Deep lemon color, bordering on gold this dry Riesling has got 5 years of bottle age and I’m looking forward to some tertiary notes. On the nose I get ripe, tropical fruit- passion fruit, pineapple and honeysuckle. Tertiary notes of orange marmalade and orange peel, honey and the aging hints of ginger and toast. Th palate is delicious. As mentioned, it is a dry wine that has no residual sugar, as is made obvious by the 13% ABV which gives this wine some nice body. Good acidity is held in check by the weight of the fruit and I taste all the above plus chamomile tea. Oh my, this is a scrumptious wine that is only just starting its journey. I was hoping for that telltale petrol note, but alas , this wine is still young for a Grand Cru Riesling. That note will probably take another 5 years to appear. The finish is long and honeyed. This is good stuff that will drink nicely till 2036. I’m pairing it with shrimp and salad. 94 points from me for this $60 wine makes it a 5 star wine, glad I bought a few. Salut….
I’m grilling Beef Tri-tip tonight so a hearty French red will do the trick. This blend of Grenache and Mourvedre is semi opaque ruby with watery legs which is a bit suspect as the label clearly states 15% ABV! The nose has got good red fruit flavors of raspberry, redcurrant, oak nuances of charred wood and clove alongside pepper, cinnamon and some meaty characteristics-perhaps from the dash of Mourvedre? Anyways, the palate is super smooth with gorgeously integrated tannins, medium acidity and medium body. The mouthfeel is stupendous. All the aromas I got are mirrored on the palate with some Rooibos tea as well. The mid palate and finish are where the tannins start to grip a touch, nothing overdone. The back end is very smooth and it lasts a good long while. A very impressive wine that is ready to go and will last till 2030 at the very least. 93 points from me and at $34 it is a great intro to yummy Southern Rhone wines. 5 stars. Salut….
I take my WSET Level 3 exam tomorrow night so I thought I would get a sparkler in before the deadline. This one is pale lemon in color and has medium bubbles/mousse. The nose is of medium intensity with aromas of green apple, lemon, bread, biscuit and herbs. The palate is dry (A Brut can have 0-12 g/l of residual sugar). Medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, delicate mousse and medium intensity flavors of biscuit, lemon, green apple and those herbs, it’s actually quite simple. The finish is medium in length and certainly tangy from the acid. If you like dry (ie. not a touch of sweetness) sparkling wine made in the Method Trtaditionelle which imparts the bread/yeast/brioche/dough flavors then this charming $20 wine is right up your alley. 88 points from me make it a 3 star effort. I’m thinking oysters. Drink now. Salut….
In the final throes of studying for my WSET Level 3 exam comes the single page of text devoted to Fortified Muscats- well I had to try one. This particular bottle came in 375ml and costs $25. The wine is medium gold and has watery legs even though it sports a 15% ABV since it’s has been fortified. It has a pronounced nose, ie I get a whiff when approaching the glass. The aromas are perfume, rose water, lychee and flowers. Delicious notes, but rather simple. The palate is medium (-) sweet and viscous. Medium (-) acidity and low alcohol gives me a medium weight body. The palate reveals medium (+) intensity flavors of rose, lychee, orange peel and apricots. The finish is medium in length and very satisfying. I really like this style- it’s a touch fresher than a Botrytised wine and the aromatics of the Muscat grape are heavenly. Overall this wine would be classed as good in the Lexicon and I am awarding it 89 points and 3 stars. I will probably buy more as Moxie and I really enjoyed it. Drink with desserts till 2025 as it will age a bit and hopefully pick up some tertiary notes. Salut….
This Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot weighs in at 13.5% ABV, a welcome change from some of the bombs I have had recently. It is medium ruby in the glass and has a medium intensity nose. The aromas I get are black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, plum, black tea, red licorice, mint and very subtle oak. Not at all what I was expecting- red fruits in a Cab? On the palate it is dry with juicy acidity. The tannins are grippy and a touch underripe. The flavors are somewhat muted but I do get the raspberry, some sour cherry and plum. Black tea shows up on the mid-palate and the deft oak is barely perceptible. The acidity is quite high on the finish as is the tannic grip. The fruit fades quickly and I am left feeling like I stuffed a tea pouch between my cheeks. I must say- this is a bit young and the fruit is hiding. Give it time. The pros went 92+ points and for $23 it’s a theoretical steal worthy of 5 stars. I am reserving judgement and will open the other two bottles in a few years. Drink from 2023-2030. Salut….
