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….
A medium shade of yellow in the glass. Pears, citrus and wildflower nectar greet me on the nose. A very fresh and yet layered first impression. On the palate it is a touch buttery, which I like as it’s not overdone. Crisp acidity from lemon, some Bartlett pear and a green melon all hit me on the palate. It’s got a really nice balance between the acidity and bold fruity flavors. The mid-palate is a very linear channel to the finish. It simply carries the same flavors and allows the juiciness to permeate the whole palate. The finish is long, tasty and refreshing. There is an abundance of fruit on the back end that carries that lemony component and introduces some oak influence- vanilla and popcorn. I like the way this wine teases the palate with some hints of big time oak but waits until the very end to actually show some of it off, interesting indeed. I really like this wine, it’s relatively lightweight to drink by itself but I would pair it with Cobb salad, Blackened Salmon or grilled veggies. 90 points from me and 5 stars for this $16 rocker. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Absolutely see-through and a very pale shade of red. The nose gives me bing cherry, wild strawberry and clove. The palate is quite intriguing. A muted red fruit presence with a touch of cinnamon and mushroom. Raspberries represent on the mid palate alongside rooibos tea and sour cherry. The acidity slides in nicely, not overdone nor abrupt. It’s a nice mouthfeel with a touch of heat on the finish. There is a cedar component as well that I’m enjoying. Overall it’s a decent Pinot that I’m giving 89 points. 4 stars for this $16 effort. Salut….
Quite dark but still see through in the glass. The nose gives off black cherry, blackberries and bacon. On the palate there’s black fruits, a hint of almond, lithe tannins and a balanced acidic component. The mid palate is kinda blasé, it’s just a continuation of the initial palate. The finish gives me rooibos tea with some tannic bite and a cherry licorice note. A decent wine that I would pair with Salmon steaks, Shish Kebab or Alfredo. 88 points and $16 put it in 3 star territory. Salut….
Quite dark and very opaque. The nose is lush, with plums, sweet oak and vanilla bean. Makes sense, seeing as the label says Bourbon Barrel aged. On the palate it is slightly sweet- more dark blue fruits, a molasses component and plums galore. The mid palate shows off some very integrated tannins as well as some blueberry pie and a nutty component. The wine builds nicely into a long finish that has a certain dryness from the tannins that mingle with more plum, some cherry and coconut notes. The mouthfeel of this wine is amazing, not overly dry, not too acidic. The finish is really smooth and as mentioned, quite lengthy. This is a sipping wine but I would also pair it with chorizo and sautéed kale. 90 points from me for this $16 effort. 4 stars. Salut….
I’m a little nervous about this wine, it was a gift and I just noticed that the cork was pressing up against the capsule, a sure sign of heat stress.
It’s a pretty hue of purple in the glass, which is a good sign. The nose gives off black berry, mint and licorice. The palate is fine, no sign of damage, thank goodness. Bright black berry, some cola, very primal tannins and blueberry pie greet me on the initial palate. The wine continues the theme on through the mid palate and the tannins start to take over, drying the gums ever so gently. The texture is nice, if you like a dry wine. The acidity is barely apparent and offers a nice balance. The finish is quite long, with nicely interwoven tannins, some blueberry and a herb note. I think this is a very nice wine, capable of matching most game dishes, a steak all day long, charcuterie would be great or all by itself. Short term cellaring might soften the tannins but drink by 2020. 89 points and 4 stars for this $16 wine. Salut….
As you may know, I am a fan of this winery and had to pick this up the other day. Very dark, near black and opaque in the glass. On the nose, bright fruit flavors of plum, espresso, tree bark and vanilla bean. On the palate I get a very smooth mouthful of violets, plum compote, spice and very lithe tannins that are very integrated. The acidity is very mild, making for a very soft mouthfeel. Easy to drink, yet I suspect there is some cellaring potential here, I’m just not sure where it’s going. The purple fruits are very prominent on the finish and the wine ends nicely with a dry note. Drink by itself or pair with lighter fare- cornish hens, burgers or a white pasta. 89 points from me. I paid $16 and am giving it 4 stars. Salut….
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….