Quite pale yellow in the glass with fine grained legs belying it’s 13% alcohol. On the nose I get lemon zest, minerality and slate. I’m expecting a cutting wine versus a sweet version of this varietal. On the palate I was wrong, it’s not tart, bracing or edgy. It has a warmth that surrounds yellow apples with lemon curd. The acidity is well in check but still obviously present. There’s a raw lemon component that appears on the midpalate and there is a nuttiness too. The mouthfeel transitions to a racier version with some nice honeyed notes on the mid-length finish. Very tasty and flexible, this one is going to pair nicely with my blackened salmon. Drink till 2030. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 effort. (The pro’s went way higher BTW). Salut….
Really dark purple, very striking. On the nose I get blackcurrant, nutmeg and tobacco. The palate has some nice black fruits and an astringency that is a touch heavy. It’s not tannic, perhaps from green stems left in contact with the juice for too long. It takes a turn for the better on the mid palate- more Ribena and a touch of oak. The finish is quite dry with the appearance of some nice tannins alongside a mineral tone that melds nicely with the currants. Overall a decent wine that is slightly out of kilter at the beginning with the astringency but it comes around. 89 points= 3 stars for this $25 wine. Drink till 2025 with hearty stews, or a lamb chop and mint. Salut….
See through but with slight bricking. I noticed the cork had signs of possible seepage which gives me cause for concern. Here goes….
On the nose – it’s corked. I even tasted it….done. Luckily I’m not far from the shop so I returned it .
The second bottle looks much better in the glass. Light, see through purple. On the nose it is not very open. I’m struggling to swirl some life into it and all I get is faint cherries, some capsicum and carrot. Yes, carrot. On the palate this Nebbiolo starts off with some lush, medium tannins and a dollop of cherry juice. It’s not subtle. The mid palate has more breadth with cherries, currants, a touch of fresh oak and sassparilla. The finish is quite dry with the tannins still in full force. There is a woody note alongside red fruits and cinnamon. Tasty but restrained, I feel this wine might be hibernating. It should improve with age and drink nicely till 2028. 90 points and 3 stars for this $25 effort. Salut….
This is the second wine of Chryseia, it is a beautiful dark purple in the glass. The nose gives off rose petals, perfume, black currant and cedar slate. On the palate it is big- loads of Ribena, oregano, red licorice and a hint of wood. The mid palate is seamless with the introduction of some very lithe tannins. The mouthfeel is generous and warm in this wine. It is relatively easy drinking with the mild tannins, barely perceptible acidity and warm fruit. The finish is all black currant, decent in length and not overly dry. 92 points and 5 stars for this $25 effort. Delicious. Drink this blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz till 2030. Salut….
Dark purple and showing some legs in the glass. The nose is vibrant with black currants, licorice and oak. On the palate this is delicious folks. Ribena, blackberry jam and toasty oak hit me all at once. There is a cherry stream that appears on the midpalate alongside vanilla bean. Tannins are in check, melded and balanced with the acidity. The finish is warm, almost alcoholic but at 14% I must be imagining things. There is a charred oak note in the finish that is perfect for the dark berry fruit notes. This wine is drinking beautifully and will do so till 2025. I wish I had some Osso Bucco laying around , or even shepherds pie. Look for this rare varietal- Crespiello, it is an interesting one for sure. 92 points and 5 stars for its $25 price tag. Salut….
Moxie and I met up with an old high-school friend at a Tapas bar in Massachusetts. This wine was recommended by our waiter so we dove in. I did not write too many notes so bear with me:
Nose of smoky plum. Lithe and fruity with some complexity but not overpowering. Dark fruits galore and lithe tannins make it an easy drinker with 5-10 years of cellaring potential. We obviously ate it with Tapas, which was a great pairing. Strangely enough, the pros vary between 88 and 92 points. I would go with 89 personally. $25 makes it a 3 star wine for me. Blend of 30% Garnatxa, 27% Merlot, 20% Samso, 18% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Salut….
Dinner at my cousin’s house. He offered me a crack at his cellar- who am I to refuse a gracious host! Inky purple in the glass- opaque. On the nose I get sweet blackberry, new oak, black olives. The initial taste is intriguing. Tannic at the outset, it gives off black fruit flavors, garrigue, lavender, black tea and a ton of mouth coating tannins. This is a brooding wine- powerful, dry, fruity and built for the long haul. It transitions to the back end with flavors of iodine, that black olive note and definitely more blackberries. Good acidity holds the tannins in check, which are in full force as the wine’s long finish fades away. This wine begs for decanting, aerating or a monster juicy Ribeye. Drink till 2030 at the least. 92 points and 5 stars from me for this $25 wine. If you can find it, buy by the case and cellar. The aging capacity of this cuvee is amazing. See my posts on the 2000 St. Thomas, the 2005, the 2006 and the mighty 2008. Salut….
My old college buddy Japes took me to this winery for a tasting. I enjoyed the Merlot the most out of their offerings in red and brought home this $25 non-vintage bottle. It is slightly cloudy in the glass, with nice shades of lighter purple. On the nose- damson, sea salt, iodine and blueberry pie. The palate is very smooth with flavors of blueberry, plum ganache and cedar shake. The tannins grip slightly more than I remember and are a welcome addition to the mid palate. The wine transitions to the back end in a seamless manner, the flavors are consistent throughout. The acidity is very nicely balanced with the structure and gives this wine a 3-5 year drinking window. Since there are no vintages, it’s anyones guess when this bottle was made. The label quotes Cherry as the initial flavor, I somewhat disagree, could be bottle or vintage variation. Anyway, it is tasty and the vineyard is a neat place to visit, especially if they have an event going on. It gets 88 points and 3 stars from me. Salut….
A gift from my cousin (we’ll call him Sharma). Dark purple, very opaque. The nose is intriguing. Plums, charcoal, crushed rock, a certain minerality. The palate is delicious with a toasty oak note opening it up, followed by grilled plum, black olive, bacon and delightful tannins. The flavors carry through to the end where the astringency of the tannins hit. There is a nice mouthfeel throughout and the acidity is very well balanced. The greenness of the back end gives me a check. I’ll get over it, I’m sure. Overall a delicious New Jersey Cabernet worthy of 91 points which gets 4 stars from me for the $25 price tag. It’s getting a pairing of Strip steaks with Balsamic reduction. Drink till 2021. Salut….
Recently added to the local shop- I’m excited to try this Carmenere from Koyle. I love their Syrah and Cabernet. It’s nearly black in the glass and very opaque. The nose gives off nice warm blueberry pie, oregano and violet notes. It has a very extracted quality. On the palate it is a touch austere with plums, blueberry and acidity that has a nice bite. The midpalate is more juicy, the blue fruits turning red. The acidity is countered on the back end with some greenish tannins. As you might tell this wine is a bit disjointed, slightly green and probably needing some food. I’m going 87 points and 2 stars for this $25 effort. Drink now if you have any. Salut….