It’s a pasta/Italian kinda night here at the chateau so I decided to open a Chianti Rufina to keep with the theme. In the glass, it shows off a reddish hue but not opaque. The nose is somewhat muted but gives off whiffs of plum, some oregano and a dried bark component. The initial taste is an acidic attack with some dark cherry, dried herbs and a touch of oak. The fruit is somewhat cloaked I’m afraid. The mid palate is mostly a tannic affair with some faint fruit notes from the initial attack. The finish is long, with some nice acidity balancing the tannins as well as a dose of Kirsch. I paid $18 for this 89 pointer and give it 3 stars, it’s kinda boring in my opinion- perhaps it’s in a dumb phase. Sangiovese is the main player here folks. Ps. I’m serving grilled Squid, Tortellini and some Zucchini pasta with pine nuts. Salut….
Just when things were running on rails, the wine world throws a curve ball. I’m talking about LBV Port, specifically Unfiltered. Turns out this is a whole different beast that I don’t have a clue about , being untrained and just a commoner. There are several links to explain the differences:
Now, back to my bottle, an unfiltered LBV from 2011. Veyy dark purple in the glass. A nose of dark, rich plums, some alcohol and a touch of nutmeg. On the palate- very rich dark berries, plums and a hint of spice. Lovely.
The mid palate shows off very smooth plum compote, with a warm blackberry jam extraction and some ripe tannins. The wine has spent time in the wood and has some vanilla notes to boot. The acidity hits the finish along with more dark berries and some tobacco. There is a certain dryness to this wine that I am really digging. The mouthfeel is a little rough for me, with a green tannin compound but overall, very enjoyable. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $18 effort. If you enjoy a dessert wine, buy this one by the case. Salut….
I drank the 2011 Parson’s Nose a while back, enjoying it so much that I saw this vintage and had to try it. It is inky black in the glass. It smells of coffee, anise and plums. It tastes of black berries, anise and espresso. The coffee flavors are really hitting me today. The wine has a great mouthfeel, very smooth, inviting and it hides the 14.5% alcohol very deftly. The mid palate has more berries, but now more on the blue side, with ever so slight tannins making an entrance. They build into the finish and leave me with a nice dryness on the gums, not too much. The whole package is really tasty, not over-extracted like so many Aussie Shiraz’s can be. I paid $18 for it but it looks to be on sale for under $14 online. Folks- this is a 91 point wine in my books and for that price, they may not have much left after I get done. 5 stars. Salut….
I recently wrote about the 2013 Faithful Hound, so when I caught some of the 2014 on sale, I grabbed a few. Retailing for $18, it’s a good parallel to the Bordeaux style blends that I so truly love. This one has a dark purple complexion, just like it’s older sister. The nose is gorgeous- plums, bramble, chocolate, some oak and a blueberry component. On the palate, much darker fruits than expected. More of the blackberry and currants theme with some violets. The mid palate is bone dry with tannins popping out and caressing the gums. The finish is blackberry, tar and those delightful tannins. The mouthfeel on this wine is great, built for steaks or the pasta with meatballs and sausage I am about to serve. This wine will cellar well, it has al the right components. I really hope it can evolve with secondary flavors like it’s French cousins. Drink till 2025. 90 points and 4 stars for this gem from SA. Salut….
Dark but opaque purple. Nose has flavors of raspberry, oak and nutmeg. On the palate, somewhat tannic and dry on the initial taste with red berries and an astringency that is somewhat overpowering. The tannins continue the dryness onto the mid palate where I get some black cherry notes, but just barely. The finish is one dimensional. For me this wine is unbalanced and lacking fruit. It could be in a dumb phase. Right now I’m thinking 85 points and for the $18 I paid it is a pass and 1 star. It’s a shame as I really enjoyed the 2014 Mission Cabernet Merlot blend which I gave 89 points to. Salut…
Really dark purple, almost opaque in the glass. The nose is an interesting compilation of Cherry and Iodine meets blue fruits. On the palate it’s a different story. Much more focused on blueberry and some black berries plus a touch of oak. The acidity is present from the get go and the tannins ramp up gently, closing out the finish with a nice dryness. The mid palate exhibits blue and black berries as well as some nutmeg. This is a decent wine that gets 89 points from me and will do well with Osso Bucco or perhaps a mixed grill on the barbie. I paid $18 for it and give it 3 stars. Salut….
I’m a fan of this winery as can be seen in my two tastings of their Pinot Noir. I came across this wine at the local store near my hotel and it was priced as a deal for two, I could not resist.
Medium to dark purple. Nose of minerals, plum and sasparilla. On the initial attack I get really smooth plums, with some red chili pepper hints- intriguing, sans the heat! On the midpalate the plums continue but I start to appreciate some oak use and the intro to black fruits. I’m thinking of Ribena on the finish along with some vanilla. Very smooth all throughout with very melded tannins and a balanced acidity. This is my first Merlot/Cabernet from the famed Gimblett Gravels, I’m digging the minerality and think this wine is a 90 point effort. I think they normally retail at $18, which makes this a solid 4 star wine. Availability in the States may be limited, but keep a lookout for this winery on your travels. This wine would pair nicely with Beef short ribs or a hearty stew. I’m getting more! Salut….
One of my favorite Aussie Shiraz is the bigger brother to this wine, but I have not been able to find the McRae Wood anywhere. The Lodge Hill is their entry level Shiraz, the McRae Wood being the $50 effort while their top cuvee is the Armagh, priced around $250.
This one looks decent in the glass, a good solid purple that is ever so see-through. The nose is plum, cedar shavings and Ribena. On the palate is where this wine shines. Not overly extracted or jammy, it offers more plums, dark cherry and herbs. The mid palate continues the theme and ramps up the tannins which are in full force by the time the finish rolls around. The tannic component is very smooth, yet gripping. They leave my upper gums thoroughly dry for a short period. This is a decent wine that is not jammy yet offers lots of flavor. I am serving it with some roast beef, it would pair beautifully with Shish Kebabs and Basmati rice. 89 points from me make this $18 offering a 3 star wine. Salut…..
From Sonoma comes this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon that got great reviews. I was excited to try it when I saw the bottle and was not disappointed.
Dark purple in the glass with a nose of red berries, a touch of oak and some cinnamon. On the palate, red fruits, bright acidity and some cola. On the mid palate , a hint of sasparilla, some eucalyptus and the ever present sharpness of the acidity, now with some offsetting tannins. The finish is decent in length and gives off strawberry notes with vanilla overtones. Overall a nice wine for the short to medium term. 89 points and for $18 it should be on your radar. 4 stars. Salut….