I have become more and more enamored with Brunellos and more importantly the Sangiovese grape of late. I find it a very close parallel to Pinot Noir, which has also risen in my interest. This particular wine is see-through and a light shade of purple. The nose is somewhat muted but I do get some stewed cherry and not much else.The palate is quite lithe with some delicate cherry notes, a touch of cinnamon and some fruit cake. It is very shallow on the flavor depth which makes me wonder if I have an off bottle. The acidity is of medium strength and there are some very light tannins that appear on the mid palate. The finish is mainly Kirsch and some mushroom, bacon and forest floor. It gets better but I am a little surprised at the high scores from some pros versus the lower scores of others. I am going with 88 for this particular bottle but will try another one soon to check on provenance. Drink till 2028. For $60 it’s a 2 star effort. Salut….
In Magnum, I was hoping for a repeat of last years tasting of the 2008 Cab Franc. Dark purple, medium opacity. Nose is exquisite- plum reduction, oaky warmth, tobacco and leather. On the palate it shows purple framboise, some cassis, more tobacco and that delicious tertiary note of leather. The midpalate has a touch of tart cranberry compote alongside the flavors already noted. The finish is medium length, fresh and a touch tannic. This wine is at peak now. Drink till 2023. 91 points and 4 stars. Available from the winery as part of their library collection for $180, or $60 for a regular 750 mill- wow. Salut….
Number 4 in the line up, it followed a hard act. This is Drew Bledsoe’s brand (NFL QB).
Medium opacity in the glass. The nose starts off with a lot of wood. I swirl and swirl to finally get violet, damson and stone. On the palate it is quite young, bracingly tannic and somewhat shut down for business. What I do coax out of it include plums, fir tree essence, mocha. The finish is very dry and decent in length. 90 points is a decent score for this winery’s first vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. At $60 it’s a step up from everyday drinking wines, but it gets a decent 90 points from me and 4 stars. I would cellar it for a while and drink from 2020-2037. Pair it with some hearty grilled meats, Venison or even Osso Bucco. Salut….
The second bottle at the wine shop tasting…. unfortunately not a good sample.
A dark red in the glass, more serious for a Pinot Noir. The nose is off as the wine has been open too long- however…. the palate offers a much richer expression of dark red fruits and cinnamon. No rating as it would not reflect well. However, a search on the web shows it available for $60 and gets decent 90+ scores. Salut….
Just looking at it I see a brooding monster. It is nearly black, fully opaque and taunting me. The nose is – wow.
Black cherry, plum jam, black currant and sassafras. The initial palate is thick with dark fruit compote, plum ganache, luscious oak and tannins that are en pointe. Plums really come out on the mid palate alongside a cedar shake note. The tannins start to grip and by the time I get to the finish they have me licking my gums. The dryness lingers forever and my teeth feel gritty- I’m loving it. This is a delightful sensation in the wine appreciation sense.
The finish, dry as hell, also features a mint meets eucalyptus oil note which I find intriguing. This is a delicious, structured wine that will cellar for the mid term but is drinkable now if you like some bite. 91 points and 4 stars for this $60 effort. If you like sunny Napa fruit and bold Cabs, this one is for you. Serve with a juicy steak or a roasted leg of Lamb. Salut….
The last time I tasted the 2009 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon was in 2014. This bottle was cellared until now. I’m doing up a Tri-Tip roast on the grill to accompany it alongside some sautéed asparagus and heirloom tomatoes.
It shows a very dark, brooding purple in the glass, which is what I expect from a powerhouse Napa Cabernet. The nose is lush, plummy, full of fruit and a touch of oak. After another swirl I also get blackberry in waves. On the palate this wine is absolutely amazing. Layers of black and blue fruit, finely grained tannins and a balance so precise between the acidity and dryness. Ripe plums, sweet blackberries and vanilla bean are very concentrated. Great extraction of fruit without overdoing it. I just read the label, 85% Cab Sav, 9% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and a dash of Petit Verdot- which makes this a classical old-school Bordeaux blend. Malbec being the kicker, they don’t use it much these days over there.
The mid palate of this wine exhibits plum pie, black olive and some coffee bean. The tannins start to reveal a slight astringency, but I am still digging it. The finish is medium in length with more of that coffee thing I caught earlier. Meat is what this wine begs for. Roast it, grill it, braise it…. 92 points from me for this $60 beauty. 4 stars. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
This is the second wine of Ducru Beaucaillou, and comes from the good 2010 vintage. I have been given 2 bottles from my buddy, it’s Friday night and there are Porterhouses that need some company.
It looks somewhat murky in the glass, somewhat opaque in depth. The nose is classic Bordeaux. Cassis, leather, tobacco, dark fruits. I am excited. The palate offers up delicious Claret flavors, black berries, tobacco, cassis, leather and that classic terroir that you only get from the region. The wine transcends the whole palate with the same flavor profile. Tannins are well integrated and the acidity is barley noticeable, but balanced. The wine has a decent length finish that keeps giving that Saint Julien terroir. I am really enjoying this wine and it is drinking on pointe. The steaks are going to pair beautifully, alongside the roasted Sprouts, Radishes and Beetroot. I am going 92 points on this wine, it is rich, full bodied, flavorful and will age for another 10 years. $60 is not a cheap price, but when the moment arrives- this is a great wine to pop. 5 stars from me. Salut….
My buddy brought this wine, which I was really excited to try. Unfortunately, it was a major let down. Color was right but the nose and flavors were earthy with a tar note. I did not bother to write further as I was really tired and just wanted to relax. Overall, I would have given this wine 86 points and probably a pass for the $60 price tag….until I read some more posts about it on the web. It rated very highly with the pros and sells for its price point, so maybe I got an off bottle. I will reserve further judgement until I get another opportunity. Too bad. Salut….
An invite to my old college buddy’s house revealed this bad boy waiting to happen. We started with a Merlot I had brought and moved into this one shortly thereafter.
Nearly black in the glass with a nose of black berries, black cherries and oak, but in a mild mannered way. The initial attack is bold, bright and tannic. Tons of dark fruit, cassis and espresso. The mid palate is somewhat muted by the tannins which push through to the finish where they really shine. The balance is slightly off between the acidity and fruit being overcome by the tannins- give this wine a few years in the cellar. 90 points from me which coincides with WS. RP gave it 93 points, I can’t see that personally. Delicious wine but pricey at $60 per bottle make this a 3 star effort and worthy of cellaring for that special occasion. It would rock a well marbled Ribeye, Leg of Lamb or in our case- homemade Meatballs in a Marinara sauce. Salut….
One thing I love about the Fall is cooking Sunday Roast. Being half English, it’s in my blood to bang out Beef, roast veggies, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. The Brits wouldn’t serve up such fare without a bottle or two of Claret (Bordeaux red). I switched it up a touch and went west, to Napa. This wine was simply amazing.
Huge nose of violets, plums and blue fruits from a beautiful purple-hued glass. Big mouthfulls of black plums, dark currants and absolutely gorgeous tannins greeted me right off the bat. Perfectly balanced with a hint of acidity and a polished finish that lasted forever. I later got olives, fig paste and perhaps a touch of eaucalyptus. This is a stunning wine. 93 points for me for this $60 effort make it a 4 star wine. Salut….