Deep ruby colored, this Merlot shows off its 15% ABV with thick legs in the glass. The nose has rich aromas of ripe raspberry, black cherry, vanilla, caramel and red licorice. The palate is dry with slightly green tannins, medium acidity and medium intensity flavors. The body is medium (+) on this juicy wine. The mid palate is a touch astringent that also shows some charcoal notes. The finish is dry and somewhat tart, reminiscent of sour cherries and black tea. It’s a decent drop that gets 89 points from me. I would imagine this will drink till 2025 and pair well with grilled meats and charcuterie. $22 makes this a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….
The first in a series of wines from an online subscription service that sends a little info note for each bottle- kinda cool. This Petite Sirah is deep ruby and shows off its 14.8% ABV with some globby legs in the glass. The nose has aromas of blackberries, black plum, black raspberry, vanilla, blueberry pie and espresso. The palate is dry with medium (+) tannins, medium (-) acidity, medium (+) body and a decent length finish. The flavors are medium (+) intensity and closely echo the nose. I do get slightly more blue fruit, and less baking spice on the mid palate and there is a black tea component on the back end. It’s a nice wine, but I was hoping for a bit more jamminess to be honest- the card promised it. I think this $22 effort gets 89 points and should be drunk with hearty meats by 2026. 4 stars. Salut….
In my wine course I had to write about the Coonawarra region in Australia. I learned quite a bit about this tiny appellation- a bevy of high end Cab Savs come from here so when I saw this bottle, I had to give it a try.
It’s pretty opaque with a nice shade of ruby in the glass with thin legs belying it’s 14% ABV. The nose is stacked with black fruits, charred wood, bell pepper, black pepper and something rich that I cannot put my finger on. The palate is dry with generous tannins coating my gums right off the bat. The fruit is having a hard time competing for attention until the mid palate where the blackberry, black plum, black currant, cedar and charred oak finally get a say. The grip of those tannins re-emerges on the finish where my teeth are now rough and my gums are begging for mercy. This is a young wine folks, it needs time or a good run through the aerator. The richness of the fruit is somewhat lost, hidden by the cloak of structure. There is ample acidity to balance the tannins in due course and I think the whole package will come together nicely. Save this young-un for a few years and drink from 2025-2030. I think it warrants 91 points and at $22 it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. I loaded up on a few bottles, and will cellar the remaining ones. Salut….
Medium ruby with watery legs. The nose has medium (+) intensity aromas of blackberry, raspberry, red plum, violet, black pepper, charred wood, cedar and is meaty. It is quite complex and developing. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, high alcohol, medium body and medium (+) intensity flavors of raspberry, red plum, coffee, black pepper, cedar and that meaty note. There is nice complexity to this wine that has a medium (-) finish. Overall I really like this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that is drinking well now but has potential for aging. 91 points for this $22 bottle make it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2028. Salut….
I’m looking forward to this wine, to be paired with grilled Tri-Tip. For a Napa Cab, it shows a little lighter in the glass, with medium ruby color and thin legs. On the nose I have to battle the alcohol first, swirling like mad and blowing the fumes away. Once there I get blackberry, blackcurrant, black plum, cloves, smoke and yet more alcohol. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins which are softened by the addition of Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. It has a good body and the flavors are really juicy- more of the black fruits, the oak influence and I also get a black tea component. The alcohol is making it fuller on the mouthfeel but I can feel it on the back end, definitely present in this one. The finish is pretty decent in length with the tea outlasting the fruit. I think this is a decent wine, but not something to rave about. It will drink well till 2026 and pair great with steaks. 88 points from me and for $ 22 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
I am in a Riesling mood, might have to do with the choice of dinner- grilled shrimp and scallops with garlic butter alongside a pepper salad. It’s sunny, 75 and Friday….. why not. This one is very pale yellow in the glass. The nose is very pronounced with flavors of lemon, green apple, a hint of ginger and gooseberry. The palate is a touch sweet, I would consider it off-dry. Rich flavors of yellow pear and citrus notes meet green apple. The gooseberry is nowhere to be seen but I do get a refreshing acidity. The mouthfeel is generous as this wine is medium bodied. The finish is nicely balanced between fruitiness and tartness and lasts a decent amount making it medium in length. Yummy stuff this is, getting 91 points from me. Drink till 2026 with seafood or hard cheese. I paid $22- a steal that gets 5 stars. Salut….
Back in 1992 I flew into the former Yugoslavia, right after their civil war. I bought 12 bottles of local Croatian wine, most of it made with the Plavac Mali grape. I subsequently found and drank more in a Serbian restaurant in Mainz, Germany- that would have been 2002 or so. I have not seen the varietal since then so when this came up I ordered with glee!
A bright shade of purple and about 75% opaque. The nose offers up black cherry, singed alder, blueberry. The palate is fresh, tart and a touch bitter. I get blueberries, violet and plum with bracing acidity and medium grip tannins. The mid palate is where the acidity really kicks in and makes my mouth pucker. The blue fruit theme continues to the dryish finish where I am now starting to get interesting notes of pomegranate and red berries. It certainly is tart and young. The tannins battling the acidity for prominence. I’m enjoying it but would like to revisit in 2-3 years. I think it would benefit from a touch more wood influence. I picked it for tonight’s Duck l’Orange dish but would also pair it with Brisket, Chicken Cacciatore or Coq au Vin. 88 points from me for this $22 wine that gets 3 stars. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Almost opaque with a dark purple, almost black color in the glass. The nose offers up dark fruit, some earthiness and a meaty note. The palate is really tasty- black cherry, black currants and cola. Really nice acidity and a hint of tannins make for a very approachable mouthfeel. The midpalate really accentuates the black fruit flavors and adds a little licorice and white pepper. The acidity is starting to overtake the tannic grip and the wine finishes with a long burst of black currants, focused acidity and that gamy note I got on the nose. Yummy stuff that needs to be drunk by 2025. I’m baking a Brisket with peaches, should be just about right. 90 points and 4 stars for this $22 wine. Salut….
I’m cooking Lamb Shanks tonight so a Malbec made sense. This one is semi opaque and a medium shade of purple. Blueberry reduction, smoky wood and black licorice hit the nose. The palate has got a delightful sweet blackberry entrance with plums, anise and a very smooth mouthfeel. I sense raspberry on the mid palate, could that be? More licorice and that red fruit note are dominant with very svelte tannins and a touch of acidity. The finish is refreshing- it has an earthy minerality with some raspberry. The mouthfeel is great if you are looking for an easygoing wine that will not bite with tannins or acidity. Built for the present with tons of fruit, it will drink well till 2023 and gets 88 points from me. 3 stars for this $22 effort. Salut….
See through dark shade of red in the glass. The nose has red currants and pomegranate. The palate gives me mulling spices, currant reduction and dried red fruit. There is a healthy dose of slightly green tannins that immediately dry out my gums. The mid palate is quite astringent with notes of red fruit- mainly currants but a bit of rhubarb adding some acidity to the mix. The finish is relatively short but I do get some really nice flavors and the tannins tend to mellow pretty quickly. This one is a touch young and the greeness of the tannins worries me. It’s not a subtle Pinot nor is it over-extracted, a nice balance of flavor, structure and freshness. 88 points and 3 stars for this $22 wine. Drink till 2027 with roast Chicken, perhaps eggplant parmigiana. Salut….