Deep ruby with a touch of turbidity and some flecks of garnet in this 5 year old Cabernet from the western coast of Australia. The nose has very precise, sharp aromas of black plum, blackberry, cassis, eucalyptus, coffee, mint, mocha and vanilla. Very oak-driven aromas but it is hedonistic and I am looking forward to taste. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins, a full body and delicious flavors of ripe fruit and oak influence. Blackberry, dark plums and coffee dominate. Espresso to be more precise. Eucalyptus is pretty evident as is the mint component. The finish on this wine is medium in length and very fruity, making me realize that the tannins have really integrated already, ergo a very pleasant mouthfeel. I like this wine a bunch and will be pairing it with Strip steaks off the charcoal. One review went as high as 95….. I am more in the 93 camp, but 5 stars for sure as you can pick this up for $17, making it a terrific deal. Drink till 2028. Salut….
Deep ruby with rim variation to garnet plus some slow moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose has varietally true aromas of green pepper, blackberry, black raspberry and some menthol perfume. Very faint notes of oak alongside some coffee, crushed rock and vanilla. It smells gorgeous. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and delightfully fine grained tannins that caress. Full bodied, I get flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, menthol, oak nuance, coffee, chocolate. The green pepper aromas don’t show up on the palate btw. The finish is a touch smoky and medium (+) in length with the tannins completely melded and the acidity softening. A very balanced and somewhat complex wine that really coats my mouth with delicious, ripe fruit. I like it a lot and give it 93 points. I’m searing some Sous Vide Strip steaks, this is going to pair beautifully. For $50 its a treat-night wine that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2030. Salut….
For an eight year old wine, there is still plenty of opaque purple color, albeit with some garnet showing on the rim of this Napa Cabernet which ws served from a Double Magnum, aka a Jeroboam of wine. Slow moving legs and a bit of staining on the walls give me clues of what to expect. The nose has ample primary fruit aromas of black plum, blackberry, cassis, menthol, eucalyptus, black raspberry and cherry cola. Baked black fruit hints are starting to emerge as this wine starts its evolution. It’s still youthful with lots of cellaring ahead. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium tannins that are super smooth and fine grained. Very rich black fruit flavors with some oak treatment caress my mouth, the spices and vanilla very faint. It’s very balanced and smooth with a medium body and medium length finish. I really like the fact that it is still rather primal yet the structure has really mellowed out and is a seamless play of acidity, balance and alcohol on a medium weight wine. Delicious and worthy of 93 points from me. A regular bottle will run you $45 making this a 5 star effort that has rewarded medium-term cellaring and will drink beautifully till 2028. Salut….
Deep, opaque purple colored with thick slow-moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose excites me- rich black cherry, pencil shavings, bell pepper, garigue and açaí berry compote. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very smooth medium tannins. It’s a medium to full-bodied wine that has flavors corresponding to the nose plus a bit of spice box and tobacco. A medium length finish rounds this delicious single varietal wine up nicely. I like it- 93 points and for $20 this is a steal of a 5-star effort to drink till 2025. I’m pairing mine with a combo Cottage/Shepards Pie (one side with beef the other side with lamb). Salut….
Deep ruby colored with really thick, slow moving legs. The nose has a whiff of alcohol that needs to dissipate- I now get pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, smoke, coffee, vanilla and menthol. The cassis is en pointe. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity and high tannins (I forgot to mention the it stained the walls of the glass when I swirled). A full body was to be expected and I get rich flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum, cassis and the associated oak derived notes and menthol. The richness of this wine continues on to a medium (+) length finish. It’s a delicious blend of Cab Saver, Syrah and Merlot that gets 93 points from me and for $35- 5 stars. Drink with hearty meat (steak) till 2029. Salut….
Deep ruby colored yet it could pass for purple, interesting considering it’s 9 years of age. The nose has pronounced aromas of blackberry, blueberry, açaí with licorice, menthol, crushed stone and charred oak. Refreshingly primal with some secondary notes yet not much development presently. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium (+) tannins that coat my gums and a full body- for sure. The flavors start off with very ripe yet fresh blackberry, açaí berry, blueberry and black currants. There is a sweetness that I attribute to the ample sunshine of the vintage. Oak nuance, mint and some signs of tertiary development fill out the flavor profile. The finish is a touch astringent with a black tea note and some very caressing tannins. This wine is young with lots of time to develop. I think it warrants 93 points and for $55 it’s a 5 star wine to serve up with Sunday roast beef. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Deep garnet colored with fast moving legs- 13.9% ABV. The nose started off with a medicinal note followed by horse saddle leather, dust, barnyard, blackcurrant, black cherry, bandaid and briar. It is earthy with loads of tertiary aromas. The palate is dry with medium acidity, well integrated tannins, medium (+) body and rich flavors of black fruits, dusty earth, bramble, briar and açaí berry that lead to a long finish of black tea and leather. 93 points is what I imagined this wine garnering yet the pros went lower back in the day. It’s amazing how some wines will age so gracefully and deliver those lovely tertiary flavors after 16 years yet still show some primary fruit and structure to age a few more years. I would drink this $140 offering till 2026 or so with lighter beef dishes. 4 stars from me. Salut….
Pale to medium ruby colored with thick, droopy legs. The nose has aromas of steeped cherry, rose, baking spice, white raspberry, coconut, cherry cola and vanilla bean. The palate is dry with high acidity and medium tannins. Medium (+) bodied I get delicious flavors of cherry, vanilla, coconut, raspberry and spice. It finishes long with a tart cherry note and some lingering, integrated tannins. This is a delicious and mature Sangiovese from the heart of Tuscany. It will cellar well into 2028 and pair beautifully with pasta (duh!) and perhaps a ribeye with Roquefort sauce. It is very pinpoint btw. 93 points from me for this $28 effort makes it a 5 star wine. Salut….
After a delightful dinner at a Thai restaurant we went back to my friend’s house where he unleashed this beauty. I sniffed and tasted the wine blind- there was no mistaking its origin. I did not take notes but needless to say the initial whiff of aromas gave this Napa Cabernet Sauvignon away. Rich, ripe black berries, Stags Leap earthy dust, menthol, vanilla and spice. The palate was dry and full bodied. Bright California sunshine was evident in the fruit- as were the dusty notes I got on the nose. Tannins were super smooth and well integrated. The acidity was medium and well balanced. The finish on this $75 bottle was long and delicious. A 93 point wine that gets 5 stars from me. You could pair it with a variety of meat dishes but then again you could just sip it and enjoy its purity. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Our second wine at the 28th virtual tasting was this Zinfandel that had a smidge of Petite Sirah and Barbera mixed in. It tied as my wine of the night.
Medium ruby colored it’s not as opaque as I was expecting. The nose had tobacco, ripe boysenberry, cherry cola, chocolate covered cherries, black pepper, dark plums and green peppercorns. The palate was dry with low tannins, medium acidity and deliciously smooth flavors of pepper, freeze-dried strawberry, tobacco, dried cherry and raisin. Medium bodied, this wine was lower in alcohol than I was assuming- 14.7% ABV. It’s a lot, but I have seen Zins in the 16% range. A long finish was this wine’s crowning achievement making it a 19 pointer on our grading scale. I would rate it 93 points and for $21 I might have to load up on this 5 star effort. Drink until 2025 with lean red meat dishes. Salut….