Nine East Wine Emporium: 25% Off 12 Bottles of American Wine

Thursday, January 27, 2011

There are no wine shops in Wellesley.  As much as I think an upscale wine merchant would be a welcome addition to the shops on Linden Street -or- somewhere in Wellesley Square where a lot of retail businesses have been closing up lately I don't think a liquor store is in the cards for Wellesley any time soon.

The closest wine shop to the west as you head towards Natick is Nine East Wine Emporium.  I don't think I've mentioned them a lot since starting this blog a few years ago and that has primarily to do with one thing: Their pricing model.  They typically offer 25% off 24 mixed bottles of wine, which brings the prices down out of the stratosphere, but forces me to buy 2 cases.  That's more than I like to buy at a time - since I'm typically interested in just a few specific wines they carry.  I prefer a model where the first bottle is sold at a good discount so I can buy as many (or as few) wines as I really want and don't have to "pad" my purchase with extraneous bottles.

However, right now they're running a special where any 12 bottles of American wine qualify for the 25% discount so I thought to stop in and check out their selection.  As is typical, items on sale and non-American wines count towards your twelve but don't qualify for the discount.

Here's what I found:

2008 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
90WS/$30 Release Price
$27.99 Retail/$20.99 After Discount

This was the primary wine I was interested in trying.  I still don't feel like I've found the values in 2008 Oregon Pinot Noir I was hoping for and this is one that's been on my list.  Unfortunately, this wine was an utter disappointment and I wouldn't recommend it:

This wine is a poster child for why I think 2008 Oregon Pinot Noir is the most over-rated vintage in recent memory. Starts off with twangy/green/stemmy aromas. Reveals a bit of fruit on the palate but ultimately falls flat. Lacks acidity. It may have some aftertaste but lacks finish. I can find a nice red Burgundy for under $30. This wine retails in the upper $20s and presents a poor value to the consumer. If this is the best Oregon Pinot Noir has to offer I'm not buying.

84/100 WWP: Good


2008 Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon
(2007 Vintage 88WS, 2008 not yet rated)/$20 Release Price
$22.99 Retail/$17.24 After Discount

I've tasted this wine so many times, but I've never had a bottle of it at home.

Wow. This wine is not for purists, Bordeaux fans or those opposed to a little sweetness in their Napa Cab. The effects of oak treatment are quite evident I think. Butterscotch, caramel, movie theater popcorn on top of some vague red fruit in the background. Minimal acidity. Some savory notes save it from being dismissed as a tutti-fruity candy wine. But in the right situation this wine works for me. It's not at all challenging but it is delicious. At least for my palate.

88/100 WWP: Very Good


2007 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon
92 WS/$40 Release Price
$37.99 Retail/$28.49 After Discount

I think this is the value play of the highly regarded 2007 Napa Cab vintage.  I've had this wine a number of times at home and at restaurants and it has absolutely delivered every time.  Highly recommended and at a great price here after discount.

This wine so completely aligns with the flavor profile I'm looking for in a Napa Cab- I love it. Ripe blackberries that fade into deliciously savory dusty tannins. The finish is a bit short but it tasted so good I didn't care. 

93/100 WWP: Oustanding


2009 Sean Minor 4 Bears Carneros Pinot Noir
$19.99 Retail/$14.99 After Discount

I tried the 2008 vintage of this wine recently and rated it 88 points.  A friend who was shopping there raved about this 09 so I picked it up.  I've got a good feeling about this one.


I rounded things out with 2008 Torii Mor Oregon Pinot Noir, a 2006 Hendry Cabernet HDR and a 2009 Block Nine California Pinot Noir.

Definitely chat up Harry Zarkades if you stop in.  He's got deep knowledge and a great palate.

Check 'em out:
Nine East Wine Emporium
Route Nine East, Wellesley/Natick Line
508-653-6221

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