Spier Rose 2018, Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Pale straw color in the glass for this 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir blend.  On the nose, strawberry and cherry flavors mingle with nutmeg.  On the palate I get much more fruit flavor than I was expecting, it is lush and vibrant with more strawberry, a trace of rhubarb and capsicum.  The mid palate shows a touch of acidity and some minerality.  The finish is of decent length and much the same for flavors.  Refreshing and satisfying describe this 88 pointer from South Africa. Yours for  $10 makes this a 4 point wine that will pair tonight with roast pork shoulder and spiced Basmati rice.  Drink till 2020.  Salut….

Domaine Lucien Lardy Fleurie Les Roches Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais, France

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Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city.  Drinking wine  in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled.  Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape.  Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity.  I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.

This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through.  It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets.  On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings.  There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes.  There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more.  The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish.  The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits.  The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91.  I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024.  90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine.  Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie.  Salut….

Inniskillin Winemaker’s Series Montague Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017, Niagara Peninsula, Canada

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Moxie and I took our son- Jett, to Lake Placid this past week.  He’s a competitive Ice Dancer and was representing Team USA in the Novice North American Cup.  We have been up here several years in a row and always vow to continue northward to visit Montreal after the competition.  This year, armed with fresh passports, we took the 87 mile ride up into foreign lands to visit, albeit briefly, Canada.  It was a great seguey and we stayed right by Old Montreal, which is beautiful.  Our dinner was at a great Bistro, where I asked for and got a delicious Canadian Pinot Noir.

Red and see-through with long legs showing in the glass.  On the nose I get bright cherry, strawberry coulis, cedar and nutmeg.  On the palate it has some really delicious cherry extract, rhubarb, a smokiness as well as mocha.  The acidity of this Pinot is on pointe- the mouthfeel is gorgeous.  There are some sly tannins lurking in the background that give just a touch of dryness.  The mid palate and finish are equally tasty, fleshy yet still delicate a’ la Pinot style.  This is new world yet has such a restrained approach- I’m loving it.  92 maybe 93 points.  I’m pairing it with Escargot, followed by duck breast.  Drink till 2030.  $30 makes this a bargain for Pinot of this quality, 5 stars.  Salut….

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa

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It’s summer, which means Rose’.  I have recently started to enjoy and understand a bit more about this style of wine so when I saw one made from Cabernet Sauvignon- I had to try.  It is a much deeper shade of reddish pink than most Rose’ wines, probably a longer maceration with the skins to give it the color.  On the nose it is quite fresh with strawberry, citrus, almond and pear coming through.  On the palate this chilled wine is delicious.  Lemon, blood orange and strawberry are my initial tastes.  It has a touch of acidity that refreshes the palate beautifully.  The reddish fruit (Strawberry and blood orange) carry through the mid palate.  The transition to the finish is seamless with the addition of some pear and more lemon zest.  It leaves the gums pleasantly tingling with some acidity and that lingering blood orange tinge.  A really yummy summer quaffer that will refresh while preparing dinner or go great with Salmon, salad or grilled garlic chicken.  Drink till 2022.  89 points and 5 stars for this $12 effort.  PS. I’m a fan of Mulderbosch wines and this one did not disappoint.  Salut….

Proemio Red Blend 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

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Really dark in the glass.  On the nose I get Ribena, blueberry pie and hot stone.  On the palate it’s ginger, blackberry, cedar and evergreen.  There is a really nice tannic backbone, unobtrusive yet I sense some astringent components from them.  The mid palate is all blackberry jam.  The finish is really nice, smooth and very balanced between black fruits, a hint of acidity and those delightful tannins.  It’s quite long to boot.  This is a really nice weekday drinker that gets 90 points from me and 5 stars as it’s under $10.  Drink till 2023 with pizza, burgers, sirloin or pasta.  Blend of Malbec, Cabernet Petit Verdot.  Salut….

