Monday, January 26, 2009

Chateau St. Jean Belle Terre Vineyard Chardonnay, 2003

No, not another tasting note (I just did one on December 31) but a heads up. I was in Harding's Market on Crosstown Parkway in Kalamazoo this afternoon and saw a new case of this wine being lifted onto the closeout shelf for $13.39. I've already bought as much as I can afford, but the wine is undoubtedly still there waiting to be snapped up. It's a wine that ordinarily sells for $30 bottle and, in my opinion, worth every penny. At $!

Also available in huge quantities is the 2004 Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico (see my note on December 7, 2008). It's the wine in a funny vase-shaped bottle for $3.39, and even though it's a 2004, it's still fresh and lively--a good fish wine. Try it first if you're not familiar with Verdicchio, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Nearly all of the closeout wines have some age on them; that's why they are being moved. But both of the above wines are all the better for their time in the bottle.


  1. Excellent chioce of wines fred, the chateau st. jean is excellent..very well balanced and a great investment for the price. I purchased two bottles of the verdicchio however, and they had turned to vinegar. (both purchased at crosstown hardings). The bolla sangiovese may be a better bet.

    Mike T. kalamazoo

  2. Sorry about the Verdicchio. Storage can be a problem with wines sold at surplus in a grocery store. I do think it was storage rather than age, however. The one bottle I tried in December was fresh and in good shape so I bought two more. Maybe it was a mistake.

    They will give you a refund or exchange if you take the empty bottles back. I've done that with other wines from the surplus shelf.

    The St. Jean has now been marked down to $10.39. I've bought quite a few bottles; hope I don't run into bad bottles of this one.

    I've thought about the Bolla; thanks for the tip.

    Another good value is now available at Sawall's: the Boroli Langhe Anna for $6.99. It's a blend of Nebbiolo, Merlot and Cabernet--very dry, low key and subtle for a Piedmont wine. We had a bottle in December with friends, and it was well received. I paid $12.99 for that bottle and felt it was a good value.

    Also at Sawall's is an Evans & Tate Margaret River Cabernet from Australia, marked down from $21.99 to $10.99. I haven't tried it yet, but Margaret River Cabernets are ordinarily very good...and expensive.

  3. My notes on the Langhe Anna were posted on November 29, 2008. It's 29% Nebbiolo and 17% Barbera but, for me, it was the Cabernet and Merlot that stood out.