Semi opaque medium tint of purple. I get a delicious whiff of black cherry, cedar, tobacco and spice box. On the palate the wine’s 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….
Wow- 99 points form one critic, I just had to try it! Then I realized the pro in question rates on a different scale. It looks pretty dark in the glass, but there’s an effervescence appearing on the top that concerns me- either a tainted glass or something in the wine. On the nose I’m getting currants, cherry and bramble. The palate is quite sweet, with layered blackberry jam/blackcurrant reduction. This wine is very thick and juicy, loaded with fruit extract. There’s a nice dose of tannins that gently appear on the midpalate, melding with the dark fruits and carrying the wine to a nice, balanced finish of black berries, black currants and black tea leaf. There’s a Ribena note right at the end that I’m enjoying. This is a solid 91 pointer that will drink nicely till 2024. I’m going 4 stars at $30 for this Aglianico. Salut….
Medium purple, somewhat opaque int the glass. On the nose I get bramble, black cherry and bacon. On the palate it has a unique flavor profile. Very meaty with that black cherry note along with licorice. Smoke and tar really hit me on the mid palate alongside black berry and mid level tannins. The finish is black, dark- brooding and tannic. Black fruits dominate with some Lapsang Souchong tea notes. Earthy, smoky and strong. This is a unique wine which is composed of the following grapes: Corvina, Primitivo, Nero d’Avola. The pros went with red fruits, I am sticking with black. This is a non-vintage wine, so there is room for wiggle on style and tastes. It gets 89 points from me- forget the 98 rating it splashes on the bottle, that guy uses a strange rating system. Pair it with steaks, pasta (of course) or a heavy duty stew. It’s tasty, unique and worth a try, but at $30, it’s a bit pricey. 2 Stars. Salut….