This Oregonian Pinot is quite dark and nearly opaque, very extracted and brooding. On the nose I get cinnamon, cherry and black currants. It’s an interesting mix for this varietal. The initial palate is telling- very fruity with tannic grip right off the bat. This is not your typical Old World Pinot folks, it’s full throttle with all the bits and pieces. Cherry cola, sassafras and a hint of oak are all present. The mid palate is a continuation of the theme but there is now a hint of acidity showing up. It’s quite nice if you like this style of Pinot. The finish is a dry affair, tannins and black tea alongside the red fruits and spice. It’s not my cup of tea but it will certainly appeal to many. Technically speaking I would give this $23 wine 90 points and 4 stars. Drink till 2027 with lighter fare. Salut….
This Sonoma gem pours very dark, brooding and inky in the glass. The palate is somewhat of a surprise- it’s chock full of plum, black berry and chocolate powder. I also get a whiff of the 14.5% alcohol. On the palate it is delicious, tannic, and interesting. Black iodine, plum jam and blackberry compote all hit me. The wine has a nice dose of tannins that carry through all the way to the finish, not overly dry but present nonetheless. The mid palate mellows out some from the big burst of fruity goodness. The tannins are more evident on the gums at this stage and my mouth is starting to pucker. The finish has dusty mocha, more of that Iodine and obviously those dark fruits. It could use a touch more acidity but I really am enjoying it for it’s youthful exuberance and unabashed tannic structure. Good use of oak adds to the flavor of this wine and the alcohol that I was concerned about did not materialize. It will cellar nicely for a few years and pair well with grilled steaks, Osso Bucco or a hearty Venison stew. Drink till 2026. 91 points my friends and 5 stars for this $20 Cali Cab. Salut….
It’s a nice shade of see-through purple, as can be expected of this varietal. On the nose it’s a bit gamy but I eventually get ripe strawberry, cherry and twizzlers candy. The palate is pleasing with some nice soft red fruit notes. Red currants, more cherry and an interesting cedar plank note. On the mid palate I sense some juiciness, the acidity making an entrance and keeping me on my toes. The flavors get intertwined with some very fine grained tannins that are barely perceptible, yet leave an astringent coating. The finish is pretty much red fruit and a hint of rhubarb for that sour thrust coupled with a touch of oak. There is a greenness right at the end that perturbs me, but this is a nice wine that I am enjoying before cooking dinner. It will go well with roast duck, salmon on the grill or charred Filet Mignon. I’m guessing it will age for a few years, drink till 2024. 89 points from me and at $10 it’s a steal for Pinot Noir. 5 Stars- would buy again. Salut….
This South African Cab is a dark shade of reddish purple and is semi opaque. The nose is steeped in dark fruit compote, a touch of mint perhaps and coffee bean. The initial palate is very smooth with some nice blackberry notes along with espresso and chocolate powder. Very gentle, lithe tannins make it very easy to drink but conversely- it lacks structure for the long haul. The mid palate is more blueberry and plum. The finish is very fruity with nice black and blue berries to go with vanilla. There is a hint of oak influence that I am enjoying. The mouthfeel is really pleasing and I am thoroughly enjoying this wine as an aperitif. It will pair nicely with lighter fare and drink well till 2024. 89 points from me and 4 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
I have had a few wines from Lodi recently and am becoming a big fan. Zinfandel is one of their signature grapes so this wine is exciting to me.
As I look at it in the glass it’s a nice shade of opaque purple. I can also smell the waft of fruit from a foot away, always a good sign. The nose is very fruit forward with tons of black berry, dark plums and a cinnamon twist. The palate is misleading- when you smell that much fruit you automatically expect a wine with a touch of sweetness, which I do not look forward to in reds. This wine is not at all sweet- it is rich, concentrated with black fruit and very tasty. There is a core of minerality on the mid palate that mixes it up with some oaky char and anise. I usually expect pepper with this varietal but I’m not getting any. The wine has a nice, balanced mouthfeel with very lithe tannins and supporting acidity. The finish is a fruit salad of black cherry, blackcurrants and blackberry jam. It is mouth filling and satisfying if you like a ton of flavor. I’m enjoying it with some Spaghetti Arrabiata with garlic bread. Kudos to the winemaker for this 90 point effort that I paid $13 for. It gets 5 stars and will drink nicely till 2027. Salut….
