Pale gold in the glass this Sonoma County Chardonnay gives me lemon and pineapple on the nose. The palate is quite crisp and tart with more yellow citrus flavors, some lanolin and green apples. On the mid palate it is very refreshing with some zippy acidity. The finish is decent in length and shows off green and yellow apples with citrus giving it back end juiciness. Yummy and relatively light bodied for me, it will pair great with my Chicken Pie. Other matches could be grilled Salmon or Parmesan dishes. For me it’s an 88 point wine that gets 4 stars for its $18 price tag. Drink till 2022. Salut….
This Pinot Noir is classic in the glass- dark red shade and totally see-through. On the nose I get cranberry and a hint of capsicum with some strawberry notes. The palate is very pleasing, if not a touch sweet. Lithe tannins greet me alongside red fruits and tangy acidity. The cranberry motif is very evident and continues through to the mid palate and beyond. It brings with it a nice zesty dollop of acid that is making my jaw water. The finish is of decent length and keeps the theme of cranberry, strawberry and red currants. The green note I got on the nose is a non-starter. Yummy stuff if you like them fresh, primal and perky. This one will drink nicely till 2025 and gets 88 points from me. Pairings to consider- roast chicken, Duck l’Orange or even grilled Swordfish. At $18 it gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
I tasted this wine many moons ago but failed to write notes. When I saw it in the shop it reminded me of friends in California who introduced me to this winery. The wine itself is a pretty shade of purple but is nearly see-through. On the nose I get red berries, a touch of oak and pomegranate. The palate is spicy with a pepper note right off the bat. Dark red raspberries, black berries and sweet currants add to the mix. It is really interesting. The mid palate has a touch of dryness from lithe tannins, the acidity yet to kick in. On the finish this wine shouts out the varietal with lots of white and black pepper, raspberry and blackberry flavors with smoky oak intertwined. It’s not overly complex but really packs those singular fruit flavors. It will drink well till 2025 and handle char-grilled chicken, Filet or even pizza. It gets 88 points from me and for $18- 3 stars. Salut….
I read the label, which tells me this wine is 44% Sangiovese, the balance- Grenache. Looking at the see thorough red hued glass I would have guessed it was a New World Pinot. It is so light and vibrant I can’t wait to taste.
The nose gives me red fruits and cedar. The initial palate is quite rich- a mouthful of raspberry pie with some Marashcino cherries. There is a juicy acidity right off the bat that makes this wine fresh. The red fruit theme continues with rhubarb in addition to rooibos tea and very fine grained tannins. The finish is quite tart, my teeth are a bit fuzzy. The raspberry flavors have given way to a sour cherry and rhubarb melange and the acidity is not to be trifled with. This is quite an interesting blend that is tasty yet slightly off balance with a ton of pH. It will drink well with rich sauced dishes or even a Mediterranean dinner. I would enjoy till 2025. 88 points and 3 stars for this $18 wine. Salut….
This South African Chenin is a bright gold color in the glass. On the nose I get flowers, melon, ripe plantain and a pink grapefruit note. The palate is very round and enticing. Flavors of melon, banana parfait, a touch of citrus and apple are all caressing my mouth. This wine really fills with flavor and body for a great mouthfeel. The mid palate is soft and continues the fruit melange theme. The long (30+seconds) finish reminds me of fruit salad with bananas. Fruity, flavorful and satisfying it’s easy to drink this 12.7% alcohol wine. I am really enjoying this it as I roast a Chicken with steamed green beans. It will drink well for a few years and gets 91 whopping points from me. For $18- 5 stars, wish I had more. Salut….
