Moxie and I are moving house next week so we are raiding the freezer and drinking all the un-tried wines. Tonight is grilled Hangar steak and this Tempranillo from Spain. Deep garnet colored, it shows its age and it’s 14.5% ABV with some thick legs in the glass. The nose is beautiful aged Rioja. Leather, tobacco, dried blackberry, stewed black plum, dark chocolate, game and prune. The palate is dry and tart with fine grained, well integrated tannins. Full bodied, this wine coats my mouth with flavors of dried and stewed black fruits, charred oak and dried, dusty bramble. The leather and tobacco are still evident as is some red fruit; stewed strawberry? The finish is medium in length and the fine tannins are tickling the roof of my mouth. I like this wine but feel it is at peak if not slightly past, which is quite young for a Reserva. 92 points for this $30 bottle makes it a 5 star effort, drink till 2025. Salut….
A blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah, this Rhone wine has a medium ruby color in the glass. The nose has a perfume meets rich plums and blackberry. I am desperate to find the garigue and game these two varietals are known for but they elude me for oak influence of vanilla and coffee along with some green leaf hints. The palate is interesting- dry and a touch tart with medium (+) tannins and medium to full body. I get a definitive charred wood note along with the black fruit, vanilla, coffee and tomato leaf. There might be a touch of licorice in there to boot. The wine gets pretty grippy on the back end as it flexes its muscles on the medium length finish. I like it but feel it could use some cellaring. It’s a bit one dimensional right now and the tannins need to mellow out a bit. It got big scores from the pros but in my book this $30 bottle is a 91 pointer that gets 4 stars. Drink from 2024-2030. Salut….
It’s nearly opaque- probably medium to deep ruby in color. It’s age is not showing at all but the alcohol (14.5% ABV) presents some lively legs in the glass. The nose is a beaut. Rich blackberry, black plum compote, purple licorice, mint, coconut, vanilla, baking spices and a blueberry jam note on the tail end. Quite complex and certainly chock full. The palate is dry with juicy acidity and melded tannins. The flavors are not as pronounced but they balance beautifully with the structural components to give me a full bodied mouthfeel that leaves me with a medium finish that is jaw watering. I like this wine, it has layers of fruit and nice secondary notes. It drinks relatively easily but is full of flavor and is still fresh. 91 points, as I think it is peaking now. For $30 it gets 5 stars from me. Drill till 2026 with some hearty meat dishes or Moussaka. Salut….
At my weekly WSET class we were tasked with the notes on this Semillon. It was medium lemon colored although there may have been a tendency toward gold IMO. The nose was of medium (+) intensity but fell off quickly. We got aromas of beeswax, toast, flint, tangerine, grapefruit, white blossom and ripe pear. I thought this developing wine was quite complex albeit not yet showing the big tertiary notes associated with the Hunter Valley. The palate was dry with medium (+) acidity- a good thing for helping age these graceful wines. Medium (+) body coupled with medium alcohol and medium (+) intensity flavors of the above. The citrus stood out on the mid palate and long finish. We though this wine was of Very Good Quality and could do with further aging. Overall I feel this is potentially a 91 point wine and for $30 it gets 4 stars. The pros went as high as 94 but I don’t see it. Salut….
This wine is opaque with a garnet hue. The nose is classic Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon- Blackberry, black currants, mint, eucalyptus, coffee, blueberry compote, açaí berry, bilberry and vanilla. A very inviting and complex nose to say the least. On the palate it is gorgeous. Ripe tannins and medium (+) acidity coat the black and blue fruit notes with emphasis on blueberry compote. The richness of the fruit and the oak influence make for a full bodied wine that has pronounced flavors. The minty component is delicious. The finish of this wine is quite long and very balanced as is the whole package. I am enjoying this immensely. It gets 93 points from me and for $30 it’s a 5 star effort to be drunk till 2027. We are pairing it with Bavette steak. Salut….
