It’s not often I get to drink a 17 year old wine, but I received two bottles of the 2000 St. Thomas recently. Given to me by a cousin and hand carried by my uncle half way across the globe. I was very gentle in opening the bottle, using my Two Prong Puller to prevent any cork failure. There was none, in fact the cork looked very good. The wine has a burnt hue to it, a slight bricking which is expected at this age. It is pretty dark though which is interesting. On the nose I initially got a dank whiff which has since blown off. I now get a fresh dose of plums, some tobacco and espresso bean. The palate is wonderful- soft, flavorful, balanced and easy to drink. Flavors of black berry, toasty oak, cherry, leather and cassis all hit me in layers. The mid palate offers up the tannins, bone dry and and still a force to be reckoned with. The acidity is juicy, yet not tart- balanced. The finish is long, with loads of tannin, dark fruit compote and more of the coffee/tobacco that I got on the nose. This wine believe it or not, is young. I see room for more development, more mellowing and believe the structure is there to hold it all together. It is a delicious, dry wine that begs for charcoal grilled Filets, which is what I am going to cook. An amazing wine from a distant relative’s winery that is excellent in every facet. 91 points from me for this vintage. I have no idea on price but newer vintages are running $22 and are equally delicious, even in their relative youth. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. I would give this wine 5 stars for sure. See my reviews of other St. Thomas vintages. Salut….
A really dark purple in the glass which is getting me excited. The nose is pure pleasure. Sweet plums, a hint of oak and a creaminess I can’t even describe. This wine is going to be the business- I just know it.
On the palate it is super duper smooth. Blackberry, cocoa and pomegranate come to mind. The tannins pop on the mid palate and dominate the dry finish. I also get some red currants right at the end. This wine is multi layered and I expect it to cellar well into 2022. I’m really enjoying it all by its lonesome but envision roasted duck with root veg and an elderberry gravy might hit the spot. 92 points for this $35 effort and 5 stars. Salut….
Bright purple presentation. The nose is blackberry, sage, eucalyptus and pine needle. The initial palate is vibrant, full of black fruit, bright acidity and Ribena. The mid palate takes a turn. The fruit is dark and brooding, giving way to the clash between the acidity and the tannins. They are balanced mind you, just in the forefront. They taper off on the finish and allow notes of blackberry pie, vanilla bean and blueberries to close it out. This is a bold wine, full of fruit, structure and a solid mouthfeel. It really could use some grilled meats, au gratin and a big salad to tone it down a touch. Impressive if you ask me. 91 points. $25 and 4 stars. Salut….
It’s pasta for a quick pre-ballet dinner with my daughter so I needed a quick and easy Italian wine. This one rolled in the other day at $10 so I figured it was worth a shot. The glass shows off a decent color palette of purple that is somewhat see-through. The nose offers red berries, raspberry and some clove. The Sangiovese in the blend gives me some cherry notes on the palate while the Merlot component brings out some plum while adding a bit of backbone to the wine. On the mid palate is where I get a nuttiness, almonds and a touch of oak. The wine has some very dry tannins that kick in on the finish and add a bite to the gums. Acidity is nice and the wine is balanced. I’m not sure I would go as high as the pros with 92, more like 89 points for me. Still a good value IMHO and worthy of 4 stars. Perfect for the midweek pasta dish or perhaps a thin crust wood oven pizza. Drink till 2020. Salut….
Dark but opaque purple. Nose has flavors of raspberry, oak and nutmeg. On the palate, somewhat tannic and dry on the initial taste with red berries and an astringency that is somewhat overpowering. The tannins continue the dryness onto the mid palate where I get some black cherry notes, but just barely. The finish is one dimensional. For me this wine is unbalanced and lacking fruit. It could be in a dumb phase. Right now I’m thinking 85 points and for the $18 I paid it is a pass and 1 star. It’s a shame as I really enjoyed the 2014 Mission Cabernet Merlot blend which I gave 89 points to. Salut…
I’m a fan of this winery as can be seen in my two tastings of their Pinot Noir. I came across this wine at the local store near my hotel and it was priced as a deal for two, I could not resist.
Medium to dark purple. Nose of minerals, plum and sasparilla. On the initial attack I get really smooth plums, with some red chili pepper hints- intriguing, sans the heat! On the midpalate the plums continue but I start to appreciate some oak use and the intro to black fruits. I’m thinking of Ribena on the finish along with some vanilla. Very smooth all throughout with very melded tannins and a balanced acidity. This is my first Merlot/Cabernet from the famed Gimblett Gravels, I’m digging the minerality and think this wine is a 90 point effort. I think they normally retail at $18, which makes this a solid 4 star wine. Availability in the States may be limited, but keep a lookout for this winery on your travels. This wine would pair nicely with Beef short ribs or a hearty stew. I’m getting more! Salut….
No nose- I’m sitting in an airplane with a plastic cup. The initial impression I get is of mellow plums, really nice acidity and some earthiness. The mid palate is generous with the dark fruits and I am enjoying the very mild dryness the tannins are giving. On second thought, it is really packed with plum flavors. The finish is shortish but tasty. The strength of this wine lies on the generous mid palate, which is where the flavors and technical components all seem to materialize. Considering I am cooped up in a pressurized tube I think the winemakers have a winner here. They have crafted something I am really enjoying. 90 points and kudos. I paired it with pasta and meatball, courtesy of United Airlines. For $19 this wine gets 4 stars and is widely available. Salut….
Reddish purple and opaque in the glass. Nose of rhubarb and Swiss chard leaves. I’m not going to lie- it’s a bit off putting. The palate is a whole different story, thank god. Vibrant cherry and red raspberry notes with juicy acidity and balanced tannins. The mid palate is really delicious, yet supremely dry from the tannins. More red fruits emerge with some hints of nutmeg. The finish is medium in length and offers more raspberries. I found out it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Nero D’Avola, which is a grape I hold near and dear. Overall a very juicy and decent wine that gets 90 points from me. I paid $20 and am going with 4 stars. Salut….
See through lighter shade of purple. Stunning nose of mulberry, warm berry compote and a hint of cedar wood. The palate shows off red berries, fine grained tannins and a mouthful of warm brioche notes. There’s an underlying level of acidity that continues the whole length of this delicious wine. It just smacks of warm California fruit, nicely integrated with oak, balanced tannins and a freshness I’m really enjoying. 90 points and for $15 I’m giving it 4 stars and getting some more! Salut….
This was on special at my local wine store, regularly $11, on sale for $10. I had to try it. It is vinted and bottled by the Wente Family Estate, which is a rather big and well know operation.
A good shade of purple in the glass, with a nose of black berry and kirsch. On the palate, black stone fruits and black berries. Very nice and supple mouthfeel, not overly acidic with very subtle tannins. A pop’n’pour wine that is sure to please- for the price, it is a really outstanding effort. 88 points and 5 stars for its price to quality ratio. Drink by itself or pair with pretty much anything! Salut….