Inky, with big legs in the glass showing off the 14.5% alcohol. On the nose I get red plum, raspberry, strawberry and cedar- not at all what I was expecting. The palate is super smooth and inviting- gentle tannins, red fruits galore and crispy acidity on the back end. Coffee shows up on the mid palate and I sense a tar component on the finish. Lovely mouthfeel on this one folks. It’s built to drink now and might take to a few years of cellaring but why wait. 88 points from me. Serve with strip steaks! For $20, it gets 4 stars. Salut….
This Pinot is pretty opaque for the varietal. A lovely shade of ruby with watery legs that give clue to the low 13% ABV. On the nose I get spice box, red cherry, pomegranate and cranberry. On the palate this wine is a touch tart and lacks any discernible tannins- not that I am complaining. I like Pinot with a touch of sourness and no dryness, makes for a crisp mouthfeel. The red fruit flavors are quite pronounced and balanced but I also get blueberry on the mid palate. I like the weight but the finish is a touch short. This bottle has what I really like in Pinot Noir- elegance and lightness with freshness and not too much oak influence. It is seductive and lithe, maybe not very complex but it delivers lots of fruit flavors. I would drink this one till 2025, perhaps pairing with Duck or Strip steak. 89 points from me and at $20 it’s a good deal that gets 4 stars. Salut….
This Paso Zin is a lovely shade of purple but only 50% opaque. The legs give a hint of what to expect, 14.8% ABV is pretty hefty kick, beware. On the nose I get wafts of the alcohol but it subsides and the flavors of dark plum, white pepper, cloves and creamy blackberry ganache. On the palate it is rich and powerful. The fruit profile is more toward the blackberry side but I do get the peppery notes I would expect from this varietal. There is a slightly astringent hit from black tea notes as well as some decent acidity. The tannins kick in very gently on the back end. A lovely, full mouthfeel for this wine that carries it to a medium length finish. The dark fruit flavors ever present. I sense a touch of oak overall, but it is not over done. The heat is the only concern as this wine drinks very easily, one can get caught up in the moment if one is not careful!. A decent drop that will go well with a lean cut of beef on the grill. 89 points from me and at $14, it’s a 4 star effort worthy of a try! Salut….
This Oregonian Pinot is see-through and medium ruby. The nose is quite intense with red cherry and strawberry. Cloves also come to mind but I can smell a whiff of the 13.5% alcohol. The palate is rounded and gives me ripe, squishy strawberry and some spice box alongside the cherry and now raspberry flavors. The wine is quite acidic and I get fine grained tannins on the mid palate. The red fruit theme continues to a mid length finish where the fruit overtakes any secondary flavors I previously got. It is New World with restraint in style, something I appreciate. The tannins really grip on the back end and the acidity does a nice job of balancing it out. Medium body and generally very pleasant- it gets 90 points from me and at $20 it’s worthy of 5 stars. Yummy stuff to drink till 2026. Salut….
Grenache is normally used as a blending grape but occasionally it’s a standalone. I enjoy it for what it’s worth, soft and supple with bright red fruit flavors. This particular wine is from Spain and is a pale purple in the glass and almost see-through. The nose is a mix of cherry and raspberry, with some earthiness and a bit of spice. There is a hint of red twizzler on the nose which bothers me just a touch- but I’m sure I’ll get over it. On the palate it is bright, very tasty, fruit forward and blushing with red fruits. Raspberry is the predominant theme but I do get Cherry in a supporting role with some bakers space. This is a rather lightweight wine that relies on freshness and fruits. Lithe acidity and subtle tannins give it a nice, easy mouth feel. The finish of this one has a hint of charred oak alongside the red fruits and spices. I’m enjoying it for its ease and charm and would drink until 2024. It gets 88 points for me, and for $13, it gets 4 stars. Pair it with lighter grilled dishes, cheese boards or roast Cornish Hens. Salut….
This wine is a bright shade of purple and semi opaque. The nose offers up violets, Juniper bush and plum- very interesting mix. On the palate it has a really nice earthiness reminiscent of Rioja, with dust, bramble and black berries. Even the tannins are rustic. The mid palate turns a little more blue but the charm of the varietal sticks with the basics where I now get a hint of oak. The tannic structure is really nice and does well with the mild acidity. The finish is quite dry but the fruit hangs on for a while. It really is a yummy wine that will pair nicely with our shaved steak-stuffed yellow peppers with onion and Provolone. I don’t think I have had Tempranillo from Oregon before- it won’t be my last one. At 90 points this $17 wine gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Pinot is a dark shade of purple and is quite a bit more opaque than expected. The nose gives me dark cherries, boysenberry, clove and cola. Very intricate. The palate is quite unique- cherry cola meets rhubarb and cranberry. I sense a cascade of acidity as my mouth starts to water but there’s a modicum of dryness from lithe tannins that hit towards the mid palate. The dark red fruit theme continues and I get a nice finish with some extras- Rooibos tea, spices and more of that cherry cola thing. It is a really tasty wine that has been extracted very well, not overdone with nice oak integration. The length of the finish is really great and the tannins stick with me for quite a while. Light-to-medium bodied, it has a nice mouthfeel. Drink this 91 point wine till 2027. I am preparing Sous Vide chicken and Swiss chard to pair. For $19 it’s an awesome deal that gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
I love Cab Franc as a standalone varietal. It offers up so much sophistication, is svelte and has great structure. Found mainly in blends, it does really well on its own in my book. This one is bright purple and semi opaque in the glass. The nose is exploding as it just sits there, I can smell it a mile away. Black pepper, violets, spice box and black raspberry all greet me. The palate is very muscular and fruity. Rich purple fruit notes alongside the spiciness make for an interesting taste. Very nice tannins are present from the get go, but not over powering. Oak nuances are present as is a fair dose of acidity. The mid palate is a touch less dry, with the flavors turning a little darker. Black currants take over alongside some tea notes. The finish is quite dry and decent in length. I am enjoying this rather full bodied wine, it’s not as perfumed and lithe as I was expecting but it will rock my Goat stew for dinner. Other pairings would include grilled Hanger steak with Frites or even Lamb Chops with mint sauce. 90 points for this $12 stunner make it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Grenache/Syrah blend is very dark purple in the glass and 75% opaque. On the nose I get telltale raspberry plus red currants and red licorice. The palate is quite dry right off the bat and a touch austere. As I work my way through the black tea notes I discover raspberry and cherry cola. The mid palate is very tannic but I still get red fruit and now- black licorice. The finish is a long and dry affair, the tannins really gripping my gums. There is a touch of bitterness all through the wine that bothers me somewhat, perhaps a bit of decanting or aerating would soften it up? I think this is a basic wine that will do well paired with hearty meat stews, especially Lamb. It gets 85 points from me and at $11- 3 stars. Drink till 2023. Salut….
I’m doing some Ribeyes in the Sous Vide along with a vegetarian lasagna made with hearts of palm sheets. I needed something bold and hopefully a touch tannic. This blend was the chosen one. It is semi opaque and a dark shade of purple. On the nose I get candied cherry, violets and plum reduction. The palate has a sweetness to it and some tannic grip right off the bat. Dark red fruit compote, Goji berry and Rooibos tea all feature. The tannins take off on the mid palate and frame the gums till the very end. It is quite dry and there is an astringency that kicks in towards the back end. I taste some darker fruits on the finish but the sweet component is throwing me off. I have to admit, it’s not my favorite flavor profile but is a decent drop that gets 88 points from me and at $13- a 3 star effort. Drink till 2024. Salut.