Opaque AF. Bright blueberry, plum, blackcurrants and mint on the nose with some heady oak by way of vanilla and coconut. On the palate it has medium (+) tannins, medium acidity and black fruit flavors of blackcurrant and blackberry alongside the greenish mint and oak notes plus charcoal. Medium finish and medium body with some high alcohol levels giving it weight. Yummy stuff that tastes like California sunshine. 91 points and for $110 it gets 4 stars . Whilst young it drinks beautifully now and should get better with age till 2028. Salut….
Trying to pair a spicy Pork dish requires thought. I’m gonna take a punt on this Godello which a grape from Spain. It’s pale golden and shows no legs (12.5% ABV). On the nose I get pronounced aromas of ripe tangerine, lemon, peach, acacia and perhaps a touch of buggle gum? Exquisite smells. On the palate it is dry, crisp with medium (+) acidity, low alcohol as mentioned, medium body and medium (+) flavors as on the nose, except the bubble gum! It is very floral and aromatic, but it doesn’t pack a big punch- it’s more of a crisp wine. The finish is medium length and tapers off with a nice minerality. I like this wine and think it will work well with the pairing. 89 points and for $15 it gets 4 stars. Drink now with seafood, or Jerk Pork! Salut….
This blend of Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Sousāo is pale ruby in the glass. It’s listed as 13.5% ABV which shows in the watery legs. The nose has nice, if somewhat muted aromas of cranberry, red cherry, dried herbs, blackberry and floral notes. The palate is very soft, with juicy acidity and mild tannins. The blackberry and red cherry flavors are present alongside some cedar and the dried herbs I sensed on the nose. The acidity is really intense on the back end where there is a shortish finish of bright red and black fruit. I like this medium bodied wine, it is fresh and primary fruit driven. The pro’s went with 90, I’m thinking 88 with a drink by 2025 window. At under $10 per bottle it gets 4 stars. I’m pairing it with grilled lamb kebabs and sautéed Kale. Salut….
Dinner is Jamaican Jerk Pork. A spicy dish that needs careful consideration for a pairing. The first varietal that comes to mind is Riesling. Number 2 choice- Gewurtztraminer. I have both in the fridge but opted for this young and fresh Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc that weighs in at a decent 12% ABV. It is very pale in the glass with a lemon color. The aromas pop out of the glass with lots of intensity. Lemon zest, tangerine, passion fruit, mango and geranium. The palate is dry and packed with juicy acidity. Citrus and floral notes abound alongside exotic fruit flavors that I got on the nose. Although it is a crisp wine, it has a certain body and mouthfeel to it that I am really enjoying. It is fresh and lively and will certainly give the spices in the dish a good complement. This wine is probably best drunk young and paired with fish, pork or a vegetable tart. It is juicy right up till the medium length finish gives out. Yummy stuff that gets 89 points from me and at $20 it is worthy of 4 stars. Salut….
We went to Montreal recently and dined at a Middle Eastern restaurant that featured lots of Lamb dishes. I selected this Malbec for its fruitiness but I was really hoping for a tannic wine to help cut the usually fatty cut of a Lamb shoulder cooked in the Tagine. In Cahors, Malbec is known as the “Black Wine”. It did not disappoint- Dark hued, opaque and brooding in the glass. Black currant jam, oak, charcoal, funk and garrigue all hit me on the nose and palate where I got medium acidity and medium plus tannins. Fresh and dry with a medium length finish of dried herbs, black licorice and jammy fruit- this 89 point wine get 4 stars from me. You can find it for $17. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I must admit- I shop the bin ends and any closeouts. I have found some great bargains but more importantly, aged wine that someone else has fronted for and held on to so I can swoop in and get it at its prime. So I had to chuckle when I finally red the label on this 2016 vintage blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. It says “to be kept between one and two years of age’. Whoops!
