Pretty purple color with long legs showing. On the nose it is enticing with blackberry, cola, toasty oak and black cherry. The palate echoes those dark notes alongside juicy acidity and tight grained tannins. There’s an inky component on the mid palate and those tannins just keep on going. The finish has some licorice alongside black cherry and that oak note. It’s a very pleasurable wine with nice, young mouthfeel that will entertain a hearty meal, steaks, pasta or some rich cheese. I really like it and for $12, would stock some for a dark stormy night to sip on by the fire. Drink till 2026. 90 points and 5 stars. Salut….
I was at the world’s largest wine retailer the other day and saw their house brand Port. They have a good reputation for picking decent items, so I thought I would give it a try for the $20 entrance fee. It’s tawny all right. It’s almost orange-purple and very see-through in the glass. The nose offers up raisins, plum paste, Christmas cake and figs. On the palate it is quite young and a touch thin. There is a certain nuttiness that I’m enjoying. There’s a warm toffee meets hazelnut note on the midpalate that I’m liking and the heat of the 20% alcohol is a welcome addition to the mix. Dried figs come out on the finish alongside some very deep grained tannins. A great mouthfeel. I didn’t love this wine off the bat but it has grown on me. 90 points and 5 stars. Salut….
Quite pale yellow in the glass with fine grained legs belying it’s 13% alcohol. On the nose I get lemon zest, minerality and slate. I’m expecting a cutting wine versus a sweet version of this varietal. On the palate I was wrong, it’s not tart, bracing or edgy. It has a warmth that surrounds yellow apples with lemon curd. The acidity is well in check but still obviously present. There’s a raw lemon component that appears on the midpalate and there is a nuttiness too. The mouthfeel transitions to a racier version with some nice honeyed notes on the mid-length finish. Very tasty and flexible, this one is going to pair nicely with my blackened salmon. Drink till 2030. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 effort. (The pro’s went way higher BTW). Salut….
Dark and brooding in the glass. The nose offers up sweet blackberries, vanilla bean and tea. On the palate that blackberry component is straight up in your face. Lithe tannins are the second wave and then I get a wood note, well integrated. The mid palate continues that dark berry theme alongside more astringent tea. There’s a plum jam component that I get on the back end that adds to the equation, as well as some long toothed tannins that keep on delivering that mouth puckering goodness. This wine is young but approachable if you like it this way. You could cellar till 2022, or go for it now. Drink till 2030. 90 points and for the $22 I paid- 5 stars. Salut….
I have really started to enjoy Sangiovese lately and seek out different variants. This Chianti weighs in at 13.5% alcohol and is medium purple with little opacity. Kinda what I expect from this varietal as well as Pinot. On the nose it is fresh with strawberries, cedar plank, a green capsicum component and garigue. The palate is refreshing with red fruits, crunchy tannins and a touch of wood. The strawberry I initially sensed gives way to red cherry and currants. There’s a rhubarb component on the mid palate that marries well with the acidity and tannins. The finish is lightweight but decent in length and continues the red fruit theme very nicely. The tannins slowly fade after leaving my gums rather dry. It’s a young wine which is drinking nicely and will cellar for another 10 years minimum. Drink till 2029 with eggplant parmigiana, beef stew or slow cooked chicken cacciatore. 90 points from me make this $17 wine a 4 star effort. Salut….
It’s quite bright and fresh looking in the glass with a deep garnet shade. On the nose – rhubarb crumble, cherry and chocolate dust. On the palate it is refreshing, tart and brimming with red fruits. There’s a hint of balsamic as well as coconut on the initial. The mid palate gives me some woody notes alongside the red currants and cherry. The tartness gets a little spiky and herbaceous on the finish, a little off-putting. Overall this is a tasty wine that has some structure to last a few years in cellar but is drinking nicely now. I’m gonna bury the others I have as I believe they will improve vastly with a bit of age. Made from Organic grapes and costing $50 makes it a wee bit pricy. Pair it with Fettucine or pot roast, perhaps Osso Bucco.. Drink till 2035. 90 points from me (the pros went as high as 95!) and 3 stars. Salut….
A darker shade of purple for Pinot, but see through as expected. The nose screams New World with strawberry, cherry pie, pecans. I know- strange descriptor. On the palate it is silky with bright red fruits galore, cherry cola, sasparilla and juicy acidity. The mid palate shows off the strawberries and tart cherry. The acid starts to peak. There’s a trace of tannic grip as we enter the finish. Overall it has quite an acidic overtone, leaving my mouth a bit puckered. It’s tasty mind you…. I like it but the $77 price is a little off-putting. 90 points from me and 3 stars. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Medium intensity purple, almost seethrough. On the nose there’s a definitive charcoal note alongside blackberries and bramble. Licorice kicks in a little later after a good swirl. On the palate it’s pretty tasty with black cherry, coffee and more licorice. Tempranillo sometimes has a dusty, earthy component that I enjoy in Riojas, this wine has a hint of that. The tannins grip on the midpalate alongside dark fruits . There is a certain amount of oak at play here, but it’s not overdone. The long finish is a touch dry from the decent tannic kick. More blackberry and some vanilla carry me through to the very end. Drink till 2026 with hearty pastas, steak or roasted chicken- this wine needs food. 90 points from me and 4 stars for its $18 price point. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….
Really dark in the glass. On the nose I get Ribena, blueberry pie and hot stone. On the palate it’s ginger, blackberry, cedar and evergreen. There is a really nice tannic backbone, unobtrusive yet I sense some astringent components from them. The mid palate is all blackberry jam. The finish is really nice, smooth and very balanced between black fruits, a hint of acidity and those delightful tannins. It’s quite long to boot. This is a really nice weekday drinker that gets 90 points from me and 5 stars as it’s under $10. Drink till 2023 with pizza, burgers, sirloin or pasta. Blend of Malbec, Cabernet Petit Verdot. Salut….