Very dark purple and nearly opaque in the glass. The nose on this Zin gives me sweet plums, white pepper, licorice and dried cherry. On the palate is has a warm intro bursting with purple fruit ganache, sweet black cherry and a modicum of very fine grained tannins. The mid palate continues the black/purple fruit theme but it’s here where I sense the 15.1 % alcohol. It’s not bothersome, just be careful! The tannins are really well integrated so that I get just a touch of dryness on the backend to go along with some steeped plum and charcoal notes. I really am enjoying this wine, it will pair nicely with the braised Lamb shanks in the oven. It gets 89 points from me and for $11 it’s one to stock up on for casual meals and Friday Happy hours. 5 stars, drink till 2024. Salut….
This Cab is bright purple and semi opaque. On the nose I get red fruits- raspberry, currants and clove. The palate is quite rich right off the bat with licorice, red fruit melange and cedar. The licorice note is quite pronounced on the mid palate where I also get plum and black cherry. The wine has a nice, balanced mouthfeel, easygoing without too much tannin or acidity. The finish is quite long and tasty with wood notes, more plum and that lingering licorice note, albeit subdued. Yummy stuff that should drink till 2024. I like it and at $16 it gets 4 stars cause it’s an 88 point wine in my books. I’m pairing it with grilled Tri-tip and mashed taters. Salut….
I’ve been on a Sav Blanc kick lately and this one is next in the lineup, to pair with my Korean Bulgogi tonight. I feel the sweet and spicy sauce will need a lighter style white, hence the choice.
It starts out a pale shade of gold in the glass with a nose of citrus, gooseberry and herbal tea. On the palate it is interesting- a touch heavier than I imagined with rich flavors of lemon/lime, papaya and passion fruit. The mid palate concentrates on the latter flavors with less citrus. The finish has decent acidity that keeps the wine fresh without impinging on the back of my jaw. It’s totally different than the wine I tasted earlier this week, which was a Kiwi styled wine. This bottle speaks of California sunshine and offers bright fruit flavors and a rounded mouthfeel. The finish is medium in length and tastes of fruit salad- a really nice way to end. 88 points from me with a drink by 2022 window. Optional pairing choices would be grilled Salmon, Fettucine Alfredo or even fried Chicken. For $16 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
I have had a few wines from Lodi recently and am becoming a big fan. Zinfandel is one of their signature grapes so this wine is exciting to me.
As I look at it in the glass it’s a nice shade of opaque purple. I can also smell the waft of fruit from a foot away, always a good sign. The nose is very fruit forward with tons of black berry, dark plums and a cinnamon twist. The palate is misleading- when you smell that much fruit you automatically expect a wine with a touch of sweetness, which I do not look forward to in reds. This wine is not at all sweet- it is rich, concentrated with black fruit and very tasty. There is a core of minerality on the mid palate that mixes it up with some oaky char and anise. I usually expect pepper with this varietal but I’m not getting any. The wine has a nice, balanced mouthfeel with very lithe tannins and supporting acidity. The finish is a fruit salad of black cherry, blackcurrants and blackberry jam. It is mouth filling and satisfying if you like a ton of flavor. I’m enjoying it with some Spaghetti Arrabiata with garlic bread. Kudos to the winemaker for this 90 point effort that I paid $13 for. It gets 5 stars and will drink nicely till 2027. Salut….
This Cab Franc is reddish purple and nearly see through in the glass with some nice legs draping the edges. On the nose I get a dark, brooding blackberry and smoky oak. The palate is delicious, tannic and intriguing. Black currants, black berry and violets interlaced with gum searing tannins and a modicum of acidity. If I had a Ribeye in front of me, heaven. The mid palate is bone dry yet there is a core of fruit pushing through to the back end alongside some cigar box and black tea flavors. The finish is very dry with those tannins holding on to the end. Black fruit, spice box and a plummy ending make this a memorable wine, if not a touch young. I am excited for wines from Lodi, they have made great strides in quality and this is a good example. If you like ’em dry, pour this baby now, or else let it sit until 2023. Drink till 2028. 89 points and 5 stars, I paid $10- stunning wine for the price. Salut….
I don’t drink Zins very often, but when I find one I like- I remember it and revisit. I was not a huge fan initially of the last Zin I drank, the Turley Zin turned out much better after a day or so.
This one shows semi opaque in the glass and has a lovely reddish hue to the purple color. On the nose I get raspberries, red currants and cinnamon stick. The palate is very rich with a nice thrust of raspberry coulis and mulling spices. There’s a really nice set of tannins that caress the gums without stripping the enamel off my teeth alongside a juicy acidity that hits the mid palate. The red fruit theme continues with some steeped rhubarb and spices. This is not a jammy Zin, but is full bodied with rich flavors and a really nice, long finish. The warmth I get on the backend is also very interesting. Really tasty with a decent level of complexity and aging capacity make this a 91 point wine IMHO. I paid a paltry $9.99 for it but it normally retails for $40. 4 stars with a drinking window till 2027. I’m flash cooking some thin Ribeyes that will pair nicely. Salut….
I wanted to introduce a pure Cinsault to our wine tasting group. It’s a very difficult grape to source as a standalone because it’s traditionally a blending grape. I have had some delicious wines that rely heavily on Cinsault, which reminds me of Pinot Noir in its structure and finesse. In fact- Pinotage is a cross of the two grape varietals.
The wine is very pale red and see-through. The nose gave us cigar box, perfume, cherry, raspberry, cedar, black cherry, maple syrup, mulling spices, strawberry and cardamom. The palate was peppery with black cherry, jello, earth, pomegranate, violets and was considered ‘spicy’.
I thoroughly enjoyed this lighter style of wine that had gentle tannins, decent acidity and a really nice mouthfeel. 92 points from me for this $25 charmer that gets 5 stars. Drink with lighter fare till 2028. Salut….
Semi opaque, medium shade of purple. The nose is somewhat subdued in the BAG (big assed glass). After a vigorous swirl session I get blueberries, violet and pepper. On the palate it’s a touch spicy with blue fruits, fig and cedar. The mid palate is a bit tart, backward and thin on the fruit. The finish is bitter with more blue fruits and that woodsy note. I enjoy Zins for their fruitiness. This one lacks a bit on several points unfortunately. 86 points is all I can muster. $10 makes this a 2 star wine. Salut….
A pretty shade of purple and nearly opaque. On the nose it’s brimming with red fruit, some oak and a red licorice note. The palate is easy going- red berries, chocolate nibs, some oak and a touch of acidity. The mid palate is very smooth with a smidge of tannin and more red fruit melange. The finish is simple, decent in length and features the addition of cranberries with their inherent tartness. This is a very basic wine that will feature well at a burgers and brats barbecue. The tannins are very slight and the structure is not intended for much cellaring. It’s a pop’n pour weekday quaffer that gets 86 points from me and at $15- 3 stars. Drink now. Salut….
The second wine of our virtual tasting was this Lodi blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cab Sav. The nose was magnificent- lush, jammy blackberry, cocoa, dark plums. The palate was a different matter. We all immediately sensed a certain sweetness that we were not expecting. The wine is very fruity and concentrated with loads of black fruits. Tannins are apparent but not overbearing and there is a decent level of acidity to make for a nice mouthfeel. The cloying fruit however was a detractor for many in the group. Funnily enough, it was voted the best wine by a third of the attendees. I guess that sweetness appeals to some but not all. Each to his own. For me it was an 86 point wine that I feel was a little too manufactured and lacked finesse relying heavily on gobs of jammy fruit. Drink now. For $14 it gets 3 stars. Salut….