Pale ruby colored with some lightening on the edges and medium legs on the wall. This Barbera is nicely aromatic with black raspberry, bilberry, perfume, mint and vanilla. The palate is dry but I sense a tiny bit of residual sugar, but under the threshold of making it an off-dry wine. Medium acidity and lithe tannins lead me to medium intensity flavors of black berries, mint, baking spice and vanilla. There is a touch of bitterness (not from the tannins), on the mid-palate that sits on the roof of my mouth. The body is medium (-) and the finish is medium in length. I picked this $24 effort to go with Duck in Orange sauce, I think it will work well. This is slightly atypical of the Italian Barberas I have tasted in that the tannins are very mild and the acidity is lower than expected, perhaps from a warmer climate than usual. It gets 87 points from me and 3 stars. Drink soon. Salut….
This Pinot Noir is slightly more extracted than usual showing a medium ruby color in the glass with small, fast moving legs showing off the moderate 13% ABV. The nose gives me telltale rose and funky barnyard aromas typically associated with this varietal. I also get cherry, strawberry, straw and orange peel. The palate is dry, low in tannins, silky smooth and delicious. Juicy acidity hits by way of sour cherry and pomegranate- the strawberry and orange peel having vanished by now. Light to medium bodied this racy wine has got a tart yet delightful finish that is medium (+) in length. Pommard produces some delicious, powerful and rich wines, this regional example is true to the style. At $24 this 91 point wine gets 5 stars from me. Pair it with duck, venison, roast Cornish hens or just by itself! I would drink this wine till 2028. Salut….
This blend from Paso Robles is medium ruby colored. The nose has medium intensity aromas of black fruit, cedar, blueberry and vanilla. The palate is enticing with flavors of blackberry, black plums, rich blueberry, oak nuance from cedar and vanilla with medium (+) acidity, medium tannins, medium body and a shortish finish. It’s easy to drink and quite versatile- roast chicken, veal parmesan or shish kebabs would pair nicely. I think it deserves 88 points and for the $24 price point- 3 stars. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I am a fan of Portuguese reds- I find them to offer high value for the money. This Superior from the Douro is a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and 5% Sousao. It is deep ruby with medium intensity aromas of stewed plums (prunes), green pepper, white pepper, dried blackberry, dried sage and a nuttiness. I felt the wine is still developing. On the palate it is dry with medium (+) tannins, medium acidity, medium alcohol and medium body. The medium intensity flavors of prunes, dried sage and blackberry coupled with the nutty component led to a short finish. I was underwhelmed by this ‘acceptable’ wine that should be drunk now, with no further aging. It runs $24 locally and gets a mere 86 points from me making it a 2 star effort.
PS. tasting from a second bottle revealed the possibility that this wine was corked and the scores and reviews were deflated from the performance expected of this wine that scored highly with the pros.
I opened this wine yesterday to use a few dollops in my Short Rib sauce. I ended the evening sipping this nectar and making very basic notes. For $24, this is a delicious Port that I will be buying again.
Opaque- period. Off-dry with cooked blackberry, sweet prunes, stewed blueberry, rich tannins, high alcohol that is well hidden, medium acidity, long finish, full bodied, very dry finish. Delicious. 92 points and 5 stars. Salut….
I have always enjoyed wine from the Vouvray appellation where they make great Chenin Blanc, the majority of which is sparkling. This one happens to have a bit of bottle age and is a stunning deep gold color. 12.5% ABV shows off barely a leg in the glass but the color is exquisite. The nose has pronounced aromas of pineapple, pear, green apple, acacia and quince. I’m also getting a touch of honeysuckle. The palate is off-dry and full bodied. Wow, the fruit just coats my mouth. The acidity is medium (+) and the flavors are persistent- really ripe pineapple, green apple, fresh grated ginger, quince and floral notes of acacia and honeysuckle. The back end is stunning- ripe fruit, great acidity and tremendous balance that goes on for a while. This is a blockbuster of a white wine that will pair well with hearty fowl, Asian dishes, cheese boards and full throttle fish like Mackerel. 93 points from me make this $24 wine a no-brainer 5 point wine that will drink nicely till 2026. Salut….
Kicking off the 22nd Virtual Wine Tasting was this Friulano. Gold in color it had a beautiful look in the glass. We tasted it at room temp and chilled. Here are the notes I cobbled from all the input.
Room Temp- Nice nose of green pear, lime, florals, green apple, grapefruit and peach. On the palate the group got peach, florals, green apple but no varietal bitter almond. I was disappointed about that. Light to medium bodied, this relatively low acid wine had a short finish, getting 90 points from me.
The chilled version had florals including honeysuckle, some vanilla, almond and a salinity like sea air. No one got grapefruit on this nose. The palate did however get grapefruit from someone in the group. Green apple, almonds, tart fruit and a saline minerality showed. I thought the chilled version was better and gave it 91 points. For $24 this is a good intro to the varietal. 4 stars from me! Salut….
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….