and Calvert Woodley for $13.99. Parker called it “a great value that I would unquestionably drink as a house wine,”writing the July issue of Hedonist's Gazette, noting that it “sells for an astonishing $16-$17 a bottle.”
So did Parker’s house wine sell out before the holidays? Not a chance. And now Paul’s has shaved its sale price to $13.49 a bottle, while MacArthur Beverages now has the 2009 vintage on sale for $13.99, while Pearson’s in Glover Park has it for a truly astonishing $12.95. It’s still widely available around town for that $16 to $17 a bottle that astonished Parker – including $15.59 at Montgomery County Liquor stores – but at $13, it’s a wine to buy by the case. (See this slideshow for representative prices around town.)
Compare prices and find Bodegas Volver online or at a store new you nationwide.
But if you want a 92-point wine and don’t want to cough up $13 for the Volver or Falesco Merlot, Paul’s has cut its already-on-sale price of a delicious red blend from the south of France, Cave de Roquebrun Coteaux du Languedoc Chemin des Olivettes 2009, now $10.99 a bottle, down from its previous sale price of $11.99 and a list price of $14.99 a bottle.
Wine Spectator’s Kim Marcus called it, “A powerful red, with a rich, smoky allure to the dark red fruit flavors that center on plum and kirsch,” scoring it 92 points. “Shows meaty touches midpalate, with a broad, muscular finish of mocha and dark chocolate.”
The blend of Rhone Valley grapes, carignan, grenache, syrah and mourvedre has been widely available in Maryland, Virginia and the District for months and on sale at Pearson’s since September for $12.95.
Compare prices and find Cave de Roquebrun online or at a store near you nationwide.
We picked up a bottle at The Wine Harvest in a corner of Rockville that they like to call Potomac before the holidays for about $12 or $13 and thought it tasted rich enough to be a $15 to $20 wine. Usually we’d urge you to hurry and try a bottle at these sale prices while it lasts. But in this economy, you might just be able to take your time.
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