Bright shade of purple and nearly opaque. The nose is delightful- some plums, charcoal, espresso and black cherry. The palate is creamy, sweet with plum reduction and mouthwatering with beautiful acidity and lithe tannins. There is a silkiness to this wine that’s just amazing. The acidity scorches my mid palate but gets held in check by the fine grained tannins. Nice black and blue fruits carry me to the decent length finish that introduces oak and coconut to the mix. Delicious wine that I’m serving up with Osso Bucco and roasted Brussels Sprouts in garlic butter and capers. Drink now if you like them with bite or cellar this beauty and enjoy till 2030. 93 points and 5 stars for this $80 treat. Salut….
To say I am excited about today’s tasting would be an understatement. Many years ago, I discovered this Shiraz in a wine shop in Anchorage, Alaska. The local restaurant also carried it so it was easy to avail myself of this heady Shiraz, the little brother to the iconic Armagh. I have searched high and low for over 10 years, until today. Nestled into a corner of the local wine shop in Hong Kong were 5 bottles. I’m trying this one out and will return for the others if it works out. Here goes….
It has changed with the absence of a cork, replaced with the ease of a screw cap. Fully opaque, dark and brooding… Like I remember. The nose offers up sweet damson, charred oak, plums and lilac. I get a little blackberry jam note as well. The palate is as I remember- rich, deep, layered and chock full of flavors. It’s a lighter, less jammy version of the older ones which makes it a bit fresher and easier to drink. Blackberries, delicious oak, blueberry pie and vanilla all swirl around the palate. There is a very gradual introduction to the tannins, which are super fine grained and not very obtrusive. This wine has a very lush mouthfeel, it coats my gums and palate with delicious dark fruits from the front to the back. The astringency is well in check and there is a touch of acidity that keeps it fresh. This wine is a pleasure to drink, I am loving it. I would imagine it would pair beautifully with Filet and Bearnaise, or you can just sip it alone like I am. 93 points from me for this $38 effort that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2029. Salut….
Bright yellow/gold in the glass, a stunning color. On the nose- creme brûlée, yellow apple, almond shavings… super complex. The palate brings me back to reality. Apple, pineapple and a nice acidic bite transition me to a midpalate of waxy apple, nutmeg and pineapple. The finish has me wondering what is making my gums feel dry. Acidity is on pointe and the creme brûlée reappears. Fantastic wine. 93 points and for $55 I have to go with 5 stars. It’s not for everyday, cellar a bottle or two and open on a special occasion- mine was Thanksgiving. Salut….
Following on from yesterday’s tasting of the Montes Alpha Special Cuvee Cab- this bottling is their top offering in the varietal. Super rich, dark purple hues in the glass with very thin, long legs. On the nose there’s a deep blackberry reduction with coconut and graphite. On the palate this wine is very silky: black fruits over a bed of smooth oak and very integrated tannins. The wine is very balanced with some midpalate acidity that mingles with black cherry, blackberry and more iodine. The finish is not overly dry- the tannins very gradually fading over a good 60 second period. The fruit lingers almost as long with a touch of spice, cinnamon? This wine is young but drinkable, maturing till 2035 I think. 93 points for this very tasty, rich offering that I paid $62 for. 5 stars. Salut….
I walked into a wine shop in Hong Kong and was pushed aside by a woman on a mission. Five minutes later she checking out with three First Growth Bordeaux- Lafite, Latour and Mouton. My measly purchase paled in comparison to the thousands she spent. I digress… I have always been a fan of Chilean Cabernet. So, this is the first of two that I bought. It banged a whopping 94 points from one pro, it says so on the label. Let’s see how we get on.
In the glass it is a nice rich deep purple with just a hint of legs showing. On the nose it is very minty and chock full of black fruits, iodine and charcoal. It’s actually not my favorite profile. On the palate it is rich and flavorful. The kind of richness that covers your whole mouth. Lovely plums, blackberry and flint. There is a touch of mint as well as black olive. It’s quite complex and well made. The mid palate shows some very integrated tannins and black fruit compote. The finish is long, dry and very fruit driven. There is an ample amount of tannins but they are not obnoxious, merely present and persistent. The finish is medium length and finishes very dry. This wine is a touch young, but will do well in an aerator or decanter. Drink till 2030 at least. I think it gets a legit 93 points and for the price of $23 it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Moxie and I took our son- Jett, to Lake Placid this past week. He’s a competitive Ice Dancer and was representing Team USA in the Novice North American Cup. We have been up here several years in a row and always vow to continue northward to visit Montreal after the competition. This year, armed with fresh passports, we took the 87 mile ride up into foreign lands to visit, albeit briefly, Canada. It was a great seguey and we stayed right by Old Montreal, which is beautiful. Our dinner was at a great Bistro, where I asked for and got a delicious Canadian Pinot Noir.
