Clos Apalta ‘Le Petit Clos’ 2017, Apalta Valley, Chile

Tags

, , , , ,


Deep purple in the glass with a nose of black plum, dark berries and rich oak. The palate is dry with juicy acidity, dark fruits galore and a bucketful of tannins. The blackberry component is very focused and I also get a delicious dark chocolate note. The grip of the tannins is quite searing but I am enjoying them, well composed and not overly astringent. The fruit flavors kick it up a notch on the mid palate alongside licorice and charcoal. The finish is long and fruity- dry AF. The mouthfeel is great on this full bodied wine. The acidity is watering, balanced by the stoic tannins and gobs of extracted black fruits. The 14.5% alcohol is not evident, be careful! A young wine that is drinkable now yet will cellar well till 2030. 68% Cab Sav, it is rich, opulent and full throttle. 92 points from me for this $40 wine make it a 5 star effort. Salut….

tempImageBdDfkZ

Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewurztraminer 2017, Finger Lakes, New York

Tags

, , , , , ,


Pale lemon in the glass this Gewurztraminer has a pronounced nose with flavors of rose petals, melon and lychee.  On the palate it is a touch sweet and rounded with lychee flavors and a slight astringency. The mid palate gives me some honey to go along with the strong lychee flavors. The wine is full-bodied and the finish carries on the floral and tropical fruit notes for a short to medium length finish. 89 points for me and for $14 this is a really good introduction to this varietal that gets 4 stars. At 13% alcohol it’s an easy quaffer for an afternoon by the pool. I would pair it with spicy dishes all day long.  Drink till 2026.  Salut….

tempImageq2ihGS

Angeline Pinot Noir 2018, California

Tags

, , , ,


I have just signed up for some formalized wine training. In the package that I received from them is a systematic approach to tasting wine guide that I’m supposed to use when I drink wines. This will be my first attempt at using such a guide, but I will revert back to my old ways every once in a while. I tasted the 2017 version of this Pinot Noir previously and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope I get as much bang for the buck out of this newer offering.

Intensity is pale, the color is ruby and the nose is of medium intensity with primary flavors of cherry, strawberry and cinnamon stick. The pallet is off-dry in terms of sweetness with medium acidity, low tannins, low alcohol, light body. Light flavor intensity with primary notes of more cherry, strawberry, rooibos tea and spice box. The finish is medium in length and I find this wine to have acceptable if not good quality. On my own scale it gets 89 points with a drinking window till 2026. Serve with lighter fare such as chicken on the grill or a linguine dish.The use of oak is very deft here but it’s evident by some cloves and a bit of smoke on the tail end. At $ 12, it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Easy to drink, easy on the wallet- by the case for immediate drinking! Salut….

tempImageJWNo4O

Franck Massard Garnacha 2019, Spain

Tags

, , , , , ,


Grenache is normally used as a blending grape but occasionally it’s a standalone. I enjoy it for what it’s worth, soft and supple with bright red fruit flavors. This particular wine is from Spain and is a pale purple in the glass and almost see-through. The nose is a mix of cherry and raspberry, with some earthiness and a bit of spice. There is a hint of red twizzler on the nose which bothers me just a touch- but I’m sure I’ll get over it. On the palate it is bright, very tasty, fruit forward and blushing with red fruits. Raspberry is the predominant theme but I do get Cherry in a supporting role with some bakers space. This is a rather lightweight wine that relies on freshness and fruits. Lithe acidity and subtle tannins give it a nice, easy mouth feel. The finish of this one has a hint of charred oak alongside the red fruits and spices. I’m enjoying it for its ease and charm and would drink until 2024. It gets 88 points for me, and for $13, it gets 4 stars. Pair it with lighter grilled dishes, cheese boards or roast Cornish Hens. Salut….

tempImagegA3kJD

Gypsy Dancer Estates Christine’s Cuvee Pinot Noir 2017, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Tags

, , , , ,


See-through and pale purple, this Pinot has a touch of murkiness to it. On the nose I get baker’s spice, dark cherry and pomegranate. The initial palate is rich and warm- cherry cobbler, fruitcake, clove and rooibos tea. It is extracted, but deftly so. The mid palate is where I start to get some really nice acidity that overlays the rich fruit with a juiciness. My jaw is starting to water as the wine gets to the finish. Lasting dark red fruits, spice, and a hint of lithe tannins take me to the medium length closure. I’m enjoying this wine a lot. It is a nice balance of New World fruit and winemaker restraint, producing a juicy yet medium bodied wine to enjoy till 2027. I am going with 92 points and for $45 it gets 5 stars. Salut….

