This Gamay is medium Ruby in the glass with some funk on the nose alongside red currants and cranberry. The palate is very tart and acidic with red fruits comprising red cherry, currants and pomegranate. Beaujolais wines typically have no discernible backbone of tannins as they rarely see much wood treatment or extended maceration with the skins but this one has me perplexed as I do sense some astringency on the gums and some potential tannic grip. At three years of age it’s already at peak and should be drunk sooner rather than later- preferably chilled and sitting on a sidewalk in Paris. I would pair this with salmon on the grill, roasted chicken or eggplant parmigiana. 88 points for this $14 effort make it a four-star wine. Salut….
This Spanish wine as a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Sirah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s quite murky in the glass, almost fully opaque and a dark shade of purple. On the nose I get rich raspberry, black cherry and some blackberries. On the palate it is a little bit tart from some pomegranate and red fruits- lithe tannins and juicy acidity help keep it fresh. There is a hint of oak but it is not obtrusive. I sense a tiny bit of coconut from the wood and can feel the 14.5% alcohol not only from the weight of the wine but there is a little bit of heat on the mid palate. On the finish the fruit profile turns a little darker with blackberries and black cherry, the tannins not getting in the way of the fruit flavors. At six years of age I was hoping for some tertiary flavors but alas this wine is somewhat basic in nature but serves it’s purpose. It’s tasty, at peak and looking for a nice juicy steak. I’m giving it 89 points. For $15, it’s an easy buy that gets 4 stars. Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. On the nose it is very fruity with bright blackberries, dark cherry and red twizzlers. The palate is very fresh with lighter black fruit notes, some cherry cola and vibrant tannins. The finish is simple yet full of fruit flavors and a modicum of tannins. There is a good dose of acidity that keeps it lively. This is meant for immediate drinking and will go well with marinated sirloin or pasta with red sauce. 87 points and for $14 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
Pale lemon in the glass this Gewurztraminer has a pronounced nose with flavors of rose petals, melon and lychee. On the palate it is a touch sweet and rounded with lychee flavors and a slight astringency. The mid palate gives me some honey to go along with the strong lychee flavors. The wine is full-bodied and the finish carries on the floral and tropical fruit notes for a short to medium length finish. 89 points for me and for $14 this is a really good introduction to this varietal that gets 4 stars. At 13% alcohol it’s an easy quaffer for an afternoon by the pool. I would pair it with spicy dishes all day long. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Grenache is normally used as a blending grape but occasionally it’s a standalone. I enjoy it for what it’s worth, soft and supple with bright red fruit flavors. This particular wine is from Spain and is a pale purple in the glass and almost see-through. The nose is a mix of cherry and raspberry, with some earthiness and a bit of spice. There is a hint of red twizzler on the nose which bothers me just a touch- but I’m sure I’ll get over it. On the palate it is bright, very tasty, fruit forward and blushing with red fruits. Raspberry is the predominant theme but I do get Cherry in a supporting role with some bakers space. This is a rather lightweight wine that relies on freshness and fruits. Lithe acidity and subtle tannins give it a nice, easy mouth feel. The finish of this one has a hint of charred oak alongside the red fruits and spices. I’m enjoying it for its ease and charm and would drink until 2024. It gets 88 points for me, and for $13, it gets 4 stars. Pair it with lighter grilled dishes, cheese boards or roast Cornish Hens. Salut….
I’m an old fan of this winery, having been a tasting room member at one point. This Cabernet hails from Columbia Valley. It is a touch murky with medium shades of purple in the glass. The nose has steeped plums, charcoal and blackberry pie. The palate is really yummy- if not at peak, it’s close. Ripe plums, cedar, black berry and espresso. The mid palate is very refined with very well integrated tannins and good acidity. The dark, mature fruit theme continues but what impresses me the most is the mouthfeel. It is really full, rounded and balanced. The finish is very juicy, the acidity really gripping at this point. The prune and blackberry flavors fade after a decent amount of time but the tannins hang on to my gums for an eternity. Lovely stuff that gets 89 points from me. It should be drunk sooner rather than later and for $17, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
This Barolo is relatively young at five years but I wanted to try it. In the glass it’s almost got a touch of orange and is completely see-through. The nose is intriguing with cherry, sandalwood and a little bit of Bergamot. The initial palate is definitely fruity with some astringency hitting my gums right off the bat. Very strong cherry flavors alongside cedar notes and black tea. The tannins are really starting to grip on the midpalate but I am enjoying the bright red fruit flavors that accompany. Towards the finish I get more of a cola taste with some lively acidity to balance or attempt to balance the very dense tannins. 91 points for this young Nebbiolo blend that runs $30 making it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2022 till 2027 with pasta, steaks or grilled poultry. Salut….
Really dark shade of purple in the glass and completely opaque. The nose is opulent with blackberry, graphite and violets. The palate is exactly what I was expecting and hoping for: rich black fruit, good structure, decent tannic grip and some zesty acidity. The black fruit theme continues on the midpalate where the tannins start to coat my gums. I also get some black tea and dark cherry. The finish is a rather dry affair with the tannins completely coating my mouth- forcing the acidity aside but still allowing black currants and tea flavors to shine through. The use of oak is evident but not overpowering. I picked this wine tonight to pair with some Argentinian sausages with chimichurri sauce. The tannins will complement the slightly fatty nature of the sausage without overcoming it. Other pairings would include a nice juicy sirloin, perhaps eggplant Parmesan. It gets 91 points for me with a drink window that is open till 2028. Rather pricy at $40, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
This classic from Chateauneuf Du Pape is a dark shade of purple and is 75% opaque. The nose is gorgeous- raspberries, rosewater, ripe cherry and some spice. On the palate the raspberry theme continues with oolong tea, violet and lithe tannins. It has minerality and some modicum of acidity to go along with the red fruit. On the mid palate it is very smooth and has concentrated flavors of raspberry along with some strawberry extract. Red licorice and lively tannins show up at the back end where the finish is long, full bodied and delicious. This is a very tasty wine that is not too bold, but caresses with nice rounded fruit, a decent dose of tannins that are very well integrated and some balancing acidity which gives it a wonderful mouthfeel. Delightful stuff, made even better that it was bet with my buddy over a football game- I won! 93 points from me, the pros went a point or two more. At $105, this is a treat blend of mainly Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault adding to the mix. Drink this 4 star wine till 2030. Salut….
This Pinot shows a pale shade of purple in the glass and is totally see-through. The nose is bright and lively with red cherry notes, baking spices and orange peel. The palate is delicious with a hint of strawberry coulis alongside cherries jubilee and cranberries. It is a slightly tart affair but there lurks some very lithe tannins. The mid palate is very light weight with more red fruits and spices. The finish is long and very focused on cherry and cranberry- the tart kind. I can sense the astringency of the tannins long after the wine has subsided- a rare thing for me and Pinot Noir. That will bode this wine well in the cellar. I really like it for it’s delicacy, finesse and core of red fruit. It is going to pair nicely with my roast duck l’orange with sautéed leeks. 91 points from me make this $45 bottle a 4 star effort. Drink till 2028. Salut….