This Barolo is relatively young at five years but I wanted to try it. In the glass it’s almost got a touch of orange and is completely see-through. The nose is intriguing with cherry, sandalwood and a little bit of Bergamot. The initial palate is definitely fruity with some astringency hitting my gums right off the bat. Very strong cherry flavors alongside cedar notes and black tea. The tannins are really starting to grip on the midpalate but I am enjoying the bright red fruit flavors that accompany. Towards the finish I get more of a cola taste with some lively acidity to balance or attempt to balance the very dense tannins. 91 points for this young Nebbiolo blend that runs $30 making it a 4 star effort. Drink from 2022 till 2027 with pasta, steaks or grilled poultry. Salut….
I’m excited to taste this wine, the little brother to the Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz mountains- one of my favorite whites. In the glass it is quite a bright shade of yellow. The nose is very lemony with Quince and yellow apple hints, perhaps a touch of butterscotch. On the palate it is very refreshing, focused and definitely citrus driven. The finish is rather curt but not overly acidic, providing a nice fruit closure. I picked this wine to pair with Shrimp Scampi- I think it will do the job beautifully. It gets 91 points for me and should be drunk before 2028. At $27, its actually a good value for the quality and gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Really dark shade of purple in the glass and completely opaque. The nose is opulent with blackberry, graphite and violets. The palate is exactly what I was expecting and hoping for: rich black fruit, good structure, decent tannic grip and some zesty acidity. The black fruit theme continues on the midpalate where the tannins start to coat my gums. I also get some black tea and dark cherry. The finish is a rather dry affair with the tannins completely coating my mouth- forcing the acidity aside but still allowing black currants and tea flavors to shine through. The use of oak is evident but not overpowering. I picked this wine tonight to pair with some Argentinian sausages with chimichurri sauce. The tannins will complement the slightly fatty nature of the sausage without overcoming it. Other pairings would include a nice juicy sirloin, perhaps eggplant Parmesan. It gets 91 points for me with a drink window that is open till 2028. Rather pricy at $40, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
The final wine at tasting #16 was this 100% Mourvedre. It showed very well after the previous two gems, holding its own with good structure, great primal fruit and a reasonable price point. In the glass it is a bright, youthful purple that is 70% opaque. The nose brims with cherry candy and red twizzlers (same thing). Pepper, smoky meat, lemon and citrus (?) were also noted by the tasting panel. Probably the most descriptive being ” Candied nuts from a New York food cart”. Black cherry and Dr. Pepper rounded us out. The palate illicited two gasps of “Wow- Steve”, I guess they liked it! Black cherry, cracked pepper, raspberry and dark plum were noted as was Amaretto, cloves and very dry tobacco. The wine had a sanguine minerality to it with a streak of iron in the mid palate that was noticed by several. I hated the initial flavor profile btw- as I do with most reds that kick off with that red candy nose- but this wine quickly pulled me in with its richness and depth. I ended up giving it 16 points on the tasting scale and 91 for-real points. The pros went even higher at 94! For $30, it’s a nice treat that gets 5 stars from me. Well balanced with nice tannins and gentle acidity- I would pair with grilled steak all day long, drinking till 2030 at the least. Salut….
We kicked off the 16th virtual wine tasting with this Godello, a scarce varietal grown in northwest Spain. As per usual, we tasted it at room temperature first, followed by chilled. In the glass it is a pale gold with a nose of lanolin, yellow apple, citrus, pear, grapefruit and crystallized ginger. On the palate this version showed quince, yellow apple, honeysuckle and honey (albeit not sweet). The chilled version had a narrow, more focused nose of lemon/lime Sprite, ginger ale, green melon and was thought of as more floral than fruit based. The palate gave us lemon, lime, yellow apple, grated ginger with a touch of lanolin/wax and some honeysuckle. I preferred the chilled version with 16 points versus 13 for the room temp one. On a technical scale- 91 points for this $30 wine make it worthy of 5 stars. Drink till 2025 with seafood, roast Cornish hens or a cheese board. Salut….
This Pinot is a dark shade of purple and is quite a bit more opaque than expected. The nose gives me dark cherries, boysenberry, clove and cola. Very intricate. The palate is quite unique- cherry cola meets rhubarb and cranberry. I sense a cascade of acidity as my mouth starts to water but there’s a modicum of dryness from lithe tannins that hit towards the mid palate. The dark red fruit theme continues and I get a nice finish with some extras- Rooibos tea, spices and more of that cherry cola thing. It is a really tasty wine that has been extracted very well, not overdone with nice oak integration. The length of the finish is really great and the tannins stick with me for quite a while. Light-to-medium bodied, it has a nice mouthfeel. Drink this 91 point wine till 2027. I am preparing Sous Vide chicken and Swiss chard to pair. For $19 it’s an awesome deal that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
We kicked off the 15th Virtual wine tasting with this Albarino. The group had many descriptors for this rather complex white that was tasted at room temperature and then chilled. The golden color of the wine was very inviting. On the nose we got honeysuckle, floral notes, golden raisins, lemon, stone fruit, and Mandarin oranges! The palate consisted of muted pear, peach and lemon. One of the members stated that the acidity was similar to a grapefruit- sorta sweet yet biting. The chilled version actually performed better by most accounts. There was more lemon on the nose- it smelled like Spring or Summer. Flowery notes with beeswax (honeysuckle carryover) were part of a sharper, crisper nose. The palate had what seemed like more acidity, was more focused and had a hint of caramel in addition to the citrus we mentioned. I gave them 12 and 14 points on the VWTC scale and would go with 91 regular points. For $17 you should stock up for a warm summer with this 5 star beaut. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Pinot shows a pale shade of purple in the glass and is totally see-through. The nose is bright and lively with red cherry notes, baking spices and orange peel. The palate is delicious with a hint of strawberry coulis alongside cherries jubilee and cranberries. It is a slightly tart affair but there lurks some very lithe tannins. The mid palate is very light weight with more red fruits and spices. The finish is long and very focused on cherry and cranberry- the tart kind. I can sense the astringency of the tannins long after the wine has subsided- a rare thing for me and Pinot Noir. That will bode this wine well in the cellar. I really like it for it’s delicacy, finesse and core of red fruit. It is going to pair nicely with my roast duck l’orange with sautéed leeks. 91 points from me make this $45 bottle a 4 star effort. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This Riesling is a pale shade of gold in the glass and smells sublime. Lemons, green pear and pineapple all hit me. On the palate it is quite tart with bracing acidity. The citrus theme continues and I also get baked green apple. The mid palate has an interesting gooseberry note. The finish is a seriously sour affair, the acidity is making my jaw water. Think about the fruit I have mentioned and add a drop of sour lemon drop. It is tasty if you are ready for such a cutting wine. It will pair well with our Scallops in butter with asparagus. It would also go with smoked salmon. Drink till 2030. I am going with 91 points for this $25 bottle, making it worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
Opaque and dark purple. The nose has a big dose of funk right off the bat- standing water comes to mind. Once past that shocker I get Napa sunshine with ripe blackberry, toasty oak and Ribena. The palate is blueberry and blackberry tart with coconut and creme. The oak influence is appreciated. Mid palate has very lithe tannins and mild acidity. Leather and tobacco appear on the finish with cassis. Really delicious as the wine progressed . 91 points and at $50 per bottle it gets 4 stars. Paired with Spinach rolled Flank Steak and Ceaser salad. Drink till 2023. Salut….