I don’t recall ever having a pure Graciano, it’s normally used as a blending grape. In the glass it is a pale shade of purple and is fully opaque. On the nose I get charred plums, black berries and a stewed fruit note. The palate is interesting with brooding dark fruits, oak and a vanilla bean note. The tannic structure is very well ingrained in this 9 year old bottle. They are present but not foreboding. The black fruits show up on the mid palate with a touch of bitterness, there is a green note too. On the finish is where I get some nice acidity to go with the oaky fruit compote. There is a nice dryness on the back end from the tannins. The wine is a pleasure to drink but that midpalate greeness has me concerned. This will drink well till 2025 and pair nicely with pasta, roasted chicken and certainly grilled steak. I’m going 89 points and 3 stars for the $12 price point. Salut….
This was our first wine at the #7 virtual tasting event. It turned out to be my wine of the night. Charles Smith makes good wine, and is very reasonable. I’m a fan and was happy this wine rocked.
We tasted the wine at room temp and chilled. I preferred the room temp wine as it had a far wider nose, more generous fruit flavors and was more complex. The chilled version was still very good. Apples, lemon, pineapple and pear notes were recorded with the first tasting while Granny Smith apples, honeysuckle and more acidity were noted with the chilled version. It’s difficult for me to do a proper tasting while conducting the virtual tastings but this wine gets an overall score of 91 from me. At $12 per bottle this needs to bought by the case, 5 stars. Drink till 2023. Salut….
The third SplashWine in the lineup is a Merlot from Spain. It’s a dull shade of purple and nearly see through. On the nose I get cherry, raspberry and oregano. On the initial palate it is somewhat sweet with cherry juice, more red fruit melange and tart acid. The mid palate is not so sweet and the proper flavors come around. Raspberries and sour cherry are more like it. The wine finishes quickly, with some red fruit, crunchy tartness and a trace of tannins. 83 points from me and 1 star for this $12 wine. Salut….
It looks very dark and brooding in the glass, the legs barely evident- 13.5% alcohol will do that. On the nose it is spicy with dark cherry, cola and a touch of oak. I also notice a spice box component. On the palate it is a bit abrupt- black cherry, green pepper, iodine and anise all greet me. There’s a frontal wave of tannins that also hit right off the bat, quite dry and relentless. The mid palate is more red cherry meets blackberry, with a nice acidic touch to refresh the palate. The tannins are certainly players here, enveloping my gums and making me pucker. The brooding nature of this wine is evident on the palate now as it finishes with crunchy black berries, that tannic grip and some toasty oak nuances. The finish is quite long. I was not sure what to expect from this wine, it was part of a SplashWine shipment. I did see it for sale at $12 online and it got 83 points from one reviewer. I would guess it’s got some Syrah, Grenache and maybe a touch of Tempranillo. Who knows…. For me it’s decent for everyday, gets 86 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2024 with some Jamon, a steak or pasta. Salut….
Number two in the virtual line-up was this Nero D’Avola from Sicily. I wanted to add a relatively unknown varietal to try and introduce new wines to my friends. This one was a steal at $12 and scored highly amongst the attendees. I gave it 89 points and will go with 4 stars. It had some very nice black fruits, good tannic structure and a decent finish of licorice and oak adding to plums. Cellar for up to 6 years. A good wine to have in case you need a quick go-to bottle. Salut….
Semi opaque and medium intensity purple. The nose has spicy blueberry jam, candy and licorice. On the palate it is very fruity, dry and mouthwatering. Blackberry paste, cedar shake and iodine caress the tongue while really nice tannins completely coat my gums. It is a luscious mouthfeel if you’re in the mood for some tannic grip. The midpalate and finish carry on the theme and it ends on a nice dry note of black jam, cinnamon, some wood influence and that licorice note. 90 points. Well made and for $12 this is a steal worthy of 5 stars. Drink till 2027 with some sirloins, perhaps venison and definitely roasted veggies. Salut….
Tonight I’m cooking outside the box, chicken livers in peri-peri sauce and some in a Port wine reduction. I’m grilling a pork loin as a backup. So, I needed something white that will take the heat of the spicy sauce, Riesling is the obvious choice.
It’s a light shade of yellow in the glass, the nose is very fresh with citrus, melon, apple peel. On the palate it’s quite sweet, round and full bodied. It’s not as focused and acidic as I was hoping for, it’s more of a salmon or pate on toast kinda wine. It will work I think, but the style is wrong for the pairing.
The palate offers up yellow pear, banana, melon and a touch of candied apple. Not a lemon or lime in sight. The midpalate is really rich, expanding into those flavors whilst the finish is short and sweet- literally. I’m enjoying this wine all by itself, really tasty and easy to drink. I’m going 89 points and 4 stars for this $12 bottle. 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….
Pretty purple color with long legs showing. On the nose it is enticing with blackberry, cola, toasty oak and black cherry. The palate echoes those dark notes alongside juicy acidity and tight grained tannins. There’s an inky component on the mid palate and those tannins just keep on going. The finish has some licorice alongside black cherry and that oak note. It’s a very pleasurable wine with nice, young mouthfeel that will entertain a hearty meal, steaks, pasta or some rich cheese. I really like it and for $12, would stock some for a dark stormy night to sip on by the fire. Drink till 2026. 90 points and 5 stars. Salut….
This rose’ is quite dark, almost orange in the glass. On the nose I get Lychee, rose water and strawberry. The palate is crisp, with red berries, strawberry and honey. There is a vibrant acidity which is in check that gives the wine a freshness. The honey component carries through the mid palate where I get more red berries. The finish is decent with a lingering tartness alongside that strawberry component. Overall a very charming and easy drinking summer rose’ that begs for burgers, some salami and olives or just by itself poolside. 88 points and 3 stars for this $12 Grenache from France. Drink till 2020. Salut….