I did not make notes on the first night, palate fatigue…On night two- it’s a rich purple and opaque. On the nose it’s very earthy with notes of tobacco, iodine and blackberry. On the palate it is very interesting- the uniqueness of the secondary flavors piques my interest. Black cherries come out along with very concise tannins. There’s a touch of astringency on the midpalate that I’m willing to overlook- the wine is multilayered enough for me to concentrate on the other facets. It’s interesting, of decent quality and intriguing. The finish leaves me with a desire for another mouthful. 89 points 5 stars for this $14 Merlot/Cab/Franc blend. Drink till 2026. Salut….
I took my buddy Jimbo out to a French bistro in Montreal. This was the wine I ordered, and it was good. Dark purple in the glass. The glass is somewhat small so I’m having a hard time coaxing the nose. I finally get bright purple fruit- plums, some star anise and espresso. On the palate it is fresh, tannic, raw with plum and blackberry notes alongside licorice. The tannins are gripping, fresh and really crisp. They hold the wine in check and make for a good cellaring potential. The purple fruit notes continue and the finish is a nice dry affair with some charred wood appearing at the medium length end. I’m really enjoying it- 91 points. I paid CAD$100 for this Merlot blend at the restaurant, no other wine prices are available but if it runs $25-30 USD then it’s a 4 to 5 star effort. Drink till 2028 with Hanger steak (duh). Salut….
It was Moxie’s birthday so I opened this lovely Bordeaux in Magnum that’s been sitting in my cellar for many moons. Very bright purple, surprisingly so. No signs of aging whatsoever. The nose is somewhat subdued. After some frantic swirling I finally get plum, leather and florals, like violet. On the palate this wine is super smooth, fruity and fresh. Black cherries, tobacco, crisp tannins and a zesty touch of acidity greet me. This is not a blockbuster Bordeaux, it’s a refreshing, lighter wine that will appeal to many. There are tertiary flavors on the midpalate that include spicebox , leather, rhubarb and blueberry. The tannins really take hold and are gritty, they continue through the finish. Speaking of which, it’s a decent length and concentrated on those tannins alongside blueberry and a touch of oak. This is tasty, still young and will drink well till 2029. I served it up with grilled Tri-Tips, delicious. 91 points and 4 stars, it can be found for around $125 per bottle. Salut….
Dark and brooding in the glass. The nose offers up sweet blackberries, vanilla bean and tea. On the palate that blackberry component is straight up in your face. Lithe tannins are the second wave and then I get a wood note, well integrated. The mid palate continues that dark berry theme alongside more astringent tea. There’s a plum jam component that I get on the back end that adds to the equation, as well as some long toothed tannins that keep on delivering that mouth puckering goodness. This wine is young but approachable if you like it this way. You could cellar till 2022, or go for it now. Drink till 2030. 90 points and for the $22 I paid- 5 stars. Salut….
It’s been a while since I drank some of this old perennial favorite. This vintage shows dark purple in the glass. On the nose- charcoal, blackberry and fig. The palate is very pleasant and easy drinking. There are blackberry notes, tar, wintergreen and crunchy tannins. They dry the gums immediately but not excessively. The mid palate is much the same, black fruits abound. The tannins really go the distance and lead me to the finish of blackberry pie meets a slate. There is quite a bit of minerality alongside the tannic thrust. The wine is well balanced and well made. There’s a reason I drank a crapload of it in the early days, it offers good value for money. Drink till 2025 with a nice NY Strip and creamed spinach. I’m going 88 points and 5 stars for $9. Salut….
Very dark bluish purple in the glass with very fine legs, indicative of the 12.5% alcohol. On the nose it is purple fruit, blackberry, damson and cinnamon. The palate is surprisingly fresh, I was expecting a more traditional attack. This one pops with plums, black cherry and lithe tannins. The mid palate gives me cola, black cherry and some strawberry jam. Strange, I know. The finale is really a nice, smooth, fruity affair with really well tamed tannins holding the blackberry and cola flavors on for a good 30 seconds. There is a trace of acidic bite, but it is appropriate and balances the nice tannins. This is a tasty, decent wine that gets 91 points from me. I would drink right away until 2024 with lighter meat dishes, perhaps beer-can chicken or even roast duck breast. Strangely enough the Decanter score of 95 was opposite to the mid 80’s score given by others. I think this is a steal at $20 and it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
The third tasting of this amazing wine over several years. Bright purple, but with quite a lot of sediment- the nose is classic Pauillac. Cassis, leather, tobacco and hazelnuts. The palate is rich, refined, smooth and very balanced. The primary fruits have given way to tertiary notes of blackberry reduction, that musky leather, dry tobacco and damson torte. There’s a touch of oak, by way of a vanilla note that I’m enjoying. The nuttiness I caught on the nose reappears on the mid palate where I do get some plums alongside the cassis. The tannins gradually build up and really peak on the finish- with black tea, cassis and cinnamon. Delicious and still young. This is a 94 point wine that just keeps getting better. Drink till 2029. Getting pricy at $175 now but tasty as hell and worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
Really dark purple, very striking. On the nose I get blackcurrant, nutmeg and tobacco. The palate has some nice black fruits and an astringency that is a touch heavy. It’s not tannic, perhaps from green stems left in contact with the juice for too long. It takes a turn for the better on the mid palate- more Ribena and a touch of oak. The finish is quite dry with the appearance of some nice tannins alongside a mineral tone that melds nicely with the currants. Overall a decent wine that is slightly out of kilter at the beginning with the astringency but it comes around. 89 points= 3 stars for this $25 wine. Drink till 2025 with hearty stews, or a lamb chop and mint. Salut….
Nearly black and opaque in the glass. On the nose I get gorgeous blackberries and fruitcake with a touch of mint. On the palate it is fresh, young, fruity and chock full of black fruits, cedar, scrumptious tannins and a slight hint of cassis. Tobacco and leather are evident on the mid palate which totally excites me and hints at long term evolution in line with traditional Bordeaux. The tannic structure is amazing, very lithe at the beginning with a steady rise to a crescendo of black tea dryness. 92 points and 4 stars for this $50 Fifth Growth. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Dark purple with nice legs. On the nose it’s quite bland. Black currants, blueberry pie and rubber mat finally come out of the glass. On the palate I’m getting a subdued dose of blueberry pie, cedar, breakfast tea and warm blackberry cobbler. The tannins are of medium intensity and the finish has some dark fruits and tannins. I think this wine is closed right now but it has potential. I’m gonna go with 90 points for now. The pro’s ranged greatly- from 91 to 95 points. I’m not seeing it at this point in time, hopefully it will awaken from slumber as a real powerhouse 3rd Growth Margaux. Drink from 2022/2030. Available for around $50, making it a 3 star wine. Salut….