This one stumped me in a WSET blind tasting. We were going to be discussing Spain and Portugal so I was convinced that the red wine had to be from the region but when I put this deep ruby colored wine up to my nose I was greeted by a very familiar set of smells. Medium (+) intensity aromas of black plum, red plum, cinnamon, blackberry, cedar and vanilla made me think this complex wine was a Tempranillo. The palate was dry with medium (+) tannins, medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and medium intensity flavors of the aforementioned, albeit slightly less intense on the palate. This gave way to a medium length finish that had me grade this wine as very good, suitable to be drunk now or aged some more. In reality, I had just predisposed myself to thinking I was drinking one varietal when in fact it was a Sonoma Cab I was sipping! Looking back- this wine gets 91 points and for $55 it is a 4 star effort. Salut….
Inky dark purple in the glass, this promises to be a big, bold wine with lots of body and flavor. Perfect to pair with my Sunday Rib Roast. Ripe blackberry, luscious blueberry compote, plums, coconut, purple licorice and a spice/baking component on the nose. The palate is rich, tannic, full bodied with medium acidity and bold flavors of blackberry, oak nuance and spice. The yeasty baking note is still there, albeit feint. Think blackberry puree with a lashing of black tea. Grippy with mouth searing tannins, deliciously fruity with a dry finish that lasts a decent length of time. The tannins however, lurk on my gums for an eternity. If you like them dry, this wine is for you. The 14.5% ABV has not even made itself known, well disguised in this nicely balanced wine. This $55 blockbuster is still in youth. The tannins need some taming unless you like that level of astringency. Personally, it’s fine as I am pairing it with a fatty cut of meat. It gets 93 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2030. Salut….
This youthful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre is semi opaque with a pretty shade of ruby/purple. The nose is chock full of ripe raspberry, red currants, pomegranate, bacon, evergreen leaf, granite and white pepper- quite complex. The palate is dry with pronounced flavors of red fruit, minerality, earthiness and game. Medium bodied, this semi tannic/medium acidity wine has a nice mouthfeel with a decent length finish. Whilst young, it is offering ripe fruit enjoyment with the structure to age and develop. I would love to have a case to document the evolution over the next 12 years. It got high marks from the pros, I agree. 93 points for this $55 bottle makes it a 5 star effort. I am pairing it with Venison tenderloins and an eggplant tagine. Salut….
I’ve been a fan of this winery for many years. In fact I have written about several wines from them and each one got a glowing review. I just realized that this bottling is named after the founder’s daughter who is but 3 days older than my youngest son, Jet. This vintage runs a little less ABV than previous, 14.2%. In the glass it is deep purple and showing youth rather than maturity. The nose is very pronounced with aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and white pepper. There’s oak for sure, it’s just seamless and presents itself in vanilla and perhaps some chocolate notes. As I swirl the flavor profile shifts towards blue fruit- think blueberry and plum. There is a sweetness to this wine that might manifest into a jammy component on the palate- let’s see.
On the initial attack I get blueberry cobbler, vanilla, grippy tannins, juicy acidity and ever so slight jamminess. It’s not overly thick like some Aussie Shirtaz-bombs can be, more subtle. I get a distinct smoky note which is actually not playing well into my aspirations, it’s a bit disjointed. The mid palate is quite dry and the finish is definitely where the tannins are showing up. It’s quite a long affair with plenty of fruit flavors, but the grip is very present. I like it. This wine will pair well with my char-grilled strip steak and Chorizo sausages. I think it drinks nicely now and will continue to evolve and get better with time. Cellar or drink till 2028 for this 91 point wine that gets 4 stars for it’s $55 entry fee. Salut….
Here is my class note on a wine I have tasted before that is divine and should feature in any cellar worth its salt. For $55, it’s not a cheap intro to these two unique grapes that make the blend, but this winery has done something very special here and it needs to be tried. I am going with 91 points and 4 stars. Salut….
Chateau Musar White 2010, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 12.5% ABV
- Appearance- deep gold.
- Nose- pronounced aromas of lemon, grapefruit, quince, wet stones, passion fruit, blossom, acacia and nuts. Developing.
