Deep ruby colored yet it could pass for purple, interesting considering it’s 9 years of age. The nose has pronounced aromas of blackberry, blueberry, açaí with licorice, menthol, crushed stone and charred oak. Refreshingly primal with some secondary notes yet not much development presently. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium (+) tannins that coat my gums and a full body- for sure. The flavors start off with very ripe yet fresh blackberry, açaí berry, blueberry and black currants. There is a sweetness that I attribute to the ample sunshine of the vintage. Oak nuance, mint and some signs of tertiary development fill out the flavor profile. The finish is a touch astringent with a black tea note and some very caressing tannins. This wine is young with lots of time to develop. I think it warrants 93 points and for $55 it’s a 5 star wine to serve up with Sunday roast beef. Drink till 2027. Salut….
The color of this Cabernet is a medium purple, but it is hazy, a touch cloudy which concerns me. The nose smells fresh and young with candied cherry, coconut, red plum, iron, bakers spice, dust and bramble. The palate is dry with grippy tannins and medium acidity. The fruit profile is darker on the palate- black plum and blackberry, gone is that candied cherry note (which I dislike immensely). The coconut, spice, iron and dust are evident in this full bodied wine. The finish is a tannic affair that is short to medium in length and highlights the iron and dust of the wine. I like it but would cellar it for a year or two unless I was cooking rack of lamb or another fatty cut of meat. I’m going with 90 points for this $15 bottle that gets 5 stars. Drink from 2023-2027. Salut….
Opaque- deep, deep ruby which is surprising for a 10 year old wine. Slow moving legs in the glass hint at the 14.5% ABV. The nose has freshness- dark plum, vanilla, blackberry, cassis, menthol, tomato leaf and a green herbaceous note. The palate is dry, tart from medium (+) acidity and balanced with medium (+) tannins which are still quite grippy. Full bodied, this wine coats my mouth with rich flavors of blackberry, cassis, black plum. The oak shines with vanilla whilst the menthol, tomato leaf and green notes all support. It’s a precise wine with delineation between all the flavors and aromas. It finishes rather short but it is balanced. I like it, as I like most of this winery’s offering (especially their Petite Sirah). 92 points from me for this $50 bottle makes it a 5 star effort to drink till 2030. We are firing up the charcoal for some Cowboy steaks and potato wedges which is funny because the last time I drank this wine we also had beef and potatoes. Read about my 2020 tasting here. 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 love Petite Sirah, it’s one of my go-to varietals and this winery has been pivotal in my conversion to the grape. They have changed the label but I hope the contents are as good as the 2013/4. Inky purple in the glass it has very glossy, thick legs showing off the 14% ABV. The nose has a heavy-handed charred oak whiff right off the bat. Once that subsided I get very ripe plum, dark black raspberry, coconut, clove, blueberry pie and vanilla bean. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) tannins, full body and rich, ripe black fruit flavors intertwined with luscious oak nuance. The charred oak note is prevalent in that department but I do get some vanilla and coconut. This is a rich wine that has layers of interesting fruit that show off California sunshine. The finish is medium in length and the really fine-grained yet hefty tannins leave my jaw tingling. Lovely stuff that gets 93 points from me and for $36 it’s a 5 star effort to pair with big steaks or hearty stews. I bought several bottles and plan to drink till 2030. Salut….
Deep garnet colored, this Zinfandel is showing a touch of age. Besides a whiff of alcohol right off the bat- the nose has aromas of stewed blueberry, vanilla, black plum, clove and purple licorice. The palate is dry and tannic with juicy acidity and a full body. The flavors are quite complex- there’s a touch of stewed/cooked fruit showing the wine’s age, plus some oak influence as well as primal fruit still hanging in there. The finish is grippy and the acid really hits the tongue and jaw on the medium length finish. This is not the usual overly extracted and jammy Zin, it has some good fruit and structure and needs a spicy meat dish like middle eastern spiced lamb kofta. 90 points for this $35 wine makes it a 4 star effort. Drink till 2026. Salut….
