It’s a pretty shade of purple in the glass with a 98 point sticker on the bottle….. hmmm. The nose is thin but offers up strawberry coulis and cherry juice. On the palate it has much more presence. A rich mouthful of dark cherry, strawberry extract and cola hit me square on. Tannins introduce themselves right away and are not holding back. This is a hefty wine, with structure to boot. The mid palate has more of that extracted cherry that is almost overwhelmed by the tannic grip. Wow, this wine is built. The finish is very astringent yet tasty. Red fruits swirl alongside black tea and jaw drying tannins. It’s certainly an interesting wine that I am really enjoying, yet wondering what the cellaring potential is as there is very little acidity. The tannins and fruit are certainly present, I am just a little concerned about the long term structure. Let’s see in a few years. For now, enjoy this Merlot/Sangiovese blend with pasta, steaks or moussaka. It gets a realistic 91 points from me and 5 stars for the $14 price I paid. Drink till 2027 at the least. Salut….
Medium shade of gold in the glass. The nose has definitely got butter. Marzipan, banana and lemon peel also feature. On the palate it is very round, tasty and full bodied. That marzipan comes back at me with lemon, beeswax and oak staves. The mid palate shows some citrus and floral components that move on to the finish. I get almost a tannic bite right at the end- interesting. Very easy to drink without a huge dose of acidity. It’s a nice aperitif and will pair well with my grilled hens and bacon draped Brussel sprouts. 89 points and 5 stars if you like this style of oaky Chard that sells for $14. Drink now. Salut….$14
Really pale, straw yellow in the glass. On the nose it is very citrusy with melon and bartlett pear notes as well as a touch of rose water. On the palate it is much meatier with a creaminess that I was not expecting. Hazelnuts hit me alongside green apple and lemon zest. The acidity is of medium intensity with a nice long finish of lemon. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 effort. Drink till 2022 with seafood, baked chicken or even Fettucine Alfredo. Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. Bramble, earthiness and blackberry on the nose. On the palate I get more black fruits, delicious integrated oak, lithe tannins and good acidity. There is a juicy fruit preserve component on the midpalate that I’m really enjoying. Licorice hits me on the back end alongside chocolate powder, interesting. This wine is not overly built, it drinks well and has some cellaring potential . 90 points and 4 stars for this $14 value. Salut….
Cherry nose. Iodine, plum and cigar box on the initial. Nice gentle tannins introduce themselves on the midpalate alongside bramble. The plums are really juicy in this wine. The finish gives me prune, black cherries and tobacco. Really tasty and easy to drink. Till 2024. 89 points and 3 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
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….