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….
Very pale shade of red and completely see through- expected for Pinot. The nose is really bright with strawberry, rhubarb and red currants. The palate is full of red fruits- currants, strawberry, watermelon. There’s a lovely mouthfeel that envelops the gums with rich red berry compote, not much tannins and a hint of acidity. There are times for finesse and this winery is hitting all cylinders. The midpalate shows off more red, think cherry cola and currants. The finish is a short lived affair of much the same. A nice closing in my opinion. Drink till 2026 with lighter fare, I’m doing sous vide chicken with wild rice and broccoli. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 bottle. Salut….
Bright purple. On the nose I get blueberry, vanilla, wafers and sweet oak. On the palate it is fresh, with gobs of sour cherry, rhubarb and blueberry. There is a nice tannic bite that starts off gently and reaches a decent level of dryness without being overly astringent. The sour cherry component really takes charge on the midpalate and the acidity peaks. The finish is quite sour yet refreshing. The oak has long disappeared, the ending being red fruits galore with rooibos tea and crunchy tannins. It’s a decent wine that is a touch out of balance with the heavy handed acidity. It may smooth out after a while. 88 points and 3 stars- $18. Salut….
Dark purple and opaque in the glass. Iodine, plums and blackcurrants on the nose give way to a refreshingly tannic initial taste of more black fruits alongside a charcoal note. This wine rides tough on the gums with delightful, young tannins that beg for steak. I’m happy to oblige tonight. The mid palate is all about the balance of fruit versus tannins. The finish is short to medium in length and gives off note of that iodine meets Ribena. Very tasty wine that has some nice structure and good cellaring potential. 90 points and drink till 2030. 5 stars for this $18 effort. Salut….
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….