Bright yellow in the glass.Nose of floral and tropical fruits with some elderflower.It almost smells sweet….
On the palate it is dry, crisp and full flavored.Stone fruit, flower blossoms and pineapple.There’s a green almond hint on the mid palate and medium acidity on the jaw.I picked this wine to pair with Sous Vide chicken confit- the crispy skin is going to go beautifully with this rich, full bodied Chenin Blanc that gets89 points and for $ 20- 4 stars. Drink till 2024. Salut….
This Pinot is pretty opaque for the varietal. A lovely shade of ruby with watery legs that give clue to the low 13% ABV. On the nose I get spice box, red cherry, pomegranate and cranberry. On the palate this wine is a touch tart and lacks any discernible tannins- not that I am complaining. I like Pinot with a touch of sourness and no dryness, makes for a crisp mouthfeel. The red fruit flavors are quite pronounced and balanced but I also get blueberry on the mid palate. I like the weight but the finish is a touch short. This bottle has what I really like in Pinot Noir- elegance and lightness with freshness and not too much oak influence. It is seductive and lithe, maybe not very complex but it delivers lots of fruit flavors. I would drink this one till 2025, perhaps pairing with Duck or Strip steak. 89 points from me and at $20 it’s a good deal that gets 4 stars. Salut….
This week I am focusing on New World wines for my course. I have selected this bottle to kick off the festivities and here is my official tasting note for class:
Clarendon Hills Grenache ‘Romas’ 2011, Australia 14.5% ABV
Appearance- Deep ruby with thick legs.
Nose- Pronounced aromas of red plum, raspberry, blackcurrants, chocolate, coffee and smoke. Developing.
Palate- Dry, medium acidity, medium+ tannins, high alcohol, medium+ body, medium+ intensity flavors of raspberry, red plum, chocolate, coffee, licorice. Medium finish.
Conclusion- good quality, drink now but has potential for aging.
I have drunk many different vintages and varietals from this winery. Their Syrah mimics Rhone wines rather than jammy Shiraz. This particular bottle of Grenache was somewhat one-dimensional and lacked much development, even with 10+ years of aging. It was very tasty but had a bit of astringency that bothered me.
It ran me $30 per bottle and I am going with 89 points- kind of disappointing, I know. 2 stars, hopefully the other bottles show better as the original pro review gave it upwards of 95 points. Drink till 2030, served mine with grilled Hangar steak and Chimichurri. Salut….
I picked up a few bottles of this summer stunner from Costco for $15 each. Served well chilled on a hot afternoon it was delicious, light and fruity. It is medium salmon colored and has a delightful nose of orange peel, nectarine, lemon and peach. On the palate I also sensed acacia. Medium acidity and a medium body lead to a refreshing mouthfeel. The finish of this dry blend of Grenache and Cinsault was relatively short and crisp. I really enjoyed it and for the price, this 89 point wine gets 4 stars. Drink this summer! Salut….
As I practice writing notes for my wine class I am trying to get the format correct and use only the approved words from the lexicon they gave us. I know it’s not my style, nor do I like the restricted descriptors, but hey- it’s only temporary till I pass the tests. So, bare with me as we taste this $18 smooth sipper from out west that gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. Salut….
Appearance- hazy deep garnet.
Nose- medium (+) intensity, aromas of plum, blackberry, white pepper, cinnamon, coconut. Developing.
Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium body, medium (-) tannins, medium (+) flavor intensity of plum, blackberry, white pepper, coconut. Finish medium (-).
Conclusions- quality level is good, can drink now but has potential for aging.
A very smooth Syrah with some bottle age that is at peak now.
I was in my local wine shop the other day and came across this aged Tempranillo in the clearance section- for $ 23. I couldn’t pass it up, a Reserva FFS. In the glass it is slightly hazy, but a deep shade of ruby that I can barely see through. The nose is classic Spain- brambly with ink, huckleberry, sweet blackberry, smoky oak and a dusty component. The palate is a touch dry right off the bat, the tannins never got the message to settle down after 8 years. It’s a full onslaught, drying the gums and overpowering the fruit initially. I finally work my way through the astringent quagmire and start to enjoy the black and blue fruits. The tertiary notes are starting to appear with some leather, charcoal and black tea developing on the mid palate. The finish is a really dry affair with the tannic grip almost too much. I pity the fool who doesn’t like ’em dry. There is a decent acidic component but it is overcome by the tannic structure, a little out of balance methinks. This medium weight wine will pair (begs for) a fatty cut of meat, think Ribeye or Lamb chops. I would consider cellaring some for a while to allow the wine to mature even more, say till 2028. Right now the balance concerns me a bit and it will detract from the scoring, I would hope it softens over time. 89 points and 3 stars. Salut….
