Somewhat hazy (unfiltered?) but a very opaque shade of ruby in the glass with medium legs and slight staining on the walls. The nose is intense with gorgeous aromas of blueberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, menthol, elderberry, coffee bean and chocolate powder. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and medium (+) tannins. Really ripe flavors of black cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant and elderberry meld beautifully with the menthol and coffee notes. Rich and full bodied this is a delicious wine that only rings in at 13.6% ABV, surprising to me. The tannic structure is excellent, giving a nice and silky dryness to the mouthfeel while fading gently as the fruit continues to roll on to a long finish. This is an outstanding Shiraz if you like them big and bold, which suits me fine for the Lamb chops I am grilling to pair with. I would say this one has some cellaring capacity but is drinking beautifully now and will last until 2028. 92 points from me for this $17 wine makes it a hard to beat 5 star effort. Salut….
Medium garnet colored this Nebbiolo has some thick legs in the glass (14.5% ABV). The nose has pronounced aromas of leather, cherry, dusty earth, licorice and coffee. Charred oak is evident and there is a perfumed floral note as well. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and medium tannins. Full bodied, this delicious wine has flavors of tart cherry, red currant, pomegranate, leather, dusty earth, tar and coffee. The oaky note is very faint. It finishes long and a touch tart with grippy tannins. Still relatively young at 4 years, it will cellar nicely and drink till 2030 at the least. I think it gets 92 points and for $32 it’s a 5 star wine. I am pairing it with slow cooked beef roast and trimmings. Salut….
I love Port, but I’ll be honest…. the packaging lured me on this one. Who doesn’t need a small decanter to have around? This Ruby Port is deep garnet colored and sports the traditional 20% ABV. The nose is gorgeous- ripe black plum jam, golden raisins, caramel, toffee, figs and bakers spice box. The palate is semi-sweet with lush stewed black fruit, toffee, caramel, figs and spices. Medium (-) acidity and a full body with supple tannins make for a great mouthfeel. The finish is long and laced with black fruit nuance. The alcohol is noticeable but not a detractor, well integrated. This is a delicious bottle of dessert wine that begs for blue cheese and some apricots with almonds. I love it- 92 points from me. Th upcharge for the decanter and packaging brings this beauty to $42. Get one for the souvenir factor and then downgrade to the regular 750ml bottles to lay around, they run $19 and are well worth stocking up on for the cold winter ahead. 5 stars, drink now. Salut….
Medium garnet colored this Cab Franc has pretty thin, slow moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose gives me medium intensity aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, coconut, cedar plank, toasty oak, chocolate powder, blueberry jam and some brioche/yeast notes. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and super smooth medium tannins. The wine coats my mouth and is full bodied with rich blueberry flavors. The red fruit are there but not as prominent. Toasty oak and some cocoa with a hint of coconut round out the palate. The finish is medium-ish and very caressing- the tannins are fully melded in this 7 year old wine that is drinking en pointe. It is delicious and will pair beautifully with my Hangar steaks and mashed taters. 92 points from me for this $57 offering that gets 5 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Medium ruby in the glass with thick legs (13.5% ABV). On the nose I get eucalyptus, menthol, black plum, perfume, super-ripe black currants and vanilla. The palate is dry with medium acidity, gorgeously smooth medium (+) tannins and a full body. Flavors of blackcurrant, black plum, vanilla and a hint of menthol all intertwine around a lovely mouthfeel. This is a very tasty Syrah folks, with good structure built for the medium term. With a medium length finish I get loads of fruit and fading tannins. It begs for Pepper Steak and a side of gratin potatoes. I would drink this 92 point Syrah till 2027. For $17 it gets 5 stars and possibly a cellar stock-up. Salut….
Inky purple in the glass with noticeable stains on the side walls. Aromas of very ripe blackberry, charred oak, black cherry coulis, dark chocolate, a medicinal note (Oak?) and cracked pepper. Th palate is dry with medium acidity and high tannins. Full bodied and oozing with rich flavors of ripe black fruit and charred oak. The medicinal note I got is there as is the dark chocolate. The teeth staining tannins are very persistent throughout to a medium length finish. I love this varietal and really enjoy this winery- a winning combination that makes this a 92 point wine imho. You can find it for $53 online, making it a 4 star wine. I am pairing with Rib Roast and all the trimmings. Drink till 2030. Salut…..
Rich ruby colored and about 75% opaque. The nose has enticing aromas of black plum, cassis, blackberry, menthol, vanilla, coffee, mocha. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins. They are well integrated but still grippy. Flavors of cassis and plum dominate but I get blackberry with oak influence and some green pepper alongside the menthol. Full bodied it carries on to a long finish. This is textbook Right Bank Merlot with a dash of Cabernet Franc- delicious and reasonably priced at $25. I like it and think it is worthy of 92 points and 5 stars. I’m searing some Hangar steaks with Gratin Potatoes to pair. Drink till 2028. Salut….
It’s not often we get all four of my kids together, but when we do it’s off for a big night out. This adventure took us to a Brazilian Steakhouse where the waiter completely butchered the opening, serving and cork removing of this spectacular wine. Without taking any notes I will say that for $45 you are getting a super smooth Bordeaux Blend from Chile that has very soft, integrated tannins, medium acidity, full body, a long finish and a melange of fruit, oak and tertiary aromas and flavors. A stunning wine that went beautifully with all the different cuts of beef, pork, lamb and sausage we gorged on. The structure of this wine makes it perfect for immediate pleasure, but I would not cellar it too long, say till 2025 for this vintage. A real surprise and a treat. 92 points and 5 stars. Salut….
Opaque- deep, deep ruby which is surprising for a 10 year old wine. Slow moving legs in the glass hint at the 14.5% ABV. The nose has freshness- dark plum, vanilla, blackberry, cassis, menthol, tomato leaf and a green herbaceous note. The palate is dry, tart from medium (+) acidity and balanced with medium (+) tannins which are still quite grippy. Full bodied, this wine coats my mouth with rich flavors of blackberry, cassis, black plum. The oak shines with vanilla whilst the menthol, tomato leaf and green notes all support. It’s a precise wine with delineation between all the flavors and aromas. It finishes rather short but it is balanced. I like it, as I like most of this winery’s offering (especially their Petite Sirah). 92 points from me for this $50 bottle makes it a 5 star effort to drink till 2030. We are firing up the charcoal for some Cowboy steaks and potato wedges which is funny because the last time I drank this wine we also had beef and potatoes. Read about my 2020 tasting here. Salut….
This is the last of my 2009 Schug Pinot. I first drank it 10 years ago and really enjoyed it. With cellaring this wine has turned to a pale garnet color. I get pronounced aromas of stewed cherry and strawberry, bakers spice, cardamom, orange peel, cherry cola, vanilla, butterscotch/caramel and red plum compote. Very complex and intriguing. The palate is dry and delicious. Low tannins coupled with medium acidity and medium (-) body lead me to quite pronounced flavors of cooked red fruit, spices, oak nuance and tertiary notes along with the cola and caramel. The finish is medium in length and very smooth. I have been amazed at how this wine has evolved- stunning, with years left. Drink till 2026 with white meat or even strong fish dishes- think grilled Mackerel or Salmon on the plank. 92 points and for $35 it gets 5 stars. Salut….