I had a few colleagues in town for a meeting and took them to a local restaurant for dinner. This was the only Malbec available so we took a punt and tried it. A nose of cherry, oak and black berries. The initial tastes of dark fruits get melded into a silky vanilla blueberry compote. The mid palate passes rather quickly with a hint of black berries and licorice. The finish is nice with an easy going tannin profile and very faint hints of acidity. This is a basic wine that will suffice in a pinch but I was astounded to read later on that it is only a $9 bottle that we got hosed on ($50+), but more importantly- it only got an 80 point rating from WE. That’s rather harsh, but shouldn’t a restaurant look for any ratings before buying blindly? I am not that down on it and will go with 86 points making it a 2 star wine. Salut….
Pale yellow, almost cloud-like in the glass. A nose of lemon curd, green melon and kumquat. The flavors on the initial attack are pear, lemon and seven-up. This wine reminds me of a steely Chablis, very minerally and biting. Acidity is present but subsides nicely into a mid palate and finish of green pear and lemon drops. This winery is very consistent and I really enjoy what they make. 88 points and 5 stars for this $9 effort. A go-to winery in a pinch and on a budget. I served it up with grilled Salmon. Salut….
A very basic Cali Cab that we added to our Sunday afternoon football/wine tasting extravaganza. This was brought by a friend. Candied plums and wood on the nose were kinda intriguing. On my first taste I knew what I was in for- Violets, plum and twizzlers on the initial attack with a heavy dose of oak. I just wish they had toned down the wood, this wine just is not my style at all. Mild tannins and a hint of acidity make up a very basic backbone to this casual drinker. 84 points and 2 stars for this $9 offering. I think I would pass, there are many wines that suit my taste for the same price. Salut….
A Margaret River Cab Sauvignon we picked up for $9. A casual afternoon watching football was on the cards so we added a wine tasting to the fray. Blue fruit compote on the nose from the reddish purple glass. Tart cherries and some oak with blueberries on the palate lead me to think of this as a basic, drinkable red worthy of 85 points. It did the job, and well. Basic components tell me that this Aussie wine will drink between 2014-2016. 2 Stars, Salut….
A bargain for $9, but only if you like the style in which it is made. Me, not so much. It started out with sweet plums and cherry cola on the nose supported by a generous dose of oak. Merlot makes up the majority of the blend in this Chilean wine and gives it a youthful plum profile on the palate with a high degree of acidity. Very slight tannins give an easy to drink mouthfeel, yet the wine is over oaked with lashings of wood and vanilla. It is a casual drinking bottle that may appeal to many as an aperitif with some nuts, olives and bruschetta. I am going with 84 points and 2 stars. Salut….
This was my contribution to the $9 per bottle party that ‘The Beave’, Edvard and I ended up having. It comes from the Bordeaux region, more specifically Entre-Deux-Mers and is a typical blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It offered white plums on the nose which continued on to to the palate with a delicious cherry pop component. I noticed only slight tannins but made a note that the wine was juicy. Great acidity could be responsible for that! The backbone is somewhat lacking though and I fear this wine needs to be popped and poured rather than cellared for any length of time. Bang for the buck you could certainly short term a half dozen for casual drinking and pairing with rustic meals like beef stew or Coq-au-Vin. I’m going with 88 points and 4 stars for the effort. Salut….
When Moxie and I first met we used to get a bottle of this plonk, a baguette and some cheese for a midnight snack. She used to work until late at night and this was our go-to bottle for the unwind and relax part of the evening. Priced at $9, this flashback was brought to the party by my friend Edvard. A good choice methinks because it brought back great memories of my early wine drinking career and the initial romance that Moxie and I started over 23 years ago.
The wine is a bulk produced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot made by the Rothschild group. It is considered the premier bargain wine of the Bordeaux region, and for good reason. It came in at $9 and offered amazing value for money. I noted Merlot flavors with Cabernet backbone on my quick sheet. The broader notes include the black fruit and dark cherry components with some plum intermingled. Good juicy tannins and balanced acidity made this a pleasure to drink. The profile was very Bordeaux like and I could sense a certain terroir that was unmistakable. 90 points from me and 5 stars. Most of all- thanks for the memories, I will be buying this wine again. Salut….
My buddy ‘the Beave’ brought this little gem to the party. He paid $9 for it, which is the price of all three wines we tasted that day.
I love Spanish wines, the Tempranillo grape is delicious and flexible. Serious wines made from the varietal are long lived, complex and rewarding to cellar. Wines like the Tridente are made in an easier style, meant to be consumed without cellaring and offer tremendous value. This wine was a stunner. It was everything you could want in an everyday wine and delivered it with style for under $10. Dark cherries and judicious oak give way to some spice box and earth. The tannins are present yet not too dry. The mouthfeel is great and makes this wine equally good with or without food. I gave it 86 points and reckon it is a 4 star wine worthy of looking out for. Salut….
I have previously had the Castle Rock Cabernet but from Paso Robles and the 2009 vintage. This wine follows the same mold, but is far better. Priced at a bargain price of $9, you will be hard pressed to get anything form Napa for less. It starts off with a decent color in the glass and some pretty plums flavors on the nose. This is not a complex wine, nor is it built for cellaring. It has primal flavors of plums and violets with a candied cherry finish. Very light on the oak and virtually no tannic backbone. It was very easy to drink and managed to keep up with some big players at the tasting. I gave the Paso version 82 points and 4 stars. This one gets 84 points and 4 stars as well. We enjoyed it with some cheese and (crackers). It would do well with some bruschetta, perhaps some olives and cold cuts but I would hold off on pairing it with a main course of meats etc. Good value for the money folks. Salut….
A few buddies and I settled into some Chilcas Cabernet yesterday and found the need to send a runner to get more vino. ‘Coolio’ was duly dispatched while my Russian friend ‘Edvard’ and I held the fort. He returned with the 2012 version of Chilcas Carmenere. I panned the 2011 badly and only gave it 1 star so I was skeptical about this wine. I was in for a surprise.
Bargain basement pricing of $9 for a liter would make most people nervous about the quality, but this wine is very well made for what it is. The nose showed bright red fruits and a touch of oak. On the palate, very fruity with a forward expression of red currants, raspberries and cranberry. The wine is made in a very easy style with very little tannic framework but with juicy acidity. This is a pop-n-pour wine that would pair nicely with charcuterie and olives or perhaps a BBQ of burgers, dogs, slaw and some baked beans. 87 points but 5 stars for over delivering on the quality/price ratio. Think party and you will be buying this by the case. Salut….