I’ve had this one before, but a while ago so I thought with some cellaring it would be even better- no surprise. It’s staring to turn a touch garnet but is of pale intensity. The nose is quite pronounced with pomegranate, red cherry, cranberry, barnyard, dried sage and dried red plum. The palate is delicious. Smooth with low tannins, medium acidity , medium body and gobs of flavor. In addition to the red fruits and tertiary notes I also get some rooibos tea. The finish is medium length and chock full of fruit with some super fine tannins. 92 points, drink till 2027. It runs $50 these days which makes it a 4 star wine in my books. Salut….
I have had a few of the Two Hands wines and enjoyed them so when I came across this slightly aged bottle I had to try. It’s Lamb Chops tonight so an Aussie Shiraz is appropriate. This one is deep ruby, ie nearly fully opaque. The nose is of medium intensity and has aromas of plums, blackberry, rich baking spice, cedar and eucalyptus but no telltale pepper note. The palate is dry with really juicy acidity, medium (+) tannins and medium (+) body. There is some heat from the high alcohol that caught me off-guard. The flavors are medium (+) intense and consist of black plums, blackberry, cedar, eucalyptus and a jammy component. The finish is quite long, the wine is nicely balanced and complex. It has good mouthfeel even though there is a slight, lingering burn on the back end. I like it and think it will drink well for some time- till 2029. Pairing it with meat is obvious. 92 points from me and for $35 it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
This Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot weighs in at 13.5% ABV, a welcome change from some of the bombs I have had recently. It is medium ruby in the glass and has a medium intensity nose. The aromas I get are black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, plum, black tea, red licorice, mint and very subtle oak. Not at all what I was expecting- red fruits in a Cab? On the palate it is dry with juicy acidity. The tannins are grippy and a touch underripe. The flavors are somewhat muted but I do get the raspberry, some sour cherry and plum. Black tea shows up on the mid-palate and the deft oak is barely perceptible. The acidity is quite high on the finish as is the tannic grip. The fruit fades quickly and I am left feeling like I stuffed a tea pouch between my cheeks. I must say- this is a bit young and the fruit is hiding. Give it time. The pros went 92+ points and for $23 it’s a theoretical steal worthy of 5 stars. I am reserving judgement and will open the other two bottles in a few years. Drink from 2023-2030. Salut….
I attended a practice blind tasting last night for the WSET Level 3 exam. One of the wines we drank was this Chardonnay. It was obvious from the first whiff that this was a Cali doozy. I wrote that the wine was a medium shade of lemon and had a medium (+) intensity nose of……. toast, butter, bread, acacia, melon and banana, I found it youthful. Read those descriptors again. There is no mention of citrus or stone. The palate was much the same in flavors with medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and was obviously dry in nature. This is a developing wine with plenty of potential to age. I thought it was good to outstanding and would think it gets 92 points. At $60 a pop, this highly rated (94-95 by the pros) wine gets 5 stars.
My initial reaction to smelling this wine was that it had been worked over pretty hard. When I say that, I mean it went through Malolactic Conversion/Fermentation and I even thought it had been treated Sur Lie. I was right. The winery notes mention both processes and explain why it was sooo buttery, with heavy doses of bread, toast etc. It’s not my style of wine, but I took the half bottle home to revisit it. Paired with a rice and chicken dish it did okay, but the overpowering tertiary notes are really not up my alley. If you like a rich, full-on Napa/Sonoma Chardonnay with gobs of upfront tertiary notes, go for it. At least try it once. Drink till 2030. Salut….
I’m practicing for my wine-tasting exam and must use the correct lexicon….
Deep ruby with thin legs in the glass. The nose has medium (+) intensity aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, smoke, stewed black cherry, vanilla and eucalyptus. This wine is developing nicely after 12 years of aging. The palate is dry, with medium acidity, medium (+) tannin, high alcohol, medium (+) body and medium (+) intensity flavors of black currant, blackberry, vanilla, eucalyptus, and smoke. The finish is medium in length and the quality of this wine is very good. It’s drinking beautifully now and has the capacity to age further, till 2029. That would make it 20 years old. 92 points from me make this yummy $40 bottle a 5 star wine. Serve with Sunday roast or grilled Ribeye. Salut….