I was reading about Biodynamic farming today in my wine course so naturally I was tempted to try one. This particular wine is an Aussie Shiraz from McLaren Vale that runs 14.5% ABV, typical. They like to wring the heck out of the juice downunda. It shows in the glass- deep purple with big tears. The nose has rich plum, bakers spice, blackcurrant and a whiff of the heat. On the palate it reverberates the dark fruit theme with spiciness alongside chocolate powder hints. It is opulent yet not overly jammy, as can be the case too often in Shiraz. The mouthfeel is very round and warm, the alcohol noticeable on the mid-palate. There are some lithe tannins and a modicum of acidity – very balanced in my opinion, even if on a smaller scale. The finish is short to medium and certainly fruit forward, it’s nice. This wine will drink nicely till 2026 and pair well with roasted meats. 89 points from me and at $18 per bottle, its gets 3 stars. Salut….
I am a huge fan of this winery, their Don Melchor being my introduction to good wine. The Marques de Casa Concha line of wines offers great value for everyday drinking, the Cabernet used to be my house wine back in the day. I drank gallons of the stuff. When I saw this Merlot, with a bit of bottle age, I had to rekindle my love affair.
It shows medium garnet in the glass, a hint of the aging process. The nose has a gamy scent alongside figs, ripe plum, leather and bark. The palate is still youthful and juicy. A nice tart welcome with blackberry, plum and leather greet me alongside very integrated tannins. The acidity is definitely present yet very balanced between the fruit and tannic structure. This wine runs 14.5% ABV, which I got a whiff of on the nose. I am now also getting a hint of it on the mid palate. It does give the wine some body and heft, alongside the generous fruit. The finish is short to medium but it carries the structural components for a while, the dryness lasting a good long while on my teeth. I wanted a Merlot to try and pair with some Duck breasts I am rendering and then roasting, this may do the trick as there are ample tannins and acidity to help cut through the fat, plus I am whipping up an orange sauce to drizzle. This wine has a few years of age already but will drink nicely till 2025 methinks. I paid $18 and consider it an 89 point wine worthy of 4 stars. Salut….
Last up at the virtual wine tasting #18 was this Tempranillo. In the glass it is mostly opaque and a dark claret in color. The nose was a bit of a shocker to us…. figs, dried fruit, mulberry. It was port-like and not very fresh and inviting. On the palate it was gamy with vanilla, dried sage, cedar, bramble, dried fruit and ‘Plummy potpourri’ from one of the group. The wine has slight tannins and low acidity. It was a bit of a disappointment to me and I gave it a scant 13 points on our 20 point scoring sheet. Technically speaking, it got 89 points from me, and at $17 it is worthy of 3 stars. But wait…… I re-tasted it after a while and upped my score to 15+. It grew on me and the funkiness dissipated somewhat, allowing more fruit to come out versus tertiary notes. It is fully mature at this stage and needs to be drunk asap, but I’m not sure of pairings. The flavor profile is very advanced and not what I would want to drink with dinner. An interesting wine for sure compared to the ’04 Beronia I loved. Salut….
I wanted to introduce the Dolcetto grape to my group of virtual tasters. This bottle was only $15 and got decent reviews and a 90 point rating. Unfortunately it was not a huge hit with the crowd. I noted it was 75% opaque and had a nice shade of purple in the glass. The nose came with cherry, raspberry, rhubarb, blackberry and pepper. The group got flavors of cherry, almond, strawberry, a touch of smoke and some meatiness on the palate. I wrote down- medium tannins and very juicy acidity. I think the acid component and somewhat lighter body was the detractor for most. We have been tasting some pretty heavy duty bottles in our group and the finesse and lighter style of the Dolcetto may have been overlooked in expectation of another big, brooding wine that is so imposing in the glass- quite the opposite of a young Brunello. I am close to the pros on the rating, giving it an 89 points. For the price- this s a decent Tuesday night drop that won’t break the bank, just pair it with some pasta and you’ll be fine. 3 stars for me. Drink now. Salut….