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….
The last time I had an Australian Port was in 1999, in Sydney. It never really dawned on me to search them out. I recently got back into Port drinking and just ordered 10 different bottles to try out. This is the first of them and I am looking forward to this adventure.
In the glass it resembles it’s style-tawny… It has a brownish, purply tinge to the see-through base. The nose is nutty, with plum reduction and a hint of oak. There is a certain youth to go along with the mellowed out nuances in the nose of this aged wine. On the palate- orange marmalade, raisins and hazelnut mingle with a plum base. The wine is slightly syrupy and shows nice legs in the glass. The 18% alcohol is well masked and there is a trace of very fine grained tannins running through the mid palate and on to the long finish. Speaking of which, the finish has more of the orange notes I got on the opening as well as some oak, almond and raisin. It lasts a while, with not much sign of the alcohol at all. Overall this is a very tasty dessert wine that has aged nicely and is ready for business. I’m going with 90 points and for $19 this is a 4 star effort. Salut….
No nose- I’m sitting in an airplane with a plastic cup. The initial impression I get is of mellow plums, really nice acidity and some earthiness. The mid palate is generous with the dark fruits and I am enjoying the very mild dryness the tannins are giving. On second thought, it is really packed with plum flavors. The finish is shortish but tasty. The strength of this wine lies on the generous mid palate, which is where the flavors and technical components all seem to materialize. Considering I am cooped up in a pressurized tube I think the winemakers have a winner here. They have crafted something I am really enjoying. 90 points and kudos. I paired it with pasta and meatball, courtesy of United Airlines. For $19 this wine gets 4 stars and is widely available. Salut….
Dark and brooding in the glass it shows off Blackberry and mint on the nose. The palate is very interesting. Black cherry pie meets blackberries and licorice. The tannins are delightful, packed just right. The mid palate gives off some plum jam but is quickly overriden by the tannins. The finish is decent in length and I am getting charcoal, blackberry and dark cherry notes. A well made wine that has some cellaring potential. We are pairing it with Flank steak and roasted asparagus. 90 points and for $19 is it a 4 star effort. It is a true Bordeaux blend, comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Salut….