Darker and more opaque than most Pinot Noirs. The nose has a strawberry candy note plus blueberry paste and a fig component. Sounds strange- I know. On the palate it delivers on that fig thing, surprisingly. I also get blueberry and some oak. The tannins are crispy, appearing on the midpalate and carrying us through to the finish which has blueberry and charcoal. Very tasty indeed. The tannins are long lived, drying out my gums for well over a minute. This will will age nicely methinks . 90 points and 5 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
Wow- inky, dark, thick and brooding in appearance. The nose is focused, plum torte and blackberry extract are my first impressions. On the palate it’s full of dark fruits, tar, mint and a meaty component. The tannins are so mild, melded and unobtrusive- making this a great sipping wine. It’s flavorful, easygoing, adaptable yet complex. The finish is really smooth with nice blackberry jam and bacon notes. Medium length. This is not a dry nor sweet wine- just nicely balanced between the extremes. Drink till 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $20 effort. The pros went higher, perhaps I need to re-calibrate! Salut….
Quite dark but lacking much opacity in the glass. On the nose it reeks of New World Pinot goodness. Cherry cobbler, vanilla and strawberry coulis all hit me on the nose. The palate has a gorgeous initial streak of bing cherry, blueberry (yup), cedar and spice box. There is a fruitcake note on the midpalate that tempers some acidity. The wine finishes with a slightly green note- capsicum comes to mind, but it’s quite nice. The vegetal twist alongside the red fruit works well here. There is an underlying astringency from the very feint tannins. This is a delicious wine for immediate consumption or a few years in the cellar. 90 points and 5 stars for this $19 effort. Pair with roast chicken, grilled salmon or Veal chops. You can read my previous reviews of the Saint Clair lineup to see I am a huge fan, for good reason. Salut….
A slightly dull purple in the glass, gives me concern. On the nose however- violets, black currants, a touch of oak. On the palate it is much darker- blackberry, cherry extract, graphite and singed oak. There is a leather component too, it just comes along later, towards the mid palate. The wine transitions very nicely with good tannic structure that is not obtrusive and acidic enough to balance. This is the third wine of Brane Cantenac, a Second Growth Margaux. They use the young plots for source fruit, giving us an approachable young wine that drinks very nicely with good mouthfeel and medium term cellaring potential. 90 points from me for this $29 effort that gets 3 stars. Drink now till 2024. Salut….
Typical Pinot Noir in the glass, light, reddish, totally see through. I can smell it from four feet away, the waft is amazing. It’s rather young on the nose- cherries, mushroom, spruce. On the initial palate it presents with loads of fine grained tannins. The fruit comes later. Cherry, strawberry, balsamic essence and cola hit me. The mid palate is one-dimensional- sour bing cherry. The tannins really grip on the finish and leave me with a very dry set of gums, almost painful- which is rare for me and Pinot. The finish also shows off rhubarb, the sour kind. The acidity presents itself in mysterious ways some times! There is a uniqueness to this wine, I can’t pinpoint it. Could it be the freshness of the acidity, the gushing amounts of tannin or the way it leaves my mouth feeling? Anyways- I am enjoying it and will probably run some through the Vinturi to soften it a bit. For now, 90 points and 4 stars for this $45 bottle. Drink from 2022-2033. Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. Bramble, earthiness and blackberry on the nose. On the palate I get more black fruits, delicious integrated oak, lithe tannins and good acidity. There is a juicy fruit preserve component on the midpalate that I’m really enjoying. Licorice hits me on the back end alongside chocolate powder, interesting. This wine is not overly built, it drinks well and has some cellaring potential . 90 points and 4 stars for this $14 value. Salut….
This was the fourth wine of the tasting evening, which may have included a bit of palate fatigue but we all agreed it was the nicest. The 2015 Bordeaux vintage shows its excellence here.
Medium to dark black in the glass. Cassis, black berry coulis and some gaminess. On the palate it reeks of Bordeaux- cassis, dark berries, oak and grippy tannins. The mid palate is where the astringency kicks in with a black tea component and some decent blackberry jam notes. The finish is totally dry. Short length on the flavors but the tannins are in full force. 90 points and 4 stars for this $45 wine. Drink till 2027. Salut….
A very gorgeous dark yellow in the glass gives way to waxy lemon, peach stone and pineapple core on the nose. On the palate it is quintessential Napa Chardonnay. Citrus, yellow apple, pear and lanolin hit me on the initial palate. The wine has a medium weight mouthfeel, with decent but not piercing acidity. The mid palate is mostly lemon and grapefruit. The finish is quite long, with more of that citrus component as well as that waxy note. This wine is nice and will pair well with Salmon, Moussaka even Osso Bucco (Hard to believe I know). I am thinking this wine is worthy of 90 points and 3 stars for the $50 price tag. Drink till 2025. Salut….
I asked for and got a bottle of Port for Christmas, which we opened with the Pudding. I was expecting an oaky, full bodied, black fruited mouthbomb but was surprised with this offering. It is very brooding and dark in the glass. The nose is brandy laced plum pudding, black currant and cedar. On the palate it gives me iodine infused black berries and oaky smoke. It is tasty for sure. The tannins are very integrated, lithe and very present on the mid palate. The wine has an astringent note that harkens from a tea component, The finish is nice and deep, with tannic dryness and a stewed plum component. Overall, I am enjoying this wine, even though I feel it is lighter in mouthfeel and slightly less flavorful than what I was expecting- perhaps it is a more ‘refined’ Port. I am going with 90 points and 3 stars for this $23 bottle. Salut….
Very bright purple in the glass. The nose is very lively, with blackberry and plum notes alongside vanilla. On the palate it is delicious- rich, with caramel, oak and black fruits galore. Very lithe tannins and a touch of acidity make for a very easy drinking red with nice mouthfeel. The mid palate turns a touch astringent, with lapsang souchong tea, blackberry and oak. The finish is mid length with more dark fruit and black tea. A nice drop that will do well with many dishes but is delicious all by itself. 90 Points and 5 starts for this $13 effort. Drink till 2021. Salut….