This Kiwi treat is pale gold in the glass and has notes of lemons, watermelon, cut grass and blood orange on the nose. The palate is deelish. Yellow apple, lemon curd, melon and a nice thrust of acidity. The mid palate is very smooth and lean with nice citrus notes that pass on to the long finish. I like the acidity in this wine, it’s present but not too cutting. The mouthfeel is very refreshing and clean. Lemons and blood orange finish it up after 30 + seconds. Really enjoyable wine that I am pairing with Jerk Chicken and Jamaican veg curry. 91 points and 5 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
I usually pick a lighter style wine to go early in the Virtual Wine Tasting Company’s lineup, it’s normally a Pinot but this time I selected a Barbera d’Alba. I thought the varietal closely mimicked the lightness and flavor profile of Pinot but I was off the mark with this particular bottle. It was very dark red in the glass with medium opacity and very fine legs that showed off it’s whopping 15% alcohol. On the nose the tasters got black licorice, blackberry, currants, cherry cola and ‘Shrinky Dink’. I could smell the alcohol a mile away and the flavors came forth out of the glass with no coaxing needed. I made a note of ‘intense black fruit flavors’ on my own.
The palate showed black cherry and licorice with light tannins but the flavors were jammy and deep. The finish was slightly dry with caressing tannins and juicy acidity. I really enjoyed this wine and gave it 16 points on my tasting sheet. Technically translated- that would be a 91 point effort for this $33 beauty that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2028 with lighter fare. Quote of the night – “Water running over moss covered rocks.” He obviously did not enjoy it as much as I! Salut….
This South African Chenin is a bright gold color in the glass. On the nose I get flowers, melon, ripe plantain and a pink grapefruit note. The palate is very round and enticing. Flavors of melon, banana parfait, a touch of citrus and apple are all caressing my mouth. This wine really fills with flavor and body for a great mouthfeel. The mid palate is soft and continues the fruit melange theme. The long (30+seconds) finish reminds me of fruit salad with bananas. Fruity, flavorful and satisfying it’s easy to drink this 12.7% alcohol wine. I am really enjoying this it as I roast a Chicken with steamed green beans. It will drink well for a few years and gets 91 whopping points from me. For $18- 5 stars, wish I had more. Salut….
This is one dark, opaque wine in the glass. On the nose I get some red currants, violets, crushed stone minerality and blueberry. The palate is delicious- ripe blueberry, licorice, rooibos tea and cranberry flavors are all intermingled with very fine grained tannins. The mid palate introduces a touch of acidity and the finish is where this wine really shines. It has a lovely mouthfeel, good balance and the fruit flavors go on for 30 seconds. Those lithe tannins slowly ramp up to give me a touch of dryness on the gums and teeth. Just what I needed for a Fall evening with some hearty foods to include Veal Shnitzel and mashed potatoes. I am really enjoying this wine and would suggest a drinking window until 2025. This Syrah/Grenache blend gets 91 points from me. At $11- six stars if I could. Salut….
This Sonoma Cab is very bright purple and shows thin legs on the glass. The nose is mostly raspberry, rhubarb and red cherry. On the palate I get red fruits, rooibos tea, orange peel and some stoic tannins. The mid palate is definitely a dry affair of astringent tea, cherry and raspberry. I’m waiting for an acidic thrust to balance out the gushing tannins. It happens right at the end, on the long finish that is bone dry and trends towards blacker fruit flavors. There is a touch of oak on the back end that I like. This wine is very young and could use some cellaring or decanting. Drink from 2023 to 2030. It is well made and I am enjoying its youthful exuberance. 91 points and 5 stars for this reasonably priced gem. Shocking find! Salut….
This wine was part of the #9 Virtual Wine tasting. I made some notes from others at the event.
It is very extruded and rich looking in the glass- a dark shade or red/purple and nearly opaque. On the nose I sense a sweet cherry pie note with a touch of Vanilla, black licorice and coffee. It’s very interesting, that’s for sure. On the palate I first get black cherry concentrate, chocolate and dare I say- overripe Reb berries? The mid palate continues the theme with more dark chocolate, Dr. Pepper, licorice. There is a modicum of tannins and a nice dose of acidity. The finish is dark and dry. The wine seems to be a touch sweet and getting more so as it airs out. It’s not my favorite style of Pinot but it did well at the tasting and for me it’s a 91 point wine. The complexity and depth are worthy of high marks. At $40+ it’s a pass for me, but others who enjoy the new world boldness will dig this wine. It got higher marks from the pros BTW. 3 stars in my book. Drink till 2029. Salut….
