Deep ruby with rim variation to garnet plus some slow moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose has varietally true aromas of green pepper, blackberry, black raspberry and some menthol perfume. Very faint notes of oak alongside some coffee, crushed rock and vanilla. It smells gorgeous. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and delightfully fine grained tannins that caress. Full bodied, I get flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, menthol, oak nuance, coffee, chocolate. The green pepper aromas don’t show up on the palate btw. The finish is a touch smoky and medium (+) in length with the tannins completely melded and the acidity softening. A very balanced and somewhat complex wine that really coats my mouth with delicious, ripe fruit. I like it a lot and give it 93 points. I’m searing some Sous Vide Strip steaks, this is going to pair beautifully. For $50 its a treat-night wine that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Medium garnet colored this Cab Franc has pretty thin, slow moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose gives me medium intensity aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, coconut, cedar plank, toasty oak, chocolate powder, blueberry jam and some brioche/yeast notes. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and super smooth medium tannins. The wine coats my mouth and is full bodied with rich blueberry flavors. The red fruit are there but not as prominent. Toasty oak and some cocoa with a hint of coconut round out the palate. The finish is medium-ish and very caressing- the tannins are fully melded in this 7 year old wine that is drinking en pointe. It is delicious and will pair beautifully with my Hangar steaks and mashed taters. 92 points from me for this $57 offering that gets 5 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Deep, opaque purple colored with thick slow-moving legs (14.5% ABV). The nose excites me- rich black cherry, pencil shavings, bell pepper, garigue and açaí berry compote. The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity and very smooth medium tannins. It’s a medium to full-bodied wine that has flavors corresponding to the nose plus a bit of spice box and tobacco. A medium length finish rounds this delicious single varietal wine up nicely. I like it- 93 points and for $20 this is a steal of a 5-star effort to drink till 2025. I’m pairing mine with a combo Cottage/Shepards Pie (one side with beef the other side with lamb). Salut….
My buddy Keef and I stopped in at this New Jersey winery to sample the wares. We tasted the five Reserve offerings they had plus a bottle of their Norman’s Vineyard Cabernet Franc. I was impressed by what I tasted. The Chenin Blanc was spectacular- rich flavors, great mouthfeel and varietally correct. The NJ twist on Sauvignon Blanc was another delicious wine that had telltale cut grass amongst other yummy flavors. The rosé, a blend of 4 red grapes was very interesting and worth a re-taste. I was not a huge fan of the two reds we were served until it came time for the Cabernet Franc. Delicious- with dark/blue fruit, green pepper, medium (+) tannins, low acidity and good length. Worthy of the $48 price point? Not sure but it was a fun day out which makes the whole thing worthwhile. If you are in South Jersey this is a definite detour to plan on. Salut….
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….