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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bargain Wine of the Week: Sonoma Acres

Remember when you bent the rules just a bit, because you knew it wouldn't really hurt anybody? And, besides, it probably came as an opportunity that would not present itself again — and it was too good to pass up.

Rules are made to be bent, if not broken, right? We're going to bend our rules one time to tell you about an amazing winery that is getting amazing ratings from Jonathan Newman, one of America's premier wine raters.

The broken rule? The two wines (from the same winery) that we're about to tell you about cost more than $10, and that's our rule here: All wines are good to great and they're all under $10. So, just listen, and see if it's not worth a moving the fences a little. Just this once.

We recently purchased, on Jonathan Newman's recommendation, two 2008 Sonoma Acres wines. The first was a Sauvignon Blanc that Newman rated a 90+. It cost us $10.99. The wine is made from grapes grown all over Sonoma County. The cooler vineyards add a little lemongrass and gooseberry to the nose; the warmer vineyards add tropical nuances.

Here's what Newman said about this wine:
This is an outstanding value 08 Sauvignon Blanc with a nice QPR. Grapefruit, honeysuckle and hints of exotic fruit on the nose. A good core of intensity with key lime, honeydew and candied pineapple. Balanced with nice round tropical fruit creaminess with a pleasant, refreshing finish.
The he really popped our cork when he gave the 2008 Sonoma Acres Pinot Noir a 92/93 rating. The wine was a bit more expensive — $13.99 — but we splurged and bought four. What a bargain for a pinot, especially a Russian River Pinot Noir. Because of the popularity of this varietal — the scourge of "Sideways"— it is very difficult to find a great pinot for less than $30. Here is Newman's review of this wine.
Good bright red ruby color. Inspiring aromas of strawberries, bing cherry,and red plum. Well structured, bright, pleasant acidity and medium bodied. A silky lush mouth feel with raspberries, pomegranates, cherries and touchesof cinnamon and plum. Aged in french oak for ten months which is nicely integrated with a very pleasant and clean finish. This is a small production100% Pinot Noir that is all grown in Sonoma's Russian River Valley and has a great quality/price ratio. Enjoy now or over the next several years and pair with roast duckling in a bing cherry sauce, bouillabaisse or seared salmon.
We've posted the two labels here, so if you see them in a wine store, please do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of each.

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