My second Nouveau of the season, following on from the delicious Georges DuBœf on release night. This one is medium purple, a touch less opaque that the previous. The nose has pronounced aromas of grape bubble gum, banana, red cherry candy (red licorice) and a touch of spice. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very low tannins. Medium (-) bodied, I get flavors of grape bubble gum, grape jelly, cherry candy, and red licorice. It is a bit one-dimensional compared to the previous bottle. The finish is short but the tartness rolls on for a while. Not my favorite. 84 points and for $12, 2 stars. Drink now. Salut….
I am a fan of Portuguese reds- I find them to offer high value for the money. This Superior from the Douro is a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and 5% Sousao. It is deep ruby with medium intensity aromas of stewed plums (prunes), green pepper, white pepper, dried blackberry, dried sage and a nuttiness. I felt the wine is still developing. On the palate it is dry with medium (+) tannins, medium acidity, medium alcohol and medium body. The medium intensity flavors of prunes, dried sage and blackberry coupled with the nutty component led to a short finish. I was underwhelmed by this ‘acceptable’ wine that should be drunk now, with no further aging. It runs $24 locally and gets a mere 86 points from me making it a 2 star effort.
PS. tasting from a second bottle revealed the possibility that this wine was corked and the scores and reviews were deflated from the performance expected of this wine that scored highly with the pros.
This Spanish wine is a blend of 75% Garnacha and 25% Cariñena. It is medium ruby colored:nothing too exciting there. The nose is a bit off-putting to me. As an amateur I’m allowed to add personal opinion. I don’t like candy aromas and flavors in my wine. This one is loaded with cherry hard candy and ripe raspberry. Other notes include maraschino cherry, a touch of baking spice and some very feint charcoal. The palate is…. interesting. I would like to say it is dry, yet I sense some sweetness via red cherry and really ripe raspberry. I’ll say this- it’s very smooth and easy to drink. Medium tannins and acidity coupled with a lighter weight body make it a slippery wine that finishes dry and lasts a decent amount of time. Not complex by any stretch, this $12 …85 pointer gets 2 stars from me. I just don’t care for it. Drink now.
I’m grilling Picanha steaks tonight and needed a rich red wine, Aussie Shiraz fits the bill. This one is deep ruby, nearly dark purple. Very brooding and mysterious. The nose has got gobs of ripe blackberry, blackcurrant cassis, oak, purple licorice, and black plum. The aromas are so pronounced I have to take a breather- super concentrated. The palate is dry with an immediate back palate astringency that I don’t think I like. I’m going to walk away and let it breathe.
It’s still there unfortunately. Anyways- I get black fruit compote, rich cassis and oak cloaked in medium level tannins and medium (+) acidity. I find the wine a touch thin on the mid palate making it medium bodied- not what I was hoping for tonight. The finish, once I get past the astringent portion is actually quite nice and makes up for the thin mid. Juicy, a touch dry from the lingering tannins and laced with licorice and black fruit. Overall this wine disappoints me as I have had stunning bottles from this producer, perhaps this one is off. At $50 this wine is a 2 star effort as I am going with 87 points- far below the pros who tagged it with 91,92 and even 96 points. Must be a bad bottle. Shame. Salut….
Medium gold in color this dessert wine has medium intensity aromas of honey, stewed apricot, cooked red apple and orange peel- not overly complex. The palate is very slippery. Medium (-) acidity, full body, medium intensity flavors of honey, orange pith, stewed apricot, and that orange peel. I didn’t get the apple note btw. It’s got weight and a nice mouthfeel but the depth of fruit flavor is lacking. I like it for a basic after-dinner treat on a weekday that runs $20 per half bottle that gets 86 points from me and 2 stars. 18% ABV btw. Salut….
We had a dinner party last night and finished on this sticky, which did not go down well. I promised myself a re-taste was in order so I reserved a glass to give it a go today.
