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….
I opened this bottle up last week but kept forgetting to make notes (I was really tired). I nearly finished the dregs before realizing my faux pas, so pardon the brief outline- it was a good drop of Port that I bought for the initial Port taste test.
Rich, tannic, dry. Nose of dry oak, blueberry syrup and red raspberry reduction. The palate is very thick- blueberry, cedar slate, a long, dry finish. This wine is attractive, if young. It begs for a cheese tray. 90 points for this $15 bottle. I yet again disagree with the big boys…. oh well. 5 stars, you can’t beat the quality to price here folks, go get some if you like Port wine. Salut….
A reasonably priced number that hails from France, the Rhone Valley to be more precise. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre typical for the region. I bought it on sale for under $10, but it normally sells for $15.
A very pretty medium depth purple color bodes well! On the nose I get raspberry, spice, a hint of smoky oak and some bacon fat. The initial palate suggests more of the same, which is really a treat. I enjoy all those flavors melded together. The tannins are really nice, juicy and not too dry. They complement the fruit and don’t overpower. This wine has a great feeling mid palate, with some cassis, black olives and more raspberry making appearances. The finish is nice, longer than expected and offers an oaky tinge along with the fruit and tannins. I have to say, this is a really good wine, far more complex than the price would allude to, far tastier than I imagined and it has some short term cellaring potential to boot. I am drinking it with some Broccoli Cheddar soup, which seems to work really well. It would pair great with some thin crust brick oven pizza, perhaps even a Beef stew. I have to go 91 points, which is above and beyond the rating I saw, and award this wine 5 stars for sure. I wish I ordered more. Salut….
I remember the first time drinking this wine. It was at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan with Moxie. We were there attending a Gift Show, buying product for her first retail gig. It was an exciting time for us, we learned a lot and succeeded in keeping the business running through the dark days of 2008-2011. We were the last retail Gift shop standing in our area after the dust settled. I remember the wine, the meal and the atmosphere of the night vividly as it would signal the beginning of our newly charted course.
The 2014 Monterey Pinot is very light in the glass, see through and pale red. On the nose it’s all New World. Strawberry, Framboise, a touch of oak. On the palate, it is silky smooth. More strawberry, earthy mushrooms, a nice dose of acidity and some Rooibos tea. The mid palate caresses with some ever so slight tannins and a reminder of the acidity. The red fruit theme is in force and the wine carries swiftly to the medium length finish. It all ends with some cherry notes and a touch of vanilla bean. A very nice wine that can be yours for $15 and gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. I’m splapping together some creamy dill Chicken to go with it. Drink now till 2020. Salut....
I don’t exactly recall buying this wine, but I think it was a last minute grab at the wine store. It looked interesting with its blend of 49% Viognier, 26% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Grenache Blanc and 6% Princess (Never heard of her).
A golden yellow color in the glass. The nose is what I was expecting, very similar to Conundrum White, another blend of similar grapes. Melon, grapefruit, and a touch of lemon are the key components. On the palate I am tasting raw almond, citrus and kiwi fruit. The acidity is very mild and the wine has a nice mouthfeel. There is a certain butteriness that hits on the mid palate. The finish is rather short, but leaves a trail of acidity that carries on for a while. I am really enjoying this wine, it was made for sipping, summer and cold cuts with an olive tray. I will go 88 points on this $15 wine which makes it a 3 star wine in my books. Drink now till 2019. Salut….
Pretty dark purple in the glass. Nose of plum and blackberry, but it’s hard to coax the flavors as this particular bottle has been chilled. The initial taste is more blackberry with some spice box. The tannins are very subdued as is the acidity, which is atypical for this varietal. I get tar and creosote on the mid palate, with some blackberry. The finish is more black berries and some fig paste. 87 points for this $15 offering make it a 2 star wine. Salut….
Very brooding and dark purple in the glass- promising some heady, extracted juice. The nose is full on dark plums, blackberries and cedar plank. The initial palate is straight up blueberry pie meets blackberry jam. Very viscous in the mouthfeel and very smooth. The wine glides past the mid palate with hints of plum ganache and mocha and a touch of acidity. I had to wait until the finish to get a glimmer of the fine grained tannins that hold this package together. I believe this wine is drinking great now and has a few years of cellaring available, say till 2022. I would pair it with Strip steaks, perhaps a peppercorn sauce based meat or even corned beef. The acidity and tannic structure seem ideal for casual drinking and lighter fare, not something too heavy or fatty. It really is tasty. 90 points. I paid $15 and would do it again for this 4 star effort. Salut…
As you may have read recently, I’m on a Port kick and looking to try as many styles as possible. This one is labelled Reserve, no info on Tawn, Ruby or LBV. It is dark purple, almost inky. The nose is rich with fig, blueberry paste and chocolate dust. On the palate it is refreshingly vibrant with plum, blueberry and a bracing acidic component. I sense a warmth on the mid palate that I attribute to tannins mingling with the 19.5% alcohol. The heat doesn’t bother me, it is well integrated as are the tannins. On the finish I am reminded of this wine’s youth, the mouthfeel is fresh and dry. More plums and blueberry pie show up on the tail end. The wine is tasty and well made, 89 points from me. On sale for $15 it is a good deal- 4 stars.