JPOC's wine guide

Recent years have seen a big change in the wine available in the shops in Western Europe. Even as little as five years ago, there was a lot of really bad wine at the bottom of the market. Now, it is normal to find that even the very cheapest wines are quite drinkable.

One reason for this is that there is now a lot more knowledge about how to make decent wine. Much of the credit for that goes to the wineries of the US. Another reason is the continuing growth of trade. Good but inexpensive wine from many new countries is now available.

Of course, that does not mean that there is no bad wine on the market. Here at jpoc towers, we are still forced to pour some bottles away as being so bad that they are certainly undrinkable and perhaps even not safe to use in cooking. The most recent was some festeringly awful Chianti from Roller which was so bad that we will never buy wine from them again. They appear to have given up on wine anyway.

On these pages, I write about the wines that we are buying and drinking now. I hope that you find the information interesting. I recently raided my cellar and came up with a selection of Red Bordeaux from the mid nineties. I'm steadily working my way through these.

The wine here is rated on a scale of one to ten for quality and -10 to +10 for value. If you want to see more about this, read the rating page.

I have another version of this page which is restricted to wine that is on sale today in Germany.

Wines reviewed this week
Moulin Du Cartillon 1997 Overpriced
Red Bordeaux
Chateau Du Grand Puch 1995 Wine of the month more than just the week!
Chateau Du Grand Puch 1996 One of my favourite minor chateau clarets!
Chateau Cazeau 1996 Good value Claret
Chateau Mayne Pargade 1996 Slurp slurp, another claret.
Chateau La Croix Merlin 1996 Slurp slurp, another claret.
Chateau Darmagnac Couecou 1996 Slurp slurp, another claret.
Fontaine St.Justine 1997 A really good claret!
Chateau Bonneval 1998 A decent claret!
Chateau Amalthee 1999 Shows just how good a minor chateau claret can be.
Chateau Haut Truquet 1999 Another bargain Bordeaux from the Plus in Germany
Chateau Les Planquettes 1999 Disappointing, don't waste your money.
Chateau La Fontaine Saint-Justin 1999 An enjoyable claret but a little overpriced
Chateau La Croix Saint-Pierre 1999 Special
Andre Jalbert Bordeaux 2000 Poor choice
Chateau Du Gestat 2000 It's OK but you can do better for the money
Chateau de Pellegrine 2000 An honest budget priced claret
Chateau Grand Plantier 2000 An enjoyable red Bordeaux
Chateau Terre Blanche 2000 An honest budget priced claret
Chateau Meric 2000 It's OK but you can do better for the money
Chateau Le Petit Port 2000 Best Bordeaux on a budget this year
Reds from the rest of the world
Valle Central 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, equal best of 2000 so far.
Los Pagos 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, best of 2000 so far.
Castillo Varez 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, not as good as last years.
Los Caracoles 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, not the best of the 2000s.
Baron Pilars 2000 Mendoza Cheap but drinkable Argentine wine
La Corrida Cheap Spanish Table Wine but OK to drink
Andes, Cabernet Sauvignon Valle Central, Chile, one to avoid.
Los Chaclos 1999 A good slurp from the New World!
Macedonian Red Mind boggling value selling out fast!
Lovico Suhindol Bulgarian Merlot 1996 Bulgarian wine, suitable for umbrella tips?
Los Caracoles 1999 Another good inexpensive Chilean wine from the Plus
California Ladyqueen 1999 Not bad for an industrial wine
Mazedonischer Kardarka & Vranac Sweet red Balkan wine
Castillo Varez 1999 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, not bad.
Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle Central 2000 Best of 2000 so far.
California Ladyqueen 2000 OK but you can do better for the money
Other French Reds
Chateau de Ventenac 1998 Minervois A good inexpensive red
Vin de Pays De L'Herault A simple but honest country wine at a good price
Gamay NV A bargain priced country wine.
Coteaux du Languedoc 1999 Another well priced slurp from the Plus.
Cotes Du Rhone 1999 Good value and good wine.
Beaujolais Villages 1999 Give this one a miss.
Heritage du Rhone 1999 Very good.
Heritage du Rhone 2000 One to buy by the case.
Celestin Planchon Coteaux du Languedoc 2000 Best wine you can buy for less than three and a half marks!
Celestin Planchon Beaujolais Villages 2000 Better than the 1999 but not good enough to get your money out.
Pierre Moulin Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Pays dOc 2000 A scrummy French country wine
Heritage Des Caves des Papes 1999 Very good.
Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhone A great value country wine for everyday drinking
Beaujolais Villages 1999 Below par
La Terre Merlot, 2000 Vin de Pays d'Oc A great everyday wine.
Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2000 Not the best of its class
Beaujolais Primeur 2001 L.Grandclement Not the best of the crop
Beaujolais Villages Primeur 2001 A late November treat
Italian Red Wine
Italian Wine Labels How to understand the label on a bottle of Italian wine.
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo All about this good, inexpensive Italian dry red wine plus many wines reviewed.
Chianti The most famous Italian wine described and many bottles tasted.
Bardolino Classico 2000 from Plus in Germany Fruity and OK but not the best for the price
Merlot Veneto Super bargain from Marktkauf.
Villa Girasole Merlot Veneto 1999 Buy this you must
Barbera D'Asti 1999 Another dry Italian red to enjoy
Piemonte Barbera 1999 Not a bad wine but not a first choice
Canova Barbera D'Asti 1999 Fair enough for a budget italian wine
Barbera Piemonte 1999 Another drinkable wine below DeM4
Le Altane 1999 Merlot Delle Venezie Poor value
Merlot Veneto, 2000, Gabbia d'Oro A good standby
Merlot Veneto, 2000, Giacomo Aldo A good way to spent four marks
Barbera Piemonte 2000 Another drinkable wine below DeM4
Grave del Friuli 2000 Merlot Heavier style Italian Merlot
Le Altane 2000 Merlot Delle Venezie Poor value
Muscador Muscat Blanc Decent bargain priced fizz
Vranken NV Champagne Good value Champagne
White wines
Edelzwicker A white Alsace
Muscadet from Super U Sheer filth
Orvieto Classico A simple white wine!
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