The second wine of the Birthday dinner at Chez Francois. This one was stunning. No notes were taken but I remember thinking that this is what being a wine lover is all about. Near perfection in the bottle. Rich, ripe, sumptuous, balanced, maturing yet showing youth and verve. This wine blends some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with the majority Sangiovese. It gets 94 points from me and 5 stars, even with its $125 current price tag. I believe I have one left in storage and will look forward to the next opportunity. Paired beautifully with Lamb Chops. Salut….
The first thing I noticed was the length of the cork. It was super long, Magnum size. Made me wonder… In the glass this wine is somewhat opaque with a lighter purple hue. On the nose it offers tart cherry, red berries and muted barnyard. On the palate I get some really refreshing strawberry and cherry notes. Crisp acidity and gentle tannins are also present. The wine is young, very young. Nutmeg and kirsch appear later on, a strange combination but I’m liking it. The tannins are really kicking in towards the mid to finish leaving me with a very dry sensation on the seemingly long finish. More classic Sangiovese flavors of tobacco and leather are evident in small amounts but the main thrust is the dominant cherry. Delicious, but I would love to see evolution, say another 5 years minimum. 92 points from me and for the hefty $80 price tag, 4 stars. If you are a cellaring type, this one will rock a roasted Cornish Hen some day. Salut….
Very pale and see through, just like a Pinot. On the nose I get crushed cherry, strawberry and slate. Kinda like Pinot! On the palate it’s different, much more brooding than lets on. The flavor profile is more strawberry but I get a dark fruit note as well. Tannins are grippy and give the wine a juicy mouthfeel. The finish is generous with dark fruits coming through on its medium length. This wine needs a bit of time, 2019-2027. It gets 91 points from me and for the $45 list price- a 4 star effort. Salut….
I really loved the 2010 Campogiovanni when I drank it last year. So much so that I bought six bottles of the 2012 on spec. It got great ratings (96 WS), was priced right at $45 and delivered free.
This one shows a slight orange tinge when I poured it, which is unusual for such a young wine. The nose is cherry, earthy funk, mushroom, oak and a trace of truffle. On the palate it shows primal fruit flavors of cherry, leather, gorgeous tannins and a juiciness from the impeccably balanced acidity. The tannins deserve a sentence of their own- fine grained, discrete at the beginning, working themselves squarely into the mid palate and reaching a crescendo on the finish. Not mouth puckering, but certainly apparent, very lithe yet powerful. They hold the wine together nicely. The finish has an oak hint to go along with the cherry and game notes. This wine is very young, and holds promise for many years of cellaring that will help it develop secondary notes, maturing into a great Brunello. I can’t wait to taste the evolution, perhaps starting in 2020. I will have to go with 93 points right now and 5 stars. Tonight’s pairing is with a Beef Pot Roast, bathed in Petite Sirah and braised for 6 hours. Salut….
My son is visiting from Nashville so we decided to order some Chinese food. Faced with trying to pair reds with Mogolian Beef, Walnut Crisp Shrimp, General Tso…. I gave up and looked in the fridge. I wanted something on the lower side of the alcohol scale. This crisp Pinot Grigio rings in at 12.5%, perfect for my Far Eastern foray. It shows a pretty gold and pink hue in the glass and offers lemon zest, pineapple and green apple on the nose. On the palate it is not as crisp as I had imagined, slightly more weighty and silky. It reminds me of unoaked Chardonnay in a way. Waxy, pear, apple and citrus peel. The mid palate is really interesting with more green fruits, melon and a hint of beeswax. The finish has that classic lemon profile. This Italian Pinot Grigio is more akin to Oregonean or even Alsatian Pinot Gris with it’s heavier profile, darker complexion and flavor charachteristics. I’m not complaining, it’s a decent wine and I am enjoying it immensely with my exotic dinner. 89 points and 5 stars for this $10 wine that needs to be stocked in multiples! Drink now till 2018. Salut….
I bought some of this wine earlier in the year but the bottles were damaged in shipment. The vendor sent me replacemens once it cooled down. I’m glad they did!
