Stunning purple in the glass with nice thin legs. On the nose I get a huge dose of black currants, black berries and oaky vanilla. Mint also makes an appearance. On the initial palate it is really juicy with black fruits galore. Beautiful oak is well integrated with coconut flavors present. The tannic structure shows a gradual ramp up to reach a drying peak on the finish. The mid palate is lush and fruity with some black tea, cassis, more coconut and capsicum. The finish is dry with those nice tannins really gripping. There’s a very balancing, juicy acidity that I’m really enjoying. This wine begs to be drunk, it is a stunning example of how delicious Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are as the prime components in wine. 93 points and 5 stars for this $104 stunner. Drink till 2030.
Just a gorgeous dark purple in the glass, it shows promise! On the nose I get lavender, plums, and a remarkable blackberry hint. On the palate I am getting delicious plums, black cherry kirsch and a hint of upfront tannins. As the wine progresses to the mid palate the tannins firm up a touch and the fruit mellows somewhat, indicating youth in this wine. The finish shows off a blueberry component which has me confused. Plums, Blackberry, Black Cherry and now blueberry. It cannot be possible, yet here it is, bathed in very well integrated tannins and just a touch of acidity. This wine is delicious, it really is. My choice was to pair it with Strip Steak, steamed Artichokes and a Cauliflower puree. A perfect match. This wine gets 91 points from and for $45 it is a 4 star effort. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot are the make up of this Bordeaux style wine, which as you know really excites me. Drink till 2022 at the least. Salut….
I’m a fan of this winery and recently went for a wine and cheese pairing. I ordered a few bottles of this blend. Pale yellow/hints of gold in the glass. A nose of yellow apple, ginger, lime and a touch of pineapple. Initial tastes of apple, pineapple and a touch of butter. Reminiscent of Napa Chardonnay yet shouting out that it’s a blend. Very nice mid palate with ever so gentle acidity. The finish is nice, with a green apple meets melon twist. That’s also the point that the acidity hits. There’s some mid-palate ring going on as well. 90 points from me and perfectly suited for grilled chicken with roasted veggies, or just drink it chilled on a hot summers day! A blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc, 44% Semillon that costs $20 at retail and got 88 points from WE. A 4 star effort that you need by the case (it’s $16 per if you join the club). Salut….
A Napa Valley white wine blended from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Pale yellow with a nose of lemon, asparagus and crunchy green apple. The initial attack is very soft with elegant hints of quince, yellow apple and green melon. Not as steely as a Chablis nor as buttery as a Napa chard, it sits comfortably in the middle. It possesses a longish finish than refreshes and coaxes. I’m guessing there is no malolactic fermentation and a minimal amount of new oak, but it’s just a guess. Refreshing yet hearty. 91 points. The only drawback is the 14.5% alcohol which is well disguised. Nicely done and for $20, this is a 4 star wine. Salut….
Bright purple edges in the glass. Nose of bramble and blue fruits. Bright and airy initial attack of blueberry pie, iodine and vanilla. Cinnamon and crime brûlée hints come out mid palate. Soft tannins and low acidity make this easy to drink now and in the near future. Full flavored yet somewhat light and lithe- this is an easy wine to enjoy with or without food. 89 points. $19 and 3 stars. Salut….
I picked this bottle up at the Napa tasting room, where I joined the club and indulged in tasting just about everything they had. I really enjoy the wines from this winery, they suit my style, budget and usually have enough unique character to set them apart from the thousands of others in the valley. This one was $36 for club members, $45 for the rest. It opens up in the glass and shows off a bright purple color. On the nose- nice plum and blue fruit compote. A nice intro of plum, currant, black cherry and gripping tannins. Acidity is very present and balances the young tannins somewhat. The blend of this wine is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 9 % Cabernet Franc and the 1 % left is Malbec.
This Bordeaux blend appeals to me greatly and the wine drinks well, albeit young. The mid palate just hit me with some powerful plum essence with a silky touch of flowers, probably the Franc I suspect. The finish is average in length and the tannins simply disappear. I’m thinking this is a shorter term wine with a drinking window of 2016-2020. 91 points from me and 4 stars. Salut….
Some friends and I were at a Costco yesterday and decided to try a few of the Kirkland brand wines. This was our first attempt, it cost $11 and is a blend of 49% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% each Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. I took some basic notes:
Plummy with oak and currants.
