Deep, opaque purple colored with thick slow-moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose excites me- rich black cherry, pencil shavings, bell pepper, garigue and açaí berry compote. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very smooth medium tannins. It’s a medium to full-bodied wine that has flavors corresponding to the nose plus a bit of spice box and tobacco. A medium length finish rounds this delicious single varietal wine up nicely. I like it- 93 points and for $20 this is a steal of a 5-star effort to drink till 2025. I’m pairing mine with a combo Cottage/Shepards Pie (one side with beef the other side with lamb). Salut….
Pale straw colored with thick legs (13.5%ABV). The nose has pronounced aromas of lemon curd, honeysuckle, white flower blossom, dill, fleur de sel and stone fruit. The palate is barely dry with medium acidity and a medium (+) body. Really nice flavors of citrus and florals with a wax and honey note alongside some briny minerality that makes this a delicious wine. It ends with a mid length finish that is lush and waxy. Yum. This 91 pointer sells for $16 and gets 5 stars from me. I’m pairing it with steamed mussels and garlic, you could try grilled mackerel or salmon. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Medium ruby colored bordering on a touch of garnet for this 4 year old wine. The nose has aromas of black cherry, blackberry, stewed black plum, anise, cedar shake, nutmeg, hummus (earthy) and garigue. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and medium (+) tannins. Medium to full-bodied I get flavors of black fruit, some stewed notes indicating age, oak influence (cedar) and anise with some earthiness. The tannins grip for a long while on the medium length finish. I like this 90 point wine and think it is at peak. Drink till 2025 with grilled meats or heavy baked dishes like Moussaka. For $18 it’s a great intro to this decidedly Greek varietal. 5 stars. Salut….
The Gamay grape is traditionally made into wine using the carbonic maceration method in the Beaujolais region of France. This wine is a deep purple color with medium intensity aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dried flowers, orange peel, cherry bubble gum and perhaps a touch of banana. The palate is dry with crisp tannins and medium (-) acidity. I was not expecting the tannic grip to be so forthright. I get flavors of blackberry, blueberry and açaí berry with a faint hint of charred oak and some orange peel. Oak influence? A full-bodied and full-throttle expression of this usually benign grape has really thrown me as I am pairing it with a slow-cooked Eye of Round Roast, which is a low fat cut of meat. I would prefer to pair this wine in its youth with a fattier cut of meat like Ribeye, Leg of Lamb or grilled Goat. The finish is quite decent in length, adding to the complexity and depth of this wine. For $25 you are getting a cru-level bottle that has decent cellaring capacity and gets 91 points from me. 5 stars- drink till 2027. Salut….
Primitivo is also known as Tribidrag and Crljenak Kasteljanski in Croatia, but more common to us- Zinfandel. This Italian bottle has a deep ruby coloring and thick legs. The nose is pronounced with aromas of black cherry, licorice, charcoal, black pepper, black plum and dark currants. The palate is dry with bracing tannins and a good dose of acidity. There is an astringent and green sensation that is immediate on the attack, downplaying the fruit. When I finally get to the flavors- dark fruit with charred oak notes and licorice. Medium to full bodied it has a medium length finish. It’s a young wine that needs cellaring or decanting/aerating. I am pairing it with spaghetti and meat sauce, probably the best choice for this very dry and tannic red. 88 points from me and for $16 it gets 3 stars. Drink from 2024-2028. Salut….
Medium lemon colored, it takes on a touch of gold in the glass. On the nose- aromas of lemon curd, grapefruit, yellow pear, blossom, brioche and almond. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (+) body. This Melon de Bourgogne varietal shows a fullness that is a result of the Sur Lie aging that I am enjoying. In addition to the citrus, pear and floral notes I also get flavors of baking spice and yeast. At 12% ABV, it is a nice aperitif to serve with olives and charcuterie. The acidity would also lend itself to soft cheese and seafood for sure. It has a medium length finish emphasizing the baking spice, brioche and cream notes. I like this $15 wine that gets 89 points and 5 stars from me. Drink soon. Salut….
This wine is deep ruby colored with thin, piercing legs that move slowly indicating a high alcohol level (14.5% ABV). The nose gives me vanilla and dust right off the bat. Pomegranate, black plum, açaí, clove and sarsaparilla come next. The palate is dry with medium (+) tannins and medium (+) acidity. This full-bodied wine has flavors of bramble, black plum, pomegranate and oak by way of vanilla, clove and a charcoal note. Typical for the region I get dusty, earthy hints and the wine goes on to a medium length finish. The fruit doesn’t taste fully ripe to me, it’s somewhat green unfortunately and this will cost it a point or two. The structure is there but the finish is quite astringent. Perhaps a decant is in order? I’m roasting a Rump Steak with all the trimmings, it should pair nicely. For $17 this 88 point wine gets 4 stars. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Deep ruby colored with really thick, slow moving legs. The nose has a whiff of alcohol that needs to dissipate- I now get pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, smoke, coffee, vanilla and menthol. The cassis is en pointe. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity and high tannins (I forgot to mention the it stained the walls of the glass when I swirled). A full body was to be expected and I get rich flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum, cassis and the associated oak derived notes and menthol. The richness of this wine continues on to a medium (+) length finish. It’s a delicious blend of Cab Saver, Syrah and Merlot that gets 93 points from me and for $35- 5 stars. Drink with hearty meat (steak) till 2029. Salut….
Pale ruby with a hint of red on the edges. The nose has medium intensity aromas of raspberry, rose petal, red cherry, baking spice, pomegranate and red currant. The palate is dry with low tannins and high acidity. Flavorful- it has a medium body and I get candied cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, red currant and baking spice. The balance is nice but the wine finishes a bit short. I like it and would pair it with roast chicken, grilled Mackerel or even baked Salmon. 88 points and for $13 you can enjoy this 3 star wine till 2025 whilst tasting the sunshine of the South of France. Salut….
From the South of France comes this blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan that is deep ruby colored and seriously opaque. The thick, blobby legs warn of the incoming 15.2% ABV, watch out. The nose, once the alcohol blows off, gives me aromas of ripe blackberry, tons of vanilla, blackcurrant pastis, black licorice, clove and ripe blueberry. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, full body and heady flavors of black and blue fruit, lots of oak nuance and a somewhat astringent mid palate streak. A short finish closes it out. The impression I get is that this wine has some ripe fruit quality along with lashings of oak yet they allowed the green stems to unbalance the wine with that bitterness. A shame, because it started out on a high note for me. 88 points for this $28 wine makes it a 3 star effort to drink with grilled Lamb chops. Drink till 2028. Salut….