This Chilean Cab is bright purple and nearly opaque in the glass. The nose is very black raspberry driven, almost over the top. Red licorice and candy notes come into play as well. On the palate it is a dark fruit melange with oak influence and a hint of sweetness. It sounds funny but whilst a touch sweet it also has a good dose of tangy acidity. Greenish tannins go straight for the gums with astringency galore. The mid palate tastes of sour black cherry and blackberry, an interesting take. The juicy finish lets up some on the dry factor, letting the fruit shine through. I am cooking up some Lamb Merguez sausages to pair, I think that will work nicely. Drink this 87 point wine till 2024. At $20 it’s a three pointer. Salut….
It’s been four years since I had a drop of Mothers Milk, I was super excited to see it in my local wine shop. I’m cooking Venison Tenderloins in a mushroom sauce and think this might be the perfect match. It’s about 80% opaque and a medium shade of murky purple. On the nose it is spicy, peppery and has notes of licorice, blackberry and charred oak. On the palate it is really smooth and flavorful. Blackberry, anise and cola flavors shine through alongside some juicy acid. The mid palate is very fruity and has gobs of acidity to go along with lithe tannins. The fruit is working hard at this point to remain center stage. The finish is quite tart from the structural components but I do get more flavors right at the end. Black fruit melange, that licorice note and the acidity go on for ages. This is a very fresh wine that is drinking nicely and will do so till 2025. I’m going with 89 points and for $20 it gets 4 stars. (Ps. one of the pros went as high as 96!). Glad I re-discovered it! Salut….
It’s a semi opaque pale purple wine in the glass. The nose has candied cherries, cinnamon stick, black currants and cedar. On the palate it is really rich and warm. Gobs of black fruits with toasty oak, spice and very lithe tannins all form the first wave. The mid palate has a nice acidic pop alongside the black fruit cocktail. The tannins are present but not obtrusive on the somewhat dry finish that has tons more fruit to offer including black cherry. Nice mouthfeel, it’s an easy Cab to drink right now and will cellar till 2025. I really like it and will be pairing it with Sous Vide Strip steaks. For $20 it’s a great deal ’cause it gets 90 points from me and 5 stars. Salut….
This Pinot hails from the Pays d’Oc region in France. It is light purple and see through. The nose has light red fruit notes, boysenberry and a dusty earth component. On the palate it is richer than expected. Red raspberry, bramble and a cherry reduction with some lithe acidity greet me. The mid palate continues the red fruit theme with just a hint of tannin. The finish is very smooth and nicely balanced. Although not a very complex wine, it has some weight and good fruit flavor to handle many dishes. Roast chicken comes to mind, as does Salmon on the grill. I would drink till 2023. 90 points and for $20 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Pinotage is an interesting grape to me. I’m excited for this South African wine that is bright purple in the glass and semi opaque. On the nose it has telltale tar and blackberry notes. The palate is rich with sweet blackberries, bramble, earthy dust and that tar component I get so often with this varietal. The mid palate has some cola, sassafras and more black fruit. It’s got lithe tannins that build but never overtake the fruit. There’s a nice acidity but it’s not overly done. The earthiness of this wine is something to behold, it’s got a gamey note to boot. I really like the way it finishes with a flurry of different flavors wrapped in an easy drinking package. The structure encourages short term drinking so get popping. I’m paring it with leftover Kebabs and fried potatoes. 90 points for this $20 gem make it a 5 star wine for me! Salut….
It’s a typical Pinot in the glass- see-through, pale purple. On the nose it gives me loads of strawberry, violets, cherry and cinnamon. The initial palate is rich with warm strawberry pie, baking spices, sweet rhubarb and very fine grained tannins. There’s juicy acidity right off the bat and the wine continues it’s red theme throughout the palate. The baking spice component is an interesting facet to this wine. The flavor profile is neither Old nor New World, somewhere in the middle as far as taste, extraction and weight. It’s nice to drink and has some good structure to endure extended cellaring. The red currant and rhubarb finish is mid length and the tannins are very much evident. There is a hint of Rooibos tea right at the end that I am enjoying. I’m grilling up some Pork tenderloins, tossing some pasta with black olives and calling this a nice pairing. 90 points from me and 5 stars for this $20 effort. Salut….
