Bright purple in the glass, semi opaque. The nose is lovely, warm and chock full of dark berry fruits, charcoal and bramble. On the palate I get a really smooth intro to the blackberries, Ribena and earthy notes that allow some oak to mingle. There is a certain rustic twist to this wine. On the mid palate I start to get tertiary flavors of leather and bramble, that earthiness I love in aged Riojas. The wine is quite juicy at this point, the acidity making its presence known. Lithe tannins crop up and the whole mouthfeel is really nice. The finish is a touch dry, acidic and medium in length. The black fruits really present alongside that charred oaky wood note. 91 points, drink till 2027 with steaks, grilled goat. At $30, it’s a 4 star effort that I really enjoyed. Salut….
Typical for the varietal, it shows a semi opaque light purple color in the glass. The nose is stunning- cherries, cinnamon, blackberry. On the palate this wine is fruity, New World in style but somewhat restrained. Red fruit galore, some pepper and a hint of upfront acidity. The midpalate gives me cherry jam, some cedar and an intro to the very lithe tannins. This is some lip smacking juice people, absolutely delicious with a very nice mouthfeel and great balance. The finish is medium in length, juicy with some sour cherry and mid length. For $30 this is a great Pinot from one of my favorite wine making regions, the Russian River Valley. 92 points from me and 5 stars, buy it by the case. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Semi opaque medium tint of purple. I get a delicious whiff of black cherry, cedar, tobacco and spice box. On the palate the wines visual and nose bely it’s power and structure. It has a very forward stab of fruit alongside a crescendo of tannins that present cherries, lingonberry and leather on the initial palate. The tannins sear my gums and carry me to the midpalate of more stark red fruits and that earthy component. The finish- dry AF, really has some juiciness to it. The cherries are the dominant force battling the astringency. This wine is a cherub, the tannins almost too much at this stage but I feel this wine will evolve in the next 5-10 years. I’m going with 92 points but either decant the hell out of it or put it away for a long time. $30 and 4 stars for this Nebbiolo. Drink from 2024-2034. Salut….
I took my buddy Jimbo out to a French bistro in Montreal. This was the wine I ordered, and it was good. Dark purple in the glass. The glass is somewhat small so I’m having a hard time coaxing the nose. I finally get bright purple fruit- plums, some star anise and espresso. On the palate it is fresh, tannic, raw with plum and blackberry notes alongside licorice. The tannins are gripping, fresh and really crisp. They hold the wine in check and make for a good cellaring potential. The purple fruit notes continue and the finish is a nice dry affair with some charred wood appearing at the medium length end. I’m really enjoying it- 91 points. I paid CAD$100 for this Merlot blend at the restaurant, no other wine prices are available but if it runs $25-30 USD then it’s a 4 to 5 star effort. Drink till 2028 with Hanger steak (duh). Salut….
Medium intensity purple in the glass with a nose of black cherries, eucalyptus and iodine. The palate gives me a dry, tart opening of blackberry reduction coupled with balsamic and that iodine note. The mid palate is very dry with the tannins coating my gums. Black fruits and Ribena are prominent. The finish is decent length with the tannins really gripping. There’s black cherry and a hint of oak back there amongst the black tea reduction. Well crafted and built for the long haul. Drink now if you like em dry or cellar for 3 years, until 2029. 91 points. For $30, this wine gets 4 stars. Salut….
Moxie and I took our son- Jett, to Lake Placid this past week. He’s a competitive Ice Dancer and was representing Team USA in the Novice North American Cup. We have been up here several years in a row and always vow to continue northward to visit Montreal after the competition. This year, armed with fresh passports, we took the 87 mile ride up into foreign lands to visit, albeit briefly, Canada. It was a great seguey and we stayed right by Old Montreal, which is beautiful. Our dinner was at a great Bistro, where I asked for and got a delicious Canadian Pinot Noir.
Red and see-through with long legs showing in the glass. On the nose I get bright cherry, strawberry coulis, cedar and nutmeg. On the palate it has some really delicious cherry extract, rhubarb, a smokiness as well as mocha. The acidity of this Pinot is on pointe- the mouthfeel is gorgeous. There are some sly tannins lurking in the background that give just a touch of dryness. The mid palate and finish are equally tasty, fleshy yet still delicate a’ la Pinot style. This is new world yet has such a restrained approach- I’m loving it. 92 maybe 93 points. I’m pairing it with Escargot, followed by duck breast. Drink till 2030. $30 makes this a bargain for Pinot of this quality, 5 stars. Salut….
Pretty dark red and semi opaque with big legs showing in the glass. On the nose it’s an intriguing blend of strawberry syrup, rooibos tea and raspberry. On the palate it gives me red fruits including cherry, strawberry and rhubarb alongside some pretty fresh tannins. The grip of which starts at the onset and builds into a mighty teeth- coating crescendo at the finish. Wow…. this is a wine packed with flavor, structure and is balanced to boot. Very young, it needs cellaring or a run through the Venturi. I’m gonna cellar the three other bottles I have, thinking there will be some nice evolution in addition to a softening of the tannins. For now, 92 points and 5 stars for the $30 price point. Pair this Sangiovese up with some rich stews, hearty pasta or a thick Ribeye. Drink from 2022-2032. Salut….
Opaque, deep purple in the glass with fast disappearing legs. On the nose I get bramble, iodine and blackberry. On the palate it is very appealing with a gorgeous mouthfeel of lush black fruits, lithe, yet integrated tannins and a nice acidity. The iodine note reappears on the midpalate alongside that telltale creosote that I love in Tempranillo. On the back end it is more subdued with black cherry jam and those delightful tannins finishing me off with a nice dry tinge on my gums. Well made but not long in the cellar. Drink now till 2024 with charcuterie. 90 points and 3 stars for this $30 Tempranillo. Salut….
Very typical in the glass for Pinot- seethrough, lighter shade of purple and showing fine-strained legs. On the nose I get strawberry pie, spice box and rooibos tea. On the initial palate it’s more cherry than strawberry but they coexist nicely.
The wine transitions beautifully to the mid palate where I get some ginger and allspice. The back end is where they sneak some lithe tannins in that barely caress my gums- very deftly. There’s a nice acidity alongside violets and that red tea component- delicious. 91 points- drink till 2025 with lighter fare such as Cornish Hens, Filet or even charcuterie. $30 and 5 stars. Salut….
I have drunk tons of the 95 and 96 Garraud vintages and when I saw this I got excited. It is of medium darkness and opacity, with nice legs showing. On the nose I get plum, charcoal and currants. The palate is young and slightly corky, not in the ‘corked’ way, it just tastes like cork. Iodine is also present as are black plums and licorice. The mid palate is really where this wine opens up- black fruits melding with a tannic dryness that builds slowly. The tannins are still a little green, I hope they soften a touch. There is a black olive note and more of that iodine on the finish that make this a brooding wine that I hope will mature like it’s predecessors. With a bit of bottle age this winery has turned out some great Bordeaux beauties that drink well for 10-15 years. I think this one has the stuffing, it comes from a great vintage- I just think it needs cellaring for a while. Drink from 2022 till 2030. Pairings will change as the wine matures, for now- if you pop and pour, stick with red meats and hearty cheeses to pair. I’m going with 89 points for now, with a possible upgrade in the future depending on the tannins and how they assimilate. 3 stars for this $30 Bordeaux wine. Salut….