An iconic Napa Cabernet that we drank with monster Tomahawk steaks. This inky colored wine is beautiful to look at and even better to drink. Aromas and flavors of Iodine, black fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, bramble), dust, menthol, eucalyptus. Seriously complex and intriguing. The palate is smooth- medium acidity, fine grained tannins that are fully integrated, full bodied with great mouthfeel and a long finish. What a stunning wine that is en pointe and will continue to develop for several more years. 93 points for this $130 effort makes it 5 star worthy. Salut….
This blend of Tempranillo and Cab Sav is nearly opaque with a bright purple color. On the nose I get rich black plum, dusty earth, blackberry, vanilla, baking spices, menthol, some farmyard funk and bramble. The palate is dry, quite tannic and high in acidity. I love Spanish Tempranillo- it has such an earthy, dusty, brambly component and they throw a good bit of oak at this level (Reserva) which adds dimension, complexity and flavors/aromas of vanilla, baking spices and toast. The black fruit is ripe and juicy- the Cabernet adding richness and grip. The body is full and the finish is medium to long in length. Structurally- this wine is a baby and needs some cellaring unless you like them searingly dry and astringent. There is plenty of fruit to last a while and the whole package should drink beautifully until 2032 at the least. I am going with 93 points and for $40 this is a 5 star effort. Salut….
This 32 year old wine is a medium shade of garnet- to be expected. The nose has medium intensity aromas of prunes, caramel, steeped blackberry, cola, vanilla bean, coffee, eucalyptus, baking chocolate, cassis, mint- I could go on. This is a spectacularly complex and well-aged wine that still shows youth. The palate is super smooth and balanced with extremely fine grained tannins balancing out the medium acidity. Flavors of baked and steeped black fruits galore- tertiary notes are evident and oak influence is deft yet precise. This wine is stunning. Medium bodied it shows power yet finesse that leads to a long finish. This is the epitome of Napa Cabernets. Delicious in youth yet built for the long run and lasting over three decades. I would not call this wine fragile, but it has a delicacy that requires a deft choice in pairings, if any. I am sipping it without fare. In its day this would have been a 94 point wine. No idea on price, suffice to say it would be a 5 star effort. Drink soon. Salut….
It says that this wine is 70% Monastrell. Learning the different names for the same grape has been challenging in my studies but I know that this Mourvedre is also known as Mataro. There’s 30% Cab Sav thrown in for good measure. It is a deep ruby color and has very slow moving legs that give away the 15% ABV. The nose is rich with blackberry, black plum, purple licorice, hints of baking spice and toasty oak. Blueberry jam is the last thing I coax out of the glass. On the palate it is dry with medium (+) acidity and grippy tannins. Full bodied, it gives me waves of rich black and blue fruit notes with oak influenced spices and toast. The purple licorice turns black on the mid palate and the charcoal and toasted oak really come out. The finish is dry from the tannins and medium in length. This is a tasty number that will do well with grilled beef or lamb chops. The tannins, whilst balanced, are quite powerful on the back end- this wine will last till 2030 at the least. 91 points from me for this $20 make it a no-brainer 5 star effort. Salut….
Every so often I shop the bin-ends at my local wine shop, some are hits whilst others are a waste of time and money. This blend of Cab Sav and Shiraz ran me $20. It is showing a bit of age- medium garnet in color. The nose is still fresh however with primal aromas of blackberry, mint, black pepper, ripe blueberry jam, cloves, cedar and vanilla. The palate is dry with resolved and silky tannins, high acidity, medium to full body and flavors of black and blue fruit, menthol, spicy black pepper and oak by way of vanilla and cedar. The finish is medium in length and leans on the mint/menthol as well as the blackberry fruit. It’s a tasty drop that is at peak now and will need to be drunk by 2024 if you have some. Pairing tonight with grilled steaks and salad. 90 points from me make this a 5 star wine. Salut….
