This Oregonian Pinot is quite dark and nearly opaque, very extracted and brooding. On the nose I get cinnamon, cherry and black currants. It’s an interesting mix for this varietal. The initial palate is telling- very fruity with tannic grip right off the bat. This is not your typical Old World Pinot folks, it’s full throttle with all the bits and pieces. Cherry cola, sassafras and a hint of oak are all present. The mid palate is a continuation of the theme but there is now a hint of acidity showing up. It’s quite nice if you like this style of Pinot. The finish is a dry affair, tannins and black tea alongside the red fruits and spice. It’s not my cup of tea but it will certainly appeal to many. Technically speaking I would give this $23 wine 90 points and 4 stars. Drink till 2027 with lighter fare. Salut….
This South African Cab is a dark shade of reddish purple and is semi opaque. The nose is steeped in dark fruit compote, a touch of mint perhaps and coffee bean. The initial palate is very smooth with some nice blackberry notes along with espresso and chocolate powder. Very gentle, lithe tannins make it very easy to drink but conversely- it lacks structure for the long haul. The mid palate is more blueberry and plum. The finish is very fruity with nice black and blue berries to go with vanilla. There is a hint of oak influence that I am enjoying. The mouthfeel is really pleasing and I am thoroughly enjoying this wine as an aperitif. It will pair nicely with lighter fare and drink well till 2024. 89 points from me and 4 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
I have never tasted a Zweigelt before- so I am excited. This one rolled in at $15 but I am concerned about seepage. I know screw caps are supposed to be invincible but this one was wet with a thick purple liquid on the inside of the screw cap.
The color is nice- rich purple. The nose is interesting, a melding of black cherry, charred oak, red currants and rhubarb. On the palate it is very fruit forward with very lithe tannins. It’s quite focused on red fruit flavors and some star anise. Mid palate-wise there’s a new twist with some cocoa dust, rhubarb and juicy acidity. The finish is decent in length and has a nice tannic streak that leaves my mouth a touch dry. Very nicely balanced. It’s not a very complex wine but it drinks well and would pair great with Duck l’Orange, marinated Sirloin or Lamb chops. My inexperience with this Austrian varietal makes it difficult to score but I would say it gets 89 points, with a drinking window until 2025. 4 Stars, Salut….
I don’t drink Zins very often, but when I find one I like- I remember it and revisit. I was not a huge fan initially of the last Zin I drank, the Turley Zin turned out much better after a day or so.
This one shows semi opaque in the glass and has a lovely reddish hue to the purple color. On the nose I get raspberries, red currants and cinnamon stick. The palate is very rich with a nice thrust of raspberry coulis and mulling spices. There’s a really nice set of tannins that caress the gums without stripping the enamel off my teeth alongside a juicy acidity that hits the mid palate. The red fruit theme continues with some steeped rhubarb and spices. This is not a jammy Zin, but is full bodied with rich flavors and a really nice, long finish. The warmth I get on the backend is also very interesting. Really tasty with a decent level of complexity and aging capacity make this a 91 point wine IMHO. I paid a paltry $9.99 for it but it normally retails for $40. 4 stars with a drinking window till 2027. I’m flash cooking some thin Ribeyes that will pair nicely. Salut….
The last wine of our Virtual tasting #8 was this highly regarded Zin which rolls in at $35. I selected it because I really like this winery and was thinking it would be interesting to have two wines from the same winemaker, albeit different varietals to showcase the winemaker’s style and skill. There were 8 different groups tasting this wine and I recorded their collective notes.
The wine starts off with a nice purple shade of medium opacity. Fine legs on the sidewalls gave away the 15.5% alcohol, which was not evident on the palate- well disguised! The immediate reaction to the nose was ‘Grandmothers attic! A good swirl and more traditional aromas of baked cherries, rhubarb, cherry, currant, plum and dusty mocha were mentioned alongside descriptors of svelte, brooding, jammy and finally mothballs. Back to the closet I guess!
On the palate members of the group noted sassafras, huckleberry, cinnamon and Jalapeño. I found the wine to be complex but the finish brought up some interesting comments. Stinky Brie, green and bitter notes were mentioned but I thought the wine was balanced between lithe tannins and gentle acidity. Pepper was the predominant feature for me. I was not overly impressed by this wine on night one and will re-taste tonight. For now I’m going with 89 points, a stark contrast fro the 92 it got from some of the pros. 3 stars initially. Drink till 2025. Salut….
UPDATE- I re-tasted the wine after a 24 hour period and have revised my score to 91. It improved dramatically. The complexity was evident- 4 stars.
Pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I get watermelon, lime spritz and melon. On the palate it is fruity and flavorful- quince, pear and a buttery note. The mid palate continues the full bodied mouthfeel and flavor profile. The finish is decent in length and offers up some honey alongside yellow apple and more pear. It’s an interesting and tasty wine for sure, refreshing yet it has some depth and viscosity. The malolactic fermentation has given it a touch of butter and flab, enough to notice but not overdone. This wine will pair well with grilled Salmon, Cobb salad or baked Aubergine in tomatoes. Drink till 2024. For $13, this is a no-brainer to keep on hand. 88 points make it a 4 star effort. Salut….
Very bright purple in the glass. The nose is fruit forward with blackberries, grilled plum and purple licorice. On the palate this wine is very tasty…. delicious in an easy-going way. Blackberry reduction, star anise, ribena and creosote all feature on the opening. The mid palate gives me some charred oak, blackberry reduction and oolong tea. The finish is short to medium length- with dry notes of tea leaf, dusty mocha and that blackberry theme that has been consistent from the get-go. Overall a decent drop that gets 89 points from me as the tannins are present but won’t promote extended cellaring and the acidity is feint at best. Drink till 2023 with stews, a Lamb Tagine or beef moussaka. 4 stars for this $13 charmer. Salut….
This wine is a gorgeous shade of orange/pink. On the nose I get strawberry and lemon zest, pink grapefruit and almonds. On the palate it is a touch sweet, apricots come to mind. The strawberry component reappears on the mid palate with notes of lanolin and lemon. The finish is refreshing, a touch acidic and decent in length. Light red fruit notes carry through to the end. This is a nice, if somewhat sweet, summer sundowner. I would serve it with charcuterie, hard cheeses and some fresh figs. Drink till 2022. 88 points and 4 stars for this $13 Valdiguié, a varietal I have never tried before. Salut….
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….
My Virtual Wine Tasting Company is a group of friends who taste wines every two weeks or so. The goal for me is to introduce new varietals and regions to them and try to educate as best I can with my knowledge and experience. At the #7 tasting I presented the Gamay grape. No one realized that Beaujolais wines were made from this grape. We discussed regular maceration versus cold maceration and finally I talked about Carbonic Maceration used to produce the Nouveau Beaujolais. I pre-empted the tasting with a few pointers on Gamay wines- they are very low in tannins and acidity, do not generally cellar past 6 years for Cru wines and are drunk in abundance in the French Bistros. It is a lively, very fruity wine that is extremely easy to drink. Some can present decent complexity, most are basic wines. I chose this Cru that has a bit of age on it and is drinking nicely now. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be, an elegant introduction to the varietal. Some loved it, others hated it. Each to his own.
Gamy, cranberry, pepper, black cherry, blueberry and mocha were all mentioned by the tasters. The wine has little tannic grip but one can sense a tinge of acidity. Most expected a sweet wine, but I mentioned that the Gamay grape is very fruity, hence the expectation once they sniffed. This wine gets 89 points from me, the only detractor being it’s cellaring potential. I really liked it and will buy more at the $22 price point. It gets 4 stars from me. Drink now. Salut….