I’m a fan of both the varietal and the region, they are exciting and interesting. This particular one is opaque and dark purple in the glass. On the nose I get a melange of blueberry, plum and black cherry. I often think of the color Purple when I smell this particular scent. There’s also a touch of oak and lavender. On the palate it has a great depth of blue fruit and is a touch tannic right off the bat. There is a nice violet component that comes through on the mid palate, giving the wine a nice rounded flavor profile. The tannins are a bit raw though, perhaps they need a bit of time. The finish is very dry with my teeth feeling gritty. The fruit is abundant though which makes it all worthwhile. Notes of coffee linger on the long finish. This wine is a young’un. Drink after a healthy decant or wait till 2023. It will last a fair amount in the cellar, till 2029 at the least. For $18, it’s a 5 star wine that gets 90 points from me. Salut….
It’s a very dark shade of purple in the glass, very inviting. On the nose I get sweet blackberries, plum extract and cherry cola. The palate is interesting- ripe black fruit, capsicum greeness, some cherry and dried fruit. The mid palate is very fruit forward and I get tons more of that dark cherry cola note alongside some slightly green tannins that are a touch bitter. The back end is very dry from the structure and there is a modicum of acidity. If you like ’em dry, this one’s for you. The finish is decent in length and continues the theme. I like this wine but think it may have some ripeness issues. 88 points from me and drink till 2024. For $18 this Charbono, also known as Bonarda, is a 3 star wine. If you have never had this varietal, give it a try! Salut….
As with the past seven Virtual Wine tastings, it’s difficult for me to objectively write a review and run the tasting, so I take basic notes of what others are tasting and smelling.
This Chenin Blanc kicked off the evening with us tasting it at room temperature followed by a chilled glass of the same wine. It’s really amazing how the wine morphs when served at different temps. The one thing that is constant is the color- in this case a light golden shade, really pretty in the glass. The warm version gave us melon, fruity lemon, pear, citrus, stone fruit and green apple on the nose. The palate notes are ‘very fruity’, citrusy, tangerine, oakiness, lime and yellow apple.
The chilled version was a bit muted but introduced Brioche, minerality, piecrust, toast, green pepper, slightly more acidity and ‘crisp’.
Keep in mind there were 8 different bottles being served in different environments- some inside and some outside all up and down the east coast. My overall impression was that I enjoyed the room temp glass more as it was open for business and the nose and palate were fuller. I am going with 90 points and 5 stars for this $18 effort. Drink till 2024 with seafood, perhaps a grilled Salmon filet. Salut….
This Merlot has a really deep purple hue in the glass with very nice thin legs. The nose is plummy with anise and blueberry notes. On the initial palate I get inky dark berries, some iodine, black tea and really nice gentle tannins. The mid palate is a bit more gripping with the fine grained tannins, they start to cling to the gums. Black cherry and more plum are hitting me up with some slight oak notes. The finish is a touch dusty with some spice box and leather. Plums are my main theme with this wine and the tannic structure is really good. Juicy, dry and built for the medium haul. I like this wine- it’s easy going yet has some depth and structure to it. Drink till 2027. 91 points from me and at $18 a pop- 5 stars. Cellar some for later. Salut….
Wow, the color of this Bonarda is spectacular- deep, rich purple, almost opaque, but clear enough to see around the edges. The nose is blackberry, black currants, oak influence and a rich fruit cake. The palate is very thick with gobs of fruit and a steely tannic grip. The main profile is more black fruits, some currant preserves, toasty coconut and those tannins that are a feature of this varietal. My gums are blackened with them and my mouth is puckering, just what I was hoping for when I ordered this wine. I really wanted to delve into some unique grapes from South America, this one does not disappoint. The mid-palate continues the massive fruit and tannin wave to a really long, dry finish. Blackberry jam, charcoal and black tea are all present. There’s a definitive spiciness to this wine that I am really enjoying. The tannins are on pointe and the juicy acidity marries up nicely making a very tidy, long lived package. If you like ’em young and dry, pop one. I would pair this with braised Lamb Shanks, grilled goat or a big Ribeye. This is a whopper of a wine and I am going 91 points. Drink till 2030. For $18 it’s a great intro to this grape and worth 5 stars. Salut….