The second wine of our virtual tasting was this Lodi blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cab Sav. The nose was magnificent- lush, jammy blackberry, cocoa, dark plums. The palate was a different matter. We all immediately sensed a certain sweetness that we were not expecting. The wine is very fruity and concentrated with loads of black fruits. Tannins are apparent but not overbearing and there is a decent level of acidity to make for a nice mouthfeel. The cloying fruit however was a detractor for many in the group. Funnily enough, it was voted the best wine by a third of the attendees. I guess that sweetness appeals to some but not all. Each to his own. For me it was an 86 point wine that I feel was a little too manufactured and lacked finesse relying heavily on gobs of jammy fruit. Drink now. For $14 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
This Rosé started our third virtual wine tasting with friends. I had everyone reserve half the bottle in another container at room temperature and the remainder in the fridge to be served chilled. It was a gorgeous evening and all parties were on their respective patios with cheese and crackers at the ready. We started off with the chilled version which I found to have a nice pinkish hue, good nose of strawberry, rhubarb and a touch of citrus. The palate was very refreshing, lithe with some nice acidity exhibiting strawberry and red berry notes. The room temperature version had a much fuller nose but was very flabby on the palate. I enjoyed the chilled one more and would forgo some of the nose in return for that crisper body and more succinct flavor profile. It’s an interesting experiment to try with whites and Rosès. Overall I thought it was a nice drop which gets 87 points from me. For $13 it’s a nice summer wine to have on hand, 3 stars. Drink now. Salut….
A slightly murky purple in the glass, which I find normal for this winery and their older vintages. The nose is interesting, if not a touch gamy. Ripe plums, violets, blackberry ganache and bacon fat. On the palate it’s much more ‘normal’. Mature purple fruits, black cherry kirsch, oak and stewed plum. I also get some smoky wood notes that carry me into the mid palate where I’m greeted by some tame tannins that just add a nice touch of dryness to the gums. More black fruits and tobacco. The finish is quite dry but not astringent. The fruit fades quickly and the wine does show a balance of acidity. It’s all black tea, dry gums and some blackberries. Overall it’s tasty but lacks technical merit. At 10 years of aging it should be showing stronger, perhaps this vintage peaked early. I’m a huge fan of this winery, this being the first Merlot I have tried from them. It’s a bit of a disappoint but still gets 90 points from me. I was hoping for a showstopper. Drink till 2025. $28 and 3 stars. Salut….
This is the 5th wine in the SplashWines lineup. A blend from Amador County, which has been showing some real quality of late. This one is a nice purple hue in the glass and is semi-opaque. On the nose I get pepper, plum, mocha and blackberries. The initial palate is interesting, a touch sweet from cassis and spice. It has some zest to it, I like that. The mid palate has some tar, more dark fruits and a charcoal note. Very lithe tannins appear and there is a nice acidity to the wine. The tar and spice components carry through to the finish, but there is an astringency that hits me, some greenness. It’s not all bad, as the sweet cassis nullifies it. The finish is quite tart, with good length. Overall this is a decent bottle that gets 89 points from me. Drink with summer BBQ, perhaps pizza and definitely a red pasta. For $15 it’s a 3 star Zinfandel blend that includes some Petite Sirah and Syrah. Drink now. Salut….
Number 2 from SplashWines is this non-vintage blend that rings the bells at 13.5%. Semi opaque with a reddish tint in the glass. The nose is intriguing- strawberries, by the bucketful. Red currants and sweet pomegranate to boot. Oh…. and Apricots. Yup- Apricots. The palate is very unique, a touch sweet but very red fruit forward. It’s a very interesting flavor profile. The mid palate is very easy going, red Twizzlers and a touch of cherry cola. The acidity is very gentle which makes up for the lack of much tannin. The finish is more cherry and rhubarb with that crispy acidity adding zest. It’s decent in length and tasty. I must say I was a bit biased when I unscrewed this bottle, but I reckon it’s very easy going, fun to drink and will appeal to the novice as well as anyone coming over for a barbecue. This is a $13 party wine and it gets 86 points from me. 3 stars. Drink now. Salut….
It looks very dark and brooding in the glass, the legs barely evident- 13.5% alcohol will do that. On the nose it is spicy with dark cherry, cola and a touch of oak. I also notice a spice box component. On the palate it is a bit abrupt- black cherry, green pepper, iodine and anise all greet me. There’s a frontal wave of tannins that also hit right off the bat, quite dry and relentless. The mid palate is more red cherry meets blackberry, with a nice acidic touch to refresh the palate. The tannins are certainly players here, enveloping my gums and making me pucker. The brooding nature of this wine is evident on the palate now as it finishes with crunchy black berries, that tannic grip and some toasty oak nuances. The finish is quite long. I was not sure what to expect from this wine, it was part of a SplashWine shipment. I did see it for sale at $12 online and it got 83 points from one reviewer. I would guess it’s got some Syrah, Grenache and maybe a touch of Tempranillo. Who knows…. For me it’s decent for everyday, gets 86 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2024 with some Jamon, a steak or pasta. Salut….
A touch murky in the glass with medium dark purple. Semi opaque. On the nose I get plum, bramble, white pepper. The initial palate is very pleasing, if not a touch sweet. Lush, ripe plums alongside blackberry and violets. The mid palate has a nice tangy acidic bite alongside very ingrained, lithe tannins. More purple fruit flavors and a spiciness comprise the profile I get on the back end with a nice, dry finish that is quite long. This is a very drinkable pop-n-pour wine that gets 89 points from me. I like it a lot for short term enjoyment. Drink till 2024. It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. For $15 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Quite see-through and showing off a reddish/purple hue in the glass. On the nose I get sour cherry and rhubarb. On the palate it starts off with that sour cherry, some cola and rooibos tea. There is a crisp acidity that begins on the front end and carries all the way through. Lithe tannins greet me on the mid palate where the sour cherry theme continues alongside some raspberry and vanilla notes. The finish is quite tart but I get a very defined cherry note and some earthiness- leather and creosote. Overall this is a tasty wine but for $39, it’s a stretch. I’m going 89 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2025 with Pasta or hearty appetizers. Salut….
It’s showing dark purple in the glass with barely perceptible legs- almost opaque. On the nose I get jammy black currants, mint, cedar shake and bramble. On the palate it is inky, with a nice grip of tannins right off the bat. Black fruits, some earth and sour cherry notes all meet me after the initial wave of those tannins. The mid palate is a little more tart, with a nice touch of acidity. I was hoping for a little more earth out of this Tempranillo. It delivers a more fresh and fruity wine that has its own nuances and attractions. I am enjoying its youth. The finish is a nice tart affair with some sour blackberries and a diminishing tannic presence. The wine is still young but I think it will drink well for 5 more years. I was looking forward to a bit more oak to be honest. Overall- decent, not great. 89 points and 3 stars for this $25 wine that garnered 90+ points from the pros. Maybe I need to let it sit longer before I popped and poured, I don’t understand. Perhaps it’s in a dumb stage. Salut….