A slightly dull purple in the glass, gives me concern. On the nose however- violets, black currants, a touch of oak. On the palate it is much darker- blackberry, cherry extract, graphite and singed oak. There is a leather component too, it just comes along later, towards the mid palate. The wine transitions very nicely with good tannic structure that is not obtrusive and acidic enough to balance. This is the third wine of Brane Cantenac, a Second Growth Margaux. They use the young plots for source fruit, giving us an approachable young wine that drinks very nicely with good mouthfeel and medium term cellaring potential. 90 points from me for this $29 effort that gets 3 stars. Drink now till 2024. Salut….
Typical Pinot Noir in the glass, light, reddish, totally see through. I can smell it from four feet away, the waft is amazing. It’s rather young on the nose- cherries, mushroom, spruce. On the initial palate it presents with loads of fine grained tannins. The fruit comes later. Cherry, strawberry, balsamic essence and cola hit me. The mid palate is one-dimensional- sour bing cherry. The tannins really grip on the finish and leave me with a very dry set of gums, almost painful- which is rare for me and Pinot. The finish also shows off rhubarb, the sour kind. The acidity presents itself in mysterious ways some times! There is a uniqueness to this wine, I can’t pinpoint it. Could it be the freshness of the acidity, the gushing amounts of tannin or the way it leaves my mouth feeling? Anyways- I am enjoying it and will probably run some through the Vinturi to soften it a bit. For now, 90 points and 4 stars for this $45 bottle. Drink from 2022-2033. Salut….
Rich purple hues in the glass with classic Bordeaux notes on the palate. Cassis, lovely oak and dark cherry are dominant on the nose. On the palate it is slightly thinner than expected but its litheness is appreciated. Plums, blackberry reduction, black olives and charcoal dominate the initial palate. Very lithe tannins peak on the mid palate with very slight acidity countering them. The finish is where the astringency kicks in with black tea, black currants and spice box. This wine is drinking very nicely now and will improve over the next 10 years. 92 points and 4 stars for this $55 Grand Cru. Salut….
Very dark in the glass. The nose is plummy with sweet black currant syrup hints. The palate has black currants, espresso and nutmeg notes. Mouth drying tannins appear on the mid-palate where I get big doses of coffee and charcoal. The tannins really grip on the finish. The wine begs for aeration or a juicy ribeye. The acidity is there, somewhere. I just can’t sense it. Overall- quite tasty, young and in need of cellaring or aerating. Drink till 2026 with hearty fare. 88 points from me which is in stark contrast with the monster 92+ points the pros gave it. I think a re-taste is in order. For now this $20 effort gets 3 stars. Salut….
This was the fourth wine of the tasting evening, which may have included a bit of palate fatigue but we all agreed it was the nicest. The 2015 Bordeaux vintage shows its excellence here.
Medium to dark black in the glass. Cassis, black berry coulis and some gaminess. On the palate it reeks of Bordeaux- cassis, dark berries, oak and grippy tannins. The mid palate is where the astringency kicks in with a black tea component and some decent blackberry jam notes. The finish is totally dry. Short length on the flavors but the tannins are in full force. 90 points and 4 stars for this $45 wine. Drink till 2027. Salut….
I have sat on this one for a while, letting the Burgundian volatility settle and hopefully get some tertiary flavors, a little funk all the while maintaining fruit composition and freshness.
In the glass it is somewhat darker than expected for a Pinot Noir. On the nose- cherry, funky forest floor, mushrooms and game. The palate is definitely on track- Garrigue, cherry, balsamic reduction and rooibos tea all come to mind. The mid palate has an unripe cherry note, or is it sour pomegranate? And dare I say- cork taste (as in chewing on the edge of a dry crumbly cork). Very peculiar but interesting nonetheless. The tannins are hitting my lower gums at this point, with a hint of acidity. The finish is full on cherry, with a pucker from some tea as the tannins are astringent, but nice. This wine is young. It will evolve further and the tannins will meld better. I see some more development with the secondary flavors but hope the unripe cherry component doesn’t remain. Overall a tasty wine that will do well with the charcoal grilled Strips and mashed potatoes I’m pairing it with. 91 points and 4 stars for this $50 effort. Drink till 2027. Salut….
The wine is see-through, medium purple with nice legs. On the nose it lacks immediate scents- I am swirling like crazy to finally get strawberry and capsicum. On the palate I taste kirsch, strawberry and rhubarb. A nice crunchy acidity accompanied the fruit from the get go. On the mid palate it is more red currants with some berry hints. The tannins kick in on the very end where the finish is red fruits and a touch of oak. 89 points and 4 stars for this entry level Burgundy that ran $23. Drink till 2024 with skirt steak, Cornish hen or cheese and crackers. Salut….
Very pale yellow, probably the lightest colored wine I have ever seen. The nose has pineapple, quince, peach and nectarines. On the palate it is enticing- mainly peaches to begin with. There’s a petroleum note that typifies the varietal alongside some yellow apples. Super tasty mind you, with some focused acidity to keep things sharp. The midpalate has some enjoyable flab, a weightiness that fills the mouth and adds to the body. The finish gets all serious with some flinty minerality, a resurgence of the apple theme as well as the nectarines and is medium in length and smooth. Overall this is a terrific wine that gets 92 points from me. Drink till 2025. $45 is rather steep, but this one’s a keeper that gets 4 stars. Salut….
Really rich hues of purple in the glass. The nose contains a certain funk…. not sure if that blows away. Earthy, plum, iodine and ink all come to mind while swirling. The initial palate is typical for the region. Bold, punchy and full of black fruits. Great balance between the medium tannins and acidity alongside a dollop of blackberry jam. The midpalate is drier, more primal. The dark fruits hold on and overcome the tannic bite, barely. This wine is a seesaw of fruit vs. structure- I’m loving it. The finish is long, dry with heaps of blackberry, oregano and olives. Very much in-your-face. 91 points, drink till 2024 with charcuterie, roasted game, lamb chops or a hearty pasta. This is tasty stuff folks. 5 stars for the $17 price tag. Salut….
Really pretty peach color. On the nose- fragrant and fruity with strawberry, apricot and orange peel. The palate is refreshing, weightier than I imagined and true to the strawberry core with orange zest and quince being the primary flavors. A very finely balanced acidity makes for a nice mouthfeel, not overly tart yet reminding me of its presence. The mid palate has a glycerin feel to it . The finish is orange peel and kumquat, decent in length. 89 points and 4 stars for this $12 Rose’. We drank it with charcuterie. Salut….