This Malbec was the second wine in the 19th Virtual Wine tasting. Deep purple with nice legs it had aromas of tobacco, smoke, pepper, black cherry, plum, chocolate and black licorice. The tasters got rich plum, medium tannins, medium acidity, pepper, raspberry, cocoa powder, black cherry and licorice on a medium finish . No apparent oak notes btw. I liked it and for $26 this 90 point effort is getting 4 stars. Drink til 2028 with grilled meat. Salut….
This Sauvignon Blanc is very pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I get lemons, D’anjou pear, green apple and honeysuckle. The palate is lively and fresh with citrus notes, that green apple hint and some floral interjection. Not overly tart, there is a core of acidity that keeps the wine fresh. The finish moves away from the focused lemon and pear notes- getting a little more body and a hint of minerality. Tasty stuff that will serve well with my baked Salmon and Ahi tuna steaks. I am going with 89 points for this $26 effort which makes it a 3 star effort. Drink chilled till 2025. Salut….
I often plan my dinner around what I want to drink. Sometimes I pair the wine to the meal and sometimes I just drink whatever. Tonight is Strip steaks on the charcoal. A mid-fatty cut of beef that doesn’t need huge tannins, but good fruity notes are more appropriate. I had a glance at the lineup of Cab Savs on my tasting bench and stumbled on this Cab Franc, the name which has an awesome twist- Pomme Roll. Google it, a right bank commune that relies on this varietal for some huge name Chateaus.
This one is bright purple and nearly opaque. The nose is perfumed with violets, black currants, sweet blackberry and a hint of the 14.8% punch. On the palate it is delicious and smooth. Black fruit salad with juicy acidity and a good dose of fine grained tannins. The structure is perfect for what I am pairing, not overly dry but with nice cut from the acidity. The dark fruit theme continues on the mid palate where I also get some black Twizzler and tea notes. The finish is quite dry but still very fruity and fragrant. The violets adding yet another layer to the complexity of this wine. It’s rather a big red that could use a touch of aerating or cellar time for a year or two. It should drink nicely till 2026. I am really enjoying it and did not get any alcohol apart from the initial whiff. 91 points for this $26 wine makes it a 5 star effort. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass with weepy legs. The nose is bright citrus, cut grass and green apple. It smells fresh and inviting. On the palate it is quite rounded and full. Nice flavors of Pomelo, lemon zest and green apple are kept fresh with a touch of acidity. The mid palate cuts more with lemons and a herbaceous note. The finish is a delight- long and generous with the citrus notes whilst not too tart. There is a warmth to this wine even though I am tasting it chilled, the mouthfeel is great. I am enjoying it thoroughly and will pair with Beef Bulgogi, a Korean dish. The spices will work well with the lower acidity of this Sauvignon Blanc. 90 points and 4 stars for this $26 wine that you should drink till 2023. Salut….
This blend shows up as very dark purple in the glass. On the nose I get blackberry reduction, charred oak, black tea and blueberries. The palate is sublime- dark fruits intertwined with lush oak, bramble, black tea and fine grained tannins. The mid palate is very satisfying. Gobs of blackberry, lashings of wood, crunchy tannins and juicy acidity all come together. The wine finishes semi dry with good mouthfeel and a medium length serving of those delicious, ripe fruits. Figs also come into play right at the end with the last vestige of gum searing tannins. This is a young wine that can be enjoyed now if you like them very dry. I would drink till 2030 with all sorts of roasted meat, venison in particular. Yummy stuff. 91 points from me and at $26, it get 5 stars. Buy a few for the cellar, it will reward you. Tempranillo 75%, Cab Sav 12%, Shiraz 9%, Merlot 3% and Petit Verdot at 1%.Salut….
This is the first of several notes I made when I visited Murietta’s Well Winery in Livermore, California. I was greeted at the entrance by the hostess who offered me a glass of this. Medium yellow in the glass with a great, fresh nose of melon, lemon curd and pineapple. On the palate it’s a little thinner than expected but still very fresh. Lithe acidity. 88 points and 2 stars for this $26 blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Orange Muscat, Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat Canelli. Salut….
