This Pinot Noir is deep purple and semi opaque in the glass. On the nose it is quite intense with red and black cherry, raspberry, oak and strawberry bubble gum. The palate is gorgeous- smooth with lithe tannins, gentle acidity and a ton of fruit flavor. Layers or cherry, raspberry and mocha notes intertwine, some strawberry is present but the complexity of this wine is awesome. I love restrained Pinots, wines that are seductive and not overpowering. This one is definitely a more fruit forward version, New Worldish yet it has such purity of fruit and is not over-the-top extracted. The finish is long. The fact that it is only 13.3% ABV makes it a refreshing change from the monsters I have been drinking lately. Drink till 2026 with lean cuts of beef, maybe a hearty Salmon on the grill or some well seasoned Cornish hens. 92 points from me for this $58 treat. I love this winery and have enjoyed several of their previous wines. 5 stars. Salut….
My little group of virtual wine tasters insisted on a mid-summer gathering so I picked some real beauties, starting with this Pinot Gris which we tasted at room temp and chilled. Being a Reserve, it offered depth and complexity that many were not expecting- it was a hit. In the glass it showed pale gold to light yellow, depending on who was commenting! Aromas of pear, pineapple, blossom, honey, ginger, elderflower and nectarine were noted. On the palate, flavors of honeysuckle, lime, and orange blossom coupled with a vegetal aftertaste. I noted that it had good acidity, getting 92 points from yours truly.
The chilled version was more precise with some minerality on the nose coupled with cotton candy, marzipan, passion fruit, honey, ginger and peach- a whole different animal! On the palate we got a fuller bodied wine with flavors of pronounced orange, less lime this time but lemon drops, ginger and Welch’s white grape juice. Medium (+) finish btw. I was consistent with the 92 points and for $25 it is a great intro to a higher quality Pinot Gris. 5 stars, pair it with shellfish and perhaps cellar for a few years. Salut….
My friend Jimbo is in town and I promised him some good wine. Back in 2003 I bought three cases of this stuff and now I am opening bottle #26, having tasted the evolution over the past 15 years or so. This was a spectacular example of perfectly aged Bordeaux. It is at peak right now, showing layers of tertiary fruit, rich cassis, gentle acidity and soft tannins. Balanced perfectly with a sublime mouthfeel. I’m super happy with the results of my patient cellaring. I believe this cost me $59 back in the day, now it will run over $100. A good deal if you ask me that gets 92 points and 5 stars. Probably need to think about the rest of the case as I don’t think there is much left in the tank with this claret. Here are my class notes. Salut….
Chateau Lynch Bages 2001, Pauillac, France 13.0% ABV
- Appearance- Deep garnet
- Pronounced nose of dried blackberry (Cassis), leather, earth, tobacco, cedar, forest floor. Fully developed.
- Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium (-) tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, pronounced flavors of dried blackberry (cassis), tobacco, leather, forest floor and charred wood. Long finish.
- Conclusion- outstanding quality, drink now: not suitable for aging or further aging.
Twenty years ago I bought a case of this Fifth Growth Bordeaux. Last year I gave this bottle as a house warming gift to friends, who sat on it and waited for my return. This past weekend we opened it in all its glory- it was delicious.
Totally showing its age with some serious bricking and sediment in the bottle, it is medium tawny in color. The nose is loaded with tertiary flavors of tobacco, cedar, leather, stewed prune and cinnamon stick. The palate is super smooth with tannins that are so integrated and balanced by a modicum of acidity. The fruit flavors have pretty much disappeared- it’s all about the tertiary notes. Classic Bourdaux that’s been aged with a smooth mouth feel.
Tell you what- there’s still some back end juiciness and tannic grip which tell me this wine has a little more life in it! Tremendous value when I bought it back in the day. 92 points, which is amazing considering the pros went with high 80’s when they first tasted it. The ’01 Left Bank vintage has outperformed anyones expectations as can be witnessed by this exceptional bottle that is currently running $80 at auction. 5 stars, but drink this delicate juice sooner rather than later. Salut….
For my wine class- a Southern France blend.
Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
Nose- Medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackberry, black plum, raspberry, toast, licorice, game and is developing.
Palate- Dry, medium acidity, medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) flavors of blackberry, black plum, raspberry, charred wood and licorice. Medium finish.
Conclusions- very good quality wine that can be drunk now and has potential for aging.
A delicious, rustic blend of 40% Old Vine (70 yrs) Carignan, 30% Syrah and 30% Grenache. Very tannic and I could feel the alcohol, needs a juicy Ribeye. For $30 it gets 5 stars cause I really like it and give it 92 points. Drink till 2028. Salut….
One of this week’s assignements for my wine course is to discuss and taste a Burgundy. Here goes:
I have selected a 1er Cru wine to taste from the Côte D’Or. Located in Savigny-Lès-Beaune, the Vergelesses vineyard is southeast facing with a gentle slope. The wine is a Pinot Noir that has been vinified with wild yeasts having been hand picked and cultivated without chemicals. It has been aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.
The Pinot Noir grape is notoriously difficult to grow and produce quality wine, it requires a lot of attention and is susceptible to disease and rot. It has a difficult time ripening and needs a cool to moderate climate. Situated in the central part of Burgundy, this vineyard gets the right weather and with the aspect being southeast, it gets the maximum sunshine ensuring full ripeness. The gently slope allows some extra degree of sunshine for the grapes as well as good drainage.
