Torrontes is a very intriguing aromatic varietal that I really enjoy, so when I saw a Late Harvest (ie. sweet ) I could not resist. It is medium lemon in color and has a watery sheen in the glass as expected for a 12% ABV wine. The nose is incredible- pronounced aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon curd and rosewater. The palate is sweet- full bodied and of medium (-) acidity. The flavors are pronounced on the palate. Florals, ripe citrus curd, rose and honeysuckle caress the mouth with a richness. Served chilled, this wine is actually very refreshing and dare I say- easy to drink! As a dessert wine I am thinking it would pair with poached stone fruit and vanilla ice cream. For $30 it’s a great intro to something unique that gets 91 points from me and 5 stars. Ps. I am drinking it as an aperitif. Salut….
The second red wine at the 25th Virtual tasting was from the same producer as the first bottle. This one is a year younger and has been blended with Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc. A mix of new and used oak in the winemaking allowed us to compare flavors and aromas with a wine that relied mostly on used oak.
In the glass this blend is medium garnet, slightly less opaque than the Cab Sav we tasted previously. Leather, tobacco, black currant, black cherry, blackberry and cassis aromas were quite evident on the nose. The palate was dry, slightly tart with medium tannins, medium (-) acidity and light bodied. Flavors of black currant, spice, leather, tobacco, blood/iron and orange marmalade but I did make a note that this wine was a touch ‘thin’. Scoring it 91 points was a little off from the pros. This $50 bottle gets 3 stars from me and only 14 marks on the tasting scale. Drink now with lighter meat dishes. Salut….
The red wine portion of the 25th Virtual Wine Tasting was focussed on oak and it’s influence on wine. I purchased this Cab Sav that the winemaker ages is used barrels as a baseline. The single varietal coupled with old oak would give us a starting point to build from. Here is what the group had to say:
Deep garnet with a touch of bricking on this 10 year old wine that was showing fine legs in the glass. The nose had very obvious aromas of cherry Coke/Pepsi. Black cherry, black raspberry, dark chocolate, leather, smoky, woodsy spice and bramble. On the palate this wine was smooth with medium (-) acidity, medium body, very fine and well-integrated tannins with a decently long finish. On the palate we got black cherry, dark chocolate, licorice, bramble, leather and what can only be described as ‘BandAid’ by one of the group. I scored this wine 15 marks, and then later upped it to 17 once it had had a chance to breathe. No further reports of that plastic component! 91 points for this very svelte $35 bottle gets it 4 stars in my book. I would drink this wine all by itself- it’s at peak now. Salut….
This Argentinian wine is deep, deep purple- like opaque and brooding in the glass. The nose starts off with a vegetal note- green peppers, asparagus, grass. I manage to coax blackberry, iodine, ripe blueberry and smoke with some vigorous swirling. The palate is bone dry with pretty gritty tannins, medium acidity, full body and a mid length finish. The fruit flavors start with black and blue berries and then some green veggies and black licorice, opposite order from the nose. The oak influence is less noticeable on the palate but I still get a touch. Iodine and an iron-like note kick in on the mid to back end. This wine would pair beautifully with a juicy steak and some fried batatas. It will cellar nicely till 2030 and gets 91 points from me. The pros all went 94, which is stretch in my book. At $40, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
Moxie and I went to a pre-theater dinner in downtown Philly. The food was really good but the wine list was quite shabby, they offered 5 reds which retail in the stores for $12-18 per bottle and none got a rating over 86. I was forced to choose one and settled on this Argentinian Malbec. Here is my brief review:
Opaque, nose of crushed stone, plum, blackberry. Soft mouthfeel with lithe tannins, gentle acidity and medium intensity flavors. Medium bodied with a medium length finish. 86 points. Drink now. $13 makes it a 3 star effort. It was okay, just not great. Salut….
Medium shade of gold in the glass. On the nose it is floral and aromatic. Pineapple, papaya and pink grapefruit. On the palate – more papaya and some yellow guava. Lithe acidity makes for a rounded mouth-feel. The mid palate – more floral with honeysuckle, paperwhites and peach. It’s quite a complex set of flavors, but that’s what’s so nice about this varietal. It’s not your run-of-the-mill. The finish is smooth, fruity, and lacks the big bite from the acid, just enough juiciness. I’m looking forward to pairing this with my baked salmon and shallot sauce. 90 points and 5 stars for this $17 charmer. Drink until 2023. 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….
Quite dark and brooding in the glass. The nose is somewhat muted but I managed to swirl some black cherry and cassis. The palate is basic with black and blue fruit notes, gentle acidity and mild tannins. The mid palate is a little hollow but I do get some plum and blueberry notes. The finish is rather short but the tannins hold on for a while, not overly dry but present. A weekday wine to pair with pasta or pizza it gets 85 points from me. Drink till 2022. This unique Argentinian red nlend of Bonarda, Malbec, and Syrah cost me $21 and gets 2 stars. 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….
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….