It looks very dark and brooding in the glass, the legs barely evident- 13.5% alcohol will do that. On the nose it is spicy with dark cherry, cola and a touch of oak. I also notice a spice box component. On the palate it is a bit abrupt- black cherry, green pepper, iodine and anise all greet me. There’s a frontal wave of tannins that also hit right off the bat, quite dry and relentless. The mid palate is more red cherry meets blackberry, with a nice acidic touch to refresh the palate. The tannins are certainly players here, enveloping my gums and making me pucker. The brooding nature of this wine is evident on the palate now as it finishes with crunchy black berries, that tannic grip and some toasty oak nuances. The finish is quite long. I was not sure what to expect from this wine, it was part of a SplashWine shipment. I did see it for sale at $12 online and it got 83 points from one reviewer. I would guess it’s got some Syrah, Grenache and maybe a touch of Tempranillo. Who knows…. For me it’s decent for everyday, gets 86 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2024 with some Jamon, a steak or pasta. 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….
A touch murky in the glass with medium dark purple. Semi opaque. On the nose I get plum, bramble, white pepper. The initial palate is very pleasing, if not a touch sweet. Lush, ripe plums alongside blackberry and violets. The mid palate has a nice tangy acidic bite alongside very ingrained, lithe tannins. More purple fruit flavors and a spiciness comprise the profile I get on the back end with a nice, dry finish that is quite long. This is a very drinkable pop-n-pour wine that gets 89 points from me. I like it a lot for short term enjoyment. Drink till 2024. It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. For $15 it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Medium opacity with good purple color and very fine-stranded legs. The nose is dark. Blackberry, hoisin, raisins and cinnamon. On the palate it’s slightly lighter- sweet black cherries, violets and creosote. Very lithe tannins sneak up on me and the mid palate becomes a mouth puckering event that allows waves of black cherry to mingle with rooibos tea and tar. The tannic grip is further highlighted on the finish. Evergreen, black tea and blackberries surrounded by that astringency take me to a medium length ending that has my mouth watering. Delicious, youthful and cellarworthy. This wine is versatile in its power and flavor profile. Really yummy and worthy of 92 points from me. One pro went as high as 94! Great stuff for $11, a steal really. Drink till 2026. 5 stars for sure for this 85% Grenache/15% Syrah blend. 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….
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….
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….
Medium opacity with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it screams black currants with some bacon fat and oregano. There is a hint of forest floor at the back end of the nose. On the palate – berries, medium intensity tannins, tea and olives. The wine transitions nicely to the mid palate with the tannins providing a nice dryness to the mouthfeel. The flavors are consistent through to the finish where I also get some licorice. The balance is nice for a wine that is made for medium term drinking. Perfect for a game dish, even a seasoned Cornish Hen. Drink now till 2033. 91 points and 4 stars for this $34 blend of mainly Grenache mixed with Syrah and Mouvedre. Salut….
Wow…. super dark and brooding. I get nice, rich blackberry notes with coffee bean and vanilla extract on the nose. The initial palate is thick with black fruit preserves, finely integrated tannins, chocolate powder and an oak hint. The mid palate continues the theme but the tannins start to build. By the finish my mouth is coated with caressing dryness and a blackberry meets tar note. Intriguing. I think this wine will open up with decanting and develop somewhat in the glass. It is young and the potential for it to gain tertiary flavors is definitely there. I would cellar for another 2-3 years and pair it with roast lamb all day long. Delicious, powerful, well made and worthy of 92 points. For $36 it is not an everyday wine, but it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Lighter in the glass than I was expecting but the nose- wow. Black berries, spice box, vanilla. On the palate there’s tons of spiciness, cedar box, black fruits, cinnamon. The bite from the acidity is pinpoint, tannins are very lithe. On the finish I get maduro, black cherry and more vanilla from the wood dressing this wine has been graced with. Very tasty Grenache, Syrah, Mourverdre blend. 92 points and 4 stars for this $54 wine. Drink now till 2024. Salut….