At 14 years of age this beauty is showing well in the glass. Dark purple, opaque and leggy. The cork was very soft so I had to pressurize it out, the corkscrew was going to crumble it otherwise. On the nose I get blackberries, cigar box, plum and black licorice. The initial palate is stunning- blue and blackberry ganache, cassis, leather, cedar and oregano. Sublime tannins are ever present but very integrated. The mid palate picks up some lapsang souchong tea, espresso and mocha. The finish is finely balanced between the great tannins and a beautiful acidity that makes my jaw water on the long finish. This is a sublime wine that has mellowed and matured to a great pinnacle. Drink this wine by itself or pair it with char-grilled steaks and garlic mash. 95 points and 4 stars for this $140 blend of Cab Sav, Carmenere, Cab Franc and Merlot. Drink till 2025. Salut….
At $14 a bottle, this was my house Cab back in the day. It quickly gained popularity and it’s price climbed like a homesick angel. I went looking for other great QPR wines. When I saw it in the shop today, I reminisced a bit and pulled the trigger on what has now become a $25 offering. Here we go!
It’s very purply in the glass (I am using a straight hotel glass, no stemware in sight). The nose is lush with blackberries, spice box and a touch of oak. On the palate it is rich, balanced and gives me blackberry notes, star anise, black tea and a nice touch of tannin. The mouthfeel is warm and smooth, acidity being very well behaved and allowing the tannins a chance to enter the fold. They build up to a nice dry finish but don’t interfere with the fruit. The blackberry component is strong and remains all the way to the finish. There is a nice minerality to this wine and the dryess of the tannic grip on the finish is just enough to make this a meat – worthy wine. Think big, juicy steaks on the fire and this one fits right in there. I am impressed that this wine has held its quality over the past 20 years, even though the price has nearly doubled. I’m going 91 points and 5 stars. Welcome back you little beauty! Drink till 2028. Salut….
Following on from yesterday’s tasting of the Montes Alpha Special Cuvee Cab- this bottling is their top offering in the varietal. Super rich, dark purple hues in the glass with very thin, long legs. On the nose there’s a deep blackberry reduction with coconut and graphite. On the palate this wine is very silky: black fruits over a bed of smooth oak and very integrated tannins. The wine is very balanced with some midpalate acidity that mingles with black cherry, blackberry and more iodine. The finish is not overly dry- the tannins very gradually fading over a good 60 second period. The fruit lingers almost as long with a touch of spice, cinnamon? This wine is young but drinkable, maturing till 2035 I think. 93 points for this very tasty, rich offering that I paid $62 for. 5 stars. Salut….
I walked into a wine shop in Hong Kong and was pushed aside by a woman on a mission. Five minutes later she checking out with three First Growth Bordeaux- Lafite, Latour and Mouton. My measly purchase paled in comparison to the thousands she spent. I digress… I have always been a fan of Chilean Cabernet. So, this is the first of two that I bought. It banged a whopping 94 points from one pro, it says so on the label. Let’s see how we get on.
In the glass it is a nice rich deep purple with just a hint of legs showing. On the nose it is very minty and chock full of black fruits, iodine and charcoal. It’s actually not my favorite profile. On the palate it is rich and flavorful. The kind of richness that covers your whole mouth. Lovely plums, blackberry and flint. There is a touch of mint as well as black olive. It’s quite complex and well made. The mid palate shows some very integrated tannins and black fruit compote. The finish is long, dry and very fruit driven. There is an ample amount of tannins but they are not obnoxious, merely present and persistent. The finish is medium length and finishes very dry. This wine is a touch young, but will do well in an aerator or decanter. Drink till 2030 at least. I think it gets a legit 93 points and for the price of $23 it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
I have previously drunk two or three bottles of this stuff without taking notes. I figure it’s time as this is the last bottle I have. It has a medium purple complexion and is mostly see-through. On the nose I get black berries, Ribena and tar. On the palate it is very straightforward Cabernet. Dark fruits, good tannic backbone and some juicy acidity. There is a plum tart component that hits me on the mid palate which is quite nice. The tannins really grip on the back end and give me that dry gum sensation. A decent drop for quaffing that is rather limited in dimension yet is approachable and drinkable right away with some cellaring potential. Pair with burgers, steaks and pasta. Not bad for $15. 88 points makes it a solid 3 star wine. Salut….
I have enjoyed numerous bottles of the 2015 Koyle Syrah, so when I saw the ’16- it had to be done. Very dark and opaque in the glass. Brooding , almost. The nose is fruity, with a touch too much of that jam I dislike. Black berries, raspberry reduction and a touch of wood also hit. On the palate I get sour cherry sauce with very astringent tannins- the wine is somewhat astray. It appears someway disjointed, not quite ready to come out. There is a nice core of dark fruits under that tannic veil, perhaps I will aerate.
Yeah, that’s much better. The nose is still not to my personal tastes but the wine smooths out, the tannins are more in order and the flavors of fruit take front row. More black fruits than red and a touch of oak are now the order of the day. This wine is very young and needs time to meld in order to settle down but should be decent in a year or so…. unless you are like me and have access to an aerator at all times. I am going with 89 points for now but plan to re-visit in a while. If you drink one, pair it with a hearty meal, something fatty. 3 stars for an initial impression of this $23 wine. Salut….
Medium opacity, good color. Nose is full of espresso, black berry and lush plums. The palate is very smooth, slightly acidic and starts off with black currants, charred oak and olives. The mid palate has more black fruit with the tannins starting to grip. I like the deft use of oak here and it smooths the wine nicely. The finish is medium in length, brimming with black cherry with the tannins receding nicely. 88 points and 5 stars for this $11 wine. Great value from Chile. Salut….
Yesterday was a little bit of a let down with the basic Los Vascos Cab. This property is a well respected Rothschild winery in Chile. As such, I opted to go back and try their Grand Reserve offering, in hopes of a better showing that suits my particular taste desires, and has higher technical components than the basic wine.
First thing I noticed was today’s Reserve wine has a real cork, versus synthetic. A good start. The wine is not overly dark, but a pleasant purple in the glass. On the nose- a whole different story. Black berries, rich mocha, fig on the nose. The palate is more plum-like but the black fruits are still evident. There’s a slightly obscure, astringent quality that hits right up front. Once over that I’m settling in to the gentle mouthfeel, moderate tannins and tangy acidity. The mid and finish are a little darker with coffee bean, black cherry and an oak tinge. Overall, much better. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort. Grilled meat, Moussaka or even hearty pasta would pair nicely. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
Medium purple with a bluish hue. Dammit, that sugary, oaky nose that I really dislike just hit me. Red sweets, twizzlers and cotton candy. On the palate- pretty much the same but with some decent acidity to brighten things up. Very lithe tannins are barely perceptible. This wine is the quintessential bbq drop. Easy to quaff, bright fruit, pleasant enough and capable of pairing with smoked or charred meats and sweet/tangy sauces. It’s not my cup of tea but should appeal to many. Drink this 86 point wine in the near term. $8 all day long make this a 2 star wine. Salut….
Recently added to the local shop- I’m excited to try this Carmenere from Koyle. I love their Syrah and Cabernet. It’s nearly black in the glass and very opaque. The nose gives off nice warm blueberry pie, oregano and violet notes. It has a very extracted quality. On the palate it is a touch austere with plums, blueberry and acidity that has a nice bite. The midpalate is more juicy, the blue fruits turning red. The acidity is countered on the back end with some greenish tannins. As you might tell this wine is a bit disjointed, slightly green and probably needing some food. I’m going 87 points and 2 stars for this $25 effort. Drink now if you have any. Salut….