This Oregonian Pinot Noir is pale purple and see-through in the glass, as expected. On the nose I get a dose of cherry, some straw and strawberry. The palate is a touch spicy- ginger perhaps? The cherry flavors are very prominent but I also get red currants. The mid palate brings a shot of acidity that is really nice, not overpowering. The spice factor is no longer there, just red cherries and rhubarb. The finish is a juicy affair with the acidity really taking off. It’s not overpowering, but there’s a definite cut. The ending takes me back to the spice box- cinnamon and clove. Really tasty and still very young, it will drink well till 2025. 90 points from me for this $30 wine that gets 3 stars. I paired it with Turkey and stuffing! Salut….
Once a year (the third Thursday in November to be precise) the French release the Beaujolais Nouveau. Super bright shade of purple, totally opaque. The nose is very fruity- black cherries, blackcurrants, cherry cola and sassafras. The palate is lively with lots of purple fruit, gobs of acidity and some licorice notes. Primal, this wine is meant to be drunk right away, yet it seems to have a bit of stuffing in there that may allow it to cellar for a year or two. There’s a sour cherry note that carries this wine through to the medium length finish. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The Nouveau movement started as a marketing ploy, got very popular in the 80’s and waned a bit of late. It’s a fun, basic wine that is nearly perfect for Thanksgiving and is easy to drink. Gamay based wines are served by the bucketload in the bistros of Paris, normally chilled ever so slightly they make a great red for a hot summers lunch. This one will fill that role nicely in the coming 12 months. 87 points. $13 and 3 stars. This brand changes the label every year, cool stuff. Salut….
The second wine of the 12th virtual wine tasting was this NV blend of Grenache and Syrah. Semi opaque in the glass it had a medium purple shade. The tasters noted chocolate, white pepper, Kirsch, marshmallow s’mores, dark cherry, cedar, charcoal with earth, funk, spice and a nutty component. On the palate the wine had black pepper, lots of it. Cedar, cola, Birch and black cherry. For me, the tannins came out of nowhere to a big crescendo on the finish. The pepper component was a hit with some, for others it was just a tad overpowering. This wine was ranked very highly with the pros and cost us $23. I am giving it 89 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2022 (this wine is a mixed vintage of 2015/16). Salut….
Dark purple and semi opaque. The nose is rich, spicy with black pepper and gamy with bacon fat plus plum reduction. On the palate this wine is mature- rich plums, raspberry extract, gamy notes and earthiness. Slightly stewed prunes hint at the age of this wine. Bakers spice and super fine grained tannins highlight the midpalate but it’s the flavor of dried mushrooms being reconstituted with a salty umami component that really carry the moment. The finish is rather short but l get sour cherry, raspberries and dark chocolate. This wine will appeal to lovers of mature old world wines that are earthy, loaded with terroir and have tones of tertiary flavors. For me- 89 points but drink sooner rather than later. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Muscardin and Counoise that runs $40 and gets 3 stars. Salut….
This Merlot is nearly opaque in the glass and shows a deep purple color, albeit slightly murky. On the nose I get cranberry, plum and spice box. On the palate it has an upfront astringency that catches me off-guard. Once past that the fruit flavors are very interesting- Pomegranate, blackberry and plum. There is a peppery note as well. The mid palate is quite tannic and the wine gets darker in the fruit flavor department. That spice box I got on the nose plays a bigger part as the wine progresses. The finish is a juicy affair with loads of acidity and tannins. Blackberry notes come through right at the end. I get the impression that this wine is a touch young and could use a few years in cellar. It feels a bit disjointed, with a bit of greeness showing through. I’m enjoying it now but recommend a drinking window of 2022-2026. It’s going with Alfredo tonight, a good pairing methinks. 89 points and 3 stars for this $17 effort. Salut….
This blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet is quite brooding in the glass. Dark purple and completely opaque. On the nose it has a sweet blackberry note alongside earthy herbs and violets. The palate is fruit forward with black cherry, blackberries and steeped plum notes. A dusty earthiness is ever present and some lithe tannins present at the mid palate. I sense the alcohol and just read the content- 14.9%…. careful out there. Black tea and iodine hit me on the back end as the tannic grip envelopes the mouth and melds with the fruit. It’s a tasty one for sure and I like the blend. It’s rich, rewarding and the structure is decent for medium term cellaring. Moxie is cooking up some stuffed Green Peppers, I think it will work nicely. Drink till 2023. 89 points and 3 stars for this $45 wine. Salut….
I’m cooking Lamb Shanks tonight so a Malbec made sense. This one is semi opaque and a medium shade of purple. Blueberry reduction, smoky wood and black licorice hit the nose. The palate has got a delightful sweet blackberry entrance with plums, anise and a very smooth mouthfeel. I sense raspberry on the mid palate, could that be? More licorice and that red fruit note are dominant with very svelte tannins and a touch of acidity. The finish is refreshing- it has an earthy minerality with some raspberry. The mouthfeel is great if you are looking for an easygoing wine that will not bite with tannins or acidity. Built for the present with tons of fruit, it will drink well till 2023 and gets 88 points from me. 3 stars for this $22 effort. Salut….
I have been on a bit of a Merlot kick lately and this one had my name on it. It is semi opaque and a dark shade of purple in the glass. On the nose it gives off plum, cedar and spice box. Plums, baking spices and blueberry pie all hit the palate. Very fine grained tannins pop up on the middle palate along with more blue fruit flavors. There is a nice shot of acidity that keeps me on my toes, balancing out the tannins. There is a second wave of blueberry and plum flavors that really hit the back end, overriding the tannins and giving me a great fresh finish. Whilst not a big or complex wine, it drinks nicely and will do so till 2025. I’m pairing it up with some Steak and Cheese Hoagies. Should do the trick nicely. 88 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
This wine was the third offering at the 11th Virtual Wine Tasting. I have drunk an absolute ton of this wine from earlier vintages and was really looking forward to introducing the Ripasso style of winemaking to my friends. Unfortunately, this wine has been a letdown of late. See my previous posts on the Zenato Ripasso.
Our tasters said the following: Semi opaque, dark purple. On the nose- Blackberry jam, rich nose, floral, black licorice, peppery, leather, lilac. On the palate, berry. Sweeter that expected. Sharp finish. Spicy, green pepper, berry. Velvety but slightly bitter on the back end. Iodine and leather for the finish.
I was underwhelmed and am giving this wine 89 points yet again. For $25 it’s a solid 3 pointer but there are far better wines to spend that kind of loot on. Drink till 2025. Salut….
It’s Election Day in the USA, so I had to pull this wine out- read the label again. In the glass it’s bright purple and semi opaque. On the nose- very interesting. Red berries, cedar and tobacco. Not exactly what I was expecting but fresh smelling. On the initial palate it is very different- rose-hip, strawberry extract and fruit cake all feature. The mid palate is fruit driven and delicious. A touch of acidity and some very lithe tannins are evident giving the wine a nice mouthfeel. The red fruit component continues and I also get violets and black cherry on the decent length finish. An enjoyable drop for short term drinking that gets 89 points from me. I last drank this wine in Napa with Moxie when we were on our way to Bali, with a stop in the Bay Area. At $30 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….