Why tryouts? Why under $10? In my opinion, this is the most volatile price range for quality. It is also a common price range that non wine snobs shop in. The need for quality trusted wines under $10 is there. While 40+ wines have tried out for the team, most have struck out and been sent back to the minor leagues. Soon, you’ll have a team of nine starters and three alternates that you can bring to the table without fear!
Prior to opening day, I made my pre-season predictions regarding the MLB season.
AL Predictions / Current Standings
- East: Prediction Red Sox / Actual: Yankees (but there is still hope)
- Central: Prediction Twins / Actual White Sox (Twins 3.5 games out)
- West: Prediction Texas / Actual Texas
- Wild Card: Prediction Mariners / Actual Tampa Bay (sadly Mariners have cashed in their chips)
NL Predictions / Current Standings
- East: Prediction Florida Marlins / Actual: Braves (Marlins 10 games out)
- Central: Prediction St Louis / Actual: Cincinnati (Cardinals in the hunt)
- West: Prediction Arizona Diamondbacks / Actual: San Diego Padres (Diamondbacks one of the worst teams in baseball)
- Wildcard: Prediction Phillies / Actual: Dodgers (but Phillies are in the hunt)
The Final Tryouts
2008 Waterbrook Melange Blanc
- The Stuff: 30% Riesling, 20% Gewürztraminer, 15% Viognier, 10% Sauv Blanc, 10% Chardonnay, 10$ Pinot Gris, 5% Muscat; 4000 cases made; 12.2%ABV; 1.4% residual sugar
- The Swirl: Very light pale, nearly clear with a hint of beautiful honey highlights
- The Sniff: Taken by surprise with the abundant perfume, sweet honey, peach and lychee fruit. A fantastic aroma that keeps you coming back for one more sniff before you sip.
- The Sip: Not knowing the blend, I would have pegged this for a Riesling. The distinctive Riesling / Gewurz flavors come through but are contrasted with a nice mouth coating of the Chardonnay and the floral components to the Viognier. The wine is amazingly complex for the price point and delivers great off dry sweetness balanced by medium acidity.
- The Score: At only $15 retail, this is an amazing value. I love the nice subtle honey flavors that balance well with the wet stone minerality. I score this wine a solid 3+/5
Sadly the Waterbrook Melange was disqualified from the Under $10 Team for being overpriced. At the time of tryouts, it was assumed that this wine could be purchased for $10. Upon further investigation the officials have declared Melange Blanc intelligible for consideration.
- The Stuff: 100% Malbec from Mendozza Argentina; 6 months in new French oak, 14.2%ABV
- The Swirl: Beautiful rich purple with hints of bright amethyst around the edges. Light seems to dance off the glass.
- The Sniff: Hints of woody evergreen that make way for bright red fruits and subtle spice. Slightly under-ripe red fruit comes out as well.
- The Sip: Great big gobs of red berry wash across your tongue and give way to subtle blueberry undertones. The mid-palate is a little fleeting but the back end structure is no push over. Medium body and good finish make this a very pleasant value.
- The Score: At $10, I would buy this wine again. Perfect burger or pizza wine. The wine presents enough layers of flavor to be mistaken for twice the price. Easily score this wine a 3/5
2008 J.Lohr Estate Syrah $10
- The Stuff: 93% Syrah, 3% Petite Sirah, 3% Grenache, 1% other red; Paso Robles AVA; 14 months in 25% new French and American oak; 13.4%ABV
- The Swirl: Cloudy deep purple color that presents about 80% opaque.
- The Sniff: Aromas of boysenberry, toasted almonds, and dark red fruit on the nose. Very aromatic and full with subtle notes of campfire.
- The Sip: Medium bodied Syrah that is slightly thin on the front but opens up nicely to dark red fruit, hints of smoke and a beautiful long velvet finish. An easy sipping Syrah that will have you wanting more.
- The Score: Retail is $15 but I scored this wine for only $10. At that price this well balanced, nicely flavored Syrah scores a 3+/5 and will be a definite re-buy.