This Sonoma gem pours very dark, brooding and inky in the glass. The palate is somewhat of a surprise- it’s chock full of plum, black berry and chocolate powder. I also get a whiff of the 14.5% alcohol. On the palate it is delicious, tannic, and interesting. Black iodine, plum jam and blackberry compote all hit me. The wine has a nice dose of tannins that carry through all the way to the finish, not overly dry but present nonetheless. The mid palate mellows out some from the big burst of fruity goodness. The tannins are more evident on the gums at this stage and my mouth is starting to pucker. The finish has dusty mocha, more of that Iodine and obviously those dark fruits. It could use a touch more acidity but I really am enjoying it for it’s youthful exuberance and unabashed tannic structure. Good use of oak adds to the flavor of this wine and the alcohol that I was concerned about did not materialize. It will cellar nicely for a few years and pair well with grilled steaks, Osso Bucco or a hearty Venison stew. Drink till 2026. 91 points my friends and 5 stars for this $20 Cali Cab. Salut….
It’s a nice shade of see-through purple, as can be expected of this varietal. On the nose it’s a bit gamy but I eventually get ripe strawberry, cherry and twizzlers candy. The palate is pleasing with some nice soft red fruit notes. Red currants, more cherry and an interesting cedar plank note. On the mid palate I sense some juiciness, the acidity making an entrance and keeping me on my toes. The flavors get intertwined with some very fine grained tannins that are barely perceptible, yet leave an astringent coating. The finish is pretty much red fruit and a hint of rhubarb for that sour thrust coupled with a touch of oak. There is a greenness right at the end that perturbs me, but this is a nice wine that I am enjoying before cooking dinner. It will go well with roast duck, salmon on the grill or charred Filet Mignon. I’m guessing it will age for a few years, drink till 2024. 89 points from me and at $10 it’s a steal for Pinot Noir. 5 Stars- would buy again. Salut….
This South African Cab is a dark shade of reddish purple and is semi opaque. The nose is steeped in dark fruit compote, a touch of mint perhaps and coffee bean. The initial palate is very smooth with some nice blackberry notes along with espresso and chocolate powder. Very gentle, lithe tannins make it very easy to drink but conversely- it lacks structure for the long haul. The mid palate is more blueberry and plum. The finish is very fruity with nice black and blue berries to go with vanilla. There is a hint of oak influence that I am enjoying. The mouthfeel is really pleasing and I am thoroughly enjoying this wine as an aperitif. It will pair nicely with lighter fare and drink well till 2024. 89 points from me and 4 stars for this $13 effort. Salut….
I have had a few wines from Lodi recently and am becoming a big fan. Zinfandel is one of their signature grapes so this wine is exciting to me.
As I look at it in the glass it’s a nice shade of opaque purple. I can also smell the waft of fruit from a foot away, always a good sign. The nose is very fruit forward with tons of black berry, dark plums and a cinnamon twist. The palate is misleading- when you smell that much fruit you automatically expect a wine with a touch of sweetness, which I do not look forward to in reds. This wine is not at all sweet- it is rich, concentrated with black fruit and very tasty. There is a core of minerality on the mid palate that mixes it up with some oaky char and anise. I usually expect pepper with this varietal but I’m not getting any. The wine has a nice, balanced mouthfeel with very lithe tannins and supporting acidity. The finish is a fruit salad of black cherry, blackcurrants and blackberry jam. It is mouth filling and satisfying if you like a ton of flavor. I’m enjoying it with some Spaghetti Arrabiata with garlic bread. Kudos to the winemaker for this 90 point effort that I paid $13 for. It gets 5 stars and will drink nicely till 2027. Salut….
I recently ordered six different bottles from Naked Wines. This Mendoza wine is the first of the series. At $11, I’m not sure what to expect, here goes.
It’s a nice shade of purple and semi opaque in the glass. I sense dark plums, black currants and spice box on the nose. The palate is really juicy with a fruit forward approach. Dark fruits dominate with black cherry as the leader. There is a really nice tannic component that is not too astringent but gives just the right amount of dryness. The mid palate is really juicy with a nice rounded acidity and good mouthfeel. The fruit is very warm and satisfying. The fruit components are joined by some black tea notes and more spice box. Cedar shake also comes to mind as I ponder the finish. It’s decent in length and has the right amount of tannic grip to keep me interested without making my gums wince. The acidity is very gentle and balanced.. I really like this wine for an everyday drinker and give it 90 points. At that price it’s worthy of 5 stars and a stock up, drink till 2026. A blend of Malbec and Cab Sav that I’m pairing with grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip roast and baked potatoes. Well done. Salut….