I do believe that Pinot Noir pairs nicely with Duck, so here we go! This one is quite a dark shade of red but completely see-through. The nose has a candied strawberry waft along with pomegranate and some mulling spices. The palate is very approachable and offers crisp red cranberry and cherry flavors. There is a juiciness to this wine that I am enjoying. The mid palate goes back to that initial strawberry note but I also sense a decent amount of acidity. There are tannins lurking in the background that hit me on the delightful finish that is a bouquet of red fruits and a touch of spice. Yummy and light with some good fruit, it will go great with my bird. Drink till 2025. 89 points for this $19 bottle make it a 4 star wine. Salut….
Here’s the scene- it’s Christmas Eve, Moxie is making her grandmother’s famous Holiday Crunch for dinner (a pasta casserole) and I am having to pick between four different bottles to try. Eenie meenie moe and voila- the Vino Rosso beats the Barolo, the Gigondas and the Cab Franc.
No idea what the blend is until I pour the wine, it’s gotta be a Sangiovese. Light purple, totally see through and obviously Italian. The nose gives me muted cherry, raspberry and cedar plank. On the palate it is very soft and easy drinking. Strawberry and cherry give it away. Very little tannin make this super light weight and easy without any astringency or acid. The mid palate is a red fruit melange plus some plum that takes me to the short lived finish. Right at the very end I sense some acidity taking hold, but it’s not jaw dropping. A tasty wine that will go well with our pasta dish which normally gets smothered in hot sauce. 86 points and 2 stars for this $19 charmer. Drink now. Salut….
The 10th Virtual Wine Tasting featured this Spanish wine as the lone white, which we tasted both chilled and at room temperature. I made a prediction right after I tasted the room temp version that this wine would be better chilled, contrary to the usual. I was correct.
The wine showed nicely in the glass with a pale yellow color and fine legs. The tasters noted melon, citrus, ‘soapy’, pear and honey. On the palate it was considered ‘mild’, ‘light’, with notes of grapefruit and apricot coming through. The chilled version gave me a sharper nose, was more vibrant and had notes of Granny Smith apples, pear and citrus. I found it more dry, acidic and having flavors of ginger and grapefruit on the palate. One taster mentioned it had ‘Zing’ from the acidity.
As I have said before it’s hard to run a virtual tasting and make my own notes when there’s 20 other people chiming in with their own opinions, but I do try to write down what the common theme is that we are all tasting. Overall this was a nice intro to the varietal and I really enjoyed it the next night as an aperitif with some Lebanese Mezza. It hit the thirst spot right on and was refreshing with it’s acidity and that Zing! Overall I would give this Albariño 89 points, but drink it chilled. 4 stars for this $19 effort. Salut….
Bright purple and see through, typical for the Gamay grape. On the nose it shows blueberry, spice box, violets and bramble. The palate is very fresh and echoes the blue theme. Nice, rounded acidity braces the mouth and the fruit transitions nicely to the mid palate. There’s a definitive spice i’m getting- perhaps cloves? It’s very interesting. The wine feels like it may have a touch of tannic grip, which is good for this style- it allows brief to mid term cellaring. The finish is decent in length with more blueberries and a dusty component. It reminds me a little of Rioja on the back end. Quite unique. For $19 and 90 points, this Beaujolais Cru gets 4 stars. A nice gift from my cousins. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Blackish blue in the glass that is somewhat murky. On the nose it’s delightful- blackberry pie, yeast, and iodine(strange, but believable). On the palate it has a unique flavor- blackberry meets charcoal. I can’t think of a better descriptor. There’s a vast cask influence here and I’m loving it, not over-oaked but the fundamentals are there. Vanilla, popcorn, coconut. It’s not over done, just a nice, deft use of it to give this wine a unique flavor. The mid palate continues the blackberry theme and the tannins creep up, barely noticeable until the finish and by then- dry gums! The whole package is mouth-filling, interesting, well structured and balanced. I like it, a lot. 91 points and 5 stars for this $19 wine. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Quite dark but lacking much opacity in the glass. On the nose it reeks of New World Pinot goodness. Cherry cobbler, vanilla and strawberry coulis all hit me on the nose. The palate has a gorgeous initial streak of bing cherry, blueberry (yup), cedar and spice box. There is a fruitcake note on the midpalate that tempers some acidity. The wine finishes with a slightly green note- capsicum comes to mind, but it’s quite nice. The vegetal twist alongside the red fruit works well here. There is an underlying astringency from the very feint tannins. This is a delicious wine for immediate consumption or a few years in the cellar. 90 points and 5 stars for this $19 effort. Pair with roast chicken, grilled salmon or Veal chops. You can read my previous reviews of the Saint Clair lineup to see I am a huge fan, for good reason. Salut….
A mellow blend of the traditional Bordeaux varieties- this wine is a pretty purple in the glass with long legs showing. The nose is plump with dark fruits, some cherry cola and a touch of cinnamon. The initial palate is very rounded, soft and smooth. It features black currants, black olives, oregano. It has a great mouthfeel due to the very slight tannic structure which is really balanced well with the gentle acidity. This is a quaffing wine for sure, with a drink now date. The finish is medium in length and dark fruit dominated. It has a hint of charcoal on the end and some plum tart. I really like this wine for what it is, the 89 points are not a slam- it just lacks the backbone to cellar and evolve which detract from a numerical score. This would be great with light appetizers or as a base for a wine sauce. It really has a lovely fullness to it. $19 and 4 stars. If I had to blind taste it, the soft and supple mouthfeel scream Merlot. Salut….
Solid, dark and brooding. On the nose it is somewhat muted in this particular glass but I managed to coax black cherry, olives, cinnamon stick. On the palate it is much more defined, albeit a bit tannic at first. Plum and black berries come out with some nuttiness to go along with the mouth drying tannins, which are rather forceful by the mid palate. Figs, a touch of oak and some more blue fruits tie it up with a mid length finish. The wine is young, the tannins are quite untamed. I would give this wine another 2 years in cellar and drink from 2020-2028. 88 points and 3 stars for this $19 effort. Salut….
I do love me some Port. It goes well with cheese, dessert or alone after dinner. It is one one of life’s real pleasures.
This particular one was bought with a slew of others as I am trying out as many as I can. It looks almost black in the glass. A brooding, dark monster. It is after all named a Warrior, and is of the Finest Reserve. The nose offers up burnt matches and dark plums. Kind of a weird combo. The thickness of the wine is evident on the presentation. On the palate- it is rich, with dark cherry reduction and blackberry syrup. The wine has an unctuous feel to it, somewhat akin to dessert whites. It shows off a nice level of acidity to go along with the tannic backbone. This one will cellar well. The finish is long, broad and has hints of blueberry pie, some vanilla as well as dark chocolate. I like this one and am going with 90 points. I paid $19 and give it 4 stars. Not a bad drop if you like Port. Salut….
I just rolled up to the Aloft hotel bar and ordered this Cabernet from their menu, taking a chance on it’s provenance and style. I was pleasantly surprised. Forget the color, it was nigh on impossible to tell in the current venue. The nose has a warmth to it along with blackberry, slate and eucalyptus. On the palate I get a really smooth intro to the blackberry notes as well as graphite and black cherry. The core flavors continue to the mid palate and beyond along with some very fine tannins that really pop on the finish. The wine has a great mouthfeel with gentle acidity omnipresent but not obtrusive. Atypical for this varietal from Napa, this wine is more on the subtle side, a refreshing change. 90 points, $19 and 4 stars from me. Pair it with some steaks and mushroom sauce, or perhaps a Cornish Hen dressed up in a garlic rub. Salut….