This Bordeaux blend is quite deceiving- not very opaque at all considering it should be a blend of Merlot, Cab Sav and perhaps Cab Franc. Definitely Cab Franc as I get perfume and violets on the nose, plus some cassis, blackcurrants, toasty oak and eucalyptus. The palate is very smooth and well endowed with rich black fruits, well integrated tannins and juicy acidity. The mid palate has some pencil shavings and a metallic tinge, kinda interesting. The rich blackberry and blackcurrant flavors carry through to the long finish where some black tea notes are found alongside vanilla. This wine has good complexity, a nice full body and plenty of fruit and structure to reward patient cellaring but it drinks beautifully right now at 8 years of age. I am really digging the mouthfeel and think this wine gets 93 points. It would normally run around the $25 mark making it a 5 star effort for sure. Serve it up with some grilled sausages and steak. Salut….
This Pinot Noir is deep purple and semi opaque in the glass. On the nose it is quite intense with red and black cherry, raspberry, oak and strawberry bubble gum. The palate is gorgeous- smooth with lithe tannins, gentle acidity and a ton of fruit flavor. Layers or cherry, raspberry and mocha notes intertwine, some strawberry is present but the complexity of this wine is awesome. I love restrained Pinots, wines that are seductive and not overpowering. This one is definitely a more fruit forward version, New Worldish yet it has such purity of fruit and is not over-the-top extracted. The finish is long. The fact that it is only 13.3% ABV makes it a refreshing change from the monsters I have been drinking lately. Drink till 2026 with lean cuts of beef, maybe a hearty Salmon on the grill or some well seasoned Cornish hens. 92 points from me for this $58 treat. I love this winery and have enjoyed several of their previous wines. 5 stars. Salut….
I’ve been cooking Sous Vide Pork Belly steaks in a fiery Sambal Oelek sauce for the past 18 hours, it’s going on a fried rice dish. The spice of this dish needs an aromatic white I do believe, so this Grand Cru Alsatian is getting the nod.
It is deep lemon in the glass and has pronounced aromas of lychee, rosewater, strawberry, blossom and some nuttiness. On the palate it is semi-dry with medium acidity, medium (+) body, medium alcohol and medium (+) intensity flavors of lychee, rose, strawberry, honeysuckle and blossom. The nutty note comes on the back end, where the finish is medium in length. It’s a flavorful, yummy wine that has a touch of residual sugar to help offset the chilies in the marinade. The floral and tropical fruit will meld well with the white meat and veggies. This wine seems like it will develop some more in the bottle, so there’s no rush to pop’n’pour. I’m really enjoying it and think it is a 91 pointer. At $40 it’s a serious player that gets 5 stars. Salut….
My wine tasting group has not tried Pinotage yet, so I though it would be appropriate to introduce this unique South African varietal to them. Spier is well known and produces several different cuvees, ranging from the lighter everyday wines to blockbuster collectables. This one is middle of the road and offers a glimpse into the style of wine that can be enjoyed over time. Quite brooding and inky it has a funky nose with forest floor, tar, licorice, fresh cut wood, plantain, creamy coffee, Sel Gris and blackberry. On the palate it exhibited textbook flavors of coffee, blackberry, Rooibos tea, baked raspberry, blueberry, acetate and raisin. The word jammy was used. Tannins were medium as was the acidity. This cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault is much darker and intense than either of its parents, which surprised many in the group. Overall it was well received and got 91 points from me. We paid $36 per bottle making it a 5 star effort that can be drunk now or cellared till 2026. Salut….
Virtual tasting #20 started off on a high gear with the Reserve Pinot Gris, only to have it overshadowed by this stunner. Once people started sniffing all I could hear were Oooh, Aaah… On the nose the group noted aromas of licorice, forest floor, pepper, white chocolate, cardamom, black cherry, raspberry and rosewater. How’s that for complexity?
The palate was absolutely delicious- I was so excited to drink this wine. Super smooth with silky tannins and gentle acidity- we got flavors of raspberry, black cherry, Rooibos tea but it lost the pepper component. The depth of this wine was beguiling. On our tasting sheet I gave it a near perfect 19/20. Technically speaking, this $35 wine gets 93 points and 5 stars from me. You could cellar some, but why wait? Damn that was good. Might end up on the best-of list. Salut….
