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:
• Eurl Patrick Barrière Village 2010 ($10, purchased): I bought this wine because I didn’t expect it to be worth drinking (I am the Wine Curmudgeon, after all). But it wasn’t French bad – green and tannic. Instead, it was California bad – overripe and extracted, without tannins or acid, and made in the grocery store style.
• Fougeray de Beauclair Bourgogne 2009 ($20, purchased): Another attempt to find drinkable red Burgundy for less than $40 with mixed results. Slightly rustic (pencil lead on the front and a rough, interesting finish), but not much fruit, even for Burgundy, and a bit thin in the middle.
• Château Massiac Minervois 2008 ($15, sample): Surprisingly fresh and fruity (black cherry?) red blend from southern France that includes syrah. But still dark and almost brooding; I'm not sure how it would fare with Americans used to Central Coast merlot.
• House Band White NV ($10, sample): This white blend takes full advantage of California's plethora of cheap, quality grapes and solid winemaking skills. It's dry and fruity, but not overdone in any way.