I harvested a Deer a few weeks ago and had the butcher make some Spicy Sausages. Having never tried them I was at a loss for a wine pairing until I came across this blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah. I have had the Amado Sur before and this seemed the most likely candidate. Dark purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get candied strawberry and red licorice. The palate is a touch darker in the fruit department with black berries, dark cherry coulis and bitter plums. There is a whack of acidity to this wine but a medium serving of tannins. Perfect for my pairing, as Venison is very lean and we are pairing this with pasta and Vodka sauce, which is somewhat creamy. The mid palate is really juicy and I have quickly forgotten/forgiven that stlightly sweet nose profile which I really don’t care for. The finish ends abruptly but not before I get that bitter jab again. It’s an issue IMHO. Overall this is a decent weekday pop-n-pour and it serves my needs tonight. 87 points make this $14 wine a 3 star effort. Previous vintages that lacked the bitterness were better BTW. Drink till 2022. Salut….
I’m surprised at how inky and dark purple this Gamay is in the glass. The nose is very rich with raspberry, strawberry pie and cranberry. It’s reminding me of drinking wine on the Champs Elysee. The palate is red fruit driven and has a fair dose of acidity. Raspberries dominate the mid palate but the acidity starts to overtake on the decent length finish. It’s very satisfying and mid weight. I am pairing it with Chicken Pot pie and salad, should do the trick. This one is meant to be drunk young so slightly chill a bottle and get cracking. 88 points from me and for $14 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
This blend of Tempranillo and Trincadeira took three days for me to rate. We opened it at the 13th Virtual Wine Tasting and the panel felt it had cardboard box, pepper, black cherry, dark chocolate and earthy notes. It was tannic right off the bat but we coaxed black licorice, dark cherry, sun dried tomato and a hoppy note out of it. I recall writing that this semi opaque wine of medium purple color was quite rich, if not a tad young and rushed. On night 1 it got 12/20 on my rating scale and a technical score of 91 points. I tried it again on night 2 and found it had a muted nose with some red currants and orange peel. The palate was slightly sour with blackberry, licorice and rhubarb. It was still earthy and tannic as heck. Night 3 is when this wine finally opened up for me. Black pepper, jammy blackberry and licorice on the nose gave way to a much smoother palate of iodine, blackberry, bramble and that earthiness. Oak is now evident but restrained making this wine quite complex. It has a smooth finish with well integrated tannins now and is in balance. I’m glad I got to witness a three day evolution of this highly rated $14 wine. It finished out at 92 points from me and gets a massive 5 stars for the QPR it brings. Drink till 2027. I would pair with a hearty steak if opening right now, or decant the heck out of it to soften the tannins. Salut….
Number 2 wine at our 11th Virtual Wine tasting was this Portuguese steal that came in at $14. An equal blend of Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo). The tasters had the following to say:
Semi opaque, dark red. Nice legs but only 13%. Cigar box, earthy, fig, dried fruit, jammy. Black pepper? Dusty bramble. Sour cherry, earthy, fine grained tannins that hit on the finish. Light to medium bodied. Black tea, dry finish.
I enjoyed this wine but did not love it. One of the pros went huge with 96 points, I’m thinking 89. It was enjoyed by many at the tasting and bang for the buck- it was a hit. 5 stars. Drink till 2024. Salut….
This Cab Sav is a beautiful dark purple in the glass and is nearly opaque. The nose is lush with black currants, flint and charred oak. On the palate it’s quite tart right off the bat. Black fruits, dark colas, sassafras and enamel searing tannins. The mid palate opens the wine up tremendously- still black fruits and now I get a nice minerality, some black tea, more cola and oak. The finish is surprisingly not as dry as I was fearing, it’s quite balanced with the tannic component really getting checked by the acidity and fruit. Anise, blackberry and vanilla are all present on the medium length finish. Drink till 2027, but if you fear the tannins- decant or aerate the heck out of this one. It’s tasty in the end and I give it 89 points. For $14, it’s a 3 star effort that will go well with my lamb tagine. Salut….
Pale yellow in the glass. The nose is fruity with grapefruit, tangerine and a honeysuckle component. On the palate it is a touch sweet with warmth from the honey note. The citrus components are ripe and fresh with just a hint of acidity. The mid palate is really nice, the mouthfeel being very round and balanced. The finish is curt, weighing on the tangerine side of things and adds a nutty note at the end. It’s a tasty wine to pop as you prepare dinner or enjoy it with salad nicoise. 88 points, drink till 2023. 3 stars for this $14 effort. Salut….
It’s got a really bright yellow/gold color in the glass. The nose has butterscotch, green apple and melon. The palate is full bodied with a nice round mouthfeel. Apples, pear and some lemon interlaced with a touch of acidity open up for me on the palate. The mid palate is very smooth with more of the same flavors coming forth. I get some nutty notes and caramel on the back end along with the pear and apple melange. It’s quite a complex wine, punching way above its $14 price point. I am thoroughly enjoying it. The mouthfeel is great, the fruit is prominent, the acidity is apparent without cutting too much and the whole package rolls off the palate very nicely. 91 points from me and a 5 stars for sure. If you like Chardonnay, stock up on this one. Drink till 2024. Salut….
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….