This medium purple colored wine has got a fruity, medium intensity nose. I get aromas of black plum, blackberry, vanilla, blueberry jam and charcoal. The palate has a sweetness from the Bourbon barrel- that delicious caramel, smoke, vanilla combo that melds nicely with the jammy black and blue fruit. Medium tannins and medium acidity create a nice mouthfeel in this medium (+) bodied wine. The finish has got loads of rich fruit and oak nuance and is short to medium in length. This is not an overly complex wine, yet it adds a new dimension with the oak usage that makes it easy to enjoy and pair with many meat dishes, pasta, pizza and even burgers on the grill. For $30 it is an elegant offering that gets 90 point from me and 4 stars. Drink till 2026. Salut….
A deep ruby color, this 14.1% ABV wine has thin legs in the glass. The nose has gorgeous aromas of rich blackberry jam, coconut, vanilla, ripe blueberry, black]k plum and a whiff of alcohol. The palate is dry with fine-grained yet forceful tannins, high acidity and a full body. The rich, jammy black fruit is interwoven with oak and some black licorice notes plus that persistent heat. The back end is very fruit rich and dry from the tannic grip that has coated my gums. This is a big wine with lots of structure and cellaring capacity. The timing of the finish is medium and really delightful. I like this $30 wine that is drinking nicely now but will develop in the coming years. I am pairing with grilled Tri-Tip and roasted cauliflower. 91 points and 5 stars. Salut….
This is the second bottle of the vertical, please read my previous note on the 2017 Valderiz. Tasting will be via the Systematic Approach to Tasting.
- Deep purple
- Medium (+) intensity nose with aromas of blackberry, bramble, black cherry, orange peel, vanilla, black plum compote. Youthful.
- Dry, medium acidity, medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity flavors of blackberry, bramble, black cherry, orange peel, vanilla, black plum compote, charcoal with a medium finish.
- Very Good quality
- Drink now but has potential for aging
I found this wine far more youthful than the prior vintage, showing no tertiary notes. It is of a higher quality by half a point but I rounded down to VG, versus Outstanding. For $30 ($5 cheaper than the 2017), you can get a better wine that I would give 93 points to and 5 stars. Salut….
Torrontes is a very intriguing aromatic varietal that I really enjoy, so when I saw a Late Harvest (ie. sweet ) I could not resist. It is medium lemon in color and has a watery sheen in the glass as expected for a 12% ABV wine. The nose is incredible- pronounced aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon curd and rosewater. The palate is sweet- full bodied and of medium (-) acidity. The flavors are pronounced on the palate. Florals, ripe citrus curd, rose and honeysuckle caress the mouth with a richness. Served chilled, this wine is actually very refreshing and dare I say- easy to drink! As a dessert wine I am thinking it would pair with poached stone fruit and vanilla ice cream. For $30 it’s a great intro to something unique that gets 91 points from me and 5 stars. Ps. I am drinking it as an aperitif. Salut….
This is a first for me- Banyuls is a sweet, dessert style red wine that has been slightly fortified to halt the fermentation which leaves residual sugar. This one is six years old and displays a deep garnet color in the glass with loads of legs showing off its 17% ABV. The nose is quite pronounced with aromas of stewed plum, cooked red cherry, walnuts, charred oak, raisins, orange peel and strawberry tart. The palate is off-dry and a bit furry. Tight grained tannins coat my mouth and my upper palate immediately. Green almonds come to mind. I get really juicy flavors of the cooked/stewed red fruits, oak influence, nuts and orange peel. These flavors are slightly offset by the astringency I feel throughout the whole mouthfeel. I sense it is somewhat ‘green’, yet quite zesty, versus the silky nature of Port, which it closely resembles. I like it, and considering it is often served as an aperitif- I can see why. It is medium (+) bodied with a medium finish and medium (+) acidity which is a bit strange considering the grape varietal (Grenache). Then again it’s also more tannic than expected. The palate feels like I have been coddling a black tea pouch inbetween my cheek and gums- the intensity of the tannins is that great. I guess that will stead the wine well in the cellar and allow it to mellow over the next 10-15 years. I like this wine and think it is a nice intro to the style of Vin Doux Naturel. I paid $30 for the 500ml bottle that gets 90 points and 4 stars. Drink as an aperitif or with some soft cheese after dinner. Salut….