© 1999 JDM Enterprises
FOREST GLEN FOR VALUEby Jerry D. Mead
The first time I tasted a Forest Glen wine was more than a year after the winery's first release, a 1991 Chardonnay. It came to my attention when it was ranked the number one medal-winning Chardonnay of 1993, and it sold for less than $10.
Even though I was chief judge at one of the competitions at which it won, I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the best, and best value, white wine of the year. I didn't know who the winemaker was, where the wine was made or from where the grapes originated. How could this be?
I started doing some detective work. By day's end I knew everything.
Forest Glen was being made by a company called Classic Wines, which had previously specialized in large volume jug wines. The winemaker, Ed Moody, had never before made a barrel-fermented wine. And to cap it off, the winery still had almost every case of the medal winningest wine of the year because they had zero experience at selling this kind of wine.
A lot of things have changed since then. The winery not only knows how to sell fine wines, but Forest Glen can be found in all 50 states. And Moody is now an old hand at barrel-fermented wines.
What hasn't changed is that the wines have never been priced above $10 (often less on sale and at discounters) and they continue to win awards and medals, often against competitors selling for two, three and four times as much.
Like Napa Ridge, Canyon Road and a handful of other brands, Forest Glen is one of those you can trust to always give a major bang for the buck. I recently tasted all five wines in the line and every one is either a "Best Buy" or a "Steal Deal." Case purchases highly recommended.
Forest Glen 1996 Sangiovese ($10) The newest variety in the Forest Glen stable, it is blended to a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It will also be the most difficult of the wines to find, but production will increase dramatically over the next few years. Plum and berry fruit and earthy complexity. Best value Sangiovese in America. Rating: 88/98
Forest Glen 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon ($10) Ripe, voluptuous, cassis and blackberry fruit. Very forward aromatics and flavor concentration. Substantial structure, but without a bit of harshness. Rating: 88/95
Forest Glen 1996 Shiraz ($10) Forest Glen's best wine, but still a little more difficult than the others to find. Even wine writer and Francophile Robert Parker gave this one the nod, and he's rarely kind to value-priced California wines. A huge burst of complex, earthy plum flavor. This is better Shiraz (same as Syrah) than many selling for twice the price and more. Rating: 90/98
Wines are scored using a unique 100 point system. First number rates
quality; second number rates value. |
© 1999 JDM Enterprises.
All Rights Reserved|
The Mead On Wine WebSite is designed, maintained and hosted by Wines on the Internet.