Opaque AF. Bright blueberry, plum, blackcurrants and mint on the nose with some heady oak by way of vanilla and coconut. On the palate it has medium (+) tannins, medium acidity and black fruit flavors of blackcurrant and blackberry alongside the greenish mint and oak notes plus charcoal. Medium finish and medium body with some high alcohol levels giving it weight. Yummy stuff that tastes like California sunshine. 91 points and for $110 it gets 4 stars . Whilst young it drinks beautifully now and should get better with age till 2028. Salut….
This Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot weighs in at 13.5% ABV, a welcome change from some of the bombs I have had recently. It is medium ruby in the glass and has a medium intensity nose. The aromas I get are black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, plum, black tea, red licorice, mint and very subtle oak. Not at all what I was expecting- red fruits in a Cab? On the palate it is dry with juicy acidity. The tannins are grippy and a touch underripe. The flavors are somewhat muted but I do get the raspberry, some sour cherry and plum. Black tea shows up on the mid-palate and the deft oak is barely perceptible. The acidity is quite high on the finish as is the tannic grip. The fruit fades quickly and I am left feeling like I stuffed a tea pouch between my cheeks. I must say- this is a bit young and the fruit is hiding. Give it time. The pros went 92+ points and for $23 it’s a theoretical steal worthy of 5 stars. I am reserving judgement and will open the other two bottles in a few years. Drink from 2023-2030. Salut….
The label says it’s a red wine blend. Let’s see if I can discern the grapes. First off- it’s deep ruby which rules out Pinot Noir. Number two- it runs 14.5% ABV even though the legs are quite watery in the glass. The nose is of medium intensity and I get aromas of blackcurrant, black cherry, smoke, licorice, chocolate, black plum, and a grape note. The palate is dry, with high acidity and high tannins. The alcohol is evident and the body is medium (+). The flavors are medium intensity and mirror the nose, although there is a black tea component on the mid palate. The tannins are searing on the finish which is decent in length. Overall a tasty wine that I believe will age well for another 5-7 years. As for the varietals- here goes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and perhaps Merlot would be my guess. 91 points for this rather big red that can be had for $25. 5 stars. ps. it needs a big, juicy steak. Salut….
I’m practicing for my wine-tasting exam and must use the correct lexicon….
Deep ruby with thin legs in the glass. The nose has medium (+) intensity aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, smoke, stewed black cherry, vanilla and eucalyptus. This wine is developing nicely after 12 years of aging. The palate is dry, with medium acidity, medium (+) tannin, high alcohol, medium (+) body and medium (+) intensity flavors of black currant, blackberry, vanilla, eucalyptus, and smoke. The finish is medium in length and the quality of this wine is very good. It’s drinking beautifully now and has the capacity to age further, till 2029. That would make it 20 years old. 92 points from me make this yummy $40 bottle a 5 star wine. Serve with Sunday roast or grilled Ribeye. Salut….
When I saw this vintage I had to buy it- the 2018 Daou was amazing so I’m hoping for a repeat. This one is opaque purple. On the nose it is rich with pronounced intensity aromas of blackberry, black plum, black cherry, tomato leaf, mint and charred oak. The palate is sweet from ripe fruit- blackberry jam, licorice, charred oak, black tea, good acidity and a hefty dose of back-end tannins. Medium to full bodied it fills the mouth with great fruit notes and ripe tannins. The California sunshine is evident in this fruit bomb. I really like it for what it is- Cali Cab with great structure that will pair beautifully with steaks, pasta and game. 91 points for this $20 steal makes it a 5 star home-run. Buy in bulk and drink till 2026. Salut….
