Really rich hues of purple in the glass. The nose contains a certain funk…. not sure if that blows away. Earthy, plum, iodine and ink all come to mind while swirling. The initial palate is typical for the region. Bold, punchy and full of black fruits. Great balance between the medium tannins and acidity alongside a dollop of blackberry jam. The midpalate is drier, more primal. The dark fruits hold on and overcome the tannic bite, barely. This wine is a seesaw of fruit vs. structure- I’m loving it. The finish is long, dry with heaps of blackberry, oregano and olives. Very much in-your-face. 91 points, drink till 2024 with charcuterie, roasted game, lamb chops or a hearty pasta. This is tasty stuff folks. 5 stars for the $17 price tag. Salut….
This is the second bottle of Amalthea that my cousin brought over. Bluish purple with nice legs showing in the glass. The nose has plum, blueberry and filberts. The palate has rich blue fruits, juicy acidity, nice tannins from the outset and a hint of that nuttiness I caught on the nose. The wine transitions nicely to the mid-palate and finish where the tannins really grip. More blueberries, black tea and a mineral note close it out. The wine is very balanced with really well crafted tannins that give a nice level of dryness without astringency. This is a much smoother wine than the Cabernet, which can be expected with the varietals. It paired nicely with my Tri-Tip roast, Yorkshire pudding and roasted potatoes. Drink till 2024. 91 points and 5 stars for this $21 effort. Of note- both wines have had freezing issues which does not harm the wine, only crystalizing some sediment in the glass. Salut….
A gift from my cousin (we’ll call him Sharma). Dark purple, very opaque. The nose is intriguing. Plums, charcoal, crushed rock, a certain minerality. The palate is delicious with a toasty oak note opening it up, followed by grilled plum, black olive, bacon and delightful tannins. The flavors carry through to the end where the astringency of the tannins hit. There is a nice mouthfeel throughout and the acidity is very well balanced. The greenness of the back end gives me a check. I’ll get over it, I’m sure. Overall a delicious New Jersey Cabernet worthy of 91 points which gets 4 stars from me for the $25 price tag. It’s getting a pairing of Strip steaks with Balsamic reduction. Drink till 2021. Salut….
Super pale, with virtually no opacity. The nose is neither old- nor new-world. A mix between the two. Classic cherry with the addition of strawberry coulis. A hint of rose water hits me right at the end. On the palate this wine is super smooth, with a great mouthfeel. Tannins are just present, the acidity is finite and balancing. The cherry flavors give way to roasted coffee and vanilla bean. The mid palate is lush with ripe black cherries with a tannic thrust. The fruit really comes out on the finish alongside a charred oak note. It is intriguing, delicious and nice to drink. I am pairing it with cherry glazed pork chops and roasted potatoes. It would do a roasted Cornish Hen justice IMHO. Great Fall wine to go and seek out. 91 points and 4 stars for this $40 wine. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
The second bottle at the wine shop tasting…. unfortunately not a good sample.
A dark red in the glass, more serious for a Pinot Noir. The nose is off as the wine has been open too long- however…. the palate offers a much richer expression of dark red fruits and cinnamon. No rating as it would not reflect well. However, a search on the web shows it available for $60 and gets decent 90+ scores. Salut….
Medium opacity with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it screams black currants with some bacon fat and oregano. There is a hint of forest floor at the back end of the nose. On the palate – berries, medium intensity tannins, tea and olives. The wine transitions nicely to the mid palate with the tannins providing a nice dryness to the mouthfeel. The flavors are consistent through to the finish where I also get some licorice. The balance is nice for a wine that is made for medium term drinking. Perfect for a game dish, even a seasoned Cornish Hen. Drink now till 2033. 91 points and 4 stars for this $34 blend of mainly Grenache mixed with Syrah and Mouvedre. Salut….
Just looking at it I see a brooding monster. It is nearly black, fully opaque and taunting me. The nose is – wow.
Black cherry, plum jam, black currant and sassafras. The initial palate is thick with dark fruit compote, plum ganache, luscious oak and tannins that are en pointe. Plums really come out on the mid palate alongside a cedar shake note. The tannins start to grip and by the time I get to the finish they have me licking my gums. The dryness lingers forever and my teeth feel gritty- I’m loving it. This is a delightful sensation in the wine appreciation sense.
The finish, dry as hell, also features a mint meets eucalyptus oil note which I find intriguing. This is a delicious, structured wine that will cellar for the mid term but is drinkable now if you like some bite. 91 points and 4 stars for this $60 effort. If you like sunny Napa fruit and bold Cabs, this one is for you. Serve with a juicy steak or a roasted leg of Lamb. Salut….
I have had two other wines from Vergelegen. Both were excellent so when I saw this Reserve offering I had to buy it! Medium intensity in the glass. Black currants, olive tapenade, charcoal and pencil on the nose. The palate has a ton of dark, ripe plums coupled with anise and violets. Rich and tannic, this wine has weight. The midpalate is all black currant. The grippy tannins don’t let go- all the way through the medium length finish. Dark fruits aplenty here. 91 points, drink till 2025. 5 stars again for this $22 bottle. Salut….
A couple of us met up and had a tasting of several nice wines. We started with this Pinot Noir, building our way up to the Bordeaux by way of some Portuguese, South African and Spanish bottles. Read on for the highlights!
Gorgeous purple- see through but clear. The nose is heavy on the strawberry. Nutmeg is present, spice box and vanilla bean round it out. On the palate it is lush, light and layered. Strawberry coulis mixed with cedar plank and cherry abound. The mid palate exhibits a darker fruit component and more spices that I found on the nose. The wine has a very nice acidity and the very lithe tannins only show up at the finale. An excellent bottle that drinks beautifully now and will go on for another 5/7 years. 91 points for this Pinot and 5 stars. It is a perennial favorite of mine and is consistent, year in and year out. $20. Salut….