Pale straw colored with thick legs (13.5%ABV). The nose has pronounced aromas of lemon curd, honeysuckle, white flower blossom, dill, fleur de sel and stone fruit. The palate is barely dry with medium acidity and a medium (+) body. Really nice flavors of citrus and florals with a wax and honey note alongside some briny minerality that makes this a delicious wine. It ends with a mid length finish that is lush and waxy. Yum. This 91 pointer sells for $16 and gets 5 stars from me. I’m pairing it with steamed mussels and garlic, you could try grilled mackerel or salmon. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Deep ruby colored with really thick, slow moving legs. The nose has a whiff of alcohol that needs to dissipate- I now get pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, smoke, coffee, vanilla and menthol. The cassis is en pointe. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity and high tannins (I forgot to mention the it stained the walls of the glass when I swirled). A full body was to be expected and I get rich flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum, cassis and the associated oak derived notes and menthol. The richness of this wine continues on to a medium (+) length finish. It’s a delicious blend of Cab Saver, Syrah and Merlot that gets 93 points from me and for $35- 5 stars. Drink with hearty meat (steak) till 2029. Salut….
Medium ruby colored this Zinfandel was amazing. Rich, smooth aromas and flavors of ripe plum, blackberry, blueberry pie and baking spice with a hint of vanilla. Low acidity, medium (-) tannins and a full body lead to a long finish. Amazing value at $15 for this 91 pointer that gets 5 stars. I would drink this in the shorter term with stews, game and hearty pasta dishes with rich red sauces. Salut….
This Cabernet Sauvignon did not show well today- the bottle had been left open far too long and it was past it’s prime. However, I chose to taste it and will include it in my next wine class as I have previously drunk this $18 offering and was impressed with its structure and fruit. This particular example had medium acidity, a full body and high levels of tannins. The fruit was stewed and basically undrinkable but I recall the previous bottle had lovely black and blue fruit, nicely integrated oak treatment and a decent finish. If I had to score this wine- 90 points which would make it a 5 star effort with some cellaring capacity- stay till 2028. Hearty, fatty steak would do well here. Salut….
I was tasting wines for a prospective class and wanted to stick to single varietals, the bartender convinced me to try this red blend of Zinfandel, Cab Sav, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Syrah. In one word- Delicious! Medium ruby colored with a slight blue edge it has aromas and flavors of ripe plum, blueberry pie, coconut, charred oak, cracked pepper and allspice. Medium (-) acidity and medium tannins lead to a full bodied, mouth coating experience. A long finish adds to this wine’s appeal and solidifies my score of 91 points. Not bad for a sub $20 effort that gets 5 stars. At 15% ABV, it is obvious the winemaker has used really ripe, sun-drenched grapes to achieve this level of flavor. Yummy stuff to pair with a thick Tomahawk steak or some braised Beef ribs. Drink till 2027. Salut….
The second wine I tasted at the wine bar was this unfortunate Pinot Noir. So over-the-hill it was shocking for such a relatively young wine. Pale garnet colored, the pigments ended a mm from the edge of the rim when studied at an angle. Aromas of stewed fruit, dried figs, bruised cherry and clove. The tertiary notes dominated the nose and palate which was tough to swallow, everything has fallen apart here. The tertiary flavors are what I love about cellaring wine, but there comes a point of diminishing returns and this bottle passed that a while back. No score given, a major pass. Salut….
Deep ruby colored yet it could pass for purple, interesting considering it’s 9 years of age. The nose has pronounced aromas of blackberry, blueberry, açaí with licorice, menthol, crushed stone and charred oak. Refreshingly primal with some secondary notes yet not much development presently. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium (+) tannins that coat my gums and a full body- for sure. The flavors start off with very ripe yet fresh blackberry, açaí berry, blueberry and black currants. There is a sweetness that I attribute to the ample sunshine of the vintage. Oak nuance, mint and some signs of tertiary development fill out the flavor profile. The finish is a touch astringent with a black tea note and some very caressing tannins. This wine is young with lots of time to develop. I think it warrants 93 points and for $55 it’s a 5 star wine to serve up with Sunday roast beef. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Deep garnet colored with fast moving legs- 13.9% ABV. The nose started off with a medicinal note followed by horse saddle leather, dust, barnyard, blackcurrant, black cherry, bandaid and briar. It is earthy with loads of tertiary aromas. The palate is dry with medium acidity, well integrated tannins, medium (+) body and rich flavors of black fruits, dusty earth, bramble, briar and açaí berry that lead to a long finish of black tea and leather. 93 points is what I imagined this wine garnering yet the pros went lower back in the day. It’s amazing how some wines will age so gracefully and deliver those lovely tertiary flavors after 16 years yet still show some primary fruit and structure to age a few more years. I would drink this $140 offering till 2026 or so with lighter beef dishes. 4 stars from me. Salut….
Medium to deep lemon colored this Chardonnay has medium intensity aromas of citrus, pineapple, yellow apple, geranium and cherry leaf. The palate is dry with medium acidity and a medium (+) body. Flavors of lemon, grapefruit, pomelo and pineapple prevail and luckily for me- no Diacetyl from MLF. I was not in the mood for a big, buttery, over-oaked Chard. This is going to go beautifully with our grilled Chermoula spiced Shrimp and Spanish rice. 87 points from me for this $13 wine makes it a 4 star effort. Drink now. Salut….
Nearly opaque, this deep ruby colored wine has a tinge of blue coloring on the edges. The nose has aromas of black cherry, pomegranate, red licorice candy and ripe raspberry. A touch of oak is also present. The palate is dry with medium tannins and medium acidity. There is a sourness to the palate but I get red fruit, red licorice and charcoal. The body is medium and the finish is short. The tannins linger mind you and there is some juiciness on the back end that I am enjoying. It’s a Trader Joes special that runs $6. Great for a party, this 85 pointer will not break the bank and can be served with burgers, dogs or even pizza. 3 stars from me for this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to drink by 2024. Salut….