Torrontes is a very intriguing aromatic varietal that I really enjoy, so when I saw a Late Harvest (ie. sweet ) I could not resist. It is medium lemon in color and has a watery sheen in the glass as expected for a 12% ABV wine. The nose is incredible- pronounced aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon curd and rosewater. The palate is sweet- full bodied and of medium (-) acidity. The flavors are pronounced on the palate. Florals, ripe citrus curd, rose and honeysuckle caress the mouth with a richness. Served chilled, this wine is actually very refreshing and dare I say- easy to drink! As a dessert wine I am thinking it would pair with poached stone fruit and vanilla ice cream. For $30 it’s a great intro to something unique that gets 91 points from me and 5 stars. Ps. I am drinking it as an aperitif. Salut….
The second red wine at the 25th Virtual tasting was from the same producer as the first bottle. This one is a year younger and has been blended with Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc. A mix of new and used oak in the winemaking allowed us to compare flavors and aromas with a wine that relied mostly on used oak.
In the glass this blend is medium garnet, slightly less opaque than the Cab Sav we tasted previously. Leather, tobacco, black currant, black cherry, blackberry and cassis aromas were quite evident on the nose. The palate was dry, slightly tart with medium tannins, medium (-) acidity and light bodied. Flavors of black currant, spice, leather, tobacco, blood/iron and orange marmalade but I did make a note that this wine was a touch ‘thin’. Scoring it 91 points was a little off from the pros. This $50 bottle gets 3 stars from me and only 14 marks on the tasting scale. Drink now with lighter meat dishes. Salut….
This Argentinian wine is deep, deep purple- like opaque and brooding in the glass. The nose starts off with a vegetal note- green peppers, asparagus, grass. I manage to coax blackberry, iodine, ripe blueberry and smoke with some vigorous swirling. The palate is bone dry with pretty gritty tannins, medium acidity, full body and a mid length finish. The fruit flavors start with black and blue berries and then some green veggies and black licorice, opposite order from the nose. The oak influence is less noticeable on the palate but I still get a touch. Iodine and an iron-like note kick in on the mid to back end. This wine would pair beautifully with a juicy steak and some fried batatas. It will cellar nicely till 2030 and gets 91 points from me. The pros all went 94, which is stretch in my book. At $40, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
I have drunk numerous vintages of this Malbec, in copious quantities to boot- so when I was looking for a red wine to try and pair with Andouille and Shrimp Creole I thought this might just work. Spicy foods need to stay away from very tannic wines which need to be very fruit forward and cannot flaunt too much acidity. This varietal is just that; medium tannins, high in fruit and mild in acidity.
This Reserve offering is inky purple in the glass, like opaque. The nose is very fruity with ripe plum, toast, cinnamon, blackcurrant, black cherry and anise. The palate is beautiful- full bodied yet super smooth with black fruits galore, gentle acidity and lithe tannins. A virtual compote of black and dark red fruit with hints of oak. A long finish that is all fruit, little astringency and mildly tart- perfect for my needs. I would also pair this wine with roast poultry, venison, even a pork tenderloin and obviously steaks. It will drink nicely till 2026 and gets 91 points from me. At $18 it’s a steal that gets 5 stars. If you like round, plush, fruity wines that are not very tart or astringent then look for this gem. Salut….
Moxie and I went to a pre-theater dinner in downtown Philly. The food was really good but the wine list was quite shabby, they offered 5 reds which retail in the stores for $12-18 per bottle and none got a rating over 86. I was forced to choose one and settled on this Argentinian Malbec. Here is my brief review:
Opaque, nose of crushed stone, plum, blackberry. Soft mouthfeel with lithe tannins, gentle acidity and medium intensity flavors. Medium bodied with a medium length finish. 86 points. Drink now. $13 makes it a 3 star effort. It was okay, just not great. Salut….
We kicked off the 21st Virtual Wine Tasting with this aromatic varietal from Argentina. We tasted it at room temperature as well as chilled. Basically it offers up aromas and flavors of apricot, honeysuckle, lychee, rose, peach, citrus, spice and white pepper. The group felt the wine had good acidity, medium body and a long finish. The chilled version was a little lighter bodied and a touch muted. 90 points from me make this $10 wine a 5 star effort that should be drunk soon. Salut….
If you read much about winemaking the name Michel Rolland will no doubt come up, several times. He’s a consultant oenologist who works with hundred of clients worldwide. At a steak house in Quebec they offered this blend of 55% Malbec, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot , 2% Cabernet Franc. It normally retails for $16 and garnered high marks from the pros so I had to try it.
Inky with rich aromas of blackberry, black currants, mint, charred wood and licorice. Full bodied with rich flavors and medium tannins. Gentle acidity makes for great mouthfeel. 92 points. Till 2028
Those were my tableside notes- very brief but you get the idea (I did not want to detract from the conversation to write details!). Drink this 5 star gem with steaks all day long- the pairing is magical. Salut….
This Malbec was the second wine in the 19th Virtual Wine tasting. Deep purple with nice legs it had aromas of tobacco, smoke, pepper, black cherry, plum, chocolate and black licorice. The tasters got rich plum, medium tannins, medium acidity, pepper, raspberry, cocoa powder, black cherry and licorice on a medium finish . No apparent oak notes btw. I liked it and for $26 this 90 point effort is getting 4 stars. Drink til 2028 with grilled meat. Salut….
Medium shade of gold in the glass. On the nose it is floral and aromatic. Pineapple, papaya and pink grapefruit. On the palate – more papaya and some yellow guava. Lithe acidity makes for a rounded mouth-feel. The mid palate – more floral with honeysuckle, paperwhites and peach. It’s quite a complex set of flavors, but that’s what’s so nice about this varietal. It’s not your run-of-the-mill. The finish is smooth, fruity, and lacks the big bite from the acid, just enough juiciness. I’m looking forward to pairing this with my baked salmon and shallot sauce. 90 points and 5 stars for this $17 charmer. Drink until 2023. Salut….
This Pinot Noir is classic in the glass- dark red shade and totally see-through. On the nose I get cranberry and a hint of capsicum with some strawberry notes. The palate is very pleasing, if not a touch sweet. Lithe tannins greet me alongside red fruits and tangy acidity. The cranberry motif is very evident and continues through to the mid palate and beyond. It brings with it a nice zesty dollop of acid that is making my jaw water. The finish is of decent length and keeps the theme of cranberry, strawberry and red currants. The green note I got on the nose is a non-starter. Yummy stuff if you like them fresh, primal and perky. This one will drink nicely till 2025 and gets 88 points from me. Pairings to consider- roast chicken, Duck l’Orange or even grilled Swordfish. At $18 it gets 3 stars from me. Salut….