I have had this wine before and raved about it. Now, three years later, it has evolved- still amazing, yet different. I love it when the label tells you exactly what’s going on here, 80% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 24 months. This wine runs a hefty 14.5% alcohol by volume. It is pale ruby in the glass but I was expecting a little more opaqueness. The nose is gorgeous. Luscious oak, blackberry, black currant, cinnamon, tobacco, cedar and a whiff of heat. The legs are literally falling down the sides of the glass. The palate is stunning- rich fruit enveloped in copious yet refined oak, aged beautifully with tertiary notes starting to come through whilst the primary fruit and secondary notes are still very much in force. The spiciness of this wine replaces the usual dusty component that I get from Spanish Reservas. I’m not upset as I love this flavor profile. At 11 years of age it is still young and promises to last another 10 to 15 years. It will develop nicely and gain more tertiary notes with time. Punctuated acidity is going to hold the wine really well as are the very well integrated tannins. I’m loving it. 93 points at the very least. For $20, it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
I’m grilling some Picanha and Argentinian sausages on the Weber tonight so I figured a South American Cab would work well. I have not had any of this winery’s offerings for a while, perhaps 20 years. I’m excited to revisit. In the glass it is deep purple, opaque to be sure. The nose has a slight candied note but I also get gobs of black currants, oak and mint. The palate is fruity and dry with black currant, blackberry, mint, smoky oak and delightful tannins. The body is medium to full with a crisp mouthfeel- the tannins quite young and impressive. They really coat the gums but are not overly astringent. Good acidity balances them out on the back end and the finish is medium in length. The fruit persists as long as the tannins do which is a good thing, earning a point or two here and there. Whilst still young, it will drink nicely if you need a dry wine, but will cellar well till 2026. 90 points from me for this $17 effort make it a 5 star wine in my books. Salut….
Last up at the virtual wine tasting #18 was this Tempranillo. In the glass it is mostly opaque and a dark claret in color. The nose was a bit of a shocker to us…. figs, dried fruit, mulberry. It was port-like and not very fresh and inviting. On the palate it was gamy with vanilla, dried sage, cedar, bramble, dried fruit and ‘Plummy potpourri’ from one of the group. The wine has slight tannins and low acidity. It was a bit of a disappointment to me and I gave it a scant 13 points on our 20 point scoring sheet. Technically speaking, it got 89 points from me, and at $17 it is worthy of 3 stars. But wait…… I re-tasted it after a while and upped my score to 15+. It grew on me and the funkiness dissipated somewhat, allowing more fruit to come out versus tertiary notes. It is fully mature at this stage and needs to be drunk asap, but I’m not sure of pairings. The flavor profile is very advanced and not what I would want to drink with dinner. An interesting wine for sure compared to the ’04 Beronia I loved. Salut….
Next up for the Virtual Wine Tasting was this Grenache from the same producer as our Rosè. A light garnet color and 50% opaque. We got earthy leather, caramel, black cherry, white chocolate, fresh cut mushroom and forest floor. The palate was mineral driven with some black cherry, smoke, cloves and black licorice. It was decent but not as earth shattering as I was hoping for ( it got 93 points from the pros!). 89 points and for $17 this wine got 3 stars from me. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Edit: It much gamier and smoother on day 2. I upgraded the score to 90 points and 4 stars.
In my wine course there is a definitive method to tasting wines. This week our task has been to compare an Australian Riesling with an Auslese version from Germany. Here are the notes, in the correct format, for the Aussie one.
Alkoomi Riesling 2019, Western Australia. 12.0% ABV
- Intensity : Pale
- Colour : Lemon
- Intensity : Medium
- Aroma characteristics : Primary notes of Grapefruit, Quince and Lemon. Secondary notes of Papier Machè and bread dough.
- Sweetness : Off-Dry
- Acidity : High
- Alcohol : Medium
- Body : Medium
- Flavor intensity : Medium with Primary flavors of Lemon, Pink Grapefruit and Peach.
