My friends Arty and Keef opened this bottle for a pre-Thanksgiving drink. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon this Napa jewel has Merlot and Cab Franc blended in as well. Deep ruby in the glass the nose gives me currants, black cherry, charcoal, plums, black currants- a pretty complex set of red and black fruit aromas. Super smooth on the palate with lithe tannins and easygoing acidity that makes for a great mouthfeel. Red and black fruit flavors, charred oak notes, chocolate powder and a medium finish with super fine-grained tannins. Yummy stuff to drink till 2027. 92 points for this $65 wine makes it a 5 star treat. It needs a Filet or some other lower fat cut of meat. Salut….
As summer comes to a close I am looking forward to some hearty reds yet still have a few chilled whites to taste- here goes as we are having sushi tonight and this Chablis might just fit the bill.
It’s a medium intensity lemon color with a nice citrus nose compounded with pineapple, blossom and wet stone- it’s a steely affair as expected from this region. The palate is crispy with juicy acidity. This Burgundian Chardonnay is a dry wine that has a good body and quite pronounced flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit and pineapple. The stony, mineral component is most definitely apparent on the mid palate and the wine finishes with good length. I like the floral notes throughout and nearly wince at the acidity- it’s very crisp and tangy. A perfect match for seafood, especially a Mackerel sushi. I am thinking it is a 91 point wine and at a retail price of $65, it’s a rather steep but delicious white to enjoy till 2028. 4 stars from me, Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
Continuing on with the Birthday weekend celebration Moxie took us out for the most enjoyable dinner at my favorite restaurant. L’Auberge Chez Francoise has been a local fixture for over 40 years and is consistently the best dining I have ever had. Their wine list is extensive and meets all needs, but I really wanted to take two bottles from my cellar for the momentous occasion. We started out with the 2008 Brainaire-Ducru, which runs about $65 currently. I did not write notes on the wines, only a memory of the experience.
I was a little dismayed at the thinness of this wine. It should have been at peak but instead I found it lacking much fruit, secondary flavors or even much tannic structure. I enjoyed it for what it was and would give it 90 points and 3 stars. We drank it with Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, then the salad course. Salut….
If you know me you will remember that we are moving. I transferred most of my wine into a climate controlled storage unit, but kept about 50 bottles in the wine fridge. Some are really nice, pricey and supposed to be for special occasions. Oh well, they are getting polished off now. I include this particularly good wine in that group. Bought for $65 and cellared since 2014 I am looking forward to comparing it to my earlier review.
It shows bright purple in the glass with a nose of plum ganache, black tea, figs and a touch of oak. On the palate it is super smooth with a tannic bite right upfront. Flavors of blueberry compote, plum, anise and black olives. The tannins are pretty forceful as the wine transitions to the mid palate. A dryness hits the gums and makes me pucker up. I do like that some times! The plum theme continues on to the long finish where I also get cherry cola and another touch of oak. The tannins peak at the very end, and the acidity balances it all out. Overall, a very nice package that has matured nicely and is drinking perfectly now. Not an everyday drinker, I would certainly pull this out for a special occasion. 93 points holds and 4 stars awarded. Tonight we pair it with Tomahawk Pork Chops, Flat Iron steaks, a Bratwurst, some Cauliflower Cheese and grilled Broccoli. Salut….
I have been sitting on this magnum for quite a few years. I sat it upright a week before Christmas and popped it for the grand occasion. I was immediately greeted with a full nose of aged Bordeaux joy. Cassis, leather, dark fruits and fig compote. The initial attack is rather tannic, in fact- full on. I decided to run the next glass through the vinturi. The fruit is lively and melding with earthy notes, cassis, tobacco and some leather. The dark fruits really come through on the mid palate. I get even balance on the back end and no hint of alcohol (13%) which is interesting as 2003 was a super hot vintage. Many chateau suffered from stewed flavors and short lived wines. This one, from a large format, is just starting out. You can find it for around $65. The pros gave it 91/92. I agree with that and give this wine 5 stars for its complexity, aging capacity and enjoyment factor. I think I have another one waiting in the cellar! Salut….
Wowsa, this is a huge, delicious, complex, layered, smooth killer of a wine. I wrote that it was purply purple in the glass, can you picture it? Like really beautiful purple hues dancing in the Riedel. Initial nose of heat but then layered plums, blackberries and a hint of eucalyptus. Long, drawn out introduction of plums, blue fruits and raspberry coulis that are wrapped in gorgeous tannins and a hint of acidity. The mid palate is a seamless extension of the upfront fruit and it glides into a long finish. This is one complete wine that absolutely rocks. The combo of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon has never been my favorite but it works so well in this wine. The skillful way in which they have coaxed all this fruit and finesse while hiding the 16% alcohol is amazing. I served this bottle up with some charred/blackened Ribeyes, which was a perfect pairing. I would love to get more and sit on them for another 10 years or so. Pricy at $65, it is a treat to open one of these for a special occasion. 95 points from me and 5 stars, this one is on my radar. Yet another stellar Mollydooker wine from Mclaren Vale, Australia. Salut….
Sundays in the fall are for football and Roast Beef. Being half British means I need a weekly dose of Yorkshire pudding, gravy and tender beef served up with delicious wine. This week was a first for me. I have never cooked a Strip Roast. It was magnificent, cooked perfectly and juicy to the last morsel. The rub was key, garlic, olive oil, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. I could go on, but this is more about the vino.
This Napa Cabernet was quite simply stunning. Nearly black in the glass I knew I was headed to an extracted, rich, complex world….
Plums and eucalyptus greeted me on the nose and my first impressions were spot on. Napa all the way, with gobs of plum, blueberry, black berry and mint on the initial attack. A very slight touch of wood adds complexity to the whole package. Extremely fine grained tannins just coat the mouth, perfectly. Balanced acidity make for a great mouthfeel that leads to a long finish of cola and blue fruits laced with espresso. I would easily award this wine 93 points, drinking between 2014-2020. You know what to pair it with, just fork over the $65 and get going. This is the fourth Merryvale I have tasted and I am really becoming a fan of their wine. I think this wine merits 5 stars. I wish I had more so I could watch the evolution, I bet it’s gonna sing in a few years. Salut….