At 14 years of age this beauty is showing well in the glass. Dark purple, opaque and leggy. The cork was very soft so I had to pressurize it out, the corkscrew was going to crumble it otherwise. On the nose I get blackberries, cigar box, plum and black licorice. The initial palate is stunning- blue and blackberry ganache, cassis, leather, cedar and oregano. Sublime tannins are ever present but very integrated. The mid palate picks up some lapsang souchong tea, espresso and mocha. The finish is finely balanced between the great tannins and a beautiful acidity that makes my jaw water on the long finish. This is a sublime wine that has mellowed and matured to a great pinnacle. Drink this wine by itself or pair it with char-grilled steaks and garlic mash. 95 points and 4 stars for this $140 blend of Cab Sav, Carmenere, Cab Franc and Merlot. Drink till 2025. Salut….
It’s inky, brooding, opaque and shows fine legs in the glass. On the nose I get graphite, plums, oaky vanilla and cedar. On the palate there are black currants, green plums, black tea and dry tannins. The mid palate is very astringent with more tea, strange tannins, some black fruit and not much acidity. I’m not enjoying this wine very much, too off-balance and way too dry without fruit to back it up. The finish is very dark and austere- over-steeped tea, some plums and a woodsy note. The grip of the tannins hold on for a while but the fruit fades quickly. Overall a disappointing wine from a great Bordeaux vintage. 86 points from me, the pros went much higher but I don’t see it. It may mellow out in the near future. Drink till 2025. For $75 it gets 1 star and a pass from yours truly. Salut….
Bright purple in color and fully opaque. On the nose I get lush blackberry, iodine, tar and currants. The initial palate is very round and mouthfilling. Black currants, fresh tannins and violets. The mid palate is quite dry with more black fruits, oolong tea, tar and mocha. The finish is quite tannic and long. Ribena, black berries and tea take center stage. There’s a smokiness from the oak that hits rights at the end as well as some Sasafrass. A really delicious, medium weight Napa Cab. 91 points and 4 stars for this $118 dazzler. Drink till 2028 with some grilled meat. Salut….
This wine was over-hyped by a retailer that I use so I had to jump in on a case. Glad I did…
Bright purple- semi opaque. The nose is sublime…. purple plums, blackberry, a hint of oak. On the palate it’s very fruity and a touch tannic. Full on with blackberry reduction, plums and tobacco. The tannic bite is very gentle and balanced. The mid palate is a touch more dry, but very manageable. Oolong tea and spices mingle with the plums and blackberry, delicious. The finish is fab. This wine screams Napa sunshine, it lacks the telltale eucalyptus but shines in the plums and black berries. The tannic structure is impressive- starting out gentle, ending up in a crescendo of tea and charred oak notes. 92 points and 4 stars- $60. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Our wine of the night at the second Virtual wine tasting. You can’t go wrong with a Cali Cab. The wine just oozes sunshine, rich fruit, nice oak and balance. The nose on this wine was all black cherry. Tons of it. The initial palate included those dark beauties alongside some plum, blueberry and coconut. Licorice featured on the mid palate where the tannins really started to grip. Mouthfeel was very full, rich and nicely balanced with acid, black tea and a touch of plum jam sweetness. The finish was really nice, long and a touch dry. This wine was drinking beautifully and was an easy ringer at the end of the night. 92 points from me, drink till 2028. For $27 it should feature in your cellar, 5 stars. Salut….
The nose on the third wine of our virtual tasting was wild. Gamy AF, with loads of mushroom, forest floor, bacon fat and some semblance of black fruits. On the palate it was much more manageable and in line with expectations. Bramble, blackberry reduction, leather and some really nice tannins all came together on the palate. The wine smoothed out some on the mid palate and it showed some nice balance between the fruit, the tertiary flavors, tannins and acidity. The funk wore off but there were trace elements of morel mushrooms, leather and blackberry. The finish was where this wine finally came on pointe. Good fruit presentation, some nice touches of those secondary flavors and a decent amount of astringency from the lithe tannins. Overall I really enjoyed this wine, but the nose was offputting for many on the tasting. 91 points for me. Drink till 2026, but let it breathe for at least an hour to help dispel the funk. For $20, it gets 5 stars. Salut….
The nose is all-singing and dancing Napa Cab. You can smell the sunshine. Wow….. Ripe, lush blackberries. Vanilla, coconut and several other oaky traits are evident without being obnoxious. On the palate there’s a ton of vanilla alongside black fruits, jammy currants and a dose of the wood. The mid palate is very smooth, full bodied. Juicy and jammy with gobs of black fruit, lithe tannins and some deft oak. The finish is very smooth, loaded with those wood nuances and providing me with a beautiful mouthfeel. 93 points. For $100 it’s quite pricy, but then again Napa Cabs are not cheap. 5 stars. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Wine number 3 in the virtual tasting was the ringer. A $15 perennial favorite that is as consistent as the rising sun. This Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State wowed the drinkers with its intense fruity attack of blackberries, plum, great tannins and balanced acidity. It was an instant hit with friends clamoring to see where they could buy it in bulk. It will drink well till 2025 all by itself or paired with pretty much any meat dish. 5 stars for this 92 pointer. Salut….
I tasted this wine when it was much younger. It was appealing then and more so now. Very rich purple, semi opaque. The nose is very fruity with blackberry jam, blackcurrants, toasted oak. The palate is really delightful with warm blackberry ganache, coconut, eucalyptus and iodine. On the midpalate I start to sense some tannic buzz, nothing overpowering. Gobs more black fruit reduction and a charcoal note. The finish marries up some acidity, just a touch to complete the mouthfeel and balance this very fruit-forward Napa Cab. 93 points and 5 stars for this $48 bottle. Drink till 2029. Salut….
Medium shade of purple and semi-opaque in the glass. The nose offers up strawberry and raspberry notes alongside sweet bramble, perhaps even honeysuckle. It’s a pleasing nose for sure. The palate is very sprite, unlike some Napa Cabs that are full throttle- this one is more seductive in its approach. Sweet blackberry versus the red notes I got on the nose are intriguing. There is a violet and damson streak as well. The tannins creep in on the midpalate and I taste some charcoal as well. More plums and a touch of acidity round it out. The finish is quite dry but not cloying. I am enjoying the mouthfeel and look forward to pairing it with peach baked Beef Brisket. The acidity is going to be a good cut for the sweetness of the dish. I am enjoying this wine and think it will cellar nicely till 2025. 90 point and 4 stars for this $24 Cab. Salut….