Medium lemon colored with a medium (+) intensity nose. Right off the bat I get aromas of creamy tropical flowers- bizarre, I know. Then…. Nougat mixed with tangerine, more bizarreness. Followed by saline and some pithy citrus as well as a touch of petrol. I am really perplexed by this wine. The palate is dry and slightly bitter with medium body and high acidity, which I was expecting. Flavors of subdued citrus and florals alongside the bitterness from pith carry through to the medium length finish. I must say this is not what I was expecting, the flavors and aromas are off my normal path for this varietal. I like the precision, minerality and cut of this wine- it’s like a laser, I just need to recalibrate to these new flavors and aromas. I would give this $18 wine 90 points and drink with charcuterie or oysters on the half shell. Be ready for some mouth puckering vibrancy- 5 stars. Salut….
Having just visited this winery where I tasted the 2022 from the still unbottled vats I had to bring home a bottle to share with Moxie. It shows a beautiful medium straw-lemon color in the glass. The nose has pronounced aromas of lemon, grapefruit, lychee, pineapple, white flower, a hint of vanilla bean and perhaps some bread. The palate is dry and a touch bitter with grapefruit pith, lemon, rose, lychee, pineapple and a floral note making it quite a complex array of delicious flavors. Medium acidity and a medium to full body take me to a finish that lasts a good 20 seconds and delves into the citrus and pith world. It’s very floral and fruity with just the right amount of cut to make it a pleasing aperitif wine that I would pair with chicken and dare I say- spicy foods. So glad this bottle survived my extensive travels from Beirut to the UK and finally home, well worth the effort. A blend of Obeideh, Muscat and Viognier it can be found for $18 and gets 90 points from me making it a 5 star effort. Salut….
Pale lemon colored with medium intensity aromas of lush tropical fruit- pineapple, papaya and kiwi fruit intermingled with pear, rose petals and bruised red apple. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and medium body. Flavors of papaya and pear dominate with kiwi and bruised red apple supporting. The papaya and apple both have a unique, overripe accent that makes this quite interesting and adds to the body of this lush wine. It has a medium length finish with a touch of astringency from almond seed that I find intriguing. This is an interesting varietal that I am thoroughly enjoying. Tonight I am pairing it with Chinese inspired dishes including some spicy chili infused plates. I believe the wine will stand up to the heat and complexity of the fare. 89 points for this $18 wine makes it a 4 star effort to try out. Drink now. Salut….
I love Port, but I’ll be honest…. the packaging lured me on this one. Who doesn’t need a small decanter to have around? This Ruby Port is deep garnet colored and sports the traditional 20% ABV. The nose is gorgeous- ripe black plum jam, golden raisins, caramel, toffee, figs and bakers spice box. The palate is semi-sweet with lush stewed black fruit, toffee, caramel, figs and spices. Medium (-) acidity and a full body with supple tannins make for a great mouthfeel. The finish is long and laced with black fruit nuance. The alcohol is noticeable but not a detractor, well integrated. This is a delicious bottle of dessert wine that begs for blue cheese and some apricots with almonds. I love it- 92 points from me. Th upcharge for the decanter and packaging brings this beauty to $42. Get one for the souvenir factor and then downgrade to the regular 750ml bottles to lay around, they run $19 and are well worth stocking up on for the cold winter ahead. 5 stars, drink now. Salut….
This is my first go at Madeira, which I bought after looking for some Port to add to my Beef Short-rib stock. This bottling is pale to medium amber colored, it reminds me of the stone Tigers Eye. As to be expected from a fortified wine (19%ABV), the legs are very slow moving and thick. The nose has intense aromas of nuts, caramel, sea air and a touch of yeast. The palate is dry tasting but very rich with nuts, treacle, stewed black fruit, brine and prune syrup. It is mouth coating with medium tannins and medium (-) acidity. The alcohol hits on the back end where it is tingling the sides of my tongue. Finish-wise this wine has a long ending (30+ seconds). Seeing as it’s my first go I can’t really pass judgement, but if you like Oloroso Sherry crossed with Tawny Port, this might be up your alley. For $18 it’s not going to break the bank trying something new as a dessert wine or for enriching a beef stock. I like it! Salut….
Medium ruby colored bordering on a touch of garnet for this 4 year old wine. The nose has aromas of black cherry, blackberry, stewed black plum, anise, cedar shake, nutmeg, hummus (earthy) and garigue. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and medium (+) tannins. Medium to full-bodied I get flavors of black fruit, some stewed notes indicating age, oak influence (cedar) and anise with some earthiness. The tannins grip for a long while on the medium length finish. I like this 90 point wine and think it is at peak. Drink till 2025 with grilled meats or heavy baked dishes like Moussaka. For $18 it’s a great intro to this decidedly Greek varietal. 5 stars. Salut….
This Cabernet Sauvignon did not show well today- the bottle had been left open far too long and it was past it’s prime. However, I chose to taste it and will include it in my next wine class as I have previously drunk this $18 offering and was impressed with its structure and fruit. This particular example had medium acidity, a full body and high levels of tannins. The fruit was stewed and basically undrinkable but I recall the previous bottle had lovely black and blue fruit, nicely integrated oak treatment and a decent finish. If I had to score this wine- 90 points which would make it a 5 star effort with some cellaring capacity- stay till 2028. Hearty, fatty steak would do well here. Salut….
Medium lemon/lime color. Pronounced aromas of papaya, pineapple, ripe pear, honeysuckle, stone and guava. Dry palate with medium (+) acidity and medium body. The tropical fruit and crispness/minerality of this wine are delicious. The finish is medium in length and I’m really enjoying the mouthfeel. Really yummy, especially chilled on this hot summer’s day. We are grilling jumbo prawns on a bed of crisp salad. Drink now. 90 points for this $18 effort makes it a 5 star wine. Ps. this varietal is also known as Steen in South Africa. Salut….
Medium garnet colored, this Tempranillo has trademark aromas of leather, earthy dust, ripe blackberry, rich plum, vanilla, black cherry jam and charred wood. The palate is dry with medium acidity and grippy tannins that coat my mouth. The fruit is ripe and the wine is full bodied. Black fruit flavors wrapped in a cloak of oak nuance with some signs of tertiary development make for a delicious wine. I paid $19 for this stunning 92 pointer that gets 5 stars. I would pair it with grilled Hangar steak and sweet potato fries. I think this balanced and structured wine will drink well until 2030 at the least. Salut….
My WSET tasting group was tasked with presenting notes on this Aussie Riesling. It was pale lemon in the glass and we found the nose to have medium (+) intensity aromas of lemon, lime, mandarin, grapefruit, blossom, wet stones and that tell-tale petrol note. The wine is considered youthful at this stage. The palate was off-dry with medium (+) acidity, low alcohol (9.5% ABV), medium (-) body with medium intensity flavors of the above aromas. We thought it fell off a bit on the palate versus the nose. Ending with a medium finish we thought this $18 effort was of very good quality and could be drunk now with suitability to age as well. If you like an off-dry Riesling that has already developed petrol notes (which I do), then this is for you. Members of the class questioned a food pairing and one lady said Thai food- I concur. 91 points and 5 stars. Salut….