Nearly black and opaque in the glass. On the nose I get gorgeous blackberries and fruitcake with a touch of mint. On the palate it is fresh, young, fruity and chock full of black fruits, cedar, scrumptious tannins and a slight hint of cassis. Tobacco and leather are evident on the mid palate which totally excites me and hints at long term evolution in line with traditional Bordeaux. The tannic structure is amazing, very lithe at the beginning with a steady rise to a crescendo of black tea dryness. 92 points and 4 stars for this $50 Fifth Growth. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark purple with nice legs. On the nose it’s quite bland. Black currants, blueberry pie and rubber mat finally come out of the glass. On the palate I’m getting a subdued dose of blueberry pie, cedar, breakfast tea and warm blackberry cobbler. The tannins are of medium intensity and the finish has some dark fruits and tannins. I think this wine is closed right now but it has potential. I’m gonna go with 90 points for now. The pro’s ranged greatly- from 91 to 95 points. I’m not seeing it at this point in time, hopefully it will awaken from slumber as a real powerhouse 3rd Growth Margaux. Drink from 2022/2030. Available for around $50, making it a 3 star wine. Salut….
A very gorgeous dark yellow in the glass gives way to waxy lemon, peach stone and pineapple core on the nose. On the palate it is quintessential Napa Chardonnay. Citrus, yellow apple, pear and lanolin hit me on the initial palate. The wine has a medium weight mouthfeel, with decent but not piercing acidity. The mid palate is mostly lemon and grapefruit. The finish is quite long, with more of that citrus component as well as that waxy note. This wine is nice and will pair well with Salmon, Moussaka even Osso Bucco (Hard to believe I know). I am thinking this wine is worthy of 90 points and 3 stars for the $50 price tag. Drink till 2025. Salut….
I have sat on this one for a while, letting the Burgundian volatility settle and hopefully get some tertiary flavors, a little funk all the while maintaining fruit composition and freshness.
In the glass it is somewhat darker than expected for a Pinot Noir. On the nose- cherry, funky forest floor, mushrooms and game. The palate is definitely on track- Garrigue, cherry, balsamic reduction and rooibos tea all come to mind. The mid palate has an unripe cherry note, or is it sour pomegranate? And dare I say- cork taste (as in chewing on the edge of a dry crumbly cork). Very peculiar but interesting nonetheless. The tannins are hitting my lower gums at this point, with a hint of acidity. The finish is full on cherry, with a pucker from some tea as the tannins are astringent, but nice. This wine is young. It will evolve further and the tannins will meld better. I see some more development with the secondary flavors but hope the unripe cherry component doesn’t remain. Overall a tasty wine that will do well with the charcoal grilled Strips and mashed potatoes I’m pairing it with. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 effort. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Purple, nice. Mint, plums, wintergreen on the palate. Very interesting. The palate is fresh, young and tannic. Blue fruits, sasparilla and cedar dominate. Fine-grained tannins are evident but not overwhelming. On the mid palate I get a strong blueberry component along with cedar. The finish is short to medium in length and offers blue fruits, gentle tannins and some mild acidity. This wine is rather basic, bland and thin. It offers short term pleasure but is not age worthy. Drink now. 88 points and 2 stars for this $50 Third-growth Margaux. Salut….
It’s a murky purple with a hint of bricking, not unusual for an 11 year old wine, but not likely for a CDP. The nose gives it away I’m afraid. This wine is over the hill, cooked. Aromas of stewed prunes and bacon hit me right away. I managed to coax a little plum out of the melange, but I was searching for it. The gaminess is a little much for me. On the palate there exists a port like profile. It smacks of dark fruits, cooked plums and blackberry jam. It is not a bad experience, just a shame really. This wine has some very interesting components that were probably on pointe a few years ago. I cannot determine if it is really over the hill (doubtful considering the heritage) or has been improperly cellared (it was a gift to my father). Either way, I cannot imagine this to be representative of the wine and will therefore pass on scoring this $50 effort. Sucks. Salut….
