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….
I’m cooking two roasts tonight- a Moroccan herbed leg of Lamb and a seasoned Coulotte with riced brocolli and a North African inspired vegetal medley on a bed of Barley and Arugula. I need a bold, tannic wine for this and so I delved into the nether regions of Georgia for this Saperavi.
Opaque purple with some thin legs showing off the 13% ABV. The nose has pronounced aromas of grape, smoky oak, vanilla, dark cherry and spice box. Cloves and sweet blackcurrant round it out. I am intrigued by the raw grape scent- it’s not often you come across this basic component. The palate is exactly what I was hoping for. Dry, medium (+) tannins with good acidity. Plenty of primary fruit flavors and oak hints are evident on this medium (-) bodied wine that has a shortish finish. The freshness of the grape flavor is very unique. I like it. The charred oak in this one is quite apparent. Whilst not overly complex, it is a nicely balanced wine that will pair well with my multitude of flavors. I would drink this wine by 2024 with hearty meat dishes. 88 points and 3 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
It’s the night after all the Christmas guests (family) have left and Moxie and I are recovering. A Lodi Cab Sav to pair with leftover Prime Rib seems in order. This one is nearly opaque and bright ruby in the glass. The nose is an interesting mix of pomegranate, plum, blackberry and black currant. Sweet cassis, a touch of oak and some pie crust hit me after a good swirl. The palate is tannic right off the bat with grippy sensations on my gums and teeth. The dark fruit flavors are pronounced with some oak and pie nuances in there as well. Medium bodied it has a shortish finish but I am having a hard time with the tannins which are overtaking any semblance of acidity on the back end. Slightly unbalanced structurally I think this will pass as the tannins integrate and allow the fruit and acidity to all play together on a more even keel. Aerate this wine or cellar it for a while and you will be rewarded. I would drink it from 2023 till 2028 with all plethora of grilled meats and hearty stews. 89 points for this $13 wine makes it a 5 star effort. Salut….
I would say this wine is of medium opacity and has purple to ruby color. I can smell it a few feet away but as I nose in I get red cherry, leather, dried herbs, smoke and pomegranate. The palate is sour, as expected from this varietal. Juicy acidity and medium tannins give way to flavors of cherry, leather, dusty herbs and oak influences from smoke. This wine is still primal, the red fruit is very prominent whilst the tertiary and secondary flavors and aromas are muted. The sourness is evident till the back end yet the tannins recede somewhat from the opening push. The wine is medium bodied and has a short finish. I think it needs to flesh out a little, it will improve with age. I would eventually pair this wine with Schnitzel, stuffed green peppers or any pasta with red sauce. 89 points from me for this $13 wine make it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2023-2028. Salut….
Moxie and I went to a pre-theater dinner in downtown Philly. The food was really good but the wine list was quite shabby, they offered 5 reds which retail in the stores for $12-18 per bottle and none got a rating over 86. I was forced to choose one and settled on this Argentinian Malbec. Here is my brief review:
Opaque, nose of crushed stone, plum, blackberry. Soft mouthfeel with lithe tannins, gentle acidity and medium intensity flavors. Medium bodied with a medium length finish. 86 points. Drink now. $13 makes it a 3 star effort. It was okay, just not great. Salut….
This bottle was a gift, for delivering a rescue dog to her new home in upstate New York. We had fostered Victoria for a month and when it was time for her to meet new friends- it was off to the horse farm with her. The new family were super happy to meet her and gave me two bottles of the local reds. This one is a blend of 49% Merlot, 40% Cab Franc and 11% Syrah.
Semi opaque, bright ruby. The nose is medium intense and gives me red cherry, red currants, raspberry, red plum and spice box- like baking spices. The palate is dry, medium bodied and has juicy acidity and mid grade tannins. The fruit flavors are of medium intensity and I get the red notes as well as the spice. There is very little oak showing but I do get a strange sensation, almost like effervescence yet there are no bubbles. It’s unique, something new to me. As I drink more of it there is a definitive red cherry candy component and the glass wafts a touch of straw if swirled a lot. The tannins I mentioned are very lithe yet hang on for a long time, far longer than the fruit which is pretty decent in length. Overall, it’s a decent drop that gets 87 points from me. It runs $13 and gets 3 stars from me. Drink now with lighter fare, perhaps a pasta dish with veggies. Salut….
Many years ago I bought the 2009 Prima and wrote about it- I liked the wine and my clumsy notes reflected that so when I saw this 2015 it took zero time for me to add it to my cart. I think I paid $13 for this Tempranillo. It is deep ruby in the glass and the nose has medium intensity aromas of dried cherry, blackberry jam, charred wood, leather and earth. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins. High alcohol and medium (+) body with medium intensity flavors of black cherry, dried black cherry, blackberry, charred wood and those typical Spanish notes of leather and earth. The finish is decent in length and is nice and tannic. I like this wine and will go 90 points, it will drink well till 2026 and pair with charred steak. For the price it gets 5 stars from me. Glad I ran into an old friend. Salut….
I just fired up the Big Green Egg to char some Picahna steaks- they will need a bold, tannic wine so I picked this young Cab Sav. It’s pretty opaque in the glass and shows watery legs, which makes sense for a 13.5% ABV wine. The nose has nice aromas of red plum, black plum, black currants, spice box, cedar and chocolate nibs. The palate is very smooth, with lithe tannins and juicy acidity- I was hoping for a more dry and tannic wine but the acidity will have to suffice in cutting the fat from the steaks. The fruit is very evident with red and black notes mingling with the cedar and spices. It has a touch of sweetness from the ripeness of the berries but I doubt it has any residual sugar- akin to a light preserve/jam. The tannins are very svelte on the medium length finish which is still chock full of fruit, I really like it! Overall this is a good wine that will drink nicely till 2024 with Filet, roast Cornish Hens or even a pasta dish. 89 points from me make this $13 effort a 5 star wine. Salut….
A medium lemon-green in the glass with watery legs. The nose of this indigenous Georgian wine is very crisp and refreshing with lemon, lime, apricot and a floral component. On the palate it is dry and tart, with crisp flavors of citrus, sour green apple and elderflower. The acidity is medium but the palate is definitely tart. I get a medium finish that is very refreshing, perfect for a hot evening. I am pairing mine with grilled shrimp on a bed of salad. It will go well with a charcuterie board, tapas or just by itself poolside. Delicious and reasonable at $13 it gets 88 points from me making it a 4 star wine. Drink soon. Salut….
I have never tried this grape variety (Saperavi) and in my research found out that it is a red skinned grape that also has red juice. This is not typical as most red grapes have clear juice. This bottle hails from Georgia, the birthplace of wine so they tell me. It is paler than I thought it would be but a lovely shade of ruby in the glass. At 12.5% ABV I was not expecting much in the legs department either. The nose is bright and airy with cherry, raspberry, rhubarb and believe it or not- a touch of alcohol. The palate is off-dry, with just a hint of sweetness. I like it- goes with the light and fruity nose. It is very lithe yet has a nice acidic crunch. Cherry, cedar and sour strawberry all lead me to think this could be a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. It’s unique and delightful. The tannins are very gentle and caressing, with a decent length finish. I am really enjoying this wine which I picked to pair with Pork Tenderloin. I think it’s delicacy will go well with the mild white meat. 88 points from me for this $13 find that gets 4 stars. Try it if you can find it, it’s gonna be a great summer sundowner. Salut….