Dark purple in the glass with decent legs showing. On the nose I get cherry and rhubarb alongside birch bark. On the palate it has an interesting taste- sour cherry meets cherry cola and bramble. It is quite sour too, not from acidity unfortunately. The mid palate is tart, with more sour cherry notes as well as some earthiness and unripe plums. The finish is where I sense the tannic impact, with an astringency that hits my jowls. This wine is one dimensional, lacking in ripe fruits and certainly not worth $20 in my opinion. 2 stars for this 85 point wine. I am at complete odds with the pros here- 94 JS, 91 RP. I must either have a strange bottle or I really need to calibrate my buds. Salut…
In the glass this wine is textbook Pinot Noir- bright red, see-through with lithe legs. On the nose I get cherry cola, strawberry and faint wood. On the palate it screams New World Pinot with strawberry coulis, bing cherry and delightful tannins that ease into a full blown black tea extravaganza that leave my gums puckered and my teeth thoroughly dry. The mid palate turns a little blue on me with berries and tar. The finish is back to the original strawberry/cherry combo that I love. The finish is long with nice balanced acidity offsetting the tannins. 91 points for this $20 wine makes it a 5 star effort IMHO. Drink now till 2027. I am pairing it with roasted Cornish Hens, baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and sautéed Zucchini. Salut….
Wow- inky, dark, thick and brooding in appearance. The nose is focused, plum torte and blackberry extract are my first impressions. On the palate it’s full of dark fruits, tar, mint and a meaty component. The tannins are so mild, melded and unobtrusive- making this a great sipping wine. It’s flavorful, easygoing, adaptable yet complex. The finish is really smooth with nice blackberry jam and bacon notes. Medium length. This is not a dry nor sweet wine- just nicely balanced between the extremes. Drink till 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $20 effort. The pros went higher, perhaps I need to re-calibrate! Salut….
Very purple/black in the glass. Brush, black cherry, blackberries and tar on the nose. On the palate it is round, soft and full of fruit. Black fruits galore, cedar shake, olives and that creosote all hit me across the front. The midpalate offers more blackberries and gentle, yet fine grained tannins. The black cherry reappears on the finale with a touch of dryness on the gums that adds to the mouthfeel. 89 points for this $20 Corvina/Rondinella blend and 3 stars. Pair with Pasta, Veal and grilled Tuna from now till 2023. Salut….
A deep purple wine with medium opacity. On the nose it is lush, full of ripe plums, graced by a deft hand of oak and blackberries. On the palate I get a more licorice and coffee initial attack. The dark fruits appear on the mid palate. There is not as much plum as I had been led to believe, but the juicy acidity makes me forget quickly. The tannins are lithe, making this a drink-now wine. The finish is more tart blueberry than blackberry. Somewhat short in the backend. A tasty wine that merits 88 points from me. For $20 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2021 with some burgers, pizza or lasagna. Salut….
Very dark in the glass. The nose is plummy with sweet black currant syrup hints. The palate has black currants, espresso and nutmeg notes. Mouth drying tannins appear on the mid-palate where I get big doses of coffee and charcoal. The tannins really grip on the finish. The wine begs for aeration or a juicy ribeye. The acidity is there, somewhere. I just can’t sense it. Overall- quite tasty, young and in need of cellaring or aerating. Drink till 2026 with hearty fare. 88 points from me which is in stark contrast with the monster 92+ points the pros gave it. I think a re-taste is in order. For now this $20 effort gets 3 stars. Salut….
Medium opacity with good color and nice legs. On the nose I get blueberry jam, cedar, juniper. On the palate there are notes of blue fruit, cinnamon stick and that woody, cedar note I got on the nose. The mid palate introduces some acidity along with- dare I say- wintergreen? Tannins are mild and unobtrusive, giving the wine a bit of astringency on the finish. The wine drinks nicely, what it lacks in depth it makes up for in mouthfeel. 88 points and 3 stars for this $20 wine. Drink till 2022 with meat, tapas or stew. Salut….
Bright purple. The nose is fruity, vibrant and full of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate- delicious rendition of dark berry compote meets vanilla bean and coffee reduction. The wine exhibits some dryness with slight tannins appearing midpalate. The dryness opens up on the finish and leaves the back cheeks somewhat astringent. The mid plate concentrated on black fruits and the finish carries it through with some cedar plank to boot. 89 points and 4 stars for this $20 blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Franc. Drink now with tapas, grilled Pork chops or pasta. Salut….
A couple of us met up and had a tasting of several nice wines. We started with this Pinot Noir, building our way up to the Bordeaux by way of some Portuguese, South African and Spanish bottles. Read on for the highlights!
Gorgeous purple- see through but clear. The nose is heavy on the strawberry. Nutmeg is present, spice box and vanilla bean round it out. On the palate it is lush, light and layered. Strawberry coulis mixed with cedar plank and cherry abound. The mid palate exhibits a darker fruit component and more spices that I found on the nose. The wine has a very nice acidity and the very lithe tannins only show up at the finale. An excellent bottle that drinks beautifully now and will go on for another 5/7 years. 91 points for this Pinot and 5 stars. It is a perennial favorite of mine and is consistent, year in and year out. $20. Salut….
A few of these came across my desk at a reasonable price so to speak. I had to try. Quite a dark shade of purple in the glass. The nose is fresh, plummy and hinting of Ribena. The initial palate gives me quite a biting dose of plums, tannins and acidity. All at once. It kinda made we wince. The label says this wine is unfiltered, has a 14% alcohol and contains sulfites….
On the mid palate is where it opens up, adding some black currants and nutmeg to the mix. The tannins are searing however and this wine needs some time in the cellar. The finish is woody, with that astringency of young tannins. Strong black tea comes to mind. As does an old oak barrel. I like this wine, it has potential. I would decant/aerate the hell out of it if you want to drink before 2020. It will last a good while after that and hopefully mellow down some. I am giving it 90 points and 4 stars for the $20 I had to fork over for this 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Sangiovese blend. It got 93 points from the pros, so there is that. Think hearty stews, beef rib or even eggplant Parmigiana for this heavyweight. Salut….