Given to me by a good mate from South Africa, I have been holding on to this one for the right time. It shows very rich purple in the glass. A 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% each Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it is a classical Bordeaux blend. The nose is a little muted, probably because I just pulled it out of the 55 degree cellar. I have managed to coax black cherry, ribena and toasty oak after several swirls. The palate is very smooth, rich plum ganache and black cherry reduction greet me with some somewhat pointy tannins. The wine has a definite wood profile, but is not over-oaked by any stretch. Rather, it is a unique flavor in the mix. Blackberry rounds out the finish which is quite tannic and dry. My gums are feeling it well into the second minute – quite long. There is a mintyness that comes across at the end that is interesting alongside a faint licorice note. Clocking in at 14% this wine is well built, balanced and totally ready for another 10 years in the cellar if you have the patience. 91 points from me for this $49 effort and 4 stars. Salut….
Very light and see through, just as I would expect from Burgundian Pinot Noir. The nose shows off bright renditions of strawberry and rhubarb compote. The palate is somewhat different, cherry being the dominant player with backing from strawberry and ginger snap. Crisp acidity forms a defined backbone and the wine has ever so slight tannins.The finish offers more rhubarb with a tangy sourness that I am enjoying. This wine strikes me as young, needing some time to develop tertiary, earthy flavors that I love in aged Burgundy. Thankfully it only sports 13% alcohol. For now it gets 90 points from me. Serving it with grilled chicken, blue cheese laced salad and sautéed onions. $35 and 4 stars. Salut….
Pretty purple color with a nose of raspberry, mint, violets. The palate is fresh, with bright plum and red berry flavors, hazelnut, juicy tannins and a crisp acidity. The ph of this wine is substantial yet balanced with the well integrated tannins. More mint notes come through on the finish along with some oak and raspberry. The wine leaves my mouth very dry, I kinda like it! Pairing it with super thick Strip steaks, Chorizo, roasted Brussel Sprouts and chargrilled baby onions. 89 points and 4 stars for this $13 wine- drink till 2020. Salut….
Quite dark and very opaque. The nose is lush, with plums, sweet oak and vanilla bean. Makes sense, seeing as the label says Bourbon Barrel aged. On the palate it is slightly sweet- more dark blue fruits, a molasses component and plums galore. The mid palate shows off some very integrated tannins as well as some blueberry pie and a nutty component. The wine builds nicely into a long finish that has a certain dryness from the tannins that mingle with more plum, some cherry and coconut notes. The mouthfeel of this wine is amazing, not overly dry, not too acidic. The finish is really smooth and as mentioned, quite lengthy. This is a sipping wine but I would also pair it with chorizo and sautéed kale. 90 points from me for this $16 effort. 4 stars. Salut….
If you know me you will remember that we are moving. I transferred most of my wine into a climate controlled storage unit, but kept about 50 bottles in the wine fridge. Some are really nice, pricey and supposed to be for special occasions. Oh well, they are getting polished off now. I include this particularly good wine in that group. Bought for $65 and cellared since 2014 I am looking forward to comparing it to my earlier review.
It shows bright purple in the glass with a nose of plum ganache, black tea, figs and a touch of oak. On the palate it is super smooth with a tannic bite right upfront. Flavors of blueberry compote, plum, anise and black olives. The tannins are pretty forceful as the wine transitions to the mid palate. A dryness hits the gums and makes me pucker up. I do like that some times! The plum theme continues on to the long finish where I also get cherry cola and another touch of oak. The tannins peak at the very end, and the acidity balances it all out. Overall, a very nice package that has matured nicely and is drinking perfectly now. Not an everyday drinker, I would certainly pull this out for a special occasion. 93 points holds and 4 stars awarded. Tonight we pair it with Tomahawk Pork Chops, Flat Iron steaks, a Bratwurst, some Cauliflower Cheese and grilled Broccoli. Salut….
In the glass this Merlot shows a slightly paler purple than I was expecting. The nose, after I performed the ‘Shake‘ exhibits gorgeous black berry and cinnamon notes. On the palate I am greeted with a really smooth dose of Ribena, some meaty notes, and a fresh ensemble of tannins that are ever present but not cloying. The wine is full flavored, make no mistake- but it does so with a very gentle build-up. Extraction is at its fullest and with that comes a well hidden 14.5% alcohol. The mid palate is somewhat muted after the initial uptake, the finish is where it’s at. More dark berries emerge as well as a blueberry pie component. I hate to say it, but this wine needs a touch more oak. Yup, I said it. Not lashings, but a tiny more vanilla, perhaps a little more tannic bite. At one point I’m sure the wine had plenty of it, perhaps just fading at this point. The structure is good though and the wine is balanced. I would drink up as the wine is at peak and there is not much in the way of tertiary flavors. It is relatively easy-going and will do well with a variety of dishes. I am going with 90 points and 4 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
The first thing I noticed was the length of the cork. It was super long, Magnum size. Made me wonder… In the glass this wine is somewhat opaque with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it offers tart cherry, red berries and muted barnyard. On the palate I get some really refreshing strawberry and cherry notes. Crisp acidity and gentle tannins are also present. The wine is young, very young. Nutmeg and kirsch appear later on, a strange combination but I’m liking it. The tannins are really kicking in towards the mid to finish leaving me with a very dry sensation on the seemingly long finish. More classic Sangiovese flavors of tobacco and leather are evident in small amounts but the main thrust is the dominant cherry. Delicious, but I would love to see evolution, say another 5 years minimum. 92 points from me and for the hefty $80 price tag, 4 stars. If you are a cellaring type, this one will rock a roasted Cornish Hen some day. Salut….
Nearly black, it exudes power. Rich plum puree with some oaky toast and blackcurrant jam greet me on the nose. The palate is very smooth, with more dark berry fruits and toast. It exudes more blueberry/blackberry compote that I am really liking. The mid palate shows off some dry tannins that reach back to the molars and give me a delightful dryness. There is a smoky component which slides in and out that I am really enjoying. It is very faint, but there. The sweetness of the wine is offset by its balancing acidity, the dryness is left in check. Overall, this wine is really good and I would pair it with Manchego, some dried apricots and almonds. Or you can just drink it by itself, delicious. 91 points and for $25 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
Very purple in the glass with a nose of Ribena, sweet oak, white pepper and blackberry jam. On the palate it is smooth, supple and has tons of blackberry, silky tannins, cedar slate, vanilla bean and ripe acidity. The mid palate stresses the vanilla component and allows the tannins to really shine. The finish focuses on dark fruits and the astringency of the tannins. The wine is decent, full bodied and quite tasty. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
My buddy brought this bottle from home, where it has been resting since he bought it en primeur. I love this chateau, they produce classic Saint Julien and are consistent, fairly priced and good quality.
Nearly black in the glass, it shows off beautiful legs. The nose offers up charcoal, plum, black berries, a whiff of alcohol and cassis. On the palate it is somewhat thinner than expected but fresh, bright and still young. I get more dark fruits, gorgeous tannins, ripe acidity, capsicum, leather and Maduro leaf. Black tea shows up in the midpalate with some tar and plum. The finish is medium length, quite dry from the persistent tannins and gives off a white pepper note. Overall this is a delicious, young wine that will stand up to hearty meats, grills, cheese or just by itself. 91 points from me. It currently runs $90, and got an average of 92 points from the pros. For my points, it gets 4 stars, just because I love good Bordeaux! Salut….