It’s a nice shade of see-through purple, as can be expected of this varietal. On the nose it’s a bit gamy but I eventually get ripe strawberry, cherry and twizzlers candy. The palate is pleasing with some nice soft red fruit notes. Red currants, more cherry and an interesting cedar plank note. On the mid palate I sense some juiciness, the acidity making an entrance and keeping me on my toes. The flavors get intertwined with some very fine grained tannins that are barely perceptible, yet leave an astringent coating. The finish is pretty much red fruit and a hint of rhubarb for that sour thrust coupled with a touch of oak. There is a greenness right at the end that perturbs me, but this is a nice wine that I am enjoying before cooking dinner. It will go well with roast duck, salmon on the grill or charred Filet Mignon. I’m guessing it will age for a few years, drink till 2024. 89 points from me and at $10 it’s a steal for Pinot Noir. 5 Stars- would buy again. Salut….
This South African Cab is a dark shade of reddish purple and is semi opaque. The nose is steeped in dark fruit compote, a touch of mint perhaps and coffee bean. The initial palate is very smooth with some nice blackberry notes along with espresso and chocolate powder. Very gentle, lithe tannins make it very easy to drink but conversely- it lacks structure for the long haul. The mid palate is more blueberry and plum. The finish is very fruity with nice black and blue berries to go with vanilla. There is a hint of oak influence that I am enjoying. The mouthfeel is really pleasing and I am thoroughly enjoying this wine as an aperitif. It will pair nicely with lighter fare and drink well till 2024. 89 points from me and 4 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
This Cab Franc is reddish purple and nearly see through in the glass with some nice legs draping the edges. On the nose I get a dark, brooding blackberry and smoky oak. The palate is delicious, tannic and intriguing. Black currants, black berry and violets interlaced with gum searing tannins and a modicum of acidity. If I had a Ribeye in front of me, heaven. The mid palate is bone dry yet there is a core of fruit pushing through to the back end alongside some cigar box and black tea flavors. The finish is very dry with those tannins holding on to the end. Black fruit, spice box and a plummy ending make this a memorable wine, if not a touch young. I am excited for wines from Lodi, they have made great strides in quality and this is a good example. If you like ’em dry, pour this baby now, or else let it sit until 2023. Drink till 2028. 89 points and 5 stars, I paid $10- stunning wine for the price. Salut….
I have never tasted a Zweigelt before- so I am excited. This one rolled in at $15 but I am concerned about seepage. I know screw caps are supposed to be invincible but this one was wet with a thick purple liquid on the inside of the screw cap.
The color is nice- rich purple. The nose is interesting, a melding of black cherry, charred oak, red currants and rhubarb. On the palate it is very fruit forward with very lithe tannins. It’s quite focused on red fruit flavors and some star anise. Mid palate-wise there’s a new twist with some cocoa dust, rhubarb and juicy acidity. The finish is decent in length and has a nice tannic streak that leaves my mouth a touch dry. Very nicely balanced. It’s not a very complex wine but it drinks well and would pair great with Duck l’Orange, marinated Sirloin or Lamb chops. My inexperience with this Austrian varietal makes it difficult to score but I would say it gets 89 points, with a drinking window until 2025. 4 Stars, Salut….
I don’t recall ever having a pure Graciano, it’s normally used as a blending grape. In the glass it is a pale shade of purple and is fully opaque. On the nose I get charred plums, black berries and a stewed fruit note. The palate is interesting with brooding dark fruits, oak and a vanilla bean note. The tannic structure is very well ingrained in this 9 year old bottle. They are present but not foreboding. The black fruits show up on the mid palate with a touch of bitterness, there is a green note too. On the finish is where I get some nice acidity to go with the oaky fruit compote. There is a nice dryness on the back end from the tannins. The wine is a pleasure to drink but that midpalate greeness has me concerned. This will drink well till 2025 and pair nicely with pasta, roasted chicken and certainly grilled steak. I’m going 89 points and 3 stars for the $12 price point. Salut….
