I have previously drunk two or three bottles of this stuff without taking notes. I figure it’s time as this is the last bottle I have. It has a medium purple complexion and is mostly see-through. On the nose I get black berries, Ribena and tar. On the palate it is very straightforward Cabernet. Dark fruits, good tannic backbone and some juicy acidity. There is a plum tart component that hits me on the mid palate which is quite nice. The tannins really grip on the back end and give me that dry gum sensation. A decent drop for quaffing that is rather limited in dimension yet is approachable and drinkable right away with some cellaring potential. Pair with burgers, steaks and pasta. Not bad for $15. 88 points makes it a solid 3 star wine. Salut….
Quite dark but still see through in the glass. The nose gives off black cherry, blackberries and bacon. On the palate there’s black fruits, a hint of almond, lithe tannins and a balanced acidic component. The mid palate is kinda blasé, it’s just a continuation of the initial palate. The finish gives me rooibos tea with some tannic bite and a cherry licorice note. A decent wine that I would pair with Salmon steaks, Shish Kebab or Alfredo. 88 points and $16 put it in 3 star territory. Salut….
Beautiful dark, nearly black in the glass. The nose gives off blackcurrants, loads of them, and with a good swirl I also get eucalyptus as well as pine needle. On the palate it is slightly sweet with those blackcurrants really out front. Very gentle tannins are evident from the onset, but they quickly disappear. There is a hint of oak, barely perceptible that adds to this somewhat one-dimensional wine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very tasty and easy to drink. It transitions to the finish on the same notes I got initially, without much acidity, which troubles me. This is a nice everyday, easygoing quaffer that you could pop-n-pour every night of the week. Party wine for sure. At $13 it’s not a steep price to pay for this 87 point wine that gets 3 stars from me. Drink now with most light fair. Salut….
Very purple/black in the glass. Brush, black cherry, blackberries and tar on the nose. On the palate it is round, soft and full of fruit. Black fruits galore, cedar shake, olives and that creosote all hit me across the front. The midpalate offers more blackberries and gentle, yet fine grained tannins. The black cherry reappears on the finale with a touch of dryness on the gums that adds to the mouthfeel. 89 points for this $20 Corvina/Rondinella blend and 3 stars. Pair with Pasta, Veal and grilled Tuna from now till 2023. Salut….
I’m excited to try the 2014 version of Zenato’s Ripassa. I reviewed the 2012 version previously. In the glass it is as expected- dark, opaque, thick. On the nose- somewhat fresh, with blackberries, raisins, chocolate ganache and sandalwood. On the palate it is lush, filled with black fruits, purple licorice and mouth coating tannins. It does however leave me feeling a little short changed. I remember this wine as being richer, with mouthfuls of fruit, much more upfront and reduced. This version seems a little more subdued, more mainstream. It’s plenty flavorful, with good balance between acidity and tannic structure- don’t get me wrong. Perhaps they have changed styles into a more refined approach.
The mid palate and finish pretty much carry on from the initial palate and let the tannins crescendo at the end. There is however a slight astringency that hits me on the back end. I cannot quite pinpoint it. Serve with charcuterie or grilled steak from now till 2025. 89 points and 3 stars for this $24 effort. Salut….
See through purple in the glass, which makes sense for a Sangiovese. The nose has a pretty floral note to it alongside red licorice, cedar and raspberry. On the palate it is more subdued, less flowery, with crisp flavors of red cherry juice, rhubarb and a dose of black tea. Tannins are rampant, from the get-go, they are quite present throughout the palate and are quite astringent. There is a greeness to the mid palate that is bothersome, but it gives way to more sour cherry on the finish that keeps this wine lively and fresh. Overall there is a slight unbalance between the fruit and the tannins, with the acidity being a touch heavy. This wine is for near term drinking and I would pair with BBQ, perhaps pizza and for sure Moussakka. 87 points from me and 3 stars for this $15 effort. Drink till 2021. Salut….
A slightly dull purple in the glass, gives me concern. On the nose however- violets, black currants, a touch of oak. On the palate it is much darker- blackberry, cherry extract, graphite and singed oak. There is a leather component too, it just comes along later, towards the mid palate. The wine transitions very nicely with good tannic structure that is not obtrusive and acidic enough to balance. This is the third wine of Brane Cantenac, a Second Growth Margaux. They use the young plots for source fruit, giving us an approachable young wine that drinks very nicely with good mouthfeel and medium term cellaring potential. 90 points from me for this $29 effort that gets 3 stars. Drink now till 2024. Salut….
A deep purple wine with medium opacity. On the nose it is lush, full of ripe plums, graced by a deft hand of oak and blackberries. On the palate I get a more licorice and coffee initial attack. The dark fruits appear on the mid palate. There is not as much plum as I had been led to believe, but the juicy acidity makes me forget quickly. The tannins are lithe, making this a drink-now wine. The finish is more tart blueberry than blackberry. Somewhat short in the backend. A tasty wine that merits 88 points from me. For $20 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2021 with some burgers, pizza or lasagna. Salut….
Medium opacity purple, with a nice sheen in the glass. The nose offers up bacon, plum paste, raisins and …… On the palate I get nice round blackberry cobbler notes, bright acidity and very fine grained tannins. If you know how Ripasso is made you would expect a bit more weight, extra flavor and a heavier mouthfeel. This wine is a touch more refined, somewhat lighter and a bit fresher. The mid palate has a nice cherry meets plum characteristic that feeds into the decent length finish. The tannins taper off leaving a somewhat astringent mouthfeel right at the end. It’s certainly interesting. 89 points and 3 stars for this $15 blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I bough this wine on its pedigree for $24. Medium opacity purple in the glass with visible legs. The nose has kirsch, raspberry and bing cherry by the boatload. On the palate it is brimming with red fruits, bright acidity and delightful tannins. Young and vibrant- it needs a little time to settle down. It is slightly one-dimensional at this time. I hope it evolves and gains tertiary flavors. The mid palate is more or less the same. The finish is of medium length with more cherry extract and a dose of rhubarb as well as lingonberry. The tartness of which shows up at the end. Overall- a decent wine that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars. Cab, Merlot and Sangiovese make up this Tuscan red. Drink from 2022 till 2027. Salut….