It’s been a while since I had a bottle of the Faithful Hound, so when I saw it- had to be done even though the new label is completely boring compared to the older versions! The wine looks a touch cloudy and semi opaque in the glass. The nose shows off nice plums, blackberry and licorice notes. The palate is very juicy with a nice plum core, very fine grained tannins that are not obtrusive at all and a decent graphite note. The mid palate gives me more dark fruit and a jolt of that acidity, it’s rather pleasing. The finish is a touch dry but not overbearing. The licorice and graphite notes are very prominent. Blackberry jam features as well. It lasts a good 20 seconds. A tasty, easy drinking wine that will pair well with a variety of foods. Drink till 2025. 89 points, and 4 stars for this $17 Bordeaux blend. 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, opaque. On the nose I get red fruits, mainly raspberries and dark cherry. On the palate I sense a definitive Cali sunshine component that differentiates this blend from a more traditional Medoc. It’s more fruit forward and fresher. There’s more concentration and the wine is rich. I start to get plums, black currants and quinine on the mid palate. This is multidimensional and very tasty with a nice tannic structure and good acidic balance. I would suggest a few years in cellar and then let ‘er rip till 2028. Steaks, rich stew in the fall or osso bucco beg for this 91 point blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 22% Petite Sirah, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec. $35 and 4 stars. Salut….
I bough this wine on its pedigree for $24. Medium opacity purple in the glass with visible legs. The nose has kirsch, raspberry and bing cherry by the boatload. On the palate it is brimming with red fruits, bright acidity and delightful tannins. Young and vibrant- it needs a little time to settle down. It is slightly one-dimensional at this time. I hope it evolves and gains tertiary flavors. The mid palate is more or less the same. The finish is of medium length with more cherry extract and a dose of rhubarb as well as lingonberry. The tartness of which shows up at the end. Overall- a decent wine that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars. Cab, Merlot and Sangiovese make up this Tuscan red. Drink from 2022 till 2027. Salut….
A few of these came across my desk at a reasonable price so to speak. I had to try. Quite a dark shade of purple in the glass. The nose is fresh, plummy and hinting of Ribena. The initial palate gives me quite a biting dose of plums, tannins and acidity. All at once. It kinda made we wince. The label says this wine is unfiltered, has a 14% alcohol and contains sulfites….
On the mid palate is where it opens up, adding some black currants and nutmeg to the mix. The tannins are searing however and this wine needs some time in the cellar. The finish is woody, with that astringency of young tannins. Strong black tea comes to mind. As does an old oak barrel. I like this wine, it has potential. I would decant/aerate the hell out of it if you want to drink before 2020. It will last a good while after that and hopefully mellow down some. I am giving it 90 points and 4 stars for the $20 I had to fork over for this 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Sangiovese blend. It got 93 points from the pros, so there is that. Think hearty stews, beef rib or even eggplant Parmigiana for this heavyweight. Salut….
Really dark purple, almost opaque in the glass. The nose is an interesting compilation of Cherry and Iodine meets blue fruits. On the palate it’s a different story. Much more focused on blueberry and some black berries plus a touch of oak. The acidity is present from the get go and the tannins ramp up gently, closing out the finish with a nice dryness. The mid palate exhibits blue and black berries as well as some nutmeg. This is a decent wine that gets 89 points from me and will do well with Osso Bucco or perhaps a mixed grill on the barbie. I paid $18 for it and give it 3 stars. Salut….
I bought two Magnums of this wine many moons ago and was waiting for the right time… How about my birthday party. I opened and poured without decanting. I was surprised there was no sediment. The 2003 Bordeaux vintage was very hot and produced many short lived wines, and many wines that were very stewed in taste. The Pichon Laland from this vintage got a surprisingly high 95 points from several top critics. The drinking window suggested between 2014 to 2026. I am glad I opened my first bottle now, it is ready.
Cassis, leather, plum on the nose. On the palate lively tannins, tobacco, plum and an earthy component. The tannins are thoroughly in control of this wine, from beginning to end. The midpalate shows stewed plums and the finish has some lingering notes of more leather and plum. The fruit on this wine has made way for the secondary flavors sought after in aged Bordeaux. This does not detract from the wine, it only strengthens its pedigree by the fact that it will mature in such a way. I really enjoyed this wine for what it was and look forward to the next bottle, perhaps within the year. 90 points from me but 4 stars even though it will set you back $150 or so. We drank it before dinner, which was a whole roasted beef tenderloin. It would have rocked the meal, but we thoroughly enjoyed it with some appetizers of cheese and olives. The greatest part of the whole thing was the ability to pull something out of the cellar that I have had for over a decade, and watch it give others pleasure. Salut….
I’m a fan of this winery as can be seen in my two tastings of their Pinot Noir. I came across this wine at the local store near my hotel and it was priced as a deal for two, I could not resist.
Medium to dark purple. Nose of minerals, plum and sasparilla. On the initial attack I get really smooth plums, with some red chili pepper hints- intriguing, sans the heat! On the midpalate the plums continue but I start to appreciate some oak use and the intro to black fruits. I’m thinking of Ribena on the finish along with some vanilla. Very smooth all throughout with very melded tannins and a balanced acidity. This is my first Merlot/Cabernet from the famed Gimblett Gravels, I’m digging the minerality and think this wine is a 90 point effort. I think they normally retail at $18, which makes this a solid 4 star wine. Availability in the States may be limited, but keep a lookout for this winery on your travels. This wine would pair nicely with Beef short ribs or a hearty stew. I’m getting more! Salut….