Medium strength purple in the glass with a touch of cloudiness. The nose is unique. Raspberries, sweet rhubarb jam, rooibos tea. The palate is yummy, crunchy, a touch acidic. I get dark fruits instead of red, an interesting transformation. Delightfully tannins greet me as we transition to the midpalate of crushed black cherry, graphite, black tea and mouth drying tannins. The finish has a short burst of black berrries, tea and an earthy minerality. This wine is drinking young at 7 years old, it still needs cellar time. Drink from 2023-2030 with Ribeyes or a Penne Arrabiata. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 Cab. Salut
Very dark purple in the glass. The legs are almost nonexistent, belying the 14.5% alcohol. The nose has sweet cassis, fresh figs and a blueberry reduction. The palate is delightful, rich and smooth. Layers of blackberry, dark cherry, charcoal and anise flow from the initial to the finish. It’s a seamless transition with a nice touch of tannic bite at the end. I’m pairing with Picanha, mashed potatoes and grilled Brussel sprouts. Drink till 2028. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 Cab. Salut….
This winery is one of the most consistent mass producers out there. I have never had a bad bottle and the QPR (Quality Price Ratio) is always tops. So, when I saw this at my local Costco- no brainer.
We start off with a slightly cloudy medium hued purple. It’s opaque AF though. The nose is lovely- leather, plums, cassis…. I am excited. The palate lives up to my expectations, lovely pure fruit flavors of plums, black currants and very well integrated oak. The mid palate is scrumptious. More dark fruits, some leather and a touch of wood. I will say: There is a very fine grained tannic component that is barely perceptible making this wine delicious and easy to drink now but does not bode well for extended cellaring. The acidity is feint and nicely balanced. The finish is relatively short but tasty, black fruits galore and that touch of dryness. This is a real treat to pop and pour if you can find it (just go to Costco!). It will pair well with many a mid-week meal yet hold it’s own against a leg of lamb on a Sunday roast. I’m really thinking Lasagna is the perfect match. Either way, enjoy this 91 point gem and drink till 2023. 5 stars for sure as you can pick it up all day long for under $15. Salut….
Bright purple. The nose is fruity, vibrant and full of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate- delicious rendition of dark berry compote meets vanilla bean and coffee reduction. The wine exhibits some dryness with slight tannins appearing midpalate. The dryness opens up on the finish and leaves the back cheeks somewhat astringent. The mid plate concentrated on black fruits and the finish carries it through with some cedar plank to boot. 89 points and 4 stars for this $20 blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Franc. Drink now with tapas, grilled Pork chops or pasta. Salut….
Very dark in the glass, somewhat murky. The nose is lush with plums, eucalyptus, bramble and fir tree. On the palate it echoes the flavors with delicious purple plum paste and fresh earthy herbs. A green note pops up on the mid palate which gives a bit of pique. The tannins are well integrated and the acidity shines through at the end. Green bitterness hits right on the back end which detracted me for a sec. I love the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The greenness I’m guessing is from the Verdot. Overall a very delicious, layered wine that drinks well now through 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….
A perennial favorite and surefire go-to wine that delivers consistency, value and widespread availability. It shows off a deep purple in the glass. The nose is full of blue fruit, coffee bean, a touch of oak. On the palate I sense some very lithe tannins that are very ingrained with blueberry, elderberry, cedar. The wine transitions very nicely to the mid palate and the finish gives me a definitive red currant note. The mouthfeel is very smooth, balanced and easygoing, making this a very flexible wine to pair with a variety of dishes. Cheese comes to mind as do the Sirloins I am grilling, with some Steamed Artichokes. The tannins are the longest running portion of this wine, leaving a definitive dry streak on the gums for quite a while. Not a hugely complex wine, it serves its purpose as an everyday drinker, capable of pairing with meats, pasta, cheese or all by its lonesome. Drink now. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
Pale yellow, almost cloud-like in the glass. A nose of lemon curd, green melon and kumquat. The flavors on the initial attack are pear, lemon and seven-up. This wine reminds me of a steely Chablis, very minerally and biting. Acidity is present but subsides nicely into a mid palate and finish of green pear and lemon drops. This winery is very consistent and I really enjoy what they make. 88 points and 5 stars for this $9 effort. A go-to winery in a pinch and on a budget. I served it up with grilled Salmon. Salut….
I saved this one for last in the Charles Smith repertoire that I picked up in Cali. It was worth the wait. Dark purple in the glass with a nose of cherry, blueberry and a hint of oak. The initial attack consisted of black cherry and plum jam. Nice acidity and slight tannins make for a nice mouthfeel. The mid palate is rather one dimensional, yet the tannins start to grip at this point. The finish is interesting with the tannins still coating the gums along with some mint and violet. Really interesting bottle. 89 points with a drinking window of 2015/2020
PS. After an hour this wine has really mellowed, opened up and that mid palate issue I had is gone. 90 points now. 4 stars at $15. Tasty and worthwhile cellaring a few bottles. Salut….
A Columbia Valley charmer that Moxie picked up a while back. She meant to make Sangria and bought a bunch of different whites to try. The party never materialized so I got to open her choices. This one was very pale gold in the glass and had aromas of pineapple, citrus, cantaloupe and ginger. It was not as acidic as I like but had a mouthful of lemon/lime, melon and some apple. A mid palate switch to blood oranges and the spice mix again. 87 points and 3 stars for this $11 wine. Drink now with light fare or by the pool on a hot day. It has a unique flavor profile that should appeal to many as an easy drinker. Salut….