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….
I just saw the 95 point sticker on the label, it must be good or this particular critic is dead to me…
Dark purple color, from the 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lets see what the 50% Sangiovese brings. Olives, plum jam and seaweed hit the nose. On the palate I get a very intriguing flavor. I can’t quite put my finger on it…Black plums, dark, dark stone fruits and perhaps black tea leaves. I am getting a very one dimensional hit of tannins as well. The mid palate is all black tea and tannins. The finish is bitter, with faint notes of black plum and oversteeped tea. I don’t get it. This wine was hyped by a pro, written up by the seller as soft and supple, with gentle tannins. Quite the opposite for me, and bottle variation doesn’t count here. This wine is barely 86 points in my book and for $20 I think I will look elsewhere. 2 stars. Salut….
Have you ever had Ribena? That is exactly what this blockbuster looks like in the glass. It is a 100% Merlot from Tuscany that got huge marks from some pros. I bought in on the hype and could afford the $20 entry fee.
The nose is rich with blackberry and stone. The initial taste is really delicious, with more black berries and plum mixing it up with gorgeous tannins and acidity. I also get smoky mineral notes. These flavors transcend the mid plate and meet up with dried blueberry on the finish. The tannins are lush in this wine and give off a nice mouthfeel all the way through the finish.
I must be missing something about the 97 points given by an Italian critic, for me this is a solid wine that should get 90. For the price paid it is a really good Merlot that I will be serving with Sunday Roast- 4 stars. Salut.
A gift from a neighbor, I was not sure what to expect. A slight bricking on the edges of an otherwise pale purple sheen. On the nose, a beautiful bouquet of mushroom, cherry and bacon. On the palate, strawberry, cherry and upfront tannins. The mid palate reveals more cherries, but darker this time. The tannins are really starting to grip and the wine finishes very dry indeed. The gaminess I sensed on the nose has all but disappeared, taken over by brutish tannins. This is not a delicate wine, nor is it very fruit forward anymore. But it is good. In its own way, this wine exudes power and poise at the expense of fruit and finesse. I am going with 91 points for this $50 wine. 4 stars. Salut….
Right off the bat I know this is going to be a rich, extracted wine. It is nearly black in the glass and possesses a nose of ripe, dark berries. Some oak and black anise are also present. Onto the palate- a very interesting initial attack of blackberry, tar, and spice with cedar shavings. Really nice tannins greet the palate right off the bat and they continue through the mid palate and onto the drying finish which also features berry jam and cedar. This wine packs some heat, 14.5% to be precise. It is well masked but appeared right at the end for me, which made me search the label for the exact number. Be careful! This wine will do wonders for a Chicken Alfredo dish, or even roast Duck with root vegetables. I don’t get the ratings this wine got- they range from 84-98. I am thinking it is a solid 90 point wine on my scale and for $22, it’s a 3 star effort. I might buy some more for the cellar. Salut….
I have never tried or even heard of the Ruche grape, so I just had to give it a go. I’m winging it here with ratings and recommendations as I am flying blind and don’t know what to expect or what is typical.
A see through lighter purple in the glass. Nose of candy, strawberry and red licorice, very reminiscent of California Syrah. The initial tastes are peppery strawberry, red currants and some rather astringent tannins. The mid palate changes it up and introduces some tar, more red fruits and a very dry mouthfeel. Interesting to say the least. The tannins keep going through to the end where they mix it up with more strawberry. Somewhat one dimensional in my opinion. I bought it for $25 and it apparently got 98 points from a critic. I cannot agree nor can I argue, I just don’t know this grape- but for my money it comes in at 89 points and 2 stars. I would pass unless you like the lighter style of California Syrah, with some perky tannins thrown in. Salut….
If you have never had a Ripasso wine before you need to hurry along and get one. It all starts with the Amarone wines, where the grapes are air dried for several months on wire racks and the fruit loses volume and increases its sugars. Once they press the grapes what is left over are the skins and seeds, minus the juices but still yielding some tannins and flavors that basic Valpolicella lacks. Once they ferment the Valpolicella wine they then ‘pass’ it over the remaining Amarone grape skins to impart a deeper color, structure, tannins and a depth of flavor. Some call them the baby Amarones. I have been a fan of this particular wine for a long time and was super excited to get a bottle the other day. Priced at $24, it is a good intro to the style.
Dark purple, with a nose of raisins, funk and plums (all good I assure you). On the palate I am getting rich plums, black cherry and delightful tannins. The mid palate shows off dried cherry, oak and more tannins which really hit the gums at this point. The finish tapers off with plum jam and raisins. The wine is not as ‘thick and unctuous’ as I remembered nor does it present the depth I have had in other vintages but it is still really good and gets 89 points from me. 85% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta. I had an old colleague over for dinner that saw me pair this with Pasta and Meatballs/Mild Italian Sausage. It was a great match and even made the Caeser Salad and Garlic bread more on pointe. The whole evening was a good time but this wine had a special place in our visit. Drink till 2022. 3 stars. Salut….
I bought two bottles from this producer for a grand total of $8. One was a Nero D’Avola and this one being a Sangiovese. I was not expecting much, but really enjoyed the Nero poolside watching my daughter splash around at a hotel we just stayed in. I took no notes but decided I should do so with this bottle now that I am home and not reeking of chlorine.
A pale purple color shows typicity of the varietal as does the nose of faint cherries and cinnamon. I’m not expecting complexity or depth here but am pleasantly surprised so far as the wine comes across very smoothly on the intro and gives some cherry notes along with a cola thing. The wine has more acidity than tannins and lacks any semblance of wood. The finish is decent in length and leaves me with a slightly drying sensation, hinting at some minuscule level of tannins being offered up. Like I said- this is a basic wine. It drinks easily and is a serious contender for a backyard BBQ, a poolside quaff or even a light pizza partner. For $4 or even $6 this wine rocks it and I am giving it 84 points and 4 stars. (I have had far worse wine in the First Class sections of many airlines). Salut….
When I visited the Wine Library in New Jersey last week they had this wine on sale and I sampled it. Delicious and fresh with unique flavors that reminded me somewhat of Conundrum White. It was my first experience with the Fiano grape varietal. I bought a bottle of this 94 point (Decanter rated) wine for only $16, making it a supremely good deal. Unfortunately I must have had a bottle with variation as it was not reminiscent of my first taste.
Light straw color in the glass. Nose of lemon zest and sea salt/iodine. The initial attack is lemon, green apple skin and an interesting acid component that is hitting the gums. This acidity moves swiftly to the mid palate where is sticks. The finish is of a decent length that consists of yet more lemon, acidity and a hint of cardamom. This wine strikes me as a bit one-dimensional but it is refreshing and would pair nicely with raw oysters. 89 points. I think it warrants a re-taste as my initial notes (mental) were totally different and I really enjoyed the wine much more then. Even at 89 points it is a decent QPR and I would give it 3 stars. Salut….