We visited this winery a year ago and had a great time. Part of the visit was spent on the patio sipping Sur Lie Chardonanny and talking to one of the wine makers, he was kind enough to give us a sampling of this Bordeaux blend (75% Cab Sav, 20% Merlot and 5% Cab Franc). In the glass it is medium ruby and possibly unfiltered? The nose gives me green pepper, blackberry, licorice, pencil shavings, blueberry pie, black plum and some charred wood. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium tannins. Flavors of blackberry, blueberry and plum dominate but the licorice and charred wood do come through. The green pepper and pencil shavings are nowhere to be found. The wine is medium bodied and has a slightly tart, medium length finish that I am enjoying. This is a decent wine that gets 88 points from me. Drink till 2026 with burgers, filet or roast duck. At $35 per bottle it is a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….
Deep ruby colored, this Merlot shows off its 15% ABV with thick legs in the glass. The nose has rich aromas of ripe raspberry, black cherry, vanilla, caramel and red licorice. The palate is dry with slightly green tannins, medium acidity and medium intensity flavors. The body is medium (+) on this juicy wine. The mid palate is a touch astringent that also shows some charcoal notes. The finish is dry and somewhat tart, reminiscent of sour cherries and black tea. It’s a decent drop that gets 89 points from me. I would imagine this will drink till 2025 and pair well with grilled meats and charcuterie. $22 makes this a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….
This bottle was assigned to my WSET tasting group- an interesting one as this producer is big in Cali, not so well known for Oregon Pinot. It shows a pale ruby in the glass and has medium intensity aromas of red cherry, red currant, red plum, cinnamon and coconut- it was considered youthful. The palate was dry with medium (+) acidity, medium tannins, medium alcohol and medium (-) body. We matched the flavors with the aromas and thought they were slightly less intense, leading to a medium (-) finish. At $32, this is what we considered an acceptable wine with a drink now window. Overall I would rate it 88 points and 3 stars if that. Think chilled Salmon on a bed of Boston bib or perhaps a thin sirloin flash grilled. 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 had to look up the meaning of the name- Nihilist. It’s off-putting tbh but I will disregard for this tasting.
Medium ruby in the glass with a pronounced nose of black raspberry, red plum, strawberry compote, currant, a whiff of chocolate dust and dark cherry akin to Luxardos. A second swirl and I get a touch of smoke and florals. The palate is dry and tart. Medium tannins set the tone for a medium (+) body and medium intensity flavors of sour cherry, red plums, currants (black and red) and that floral note. The smoke is gone and the wine really shows off some acidity. In addition to the tartness, this bottle has a high level of structural acid. It’s a bit out of balance for me. The finish is a touch thin but lasts a decent length of time. Drink this wine till 2026 with some charcuterie and olives, something to cut the acid (Brie or Blue cheese). 87 points from me for this $20 effort makes it a 3 star wine. Salut….
If you Google what wine goes with Shepherds pie the answer is Chianti. Seeing as today is St. Patrick’s day, that is exactly what’s going down. This particular bottle is pale to medium ruby in the glass with watery legs denoting a lower alcohol wine at 12.5% ABV. The nose is classic Sangiovese. Cherry, red raspberry, violets, a hint of leather and red licorice. No sign of any oak at this point. The palate is dry with racy acidity and medium (+) tannins. The flavors are shrouded in the tannic grip but I get cherry, mushroom, raspberry, red licorice and a touch of the leather component. Dried herbs and a floral note kick in on the medium length finish- which is very astringent btw. I feel like I am stuffing pouches of black tea bags between my gums. It needs a good aerating or decanting to soften this wine up a touch, it will pair nicely with my ground lamb based dish, cutting the fat nicely. The intensity of this wine’s fruit is the only detractor, the balance is a little off for me. I like it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a little out of sorts. 89 points for this $15 effort makes it a 3 star wine to drink from 2024-2027. Salut….
I’m cooking two roasts tonight- a Moroccan herbed leg of Lamb and a seasoned Coulotte with riced brocolli and a North African inspired vegetal medley on a bed of Barley and Arugula. I need a bold, tannic wine for this and so I delved into the nether regions of Georgia for this Saperavi.
Opaque purple with some thin legs showing off the 13% ABV. The nose has pronounced aromas of grape, smoky oak, vanilla, dark cherry and spice box. Cloves and sweet blackcurrant round it out. I am intrigued by the raw grape scent- it’s not often you come across this basic component. The palate is exactly what I was hoping for. Dry, medium (+) tannins with good acidity. Plenty of primary fruit flavors and oak hints are evident on this medium (-) bodied wine that has a shortish finish. The freshness of the grape flavor is very unique. I like it. The charred oak in this one is quite apparent. Whilst not overly complex, it is a nicely balanced wine that will pair well with my multitude of flavors. I would drink this wine by 2024 with hearty meat dishes. 88 points and 3 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
The second red wine at the 25th Virtual tasting was from the same producer as the first bottle. This one is a year younger and has been blended with Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc. A mix of new and used oak in the winemaking allowed us to compare flavors and aromas with a wine that relied mostly on used oak.
In the glass this blend is medium garnet, slightly less opaque than the Cab Sav we tasted previously. Leather, tobacco, black currant, black cherry, blackberry and cassis aromas were quite evident on the nose. The palate was dry, slightly tart with medium tannins, medium (-) acidity and light bodied. Flavors of black currant, spice, leather, tobacco, blood/iron and orange marmalade but I did make a note that this wine was a touch ‘thin’. Scoring it 91 points was a little off from the pros. This $50 bottle gets 3 stars from me and only 14 marks on the tasting scale. Drink now with lighter meat dishes. Salut….
We kicked off the 25th Virtual Wine Tasting event with this Alvarinho. The winemaker has allowed some skin contact during fermentation so I was hoping for a rounder, fuller bodied wine. We tasted it at room temperature and then chilled. Here is what the group thought of this wine.
Pale straw colored with citrus, pineapple, yellow apple and saline on the nose. Someone caught a whiff of petrol and we decided that the smell of Vaseline was an appropriate moniker. Medium acidity and light bodied this wine has medium intensity flavors of honey, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, yellow apple and I sensed brioche. I gave this version 11 marks on the VWTC score sheet.
The chilled version was crisper and had more prominent aromas and flavors. Saline, honeysuckle and brioche with far less apple/citrus notes on the nose. The palate had melon, grapefruit, pineapple and we felt the acidity was more prominent. The wine had more body and scored 13 marks with me. Overall this $20 gets 89 points from me, which is a far cry from the monster scores the pros gave. I will re-taste tonight and report back if there is any significant change to my assessment of this 3 star effort. Drink now with seafood or a chicken salad. Salut….
Moxie is cooking dinner- a beef dish that is heavily influenced by mushrooms. In case you did not know- umami (found in mushrooms) has a distinct affect on wine. It makes a red taste more dry and bitter, more acidic, less fruity/sweet. A perfect pairing for this would be a full bodied, rich, tannic wine with medium acidity and not overly dry- Petite Sirah is the answer. Here goes.
Deep purple in the glass, this wine is inky. The nose has pronounced aromas of black cherry, blackberry, macerated black plum, dark chocolate, anise, barnyard (kinda strange for the varietal) and smoke. The palate is rich and dry. Medium (+) tannins, full body and medium length finish. The fruit flavors are delicious. Black berries, currants, plums and pepper. The smoke is evident as is the licorice note I got earlier. It doesn’t quite hold up to the 2013 Petite Sirah I drank last year but it does rate well at 90 points. For $45 it gets 3 stars from me. Drink till 2028 with hearty meat dishes, especially those with some well marbled beef. Salut….