I am looking to pair Eye of Round roast which has been cooking in the sous vide for 20 hours. A Napa Cabernet is called for. This wine is opaque and a very pretty purple in the glass. The nose screams Napa sunshine- bright blackberry aromas with black plum, cloves, charred wood, black tea and vanilla. The palate is quite intense with black fruit, oak nuances juicy acidity and medium tannins that carry through to the very end. The blackberry flavors are very prominent in this one, they duke it out on the back end with the tannins to see who lasts the longest. Th oak usage is very deft and well played. I like the balance of this wine and it has a medium to full body. The 14.2% ABV is barely noticeable but I did get a whiff of it on the nose. Still young- this one will cellar nicely till 2030 but if you like a dry, slightly tannic wine then pop-n-pour right away. 92 points from me make this $50 wine a 5 star effort. Salut….
I just fired up the Big Green Egg to char some Picahna steaks- they will need a bold, tannic wine so I picked this young Cab Sav. It’s pretty opaque in the glass and shows watery legs, which makes sense for a 13.5% ABV wine. The nose has nice aromas of red plum, black plum, black currants, spice box, cedar and chocolate nibs. The palate is very smooth, with lithe tannins and juicy acidity- I was hoping for a more dry and tannic wine but the acidity will have to suffice in cutting the fat from the steaks. The fruit is very evident with red and black notes mingling with the cedar and spices. It has a touch of sweetness from the ripeness of the berries but I doubt it has any residual sugar- akin to a light preserve/jam. The tannins are very svelte on the medium length finish which is still chock full of fruit, I really like it! Overall this is a good wine that will drink nicely till 2024 with Filet, roast Cornish Hens or even a pasta dish. 89 points from me make this $13 effort a 5 star wine. Salut….
It’s Middle Eastern cuisine tonight so I pulled out this Lebanese blend of 35% Cab Sav, 26% Caladoc (?), 22% Syrah and 17% Tempranillo. Interesting varietals all mixed together. The wine itself is semi opaque in the glass and has medium intensity aromas of red currants, raspberry, blackberry and cloves. The palate is dry but has a blackberry jam sweetness to it, I doubt there’s any residual sugar here, it just tastes that way. The black and red fruit components are well balanced with the lithe tannins and medium acidity. There is a black tea hint on the mid-palate and I also get charcoal on the back end. The finish is mid length and tasty. There is a medium weight body to this wine and good mouthfeel. I am enjoying it and think it’s a 90 pointer that gets 5 stars for the reasonable $15 price point. Drink till 2025 with grilled meats aka shish kebab! Salut….
Semi opaque in the glass- this Cabernet has lithe legs, an indicator of the lower 13.5% ABV? On the nose I get quite a few things going on- black cherry, black plum, toasty oak notes, bramble, eucalyptus, and tomato leaf. It’s quite complex and sweet smelling. The palate is dry, smooth and very balanced with lithe tannins and medium acidity. The dark fruit flavors are evident and the mouthfeel is great. The very judicious oak use is appreciated. The freshness of the lush fruit carries on to the medium finish that is very smooth. I really like the very gentle tannins here as I am not pairing with any food and did not want a tannic, astringent wine. Definitely a sipping wine that could work with lighter fare- roast chicken, veal scallopini, even fettuccine Alfredo. I am really enjoying this $25 wine but get black fruit instead of red, per the label. I guess the flavors have mutated in the 6 years since it was made. 91 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2027. Salut….
This South African Cabernet is a deep purple color with thin legs in the glass. On the nose I get black plum, smoke, blackcurrants, Ribena, cassis and espresso. The palate has an upfront astringency that gives me pause. The fruit is trying to come out but the greenness is overwhelming. I’m going to give it a rest and try later…..
Okay- after a two hour break this wine has opened up tremendously. The dark fruit compote has finally come through with gentle acidity and firm, yet sidelined tannins holding the whole show together. I am starting to see why the pros rated it upwards of 92 points. Young, yet with structure and fruit to weather some cellaring- this wine will drink nicely from 2023-2028. It went nicely with my Tri-tip roast. At $20, It’s worth a look for sure, holding some for the drinking window. 5 stars for sure. Salut….