Five California Wines From Wally's

Return to:

Dumbing Down Wine
Chain stores threaten to destroy independent wineshops—and your chances of finding interesting wine. By Corby Kummer.

Small wine stores try to sell wines you can’t get anywhere else, or at least not at better prices. Here are five well-priced ones from Wally’s, in Los Angeles. Wally’s ships to states that allow it: www.wallywine.com.

2004 T. Solomon Wellborn Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, $19.99. A small-production bargain, made from declassified grapes—the still-very-good seconds of the wine world—that would cost more than twice as much if made with classified ones.

2005 Chaparral Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, $12.99. A typically oaky, fruity, big-bodied wine bottled for the store by Au Bon Climat, at half the price it would fetch under the maker’s label.

2004 Cycles Gladiator Syrah, Central Coast, $9.99. Midstate red wines are strongly fruity (“jammy”), like this first-place winner from the L.A. County Fair (a big event in the California wine world).

2005 Orin Swift’s “The Prisoner, Napa Valley, $27.99. A young wine from a young winemaker, David Phinney, who blends Cabernet, Syrah, and Petite Syrah into a Zinfandel base, with a small percentage of Charbono, a grape identical to the French Corbeau that has a tiny U.S. production.

2003 Hill Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $39.99. A limited-quantity wine from Doug Hill, a winemaker experienced with famous wineries including Stags Leap and Duckhorn, now working for himself—and thus selling his wine for less than comparable big Napa Cabs.

Presented by

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Photos of New York City, in Motion

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Health

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In