By Kori ~ February 9th, 2010.
In today’s economy, many people are cutting back on their wine budgets and are looking for wines that consistently offer good quality and good value. For those of us who drink wine virtually every day, it is not economical (nor necessary) to spend a lot for everyday wines. The key is to determine varietals and styles that you enjoy, from brands that you can trust for consistency, at prices that you can afford on a daily basis, and that are widely available. Wineries located in California that meet these criteria can be extremely difficult to find. However, one winery that immediately comes to mind that I would encourage you to explore is Dry Creek Vineyard.
Dry Creek Vineyard, founded in 1972 by David Stare, is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley just outside of Healdsburg, California. Well-known for their Fumé Blancs and Zinfandels, Dry Creek Vineyard also produces a number of other good wines. And best of all, their wines deliver serious bang-for-your-buck. “A great wine at a fair price” was founder David Stare’s mantra, and the family continues to uphold this philosophy. Today, Dry Creek Vineyard is run by David’s daughter Kim Stare Wallace and her husband Don. I had the pleasure to meet Kim at the 2008 Wine Bloggers Conference and then visited their beautiful winery during last year’s conference.
We recently had the opportunity to taste two Dry Creek Vineyard wines in a samples tasting, the 2006 Merlot and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. With QPR ratings of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5) and 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5), respectively, both of these wines are great values that are worth a try if you see them on the shelf at your local wine shop.
2006 Dry Creek Vineyard Merlot (Dry Creek Valley, California): 87% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep red in color. Very aromatic with black plum, blackberry, and oak aromas. Flavors of black fruits, licorice, and a hint of tobacco. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $19; Available elsewhere, $17 to $22
2006 Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Dry Creek Valley, California): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purple. Oak and spice notes dominate the nose; black fruits show through on the palate. Medium bodied and lively with medium tannins and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $25; Available elsewhere, $17 to $26
Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Merlot, Red Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25