- Palate- dry, medium acidity, medium alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity flavors of lemon, grapefruit, quince, wet stones, passion fruit, blossom, acacia and nuts with a long finish.
- Conclusion- very good quality wine that can be drunk now, but has potential for aging.
An amazing blend of Merwah and Obaideh from my native Lebanon. These two grapes are thought to be closely related to Semillon and Chardonnay. This is a young wine at 10 years of age from this iconic winery who make whites that will outlast their reds. A cellar tour in 2008 showed thousands of bottles that were vinted in the 1930’s and ‘40s. Their wines are long lived even though the acidity is not high, a strange phenomenon. The body is quite weighty even though the alcohol is relatively low. Delicious now, this will no doubt start to gain more tertiary flavors and aromas and continue to evolve for many years to come. Unique stuff.
This young Nebbiolo is 50% opaque and has a beautiful crimson hue in the glass. Thick legs bely the potent 15% alcohol. On the nose I get cranberries, cherry, anise and leather- textbook. On the palate it is delicious, if not young. The tannins are formidable but I manage to break through the barrier and taste Bing cherries, leather, espresso and black tea. The tannins are gripping on the mid-palate, so much so that the top of my gums feel abused by rough hewn rope. The finish is a terrifically dry affair but the red fruits come through as does a balancing acidity. This is a delicious infant of a monster wine. With proper aeration, decating or extended cellaring it will soften and develop into a beautiful bottle. For now, you will need to pair it with a fatty meat, like I am with Rack of Lamb- or decant over a full day. 93 points from me as I see the potential in this wine and look forward to our next meeting. At $55 it is typically priced for a Barolo, which are never cheap. I am going with 5 stars as I think this one will reward some patience and be delicious by 2025. Drink till 2033. Salut….
This Chardonnay pours a rich gold in color and shows off some nice legs in the glass. The nose is very crisp with lemon rind, green almond, passion fruit and pineapple. The palate is very mineral driven with citrus backing it up whilst melon, more passion fruit and a touch of yeast co-mingle with some lithe acidity. The mid palate is warmer, fuller and less acidic. The flavors are rounder with more of the tropical fruit notes. The finish reverts back to being juicy from the citrus and acidity. It’s quite decent in length to boot. The minerality gives this wine some verve while the fruit shines. It is delicious and will pair beautifully with our shrimp scampi. Drink this 91 point Burgundy till 2029. At $55 it’s pricy and gets 4 stars. Salut….
This is the third tasting of the Tapestry over an eight year period. The cork broke in half which gave cause for concern, the bottom part showing off a deep stain, nearly black. That normally bodes well for me, except the failed cork part.
The wine still has a lovely purple hue with a touch of orange bricking. The nose gives off tons of leather, tobacco, some red currants and black cherry. The palate is focused and concentrated. Tertiary flavors are forefront- earthiness, that parched tobacco and leather … black fruits appear after a while but it’s not a seamless transition. The wine has very integrated tannins and a nice streak of acidity. It’s holding up well for 13 years old, but I would drink by 2027. It has evolved well and will continue to soften, shedding the fruit along the way. It’s a nice Napa Cab that gets 90 points from me and can be found for $55. 4 stars. Salut….
Bright yellow/gold in the glass, a stunning color. On the nose- creme brûlée, yellow apple, almond shavings… super complex. The palate brings me back to reality. Apple, pineapple and a nice acidic bite transition me to a midpalate of waxy apple, nutmeg and pineapple. The finish has me wondering what is making my gums feel dry. Acidity is on pointe and the creme brûlée reappears. Fantastic wine. 93 points and for $55 I have to go with 5 stars. It’s not for everyday, cellar a bottle or two and open on a special occasion- mine was Thanksgiving. Salut….
Rich purple hues in the glass with classic Bordeaux notes on the palate. Cassis, lovely oak and dark cherry are dominant on the nose. On the palate it is slightly thinner than expected but its litheness is appreciated. Plums, blackberry reduction, black olives and charcoal dominate the initial palate. Very lithe tannins peak on the mid palate with very slight acidity countering them. The finish is where the astringency kicks in with black tea, black currants and spice box. This wine is drinking very nicely now and will improve over the next 10 years. 92 points and 4 stars for this $55 Grand Cru. Salut….