Bright purple. The nose is fruity, vibrant and full of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate- delicious rendition of dark berry compote meets vanilla bean and coffee reduction. The wine exhibits some dryness with slight tannins appearing midpalate. The dryness opens up on the finish and leaves the back cheeks somewhat astringent. The mid plate concentrated on black fruits and the finish carries it through with some cedar plank to boot. 89 points and 4 stars for this $20 blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Franc. Drink now with tapas, grilled Pork chops or pasta. Salut….
Number 4 in the line up, it followed a hard act. This is Drew Bledsoe’s brand (NFL QB).
Medium opacity in the glass. The nose starts off with a lot of wood. I swirl and swirl to finally get violet, damson and stone. On the palate it is quite young, bracingly tannic and somewhat shut down for business. What I do coax out of it include plums, fir tree essence, mocha. The finish is very dry and decent in length. 90 points is a decent score for this winery’s first vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. At $60 it’s a step up from everyday drinking wines, but it gets a decent 90 points from me and 4 stars. I would cellar it for a while and drink from 2020-2037. Pair it with some hearty grilled meats, Venison or even Osso Bucco. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
Medium opacity with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it screams black currants with some bacon fat and oregano. There is a hint of forest floor at the back end of the nose. On the palate – berries, medium intensity tannins, tea and olives. The wine transitions nicely to the mid palate with the tannins providing a nice dryness to the mouthfeel. The flavors are consistent through to the finish where I also get some licorice. The balance is nice for a wine that is made for medium term drinking. Perfect for a game dish, even a seasoned Cornish Hen. Drink now till 2033. 91 points and 4 stars for this $34 blend of mainly Grenache mixed with Syrah and Mouvedre. Salut….
Very dark in the glass, somewhat murky. The nose is lush with plums, eucalyptus, bramble and fir tree. On the palate it echoes the flavors with delicious purple plum paste and fresh earthy herbs. A green note pops up on the mid palate which gives a bit of pique. The tannins are well integrated and the acidity shines through at the end. Green bitterness hits right on the back end which detracted me for a sec. I love the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The greenness I’m guessing is from the Verdot. Overall a very delicious, layered wine that drinks well now through 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….
Just looking at it I see a brooding monster. It is nearly black, fully opaque and taunting me. The nose is – wow.
Black cherry, plum jam, black currant and sassafras. The initial palate is thick with dark fruit compote, plum ganache, luscious oak and tannins that are en pointe. Plums really come out on the mid palate alongside a cedar shake note. The tannins start to grip and by the time I get to the finish they have me licking my gums. The dryness lingers forever and my teeth feel gritty- I’m loving it. This is a delightful sensation in the wine appreciation sense.
The finish, dry as hell, also features a mint meets eucalyptus oil note which I find intriguing. This is a delicious, structured wine that will cellar for the mid term but is drinkable now if you like some bite. 91 points and 4 stars for this $60 effort. If you like sunny Napa fruit and bold Cabs, this one is for you. Serve with a juicy steak or a roasted leg of Lamb. Salut….
A mellow blend of the traditional Bordeaux varieties- this wine is a pretty purple in the glass with long legs showing. The nose is plump with dark fruits, some cherry cola and a touch of cinnamon. The initial palate is very rounded, soft and smooth. It features black currants, black olives, oregano. It has a great mouthfeel due to the very slight tannic structure which is really balanced well with the gentle acidity. This is a quaffing wine for sure, with a drink now date. The finish is medium in length and dark fruit dominated. It has a hint of charcoal on the end and some plum tart. I really like this wine for what it is, the 89 points are not a slam- it just lacks the backbone to cellar and evolve which detract from a numerical score. This would be great with light appetizers or as a base for a wine sauce. It really has a lovely fullness to it. $19 and 4 stars. If I had to blind taste it, the soft and supple mouthfeel scream Merlot. Salut….
I have a long history with Marques de Riscal. I enjoy the wines and appreciate them for what they are. This one is nearly black in the glass. The nose is huge- lots of black berries, blue fruits and a wallop of charcoaled oak. Violets and spice round it out. On the palate it shows off black fruits, sassafras, vanilla and an oaky component. Delicious but a touch of bitterness on the midpalate detracts. Violets and blueberry really take over on the finish alongside medium tannins. The bitterness is the only detractor that unbalances this otherwise delicious wine. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort which is solidly produced and made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. Salut….
Slightly less opaque than what I was imagining for this Malbec. Good color though. The nose has a candy note, some fresh oak and some blackberries. I’ll admit, the candy part does not appeal to my taste. On the palate it is quite refreshing, light in body but thick in flavor. Black berries, kirsch and bramble. There is a chewiness that I am enjoying. This wine is very dark fruit forward. Structure-wise it is built for immediate quaffing with very little tannic backbone, very gentle acidity and an easy mouthfeel. It is not complex but offers easy enjoyment and gets 87 points from me. For the price under $10 it’s a decent summer barbecue wine that I might take into the fall as an excellent part of coq au vin, even beef burgundy. I think it would work quite well. 4 stars. Salut….
A few of these came across my desk at a reasonable price so to speak. I had to try. Quite a dark shade of purple in the glass. The nose is fresh, plummy and hinting of Ribena. The initial palate gives me quite a biting dose of plums, tannins and acidity. All at once. It kinda made we wince. The label says this wine is unfiltered, has a 14% alcohol and contains sulfites….
On the mid palate is where it opens up, adding some black currants and nutmeg to the mix. The tannins are searing however and this wine needs some time in the cellar. The finish is woody, with that astringency of young tannins. Strong black tea comes to mind. As does an old oak barrel. I like this wine, it has potential. I would decant/aerate the hell out of it if you want to drink before 2020. It will last a good while after that and hopefully mellow down some. I am giving it 90 points and 4 stars for the $20 I had to fork over for this 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Sangiovese blend. It got 93 points from the pros, so there is that. Think hearty stews, beef rib or even eggplant Parmigiana for this heavyweight. Salut….