Deep gold, nearly amber in color with shimmering legs. The nose is almost Oloroso-like with lots of green almond. A touch of honey, some poached apple, apricot and a hint of beeswax come through. The nuttiness is almost overpowering. On the palate it is sweet but not unctuous, full bodied and syrupy but lacking depth of flavor. Medium acidity on the back end is noticed and the wine has a decently long finish. I don’t really care for the nut profile, I was hoping for more botrytis notes. Right now 88 points for this $50 wine, garnering 2 stars. Next bottle coming right up………
Bottle #2- same appearance. Less nuts, more honey, more precise and focused on rich cooked fruit and other nuances of the style. Th palate is much better on this bottle, leading me to believe I had a slightly flawed bottle. It still has an austere nature to it and is definitely not my style of Sauternes. Bumping my score up to 89 points still makes it a 2 star wine. Drink with a cheese plate, especially some Blue till 2030. Salut….
Our final wine at the 22nd Virtual Wine Tasting event was the capstone of our Italian themed night. We had tried three new-to-the-group varietals so I wanted to circle back to familiar roots with a Sangiovese from Brunello. The tasters got the usual cherry and tar that we expected plus black and white pepper, iron, brine and (unfortunately) stewed prune and stewed apricot which told me the wine was already fading fast. On the palate this fear was confirmed by the light-bodied nature of the wine that had low to medium tannins, medium acidity and a short finish. The flavors we got were cherry, briny salt and iron. I was hoping for some leather, tobacco, dried herbs- alas it was not to be. A massive disappointment for me personally as I always hope for 1 home run wine per tasting. At $70 this 90 pointer only gets 2 stars from me. Drink now if you have any. Salut….
This village level Pinot Noir is 5 years old at this stage with a ruby color that is see-through (pale). On the nose I get a heady dose of strawberry, red cherry, spice box, red currant and pomegranate. There is a woodsy, earthy note that I am digging to go along with a hint of oak. On the palate it is quite tart with red fruit and spice. The tannins are very lithe and the acidity is quite overpowering. The fruit is somewhat subdued by it. The intensity of the flavors are less than ideal and the wine feels a bit out of balance. It is light bodied at best. I am pairing it with that traditional French dish of white beans, Duck Confit and white saucisson. I was hoping for a bit more fruit, less structure and certainly more balance. This wine gets 87 points from me, at $17 it’s a 2 star effort. Drink now. Salut….
Moxie and I took a trip to Austin and a nearby resort recently. On our drive out of town, headed to Hill Country we stopped at this quaint winery and enjoyed the wares. The drive off the main road was down a near-single lane country road with cattle fencing and massive Texas cows. We ended up drinking most of the offerings which seem to have Tempranillo as the common varietal. My favorite was the Cabernet/Merlot blend and we did not care for the sparkling wines- way too yeasty. The winery offers a tasting of grapes grown on property or wines from sourced fruit. Overall it was a very pleasant afternoon, lazing around with a full glass of red after working through the list. I gave rough scores and tried some note taking but in the end these are 85-87 point wines that retail for between $20-$40+. A fun place to go if you are in the area. Salut….
This week I am focusing on New World wines for my course. I have selected this bottle to kick off the festivities and here is my official tasting note for class:
Clarendon Hills Grenache ‘Romas’ 2011, Australia 14.5% ABV
- Appearance- Deep ruby with thick legs.
- Nose- Pronounced aromas of red plum, raspberry, blackcurrants, chocolate, coffee and smoke. Developing.
- Palate- Dry, medium acidity, medium+ tannins, high alcohol, medium+ body, medium+ intensity flavors of raspberry, red plum, chocolate, coffee, licorice. Medium finish.
- Conclusion- good quality, drink now but has potential for aging.
I have drunk many different vintages and varietals from this winery. Their Syrah mimics Rhone wines rather than jammy Shiraz. This particular bottle of Grenache was somewhat one-dimensional and lacked much development, even with 10+ years of aging. It was very tasty but had a bit of astringency that bothered me.
It ran me $30 per bottle and I am going with 89 points- kind of disappointing, I know. 2 stars, hopefully the other bottles show better as the original pro review gave it upwards of 95 points. Drink till 2030, served mine with grilled Hangar steak and Chimichurri. Salut….