This 32 year old wine is a medium shade of garnet- to be expected. The nose has medium intensity aromas of prunes, caramel, steeped blackberry, cola, vanilla bean, coffee, eucalyptus, baking chocolate, cassis, mint- I could go on. This is a spectacularly complex and well-aged wine that still shows youth. The palate is super smooth and balanced with extremely fine grained tannins balancing out the medium acidity. Flavors of baked and steeped black fruits galore- tertiary notes are evident and oak influence is deft yet precise. This wine is stunning. Medium bodied it shows power yet finesse that leads to a long finish. This is the epitome of Napa Cabernets. Delicious in youth yet built for the long run and lasting over three decades. I would not call this wine fragile, but it has a delicacy that requires a deft choice in pairings, if any. I am sipping it without fare. In its day this would have been a 94 point wine. No idea on price, suffice to say it would be a 5 star effort. Drink soon. Salut….
It’s my birthday so this treat got pulled to go along with char-grilled New York Strip steaks. At 10 years of age it is still deep ruby colored with no signs of bricking. The nose is intense with gorgeous aromas of ripe raspberry, red licorice, violets, red plums, vanilla, garigue, coffee and black cherry- it is amazingly complex and the smells are making my mouth water. The palate is dry, slightly tannic and delicious. Super smooth and full bodied, this blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah presents a mouthful of flavors and great structure from the medium firm tannins that are integrating nicely along with medium (+) acidity. The finish is quite long and tends toward red and sour cherry with raspberry supporting. The tannins are fine grained on the back end and caress my gums ever so. A beautiful wine that is in youth right now and will drink well till 2030 at the least. 94 points for this silky smooth $100 offering makes it a 5 star wine to be opened at special occasions. Salut….
A deep ruby, bordering on ink in the glass. I get pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, black plum, eucalyptus, oak, coffee and ripe blueberry jam. The palate is super smooth, rich, warm and delightful. Dry and slightly tannic, this full bodied wine has great flavors of ripe black and blue fruits, excellent barrel integration with coffee, oak and vanilla notes to go with medium acidity. The finish is medium (+) in length and quite dry from the persistent yet integrated tannins. A very well balanced wine with great mouthfeel that will drink beautifully till 2030 with wild game, grilled meats, rich cheese platters or just all by itself. 94 points from me make this $42 stunner a 5 star effort. Glad I got a case. Salut….
It’s Sunday Roast and I’m cooking a rather lean cut of meat today- Eye of Round. It needs a fruit driven, medium tannin wine to complement the texture and lack of fat in the meat. I would normally depend on an aged Bordeaux for this type of meal but today it’s a younger Napa Cab.
Inky purple in the glass the thin legs don’t hint at the whopping 15.6% ABV. Wow. The nose is exactly what I was hoping for- deep rich black fruit, oak nuance, steely minerality. I get aromas of blackberry coulis, blackcurrant cassis, sweet coconut, baking spices and mint. The palate is loaded with ripe fruit, medium tannins (perfect for my beef choice), juicy acidity, full body and a long finish. The black fruit, oak influence and varietal hint (mint) are all present alongside some charred wood and a gritty graphite streak. The mineral note hits on the mid palate. This wine is still young and will drink beautifully for many years, maturing along the way and hopefully developing tertiary notes. I would hold on to some till 2027 at the least and pair with steaks, roasts or a tray full of cold cuts and cheese. This complex and layered wine gets 94 points from me and for the princely sum of one C-note you too can drink this 5-star elixir. Salut….
Semi opaque and ruby colored, the nose has medium intensity aromas of ripe raspberries, red licorice, red currants, bacon, dried herbs, dusty earth and toast. The palate is dry with immediate tannic grip, but not overly astringent. Red fruit compote, plums, herbs, meaty bacon, earthiness and toast from the oak all swirl around my mouth. It’s quite complex and nicely structured. Medium to full-bodied, the alcohol (14.5% ABV) is well hidden but contributes to the lushness of the mouthfeel. The finish is quite decent in length and not too dry, with just a smidge of lingering tannins. It’s quite young but very approachable, I would estimate a drinking window till 2035. It’s Sunday Roast Beef for dinner, nearly a perfect match. 94 points and 5 stars for this $50 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend. Salut….
