Pale lemon-lime colored with a watery sheen on the glass walls (12.5%ABV). The nose of this aromatic Torrontes has intense aromas of papaya, apricot, geranium, honeysuckle, mandarin oranges, white tea and bergamot. Intriguing! The nose smells of ripe, sweet fruit so there is a preconception that this wine will have some sweetness- au contraire. It is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (-) body. A touch bitter right off the bat, the flavors of apricot, geranium, white tea and honeysuckle carry through to a medium length finish that I am enjoying. I’m really starting to like this varietal, it is very tasty with crisp acidity and holds many interesting flavors and aromas. 88 points from me. I am serving it as an aperitif while I cook dinner. It would pair with a Cobb salad, poached chicken on quinoa or even a hard cheese board. For $13 it’s a 4 star effort. Drink now. Salut….
Opaque, deep purple colored with slow moving legs (14% ABV). The nose has aromas of dark plum, black cherry, purple licorice and a touch of smoke and coffee. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and bold tannins that cover my cheeks. Flavors of black cherry, blackberry and black plum with coffee and smoke on the back end. There is a touch of bitterness on the finish showing perhaps some greeness in the tannins? Full bodied with a medium finish, this is going to pair well with my grilled Tri-tip and Boerewors sausage. Not overly complex or rich, it is tasty and easygoing wine with short term cellaring capacity. I would drink this 87 pointer till 2025 and for $13 it’s a 4 star effort to stock up on for barbecues and parties. Salut….
This blend of Shiraz is a medium shade of garnet in the glass with defined legs (15% ABV). The nose has pronounced aromas of black plum, black raspberry, blackberry, cinnamon and dill. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and very supple tannins. Medium bodied- this delicious wine has very ripe fruit flavors of plum, dark raspberry and black cherry with some licorice, pepper and cedar. The alcohol shows up on the back end with a touch of heat on the throat, which was to be expected. The finish is medium in length and I get dark red and black fruit with some oak notes. Really delightful wine that gets 89 points from me and at $13 it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Drink over the short term with some braised beef ribs or perhaps a roast leg of lamb. Salut….
Pale ruby with a hint of red on the edges. The nose has medium intensity aromas of raspberry, rose petal, red cherry, baking spice, pomegranate and red currant. The palate is dry with low tannins and high acidity. Flavorful- it has a medium body and I get candied cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, red currant and baking spice. The balance is nice but the wine finishes a bit short. I like it and would pair it with roast chicken, grilled Mackerel or even baked Salmon. 88 points and for $13 you can enjoy this 3 star wine till 2025 whilst tasting the sunshine of the South of France. Salut….
As the name implies- this is a very coffee-driven wine. Pinotage takes to heavily toasted oak barrels like a fish to water- this is where the winemaker can add the definitive coffee notes if they so choose. This particular bottle is a pale-to-medium ruby with a blue tinge (lower acid). On the nose I got pronounced aromas of coffee, some dark chocolate, tar, blackberry compote, forest floor and mulberry. My notes include a ‘fish?’ notation, might have been a passing moment. On the palate the wine has medium (-) acidity (remember the blue tinge?), medium (+) body and medium tannins. I noted it was quite earthy but the structural components made for a great mouthfeel and it ended with a decent length finish. For $13, this 89 point wine earns a respectable 4 stars from me and could pair nicely with Venison, BBQ, Pulled Pork or any other highly flavored dish. See my notes on the 2016 Barista. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I did a tasting at a wine bar recently and this was the opener- a classic Sauvignon Blanc from NZ. Pale lemon colored with heady aromas of cut grass, gooseberry, cat pee (yes, it’s a thing), tangerine, lemon rind, melon and Passion fruit. High acidity and a medium body were to be expected and this varietally true wine delivered! It runs $13 and gets 90 points from me making it a 5 star effort to drink soon. Salut….
Medium ruby colored this IGT level wine comes in at 14.5% ABV which is contrary to the fast moving legs on the glass walls. I get aromas (muted btw) of dark cherry, lavender, iron, crushed rock, blackberry and violets. The palate is dry with high acidity and medium tannins. Ripe black cherry, blackberry coulis, purple florals and some stoney minerality mix with a blackened cedar slate component. The body is full and the wine finishes medium (+) in length with a touch of heat which is unusual for me to sense. I like this rather silky brute, it presents itself with structure and fruit alongside some oak influence and unabashedly does so for $13. It gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. Drink till 2028 with hearty dishes. A blend of Malvasia and Negroamara that has been air-dried on mats and then pressed after the grapes have raisined. Salut….
Medium to deep lemon colored this Chardonnay has medium intensity aromas of citrus, pineapple, yellow apple, geranium and cherry leaf. The palate is dry with medium acidity and a medium (+) body. Flavors of lemon, grapefruit, pomelo and pineapple prevail and luckily for me- no Diacetyl from MLF. I was not in the mood for a big, buttery, over-oaked Chard. This is going to go beautifully with our grilled Chermoula spiced Shrimp and Spanish rice. 87 points from me for this $13 wine makes it a 4 star effort. Drink now. Salut….
Deep purple- gamy on the nose with licorice, garigue, raspberry and black fruit. Charred wood notes and stewed blackberry finish it off. On the palate this Grenache/Syrah blend is dry with somewhat coarse tannins, medium (-) acidity and a medium body. I get definitive game and earthy notes with dark red fruit and oak influence from the charred wood. Licorice is quite present. The tannins smooth out towards the back end where the finish is medium in length and includes a Lapsang Souchong tea component. A very serviceable wine that gets 88 points from me to drink till 2026. At $13 it’s a relative bargain that gets 4 stars. Salut….
Medium gold in the glass, this dessert style wine from Greece has pronounced aromas of honey, orange marmalade, blossom, a hint of lychee, some rose water and soursop. On the palate it is medium sweet with medium acidity, a full body and medium (-) intensity flavors. The mouthfeel is really pleasant, not cloying- more like a refreshing sticky. The finish is medium length and accentuates the honey component with orange notes. This wine retails for $13. That’s a steal IMO. 88 points from me makes it a 4 star effort to have laying around in case you need something sweet after dinner. Stock up. Salut….