I’ve been sitting on a few bottles of Burgundy for years- tonight’s beef dish calls for a Pinot Noir so here goes. Pale garnet in color which is to be expected for an 11-year old wine. The nose is amazing, exactly what I was hoping for. Pronounced aromas of earth, garrigue, dried red cherry, walnut, prune, stewed strawberry, funky barnyard and white pepper. Tertiary aromas galore from prolonged cellaring. The palate shows some fresh fruit but the bulk of the pronounced flavors are of stewed or dried red fruit, nuts, earthy components and funk along with gentle acidity and lithe tannins. The wine is very balanced and light to mid weight. Low alcohol at 13% ABV makes for a crisp mouthfeel and no heat. I like the delicacy of this wine and am grateful that it matured in the manner it has. My patience has been rewarded by this $50 gem that gets 92 points from me. I believe it will last till 2026 and will go well with roasted poultry, beef Burgundy or even Venison. 5 stars. Salut….
I’m cooking Beef Bourguignon which calls for a Pinot Noir, preferably from Burgundy. As luck would have it I happen to have two bottles of this $10 South of France wine ready to go. The skeptics will question whether you can get decent Pinot for that price- I’m here to report. It looks about right: pale, see-through ruby. Medium density aromas of primal red cherry, pomegranate, stewed strawberry and a spice note. Not overly complex, but interesting nonetheless. The palate is very pleasant with red fruits including cherry, light tannins, medium acidity and a decent length finish. Very little if any oak was used here, freshness and price were probably the prime considerations. I like it for what it is and considering most of it will end up in the stew- I think it works great! 87 points from me makes this a 3 star wine to be drunk asap. Salut….
I recently tried the 2019 Lamothe and enjoyed it- so when the latest bottling came out I had to give it a go. I’m banging up some clams in garlic and butter, this crisp wine is hopefully the perfect pairing. It is quite a deep lemon color in the glass. The aromas are quite pronounced and I get lemon zest, honeysuckle, asparagus, geranium and pineapple. The palate is dry, with medium acidity and medium weight body. The alcohol is low at 12.5% which makes for a crisp mouthfeel. The flavors are quite pronounced and echo the nose although I also get some lychee and other tropical notes. It’s quite complex for a basic white Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc that runs $15. I am thinking 90 points and 5 stars, drink now for the freshness. Salut….
Dinner is Jamaican Jerk Pork. A spicy dish that needs careful consideration for a pairing. The first varietal that comes to mind is Riesling. Number 2 choice- Gewurtztraminer. I have both in the fridge but opted for this young and fresh Bordeaux blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc that weighs in at a decent 12% ABV. It is very pale in the glass with a lemon color. The aromas pop out of the glass with lots of intensity. Lemon zest, tangerine, passion fruit, mango and geranium. The palate is dry and packed with juicy acidity. Citrus and floral notes abound alongside exotic fruit flavors that I got on the nose. Although it is a crisp wine, it has a certain body and mouthfeel to it that I am really enjoying. It is fresh and lively and will certainly give the spices in the dish a good complement. This wine is probably best drunk young and paired with fish, pork or a vegetable tart. It is juicy right up till the medium length finish gives out. Yummy stuff that gets 89 points from me and at $20 it is worthy of 4 stars. Salut….
We went to Montreal recently and dined at a Middle Eastern restaurant that featured lots of Lamb dishes. I selected this Malbec for its fruitiness but I was really hoping for a tannic wine to help cut the usually fatty cut of a Lamb shoulder cooked in the Tagine. In Cahors, Malbec is known as the “Black Wine”. It did not disappoint- Dark hued, opaque and brooding in the glass. Black currant jam, oak, charcoal, funk and garrigue all hit me on the nose and palate where I got medium acidity and medium plus tannins. Fresh and dry with a medium length finish of dried herbs, black licorice and jammy fruit- this 89 point wine get 4 stars from me. You can find it for $17. Drink till 2026. Salut….