It’s Thanksgiving and I am pouring this Cabernet Sauvignon. But here’s the kicker, this wine is so unique that it doesn’t even look like a Cab. Blended with Cinsault and Carignan it always shows a very pale reddish orange hue in the glass. It looks like aged Burgundy. The nose is as expected- full of earth, stewed cherry, forest floor, strawberry, red licorice, pomegranate, dried cranberry, meaty, farmyard….. Wow. The palate is super smooth. Slightly tart, it has very fine-grained tannins and complex flavors of red fruit, oaky notes of toast and layers of tertiary flavors like farmyard, stewed fruit, dried fruit and meat. The body is light to medium and the finish is long. Another spectacular bottle of Lebanese decadence that will drink well forever. The last ’98 Musar I had was in Magnum, this one a bit more developed but showing no signs of throttling back. Read about my last tasting here. This truly is a remarkable wine that gets 94 points. At $80 it is a 5 star treat. Salut….
On a recent trip to Canada I purchased this Icewine. It is made from the Vidal grape which is a hybrid varietal made by crossing Ugni Blanc with Rayon D’Or. The berries are allowed to fully ripen and once the temperature gets really cold (-10C) the fruit is harvested and pressed immediately. The grapes tend to be sweet as a result of over-ripening and when they are pressed, the frozen water inside the grape remains whilst the sugar is run off resulting in a very sweet nectar that is fermented into a low alcohol (9% or so) wine. This winery is well known and their wine is delicious- dark gold and almost syrupy in the glass. Aromas and flavors of apricot, honeysuckle, apricot and banana. The wine tastes very sweet with low alcohol. It is full bodied, unctuous, waxy and paired well with desserts of carrot cake and Key Lime pie. I was a bit rushed in tasting but the next bottle will get the full treatment. I paid $50 for this 94 point bottle that gets 5 stars. If you like sweet wines, this is a must-try. It is unlike a Sauternes as it does not have the Botrytis nuances- instead it is more fruit focused and leans heavily on the sugar content to deliver a delicious treat! Salut….
Deep lemon color, bordering on gold this dry Riesling has got 5 years of bottle age and I’m looking forward to some tertiary notes. On the nose I get ripe, tropical fruit- passion fruit, pineapple and honeysuckle. Tertiary notes of orange marmalade and orange peel, honey and the aging hints of ginger and toast. Th palate is delicious. As mentioned, it is a dry wine that has no residual sugar, as is made obvious by the 13% ABV which gives this wine some nice body. Good acidity is held in check by the weight of the fruit and I taste all the above plus chamomile tea. Oh my, this is a scrumptious wine that is only just starting its journey. I was hoping for that telltale petrol note, but alas , this wine is still young for a Grand Cru Riesling. That note will probably take another 5 years to appear. The finish is long and honeyed. This is good stuff that will drink nicely till 2036. I’m pairing it with shrimp and salad. 94 points from me for this $60 wine makes it a 5 star wine, glad I bought a few. Salut….
This was the last bottle of our 19th Virtual Wine Tasting. Intense purple in the glass- this wine had a rustic nose with earth, barnyard, dill, dried herbs, blackberry, cedar and dark fruit jam. On the palate the group got toasted marshmallow, jam, Angostura Bitters (?), blackberry, black cherry, cedar and dusty earth. My initial reaction was that this wine was yummy and very smooth. It is very balanced and the tannins are so fine grained it gives a beautiful mouthfeel. Richness and complexity galore make this an excellent wine that gets 94 points from me. At $60 it’s a pricy one for sure, but worth every drop. 5 stars. Drink till 2030 with grilled lamb, shish kebabs or pasta. Stunning Tempranillo and one of the best we have had in our tasting group IMHO. Salut….
Number three in the lineup at the 16th virtual wine tasting was this stunning Spaniard. Dark purple and 75% opaque, it had a complex nose of cigar box, buttered popcorn, black pepper, roasted nuts, blackberry coulis, dill, vanilla and an earthiness. Juicy tannins hit right off the bat with blackberry, oak, vanilla, blueberry and Maduro. Great acidity made for a gorgeous mouthfeel and the wine showed a touch of earthy dust, which I look forward to in Riojas. This was one of the standouts since we started the Virtual Wine Tasting Company. I gave it 20 points and on a technical scale- 94 points. For $30, its worth stashing a few of this 5 star gem away and drink till 2030 with grilled meats. Salut….