Deep ruby colored with really thick, slow moving legs. The nose has a whiff of alcohol that needs to dissipate- I now get pronounced aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, smoke, coffee, vanilla and menthol. The cassis is en pointe. On the palate this wine is dry with medium acidity and high tannins (I forgot to mention the it stained the walls of the glass when I swirled). A full body was to be expected and I get rich flavors of ripe blackberry, black plum, cassis and the associated oak derived notes and menthol. The richness of this wine continues on to a medium (+) length finish. It’s a delicious blend of Cab Saver, Syrah and Merlot that gets 93 points from me and for $35- 5 stars. Drink with hearty meat (steak) till 2029. Salut….
This Right Bank Merlot based blend is a deep garnet color in the glass with long, lingering legs. The nose is gorgeous- plum, steeped blackberry, cassis, licorice, vanilla bean, graphite and blueberry mixed with fresh oak and a touch of espresso. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins that are silky on the mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied this just-maturing wine has got waves of blackberry, blueberry and plum flavors intertwined with a dash of vanilla, coffee and oak. It is just starting to offer tertiary flavors and will develop nicely in the coming years. It finishes long with a black tea component alongside cassis. Very smooth and certainly delicious, this $55 bottle will drink nicely till 2032 and pair with most meat dishes and stews. 94 points from me make it a 5 star wine. Salut…..
I have owned and stored this Magnum for nearly 20 years. I chose it for our dinner with friends Keef and Arty at our favorite restaurant, Chez Francois where we dined on Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Rack of Lamb and Chateaurbriand. An amazing evening that lasted 3+ hours and culminated with their signature Soufflé. This bottle was decanted and the sommelier and I agreed that it was youthful in color, showing no bricking- just a clear, deep ruby color. With a touch of air in the large decanter the nose was stupendous. No notes were taken but I can say that it was all there. Cassis, leather, tobacco, cedar, blackberry, black cherry. The tannins were so well integrated and the acidity was en Pointe. The mouthfeel on this wine was exceptional- balanced to a tee with fruit, structure, secondary and tertiary flavors and aromas- the whole lot. It is drinking at its prime now and will last another 5-8 years methinks. If you have it in 750 ml, start consuming it sooner rather than later. A stunning, smooth and delicious Right Bank Merlot that was worth the wait. 95 points from me. If you can find a regular bottle it will run you $250, a Magnum would be roughly $600. Drink this beauty with friends for a very special occasion. 5 stars. Salut….
Deep ruby colored, this Merlot shows off its 15% ABV with thick legs in the glass. The nose has rich aromas of ripe raspberry, black cherry, vanilla, caramel and red licorice. The palate is dry with slightly green tannins, medium acidity and medium intensity flavors. The body is medium (+) on this juicy wine. The mid palate is a touch astringent that also shows some charcoal notes. The finish is dry and somewhat tart, reminiscent of sour cherries and black tea. It’s a decent drop that gets 89 points from me. I would imagine this will drink till 2025 and pair well with grilled meats and charcuterie. $22 makes this a 3 star wine in my books. Salut….
Tasted blind, this Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cab Sav was a deep ruby color with thin legs. Medium (-) intensity nose with aromas of red cherry, red raspberry, wet wool and purple grape- I found it to be very youthful and simple. (Plus disgusting). The palate was dry with medium acidity, medium tannins, medium alcohol and light bodied. Medium (-) intensity flavors of the above led to a medium (-) finish. I called this wine poor but was corrected to- acceptable; a point for balance was deserved(?). This wine is to be drunk now, not suitable for aging. I did not care for it and was surprised that I couldn’t even get the varietal right. For me this $14 wine gets 84 points with a 1 star rating. Salut….
I’m cooking peppercorn steaks tonight and had a hard time deciding between three wines- this Merlot/Cab Franc blend won the honors. It is opaque AF, inky purple in the glass with glossy legs. The nose is spectacular- pronounced aromas of black plum, cassis, blackberry, vanilla, coffee bean, spice box, leather and iodine. The palate is dry, fiercely tannic and has medium acidity. It runs a hefty 15% ABV and shows off a full body. The flavors are yummy. Pronounced black and dark blue fruit with nicely integrated oak nuance alongside a sanguine thrust of iodine and iron. This wine is young with a great tannic structure and the mouthfeel is beautiful, decant it if you like them a little softer. The pro’s were all over the scoring map with this $50 effort, but I have to say the higher end wins. 93 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2034 with hearty stews, well marbled steaks or a bold cheese tray. Salut….
It’s labeled as a Rosso Italia which means there is no rules the winemaker had to play by as far as varietals, blending, aging etc. It’s the way it should be if you ask me- let the winemaker make the choices, not hamstrung by Byzantine Old World rules.
It is a deep claret color with medium intensity aromas of red cherry, blackcurrant, ripe plum, baking spice and a touch of charcoal. The palate is dry and grippy with upfront, somewhat green tannins. Medium (-) acidity, medium body and short finish. The flavors are much more focused on blackcurrant and cherry, with a hint of spice and oak influence peeking out from behind the tannic veil. The astringency is a little much to be honest, this is either a very young wine, or just out of balance. At $12 per bottle it is a handy blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cab Sav that get 88 point from me. Drink this 4 star wine with meaty dishes or hearty pasta till 2025. Salut….
Almost opaque, this dark ruby colored ‘Red Wine’ is a blend of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah that rings in at 13.9% ABV. The nose has rich black plum, blackberry coulis, licorice and vanilla. The palate is meh… Tart, dry and lacking depth of fruit. I do get some blackberry and plum but I’m missing the oak nuance, the licorice and am distracted by the sourness. The tannins are medium (+) and the wine is mid weight. The finish is short, TG. Not impressed by this $18 wine (I paid $10) that gets 84 points from me. 1 star and a major pass. I’m pairing it with leftover Lasagna. Salut….
Number two wine at our 23rd virtual tasting was this mature Merlot-based Bordeaux blend from the great 2010 vintage. Deep garnet with evidence of bricking in the glass. Nose of black cherry, tobacco, graphite, musty and earthy with leather, pencil shavings, cassis and stewed strawberry. The palate is very smooth with integrated tannins that are fully resolved. The tertiary notes are all present alongside smoke, blackberry, blackcurrant and cedar. The wine has a milder taste and is quite dry. Medium bodied it has a medium length finish. I’m going with 91 points and a drinking window up till 2025. At $20- it’s a great intro to an aged Right Bank wine that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Deep ruby color which is surprising considering the age of this Merlot (5 years old). I was expecting a bit of garnet. The nose is wafting…. and is a bit dusty right off the bat. A good swirl and aromas of black currant, bramble, cassis, charred oak, stewed black plum, coconut and sweet raspberry pie. The palate is very smooth, spicy and chock full of fruit. Flavors of black currants, plum, cassis, dusty bramble with oak hints of coconut and charred wood mingle with some red fruit. I like it. The tannins are fully integrated and there is a balancing acidity making for a very smooth mouthfeel that has medium body and a medium finish. This wine is at peak and I am pairing it with grilled Tri-tip and mashed potatoes alongside some charred eggplant and onion salad. 90 points, drink this $20 wine that gets 5 stars from me till 2024. Salut….