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….
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….