The jpoc wine guide
Over 320 wines tasted and rated.
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.

I also have some handy tips about wine here.

Latest wine reviews
Torri d'Elsa Chianti 2005 Anonymously inoffensive
Chateau Champ De Bourgeois 2007 Good value from Bordeaux - rejoice
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007 Vescovino Great value
Chianti Penny 2007 OK for the money
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo 2007 Mondo del Vino Basic but fair
Chateau Reysson 2005 Rather hit and miss
Chateau Peymouton 2005 Overpriced
Nederburg Pinotage 2006 Stunningly good value
Trapiche Oak Cask Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Exquisite
Torri d'Elsa Chianti 2007 OK for the money
Bio Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Vin de Pays d'Oc Does drinking Bio wine make you feel saintly?
Chateau Lafitte Marcellin 2004 Drinkable and almost worth the money
Clos Malverne Devonet 2007 Cape Blend Merlot Pinotage A blend which is less than the sum of its parts
Montgras Reserva 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Decent Chilean wine though not quite up with the best
Folonari Merlot Delle Venezie 2007 Light and fruity
Savanha Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 As usual, a good'un
Ruyters Bin 2007 Pinotage Rather good budget South African
Sunrise Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Valle Central, Chile Not bad at all
Trapiche Varietales Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Good value but the oaked version is a lot nicer
2003 Giacomo Aldo Cabernet Veneto Bring me a pizza!
Folonari Cabernet Sauvignon Delle Venezie 2007 Drinkable
Chateau Les Vergnes 2005 Almost worth what we paid for it
Nederburg Pinotage 2007 Stunningly good value
Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 We liked it
Cimarosa 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Cheap and cherries
Montgras Reserva 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah They also do a non blended cab Sav which is a lot better
Chateau la Croix d'Auron 2003 Not so fruity as the 2002
Yellow Tail 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Less flowery than the 2005
Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle Central, Chile Silky smooth
Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon Pinot Noir 2004 Unconvincing
Chateau Haut Litays 2005 Good wine, decent value
Mastri Vernacoli Trentino Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Rather better than expected
Captain Selection Cabernet Sauvignon - Shiraz 2007 Does the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court cover wine that is a crime against humanity?
Saint Clair Family Estate Marlborough Pinot Noir 2007 I cannot recommend this
Montana Merlot Cabernet 2004 If you want great red wine - buy Kiwi made
Montana Merlot Cabernet 2003 If you want great red wine - buy Kiwi made
Cour du Roy 2005 Corduroy - well I've got the trousers
Two Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008 Going back for more
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007 Zonin Earned its keep
Il Piolo Chianti 2004 An enjoyable Chianti
Chianti Riserva Il Paesano 2002 Overpriced
Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay 2005 Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Scrummy...but
Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Chile Smooth but could be better
Chateau Haut Litays 2006 Good wine, decent value
Chateau La Monge 2006 A bit of a let down
Cour du Roy 2004 Corduroy - well I've got the trousers
Chianti Giorgio Gaudio 2005 Cheap and uninspiring
Montgolfier Beaujolais Villages 2002 Interesting
Folonari Cabernet Sauvignon Delle Venezie 2005 Drinkable at a good price
Chianti la Tosca 2005 Cheap and cheerful
Maurice Granier Beaujolais 2004 Fresh'n'Fruity!
Terra Vega Carmenere 2003 Valle Central, Chile Smooth and peppery
Saint Emilion Monsieur Louis 2004 So forgettable so forget it
Yellow Tail 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Somewhat flowery
Chateau Les Maurins 2002 Must try harder
Chateaux de Panigon 1997 Good Choice
Chateau Haut Litays 2007 Decent value in a budget Bordeaux
Montgolfier 2007 Merlot Pays d'Oc You can cook with it and you can damn nearly drink it too!
