Pretty purple color with long legs showing. On the nose it is enticing with blackberry, cola, toasty oak and black cherry. The palate echoes those dark notes alongside juicy acidity and tight grained tannins. There’s an inky component on the mid palate and those tannins just keep on going. The finish has some licorice alongside black cherry and that oak note. It’s a very pleasurable wine with nice, young mouthfeel that will entertain a hearty meal, steaks, pasta or some rich cheese. I really like it and for $12, would stock some for a dark stormy night to sip on by the fire. Drink till 2026. 90 points and 5 stars. Salut….
Quite pale yellow in the glass with fine grained legs belying it’s 13% alcohol. On the nose I get lemon zest, minerality and slate. I’m expecting a cutting wine versus a sweet version of this varietal. On the palate I was wrong, it’s not tart, bracing or edgy. It has a warmth that surrounds yellow apples with lemon curd. The acidity is well in check but still obviously present. There’s a raw lemon component that appears on the midpalate and there is a nuttiness too. The mouthfeel transitions to a racier version with some nice honeyed notes on the mid-length finish. Very tasty and flexible, this one is going to pair nicely with my blackened salmon. Drink till 2030. 90 points and 4 stars for this $25 effort. (The pro’s went way higher BTW). Salut….
Dark and brooding in the glass. The nose offers up sweet blackberries, vanilla bean and tea. On the palate that blackberry component is straight up in your face. Lithe tannins are the second wave and then I get a wood note, well integrated. The mid palate continues that dark berry theme alongside more astringent tea. There’s a plum jam component that I get on the back end that adds to the equation, as well as some long toothed tannins that keep on delivering that mouth puckering goodness. This wine is young but approachable if you like it this way. You could cellar till 2022, or go for it now. Drink till 2030. 90 points and for the $22 I paid- 5 stars. Salut….
It’s been a while since I drank some of this old perennial favorite. This vintage shows dark purple in the glass. On the nose- charcoal, blackberry and fig. The palate is very pleasant and easy drinking. There are blackberry notes, tar, wintergreen and crunchy tannins. They dry the gums immediately but not excessively. The mid palate is much the same, black fruits abound. The tannins really go the distance and lead me to the finish of blackberry pie meets a slate. There is quite a bit of minerality alongside the tannic thrust. The wine is well balanced and well made. There’s a reason I drank a crapload of it in the early days, it offers good value for money. Drink till 2025 with a nice NY Strip and creamed spinach. I’m going 88 points and 5 stars for $9. Salut….
Very dark bluish purple in the glass with very fine legs, indicative of the 12.5% alcohol. On the nose it is purple fruit, blackberry, damson and cinnamon. The palate is surprisingly fresh, I was expecting a more traditional attack. This one pops with plums, black cherry and lithe tannins. The mid palate gives me cola, black cherry and some strawberry jam. Strange, I know. The finale is really a nice, smooth, fruity affair with really well tamed tannins holding the blackberry and cola flavors on for a good 30 seconds. There is a trace of acidic bite, but it is appropriate and balances the nice tannins. This is a tasty, decent wine that gets 91 points from me. I would drink right away until 2024 with lighter meat dishes, perhaps beer-can chicken or even roast duck breast. Strangely enough the Decanter score of 95 was opposite to the mid 80’s score given by others. I think this is a steal at $20 and it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
The third tasting of this amazing wine over several years. Bright purple, but with quite a lot of sediment- the nose is classic Pauillac. Cassis, leather, tobacco and hazelnuts. The palate is rich, refined, smooth and very balanced. The primary fruits have given way to tertiary notes of blackberry reduction, that musky leather, dry tobacco and damson torte. There’s a touch of oak, by way of a vanilla note that I’m enjoying. The nuttiness I caught on the nose reappears on the mid palate where I do get some plums alongside the cassis. The tannins gradually build up and really peak on the finish- with black tea, cassis and cinnamon. Delicious and still young. This is a 94 point wine that just keeps getting better. Drink till 2029. Getting pricy at $175 now but tasty as hell and worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
We just had a delightful dinner at our favorite restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois located in the D.C suburbs. They have a great wine list but this evening was a very special occasion so I took a bottle of the amazing 2000 Lynch Bages to start off with. It was spectacular and did not last long. We needed more vino and my friend wanted a Pinot. I figured we should order something a little more stout, Gevrey being the obvious choice in a French restaurant.
See-through medium intensity purple. On the nose sage brush, cherry, oregano. On the palate it’s very smooth with cherries, cedar, asparagus and lithe tannins. Medium intensity acidity gives the wine a cutting edge without sourness. The mid palate shows raspberries alongside the cherry- very tasty and full bodied. The finish is all sour cherry with acidity, medium tannins and a touch of wood. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 Burgundy. Drink till 2035. Salut….
This rose’ is quite dark, almost orange in the glass. On the nose I get Lychee, rose water and strawberry. The palate is crisp, with red berries, strawberry and honey. There is a vibrant acidity which is in check that gives the wine a freshness. The honey component carries through the mid palate where I get more red berries. The finish is decent with a lingering tartness alongside that strawberry component. Overall a very charming and easy drinking summer rose’ that begs for burgers, some salami and olives or just by itself poolside. 88 points and 3 stars for this $12 Grenache from France. Drink till 2020. Salut….
Really dark purple, very striking. On the nose I get blackcurrant, nutmeg and tobacco. The palate has some nice black fruits and an astringency that is a touch heavy. It’s not tannic, perhaps from green stems left in contact with the juice for too long. It takes a turn for the better on the mid palate- more Ribena and a touch of oak. The finish is quite dry with the appearance of some nice tannins alongside a mineral tone that melds nicely with the currants. Overall a decent wine that is slightly out of kilter at the beginning with the astringency but it comes around. 89 points= 3 stars for this $25 wine. Drink till 2025 with hearty stews, or a lamb chop and mint. Salut….
Many moons ago Moxie and I went to Paris on one of several trips to that great city. Drinking wine in the cafe’s I noticed that sometimes they would serve a red wine slightly chilled. Turns out, that’s how they enjoy their Beaujolais wines, which are made in a slightly different method and use the Gamay grape. Many are designed to be drunk young, as in weeks old, while there are several Cru wines that have some aging capacity. I bought a few bottles of this Fleurie to savor in the heat of the summer after they had a slight chill.
This one is quite dark purple and just barely see-through. It gives off typical Gamay notes of black currants alongside oak, charcoal and violets. On the palate I get definitive black currants and cedar shavings. There is a surprising level of tannin alongside some black tea notes. There is a nice level of acidity to balance and the wine leaves me wanting more. The mid palate is really quite dry, bolstering the blackberry flavors and giving me a peak of Ribena as we go to the finish. The wine has a long dry streak at the end but it does it with finesse and plenty of black fruits. The pros were all over the scoring table with this one, ranging from 86-91. I think it drinks nicely now and will cellar till 2024. 90 points and 4 stars for this $18 wine. Pair with roasted birds, potato and leek rosti or with some soft, ripe Brie. Salut….