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….
Very rich purple hues in the glass. The nose is a combo of blue fruit and dark berries, with a tobacco and spice box note thrown in . The palate is very enticing with blackberries, crisp tannins, fruitcake and black tea. The midpalate continues the theme and takes us to the really juicy finish of Ribena, tea, creosote and Maduro leaf. Very enjoyable, seamless and drinking well for a relatively young Bordeaux. 91 points and 4 stars at $25. Drink till 2028. Salut….
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….