My son is visiting from Nashville so we decided to order some Chinese food. Faced with trying to pair reds with Mogolian Beef, Walnut Crisp Shrimp, General Tso…. I gave up and looked in the fridge. I wanted something on the lower side of the alcohol scale. This crisp Pinot Grigio rings in at 12.5%, perfect for my Far Eastern foray. It shows a pretty gold and pink hue in the glass and offers lemon zest, pineapple and green apple on the nose. On the palate it is not as crisp as I had imagined, slightly more weighty and silky. It reminds me of unoaked Chardonnay in a way. Waxy, pear, apple and citrus peel. The mid palate is really interesting with more green fruits, melon and a hint of beeswax. The finish has that classic lemon profile. This Italian Pinot Grigio is more akin to Oregonean or even Alsatian Pinot Gris with it’s heavier profile, darker complexion and flavor charachteristics. I’m not complaining, it’s a decent wine and I am enjoying it immensely with my exotic dinner. 89 points and 5 stars for this $10 wine that needs to be stocked in multiples! Drink now till 2018. Salut….
I remember the first time drinking this wine. It was at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan with Moxie. We were there attending a Gift Show, buying product for her first retail gig. It was an exciting time for us, we learned a lot and succeeded in keeping the business running through the dark days of 2008-2011. We were the last retail Gift shop standing in our area after the dust settled. I remember the wine, the meal and the atmosphere of the night vividly as it would signal the beginning of our newly charted course.
The 2014 Monterey Pinot is very light in the glass, see through and pale red. On the nose it’s all New World. Strawberry, Framboise, a touch of oak. On the palate, it is silky smooth. More strawberry, earthy mushrooms, a nice dose of acidity and some Rooibos tea. The mid palate caresses with some ever so slight tannins and a reminder of the acidity. The red fruit theme is in force and the wine carries swiftly to the medium length finish. It all ends with some cherry notes and a touch of vanilla bean. A very nice wine that can be yours for $15 and gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. I’m splapping together some creamy dill Chicken to go with it. Drink now till 2020. Salut....
This wine was a perennial favorite many years ago. I gravitated to reds and rarely bought it, until I saw it on sale the other day. I’m making Sizzling Hoisin Shrimp tonight so I figured a Sauvignon Blanc would do the trick.
This wine is faint gold in color, not quite yellow, nor deep. The nose is bright, charming and packed with citrus notes. Grapefruit being the major player here. The initial taste is very refreshing, quince and citrus battling it out for dominance. The wine has a nice balance, not overly acidic yet a touch dry and offering a hint of bitterness. I get Almond seed on the mid palate which is probably how I sense the bitterness, it is unique. The finish is all lemon and persimmon. I am glad I bumped into this bottle, it really is tasty while remaining relatively modest in price. It refreshes and will go well with my dinner but I am thinking it may take on some spicy foods as well if you are in a pinch. 89 points and 4 stars for this $13 wine. Salut….
A pleasant purple with medium density. On the nose I get plums, a faint hint of cinnamon, black cherry and creosote thanks to the 9% addition of Pinotage. The balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. The initial taste is very Pinotage heavy, with more plums, some dark fruits and the telltale chemical note, often likened to nail polish remover. I like it. The wine transitions nicely and some very delightful tannins caress throughout. The flavor profile doesn’t change much throughout and the acidity is very fine, barely noticeable. The finish is relatively long, with the dark fruit balancing nicely with a hint of oak. The bitterness of the tannins is apparent right at the end but is not detracting. This is a tasty weekday wine that I would pop with stew, chili, grilled sausages and even burgers. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
It’s pasta for a quick pre-ballet dinner with my daughter so I needed a quick and easy Italian wine. This one rolled in the other day at $10 so I figured it was worth a shot. The glass shows off a decent color palette of purple that is somewhat see-through. The nose offers red berries, raspberry and some clove. The Sangiovese in the blend gives me some cherry notes on the palate while the Merlot component brings out some plum while adding a bit of backbone to the wine. On the mid palate is where I get a nuttiness, almonds and a touch of oak. The wine has some very dry tannins that kick in on the finish and add a bite to the gums. Acidity is nice and the wine is balanced. I’m not sure I would go as high as the pros with 92, more like 89 points for me. Still a good value IMHO and worthy of 4 stars. Perfect for the midweek pasta dish or perhaps a thin crust wood oven pizza. Drink till 2020. Salut….
