Pale to medium lemon/lime colored with a watery sheen (8.5% ABV!). The nose is intensely aromatic with rose water, apricots, ginger snaps, grass, honeysuckle, curry powder (yup, curry powder), lychees and crushed stone. The palate is off-dry as expected but has medium acidity and hint of bitterness. I feel the body is quite full, as the wine coats my palate but the low alcohol defies that logic. The fruity, aromatic, perfumed flavors echo the nose with emphasis on ginger and lychees. The finish is quite long, the perfume just lingers on the palate. It’s a delicious wine and I picked it to pair with spicy tacos- I think the level of sugar, acidity and big aromatic qualities will do well in the combination. I am thinking 91 points for this $20 wine, making it a 5 star effort. I can see myself loading up on this low alcohol, slightly sweet wine that will pour easily all summer long and pairing it with all manner of lighter fare- even some spicy dishes like mine. Drink till 2025. Salut….
The second wine at Virtual Tasting #29 was this Napa Cabernet. It has a deep ruby color and smells ‘yummy’ according to the group! Menthol was the first thing I noticed on the nose followed by dark chocolate, tobacco, green pepper, black cherry, blackcurrant and Kirsch. Medicinal notes along with a dusty component were commented on. Dry with medium acidity and medium intensity tannins that were very well melded made for a really nice mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied this Cabernet had flavors of black pepper, green pepper, tart cherry, tobacco, cranberry, pencil shavings and graphite. The group really felt it was red-fruit dominant and had started developing tertiary flavors. The finish was short-medium in length. This $28 wine gets 91 points from me making it a 5 star effort to drink till 2028. I would pair it with braised beef cheeks or a plate full of Osso Bucco. Salut….
Last night we drank four wines at the 29th Virtual Wine tasting. Opening up with both a chilled and room temp serving of this Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon the group found the wine to be a pale lemon color with the textbook aromas of cut grass, citrus and dare I say- cat pee. Other aromas and flavors included peaches, algae (?), pineapple, grapefruit and lemon curd. The wine was dry with high acidity and a medium (-) body leading to a short finish. I think this $45 bottle is worthy of 91 points, slightly shy of the pros who went as high as 94. It’s delicious now and will keep for a few more years but why wait on this 4 star effort. Seafood or poached chicken would pair nicely. Salut….
We went out to dinner last night and ordered this $21 Sangiovese ($65 at the restaurant 😳). I did not take notes but loved the wine. At 4 years of age it was showing plenty of earthy, tertiary notes along with some fruit and oak influence. The leather fingerprint of this varietal was abundant and the tannins had really integrated. Acidity was en pointe and the wine had a lovely mid length finish. Well worth the price of entry even at a restaurant. 91 points from me and a drink till 2025 window. 5 stars. Salut….
I bought this Tawny Port to compare to the Ruby version I recently tasted. It is a medium garnet color, less intense that the ruby port. The nose is quite pronounced with raisins, prunes, jammy blackberry, walnuts, Brazil nuts and dusty mocha. Semi sweet on the palate with medium acidity and medium tannins. I get rich flavors of stewed black fruit with prunes and raisins. The nuttiness is not as pronounced on the palate as the nose but it is still present. The heat on the back end is quite noticeable on this full bodied wine. It’s delicious with a long finish that I’m savoring. For the price of $23 this 91 pointer gets 5 stars from me. I’m trying to decide if I prefer Ruby vs. Tawny port. You? Drink this with some rich cheese. Salut….
This 5 year old Cabernet Sauvignon is starting to turn visually- deep garnet colored with thick legs in the glass (14.0% ABV). The nose has youthful fruit aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, vanilla, mint, blueberry coulis, spice box, cedar and chocolate nibs. It’s a very rich nose and I’m looking forward to tasting it. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium tannins that are well integrated. I get pronounced flavors of blackcurrant jam along with blackberry, blueberry, mint, green pepper, vanilla and chocolate. The fruit coats my mouth with the tannins and acidity there to balance it all out, full bodied to say the least. The long finish leans on the oak with the black fruit fading. I get persistent charred oak, vanilla and chocolate on the back end. For a wine that looks like it has some age, this $17 beauty is certainly youthful and ready to rock till 2027. I’m going with 91 points and 5 stars. Pairing it with Tenderloins on the cast iron. Salut….
Pale lemon colored this Sur-lie aged wine has bright aromas of lemon curd, white blossom, vanilla bean and a hint of brioche. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and a medium (-) body. It’s quite tart with flavors of lemon, grapefruit, white flower blossom and linalool. I was hoping for some more vanilla bean and brioche but alas, it’s more of a citrus event. The finish is medium to long in length and tangy with some fresh acidity. I am really starting to like the Melon grape and how they make it in the Pais Nantais of the Loire Valley. 91 points for this outstanding white that I’m pairing with baked Cod and spiced rice. For $12 this is a 5 star effort to drink the near term. Salut….
Deep ruby colored with a touch of staining on the walls and slow moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose has pronounced aromas of cassis, menthol, blackberry, blueberry coulis, chocolate dust, açaí berry and some baking spice- very complex but primal in nature. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity and really grippy medium (+) tannins that are very fine-grained. Full bodied, this wine coats my mouth with cassis, blackberry, açaí, blueberry jam and some hints of oak. The finish is long with a slightly bitter vein. I like this wine- it screams Cali sunshine in it’s ripeness and fullness. 91 points for this $56 effort makes it a 4 star wine. I’m pairing it with roasted Sirloin Cap and a mushroom gravy. Drink this relatively cellar-worthy wine till 2028. Salut….
This wine is a blend of Tempranillo and Alicante Bouschet which is a Teinturier grape (flesh is also red). It’s a deep shade of purple in the glass and it stains the walls. On the nose- ripe red plums, black cherry, menthol, vanilla and almond pith. The palate is dry with medium acidity and high tannins (remember the stained walls of the glass?). The flavors are rich and ripe- dark red fruit, charcoal, vanilla, menthol and an espresso strength coffee note right at the end. Full bodied, it finishes with medium length along with some very tannic grip. It is a rather complex wine for $15 that gets 91 points from me and 5 stars. If you like ’em dry, pop-n-pour or else cellar this wine for a few years but drink up by 2030. I am pairing with grilled meat and roasted cauliflower rubbed with Chorizo seasoning. Salut….
Pale straw colored with thick legs (13.5%ABV). The nose has pronounced aromas of lemon curd, honeysuckle, white flower blossom, dill, fleur de sel and stone fruit. The palate is barely dry with medium acidity and a medium (+) body. Really nice flavors of citrus and florals with a wax and honey note alongside some briny minerality that makes this a delicious wine. It ends with a mid length finish that is lush and waxy. Yum. This 91 pointer sells for $16 and gets 5 stars from me. I’m pairing it with steamed mussels and garlic, you could try grilled mackerel or salmon. Drink till 2023. Salut….