Mirassou, 2011 California Cabernet Sauvignon:
With its plum, spice, cinnamon, clove and vanilla flavors, the 2011 Mirassou Cabernet is almost too intense (like mulled wine). Yet on the palate it has a silky texture, good structure, and a long fruit-spice-earth finish. Nothing subtle here, but if you’re looking for layers of flavor, you’ll love it. 70,500 cases produced. A rare bargain at $12. 90 points
Anew, 2012 Columbia Valley Riesling:
Proof that wine doesn’t have to be dry to be enjoyable, this new brand from Ste. Michelle evokes the Rieslings of 40 years ago, slightly sweet and balanced by crisp acidity and a little spritz. The brand is being targeted at young, active women 25-45, but old active men may also enjoy it (as I can attest). At only 11.5% alcohol, I can enjoy half a bottle without fear of consequences. A blend of 88% Riesling, 10% Gewürztraminer and 2% Muscat Canelli, Anew Riesling delivers pear and white peach flavors with a twist of lime and a hint of ginger. 70,000 cases produced. $12 (though I’ve seen it on sale for half that). 89 points.