In the glass it’s a medium intensity ruby in color with watery legs. On the nose- it still smells fresh! Red currants, raspberry, blueberry, red plum and licorice. The palate is delightful- medium acidity, lithe tannins and good expression of red fruit, a hint of oak and some black licorice. I get a tea component on the mid palate and the finish is medium in length with charred oak, red fruit and stewed red plum. The structure is holding on and will allow this wine to be enjoyed for another few years, perhaps with Cassoulet, braised meats or a roast duck dish- it needs a rustic pairing. 89 points from me and at $14 it’s worth buying if you bump into it- 4 stars. Salut….
I find Spanish wine to be the most consistent. You always know what to expect and you know it will taste great- it’s my go-to in a pinch. This particular bottle is short and squat, unlike any other wine bottle I have seen so I had to try it. The wine is semi opaque and a nice shade of ruby. On the nose it’s a medium intensity with aromas of stewed black plum, graphite, blackberry and that earthy/dusty quality I love in Riojas. The palate is dry and offers up rich blackberry, black plum, dust, charred wood and chocolate. The tannins are grippy and the acidity is quite lithe. I get black tea and earthy bramble on the mid plate and the finish is a dry affair with medium length. Overall its a decent wine that I would cellar for another year or two unless you like them tannic. It should drink well after that till 2028. I’m pairing mine with Honey Bourbon London Broil. 90 points for this $40 wine makes it a 4 star effort. Salut….
I’ve been a fan of this winery for many years. In fact I have written about several wines from them and each one got a glowing review. I just realized that this bottling is named after the founder’s daughter who is but 3 days older than my youngest son, Jet. This vintage runs a little less ABV than previous, 14.2%. In the glass it is deep purple and showing youth rather than maturity. The nose is very pronounced with aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and white pepper. There’s oak for sure, it’s just seamless and presents itself in vanilla and perhaps some chocolate notes. As I swirl the flavor profile shifts towards blue fruit- think blueberry and plum. There is a sweetness to this wine that might manifest into a jammy component on the palate- let’s see.
On the initial attack I get blueberry cobbler, vanilla, grippy tannins, juicy acidity and ever so slight jamminess. It’s not overly thick like some Aussie Shirtaz-bombs can be, more subtle. I get a distinct smoky note which is actually not playing well into my aspirations, it’s a bit disjointed. The mid palate is quite dry and the finish is definitely where the tannins are showing up. It’s quite a long affair with plenty of fruit flavors, but the grip is very present. I like it. This wine will pair well with my char-grilled strip steak and Chorizo sausages. I think it drinks nicely now and will continue to evolve and get better with time. Cellar or drink till 2028 for this 91 point wine that gets 4 stars for it’s $55 entry fee. Salut….
As summer comes to a close I am looking forward to some hearty reds yet still have a few chilled whites to taste- here goes as we are having sushi tonight and this Chablis might just fit the bill.
It’s a medium intensity lemon color with a nice citrus nose compounded with pineapple, blossom and wet stone- it’s a steely affair as expected from this region. The palate is crispy with juicy acidity. This Burgundian Chardonnay is a dry wine that has a good body and quite pronounced flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit and pineapple. The stony, mineral component is most definitely apparent on the mid palate and the wine finishes with good length. I like the floral notes throughout and nearly wince at the acidity- it’s very crisp and tangy. A perfect match for seafood, especially a Mackerel sushi. I am thinking it is a 91 point wine and at a retail price of $65, it’s a rather steep but delicious white to enjoy till 2028. 4 stars from me, Salut….
This Sauvignon Blanc is pale lemon in the glass. Medium (+) intensity aromas of lemon zest, geranium, grapefruit, grass and passion fruit. It is still youthful with a dry palate and medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (-) body and medium intensity flavors of citrus and some floral notes. I like the medium (-) length finish, it’s very refreshing and crisp. Something to drink now as it won’t age much longer. 89 points and for $10 it’s a good deal that gets 4 stars. Salut….