I’m looking forward to this wine, to be paired with grilled Tri-Tip. For a Napa Cab, it shows a little lighter in the glass, with medium ruby color and thin legs. On the nose I have to battle the alcohol first, swirling like mad and blowing the fumes away. Once there I get blackberry, blackcurrant, black plum, cloves, smoke and yet more alcohol. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins which are softened by the addition of Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. It has a good body and the flavors are really juicy- more of the black fruits, the oak influence and I also get a black tea component. The alcohol is making it fuller on the mouthfeel but I can feel it on the back end, definitely present in this one. The finish is pretty decent in length with the tea outlasting the fruit. I think this is a decent wine, but not something to rave about. It will drink well till 2026 and pair great with steaks. 88 points from me and for $ 22 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
My friend Jimbo is in town and I promised him some good wine. Back in 2003 I bought three cases of this stuff and now I am opening bottle #26, having tasted the evolution over the past 15 years or so. This was a spectacular example of perfectly aged Bordeaux. It is at peak right now, showing layers of tertiary fruit, rich cassis, gentle acidity and soft tannins. Balanced perfectly with a sublime mouthfeel. I’m super happy with the results of my patient cellaring. I believe this cost me $59 back in the day, now it will run over $100. A good deal if you ask me that gets 92 points and 5 stars. Probably need to think about the rest of the case as I don’t think there is much left in the tank with this claret. Here are my class notes. Salut….
Chateau Lynch Bages 2001, Pauillac, France 13.0% ABV
- Appearance- Deep garnet
- Pronounced nose of dried blackberry (Cassis), leather, earth, tobacco, cedar, forest floor. Fully developed.
- Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium (-) tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, pronounced flavors of dried blackberry (cassis), tobacco, leather, forest floor and charred wood. Long finish.
- Conclusion- outstanding quality, drink now: not suitable for aging or further aging.
I was visiting friends this past weekend and he popped this Napa gem for us to enjoy. Opaque purple- extracted to be sure. Rich nose of plums, blackberry, iodine, coffee and blueberry. Super smooth with fully integrated tannins, rich fruit, full body and medium acidity. Bright Cali sunshine is evident- the depth of flavor is deep. Structurally this is not built for long term, it’s delicious now. 91 points for this velvety elixir that runs $70 and gets 4 stars. Salut….
Twenty years ago I bought a case of this Fifth Growth Bordeaux. Last year I gave this bottle as a house warming gift to friends, who sat on it and waited for my return. This past weekend we opened it in all its glory- it was delicious.
Totally showing its age with some serious bricking and sediment in the bottle, it is medium tawny in color. The nose is loaded with tertiary flavors of tobacco, cedar, leather, stewed prune and cinnamon stick. The palate is super smooth with tannins that are so integrated and balanced by a modicum of acidity. The fruit flavors have pretty much disappeared- it’s all about the tertiary notes. Classic Bourdaux that’s been aged with a smooth mouth feel.
Tell you what- there’s still some back end juiciness and tannic grip which tell me this wine has a little more life in it! Tremendous value when I bought it back in the day. 92 points, which is amazing considering the pros went with high 80’s when they first tasted it. The ’01 Left Bank vintage has outperformed anyones expectations as can be witnessed by this exceptional bottle that is currently running $80 at auction. 5 stars, but drink this delicate juice sooner rather than later. Salut….
I have had this wine before and raved about it. Now, three years later, it has evolved- still amazing, yet different. I love it when the label tells you exactly what’s going on here, 80% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 24 months. This wine runs a hefty 14.5% alcohol by volume. It is pale ruby in the glass but I was expecting a little more opaqueness. The nose is gorgeous. Luscious oak, blackberry, black currant, cinnamon, tobacco, cedar and a whiff of heat. The legs are literally falling down the sides of the glass. The palate is stunning- rich fruit enveloped in copious yet refined oak, aged beautifully with tertiary notes starting to come through whilst the primary fruit and secondary notes are still very much in force. The spiciness of this wine replaces the usual dusty component that I get from Spanish Reservas. I’m not upset as I love this flavor profile. At 11 years of age it is still young and promises to last another 10 to 15 years. It will develop nicely and gain more tertiary notes with time. Punctuated acidity is going to hold the wine really well as are the very well integrated tannins. I’m loving it. 93 points at the very least. For $20, it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
I took two of my boys out for a delayed Father’s Day feast at the local Brazilian steak house. Seeing as it was a Monday they had South American wines half off. I could not resist ordering this somewhat young vintage of Don Melchor- an elixir that opened my eyes to fine wine many moons ago. I took abbreviated notes but suffice to say, this wine has consistently garnered high scores for its depth of flavor, structure and silky smooth approach. I just finished a twenty year tasting of three cases of the 2020, the last few years were sublime. This 2016, at barely 5 years of age is still primal, yet the pieces are all there for it to evolve gracefully.