I’ve been sitting on a few bottles of Burgundy for years- tonight’s beef dish calls for a Pinot Noir so here goes. Pale garnet in color which is to be expected for an 11-year old wine. The nose is amazing, exactly what I was hoping for. Pronounced aromas of earth, garrigue, dried red cherry, walnut, prune, stewed strawberry, funky barnyard and white pepper. Tertiary aromas galore from prolonged cellaring. The palate shows some fresh fruit but the bulk of the pronounced flavors are of stewed or dried red fruit, nuts, earthy components and funk along with gentle acidity and lithe tannins. The wine is very balanced and light to mid weight. Low alcohol at 13% ABV makes for a crisp mouthfeel and no heat. I like the delicacy of this wine and am grateful that it matured in the manner it has. My patience has been rewarded by this $50 gem that gets 92 points from me. I believe it will last till 2026 and will go well with roasted poultry, beef Burgundy or even Venison. 5 stars. Salut….
I am looking to pair Eye of Round roast which has been cooking in the sous vide for 20 hours. A Napa Cabernet is called for. This wine is opaque and a very pretty purple in the glass. The nose screams Napa sunshine- bright blackberry aromas with black plum, cloves, charred wood, black tea and vanilla. The palate is quite intense with black fruit, oak nuances juicy acidity and medium tannins that carry through to the very end. The blackberry flavors are very prominent in this one, they duke it out on the back end with the tannins to see who lasts the longest. Th oak usage is very deft and well played. I like the balance of this wine and it has a medium to full body. The 14.2% ABV is barely noticeable but I did get a whiff of it on the nose. Still young- this one will cellar nicely till 2030 but if you like a dry, slightly tannic wine then pop-n-pour right away. 92 points from me make this $50 wine a 5 star effort. Salut….
If you read much about winemaking the name Michel Rolland will no doubt come up, several times. He’s a consultant oenologist who works with hundred of clients worldwide. At a steak house in Quebec they offered this blend of 55% Malbec, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot , 2% Cabernet Franc. It normally retails for $16 and garnered high marks from the pros so I had to try it.
Inky with rich aromas of blackberry, black currants, mint, charred wood and licorice. Full bodied with rich flavors and medium tannins. Gentle acidity makes for great mouthfeel. 92 points. Till 2028
Those were my tableside notes- very brief but you get the idea (I did not want to detract from the conversation to write details!). Drink this 5 star gem with steaks all day long- the pairing is magical. Salut….
When pairing Asian food, there are so many variables- spice, complexity and flavor profiles to mention a few. Tonight we are making self-rolled Vietnamese style wraps with choices of ground chicken, thin grilled beef or steamed shrimp to go alongside the myriad of veggies that all get wrapped into a thin rice paper and adorned with sweet or spicy sauces. I figured a lighter wine would carry the freshness of the meal better than a big, tannic monster so Pinot was the obvious choice.
This Oregonian wine is see-through and a nice shade of ruby, perhaps even starting to turn garnet (it is 7 years old by now). The nose has fresh aromas of strawberry, red cherry, cinnamon, cedar and raspberry coulis. On the palate it is spectacular- rich with warm red fruit alongside spicebox, cedar and cinnamon. Gentle acidity, low tannins and a relatively full body make for a great mouthfeel that will pair as hoped. It is drinking beautifully right now and will continue to do so until 2026 at the least. 92 points from me and at $75 per bottle, 4 stars. Salut….
I have a lineup of wines that are waiting to be tasted, I call them the ‘bench wines’. Tonight’s dinner is a vegetable tart with tomato reduction so I could go anywhere as far as region or varietal. I asked Moxie to choose one, she stated ‘Number 5″. This Tempranillo might just hit the spot. Rich, bold, earthy and probably a great choice for the puff pastry shrouded veggies that have been caramelizing in the oven.
In the glass it is very opaque- deep purple to be precise. The 15% ABV is evident by the thick legs on the glass walls. On the nose I get spicy oak, earthy bramble, rich blackberry, blackcurrant and roasted coffee. There is a whiff of heat, but not obnoxiously overpowering. There is complexity to this nose that I can’t wait to taste. On the palate it is all I hoped for, classic Spanish Tempranillo- rich black fruit, good acidity, full body and grippy tannins that make for a great mouthfeel and long finish. The blackberry fruit is almost jammy and somewhat hides the coffee I got earlier but it re-appears on the back end. Good oak integration here folks, not overdone yet present. I believe it scored highly with a commensurate price north of fifty bones. For me, it’s a 92 pointer that gets 5 stars cause I got it for $20. Drink till 2030 with grilled meat. Salut….