Wine Talk

Snooth User: napagirl68

WHEN will I EVER learn?!?!

Posted by napagirl68, May 23, 2013.

Ok, sucker that I am, I got lured back into the 5-cent sale at Bev Mo.  UUgghhhh.  I spend a good hour looking over all the wines on the sale online.  Along side the wines,  are reviews by Wilfred Wong.  Now, any of you who know me from here know my rant with WW.  BevMo (Beverages and More) is a SF bay area chain, extending into other areas of CA and Arizona, as I understand.  Wilfred Wong, a local wine judge and critic, is their "cellar master".  I have LOATHED his reviews, especially when it comes to his role as "cellar master" of a chain that deals in distributed, often mass-produced wines.  I have been very vocal on this! 

So after avoiding for quite awhile, I decided to give it another chance.  Kinda like trying to rekindle a relationship with an ex- when there was a major REASON why you left~!!

Case in point:  Quimay 2011 Pinot Noir from Argentina... rated on the BevMo site by WW as 95pts.  Given that he gives the majority of BevMo wines a rating of 88, I thought, hmmm, I should try this!  Even tho I knew better.  Even tho I only drink Pinot from CA, OR, France.  Even tho. 

I just opened what I thought was this wine, and what a disappointment.  Overcooked, tannic and big, this tastes nothing like the delicate, red fruit, slight asian spice pinots I love.  It really doesn't taste like a Pinot to me at all... Perhaps I have some freakish palate, but I prefer my Lioco sonoma coast, Gracianna, Soliste, etc. 

So I explore a little further.  Ahh, my bottles are 2010 NOT 2011.  So there's another crap factor about BevMo I hate... I did online order for pickup and did NOT allow vintage sub, but STILL got the wrong vintage.  Maybe that's the problem or maybe not.  I am still not letting WW off the hook, as I bought two other disappointments that were vintage correct. 

I guess that is what you get for shopping at the "walmart" of wine shops. 

My fave bargain wine shop is independent, and run by a very nice, knowledgeable gentleman.  It is Wine Mine in Oakland, CA, and I wish I lived closer... ugghh!!  I never go wrong there.

If I knew some of you in person, you could have just SLAPPED me upside the head when I said was going to BevMo!!  Just hit me!


Reply by GregT, May 23, 2013.

You know NG - I just shopped at a huge supermarket a few days ago. Wine in a supermarket. They don't do that here in NY so it was an experience in trying to find something worthy in a place that sells Pampers and Snickers bars, neither of which particularly interest me.

Maybe it's something in the air?

Anyhow, don't give up on Argentine PN entirely. Probably 95 percent of the wine sold in the US is from the Mendoza region, but if you travel a lot farther south, it's relatively unspoiled land and much cooler.Like going from Baja to British Columbia. They're actively trying to despoil the region with the various tilapia and salmon farms, but the land is still nice and it's cool and they're doing pretty good wine there. All pretty new so far, but that's where they have the most promise IMO.

Unfortunately, I think your wine is also from there - Patagonia, right? Just don't judge the entire region by that one.

FWIW, here's a review that's pretty much in line with what you said, and FWIW again, he's also a pretty good reviewer for Spain.

Reply by napagirl68, May 23, 2013.

GregT- THANK YOU for that link... makes me feel better about my palate :-)

Wilfred Wong... grrrrr.... will avoid like the PLAGUE. 

You are such a wealth of knowledge... yes, Patagonia is the region of this wine.   I can't say that I won't give up on Argentina for pinot tho, and the fact that you advise this amuses me greatly.  After all, don't you think that Pinot Noir is the anti-Christ??? 

Reply by JonDerry, May 24, 2013.

Congrats in NG, in that life after BevMo is great!

Interesting about Arg Pinot, yet another region to keep on the radar.

Reply by napagirl68, May 24, 2013.

Oh, JD, it is not "life after BevMo"... I have had many years of life after BevMO... it's just that I keep occasionally going back to look, and ending up slumming it there on a rare occasion!  Arrggh.  I will NOT be lured in by 5 cent sales.  I will NOT even read another WW review of any type.  If I happen to, accidentally, I will dismiss it immediately from my mind.  I will slice up my rarely used bevmo card.  I will only drink FANTASTIC wine!

Reply by JonDerry, May 24, 2013.

