A Washington state Cabernet that is nearly opaque with a deep ruby color and thick legs (14.8% ABV). The nose has rich aromas of vanilla bean, ripe black plum, blackberry, black cherry, green pepper and boysenberry. The palate is dry with medium (+) tannins and medium acidity. Medium to full bodied, I get flavors of dark fruit, lots of oak influence and that green pepper note. I lose the vanilla somewhat but gain charred wood instead. The finish is a dry affair and medium in length. This wine drinks nicely now- if you like them a bit dry and tannic. Cellaring potential till 2028, I would serve this with hearty red meat dishes, rich pasta and stews. 90 points and for $40 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
It’s mid-June and I need a refreshing drink. This one is labelled as a Brut, meaning it can have up to 12 g/l of sugar. After a bit of digging I found it runs 6.3 g/l, just slightly into the Brut category. It shows 11.5% ABV, which is normal for a traditional method sparkling wine. The color is medium lemon and the mousse is quite fine. On the nose I get aromas of brioche, Meyer lemon zest, cinnamon, toast, biscuit, Mandarin orange and vanilla lollipop. The palate is actually quite dry with delightfully fine bubbles that tickle ever so slightly. Medium acidity creates a defining cut to the wine and the autolytic flavors I got on the nose are all present with the citrusy notes focusing more on a lemon and Meyer lemon profile with a touch of green apple. I don’t get any vanilla or cinnamon at this stage. The finish is medium in length and the wine is very balanced. I have to say, this $12 sparkling wine is a stunning value that gets 89 points from me. This 5 star effort is one to buy by the case to have handy, you never know! I’m pairing mine with clams and pasta. Drink now. Salut….
Deep ruby colored, this Merlot shows off its 15% ABV with thick legs in the glass. The nose has rich aromas of ripe raspberry, black cherry, vanilla, caramel and red licorice. The palate is dry with slightly green tannins, medium acidity and medium intensity flavors. The body is medium (+) on this juicy wine. The mid palate is a touch astringent that also shows some charcoal notes. The finish is dry and somewhat tart, reminiscent of sour cherries and black tea. It’s a decent drop that gets 89 points from me. I would imagine this will drink till 2025 and pair well with grilled meats and charcuterie. $22 makes this a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….
I’m an old fan of this winery, having been a tasting room member at one point. This Cabernet hails from Columbia Valley. It is a touch murky with medium shades of purple in the glass. The nose has steeped plums, charcoal and blackberry pie. The palate is really yummy- if not at peak, it’s close. Ripe plums, cedar, black berry and espresso. The mid palate is very refined with very well integrated tannins and good acidity. The dark, mature fruit theme continues but what impresses me the most is the mouthfeel. It is really full, rounded and balanced. The finish is very juicy, the acidity really gripping at this point. The prune and blackberry flavors fade after a decent amount of time but the tannins hang on to my gums for an eternity. Lovely stuff that gets 89 points from me. It should be drunk sooner rather than later and for $17, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
A medium shade of yellow in the glass with hints of lemon and pear on the nose. The palate is light, refreshing and pretty mild on the pH scale. Lemon drop and yellow pear dominate thew flavor profile but I get a hint of pineapple which is quite intriguing. The tartness starts to show up on the mid palate, where this light-bodied wine gives off more of the pineapple notes. The finish is relatively short and introduces a hint of lanolin, but the main components are the lemon and pineapple. It’s a nice, easygoing drop of un/barely oaked chardonnay that is not flabby or buttery. It reflects the grapes and minimalist intervention. For $15, it get 3 stars as I am going with 86 points. Drink till 2024 with shrimp scampi, salad nicoise, or even a chicken pie. Salut….
I love Cab Franc as a standalone varietal. It offers up so much sophistication, is svelte and has great structure. Found mainly in blends, it does really well on its own in my book. This one is bright purple and semi opaque in the glass. The nose is exploding as it just sits there, I can smell it a mile away. Black pepper, violets, spice box and black raspberry all greet me. The palate is very muscular and fruity. Rich purple fruit notes alongside the spiciness make for an interesting taste. Very nice tannins are present from the get go, but not over powering. Oak nuances are present as is a fair dose of acidity. The mid palate is a touch less dry, with the flavors turning a little darker. Black currants take over alongside some tea notes. The finish is quite dry and decent in length. I am enjoying this rather full bodied wine, it’s not as perfumed and lithe as I was expecting but it will rock my Goat stew for dinner. Other pairings would include grilled Hanger steak with Frites or even Lamb Chops with mint sauce. 90 points for this $12 stunner make it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Washington State Cab Sav is a murky, dark shade of purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get a whiff of alcohol followed by plums, black currants and cedar shake. The palate starts off with a healthy dose of tannins and black fruit salad. When I say healthy, I mean teeth coating astringency- wow. The fruit flavors are having a hella time trying to get center stage here. The mid palate has black currants and tea notes that are vying for space with the grip of tannins. On the finish it is a very dry affair that is short lived from the fruit. I need to get the Vinturi out and re-try. I picked the right wine for tonight’s pairing- Picanha steaks, which have a thick edge of fat in need of some hefty tannins. This wine has tremendous structure and will cellar nicely for a few years but if you need it now, aerate it or you will be lost in a sea of mouth searing tannins. Overall I think this wine will end up really nice and considering the aging capacity I am going with 90 points. It retails for $23 and gets 5 stars from me. Drink from 2023 till 2027. Salut….
Pale gold. The nose is sugary- apple juice meets apricot jam. On the palate it’s quite sweet with great minerality, nice acidity and notes of apple cider and green apple pie. A great midpalate with medium level acidity and some mouth filling glycerine. It’s delicious, sweet but not unctuous and has a nice cut with a great, rounded mouthfeel. It would work well post prandial or as an aperitif but I feel it would need some Foie Gras to mellow out the acidity and sweetness. I’m really enjoying it. 92 points and 5 stars- $15 for 500ml bottle. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Pale yellow with a combo of medium and large bubbles. On the nose l get biscuits, some green apple and grapefruit. The palate is medium dry with good fizz. Yellow apples, a touch of citrus and more of that biscuit flavor all meld nicely with the bubbles on the palate. The wine lacks any serious acidity but it drinks nicely at our Thanksgiving brunch. 87 points and 4 stars for this $13 quaffer. Makes a great Mimosa btw. Salut….
This was our first wine at the #7 virtual tasting event. It turned out to be my wine of the night. Charles Smith makes good wine, and is very reasonable. I’m a fan and was happy this wine rocked.
We tasted the wine at room temp and chilled. I preferred the room temp wine as it had a far wider nose, more generous fruit flavors and was more complex. The chilled version was still very good. Apples, lemon, pineapple and pear notes were recorded with the first tasting while Granny Smith apples, honeysuckle and more acidity were noted with the chilled version. It’s difficult for me to do a proper tasting while conducting the virtual tastings but this wine gets an overall score of 91 from me. At $12 per bottle this needs to bought by the case, 5 stars. Drink till 2023. Salut….