This Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot weighs in at 13.5% ABV, a welcome change from some of the bombs I have had recently. It is medium ruby in the glass and has a medium intensity nose. The aromas I get are black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, plum, black tea, red licorice, mint and very subtle oak. Not at all what I was expecting- red fruits in a Cab? On the palate it is dry with juicy acidity. The tannins are grippy and a touch underripe. The flavors are somewhat muted but I do get the raspberry, some sour cherry and plum. Black tea shows up on the mid-palate and the deft oak is barely perceptible. The acidity is quite high on the finish as is the tannic grip. The fruit fades quickly and I am left feeling like I stuffed a tea pouch between my cheeks. I must say- this is a bit young and the fruit is hiding. Give it time. The pros went 92+ points and for $23 it’s a theoretical steal worthy of 5 stars. I am reserving judgement and will open the other two bottles in a few years. Drink from 2023-2030. Salut….
I recently tried the 2019 Lamothe and enjoyed it- so when the latest bottling came out I had to give it a go. I’m banging up some clams in garlic and butter, this crisp wine is hopefully the perfect pairing. It is quite a deep lemon color in the glass. The aromas are quite pronounced and I get lemon zest, honeysuckle, asparagus, geranium and pineapple. The palate is dry, with medium acidity and medium weight body. The alcohol is low at 12.5% which makes for a crisp mouthfeel. The flavors are quite pronounced and echo the nose although I also get some lychee and other tropical notes. It’s quite complex for a basic white Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc that runs $15. I am thinking 90 points and 5 stars, drink now for the freshness. Salut….
Dinner is Jamaican Jerk Pork. A spicy dish that needs careful consideration for a pairing. The first varietal that comes to mind is Riesling. Number 2 choice- Gewurtztraminer. I have both in the fridge but opted for this young and fresh Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc that weighs in at a decent 12% ABV. It is very pale in the glass with a lemon color. The aromas pop out of the glass with lots of intensity. Lemon zest, tangerine, passion fruit, mango and geranium. The palate is dry and packed with juicy acidity. Citrus and floral notes abound alongside exotic fruit flavors that I got on the nose. Although it is a crisp wine, it has a certain body and mouthfeel to it that I am really enjoying. It is fresh and lively and will certainly give the spices in the dish a good complement. This wine is probably best drunk young and paired with fish, pork or a vegetable tart. It is juicy right up till the medium length finish gives out. Yummy stuff that gets 89 points from me and at $20 it is worthy of 4 stars. Salut….
This Sauvignon Blanc is pale lemon in the glass. Medium (+) intensity aromas of lemon zest, geranium, grapefruit, grass and passion fruit. It is still youthful with a dry palate and medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (-) body and medium intensity flavors of citrus and some floral notes. I like the medium (-) length finish, it’s very refreshing and crisp. Something to drink now as it won’t age much longer. 89 points and for $10 it’s a good deal that gets 4 stars. Salut….
The second wine of Chateau Smith Haut Lafite, this vintage is highly rated so I had to pick up this bottle. It’s a deep garnet, showing a bit of bottle age. The nose is quintessential Bordeaux- graphite, plum, cassis, blackberry, smoky oak and black tea. The palate is a little awkward at first, the somewhat green tannins are fighting me with a hint of astringency. Once I get past the onslaught of black tea on my gums I get the classic fruit flavors along with medium acidity. The finish is mid length but the grip of those tannins is ferocious, lingering for a good minute. This wine is a bit young and disjointed right now but it holds promise for cellaring. Overall I think it warrants 89 points and for $45, it is a good introduction to the Graves appellation. 3 stars, drink from 2024-2030. Salut….