I know what you mean...I reached my anti-BevMo (at all costs) not long ago. Now if I want to slum it I go to Total Wine.

Reply by outthere, May 24, 2013.

Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.... Shame on you!

Reply by zufrieden, May 24, 2013.

Yes, retailers (and government liquor barns) love to use the reviews of one vintage to recommend you buy the product in any vintage whatsoever.  Since the respondents here are, in my experience, very aware of quality and what tends to contribute to quality, it is, well, annoying to be treated an an anonymous median value when it comes to wine appreciation....

As to the cool climates being exploited in Argentina (and here in British Columbia and Washington State), I say that all of you should dabble and see what is happening - particularly with notoriously difficult varieties like Pinot Noir.

Mendoza aside, the steppes of southern Argentina just might produce something of interest, but British immigrant ranchers largely failed to make much impact in the early 20th Century in sheep farming so we cannot count our chickens too early regarding the wine trade.  I have tasted a few wine products from Patagonia and there seems to be promise, but it may take a decade or so to see what actually transpires.

If we could produce volume in British Columbia, I would be more vocal about our products here, but until we are able to market  and supply world-wide, I am going to suggest that you take a holiday and explore in person whether Washington or southern BC have fine wines on offer.  For there are many such wines.

Unfortunately, many producers in both WA and BC have lost their way - looking to the mass market for their salvation.  I say forget it... wine appreciation is an expensive sport; look to the true market before it is too late.  Unless you expect a social revolution.


Reply by GregT, May 24, 2013.

Zuf - it's nice to see you chiming in on these various threads. 

NG - not really the anti-Christ but people need some balance and there seems to be too much blind love for PN for no real reason. It's OK once in a while, just not more than once or twice a year. 

Anyhow, the only reason I suggest the Patagonia region is because that's pretty cool compared to Mendoza and it seems like a good place for cool-climate grapes. Mendoza has a very interesting place in the wine world - in terms of latitude it's way too close to the equator but it's so much higher than any other grape growing region that they make up for the heat with altitude. They still have the sun hours though, and that makes it a really unique place. Unfortunately, a lot of the wine is not particularly distinguished - they've figured out how to make money with what they have but it should be more unique.

In Patagonia, they're closer to the "correct" latitudes, so the wines are quite different. Should make good Syrah too and who knows what else. But Zuf is right - I think it will be a while before we can really say one way or another.

Reply by zufrieden, May 24, 2013.

GregT, I love reading your thread contributions, and may I say, please continue (I am sure I speak for the anonymous many). There are a lot of bright people contributing to this site, and I for one cannot appreciate more!

Your knowledge is appreciated more than you might think.



Reply by Richard Foxall, May 28, 2013.

I live so close to WineMine I could crawl there, and I still can't get there often enough.  The hours are just too short for someone with my schedule.  But I hear you, NG, sometimes those 5 cent sales seem like a deal.  I do still shop at BevMo--they carry the Montevina, and sometimes Fort Ross pinot makes the sale.  But WW is a joke--I think they just buy a lot of wines that no one has bothered to rate--some are made for their "partnerships"--and they figure no one will think it was horrible if it got 88 points, nor will they be disappointed that it didn't blow their socks off.  Still, it's taking advantage of people who don't know that WW isn't a critic, but their buyer.

Reply by Bob Power, Mar 31, 2014.

picked up the 2011 Quimay PN this morning and had a glass at 1.  Thought it was a sad joke.

Let it sit for a few hours and am sipping it now.  A fine rendition of a Guigal Cotes du Rhone circa 1984..... 

So sad to have to taste through so many weeds hoping for a rose; or whatever mixed metaphor I'm trying for.  

Reply by outthere, Mar 31, 2014.

Way to revive a dead thread for your first post Bob. Personally I avoid every wine that says Argentina/Chile on the label. Have a very bad track record with those folks. Like NG said, stick with what you know and you are never disappointed.

Reply by Snoother 1530329, Aug 20, 2014.

Agree with assessment of both WW and bevmo. However 2011 Quimay pinot much better than 2010, for what its worth. Also, DECANT. I too prefer CA and OR pinot styles, but it's very hard to find anything pinot at $15 price point that tempts me away from the 'drink half as often spend $30 philosophy' on limited allocation wine club offerings. (which is ridiculous -- I end up just spending more on Pinot, I admit) (I would be interested in this forum's $15 suggestions however)

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