This Washington State Cab Sav is a murky, dark shade of purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get a whiff of alcohol followed by plums, black currants and cedar shake. The palate starts off with a healthy dose of tannins and black fruit salad. When I say healthy, I mean teeth coating astringency- wow. The fruit flavors are having a hella time trying to get center stage here. The mid palate has black currants and tea notes that are vying for space with the grip of tannins. On the finish it is a very dry affair that is short lived from the fruit. I need to get the Vinturi out and re-try. I picked the right wine for tonight’s pairing- Picanha steaks, which have a thick edge of fat in need of some hefty tannins. This wine has tremendous structure and will cellar nicely for a few years but if you need it now, aerate it or you will be lost in a sea of mouth searing tannins. Overall I think this wine will end up really nice and considering the aging capacity I am going with 90 points. It retails for $23 and gets 5 stars from me. Drink from 2023 till 2027. Salut….
Very dark purple and fully opaque. Loads of pepper, purple plums and blackcurrant preserves on the nose. On the palate I get a whack of iodine, ink and black fruit. There’s a very definitive tannic streak but without the gum coating astringency. Cranberry and tart cherry are noted on the mid palate. The tannins are a touch green on the back end and they really start to grip on the long finish. This wine scored big with the pros, I can see why. In my books the greeness detracts- 90 points and 4 stars for this $23 Zin. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Light gold with small bubbles. On the nose it is briny with tons of floral undertones and a hint of sweetness. On the palate it is very fizzy with notes of baking spices, muted stone fruit flavors and a touch of summer flowers. I’m not getting too much out of this wine unfortunately. It gets 86 points from me with a drink till 2024 window. 2 stars for this $23 sparkler. Salut….
The second wine of the 12th virtual wine tasting was this NV blend of Grenache and Syrah. Semi opaque in the glass it had a medium purple shade. The tasters noted chocolate, white pepper, Kirsch, marshmallow s’mores, dark cherry, cedar, charcoal with earth, funk, spice and a nutty component. On the palate the wine had black pepper, lots of it. Cedar, cola, Birch and black cherry. For me, the tannins came out of nowhere to a big crescendo on the finish. The pepper component was a hit with some, for others it was just a tad overpowering. This wine was ranked very highly with the pros and cost us $23. I am giving it 89 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2022 (this wine is a mixed vintage of 2015/16). Salut….
Opaque and dark purple. The nose offers sweet blackberry, ripe black currants and mocha. It’s smells of Cali sunshine. The palate is very nice, but not as full as the nose. Black fruits galore with leather and chocolate powder. The mid palate is tasty with cassis and a bit of dusty bramble. Fine grained tannins ease into the mix and there is a touch of acidity that keeps this wine very balanced. It’s a delicious drop built for immediate pleasure. I would drink till 2024. My pairing tonight is pasta with olives and peppers plus a side of Italian sausage. 89 points and 3 stars for this $23 Grenache/Malbec blend. Salut….
This wine is nearly black in the glass but it’s murky which makes me a little concerned…. The nose gives candied plums, roast game, some charcoal and blueberry pie. The palate is quite fresh with a tart blueberry opening. I am also getting chocolate powder and more plums. On the mid palate the core of blue and black fruits is enveloped in a nice tannic frame, they are very fine grained and integrated. I am really enjoying the flavor profile of this wine. The finish is a mellow affair with silky blueberry creme, black berries, a touch of acidity and those beautiful tannins. There is a very round and enveloped mouthfeel to this wine, it’s really interesting and certainly delicious. Right at the very end the tannins get a touch astringent and green, but I’m willing to overlook that. Tasty and worthy of 91 points from me. This Syrah will drink well till 2027 with some steaks, grilled game meat or even a pasta dish. My initial concern over the murky appearance did not pan out. Great wine and for $23- it’s a 5 star effort. Salut….
This Oregonian Pinot is quite dark and nearly opaque, very extracted and brooding. On the nose I get cinnamon, cherry and black currants. It’s an interesting mix for this varietal. The initial palate is telling- very fruity with tannic grip right off the bat. This is not your typical Old World Pinot folks, it’s full throttle with all the bits and pieces. Cherry cola, sassafras and a hint of oak are all present. The mid palate is a continuation of the theme but there is now a hint of acidity showing up. It’s quite nice if you like this style of Pinot. The finish is a dry affair, tannins and black tea alongside the red fruits and spice. It’s not my cup of tea but it will certainly appeal to many. Technically speaking I would give this $23 wine 90 points and 4 stars. Drink till 2027 with lighter fare. Salut….
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….