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Help me :) A different request from an AFF wine lover......

Whining&dining

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As per @Whining&dining , one specific demand I have of a "house wine" is a sub-$10 cost.

EDIT: amateur mistake the 8.99 was for the half-size bottle :(
Well Juddles we're probably coming at this from slightly different tangents, I used to seek out the low shelf price or "heavily reduced" stock at my local bottleshop before discovering the joys of online buying and it is more the thrill of opening a $50 bottle of wine that has cost (at times) a third or even less of the original price that has driven me away from bricks and mortar establishments. An $8 or $10 RRP wine is just that, a cheap wine made for the mass market. There's no question that gems can be found though, and Aldi seem to be particularly good at offering them to the savvy punter. A couple that spring to mind from days gone by when I shopped at the local were the Charles Sturt University Shiraz and Deakin Estate Shiraz and Cabernet both of which hovered at the $10 full retail mark. I still think that you could snap up a sixer or dozen of a vary decent drop online and kiss the bottleshop "bargains" goodbye.... YMMV
 

GPH

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Hi all,

was pondering in which thread to post this, but decided it didn't really fit, and may be nonsensical, so easiest to create another thread, even if just to outweigh the pandemic of Corona things....

This is complicated - let me explain:

I drink a lot of wine. Really, lots. (This is evidenced in many of my late night postings over many threads....) And I really love the stuff. Besides that, I am also doing a personal thing of stepping out of my usual habits, and attempting to try as many brands and varietals as I can at the moment - a mammoth task due to the sheer variety of offering these days.

Due to a combination of factors (being a zero-income writer, an avid cook, and the ever-increasing experimentation in more expensive tipples), I have, as a sideline to my varied sampling, been looking for a couple of solid "house wines" - ie cheap stuff that is palatable enough for me but is essentially a negligible cost. (Also something that I can sanely enjoy, cost/benefit wise, as my third bottle of the evening) Something that is not unpleasant to drink, but also something I do not feel bad about if I go to sleep without finishing it. (I am extremely sensitive to opened wines - cannot stomach things that have been opended for 24 hrs no matter if they are screw caps or whatever - do not know the technical term for the change - but it is there and I dislike it)

I am NOT a wine snob - in that I struggle with the ability as of yet to really express things. And I also believe that wine enjoyment is an extremely personal thing - so there is never a global "correct" perception of any wine. But saying that, some wines universally suck :)

Anyway, as I try to get to the point, I have recently decided to explore Pinot Noir. Haven't yet started, due to some other pressures, BUT....

Given my eternal search for a background "house" wine to buy in bulk to use in those moments I am not exploring, a cheapie just caught my notice the other day at Dans. It is the Frontera pinot noir - down from ten bucks to seven. Due to a couple of horrific experiences with Dans "cleanskins", I have sworn off those. I also refuse to try those cheap wines with the corny labels and el cheapo bottles - I have a bottom limit in what I want in a house wine. So I got some Frontera pinot noir. I thought that if anything, it would give me a starting point in pinot noir from which I could blossom into much more pleasant future experiences.

It is important to understand the above - which in summary is that (a) I know zero about pinot noir (b) This purchase was for that cheap house wine role, and (c) my expectation of a pinot noir, especially a cheapie, was that it would be a wishy-washy light red with no real satisfaction.

The Frontera destroyed my already feeble confidence in wine knowledge. I found it (at the price) a delicious and versatile red - perfect for my house wine role. Much fuller bodied than I had expected. Very easy drinking.

I am so confused with it. Is it even really a pure pinot noir? I have some knowledge of Concha y Toro, the huge Chilean wine conglomerate of which Frontera is one of their cheap lines. I am also aware that carmenere vines in Chile were marketed as merlot for decades until someone did some serious genetic investigation...

But anyway, I have an "ask" - a favour - of anyone on AFF keen to help me. Can you please go and buy a bottle of this stuff and give me your impressions! At $7 a bottle at the moment, it will hardly break the bank,

Please do not compare it to immaculate $50+ bottles of pinot noir heaven. I just want to know if others see it as I am - as a great house wine. And is it typical of a pinot noir????
I think we need to consider a tasting weekend
 

chonka

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Generally I seek out heavily discounted wines under $20 that originally hover around the $40+ RRP, though I have a friend that has introduced me to many a very decent wine at sub $10. Many of the Chilean wines are very reasonable.

One of them was indeed the Frontera Pinot Noir, though I am not a Pinot Noir drinker and didnt purchase more myself, still decent though. A few others would be the De Bortoli Deen Vat 1 Durif that can just squeeze into the $10 bracket (I always have a few of those around now) as well as possibly the Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere when its on member special around $50 a case.