- Finish : Long
Conclusions : Good Quality
For $17, this 90 point wine is a 5 star effort if you are in the market for a crisp, juicy Riesling to pair with grilled Mackerel or Oysters on the half shell. Drink till 2025. Salut….
I’m an old fan of this winery, having been a tasting room member at one point. This Cabernet hails from Columbia Valley. It is a touch murky with medium shades of purple in the glass. The nose has steeped plums, charcoal and blackberry pie. The palate is really yummy- if not at peak, it’s close. Ripe plums, cedar, black berry and espresso. The mid palate is very refined with very well integrated tannins and good acidity. The dark, mature fruit theme continues but what impresses me the most is the mouthfeel. It is really full, rounded and balanced. The finish is very juicy, the acidity really gripping at this point. The prune and blackberry flavors fade after a decent amount of time but the tannins hang on to my gums for an eternity. Lovely stuff that gets 89 points from me. It should be drunk sooner rather than later and for $17, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
This wine is a bright shade of purple and semi opaque. The nose offers up violets, Juniper bush and plum- very interesting mix. On the palate it has a really nice earthiness reminiscent of Rioja, with dust, bramble and black berries. Even the tannins are rustic. The mid palate turns a little more blue but the charm of the varietal sticks with the basics where I now get a hint of oak. The tannic structure is really nice and does well with the mild acidity. The finish is quite dry but the fruit hangs on for a while. It really is a yummy wine that will pair nicely with our shaved steak-stuffed yellow peppers with onion and Provolone. I don’t think I have had Tempranillo from Oregon before- it won’t be my last one. At 90 points this $17 wine gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2025. Salut….
We kicked off the 15th Virtual wine tasting with this Albarino. The group had many descriptors for this rather complex white that was tasted at room temperature and then chilled. The golden color of the wine was very inviting. On the nose we got honeysuckle, floral notes, golden raisins, lemon, stone fruit, and Mandarin oranges! The palate consisted of muted pear, peach and lemon. One of the members stated that the acidity was similar to a grapefruit- sorta sweet yet biting. The chilled version actually performed better by most accounts. There was more lemon on the nose- it smelled like Spring or Summer. Flowery notes with beeswax (honeysuckle carryover) were part of a sharper, crisper nose. The palate had what seemed like more acidity, was more focused and had a hint of caramel in addition to the citrus we mentioned. I gave them 12 and 14 points on the VWTC scale and would go with 91 regular points. For $17 you should stock up for a warm summer with this 5 star beaut. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Medium shade of gold in the glass. On the nose it is floral and aromatic. Pineapple, papaya and pink grapefruit. On the palate – more papaya and some yellow guava. Lithe acidity makes for a rounded mouth-feel. The mid palate – more floral with honeysuckle, paperwhites and peach. It’s quite a complex set of flavors, but that’s what’s so nice about this varietal. It’s not your run-of-the-mill. The finish is smooth, fruity, and lacks the big bite from the acid, just enough juiciness. I’m looking forward to pairing this with my baked salmon and shallot sauce. 90 points and 5 stars for this $17 charmer. Drink until 2023. Salut….
Semi opaque and a light shade of purple in the glass. The nose gives me rich plum, black cherry and fruit cake. On the palate it starts out with a rush of tannins. The fruit comes later- black in nature and laced with mocha, oak and a touch of acidity. The mid palate is very much a fruit salad of blackberry, black cherry and damson plum, it’s very tasty. The tannins take over the long finish, masking the fruit with gum coating astringency- ‘hairy’ is a descriptor Moxie likes to use. I am going to run some of this through the Vinturi and try to soften the grip a touch. Much better if you don’t like the bite. Personally, I enjoy a tannic wine with the right food, this one would pair beautifully with Beef stew, leg of Lamb or Lasagna. Drink till 2026. 90 points and for $17 it gets 5 stars. Salut….