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….
Inky and opaque is this Bordeaux blend. On the nose I am treated to a melange of cassis, plums, blackberry and delicious oak. The palate is exactly what I was hoping for- rich, warm and layered with all those black fruits, very integrated tannins and a mound of acidity. This wine is very powerful and thick with fruit flavors, balancing doses of tannin and acidity and just the right amount of wood to make it very pleasing. The mid palate gets quite a bit more focused on the structure of the wine- the acidity really playing hell with my jaw and the tannins really starting to grip. If you’re looking for an unabashed wine that will pair well with game, grilled Ribeyes or a heavy pasta dish- this is it. The finish reminds me of young Claret, the fruit being masked by the power of the structural components. It will cellar nicely till 2030. 92 points from me for this $22 stunner that gets 5 stars. Salut….
My Virtual Wine Tasting Company is a group of friends who taste wines every two weeks or so. The goal for me is to introduce new varietals and regions to them and try to educate as best I can with my knowledge and experience. At the #7 tasting I presented the Gamay grape. No one realized that Beaujolais wines were made from this grape. We discussed regular maceration versus cold maceration and finally I talked about Carbonic Maceration used to produce the Nouveau Beaujolais. I pre-empted the tasting with a few pointers on Gamay wines- they are very low in tannins and acidity, do not generally cellar past 6 years for Cru wines and are drunk in abundance in the French Bistros. It is a lively, very fruity wine that is extremely easy to drink. Some can present decent complexity, most are basic wines. I chose this Cru that has a bit of age on it and is drinking nicely now. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be, an elegant introduction to the varietal. Some loved it, others hated it. Each to his own.
Gamy, cranberry, pepper, black cherry, blueberry and mocha were all mentioned by the tasters. The wine has little tannic grip but one can sense a tinge of acidity. Most expected a sweet wine, but I mentioned that the Gamay grape is very fruity, hence the expectation once they sniffed. This wine gets 89 points from me, the only detractor being it’s cellaring potential. I really liked it and will buy more at the $22 price point. It gets 4 stars from me. Drink now. Salut….
Dark and brooding in the glass. The nose offers up sweet blackberries, vanilla bean and tea. On the palate that blackberry component is straight up in your face. Lithe tannins are the second wave and then I get a wood note, well integrated. The mid palate continues that dark berry theme alongside more astringent tea. There’s a plum jam component that I get on the back end that adds to the equation, as well as some long toothed tannins that keep on delivering that mouth puckering goodness. This wine is young but approachable if you like it this way. You could cellar till 2022, or go for it now. Drink till 2030. 90 points and for the $22 I paid- 5 stars. Salut….
Very pale yellow in the glass, I was expecting a more honeyed glint. On the nose it’s very refreshing with a peach hint, some beeswax and papaya. I’m excited! On the palate it is super delicious- crisp, clean with just a hint of acidity let the flavors of peach stone, nectarine and pink grapefruit really shine. The mid palate allows the gentle acidity some room to refresh the palate. The finish is medium in length with a great mouthfeel that balances freshness with a touch of flab that just tastes and feels right. This is a rather nice bottle- Virginia really does great Viognier and Barboursville perfects it. 91 points and 5 stars for this $22 charmer. Drink till 2027 with grilled fish, chicken kebabs or raw clams. Salut….