Gary Vaynerchuk slays WBW 44. He slays it!

domaine de beausejour david et gerard chauveau chinon
The first wine I tasted in California was a Chinon.

You don't hear that too often. But maybe TV Wine Library will help make it sound a little less out of the ordinary.

I am now spending my third day in California and I still have yet to taste a Californian wine. This is odd. Forces are working against me holding out much longer. Like last night at San Francisco's Nopa. I ordered a Gigondas and I get word back that there are none left -- I should have the Zinfandel instead. It's comparable in price, my server indicated.

But there's no price I am willing to pay for American wine.

Around $20 for a half bottle of Chinon at Restaurant Clementine (Inner Richmond) on Wine Blogging Wednesday? You bet.

Luckily, the one-country wine list at Delfina, which is on 18th at Guerrero, is not all American, it's Italian and southern Italian at that, which is utterly marvelous.


The two Chinons I tasted in preparation for WBW 44 are better than any wine I've tasted this week. Could it be because of the terroir? Could it just be something in the grapes? In the winemaking culture there? Like Gary claims, I think Chinon and its use of the Cabernet Franc grape got a good thing going on. I try not to over-analyze it.

I especially will not over-analyze it today, in the middle of my vacation (I just happen to have found a San José-bound bus issuing tickets that come with free WiFi (don't you love tech alley?) I have lots of notes to publish for WBW 44 but they will have to wait till later.

Until then, take a look at the labels on three very lovely Chinon reds. And here's a hint. The one shown in the middle of this post is the cheapest one and the best one. Here's another hint: You don't need a tasting note to run out and buy what you see pictured above "CHINON? MAIS OUI" -- or Would you like a Chinon? ... Of course you would! -- so just go out and get some.


RougeAndBlanc said...

You should grab a 1 or 2 CA Cab Franc while you are there. They are not cheap but worth a shot.

Kelly said...

There is no price you'll pay for American wines? Is that a political decision? Because I'm here to tell you, some Americans are delicious.

And their wine isn't bad either.

Joe said...

Hi Marcus - I thought my American Cab Franc might have piqued your interest? How was that darn Les Grezeaux? No teasing!

Marcus said...

Wow - what an outpouring from all three of you! Thanks for writing.

There is no price I'm willing to pay for American wines, especially from restaurant wine lists because they're too expensive, and in my experience purchasing CA wines in retail situations without the markup, they are far from value wines. There's no Boschendal, no Wynns, no vin de pays. The closest I've come is Phelps, which at about $20 per bottle from the Mistral Patiche is a bit pricy for everyday drinking (and usually not the best compliment to at the dinner table but as food friendly as most US wines get).

But please do send me the American values that are out there (under $20 preferably, and under-oaked too). I already know that more expensive wines can be deliciou$. My wallet only goes so far -- I'm not going to buy blindly so your recommendations here are very needed!

So in conclusion:

RandB: Not cheap = not worth a shot
Kelly: Not political
Joe: Interest was piqued because you were paying -- wasn't your Steltzner over $40 or something?

Joe said...

Yes, that Cab Franc was $$$. Tough to find bargains, even tougher to find underoaked. Maybe the Bonterra (organic) line? Their prices are right, and I had a white of theirs and it was very good. I think Bill Z was touting one of their reds. Happy travels!

Kelly said...

Hm. Like Joe, I have also liked some of the Bonterra organic wines. Their Cab Sauv has a nice tarry earthiness. It's $20 in BC.

There's also the Paul Dolan Organic Zinfandel (I don't know if you care for Zin). It's $25, though, so not great value.

I see your point, though. Not a lot of value in the US wines.