A Washington state Cabernet that is nearly opaque with a deep ruby color and thick legs (14.8% ABV). The nose has rich aromas of vanilla bean, ripe black plum, blackberry, black cherry, green pepper and boysenberry. The palate is dry with medium (+) tannins and medium acidity. Medium to full bodied, I get flavors of dark fruit, lots of oak influence and that green pepper note. I lose the vanilla somewhat but gain charred wood instead. The finish is a dry affair and medium in length. This wine drinks nicely now- if you like them a bit dry and tannic. Cellaring potential till 2028, I would serve this with hearty red meat dishes, rich pasta and stews. 90 points and for $40 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Deep purple colored with very thick, slow moving legs. Surprising considering it’s only showing 13.5% ABV on the label. The nose is very perfumed and fruity with blackcurrant, violets, blackberry preserves, coffee bean, vanilla, coconut, purple licorice and cedar shake. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity, high tannins and a full body. Pronounced flavors of dark fruit that is a touch preserved along with toasty oak nuance and some floral hints. The body of this wine just coats my mouth and makes for a gorgeous mouthfeel. The finish is medium in length and the tannins literally coat my upper gums with fine-grained tingles. This is a younger, more fruit forward vintage that I am thoroughly enjoying. I would pair this with very hearty dishes and drink it till 2030. 94 points from me make this $40 bottle a 5 star effort. Salut….
Deep hues of ruby along with a hint of age- a garnet edge. The nose has lovely, pronounced aromas of black plum, blackcurrant, licorice, vanilla, blackberry jam, cedar and spice box. The palate is dry with medium acidity and well-melded tannins that are grippy yet unobtrusive. The rich, ripe black fruit flavors dominate but I get some charred oak, black tea, licorice and spices in this full bodied beaut. It flows seamlessly to a somewhat tart and slightly tannic finish that lasts a good 20 seconds. I really like this winery, they produce enjoyable wines that age well. This one will keep going until 2030 at the earliest and pair well with grilled meats, rich stews and wild game. 93 points from me for this $40 wine makes it a 5 star effort. Salut….
This blend of Tempranillo and Cab Sav is nearly opaque with a bright purple color. On the nose I get rich black plum, dusty earth, blackberry, vanilla, baking spices, menthol, some farmyard funk and bramble. The palate is dry, quite tannic and high in acidity. I love Spanish Tempranillo- it has such an earthy, dusty, brambly component and they throw a good bit of oak at this level (Reserva) which adds dimension, complexity and flavors/aromas of vanilla, baking spices and toast. The black fruit is ripe and juicy- the Cabernet adding richness and grip. The body is full and the finish is medium to long in length. Structurally- this wine is a baby and needs some cellaring unless you like them searingly dry and astringent. There is plenty of fruit to last a while and the whole package should drink beautifully until 2032 at the least. I am going with 93 points and for $40 this is a 5 star effort. Salut….
Medium ruby colored- this 14.7% ABV Zin has got thick, globby legs in the glass. The nose has pronounced aromas of stewed blackberry, prunes, blueberry compote, walnuts, vanilla, cedar and spice box. I like the tertiary notes of this developing wine. The palate is dry and fully bodied with well integrated tannins and juicy acidity. The flavors are delicious and pronounced as I swirl the nectar around my mouth, sucking air in to boost the flavors. The finish has a touch of heat on it but still shows lovely fruit flavors for a medium length finish. The alcohol is a bit of an unbalanced distraction that will cost a point or two. This $40 wine gets 91 points and 4 stars from me. It is really good all by itself but may pair well with grilled Picanha steaks or roasted duck with a cherry reduction. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Sangiovese is starting to mature- pale garnet in the glass with thick legs (14% ABV). Pronounced aromas of cherry, leather and strawberry with hints of clove, rooibos tea, garigue and dried herb. The palate is dry and quite tannic. I get lovely crushed cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, strawberry coulis and earthy leather. This wine has juicy acidity and a full body- it’s just now starting to become drinkable. It is a very young wine with great structure and potential for aging that will allow tertiary flavor development. Right now it is still relatively primal. Delicious stuff that has a long finish and rather astringent mouthfeel right now. It will drink beautifully till 2030 and pair well with Italian fare, grilled ribeye or game. 93 points from me for this $40 wine makes it a 5 star effort. Salut….
Deep ruby, starting to turn amber- this 11 year old Tempranillo is beginning to show some age. On the nose I get classic Rioja: dusty earth, bramble, ripe blackberries, black currants, plums, leather and loads of oak influence. Vanilla, coconut and charred wood notes are well ingrained. On the palate it is dry and smooth. Very integrated tannins and great acidity set the framework up to allow dark fruit, musty and earthy flavors as well as oak nuance to interplay. Medium (+) bodied this delight has a medium (-) finish. This is not a bold and big wine, it is more of a seductive and silky drop that appeals to those who enjoy subtlety over brawn. I like it and would sip it over tapas. I think it is at peak and will drink nicely until 2028. It gets 92 points from me and at $40 it gets 5 stars. Salut….
This Argentinian wine is deep, deep purple- like opaque and brooding in the glass. The nose starts off with a vegetal note- green peppers, asparagus, grass. I manage to coax blackberry, iodine, ripe blueberry and smoke with some vigorous swirling. The palate is bone dry with pretty gritty tannins, medium acidity, full body and a mid length finish. The fruit flavors start with black and blue berries and then some green veggies and black licorice, opposite order from the nose. The oak influence is less noticeable on the palate but I still get a touch. Iodine and an iron-like note kick in on the mid to back end. This wine would pair beautifully with a juicy steak and some fried batatas. It will cellar nicely till 2030 and gets 91 points from me. The pros all went 94, which is stretch in my book. At $40, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
I cheated for the fourth wine at our 23rd virtual wine tasting night. I have had this stunning Bordeaux blend before and knew it would get accolades. Why not close out a tasting session on a proven winner? You can read my original notes on the Petite Clos here.
It is a deep claret color with rich blackberry, coconut, sarsaparilla, anise, toast and black cherry on the nose. Rich fruit is what I noted for the palate- we got black plum, black cherry, cherry coke, coconut and anise on the palate which has great tannic structure, medium (+) acidity, medium finish and is full bodied. The mouthfeel on this wine is going to be spectacular with a bit of cellaring. Drink this 93 point beauty till 2030 at the least with hearty grilled meat, heavy duty stews or rich dishes. Great job on this $40 wine that gets 5 stars from me. Slam-dunk if you are looking for a surefire winner for a tasting. Salut….
Happy New Year! I missed a night of tasting- opting instead for beer, champagne and mulled wine for the festivities. Back to work, this is the Reserve version of the last wine I tasted- The Clos de Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. This upgraded one is opaque and brooding- a deep ruby in the glass with watery legs. The nose is uplifting with pronounced aromas of black plum, cassis, black fruit compote, eucalyptus, charred wood, graphite and a mineral streak. The palate is yummy. Slightly dry with good tannic structure that is integrating, medium acidity and a generous body. Black fruits, deft oak and minerality make for a lovely mouthfeel that has plenty of structure and fruit that continues on to a medium-to-long finish that turns quite dry- somewhat mouth puckering to be sure. The graphite note really hits on the finish, it is quite an interesting twist. This is a cellar worthy wine that is drinking nicely now if you like them dry and fruity. I think it will evolve nicely over time and drink till 2028. Steaks are on the grill with sautéed eggplant alongside sweet potato fries. 91 points and 4 stars for this $40 Napa Cab. Salut….