This has to be the lightest colored Pinot I have ever come across, the light red color has accents of orange and resembles strawberry juice. The nose is totally different- packed with flavors it belies the visual assumptions. Strawberry, kirsch, cinnamon and a touch of oregano all hit the nose. The palate is slippery smooth, very elegant yet has a surging power waiting to release. Strawberries, cherry torte, vanilla and rhubarb all appear on the palate. Extremely fine grained tannins are present, as is some lithe acidity that really hits on the mid – to finish. Speaking of which- I get sour cherries on the backend that I’m really enjoying. Toasty oak is prominent throughout but not obnoxious. I’m serving this up with grilled monkfish and boiled potatoes. A perfect match. 92 points and 4 stars for the $30 price point. I am really enjoying it! Drink till 2023. Salut….
I can’t remember the exact details of when or where I bought this 3 Liter Double Magnum but it has been many years. This is a really nice Bordeaux wine which hailed from the amazing 2000 vintage. I have saved it for the right moment and hoped it had matured nicely and was not over the hill or premature. My first concern was the crumbling cork. I ended up with it inside the bottle and my shirt getting the first tastes before my Thanksgiving guests arrived. I was pleasantly surprised and thankful for my patience.
Still beautifully purple with no signs of bricking. The nose is sublime. Leather, plums, tobacco. The initial taste is very smooth, refined and balanced. More creamy purple fruits and leather show up as the wine works its way along. The tannins show up on the mid palate in a very subdued way. The finish has vanilla, plum torte and cassis berries. The tannins really kick in after a while and are gripping on the finish. 91 points and drinking nicely till 2023 at the least. I found it online for $30 but it got terrible ratings from the pros. I disagree but maybe that is because mine was in a large format bottle. I love aged Bordeaux and this one hit it on all cylinders for me. 5 stars if you are looking for a good deal on something that offers freshness with old world charm and some secondary flavors of maturity starting to emerge. Salut….
I wrote about La Mitre three years ago and recommended giving it a 2-3 year cellaring. I opened one up the other night and here is what I had to say about this offering that is now selling for $30.
A lighter purple that is somewhat opaque. Interesting nose of game, plum, rhubarb and an earthiness. On the palate it reveals some astringent tannins that are prominent yet dissipate to reveal cherry, garrigue and cola. There’s a certain imbalance between the tannins, fruit and acidity that I can’t my head around. This wine is 6 years old and needs a little more time. 88 points from me and 3 stars. I plan on re-tasting in a year or two. Salut….
From Argentina comes this beauty. A nose of black damson/dark plums, possibly a hint of sagebrush. Nice dark purple color with long legs in the glass, not something I comment on normally. Full on attack of black and blue fruits with ample tannins up front. Mouth watering acidity set this wine up for a long cellar potential. Mid palate hints of violet and plum offset by the edgy tannins. There is a longish finish that indicates the level of alcohol. 14.5% is hard to hide, but it is done rather well in this offering, with just some back end heat showing up. The wine is a little closed right now but will open up in 2017-2018 and cellar well for another 7-8 years. 90 points from me and 3 stars for this decent $30 offering from Mendoza, the capital of Malbec. I reckon it will rock a steak and do justice to some BBQ ribs. The structure is perfect for something sweet and spicy or marbled like a ribeye. Salut….
An interesting blend of Old Vine Monastrell and Shiraz from the Spanish Bullas. It’s a town in the southeast part of Spain in the Murcia region. Nose of earth and plum jam with an initial attack of blue fruits and stone. A hint of oak and some cardamom come through. Very integrated tannins meld with the balanced acidity giving a nice mouthfeel. This wine is aging well and will go till 2018 . Back end lights up with some violets and rustic charm. An overly optimistic MSRP of $90 make it a major pass even with 93 RP points. I found it online for $30, which makes a lot more sense. 91 points from me and 3 stars. Pair it with some earthy game or perhaps goat cheese pizza. It yearns for tapas as well. Salut….
With no varietals mentioned on the label I took a chance on this $30 offering that was on BOGO at the local. Brooding nose of black fruits and chocolate dust. Mouth of ripe plums, cinnamon, ganache and green pepper (kinda strange I know). Rich acidity and mellow tannins. 88 points from me and 2-3 stars. Not sure yet, perhaps it needs some time. This wine hails from Sonoma and I suspect it is loaded with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Salut….
I took Moxie and one of my sons to a Brazilian steak house recently. This was the featured wine, priced at $65 instead of the usual $120. In reality it retails for $30 or so dollars. I ordered it and did not regret my choice.
Iodine, black berries and orange peel nose really got me going. I was so engulfed in the nose of this wine that I kept sniffing, trying to coax more…. Blackberry creme pie meets chocolate dust and vanilla bean on the initial palate, exciting. Hefty yet refined tannins are on pointe and the finish is long and dry. The wine was perfectly paired with all the freshly grilled, highly salted, tender morsels of beef, lamb and pork. 92 points from me would equal what the pro’s averaged on this wine. A drinking window of 2015-2022 make it totally worth cellaring for a great accompaniment to steaks and stews. 5 stars from me for this Chilean stunner. Salut….
From Paso Robles comes this high powered Zin. It got panned by the pros but was the hit of the night at our gathering. It can be found for $30 and was immensely enjoyed with some Veal Saltimbocca and carpaccio salad. I find many Zins to be too jammy, this one was not.
Dried herbs, black currants and spice on the nose were a preview of what to expect. Spicy components mixed with dark plums and black cherry were the welcoming taste. The 15.2% alcohol was masked in the myriad of dark fruits, cinnamon notes and espresso. Delicious tannin structure coupled with some acidity gave it a nice mouthfeel. It went really well with our meal and I would cellar this for drinking 2015-2020. 90 points versus the pro’s at 86. 3 stars for me. Salut….
This is a varietal that I have fallen in love with. Not a Sirah, nor is it petite. The grape is also known as Durif overseas and offers up hefty tannins with spice and plum being the main component flavors. This particular bottle had a few years of mellowing time and it came across with black currants and plum on the nose with a nearly black complexion in the glass. Licorice was very prominent along with black fruits and cola. Sharp tannins and great acidity balanced each other beautifully on the mouthfeel and I really enjoyed the whole package. I paid dearly for it at the Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant in Reno, but found it online for $30. It was the final evening of my Reno adventure and was well suited to our Filet dinner. 91 points and 4 stars from me. Salut….
My friend ‘The Beave’ was hosting the Reno Air Race party this year and invited me to raid his cellar, which I took literally. Out popped this beauty that was the highlight of the evening. Beautifully aged Sierra Foothills Zinfandel that offered silky purple plums with beautiful acidity and restrained tannins. Bottle aging has smoothed this wine out like a well worn pebble. A sweet cherry finish was the capstone of this atypical Cali Zin that strayed from the high octane, jammy wines that Zin has a tendency to become. No idea on pricing but this is a 91+ point wine that I would give 4 stars to if it was sub $30. Salut….