Inky, with big legs in the glass showing off the 14.5% alcohol. On the nose I get red plum, raspberry, strawberry and cedar- not at all what I was expecting. The palate is super smooth and inviting- gentle tannins, red fruits galore and crispy acidity on the back end. Coffee shows up on the mid palate and I sense a tar component on the finish. Lovely mouthfeel on this one folks. It’s built to drink now and might take to a few years of cellaring but why wait. 88 points from me. Serve with strip steaks! For $20, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
I’m looking forward to this wine, to be paired with grilled Tri-Tip. For a Napa Cab, it shows a little lighter in the glass, with medium ruby color and thin legs. On the nose I have to battle the alcohol first, swirling like mad and blowing the fumes away. Once there I get blackberry, blackcurrant, black plum, cloves, smoke and yet more alcohol. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins which are softened by the addition of Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. It has a good body and the flavors are really juicy- more of the black fruits, the oak influence and I also get a black tea component. The alcohol is making it fuller on the mouthfeel but I can feel it on the back end, definitely present in this one. The finish is pretty decent in length with the tea outlasting the fruit. I think this is a decent wine, but not something to rave about. It will drink well till 2026 and pair great with steaks. 88 points from me and for $ 22 it gets 3 stars. Salut….
Every 28 years or so, I drink some of this stuff….. You see, when Moxie and I got married, she bought 130 small bottles and removed the labels in a bathtub full of water. She hand made labels with our names, the date and some curly-hues plus a green ribbon. The bottles were placed in front of every guest setting at the reception as a parting gift. We kept one bottle, the label has faded , the ribbon fell off and the contents are probably vinegar. So, on the anniversary of our magical day we happened to be in a liquor store and bought a 4 pack of 187 ml bottles, plastic bottles to be precise- for old time’s sake. Today was beach day and it was hot. We were ordering Thai food for dinner so I popped a few of these little charmers and we thoroughly enjoyed them for what they were- light, refreshing, a touch sweet and cheap as hell. I wrote up the notes for my course, here they are. (I can’t even rate this stuff to be honest, just sit back and enjoy one). Salut….
Sutter Home White Zinfandel NV, California 9.5% ABV
- Appearance- Deep Salmon color.
- Nose- medium (-) intensity with aromas of strawberry, orange peel, acacia, honeysuckle and wet stone. Youthful.
- Palate- medium sweet, medium (-) acidity, low alcohol, light body, medium intensity flavors of strawberry, orange peel, honeysuckle. Medium (-) finish.
- Conclusion- acceptable quality, drink now, not suitable for aging or further aging.
I know, it’s crazy that I selected this wine to taste- long story. What’s even crazier is that I actually enjoyed it! Refreshing after a hot day at the beach and at 9.5% -a welcome change from the last few bombs. A 4-pack of 187ml plastic bottles. Such a bargain at $6.50! Paired with Thai food for the win.
My assignment this week for tasting wines included this Old Vine Zin. The format and lexicon of descriptors is very limiting so I must add that this was not my favorite wine. It had a very astringent mid palate and the overpowering whiff on the nose was annoying. It can be had for $25 and gets 87 points from me. I can’t figure out where I got it from though. 3 stars, trending to 2. Drink now till 2025 with some burgers or ribs. Salut….
Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2017, Napa Valley, CA 15.0% ABV
- Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
- Nose- medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackcurrant, black plum, blackberry, licorice, white pepper. Youthful.
- Palate- Dry, high acidity, medium (+) tannin, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity with flavors of black plum, blackberry, jamminess, white pepper with a medium (+) finish.
- Conclusion- good quality wine that can drink now, but has potential for aging or further aging.
Why do I keep drinking such alcoholic wines? I had to blow into the glass for a few minutes to get the alcohol to dissipate. Not as jammy and peppery as most Old Vine Zins I have tasted but still yummy.
I have really taken a liking to Petite Sirah lately and Orin Swift’s Machete in particular. I tried the 2017 recently, delicious, heady stuff. Read about it in my regular blog style, this one gets the notes from my wine class. At $54 it’s not a cheap ride, but it will rock your world and gets 93 points from me, making it a 5 star wine. Salut….
Orin Swift Machete 2016 Petite Sirah, California 15.7% ABV
- Appearance- Deep purple with thick legs.
