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….
I have always enjoyed these wines. I don’t normally order crianza’s but gave this one a whirl. Nose of black fruits and plums after a good swirl. Somewhat one-dimensional on the first taste with loads of damson, acid and upfront tannins. Slight oak influence, but in a good way. This wine appears to be young, and may need some coaxing. After a trip through the vinturi it softens dramatically. It’s amazing how some wines transform when given some air and allowed to breath. More plums, some earth and cinnamon come out after aerating and the tannins are way more subdued. The structure is interesting and I think will give this wine a long cellaring potential. Drink from 2017-2022 unless you can send it through a Vinturi, then now is fine. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $18 effort. Salut….
Whenever I see ’09 or 2010 Bordeaux on sale I take note. These two vintages were stellar and you can’t go wrong. Hence the urge for me to pick up a case of this stuff sight unseen, without any knowledge or forbearance. I simply saw a rating, a price and my wallet.
Bright purples hues in the glass as to be expected. Nose of black currants and blue berries was somewhat less than expected, perhaps the youth of the bottle? An interesting attack of black and blue fruits with a core of acidity and brisk tannins which led to a cork and dusty component which add to the fruits in a funky way that I enjoyed. Black tea finish with that tannic bite made for an interesting closure. 89 points with a 2014-2020 window. I paid $18 per bottle making this a 3 star effort. Salut….
I just recalled where I got this bottle from- Total Wine for $18, it was on special as they were doing a Spanish wine tasting that day. I’ll be back for more… I had to look very hard to find any vintage details, but a tiny set of words ‘Cosecha 2012’ gave it away. I was startled by the color, it was purpley purple in the glass- more so than I have ever seen in wine. An unmistakable Tempranillo nose of tar, black fruits and earth came wafting over. The initial profile was of earthy tar and black berries. The wine is still young with nice tannins and a very gentle acidity, but then I noted “Wow, really young”. Brooding black cherries on the mid to back end with a deft use of oak made this textbook and juicy, delicious. This wine is full on, in your face Tempranillo that I can really sink my teeth into. It is ready now but will age well for another 5-8 years. I can’t think of a better pairing than with a big steak! Bang for the buck, this wine rocks. 91 points and 5 stars for this Spanish beauty. Salut….