Yellow Tail Shiraz

Good Booze – A Tasty  Red

With decent berry and spice flavors and given a bit of time or the use of an aerator, a pretty good bargain red. Shiraz is the wine that the Australians do so well and it is no surprise, this is the best of the Yellow Tail reds we’ve tried. Not a huge fruit-filled red bomb, but juicy enough to be fun. Our best results came using a big Cabernet glass and giving it some time and air. For this price a great buy in a red wine. You can even find it at $4.44 at Total Wines as well. Pick up a six-pack and have fun.

The Facts

Yellow Tail Shiraz

Price Paid – $5.39

Date Reviewed – 2/1/18

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Shiraz (Syrah*)

Vintage Year – 2016 (Australia**)

Appellation – Australia

Winery/Brand – Yellow Tail/Casella Family Brands

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13.5%

Cork? – Artificial

Pour it and taste – Two Ways:

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Berry aromas and some tar in the nose. Berry, spice and some tannins.

– Large Cabernet Glass: Lots of berry aroma with some tar. Nice berry and some spice flavors.Hint of tannins and a lingering berry finish.

Aerator + 5 Minutes – Two Ways:

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Hint of tar in the nose. Some berries. Hints of warm tannins in the finish.

– Large Cabernet Glass: Berry aroma. Berries and spice. Bare hint of soft tannins. Smooth. Lingering berries finish. Balanced.

Decanter – Two ways:

– Std. Wine Glass: Neutral Nose. Berries and fruit. Bit of alcohol “heat” on the finish.

– Large Cabernet Glass: Berry aroma. Smooth berry flavors. Bit of a drying finish and some lingering berries.

Overall – Decent berry flavors and spice. Smooth. Nice grilled meats wine. This one was at it’s best using the aerator and the large cabernet glass. But it held up at 30 minutes in a decanter as well. At this price, pour this one for all your friends on the patio.

* Shiraz is a wine made with Syrah grapes. This is an Aussie tradition to call it that and they make good ones. Of course, the soil and climate are very different from France or the US. So the wine is going to taste a bit different as well.

**Harvest in the Southern Hemisphere is six months earlier than in the US and France. So for the same vintage year, you get and extra six months aging time. A bonus in this price range.

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Copyright 2018 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Yellow Tail Merlot

Not Good Booze –  Not Worth It

Compared to other reds we’ve reviewed including another Yellow Tail, this one is so modest it fades into nothing. It’s not bad, but it’s just a simple generic red with Merlot printed on the label. For some that may be enough given the price. We hit it with every combination in our tasting protocol kit and if you were going to drink it, the best result came from pouring it right out into a larger Cabernet glass. Some berry flavors linger for a bit but It does not get better with time and air. Not at all.

The Facts

Yellow Tail Merlot

Price Paid – $5.99

Date Reviewed – 2/1/18

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Merlot

Vintage Year – 2016 (Australia*)

Appellation – Australia

Winery/Brand – Yellow Tail/Casella Family Brands

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13%

Cork? – Artificial

Pour it and taste – Two Ways –

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Tar and some Berry in the nose. Some berry and cherry flavors. soft tannins and a medicinal edge to the finish.

– Large Cabernet Glass): Tar nose. Smooth Berry flavors and zero tannins. Smooth finish with a bit of berry. A bit thin.

Aerator plus 5 minutes – Two Ways –

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Tar still present, but less. Bit of berry flavor, thin body with a medicinal finish.

– Large Cabernet Glass: A hint of tar in the nose. Some berries and soft tannins. Bit of a medicinal finish. Thin.

Decanter plus 30 minutes – Two Ways –

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Now a generic “red wine”. Thin. Without character.

– Large Cabernet Glass: Some tar in the nose. A tiny suggestion of fruit flavors. Small tannins a the end.

Overall – This is a very modest red wine. It does have that magic word Merlot on the label, that might be enough to please some indifferent drinkers given the price. But, it’s thin, the flavors are whispy and it’s just not a wine with interest even as a party wine. Not terrible, just not worth the drinking given other choices.

* Harvests in the Southern Hemisphere are six months earlier than in the US and France. The benefit is a wine “older” than the vintage year would indicate which is an added bonus in this price range. A bit more time in the bottle is a good thing.

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Copyright 2018 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Yellow Tail Chardonnay

Good Booze – A Tasty White –

With a great price, Yellow Tail’s Chardonnay is a pleasant surprise. Not a big, full flavored Chard, but well made and easy to drink with some character. We tried this one three different ways and one was clearly the best. This is a perfect wine for deck, patio, game time and crowds. At this price you can be a generous host.

