Super purple and totally opaque- not what I was expecting from this varietal. The nose is very rich with cherry extract, toasty oak and strawberry jam. It’s very concentrated. The palate is packed with red fruit preserves, cherries jubilee and a hint of tobacco. There’s a nice acidic tone from the get-go alongside medium level tannins. I’m enjoying the whole package- the mouthfeel is very lively, balanced and complex. The finish is medium in length, pseudo dry and quite juicy. I’m really liking this atypical wine that gets 92 points from me. At $74 it’s worthy of 4 stars. Drink till 2027 and pair it with Lamb Chops, Venison Tenderloins or even Eggplant Parm. So delicious I may want to try it again! (Ps. I just read the winery notes- they use the Ripasso method to really extrude as much color, tannins and essence from the grapes which makes sense why it is so dense, full bodied and delicious). Salut….
I am looking forward to this Sangiovese, which will pair with grilled Lamb chops, Prosciutto wrapped asparagus and boiled carrots. It shows a deep red yet see-through hue in the glass which can be expected of the varietal. On the nose I get loads of cherry, strawberry and red licorice. The palate is stupendous- rich red fruit compote, leather, great acidity and very fine grained tannins. The cherry component is very red, the strawberry giving way to pomegranate and cranberry. Oak use is very deft and the juiciness of the acidity is on pointe. The mid palate adds a spicy component and some tar. The tannins are starting to grip as well. On the long finish I still get red cherry and that tartness from currants and cranberries. This is quite a rich, layered wine with much complexity. I am really enjoying it and the thought of charred Lamb with the cut of this wine- it’s going to be amazing. Whilst a touch young, if you like them a little dry and fresh then drink now. Cellaring for a few years will reward and I will imagine this wine can last till 2030 at the least. 92 points from me and 5 stars for this $40 stunner. Salut….
The cork failed on this 20 year old Classed Bordeaux but it’s a dark purple and almost opaque with a touch of bricking. The nose is classic Claret that is well aged. Tobacco, raisins, steeped plum and a healthy dose of leather. On the palate it is a touch sour initially with cherry that gives way to tertiary flavors of cedar cigar box, Maduro and leather. It’s very mature and certainly delicious. The tannins are fully integrated at this point so the wine is at peak if not just past. The finish has a modicum of acidity, the structure that has let this wine last this long. It is the final bottle of a case I purchased in 2003. It’s sad to see it go but I’m glad I have been able to track its evolution. 92 points from me has been consistent in all my tastings of this wine. The pros went sub 90 back in the early days, I guess they did not think it would hang in there for two decades and evolve so beautifully. If you want to try one, they are available online for about $80. We drank it all by itself , something I would recommend. 5 stars. Salut….
Dinner is Lamb Shanks with black eyed peas and Rattatouile. I needed a stout, dry wine so I turned to this young Cab Sav. It’s dark purple, and totally opaque. The nose gives me ripe blackberry, rich plum compote and I can smell the 14.8% heat. On the palate the taste echoes the nose- rich purple fruit flavors intertwining with beautiful tannins and a touch of acidity. The fruit is very rich with Cali sunshine evident. I get a hint of Iodine on the mid palate alongside the layered plums, blackcurrant and berries. The acidity kicks it up a notch on the finish and the dryness on my gums remains for a long period. The flavors linger for nearly 15 seconds. Delicious stuff that gives off some Oak influence right at the end. 92 points for this $90 monster makes it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2029. Pricy but yummy! Salut….
Very dark red/purple in the glass. On the nose this Grenache blend gives me some raspberry, game, violets and pomegranate. The palate is exceedingly smooth with layers of dark red fruits. Raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranate, blueberry and Ceylon tea notes are abundant. There is a very lithe tannic component with really mellow, balancing acidity to give this wine a nice mouthfeel. The mid palate goes a touch drier but the fruit components remain the same. The finish has more black tea and is quite dry, the tannins kicking it up a notch. Very smooth still and tasty to boot. Moxie is fixing up some Filets and this was the perfect pairing for the lean meat. I really am enjoying the melange of red and blue fruits as well as the structure of this wine. I’m going with 92 points. The pros went way higher (96 and 95). Lovely stuff that can be had for $30 and gets 5 stars from me. Blended with Syrah and Mourvedre as is typical for Rhone wines. Drink till 2029. Salut….
