Wow, this Napa wine is super opaque and dark purple-it looks like Welch’s grape juice. I can smell fruit flavors about a foot away from the glass, it’s wafting over and I think I’m going to like it. Yup, I do. Saturated with blackberry notes, I also get blueberry essence. On the palate it is delicious. Layers of blackberry, blueberry and cassis. Very primal, extracted and yummy. Lithe tannins appear on the mid palate but this wine is really juicy, the acidity really has a grip. Deft use of oak keeps this wine interesting without overplaying tertiary flavors. The finish turns quite dry with the tannins really starting to make themselves known. Overall a nicely balanced wine with good structure, great fruit and decent cellaring capacity. I would drink this blend of Syrah, Malbec, Zin, Merlot etc till 2028 with a big ole T-bone. 92 points from me make this $50 wine a 5 star effort. Salut….
In the glass this Cabernet is bright purple and 50% opaque. The nose gives me blackcurrant and coffee bean. On the palate it is quite rich with blackberry coulis, spice box and cedar. The mid palate has nice rich fruit, a touch of acidity and some lithe tannins. The black fruit theme continues as does the coffee. The finish is really tasty, a touch dry with a hint of acidity. Th mouthfeel is really wonderful, not cloying, dry or tart. Rich, warm fruit with some underlying structure make for a decent medium term drinking window. I like it and am going with 89 points. For $15, it’s a good deal and gets 4 stars from me. Drink till 2025 with grilled meats. Salut….
This Washington State Cab Sav is a murky, dark shade of purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get a whiff of alcohol followed by plums, black currants and cedar shake. The palate starts off with a healthy dose of tannins and black fruit salad. When I say healthy, I mean teeth coating astringency- wow. The fruit flavors are having a hella time trying to get center stage here. The mid palate has black currants and tea notes that are vying for space with the grip of tannins. On the finish it is a very dry affair that is short lived from the fruit. I need to get the Vinturi out and re-try. I picked the right wine for tonight’s pairing- Picanha steaks, which have a thick edge of fat in need of some hefty tannins. This wine has tremendous structure and will cellar nicely for a few years but if you need it now, aerate it or you will be lost in a sea of mouth searing tannins. Overall I think this wine will end up really nice and considering the aging capacity I am going with 90 points. It retails for $23 and gets 5 stars from me. Drink from 2023 till 2027. Salut….
Opaque and dark purple. The nose has a big dose of funk right off the bat- standing water comes to mind. Once past that shocker I get Napa sunshine with ripe blackberry, toasty oak and Ribena. The palate is blueberry and blackberry tart with coconut and creme. The oak influence is appreciated. Mid palate has very lithe tannins and mild acidity. Leather and tobacco appear on the finish with cassis. Really delicious as the wine progressed . 91 points and at $50 per bottle it gets 4 stars. Paired with Spinach rolled Flank Steak and Ceaser salad. Drink till 2023. Salut….
The cork failed on this 20 year old Classed Bordeaux but it’s a dark purple and almost opaque with a touch of bricking. The nose is classic Claret that is well aged. Tobacco, raisins, steeped plum and a healthy dose of leather. On the palate it is a touch sour initially with cherry that gives way to tertiary flavors of cedar cigar box, Maduro and leather. It’s very mature and certainly delicious. The tannins are fully integrated at this point so the wine is at peak if not just past. The finish has a modicum of acidity, the structure that has let this wine last this long. It is the final bottle of a case I purchased in 2003. It’s sad to see it go but I’m glad I have been able to track its evolution. 92 points from me has been consistent in all my tastings of this wine. The pros went sub 90 back in the early days, I guess they did not think it would hang in there for two decades and evolve so beautifully. If you want to try one, they are available online for about $80. We drank it all by itself , something I would recommend. 5 stars. Salut….
