From Sonoma, a Cabernet I have heard of but never tried. Purply and dark in the glass it shows promise of power and extraction. On the nose I get cassis, blackberry, ripe oak and a funk I hate to think might be cork taint. The wine itself tastes a little off. I get blackberry essence, ink, crunchy tannins and a hit of toasty oak. The mid palate has a really defined tannic dryness that I am enjoying. More black fruits come around for the finish as well as some espresso, cocoa powder and the omnipresent tannins. They really are persistent. Overall I think this wine has good potential and will cellar well, my only concern is with this particular bottle. I have been lucky not to have many corked bottles over the years, but it happens every once in a while. Technically speaking this one is an 86 point wine but has the potential to rise to 91 if it were not faulty. A shame really for this $43 effort. I’ll go with 4 stars as a compromise. Think steaks, au gratin and creamed spinach for a pairing. Salut….
A reasonably priced number that hails from France, the Rhone Valley to be more precise. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre typical for the region. I bought it on sale for under $10, but it normally sells for $15.
A very pretty medium depth purple color bodes well! On the nose I get raspberry, spice, a hint of smoky oak and some bacon fat. The initial palate suggests more of the same, which is really a treat. I enjoy all those flavors melded together. The tannins are really nice, juicy and not too dry. They complement the fruit and don’t overpower. This wine has a great feeling mid palate, with some cassis, black olives and more raspberry making appearances. The finish is nice, longer than expected and offers an oaky tinge along with the fruit and tannins. I have to say, this is a really good wine, far more complex than the price would allude to, far tastier than I imagined and it has some short term cellaring potential to boot. I am drinking it with some Broccoli Cheddar soup, which seems to work really well. It would pair great with some thin crust brick oven pizza, perhaps even a Beef stew. I have to go 91 points, which is above and beyond the rating I saw, and award this wine 5 stars for sure. I wish I ordered more. Salut….
It’s not often I get to drink a 17 year old wine, but I received two bottles of the 2000 St. Thomas recently. Given to me by a cousin and hand carried by my uncle half way across the globe. I was very gentle in opening the bottle, using my Two Prong Puller to prevent any cork failure. There was none, in fact the cork looked very good. The wine has a burnt hue to it, a slight bricking which is expected at this age. It is pretty dark though which is interesting. On the nose I initially got a dank whiff which has since blown off. I now get a fresh dose of plums, some tobacco and espresso bean. The palate is wonderful- soft, flavorful, balanced and easy to drink. Flavors of black berry, toasty oak, cherry, leather and cassis all hit me in layers. The mid palate offers up the tannins, bone dry and and still a force to be reckoned with. The acidity is juicy, yet not tart- balanced. The finish is long, with loads of tannin, dark fruit compote and more of the coffee/tobacco that I got on the nose. This wine believe it or not, is young. I see room for more development, more mellowing and believe the structure is there to hold it all together. It is a delicious, dry wine that begs for charcoal grilled Filets, which is what I am going to cook. An amazing wine from a distant relative’s winery that is excellent in every facet. 91 points from me for this vintage. I have no idea on price but newer vintages are running $22 and are equally delicious, even in their relative youth. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. I would give this wine 5 stars for sure. See my reviews of other St. Thomas vintages. Salut….
Bright purple presentation. The nose is blackberry, sage, eucalyptus and pine needle. The initial palate is vibrant, full of black fruit, bright acidity and Ribena. The mid palate takes a turn. The fruit is dark and brooding, giving way to the clash between the acidity and the tannins. They are balanced mind you, just in the forefront. They taper off on the finish and allow notes of blackberry pie, vanilla bean and blueberries to close it out. This is a bold wine, full of fruit, structure and a solid mouthfeel. It really could use some grilled meats, au gratin and a big salad to tone it down a touch. Impressive if you ask me. 91 points. $25 and 4 stars. Salut….
I bought some of this wine earlier in the year but the bottles were damaged in shipment. The vendor sent me replacemens once it cooled down. I’m glad they did!
The wine in nearly black in the glass. The nose of blackberry and violets has an oaky touch that adds a certain delicious factor. It’s more of a vanilla bean flavor but it is appropriate here. The initial tastes of black fruit get melded with some very dry tannins that really get to my gums. The wine transcends the mid palate with a shift to plums and coconut. The dryness really reaches a peak on the finish where the fruit flavors meet spicebox. I don’t sense an abundance of acidity which would help the wine’s cellaring potential, but think it will last until 2020 at the very least. I hope some secondary flavors evolve, I’m optimistic. It is 100% Aglianico, which happens to be one of my favorite grapes. 91 points. It gets 5 stars for the value it presents at $20. Salut….