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo 2005 Fradiabolo Not up to much
Marquis de Rothberg 2003 OK but no more
Chateau la Croix d'Auron 2002 Fruity tootie
San Mondello 2006 Montepulciano d`Abruzzo Drinkable - just
Yellow Tail 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Fair dinkum
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Weinzunft Valle Central, Chile Good value and you can cook with it too
Chianti Conti Serristori 2006 OK but in no way special
Vina Tinajas Cabernet Merlot 2007 Good value but their pure cab sav is much better for just a little more
Vina Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle Central, Chile OK but you can do better for this money
Montana Pinot Noir 2004 Scrummy
Chianti Conti Serristori 2007 OK but in no way special
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo 2006 Boccantino OK, but no more than that
Teroldego Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2006 Accidentally good
GCF Beaujolais En Primeur 2008 If a wine can be the runt of the litter....
Settesoli Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Sicily Poor value
El Emperador 2005 Cabernet Carmenere Drinkable but overpriced
Albo Nobile Chianti 2004 Just drinkable
Albo Nobile Chianti 2006 Just drinkable
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007 Castelletto Cheapie but goodie
Chateau Cazeau 1998 Real bargain
Cittadella Chianti 2005 Cheap and cheerful but no more
Charles Bach NV Champagne An acceptable way to see in the new year
Gentilhomme Cotes du Rhone 2007 Good as last year's
Terralunga Chianti Colli Senesi 2004 OK though still a little bland
Chateau Les Martineaux 2006 Good one
Chianti Classico Piccini 2006 OK but not earning its keep
Chateau Reysson 2004 Poor value
Gentilhomme Cotes du Rhone 2006 A good one indeed
Marquis de Rothberg 2007 A bit thin and watery
Louis Eschenauer Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Decent wine for a bargain price
Pulcino Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2006 Very good
Louis des Vignes Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Nice wine, shame they closed the shop
Chateau Chenu-Lafitte 2006 Poor value but drinkable
Chateau Les Maurins 2007 Must try harder
Babich Winemaker's Reserve 2004 Hawke's Bay Pinotage Absolute top choice
Cour du Roy 2006 Corduroy - well I've got the trousers
Farnese Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007 The full Monty(pulciano)
Chianti Riserva 2005 La Colonata One to avoid
Gentilhomme Cotes du Rhone 2005 Choice
Buzet Merlot Cabernet 2006 Another cracker from Norma
Chateau d'Archambeau 2004 More of this one please
New World Chile Cabernet Sauvignon Valle Central 2007 Surprisingly good
Beaujolais Villages Domaine des Glamours En Primeur 2008 Pick of the bunch
Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Weinzunft Valle Central, Chile Good value and you can cook with it too
Espiritu de Chile Merlot 2005 Valle Central, Chile Drinkable but not really enjoyable
Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Weinzunft Valle Central, Chile Drinkable wine for a bargain price
Terralunga Chianti Colli Senesi 2003 OK though a little bland
Chianti Riserva Il Paesano 2005 Better than most recent Chianti
Montepulciano d`Abruzzu 2007 Coppiere OK but you can do better
Beaujolais Primeur 2003 Armand Dartois Unexpectedly good
Mont Caillou 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Better than the wine snobs would expect
Espiritu de Chile Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Valle Central, Chile Just drinkable
New World Western Cape Pinotage 2007 Anonymous but OK for the money
Wolf Blass Eaglehawk Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Would rat poison have tasted worse?
Golden Bird Pinotage 2008 Did they let it out or did it escape?
Chateau Pey la Tour 2007 Well improved over the 2006
San Mondello Chianti 2006 Almost good enough to drink
Roc d`Entraigues Cotes du Rhone 2007 A bit of a let down
Chianti Gheppio 2007 Does what`s expected
San Mondello 2007 Montepulciano d`Abruzzo Drinkable - just
Talisman Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage 2007 Can't complain - much
Espiritu de Chile Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle Central, Chile A little better than the 2006 but still not good enough
Wine of Australia Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2006 Basic but OK for the money
Nederburg Manor House Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Yummy indeed
Chateau Pey la Tour 2006 Fresh and fruity
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Kaefer Valle Central, Chile Just not really very good
GCF Bordeaux 2006 Basic but OK
Melini 2007 Chianti A good'un
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Weinzunft Valle Central, Chile Cheapest drinkable wine out there?
