jamie goode's wine blog: A pair from Monterey, California

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A pair from Monterey, California

California makes some great wine. It also makes some dire wine. I know this is a bit of a generalization, but in the UK we mostly see the former - central valley rubbish (the big Californian brands - I don't need to name names) - because the good stuff works out too expensive for our competitive market and tight wallets.

Part of the problem is that California seems to make a lot of very cheap wine, and a lot of very expensive wine, but the middle ground of good quality, affordable wine is a bit of a desert.

So it's nice to see a new pair of wines from Monterey, priced at £8.50 each, both of which taste pretty good. They are imported by Bibendum wine (http://www.bibendum-wine.co.uk/). I wasn't sure about the back labels (see the picture...'everyone remembers their first love...' puhleeze!), but the juice inside is very attractive.

Loredona Pinot Grigio 2006 Monterey, California

Iím not sure about the packaging: it comes in a clear-glass, Alsace-shaped bottle that doesnít flatter the wine at all. But the juice itself is quite nice. It has a grapey, fresh nose thatís a little spicy Ė it reminds me a bit of Muscat. The palate has a bit of herby freshness and a slightly rounded texture. An attractive wine. 87/100 (£8.50 retail, agent is Bibendum)

Loredona Pinot Noir 2005 Monterey, California
Bright, focused, slightly sweet cherry and raspberry fruit on the nose. The palate is fresh and fruit driven, with the sweet fruit countered nicely by good acidity and a spicy twist. Itís a focused wine of real appeal that avoids being overly jammy or sweet, even though it is made in an attractively modern, fruit driven style. Quite delicious. 89/100 (£8.50 retail, independents and on-trade, agent is Bibendum)

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At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Will be going to the central coast of California early May,Jamie with Chris and Andrea,as we wish to produce quality Californian syrah and maybe pinot,for export to the UK at "affordable" prices,although perhaps a bit more than 8 quid.

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I hope you succeed, Keith. I think it will be a tough ask, though: there seems to be a ready market for top quality grapes, and as even rather mediocre but ambitious Californian wines fetch $$$$$ because of the domestic demand, my guess is that grape prices for anything worth having will be quite high. I'd be delighted if you could prove me wrong. Maybe the hippies in Mendocino could be a good bet???

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

Yes it may be a tough ask,but I have always loved a challenge,and when you have people as talented as Chris and Andrea,it is a pleasure to help them .
Mendocino,is on our list of areas to consider, but for obvious reasons,not Napa.


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