We started off Virtual tasting #18 with this Chardonnay, served at room temp and then chilled. The wine has a light, pale gold color to it. The tasters chimed in on the nose immediately with ‘bakery item’ (Brioche), crispy citrus, pear, and someone mentioned buttery. The palate gave us pear, beeswax, citrus, yellow apple, a hint of butter and a touch of minerality. It had a long finish by my clock. Medium acidity was noted and the wine had a nice mouthfeel. The chilled version was far more focused and mineral driven. On the nose we got more citrus but less pear, lemongrass and honey. Arty commented that she smelled ‘fruity pebbles’, Moxie agreed. On the palate there was some butterscotch, lemon and lime, but the overall impression was that it was much more steely and more acidic. I enjoyed the room temperature version better, giving it 92 points as a technical rating. The chilled version was very good and exactly what I was hoping for in a Chablis- citrus, stone, clean and not oaked to hell and back. I think this was one of the better whites we have tried at our tasting group, it appealed to a wider audience. For $24, this wine is a steal that gets 5 stars from me. BTW it came in #66 out of the top 100 in an illustrious magazine last year. Worth stocking up on for sure. I’m planning on finishing the bottle with some Shrimp Alfredo. Salut….
The fourth wine to taste this week for my course is this fortified Portuguese. I love Port btw so this was not a hard task. It is a deep shade of purple and opaque, as can be expected. The nose is of medium intensity with notes of raisins and stewed plum. Secondary notes of dark chocolate, and tertiary notes of walnut were present. On the palate there were pronounced flavors of raisin and prune. Secondary notes of dark chocolate and espresso with tertiary hints of walnut in a tannic cloak with medium acidity. This wine was off-dry to me and had a decent mid length finish. Moxie tasted as well and we both caught on to the 20% alcohol right on the first whiff yet I did not sense it on the palate except to say this wine is full bodied as a result. I am looking forward to some blue cheese and crackers to go with this beauty. Like I said, I love me some Port and this one is good. It gets 89 points from me. At $24, it’s a decent bottle to have around if you like the style- 4 stars. Salut….
This Mourvedre shows a rich purple color in the glass and is semi opaque. On the nose it is gorgeous, if not different. Bright purple fruits of plum and blackberry with some bacon fat and licorice. The palate is lush with ripe blackberry, smoky oak, lavender and more licorice. The tannins are very much present, really pushing my gums on the mid palate but I am enjoying them- very polished. The dark fruit theme continues and the finish is medium in length with more smoke, game, blackberry and violet. It’s a rich wine with great structure, the varietal usually being part of a blend. I like the expression of fruit in this one and think it will drink nicely till 2030. If you like them young and brawny, drink now or else decant/aerate. The pros went large on this one, 94 points. I give it 92 with a 5 star rating cause you can pick a bottle up for $24. This one is destined for the Sunday Rib roast with all the trimmings. Salut….
I tasted this wine previously and liked it enough to order some for the virtual tasting #5. I think I preferred it the first time around, this bottle seemed a little tired and over the plateau. The wine showed secondary flavors of tobacco, leather, horse whip but lacked much core fruit and tannic structure. Overall it scored 88 points from me with a drink now recommendation. $24 is not over the top, but I would not order more. We decanted 6 hours prior, that may have made the difference. 3 stars. Salut….
Medium shade of purple and semi-opaque in the glass. The nose offers up strawberry and raspberry notes alongside sweet bramble, perhaps even honeysuckle. It’s a pleasing nose for sure. The palate is very sprite, unlike some Napa Cabs that are full throttle- this one is more seductive in its approach. Sweet blackberry versus the red notes I got on the nose are intriguing. There is a violet and damson streak as well. The tannins creep in on the midpalate and I taste some charcoal as well. More plums and a touch of acidity round it out. The finish is quite dry but not cloying. I am enjoying the mouthfeel and look forward to pairing it with peach baked Beef Brisket. The acidity is going to be a good cut for the sweetness of the dish. I am enjoying this wine and think it will cellar nicely till 2025. 90 point and 4 stars for this $24 Cab. Salut….