Nearly inky in the glass this wine has thick legs and a big nose. I get telltale mint, blackberry, plum, iodine, grippy tannins, medium acidity and a long finish. Soft mouthfeel. Very balanced. 92 points and for a retail price of $100 it’s a big purchase, but worth it for the patient drinker who can lay it down for a few more years and enjoy it in a mature phase. I can guarantee that it will morph with tertiary flavors emerging, they always do with this wine. 5 stars, because I’m biased. The steak house offerings were the perfect pairing btw. Salut….
I’m grilling some Picanha and Argentinian sausages on the Weber tonight so I figured a South American Cab would work well. I have not had any of this winery’s offerings for a while, perhaps 20 years. I’m excited to revisit. In the glass it is deep purple, opaque to be sure. The nose has a slight candied note but I also get gobs of black currants, oak and mint. The palate is fruity and dry with black currant, blackberry, mint, smoky oak and delightful tannins. The body is medium to full with a crisp mouthfeel- the tannins quite young and impressive. They really coat the gums but are not overly astringent. Good acidity balances them out on the back end and the finish is medium in length. The fruit persists as long as the tannins do which is a good thing, earning a point or two here and there. Whilst still young, it will drink nicely if you need a dry wine, but will cellar well till 2026. 90 points from me for this $17 effort make it a 5 star wine in my books. Salut….
It’s not often that one gets a 20+ year old bottle of wine pulled out of a farmhouse and opened for an evening drink, but that is exactly what happened here. I was privy to the rest of the bottle that my friend Annie carefully decanted, in hopes of making magic happen. Whilst this one may be over the hill it certainly offers much for enjoyment. Very dark and opaque with a touch of bricking- it is showing its age yet still has something to offer. The nose is full of prunes, mushrooms, leather, game and forest floor. There are no primary fruit flavors left and the tannins are fully melded, the wine was being held together by the last vestiges of acidity that allowed it to over-perform its drink-by window. With no provenance indication, it is hard to tell when this bottle entered its mature stage but I was surprised that the tertiary flavors were so palatable. I have had many a wine that was over-the-hill and needed to meet the drain asap, this one was not the case. We drank the whole bottle, enjoying what nuances we could get from it and marveling at the fact that it runs $60 per bottle for current vintages yet performs like a far more pricy Napa Cabernet (No pricing exists for this vintage). It is unfair to score this grand dame, suffice to say- she has outdone herself and shined in the development arena and deserves kudos for lasting this long. Share your hidden gem stories! Salut….
Bright purple, semi opaque. On the nose it is very fruity with bright blackberries, dark cherry and red twizzlers. The palate is very fresh with lighter black fruit notes, some cherry cola and vibrant tannins. The finish is simple yet full of fruit flavors and a modicum of tannins. There is a good dose of acidity that keeps it lively. This is meant for immediate drinking and will go well with marinated sirloin or pasta with red sauce. 87 points and for $14 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
Deep purple in the glass with a nose of black plum, dark berries and rich oak. The palate is dry with juicy acidity, dark fruits galore and a bucketful of tannins. The blackberry component is very focused and I also get a delicious dark chocolate note. The grip of the tannins is quite searing but I am enjoying them, well composed and not overly astringent. The fruit flavors kick it up a notch on the mid palate alongside licorice and charcoal. The finish is long and fruity- dry AF. The mouthfeel is great on this full bodied wine. The acidity is watering, balanced by the stoic tannins and gobs of extracted black fruits. The 14.5% alcohol is not evident, be careful! A young wine that is drinkable now yet will cellar well till 2030. 68% Cab Sav, it is rich, opulent and full throttle. 92 points from me for this $40 wine make it a 5 star effort. Salut….