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As part of our ongoing effort to not only find great wine, but also the best places to buy that wine we've been endeavoring to review a number of wine club programs. First up was Club W followed byNakedWines. Today we take a look at the Plonk Wine Club.
Plonk Wine Club focuses on small, hard to find artisanal producers. This is a wine club for the adventurous wine drinker who has eclectic tastes and enjoys trying wines you won't find at your local store. The monthly club features both 2 and 4 bottle programs that offer red wines only, white wines only, or mixed. The cost is $90 per month for 4 wines shipped to your door, slightly above our normal $20 cut-off (which is why we're covering this as a Saturday Splurge) but such is the premium you pay when you are buying wine from small producers.
Of course the real test is the quality of the wines, so let's take a look at a couple I received in a recent sample shipment.
First up is the 2011 La Baronne Coste-Lise Corbieres, a blend of 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre from Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It has very limited availability on Wine-Searcher for around $15. 2,500 cases produced.
From the bottle:
"Family estate located in the Languedoc, South of France. Through their wines, the Ligneres translate their passion and respect for the vineyard and for its surrounding land by natural farming methods, avoiding the use of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers.. 100% Hand harvested. Indigenous yeasts. No fining. No filtration.
14% Alcohol"The 2011 La Baronne Coste-Lise Corbieres begins with a really beautiful and fruity aroma of red and black cherry and black raspberry along with a hint of mint and anise. Just be sure to give it some time to breathe to get the best results. Tasting reveals loads more juicy fruit wrapped up in a smooth and savory texture and a nice bit of spice. It ends dry and spicy with some light lingering mineral notes and tart fruit.
Overall Rating: 7.3
Next up is the 2011 Martian Ranch Local Group Grenache Noir, a blend of 84% Grenache Noir, 9% Mourvedre, 4% Syrahand 2% Grenache Blanc from Santa Barbara County, California. It has very limited availability on Wine-Searcher at an average price of $25. 450 cases produced.
From the winery:
“Locals Only” is the rallying cry for this Grenache Noir. It makes up quite an area code, however, going beyond our own Los Alamos motto, “93440, Can you dig it?” The Local Group takes up a bit more space, is a bit more far reaching. In celestial terms, the Local Group is the group of galaxies that includes, among many others, the Earth's own Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. In the Martian Universe, whatʼs a few galaxies among friends? Local Group isnʼt available in Andromeda yet, but there are plans afoot. Meanwhile, enjoy it here, or there, or just about anywhere the Locals will allow.
The 2011 Martian Ranch Local Group Grenache Noir begins with pleasant aromas of plum, a streak of red berry fruit, lots of musty earth and a hint of olive. The wine tastes smooth and nicely balanced with juicy dark fruit, a little tobacco and plenty more earthy notes. It also has great complexity and a long dry finish featuring toasty oak and tobacco. Excellent!
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