I have a history with this wine. It was introduced to me by friends, one of whose father was Chairman of the Board way back in the day. I have drunk many vintages over the past 20 years and look forward to each bottle. Quality can be a little inconsistent over the years but generally speaking this is a very good staple for the cellar. This particular vintage is dark and brooding in the glass It offers up notes of lush blackberry with lashings of black cherry pie and vanilla. On the palate I get some raisin, blackberry, tar and almond. Very Tempranillo-like. The tannins are quite polished and unobtrusive. They join the party midpalate and carry through to the medium length finish. The flavors are mostly primal right now but I sense that development is forthcoming and this wine will evolve nicely. The predominance of that earthy tar component really excites me as this is my favorite Tempranillo trait. This wine will drink well till 2025 at the least and begs for roasted meats, a hearty game stew or some heavy duty cheese. I’m going 90 points, and for $16 this is a 4 star effort. Salut….
Nearly black in the glass, which is what I expected from a Ruby Port. The nose is fresh, full of spice, dark plums and rich leather. The palate is delicious, with warm plum ganache, spice box and an earthy tobacco note that I am finding very interesting. The mid palate exhibits a slight bitterness, like almond seed, plus some caramelized plum essence. The finish is delicious, in fact, the best part of this package. Nice warm plums, some more earth and a touch of tobacco and cedar. The spiciness is an interesting addition. It takes this wine to the 91 point level for me. At $16 this is a must buy if you like the Ruby style Ports. I’m buying more. 5 stars and a great post dinner treat . Salut….
I started drinking this with dinner before I took notes. I was so impressed that I had to look to see if I had reviewed it already. Not the case, so here goes.
Medium to dark purple in the glass bodes well for this Bonarda. The variety is also known as Charbono in other circles. The nose is beautiful, full and all about the cassis, dark plums and black cherry. The initial taste echoes the nose. This wine is delicious. Tar, cherry and cassis abound on the palate and carry through to the finish. Tannins are gentle and balanced with a nice level of acidity. This wine drinks great now and will continue to do so till 2022. I paired it with stuffed peppers and a Turkey meatball pasta dish. It worked well, but the real match is probably with a grilled lamb chop. 91 points from me but then again I love expanding my palate with off the beaten path varietals. $16 and 5 stars from me. Salut…
It was Moxie’s 50th birthday last week so we have been celebrating all month. Her mother took us out for a really nice dinner last night. The very first wine listed was the Schild Shiraz 2014. It was priced right at $30, which is not even double retail, so I took the plunge and ordered it even though the mother-in-law was footing the bill. I just had to try it. You see, I have been chasing this elusive wine for a few years now. Back in 2010 I read a stunning review of their ’08 Shiraz, it got 94 points from WS. I was dying to try it. I then read another, more damning article a year later that put me off- they had ‘made more’ when they ran low. I was stunned and saddened. Yep, read it here. http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/44637
Anyway, I am over it now and the mere sighting of this wine was my nod to go for it. If you look at their earlier vintages, there were a string of 92-94 point years, followed by a slight decline. This wine unfortunately was not in that realm of quality.
Dark purple hues. Nose of black berries, leather and earth. On the palate I get more dark berries, some coffee, chocolate dust and a touch of oak. The mid palate has more dark fruits and a sinewy set of tannins. The finish is quite long and dry with the tannins really kicking in. There is an austerity I cannot put my finger on which detracts from an otherwise very pleasant wine. I drank it with braised Lamb Shank. 89 points and 3 stars for this $16 (retail) effort. In hindsight, I am glad I came across this wine and look forward to future vintages that perhaps will reinstate it to a level it is capable of. Salut….
By far the most interesting label of the year- a metallic one on this bottle of Fitou. I was intrigued and had to try it. Fitou is a region in the Languedoc, southern France and the two main grapes are Grenache and Carignan.
The wine is a medium shade of purple and offers a nose of garrigue, funk and black cherry. This may sound horrible to the layman but in wine terms, quite legitimate descriptors and ones that are sought after by certain palates. On the initial attack I am getting a somewhat thin veil of plums but more importantly, some off-putting tannins. The wine is a bit disjointed and the balance is off. It may need some time or a trip through the vinturi (Or in my case, a travel aerator).
