This Grenache blend was third up at our virtual tasting. It showed well but was not my favorite. Deep garnet, it was more opaque than I was expecting. Pomegranate, raspberry, pepper, anise, kirsch, bramble and strawberry jam notes on the nose were echoed on the palate. We also got a green olive aftertaste with cedar and charcoal on the mid palate. Very integrated tannins, low acidity, medium bodied and a long finish made this a 91 pointer. At $50 I was hoping it filled the 93 point hype the pros gave it, alas it was just decent. 3 stars from me. Drink till 2025. Salut…
We started our 23rd Virtual Wine Tasting with this Furmint, a varietal I have never had before. Tasted chilled and then at room temperature, it was a completely different wine. Medium lemon color the chilled version had pear, apple, apricot, lemon and a brie-like note. The palate also included honeysuckle and lemon pith. Medium body and medium acidity led to a decent finish.
The room temperature serving was skunky on the nose- that Brie note really taking the pole position. Spices, honeysuckle, nuts, brioche and a greenness with hints of Malolactic fermentation. The palate was ‘yucky’ and flabby for me. Buttery, pithy and bitter- the lemon was evident to a degree but the wine was just too funky. I scored it a 7.5 on my VWTC scoresheet. Overall this $25 bottle got 89 points making it a 3 star wine. Drink well chilled until 2025 with seafood, Alfredo or even a grilled chilled salad. Salut….
I’m re-visiting this varietal as it intrigues me. Back in the day I had some great Carmenere’s but recently had the misfortune of trying one that was over-the-top vegetal. I really despised it and could not bring myself to drink any for quite a while. This one is quite opaque in the glass and purple in color. The nose has got some creosote, cooked black plum, iron, graphite, blackberry and cracked pepper. The palate is a touch thin but I get black fruit and earthy minerality along with the tar-like flavors I got on the nose. It is very smooth with low to medium tannins and medium acidity on the back end. The wine would be classified as light weight in body even though it sports 14.5% ABV. The finish is medium in length and I get more of that black pepper component along with some espresso notes. It’s a decent drop that gets 87 points from me. I would drink until 2024 with grilled meats and chimichurri sauce for sure. At under $10 it’s easy to stock up on this 3 star wine. Salut….
It’s Christmas Eve and the family have arrived from all over. My little brother brought this Cabernet all the way from Cleveland, where his friend owns this winery. It is a medium shade of ruby with thin legs showing off the 14.5% ABV. The nose is of medium intensity and gives me black cherry, black currants, ripe pomegranate, black plum, sassafras, coconut and charred oak- very interesting! The palate is a touch bitter at first but the astringency gives way to black and red fruits, a touch of oak influence and medium acidity. It has a medium body and medium (-) finish. The tannins grip again on the back end and coat my gums with a black tea component. I think this Non-Vintage red needs a year or two in cellar to flesh out the raw tannins and let the fruit meld a bit better with the structural components. It has promise and gets 88 points from me. Without a vintage it would be best to mark a few bottles and lay them down. At $25 it gets 3 stars from me- we are pairing it with Holiday Crunch (A traditional Pasta dish). Salut….
Chinon is a region in the Loire Valley of France where Cabernet Franc is the primary red grape. You know how I love the varietal so I couldn’t pass this one up, especially when it was on sale for $14. The wine itself is semi opaque and tending to garnet rather than ruby, I guess age is playing a factor here. The nose is developed with stewed plums, black cherry, black currant pie, leather, mint and violet. It is quite an interesting waft that got better as I swirled the glass. On the palate this dry wine has upfront tannins, good acidity and flavors of plum, black currant, black cherry, licorice, mint and violets. The leather and stewed plum notes are nowhere to be seen. The tannic grip is pronounced on the back end where I get some dry gums. It is a raw, primal wine with good fruit and structure but it is not for a big night. A serviceable weekday wine that gets 88 points from me and should be drunk by 2026, it gets 3 stars and would go nicely with hearty stews. Salut….
Moxie and I went to a pre-theater dinner in downtown Philly. The food was really good but the wine list was quite shabby, they offered 5 reds which retail in the stores for $12-18 per bottle and none got a rating over 86. I was forced to choose one and settled on this Argentinian Malbec. Here is my brief review:
Opaque, nose of crushed stone, plum, blackberry. Soft mouthfeel with lithe tannins, gentle acidity and medium intensity flavors. Medium bodied with a medium length finish. 86 points. Drink now. $13 makes it a 3 star effort. It was okay, just not great. Salut….
I wanted to introduce our virtual tasting group to this varietal- Barbera. Unfortunately it was quite tart and that threw people off. It is an opaque wine which conjured up ideas of a brooding, tannic wine when quite the opposite was discovered. The group noted aromas of tar, cherry, cherry coke, luxardo cherries, coffee, tobacco and cola. The flavors we encountered were sour cherry, Dr. Pepper, tobacco, red currant and raspberry. Medium bodied, it had a short finish and was tart the whole time. 90 points for this $40 wine made it a 3 star effort. I subsequently drank it two nights later and it was far better, perhaps worthy of a bump in score. Drink till 2028 with something like breaded veal cutlets or an Alfredo dish, staying away from high acid foods with red pasta sauce. Salut….
This Bordeaux blend consists of 40% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Muscadelle. It is a medium gold in the glass and the 12.5% ABV leaves barely a sheen of watery legs in the glass. On the nose it has all the makings of a classic Sav Blanc- gooseberry, cut grass, cat’s pee and pineapple with some waxy notes from the Semillon. The palate is refreshing with medium acidity, light weight body and fresh flavors of gooseberry, pineapple, honeysuckle and that waxy note I got on the nose. The finish is medium in length and is a touch tangy from the acidity. I like this lightish wine that sports good fruit-forward notes with a nice mouthfeel that is easy to drink. I would pair it with fresh seafood, lighter chicken dishes and salads. For $15 it is a good one to stock up on for the short term, 88 points. 3 stars from me. Salut….
This Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is beautiful in the glass- deep golden colored it shows off its age appropriately. There is just a sheen of legs, which made me check the ABV- 12.5%. Perfect. I’m getting a little tired of getting tipsy too soon. The nose is quite pronounced with aromas of gooseberry, lemon zest, green apple, honeysuckle, biscuit and persimmon. A very interesting combination! The palate is very soft and smooth with gentle acidity, full body and good length. The flavors are more secondary and tertiary driven. Citrus and apple give way to buttery components alongside toast and biscuit. I did a bit of research after the fact. This wine is technically a “drink now”, up to 2019. Whoops. It certainly shows some age but I think it will go swimmingly well with our grilled Salmon and sautéed spinach tonight. If you have any, pop soon. 89 points from me for this $32 wine make it a 3 star effort. Salut…..
Pale ruby with watery legs (13%ABV). The nose offers up nice aromas of red cherry, strawberry, earth, some funk and a medicinal note. The palate is dry, medium bodied and slightly tart with lithe tannins. The red fruit I expect from Pinot is dominant here with very little secondary flavors. It is primal and fruity, if somewhat one-dimensional. The finish is mid length and juicy. I like it. It’s not a Cru Burgundy but it is very serviceable. At $26 it’s a bit pricy for an 89 point wine. 3 stars, drink till 2026. Salut….