Dont forget a good decant for the cheaper wines
 
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Hi all, just a few general thoughts ...
@juddles have you tried decanting leftovers into a clean (empty) 1/2 bottle? That may work around your oxidative dislike & reduce wastage - otherwise the budget is a false economy.
Personally I like a variety of varietals & target the average cost which allows for small luxuries.
Unwooded wines will be cheaper per unit quality purely because of lower processing costs & holding time. Bonuses are that taint such as Brettanomyces are less likely & in my opinion less likely to induce hangovers when moderation fails.
Commonly grown varietals will tend to have a very cheap "tail"
Some rarer varietals (as far as OZ is concerned) are cheaper when established & looking to increased market share - especially overseas producers.
I did have a more expansive rave but it didn't auto-save & I got thirsty.
2011 Uleybury Semillon $60/12 at Just Wines.
Happy hunting - the thrill really is in the chase!
 
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kevviek

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Fascinating question, so far I can only see one person offering to taste for you, will wander down to Dans tomorrow and see if I can grab one.
The thing is, if there is any wine more sensitive to being created well (or not), it is Pinot Noir. I’ve never had a good cheap one, and apart from this one time I don’t think I will ever buy a cheap one again. The last attempt was The Black Barrell, supposedly $20 per bottle but I paid $6, and it’s rubbish, doesn’t taste like Pinot at all. Stonier is now my benchmark.
 

JohnM

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I happened near a BWS yesterday and they had both the 2018 and 2019 Frontera Pinot Noir for $10 each. I bought one of each and opened the 2018 tonight.

It's obviously nothing special but I get where @juddles is coming from. While it has a charred, tarry overtone, there's something strangely attractive about it texturally that makes it very easy drinking and rather moreish. Certainly a perfectly reasonable quaffer, IMO.

I'll try in short order the 2019, although I would expect great consistency with such mass-produced wines from Concha Y Toro, which is about the second or third biggest wine company in the world.
 

Whining&dining

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Well true to my word a grabbed a bottle of the 2019 Frontera (didn't have any other options vintage-wise) but will have to report back in a couple of of nights as I have only just opened a bottle of the 2017 Kirrihill Vineyard Selection Shiraz Vineyard Selection Clare Valley Shiraz 2017 | Kirrihill Wines $29 RRP but $11.50 on VM, Black Market buy, and probably reinforces my view that for a little over $10 you can commonly drink a 30 bucker....
 

Catweazle

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Warburn Esate's 'Rumours' shiraz was only $4 last I checked. I bought some once, back in the days when I thought cheap wine = cooking wine, and had a glass while I was at it.

Surprised to find that I actually quite liked it, for what it was. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Better yet is McGuigan Black label, although twice the price at about $8 per bottle.

Up the range, my next favourite is Château Tanunda from the Barossa. The Merlot was about $18, if I rememeber rightly but did see an internet deal for a dozen at under $90 + post.
 

Whining&dining

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Cracked the 2019 Frontera Pinot last night and had a glass whilst cooking (as so many of us seem to do). It's certainly much darker in the glass than most Oz Pinot I've come across, on the palate it has a slightly smokey tarry quality to it, medium-bodied in weight but heading towards full-bodied for this varietal, it's subtle but the flavour profile is different to our home grown reds. Would I buy it again? Probably not but that isn't a reflection on the wine so much as my palate which has been skewed by bigger drops from the Barossa and McLaren Vale, wine, like art, is a very personal matter and I think that you should drink whatever appeals to you personally 🙂
 
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I just remembered the Cono Sur range which includes a nice base level Pinot. All widely available BWS, Vintage Cellars, Liquorland & great value under $10 & frequently on special.
 

juddles

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Thanks for all the replies :)

Have decided that it fits the bill for me at the moment for a cheap and versatile quaffer with which to pad out my Corona-horde. I will also attempt to sample some of the other cheap house wine options suggested in here - but am really happy with the Frontera as a base red for the dreary normal days.

But it is such a hard thing, this wine thing. I completely agree with Redbigot's philosophy that Life is too short to waste drinking crap, but on the other hand, if I can restrict my daily tipples to something of economic price, yet that I do not mind, then this allows me to go further out on pricier stuff for the other days.. :)
 

kookaburra75

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Curse you @juddles
After your request for 'help', and as I had never sampled Frontera Pinot Noir I decided to grab a bottle at BWS today. But worse still, I started looking at other wines in the same price range, balancing price and least risk of damage to my palate and liver. I haven't done that since I was a student some 40 years ago!. I've now tried the Frontera (there's some funky industrial processes going in there) and I think I'm better off getting the De Bortoli Over Yonder Pinot for the same price point. And a Chilean Malbec that I'll report on, if I live that is
 

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