This Sonoma gem pours very dark, brooding and inky in the glass. The palate is somewhat of a surprise- it’s chock full of plum, black berry and chocolate powder. I also get a whiff of the 14.5% alcohol. On the palate it is delicious, tannic, and interesting. Black iodine, plum jam and blackberry compote all hit me. The wine has a nice dose of tannins that carry through all the way to the finish, not overly dry but present nonetheless. The mid palate mellows out some from the big burst of fruity goodness. The tannins are more evident on the gums at this stage and my mouth is starting to pucker. The finish has dusty mocha, more of that Iodine and obviously those dark fruits. It could use a touch more acidity but I really am enjoying it for it’s youthful exuberance and unabashed tannic structure. Good use of oak adds to the flavor of this wine and the alcohol that I was concerned about did not materialize. It will cellar nicely for a few years and pair well with grilled steaks, Osso Bucco or a hearty Venison stew. Drink till 2026. 91 points my friends and 5 stars for this $20 Cali Cab. Salut….
This Russian River Valley Chard has a beautiful gold sheen to it. The nose is floral and full of citrus. Lemons, lime and vanilla bean all hit me. On the palate it is very rich and warm. The citrus theme continues but I note popcorn and honeysuckle join the fray. The mid palate is full bodied with a nice mouthfeel. I am enjoying the citrus without too much acidic cut. I was looking forward to a somewhat fuller wine and this one hits all the notes. The finish is crisp and clean with a core of marzipan to go alongside the refreshing fruit flavors of lemon, lime and green apple. Judicious oak use is noted and appreciated. I am pan searing some King Salmon to go with Battata Harra, a spicy Middle Eastern potato dish- I think the weight of this Chardy will go well with the fish and stand up to the fiery spices of the side dish. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $16 wine. Drink till 2028. Salut….
I don’t drink Zins very often, but when I find one I like- I remember it and revisit. I was not a huge fan initially of the last Zin I drank, the Turley Zin turned out much better after a day or so.
This one shows semi opaque in the glass and has a lovely reddish hue to the purple color. On the nose I get raspberries, red currants and cinnamon stick. The palate is very rich with a nice thrust of raspberry coulis and mulling spices. There’s a really nice set of tannins that caress the gums without stripping the enamel off my teeth alongside a juicy acidity that hits the mid palate. The red fruit theme continues with some steeped rhubarb and spices. This is not a jammy Zin, but is full bodied with rich flavors and a really nice, long finish. The warmth I get on the backend is also very interesting. Really tasty with a decent level of complexity and aging capacity make this a 91 point wine IMHO. I paid a paltry $9.99 for it but it normally retails for $40. 4 stars with a drinking window till 2027. I’m flash cooking some thin Ribeyes that will pair nicely. Salut….
The last wine of our Virtual tasting #8 was this highly regarded Zin which rolls in at $35. I selected it because I really like this winery and was thinking it would be interesting to have two wines from the same winemaker, albeit different varietals to showcase the winemaker’s style and skill. There were 8 different groups tasting this wine and I recorded their collective notes.
The wine starts off with a nice purple shade of medium opacity. Fine legs on the sidewalls gave away the 15.5% alcohol, which was not evident on the palate- well disguised! The immediate reaction to the nose was ‘Grandmothers attic! A good swirl and more traditional aromas of baked cherries, rhubarb, cherry, currant, plum and dusty mocha were mentioned alongside descriptors of svelte, brooding, jammy and finally mothballs. Back to the closet I guess!
On the palate members of the group noted sassafras, huckleberry, cinnamon and Jalapeño. I found the wine to be complex but the finish brought up some interesting comments. Stinky Brie, green and bitter notes were mentioned but I thought the wine was balanced between lithe tannins and gentle acidity. Pepper was the predominant feature for me. I was not overly impressed by this wine on night one and will re-taste tonight. For now I’m going with 89 points, a stark contrast fro the 92 it got from some of the pros. 3 stars initially. Drink till 2025. Salut….
UPDATE- I re-tasted the wine after a 24 hour period and have revised my score to 91. It improved dramatically. The complexity was evident- 4 stars.