Wow, this is one bright purple wine, it almost looks like Ribena. The nose offers up gorgeous aromas of black cherry, blackberry, a hint of oak and some figs. On the palate it is very smooth with blackberry notes, a sour cherry kicker, some tobacco and smoke. The wine reminds me of Lapsang Souchong tea- smoky and earthy yet somehow mild and alluring. An acquired taste for sure. The wine have very integrated tannins and relatively low acidity. I would drink now till 2020 and pair with lighter fare. It begs for Moussaka, roast chicken or even a thick Reuben sandwich. 90 points and 4 stars for this $22 effort. Salut….
If you read my post about the Eve Chardonnay, you will know I am a fan of Charles Smith Wines. I couldn’t help myself and bought this Merlot for the tasing.
It appears as a very light purple with low opacity. The nose gives off candied plum, not my favorite profile mind you. There’s a bit of oak in there as well. I am leery going in for the first sip.
All is good- it is a decent wine, not overly oaked and offering ripe tannins, juicy acidity and plums galore. I get Blackberry on the mid palate transition after the initial plum injection. The wine is somewhat one dimensional but it will appeal to many for its smoothness and bracing tannins. The dryness is great if you are into that kinda thing. Overall, refreshing and tasty. An easy going wine that will do well with grilled New York Strip, perhaps a hearty baked ziti. I paid a mere $11 for it and am going with 89 points and 4 stars. You may want to sit on a few bottles until 2019 to see how they develop. Salut….
From Sonoma, a Cabernet I have heard of but never tried. Purply and dark in the glass it shows promise of power and extraction. On the nose I get cassis, blackberry, ripe oak and a funk I hate to think might be cork taint. The wine itself tastes a little off. I get blackberry essence, ink, crunchy tannins and a hit of toasty oak. The mid palate has a really defined tannic dryness that I am enjoying. More black fruits come around for the finish as well as some espresso, cocoa powder and the omnipresent tannins. They really are persistent. Overall I think this wine has good potential and will cellar well, my only concern is with this particular bottle. I have been lucky not to have many corked bottles over the years, but it happens every once in a while. Technically speaking this one is an 86 point wine but has the potential to rise to 91 if it were not faulty. A shame really for this $43 effort. I’ll go with 4 stars as a compromise. Think steaks, au gratin and creamed spinach for a pairing. Salut….
Dark purple. Nice nose of dark currant, mint and oak slivers. On the palate it is a pleasing wine with freshness, good dry tannins and flavors of Ribena, plum, bitter chocolate as well as a meaty note. The tannins really kick in on the mid palate and the finish. The wine is full bodied, full flavored and not shy about its structure. It is somewhat tilted toward the tannic end with hardly discernible acidity at this time. I think this wine needs some cellaring for a year or two to mellow out just a touch. I’m going to be pessimistic and go with 90 points but I think it may improve. If you must drink it now pair with Lamb Shanks and Couscous or maybe a seasoned T-bone on the charcoal. I paid $12.80 each for two bottles on sale. Regularly $21. 4 stars. Salut….
See through in the glass is this blend of 40% Aragonez, 35% Trincadeira, 20% Touriga Nacional and the balance of Syrah. On the nose it it musty- with some oak, blueberry and green pepper. Kinda funky and different if you ask me. The palate is a different story with primal flavors of blueberry, cedar, and graphite. As the wine gets to the midpalate it adds some acidity and juiciness by way of rhubarb, (which I hated as a kid BTW). Tannins are very fine grained and perceptible mainly on the finish. A dryness envelops the gums and I feel balance. The cedar I mentioned earlier comes out again on the back end and mingles with some more blue fruits. There is an astringency that hits right at the very end that detracts a bit but overall this is a decent wine for the $6.88 I paid for it. That’s right, under 7 bucks for a decent weekday quaffer that gets 87 points from me, therefore making it a 4 star wine. Salut….
