Bright purple in the glass. The nose is smoky, laden with iodine and laced with blackcurrant jam. The palate is austere with a minerality starting us off. It opens up to the rich black fruits, and very lithe tannins. The wine is tasty once that austere punch fades, it’s a bit off-putting. The mid palate has nice cedar and black currant notes alongside some well integrated acidity. The finish is more black fruit that transitions to an oaky, tasty, mineral driven note. I kinda like it. I’m going to reserve a point for the austerity that hits at the beginning with a recommendation to cellar this one for a year or two and perhaps decant it. 89 points, which shocks me for this $45 wine. 2 stars unfortunately. Salut….
Bright purple. On the nose I get blueberry, vanilla, wafers and sweet oak. On the palate it is fresh, with gobs of sour cherry, rhubarb and blueberry. There is a nice tannic bite that starts off gently and reaches a decent level of dryness without being overly astringent. The sour cherry component really takes charge on the midpalate and the acidity peaks. The finish is quite sour yet refreshing. The oak has long disappeared, the ending being red fruits galore with rooibos tea and crunchy tannins. It’s a decent wine that is a touch out of balance with the heavy handed acidity. It may smooth out after a while. 88 points and 3 stars- $18. Salut….
To say I am excited about today’s tasting would be an understatement. Many years ago, I discovered this Shiraz in a wine shop in Anchorage, Alaska. The local restaurant also carried it so it was easy to avail myself of this heady Shiraz, the little brother to the iconic Armagh. I have searched high and low for over 10 years, until today. Nestled into a corner of the local wine shop in Hong Kong were 5 bottles. I’m trying this one out and will return for the others if it works out. Here goes….
It has changed with the absence of a cork, replaced with the ease of a screw cap. Fully opaque, dark and brooding… Like I remember. The nose offers up sweet damson, charred oak, plums and lilac. I get a little blackberry jam note as well. The palate is as I remember- rich, deep, layered and chock full of flavors. It’s a lighter, less jammy version of the older ones which makes it a bit fresher and easier to drink. Blackberries, delicious oak, blueberry pie and vanilla all swirl around the palate. There is a very gradual introduction to the tannins, which are super fine grained and not very obtrusive. This wine has a very lush mouthfeel, it coats my gums and palate with delicious dark fruits from the front to the back. The astringency is well in check and there is a touch of acidity that keeps it fresh. This wine is a pleasure to drink, I am loving it. I would imagine it would pair beautifully with Filet and Bearnaise, or you can just sip it alone like I am. 93 points from me for this $38 effort that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2029. Salut….
Decent shade of color, medium opacity. On the nose I get purple fruit and charcoal. With a bit of swirling it morphs into raspberry. The initial palate has some nice black cherry and oaky char with a certain warmness to it. Fine grained tannins immediately show up and carry me to the mid palate which turns the fruit back to that plummy, purple note I caught on the nose. The finish is medium length, tannic and features more fruit and a dry black tea. Overall I’m enjoying this wine for what it is- a weekday quaffer that won’t break the bank. I would pair it with spaghetti, moussaka or even ratatouille. 87 points and 4 stars for this $8 offering, drink till 2021. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass with barely traceable legs. The aromas spilled over when I swirled the glass. On the nose I am sensing that candied licorice that I don’t care for. I also get pine and eucalyptus. On the palate, it is decent for an $8 bottle. I wasn’t expecting much complexity but this one has some nice primal fruit flavors of blackberry alongside anise, cedar and wood smoke. What it lacks in structure it makes up for with fruitiness and verve. A decent drink that has a trace of tannins, a bit of acidity and an easy going quaffability. 86 points would be generous but at this price, it’s good for a BBQ or a day at the picnic site. Drink now. 3 stars. Salut….
Mataro is also known as Mourvedre apparently…. Very dark and enticing purple in the glass. On the nose there is lush blackberry, currant, oak. On the palate it is straight up delicious. Loads of black fruit, entwined with cloves, bramble and very subtle tannins. The mouthfeel of this wine is phenomenal, very balanced and not overly dry nor acidic. The mid palate shows off some sage brush alongside iodine with the friendly tannins running as well. On the finish it starts to dry up a touch as the grip of the tannins kicks it up just a small notch. Blackberry, Lapsang Souchong tea and that earthy brush are the main components of the medium length finish. This is a really nice drop to drink now or cellar till 2027. 92 points and 5 stars for this $20 wine. Salut….
Very dark purple, nearly black in the glass. On the nose I get fresh blackberries, cedar, vanilla and coffee bean. On the palate this wine is delicious- chock full of black fruits, a beautiful oak integration, medium grained tannins that caress at the right time and some very gentle acidity. Aussie wines can sometimes get too jammy, especially with Shiraz- but this Cab Sav has ripeness and body without going over the edge. The mid palate just continues the black fruit theme and the finish is long, dry and adds cinnamon and licorice to the back end. Delightful. 91 points and 5 stars for this $20 bottle. Drink till 2028 with steaks. Salut….
A deep purple wine with medium opacity. On the nose it is lush, full of ripe plums, graced by a deft hand of oak and blackberries. On the palate I get a more licorice and coffee initial attack. The dark fruits appear on the mid palate. There is not as much plum as I had been led to believe, but the juicy acidity makes me forget quickly. The tannins are lithe, making this a drink-now wine. The finish is more tart blueberry than blackberry. Somewhat short in the backend. A tasty wine that merits 88 points from me. For $20 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2021 with some burgers, pizza or lasagna. Salut….
Very dark in the glass. Nose of black jam, eucalyptus and charcoal. On the palate there’s a rich warm black currant note with lithe tannins and a fruitcake hint. The mid palate is very smooth with a tannic bite that kicks in. The finish is gentler, mid length and chock full of black jam, cedar and a touch of vanilla bean. 91 points and 4 stars for this $29 effort. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Really dark purple, extruded looking. The nose is of lush ripe plums, black cherry and cinnamon stick. On the palate I get a very smooth intro of black currant preserves, black cherry extract and the beginnings of a dose of mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is heavy with the black fruits and tannins. They coat the teeth, the gums. Rooibos tea is the balancing flavor here. Everything else is dark and brooding. The mouthfeel is great, if you like a dry wine. It is not overly tannic, but will most definitely get your attention. The finish is of medium length and focuses on the black currant preserves I got at the outset. Overall a decent drop that gets 89 points from me and would do well with hearty game, roasted meats and even Bolognese. $15 and 3 stars. Salut….