The Gamay grape is traditionally made into wine using the carbonic maceration method in the Beaujolais region of France. This wine is a deep purple color with medium intensity aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dried flowers, orange peel, cherry bubble gum and perhaps a touch of banana. The palate is dry with crisp tannins and medium (-) acidity. I was not expecting the tannic grip to be so forthright. I get flavors of blackberry, blueberry and açaí berry with a faint hint of charred oak and some orange peel. Oak influence? A full-bodied and full-throttle expression of this usually benign grape has really thrown me as I am pairing it with a slow-cooked Eye of Round Roast, which is a low fat cut of meat. I would prefer to pair this wine in its youth with a fattier cut of meat like Ribeye, Leg of Lamb or grilled Goat. The finish is quite decent in length, adding to the complexity and depth of this wine. For $25 you are getting a cru-level bottle that has decent cellaring capacity and gets 91 points from me. 5 stars- drink till 2027. Salut….
Medium lemon colored, it takes on a touch of gold in the glass. On the nose- aromas of lemon curd, grapefruit, yellow pear, blossom, brioche and almond. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (+) body. This Melon de Bourgogne varietal shows a fullness that is a result of the Sur Lie aging that I am enjoying. In addition to the citrus, pear and floral notes I also get flavors of baking spice and yeast. At 12% ABV, it is a nice aperitif to serve with olives and charcuterie. The acidity would also lend itself to soft cheese and seafood for sure. It has a medium length finish emphasizing the baking spice, brioche and cream notes. I like this $15 wine that gets 89 points and 5 stars from me. Drink soon. Salut….
Deep ruby colored with really thick, slow moving legs. The nose has a whiff of alcohol that needs to dissipate- I now get pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, smoke, coffee, vanilla and menthol. The cassis is en pointe. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity and high tannins (I forgot to mention the it stained the walls of the glass when I swirled). A full body was to be expected and I get rich flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum, cassis and the associated oak derived notes and menthol. The richness of this wine continues on to a medium (+) length finish. It’s a delicious blend of Cab Saver, Syrah and Merlot that gets 93 points from me and for $35- 5 stars. Drink with hearty meat (steak) till 2029. Salut….
Bright lemon colored this is the third vintage of Lamothe that I have tasted. A blend of 87% Sauvignon Blanc with 13% Semillon it has intense aromas of cut grass, gooseberry, flint, bell pepper, lemon zest, stone fruit and underripe strawberry. The palate is dry, crisp and tart with medium (+) acidity. Texturally speaking there is an oily component that gives this wine a medium (+) body. The citrus takes center stage on the palate with the stone fruit backing it up. The telltale cut grass and gooseberry are not as pronounced. The finish is medium in length, perhaps the aromatics of this varietal linger longer. Delicious and refreshing to say the least. I’m impressed by this $15 wine that gets 90 points and 5 stars. Drink with lighter fare including chicken and seafood. It begs for oysters and clams on the half shell. Salut….
Medium ruby colored this Zinfandel was amazing. Rich, smooth aromas and flavors of ripe plum, blackberry, blueberry pie and baking spice with a hint of vanilla. Low acidity, medium (-) tannins and a full body lead to a long finish. Amazing value at $15 for this 91 pointer that gets 5 stars. I would drink this in the shorter term with stews, game and hearty pasta dishes with rich red sauces. Salut….
This Cabernet Sauvignon did not show well today- the bottle had been left open far too long and it was past it’s prime. However, I chose to taste it and will include it in my next wine class as I have previously drunk this $18 offering and was impressed with its structure and fruit. This particular example had medium acidity, a full body and high levels of tannins. The fruit was stewed and basically undrinkable but I recall the previous bottle had lovely black and blue fruit, nicely integrated oak treatment and a decent finish. If I had to score this wine- 90 points which would make it a 5 star effort with some cellaring capacity- stay till 2028. Hearty, fatty steak would do well here. Salut….
I was tasting wines for a prospective class and wanted to stick to single varietals, the bartender convinced me to try this red blend of Zinfandel, Cab Sav, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Syrah. In one word- Delicious! Medium ruby colored with a slight blue edge it has aromas and flavors of ripe plum, blueberry pie, coconut, charred oak, cracked pepper and allspice. Medium (-) acidity and medium tannins lead to a full bodied, mouth coating experience. A long finish adds to this wine’s appeal and solidifies my score of 91 points. Not bad for a sub $20 effort that gets 5 stars. At 15% ABV, it is obvious the winemaker has used really ripe, sun-drenched grapes to achieve this level of flavor. Yummy stuff to pair with a thick Tomahawk steak or some braised Beef ribs. Drink till 2027. Salut….
I did a tasting at a wine bar recently and this was the opener- a classic Sauvignon Blanc from NZ. Pale lemon colored with heady aromas of cut grass, gooseberry, cat pee (yes, it’s a thing), tangerine, lemon rind, melon and Passion fruit. High acidity and a medium body were to be expected and this varietally true wine delivered! It runs $13 and gets 90 points from me making it a 5 star effort to drink soon. Salut….
Deep ruby colored yet it could pass for purple, interesting considering it’s 9 years of age. The nose has pronounced aromas of blackberry, blueberry, açaí with licorice, menthol, crushed stone and charred oak. Refreshingly primal with some secondary notes yet not much development presently. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium (+) tannins that coat my gums and a full body- for sure. The flavors start off with very ripe yet fresh blackberry, açaí berry, blueberry and black currants. There is a sweetness that I attribute to the ample sunshine of the vintage. Oak nuance, mint and some signs of tertiary development fill out the flavor profile. The finish is a touch astringent with a black tea note and some very caressing tannins. This wine is young with lots of time to develop. I think it warrants 93 points and for $55 it’s a 5 star wine to serve up with Sunday roast beef. Drink till 2027. Salut….
This Right Bank Merlot based blend is a deep garnet color in the glass with long, lingering legs. The nose is gorgeous- plum, steeped blackberry, cassis, licorice, vanilla bean, graphite and blueberry mixed with fresh oak and a touch of espresso. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins that are silky on the mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied this just-maturing wine has got waves of blackberry, blueberry and plum flavors intertwined with a dash of vanilla, coffee and oak. It is just starting to offer tertiary flavors and will develop nicely in the coming years. It finishes long with a black tea component alongside cassis. Very smooth and certainly delicious, this $55 bottle will drink nicely till 2032 and pair with most meat dishes and stews. 94 points from me make it a 5 star wine. Salut…..