tempImageJcrbyG

Cosentino Winery Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Columbia Valley, Washington

Tags

, , , , ,


I’m an old fan of this winery, having been a tasting room member at one point. This Cabernet hails from Columbia Valley. It is a touch murky with medium shades of purple in the glass. The nose has steeped plums, charcoal and blackberry pie. The palate is really yummy- if not at peak, it’s close. Ripe plums, cedar, black berry and espresso. The mid palate is very refined with very well integrated tannins and good acidity. The dark, mature fruit theme continues but what impresses me the most is the mouthfeel. It is really full, rounded and balanced. The finish is very juicy, the acidity really gripping at this point. The prune and blackberry flavors fade after a decent amount of time but the tannins hang on to my gums for an eternity. Lovely stuff that gets 89 points from me. It should be drunk sooner rather than later and for $17, it gets 4 stars. Salut….

tempImagekeDswb

Frog’s Leap Merlot 2014, Rutherford, California

Tags

, , , , , ,


Tonight I am cooking a standing rib roast in my Big Green Egg- something I have never done before. I figured it was a good time to crack this Napa Merlot open and give it a try. It’s got a nice purple hue and is about 70% opaque. Thin legs in the glass hint at the 13.4% alcohol. On the nose I get rich plums, perhaps some blackberry and toasty oak. The initial palate is delicious with plum torte, blackberry coulis, some smoked wood, Tobacco and some fruit cake. The mid palate has exceptionally integrated tannins and really nice acidity. The plum and blackberry flavors are very much present but I’m starting to get a dark cola note.  The finish is very rounded with the tannins and acidity in perfect balance. I can almost taste the California sunshine in this wine. Merlot is such a supple, rounded varietal that has been unfairly thrashed of late. I really enjoy this particular profile and am going with 92 points. Drink till 2028 with any grilled meat, rich pasta or even by itself. At $33, it gets 5 stars. Salut….

Collina San Ponzio Barolo DOCG 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Tags

, , , , ,


This Barolo is relatively young at five years but I wanted to try it. In the glass it’s almost got a touch of orange and is completely see-through. The nose is intriguing with cherry, sandalwood and a little bit of Bergamot. The initial palate is definitely fruity with some astringency hitting my gums right off the bat. Very strong cherry flavors alongside cedar notes and black tea. The tannins are really starting to grip on the midpalate but I am enjoying the bright red fruit flavors that accompany. Towards the finish I get more of a cola taste with some lively acidity to balance or attempt to balance the very dense tannins. 91 points for this young Nebbiolo blend that runs $30 making it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2022 till 2027 with pasta, steaks or grilled poultry. Salut….

Scissor Kick Cellars Shiraz 2015, Clare Valley, Australia

Tags

, , , , , ,


Shiraz is typically dark and brooding and this one is no exception, really rich purple and 75% opaque in the glass.
The label states a 15.3% alcohol so buyer beware. The nose has that jammy raspberry/cherry twizzler profile which I’m not a huge fan of- I hope the palate is a little bit more in my style. So, turns out this is quite a rich and reduced raspberry offering with toasty oak and red currants on the initial palate. As I drink this wine I’m starting to really enjoy it- the candy element long gone. The mid palate has juicy red fruits with a modicum of tannic dryness.  The finish is relatively straightforward with good fruit, gentle acidity and a touch of tannin.  There’s a nice mouthfeel that makes it easy to drink.  Overall this is an 88 point wine that should be drunk by 2027.  Ps.  I did not get a hint of the alcohol, well disguised! For $19 it gets 3 stars from me. Pair with Lasagna, grilled sirloin or even roast duck. Salut….

tempImageYIdGJN

Mount Eden Vineyards ‘Domaine Eden’ Chardonnay 2016, Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Tags

, , , , ,


I’m excited to taste this wine, the little brother to the Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz mountains- one of my favorite whites. In the glass it is quite a bright shade of yellow. The nose is very lemony with Quince and yellow apple hints, perhaps a touch of butterscotch. On the palate it is very refreshing, focused and definitely citrus driven. The finish is rather curt but not overly acidic, providing a nice fruit closure. I picked this wine to pair with Shrimp Scampi- I think it will do the job beautifully. It gets 91 points for me and should be drunk before 2028. At $27, its actually a good value for the quality and gets 5 stars from me. Salut….

tempImagejYtB3r