Domaine Jean Fery & Fils Les Vergelesses 2010, Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru, France

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The second tasting of the Les Vergelesses.  See-through reddish-purple with some hints of bricking.  On the nose I get fresh cherries, blackberry extract and nutmeg.  On the palate it is light, refreshing and young.  There is a red cherry component alongside strawberry coulis and pomegranate- which is adding some zesty acidity.  The mid palate is somewhat one dimensional with just strawberry and juicy acidity.  The back end finds those darker fruits again with black cherry dominating.  There’s a cedar note in there alongside some fruitcake.  This wine is still way too young and primal.  I foresee some great evolution in the next ten years, which is quite a stretch for a nine year old.  If you like refreshing, young Pinot- five in.  I’m holding my other bottle for a few years, looking for more secondary Burgundian flavors to emerge.  92 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort.  Salut….

Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2012, Pauillac, France

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Nearly black and opaque in the glass.  On the nose I get gorgeous blackberries and fruitcake with a touch of mint.  On the palate it is fresh, young, fruity and chock full of black fruits, cedar, scrumptious tannins and a slight hint of cassis.  Tobacco and leather are evident on the mid palate which totally excites me and hints at long term evolution in line with traditional Bordeaux.  The tannic structure is amazing, very lithe at the beginning with a steady rise to a crescendo of black tea dryness.  92 points and 4 stars for this $50 Fifth Growth.  Drink till 2030.  Salut….

Chateau Giscours 2014, Margaux, France

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Dark purple with nice legs.  On the nose it’s quite bland.  Black currants, blueberry pie and rubber mat finally come out of the glass.  On the palate I’m getting a subdued dose of blueberry pie, cedar, breakfast tea and warm blackberry cobbler.  The tannins are of medium intensity and the finish has some dark fruits and tannins.  I think this wine is closed right now but it has potential.  I’m gonna go with 90 points for now.  The pro’s ranged greatly- from 91 to 95 points.  I’m not seeing it at this point in time, hopefully it will awaken from slumber as a real powerhouse 3rd Growth Margaux.  Drink from 2022/2030.  Available for around $50, making it a 3 star wine.  Salut….

 

Proemio Reserve Petit Verdot 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

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I really like Petit Verdot, blended or standalone.  When I saw this Argentinian bottle of it, I had to try.

As expected it is pretty dark and broody in the glass.  The nose has a sweet perfume of blackberries, licorice and violet.  On the palate this wine has a tartness alongside creosote, black fruit and sour cherry.  The midpalate is quite dry, tannins enveloping the fruit and coating my teeth.  I can feel them getting a purple stain.  They don’t subside either.  The finish is bone dry but I do get more blackberries and some tea.  Wow, it’s a long finish too.  There’s ample reason why a stand-alone PV doesn’t appeal to the masses- it can be too tannic, one dimensional and lacking in fruit whilst heavy in structure.  This is a good example.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoy the mouthfeel and weight every so often.  89 points and 3 stars for this $18 bottle.  Drink till 2027 with Ribeye, leg of lamb or rich stew.  Salut….

Ricossa Antica Casa Barbaresco DOCG 2014, Piedmont, Italy

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See through but with slight bricking.  I noticed the cork had signs of possible seepage which gives me cause for concern.  Here goes….

On the nose – it’s corked.  I even tasted it….done.  Luckily I’m not far from the shop so I returned it .

The second bottle looks much better in the glass.  Light, see through purple.  On the nose it is not very open.  I’m struggling to swirl some life into it and all I get is faint cherries, some capsicum and carrot.  Yes, carrot.  On the palate this Nebbiolo starts off with some lush, medium tannins and a dollop of cherry juice.  It’s not subtle.  The mid palate has more breadth with cherries, currants, a touch of fresh oak and sassparilla.  The finish is quite dry with the tannins still in full force.  There is a woody note alongside red fruits and cinnamon.  Tasty but restrained, I feel this wine might be hibernating.  It should improve with age and drink nicely till 2028.  90 points and 3 stars for this $25 effort.  Salut….