- Nose- pronounced aromas of blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla. Youthful.
- Palate- dry, medium (+) acidity, medium tannin, high alcohol, full body, pronounced flavors of blueberry, black cherry, blackberry, black plum, clove. Medium finish.
- Conclusion- very good quality, can drink now but has potential for aging.
Wowsa, look at that alcohol- 15.7% in a table wine! I had a hard time on the nose, the whiff of heat was overpowering. I made it through though. Full bodied as one would expect with such high numbers and extraction to within an inch of the grape’s life. Delicious stuff that is the second vintage I have tried of this iconic brand’s Petite Sirah with pretty much consistent results.
My last tasting note was in the format used for my wine course. By the time we got to this bottle the group was deep into a card game so I reverted to my old style and jotted a few notes on this super yummy wine.
Inky AF. This is one dark purple, brooding beast. Rich blackberry, ripe plums, cedar, Iodine and black cherry. Stunning. The palate is super duper Napa Valley. Sunshine galore gives rich black fruits, silky tannins and medium acidity. This is one stunner at 93 points. I believe newer vintages are running a Benji. 5 stars. Drink till 2025. Ps. If this was a blind tasting, I would have guessed Napa all day long, but incorrectly identifying it as a Cab Sav. Very similar taste profile, but way less tannins in this varietal. Salut….
As I practice writing notes for my wine class I am trying to get the format correct and use only the approved words from the lexicon they gave us. I know it’s not my style, nor do I like the restricted descriptors, but hey- it’s only temporary till I pass the tests. So, bare with me as we taste this $18 smooth sipper from out west that gets 89 points from me and 4 stars. Salut….
- Appearance- hazy deep garnet.
- Nose- medium (+) intensity, aromas of plum, blackberry, white pepper, cinnamon, coconut. Developing.
- Palate- dry, medium (-) acidity, medium body, medium (-) tannins, medium (+) flavor intensity of plum, blackberry, white pepper, coconut. Finish medium (-).
- Conclusions- quality level is good, can drink now but has potential for aging.
A very smooth Syrah with some bottle age that is at peak now.
I was visiting friends this past weekend and he popped this Napa gem for us to enjoy. Opaque purple- extracted to be sure. Rich nose of plums, blackberry, iodine, coffee and blueberry. Super smooth with fully integrated tannins, rich fruit, full body and medium acidity. Bright Cali sunshine is evident- the depth of flavor is deep. Structurally this is not built for long term, it’s delicious now. 91 points for this velvety elixir that runs $70 and gets 4 stars. Salut….
My buddy Keef and I sat out on the patio last night and enjoyed this Cali Pinot. It was medium ruby in the glass with a medium intensity nose of funk, steeped cherry, lavender and blueberry. Definitely not your typical Pinot nose, Old or New world. The palate is more raspberry and cherry. The funk does persist on the mid palate though. The acidity is medium (-), and there are very fine grained tannins lurking. The lack of primal fruit and the overwhelming funk is a bit strange to me. It’s a very young wine to have started it’s transition by shedding primary fruit. 87 points from me and 2 stars for this $56 bottling. Salut….
When a wine bottle says it’s a Red blend, I need to dig deeper. Turns out this one is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc. No details were forthcoming as to ratio though. It is deep purple, the strong legs giving away the 14.9% ABV punch I am about to get. On the nose I get rich blackberry, black cherries and chocolate. The palate is rich and dry with those dark fruits and a healthy yet ripe set of tannins that coat my gums immediately. As the wine flows I start to get some spice box components and charcoal. The tannins are formidable mind you and I am battling the attack on my teeth, hoping the fruit comes through a little more. The mid palate has Lapsang Souchong tea (a smoked black tea from China) and more dark fruit including plums and blackberry. It is a nice mix of flavors but the tannins are by now numbing my upper gums. This wine is a baby, needing an aerator or several years in the cellar. It should drink nicely from 2024 till 2030 with juicy, fatty meats, stews or hearty red sauced pasta. It finishes with a medium length and medium acidity. The balance is not quite there yet, but I think this wine has lots of promise. 91 points would be fair, but it could go up a point or two, let me re-taste in a few years as I bought several bottles. At $35 it is an excellent value for a Cali blend that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….