Podcast: Grand Reserve World Mastercard [75,000 point welcome offer]

Wednesday, January 20, 2021


I recently received an email about a new wine-oriented credit card with a 75,000 point welcome offer (worth ~$450 towards wine and wine accessories): The Grand Reserve World Mastercard.

Given my interest in wine and credit cards this was a really good fit, so I reached out to founder and CEO Matthew Goldman for a discussion about the card on the points & miles podcast I co-host over on Milenomics.
Grand Reserve World Mastercard 
Head on over to Milenomics to listen to the podcast.

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2018 Wine Access The Ringer Napa Cab [$650+ for as little as $30 w/free shipping?]

Monday, January 18, 2021

$30/btl (6+ btls)
15.2% Alcohol
Free shipping on $120+

Clues
  • Robert Parker crowned this multiple 100-point icon “one of the wines that redefines greatness in Cabernet Sauvignon” (sounds like Bryant - source)
  • Vinous called it “one of Napa Valley’s most fashionable and expensive cult wines” (again Bryant - source)

Comparison Point

Wine Access says: "The $500+ winery source for The Ringer is among the cult titans of Napa Valley"

It's non-trivial to pin down the release price of some of these high flying wineries, but the $500 claim aligning with Bryant seems reasonable.

Here are Wine Spectator ratings for recent Bryant releases:
What I thought was interesting was exploring the "lesser bottlings" from a winery like Bryant Family.

When Wine Access says we're talking about a $30-$35 wine we're really/effectively comparing it against the price of the source winery's lowest rung bottling. In this case the $95 (in 2013 dollars) DB4 bottling.

Sure, $30-$35 is still a lot less than $95. But it's a more realistic comparison point than $650+.

Bottom Line

This one sounds exactly like the 2018 Wine Access Commission bottling that was one of my least favorite Wine Access NDA wines.

I may try to work one of these into the mix of a $120+ order of more known commodities for free shipping, just to get a taste.

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Tasting Note: 2017 Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Clos d'Audignac Monopole Volnay Premier Cru

Sunday, January 17, 2021

I probably drink 5x as much California Pinot Noir as Oregon Pinot Noir. And 5x as much Oregon Pinot Noir as French Pinot Noir. So this purchase is an attempt to gauge how much value this particular red Burgundy delivers for my taste.

Burgundy is a tricky and expensive category to explore. But regardless of the category I'm exploring I've gone with a couple approaches...

Approach 1: Find one of the more affordable 90+ Wine Spectator-rated wines in the category and give it a try. 

Approach 2: Blow it out. Buy a pricey, well-regarded wine in the category and see if you like the style. If I prefer jammy fruit-forward reds it's just not smart to try finding that in Bordeaux. Better to explore a category that's aligned with what I'm looking for.


Finding red Burgundy Wine Spectator has rated 90+ points is challenging. So this was an attempt aligned with approach "2". But $120/btl is a pretty high bar to clear so let's see how it went...

2017 Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Clos d'Audignac Monopole Volnay Premier Cru [affiliate link]
$120/btl
13% Alcohol

40% opaque in an appealing ruby-red hue. Muted aromatically with subtle early notes and supporting delicate fruit.

Where this wine shows well is on the palate. Satisfying silky mouth-feel with a clean finish. Not an off note in the bottle, but as flawless as this may be it left me wanting for more.

91/100 WWP: Outstanding [but disappointing given the price]

Bottom Line

I don't have a ton of experience with red Burgundy. I bought this one hoping to explore their discernment in a category I'm not as confident in. 

I've had good experiences with Volnay, but unfortunately this wine didn't do much to encourage me to explore deeper at this price point through Wine Access.

I think they're performing better with their NDA wines and domestic wines where the maker is known. Check back tomorrow for some recommendations from the latter category.

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Fresh Off The Truck: 2018 Wine Access Moundsman Rutherford Napa Cab

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Moundsman I posted about last week arrived yesterday.

I cracked a bottle of Lachini Willamette Valley Pinot Noir last night (that was a great one, went so fast I didn't have time to post about it here) but got a chance to try the Moundsman tonight.

Let's get right into it...

2018 Moundsman Rutherford Napa Cab [affiliate link]
14.9% Alcohol
$36/btl
$33/btl (6+)
$30/btl (12+)
Free Shipping on $120+

Luscious and fruit forward. Bold, confident and elegant. This is an appealing crowd-pleasing wine. Silty slightly-sweet tannins on the finish.

I'd place this on par/perhaps just behind the Yesterday series as one of the better Wine Access "NDA" wines. More drinkable in its youth (less formidable tannins) but try to hold off for 4 years post-vintage and this will be singing.

93/100 WWP: Outstanding

If you don't have a Wine Access account:
If you do have a Wine Access account get 20% off with this offer.

Bottom Line

This wine is still available in most regions. Worth giving a try if you've been on the fence about these NDA wines.

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