This Cabernet Sauvignon is very dark purple and opaque. The legs I see on the side of the glass bely the 14.5% alcohol I’m about to hit. On the nose I can smell the heat, but I also get lashings of blackberry, plum torte and some eucalyptus. The palate is very lush with Cali sunshine- black fruit melange, very integrated oak and a nice minerality. The tannins start to grip right away but there is a juicy acidity to balance it. The mid palate has a singed alder note to it with black berry reduction. The finish is quite dry but the medium dash of acidity make for a nice mouthfeel. It lasts a good 20+ seconds as I enjoy the black fruit and oak influence. Nicely done wine that will last till 2027. I am reconstituting Sunday night Rib Roast into Au Jus steak sandwiches and adding an eggplant parmesan to the fold. Should pair beautifully. 91 points from me for this lush, layered wine that will set you back $25. For that it gets 5 stars. Salut….
This Malbec was the Wine of the Night (WOTN) for many at the 12th virtual wine tasting. We enjoyed menthol, lilac, raspberry, Damson plum, smoke tar, leather, violets and gravel on the nose. That’s a lot of descriptors. On the palate it is very fruity with just enough tannic grip to give it structure. Plums, dark fruit, licorice and ‘Cognac’ flavors were noted and I felt the wine had a jammy concentration to it. There was a definitive jab of acidity on the decent length finish and the wine had a very pleasing mouthfeel. It was elegant and full of flavor making it the go-to drink after the tasting was over. Well made and worthy of 92 points from me which gets it 5 stars for the $25 price tag. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This wine was the third offering at the 11th Virtual Wine Tasting. I have drunk an absolute ton of this wine from earlier vintages and was really looking forward to introducing the Ripasso style of winemaking to my friends. Unfortunately, this wine has been a letdown of late. See my previous posts on the Zenato Ripasso.
Our tasters said the following: Semi opaque, dark purple. On the nose- Blackberry jam, rich nose, floral, black licorice, peppery, leather, lilac. On the palate, berry. Sweeter that expected. Sharp finish. Spicy, green pepper, berry. Velvety but slightly bitter on the back end. Iodine and leather for the finish.
I was underwhelmed and am giving this wine 89 points yet again. For $25 it’s a solid 3 pointer but there are far better wines to spend that kind of loot on. Drink till 2025. Salut….
The 11th Virtual Wine tasting opened up with this Chardonnay from California. Tasted at room temperature first it gave the tasters: Butter, vanilla, buttered popcorn. Butterscotch. Honeysuckle, floral. Orange blossom. On the palate- Waxy, caramel, pear, Medium length with a pleasant finish.
The chilled version got passion fruit, green apple, toast, ‘crisper’, buttery, star fruit. On the palate: hazelnut, slightly bitter on the finish, like grapefruit. Pith of lemon from our MD friend. Lemon drop, not too sweet. Butterscotch. Full bodied with just a smidge of acidity.
For me this wine was delicious on day 1 and even better the following night. I preferred it at room temperature when we first tasted but the chilled bottle was even more impressive on night 2. 92 points from me which coincides with the pros. For $25 it’s a nice, rich Chardonnay that delivers complexity and gets 5 stars from me. Think grilled Salmon or Salad Nićoise with this one. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Pale purple and semi opaque. The nose offers up raspberries, cedar and capsicum. On the palate it starts a touch tart with pomegranate, raspberry and sour cherry. The mid palate is juicy with a dollop of acidity and a touch of tannic grip. The red fruit theme continues and the somewhat short finish is dominated by the sour cherry and its corresponding cut. It’s an interesting yet basic wine that I am pairing with pork tenderloin and fried potatoes with curried cauliflower. Drink this 87 point wine by 2023. 2 stars as it’s touted as a $25 wine. Salut….
This semi opaque Merlot is a light shade of purple in the glass. The nose gives me red berries, cherry and anise- it’s very enticing. On the palate it has a juicy intro with currants, more of that licorice note and some really integrated oak. There is a modicum of tannic bite, but it is very lithe. The mid palate has cocoa powder to go around the currants and some strawberry. Nicely balanced acidity leads to a smooth mouthfeel that is super easy to drink. The finish has a touch of dryness, a hint of acidity and loads of red fruits. This wine has matured nicely for what it is and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It drinks well by itself but I would also put it up against Filet, roast Game Hen or even Lasagna. 89 points from me makes this $25 wine a 3 star effort. Really yummy. Drink till 2024. Salut….
I wanted to introduce a pure Cinsault to our wine tasting group. It’s a very difficult grape to source as a standalone because it’s traditionally a blending grape. I have had some delicious wines that rely heavily on Cinsault, which reminds me of Pinot Noir in its structure and finesse. In fact- Pinotage is a cross of the two grape varietals.
The wine is very pale red and see-through. The nose gave us cigar box, perfume, cherry, raspberry, cedar, black cherry, maple syrup, mulling spices, strawberry and cardamom. The palate was peppery with black cherry, jello, earth, pomegranate, violets and was considered ‘spicy’.
I thoroughly enjoyed this lighter style of wine that had gentle tannins, decent acidity and a really nice mouthfeel. 92 points from me for this $25 charmer that gets 5 stars. Drink with lighter fare till 2028. Salut….
The second wine of Tasting #8 was another Chenin Blanc, this time from Vouvray. Served at room temperature first we noted a pale gold color. The nose was flowery, with honeycrisp apple, honey, green apples, honeysuckle and pear. The palate is somewhat sweet with several participants noting canned pear with it’s syrupy goodness. I got passion fruit but the wine had a bitter aftertaste.
The chilled version was very interesting. Oatmeal, burnt honey, Graham cracker, butter and white pepper were noted. The wine had more citrus on the finish and I tasted sweet tangerine and pear as well. I scored the chilled version the second highest wine of the night and really enjoyed this $25 wine, giving it 91 points and 5 stars. Pairing suggestions would include grilled Swordfish, roasted Quail or even Moussaka. Drink till 2026. Salut….
It’s showing dark purple in the glass with barely perceptible legs- almost opaque. On the nose I get jammy black currants, mint, cedar shake and bramble. On the palate it is inky, with a nice grip of tannins right off the bat. Black fruits, some earth and sour cherry notes all meet me after the initial wave of those tannins. The mid palate is a little more tart, with a nice touch of acidity. I was hoping for a little more earth out of this Tempranillo. It delivers a more fresh and fruity wine that has its own nuances and attractions. I am enjoying its youth. The finish is a nice tart affair with some sour blackberries and a diminishing tannic presence. The wine is still young but I think it will drink well for 5 more years. I was looking forward to a bit more oak to be honest. Overall- decent, not great. 89 points and 3 stars for this $25 wine that garnered 90+ points from the pros. Maybe I need to let it sit longer before I popped and poured, I don’t understand. Perhaps it’s in a dumb stage. Salut….
Semi opaque in the glass, bright purple. On the nose I get graphite, blackcurrants, oak and twizzlers. On the palate there are some gentle notes of black cherries, a dose of dry tannins and some black tea to go along with black currants. The mid palate has a cherry cola component with black fruits and that slightly unbalanced tannic dryness. The finish is dry but fresh and packed with black fruit flavors, some oak and a touch of minerality. Decent wine for a weekday. 87 points, which contrasts with others opinions btw. Drink till 2024, 2 stars, $25. Salut….