My little group of virtual wine tasters insisted on a mid-summer gathering so I picked some real beauties, starting with this Pinot Gris which we tasted at room temp and chilled. Being a Reserve, it offered depth and complexity that many were not expecting- it was a hit. In the glass it showed pale gold to light yellow, depending on who was commenting! Aromas of pear, pineapple, blossom, honey, ginger, elderflower and nectarine were noted. On the palate, flavors of honeysuckle, lime, and orange blossom coupled with a vegetal aftertaste. I noted that it had good acidity, getting 92 points from yours truly.
The chilled version was more precise with some minerality on the nose coupled with cotton candy, marzipan, passion fruit, honey, ginger and peach- a whole different animal! On the palate we got a fuller bodied wine with flavors of pronounced orange, less lime this time but lemon drops, ginger and Welch’s white grape juice. Medium (+) finish btw. I was consistent with the 92 points and for $25 it is a great intro to a higher quality Pinot Gris. 5 stars, pair it with shellfish and perhaps cellar for a few years. Salut….
My friend Tracy got this at Trader Joes, for $8. I am absolutely blown away. Seriously delicious, with cellaring capacity and yummy flavors. Opaque, purple, inky. The nose is exactly what I expect from a 7 year old Bordeaux- some cassis, cedar, earth, game and black plum. Tertiary flavors are coming out whilst primal fruit is still very fresh. The palate is silky with nicely integrated tannins, a touch of acidity and layered fruit. A medium length finish makes for a delicious, tidy package of rich fruit and good structure. Yummy stuff to drink till 2025. 91 points! Yup, for $8 at TJ’s, this is probably my bottle of the year when it comes to QPR (quality price ratio). 5 stars, only cause I can’t go 6. WAY TO GO! Salut….
Another of my mate Johnny’s wines, this was a stunner. Simply breathtaking. A Bordeaux Blend with depth, richness and staying power. Deep purple in the glass with a rich and layered nose of gorgeous cassis, mint, stewed blackcurrants, cooked blueberry, coffee, smoke and cloves. Stunning. On the palate it is full bodied with well melded tannins, good acidity and complexity with flavors of blackberry, mint, tar, oak by way of smoke, clove and a medicinal note. There’s a touch of bitterness on the back end to remind me that the tannins are still young. This wine is well developed but has years ahead with potential for tertiary development. I’m excited to have tried it and wish I could get more to watch for development. 93 points and at $45 it’s a 5 star effort. Drink till 2028. Well done! Salut….
I had to buy this funky bottle, it is gold. As in they sprayed the bottle, there is no looking through the glass. With a bit of age on it, there may be some hope of tertiary development in this Reserva. It’s pretty dark in the glass, a lovely shade of ruby. On the nose I get red cherry, cooked red cherry, earth, mushroom, pomegranate and oak. The palate is very delicious, smooth and not biting. I am really enjoying lush flavors of dark cherry, earth, game and cooked red cherry. The tannins are really well integrated and meet up on the back end with some vibrant acidity. The body is decent, heavier than I was expecting and certainly welcome, the mouthfeel is balanced and smooth. I am thoroughly enjoying this Sangiovese, and feeling that most people would not buy it due to the strange packaging- I’m off to get the remnants, it’s that yummy for the barebones price of $15. A veritable steal that gets 91 points and 5 stars. Drink till 2025 with pasta, duh! Salut….
I have really taken a liking to Petite Sirah lately and Orin Swift’s Machete in particular. I tried the 2017 recently, delicious, heady stuff. Read about it in my regular blog style, this one gets the notes from my wine class. At $54 it’s not a cheap ride, but it will rock your world and gets 93 points from me, making it a 5 star wine. Salut….
Orin Swift Machete 2016 Petite Sirah, California 15.7% ABV
- Appearance- Deep purple with thick legs.
- Nose- pronounced aromas of blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla. Youthful.
- Palate- dry, medium (+) acidity, medium tannin, high alcohol, full body, pronounced flavors of blueberry, black cherry, blackberry, black plum, clove. Medium finish.
- Conclusion- very good quality, can drink now but has potential for aging.
Wowsa, look at that alcohol- 15.7% in a table wine! I had a hard time on the nose, the whiff of heat was overpowering. I made it through though. Full bodied as one would expect with such high numbers and extraction to within an inch of the grape’s life. Delicious stuff that is the second vintage I have tried of this iconic brand’s Petite Sirah with pretty much consistent results.