2007 Les Claux Delorme VALENCAY Rouge (Loire Valley, France) -- this 40% Gamay, 30% Malbec (Cot), 20% Cab Franc, 10% Pinot Noir stank like manure the first night. As seems to frequently be the case (with wines that have this stink), two nights later the barnyard was nowhere to be smelled, and it was replaced by fresh, light flavors of crisp berries and minerals. It's quaffable, and went well with take-out Chinese. B- (after significant airing blows off the stank). Was about $20 from Zachys.
2008 Altano DOURO (Portugal) -- This organic Portuguese blend lacked concentration and tasted a bit overcropped and overextracted. Saturated color, Nose of high-toned blackberries, powdered rocks, burnt balsa wood and scorched earth. Lean, slightly undernourished fruit but nice minerally flavors, with a tannic, astringent finish. C.
2009 La Clotiere COTEAUX D'ANCENIS GAMAY (Loire Valley, France) -- Lean and underripe, this watery wine was more of a palate cleanser (good crisp acids) than an accompaniment to dinner. D+ Was about $9 at Whole Foods on Bellaire.