I picked up my second bottle of "The Third Bottle" Red (Gustavo Thrace - Napa) the other day, vaguely remembering that I had liked it before, but not recalling much about it. It was about $11 or $12 and the last bottle in the bin at my favorite wine store.
I opened it last night and I now believe it will become a go-to everyday drinker. I had no food with it, and the wine was great on its own. I don't mean to overstate it, we are talking about an inexpensive wine. But it's damn good.
It is balanced with an oak emphasis. The smell of white oak creates an unidentified nostalgia for me, so I tend to like what some consider over-oaked. The finish was long and pleasant. Most importantly in this price range, there is nothing offensive about it.
I've paid much more for lesser wines.