Deep purple- gamy on the nose with licorice, garigue, raspberry and black fruit. Charred wood notes and stewed blackberry finish it off. On the palate this Grenache/Syrah blend is dry with somewhat coarse tannins, medium (-) acidity and a medium body. I get definitive game and earthy notes with dark red fruit and oak influence from the charred wood. Licorice is quite present. The tannins smooth out towards the back end where the finish is medium in length and includes a Lapsang Souchong tea component. A very serviceable wine that gets 88 points from me to drink till 2026. At $13 it’s a relative bargain that gets 4 stars. Salut….
I was at a wine class last night and this GSM blend was one of the wines we tasted. Having recently tried the 2016 vintage I wanted to re-visit this as a follow on. It is deep ruby, bordering on purple. The nose has medium (+) intensity aromas of black raspberry, black plum, blackberry, mint? and white pepper. The palate of this dry wine has medium tannins, medium (-) acidity, medium body, medium (+) intensity flavors of the black fruit already mentioned and a cassis-like sweetness on the mid palate. There is very little oak influence that I can sense. The finish is mid length and grippy. I like this very serviceable wine that runs $15 and gets 91 points from me. I would drink this with strip steak till 2026. 5 stars. Salut….
I’m having Cassoulet for dinner. For grins I went online to see what others would pair with this rustic French dish of white beans, Duck Confit and sausage. Well, well- they all recommended a French wine, with deference to the southern regions. This bottle is a 50/50 blend of old vine Grenache and old vine Syrah from the North and Southern Rhone. It is slightly cloudy and a deep shade of ruby. The nose has pronounced aromas of black plum, black raspberry, smoke, meat, licorice, espresso, açaí and black pepper. That’s quite complex for a $20 bottle! The palate is tannic right off the bat. Black fruit and red fruit combine with spice and oak nuance that are all enveloped in a mouth coating dryness from the tannins along with juicy acidity. Full bodied, this 14.5% ABV wine is a not for the feint of heart- it is full throttle with the fruit, the tannins, the acidity and the mouthfeel. It has a mid length finish that remains quite mouth-puckering from the relentless tannic grip. I hope my dish mellows this 92 point wine out somewhat! Being an NV, I am not sure when it was made but this bottle will last till 2030 at the least. 5 stars. Salut….
I like this brand, they offer unique Rhone blends with different names for each vintage and varietal. This Grenache happens to be a $30 wine that scored 94 points with several pros- I loved it too!
Opaque. Bright aromas of plum, blueberry, black cherry, licorice, raspberry, white pepper, earth, cloves and charred wood. The palate is very smooth with a hint of sweetness from the fruit, albeit a dry wine. There are some very integrated tannins and a balanced acidity. Yummy flavors of raspberry, blueberry, black cherry, white pepper spice, cloves and some smoke from the oak with a touch of licorice. Medium bodied. This wine hides its 14.5%ABV nicely. The finish is mid length and dry as the tannins grip a bit more. 91 points/5 stars, drink with steaks till 2028. Salut….
This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. It is semi opaque with shades of ruby in the glass. The nose is pronounced with aromas of raspberries, red licorice, red plum with floral notes of violets and honeysuckle. The palate is juicy, tart and shows off medium tannins. The red fruit driven flavors are very much evident as is the acidity. Very deft use of oak and the fact that it is Grenache based make for a very easy mouthfeel without too much complexity. It is a nice sipping wine that will drink well till 2028. I’m pairing it with Cumberland sausages, onion gravy and mashed potatoes. 89 points from me for this $14 Rhone wine make it a 4 star effort. Salut….
I have a bottle of the famous Pegau from CDP in my cellar so when I saw this little brother- I had to try it. A blend of Grenache 60%, Syrah 20%, Mourvèdre 10%, Cinsault 10% it is opaque ruby. Nose is medium intense with raspberry, red plum, black pepper, game, black currant, vanilla and clove. The palate has medium (+) tannins, medium acidity and medium body. The fruit flavors are medium intensity and carry through to a decent length finish that is laced with grippy tannins. This is a young, delicious Rhone wine that can be drunk young or cellar till 2030. 91 points gets this $15 bottle 5 stars. Drink with rustic foods, stews or Venison. Salut….
Fall has kicked off, and with the chillier weather I feel the need for some heart-warming fare. Cassoulet is on the books and it requires a hearty French red in my opinion. This wine is a Grenache based blend with some Syrah and Mourvedre that packs a 15% ABV punch and is pretty opaque in the glass. Ruby in color, it looks a touch cloudy. On the nose I get white pepper, red plum, red cherry, coffee and charred wood. The palate is delicious- raspberry and red cherry with lush oak by way of coffee and charcoal. White pepper notes come out on the mid palate where the tannins start to gently grip. The acidity is finely balanced and the mouthfeel is great. Medium to full bodied, this wine has depth and complexity. The finish is mid length and really shows off the red fruit and tannins. I am enjoying this wine pre-dinner but think it will go well with my pairing. Other ideas would be grilled chops, hearty stews or the obvious- a thick steak. Drink this rather young wine till 2028. 91 points from me and at $27 a pop, 5 stars. Salut….
The second wine of the 12th virtual wine tasting was this NV blend of Grenache and Syrah. Semi opaque in the glass it had a medium purple shade. The tasters noted chocolate, white pepper, Kirsch, marshmallow s’mores, dark cherry, cedar, charcoal with earth, funk, spice and a nutty component. On the palate the wine had black pepper, lots of it. Cedar, cola, Birch and black cherry. For me, the tannins came out of nowhere to a big crescendo on the finish. The pepper component was a hit with some, for others it was just a tad overpowering. This wine was ranked very highly with the pros and cost us $23. I am giving it 89 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2022 (this wine is a mixed vintage of 2015/16). Salut….
This is one dark, opaque wine in the glass. On the nose I get some red currants, violets, crushed stone minerality and blueberry. The palate is delicious- ripe blueberry, licorice, rooibos tea and cranberry flavors are all intermingled with very fine grained tannins. The mid palate introduces a touch of acidity and the finish is where this wine really shines. It has a lovely mouthfeel, good balance and the fruit flavors go on for 30 seconds. Those lithe tannins slowly ramp up to give me a touch of dryness on the gums and teeth. Just what I needed for a Fall evening with some hearty foods to include Veal Shnitzel and mashed potatoes. I am really enjoying this wine and would suggest a drinking window until 2025. This Syrah/Grenache blend gets 91 points from me. At $11- six stars if I could. Salut….
The second wine of our tasting lineup showed bright purple in the glass with nice legs giving caution to the 14.5% alcohol. I listened to all the inputs from our group and concurred that this wine had loads of pepper, game, plum and garrigue. The longer the wine sat out, the smoother it got and the terroir really shone. Mass produced yet very good at 91 points from me. Drink this blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre till 2027 with stews, leg of lamb or a hearty pasta. 5 stars for this sub $15 ringer. Salut….