Nice shade of dark red, see-through. The 14.1% alcohol evident by some nice looking legs. On the nose it is somewhat atypical. Violet, strawberry compote and cherry cola. The palate is a touch sweet with some nice stewed rhubarb notes. Cherry comes along eventually as do some nice fine grained tannins. There’s a nice acidic bite on the finish that balances it out without making me wince. It’s a very interesting wine that has a warm mouthfeel, that nice touch of sweetness countered by the acid on the back end. This wine will appeal to the novice and also provide tasting groups with an interesting mix of flavors. I’m baking up some Brisket that will pair nicely. 91 points and 5 stars for this $15 bottle to drink till 2028. Salut….
Very dark purple and opaque AF. The nose is vibrant with black currant, berries and coconut. The palate is rich and fruit-forward with gobs of black fruit, lapsang souchong tea, a touch of licorice and some juicy acidity. Tannins start to appear on the mid palate and they caress the mouth to a nice full finish of more black fruits, spice box and a touch of leather. It’s a really nice mouthfeel, lasting a good 30-40 seconds. I’m digging this wine and have some lamb tenderloins I will grill up to pair. Drink till 2028. 91 points and 4 stars for this $58 offering. Salut….
I took my buddy Jimbo out to a French bistro in Montreal. This was the wine I ordered, and it was good. Dark purple in the glass. The glass is somewhat small so I’m having a hard time coaxing the nose. I finally get bright purple fruit- plums, some star anise and espresso. On the palate it is fresh, tannic, raw with plum and blackberry notes alongside licorice. The tannins are gripping, fresh and really crisp. They hold the wine in check and make for a good cellaring potential. The purple fruit notes continue and the finish is a nice dry affair with some charred wood appearing at the medium length end. I’m really enjoying it- 91 points. I paid CAD$100 for this Merlot blend at the restaurant, no other wine prices are available but if it runs $25-30 USD then it’s a 4 to 5 star effort. Drink till 2028 with Hanger steak (duh). Salut….
It was Moxie’s birthday so I opened this lovely Bordeaux in Magnum that’s been sitting in my cellar for many moons. Very bright purple, surprisingly so. No signs of aging whatsoever. The nose is somewhat subdued. After some frantic swirling I finally get plum, leather and florals, like violet. On the palate this wine is super smooth, fruity and fresh. Black cherries, tobacco, crisp tannins and a zesty touch of acidity greet me. This is not a blockbuster Bordeaux, it’s a refreshing, lighter wine that will appeal to many. There are tertiary flavors on the midpalate that include spicebox , leather, rhubarb and blueberry. The tannins really take hold and are gritty, they continue through the finish. Speaking of which, it’s a decent length and concentrated on those tannins alongside blueberry and a touch of oak. This is tasty, still young and will drink well till 2029. I served it up with grilled Tri-Tips, delicious. 91 points and 4 stars, it can be found for around $125 per bottle. Salut….
Very rich purple hues in the glass. The nose is a combo of blue fruit and dark berries, with a tobacco and spice box note thrown in . The palate is very enticing with blackberries, crisp tannins, fruitcake and black tea. The midpalate continues the theme and takes us to the really juicy finish of Ribena, tea, creosote and Maduro leaf. Very enjoyable, seamless and drinking well for a relatively young Bordeaux. 91 points and 4 stars at $25. Drink till 2028. Salut….
Blackish blue in the glass that is somewhat murky. On the nose it’s delightful- blackberry pie, yeast, and iodine(strange, but believable). On the palate it has a unique flavor- blackberry meets charcoal. I can’t think of a better descriptor. There’s a vast cask influence here and I’m loving it, not over-oaked but the fundamentals are there. Vanilla, popcorn, coconut. It’s not over done, just a nice, deft use of it to give this wine a unique flavor. The mid palate continues the blackberry theme and the tannins creep up, barely noticeable until the finish and by then- dry gums! The whole package is mouth-filling, interesting, well structured and balanced. I like it, a lot. 91 points and 5 stars for this $19 wine. Drink till 2025. Salut….
At $14 a bottle, this was my house Cab back in the day. It quickly gained popularity and it’s price climbed like a homesick angel. I went looking for other great QPR wines. When I saw it in the shop today, I reminisced a bit and pulled the trigger on what has now become a $25 offering. Here we go!
It’s very purply in the glass (I am using a straight hotel glass, no stemware in sight). The nose is lush with blackberries, spice box and a touch of oak. On the palate it is rich, balanced and gives me blackberry notes, star anise, black tea and a nice touch of tannin. The mouthfeel is warm and smooth, acidity being very well behaved and allowing the tannins a chance to enter the fold. They build up to a nice dry finish but don’t interfere with the fruit. The blackberry component is strong and remains all the way to the finish. There is a nice minerality to this wine and the dryess of the tannic grip on the finish is just enough to make this a meat – worthy wine. Think big, juicy steaks on the fire and this one fits right in there. I am impressed that this wine has held its quality over the past 20 years, even though the price has nearly doubled. I’m going 91 points and 5 stars. Welcome back you little beauty! Drink till 2028. Salut….
Quite dark and brooding in the glass, nice legs. On the nose it shows bright fruit notes of blackberry, plum jam and vanilla. The palate starts of with a gob full of tannins, which part ways to reveal Ribera, singed plum and some eucalyptus leaf. The mid palette continues that dark fruit motif but is very channeled by the searing tannins. Young. Very young. The fruit is really masked by the big underlying structure of this wine. I’m going to run some through the Vinturi before I proceed.
Nope- that monster is still lurking. I’ll need to let this bottle breathe overnight to see if it softens. For now- 91 points but don’t touch it till 2023. Drink till 2030.
Day two- much softer but those tannins are still formidable. Blackberry jam, espresso and a touch of oak are the main players today. I’m sticking with 91 points and the drinking window I mentioned. $29, 4 stars and a pretty good deal on Napa Cab IMHO. Salut….
Really dark purple, brooding. On the nose I get violets, plum extract and black currants. On the palate it is juicy, mouth filling and packed with tight grained tannins. Black currant notes, black tea and some oaky vanilla start the wine off. The mid palate gets a dose of the tannins and some sour black cherries. That black tea component reappears with mouth puckering astringency, which is balanced nicely with the fruit and acidity. The finish is very dry with black fruit extraction and charcoal notes. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 wine. Drink till 2030. Salut….
In Magnum, I was hoping for a repeat of last years tasting of the 2008 Cab Franc. Dark purple, medium opacity. Nose is exquisite- plum reduction, oaky warmth, tobacco and leather. On the palate it shows purple framboise, some cassis, more tobacco and that delicious tertiary note of leather. The midpalate has a touch of tart cranberry compote alongside the flavors already noted. The finish is medium length, fresh and a touch tannic. This wine is at peak now. Drink till 2023. 91 points and 4 stars. Available from the winery as part of their library collection for $180, or $60 for a regular 750 mill- wow. Salut….