Solo Contigo Affaire Reserva Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

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Dark purple in the glass, very dense.  The nose sports some really delicious aromas of blueberry, spice box and some oak.  I also get a whiff of twizzlers right at the end.

On the palate the blueberry theme continues, laced with a ton of tannins that leave the gums all dry.  The wine has some juicy acidity, which is needed considering the dryness I am encountering.  The blue fruits continue onto the finish, which is quite long.  A certain floral hint hits the mid palate that melds well with the berry component.  I am digging this wine and reckon it would really do well with Ribeye and roasted sweet potato rounds.  It begs for a fatty cut to offset the tannins, which are very tightly wound and help build the backbone of this wine.  I would drink till 2024.  90 points from me, but I just looked up my order and noticed it got 95 from Decanter, that’s a big score.  I paid $20, but it was on sale from $40.  3 stars for retail pricing but a 4 star effort for the sale price!  Salut….

solo continuo affaire reserve mallbec

Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Laland 2003, Pauillac, France

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I bought two Magnums of this wine many moons ago and was waiting for the right time…  How about my birthday party.  I opened and poured without decanting.  I was surprised there was no sediment.  The 2003 Bordeaux vintage was very hot and produced many short lived wines, and many wines that were very stewed in taste.  The Pichon Laland from this vintage got a surprisingly high 95 points from several top critics.  The drinking window suggested between 2014 to 2026.  I am glad I opened my first bottle now, it is ready.

Cassis, leather, plum on the nose.  On the palate lively tannins, tobacco, plum and an earthy component.  The tannins are thoroughly in control of this wine, from beginning to end.  The midpalate shows stewed plums and the finish has some lingering notes of more leather and plum.  The fruit on this wine has made way for the secondary flavors sought after in aged Bordeaux.  This does not detract from the wine, it only strengthens its pedigree by the fact that it will mature in such a way.  I really enjoyed this wine for what it was and look forward to the next bottle, perhaps within the year.  90 points from me but 4 stars even though it will set you back $150 or so.  We drank it before dinner, which was a whole roasted beef tenderloin.  It would have rocked the meal, but we thoroughly enjoyed it with some appetizers of cheese and olives.  The greatest part of the whole thing was the ability to pull something out of the cellar that I have had for over a decade, and watch it give others pleasure.  Salut….

Saint Clair Premium Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2014, New Zealand

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I’m a fan of this winery as can be seen in my two tastings of their Pinot Noir.  I came across this wine at the local store near my hotel and it was priced as a deal for two, I could not resist.

Medium to dark purple.  Nose of minerals, plum and sasparilla.  On the initial attack I get really smooth plums, with some red chili pepper hints- intriguing, sans the heat!  On the midpalate the plums continue but I start to appreciate some oak use and the intro to black fruits.  I’m thinking of Ribena on the finish along with some vanilla.  Very smooth all throughout with very melded tannins and a balanced acidity.  This is my first Merlot/Cabernet from the famed Gimblett Gravels, I’m digging the minerality and think this wine is a 90 point effort.  I think they normally retail at $18, which makes this a solid 4 star wine.  Availability in the States may be limited, but keep a lookout for this winery on your travels.  This wine would pair nicely with Beef short ribs or a hearty stew.  I’m getting more!  Salut….

saint clair premium cabernet merlot

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Coonawarra, Australia

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Beautiful purple color- nose of candied plums, oak and mint.  On the palate I get pepper, plums and a red component which is intriguing.  Tannins peek through in the second half of this intro and the acidity is very mild.  89 points and 4 stars for this $11 offering.  Salut….

