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….
Very see-through purple, almost Pinot like. Nose of cherries Jubilee with licorice and mocha. On the palate I get a really nice, smooth intro to some cherry kirsch, a strawberry note and some more exotic spices. The acidity is on pointe here, creating just the right amount of tartness yet leaving room for the lithe tannins to make an appearance. On the mid palate I get more of the same, but with the addition of some mushrooms and a bit of gaminess. It is bizarre. The finish wraps up with the tannins taking control and leaving the mouth pleasantly dry, to the gums. I am really enjoying this rather light, refreshing wine that has some serious complexity. I must go with 90 points and recommend it for a nice summer evening with charcuterie, perhaps some olive tapenade on crusty baguette. For $14 you can’t go wrong. 5 stars and drink till 2024. Salut….
See through dark purple. Nose of vibrant dark cherry, some oak and blueberry pie. On the palate this wine is young, with vibrant blue fruits and spice box. The mid palate shows some very lithe tannins and more blueberry notes. The wine has a minerality to it that I am enjoying. Zest is the word that best describes the mouthfeel, the 13.5% alcohol providing just a slight bite while the acidity gives it cut. The tannins are hitting the gums on the finish with more blueberries on tail end. Refreshing and decent for $20, 90 points and 4 stars. Drink now, but some cellaring will reward. Till 2025. Salut….
See-through purple. Nose of sweet strawberries and spring flowers, very intriguing. On the palate I get more strawberries and nutmeg. The wine is juicy but not biting with acidity. I am enjoying the mouthfeel, it is very subtle yet supple. The tannins are so carefully hidden that I barely perceive them. The mid palate exhibits some more spices and the core fruit. The finish is short in length but pleasant enough. This wine is a nice, easy to drink wine that has an interesting nose. I think it gets 89 points and can be found for $10. This is a good deal, 5 stars from me. Pasta, pizza or a rack of ribs come to mind. Salut….
Reddish purple and opaque in the glass. Nose of rhubarb and Swiss chard leaves. I’m not going to lie- it’s a bit off putting. The palate is a whole different story, thank god. Vibrant cherry and red raspberry notes with juicy acidity and balanced tannins. The mid palate is really delicious, yet supremely dry from the tannins. More red fruits emerge with some hints of nutmeg. The finish is medium in length and offers more raspberries. I found out it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Nero D’Avola, which is a grape I hold near and dear. Overall a very juicy and decent wine that gets 90 points from me. I paid $20 and am going with 4 stars. Salut….