Domecq’s 2006 XA Blanc de Blancs made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling was the “value” find of the trip. It was slightly buttery on the palate with hints of apricot and honey. The finish had just enough acidity so that it wasn’t cloying. Widely available, it only costs $18 in most restaurants, and it is often available in a half bottle (for a little less than half the price).
The reds from Pedro Domecq
The 2003 XA Cabernet Sauvignon is like the dozens of average Cabs you see from Chile. Medium bodied, it has flavors of lush ripe red berries with soft tannins. In all, it is a flabby but very drinkable wine for only $20. Moving up the quality scale is the 2003 Chateau Domecq Cosecha Seleccionada. This wine is round and supple with flavors of wild berries. Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Niebbelo, it is a better deal at $23; I only saw it twice on the wine lists however.
In what I tasted from Pedro Domecq, the 2005 Reserva Real was by far the best. Made from Merlot and Petit Syrah, the wine has a burnt cherry taste with firm tannins. We definitely drank this one too young, but, at $26 a bottle, it did not hurt the pocketbook.