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….
The iconic South African wine, a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and a touch of Petit Verdot- the penultimate Bordeaux style blend from sunny Stellenbosch. I have had various vintages of Meerlust, but I don’t think I waited as long as this 8 year old.
Somewhat opaque, medium hued purple in the glass. The nose is rich with plums, cassis, spice, oak and a surreal blackberry pie note that I love. On the palate- simply delicious. Black fruits, silky tannins, plums, cedar box, a touch of tar and very lithe acidity to go along with the delightful tannins. This is a powerhouse wine, aged to perfection and ready to rock n roll. The mid palate allows a certain degree of dryness to hit the gums, but not in an overpowering way. The blackberry streak continues all the way to the finish. The grippiness of the tannins builds the further they get along, culminating on the finish with a crescendo. The flavors carry right through on this wine, giving it a richness that I admire. The pairings are unlimited for this treat: steaks, stews, charcuterie, cheeses- nothing will interfere with its presence. I would save a few bottles if you buy more than one as it will mature well for at least another decade, smoothing out no doubt and adding more complexity. I am going with 93 points minimum on this $31 effort and give it 5 stars. Salut….
My dad opened this one up for Christmas dinner. What a stunner! Bright yellow in the glass with a touch of gold. On the nose it is amazing. Pineapple, citrus, nutmeg, lemon curd. On the palate it exhibits a very smooth intro to lemon meringue, green apple, lanolin, butterscotch and touch of brioche. It has a very balanced level of acidity that gives it great structure and finesse. This wine is really good, pricey at $95 it’s worthy of 4 stars because it gets 93 points from me. I can’t even imagine pairings with this wine, it’s so good all by itself. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
I really loved the 2010 Campogiovanni when I drank it last year. So much so that I bought six bottles of the 2012 on spec. It got great ratings (96 WS), was priced right at $45 and delivered free.
This one shows a slight orange tinge when I poured it, which is unusual for such a young wine. The nose is cherry, earthy funk, mushroom, oak and a trace of truffle. On the palate it shows primal fruit flavors of cherry, leather, gorgeous tannins and a juiciness from the impeccably balanced acidity. The tannins deserve a sentence of their own- fine grained, discrete at the beginning, working themselves squarely into the mid palate and reaching a crescendo on the finish. Not mouth puckering, but certainly apparent, very lithe yet powerful. They hold the wine together nicely. The finish has an oak hint to go along with the cherry and game notes. This wine is very young, and holds promise for many years of cellaring that will help it develop secondary notes, maturing into a great Brunello. I can’t wait to taste the evolution, perhaps starting in 2020. I will have to go with 93 points right now and 5 stars. Tonight’s pairing is with a Beef Pot Roast, bathed in Petite Sirah and braised for 6 hours. Salut….