My second Nouveau of the season, following on from the delicious Georges DuBœf on release night. This one is medium purple, a touch less opaque that the previous. The nose has pronounced aromas of grape bubble gum, banana, red cherry candy (red licorice) and a touch of spice. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very low tannins. Medium (-) bodied, I get flavors of grape bubble gum, grape jelly, cherry candy, and red licorice. It is a bit one-dimensional compared to the previous bottle. The finish is short but the tartness rolls on for a while. Not my favorite. 84 points and for $12, 2 stars. Drink now. Salut….
The third Thursday in November is an auspicious day for Beaujolais- the official release of the year’s Nouveau happens around the world at the same time. It started as a marketing ploy to get people to buy the relatively cheap, easygoing wine. Fresh out of stainless steel tanks where it was Carbonically Macerated, this alternative method of producing wine from the Gamay grape makes for unique flavors and textures. Georges DuBœf invented the craze so it seemed fitting that I try his $12 effort first.
Deep purple in the glass with watery legs (13% ABV). The nose is classic Nouveau/Carbonic. Bright grapey aromas, purple bubble gum, zingy cherries, red currants and red licorice. The palate is dry with medium acidity and very low tannins, if any. The red fruit and candy are very present whilst the grapey component is not as prominent. The wine is mouthwatering on the back end and has a medium (-) body. The length of the finish is shortish but I am really enjoying the freshness and vibrancy that is has to offer. Keep in mind this wine is meant for immediate consumption, it should keep for a year or so. I like it for what it is and would pair it with roasted chicken, grilled swordfish or even a pasta dish with red sauce. 90 points makes it a 5 star effort. Go and get a bottle if you have never tried this style of wine- unique! Salut….
Pale lemon colored this Sur-lie aged wine has bright aromas of lemon curd, white blossom, vanilla bean and a hint of brioche. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (-) body. It’s quite tart with flavors of lemon, grapefruit, white flower blossom and linalool. I was hoping for some more vanilla bean and brioche but alas, it’s more of a citrus event. The finish is medium to long in length and tangy with some fresh acidity. I am really starting to like the Melon grape and how they make it in the Pais Nantais of the Loire Valley. 91 points for this outstanding white that I’m pairing with baked Cod and spiced rice. For $12 this is a 5 star effort to drink the near term. Salut….
Amber wine is a new one for me, and this bottling is touted as a natural wine- no added yeast or sulphur. The color is….amber, shocker. The nose has pronounced aromas of apricots, marzipan and white blossom. The palate is dry with some toothsome tannins and medium (-) acidity. It’s a strange sensation to smell something that conjures up thoughts of sweetness and then taste something completely different. The flavor profile of this medium bodied wine includes apricot, peach, green almonds and white flowers. The finish is a touch bitter from the skin contact that a white wine gets when made into an orange wine. It is quite lengthy btw, and the astringency falls off faster than the fruit. An interesting intro to this style of wine, especially since it is made with minimal intervention. I cannot score it as this is unfamiliar territory, but for $12 it is worth trying if for nothing else than to expand your palate. I am simmering up a pot full of spicy chili, I think this pairing will work. Salut….
Inky ruby colored, this opaque wine looks nearly purple in the glass. The nose has an interesting combination of (French?) oak derived aromas alongside red cherry, pomegranate and raspberry notes. I smell subtle perfume along with spices and a green leaf note. The palate of this blend of Castelão, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional wine is bone dry with medium (+) acidity and high tannins. Flavors of black raspberry, cherry cola, pomegranate along with smoke, spice and tomato leaf. Medium bodied it finishes medium length with some tartness and loads of tannic grip. If you like a dry wine or need something to cut through a fatty cut of Ribeye, this one is right up your alley- or else decant/aerate it for a while. Drink till 2028. 89 points and 5 stars for this $12 effort. Salut….
Medium lemon colored this wine has energetic aromas of citrus, bruised papaya, peach and a green, herbaceous note. The palate is dry but you can sense an aromatic quality to this fragrant wine. The fruit tastes riper than the nose and that’s probably where I got the bruised papaya note from. Citrus driven, there is also some herbal notes. Medium acidity provides a bit of cut on the initial attack. Body-wise this is a medium (-) affair that finishes medium length and a touch tart. I like it for an aperitif and perhaps to pair with lighter fare. It’s a good hot weather bottle that gets 87 points from me and for $12- 4 stars. Drink now. Salut….
Pale lemon colored, this wine has medium aromas of lemon/lime, overripe papaya, chocolate (yup, the milky kind), saline, wet slate and juniper. The palate is dry yet shows off ripe fruit sweetness. The acidity is quite high and the body is full. Flavors of citrus and ripe papaya are predominant with some floral/aromatic notes coming through. I don’t get the chocolate on the palate but there is crisp minerality. The finish is full of flavor and mid length- a delicious wine. I would give this bottle 90 points and drink it till 2024. My pairing tonight is with pan roasted scallops over a veggie pasta. A stunner for under $12 that gets 5 stars. Salut….
Gamza is a new grape to me- indigenous to Bulgaria. In the glass the wine is deep ruby colored, not bad for a 6 year old bottle. The nose is very interesting- violets, black plum, blackberry, purple licorice, vanilla, tomato leaf and blueberry pie. The palate is dry with low tannins and medium acidity. I get an initial stab of charred wood and blackberry on the palate which subsides to vanilla, plum, floral notes and some herbal touches. Full bodied, it seems a touch astringent from slightly green tannins. The finish is short and a bit green but generally pleasant. Not a bad drop for $12 that gets 87 points and 3 stars from me. Drink till 2026 with wild game dishes or grilled lamb chops. Salut….
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.