Today's Sponsor:
 California Wine Club
Gift Giving That's Rewarding To You!

In This Issue
 In this week's Premium Edition We feature a top Oregon producer.
 Reorganizing the wine shop Is the customary way the best way?
 Borsao 2002 "Tres Picos" Campo de Borja Garnacha ($14.99) Very berry, but more than a mere "fruit bomb."
 California Wine Club Gift Giving That's Rewarding To You!
 This week on Tasting "Rhone Rangers," sipping cider, and seeking 1979s.
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index Links to recent articles in the Wine Advisor archives.
Administrivia Change E-mail address, frequency, format or unsubscribe.

In this week's Premium Edition:
Pinots from a top Oregon producer

My detailed report on an extensive "vertical" tasting of Pinot Noirs from one of Oregon's most respected producers will be available exclusively to Wine Advisor Premium Edition subscribers in tomorrow's biweekly report. The Premium Edition, our subscription-only E-letter, makes it easy to shop with confidence when you're considering a more pricey bottle for a special occasion. Your $24 annual subscription delivers 26 biweekly E-mail editions and helps support

Read a sample copy here:
Then subscribe today and get this week's edition in your E-mail box tomorrow ...

Reorganizing the wine shop

Wine shop signs Finding your way around a large wine shop can be daunting, and not just to novices. Even the most seasoned wine expert may be stymied for a while upon entering a new shop and trying to locate the Austrian Grüner Veltliners or the Argentine Malbecs ... or just to track down a good ingredient and sipping companion for Saturday evening's coq au vin.

Perhaps the majority of wine shops simply sort their wines on shelves identified by the country or region of origin (or in the case of the sleek, well-stocked Lavinia in Paris, rooms divided among countries and regions).

But it's not uncommon to find shops organized by grape variety, for instance; and that's not all. Sweden's Systembolaget government stores, I'm told, set up the shelves in order of price. And a few innovative retailers - including the New York-based Best Cellars stores and some British shops - organize their wares by flavor, sorting sweet, soft, fruity and dry wines into separate sections to point consumers toward styles of wine they'll be likely to prefer.

Has the traditional country-and-region organization become dominant because it's objectively best? Or might one of the alternatives serve wine lovers better? In this week's Wine Lovers' Voting Booth, we offer you the opportunity to tell the wine merchants of the world just how you would like to see them organize the wine shop.

For purposes of the survey, the list of choices asks you to focus on the primary organization: In other words, a vote for "country or region" doesn't preclude the merchant organizing wines by color and alphabetically within each country or regional section.

Thanks to Peter May, the genial host of and the delightful Website, for suggesting this idea and providing information about British stores that organize wines by flavor profile. Thanks also go to the usual crowd of volunteer advisors for helping to refine it. As always, this is a lighthearted poll without any scientific value, presented simply to inspire discussion and for the fun of seeing how your answers compare with those of other wine lovers around the world. Once you have cast your ballot, the software will immediately add your entry to the list so you can compare your response to those from other wine lovers around the world.

To go directly to the online ballot form, click:

To see how others have voted, go to:

Finally, if you would like to comment further about this topic (or other wine-related issues), you'll find a round-table online discussion about it in our interactive Wine Lovers' Discussion Group, where you're always welcome to join in the conversations about wine.

If you prefer to comment privately, feel free to send me E-mail at I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

In recent weeks, we've featured a couple of Spanish Garnachas (Grenache) in the single-digit price range, noteworthy for their bright, fruit-forward flavors and affordable price tag. Today let's see what we get for a few extra dollars, moving into the middle teens for a more upscale bottling from Borsao, maker of the raspberry Kool-Aid-like "fruit bomb" that we tasted on Aug. 11, 2004. Made from low-yield, old-vines Garnacha, it's a more complex and powerful wine with structure and balance lacking in the low-price brand.

