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….
Wow…. super dark and brooding. I get nice, rich blackberry notes with coffee bean and vanilla extract on the nose. The initial palate is thick with black fruit preserves, finely integrated tannins, chocolate powder and an oak hint. The mid palate continues the theme but the tannins start to build. By the finish my mouth is coated with caressing dryness and a blackberry meets tar note. Intriguing. I think this wine will open up with decanting and develop somewhat in the glass. It is young and the potential for it to gain tertiary flavors is definitely there. I would cellar for another 2-3 years and pair it with roast lamb all day long. Delicious, powerful, well made and worthy of 92 points. For $36 it is not an everyday wine, but it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Very dark purple. Nose is fruit forward with plums, blueberries, chocolate. The palate gives off boysenberry, mocha, a woodsy note and some gum drying tannins. The mid palate is very astringent. Plum torte features with some oak. The finish is dry, rather short in length and has some blue fruit alongside the tannins. 87 points and 3 stars for this $12 effort. Salut….
Very opaque purple. Nose of blackberry, oak and plum purée. The palate is nothing what I was expecting. Lush, but lithe with dark blackberry pie notes, loads of acidity with some very fine grained tannins. The mid palate exudes smoothness with more dark fruit compote, a small dose of wood and very drinkable tannins/acidity. The finish is rather dry with some plums appearing amongst the dark berries. I also come away with mocha, tobacco and a touch of jam. 90 points and 5 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
In the glass this Merlot shows a slightly paler purple than I was expecting. The nose, after I performed the ‘Shake‘ exhibits gorgeous black berry and cinnamon notes. On the palate I am greeted with a really smooth dose of Ribena, some meaty notes, and a fresh ensemble of tannins that are ever present but not cloying. The wine is full flavored, make no mistake- but it does so with a very gentle build-up. Extraction is at its fullest and with that comes a well hidden 14.5% alcohol. The mid palate is somewhat muted after the initial uptake, the finish is where it’s at. More dark berries emerge as well as a blueberry pie component. I hate to say it, but this wine needs a touch more oak. Yup, I said it. Not lashings, but a tiny more vanilla, perhaps a little more tannic bite. At one point I’m sure the wine had plenty of it, perhaps just fading at this point. The structure is good though and the wine is balanced. I would drink up as the wine is at peak and there is not much in the way of tertiary flavors. It is relatively easy-going and will do well with a variety of dishes. I am going with 90 points and 4 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
Very purple in the glass with a nose of Ribena, sweet oak, white pepper and blackberry jam. On the palate it is smooth, supple and has tons of blackberry, silky tannins, cedar slate, vanilla bean and ripe acidity. The mid palate stresses the vanilla component and allows the tannins to really shine. The finish focuses on dark fruits and the astringency of the tannins. The wine is decent, full bodied and quite tasty. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 wine. Salut….
I have written about the Mollydooker Two Left Feet 2012 vintage before. I sat on this bottle for an eternity and since we are moving house, it’s time to drink up. I have not read my old review so as not to taint this one.
I must say, all Mollydooker red wines appear dark and very purply in the glass. This one is no exception. Extraction is the key to their success methinks. It has a nose of plums, sarsaparilla, fig. I already performed the Mollydooker Shake in case you were wondering. The palate gives up super smooth flavors of blue fruits. Blueberry, plum, currant jam, that root beer thing again and some super ingrained tannins. Like, so smooth and barely detectable. The astringency hits on the finish, but the wine drinks beautifully with nice, if somewhat restrained acidity. The mouthfeel on this wine is sublime, extracted, rich and smooth. The finish shows a faint trace of the well hidden, monstrous 16% alcohol. Beware…
I am pairing it with pan seared Flat-Iron steak that I coated with Santa Maria rub, plus some sautéed mushrooms, a tomato salad and edamame to boot. 91 points from me for this $25 offering. 5 stars for this blend of 69% Shiraz, 16% Cabernet, 15% Merlot. Salut….
Somewhat opaque but dark purple. The nose gives up candies, plum, oak, cherry pie, vanilla bean. The palate is super spicy, loaded with fruit and very smooth. Plum ganache, mocha, cafe au lait and blackberry preserve round out the initial palate. The transition to mid palate shows off some very integrated tannins, a red berry note and some cedar plank. The finish is mid length and coats the mouth in plum sauce, coffee and chocolate dust. 92 points from me for this $32 effort, which contradicts the pro’s 89, oh well. I liked it and will buy again for a juicy Sunday roast companion. 5 stars for this Shiraz/Grenache/Viognier blend. Salut….
You know you’re in for a bombastic treat when the label says Shiraz and the wine comes out inky in color and very dense. The nose is delightful- full of plum, espresso, cedar plank, elderberry syrup and a vanilla hint. On the palate it is more restrained than I was expecting, more silky, smoother, with much more depth. This is indeed a powerful wine, but in a more stately fashion. It shows the dark fruits I mentioned plus a really tight knit tannic structure that couples with the acidity to give an amazing mouthfeel. The elderberry syrup component really kicks in on the mid palate, it is so silky smooth. The finish is long, and full of fruit. The tannins are perfectly in sync and do not overpower the flavors. This is a delicious wine that has aged nicely and will continue to do so for many years. Drink with pretty much any grilled meat or all by itself. Beware the well hidden 15.5% alcohol, it may sneak up! The pros went big on this wine, which was WS #3 wine of the year in 2012, I can see why. 95 points and 5 stars for this treat that comes in at $75, if you can find it. Drink till 2024 at the least. Ps. I originally bought 2 bottles, and then another six afterwards. See my other two posts on Bella’s Garden. Salut….
It’s not often at a restaurant that someone walks past your table, plops a half finished bottle down and says ‘Enjoy’! Well, that’s what happened the other night at a Bay Area steak house where I was having dinner with Moxie and Jet, my number 3 son. I was already well into the 2014 Spellbound, but I took the time out to make a very brief taste test of this Aussie blend of Cabernet and Shiraz.
Gorgeous nose. Blueberry, blackberry and açaí berry. The palate shows off abrupt tannins, nice finish and good structure. 89 points. I researched it and found out it retails for $14, making it a 5 star wine in my books. (Sorry about the abbreviated review, but this one was obviously not planned!). Salut….