Bright purple. On the nose I get blueberry, vanilla, wafers and sweet oak. On the palate it is fresh, with gobs of sour cherry, rhubarb and blueberry. There is a nice tannic bite that starts off gently and reaches a decent level of dryness without being overly astringent. The sour cherry component really takes charge on the midpalate and the acidity peaks. The finish is quite sour yet refreshing. The oak has long disappeared, the ending being red fruits galore with rooibos tea and crunchy tannins. It’s a decent wine that is a touch out of balance with the heavy handed acidity. It may smooth out after a while. 88 points and 3 stars- $18. Salut….
Really dark purple, brooding. On the nose I get violets, plum extract and black currants. On the palate it is juicy, mouth filling and packed with tight grained tannins. Black currant notes, black tea and some oaky vanilla start the wine off. The mid palate gets a dose of the tannins and some sour black cherries. That black tea component reappears with mouth puckering astringency, which is balanced nicely with the fruit and acidity. The finish is very dry with black fruit extraction and charcoal notes. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 wine. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Nice shades of purple with medium opacity. Zins tend to have higher alcohol and this one shows off its 15.5% very nicely on the legs. The nose is interesting- honey, blackberry preserves, cinnamon stick and black oak. On the palate it is very approachable right off the bat with blackberries, tea leaf and an intro to the very fine grained tannins. On the midpalate there is a stringy astringency that is putting me out of whack. The fruit subsided very quickly to make way for some bitter tannins unfortunately. Greeness prevails from that point to the finish. I’m trying to coax more of that delightful, jammy goodness but I’m being overpowered. This wine might need some cellaring but the green tannins will always be green unfortunately. 86 points from me and 3 stars for this $13 wine. Drink now. Salut….
Dark purple and opaque in the glass. Iodine, plums and blackcurrants on the nose give way to a refreshingly tannic initial taste of more black fruits alongside a charcoal note. This wine rides tough on the gums with delightful, young tannins that beg for steak. I’m happy to oblige tonight. The mid palate is all about the balance of fruit versus tannins. The finish is short to medium in length and gives off note of that iodine meets Ribena. Very tasty wine that has some nice structure and good cellaring potential. 90 points and drink till 2030. 5 stars for this $18 effort. Salut….
In Magnum, I was hoping for a repeat of last years tasting of the 2008 Cab Franc. Dark purple, medium opacity. Nose is exquisite- plum reduction, oaky warmth, tobacco and leather. On the palate it shows purple framboise, some cassis, more tobacco and that delicious tertiary note of leather. The midpalate has a touch of tart cranberry compote alongside the flavors already noted. The finish is medium length, fresh and a touch tannic. This wine is at peak now. Drink till 2023. 91 points and 4 stars. Available from the winery as part of their library collection for $180, or $60 for a regular 750 mill- wow. Salut….
Black. Opaque. Thick. On the nose it’s very lush- burnt damson, plum extract and raisin compote. The palate is thick, rich and exactly what I wanted/expected. It’s delicious. Midpalate -wise it gets tannic, more dark fruits and some great mouthfeel. This is truly a delicious dessert wine. Rich, full-on and multi-dimensional, it ticks many boxes. The finish is a grainy, tannic event that features some nice purple fruits with walnut notes and some raisin jam. Delicious. 90 points and for $14, its a 5 star drinker. Salut….
If you look at my previous reviews of this amazing Bella’s Garden, you will see some differences, and some similarities over the years. This wine has evolved beautifully and the fact that I picked up extras is awesome, for me!
Nearly black in the glass and somewhat surprising with it’s lack of legs considering the monster 15.5% alcohol. On the nose it’s very rich with dark plums, black berries, cinnamon stick. The palate is lush, rich, layered and delightful. Dark fruits meld with extremely well integrated tannins, deft oak and syrupy cassis. The mid palate is gorgeous, bright dashes of those black fruits with a great mouthfeel which balances the tannins with a touch of acidity. This wine is young at 9 years. Primal fruit is still in full force with a great structure which will assure a long cellaring potential and the possibility of tertiary flavors evolving. The finish is long, filled with blackberry reduction and black tea. There’s a nice hint of vanilla on the back end. Great wine. 95 points. 5 stars for this $75 jewel. Drink till 2035. Salut….
So- this is the second Cameron Hughes wine in a row. Truth be told, I bought 4 cases of their wine, 24 different bottles X2 back in November. I am doing a prolonged tasting of their excellently priced wine. As a negociant they don’t grow their own grapes, relying on others for the raw product. You should check them out on the web, great value for money.
Really dark, opaque – almost black in the glass. The legs are few and far between but they show off the 14.4% alcohol nicely. On the nose there is sweet blackberries, mint, charcoal. The palate is as I hoped- dark, tannic and multilayered. Those blackberries reappear with iodine, violets and licorice. The tannins grip, a lot. They claw at my gums from the beginning to the end. This varietal is normally part of a blend due to its tannic frame, brooding fruit and structure- but I do enjoy it by itself. I get hankerings for a mouthfull of that dark, sweet fruit interlaced with hearty tannins. The mid palate and finish echo the theme nicely with a decent length ending of blackberry, tannins and a touch of oak. Delicious and powerful. 90 points and 5 stars for this $15 effort. Drink till 2026 with hearty meat dishes. Salut….
Very light yellow in the glass. The nose is lemony, bright and green apple. The palate is not as I expected- it’s got some citrus, but not overly tart. I get pineapple instead of the expected apple and lemon. There’s a hint of green melon and gooseberry. The midpalate has a waxy mouthfeel that makes the chilled wine seem warm. The finish is rather short but flavorful. That gooseberry note picks up and the acidity kicks in a touch. This is a really tasty Pinot Gris that has a bit of weight to it. I’m digging it. 88 points and 4 stars for this $12 effort. Drink with chilled shrimp or some fresh shucked oysters. Salut….
See through pale purple with nice legs in the glass. The nose is all about strawberries. After a good swirl there’s violets and some yellow cherries. On the palate it’s a very smooth rendition of strawberry meets cherry cobbler. A touch of oak is a nice nuance. The mid palate continues the theme and some acidity kicks in. There’s a nice mouthfeel to this wine that carries it on to a decent length finish . I’m digging it and the beercan chicken is gonna pair beautifully. 90 points. Drink till 2026. This wine gets 3 stars for its $40 average price. Salut….