Dinner is Lamb Shanks with black eyed peas and Rattatouile. I needed a stout, dry wine so I turned to this young Cab Sav. It’s dark purple, and totally opaque. The nose gives me ripe blackberry, rich plum compote and I can smell the 14.8% heat. On the palate the taste echoes the nose- rich purple fruit flavors intertwining with beautiful tannins and a touch of acidity. The fruit is very rich with Cali sunshine evident. I get a hint of Iodine on the mid palate alongside the layered plums, blackcurrant and berries. The acidity kicks it up a notch on the finish and the dryness on my gums remains for a long period. The flavors linger for nearly 15 seconds. Delicious stuff that gives off some Oak influence right at the end. 92 points for this $90 monster makes it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2029. Pricy but yummy! Salut….
This Chilean Cab is bright purple and nearly opaque in the glass. The nose is very black raspberry driven, almost over the top. Red licorice and candy notes come into play as well. On the palate it is a dark fruit melange with oak influence and a hint of sweetness. It sounds funny but whilst a touch sweet it also has a good dose of tangy acidity. Greenish tannins go straight for the gums with astringency galore. The mid palate tastes of sour black cherry and blackberry, an interesting take. The juicy finish lets up some on the dry factor, letting the fruit shine through. I am cooking up some Lamb Merguez sausages to pair, I think that will work nicely. Drink this 87 point wine till 2024. At $20 it’s a three pointer. Salut….
I love my neighbors Arty and Keef…. you see, they have a nice collection of Napa Cabs in their cellar and I get the chance to taste alongside quite often. When this text arrived, I made sure to head over tout suite.
Wow- black beauty. Opaque AF and showing long legs in the glass. The nose is magnificent. A dusty take on blackberry jam, cassis, toasty oak and a hint of eucalyptus. On the palate this wine is super focused with very defined blueberries, blackberries alongside some Lapsang Souchong tea notes. Very integrated tannins and really lithe acidity help bring out the California sunshine in this wine- it’s definitely fruit forward and open for business. Delicious- 93 points and 5 stars for this $100 stunner. Drink till 2025 with Filet or other less fatty meals. Salut….
It would not be Christmas without an aged Claret. This 19 year old took the honors and I am sure glad I picked it. Wow, what a stunner. I did not take notes but recall the wine looked a dark shade in the glass with no signs of bricking. The nose was astounding- tobacco, leather, earth, steeped plums and cassis. On the palate this wine is at plateau. I cannot even describe the beauty of liquid elixir. It was layered with the tertiary flavors I had smelled plus a surprising dose of dark currants, cassis and cedar. The tannins are fully resolved at this stage of the maturity, sublime being a good descriptor of the mouthfeel. The finish was super long and gratifying. This wine was a home run and has rewarded my patience. I think it still has a few years of life, but like I said- it’s at peak now. I have 6 more bottles in the cellar, lucky me! You could pair this wine with an array of foods, but simply enjoying it on its own would be amazing. I have written about the ’01 Cos before, once in 2012 and then in 2013. I am upping my score to 95 for this $150 beauty and sticking with 5 stars. Salut….
This Cabernet Sauvignon is very dark purple and opaque. The legs I see on the side of the glass bely the 14.5% alcohol I’m about to hit. On the nose I can smell the heat, but I also get lashings of blackberry, plum torte and some eucalyptus. The palate is very lush with Cali sunshine- black fruit melange, very integrated oak and a nice minerality. The tannins start to grip right away but there is a juicy acidity to balance it. The mid palate has a singed alder note to it with black berry reduction. The finish is quite dry but the medium dash of acidity make for a nice mouthfeel. It lasts a good 20+ seconds as I enjoy the black fruit and oak influence. Nicely done wine that will last till 2027. I am reconstituting Sunday night Rib Roast into Au Jus steak sandwiches and adding an eggplant parmesan to the fold. Should pair beautifully. 91 points from me for this lush, layered wine that will set you back $25. For that it gets 5 stars. Salut….