A very clean, pure purple of lighter opacity in the glass. On the nose black cherry, espresso and currant extract. On the palate I get black fruits, a hint of cassis, vanilla and coffee bean. The mid palate exhibits a lighter shade of the berries, somewhat more reedy. The finish shows off tart black berries and slight tannins. They build up after a while to a dry finish. I’m doing Chorizo tacos as a potential pairing…. we will see how that works. 89 points and 3 stars for this $14 wine. Drink till 2022. Salut….
Another in the low priced series that I have been working through. This one rings in at $14. It has a nice medium intensity of purple in the glass. The nose is very rich with plums, black berry and leather. On the palate it is more fruit forward than I had imagined. Very upfront with plums, cedar shavings and a touch of eucalyptus. There is a really delicious mid palate core of sweet black cherry that I am thoroughly enjoying. Tannins are very smooth, balanced and lithe. The finish exhibits a nice acidity and more plums. The dry leather component I found earlier appear ever so slightly and rounds out the finish. This is a very tasty wine, which gets 91 points from me- contrary to the 89-90 ratings the pro’s gave it. I think it will pair well with tonights flat iron steaks, Buffalo Cauliflower and sautéed asparagus. Certainly a 5 star wine that I think will get stocked up on. Summer party season is here and this one is front and center. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
Another one in the value range I am working through from Costco. It retailed for $14. In the glass it is very see-through, pale and fresh looking. Strawberry, hay and some pomegranate hit me on the nose, typical for young Sangiovese. The wine is rather light on the initial palate, strawberry and some cherry juice are the predominant flavors. The mid palate is very juicy, the acidity being prominent but curtailed by some nice tannins that appear toward the finish. Basic flavors, easy to drink and priced right. I would pair it with pizza, pasta and maybe roast chicken on the charcoal. 88 points from me and 4 stars. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
A perennial favorite and surefire go-to wine that delivers consistency, value and widespread availability. It shows off a deep purple in the glass. The nose is full of blue fruit, coffee bean, a touch of oak. On the palate I sense some very lithe tannins that are very ingrained with blueberry, elderberry, cedar. The wine transitions very nicely to the mid palate and the finish gives me a definitive red currant note. The mouthfeel is very smooth, balanced and easygoing, making this a very flexible wine to pair with a variety of dishes. Cheese comes to mind as do the Sirloins I am grilling, with some Steamed Artichokes. The tannins are the longest running portion of this wine, leaving a definitive dry streak on the gums for quite a while. Not a hugely complex wine, it serves its purpose as an everyday drinker, capable of pairing with meats, pasta, cheese or all by its lonesome. Drink now. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
It’s not often at a restaurant that someone walks past your table, plops a half finished bottle down and says ‘Enjoy’! Well, that’s what happened the other night at a Bay Area steak house where I was having dinner with Moxie and Jet, my number 3 son. I was already well into the 2014 Spellbound, but I took the time out to make a very brief taste test of this Aussie blend of Cabernet and Shiraz.
Gorgeous nose. Blueberry, blackberry and açaí berry. The palate shows off abrupt tannins, nice finish and good structure. 89 points. I researched it and found out it retails for $14, making it a 5 star wine in my books. (Sorry about the abbreviated review, but this one was obviously not planned!). Salut….
In my continued quest to to discover Portuguese wines, I have come across this $14 effort that piqued my interest. It is an equal blend of Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. My first hint is the 14.5% alcohol. The second is the deep, dark purple color in the glass. Both, to me, indicate an extracted, powerful wine that will grab me and not let go. I’m ready for it.
On the nose, I get the telltale Syrah notes- Plum, oak, cocoa. The wine has amazing ‘legs’ indicative of the alcohol content. The initial taste is as predicted, full on, powerful and alluring. The wine starts off with black berry, black currants and a delightful set of tannins that prop the wine up rather than detract from the fruit. The mid palate shows off more dark fruit and some earthiness. Tannic structure is great and they start to peak on the finish where menthol and anise flavors intertwine with berries. I am digging this wine and like the flavor profile. It has the correct structure to age for 2-5 years and is drinking well now if you like them a touch dry. I have to go 90 points and 5 stars for this wine. Salut….
It’s been a while since I had this brand, always dependable in the white arena. The wine starts off very pale yellow in the glass. The nose offers up peach, pineapple and some pecan nut. It is really a different profile, but enjoyable nonetheless. The palate shows off lemon curd, stone fruit, cardamom and a crisp green apple note. The wine is juicy, like mouth watering. The acidity is ever so present and persistent yet not obtrusive. The mid palate is more of the star fruit meets pineapple variety. It is unique and tasty. The finish is rather short and tart with some more of the lemon hints. I pulled this wine out for the Blackened Salmon with Garlic infused Kale that I am preparing. I’m onto something with this pairing. If you haven’t read my Evolution of a wine drinker, now is a good time to go back to 2014 when I wrote it. The same rings true today. Drink this wine now and for the next 5 years. 90 points and 5 stars for this $14 perennial go-to Riesling. Salut….
When I see a wine that advertises a 97 point Decanter (or any other reputable critic for that matter) rating that I can get for under $14 it’s a must try. So I bought a bunch of this back in 2015 and forgot about them, until now. The wine is a medium purple with a touch of orange. On the nose, very fresh aromas of black cherry, blueberry and some oak. On the palate I get just what I was hoping for. Vibrant blue fruits, rich plum, some creosote and olive. The wine has a tannic streak that starts at the beginning and crescendos at the finish. The mid palate shows off some Tempranillo earthiness and some rhubarb, the sour kind. That is where I sense acidity and it balances the package nicely. The finish is medium in length and has hints of spice box and more earthiness. A blend of Tempranillo and Garanacha. I can’t see 97 points, more like 90. Having said that- for the price, it’s a major 5 star wine. Drink till 2025. I’m having Chorizo, a Spanish style salad and grilled asparagus with mine. Salut….
I would describe the color as ‘peachy’. The nose does in fact offer up some peach stone, banana and pineapple. Intriguing. On the palate I get more stone fruits, some pear and a citrusy hint. The acidity is very subdued here, which is a welcome change. The mouthfeel, especially on the midpalate is very nice, gentle and somewhat unctuous on the tail end. The finish is very refreshing with green pear and a lemon component. This wine certainly has a lot going on with a very easy going structure. I’m really enjoying it while cooking up some pasta that will be finished with lobster and fresh veggies. 89 points and for $14 this will be a repeat 4 star wine. Salut….
Very see-through purple, almost Pinot like. Nose of cherries Jubilee with licorice and mocha. On the palate I get a really nice, smooth intro to some cherry kirsch, a strawberry note and some more exotic spices. The acidity is on pointe here, creating just the right amount of tartness yet leaving room for the lithe tannins to make an appearance. On the mid palate I get more of the same, but with the addition of some mushrooms and a bit of gaminess. It is bizarre. The finish wraps up with the tannins taking control and leaving the mouth pleasantly dry, to the gums. I am really enjoying this rather light, refreshing wine that has some serious complexity. I must go with 90 points and recommend it for a nice summer evening with charcuterie, perhaps some olive tapenade on crusty baguette. For $14 you can’t go wrong. 5 stars and drink till 2024. Salut….