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Wine Advisor Express:
Best wine values of 2001

As I often do on New Year's Day, I spent a little time yesterday looking back over my wine experiences of the past year. Thanks to winery visits, trade shows, wine shows and sociable dinners with online friends, and the usual near-daily sampling of wines at home for both business and pleasure, and I've logged notes on some 1,000 wines again this year.

As in the past, for my year-end report I focused entirely on the wines that I buy and sample at home with some analytical care, both with and without food, for the specific purpose of reviewing and making recommendations. As a result, I have singled out about three dozen wines that I considered best for value or "quality-price ratio" (an online wine-slang term often abbreviated to "QPR") in the range of $12 or less.

In a quick breakdown - probably saying as much about my personal tastes as about the intrinsic value of these wine styles and regions - I ended up with 26 red wines, nine whites, one rosé and a single Sherry on the following list. Eighteen of them, almost exactly half, came from France (and all but four of those were from the Rhone, Languedoc or Provence). Nine were Italian, four Spanish, two from the U.S. (California) and one each from Austria, Germany, Portugal and South Africa. The wines are listed in ascending order of price; wines at the same price point are listed alphabetically.

Casal Thaulero 1999 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($5.49)
Cuvee des Galets 1999 Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Pont du Gard ($5.99)
Wisdom & Warter Ltd. non-vintage Fino Pale Dry Sherry ($7.49)
Casa Castillo 1999 Jumilla Monastrell ($7.99)
Chateau Mas Neuf 1998 Costières de Nîmes ($7.99)
Domaine de la Mordorée 2000 Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé ($7.99)
Domaine Saint Gayan 1998 Cotes du Rhone ($7.99)
Hugues Beaulieu 1999 Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc ($7.99)
Las Brisas 2000 Rueda ($7.99)
Taurino 1997 Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva ($7.99)
Zenato 2000 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie ($7.99)
Chateau le Devoy Martine 1999 Lirac ($8.99)
Domaine Salvat 1997 Fenouill ($8.99)
Fairview 2000 Goats Do Roam Western Cape Red Table Wine ($8.99)
Kris 2000 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie ($8.99)
Speri 1998 Vigneto la Roverina Valpolicella Classico Superiore ($8.99)
Alfred Merkelbach 1999er Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett ($9.99)
Allegrini 1999 Valpolicella Classico ($9.99)
Altano 1999 Douro ($9.99)
Chateau Gaudrelle 1999 Vouvray Val de Loire ($9.99)
Chateau La Roque 1998 Pic Saint Loup Cuvee Les Vieilles Vignes de Mourvèdre Coteaux de Languedoc ($9.99)
Domaine de Périllière 1998 Cotes-du-Rhone Villages ($9.99)
Domaine la Réméjeanne 1999 "Les Arbousiers" Côtes du Rhône ($9.99)
Falesco 1999 "Vitiano" Umbria ($9.99)
Louis M. Martini 1998 California Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.99)
M-C et J-L Poudou 1999 "Marielle et Frederique" Chateau Tour Boisée Minervois ($9.99)
Mas de Gourgonnier 1999 Les Baux de Provence ($9.99)
Penfolds 1999 Bin 2 Southeastern Australia Shiraz-Mourvedre-Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.99)
Perrin Réserve 1998 Cotes du Rhone ($9.99)
Taurino 1995 Notarpanaro Rosso del Salento ($9.99)
Anne-Marie Perret 1999 Morgon Grand Cras ($10.99)
Borsao 2000 "Tres Picos" Campo de Borja Garnacha ($10.99)
Domaine Réméjeanne 1999 Cotes du Rhone Villages "Genevriers" ($10.99)
Bertani 2000 Veneto "Due Uve" ($11.99)
Chateau de la Terriere 1998 Beaujolais-Villages Vieilles Vignes ($11.99)
Nigl 1999 Kremser Freiheit Qualitatswein Trocken Grüner Veltliner ($11.99)
Schuetz Oles 1999 "SO ZIN" California Zinfandel ($11.99)

A word about availability: I purchased all these wines at retail wine shops in and around Louisville, Ky., and the prices listed are the actual retail price I paid; pricing may vary in other parts of the world.

I have no way of knowing their availability in other parts of the world or from online merchants; but in seeking any wine of interest, I always recommend starting with a good wine shop in your own community. Don't be shy about asking the management for help. A friendly and knowledgeable wine merchant can be your best friend in your effort to find any wine of interest or, failing that, to find a good similar alternative.

To read more detailed tasting notes on these wines, click to "The Year's Top QPR," http://www.wineloverspage.com/qpr/index.shtml.

For another 44 wines I considered particularly excellent in the higher-price ranges, see "2001: The Year's Best wines over $12," http://www.wineloverspage.com/qpr/2001top.shtml.

Acker Merrall
January 2002 Online Wine Auction

You just knew that Acker Merrall had to be the first on the block to celebrate 2002 with a new assortment of fantastic wines ... over 1,300 lots to be exact! All types of assorted goodies, sizes, and quantities are available for your bidding pleasure exclusively on http://www.ackerwines.com/onlineauctions through Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Our next live auctions will be Feb. 23 in New York and April 6 in Los Angeles. Deadlines to receive wines for those sales are respectively Jan. 25 and Feb. 28 - get us those lists ASAP while the market's hot! We were glad to end the year with a bang in December with a live auction that posted 88 percent sold, $1.9 million on the gross.

Acker Merral's tasting schedule kicks off in February as well, and we look forward to sharing many more glasses and outstanding evenings with you in the coming year. All the best for a successful and productive 2002!

John Kapon
President & Auction Director
Acker Merrall & Condit

Administrivia
This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. For archives of previous articles, and to read more about wine, visit Wine Lovers' Page, http://www.wineloverspage.com.

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Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2002
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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