Medium intensity in the glass. The nose is a bit funky, heavy on the oak and reeking of red fruits. Not particularly my favorite profile btw. The palate is very woody- raspberry and black cherry are the predominant flavors with a tart note to boot. There is a greeness to the midpalate to go along with the medium tannins. Acidity is decent and the wine balances on the finish. It’s a bit disjointed initially but comes together on a decent length ending. 88 points and 3 stars for this $11 effort. I may not purchase again as I don’t like the profile, some others may enjoy it though. Touriga Naconal 38%, Tinta Barroca 26%, Tinta Roriz 20%, Touriga Franca 14%, Tinto Cao 2%. Salut….
I have only tasted two other Kirkland branded wines. They were both just okay. This is a shot at redemption. I have purchased this bottle and a Cabernet that I will get to next week. Here’s hoping for the best!
In the glass it is of medium opacity, with a lighter shade of purple. The nose offers up plums, star anise and vanilla bean. On the palate, I am surprised and happy. Smooth, balanced and very tasty. The plums give way to blue fruits, juicy acidity and tannins that are present but not impeding. The anise flavor really hits me on the mid palate. Earthy Tempranillo hints peek out every so often and the tar component that I like in Rioja finally emerges. Decent length finish of black cherry and oak. The wine has backbone and good balance. It offers immediate pleasure with some cellaring potential. Drink with hard cheeses, a lamb stew or even some kebabs and rice. 88 points and 5 stars for this relative bargain at $7, yup, $7. Salut….
Picked this one up for $10 in Delaware, cause I was bored and wandered into a wine shop. I also happen to really like Pinotage. This one shows pretty light in the glass. It’s a pretty purple though. On the nose- textbook. Creosote, black fruit, earth and charred wood. On the palate, it is very fruity- plums, black berry and unique Kumquat note that I find very intriguing. An orange like testiness with some acidity to it. Very interesting. The mid palate has tons of that creosote flavor I associate with Pinotage. The tannins get a grip on the back end, but not overly so. The finish has an oak tinge to it along with black berry cobbler. A touch of vanilla rounds it all out. I must say, I really like this wine. It’s not very complex but it is really drinkable, is unique and is priced right. 88 points from me and 5 stars. It will pair well with the marinated Flap Steaks I have on the grill. Salut….
Another one in the value range I am working through from Costco. It retailed for $14. In the glass it is very see-through, pale and fresh looking. Strawberry, hay and some pomegranate hit me on the nose, typical for young Sangiovese. The wine is rather light on the initial palate, strawberry and some cherry juice are the predominant flavors. The mid palate is very juicy, the acidity being prominent but curtailed by some nice tannins that appear toward the finish. Basic flavors, easy to drink and priced right. I would pair it with pizza, pasta and maybe roast chicken on the charcoal. 88 points from me and 4 stars. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
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….