A lighter shade of yellow in the glass with pretty hefty legs belying the 14.2% alcohol. The nose has creamy citrus, like a mousse, plus a hint of butter and coconut. The palate is very rounded with lush flavors of nectarines, clementines, lemon zest and peach. It’s like a tropical fruit salad with buttery popcorn as a side. I taste layers with this wine, which shows some nice complexity. The acidity is relatively mild giving a full mouthfeel. The finish is mid length and adds some papaya to the mix. Delicious stuff, really. 92 points worth. Seriously, and at $21- it’s a steal. This one will be featured in another blog post early next year, and if I could give it 6 stars I would. Drink till 2025. I am pairing it with Shrimp Scampi and salad. Salut….
A very pale shade of gold in the glass with a nose of citrus, tropical fruit and telltale cat pee. The palate is delicious, somewhat unique and not overly tart. Grapefruit and gooseberry notes make way for candied ginger and baked yellow apple. It is really an interesting mix, layered with a medium weight body. There is a sprite nature to the mid palate and the finish is short to medium length in duration. I really am enjoying this wine and will pair it with clams with edamame spaghetti in a garlic and olive sauce. Drink this 90 point wine till 2024. For $30 it gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
This Pinot is a dark shade of purple and is quite a bit more opaque than expected. The nose gives me dark cherries, boysenberry, clove and cola. Very intricate. The palate is quite unique- cherry cola meets rhubarb and cranberry. I sense a cascade of acidity as my mouth starts to water but there’s a modicum of dryness from lithe tannins that hit towards the mid palate. The dark red fruit theme continues and I get a nice finish with some extras- Rooibos tea, spices and more of that cherry cola thing. It is a really tasty wine that has been extracted very well, not overdone with nice oak integration. The length of the finish is really great and the tannins stick with me for quite a while. Light-to-medium bodied, it has a nice mouthfeel. Drink this 91 point wine till 2027. I am preparing Sous Vide chicken and Swiss chard to pair. For $19 it’s an awesome deal that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Turns out his was the Wine of the Night at tasting #15. It is inky purple and opaque AF. Initially the members noted a dusty smell- which led on to black pepper, herbs, tobacco, dried fruits, cigar, prunes, blackberry jam and was considered ‘leathery’. On the palate it was very rich and full bodied with prunes, blackberry compote, cracked black pepper, dark chocolate, coffee beans, raisins and tobacco. I thought it was delicious and worthy of a juicy Filet. It was not very tannic at all, inconsistent with the varietal, but I was not complaining. It gets 92 points from me and 5 stars for sure at it only runs $20. Buy it by the case and drink till 2026. Salut….
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….
Pale gold in the glass this Sonoma County Chardonnay gives me lemon and pineapple on the nose. The palate is quite crisp and tart with more yellow citrus flavors, some lanolin and green apples. On the mid palate it is very refreshing with some zippy acidity. The finish is decent in length and shows off green and yellow apples with citrus giving it back end juiciness. Yummy and relatively light bodied for me, it will pair great with my Chicken Pie. Other matches could be grilled Salmon or Parmesan dishes. For me it’s an 88 point wine that gets 4 stars for its $18 price tag. Drink till 2022. Salut….
I hosted the 14th Virtual Wine tasting last night but this wine was tasted twice. We originally planned to have the tasting a few weeks ago, so I opened my bottle that morning to decant some to taste at room temp and the rest was chilled. The actual group tasting was delayed but I did sample this wine with one other couple. I will reveal the scores at the end, which are somewhat consistent.
The wine itself is a light shade of gold. The nose on the room temp glass gave us apple, brioche, butter, honeysuckle, melon and pears. The palate tasted better than the smell with tangerine, green apples, nuts and pear on the decent length finish. The chilled version showed more minerality on the nose with butter, lemons, melon and a metallic note reminiscent of tin foil. It was noted as being more pungent. The palate was refreshing but I wrote originally that it had less flavor. Subsequently the group noted a touch of oak, green apples and Maraschino cherries.
My original rating was 16 and 13 but last night I docked the room temp version down to 13, and upped the chilled one to 14 points on my scoring system. Overall, both times the wine got a solid 90 points on the official scale and for $23, it’s a 5 star effort that rated 92+ from the pros. Drink till 2025 with all kinds of seafood. Salut….
Pairing spicy food with wine is pretty simple really, stay away from all reds. Riesling is the go-to normally, but I have played around with Sauvignon Blanc with great success and tonight will be trying out a Gewürztraminer with Thai red curry Chicken. The wine has a nice medium tone of yellow and the legs are very sheet like in the glass. On the nose it has that telltale floral note with melons, peaches and rosewater. The palate is very delicious with honey, peaches, tangerine and some tartness. The mid palate is more citrus driven with pomelo and tangerines alongside a hint of raw almond. The finish is long with the floral notes returning. The acidity as a whole is quite lithe with this wine which is typical of the varietal so the mouthfeel is a quite full. I am enjoying it pre-dinner and wonder if the lack of much bite will hinder the performance against the rich, spicy curry.
It was a winner! The curry was not overly hot, but very flavorful. The fruitiness and floral components of the wine were a great match. I added a heaping dollop of red chillies to test the match, it worked out great. This wine is delicious and will drink well till 2025, pair it with something fresh, something spicy, seafood, chicken or just pop it with some charcuterie. 89 points and for $19 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
Super purple and totally opaque- not what I was expecting from this varietal. The nose is very rich with cherry extract, toasty oak and strawberry jam. It’s very concentrated. The palate is packed with red fruit preserves, cherries jubilee and a hint of tobacco. There’s a nice acidic tone from the get-go alongside medium level tannins. I’m enjoying the whole package- the mouthfeel is very lively, balanced and complex. The finish is medium in length, pseudo dry and quite juicy. I’m really liking this atypical wine that gets 92 points from me. At $74 it’s worthy of 4 stars. Drink till 2027 and pair it with Lamb Chops, Venison Tenderloins or even Eggplant Parm. So delicious I may want to try it again! (Ps. I just read the winery notes- they use the Ripasso method to really extrude as much color, tannins and essence from the grapes which makes sense why it is so dense, full bodied and delicious). Salut….