Bright purple presentation. The nose is blackberry, sage, eucalyptus and pine needle. The initial palate is vibrant, full of black fruit, bright acidity and Ribena. The mid palate takes a turn. The fruit is dark and brooding, giving way to the clash between the acidity and the tannins. They are balanced mind you, just in the forefront. They taper off on the finish and allow notes of blackberry pie, vanilla bean and blueberries to close it out. This is a bold wine, full of fruit, structure and a solid mouthfeel. It really could use some grilled meats, au gratin and a big salad to tone it down a touch. Impressive if you ask me. 91 points. $25 and 4 stars. Salut….
I do love me some Port. It goes well with cheese, dessert or alone after dinner. It is one one of life’s real pleasures.
This particular one was bought with a slew of others as I am trying out as many as I can. It looks almost black in the glass. A brooding, dark monster. It is after all named a Warrior, and is of the Finest Reserve. The nose offers up burnt matches and dark plums. Kind of a weird combo. The thickness of the wine is evident on the presentation. On the palate- it is rich, with dark cherry reduction and blackberry syrup. The wine has an unctuous feel to it, somewhat akin to dessert whites. It shows off a nice level of acidity to go along with the tannic backbone. This one will cellar well. The finish is long, broad and has hints of blueberry pie, some vanilla as well as dark chocolate. I like this one and am going with 90 points. I paid $19 and give it 4 stars. Not a bad drop if you like Port. Salut….
I remember the first time drinking this wine. It was at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan with Moxie. We were there attending a Gift Show, buying product for her first retail gig. It was an exciting time for us, we learned a lot and succeeded in keeping the business running through the dark days of 2008-2011. We were the last retail Gift shop standing in our area after the dust settled. I remember the wine, the meal and the atmosphere of the night vividly as it would signal the beginning of our newly charted course.
The 2014 Monterey Pinot is very light in the glass, see through and pale red. On the nose it’s all New World. Strawberry, Framboise, a touch of oak. On the palate, it is silky smooth. More strawberry, earthy mushrooms, a nice dose of acidity and some Rooibos tea. The mid palate caresses with some ever so slight tannins and a reminder of the acidity. The red fruit theme is in force and the wine carries swiftly to the medium length finish. It all ends with some cherry notes and a touch of vanilla bean. A very nice wine that can be yours for $15 and gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. I’m splapping together some creamy dill Chicken to go with it. Drink now till 2020. Salut....
This wine was a perennial favorite many years ago. I gravitated to reds and rarely bought it, until I saw it on sale the other day. I’m making Sizzling Hoisin Shrimp tonight so I figured a Sauvignon Blanc would do the trick.
This wine is faint gold in color, not quite yellow, nor deep. The nose is bright, charming and packed with citrus notes. Grapefruit being the major player here. The initial taste is very refreshing, quince and citrus battling it out for dominance. The wine has a nice balance, not overly acidic yet a touch dry and offering a hint of bitterness. I get Almond seed on the mid palate which is probably how I sense the bitterness, it is unique. The finish is all lemon and persimmon. I am glad I bumped into this bottle, it really is tasty while remaining relatively modest in price. It refreshes and will go well with my dinner but I am thinking it may take on some spicy foods as well if you are in a pinch. 89 points and 4 stars for this $13 wine. Salut….
A pleasant purple with medium density. On the nose I get plums, a faint hint of cinnamon, black cherry and creosote thanks to the 9% addition of Pinotage. The balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. The initial taste is very Pinotage heavy, with more plums, some dark fruits and the telltale chemical note, often likened to nail polish remover. I like it. The wine transitions nicely and some very delightful tannins caress throughout. The flavor profile doesn’t change much throughout and the acidity is very fine, barely noticeable. The finish is relatively long, with the dark fruit balancing nicely with a hint of oak. The bitterness of the tannins is apparent right at the end but is not detracting. This is a tasty weekday wine that I would pop with stew, chili, grilled sausages and even burgers. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….