When a wine bottle says it’s a Red blend, I need to dig deeper. Turns out this one is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc. No details were forthcoming as to ratio though. It is deep purple, the strong legs giving away the 14.9% ABV punch I am about to get. On the nose I get rich blackberry, black cherries and chocolate. The palate is rich and dry with those dark fruits and a healthy yet ripe set of tannins that coat my gums immediately. As the wine flows I start to get some spice box components and charcoal. The tannins are formidable mind you and I am battling the attack on my teeth, hoping the fruit comes through a little more. The mid palate has Lapsang Souchong tea (a smoked black tea from China) and more dark fruit including plums and blackberry. It is a nice mix of flavors but the tannins are by now numbing my upper gums. This wine is a baby, needing an aerator or several years in the cellar. It should drink nicely from 2024 till 2030 with juicy, fatty meats, stews or hearty red sauced pasta. It finishes with a medium length and medium acidity. The balance is not quite there yet, but I think this wine has lots of promise. 91 points would be fair, but it could go up a point or two, let me re-taste in a few years as I bought several bottles. At $35 it is an excellent value for a Cali blend that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
The 13th Virtual Wine tasting included this Right Bank Merlot. It was stunning, mature and a hit. The wine is at peak, the color showing a bit of bricking on the rim. The nose is classic Bordeaux- Earthy, smoky, molasses, black fruit jam, leather, tobacco, licorice, cloves…. that’s a lot of descriptors from the panel. On the palate it was delicious, even dreamy as one member piped out. Black cherry, blackberry, tobacco, mushroom and leather were really the key components. The wine is still robust, with very well integrated tannins and a hint of acidity. The mouthfeel is great and lingers on the decent length finish. On my 20 point scale it got 19. Technically speaking, it is a 93 point wine in my book, way higher than the pros rated it back in the day. 2010 was a great year for the Clarets and this example is showing how well the wines have held up and how they have evolved so nicely. Drink till 2025 and for $35 buy a case if you can find it. 5 stars. Salut….
A stunning, deep purple in the glass that belies this wine’s age. On the nose it’s somewhat muted but I do manage to coax some graphite, plum reduction and anise. On the palate it’s still young, acerbic yet relatively fruit forward. Blueberry, sour cherry and that minerality all show up. The mix of acid and tannins battle each other as the midpalate shows more blueberries and some rhubarb. I have to say- it’s quite tart and lacking much wood influence. The finish is pretty much the same with a decent 30 second tail. I’m serving this with Sunday roast, and somewhat regret opening such a young wine. Give it 3-5 more years. For now, 89 points and 2 stars for this $70 offering. Salut….
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….