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….
For thew 4th Virtual Tasting event I wanted a Sangiovese to go alongside the Pinot Noir I was planning to showcase. I find the two varietals very similar in many traits, so the the challenge was to find a decent, ready to drink Chianti that hopefully would show off the core characteristics of the grape. This one turned out to be too young, subdued and not very forthcoming with fruit albeit with strong structure. It scored well with the pros but came in a very disappointing last place overall amongst our group. The wine showed well in the glass, more opaque than I had expected but the nose was very hard to coax any cherry flavors out of. Moxie noted salt on her initial sniff. It did not open up much on the palate but did have a tannic backbone masking the fruit. Acidity was medium but not overpowering. I remember thinking this wine had a good dose of oak, charcoal and tobacco. I did not write up any further notes but remember the finish was not very satisfying or long. It’s a shame as the big boys averaged 92 points. I feel it might need a re-tasting in the future once it has mellowed out. I will reserve judgement for now. I paid $23 which would have technically made it a 5 star wine. Salut….
This wine kicked off our 4th Virtual Wine Tasting. As in the past, I had all the attendees reserve half the bottle at room temperature and the other half chilled. My brief notes include a very nice shade of light gold in the glass. The nose was very floral and included grapefruit, citrus, green apple and pear. The palate was very much in line with the nose and had a modicum of tangy acidity, citrus and floral notes with a decent length finish. The room temperature version offered a much fuller nose, more emphasis on the flowers while the chilled version focused on the citrus and acidic components. Both were delicious but I preferred the cold version whilst scoring the room temp slightly higher using my own 20 point scale. Interestingly, the nose of this wine did not exhibit the telltale cat pee aromas that I usually note in Kiwi Sav-Blancs. I don’t necessarily miss it, but I was hoping to showcase it as a prominent feature of the varietal from this region. The wine did display some nice minerality that is reminiscent of a French Sancerre. I am going with 90 points and 5 stars for this $14 deal. Try and stock up for the hot summer and pair it with steamed shrimp, grilled fish or chicken breast and salad. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Very pale yellow in the glass. The nose is very floral with strong peach and apricot notes. I also get walnut shells. On the palate this wine is very sweet- but not unctuous like a Sauternes. It’s got a silky mouthfeel but is quite refreshing as a chilled wine. Mango, passion fruit and peach all hit my tastebuds. There’s a very small trace of acidity which lends body to the mid palate. It’s a unique wine for sure- a cross between Riesling, a big Napa Chard, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Grigio. Each of which give either to the flavors or the unique mouthfeel. Lychees and tropical fruits are the finish, which is decent in length on this Moscato blend. They say to pair this with dessert- without a doubt. It’s working as an aperitif for me though. Unique style, interesting flavors and the ability to start or finish an evening make this a special wine. I love this winery and think this is a bottle you should look for. 89 points and 5 stars for this $15 treat. Salut….
Stunning purple in the glass with nice thin legs. On the nose I get a huge dose of black currants, black berries and oaky vanilla. Mint also makes an appearance. On the initial palate it is really juicy with black fruits galore. Beautiful oak is well integrated with coconut flavors present. The tannic structure shows a gradual ramp up to reach a drying peak on the finish. The mid palate is lush and fruity with some black tea, cassis, more coconut and capsicum. The finish is dry with those nice tannins really gripping. There’s a very balancing, juicy acidity that I’m really enjoying. This wine begs to be drunk, it is a stunning example of how delicious Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are as the prime components in wine. 93 points and 5 stars for this $104 stunner. Drink till 2030.
Dark shade of purple with nice legs. Almost opaque. On the nose I get red currant, violets, iodine and plum. On the palate it presents with red and black fruits, a touch of oak and black licorice. The mid palate has some black tea, raspberries and tannins that coat with a tarry taste. The finish is quite tart with some juicy acidity. It gives the mouthfeel some cut to the drying tannins, which peaks on the finish. Black cherry is the final note on this 89 point wine. Drink till 2022. For $7, this Tempranillo is a steal that gets 5 stars. Salut….
It’s a really nice reddish shade and totally see-through. The nose is gorgeous- strawberry, cherry, earth and game. On the initial palate I get rich red cherry reduction, leather, mushroom, forest floor- all flavors I was hoping for in an aged Pinot from Burgundy. The mid palate shows me red currants, more cherry, crisp acidity and a very fine grained tannic structure. There is a green streak on the finish that gives it a bit of zing but is dominated by tart cherry and pomegranate. This wine is very complex and layered. The finish is long and mouth watering. I am really enjoying it and think it is at peak, drinking well for at least another decade. Filet Mignon is on tap for the pairing. 92 points from me but I have no pricing info. New vintages are going for over $85. I would give it 5 stars, the cellaring has rewarded me well. Salut….
Semi opaque with a dark red hue. On the nose I get dark cherries, beautiful oak, raspberry and dried herbs. On the palate there’s an immediate thrust of leather, tobacco and cherry. It is a touch tart but mouthwatering. The cherry theme continues onto the mid palate where I also get a good thwack of tannins. Wow, this wine is a cherub. Creosote, black plums and that tart cherry all mingle on the palate and I sense this wine is not yet close to maturity. The finish is long, tannic, tart and fruity with those cherries galore, some sage and more leather. I regret opening this wine so young, but I will get more for the cellar. Tonight I will pair it with Sous Vide Ribeyes, probably the best combo I could think of for this tannic monster Nebbiolo. Drink from 2025 to 2030 at the least. 92 points and 5 stars for this $39 beauty. Salut….
Golden brown in the glass, appropriate for a 13 year old. On the nose it has hazelnut, honey, orange peel, quince and Marmalade. The palate is quite tart with orange reduction, more honey, nuts, nutmeg and Cointreau. It’s nicely balanced with acidity, fruit, unctuous mouthfeel and loads of orange Marmalade. The thickness of the wine is really delicious, it gives warmth and body to the elixir. The mid palate concentrates on the oranges, with the sweetness of honey and apricots. The finish is medium in length but full on with more oranges, sweet syrup and some tart acidity that balances out the sugars. 91 points. Drink now till 2030. Delicious, a real treat after all these years in the cellar. Newer vintages can be had for $35 per half bottle. 5 stars. Salut….
This Merlot has a really deep purple hue in the glass with very nice thin legs. The nose is plummy with anise and blueberry notes. On the initial palate I get inky dark berries, some iodine, black tea and really nice gentle tannins. The mid palate is a bit more gripping with the fine grained tannins, they start to cling to the gums. Black cherry and more plum are hitting me up with some slight oak notes. The finish is a touch dusty with some spice box and leather. Plums are my main theme with this wine and the tannic structure is really good. Juicy, dry and built for the medium haul. I like this wine- it’s easy going yet has some depth and structure to it. Drink till 2027. 91 points from me and at $18 a pop- 5 stars. Cellar some for later. Salut….