It’s been a while since I had a bottle of the Faithful Hound, so when I saw it- had to be done even though the new label is completely boring compared to the older versions! The wine looks a touch cloudy and semi opaque in the glass. The nose shows off nice plums, blackberry and licorice notes. The palate is very juicy with a nice plum core, very fine grained tannins that are not obtrusive at all and a decent graphite note. The mid palate gives me more dark fruit and a jolt of that acidity, it’s rather pleasing. The finish is a touch dry but not overbearing. The licorice and graphite notes are very prominent. Blackberry jam features as well. It lasts a good 20 seconds. A tasty, easy drinking wine that will pair well with a variety of foods. Drink till 2025. 89 points, and 4 stars for this $17 Bordeaux blend. Salut….
I have really started to enjoy Sangiovese lately and seek out different variants. This Chianti weighs in at 13.5% alcohol and is medium purple with little opacity. Kinda what I expect from this varietal as well as Pinot. On the nose it is fresh with strawberries, cedar plank, a green capsicum component and garigue. The palate is refreshing with red fruits, crunchy tannins and a touch of wood. The strawberry I initially sensed gives way to red cherry and currants. There’s a rhubarb component on the mid palate that marries well with the acidity and tannins. The finish is lightweight but decent in length and continues the red fruit theme very nicely. The tannins slowly fade after leaving my gums rather dry. It’s a young wine which is drinking nicely and will cellar for another 10 years minimum. Drink till 2029 with eggplant parmigiana, beef stew or slow cooked chicken cacciatore. 90 points from me make this $17 wine a 4 star effort. Salut….
I last had the 2011 Nativ Rue a while back but remembered it for an obscure reason. The original shipment was heat damaged and really nasty. The vendor sent me replacements, but the name has stuck with me. When I saw the 2014 vintage, I had to try.
A nice shade of purple in the glass with thick legs belaying the 14% alcohol. On the nose I get blackberry, chocolate, oak and vanilla bean. The palate is a touch austere with black currants, capsicum, sour cherry and raw oak. It’s a bit off-putting to be honest. There’s quite an acidic sourness that is hard to ignore, it fights with the green tannins to take over the palate. The wine is a bit one-dimensional with all eyes on the tannins and opposing acidity. I’m gonna give this wine some time in the cellar, it deserves a chance, after all an Italian Pro gave it 96 of his make believe points. I’m going with 89 for now, but I really think it has potential. I enjoy the Aglianico grape, but this one is really young and imperious. Give it time. Cellar till 2022 or aerate it and drink till 2030. I paid $17, which makes it a 3 star effort. Salut….
Really bright, rich purple in the glass. The nose offers up sweet cherry concentrate, with blackberries and dare I say- banana? On the palate the wine is super smooth, polished and oozing blackberry coulis, sage and creosote. The mid palate shows off some delightful dryness from the juicy tannins. The overall mouthfeel is really nice, starting out very smooth, building on a dryness and finishing with a tannic yet acidic bite. Tasty. The dark fruits carry on throughout. You could pair this wine with many dishes or just drink it alone, but the back end grip really calls for Ribeye. Plain and simple. 94 is what it gets from me and the pros. This is a big wine folks. 5 stars only because I can’t give 6 for this amazing $17 bottle. Drink till 2028. Salut….
Really rich hues of purple in the glass. The nose contains a certain funk…. not sure if that blows away. Earthy, plum, iodine and ink all come to mind while swirling. The initial palate is typical for the region. Bold, punchy and full of black fruits. Great balance between the medium tannins and acidity alongside a dollop of blackberry jam. The midpalate is drier, more primal. The dark fruits hold on and overcome the tannic bite, barely. This wine is a seesaw of fruit vs. structure- I’m loving it. The finish is long, dry with heaps of blackberry, oregano and olives. Very much in-your-face. 91 points, drink till 2024 with charcuterie, roasted game, lamb chops or a hearty pasta. This is tasty stuff folks. 5 stars for the $17 price tag. Salut….
Dark purple in the glass, opaque AF. The nose is unique…. pomegranate meets cherry reduction and almonds. On the palate I’m confronted with wood bark, black fruits, more nuttiness and a dense stack of tannins. Brooding, rich and foreboding- it is a heavy duty wine with decent balance and good grip. The dryness of the tannins kick in on the finish in a big way. This wine could use a trip through the aerator. I like it as is with some grilled lamb or possibly with pasta after aerating. If you read the label closely you will see that it is made in the Ripasso style, being a blend of Corvina and Rondinella. 90 points and 4 stars for this very reasonable $17 wine. Salut….
I’m always on the lookout for new stuff. I love Pinotage, finding it rather unique and somewhat inconsistent in flavor profiles between producers. That is not necessarily bad, it just adds to the different variations I can try of a unique to SA grape, grown in a rather limited geographical area.
This one is medium depth purple in the glass. The nose is delicious. Just what I was hoping for when I purchased this $17 bottle. Tar, violets, plum and that rubber smell that squarely denotes Pinotage. The palate is very rich, warm and full bodied. It gives off mocha, chocolate dust, star anise, blackberry, creosote and plum on the palate. Tannins are very refined, subdued and well integrated. The acidity is on pointe, not overbearing. The finish is medium in length and consists of mainly plum and that tar component I seek in this varietal. Good stuff! I am drinking this by itself but would pair it with roast chicken, wild game, steak and moussaka. I am going with 89 points and 4 stars. I have to disagree with the 86 point rating it got from one trade magazine, this wine belongs in my cellar for the short to medium term, drinking till 2022. Salut….
My folks are in town for JJ’s Ballet performance. Mum likes the whites and I figured some Pinot Grigio/Gris would work well for a warmish weekend. This one was a very pale yellow- which is a good thing for this varietal. Nose of lemons, pomelo and green apples. The initial taste is rather surprising- more body than I imagined with hints of wax, lemons, bergamot. The mid palate exhibits a citrusy component that I’m enjoying. The acidity is very mild and doesn’t really hit the palate until the finish. Speaking of which, it is mid length and laden with more citrus in the form of lemon peel and a hint of lanolin. 89 points and a great opener to a Friday night! $17 buys this charmer all day long and it gets 3 stars from me, I’m buying more! Salut….
Really bright opaque purple in the glass. The nose is inky with a touch of plum. The palate starts off with plums, a raisin component and some oak. A deft hand has been at work here with the tannins, they are powerful yet well integrated. There is a freshness that I am enjoying on the mid palate along with the dryness of the tannins. A finish of bright blueberry, tannins and a touch of heat carries on for a while. Surprising really as this wine only weighs in at 13.5 %. A blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and some Tinta Barroca. It is actually very yummy and will rock the pork tenderloins roasting in the oven with onions and some sautéed Kale. I’m going 90 points on this one. Paid $17 which makes it a 4 star wine. I have always thought of Portuguese wine as being very tasty, affordable and a go to if in a pinch. Salut….
A see through purple in the glass with a nose of black currant, violet and coffee. The initial tastes are muted by the forward tannins, but I eventually get dark fruits, green pepper and plum. Very young and hiding behind the mouth searing tannins, this wine needs decanting or aerating.
I ran it through the aerator and voila… nowhere near as tannic, with approachable berry fruits, some tobacco, and still some green peppers. The wine carries these primal flavors through the mid palate and onto the finish. It is somewhat one dimensional as far as flavors go, but it should evolve given a few years. I paid around $17 for it and am giving it 88 points for now. I think it may get better with some age, and I will certainly re-visit it. 3 stars. Salut….