Moxie and I took a trip to Austin and a nearby resort recently. On our drive out of town, headed to Hill Country we stopped at this quaint winery and enjoyed the wares. The drive off the main road was down a near-single lane country road with cattle fencing and massive Texas cows. We ended up drinking most of the offerings which seem to have Tempranillo as the common varietal. My favorite was the Cabernet/Merlot blend and we did not care for the sparkling wines- way too yeasty. The winery offers a tasting of grapes grown on property or wines from sourced fruit. Overall it was a very pleasant afternoon, lazing around with a full glass of red after working through the list. I gave rough scores and tried some note taking but in the end these are 85-87 point wines that retail for between $20-$40+. A fun place to go if you are in the area. Salut….
This Grenache/Syrah blend is very dark purple in the glass and 75% opaque. On the nose I get telltale raspberry plus red currants and red licorice. The palate is quite dry right off the bat and a touch austere. As I work my way through the black tea notes I discover raspberry and cherry cola. The mid palate is very tannic but I still get red fruit and now- black licorice. The finish is a long and dry affair, the tannins really gripping my gums. There is a touch of bitterness all through the wine that bothers me somewhat, perhaps a bit of decanting or aerating would soften it up? I think this is a basic wine that will do well paired with hearty meat stews, especially Lamb. It gets 85 points from me and at $11- 3 stars. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Quite dark and brooding in the glass. The nose is somewhat muted but I managed to swirl some black cherry and cassis. The palate is basic with black and blue fruit notes, gentle acidity and mild tannins. The mid palate is a little hollow but I do get some plum and blueberry notes. The finish is rather short but the tannins hold on for a while, not overly dry but present. A weekday wine to pair with pasta or pizza it gets 85 points from me. Drink till 2022. This unique Argentinian red nlend of Bonarda, Malbec, and Syrah cost me $21 and gets 2 stars. Salut….
This was the last wine in tasting #9 of the Virtual Wine Tasting Company. It’s a blend of Corvina and Rondinella with 30% of the fruit undergoing a drying process prior to vinification. This style of winemaking is very prevalent in Amarone wines so I was intrigued to try this vino. It’s quite dark and thick in the glass, which is what I was expecting. On the nose it is quite horrendous IMHO. Asphalt, baby diaper, cat box, cat pee and tea were all notes from the group. On day 2, it’s pretty much the same for me. The palate is plummy, surprisingly light, spicy and has notes of blackberry, pepper and is a touch spicy. On the mid palate it gets a black tea note and some dusty tannins. The wine finishes a touch dry and has some plums eking out the funky notes for a last minute stand. The finish lasts a good 30 seconds but is not very pleasant. 85 points from me, perhaps this bottle is not right either? At $17, it gets 1 star. Salut….
Dark purple in the glass with decent legs showing. On the nose I get cherry and rhubarb alongside birch bark. On the palate it has an interesting taste- sour cherry meets cherry cola and bramble. It is quite sour too, not from acidity unfortunately. The mid palate is tart, with more sour cherry notes as well as some earthiness and unripe plums. The finish is where I sense the tannic impact, with an astringency that hits my jowls. This wine is one dimensional, lacking in ripe fruits and certainly not worth $20 in my opinion. 2 stars for this 85 point wine. I am at complete odds with the pros here- 94 JS, 91 RP. I must either have a strange bottle or I really need to calibrate my buds. Salut…
The last of my Kirkland test wines…. Cherry nose with some fresh cut pine thrown in. The palate continues the light cherry profile but adds mushroom and a crushed violet note. Rose water comes to mind as we transition to the finish. Overall, this is not a great wine point wise. It lacks depth, the flavors are somewhat out there and the extraction is pretty thin. I’m not sure I would buy again. 85 points and 2 stars for this $9 offering. Salut….
Of medium opacity, this blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) only clocks in at 12.5% alcohol. I paid a mere $ 6 for it and am excited to try what is proudly claimed as a 90 point WE #5 best buy 2016.
The nose is rather muted, offering up slight hints of blueberry and root beer. On the palate I am slightly surprised by what seems to be effervescence. More blue fruits and some slightly sweet notes of cola show up mid palate. The finish is rather short and the wine lacks much tannic backbone. I have to say, it is an easy wine to drink that will appeal to the relative wine noob as it does not inflict dryness to the gums and will serve its purpose at a Saturday afternoon cookout. A 90 point wine it is not. Not even close. I am going with 85 points and 3 stars for its relative price to quality ratio. Burgers, pizza and even the odd Spaghetti Bolognese would work here. Drink now, not for the cellar. Salut….
After trying the Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon I had to line up their Shiraz and make some comparisons. This Shiraz displays nicely in the glass with medium opacity, purple hues and a definite show of legs. The nose is somewhat muted even after a few big swirls. I finally coax blackberries and eucalyptus out of it. On the palate I get black fruits with a dose of greeness that is very prominent. There is a touch of cedar as the wine transitions to the mid palate. I sense very fine grained tannins approaching along with a dark cherry note. The black fruits continue on the finish but the tannins overwhelm them in the end. The wine has a strong acidity that I can sense on my teeth. The green notes I talked of earlier reappear on the finish. It’s almost like the fruit included some unripe clusters that have given this wine a certain sourness along with the over abundant acidity. 85 points from me and 2 stars for this $12 effort. Salut….
A reddish purple in the glass. On the nose I am getting blueberry, vanilla and red licorice. My initial impression is slightly tart with blueberry pie, and that’s about it. The mid palate keeps the blueberry theme alive and adds a layer of tannins and some sour cherry. The finish is bracing, the acidity and some green tannins really take over. Unfortunately, this wine is a little thin, lacks depth and is off balance. 85 points at best, but for only $9 I could go 2 stars. We are grilling ribs and corn, might just work. Salut….
Dark but opaque purple. Nose has flavors of raspberry, oak and nutmeg. On the palate, somewhat tannic and dry on the initial taste with red berries and an astringency that is somewhat overpowering. The tannins continue the dryness onto the mid palate where I get some black cherry notes, but just barely. The finish is one dimensional. For me this wine is unbalanced and lacking fruit. It could be in a dumb phase. Right now I’m thinking 85 points and for the $18 I paid it is a pass and 1 star. It’s a shame as I really enjoyed the 2014 Mission Cabernet Merlot blend which I gave 89 points to. Salut…