I have never seen this wine in the local mart where I shop occasionally so naturally I was obliged to try it having gone through most of the other offerings! This wine comes from the higher elevations of the Eden Valley and had a beautiful dark purple complexion. On the nose- black currants, plum and some tar, yummy. First impression, very smooth. Extremely smooth with fine grained tannins and a hint of juicy acidity. More black fruits and plums shine through as do some blueberries on the mid palate. Some earth and game come up later as do some herbs. A nice, medium finish caps off this excellent wine. I would drink this alone or with some lighter fare such as roast chicken, veal scallopini or maybe a cream based pasta dish. The fine structure will hold this wine until 2018 but it is drinking beautifully now. I can’t believe I never saw it before. I’m off to buy more of this 91 point, $11 wine that surely gets 5 stars from me. After yesterday’s abysmal wines it is so great to hit a home run! Salut….
This wine rounded out our trio of Sunday Cabs-with-Football. I recognized the label right away when my friend poured us a taste. I wrote my notes based on this bottle and just now looked up the previous vintage that I tasted. Yup, I hated the Magistrate 2011 just as much as I disliked this offering. Sorry, but candied plums and oak again make me realize that there are far too many nasty wines out there that are merely juice with oak chips and tannin powder. This one in particular had a slightly lighter body with purple fruits and wild flowers with slight tannins and a hint of acidity. 83 points and 1 star. Major pass, yet again for this $13 bottle. Salut….
A very basic Cali Cab that we added to our Sunday afternoon football/wine tasting extravaganza. This was brought by a friend. Candied plums and wood on the nose were kinda intriguing. On my first taste I knew what I was in for- Violets, plum and twizzlers on the initial attack with a heavy dose of oak. I just wish they had toned down the wood, this wine just is not my style at all. Mild tannins and a hint of acidity make up a very basic backbone to this casual drinker. 84 points and 2 stars for this $9 offering. I think I would pass, there are many wines that suit my taste for the same price. Salut….
A Margaret River Cab Sauvignon we picked up for $9. A casual afternoon watching football was on the cards so we added a wine tasting to the fray. Blue fruit compote on the nose from the reddish purple glass. Tart cherries and some oak with blueberries on the palate lead me to think of this as a basic, drinkable red worthy of 85 points. It did the job, and well. Basic components tell me that this Aussie wine will drink between 2014-2016. 2 Stars, Salut….
Whenever I see ’09 or 2010 Bordeaux on sale I take note. These two vintages were stellar and you can’t go wrong. Hence the urge for me to pick up a case of this stuff sight unseen, without any knowledge or forbearance. I simply saw a rating, a price and my wallet.
Bright purples hues in the glass as to be expected. Nose of black currants and blue berries was somewhat less than expected, perhaps the youth of the bottle? An interesting attack of black and blue fruits with a core of acidity and brisk tannins which led to a cork and dusty component which add to the fruits in a funky way that I enjoyed. Black tea finish with that tannic bite made for an interesting closure. 89 points with a 2014-2020 window. I paid $18 per bottle making this a 3 star effort. Salut….
I bought a magnum of this wine a while back and had it sitting on my ‘everyday drinker’ shelf for the past two months, waiting to pop it at a moments notice. This past week I had that opportunity. Black cherries and eucalyptus on the nose were telltale signs of this wine’s Napa roots. Kir, plum and blueberry initially hit my palate along with some beautiful ingrained tannins. Blueberry jam on a creamy finish with nice acidity lead to a great mouthfeel and long ending. This is Napa Cab at it’s finest, showing off fresh fruit yet with great structure and complexity. This particular bottle was relatively young, especially since it was in Magnum. I would venture a 2014-2024 drinking window in large format. 92 points and 4 stars from me for this $55 effort. Salut….
The difference between me and a pro is their ability to taste many wines in one day. I tend to linger and allow my thoughts to transcend to the next bottle. Unable to cleanse my palate or my mind of what was, I can’t accurately taste what is. Last weekend we entertained friends at a great restaurant where we started out with the De Toren Fusion V. I enjoyed it so much yet when it was finished I wanted something else, I was greedy and looking for two home runs off the wine list. I scoured the offerings and decided to go with this Napa Valley icon. I had only had it once before and remembered it as somewhat tannic, yet delicious. Bring it on…
Deep purple hues with plums galore on the nose started me off . Chocolate and espresso mixed with dark fruits on the palate made for a rather complex wine that had silky tannins and balance in acidity. I would say it was technically a very good wine, 91 points in my books. My only concern was that I had poisoned my thought process with one style of wine yet here I was trying out a totally different one, wishing it could be like the first, a conundrum. I must learn to get past that in the future if I am to spend large amounts of cash trying several pricey wines in one sitting. Alas I digress, I did hit two home runs that night. $50 and 4 stars from me. Salut….
From the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa comes this sleek racy number. We ordered it at our Seasons 52 dinner for those who wanted white. I only got a sip or two in from Moxie’s glass so my notes were very thin. I will say it was a good wine and was enjoyed by all that partook. Lemon zest, apple and cut grass nose that led into a melange of key limes, gooseberry and some slate. Medium acidity with a mid palate cut finished out the lovely mouthfeel of this wine. I gave it 88 points. Having looked it up after the fact WS gave it 90, and it can be had for about $16- a decent price for this calibre of wine. 4 stars I reckon. Salut….
Back in March of this year Moxie and I went to a charity event where we bid on several interesting items in the silent auction. One of our winning bids was a Chef’s Table dinner for 8 at Seasons 52 in McLean, Virginia. We invited some good friends to join us and drove like lemmings to where the GPS took us. Not until then did we realize that the restaurant was in the mall, of all places. Not sure what we had gotten ourselves into, we traipsed into the bustling shopping center, all dressed up in our Saturday evening gear. Once we reached the restaurant it all became clear. Our table was well inside the restaurant, away from the madding crowd, secluded and curtained off from peering eyes. We were introduced to several chefs and given a rundown of what to expect. With each course, the chef in charge would come out and give us a brief outline of the dish. The beauty of the whole thing was not having to worry about ordering. Every plate, morsel and combination was delicious, fresh, unique and enjoyed by all. Our waiter was great and helped make a few of the wine selections. Sauvignon Blanc for some, Cabernet for others. The dinner lasted well over 2 hours, the balance of the plates with the wine and friendship was amazing and well worth the money and the wait. We will no doubt be back for another Saturday evening soiree.
The first bottle we ordered was this Bordeaux blend from Stellenbosch. It was magnificent. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc & 4% Petit Verdot make this a Left Bank clone if ever I saw one. My style of vino without a doubt. My notes had to be discrete as Moxie kept nudging me when I had my phone out…. Short smooth black and blue fruit nose from a dark purple glass. Bordeaux-like with plums, cola, cassis, herbs and smooth tannins with mild acidity. I gave it 92 points with a drinking window of 2014-2020. WS gave it 91, close enough. I found it online for about $50 making it a 3 star wine technically but I’m gonna give it 4 because it hit on all cylinders for me. If you see it on a wine list, don’t be shy to order this well integrated beauty. Salut….
A Bordeaux from St. Julien- albeit not the greatest of vintages. I was pleasantly surprised by this wine. Deep purple color with no signs of aging.
Plums and cedar with thyme and sandalwood on the nose opened the way for some plums, oak and cassis on the initial attack. Blueberry jam and rhubarb stew came across along with some long integrated tannins and balanced acidity. 90 points from me for this cellared wine which you can find for about $45. Drinking nicely now till 2020 at least make this a 3 star effort. Salut….