The Facts

Yellow Tail Chardonnay

Price Paid – $5.39

Date Reviewed – 2/1/18

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Chardonnay

Vintage Year – 2016 (Australia*)

Appellation – Australia

Winery/Brand – Yellow Tail – Casella Family Brands

Bottle Size –750 ML

Alcohol – 13%

Cork? – Screwcap

Pour it and taste* – (Very Cold) Green apple aroma, hint of the Burgundy nose. Hint of butter and modest oak flavors and rich in the mouth. Smooth finish with a bare hint of citrus.

5  Minutes in the Glass – Hint of an apple aroma. Modest oak and some apple flavors and a bare suggestion of butter. Soft finish with lingering hints of, warm oak.

From the bottle after 15 minutes on the counter- Traces of subtle oak in the nose. Balanced apple, pears, and pleasing, small, oak flavors. Easy, nice finish.

Overall – A pleasant white wine with some Chardonnay character. The best method was after 15 minutes on the counter. This resulted in very balanced wine. Nice game time, party or deck wine.

*Australia’s location in the Southern Hemisphere results in a harvest six months ahead of the US, Latin America or Europe. This means the wine is “Six months older” an added bonus of aging in this price range.

** We use a red wine (but not a large Cabernet) glass for Chardonnays with some oak. Much better results.

GoodCheapBooze.com

Copyright 2018 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Castle Rock Chardonnay Review

Castle Rock Chardonnay

Staff Wine Review – GoodCheapBooze.com

Not Good Booze – Oak Only

The only thing this one has going for it is oak. The tiny bit of fruit flavor, pineapple is so minor here. This is the sort of wine that people who don’t like chardonnay think of first. Pass on this one.


The Facts

Castle Rock Chardonnay

Price Paid – $9.95

Date Reviewed – 10/15/17

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Variety – Chardonnay

Vintage Year – 2014

Appellation – Columbia Valley, Washington

Winery/Brand – Castle Rock Winery

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13.5%

Cork? – Screwcap

Pour and taste – Slight “Burgundy nose” and pineapple aroma.  No butter. Lingering oak.

5 – 15 Minutes Later – Some butter, some pineapple. Oak. Fairly smooth. The pineapple is drowned out by the oak.

Overall – If you like oak, that’s about it. Teases you with a hint of pineapple before that is stomped out all oak and more oak.



Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Rosé

Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Rosé

Staff Wine Review – GoodCheapBooze.com

We like it. Dry with modest fruit.

This is a widely available American style rosé at usually a reasonable price. A very dry wine and not at all sweet or close to sweet. You won’t find depth or layered flavors here. Hints of plum and berries, yes, if you don’t linger over it too long as they will fade after pouring. Bright, good color, nice aromas decent price and good with food.

The Facts

Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Rosé

Price Paid -$10.99 (mixed six pack discount)

Date Reviewed – 10/15/17

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Rosé grape type not specified

Vintage Year – 2016

Appellation – California

Winery/Brand – Kendall-Jackson

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13%

Cork? No. Screwcap

Pour it and taste – Nice glow in the glass. Soft plum aroma. Very dry. Good mouthfeel. Slightly crisp on the finish.

5 – 10 Minutes Later – Plum aroma has faded. Hint of strawberry flavor. Easy finish.

Overall– American style dry rosé. Easy enough to enjoy. Not complex. Modest fruit. Clean and bright in the mouth. Good with grilled, lightly flavored, pork or chicken.

Copyright 2017 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


cupcake sparkling rosé

Cupcake Sparkling Rosé (NV)

Staff Wine Review – GoodCheapBooze.com

We Like It – BUT on the sweeter side

Not as cloyingly sweet as you might think. Refreshing, very upfront strawberry flavors and aromas with clean with lively bubbles that don’t fade quickly. A good choice for those who do not care for dry sparklers. But, not too sweet. If you enjoy strawberry daiquiris, this would be fine for you.

The Facts

Cupcake Sparkling Rosé

Price Paid – $9.99 (six bottle mixed discount)

Date Reviewed – 10/15/17

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Sparkling Rosé  grapes not specified

Vintage Year – Non-Vintage

Appellation – Italy

Winery/Brand – Cupcake Vineyards

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 11%

Cork? Yes

Pour it and taste – Strong “pop” when opened. Very light rosé color. Bubbly, light yeast aroma. Off dry. Candy berry flavor. Easy finish.

5 – 10 Minutes Later – Still bubbly. Ripe strawberry aroma. Finish fine.

Overall– For the off-dry, sort of sweet drinker, a clean tasting wine.

Copyright 2017 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved