I was promised a dinner of Beef Short Ribs alongside this Barolo by some old friends. No formal tasting notes were taken but from memory- medium garnet in the glass with some bricking on the edges and a slow moving set of legs on the walls. The nose was seductive with aromas of red cherry, mushroom, leather, tobacco, cloves and forest floor. The palate was showing layers of tertiary flavors alongside a crisp acidity and very svelte tannins. This 12 year old Nebbiolo has matured beautifully and the earthy, savory notes have started to overtake the once powerful tart cherry notes I know this wine had in youth. It’s still there, but not so fresh, not so prominent. The mushroom component was quite exciting to me, it’s not very often I get to notice this development. Forest floor, tobacco and leather complement the umami note. On the mid palate, this medium weight wine has great transition and the faint cherry note reappears. Adding some acidity on the finish, what is left of the fruit balances the earthy tertiary notes whilst the last vestiges of tannin balance out the acidity. It’s a magnificent wine that once got 94 points from the pros. I would agree. It can still be found for under a hundo on the www. Drink soon with some rich, layered stews or pastas. 5 stars. Salut….
When I select wines for our Virtual Wine Tasting Company I save one for the last bottle in the series. We have drunk various vintages of Chateau Musar but this closer was the most controversial of them all and also my wine of the night/series/case etc. I loved it. Others hated it.
Pale to medium garnet it is textbook Musar in appearance with that gorgeous orange tint in the glass. Also textbook- sweaty horse aromas with stewed cherry, strawberry compote, tobacco, leather and Brett. Right up my alley. The palate is dry with medium (-) acidity, medium (-) tannins and pronounced flavors of baked cherry, pomegranate syrup, tobacco, leather, earth and a touch of that funk. Extremely well balanced, this medium bodied wine showed off a long finish- very impressive for a bottle with 22 years of age. A spectacular wine that I awarded 94 points to and will look for again. An equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan runs $72 a bottle it gets 5 stars from me. Pairing-wise it is difficult to imaging drinking this wine with any food. It has such unique, amazing flavors that need to be savored in isolation. Salut….
Inky purple in the glass it has slow moving, thick legs (15.1% ABV) and leaves a purple stain on the wall. The nose has dusty earth, ripe blackcurrants, blackberry, menthol, cedar, pencil shavings and blueberry pie. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins that are very smooth yet powerful. Pronounced flavors of blackberry, cassis, blueberry compote, baking spices, pencil shavings, mint and cedar along with that earthy dust make for a delicious wine that has a full body and a medium length finish. This wine has ripe fruit, great structure and just the right amount of oak treatment. It is really yummy stuff that gets 94 points from me and at $40- it’s a no brainer Napa Cabernet that will cellar nicely till 2030 at the least and pair beautifully with all types of grilled meats, stews and hearty pasta dishes. 5 stars. Salut….
Deep purple-ruby colored in the glass. The nose has aromas of bell pepper, cassis, blackberry, black plum, spices, coffee, caramel and vanilla. The palate is dry with medium acidity and super fine medium tannins. Intense flavors of black fruit, especially cassis along with vanilla and spices combine with the coffee and caramel notes I got on the nose. It’s a full-bodied delight that has a long finish that tends towards blueberry and plum and has a persistent tannic grip, albeit very fine-grained. This is a delicious blend of 46% Carmenere, 40% Cab Sav, 13% Syrah and a touch of Merlot. I would drink this wine till 2030 with rich meat dishes, like my slow cooked beef short ribs. 94 points for this $100 offering that gets 5 stars. Salut….
This Right Bank Merlot based blend is a deep garnet color in the glass with long, lingering legs. The nose is gorgeous- plum, steeped blackberry, cassis, licorice, vanilla bean, graphite and blueberry mixed with fresh oak and a touch of espresso. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins that are silky on the mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied this just-maturing wine has got waves of blackberry, blueberry and plum flavors intertwined with a dash of vanilla, coffee and oak. It is just starting to offer tertiary flavors and will develop nicely in the coming years. It finishes long with a black tea component alongside cassis. Very smooth and certainly delicious, this $55 bottle will drink nicely till 2032 and pair with most meat dishes and stews. 94 points from me make it a 5 star wine. Salut…..
Closing out the 28th virtual tasting session was this stunning Syrah from the Northern Rhone. Opaque- deep purple in color it revealed a rich nose of game, licorice, iodine, anise, blood/iron, boysenberry, very dark fruit compote with a medicinal note as well as an image of really black blackberries. The palate was smooth. Dry with low acidity and fine-grained medium (+) tannins that led to flavors of meat, cinnamon, caramel, blackberry coulis, iodine, charred oak and iron. This full bodied wine finished with a medium length burst of delicious, complex flavors. It tied at 19 points on our scale as my WOTN and garners 94 points. For $60 this stunner is a 5 star treat wine to be drunk till 2039. I would pair it with grilled Hangar steak slathered in a Roquefort sauce. Salut….
Very deep purple colored, like ink. The nose has pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, vanilla, coconut, bilberry, cedar, sassafras, dust, baking spice, green peppers and a yeasty component. The palate is dry with beautiful fine-grained tannins that caress the gums. Acidity is medium (-) and the wine has a full body. Flavors of black fruit, sassafras, baking spice and green pepper carry on to a long finish. This is delicious- pure Napa sunshine and ripe fruit with enough oak treatment without overdoing it. Fantastic stuff to pair with steaks till 2032. The structure is great and it’s open for business now. 94 points from me for this $70 stunner makes it a 5 star treat. Salut….
Deep purple colored with very thick, slow moving legs. Surprising considering it’s only showing 13.5% ABV on the label. The nose is very perfumed and fruity with blackcurrant, violets, blackberry preserves, coffee bean, vanilla, coconut, purple licorice and cedar shake. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity, high tannins and a full body. Pronounced flavors of dark fruit that is a touch preserved along with toasty oak nuance and some floral hints. The body of this wine just coats my mouth and makes for a gorgeous mouthfeel. The finish is medium in length and the tannins literally coat my upper gums with fine-grained tingles. This is a younger, more fruit forward vintage that I am thoroughly enjoying. I would pair this with very hearty dishes and drink it till 2030. 94 points from me make this $40 bottle a 5 star effort. Salut….
I drank the 2017 Les Souteyrades back in October, served with Tri-tip roast, and loved it. Tonight is a repeat with this newer vintage. Medium ruby colored in the glass it offers up medium intensity aromas of red raspberry, black cherry, licorice, spicy oak, dried thyme and bacon fat. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, a medium (+) body and delicious flavors of raspberry, black cherry, spice, toasted oak and licorice. The finish is long and a touch astringent from the tannins that are very smooth, of medium intensity yet persistent. I like this $35 blend of Grenache and Mourvedre a lot , like 94 points worth. I would drink/cellar this 5 star effort till 2032 at the least, it will develop nicely. Salut….
Second tasting of this wine- it has either evolved quickly or there is some bottle variation going on. Opaque, like nearly black in the glass. This Napa Cab has a pronounced nose of blackberry, menthol, eucalyptus, tart blackcurrant, black plum and French oak nuance of spices and chocolate. On the palate it is very smooth and dry with fine-grained tannins and medium acidity. Balanced to a tee- it’s delicious stuff. I get the dark fruit notes and oak integration, waiting for more tertiary development. This wine is drinking beautifully now but will develop over the next 5-10 years. 94 points for this full bodied gem that runs $120 and gets 5 stars from me. I would drink this sans food, it is so silky and delicious all by itself. Salut….