The third SplashWine in the lineup is a Merlot from Spain. It’s a dull shade of purple and nearly see through. On the nose I get cherry, raspberry and oregano. On the initial palate it is somewhat sweet with cherry juice, more red fruit melange and tart acid. The mid palate is not so sweet and the proper flavors come around. Raspberries and sour cherry are more like it. The wine finishes quickly, with some red fruit, crunchy tartness and a trace of tannins. 83 points from me and 1 star for this $12 wine. Salut….
Light to medium density in the glass. A lighter shade of purple that offers up plum, star anise and a stony minerality on the nose. On the palate, it is somewhat sour and lacking in upfront fruit. I have to coax some dark fruits, mainly plum out of the midpalate. There is a herbaceous component that disjoints the wine coupled with volatile tannins. The lack of fruit bothers me somewhat. The overpowering dryness is quite dominant making this wine not very pleasant nor technically very good. 83 points- a pass of 1 star, save the $15. Salut….
I really look forward to Portuguese wines. I normally find them to be full of flavor, with good structure and interesting profiles. This one was on sale for $14 and relied heavily on past vintage points awarded. It starts off very promising with a rich deep purple in the glass. Nose of bramble, blackberry and earth. The palate is initially a little light for me. Black cherry, more blackberry but that’s about it. The mid palate is one dimensional, offering a dusty blackberry note and not much else. The finish is slightly dry with some tannins finally appearing. This wine is too thin for me, not extracted enough and lacks any long term cellaring. I don’t think it is a repeat purchase. 83 points and 1 star from me. Salut….
This wine rounded out our trio of Sunday Cabs-with-Football. I recognized the label right away when my friend poured us a taste. I wrote my notes based on this bottle and just now looked up the previous vintage that I tasted. Yup, I hated the Magistrate 2011 just as much as I disliked this offering. Sorry, but candied plums and oak again make me realize that there are far too many nasty wines out there that are merely juice with oak chips and tannin powder. This one in particular had a slightly lighter body with purple fruits and wild flowers with slight tannins and a hint of acidity. 83 points and 1 star. Major pass, yet again for this $13 bottle. Salut….
It’s been a whirlwind 10 days, starting with a trip to Reno for the annual Air Races followed by a night in Truckee with friends before my flight over to Asia. I returned home for one night before heading to Florida for a memorial service for one of my best friends. I am sitting at the airport waiting to go home now and have a few minutes to review the amazing wines that we drank over the course of the last two weeks. This particular wine was on the United flight to Reno, so it doesn’t really count as airplane wine is about as good as airplane food.
From the newly renamed Pays D’Oc classification of the southwest of France this is a charming little wine that does the job it’s supposed to do. It started out with no nose- airplane air can do that to a wine, especially if it’s served in a plastic cup. No worries, I wasn’t expecting one. Slight flavors yet interesting with a melange of blue fruits and some crunchy cherry. Tart acidity and mellow subdued tannins show up in the composition of this wine that has a finish of herbs and yellow plum. I can imagine this wine as a workday country lunch jug wine- very serviceable and getting a respectable 83 points from me. I believe it can be had for about $5-6 per bottle, I happened to pay the trumped up $7 per 187.5 ml on the plane. It’s hard for me to justify a 3 star rating for an 83 point wine yet I feel compelled to do so based on it’s quality price ratio. Salut….
I saw this bottle in the shop and noticed it’s low $8 price tag, but I was on a mission so I passed. Lo and behold my buddy showed up with it later in the afternoon. I believe it hails from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France where they grow tons of Syrah grapes. This one looks to be a co-operative wine. It started off with a slightly oxidized nose of purple plums and a scent I had never encountered in wine- grape bubble gum. I was intrigued and sniffed for a good 5 minutes before I could pinpoint it. Since I have never smelled it in wine nor have I ever seen it used as a descriptor I was curious about the taste. Candied plums and maraschino cherries are what hit me. I kept getting a whiff of alcohol as well but the bottle only registered at 13%. Very slight tannins were evident and the balance was slightly off with a tartness. This is probably a decent picnic wine for an afternoon of cucumber sandwiches and fried chicken on a blanket in the park. 83 points and 2 stars. Salut….
I picked this Languedoc blend up for about $9 for a casual drink with the boys. I knew nothing about it except its origin and vintage. I guessed at the blend, 50% Syrah with the rest being Grenache and Mourverdre. I initially got some red cherries on the nose which later turned somewhat oxidized. A certain phenolic component also came through after the bottle had been open for a while. On the initial palate I was rewarded with straightforward flavors of kirsch, red currants and a rubber component akin to car tires (kinda weird, I know). The structure of this wine is very basic and meant for easy, short-term drinking with very little tannins but decent acidity. The wine took on another dimension as I mentioned with some air time, it became more rustic with that oxidizing nose which did not really bother me. I have another bottle which I will try, reporting back with any major deviations. I would think this wine is a solid 83 points and 2 stars in my book. It’s hard to find decent wine for under $10, but this bottle should do in a pinch, even with its mid-bottle morphing. Salut….
I have had this wine in previous vintages and bought it on reputation…. Mistake.
I was bewildered by it’s pale red color, it appeared watered down. On the nose, strawberries and cherry got me excited, only to be let down by the thinness of this wine. It really was not what I had hoped for. It provided some enjoyment as we fired up the grill on a hot and humid evening, but I could not imagine it standing up to the grilled meats we were about to devour. Luckily we had a Shiraz waiting in the wings…. 83 points and 1 star.
I just couldn’t coax much out of the glass for a good whiff…. So I dove in. Slightly hot and our of balance, I’m not liking this wine.
Carmenere is usually made well, at a good price point. This one is disappointing. After a million swirls of the glass, I’m starting to make out dark berry and it transcends to the palate.
The alcohol is bothering me. 2 stars. I would give it 83 points if anyone cared.