Reviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the fourth Friday of each month
• Cigar Box Malbec Reserve 2015 ($10, sample, 13.5%): I expected little from this Argentine red; why put the term reserve on a cheap wine? But it was a simple, fruit-driven wine (lots and lots of blueberry), drinkable and not too offensive or cloying. That’s a big surprise given this approach, where the marketing may have cost more than the winemaking.
• Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay Reserva 2016 ($10, sample, 13.5%): Poorly made, poorly conceived grocery store knockoff of Kendall-Jackson chardonnay from a Chilean producer that should know better. This white wine has so much residual sugar and fake oak that it tastes like Jell-O vanilla pudding. Again, beware the use of reserve for a $10 wine.
• Graffigna Malbec 2015 ($15, sample, 14%): Stunningly disappointing Argentine red from a usually reliable producer. There was very little going on – just a harsh acidity that overwhelmed all, and didn’t even have the syrupy fruit usually found in poorly made malbec.
• Franco-Españolas Rosado Bordon 2016 ($10, sample, 13%): Classic Spanish rose made with garnacha and viura from Rioja, but with little availability in the U.S. Otherwise, it’s a $10 Hall of Fame quality wine. Look for a a burst of crisp raspberry fruit that gives way to minerality, making it the kind of wine you can drink all day. Thanks, three-tier.
Drawing from the New York Public Library Digital Collections, using a Creative Commons license