The finale for the 12th virtual wine tasting was a stunner. Dark purple, opaque and very powerful on the nose. Spice box, vanilla, cocoa powder, black cherry and jam were all noted as was, dare I say- plastic and banana. The palate gave us black fruit jam, black tea bursting with beautiful tannins that really coated the mouth. This wine was delicious and I made note that the oak use was very judicious and well played. There was a shot of pepper on the short finish, which took a few points off the table. Still young, it will develop nicely and drink well till 2030. I’m going lower than the pros with 92 points and 5 stars. $50 is not cheap, but this wine has loads of stuffing to it and will get better with time. Salut….
Semi opaque with deep red color and thin legs in the glass. On the nose I get cherry, cinnamon, juniper and oak. The palate has got cherry juice, blood orange and fruit cake notes with some lovely tannins to give it a touch of dryness. There’s a hint of astringency on the mid palate that quickly fades into a juicy finish that gives me rhubarb and cherry flavors along with that touch of wood. A delicious, lighter style of Sangiovese that will drink well into 2025. I’m pairing it with Chicken Alfredo. 89 points and 4 stars for this $17 wine. Salut….
This wine was the third offering at the 11th Virtual Wine Tasting. I have drunk an absolute ton of this wine from earlier vintages and was really looking forward to introducing the Ripasso style of winemaking to my friends. Unfortunately, this wine has been a letdown of late. See my previous posts on the Zenato Ripasso.
Our tasters said the following: Semi opaque, dark purple. On the nose- Blackberry jam, rich nose, floral, black licorice, peppery, leather, lilac. On the palate, berry. Sweeter that expected. Sharp finish. Spicy, green pepper, berry. Velvety but slightly bitter on the back end. Iodine and leather for the finish.
I was underwhelmed and am giving this wine 89 points yet again. For $25 it’s a solid 3 pointer but there are far better wines to spend that kind of loot on. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Semi opaque dark red in the glass. On the nose I get cherries, dried herbs, almond and rhubarb. The initial palate shows off sour cherry, more nuts and red currants. Juicy acidity hits me right off the bat. There’s a nice core of tannins that are present but not obtrusive. Red fruits dominate the mid palate and the finish – which is medium length. I like the cut of this wine and think it will drink nicely till 2028. 91 points and 4 stars for this relatively young Sangiovese that goes for $50. Pasta would be a great pairing. Salut….
I usually pick a lighter style wine to go early in the Virtual Wine Tasting Company’s lineup, it’s normally a Pinot but this time I selected a Barbera d’Alba. I thought the varietal closely mimicked the lightness and flavor profile of Pinot but I was off the mark with this particular bottle. It was very dark red in the glass with medium opacity and very fine legs that showed off it’s whopping 15% alcohol. On the nose the tasters got black licorice, blackberry, currants, cherry cola and ‘Shrinky Dink’. I could smell the alcohol a mile away and the flavors came forth out of the glass with no coaxing needed. I made a note of ‘intense black fruit flavors’ on my own.
The palate showed black cherry and licorice with light tannins but the flavors were jammy and deep. The finish was slightly dry with caressing tannins and juicy acidity. I really enjoyed this wine and gave it 16 points on my tasting sheet. Technically translated- that would be a 91 point effort for this $33 beauty that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2028 with lighter fare. Quote of the night – “Water running over moss covered rocks.” He obviously did not enjoy it as much as I! Salut….
This Pinot Grigio is a very light shade of yellow in the glass. The nose is zesty with grapefruit, lemon peel and green apple. On the palate it is not as cutting as I was expecting, the acidity is a little more demure allowing the rich lemon curd and grapefruit to shine. It has a really full mouthfeel as it transitions to the mid palate. The fruit is in full swing and the acidity is just starting to show up. Lanolin, honeysuckle and the citrus notes all carry the wine to a medium length finish. It’s really a pleasant drop, if not a bit atypical in style. I am enjoying it as I prepare Shrimp Creole, which begs for this style of white. 89 points from me. Listed at $16, it gets 4 stars from me. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Pale yellow in the glass. The nose is fruity with grapefruit, tangerine and a honeysuckle component. On the palate it is a touch sweet with warmth from the honey note. The citrus components are ripe and fresh with just a hint of acidity. The mid palate is really nice, the mouthfeel being very round and balanced. The finish is curt, weighing on the tangerine side of things and adds a nutty note at the end. It’s a tasty wine to pop as you prepare dinner or enjoy it with salad nicoise. 88 points, drink till 2023. 3 stars for this $14 effort. Salut….
This Italian Cab Sav is see-through and a lighter shade of purple in the glass. On the nose I get red currants and rhubarb with a hint of chocolate. The palate is quite tart but opens up to some nice red fruits, a bit of blueberry pie and an oaky undertone. The wine has just a touch of tannic hint which is a welcome change. The mid palate is delightful with a nice, light mouthfeel. Red berries and tart rhubarb really come through as does some pomegranate. It is quite gripping in the acid department which makes for a very precise and focused wine. There is no flab here. The finish is juicy and fruity, with barely a trace of any tannins. Structure wise- it’s slightly imbalanced between the acidity and the tannic backbone, which leads to a shorter cellar capacity. It is however a delicious and easy to drink wine that would go really well with Bolognese or Osso Bucco. Drink till 2025. 88 points. Price unknown. Salut….
Pale red, absolutely see through. Strawberries, cherry twizlers and earthy minerality on the nose. The palate is very racy- the theme continues with red fruits, some sour cranberry to boot and nice fine grained tannins. There’s a juicy acidity that gives the wine a nice cutting edge. Right now the mid palate ramps up the concentration of fruit flavors, really red and smooth. The acidity is on pointe giving me a nice mouthfeel. The finish is medium in length with a delightful combo of cranberry, rhubarb, cherry, oak and crunchy tannins. Delicious, if not a touch young. Drink till 2028. 92 points. It’s a 5 star effort at $35, worthy of cellaring a few bottles. Salut….
This was the last wine in tasting #9 of the Virtual Wine Tasting Company. It’s a blend of Corvina and Rondinella with 30% of the fruit undergoing a drying process prior to vinification. This style of winemaking is very prevalent in Amarone wines so I was intrigued to try this vino. It’s quite dark and thick in the glass, which is what I was expecting. On the nose it is quite horrendous IMHO. Asphalt, baby diaper, cat box, cat pee and tea were all notes from the group. On day 2, it’s pretty much the same for me. The palate is plummy, surprisingly light, spicy and has notes of blackberry, pepper and is a touch spicy. On the mid palate it gets a black tea note and some dusty tannins. The wine finishes a touch dry and has some plums eking out the funky notes for a last minute stand. The finish lasts a good 30 seconds but is not very pleasant. 85 points from me, perhaps this bottle is not right either? At $17, it gets 1 star. Salut….