I recently wrote about the 2013 Faithful Hound, so when I caught some of the 2014 on sale, I grabbed a few. Retailing for $18, it’s a good parallel to the Bordeaux style blends that I so truly love. This one has a dark purple complexion, just like it’s older sister. The nose is gorgeous- plums, bramble, chocolate, some oak and a blueberry component. On the palate, much darker fruits than expected. More of the blackberry and currants theme with some violets. The mid palate is bone dry with tannins popping out and caressing the gums. The finish is blackberry, tar and those delightful tannins. The mouthfeel on this wine is great, built for steaks or the pasta with meatballs and sausage I am about to serve. This wine will cellar well, it has al the right components. I really hope it can evolve with secondary flavors like it’s French cousins. Drink till 2025. 90 points and 4 stars for this gem from SA. Salut….
Just a gorgeous dark purple in the glass, it shows promise! On the nose I get lavender, plums, and a remarkable blackberry hint. On the palate I am getting delicious plums, black cherry kirsch and a hint of upfront tannins. As the wine progresses to the mid palate the tannins firm up a touch and the fruit mellows somewhat, indicating youth in this wine. The finish shows off a blueberry component which has me confused. Plums, Blackberry, Black Cherry and now blueberry. It cannot be possible, yet here it is, bathed in very well integrated tannins and just a touch of acidity. This wine is delicious, it really is. My choice was to pair it with Strip Steak, steamed Artichokes and a Cauliflower puree. A perfect match. This wine gets 91 points from and for $45 it is a 4 star effort. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot are the make up of this Bordeaux style wine, which as you know really excites me. Drink till 2022 at the least. Salut….
Dark and brooding in the glass it shows off Blackberry and mint on the nose. The palate is very interesting. Black cherry pie meets blackberries and licorice. The tannins are delightful, packed just right. The mid palate gives off some plum jam but is quickly overriden by the tannins. The finish is decent in length and I am getting charcoal, blackberry and dark cherry notes. A well made wine that has some cellaring potential. We are pairing it with Flank steak and roasted asparagus. 90 points and for $19 is it a 4 star effort. It is a true Bordeaux blend, comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Salut….
I’m a fan of this winery and recently went for a wine and cheese pairing. I ordered a few bottles of this blend. Pale yellow/hints of gold in the glass. A nose of yellow apple, ginger, lime and a touch of pineapple. Initial tastes of apple, pineapple and a touch of butter. Reminiscent of Napa Chardonnay yet shouting out that it’s a blend. Very nice mid palate with ever so gentle acidity. The finish is nice, with a green apple meets melon twist. That’s also the point that the acidity hits. There’s some mid-palate ring going on as well. 90 points from me and perfectly suited for grilled chicken with roasted veggies, or just drink it chilled on a hot summers day! A blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc, 44% Semillon that costs $20 at retail and got 88 points from WE. A 4 star effort that you need by the case (it’s $16 per if you join the club). Salut….
A Napa Valley white wine blended from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Pale yellow with a nose of lemon, asparagus and crunchy green apple. The initial attack is very soft with elegant hints of quince, yellow apple and green melon. Not as steely as a Chablis nor as buttery as a Napa chard, it sits comfortably in the middle. It possesses a longish finish than refreshes and coaxes. I’m guessing there is no malolactic fermentation and a minimal amount of new oak, but it’s just a guess. Refreshing yet hearty. 91 points. The only drawback is the 14.5% alcohol which is well disguised. Nicely done and for $20, this is a 4 star wine. Salut….
I picked this bottle up at the Napa tasting room, where I joined the club and indulged in tasting just about everything they had. I really enjoy the wines from this winery, they suit my style, budget and usually have enough unique character to set them apart from the thousands of others in the valley. This one was $36 for club members, $45 for the rest. It opens up in the glass and shows off a bright purple color. On the nose- nice plum and blue fruit compote. A nice intro of plum, currant, black cherry and gripping tannins. Acidity is very present and balances the young tannins somewhat. The blend of this wine is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 9 % Cabernet Franc and the 1 % left is Malbec.
This Bordeaux blend appeals to me greatly and the wine drinks well, albeit young. The mid palate just hit me with some powerful plum essence with a silky touch of flowers, probably the Franc I suspect. The finish is average in length and the tannins simply disappear. I’m thinking this is a shorter term wine with a drinking window of 2016-2020. 91 points from me and 4 stars. Salut….
Next in my tasting series from Alexander Valley Vineyard is this gem. 45% Cab Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Merlot makes this a Meritage in anyone’s books. How I love Cab Franc and more importantly how it melds into the Bordeaux style blend ! This was one bottle I was looking forward to.
Dark purple with a nose of black currant, eucalyptus, wood shavings and pencil lead. On the palate is a vibrant, somewhat tannic attack of currants, black berries and more graphite. Very young wine with a good cellaring potential. 89 points with a drinking window of 2016-2022. (Or you could run it through a Vinturi and pair it with a ribeye!) I paid $24 at the winery and give it 3 stars. Salut….
Some friends and I were at a Costco yesterday and decided to try a few of the Kirkland brand wines. This was our first attempt, it cost $11 and is a blend of 49% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% each Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. I took some basic notes:
Plummy with oak and currants.
Young and fresh, with hints of eucalyptus and oregano
At this price point it is a very serviceable party wine that won’t disappoint. It could use another year of cellaring and drink till 2019. 3 stars from me. Salut….
Yesterday was my birthday and Easter, so Moxie took us all out to our local Melting Pot for some Fondue. I had a quick look at the wine list and immediately knew I was ordering this bottle. I had previously tasted the 2008 Octagon at the vineyard and was impressed, so when I saw a $50 (at retail) bottle selling for only $72 I knew I was getting a great deal at restaurant pricing.
One word. Stunning. On the nose was a mixture of plums, cherries, oak and an earthy note. Dark purple in color. I was excited to taste this one and was not disappointed. A classic Bordeaux blend comprising Merlot, Cab Sav, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. It tasted just like I imagined it would; cassis, plums, dark cherry, earth and a touch of cedary wood. Very smooth and integrated tannins made this an amazing wine to savor and the acidity was so well integrated that I made a note ‘sublime acidity’ on my phone. The wine did not last long as I could not help myself. It went well with all the dishes of cheese, beef, shrimp with curry sauce and chicken cooked in Coq au Vin broth.
Yes, $50 is spendy for a bottle of wine. Take into account the situation, the mood and what you are getting for this 92 point wine that I am giving 5 stars to. I would recommend drinking this wine from 2014-2020, and I reckon it will evolve nicely in that time frame. It was a magical day of Church, Brunch, afternoon nap followed by a great family dinner and this amazing wine was the crowning touch. Salut….