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90+ point rated wines under $20









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2006 Adelaida Cellars "Version" White**
adelaidewhite.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Paso Robles, CA $25 Private Event 6/4/08
This blend of 74% Grenache Blanc and 24% Roussanne is a pale, lemon-green colored wine with a bouquet of citrus, green fruit and minerals that follow through on the crisp, yet creamy palate. The finish is refreshing with notes of honey, apple and minerals. Not overly complex, but a well-crafted white with good balance and interesting flavors.

2006 Barrel 27 "High on the Hog" Rhone Blend*
barrel27highhog.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $15 Wade's Wines 9/10/08
A blend of 42% Viognier, 34% Roussanne and 24% Marsanne from the French Camp Vineyard. I was excited to try this wine because I love Rhone blends and the price was right. Unfortunately, the 15.1% alcohol level just made it too flabby and unbalanced to be truly enjoyed. There was floral notes, good citrus (lemon creme, lime) and tropical fruit flavors (pineapple, banana), but barely any acidity to overcome the heavy glycerine feel of the palate, which killed the complexity of the wine. If you enjoy big, weighty Chardonnays than you'll probably like this wine. Otherwise it's far from refreshing. Quite a disappointment.

2006 Cass Winery Estate Cuvee***
CassCuvee.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $28 @ the Winery 9/10/07
This wine is a nice combination of white Rh™nes that blends the floral character of the Viognier with the citrus of the Roussanne and the fruit flavors of the Marsanne. The nose is full of ripe stone fruits, which follow through on the medium-bodied palate. The right touch of acidity helps balance the wine. Elegant and fruity, this is a great example of this type of blend. Wish I had purchased more.

2006 d'Arenberg "The Hermit Crab"**
Hermit Crab.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
McLaren Vale, Australia $15 Flask Fine Wines 3/12/08
A bright lemon-green colored wine that exhibits fresh fruit aromas with strong notes of stone fruits, mineral and honeysuckle, which follow through on the full, yet crisp palate. Peach and apricot flavors are balanced by hints of grapefruit and butter on the finish. Though 70% viognier, the Marsanne's minerality makes itself known. Drank with Osso Buco and Parmesan risotto which really brought the ripe stone fruit flavors and creamy mouthfeel of the Viognier to the forefront. A nice wine for a good price.

2006 Edward Sellers Blanc Du Rhone***
06edsellersBDR.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $29 @ The Winery 12/7/09
A blend of 46% Marsanne, 27% Viognier, 15% Roussanne & 12% Grenache Blanc. A medium, gold-colored wine with a nose filled with strong aromas of honeysuckle, stone fruit, citrus, melon and notes of herbs. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and round with flavors of ripe apple, melon, peach and honey with notes of sweet spice and almonds on the lingering finish. Well-balanced with just the right amount of acidity to make the fruit pop. Aging the wine in French Oak (12% new) gives it a nice creaminess and the sweet spice notes without being obvious or obtrusive. Popped and poured, this wine is ready to go, though it still has a year or two left to be enjoyed. A wine that really delivers what Rhone Blends are all about. Pricey but worth it. Wish I had more.

2006 Ch. Grande Cassange "Cassanus" Blanc*
06Cassanus.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Costières-de-Nimes, France $11 K&L Wines 7/15/09
A blend of 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne, this medium, lemon-colored wine has a nose of citrus and green fruit with hints of petrol and minerals. The palate is medium-bodied and acidic with flavors of sour green apple, lime and grapefruit with notes of melon, honey and petrol on the moderately lengthy finish. I liked the crispness of the wine, but the flavors never came together for me in a positive way. It seemed unbalanced and perhaps a bit past it's prime. Was expecting a bit more ripeness of the fruit and not all the petrol notes. Should have drunk it when purchased last summer. (13.5% ABV)

2006 Stolpman Vineyards L'Avion***
lavion.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $35 @ the Winery 5/4/08
A blend of 90% Roussanne and 10% Viognier, this neon yellow-colored wine is a lovely expression of both varietals with the Viognier really showing through on the nose with notes of honeysuckle and tropical fruits, which carry through onto the crisp, yet rich palate. Flavors of ripe mango and melon with hints of lemon and minerals on the smooth finish. A complex wine with a touch of heat that almost unbalances the flavors, but the acidity and fruit keep it in check. I'm glad I'm a club member and don't have to pay full price.

2006 Villa Creek White**
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Region Price Tasted Drank
Paso Robles, CA $24 Mission Wines 4/12/08
A bright straw colored wine made up of 75% Roussanne and 25% Grenache Blanc. The nose is mild with mineral, citrus and green fruit notes. The palate has a lively acidity, light body and flavors of apple, pear, minerals and hints of vanilla on the quick finish. A crisp, elegant wine, but not as outstanding as the price leads you to believe.




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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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