This Barolo is relatively young at five years but I wanted to try it. In the glass it’s almost got a touch of orange and is completely see-through. The nose is intriguing with cherry, sandalwood and a little bit of Bergamot. The initial palate is definitely fruity with some astringency hitting my gums right off the bat. Very strong cherry flavors alongside cedar notes and black tea. The tannins are really starting to grip on the midpalate but I am enjoying the bright red fruit flavors that accompany. Towards the finish I get more of a cola taste with some lively acidity to balance or attempt to balance the very dense tannins. 91 points for this young Nebbiolo blend that runs $30 making it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2022 till 2027 with pasta, steaks or grilled poultry. Salut….
The final wine at tasting #16 was this 100% Mourvedre. It showed very well after the previous two gems, holding its own with good structure, great primal fruit and a reasonable price point. In the glass it is a bright, youthful purple that is 70% opaque. The nose brims with cherry candy and red twizzlers (same thing). Pepper, smoky meat, lemon and citrus (?) were also noted by the tasting panel. Probably the most descriptive being ” Candied nuts from a New York food cart”. Black cherry and Dr. Pepper rounded us out. The palate illicited two gasps of “Wow- Steve”, I guess they liked it! Black cherry, cracked pepper, raspberry and dark plum were noted as was Amaretto, cloves and very dry tobacco. The wine had a sanguine minerality to it with a streak of iron in the mid palate that was noticed by several. I hated the initial flavor profile btw- as I do with most reds that kick off with that red candy nose- but this wine quickly pulled me in with its richness and depth. I ended up giving it 16 points on the tasting scale and 91 for-real points. The pros went even higher at 94! For $30, it’s a nice treat that gets 5 stars from me. Well balanced with nice tannins and gentle acidity- I would pair with grilled steak all day long, drinking till 2030 at the least. Salut….
Number three in the lineup at the 16th virtual wine tasting was this stunning Spaniard. Dark purple and 75% opaque, it had a complex nose of cigar box, buttered popcorn, black pepper, roasted nuts, blackberry coulis, dill, vanilla and an earthiness. Juicy tannins hit right off the bat with blackberry, oak, vanilla, blueberry and Maduro. Great acidity made for a gorgeous mouthfeel and the wine showed a touch of earthy dust, which I look forward to in Riojas. This was one of the standouts since we started the Virtual Wine Tasting Company. I gave it 20 points and on a technical scale- 94 points. For $30, its worth stashing a few of this 5 star gem away and drink till 2030 with grilled meats. Salut….
We kicked off the 16th virtual wine tasting with this Godello, a scarce varietal grown in northwest Spain. As per usual, we tasted it at room temperature first, followed by chilled. In the glass it is a pale gold with a nose of lanolin, yellow apple, citrus, pear, grapefruit and crystallized ginger. On the palate this version showed quince, yellow apple, honeysuckle and honey (albeit not sweet). The chilled version had a narrow, more focused nose of lemon/lime Sprite, ginger ale, green melon and was thought of as more floral than fruit based. The palate gave us lemon, lime, yellow apple, grated ginger with a touch of lanolin/wax and some honeysuckle. I preferred the chilled version with 16 points versus 13 for the room temp one. On a technical scale- 91 points for this $30 wine make it worthy of 5 stars. Drink till 2025 with seafood, roast Cornish hens or a cheese board. Salut….
A very pale shade of gold in the glass with a nose of citrus, tropical fruit and telltale cat pee. The palate is delicious, somewhat unique and not overly tart. Grapefruit and gooseberry notes make way for candied ginger and baked yellow apple. It is really an interesting mix, layered with a medium weight body. There is a sprite nature to the mid palate and the finish is short to medium length in duration. I really am enjoying this wine and will pair it with clams with edamame spaghetti in a garlic and olive sauce. Drink this 90 point wine till 2024. For $30 it gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
Next up at the virtual tasting #15 was this Pinot Noir from Oregon. Claret in color and 50% opaque, it was a little denser than most Pinots. The nose was lush with cherry, boysenberry, cedar, Cherry Coke, cotton candy, spice and fruitcake. On the palate it was a bit of a letdown. Chocolate, mulling spices, cherry and tons of cedar (overoaked?) were noted by the panel. There was a hint of greeness for me that cost a point or two. It seemed like the winemaker was trying too hard, extracting too much and missing the point of the svelte nature of this varietal. It’s about finesse for me, this was more of a young bull in the china shop that had austere edges to him. Good tannic structure was noted that led to a long finish with some astringency hanging on for quite a while. I will re-visit this one again, hoping it softens a touch and sheds its muscular grip. For now this $30 bottle gets 90 points and 3 stars from me. Drink till 2028. Salut….
Very dark red/purple in the glass. On the nose this Grenache blend gives me some raspberry, game, violets and pomegranate. The palate is exceedingly smooth with layers of dark red fruits. Raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranate, blueberry and Ceylon tea notes are abundant. There is a very lithe tannic component with really mellow, balancing acidity to give this wine a nice mouthfeel. The mid palate goes a touch drier but the fruit components remain the same. The finish has more black tea and is quite dry, the tannins kicking it up a notch. Very smooth still and tasty to boot. Moxie is fixing up some Filets and this was the perfect pairing for the lean meat. I really am enjoying the melange of red and blue fruits as well as the structure of this wine. I’m going with 92 points. The pros went way higher (96 and 95). Lovely stuff that can be had for $30 and gets 5 stars from me. Blended with Syrah and Mourvedre as is typical for Rhone wines. Drink till 2029. Salut….
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….
This is an interesting blend out of Oz, it’s more Spanish in composition but here goes! Semi opaque and light purple in the glass. The nose is red in nature… currants, raspberry and orange peel. On the palate it’s a racy wine, if not a touch thin. Sour cherry, red currants and judicious oak are all present. The mid palate continues the sour theme and some very fine grained tannins start to coat the gums. The acid component is really making my jaw water. The finish is short in length and pleasant with more red fruit and an intro to some rhubarb. It’s an interesting blend that unfortunately was a little too thin for my liking. Technically I would give it an 86 point score and 2 stars for its $30 retail price. Drink now. 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….