For thew 4th Virtual Tasting event I wanted a Sangiovese to go alongside the Pinot Noir I was planning to showcase. I find the two varietals very similar in many traits, so the the challenge was to find a decent, ready to drink Chianti that hopefully would show off the core characteristics of the grape. This one turned out to be too young, subdued and not very forthcoming with fruit albeit with strong structure. It scored well with the pros but came in a very disappointing last place overall amongst our group. The wine showed well in the glass, more opaque than I had expected but the nose was very hard to coax any cherry flavors out of. Moxie noted salt on her initial sniff. It did not open up much on the palate but did have a tannic backbone masking the fruit. Acidity was medium but not overpowering. I remember thinking this wine had a good dose of oak, charcoal and tobacco. I did not write up any further notes but remember the finish was not very satisfying or long. It’s a shame as the big boys averaged 92 points. I feel it might need a re-tasting in the future once it has mellowed out. I will reserve judgement for now. I paid $23 which would have technically made it a 5 star wine. Salut….
I love this winery, they make very Old World style Syrah in Australia that is very rich, extracted but not jammy. This one happens to be a younger version of the 2006 Syrah.
It’s very inky and opaque in the glass. The nose is brooding, and the 14.5% alcohol is evident. Black plums, dark fruit melange and spicy oak are all present. With a good deal more swirling I get violets, Boysenberry and a charred note. On the palate it is very juicy right off the bat. Figs, blackberry and espresso hit my palate alongside some slightly green tannins and a nice acidic cut. The mid palate is quite focused on that tartness alongside a blueberry meets plum note. Tannins take a step back while the acidity plays lead. The finish is long, mouthwatering and modestly dry. Black fruits dominate the back end with some Mocha, licorice and that burnt wood note. I think I preferred the 2006, but this is a very tasty wine that I feel is acid dominated and slightly off balance. Drink till 2026. For $100, it’s quite pricy which gets 92 points and 4 stars from me. Salut….
It’s a really nice reddish shade and totally see-through. The nose is gorgeous- strawberry, cherry, earth and game. On the initial palate I get rich red cherry reduction, leather, mushroom, forest floor- all flavors I was hoping for in an aged Pinot from Burgundy. The mid palate shows me red currants, more cherry, crisp acidity and a very fine grained tannic structure. There is a green streak on the finish that gives it a bit of zing but is dominated by tart cherry and pomegranate. This wine is very complex and layered. The finish is long and mouth watering. I am really enjoying it and think it is at peak, drinking well for at least another decade. Filet Mignon is on tap for the pairing. 92 points from me but I have no pricing info. New vintages are going for over $85. I would give it 5 stars, the cellaring has rewarded me well. Salut….
Semi opaque with a dark red hue. On the nose I get dark cherries, beautiful oak, raspberry and dried herbs. On the palate there’s an immediate thrust of leather, tobacco and cherry. It is a touch tart but mouthwatering. The cherry theme continues onto the mid palate where I also get a good thwack of tannins. Wow, this wine is a cherub. Creosote, black plums and that tart cherry all mingle on the palate and I sense this wine is not yet close to maturity. The finish is long, tannic, tart and fruity with those cherries galore, some sage and more leather. I regret opening this wine so young, but I will get more for the cellar. Tonight I will pair it with Sous Vide Ribeyes, probably the best combo I could think of for this tannic monster Nebbiolo. Drink from 2025 to 2030 at the least. 92 points and 5 stars for this $39 beauty. Salut….
This wine was over-hyped by a retailer that I use so I had to jump in on a case. Glad I did…
Bright purple- semi opaque. The nose is sublime…. purple plums, blackberry, a hint of oak. On the palate it’s very fruity and a touch tannic. Full on with blackberry reduction, plums and tobacco. The tannic bite is very gentle and balanced. The mid palate is a touch more dry, but very manageable. Oolong tea and spices mingle with the plums and blackberry, delicious. The finish is fab. This wine screams Napa sunshine, it lacks the telltale eucalyptus but shines in the plums and black berries. The tannic structure is impressive- starting out gentle, ending up in a crescendo of tea and charred oak notes. 92 points and 4 stars- $60. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Our wine of the night at the second Virtual wine tasting. You can’t go wrong with a Cali Cab. The wine just oozes sunshine, rich fruit, nice oak and balance. The nose on this wine was all black cherry. Tons of it. The initial palate included those dark beauties alongside some plum, blueberry and coconut. Licorice featured on the mid palate where the tannins really started to grip. Mouthfeel was very full, rich and nicely balanced with acid, black tea and a touch of plum jam sweetness. The finish was really nice, long and a touch dry. This wine was drinking beautifully and was an easy ringer at the end of the night. 92 points from me, drink till 2028. For $27 it should feature in your cellar, 5 stars. Salut….
I have had many bottles of the Marques De Riscal, of whom a friend’s father was on the Board many moons ago. I think of my visit to Spain every time I see the twisted wire around bottles of this Tempranillo.
In the glass it is a reddish shade, pretty opaque and showing off wide legs down the edges. The nose is gorgeous- tar, black plum, earthy spice and bramble. On the palate it is rich, unctuous and very fruit forward with blackberry jam, plum reduction, spice box and cedar. It is delicious. There is a very nice acidic component that carries me to the maid palate where those classic Rioja flavors of creosote come to the forefront. There is a spiciness on the back end that I really enjoy. The back end is long, with a crescendo of tannins peaking at the tail end. It’s a really nice, dry yet tart finish with some definite wood influence. The mouthfeel begs for the Strip Roast I am cooking on the smoker. This wine is drinking beautifully and will cellar well till 2027. 92 points and 5 stars for this $20 stunner. Salut….
I’m concerned for this bottle. The cork was extruded, indicating possible heat damage. The color looks good, dark purple, opaque. The nose is reassuring, sublime. Classic aged Rioja. Oaky, earthy, damson and plum reduction. The palate shows some heat damage unfortunately and is a bit thin.
I will try my best here considering- flavors of ripe fig, blueberry and plum come at me with a noticeable amount of earthiness. The mid palate is very much textbook- bramble, dirt, tart acidity and iodine. The finish is decent in length but has some stewed fruits that I think are from the heat. Nice tannins and some bracing acidity all form up at the end. It’s a shame because it could potentially be a 92 point wine. I paid $40 for this Tempranillo which would have made it a 5 pointer. Salut….
Wine number 3 in the virtual tasting was the ringer. A $15 perennial favorite that is as consistent as the rising sun. This Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State wowed the drinkers with its intense fruity attack of blackberries, plum, great tannins and balanced acidity. It was an instant hit with friends clamoring to see where they could buy it in bulk. It will drink well till 2025 all by itself or paired with pretty much any meat dish. 5 stars for this 92 pointer. Salut….
I love this wine btw, having had older vintages in the past. This one shows see-through dark purple in the glass. The nose is ethereal- raspberries, rooibos tea, cinnamon and some oak. The palate is very much New World. Tart, crispy and loaded with red fruits. The cinnamon and raspberry components are very much accentuated. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol, which I kinda like. It’s only showing 13.5%, but I can sense its presence. The mid palate is more earthy with some wild game and mushroom notes along with some red berries. The finish is warm, with a raspberry reduction and charcoal note. It’s quite long and a touch tart, making me lick my chops. Overall this is a well made wine that is in a mid-life crisis. It’s lost some fruit yet doesn’t quite have tertiary flavors developed fully. I would give it another 3 years and drink from 2023-2030. 92 points and 4 stars for this $70 Pinot. I’m pairing with Chicken Kabobs. Salut….