Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month:
• Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 ($8, purchased): To quote a regular visitor here, "Better than it has been, but not better enough to buy again." Not as much ripe banana as usual, but still more juice than wine.
• Napa Cellars Merlot ($22, sample): Two or three years ago, these wines did not impress; today, with a little aging and a change in winemaking styles elsewhere, it's a winner: correctly tannic, with black fruit and even a bit of earthiness. Missing is the sweet fruit so common in these wines today.