My friend Tracy got this at Trader Joes, for $8. I am absolutely blown away. Seriously delicious, with cellaring capacity and yummy flavors. Opaque, purple, inky. The nose is exactly what I expect from a 7 year old Bordeaux- some cassis, cedar, earth, game and black plum. Tertiary flavors are coming out whilst primal fruit is still very fresh. The palate is silky with nicely integrated tannins, a touch of acidity and layered fruit. A medium length finish makes for a delicious, tidy package of rich fruit and good structure. Yummy stuff to drink till 2025. 91 points! Yup, for $8 at TJ’s, this is probably my bottle of the year when it comes to QPR (quality price ratio). 5 stars, only cause I can’t go 6. WAY TO GO! Salut….
My friend Jimbo is in town and I promised him some good wine. Back in 2003 I bought three cases of this stuff and now I am opening bottle #26, having tasted the evolution over the past 15 years or so. This was a spectacular example of perfectly aged Bordeaux. It is at peak right now, showing layers of tertiary fruit, rich cassis, gentle acidity and soft tannins. Balanced perfectly with a sublime mouthfeel. I’m super happy with the results of my patient cellaring. I believe this cost me $59 back in the day, now it will run over $100. A good deal if you ask me that gets 92 points and 5 stars. Probably need to think about the rest of the case as I don’t think there is much left in the tank with this claret. Here are my class notes. Salut….
Chateau Lynch Bages 2001, Pauillac, France 13.0% ABV
- Appearance- Deep garnet
- Pronounced nose of dried blackberry (Cassis), leather, earth, tobacco, cedar, forest floor. Fully developed.
- Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium (-) tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, pronounced flavors of dried blackberry (cassis), tobacco, leather, forest floor and charred wood. Long finish.
- Conclusion- outstanding quality, drink now: not suitable for aging or further aging.
Twenty years ago I bought a case of this Fifth Growth Bordeaux. Last year I gave this bottle as a house warming gift to friends, who sat on it and waited for my return. This past weekend we opened it in all its glory- it was delicious.
Totally showing its age with some serious bricking and sediment in the bottle, it is medium tawny in color. The nose is loaded with tertiary flavors of tobacco, cedar, leather, stewed prune and cinnamon stick. The palate is super smooth with tannins that are so integrated and balanced by a modicum of acidity. The fruit flavors have pretty much disappeared- it’s all about the tertiary notes. Classic Bourdaux that’s been aged with a smooth mouth feel.
Tell you what- there’s still some back end juiciness and tannic grip which tell me this wine has a little more life in it! Tremendous value when I bought it back in the day. 92 points, which is amazing considering the pros went with high 80’s when they first tasted it. The ’01 Left Bank vintage has outperformed anyones expectations as can be witnessed by this exceptional bottle that is currently running $80 at auction. 5 stars, but drink this delicate juice sooner rather than later. Salut….
Last up at the 14th Virtual Wine tasting was this stunner from Bordeaux that got a perfect 20 from yours truly. Totally opaque and dark purple. The nose showed off musty cigar box, leather, tobacco, dried cherry, damp forest floor and ‘a bag of craisins’. There was a very earthy component that was woodsy. Simply stunning. The palate had dried sage, dark fruit, cassis, smoke, black tea and cranberry. This 10 year old blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cab Sav and 5% Petit Verdot has hit peak. The primal fruit is being overtaken by the tertiary flavors we long for when cellaring fine wine. This vintage was scored an overall 99 points by Wine Spectator, producing long lived wines with high scores from pretty much any producer. This one gets 92 points from me, which is consistent with the pros. At $40 it gets 5 stars and should be drunk by 2025. Salut….
This blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is a mid shade of gold in the glass. On the nose I get citrus, melon, lychee and ginger. On the palate it offers bright and juicy lemons, pineapple, lychee and some good minerality. The acidity is very well appointed, not too sharp but enough to keep it crisp. The flavors continue to a decent length finish. I am really impressed with the complexity of this wine’s nose. For $15 this is a great summer sipper that will also pair really well with grilled Salmon, Cobb salad or chicken on the charcoal. 89 points from me make it a 5 star effort to stock up on- really yummy stuff. Drink till 2024. Salut….