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 have been getting into Grenache more and more lately so when this bottle showed up with 9 years of cellaring- I had to try it. In the glass it is of medium opacity and still bright ruby. The nose has earthy Spanish dirt alongside blackberry, blackcurrant, vanilla, bramble, dried herbs and eucalyptus. The palate is gorgeous. The richness and freshness of the black fruit is amazing. The earthiness is somewhat subdued, allowing the fruit to shine. Lithe tannins and medium acidity make for a lighter than expected body but the mouthfeel is great. The finish is short but makes me reach for more, it’s that delicious. My pairing is Lamb chops and roasted sweet potatoes. This wine has plenty of age but is youthful. Drink till 2028 and for $12, this 90 point wine is a 5 star winner. Salut….
I must admit- I shop the bin ends and any closeouts. I have found some great bargains but more importantly, aged wine that someone else has fronted for and held on to so I can swoop in and get it at its prime. So I had to chuckle when I finally red the label on this 2016 vintage blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. It says “to be kept between one and two years of age’. Whoops!
In the glass it’s a medium intensity ruby in color with watery legs. On the nose- it still smells fresh! Red currants, raspberry, blueberry, red plum and licorice. The palate is delightful- medium acidity, lithe tannins and good expression of red fruit, a hint of oak and some black licorice. I get a tea component on the mid palate and the finish is medium in length with charred oak, red fruit and stewed red plum. The structure is holding on and will allow this wine to be enjoyed for another few years, perhaps with Cassoulet, braised meats or a roast duck dish- it needs a rustic pairing. 89 points from me and at $14 it’s worth buying if you bump into it- 4 stars. Salut….
Fall has kicked off, and with the chillier weather I feel the need for some heart-warming fare. Cassoulet is on the books and it requires a hearty French red in my opinion. This wine is a Grenache based blend with some Syrah and Mourvedre that packs a 15% ABV punch and is pretty opaque in the glass. Ruby in color, it looks a touch cloudy. On the nose I get white pepper, red plum, red cherry, coffee and charred wood. The palate is delicious- raspberry and red cherry with lush oak by way of coffee and charcoal. White pepper notes come out on the mid palate where the tannins start to gently grip. The acidity is finely balanced and the mouthfeel is great. Medium to full bodied, this wine has depth and complexity. The finish is mid length and really shows off the red fruit and tannins. I am enjoying this wine pre-dinner but think it will go well with my pairing. Other ideas would be grilled chops, hearty stews or the obvious- a thick steak. Drink this rather young wine till 2028. 91 points from me and at $27 a pop, 5 stars. Salut….
Medium ruby with watery legs. The nose has medium (+) intensity aromas of blackberry, raspberry, red plum, violet, black pepper, charred wood, cedar and is meaty. It is quite complex and developing. The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, high alcohol, medium body and medium (+) intensity flavors of raspberry, red plum, coffee, black pepper, cedar and that meaty note. There is nice complexity to this wine that has a medium (-) finish. Overall I really like this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that is drinking well now but has potential for aging. 91 points for this $22 bottle make it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This week I am focusing on New World wines for my course. I have selected this bottle to kick off the festivities and here is my official tasting note for class:
Clarendon Hills Grenache ‘Romas’ 2011, Australia 14.5% ABV
- Appearance- Deep ruby with thick legs.
- Nose- Pronounced aromas of red plum, raspberry, blackcurrants, chocolate, coffee and smoke. Developing.
- Palate- Dry, medium acidity, medium+ tannins, high alcohol, medium+ body, medium+ intensity flavors of raspberry, red plum, chocolate, coffee, licorice. Medium finish.
- Conclusion- good quality, drink now but has potential for aging.
I have drunk many different vintages and varietals from this winery. Their Syrah mimics Rhone wines rather than jammy Shiraz. This particular bottle of Grenache was somewhat one-dimensional and lacked much development, even with 10+ years of aging. It was very tasty but had a bit of astringency that bothered me.
It ran me $30 per bottle and I am going with 89 points- kind of disappointing, I know. 2 stars, hopefully the other bottles show better as the original pro review gave it upwards of 95 points. Drink till 2030, served mine with grilled Hangar steak and Chimichurri. Salut….
We kicked off the 19th Virtual Wine Tasting with this French rosé, served at room temp and chilled for comparison. The wine is a lovely pale orange in the glass. The tasters found aromas and flavors of apricot, almond, tangerine, strawberry, citrus, marzipan and pink grapefruit. The chilled version was more intense with peach, quince, citrus, honeysuckle and green pear on the nose and peach, rhubarb (?), orange and crab apples on the palate. We felt the wine was a touch sour with a bitter aftertaste. The room temp version had medium acidity whilst the chilled one was more acidic. Overall I give the wine 88 points. Drink now with smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail or a salad Nicoise. At $20 per, it gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
I picked up a few bottles of this summer stunner from Costco for $15 each. Served well chilled on a hot afternoon it was delicious, light and fruity. It is medium salmon colored and has a delightful nose of orange peel, nectarine, lemon and peach. On the palate I also sensed acacia. Medium acidity and a medium body lead to a refreshing mouthfeel. The finish of this dry blend of Grenache and Cinsault was relatively short and crisp. I really enjoyed it and for the price, this 89 point wine gets 4 stars. Drink this summer! Salut….
For my wine class- a Southern France blend.
Appearance- Medium ruby with thin legs.
Nose- Medium (+) intensity with aromas of blackberry, black plum, raspberry, toast, licorice, game and is developing.
Palate- Dry, medium acidity, medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) flavors of blackberry, black plum, raspberry, charred wood and licorice. Medium finish.
Conclusions- very good quality wine that can be drunk now and has potential for aging.
A delicious, rustic blend of 40% Old Vine (70 yrs) Carignan, 30% Syrah and 30% Grenache. Very tannic and I could feel the alcohol, needs a juicy Ribeye. For $30 it gets 5 stars cause I really like it and give it 92 points. Drink till 2028. Salut….
The last and best wine of the night at our 17th Virtual Wine tasting was this Spanish gem from a famous winery. It is predominantly Tempranillo but they added some Garnacha to the blend. It is a rich purple color that is nearly opaque in the glass. The tasters noted Oregano, funk, pepper, earth, dried plum, green olives, white pepper and a minerality from slate on the nose. The palate gave us that stone hint, coffee, tobacco, black tea, blackcurrant, black cherry, dried fig and blueberry. I noted the wine was quite acidic and others mentioned it as not being overly tannic. A medium finish was enjoyed by all. I feel this wine has already started to display tertiary notes and will mature nicely over the next few years. It is not a blockbuster but we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It gets 91 points from me which jibes with the pros and at $30, its a decent drop that’s a 5 star effort in my books. Salut….