I walked into a wine shop in Hong Kong and was pushed aside by a woman on a mission. Five minutes later she checking out with three First Growth Bordeaux- Lafite, Latour and Mouton. My measly purchase paled in comparison to the thousands she spent. I digress… I have always been a fan of Chilean Cabernet. So, this is the first of two that I bought. It banged a whopping 94 points from one pro, it says so on the label. Let’s see how we get on.
In the glass it is a nice rich deep purple with just a hint of legs showing. On the nose it is very minty and chock full of black fruits, iodine and charcoal. It’s actually not my favorite profile. On the palate it is rich and flavorful. The kind of richness that covers your whole mouth. Lovely plums, blackberry and flint. There is a touch of mint as well as black olive. It’s quite complex and well made. The mid palate shows some very integrated tannins and black fruit compote. The finish is long, dry and very fruit driven. There is an ample amount of tannins but they are not obnoxious, merely present and persistent. The finish is medium length and finishes very dry. This wine is a touch young, but will do well in an aerator or decanter. Drink till 2030 at least. I think it gets a legit 93 points and for the price of $23 it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
I’m excited to try the 2014 version of Zenato’s Ripassa. I reviewed the 2012 version previously. In the glass it is as expected- dark, opaque, thick. On the nose- somewhat fresh, with blackberries, raisins, chocolate ganache and sandalwood. On the palate it is lush, filled with black fruits, purple licorice and mouth coating tannins. It does however leave me feeling a little short changed. I remember this wine as being richer, with mouthfuls of fruit, much more upfront and reduced. This version seems a little more subdued, more mainstream. It’s plenty flavorful, with good balance between acidity and tannic structure- don’t get me wrong. Perhaps they have changed styles into a more refined approach.
The mid palate and finish pretty much carry on from the initial palate and let the tannins crescendo at the end. There is however a slight astringency that hits me on the back end. I cannot quite pinpoint it. Serve with charcuterie or grilled steak from now till 2025. 89 points and 3 stars for this $24 effort. Salut….
I bough this wine on its pedigree for $24. Medium opacity purple in the glass with visible legs. The nose has kirsch, raspberry and bing cherry by the boatload. On the palate it is brimming with red fruits, bright acidity and delightful tannins. Young and vibrant- it needs a little time to settle down. It is slightly one-dimensional at this time. I hope it evolves and gains tertiary flavors. The mid palate is more or less the same. The finish is of medium length with more cherry extract and a dose of rhubarb as well as lingonberry. The tartness of which shows up at the end. Overall- a decent wine that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars. Cab, Merlot and Sangiovese make up this Tuscan red. Drink from 2022 till 2027. Salut….
Inky purple in the glass. I am really hoping for an extracted powerhouse, that’s what I am in the mood for. The nose has black currants, a hint of oak, some cinnamon and fig paste. On the palate I am ecstatic- it is full bodied, tannic and surely a mouthful. Black fruits intertwine with the brooding tannins, mouthwatering acidity and smoky notes. A great level of balance even though this wine is very tannic right now. It needs several years in the cellar to soften unless you need a dry wine right now, or have a Vinturi to run it through. The wine later exhibits some black cherry and eucalyptus, only to be overshadowed on the finish by the tannins. I think this wine will develop nicely and am going with 91 points. For $24 it’s hardly a steal but gets 4 stars from me. Pair now with hearty game, Prime Rib or a char-grilled Porterhouse. Salut….
I have harped many times about the quality and price coming out of Portugal. Always good, rarely pricy- you can count on it in a pinch. This Port is part of my study into the fortified wines of Portugal. I am having fun doing it and have discovered some really tasty, near $20 dessert style wines that have really become part of my after-dinner ritual. This one starts out very dark purple in the glass and has a nose of sweet verbena, dark fruit melange and oaky blueberry reduction. The palate shows off a slightly lighter style of Port, black cherry, dark fruits and stout oak. On the mid palate I get cedar plank, dark berry and a tannic streak. The wine is tasty, but slightly dry and dusty. I’m enjoying it and hope it develops. For now, 88 points which is in stark contrast top the whopping 94 points it got from the big boys. Perhaps it needs some time, or else I need to recalibrate my palate fifty these wines! I recommend some soft cheese, and maybe something stinky like Cambozola to go with this one. I might have to get another bottle to cellar. Priced at $24, it gets 3 stars initially, hoping for 4 at a future tasting. Salut….