Best of September 2012


For whatever reason, there haven’t been a huge number of wines coming over the threshold this month.  With that in mind, there were still a few standouts.

Dishonorable Mention: Wine Sisterhood Chardonnay – At over $10 (when not on sale), Wine Sisterhood Chardonnay is just overpriced for what it delivers.  Between being an acid bomb and a nose that for some reason channels raspberries, this chardonnay is one of the most unusual to ever walk through the door.  At half the price, it might be worth popping for, but at over $10, there are better chardonnays out there.

3. Casa Sant’Orsola Asti – Casa Sant’Orsola is bursting with stonefruit, honey, and acidity, it can bring a sparkle to your eye, if only thanks to some overly aggressive carbonation.    There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but it’s not going to be in the forefront of your mind 4 – 5 bottles of Asti on.  At the price, this offering that will satisfy when looking for an Asti under $10.

2. 2010 Luc Pirlet Corbières – Bursting with dark fruit and a high alcohol to boot, 2010 Luc Pirlet Corbières does a great job of highlighting the Appellation Corbières Contrôlée.  The high alcohol content adds body, and the blend of Carnigan, Syrah, and Grenache all contribute to the unique character of this old world fruit bomb.

1. Conde de Caralt Brut Cava– Conde de Caralt Brut Cava did a nice job of using subtly and balance to create a very pleasant fruit and earth experience.  The notes of apples, lemons, slight minerality, and touches of yeast, combined with a smooth mouth feel, make this wine pleasantly quaffable. 


Dishonorable Mention:  Leinenkugel’s Lemon Berry Shandy – There was a fairly close competition between Leinenkugel’s Lemon Berry Shandy and Newcastle Werewolf for this dubious honor.  While Newcastle Werewolf is definitely polarizing, Leinenkugel’s Lemon Berry Shandy wins for tasting liking Minute Maid Raspberry Lemonade.  Understandably, this isn’t typically a positive characteristic of a beer, and less so from a sort of artificial flavor stand point.

3. Harpoon UFO Pumpkin Ale – Harpoon UFO Pumpkin Ale brings plenty of pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla characteristics to the party while remaining true to its squashy nature.  It’s not a sweet brew, but it’s easy to drink, and this unfiltered offering rewards with plenty of taste.

2. The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale – Brown ale and hops can provide a rather rewarding experience.  Combining the bitterness of hops with sweet malts, The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale combines wonderfully nutty flavors, charred wood, coffee, and piney-citrusy hops together to make a complex brew, that remains light and enjoyable.

1. Harpoon Octoberfest – Harpoon crushes it in September, turning in their second in the top 3 with Harpoon Octoberfest.  This wonderful märzen displays a nice combination of roasty caramel malts and spices, with a few touches of crisp fall fruit.  It’s a wonderful example of a fall beer, and fans of beers such as Fat Tire may appreciate this one.

Had a stand out beer or wine in the last month?  Let us know in the comments, and it just may make October’s ranking!