Dark purple hues. In the nose- black cherry and earth, typical of Temranillo. After a few swirls in the glass I am getting a blueberry component. The initial taste is of blueberry, iodine and earth that are all fighting for pole position against the massive tannins. Acidity thankfully balances this huge wine out and makes for a gorgeous mouthfeel that may overwhelm the faint of palate. This wine begs for ribeyes, a hearty lasagna or perhaps another 5 years in a dark cellar. This is a really good, tasty wine that hits all cylinders for me. 92 points. 2018-2025 at the least. RP gave it 91 and it got 92 from AG. Kudos for this amazing $26 Spanish offering form Ribera del Duero. It gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
If you recall reading about my trip to California with my son, this is the winery that we took a tour of. I was so impressed with the warmth the staff showed and the casual way in which they took great care of us on our tour. The winery is located off the beaten path and has cellars cut into the hillside. The Pinot was an interesting balance of styles. Quite a bit heavier than most Pinots, it also had a delicacy about it. Nose of new world Pinot with strawberries and bing cherries. Initial hints of white cherry and strawberry with some nutmeg and spice on the palate. Very smooth mouth feel which includes very slight tannins and a touch of acidity. Nice and rounded for a balanced profile that drinks well by itself but begs for some smoked salmon and capers. Roasted chicken and a risotto would take a close second. 2015/2020 91 points. 4 stars for this $28 effort. Thanks for the tour and the memories! Salut….
The nice thing about Christmas time is that my friends inevitably pull out some good wines. I have had the 2007 Rubicon before and was treated to the ’08 last night.
Like it’s older brother, a tannic, brooding wine just waiting to be unleashed. Black in the glass with some serious notes of blackberry and plum jam. I also got tea, mint and a dose of oak on the palate which was harmoniously balanced and very dry from the huge tannins. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a touch of Petit Verdot- a classic Bordeaux blend. The aging potential for this wine is at least 20 years, with it starting to open up in another 3-4 years. I feel we drank this too young and it will develop into something special with time. I did a quick price search, it can be had for around $26. I am giving it 92 points and 5 stars. I need to get some for the corner of my cellar and hide it away for a few years. Great stuff. Salut….
Probably the trickiest decision in wine pairing. Hot, spicy foods detract the essence of wine, stripping the fruit, tannins and nose from underneath you whether it’s an Indian Curry, Jamaican Jerk dish, fiery Thai or Mexican…. That is where I set my challenge.
For dinner tonight, I prepared pulled Chicken and Shrimp Tacos with spicy Prawn Peri Peri. I looked in my toolkit and came up with two options. I tried both- a German Spätlese Riesling and a Californian Zinfandel from Sonoma. Why the Zin you ask, simple. It’s the only varietal I can think of that has an abundance of fruit, low tannins and potentially some high levels of alcohol. I opened the white when I was cooking and found it to be very sweet, almost sickly. The red got the nod after we sat at the table and I had a mouthful of the spice. After dinner, I normalized my tastebuds and gave them both another try. I will start with the white.
Markus Molitor Ürziger Würzgarte Spätlese Riesling 2009
From Mosel and weighing in at 8% alcohol, it was super sweet. Spätlese is technically an off-dry wine with medium body, so I was taken aback by the cloying amount of sugar. I laid it aside until dinner and went about my chores.
After a mouth full of spicy chicken I tried the wine again, absolutely perfect. The combination was magic. The sweetness was offset by the heat, the great acidity of the wine cut through and the peach notes came across nicely. After dinner I started to get more depth, the sweetness subsiding. Fresh grass notes as well as some minerality became apparent. The mouthfeel is exquisite, balanced and long. This is a good wine. Not being well versed in Rieslings, I hesitate to opine, but I would think it is easily a 90 point wine and for $26 you are getting a very enjoyable ‘spice wine’ that I am giving 4 stars to. Ps. Moxie loves this style of wine and helped with the tasting.
Bella Vetta Rockpile Zinfandel ‘Jack’s Cabin Vineyard’ 2008
From Sonoma with a 14.5% punch behind it. With the tastebuds coated in spice, this wine struggled to show itself. Along with dulling your mouth, chili’s tend to throw off your smell as well. I got nothing out of the glass on the nose and the initial taste was muted with notes of blackberry and pepper. The wine’s alcohol was perfectly suited and was not an issue. The acidity was great, cutting the heat down slightly. There were no tannins to discern and the finish was somewhat muted. Overall, a distant second place in the challenge, falling short of expectations.
Post-dinner was a different story. Blackberry, red raspberry and cloves were all over the place. Zins can be very jammy but this one was linear, focused and well balanced. Very little tannins to resolve and a good acidity made this easy to drink. The alcohol started to show unfortunately, but at this level it is hard to hide. I found it for $25 and figure it’s a 90 pointer. At this combination, 4 stars and worthy of cellaring a few bottles. Like I said, it is easy to drink so it will appeal to newbs and the seasoned pros will realize its quality. Salut….