Red and see-through with long legs showing in the glass. On the nose I get bright cherry, strawberry coulis, cedar and nutmeg. On the palate it has some really delicious cherry extract, rhubarb, a smokiness as well as mocha. The acidity of this Pinot is on pointe- the mouthfeel is gorgeous. There are some sly tannins lurking in the background that give just a touch of dryness. The mid palate and finish are equally tasty, fleshy yet still delicate a’ la Pinot style. This is new world yet has such a restrained approach- I’m loving it. 92 maybe 93 points. I’m pairing it with Escargot, followed by duck breast. Drink till 2030. $30 makes this a bargain for Pinot of this quality, 5 stars. Salut….
For my birthday celebration, I pulled out two magnums, one of which was the ’96 Musar, I hand carried it from the winery many years ago. I have two bottles of the ’98 waiting but in the meantime….Super pale red- see through, reminiscent of Pinot which it’s not with a touch of orange bricking. On the nose it’s stupendous, like aged Bordeaux. Leather, tobacco, plum and cassis- all my favorites. On the palate it is so smooth, with hints of cassis, cedar box, more tobacco and forest floor. There’s so much going on it’s amazing. Towards the mid palate I get cherry, faint tannins and a perfectly balanced acidity. The finish is awesome. So sleek with cherry juice reduction and a slightly biting rhubarb component. 93 points and 4 stars for this $75 wine. It’s not for everyone, the style is different but for this boy- it hits the right notes. Drink till 2030. Salut….
A quick note from a party…. Unbelievable nose- black fruits galore, chai tea, olives and blueberry jam. On the palate I get gorgeous blue fruit ganache, really tight knit tannins – crunchy acidity. Sublime wine that is full bodied and long. It shows off bright Napa sunshine in the fruit which I think will evolve nicely in the next 10-15 years. Drink till 2030. 93 points if not 94 for this bold $45 effort. 5 Stars. Salut….
As you may know, we are moving. Our last dinner gathering included two magnums that were still at the house. I did not want to move them, so the opportunity to enjoy was present. I did not take notes of the second bottle, the Perbrun- as I was hoping to do so the following day with what was left over. Unfortunately, it was not as good as I had hoped and the leftovers had a ton of sediment. It was originally $57 my price for the 2010 vintage. Glad we started with the Spaniard!
Nearly black in the glass. Nose is earthy, with tons of plums, black berry and violets. The initial palate is very upfront with black, tarry fruit, ripe tannins, earth and a floral component. The mid palate is quite dry, the tannins ruling the roost. Eventually it transitions to a Ribena like finish with loads of rich black fruit. Oak is present, but not overpowering. It adds a vanilla dimension to the finish and smooths it out some. This wine is still in youth, 17 years after vintage. It will last another 10 at least, mellowing out along the way. 93 points is what the pro’s gave this Tempranillo and I agree. For the $40 entry fee it is a solid 4 star wine, but I am going to up it to 5 as I think this wine will evolve some more as it mellows. I roasted two Beef Tri-tips for the pairing with an endive and frissee salad laced with Balsamic infused Shallots. It was a grand last evening of fun in my beloved home. Salut….
If you know me you will remember that we are moving. I transferred most of my wine into a climate controlled storage unit, but kept about 50 bottles in the wine fridge. Some are really nice, pricey and supposed to be for special occasions. Oh well, they are getting polished off now. I include this particularly good wine in that group. Bought for $65 and cellared since 2014 I am looking forward to comparing it to my earlier review.
It shows bright purple in the glass with a nose of plum ganache, black tea, figs and a touch of oak. On the palate it is super smooth with a tannic bite right upfront. Flavors of blueberry compote, plum, anise and black olives. The tannins are pretty forceful as the wine transitions to the mid palate. A dryness hits the gums and makes me pucker up. I do like that some times! The plum theme continues on to the long finish where I also get cherry cola and another touch of oak. The tannins peak at the very end, and the acidity balances it all out. Overall, a very nice package that has matured nicely and is drinking perfectly now. Not an everyday drinker, I would certainly pull this out for a special occasion. 93 points holds and 4 stars awarded. Tonight we pair it with Tomahawk Pork Chops, Flat Iron steaks, a Bratwurst, some Cauliflower Cheese and grilled Broccoli. Salut….