It’s a pasta/Italian kinda night here at the chateau so I decided to open a Chianti Rufina to keep with the theme. In the glass, it shows off a reddish hue but not opaque. The nose is somewhat muted but gives off whiffs of plum, some oregano and a dried bark component. The initial taste is an acidic attack with some dark cherry, dried herbs and a touch of oak. The fruit is somewhat cloaked I’m afraid. The mid palate is mostly a tannic affair with some faint fruit notes from the initial attack. The finish is long, with some nice acidity balancing the tannins as well as a dose of Kirsch. I paid $18 for this 89 pointer and give it 3 stars, it’s kinda boring in my opinion- perhaps it’s in a dumb phase. Sangiovese is the main player here folks. Ps. I’m serving grilled Squid, Tortellini and some Zucchini pasta with pine nuts. Salut….
A very opaque and delicate looking Pinot Noir from Chile. The nose is a combination of Old and New World. I get cherry, strawberry and funk. Mushrooms and game also take a turn on my senses. On the palate, I get a fresh cherry attack with some cola and a touch of the gaminess I sensed earlier. The mid palate exposes a very lively acidity that keeps me on my toes. The flavors are decidedly New World from here on in. Strawberry and cherry on the mid translate to a nice red berry finish with just a touch of tannic dryness. The acidity is the dominant force but is not overwhelming. A nice wine with good mouthfeel and balance in my opinion. Serve with roasted chicken in garlic marinade or perhaps Filet Mignon with Bearnaise and roasted asparagus. 89+ points, and for $13 it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
I would describe the color as ‘peachy’. The nose does in fact offer up some peach stone, banana and pineapple. Intriguing. On the palate I get more stone fruits, some pear and a citrusy hint. The acidity is very subdued here, which is a welcome change. The mouthfeel, especially on the midpalate is very nice, gentle and somewhat unctuous on the tail end. The finish is very refreshing with green pear and a lemon component. This wine certainly has a lot going on with a very easy going structure. I’m really enjoying it while cooking up some pasta that will be finished with lobster and fresh veggies. 89 points and for $14 this will be a repeat 4 star wine. Salut….
I bought two bottles of the Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon but didn’t realize I had two vintages…. so here goes the 2015.
Very nice purple in the glass. The nose is of ripe plums, bursting violets and a blackberry component. On the palate I get blackberry, currants, cinnamon and some earthy notes. The wine is easy to drink with slight tannins, moderate acidity and a good mouthfeel. The midpalate has some very nice dark cherry notes with a touch of oak. The tail end is shortish but nice; green olives and cherry come to mind. Overall a very serviceable wine that gets 89 points from me and 5 stars for its $9 price tag. Drink now for best results. Salut….
I have said it before, Sangiovese reminds me of Pinot Noir. It looks like Pinot, smells like Pinot and in many cases tastes like Pinot. This particular wine starts off a little different. It is dark, opaque and and brooding.
On the nose, I am confused. Tar, dark fruits and a leather component would make me guess Tempranillo, for sure. The initial tastes confirm what my nose suspected. This wine acts like it came straight from Rioja. Earth, gaminess, dark plums and bramble along with the creosote. It all points to an extraction and aging issue. This wine has been made in a different style that had me fooled. It is delicious, no doubt, but atypical. The mid palate is bursting with blueberry and dark plums along with the earthiness. The finish is more blue than black fruits. Tannins are very lithe, acidity is very mellow and the alcohol level is a mild 12.5%. 89 points from me and 5 stars because you can pick it up for $9! Enjoy alone or with pasta, charcuterie or even veal parmesan. Drink now till 2020. Salut….