It’s mid-June and I need a refreshing drink. This one is labelled as a Brut, meaning it can have up to 12 g/l of sugar. After a bit of digging I found it runs 6.3 g/l, just slightly into the Brut category. It shows 11.5% ABV, which is normal for a traditional method sparkling wine. The color is medium lemon and the mousse is quite fine. On the nose I get aromas of brioche, Meyer lemon zest, cinnamon, toast, biscuit, Mandarin orange and vanilla lollipop. The palate is actually quite dry with delightfully fine bubbles that tickle ever so slightly. Medium acidity creates a defining cut to the wine and the autolytic flavors I got on the nose are all present with the citrusy notes focusing more on a lemon and Meyer lemon profile with a touch of green apple. I don’t get any vanilla or cinnamon at this stage. The finish is medium in length and the wine is very balanced. I have to say, this $12 sparkling wine is a stunning value that gets 89 points from me. This 5 star effort is one to buy by the case to have handy, you never know! I’m pairing mine with clams and pasta. Drink now. Salut….
This Spanish wine is a blend of 75% Garnacha and 25% Cariñena. It is medium ruby colored:nothing too exciting there. The nose is a bit off-putting to me. As an amateur I’m allowed to add personal opinion. I don’t like candy aromas and flavors in my wine. This one is loaded with cherry hard candy and ripe raspberry. Other notes include maraschino cherry, a touch of baking spice and some very feint charcoal. The palate is…. interesting. I would like to say it is dry, yet I sense some sweetness via red cherry and really ripe raspberry. I’ll say this- it’s very smooth and easy to drink. Medium tannins and acidity coupled with a lighter weight body make it a slippery wine that finishes dry and lasts a decent amount of time. Not complex by any stretch, this $12 …85 pointer gets 2 stars from me. I just don’t care for it. Drink now.
It’s labeled as a Rosso Italia which means there is no rules the winemaker had to play by as far as varietals, blending, aging etc. It’s the way it should be if you ask me- let the winemaker make the choices, not hamstrung by Byzantine Old World rules.
It is a deep claret color with medium intensity aromas of red cherry, blackcurrant, ripe plum, baking spice and a touch of charcoal. The palate is dry and grippy with upfront, somewhat green tannins. Medium (-) acidity, medium body and short finish. The flavors are much more focused on blackcurrant and cherry, with a hint of spice and oak influence peeking out from behind the tannic veil. The astringency is a little much to be honest, this is either a very young wine, or just out of balance. At $12 per bottle it is a handy blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cab Sav that get 88 point from me. Drink this 4 star wine with meaty dishes or hearty pasta till 2025. Salut….
In my continued Port education I bough this Ruby to further get to grips with the various styles. It is deep ruby colored- who would have thought. The nose has medium intensity aromas of blackberry jam, raisins, blueberry pie, a touch of heat, prunes and a walnut-like note. The palate is off-dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins. The body is medium (+) but I don’t get a hint of the heat I caught on the nose- good thing. The fruit is very fresh if you can call prunes and raisins fresh-tasting! Anyways, the palate offers up the jammy and cooked flavors I got on the nose minus the walnuts. The wine leaves a coating of lithe tannins on my gums at the finish which is medium length. An interesting sensation to say the least. It is making me purse my lips, wanting more of this elixir. I like it and at $12 it is very easy to stock up on. 89 points from me makes this my new favorite 5-star Port. Drink fresh. Salut….
I have been getting into Grenache more and more lately so when this bottle showed up with 9 years of cellaring- I had to try it. In the glass it is of medium opacity and still bright ruby. The nose has earthy Spanish dirt alongside blackberry, blackcurrant, vanilla, bramble, dried herbs and eucalyptus. The palate is gorgeous. The richness and freshness of the black fruit is amazing. The earthiness is somewhat subdued, allowing the fruit to shine. Lithe tannins and medium acidity make for a lighter than expected body but the mouthfeel is great. The finish is short but makes me reach for more, it’s that delicious. My pairing is Lamb chops and roasted sweet potatoes. This wine has plenty of age but is youthful. Drink till 2028 and for $12, this 90 point wine is a 5 star winner. Salut….
