Once a year (the third Thursday in November to be precise) the French release the Beaujolais Nouveau. Super bright shade of purple, totally opaque. The nose is very fruity- black cherries, blackcurrants, cherry cola and sassafras. The palate is lively with lots of purple fruit, gobs of acidity and some licorice notes. Primal, this wine is meant to be drunk right away, yet it seems to have a bit of stuffing in there that may allow it to cellar for a year or two. There’s a sour cherry note that carries this wine through to the medium length finish. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The Nouveau movement started as a marketing ploy, got very popular in the 80’s and waned a bit of late. It’s a fun, basic wine that is nearly perfect for Thanksgiving and is easy to drink. Gamay based wines are served by the bucketload in the bistros of Paris, normally chilled ever so slightly they make a great red for a hot summers lunch. This one will fill that role nicely in the coming 12 months. 87 points. $13 and 3 stars. This brand changes the label every year, cool stuff. Salut….
It’s Thanksgiving today and I am opening some stunners tonight, this was the first red. Nearly black in the glass and opaque AF. This wine is blowing me away on the nose- cassis, tobacco, leather and the umami of dried mushrooms. On the palate this Bordeaux beauty is at peak. The primal fruit has given way to the most amazing tertiary notes that we can only hope to taste in mature wine. Earth, funk, leather, Maduro tobacco, rich cassis and a hint of tannins on the very back end. It is stunning, graceful, developed and powerful in a staid manner. I’m floored that this mediocre, hot vintage has held itself together for 17 years and rewarded my cellaring in such an amazing manner. 95 points for tonights bottle which is a massive step up from the last time I drank a Magnum of the stuff. You can read my original notes here. Not cheap, nor is it easy to find- at $150 for a regular size or close to $350 for the big boy. 5 stars with a drink now window. Yummm. Salut….
This Pinot hails from the Pays d’Oc region in France. It is light purple and see through. The nose has light red fruit notes, boysenberry and a dusty earth component. On the palate it is richer than expected. Red raspberry, bramble and a cherry reduction with some lithe acidity greet me. The mid palate continues the red fruit theme with just a hint of tannin. The finish is very smooth and nicely balanced. Although not a very complex wine, it has some weight and good fruit flavor to handle many dishes. Roast chicken comes to mind, as does Salmon on the grill. I would drink till 2023. 90 points and for $20 it gets 4 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….
Dark purple and semi opaque. The nose is rich, spicy with black pepper and gamy with bacon fat plus plum reduction. On the palate this wine is mature- rich plums, raspberry extract, gamy notes and earthiness. Slightly stewed prunes hint at the age of this wine. Bakers spice and super fine grained tannins highlight the midpalate but it’s the flavor of dried mushrooms being reconstituted with a salty umami component that really carry the moment. The finish is rather short but l get sour cherry, raspberries and dark chocolate. This wine will appeal to lovers of mature old world wines that are earthy, loaded with terroir and have tones of tertiary flavors. For me- 89 points but drink sooner rather than later. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Muscardin and Counoise that runs $40 and gets 3 stars. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass with weepy legs. The nose is bright citrus, cut grass and green apple. It smells fresh and inviting. On the palate it is quite rounded and full. Nice flavors of Pomelo, lemon zest and green apple are kept fresh with a touch of acidity. The mid palate cuts more with lemons and a herbaceous note. The finish is a delight- long and generous with the citrus notes whilst not too tart. There is a warmth to this wine even though I am tasting it chilled, the mouthfeel is great. I am enjoying it thoroughly and will pair with Beef Bulgogi, a Korean dish. The spices will work well with the lower acidity of this Sauvignon Blanc. 90 points and 4 stars for this $26 wine that you should drink till 2023. Salut….
It’s not often I get to drink an iconic wine, but when friends have a bottle for a special occasion and I get to taste- it’s magic.
Rich gold in the glass. The nose is stunning- honey, waxy tangerine, nutmeg and apricot. On the palate it’s super rich with unctuous layers of peach, honey, almonds, apricots and honeysuckle. The mouthfeel is full bodied with palate filling sweetness, a hint of acidity and tons of nuances that keep me coming back for more. What an amazing wine that gets 95 points. Spectacular but young, drink till 2040. If you can find it in 750ml, it will run close to $300. Ours was a smaller 375 ml that gets it 5 stars. Salut….
Dark purple and opaque. The nose has a dusty waft to it that took a bit of swirling to dissipate. Cedar shake, plum reduction and toasted pine nuts finally come through. On the palate it is very smooth with a concentrated core of blueberry, cassis, cedar, tobacco and leather- classic Pauillac. The wine picks up some dusty tannins on the mid palate and the fruit gets concentrated and focused. The tertiary flavors take a back seat temporarily while the blueberry and cassis really shine. The finish is a touch tart with some rooibos tea along with the fruit theme that has persisted along with some oaky vanilla. It’s still young with staying power . Drink till 2027. 92 points and 4 stars for this $135 Fifth Growth. Salut….
Orange, bricked and nearly see through in the glass. Stewed prunes, almonds, port and raisins on the nose. Tinny and over the hill but it has some reticent notes of steeped raspberries, traces of tannins and a modicum of acidity. It’s too bad that this one is past it’s due date cause I reckon it would have been a decent wine. No score or points. Salut….
Gorgeous pale orange color. Nose of strawberries, lemon peel and some clementine. On the palate it is bright with those same flavors, a touch of acidity and a long finish. It’s got a great mouthfeel and just the right amount cut to keep it refreshing, light and flavorful. A delicious way to start the evening. Drink this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault now with appetizers. 88 points and 4 stars, $12. Salut….