The third Magnum of my Barboursville vertical was well worth the wait. After breaking the wet cork the bottom half fell into the bottle, that was the only negative. In the glass this 10 year old showed bits of floating cork, semi opaque red to dark red color. On the nose- tobacco, leather, ripe plum, licorice and a whiff of alcohol. On the palate it gives off a mature palate of secondary flavors already mentioned, some well integrated tannins, cassis and dark blueberry compote. Delicious, aged correctly and offering a mix of fruit and tertiary flavors. There is a nice acidity, not overbearing but just ever so present on the long finish. Nice mouthfeel, good structure and juicy fruitiness makes this a 91 point wine. Available at the winery for $180 in large format, it has paid dividends. 5 stars for yet another example of great Virginian Cabernet Franc. Drink till 2025. Salut….
My friends and I ordered this Syrah to be tasted at our virtual event- 6 bottles in total sent to various places in the Northeast and Texas. When I opened mine, I was mortified, it smelled like a fish market. I let everyone open theirs and one by one the reaction was similar. I don’t know if we had a bad batch, but all were shipped independently to different addresses and have been sitting for 5 to 6 weeks. I hope this is not indicative of the wine, perhaps a bad barrel. Anyway, for now I would not order this wine. Shame as it was going to round out our 10th wine from CH, I was hoping to finish with a bang. 0 stars. No points allotted. Salut….
Talk about a New World version of Pinot. This wine was full of stuffing- evident right away. In the glass it was brooding, dark and semi opaque. The nose was full throttle- big, ripe cherry, cinnamon, plum and sassafras. A heady palate ensued with fruit flavors clamoring for attention, pushing aside the lithe tannins and making the acidity stand in line to be noticed. If you like big, fruit forward versions of Pinot, this one is right up your alley. Technically speaking, it gets 90 points from me but is not really my cup of tea. I prefer a more restrained style of Pinot, a là Burgundy, or even cooler climate a là Oregon. This wine comes from a great appellation and is well made. At $16 a pop, it’s well worth stashing a few and drinking over the next 6 years. 5 stars. Salut….
I tasted this wine previously and liked it enough to order some for the virtual tasting #5. I think I preferred it the first time around, this bottle seemed a little tired and over the plateau. The wine showed secondary flavors of tobacco, leather, horse whip but lacked much core fruit and tannic structure. Overall it scored 88 points from me with a drink now recommendation. $24 is not over the top, but I would not order more. We decanted 6 hours prior, that may have made the difference. 3 stars. Salut….
This was our opening wine at virtual tasting #5. As before, I had everyone reserve half at room temperature and chill the other half. Mixed results as usual with some enjoying the rounder, fuller nose and palate of the unchilled version whilst others preferred the slight cut and edge of the chilled. I got quince, pineapple and honey. It was not very acidic, nor was it sweet, a trait commonly found in Riesling. Overall a very serviceable white that I will be ordering more of. 87 points this time around, which contrasts with the last time I drank it. My previous notes showed it to be sweeter but I preferred it in this iteration whilst scoring it lower…. hmmm. $13 is a good price btw, 4 stars. Salut….
This is the second go at this Pouilly-Fuissé. It is tasty as before and has evolved somewhat with new flavors evident.
Light gold in the glass. Pineapple, white peach and honeycomb on the nose. The palate is round with notes of almond, pineapple, melon and that honey twist. The mid palate is plump with nice honeyed tones, some lemon marmalade, a waxy component and lanolin. The finish is quite long and pleasing. There is a touch of lingering acidity but it doesn’t cut, the rounder mouthfeel is evident and very pleasant. It lacks much minerality, focusing more on fruit flavors with a touch of wood influence. 91 points and for $40, a great intro to Burgundy and the hallowed Chardonnay. Drink this 4 star effort till 2027. Salut….
This Pinot Noir from Burgundy has been sitting in my cellar for a while now. I opened it for friends who I am introducing to other regions and varietals. The wine has a nice shade of red and is see through. The nose offers up cherry, red cola and an earthy spiciness. The palate is very smooth- floral with red fruits, nice fine grained acidity, pomegranate and rhubarb. The long finish was zesty with some acidic juiciness and a trace of tannic backbone. While young at 10 years of cellaring, this one is a candidate for extended time in the dark, it will reward the patient and develop some nice tertiary flavors. It has the fruit and structure to go another 10-15 years. I paired it with seared Trout, Rostì, some salad and steamed green veggies. It worked a treat. For $80 it is pricy, but then again good Burgundy is never cheap. 91 points and 5 stars from me. Drink till 2035. Salut….
This was the star of the 4th Virtual Wine Tasting. I would normally taste a Pinot Noir right after the whites/Rosès and well before a hearty Merlot- but this wine was the ringer. I knew it would be the overall favorite so I wanted it to come last and stand on it’s own merits. It was stunning. It showed very nicely in the glass, see through with medium shades of purple. On the nose I immediately got the telltale cherry. Others noted cinnamon, chocolate and strawberry. It was not heavily tilted on any one component, rather a very nice melangè of all the smells. On the palate it showed off black cherry, spice box, cedar in the form of cigar box. Fine grained tannins and a very balanced acidity made this wine very balanced and gave it a nice crisp mouthfeel. Many in the group did not like some of the tannic wines- this one was right up their alley. Pinot, being such a delicate and light grape is difficult to grow and make into a balanced and delicious offering- once again this winery has done it very nicely. This cuvee is their lower priced offering that hits on all cylinders. I am going with 91 points and 5 stars for this $45 beaut. Drink till 2028 with lighter fare. Salut….
For thew 4th Virtual Tasting event I wanted a Sangiovese to go alongside the Pinot Noir I was planning to showcase. I find the two varietals very similar in many traits, so the the challenge was to find a decent, ready to drink Chianti that hopefully would show off the core characteristics of the grape. This one turned out to be too young, subdued and not very forthcoming with fruit albeit with strong structure. It scored well with the pros but came in a very disappointing last place overall amongst our group. The wine showed well in the glass, more opaque than I had expected but the nose was very hard to coax any cherry flavors out of. Moxie noted salt on her initial sniff. It did not open up much on the palate but did have a tannic backbone masking the fruit. Acidity was medium but not overpowering. I remember thinking this wine had a good dose of oak, charcoal and tobacco. I did not write up any further notes but remember the finish was not very satisfying or long. It’s a shame as the big boys averaged 92 points. I feel it might need a re-tasting in the future once it has mellowed out. I will reserve judgement for now. I paid $23 which would have technically made it a 5 star wine. Salut….
This wine kicked off our 4th Virtual Wine Tasting. As in the past, I had all the attendees reserve half the bottle at room temperature and the other half chilled. My brief notes include a very nice shade of light gold in the glass. The nose was very floral and included grapefruit, citrus, green apple and pear. The palate was very much in line with the nose and had a modicum of tangy acidity, citrus and floral notes with a decent length finish. The room temperature version offered a much fuller nose, more emphasis on the flowers while the chilled version focused on the citrus and acidic components. Both were delicious but I preferred the cold version whilst scoring the room temp slightly higher using my own 20 point scale. Interestingly, the nose of this wine did not exhibit the telltale cat pee aromas that I usually note in Kiwi Sav-Blancs. I don’t necessarily miss it, but I was hoping to showcase it as a prominent feature of the varietal from this region. The wine did display some nice minerality that is reminiscent of a French Sancerre. I am going with 90 points and 5 stars for this $14 deal. Try and stock up for the hot summer and pair it with steamed shrimp, grilled fish or chicken breast and salad. Drink till 2024. Salut….