My friend Tracy got this at Trader Joes, for $8. I am absolutely blown away. Seriously delicious, with cellaring capacity and yummy flavors. Opaque, purple, inky. The nose is exactly what I expect from a 7 year old Bordeaux- some cassis, cedar, earth, game and black plum. Tertiary flavors are coming out whilst primal fruit is still very fresh. The palate is silky with nicely integrated tannins, a touch of acidity and layered fruit. A medium length finish makes for a delicious, tidy package of rich fruit and good structure. Yummy stuff to drink till 2025. 91 points! Yup, for $8 at TJ’s, this is probably my bottle of the year when it comes to QPR (quality price ratio). 5 stars, only cause I can’t go 6. WAY TO GO! Salut….
Every 28 years or so, I drink some of this stuff….. You see, when Moxie and I got married, she bought 130 small bottles and removed the labels in a bathtub full of water. She hand made labels with our names, the date and some curly-hues plus a green ribbon. The bottles were placed in front of every guest setting at the reception as a parting gift. We kept one bottle, the label has faded , the ribbon fell off and the contents are probably vinegar. So, on the anniversary of our magical day we happened to be in a liquor store and bought a 4 pack of 187 ml bottles, plastic bottles to be precise- for old time’s sake. Today was beach day and it was hot. We were ordering Thai food for dinner so I popped a few of these little charmers and we thoroughly enjoyed them for what they were- light, refreshing, a touch sweet and cheap as hell. I wrote up the notes for my course, here they are. (I can’t even rate this stuff to be honest, just sit back and enjoy one). Salut….
Sutter Home White Zinfandel NV, California 9.5% ABV
- Appearance- Deep Salmon color.
- Nose- medium (-) intensity with aromas of strawberry, orange peel, acacia, honeysuckle and wet stone. Youthful.
- Palate- medium sweet, medium (-) acidity, low alcohol, light body, medium intensity flavors of strawberry, orange peel, honeysuckle. Medium (-) finish.
- Conclusion- acceptable quality, drink now, not suitable for aging or further aging.
I know, it’s crazy that I selected this wine to taste- long story. What’s even crazier is that I actually enjoyed it! Refreshing after a hot day at the beach and at 9.5% -a welcome change from the last few bombs. A 4-pack of 187ml plastic bottles. Such a bargain at $6.50! Paired with Thai food for the win.
Decent shade of color, medium opacity. On the nose I get purple fruit and charcoal. With a bit of swirling it morphs into raspberry. The initial palate has some nice black cherry and oaky char with a certain warmness to it. Fine grained tannins immediately show up and carry me to the mid palate which turns the fruit back to that plummy, purple note I caught on the nose. The finish is medium length, tannic and features more fruit and a dry black tea. Overall I’m enjoying this wine for what it is- a weekday quaffer that won’t break the bank. I would pair it with spaghetti, moussaka or even ratatouille. 87 points and 4 stars for this $8 offering, drink till 2021. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass with barely traceable legs. The aromas spilled over when I swirled the glass. On the nose I am sensing that candied licorice that I don’t care for. I also get pine and eucalyptus. On the palate, it is decent for an $8 bottle. I wasn’t expecting much complexity but this one has some nice primal fruit flavors of blackberry alongside anise, cedar and wood smoke. What it lacks in structure it makes up for with fruitiness and verve. A decent drink that has a trace of tannins, a bit of acidity and an easy going quaffability. 86 points would be generous but at this price, it’s good for a BBQ or a day at the picnic site. Drink now. 3 stars. Salut….
Medium purple with a bluish hue. Dammit, that sugary, oaky nose that I really dislike just hit me. Red sweets, twizzlers and cotton candy. On the palate- pretty much the same but with some decent acidity to brighten things up. Very lithe tannins are barely perceptible. This wine is the quintessential bbq drop. Easy to quaff, bright fruit, pleasant enough and capable of pairing with smoked or charred meats and sweet/tangy sauces. It’s not my cup of tea but should appeal to many. Drink this 86 point wine in the near term. $8 all day long make this a 2 star wine. Salut….
Lighter shade of purple. On the nose I get a strong cassis note which intrigues me. Black fruits abound along with a cherry wood hint. The palate is delicious, slightly tannic but very interesting. Dark fruits galore with some bramble, a mintiness and coffee bean. I cannot believe the complexity of this $8 wine which made me review my previous notes from October 2016. I gave it 90 points back then and stated that it was young. It still is young, but it has developed substantially. You will not go wrong with this wine if you like grippy, tannic wines, like Tannat, Nero D’Avola or even Pinotage. Thick and juicy, heavy accented and most definitely made for the longer term. I am sticking with 90 points and 5 stars. I think I will be back to buy more. I served it with chipotle marinated skirt steak, salad and some Alfredo pasta. Salut….
$4…. Yup, even though it’s only 375ML (half a bottle). I could not help myself to try this Portuguese blend of Touring Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Alfrocheiro. As much as I love the wines from Portugal, they seldom appear in smaller stores, restaurants or places I would be traveling to.
This wine is inky, which bodes well for me! The nose is somewhat muted right now, but there are signs of black fruit, tar, charcoal. The initial palate has very precise flavors of black berry, kirsch and creosote. The wine is precise, with more black fruits on the mid palate that parallel the fine grained tannins and barely perceptible acidity. The alcohol is low at 13% which merits mention. The minerality of this wine pops up towards the finish and shows off graphite, charcoal and licorice. The finish has a nice ending of blackberry alongside the drying tannins. I’m going to agree with the 90 point rating it got and give it 5 stars for the value here. I can think of several pairings, but am enjoying it so much all by itself that I won’t bore you. Drink till 2022. Salut….
I normally find good value in Portuguese wine. This one was only $8 and sports a 90 point WE score. Very impressive.
In the glass, it is thinner than I was expecting, more opaque. On the nose I get black berries and bramble. A hint of earthiness peeks through as well. On the palate is where it’s at. A much more concentrated wine than I was expecting. Dark plums, sweet black berries and some very gentle acidity to go along with the very well integrated tannins. The mid palate is super smooth and delicious, more of the berries plus a hint of capsicum. The finish is really nice with some very fine tannins that are barely perceptible. The fruit lingers for a while and the acidity tapers off. Overall this is an outstanding wine, worthy of the 90 points and for sure a 5 star effort. I will be buying more. It is a blend of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional. Serve now with grilled Chorizo, eggplant baba ganoush or even a moussaka. Loving it. Salut….
I’m in Japan and wanted to enjoy something red in my hotel room. I found this bottle at what looked like an Import Gourmet shop. I paid 1280 Japanese Yen for it, but it can be found for $8 USD. The notes: See-through pale purple that gives away the extraction of this wine. On the nose- subdued hints of dark cherry fruit and a touch of leather. Very hard to discern from a straight glass (no wine glasses in the hotel room!). On the palate I’m getting some black fruit and telltale Sangiovese notes. The wine has a refreshing acidity and a slight dryness from the well camouflaged tannins. The finish is short but decent, leaving behind some tannic components that grip the gums. This wine is relatively light in extraction, easy to quaff and a decent sundowner. 84 points make this a 2 star wine. Would I buy it again? Negative. Salut….