I’m cooking Beef Bourguignon which calls for a Pinot Noir, preferably from Burgundy. As luck would have it I happen to have two bottles of this $10 South of France wine ready to go. The skeptics will question whether you can get decent Pinot for that price- I’m here to report. It looks about right: pale, see-through ruby. Medium density aromas of primal red cherry, pomegranate, stewed strawberry and a spice note. Not overly complex, but interesting nonetheless. The palate is very pleasant with red fruits including cherry, light tannins, medium acidity and a decent length finish. Very little if any oak was used here, freshness and price were probably the prime considerations. I like it for what it is and considering most of it will end up in the stew- I think it works great! 87 points from me makes this a 3 star wine to be drunk asap. Salut….
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….
My assignment this week for tasting wines included this Old Vine Zin. The format and lexicon of descriptors is very limiting so I must add that this was not my favorite wine. It had a very astringent mid palate and the overpowering whiff on the nose was annoying. It can be had for $25 and gets 87 points from me. I can’t figure out where I got it from though. 3 stars, trending to 2. Drink now till 2025 with some burgers or ribs. Salut….
Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2017, Napa Valley, CA 15.0% ABV
- Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
- Nose- medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackcurrant, black plum, blackberry, licorice, white pepper. Youthful.
- Palate- Dry, high acidity, medium (+) tannin, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity with flavors of black plum, blackberry, jamminess, white pepper with a medium (+) finish.
- Conclusion- good quality wine that can drink now, but has potential for aging or further aging.
Why do I keep drinking such alcoholic wines? I had to blow into the glass for a few minutes to get the alcohol to dissipate. Not as jammy and peppery as most Old Vine Zins I have tasted but still yummy.
My buddy Keef and I sat out on the patio last night and enjoyed this Cali Pinot. It was medium ruby in the glass with a medium intensity nose of funk, steeped cherry, lavender and blueberry. Definitely not your typical Pinot nose, Old or New world. The palate is more raspberry and cherry. The funk does persist on the mid palate though. The acidity is medium (-), and there are very fine grained tannins lurking. The lack of primal fruit and the overwhelming funk is a bit strange to me. It’s a very young wine to have started it’s transition by shedding primary fruit. 87 points from me and 2 stars for this $56 bottling. Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. On the nose it is very fruity with bright blackberries, dark cherry and red twizzlers. The palate is very fresh with lighter black fruit notes, some cherry cola and vibrant tannins. The finish is simple yet full of fruit flavors and a modicum of tannins. There is a good dose of acidity that keeps it lively. This is meant for immediate drinking and will go well with marinated sirloin or pasta with red sauce. 87 points and for $14 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
As I was ready to check out at my local wine shop I saw this lone bottle with an interesting label. It was on clearance for $13, but the reason I bought it was the name. Moxie and I at one point in our life owned a store with a very similar name. I thought it appropriate to at least give this blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre a try.
It has a somewhat murky edge to it in the glass and shows a touch of bricking. On the nose it is still lively with raspberry, pomegranate and charred cedar notes. The palate is rich and spicy. There is a shot of red fruit alongside some very crispy tannins and a hint of acidity. The mid palate is dry and offers me another taste of red currants, pomegranate and raspberry. The acidity really kicks in on the finish with quick some vigor. The well resolved tannins are surprisingly still evident and I get lots of fruit from this rather basic wine. I would have thought it over the hill by now but it is charming, interesting and still fresh. I am going with 87 points but would drink sooner rather than later. Not much will evolve from here on in. 4 stars are warranted. Pair it with burgers, spaghetti Bolognese or even some grilled meat. Salut….
I harvested a Deer a few weeks ago and had the butcher make some Spicy Sausages. Having never tried them I was at a loss for a wine pairing until I came across this blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah. I have had the Amado Sur before and this seemed the most likely candidate. Dark purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get candied strawberry and red licorice. The palate is a touch darker in the fruit department with black berries, dark cherry coulis and bitter plums. There is a whack of acidity to this wine but a medium serving of tannins. Perfect for my pairing, as Venison is very lean and we are pairing this with pasta and Vodka sauce, which is somewhat creamy. The mid palate is really juicy and I have quickly forgotten/forgiven that stlightly sweet nose profile which I really don’t care for. The finish ends abruptly but not before I get that bitter jab again. It’s an issue IMHO. Overall this is a decent weekday pop-n-pour and it serves my needs tonight. 87 points make this $14 wine a 3 star effort. Previous vintages that lacked the bitterness were better BTW. Drink till 2022. Salut….
This Chilean Cab is bright purple and nearly opaque in the glass. The nose is very black raspberry driven, almost over the top. Red licorice and candy notes come into play as well. On the palate it is a dark fruit melange with oak influence and a hint of sweetness. It sounds funny but whilst a touch sweet it also has a good dose of tangy acidity. Greenish tannins go straight for the gums with astringency galore. The mid palate tastes of sour black cherry and blackberry, an interesting take. The juicy finish lets up some on the dry factor, letting the fruit shine through. I am cooking up some Lamb Merguez sausages to pair, I think that will work nicely. Drink this 87 point wine till 2024. At $20 it’s a three pointer. Salut….
Pale yellow with a combo of medium and large bubbles. On the nose l get biscuits, some green apple and grapefruit. The palate is medium dry with good fizz. Yellow apples, a touch of citrus and more of that biscuit flavor all meld nicely with the bubbles on the palate. The wine lacks any serious acidity but it drinks nicely at our Thanksgiving brunch. 87 points and 4 stars for this $13 quaffer. Makes a great Mimosa btw. Salut….
Once a year (the third Thursday in November to be precise) the French release the Beaujolais Nouveau. Super bright shade of purple, totally opaque. The nose is very fruity- black cherries, blackcurrants, cherry cola and sassafras. The palate is lively with lots of purple fruit, gobs of acidity and some licorice notes. Primal, this wine is meant to be drunk right away, yet it seems to have a bit of stuffing in there that may allow it to cellar for a year or two. There’s a sour cherry note that carries this wine through to the medium length finish. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The Nouveau movement started as a marketing ploy, got very popular in the 80’s and waned a bit of late. It’s a fun, basic wine that is nearly perfect for Thanksgiving and is easy to drink. Gamay based wines are served by the bucketload in the bistros of Paris, normally chilled ever so slightly they make a great red for a hot summers lunch. This one will fill that role nicely in the coming 12 months. 87 points. $13 and 3 stars. This brand changes the label every year, cool stuff. Salut….