It’s Thanksgiving today and I am opening some stunners tonight, this was the first red. Nearly black in the glass and opaque AF. This wine is blowing me away on the nose- cassis, tobacco, leather and the umami of dried mushrooms. On the palate this Bordeaux beauty is at peak. The primal fruit has given way to the most amazing tertiary notes that we can only hope to taste in mature wine. Earth, funk, leather, Maduro tobacco, rich cassis and a hint of tannins on the very back end. It is stunning, graceful, developed and powerful in a staid manner. I’m floored that this mediocre, hot vintage has held itself together for 17 years and rewarded my cellaring in such an amazing manner. 95 points for tonights bottle which is a massive step up from the last time I drank a Magnum of the stuff. You can read my original notes here. Not cheap, nor is it easy to find- at $150 for a regular size or close to $350 for the big boy. 5 stars with a drink now window. Yummm. Salut….
The finale for the 12th virtual wine tasting was a stunner. Dark purple, opaque and very powerful on the nose. Spice box, vanilla, cocoa powder, black cherry and jam were all noted as was, dare I say- plastic and banana. The palate gave us black fruit jam, black tea bursting with beautiful tannins that really coated the mouth. This wine was delicious and I made note that the oak use was very judicious and well played. There was a shot of pepper on the short finish, which took a few points off the table. Still young, it will develop nicely and drink well till 2030. I’m going lower than the pros with 92 points and 5 stars. $50 is not cheap, but this wine has loads of stuffing to it and will get better with time. Salut….
This Napa blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Petite Sirah is really dark purple and inky in the glass. The nose is rich with blackberry flavors, iodine, a whiff of alcohol and oaky vanilla. The palate is very pleasing- blackberry compote, plump raisins, black cherry cola and bakers chocolate. The mid palate has a nice mouthfeel that has a touch of astringency and a whiff of acidity. Black fruits dominate and the oak influence is evident. Black tea, iodine and tannins round out the wine with a decent length finish that is neither dry nor sour. The structure feels like it will drink nicely till 2024, but extended cellaring probably won’t happen. It drinks nicely as is but I am pairing it with some Sous Vive Ribeyes, baked taters and grilled Asparagus. Overall- a decent drop that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars for its $45 release price. Salut….
Opaque AF, inky black in the glass. On the nose I get rich blackberries, black cherry and moondrop grapes with perfume and fruitcake. Very complex. On the palate I gets loads of sweet cassis, black cherry reduction and an insanely integrated set of fine grained tannins. Juicy acidity balances this wine perfectly. The mid palate has got gobs of cassis, espresso bean, sweet vanilla and coconut. The finish is exquisite. Long, lush, semi dry and just chock full of blackberry jam, blueberry pie and luscious oak. An absolutely amazing wine that is blowing my socks off. 96 points. Drink till 2026. No pairing needed- it drinks beautifully all by itself. 5 stars for this treat that runs 200 bones. Stunning. Salut….
Inky and opaque in the glass. The nose is spicy and layered with black fruit, graphite and violets. On the palate it is very fruit driven but packs a nice tannic punch. Black currants, Blackberry jam, coffee bean and some vanilla. The tannins are quite present but not overly dry. The midpalate shows off layers of fruit, complexity and structure. The black theme continues but the tannins are really starting to grip. The finish is long, nuanced and full of flavor. There’s a definite oak influence and I’m sensing the alcohol- which turns out to be 15.4%. It’s not an issue but just be careful! I’m loving this wine for its bright Cali sunshine, it’s fruit forward style and it’s structure. Drink till 2030. 92 points and 4 stars for this limited production charmer that normally retails for $75. It’s mainly Cab Sav with 6% Cab Franc and 3% Merlot. Pair with Steaks. Salut….
It’s Election Day in the USA, so I had to pull this wine out- read the label again. In the glass it’s bright purple and semi opaque. On the nose- very interesting. Red berries, cedar and tobacco. Not exactly what I was expecting but fresh smelling. On the initial palate it is very different- rose-hip, strawberry extract and fruit cake all feature. The mid palate is fruit driven and delicious. A touch of acidity and some very lithe tannins are evident giving the wine a nice mouthfeel. The red fruit component continues and I also get violets and black cherry on the decent length finish. An enjoyable drop for short term drinking that gets 89 points from me. I last drank this wine in Napa with Moxie when we were on our way to Bali, with a stop in the Bay Area. At $30 it gets 3 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Cab Sav is dark purple and fully opaque in the glass. On the nose I get some plum, blueberry and black currant. It’s a touch subdued but I am able to coax it along. The palate is very fruity with steeped black berry, rich blackcurrants and iodine. The tannins are fine grained and work themselves up to a pretty dry midpalate. The fruit holds on and I also get some eucalyptus and lapsang souchong tea. The finish is quite dry with the tannins really kicking it into high gear. Gentle acidity makes for a nice mouthfeel. At the very end I get elderberry to carry the decent length finish. Very delicious wine with judicious use of oak, but the nose is quite perturbing. Maybe it likes a smaller glass (I’m using a BAG btw). Tonight’s pairing is Tenderloin and all the British Sunday roast accoutrements, it’s gonna rock. 91 points from me for this $58 effort that gets 4 stars. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This blend of Cab Sav, Shiraz and Malbec is particularly dark and brooding in the glass. On the nose I get black currant, rose water and spice. The palate is much more focused on darker fruits, mainly blackberry with anise and coffee bean. The mid palate continues the theme with more black licorice poking through. There’s a gentle dose of tannins that give the wine structure but are not obtrusive. The finish is decent in length and tasty with more of the same. The balance in this wine is good and the fruit lingers along with the acidity and tannins. I am enjoying it for what it is- not overly complex but extremely drinkable with nice flavors, good backbone and medium term cellaring potential. Drink till 2025. 88 points and 3 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
This Cab Sav is a beautiful dark purple in the glass and is nearly opaque. The nose is lush with black currants, flint and charred oak. On the palate it’s quite tart right off the bat. Black fruits, dark colas, sassafras and enamel searing tannins. The mid palate opens the wine up tremendously- still black fruits and now I get a nice minerality, some black tea, more cola and oak. The finish is surprisingly not as dry as I was fearing, it’s quite balanced with the tannic component really getting checked by the acidity and fruit. Anise, blackberry and vanilla are all present on the medium length finish. Drink till 2027, but if you fear the tannins- decant or aerate the heck out of this one. It’s tasty in the end and I give it 89 points. For $14, it’s a 3 star effort that will go well with my lamb tagine. Salut….
Inky and opaque is this Bordeaux blend. On the nose I am treated to a melange of cassis, plums, blackberry and delicious oak. The palate is exactly what I was hoping for- rich, warm and layered with all those black fruits, very integrated tannins and a mound of acidity. This wine is very powerful and thick with fruit flavors, balancing doses of tannin and acidity and just the right amount of wood to make it very pleasing. The mid palate gets quite a bit more focused on the structure of the wine- the acidity really playing hell with my jaw and the tannins really starting to grip. If you’re looking for an unabashed wine that will pair well with game, grilled Ribeyes or a heavy pasta dish- this is it. The finish reminds me of young Claret, the fruit being masked by the power of the structural components. It will cellar nicely till 2030. 92 points from me for this $22 stunner that gets 5 stars. Salut….