A Tempranillo wrapped in a sack? Yup, and for $14 you too can get this 88 point Rioja that is a medium ruby colored with slow moving legs. The aromas and flavors include the classic blackberry bramble, dust, musky perfume, floral garden and light, toasty oak. Medium (+) acidity coupled with medium a body and medium tannins make for a nice mouthfeel. Not a stunner, it will be very serviceable for everyday drinking and should pair really well with tapas, Moussaka and pasta dishes. It runs 14.5% ABV, so be careful out there. Not cellar-worthy so drink this 3 star wine soon. Salut….
After the disastrous Pinot I just tasted at the wine bar I needed redemption- this 89 pointer helped. Pale ruby colored it had a slight funk to the nose alongside spice box, cherry, earthy cinnamon and stewed raspberry which made me wonder if this was yesterdays unprotected bottle?? The palate had medium (+) acidity, medium body and medium (-) tannins- all to be expected for this varietal. For $14 this is not a bad drop of Oregonian Pinot that you could pop-n-pour any night of the week and pair with roast Chicken or even use in Boeuf Bourguignon. Drink this 4 star effort till 2025. Salut….
Following on from my last Muscadet, this one is not labelled as a Sur Lie. It’s a medium intensity lemon/lime color in the glass. The nose has an intense citrus aroma coupled with green apple, yellow apple on the back end and some salinity. The palate is dry but weighty. Medium to full bodied, it has medium acidity and medium intensity flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, green apple and I can sense the sea air. A short to medium length finish is crisp, refreshing and not too tart. This is a nice summer wine that will quench the thirst and pair nicely with shellfish or lighter (non-oily) fish. 88 points from me makes this $14 effort a 3 star wine. Drink now. Salut….
This is a new one for me- the Cortese grape from Italy. This bottle is deceivingly tinted making me think I was going to pour a deep yellow wine. Instead I found it to be pale gold with aromas of green pear, chamomile, lemon zest, lime and lanolin. The palate is dry with a full body that coats my mouth with a waxy lemon/lime component, green pear, spice and floral notes. The finish is medium length and the waxy mouthfeel hangs on for a while. Having never had this varietal it is difficult to rate but I thoroughly enjoyed the textural aspect of this wine and the fruit flavors were delicious. 90 points for this really yummy wine that I paired with grilled Jerk chicken. Bought for $14, it gets 5 stars. Try it this summer with seafood or white meats. Salut….
Tasted blind, this Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cab Sav was a deep ruby color with thin legs. Medium (-) intensity nose with aromas of red cherry, red raspberry, wet wool and purple grape- I found it to be very youthful and simple. (Plus disgusting). The palate was dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, medium alcohol and light bodied. Medium (-) intensity flavors of the above led to a medium (-) finish. I called this wine poor but was corrected to- acceptable; a point for balance was deserved(?). This wine is to be drunk now, not suitable for aging. I did not care for it and was surprised that I couldn’t even get the varietal right. For me this $14 wine gets 84 points with a 1 star rating. Salut….
Chinon is a region in the Loire Valley of France where Cabernet Franc is the primary red grape. You know how I love the varietal so I couldn’t pass this one up, especially when it was on sale for $14. The wine itself is semi opaque and tending to garnet rather than ruby, I guess age is playing a factor here. The nose is developed with stewed plums, black cherry, black currant pie, leather, mint and violet. It is quite an interesting waft that got better as I swirled the glass. On the palate this dry wine has upfront tannins, good acidity and flavors of plum, black currant, black cherry, licorice, mint and violets. The leather and stewed plum notes are nowhere to be seen. The tannic grip is pronounced on the back end where I get some dry gums. It is a raw, primal wine with good fruit and structure but it is not for a big night. A serviceable weekday wine that gets 88 points from me and should be drunk by 2026, it gets 3 stars and would go nicely with hearty stews. Salut….
This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. It is semi opaque with shades of ruby in the glass. The nose is pronounced with aromas of raspberries, red licorice, red plum with floral notes of violets and honeysuckle. The palate is juicy, tart and shows off medium tannins. The red fruit driven flavors are very much evident as is the acidity. Very deft use of oak and the fact that it is Grenache based make for a very easy mouthfeel without too much complexity. It is a nice sipping wine that will drink well till 2028. I’m pairing it with Cumberland sausages, onion gravy and mashed potatoes. 89 points from me for this $14 Rhone wine make it a 4 star effort. Salut….
I must admit- I shop the bin ends and any closeouts. I have found some great bargains but more importantly, aged wine that someone else has fronted for and held on to so I can swoop in and get it at its prime. So I had to chuckle when I finally red the label on this 2016 vintage blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. It says “to be kept between one and two years of age’. Whoops!
In the glass it’s a medium intensity ruby in color with watery legs. On the nose- it still smells fresh! Red currants, raspberry, blueberry, red plum and licorice. The palate is delightful- medium acidity, lithe tannins and good expression of red fruit, a hint of oak and some black licorice. I get a tea component on the mid palate and the finish is medium in length with charred oak, red fruit and stewed red plum. The structure is holding on and will allow this wine to be enjoyed for another few years, perhaps with Cassoulet, braised meats or a roast duck dish- it needs a rustic pairing. 89 points from me and at $14 it’s worth buying if you bump into it- 4 stars. Salut….
Moxie and I were at a resort in Texas this past weekend. Our last night was spent at the flagship restaurant where we dined on their speciality- Chicken Fried Lobster. Choosing a wine before ordering the main course is always a bit of a challenge but I saw this label and remembered enjoying the 2014 vintage so it was a no-brainer. Petite Sirah is my current flavor of the day varietal, I love its richness, the jammy black fruits, the medium tannins and the full body. This bottle did not disappoint. I took zero notes, reveling in its silky smoothness and full flavor profile. One thing I will say about the eventual pairing: it worked beautifully. The wine really made the crunchy Lobster pop in my mouth. I cannot explain it, just to say I would do it over again. At $14 per bottle, this 91 point wine is a steal. If ever in doubt at a restaurant, any Michael David Winery bottle will get you gratification at a fair price. 5 stars. Salut….
I have a story about Georgian wine, I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say it involved AK47’s, Playboy magazines, a gallon of Georgian wine, some local fruit and of course- a 4-engined jet. Those of you who know me will have to bring a bottle of really good stuff over, I will regale you with the juicy bits.
So- when I saw this white blend of 80% Rkatsiteli and 20% Mtsvane I had to give it a try, it was only $14. It is pale lemon colored and has a very unique nose of tropical fruits, like passion fruit and pineapple. Lemon zest and green apple complement the primary flavors. The palate is off-dry with medium acidity and low alcohol. Flavors of the tropics are very present- pineapple, passion fruit and kiwi. The citrus and apple notes fading whilst some floral tones appear. It’s a very interesting profile. The acidity is not cutting yet the wine is not flabby- just right in balance with great mouthfeel. It’s got an ever so slight hint of green almond on the back end that gives it a touch of bitterness but overall, a very tasty drop. I’m grilling chicken breast with wild rice, thinking the pairing will work very well. I’m excited about this new find and will look forward to the next two bottles of Georgian wine I have on the ‘bench’, a red and white. Until then, expand your own palates and explore the world’s regions. 88 points and 4 stars. Salut….