It’s been a while since I drank some of this old perennial favorite. This vintage shows dark purple in the glass. On the nose- charcoal, blackberry and fig. The palate is very pleasant and easy drinking. There are blackberry notes, tar, wintergreen and crunchy tannins. They dry the gums immediately but not excessively. The mid palate is much the same, black fruits abound. The tannins really go the distance and lead me to the finish of blackberry pie meets a slate. There is quite a bit of minerality alongside the tannic thrust. The wine is well balanced and well made. There’s a reason I drank a crapload of it in the early days, it offers good value for money. Drink till 2025 with a nice NY Strip and creamed spinach. I’m going 88 points and 5 stars for $9. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass, it is crystal clear. On the nose there’s lemon, melon, pear and lychee. The palate echoes those flavors from front to the finish. There is a unique mouthfeel, effervescence, without the bubbles. The acidity is in check but not shy. It adds depth and cut. The Chenin Blanc varietal is widely found in France and South Africa. Differing climates produce variations on the flavor profile but this grape is very enticing, versatile and delicious. I am going with 88 points and 4 stars for this $9 offering that you should drink till 2022 with grilled chicken, sausage and mash or even smoked salmon. Salut….
This rose’ is quite dark, almost orange in the glass. On the nose I get Lychee, rose water and strawberry. The palate is crisp, with red berries, strawberry and honey. There is a vibrant acidity which is in check that gives the wine a freshness. The honey component carries through the mid palate where I get more red berries. The finish is decent with a lingering tartness alongside that strawberry component. Overall a very charming and easy drinking summer rose’ that begs for burgers, some salami and olives or just by itself poolside. 88 points and 3 stars for this $12 Grenache from France. Drink till 2020. Salut….
Quite dense and opaque purple in the glass. The nose has blueberry, iodine and espresso. On the palate it is quite sweet with creme de cassis, vanilla and butter. There is a hidden astringency from the very fine grained tannins. The midpalate glides along with the blue fruit theme and finishes with a short burst of tannic thrust that leaves the gums a little quenched. 88 points, drink till 2021 with lighter fare. For $9 it’s a pretty decent buy and gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
Pale straw color in the glass for this 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir blend. On the nose, strawberry and cherry flavors mingle with nutmeg. On the palate I get much more fruit flavor than I was expecting, it is lush and vibrant with more strawberry, a trace of rhubarb and capsicum. The mid palate shows a touch of acidity and some minerality. The finish is of decent length and much the same for flavors. Refreshing and satisfying describe this 88 pointer from South Africa. Yours for $10 makes this a 4 point wine that will pair tonight with roast pork shoulder and spiced Basmati rice. Drink till 2020. Salut….
Very thick purple color. On the nose it’s all blackberries with a hint of nutmeg. A strange one for sure but I like it. On the palate it is a touch thin but tasty. Blackberries and black currant make me think this wine will develop into a cassis laden beaut if cellared for a few years. There is a delightful tannic grip that builds as I transition to the mid palate. An oak component that hits me on the mid to back end, adding depth to the black fruits that are still prominent. However, a touch of black tea alongside some astringency on the finish that makes me wonder. Overall this is a nice wine with potential. It’s drinking young right now unless you fancy a pretty dry drop. Cellar till 2022 then drink for seven more years with steaks, pot roast or even moussakka. 88 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
This is the first of several notes I made when I visited Murietta’s Well Winery in Livermore, California. I was greeted at the entrance by the hostess who offered me a glass of this. Medium yellow in the glass with a great, fresh nose of melon, lemon curd and pineapple. On the palate it’s a little thinner than expected but still very fresh. Lithe acidity. 88 points and 2 stars for this $26 blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Orange Muscat, Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat Canelli. Salut….
I have previously drunk two or three bottles of this stuff without taking notes. I figure it’s time as this is the last bottle I have. It has a medium purple complexion and is mostly see-through. On the nose I get black berries, Ribena and tar. On the palate it is very straightforward Cabernet. Dark fruits, good tannic backbone and some juicy acidity. There is a plum tart component that hits me on the mid palate which is quite nice. The tannins really grip on the back end and give me that dry gum sensation. A decent drop for quaffing that is rather limited in dimension yet is approachable and drinkable right away with some cellaring potential. Pair with burgers, steaks and pasta. Not bad for $15. 88 points makes it a solid 3 star wine. Salut….
Quite dark but still see through in the glass. The nose gives off black cherry, blackberries and bacon. On the palate there’s black fruits, a hint of almond, lithe tannins and a balanced acidic component. The mid palate is kinda blasé, it’s just a continuation of the initial palate. The finish gives me rooibos tea with some tannic bite and a cherry licorice note. A decent wine that I would pair with Salmon steaks, Shish Kebab or Alfredo. 88 points and $16 put it in 3 star territory. Salut….
A deep purple wine with medium opacity. On the nose it is lush, full of ripe plums, graced by a deft hand of oak and blackberries. On the palate I get a more licorice and coffee initial attack. The dark fruits appear on the mid palate. There is not as much plum as I had been led to believe, but the juicy acidity makes me forget quickly. The tannins are lithe, making this a drink-now wine. The finish is more tart blueberry than blackberry. Somewhat short in the backend. A tasty wine that merits 88 points from me. For $20 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2021 with some burgers, pizza or lasagna. Salut….