This Bordeaux blend is quite deceiving- not very opaque at all considering it should be a blend of Merlot, Cab Sav and perhaps Cab Franc. Definitely Cab Franc as I get perfume and violets on the nose, plus some cassis, blackcurrants, toasty oak and eucalyptus. The palate is very smooth and well endowed with rich black fruits, well integrated tannins and juicy acidity. The mid palate has some pencil shavings and a metallic tinge, kinda interesting. The rich blackberry and blackcurrant flavors carry through to the long finish where some black tea notes are found alongside vanilla. This wine has good complexity, a nice full body and plenty of fruit and structure to reward patient cellaring but it drinks beautifully right now at 8 years of age. I am really digging the mouthfeel and think this wine gets 93 points. It would normally run around the $25 mark making it a 5 star effort for sure. Serve it up with some grilled sausages and steak. Salut….
My little group of virtual wine tasters insisted on a mid-summer gathering so I picked some real beauties, starting with this Pinot Gris which we tasted at room temp and chilled. Being a Reserve, it offered depth and complexity that many were not expecting- it was a hit. In the glass it showed pale gold to light yellow, depending on who was commenting! Aromas of pear, pineapple, blossom, honey, ginger, elderflower and nectarine were noted. On the palate, flavors of honeysuckle, lime, and orange blossom coupled with a vegetal aftertaste. I noted that it had good acidity, getting 92 points from yours truly.
The chilled version was more precise with some minerality on the nose coupled with cotton candy, marzipan, passion fruit, honey, ginger and peach- a whole different animal! On the palate we got a fuller bodied wine with flavors of pronounced orange, less lime this time but lemon drops, ginger and Welch’s white grape juice. Medium (+) finish btw. I was consistent with the 92 points and for $25 it is a great intro to a higher quality Pinot Gris. 5 stars, pair it with shellfish and perhaps cellar for a few years. Salut….
My assignment this week for tasting wines included this Old Vine Zin. The format and lexicon of descriptors is very limiting so I must add that this was not my favorite wine. It had a very astringent mid palate and the overpowering whiff on the nose was annoying. It can be had for $25 and gets 87 points from me. I can’t figure out where I got it from though. 3 stars, trending to 2. Drink now till 2025 with some burgers or ribs. Salut….
Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2017, Napa Valley, CA 15.0% ABV
- Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
- Nose- medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackcurrant, black plum, blackberry, licorice, white pepper. Youthful.
- Palate- Dry, high acidity, medium (+) tannin, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity with flavors of black plum, blackberry, jamminess, white pepper with a medium (+) finish.
- Conclusion- good quality wine that can drink now, but has potential for aging or further aging.
Why do I keep drinking such alcoholic wines? I had to blow into the glass for a few minutes to get the alcohol to dissipate. Not as jammy and peppery as most Old Vine Zins I have tasted but still yummy.
I was looking for a steely Chardonnay to pair with Pork Tomahawk ribs, this Chablis happened to be on sale so I thought I was on to a winner….. It was tasty, sure, but not exactly what I was hoping for. It runs a pale gold in the glass with big legs. On the nose it is not very pronounced. I get lemon, quince, green apple, pineapple, passion fruit and iodine. The palate is slightly more intense, dry and quite acidic. I was looking forward to that part- the cut. Unfortunately the wine was actually a bit too big-bodied for my needs. It lacked the flinty minerality and only offered a touch of saline. The alcohol was evident BTW. If you want an un-oaked Chardy that is actually very tasty, this one can be had for $25. It gets 88 points from me with a drink now rec. 3 stars. Salut….
This Cotes-Du-Rhone comes from a highly regarded vintner and is a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre at 30% each with the balance being Syrah and Cinsault. I chose it off my tasting bench because I am cooking Duck l’orange tonight. I am hoping the pairing will work.
The wine is very dark purple in the glass and 75% opaque. The nose is heavenly with raspberry, black pepper, black cherry and oak influence, offset right at the end with some alcohol. I checked, it’s 14.1%. On the palate it is very smooth and supple. The reddish/black fruit notes are evident and the tannins are very lithe. Good acidity makes for a nice mouthfeel that is fresh. The red fruit them continues but I get a hint of capsicum, some herbaceous notes and a tad of astringency on the mid palate. The finish is medium in length and the fruit flavors linger nicely, not being overtaken by massive tannins. The acidity is obvious at this stage though and I get a touch of that alcohol right at the end. It’s a delightful wine that gets knocked down a point or two for the green notes, I am not sure if they had ripening issues. 89 points and for $26, it gets 3 stars with a drink by 2028 window. Salut….
This bottle is called a Meritage, which conjures up notions of a Bordeaux blend relying heavily on either Cab Sav or Merlot, with supporting roles from Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. In this case- it’s actually the opposite with the majority being Malbec at 62%, Merlot at 30%, Cab Franc with 6% and a touch of Petit Verdot. No sign of any Cab Sav. Anyways- it’s inky, brooding and opaque. The nose is intense with rich blackberry and oak nuances. I’m looking forward to it!
The palate is as expected. Layered black fruits and charred oak with medium grip tannins and juicy acidity. Blackberry, black currants and tea notes fit the mid palate. The finish is long and decidedly tart. The acidity is bracing yet I feel the wine has a nice roundness and is full bodied. The 14.5% alcohol is sensed on the back end with a hint of heat. Overall I am really enjoying this wine and will be pairing it with homemade spaghetti sauce and Hearts of Palm pasta. Drink till 2028. 91 points for this $25 make it a 5 star wine. Salut….
This Riesling is a pale shade of gold in the glass and smells sublime. Lemons, green pear and pineapple all hit me. On the palate it is quite tart with bracing acidity. The citrus theme continues and I also get baked green apple. The mid palate has an interesting gooseberry note. The finish is a seriously sour affair, the acidity is making my jaw water. Think about the fruit I have mentioned and add a drop of sour lemon drop. It is tasty if you are ready for such a cutting wine. It will pair well with our Scallops in butter with asparagus. It would also go with smoked salmon. Drink till 2030. I am going with 91 points for this $25 bottle, making it worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
I tasted the 2010 Brookman Merlot back in 2020. I’m a huge fan of this winery so when I see it- I buy it. This version is inky and opaque in the glass. On the nose- rich plum compote, cassis and singed alder. The palate is rich, mouth-coating and delicious. Layers of plum, blackberry, charred oak and coffee hit me. There is no room for the tannins to make themselves known, it’s a fruit driven explosion. They appear on the midpalate but are very well ingrained. The dark fruit theme continues and now I get the structure- the grip is medium in intensity and there is a nice balanced acidic component. The finish is where the acidity takes over, very juicy but I still get good primal fruit. This wine is young at 9 years, it will hopefully develop some tertiary notes and the tannins should meld in the next few years. Drink till 2030 with rich steaks, heavy sauces or a big bowl of Pasta. 92 points from me and for $25 it’s a home run with 5 stars. Salut….
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….