Going three for three in the major leagues will get you in the Hall of Fame. Going three for three in less than a week with wine might not be HOF material, but its upped my batting average of late!

I have been lumping my wine reviews together in the last month or so and that’s proved to be an easier way for me to get them done. I’ve also added a generic word or two in way of the recommendation. I think the 100-point scale is just too much for casual, value wine drinkers. What does a five-star system get accomplished?

So from now on I’ll simply stick with Not Recommended, Recommended, or Highly Recommended.

Veramonte 2009 Pinot Noir – I have tried several Chilean Pinot Noirs and the Veramonte was the first to really turn my head and tickle the palate. I was pleasantly surprised the $13.99 Pinot had smooth Pinot flavor, not much terroir (dirt), but nice dark fruit, a hint of spice, and a silky feel.

These grapes come from the Cacablanca Valley and make a Pinot that comes in at 14 percent alcohol after spending some time in oak. In release notes from the importer, the Casablanca Valley is compared to California’s Russian River Valley.

I’ve traveled the Russian River Valley and didn’t think this wine had the similar bold Pinot flavor you find in those wines. But it’s very difficult to find a good Pinot under $15. The Veramonte hits the mark!(Veramonte 2009 Pinot Noir Reserva, SRP $13.99 Recommended)

Brassfield Estate Winery 2009 Serenity – This is one of the nicest white wine blends I’ve enjoyed in a long time. Brassfield’s Serenity is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Gewurtztraminer and Semillon.

This comes from north of Napa, the High Valley Appelation. The wine has a distinctive pineapple and apple nose and taste. I didn’t think of Honeydew melon until reading the tasting notes but agreed. I like this wine because it’s so smooth on the plate without being sweet. It does not have the acidity of many white wines.

I think this is a white wine that most people will enjoy if given the chance. (Brassfield Estate Winery 2009 Serenity, $9.99-$14.99, Highly Recommended)

In Fine 2007 Rouge – This Southern Rhone red wine just rocks for the $11.99 I paid. If you like Grenache, you’re going to love In Fine. The dark red Rhone is 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Syrah.

It’s rich and spicy with nice subtle dark fruits. The wine has a long finish for such an inexpensive wine. It comes from the Cotes du Ventoux region. It’s very smooth on the plate, thanks to its 8 months aging in concrete tanks before its bottled.

There is even something of a rustic quality to this nice French wine. You get the feeling this is the type of red you’d get at a table in a small cafe in a little French Village along the valley.

Open this one up and chill it just a little before serving. It think this wine would work with most foods or just as a sipper. I’m not a fan of chilling most red, but it works with this one.

Impress your friends for $11.99 – you bet! (In Fine 2007 Rouge, $11.99, Recommended)

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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