Our second Cab Franc at tasting #27 was this much more restrained version from S.A. Our first foray into the varietal was a powerhouse Chinon. This wine was more elegant and softer- beginning with the medium ruby color in the glass. On the nose the group found aromas of lavender, violets, blackberry leaf, blueberry, cherry (cola), black pepper, creamy coffee (froth), caramel and a medicinal note as well as a touch of cough syrup (?). The palate was dry and we debated the acidity- High was the consensus. Lush, nicely integrated tannins led to a medium bodied wine with lovely flavors of blackberry leaf, lavender, vanilla, violets, and that medicinal note. A medium (-) finish took off a point or two from me yet I love this wine. 91 points for a $45 wine makes it a 4 star effort to drink till 2026 with Steak au Poivre. Salut….
The red wine theme for our 27th VWTC tasting was Cabernet Franc. We kicked it off with this classic Chinon from the Loire valley. As I opened the bottle and took a sniff I was very worried about the wine’s acceptance into our group. It was very, very funky with loads of herbaceous aromas- not everyones cup of tea mind you. This wine is deep purple colored with pronounced aromas of green pepper, dried herbs and earth. We also got funk, cave moss, overripe blackberry, sea salt, lavender, violet, plastic band aid, overripe cherry and sarsaparilla. There was definitely some minerality in this very complex wine. The palate was dry with medium (+) tannins, medium (+) acidity and was full bodied. In addition to the herbaceous notes we also got flavors of tart cherry on the plate, especially towards the back end. Oak was present by way of svelte cinnamon and nutmeg flavors and the wine finished to a medium length. I was pleasantly surprised how this $38 monster developed in the glass and became one of the group’s favorite wines. Some just love the funk! I gave it 91 points and would drink this over a 10 year window with hearty steaks, venison or rich stews. It gets 5 stars from me, just beware of the herbaceous quality of this varietal- times 10. Salut….
I’m cooking peppercorn steaks tonight and had a hard time deciding between three wines- this Merlot/Cab Franc blend won the honors. It is opaque AF, inky purple in the glass with glossy legs. The nose is spectacular- pronounced aromas of black plum, cassis, blackberry, vanilla, coffee bean, spice box, leather and iodine. The palate is dry, fiercely tannic and has medium acidity. It runs a hefty 15% ABV and shows off a full body. The flavors are yummy. Pronounced black and dark blue fruit with nicely integrated oak nuance alongside a sanguine thrust of iodine and iron. This wine is young with a great tannic structure and the mouthfeel is beautiful, decant it if you like them a little softer. The pro’s were all over the scoring map with this $50 effort, but I have to say the higher end wins. 93 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2034 with hearty stews, well marbled steaks or a bold cheese tray. Salut….
Moxie and I visited the Wiemer vineyard this past winter and we sampled this Cab Franc whilst there. I promised to do a more thorough tasting- so here it is. The wine is medium ruby in the glass with thin legs denoting the modest (thank goodness) 13% ABV. The nose has pronounced aromas of blackberry, dark currants, pepper, smoke, tobacco, violets and a touch of vegetal notes. The palate is delicious- medium (+) tannins caress the gums whilst medium acidity balances. The flavors are pronounced. I get dark fruit, cracked pepper, tobacco, smoke, iron and a touch of flint. It is far from the vegetal wine I drank previously- this one is delicious. The body is medium and the finish is long. The mouthfeel is great on this $39 wine. It gets 91 points on this re-taste, a far cry from the 89 I previously gave it. The vegetal, green notes are not obtrusive in this bottle. 4 stars with a drink by 2027 date. I am pairing with grilled Tri-Tip of Beef and salad with blue cheese. 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….
A brooding opaque wine that borders on purple in the glass. On the nose I get black plums, blackberry, coconut, purple licorice, black raspberries and capsicum (just a hint). On the palate the flavors are a touch muted but I do get black fruit, oak nuance and a bit of that vegetal note from the green pepper. Dry from some very integrated tannins it has a balancing acidity but the fruit lacks power. Medium (-) body and a mid length finish. I’m disappointed in this $45 bottle that gets 87 points and 2 stars from me. I was hoping for a bit more structure, more fruit and better balance. Paired with grilled Tri-tip and roasted veggies. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Almost opaque, this dark ruby colored ‘Red Wine’ is a blend of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah that rings in at 13.9% ABV. The nose has rich black plum, blackberry coulis, licorice and vanilla. The palate is meh… Tart, dry and lacking depth of fruit. I do get some blackberry and plum but I’m missing the oak nuance, the licorice and am distracted by the sourness. The tannins are medium (+) and the wine is mid weight. The finish is short, TG. Not impressed by this $18 wine (I paid $10) that gets 84 points from me. 1 star and a major pass. I’m pairing it with leftover Lasagna. Salut….
Our final stop on the Finger Lakes wine adventure was this picturesque hillside winery on the shore s of Keuka Lake. We planned our arrival for 4 pm which gave us enough time for the drive from PA, which included a pit stop for a COVID test, a three hour drive to make our 1 pm Wiemar winery tasting, some lunch and then the 45 minute hop to the this lake. We finished just after 5 pm and ended up in the town of Geneva for the night. Everything worked out as planned! Salut….