This wine is opaque with a garnet hue. The nose is classic Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon- Blackberry, black currants, mint, eucalyptus, coffee, blueberry compote, açaí berry, bilberry and vanilla. A very inviting and complex nose to say the least. On the palate it is gorgeous. Ripe tannins and medium (+) acidity coat the black and blue fruit notes with emphasis on blueberry compote. The richness of the fruit and the oak influence make for a full bodied wine that has pronounced flavors. The minty component is delicious. The finish of this wine is quite long and very balanced as is the whole package. I am enjoying this immensely. It gets 93 points from me and for $30 it’s a 5 star effort to be drunk till 2027. We are pairing it with Bavette steak. Salut….
Back in 2003 I bought 3 cases of this wine and have steadily been drinking it on occasions like birthdays and Christmas. This week I will be opening two bottles, this one and then another with my wine class in celebration of another year on earth.
I’m shocked at the color of this 21 year old- medium ruby, with a touch of bricking. I could call it garnet but it still shows youth in the glass. The nose is stunningly mature yet still gives off aromas of some primary fruit. Blackberry, cassis, leather, tobacco, mint, rose water, black plum, vanilla- the list could go on. It is so complex and earthy. The palate is dry with quite a tannic grip on the forefront. Medium (+) acidity makes for a sour note on the initial attack. As the wine warms on the tongue I get all the primary, secondary and tertiary flavors I picked out on the nose with a helping of sour cherry to keep it sharp. The wine is medium (+) bodied and is a comfortable 13% ABV. The finish is medium (+) in length and tapers to mainly tertiary flavors, the fruit running out of steam early. The sourness and acidity make it a mouthwatering wine that begs to be drunk. This is by far my favorite label. I paid $60 back in the day for one bottle that now runs $200. I would says it is at peak and has another 3-5 years left. It deserves more than the 90 points it got originally. I would say it is a 92 pointer and I have to go with 5 stars. Pairings would include any manner of meat, cooked in pretty much any style. Love this stuff. Salut….
This one stumped me in a WSET blind tasting. We were going to be discussing Spain and Portugal so I was convinced that the red wine had to be from the region but when I put this deep ruby colored wine up to my nose I was greeted by a very familiar set of smells. Medium (+) intensity aromas of black plum, red plum, cinnamon, blackberry, cedar and vanilla made me think this complex wine was a Tempranillo. The palate was dry with medium (+) tannins, medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and medium intensity flavors of the aforementioned, albeit slightly less intense on the palate. This gave way to a medium length finish that had me grade this wine as very good, suitable to be drunk now or aged some more. In reality, I had just predisposed myself to thinking I was drinking one varietal when in fact it was a Sonoma Cab I was sipping! Looking back- this wine gets 91 points and for $55 it is a 4 star effort. Salut….
This was a wine we tasted at my WSET class. I brought the dregs home for another look-see as the wine had some very powerful aromas and flavors that I wanted to get my head around. Starting off it had some sediment in the bottle which is normal for an 8 year old bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. In the glass it shows that age by way of a deep garnet hue. The nose has pronounced aromas of eucalyptus, blackberry, coffee, black plum, blueberry compote, vanilla, mint, leather and tobacco. It certainly is complex and showing some age as well as lingering youth. The palate is dry with juicy acidity and a great tannic structure. The rich fruit flavors are present coupled with oak nuance and tertiary notes but the coffee, mint and eucalyptus are the stars here. Medium (+) bodied, this wine is very balanced and the mouthfeel is fabulous- a touch dry here and there with some juiciness to keep your palate alive. The finish is quite a lengthy affair with black and blueberry fruit notes swirling with the tannin and acid- a nice way to end for this delightful wine. I am impressed by this $25 effort that gets 92 points. It needs to be drunk fairly soon- say by 2026 and gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
This medium purple colored wine has got a fruity, medium intensity nose. I get aromas of black plum, blackberry, vanilla, blueberry jam and charcoal. The palate has a sweetness from the Bourbon barrel- that delicious caramel, smoke, vanilla combo that melds nicely with the jammy black and blue fruit. Medium tannins and medium acidity create a nice mouthfeel in this medium (+) bodied wine. The finish has got loads of rich fruit and oak nuance and is short to medium in length. This is not an overly complex wine, yet it adds a new dimension with the oak usage that makes it easy to enjoy and pair with many meat dishes, pasta, pizza and even burgers on the grill. For $30 it is an elegant offering that gets 90 point from me and 4 stars. Drink till 2026. Salut….