Very pale yellow, probably the lightest colored wine I have ever seen. The nose has pineapple, quince, peach and nectarines. On the palate it is enticing- mainly peaches to begin with. There’s a petroleum note that typifies the varietal alongside some yellow apples. Super tasty mind you, with some focused acidity to keep things sharp. The midpalate has some enjoyable flab, a weightiness that fills the mouth and adds to the body. The finish gets all serious with some flinty minerality, a resurgence of the apple theme as well as the nectarines and is medium in length and smooth. Overall this is a terrific wine that gets 92 points from me. Drink till 2025. $45 is rather steep, but this one’s a keeper that gets 4 stars. Salut….
Light purple, medium opacity. The nose is generous with pencil lead, blueberry and cherry, yet somewhat atypical. On the palate it is a little restrained but there are notes of sassafras, bing cherry, rhubarb. The mid palate gives me lots of juiciness, acidity and the beginnings of a tannic push. The cherry component really hits on the back end. 89 points and 4 stars for this $12 effort. I would sit on a few bottles to let the acidity reaper and the tannins to soften slightly. 2020- 2023 Salut….
A gift from my cousin (we’ll call him Sharma). Dark purple, very opaque. The nose is intriguing. Plums, charcoal, crushed rock, a certain minerality. The palate is delicious with a toasty oak note opening it up, followed by grilled plum, black olive, bacon and delightful tannins. The flavors carry through to the end where the astringency of the tannins hit. There is a nice mouthfeel throughout and the acidity is very well balanced. The greenness of the back end gives me a check. I’ll get over it, I’m sure. Overall a delicious New Jersey Cabernet worthy of 91 points which gets 4 stars from me for the $25 price tag. It’s getting a pairing of Strip steaks with Balsamic reduction. Drink till 2021. Salut….
Super pale, with virtually no opacity. The nose is neither old- nor new-world. A mix between the two. Classic cherry with the addition of strawberry coulis. A hint of rose water hits me right at the end. On the palate this wine is super smooth, with a great mouthfeel. Tannins are just present, the acidity is finite and balancing. The cherry flavors give way to roasted coffee and vanilla bean. The mid palate is lush with ripe black cherries with a tannic thrust. The fruit really comes out on the finish alongside a charred oak note. It is intriguing, delicious and nice to drink. I am pairing it with cherry glazed pork chops and roasted potatoes. It would do a roasted Cornish Hen justice IMHO. Great Fall wine to go and seek out. 91 points and 4 stars for this $40 wine. Salut….
My second try at the Andrea Roberto Barolo. Murky, dark and a touch cloudy. The nose offers up raisin, black cherry and a woodsy note. The palate is smooth, tannic and very juicy with black fruits, tar, lapsang souchong tea. The mid palate has a really full mouthfeel, almost syrupy. Black berry reduction, more tea, black this time, and creosote hit the gums. The finish is long, alluring and chock full of dark, brooding fruit, gum searing tannins and teeth staining purple goodness. 92 points and still young. $40 now, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Really pretty peach color. On the nose- fragrant and fruity with strawberry, apricot and orange peel. The palate is refreshing, weightier than I imagined and true to the strawberry core with orange zest and quince being the primary flavors. A very finely balanced acidity makes for a nice mouthfeel, not overly tart yet reminding me of its presence. The mid palate has a glycerin feel to it . The finish is orange peel and kumquat, decent in length. 89 points and 4 stars for this $12 Rose’. We drank it with charcuterie. Salut….
Yesterday was a little bit of a let down with the basic Los Vascos Cab. This property is a well respected Rothschild winery in Chile. As such, I opted to go back and try their Grand Reserve offering, in hopes of a better showing that suits my particular taste desires, and has higher technical components than the basic wine.
First thing I noticed was today’s Reserve wine has a real cork, versus synthetic. A good start. The wine is not overly dark, but a pleasant purple in the glass. On the nose- a whole different story. Black berries, rich mocha, fig on the nose. The palate is more plum-like but the black fruits are still evident. There’s a slightly obscure, astringent quality that hits right up front. Once over that I’m settling in to the gentle mouthfeel, moderate tannins and tangy acidity. The mid and finish are a little darker with coffee bean, black cherry and an oak tinge. Overall, much better. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort. Grilled meat, Moussaka or even hearty pasta would pair nicely. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
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….