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….
Dark purple, semi opaque in the glass. On the nose there’s a very concentrated plum core with a touch of oak and espresso. On the palate it introduces blackberries and tannin right off the bat. There is a black fruit component that carries through the slightly hollow midpalate into the finish of violet, black olive and plum. It lasts a while. I would cellar this baby till 2021 and then drink till 2026 with venison, roast squab or a hearty pasta dish…. steaks are an obvious pairing btw. 90 points and 3 stars for this $46 bottle. Salut….
It’s a pretty shade of purple in the glass with a 98 point sticker on the bottle….. hmmm. The nose is thin but offers up strawberry coulis and cherry juice. On the palate it has much more presence. A rich mouthful of dark cherry, strawberry extract and cola hit me square on. Tannins introduce themselves right away and are not holding back. This is a hefty wine, with structure to boot. The mid palate has more of that extracted cherry that is almost overwhelmed by the tannic grip. Wow, this wine is built. The finish is very astringent yet tasty. Red fruits swirl alongside black tea and jaw drying tannins. It’s certainly an interesting wine that I am really enjoying, yet wondering what the cellaring potential is as there is very little acidity. The tannins and fruit are certainly present, I am just a little concerned about the long term structure. Let’s see in a few years. For now, enjoy this Merlot/Sangiovese blend with pasta, steaks or moussaka. It gets a realistic 91 points from me and 5 stars for the $14 price I paid. Drink till 2027 at the least. Salut….
A slightly dull purple in the glass, gives me concern. On the nose however- violets, black currants, a touch of oak. On the palate it is much darker- blackberry, cherry extract, graphite and singed oak. There is a leather component too, it just comes along later, towards the mid palate. The wine transitions very nicely with good tannic structure that is not obtrusive and acidic enough to balance. This is the third wine of Brane Cantenac, a Second Growth Margaux. They use the young plots for source fruit, giving us an approachable young wine that drinks very nicely with good mouthfeel and medium term cellaring potential. 90 points from me for this $29 effort that gets 3 stars. Drink now till 2024. Salut….
Moxie and I met up with an old high-school friend at a Tapas bar in Massachusetts. This wine was recommended by our waiter so we dove in. I did not write too many notes so bear with me:
Nose of smoky plum. Lithe and fruity with some complexity but not overpowering. Dark fruits galore and lithe tannins make it an easy drinker with 5-10 years of cellaring potential. We obviously ate it with Tapas, which was a great pairing. Strangely enough, the pros vary between 88 and 92 points. I would go with 89 personally. $25 makes it a 3 star wine for me. Blend of 30% Garnatxa, 27% Merlot, 20% Samso, 18% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass. Black cherry and sassafras come to mind on the nose. The palate is very tasty, brimming with Black cherry, cola, and dark chocolate. Very fine grained tannins introduce themselves right off the bat and help to coat the gums very gently all the way through the mid palate and onto the finish. Speaking of the mid-palate, there’s more cola than fruit here along with some licorice. It’s quite nice! The finish is medium length and continues the theme. A very satisfying wine that I am enjoying with pasta and meatballs. 90 points, drink till 2025 with anything Italian! For the $13 price tag, you need some of this 5 star wine. Salut….
Medium opacity, great purple color. On the nose creosote, blueberry, charcoal and plum jam. On the palate I get a darker fruit profile- blackberry, ripe plum. The mid palate hits me with cheek quenching tannins, not overly done- just makes me pucker a bit. The acidity also presents at the same moment. Intriguing to have my rear jowls hit by opposing forces. The finish gets me back to that mineral tone of creosote, perhaps some black olives, all tiptoeing around the tannic bite that crescendoed on the finish. An interesting wine that I am enjoying thoroughly. It’s needs meat though, pair it with game, lamb stew or something hearty. 91 points for this blend of 62% Pinotage, 22% Merlot, 12% Cab Sav and 4% Shiraz. Aerate for immediate enjoyment and drink till 2025. 5 stars for this $15 effort. Salut….