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….
This is the second wine I have had from this South African winery. The first was similar blend but with Cabernet Franc thrown in as well. Vergelegen Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc.
Back to this wine…. Dark purple in the glass spelt out what to expect. A nose of black plums, earth and iodine. The initial taste is amazing. A hint of violets come over after the waves of black berry, plum jam and spicebox. A fine set of tannins swirls around at the finish to leave a nice mouthfeel. The mid palate is balanced and smooth with some acidity that balances the whole thing out. I am really enjoying this wine!
The judicious use of oak is apparent. A finish of coffee and a touch of vanilla make this an easy drinking red that will go great all by itself or hang in there with a juicy New York strip, even some pasta with a spicy sauce. I would guess a drinking window up to 2020 at least, with it open for business right now.
It was on sale for just over $11 and gets an easy 91 point score from me. I will be buying this in bulk, a stunner and worthy of 5 stars easily. Salut…..
A Margaret River presentation with very dark purple appearance in the glass and a nose of ginger, plum, clove and vanilla. On the palate, youthful and bursting with blue fruits and plums. The mid palate shows off some wood notes and much more meaty plums. Mid range tannins and a very slight acidity make it an easy drinker right off the bat. $12, 88 points and 3 stars. Salut….
With no varietals mentioned on the label I took a chance on this $30 offering that was on BOGO at the local. Brooding nose of black fruits and chocolate dust. Mouth of ripe plums, cinnamon, ganache and green pepper (kinda strange I know). Rich acidity and mellow tannins. 88 points from me and 2-3 stars. Not sure yet, perhaps it needs some time. This wine hails from Sonoma and I suspect it is loaded with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Salut….
By far the most widely searched wine on my blog has been the La Croix-Barton 2008. I did not particularly care for it, but apparently many people googled it and ended up reading my 2 cents worth. When I saw the ’09 I did not hesitate. Priced at around $14 it provides gratification with oak and mulberry on the nose to get things started. Tart cherry and plums greet the palate but they are slightly thin right now. Juicy acidity and young tannins make this an interesting wine to drink now yet I feel it could do with another 2 years in a cellar. This wine is vibrant and lively but should settle down and gain some weight in short order. It is interesting to taste wines from the same winery but from an average year versus a far superior one to see the nuances. This particular example highlights just how much variation you can get between vintages. I’m going with 88 points and 3 stars for this Merlot/Cab Sauvignon blend from Bordeaux. Salut….
A South African wine from Stellenbosch with huge credentials. It’s a joint venture between Bruno Prats (formerly of Cos D’Estournel), Hubert de Bouard (Chateau Angelus) and Lowell Jooste of Klein Constantia. Each of these men’s wineries are world renowned and highly respected. I got the offer by e-mail to pick up a few bottles from my local distributor so I jumped in, each priced at about $40.
A vibrant purple greeted me along with a nose of hoisin and plums. Some cassis became apparent after a swirl which really excited me. Straight out of the blocks- this is a young wine with some cellaring potential still to go. Primal fruit flavors of plum, blueberry and rooibos tea came through behind the veil of youngish tannins and acidity. Coffee notes and some oak were apparent after some time in the glass. The wine reminds me so much of Meerlust Rubicon, perhaps the terroir plays a role. The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Shiraz and 5% Merlot- an interesting combo if I might say so. The bottle says it has a drinking window between 2014-2016. I am gonna go a step further and say it will last another 5 years at least (2019). I think it is worthy of 91 points versus the pro’s at 89. Pricy for an everyday drinker it will do well with a Sunday roast as the weather cools down. A big Ribeye would also complement the tannic structure to a T if you’re in a grilling mood. 4 stars from me. Salut….
I can’t believe that this is my 500th post. Time flies and the wines have been amazing. I planned this post out as I just had a birthday and was going to open this bottle that night. Turns out that Moxie had other plans and we went out to dinner where I ordered the amazing Barboursville Octagon 2009. The Pichon was left to settle itself properly after a decade long slumber, to be paired with some serious slabs of beef and some spicy little sausages.
As I poured this wine I was trying to remember what it was like several years ago. Young and immature? Tannic and flabby? Bordeaux from 2001 was overshadowed by the great 2000 vintage but many are proponents of its elegance and are amazed by its power. This wine originally scored 92 or better from the pros and went for about $75. It now retails at $125 or so and is nearly mature. The colors of the initial pour surprised me a bit, a little bricking on the edges and slightly orange-purple in the glass. Textbook Paulliac nose though, how I love it. Cassis, leather, tobacco. You name it, all rolled up in there. The first sip was slightly thin for me unfortunately. The fruit is fading whilst the tannins are in full force. I let it sit for a while and started to enjoy the nuances of age a little more. Plums, black currants, that telltale cassis and leather. Heaven. The wine is very juicy with a strong acidic streak to go with the fine grained tannins. I can only hope and pray that this wine is in evolution, shedding the fruit and picking up the mature nuances we yearn for in an aged Classed Growth Bordeaux. I am getting excited just thinking about the possibilities of the remaining 10 bottles I have. If indeed the fruit is fading and nothing comes of the secondary flavors I will be devastated. Perhaps I shall open a bottle every 6 months to gauge the progress? 5 stars from me and a 92 point effort, good luck finding some! Salut….
From Montagne Saint-Emilion comes this Merlot/Cab blend. It was very dark in the glass and bitingly tannic with some hidden fruits lurking. I think I drank it too young as the main flavor was the dryness of my teeth. I did manage to get plums and coffee with some interesting oak on the back end, but generally a muted wine. I paid $18 for it and give it 87 points making it a 3 star effort for me. I think it might improve but the fruit is going to really need to shine and the tannins need to recede for it all to balance up. Salut….