Medium intensity purple, almost seethrough. On the nose there’s a definitive charcoal note alongside blackberries and bramble. Licorice kicks in a little later after a good swirl. On the palate it’s pretty tasty with black cherry, coffee and more licorice. Tempranillo sometimes has a dusty, earthy component that I enjoy in Riojas, this wine has a hint of that. The tannins grip on the midpalate alongside dark fruits . There is a certain amount of oak at play here, but it’s not overdone. The long finish is a touch dry from the decent tannic kick. More blackberry and some vanilla carry me through to the very end. Drink till 2026 with hearty pastas, steak or roasted chicken- this wine needs food. 90 points from me and 4 stars for its $18 price point. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass, it is crystal clear. On the nose there’s lemon, melon, pear and lychee. The palate echoes those flavors from front to the finish. There is a unique mouthfeel, effervescence, without the bubbles. The acidity is in check but not shy. It adds depth and cut. The Chenin Blanc varietal is widely found in France and South Africa. Differing climates produce variations on the flavor profile but this grape is very enticing, versatile and delicious. I am going with 88 points and 4 stars for this $9 offering that you should drink till 2022 with grilled chicken, sausage and mash or even smoked salmon. Salut….
Quite see-through with a darker purple hue in the glass. The nose has violets, cherry essence, bramble and leather. On the palate it is fruity, lighter than expected and a touch dry. Blueberry is the primary flavor alongside some cedar plank and those violets. The tannins start to really grip on the mid palate to go along with the blue fruit compote and wood. The wine finishes strong, with the tannins really getting stuck in and the gums really getting pounded. The fruit remains for a while but is eclipsed by the 60 second plus grip of the astringency. Very young wine, but thoroughly enjoyable if you like ‘em dry. I would personally drink this wine now with veal chops on the grill, a heavy duty pasta dish or perhaps Moroccon lamb in the tagine. If you have patience, this one will mellow nicely for a few years and be presentable from 2024- 2030. 91 points, $35 and 4 stars for this Nebbiolo. Salut….
We just had a delightful dinner at our favorite restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois located in the D.C suburbs. They have a great wine list but this evening was a very special occasion so I took a bottle of the amazing 2000 Lynch Bages to start off with. It was spectacular and did not last long. We needed more vino and my friend wanted a Pinot. I figured we should order something a little more stout, Gevrey being the obvious choice in a French restaurant.
See-through medium intensity purple. On the nose sage brush, cherry, oregano. On the palate it’s very smooth with cherries, cedar, asparagus and lithe tannins. Medium intensity acidity gives the wine a cutting edge without sourness. The mid palate shows raspberries alongside the cherry- very tasty and full bodied. The finish is all sour cherry with acidity, medium tannins and a touch of wood. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 Burgundy. Drink till 2035. Salut….
It’s a medium gold in the glass with a nose of pear, apricot and banana. The palate is tasty, with nice flavors of that pear, some citrus by way of grapefruit and some lanolin. The mid palate has some weight, with silky smooth popcorn notes along with the fruit. Acidity is lithe and balanced. It makes the wine refreshing without too much cut. The finale’ has more of that pear fruit meets lemon with a decent length finish that has me wondering how good this is going to be with the roasted Cornish Hens I am grilling. 91 points. I paid $20, but it lists for up to $50, this is a 4 star effort at the first price. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Pale straw color in the glass for this 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir blend. On the nose, strawberry and cherry flavors mingle with nutmeg. On the palate I get much more fruit flavor than I was expecting, it is lush and vibrant with more strawberry, a trace of rhubarb and capsicum. The mid palate shows a touch of acidity and some minerality. The finish is of decent length and much the same for flavors. Refreshing and satisfying describe this 88 pointer from South Africa. Yours for $10 makes this a 4 point wine that will pair tonight with roast pork shoulder and spiced Basmati rice. Drink till 2020. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….
The second tasting of the Les Vergelesses. See-through reddish-purple with some hints of bricking. On the nose I get fresh cherries, blackberry extract and nutmeg. On the palate it is light, refreshing and young. There is a red cherry component alongside strawberry coulis and pomegranate- which is adding some zesty acidity. The mid palate is somewhat one dimensional with just strawberry and juicy acidity. The back end finds those darker fruits again with black cherry dominating. There’s a cedar note in there alongside some fruitcake. This wine is still way too young and primal. I foresee some great evolution in the next ten years, which is quite a stretch for a nine year old. If you like refreshing, young Pinot- five in. I’m holding my other bottle for a few years, looking for more secondary Burgundian flavors to emerge. 92 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….
Nearly black and opaque in the glass. On the nose I get gorgeous blackberries and fruitcake with a touch of mint. On the palate it is fresh, young, fruity and chock full of black fruits, cedar, scrumptious tannins and a slight hint of cassis. Tobacco and leather are evident on the mid palate which totally excites me and hints at long term evolution in line with traditional Bordeaux. The tannic structure is amazing, very lithe at the beginning with a steady rise to a crescendo of black tea dryness. 92 points and 4 stars for this $50 Fifth Growth. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark purple, opaque. On the nose I get red fruits, mainly raspberries and dark cherry. On the palate I sense a definitive Cali sunshine component that differentiates this blend from a more traditional Medoc. It’s more fruit forward and fresher. There’s more concentration and the wine is rich. I start to get plums, black currants and quinine on the mid palate. This is multidimensional and very tasty with a nice tannic structure and good acidic balance. I would suggest a few years in cellar and then let ‘er rip till 2028. Steaks, rich stew in the fall or osso bucco beg for this 91 point blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 22% Petite Sirah, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec. $35 and 4 stars. Salut….