One year ago today I published my first post on CheapWineRatings.com and I wanted to take a couple minutes to reflect on the past year and revisit some favorites.
As I look back at my first reviews (only a year ago) I feel that the quality has improved significantly. The tasting notes are better now, the photography is better and I now employ a more analytical approach to ratings than when I first started. I hope it continues to improve and I’m saying the same thing a year from now about today.
I had a lot of fun over the past year and I especially enjoyed the Wine Blogging Wednesday events. I’m looking forward to more fun and more wine over the next year.
Some of my favorite wines of the past year include (in no specific order):
- Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon
- McManis Petite Sirah
- Casa Catelli Negroamaro
- Cardinal Zin Zinfandel
- Veramonte Chardonnay
- Kuentz-Bas Riesling
There is one other wine that stands out as a favorite of mine and it was from my first review, Yasa Garnacha 2003. I enjoyed this wine so much that it is locked in my memory as “the best value wine of all time.” And it was a wine that inspired and motivated me to create this website. To celebrate my fond memories of that wine I decided to revisit the more current vintages of Yasa.
I picked up both the 2005 and 2006 vintages of Yasa Garnacha and what I found was disappointing. It was a validation of how important vintage is when identifying great wines. 2003 was an extraordinary year for Spanish wine and it’s not surprising that the Yasa was much better that year.
They updated the label since 2003, raised the price a couple bucks and lowered the quality. That’s not how it’s supposed to work!
Here’s what I found from the ’05 and ’06.
Yasa Garnacha 2005
Butterscotch, black pepper, cedar and cherry make up the nose. The palate is quite acidic is shows mostly a sour cherry flavor. There is also some walnut, plum and some spicy black pepper. There is a slight metallic aftertaste. This is not what I expect (or want) from a Grenache.
Price Paid: $9.99
Yasa Garnacha 2006
The nose is fairly tight. It opened up to show some blackberry, cedar, black pepper and a touch of bubblegum. It has a slightly dirty/barnyard aroma too. The palate brings loads of blackberry and plum. It’s a little jammy. There’s a very floral black pepper spice on the finish. There are also some black tea tannins on the finish. It’s a step up from the 2005, but not nearly as good as 2003.
Price Paid: $9.99
Oh well… not every bottle of cheap wine will be a winner. Here’s to another year of searching for the gems. Cheers!