This Mourvedre shows a rich purple color in the glass and is semi opaque. On the nose it is gorgeous, if not different. Bright purple fruits of plum and blackberry with some bacon fat and licorice. The palate is lush with ripe blackberry, smoky oak, lavender and more licorice. The tannins are very much present, really pushing my gums on the mid palate but I am enjoying them- very polished. The dark fruit theme continues and the finish is medium in length with more smoke, game, blackberry and violet. It’s a rich wine with great structure, the varietal usually being part of a blend. I like the expression of fruit in this one and think it will drink nicely till 2030. If you like them young and brawny, drink now or else decant/aerate. The pros went large on this one, 94 points. I give it 92 with a 5 star rating cause you can pick a bottle up for $24. This one is destined for the Sunday Rib roast with all the trimmings. Salut….
This blend of Tempranillo and Trincadeira took three days for me to rate. We opened it at the 13th Virtual Wine Tasting and the panel felt it had cardboard box, pepper, black cherry, dark chocolate and earthy notes. It was tannic right off the bat but we coaxed black licorice, dark cherry, sun dried tomato and a hoppy note out of it. I recall writing that this semi opaque wine of medium purple color was quite rich, if not a tad young and rushed. On night 1 it got 12/20 on my rating scale and a technical score of 91 points. I tried it again on night 2 and found it had a muted nose with some red currants and orange peel. The palate was slightly sour with blackberry, licorice and rhubarb. It was still earthy and tannic as heck. Night 3 is when this wine finally opened up for me. Black pepper, jammy blackberry and licorice on the nose gave way to a much smoother palate of iodine, blackberry, bramble and that earthiness. Oak is now evident but restrained making this wine quite complex. It has a smooth finish with well integrated tannins now and is in balance. I’m glad I got to witness a three day evolution of this highly rated $14 wine. It finished out at 92 points from me and gets a massive 5 stars for the QPR it brings. Drink till 2027. I would pair with a hearty steak if opening right now, or decant the heck out of it to soften the tannins. Salut….
Pale gold. The nose is sugary- apple juice meets apricot jam. On the palate it’s quite sweet with great minerality, nice acidity and notes of apple cider and green apple pie. A great midpalate with medium level acidity and some mouth filling glycerine. It’s delicious, sweet but not unctuous and has a nice cut with a great, rounded mouthfeel. It would work well post prandial or as an aperitif but I feel it would need some Foie Gras to mellow out the acidity and sweetness. I’m really enjoying it. 92 points and 5 stars- $15 for 500ml bottle. Drink till 2030. Salut….
The finale for the 12th virtual wine tasting was a stunner. Dark purple, opaque and very powerful on the nose. Spice box, vanilla, cocoa powder, black cherry and jam were all noted as was, dare I say- plastic and banana. The palate gave us black fruit jam, black tea bursting with beautiful tannins that really coated the mouth. This wine was delicious and I made note that the oak use was very judicious and well played. There was a shot of pepper on the short finish, which took a few points off the table. Still young, it will develop nicely and drink well till 2030. I’m going lower than the pros with 92 points and 5 stars. $50 is not cheap, but this wine has loads of stuffing to it and will get better with time. Salut….
This Malbec was the Wine of the Night (WOTN) for many at the 12th virtual wine tasting. We enjoyed menthol, lilac, raspberry, Damson plum, smoke tar, leather, violets and gravel on the nose. That’s a lot of descriptors. On the palate it is very fruity with just enough tannic grip to give it structure. Plums, dark fruit, licorice and ‘Cognac’ flavors were noted and I felt the wine had a jammy concentration to it. There was a definitive jab of acidity on the decent length finish and the wine had a very pleasing mouthfeel. It was elegant and full of flavor making it the go-to drink after the tasting was over. Well made and worthy of 92 points from me which gets it 5 stars for the $25 price tag. Drink till 2025. Salut….