Bright purple- almost sparkly in the glass. The nose is full-on Napa cab. Rich plums, blackberries and cedar. The palate mirrors- and it’s super smooth with a gentle ramp up of tannins. The mid palate continues the dark fruit theme but this is where the black tea, crunchy tannins and Maduro leaf appear. The finish is very dry, long and filled with blackberry jam, more tea and a touch of oak. Delicious and worth 91 points in my book. The only thing holding it back is the slight greenness of the tannins. I’m serving up Sunday roast with this beauty. 4 stars for this $40 Cabernet that can be cellared or drunk till 2028. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass. Bramble, creosote, black berries and blueberry jam on the nose. On the palate this is a tannic beast- full of dark fruits, young and brooding. It is laced with blackberries, toasty oak and mouth coating tannins. The midpalate has some telltale violets- the varietal shines thru. On the finish this wine offers black berries, more charred wood notes and those really grippy tannins. A touch young- it needs aerating or cellaring. Drink till 2027 with braised lamb, Moussaka or a thick steak. 91 points and 4 stars for this $40 Cab Franc. Salut….
Dark yet not very opaque. Typical for the varietal. Gorgeous nose of cherry reduction, dare I say mushrooms and old oak. The palate is super smooth and full bodied, showing off cherries and cola. The oak is dominant in this wine, but not obtrusive. The mid palate is round and slightly tannic. The cherries march on and the wine finishes with coconut notes, probably from the wood. 91 points and 4 stars for this $44 effort. Drink this Pinot Noir till 2025 with pasta, roasted Chicken or a cheese and salami plate. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass. Plums and black berry come off on the palate with some earthiness that I love in Portuguese wines. There’s a dusty component reminiscent of desert air that pops up as well. On the palate it has telltale Tinto Roriz and Touriga Nacional notes. There’s a tar component alongside spice box and blackberry. The tannins are very integrated, of medium intensity and not astringent. I like the mouthfeel and the balance is great. The mid palate and finish are both steeped in black fruits and that spiciness. The dry, dusty notes I mentioned earlier slip back in right at the end. This is a tasty wine that gets 91 points from me. The $40 price point makes it a 4 star effort. Salut….
Very dark in the glass. Nose of black jam, eucalyptus and charcoal. On the palate there’s a rich warm black currant note with lithe tannins and a fruitcake hint. The mid palate is very smooth with a tannic bite that kicks in. The finish is gentler, mid length and chock full of black jam, cedar and a touch of vanilla bean. 91 points and 4 stars for this $29 effort. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Nearly black in the glass. Blackcurrant and smoky wood on the nose. On the palate it offers black cherry, dark currants, superb tannins and olives. The midpalate gets a dose of dryness from the tannins to go with more dark berries. The finish is blackberry coulis, tea and a touch of wood. Overall a very good but young wine that needs two to three years in the cellar. After that- drink till 2028 with heavy duty meat dishes. 91 points for now. I would love to revisit in 3 years. $55 makes this a 4 star effort. Salut….
I have sat on this one for a while, letting the Burgundian volatility settle and hopefully get some tertiary flavors, a little funk all the while maintaining fruit composition and freshness.
In the glass it is somewhat darker than expected for a Pinot Noir. On the nose- cherry, funky forest floor, mushrooms and game. The palate is definitely on track- Garrigue, cherry, balsamic reduction and rooibos tea all come to mind. The mid palate has an unripe cherry note, or is it sour pomegranate? And dare I say- cork taste (as in chewing on the edge of a dry crumbly cork). Very peculiar but interesting nonetheless. The tannins are hitting my lower gums at this point, with a hint of acidity. The finish is full on cherry, with a pucker from some tea as the tannins are astringent, but nice. This wine is young. It will evolve further and the tannins will meld better. I see some more development with the secondary flavors but hope the unripe cherry component doesn’t remain. Overall a tasty wine that will do well with the charcoal grilled Strips and mashed potatoes I’m pairing it with. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 effort. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Medium opacity, certainly not a light Pinot. Explosive nose of cherry, rhubarb and violets. On the palate, that old world nose gave way to new world juiciness, freshness and very integrated tannins. Flavors of cherry, bramble, pie crust and cinnamon hit me at the onset. Towards the mid palate it ramps up with a great acidity with some strawberry marching in. The finish is long, with Kirsch and plenty of pH, alongside some oaky nuances. I like this wine, a lot. 91 points and 4 stars- you can find it for $32 which places it in the 4 star category. Cellar some and drink till 2026. Salut….
Medium opacity, great purple color. On the nose creosote, blueberry, charcoal and plum jam. On the palate I get a darker fruit profile- blackberry, ripe plum. The mid palate hits me with cheek quenching tannins, not overly done- just makes me pucker a bit. The acidity also presents at the same moment. Intriguing to have my rear jowls hit by opposing forces. The finish gets me back to that mineral tone of creosote, perhaps some black olives, all tiptoeing around the tannic bite that crescendoed on the finish. An interesting wine that I am enjoying thoroughly. It’s needs meat though, pair it with game, lamb stew or something hearty. 91 points for this blend of 62% Pinotage, 22% Merlot, 12% Cab Sav and 4% Shiraz. Aerate for immediate enjoyment and drink till 2025. 5 stars for this $15 effort. Salut….
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….