A slightly murky purple in the glass, which I find normal for this winery and their older vintages. The nose is interesting, if not a touch gamy. Ripe plums, violets, blackberry ganache and bacon fat. On the palate it’s much more ‘normal’. Mature purple fruits, black cherry kirsch, oak and stewed plum. I also get some smoky wood notes that carry me into the mid palate where I’m greeted by some tame tannins that just add a nice touch of dryness to the gums. More black fruits and tobacco. The finish is quite dry but not astringent. The fruit fades quickly and the wine does show a balance of acidity. It’s all black tea, dry gums and some blackberries. Overall it’s tasty but lacks technical merit. At 10 years of aging it should be showing stronger, perhaps this vintage peaked early. I’m a huge fan of this winery, this being the first Merlot I have tried from them. It’s a bit of a disappoint but still gets 90 points from me. I was hoping for a showstopper. Drink till 2025. $28 and 3 stars. Salut….
It’s inky, brooding, opaque and shows fine legs in the glass. On the nose I get graphite, plums, oaky vanilla and cedar. On the palate there are black currants, green plums, black tea and dry tannins. The mid palate is very astringent with more tea, strange tannins, some black fruit and not much acidity. I’m not enjoying this wine very much, too off-balance and way too dry without fruit to back it up. The finish is very dark and austere- over-steeped tea, some plums and a woodsy note. The grip of the tannins hold on for a while but the fruit fades quickly. Overall a disappointing wine from a great Bordeaux vintage. 86 points from me, the pros went much higher but I don’t see it. It may mellow out in the near future. Drink till 2025. For $75 it gets 1 star and a pass from yours truly. Salut….
The third SplashWine in the lineup is a Merlot from Spain. It’s a dull shade of purple and nearly see through. On the nose I get cherry, raspberry and oregano. On the initial palate it is somewhat sweet with cherry juice, more red fruit melange and tart acid. The mid palate is not so sweet and the proper flavors come around. Raspberries and sour cherry are more like it. The wine finishes quickly, with some red fruit, crunchy tartness and a trace of tannins. 83 points from me and 1 star for this $12 wine. Salut….
This Merlot has a really deep purple hue in the glass with very nice thin legs. The nose is plummy with anise and blueberry notes. On the initial palate I get inky dark berries, some iodine, black tea and really nice gentle tannins. The mid palate is a bit more gripping with the fine grained tannins, they start to cling to the gums. Black cherry and more plum are hitting me up with some slight oak notes. The finish is a touch dusty with some spice box and leather. Plums are my main theme with this wine and the tannic structure is really good. Juicy, dry and built for the medium haul. I like this wine- it’s easy going yet has some depth and structure to it. Drink till 2027. 91 points from me and at $18 a pop- 5 stars. Cellar some for later. Salut….
The nose on the third wine of our virtual tasting was wild. Gamy AF, with loads of mushroom, forest floor, bacon fat and some semblance of black fruits. On the palate it was much more manageable and in line with expectations. Bramble, blackberry reduction, leather and some really nice tannins all came together on the palate. The wine smoothed out some on the mid palate and it showed some nice balance between the fruit, the tertiary flavors, tannins and acidity. The funk wore off but there were trace elements of morel mushrooms, leather and blackberry. The finish was where this wine finally came on pointe. Good fruit presentation, some nice touches of those secondary flavors and a decent amount of astringency from the lithe tannins. Overall I really enjoyed this wine, but the nose was offputting for many on the tasting. 91 points for me. Drink till 2026, but let it breathe for at least an hour to help dispel the funk. For $20, it gets 5 stars. Salut….
A lighter shade of purple and semi opaque in the glass with thick legs showing. The nose is a bit off-putting. I fear it may be corked as I’m getting stewed plums meet bacon fat. The palate does not confirm any fault- maybe the nose needs to waft a bit. On the initial I get raspberry and toffee. It’s strange but intriguing. There’s a warmth to it that I like. Cinnamon and cloves mingle with those red berries on the mid palate and some fine grained tannins appear. The finish is a little thin but offers more red fruits and some fruit cake. There’s a lot of spices involved here, they seem to clash a bit with the primal fruits. Acidity is decent and the finish is of medium length. I kinda like this wine even though it’s atypical and heavily into the spice. I don’t know offhand what to pair it with but drink till 2023. 88 points and for $14 it’s a 3 star wine. Salut….
It’s been a while since I drank some of this old perennial favorite. This vintage shows dark purple in the glass. On the nose- charcoal, blackberry and fig. The palate is very pleasant and easy drinking. There are blackberry notes, tar, wintergreen and crunchy tannins. They dry the gums immediately but not excessively. The mid palate is much the same, black fruits abound. The tannins really go the distance and lead me to the finish of blackberry pie meets a slate. There is quite a bit of minerality alongside the tannic thrust. The wine is well balanced and well made. There’s a reason I drank a crapload of it in the early days, it offers good value for money. Drink till 2025 with a nice NY Strip and creamed spinach. I’m going 88 points and 5 stars for $9. Salut….
Very dark bluish purple in the glass with very fine legs, indicative of the 12.5% alcohol. On the nose it is purple fruit, blackberry, damson and cinnamon. The palate is surprisingly fresh, I was expecting a more traditional attack. This one pops with plums, black cherry and lithe tannins. The mid palate gives me cola, black cherry and some strawberry jam. Strange, I know. The finale is really a nice, smooth, fruity affair with really well tamed tannins holding the blackberry and cola flavors on for a good 30 seconds. There is a trace of acidic bite, but it is appropriate and balances the nice tannins. This is a tasty, decent wine that gets 91 points from me. I would drink right away until 2024 with lighter meat dishes, perhaps beer-can chicken or even roast duck breast. Strangely enough the Decanter score of 95 was opposite to the mid 80’s score given by others. I think this is a steal at $20 and it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Very dark purple in the glass with barely traceable legs. The aromas spilled over when I swirled the glass. On the nose I am sensing that candied licorice that I don’t care for. I also get pine and eucalyptus. On the palate, it is decent for an $8 bottle. I wasn’t expecting much complexity but this one has some nice primal fruit flavors of blackberry alongside anise, cedar and wood smoke. What it lacks in structure it makes up for with fruitiness and verve. A decent drink that has a trace of tannins, a bit of acidity and an easy going quaffability. 86 points would be generous but at this price, it’s good for a BBQ or a day at the picnic site. Drink now. 3 stars. Salut….
Very thick purple color. On the nose it’s all blackberries with a hint of nutmeg. A strange one for sure but I like it. On the palate it is a touch thin but tasty. Blackberries and black currant make me think this wine will develop into a cassis laden beaut if cellared for a few years. There is a delightful tannic grip that builds as I transition to the mid palate. An oak component that hits me on the mid to back end, adding depth to the black fruits that are still prominent. However, a touch of black tea alongside some astringency on the finish that makes me wonder. Overall this is a nice wine with potential. It’s drinking young right now unless you fancy a pretty dry drop. Cellar till 2022 then drink for seven more years with steaks, pot roast or even moussakka. 88 points and 3 stars for this $15 wine. Salut….