Very bright purple in the glass. The nose is fruit forward with blackberries, grilled plum and purple licorice. On the palate this wine is very tasty…. delicious in an easy-going way. Blackberry reduction, star anise, ribena and creosote all feature on the opening. The mid palate gives me some charred oak, blackberry reduction and oolong tea. The finish is short to medium length- with dry notes of tea leaf, dusty mocha and that blackberry theme that has been consistent from the get-go. Overall a decent drop that gets 89 points from me as the tannins are present but won’t promote extended cellaring and the acidity is feint at best. Drink till 2023 with stews, a Lamb Tagine or beef moussaka. 4 stars for this $13 charmer. Salut….
My Virtual Wine Tasting Company is a group of friends who taste wines every two weeks or so. The goal for me is to introduce new varietals and regions to them and try to educate as best I can with my knowledge and experience. At the #7 tasting I presented the Gamay grape. No one realized that Beaujolais wines were made from this grape. We discussed regular maceration versus cold maceration and finally I talked about Carbonic Maceration used to produce the Nouveau Beaujolais. I pre-empted the tasting with a few pointers on Gamay wines- they are very low in tannins and acidity, do not generally cellar past 6 years for Cru wines and are drunk in abundance in the French Bistros. It is a lively, very fruity wine that is extremely easy to drink. Some can present decent complexity, most are basic wines. I chose this Cru that has a bit of age on it and is drinking nicely now. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be, an elegant introduction to the varietal. Some loved it, others hated it. Each to his own.
Gamy, cranberry, pepper, black cherry, blueberry and mocha were all mentioned by the tasters. The wine has little tannic grip but one can sense a tinge of acidity. Most expected a sweet wine, but I mentioned that the Gamay grape is very fruity, hence the expectation once they sniffed. This wine gets 89 points from me, the only detractor being it’s cellaring potential. I really liked it and will buy more at the $22 price point. It gets 4 stars from me. Drink now. Salut….
I was super excited to see this wine for sale being a huge fan of their Shiraz lineup. This one is more on the budget side and includes a dollop (31%) of Cabernet Sauvignon and a hint(4%) of Malbec- here goes.
Dark purple, opaque but not showing legs in the glass. The nose is briary with some poached plums, a touch of charred wood and coffee bean. The palate is very rich with black fruits, cedar box, leather and espresso. There is a hint of tannins, but loads of acidity. Very tart on the mid palate but refreshing. I start to get sour blueberry as well as the black fruit compote, leading to a bit of mouth watering. A very interesting melange of flavors and mouthfeel. The finish is medium length, tasty and really juicy. The black fruit theme continues as does that charred note. It’s a very fruit forward wine meant to enjoyed in the short term. It’s no Armagh or MacRae Wood- but it has evidence of deft winemaking and decent fruit. Enjoy till 2023 with grilled steaks. 89 points from me and 5 stars for this $15 effort. Salut….
Pretty dark and broody in the glass. The nose gives me leather, smoke and a touch of oak alongside dark plums. The palate is a bit obscure, the fruit is battling with a volatility that’s throwing me off. I do get Charcoal, blackberries, more plum and that smoky leathery component. It’s a rather interesting combo that really takes off on the mid palate, where the wine finally comes together. Medium grade tannins don’t punish the gums but give the wine a nice structure. They caress over the decent length finish that has a long, dry presence to go with the black berry and charcoal notes I tasted. Overall this wine was much better on night 2, after the Virtual tasting #6. I’m going 89 points and for $29 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Very pale yellow in the glass. The nose is very floral with strong peach and apricot notes. I also get walnut shells. On the palate this wine is very sweet- but not unctuous like a Sauternes. It’s got a silky mouthfeel but is quite refreshing as a chilled wine. Mango, passion fruit and peach all hit my tastebuds. There’s a very small trace of acidity which lends body to the mid palate. It’s a unique wine for sure- a cross between Riesling, a big Napa Chard, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Grigio. Each of which give either to the flavors or the unique mouthfeel. Lychees and tropical fruits are the finish, which is decent in length on this Moscato blend. They say to pair this with dessert- without a doubt. It’s working as an aperitif for me though. Unique style, interesting flavors and the ability to start or finish an evening make this a special wine. I love this winery and think this is a bottle you should look for. 89 points and 5 stars for this $15 treat. Salut….