A gift from my cousin (we’ll call him Sharma). Dark purple, very opaque. The nose is intriguing. Plums, charcoal, crushed rock, a certain minerality. The palate is delicious with a toasty oak note opening it up, followed by grilled plum, black olive, bacon and delightful tannins. The flavors carry through to the end where the astringency of the tannins hit. There is a nice mouthfeel throughout and the acidity is very well balanced. The greenness of the back end gives me a check. I’ll get over it, I’m sure. Overall a delicious New Jersey Cabernet worthy of 91 points which gets 4 stars from me for the $25 price tag. It’s getting a pairing of Strip steaks with Balsamic reduction. Drink till 2021. Salut….
Medium opacity, good color. Nose is full of espresso, black berry and lush plums. The palate is very smooth, slightly acidic and starts off with black currants, charred oak and olives. The mid palate has more black fruit with the tannins starting to grip. I like the deft use of oak here and it smooths the wine nicely. The finish is medium in length, brimming with black cherry with the tannins receding nicely. 88 points and 5 stars for this $11 wine. Great value from Chile. Salut….
Medium depth of purple in the glass. The nose, after a swirl, showed off vanilla, oak and black currants. It borders on that aroma I don’t care for but I’m willing to overlook it today. On the palate it is much less dense and not as powerful as I imagined it. A slightly sour note hits right away that continues through to the mid palate. Black berries, coffee and a dried herb note all come to mind. The tannins start off gently but build up to a medium dryness by the mid palate and continue for a short finish. Black fruits and thyme are noted on the back end. Overall this is a tasty wine that I would pair with pasta, Kebabs or lamb chops. 89 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….
Yesterday was a little bit of a let down with the basic Los Vascos Cab. This property is a well respected Rothschild winery in Chile. As such, I opted to go back and try their Grand Reserve offering, in hopes of a better showing that suits my particular taste desires, and has higher technical components than the basic wine.
First thing I noticed was today’s Reserve wine has a real cork, versus synthetic. A good start. The wine is not overly dark, but a pleasant purple in the glass. On the nose- a whole different story. Black berries, rich mocha, fig on the nose. The palate is more plum-like but the black fruits are still evident. There’s a slightly obscure, astringent quality that hits right up front. Once over that I’m settling in to the gentle mouthfeel, moderate tannins and tangy acidity. The mid and finish are a little darker with coffee bean, black cherry and an oak tinge. Overall, much better. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort. Grilled meat, Moussaka or even hearty pasta would pair nicely. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
Medium purple with a bluish hue. Dammit, that sugary, oaky nose that I really dislike just hit me. Red sweets, twizzlers and cotton candy. On the palate- pretty much the same but with some decent acidity to brighten things up. Very lithe tannins are barely perceptible. This wine is the quintessential bbq drop. Easy to quaff, bright fruit, pleasant enough and capable of pairing with smoked or charred meats and sweet/tangy sauces. It’s not my cup of tea but should appeal to many. Drink this 86 point wine in the near term. $8 all day long make this a 2 star wine. Salut….
Bright purple. The nose is fruity, vibrant and full of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate- delicious rendition of dark berry compote meets vanilla bean and coffee reduction. The wine exhibits some dryness with slight tannins appearing midpalate. The dryness opens up on the finish and leaves the back cheeks somewhat astringent. The mid plate concentrated on black fruits and the finish carries it through with some cedar plank to boot. 89 points and 4 stars for this $20 blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Franc. Drink now with tapas, grilled Pork chops or pasta. Salut….
Number 4 in the line up, it followed a hard act. This is Drew Bledsoe’s brand (NFL QB).
Medium opacity in the glass. The nose starts off with a lot of wood. I swirl and swirl to finally get violet, damson and stone. On the palate it is quite young, bracingly tannic and somewhat shut down for business. What I do coax out of it include plums, fir tree essence, mocha. The finish is very dry and decent in length. 90 points is a decent score for this winery’s first vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. At $60 it’s a step up from everyday drinking wines, but it gets a decent 90 points from me and 4 stars. I would cellar it for a while and drink from 2020-2037. Pair it with some hearty grilled meats, Venison or even Osso Bucco. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
Very dark in the glass, somewhat murky. The nose is lush with plums, eucalyptus, bramble and fir tree. On the palate it echoes the flavors with delicious purple plum paste and fresh earthy herbs. A green note pops up on the mid palate which gives a bit of pique. The tannins are well integrated and the acidity shines through at the end. Green bitterness hits right on the back end which detracted me for a sec. I love the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The greenness I’m guessing is from the Verdot. Overall a very delicious, layered wine that drinks well now through 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….
Rich plums and thick oak staves fill the nose on this nearly black wine. On the palate I get delicious black berries, lush dark currants and a tar component. I’m trying hard to pinpoint the missing flavor, could it be coffee? Tannins are present but not obtrusive, with dark fruits and more wood present on the mdi to back end. 90 points and 5 stars for this uniquely labelled Cab that runs about $18. Salut….