Wow, this Napa wine is super opaque and dark purple-it looks like Welch’s grape juice. I can smell fruit flavors about a foot away from the glass, it’s wafting over and I think I’m going to like it. Yup, I do. Saturated with blackberry notes, I also get blueberry essence. On the palate it is delicious. Layers of blackberry, blueberry and cassis. Very primal, extracted and yummy. Lithe tannins appear on the mid palate but this wine is really juicy, the acidity really has a grip. Deft use of oak keeps this wine interesting without overplaying tertiary flavors. The finish turns quite dry with the tannins really starting to make themselves known. Overall a nicely balanced wine with good structure, great fruit and decent cellaring capacity. I would drink this blend of Syrah, Malbec, Zin, Merlot etc till 2028 with a big ole T-bone. 92 points from me make this $50 wine a 5 star effort. Salut….
I harvested a Deer a few weeks ago and had the butcher make some Spicy Sausages. Having never tried them I was at a loss for a wine pairing until I came across this blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah. I have had the Amado Sur before and this seemed the most likely candidate. Dark purple and totally opaque. On the nose I get candied strawberry and red licorice. The palate is a touch darker in the fruit department with black berries, dark cherry coulis and bitter plums. There is a whack of acidity to this wine but a medium serving of tannins. Perfect for my pairing, as Venison is very lean and we are pairing this with pasta and Vodka sauce, which is somewhat creamy. The mid palate is really juicy and I have quickly forgotten/forgiven that stlightly sweet nose profile which I really don’t care for. The finish ends abruptly but not before I get that bitter jab again. It’s an issue IMHO. Overall this is a decent weekday pop-n-pour and it serves my needs tonight. 87 points make this $14 wine a 3 star effort. Previous vintages that lacked the bitterness were better BTW. Drink till 2022. Salut….
The finale to our Virtual Wine Tasting was this stunner. I saved the best for last. It’s a 72/28 blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon that is inky in the glass. On the nose we got black cherry, Damson plum, leather, fruitcake, hay, raisins, smoke and molasses. On the palate it was immediately evident that this wine is powerful, yet subtle. Very smooth with super fine grained tannins that are barely perceptible make for a gorgeous mouthfeel. Plums, fruit cake, black berry cassis and violet. The finish was a medium length affair that was simply delicious, not dry or acidic. A stunning wine that I gave 19 points out of 20. Technically speaking it is worthy of a massive 96 points from me which jibes with the pros. I would not bother pairing this beauty with anything- just drink it with a loved one and appreciate the depth of flavor, the complexity and the balance of this $70 treat. I have to go with 5 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Malbec was the Wine of the Night (WOTN) for many at the 12th virtual wine tasting. We enjoyed menthol, lilac, raspberry, Damson plum, smoke tar, leather, violets and gravel on the nose. That’s a lot of descriptors. On the palate it is very fruity with just enough tannic grip to give it structure. Plums, dark fruit, licorice and ‘Cognac’ flavors were noted and I felt the wine had a jammy concentration to it. There was a definitive jab of acidity on the decent length finish and the wine had a very pleasing mouthfeel. It was elegant and full of flavor making it the go-to drink after the tasting was over. Well made and worthy of 92 points from me which gets it 5 stars for the $25 price tag. Drink till 2025. Salut….
I’m cooking Lamb Shanks tonight so a Malbec made sense. This one is semi opaque and a medium shade of purple. Blueberry reduction, smoky wood and black licorice hit the nose. The palate has got a delightful sweet blackberry entrance with plums, anise and a very smooth mouthfeel. I sense raspberry on the mid palate, could that be? More licorice and that red fruit note are dominant with very svelte tannins and a touch of acidity. The finish is refreshing- it has an earthy minerality with some raspberry. The mouthfeel is great if you are looking for an easygoing wine that will not bite with tannins or acidity. Built for the present with tons of fruit, it will drink well till 2023 and gets 88 points from me. 3 stars for this $22 effort. Salut….
This Napa blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Petite Sirah is really dark purple and inky in the glass. The nose is rich with blackberry flavors, iodine, a whiff of alcohol and oaky vanilla. The palate is very pleasing- blackberry compote, plump raisins, black cherry cola and bakers chocolate. The mid palate has a nice mouthfeel that has a touch of astringency and a whiff of acidity. Black fruits dominate and the oak influence is evident. Black tea, iodine and tannins round out the wine with a decent length finish that is neither dry nor sour. The structure feels like it will drink nicely till 2024, but extended cellaring probably won’t happen. It drinks nicely as is but I am pairing it with some Sous Vive Ribeyes, baked taters and grilled Asparagus. Overall- a decent drop that gets 89 points from me and 3 stars for its $45 release price. Salut….
This blend of Cab Sav, Shiraz and Malbec is particularly dark and brooding in the glass. On the nose I get black currant, rose water and spice. The palate is much more focused on darker fruits, mainly blackberry with anise and coffee bean. The mid palate continues the theme with more black licorice poking through. There’s a gentle dose of tannins that give the wine structure but are not obtrusive. The finish is decent in length and tasty with more of the same. The balance in this wine is good and the fruit lingers along with the acidity and tannins. I am enjoying it for what it is- not overly complex but extremely drinkable with nice flavors, good backbone and medium term cellaring potential. Drink till 2025. 88 points and 3 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
Opaque and dark purple. The nose offers sweet blackberry, ripe black currants and mocha. It’s smells of Cali sunshine. The palate is very nice, but not as full as the nose. Black fruits galore with leather and chocolate powder. The mid palate is tasty with cassis and a bit of dusty bramble. Fine grained tannins ease into the mix and there is a touch of acidity that keeps this wine very balanced. It’s a delicious drop built for immediate pleasure. I would drink till 2024. My pairing tonight is pasta with olives and peppers plus a side of Italian sausage. 89 points and 3 stars for this $23 Grenache/Malbec blend. Salut….
Inky and opaque is this Bordeaux blend. On the nose I am treated to a melange of cassis, plums, blackberry and delicious oak. The palate is exactly what I was hoping for- rich, warm and layered with all those black fruits, very integrated tannins and a mound of acidity. This wine is very powerful and thick with fruit flavors, balancing doses of tannin and acidity and just the right amount of wood to make it very pleasing. The mid palate gets quite a bit more focused on the structure of the wine- the acidity really playing hell with my jaw and the tannins really starting to grip. If you’re looking for an unabashed wine that will pair well with game, grilled Ribeyes or a heavy pasta dish- this is it. The finish reminds me of young Claret, the fruit being masked by the power of the structural components. It will cellar nicely till 2030. 92 points from me for this $22 stunner that gets 5 stars. Salut….
This wine was all over the shop with the group at the #9 virtual wine tasting. Some loved it, others hated. It’s an 80/20 Malbec/Cab Franc blend from Argentina. It is a very dark shade of purple in the glass. The nose is chock full of cigar box, smoke, Port wine, tar and oak. The fruit finally appears after a big swirl- black cherry and Welch’s Grape juice. There is a concerning acetone whiff, not a good sign. On the palate it is very rich and upfront with pepper, bitter chocolate, black plum and violet. That medicinal/tarry note that I am associating with the acetone is bothering me. The wine finishes with a touch of tannin and some oak influence. This is not my fave- I think it may have flaws and only gets 86 points from me. For $35 it only gets 1 star. Salut….