The wine in nearly black in the glass. The nose of blackberry and violets has an oaky touch that adds a certain delicious factor. It’s more of a vanilla bean flavor but it is appropriate here. The initial tastes of black fruit get melded with some very dry tannins that really get to my gums. The wine transcends the mid palate with a shift to plums and coconut. The dryness really reaches a peak on the finish where the fruit flavors meet spicebox. I don’t sense an abundance of acidity which would help the wine’s cellaring potential, but think it will last until 2020 at the very least. I hope some secondary flavors evolve, I’m optimistic. It is 100% Aglianico, which happens to be one of my favorite grapes. 91 points. It gets 5 stars for the value it presents at $20. Salut….
It’s pasta for a quick pre-ballet dinner with my daughter so I needed a quick and easy Italian wine. This one rolled in the other day at $10 so I figured it was worth a shot. The glass shows off a decent color palette of purple that is somewhat see-through. The nose offers red berries, raspberry and some clove. The Sangiovese in the blend gives me some cherry notes on the palate while the Merlot component brings out some plum while adding a bit of backbone to the wine. On the mid palate is where I get a nuttiness, almonds and a touch of oak. The wine has some very dry tannins that kick in on the finish and add a bite to the gums. Acidity is nice and the wine is balanced. I’m not sure I would go as high as the pros with 92, more like 89 points for me. Still a good value IMHO and worthy of 4 stars. Perfect for the midweek pasta dish or perhaps a thin crust wood oven pizza. Drink till 2020. Salut….
I’m not a huge Barbaresco fan, I have to admit. Not because I don’t like it, I just don’t know anything about it. I am trying to broaden my palate and saw this offer come up, it was only $20 and got a good score- worth a punt as they say.
It shows well in the glass, a thick purple, somewhat opaque but healthy looking. The nose offers up a really nice Old World funk that I love. Plum, cherry pie and some oak are all present. I’m looking forward to this Nebbiolo….
On the palate I am pleasantly surprised, I think I like Barbaresco! This wine has depth and lots of fruit flavor. Rich plums, black berries, some black olives and an earthy component give way to some very well ingrained tannins. They take over on the mid palate and really dry out the gums. It is a nice sensation and makes for a long lived wine which has enough acidity to balance the package out. The berry fruit comes out again on the finish with an oak hit. The tannins are really searing by now, which makes this wine beg for a hearty Ragu, maybe a Ribeye steak. I’m guessing this wine is only a youngster and will develop for many years, gaining complexity and tertiary flavors. Drink now if you like them bold, dry and tannic, but cellar till 2022 for a more mellow affair. I think this wine is worthy of 91 points, and 5 stars! Salut….
It’s a pasta/Italian kinda night here at the chateau so I decided to open a Chianti Rufina to keep with the theme. In the glass, it shows off a reddish hue but not opaque. The nose is somewhat muted but gives off whiffs of plum, some oregano and a dried bark component. The initial taste is an acidic attack with some dark cherry, dried herbs and a touch of oak. The fruit is somewhat cloaked I’m afraid. The mid palate is mostly a tannic affair with some faint fruit notes from the initial attack. The finish is long, with some nice acidity balancing the tannins as well as a dose of Kirsch. I paid $18 for this 89 pointer and give it 3 stars, it’s kinda boring in my opinion- perhaps it’s in a dumb phase. Sangiovese is the main player here folks. Ps. I’m serving grilled Squid, Tortellini and some Zucchini pasta with pine nuts. Salut….
I have said it before, Sangiovese reminds me of Pinot Noir. It looks like Pinot, smells like Pinot and in many cases tastes like Pinot. This particular wine starts off a little different. It is dark, opaque and and brooding.
On the nose, I am confused. Tar, dark fruits and a leather component would make me guess Tempranillo, for sure. The initial tastes confirm what my nose suspected. This wine acts like it came straight from Rioja. Earth, gaminess, dark plums and bramble along with the creosote. It all points to an extraction and aging issue. This wine has been made in a different style that had me fooled. It is delicious, no doubt, but atypical. The mid palate is bursting with blueberry and dark plums along with the earthiness. The finish is more blue than black fruits. Tannins are very lithe, acidity is very mellow and the alcohol level is a mild 12.5%. 89 points from me and 5 stars because you can pick it up for $9! Enjoy alone or with pasta, charcuterie or even veal parmesan. Drink now till 2020. Salut….