For thew 4th Virtual Tasting event I wanted a Sangiovese to go alongside the Pinot Noir I was planning to showcase. I find the two varietals very similar in many traits, so the the challenge was to find a decent, ready to drink Chianti that hopefully would show off the core characteristics of the grape. This one turned out to be too young, subdued and not very forthcoming with fruit albeit with strong structure. It scored well with the pros but came in a very disappointing last place overall amongst our group. The wine showed well in the glass, more opaque than I had expected but the nose was very hard to coax any cherry flavors out of. Moxie noted salt on her initial sniff. It did not open up much on the palate but did have a tannic backbone masking the fruit. Acidity was medium but not overpowering. I remember thinking this wine had a good dose of oak, charcoal and tobacco. I did not write up any further notes but remember the finish was not very satisfying or long. It’s a shame as the big boys averaged 92 points. I feel it might need a re-tasting in the future once it has mellowed out. I will reserve judgement for now. I paid $23 which would have technically made it a 5 star wine. Salut….
I have enjoyed numerous bottles of the 2015 Koyle Syrah, so when I saw the ’16- it had to be done. Very dark and opaque in the glass. Brooding , almost. The nose is fruity, with a touch too much of that jam I dislike. Black berries, raspberry reduction and a touch of wood also hit. On the palate I get sour cherry sauce with very astringent tannins- the wine is somewhat astray. It appears someway disjointed, not quite ready to come out. There is a nice core of dark fruits under that tannic veil, perhaps I will aerate.
Yeah, that’s much better. The nose is still not to my personal tastes but the wine smooths out, the tannins are more in order and the flavors of fruit take front row. More black fruits than red and a touch of oak are now the order of the day. This wine is very young and needs time to meld in order to settle down but should be decent in a year or so…. unless you are like me and have access to an aerator at all times. I am going with 89 points for now but plan to re-visit in a while. If you drink one, pair it with a hearty meal, something fatty. 3 stars for an initial impression of this $23 wine. Salut….
The wine is see-through, medium purple with nice legs. On the nose it lacks immediate scents- I am swirling like crazy to finally get strawberry and capsicum. On the palate I taste kirsch, strawberry and rhubarb. A nice crunchy acidity accompanied the fruit from the get go. On the mid palate it is more red currants with some berry hints. The tannins kick in on the very end where the finish is red fruits and a touch of oak. 89 points and 4 stars for this entry level Burgundy that ran $23. Drink till 2024 with skirt steak, Cornish hen or cheese and crackers. Salut….
I asked for and got a bottle of Port for Christmas, which we opened with the Pudding. I was expecting an oaky, full bodied, black fruited mouthbomb but was surprised with this offering. It is very brooding and dark in the glass. The nose is brandy laced plum pudding, black currant and cedar. On the palate it gives me iodine infused black berries and oaky smoke. It is tasty for sure. The tannins are very integrated, lithe and very present on the mid palate. The wine has an astringent note that harkens from a tea component, The finish is nice and deep, with tannic dryness and a stewed plum component. Overall, I am enjoying this wine, even though I feel it is lighter in mouthfeel and slightly less flavorful than what I was expecting- perhaps it is a more ‘refined’ Port. I am going with 90 points and 3 stars for this $23 bottle. Salut….
Disclaimer- I got this bottle from a distributor. They retail for around $23.
This is bottle number 2. Number 1 was opened last night and I was too tired to take notes. It mellowed out tremendously after 24 hours. Meanwhile, back at the tasting table……
Full frontal assault on the nose and palate. Hints of spice, white pepper and rich plum pudding hit the nose right off the bat. The first taste is exotic, purple everything….. Plums, violets, dark blueberries and some blackberry. The spiciness is intriguing. Medium grade tannins follow through into a mid palate of red raspberry and blueberry jam. They continue all the way to the end where they balance out with the acidity. A decent length finish make this an all-around delicious wine. With shipping I paid just under $13 per bottle. 5 stars as this wine rates 91 in my books and sits on top of my 2016 best buys. WS gave this Aussie gem 90 points and it normally retails for $23, still a great deal! Salut….
I paid $23 for this Chilean Cabernet, hoping for some fireworks. None came, it was a damp squib. Very ordinary and plain- not what I was expecting. The wine was decent, but lacked any depth and complexity. Purple in color and with basic fragrances of plums and oak. On the palate, very straightforward black currants, oak and some mint. Decent tannins and acidity provided a good structure. I really did not get too much from this wine and am going with 87 points and 3 stars. Salut….
Another wine from this awesome winery in Mclaren Vale, Australia. This bottle is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot- the cornerstones of the Bordeaux blend. I was really excited to try this as the blend is right up my alley. Bold and beautiful in the glass it showed its power right away. Plums and Black cherries with a rich and smoky oak came blasting throughout the gripping tannins. On the backend came a eucalyptus tinge that was very interesting. The wine is very young and in need of cellaring, perhaps from 2014- 2020 is where I would think it’s peak is. Great balance and structure make this $23 wine a bargain. Think Roast Beef and this wine will sing. 91 points and 5 stars from me. I think I need to get more for the dungeon. Salut….
Continuing with my mission, I picked up this Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend for tonight. If you have read my previous posts about this brand you will notice that I was concerned about the wines being closed, shut down for biz. The lovely folks down under sent me a message to perform the Mollydooker Shake. Basically the wine is finished with as little sulfites as possible, to preserve freshness they use Nitrogen which subdues the flavors. Shaking the bottle and releasing the bubbles allows the wine to regain its composure and taste right. I was dumbfounded and curious so I performed the shake with a test glass and a control glass. The results were astonishing. The glass on the left was the control and the one on the right was the test that I shook. You can see the effervescence dissipating in the test glass.
The control wine had a very subdued nose and offered up Blackberry on the palate. I could feel the acidity and noticed a certain sweetness, probably from the Merlot. The finish was decent but lacked much tannic structure. The test was a whole different beast. Plums and black fruits on the nose came alive in the glass. The initial attack mixed those flavors with chocolate and plums. The mocha was very delineated and the acidity was somewhat reduced compared to the control glass. The tannins remained in check and there was an overall balance to the wine. Comparing this wine to the Maitre D’ I would say it is a much more approachable wine that is meant for easy drinking right away. The pure Cab Matre D’ is much more structured and has a far greater cellaring potential. This wine is delicious now as long as ‘the Shake’ is carried out. Moxie and I drank it with grilled Calamari and vinaigrette laced Kale salad. The control wine actually did better with the food as the acidity was equal to the vinegar component of the dressing. She also made a broccoli and cauliflower soup garnished with bacon. The test rocked this pairing.