I have been sitting on this for a while, waiting for the right time to re-taste. Tonight just happened to be it! I noticed a little bricking when I was pouring the glass, which seems a little premature for a 12 year old Burgundy. It’s quite opaque considering the varietal though. Swirling like mad to get something on the nose I finally notice an earthy note, some cherries, but not much else really- I’m intrigued. The palate is where it’s at folks- strawberry puree, cherry, barnyard, straw and some really edgy tannins. I have a hard time discerning them in Pinot Noir, but they are most definitely present in this bottle. I get a grippy dryness to the gums, the mouth is puckering and they meld very well with the acidity. This wine is not bad! I just re-read my review of it from 2012, It really did what I expected, and then some! The funkiness is not as much as I had hoped for but it does exist, somewhat muted. I am going with 91 points and 4 stars for the $50 bottle. Drink till 2025 at the least. Salut….
I just recently had a birthday, not quite the big one, but just shy. I had a few mates over for what turned out to be a large night. We hit many regions and varietals, really hard. Anyway, this was a gift from one of my South African friends, I did not drink it that night, saving it for a proper tasting night. I’m glad I did!
A pretty purple color. Gorgeous nose of blueberries, oak, plums and leather. The initial taste consists of a very smooth dollop of blueberries, some fig paste and a dash of funky dryness that I can’t pinpoint. Tannins are well integrated but there is a nagging bitterness that troubles me. The midpalate has some very nice plums, a generous dose of acidity and some oak. The wine finishes strong with a dusty component and more blue fruits. This wine has a nice ‘spice meets leather and earth’ combo. I’m digging it if not for that irksome bitterness at the front end, which drops the score to a 90. The pros went high on this one, up to 94, but the consensus amongst the amateur crowd is in line with my rating. This wine is pricy if bought in the US, $50+, but a very sexy and seductive version of Syrah that should be enjoyed with a nice Filet. 3 stars. Salut….
A gift from a neighbor, I was not sure what to expect. A slight bricking on the edges of an otherwise pale purple sheen. On the nose, a beautiful bouquet of mushroom, cherry and bacon. On the palate, strawberry, cherry and upfront tannins. The mid palate reveals more cherries, but darker this time. The tannins are really starting to grip and the wine finishes very dry indeed. The gaminess I sensed on the nose has all but disappeared, taken over by brutish tannins. This is not a delicate wine, nor is it very fruit forward anymore. But it is good. In its own way, this wine exudes power and poise at the expense of fruit and finesse. I am going with 91 points for this $50 wine. 4 stars. Salut….
I have been sitting on this one for a long time. While setting up to cook some Steak au Poivre I decided I needed a heady Australian to accompany us, this one happened to be next in line in my kitchen chiller. Unfortunately the cork crumbled so I had to decant it through a wire mesh to filter out the bits.
At first glance, the wine has a certain amount of bricking and is not very clear. Age will do this to a wine, I hope it is still okay. The first whiff is incredible, very Bordeaux-like. Cassis, leather, plum and spicebox. I am intrigued as to what it beholds. Remember, this bottle is 13 years old…
Amazing, smooth, calculating. This wine is gorgeous! Plum, pepper, tobacco, a touch of oak and some violet. The mid palate is svelte, with extremely tight tannins swirling around the precise acidity, coupled with nuances of blueberry pie and more leather. The finish is great, mid length and a continuation of the story. This wine is drinking beautifully. A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mataro and 20% Shiraz, it combines the finesse of a Rhone wine with the power of Aussie fruit. Beware the well hidden 14.5% Alcohol, which has probably been a key to why this wine has held together so well and been able to develop tertiary flavors. A gem. 95 points from me and I wish I had more. The critics were mixed about this wine on release, ranging from 89 to 93 points. Just goes to show you what a little time in a dark, cool room will do. I found it online for $50, well worth it for a big occasion. 5 stars from me, Salut….