Pale lemon in the glass this Gewurztraminer has a pronounced nose with flavors of rose petals, melon and lychee. On the palate it is a touch sweet and rounded with lychee flavors and a slight astringency. The mid palate gives me some honey to go along with the strong lychee flavors. The wine is full-bodied and the finish carries on the floral and tropical fruit notes for a short to medium length finish. 89 points for me and for $14 this is a really good introduction to this varietal that gets 4 stars. At 13% alcohol it’s an easy quaffer for an afternoon by the pool. I would pair it with spicy dishes all day long. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I have just signed up for some formalized wine training. In the package that I received from them is a systematic approach to tasting wine guide that I’m supposed to use when I drink wines. This will be my first attempt at using such a guide, but I will revert back to my old ways every once in a while. I tasted the 2017 version of this Pinot Noir previously and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope I get as much bang for the buck out of this newer offering.
Intensity is pale, the color is ruby and the nose is of medium intensity with primary flavors of cherry, strawberry and cinnamon stick. The pallet is off-dry in terms of sweetness with medium acidity, low tannins, low alcohol, light body. Light flavor intensity with primary notes of more cherry, strawberry, rooibos tea and spice box. The finish is medium in length and I find this wine to have acceptable if not good quality. On my own scale it gets 89 points with a drinking window till 2026. Serve with lighter fare such as chicken on the grill or a linguine dish.The use of oak is very deft here but it’s evident by some cloves and a bit of smoke on the tail end. At $ 12, it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Easy to drink, easy on the wallet- by the case for immediate drinking! Salut….
I’m an old fan of this winery, having been a tasting room member at one point. This Cabernet hails from Columbia Valley. It is a touch murky with medium shades of purple in the glass. The nose has steeped plums, charcoal and blackberry pie. The palate is really yummy- if not at peak, it’s close. Ripe plums, cedar, black berry and espresso. The mid palate is very refined with very well integrated tannins and good acidity. The dark, mature fruit theme continues but what impresses me the most is the mouthfeel. It is really full, rounded and balanced. The finish is very juicy, the acidity really gripping at this point. The prune and blackberry flavors fade after a decent amount of time but the tannins hang on to my gums for an eternity. Lovely stuff that gets 89 points from me. It should be drunk sooner rather than later and for $17, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
This Sauvignon Blanc is very pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I get lemons, D’anjou pear, green apple and honeysuckle. The palate is lively and fresh with citrus notes, that green apple hint and some floral interjection. Not overly tart, there is a core of acidity that keeps the wine fresh. The finish moves away from the focused lemon and pear notes- getting a little more body and a hint of minerality. Tasty stuff that will serve well with my baked Salmon and Ahi tuna steaks. I am going with 89 points for this $26 effort which makes it a 3 star effort. Drink chilled till 2025. Salut….
I enjoy Pinotage quite a bit. It’s a grape that was created by cloning Pinot Noir and Cinsault. This one is semi opaque and a lovely shade of purple in the glass. The nose gives me chocolate, espresso bean and blackberry. On the palate it is very fruity with black currants, black cherry and dare I say- coffee. There is a richness to this wine that I am really enjoying, full bodied with rounded tannins and good acidity. The mid palate goes old school with some smoke, dust, jerky and brooding dark fruit. I am missing the acetone flavors I normally associate with this varietal, it’s kind of unique. The back end is dry, dusty and has nice tannins to finish. I like this wine and would pair it with almost any meat dish, perhaps even pasta. 89 points from me with a drink till 2025 window. At $21 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
I asked the group to decant this Nebbiolo for several hours before we met for tasting #15. I did not want to fight with a tannic beast and felt it best to go against my norm and give it a chance to soften. As expected from this varietal it was see-through with nice legs and showing a touch of bricking already. On the nose we got truffle, pepper, chocolate, dried cherry, tobacco, earth and it smelled ‘dry’. On the palate it was kinda blah. Tart cherry, tobacco and not much else going on. It was very disappointing from the hype generated by the reviews. I was hoping for a rich, beefy wine that would show off the grape but was let down. Overall I will go with 89 points and 2 stars for this $34 wine. Drink till 2028. Salut….
In the glass this Cabernet is bright purple and 50% opaque. The nose gives me blackcurrant and coffee bean. On the palate it is quite rich with blackberry coulis, spice box and cedar. The mid palate has nice rich fruit, a touch of acidity and some lithe tannins. The black fruit theme continues as does the coffee. The finish is really tasty, a touch dry with a hint of acidity. Th mouthfeel is really wonderful, not cloying, dry or tart. Rich, warm fruit with some underlying structure make for a decent medium term drinking window. I like it and am going with 89 points. For $15, it’s a good deal and gets 4 stars from me. Drink till 2025 with grilled meats. Salut….
Third up at our virtual tasting event was this Grenache blend. I had high hopes for another stunner from CdP but alas, you cannot hit home run after home run. This wine was semi opaque and had notes of toasted marshmallow, candied raspberry, plum, black pepper and stone fruit on the nose. Someone in the group decried “A beautiful, pretty smell”. Someone else said it was flowery. The palate gave us spice, rich black raspberry, cigar smoke, licorice and a streak of minerality. I scored it a paltry 8.5 of 20 but for some it was a huge hit. I’m not a fan of sweetness in red wine, the candy theme is not to my taste, hence the low number. Technically speaking I gave this $45 wine 89 points, the pros went much higher at 92. It gets 2 stars from me. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Pairing spicy food with wine is pretty simple really, stay away from all reds. Riesling is the go-to normally, but I have played around with Sauvignon Blanc with great success and tonight will be trying out a Gewürztraminer with Thai red curry Chicken. The wine has a nice medium tone of yellow and the legs are very sheet like in the glass. On the nose it has that telltale floral note with melons, peaches and rosewater. The palate is very delicious with honey, peaches, tangerine and some tartness. The mid palate is more citrus driven with pomelo and tangerines alongside a hint of raw almond. The finish is long with the floral notes returning. The acidity as a whole is quite lithe with this wine which is typical of the varietal so the mouthfeel is a quite full. I am enjoying it pre-dinner and wonder if the lack of much bite will hinder the performance against the rich, spicy curry.
It was a winner! The curry was not overly hot, but very flavorful. The fruitiness and floral components of the wine were a great match. I added a heaping dollop of red chillies to test the match, it worked out great. This wine is delicious and will drink well till 2025, pair it with something fresh, something spicy, seafood, chicken or just pop it with some charcuterie. 89 points and for $19 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
When I cook spicy Asian foods I am looking for crisp, fruity wines to offset the heat and allow the flavors to shine through. Typically Riesling is a good choice but I am leaning on Sauvignon Blanc now as I find it more versatile with the myriad of spices that are used in Korean, Indian and Thai cuisine. This particular Kiwi version is a very pale gold in the glass. The nose is very interesting- cut grass, lemon peel, apricot and kumquat. The palate is delicious with tropical fruits galore and a medium jolt of acidity. I’m still getting kumquats, but now I also taste star fruit and pineapple. The mid palate had a nice cut to it and the finish is decent in length with the tropical fruit theme continuing. This is a delicious wine folks and at 12.5% alcohol, it’s easy to drink. The structure makes for an easy drop without being too acidic yet it has a decent bite, important for spicy dishes. I think I picked right for this pairing but I would also put it up against a hearty charcuterie board, grilled Garlic Prawns, Salmon on the grill- you get the idea. At $13 this is a buy-by-the case wine that gets 89 points and 5 stars from me. Drink till 2024. Salut….