This Sonoma gem pours very dark, brooding and inky in the glass. The palate is somewhat of a surprise- it’s chock full of plum, black berry and chocolate powder. I also get a whiff of the 14.5% alcohol. On the palate it is delicious, tannic, and interesting. Black iodine, plum jam and blackberry compote all hit me. The wine has a nice dose of tannins that carry through all the way to the finish, not overly dry but present nonetheless. The mid palate mellows out some from the big burst of fruity goodness. The tannins are more evident on the gums at this stage and my mouth is starting to pucker. The finish has dusty mocha, more of that Iodine and obviously those dark fruits. It could use a touch more acidity but I really am enjoying it for it’s youthful exuberance and unabashed tannic structure. Good use of oak adds to the flavor of this wine and the alcohol that I was concerned about did not materialize. It will cellar nicely for a few years and pair well with grilled steaks, Osso Bucco or a hearty Venison stew. Drink till 2026. 91 points my friends and 5 stars for this $20 Cali Cab. Salut….
Dark purple, opaque. The nose is chock full of blackcurrants, spicy oak and some dusty tobacco. The palate is stark- dark and brooding with blackcurrants, oolong tea, nice gentle tannins and a touch of acidity. The midpalate is a bit edgy with some oak influence, charred wood, dark fruit and an increasing dryness from the tannins that are ramping up. The finish is really enjoyable- a nice dry mouthfeel, decent acidity and gobs of fruit. The blackcurrants are really delicious. This is a yummy wine for everyday that will cellar nicely for a few years and be a hit whether you are serving steaks or pizza. Drink till 2025. 90 points and 5 stars for this $20 effort. Ps. The label is one of coolest out there. Salut….
The nose on the third wine of our virtual tasting was wild. Gamy AF, with loads of mushroom, forest floor, bacon fat and some semblance of black fruits. On the palate it was much more manageable and in line with expectations. Bramble, blackberry reduction, leather and some really nice tannins all came together on the palate. The wine smoothed out some on the mid palate and it showed some nice balance between the fruit, the tertiary flavors, tannins and acidity. The funk wore off but there were trace elements of morel mushrooms, leather and blackberry. The finish was where this wine finally came on pointe. Good fruit presentation, some nice touches of those secondary flavors and a decent amount of astringency from the lithe tannins. Overall I really enjoyed this wine, but the nose was offputting for many on the tasting. 91 points for me. Drink till 2026, but let it breathe for at least an hour to help dispel the funk. For $20, it gets 5 stars. Salut….
This was the first wine of my Second Lockdown Virtual Tasting. It was the only white in the lineup, so it had to be a Chardonnay from California. I instructed everyone to chill half the bottle and reserve the other half at room temperature. We were going to do an experiment.
The wine is a nice golden color in the glass. The nose of the chilled wine had pear, apple and citrus notes. On the palate it followed the theme with some nice acidity. The finish was decent in length and showed off that Apple/pear combo nicely. I had researched whether this wine had undergone Malolactic fermentation but could not find proof from any literature, except to assume it had as the winery mentioned one other Chard in their portfolio that specifically did not go through Malo. The wine was quite sharp and lacked the telltale butter notes of the secondary fermentation, I’m baffled.
Anyways- we then tried the same wine at room temp. Huge differences with flavors and mouthfeel. The experiment worked, the point being that most pros taste whites at room temperature and we needed to see the differences. Besides the fuller body it included less citrus, more pear and apple, alongside a touch of baking spices. The wine drank beautifully for me and I gave it 91 points. I would pair it with summer salad, prawn cocktail or blackened Salmon and drink till 2026. $20 gets it 5 stars. Salut….