Medium opacity purple, with a nice sheen in the glass. The nose offers up bacon, plum paste, raisins and …… On the palate I get nice round blackberry cobbler notes, bright acidity and very fine grained tannins. If you know how Ripasso is made you would expect a bit more weight, extra flavor and a heavier mouthfeel. This wine is a touch more refined, somewhat lighter and a bit fresher. The mid palate has a nice cherry meets plum characteristic that feeds into the decent length finish. The tannins taper off leaving a somewhat astringent mouthfeel right at the end. It’s certainly interesting. 89 points and 3 stars for this $15 blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Medium opacity, great purple color. On the nose creosote, blueberry, charcoal and plum jam. On the palate I get a darker fruit profile- blackberry, ripe plum. The mid palate hits me with cheek quenching tannins, not overly done- just makes me pucker a bit. The acidity also presents at the same moment. Intriguing to have my rear jowls hit by opposing forces. The finish gets me back to that mineral tone of creosote, perhaps some black olives, all tiptoeing around the tannic bite that crescendoed on the finish. An interesting wine that I am enjoying thoroughly. It’s needs meat though, pair it with game, lamb stew or something hearty. 91 points for this blend of 62% Pinotage, 22% Merlot, 12% Cab Sav and 4% Shiraz. Aerate for immediate enjoyment and drink till 2025. 5 stars for this $15 effort. Salut….
After a cork failure, I had to sift through the debris to find a light purple wine that is nearly see-through. The nose has pencil lead, plums, sour cherries. The palate is somewhat lighter than I imagined, cherry being the prime player here. There is a certain amount of garigue I sense in addition to mushroom and leather. The acidity is slightly overpowering the mild tannins, but I don’t mind. It has a nice cut to it. The astringency hits on the finish, where the tannic dryness grips the gums. I would say the fruit has really taken a back seat here. Drink till 2021 with pasta, pizza or charcuterie. 88 points and 3 stars from me for this $15 wine. Salut….
Light to medium density in the glass. A lighter shade of purple that offers up plum, star anise and a stony minerality on the nose. On the palate, it is somewhat sour and lacking in upfront fruit. I have to coax some dark fruits, mainly plum out of the midpalate. There is a herbaceous component that disjoints the wine coupled with volatile tannins. The lack of fruit bothers me somewhat. The overpowering dryness is quite dominant making this wine not very pleasant nor technically very good. 83 points- a pass of 1 star, save the $15. Salut….
Really dark purple, extruded looking. The nose is of lush ripe plums, black cherry and cinnamon stick. On the palate I get a very smooth intro of black currant preserves, black cherry extract and the beginnings of a dose of mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is heavy with the black fruits and tannins. They coat the teeth, the gums. Rooibos tea is the balancing flavor here. Everything else is dark and brooding. The mouthfeel is great, if you like a dry wine. It is not overly tannic, but will most definitely get your attention. The finish is of medium length and focuses on the black currant preserves I got at the outset. Overall a decent drop that gets 89 points from me and would do well with hearty game, roasted meats and even Bolognese. $15 and 3 stars. Salut….
Medium depth of purple in the glass. The nose, after a swirl, showed off vanilla, oak and black currants. It borders on that aroma I don’t care for but I’m willing to overlook it today. On the palate it is much less dense and not as powerful as I imagined it. A slightly sour note hits right away that continues through to the mid palate. Black berries, coffee and a dried herb note all come to mind. The tannins start off gently but build up to a medium dryness by the mid palate and continue for a short finish. Black fruits and thyme are noted on the back end. Overall this is a tasty wine that I would pair with pasta, Kebabs or lamb chops. 89 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
Yesterday was a little bit of a let down with the basic Los Vascos Cab. This property is a well respected Rothschild winery in Chile. As such, I opted to go back and try their Grand Reserve offering, in hopes of a better showing that suits my particular taste desires, and has higher technical components than the basic wine.
First thing I noticed was today’s Reserve wine has a real cork, versus synthetic. A good start. The wine is not overly dark, but a pleasant purple in the glass. On the nose- a whole different story. Black berries, rich mocha, fig on the nose. The palate is more plum-like but the black fruits are still evident. There’s a slightly obscure, astringent quality that hits right up front. Once over that I’m settling in to the gentle mouthfeel, moderate tannins and tangy acidity. The mid and finish are a little darker with coffee bean, black cherry and an oak tinge. Overall, much better. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort. Grilled meat, Moussaka or even hearty pasta would pair nicely. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
I have a long history with Marques de Riscal. I enjoy the wines and appreciate them for what they are. This one is nearly black in the glass. The nose is huge- lots of black berries, blue fruits and a wallop of charcoaled oak. Violets and spice round it out. On the palate it shows off black fruits, sassafras, vanilla and an oaky component. Delicious but a touch of bitterness on the midpalate detracts. Violets and blueberry really take over on the finish alongside medium tannins. The bitterness is the only detractor that unbalances this otherwise delicious wine. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort which is solidly produced and made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. Salut….
Very deep purple color. The nose is voluptuous with tons of plums, bramble, some tar and an earthiness. On the palate I get upfront dryness with lots of tannins leading up to the plum core, with blueberry and creosote adding to the mix. The tannins really dry up my gums and are going to go swimmingly well with the Lamb shanks that are braising. The mid palate is mostly blue fruits and more gum dryness. The finish has that earthiness that I love about Riojas. It’s a dusty, tarry, brambly thing that I really enjoy. Even though I am sure this wine has had lashings of Oak, it is not overly evident. What wood is present is very integrated. Reservas are only made in certain years, this one is pretty decent IMHO. 90 points and 5 stars for this relatively modest $15 Tempranillo. I would say buy a case and drink for the foreseeable future! Salut….