Pale straw colored with some effervescence in the glass. The nose is fruity and aromatic with orange blossom, yellow apple, rose water, quince and and lemon/lime soda. The palate is semi-sweet with medium (-) acidity and smooth, easygoing bubbles. The flavors include orange, lemon/lime soda and some quince. The rose component is lost past the nose. The bubbles make the wine seem airy, the body is definitely light and the finish is balanced and surprisingly long at medium. Crisp and relatively fresh, if not a touch too sweet for my liking, this is a wine that needs to be drunk well chilled on a hot afternoon, basking away in the sunshine and nibbling on charcuterie. 88 points from me and for $12 it’s a 4 star effort. Salut….
Pale lemon-lime colored with a watery sheen on the glass walls (12.5%ABV). The nose of this aromatic Torrontes has intense aromas of papaya, apricot, geranium, honeysuckle, mandarin oranges, white tea and bergamot. Intriguing! The nose smells of ripe, sweet fruit so there is a preconception that this wine will have some sweetness- au contraire. It is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (-) body. A touch bitter right off the bat, the flavors of apricot, geranium, white tea and honeysuckle carry through to a medium length finish that I am enjoying. I’m really starting to like this varietal, it is very tasty with crisp acidity and holds many interesting flavors and aromas. 88 points from me. I am serving it as an aperitif while I cook dinner. It would pair with a Cobb salad, poached chicken on quinoa or even a hard cheese board. For $13 it’s a 4 star effort. Drink now. Salut….
Pale garnet colored, this 13 year old Pinot Noir is starting to show some age. The nose is too. Baked cherry, dried strawberry, caramel, chocolate powder, orange peel, vanilla pod, figs and raisin compote- very layered with primary, secondary and tertiary aromas. The palate is bone dry with medium (+) acidity and low tannins. Flavors of dried and stewed red fruit with caramel and cocoa powder dominate. It’s not as rich or complex as the nose was indicating. Light bodied it carries through to a short finish that is comprised of tart cherry, cranberry and some caramel. I was hoping for more from a 1er Cru Burgundy- 88 points with a drink till 2024 window. It would normally run $50+ and therefore gets 3 stars from me. We are pairing it with roast Turkey and all the accompaniments. Salut….
Pale lemon-lime colored with a watery sheen on the wall (11.5% ABV). The nose is of medium intensity with aromas of green pear, lemon/lime, white blossom, brioche and firm pineapple. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (-) body. Tart fruit with lemon and lime kick off the show with pear and flower petals rounding it out. I’m a little surprised that this wine is so crisp and lightweight considering it was aged Sur-lie. I don’t get any autolytic flavors, just the initial aroma of brioche from this Melon De Bourgogne varietal. Must be from a cool vintage that struggled to ripen, hence the lower alcohol and sharp acidity. Overall a tasty drop to pair with pan roasted Pork cutlets and potato puree. 88 points. For $15 it’s a 3 star effort in my books to drink till 2025. Salut….
Primitivo is also known as Tribidrag and Crljenak Kasteljanski in Croatia, but more common to us- Zinfandel. This Italian bottle has a deep ruby coloring and thick legs. The nose is pronounced with aromas of black cherry, licorice, charcoal, black pepper, black plum and dark currants. The palate is dry with bracing tannins and a good dose of acidity. There is an astringent and green sensation that is immediate on the attack, downplaying the fruit. When I finally get to the flavors- dark fruit with charred oak notes and licorice. Medium to full bodied it has a medium length finish. It’s a young wine that needs cellaring or decanting/aerating. I am pairing it with spaghetti and meat sauce, probably the best choice for this very dry and tannic red. 88 points from me and for $16 it gets 3 stars. Drink from 2024-2028. Salut….
This wine is deep ruby colored with thin, piercing legs that move slowly indicating a high alcohol level (14.5% ABV). The nose gives me vanilla and dust right off the bat. Pomegranate, black plum, açaí, clove and sarsaparilla come next. The palate is dry with medium (+) tannins and medium (+) acidity. This full-bodied wine has flavors of bramble, black plum, pomegranate and oak by way of vanilla, clove and a charcoal note. Typical for the region I get dusty, earthy hints and the wine goes on to a medium length finish. The fruit doesn’t taste fully ripe to me, it’s somewhat green unfortunately and this will cost it a point or two. The structure is there but the finish is quite astringent. Perhaps a decant is in order? I’m roasting a Rump Steak with all the trimmings, it should pair nicely. For $17 this 88 point wine gets 4 stars. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Pale ruby with a hint of red on the edges. The nose has medium intensity aromas of raspberry, rose petal, red cherry, baking spice, pomegranate and red currant. The palate is dry with low tannins and high acidity. Flavorful- it has a medium body and I get candied cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, red currant and baking spice. The balance is nice but the wine finishes a bit short. I like it and would pair it with roast chicken, grilled Mackerel or even baked Salmon. 88 points and for $13 you can enjoy this 3 star wine till 2025 whilst tasting the sunshine of the South of France. Salut….
From the South of France comes this blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan that is deep ruby colored and seriously opaque. The thick, blobby legs warn of the incoming 15.2% ABV, watch out. The nose, once the alcohol blows off, gives me aromas of ripe blackberry, tons of vanilla, blackcurrant pastis, black licorice, clove and ripe blueberry. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, full body and heady flavors of black and blue fruit, lots of oak nuance and a somewhat astringent mid palate streak. A short finish closes it out. The impression I get is that this wine has some ripe fruit quality along with lashings of oak yet they allowed the green stems to unbalance the wine with that bitterness. A shame, because it started out on a high note for me. 88 points for this $28 wine makes it a 3 star effort to drink with grilled Lamb chops. Drink till 2028. Salut….
A Tempranillo wrapped in a sack? Yup, and for $14 you too can get this 88 point Rioja that is a medium ruby colored with slow moving legs. The aromas and flavors include the classic blackberry bramble, dust, musky perfume, floral garden and light, toasty oak. Medium (+) acidity coupled with medium a body and medium tannins make for a nice mouthfeel. Not a stunner, it will be very serviceable for everyday drinking and should pair really well with tapas, Moussaka and pasta dishes. It runs 14.5% ABV, so be careful out there. Not cellar-worthy so drink this 3 star wine soon. Salut….
Deep ruby colored this Tempranillo has medium (-) intensity aromas of baked plums, earth, blackberry pie, leather, baking spice and bramble. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and medium tannins. The body is full and I get the expected dry earth, bramble, blackberry and spice flavors- it’s nearly textbook Rioja minus a bit of intensity and a touch more acidity. They back end has a charred cedar note and it finishes a bit astringent on the gums. It’s a serviceable wine that runs $15 and gets 88 points from moi- 4 stars to drink by 2026. Salut….