Hand picking the ripe berries makes for a more uniform selection of grapes and raises the overall quality whilst the use of French oak barrels adds complexity, which is compounded by the use of wild yeasts.
Jean Féry & Fils Savigny-Lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Vergelesses 2010, France 13% ABV
- Appearance- Clear, pale garnet with watery legs.
- Nose- Pronounced aromas of red cherry, redcurrant, stewed fruit, clove and smoke. Developing.
- Palate- Dry, high acidity, medium (-) tannin, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium intensity flavors of red cherry, strawberry, redcurrant, smoke, prune. The finish is medium (+).
- Conclusion- A very good wine that can be drunk now but has potential for aging.
Ps. This is the second 1er Cru I have opened this week that I think is too young, even at 10+ years. I really like the way this one is developing, the tertiary flavors are starting to come out. I have two more bottles to sit on and watch the evolution over the next 5 years or so.
So, I am going with 92 points and for $50, this is a great deal on semi-aged Burgundy that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
I have been sitting on this Pinot for many years, letting it age gracefully. The time has come as I needed to taste a Burgundy for my wine course. Here are the technicalities:
Appearance- Pale garnet with watery legs.
Nose- Medium intensity, aromas of dried cherry, strawberry, mushroom, forest floor, Rooibos Tea and truffle. Fully developed
Palate- dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (-) tannin, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium (+) flavor intensity, long finish. Flavors of cherry, strawberry, Rooibos tea, forest floor.
Quality- very good with potential for more aging.
In layman’s terms, this is a delicious yet young 1er Cru Burgundy. I enjoyed it more as the night went along but could not help but feel a tinge of regret, opening it probably 5 years too soon. I was hoping for many more tertiary notes, a little less tannin. I can only guess at the cost- $75? It gets 92 points from me and is a 5 star effort in the Burgundy minefield of red wine. Paired with grilled Rack of Lamb. I wish I had another bouteille…. Drink from 2025-2030. Salut….
I took two of my boys out for a delayed Father’s Day feast at the local Brazilian steak house. Seeing as it was a Monday they had South American wines half off. I could not resist ordering this somewhat young vintage of Don Melchor- an elixir that opened my eyes to fine wine many moons ago. I took abbreviated notes but suffice to say, this wine has consistently garnered high scores for its depth of flavor, structure and silky smooth approach. I just finished a twenty year tasting of three cases of the 2020, the last few years were sublime. This 2016, at barely 5 years of age is still primal, yet the pieces are all there for it to evolve gracefully.
Nearly inky in the glass this wine has thick legs and a big nose. I get telltale mint, blackberry, plum, iodine, grippy tannins, medium acidity and a long finish. Soft mouthfeel. Very balanced. 92 points and for a retail price of $100 it’s a big purchase, but worth it for the patient drinker who can lay it down for a few more years and enjoy it in a mature phase. I can guarantee that it will morph with tertiary flavors emerging, they always do with this wine. 5 stars, because I’m biased. The steak house offerings were the perfect pairing btw. Salut….
We started off Virtual tasting #18 with this Chardonnay, served at room temp and then chilled. The wine has a light, pale gold color to it. The tasters chimed in on the nose immediately with ‘bakery item’ (Brioche), crispy citrus, pear, and someone mentioned buttery. The palate gave us pear, beeswax, citrus, yellow apple, a hint of butter and a touch of minerality. It had a long finish by my clock. Medium acidity was noted and the wine had a nice mouthfeel. The chilled version was far more focused and mineral driven. On the nose we got more citrus but less pear, lemongrass and honey. Arty commented that she smelled ‘fruity pebbles’, Moxie agreed. On the palate there was some butterscotch, lemon and lime, but the overall impression was that it was much more steely and more acidic. I enjoyed the room temperature version better, giving it 92 points as a technical rating. The chilled version was very good and exactly what I was hoping for in a Chablis- citrus, stone, clean and not oaked to hell and back. I think this was one of the better whites we have tried at our tasting group, it appealed to a wider audience. For $24, this wine is a steal that gets 5 stars from me. BTW it came in #66 out of the top 100 in an illustrious magazine last year. Worth stocking up on for sure. I’m planning on finishing the bottle with some Shrimp Alfredo. Salut….
Inky AF and fully opaque, a very rich purple in the glass with thick legs belying the 14.2% kick. Rich, layered notes of red currants, very ripe cherry, cigar box, blueberry ganache and blackberry. The palate is full bodied, showing medium tannins and juicy acidity. The red and blue fruit flavors are complemented by the cedar and I also get some menthol. There is a hint of Brazilian roasted coffee bean to boot. There is another, indescribable note I’m having a tough time pinpointing that I’m enamored with. The tannic structure is very good, integrated yet still fresh it coats my gums but is not too dry. The finish is of good length with a nice mouthfeel. This is a really delicious wine that gets 92 points from me. Serve it with lamb, game meat or juicy ribeyes. It has the flavors and backbone to pair with rich dishes. $30 is a decent price for such a blockbuster that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2027. Salut….