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….
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….