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….
This Bordeaux blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cab Sav and 5% Cab Franc is opaque and garnet in color. At 5 years of age, that is to be expected. The nose is starting to develop tertiary notes alongside black plum, blackcurrant, tobacco, earth, barnyard, cassis and bramble. Oak nuance by way of coffee and smoke are present. The palate is yummy and developed. Stewed black plum, blackcurrant, cassis, leather and barnyard. Very earthy and smoky with well integrated yet persistent tannins and a touch of back end acidity. The wine is medium bodied and shows a mid length finish. It dries up on the finish and will go beautifully with my braised Lamb shanks which will have plenty of rich gravy and Yorkshire puddings. 91 points for this $25 effort makes it a 5 star wine to drink till 2026. It is mature now and will last a few years. Salut….
My friends Arty and Keef opened this bottle for a pre-Thanksgiving drink. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon this Napa jewel has Merlot and Cab Franc blended in as well. Deep ruby in the glass the nose gives me currants, black cherry, charcoal, plums, black currants- a pretty complex set of red and black fruit aromas. Super smooth on the palate with lithe tannins and easygoing acidity that makes for a great mouthfeel. Red and black fruit flavors, charred oak notes, chocolate powder and a medium finish with super fine-grained tannins. Yummy stuff to drink till 2027. 92 points for this $65 wine makes it a 5 star treat. It needs a Filet or some other lower fat cut of meat. Salut….
This bottle was a gift, for delivering a rescue dog to her new home in upstate New York. We had fostered Victoria for a month and when it was time for her to meet new friends- it was off to the horse farm with her. The new family were super happy to meet her and gave me two bottles of the local reds. This one is a blend of 49% Merlot, 40% Cab Franc and 11% Syrah.
Semi opaque, bright ruby. The nose is medium intense and gives me red cherry, red currants, raspberry, red plum and spice box- like baking spices. The palate is dry, medium bodied and has juicy acidity and mid grade tannins. The fruit flavors are of medium intensity and I get the red notes as well as the spice. There is very little oak showing but I do get a strange sensation, almost like effervescence yet there are no bubbles. It’s unique, something new to me. As I drink more of it there is a definitive red cherry candy component and the glass wafts a touch of straw if swirled a lot. The tannins I mentioned are very lithe yet hang on for a long time, far longer than the fruit which is pretty decent in length. Overall, it’s a decent drop that gets 87 points from me. It runs $13 and gets 3 stars from me. Drink now with lighter fare, perhaps a pasta dish with veggies. Salut….