Portugal is where it’s at in the value wine market today. Inky, dark and brooding in the glass. The nose is of black berries, iodine. The palate is full of dark fruits, a hint of oak, sweet black grapes and an earthiness. The mid palate transcends that profile and adds some very integrated tannins to the mix. The finish is long, dry and inky. Black berry pie finishes it all off at the end. It is a blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro. 91 points, and an amazing 5 stars for this $11 marvel. To be bought by the case in my opinion. Drink till 2024. I’m having mine with grilled kale salad and London broil. Salut….
I’m not a huge Barbaresco fan, I have to admit. Not because I don’t like it, I just don’t know anything about it. I am trying to broaden my palate and saw this offer come up, it was only $20 and got a good score- worth a punt as they say.
It shows well in the glass, a thick purple, somewhat opaque but healthy looking. The nose offers up a really nice Old World funk that I love. Plum, cherry pie and some oak are all present. I’m looking forward to this Nebbiolo….
On the palate I am pleasantly surprised, I think I like Barbaresco! This wine has depth and lots of fruit flavor. Rich plums, black berries, some black olives and an earthy component give way to some very well ingrained tannins. They take over on the mid palate and really dry out the gums. It is a nice sensation and makes for a long lived wine which has enough acidity to balance the package out. The berry fruit comes out again on the finish with an oak hit. The tannins are really searing by now, which makes this wine beg for a hearty Ragu, maybe a Ribeye steak. I’m guessing this wine is only a youngster and will develop for many years, gaining complexity and tertiary flavors. Drink now if you like them bold, dry and tannic, but cellar till 2022 for a more mellow affair. I think this wine is worthy of 91 points, and 5 stars! Salut….
Just when things were running on rails, the wine world throws a curve ball. I’m talking about LBV Port, specifically Unfiltered. Turns out this is a whole different beast that I don’t have a clue about , being untrained and just a commoner. There are several links to explain the differences:
Now, back to my bottle, an unfiltered LBV from 2011. Veyy dark purple in the glass. A nose of dark, rich plums, some alcohol and a touch of nutmeg. On the palate- very rich dark berries, plums and a hint of spice. Lovely.
The mid palate shows off very smooth plum compote, with a warm blackberry jam extraction and some ripe tannins. The wine has spent time in the wood and has some vanilla notes to boot. The acidity hits the finish along with more dark berries and some tobacco. There is a certain dryness to this wine that I am really digging. The mouthfeel is a little rough for me, with a green tannin compound but overall, very enjoyable. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $18 effort. If you enjoy a dessert wine, buy this one by the case. Salut….
I have been a fan of Trivento for a while now and have reviewed several vintages of the Golden Reserve Malbec. This one is particularly good and I am glad I bought a few bottles for the cellar. I suggest you do too! Almost inky in the glass, it is brooding and alluring. On the nose I’m getting blackberry, sweet plums and a touch of cedar plank. The palate is very much dominated by black fruits and a bold tannic attack. The blackberry component really shines through on the midpalate with a core of tannins that grip the gums. Acidity is present but the tannins are very fresh and dominate. The finish is medium long with a jam component and some chocolate dust. The ever present tannins do not taper off for a while. This wine is young but drinkable now. It will last and develop for at least 15 years. I’m thinking it needs a Portehouse steak with au gratin potatoes and a Caeser salad. 91 points and for $22, 5 stars. Salut…
I splurged, $25 a bottle for Jacobs Creek. It’s not just any JC though. In the glass it is dark, brooding and enticing. Rich, ripe plums on the nose with port wine accent. It smells the business. On the palate, it is super smooth and exhibits rich blackberries, plum extract, caramel, vanilla and a nice toast. The midpalate transition is seamless and the wine continues on to a very long finish. I’m astounded at the depth and purity of this wine. The balance is good but there are barely detectable tannins to go up against the slight acidity. That’s what gives this wine a great mouthfeel, yet detracts from its cellaring potential. It is the style of wine that I would use to introduce a novice red-wine drinker to. Easy on the tannins, the dryness and the acidity. This wine drinks beautifully now and will run well for another 5 years, till 2022. I would serve it with a rich stew, grilled lamb chops or perhaps a very well seasoned Cornish Hen. I’m going 91 points and 4 stars. Salut….