Ok, after meeting my friend Bendy, the wine mellows a little but the tannins are still green and generally unpleasant. The fruit is struggling for acceptance here and the structure is not allowing it to happen. I am wondering if I have an off bottle. Best I can go is 85 points at this tasting and for $16 this is a 2 star wine. Happy New Year! Salut….
When I visited the Wine Library in New Jersey last week they had this wine on sale and I sampled it. Delicious and fresh with unique flavors that reminded me somewhat of Conundrum White. It was my first experience with the Fiano grape varietal. I bought a bottle of this 94 point (Decanter rated) wine for only $16, making it a supremely good deal. Unfortunately I must have had a bottle with variation as it was not reminiscent of my first taste.
Light straw color in the glass. Nose of lemon zest and sea salt/iodine. The initial attack is lemon, green apple skin and an interesting acid component that is hitting the gums. This acidity moves swiftly to the mid palate where is sticks. The finish is of a decent length that consists of yet more lemon, acidity and a hint of cardamom. This wine strikes me as a bit one-dimensional but it is refreshing and would pair nicely with raw oysters. 89 points. I think it warrants a re-taste as my initial notes (mental) were totally different and I really enjoyed the wine much more then. Even at 89 points it is a decent QPR and I would give it 3 stars. Salut….
I got an email recently advertising this wine at a crazy good price, under $10 for a 90+point wine. I was intrigued and bought a few bottles.
A nice purple that did not quite show over the top extraction that presented a nose of baked plums, blackcurrants and vanilla. The initial taste is somewhat expected with respect to my comment about extraction. This wine is far more subtle and refined compared to some of the more bombastic Aussie Shiraz’s I have tasted. It does come with a price though, 14.5% alcohol that just slips by unnoticed. The flavors are delicious, with blue fruits, a hint of pepper and violets. Tannins still lurk in the background and give the wine a nice crunch. The acidity is ever so slight and does not overpower. The mid palate is where this wine shines, the fruit is very much alive and the mouthfeel hits its pinnacle. The finish is decent in length and gives a nice tannic coating that does not overpower. Overall a delicious wine that I am having with homemade pizza baked in the Big Green Egg. 89 points and 4 stars based on it’s normal retail of $16. Drink now- 2020. Salut….
On our recent trip to the Cape we had dinner with friends at a restaurant where this wine was listed as one of their top offerings. We shared a bottle and I was impressed with the quality of this Mendoza Malbec. It has a nose of plums, cedar and earth. Initial attack of black cherry, blackberries and some iodine. Fresh tannins and balanced acidity make for a fresh mouthfeel. Mid length finish of dark fruits and a lashing of tannins on the back end mingle with some tobacco hints. I agree with WS, 90 points and 4 stars for this $16 offering. Salut….
From the Loire valley comes this Sauvignon Blanc. Pineapple and flint on the nose tell me this is going to be a rather refreshing wine. Crunchy acidic bite of green apples and pear greet the palate for an initial impression. Good vibrancy with a citrus mid palate that leads to a generous finish. Nicely balanced if you like this style of Sauvignon Blanc- steely, lean, not overoaked and refreshing. I served it with some Cajun spiced Cod and an arugula salad. 88 points from me and definitely a re-buy for $16. Perfect for a hot summer day with a salad, sitting by the pool or nibbling on oysters. 3 stars. Salut….
On my recent trip to Napa I ended up the Cosentino winery where Moxie and I visited two years ago. Funny thing is she had a broken foot on that trip and I had one on this. I digress. I ended up tasting everything I could get my hands onto and ordering a case of wine to be shipped home- I also joined their mailing list, a first for me.
I was thinking of my parents when I ordered a few bottles of the Chard, which is made from Lodi fruit. They like it crisp, not buttery and certainly not sweet. This one filled all the requirements. Medium gold in color with a nose of fresh citrus, green apples and quince. The first impression is of a medium weight wine with pear, apple and lemon. Not overly worked- this wine has a slight hint of malolactic fermentation and a deft use of oak. Very crafty. Generous mouthfeel and a touch of acidity make it easy to drink. My member pricing was $16. I’m going with 88 points and 4 stars. Time to order more methinks, summer is coming and one needs a constant supply of chilled whites to pop at a moments notice! It will go awesomely with some grilled shrimp, perhaps salmon mousse and cucumbers on melba toast- you get the drift. Salut….