Jacob's Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Edna Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Central Coast, USA

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Deep purple yet see-through.  Nice nose of plums, eucalyptus and blackberry.  On the palate I’m getting really nice black berry, super smooth tannins and a hint of black Cherry liquor.  The mid palate boasts more berries and a roundness that gives this wine a really nice mouthfeel.  The finish is smooth, with a nice drying feeling that coats the gums.  90 points form me although the pro’s were down at the 86 level with this one.  I disagree.  For $13, this is a 4 star wine that I will be buying again.  I would pair it with Roast Chicken, perhaps meatloaf and definitely with some charcuterie out on the patio now that the weather has turned.  Salut….

edna valley cabernet sauvignon

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir 2015

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I love this wine, so every time I see a bottle, it’s in the bag.  This latest vintage is no exception.  I forgot to take a picture so have had to use a stock photo.

Dark purple, nearly see-through.  Nose is gorgeous, a mix of strawberry, cherry and the key component….vanilla cherry cola.  The palate is amazing- black cherries, strawberry pie and super smooth acidity.  There are just a hint of tannins, perfect for a Pinot Noir.  This wine is 100% New World, totally awesome and necessary for any cellar.  This is a spectacular wine that gets 93 points from me and 5 stars.  If you can find it, buy it.  My sources are coming up at $25.  Drink this wine all by itself to truly appreciate its nuances, or if you must pair it- Lamb chops, Venison, Steak au Poivre.  Salut….

Bodega Tapiz ‘Zolo’ Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

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Disclaimer- this was served on a United flight (No one was hurt BTW).  For an airplane wine-  Dark and brooding in the glass.  Barely a nose due to cabin air and plastic cup but I’m getting black currants, plum tart.  At first I get plums, iodine and a dose of oak.  The mid palate shows off the rather dry tannins that balance out the acidity.  On the finish I sense mostly tannins, not much fruit.  Overall, an enjoyable airplane wine to go with my pasta and meatball.  86 points from me and I was able to find it for $12 which make it a 2 star wine in my opinion.  Salut….
Bodega Tapiz 'Zolo'

Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose 2015, Provence, France

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I’m not a huge Jolie-Pitt fan, but when they teamed up with the French Perrin Family they caught the wine world by surprise.  I have only just seen this wine for sale and had to try it.  The last time I drank a Rose was…..  no idea.  I must say I am way out of my comfort zone when it comes to drinking this style of wine, which I do not really like nor dislike.

Orangy pink in the glass, it reminds me of peach juice.  A nose of- you guessed it, peach!  I also get some citrus, of the tangerine variety. Intriguing.  On the palate, this wine is offering strawberry, lemon zest and pineapple.  It has very little acidity yet packs a certain bitterness I can’t quite put my finger on.  The mid palate is generous with more fruit and the finish is long.  More strawberry with flower notes on the tail end.  88 points, served with panko/parmesan crusted chicken.  I paid $21 for this light and refreshing wine.  It gets 3 stars from me but scored really well with the pros.  Salut….

Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico DOCG 2014, Tuscany, Italy

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See-through purple.  Nose of sweet strawberries and spring flowers, very intriguing.  On the palate I get more strawberries and nutmeg.  The wine is juicy but not biting with acidity.  I am enjoying the mouthfeel, it is very subtle yet supple.  The tannins are so carefully hidden that I barely perceive them.  The mid palate exhibits some more spices and the core fruit.  The finish is short in length but pleasant enough.  This wine is a nice, easy to drink wine that has an interesting nose.  I think it gets 89 points and can be found for $10.  This is a good deal, 5 stars from me.  Pasta, pizza or a rack of ribs come to mind.  Salut….

Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico

Chakana Maipe Reserve Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

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Dark purple in the glass.  A nose of black cherry, black currants and plum.  A spice is there too, but I can’t pinpoint it.  On the palate, very juicy with plum jam, blackberry tort and cassis.  This is a very smooth wine that shows great fruit expression, silky tannins and a mild dose of acidity.  The mid palate has dark plums and the tannins start to dry the gums.  On the finish, another dose of plum and the final lashing of tannins with a taste of oak. 91 points is what I came up with but others only went 88. For $13, you cannot go wrong with this 5 star wine.  Salut….

Chakana Maipe Reserve Malbec