This wine kicked off our 4th Virtual Wine Tasting. As in the past, I had all the attendees reserve half the bottle at room temperature and the other half chilled. My brief notes include a very nice shade of light gold in the glass. The nose was very floral and included grapefruit, citrus, green apple and pear. The palate was very much in line with the nose and had a modicum of tangy acidity, citrus and floral notes with a decent length finish. The room temperature version offered a much fuller nose, more emphasis on the flowers while the chilled version focused on the citrus and acidic components. Both were delicious but I preferred the cold version whilst scoring the room temp slightly higher using my own 20 point scale. Interestingly, the nose of this wine did not exhibit the telltale cat pee aromas that I usually note in Kiwi Sav-Blancs. I don’t necessarily miss it, but I was hoping to showcase it as a prominent feature of the varietal from this region. The wine did display some nice minerality that is reminiscent of a French Sancerre. I am going with 90 points and 5 stars for this $14 deal. Try and stock up for the hot summer and pair it with steamed shrimp, grilled fish or chicken breast and salad. Drink till 2024. Salut….
The second wine of our virtual tasting was this Lodi blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cab Sav. The nose was magnificent- lush, jammy blackberry, cocoa, dark plums. The palate was a different matter. We all immediately sensed a certain sweetness that we were not expecting. The wine is very fruity and concentrated with loads of black fruits. Tannins are apparent but not overbearing and there is a decent level of acidity to make for a nice mouthfeel. The cloying fruit however was a detractor for many in the group. Funnily enough, it was voted the best wine by a third of the attendees. I guess that sweetness appeals to some but not all. Each to his own. For me it was an 86 point wine that I feel was a little too manufactured and lacked finesse relying heavily on gobs of jammy fruit. Drink now. For $14 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
Pale purple in the glass. The nose gives off violets, black currants, sweet oak and vanilla bean. On the palate it’s just what I expected- dark fruits, woody, fresh and tart. The acidity is delicious in this one, keeps me on my toes. The black fruit core really pushes through the mid palate. There are some barely discernible tannins that finally appear on the finish alongside some wintergreen. Refreshing is the phrase that comes to mind. The tannic bite coupled with the acidity on the finish is really a treat. 88 points, drink now till 2021 with pasta, pizza or charcuterie. 3 stars for this $14 Sangiovese/Cab/Merlot blend. Salut….
Very light shade of yellow/orange in the glass. The nose offers spiced lemon zest, some green apples and honeysuckle. The palate is crisp, with gobs of the green apple, some citrus and a modicum of acidity. The mid palate softens and has a glycerin-like mouthfeel. The green fruits are alive and well. The tail end gives me a note of hazelnut- intriguing. It’s rather a short finish but it is well balanced. This wine will drink nicely till 2023 and I would pair it with salad Niçoise, herbed chicken breast or even a stir fry. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 quaffer. Salut….
Semi opaque in the glass. The nose is straight up Napa sunshine. Black currants galore, like Ribena. Licorice and cola are present to a degree. On the palate it’s as expected- rich, warm blackcurrants, lithe tannins, juicy acidity and some star anise. The iodine comes back alongside Maduro with blackberry jam on the midpalate. The structure of this wine is decent, the tannins are of medium intensity and the acidity is in check. The finish ends on a dry note of black tea, blackberry and more iodine. Quite tasty and worthy of 90 points. Drink till 2027 with charcuterie or a marbled steak. $14 and 5 stars. Salut….
I did not make notes on the first night, palate fatigue…On night two- it’s a rich purple and opaque. On the nose it’s very earthy with notes of tobacco, iodine and blackberry. On the palate it is very interesting- the uniqueness of the secondary flavors piques my interest. Black cherries come out along with very concise tannins. There’s a touch of astringency on the midpalate that I’m willing to overlook- the wine is multilayered enough for me to concentrate on the other facets. It’s interesting, of decent quality and intriguing. The finish leaves me with a desire for another mouthful. 89 points 5 stars for this $14 Merlot/Cab/Franc blend. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I drank an Inniskillin Pinot last summer that blew my socks off. I wanted to find it again on a recent trip to Montreal. This was the best the shop had. See through, medium purple. Strawberry ganache and cherry on the nose. The palate- I get sour cherry, charcoal and earthiness. The mid palate is focused, cherry and rhubarb. On the finish it’s rather short but tannins emerge to round it out. 89 points and a little underwhelming considering the hype I built over the other bottle. $14 makes it a 3 star effort to drink till 2026. Salut….
PS. Stock photo as I forgot to take one
Very golden in the glass, beautiful and rich. On the nose I get peach stone, yellow apple, melon. On the palate it’s quite different- I still get peach stone, but the focus is more pineapple, honeydew, lanolin. The mouthfeel is quite full, a nice level of acidity and some glycerin. The mid palate shows off stone fruit and a touch of sour apple. The finish is medium length and continues the theme nicely. This is a good blend of Roussane, Viognier and Marsanne that I would serve with caeser salad, smoked salmon or grilled chicken. 89 points, $14 and 4 stars. Salut….
Very pale yellow in the glass, but interesting to look at. The nose has lemon zest, walnuts, . The palate is fresh, not cutting. I get a citrus component and pineapple. It’s very tasty and easy to drink. The mouthfeel is light and bright, not much acidity and no cloying oak. It’s a wine made for easy foods, appetizers or a poolside quaff. 88 points but a real treat at $14. 3 stars. Salut..
Black. Opaque. Thick. On the nose it’s very lush- burnt damson, plum extract and raisin compote. The palate is thick, rich and exactly what I wanted/expected. It’s delicious. Midpalate -wise it gets tannic, more dark fruits and some great mouthfeel. This is truly a delicious dessert wine. Rich, full-on and multi-dimensional, it ticks many boxes. The finish is a grainy, tannic event that features some nice purple fruits with walnut notes and some raisin jam. Delicious. 90 points and for $14, its a 5 star drinker. Salut….