Moxie is cooking dinner- a beef dish that is heavily influenced by mushrooms. In case you did not know- umami (found in mushrooms) has a distinct affect on wine. It makes a red taste more dry and bitter, more acidic, less fruity/sweet. A perfect pairing for this would be a full bodied, rich, tannic wine with medium acidity and not overly dry- Petite Sirah is the answer. Here goes.
Deep purple in the glass, this wine is inky. The nose has pronounced aromas of black cherry, blackberry, macerated black plum, dark chocolate, anise, barnyard (kinda strange for the varietal) and smoke. The palate is rich and dry. Medium (+) tannins, full body and medium length finish. The fruit flavors are delicious. Black berries, currants, plums and pepper. The smoke is evident as is the licorice note I got earlier. It doesn’t quite hold up to the 2013 Petite Sirah I drank last year but it does rate well at 90 points. For $45 it gets 3 stars from me. Drink till 2028 with hearty meat dishes, especially those with some well marbled beef. Salut….
I attended a practice blind tasting last night for the WSET Level 3 exam. One of the wines we drank was this Chardonnay. It was obvious from the first whiff that this was a Cali doozy. I wrote that the wine was a medium shade of lemon and had a medium (+) intensity nose of……. toast, butter, bread, acacia, melon and banana, I found it youthful. Read those descriptors again. There is no mention of citrus or stone. The palate was much the same in flavors with medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and was obviously dry in nature. This is a developing wine with plenty of potential to age. I thought it was good to outstanding and would think it gets 92 points. At $60 a pop, this highly rated (94-95 by the pros) wine gets 5 stars.
My initial reaction to smelling this wine was that it had been worked over pretty hard. When I say that, I mean it went through Malolactic Conversion/Fermentation and I even thought it had been treated Sur Lie. I was right. The winery notes mention both processes and explain why it was sooo buttery, with heavy doses of bread, toast etc. It’s not my style of wine, but I took the half bottle home to revisit it. Paired with a rice and chicken dish it did okay, but the overpowering tertiary notes are really not up my alley. If you like a rich, full-on Napa/Sonoma Chardonnay with gobs of upfront tertiary notes, go for it. At least try it once. Drink till 2030. Salut….
I loved this winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon, I’m hoping for a repeat. In the glass this wine is a deep purple and opaque AF. The nose is stupendous. Pronounced aromas of blackcurrants, blackberry, toasty oak and coffee bean. The palate is technically dry, with black fruit flavors- but not as pronounced as on the nose. Grippy tannins are still working the gums in this 8 year old bottle as is some nice acidity. The wine is full bodied with a nice mouthfeel and copious amounts of fruit. The finish is very long and caresses my gums with black cherry, Lapsang Souchong tea and those really well integrated tannins. This is a delicious wine that is but a hair shy of the Cabernet as far as technicalities go, but I love me some Petite Sirah so this one gets some Lamb chops with fresh mint and garlic mashed taters. 92 points and 5 stars for this $35 gem. Drink till 2028. Salut….
The 11th Virtual Wine tasting opened up with this Chardonnay from California. Tasted at room temperature first it gave the tasters: Butter, vanilla, buttered popcorn. Butterscotch. Honeysuckle, floral. Orange blossom. On the palate- Waxy, caramel, pear, Medium length with a pleasant finish.
The chilled version got passion fruit, green apple, toast, ‘crisper’, buttery, star fruit. On the palate: hazelnut, slightly bitter on the finish, like grapefruit. Pith of lemon from our MD friend. Lemon drop, not too sweet. Butterscotch. Full bodied with just a smidge of acidity.
For me this wine was delicious on day 1 and even better the following night. I preferred it at room temperature when we first tasted but the chilled bottle was even more impressive on night 2. 92 points from me which coincides with the pros. For $25 it’s a nice, rich Chardonnay that delivers complexity and gets 5 stars from me. Think grilled Salmon or Salad Nićoise with this one. Drink till 2027. Salut….