In tough times, we continue the search for inexpensive wines.

The previous vintage of Sagelands’ Freddie’s Blend was one of my favorite value wines from last year. The name Freddie’s Blend refers to Federique Spencer, Sagelands’ winemaker.

No information available on Haystack Needle unfortunately.

The Eliseo Silva Brand, from Tagaris Wines, is named after the vineyard manager who worked at the Arete and Alice vineyards on the Wahluke Slope. This wine is one of Esquin’s top six sellers.

Maryhill Winery, located in Goldendale, Washington, is a reasonably large producer at 80,000 cases per year.

Pavin and Riley is part of the Precept Brands portfolio.

Next month we will be trying some reader recommended wines including Columbia Winery’s Merlot and Kiona’s Lemberger. If you have a favorite wine that retails for under $15, leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I will check it out.







Sagelands Freddie’s Blend 2006

Mint, spice, black licorice and smoky, toasted oak with a bit of fruit showing through. A fair amount of oak – which is a bit overbearing at times – as well as berry on the taste. A full mid-palate loaded with fruit and oak. After about an hour, mocha and spice show through. A bit heavy handed at times but recommended as it gives you a good bit to talk about at this price point. Recommended.

Sampled at 66 degrees. Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $9



Haystack Needle Sangiovese 2007

A classic sangiovese style that is light, bright, and tart. Young and earthy, it is just a touch hot on the nose.

Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $9



Eliseo Silva Syrah Columbia Valley 2006

An engaging nose with violets, berry, plum, herbs, and tobacco. Lots and lots of fruit on a taste that is a bit over-extracted. A good value overall but quite over the top. 13.5% alcohol.

Purchased at Esquin for $9.



Maryhill Red Wine 2007

Fairly light in color. Lots of toasty oak aromas including caramel and threads of chocolate. Coats the palate and has a fair tannin lick but is pretty thin in the middle. A little unevenly balanced and hangs around in a bit of an unpleasant way. The Syrah definitely shows through.

Sampled at 63 degrees. Purchased at Safeway for $8.



Pavin and Riley Merlot 2005

Very dark in color. Toasted oak aromas overwhelm most of the fruit initially. As it opens up, truffles and dark berries start to show through. A simple, straight-forward somewhat chewy merlot. One of those wines you seem to care for a bit less as time goes on. 13.5% alcohol.

Purchased at Safeway for $9.