I’m cooking Beef Bourguignon which calls for a Pinot Noir, preferably from Burgundy. As luck would have it I happen to have two bottles of this $10 South of France wine ready to go. The skeptics will question whether you can get decent Pinot for that price- I’m here to report. It looks about right: pale, see-through ruby. Medium density aromas of primal red cherry, pomegranate, stewed strawberry and a spice note. Not overly complex, but interesting nonetheless. The palate is very pleasant with red fruits including cherry, light tannins, medium acidity and a decent length finish. Very little if any oak was used here, freshness and price were probably the prime considerations. I like it for what it is and considering most of it will end up in the stew- I think it works great! 87 points from me makes this a 3 star wine to be drunk asap. Salut….
This blend of Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Sousāo is pale ruby in the glass. It’s listed as 13.5% ABV which shows in the watery legs. The nose has nice, if somewhat muted aromas of cranberry, red cherry, dried herbs, blackberry and floral notes. The palate is very soft, with juicy acidity and mild tannins. The blackberry and red cherry flavors are present alongside some cedar and the dried herbs I sensed on the nose. The acidity is really intense on the back end where there is a shortish finish of bright red and black fruit. I like this medium bodied wine, it is fresh and primary fruit driven. The pro’s went with 90, I’m thinking 88 with a drink by 2025 window. At under $10 per bottle it gets 4 stars. I’m pairing it with grilled lamb kebabs and sautéed Kale. Salut….
About 75% opaque, it sports a nice ruby color with thin legs in the glass. The nose offers up plum, blackcurrants, licorice and smoky oak. The palate is smooth with gentle tannins, rich flavors and medium acidity. There’s a smokiness that I’m really enjoying alongside the black fruit components. The finish is mid length and the wine has a great mouthfeel. I picked this to pair with pork chops, I think the softness of the wine with the lower tannic grip will do the trick. 89 points and 5 stars for this $10 wine. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Sauvignon Blanc is pale lemon in the glass. Medium (+) intensity aromas of lemon zest, geranium, grapefruit, grass and passion fruit. It is still youthful with a dry palate and medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (-) body and medium intensity flavors of citrus and some floral notes. I like the medium (-) length finish, it’s very refreshing and crisp. Something to drink now as it won’t age much longer. 89 points and for $10 it’s a good deal that gets 4 stars. Salut….
It’s Boxing Day, aka the day after Christmas. We have started a new tradition of eating Fondue on the 25th, it’s easy requires very little effort. As usual, we had tons of leftovers, so I am grilling the remaining Filet. I put the chicken in the crock pot and let it slow cook in Buffalo sauce which I’ll be shredding in a few minutes as a precursor to the main dish. I needed something light, lively and hopefully a touch acidic to pair with the spicy heat I am anticipating with the chicken. Out came this Aussie Sav Blanc.
It’s a very pale shade of yellow with a hint of green in the glass. On the nose it bursts with citrus notes, pineapple and green apple. The palate is delicious with great floral hints, juicy lemon/lime/tangerine notes and some lithe acidity. I was hoping for more for this particular pairing but it’s fine as is. The mid palate has a touch of lanolin and yet more lemon. The acidity kicks in on the mid length finish- it’s not overly juicy but I like the cut. It is refreshing and keeps the wine lean. Enjoyable, quaffable and versatile. I really enjoy this varietal and feel it has so much to offer as far as pairing ability. 88 points from me for this yummy bottle that runs $10. 5 stars, stock up for the summer. Salut….
This Sauvignon Blanc is light yellow in the glass. The nose has the expected citrus notes but there’s something else lurking there. Melon I think but it’s papaya that really had me fooled. On the palate it is quite sprite with some lively acidity and a pop of lemon burst flavors. Really tasty and refreshing. The flavor profile mellows out as the wine transcends the palate until I am left with ripe papaya and lemon curd on the long finish. Candied Ginger is another note that I picked up on at the very end, interesting. I’m intrigued by this wine. It started out very sharp, transitioned to a warmer, fuller mouthfeel and finished with exotic flavors that rolled on for quite a while. I’m on a Sav Blanc journey right now and this is a great example of the light and zesty varietal. 90 points from me. I would pair it all day long with seafood or even spicy Indian curry. $10 makes this a 5 star effort. Drink till 2021. Salut….
Semi opaque in the glass with a nice shade of purple. The nose is smoky with black berries, plum and chocolate powder. There’s also a touch of funky Rioja dirt in there. The palate is as hoped- rich, complex and satisfying. Black fruit, tar, licorice and ripe tannins all caress the mouth. The mid palate just builds more on the flavor profile. The finish is delightful- semi dry from the well integrated tannins, juicy from a touch of acidity and brimming with flavors of ripe blackberry, espresso, cacao and that telltale dusty Rioja component. This Tempranillo is drinking beautifully now and will go till 2028. 92 points and 5 stars for this steal at $10. Salut….
This Sonoma Cab is very bright purple and shows thin legs on the glass. The nose is mostly raspberry, rhubarb and red cherry. On the palate I get red fruits, rooibos tea, orange peel and some stoic tannins. The mid palate is definitely a dry affair of astringent tea, cherry and raspberry. I’m waiting for an acidic thrust to balance out the gushing tannins. It happens right at the end, on the long finish that is bone dry and trends towards blacker fruit flavors. There is a touch of oak on the back end that I like. This wine is very young and could use some cellaring or decanting. Drink from 2023 to 2030. It is well made and I am enjoying its youthful exuberance. 91 points and 5 stars for this reasonably priced gem. Shocking find! Salut….
It’s a nice shade of see-through purple, as can be expected of this varietal. On the nose it’s a bit gamy but I eventually get ripe strawberry, cherry and twizzlers candy. The palate is pleasing with some nice soft red fruit notes. Red currants, more cherry and an interesting cedar plank note. On the mid palate I sense some juiciness, the acidity making an entrance and keeping me on my toes. The flavors get intertwined with some very fine grained tannins that are barely perceptible, yet leave an astringent coating. The finish is pretty much red fruit and a hint of rhubarb for that sour thrust coupled with a touch of oak. There is a greenness right at the end that perturbs me, but this is a nice wine that I am enjoying before cooking dinner. It will go well with roast duck, salmon on the grill or charred Filet Mignon. I’m guessing it will age for a few years, drink till 2024. 89 points from me and at $10 it’s a steal for Pinot Noir. 5 Stars- would buy again. Salut….
This Cab Franc is reddish purple and nearly see through in the glass with some nice legs draping the edges. On the nose I get a dark, brooding blackberry and smoky oak. The palate is delicious, tannic and intriguing. Black currants, black berry and violets interlaced with gum searing tannins and a modicum of acidity. If I had a Ribeye in front of me, heaven. The mid palate is bone dry yet there is a core of fruit pushing through to the back end alongside some cigar box and black tea flavors. The finish is very dry with those tannins holding on to the end. Black fruit, spice box and a plummy ending make this a memorable wine, if not a touch young. I am excited for wines from Lodi, they have made great strides in quality and this is a good example. If you like ’em dry, pour this baby now, or else let it sit until 2023. Drink till 2028. 89 points and 5 stars, I paid $10- stunning wine for the price. Salut….