Medium opacity with a lighter shade of purple. On the nose I get some baking spices right off the bat with cherry and orange rind. The initial palate is very seductive with soft cherry notes, vibrant acidity and some secondary flavors of cinnamon and clove. The mid palate continues the red theme with the addition of cranberry and cedar shake. The finish shows off some decent acidity to go along with the fruit flavors but I don’t get much in the way of tannin. This is a tasty wine that is fairly basic in composition and offers near term enjoyment. 88 points from me with a drink till 2022 window. For $16 it garners 3 stars from me. I’m grilling Lamb sausages and whipping up some Quinoa for the pairing. Salut….
A pale shade of gold this Sav Blanc has a nose of fresh cut citrus. Mostly tangerine and lemon with some bergamot and honeysuckle. The palate has an instant sourness that I am digging. Crispy acidity melds with those citrus flavors nicely. I start to get stone fruits on the mid palate, which is very tasty. The acidity seems to have simmered down a bit- more fruit flavor and less grip. The finish is decent in length and what I consider ‘warm’. It has a nice rounded mouthfeel with the nectarine and peach flavors mixing with tangerine. Very interesting way to end IMHO. I think I paired this correctly with some BBQ baby back ribs and mashed taters. 89 points from me and 4 stars for this $16 charmer. Drink till 2023. Salut….
This Merlot is opaque and a dark shade of purple with a gorgeous nose of steeped plum, toasty oak, licorice and iodine. On the palate it offers rich fruit, nice acidity and grippy tannins. Blackberry, plums, charred oak and blueberry pie all hit me. The mid palate is quite smooth with lush fruit interlacing the rather powerful tannins that slightly overtake the acidity. The finish is medium length and quite dry. I sense this wine is a tad young and will drink nicely till 2028. I am roasting up a rack of Lamb with mint sauce and steamed greens- should work a treat. I’m enjoying the softness of the varietal but am surprised at the structure, the tannins just won’t quit. Yummy stuff. 90 points and 5 stars from me for this $16 wine. Salut….
This Cab is bright purple and semi opaque. On the nose I get red fruits- raspberry, currants and clove. The palate is quite rich right off the bat with licorice, red fruit melange and cedar. The licorice note is quite pronounced on the mid palate where I also get plum and black cherry. The wine has a nice, balanced mouthfeel, easygoing without too much tannin or acidity. The finish is quite long and tasty with wood notes, more plum and that lingering licorice note, albeit subdued. Yummy stuff that should drink till 2024. I like it and at $16 it gets 4 stars cause it’s an 88 point wine in my books. I’m pairing it with grilled Tri-tip and mashed taters. Salut….
I’ve been on a Sav Blanc kick lately and this one is next in the lineup, to pair with my Korean Bulgogi tonight. I feel the sweet and spicy sauce will need a lighter style white, hence the choice.
It starts out a pale shade of gold in the glass with a nose of citrus, gooseberry and herbal tea. On the palate it is interesting- a touch heavier than I imagined with rich flavors of lemon/lime, papaya and passion fruit. The mid palate concentrates on the latter flavors with less citrus. The finish has decent acidity that keeps the wine fresh without impinging on the back of my jaw. It’s totally different than the wine I tasted earlier this week, which was a Kiwi styled wine. This bottle speaks of California sunshine and offers bright fruit flavors and a rounded mouthfeel. The finish is medium in length and tastes of fruit salad- a really nice way to end. 88 points from me with a drink by 2022 window. Optional pairing choices would be grilled Salmon, Fettucine Alfredo or even fried Chicken. For $16 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
Semi opaque and a bright shade of purple in the glass. On the nose I get blueberry pie, red licorice and zesty cranberry. On the palate it is very fruity- blueberry dominant with a sweet spiciness and very gentle acidity that make for a very enticing mouthfeel. The mid palate has an oak note that I did not catch at the beginning. It joins the blue fruits and some very lithe tannins. The finish is very fresh- the acidity keeping it zesty while the blueberry and plum notes hang around for a while. The tannins are very integrated in this wine already and the cellaring potential is somewhat short. I would drink till 2025. It’s really tasty and easy to drink, getting 88 points from me. For $16 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
This Pinot Grigio is a very light shade of yellow in the glass. The nose is zesty with grapefruit, lemon peel and green apple. On the palate it is not as cutting as I was expecting, the acidity is a little more demure allowing the rich lemon curd and grapefruit to shine. It has a really full mouthfeel as it transitions to the mid palate. The fruit is in full swing and the acidity is just starting to show up. Lanolin, honeysuckle and the citrus notes all carry the wine to a medium length finish. It’s really a pleasant drop, if not a bit atypical in style. I am enjoying it as I prepare Shrimp Creole, which begs for this style of white. 89 points from me. Listed at $16, it gets 4 stars from me. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Kicking off the 9th Virtual Wine tasting was this Greek wine. I have never tried Assyrtiko before and was very intrigued. As usual, we tasted both room temperature and then chilled versions of the same bottle. The nose gave us honeysuckle, cedar, citrus, pear and rose water. I personally found the wine to be very floral, aromatic and buttery with hints of persimmon. The palate was honeyed with some lemon, pear, melon and pepper notes all being reported by the group. To me it continued that floral, aromatic angle and had a touch of acidity but was also a smidge sweet.
The chilled version was much more muted on the nose and the palate. Members noted cat pee, lemon, squash blossoms, Pez candy and florals. I added Passion fruit to my descriptors. It was much better at room temperature where the flavors were abundant but I did enjoy the chilled version and would certainly serve it that way with some seafood, a salad Niçoise or some charcuterie. Overall this $16 wine is worthy of 90 points and 4 stars. Salut….
This Russian River Valley Chard has a beautiful gold sheen to it. The nose is floral and full of citrus. Lemons, lime and vanilla bean all hit me. On the palate it is very rich and warm. The citrus theme continues but I note popcorn and honeysuckle join the fray. The mid palate is full bodied with a nice mouthfeel. I am enjoying the citrus without too much acidic cut. I was looking forward to a somewhat fuller wine and this one hits all the notes. The finish is crisp and clean with a core of marzipan to go alongside the refreshing fruit flavors of lemon, lime and green apple. Judicious oak use is noted and appreciated. I am pan searing some King Salmon to go with Battata Harra, a spicy Middle Eastern potato dish- I think the weight of this Chardy will go well with the fish and stand up to the fiery spices of the side dish. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $16 wine. Drink till 2028. Salut….
Talk about a New World version of Pinot. This wine was full of stuffing- evident right away. In the glass it was brooding, dark and semi opaque. The nose was full throttle- big, ripe cherry, cinnamon, plum and sassafras. A heady palate ensued with fruit flavors clamoring for attention, pushing aside the lithe tannins and making the acidity stand in line to be noticed. If you like big, fruit forward versions of Pinot, this one is right up your alley. Technically speaking, it gets 90 points from me but is not really my cup of tea. I prefer a more restrained style of Pinot, a là Burgundy, or even cooler climate a là Oregon. This wine comes from a great appellation and is well made. At $16 a pop, it’s well worth stashing a few and drinking over the next 6 years. 5 stars. Salut….