Medium intensity purple, almost seethrough. On the nose there’s a definitive charcoal note alongside blackberries and bramble. Licorice kicks in a little later after a good swirl. On the palate it’s pretty tasty with black cherry, coffee and more licorice. Tempranillo sometimes has a dusty, earthy component that I enjoy in Riojas, this wine has a hint of that. The tannins grip on the midpalate alongside dark fruits . There is a certain amount of oak at play here, but it’s not overdone. The long finish is a touch dry from the decent tannic kick. More blackberry and some vanilla carry me through to the very end. Drink till 2026 with hearty pastas, steak or roasted chicken- this wine needs food. 90 points from me and 4 stars for its $18 price point. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….
I really like Petit Verdot, blended or standalone. When I saw this Argentinian bottle of it, I had to try.
As expected it is pretty dark and broody in the glass. The nose has a sweet perfume of blackberries, licorice and violet. On the palate this wine has a tartness alongside creosote, black fruit and sour cherry. The midpalate is quite dry, tannins enveloping the fruit and coating my teeth. I can feel them getting a purple stain. They don’t subside either. The finish is bone dry but I do get more blackberries and some tea. Wow, it’s a long finish too. There’s ample reason why a stand-alone PV doesn’t appeal to the masses- it can be too tannic, one dimensional and lacking in fruit whilst heavy in structure. This is a good example. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoy the mouthfeel and weight every so often. 89 points and 3 stars for this $18 bottle. Drink till 2027 with Ribeye, leg of lamb or rich stew. Salut….
I’m not a frequent Rose drinker so I had to approach this one with caution…Beautiful shade of pink in the glass. On the nose there is citrus and orange peel. On the palate it is refreshing with a tartness from the citrus. Strawberries hit me alongside stone fruits. 89 points $32 (but I found it online for $18 make it a 3 star effort. Sip in the shade on a hot day with salmi and hard cheeses. Salut….
Pretty purple in the glass, quite opaque. On the nose it is all blackberry. The initial palate is black cherry, an awkward greenness and tar. The mid palate offers much the same, with more vegetal notes than I care for. This wine rates well with the pros at 90+ but I don’t get it. The finish is sour, green, the tannins are astringent. Not my cup of tea at all. There might be some of you who enjoy austere wines, this one might be up your alley. I’m going 86 points. For $18, it is a pass from me but you may want to give it a try- 2 stars. Drink now. Salut….
Super light yellow in the glass, made me look twice. The nose is floral with lemon and pineapple notes. On the palate I get peach right off the bat. Apricot and citrus hit me on the midpalate where the acidity starts to kick in. The wine is really light and bouncy with nice crisp mouthfeel. The tail end is more subdued on the flavors, mainly a pear component. This wine is intriguing in its multitude of flavors, definitely worth looking out for. I’m pairing it with salmon Alfredo. It begs for a hot summers evening outside with some oysters and chorizo. 89 points and 3 stars for this $18 bottle. Salut….
Rich plums and thick oak staves fill the nose on this nearly black wine. On the palate I get delicious black berries, lush dark currants and a tar component. I’m trying hard to pinpoint the missing flavor, could it be coffee? Tannins are present but not obtrusive, with dark fruits and more wood present on the mdi to back end. 90 points and 5 stars for this uniquely labelled Cab that runs about $18. Salut….
Dark purple, barely see through. The nose is somewhat candied, purple licorice, plum cake and Christmas pudding. On the palate it shows off much more pleasant notes of black currants, iodine and fruit cake. The mid palate is quite abrupt as are the mild tannins that permeate. The finish is not as smooth as the front half and lacks any acidity. Overall this is a pleasant wine that gets 87 points. The pro’s went much higher, 91 points in one case. I just did not get the same level of satisfaction unfortunately. $18 make it a 3 point wine for me. Salut….
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….