Deep lemon color, bordering on gold this dry Riesling has got 5 years of bottle age and I’m looking forward to some tertiary notes. On the nose I get ripe, tropical fruit- passion fruit, pineapple and honeysuckle. Tertiary notes of orange marmalade and orange peel, honey and the aging hints of ginger and toast. Th palate is delicious. As mentioned, it is a dry wine that has no residual sugar, as is made obvious by the 13% ABV which gives this wine some nice body. Good acidity is held in check by the weight of the fruit and I taste all the above plus chamomile tea. Oh my, this is a scrumptious wine that is only just starting its journey. I was hoping for that telltale petrol note, but alas , this wine is still young for a Grand Cru Riesling. That note will probably take another 5 years to appear. The finish is long and honeyed. This is good stuff that will drink nicely till 2036. I’m pairing it with shrimp and salad. 94 points from me for this $60 wine makes it a 5 star wine, glad I bought a few. Salut….
I attended a practice blind tasting last night for the WSET Level 3 exam. One of the wines we drank was this Chardonnay. It was obvious from the first whiff that this was a Cali doozy. I wrote that the wine was a medium shade of lemon and had a medium (+) intensity nose of……. toast, butter, bread, acacia, melon and banana, I found it youthful. Read those descriptors again. There is no mention of citrus or stone. The palate was much the same in flavors with medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and was obviously dry in nature. This is a developing wine with plenty of potential to age. I thought it was good to outstanding and would think it gets 92 points. At $60 a pop, this highly rated (94-95 by the pros) wine gets 5 stars.
My initial reaction to smelling this wine was that it had been worked over pretty hard. When I say that, I mean it went through Malolactic Conversion/Fermentation and I even thought it had been treated Sur Lie. I was right. The winery notes mention both processes and explain why it was sooo buttery, with heavy doses of bread, toast etc. It’s not my style of wine, but I took the half bottle home to revisit it. Paired with a rice and chicken dish it did okay, but the overpowering tertiary notes are really not up my alley. If you like a rich, full-on Napa/Sonoma Chardonnay with gobs of upfront tertiary notes, go for it. At least try it once. Drink till 2030. Salut….
This was the last bottle of our 19th Virtual Wine Tasting. Intense purple in the glass- this wine had a rustic nose with earth, barnyard, dill, dried herbs, blackberry, cedar and dark fruit jam. On the palate the group got toasted marshmallow, jam, Angostura Bitters (?), blackberry, black cherry, cedar and dusty earth. My initial reaction was that this wine was yummy and very smooth. It is very balanced and the tannins are so fine grained it gives a beautiful mouthfeel. Richness and complexity galore make this an excellent wine that gets 94 points from me. At $60 it’s a pricy one for sure, but worth every drop. 5 stars. Drink till 2030 with grilled lamb, shish kebabs or pasta. Stunning Tempranillo and one of the best we have had in our tasting group IMHO. Salut….
It’s not often that one gets a 20+ year old bottle of wine pulled out of a farmhouse and opened for an evening drink, but that is exactly what happened here. I was privy to the rest of the bottle that my friend Annie carefully decanted, in hopes of making magic happen. Whilst this one may be over the hill it certainly offers much for enjoyment. Very dark and opaque with a touch of bricking- it is showing its age yet still has something to offer. The nose is full of prunes, mushrooms, leather, game and forest floor. There are no primary fruit flavors left and the tannins are fully melded, the wine was being held together by the last vestiges of acidity that allowed it to over-perform its drink-by window. With no provenance indication, it is hard to tell when this bottle entered its mature stage but I was surprised that the tertiary flavors were so palatable. I have had many a wine that was over-the-hill and needed to meet the drain asap, this one was not the case. We drank the whole bottle, enjoying what nuances we could get from it and marveling at the fact that it runs $60 per bottle for current vintages yet performs like a far more pricy Napa Cabernet (No pricing exists for this vintage). It is unfair to score this grand dame, suffice to say- she has outdone herself and shined in the development arena and deserves kudos for lasting this long. Share your hidden gem stories! Salut….
Dark purple and more opaque than I was expecting for this Pinot Noir. The nose has extracted black cherry and spice box, quite interesting. I also get a hint of bergamot and some deft oak notes. On the palate it is very smooth and delicious. Rich cherry, strawberry extract, spices and cedar. The mid palate shows a little bit of sour cherry which leads into an acidic finish that is making my jaw water. I find it difficult to discern tannins in this varietal but I do get a hint of some well integrated ones. The finish is long in length and echoes that Cherry theme from the get-go. The acidity is very much in play on this wine keeping it fresh and delicious. I’m going with 91 points, with a drink-by 2027 window. For $60, it’s a bit pricy and gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
The fourth wine of the #10 Virtual tasting was a home run for me. This $60 Grenache was silky smooth, layered with flavors, complex and had an amazing mouthfeel.
It was semi opaque and had a lighter purple shade in the glass. The nose was very fruity with notes of Cedar, prunes, black cherry, smoky meat, pepper and cinnamon. One taster also threw in ‘bug spray’. On the palate it was very smooth and tasted ‘cold’- in a sense that this wine was very focused and had a concentration of flavors. It was Moxie’s favorite wine of the night and she’s not a huge fan of the reds. The tannins are what I think she liked- very fine grained and well integrated leading to a not-so-dry mouthfeel that was complex, balanced and chock full of red fruits and spice. Prunes showed up on the medium length finish. This wine was astounding to me, my first truly remarkable CDP in forever. I think the 5 years of cellaring was the key to softening this wine and allowing the tertiary notes to begin their emergence. I rated this wine 19 points on my tasting scale, a monster effort that translates into 95 points in the real world. The pro’s went 94, not far off. I know sixty bones is a big step in the wallet but well worth it for an exceptional wine that I award 5 stars to. Drink till 2030. No pairing needed, delicious all by itself. Salut….
The third Magnum of my Barboursville vertical was well worth the wait. After breaking the wet cork the bottom half fell into the bottle, that was the only negative. In the glass this 10 year old showed bits of floating cork, semi opaque red to dark red color. On the nose- tobacco, leather, ripe plum, licorice and a whiff of alcohol. On the palate it gives off a mature palate of secondary flavors already mentioned, some well integrated tannins, cassis and dark blueberry compote. Delicious, aged correctly and offering a mix of fruit and tertiary flavors. There is a nice acidity, not overbearing but just ever so present on the long finish. Nice mouthfeel, good structure and juicy fruitiness makes this a 91 point wine. Available at the winery for $180 in large format, it has paid dividends. 5 stars for yet another example of great Virginian Cabernet Franc. Drink till 2025. Salut….
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….