After trying the Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon I had to line up their Shiraz and make some comparisons. This Shiraz displays nicely in the glass with medium opacity, purple hues and a definite show of legs. The nose is somewhat muted even after a few big swirls. I finally coax blackberries and eucalyptus out of it. On the palate I get black fruits with a dose of greeness that is very prominent. There is a touch of cedar as the wine transitions to the mid palate. I sense very fine grained tannins approaching along with a dark cherry note. The black fruits continue on the finish but the tannins overwhelm them in the end. The wine has a strong acidity that I can sense on my teeth. The green notes I talked of earlier reappear on the finish. It’s almost like the fruit included some unripe clusters that have given this wine a certain sourness along with the over abundant acidity. 85 points from me and 2 stars for this $12 effort. Salut….
A reddish purple in the glass. On the nose I am getting blueberry, vanilla and red licorice. My initial impression is slightly tart with blueberry pie, and that’s about it. The mid palate keeps the blueberry theme alive and adds a layer of tannins and some sour cherry. The finish is bracing, the acidity and some green tannins really take over. Unfortunately, this wine is a little thin, lacks depth and is off balance. 85 points at best, but for only $9 I could go 2 stars. We are grilling ribs and corn, might just work. Salut….
A very purply purple, quite distinctive. The nose is very fruity with plums, black berries and cedar shavings. On the palate I get more black berries, but also some red currants and a vanilla bean component. The mid palate has more of the black berries and some bracing acidity. Tannins are very integrated and mild, when they appear on the tail end. There is a slight bitterness to the wine that I find odd. It’s not tannin related, which is unfortunately a distractor. This wine is going to rock the Strip roast I am cooking in the smoker, along with some Artichokes and a tarragon mayo. I am going with 88 points on this wine, which I paid $20 for. A decent wine once past the bitterness. It may just be me as it got 91-94 points from various pros. It gets 2 stars from me unfortunately. Salut….
Pretty dark purple in the glass. Nose of plum and blackberry, but it’s hard to coax the flavors as this particular bottle has been chilled. The initial taste is more blackberry with some spice box. The tannins are very subdued as is the acidity, which is atypical for this varietal. I get tar and creosote on the mid palate, with some blackberry. The finish is more black berries and some fig paste. 87 points for this $15 offering make it a 2 star wine. Salut….
It’s pasta night and I need a Sangiovese. This one happens to be ready to go on my daily drinking shelf and I am excited.
In the glass, the color is a pale, see through reddish purple- reminiscent of Pinot Noir. On the nose, strawberry and cherry, just like Pinot. The palate introduces me to delicious strawberry and capsicum flavors, but I get a dose of heat right away. A quick glance reveals a 14.5% lurker here.
The wine transitions on the mid palate to more strawberries and a red raspberry jam. The alcohol still permeates though and I am not sensing much in the way of tannins, until the very end. The finish is where they appear, very well integrated but lacking a good dose of acidity, just more heat. The wine is delicious, yet unbalanced and I fear it will not hold out well in the cellar, which is a shame as I would love to revisit this one in 10 years. 88 points, the structure and excessive alcohol being detractors. I really do enjoy the flavors though. For $28 it is a 2 star wine for me. Salut….
I just saw the 95 point sticker on the label, it must be good or this particular critic is dead to me…
Dark purple color, from the 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lets see what the 50% Sangiovese brings. Olives, plum jam and seaweed hit the nose. On the palate I get a very intriguing flavor. I can’t quite put my finger on it…Black plums, dark, dark stone fruits and perhaps black tea leaves. I am getting a very one dimensional hit of tannins as well. The mid palate is all black tea and tannins. The finish is bitter, with faint notes of black plum and oversteeped tea. I don’t get it. This wine was hyped by a pro, written up by the seller as soft and supple, with gentle tannins. Quite the opposite for me, and bottle variation doesn’t count here. This wine is barely 86 points in my book and for $20 I think I will look elsewhere. 2 stars. Salut….
I have never tried or even heard of the Ruche grape, so I just had to give it a go. I’m winging it here with ratings and recommendations as I am flying blind and don’t know what to expect or what is typical.
A see through lighter purple in the glass. Nose of candy, strawberry and red licorice, very reminiscent of California Syrah. The initial tastes are peppery strawberry, red currants and some rather astringent tannins. The mid palate changes it up and introduces some tar, more red fruits and a very dry mouthfeel. Interesting to say the least. The tannins keep going through to the end where they mix it up with more strawberry. Somewhat one dimensional in my opinion. I bought it for $25 and it apparently got 98 points from a critic. I cannot agree nor can I argue, I just don’t know this grape- but for my money it comes in at 89 points and 2 stars. I would pass unless you like the lighter style of California Syrah, with some perky tannins thrown in. Salut….
By far the most interesting label of the year- a metallic one on this bottle of Fitou. I was intrigued and had to try it. Fitou is a region in the Languedoc, southern France and the two main grapes are Grenache and Carignan.
The wine is a medium shade of purple and offers a nose of garrigue, funk and black cherry. This may sound horrible to the layman but in wine terms, quite legitimate descriptors and ones that are sought after by certain palates. On the initial attack I am getting a somewhat thin veil of plums but more importantly, some off-putting tannins. The wine is a bit disjointed and the balance is off. It may need some time or a trip through the vinturi (Or in my case, a travel aerator).
Ok, after meeting my friend Bendy, the wine mellows a little but the tannins are still green and generally unpleasant. The fruit is struggling for acceptance here and the structure is not allowing it to happen. I am wondering if I have an off bottle. Best I can go is 85 points at this tasting and for $16 this is a 2 star wine. Happy New Year! Salut….
I had a few colleagues in town for a meeting and took them to a local restaurant for dinner. This was the only Malbec available so we took a punt and tried it. A nose of cherry, oak and black berries. The initial tastes of dark fruits get melded into a silky vanilla blueberry compote. The mid palate passes rather quickly with a hint of black berries and licorice. The finish is nice with an easy going tannin profile and very faint hints of acidity. This is a basic wine that will suffice in a pinch but I was astounded to read later on that it is only a $9 bottle that we got hosed on ($50+), but more importantly- it only got an 80 point rating from WE. That’s rather harsh, but shouldn’t a restaurant look for any ratings before buying blindly? I am not that down on it and will go with 86 points making it a 2 star wine. Salut….