The second wine of our virtual tasting was this Lodi blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cab Sav. The nose was magnificent- lush, jammy blackberry, cocoa, dark plums. The palate was a different matter. We all immediately sensed a certain sweetness that we were not expecting. The wine is very fruity and concentrated with loads of black fruits. Tannins are apparent but not overbearing and there is a decent level of acidity to make for a nice mouthfeel. The cloying fruit however was a detractor for many in the group. Funnily enough, it was voted the best wine by a third of the attendees. I guess that sweetness appeals to some but not all. Each to his own. For me it was an 86 point wine that I feel was a little too manufactured and lacked finesse relying heavily on gobs of jammy fruit. Drink now. For $14 it gets 3 stars. 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….
Stunning purple in the glass with nice thin legs. On the nose I get a huge dose of black currants, black berries and oaky vanilla. Mint also makes an appearance. On the initial palate it is really juicy with black fruits galore. Beautiful oak is well integrated with coconut flavors present. The tannic structure shows a gradual ramp up to reach a drying peak on the finish. The mid palate is lush and fruity with some black tea, cassis, more coconut and capsicum. The finish is dry with those nice tannins really gripping. There’s a very balancing, juicy acidity that I’m really enjoying. This wine begs to be drunk, it is a stunning example of how delicious Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are as the prime components in wine. 93 points and 5 stars for this $104 stunner. Drink till 2030.
This is the 5th wine in the SplashWines lineup. A blend from Amador County, which has been showing some real quality of late. This one is a nice purple hue in the glass and is semi-opaque. On the nose I get pepper, plum, mocha and blackberries. The initial palate is interesting, a touch sweet from cassis and spice. It has some zest to it, I like that. The mid palate has some tar, more dark fruits and a charcoal note. Very lithe tannins appear and there is a nice acidity to the wine. The tar and spice components carry through to the finish, but there is an astringency that hits me, some greenness. It’s not all bad, as the sweet cassis nullifies it. The finish is quite tart, with good length. Overall this is a decent bottle that gets 89 points from me. Drink with summer BBQ, perhaps pizza and definitely a red pasta. For $15 it’s a 3 star Zinfandel blend that includes some Petite Sirah and Syrah. Drink now. Salut….
Number 2 from SplashWines is this non-vintage blend that rings the bells at 13.5%. Semi opaque with a reddish tint in the glass. The nose is intriguing- strawberries, by the bucketful. Red currants and sweet pomegranate to boot. Oh…. and Apricots. Yup- Apricots. The palate is very unique, a touch sweet but very red fruit forward. It’s a very interesting flavor profile. The mid palate is very easy going, red Twizzlers and a touch of cherry cola. The acidity is very gentle which makes up for the lack of much tannin. The finish is more cherry and rhubarb with that crispy acidity adding zest. It’s decent in length and tasty. I must say I was a bit biased when I unscrewed this bottle, but I reckon it’s very easy going, fun to drink and will appeal to the novice as well as anyone coming over for a barbecue. This is a $13 party wine and it gets 86 points from me. 3 stars. Drink now. Salut….
This Merlot has a really deep purple hue in the glass with very nice thin legs. The nose is plummy with anise and blueberry notes. On the initial palate I get inky dark berries, some iodine, black tea and really nice gentle tannins. The mid palate is a bit more gripping with the fine grained tannins, they start to cling to the gums. Black cherry and more plum are hitting me up with some slight oak notes. The finish is a touch dusty with some spice box and leather. Plums are my main theme with this wine and the tannic structure is really good. Juicy, dry and built for the medium haul. I like this wine- it’s easy going yet has some depth and structure to it. Drink till 2027. 91 points from me and at $18 a pop- 5 stars. Cellar some for later. Salut….
Red wine with fish is a tough one but since I am grilling it, I feel there might be something to work with. This Barbera is from California and has a nice shade of purple in the glass. The nose is very cherry like, with some blue fruits lingering as well. I also get a leafy component, like parsley. Intriguing. On the palate it is somewhat sweet with ripe cherry, cola and cedar. It is juicy but not overly acidic, nor is it very tannic. The mid palate has a nice warm feeling to the red fruit compote. There is a definitive cedar note that runs the length of the wine. It is very fruity and certainly tasty. The finish is medium length and concentrates on those sweet cherries alongside some blackberry jam. Lip smacking stuff. Easy to drink and very approachable for the next 5 years. I hope the pairing works for me! 89 points and 5 stars for this $13 steal. Salut….
It’s got a beautiful shade of purple in the glass and I can almost see through. The nose is lush and rich with blackberry jam, fig paste, blueberries. On the palate it is very dark fruit heavy. Black berries, currants and chocolate. There’s a gripping set of tannins that get to work on my gums immediately. This is to be expected with this varietal, also known as Durif. On the mid palate there is more plum than blackberry, but it’s still black fruit dominant. There’s a juiciness to this wine that begs for hearty steaks. The finish reverts back to blackberry jam and some charcoal. It is shockingly dry and delicious. I am really enjoying this wine and it will pair beautifully with the grilled Skirt and Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus I am cooking. If you like a dry wine, or want to cellar something long term, this is it. 92 points, and 5 stars for this $13 steal Drink till 2030. 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….