Young and fresh, with hints of eucalyptus and oregano
At this price point it is a very serviceable party wine that won’t disappoint. It could use another year of cellaring and drink till 2019. 3 stars from me. Salut….
Several points about this wine. Firstly, I don’t remember buying it, or the second bottle I found in my ‘to drink’ rack. Perhaps one of my mates brought them over for Thanksgiving when I was not here yet Moxie has no recollection of this occurring. Oh well, free booze is free booze.
Secondly, the cork on bottle #1 was badly stained, never a good sign. I sliced the second one open to see, it is safe. So…. I will write based on the fact that I suspect this wine to be flawed, which is a shame considering it’s heritage, reputation and price.
As you can see, pretty grim on the left side. I shall endeavor to open the other one soon so I have a fresh recollection. Anyway, back to the details. Mostly Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc make this more of a Right Bank blend which excites me. The wine is inky dark in the glass and unfortunately had a slightly oxidized nose of plums and blackberry. On the palate I was in for a surprise. The wine had survived nearly intact. Big juicy black berries and dark plums with a deft addition of the wood and some spices make this a full-on wine of great depth. The tannic structure is great with some dryness on the back end, right where it should be. I did not sense any imbalance but did notice a slight oxidized note on the finish. I am lucky this bottle showed so well, now if only I could find it’s source! I am giving a provisional 90 points and found it online for about $46. Potentially a 4 star wine for me, we shall have to wait for the re-taste to confirm. Salut….
I was not sure of the blend when I decided to pair this Napa red with some serious Ribeye steaks. I thought I was getting a tannic Cab Sav, which is what I wanted. Instead, I ended up with a multi dimensional blend, mainly Cabernet Franc with Merlot balancing it out. Absolutely delicious is what it was. You may recall that I have a soft spot for the Franc, but this is a seriously complex wine that offered up Plums and Blueberry on the nose. The first wave was Pomegranate, red berries and a touch of oak. Later, I was getting dark berry and currants with some back end tannins that were sublime. The structure of this wine is fantastic, balanced and built for medium term cellaring. The tannins are all concentrated on the finish, making this an easy drinker. The long ending is a dry mouth-puckering event that lasted for ever. I think I would pair this again with any grilled meat, perhaps even roast chicken. The fruit is so evident and layered that the wine is Chameleon-like and can adapt to many dishes. I bet this wine would rock a Moroccan Tagine dish of Lamb and stewed fruits with couscous. Priced at $50, it is rather a ‘treat’ wine, but I would be guessing a 92 point rating is appropriate. I am giving it 4 stars because it is so interesting, complex and offers gratification from today until 2020 at the very least. Salut….
This is my 300th post so I planned ahead and saved something special to write about. I’ll explain later how and where I got this bottle, meanwhile…
When I took the first sniff, I could almost smell purple. Weird, yet delightful. This wine is a Meritage, meaning it is a blended wine made up of the Bordeaux varietals- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The flavor profile is unlike Bordeaux, more New World and fruitier. This wine was exceptionally smooth and the tannic structure was impeccable. I timed the finish for over a minute- amazing. On the palate, purple fruits galore, with a shaving of oak to balance it out. Plums, blackberries, dark cherries and the lot. Complex and deep, this is a show-stopping wine. Albeit a Meritage, it lacked Old World nuances like leather and cassis, relying on it’s own terroir to provide such crisp fruit outlines. The main players are 62% Cab Sav, providing the backbone while the 30% Cab Franc gives it the finesse. The wine is open for business and will last at least 10-15 years. 94 points and 5 stars.
How and where…. Moxie and I were on our way to Bali for our 20th anniversary and our friend’s wedding. We decided to stop in Napa for a visit before crossing the ocean. Our flight departed Washington, and returned. We eventually left 6 hours later and missed our whole Napa adventure, save the delightful dinner and wine on the terrace of the Westin Napa. In the morning, Moxie was showering when I checked the status of our flight to Hong Kong, alas a 6 hour delay, now leaving in the evening versus lunchtime. We took the opportunity to drive up the Silverado Trail and down the other side of the valley, only stopping at one winery- Cosentino. It was 10 am and they had just opened. Moxie was in no mood to swill wine at such an hour, and I was legally obliged not to allow alcohol to touch my lips (you’ll see why later). Anyway, the staff at the winery were super friendly, full of advice and sent us on our way with this offering. I was planning to open it in Bali, but never had the right opportunity, hence I saved it for this moment.