I have to remember that wine is very subjective, and what I like or dislike is often opposite of others. This one is a perfect example of that. It shows medium intensity in the glass. The nose has that candied oak waft that I don’t like. The palate mirrored that profile so I just spilled the glass and moved on to the next wine bottle at the tasting. A review of the web shows it available for $35. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
The second bottle at the wine shop tasting…. unfortunately not a good sample.
A dark red in the glass, more serious for a Pinot Noir. The nose is off as the wine has been open too long- however…. the palate offers a much richer expression of dark red fruits and cinnamon. No rating as it would not reflect well. However, a search on the web shows it available for $60 and gets decent 90+ scores. Salut….
I stepped into a wine store in Cali where they had an extensive list of wines available to taste. I took the opportunity to do so, but my notes were rushed and very brief, please bear with me.
Very new world Pinot Noir on the nose- strawberry, cherry. Very light on the palate but tasty with red fruits, very lithe and fresh. There is a tartness that presents itself on the medium length finish that I am enjoying. 89 points from me for this $34 offering make it a 3 star wine to drink now through 2021. Salut….
Rich plums and thick oak staves fill the nose on this nearly black wine. On the palate I get delicious black berries, lush dark currants and a tar component. I’m trying hard to pinpoint the missing flavor, could it be coffee? Tannins are present but not obtrusive, with dark fruits and more wood present on the mdi to back end. 90 points and 5 stars for this uniquely labelled Cab that runs about $18. Salut….
Just looking at it I see a brooding monster. It is nearly black, fully opaque and taunting me. The nose is – wow.
Black cherry, plum jam, black currant and sassafras. The initial palate is thick with dark fruit compote, plum ganache, luscious oak and tannins that are en pointe. Plums really come out on the mid palate alongside a cedar shake note. The tannins start to grip and by the time I get to the finish they have me licking my gums. The dryness lingers forever and my teeth feel gritty- I’m loving it. This is a delightful sensation in the wine appreciation sense.
The finish, dry as hell, also features a mint meets eucalyptus oil note which I find intriguing. This is a delicious, structured wine that will cellar for the mid term but is drinkable now if you like some bite. 91 points and 4 stars for this $60 effort. If you like sunny Napa fruit and bold Cabs, this one is for you. Serve with a juicy steak or a roasted leg of Lamb. Salut….
A mellow blend of the traditional Bordeaux varieties- this wine is a pretty purple in the glass with long legs showing. The nose is plump with dark fruits, some cherry cola and a touch of cinnamon. The initial palate is very rounded, soft and smooth. It features black currants, black olives, oregano. It has a great mouthfeel due to the very slight tannic structure which is really balanced well with the gentle acidity. This is a quaffing wine for sure, with a drink now date. The finish is medium in length and dark fruit dominated. It has a hint of charcoal on the end and some plum tart. I really like this wine for what it is, the 89 points are not a slam- it just lacks the backbone to cellar and evolve which detract from a numerical score. This would be great with light appetizers or as a base for a wine sauce. It really has a lovely fullness to it. $19 and 4 stars. If I had to blind taste it, the soft and supple mouthfeel scream Merlot. Salut….
Some more Kirkland Signature wines are on the horizon in my search for value priced offerings. This one cost $10. It shows nicely in the glass with a see-through medium hued purple. The nose is mostly plum with a hint of nutmeg. The palate is very inviting, easy to drink and fresh. Blue fruits dominate with a touch of tannic vibrancy that tickles the gums. Acidity is present and the wine has a really nice balance. The mid palate has a core of plum that carries through to the finish. There’s not much complexity here, but it does serve the purpose. This wine is great value for a Sonoma County Cabernet that drinks easily, will handle burgers, pizza and make an awesome coq au vin. I would buy it up, serving all summer long out by the grill. Drink till 2020. 89 points and 5 stars. Salut….
Another in the low priced series that I have been working through. This one rings in at $14. It has a nice medium intensity of purple in the glass. The nose is very rich with plums, black berry and leather. On the palate it is more fruit forward than I had imagined. Very upfront with plums, cedar shavings and a touch of eucalyptus. There is a really delicious mid palate core of sweet black cherry that I am thoroughly enjoying. Tannins are very smooth, balanced and lithe. The finish exhibits a nice acidity and more plums. The dry leather component I found earlier appear ever so slightly and rounds out the finish. This is a very tasty wine, which gets 91 points from me- contrary to the 89-90 ratings the pro’s gave it. I think it will pair well with tonights flat iron steaks, Buffalo Cauliflower and sautéed asparagus. Certainly a 5 star wine that I think will get stocked up on. Summer party season is here and this one is front and center. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
The last time I tasted the 2009 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon was in 2014. This bottle was cellared until now. I’m doing up a Tri-Tip roast on the grill to accompany it alongside some sautéed asparagus and heirloom tomatoes.
It shows a very dark, brooding purple in the glass, which is what I expect from a powerhouse Napa Cabernet. The nose is lush, plummy, full of fruit and a touch of oak. After another swirl I also get blackberry in waves. On the palate this wine is absolutely amazing. Layers of black and blue fruit, finely grained tannins and a balance so precise between the acidity and dryness. Ripe plums, sweet blackberries and vanilla bean are very concentrated. Great extraction of fruit without overdoing it. I just read the label, 85% Cab Sav, 9% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and a dash of Petit Verdot- which makes this a classical old-school Bordeaux blend. Malbec being the kicker, they don’t use it much these days over there.
The mid palate of this wine exhibits plum pie, black olive and some coffee bean. The tannins start to reveal a slight astringency, but I am still digging it. The finish is medium in length with more of that coffee thing I caught earlier. Meat is what this wine begs for. Roast it, grill it, braise it…. 92 points from me for this $60 beauty. 4 stars. Drink now till 2025. Salut….