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:
• Bodegas Peñalba López Monte Castrillo 2009 ($13, sample): Spanish tempranillo from Ribera del Duero with lots of thickish red fruit that needs beefy dishes. Decent value, but you have to like wine made this way.
• La Vieille Ferme Blanc 2011 ($8, purchased): Hugely disappointing vintage from the French white that is a long-time blog favorite. Big-time banana fruit, which not only isn't pleasant, but shows a change in winemaking to softer and more sweetish approach.
• Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($13.50, sample): Always dependable and value-driven California white. Look for melon and California grassiness, thought not quite as citrusy as other west coast sauvignon blancs.