Chateau Bel Air 2006 Good choice
Chateau Grand Bouquey 2005 Disappointing wine, dreadful value
Chateau l`Eglise 2005 Top value
Chateau Tour Negrier 2006 Rotten to the last drop
Ruffino 2006 Chianti OK, but not special
Chateau Blaignan 2005 Must try harder
Chateau Bel Air 2005 Basic but honest
Rigattieri 2007 Montepulciano d`Abruzzo Caught my attention
Terramore 2006 Montepulciano d`Abruzzo Is Bio wine good for you?
Villa Puchini Chianti Riserva 2003 Memories of a hot summer
Golden Kaan Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 It`s OK, but it smells a bit
Van de Kaap 2008 Pinotage A South African "Nouveau"
Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Must try harder
Conti Serristori 2001 Chianti Classico Overpriced as was the 2000
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo 2006 Avegiano Not bad but not worth the premium price.
Vina Tinajas Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 You just cannot beat this for value
Le Gavroche Beaujolais Villages Primeur 2008 GCF The Villages was not as good as the standard this year
Beaujolais Primeur 2008 GCF Classic Beaujolais Nouveau - warts and all!
Conti Serristori 2000 Chianti Classico Enjoy the label as the wine is not worth the money
GCF Bordeaux 2007 Budget plonk that earns its money
Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle Central, Chile Every bit as good as the 2006
Ruyters Bin 2005 Pinotage Rather good budget South African
Bordeaux 2005 Kressmann Duo Mmmm, for the money, a delightful Cab Sav Merlot blend
Chateau Maillard 2005 Worth about half what we paid
Espiritu de Chile Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle Central, Chile Most winemakers in Chile have learned their craft well, not this shower.
Montana Merlot Cabernet 2006 If you want great red wine - buy Kiwi made
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo 2006 Cislo Sarze The bottler's name sounds too much like Keyser Soze for me to dare criticise it even though it's not very good.
Chianti Superiore 2006 Villa Puccini A Chianti that is slightly up from the bargain basement
Montelpulciano D' Abruzzo 2006 Casa Moretti Poisonous Filth
Vino Nobile de Montelulciano 2005 Loggia delle Sassaie Overpriced but drinkable
Reserve Chateaubriand 2007 Beaujolais A good way to wash down a fine steak
Folonari Cabernet Sauvignon Delle Venezie 2006 A drinkable Italian Cab Sav
Reserve Chateaubriand 2006 Beaujolais Good value and just right with red meat
Montana Cabernet Merlot 2001 Best wine I've had for a long time
Montana Merlot Cabernet 2005 Just so good
Chianti la Tosca 2007 OK for the bargain basement
La Cara Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle Central, Chile Not recommended
Chateau Bel Air 2007 A decent choice
Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 OK but not special
Savanha Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Better than last year's!
Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle Central, Chile Super smooth, super yummy
Chianti Classico 2006 I was robbed
Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle Central, Chile Silky smooth
Vina Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle Central, Chile OK but you can do better for this money
Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Silky smooth, yummy
Red Bordeaux down the years
1995-1999 Twentieth Century Claret
2000 First of the new millennium
2001 An assortment of wines from German and French Supermarkets
2002 An assortment of wines from German and French Supermarkets
2003 Europe's hottest ever wine making season - how hot are the wines
2004 Off to a good start
2005 More from the supermarkets of Germany
2006 We are buying these in 2008 and onwards
2007 Turning up early
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
Beaujolais Villages Primeur 2001 Domaine de Mandrin Unexpectedly fizzy
Beaujolais Primeur 2001 Ch.Rousseau Charmless
1999 Merlot Vin de Pays Des Coteaux de l'Ardeche Uninspiring
Cotes du Rhone 2000 A favourite
Domaine Saint Francois 1999 Merlot Pays D'OC Good everyday wine to buy in France
Beaujolais Villages Primeur 2001 Ch.Rousseau Joint best of the bunch
Beaujolais Claude Mercier Another German market Beaujolais that tastes musty
Beaujolais Villages 2000 Fruity and refreshing
Commandeur Saint de Michel Cotes du Rhone 1999 Fruity and refreshing
Prestige Cellier des Dauphins Cotes du Rhone 1999 No better than "run of the mill" but priced like "special"
Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc A basic, fair value country wine
Chateau Cavaillers 2000 Corbieres Drinkable, just, but not worth buying.
