Purple, nice. Mint, plums, wintergreen on the palate. Very interesting. The palate is fresh, young and tannic. Blue fruits, sasparilla and cedar dominate. Fine-grained tannins are evident but not overwhelming. On the mid palate I get a strong blueberry component along with cedar. The finish is short to medium in length and offers blue fruits, gentle tannins and some mild acidity. This wine is rather basic, bland and thin. It offers short term pleasure but is not age worthy. Drink now. 88 points and 2 stars for this $50 Third-growth Margaux. Salut….
Solid, dark and brooding. On the nose it is somewhat muted in this particular glass but I managed to coax black cherry, olives, cinnamon stick. On the palate it is much more defined, albeit a bit tannic at first. Plum and black berries come out with some nuttiness to go along with the mouth drying tannins, which are rather forceful by the mid palate. Figs, a touch of oak and some more blue fruits tie it up with a mid length finish. The wine is young, the tannins are quite untamed. I would give this wine another 2 years in cellar and drink from 2020-2028. 88 points and 3 stars for this $19 effort. Salut….
I’ve tasted the 2010 Spellbound and liked it. For dinner tonight I ordered it as I wasn’t in the mood for a big pricy bottle. It was $33 on the menu, the cheapest offering at this Bay Area steak house. Dark, inky purple in the glass as is to be expected for the varietal. The nose offers black fruits, bramble and dusty tannins. The palate gives me a nice, easy drinking black fruited wine with easy going acidity, smooth, lithe tannins and a nice dose of sunshine. This basic wine offers much gratification, lots of primal flavor and a great mouthfeel. 88 points and 5 stars for this $12 effort that I enjoyed quite a bit. Salut….
The Mencia grape, grown in Spain primarily, yields fresh early drinking wines. They say it is a fragrant varietal that mimics Cabernet Franc, which I love. This particular wine is indeed aromatic, but not in a very fruity way, it kinda stinks to be honest. I cannot pinpoint the aroma, but it smells like wet socks. I fear for the worst- TCA, which is a cork taint. It is harmless, theoretically. The wine itself is decent, showing off red fruits including raspberry, red currants and some slate. The wine is steely, as in no oak. It has a nice minerality and shows the red fruit streak throughout. It is easy drinking and not built for the long haul. What it lacks in tannic structure, it makes up for freshness. The acidity is but a hint. This wine will pair nicely with pizza, grilled lamb chops with mint sauce, or even Chorizo. I am going 88 points on this corked wine and hope you all get a better example. For $13, it is a potential steal but for now, 3 stars. Salut….
I have harped many times about the quality and price coming out of Portugal. Always good, rarely pricy- you can count on it in a pinch. This Port is part of my study into the fortified wines of Portugal. I am having fun doing it and have discovered some really tasty, near $20 dessert style wines that have really become part of my after-dinner ritual. This one starts out very dark purple in the glass and has a nose of sweet verbena, dark fruit melange and oaky blueberry reduction. The palate shows off a slightly lighter style of Port, black cherry, dark fruits and stout oak. On the mid palate I get cedar plank, dark berry and a tannic streak. The wine is tasty, but slightly dry and dusty. I’m enjoying it and hope it develops. For now, 88 points which is in stark contrast top the whopping 94 points it got from the big boys. Perhaps it needs some time, or else I need to recalibrate my palate fifty these wines! I recommend some soft cheese, and maybe something stinky like Cambozola to go with this one. I might have to get another bottle to cellar. Priced at $24, it gets 3 stars initially, hoping for 4 at a future tasting. Salut….
Dark blackish purple in the glass. An interesting nose of sweet dark plums, sasparilla, oak and ginger. On the palate I get very precise flavors of plum ganache, dark chocolate, violets and the beginnings of some very fine grained tannins. The mid palate shows a bitterness I can’t figure out. The tannins however really kick in. The finish is a really strange compilation of blueberry pie, oak, astringent tannins and that odd bitterness. It detracts from the full potential of this wine and makes it an 88 point wine IMHO. I paid $12 and give it 4 stars. I would like to re-taste in a few years, perhaps it will mellow out and gain some balance whilst losing the bitterness. Salut….
If you read my previous post on the 2015 Cono Sur Cab, you will recall that I ended up with two different vintages from the store. The 2016 is much darker purple, more extracted with heavier oak on the nose which disappoints me. I don’t like too much of the stuff.
On the palate, a much different story. Rich, thick plums alongside blackberry jam and oak shavings. The midpalate offers up black fruits and a tapenade note. The finish is short, with some black fruits and gentle tannins. This version is not as balanced and smooth as the 2015. It’s still a good deal though and should be on everyone’s party stocking list. I’m thinking dry rubbed ribs, burgers or even shish kebabs would pair nicely here. 88 points form me and for $9, 4 stars all day long. No picture taken BTW. Salut….
A very purply purple, quite distinctive. The nose is very fruity with plums, black berries and cedar shavings. On the palate I get more black berries, but also some red currants and a vanilla bean component. The mid palate has more of the black berries and some bracing acidity. Tannins are very integrated and mild, when they appear on the tail end. There is a slight bitterness to the wine that I find odd. It’s not tannin related, which is unfortunately a distractor. This wine is going to rock the Strip roast I am cooking in the smoker, along with some Artichokes and a tarragon mayo. I am going with 88 points on this wine, which I paid $20 for. A decent wine once past the bitterness. It may just be me as it got 91-94 points from various pros. It gets 2 stars from me unfortunately. Salut….
I don’t exactly recall buying this wine, but I think it was a last minute grab at the wine store. It looked interesting with its blend of 49% Viognier, 26% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Grenache Blanc and 6% Princess (Never heard of her).
A golden yellow color in the glass. The nose is what I was expecting, very similar to Conundrum White, another blend of similar grapes. Melon, grapefruit, and a touch of lemon are the key components. On the palate I am tasting raw almond, citrus and kiwi fruit. The acidity is very mild and the wine has a nice mouthfeel. There is a certain butteriness that hits on the mid palate. The finish is rather short, but leaves a trail of acidity that carries on for a while. I am really enjoying this wine, it was made for sipping, summer and cold cuts with an olive tray. I will go 88 points on this $15 wine which makes it a 3 star wine in my books. Drink now till 2019. Salut….
It’s pasta night and I need a Sangiovese. This one happens to be ready to go on my daily drinking shelf and I am excited.
In the glass, the color is a pale, see through reddish purple- reminiscent of Pinot Noir. On the nose, strawberry and cherry, just like Pinot. The palate introduces me to delicious strawberry and capsicum flavors, but I get a dose of heat right away. A quick glance reveals a 14.5% lurker here.
The wine transitions on the mid palate to more strawberries and a red raspberry jam. The alcohol still permeates though and I am not sensing much in the way of tannins, until the very end. The finish is where they appear, very well integrated but lacking a good dose of acidity, just more heat. The wine is delicious, yet unbalanced and I fear it will not hold out well in the cellar, which is a shame as I would love to revisit this one in 10 years. 88 points, the structure and excessive alcohol being detractors. I really do enjoy the flavors though. For $28 it is a 2 star wine for me. Salut….