Very pale yellow in the glass. The nose is very floral with strong peach and apricot notes. I also get walnut shells. On the palate this wine is very sweet- but not unctuous like a Sauternes. It’s got a silky mouthfeel but is quite refreshing as a chilled wine. Mango, passion fruit and peach all hit my tastebuds. There’s a very small trace of acidity which lends body to the mid palate. It’s a unique wine for sure- a cross between Riesling, a big Napa Chard, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Grigio. Each of which give either to the flavors or the unique mouthfeel. Lychees and tropical fruits are the finish, which is decent in length on this Moscato blend. They say to pair this with dessert- without a doubt. It’s working as an aperitif for me though. Unique style, interesting flavors and the ability to start or finish an evening make this a special wine. I love this winery and think this is a bottle you should look for. 89 points and 5 stars for this $15 treat. Salut….
This is the 5th wine in the SplashWines lineup. A blend from Amador County, which has been showing some real quality of late. This one is a nice purple hue in the glass and is semi-opaque. On the nose I get pepper, plum, mocha and blackberries. The initial palate is interesting, a touch sweet from cassis and spice. It has some zest to it, I like that. The mid palate has some tar, more dark fruits and a charcoal note. Very lithe tannins appear and there is a nice acidity to the wine. The tar and spice components carry through to the finish, but there is an astringency that hits me, some greenness. It’s not all bad, as the sweet cassis nullifies it. The finish is quite tart, with good length. Overall this is a decent bottle that gets 89 points from me. Drink with summer BBQ, perhaps pizza and definitely a red pasta. For $15 it’s a 3 star Zinfandel blend that includes some Petite Sirah and Syrah. Drink now. Salut….
The second wine of our tasting lineup showed bright purple in the glass with nice legs giving caution to the 14.5% alcohol. I listened to all the inputs from our group and concurred that this wine had loads of pepper, game, plum and garrigue. The longer the wine sat out, the smoother it got and the terroir really shone. Mass produced yet very good at 91 points from me. Drink this blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre till 2027 with stews, leg of lamb or a hearty pasta. 5 stars for this sub $15 ringer. Salut….
A touch murky in the glass with medium dark purple. Semi opaque. On the nose I get plum, bramble, white pepper. The initial palate is very pleasing, if not a touch sweet. Lush, ripe plums alongside blackberry and violets. The mid palate has a nice tangy acidic bite alongside very ingrained, lithe tannins. More purple fruit flavors and a spiciness comprise the profile I get on the back end with a nice, dry finish that is quite long. This is a very drinkable pop-n-pour wine that gets 89 points from me. I like it a lot for short term enjoyment. Drink till 2024. It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. For $15 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
I was impressed with the Garzon Tannat so I am hoping for equal results with this Cabernet Franc. It’s very dark in the glass, lovely rich color. The nose is very fruity with black berries, boysenberry and rich oak. The palate is very appealing, light in a spright kind of way but thick with flavor. Black fruits dominate with violets and a mint component thrown in for good measure. This wine is very easy on the palate, with lithe tannins and a juicy acidity. The mid palate continues the blackberry theme but in a more restrained way. It’s not jammy or full throttle. Very seductive, as I like in Cab Franc. The finish is decent in length and shows off some oak with the black fruit. It fades within 20 seconds and leaves me wanting another sip. Overall this is a good wine, but not up to the standard of the Tannat. 90 points and 5 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
A beautiful reddish shade of purple in the glass. The nose is fresh and shows off raspberry, mint and red currants. The palate has red fruits and delightful tannins- juicy. There is a minerality to this wine to go with its cutting approach. It sure is mouth watering. Currants, pomegranate and a touch of that Spanish creosote all come together for me. The finish turns a little more earthy and that Rioja garrigue comes in to play. This is a nice wine with very precise flavors and a tannin/acid balance. The finish is a little short and that will cost it a point but it’s really enjoyable and I would pair it with pasta, beef stew or grilled garlic chicken. Drink till 2028. 90 points and 5 stars for this $15 Tempranillo. Salut….
Wow, this is some inky wine. I am on a stretch of tasting some lesser known varietals for the next few days. Tannat is very popular in South America and is very tannic and raw. I am cooking Strip steaks and Cevapcici sausages, made from ground lamb which is fatty and spiced- I hope the pairing works.
The nose is blackberry jam, some charred oak and red licorice. On the palate it is as expected- fruity, primal, tannic and delicious. This is a wine made for a big South American Asado (grilling). The midpalate is so juicy it makes me pucker. Black currants, blackberry and a touch of mint all hit me. The wine is tannic, but not over dry. Black tea and licorice flavor the back end and the finish has a hint of charcoal. There is a definitive oak influence but it is deft and delicious. 91 points and 5 stars for this $15 Tannat. If you have never ventured into the lesser knowns, here is a good starting point. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Wine number 3 in the virtual tasting was the ringer. A $15 perennial favorite that is as consistent as the rising sun. This Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State wowed the drinkers with its intense fruity attack of blackberries, plum, great tannins and balanced acidity. It was an instant hit with friends clamoring to see where they could buy it in bulk. It will drink well till 2025 all by itself or paired with pretty much any meat dish. 5 stars for this 92 pointer. Salut….
Nice shade of dark red, see-through. The 14.1% alcohol evident by some nice looking legs. On the nose it is somewhat atypical. Violet, strawberry compote and cherry cola. The palate is a touch sweet with some nice stewed rhubarb notes. Cherry comes along eventually as do some nice fine grained tannins. There’s a nice acidic bite on the finish that balances it out without making me wince. It’s a very interesting wine that has a warm mouthfeel, that nice touch of sweetness countered by the acid on the back end. This wine will appeal to the novice and also provide tasting groups with an interesting mix of flavors. I’m baking up some Brisket that will pair nicely. 91 points and 5 stars for this $15 bottle to drink till 2028. Salut….
So- this is the second Cameron Hughes wine in a row. Truth be told, I bought 4 cases of their wine, 24 different bottles X2 back in November. I am doing a prolonged tasting of their excellently priced wine. As a negociant they don’t grow their own grapes, relying on others for the raw product. You should check them out on the web, great value for money.
Really dark, opaque – almost black in the glass. The legs are few and far between but they show off the 14.4% alcohol nicely. On the nose there is sweet blackberries, mint, charcoal. The palate is as I hoped- dark, tannic and multilayered. Those blackberries reappear with iodine, violets and licorice. The tannins grip, a lot. They claw at my gums from the beginning to the end. This varietal is normally part of a blend due to its tannic frame, brooding fruit and structure- but I do enjoy it by itself. I get hankerings for a mouthfull of that dark, sweet fruit interlaced with hearty tannins. The mid palate and finish echo the theme nicely with a decent length ending of blackberry, tannins and a touch of oak. Delicious and powerful. 90 points and 5 stars for this $15 effort. Drink till 2026 with hearty meat dishes. Salut….