Heritage du Rhone 2001 One to enjoy.
Montgolfier Cotes du Rhone 2002 Poor value
La Terre Merlot 2003 Vin de Pays d'Oc 2003 was great even for lesser French wines
Beaujolais Roundup of the 2005 Beaujolais en Primeur
Maurice Granier Beaujolais 2003 Fresh'n'Fruity!
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.
Grave del Friuli 2003 Merlot Unimpressive
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
Grave del Friuli 1999 Merlot Heavier style Italian Merlot
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
Giacomo Aldo Cabernet Veneto 2000 Slightly blemished
Giacomo Aldo Cabernet Veneto 1999 Fair but not special
Ca'Vive 2000 Merlot Del Veneto Good value pleasant everyday wine
Merlot del Veneto 2000 Too sweet for a wine described as semi dry
Landozzi Merlot del Veneto OK but uninspiring.
Barbera d'Asti 1999 An acceptable change when żou are bored with Chianti
2002 Giacomo Aldo Cabernet Veneto Same as last year's
2001 Giacomo Aldo Cabernet Veneto Cheap and cheerful
Reds from Chile
Sunrise Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle Central, Chile Not bad though not what you might expect
Cousino Macoul Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Valle del Maipo, Chile At least it didn't get any worse in 2007 which means that it performed better than your sub prime portfolio
Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle Central, Chile I'd rather drink Chinese baby milk formula
Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle Central, Chile Decent wine, decent value
Cousino Macoul Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Valle del Maipo, Chile Worse value than a sub-prime mortgage portfolio
Los Chaclos Cabernet Sauvignon Valle Central Chile 2006 Good solid Cab Sav for a decent price
Chile Valle Centrale Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, a little heavy.
Los Chaclos Cabernet 2004 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, nice indeed.
Santa Illana 2003 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, who needs Chianti?
Santa Illana 2002 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, very tasty.
El Tiempo Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 The 2002 Los Chaclos Cabernet Sauvignon is at least as good.
Los Chaclos Merlot 2002 Chile, Merlot but the Cabernet Sauvignon is better.
Los Chaclos Cabernet 2002 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, nice indeed.
Santa Illana 2001 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, better than last year.
Los Chaclos 2001 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, nice indeed.
El Tiempo 2001 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, poor value.
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.
Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle Central 2000 Best of 2000 so far.
Los Chaclos 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, the best of the 2000s.
El Picador 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, too heavy for my taste.
Santa Illana 2000 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, drinkable on a budget.
Andes, Cabernet Sauvignon Valle Central, Chile, one to avoid.
Los Chaclos 1999 A good slurp from the New World!
Los Caracoles 1999 Another good inexpensive Chilean wine from the Plus
Castillo Varez 1999 Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, not bad.
Reds from the rest of the world
Savanha Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Almost, but not quite
Trivento 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Good choice - I'm going back for more
Dealu Mare Romanian Merlot Pinot Noir 2003 If you like sweet and plummy, this could be for you
Montana Cabernet Merlot 2002 Kiwi wine forever!
Montana Pinot Noir 2002 Another superb Kiwi wine
Montana Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 Kiwi wine is the greatest!
Baron Pilars 2000 Mendoza Cheap but drinkable Argentine wine
La Corrida Cheap Spanish Table Wine but OK to drink
Macedonian Red Mind boggling value selling out fast!
Lovico Suhindol Bulgarian Merlot 1996 Bulgarian wine, suitable for umbrella tips?
California Ladyqueen 1999 Not bad for an industrial wine
Mazedonischer Kardarka & Vranac Sweet red Balkan wine
California Ladyqueen 2000 OK but you can do better for the money
Muscador Muscat Blanc Decent bargain priced fizz
Vranken NV Champagne Good value Champagne
Recamier NV Champagne Thumbs down
Charles Bach NV Champagne One bottle good, one duff
White wines
Edelzwicker A white Alsace
Muscadet from Super U Sheer filth
Orvieto Classico A simple white wine!
Chateau La Moussante 2000 Unrewarding budget white Bordeaux
Chateau Pinson Gaillou 2000 A reasonable budget white Bordeaux
Giolano Soave 2000 Cooking wine
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