This was the star of the 4th Virtual Wine Tasting. I would normally taste a Pinot Noir right after the whites/Rosès and well before a hearty Merlot- but this wine was the ringer. I knew it would be the overall favorite so I wanted it to come last and stand on it’s own merits. It was stunning. It showed very nicely in the glass, see through with medium shades of purple. On the nose I immediately got the telltale cherry. Others noted cinnamon, chocolate and strawberry. It was not heavily tilted on any one component, rather a very nice melangè of all the smells. On the palate it showed off black cherry, spice box, cedar in the form of cigar box. Fine grained tannins and a very balanced acidity made this wine very balanced and gave it a nice crisp mouthfeel. Many in the group did not like some of the tannic wines- this one was right up their alley. Pinot, being such a delicate and light grape is difficult to grow and make into a balanced and delicious offering- once again this winery has done it very nicely. This cuvee is their lower priced offering that hits on all cylinders. I am going with 91 points and 5 stars for this $45 beaut. Drink till 2028 with lighter fare. Salut….
I have sat on a few of these bottle of San Felice for a while now because they were not quite ready the last time I drank one in 2017. This bottle is showing a semi opaque medium shade of purple in the glass. Really nice legs are exhibited. The nose has an earthy tone, pomegranate and cherry. I also get cardamom. Interesting. The palate is far more evolved since the last time, really nice dark cherry, rhubarb and spice box. The wine exhibits a really nice acidity that is even and of the right amount. The mouthfeel is really smooth, with a nice warmth that leads into a very delicate tannic frame. The midpalate has more of the red fruits and some dusty earthiness. The finish is very much a cherry affair, with the acidity and tannins really peaking into a dry, mouth puckering ending. It’s a really delicious wine, but not quite there yet. I am seeing evolution, with more to come. The framework will hold this wine up for a long while, giving me time to re-evaluate over the next 10-15 years with the other bottles. Overall I am sticking with my 93 point rating and 5 stars for this $45 Sangiovese. Pairing with spaghetti and sausage meatballs. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass. The nose is smoky, laden with iodine and laced with blackcurrant jam. The palate is austere with a minerality starting us off. It opens up to the rich black fruits, and very lithe tannins. The wine is tasty once that austere punch fades, it’s a bit off-putting. The mid palate has nice cedar and black currant notes alongside some well integrated acidity. The finish is more black fruit that transitions to an oaky, tasty, mineral driven note. I kinda like it. I’m going to reserve a point for the austerity that hits at the beginning with a recommendation to cellar this one for a year or two and perhaps decant it. 89 points, which shocks me for this $45 wine. 2 stars unfortunately. Salut….
Typical Pinot Noir in the glass, light, reddish, totally see through. I can smell it from four feet away, the waft is amazing. It’s rather young on the nose- cherries, mushroom, spruce. On the initial palate it presents with loads of fine grained tannins. The fruit comes later. Cherry, strawberry, balsamic essence and cola hit me. The mid palate is one-dimensional- sour bing cherry. The tannins really grip on the finish and leave me with a very dry set of gums, almost painful- which is rare for me and Pinot. The finish also shows off rhubarb, the sour kind. The acidity presents itself in mysterious ways some times! There is a uniqueness to this wine, I can’t pinpoint it. Could it be the freshness of the acidity, the gushing amounts of tannin or the way it leaves my mouth feeling? Anyways- I am enjoying it and will probably run some through the Vinturi to soften it a bit. For now, 90 points and 4 stars for this $45 bottle. Drink from 2022-2033. Salut….
A quick note from a party…. Unbelievable nose- black fruits galore, chai tea, olives and blueberry jam. On the palate I get gorgeous blue fruit ganache, really tight knit tannins – crunchy acidity. Sublime wine that is full bodied and long. It shows off bright Napa sunshine in the fruit which I think will evolve nicely in the next 10-15 years. Drink till 2030. 93 points if not 94 for this bold $45 effort. 5 Stars. Salut….
Murky, dark purple in the glass. The nose has Blackberry, some funk and creosote. I have a feeling this wine might be off unfortunately. Let’s see.
On the palate, it does taste slightly off. The murkiness of the wine may be a clue. There is a stewed fruit component for sure alongside some really nice tannins. Unfortunate. The wine needs a re-taste, which will happen soon.
Bottle number 2 was definitely showing better in the glass. That murkiness is not apparent, the color a much purer purple. The nose has a perfumed scent, black berry and violets come to mind. The palate is far better this time around. Dark fruits, boysenberry and black olives. The mid palate is fresh and lively with some nice acidity to go alongside the medium tannins. More dark fruit emerges with tapenade and smoky flavors appearing. The finish is quite dry, not astringent at all. The blackberry fruits really shine with some cedar notes. This is a tasty wine with depth and complexity. It has had 10+ years in the cellar and is on pointe now. 92 points and 4 stars for this $45 Tempranillo. Really tasty- it will pair great with Tapas, a Filet or even a toasted cheese sandwich! Salut….
This was the fourth wine of the tasting evening, which may have included a bit of palate fatigue but we all agreed it was the nicest. The 2015 Bordeaux vintage shows its excellence here.
Medium to dark black in the glass. Cassis, black berry coulis and some gaminess. On the palate it reeks of Bordeaux- cassis, dark berries, oak and grippy tannins. The mid palate is where the astringency kicks in with a black tea component and some decent blackberry jam notes. The finish is totally dry. Short length on the flavors but the tannins are in full force. 90 points and 4 stars for this $45 wine. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Very pale yellow, probably the lightest colored wine I have ever seen. The nose has pineapple, quince, peach and nectarines. On the palate it is enticing- mainly peaches to begin with. There’s a petroleum note that typifies the varietal alongside some yellow apples. Super tasty mind you, with some focused acidity to keep things sharp. The midpalate has some enjoyable flab, a weightiness that fills the mouth and adds to the body. The finish gets all serious with some flinty minerality, a resurgence of the apple theme as well as the nectarines and is medium in length and smooth. Overall this is a terrific wine that gets 92 points from me. Drink till 2025. $45 is rather steep, but this one’s a keeper that gets 4 stars. Salut….
One of the lightest, most clear wines I have ever seen. On the nose- strawberry, violets, maraschino cherry and a faint touch of oak. On the palate it is lithe, smooth, tasty and well balanced. Strawberries and rhubarb hit me. The mid palate is so smooth and brimming with red fruits. The tannins are quite present for a Pinot, I am enjoying them immensely. The dryness continues on the medium to long finish which has more strawberry. 92 points for this very seductive wine made by Eola Hills that gets 5 stars. $45 at the cellar door. Drink till 2025 with roast Cornish hens, NY Strip or some cheese and crackers. Salut….
Very pale and see through, just like a Pinot. On the nose I get crushed cherry, strawberry and slate. Kinda like Pinot! On the palate it’s different, much more brooding than lets on. The flavor profile is more strawberry but I get a dark fruit note as well. Tannins are grippy and give the wine a juicy mouthfeel. The finish is generous with dark fruits coming through on its medium length. This wine needs a bit of time, 2019-2027. It gets 91 points from me and for the $45 list price- a 4 star effort. Salut….