Reddish purple and semi opaque in the glass. The nose gives me pomegranate, strawberry, black pepper and rich cherry extract. On the palate it is silky smooth with a very gentle intro to the fruit- it’s more a melange of ripe red fruits that are melded together. Bright acidity and a touch of tannin all make this a pretty full bodied wine. The mid palate has a purple streak, like damson plum jam. There’s a nutmeg spice note as well. The finish is quite dry and still loaded with those purple fruit notes. It’s an interesting take on New World Pinot that I am enjoying. If you like them full-throttle, this one is up your alley. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $38 gem. Drink till 2026. Salut….
To say I am excited about today’s tasting would be an understatement. Many years ago, I discovered this Shiraz in a wine shop in Anchorage, Alaska. The local restaurant also carried it so it was easy to avail myself of this heady Shiraz, the little brother to the iconic Armagh. I have searched high and low for over 10 years, until today. Nestled into a corner of the local wine shop in Hong Kong were 5 bottles. I’m trying this one out and will return for the others if it works out. Here goes….
It has changed with the absence of a cork, replaced with the ease of a screw cap. Fully opaque, dark and brooding… Like I remember. The nose offers up sweet damson, charred oak, plums and lilac. I get a little blackberry jam note as well. The palate is as I remember- rich, deep, layered and chock full of flavors. It’s a lighter, less jammy version of the older ones which makes it a bit fresher and easier to drink. Blackberries, delicious oak, blueberry pie and vanilla all swirl around the palate. There is a very gradual introduction to the tannins, which are super fine grained and not very obtrusive. This wine has a very lush mouthfeel, it coats my gums and palate with delicious dark fruits from the front to the back. The astringency is well in check and there is a touch of acidity that keeps it fresh. This wine is a pleasure to drink, I am loving it. I would imagine it would pair beautifully with Filet and Bearnaise, or you can just sip it alone like I am. 93 points from me for this $38 effort that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2029. Salut….
Nearly black in complexion showed me that this is a very extracted wine. The nose is somewhat muted but a few swirls in the glass begin to reveal some black cherries and the telltale tar/creosote that makes Pinotage so unique. It is a cross breed of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut only found in South Africa.
The first taste is all I expected. Smoke, bramble and cherry hints are all present. Licorice presents itself halfway through. The wine offers a short burst of tannin followed by that tarry mid palate taste that I really enjoy from this varietal. It has a nice mouthfeel, crossing from the tannic thrust over to a slightly tart acidic finish that carries some earthy components. I like this wine a lot. The 14.5% alcohol is well masked, making this a great pairing with some grilled beef. I would drink this over the next 5 years at the least. 91 points and 4 stars for this $38 offering. Salut….
Pale gold color with long legs in the glass and a nose of apples, pears and honey. The first impression is of a somewhat flabby wine, mouth filling and full of charm. The mid palate comes alive with quince, gooseberries and a touch of vanilla. The acidity is restrained and the wine has a decent finish. Very Cali-styled wine that got 91 points from the pros. I’m just not that into the level of Malolactic fermentation and the weight of the oak used. Some might love this style. I am going with 90 points and for $38 retail it gets 3 stars. I think it needs some fresh fish, perhaps oysters Rockefeller. Salut…..
From the northern part of Sonoma comes this gem. My buddy brought it to the tasting and paid $38 for it. I was excited to try it as you know how I love the Franc.
We were outside by the fire pit so I could not really make out the color or clarity. The nose was gorgeous though. Violets and plum notes with a touch of oak on the first whiff. Fresh and bracing initial attack with flowers, cinnamon, plum torte and vanilla creme. Rich acidity and smooth tannins make for a long cellaring potential. This is a well made and deelish wine that gets 92 points from me. Well hidden 14.4% alcohol and a long finish make this a 5 star wine. Salut….