If you read my previous post on the Guillaume Pinot Noir, this Rioja is the second bottle we tasted. Like the Pinot, this one has suffered some severe cork damage to the point where I had to drain the wine through a hole in the middle of the cork and filter it into a decanter. Having said that it’s drinking beautifully and is full of tertiary flavors with a little bit of primal fruit left alongside fully melded tannins. Leather, game, steeped plum and cinnamon stick are all present. Typical for Rioja Tempranillo this one has a dusty component to go alongside the flavors of dried fruit and sage. I love Crianza’s from Spain, the oak influence is always well done and delicious. This brand is always consistent with a good reason; decently priced wines that apparently have good cellaring capacity even if stored incorrectly. 90 points for this $12 bottle make it an absolute steal. Salut….
I have just signed up for some formalized wine training. In the package that I received from them is a systematic approach to tasting wine guide that I’m supposed to use when I drink wines. This will be my first attempt at using such a guide, but I will revert back to my old ways every once in a while. I tasted the 2017 version of this Pinot Noir previously and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope I get as much bang for the buck out of this newer offering.
Intensity is pale, the color is ruby and the nose is of medium intensity with primary flavors of cherry, strawberry and cinnamon stick. The pallet is off-dry in terms of sweetness with medium acidity, low tannins, low alcohol, light body. Light flavor intensity with primary notes of more cherry, strawberry, rooibos tea and spice box. The finish is medium in length and I find this wine to have acceptable if not good quality. On my own scale it gets 89 points with a drinking window till 2026. Serve with lighter fare such as chicken on the grill or a linguine dish.The use of oak is very deft here but it’s evident by some cloves and a bit of smoke on the tail end. At $ 12, it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Easy to drink, easy on the wallet- by the case for immediate drinking! Salut….
This Tempranillo blend is 10 years old but still showing youth in the glass- inky purple and opaque. The nose is classic Rioja with leather, bramble, blackberry and singed alder. I love that combo. The palate is showing just a touch of age with tertiary nuances popping up. Black currants, juicy acidity and medium strength tannins all greet me. The leather, alder and dried bramble notes are also present. The mid palate has a vanilla component as well as coffee bean. Black licorice hits me on the back end where the finish is a touch dry and long. Black cherry, blackberry and tertiary flavors are persistent, as is the juicy acidity and tannic grip. This wine was a steal at $12. It is still young and should drink nicely till 2027. I am pairing it with grilled Hanger steak, air fried potatoes and steamed asparagus. 90 points and 5 stars. Salut….
I love Cab Franc as a standalone varietal. It offers up so much sophistication, is svelte and has great structure. Found mainly in blends, it does really well on its own in my book. This one is bright purple and semi opaque in the glass. The nose is exploding as it just sits there, I can smell it a mile away. Black pepper, violets, spice box and black raspberry all greet me. The palate is very muscular and fruity. Rich purple fruit notes alongside the spiciness make for an interesting taste. Very nice tannins are present from the get go, but not over powering. Oak nuances are present as is a fair dose of acidity. The mid palate is a touch less dry, with the flavors turning a little darker. Black currants take over alongside some tea notes. The finish is quite dry and decent in length. I am enjoying this rather full bodied wine, it’s not as perfumed and lithe as I was expecting but it will rock my Goat stew for dinner. Other pairings would include grilled Hanger steak with Frites or even Lamb Chops with mint sauce. 90 points for this $12 stunner make it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Gorgeous pale orange color. Nose of strawberries, lemon peel and some clementine. On the palate it is bright with those same flavors, a touch of acidity and a long finish. It’s got a great mouthfeel and just the right amount cut to keep it refreshing, light and flavorful. A delicious way to start the evening. Drink this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault now with appetizers. 88 points and 4 stars, $12. Salut….