A mellow blend of the traditional Bordeaux varieties- this wine is a pretty purple in the glass with long legs showing. The nose is plump with dark fruits, some cherry cola and a touch of cinnamon. The initial palate is very rounded, soft and smooth. It features black currants, black olives, oregano. It has a great mouthfeel due to the very slight tannic structure which is really balanced well with the gentle acidity. This is a quaffing wine for sure, with a drink now date. The finish is medium in length and dark fruit dominated. It has a hint of charcoal on the end and some plum tart. I really like this wine for what it is, the 89 points are not a slam- it just lacks the backbone to cellar and evolve which detract from a numerical score. This would be great with light appetizers or as a base for a wine sauce. It really has a lovely fullness to it. $19 and 4 stars. If I had to blind taste it, the soft and supple mouthfeel scream Merlot. Salut….
I have had two other wines from Vergelegen. Both were excellent so when I saw this Reserve offering I had to buy it! Medium intensity in the glass. Black currants, olive tapenade, charcoal and pencil on the nose. The palate has a ton of dark, ripe plums coupled with anise and violets. Rich and tannic, this wine has weight. The midpalate is all black currant. The grippy tannins don’t let go- all the way through the medium length finish. Dark fruits aplenty here. 91 points, drink till 2025. 5 stars again for this $22 bottle. Salut….
I have had the 2005 Close Du Marquis, twice. This vintage is not as solid and lacks depth. My Danish buddy brought it to our tasting and we saved it for the finale. Unfortunately, the best was not saved for last- the best was the Pioneer Pinot that we tasted first.
Very dark and opaque in the glass. The nose resonates with plums, Kirsch and Pepsi cola. The palate has a definitive edge- plums, gripping tannins, acidity and pencil lead. Cassis appears on the mid with a blue fruit and cedar component. The finish is somewhat short, but pleasant with kirsch and cassis dominating while the tannins recede. 89 points and for $55, 3 stars. Salut….
I have a long history with Marques de Riscal. I enjoy the wines and appreciate them for what they are. This one is nearly black in the glass. The nose is huge- lots of black berries, blue fruits and a wallop of charcoaled oak. Violets and spice round it out. On the palate it shows off black fruits, sassafras, vanilla and an oaky component. Delicious but a touch of bitterness on the midpalate detracts. Violets and blueberry really take over on the finish alongside medium tannins. The bitterness is the only detractor that unbalances this otherwise delicious wine. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort which is solidly produced and made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. Salut….
Medium intensity in the glass. The nose is a bit funky, heavy on the oak and reeking of red fruits. Not particularly my favorite profile btw. The palate is very woody- raspberry and black cherry are the predominant flavors with a tart note to boot. There is a greeness to the midpalate to go along with the medium tannins. Acidity is decent and the wine balances on the finish. It’s a bit disjointed initially but comes together on a decent length ending. 88 points and 3 stars for this $11 effort. I may not purchase again as I don’t like the profile, some others may enjoy it though. Touriga Naconal 38%, Tinta Barroca 26%, Tinta Roriz 20%, Touriga Franca 14%, Tinto Cao 2%. Salut….
A couple of us met up and had a tasting of several nice wines. We started with this Pinot Noir, building our way up to the Bordeaux by way of some Portuguese, South African and Spanish bottles. Read on for the highlights!
Gorgeous purple- see through but clear. The nose is heavy on the strawberry. Nutmeg is present, spice box and vanilla bean round it out. On the palate it is lush, light and layered. Strawberry coulis mixed with cedar plank and cherry abound. The mid palate exhibits a darker fruit component and more spices that I found on the nose. The wine has a very nice acidity and the very lithe tannins only show up at the finale. An excellent bottle that drinks beautifully now and will go on for another 5/7 years. 91 points for this Pinot and 5 stars. It is a perennial favorite of mine and is consistent, year in and year out. $20. Salut….
Slightly less opaque than what I was imagining for this Malbec. Good color though. The nose has a candy note, some fresh oak and some blackberries. I’ll admit, the candy part does not appeal to my taste. On the palate it is quite refreshing, light in body but thick in flavor. Black berries, kirsch and bramble. There is a chewiness that I am enjoying. This wine is very dark fruit forward. Structure-wise it is built for immediate quaffing with very little tannic backbone, very gentle acidity and an easy mouthfeel. It is not complex but offers easy enjoyment and gets 87 points from me. For the price under $10 it’s a decent summer barbecue wine that I might take into the fall as an excellent part of coq au vin, even beef burgundy. I think it would work quite well. 4 stars. Salut….
Wow…. super dark and brooding. I get nice, rich blackberry notes with coffee bean and vanilla extract on the nose. The initial palate is thick with black fruit preserves, finely integrated tannins, chocolate powder and an oak hint. The mid palate continues the theme but the tannins start to build. By the finish my mouth is coated with caressing dryness and a blackberry meets tar note. Intriguing. I think this wine will open up with decanting and develop somewhat in the glass. It is young and the potential for it to gain tertiary flavors is definitely there. I would cellar for another 2-3 years and pair it with roast lamb all day long. Delicious, powerful, well made and worthy of 92 points. For $36 it is not an everyday wine, but it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Recently added to the local shop- I’m excited to try this Carmenere from Koyle. I love their Syrah and Cabernet. It’s nearly black in the glass and very opaque. The nose gives off nice warm blueberry pie, oregano and violet notes. It has a very extracted quality. On the palate it is a touch austere with plums, blueberry and acidity that has a nice bite. The midpalate is more juicy, the blue fruits turning red. The acidity is countered on the back end with some greenish tannins. As you might tell this wine is a bit disjointed, slightly green and probably needing some food. I’m going 87 points and 2 stars for this $25 effort. Drink now if you have any. Salut….
The last of my Kirkland test wines…. Cherry nose with some fresh cut pine thrown in. The palate continues the light cherry profile but adds mushroom and a crushed violet note. Rose water comes to mind as we transition to the finish. Overall, this is not a great wine point wise. It lacks depth, the flavors are somewhat out there and the extraction is pretty thin. I’m not sure I would buy again. 85 points and 2 stars for this $9 offering. Salut….