Tres Picos Borsao 2002 "Tres Picos" Campo de Borja Garnacha ($14.99)

This dark-garnet wine shows the signature raspberry character of Garnacha/Grenache on the nose and palate, but it's relatively restrained, and gains interest from grace notes of cloves and cinnamon. Juicy raspberry fruit and spice are nicely balanced by firm structural acidity on the palate, with high (14.5%) alcohol building a full body and a sense of heat in the finish. Not as much of a "fruit bomb" as its less pricey Borsao sibling, but it's still a very-berry, fruit-forward wine. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Fairfax, Ohio, and other regional importers; from Jorge Ordoñez. (Sept. 4, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: An excellent match with a char-grilled free-range chicken with fresh herbs tucked under the breast skin; plenty of body and structure to hold up well to rare red meat, too.

VALUE: It's frankly not a great buy at the $15 price point, although its balance, structure and reasonable complexity may justify the cost if you like a fruit-forward, powerful red. Shop around, though, as my local retail price was on the high side; this wine is widely available from Internet vendors in the $10 to $12 range.

WHEN TO DRINK: Should hold up and perhaps evolve in the cellar for a few years, but I don't see it as a long-time keeper.

Borsao = Bore-sow
Tres Picos = Trayz Pee-koez
Campo de Borja = Cahm-poe day Bore-hah
Garnacha = Gar-not-cha

WEB LINK: You'll find Bodegas Borsao's English-language fact sheet on Tres Picos here:

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: Check out prices and vendors for Borsao Tres Picos at,

California Wine Club

Gift Giving That's Rewarding To You!

For nearly 15 years, members have told us that a gift of wine from The California Wine Club makes a memorable holiday gift for business associates and a tasteful referral gift for the medical community.

We are now excited to introduce a program that benefits the Gift Giver. Our Corporate Rewards Program combines high quality wines and exceptional customer service with substantial savings and benefits just for you.

If you plan on sending holiday gifts this year, you may find it valuable to review The California Wine Club's Corporate Rewards Program at
or call them at 1-800-777-4443.

For a fun and unique gift, or to experience a monthly wine adventure for yourself visit

This week on

Here are links to some of our recently published articles that I think you'll enjoy:

Bucko's Wine Reports: New Wines for Summer
The Rhone Rangers were in town recently, and our man "Bucko" was there to meet them. More than half of the 100 wine notes in Randy Buckner's monthly report feature New World Rhone varieties, and he says there are some real values out there. Here is his full report:

Nat Decants: Fall Ambrosia
Along with cable-knit sweaters and hearty stews, the taste of sweet cider is a fall comfort not to be missed. In Fall Ambrosia, Natalie McLean hits the cider trail to reacquaint us with this ancient drink that's making a modern comeback.
BONUS REPORT: Even if you're not Canadian, you'll find useful information in Natalie's report on nearly four dozen fine wines in the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's September 2004 Vintages Release.

Wine Lovers' Discussion Group: 1979 Anything? Suggestions please!
A reader seeks an excellent, mature wine of the 1979 vintage to celebrate a 25th anniversary, and gets a boatload of suggestions. Read them, and if you like, add your own advice, in this topic in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group:

Last Week's Wine Advisor Index

The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:

 Gallo meets Da Vinci (Sept. 3, 2004)

 Another affordable Spanish Grenache (Sept. 1, 2004)

 Report from a wine festival (Aug. 30, 2004)

 Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:

 Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Involtini di Melanzane (Sept. 2, 2004)

 Wine Advisor Foodletter archive:

 30 Second Wine Advisor, daily or weekly (free)
 Wine Advisor FoodLetter, Thursdays (free)
 Wine Advisor Premium Edition, alternate Tuesdays ($24/year)

For all past editions, click here


For information, E-mail


To subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.

We do not use our E-mail list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail address to anyone. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. To contact me, please send E-mail to

All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Monday, Sept. 6, 2004
Copyright 2004 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to the 30 Second Wine Advisor

Wine Advisor archives