This Cab Franc is reddish purple and nearly see through in the glass with some nice legs draping the edges. On the nose I get a dark, brooding blackberry and smoky oak. The palate is delicious, tannic and intriguing. Black currants, black berry and violets interlaced with gum searing tannins and a modicum of acidity. If I had a Ribeye in front of me, heaven. The mid palate is bone dry yet there is a core of fruit pushing through to the back end alongside some cigar box and black tea flavors. The finish is very dry with those tannins holding on to the end. Black fruit, spice box and a plummy ending make this a memorable wine, if not a touch young. I am excited for wines from Lodi, they have made great strides in quality and this is a good example. If you like ’em dry, pour this baby now, or else let it sit until 2023. Drink till 2028. 89 points and 5 stars, I paid $10- stunning wine for the price. Salut….
I recently ordered six different bottles from Naked Wines. This Mendoza wine is the first of the series. At $11, I’m not sure what to expect, here goes.
It’s a nice shade of purple and semi opaque in the glass. I sense dark plums, black currants and spice box on the nose. The palate is really juicy with a fruit forward approach. Dark fruits dominate with black cherry as the leader. There is a really nice tannic component that is not too astringent but gives just the right amount of dryness. The mid palate is really juicy with a nice rounded acidity and good mouthfeel. The fruit is very warm and satisfying. The fruit components are joined by some black tea notes and more spice box. Cedar shake also comes to mind as I ponder the finish. It’s decent in length and has the right amount of tannic grip to keep me interested without making my gums wince. The acidity is very gentle and balanced.. I really like this wine for an everyday drinker and give it 90 points. At that price it’s worthy of 5 stars and a stock up, drink till 2026. A blend of Malbec and Cab Sav that I’m pairing with grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip roast and baked potatoes. Well done. Salut….
This Russian River Valley Chard has a beautiful gold sheen to it. The nose is floral and full of citrus. Lemons, lime and vanilla bean all hit me. On the palate it is very rich and warm. The citrus theme continues but I note popcorn and honeysuckle join the fray. The mid palate is full bodied with a nice mouthfeel. I am enjoying the citrus without too much acidic cut. I was looking forward to a somewhat fuller wine and this one hits all the notes. The finish is crisp and clean with a core of marzipan to go alongside the refreshing fruit flavors of lemon, lime and green apple. Judicious oak use is noted and appreciated. I am pan searing some King Salmon to go with Battata Harra, a spicy Middle Eastern potato dish- I think the weight of this Chardy will go well with the fish and stand up to the fiery spices of the side dish. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $16 wine. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This semi opaque Merlot is a light shade of purple in the glass. The nose gives me red berries, cherry and anise- it’s very enticing. On the palate it has a juicy intro with currants, more of that licorice note and some really integrated oak. There is a modicum of tannic bite, but it is very lithe. The mid palate has cocoa powder to go around the currants and some strawberry. Nicely balanced acidity leads to a smooth mouthfeel that is super easy to drink. The finish has a touch of dryness, a hint of acidity and loads of red fruits. This wine has matured nicely for what it is and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It drinks well by itself but I would also put it up against Filet, roast Game Hen or even Lasagna. 89 points from me makes this $25 wine a 3 star effort. Really yummy. Drink till 2024. Salut….
I have never tasted a Zweigelt before- so I am excited. This one rolled in at $15 but I am concerned about seepage. I know screw caps are supposed to be invincible but this one was wet with a thick purple liquid on the inside of the screw cap.
The color is nice- rich purple. The nose is interesting, a melding of black cherry, charred oak, red currants and rhubarb. On the palate it is very fruit forward with very lithe tannins. It’s quite focused on red fruit flavors and some star anise. Mid palate-wise there’s a new twist with some cocoa dust, rhubarb and juicy acidity. The finish is decent in length and has a nice tannic streak that leaves my mouth a touch dry. Very nicely balanced. It’s not a very complex wine but it drinks well and would pair great with Duck l’Orange, marinated Sirloin or Lamb chops. My inexperience with this Austrian varietal makes it difficult to score but I would say it gets 89 points, with a drinking window until 2025. 4 Stars, Salut….