Hilda Chardonnay 2020-
Pale lemon in the glasss. Crisp citrusy notes. Lemon zest, green apple, clean, waxy, round mouthfeel, medium to full bodied. Medium (+) acidity, linear and focused, not flabby. Long finish. 91 points and at $35 it gets 4 stars.
Old Vines Pinot Noir 2019-
Pale garnet as expected from this varietal. Pronounced aromas of stewed strawberry, cherry compote, vanilla bean, straw, baking spice, Orange peel. Palate is light and breezy with cooked red fruit, spices, super lithe tannins, gentle acidity, light body and medium finish. 89 points and for $25 it is worthy of 3 stars.
Cabernet Franc 2019-
Medium opacity ruby. Spicy nose of white pepper, violets, black currants, capsicum, perfumed flower blossoms. A blunt opening that has a tannic grip and medium acidity. The spice and dark fruit finally show up with some bell pepper greeness. Quite vegetal. 87 points. Drink soon. $25, 2 stars.
Deep purple color. Smoke, coffee, blueberry pie, blackberry coulis. Dry palate with smoky coffee goodness. Medium (-) tannins, medium acidity, mid weight body and a decent length finish. The tannins are more present on the back end but are still very smooth. 88 points, till 2024. $30 makes this a 2 star effort.
No idea what it’s supposed to taste like.
Deep ruby, port like nose with spice box and clove notes. A hint of greeness with asparagus and iron. Unique flavors- very spicy, somewhat green with rhubarb, charred wood and kirsch alongside gentle tannins, juicy acidity, medium body, decent finish. 89 points for this $30 wine makes it 3 stars.
Margrit Dry Riesling 2019-
Pale lemon with aromas and flavors of lemon cordial, honeysuckle, blossom, toast. Crisp palate with juicy acidity, citrus fruit, florals and 90 points for this $35 wine makes it a 3 star effort.
You may have read my previous post about our travels through the Finger Lakes, tasting our way to Canada, eh. Our first stop after leaving home was to get a COVID test so we could cross the border, they insist on that kind of thing in Ontario. Halfway down the road we came to the stark realization that one of us could test positive, egads. As it turns out we were fine and made it to our 1 pm reservation at this rustic winery where we sampled some delicious whites and reds. Abbreviated noters follow as I really was there to enjoy the moment and not think too hard with all the distractions. Needless to say we bought some wine to bring home. Salut….
Grüner Veltliner 2020-
Greenish lemon color. Lemon, lime, grapefruit, tart, vanilla, good acidity, light and fruity. 87 points and at $27, 3 stars.
Riesling HJW 2019-
Greenish gold with tropical fruit notes of pineapple, papaya, pear, lemon curd, melon, medium (+) acidity, medium body, medium (+) finish, very balanced. 93 points. Delicious stuff and at $39 it gets 5 stars.
Riesling Reserve Dry 2019-
Pale lemon with Brioche, lemon, tangerine, pineapple, medium to full bodied, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) finish. A subtle yet classy Riesling that gets 92 points and 5 stars for its great QPR at $29.
Gewürtztraminer Dry 2020-
Pale lemon in the glass. Lychee, melon, rose petals, honeysuckle, sweet mouthfeel with great fruit flavors. Medium (-) body, low acidity, medium (+) finish. 89 points and a very nice representation of this aromatic varietal. For $25 it gets 4 stars from me and a few bottles made their way south.
Pale ruby, see through in fact. Black cherry, grape jelly, white pepper, black currants, crisp, tart, medium acidity, low tannins, medium (-) body, medium finish. Lightweight and easy drinking, refreshing. 87 points and 3 stars for this $32 charmer.
Cabernet Franc Magdalena 2020-
Medium purple color. Spicy with green pepper, white pepper, red plum, black plum, asparagus, blackberry, very spicy palate. Quite dry but not astringent with medium (-) acidity. The finish is medium (-) with good fruit. 89 points, 3 stars and $39. Drink this till 2025. Pretty vegetal looking back. I will re-taste soon.
Chinon is a region in the Loire Valley of France where Cabernet Franc is the primary red grape. You know how I love the varietal so I couldn’t pass this one up, especially when it was on sale for $14. The wine itself is semi opaque and tending to garnet rather than ruby, I guess age is playing a factor here. The nose is developed with stewed plums, black cherry, black currant pie, leather, mint and violet. It is quite an interesting waft that got better as I swirled the glass. On the palate this dry wine has upfront tannins, good acidity and flavors of plum, black currant, black cherry, licorice, mint and violets. The leather and stewed plum notes are nowhere to be seen. The tannic grip is pronounced on the back end where I get some dry gums. It is a raw, primal wine with good fruit and structure but it is not for a big night. A serviceable weekday wine that gets 88 points from me and should be drunk by 2026, it gets 3 stars and would go nicely with hearty stews. Salut….